It’s Countdown but not as you know it. Back in January 2012 Channel 4 were having a 30th birthday. As part of the celebrations they screened a mash up night. As part of this night there was a a special episode of Countdown: Jimmy Carr took over as host alongside Rachel Riley. Sean Lock and Jon Richardson competed as contestants and Joe Wilkinson joined Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner. The show consisted of four letters rounds, two numbers rounds and the conundrum, interspersed with 8 Out of 10 Cats-style banter.
A month after on 24th August, as part of the channel’s “Funny Fortnight” a second Countdown special was broadcast. Again, Lock and Richardson were contestants; Carr hosted, and Riley and Dent returned to their roles too. In the dictionary corner, Susie was this time joined by David O’Doherty. Wilkinson and past contestant Clarke Carlisle also featured. In this edition there were five letters rounds, four numbers rounds and a conundrum.
The idea seemed to take off and in April of 2013, Channel 4 screened two more specials. On 9th July 2013, Channel 4 announced it had commissioned a full series of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown that would air later theat summer.
The first series aired later that month with six episodes airing from July to September. The final episode of the series was part of Channel 4’s “80s Night”. It used an opening sequence featuring the standard title sequence for 8 Out of 10 Cats interspersed with images of the title sequence that Countdown used in the 1980s.
To date (2016) the show has ran for nine series.
The show follows the format of Countdown, but with hosts and contestants from 8 Out of 10 Cats, and an emphasis on humour.
Catch up with the series here
Presented By: Jimmy Carr
Channel: Channel 4
Produced By: ITV Studios and Zeppotron
Original Transmission Dates: 2 January 2012 – present