Series P - Pubs
- One of the questions will be about a pig. If the panel think the question is pig-related, they throw a toy pig and shout "Pig" to gain bonus points.
- In the studio is a pub piano played by a man named Sam, who provides musical introductions to some of the questions.
- Sam plays Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Sandi asks the audience first if they like the tune, and second what the tune was written about. Written by Felix Mendelssohn, the tune was originally written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the invention of the Gutenberg printing press, and it was originally called the Gutenberg Cantata. The original German title is Festgesang zur Eroffnung der am ersten Tage der vierten Sakularfeier de Erfindung der Buchdruckerkunst, which translates into English as: "A festive song for the opening of the first day of the fourth secular celebration of the invention of the art of printing". Mendelssohn said he didn't mind what lyrics were added to the tune, provided they were not religious. Eight years after Mendelssohn died, the tune was paired with a poem by Charles Wesley, the most famous writer of hymns in the English language (he wrote over 6,000 hymns). However, the current wording of the carol is by Wesley's co-worker George Whitefield, who wrote the words in 1753. (Forfeit: Christmas!)
- Pig bonus: When building the world's first ice rink, the things you need are a rink and some pig fat. When the first ice rinks were made, they did not have the technology to freeze large amounts of water. Thus the ice was made out of pig fat and salt. The first ever artificial ice rink was the Glaciarium in Baker Street Bazaar, Portman Square in 1844. It cost a shilling to get in and another shilling to go on the ice. The first words on the poster advertising it were: "Not-ice!" Paintings of alpine scenery were on the walls, but the rink stank of pig lard. The technology to make artificial ice rinks was not developed until 1876. It was developed by John Gamgee, a vet and inventor who had been trying to find a way to freeze meat so it could be transported to Australia, but who also realised his idea and technology could be used for recreational purposes. Gamgee had a tent off the King's Road which had a live band to entertain the skaters. His rink only lasted two years, but the technology he invented is very similar to the system used in ice rinks today. The only problem was that in the summer the ice used to evaporate, so people skated around in a fog. Josh gets the pig bonus. (Forfeit: Ice)
- XL: Sandi gives the panel some peanuts, and discusses George Washington Carver, an American scientist and botanist who created over 300 uses for peanuts. She then asks the panel to give any example of one of his uses. Uses included cleaning, medicine (the Aztecs turned roasted peanuts into a toothache remedy), chewing gum remover, oiling squeaky hinges, superglue remover, leather cleaner, wiping scratched DVDs, and placing peanut butter at the bottom of an ice cream cone stops the cone from leaking. In 1916, Carver published a book called How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption, which included using peanuts in chilli sauce, shaving cream, glue, caramel, coffee, shampoo and axle grease. Carver was born into slavery in Missouri in the 1860s, became one of the first Africa-Americans to go to university, studied botany, became known for promoting alternative crops to cotton, and is thus credited for saving the entire economy of the southern United States.
- Sam plays The 12 Days of Christmas, with the audience singing. However, one of the lines in the song performed these days is wrong. In the original song, they mentioned "Four colly birds", which means "blackbirds". The "colly" is like a "collier". Blackbird presence predates calling birds by about a century. (Forfeit: Four calling birds)
- You can enjoy unlimited glasses of beer without getting completely pie-eyed by ordering half a size less every time. To demonstrate this, mathematician Katie Steckles comes onto the stage and tells a mathematical joke: infinitely many mathematicians walk into a pub, the first orders a pint, the second a half, the third a quarter, the fourth a eighth and so on. The person behind the bar stops them from talking and gives them two pints, and tells the mathematicians that their problem is that they don't know their limits. Katie demonstrates how the joke works by getting out a pint full of beer, then an empty pint glass, and then eight other glasses containing some beer. The first of these glass contains half a pint, the second a quarter, and so on until the eighth glass which contains 1/256th of a pint. All of those smaller amounts will fit into the pint glass, but will never fill it fully because it is impossible to get to infinity.
- Sandi gives out mince pies to the panel and offers them sixpence. Sam plays Sing a Song of Sixpence and Sandi asks how many blackbirds should be baked in a pie. The answer is none, because originally blackbirds were not baked in the pie. There used to be "surprise pies" where the pastry was first cooked, and then live animals were placed inside the pie, and the animals would emerge hen the pie was opened. One chef, Robert May (born 1588), put birds and frogs in the same pie. (Forfeit: Four and twenty)
- XL: Sam plays a rather scary version of Away in a Manger, and Sandi asks what is the worst that can happen to you if people who don't like you invite you to Christmas dinner. The answer is they will murder you. Examples include the Swedish King Birger in 1317, who invited his brothers Duke Eric and Duke Valdemar to Christmas dinner at Nykoping Castle just south of Stockholm, telling them he wanted to smooth over a family rift as the brothers has led a coup against him. During the night, the brothers were ambushed by a team of crossbowmen, they were led to the castle dungeon and the brothers starved to death. In 1175, Norman nobleman William de Braose invited the Welsh chieftains to Abergavenny Castle to celebrate Christmas and make amends, but when the chieftains arrived in the great hall, the gates were locked and they were all killed. The 16th century writer William Camden wrote that Abergavenny Castle has been, "oftner stain'd with the infamy of treachery than any other castle in Wales."
- Sam plays O Christmas Tree, but the audience get the second line wrong. In the original German, the second line is: "Wie true sind deine Blatter", which translates as: "How faithful are your leaves". The tannenbaum is a fir tree, but the song was not originally about Christmas. The evergreen branches represent constancy and faithfulness, because they never change. The song was originally a folk song about a faithless maiden, who is contrasted with a faithful tree. (Forfeit: How lovely are your branches)
- There is no legal drinking up time after last orders in England and Wales. Previously it was 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, but now it's up to the landlord's discretion. In Scotland however, there is a 15-minute drinking up period.
- Angels have either four or six wings, depending on what type of angel they are. According to the Bible, seraphim have six wings and cherubim have four. No angel in the Bible is described as having two wings. The seraphim, the highest in the angel hierarchy are describes as: "Each one had six wings. With twain he covered his face and with twain he covered his feet and with twain he did fly." As well as having four wings, the cherubim have four faces: those of man, lion, ox and eagle. (Forfeit: Two)
- To play an old-fashioned game of pool you need a chicken. It was a medieval French game called: "jeu de la poule", meaning: "game of the hen", and the object of the game was to take it in turns to throw things at a chicken, and the first to hit the chicken won the bird. In the 19th century, a pool room was where you bet on horse-racing, and the word "pool" comes from the kitty of money everybody contributed to. In American pool rooms, billiard tables were installed to keep the punters entertained in-between races. (Forfeit: A cue; A table)
- Tuesday 18th December 2018
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Sandi Toksvig||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|Anne Miller||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Justin Pollard||Associate Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|
|Nick Collier||Lighting Designer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Researcher|
|Alice Campbell Davis||Researcher|
|Sarah Clay||Commissioning Editor|
|Kalpna Patel-Knight||Commissioning Editor|