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November's Featured Article

Martin Gardner.jpg

Martin Gardner was an octochamp and semi-finalist in Series 49. Before appearing as a contestant on the show, Gardner had a prominent presence in the online Countdown community; he organised Countdown Advance (the forerunner to Hypercountdown on the Gevincountdown web forum, served as a moderator on this website, and ran the now-defunct Countdown fan site Countdown Update UK. After finding the address to send off for an application form on Ben Wilson's website, he applied for the televised show and was invited to an audition at the end of 2002.

Although he failed his audition, Gardner was invited to the studios as a replacement contestant after John Davies became an octochamp, leaving one seat vacated on 14 May 2003. In this opening game Gardner achieved his highest televised score of 107, with offerings including the eight-letter words ATOMISER and ACONITES; Martin found no nine-letter words during his appearances on the show. Seven more victories followed, including three further centuries.

Gardner returned to the series finals as #2 seed behind Davies, his forerunner in the heats. In his quarter-final, the eight letter word POTHEADS and conundrum SCOOPGREY helped Gardner to convincingly defeat Peter Jeffery by 101 points to 64. He faced David Wilson in the semi-final and went ahead after three rounds courtesy of the seven-letter word UPRATED. However, he was pegged back in the next round with MORGUES. Thereafter, David scored in every round apart from the conundrum and won the game 98-86. (more...)

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