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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 12 - Combustion

Preview clips

The Titanic sinking

Extra Tasks

- "Doubt cards": One of the answers is false. If a panellist thinks the answer is "bollocks", they put up their card to score bonus points.


- The greatest raid made by Mosquitoes during World War II was when 12 of them rescued 12 members of the French Resistance, bombing the Amines Prison.

- The first thing to happen to the crew of the Titanic as it started to sink was that their wages were stopped. (Forfeit: They drowned)

- Tangent: The Duff-Gordon family allegedly bribed the lifeboat crew to save their lives.

- The difference between Able and Ordinary seaman is that Able seaman carry a log called a 'certificate of continuous discharge'.

- You can sink a ship using pistachios and walnuts because they spontaneously combust in water.

- Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, coconuts, horse-chestnuts, pine nuts and beetle nuts are not nuts. Most are seeds. True nuts include walnuts, butternuts, hickory, pecans, wingnuts, beech, oak, stone oak, tanoak, hazelnuts, filbert and hornbeams.

- Tangent: Coconuts kill people 10 times more than sharks do per year.

- Rolls-Royce test aircraft engines by firing dead chickens from a cannon. They are fired out of cannons at 186mph, which is 1/360,000th the speed of light, also known as "C". Correction: It is actually 1/3,600,000th the speed of light. Correction: The aeroplane engine shown in the photo on the screens is not a Rolls-Royce engine.

- The theory of relativity was invented by Galileo. (Forfeit: Einstein)

- Three-quarters of the women accused of witchcraft in England were acquitted. (Forfeit: They were burned)

- Tangent: Alan talks about a band he knew who performed a song called "Peter Cushing lives in Whitstable". Stephen goes onto talk working with Vincent Price and Christopher Lee.

General Ignorance

- Pine is an example of a softwood. (Forfeit: Balsa wood)

- If you cut an earthworm in two, you get one dead worm in two pieces. (Forfeit: You get two earthworms)

- Tangent: A planaria is a type of flatworm discovered by T. H. Morgan. 1/279th can regenerate into an original full-size planaria.

- Instead of using a special space pen, astronauts can just use a regular biro in zero gravity. (Forfeit: A pencil)

- Doubt card: Neil Armstrong and the Mr. Gorski myth: The myth claims that when he was a boy, Armstrong hit his baseball into the next-door neighbours' garden, the Gorski's. Mrs. Gorski said, "Oral sex - I'll have oral sex with you the day that kid next-door lands on the moon." Alan is the only one to play his "doubt card".

- Correction: Dara's fact about the triple point of water which he mentioned in Series B is corrected. He claimed it was 0 degrees Celcius, but it is actually 0.01 degrees. (Forfeit: 0 degrees Celcius)


- Bill Bailey: 3 points
- Dara O'Briain: -8 points
- Phill Jupitus: -18 points
- Alan Davies: -47 points


For the engine correction, see QI Qibble Blog

Broadcast details

Friday 9th December 2005
BBC Four
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Bill Bailey Guest
Phill Jupitus Guest
Dara O Briain 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
Mark Freeland Executive Producer
Sally Debonnaire Executive Producer
Nick King Editor
Jonathan Paul Green Production Designer
Howard Goodall Composer


The 'Cushing' Music Video

An extra on the forthcoming QI Series C DVD. An animated music video of the Peter Cushing song.

Featuring: Alan Davies, Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Phill Jupitus & Dara O Briain.

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