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Elliott Mellor was an octochamp in and the runner-up of Series 80, and a quarter-finalist in Championship of Champions XVI. When he first appeared in Series 80, he was a maths student from Oldham, Greater Manchester, studying at Manchester Metropolitan University. Considered to be one of the greatest players never to win a series, he has the highest octotal of all time: 1,061. He is also an Apterite who peaked at No. 1 in the Pro Ranks on Apterous, less than 12 months after joining the site, as well as a member of c4countdown. He also enjoys tennis.
Appearances on the programme
In the audience
Arguably one of the most talented and dominant Apterites ever, Mellor made his TV debut on 9 November 2018 as the audience member who solved the conundrum after a failed attempt from both contestants.
He then first appeared as a contestant in Series 80 on Thursday 16 May 2019 against two game winner Arran Cleminson, maxing 13 rounds and setting the then highest-ever debut score: 131. He spotted impressive word findings such as TAIAPURE and NEOTERISM, while Cleminson scored only in the four numbers games. This was the start of, undoubtedly, the greatest octochamp run in Countdown history.
The following day, three nine-letter words, NODALIZES, ANIMATEUR and INFRACTED, helped Mellor card the then-highest ever score of 152, toppling Zarte Siempre's four-month-old record of 150. Mellor's record stood for three years, until Tom Stevenson bettered it by two points in Series 86. Clips of Mellor's record-breaking game were later shown on Gogglebox. A third consecutive 13-max performance followed, which also marked the first ever consecutive hat trick of scores over 130. During his fifth match, Mellor shattered yet another record by defeating his challenger Kieran Matley by 133 points, overcoming the previous record winning margin by 21. He was so dominant that five of his eight wins were by over 100, and reduced opponents to scores of just 10 twice on the trot. He also dropped just three points from one of his thirty-two numbers rounds, giving him an aggregate score of a record 317 points (out of 320) from the numbers rounds alone in an octochamp run. Mellor wrapped up with a record cumulative score of 1,061 points (132.625 on average) – the first ever over 1,000 – overhauling Dylan Taylor’s record by 87 points. He scored a massive 97.5% of available points in an octochamp run, by far and away the highest ever percentage. He also became only the eleventh person ever to have solved all eight conundrums in their preliminary games.
Qualifying as the number one seed, Mellor faced six-time winner Mark Decouto in the first quarter-final. Although Mellor never went behind in the game, he undoubtedly faced his toughest opposition to date. Decouto reduced Mellor to a score of 109 to 73, having beaten Mellor with the eight-letter word PROCLAIM. Nevertheless, Mellor beat Decouto comfortably, although Decouto was only 13 points behind by Round 12. Mellor next defeated number four seed Maggie Barlow in his semi-final, with a commanding performance featuring 13 maxed rounds, including the darrenic CAJEPUT and MELODION and a sub-second solution on the tricky conundrum IBURPTOOL.
In the grand final against number two seed Dinos Sfyris, the game was close under pressure. Mellor lost out on a potential 18 points in the first round after deciding not to risk the nine-letter word FILATURES. Sfyris then defeated Mellor in the first numbers game, in which Mellor chose six small, to take the lead. Throughout the game, Mellor clawed his way back to near distance of Sfyris with his plays of COALISED and DEFROST, whilst Sfyris beat him with findings of TREASURE and GOATISH to retain the lead, despite a failed attempt to wing it with forestudy ☓. Ultimately, Sfyris solved a very difficult crucial conundrum – ending Mellor’s run of 10 solved conundrums in a row – and won the series by 20 points to relegate Mellor to runner-up. Nonetheless, Mellor broke yet another record set by Siempre two series ago; highest cumulative score – 1,373 points – across a single series (this was bettered by 11 points in Series 82 by Luke Johnson-Davies). Clips of the grand final match were shown on Celebrity Gogglebox on 5 July 2019.
Championship of Champions XVI
Mellor returned to the programme in January 2023 for Championship of Champions XVI, where his first game ended up being a rematch against Sfyris. But this time, Mellor was always one step ahead, with spots like REGIMENS, GOURMET and ATONIES helping Mellor establish an unbeatable lead before the final numbers game, giving him his eleventh century and securing progression to the quarter-finals.
In his quarter-final appearance, against Dan Byrom, both players levelled in the first two letters games before Byrom took a 10 point lead after the first numbers round. However, Mellor later reduced the gap to four points after Byrom had onlier ☓ disallowed, to force a crucial conundrum. However, both players incorrectly guessed, meaning that Byrom progressed to the semi-finals with a 106 point win to Mellor's 102 points.
