Best ever contestants

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:05 am

Jon O'Neill wrote:I've got a good system. You get 1,000 points for being one of Conor Travers, Julian Fell, or Harvey Freeman. If you're anyone else you lose 10,000. I haven't done the calculations yet myself, but it'd be interesting to see how the leaderboard looks.
As ever, for someone so 'apparently clever' you don't really have much to offer now do you?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:10 am

A statistician like Jon – you would have thought– would have a little more about him/productive to say, but I suppose take a young kid with brains, who's been on the telly a bit, and then expect him to be even half normal/helpful, may be asking a bit too much, I suppose?

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Mark Deeks
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Mark Deeks » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:24 am

He showed more of his working than you did, Butty McButthurt.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Matt Morrison » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:20 am

Dave Preece wrote:A statistician like Jon – you would have thought– would have a little more about him/productive to say, but I suppose take a young kid with brains, who's been on the telly a bit, and then expect him to be even half normal/helpful, may be asking a bit too much, I suppose?
You're not wrong there. Most of them here are freaks, and Jon O'Neill especially is someone who has become so maladjusted over time that he almost represents the polar opposite of a conscientious and helpful team player.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:35 am

Jono's got a good point though. The stats based method won't take into account the fact that people are often considered great for taking the game to new levels, as "pioneers". So Harvey and Julian might get underrated.

Although you could give points specifically for beating certain records and for the margin.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Kirk Bevins » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:36 pm

I'm not sure you could rank the best players using the following criterion but a measure of a top player to me is not only their consistency in every discipline, and nailing maximums, but also looking at what maximums they do get or do miss.

Someone might have missed maximums in their run of MURIQUIS and TRACHEATE and someone else might have missed one maximum of IDOLATERS/STEROIDAL. While on the maximum front player B wins, I'd probably class player A as the greater player as top players shouldn't be missing words like IDOLATERS/STEROIDAL. Also if you look at the maximums they did hit, player B might have had high probability 7s and 8s as maximums but player A nailed obscurities/hard-to-spot words such as SIDESWIPE, GONOLEKS and MAESTOSO.

To most people watching at home, watching someone come out with words such as DRAGONET or LONICERA is just as impressive as someone else coming up with words such as NAMKIN or DROPSEED but it's only after you've played the game thousands of times that you realise spots of DRAGONET or LONICERA are less impressive and don't separate the top players.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Mark Deeks wrote:He showed more of his working than you did, Butty McButthurt.
LOL!

Funny!

:D

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:18 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:I'm not sure you could rank the best players using the following criterion but a measure of a top player to me is not only their consistency in every discipline, and nailing maximums, but also looking at what maximums they do get or do miss.

Someone might have missed maximums in their run of MURIQUIS and TRACHEATE and someone else might have missed one maximum of IDOLATERS/STEROIDAL. While on the maximum front player B wins, I'd probably class player A as the greater player as top players shouldn't be missing words like IDOLATERS/STEROIDAL. Also if you look at the maximums they did hit, player B might have had high probability 7s and 8s as maximums but player A nailed obscurities/hard-to-spot words such as SIDESWIPE, GONOLEKS and MAESTOSO.

To most people watching at home, watching someone come out with words such as DRAGONET or LONICERA is just as impressive as someone else coming up with words such as NAMKIN or DROPSEED but it's only after you've played the game thousands of times that you realise spots of DRAGONET or LONICERA are less impressive and don't separate the top players.
Good points.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Martin Sinclair » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:11 pm

1) Conor Travers
2) Dylan Taylor
3) Jack Hurst
4) Edward McCullagh
5) Giles Hutchings

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Martin Sinclair » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:19 pm

I certainly wouldn't be a fan of ordering these in the way in which Countdown seed finalists. As in, most victories first, and then points. If so, that'd make Dylan 70th!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Fred Mumford » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:20 pm

So the best 5 ever in the show's 31 year history don't include anybody that Richard Whiteley would ever have heard of? Absurd!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:14 pm

Martin Sinclair wrote:1) Conor Travers
2) Dylan Taylor
3) Jack Hurst
4) Edward McCullagh
5) Giles Hutchings
Having seen the discussion in the other thread, I'm going to wade in, but in this thread.

There's no way I'd put Dylan second. I know he has great stats, and I'm a fan of looking at stats, but they are just one thing to look at. It wasn't that he lost his final in some freak event. People were saying beforehand that conundrums were a weakness of his and if the final went to a crucial conundrum (which was very likely), then he could be vulnerable. And so it proved. That makes a difference to his greatness.

