Distraction (partially lost American adaptation of British game show; 2005-2006)

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Distraction maintitle.png

The show's logo.

Status: Partially Lost

Distraction was a British game show that aired on Channel 4 for only two seasons totalling 16 episodes from 31 October 2003 to 11 June 2004. The show was hosted by British comedian Jimmy Carr and was created by David Taylor (who previously created the couples game show Every Second Counts). One of the show's writers was controversial comedian Frankie Boyle[1] before he became famous as a panellist on the satirical topic show Mock The Week and for his cynical and graphic sense of humor in his acts.


The show's format is a simple buzz-in with the correct answer to the given question format but with a twist. The four contestants would endure various distractions throughout the given round and these distractions would often affect the contestant's abilities to focus. The contestant with the lowest score was eliminated. This happens two more times until the last remaining contestant is crowned the winner and advances to the fourth and final round. The prize can range from a car to a cash bonus, but before the contestant can go home with the prize, they must answer five questions correctly and if they answer any of the questions incorrectly, the prize would be damaged. In the end, the contestant goes home with the prize regardless of its condition[2].


Despite its short run, it was popular enough to spawn several international adaptions of the show, including one in the United States.[3][4] The show aired on Comedy Central from January 18, 2005, [5] to April 11, 2006 (also for two seasons[6][7]) and was produced by FremantleMedia (who owns the rights to the show).[8] The show's format was the same as the original version's with most of the distractions being lifted straight from the British version. After the show ended, it was reran in the UK on Challenge alongside its British counterpart from 2007 to 2011[9]. After that, the American version faded into obscurity.


The British version of the show is very easy to find online with it being available on Apple TV, Pluto TV and Channel 4's website, but the American version was not given the same treatment. Very little of the American version is online, with only clips from its UK reruns being available and eventually, its premiere episode would be uploaded on YouTube in 2019 by one of its contestants, Rob Little. To date, this is the only full episode of the American version available online. Archives of the show's page on Comedy Central's website shows photos of the missing episodes. Descriptions of some of the missing episodes are available on Game Show Newsnet[10][11][12][13][14][15]. On July 9, 2023, the complete first season (minus episodes four and eight) was found by Racelympics and was uploaded to the Internet Archive by Fish of the Bulb, while finding the season, it was revealed that the episodes were aired out of order and the fourth episode never aired on Comedy Central. On September 7, 2023, Racelympics recovered the complete second season of the show and was uploaded to the Internet Archive by Fish of the Bulb. Episodes four and eight are the only episodes of the show to have not resurfaced.



First aired episode (#103)

Sections of a Season Two episode with egg buzzers, ping-pong balls and pigs

Pie buzzers from a Season Two episode

Another pie buzzers segment from a Season Two episode

Snake pants from a Season Two episode

Portions of a pie buzzers segment from a Season Two episode

Three Wrestlers from a Season Two episode


External Links

See Also