Sunderland quiz king Dave targets Brain of Britain after winning eight-in-a-row on TV’s Countdown

Dave Taylor, from Sunderland, who is Countdown 'octochamp'.
Dave Taylor, from Sunderland, who is Countdown 'octochamp'.
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KING of the conundrum Dave Taylor is fast becoming the UK’s number one quiz show champ.

Dave, from Barnes, is basking in the glory of being named “Octochamp” after winning eight successive episodes of the popular Channel 4 show Countdown.

The 60-year-old has now secured himself a place in the quarter finals of the teatime programme.

Dave applied to be on the show after years of watching at home and playing along.

The retired transport manager for Sunderland City Council said: “I used to record it and watch it, fast-forwarding the boring bits.

“With me just retiring, I thought I would give it a go.

“I emailed them and did a telephone interview and the producer called me back a bit after my interview and told me I was in.

“It was a great experience,” added Dave. “Getting two nine-letter words was probably the highlight but there was nobody more surprised to win eight shows.”

Dave found himself up against stiff competition in the quarter finals, which will be aired on December 12.

Dave said: “I’ve got a fairly good vocabulary and my arithmetic is pretty good but some of the young people in the competition, they are what I would call professionals, although they don’t get paid. They play Countdown on their computer the way some people play video games.

“There were three, including myself, who I would say were amateurs and just doing it for a laugh.”

Dave came away with a Countdown teapot, a hamper of goodies and a quarter finalist trophy.

Hearing his Mackem twang on the TV was another perk of being on TV.

Dave said: “Watching it back you realise what a Sunderland accent you have.

“The guest judge for the finals was John Culshaw, the impressionist.

“He’s great at doing accents and he could not resist impersonating my accent.”

Countdown was not Dave’s first taste of the TV world.

He appeared in Eggheads in 2004 and Mastermind in 2009 and now has plans to continue his TV career.

Dave said: “I want to apply to go on Brain of Britain, I’ve been on in the past so I have to wait to re-apply. I would like to get a team together for Only Connect as well – it’s just finding another two people who are up for it.”

Twitter: @sunechohannah