Having the most maxes in an octorun is a great achievement, and you say that in almost any other series he would have been champion. That's true to an extent, although obviously Apterous didn't exist in all previous series, so he wouldn't have reached the same level. Although I do acknowledge that even for an Apterous-era series, it was very competitive indeed - well probably the most competitive.

However, other people have reached a similar standard on the show as well in the 30th birthday championship. Many of those originally played pre-Apterous, so their overall stats might not be as good as Dylan's, but they were at that level in the 30th birthday championship. If they'd done another series at that time instead of the 30th birthday championship, some of them would have been on about 100 maxes. And let's not forget Paul Gallen and his form in his CofC, which was much higher than in his series.

But even purely based on normal series, McCullagh, Fell, Hutchings and Hurst were all no more than 10 maxes behind in their octoruns and won their series. There's also Beevers, Holden, Bevins and Davies not too far behind that either. All series winners. They were all good enough to realistically take Dylan to a crucial, and you could easily argue that he wouldn't be favourite in all of these match-ups (based on how everyone was at the time of their series). I wouldn't say that Dylan is the greatest of these players.

Jen Steadman scored more maxes than anyone other than Dylan Taylor, so she would also have to rank pretty highly too, but she's not in your top five. I know she went out at an earlier stage, but losing in the final is still something you can't ignore.

It all depends on how you define greatness but it has to be some combination of skill and success, and there's not enough on the success side for Dylan, whichever way you cut it. And his conundrum skill is part of his skill.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon O'Neill » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:35 pm

Well if Martin Sinclair factors facial bone structure into his definition of greatness, then that might explain it. However, Ian Volante would surely make the top 5 if that was the case?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Ryan Taylor » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:11 am

Martin Sinclair wrote:1) Conor Travers
2) Dylan Taylor
3) Jack Hurst
4) Edward McCullagh
5) Giles Hutchings
I watched 2 of Dylan's games (QF and Final) and on both occasions beat him. On the conundrum. As Gevin points out, his conundrum skills were weak. Dylan didn't strike me as anything spectacular. He was a good solid player and nothing more.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Callum Todd » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:25 am

Ryan Taylor wrote:
Martin Sinclair wrote:1) Conor Travers
2) Dylan Taylor
3) Jack Hurst
4) Edward McCullagh
5) Giles Hutchings
I watched 2 of Dylan's games (QF and Final) and on both occasions beat him. On the conundrum. As Gevin points out, his conundrum skills were weak. Dylan didn't strike me as anything spectacular. He was a good solid player and nothing more.
I don't think that's fair. He's a lot better than that.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:24 am

He is... But he isn't all-time number two either (and I'm a fan)!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:42 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:Well if Martin Sinclair factors facial bone structure into his definition of greatness, then that might explain it. However, Ian Volante would surely make the top 5 if that was the case?
*swoons*
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by JackHurst » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:28 pm

Dylan Taylor wrote:I certainly wouldn't be a fan of ordering these in the way in which Countdown seed finalists. As in, most victories first, and then points. If so, that'd make Me 70th!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Tom » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:46 pm

Dylan is an incredible player who with the number of maxes he has, is an accolade in itself but with him and conundrums, if most people took him to a crucial, I reckon they'd feel they'd be in with a shout. Whilst I reckon Dylan would more than hold his own if he played the likes of Conor, Kirk or Jack, I do think they would edge it slightly.

Congrats to Callum for winning it against a formidable opponent. A stunning game with 10/10 for quality and after watching it made me wonder, if there was a C of C, you'd be getting more high quality games like that which I would definitely tune in to watch.

Apologies if this goes off at a tangent slightly, but with C of C's, I can see the point of view for not doing them if the viewers don't like it for not being able to keep up, but that said they have historically been part of the Countdown landscape and would love to see them reinstated. The last few C of C's have had 16 players in which over 3 weeks can be a long time to the viewer. My personal call if a 16 player tournament wasn't reinstated would be to make it an 8 player tournament every 4 series as 1.5 weeks of one-off broadcast I don't think would be harmful or failing that, at a minimum, have a regular occurrence where the 2 series winners play each other in a one off game and maybe as part of that recording day, fill it in with 4 other specials.
Probably the second tallest ever series finalist.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:22 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I was thinking I might do a top ten for players that have never won a championship. Anyone else can join in too!
I might do this now actually. In chronological order:

