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Kai Laddiman

From Countdown
Kai Laddiman
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionSemi-finalist
Points total756
Conundrums solved8
Kai Laddiman in Series 59...
...and again under 5 years later in the 30th Birthday Championship!

Kai Laddiman was a finalist in Series 59, a quarter-finalist in Championship of Champions XIII and a participant in the 30th Birthday Championship.

Laddiman won eight games with a top score of 105, including the nine letter words INCAPABLE and THIRTEENS. Laddiman was just eleven years old and attracted a lot of national media attention because of his age. Laddiman is the second youngest octochamp ever, behind Allan Saldanha, and the youngest to achieve it for 20 years. Also notable is the fact that he solved all eight of his conundrums, becoming only the fifth player to do so after Darryl Francis, Harvey Freeman, David Williams and Julian Fell.

Laddiman made his debut on 2 October 2008 in the champion's chair, the day following another octochamp run by Junaid Mubeen. He won comfortably 93 – 64 against James Bruce. His second opponent Jeff Francis held him to a tighter match as he missed ORDAIN and BANDIEST, setting up a highly crucial conundrum with Francis leading by one point, however Laddiman spotted that MUDTEMPLE anagrammed to PLUMMETED to earn another victory. The following week, he scored consistent comfortable victories against Bill Franklin, Don Walker and Alex Gaywood. He went on to beat Zachery Stephenson in a game notable for his nine INCAPABLE as well as a very funny blooper by Carol in the last numbers game (which neither contestant solved correctly). Laddiman beat Hardev Raikmo and finally Richard Pascoe, scoring his only century with words including MOPEDS, MATCHES and another nine, THIRTEENS. He topped it off by unscrambling NICEJOINT to keep his perfect conundrum record.

Laddiman returned for the Series 59 finals in December as the #4 seed, aged twelve, and beat Debbi Flack following an unsolved crucial conundrum scrambled as CLASSRIDE. In the semi-final he faced #1 seed Charlie Reams. Laddiman went 14 – 0 after two rounds, but couldn't keep up the same pace and when Reams spotted SUNDIAL in the final letters round, the game was effectively over. Both players scored on the next numbers game, but neither player could solve the conundrum AMBERNAIL, which was solved by Jo Brand in Dictionary Corner with the answer LAMEBRAIN.

He went on to play in the Championship of Champions XIII, still only aged twelve, and won a dramatic game on a crucial conundrum against Richard Priest, when Priest buzzed in instantly, but incorrectly answered with CAFETERIA ☓ instead of CAFETIERE. In Laddiman's following game, he faced undeafeated Series champion Nick Wainwright and kept the game close, notably solving a difficult six-small numbers game in round 10. However, Wainwright spotted the nine DEUTERONS when Laddiman only had an eight, which saved Wainwright from a crucial conundrum.

Later in 2009, Laddiman returned to Countdown to attend his first unofficial tournament, CoNot 2009 followed later by CoLei2, COLIN 2010 and Co:Lon 2010. He then attended COLIN 2011, and didn’t attend another event until Co:Man2020, 9 years after his previous appearance. During this time, he also organised Goatblitz 2010 online.

Laddiman returned to Countdown in 2013, as one of 41 contestants taking part in the 30th Birthday Championship. He received a bye to the first round, but lost his only game to Series 53 semi-finalist Jon O'Neill by a score of 101 – 76.

Laddiman was seated in the champion's chair for all 14 of his appearances, a record number of consecutive games spent in the same contestant position.


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
4681 2/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 93 – 64 James Bruce Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Barry Cryer Susie Dent 120
4682 3/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 95 – 86 Jeff Francis Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Barry Cryer Susie Dent 118
4683 6/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 95 – 61 Bill Franklin Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Barry Cryer Susie Dent 120
4684 7/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 91 – 68 Don Walker Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 121
4685 8/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 89 – 56 Alex Gaywood Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 125
4686 9/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 97 – 56 Zachery Stephenson Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 133
4687 10/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 91 – 59 Hardev Raikmo Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 120
4688 13/10/2008 P Kai Laddiman 105 – 55 Richard Pascoe Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 132
4729 9/12/2008 QF Kai Laddiman 82 – 73 Debbi Flack Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Jo Brand Susie Dent 132
4730 10/12/2008 SF Kai Laddiman 70 – 99 Charlie Reams Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Jo Brand Susie Dent 133
4736 15/01/2009 CP Kai Laddiman 93 – 85 Richard Priest Jeff Stelling Rachel Riley Andrew Sachs Susie Dent 117
4744 27/01/2009 CQF Kai Laddiman 91 – 94 Nick Wainwright Jeff Stelling Rachel Riley Paul Zenon Susie Dent 128
S28 2/08/2010 S Kai Laddiman 84 – 90 Dinos Sfyris Jeff Stelling Rachel Riley Gary Osborne Susie Dent 141
5625 21/01/2013 30B1 Kai Laddiman 76 – 101 Jon O'Neill Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Margaret Mountford Susie Dent 132

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