Series I, Episode 1 - I-Spy
- The difference between an ai and an aye-aye is that they are two different types of animal. The ai is a type of sloth from South America which looks uncannily like a person dressed as a sloth. They spend most of their lives in trees and only come down to defecate. They need to bask in the sun to warm up their metabolism. The aye-aye is a endangered nocturnal lemur from Madagascar which looks incredibly ugly and has a very long middle finger which it uses to find food with by tapping on trees, similar to woodpeckers, filling the local niche. It is endangered partly because locals believe it is unlucky to see one pointing at you with their extended finger (a custom known as "Fady") so they attempt to kill them on sight.
- The difference between an aye and an aye-aye in the Navy is that an "aye" simply means "yes" in terms of agreement or assent when responding to a normal everyday question, whereas "aye-aye" is a response given by a lower ranking sailor to a command given by their superior.
- The reason why the Mona Lisa will not stop staring at you is because her eyes are painted looking straight out. If the eyes are painted this way then it will always appear as if they are looking at you. This is not unique to the Mona Lisa and occurs with other paintings such as The Laughing Cavalier (the most famous painting in the Wallace Collection in London). If the eyes are not painted looking straight out, they will not look at you, even if you are in the position where the eyes are looking.
- A question about infancy: the best-selling children's author who had something to say on rabid dogs, suicide victims, slaughtering cattle and how to tie your shoe laces is Lord Robert Baden-Powell, author of Scouting for Boys. Here are some of the things mentioned in the original 1908 book:
- XL: An initiative test - If you meet a friendly jackal you stay clear of it because it is suffering from rabies. Jackals are wild animals and would never approach humans normally. The normal rabies symptom of foaming at the mouth does not always occur.
- XL: A question of intelligence - The people responsible for finishing of Russia's greatest love machine may well have been MI6. Grigor Rasputin the mad monk is claimed to have been killed by Prince Felix Yusupov in his autobiography, but historical evidence seems to disprove this. The Prince claimed to have poisoned him with cakes containing cyanide, stabbed him, shot him, drowned him, and burned him, taking ages to die and legend claiming that Rasputin sat up in the fire. However, it is now believed that he was simply shot. The reason why people wanted him killed was because he had the ear of the Tsarina, and rumours also claimed they were having an affair. Rasputin did have lots of affairs, partly due to his belief that the more you sinned, the more holy you were. Rasputin also tried to persuade the Tsar and Tsarina not to go to war against Germany during World War One. Thus, Britain had an interest in killing him because if he went then the Germans would be fighting on two fronts. The last bullet that entered into Rasputin's brain was one that could have only have come from an MI6 operative, thus it may well have been a British plot.
- XL: The panel are asked how many things beginning with "I" are in a picture of sky with a black square in it. The answer is billions of things, because vast amounts of insects live high in the air. Entomological radars are used to detect the insects. The first tests involved putting sticky things on planes to catch the insects. The highest insect ever found was a termite at 19,000 feet. 30 million large insects (larger than a ladybird) were found using the radars. They are vastly outnumbered by even smaller insects.
- Nobody Knows: Stephen asks what the panel can tell him about the life-span of a red/orange lobster. However, nobody knows how to tell the age of a lobster. It may be the case that lobsters can live forever, due to a special protease-type DNA called "telomerase" which replaces lost DNA during cell division so they stay young. They shed their entire skin/exoskeleton 25 times during the first 5 years of their life, growing 50% each time. But because the skeleton is attached to their stomachs by teeth inside them they also have to pull out the lining of the throat, stomach and anus. Because lobsters live so deep down on the ocean floor, there could be some gigantic lobsters down below. The largest lobster caught was in Nova Scotia in 1977 and was 3.5 feet long from claw to tail. While most lobsters tend to be black, you can have red or blue lobsters as well. Lobsters communicate by urinating. Alan gets the "Nobody Knows" bonus. (Forfeit: It's dead) Correction: In Series K it was revealed that we do now know how to age a lobster. Canadian scientists have discovered that you can tell the age by dissecting their eye stalks and counting the rings.
- In the olden days, a shop called "Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe" would have been known as "The Old Pork Pie Shop". The word "Ye" means "The", but in olden days "Y" was not the same letter as it is today, but an Anglo-Saxon letter called the "thorn", similar to the Greek theta. When printing began people sometimes did not bother to make a separate form because the "Y" was so similar. Similarly "That" was abbreviated to "Yt". (Forfeit: Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe)
- XL: The war in which both sides thought under the Union Jack (or Union Flag) was the American War of Independence. The American stars and stripes flag when it was first designed had the Union Jack as the canton in the top left corner. The Union Jack was not in existence around the time of the English Civil War. (Forfeit: English Civil War)
- The thing that went up by 57% during the Blitz was the crime rate. Mad Frankie Fraser once said: "It was a terrible tragedy when Hitler surrendered because wartime London was a criminal's paradise." For example, if you dressed up like an ARP Warden, people would help you thinking you were an actual warden. The criminals would order people to carry goods into their vans that they were going to steal. Other crimes included scams. One example was of a man called Handy who made a £500 claim that his house had been bombed on 19 occasions. The public also committed crimes by trying to break the laws on rationing. The main reason given for the high crime rate was that everyone was more concerned about the bombs and air raids.
- Friday 9th September 2011
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|Justin Pollard||Question Writer|
|James Harkin||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Question Writer|
|David Morley (as Dave Morley)||Executive Producer|
|Ruby Kuraishe||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|