Shropshire Star

Shropshire's Countdown champion goes back to his old school

A former Shropshire schoolboy who went on to become a champion on the quiz show Countdown has visited his old school to offer the secrets of his success to pupils.

Countdown champion, Tom Stevenson, revisits his former school, The Lacon Childe School in Cleobury Mortimer

Tom Stevenson, who attended Lacon Childe School in Cleobury Mortimer, is one of the Channel 4 show's "octochamps" having won all eight of his heat games when he appeared last year before he went on to become the quiz's 86th series champion.

The 21-year-old, who is now a student at the University of Worcester where he studies Media, Culture and English Literature, also made history by being the first series winner on the programme to never lose a round in his matches.

Tom returned to his old school on Friday, February 3, where he challenged Lacon Childe pupils to several letter and number rounds from the hit TV show.

Matt Stinson, careers lead at the school, said: "When he appeared on Countdown last year we all followed his success eagerly so I reached out to Tom to invite him back to the school.

"As a school it makes us all very proud to hear success stories like Tom's, so we had to take the opportunity for him to come and our students."

Tom Stevenson on Countdown

Tom not only challenged pupils to several Countdown games during his visit, all of which he won, but he also talked to the pupils about his battles with anxiety.

He said: "I told them about the nerves I experienced, especially during exams, and how I learned to overcome them through meditation.

"I still suffer from anxiety but it does not effect me as much, and while I was nervous during the run up to Countdown, I was fine once the show started and I started talking to people on set."

He added that he first applied to be on the hit Channel 4 show when he was just 16, but is glad he didn't get selected until last year.

"I wasn't as good back then so I may not have done as well as I did," he admitted.

Tom Stevenson on Countdown

Tom, who lives in Burford, said he even felt nervous walking back through the old school gates once again.

"I did feel a little anxious about it and a lot of memories came flooding back but it was great to see some of my old teachers and see how the school had changed," he said.

Tom, who is in his final year of university, says he is thinking of becoming an English teacher after he graduates.

Emma Hennessy, Tom's former English teacher, said he would be "a real asset to the profession".

She added: "Tom was always a student with an impressive vocabulary and obviously excellent at spelling. He was a delightful student to teach and I am in awe of his talent.

"Tom is an inspiration to our students. An example of what resilience and applying yourself to a challenge can do.

"They [the pupils] have all enjoyed their day with him immensely and he seems to have got them hooked on the Countdown game - which is great for developing their numeracy and literacy skills.