An autistic genius who won Countdown’s Champion of Champions final is still jobless three years after leaving school.
Dylan Taylor, 19, from Malpas , proved his brilliance with words and numbers when he won the brain-teasing competition which included him solving a fiendish final conundrum in around a second.
Dylan, who instantly spotted that ‘Instestacy’ was an anagram of ‘Nicetasty’ to clinch the title, also holds the record for the highest accumulated score over a series of 974 points, which he achieved as a 17-year-old in August 2013.
While doing the show first time around, his good looks even caught the eye of Countdown co-presenter Rachel Riley who called him “Countdown’s answer to One Direction”.
But Dylan’s attempts to find work have proved less successful, a fact his father Simon puts down to his mild autism.
Since leaving Bishop Heber High School at 16 and doing a short-lived college course, Dylan has never had a lasting full-time job.
Dad Simon said: “I think a lot of it is down to a lack of self-confidence. It seems ironic that he is considered by some to be a genius but he can’t get a job.
“I’m sure if he was put in the right environment he would shine and we’re still hoping someone will come forward to help. He’s willing to give anything a go.”
Despite his academic talents, Dylan does not want to study at university, largely due to the social pressures involved and sometimes says all he wants to do is be a litter picker.
Simon added: “He spends a lot of his time in his bedroom wondering what to do with his life which is very frustrating.
“We think he could work at GCHQ or something like that. There must be something out there that he would really excel at. We’ve even thought of him doing Countdown-style competitions at old people’s homes where he could be the adjudicator.”
Simon, 49, a carer for vulnerable teenagers, met Dylan’s mother Maritza, a 46-year-old Zumba fitness instructor, in Honduras while Simon was travelling.
Dylan and his brother Damon, 17, an apprentice electrician, moved back to the UK in 1998 when Hurricane Mitch devastated the country, killing more than 11,000 people.