pink of my john

List of QI episodes (B series)

This is a list of episodes of QI, the BBC comedy panel game television show hosted by Stephen Fry.

The first series started on 11 September 2003. Although not mentioned at the time, all of the questions (with the exception of the final "general ignorance" round) were on subjects beginning with "a" (such as "arthropods", "Alans" and "astronomy"). The following four series continued the theme: the second series' subjects all began with "b", and so on.

The dates in the lists are those of the BBC Two broadcasts. The episodes were also broadcast on BBC Four, generally a week earlier (as soon as one episode finished on BBC Two, the next was shown on BBC Four). Aside from Alan Davies and not adding clip shows, there are six guests that have appeared in ten or more episodes (out of 61), they are Jo Brand (18), Rich Hall (16), Phill Jupitus (16), Bill Bailey (15), Sean Lock (14) and Clive Anderson (10). Excluding the Pilot there have been a total of 51 different guest panellists in the four series to date. The fifth series began to air on BBC Two on 21 September 2007.

B Series (2004)

Episode 1 "Blue"

Broadcast dates:

Tangent: The word "television" comes from the Greek "tele" and the Latin "vision", making it one of the few Greek-Latin hybrid words.
Tangent: (Incorrect) The Welsh have no word for blue. (The Welsh for blue is "Glas")

  • Rainbows happen when the sun reflects off the back of a raindrop at 42 degrees. In Estonia, it's believed that if you point your finger at a rainbow, it will fall off.

Tangent: Indigo is an Indian plant used for dyeing jeans and police uniforms.

Tangent: Alan's friend who could urinate through a high window.

Tangent: The difference between bugs and beetles is that bugs have sucking and piercing mandibles.
Tangent: The controversy over Smarties still using crushed bugs in their sweets and conning vegetarians into think they're vegetarian.

  • A new type of beetle is discovered roughly every hour. Since 1700, the rate has been no more than 6 hours. There are around 2,000 coleopterists in the world, and 10 million different species of beetle - around two thirds of all insects are beetles. If every species of animal and plant was placed in a row, every fifth one would be a beetle and every tenth one would be a weevil.

Tangent: Bill & Stephen's experiences as lepidopterists.

Tangent: The Natural History Museum has 12,000,000 varieties of beetle. The largest is the Titanus giganteus and the second largest is the Hercules beetle.General Ignorance:

Tangent: Stephen Fry's school's tailor was named Gorringe. The man who brought Cleopatra's Needle to New York's Central Park was called Henry Honychurch Gorringe.

Episode 2 "Birds"

Broadcast date:

  • 15 October 2004 (BBC Two)Panellists:
  • Alan Davies (-40 points)
  • Jo Brand (-8 points)
  • Rich Hall (Winner with 3 points)
  • Phil Kay (1 point) Task:
  • At the start the panel were asked to draw a kiwi, paying particular attention to the position of the nostrils. Alan correctly drew its nostrils at the end of the beak. Officially, a bird's bill is measured from the tip to the nostril, so the kiwi has the shortest bill of all birds.Topics:

Tangent: The national bird of England is the European Robin.

  • David Livingstone couldn't distinguish between the roar of an ostrich and the roar of a lion and claimed that the only difference was that the ostrich is seen during the day and the lion during the night.

Tangent: Johnny Cash was attacked ferociously by an ostrich.

  • The tongue of a woodpecker can extend to two-thirds of its body-length, has sticky saliva, is covered in vicious barbs and has an ear at the end of it. The tongue goes around the back of its head when it's not outside of its mouth. They can also beat wood 15 times a second, which is 250 times the force that astronauts are subjected to. It has lots of cartilage around its head as well.
  • Since they have only 20-30 taste buds, birds can't distinguish the taste of chocolate, which is toxic to them anyway. Humans have 9-10,000 taste buds, but new ones are grown every 5 days.

Tangent: The lethal dose of chocolate for a human is about 22lbs. One Smartie would kill a songbird.
Tangent: Alan's friend had a hamster who wasn't feeling very well and his dad gave it some brandy and it died. One of Jo's friends gave their dog some LSD. Fry once kicked a hamster-ball through a friend's window, because he didn't know what it was. The rodent survived. Bill Bailey's girlfriend's dog ate boxes of Daz, as well as underwear. Alan's cat could open a fridge.