Helen Grayson
Allan Saldanha
David Williams
Jon O'Neill
Charlie Reams
Eoin Monaghan
Adam Gillard
Jonathan Rawlinson
Martin Sinclair
Martine Sinclair

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:27 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:I was thinking I might do a top ten for players that have never won a championship. Anyone else can join in too!
I might do this now actually. In chronological order:

Helen Grayson
Allan Saldanha
David Williams
Jon O'Neill
Charlie Reams
Eoin Monaghan
Adam Gillard
Jonathan Rawlinson
Martin Sinclair
Martine Sinclair
My top 8 in rank order:

Dylan Taylor
Jen Steadman
Allan Saldanha
Eoin Monaghan
Jonathon Rawlinson
Andy Platt
Andrew Hulme
Adam Gillard

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Ciaran McCarthy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:15 am

Dave Preece wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:I was thinking I might do a top ten for players that have never won a championship. Anyone else can join in too!
I might do this now actually. In chronological order:

Helen Grayson
Allan Saldanha
David Williams
Jon O'Neill
Charlie Reams
Eoin Monaghan
Adam Gillard
Jonathan Rawlinson
Martin Sinclair
Martine Sinclair
My top 8 in rank order:

Dylan Taylor
Jen Steadman
Allan Saldanha
Eoin Monaghan
Jonathon Rawlinson
Andy Platt
Andrew Hulme
Adam Gillard
My Top 8 :-
Jack Hurst
Julian Fell
Callum Todd
Conor Travers
Andy Platt
Chris Davies
Jennifer Steadman
Innis Carson

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Andy Platt » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:35 pm

Funny that, I seem to remember some of those winning championships, Ciaran ;)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Zarte Siempre » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:36 pm

Andy Platt wrote:Funny that, I seem to remember some of those winning championships, Ciaran ;)
He included you in there because he wants yo' ass.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Andy Platt » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:42 pm

Lol, that may be true, but the point was that the ranking brigade were doing a list of people that haven't won series.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:51 pm

Andy Platt wrote:Lol, that may be true, but the point was that the ranking brigade were doing a list of people that haven't won series.
You should join the ranking brigade.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Andy Platt » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:11 pm

I might rank one off later just for you.

To be honest though it's a thing that's impossible to be objective about. How do you factor in the fact that certain players in the past were wonderful natural talents but would obviously get stuffed by the top apterous players right now? Are we ranking natural talent? In which case I'd be safely outside the top 100. Are you ranking it by maxes in people's octoruns? Then I'd be top 5 ... at least in 15-rounders, which also leads us to the question of how to judge the 9-rounder days. It's also not particularly fair to turn round and essentially say "hey X, I think you're better than Y but not as good as Z".

So I've never ranked anyone here in public.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:33 pm

Andy Platt wrote:I might rank one off later just for you.

To be honest though it's a thing that's impossible to be objective about. How do you factor in the fact that certain players in the past were wonderful natural talents but would obviously get stuffed by the top apterous players right now? Are we ranking natural talent? In which case I'd be safely outside the top 100. Are you ranking it by maxes in people's octoruns? Then I'd be top 5 ... at least in 15-rounders, which also leads us to the question of how to judge the 9-rounder days. It's also not particularly fair to turn round and essentially say "hey X, I think you're better than Y but not as good as Z".

So I've never ranked anyone here in public.
Everyone has their own opinions on what's more important in a ranking - how objectively good they were on the day, how good they were relative to the time, how successful they were etc.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gary Davis » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:30 pm

I thought I was particularly brilliant.
Just saying... :D

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by George Pryn » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:12 pm

my top 8 -

jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
andy platt

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:28 am

George Pryn wrote:my top 8 -

jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
andy platt
Swap Andy for Giles and that's my top 8 too.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Andy Platt » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:20 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
George Pryn wrote:my top 8 -

jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
andy platt
Swap Andy for Giles and that's my top 8 too.
:(

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:33 pm

George Pryn wrote:my top 8 -

jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
andy platt
Bit weird.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:28 pm

My top 8:

Conor Travers X 8.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:44 pm

Dave Preece wrote:My top 8:

Conor Travers X 8.
Dave Preece submitting a list with no women in it??? Who'd have thought ;)
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Fred Mumford » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:34 pm

Which woman do you feel has done enough to earn a place in an ALL TIME top 8?

