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James Burley

From Countdown
James Burley
octochamp statistics
Final position Semi-finalist
Seeding 2
Points total 819
Conundrums solved 7
James Burley in Series 83.

James Burley was an octochamp in Series 83. He is a secondary school teacher from Hemel Hempstead.

Burley has partaken in both Scrabble tournaments – including an English-language tournament held in Germany – and Co-events; prior to his television debut, he participated in CoStAl and CO:BO 2018.

Burley began his Countdown journey in the second show of Series 83, where he unseated Paul Gaskell after solving a crucial conundrum in under 2 seconds. Burley then improved on his debut score of 84 the following day with a personal best of 127, before achieving six more wins which comprised of four more centuries and two scores in the 90s. En route to being crowned the first octochamp and 800 club member of 2021, he solved every conundrum but one and garnered a total of 819 points.

Burley is the first octochamp in Countdown history whose run has presided over four dictionary corner guests. He is also the second octochamp after Jack Worsley whose run has presided over a change of presenter, with Nick Hewer hosting his first six heat games and Colin Murray hosting his last two.

Five months later, Burley returned as the No. 2 seed to play the second quarter-final against No. 7-ranked six-time winner and fellow Apterite Tom Vincent. Burley stretched into a good lead early on with spots of REUSABLE and ANEROID, but Vincent narrowed his lead to three points before the second commercial break. However, Burley took further letters rounds off the opposition to ultimately confirm his spot in the second semi-final before the last numbers round. Burley next played against Adam Latchford in the semi-final, but Burley failed to recover from a slow start and was defeated, meaning the match ultimately did not remain true to the seeding. Burley garnered an overall total of 984 points in his run.

He has also appeared on the tail end of ZoomDown Series 3 and the first episode of Series 4, losing to Stu Harkness. However, he still made it to the quarter-finals despite losing against Paul Nixon with a 2 point gap.


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
7415 5/01/2021 P Paul Gaskell 70 – 84 James Burley Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Levi Roots Susie Dent 132
7416 6/01/2021 P James Burley 127 – 55 Edward Carter Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 156
7417 7/01/2021 P James Burley 91 – 60 Peter Franklin Routh Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 132
7418 8/01/2021 P James Burley 112 – 49 Seb James Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 145
7419 11/01/2021 P James Burley 106 – 72 Mark Pettitt Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 133
7420 12/01/2021 P James Burley 100 – 36 Andrew Brookes Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Dr Phil Hammond Susie Dent 156
7421 13/01/2021 P James Burley 106 – 66 Roger Clarke Colin Murray Rachel Riley Rory Bremner Susie Dent 135
7422 14/01/2021 P James Burley 93 – 48 Russ Evans Colin Murray Rachel Riley Richard Arnold Susie Dent 154
7533 18/06/2021 QF James Burley 100 – 66 Tom Vincent Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Rufus Hound Susie Dent 135
7537 24/06/2021 SF James Burley 65 – 82 Adam Latchford Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Rufus Hound Susie Dent 118