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Martin Hurst

From Countdown
Martin Hurst
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionChampion
Points total830
Conundrums solved6
Martin Hurst in Series 35...
...and again in Series 75!

Martin Hurst was a contestant in Series 35, an octochamp in and the champion of Series 75, and a participant in Championship of Champions XV. He is also an Apterite. He is no relation to other Hursts who have been on the show to date.

Appearances on the programme

Heat games

Hurst first appeared as a 17-year-old in 1997, losing to quarter-finalist Robert Jones. He didn't watch the show again regularly for over 18 years and after a few months of casual viewing, he re-applied as a contestant in March 2016.

Hurst returned to Countdown in August 2016. On his "second début", he recovered from a disastrous start after scoring zero points in his first three letters rounds to beat Natalie Matale by a score of 54 – 102, including getting the nine OLEANDERS. In his third heat game of his octochamp run, he reduced Arnold Solomon to the second-lowest recorded score in the 15-round era of 7 – as well as joining a select club of Countdowners to have won a televised game by more than 100 points – before scoring the series high of 130 in his fourth game. In his fifth game, he was level with Simon Cookson before the conundrum, but it was Hurst who unravelled VILASINGH first to win by a score of 83 – 73 in a game with only 110 points available. He ran off three more victories to become an octochamp with 830 points and five centuries, and retained the number 1 seed position for the finals.


In the finals, Hurst achieved two more centuries to comfortably defeat both Tom Stephens in the quarter-finals and Andrew Fenton in the semi-finals. In the Grand Final, he and his opponent Andrew Macleod matched each other in the first eight rounds until Hurst won the third numbers game, where he chose his specialist 6 small. Macleod then played two back-to-back invalid words and, after the 13th round, Hurst built an unassailable lead and became the Series 75 Champion.

Championship of Champions XV

Hurst returned for the Championship of Champions XV in January 2019, facing fellow Apterite and series champion Tom Chafer-Cook in the sixth game of the preliminary round. Both players put in a strong effort with the nine-letter words ROYALISED and ELASIPODS, but a numbers mistake for Hurst and a few winning letters declarations by Chafer-Cook meant that the latter took the game 129 – 89.


Prior to his 2016 TV appearance, Hurst made his Co-event debut at Countdown in St Albans 2016. He also attended COLON 2017, finishing in 8th.

Preceded by
Paul Erdunast
Series winner
Series 75
Followed by
Stephen Read


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
2022 6/06/1997 P Robert Jones 57 – 46 Martin Hurst Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Tom O'Connor Rob Scriven 83
6419 25/08/2016 P Natalie Matale 54 – 102 Martin Hurst Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Tanni Grey-Thompson Susie Dent 137
6420 26/08/2016 P Martin Hurst 95 – 80 Alan Gillies Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Tanni Grey-Thompson Susie Dent 144
6421 29/08/2016 P Martin Hurst 111 – 7 Arnold Solomon Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 127
6422 30/08/2016 P Martin Hurst 130 – 36 Tom Law Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 156
6423 31/08/2016 P Martin Hurst 83 – 73 Simon Cookson Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 110
6424 1/09/2016 P Martin Hurst 107 – 59 Yvonne Endacott Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 125
6425 2/09/2016 P Martin Hurst 98 – 48 Damon Wingfield Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 123
6426 5/09/2016 P Martin Hurst 104 – 48 Owen Polley Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Michael Whitehall Susie Dent 147
6487 15/12/2016 QF Martin Hurst 102 – 52 Tom Stephens Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Tim Rice Susie Dent 131
6491 21/12/2016 SF Martin Hurst 100 – 64 Andrew Fenton Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Carol Kirkwood Susie Dent 122
6493 23/12/2016 GF Martin Hurst 96 – 85 Andrew Macleod Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Carol Kirkwood Susie Dent 134
6985 9/01/2019 CP Tom Chafer-Cook 129 – 89 Martin Hurst Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Dr Linda Papadopoulos Susie Dent 142

External Links