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Dan McColm was a contestant in Series 64, an octochamp in and the series champion of Series 71, and the runner-up of Championship of Champions XIV. He is also an Apterite and a member of C4Countdown.
Appearances on the programme
McColm's Countdown career began in Series 64, when he was defeated in a close contest against future quarter-finalist Ned Pendleton. However, this wasn't an entirely bad thing, as he was allowed to return in Series 71 (less than four years later), leaving his mark as one of the greatest octochamps in the show's entire history.
McColm's incredible octochamp run started off with a relatively close game against one-time winner, primary school teacher Gary Mehaffy from Nixon's Corner. McColm started off by finding SULCATE, giving him a 7 point lead. However, a tough battle between the two and McColm offering the invalid word annatos ☓ saw Mehaffy equalise in round 7. Despite the close first half, the game was pretty one-sided fro this point on, with McColm ending his not-technically-a-début début with an extremely impressive 13 maxes and 113 points. He then went on to win a further 7 games, including 6 more centuries and – for the first time ever – a run of three consecutive scores above 125, offering words like NANOTUBE, TERATOMA, PERORATE and perhaps the greatest 9 spot in the history of Countdown – INAMORATO. McColm also took advantage of this being the first ODO-dictionary series, offering modern words such as WHATEV, and solving the conundrum PHOTOBOMB in just a second. McColm's score of 137 in his sixth game is the highest ever for a game with only one nine available, and this along with his 4 nines and impeccable numbers and conundrum performance landed McColm with a cumulative score of 942.
After defeating Paul Worsley in the quarter-finals, he defeated the #5 seed, George Ford in the semi-final with a perfect game. McColm then went on to face #2 seed Antoinette Ryan. In a close contest, in which McColm dropped behind for the first time by two points, McColm steamrolled to victory and became series champion after solving the conundrum LETHALITY in just four seconds.
Championship of Champions XIV
"Cool Dan", as he became known on the show, returned in 2016 for Championship of Champions XIV, coming up against another series winner, Paul James of Series 67, in the last 16. Cool Dan won this match 106 – 69, solving the conundrum TOMBOYISH in a second. Another series winner laid waiting in the quarter-finals in Series 70 champion Mark Murray. In a very tense battle of the 2014 champions, Cool Dan won 112 – 99 to set up a semi-final against Jen Steadman. In a thrilling match, the spot of ROSMARINE in round 7 proved crucial for McColm, who would win the match 125 – 117, with further brilliance including GENIUSED. In the final against Series 69 runner-up Dylan Taylor, and after finding himself 25 points behind after 6 rounds, McColm pegged him back thanks to the nine METACONID. They would remain 7 points apart (notably with McColm spotting ROSMARINE a second time) up until the crucial conundrum, where after 1.5 seconds, Taylor unravelled NICETASTY to become the fourteenth Champion of Champions.
McColm made his Co-event début at COLIN 2012, before finishing as the runner-up at both CO:REA in April and COHUD in June of the same year. He eventually won his first Co-event at Leeds in 2018, beating Zarte Siempre in the final.
|Champion of Champions runner-up
Championship of Champions XIV
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Presenters||Guest||Lex||Max|
|5212||24/02/2011||P||Ned Pendleton||89 – 66||Dan McColm||Jeff Stelling||Rachel Riley||Mark Foster||Susie Dent||118|
|6007||8/10/2014||P||Gary Mehaffy||70 – 113||Dan McColm||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Tony Jacklin||Susie Dent||131|
|6008||9/10/2014||P||Dan McColm||92 – 70||Ben Hodgson||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Tony Jacklin||Susie Dent||127|
|6009||10/10/2014||P||Dan McColm||112 – 37||Daisy Stemple||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Tony Jacklin||Susie Dent||119|
|6010||13/10/2014||P||Dan McColm||116 – 47||John Vivian||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Richard Arnold||Susie Dent||128|
|6011||14/10/2014||P||Dan McColm||129 – 58||Samantha Cooper||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Richard Arnold||Susie Dent||131|
|6012||15/10/2014||P||Dan McColm||137 – 53||Harry Jarrett||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Richard Arnold||Susie Dent||139|
|6013||16/10/2014||P||Dan McColm||126 – 44||Antony Aston||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Richard Arnold||Susie Dent||130|
|6014||20/10/2014||P||Dan McColm||117 – 51||Stephen Whieldon||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Richard Arnold||Susie Dent||121|
|6050||10/12/2014||QF||Dan McColm||109 – 60||Paul Worsley||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Arlene Phillips||Susie Dent||121|
|6054||17/12/2014||SF||Dan McColm||123 – 77||George Ford||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||David Baddiel||Susie Dent||123|
|6056||19/12/2014||GF||Dan McColm||117 – 87||Antoinette Ryan||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||David Baddiel||Susie Dent||129|
|6284||12/01/2016||CP||Dan McColm||106 – 69||Paul James||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||John Inverdale||Susie Dent||122|
|6289||19/01/2016||CQF||Dan McColm||112 – 99||Mark Murray||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Naga Munchetty||Susie Dent||145|
|6291||21/01/2016||CSF||Jen Steadman||117 – 125||Dan McColm||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Naga Munchetty||Susie Dent||146|
|6292||22/01/2016||CGF||Dylan Taylor||121 – 104||Dan McColm||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Naga Munchetty||Susie Dent||154|
|Championship of Champions Runners-Up|
I : Joyce Cansfield | II : Peter Evans | III : David Trace | IV : Tony Vick | V : Gino Corr | VI : Chris Waddington | VII : Damian Eadie | VIII : Kenneth Michie | IX : Pete Cashmore | X : Kate Ogilvie | XI : Chris Wills | XII : Mark Tournoff | XIII : Charlie Reams | XIV : Dan McColm | XV : Bradley Horrocks | XVI : James Haughton