8 Out of 10 Cats is a British television comedy panel game produced by Zeppotron (a subsidiary of Endemol UK) for More4. It was first broadcast on 3 June 2005. The show is hosted by Jimmy Carr and the current team captains are Rob Beckett and Aisling Bea.
The show is based on statistics and opinion polls, and draws on polls produced by a variety of organisations and new polls commissioned for the programme, carried out by Harris Poll. The title is derived from a well-known advertising tagline for Whiskas cat food, which claimed that "8 out of 10 cats prefer Whiskas".
The show is hosted by comedian Jimmy Carr and features two teams, consisting of a regular team captain and two celebrity guests each. Sean Lock has appeared as the first team captain since the show's inception; the opposing captain was originally Dave Spikey, who left after series 4 to pursue other projects and was replaced by Jason Manford. Manford departed following series 10, and was replaced by Jon Richardson for series 11.
Every week, the captains are joined by two celebrities. Often, topical celebrities appear on the show, for example Ruth Badger following her appearance on The Apprentice.
The show is currently recorded at Pinewood Studios, previously at BBC Television Centre, typically the day before transmission. However, in the past few years, due to Jimmy Carr's stand-up schedule, certain episodes are pretaped and broadcast later as "special" episodes dealing with a particular subject.
2015 was the only year since the show began in 2005 in which a full series was not broadcast. Two Christmas Specials however were filmed for airing on 24 and 30 December 2015. 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown however aired for a total of 24 episodes throughout 2015.
The current rounds featured on 8 Out of 10 Cats are:"What Are You Talking About?" – The polling organisation asked the public what they were talking about during the week. The teams have to try to guess the top three.
"Pick of the Polls" – The teams are given four pictures to pick from and are given a poll based on that picture.
"Believe It or Not" – The teams are given a statistic and try to guess if it is true or false.
"And the Winner Is..." – The teams are given a question from a poll and then they try to guess what came on top of that poll.
"The Poll with a Hole" – each team is given a statistic but it is missing one piece of salient information. The teams have to guess what that piece of information is.
Until series 8 there were four rounds during the game, but it has since been reduced to three. The points often do not add up correctly, as the show has to be edited to fit in its 26-minute slot. From series 9 there is a longer version of the show called 8 Out of 10 Cats Uncut, broadcast a few days later.
These rounds only featured in series 1 and the Big Brother special shows:"Face Off" – The teams have to guess who from a list of famous people came top with respect to a particular topic.
"Word Association" – The teams view a clip illustrating a word and have to guess the top three things people thought of when they heard that word.
"What's the Poll?" – The teams are given five famous people, picture by picture, and they have to guess which poll they appeared on.
Since 2012, crossover episodes between 8 Out of 10 Cats and Countdown have aired. The show follows the format of Countdown, but is hosted by Jimmy Carr, with permanent contestants Sean Lock and Jon Richardson, as well as two other guest contestants.
On 4 January 2013, a special episode of Deal or No Deal featuring Carr as host alongside Richardson and Lock aired during another Channel 4 "mash-up night", the story behind it being that Noel Edmonds had been driven to leave when Derren Brown was playing, and was getting all the boxes from lowest to highest. Noel ran away with the £250,000 box, saying that he "spent it all on his shirt". The backstage personnel then took out a hammer and smashed the 'break glass for Jimmy Carr' box, which produced a horn, which was used to call Carr to the set.
Joe Wilkinson guest starred as the Banker's assistant. Guests were Nicola Adams, Rob Beckett, Gemma Collins, Mia Cross, Corinne Davies, Susie Dent, Matt Forde, John Fothergill, Stephen Frost, Nick Helm, Elis James, Dave Johns, Tony Law, Alice Levine, Mark Olver, Rachel Riley, John Robins, Katherine Ryan, Nong Skett, Andy Smart and Holly Walsh.
A series of podcasts have also been released on iTunes, with material directly from the show for several episodes. Each podcast is typically the "What Are You Talking About" round from that episode.
The coloured backgrounds denote the result of each of the series:
– Indicates Sean's/Rob's team won.
– Indicates Dave's/Jason's/Jon's/Aisling's team won.
– Indicates the series ended in a draw.
8 Out of 10 Cats: Claws Out is a ninety-minute collection of highlights from the first few series which features deleted scenes considered too offensive to be aired. It was released on 20 November 2006.