Where are They Now ?

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Marc Meakin
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Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri May 18, 2018 5:49 am

I was wondering what some of the memorable Countdown Contestants are doing now like Kai Laddieman, Jeffrey Handsford and Richard Brittain.
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Mark Deeks » Fri May 18, 2018 7:57 am

My kind of thread. More names!
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Marc Meakin
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri May 18, 2018 9:01 am

Junaid, Kirk Bevans , Jimmy Gough and Oliver Garner to name a few.
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Thomas Cappleman » Fri May 18, 2018 9:56 am

Richard Brittain (according to a conversation on Apterous some time) lives on my walk to work. Not actually spotted him, but he said he saw me one time.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Ben Wilson » Fri May 18, 2018 11:04 am

Thomas Cappleman wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:56 am
Richard Brittain (according to a conversation on Apterous some time) lives on my walk to work. Not actually spotted him, but he said he saw me one time.
He's getting more skilled at his old hobby then?

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri May 18, 2018 11:22 am

I'm more interested in the more historic names - Harvey Freeman, Allan Saldanha, for example.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri May 18, 2018 11:23 am

Marc Meakin wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:01 am
Junaid, Kirk Bevans , Jimmy Gough and Oliver Garner to name a few.
Oliver Garner won CO:LON the other day. Kirk Bevins is refereeing darts games.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri May 18, 2018 12:44 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:23 am
Marc Meakin wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:01 am
Junaid, Kirk Bevans , Jimmy Gough and Oliver Garner to name a few.
Oliver Garner won CO:LON the other day. Kirk Bevins is refereeing darts games.
I thought Oliver Garner was dabbling in the dark arts ( Scrabble )
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Noel Mc » Fri May 18, 2018 2:48 pm

Stewart Holden runs my local pub quiz.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri May 18, 2018 5:45 pm

Great thread.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by JimBentley » Fri May 18, 2018 6:50 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:22 am
I'm more interested in the more historic names - Harvey Freeman, Allan Saldanha, for example.
Harvey Freeman was always a bit of an enigma, wasn't he? Nobody seems to know anything much about him at all. I've tried in the past to find out about his life outside of Countdown and have always turned up nothing. I've always thought this a bit odd, as you would think there would be some contemporary newspaper reports or something that might give a bit of background, but if there are, I can't find them. Maybe he used a pseudonym?

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Marc Meakin
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri May 18, 2018 6:56 pm

Chris Davies plays in a band
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by David Williams » Fri May 18, 2018 7:55 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:50 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:22 am
I'm more interested in the more historic names - Harvey Freeman, Allan Saldanha, for example.
Harvey Freeman was always a bit of an enigma, wasn't he? Nobody seems to know anything much about him at all. I've tried in the past to find out about his life outside of Countdown and have always turned up nothing. I've always thought this a bit odd, as you would think there would be some contemporary newspaper reports or something that might give a bit of background, but if there are, I can't find them. Maybe he used a pseudonym?
No doubt Gevin will remember all this and find a link, but I think when this came up years ago someone said he was an accountant, and they'd seen him at a job interview or something. And someone else was amazed at how mundane this was, they had always imagined that he lived in a castle, with servants. Which, to be honest, was how I pictured him as well. I think I've also seen pictures of him at Richard Whiteley's funeral.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri May 18, 2018 9:36 pm

David Williams wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:55 pm
JimBentley wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:50 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:22 am
I'm more interested in the more historic names - Harvey Freeman, Allan Saldanha, for example.
Harvey Freeman was always a bit of an enigma, wasn't he? Nobody seems to know anything much about him at all. I've tried in the past to find out about his life outside of Countdown and have always turned up nothing. I've always thought this a bit odd, as you would think there would be some contemporary newspaper reports or something that might give a bit of background, but if there are, I can't find them. Maybe he used a pseudonym?
No doubt Gevin will remember all this and find a link, but I think when this came up years ago someone said he was an accountant, and they'd seen him at a job interview or something. And someone else was amazed at how mundane this was, they had always imagined that he lived in a castle, with servants. Which, to be honest, was how I pictured him as well. I think I've also seen pictures of him at Richard Whiteley's funeral.
Here it is. But it says IT.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri May 18, 2018 11:14 pm

