The fourth series of QI, all of its episodes involve a topic beginning with D.

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Series D was the first to have a specific theme and official title attached to it from the start; only two episodes focused on general topics connected to the letter "D". The majority of episodes also contained at least one QI debutant. Ronni AnconaJulian ClaryVic Reeves and Liza Tarbuck made their first appearances while Rory BremnerGraeme GardenJessica HynesRoger McGoughNeil MullarkeyAndy ParsonsJonathan Ross and Johnny Vaughan all made what have so far been their only appearances to date.

This series had the lowest score recorded in the show's history, made by Alan Davies in Episode 7, which was -144. The series also contained a few notable firsts in it:

  • An episode was won for the first time by "the audience" (Episode 5).
  • Alan Davies was not present for the recording of an episode for the first time. The recording date for episode 10 clashed with the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final he wanted to watch, as his favourite football team, Arsenal, was playing in it. To get around this, the episode used a lot of editing trickery, from close-up shots that had been recorded in episode 8 and which featured Alan and Phill Jupitus seated beside each other, a lookalike in his seat for the opening long shot, and an edited sequence of him de-materialising upon pressing his buzzer and being supposedly teleported to the football match. Pre-recorded voice-overs done by him, were played in the studio used in the "General Ignorance" round, in which he gained most of the forfeits and so lost the episode.
  • It was the first season to be longer than the original regular length, of 12 episodes.

Episode 1 "Danger"Edit

Broadcast dates

29 September 2006 (BBC Two)

  • Statistics - Odd of dying in the next 24 hours, in unusual accidents.
  • United Nations - What the UN says has a higher chance of causing death (Work or War); Most dangerous job in America; Most dangerous job in the world.
  • War - Most dangerous military stratagem used.
  • Sports - Most dangerous sport in the world; Result of the danger it causes; What is know of the biggest kite in the world, and the smallest kite.
  • People - Most dangerous manager to live; Life of tightrope walkerCharles Blondin.
  • Niagara Falls - First person to go over in a barrel; Fate of third person to do the same thing; Obsession of going over the falls.
  • Sports - Dangerous sporting activity for women; most famous cheerleader America has.
  • Bungee jumping - Country that invented it; Possible injuries from it; Story of man who got the Darwin Award.
General Ignorance
  • Health - Cause of deep vein thrombosis on aeroplanes.
  • Health - Best amount of time to sleep, every night.
  • Geology - Devices used to measure the size of earthquakes.
  • Earthquakes - Most dangerous earthquake to have happened in North America, since European settlement; Facts about the quake inSan Francisco, 1906.

Episode 2 "Discoveries"Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 29 September 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 6 October 2006 (BBC Two)

Each contestant has a picture of an unusual patent that has been registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and they had to work out what it was:

  • On average it rains the most on Saturdays, particularly in the United States. This is due to the build-up of industrial and traffic activities that happens over the week which causes a seven-day dust cycle. The seven day-week that is used, to this day, was an invention of the Babylonians; the Romans were known to make their weeks eight-days long.
  • The link between gelignite (invented by Alfred Nobel), saccharin, and the rings of Uranus is that they were all serendipitous discoveries; in other words, they were either invented by accident or accidentally discovered. CaffeineSilly PuttyViagra, the Post-it notepenicillin, and the Americas were also serendipitous discoveries.
  • Charles Darwin suffered from Chagas disease, for fifty years (Forfeit: I did). It was discovered by Carlos Chagas and is the only disease entirely described by one single researcher, with the description claiming it could cause, amongst other symptoms, vomiting, shivering and hysterical crying. Millions of South Americans are known to still suffer from it.
  • Darwin couldn't describe brown owls because he thought they were indescribable as a food (Forfeit: Girl Guides). He was seen as a poor student who couldn't spell or do arithmetic, and was a member of the Gourmet Club of Cambridge, which ate all kinds of unusual animals but had no member that liked the brown owl; one example of an unusual food to eat is that of the beating heart, taken from a live cobra, whilst drinking the blood as a sort of wine. On Darwin's birthday (12 February), people hold a Phylum Feast in which they try to eat as many species as possible.
  • William Dampier was the first Englishman to set foot in Australia and invented the "wind over current" map, while also introducing the following words into the English Language: - serratednor'westersea-breezescaressramblingsea-lionkumquat and excursion. His book, A New Voyage Around the World, was carried around by sailors for 100 years, and his adventures were influential in the creation of the books Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels. Unfortunately, he was not well liked owing to his career as a privateer.
  • Jules Leotard was responsible for the inventions of the leotard and the flying trapeze. When he invented the leotard, he actually called it the "maillot", but after he died it was renamed after him.
  • Kangaroos do not pass wind, possibly due to the presence of one of forty different types form of bacteria that is found in their stomach. A plan by scientists is to isolate this bacteria and put it into cows in the hopes it will stop them doing the same and sending up methane into the atmosphere.
General Ignorance
  • Queen Victoria wore a bustle that was musical and played God Save the Queen, and was highly amused by it (Forfeit: "We are not amused"). The musical bustle was made for her Golden Jubilee, so it could mask the sound of her flatulence.
  • The "twit twoo" call created by brown owls is done between two of these owls, and never by a single one as it is not possible (Forfeit: Brown owl (one)). The call is used between a female and a male owl, in which the female goes "twit" while the male goes "twoo".
  • Fernville Lord Digby was the name of the Old English sheepdog that became most famous for advertising Dulux paint. However, sales of this breed of dog increased as a result of the advertising rather than the paint, while the breed has become more known by the name, the "Dulux" dog.

Episode 3 "Dogs"Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 6 October 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 13 October 2006 (BBC Two)
  • Dogs have far more variation of breeds than cats and horses, despite all three having been bred throughout human history; even if you bred a lot of cats, you would not be able to get the same number of variations that dogs have. In fact, dogs are unique amongst all other animal species in the world for this extraordinary variety, but no one knows exactly why they do have such variations.
  • When dogs mate, they initially start in the doggy position, before the male turns around so that their backsides face each other, with the penis locked inside the vagina whilst ejaculation occurs. It is extremely rare for a male dog to ejaculate into the female while in the doggy position, whilst virgin dogs can be quite distressed when they become locked to one another.
  • The most interesting thing that dogs can smell, is cancer (Forfeit: BottomsBollocks). Doctors have found they can smell both bladder cancer and lung cancer, the latter with 99% efficiency from sniffing the breath of a person. One story to prove this was that a woman found that her dog kept pawing at one of the moles on her leg, so when it nipped at it whilst she was wearing shorts, a visit to her doctor revealed that the mole had a malignant melanoma within it.
  • The best way to tell the difference between a dog from Liverpool and a Scottish dog, is to listen to the accents of their barks. Extensive research by the Canine Behaviour Centre in Britain, found that dogs from Liverpool have a higher pitch voice than those from Scotland. Dogs are well known to imitate the pack they are in, including their owner and family; if a family has children and own a Terrier, it will be quite manic, yet if the same breed of dog was with an old lady, it would act forlorn and shuffle along way before its time.
  • The only kind of dog that lays eggs is a type of shark known as a dogfish; sharks used to be known as "seadogs". The whale shark, which is not only the largest fish in the world but also a hundred times the size of a dogfish, was also responsible for laying the largest egg in the world. People assume sharks swim continuously in order to avoid sinking to the bottom, but this is not correct; they don't need to swim all the time, but they do need to have water flowing through their gills.
  • The German for "Sausage dog" is "Dackel" (Forfeit: Dachshund). The German for "Dog" is "Hund", as in the word "Hound", which was used in Old English. No-one knows where the word "Dog" comes from that is used nowadays in modern English. "Dogger" is said to come from a Dutch word meaning "A type of ship"
  • Fisher comes before German Bight in the Shipping Forecast, whilst Dogger comes before it (Forfeit: German Bark). The Shipping Forecast always begins with "Viking", whilst the difference between the terms "Backing" and "Veering", is that Backing means the wind is changing in a counter-clockwise direction while Veering means it is changing in clockwise direction.
  • Both Puffin Island and Bird Island, located in the Seychelles, are islands that are named after birds (Forfeit: Canary Islands). The Canary Islands are named after dogs, with the birds being named after the islands. The islands have a sport called "Canary Wrestling", which is quite similar to sumo wrestling.
  • On the island of La Gomera, within the Canary Islands, people communicate by whistling in Spanish known as Silbo Gomero language, aided by the sound of the whistle rebounding through the valleys of the island. The island of La Palma, also in the Canaries, is quite notable in that it has a volcano which, should it go off, could create a tsunami that could engulf the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.
  • There is a martial art called Dog Kung Fu, mainly practised by women, and invented by a Chinese nun. It is so called because you initially fight from a stance in which you must be on all-fours. The word "Karate" means "Empty Hand", while "Judo" means "The Gentle Way".
  • The Hurricane was responsible for winning the Battle of Britain, in which they shot down 1,593 aircraft (Forfeit: Spitfire). Spitfires were responsible for dealing with the enemy fighters, while Hurricanes went after the bombers, though the first two aircrafts that the Spitfire shot down were Hurricanes. Dogfights first started in World War I following the introduction of planes; at the time, they were not thought of as machines for war, so Allied and Central Powers pilots waved to each other, but this gave way to rude hand signs, then weapons were used such as pistols and bricks, before finally machine guns became installed on the planes.
General Ignorance
  • Gorillas sleep in nests, and make a new nest every day, even if there is nothing wrong with it. The scientific name for a gorilla is Gorilla gorilla, which is known as a tautonym. The same is true of the bison and the iguana.
  • Whilst the scientific name for a rat is Rattus rattus, the scientific name for a golden oriole is Oriolus oriolus, and the scientific name for a whooper swan is Cygnus cygnusPuffinus puffinus is the scientific name for a Manx shearwater (Forfeit: Puffin). The puffin's scientific name is Fratercula arctica. The oldest bird in the world is believed to be a Manx shearwater, which was tagged as an adult (5 years old) on July 1953 in Northern Ireland, and later trapped on the same month in 2003, though it is hard to know whether it lived for 55 years or whether the bird had found a way to swap its tagging ring to another of its kind.

