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: 504

Episode menu

Series A, Episode 5 - Advertising

Advertising - Toyota MR2


- Gerber baby foods was poorly marketed in Africa, because people though they were selling babies. This is because in Africa most people cannot read so packaging always represents what is inside the jar. The jar had a picture of a white baby on it to show it was baby food. However, people thought that the food contained babies, and white babies which did not like any local children. The picture of the baby on the jar was of Anne Turner Cook, later to become a novelist. Correction: Most Africans can read - between 50-60%.

- Tangent: Strand cigarettes advert "You're never alone with a Strand," was a spectacular failure. Queen Victoria smoked when in Scotland to keep midges away during picnics.

- Tangent: The creator of the London Eye shares the same birthday as Gustave Eiffel.

- The Toyota MR2 is an embarrassing name in France, because "MR2" sounds similar to the Frenchword "Emmerdeur", meaning "A pain in the neck". Similarly, the Ford Pinto is embarrassing in Brazil, because "Pinto" is slang for "Tiny male genitals".

- Brendan Behan was asked to write an advertising slogan for Guinness. He wrote, "Guinness makes you drunk." (Forfeit: Guinness is good for you)

- Tangent: "Guinness is good for you" was written by Dorothy L. Sayers.

- Tangent: Alec Guinness allegedly predicted James Dean's death.

- The ancient Greeks believed that otters killed crocodiles by running into their open mouths, eating their entrails, and running out again.

- "Raphanizien" was the ancient Greek punishment for adultery, where a radish was forced into the adulterer's anus. The word "Raphanizien" means "To put a radish into an anus."

- Plato's real name was Aristocles. He taught Aristotle.

- Aristotle believed buzzards had three testicles.

- Tangent: "Subbuteo" is named after the "Hobby", a subspecies of buzzard.

- Tangent: When the Pope is elected, he is carried over a group of the cardinals, to check he is a man. This dates back to Pope Joan, where a woman masqueraded as a pope.

- The ancient Greeks used blackberries to cure piles.

- The ancient Greeks voted for the leaders until they were invaded by the Macedonians.

- Tangent: Michael Portillo, when he was a Tory hopeful, once ran up a newly laid concrete footpath. When the constituent opened the front door, Portillo said he was a Labour party candidate and ran away.

General Ignorance

- No centipede has ever been discovered with 100 legs. They range from 30-382 legs. It is always an odd number of pairs.

- In 1994, 35,000 Americans insured themselves against alien abduction. Most of these insurance policies are bought by others as a joke birthday present.

- Purple rhymes with two words - "Hirple", meaning "To walk along dragging one leg behind the other. Halfway between a walk and a crawl," and "Curple," meaning, "The hind-quarters of a horse." (Forfeit: Nothing)

Deleted Scenes

- Spam is very popular in Hawaii, there are even spam carving contests held. The word is a portmanteau for "Spiced Ham".

- At least 2,370 tigers live in Texas, about a third of all the tigers in the world. Most are kept as pets.

- Green Bay, Wisconsin, is the toilet paper capital of the world.


- Gyles Brandreth: 54 points
- Rich Hall: 35 points
- Rob Brydon: 17 points
- Alan Davies: 15 points


For correction, see QI Qibble Blog

Broadcast details

Thursday 9th October 2003
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Saturday 3rd October 2009 8:20pm Dave
Monday 1st August 2011 7:20pm Dave
Friday 23rd December 2011 11:20am Dave
Friday 23rd December 2011 4:20pm Dave
Sunday 22nd July 2012 1:40pm Dave
Sunday 22nd July 2012 5:40pm Dave
Wednesday 19th December 2012 2:40pm Dave
Sunday 28th April 2013 2:20pm Dave
Sunday 28th April 2013 6:20pm Dave
Sunday 16th June 2013 2:20pm Dave
Sunday 16th June 2013 6:20pm Dave
Sunday 22nd September 2013 1:20am Dave
Sunday 22nd September 2013 3:20pm Dave
Monday 23rd September 2013 3:25am Dave
Thursday 8th January 2015 10:55pm Dave
Thursday 19th March 2015 11:00pm Dave
Friday 20th March 2015 2:45am Dave
Friday 10th July 2015 10:40pm Dave
Wednesday 18th November 2015 2:00am Dave
Wednesday 18th November 2015 9:40pm Dave
Monday 28th March 2016 11:40pm Dave
Tuesday 29th March 2016 8:40pm Dave
Tuesday 26th July 2016 12:20am Dave
Tuesday 26th July 2016 9:20pm Dave
Saturday 3rd September 2016 1:40am Dave
Saturday 3rd September 2016 9:40pm Dave
Tuesday 10th January 2017 3:20pm Dave
Monday 13th March 2017 2:00pm Dave
Tuesday 14th March 2017 12:20am Dave
Wednesday 22nd March 2017 12:20am Dave
Friday 12th January 2018 11:40pm Dave
Saturday 13th January 2018 1:40am Dave
Friday 16th February 2018 1:00am Dave
Tuesday 13th March 2018 1:00am Dave
Tuesday 15th May 2018 12:00am Dave
Tuesday 15th May 2018 2:00am Dave
Saturday 9th June 2018 12:00am Dave
Saturday 9th June 2018 2:00am Dave
Tuesday 14th August 2018 11:20pm Dave
Wednesday 15th August 2018 2:40am Dave
Thursday 24th January 2019 11:00pm Dave
Friday 25th January 2019 1:00am Dave

Cast & crew

Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Rich Hall Guest
Gyles Brandreth Guest
Rob Brydon Guest
Writing team
Samantha Ball Researcher
Adam Jacot de Boinod Researcher
Sophie Johnstone Researcher
Molly Oldfield Researcher
Production team
Ian Lorimer Director
John Lloyd Producer
Phil Clarke Executive Producer
Nick King Editor
Jonathan Paul Green Production Designer
Howard Goodall Composer

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