What!? David Stainer was part of Gev4C years ago?! I had absolutely zero idea he was even remotely into Countdown, let alone part of Gevin's world.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri May 18, 2018 11:14 pm

I repeat, great thread.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat May 19, 2018 5:36 am

Also forumites like Zeff , Sue Sanders, Mr Hargreaves,
Also various flouncers, too many to mention.( plus I've forgotten most of their names )
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Zarte Siempre » Sun May 20, 2018 12:00 am

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:36 am
Also forumites like Zeff , Sue Sanders, Mr Hargreaves,
Also various flouncers, too many to mention.( plus I've forgotten most of their names )
Hargreaves is doing fine - I speak to him on a semi-regular basis. Robbo more I believe as I think they both end up at Huddersfield games.
Possibly the first contestant to accelerate with a mic clipped...

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun May 20, 2018 7:04 am

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 12:00 am
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:36 am
Also forumites like Zeff , Sue Sanders, Mr Hargreaves,
Also various flouncers, too many to mention.( plus I've forgotten most of their names )
Hargreaves is doing fine - I speak to him on a semi-regular basis. Robbo more I believe as I think they both end up at Huddersfield games.
How did you get to know Hargreaves? He disappeared off the scene years ago didn't he?

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun May 20, 2018 7:46 am

From the rival forum that was created about 7 or 8 years ago during the inner sanctumgate
Last edited by Marc Meakin on Sun May 20, 2018 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun May 20, 2018 7:49 am

Sorry I should have put that in quotes.
It's quite possible I may have mixed him up with Derek Hazell
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun May 20, 2018 7:52 am

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:36 am
Also forumites like Zeff , Sue Sanders, Mr Hargreaves,
Also various flouncers, too many to mention.( plus I've forgotten most of their names )
I did meet Zeff at a Scrabble tournament in Essex many years ago and it was only because he was an early keyboard warrior in the Scrabble community too
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Elliott Mellor » Sun May 20, 2018 8:39 am

Anyone know the whereabouts of Paul Gallen, or Fell's conqueror Graham Nash?

If I recall rightly, Fell himself is working as a lawyer nowadays?

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Zarte Siempre » Sun May 20, 2018 9:29 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:04 am
Zarte Siempre wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 12:00 am
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:36 am
Also forumites like Zeff , Sue Sanders, Mr Hargreaves,
Also various flouncers, too many to mention.( plus I've forgotten most of their names )
Hargreaves is doing fine - I speak to him on a semi-regular basis. Robbo more I believe as I think they both end up at Huddersfield games.
How did you get to know Hargreaves? He disappeared off the scene years ago didn't he?
We met at Reading 2013. Got on OK, stayed in touch. When one of us posts about something the other's interested in (usually still Countdown-related - he still watches the show) we tend to have a chat about it. Trying to convince him to come to an event or two. Good bloke.
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by David Williams » Sun May 20, 2018 3:09 pm

Elliott Mellor wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 8:39 am
Anyone know the whereabouts of Paul Gallen
He writes a weekly Scrabble column for The Times.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun May 20, 2018 5:18 pm

David Williams wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 3:09 pm
Elliott Mellor wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 8:39 am
Anyone know the whereabouts of Paul Gallen
He writes a weekly Scrabble column for The Times.
Took over from Allan (cheat ) Simmons
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sun May 20, 2018 6:55 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 5:18 pm
David Williams wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 3:09 pm
Elliott Mellor wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 8:39 am
Anyone know the whereabouts of Paul Gallen
He writes a weekly Scrabble column for The Times.
Took over from Allan (cheat ) Simmons
What happened?
🍆

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Marc Meakin
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun May 20, 2018 7:20 pm

He got caught cheating last year and has been banned for two years and had to give trophies back but not prize money AFAIK.
I believe he repeatedly overdrew tiles and palmed or cherry picked them.
I think it made the newspapers.
Probably not the Times though.
He hasn't admitted guilt nor apologised.
Also not contesting the ban.
It's a very sensitive and divisive situation as he is or was a well respected member of the ABSP and has written many books.
I can't believe a man of his calibre (probably one of the ten best players in the UK ) needed to do it
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Martin Hurst » Mon May 21, 2018 3:21 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:20 pm
He got caught cheating last year and has been banned for two years and had to give trophies back but not prize money AFAIK.
I believe he repeatedly overdrew tiles and palmed or cherry picked them.
I think it made the newspapers.
Probably not the Times though.
He hasn't admitted guilt nor apologised.
Also not contesting the ban.
It's a very sensitive and divisive situation as he is or was a well respected member of the ABSP and has written many books.
I can't believe a man of his calibre (probably one of the ten best players in the UK ) needed to do it
Made the NY Times! :o

