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Tom Stevenson

From Countdown
Tom Stevenson
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionChampion
Points total1,000
Conundrums solved8
Tom Stevenson in Series 86.
Tom Stevenson holding the Richard Whiteley Memorial Trophy after winning Series 86.

Tom Stevenson was an octochamp in and the champion of Series 86, from Burford, Shropshire. He is the first ever series champion to be born in the 21st century. At the time of his appearances, he was a media, culture and English literature student at the University of Worcester. He is also an Apterite who was formerly under the names Spike Guthrie and Spike Nard, and has reached the top 10 in the Apterous pro rank leaderboard. He also participated in Series 1 and 2 of ZoomDown prior to his appearances on Countdown.

Stevenson made his TV debut on the episode after Alan Young become an octochamp himself, kicking off with a hefty 120 points against Mike Oliver, which he repeated in his second episode. In his fourth episode, he scored a max game, and broke the record for the highest ever score on the show with 154, surpassing Elliott Mellor's three-year-old record by two points. 5 months later, Cillian McMulkin equalled Tom's 154 points score. In his eighth appearance, Stevenson won with 124 points, bringing his total score to a very round 1,000, and also became only the thirteenth person to solve all eight conundrums in their preliminary matches on the show.

Amazingly, he became the first contestant to never lose a single round in the heat matches, as well as the first to never score zero points in a single round in the heats. For those reasons, his octorun is considered to be one of the most consistent in Countdown history. He is also the fourth member of the 1,000 club, after Mellor, Luke Johnson-Davies and Luke Boynton.

Stevenson returned for the series finals on 15 December 2022. He started out in the first quarter-final against the eighth seed, Lewis Castling-Morey. Stevenson started off strongly, kicking off the finals with an impressive 121 points to qualify for the semi-finals where he faced Joe Dobinson. He also continued to maintain his unmatched record of scoring in every round.

In the first semi-final, Dobinson proved to be no walkover, as he matched Tom in the early rounds before Stevenson eventually carved out a 24-point lead. With Rounds 10 to 14 being maxed out by Tom and Joe, during which both players found WINTEROUS for 9, Tom officially maintained his unbeaten record before the final round was played. He finished the game with a flourish by solving his tenth conundrum from ten to qualify for the final with 129 points, and he also kept up his masterful scoring streak by making it 150 unbeaten rounds in a row as of the end of this match. In addition, Dobinson's score of 95 turned out to be the highest score of any of Stevenson's Series 86 opponents.

In the final against Edward Byrne, both players started level, until Tom eventually broke away with spots like RODENTIAL and ABSENCE to establish a sizeable 33-point lead. However, Byrne finally became the first contestant to beat Tom in a round by spotting IDEOGRAPH for nine to put himself back within striking distance. But Tom held his nerve and confirmed his victory after a difficult final 4-Large numbers round target was missed by both players.

He capped off his triumph with an unprecedented eleventh conundrum from eleven by unscrambling UNIMOSAIC to MINACIOUS, which he thought he made up, to claim the series win with his eleventh century and lifted the Richard Whiteley Memorial Trophy. Tom amassed an overall total of 1,366 points, the second-highest "Xicount" total of all time behind only Luke Johnson-Davies, and he was also the first ever series champion to be born after the millennium.

Tom returned to Countdown almost immediately in January 2023 for Championship of Champions XVI, where fellow unbeaten Xicount Adam Latchford lay waiting for him. In Stevenson's toughest game yet, he quickly fell behind thanks in part to an amazing 4L numbers solve from Latchford, although Stevenson eventually took the lead after spotting SLANGIEST and a gamble from Latchford backfired. This lead to a crucial conundrum BETHECTOR, and Adam buzzed in first correctly with BROCHETTE, meaning Stevenson suffered his only defeat on the show; this also lead to the end of his unique 100% conundrum record as well.

In 2020, Stevenson was a contestant on the BBC Radio 2 music quiz PopMaster, winning a Bluetooth speaker. He was on PopMaster for a second time in 2023, winning the "One Year Out" t-shirt.

Preceded by
Dan Byrom
Series winner
Series 86
Followed by
Ronan Higginson


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
7857 26/09/2022 P Mike Oliver 58 – 120 Tom Stevenson Colin Murray Rachel Riley Eve Muirhead Susie Dent 136
7858 27/09/2022 P Tom Stevenson 120 – 61 Sean Mowat Colin Murray Rachel Riley Eve Muirhead Susie Dent 135
7859 28/09/2022 P Tom Stevenson 119 – 10 Sara Woolridge Colin Murray Rachel Riley Eve Muirhead Susie Dent 124
7860 29/09/2022 P Tom Stevenson 154 – 28 Lauren Bowley Colin Murray Rachel Riley Eve Muirhead Susie Dent 154
7861 30/09/2022 P Tom Stevenson 117 – 39 Andy Keeble Colin Murray Rachel Riley Eve Muirhead Susie Dent 145
7862 03/10/2022 P Tom Stevenson 117 – 37 Steve Robinson Colin Murray Rachel Riley Pat Nevin Susie Dent 122
7863 04/10/2022 P Tom Stevenson 129 – 57 David Clerkin Colin Murray Rachel Riley Pat Nevin Susie Dent 135
7864 05/10/2022 P Tom Stevenson 124 – 41 Ben Timi Nuga Colin Murray Rachel Riley Pat Nevin Susie Dent 139
7915 15/12/2022 QF Tom Stevenson 121 – 44 Lewis Castling-Morey Colin Murray Rachel Riley Vick Hope Susie Dent 125
7919 21/12/2022 SF Tom Stevenson 129 – 95 Joe Dobinson Colin Murray Rachel Riley Neil Delamere Susie Dent 135
7921 23/12/2022 GF Tom Stevenson 116 – 91 Edward Byrne Colin Murray Rachel Riley Neil Delamere Susie Dent 145
7926 06/01/2023 CP Tom Stevenson 95 – 97 Adam Latchford Colin Murray Rachel Riley Richard Osman Susie Dent 136

External links