Graeme Cole was champion of Series 65. He began his octochamp run on 7 June 2011, in the second episode of Countdown's 65th series. In Cole's début game against Liam Herringshaw, he immediately gained an eight point lead and held this advantage by spotting the nine-letter word RECOMBINE in the third letters round. Herringshaw reduced the deficit with VENIALLY in round 6, before Cole's consecutive offerings of RAGOUTS, EUCHRING and PINATA extended his lead to 21. In round 12, the darrenic word LORICATE widened this gap further. Although Herrigshaw beat Cole on the conundrum, the match was already over and Cole won by 112 points to 93, including 30 out of 30 on the numbers rounds. Cole outplayed Steven Hatton in his second game with words such as PASTORIE and CAUDATE, and three more perfect numbers solutions.
In Cole's third game, his opponent Aidan Turnbull kept apace for the first three letters rounds, but then had caulder ☓ disallowed and failed to solve the first numbers game. This meant he trailed by 17 points at the first commercial break. He fought back in round six with PALLETED, but in the very next round Turnbull's invalid offering farter ☓ allowed Cole to gain a 20 point lead. This was followed by a dominant final part for Cole, scoring eight points with the word POETISES, continuing his 100% numbers record, and solving the conundrum ACTEDSTEP to win 99 – 57. Round 5 of his game against James Hall ended his perfect numbers record and, although a comfortable victory, this was the second game in which Cole narrowly missed out on a century. Similarly, his game against Graham Moonie-Dalton included the niner GRAINIEST but finished 94 – 75, with Cole just short of a three-figure score.
Cole accumulated 813 points with a high score of 125, just one point below the highest score of the series set in Mark Deeks' final heat game. Cole's aggregate was 11 points behind Deeks', and he qualified for the series quarter-finals as #2 seed.
Cole returned in December for the finals. He didn't face too much competition in his quarter- and semi-finals against #7 seed Nikki Roberts and #3 seed Paul Keane, seeing both off with spots such as DRAGLINES and OCCULTED. But the final offered a different prospect altogether.
He faced the surprise finalist Carl Williams in a game which saw Cole behind for 5 rounds in the middle, before taking the lead in round 11, which he extended to 10 thanks to his 1 away offering in the last, impossible numbers round. As the time for the final, crucial conundrum ran out, Cole was just seconds away from winning, but Williams unscrambled TIMEUPLAD in the 26th second to force the game to a 2nd conundrum. However, Cole quickly fought back to turn VAANGELIS to GALVANISE, and become the new Countdown champion in Jeff Stelling's final show as presenter.
He returned to Countdown 6 months later, as one of 41 contestants taking part in the 30th Birthday Championship. After receiving a bye to the first round, he lost his only match against the Series 66 champion Jack Worsley by a score of 104 – 98, despite maxing the first 13 rounds.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|5280||7/06/2011||P||Liam Herringshaw||93 – 112||Graeme Cole||Shobna Gulati||Susie Dent||132|
|5281||8/06/2011||P||Graeme Cole||105 – 49||Steven Hatton||Shobna Gulati||Susie Dent||126|
|5282||9/06/2011||P||Graeme Cole||99 – 57||Aidan Turnbull||Shobna Gulati||Susie Dent||119|
|5283||10/06/2011||P||Graeme Cole||92 – 57||James Hall||Shobna Gulati||Susie Dent||116|
|5284||13/06/2011||P||Graeme Cole||94 – 75||Graham Moonie-Dalton||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||124|
|5285||14/06/2011||P||Graeme Cole||125 – 19||Mike Linnell||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||129|
|5286||15/06/2011||P||Graeme Cole||91 – 41||Justin Maelzer||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||118|
|5287||16/06/2011||P||Graeme Cole||95 – 59||Gary Hendricks||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||116|
|5393||9/12/2011||QF||Nikki Roberts||61 – 113||Graeme Cole||David Lloyd||Susie Dent||129|
|5397||15/12/2011||SF||Graeme Cole||96 – 71||Paul Keane||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||119|
|5398||16/12/2011||GF||Carl Williams||95 – 105*||Graeme Cole||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||125|
|S35||30/07/2012||S||Graeme Cole||71 – 107||Edward McCullagh||Mark Foster||Susie Dent||119|
|5633||31/01/2013||30B1||Graeme Cole||98 – 104||Jack Worsley||Mark Foster||Susie Dent||118|