  • Skin, the largest organ in the body, weighs and covers 18 square feet on average. A single square inch of skin has of blood vessels, 1,300 nerve cells and 100 sweat glands. 50,000 cells are lost every second. A person will get through around 900 "skins" in a lifetime. (Forfeit: Speak For Yourself)
  • Sperm can "smell" the aroma of Lily of the Valley.
  • Chang and Eng Bunker were Siamese twins. Chang was once convicted of general assault on a member of the audience during one of the twins' variety acts. However, the judge in the case could not hold Eng in prison as well, so he set them both free. The Bunkers created the term "Siamese twins" for people who are conjoined, because they were originally from Siam. They lived till the age of 63 and married a pair of sisters and had 21 children between them. On the journey from Siam, one of the twins wanted a cold bath and the other didn't, so the captain had to separate them. Chang was a drunk and died first, so Eng woke up waiting for a doctor to separate them. Eng then died an hour later as he wrapped himself round his twin. It is believed he died from a broken heart, because he had no reason to die.General Ignorance:
  • The loudest thing in the ocean is the shrimp layer. All the bubbles that come out from them clapping their claws make the noise. It travels at and then pops. It can wake people up on coastal communities. They can white out the sonar of a submarine and deafen the operators through their headphones. A blue whale can hear another blue whale 10,000 miles away, but in terms of amplitude, a normal person can't hear that. (Forfeit: Blue Whale)
  • Which is more likely to happen - Being killed by an lightning or by an asteroid? - Statistically in the UK, one is more likely to be killed by an asteroid than by lightning. A large asteroid is expected to come to Earth once every 1 million years, with the death toll in excess of 1 billion. The chances of dying from an asteroid is 1 in 6 million. (Forfeit: Struck By Lightning)

Tangent: Rich's aunt got struck by lightning on a golf course.

  • Camels originated from the continent of America, 20 million years ago. They spread across to other continents, because back then Bering Strait was land, rather than sea. They became extinct in North America during the last Ice Age. (Forfeit: Africa, Asia)
  • Despite being pink, the Flamingo eats blue-green algae to get their pink colour. Flamingos fall over if they stood on both legs. (Forfeit: Eating Shrimps)

Fry ends the show with an anecdote about the Stephens Island Wren, about the lighthouse keepers' cat killing the entire species. However, in 2004, the year this episode was first aired, this was found to be untrue.

Episode 3 "Bombs"

Broadcast date:

Tangent: Kamikaze is Japanese for divine wind.
Tangent: Aeroplanes are theoretically kamikaze, because like kamikaze aircraft, they're only filled for a single journey.

Tangent: Groucho Marx believed Zeppo was the worst actor of all the Marx brothers, but everyone believes he was the funniest off-stage. Harpo Marx could actually talk in real life. His autobiography states that he and the other brothers stole stuff for 15 years and was happy of it.

  • Russian forces trained dogs with bombs attached to hide under tanks in order to blow them up. In training, food would be put underneath the tank, which is the most vulnerable part and then a trigger would detonate the bomb. However, the dogs would turn around in the battle and blew up the Russian tanks that they recognised in training and then the dogs were all shot.
  • The first postcard sent from Antarctica featured a penguin being serenaded by a bagpiper.

Tangent: 50% of bagpipers suffer from repetitive strain injury.

Tangent: The easiest way to tell Ant & Dec apart is that Ant always stands on the left.

Tangent: Hawaii is the only state not to have a straight line along one of its borders.

  • During World War II, the only six Americans to lose their lives on home soil did so on a church picnic in Bly, Oregon. They were killed by Japanese fugos - balloon bombs. They were hard to detect on radar, because they were mostly made by schoolgirls who didn't know what they were making out of a paper called washi. They also used the jet stream to make the balloon go faster, the interesting thing about that is that no-one else knew about it at the time. The fugo should not be confused with the Fugu fish. Between 30-100 people in Japan are poisoned by fugu and half of those die. It is believed that most Japanese people are daring enough to eat the fugu, but there are always traces of poison left, so you have to be an expert filleter. Japanese restaurants have lanterns outside with fugu skin, to show that a trained fugu filleter is inside. Part of the training involves eating the fugu that you have sliced up.

Tangent: The Mainland United States is not largely wasteland! Birmingham, UK and Birmingham, Alabama are both wastelands!
Tangent: 800 Americans die in a McDonald's every year.

Tangent: Polar bears and penguins never meet in the wild, because they live at the other ends of the earth. Tigers and lions have never met each other either, because they live on different continents.

  • The panellists are shown a picture of Saturn and have to recognise that it is actually shown upside-down. Alan answered it correctly, but he revealed that he actually thought it should have been sideways, probably thinking it was Uranus.
  • The Boy Scout salute is almost identical to the Polish army salute. The Polish army's salute is believed to originate from a Polish hero who had three fingers blown off.

Tangent: It's now believed that the Boy Scout movement is an American invention, because of the Woodcraft Indians, created by Ernest Thompson Seton.

Episode 4 "Bible"

Broadcast date:

Tangent: Hercules the bear mauled a television presenter. The Sugar Puffs bear was called Jeremy. Peter Brough always moved his lips when the doll was talking.
Tangent: The Archbishop of Glastonbury and Stonehenge is called Rollo Maughfling.
Tangent: The rulebook for Dutch prostitutes is about an inch thick.

Tangent: Jeremy Clarkson's description of how Birmingham people are dull, like Nigel Mansell. Many people who worked for British Leyland in the 1970s had the same colour paint all over their houses, like burnt orange. The Austin Allegro was more aerodynamic going backwards.
Tangent: Examples of Birmingham sayings include "He'd skin a turd for a farthing." The discussion of the folklore of Enoch and Eli and Noddy Holder's discussion with a costumier where Noddy misinterprets his accent and the possibility that Jimmy Savile invented bling.

