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Series 53

From Countdown
John Mayhew, the series winner with his dictionaries.

Series 53 ran from 4 January to 1 July 2005, and was the last series hosted by Richard Whiteley due to his sad death on 26 June. It was also the first series where Susie Dent was sole lexicographer. It was won by John Mayhew.

Six players qualified for the series' finals as octochamps with very little to choose between the top four players – just 27 points separated them. In the quarter-finals, John Brackstone won a tight but low scoring game against Fred Reynolds, and John Mayhew beat Chris Hunt. Jon O'Neill used all his skill on the numbers to beat Judith Young, and Richard Heald triumphed against Ross Allatt meaning that the top four seeds, three of them with 800 points had made it through. Heald held Brackstone to a crucial conundrum thanks to words like RABBITS and DEMERITS, but it was the No. 1 seed that solved the conundrum in 10 seconds to win the game. No. 2 seed John Mayhew also triumped against O'Neill. Mayhew led by one point after 13 rounds and controversially O'Neill didn't choose four large numbers, which meant it was a crucial conundrum. Neither player could solve EROGENICC meaning that Mayhew won the game by a single point.

With just 11 points separating them, the final promised to be a close game. Mayhew beat Brackstone with TASTEFUL, RELENTS, and UNSEATED, but Brackstone struck back with the second numbers game spot on. The game was poised 76 – 76 going into the conundrum, but neither player managed to solve ARTGENIUS (SIGNATURE). Therefore, a second conundrum was needed, and Mayhew solved LIFEFAIDS in two seconds, and became Countdown's 53rd champion. Brackstone, Mayhew and O'Neill returned for Championship of Champions XII.

The scheduling for the finals week was changed at short notice following Whiteley's death. No edition was shown on 27 June, with the third and fourth quarter finals pushed back by a day. The two semi-finals were then double-billed on 30 June, before Channel 4 cleared its afternoon schedule on 1 July, to show Richard Whiteley: Television Man at 2:30pm, followed by the grand final at 3:15pm, and Mr Countdown: A Tribute to Richard Whiteley at 4:00pm.

An award was given in this series for the best viewer correspondence.

Seed table

Rank Name Wins Points
1 John Brackstone 8 822
2 John Mayhew 8 811
3 Jon O'Neill 8 804
4 Richard Heald 8 795
5 Ross Allatt 8 741
6 Judith Young 8 707
7 Chris Hunt 6 715
8 Fred Reynolds 6 599
NOTE: Due to his offering of zanders ☓ being wrongly allowed in his fourth game, John Mayhew's total should have been 804 points, which would have positioned him third in the seed table below Jon O'Neill by virtue of O'Neill's higher personal best score of 114.
Between Series 38 and Series 59, players were sorted by number of wins, then by number of points. Points from both wins and losses count. Points from sudden death conundrums were not counted, and players with the same number of wins and points were sorted by highest score.

Finals progress

John Brackstone (1) vs Fred Reynolds (8) John Brackstone (1) vs Richard Heald (4) John Brackstone (1)
vs
John Mayhew (2)
Ross Allatt (5) vs Richard Heald (4)
Jon O'Neill (3) vs Judith Young (6) Jon O'Neill (3) vs John Mayhew (2)
Chris Hunt (7) vs John Mayhew (2)
The winner of each game is displayed in bold.

