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Liz Barber

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Liz Barber
Liz Barber in uniform.

Liz Barber was the Series 20 champion, and a participant in Championship of Champions V and the Supreme Championship.

She made her debut in the first show of Series 20. She won her first four games before losing to Andrea Parker 43 – 30, but these four wins were enough to earn her a spot in the final rounds as #7 seed. She beat Billy Ward and Fiona Willis on her way to a grand final showdown with #1 seed, octochamp Derek Coombs. With the score 67 – 66 in Barber's favour going into the crucial conundrum, it looked to have slipped away from her when Coombs buzzed in on 18 seconds. However, his guess was incorrect, and when Barber's guess on 26 seconds also proved incorrect, the final score was confirmed at 67 – 66, and Barber became the twentieth champion of Countdown. At the time of her victory, Barber was 60 years old, also making her the oldest Countdown series champion to date.

Barber returned at the end of 1990 for Championship of Champions V, but was beaten by Tim Morrissey in the first round.

Barber also returned in 1996 for the Supreme Championship, but was again defeated in the first round, this time by Series 27's Richard Campbell. She took the lead briefly after spotting MASTERY, but Campbell beat her in the next letters game to even up the score. However, Barber messed up her solution in the final numbers game and Campbell unravelled SILVERCUE, leaving him to beat her 59 – 37.

Barber's Countdown adventure was not over, however, as she returned one last time in 2003 for the Ladies' Championship. She lost to Hilary Hopper 45 – 35.

Barber's great nephew, Lewis Mackay later appeared in Series 41 in 1999. Both are competitive Scrabble players, though Mackay plays at a significantly higher level.

Preceded by
Michael Wareham
Series winner
Series 20
Followed by
Barry Grossman


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
1004 3/07/1990 P Liz Barber 58 – 33 David Morris Richard Stilgoe Della Thompson 73
1005 4/07/1990 P Liz Barber 54 – 29 Bill Giles Richard Stilgoe Della Thompson 74
1006 5/07/1990 P Liz Barber 46 – 32 Sue Goodworth Richard Stilgoe Della Thompson 70
1007 6/07/1990 P Liz Barber 33 – 23 Anne Duncan Richard Stilgoe Della Thompson 73
1008 9/07/1990 P Liz Barber 30 – 43 Andrea Parker Richard Stilgoe Della Thompson 73
1062 21/09/1990 QF Billy Ward 28 – 61 Liz Barber Simon Williams Simon Mason 83
1066 27/09/1990 SF Fiona Willis 37 – 50 Liz Barber Tim Rice Simon Mason 70
1067 28/09/1990 GF Derek Coombs 66 – 67 Liz Barber Tim Rice, Gyles Brandreth Simon Mason 124
1068 31/12/1990 CQF Tim Morrissey 55 – 54 Liz Barber Gyles Brandreth Catherine Clarke 69
M93 7/01/1991-11/01/1991 M Robert Violett 71 – 70 Liz Barber none Freda Thornton 134
1882 15/11/1996 eQF Liz Barber 37 – 59 Richard Campbell Barry Cryer Susie Dent 76
3436 11/03/2003 LSF Hilary Hopper 45 – 35 Liz Barber Rick Wakeman Alison Heard 85
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