Series K, Episode 5 - Kings
- Stephen is dressed in ermine, a medieval king's outfit and a crown. All the other panellists are wearing crowns except Alan who has a Christmas cracker paper crown. The crown that Bill is wearing is so big it slips over his head.
- The panel are shown a list of kings with unusual nicknames. They have to figure out who the kings are and why they are called that.
- There are no cobras beginning with K. What we call the king cobra is not actually a cobra. It is actually part of its own genus of snakes called ophiophagus, which means "snake-eating snake", because that is their diet. (Forfeit: King cobra)
- The noise a king cobra makes is a bark, although Jimmy claims that if you played the noise of it several times it sounds like the Tardis. The noise is made by a special place in the snake's trachea and a kazoo-like membrane. The king cobra has more venom than any other snake. It is not the most deadly venom, but there is much more of it, they envenomate more often and they chase you. (Forfeit: Hsssssss)
- The panel are shown a picture of a medical implement which consists of a long metal hook that is thin at the end but becomes more knife-like at the handle. They are asked when a Frenchman might like it put it up his bottom. King Louis XVI of France, who like riding and enemas, developed a fistula, which is when a duct appears between two organs and connects them causing pain. The device pierced the fistula and cured the king. The doctor responsible, Felix de Tassy, was given an estate and became hugely popular with no less than 30 courtiers mimicked the king saying that they had a similar problem. Suddenly having a fistula became fashionable. He thus had a backorder of operations, but he did not operate on anyone who did not need it. (Forfeit: Because he's French)
- The thing which has 20 legs, five heads and cannot reach its own nuts is a squirrel king. This occurs when two or more squirrels (in this scenario five) all have their tails stuck together because they have been caught in tree sap. As a result they cannot move and they die. This phenomenon was first spotted in Germany with king rats. There are museums and universities which have huge rat kings preserved in alcohol. (Forfeit: One Direction)
- Kings Cross Station could possibly be improved by adding a runway. In 1931 there was a plan to create an airport in inner London by adding an eight-pronged wagon wheel-shaped runway on top of the flat roof of the station. This was before the jet age so the planes would have been much quieter. The system would have had lifts to take planes up and down into hangers.
- XL: Over 300 people need to die before you finally get a burger king because Wesley Berger of Oregon is 305th in line to the British throne. If all 304 other people ahead of him died first, Wesley would become king of Britain.
- XL: The sort of sick person who wants to be touched by a member of the royal family would be someone who was ill several centuries ago, because it was once thought that the touch of the king could cure you. Scrofula, also known as the King's Evil, was believed to have been cured by the touch of the monarch, a practice carried out in England and France. Edward the Confessor was one of the first monarchs to carry out the "treatment" and gold coins were given to the patients. Charles II was one of the last to do this, touching 92,107 people during his reign. George I stopped the practice because he thought it was too Catholic.
- Most of the world's kingfishers do not live near water. Most of Britain's kingfishers do, but not those from the rest of the world. In Africa they mostly live disused termite nests. Also, most kingfishers are brown. They look turquoise because their feathers are iridescent.
- XL: Knick-Knack Experiment - Stephen gets out three drinks: curacao, which is blue; lemonade, which is clear; and pomegranate juice, which is red. If you mix all three together in a glass and hold the glass up to the light the colour will be different depending on the shape of the glass. If it is a coupe shape the liquid will seem reddish/purple in the light, but if it is flute shaped it will look blue in the light. If the glass contains both shapes, it will show both colours separately in the right sections. This experiment was devised by Dr. Alice Bowen.
- There have been nine king Henrys of England. There was a ninth, who was the son of King Henry II called Young King Henry. According to the French tradition he was anointed king while Henry II was still alive. Young King Henry died aged 27. When he was 17 he got into trouble for refusing to turn up home at the castle for Christmas, because he was holding a feast in Normandy in which he invited only knights whose names were William.
- The Queen's official residence is St. James's Palace. (Forfeit: Balmoral; Buckingham Palace; Windsor Castle; Sandringham)
- Knick-Knack Experiment - Stephen creates foam. He takes some potassium iodide, which is a catalyst, and adds to a large conical flask containing a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, an unstable liquid used to dye hair blonde, and washing-up liquid. This mixture results in a foam eruption.
- Friday 4th October 2013
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|James Harkin||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Ruby Kuraishe||Executive Producer|
|Justin Pollard||Associate Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|