Natascha Kearsey, at the time a 29-year-old software engineer from Swindon, was an octochamp in Series 35 and the winner of Championship of Champions IX. Her title places her among the most successful female players of all time.
Kearney began her Countdown journey by beating Pete Cashmore 46 – 34 in the 11th heat of the series. She quickly amassed a further 7 wins to become the first octochamp of the series, facing just two crucial conundrums along the way, but eventually had to settle for the #2 seed position after being overtaken in the seedings by Dag Griffiths two weeks later. In her quarter-final, she comfortably beat Piers Brown 62 – 31 to set up a rematch with Pete Cashmore in the semi-finals. While the two players were fairly evenly matched in the seedings, Kearsey's failed to score in any of the last four rounds, which saw her fall by 27 – 62 to the eventual series champion.
Nevertheless, her performances were enough to earn her a place in Championship of Champions IX, where she beat Christine White, James Martin (by just one point, following an unsolved crucial conundrum) and Ruth Collier on her way to the final, a third match between her and Pete Cashmore. Kearsey led by 2 points going into the crucial conundrum, which neither player spotted within the 30 seconds, meaning Kearsey became the ninth champion of champions, and to date the only woman to win a Championship of Champions.
Kearsey returned to the Countdown studios once again in 2003 to record a special episode pitting her against the unbeaten Scott Mearns. In this special 'Champion of Champion of Champions' match, Kearsey ran out the 109 – 100 winner, and became the first and only person to beat Mearns at a game of Countdown.
|Champion of Champions
Championship of Champions IX
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|1983||14/04/1997||P||Natascha Kearsey||46 – 34||Peter Cashmore||Geoffrey Durham||Rob Scriven||73|
|1984||15/04/1997||P||Natascha Kearsey||58 – 34||Geoff Roberts||Jan Harvey||Rob Scriven||70|
|1985||16/04/1997||P||Natascha Kearsey||61 – 42||Alan Davison||Jan Harvey||Rob Scriven||75|
|1986||17/04/1997||P||Natascha Kearsey||43 – 41||Diana Thomas||Jan Harvey||Rob Scriven||72|
|1987||18/04/1997||P||Natascha Kearsey||41 – 25||Colin Thomas||Jan Harvey||Rob Scriven||70|
|1988||21/04/1997||P||Natascha Kearsey||57 – 41||Tim Bentley||Jan Harvey||Peter Sweasey||81|
|1989||22/04/1997||P||Natascha Kearsey||60 – 28||Sharon Leonard||Barry Cryer||Catherine Stokes||85|
|1990||23/04/1997||P||Natascha Kearsey||47 – 45||Phil Campbell||Barry Cryer||Catherine Stokes||72|
|2032||20/06/1997||QF||Natascha Kearsey||62 – 31||Piers Brown||Nigel Rees||Rob Scriven||70|
|2036||26/06/1997||SF||Natascha Kearsey||27 – 62||Peter Cashmore||Terry Wogan||Catherine Stokes||69|
|2168||5/01/1998||CP||Christine White||45 – 49||Natascha Kearsey||Denis Norden||Mark Nyman||71|
|2173||12/01/1998||CQF||James Martin||51 – 52||Natascha Kearsey||Gloria Hunniford||Mark Nyman||72|
|2176||15/01/1998||CSF||Natascha Kearsey||59 – 56||Ruth Collier||Tom O'Connor||Mark Nyman||72|
|2177||16/01/1998||CGF||Natascha Kearsey||72 – 70||Pete Cashmore||Tom O'Connor||Mark Nyman||118|
|S9||9/09/2003||S||Scott Mearns||100 – 109||Natascha Kearsey||Bob Bevan||Alison Heard||137|
|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