Episode 4 "Dictionaries"Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 13 October 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 20 October 2006 (BBC Two)
  • Dictionary writers like to always start at the letter "M" (Forfeit: A).
  • The Long Years of Obscurity is the first volume of a 3 volume book about the history of Didcot. Didcot has both the second oldest Yew tree to be found in Britain, which is about 1600 years old, and the third worst eyesore in the country - Didcot Power Station - according to a magazine poll by Country Life. The number one eyesores were Wind Farms.
  • The Bubi people of BiokoEquatorial Guinea, who number around 40,000 in population, cannot talk in the dark because their language is mostly gesture. Thus if they tried to talk at night, they could not see what the other was saying because they are so dependant on gesture.
  • Prince Charles owns Dartmoor Prison, because he is the occupier of the Duchy of Cornwall. In British prisons, if asked for a "Burn", you are being asked for a cigarette, because that is what the word means; "Snout" used to mean cigarette but no more. If an inmate says to you "Twos up on your burn", whilst you are smoking a cigarette, he is wishing to claim the fag-end. Once enough are collected, another cigarette can be made from them.
  • When the Queen knights someone, contrary to popular belief, she says nothing after dubbing them (Forfeit: Arise, Sir Alan). If a member of the clergy is knighted, a sword is not used as per tradition. A knighthood can be taken away if good reason can be given, which is known as a "Degradation". The last public one to have happened was in 1621 to Francis Mitchell, who after being found guilty of a serious crime, had his spurs broken, his belt cut, and his sword broken over his head.
  • A raindrop is spherical, although later evidence puts out that this is true if it is a small raindrop (Forfeit: Pear-shaped). In contrast, larger ones tend to be affected by aerodynamic drag making them flatter at the bottom and rounder at the top, in which it is possible for them to be broken up into smaller droplets
  • The world's biggest drip is a stalactite in the Gruta Rei do Mato, Brazil; the cave's name means "Cave of the Forest King". The stalactite measures 20 metres in length.
  • The world's biggest "crashing bore" is in China on the Qiantang River. "Crashing bore" is a term given to a high tidal bore that crests and foams, and people are known to surf on them. A man from Gloucestershire called King set the world record for surfing a crashing bore, found in the River Severn, over a distance of 7.6 miles, which took him about an hour and a half to do.
  • The biggest thing in the Solar System that can float in water, with the exception of the Sun is Saturn. Its density is 70% that of water, so therefore it could float in it.
General Ignorance
  • There are fewer plants in the world than is initially thought to be, as records show that each and every single plant has been given four different names to them. Therefore, it is believed that there are, in actuality, a quarter of the plants that we once thought that there were.
  • There were several different sides involved in the fighting that occurred in the Battle of Culloden, which also saw more Scots fighting against Bonnie Prince Charlie than there were fighting for him. The English soldiers who fought in the battle were called "Tommy lobsters", and were trained to used bayonets in it for the first time. English history is omitted in Scottish history lessons, apart from the Battle of Bannockburn.
  • Although adult dolphins need fresh water to survive, they do not drink; they cannot drink salt-water, and live quite far away from a source of freshwater. To get the water that they need, they simply extract it from the food that they eat, and if they do not eat enough, they will more likely die from dehydration than starvation. Dolphins cannot distinguish between thirst and hunger. In contrast, young dolphins do drink, and like all young mammals, it is usually the milk from their mother.

Episode 5 "Death" (Halloween Special)Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 20 October 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 27 October 2006 (BBC Two)

(Despite the audience being announced as the winner, Alan Davies was announced as having come third, suggesting that the audience's victory was in fact unofficial. In this case, Parsons was the winner and thus the fourth debuting contest in succession to win.)


Both the host and the panellists were dressed in black whilst a coffin took the place of the "i" inside the "Qi" magnifying glass set, owing to the show being in "mourning". In addition, the writing for the forfeits shown on the wallscreens were coloured green as opposed to the normal white, while the show's theme tune was interjected with spooky sound effects.

