QI. Image shows from L to R: Alan Davies, Sandi Toksvig. Copyright: TalkbackThames


  • TV panel show
  • BBC Two / BBC One / BBC Four
  • 2003 - 2021
  • 283 episodes (19 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

Further details

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


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Saturday 10th July 2010 10:10pm Dave
Saturday 28th August 2010 10:40pm Dave
Wednesday 8th September 2010 9:00pm Dave
Saturday 30th October 2010 11:00pm Dave
Friday 24th December 2010 7:40pm Dave
Wednesday 24th April 2013 11:20pm Dave
Sunday 9th June 2013 2:20pm Dave
Sunday 9th June 2013 6:20pm Dave
Monday 16th December 2013 1:00pm Dave
Monday 16th December 2013 6:20pm Dave
Friday 26th September 2014 11:20pm Dave
Saturday 27th September 2014 2:00am Dave
Thursday 22nd January 2015 11:00pm Dave
Friday 17th April 2015 11:00pm
60 minute version
Wednesday 30th September 2015 8:00pm Dave
Thursday 1st October 2015 1:00am Dave
Thursday 3rd December 2015 12:20am Dave
Thursday 3rd December 2015 10:00pm Dave
Tuesday 10th May 2016 2:20am Dave
Tuesday 10th May 2016 11:20pm Dave
Friday 19th August 2016 1:40am Dave
Friday 19th August 2016 11:00pm Dave
Thursday 24th November 2016 12:00am Dave
Tuesday 21st February 2017 2:40pm Dave
Thursday 17th August 2017 12:00am Dave
Thursday 17th August 2017 2:00am Dave
Saturday 19th August 2017 12:20am Dave
Saturday 19th August 2017 2:20am Dave
Friday 22nd September 2017 1:20am Dave
Friday 1st December 2017 11:20pm Dave
Tuesday 30th January 2018 11:00pm Dave
Wednesday 31st January 2018 1:00am Dave
Wednesday 18th April 2018 12:00am Dave
Wednesday 18th April 2018 2:00am Dave
Saturday 14th July 2018 2:20am Dave
Monday 21st January 2019 11:00pm Dave
Tuesday 22nd January 2019 1:00am Dave
Thursday 26th September 2019 11:00pm Dave
Friday 27th September 2019 8:20pm Dave
Wednesday 1st January 2020 7:00pm Dave
Tuesday 24th March 2020 8:20pm Dave
Wednesday 25th March 2020 2:10am Dave

Cast & crew

Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Bill Bailey Guest
Phill Jupitus Guest
Dara O Briain Guest
Writing team
John Mitchinson Question Writer
Piers Fletcher Question Writer
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
Justin Pollard Researcher
Garrick Alder Researcher
Dan Schreiber Researcher
Mat Coward Researcher
Christopher Gray Researcher
James Harkin Researcher


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.

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