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8 Out of 10 Cats

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8 Out of 10 Cats
GenreComedy panel game
Presented byJimmy Carr
Narrated byJohn Pohlhammer
Theme music composerMat Osman
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series22
No. of episodes232 (list of episodes)
Production locations
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time23–28 minutes
Production companyZeppotron
Original release
Release3 June 2005 (2005-06-03) –
17 January 2021 (2021-01-17)

8 Out of 10 Cats (stylised as 8 out of 10 CATS) is a British comedy panel show that aired from 3 June 2005 to 17 January 2021. It was first broadcast on Channel 4 from 2005 to 2015, then More4 from 2016 to 2017, and finally E4 from 2017 to 2021. The show was hosted by Jimmy Carr and featured regular team captains Sean Lock, Dave Spikey, Jason Manford, Jon Richardson, Rob Beckett, Aisling Bea and Katherine Ryan.[1]

The show was 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[citation needed]. The title was derived from a well-known advertising tagline for Whiskas cat food, which claimed that "8 out of 10 cats prefer Whiskas"[2] (which later evolved into "8 out of 10 owners who expressed a preference said their cats prefer it").

New and past episodes air across the Channel 4 network of channels, including More4 and E4 Extra, and past episodes are also repeated on Dave and Comedy Central.


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 appeared as a team captain from series 1 to 18. He was replaced by Rob Beckett at the beginning of series 19.[3] The opposing captain was originally Dave Spikey, who left after series 4 and was replaced by Jason Manford.[4] Manford departed following series 10 and was replaced by Jon Richardson for series 11 to 18.[5] From series 19 to 20, the opposing captain was Aisling Bea.[3] In series 21, the opposing team had a rotating guest captain.[6] However, Katherine Ryan joined as the opposing team captain in series 22.[1]

The original format was filmed the day before broadcast with a live studio audience at BBC Television Centre. The captains are joined by two celebrities and occasionally a guest captain would substitute. Often, topical celebrities appear on the show, for example Ruth Badger following her appearance on The Apprentice.

The format was changed for the move from Channel 4 onto More 4 and E4. Shows are now recorded consecutively, and no longer cover topical issues. The two team captains were replaced, but Carr still hosts. Filming is currently at Pinewood Studios with a live studio audience.

A full series was not broadcast in 2015, although two Christmas Specials were filmed and aired on 24 and 30 December 2015. No episodes were broadcast during 2018. The 22nd and final season started on 7 January 2020 and ended on 17 January 2021.

Current rounds[edit]

The current rounds featured on 8 Out of 10 Cats are:[7]

  • "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 whether it is true or false.
  • "And the Winner Is..." – The teams are given a question from a poll and then 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. It has since been reduced to three. The points often do not add up correctly, as the show has to be edited to fit 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.

Former rounds[edit]

These rounds only featured in series 1 and the Big Brother special shows:[7]

  • "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 which 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.

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown[edit]

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. Jon Richardson is the only permanent contestant following Sean Lock's death in 2021.

Other specials[edit]

On 4 January 2013, a special episode of Deal or No Deal featuring Carr as host along with Richardson and Lock aired during another Channel 4 "mash-up night". The story behind it was that Noel Edmonds had been driven to leave when Derren Brown was playing and was getting all the boxes from lowest to highest, ensuring that the "dream finish" is in play. Edmonds ran away with Brown's £250,000 box, saying that he "spent it all on [his] shirt". The backstage personnel 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. The 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.


Role Series
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Presenter Jimmy Carr
Team captains Sean Lock Rob Beckett
Dave Spikey Jason Manford Jon Richardson Aisling Bea Guests Katherine Ryan


SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
1113 June 2005 (2005-06-03)12 August 2005 (2005-08-12)Channel 4
2710 February 2006 (2006-02-10)24 March 2006 (2006-03-24)
3926 May 2006 (2006-05-26)18 August 2006 (2006-08-18)
4920 October 2006 (2006-10-20)15 December 2006 (2006-12-15)
5715 June 2007 (2007-06-15)30 August 2007 (2007-08-30)
6613 June 2008 (2008-06-13)18 July 2008 (2008-07-18)
7154 September 2008 (2008-09-04)26 December 2008 (2008-12-26)
885 June 2009 (2009-06-05)24 July 2009 (2009-07-24)
988 January 2010 (2010-01-08)21 August 2010 (2010-08-21)
10811 June 2010 (2010-06-11)23 December 2010 (2010-12-23)
Special5 March 2011 (2011-03-05)
111117 June 2011 (2011-06-17)26 August 2011 (2011-08-26)
121223 September 2011 (2011-09-23)23 December 2011 (2011-12-23)
Special23 March 2012 (2012-03-23)
131127 April 2012 (2012-04-27)6 July 2012 (2012-07-06)
14128 October 2012 (2012-10-08)24 December 2012 (2012-12-24)
151218 January 2013 (2013-01-18)9 September 2013 (2013-09-09)
16114 October 2013 (2013-10-04)29 December 2013 (2013-12-29)
171117 February 2014 (2014-02-17)20 August 2014 (2014-08-20)
18126 October 2014 (2014-10-06)23 December 2014 (2014-12-23)
Specials224 December 2015 (2015-12-24)29 December 2015 (2015-12-29)
19128 November 2016 (2016-11-08)1 February 2017 (2017-02-01)More4
201216 May 2017 (2017-05-16)1 August 2017 (2017-08-01)E4
211224 March 2019 (2019-03-24)6 January 2020 (2020-01-06)
22127 January 2020 (2020-01-07)17 January 2021 (2021-01-17)


8 Out of 10 Cats: Claws Out is a ninety-minute collection of highlights from the first few series featuring deleted scenes considered too offensive to be aired. It was released on 20 November 2006.


  1. ^ a b "KATHERINE RYAN CONFIRMED AS TEAM CAPTAIN ON E4'S 8 OUT OF 10 CATS". channel4.com. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  2. ^ "8 OUT OF 10 CATS PREFER WHISKAS United Kingdom Trademark Information". Trademark Elite. Retrieved 1 June 2024.
  3. ^ a b Baillie, Katie (12 October 2016). "8 Out of 10 Cats is coming back and there are two new team captains". Metro. DMG Media.
  4. ^ "8 Out of 10 Cats – Production Details". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  5. ^ "sro audiences". www.sroaudiences.com.
  6. ^ "8 Out Of 10 Cats returns to E4". British Comedy Guide. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b "About 8 Out of 10 Cats". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 12 December 2010.

External links[edit]