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
3841 04/01/2005 P Fred Reynolds 91 - 55 Dawn Shepherd Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Jan Ravens Susie Dent 128
3842 05/01/2005 P Fred Reynolds 89 - 38 Peter May Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Jan Ravens Susie Dent 152
3843 06/01/2005 P Fred Reynolds 95 - 78 Dave Urwin Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Jan Ravens Susie Dent 128
3844 07/01/2005 P Fred Reynolds 90 - 65 Terry Young Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Jan Ravens Susie Dent 122
3845 10/01/2005 P Fred Reynolds 62 - 87 Toni Ryan Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Fish Susie Dent 128
3846 11/01/2005 P Toni Ryan 90 - 72 Alex Menzies Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Fish Susie Dent 143
3847 12/01/2005 P Toni Ryan 86 - 71 James Iles Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Fish Susie Dent 130
3848 13/01/2005 P Toni Ryan 92 - 40 Rachel Mason Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Fish Susie Dent 132
3849 14/01/2005 P Toni Ryan 69 - 81 Brian Roles Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Fish Susie Dent 119
3850 17/01/2005 P Brian Roles 80 - 68 Stephen Paterson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Russell Watson Susie Dent 124
3851 18/01/2005 P Brian Roles 60 - 51 Pat Rawlings Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Russell Watson Susie Dent 120
3852 19/01/2005 P Brian Roles 72 - 59 George Holmes Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Russell Watson Susie Dent 122
3853 20/01/2005 P Brian Roles 78 - 52 Robert Stone Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Russell Watson Susie Dent 160
3854 21/01/2005 P Brian Roles 56 - 82 Judith Young Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Russell Watson Susie Dent 142
3855 24/01/2005 P Judith Young 80 - 70 Jan Clark Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 121
3856 25/01/2005 P Judith Young 92 - 53 Ernie Aust Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 141
3857 26/01/2005 P Judith Young 71 - 55 Eric Hunter Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 119
3858 27/01/2005 P Judith Young 90 - 49 Vernon Young Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 129
3859 28/01/2005 P Judith Young 101 - 74 Joy Walters Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 131
3860 31/01/2005 P Judith Young 95 - 49 Dennis Poore Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Tom O'Connor Susie Dent 121
3861 01/02/2005 P Judith Young 96 - 66 Enid Holmes Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Tom O'Connor Susie Dent 151
3862 02/02/2005 P Geoff King 56 - 98 Sonia Cordas Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Tom O'Connor Susie Dent 140
3863 03/02/2005 P Sonia Cordas 79 - 85 Nicky Lyons Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Tom O'Connor Susie Dent 130
3864 04/02/2005 P Nicky Lyons 68 - 72 Peter Berridge Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Tom O'Connor Susie Dent 122
3865 07/02/2005 P Peter Berridge 68 - 96 Frank Mulvey Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Jennie Bond Susie Dent 133
3866 08/02/2005 P Frank Mulvey 90 - 41 Maggie Insh Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Jennie Bond Susie Dent 136
3867 09/02/2005 P Frank Mulvey 77 - 63 Lee Burrows Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Jennie Bond Susie Dent 134
3868 10/02/2005 P Frank Mulvey 72 - 55 Bob Woods Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Jennie Bond Susie Dent 117
3869 11/02/2005 P Frank Mulvey 133 - 86 Kevin Warner Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Jennie Bond Susie Dent 152
3870 14/02/2005 P Margaret Roper 64 - 62 Lily Macintosh Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lesley Garrett Susie Dent 120
3871 15/02/2005 P Margaret Roper 56 - 68 Rose Benson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lesley Garrett Susie Dent 122
3872 16/02/2005 P Rose Benson 58 - 96 Gary Buxton Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lesley Garrett Susie Dent 132
3873 17/02/2005 P Gary Buxton 58 - 106 John Mayhew Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lesley Garrett Susie Dent 124
3874 18/02/2005 P John Mayhew 102 - 76 Pete Dance Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lesley Garrett Susie Dent 116
3875 21/02/2005 P John Mayhew 91 - 48 Jean MacLachlan Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Geoffrey Durham Susie Dent 135
3876 22/02/2005 P John Mayhew 118 - 42 Cliff Pettifor Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Geoffrey Durham Susie Dent 141
3877 23/02/2005 P John Mayhew 99 - 63 Gus Aaron Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Geoffrey Durham Susie Dent 121
3878 24/02/2005 P John Mayhew 92 - 57 Stuart Wright Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Geoffrey Durham Susie Dent 132
3879 25/02/2005 P John Mayhew 93 - 54 Hedy Beecham Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Geoffrey Durham Susie Dent 130
3880 28/02/2005 P John Mayhew 110 - 59 Joe O'Brien Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 118
