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Episode Cats119

From Countdown

Episode Cats119, billed as Christmas Special 2019 was a special episode broadcast on 23 December 2019, as part of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Series 19.

Regulars Sean Lock and Jon Richardson were the contestants, along with Bob Mortimer and Lucy Beaumont who were their teammates respectively, while Jimmy Carr reprised his role as the host.

The match saw Jon Richardson, with the assistance of Lucy Beaumont, winning by 46 – 34 in an 7-rounder and they won a pair of Countdown ballet costumes.

Rachel Riley was, as ever, the arithmetician. The Dictionary Corner guest was Adam Buxton, and the lexicographer was Susie Dent. Anthea Turner and Joe Wilkinson also made special appearances just before Round 4 where she assisted Lucy in folding towels and just before Round 5 stuck in a reindeer's arsehole respectively.

Interesting and notable moments from the episode are listed below:

1) During the Introduction, Jon showed off three board games that could be played by a single person, namely Guess Whom?, Solopoly and No-Peration (A play on Guess Who?, Monopoly and Operation). Also, Adam showed a vintage clip featuring him, Joe Cornish and Louis Theroux dancing in his first rented flat in the 1990s.

2) In view of the Christmas Theme, the clock music was replaced in Round 1 with Here Comes Santa Claus, in Round 2 with Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, in Round 4 with Winter Wonderland and in Round 6 with I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. With the exception of the first song, all of them were sung by an uncredited acapella group.

3) During the 30 seconds in Round 1, someone dressed in Santa Claus gave Jimmy a copy of one of Susie's books. Unhappy with the present, he proceeded to punch and kick Santa and they both fought in the centre of the studio until Jimmy was pushed backwards and fell onto the other side of the table. It finally ended with Santa "squashing" Jimmy behind it resulting in much applause from the audience.

4) During the 30 seconds in Round 3, both Jimmy and Susie threw fake snowballs at each other until it got larger. Jimmy tried to "roll over" Susie with one but it backfired with the latter pinning him to the wall and "rolling him" instead.

5) Just before Round 5, as Jon's team predicted correctly that Joe would fail to get himself out of the reindeer's arsehole within 30 seconds, two bonus points were awarded to their team. After that same round was over, Joe wanted an Eggnog, only for Fabio, the show's long-time permanent male host to splash it on his face. Rachel later tried to relieve the situation by splashing water from her mug on his face just before Round 6 but it didn't help much.

6) In Round 6, the third letter Z was thrown out and replaced with the P. Had that not happened, another vowel would have been required to fufil the minimum three vowels per round criteria. Also during the 30 seconds in the same round, "snowflakes" were seen falling down from the ceiling of the studio which ended with "snowballs" dropping down, similar to what happened in the 2016 Christmas Special.

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

NOTE 2: In Round 5, Lucy's declaration of MOYER should have been allowed as it is in the ODO. However, this would have not affected the outcome of the show as Jon had a longer word to beat hers.

NOTE 3: This is the last ever episode of any version of Countdown to air in the 2010s, and also the first episode of this version of the show to air on a Monday.

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


Rnd Selection Bob & Sean Score Jon & Lucy Others Max.
1 EODSAKETS eskated ☓
6 – 6 SKATED
2 100 50 9 1 3 7 → 567
568 ☓
6 – 13 568

(100 + 3) × (7 − 1) − 50

RR: 567 = (50 + 7) × (9 + 1) − 3

TTT ELFSTAIN It's getting bigger. INFLATES
Rnd Selection Bob Mortimer Score Lucy Beaumont Others Max.
Rnd Selection Sean Lock Score Jon Richardson Others Max.
4 75 1 5 3 10 9 → 122 122
75 + 5 × 10 − 3
21 – 28 122
75 + 5 × 10 − 3

Rnd Selection Bob & Sean Score Jon & Lucy Others Max.
27 – 36 REMOTE
moyer ☓**
TTT ICEORALS I've had too many. CALORIES
34 – 36 CRISPS
7 INSERTNUT reinsert ☓
(13 seconds)
(17.5 seconds)