Due to persistent vandalism, account creation has been suspended. If you would like an account, please contact Charlie Reams on Apterous.

Oliver Garner

From Countdown
Oliver Garner
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionChampion
Points total802
Conundrums solved3
Oliver Garner: A 15-year-old prodigy.
Oliver Garner holding the Richard Whiteley Memorial Trophy.

Oliver Garner was an octochamp in and the champion of Series 62. He was 15 years of age during his time on the show.

Heat games

Garner made his debut in the second heat game of Series 62, beating Jan Parker on a crucial conundrum CONDOLING. His second, third and fourth games all featured centuries, before he got 99 in his fifth game against Keith Bush. In his sixth game he scored 115, the highest score in any heat game of the series, thanks to the nine-letter word PETITIONS, despite the fact that his opponent solved the conundrum TOOTHCOMB before he did. He won his seventh game comfortably, but came up short in the first few rounds of his eighth heat against Mark Goodliffe, and was down 34 – 13 by the time of the first break. Despite this, he beat Goodliffe with DEBONE, DIATOM and a perfect second numbers game to set up a final crucial conundrum FORTYDIME. After one second, he solved DEFORMITY to win by 6 points and become an octochamp, and also scrape into the 800 club with a cumulative score of 802.


Garner returned as #1 seed for the finals. In his quarter-final, he beat Claudia Tyson, finishing with the series high score of 123 after spotting a nine (MISROUTED) and solving the conundrum SAINTPITA. He played another favourite Craig Chittenden in the semi-final and won 105 – 69 in a game less close than had been expected. Finally, Garner came up against Nicki Sellars in the grand final. He opened an early lead with MAESTRO in round one and held up his lead all the way through, finishing off by getting the conundrum BEDISCLUE to score another century and win the series. Garner is the second youngest series champion after Conor Travers, and remains unbeaten by anyone.

Due to a legislative change made some months after his appearance, people under 16 years of age are no longer allowed to appear on Countdown. This effectively makes Garner the last prodigy to win a series.

Garner did not return for the 30th Birthday Championship, thus preserving his unbeaten record.

Off the screens

In May 2010, he attended his first unofficial Countdown tournament, Co:Lon 2010, where he finished runner-up to Innis Carson. He also made an appearance at Co:Lon 2011.

He is also a competitive Scrabble player and, as of May 2017, is ranked among top 30 Scrabble players in the ABSP ratings.

Garner is an active participant in Parkrun events. As of 2020, he holds the second fastest known time of any Apterite for a 5-kilometre parkrun, with a personal best of 15 minutes 54 seconds.

Preceded by
Chris Davies
Series winner
Series 62
Followed by
Jack Hurst


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
4955 12/01/2010 P Jan Parker 72 - 84 Oliver Garner Brian Capron Susie Dent 116
4956 13/01/2010 P Oliver Garner 105 - 22 Troy Ramsey-Axelsson Brian Capron Susie Dent 126
4957 14/01/2010 P Oliver Garner 113 - 67 Andy Hewitt Brian Capron Susie Dent 129
4958 15/01/2010 P Oliver Garner 114 - 67 Garry Brough Brian Capron Susie Dent 119
4959 18/01/2010 P Oliver Garner 99 - 48 Keith Bush John Stapleton Susie Dent 129
4960 19/01/2010 P Oliver Garner 115 - 48 Wendy Trigg John Stapleton Susie Dent 132
4961 20/01/2010 P Oliver Garner 91 - 67 Daphne Lord John Stapleton Susie Dent 112
4962 21/01/2010 P Oliver Garner 81 - 75 Mark Goodliffe John Stapleton Susie Dent 115
5057 10/06/2010 QF Claudia Tyson 75 - 123 Oliver Garner John Inverdale Susie Dent 138
5061 16/06/2010 SF Oliver Garner 105 - 69 Craig Chittenden Paul Zenon Susie Dent 120
5063 18/06/2010 GF Nicki Sellars 62 - 107 Oliver Garner Paul Zenon Susie Dent 120