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.

Episode menu

Series C, Episode 11 - Carnival

A Clown

Extra Tasks

- Each panellist is given a 'joker' with a picture of a squirrel, to play if they think the answer to any question is something to do with squirrels. If they are right, they score 50 points. If they are wrong, they are deducted 10 points.


- You have to swallow two swazzles to be called a Professor of Punch and Judy.

- The difference between a phobia and a fear is that a phobia is irrational. (Squirrel forfeit: Alan, for saying he was frightened of squirrels)

- Tangent: "Coulrophoia" is the fear of clowns. "Sciurophobia" is the fear of squirrels.

- Everyone has a cuckoo in their pants, because the Greek for cuckoo is "Coccyx". (Forfeit: No)

- Tangent: The Road Runner is a type of cuckoo.

- Most animals wear Greek frocks. The Greek for frock is "Chitin", a type of polymer that covers most animals, plants and fungi. (Forfeit: Demis Roussos) (Squirrel forfeit: Jo)

- The Greek army wear kilts. They have 400 pleats, to represent 400 years of subjugation by the Turks.

- The coconut crab cannot swim or float in water, but they can shin up trees, can grow to the size of a small dog, have claws powerful enough to open tin cans and can carry a load greater than the luggage allowance on an international flight.

- Tangent: Coconut milk is the mashed up flesh found in a coconut. The liquid inside is coconut water.

- A "Cheeselog" is another name for a woodlouse. (Squirrel forfeit: Clive)

- Tangent: Clive is President of the Woodland Trust.

- The Emperor Charlemagne's party trick was to throw a tablecloth made out of asbestos onto a fire.

- Tangent: "Asbestos" means "Inextinguishable". The town with the largest asbestos mine in the world is called Asbestos.

General Ignorance

- No-one goes gathering nuts in May, because hawthorn blooms at that time. Squirrels gather them at the end of the year. (Squirrel forfeit: Alan, Clive and Phill)

- A custard pile is another name for a cock, as used in cockfighting. (Squirrel forfeit: Phill)

- Tangent: For nearly 2,000 years, cockfighting was Britain's national sport. Every village had a cockpit. Expressions that come from cockfighting include, "show a clean pair of heels", "well heeled", "to pit someone against" and "being game".

- Aeschylus was killed by a tortoise landing on his head, after it had been dropped by an eagle. (Squirrel forfeit: Phill)

- Robin Hood's tights were coloured a shade of scarlet called Lincoln Graine. In the original A Gest of Robyn Hode, clothes are mentioned very frequently.

- Squirrel bonus: In a version of Cinderella by Charles Perrault, it is believed that he made Cinderella's shoes were made out of squirrel fur. Perrault also added the Fairy Godmother, the pumpkin and the mice. (No-one got the bonus) Correction: It now appears that this story is not true and the Perrault did originally use glass shoes and not fur.

- Tangent: In the Chinese version of Cinderella, she wears gold shoes. The German version has silk and gold shoes, and Scottish has shoes made out of rushes.

Deleted scenes

- "Chippies" are carpenters. The word comes from when carpenters on naval ships were allowed to take any off-cuts or "Chips" home with them. Many abused the system and took large pieces of wood home, and used it to build their houses.

- Tangent: Stephen once saw a graffito in Adelaide which said, "Australia 6, New Zealand 7", which is meant to be pronounced, "Australia sucks, New Zealand's heaven".

- Tangent: When talking about eating woodlice, Alan bets that Stephen will eat some for charity. 70,000,000 people in England have died from eating faeces over the past 200 years.


- Clive Anderson: 0 points
- Jo Brand and Phill Jupitus: -23 points
- Alan Davies: -26 points


For the correction, see the QI Qibble Blog

Broadcast details

Friday 2nd December 2005
BBC Four
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Thursday 8th July 2010 11:00pm Dave
Saturday 28th August 2010 10:00pm Dave
Sunday 26th September 2010 8:20pm Dave
Saturday 30th October 2010 10:20pm Dave
Thursday 18th November 2010 7:50pm Dave
Sunday 5th December 2010 8:20pm Dave
Thursday 16th December 2010 7:40pm Dave
Thursday 23rd December 2010 7:40pm Dave
Tuesday 23rd April 2013 10:40pm Dave
Sunday 9th June 2013 1:40pm Dave
Sunday 9th June 2013 5:40pm Dave
Saturday 14th December 2013 7:40pm Dave
Sunday 15th December 2013 3:20pm Dave
Friday 19th September 2014 11:20pm Dave
Saturday 20th September 2014 2:00am Dave
Wednesday 21st January 2015 11:40pm
60 minute version
Thursday 16th April 2015 11:00pm Dave
Wednesday 23rd September 2015 8:40pm Dave
Thursday 24th September 2015 1:40am Dave
Thursday 3rd December 2015 1:00am Dave
Thursday 3rd December 2015 10:40pm Dave
Monday 9th May 2016 1:20am Dave
Monday 9th May 2016 11:20pm Dave
Friday 19th August 2016 1:00am Dave
Friday 19th August 2016 10:20pm Dave
Wednesday 23rd November 2016 11:20pm Dave
Friday 17th February 2017 6:40pm Dave
Monday 20th February 2017 2:40pm Dave
Monday 1st May 2017 11:20pm Dave
Tuesday 2nd May 2017 2:40am Dave
Wednesday 16th August 2017 12:00am Dave
Wednesday 16th August 2017 2:00am Dave
Wednesday 20th September 2017 11:20pm Dave
Thursday 21st September 2017 1:20am Dave
Thursday 30th November 2017 11:20pm Dave
Sunday 17th December 2017 12:00am Dave
Sunday 17th December 2017 12:00pm Dave
Tuesday 17th April 2018 12:40am Dave
Tuesday 17th April 2018 2:40am Dave
Tuesday 30th October 2018 12:20am Dave
Friday 18th January 2019 11:40pm Dave
Saturday 19th January 2019 1:40am Dave
Saturday 18th May 2019 7:00pm Dave
Thursday 26th September 2019 8:20pm Dave
Thursday 19th December 2019 12:00am Dave
Thursday 19th December 2019 8:20pm Dave

Cast & crew

Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Clive Anderson Guest
Jo Brand Guest
Phill Jupitus Guest
Writing team
Justin Pollard Researcher
John Mitchinson Question Writer
Piers Fletcher Question Writer
Garrick Alder Researcher
Dan Schreiber Researcher
Mat Coward Researcher
Christopher Gray Researcher
James Harkin Researcher
Production team
Ian Lorimer Director
John Lloyd Producer
Sally Debonnaire Executive Producer
Katie Taylor Executive Producer
Nick King Editor
Jonathan Paul Green Production Designer
Howard Goodall Composer

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