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


  • TV panel show
  • BBC Two / BBC One / BBC Four
  • 2003 - 2022
  • 279 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 D, Episode 2 - Discoveries

Charles Darwin as an ape

Extra Tasks

- Each panellist is presented with a picture of a U.S. Patent Office application, and has to guess what it is.

- Alan: Santa Claus Detector.

- Clive: Brassiere having integrated inflatable bladders for the holding of comestible liquids. (Drinking out of your bra)

- Arthur: Three-Tiered comb-over to cover partial baldness.

- Vic: Fresh-air breathing device & method. (Toilet snorkel)


- On average, in particular in the USA, it rains more often on Saturdays because of industrial activities over the week causing a seven day dust cycle.

- Tangent: The seven-day week was invented by the Babylonians. The Romans had an eight-day week.

- The connection between gelignite, saccharin and the rings around Uranus is that they were all serendipitous/accidental inventions and discoveries. Other examples include caffeine, silly putty, Viagra, Post-It notes, penicillin and the Americas.

- Charles Darwin suffered from Chagas disease. (Forfeit: I did)

- Tangent: Carlos Chagas discovered the disease. It is the only disease described by one single researcher. Millions of people still suffer from it in South America.

- Darwin did not describe brown owls, or at least the taste of it, saying it was "indescribable". He was a member of the "glutton society" at Cambridge, which ate all kinds of unusual animals, but none of them liked brown owls. Darwin was a poor student. He could not spell or do arithmetic. The only subject his father thought was good for him was divinity. All the other students became bishops or arch-deacons.

- Tangent: A Phylum feast is held on Darwin's birthday (12 February) in which people try to eat as many different species as possible.

- Tangent: Examples of unusual foods include the beating heart of a cobra, whilst drinking the blood as a wine. Alan claims the most disgusting thing he has ever eaten was earwax.

- The quite interesting thing about the sentence, "Serrated nor'wester sea-breezes caress rambling sea-lion kumquat excursion," was that all these words were introduced into English by William Dampier. Dampier was the first Englishman to set foot on Australia and invented wind maps. His book A New Voyage Around the World was carried by sailors for 100 years. His adventures inspired the books Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels. Dampier was not liked by many because he was a privateer.

- Tangent: Long John Silver and Israel Hans were real pirates. Silver sailed that Dampier. Hans was shot in the leg by Blackbeard.

- Jules Leotard invented both the leotard (although he called it a "Maillot") and the flying trapeze.

- Kangaroos do not fart, because of a kind of bacteria found in their gut. Scientists plan to isolate the bacteria and give it to cows to stop them farting and putting methane into the atmosphere.

General Ignorance

- Queen Victoria was said to have been highly amused by a musical bustle that played "God Save the Queen" whenever she sat down. (Forfeit: We are not amused)

- The "Twit Twoo" sound is made by two brown owls. The female goes "Twit" and the male goes "Twoo". (Forfeit: Brown owl - One owl cannot make both noises)

- Fernville Lord Digby worked in the nude because he was a dog used to advertise Dulux paint. However, the adverts have increased sales of the dog species more than the paint. Old English sheepdogs are now often called Dulux dogs.


- Vic Reeves: 16 points
- Alan Davies: 0 points
- Clive Anderson: -7 points
- Arthur Smith: -23 points

Broadcast details

Friday 29th September 2006
BBC Four
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Thursday 11th November 2010 9:00pm Dave
Saturday 1st January 2011 9:00pm Dave
Monday 21st February 2011 10:55pm Dave
Monday 13th June 2011 9:00pm Dave
Monday 13th June 2011 11:45pm Dave
Saturday 8th October 2011 10:20pm Dave
Sunday 9th October 2011 1:35am Dave
Sunday 15th April 2012 1:20pm Dave
Sunday 15th April 2012 7:20pm Dave
Tuesday 16th October 2012 4:40pm Dave
Tuesday 16th October 2012 11:40pm Dave
Sunday 23rd December 2012 2:00pm Dave
Sunday 23rd December 2012 11:40pm Dave
Sunday 17th March 2013 1:00pm Dave
Sunday 17th March 2013 5:00pm Dave
Sunday 19th May 2013 1:40pm Dave
Sunday 19th May 2013 5:40pm Dave
Sunday 7th July 2013 2:00pm Dave
Sunday 7th July 2013 6:00pm Dave
Thursday 11th September 2014 10:20pm Dave
Friday 12th September 2014 1:20am Dave
Saturday 20th December 2014 11:20pm Dave
Sunday 21st December 2014 5:20pm Dave
Monday 2nd February 2015 11:00pm Dave
Friday 19th June 2015 11:20pm Dave
Wednesday 30th September 2015 8:40pm Dave
Thursday 1st October 2015 1:40am Dave
Monday 29th February 2016 11:40pm Dave
Tuesday 1st March 2016 8:40pm Dave
Friday 10th June 2016 1:00am Dave
Friday 10th June 2016 11:20pm Dave
Saturday 20th August 2016 1:40am Dave
Monday 22nd August 2016 10:20pm Dave
Thursday 23rd February 2017 12:20am Dave
Thursday 23rd February 2017 2:40pm Dave
Friday 7th April 2017 12:20am Dave
Friday 7th July 2017 12:20am Dave
Tuesday 1st August 2017 11:20pm Dave
Wednesday 2nd August 2017 1:20am Dave
Tuesday 2nd January 2018 11:40pm Dave
Wednesday 3rd January 2018 1:40am Dave
Friday 2nd March 2018 12:00am Dave
Friday 2nd March 2018 2:00am Dave
Thursday 26th April 2018 12:00am Dave
Thursday 26th April 2018 2:00am Dave
Friday 25th May 2018 12:00am Dave
Friday 25th May 2018 2:00am Dave
Tuesday 19th June 2018 11:20pm Dave
Wednesday 20th June 2018 2:20am Dave
Saturday 23rd February 2019 1:00am Dave
Tuesday 3rd September 2019 8:20pm Dave

Cast & crew

Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Clive Anderson Guest
Arthur Smith Guest
Vic Reeves Guest
Writing team
John Mitchinson Question Writer
Piers Fletcher Question Writer
Production team
Ian Lorimer Director
John Lloyd Producer
Lorraine Heggessey Executive Producer
Katie Taylor Executive Producer
Nick King Editor
Jonathan Paul Green Production Designer
Howard Goodall Composer
Justin Pollard Researcher
Molly Oldfield Researcher
Garrick Alder Researcher
Mat Coward Researcher
Christopher Gray Researcher
James Harkin Researcher
Justin Gayner Researcher

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