Championship of Champions
The Championship of Champions (often abbreviated CoC or C of C, or referred to in the shortened form Champion of Champions) is a televised knock-out tournament held every few years on the show between a selection of contestants who reached the final rounds of their series. Typically, only contestants who have appeared since the previous Championship of Champions are eligible to enter, however Darryl Francis was entered into Championship of Champions III rather than Championship of Champions II, and Jon Corby was permitted into Championship of Champions XIII rather than Championship of Champions XII as the line-up of XII was determined before he made his debut on the show.
During the early 2010s, the Championship of Champions tournament has been on a temporary, unofficial hiatus, seemingly because some members of the Countdown team believed it would increase the players' standard of gameplay beyond what the average viewer could appreciate. The 30th Birthday Championship, held at the start of 2013, was the only televised Countdown event longer than the series finals to take place during this period. Additionally, standalone special episodes were held between the two series champions of 2009 – Kirk Bevins and Chris Davies – and between the series champions of 2011 – Edward McCullagh and Graeme Cole; all four later entered the 30th Birthday Championship as well. The CoC hiatus ended with the airing of Championship of Champions XIV at the start of 2016.
The first eight CoC tourneys were each contested between eight people. From CoC IX onwards, they have been contested between 16, with the exception of CoC X, which was shortened to one week so as to conclude on New Year's Eve just before the turn of the 21st century. Each round is played in succession -- the eighth-finals (Championship of Champions IX onwards only), followed by the quarter-finals, then the semi-finals, and finally the grand final itself. The final for CoC I was a 9 round game. However, from then until the changeover to the (all-purpose) 15 round formats, CoC finals were 14 round games, in line with series grand finals.
Individual Championships of Champions
The ranges of series from which contestants were selected for each Championship of Champions are listed alongside their dates.
- Championship of Champions I (1984) — Series 1 to 4
- Championship of Champions II (1986) — Series 5 to 8
- Championship of Champions III (1987) — Series 6 and 9 to 12
- Championship of Champions IV (1989) — Series 13 to 16
- Championship of Champions V (1990-1991) — Series 17 to 20
- Championship of Champions VI (1993) — Series 20 to 24
- Championship of Champions VII (1995) — Series 25 to 28
- Championship of Champions VIII (1996) — Series 29 to 32
- Championship of Champions IX (1997-1998) — Series 34 to 37
- Championship of Champions X (1999) — Series 38 to 41
- Championship of Champions XI (2003) — Series 42 to 48
- Championship of Champions XII (2006) — Series 49 to 54
- Championship of Champions XIII (2009) — Series 54 to 59
- Championship of Champions XIV (2016) — Series 67 to 72
Contestants from Series 60 to 66 were instead entered into the 30th Birthday Championship in 2013. Though this was a much larger event, featuring 41 total players, there were 16 entrants from this time span, the same as would be in a regular Championship of Champions.
|Championship of Champions Winners|
I : Mark Nyman | II : Clive Freedman | III : Harvey Freeman | IV : Nic Brown | V : Tim Morrissey | VI : Wayne Summers | VII : Don Reid | VIII : Chris Rogers | IX : Natascha Kearsey | X : Scott Mearns | XI : Graham Nash | XII : Paul Gallen | XIII : Steve Briers | XIV : Dylan Taylor