  • Marmots were the actual, original animal source that were responsible for the spread of the Black Death. They did this by coughing and spitting onto fleas, which caught the disease and then subsequently transferred it onto the rats that brought it to Europe. One million Britons fell to the Black Death when it came to Europe.
  • British doctors find themselves treating more cases of depression than any other illness (Forfeit: CancerFlu). Around 3.1 million people in Britain are treated for depression every year, and its argued that you're better off getting Manic Depression than normal depression, because of the states of joy you can be in. Swimming with dolphins can help with depression, though if they get too interested in a depressed person they could possibly hurt them. One of the best people to know about depression is K. Redfield Jamison, author of "An Unquiet Mind".
  • The saddest song ever is "Gloomy Sunday" sung by Billie Holiday, also known as the "Hungarian Suicide Song". The song was originally written by Rezső Seress, who broke up with his girlfriend. After the song became popular, they got together briefly but then she committed suicide by poisoning herself and left only a two-word suicide note that said simply "Gloomy Sunday". Several suicides are attributed to the song, and the BBC banned it until 2002.
  • Killer Mushroom Roulette: Out of the following types of mushroom - death cappeppery milk cap, the destroying angel and the trumpet of death - the trumpet of death is safest one to eat, as the other three are deadly; there is no known antidote to cure you if you should eat any of these three by mistake. Out of the 3,500 mushrooms that can be found in Britain, 100 of these are poisonous, while only 15 are fatal. The last death-by-mushroom was considered to be many years ago, until in 2008, a woman in her 20s died on the Isle of Wight after eating death cap mushrooms.
  • The Nazis used the "Trumpets of Jericho" to scare their enemies (Forfeit: Destroying City Walls). This was the name they gave for a siren that was powered by the propellers of the Junkers Ju 87, otherwise known as Stukas. Stukas were responsible for destroying more tanks and ships than any other planes in World War II, and were quite successful except when they faced off against enemy fighters; both Hurricanes and Spitfires managed to shoot down 30 Stukas in a single day, during the Battle of Britain. According to archaeologistsJericho had no city walls.
  • Extremophiles are the only things that live in the Dead Sea, and are older than bacteria. Not only is the Dead Sea the lowest place on Earth, but it is possible to drown in it if you turn around the wrong way, as there is too much resistance from the water to resurface and breathe.
  • The myth that lemmings commit mass suicide by jumping off cliffs, first appeared in a children's encyclopedia in 1908, and is the first myth about them (Forfeit: Myth Invented by Disney). Lemmings are excellent breeders, with a single female capable of having 80 offspring, and if their numbers swell they will migrate to a new location in search of food. The second myth about them is that Disney invented the first myth; a film by Disney about lemmings was completely faked, as the scene in which they jumped off a cliff was actually done by them being dropped in front of a camera in a poorly conceived close-up shot.
General Ignorance
  • There is no curse of Tutankhamun, as there is nothing of the sort be found on his tomb, nor any inscription that comes any close to being perceived as a curse from him (Forfeit: Death To All Who Enter Here). This is also true with about any other Egyptian tomb that is known to exist. Lord Carnarvon, part of the group that found Tutankhamun's tomb, died in a shaving accident soon after it was discovered, likely from cutting an infected mosquito bite. His death fuelled the story that there was a curse on the tomb.
  • Only five people died in the Great Fire of London - the maid of the baker who started it; a shoe-lathe and watchmaker; two men rescuing their goods from their houses; and an elderly man who tried to rescue blankets from St. Paul's. The then-Lord Mayor of LondonThomas Bloodworth, went back to bed on the first night of the fire because he believed that a woman would come and put it out by urinating on it. The previous fire of 1212 was responsible for killing 3,000 people.
  • Ring a Ring O'Roses dates back to 1881, in North America (Forfeit: The Plague). It is a misconception that it has anything to do with the plague; a ring of lesions would never happen, and no one would ever sneeze if they had it.
  • Edward de Bono, the inventor of lateral thinking, suggested to the Foreign Office about using Marmite to help solve the Middle-East conflict. He claimed that both sides had a low level of zinc in their body which caused the aggression between them, due to them eating unleavened bread, which lacked any zinc in it. He hoped that by sending over Marmite to both sides, which has high amounts of zinc in it, it would restore their zinc levels to normal.

Episode 6 "Drinks"Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 27 October 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 3 November 2006 (BBC Two)

The set was designed around an old-time Pub theme, with the decorations referencing classic British pub culture, games, and so forth. In addition, there was a drinks rack behind Stephen Fry, including a keg of Watney's Red Barrel, and a dartboard taking up the centre of the main background, while every panellist had a drink — Alan Davies had a martini, whilst the other three had pints of lager.

  • In 2005, a house sparrow flew into a warehouse in the Netherlands where a world record attempt was being set up as a part of Domino Day, whereupon it knocked over 23,000 of the 5 million dominoes that had been set up; it would have been more if there had not been gaps between the dominoes. A company called Faunabeheer (which means "animal manager" in Dutch), sent someone out to try to catch it, but failing that they then shot the bird, only to be fined 200 because it was a criminal act to kill a member of an endangered species, which the sparrow was; a Dutch Animal Rights group got quite angry when they heard about this. The sparrow was later stuffed and shown as a museum display during 2006.
  • When a sketch created by Laurie Rowley for Not the Nine O'Clock News was shown on TV, it ruined people's view of the game of darts, due to it featuring darts players who drank heavily as opposed to actually playing darts. The negativity that came from this sketch, because people thought it was a "slobby game for drunkards", led to the creation and enforcement of the competition rule which bans drinking during darts. Another rule in darts is that you are not allowed to wear a hat, unless you are a Sikh.
  • The connection between the following people - Oscar WildeErnest HemingwayPicassoVan GoghToulouse-LautrecDegasManetStrindbergBaudelaireRimbaudVerlaineKylie Minogue - is the drink of Absinthe. All were known to drink it a lot which influenced their work, except Minogue, who in the 2001 film "Moulin Rouge!", played the Green Fairy, which in French is the nickname for the drink. Because it used wormwood when it was first made, which is poisonous, it got banned in Belgium (1905), then Switzerland (1912) and finally France (1915), and only allowed back legally, in 1926, when it was made without wormwood. Britain has never banned it, because it never became popular there.
  • The period between 1870-1914, is termed by social historians as "The Great Binge" as during these years many drugs became widely available to the public. Apart from Absinthe, which was sweeping across Europe, Heroin and Cocaine were among other drugs that were being sold within various commercial products such as throat pastels and fizzy drinks. Harrods even sold a kit that contained syringes and needles, along with Cocaine and Morphine, to be a present for soldiers on the front-lines. Heroin is a brand name created by Bayer, who also patented Aspirins.
  • The "Vomit Comet" is a military-spec aircraft, used to train astronauts to cope in near-weightless environments of "Zero-g" by conducting 30-40 parabola flights; the plane goes up to a high altitude to allow trainees to experience a period of weightlessness, but only for 40 seconds before bringing them back down. A third of trainees who got sick while training on this, did so due to the anxiety of preparing for it and not the weightlessness itself. Movies also used the Vomit Comet for shots of weightlessness; the movie "Apollo 13" shot 20 minutes of footage with the help of this aircraft.
  • The Great Stink was an event that occurred in 1858, responsible for forcing British Parliament to be cancelled, due to the bad smell of faeces that was coming into the building from the River Thames (Forfeit: He Who Smelt It, Dealt It). Parliament, who tried to combat the smell with curtains dipped in lime, turned to Joseph Bazalgette to solve the issue. He conducted one of the biggest civil-engineering jobs he had ever done in his life, by laying down the sewer network that London has to this day, along with bridges, pumping stations, treatment centres, and even the Thames Embankment. Doctors believed that the removal of the bad smell through this network, helped to combat cholera, unaware at the time that it was caused by bacteria within faecal matter.
  • Bénédictine, a French liqueur made by monks, became the "great drink" for the people of Burnley, Lancashire. It was brought back by soldiers of the East Lancashire Regiment during World War II, who developed a taste for it whilst being based in France. Burnley drinks more of this than anywhere else in the world, particularly the Burnley Miners' Club, who get through a third of the bottles that are sold in Britain.
  • DORA ("Defence of the Realm Act"), was responsible for banning both invisible ink and binoculars. It also banned fireworks, bonfires, flagpoles, and campanology, while bringing in Licensing laws, so as to get more productivity out of workers, and British Summer Time. During World War II, Veronica Lake was forced to have a haircut, because women were copying her hairstyle, and thus having accidents in munition factories when their hair got trapped in the machinery.
General Ignorance
  • vomitorium is a passage situated below or behind a tier of seats in an amphitheatre, through which the crowds could "spew out"/exit at the end of a show. People mistakenly believed it was a room that Romans set aside and would then go into to vomit after eating too much, but this is completely false. It is believed that Aldous Huxley was the one who compounded this mistaken theory when he wrote about them.
  • The single largest man-made structure on the planet is the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island (Forfeit: The Great Wall of China). In 2001, the year it was closed, its peak was 25 metres higher than the Statue of Liberty. After the September 11 attacks, the site was temporarily re-opened to deal with the debris of the Twin Towers. It is planned to convert the entire site into a parkland and wildlife facility.
  • If you are dehydrated, you can drink anything but seawater (Forfeit: Alcohol). Basically you are replacing the fluid in your body when you rehydrate, so anything from squashmilkcoffee and beer is quite alright to drink; people assume drinking coffee isn't good because you lose a lot from the caffeine present in it, but in actual fact you lose far less than you get from the amount of liquid in coffee.
  • Alcohol does not kill brain cells. There is no evidence to prove that such a thing does happen, as studies of alcoholics and non-alcoholics show they still have the same number of brain cells between them.

Episode 7 "Differences"Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 3 November 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 10 November 2006 (BBC Two)

(Had Alan not triggered the show's forfeit for the final question, he would have won by 6 points.)