  • The Kingdom of Bhutan, having little television and no cars, has the least use for Jeremy Clarkson. Television was only placed in Bhutan in 1999 and parking fees were recently introduced, although it has no traffic lights. Most people in Bhutan live 1 day away from a road and only 0.01% are on the Internet. The domain name for Bhutan is .bt. There are only 6,000 telephones in Bhutan, but they were only brought into Bhutan in 1980.

Tangent: India has no speed limits, and every car bought there will be involved in a fatal road accident within 5 years. The UK has the highest amount of car thefts in the world, which led to Alan revealing that his motorcycle was stolen recently and pleaded for its return.
Tangent: Stephen's discussion about his American cousin, who is a doctor and talked about taking corneas from people who'd been involved in motorcycle accidents in the rain.
Tangent: Britain and Finland are the only two democracies to have declared war on each other. It happened during World War II, because when Finland declared war on Russia, Britain declared war on Finland.

Tangent: The story of a man who accidentally shot a Golden Eagle, while hunting for pheasants and then told the judge he ate it and that it tasted of swan.
Tangent: Leviticus is a Latinisation of the "Levi", which is a type of priest. Jeremy's third puppy is called Leviticus. His first and second were called Genesis and Exodus and his fourth was called Numbers.
Tangent: The Roadkill Cafe in Wyoming, where you can bring in any roadkill and have it cooked. Their poster says "From Your Grille To Ours!
Tangent: The Wedge-tailed Eagle in Australia hunts for roadkill and during the morning, the road train runs over it and windscreen height and splatters over the driver.

Tangent: Vladimir Putin hit someone who thought he resembled Dobby the House Elf in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The brother of the Brontë sisters, Branwell Brontë died standing up.General Ignorance:

  • The English Civil War resulted in the highest proportion of British soldiers dying. (85,000 on the battlefield, another 100,000 of wounds subsequently - 10% of the adult population) The Irish population was halved by Cromwell.

Tangent: 90% of British people cannot name a battle in the English Civil War, 80% do not know which English king was executed by Parliament, and 67% of schoolchildren have never heard of Oliver Cromwell.

  • Less than 0.02% of the Earth is water. Seven-tenths of the Earth is covered in water. Earth can also go into the Eye on Jupiter. (Forfeit: Two-Thirds)
  • Andy Warhol always wore green underwear. The only funeral he went to was his own and he didn't dance.
  • Robert Burns never wore a kilt, since kilt-wearing was illegal in the 18th century, mainly because of the Jacobite Rebellion. He was never referred to as "Robbie" or "Rabby" Burns, but sometimes "Rab".

Episode 5 "Bears"

Broadcast date:

  • 5 November 2004 (BBC Two)Panellists:
  • Alan Davies (-35 points)
  • Bill Bailey (-5 points)
  • Jo Brand (8 points)
  • Jimmy Carr (Winner with 15 points) Tasks:
  • The panel's "QI Brainteaser" was to make interesting phrases from a collection of fridge-magnet letters. Answers included:
  • Other ones seen on the '"QI Series "B" DVD" are:
    • Lady Bush Trap (Jo)
    • Koala Soup (Alan)
    • Golum Kix Habit (Bill)
    • Al-Quaeda Goose Pet (Bill)
    • Sex Up Fry (Alan)Topics:
  • Koalas make a kind of soup from their faeces for their young. It comes out of their bottom. They are the only animal that makes a kind of "soup" or "pap". Jo wonders why this soup hasn't been used as a bushtucker trial on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. Koalas aren't bears, they are marsupials.

Tangent: Wombats have cubical faeces.
Tangent: Koalas can tell how old a eucalyptus leaf is, but scientists can't. It has to be between 1 year to 18 months old, if it's any younger, it has no value to the koala. They also sleep for between 20-22 hours a day. "Koala" means "no water" in the Dharug language.

  • For the seven months that they hibernate, bears do not defecate anywhere in the winter. They recycle the urea as protein, so they don't need to urinate and they mix the hair and faeces to make a sort of plug that blocks the anus during winter. She-bears give birth during hibernation. They can also give birth to 4 cubs from 4 different fathers. (Forfeit: Woods)
  • Toothpaste makes bears go crazy with desire. You'd be safer carrying a butchered elk leg. Dogs also go crazy from toothpaste, but there are dog toothpastes available in flavours such as peanut butter and beef.
  • The animal with huge teeth and only one facial expression is the Giant Panda. It has the biggest teeth of any mammal and is a bear, but until 1996, it was thought to be a member of the raccoon family. The odd thing was that it was designated as a carnivore, but everyone knows it only eats bamboo and they're also the only bear that doesn't hibernate, because it has to eat bamboo for 12 hours a day to get enough nutrients. (Forfeit: Janet Street-Porter)

Tangent: A panda's penis points backwards.

Tangent: Bill owned a type of cactus that flowers only once every 25 years and within 2 weeks of him buying it, it flowered.

  • Thomas Edison believed that 15 tiny people lived within the human mind. He also believed that when you die, they moved to another person.
  • Edison did not invent the light bulb, but he used bamboo as a filament for his prototype, although one of his letters contains the first written reference of the word "hello". He had 1,093 patents in his name. The original word, "Hullo", was intended as an act of surprise, rather than a form of greeting.