3881 01/03/2005 P John Hardie 65 - 108 Chris Hunt Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 128
3882 02/03/2005 P Chris Hunt 103 - 59 Margaret Goodlad Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 126
3883 03/03/2005 P Chris Hunt 113 - 37 Daniel Monaghan Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 143
3884 04/03/2005 P Chris Hunt 108 - 86 Maire Williams Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 144
3885 07/03/2005 P Chris Hunt 106 - 91 Jane Hoskyn Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Richard Stilgoe Susie Dent 122
3886 08/03/2005 P Chris Hunt 96 - 54 Gwilym Williams Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Richard Stilgoe Susie Dent 122
3887 09/03/2005 P Chris Hunt 81 - 87 Sue Drinkwater Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Richard Stilgoe Susie Dent 131
3888 10/03/2005 P Sue Drinkwater 80 - 78 Gordon Robson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Richard Stilgoe Susie Dent 131
3889 11/03/2005 P Sue Drinkwater 62 - 54 Neil Kelly Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Richard Stilgoe Susie Dent 134
3890 14/03/2005 P Sue Drinkwater 85 - 73 Jess Clark Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Ken Bruce Susie Dent 126
3891 21/03/2005 P Sue Drinkwater 71 - 85 Tanmay Dixit Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Ken Bruce Susie Dent 119
3892 22/03/2005 P Tanmay Dixit 95 - 59 Isabel Fennemore Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Ken Bruce Susie Dent 132
3893 23/03/2005 P Tanmay Dixit 82 - 87 Mike Meakin Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Ken Bruce Susie Dent 120
3894 24/03/2005 P Mike Meakin 87 - 77 Jim Handley Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Ken Bruce Susie Dent 144
3895 29/03/2005 P Mike Meakin 88 - 84 Eric Harrison Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Mitch Murray Susie Dent 132
3896 30/03/2005 P Mike Meakin 57 - 75 Jillian Tidman Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Mitch Murray Susie Dent 121
3897 31/03/2005 P Jillian Tidman 39 - 66 Steve Smith Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Mitch Murray Susie Dent 127
3898 01/04/2005 P Steve Smith 67 - 87 Jon O'Neill Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Mitch Murray Susie Dent 143
3899 04/04/2005 P Jon O'Neill 96 - 72 Peter Wallis Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 120
3900 05/04/2005 P Jon O'Neill 106 - 54 William Moore Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 140
3901 06/04/2005 P Jon O'Neill 102 - 46 Ola Odutola Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 124
3902 07/04/2005 P Jon O'Neill 101 - 61 Gill Johns Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 133
3903 08/04/2005 P Jon O'Neill 104 - 66 Phil Squires Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Nicholas Owen Susie Dent 119
3904 11/04/2005 P Jon O'Neill 114 - 43 Theresa Turrell Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Julia McKenzie Susie Dent 132
3905 12/04/2005 P Jon O'Neill 94 - 58 Gary McEnaney Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Julia McKenzie Susie Dent 118
3906 13/04/2005 P Peter Danks 75 - 76 Mansoor Ditta Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Julia McKenzie Susie Dent 128
3907 14/04/2005 P Mansoor Ditta 70 - 87 Ross Allatt Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Julia McKenzie Susie Dent 144
3908 15/04/2005 P Ross Allatt 100 - 50 Eunice Stride Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Julia McKenzie Susie Dent 125
3909 18/04/2005 P Ross Allatt 110 - 74 Mike Brailsford Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lionel Blair Susie Dent 150
3910 19/04/2005 P Ross Allatt 83 - 80 David Hutton Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lionel Blair Susie Dent 140
3911 20/04/2005 P Ross Allatt 96 - 50 Janet Mattingley Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lionel Blair Susie Dent 122
3912 21/04/2005 P Ross Allatt 81 - 54 Wayne Porter Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lionel Blair Susie Dent 130
3913 22/04/2005 P Ross Allatt 86 - 60 Thomas Leeming Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Lionel Blair Susie Dent 119
3914 25/04/2005 P Ross Allatt 98 - 67 John Caddick Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Kathryn Apanowicz Susie Dent 118
3915 26/04/2005 P Jenny Scudamore 83 - 86 David Ryan Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Kathryn Apanowicz Susie Dent 116
3916 27/04/2005 P David Ryan 91 - 102 Kieran Coppinger Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Kathryn Apanowicz Susie Dent 143
3917 28/04/2005 P Kieran Coppinger 101 - 85 Ian Laming Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Kathryn Apanowicz Susie Dent 122
3918 29/04/2005 P Kieran Coppinger 92 - 75 Gerry Montague Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Kathryn Apanowicz Susie Dent 122
3919 03/05/2005 P Kieran Coppinger 72 - 82 Sally Bassinder Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Darren Jordon Susie Dent 127