  • The main difference between men and women is the chromosomes between them - women have two X chromosomes (XX), while men have only one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (XY). Another difference, is that women are also more sensitive to pain, because they have twice as many pain receptors in their skin then men have.
  • When consumed in drinks, alcohol has a greater effect on men (Forfeit: Women). In the long run, though, women are more prone to receiving alcohol-related brain and liver damage.
  • Women will get colder much quicker then men, especially in their hands and feet. When the temperature drops to a certain level, most of the blood in the body deliberately avoids going to the extremities, so as to keep the vital organs warm; for women, this happens at a slightly higher temperature then men because they are three degrees cooler. In men, the testes react to the temperature in order to keep sperm alive; too hot and they hang low, while too cold cause them to draw in towards the body.
  • If you meet a Yupik in the Arctic Circle, it is best to call them a Yupik or an Eskimo (Forfeit: Inuit). Yupiks don't like it if you call them an Inuit, because they get annoyed by the fact that people believe anyone living around the Arctic Circle should be called an Inuit and not an Eskimo, which both Inuits and Yupiks are. All Eskimo people live for around 39 years on average, and have an average height of 5'4". The car park at the Los Angeles International Airport could be filled with every Eskimo in the world, if all were put five in to each car.
  • You cannot truly describe the difference between left and right. You can however say that there is an internal difference between left and right within the body, as the organs are not symmetrical down the spine; an odd condition that 1 in 10,000 people suffer from is called "Situs Inversus", which causes the organs to be the other way around.
  • Deaf people applaud by waving their hands in the air, because it has more visual impact, especially for a deaf person who is receiving an applause from them. There is a misconception that they either clap louder or harder than people who can hear an applause.
  • The similarity between herring and teenage boys is that they both communicate by farting. Herrings do so by secreting bubbles from their anus, which makes an extraordinary noise called Fast Repetitive Tick (FRT); the bubbles are not gas from digestion but likely come from its buoyancy sack.
  • The only difference between brown eggs and white eggs is the colour, and nothing else, despite people assuming there is a difference in taste. People also assume brown eggs are natural due to the preference for them, but this is untrue. It is easy to know what colour egg a hen will lay, by looking at their earlobe – if they have white feathers and white earlobes, it will be white, but if brown feathers and red earlobes, then it will be brown.
  • You could make a Difference Engine by using either cogs or Meccano. The Difference Engine that Charles Babbage invented and was making, was never completed until 1991 because he ran out of money to complete such a vast machine; if Meccano had been around, he could have completed it. When it was completed, it was found to work perfectly, doing both trigonometric functions, and logarithms, while it was discovered to be quite programmable as well. It is believed that Babbage deliberately put some mistakes in the plan for the machine, so that if anyone stole it, it would not work. Babbage was also responsible for the invention of the cowcatcher.
  • The difference between ping pong and table tennis, is that "ping pong" is a brand name by Jaques, who make chess pieces and other pieces of sport equipment. Russia banned table tennis because they believed it would contribute to poor eyesight, while in the 1936 World Championships in Prague, a single point took about an hour to be made.
General Ignorance
  • Eskimos have 32 different words for demonstrative pronouns (Forfeit: IceSnow). English has four of these – "This", "That", "These" and "Those". Examples of Eskimo demonstrative pronouns include - "hakan", which means "That one high up there"; "uman", which means "This one that we can't see". It is a myth that Eskimos have lots of words for snow.
  • The Moon is believed to smell of gunpowder (Forfeit: Cheese). It is known that within moon dust, from samples that were brought back to Earth, you can find a mixture of siliconironmagnesium and calcium. Twelve people have walked on the Moon's surface.
  • Gandhi's first name was Mohandas Karamchand (Forfeit: Randy - Given to Alan for saying this, which docked him 150 points). His title of "Mahatma" is known in Sanskrit as "Great Soul".

Episode 8 "Descendants" (Children in Need Special)Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 10 November 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 17 November 2006/18 November 2006 (BBC Two)
  • Alan Davies (-29,000,000 points)
    • Pudsey Bear, the Children in Need mascot, initially took the place of Alan at the beginning and got an introduction as a result, but was ousted by him after the demonstration of the buzzers, and forced to sit in the audience.
  • Rich Hall (2,000,000 points) 13th appearance
  • Phill Jupitus (1,000,000 points) 10th appearance
  • Jonathan Ross (winner with 3,000,000 points) 1st and only appearance

(Because it was a Children In Need special, all the scores were multiplied by 1,000,000 as a generosity gesture from Stephen Fry, so in reality Alan had -29, Rich had 2, Phil had 1, and Jonathan had 3)


Each panellist had a small stuffed Pudsey bear toy set in front of them, with only Rich Hall's Pudsey not wearing its trademark eyepatch over one of its eyes. As Rich Hall is American and so, like other Americans, would never have seen Children In Need (as it is a British Charity Telethon), he was not aware of this; he had removed the eyepatch and bound his Pudsey's hands behind its back with it, before the recording of the episode began. In addition to the smaller ones, a larger Pudsey model rested within the centre before Stephen Fry.

  • While adults have kneecapsbabies don't because the ones they have are made of cartilage. Cartilage accounts for all the bones found in babies, around 300 soft bones, due to the fact that their bodies have yet to form the bone material needed to make the major areas like the skull, but because of this they have 94 more bones in their body than is found in an adult. As a baby grows, the cartilage eventually fuses together to form the 206 bones that an average human body has. Feet have around 52 bones in them, which account for a quarter of the bones that are found in the body.
  • The paradoxical frog, found in South America, has not only a grunt that sounds like a pig, but it is the only species in the world that has offspring three times its own size; the offspring eventually reduce to the size that the adult is.
  • If she was eligible, Barbie could have been a US President (Forfeit: Margaret Thatcher). Barbie's maiden name is "Roberts"; her inventor gave her the name "Barbara Millicent Roberts". Barbie is a trained scientist, has larger breasts than you might imagine, has over a billion pairs of shoes and is only 11 inches tall. If she existed for real at a height of 5'6", she would be unable to stand because her shoe size would be three, and her breasts would be 39 inches, which would cause her to fall flat onto her face. She also could not menstruate because she would lack around 17-22% of the body fat needed to do so. Until 2000, she lacked a navel, and her first words were made in 1992 and included amongst them "Maths is tough" and "Will we ever have enough clothes".
  • The following fictional superheroes - Spider-ManWonder Woman, and Superman - all helped to fight real-life crime, because they were inspirations to people who wanted to combat it:
    • In 1979, a Spider-Man comic featured a story in which one of his arch-enemies, Kingpin, used a tagging device so he could trace the superhero's movements. A judge from New Mexico, Judge Jack Love, was so inspired by it, he reasoned that a real device should be made, so a few years after the story was published, he helped to invent the electronic tag for monitoring convicted criminals.
    • Wonder Woman's creator, William Moulton Marston, was quite interested in people's responses when under stress. As a psychology professor, he found that when people were under pressure, their blood pressure would increase as a result, and so he used his findings to help invent the lie detector. When he wrote stories for Wonder Woman, he did so under the pen name of "Charles Moulton", and he lived his life in a polyamorous relationship, living with both his wife and a woman he had an affair with, each of whom had two children with him.
    • During the 1940s, Stetson Kennedy considered the Ku Klux Klan to be the most loathsome organisation in the United States, so he infiltrated them and learned all of their secrets. Around that time, there was a radio show for Superman which was quite popular, so Stetson wrote to the show's producers and asked them to do an episode, in which the plot had Superman fighting against the KKK, providing them with what he knew about the organisation's secrets. Within two weeks of the episode being broadcast, the KKK recruitment rate dropped right down to zero.
  • Roald Dahl is credited for being the co-inventor of the Wade-Dahl-Till valve, which is used to treat Hydrocephalus - also known as "Water on the Brain". Before it was invented, the cure for the condition at the time used a different valve that was clunkily-designed and often got jammed and stuck. When Dahl's son Theo was struck by a car in an accident in New York, Dahl considered this valve to be not good enough, so met with others to devise a new one, leading to the creation of the Wade-Dahl-Till valve. It is believed that 3,000 children have been saved by this valve and had their lives massively improved as a result.
  • The original Oompa-Loompas that Roald Dahl created were black and came from Africa (Forfeit: Orange). The ones that are seen in the movies are orange because Dahl's publishers, Knopf, felt it was wrong to have black pygmies slaving away in a factory; they felt it was slightly kind of unfortunate.
  • In the British children's show Clangers, an episode called "Chicken" features a scene in which a voice actor says (through a swanee whistle) - "Oh sod it, the bloody thing's stuck again". The show was created by Oliver Postgate, who created other children shows including Bagpuss and Noggin the Nog. It took both him and Peter Firmin a month to make a single episode of Clangers, and all the episodes were created in a barn. The highest ratings that the Clangers got was 10 million viewers, when they appeared in an episode of Doctor Who in 1972, called "The Sea Devils".
  • The language spoken by Bill and Ben on the British children's show, Flower Pot Men, is "Oddle Poddle" (Forfeit: Flobbadob ). A newspaper article wrote a story, some twenty years ago, claiming that the language was called "Flobbadob", and originated from the sound made by the younger brothers of Hilda Brabban, of them farting whilst in a bath. However, the voice actor, Peter Hawkins, quickly wrote a rebuttal to this, and his son, Silas, sent a letter to QI stating the same thing after the show put forward this fact in Series B - that it was untrue. In "Oddle Poddle", the word "Flobbadob" means flowerpot.
General Ignorance
  • The most listened to tune in the world is the Gran Vals by the Spanish composerFrancisco Tárrega (Forfeit: Crazy Frog). The tune is well known to people as the "Nokia tune". Nokia produces around 6.5 million phones every second.
  • The best things to know about ferns are that they are poisonouscarcinogenic, that they pollinate by flinging their seeds, and that they are the second oldest plant, after moss; ferns are three times older than dinosaurs.
  • Terry Wogan is descended from the Welsh (Forfeit: Ireland). All Wogans in Ireland are said to be descended from Wales. Terry Wogan currently holds the World Record for setting the longest record putt on TV, which is 33 yards, and was done at the golf course at Gleneagles; it is considered to be longer than any professional golfer has ever done.
  • All of the money that is donated to Children in Need, never goes towards any administration costs. The first Children in Need that was held in 1980, raised £1,000,000 for good causes.

