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Harry Savage

From Countdown
Harry Savage
octochamp statistics
Final position Champion
Seeding 1
Points total 939
Conundrums solved 6
Harry Savage in Series 88.
Harry Savage holding the Richard Whiteley Memorial Trophy after winning Series 88.

Harry Savage was a octochamp in, and the champion of Series 88. Originally from Southampton, he was a final-year Biology student at Hertford College, Oxford at the time of his appearances. He is also an Apterite, and outside of Countdown, he is a competitive Rubik's Cube solver; he has competed at the UK and World Championships in different categories and has held Guinness World Records in the sport as well.

Appearances

Heat games

Savage first appeared on 2 August 2023, notably being asked by the host Colin Murray to solve a Rubik's Cube in the opening and managed to do so in 10.5 seconds. He later won with 122 points, to six-time winner Hywel Jones's 59 points. He followed this up with seven more excellent performances, which were also all centuries, with a low of 105, and a high score of 130.

Of particular note throughout his heats, he found six 9-letter words; those being MERITABLE, CERATOPID, ERADICATE, INCLOSURE, ORIGINATE and HORTENSIA. Some other notable spots included TOHUNGA, WOODSIA, DUODENA, BOWHEAD and SAURIAN; the latter Susie later used to christen Savage with his nickname 'Thesaurus' owing to his performances on the show.

After his last heat game, in which he maxed 13 rounds, scored his personal best, and restricted his opponent Sandra Ring to under 30 points, he became the first contestant to win six games in a single filming day since Paul Erdunast in Series 74, and finished up with an octotal of 939. This made him the 32nd member of the 900 club, placed him equal on points with fellow octochamp Sam Cappleman-Lynes, and made him the provisional No. 1 seed. He also provided one final party piece by solving a Rubik's cube blindfolded in the studio after the game was finished, which he managed, amazingly, to do in 20 seconds.

Finals

Savage ultimately returned for the series finals on 14 December 2023 as the No.1 seed, playing against No. 8 seed David Edwards, and immediately got off to a flyer by spotting his seventh nine-letter-word in DOVETAILS. He then continued to build up a commanding lead, but Edwards did nick some points off him with BENZOATE. Harry though powered his way to a ninth century and capped it off with a challenging conundrum solve turning PUBORPORT into TURBOPROP, which consigned Edwards to his second defeat and booked Savage's semi-final place.

Savage actually fell behind early on in his semi-final against Paul O'Brien, but then showed a cutting edge thanks to spots like SOSATIE and EVIRATES; the majority of his lead though was due to a couple of numbers round misfires from his opponent. All of this meant Harry was perfectly in the clear with a tenth century on the bounce after the final numbers game, and after neither player cracked the conundrum, it meant Harry progressed to the grand final, albeit with his lowest score to date.

The grand-final against Seelam had 'The Thesaurus' behind by his largest margin at one point, when 'The Font' cracked a trademark 6-small numbers selection. Harry though clawed his way back by the second commercial break, and then struck a killer blow with the 9-letter word COMPANIES, along with the darrenic GAWKIER in the next round. He held on after that to confirm his status as series champion before the last numbers round, and after neither player turned the apt MEGASTTAR into STRATAGEM, Harry lifted the Richard Whiteley Memorial Trophy with an eleventh century to his name, a Xicount total of 1,266 and his unbeaten record still intact.

Preceded by
Ronan Higginson
Series winner
Series 88

ZoomDown

Prior to his TV debut, Savage was a contestant on the second series of ZoomDown. He won his first three games, which included a max game against Tracey Mills in his third heat but fell short of tetra-champdom thanks to current Countdown producer Damian Eadie. Regardless, he still qualified for the end-of-series finals, winning his first game against Noel McIlvenny but losing his semi-final to eventual series champ Rob Foster, who himself scored a max game.

His performances also saw him invited back for the ZoomDown Championship of Champions where his preliminary game saw him defeat Graeme Cole by just 1 point, before once again facing Rob Foster in the quarter-finals. Again, he, unfortunately, lost on a crucial conundrum which Foster solved, eliminating him from the competition.

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
8074 02/08/2023 P Hywel Jones 59 – 122 Harry Savage Colin Murray Rachel Riley John Thomson Susie Dent 135
8075 03/08/2023 P Harry Savage 119 – 52 Julie Quinn Colin Murray Rachel Riley John Thomson Susie Dent 147
8076 04/08/2023 P Harry Savage 119 – 30 David Byrne Colin Murray Rachel Riley Edith Bowman Susie Dent 131
8077 07/08/2023 P Harry Savage 121 – 79 Helen Ingelbrecht Colin Murray Rachel Riley Edith Bowman Susie Dent 157
8078 08/08/2023 P Harry Savage 105 – 51 Stephen O'Mara Colin Murray Rachel Riley Edith Bowman Susie Dent 125
8079 09/08/2023 P Harry Savage 108 – 74 Sam Hughes Colin Murray Rachel Riley Edith Bowman Susie Dent 133
8080 10/08/2023 P Harry Savage 115 – 47 Michael Cameron Colin Murray Rachel Riley Edith Bowman Susie Dent 123
8081 11/08/2023 P Harry Savage 130 – 21 Sandra Ring Colin Murray Rachel Riley Edith Bowman Susie Dent 134
8170 14/12/2023 QF Harry Savage 118 – 58 David Edwards Colin Murray Rachel Riley Marcus Brigstocke Susie Dent 145
8174 20/12/2023 SF Harry Savage 104 – 70 Paul O'Brien Colin Murray Rachel Riley Christopher Biggins Susie Dent 125
8176 22/12/2023 GF Harry Savage 105 – 77 Viraj Seelam Colin Murray Rachel Riley Christopher Biggins Susie Dent 133