3920 04/05/2005 P Sally Bassinder 93 - 72 Len Cazaly Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Darren Jordon Susie Dent 128
3921 05/05/2005 P Sally Bassinder 84 - 90 Bob Beckett Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Darren Jordon Susie Dent 120
3922 06/05/2005 P Bob Beckett 73 - 84 Michael Edwards Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Darren Jordon Susie Dent 129
3923 09/05/2005 P Michael Edwards 79 - 71 Jim Anderson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Esther Rantzen Susie Dent 115
3924 10/05/2005 P Michael Edwards 84 - 85 Rick Hughes Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Esther Rantzen Susie Dent 150
3925 11/05/2005 P Rick Hughes 63 - 79 Caroline Ambrose Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Esther Rantzen Susie Dent 122
3926 12/05/2005 P Caroline Ambrose 73 - 115 John Brackstone Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Esther Rantzen Susie Dent 132
3927 13/05/2005 P John Brackstone 81 - 48 Richard Ellis Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Esther Rantzen Susie Dent 113
3928 16/05/2005 P John Brackstone 103 - 68 Mark Leopold Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 154
3929 17/05/2005 P John Brackstone 101 - 75 Raymond Quirk Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 140
3930 18/05/2005 P John Brackstone 98 - 72 Christine Skeer Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 120
3931 19/05/2005 P John Brackstone 110 - 68 Ken Ryder Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 133
3932 20/05/2005 P John Brackstone 119 - 35 Joanna Allardice Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Keith Barron Susie Dent 124
3933 23/05/2005 P John Brackstone 95 - 44 Frank Cowsill Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Aspel Susie Dent 131
3934 24/05/2005 P Anna Hillis 67 - 92 Dominic Marsh Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Aspel Susie Dent 133
3935 25/05/2005 P Dominic Marsh 73 - 102 Anthony Endsor Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Aspel Susie Dent 143
3936 31/05/2005 P Anthony Endsor 65 - 66 Amy McMaster Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Aspel Susie Dent 145
3937 01/06/2005 P Amy McMaster 108 - 66 Daljit Gharial Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Michael Aspel Susie Dent 123
3938 02/06/2005 P Amy McMaster 58 - 92 Richard Heald Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Peter Baldwin Susie Dent 125
3939 03/06/2005 P Richard Heald 115 - 36 Michael Chidwick Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Peter Baldwin Susie Dent 136
3940 06/06/2005 P Richard Heald 93 - 58 Anne Hardy Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Peter Baldwin Susie Dent 116
3941 07/06/2005 P Richard Heald 104 - 58 Ross Gibson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Peter Baldwin Susie Dent 117
3942 08/06/2005 P Richard Heald 89 - 73 Beryl Lawford Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Peter Baldwin Susie Dent 120
3943 09/06/2005 P Richard Heald 104 - 57 Karen Pearson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Barry Norman Susie Dent 118
3944 10/06/2005 P Richard Heald 102 - 57 Alan Hicks Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Barry Norman Susie Dent 117
3945 13/06/2005 P Richard Heald 96 - 84 Paul Lyne Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Barry Norman Susie Dent 116
3946 14/06/2005 P Magda Greensmith 90 - 74 William Sutherland Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Barry Norman Susie Dent 132
3947 15/06/2005 P Magda Greensmith 64 - 80 Rod Barry Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Barry Norman Susie Dent 132
3948 16/06/2005 P Rod Barry 90 - 52 Joe Penn Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Bob Bevan Susie Dent 117
3949 17/06/2005 P Rod Barry 64 - 84 John Pitt Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Bob Bevan Susie Dent 143
3950 20/06/2005 P John Pitt 100 - 44 Harry Smith Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Bob Bevan Susie Dent 131
3951 21/06/2005 P John Pitt 70 - 88 Helen Mathieson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Bob Bevan Susie Dent 121
3952 22/06/2005 P Helen Mathieson 88 - 82 Leslie Ritchings Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Bob Bevan Susie Dent 130
3953 23/06/2005 QF Fred Reynolds 58 - 75 John Brackstone Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 126
3954 24/06/2005 QF Chris Hunt 73 - 97 John Mayhew Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 120
3955 28/06/2005 QF Judith Young 74 - 90 Jon O'Neill Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 122
3956 29/06/2005 QF Richard Heald 100 - 90 Ross Allatt Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 117
3957 30/06/2005 SF Richard Heald 75 - 89 John Brackstone Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 119
3958 30/06/2005 SF John Mayhew 89 - 88 Jon O'Neill Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 117
3959 01/07/2005 GF John Mayhew 86* - 76 John Brackstone Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Philip Franks Susie Dent 143
* includes 10 points from a tie-break conundrum

External Links