Mark Murray was a contestant in Series 41 as well as an octochamp in and the champion of Series 70, making him the first series winner born in the Republic of Ireland, and a participant in Championship of Champions XIV. He is also an Apterite and, briefly, a former chairperson of FOCAL.
Appearances on the programme
At the time of his run, Murray, whose cumulative total is 902, was the highest-scoring octochamp whose run had included a crucial conundrum. He had three altogether, in his matches against Bobby Johnson, Ciaran McCarthy and Peter Steggle. Because of this, and McCarthy's century, many consider Murray to have had the hardest ever octochamp run on the show. This record was beaten by Ahmed Mohamed's 927-point octochamp run in Series 84.
Championship of Champions XIV
Murray returned in 2016 for Championship of Champions XIV, facing off against Series 71 runner-up Antoinette Ryan in a game self-styled as "Battle of the Leprechauns", Murray emerged victorious 125 – 88. In the quarter-final, he came up against another Series 71 contestant in series champion Cool Dan McColm. In the battle of the two series winners of 2014, Cool Dan won a tense match 112 – 99.
In 2005, Murray entered the unofficial Countdown tournament CoBris 2005, and subsequently CoBris 2006 and CoBris 2007. In 2015, he revived Countdown in Bristol as a co-host, along with veteran Jeff Clayton to create CoBris 2015. This proved to be popular enough to encourage him to repeat with Countdown Bristol 2016, 2017 and 2018.
In January 2017, Murray also made a spoof appearance on the first episode of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Series 12, paired with Sean Lock and Stephen Mangan. He was introduced as Sean's mascot nephew "Donny". Unbeknownst to the rest of the panel, he was brought in to play the game for Sean. Murray helped Sean achieve the maximum score in the first two rounds, whispering the solutions to him and declaring the answers as his own. Murray returned for the Conundrum, solving DENTPOOPS, where his true identity was revealed shortly before that.
Outside of Countdown
Away from Countdown, Murray has also partaken in Scrabble tournaments; he finished 9th in the 2017 Northern Ireland Championship. He has also appeared on a few other quiz shows with varying success, including The Weakest Link, 100% and Brainteaser.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|2630||27/10/1999||P||Sanjay Mazumder||65 – 25||Mark Murray||Marc Freden||Mark Nyman||73|
|5902||10/04/2014||P||Bobby Johnson||96 – 115||Mark Murray||Michael Whitehall||Susie Dent||145|
|5903||11/04/2014||P||Mark Murray||108 – 42||Chris Newbury||Michael Whitehall||Susie Dent||120|
|5904||14/04/2014||P||Mark Murray||120 – 104||Ciaran McCarthy||Michael Whitehall||Susie Dent||137|
|5905||15/04/2014||P||Mark Murray||100 – 26||Jim Sales||Louise Minchin||Susie Dent||132|
|5906||16/04/2014||P||Mark Murray||115 – 48||David Jameson||Louise Minchin||Susie Dent||135|
|5907||17/04/2014||P||Mark Murray||112 – 95||Peter Steggle||Louise Minchin||Susie Dent||123|
|5908||18/04/2014||P||Mark Murray||122 – 86||Mike Wilson||Louise Minchin||Susie Dent||133|
|5909||21/04/2014||P||Mark Murray||110 – 69||Simon Pinder||Louise Minchin||Susie Dent||133|
|5940||13/06/2014||QF||Mark Murray||95 – 63||Andy Gardner||Mark Foster||Susie Dent||120|
|5944||25/06/2014||SF||Mark Murray||89 – 64||Neil Green||Mark Foster||Susie Dent||134|
|5946||27/06/2014||GF||Mark Murray||105 – 70||Andy Naylor||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||137|
|6285||13/01/2016||CP||Antoinette Ryan||88 – 125||Mark Murray||John Inverdale||Susie Dent||140|
|6289||19/01/2016||CQF||Dan McColm||112 – 99||Mark Murray||Naga Munchetty||Susie Dent||145|
& Sean Lock
|45 – 22*||Noel Fielding,|
& Rachel Riley
|The Brett Domino Trio||Susie Dent||80|