Series M, Episode 10 - Making A Meal Of It
- The panel are shown a menu and are asked what is missing from it. The menu lists "tortoise" 69 times. The answer is two more tortoises, as there were 71 tortoises eaten in what is the world's oldest known feast. Archaeologists found the tortoise shells as well as a female shaman's body next to them. The tortoises were roasted. (Forfeit: Hare)
- The panel are now shown a photograph of some male diners from the early 20th century and are asked why you would not want to share a meal with them. The reason is that they were part of the "poison club", a group of volunteers set up by the US Department of Agriculture to test food additives, who were paid in meals. For example, between October 1902 and July 1903 they experimented with eating borax. Their Christmas menu was: "applesauce, borax, soup, borax, turkey, borax, borax, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, turnips, borax, chipped beef, cream gravy, cranberry sauce, celery, pickles, rice pudding, milk, bread and butter, tea, coffee, little borax." Borax is used today as a detergent, a fire retardant and an anti-fungal compound. There is no record of any member of the poison club dying from what they ate, but they had medical checks. In 1906 Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food And Drug Act because of the poison club's dining.
- The thing that likes to feast on horse manure, rancid pickled mudfish, Thai Boy shrimp, and Big Cock shrimp paste is the purple emperor butterfly. These butterflies normally live high-up in trees, but in midsummer they come down to eat at cowpats. Because these butterflies are so admired, particularly in Northamptonshire, a picnic is spread out for them. The butterflies like this possibly because of the sodium content, but no-one is really sure.
- XL: The worst place to be if you are not a morning person is the International Space Station, because it orbits around the Earth every 90 minutes at 17,500mph, so you get 15 mornings in a 24-hour-period.
- There are two things you can get from a kangaroo's nipple: full-fat milk and semi-skimmed milk. Baby kangaroos, joeys, look like maggots when they are first born, have to crawl into the pouch, and the mother's nipples are inside the pouch. However, there might be an older kangaroo in the pouch. Female kangaroos can have two joeys, which are completely different ages and have completely different needs. Therefore the nipples can tell if the joey is young and needs a form of semi-skimmed milk, or an older joey that needs a much thicker milk. The nipples tell by the power of the suction.
- When human mothers give suck to their infants they feed two species: one is the baby, and other is a form of bacteria in the baby's stomach. Human breastmilk contains oligosaccharides that the baby cannot digest, but are fed on by the bacteria that help the baby survive.
- Magic Trick: Stephen takes out five glasses, each of increasing size. The smallest cup is full of milk while the others are empty. Stephen takes the smallest cup and pours the milk into the second smallest cup. However, the second smallest cup is filled right to the top, so Stephen has produced more milk. Stephen then pours this into the middle cup, and again more milk is produced, and he continues until he fills the largest cup of all, right to the top with milk. Stephen then pours the milk from the largest glass into the four smaller ones to prove that he had more milk than he had at the start.
- The reason why five royalist men from Milton failed to eat their own buttocks was because there was too much blood lost. These Cavaliers during the English Civil War era want to prove how loyal they were by having a toast involving blood rather than wine or beer. In order to get the blood, one man placed his buttocks on a gridiron while a second sliced it off with a sword. However, the man lost a lot more blood than they were expecting and it ended up going horribly wrong. Their wives were furious when they found out.
- XL: The most expensive lump of meat in the world is an art exhibit in Japan. It dates from the Qing Dynasty, and is a piece of pork belly rendered in jasper. It is nearly 6cm tall and drew 84,000 people in one small exhibition. However, the Qing Dynasty jadeite cabbage drew an even larger audience, which is in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Over a quarter of a million mobile phone souvenirs were sold of these food exhibits.
- There is a lot of sugar in a sugar-free Tic Tac. In fact, it is nearly all sugar. However, it is "sugar-free" according to the limits set by the US Food and Drug Administration. The laws say that if there is only half a gram of sugar in a serving it is sugar-free, but the company that makes them say that just one Tic Tac is a serving. According to the company's website: "Tic Tac® mints do contain sugar as listed in the ingredients statement. However, since the amount of sugar per serving is less than half a gram FDA labelling requirements permit the nutrition facts to state that there are zero grams of sugar per serving." (Forfeit: None)
- XL: When you lose weight, most of the fat is exhaled. The body breaks down the fat cells and metabolises the compounds into triglycerides, which are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. For every 10kg of fat lost, 8.4kg is breathed out. The rest is turned into fatty water which is excreted as either urine or sweat.
- The Goliath bird-eating spider only very rarely eats birds. It gets its name from when the first person to observe one noticed it eating a hummingbird, but they mostly eat worms. They are a form of tarantula from South America.
- If Cariad, or anyone else were to be bitten by a snake, the thing you should is drive to the nearest hospital that has anti-venom. You should also either take the snake or a photograph of it, so the doctors know which poison they need to cure. (Forfeit: Suck out the venom; Make a tourniquet)
- Friday 8th January 2016
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|Scott Penrose||Master Magician|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Question Writer|
|Anne Miller||Question Writer|
|Stevyn Colgan||Question Writer|
|Anna Ptaszynski||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Sohail Shah||Executive Producer|
|Justin Pollard||Associate Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|