COC timeline

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L'oisleatch McGraw
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COC timeline

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:56 am

Hmmm, there used to be a very nice pattern with Countdown's "Championship of Champion" tournaments... i.e. they would put one on after every 4 series. This was a sensible system.

Once we hit the 21st century, things went pear shaped.
2003's COCXI contained competitors from 7 series (seems like an awkward number to work with)
Since then the frequency of COC has been inconsistent. Nowadays they span 6 series, or sometimes 7. (You could argue that 2013's 30th birthday thing was a glorified COC as it contained 16 players from S60-66... who would have been due to compete in the next COC anyway.)

So, a question for those of you who truly love COC... do you expect the next one to occur just after Series 78?
Or has the system become so haphazard that we're not guaranteed another one at all?

[I wonder why the timeline has become less consistent since 2003...]
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Matt Morrison
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Re: COC timeline

Post by Matt Morrison » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:16 am

I'm sure there were a million posts about it before, especially in the run up to the announcement of the 30th thing. I think generally it was a case of the rise of apterous meaning that COCs are now dominated by players that are so good they alienate the show's core audience?

I could be wrong but that's what I vaguely remember. I guess they are less appealing to TV execs now to have to go through the hassle of arranging.

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Re: COC timeline

Post by Elliott Mellor » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:09 pm

Yeah, that's it Matt. I've seen old posts where it was basically said a good amount of viewers don't want to sit through a few weeks of lexo-nerds coming up with loads of obscure words and absolutely obliterating them when they try to play along - they want to actually stand a chance of winning or at least being close when watching. The odd amazing player in a series makes for good viewing in general and people will admire them, but a few weeks might be tiring for some people.

Because of that, it seems that COCs are a lot more spread out now, but I wouldn't really expect one to happen at all. All depends what the producer and that decide to do.

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Re: COC timeline

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:47 pm

Elliott Mellor wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:09 pm
All depends what the producer and that decide to do.
If that is true it's a disappointing state of play.
I would argue that the programme and its legacy trumps the whims of any current production set-up, or at least it should.

It makes little sense to put blame on Apterous for the trend of C4 hosting Championship of Champions tournaments less frequently. They first fell out of favour in the period between 1999-2003, a good 5 years before Apterous came into being. More likely this is about changing trends in the world of TV, and assumptions about the viewership and their preferences, than about changes in the calibre of contestant. The top echelon (i.e. those worthy of COC) have always been well above the level of the average viewer. That's not new.
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Re: COC timeline

Post by Elliott Mellor » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:29 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:47 pm
Elliott Mellor wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:09 pm
All depends what the producer and that decide to do.
If that is true it's a disappointing state of play.
I would argue that the programme and its legacy trumps the whims of any current production set-up, or at least it should.

It makes little sense to put blame on Apterous for the trend of C4 hosting Championship of Champions tournaments less frequently. They first fell out of favour in the period between 1999-2003, a good 5 years before Apterous came into being. More likely this is about changing trends in the world of TV, and assumptions about the viewership and their preferences, than about changes in the calibre of contestant. The top echelon (i.e. those worthy of COC) have always been well above the level of the average viewer. That's not new.
Well, surely everything is up to the producer and the team lol.

I think apterous certainly accounts for the rise in standard, so it could be considered a factor imo.

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Re: COC timeline

Post by Countdown Team » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:11 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:47 pm
Elliott Mellor wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:09 pm
All depends what the producer and that decide to do.
If that is true it's a disappointing state of play.
I would argue that the programme and its legacy trumps the whims of any current production set-up, or at least it should.

It makes little sense to put blame on Apterous for the trend of C4 hosting Championship of Champions tournaments less frequently. They first fell out of favour in the period between 1999-2003, a good 5 years before Apterous came into being. More likely this is about changing trends in the world of TV, and assumptions about the viewership and their preferences, than about changes in the calibre of contestant. The top echelon (i.e. those worthy of COC) have always been well above the level of the average viewer. That's not new.


A CofC is something we decide upon whenever there's a core nucleus of worthy participants. As a rule, we tend to do CofC for transmission when it's the start of the year, so as to minimise the interruptions from racing, carpet bowls, tennis,the world bagpipes championships or whatever stuff tends to get in our way.

Winning a series guarantees nothing, nor does being a finalist. The fact is, when you take part for the first time, you're very much an unknown quantity to those who work on the show. If you are a great Countdown player, but you're also consumed by the pestilence of hate, arrogance, homophobia, racism, unkindness, lack of grace to fellow competitors and general unpleasantness, then you won't be asked back.

We don't have whims, it's a professional set-up. The next CofC will be whenever the ugly freak who runs the show decides upon it. Could be 2018, could be never, and the invitees will be asked back based upon the true meaning of the word 'champion' - which extends far beyond playing letters and numbers games.

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Re: COC timeline

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:23 pm

Elliott Mellor wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:29 pm
Well, surely everything is up to the producer and the team lol.
Well, yeah... You're right of course. :oops:
But they wouldn't be completely unaccountable at the same time.
The viewership and broadcaster would have some sway.

Countdown Team wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:11 pm
If you are a great Countdown player, but you're also consumed by the pestilence of hate, arrogance, homophobia, racism, unkindness, lack of grace to fellow competitors and general unpleasantness, then you won't be asked back.
Interesting one. I had no idea things were done in that sort of a way. It sounds noble in principle... kind of. I had assumed that players would be invited to COCs based on merit alone (i.e. results-wise). It does make sense to exclude someone who has been involved in criminality, but aside from that, you'd expect the ethos would be: accept all comers without prejudice. It would make you wonder how arbitrary the criteria for exclusion are, and to what extent an excluded party would have a right of reply?

I would have expected, assuming the next COC happens after S79 and thus covers the last 7 series, that the two finalists from each of the series be initially asked back, along with two other notable players (either high seeds, or likeable characters that the TV audience warmed to... e.g. Wes J)


In one breath:-
Countdown Team wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:11 pm
We don't have whims.


In the next:-
Countdown Team wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:11 pm
The next CofC will be whenever the ugly freak who runs the show decides upon it.
You're a funny (wo)man, Countdown Team, I'll give you that! ;)
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Re: COC timeline

Post by Dan Byrom » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:01 pm

A tad unrelated, but given I've only recently got into countdown, I've never seen any CofC matches, or any of the classics games of the past. I really can't wait to watch one, so I really hope they aren't giving them up!

Is there anywhere I can find some of the old episodes? I've looked around online, even in some more 'fruity' places, but haven't found anything. :'(

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