Sunday 25 September 2016

Ireland's first ever Countdown champion returns to the show this afternoon

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 13/01/2016 | 08:17

Mark Murray appearing on Countdown in 2014
Credit: Mark Murray
Mark Murray appearing on Countdown in 2014 Credit: Mark Murray

Ireland's first ever Coundown champion, who won the coveted title in 2014, is returning to the television show this afternoon on behalf of an Irish suicide prevention charity.

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Mark Murray (37), from Blanchardstown, will don a green t-shirt and represent Console, a charity close to his heart.

"Console have provided counselling and great support to my family at home following the death of my uncle by suicide last year.

"Back in 2014 I got a lot of publicity as the first Irish Countdown winner so this time I want to do something useful with the platform.

"Because of all the help Console have given my cousins I decided to fundraising for them.

"I was close to my uncle who suffered from depression, he was a great supporter of mine and he followed my progress on Countdown so it seems appropriate somehow," Mark said.

He will appear on the popular afternoon TV show as part of a 'Champions of Champions' knock-out final.

Mark has to date raised €800 on his charity fundraising page.

In the knockout competition to find the Countdown Ultimate Supreme Champion, he will compete against Antoinette Ryan who hails from Tipperary.

"I'm up against some tough competition and I know some of my opponents have been busy studying the dictionary but that's not me.

"This time I wanted to have a bit of fun and to do something positive for charity.

"I am happy with how I did on the show and I'm even happier to be raising money for a really worthwhile cause," he said.

Meanwhile Console CEO, Paul Kelly, is looking forward to watching Countdown this afternoon.

"Our fingers are tightly crossed and we're asking people to support Console through Mark's charity page.

"He has also given us his tee-shirt which has been signed by the Countdown team including Gloria Honeyford to auction at a future date," Paul said.

The letters and numbers quiz show has been on air since 1983.

You can watch Mark on Countdown this afternoon (Jan 13) at 3.10pm on Channel 4.

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