Kai Laddiman

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Kai Laddiman in his first game.

Kai Laddiman was a finalist in Series 59.

He won eight games with a top score of 105, including the nine letter words INCAPABLE and THIRTEENS. Laddiman was just eleven years old and attracted a lot of national media attention because of his age. Laddiman is the second youngest octochamp ever, behind Allan Saldanha, and the youngest to achieve it for 20 years. Also notable is the fact that he solved all eight of his conundrums, becoming only the fourth player to do so after Harvey Freeman, David Williams, and Julian Fell.

Laddiman made his debut on 2 October 2008 in the champion's chair, the day following another octochamp run by Junaid Mubeen. He won comfortably 93 – 64 against James Bruce. His second opponent Jeff Francis held him to a tighter match as he missed ORDAIN and BANDIEST, setting up a highly crucial conundrum with Francis leading by one point, however Laddiman spotted that MUDTEMPLE anagrammed to PLUMMETED to earn another victory. The following week, he scored consistent comfortable victories against Bill Franklin, Don Walker and Alex Gaywood. He went on to beat Zachery Stephenson in a game notable for his niner INCAPABLE as well as a very funny blooper by Carol in the last numbers game (which neither contestant solved correctly). Laddiman beat Hardev Raikmo and finally Richard Pascoe, scoring his only century with words including MOPEDS, MATCHES and another niner, THIRTEENS. He topped it off by unscrambling NICEJOINT to keep his perfect conundrum record.

Laddiman returned for the Series 59 finals in December as #4 seed, and beat Debbi Flack on a crucial conundrum. In the semi-final he faced #1 seed Charlie Reams. Laddiman went 14 – 0 after two rounds, but couldn't keep up the same pace and when Reams spotted SUNDIAL in the final letters round, the game was effectively over. Both players scored on the next numbers game, but neither player could solve LAMEBRAIN, which was solved by Jo Brand in Dictionary Corner.

He went on to play in the Championship of Champions XIII, still only aged 12 and won a dramatic game on a crucial conundrum against Richard Priest, when Priest buzzed in instantly, but got the answer wrong. In Laddiman's following game, he faced undeafeated Series champion Nick Wainwright and kept the game close, notably solving a difficult six-small numbers game in round 10. However, Wainwright got the nine DEUTERONS when Laddiman only had an eight, which saved Wainwright from a crucial conundrum.

Later in 2009, he returned to Countdown to attend his first unofficial tournament, CoNot 2009 followed later by CoLei2, COLIN 2010 and Co:Lon 2010. He then attended COLIN 2011.

He returned to Countdown in 2013, as one of 41 contestants taking part in the 30th Birthday Championship. He received a bye to the first round, but lost his only game to Series 53 semi-finalist Jon O'Neill by a score of 101 – 76.

Laddiman was seated in the champion's chair for all 14 of his appearances, a record number of consecutive games spent in the same contestant position.

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
4681 2/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 93 – 64 James Bruce Barry Cryer Susie Dent 120
4682 3/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 95 – 86 Jeff Francis Barry Cryer Susie Dent 118
4683 6/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 95 – 61 Bill Franklin Barry Cryer Susie Dent 120
4684 7/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 91 – 68 Don Walker Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 121
4685 8/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 89 – 56 Alex Gaywood Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 125
4686 9/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 97 – 56 Zachery Stephenson Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 133
4687 10/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 91 – 59 Hardev Raikmo Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 120
4688 13/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 105 – 55 Richard Pascoe Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 132
4729 9/12/2008 QF Kai Laddiman 82 – 73 Debbi Flack Jo Brand Susie Dent 132
4730 10/12/2008 SF Kai Laddiman 70 – 99 Charlie Reams Jo Brand Susie Dent 133
4736 15/01/2009 CP Kai Laddiman 93 – 85 Richard Priest Andrew Sachs Susie Dent 117
4744 27/01/2009 CQF Kai Laddiman 91 – 94 Nick Wainwright Paul Zenon Susie Dent 128
S28 2/08/2010 S Kai Laddiman 84 – 90 Dinos Sfyris Gary Osborne Susie Dent 141
5625 21/01/2013 30B1 Kai Laddiman 76 – 101 Jon O'Neill Margaret Mountford Susie Dent 132
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