Russell Byers was the runner-up of Series 2.
He was an audit clerk from Selby, North Yorkshire. He won four heat games in impressive fashion, beating Ash Haji in the first game. He lost his fifth game to Michael Firth, but had done more than enough to return for the final rounds. He beat David Myerscough, Gary Roussak and Norma Nicholson on his way to the final, a rematch of his earlier heat game against Ash Haji. However, the final, the first ever 14-round game, didn't go Byers's way as he lost by a solitary point.
Byers would return to Countdown some 12 years later to play in the Supreme Championship, where his first opponent was the Xicount David Trace. Trace first spotted UPENDING and beat him on a numbers game. Byers's luck improved later on as he found a nine-letter word and quickly turned the conundrum HEATBURNS into SUNBATHER. It was too little too late as Trace still won, but Byers did score 63 points, the highest losing score of the championship.
He is also a Scrabble player and won the UK National Championship in 1982 and 1989.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|44||4/05/1983||P||Ash Haji||30 – 59||Russell Byers||Kenneth Williams||69|
|45||5/05/1983||P||Philip Goddard||40 – 44||Russell Byers||Kenneth Williams||70|
|46||6/05/1983||P||Margaret Reid||32 – 50||Russell Byers||Kenneth Williams||75|
|47||10/05/1983||P||Sue White||30 – 54||Russell Byers||Gyles Brandreth||68|
|48||11/05/1983||P||Michael Firth||52 – 37||Russell Byers||Gyles Brandreth||71|
|66||10/06/1983||QP||Russell Byers||54 – 39||David Myerscough||Gyles Brandreth||67|
|74||24/06/1983||QF||Gary Roussak||39 – 47||Russell Byers||Gyles Brandreth||Lesley Burnett||72|
|78||30/06/1983||SF||Russell Byers||67 – 43||Norma Nicholson||Kenneth Williams||Lesley Burnett||72|
|80||2/07/1983||GF||Ash Haji||71 – 70||Russell Byers||Kenneth Williams,|
|187||17/10/1984||CQF||Andrew Guy||48 – 61||Russell Byers||Ned Sherrin||Yvonne Warburton||75|
|190||22/10/1984||CSF||Joyce Cansfield||62 – 33||Russell Byers||Nigel Rees||Yvonne Warburton||63|
|M61||28/05/1990-1/06/1990||M||Anthony Butcher||89 – 91||Russell Byers||none||Della Thompson||???|
|1881||14/11/1996||eQF||David Trace||68 – 63||Russell Byers||Barry Cryer||Susie Dent||82|