Meet the FOCAL team…
JEFF CLAYTON: Chair; co-organiser of events in Bristol, Bournemouth and Birmingham.
Jeff is the Chair of FOCAL and lives in Essex with his wife and young son. A fluent French speaker, he appeared on the parent version of Countdown, Des Chiffres et Des Lettres back in 2014 and won one show. Click here to watch a short excerpt!
More recently, Jeff reached the semi-finals of Series 76 of Countdown in mid-2017. Having been organising tournaments since 2008, Jeff was among the co-founders of FOCAL in 2015 and is keen to develop the growing circuit of events in the UK and Ireland.
CHRIS MARSHALL: Treasurer.
Chris oversees FOCAL’s accounts and works with Jeff on the budget and rolling forecast. He lives in West Yorkshire and is an ACCA qualified accountant. Chris appeared on Countdown during Series 67 in 2012 and reached the quarter-finals.
Likes: Numbers, meat, chocolate.
Dislikes: Liars, Renegade Master, most green foods.
Favourite word: I’n’t (Northspeak for ‘isn’t’).
ZARTE SIEMPRE: Resident stats man and Milton Keynes organiser.
Likes: Cheese, Birmingham City FC, pop punk music.
Dislikes: Jamie Oliver, ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon.
Pets: 3 dogs – Reggie, Sheba and Pie.
Favourite word: Quinquangle.
JEN STEADMAN: PR & Marketing Officer and London organiser.
Likes: Tonbridge Angels FC, travelling around Europe, ‘It Wasn’t Me’ by Shaggy.
Dislikes: Ice-skating, meringues, cryptic things.
Pets: 2 utterly delightful gerbils, Smudge and Spice (who she never talks about or annoys friends with pictures of).
Favourite word: Flamboyant.
MATTY ARTELL: Manchester co-organiser in 2017.
Likes: Games, drums, films.
Dislikes: “Literally everything.”
Pets: A pet skull called Murray. (…please don’t be put off coming to Manchester because one of the organisers is a freak.)
Favourite word: Cretinous.
JACK WORSLEY: Manchester co-organiser and 2016’s FOCAL champion.
Likes: Football, The Carpenters, Indian food.
Dislikes: Birds, self-checkout, reality TV.
Pets: 1 cat called Sooty.
Favourite word: Buckminsterfullerene.
MIKE BROWN: Cambridge organiser and owner of The Countdown Page.
Likes: Marmite, Douglas Adams novels, riding on old buses.
Dislikes: People who push in, really noisy places.
Pets: None these days, but feeds the birds in the garden (and he loves cats!).
Favourite word: Yclept.
EOIN JACKSON: Waterford organiser.
Likes: Eurovision, YouTube, cups of tea.
Dislikes: Cucumber, insurance, the sound of Styrofoam.
Pets: 2 dogs, Elvy and Lady, and 2 cats, Ratlip and Normy.
Favourite word: Shellakybooky.
JAMES ROBINSON: Huddersfield organiser.
Likes: Huddersfield Town FC, quizzes, darts.
Dislikes: Leeds United fans, cyclists, scripted reality TV shows.
Pets: 1 chocolate Labrador, Murphy.
Favourite word: Floccinaucinihilipilification.