Series G, Episode 1 - Gardens
- The set is decorated with trees, flowers, ivy and garden gnomes.
- The tools you need for "do nothing" gardening are animals that do the gardening for you. Also known as "natural gardening" or "natural farming", it is an Eastern version of organic farming. Ducks are used in paddy fields to get rid of weeds instead of herbicides, and carp are used to purify the water.
- The panel are given each a tool used by 18th-19th century gentlemen gardeners, belonging to The Garden Museum, and are asked what they are.
- XL: Stephen asks the panel to draw what they think the first novelty teapot looked like. The answer is that they looked like fruits and vegetables, like cauliflowers and pineapples. The first date from the reign of Queen Anne in the early 1700s.
- The best place in the world to discover an entirely new species is your own garden. In 1971, biologist Jennifer Owen carried out a very long term study in her own garden in a suburban house in Leicester. She found 533 different types of ichneumon wasp, 15 of which had never been recorded in Britain, and 4 where completely new to science. Naturalist Gilbert White said nature is so full and varied that if you want to find the place with the most variety, it is the place you most study. Just take in small piece of land and examine it hard enough. (Forfeit: The Rainforest)
- The person who found garden gnomes attractive was Charles Isham, a vegetarian spiritualist who introduced them in 1847 in the hope they would attract real gnomes. He introduced 21 porcelain garden gnomes, one of which survives to this day and is insured for about £1 million. The red cap worn by almost all garden gnomes is based on the idea that German gnomes and dwarves (like the ones in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves) wore them because they were miners, and German miners wore red caps. (Forfeit: Phwoarr!)
- The reason why American farmers hate Shakespeare is because of him there are now starlings in the USA. An eccentric drug manufacture called Eugene Schieffelin who decided that America should contain examples of every bird species mentioned in Shakespeare. This included starlings that were not native to America, so he had 100 introduced to Central Park. However, they are terrible pests, befouling everything they do not eat. There is an estimated 200 million now in the country.
- Out of "Grocer's", "Grocers" or "Grocers'", it does not really matter which one you use. Despite the attempts of some people insisting that the apostrophe goes in a certain place, as well as societies forming to protect apostrophes, there has been disagreement about where the "grocer's/grocers/grocers' apostrophe" should go in dating as back as the 18th century. In Birmingham, the use of the apostrophe for grocers was abolished.
- You can tell the difference between an apple and pear without tasting or opening them up by whether or not they float. Apples float, pears sink. The oldest variety of apple in England is the Pearmain.
- XL: If you go into a shop to get one or two items and you come out with a load of stuff, then you have been subject to a "Gruen transfer", named after Victor Gruen. Supermarkets are carefully laid out to increase the chances of sales. For example, men are more likely to by things on higher shelves and are more like to pay more, so items designed to attract men are put on high shelves. Cheaper, more everyday things which are more likely to be brought by women are placed on the shelves below (about 3-4ft). Men pick the higher items thinking that they are the best because they are more expensive. Women will get the items lower down thinking they are good value.
- Trees are made out of wood, which in turn is made out of carbon which comes from the air via photosynthesis. (Forfeit: Earth)
- The thing that makes Australian spiders so dangerous is the fact you do not expect them. No-one has died of a spider bite in Australia since 1981 since antivenoms where introduced. The main cause of death from spiders is when they surprise you in cars, and thus you are in such a panic you crash the car. There are two venomous spiders in Australia - the funnel-web and the redback.
- David Mitchell and Dara O'Briain: 3 points
- Rob Brydon: -6 points
- Alan Davies: -8 points
- Thursday 26th November 2009
- BBC One
- 30 minutes
- Monday 30th November 2009 at 10:00pm on BBC2
- Saturday 20th March 2010 at 9:30pm on BBC2 (45 minute version)
- Tuesday 5th October 2010 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Saturday 20th November 2010 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 4th January 2011 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Sunday 20th February 2011 at 10:25pm on BBC1
- Sunday 20th February 2011 at 11:40pm on BBC1 Scot
- Tuesday 22nd March 2011 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Saturday 26th March 2011 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 30th May 2011 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 31st May 2011 at 1:00am on Dave (50 minute version)
- Thursday 14th July 2011 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 15th July 2011 at 12:20am on Dave (65 minute version)
- Sunday 2nd October 2011 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 3rd October 2011 at 12:20am on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 21st October 2011 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Saturday 22nd October 2011 at 12:20am on Dave (55 minute version)
- Saturday 24th December 2011 at 6:00pm on Dave
- Sunday 8th April 2012 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Thursday 24th May 2012 at 9:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Thursday 24th May 2012 at 11:40pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 2nd July 2012 at 7:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 2nd July 2012 at 11:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 4th August 2014 at 11:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 15th September 2014 at 8:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 14th November 2014 at 10:40pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Thursday 7th May 2015 at 7:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 8th May 2015 at 2:15am on Dave (60 minute version)
- Saturday 4th July 2015 at 8:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Sunday 5th July 2015 at 1:00am on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 21st September 2015 at 1:00am on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 22nd September 2015 at 12:00am on Dave (60 minute version)
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|Dara O Briain||Guest|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|Justin Pollard||Question Writer|
|James Harkin||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Katie Taylor||Executive Producer|
|David Morley (as Dave Morley)||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|
Did you know that Stephen Fry is on Twitter? Someone should report it. Anyhow, QI is his best work for about 10 years and shows no sign of tailing off just yet. He's joined by the person who will play him in the The Adventures Of Junior Fry, David Mitchell, Dara O'Briariaiaiaiaaiaaiaiain, reliable Rob Brydon and Alan 'Bloody' Davies. Perfect if watched through a red wine haze after a big meal.TV Bite, 26th November 2009
QI returns from its holidays to make a fresh assault on our ignorance, and with something of a dream team: Dara O'Briain, Rob Brydon and David Mitchell - with Alan Davies in his usual right-handman role and Stephen Fry asking the obscure questions as our twinkling schoolmaster of a host. Preview DVDs were unavailable but QI is always a garden of comic delights - more so than ever tonight as Fry tests his pupils' horticultural knowledge.David Butcher, Radio Times, 26th November 2009
QI is the cockroach of the television world. Not because it is a pestilent interloper disseminating disease and effluvia throughout the world. It's because that it seems impervious to the world surrounding it. Stephen Fry and four of his witty acolytes could be confined to a bunker while a nuclear holocaust unfolds outside, while they cheerily debate the merits of giving honey to a bee to keep it alive or savour the fantasy of sinking the entire French Navy.The Custard TV, 2nd December 2009