Episode 9 "Doves"Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 17 November 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 24 November 2006 (BBC Two)

(Even though Fry had messed up the Bonus question towards the end, Alan would have won with a score of 4 regardless of this mistake, but only if none of the others had answered it correctly.)

  • The bravest species of animal is the pigeon, having won more Dickin medals than any other animal. The medal, an animal version of the Victorian Cross, was organised by Maria Dickin to honour animals who served in war; she also founded the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. Out of the 60 occasions it has been awarded since its creation in 1943, pigeons have received it around 32 times. Only one cat got the medal; the ship's cat on the HMS Amethyst, which received it in 1949 following the The Yangtse Incident, for helping to eat all the rats aboard the ship. The pigeons found in London are technically doves, known as the "White Rock Dove".
  • kamikaze pigeon unit was designed, in which pigeons would be placed in missiles, so as to destroy ships. The pigeons were first trained to peck at a ship and earned grain when it did so. They were then put into a missile to act as a guidance system for it - the pigeon would peck on a glass target to relay a signal to the missile so it turned towards its target, continuously pecking as the ship got bigger to confirm it was on the right course. It wasn't used in combat, but a similar idea was developed for use by maritime rescue services, to find people lost at sea - pigeons would be trained to peck at fluorescent orange dots on a glass screen, awarded with grain, and then on helicopters they would peck at a screen to alert the pilot, when they saw the same colour that life jackets have, due to their good eyesight. Other interesting facts about pigeons include:
    • The Passenger pigeon is an extinct breed of pigeon that used to be found in North America, and had large flocks that were 300 miles long by 1 mile wide. However, in 1896, American sportsmen found what they knew was the final flock of them and finished them off, wiping out 250,000 pigeons in a single day. The breed didn't truly go extinct until 1914, when the last remaining passenger pigeon, called "Martha", died in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo.
    • The Italian composer Puccini was, like all Italians, a greater shooter of birds. During his time writing operas, he had a specially designed gun that he made himself, which he could use to take down 50 snipes in one go. The gun can be seen at his home in Torre del Lago.
    • Picasso was quite keen on pigeons. His father used to paint them until he saw how good his son was at painting, at which point he passed his brushes over to Picasso and never painted again. Picasso also collected fan tail pigeons and named his daughter "Paloma", which is Spanish for "Pigeon".
  • According to the Turner Prize committee, the most influential piece of modern art was Marcel Duchamp's Fountain, for which its function was to be urinated in because it was a urinal. Duchamp's work was unveiled in 1917 and is worth $3.6 million, while he also signed it "R. Mutt", in which the "R" stands for "Richard", a slang word in French that means "Moneybags". Many artists have urinated in it when it was on display, either in support or in opposition of it; one artist who did so got fined $6,500. Duchamp was a member of the Dada movement, and famously did a picture of the Mona Lisa with a moustache and a goatee.
  • The Dik-Dik, a tiny antelope, possess strong survival instincts that causes it to go into hiding upon sensing the approach of unfamiliar animals, such as lions. It is considered to be quite a shy creature, unlike the Dodo, which possessed no natural predators. When humans, dogsrats and pigs arrived in its habitat of Mauritius in the 17th Century, the Dodo had no reason to be afraid of them, which is probably one of the reasons why it is now extinct. The Dodo is considered to be related to pigeons, and were completely forgotten about until 1860, when they appeared in the book, Alice in Wonderland.
  • According to Moby-Dick, the most useful thing that can be done with a sperm whale's penis is to turn the skin into an apron. Its penis measures 9 feet in length and 1 foot in diameter, and, like a badger, it has a bone within it.
  • Swift Nick Nevison, who never hurt people and who got his nickname from Charles II, rode 200 miles (320 km) from Kent to York in 15 hours, after he had performed a hold-up (Forfeit: Dick Turpin). Upon reaching York, he played bowls against the Lord Mayor of York, betting him on the outcome of their match, so that when the law came to arrest him two days later, he was able to use the mayor as his alibi; no one imagined anyone could ride the distance in that amount of time. Oddly, the novelist, Harrison Ainsworth, attributed all the deeds performed by Nevison to Dick Turpin in his novel Rookwood, published in 1834. Interesting facts about Dick Turpin include:
    • Unlike Nevison, Dick Turpin would torture old women and young girls for money.
    • He used to live in Epping Forest for a while, before taking a long time to ride to York on the back of his horse "Black Bess". People assume he is the one who rode from London to York, but this is not true.
    • He lived in York under the alias of "John Palmer", and was arrested after he shot a farmer's cockerel, which soon set off a chain of events that led to his eventual identification as Turpin. Needing a character reference, he sent a letter to his brother-in-law asking him for one, but because letters had to be paid for in his time (at about sixpence), his brother-in-law turned it away whilst unaware of who John Palmer really was. As a result, the letter was sent back into the hands of a postmaster who had taught Turpin how to read and write, who recognised the handwriting on the letter as Turpin's, thus immediately grassing him up to the law.
    • The hangman who executed Turpin, was a former partner of his, who did the job in exchange for a pardon.
General Ignorance
  • The crime committed by both Burke and Hare, was murder (Forfeit: Body-snatching). In their time, a lot of dissection was going on amongst doctors, and a black economy was forming with the selling of bodies taken from graves. The pair decided, however, to simply kill people instead and take their bodies to a doctor called Knox, who asked them no questions; in total, they murdered sixteen people to make a profit out of their bodies. Most medical students nowadays never get the chance to do a dissection on a human body in their studies thanks to .
  • An Underground Fluffer is a worker who cleans hair off the tracks in the London Underground. When a train enters an Underground station, winds of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) blow hair onto the track, which can be a serious fire hazard, so gangs of six Underground Fluffers work during the night to clean them off the tracks. In the porn industry, fluffers were used to help to keep the male stars erect, but were put out of work when Viagra was created.
  • "E pluribus unum" is the motto of Sport Lisboa e Benfica, and means "Out of many, One". One of the most famous players for Benfica is Eusebio; not only does he have a statue outside the club's stadium, he was also born in Mozambique. The motto used to be used by the United States, but was changed in 1956 to "In God We Trust."; on a Celebrity Episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen answered this to the £1 million question he got - "Which motto of the United States is translated from E pluribus unum?" - which was the motto but not translated from the Latin. The confusion this generated though, led to him being invited back to the show, where he walked away with the amount he previously had gotten to - £500,000.
    • Bonus Question (50 Points) (Alan got the Bonus) - E pluribus unum was a phrase originally used in a recipe for salad dressing. (Because Fry had accidentally said out the answer without realising it was for the bonus question, when he was told to ask it again, Alan buzzed in and cheekily took his time to answer it.)

