Brittain
Richard Brittain is an author and the 55th winner of Channel 4's CountdownRichardBrittain.wordpress.com

Countdown champion Richard Brittain has been criticised on social media today for a blog post he wrote about stalking a woman.

In the post, entitled The Benevolent Stalker, Brittain describes plaguing a former university classmate with love letters and gifts and following her to Glasgow, before police intervened and told him to cease contact.

He describes inviting the woman in question onto his BBC University Challenge team and then using the personal information she provided in her entry form, including her address and her Facebook profile, to stalk her.

"Determined to impress her and get our team onto TV, I intensively revised my general knowledge. I also frequented the student bar where she worked. I figured out what hours she did each day and went at those times", the blog reads.

The winner of the 55th series of Countdown goes on to say how she told him he was "freaking [her] out", and that she eventually left the team (who failed their University Challenge audition) when Brittain declared his "infatuation".

Over the next few weeks, when it became clear that I had no chance with her, my behaviour became increasingly erratic. I would drink 2 bottles of wine and go into a club, climb over the fence after being kicked out, and get into fights. I got banned from my SU, which meant that I could no longer go to the bar where she worked.

Brittain
Brittain won Countdown in 2006Channel 4

"Occasionally, I passed her on the street. Once, I saw her in the library, and she smiled at me. She was prolific on Twitter and it often felt like her tweets were directed at me.

"I wrote love letters to her. I still had her address from the forms that she filled out for University Challenge. I felt a bit guilty using that information, but I wasn't turning up at her door or anything. I sent a few love letters through the post, rose-themed cards containing poetry and drawings. I also left messages on her phone.

His next move was to follow the woman to Glasgow, where she worked, under the pretence of publicising his novel, The World Rose. Brittain says he planned to invite her to together fake their own kidnap so they could "become famous".

"We would go into the hills and camp out for a few days while the nation searched. I had brought the necessary supplies", he recounts.

The main character in The World Rose, Ella, is based on the object of his infatuation, Brittain reveals. The World Rose is a fantasy romance novel "set in a semi-fictional ancient world". It is available for sale on Amazon and has received only negative reviews.

Brittain concludes his musings by making a case for "benevolent stalking" as opposed to "malevolent stalking", claiming that "the latter is intended to cause harm or induce fear, but the former is purely an expression of affection."

A writer from Jezebel first drew attention to Brittain's blog on Tuesday morning, branding the man a "complete and utter creepy stalker" and his account of the situation "chilling".

Twitter users have echoed these sentiments, with political commentator Owen Jones saying the blog post is "horrifying".