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Stuart Wood was the champion of Series 44. He was a 36-year old meat factory worker from Buckpool near Buckie, Banffshire in Scotland.
Wood first appeared on Countdown on 20 March 2001, beating Neil Sparham 44 – 35 in the 61st heat of Series 44. He won a further 6 games before losing to John Rainsden in his eighth game. However, Stuart's 7 wins were enough to earn him a place in the finals as No. 3 seed, and in the quarter-final and semi-final he defeated David Roe and Tim Robinson respectively to earn a place in the final against Rainsden, the same man who had denied him his eighth victory. This time, victory was to be Stuart's, as he unscrambled the crucial conundrum LANCASTER in 8.5 seconds to win 59 – 48 and become series champion, even though his score would prove to be the lowest in the 14 round format.
Stuart was invited back for Championship of Champions XI, but had to pull out prior to recording due to illness and was replaced by John Rainsden.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Presenters||Guest||Lex||Max|
|2972||20/03/2001||P||Neil Sparham||35 – 44||Stuart Wood||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Tom O'Connor||Gillian Evans||73|
|2973||21/03/2001||P||Stuart Wood||48 – 44||Debbie Perry||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Tom O'Connor||Gillian Evans||84|
|2974||22/03/2001||P||Stuart Wood||51 – 46||Ellen Bartlett||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Tom O'Connor||Gillian Evans||73|
|2975||23/03/2001||P||Stuart Wood||72 – 39||John Davies||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Tom O'Connor||Gillian Evans||85|
|2976||26/03/2001||P||Stuart Wood||49 – 43||David Thornley||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Tom O'Connor||Gillian Evans||71|
|2977||27/03/2001||P||Stuart Wood||54 – 48||Terence Connolly||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Tom O'Connor||Gillian Evans||74|
|2978||28/03/2001||P||Stuart Wood||45 – 34||Jayanti Bailur||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Tim Rice||Gillian Evans||72|
|2979||29/03/2001||P||Stuart Wood||38 – 52||John Rainsden||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Tim Rice||Gillian Evans||72|
|3038||25/06/2001||QF||Stuart Wood||60 – 36||David Roe||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Martin Jarvis||Damian Eadie||73|
|3041||28/06/2001||SF||Tim Robinson||36 – 49||Stuart Wood||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Stephen Fry||Damian Eadie||82|
|3042||29/06/2001||GF||John Rainsden||48 – 59||Stuart Wood||Richard Whiteley||Carol Vorderman||Stephen Fry||Damian Eadie||127|