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Michael Calder (Series 60)

From Countdown
Michael Calder (Series 60)
octochamp statistics
Final position Runner-up
Seeding 6
Points total 736
Conundrums solved 5
Michael Calder in Series 60...
...and 15 years later in Series 89!
For other people called Michael Calder, see Michael Calder.

Michael Calder was a contestant in Series 60, and the runner-up of Series 89. As of his first appearance, he was a student at the University of Bradford, from Aberdeenshire. As of his second stint, he worked as an area manager for The Trussell Trust and lived in Forfar, Angus.

Appearances

Series 60

His first appearance turned out to be a rather one-sided affair against eventual octochamp, James Doohan, who initially roared off to a 38 – 0 lead which Calder was never able to close, despite scoring a few points before a conundrum neither of them solved.

Series 89 heat games

Calder made his reappearance just under 15 years later, in the show after fellow octochamp, Jack Harvey, won his last game – this time he prevailed in a very low-scoring game against challenger Shabir Hussain. His next three games were also victories and in each case, he avoided a crucial conundrum despite them being all rather low-scoring. But on the next day of filming, he demonstrated a notable improvement in performance in his last four heats, which in fact, included three century games with a high of 116.

Calder signed off by scoring in every round in his final preliminary against Julia Blake, to secure his position as the fourth octochamp of the series in less than two months, with a final total of 736 and an average of 92 per game. This was also achieved despite not spotting any of the six nine-letter words available in his letters rounds.

Series 89 finals

Calder returned for his quarter-final against number three seed Toby Byfield. The game was an unexpectedly cagey affair, with neither player maxing many rounds and staying within reach of each other, right up until the crucial conundrum SATINCLOG, which Calder after just under 17 seconds unscrambled to NOSTALGIC to condemn Byfield to his only defeat. In doing so, he became the first number six seed to reach the semi-finals of a series since Alan Duval back in Series 79.

His semi-final opponent Mark Finnerty got out of the gate strong with an 18-point lead, despite Calder initially drawing first blood with the spot of SLAMMER. However, after this, Finnerty started to unravel, with Calder scoring 35 unanswered points in a row at one stage to swing the game right back in his favour. After both players missed the final numbers round, although Calder did get closer to score some points, it meant Calder continued his giant-killing streak and marched onto the grand final against number one seed Arthur Page. He was also the first grand finalist in six years to be from the bottom-half of the seed table – the last one being Philip Aston back in Series 78.

Calder, from a maxes perspective, actually had his best performance of the finals stages against Page, but Arthur ultimately out-muscled Calder, not losing any rounds and eventually storming off into the distance. His victory was certified after a final letters round spot of TABLESIDE, and after neither player got the conundrum, it meant Calder finished as the runner-up, with his lowest score since his first appearance back in 2009. His final points tally across his Series 89 games came to 959, and 1,007 with the 48 points achieved in his first appearance.

Preceded by
Viraj Seelam
Series runner-up
Series 89

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
4827 28/05/2009 P James Doohan 91 – 48 Michael Calder Jeff Stelling Rachel Riley Barry Cryer Susie Dent 121
8207 13/02/2024 P Shabir Hussain 33 – 83 Michael Calder Colin Murray Rachel Riley Tim Rice Susie Dent 124
8208 14/02/2024 P Michael Calder 78 – 64 David Munday Colin Murray Rachel Riley Tim Rice Susie Dent 135
8209 15/02/2024 P Michael Calder 80 – 70 Jill Martin Colin Murray Rachel Riley Tim Rice Susie Dent 134
8210 16/02/2024 P Michael Calder 76 – 71 Jack Haynes Colin Murray Rachel Riley Tim Rice Susie Dent 134
8211 19/02/2024 P Michael Calder 116 – 63 Aaron McAree Colin Murray Rachel Riley Sara Davies Susie Dent 125
8212 20/02/2024 P Michael Calder 104 – 60 Mark Fielding Colin Murray Rachel Riley Sara Davies Susie Dent 124
8213 21/02/2024 P Michael Calder 90 – 59 Stephen Colton Colin Murray Rachel Riley Sara Davies Susie Dent 144
8214 22/02/2024 P Michael Calder 109 – 49 Julia Blake Colin Murray Rachel Riley Sara Davies Susie Dent 136
8301 24/06/2024 QF Toby Byfield 82 – 84 Michael Calder Colin Murray Rachel Riley Marcus Brigstocke Susie Dent 131
8304 27/06/2024 SF Mark Finnerty 56 – 78 Michael Calder Colin Murray Rachel Riley Marcus Brigstocke Susie Dent 136
8305 28/06/2024 GF Arthur Page 121 – 61 Michael Calder Colin Murray Rachel Riley Marcus Brigstocke Susie Dent 144