• Jimmy Carr returns as host for the latest series of ‘8 Out of 10 Cats’. (Channel 4)Source: Channel 4
It turns out quantity doesn’t always come at the expense of quality as the British panel show returns for another series.
Kate Myers

5 Aug 2019 - 11:50 AM  UPDATED 8 Nov 2019 - 3:06 PM

A game show with two celebrity teams, a comedian host and a series of skill-based rounds hardly sounds like a ground-breaking concept, but 8 Out of 10 Cats’ finely tuned format has stood the test of time. 

Three fast-paced rounds fill the 26-minute episodes, selected from five games of skill that are guaranteed to descend into total chaos as panellists set about figuring out what is on the minds of the British public.

What Are You Talking About?

This round sets the tone for every episode of the series, finding out what’s new and what’s newsworthy from around the nation. Panellists from both teams are asked to list the top three most talked about stories of the week and uncover the most important issues of the day. Whether it’s the lingering dark cloud of Brexit or Boris Johnson’s hair, teams must decide what takes top spot, with plenty of debate and deliberation thrown in for good measure.

Pick of the Polls

The power to choose can be both a blessing and a curse when this round appears, as panellists select a picture which represents a corresponding statement and poll. Do most people really hate the sound of their own voice? Would a majority rather be good at cooking than sport? Accurately guessing the results of the poll is the primary objective to allow each team to determine what the top choice would be and prove that they are tuned in to public opinion.

Believe It or Not

Deciding whether a statistic is True or False might sound simple, but this round proves it is anything but. Panellists are presented with a fact, based on an unseen poll, and must determine whether it’s irrefutably true or undoubtedly false. The hilarity that ensues as teams try to avoid being duped and attempt to outsmart the opposition, is only enhanced by the (often irreverent) clip that accompanies the round.

The Poll with a Hole

As if reading minds wasn’t difficult enough, panellists in this round must work out what the public thinks without having all the facts. An important piece of information is removed from a statistic and teams must fill in the gaps to find out what the data said. Can you guess what cats spend 66% of their lives doing? Or where 4% of lost remotes end up? Percentages and polls might not sound like riveting comedic content, but the teams find a way to keep the numbers entertaining.

And the Winner Is…

It’s a popularity contest with a difference in this final round, as panellists are faced with a poll that is missing its top result. Finding out what has taken out top spot is the aim, but it’s not always easy to get three people to agree. Differences of opinion are guaranteed, especially when it’s every team for themselves, buzzing in to guess the top results of polls ranging from annoying things people do on public transport to the worst part of camping.

With polls, surveys and statistics covering everything from topical news to the best chat-up lines, most common phobias and worst ways to start your morning, 8 Out of 10 Cats is the perfect excuse to add to your collection of useless facts. The show’s ability to be both ludicrous and endearing is testament to the continued popularity of what has proven to be a stellar format. 

Watch 8 Out of 10 Cats on Tuesdays at 7:30pm on SBS Viceland. Episodes are available at SBS On Demand after they air.

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