‘Absolutely phenomenal’ student breaks records

A university student has broken two records on Channel 4’s quiz programme Countdown.

Tom Stevenson, 21, followed up a record score of 154 points by being the first person to progress without losing a round on the show.

The University of Worcester student, of Burford, Shropshire, said he wanted to “prove something” after getting three Ds in his A-levels.

Show host Colin Murray, said it was an “absolutely phenomenal” performance.

He broke the record with the final Countdown Conundrum, despite being told by Murray the significance of the moment.

The student cracked the anagram UNLETOVER in just three seconds – read on to discover the solution.

He is now through to the final at the end of the year.

Overcoming agoraphobia
Despite dealing with that pressure, Mr Stevenson said he often suffered from anxiety in pressured situations, describing his A-level results as feeling like “the end of the world”.

He said he thought he had been “hard done by” in those results and wanted to show he was “more than them”.

Mr Stevenson started watching Countdown when he was at school, but said he really got into watching it regularly because of his agoraphobia, which he said had become less of a problem over time.

He said: “I could hardly leave the house and watching Countdown helped me to pass the time.”

It also helped him develop strategies, he said, and when he got his chance, he went into the studio prepared.

“I did a bit of practice, mainly because I wanted to avoid being trounced by some sort of 16-year-old whiz-kid who swallowed a dictionary.”

As well as beating the previous high score of 152 points, he became only the fourth contestant to score more than 1,000 points across a series of episodes and went through 120 rounds without a single loss.

Mr Murray joked that if he wins the end of season finals without dropping a round, “we should just cancel the show, because that would be it”.

Mr Stevenson said he was aware of the record of 152 points in a round, but was unaware whether his record 154 points, which included three, maximum, nine-letter words, still stood.

“I just went with the flow”, he said.