Tangent: Floccinaucinihilipilification means the act of assessing something as worthless. The Evening Standard held a competition to find the word that people would say when answering a telephone and "hello" was top, 2nd was "Ahoy-hoi", which was Alexander Graham Bell's preferred method.
Tangent: Due to government regulations, Stephen Fry will probably be the last official Pipe Smoker of the Year. Bill read an article about Stephen in "The Chap" magazine, which showed that people who have a pipe have a sign of trustworthiness.General Ignorance:

Tangent: It takes a live chicken 55 minutes to become a Pret a Manger sandwich.

Episode 6 "Beavers"

Broadcast date:

Tangent: 400 tonnes of capybara (the largest rodent on Earth) are eaten in Venezuela during Lent. Beavers excrete castoreum, which is used to make aspirin.

  • If aliens were looking to abduct Earth's most successful inhabitants, they would look to bacteria. If chicken had no bacteria, it wouldn't taste of anything and only a few types of bacteria are dangerous. There are 40,000 species in a gram of soil. 75% of bacteria in the stomach aren't fully identified as separate species.

Tangent: The Latin for bulge is "torus", which is the doughnut shape in a particle accelerator and the fleshy part of an apple.
Tangent: There is a named phobia of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth, which is Arachibutyrophobia. Begonnophobia is the irrational phobia of beards. Anthropophobia is the fear of people and antherphobia is the fear of flowers and ailurophobia is the fear of cats. Every phobia has an opposite philia. (a love of something, e.g. arachnophilia is the love of spiders)

Tangent: German for diarrhoea = Durchfall literally "through fall".
Tangent: At one Paralympics, the Spanish national basketball team pretended to be mentally ill so they could compete. They won the gold medal.

  • The Earth bulges by up to 30cm twice a day.

Tangent: Stephen's attempt to explain to Alan how the Moon causes the tides.

  • The Earth has either 1 or 5 moons. Since the discovery of 3753 Cruithne in 1997, three more 'moons' have been discovered: 2000 PH5, 2000 WN10 and 2002 AA29. If Cruithne is classed as a moon, then so must the others. Otherwise, Earth only has one moon. (Forfeit: Two)

Tangent: There is no evidence of lunacy being related to the full Moon.General Ignorance:

  • Since 2003, only 11 points are required to win at table tennis. Also in 2003, the regulation size of a table tennis ball was increased by 2mm to make it slower and easier to watch on television. (Forfeit: 21)
  • A kangaroo has three vaginas, but only two wombs. Soon as a joey is born it crawls along its mothers body into its pouch. If the joey doesn't survive the year, another joey is triggered and comes from the other womb, but the third vagina is a mystery to most researchers. The male only has two penises.

Tangent: The clitoris is the only organ designed purely for pleasure. It also has 8,000 nerve endings, which is twice as many as in the penis.

Tangent: Roman statues' eyes are blank because they were later painted.
Tangent: The most common Death Row prisoner's last meal is a cheeseburger, French fries and a Coke (A Happy Meal).

Episode 7 "Biscuits"

Broadcast date:

  • 19 November 2004 (BBC Two)Panellists:
  • Alan Davies (-20 points)
  • Rich Hall (2 points)
  • Dara Ó Briain (Winner with 4 points - however, on his second appearance it was discovered that he should not have won because of his statement about water's triple point below, and as a forfeit had points deducted from his score on the second show to make up for his win on this show)
  • Arthur Smith (-18 points) Buzzers:
  • Rich - The sound of a saw sawing wood
  • Arthur - The sound of a hammer hammering
  • Dara - The sound of a rugby squad chanting
  • Alan - The sound of the Nokia ringtoneTopics:
  • If someone said that the British Empire was built on diarrhoea, they'd be talking rubbish as no-one suffered from diarrhoea during the reign of the British Empire. They were the first imperial power to overcome diarrhoea. Pringle managed to sort it for the army and Lind managed to solve it for the Royal Navy. They originally thought that if anything smelt bad, it shouldn't be consumed. Lind also suggested that the Navy ate lemons to combat scurvy, but everywhere that had lemons hated Britain, so instead they got limes from the Caribbean, but they were only half as effective.

Tangent: On the approach to Moscow, the French Army slept inside the dead bodies of horses. In the Battle of El Alamein, it is believed that 50% of the Germans had diarrhoea and Rommel was in hospital on the morning of the battle. Arthur's father was at the battle himself and according to him, he was the only one who didn't get the runs, but he got constipated. He also claims "He had to dig it out with a stick."

  • Ballet is illegal in Turkmenistan, which is odd as Turkmenistan used to be part of the Soviet Union.

Tangent: In Turkmenistan, there is a city called Mary and a region called Mary.
Tangent: The President of Turkmenistan (who was born in the capital, Ashgabat) has his face on every yoghurt pot in the country. He has also named January after himself. He also fired 15,000 nurses and replaced them with army conscripts.

