The 2016 Bananagrams Challenge finalists revealed

Twelve UK school children are heading to the live Grand Final of the Bananagrams Challenge in London at the end of this month, where they’ll compete to be crowned ‘Top Banana’.

Having beaten almost 25,000 other primary school kids to win a place in the live Grand Final, they’ve had to triumph over classmates in the first stage of the free-to-enter national tournament, and then demonstrate their impressive word skills in the online rounds.

The complete list of finalists is:

  • Anna Bauss, 9, Rhodes Avenue Primary School, London
  • Olivia Howarth, 11, Blisworth Primary School, Northampton
  • Timmy Lee, 11, Hampton Hill Junior School, Middlesex
  • Amy Oldfield, 11, Prince’s Mead School, Winchester
  • Tobias Kirk, 10, Witham St Hughs Academy, Lincoln
  • Luke Nicholls, 11, Frisby CE Primary School, Melton Mowbray, Leics
  • Archie Ross, 10, Farleigh School, Andover
  • Usmaan Ramzan, 11, Brudenell Primary School, Leeds
  • Matthew Grimshaw, 11, Rhosddu Primary School, Wrexham
  • Hannah Loftus, 11, Sileby Redlands Primary School, Sileby, Leics
  • Taylor Murphy, 11, Whipton Barton Junior School, Exeter
  • Solomon Kendrick, 10, Aldrington CE Primary School, Hove

Timmy, Olivia and Amy were also finalists at the first ever Challenge last year, while Usmaan was in the audience last year, cheering on his older brother who made it to the Grand Final.

The finalists will spend the day at the Magic Circle in London on Saturday, April 30th. They’ll compete against each other in rounds of Bananagrams before the overall winner is presented with a specially-designed trophy and £1,000 for their school by Rena Nathanson, inventor of the game.

“I’m delighted that the Challenge has proved so popular and I’m really excited about meeting the 12 finalists on April 30th," said Rena Nathanson, Bananagrams’ CEO.

“The Bananagrams Challenge is the result of years of hard work and is something my father and I talked about when we first invented the game back in 2006. Part of the reason Bananagrams was born was out of a desire to help kids play with words, which ultimately enhances their appreciation of language and their grasp of spelling and literacy. But more than that, the game is about having fun – and there’s going to be a lot of that at the Grand Final."

The Challenge has also just run in the United States, with the first Top Banana being crowned at the start of April.

Visit for further information about The Bananagrams Challenge. Schools interested in taking part in the 2017 Challenge can also now register via the website.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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