8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown is a programme of special episodes that first began on 2 January 2012 and has aired during irregular times of the year ever since.
The show was originally shown as part of a "Mash-Up" series celebrating Channel 4's 30th birthday in 2012. The show is a fusion of the shows, Countdown and 8 out of 10 Cats. It has so far had 136 episodes broadcast as of 2021, and following the success of the first two episodes, eight episodes were commissioned by Channel 4 in June 2013, starting off with 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Series 1.
The show consists of some permanent people, such as host Jimmy Carr, lexicographer Susie Dent, arithmetician Rachel Riley as well as two male models, one of who is called Fabio and has been a prominent fixture. Others, such as Jon Richardson and Sean Lock, the two permanent team captains, make regular appearances from time to time.
The rules are based on those of Countdown, with exceptions, and usually consist of seven to eight rounds as most of the show consists of comedic and anecdotal acts and runs for 45 minutes as opposed to the former where it runs for 35 minutes. The scores for each round can deviate from the usual maximum for various reasons as well, for example a numbers round may be worth 20 points instead of 10 and a Conundrum may be worth whatever the difference the opponent team needs to beat their opponents instead of the usual 10 (or in rare cases, to beat a record on the show).
The show originally gave away Teapots for the players on the winning team, however since 2015 they have deviated from that and have started to give away props with the abbreviation "The Countdown" in front of whatever the team will win, with the two male models introducing it before Round 1.
Overall, the programme has been a success over the years and has continued ever since, with the 20th series recently completed airing. Due to extreme budget cuts (Channel 4, with no studio arm, is at the mercy of the advertising industry, which collapsed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic), no new episodes were able to be recorded until December 2020.