A third-year university student has become the first person ever to win all eight of his heat rounds on Countdown after he started watching the show while stuck in doors and battling agoraphobia.
Tom Stevenson, 21, from Burford, Shropshire, is currently studying English Literature and Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wolverhampton.
Last week Mr Stevenson made history on the show after achieving the highest ever score of 154 last week and he also set a record after solving the final riddle in just three seconds.
He has collected 1,000 points across his eight appearances so far, stunning Rachel Riley, Susie Dent and host Colin Murray in the process.
Mr. Murray said on the show: ‘A thousand points exactly and the first contestant ever not to lose a single round – Tom Stevenson, absolutely sensational,’ said Murray. ‘And the coolest customer through and through, amazing.’
Sir. Stevenson, of Burford, Shropshire, told The times: ‘I’m really shocked but I’ve had a great time and thanks to the crew on and off camera. It’s all been fantastic. I can highly recommend it.’
He added on Twitter: ‘I have to lay in a dark room after all this now!’
Famous Countdown word expert Susie Dent tweeted that this week had been ‘one of the most memorable weeks of my thirty years on Countdown.’
Tom Stevenson, 21, solved the final Countdown riddle in just three seconds after his eighth appearance on the show
Tom Stevenson said he was inspired to appear on the show because he didn’t want his A-level results, three D grades, to ‘define him’
In a record-breaking episode, which was filmed in August but aired at 2.10pm on Thursday saw Mr Stevenson beat opponent Lauren Bowley 154 to 28
Tom Stevenson is hoping to appear on Countdown and is considering signing up for University Challenge
The young prodigy started watching Countdown after finishing his GCSEs after he was left housebound by agoraphobia, which often manifests as an extreme fear of leaving home.
He received three Ds in his A-levels and has previously said he joined the show to ‘prove to myself that I shouldn’t let grades define my ability’.
Asked online where he is going after his success on the show, he told his Twitter followers he was ‘hopeful’ to appear on Pointless and is considering joining Worcester’s first ever University Challenge team.
He hopes to become an English teacher after completing his degree this year.
Stevenson joked that he is ‘glad my face is off the telly for a few months’ after the broadcast of his eighth win, which was filmed in August.
He quickly gained fans online after his dominant performances and honesty about his mental health issues.
The 21-year-old from Burford, Shropshire delighted the Channel 4 show’s hosts Colin Murray (pictured), Rachel Riley and Susie Dent with her impressive performance
Maths whiz Rachel Riley applauds Stevenson’s performance after he easily solved a number problem
Stevenson said he only became interested in the show after studying for his GCSEs after being left housebound by agoraphobia
After his latest appearance on the show yesterday, one Twitter user said: ‘Best thing about Covid is I get to watch Countdown every day! What a show! Tom Stevenson is a legend!’
Another wrote: ‘Wonderful to see Tom Stephenson break the 1000 point record. Congratulations!’
Another added: ‘I was on the edge of my seat! Congratulations to Tom.’
Meanwhile, potential contestants joked that they could finally apply to go on the show in the safe knowledge that Mr Stevenson would not appear in a future series.
One said: ‘I’m going to miss Tom. Possibly my favorite contestant ever, but can now happily apply to stay knowing he won’t be there!’
He is next to film one of the series’ quarter-finals on October 18.
Should he progress, the semi-final and final will both be recorded on 19 October.
He can also appear in the Champion of Champions series scheduled for 2023 if he wins this year’s competition.