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Championship of Champions XIV

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Dylan Taylor, pictured in his first round match, won this championship.

Championship of Champions XIV was the first regular Championship of Champions tournament since 2009. It was broadcast from 4 to 22 January 2016, occupying the first three weeks of Series 74. It was won by Dylan Taylor.

CoC XIV's existence was announced on the c4Countdown forums on the evening of 31 July 2014 with initial plans for a January 2015 transmission date. However, it was later postponed to make way for the special episodes at the end of Series 71, and a transmission at the start of Series 73 was also infeasible due to frequent horse racing coverage in the summer.

CoC XIV features sixteen top players drawn from Series 67 through 72, with Series 73 finalists not participating because the championship was filmed too soon after the Series 73 finals.

This tournament's qualifying standards were undoubtedly the highest of any Championship of Champions to date. All sixteen participants in CoC XIV are – or have recently been – practising Apterites. Fifteen are also octochamps (the only exception being Callum Todd). Despite this, however, only one of the entrants, Giles Hutchings, has never been defeated, largely on account of many recent series winners having previously competed and later being asked to return to the show. Of the ten highest-scoring octochamps in Countdown's history up to this point, six became CoC XIV participants, including the three highest of all time (Dylan Taylor, Giles Hutchings and Jen Steadman, all three of whom reached the semi-finals). The average preliminary-game point total for a CoC XIV entrant was 867 points, significantly higher than the cumulative scores of either of the two previous Champions of Champions, Paul Gallen and Steven Briers. With the exception of those from Series 67, which featured none of its members, all octochamps in CoC XIV belonged to the 800 club.

In strong contrast to CoC XIII, CoC XIV's vowel and consonant piles featured virtually no consecutive repeating letters, making for a higher average frequency of nine-letter words; moreover, PETROLAGE, in the Grand Final, was the only nine-letter word not spotted by at least one contestant. The average score achieved by all winning and losing contestants in all games of CoC XIV was 107.4 points, not surprisingly the highest ever by some margin. Taylor's average across his four victories was 121.5 per game.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series was repeated between 29 June and 17 July 2020.


The bracket structure and first-round pairings for this Championship of Champions were announced on c4Countdown on 7 September 2015. They ran as follows:

Tom Cappleman (72) vs Glen Webb (69) Tom Cappleman vs Giles Hutchings Giles Hutchings
Dylan Taylor
Dylan Taylor
Dan McColm
Heather Styles (67) vs Giles Hutchings (68)
Andy Platt (68) vs David Barnard (67) Andy Platt vs Dylan Taylor
Dylan Taylor (69) vs Tracey Mills (72)
George Ford (71) vs Jen Steadman (69) Jen Steadman vs Callum Todd Jen Steadman
Dan McColm
Callum Todd (69) vs Samir Pilica (70)
Dan McColm (71) vs Paul James (67) Dan McColm vs Mark Murray
Antoinette Ryan (71) vs Mark Murray (70)
The winner of each game is displayed in bold.
The numbers refer to the series in which each contestant originally played in the finals.


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
6278 4/01/2016 CP Tom Cappleman 133 – 115 Glen Webb Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 147
6279 5/01/2016 CP Heather Styles 73 – 132 Giles Hutchings Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 135
6280 6/01/2016 CP Andy Platt 98 – 90 David Barnard Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 129
6281 7/01/2016 CP Dylan Taylor 120 – 73 Tracey Mills Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 124
6282 8/01/2016 CP George Ford 99 – 126 Jen Steadman Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 137
6283 11/01/2016 CP Callum Todd 127 – 88 Samir Pilica John Inverdale Susie Dent 137
6284 12/01/2016 CP Dan McColm 106 – 69 Paul James John Inverdale Susie Dent 122
6285 13/01/2016 CP Antoinette Ryan 88 – 125 Mark Murray John Inverdale Susie Dent 140
6286 14/01/2016 CQF Tom Cappleman 97 – 114 Giles Hutchings John Inverdale Susie Dent 134
6287 15/01/2016 CQF Andy Platt 125 – 127 Dylan Taylor John Inverdale Susie Dent 145
6288 18/01/2016 CQF Jen Steadman 107 – 85 Callum Todd Naga Munchetty Susie Dent 125
6289 19/01/2016 CQF Dan McColm 112 – 99 Mark Murray Naga Munchetty Susie Dent 145
6290 20/01/2016 CSF Giles Hutchings 108 – 118 Dylan Taylor Naga Munchetty Susie Dent 122
6291 21/01/2016 CSF Jen Steadman 117 – 125 Dan McColm Naga Munchetty Susie Dent 146
6292 22/01/2016 CGF Dylan Taylor 121 – 104 Dan McColm Naga Munchetty Susie Dent 154

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