I Literally Just Told You Host Jimmy Carr Pays Contestant Lost Money

I Literally Just Told You is a new comedy game show on Channel 4 in the UK that's fast becoming a hysterically funny, nail-biting, suspenseful piece of reality TV. Call it Reality Sitcom, if you will. Recently, comedian and host Jimmy Carr gave a contestant £18,000 after a screwup cost the guy the show's prize money.

The format of the show sounds like yet another way to torture members of the general public: contestants are given the answers to the questions way ahead of time, often in seemingly throwaway quips and remarks from Carr. Then they have to remember those answers when he asks them the questions later. The questions are set by Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a decorated space scientist and co-presenter of The Sky at Night, Expectation TV's Emy Adamson, and former Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon. Contestants have to last five rounds before reaching the Final Shoot Out, where the two finalists have to ask each other questions themselves.

I Literally Just Told You: Host Jimmy Carr Pays Contestant Lost Money
Jimmy Carr in "I LIterally Just Told You", Channel 4

The contestant in question was a Glasgow-based Sainsbury's worker named Eddy. The question was singer Ariana Grande's age… except the answer was not brought up earlier in the show, so Eddy couldn't have remembered it from earlier if he didn't already know it. The show forgot to mention the age of Ariana Grande before asking him the question later in the show. Eddy ended up losing the £18,000 jackpot. That's around US$26,000.

At a recent comedy gig, Carr brought Eddy on stage and told him, "Now I've got something to tell you, I've got something to confess," Carr said. "You lost the money on a question – it was Ariana Grande's age. We talked about her age but we never gave you the specific age so we messed up. And when you mess up in life, you've got to own your mistakes. Here's a cheque for £18,000."

Carr paid Eddy out of his own pocket. This is the kind of unexpected thing that can happen on I Literally Just Told You. The show can be a rollercoaster ride of hilarity and insanity. Very few gameshows have that freewheeling vibe where things can completely collapse into chaos. In the second episode, the contestants were so bad at the game that Carr had a meltdown on camera. "I'm trying to give away money here!" he cried. Later that episode, he announced that the higher-ups had allowed rules to be changed so he could ask the contestants easier questions because "YOU BROKE OUR GAME!"

It's probably a matter of time before a US company options the format to make a US version, but what American standup comedian can be Carr's Yank counterpart that has the same kind of dry snarkiness? Joel McHale? And would a US remake let the show descend into total chaos as the British version already has?

I Literally Just Told You is currently on Channel 4.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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