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Hurst first appeared as a 17-year-old in 1997, losing to quarter-finalist Robert Jones. He didn't watch the show again regularly for over 18 years and after a few months of casual viewing, he re-applied as a contestant in March 2016.
Hurst returned to the Countdown TV screens in August 2016. On his second début, he recovered from a disastrous start after scoring zero points in his first three letters rounds to beat Natalie Matale by a score of 54 - 102, including getting the nine OLEANDERS. 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 achieved two more centuries to comfortably defeat both Tom Stephens in the quarter-finals and Andrew Fenton in the semi-finals. 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 his specialist 6 small. Macleod then played two back-to-back invalid words and, after the 13th round, Hurst had an unassailable lead and became the 75th champion of Countdown.
Prior to his 2016 TV appearance, Hurst made his Co-event debut at Countdown in St Albans 2016. He also attended COLON 2017, finishing in 8th.
Martin is no relation to other Hursts who have been on the show to date.
|#||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|