A Ramsgate mum with a head for words and numbers has become an Octochamp on Channel 4 series Countdown.
Corrina Attwood had a run of eight wins during last month and this month on the British institution game show.
The mum to two-and-a-half-year-old son Oscar James aced the word and number rounds to see off her opponents and be in with a good chance of securing her place in the final.
The former microbiology senior assistant healthcare scientist at the William Harvey Hospital chalked up her highest score of 118 in Game 6 -where she also got all four number games correct – succeeded in solving three of the eight conundrums – profusely, prettiest and fanciable – and triumphed with several eight letter words – capstone, hardiest, solidest, abutters and corniest.
The former Clarendon student, who has just completed a STEM (science, technology, engineering and Mathematics) degree via the Open University, was finally persuaded to take part in the show after friends suggested she should give it a go.
Corrina, 39, said: “I have watched the programme for years and love it. I would definitely recommend that anyone considering it does apply because I had a lot of fun throughout the filming process and got to meet Paul Sinha and John Inverdale, the dictionary corner guests, as well as, of course, the Countdown team.
“I watch a lot of quiz shows but Countdown is the one I most identify with. I also like Sodoku.
“There are currently three octochamps and I am in third position so getting to the finals depends how many octochamps there are. If there are eight or less we all go through, if there are more then it will be the top eight.”
Two contestants battle it out in each episode across three disciplines – letters rounds, where they attempt to make the longest word possible from nine randomly chosen letters; four numbers rounds, and the conundrum, a buzzer round in which the contestants compete to solve a nine-letter anagram.
The finals are decided in knockout format and this year will be screened on Channel 4 in December.
The all-time record score is 152 held by Elliott Mellor.
Show champs scoop the Countdown winner’s teapot, which is custom-made. The prize for the series winner is a leather-bound copy of the twenty-volume Oxford English Dictionary, worth £4,000.
Richard Whiteley was the first man to appear on screen on Countdown.
The very first letters game produced this selection of consonants and vowels – T, N, E, M, A, R, H, I, B. The two contestants came up with two seven-letter words, “raiment” and “minaret”
The first show was broadcast on 2 November 1982 and there have been 80 series overall including Masters, celebrity and regular versions.