QI

A new series of this comedy is in production.

Panel game hosted by Stephen Fry and featuring Alan Davies. It contains lots of difficult questions and a large amount of quite interesting facts

AKA:
Quite Interesting; Qi; QI XL; QI VG
Genre:
Panel Show
Broadcast:
2003 - 2014  (BBC Two / BBC One)
Episodes:
167 (pilot + 11 series)
Starring:
Stephen Fry, Alan Davies
Writers:
John Lloyd
Production:
TalkbackThames

QI is a panel game which believes that everything in the world is quite interesting, provided that you look at it in the right way. To quote host Stephen Fry:

"Now, the rules are simple. Scoring is my business. Points are given and points are taken away. They are taken away for answers which are both obvious and wrong, and they're given, not so much for being correct, as for being interesting. Their level of interestingness is impartially determined by a demographically selected customer-service focus consultancy, broken down by age and sex - i.e. me. Because there is no-one more broken down by age and sex."

Our Review: Quite interesting. QI is one of those rare shows which proves not all TV is dumbing down.

The programme provides you with extensive knowledge of things you never knew existed, and corrects knowledge that you always believed to be true. For example Henry VIII did not have six wives, Sweden does not have the world's highest suicide rate, and the Scottish did not invent haggis.

To be a comedy though, QI needs to be more than just interesting. What makes it such a great show is that it somehow manages to be very funny whilst still imparting the interesting facts. Much of the magic is down to Stephen Fry as "Qi Master" and regular "Bantermeister" (and frequent loser) Alan Davies. Between them they manage to give the show a wonderful, warm feeling.

Having said all this, there is a feeling from some quarters that the quality of the show has gone downhill recently. Some viewers claimed that following the move to BBC One and a pre-watershed slot, the standard of the show deteriorated. Since then the show has actually moved back to BBC Two, but there are still comments the show is not as interesting as it has been in the past, and that the guests are becoming too smug.

The great news for fans is that QI is a twenty six year project - thus we have plenty more episodes to look forward to (provided the BBC don't change their mind). There is certainly demand for more at the moment - QI has one of the largest waiting lists for recording tickets of any British television programme.

While QI is clever, it is not always right. It has sometimes made the odd mistake (for example, claiming that the Welsh have no word for "Blue"). If you want to quibble with QI, head to the QI Qibble Blog