8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Series 12, Episode 1
Regular Sean Lock and Acting Team Captain Noel Fielding were the contestants, along with Stephen Mangan and Fay Ripley who were their teammates respectively, while Jimmy Carr reprised his role as the host.
During the Introduction, Series 70 Grand Champion Mark Murray was introduced as Sean's "nephew" by the name of "Donny" which the latter claimed he was "adopted" and played in Rounds 1, 2 and the Conundrum. He stayed out from the rest of the rounds as Jimmy and Noel accused him of cheating by assisting Sean. His true identity was only revealed just before the Conundrum.
Just before Round 5, a bonus acting round took place. Noel and Fay acted out a scene from Twilight (2008) while Stephen and Sean acted out a scene from Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Jimmy felt that Noel and Fay were the better team that acted, thus 22 points were awarded to their team. This would prove helpful, as without the bonus round, Noel's team would have finished the show without scoring a single point.
Interesting and notable moments from the episode are listed below:
1) During the Introduction, Fay prepared a cake using basic ingredients in front of the audience and baked it in a microwave. Just before Round 3, the cake was ready and she presented a slice to Jimmy.
2) In Round 3, the clock music stopped after Jimmy put on a virtual reality headset and used it at about the 10 second mark. However, the clock needle still continued to function as per normal.
3) In Round 4, Noel tried to cheat by peaking at Stephen's solution and assist Fay; although it was futile, Sean and Stephen were not aware of Noel's act. Also, after Rachel initially could not get the solution, Sean tried to call Mark to assist her but as he was assumed to be sitting backstage, he did not show up.
4) In Round 5, Sean, who was fuming after Jimmy made fun of his "nephew" and losing the bonus round, impatiently asked for a "Vowel, Consonant, Vowel, Consonant, Vowel, Vowel, Vowel, Consonant" in that sequence although he missed out one letter. Rachel followed his order but when she arranged it, the first four letters spelt out the rude word ANUS which left the whole audience roaring with laughter. The next three letters spelt out the word AND which caused a further blunder.
5) During the 30 seconds in Round 6, Jimmy was seen inflating balloons. Upon closer observation, these were the same balloons used as props for the 2016 End-Of-Year Special broadcast half a month earlier, indicating that this episode was filmed right before the preceding episode in sequence.
6) Before the Conundrum, as Noel and Fay complained that it would be unfair that Mark was acting as an extra in Sean's team, they invited Rachel which Noel termed his "niece" to join in. However, they were no match for the Countdown Champion who figured it out before everyone else.
NOTE: In this version, both players' declarations were allowed, although points were only awarded for the best answer. Sean and Mark's answers are all assumed to be the same as the latter whispered the solutions to the former and hence, are merged together as shown below.
|Rnd||Selection||Stephen, Mark & Sean||Score||Noel & Fay||Others||Max.|
|7 – 0||BEATEN
|AMBIENT, BETAINE*, EMPTAIN*, NAPTIME*, PEAIMEN*, PEINETA*, PEMBINA*||7|
|2||75 50 8 6 5 3 → 534||539
(75 − 5 + 3) × 8 − 50
|17 – 0||—
|TTT||NEONPISS||My grandma gets it once a week.||PENSIONS|
|Rnd||Selection||Sean Lock||Score||Noel Fielding||Others||Max.|
|3||OUOEZLIPR||PROLE||22 – 0||POOR||LOOPIER||24|
|Rnd||Selection||Stephen Mangan||Score||Fay Ripley||Others||Max.|
|4||50 100 9 1 9 3 → 727||—||22 – 0||724 ☓||
RR: 727 = (9 − 1) × 50 + (100 + 9) × 3
|TTT||ILOVESAC||And I'm not afraid to say it.||VOCALISE|
|Rnd||Selection||Stephen & Sean||Score||Noel & Fay||Others||Max.|
|28 – 22||SANDS
|TTT||BUTTRISE||I'm incredibly moved.||TRIBUTES|
|35 – 22||GREAT
|ALIGOTE*, GOATIER*, LEGATOR, RIGOLET*||70|
|Rnd||Selection||Stephen, Mark & Sean||Score||Noel, Fay & Rachel||Others||Max.|
|45 – 22||80|