Top Mark for Countdown final winner from Dublin
A Dubliner has been crowned the first Irish champion of the Channel 4 Countdown show.
Bristol-based Mark Murray (36) lifted the Richard Whiteley Memorial Trophy yesterday after a scintillating grand final against Londoner Andy Naylor.
Dog lover Mark, who owns four border terriers, scored an impressive 105 points in the finnal with words such as 'squalor', 'notarise' and the impressive eight-lettered 'solacing'.
He got off to a blistering start when he opened the show with the nine-letter word 'elongates'.
"It was a great contestant I was up against as well so it's amazing," said an delighted Mark, who joked that he was afraid to drop the silver cup presented to him by the programme's maths favourite, Rachel Riley.
The Blanchardstown whizz became the first Countdown winner from the Republic of Ireland. The competition has had two previous winners from the North.
In the 1980s, Dubliner Tim Morrissey took part in the show at the age of 12. He returned to the show years later to win the 'Champion of Champions' Countdown.