Episode 10 "Divination"Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 24 November 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 1 December 2006 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 17 May 2006

(Owing to the UEFA Final that year, involving his favourite team, Arsenal, Alan was absent from the recording to watch the match. His appearance at the beginning was through editing and pre-recorded voice-overs were used in the "General Ignorance" Round.)


Each of the panellists were told to predict their scores using a form of divination, in which whoever accurately predicted their score was rewarded with 666 points:

  • Johnny - Coscinomancy, which meant he used a sieve to predict his score; he predicted he had a score of 7.
  • Graeme - Tyromancy, which meant he used cheese to predict his score, although in this case he was using Mini Babybels; he predicted he had a score of -1.
  • Phill - Tasseomancy, which meant he used tea, or in this case, tea bags; he revealed he could not predict anything.
  • Alan - Pygomancy, which meant he used a pair of buttocks, or in this case, a plastic pair; Alan was gone shortly after they were told of this task.

No-one managed to accurately predict their own scores; while Vaughan correctly guessed Garden's score, he didn't get the bonus because it had to be his own score he divined.

  • There are many different ways of interpreting the present and future, and all these different types of interpretation have names that all end in "-mancy". One example is Oneiromancy, which is the interpretation of someone's dreams; Fry uses the facts from Oneiromancers to interpret the panel members' dreams, and concludes that they are all gay because of what they dreamt of. Other types of interpretation include:
  • Clever Hans the horse was quite famous in his day, because he was able to count and work out square roots and math equations, simply by reading someone's body language. If a person was to train themselves to read body language, the tiniest movement of a muscle or of the eye, could allow them to read someone's mind. Derren Brown is also capable of reading body language and devised a trick that anyone could use on a train, to keep the seat next to them from being sat in - all they would have to do was smile at the person approaching the seat and pat it. Derren believes people are insane to put something on the seat next to them to stop it being sat in.
  • If you see a dead donkey, you should jump over it three times for good luck. The word "donkey" came into English in the late 18th century, although pronounced "dunkey" to rhyme with "monkey"; before then, the word was "ass". A mule is a cross between a male donkey and a female horse, while the cross between a male horse and a female donkey is a "hinny" which are rarer; if all the mules in the world were to be killed off, another 10,000 would be created by the following year. Male mules, who are sterile like females but don't know it, are gelded to stop them mating all the time. The milk of a donkey is quite good and nutritious, especially for babies, but can't be used to make cheese; both Cleopatra and Poppaea (Nero's wife) bathed in this milk, with the latter needing 300 donkeys to be milked to fill her bath.
  • demonym means your people name, of which examples of this include "He is a Briton", and "She is a Englishman". There is no accurate demonym for someone who comes from the United States, unlike France for example; if someone's from France, "they're French". In Chinese, the word for American is "meiguroren", which translated means "Lovely country person". For Englishman, the word is "yingguoren" which translates into "Hero country person", while the word for Frenchman is "faguorens" which translates into "Law country person".
  • Robert Johnson was a famous Blues musician, whom people believed had travelled to the crossroads in order to become famous by selling his soul to the devil. It is believed that this legend surrounding him arose because his talent came from nowhere; after being away for a year, he walked into a recording studio and began playing extraordinarily great Blues music, far better than anything anyone had ever heard of from the genre. Johnson recorded around 29 songs, but died in his twenties from strychnine poisoning in his whisky.
  • A part of Deeper Blue, the first computer to beat a chess grandmasterGarry Kasparov, now works for United Airlines as a reservations clerk; the rest is contained in a museum. Its nameis a portmanteau of "Deep Thought" (the computer from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and "Big Blue" (the nickname for IBM). Following his games against Deeper Blue, Kasparov accused IBM of cheating - in the second game, he had a laid down a trap which a computer could only have escaped if it thought creatively. Another grandmaster, Vasily Smyslov, used to pretend to screw pieces into the board, which is practice known today as the "Smyslov screw".
General Ignorance
  • The Number of the Beast is "616" (Forfeit: "666"). Although "666" has had all the connotations of evil associated to it for 2,000 years, a papyrus from the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, one of the oldest discovered to contain the Book of Revelations on it, pointed out the number as 616. St.Irenaeus of Lyons is said to have seen a manuscript containing this number but didn't like it and so changed it to "666". Odd facts about the number "666" include:
    • A bus company in Moscow changed one of its routes from 666 to 616.
    • A road in Lancashire, stretching between Pendlebury and Langho (near Blackburn), is known as the "A666".
    • The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel, is 666.
    • 25.80698 is the "root of all evil"; in other words, it is the square root of 666.
    • Bonus Question (66.6 points) (No one gets the bonus)- The fear of 666 is "Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia", while the fear of 616 is "Hexakosioidekahexaphobia".
  • Thomas Midgeley has done more damage to the environment than any other person in history (Forfeit: George BushStalinGenghis KhanMao ZedongMargaret Beckett). Midgley's invention of leaded petrol completely reduced knocking in cars, whilst also releasing lead into the atmosphere. His next invention of Dichlorodifluoromethane, the first kind of CFCs to be made, made refrigeration safer by replace existing compounds being used, as it was both non-toxic and inert, but was unaware of the damage it would do to the Ozone Layer. His inventiveness would later lead to his own downfall; at the age of 51, Midgeley contracted Polio and so invented a harness to help him get out of bed. But at the age of 55, it swung him round oddly one morning as he was getting out of bed, and in the ensuing struggle to correct this, he managed to strangle himself to death.
  • European witchcraft is known for causing harm to people by sticking pins into dolls (Forfeit: Voodoo). The dolls were made of either wax, straw, ceramics, or other kind of things, and were known as poppets. In Voodoo, a "Bocio" is a small, en-powered figure that pegs are stuck in to, to channel healing energy. Slavery was responsible for spreading Voodoo from West Africa to the Caribbean, where it is most associated to Haiti, but all the negativity connected to it (zombiescannibalism) was the result of missionaries wishing to discredit it in order to raise up the claim of Christianity.
  • desire line is a name given by planners to the lines, which are almost like paths, made by people who often wander haphazardly and which don't follow contours. People who wander without really thinking are called "Meanderthals".

Episode 11 "Denial & Deprivation"Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 1 December 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 8 December 2006 (BBC Two)

To match the topic of the episode, Stephen Fry and the panellists were deprived of the normal set and had to make do with replacement items:

In addition, the director of photography was "fired" so there was a lack of light; some of the studio was lit by candles. The audience was also forced to watch in the street (although only for a humorous pre-filmed segment), while the buzzers were hand-cranked.


