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Russell Byers

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Russell Byers

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 played in Championship of Champions I, beating Andrew Guy in the first round before losing to Joyce Cansfield in the semi-final. His sister, Esther, became a finalist in Series 3.

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.

Byers also finished ninth in the inaugural COLIN event in 2005, over 22 years after his association with Countdown began.

He is also a Scrabble player and won the UK National Championship in 1982 and 1989.

Preceded by
Michael Wylie
Series runner-up
Series 2
Followed by
Mark Nyman


# 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,
Gyles Brandreth
Lesley Burnett 114
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
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