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TV Quickfire: Jimmy Carr on his new comedy quiz I Literally Just Told You

Jimmy Carr is the host of new TV comedy quiz I Literally Just Told You. We found out more about it from the funnyman...

I Literally Just Told You starts this week on Channel 4, hosted by Jimmy Carr
Georgia Humphreys

WHAT MAKES I LITERALLY JUST TOLD YOU STAND OUT AS A GAME SHOW?

THE contestants are crazy good. I don't know where we found these people, but we searched high and low. It's got an enormous play-at-home factor, which most game shows don't have.

Most game shows are binary, you either know the answer or you don't – all you have to know for this show is what's just happened. And we had real fun with the fact that anything can happen. You can have 15-second cameos, you can have false ad breaks, you can mess with people's minds.

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ENJOYED CATCHING PEOPLE OUT…

Yeah, the misdirects are good – it's comedic. I think the best bit of the show is the end round. I've never seen another game show do that, where you go, "Oh, you're setting each other questions".

We preyed upon the fact that when you come and do a TV show, you don't know what's normal. So we did some very abnormal things. Like, someone from Girls Aloud just walks through the room for no reason at all. It's crazy, but it sort of works, because people just go "Well, I guess it's telly – who knows?"

The opening is, "Anything could be a question and the time starts now". So, if I was having a chat with autocue, or the warm-up man, or the guy on the rig doing the lighting, any of that could be a question.

HOW GOOD WOULD YOU BE AS A CONTESTANT?

I'm used to being on stage and having to remember someone's name from 50 minutes ago so that I could do a call-back to that guy on stage while I'm doing the next bit. So, my memory is not bad.

If you're a one-liner guy – and I'm a one-liner guy – you need to be able to remember 300 jokes in a row every night, so you work that muscle a lot.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE TAKING PART IN A CELEBRITY VERSION?

The dream team for this would be hosts of the other TV shows because I always think when you're the host of a TV show, you've got all the answers, and there's a bit of smugness that comes with that.

So, get Schofield who does The Cube, Clarkson does Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? now – get him. Get Anne Robinson.

HOW HAS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AFFECTED YOU PERSONALLY?

I guess every comedian was given an ultimatum by management; you either do a podcast, or you write a book. I think I took the gentleman's choice; I wrote a book [Before & Laughter].

And I was a full-time dad in the lockdown. I had a little baby two years ago. I never would have had that expansive time with my child, and I liked it an awful lot.

TELL US MORE ABOUT THE BOOK

The book is basically everything I know about life. It's like half biography and half self-help. There's a weird thing where looking back on your life, you could just believe it was luck. But you make your own luck; you lean into what you're best at, you work hard at where you think you might have the most success.

The idea of the book is that it would emulate a day with me. I go straight in on serious stuff with friends. So, this book feels like it's a fairly good approximation of what it'd be like to be my friend. I'm very proud of it.

:: I Literally Just Told You starts on Channel 4 on Thursday December 16

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