QI - In The Press

The team behind the fiendish BBC quiz show also reveal the contents of the 'first' sandwich and that it was the ENGLISH who first ate frogs' legs.

Written by Amanda Killelea. The Mirror, 1st October 2015

No Such Thing As a Fish, hosted by QI's Elves, is to become the first UK podcast released on vinyl. It's out in November to coincide with the Elves' live show at the Lyric theatre in the West End. The podcast separates quite interesting facts from quite impossible ones - can you tell which of these are true or false?

The Guardian, 21st September 2015

The researchers behind QI are to release a version of the No Such Thing As A Fish podcast - on vinyl. In what's thought to be a UK first, the exclusive edition of the Chortle-award-winning podcast about obscure trivia is to be released on indie label Alcopop! Records on November 20.

Chortle, 14th September 2015

He expressed an interest in having children with husband Elliott Spencer last month, but Alan Davies has warned Stephen Fry it's not as easy as it may look.

Written by Annie Price. The Daily Express, 1st July 2015

QI researchers the 'elves' on their new show No Such Thing as a Fish and how 'everything is a Monty Python Sketch'.

Written by Holly Williams. The Independent, 12th March 2015

QI debuts tonight at 8pm on BBC America and runs every Thursday, three shows a night for five weeks. If you think you're smart (or even if you think other people are smarter than you) you need to be there.

Written by John Lloyd. The Huffington Post, 20th February 2015

Faber is reissuing the QI backlist in "a unified and boldly commercial look".

Written by Caroline Carpenter. The Bookseller, 17th February 2015

You can improve your chances of meeting your perfect partner if you're a fan of BBC Two's QI and boast about this on dates, finds a poll by TV Licensing.

BBC Ariel, 13th February 2015

It would be easy to assume that attending popular panel show QI without Stephen Fry is a little like going to watch U2 only to be told Bono was going to sit this one out because he's a bit busy somewhere else. Probably saving the lives of some poor unfortunates, no doubt. But such an analogy would be far too unkind. Especially when a little bit of history was made on Monday night.

Written by Chris Butcher. Kent News, 10th February 2015

Although it manages to keep the smutty/lavatorial humour to a minimum, Jack Whitehall's exuberant reaction to solving an Only Connect puzzle makes Stephen Fry smile. "You've made a happy man very old," he sighs.

Several clips in this compilation of QI highlights have an ocular theme: Phill Jupitus tries on night vision glasses, Alan Davies a peripheral vision aid and Josh Widdecombe "railway spectacles", while Jo Brand reckons her bonnet with a monocle probably belonged to an elderly Dickensian prostitute. Plus there are some terrific "liquid larks" and scientific tricks. The one involving stroking a fake hand gets Sara Pascoe very excited indeed.

Gill Crawford, Radio Times, 31st January 2015

If you've missed any of this series, you can catch up in one go with this compilation. Of course, those who are offended by the show's occasionally lavatorial humour should leave the room during the gags about briefcase toilets, the genitals of the beluga whale, the sex lives of ladybirds and so on.

Granted it's not been the wittiest series of QI. So for me the best bits (they're included here and still made me laugh) were the panellists' riotous attempts to rotate their right foot clockwise while drawing the figure six in the air and Stephen Fry's messy science lesson about how to make a lava lamp using effervescent hangover tablets.

Jane Rackham, The Radio Times, 30th January 2015

If I tell you that the expression "penal code" is enough to raise a laugh in this edition of QI and that at one stage Alan Davies is reduced to sticking his biro to his top lip for fun, you'll get the picture. It's not, I'm afraid to say, a classic. And that's despite the presence of the usually rock-solid David Mitchell, who is strangely subdued throughout.

So why watch? Well because even a sub-par, so-so QI can put a wry smile on your face and impart mildly intriguing titbits, such as the fact that a French documentary about King Edward VII's coronation featured a lavatory attendant standing in for the king.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 23rd January 2015

An episode of the television quiz QI has suggested an evolutionary explanation for why crossing a threshold makes you lose your thread.

Written by Joe Shute. The Daily Telegraph, 16th January 2015

Here's the kind of knowledge-nugget many QI fans might appreciate. Tonight, Stephen Fry offers a scientific explanation for the phenomenon of walking into a room, then forgetting why you went there. It's not just brain decay, he reassures us, but a possible hangover from our evolutionary past, whereby crossing a threshold, moving from one environment to another, in some way resets our mental state.

Now where was I? Oh yes, so also on the show are Jimmy Carr, who, love him or loathe him, is on flying form, Suggs and Claudia O'Doherty, as well as the very QI line: "I can't believe you're being so blasé about this Stephen - you've killed a unicorn."

David Butcher, The Radio Times, 16th January 2015

It can't be a coincidence that whenever Richard Osman appears as a panellist, QI seems to trip along in a higher gear. It's the snappiest episode for a while, and although some credit for that goes (I suppose) to the questions and curiosities dug up by the QI Elves, I prefer to credit Osman, Phill Jupitus and Lucy Porter for upping the banter.

As Fry hands out plastic bags to be blown up, Jupitus quips, "Time for the controversial auto-erotic asphyxiation round..." and Osman's off-the-cuff name for a penguin dating service is inspired. We learn stuff too, about Turgenev, our fingertips and the largest native land animal in Antarctica - not what you might think.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 9th January 2015

Yorkshire viewers have been surveyed by TV Licensing to see how what a potential partner watches on the box affects how attractive they are, with QI topping the chart of TV turn-ons.

