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Daren Barnes was an octochamp and quarter-finalist in Series 86. At the time of the recording of his shows, he was a supermarket duty manager from East Wittering, West Sussex.
Debuting in the second show of the series, Barnes edged Steven Etherington to end Etherington's run in his eighth game. After surviving a very good comeback by June Knott and close competition set by Apterite Graham Harrison, Barnes achieved a personal best of 103 in his sixth game, before seeing off his eighth opponent to become the first octochamp of the series. He averaged just under 90 points per game and correctly solved six conundrums, all between one and five seconds, three of which were crucial.
Barnes returned for the finals as the sixth seed, where he faced off against Quinn Bartlett in the third quarter-final. Despite taking an 11-point lead early on, with Bartlett having dilutor ☓ disallowed and a spot of BESTOW in Round 5 coming from Barnes, he was eventually overpowered by Bartlett's particularly impressive numbers performance, with Bartlett also spotting words like RURALITE in Round 10. This meant Barnes suffered his only defeat, finishing with a final total of 792 points and an average of 88 points a game across his run.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Presenters||Guest||Lex||Max|
|7788||21/06/2022||P||Steven Etherington||78 – 84||Daren Barnes||Anne Robinson||Rachel Riley||Robert Rinder||125|
|7789||22/06/2022||P||Daren Barnes||85 – 50||Laurence Freeman||Anne Robinson||Rachel Riley||Robert Rinder||135|
|7790||23/06/2022||P||Daren Barnes||94 – 68||Paul Moore||Anne Robinson||Rachel Riley||Phil Spencer||Susie Dent||125|
|7791||24/06/2022||P||Daren Barnes||85 – 77||June Knott||Anne Robinson||Rachel Riley||Phil Spencer||Susie Dent||134|
|7792||27/06/2022||P||Daren Barnes||99 – 94||Graham Harrison||Anne Robinson||Rachel Riley||Phil Spencer||Susie Dent||132|
|7793||28/06/2022||P||Daren Barnes||103 – 57||Martin Colbert||Anne Robinson||Rachel Riley||Phil Spencer||Susie Dent||121|
|7794||29/06/2022||P||Daren Barnes||82 – 67||Richard Wagler||Anne Robinson||Rachel Riley||Phil Spencer||Susie Dent||121|
|7795||30/06/2022||P||Daren Barnes||87 – 64||Chris Canham||Anne Robinson||Rachel Riley||Christopher Biggins||Susie Dent||137|
|7917||19/12/2022||QF||Quinn Bartlett||108 – 73||Daren Barnes||Colin Murray||Rachel Riley||Neil Delamere||Susie Dent||134|