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


  • TV panel show
  • BBC Two / BBC One / BBC Four
  • 2003 - 2024
  • 312 episodes (21 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.

  • Due to return for Series V
  • Series G, Episode 12 repeated at 9pm on U&Dave
  • JustWatch Streaming rank this week: 1,205


QI trivia

QI does sometimes get things wrong. The most complained error so far was when the show claimed that the Welsh have no word for "Blue". In fact there is a word: "Glas".

Source: Series B Banter

The Series A DVD was released after pressure from fans, who signed an online petition. It achieved 1,821 signatures.


The first QI book, "The Book of General Ignorance", reached No. 1 on's best-seller list.


The very first forfeit happened in the unbroadcast pilot, when the question was, "What is the sixth most popular name for a baby boy in Germany?"

The answer is "Tim", but Alan Davies said "Adolf". However, his penalty was reduced from 10 points to 8, because the card Stephen Fry was holding read, "Adolph" instead.

Amongst the QI Elves, the thing that causes the most arguments is how the universe began. Some believe in the "Big Bang" theory while others (including QI creator John Lloyd) support the "Steady State" theory, which states that new matter is constantly being created as the universe expands.

Source: Series A DVD - Factoids

So far, three countries have tried to adapt QI. The first was is the Netherlands. The first and only series of the show, called Q.I., started on the 27th December 2008, running for 8 episodes. It was hosted by author Arthur Japin with regular panellist and comedian Thomas van Luyn.

The second country was Sweden, where it is called Intresseklubben, is to be hosted by Johan Wester and began in autumn 2012 on SVT.

The third country was the Czech Republic. Their version, hosted by LeoŇ° MareŇ°, is broadcast on the Prima channel and began in autumn 2013.


Not everyone is entirely supportive of QI. The Chris Morris fansite Cook'd and Bomb'd, which sometimes holds the "Comedy Tumbleweed Awards" for terrible comedy acts, voted Alan Davies as the "Most Useless Talk/Panel Show Guest" of 2006.


The spiral patterned grid seen as part of the set, covering the screen in the first two series and then placed inside the desk for others, is the Fibonacci Spiral.

Source: Radio Times: 3-9 January 2009, page 29.

QI has had some problems concerning Health and Safety. In the Series B Christmas Special, the panellists were forbidden to sing on helium by H&S despite the fact it is not poisonous.

Later in Series C, Arthur Smith threw a glass at Doon Mackichan think it was a trick one made from sugar glass. It was actually real. Lucikly, the glass missed.

Source: Series B Christmas Special, and Series C Episode 2.

Two of John Lloyd's three children appear in the opening title sequence. However, the photos of them were taken when they were babies. As a result, he cannot remember who is in which photo.

Source: Radio Times: 3-9 January 2009, page 29.

The Book of General Ignorance was at one point Amazon's fourth bestselling book in the world ever. It has currently been translated into 29 languages and over a million copies have been sold.


In a poll carried out by insurer Churchill, QI was voted as the the third greatest game show in UK television history. It was the highest BBC show in the list. The shows with higher votes were Who Wants to be a Millionare? (which came first) and Deal or No Deal (which came second).


Here are list of countries to show the original QI abroad:

- Australia on the ABC network as of 2009. Source
- New Zealand on Prime as of 2010. Source
- South Africa on BBC Entertainment as of 2011. Source
- United States on BBC America as of 2015. Source

In 2009, following an episode of QI guest starring David Mitchell in which a round of "General Ignorance" consisted mainly of Stephen correcting false information on Mitchell's BBC Radio 4 panel game The Unbelievable Truth, Stephen Fry, Alan Davies and John Lloyd all appeared on a "New Year's Special" edition of The Unbelievable Truth. The episode also starred Rob Brydon, who is also a regular QI panellist.

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