Written by Samantha Robinson. The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 8th January 2015

A slumbery round of the gently filthy information exchange, livened by a shake-up in the scoring system. We're playing Lucky Losers, this being Series L, which means klaxons are good, clever right answers are to be avoided and Alan Davies has to find a new way to come last.

With L also standing for lavatory this series, the best banter focuses on bottom-wiping: there's a terrifying lesson on which leaves to avoid when caught short in a Queensland forest, while Jeremy Clarkson and Sandi Toksvig bond over the impermeability of boarding-school loo roll. If that all sounds a bit vulgar, wait until you hear what Lillie Langtry once said to Edward VII.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 2nd January 2015

As you would expect, Stephen Fry inhabits a different world from ordinary folk. So when Alan Davies tells him a preposterous nickname for the staff at Argos, he believes him. Let's assume he doesn't shop there. He's equally naive when it's suggested that the Earl of Sandwich is now appearing on Gogglebox. "Is he?" he asks politely and only slightly incredulously.

Among the musings on love handles, peshwari naans and composers, Fry's hilarious demonstration of how to make a lava lamp reminds David Mitchell of dreadful chemistry lessons. "Sir! I did what Alan said to do," he whines, waving his hand in the air. "And now I'm scared!"

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 19th December 2014

The most jaw-dropping - or ear-opening - curiosity in this episode comes from Italy. Stephen Fry plays a song that sounds like a rap record, and kind of is. Except it dates from 1972 and is by an Italian comedian and singer called Adriano Celentano. What's weird about it is that the lyrics are all nonsense words chosen because they sound to Italian ears like American English. (It's called Prisencolinensinainciusol if you want to Google it...) The theme, you see, is lying and deception.

Otherwise, the lavatorial theme that has run through the "L" series is well-plumbed, not least with a diversion on an utterly bizarre Japanese "gotta go" briefcase-cum-commode.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 12th December 2014

The ultimate book of useless trivia has been compiled by the team behind the incredible facts of the hit BBC show.

Written by Warren Manger. The Mirror, 10th December 2014

It's one of those QI outings that barely feels like a quiz, more a pleasant meandering chat about this and that, as Stephen Fry, Kathy Lette and Sue Perkins discuss Suffragettes, the knock-on effects of Victorian corsets, and Fry admits he has never heard of their modern equivalent, Spanx.

Perkins is on wonderful form, not least when asked to name an Anglo-Saxon swearword, whereupon she gamely charges into the welcoming embrace of multiple klaxons (and bleeps). Elsewhere we hear the worst-ever Viking insult and the truth about history's most maligned woman, Mary Magdelene.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 5th December 2014

A special one-off version of hit BBC TV quiz show QI is to be held at the University of Kent as part of the institution's 50th birthday celebrations. The line up will include regulars Alan Davies, Sandi Toksvig, Jo Brand and Phill Jupitus. Stephen Fry will not be present, but his place will be taken by the show's creator and producer, John Lloyd.

Written by Chris Britcher. Kent News, 4th December 2014

Nothing that tonight's four panellists come up with can quite beat an aside from Stephen Fry early on where he quotes the late Christopher Hitchens to the effect that "The four most overrated things in life are lobster, champagne, anal sex and picnics."

But along the way, we get other diversions: the mating rituals of the tent cobweb spider sound like they should have been included in an episode of Life Story: the male is 100 times smaller than the female and uses two "penis legs" to mate, Fry tells us.

The theme of all this is L for love, including the wonderful-sounding Puritan tradition of "bundling" betrothed couples. It also takes us from Napoleon's mistresses to Psycho to nanny goats, which are more aptly named than you would think.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 28th November 2014

Stephen Fry is absolutely lethal tonight. Partly because that's the theme of this week's show, but also because he's on fire comedically. After a lengthy dissertation about a particular marsupial's energetic but ultimately deadly sex life, he solemnly wags his finger and says, "Russell Brand take note."

Sandi Toksvig, Jason Manford and Bill Bailey join Alan Davies to try to answer questions about laptop fatalities, the perils of sugar-free confectionery, unusual duelling weapons and the possibility of taking a bullet for someone. They also learn a nifty method of extracting a cork that's dropped down inside a glass bottle using a plastic bag. How handy.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 21st November 2014

The first ever No Such Thing As A Fish Halloween Special (the QI Elves podcast) is full of delightfully spooky research topics to unravel, and is still a great listen some time later due to Halloween traditions having exceptionally strange origins. The holiday itself was once on the much less spooky May 12th, for instance, because it came before All Saints Day and that holiday did not stay in one place. But in addition to the research the chemistry on the podcast is truly starting to bloom. While it holds a lot in common with the fantastic American podcast Stuff You Missed In History Class, No Such Thing As A Fish is capitalizing heavily on its recent live show in a pub. The hosts are much quicker to dig into each other's theories and opinions than they were only a few months ago when their podcast started. Anna Ptaszynski doesn't just introduce a story about Kesha and her habit of having sex with ghosts, she teases her cohosts with the question of whether everyone knows who she is, so by the time she's read her Ke$ha ghost sex tidbit her cohosts are ready to go with riffs about mythological succubi. Stories about bobbing for apples as a way of selecting a spouse are also delightful, and perhaps most entertaining is the fact that witches once had the tradition of using the end of a broomstick to apply hallucinogenics anally, hence "flying on broomsticks." The dark facts combined with the funnier than ever pacing make this a heck of an installment.

Dan Telfer, The A.V. Club, 10th November 2014

Older Press Clippings