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Tom Cappleman

From Countdown
Tom Cappleman
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionChampion
Points total927
Conundrums solved6
Thomas "Tom" Cappleman in Series 72...
...and again just under a year later in the Championship of Champions XIV.

Thomas "Tom" Cappleman, also known as T-Cap, was a contestant in Series 59, an octochamp in and the champion of Series 72, and a quarter-finalist in Championship of Champions XIV. He is also an Apterite and member of c4countdown. His mother, Catriona, was a quarter-finalist in Series 30, his wife, Ruth, was a contestant in Series 83, and his father, Dave, was a quarter-finalist in Series 87.

Appearances on the programme

Heat games

Cappleman débuted in Series 59, in which he lost his only game to Martin Bishop. He returned to Countdown for Series 72, starting his second run with an impressive 14-max performance against Charlene Rose. Seven more victories followed, including two by more than 100 points to confirm him as the clear No. 1 seed for the finals.


In his quarter-final, Cappleman failed to score a century for the first time, but returned for his semi-final with a 12-max performance against Kevin Steede, to set up a Grand Final with fellow returnee Tracey Mills. Despite falling behind early on, Cappleman took the lead after the first numbers game and never looked back, eventually winning 107 – 89 and hilariously answering floorlick ☓ to the conundrum.

Championship of Champions XIV

Cappleman returned to the studios in January 2016 as one of sixteen entrants in Championship of Champions XIV. Playing in the first preliminary match of the tournament, he defeated Series 69 semi-finalist Glen Webb. With both players spotting all three of the game's available nine-letter words, this game proved to yield a joint score of 248 – the highest achieved in the "new" 15-round format, until it was beaten just 11 days later by Andy Platt and Dylan Taylor's 252. In the quarter-final, Cappleman faced Series 68 champion Giles Hutchings but lost on the crucial conundrum ULTIMOLEG and thus bowed out with his first defeat since his one to Bishop in 2008.

Appearances on quiz shows

In 2012, Cappleman appeared on University Challenge, representing New College, Oxford and reaching the semi-finals, while not only getting the most starters-for-ten for his team, but achieving the joint-highest total for a single person in the whole of that series.

In July 2016, Cappleman appeared on Series 12 of Only Connect as part of the "Verbivores" team alongside fellow Countdowners Phyl Styles and Series 65 champion Graeme Cole. They went on to win the series in April 2017. They subsequently lost a one-off "Champion of Champions" special on 3 January 2020.

Cappleman's next quiz show appearance was Mastermind on 9 November 2018. He scored 23 points, but unfortunately lost his heat game by virtue of six passes to the winner's one.


In 2011, Cappleman made his Co-event début at Co:Lon 2011, where he finished in an impressive 2nd place, losing out to Matt Bayfield in the final. The following year, he appeared at CO:REA and CobliviLon. In 2016, he won Countdown in Reading 2016, defeating Paul Erdunast in the final on a crucial conundrum. He competed in the 2018 FOCAL finals as the No. 8 seed, and finished in 1st place in the heats, winning 6 out of 7 games. This was followed by a grand final match-up between him and Jonathan Wynn, where he was defeated.

Preceded by
Dan McColm
Series winner
Series 72
Followed by
Jonathan Wynn


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
4707 7/11/2008 P Martin Bishop 94 – 67 Thomas Cappleman Des O'Connor Carol Vorderman Paul Zenon Susie Dent 121
6106 19/03/2015 P Charlene Rose 46 – 115 Tom Cappleman Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Tim Vine Susie Dent 123
6107 20/03/2015 P Tom Cappleman 117 – 51 Sharon Hagger Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Nicky Campbell Susie Dent 123
6108 23/03/2015 P Tom Cappleman 117 – 13 Connor Moorst Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Nicky Campbell Susie Dent 124
6109 24/03/2015 P Tom Cappleman 135 – 23 Jack Roberts Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Nicky Campbell Susie Dent 144
6110 25/03/2015 P Tom Cappleman 120 – 39 Angela Hopson Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Nicky Campbell Susie Dent 122
6111 26/03/2015 P Tom Cappleman 109 – 53 Mike Pilkington Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Nicky Campbell Susie Dent 122
6112 27/03/2015 P Tom Cappleman 105 – 16 Paul Young Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Chris Packham Susie Dent 128
6113 30/03/2015 P Tom Cappleman 109 – 62 Hamish Galloway Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Chris Packham Susie Dent 125
6150 3/06/2015 QF Tom Cappleman 98 – 40 Gavin Woolnough Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 124
6154 10/06/2015 SF Tom Cappleman 127 – 52 Kevin Steede Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Jo Brand Susie Dent 132
6156 12/06/2015 GF Tom Cappleman 107 – 89 Tracey Mills Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Jo Brand Susie Dent 126
6278 4/01/2016 CP Tom Cappleman 133 – 115 Glen Webb Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Gloria Hunniford Susie Dent 147
6286 14/01/2016 CQF Tom Cappleman 97 – 114 Giles Hutchings Nick Hewer Rachel Riley John Inverdale Susie Dent 134