Tangent: The Duke of Devonshire had two pastry chefs, one just for making biscuits. During World War II, he was asked to spare as much men as possible for the war, he was asked to sacrifice one of his pastry chefs and replied "Oh damn it, can't a man have a biscuit?!".
Tangent: Peter Ustinov once went to a school sports day that was so posh, there was a chauffeur's race.
Tangent: The British call posh cake "gateau", whereas the French call it "le cake". The origin of biscuit is from the Italian version known as Biscotti, which mean "twice cooked". The French shout "bis", instead of "encore" at a theatre.

  • Straight roads were invented in the Iron Age. Although, the Romans can rightly claim to have made longer road networks. Another proof that roads weren't invented by the Romans, was that there were many straight roads in Ireland, which was never invaded by the Romans. (Forfeit: Romans)

Tangent: In America, some roads in the Midwest go straight for miles, then make a sudden right turn, to account for the curvature of the Earth, so that it conforms to the map. The Americans didn't invent the car as Rich claims, it was invented by the Germans.General Ignorance:

Tangent: The triple point of water (when all three states of water (gas, liquid and solid) may coexist in thermodynamic equilibrium) is 0°C (In Series "C", Episode 12, this was found to be false).
Tangent: -40°C & -40°F are the same temperature. Fahrenheit was invented before Celsius. The British way of using Fahrenheit when it's hot and Celsius when it's cold.

  • What did Mussolini do? - The only train he made run on time was one carrying himself from Milan to Rome run on time so he could become Prime Minister. All other improvements in the Italian transport system happened before he came to power. (Forfeit: Made Trains Run On Time)
  • Which eye did Nelson wear his eyepatch on? - He never wore one, he only wore an eyepatch in Ladybird Books. (Forfeit: Right)

Tangent: Nelson bought a lot of shiny silver stars for 25 shillings and then put on a sash from the King of Naples. Then, from around 50 feet, the French shot him. He never lost his eye, just the sight of his eye. Lady Hamilton was vastly overweight and had a Lancashire accent.

Episode 8 "Bees"

Broadcast date:

Tangent: Termite mounds are spiral shape, because as termites build them, they keep out of the Sun.
Tangent: If you put a magnet next to a honeycomb, it becomes cylindrical. The reason that the cells are hexagons, because it uses the minimum amount of wax for the maximum amount of storage in a given area.
Tangent: Eddie Izzard once claimed that it was odd that bees make honey, but earwigs don't make chutney. The lifetime of 12 bees, makes a teaspoon of honey. Bees also only have 950,000 neurons in their brain, whereas humans have 10 billion.

  • Bees buzz because they control their breathing through 14 valves on their body known as spiracles. Less than 1% of the noise comes from their wings. The bees breathing is a comparison to a human using a trumpet. (Forfeit: Wings)
  • Barnacles were thought to be the embryos of a Barnacle Goose. Barnacles have the biggest penis of any existing animal, relative to their size. It's 7 times bigger than its shell.

Tangent: When W. H. Auden was growing old, he had an incredibly lined face and David Hockney was commissioned to do some paintings of him and said "Blimey, if that's his face, what can his scrotum look like?"

Tangent: Jo once did a gig in the Isle of Man, where she got given a curry served with a cup of tea and some bread and butter.
Tangent: Scottish people have the worst teeth and hearts in Europe.

Tangent: Alan's relentless silly jokes.General Ignorance:

  • Which has more caffeine - a cup of tea or a cup of coffee? - A cup of coffee contain 3 times more caffeine than a cup of tea. Weight for weight though there is more caffeine in tea. (Forfeit: Cup Of Tea)
  • The only ball game completely invented in the United States is basketball. Originally, the basket was a peach basket, but they didn't put a hole in it, so every time there was a score, they had to get a ladder to get the ball out. A woman then created netball, but she misinterpreted the rules and thought that you had to stay still when you received the ball. Volleyball was also invented at Springfield College like basketball and netball. Lacrosse was also invented in America, but it was before it became the United States. (Forfeit: Baseball)
  • Nelson's last words were "Drink, drink, fan, fan, rub, rub!" This was a request to alleviate his symptoms of thirst, heat, and the pains of his wounds from battle. He was given lemonade, water and wine to alleviate his thirst, he was fanned by a fan and another person massaged his back. "Kiss me, Hardy" is what was actually claimed to be said, "Kismet, Hardy" is completely made-up.(Forfeit: Kismet, Hardy)

Episode 9 "Bats"

Broadcast dates:

Tangent: Leopards take their dead prey up a tree and leave it for days, often returning and eating the rotting animal carcass. Cheetahs only eat fresh flesh. It is also believed that Tyrannosaurus rex also wait for their prey to rot as well.

Tangent: Rich claims he ate animals that had food in their names, such as "butterfly", "honey bee" and "hamster".
Tangent: If anyone put cotton wool in the ears of a bat, they would be completely useless, because they couldn't use their echolocation. A French scientist proved this theory in the 18th century, but it was poo-pooed and only believed 150 years later.
Tangent: Stephen once saw David Attenborough do an interview where he was explaining that bats never got caught in your hair, while he was trying to get one out. Josie once did an interview when she was asked "Who do you want to be like?" She said Attenborough, because she liked the work he's done and his wisdom, etc. But a couple of weeks later, it was revealed that the question was "Who do you most want to look like?"
Tangent: When Richard Attenborough was directing Ben Kingsley in Gandhi and Attenborough's first assistant director David Tomblin was told to tell the 1 million extras to feel sad, because Gandhi had died, but then he shouted through his megaphone, "Right, listen up, Gandhi's dead and you're all fucking sad".

