Taping of “8 out of 10 Cats”

When I put together my BBAL, I wanted it to be a list of things that were reasonably achievable. Nothing feels worse than falling short of something you intended to do or announcing to the world that you want to do something and then not being able to make it happen. For that reason, I didn’t list any of the wonderful things that I would *like* to do but probably wouldn’t get around to such as going to Paris one last time before February or visiting a Christmas market in Germany or eastern Europe.

Another thing that didn’t make it to the list was “being in the audience of a TV show taping”. I’d actually love to see a TV show being taped live and even started applying for tickets last spring. Despite my repeated efforts, I never won any tickets and sort of lost hope. However as fate would have it, just days after posting my BBAL on the blog, I received an email saying that we’d won tickets to go see a taping of 8 out of 10 Cats in our local area!!

For those of you who aren’t British, 8 out of 10 Cats is a comedy panel show based on opinion polls and statistics. The show is hosted by comedian Jimmy Car and has two three-person panels. The panels each have a regular team lead and then two guests. On the episode we watched the celebrity guests were actor Henry Winkler and gold medalist swimmer Rebecca Adlington. We weren’t allowed pictures but here’s a sneaky one that I took after the show ended. Henry Winkler is in the middle in the purple sweater.

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Watching a TV show being taped is fascinating. We were there for about two hours and they filmed considerably more than what is actually shown in the final edit. For every joke that Jimmy Carr tells, they probably filmed about four or five extra jokes to gauge reaction from the audience. They even filmed an entire extra segment in the ‘what should the nation be talking about’ portion of the show that didn’t make it to air.

Having this sort of insider perspective but not being able to actually interact with the comedians felt exciting – like we were picked especially to join in this experience. It almost felt like being a little kid again and a teenager or adult allowing you to tag along to something you wouldn’t ordinarily do. You couldn’t possibly remember enough to relay the whole experience to anyone else but for those few hours you were part of something that would never be repeated or shown to anyone else again.

For those who are interested, here’s a link to the show we watched being filmed. Apologies if it’s not available outside of the UK. We’ve already checked and you cannot hear my distinctive laugh above the rest of the crowd… pity, because I really tried to laugh hard!

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