Due to persistent vandalism, account creation has been suspended. If you would like an account, please contact Charlie Reams on Apterous.

Helen Grayson

From Countdown
Helen Grayson

Helen Grayson was a contestant in Series 1 and a finalist in Series 6. She has also been a finalist in Mastermind and Fifteen to One.

Grayson first appeared in Series 1 where she drew with Joyce Cansfield in her first game, and then won their subsequent encounter which was followed by two more wins. She retired from the series unbeaten before coming back to take part in Series 6. She won seven consecutive games before retiring unbeaten again, one game short of becoming an octochamp. However, her seven wins and 437 points were enough to see her back in the finals as the number one seed, ahead of octochamp Darryl Francis, who only achieved 436 over eight games (this was before the rules were changed in Series 38 so that number of wins took precedence over points).

Grayson's points total of 437 stood as the all-time record until Harvey Freeman scored 523 in Series 10, despite the fact that she played only seven games. Even more remarkably, the aggregate maximum score (maximum octochamp total) for the eight-game string beginning with Grayson's Series 6 debut had been only 551 points -- the lowest in history. Grayson achieved 90.3% of the points available to her, a percentage comparable to Kirk Bevins in the 15-round era.

Grayson convincingly beat Peter Hillman 54 – 18 in her quarter-final match before a surprise defeat in the semi-final to Olivia Lloyd, the player she beat to start her winning run in Series 6. She also beat Stephen Deakin in series one of Countdown Masters and Philip Nelkon in Series 2 but did not feature in a Championship of Champions tournament nor the Supreme Championship. She has one of the most impressive records of anyone not to win a championship.

Grayson sadly died in October 2013.


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
8 15/11/1982 P Helen Grayson ? Joyce Cansfield Kenneth Williams Mary ??
9 16/11/1982 P Helen Grayson ? Joyce Cansfield Kenneth Williams Mary ??
10 17/11/1982 P Helen Grayson ? Jack Baker Kenneth Williams Mary ??
11 18/11/1982 P Helen Grayson ? Gail Cooper Kenneth Williams Mary ??
267 20/02/1985 P Olivia Lloyd 42 – 62 Helen Grayson Richard Stilgoe Yvonne Warburton 69
268 21/02/1985 P Helen Grayson 69 – 28 John Elliott Richard Stilgoe Yvonne Warburton 70
269 22/02/1985 P Helen Grayson 56 – 45 Diana Gritt John Junkin Yvonne Warburton 68
270 25/02/1985 P Helen Grayson 66 – 17 Ian Shepherd John Junkin Yvonne Warburton ??
271 26/02/1985 P Helen Grayson 69 – 39 Malcolm McMaster John Junkin Yvonne Warburton 71
272 27/02/1985 P Helen Grayson 55 – 27 Danis Ullah John Junkin Yvonne Warburton 68
273 28/02/1985 P Helen Grayson 60 – 17 Neil Harris John Junkin Yvonne Warburton 69
282 13/03/1985 QF Helen Grayson 54 – 18 Peter Hillman Richard Stilgoe Julia Swannell 68
286 19/03/1985 SF Olivia Lloyd 59 – 53 Helen Grayson Richard Stilgoe Julia Swannell 74
M2 10/04/1989-14/04/1989 M Stephen Deakin 94 – 98 Helen Grayson none Catherine Clarke 139
M104 25/03/1991-29/03/1991 M Helen Grayson 81 – 78 Philip Nelkon none ???