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Ben Wilson

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Ben Wilson
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionChampion
Points total570 (from 6 games)
Conundrums solved5 (out of 6)
...and 10 years later in the 30th Birthday Championship!
Ben Wilson organising a COLIN event.

Ben Wilson (born 22 March 1983) was the champion of Series 46, the first in the 15 round format. He was also a quarter-finalist in Championship of Champions XI and a participant in the 30th Birthday Championship. He is an Apterite and a moderator on c4countdown, and is most notable for launching the first ever Co-event: COLIN (Countdown in Lincoln), in 2005.

Appearances on the show

Heat games

His first programme was broadcast on 6 November 2001. He defeated namesake Peter Wilson 101 – 70 in his first show, before winning five more games (only six wins were needed in the first 15-round series) and becoming one of only five viscounts in Countdown history, famously declaring SEXPOT.


He returned for the series finals as No. 1 seed, beating fellow Lincoln resident Simon Cartwright 83 – 68 in the quarter-finals, and Scotland's Paul Ryan 101 – 80 in the semi-finals after a close and tense game. In the grand final on Christmas Day against Steve Sandalls, the scores were level until Round 9, but Ben built up a lead of 17 points over the next two rounds with an excellent six-small numbers game, and the word BONNIES. A series of poor rounds, including offering MACE for four, missing GYRATED and making a mistake on the final numbers game put Wilson one point behind going into the conundrum, but, he was able to solve the conundrum in five seconds to become champion of the 46th series, and the first champion of the 15 round format. Aged just 18 at the time, Ben also has the distinction of being the first ever series champion of Countdown to have been born after the show's debut on Channel 4.

Championship of Champions XI

Wilson was invited back for Championship of Champions XI in January 2003, where he was paired against Northern Ireland's Geraldine Hylands in the first round. Wilson scraped through, winning 94 – 91, but was ultimately beaten in the quarter-finals of the tournament by Tom Hargreaves, by a score of 131 – 98. At the time, this game set the record for highest aggregate score in a 15-round game (229), and 98 still remains one of the highest losing score of all time. The aggregate record was not broken until the following Championship of Champions tournament when Mark Tournoff beat Matthew Shore by 124 – 117. His own record of his experience on the show can be read on The Countdown Page here.

In the audience

Wilson would later have a brief cameo on the show at the end of the first semi-final of Series 50 between Chris Cummins and Adam Laws as the member of the audience who solved the conundrum after neither player was able to unscramble it.

30th Birthday Championship

He returned to Countdown in 2013, as one of 41 contestants taking part in the 30th Birthday Championship. He faced a tough draw in the preliminary round, facing history-making Series 54 champion Conor Travers. In the match, Wilson took a six-point lead with STOTTY in the second round, but quickly lost his lead to Travers' play of FLORUITED, and lost by a score of 117 – 91. Travers went on to win the championship.

After Countdown

Since his appearances on Countdown, Wilson has gone on to become deeply involved in the world of online Countdown, being amongst the first to play Countdown over MSN Messenger, and one of the original moderators of c4countdown.

Wilson is the organiser of COLIN, the first annual Co-event (in 2011, he played in his own tournament), as well as the several CONOT events. He also visited the Edinburgh Countdown Club in late 2003, CoBris 2005, CoBris 2007, CoLei 2008, CoLei2, Co:Lon 2010, the CoLei Summer Special, Co:Lon 2011, CobliviLon and COEDI, and was the winner of the first ever CoRed tournament in March 2007.

Away from Countdown, Wilson took up Scrabble after his penultimate Countdown appearance and won his first tournament, Peterborough, in March 2008. He has not played a Scrabble tournament since 2012.

In 2019, Wilson took over from Stewart Holden as the compiler of the Countdown Desk Calendar.

Preceded by
John Rawnsley
Series winner
Series 46
Followed by
Chris Wills


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
3117 06/11/2001 P Peter Wilson 70 – 101 Ben Wilson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Vanessa Feltz Clare Pemberton 114
3118 07/11/2001 P Ben Wilson 102 – 49 Jeanette Littlejohn Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Vanessa Feltz Clare Pemberton 152
3119 08/11/2001 P Ben Wilson 98 – 60 Bob Bride Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Vanessa Feltz Clare Pemberton 121
3120 09/11/2001 P Ben Wilson 90 – 80 Mike Nicholson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Vanessa Feltz Clare Pemberton 130
3121 12/11/2001 P Ben Wilson 86 – 72 Pearl Norman Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Nigel Rees Phiona Stanley 122
3122 13/11/2001 P Ben Wilson 93 – 76 John Hadley Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Nigel Rees Phiona Stanley 123
3146 17/12/2001 QF Ben Wilson 83 – 68 Simon Cartwright Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Denis Norden Tania Styles 122
3150 21/12/2001 SF Paul Ryan 80 – 101 Ben Wilson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Denis Norden Tania Styles 131
3152 25/12/2001 GF Steve Sandalls 75 – 84 Ben Wilson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Geoffrey Durham Clare Pemberton 117
3394 10/01/2003 CP Ben Wilson 94 – 91 Geraldine Hylands Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Martin Jarvis Susie Dent 122
3400 20/01/2003 CQF Tom Hargreaves 131 – 98 Ben Wilson Richard Whiteley Carol Vorderman Eric Knowles Susie Dent 144
5618 10/01/2013 30BP Ben Wilson 91 – 117 Conor Travers Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Dave Myers Susie Dent 126

External Links