Graham Nash

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Graham Nash during the 11th Championship of Champions.

Graham Nash (born 25 December 1979) was an octochamp in and champion of Series 43, and winner of Championship of Champions XI.

Contents

Series 43

Nash made his Countdown debut on 20 July 2000, defeating two-times winner and Edinburgh Countdown Club member Melanie Beaumont by 60 points to 49. He demonstrated consistent scoring to polish off seven further wins, including three scores of over 60 and a high score of 72 points against Roger Robinson. Nash amassed an eight game total of 465 points and qualified for the series finals as number 2 seed.

Nash narrowly overcame Gordon Cusworth and Clare Wright in his quarter-final and semi-final respectively, setting up a grand final against number 5 seed Matthew Turner. Turner was perhaps a surprising grand finalist, having beaten #1 seed and then eight game total record holder David Williams during his semi-final. In a close game, Nash was immediately on the back foot after having fainters ☓ disallowed in the first round. Turner soon returned the favour by having easternly ☓ disallowed in round 4, levelling the scores at 23 points apiece.

Both Nash and Turner had halled ☓ declared invalid in round five, but Turner took the lead in round six with a perfect numbers solution. However, it didn't last for long as Nash unravelled the first conundrum GETTENRED to level the scores once more. A decisive penultimate numbers round gave Nash a 10 point advantage, which he was able to hold onto until the crucial conundrum. After six seconds, it was Nash who solved ANEWREBEL to become Countdown's forty-third series champion.

Championship of Champions XI

Nash returned in 2003 for Championship of Champions XI where, in spite of his unbeaten record, he wasn't considered one of the favourites thanks to the presence of players including Chris Wills and Julian Fell. Nash's first game of the tournament pitted him against Series 42 semi-finalist David Ballheimer. Words including VINTAGES and MICROBES helped Nash to a comfortable 103 – 70 victory.

Nash's second game was against the hotly-tipped Julian Fell. Both players were unbeaten with 12 wins from 12 games, but Julian had the edge in terms of average score. The first key word came in round 4 when Nash had formica ☓ disallowed as it is listed in the dictionary as a proper noun. Both players spotted a nine in round 8, ORGANISED and GRANDIOSE for Nash and Fell respectively. The following round Fell declared eight to Nash's seven, but Fell's offering of gambiers ☓ was disallowed, giving Nash a one point advantage. The players scored equally in every round up to the conundrum, giving Nash a lead of 110 points to 109. In less than two seconds, it was Nash who unravelled MENDMEDOC to beat Fell by 11 points.

Nash faced Series 47 finalist Tom Hargreaves in his semi-final. Three rounds in, Nash had septagon ☓ disallowed which allowed Hargreaves a seven point advantage. Hargreaves held this lead until round seven when both players declared nine: whilst Nash's offering of CLEARINGS was deemed valid, Hargreaves's rescaling ☓ was not. This gave Nash an 11-point lead which, following turbulence from both players, he held until the conundrum AVIANLOUT. Nash solved this in 1.5 seconds to earn a 'valuable' place in the tournament final.

The final against Series 47 champion Chris Wills turned out to be a low-scoring affair. Wills took the lead in round 4 with GAMBADE but, after the first ad break, Nash levelled the scores with the seven-letter word PENSIVE. In round eight Wills had mistle ☓ disallowed, gifting Nash a six point lead courtesy of METALS. Nash held this lead until the final numbers game, where an impossible target obligated both players to score zero points. With the scores set at 79 – 73, this forced a crucial conundrum. After 30 seconds, neither player had been able to unravel OVERSPADE presenting Nash with a seemingly unlikely Championship of Champions victory.

Nash was the fifth player to win a grand slam (undefeated in the heats, finals and Championship of Champions), after Harvey Freeman, Nic Brown, Don Reid and Scott Mearns, as well as the final one prior to the CoC hiatus during the early 2010s.

After Countdown

Nash has appeared on further television game shows including Brainteaser, Grand Slam, Divided, and Wordplay. Therein, he displayed his 'unique' taste for colourful shirts that was apparent during his Countdown appearances.

In 2015, Nash returned for a special episode against John Brackstone, which he won 94 – 49, maintaining his unbeaten record on the show. His appearance here made him the first player to have contested all four major game formats, including both "old" and "new" 15-rounders.

Preceded by
Michael Calder
Series winner
Series 43
Followed by
Stuart Wood


Preceded by
Scott Mearns
Champion of Champions
Championship of Champions XI
Followed by
Paul Gallen

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
2813 20/07/2000 P Melanie Beaumont 49 – 60 Graham Nash David Steel Gillian Evans 73
2814 21/07/2000 P Graham Nash 55 – 26 Bill Maskew David Steel Gillian Evans 83
2815 24/07/2000 P Graham Nash 57 – 49 Tony Long Tom O'Connor Damian Eadie 75
2816 28/07/2000 P Graham Nash 63 – 36 David Duncan Tom O'Connor Damian Eadie 73
2817 31/07/2000 P Graham Nash 72 – 36 Roger Robinson Tom O'Connor Damian Eadie 83
2818 1/08/2000 P Graham Nash 46 – 5 Sarah Newell Tom O'Connor Damian Eadie 71
2819 2/08/2000 P Graham Nash 60 – 49 Jason Campbell Tom O'Connor Damian Eadie 84
2820 8/08/2000 P Graham Nash 52 – 22 Jo Austin Tom O'Connor Damian Eadie 72
2906 18/12/2000 QF Graham Nash 60 – 50 Gordon Cusworth Anya Sitaram Richard Samson 84
2910 22/12/2000 SF Graham Nash 70 – 53 Clare Wright Barry Cryer Susie Dent 73
2911 25/12/2000 GF Graham Nash 89 – 69 Matthew Turner Barry Cryer Susie Dent 128
3397 15/01/2003 CP David Ballheimer 70 – 103 Graham Nash Tim Rice Susie Dent 119
3401 21/01/2003 CQF Graham Nash 120 – 109 Julian Fell Eric Knowles Susie Dent 137
3403 23/01/2003 CSF Tom Hargreaves 83 – 104 Graham Nash Eric Knowles Susie Dent 132
3404 24/01/2003 CGF Chris Wills 73 – 79 Graham Nash Eric Knowles Susie Dent 106
S45 8/05/2015 S Graham Nash 94 – 49 John Brackstone Gyles Brandreth Susie Dent 121


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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