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Jimmy Carr: 'I Literally Just Told You' is the best thing I've ever done!

Jimmy Carr
Jimmy Carr will be presenting the new quiz show created by Richard Bacon (Image credit: Channel 4)

Jimmy Carr's new quiz show, I Literally Just Told You, will see him testing our powers of recall in a game where absolutely anything could be a question!

Created by former Blue Peter and BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Richard Bacon, each episode of the six-part series will see four contestants trying to remember things that have just happened before their very eyes.

To win a cash prize of up to £25,000 the contestants have to answer questions that have been written LIVE as the show is being filmed, from a celebrity cameo to an off the cuff joke or even something one of the contestants has shared about themselves. Jimmy tells us more...

Jimmy Carr on 'I Literally Just Told You'

"It’s the only game show in history where the contestants are given every answer with the questions written, literally, as the show is happening. You just need to pay attention to everything that’s going on! It’s all about who can keep their focus and remember the things they’ve seen and heard just minutes before." 

Jimmy on the premise for the show...

"I thought it was a joke when I first heard it. I thought I was being punked by Ant & Dec! My friend Richard Bacon came up with the idea and when he told me about it I thought it was the most ludicrous pitch I've ever heard for a TV show. But the more he told me about it, the more I thought it might be really good. It’s such an unusual, weird and wonderful show, I think it's the best thing I've ever done!

"I think Richard got the idea when he went to see Brian Cox, the wonderful physicist, give a talk. And he was sort of sitting there going, 'I wonder how much the audience will remember in five minutes?' You're taking it in but you're not really paying attention. I don't think you could double screen with this TV show as well. That's one of the things I love about it. You have to watch it or you'll miss something important!" 

I Literally Just Told You

The contestants could face questions about anything that happens during filming. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Jimmy on the stunts he uses to put off the contestants...

"In the first episode, we had a fake ad break and then asked them a load of questions about what happened when they thought we’d stopped filming, which was great fun. Most people don't really know what's normal when you're filming a quiz show, so you can play on that a bit. They're like, maybe that's how your order lunch on a TV set? or maybe they just let people wander across the set for no reason! But it works because people just accept it at the time, then they have to answer questions on it!

"Most game shows are pretty simple — you either know the answer or you don't — but with this, all you have to do is pay attention. That means it should also be good for viewers who want to play along at home."

Jimmy on whether he's ever forgotten something important...  

"I forgot to pay my taxes once and I won’t do that again! But I think I would be pretty  good at the game, because I would go into work mode. As a stand-up, I’m a one-liner guy, so I need to be able to remember 300 jokes in a row every night!" 

Jimmy on the final round...

"I think that’s the best bit because the two finalists set each other questions about what happened during the show. I’ve never seen another game show do that! We have a great team of question writers, led by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock from The Sky At Night, but it takes us over six hours to record an episode, as we have to stop and write questions for the next part. So there’s a lot for the finalists to remember by the end." 

I Literally Just Told You

'The Sky At Night's Margaret Aderin-Pocock will be setting questions (Image credit: Channel 4)

Jimmy on a celebrity version of 'I Literally Just Told You...' 

"We’ve already made a celebrity version that will be on at Christmas, but I can’t tell you who’s on the show I’m afraid. I would love to do a show with the hosts of other TV quiz shows as contestants. They’re used to having all the answers and are quite smug about it, so it would be nice to see them have a go at this!" 

Jimmy on 'Before & Laughter', the book he wrote during lockdown... 

"Every comedian was given an ultimatum by management, you either do a podcast or you write a book and I think I took the gentleman's choice. I wrote a book and I was a full-time dad in the in the lockdown I had a little baby boy about two years ago, he turned six months as a lockdown hit. I never would have had that expanse of time with my child and I liked it an awful lot.

"The book is basically half biography and half sort of self-help, sort of all the stuff that got me to where I am. I guess having a son makes you wonder what am I going to leave this boy? Other than reams and reams of dick jokes? I wanted to put something down so if we get hit by a bus tomorrow, he'll know what I thought about life. 

"The idea with a book is that it would emulate a day with me, like if I was at the Montreal Comedy Festival, I go for a long walk with a friend and chat, we'd have some nice lunch, we'll go for a walk back to the hotel. That'll be like five hours of chatting about stuff and I don't really do small talk, I go straight in on the 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 really proud of it actually."