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Mark Finnerty

From Countdown
Mark Finnerty
octochamp statistics
Final position Semi-finalist
Seeding 2
Points total 876
Conundrums solved 5
Mark Finnerty in Series 89.

Mark Finnerty was an octochamp and semi-finalist in Series 89. He was a consultant psychiatrist from Newry in County Down, and his son Owen has been a contestant on Junior Mastermind in Ireland.


Series 89 Heat games

He made a shaky debut, albeit with a century against two-time winner Jan Scowcroft, only maxing out in three of the numbers rounds in the process. After that, he then racked up seven more consistent performances; those remaining heat wins also ended with century scores and with an average of 9 rounds maxed per game.

With a high of 128 points, which also included the only 9-letter spot of his heats in PREDATION, and a low of 102 which was achieved twice, Finnerty has one of the most consistent runs of preliminary scores among non-Apterous subscribers. In fact, it was the second-highest non-Apto octotal during the Apterite era, with only Stephen Briggs having a higher score.

After wrapping up with 10-maxes in his last game and an eighth century to his name, Mark racked up a final tally of 876 points. This gave him an average of 109.5 per game, and set him up as the provision No.1 seed; as a final note, those points were also the lowest total where all the scores were centuries, tallying just under the 882 that Toby McDonald achieved roughly 6 years prior.

Series 89 Finals

Dr. Finnerty returned ultimately as the No. 2 seed with fellow octochamp Jack Harvey as his opponent. The game turned out to be very close, with both players hitting the century mark, in part but not exclusively thanks to the 9-letter-word spots of STATIONED and MILKINESS from both of them. After Finnerty blanked on the final numbers round, the game went into a crucial conundrum, but after Harvey's guess of plentiest ☓ was ruled invalid, it meant 'Buzz Lightyear' progressed to the semi-finals by the skin of his teeth.

No. 6 seed Michael Calder lay in wait, and Mark at first had the advantage racking up an 18-point lead by Round 7. However, after that, he failed to score in 6 of the next 7 rounds to dramatically swing the game back in Calder's favour, and ultimately succumbed to his first and only defeat after blanking on the last numbers round. This, along with giving him his lowest score on the show of 56 points, also marked the first time he didn't hit the century mark; his final points total across 10 games came to 1,036 at an average of just under 104 points a game.


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
8187 16/01/2024 P Jan Scowcroft 72 – 102 Mark Finnerty Colin Murray Rachel Riley Prue Leith Susie Dent 137
8188 17/01/2024 P Mark Finnerty 108 – 12 Georgina Heath Colin Murray Rachel Riley Prue Leith Susie Dent 133
8189 18/01/2024 P Mark Finnerty 128 – 45 Alison Fairclough Colin Murray Rachel Riley Prue Leith Susie Dent 155
8190 19/01/2024 P Mark Finnerty 105 – 53 Kevin Cornell Colin Murray Rachel Riley Prue Leith Susie Dent 142
8191 22/01/2024 P Mark Finnerty 113 – 81 Mike Courtney Colin Murray Rachel Riley Jon Culshaw Susie Dent 138
8192 23/01/2024 P Mark Finnerty 113 – 32 David Finch Colin Murray Rachel Riley Jon Culshaw Susie Dent 121
8193 24/01/2024 P Mark Finnerty 102 – 20 Sharon Redrobe Colin Murray Rachel Riley Jon Culshaw Susie Dent 131
8194 25/01/2024 P Mark Finnerty 105 – 36 Matthew Cox Colin Murray Rachel Riley Jon Culshaw Susie Dent 119
8300 21/06/2024 QF Mark Finnerty 104 – 100 Jack Harvey Colin Murray Rachel Riley Greg Rusedski Susie Dent 162
8304 27/06/2024 SF Mark Finnerty 56 – 78 Michael Calder Colin Murray Rachel Riley Marcus Brigstocke Susie Dent 136