Scott Mearns

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Mearns on a very festive set during his Championship of Champions final.
Mearns, alongside fellow finalist Simon Cooper, collecting his dictionaries in Series 41.

Scott Mearns from Montrose in Scotland was champion of Series 41 and Championship of Champions X.

A student at Leeds University when he appeared, Mearns foreshadowed his form on the programme by passing his audition with a 100% score. Famously wanting to "put Montrose on the map", Mearns became an octochamp with an aggregate score of 510, before running out victorious in three relatively tight finals games to win the series. He later returned for the five game Championship of Champions X, wherein he was seeded to automatically reach the semi-final. He defeated Series 39 octochamp Terry Knowles and champion Kate Ogilvie to win the mini-series and claim the title of Countdown's tenth Champion of Champions. Along the way, Mearns demonstrated his prowess with the 6 small selection in numbers rounds. He is arguably one of the best players to have not contested the Supreme Championship nor the 30th Birthday Championship.

Contents

Appearances on the programme

Heat games

He first appeared on Countdown in the very first game of Series 41, beating incumbent champion Bobby Johnson by 80 points to 12 in a phenomenal debut performance that included the nine letter word SERRATING. Johnson had amassed his 12 points by the end of round two and failed to score again throughout the rest of the contest, including having compense ☓ disallowed. Mearns unravelled the conundrum VIPERWEED in little more than a second, offering a preview of what was yet to come. His next five games featured scores of 50+, peaking at 76 in his third heat game against Sarah Houchin. Mearns suffered an uncharacteristically low score in his his penultimate heat game, beating William Brewer 34 – 30, but he outplayed Lesley Millar 61 – 27 to become the first octochamp of Series 41, averaging 63.75 points a game. Having secured the third-highest total of the nine round era, Mearns entered the series finals as #1 seed.

Series finals

After a tense quarter-final against Rory Dunlop, Mearns looked to be tyred heading into his semi-final against Melvin Hetherington, only managing to beat Hetherington in one of the eight preliminary rounds. The close game went to a crucial conundrum, with the scores poised at 58 – 51 in Mearns' favour. Mearns made the most of his small advantage and unravelled HOTWARMER in 2 seconds to wriggle into the Christmas Day final. The other seat in the grand final was occupied by #3 seed Simon Cooper.

A promising letters selection in round 1 prompted Mearns to risk the invalid nine mortalise ☓ whilst Cooper played safe with the eight letter word MORALIST to gain an early advantage. "It sounds like a word," agreed Richard Whiteley and Dictionary Corner guest Rick Wakeman. Mearns was not behind for long as his token 6 small numbers helped steal the lead from Cooper in Round 3. In round 7, Mearns unravelled the conundrum PIESNMASH to lead by 18 points. Poor letters selections resulted in the rest of the game being largely uneventful, though Scott widened the gap to 25 points after his second numbers game. Cooper attempted a comeback with, solving the last numbers game and the conundrum PARTYNITE, but it was too little too late as Mearns ran out the winner by 81 points to 73.

Championship of Champions X

Mearns' remarkable performances in his main series saw him given a bye into the semi finals of the Championship of Champions X. Therein he played Terry Knowles, beating him by 72 points to 46, before an encounter with Kate Ogilvie in the final. Scott took a 10 point lead after Kate failed to solve her first numbers round, before winning three of the next four rounds outright to build a 34 point lead. This included 10 points from the conundrum MUDHUTLOO, which Mearns unravelled in one second. Thereafter the tables started to turn, as Ogilvie beat Mearns' seven with the eight letter word SPEAKING, before clawing back another seven points with ROTTERS as Mearns had distorter ☓ disallowed. In spite of this, Scott still led by 53 points to 34 and had amassed an unassailable lead by Round 12. He relaxed for the conundrum, UGREATONE, which went unsolved. Nonetheless, Mearns became Champion of Champions only a week after becoming series champion. He was the fourth grand slam winner (undefeated in the heats, finals and Championship of Champions) after Harvey Freeman, Nic Brown and Don Reid.

Special Episode

He later returned to play a special game against Championship of Champions IX winner Natascha Kearsey, losing the game 109 – 100 and surrendering his undefeated streak along with it. As Mearns was in the champions' chair, he could not take full advantage of his 6 small numbers skill. Kearsey took the lead and held it, before Mearns had douchal ☓ disallowed, meaning that it was not a crucial conundrum. Nonetheless, Mearns solved SCOTTWHAP was pride to score the most points by any losing player in the Specials.

Preceded by
Terence English
Series winner
Series 41
Followed by
Michael Calder


Preceded by
Natascha Kearsey
Champion of Champions
Championship of Champions X
Followed by
Graham Nash

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
2553 28/06/1999 P Bobby Johnson 12 – 80 Scott Mearns Jan Harvey Damian Eadie 86
2554 29/06/1999 P Scott Mearns 67 – 35 Bill Rose Jan Harvey Damian Eadie 72
2555 30/06/1999 P Scott Mearns 76 – 39 Sarah Houchin Jan Harvey Damian Eadie 85
2556 1/07/1999 P Scott Mearns 74 – 32 Michael Forster Jan Harvey Damian Eadie 78
2557 2/07/1999 P Scott Mearns 55 – 43 Gareth Mort Jan Harvey Damian Eadie 72
2558 5/07/1999 P Scott Mearns 63 – 14 Tony Allen Barry Cryer Damian Eadie 84
2559 6/07/1999 P Scott Mearns 34 – 30 William Brewer Barry Cryer Damian Eadie 72
2560 7/07/1999 P Scott Mearns 61 – 27 Lesley Millar Barry Cryer Damian Eadie 83
2667 17/12/1999 QF Scott Mearns 59 – 48 Rory Dunlop Carol Barnes Damian Eadie 73
2671 23/12/1999 SF Scott Mearns 68 – 51 Melvin Hetherington Rick Wakeman Catherine Clarke 72
2673 25/12/1999 GF Scott Mearns 81 – 73 Simon Cooper Rick Wakeman Catherine Clarke 116
2677 30/12/1999 CSF Scott Mearns 72 – 46 Terry Knowles Nigel Rees Mark Nyman 76
2678 31/12/1999 CGF Scott Mearns 82 – 56 Kate Ogilvie Nigel Rees Mark Nyman 128
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

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