She was a drama teacher from St. John's near Woking, and first appeared as a contestant defeating Cath Powell in the third heat game of the series on 3 July 1987. Hopper won three more games and drew one before falling at the hands of Robert Randall. She returned for the finals as #4 seed, defeating John Clark in the quarter-finals and Nita Marr in the semis. In the grand final, despite making a mistake in the first round, declaring RATION when there was no 'A' in the selection, she put in a commanding performance against Kevin Nelson. She led 84 – 79 going into the final conundrum which read BLINDBRIG, and Nelson buzzed in first but said he had got it wrong, after which Hopper correctly buzzed in with DRIBBLING to become only the second ever female series champion, with a 94 – 79 scoreline.
She also appeared in the Supreme Championship, heavily beating Anthony Butcher 56 – 23 in her first-round game. Hopper next played Wayne Summers, a CoC winner who had received a bye into the semi-finals, and was on similarly good form, offering the impressive words AXIOMS and COPIOUS. In the group final, she beat Damian Eadie 59 – 40 to take her into the Supreme final stages, but was ultimately beaten by Tim Morrissey after neither player solved the crucial conundrum, DOWNGRADE.
Hopper returned to the show for one final time in 2003 for a 3-day Ladies’ Championship series against fellow female series champions. She beat Liz Barber in the first game, before losing to Kate Ogilvie in the final. With a Countdown career spanning over a decade and a half, Hopper is considered one of the all-time greats of the show, and her numbers skill were particularly strong.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|604||3/07/1987||P||Hilary Hopper||60 – 23||Cath Powell||Gyles Brandreth||Catherine Clarke||72|
|605||6/07/1987||P||Hilary Hopper||43 – 22||Dennis Davies||Gyles Brandreth||Catherine Clarke||71|
|606||7/07/1987||P||Hilary Hopper||54 – 41||Hilary Jones||Russell Harty||Catherine Clarke||85|
|607||8/07/1987||P||Hilary Hopper||44 – 44||Boz Osberg||Russell Harty||Catherine Clarke||83|
|608||9/07/1987||P||Hilary Hopper||53 – 43||Boz Osberg||Russell Harty||Catherine Clarke||71|
|609||10/07/1987||P||Hilary Hopper||50 – 60||Robert Randall||Russell Harty||Catherine Clarke||72|
|641||25/08/1987||QF||Hilary Hopper||58 – 54||John Clark||Derek Nimmo||Catherine Clarke||75|
|642||26/08/1987||SF||Nita Marr||34 – 54||Hilary Hopper||Derek Nimmo||Catherine Clarke||69|
|644||28/08/1987||GF||Hilary Hopper||94 – 79||Kevin Nelson||Gyles Brandreth, Derek Nimmo||Catherine Clarke||118|
|816||5/01/1989||CQF||Hilary Hopper||41 – 56||Steve Williams||Tim Rice||Catherine Clarke||68|
|M44||29/1/90-2/2/90||Masters 1||Hilary Hopper||77 – 110||Mike Percik||N/A||Catherine Clarke||136|
|1888||25/11/1996||fQF||Hilary Hopper||56 – 23||Anthony Butcher||Tom O'Connor||Catherine Stokes||70|
|1891||28/11/1996||fSF||Hilary Hopper||59 – 39||Wayne Summers||Richard Digance||David Swarbrick||71|
|1893||2/12/1996||fF||Hilary Hopper||59 – 40||Damian Eadie||Richard Digance||David Swarbrick||73|
|1904||17/12/1996||SQF||Hilary Hopper||49 – 56||Tim Morrissey||Nigel Rees||Catherine Clarke||75|
|3436||11/03/2003||LSF||Hilary Hopper||45 – 35||Liz Barber||Rick Wakeman||Alison Heard||85|
|3438||13/03/2003||LF||Hilary Hopper||32 – 54||Kate Ogilvie||Rick Wakeman||Alison Heard||83|