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 U, Episode 9 repeated at 10:15pm on BBC2 Wales
  • JustWatch Streaming rank this week: 468

Episode menu

Series B, Episode 1 - Blue

All the questions are themed on colours. With Jo Brand, Bill Bailey and Sean Lock.

Preview clips



- Each panellist is given a bowl of Smarties.

- As it is Series B, all the buzzers are in "Blue". Bill has a harmonica, Sean has a guitar, Jo has a woman singing and Alan has the sound of a woman having an orgasm.


- The ancient Greeks thought the sky was bronze, because they had no word for "Blue". (Forfeit: Blue)

- Tangent: The Welsh do not have a word for "Blue". Correction: There IS a Welsh word for "Blue". It is "Glas". The Welsh use the English word for "Brown", but pronounce it differently.

- Tangent: The word "Television" is a combination of both Greek ("Tele") and Latin ("Vision"). As a result, the word offends those who study classics.

- Tangent: Homer believed that wine, the sea and sheep were all red.

- You cannot see a rainbow from the other side. The sun has to be behind you, and reflects off the back of a raindrop at an angle of 42 degrees.

- Tangent: In Estonia, they believe that if you point at a rainbow, your finger will fall off.

- Tangent: Indigo is an Indian plant used for dying jeans and police uniforms.

- You should take the piss out of Newcastle because urine is used in fixing dye. It used to be Newcastle's third biggest export after coal and beer.

- Tangent: Alan talks about a friend at school who could urinate from the floor and into a high window.

- The food additive E120, also known as "Cochineal", is made using bugs. 70,000 are used to make one pound. It is bad for you if you are allergic to aspirin and it can make you hyperactive. Vegetarians have asked for it to be no longer used in food, however it still used to make red coloured Smarties. Red is the most popular colour for Smarties (such as the ones being eaten by the panel at the time).

- A new type of beetle is discovered at roughly one an hour. Since 1700, the rate has been no more than six hours. There are 2,000 coleopterists in the world and 10,000,000 species of beetle, making up around two-thirds of all insects. If all forms of animal and plant life were put in a line, every fifth creature would be a beetle. Every tenth would be a weevil.

- Tangent: Stephen and Bill used to be lepidopterists, which is someone who is interested in butterflies. Bill once had a large collection of butterflies, but moths got into it and ate his collection.

- Unlike camels and the Sultan of Brunei, a ptiliidae beetle is so small that it can pass though the eye of a needle.

- Tangent: The Natural History Museum has 12,000,000 varieties of beetle.

General Ignorance

- Two words rhyme with "Orange." Blorenge is a town in Wales which has a famous car park, which has a horse buried in it. Gorringe is a surname. Examples include Henry Honychurch Gorringe, who brought Cleopatra's Needle to New York's Central Park, and Stephen Fry's prep-school tailors. (Forfeit: Nothing) Correction: There is a third word that rhymes with "Orange". It is another surname ("Inge"). Examples include William Ralph Inge, a professor of divinity at Cambridge.

- The planet Mars is coloured brown. Some recent NASA photos were changed to make the planet look redder to fit people's expectations of it. (Forfeit: Red)

- Nothing prevented Henry VIII from marrying Lord Pembroke. It was a title he gave to Anne Boleyn. (Forfeit: Gay marriages were illegal)

- There are no green mammals. There is a kind of sloth which looks green, but it is actually algae growing over it.

- An ancient Greek baker wouldn't mind if you told him where to stick his baguette, because they used bread to make dildos.

Deleted scenes

- Most Australians call a prawn a "prawn" but in the famous Foster's advert, Paul Hogan puts 'another shrimp on the barbie', as this advert was made for the American market. (Forfeit: Shrimp)

- Tangent: The colour "Barbie Pink" is copyrighted by the Mattel Corporation, which makes the Barbie doll.

- Tangent: Prawns are like the maggots of the sea. They feed off effluent pipes.

- If 2,000 coleopterists discovered four new species of beetle per day, it would take them three-and-a-half years to discover 10 million species.

- At a temperature of 400 degrees Celsius, bombardier beetles squirt a mixture of hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide out of their arses.

- Tangent: Jo asks if there is any point in knowing any of information given to her in the programme. Stephen responds by saying that it tends to be those who say, "What it is the point of learning something" who tend to end off worse in life.


