Dylan Taylor

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Dylan Taylor

Dylan Taylor was an octochamp in and the runner-up of Series 69, as well as the winner of Championship of Champions XIV. He is one of the most talented contestants ever, due to his exceptional vocabulary, consistent numbers game solutions and lightning fast conundrum solutions.

He first appeared on 6 August 2013 as a 17-year-old against Zarte Siempre, and showed strong word knowledge with findings of SARDIUS and PATRONNE. He was one point off the perfect game in his impressive debut. In an octochamp run that never looked in doubt, he continued to show his strong word knowledge with AMORETTI, ELASIPOD and SEPTARIUM and solved difficult numbers games (particularly in 6-small number selections) in spectacular fashion to seal crushing victories. Remarkably, all his wins but one were 120 or above.

He returned to the show for quarter-finals as number 1 seed against Gemma Church. He faced difficult letter selections, but maxed every round except the conundrum to win with a series low of 108. His semi-final against Bradley Cates was a tougher battle but he came through and earned a place in the grand final with a score of 121 against Cates's 103 despite missing another conundrum.

He has set numerous records on the programme. His cumulative octochamp total was a record 974 points, beating the previous record set by the Series 68 champion Giles Hutchings by 9 points. He also recorded the highest number of maxes during an octorun with 101 out of 120 maxes, beating the Series 64 champion Edward McCullagh's best by 5 maxes. His aggregate winning margin over his 8 preliminary games was 628, an improvement on the previous record held by Andy Platt. His score of 124 against Mike Thompson is also the highest ever without a 9-letter word.

His total score over his 11 appearances in Series 69 was an outstanding 1,319 points, the highest total score achieved by any contestant in a single series.

Despite his records, he lost the grand final 116 (the highest losing score in a final) to non-octochamp Callum Todd's 126 (the highest winning score in a final) in what was also the highest combined score in a series final (excluding the 30th Birthday Championship). This time, the conundrum proved to be his downfall, as Todd solved IHURTPALM in 5 seconds. Todd, who maxed every round in the final except round 1, became the first non-octochamp since Ben Wilson to win a series.

Taylor made his return to Countdown as one of the participants in Championship of Champions XIV, facing off against Tracey Mills in the preliminaries. Here, he proved to have lost none of his edge; despite the game's subpar maximum score, Taylor "maxed" all but one of the letters rounds (putting in such impressive spots as PARIETAL and MOUTHER), beat Mills on a tricky four-large numbers round, and wrapped up by solving the conundrum SURLYVICE in just over one second to net 120 points out of a possible 124. Taylor's next opponent, in the quarter-finals, was Series 68 runner-up Andy Platt. In this episode, both players were dead level on the max score up until the third numbers game, when Taylor made a 10-point breakaway after an error by Platt. Platt regained the lead three rounds later by way of the niner URNFIELDS, but Taylor remained in contention with the score standing 125 – 117 to Platt going into the crucial conundrum. Taylor then solved MINUTEPUN in three-quarters of a second, relegating Platt to the show's highest-ever losing score and also setting up the highest joint score ever achieved in the new 15-round format. Taylor hereby advanced to a semi-final against Giles Hutchings, setting up a clash between the two highest-scoring octochamps by heat game totals in the show's history.

In the semi-final, Hutchings and Taylor matched each other in all the first 14 rounds (a first in Countdown history), before Taylor solved the conundrum TEARCLOTH to win the match by 118 – 108. In the grand final, he played Series 71 champion Dan McColm, and after establishing a 25 point lead after 6 rounds, McColm pegged him back thanks to the niner METACONID. They would remain 7 points apart up until the crucial conundrum, where after 1.5 seconds, Taylor unravelled NICETASTY to become the fourteenth Champion of Champions.

He is also an Apterite and made his CO-event debut at CoChest in 2011. He then appeared at COLIN 2012, CoLei5 and COHUD in 2012.

He then beat Series 66 champion Jack Worsley at CoChest2 in October 2012. In August 2015, he won the inaugural .co.mk tournament, and won the thirteenth edition of COLIN in 2017.

Away from Countdown, Dylan likes to keep fit and trains for half marathons. He and his mother are from Honduras but moved with his family to the UK in 1998 after Hurricane Mitch devastated the nation.

Preceded by
Andy Platt
Series runner-up
Series 69
Followed by
Andy Naylor


Preceded by
Steven Briers
Champion of Champions
Championship of Champions XIV

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
5744 6/08/2013 P Zarte Siempre 81 – 120 Dylan Taylor Dan Walker Susie Dent 121
5745 7/08/2013 P Dylan Taylor 124 – 30 David Howard Dan Walker Susie Dent 146
5746 8/08/2013 P Dylan Taylor 121 – 67 Tony Izzard Dan Walker Susie Dent 132
5747 9/08/2013 P Dylan Taylor 113 – 47 Dominic James Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 122
5748 12/08/2013 P Dylan Taylor 122 – 55 Mark O'Regan Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 135
5749 13/08/2013 P Dylan Taylor 129 – 22 Leone Mitchell Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 143
5750 14/08/2013 P Dylan Taylor 124 – 27 Mike Thompson Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 126
5751 15/08/2013 P Dylan Taylor 121 – 17 Russ Millhouse Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 125
5833 12/12/2013 QF Dylan Taylor 108 – 76 Gemma Church Dan Walker Susie Dent 118
5837 18/12/2013 SF Dylan Taylor 121 – 103 Bradley Cates Richard Madeley Susie Dent 133
5839 20/12/2013 GF Dylan Taylor 116 – 126 Callum Todd Richard Madeley Susie Dent 134
6281 7/01/2016 CP Dylan Taylor 120 – 73 Tracey Mills Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 124
6287 15/01/2016 CQF Andy Platt 125 – 127 Dylan Taylor John Inverdale Susie Dent 145
6290 20/01/2016 CSF Giles Hutchings 108 – 118 Dylan Taylor Naga Munchetty Susie Dent 122
6292 22/01/2016 CGF Dylan Taylor 121 – 104 Dan McColm Naga Munchetty Susie Dent 154


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

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