Which of the supreme champions or grand slam winners do you push aside to accommodate them?

Only 5 times has a woman been #1 seed. Only 5 times has a woman won their series. Only once has a woman won the CoC. And those 11 achievements were by 11 different women. There just hasn't been a sufficiently dominant female player yet. Helen Grayson had remarkable stats for her era, as you do for yours, but there have been so many Countdown championships that surely everybody in an all time top 8 should be a winner of at least one of them?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:49 pm

Fred Mumford wrote:Which woman do you feel has done enough to earn a place in an ALL TIME top 8?

Which of the supreme champions or grand slam winners do you push aside to accommodate them?

Only 5 times has a woman been #1 seed. Only 5 times has a woman won their series. Only once has a woman won the CoC. And those 11 achievements were by 11 different women. There just hasn't been a sufficiently dominant female player yet. Helen Grayson had remarkable stats for her era, as you do for yours, but there have been so many Countdown championships that surely everybody in an all time top 8 should be a winner of at least one of them?
...I was joking :/
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Fred Mumford » Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:06 pm

Fuck.

Now go and win the next CoC by a record margin and make me look even more of a tit.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by George Pryn » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:25 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
George Pryn wrote:my top 8 -

jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
andy platt
Bit weird.
If you have an issue with the way in which I have represented my "Countdown Best ever contestants" ranking, please feel free to contact my HR lady;
humanresourceslady@georgeprynrankinglimited.gov.uk

However I doubt you'll get a reply, as this means literally jack shit in the grand scheme of things.

The fact that you have even BOTHERED to reply with such an odd little rejoinder makes me question so many things:

Why is the sky blue?
Do people really care about these things?
Why can't people laugh?
Is this all that life has to offer?
Will anyone's opinion ever be positively regarded by Gavin Chipper?
Where does wind come from?
Where for art thou?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:52 am

George Pryn wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
George Pryn wrote:my top 8 -

jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
andy platt
Bit weird.
If you have an issue with the way in which I have represented my "Countdown Best ever contestants" ranking, please feel free to contact my HR lady;
humanresourceslady@georgeprynrankinglimited.gov.uk

However I doubt you'll get a reply, as this means literally jack shit in the grand scheme of things.

The fact that you have even BOTHERED to reply with such an odd little rejoinder makes me question so many things:

Why is the sky blue?
Do people really care about these things?
Why can't people laugh?
Is this all that life has to offer?
Will anyone's opinion ever be positively regarded by Gavin Chipper?
Where does wind come from?
Where for art thou?
I have to answer a selection: Yes, No, Rayleigh scattering, my arse.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Fred Mumford
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Fred Mumford » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:22 am

If Rayleigh Scattering is a relation of Harry Peters then I take back what I said earlier.

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Ian Volante
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:11 am

Fred Mumford wrote:If Rayleigh Scattering is a relation of Harry Peters then I take back what I said earlier.
Harry was on CD? Did he bring his owl with him?
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:31 am

George Pryn wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
George Pryn wrote:my top 8 -

jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
andy platt
Bit weird.
If you have an issue with the way in which I have represented my "Countdown Best ever contestants" ranking, please feel free to contact my HR lady;
humanresourceslady@georgeprynrankinglimited.gov.uk

However I doubt you'll get a reply, as this means literally jack shit in the grand scheme of things.

The fact that you have even BOTHERED to reply with such an odd little rejoinder makes me question so many things:

Why is the sky blue?
Do people really care about these things?
Why can't people laugh?
Is this all that life has to offer?
Will anyone's opinion ever be positively regarded by Gavin Chipper?
Where does wind come from?
Where for art thou?
Bit weird.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Callum Todd » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:44 pm

George Pryn wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
George Pryn wrote:my top 8 -

jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
jen steadman
andy platt
Bit weird.
If you have an issue with the way in which I have represented my "Countdown Best ever contestants" ranking, please feel free to contact my HR lady;
humanresourceslady@georgeprynrankinglimited.gov.uk

However I doubt you'll get a reply, as this means literally jack shit in the grand scheme of things.

