Mark Murray

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Mark Murray in Series 70.

Mark Murray was a contestant in Series 41 as well as an octochamp in and the champion of Series 70, making him the first series winner born in the Republic of Ireland, and a participant in Championship of Champions XIV. He is also an Apterite and has been the chairperson of FOCAL.

To date, Murray, whose octototal is 902, is the highest-scoring octochamp whose run has included a crucial conundrum. He had three altogether, in his matches against Bobby Johnson, Ciaran McCarthy and Peter Steggle. Because of this, and McCarthy's century, many consider Murray to have had the hardest ever octorun on the show.

Despite the array of difficult opponents, Murray was the clear number 1 seed for the finals and saw off the challenges of Andy Gardner, Neil Green and Andy Naylor to win the series.

Murray returned in 2016 for Championship of Champions XIV, facing off against Series 71 runner-up Antoinette Ryan in a game self-styled as "Battle of the Leprechauns", Murray emerged victorious 125-88. In the quarter-final, he came up against another Series 71 contestant in series champion Cool Dan McColm. In the battle of the two series winners of 2014, Cool Dan won a tense match 112-99.

In 2005, he entered the unofficial Countdown tournament CoBris 2005, and subsequently CoBris 2006 and CoBris 2007.

In 2015, he revived Countdown in Bristol as a co-host, along with veteran Jeff Clayton to create CoBris 2015. This proved to be popular enough to encourage him to repeat with Countdown Bristol 2016, and 2017

In January 2017, Murray also made a spoof appearance on the first episode of the 10th series of "8 out of 10 cats does countdown" with Sean Lock, Stephen Mangan, Noel Fielding, and Fay Ripley in 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Series 10, Episode 1.

He was introduced as Sean's mascot nephew Donny. Unbeknownst to the rest of the panel, he was brought in to play the game for Sean. Murray helped Sean achieve the maximum score in the first 2 rounds, whispering the solutions during the rounds with Sean declaring the answers as his own. Murray returned for the conundrum, solving DENTPOOPS, where his true identity was revealed.

Away from Countdown, Murray is also a competitive Scrabble player. He finished 9th in the 2017 Northern Ireland Championship. He has also appeared on a few other quiz shows with varying success, including Weakest Link, 100%, and Brainteaser.

Preceded by
Callum Todd
Series winner
Series 70
Followed by
Dan McColm


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
2630 27/10/1999 P Sanjay Mazumder 65 – 25 Mark Murray Marc Freden Mark Nyman 73
5902 10/04/2014 P Bobby Johnson 96 – 115 Mark Murray Michael Whitehall Susie Dent 145
5903 11/04/2014 P Mark Murray 108 – 42 Chris Newbury Michael Whitehall Susie Dent 120
5904 14/04/2014 P Mark Murray 120 – 104 Ciaran McCarthy Michael Whitehall Susie Dent 137
5905 15/04/2014 P Mark Murray 100 – 26 Jim Sales Louise Minchin Susie Dent 132
5906 16/04/2014 P Mark Murray 115 – 48 David Jameson Louise Minchin Susie Dent 135
5907 17/04/2014 P Mark Murray 112 – 95 Peter Steggle Louise Minchin Susie Dent 123
5908 18/04/2014 P Mark Murray 122 – 86 Mike Wilson Louise Minchin Susie Dent 133
5909 21/04/2014 P Mark Murray 110 – 69 Simon Pinder Louise Minchin Susie Dent 133
5940 13/06/2014 QF Mark Murray 95 – 63 Andy Gardner Mark Foster Susie Dent 120
5944 25/06/2014 SF Mark Murray 89 – 64 Neil Green Mark Foster Susie Dent 134
5946 27/06/2014 GF Mark Murray 105 – 70 Andy Naylor Jon Culshaw Susie Dent 137
6285 13/01/2016 CP Antoinette Ryan 88 – 125 Mark Murray John Inverdale Susie Dent 140
6289 19/01/2016 CQF Dan McColm 112 – 99 Mark Murray Naga Munchetty Susie Dent 145
8-10101 13/01/2017 S Stephen Mangan,
Sean Lock
& Mark Murray
45 – 22* Noel Fielding
& Fay Ripley
Brett Domino Trio Susie Dent 80
* Includes 22 Points from a bonus game.
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