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


BBC Two and BBC One panel show about quite interesting facts. 266 episodes (pilot + 18 series), 2003 - 2020. Stars Sandi Toksvig, Stephen Fry and Alan Davies.

Returns Wednesday 23rd December at 9pm. Episode Guide
Series P, Episode 1 is repeated on Dave tomorrow at 10pm.

Series C, Episode 8 - Corby

Further details

Part of the Chinese flag.


- Each panellist is shown what their names mean in Chinese:

- Alan Davies: "Lazy great slave child" or "Two dozen blue combs".

- Stephen Fry: "Stiff fragrant husband come" or "Private suite bend over pipe".

- Bill Bailey: "Shabby plum shellfish texture" or "Low hedge sad hedge".

- Phill Jupitus: "Vulgar dwarf skin couch" or "Bend over hedge master ruffian foetus".

- David Mitchell: "Slack slave rotten dynasty" or "Fry borrows narrow spoon".


- There are no inventions beginning with "C" that come from Corby. The town's main claim to fame is that it is the largest town in Europe not to have a railway station. (Forfeit: Trouser press - Invented by John Corby)

- The connection between Corby and a large bowl of porridge found on Mars is that there is a crater on Mars called "Corby". NASA became obsessed with Corby when telling the Apollo 11 crew about the World Porridge Eating Championship that took place there. Craters on Mars are named after towns with a population less than 100,000 people. The craters beginning with "C" include Cádiz, Cairns, Canberra, Charleston and Crewe.

- Tangent: Alan is presented with an "Alan potato head".

- Some houses in China are built using stone stolen from the Great Wall of China. There is only 20% of the Wall left. (Forfeit: Bamboo)

- Thomas Crapper invented the ballcock. (Forfeit: The Flush Toilet - Invented by the Chinese)

- Tangent: Thomas Crapper is an example of 'nominative determinism', where you are more likely to do a job if your name is connected to it. The verb "to crap" existed before his career.

- Chinese inventions also include the abacus, acupuncture, chess, the decimal system, drilling for oil, the fishing reel, flamethrowers, fireworks, the helicopter, the horse collar, iron ploughs, lacquer, the mechanical clock, the hot air balloon, negative numbers, the parachute, printmaking, relief maps, the rudder, the seismograph, the stirrup, the suspension bridge, toilet paper, the umbrella, the water pump and whiskey. Non-Chinese inventions include the rickshaw, chop suey and fortune cookies, which are all American.

- Tangent: MSG and umami - the other flavour.

- The Dalmatian who discovered China was Marco Polo.

- The Croatians invented something that no businessman would be without - the tie. (Forfeit: Corby trouser press)

- Coffee tights are tights with caffeine in them.

General Ignorance

- The panel have to identity a picture of the statue of the Angel of Christian Charity. The statue was erected in honour of Lord Shaftsbury, and bares its shaft up Shaftsbury Avenue. It was the first statue to be made out of aluminium. (Forfeit: Eros) Correction: The statue is actually of Anteros, the Greek god of requited love. The statue was baring its shaft towards Lord Shaftsbury's home.

- Tangent: The urban myth about statues of military personal on horseback, mistakenly given as fact by Alan.

- The origin of the name "America" comes from Welshman Richard Amerike. (Forfeit: Amerigo Vespucci)

- The first president of America was Peyton Randolph, the first President of the Continental Congress. The second was John Hancock, whose signature is the largest on the Declaration of Independence, hence why a "John Hancock" is a nickname for a signature. (Forfeit: George Washington - first President of an independent United States.)

- Correction: At the end of the show Stephen tells a story of a man who went into one of the largest bookshops in Manchester, asking for a "Globe of Salford". It was believed at the time that there was no such thing, but it was later revealed in the Series G QI Annual that they do. "Globes of Salford" are old bottles with a globe logo on them made by Groves and Whitnall of Salford, considered to be collectibles.

Deleted scenes

- Tangent: Avon is the cosmetic company most favoured by transvestites because they visit people, and therefore who do not have to worry about buying goods over the counter. Stephen then talks about a shop in Camden, London called "Transformation", which is a shop transvestites, selling women's clothes for men. He has used this shop in order to get women's shoes his size (Size 13) for use in comedy sketches.

- Alfred the Great moved London 1,000 yards to the right.

- Tangent: Stephen asks "What do ladies' bits smell of?", a question which is mocked for asking because he is gay. Phill attmepts to do an East Anglian accent, but instead does a West Country accent.


- David Mitchell: 0 points
- Bill Bailey: -8 points
- Phill Jupitus: -9 points
- Alan Davies: -40 points

Broadcast details

Friday 11th November 2005
BBC Four
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Bill Bailey Guest
Phill Jupitus Guest
David Mitchell 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

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