The fact that you have even BOTHERED to reply with such an odd little rejoinder makes me question so many things:

Why is the sky blue?
Do people really care about these things?
Why can't people laugh?
Is this all that life has to offer?
Will anyone's opinion ever be positively regarded by Gavin Chipper?
Where does wind come from?
Where for art thou?
I think we all knew that George was the best thing about Apterous, now he's the best thing about c4c too :D
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Tracey Anne Mills
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Tracey Anne Mills » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:57 pm

My Top 10 is
1.Jen Steadman
2.Dylan Taylor
3.Jack Hurst
4.Edward McCullagh
5.Andy Platt
6.Jonathan Rawlinson
7.Adam Gillard
8.Jack Worsley
9.Giles Hutchings
10.Conor Travers
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Dan McColm
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dan McColm » Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:17 pm

Tracey Anne Mills wrote:My Top 10 is
1.Jen Steadman
2.Dylan Taylor
3.Jack Hurst
4.Edward McCullagh
5.Andy Platt
6.Jonathan Rawlinson
7.Adam Gillard
8.Jack Worsley
9.Giles Hutchings
10.Conor Travers
Quite a few good-looking young men in this top 10, Tracey, any reason? ;)

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Tracey Anne Mills
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Tracey Anne Mills » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:02 pm

Dan McColm wrote:
Tracey Anne Mills wrote:My Top 10 is
1.Jen Steadman
2.Dylan Taylor
3.Jack Hurst
4.Edward McCullagh
5.Andy Platt
6.Jonathan Rawlinson
7.Adam Gillard
8.Jack Worsley
9.Giles Hutchings
10.Conor Travers
Quite a few good-looking young men in this top 10, Tracey, any reason? ;)
Are you Implying anything Dan ? :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Tracey 'Old Enough To Be My Mum' Mills

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Tracey Anne Mills
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Tracey Anne Mills » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:02 pm

Tracey Anne Mills wrote:
Dan McColm wrote:
Tracey Anne Mills wrote:My Top 10 is
1.Jen Steadman
2.Dylan Taylor
3.Jack Hurst
4.Edward McCullagh
5.Andy Platt
6.Jonathan Rawlinson
7.Adam Gillard
8.Jack Worsley
9.Giles Hutchings
10.Conor Travers
Quite a few good-looking young men in this top 10, Tracey, any reason? ;)
Are you Implying anything Dan ? :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
There is somebody missing off my list !
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Countdown Team » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:26 pm

Harry Peters, no contest. :o

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Tracey Anne Mills
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Tracey Anne Mills » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:55 pm

Countdown Team wrote:Harry Peters, no contest. :o
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Gavin Chipper
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:24 pm

Obviously with the recently completed CoC, I'm expecting some activity in this thread in the near future. Avoid if you don't want spoilers, because if people start posting in here, it's pretty obvious why!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:12 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I'll go for this ten contestants thing, even if it hasn't proven popular so far. In chronological order of first appearance:

Mark Nyman
Harvey Freeman
Allan Saldanha
Don Reid
Graham Nash
Julian Fell
Paul Gallen
Conor Travers
Jack Hurst
Edward McCullagh

Some quite tough choices here. Mark Nyman is included because although he didn't win his series, he did win the CofC, and then the CofCofC against Clive Freedman before following it all up by beating Harvey Freeman in that legendary Masters game. His scores and max rate weren't that high compared to today's players, but judging by the standards of the day, he's certainly worthy of inclusion. Allan Saldanha didn't win a tournament but reaching the final of the Supreme championship with arguably the best form anyone had ever shown up to that point was probably the main factor for me. Edward McCullagh's inclusion is primarily based on his series, where he achieved more maxes than anyone else (in his octorun and the whole series), but he did also then beat Graeme Cole in the champions special, making him a mini CofC winner. Although he lost his first game in the 30th birthday tournament, it was on a tiebreak conundrum.

Nic Brown and Scott Mearns were both octochamps, series winners and CofC winners, so it might seem tough not to include them, especially when you could argue that Don Reid and Graham Nash achieved largely the same and are included. I put Graham Nash in because he was in what was probably the best CofC up to that point, and had to beat Tom Hargreaves, Julian Fell and Chris Wills to win it. Nic Brown didn't feature in the Supremes (I've heard rumours it was to protect his unbeaten record), and his scores weren't as high as some of the others anyway. According to Graeme's stats, Scott and Don both had the same number of maxes in the octoruns (although I don't think he's done the stats for xicount 9-rounders) and it's very tough to split them, but I'm actually going to give it to Don based on the tiebreak that his only defeat was on a tiebreak. So he never lost in a "full game" (like Edward McCullagh).
This was my last top ten greatest player list. Looking at it now, some of those players are in a far more fragile position than others. Edward McCullagh was on the list because he had the highest maxes of any xicount at the time (which might actually still be the case), but he was only marginally ahead of Julian Fell anyway, and others have had higher max rates and not won a series, or done it in a champions' tournament. Now that he's longer ago, I don't feel the need to include him so much. Also, Don Reid and Graham Nash are likely to fall away with other new great players. The ones likely to stay are those who took the game to new levels or won more than anyone else.

