ZoomDown was a version of Countdown streamed live using "Zoom" video conferencing software. It was introduced during the COVID-19 lockdown by Series 81 six-time winner, Paul Anderson, who also acts as the host. It has co-starred a plethora of co-hosts, listed at the bottom of this page.
Two games are played in each episode, with the guesting role in game one taken by the challenger of the second game and the loser of the first game taking the role in game two. They are given their own anecdote, which forms more like a mini-Q&A session, after Round 6, as per the current 15 round format. The format is similar to a Countdown series, with the winner staying on for up to four games (as per the Apterous Simulation of a Series), at which point they become a ZoomDown tetrachamp. The top eight then compete in a knockout tournament in a bid to become ZoomDown Series Champion. Finalists are not allowed to play again in consecutive series.
The games were shown live on the FOCAL Talk YouTube channel, originally on Mondays and Thursdays at 8:00 pm (Thursday's show originally started at 8:05pm to accommodate the national "clap for carers" campaign). As of Series 4, the first game of the week migrated to Tuesday, to avoid clash with the BBC Two quiz shows. In addition to the main series, specials were also played; the first of these was a mini-Hyper tournament between four players shown on Friday 15 May 2020 at 8pm. The second was a "Numberists" special shown over two Saturdays (13-20 June). The third and fourth were a second "Numberists" series and a Goatdown series, shown in January 2021 on Mondays and Thursdays respectively.
Series 4 introduced graphics designed by Graeme Cole, displaying the scorelines, round scores and the letters, numbers and conundrum boards. It also introduced Cole's buzzers, meaning the contestants can now buzz in rather than having to say "buzz".
A record of the games and standings can be seen at the pages listed below. All games can be watched on YouTube here.
At the end of the fourth series, it was announced that a Champion of Champions tournament will take place in 2022.
Following the lifting of COVID restrictions, ZoomDown was ultimately shelved following the Champion of Champions tournament.
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- Presented by: Paul Anderson (2020-2022)