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Championship of Champions XVI

From Countdown
A shot before the Championship Final.

Championship of Champions XVI ran for three weeks between 2 and 20 January 2023 before the start of Series 87, and the first CoC to be presented by Colin Murray. The championship was scheduled a year later than usual, possibly due to the extended Series 82 being delayed by the 2020 COVID-19 hiatus.

The tournament encompassed sixteen finalists from Series 79 to 86 inclusive; with a span of eight series, this is the largest catchment area of any CoC to date. This was also the first since the 13th CoC from 2009 to invite back finalists from the latest series. A record 7 series winners took part; all but one of these entered with an unbeaten record of 11 wins out of 11, the only exception being Dinos Sfyris who debuted in Series 57 with 3 wins. Also for the first time ever, members of the 1,000 club took part: namely Elliott Mellor, Luke Johnson-Davies and the single-game record holder Tom Stevenson. Series 79 winner Mike Daysley was absent, while Luke Boynton had moved on from Countdown since finishing runner-up in Series 83 and also didn't take part. Other notable absentees included Series 81 runner-up Jamie Wing and semi-finalist Paul Nixon, Series 80 semi-finalist Brendan Whitehurst and Series 83 semi-finalist James Burley.

In a surprise Countdown first seen in the 5th preliminary match between Tom Stevenson and Adam Latchford, the host and dictionary corner guest swapped roles, for one round only; specifically, Richard Osman was the host for the letters game played after the first commercial break, in reference to the Teatime Teaser TRANSFER, while Murray occupied the guest role in the corner for that round. They returned to their roles from Round 6 onwards.

Series 84 champion Ahmed Mohamed emerged victorious against Series 81 champion James Haughton in the final. The two finalists were unbeaten, meaning that someone would emerge from this CoC an undefeated Grand Slam winner, which Mohamed obtained. The tournament was also noted for its difficult conundrums, with only 6 of the 15 in this tournament being solved at all. Amazingly, half of these came from Mohamed, and all three of them were the only ones solved after the 1st-round preliminaries.

Tournament progress

Florence Cappleman-Lynes (84) vs Leo Smith (82) Florence Cappleman-Lynes vs Sam Cappleman-Lynes Florence Cappleman-Lynes
vs
James Haughton
James Haughton
vs
Ahmed Mohamed
Matt O'Connor (85) vs Sam Cappleman-Lynes (82)
Stu Harkness (84) vs James Haughton (81) James Haughton vs Adam Latchford
Tom Stevenson (86) vs Adam Latchford (83)
Dinos Sfyris (80) vs Elliott Mellor (80) Elliott Mellor vs Dan Byrom Dan Byrom
vs
Ahmed Mohamed
Steve Hyde (85) vs Dan Byrom (85)
Ahmed Mohamed (84) vs Edward Byrne (86) Ahmed Mohamed vs Luke Johnson-Davies
Martin May (79) vs Luke Johnson-Davies (82)
The winner of each game is displayed in bold.
The numbers refer to the series in which each contestant originally played in the finals.

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
7922 02/01/2023 CP Florence Cappleman-Lynes 100 – 69 Leo Smith Colin Murray Rachel Riley Richard Osman Susie Dent 125
7923 03/01/2023 CP Dinos Sfyris 88 – 110 Elliott Mellor Colin Murray Rachel Riley Richard Osman Susie Dent 122
7924 04/01/2023 CP Ahmed Mohamed 121 – 76 Edward Byrne Colin Murray Rachel Riley Richard Osman Susie Dent 142
7925 05/01/2023 CP Stu Harkness 97 – 111 James Haughton Colin Murray Rachel Riley Richard Osman Susie Dent 134
7926 06/01/2023 CP Tom Stevenson 95 – 97 Adam Latchford Colin Murray Rachel Riley Richard Osman Susie Dent 136
7927 09/01/2023 CP Martin May 90 – 117 Luke Johnson-Davies Colin Murray Rachel Riley Heather Small Susie Dent 128
7928 10/01/2023 CP Steve Hyde 70 – 108 Dan Byrom Colin Murray Rachel Riley Heather Small Susie Dent 135
7929 11/01/2023 CP Matt O'Connor 78 – 101 Sam Cappleman-Lynes Colin Murray Rachel Riley Heather Small Susie Dent 124
7930 12/01/2023 CQF Florence Cappleman-Lynes 95 – 93 Sam Cappleman-Lynes Colin Murray Rachel Riley Heather Small Susie Dent 122
7931 13/01/2023 CQF Elliott Mellor 102 – 106 Dan Byrom Colin Murray Rachel Riley Heather Small Susie Dent 124
7932 16/01/2023 CQF Ahmed Mohamed 132 – 100 Luke Johnson-Davies Colin Murray Rachel Riley Rick Edwards Susie Dent 145
7933 17/01/2023 CQF James Haughton 109 – 102 Adam Latchford Colin Murray Rachel Riley Rick Edwards Susie Dent 121
7934 18/01/2023 CSF Florence Cappleman-Lynes 91 – 100 James Haughton Colin Murray Rachel Riley Rick Edwards Susie Dent 122
7935 19/01/2023 CSF Dan Byrom 111 – 121 Ahmed Mohamed Colin Murray Rachel Riley Rick Edwards Susie Dent 122
7936 20/01/2023 CGF James Haughton 96 – 99 Ahmed Mohamed Colin Murray Rachel Riley Rick Edwards Susie Dent 124