David Acton was the Series 31 champion.
He first appeared on Countdown on 27 February 1996, beating Bryan Darbey 67 – 42. Acton won his remaining seven games in impressive fashion, including an 81 – 8 drubbing of Peter Chamberlain, the highest score of the series and second largest 9-round winning margin of all time. With 486 points to his name, Acton was the clear #1 seed going into the final rounds.
In the finals, he defeated Kevin Fisk and Anne Bougourd on his way to a Grand Final match-up with Kenneth Michie. Despite having two words disallowed, Acton was still leading by 6 points going into the crucial conundrum, and unscrambled SUSISDENT in 11.5 seconds to become the first undefeated champion since Don Reid in Series 25. However, being a strict vegan, Acton famously declined the first prize of the leather-bound dictionaries and opted instead for the CD-ROM form, donating the difference to a local school.
Acton would return to Countdown one last time, for a special episode – a rematch of his final with Kenneth Michie. This time, Michie was the clear winner.
David Acton is also a Scrabble Grandmaster.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|1759||27/02/1996||P||David Acton||67 – 42||Bryan Darbey||Nigel Rees||Catherine Stokes||70|
|1760||28/02/1996||P||David Acton||62 – 21||John Shirreffs||Nigel Rees||Catherine Stokes||83|
|1761||29/02/1996||P||David Acton||47 – 40||Joan Coker||Jan Harvey||Catherine Stokes||70|
|1762||1/03/1996||P||David Acton||81 – 8||Peter Chamberlain||Jan Harvey||Catherine Stokes||83|
|1763||4/03/1996||P||David Acton||52 – 44||Ed Barlow||Jan Harvey||Catherine Stokes||72|
|1764||5/03/1996||P||David Acton||52 – 31||Liz Groombridge||Jan Harvey||Catherine Stokes||72|
|1765||6/03/1996||P||David Acton||70 – 35||Paulinus Barnes||Jan Harvey||Catherine Stokes||72|
|1766||7/03/1996||P||David Acton||55 – 44||Paul Parry||Jan Harvey||Catherine Stokes||73|
|1776||21/03/1996||QF||Kevin Fisk||36 – 63||David Acton||Rosalind Ayres||Susie Dent||93|
|1780||27/03/1996||SF||David Acton||54 – 48||Anne Bougourd||Rosalind Ayres||Susie Dent||74|
|1782||29/03/1996||GF||David Acton||83 – 67||Kenneth Michie||Martin Jarvis, Rosalind Ayres||Susie Dent||127|
|1849||1/10/1996||CQF||David Acton||61 – 13||Dennis Fearon||Jan Harvey||Susie Dent||81|
|1852||4/10/1996||CSF||Chris Rogers||47 – 41||David Acton||Jan Harvey||Susie Dent||83|
|S8||8/09/2003||S||David Acton||70 – 104||Kenneth Michie||Richard Stilgoe||Damian Eadie||141|