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/worl ... cheat.html

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 21, 2018 4:41 pm

A bit off topic, but I found myself looking into Scrabble stuff - Craig Beevers appears to be the only world champion not to have his own Wikipedia article.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by JimBentley » Mon May 21, 2018 5:23 pm

Quite surprised at some of the names mentioned here. Tom Hargreaves is still very much around; I don't think I've met him in person since the very first COLIN but we've been friends on Facebook for a while and by all accounts is having a good time. Kirk, obviously is a superstar darts caller and can regularly be seen on your tellies (if you watch darts). Sue Sanders is also a Facebook friend since we went on a hot ride on the back seat of a car together at another COLIN (can't remember who was driving) and she regularly comments on my posts about buying tat from Amazon. Jimmy Gough seems much happier now and is getting married soon. David Stainer, of course, is a big-shot in quizzing and was a member of the old forum around the time that he was on the show; he won four games but was surprisingly - surprisingly to me anyway, because I thought he was going to win all eight - beaten in his fifth.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon May 21, 2018 5:37 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 4:41 pm
A bit off topic, but I found myself looking into Scrabble stuff - Craig Beevers appears to be the only world champion not to have his own Wikipedia article.
He hasn't got one for being chucked out the ABSP for his , shall we say, colourful opinions on HIS own Facebook page.
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 21, 2018 8:24 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 5:37 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 4:41 pm
A bit off topic, but I found myself looking into Scrabble stuff - Craig Beevers appears to be the only world champion not to have his own Wikipedia article.
He hasn't got one for being chucked out the ABSP for his , shall we say, colourful opinions on HIS own Facebook page.
More details please! Though I'm still not sure why that would affect him having a Wikipedia article.

Edit - He has got one, but it wasn't linked to on that other page.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue May 22, 2018 1:45 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 8:24 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 5:37 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 4:41 pm
A bit off topic, but I found myself looking into Scrabble stuff - Craig Beevers appears to be the only world champion not to have his own Wikipedia article.
He hasn't got one for being chucked out the ABSP for his , shall we say, colourful opinions on HIS own Facebook page.
More details please! Though I'm still not sure why that would affect him having a Wikipedia article.

Edit - He has got one, but it wasn't linked to on that other page.
You are right I was just being flippant.
As for his removal from the ABSP committee, I think it was farcical as what you post on your own private Facebook page should not have any bearing on being in a committee.
He has said mani Anti Muslim posts .
Some of his posts got a little out of hand and the ABSP thought that his views did no reflect the views of the ABSP..
You could say his vocal ' Outing ' of the ' cheat ' mentioned in an earlier post may have had something to do with it.

I don't agree with many of his anti Muslim views but he should have a right to post any shit he likes on his private page.
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Mark Deeks » Tue May 22, 2018 1:53 am

He does have the right to post any shit he likes - well, sorta - but they also have a right to not want to be associated with a person who does that.
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue May 22, 2018 3:35 am

Mark Deeks wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:53 am
He does have the right to post any shit he likes - well, sorta - but they also have a right to not want to be associated with a person who does that.
Valid point but to put it into context
One man shakes the ABSP tree from within to out a virtual cover up of a cheat
Then gets chucked out of same committee for airing some controversial views on the teachings of the Koran
Which was in the heat of the moment after a terrorist atrocity.
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Matt Morrison » Tue May 22, 2018 9:29 am

I think most word games would rather do without islamophobes AND cheats, it's not like they need to choose whichever is worse and only remove one lot.

From what I remember of Beevers on here, something tells me his efforts to out a cheat would have served some personal gain rather than been purely for the love of the game too.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue May 22, 2018 10:38 am

Matt Morrison wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:29 am
I think most word games would rather do without islamophobes AND cheats, it's not like they need to choose whichever is worse and only remove one lot.

