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Brekkie Recently warned Wales Wales Today
Agree - it's stupid when there is no benefit to them being horizontal rather than vertical when all UK shows are designed to have the ECP on the right hand side. When it launched I assumed it would be quickly changed but think it'll be 2 years next month.
Turns out nobody had 2020 vision.
OC
Octothorpe New member Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
I’ve been to see Cats Does Countdown being filmed (Christmas special in 2014) and it’s amazing how much gets cut out, the recording must have gone on for about two and a half hours or so, including a small break. (I believe this is normal.) I’m quite surprised they haven’t done a compilation or put some of the stuff they’ve cut out on a special.

The guests can be hit and miss, but it does seem to be one of the few mainstream shows where new comedians get a bit of airtime.


The show's going to best-bits from the Friday after next, so you never know some cut bits may get a featuring, although TBH I doubt it.

I agree, yes, it's a good place for up-and-coming comedians to display their craft; that show and HIGNFY are really the only prominent shows nowadays that can do that (I first discovered Tom Allen on Cats, and HIGNFY was where James Acaster, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Phil Wang first made their mainstream appearances, or at least was where I first heard of them; all have since appeared on Cats I believe). I mean, there is also Mock the Week, but that show has kinda dropped off the map the past few years and there's been quite a few new faces on there I have never seen elsewhere.
IS
Inspector Sands
Yes, Cats Countdown is essentially a variety comedy show with a quiz loosely attached. Every comedian on it gets to do their little set piece and yes it's a good place for new people to get some TV exposure.

It's fairly usual for a comedy show to have more recorded than is used, as not everything will hit the mark. A lot of the extra time will be taken out by editing down for pace, HIGNFY is a good example of that, they edit out a lot of pauses.
TG
TG Meridian (South) South Today
I remember going to a recording of Buzzcocks way back when Mark Lamaar was still presenting it. He started by explaining that they tended to write double what would actually make it to TV, partly in case some wasn't funny, but partly, he said, to provide a fully entertaining night for the studio audience, rather than in, out, done with inside 45 minutes - making it worth everyone's while.("Much of this is just for you, stuff that'd never get past censors!")
UKnews and Steve Williams gave kudos
SW
Steve Williams
Doesn't say much about the host if they're cutting out his main intro, but I agree. It is usually a good 20 minutes or so before they even start the show, and that 20 minutes can often be the reason to tune in.


I love that the first twenty minutes of Catsdown are just mucking about, it's always great fun. I wouldn't say it's definitely the case that Jimmy's monologue is always edited out, I'm assuming he doesn't do it anymore, but presumably if they do it's worth recording it just in case it ends up running short and they need to pad the show out. On the early series of Would I Lie To You they used to have loads more rounds, including one based on TV clips, and in Series 4, I think, that round only appeared in one episode - seemingly they'd recorded it every week but on all the other episodes it wasn't required. And similarly it's how on HIGNFY they always have a load of scripted gags for the host to deliver for each question, to guarantee a laugh in case the panel haven't come up with one.

Yes, Cats Countdown is essentially a variety comedy show with a quiz loosely attached. Every comedian on it gets to do their little set piece and yes it's a good place for new people to get some TV exposure.


Yes, I think it's no coincidence that Catsdown, WILTY and Taskmaster are our best panel shows, and all of them actually have a proper game attached, which means the panellists have to be spontaneous and react to events as they happen, rather than just shoehorning in bits of their stand-up. In fact I think the fact there is an actual game attached makes it easier for panellists to do bits of business than an osentensibly less tightly formatted show like Mock The Week (where the format is basically 'do some jokes') because they can go off on interesting tangents but the game is always there to return to, whereas on things like Mock The Week it can't help but sound contrived. On the original 8 Out Of 10 Cats Jason Manford used to be terrible at cramming in bits of his stand-up, he never once managed to make it sound natural.

And as you say, Dictionary Corner is such a good platform for new comedians, a few minutes of airtime entirely devoted to your scripted material, with no specific topic needed or a requirement to pretend you're making it up.

That said, Catsdown does in itself have some conventions. I remember a few years ago when Bob Mortimer's mascot was a bucket of hot soapy water because "It's just useful to have around, isn't it? In case someone's sick or there's business, there'll probably be a dog on later, there usually is", and later on there actually was a dog, at which point Bob just looked up and went, "oh, there it is".

TG posted:
I remember going to a recording of Buzzcocks way back when Mark Lamaar was still presenting it. He started by explaining that they tended to write double what would actually make it to TV, partly in case some wasn't funny, but partly, he said, to provide a fully entertaining night for the studio audience, rather than in, out, done with inside 45 minutes - making it worth everyone's while.("Much of this is just for you, stuff that'd never get past censors!")


It's interesting, these stories about Mark Lamarr, he has a reputation for being horrible and my partner was once in the audience for Buzzcocks and says she thought he was vile, and I've seen other people say they think he was a dick to audiences, insulting them and seemingly deliberately taking his time so they'd all miss trains. But when I was in the audience for the original Shooting Stars, he was the only one of the regulars to actually thank the audience for coming and solicit applause for the warm-up (probably because he used to be a warm-up himself), while Reeves, Mortimer, Jonsson and Lucas just came on for the recording and went straight off when it finished, ignoring the audience completely. And he's on Twitter (no blue tick, but seemingly it is him), where he talks incredibly enthusiastically about music and seems a really lovely bloke.
Last edited by Steve Williams on 10 August 2020 8:45am
Octothorpe, Brekkie and TG gave kudos
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
I remember reading a blog post by Adam Buxton about a not so great experience on Buzzcocks under Lamarr, being told to use scripted lines which he didn’t want to.
SW
Steve Williams
I remember reading a blog post by Adam Buxton about a not so great experience on Buzzcocks under Lamarr, being told to use scripted lines which he didn’t want to.


Lauren Laverne mentioned something along those lines, I think she was offered some scripted jokes and she said she didn't want to use them, she'd just make up her own. And apparently the response was something like, "Well, on your head be it".
AN
all new Phil Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I’d guess the team captains didn’t have jokes scripted for them given Noel Fielding just did his own thing and Phill Jupitus hasn’t ever said anything funny.
JO
Josh
The signal on the Derren Brown special seems to be breaking up.
Fan of the media industry from the UK.
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
Josh posted:
The signal on the Derren Brown special seems to be breaking up.

Seems more likely that'd be part of the programme given it's Derren Brown. Just had a fake ad going into the first ad break (though I could tell because the DOG was still on screen!)
JO
Josh
Yes, very interesting. It went into a fake ad break with the Adventures on 4 sponsor bumper, a fake advert about red nail polish (maybe something for later?) then a black and red Channel 4 break bumper with End of Part One in the corner.
Fan of the media industry from the UK.
PA
PATV Scunthorpe Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
The T&Cs text on that advert contained some information. Added into a spoiler for those who may not want to see it.


"TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY: May not be suitable for all nail types. This product is not available for sale. This is not a real advert. Put the nail in the red cup in position 1. Visit www.thisisnotarealadvert.lol"

The VoiceOver was also "Red 1, Red 1"
“Nostalgia’s cool, but it won’t help me now, the dream is good, if you don’t wear it out.”

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