Hurst first appeared as a 17-year-old in 1997, losing to quarter-finalist Robert Jones. According to a report in Get Surrey, he had not watched the show again since his defeat for 18 years. In 2015, he joined Apterous and started practising for an average of four hours a day.
Hurst returned to Countdown In August 2016. On his second début, he recovered from 21 points behind after the first four rounds to three points ahead before round 12, where he beat Natalie Matale with the niner OLEANDERS and won the remaining theee rounds to win by a score of 54 - 102. In his third heat game of his octochamp run, he reduced Arnold Solomon to the second-lowest recorded score in the 15-round era of 7 - as well as joining a select club of Countdowners to have won a televised game by more than 100 points - before scoring the series high of 130 in his fourth game. In his fifth game, he was level with Simon Cookson before the conundrum, but it was Hurst Who unravelled VILASINGH first to win by a score of 83 - 73 in a game with only 110 points available. He ran off three more victories to become an octochamp with 830 points, five centuries and the number 1 seed position for the finals.
In the finals, Hurst showed no sign of slowing down and achieved two more centuries to defeat Tom Stephens in the quarter-final and then Andrew Fenton in the semi-final. In the grand final, he and his opponent Andrew Macleod matched each other in the first eight rounds until Hurst won the third numbers game, where he chose 6 small. Macleod then played two back-to-back invalid words and, after the 13th round, Hurst had become the 75th champion of Countdown.
Since joining Apterous, Hurst has competed in online tournaments, including Everything Counts IV in 2017.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|2022||6/06/1997||P||Robert Jones||57 – 46||Martin Hurst||Tom O'Connor||Rob Scriven||83|
|6419||25/08/2016||P||Natalie Matale||54 – 102||Martin Hurst||Tanni Grey-Thompson||Susie Dent||137|
|6420||26/08/2016||P||Martin Hurst||95 – 80||Alan Gillies||Tanni Grey-Thompson||Susie Dent||144|
|6421||29/08/2016||P||Martin Hurst||111 – 7||Arnold Solomon||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||127|
|6422||30/08/2016||P||Martin Hurst||130 – 36||Tom Law||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||156|
|6423||31/08/2016||P||Martin Hurst||83 – 73||Simon Cookson||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||110|
|6424||1/09/2016||P||Martin Hurst||107 – 59||Yvonne Endacott||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||125|
|6425||2/09/2016||P||Martin Hurst||98 – 48||Damon Wingfield||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||123|
|6426||5/09/2016||P||Martin Hurst||104 – 48||Owen Polley||Michael Whitehall||Susie Dent||147|
|6487||15/12/2016||QF||Martin Hurst||102 – 52||Tom Stephens||Tim Rice||Susie Dent||131|
|6491||21/12/2016||SF||Martin Hurst||100 – 64||Andrew Fenton||Carol Kirkwood||Susie Dent||122|
|6493||23/12/2016||GF||Martin Hurst||96 – 85||Andrew Macleod||Carol Kirkwood||Susie Dent||134|