- Sean Lock: 17 points
- Bill Bailey: 7 points
- Jo Brand: -20 points
- Alan Davies: -22 points

Deleted Scenes

- A pooter is a device that allows someone to catch a beetle without touching it. It consists of a glass tube with a small spout and a length of rubber tubing. You cover the beetle with the spout, suck the rubber tube, and that sucks the beetle into the glass tube.

Broadcast details

Friday 8th October 2004
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Tuesday 18th January 2011 8:20pm Dave
Sunday 21st August 2011 3:20pm Dave
Sunday 21st August 2011 7:40pm Dave
Saturday 5th November 2011 8:20pm Dave
Sunday 6th November 2011 1:40pm Dave
Wednesday 16th November 2011 7:20pm Dave
Wednesday 16th November 2011 11:00pm Dave
Saturday 19th November 2011 7:00pm Dave
Sunday 20th November 2011 2:40pm Dave
Friday 30th December 2011 11:20am Dave
Friday 30th December 2011 4:20pm Dave
Saturday 31st December 2011 10:40am Dave
Saturday 31st December 2011 3:40pm Dave
Wednesday 7th March 2012 10:40pm Dave
Tuesday 15th May 2012 7:20pm Dave
Tuesday 15th May 2012 11:40pm Dave
Tuesday 25th September 2012 5:20pm Dave
Tuesday 25th September 2012 11:40pm Dave
Saturday 29th December 2012 2:40pm Dave
Sunday 6th October 2013 3:20pm Dave
Monday 7th October 2013 12:15am Dave
Tuesday 17th December 2013 1:00pm Dave
Tuesday 17th December 2013 6:20pm Dave
Friday 31st January 2014 11:20pm Dave
Saturday 1st February 2014 2:20am Dave
Sunday 11th May 2014 7:40pm Dave
Sunday 31st August 2014 1:40pm Dave
Tuesday 24th February 2015 11:00pm Dave
Tuesday 14th April 2015 11:40pm Dave
Monday 20th July 2015 11:00pm Dave
Tuesday 21st July 2015 9:40pm Dave
Wednesday 25th November 2015 9:40pm Dave
Thursday 26th November 2015 2:20am Dave
Tuesday 15th March 2016 12:10am Dave
Tuesday 15th March 2016 8:40pm Dave
Monday 11th July 2016 10:00pm Dave
Monday 8th August 2016 4:20am Dave
Friday 20th January 2017 3:20pm Dave
Tuesday 22nd August 2017 12:00am Dave
Tuesday 22nd August 2017 2:00am Dave
Tuesday 3rd October 2017 11:20pm Dave
Wednesday 4th October 2017 1:20am Dave
Saturday 9th December 2017 1:20am Dave
Thursday 18th January 2018 11:40pm Dave
Friday 19th January 2018 1:40am Dave
Tuesday 27th March 2018 1:00am Dave
Tuesday 3rd April 2018 12:40am Dave
Tuesday 3rd April 2018 2:40am Dave
Tuesday 28th August 2018 11:20pm Dave
Saturday 2nd March 2019 11:20pm Dave
Thursday 2nd May 2019 11:00pm Dave
Monday 3rd February 2020 11:40pm Dave
Tuesday 4th February 2020 1:40am Dave
Monday 25th May 2020 1:40am Dave
Monday 25th May 2020 8:20pm Dave
Tuesday 30th June 2020 1:20am Dave
Tuesday 7th July 2020 1:00am Dave

Cast & crew

Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Bill Bailey Guest
Jo Brand Guest
Sean Lock Guest
Writing team
Sophie Johnstone Researcher
Molly Oldfield Researcher
John Mitchinson Question Writer
Piers Fletcher Question Writer
Kate Staples Researcher
Garrick Alder Researcher
Dan Schreiber Researcher
Production team
Ian Lorimer Director
John Lloyd Producer
Phil Clarke Executive Producer
Mark Freeland Executive Producer
Nick King Editor
Jonathan Paul Green Production Designer


Deleted bits: Series A, B, C, D

What use is a coleopterist without his pooter?

Featuring: Stephen Fry, Alan Davies, Bill Bailey, Jo Brand & Sean Lock.

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