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Episode Cats51

From Countdown

Episode Cats51, billed as Christmas Special 2015 was a special episode broadcast on 8 December 2015, as part of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Series 7. To date, this is the earliest time that the annual Christmas Special has aired.

8 Out of 10 Cats regulars Sean Lock and Jon Richardson were the contestants, along with Johnny Vegas and Katherine Ryan who were their teammates, while Jimmy Carr reprised his role as the host.

The match saw Sean Lock, with the assistance of Johnny Vegas, winning by 34 – 33 in an 7-rounder, thanks to the conundrum being worth 13 points instead of the usual ten and they won a Countdown hostess trolley.

Rachel Riley was, as ever, the arithmetician. The Dictionary Corner guest was David O'Doherty, and the lexicographer was Susie Dent.

In view of the Christmas spirit and theme, the choir which sang an acapella version of the clock music on the previous episode was here again to replace the standard Countdown clock music for Round 2 (Jingle Bells), Round 4 (All I Want for Christmas Is You) and Round 5 (Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town).

Just before Round 5, a Christmas quiz took place, hosted by Christopher Biggins who came out in a sleigh. Jon and Katherine won the quiz by 4 – 1, thus five points were awarded to their team.

Interesting and notable moments from the episode are listed below:

1) David was in fact, not dressed as an elf, but rather a leprechaun as stated by Jimmy before Round 1. He would wear his costume for the entire show.

2) During the 30 seconds in Round 1, Jimmy invited Christopher to light up the Christmas Signage with him that was hanging down from the ceiling of the Studio. When it did, the Signage revealed a hidden purple penis that was drawn in the shape of an ornament.

3) By pure unlucky coincidence, CECIL ended up generating the Devil's Number (i.e. 666) in Round 4, to which Jimmy remarked "Merry Christmas, Satan!" However, as the solution was not so straightforward, a new target was not decided on.

4) In Round 5, the second last letter selected was originally a Q, but was replaced by a D instead as the audience moaned. Had that not happened, the maximum would have been worth only seven points, one point less.

NOTE 1: In this version, both players' declarations were allowed, although points were only awarded for the best answer.

NOTE 2: During the Conundrum, it was Susie that unscrambled it the fastest at around the 13 second mark. She then wrote the answer on a piece of paper and passed it to David who then called out Johnny since he was the closest contestant to both of them, to which he grabbed it and buzzed in before looking at the answer, resulting in the win.

Portions of this episode were sampled in both 2020 Christmas specials of Meet the Richardsons.

Rounds

Rnd Selection Johnny & Sean Score Jon & Katherine Others Max.
1 FESOMTALU FATSO
FEAST
5 – 0 foulmeats ☓
tomales ☓
FLAMEOUTS 18
2 25 4 8 5 4 2 → 431 434
434
5 – 7 432
420
(25 × 4 + 8) × 4

RR: 431 = (25 × 2 + 4) × 8 − (5 − 4)

28
TTT TARTYELF Puts me in a good mood. FLATTERY
Rnd Selection Johnny Vegas Score Jon Richardson Others Max.
3 SGOPEORET STOOGE 11 – 13 POGOES PROTEGES 36
Rnd Selection Sean Lock Score Katherine Ryan Others Max.
4 25 100 7 1 2 6 → 666 666
7 × 100 − 25 − 6 − 2 − 1
21 – 13


46
TTT GIMPSLED I only got a flash. GLIMPSED
Rnd Selection Johnny & Sean Score Jon & Katherine Others Max.
5 ASHSEARDI dishear ☓
RAISED
21 – 26 RADISHES
RADISHES
AIRHEADS*, HARASSED* 59
TTT XMASLICE I usually get these in bed. CLIMAXES
6 SNLEOETZA sonet ☓
ATONES
21 – 33 ZEALOTS
TALONS
ETALONS*, LATEENS*, LEANEST, LOANEES*, OLEATES*, TEAZELS*, TEAZLES* 66
7 LEWDSANTA WASTELAND
(18.75 seconds)
34 – 33 79