The team were each given a tray that on it some dental floss, some chilli powder, a potato and a green pen. The panellists had to figure out how each item had been used in a prison escape:

  • Green pen - A green pen was what helped Steven Russell to escape from the Estelle Unit in Houston, Texas. He did so by dying his white prison uniform green, so as to look like a prison doctors. With his disguise, he simply then walked out of the prison.
  • Dental floss - Vincenzo Curcio was a Mafioso, who was put in prison near Turin for the crime of murder and arranging seven other murders, but escaped in 2000 by using dental floss. It was used to file down the bars in his cell, which had been designed to withstand explosions, showing how strong the floss was.
  • Chilli powder - In 1997, five prisoners managed to escape from a prison in Pakistan, by throwing spice powder into the eyes of a warden.
  • Potato - John Dillinger, a famous US criminal during the 20th century, stole a raw potato to help him in his escape. He did so by carving it into the shape of a gun, painted it black with boot polish and held up a warden with it. This escape is referenced in the Woody Allen film, Take the Money and Run, in which Allen's character did the same thing but with bar of soap, yet failed to escape because rain turned the fake gun into a ball of lather once he was in the prison courtyard.
  • The daughter of Sigmund FreudAnna Freud, believed that it was good for children to play with their food, because they are really playing with their excrement. Oddly, Anna never had children because she lived most of her life in depression. Her father suffered from a fear of the number "62" and as such never stayed in a hotel that had more than 61 rooms, in case he got a room of this number; the first room he got after he put in this rule, was 31, were he went "Oh, see! Half of 62!"
  • "To bant" is to diet, just as "banting" means "dieting". The words originate from a booklet called "Letter on Corpulence Addressed to the Public", written in 1864 by William Banting, who is credited for inventing diets. Until diets came about, no one truly was worried about their weight with many seeing fatness as a sign of prosperity. Dieting became popular when US President, William Howard Taft, decided to lose weight after he got stuck in his bath, and grew further in popularity when Hollywood, during its beginnings, caught onto the idea. In the 1950s, a big fad in dieting was to swallow a pill containing the egg of a tapeworm to help keep a person thin. An urban myth surrounding the removal of a tapeworm is to starve yourself, stick a Mars Bar in your anus, and pull it out when the tapeworm bites into it due to hunger, but this is untrue.
  • Hoover the talking seal is a seal who is the only mammal, to date, to have produced human speech. He was found as a pup by a family in Maine, called the Swallows, in 1971. The family found that he had not only started talking, but he did so in a Bostonian accent; recordings of him showed he either said "Hello there" or "Get out of here", but in the accent he used. His fame saw him appear on ABC's Good Morning America, and when he died in 1985, he had his own obituary in the Boston Globe.
    • Inspired by this information, Roger McGough wrote a poem later on about Hoover, entitled "Hoover the Talking Seal", which went as followed:- "An audacious, loquacious seal, Called Hoover, after each meal; Having vacuumed the fish, Right out of the dish, Would jabber and babble, Blabber and gabble, Chatter and prattle and spiel."
  • When the Bastille was stormed on 14 July, it was holding only seven prisoners - four forgers, two lunatics, and the Comte de Solanges, inside for "sexual misdemeanors"; one of the lunatics being held, either English or Irish, thought they were Julius Caesar. The number would have been eight, had the Marquis de Sade not be moved out of the Bastille ten days before its storming; his removal was due to him using a tube through his cell window to shout out obscenities and anti-monarchist sentiments at passers-by, with his possessions left behind and lost in the storming before his wife could get them. Life in the Bastille was civilised as prisoners had tobacco, food, wine and money allowances, and the freedom to move around in the building; this was the same for the Tower of London.
  • Because they'd deserted from National Service, the Kray Twins were imprisoned in the Tower of London, which housed their local barracks for the Royal Fusiliers. Ronnie Kray, well known to be gay and quite insane, had an obsession that everyone, even "The Firm", admired his boyfriends. The famous photograph of the twins standing one behind the other was done by David Bailey, who once got angry at Reggie Kray whilst both of them were in a pub owned by the twins (according to David Puttman, who used to manage the twins); a drunk had been pestering Bailey for a photograph, which led to Reggie punching them into a piano whilst looking into a mirror across the bar. Bailey claimed he could have handled them, believing the drunk might have been killed, only for Reggie to admit that he'd wanted to do so because the drunk had "been eating my sandwiches!"
General Ignorance
  • The four main religions of India are HinduismIslamChristianity and Sikhism (Forfeit: Buddhism). There are 805 million Hindus, 134 million Muslims, 23 million Christians, and 19 million Sikhs. Although India has 7 million Buddhists and was where Buddhism was founded, the religion is not one of its major ones; its spiritual home is considered nowadays to be Tibet. As Buddhists consider the taking of life to be forbidden, the jobs of Tibetan blacksmiths, undertakers and butchers are ranked as the lowest of the low.
  • No-one milks a yak, because yaks are the male of the species (Forfeit: Milkman). Instead they would need to milk the female of the species, which is either called a "Nak" or a "Dri". Along with providing meat and milk products (cheesebutter and yoghurt), their hair, which is the longest of any animal and can be about 2 feet in length, was used in the making of wigs around the 17th century; if you play as Santa at Christmas, you likely wear a beard made of yak hair. Although they have twice as many blood cells, they are only half the size.
  • Crabs have 10 legs (Forfeit: 8). Although they may appear to have eight, they have two tucked-in at the front which they walk with. Crab lice have six legs, and are called this because they latch onto the follicles of pubic hair; they can even latch onto the follicles of eyelashes, eyebrows and beards.
    • Roger recounts a children's poem about crabs, which goes as follows:- "A crab, I'm told, will not bite, Or poison you just for spite; Won't lie in wait beneath a stone, Until one morning out alone, You poke a finger like a fool, into an innocent looking pool. Won't grab your hand, And drag you off across the sand, Down into the bottom of the sea, To eat you dressed for Sunday tea. The crab I'm told is a bundle of fun; With claws like that, pull the other one!"
  • The story that George Washington told his father "Papa, I cannot tell a lie. I cut down the cherry tree with my axe", was a myth invented by Parson Weems, so that he could tell children how honest Washington was, even when he was six years old. Washington's father is believed to have said to him in the story - "Run to my arms, you dearest boy, run to my arms. Glad am I, George, that you killed my tree, for you have paid me for a thousandfold. Such an act of heroism in my son is worth more than a thousand trees, though blossomed with silver and their fruits of purest gold."
  • If you see a Yeoman Warder with a strap over their uniform, then you are actually looking at a Yeomen of the Guard (Forfeit: Beefeaters). Such individuals wear an arquebus strap, which are designed for their guns. Yeoman Warders (commonly known as "Beefeaters") never carry guns, and are tasked as the jailers of the Tower of London.