Elliott's final total is 1,585 points, with him accruing 12 centuries, 11 wins, and 2 losses over 13 games.
Appearances on ZoomDown
ZoomDown Series 1
In 2020, Mellor appeared in Series 1 of ZoomDown, first playing Zubair Patel, and won with a score of 98 – 70. He then beat Eddy Byrne and lost against Dan McColm with a 98 versus his 111.
Fortunately, his score of 316 points over two games booked him the number eight seed spot; this posed a rematch against McColm in his quarter-final. Both players matched each other in the first 11 rounds, then Mellor gave McColm the slip with McColm having airgates ☓ disallowed, and Mellor solving a crucial conundrum, leaving the scores 123 – 105. He then faced off against number four seed Conor Travers in his semi-final, and only beat Travers on a tricky six small. Afterward, they matched each other all the way to the conundrums. Unfortunately for Mellor, Travers solved PRECISIAN and STITCHERY in a combined 5.5 seconds, giving Travers the win of 123 against Mellor's 113.
ZoomDown Series 3
In 2021, he appeared again, on the third series of ZoomDown. This time he pulled out all the stops as he rocketed up to becoming the number one seed with 509 points.
After making quick business with number eight seed Ruth Cappleman in his quarter-final, Mellor was set up with number four seed Graeme Cole in his semi-final. In the beginning, each player matched up with one another. However, spots of VENTAILS, TATAMIS, HEDONIC, and AILUROID helped Mellor almost pull off a max game; no one could unscramble FOURSTART into ASTROTURF, which denied it.
Mellor was then left to face Tom Cappleman, the number six seed, in the grand final. Despite Mellor beating Cappleman with ARRIEROS, both players kept side by side with one another with the scoreline being 125 – 117 before the conundrum. However, history repeated itself as not only no one could solve the tricky conundrum of PANTSKIRT, but it also denied Mellor of another max game. Regardless, Mellor won the series after the very close match.
ZoomDown Numberists specials
In 2020, Mellor was the winner of the inaugural ZoomDown Numberists special, and in 2021, he won the second Numberists series.
ZoomDown Championship of Champions
He then appeared in the ZoomDown Championship of Champions in March 2022, where he started with a 114 – 77 win over Adam Dexter. He then beat Jack Worsley in the quarter-finals, and Rob Foster in the semi-finals, on both occasions solving crucial conundrums to progress.
This led to a grand final match-up against Conor Travers. In a rematch of their ZoomDown Series 1 semi-final, Mellor forced another crucial conundrum, being only one point behind. However, history once again repeated itself as Travers was the one who solved it to leave Mellor as the ZoomDown Champion of Champions runner-up after a thoroughly gripping contest.
Mellor made his Co-event debut at Co-Blackpool 2021, finishing in 12th place.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Presenters||Guest||Lex||Max|
|7076||16/05/2019||P||Arran Cleminson||40 – 131||Elliott Mellor||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Dr Phil Hammond||Susie Dent||133|
|7077||17/05/2019||P||Elliott Mellor||152 – 40||John Hadfield||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Dr Phil Hammond||Susie Dent||154|
|7078||20/05/2019||P||Elliott Mellor||133 – 38||Dave Trotter||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Dr Phil Hammond||Susie Dent||136|
|7079||21/05/2019||P||Elliott Mellor||118 – 16||Sam Ashworth||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||125|
|7080||22/05/2019||P||Elliott Mellor||143 – 10||Kieran Matley||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||145|
|7081||23/05/2019||P||Elliott Mellor||126 – 10||Monica Quadri||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||127|
|7082||24/05/2019||P||Elliott Mellor||125 – 11||Saul Rothwell||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||134|
|7083||27/05/2019||P||Elliott Mellor||133 – 42||Sam Hendry||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||134|
|7101||20/06/2019||QF||Elliott Mellor||109 – 73||Mark Decouto||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Rufus Hound||Susie Dent||119|
|7105||26/06/2019||SF||Elliott Mellor||120 – 80||Maggie Barlow||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Richard Arnold||Susie Dent||124|
|7107||28/06/2019||GF||Elliott Mellor||83 – 103||Dinos Sfyris||Nick Hewer||Rachel Riley||Richard Arnold||Susie Dent||131|
|7923||03/01/2023||CP||Dinos Sfyris||88 – 110||Elliott Mellor||Colin Murray||Rachel Riley||Richard Osman||Susie Dent||122|
|7931||13/01/2023||CQF||Elliott Mellor||102 – 106||Dan Byrom||Colin Murray||Rachel Riley||Heather Small||Susie Dent||124|