British Comedy Guide

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


BBC Two and BBC One panel show focusing on quite interesting facts. 233 episodes (pilot + 16 series), 2003 - 2018. Stars Sandi Toksvig, Stephen Fry and Alan Davies.

Another series is in development.
Series N, Episode 1 is repeated on Dave today at 9pm.
Recording at The London Studios. Tickets

Series C, Episode 6 - Cockneys

Full synopsis

St Mary-le-Bow Church.

Extra Tasks

- Any flamencos (dancers, answers) given in Pyong (yang, slang) score Barney (Rubble, double).

- Each panel is given a cut-out of a catfish and some stickers. They have to places the stickers where they think the catfish has taste buds. The answer (with points given to Rory) is that it has taste buds all over its body. A catfish is basically a swimming tongue.


- The original purpose of cockney rhyming slang was for criminals to disguise what they were saying from policemen. The word "Cockney" means a "Cock's egg" - i.e. something you cannot trust, like an egg laid by a cockerel.

- In the Cherokee language, "Cherokee" is pronounced "ah-ni-yv-wi-ya". The Cherokee, like other languages such as Chinese, cannot pronounce "Ch".

- Giant sequoias have bark four feet thick, but have tiny seeds. Therefore, they need forest fires to clear all over trees and to burst the seed shells in order to grow.

- Tangent: Giant sequoias are the fastest growing trees on Earth. The fastest growing plant is kudzu. It is so fast that it is the only plant measured in miles per hour in its growth.

- Everyone uses coal to brush their teeth. Coal is used in nylon, which is used to make the bristles in toothbrushes. (Forfeit: No)

- Nylon was originally called "No Run". The name was given by its inventor Wallace Carothers, working for DuPont. (Forfeit: New York & London)

- Quite interesting information on Chelmsford:

- It was capital of England for five days in 1381 during the Peasants Revolt.

- It is the only town in England to be named after Julius Caesar.

- Charles Dickens called it, "The dullest and most stupid spot on the face of the Earth."

- Marconi set up the first radio factory in Chelmsford.

- It has the largest burns unit in Europe.

- The MP for Chelmsford West, at the time of recording, was Simon Burns - nicknamed "Third Degree Burns" because he got a third class degree at university.

- Tangent: Rory starred and co-wrote a sitcom called Chelmsford 123, set in Roman Britain. During the time it was set, Colchester was capital of England.

General Ignorance

- Barbara Streisand, and for that matter everyone in the world, has eaten their moustache and pooed it out. When people are babies in the womb, they are covered in hair called "Lanugo", which is then shed, eaten, and become the baby's first stool.

- If Stephen was to strip Alan and cover him with gold paint, Alan would become very hot because he could not sweat. (Forfeit: He'd die)

- Tangent: Other errors made in Bond novels include the claims that homosexuals cannot whistle and that junior Sumo Wrestlers, by massaging the appropriate muscles, can force their testicles to re-enter the body via the inguinal canal.

- Humans have between nine and twenty-one senses. Apart from the five obvious ones, other senses are said to include heat, pain, balance and body awareness (such as closing your eyes, putting your hand out and still being able to tell where it is). (Forfeit: Five)

- According to the Bible, the oldest person is Enoch, because he never died. Instead, God "took him". (Forfeit: Methuselah)

Deleted scenes

- There can be snowflakes which are identical. About one litre of snow contains a million snowflakes. (Forfeit: No two are identical)

- Hangman William Calcraft should not be confused with William Carstares, the last man in Britain to be tortured by thumbscrews, or with Hollywood entertainer William "Billy" Crystal. Crystal is what snowflakes are made from.


- Bill Bailey: 3 points
- Rory McGrath: -1 point
- Phill Jupitus: -12 points
- Alan Davies: -19 points

Broadcast details

Friday 28th October 2005
BBC Four
30 minutes


  1. Monday 28th September 2009 at 9:00pm on Dave
  2. Tuesday 6th July 2010 at 10:10pm on Dave
  3. Friday 13th August 2010 at 9:00pm on Dave
  4. Tuesday 7th September 2010 at 9:00pm on Dave
  5. Thursday 21st October 2010 at 9:40pm on Dave
  6. Saturday 20th November 2010 at 8:20pm on Dave
  7. Tuesday 16th April 2013 at 10:40pm on Dave
  8. Sunday 2nd June 2013 at 1:40pm on Dave
  9. Sunday 2nd June 2013 at 6:40pm on Dave
  10. Saturday 7th December 2013 at 7:00pm on Dave
  11. Sunday 8th December 2013 at 2:00pm on Dave
  12. Sunday 29th December 2013 at 6:20pm on Dave
  13. Monday 30th December 2013 at 1:00pm on Dave
  14. Sunday 23rd March 2014 at 12:20pm on Dave
  15. Sunday 23rd March 2014 at 7:20pm on Dave
  16. Thursday 29th May 2014 at 11:40am on Dave
  17. Thursday 29th May 2014 at 5:40pm on Dave
  18. Friday 16th January 2015 at 11:40pm on Dave
  19. Saturday 14th February 2015 at 9:20pm on Dave
  20. Thursday 9th April 2015 at 11:00pm on Dave
  21. Wednesday 16th September 2015 at 8:00pm on Dave
  22. Tuesday 8th March 2016 at 12:50am on Dave
  23. Tuesday 8th March 2016 at 9:20pm on Dave
  24. Wednesday 17th August 2016 at 12:20am on Dave
  25. Wednesday 17th August 2016 at 10:20pm on Dave
  26. Thursday 9th February 2017 at 6:40pm on Dave
  27. Friday 10th February 2017 at 2:40pm on Dave
  28. Tuesday 8th August 2017 at 12:00am on Dave
  29. Tuesday 8th August 2017 at 2:00am on Dave
  30. Wednesday 13th September 2017 at 11:20pm on Dave
  31. Friday 1st December 2017 at 1:20am on Dave
  32. Monday 29th January 2018 at 11:00pm on Dave
  33. Tuesday 30th January 2018 at 1:00am on Dave
  34. Friday 9th March 2018 at 2:00am on Dave
  35. Friday 9th March 2018 at 11:00pm on Dave

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Bill Bailey Guest
Phill Jupitus Guest
Rory McGrath Guest
Writing team
John Mitchinson Question Writer
Piers Fletcher Question Writer
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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