A Manx uni student has put the island back on the game show map this week after a winning appearance on Channel 4’s Countdown.

Jonathan Williams, 21, from Port St Mary, appeared on the show on Tuesday afternoon, winning 64-58 despite a tense finish on the conundrum.

Jonathan with his winner’s Teapot

Talking to Gef, Jonathan, who is studying Accountancy and Finance at the University of Huddersfield, said Countdown is a ‘show that I’ve watched from an early age’. 

He added: ‘I found it very easy to play along with as you don’t really need any general knowledge like other quiz shows. I applied for it over the summer last year and kinda forgot about it until a few months later when I got a phone call asking for me to audition for them and as it’s such a good show I thought why not?’


While you can revise for The Chase or practice your coughing for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? How do you revise for Countdown? Well Jonathan said he mostly focused on practicing by watching old episodes and downloading the Countdown app.

Not Like Watching at Home

If we’re honest, we’ve all sat at home safe in the knowledge that we are experts in whatever it is we’re watching and would definitely be better than those doing it on TV, from gamesshows to the Olympics, we all believe we could do better.

But Jonathan said being in the studio is ‘a lot harder’ than sitting on the couch. 

He said: ‘After watching the first episode back, there were a couple of occasions when I did better than I expected and I think having a giant clock playing music behind me might have had something to do with that!


However Jonathan said he just enjoyed the experience, ‘just being there and doing the game for real felt a bit surreal but I loved every moment of it,’ he said.

Going on any gameshow must be hard, but with Countdown you’re literally there with some of the most familiar faces on TV, Nick Hewer, Susie Dent and Rachel Riley.

Jonathan said: ‘The most surreal part by far though was getting to meet Nick and co. In fact Nick played a big part in helping me to settle in as we have a little chat before we start filming just about things we might talk about when he introduces me. Susie and Rachel are great too, very friendly. It was great meeting them all.’

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