Tangent: Stephen tells the story of how his aga kept going out, so the man stayed overnight in his house. It was discovered that an owl had roosted on top of the cowling of the flue and blocked the chimney.

Tangent: One of Stephen's friends claimed that sugar was the only English word that had the "shu" sound at the start and began with the letters 'su'. Stephen then asked "Are you sure?" One of Alan's friends called Dave constantly repeats all his words, so he is referred to as "Dave-ja vu".

Tangent: Acronyms used in hospitals such as, GOOMER - Get Out Of My Emergency Room and SARA - Sexual Activity Related Accident and NFN - Normal For Norfolk.

Tangent: St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost things. Stephen dismisses as bullshit Josie's claims that if you stood still for half an hour, he'd help find any missing article.

Episode 10 "Bills"

Broadcast date:

They were then told to do it however they wanted.

At the end, everyone revealed their drawings, but everyone accidentally drew teepees instead of a wigwam (except Clive Anderson, who twisted the competition by drawing the pop group Wham! wearing wigs). The main difference between a teepee and a wigwam is that a teepee is made out of buffalo hide and sticks and were mainly lived in by Indians from the Great Plains, whereas wigwams are mainly made of hay and were lived in by Indians from the Northeast. Topics:

  • There are over 200 folk names for a pansy, more than any other flower, including "jolly jump-up and meet me in the corner", "tickle my fancy", "love idol", "kiss me in the buttery", "pink of my John" and Heartsease. The word "pansy" originates from the French word pensée meaning "thought" or "idea", because they were believed to help with the memory. You can eat them in a tea that can be used to help the complexion and clearing the phlegm.
  • Bottomry is when the master of a ship borrows money upon the bottom or keel of it, so as to forfeit the ship itself to the creditor, if the money is not paid at the time appointed with interest at the ship's safe return.
  • Buffalo Bill did nothing with buffaloes, because buffaloes in America are actually bison. The bison aren't even related to the buffaloes. In 18 months, Buffalo Bill killed 4,280 bison, while he worked for the Pony Express as a boy. The advert that Buffalo Bill applied to says "Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily, orphans preferred. Wages: $25 a week." The Pony Express only lasted 19 months, so Buffalo Bill was then hired by the Kansas Pacific Railway to kill bison to gather food for the construction workers. In Dances with Wolves, the Native Americans just killed them for fun. The Native Americans preferred to lure them over cliffs, by causing them to stampede, because they can't stop stampeding. Cows eventually replaced the bison, but they created a dust bowl, so then bison were re-introduced by crossing them with the cattle. There were 60 million bison at the end of the 17th century, down to a few hundred at the end of the 19th century. There are now around 50,000.

Tangent: The Bayeux Tapestry isn't a tapestry either, it's officially a piece of embroidery. John was in Buffalo when he heard of the death of Elvis Presley.

Tangent: Flobbadob (the language used by the Flower Pot Men) was named by Peter Hawkins (who also was a Dalek and Cyberman in Doctor Who and in 1999, was associate producer of a show called "The Lifestyle: Group Sex In The Suburbs") because it sounded like a fart in a bath. (which turns out to be untrue, see QI Series "D", Episode 8).

Luvvie Alarm: When John Sessions met Robert Redford at the Sundance Film Festival, he mentioned to him that The Sundance Kid was Welsh or at least had Welsh stock.

  • As you go upstairs in a tall building, your thoughts in your head, your breathing and metabolism go faster, because time is slower, the weaker the gravity.
  • The best floor of a building to throw a cat without killing it is the 7th floor. Experiments were done on them from different floors. The higher up to the 5th floor, the rate of injury increased. But, after the 7th floor, they can reach their terminal velocity of 60 mph. Like a squirrel, they spread themselves out and parachute down. Cats have even survived from falling aeroplanes.

Tangent: The story of a Shropshire man who catapults dead cows.General Ignorance:

Tangent: Alan talks about his trip to Pompeii, where there are bits of sulphur crust that you can walk across, although they are fenced off, but you can only go over it in pairs, and the guides tell the school people not to jump up and down on the thin crust.

Tangent: In Sicily, many hitchhikers are killed on the roadside, by putting their thumbs up.
Tangent: In Ancient Greece, instead of gladiator fights, they had naked wrestling.

Tangent: The Americans gave the Viet Minh a huge amount of money, when they were on the same side. Then using the Americans arms, the Viet Minh forced the French to surrender Indochina in 1954.
Tangent: In Denmark, King Kong is known as Kong King.

Episode 11 "Beats"

Broadcast date:

Tangent: Alan's claims that there aren't any rattlesnakes on television anymore.

