St Albans employee becomes Countdown champ

A ST ALBANS worker has proved he has a way with words after being crowned an ‘Octochamp’ on Channel 4 quiz show Countdown.

Tom Barnes, who works as a sports trader for spread betting firm Spreadex which is based in the city, won the maximum-allowed eight games in a row on the popular afternoon programme.

The 27 year old produced a string of nine letter words, scored more than 100 points on four occasions and also posted the show’s record winning margin – a 119-7 success.

He will now take on Mary Adie in the quarter-finals on Monday (May 30) as he makes a bid to become overall series champion.

Tom, who lives in West Hampstead, said: “I’m really pleased with my performance. I thought I had a chance to do quite well, but becoming an Octochamp has surpassed all my expectations.

“The whole experience has been fantastic, especially the response from my family, friends and colleagues.

“The Countdown team are very friendly and welcoming, and I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone thinking of applying.”

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Tom could even find himself facing a former Spreadex work colleague during his bid to become champion. Ned Pendleton, who also worked as a sports trader in the same Grosvenor Road office until late last year, is among the other quarter-finalists.