Series A - Adam

With John Sessions, Danny Baker and Hugh Laurie.

In-Depth Episode Synopsis

Warning: the below synopsis may contain spoilers

Topics

- Adam's navel and the Archbishop of Canterbury's left ear are both purely decorative.

- God allowed Noah to eat animals, a right he had previously denied to Adam and Eve.

- Christopher Plummer once said of Julie Andrews that working with her was like being hit on the head with a Valentine card.

- Andrew Graham-Dixon discovered that the painter Caravaggio accidentally killed Ranuccio Tomassoni on a tennis court. He was merely attempting to cut off his testicles. (Forfeit: New Balls Please)

- Tangent: Sheep are castrated without breaking the skin.

- Tangent: Discussion of Prince Albert's libido and the Prince Albert piercing.

- "Finocchio" (fennel) is Italian street slang for a homosexual.

- According to Andrew Marshall's writings on Burma in The Trouser People, the Burmese idiom, "Excuse me sir, but I see your department store is open, even on weekends," means, "Your flies are open."

- Edward Woodward has four "D's" in his name to prevent it becoming, "Ewar Woowar".

- Tangent: Kiwifruit use up more than their own weight in aviation fuel getting from New Zealand to Europe.

- Tangent: When Sir John Gielgud first heard of the name "Edward Woodward", he thought it sounded like a fart in a bath.

- Actor John Barrymore regretted not being able to see himself perform on stage.

- Tangent: A drunken Peter O'Toole once went to see a play, having forgotten that he was supposed to be in it.

- Young giant anteaters indulge in "bluff charging". Their claws are sharp enough to eviscerate a human.

- Anteaters have sixteen-inch tongues, but mouths as narrow as a pencil.

- Tangent: The average graphite pencil can write for thirty-five miles.

- Dwarf anteaters are the size of squirrels and are a delicacy in parts of South America.

General Ignorance

- The country with the highest suicide rate is Lithuania. (Forfeit: Sweden)

- Tangent: Two urban myths invented by the film industry: A ship's captain cannot marry people, and lemmings do not jump over cliffs. (The lemming myth was later corrected in Series "D", as the myth was actually invented in a children's encyclopaedia in 1905.)

- Caravaggio's real name was "Michelangelo".

- The steam engine was invented by Hero of Alexandria, and was named the "Aeolipile". The railway was invented seven hundred years earlier by Periander of Corinth. The modern steam engine was invented by Richard Trevithick.

- Tangent: When Stephenson's Rocket was introduced, people were concerned that travelling at such high speeds could cause irreparable brain damage.

- Tangent: The Romans believed that buggery caused earthquakes.

- The twenty-third tallest tree in the world is a giant sequoia called "Adam".

Scores

Danny Baker: 18 points.
Hugh Laurie: 11 points.
John Sessions: 10 points.
Alan Davies: -5 points.

First Broadcast Details

Date:
Thu 11th September 2003
Time:
10:00pm
Channel:
BBC Two
Ratings:
3.2 million viewers
Length:
30 minutes

Main Repeats

Note: Any repeats of this episode broadcast before 2009 are not shown
  • Wed 6th Feb 2013 (11:20pm, Dave)
  • Tue 14th May 2013 (10:40pm, Dave)
  • Wed 15th May 2013 (1:40am, Dave)
  • Sun 1st Sep 2013 (2:40pm, Dave)

Episode Cast & Crew

Regular Cast
Stephen Fry ... Host / Presenter
Alan Davies ... Regular Panellist
Guest Cast
John Sessions ... Guest
Danny Baker ... Guest
Hugh Laurie ... Guest
Production Team
Ian Lorimer ... Director
John Lloyd (I) ... Producer
Phil Clarke ... Exec Producer
Jonathan Paul Green ... Production Design
Howard Goodall ... Composer
Nick King ... Editor
Samantha Ball ... Researcher
Adam Jacot de Boinod ... Researcher
Sophie Johnstone ... Researcher
Molly Oldfield ... Researcher

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