  • What have cats got to do with violins? - Nothing, sheep's guts are used for making violin strings. In Medieval times, it was considered unlucky to kill cats, so the people who had the monopoly on violins claimed that they used catguts, because their rivals would never kill a cat. The same rival families have been making them for over 600 years. Nowadays nylon and steel are added, but many claim the sheepgut is still the best. A cat's penis has barbs and a bone in it. (Forfeit: Catgut Strings)

Tangent: In Australia, it was discovered that sheep possess Morphic resonance, mainly because they use this knowledge to get across cattle grids. It started in Britain with blue tits, they were able to peck the bottle top of a milk bottle within a week of it being discovered in Scotland and England.

Tangent: Spiders wrap flies in their web and drink them by dissolving them.
Tangent: Flies listen with their eight feet and their penis is on the end of their feeler on top of their head. As well as having eight feet, they have eight eyes.
Tangent: Tesco music - a mix of techno and disco music.

  • In 1995, NASA did an experiment on spider webs after the spider has had caffeine, LSD and marijuana. When subjected to LSD, they were more geometrical. When they had caffeine, they were all over the place and with marijuana, they slightly in between the other two.

Tangent: 80% of humans take caffeine at least once a day.
Tangent: At the British Museum, there is an exhibition which has a mesh with 14,000 pills sewn into it, which dictates the amount of pills taken by an average First World person during their lives.

Tangent: Sean's best radio link was when Dale Winton was linking Batt's song "Bright Eyes", in which he said, "Listen to that, a song about a rabbit, written by a Batt."
Tangent: Alan was frightened when he saw "The Wombles" as a child, because they were normal-sized men in Womble suits, rather than the small creatures seen on the TV.
Tangent: Linda's friends were in a production of "The Wind in the Willows" and they weren't getting on. One was the badger, the other was Mr. Toad. When Badger told him to mend his ways, Toad said "Fuck off, you stripey bastard!"

Tangent: Linda's claim that local newspapers never have a good story to write. Her former local paper, the Sheffield Star once had the main headline as "WORKSOP MAN DIES OF NATURAL CAUSES".General Ignorance:

Tangent: Alan's similarity to the "new" Anne Robinson.

Episode 12 "Birth" (Christmas special)

Broadcast dates:

  • 26 December 2004 (BBC Two)Panellists:
  • Alan Davies (-52 points)
  • Rich Hall (Winner with 7 points)
  • Mark Steel (2 points)
  • Phill Jupitus (-3 points)
  • Stephen Fry (-56 points)Buzzers:
  • Rich - A drum intro, à la "20th Century Fox"
  • Mark - An elaborate piano sequence
  • Phill - A moving marching band piece on trumpet (which Phill stands to attention to)
  • Alan - An upbeat selection of yodelersTopics:
  • As well as being the gas that inflates balloons, helium alters the timbre of the voice and the sound travels faster through helium. (Forfeit: Makes It Go Up)

Tangent: Health & Safety wouldn't allow a demonstration of using helium on people's voices.

Tangent: Aristotle believed that having sex while facing northwards led to stronger and healthier babies.

  • People who smoke shorten their life expectancy by 5 years, while cutting off the testicles adds 13 years.
  • Italian Barbers did castrations as the practice was illegal, they explained it as an accident; Castrati are people that sing in a high pitch because they have been castrated.
  • There were no animals present at birth of Jesus. In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi first came up with the idea that Jesus was in a crib. (Forfeit: Ass, Camel, Cow, Sheep)
  • The Bible does not state that there were three Wise Men (or kings), they were priests, it just said that there were three gifts. It doesn't even say there were three of them or even if they were male.

Tangent: Fry talks about his interview with the president of Uganda (and David Frost).

  • The name of Herod's wife was Doris. (Forfeit: Mrs Herod)
  • In the Middle Ages, the church simultaneously recognised Saint Anne (Jesus' grandmother) had seven different heads. (Forfeit: One)
  • Water bears can die and come back to life after three days of being dead.

Tangent: What special powers would panellist have?

Davies and Fry change place, Davies asks the questions (All Alan's questions had pictures relating to them on the studio's big screens)

DVD extras

In the DVD (released 17 March, 2008), there were some extra features which contained deleted scenes and extras.


Tangent: The colour "Barbie pink" is copyrighted by the Mattel Corporation, which makes the Barbie doll.
Tangent: Prawns are like the maggots of the sea. They feed off effluent pipes.

Tangent: Jo asks if there is any point to knowing any of the information given to her on QI. Stephen responds by saying that it tends to be those who say "What it is the point of learning something" that come off worse in life.


Tangent: Alan tells the old joke about the funeral of the man who invented the Hokey Cokey. This joke was actually broadcast in the "Beats" episode.

  • Young, single, female turkeys can give birth without having sex. This is known as "Parthenogenesis" - in other words, "The virgin birth", hence why eating them at Christmas is rather appropriate. They are the largest animal to have parthenogenic sex. Correction: Komodo dragons are the largest animals to have parthenogenic sex.

