Distraction (game show)

Distraction is a game show that aired on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom from 31 October 2003 to 11 June 2004. Presented by comedian Jimmy Carr, the show involved contestants answering questions while being distracted in various bizarre, painful and humiliating ways.

Created byDavid Taylor
Written by
Presented byJimmy Carr
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes16
Running time30 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s)Talkback
Original networkChannel 4
Picture format16:9
Original release31 October 2003 (2003-10-31) –
11 June 2004 (2004-06-11)

Carr was aided by "distractors", who as the name suggests, attempted to distract the contestants painfully or emotionally. Examples include losing contestants, nudists, creepy carny guys, tattoo/piercing experts, wrestlers, midgets, Roller Derby girls, professional athletes, paintball players, and a large bouncer-type male nicknamed "Tiny". Occasionally, a number of female assistants helped with some of the distractions; depending on the stunt being played, they could be referred to as "Jimmy's interns", "farmer girls", "schoolgirls" or "ammo ladies."

A quiz book, featuring most of the distractions seen on the show, was released by Carlton Books in late 2004.


Four contestants, usually two women and two men, compete through three rounds in each episode. Before the first round, they learn about each other's embarrassing moments, unique hobbies, strange talents, or previous unflattering occupations through questions asked by Carr. Throughout the game, Carr asks relatively simple questions that the contestants must answer while enduring various uncomfortable, painful, and/or unsettling distractions. These distractions may be inflicted throughout the round, activated by a contestant in order to answer, or as the result of a right/wrong answer. At the end of each round, the contestant with the lowest score is eliminated from the game and leaves with nothing.

Typical distractions include:

  • Having to urinate in a specially designed toilet in order to buzz-in
  • Placing something disgusting in one's own mouth, such as a snail or a raw lamb testicle, after each correct answer
  • Being shot with a paintball gun for each wrong answer, or whenever the opponent answers correctly, while wearing no protective equipment except a crash helmet and face shield
  • Being continuously body-slammed onto a thick cushioned mat by professional wrestlers
  • Being shocked with an electric dog collar upon buzzing-in
  • Being tickled on bare feet in upside-down position (Italy and India only)
  • (Round 1 only) A self-inflicted distraction such as attaching clothespins to one's own face, with bonus points awarded to the most successful contestant at the end of the round

The last remaining contestant wins the game, advances the fourth and final round, and wins either a car, a set of prizes, or a cash bonus. However, they must answer several further questions to prevent the cash or prizes from being damaged or destroyed. If the prize is a car, each missed question results in a part of it being damaged by an audience member or one of the losing contestants (smashing the windscreen, dumping paint on the seats, etc.). When a group of prizes is at stake, each miss results in one of them being destroyed, such as by being blown up or hit with a wrecking ball. In the case of a cash prize, the winner must answer questions quickly enough to prevent its destruction (such as being burned in a toaster or thrown into a full cement mixer), or must throw some of it onto a fire for each incorrect answer. At the end of the round, the contestant takes home the car, prizes, or cash regardless of condition.


Series Start date End date Episodes
1 31 October 2003 19 December 2003 8
2 16 April 2004 11 June 2004 8

International versionsEdit

Country Name Host Channel Premiere Finale
Distração Fatal
Rodrigo Faro
20 December 2008
  Canada (French)
Pierre-Yves Lord
2 September 2009
Elias Psinakis and Elena Graveza
Alpha TV
16 May 2006
  Czech Republic
Pekelná výzva
Iva Pazderková
Prima COOL
14 February 2013
V Distraction
Rithvik Dhanjani
Channel V
February 2015
  India (Bengali)
Biswanath Basu, RJ Sayan
Star Jalsha

3 May 2015

Ido Rozenbloom
Teo Mammucari
Enrico Papi
Italia 1
Rat van Fortuin
Ruben Nicolai
Nederland 3
15 September 2006
31 December 2007
Álvaro Mora
4 February 2009
Dragan Marinković
RTV Pink
21 February 2010
Distracción fatal
Anabel Alonso
Antena 3
Orlando Petinatti
Saeta TV
  United States
Jimmy Carr
Comedy Central
18 January 2005
11 April 2006

External linksEdit