QI. Image shows from L to R: Alan Davies, Sandi Toksvig. Copyright: TalkbackThames


  • TV panel show
  • BBC Two / BBC One / BBC Four
  • 2003 - 2024
  • 312 episodes (21 series)

Panel game that contains lots of difficult questions and a large amount of quite interesting facts. Stars Sandi Toksvig, Stephen Fry and Alan Davies.

  • Resumes at the end of March
  • Series T, Episode 12 repeated at 9pm on Dave
  • JustWatch Streaming rank this week: 559

Episode menu

Series A - Advent

Advent - Christmas Special

Extra Tasks

- Each panellist has to draw a Christmas tree. Alan made the mistake of drawing the branches pointing downwards, when in fact the branches go upwards.


- A "Gripple" is a gripping device, invented in Sheffield. Gripples are used to hold up Christmas lights, and also hold together the world's largest fence, the Great Dingo Fence in Australia.

- After dogs, the first animal to be domesticated was the reindeer.

- Another common name for the reindeer in North America is the caribou.

- A male reindeer would fancy Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer because Rudolph is female. We know this because she is always shown with antlers at Christmas, and only female reindeer have antlers around Christmas. However, it is also possible that Rudolph is castrated. Eunuch male reindeers also keep their antlers.

- In "days of yore" Yorkshiremen gathered around their beehives because they believed the bees would start humming on midnight to symbolise the birth of Christ. They also claimed they hummed correctly after Britain changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

- Mince pies were banned by Oliver Cromwell because they symbolised Catholicism.

- Between 1840 and the beginning of World War Two, the German village of Lauscha provided most of the world's baubles. At one point 95% of U.S. baubles came from Lauscha. "Lauscha" means "Eves-dropper" in German.

- In 1908, U.S. insurance companies tried to ban the placing of live candles on Christmas trees because people kept getting injured.

- Tangent: The first ever life insurance policy was not claimed because the underwriters defined a year on their own terms.

- During the 1870 siege of Paris by the Prussians, the city ran out of food, so one restaurant came up with the idea of eating rats.

- Tangent: There is a Chinese dish called "Three squeak". It is so called because it involved a rat that squeaks three times - When you pick it up, when you dip it in the chilli sauce and when you bite into it.

General Ignorance

- Paris, London, Poland and Banana are all places in the Christmas Islands.

- The youngest age at which a person can drink in a restaurant beer garden in the UK is 5. It is only illegal to purchase drink at the bar if you are under 18. (Forfeit: Eighteen)

- Santa Claus, or rather St. Nicholas, comes from Turkey. (Forfeit: Lapland)

- The modern-day image of Santa Clause comes from the poem Twas the Night before Christmas.

Deleted Scenes

- Genghis Khan said that the Sami people of Lapland were the only people he would never fight, because the Sami always hid from him. The Sami have never declared war on anyone.


- John Sessions: 28 points
- Sean Lock: 7 points
- Phill Jupitus: 5 points
- Alan Davies -6 points

Broadcast details

Tuesday 23rd December 2003
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Sunday 28th November 2010 8:20pm Dave
Saturday 15th January 2011 8:30pm Dave
Wednesday 9th February 2011 11:00pm Dave
Saturday 18th June 2011 7:20pm Dave
Saturday 25th June 2011 7:45pm Dave
Friday 16th September 2011 7:20pm Dave
Friday 16th September 2011 11:30pm Dave
Wednesday 9th November 2011 6:40pm Dave
Sunday 25th December 2011 3:20pm Dave
Monday 26th December 2011 11:00am Dave
Thursday 1st November 2012 5:20pm Dave
Wednesday 26th December 2012 3:00pm Dave
Wednesday 26th December 2012 11:35pm Dave
Tuesday 28th May 2013 10:40pm Dave
Wednesday 29th May 2013 2:00am Dave
Sunday 1st September 2013 2:00pm Dave
Tuesday 19th November 2013 11:00pm Dave
Wednesday 20th November 2013 2:15am Dave
Wednesday 25th December 2013 3:50pm Dave
Thursday 26th December 2013 12:20am Dave
Tuesday 13th January 2015 11:40pm Dave
Monday 30th March 2015 11:00pm Dave
Wednesday 15th July 2015 11:40pm Dave
Tuesday 29th December 2015 11:20pm Dave
Wednesday 30th December 2015 8:00pm Dave
Thursday 4th August 2016 12:20am Dave
Thursday 4th August 2016 9:20pm Dave
Friday 23rd December 2016 1:30am Dave
Wednesday 18th January 2017 3:20pm Dave
Wednesday 17th January 2018 11:40pm Dave
Thursday 18th January 2018 1:40am Dave
Saturday 24th March 2018 1:00am Dave
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 8:00pm Dave
Friday 28th September 2018 1:00am Dave
Wednesday 19th December 2018 7:20pm Dave
Thursday 20th December 2018 12:20am Dave
Monday 2nd September 2019 8:20pm Dave

Cast & crew

Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
John Sessions Guest
Sean Lock Guest
Phill Jupitus Guest
Writing team
Samantha Ball Researcher
Adam Jacot de Boinod Researcher
Sophie Johnstone Researcher
Molly Oldfield Researcher
Adam King Researcher
Production team
Ian Lorimer Director
John Lloyd Producer
Phil Clarke Executive Producer
Richard Everton Editor
Jonathan Paul Green Production Designer
Howard Goodall Composer

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