Tangent: 11 million turkeys are eaten in Britain every Christmas.
Tangent: Stephen had a friend who used to work for Bernard Matthews. Bernard Matthews employed someone to work on the idea of giving turkeys an extra third leg under the breast, so they could move around because they were so fat.
Tangent: Catfish have the most tastebuds of any living thing.
Tangent: Winston Churchill said he liked pigs, because cats look down at you, dogs look up at you, but pigs look you in the eye and regard you as an equal. It has been known for pigs to eat dead humans.
Tangent: Alan comments how people rob him. He was once robbed when he was asked by some kids if he was, "Off the telly". Another stole his car by putting a bamboo hook through his letterbox and stealing his car keys. Another time, someone broke through his front door at the middle of the night. Alan found him in the kitchen. Alan however was wearing only a T-shirt, so the kid run off scared.
Tangent: "Onanism", meaning "Masturbation" comes from the Bible. All the people in the city of Onan masturbated. Dorothy Parker called her pet parrot "Onan" because, "It spilled its seed on the ground."
Tangent: The Kinsey Reports showed that 90% of American males masturbated regulary. When asked in an interview what this figure meant, Kinsey said, "It tells us that 10% of males are liars."
Tangent: In early castration procedures, the candidate was placed on a bed and asked if he would ever regret castration. If the answer was "No", the candidate was bound in tight bandages, given a bowl of nerve-stunning herbal tea and then the genitals were then dipped in an extremely hot chilli sauce to desensitise them. The penis and testicles were then swiftly cut off with a small, curved knife in a single movement. A metal plug was then inserted into the remains of the root of the urethra so that the man could still urinate. The entire wound was then bandaged and left to heal.


  • There is a polar bear jail in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. It can hold up to 23 bears. Churchill is the coldest town in Canada.

Tangent: There was a German man who liked eating endangered species. He would telephone zoos whenever animals died and asked if he could eat them. He was found to have a freezer full of endangered animal meat.


Tangent: Alan claims that children's plasticine characters Morph and Charlie are named after morphine and cocaine. Stephen believes that it is an urban myth.

  • The Great London Beer Disaster of 1814 happened when a 22ft tall vat of beer broke at the Meux's Brewery, leading to other vats in the brewery to also break. Thousands of gallons of beer poured into the slums of St Giles and nine people died. The whole place smelt of beer for months afterwards. Members of the public came to visit the site, with some people making their dead relatives tourist attractions.

Tangent: Morris dancing is much different to modern folk music. Much of it is about fertility - the maypole for example.
Tangent: Russian soldiers during the Second World War used to take a duck, put the head in a drawer and have sex with the duck. The wiggling feet added to the pleasure. At the moment of climax, the soldiers would slam the draw shut.
Tangent: "Manna", as in the food that came down from heaven and eaten by the Israelites, means "What is it?" in Hebrew. It was shaped like a coriander seed and tasted of honey.
Tangent: Alan, and then Stephen have a rant about people forcing their views on others, whether it is religious or otherwise.


Tangent: Jo is angry about not being filmed correctly when she tests her buzzer.


Tangent: In the early 1980's, during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, Stephen, Hugh Laurie and Robert Bathurst went to do a comedy show. The three were travelling on a dark green minibus and had just had haircuts, so they looked just like soldiers. In order to avoid being shot mistakenly, the three of them stuck their faces against the windows and pulled faces.


Tangent: Stephen sneezes very loudly. He apologises to the sound department for the shock. The department respond by playing dramatic music to him.

  • The Toronto Stork Derby was an event where a very rich man called Charles Vance Millar who left a prize in his will to the woman who could give birth to the most children in ten years. Two women give birth to ten children in ten years. Amongst those was a stillborn child and three or four "Obvious bastards". As the money became worth more and more over time (it was in stock - it eventually became C$750,000.) At the end, four women who gave birth to nine child shared the prize, with the two who were disqualified got C$12,500 each. Millar also left share in race tracks to anti-gambling clerics and shares in breweries to prohibitionists.
  • There is no such animal as a panther. It is a black leopard. "Panther" is a Greek word meaning "All beasts".


Tangent: Alan tells a joke about mass murderer Harold Shipman. The joke goes that Shipman has a curry for his last meal. When asked if he enjoyed it, he said, "Yeah, but I could murder a nan." The joke goes down badly.
Tangent: Alan talks about a whip display he saw at a theme park where a child was blinded. These leads into a rant about anti-smoking adverts and debt adverts. Stephen then mocks Alan who did an advert for Abbey National. Alan gets his own back because Stephen did an advert for Alliance & Leicester.


Tangent: Phill claims that a terrible superhero would be "Super Asthmatic". Alan goes on to talk about the comedian Paul Ramone, who used to do a character called "Lizard Man", who was a rubbish superhero. The character's theme tune was, "Lizard Man! Lizard Man! Does whatever a lizard can: Nothing much."
Tangent: When Albert Einstein first visited America, his secretary took a phone call from someone who asked for Einstein's address. The secretary said she could not give the information and asked who was speaking. It turned out to be Einstein, who had forgotten where he lived.
Tangent: When asked during "General Ignorance" about "What kind of animal is sacred in India", Phill comments on the unnatural way he himself says, "The cow".

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