Jimmy Carr: Tax row sees Channel 4 ratings soar

Jimmy Carr Jimmy Carr is in the middle of a UK tour

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Viewing figures for Jimmy Carr's Channel 4 show 8 Out of 10 Cats received a boost on Friday following the furore over his tax affairs.

An average 2.5 million viewers tuned in to see the comic taunted by panelists, peaking at 2.7 million.

The figures were almost double the ratings for the week before and were the show's highest since January 2010.

It was Carr's first TV appearance since being widely condemned for taking part in a tax avoidance scheme.

Last week an average 1.3 million viewers tuned in to the show, while the current series - which began in April - has attracted between 1.5 million and 1.7 million viewers.

Almost half of the 45-minute topical programme was taken up by jibes at Carr's expense.

At one point team captain Sean Lock told him: "We all like to put a bit of money away for a rainy day, don't we? But I think you're more prepared than Noah.

"We can all now see why you work so hard - you get to keep all the money."

In response to the ridicule, Carr said: "I hate to sound like I'm passing the buck, but I'll tell you who I blame for this whole mess - me. It's entirely my fault."

He added: "There should be no sympathy for me at all."

The show was recorded on Thursday, the same day Carr said he "made a terrible error of judgement" by using the K2 tax avoidance scheme. He has now ended his involvement in it.

A day earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron called Carr's use of the arrangement "morally wrong".

Carr was also heckled at a gig in Stockport on Friday over his tax arrangements but told the crowd he had to take criticism on the chin.

In response to one person who called him a "tax dodger", he replied: "I've got to take that, I'm afraid. I've been dishing it out for years."

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