From what I remember of Beevers on here, something tells me his efforts to out a cheat would have served some personal gain rather than been purely for the love of the game too.
I think he has a thing about cheats. He was berating John Higgins at the snooker this year (I believe he was once found guilty of throwing games ).
I think Mr Handsford btw wasn't a cheat but bent the rules a bit.
I'm guessing that's what you was alluding to
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Ian Volante » Tue May 22, 2018 11:37 am

Elliott Mellor wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 8:39 am
If I recall rightly, Fell himself is working as a lawyer nowadays?
Not sure, but he turned up at my quiz a few years ago if I remember right, I suspect he was grumpy that one of his team-mates outed him, don't think he's returned since.
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue May 22, 2018 11:52 am

Ian Volante wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:37 am
Elliott Mellor wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 8:39 am
If I recall rightly, Fell himself is working as a lawyer nowadays?
Not sure, but he turned up at my quiz a few years ago if I remember right, I suspect he was grumpy that one of his team-mates outed him, don't think he's returned since.
I seem to remember someone from the Countdown world contacting him once and he threw a fit about it. "How the Hell did you find my e-mail address?" etc. That was the story anyway.

Edit - This discussion.

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by JimBentley » Tue May 22, 2018 1:51 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:38 am
I think he has a thing about cheats. He was berating John Higgins at the snooker this year (I believe he was once found guilty of throwing games ).
There was quite a lot of this online during the World Championships last month, but wasn't it just one the News of the World's entrapments by "fake sheikh" Mazher Mahmood? The "video proof" will have been edited to look as damning as possible, because that was always the evidence that supposedly backed up the stories, but as far as I know the unedited footage has never been publicly seen. Given that Mahmood actually went to prison for perverting the course of justice due to misleading "evidence" that he presented in a court case relating to a later story, I don't really know why so many people automatically assume that Higgins was guilty at all.

Sure, he was guilty of naivety in meeting with Mahmood, but we don't even know how much of that was a setup in the first place. Being naive isn't a crime. As far as I know, he's never been actually caught throwing matches or even single frames. And given the way he plays - he's probably the most tenacious player on the circuit and will work to win even the most unlikely frames - I'd be amazed if he had. I might be completely wrong but everything I've seen of him over the last 25 years suggests that he's pretty straight-down-the-line.

Anyway, back on topic. Anyone know anything about what the following people are doing now: Matt Shore, Mike Pullin, Lee Hartley, Grace Page, George Greenhough, John Davies, Sweyn Kirkness, Jack Welsby (I'll stop there but will think of some more later no doubt).

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue May 22, 2018 3:37 pm

Sweyn Kikness gets my vote as best contestant name ever
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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Jonathan Wynn » Tue May 22, 2018 11:06 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:37 pm
Sweyn Kikness gets my vote as best contestant name ever
Sweyn Kirness was in the year above me at university. He (presumably) graduated from Heriot-Watt ten years ago in actuarial maths, but don't know anything since then.....

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by David Williams » Tue May 22, 2018 11:16 pm

Ever heard of this new-fangled Google thingy?
http://www.edmathshelp.com/about.html

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Re: Where are They Now ?

Post by Tom » Mon May 28, 2018 10:12 pm

Just come across this thread and find it strange to see my name being mentioned! I usually check on here every couple of months to see if there's any topics of interest and do an egosurf to see if my name has been mentioned anywhere (which it usually isn't!)

I watch the show very rarely these days but do keep track time to time on the Apterous wiki and speak to a few people who are more involved in the CO-event scene. I have never ruled out going to one in the near future.

In terms of names, I don't know much about Harvey Freeman and Scott Mearns though I heard Harvey was an accountant living in London and Scott lives in Leeds (I think when he was originally a contestant he was at Leeds University and did a special show and seem to remember he was running a supermarket) though this would have been going 15 years back so who knows what now!

I organised a reunion in Manchester about 18 months ago now for people who were around my time plus some others and had quite a good turnout. Graham Nash I think has done a few game shows since Countdown, top bloke! Chris Wills is now an active Labour campaigner in Manchester.

The big name around my time was Julian Fell. After spending quite a long time trying to find him to contact him about the reunion, I finally managed to do so and I basically got custard pied saying he didn't want anything to do with Countdown. Naturally when the 30th birthday Championship happened, I and probably some others were a bit sad not to see him in it and I least I know that had I or others had contact details for him then, he would probably have declined! It would have been interesting to see how he'd have fared!
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