Brit beats former Countdown producer to become new World Scrabble Champion

The World Scrabble Championship was held in Lille, France Credit: PA

A British word wizard has been crowned the new world Scrabble champion - beating a former Countdown producer to claim the title.

The all-British final, held at the Grand Palais in Lille, France, saw London's Brett Smitherham take on the Channel 4's show's Mark Nyman, 49, from Knutsford in Cheshire.

The winning word was Braconoid - a parasitic wasp - which scored Mr Smitherham an impressive 176 points, before scooping an additional five points when his opponent launched a failed challenge against it.

Speaking after the win, the 37-year-old victor said Mr Nyman was a "very impressive opponent", and said he had been one of his "Scrabble idols" while growing up.

Brett Smitherham won with the word 'Braconoid'. Credit: PA

Mr Smitherham, whose win carries a prize of 7,000 euro, said he had spent an hour or two every day revising words and playing games against the computer ahead of the contest.

Other words played in the final round included:

  • Periagua - a dugout canoe used by American Indians, scoring 76 points

  • Variedly - meaning in a varied manner, scoring 95 points

  • Sundri - an East Indian tree, scoring 28 points

  • Gynaecia - plural of the word meaning the pistil of a flower, scoring 95 points