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. 217 episodes (pilot + 15 series), 2003 - 2018. Stars Sandi Toksvig, Stephen Fry and Alan Davies.

Next new episode is on Friday at 10pm. Series O, Highlights Special
Catch-up on Episode 16 on BBC iPlayer   Series B, Episode 5 is repeated on Dave tomorrow at 1am.

Series E, Episode 3 - Eating

Full synopsis



- In the Rhubarb Triangle, rhubarb grows so quickly that you can hear it grow. The triangle is made up of the cities Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield. The rhubarb is placed in 'forcing rooms', which are completely dark. As there is no sunlight, they do not make leaves and just grow.

- Tangent: Rhubarb leaves are poisonous. Rhubarb acts as a mild laxative. Britain used to get rhubarb exports from China. However, when the Opium War was declared between the two nations, the exports stopped. One man, Lin Zexu threatened that if the British did not stop Opium imports into China, they would cut of rhubarb supplies to Britain, killing everybody by mass constipation. Queen Victoria never had the message translated.

- Corn flakes were invented by accident. However, their original and quite interesting function was that they were designed to prevent masturbation, a practice that John Harvey Kellogg hated.

- If you eat nothing but rabbit, you die of malnutrition. Rabbit meat has very little oil, so if you ate only rabbit, you would run out of other nutrients.

- Tangent: Eating a rabbit affected with myxomatosis has no affect on a human. Louis XVIII of France claimed that he could tell from which part for France the rabbit came from by smelling rabbit stew. In theory, two rabbits could produce 33 million rabbits in 3 years; however 90% of baby rabbits are killed by predators. Although rabbits were introduced to Britain in the 12th century by the Normans, they only became wild in the 19th century.

- Elephant on the Menu: Mongongo nuts can be found in elephant droppings.

General Ignorance

- Snails were the first animals to be herded for food, in 10,700 B.C. (Forfeit: Chickens)

- Tangent: Snails are hermaphrodites. They have a 'love dart' which has a greater chance of pregnancy but can also hurt the partner.

- Stomach ulcers are caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter Pylori. It was discovered by two Australian doctors. One of them, Barry Marshall, proved that this was the case by deliberately giving himself the bacteria and suffering from an ulcer, which could then be cured by antibiotics. He won the Nobel Prize for his discovery.

- The green vegetable which contains 10 times more iron than any other is thyme. (Forfeit: Spinach; Broccoli)


(Presenter: Stephen Fry impersonating Johnny Vegas)

- Tangent: There is a type of Vietnamese coffee that is made by monkeys eating green coffee, then excreting and grinding the faeces.

- Tangent: A discussion on the philtrum, which is the groove between the nose and upper lip.

- If you ate E941, E948, E938, E290 and E939 you would carry on living because they are the main ingredients of air. They are nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide and helium respectively. (Forfeit: Sends you mad)

- A tyrannosaurus rex would taste of chicken, because chickens are descended from them.

- Tangent: Stephen's told a story about Peter Cook. Apparently Cook read an article about Elizabeth Taylor putting on weight, in which a spokesman said was because of her glands. Cook joked that Taylor's glands must have been ordering eclairs and "stuffing them down her f**king throat!"


- Alan Davies: -2 points (Fourth victory)
- Johnny Vegas: -3 points
- Jimmy Carr: -6 points
- Phill Jupitus: -21 points

Broadcast details

Friday 28th September 2007
BBC Four
30 minutes


  1. Saturday 29th May 2010 at 10:20pm on Dave
  2. Tuesday 13th July 2010 at 9:40pm on Dave
  3. Wednesday 21st July 2010 at 10:00pm on BBC2
  4. Tuesday 31st August 2010 at 10:00pm on Dave
  5. Thursday 11th November 2010 at 9:40pm on Dave
  6. Tuesday 14th December 2010 at 9:00pm on Dave
  7. Saturday 20th August 2011 at 10:20pm on Dave
  8. Saturday 29th October 2011 at 7:40pm on Dave
  9. Monday 2nd January 2012 at 10:00pm on Dave
  10. Tuesday 3rd January 2012 at 12:20am on Dave
  11. Friday 1st June 2012 at 11:00pm on Dave
  12. Saturday 2nd June 2012 at 1:35am on Dave
  13. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 9:40pm on Dave
  14. Friday 14th September 2012 at 12:20am on Dave
  15. Sunday 20th January 2013 at 1:00pm on Dave
  16. Sunday 20th January 2013 at 5:00pm on Dave
  17. Wednesday 23rd April 2014 at 10:40pm on Dave
  18. Thursday 24th April 2014 at 1:40am on Dave
  19. Thursday 5th June 2014 at 12:40pm on Dave
  20. Thursday 5th June 2014 at 5:40pm on Dave
  21. Wednesday 26th November 2014 at 11:40pm on Dave
  22. Friday 23rd January 2015 at 11:00pm on Dave
  23. Monday 27th April 2015 at 11:00pm on Dave
  24. Tuesday 28th April 2015 at 3:10am on Dave
  25. Tuesday 2nd February 2016 at 12:20am on Dave
  26. Tuesday 2nd February 2016 at 9:20pm on Dave
  27. Tuesday 24th May 2016 at 2:20am on Dave
  28. Tuesday 24th May 2016 at 11:20pm on Dave
  29. Saturday 9th July 2016 at 8:20pm on Dave
  30. Tuesday 9th August 2016 at 1:00am on Dave
  31. Tuesday 9th August 2016 at 8:00pm on Dave
  32. Wednesday 14th December 2016 at 11:20pm on Dave
  33. Friday 10th March 2017 at 2:40pm on Dave
  34. Monday 12th June 2017 at 1:50am on Dave
  35. Monday 21st August 2017 at 11:20pm on Dave
  36. Tuesday 22nd August 2017 at 1:20am on Dave
  37. Monday 30th October 2017 at 11:20pm on Dave
  38. Tuesday 31st October 2017 at 1:20am on Dave
  39. Thursday 9th November 2017 at 1:20am on Dave
  40. Thursday 7th December 2017 at 1:20am on Dave
  41. Thursday 1st February 2018 at 12:40am on Dave
  42. Thursday 1st February 2018 at 2:40am on Dave

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Stephen Fry Host / Presenter
Alan Davies Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Jimmy Carr Guest
Phill Jupitus Guest
Johnny Vegas Guest
Writing team
Piers Fletcher Question Writer
Justin Pollard 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

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