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Gareth Williams

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Gareth Williams
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionChampion
Points total436
Conundrums solved3
Gareth Williams in Series 23.

Gareth Williams was an octochamp in and the champion of Series 23, and is one of the show's strongest contestants to hail from Wales.

A lecturer at Pontypridd college, he first appeared on Countdown in March 1992, when he beat Rodney Crawshaw 57 – 34 in his first game. Williams had just enough time left in the series to complete his octochamp run, amassing an aggregate score of 439 points to become #1 seed. The very next day after completing his octochamp run, Williams returned for the series finals, beating Glen Webb and Alan Harston on his way to the final against Phil Jordan. It was a tight game, with Williams leading 68 – 59 going into the crucial conundrum. However, neither contestant was able to unscramble PEPSICOLA in the thirty seconds, meaning Williams became the 23rd series champion.

Williams did not return for Championship of Champions VI, but did return in 1994 for a special match against Allan Saldanha to celebrate Countdown's 1500th episode. In the game, Williams suffered his first-ever defeat, losing to Saldanha 99 – 62.

Two years later, Williams returned to Countdown one last time for the Supreme Championship, beating Wayne Kelly in the first round before losing to Tony Vick in the group semi-finals. Here he delivered a decent performance but was held to a crucial conundrum, and it was Vick who turned VILESTILE into LIVELIEST to beat Williams 41 – 51.

Away from Countdown, Williams is currently the only Countdown Series winner to have represented Wales at the World Scrabble Championship, although various other series winners have represented England and Scotland.

Gareth Williams a few years on.
Preceded by
Chris Waddington
Series winner
Series 23
Followed by
Wayne Summers


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
1248 9/03/1992 P Gareth Williams 57 – 34 Rodney Crawshaw Norman Painting Judy Pearsall 69
1249 10/03/1992 P Gareth Williams 54 – 42 Arthur Evans Norman Painting Judy Pearsall 71
1250 11/03/1992 P Gareth Williams 49 – 43 Angela Burke Norman Painting Judy Pearsall 71
1251 12/03/1992 P Gareth Williams 42 – 29 Ron Schofield Nigel Rees Judy Pearsall 71
1252 13/03/1992 P Gareth Williams 57 – 15 Eric Williams Nigel Rees Judy Pearsall 68
1253 16/03/1992 P Gareth Williams 55 – 46 Ole Pedersen Nigel Rees Judy Pearsall 81
1254 17/03/1992 P Gareth Williams 59 – 29 Graeme Thomas Nigel Rees Judy Pearsall 82
1255 18/03/1992 P Gareth Williams 56 – 51 Thomas Carolan Nigel Rees Judy Pearsall 75
1256 19/03/1992 QF Gareth Williams 69 – 36 Glen Webb Jan Harvey Catherine Clarke 74
1260 25/03/1992 SF Alan Harston 35 – 66 Gareth Williams Jan Harvey Catherine Clarke 72
1262 27/03/1992 GF Phil Jordan 59 – 68 Gareth Williams Jan Harvey, Nicholas Day Catherine Clarke 126
1523 4/07/1994 S Gareth Williams 62 – 99 Allan Saldanha Denis Norden Mark Nyman 129
1896 5/12/1996 gQF Gareth Williams 59 – 55 Wayne Kelly Richard Digance David Swarbrick 72
1899 10/12/1996 gSF Gareth Williams 41 – 51 Tony Vick Jenny Hanley Susie Dent 69
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