Episode 12 "Domesticity"Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 8 December 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 15 December 2006 (BBC Two)
  • Alan Davies (-64 points)
  • Jo Brand (-18 points) 13th appearance
  • Jessica Hynes (winner with -3 points) 1st and only appearance
    • At the time of broadcast, Jessica was introduced whilst she was going under her maiden name of Stevenson.
  • Phill Jupitus (-4 points) 12th appearance (5th appearance of the series)
  • Dry cleaning is a term given for the process of washing clothes without water. It is however not dry, as the process involves the use of solvents such as perc, to help wash clothes. In the world of espionage, "dry cleaning" is the name given to the method used by spies to determine if they are being followed or not; such actions that can be part of this method is sudden U-turns, and ducking into shops and walking out the back exit.
  • Ray Davis, who is not to be confused with the same Davis from "The Kinks", used 100,000 gallons of dry-cleaning fluid in his research in 1964, trying to find out how many neutrinos were being beamed from the sun. A neutrino is a particle emitted from the sun, which has very little mass and can pass through a light-year's thickness of lead without leaving a trace. The fluid he used had lots of chlorine in it, and a single neutrino could change it into an atom of argon, allowing him to measure the neutrino activity. After finishing his work, the leftover fluid remains nearly 50,000 feet under Lead, South Dakota, because it is a hazardous waste. Ray Davis holds the world record for being the oldest person to win a Nobel Prize; he was 88 when he received it.
  • The first vacuum cleaner created was horse drawn as it was quite vast in size, and because people couldn't afford an individual one for their house, it was used as part of a hiring service. The machine would be left on the street outside the house to be cleaned, and hoses would then be sent through the windows. The hoses were cleverly designed with transparent tubes so that people could come and be amazed by the machine, as they watched it suck up all the dirt into the cleaner.
  • The first practical dishwasher, invented by an American called Josephine Cochrane, was designed to wash dishes more safely (Forfeit: Quickly; Cleanly). She found that her porcelain kept being chipped by her servants, but when she dismissed them to do it herself, she found she did it as well, and so wanted to invent something to stop this. Her invention proved a huge success, and her husband's death in 1883, which made her penniless, fuelled her need to make it; she created both a small one and a big one. While it cost US$250 to make a big one, which was a lot in the 1880s and thus could only be bought by hotels and big institutions, it could clean and dry 200 dishes in 2 minutes, and won her 1st prize at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. In 2003, a freak accident with a dishwasher, involving a knife, was responsible for killing a woman in Scotland.
  • Up until around 1800, the second greatest cause of death for women was cooking (Forfeit: Domestic Violence). This was largely due to the fact that the dresses that they wore were liable to catch fire whilst they were cooking. The main greatest cause of death for woman was Childbirth.
  • There are a number of tips that can make household work easier. These are either from the book Trade Secrets by Katherine Lapworth and Alexandra Fraser, or the book Superhints by the Lady Wardington:
    • To create the impression that the house has been cleaned when it hasn't, a person could simply spray/apply furniture polish behind the radiator, which would then fill the room with the smell of polish.
    • To test if you have gotten silk and not some other cloth or polyester, simply throw it against a wall. Both silk and spaghetti are similar to each other, in that they can both stick to brick walls when thrown at them.
    • Both a stick of rhubarb and some brown sauce, are good things to use to clean any household items that are made of either copper or silver.
    • The cheapest way of removing blood stains from your clothes, is to simply use your own saliva on it, by spitting on the stain and then sucking it out.
    • The bottom door hinge is placed higher because of the effect of foreshortening.
General Ignorance
  • Both pea soup and baked bean juice are drinks made from beans (Forfeit: Coffee). Coffee is actually made from the seeds of the coffee plant, which is a fruit; although the seeds are called "beans", they are not truly called that in the botanical sense.
  • If you are asked "Have you ever slid down a banister?", you should answer "No" (Forfeit: Yes). This is because the banister is the supports on the staircase that hold up the handrail. What people would actually slide down on is the handrail, which is called the balustrade.
  • William Wordsworth could not smell, as he suffered from Anosmia (Forfeit: Daffodils). This fact was reported by Robert Southey and various others; Wordsworth only made two references to smells in his poems. People can be "congenitally anosmic" (born without sense of smell) or can suffer Anosmia after receiving a bang to the head. (Had anyone answered with this, they would have gotten 200 points. In addition, Fry incorrectly claimed that Anosmia could be caused by a Vitamin A deficiency, but this would actually cause sight problems, even blindness. A Zinc deficiency would have more likely chances of causing a loss of smell.)

Episode 13 "December" (Christmas Special)Edit

Broadcast dates
  • 15 December 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 22 December 2006 (BBC Two)

As the episode was a Christmas Special, the set was given festive look, including several groups of holly and ivy along the sides of the wallscreens, two festive planters behind Stephen Fry, and a light dusting of snow within the QI magnifying glass in the centre of the set, amongst other decorations. The buzzers also had a festive note to them, all involving songs connected to bells. The forfeit writing was done in the font of Old English.

  • The following are various facts associated to Christmas:
    • Britain spends over £20 billion pound during Christmas, and buys so much wrapping paper, it could be used to gift-wrap Guernsey.
    • A third of all the books, clothes and toys that are sold, are bought during the last 8 weeks of the year.
    • 150 million cards are sent during Christmas.
    • 7.5 million trees are decorated for the seasonal holidays.
  • The reason Christmas is celebrated on 25 December, because it is the birthday of the Roman sun god, Mithras (Forfeit: Jesus's Birthday). Mithras has many similarities with Jesus Christ, including that he was sent down to Earth as a mortal, born in a manger (or a cave) and attended by shepherds, had twelve disciples who shared his last meal with him, and that he died for people's sins but came back on Sunday. He is often depicted with a halo over his head, and his worshippers give gifts to each other on 25 December. Because he is a sun god, he is worshipped on a Sunday, and the leader of his worshippers was called a "Papa"; their HQ was on Vatican Hill, in Rome. Lots of other religions have similar stories of the Christian Christmas story. No one knows when Jesus was born; Islam claims it was during the summer, while Jehovah's Witnesses claim it is 1 October.
  • After Christmas lunchThe Queen likes to sit down in her saloon and watch herself giving the Royal Christmas Message on television (Forfeit: Goes For A Walk). Although she goes to church on Christmas Day, it's during the morning. On the evening of Christmas Eve, the Royal Family gathers in Sandringham, around a 20-foot tree cut from the estate, which is decorated by the Queen herself. Along with other activities they do during the evening, they traditionally give each other presents at 6pm; the presents given are usually practical, as the Queen once received a casserole dish and a washing-up apron as presents. This tradition happens because of their German heritage.
  • Photocopiers suffer the most at office Christmas parties, as people often photocopy their buttocks with it, despite the assumption it is a myth; according to Canon Engineer, Geoff Bush, people sometimes end up with broken glass in their posterior whilst doing this. Canon did a survey about the suffering photocopiers endure at Christmas and found that, apart from this, objects were also inserted into them, including sleeping cats, snakes, kitchen knifes, sausage rolls, condoms, stockings, vibrators and even a cheque for £6,000. In addition, the abuse given to photocopiers is likely the reason that emergency call-outs for their repairs increases by 25%, in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas.
  • Champagne was invented by the English in the Champagne region of France (Forfeit: The French). It was invented in the 16th century, when the British took green flat wine from the region and added sugar and molasses to make it fizzy; because a bottle of champagne has three times more pressure in it than a car tyre, the bottle needed a strong glass to contain it, which the British could make with the technology they had at the time. A 19th-century myth made by the French, falsely claimed that Dom Pérignon accidentally made the champagne fizzy and said, "Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!" However, Dom Pérignon was involved with champagne, because he invented the wire cage that is used over the cork, and also did the blending for it.
  • In Catalonia, there is a figure in the Nativity scene called a Caganer, which is either a man or a boy who squats and defecates, normally in the corner; although this sounds weird, it is genuinely true. People who have been the Caganer include George W. Bush and David Beckham.
  • To keep their feet from being hurt, turkeys bred in Norfolk (the Norfolk Black) were given little leather boots for Christmas, before being driven down to London. The British tradition of eating turkey for Christmas dates back to before Elizabeth I's reign; turkeys were introduced to Europe in 1520, and by 1580, farmers in both Norfolk and Suffolk were driving thousands of them to London every year. Turkeys that were eaten by pilgrims in the New World were ones that had been brought over from England. Turkeys were first sold by Turkish merchants, which is why they are named as they are, although other parts of Europe call it a "Indian". Geese were given shoes too, which was having their feet covered in tar and sand, whilst pigs were given boots made of wool with leather soles.
General Ignorance

All the questions that were asked, had a sacred theme to them:

  • Saints that come from Ireland include Saint ConlethSaint Brigid of Kildare and Saint Kevin of Glendalough (Forfeit: St Patrick). Saint Brigid is well known for a great miracle, in which her cape helped her to secure land to build a convent on; another miracle tied to her, was that she could transform her used bathwater into beer. None of the Patron Saints of Britain come from where they are associated with; St. Patrick was actually born somewhere close to the River Severn. He was captured as a kid and sold into slavery in Ireland, managed to escape and go to the continent, before becoming a monk and travelling back to Ireland to convert it to Christianity.
  • The pointing fingers that are seen on The Creation of Adam, are ones that were painted by an unknown Papal restorer (Forfeit: Michelangelo). While the original fingers were done with the rest of the painting by Michelangelo around 1511, forty years later they fell off, so an unknown restorer had to come in, put new plaster in and re-paint the fingers.
  • A man called Father Christmas died in Dedham, Essex on 30 May 1564 (Forfeit: He's Not Dead). It was an old English habit to call someone Father, if you didn't know their name and they were an old man; this was before people began calling Santa Claus, "Father Christmas". Christmas is a popular surname in Essex, while the first recorded person with the surname "Christmas" was a "Roger Christmas", in 1200. 1,000 people in British phone books have the surname "Christmas", mainly in Essex, SurreyCambridgeshireLondon & Sussex.


  • Wolf, Ian: QI: Series D, published on the British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
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