Also, I'm actually inclined to include Helen Grayson now. She didn't win anything (but neither did Allan Saldanha), but it was really her rather than Harvery Freeman who upped the game in terms of max rates. She arguably took it to a new level and was perhaps unlucky not to win her series or be invited (or did she decline?) to a CoC.

And what of the players since the 30th birthday championship? Well, I think I probably would include Dylan Taylor now after that performance, but I don't think any of the others have done enough for inclusion in the top 10 ever. So in chronological order:

1. Helen Grayson
2. Mark Nyman
3. Harvey Freeman
4. Allan Saldanha
5. Graham Nash
6. Julian Fell
7. Paul Gallen
8. Conor Travers
9. Jack Hurst
10. Dylan Taylor

I know I haven't put them in order of greatness, but it would be too arbitrary. But Conor would be top definitely and probably Harvey Freeman second.

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L'oisleatch McGraw
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:55 am

Fred Mumford wrote:So the best 5 ever in the show's 31 year history don't include anybody that Richard Whiteley would ever have heard of? Absurd!
Is it though?
It's like the way the Williams sisters raised the bar in women's tennis... Apterous has changed the landscape of Countdown forever, and though there may have been pioneers and prodigies in the past, if you throw any of Taylor, Hutchings, McColm etc into a time machine to compete against Julian Fell et al back at the peak of their powers... who wins that game?

The idea of spending hours on end on Apterous, honing every aspect of the game, was unimaginable back in the 80's.
When that hardcore training is combined with natural talent... BOOM! ...it creates the sort of uber-beast that the last millennium never saw.

(I wonder would Richard agree?)
"Si my une Land, uvloth cyay uvloth cyar. Lay uv menan Land De Lamphs, ate lay saihlle uv cohme an nar..."

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Fred Mumford » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:00 pm

I would have needed that time machine to consider McColm an all time great when I wrote it.

I was talking more about talent levels, of course the modern player can improve their game to a point way beyond what the early Countdown champs could achieve. But that's a bit like saying Nico Rosberg is better than Jackie Stewart because his lap times are better.

In Julian Fell's case weren't his max rates at elite apterite levels even though he didn't have Apterous? So if anything he is arguably the best of the lot.

Gev's top 10 posted just above is in pretty close agreement with what mine would be. Put the top apterites in a De Lorean headed to the late 1980s and of course they would whup Harvey Freeman et al (whoever Al is, that's twice he's got a mention now), but that completely misses the point.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:35 am

Fred Mumford wrote:I was talking more about talent levels, of course the modern player can improve their game to a point way beyond what the early Countdown champs could achieve. But that's a bit like saying Nico Rosberg is better than Jackie Stewart because his lap times are better.

In Julian Fell's case weren't his max rates at elite apterite levels even though he didn't have Apterous? So if anything he is arguably the best of the lot.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:56 am

Nah, I couldn't agree with a top ten that contains just 2 or 3 players from Countdown's golden era. (i.e. from approx S58-S73) ;)

For me I would use a very simple mathematical formula as a baseline for calculating 'greatness' in the game.
i.e. Percentage maximums during their original run. That's it.

Make a list of who's best based purely on that, and then tweak it slightly to take into account other less quantifiable factors such as:-
~Performance in the series finals.
~Performance in any other subsequent CD show (coc, 30b, one off, etc).
~Quality of opponents.
~Difficulty of maximums available.
~Amount of valid words available in the dictionary at that time.
~Availability of Apterous, or the lack thereof.

Ok, so I do admit that due -especially- to a vastly expanded dictionary and the continued existence of Apterous... today's players have things a lot better than those from the past... high achievement is now easier to come by.
I still would consider it very fair to include some of the modern greats in any top 10 list. In fact I'd have at least 5/10 players from the golden era, likely more.
"Si my une Land, uvloth cyay uvloth cyar. Lay uv menan Land De Lamphs, ate lay saihlle uv cohme an nar..."

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