QI facts

Some quite interesting insights about the making of the show...



The dedicated team of researchers at QI HQ, who use books, the internet and their own very large brains to devise all manner of fiendish questions to outfox Stephen and the panel members, are known as the ‘QI elves’.


Even the clever elves sometimes get things wrong, though. One error that attracted a large amount of viewer ire was when the show claimed that the Welsh have no word for 'blue'. In fact, they do and that word is 'glas'.

The (other) main man

The show’s creator, John Lloyd, is also known for his work on seminal British comedy programmes including Not the Nine O’clock News, Spitting Image, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Blackadder.

Publishing success

The Book of General Ignorance, which is based on the final round of the show and aims to expose many of the myths of ‘common knowledge’, has been a massive hit. It has been translated into 29 languages and sold over a million copies worldwide since its publication in 2006.

Fibonacci sequence

The spiral pattern which forms part of the set in all series so far is called the Fibonacci Spiral. This is based on the famous mathematical sequence which is used in many computer algorithms and is related to natural phenomena such as the branching of trees and the arrangement of a pine cone.

Record holders

Other than Alan Davies – who, like Stephen Fry, has appeared on every episode so far – the record for number of appearances on the show is held by Jo Brand with 32 episodes clocked so far.

Name that tune

The show's theme tune was composed by Howard Goodall, who also composed the theme tune for Blackadder. Howard has also appeared twice as a panellist on the show.

Scoring mayhem

John Lloyd has admitted that not even he has any idea how the show’s convoluted scoring system works, with points being added and taken away seemingly arbitrarily so that contestants are often left with negative scores…

Alphabet problem

Each series is referred to by a letter of the alphabet rather than a number, which raises the issue – what happens when they run out? Thankfully, the show’s producers have until the year 2029 to think of a possible solution to that problem!

No cheating!

Unlike many TV panel shows, guests are not shown the answers before filming, which adds to the spontaneous and often anarchic atmosphere of the show. However, Stephen has let it be known that, much to his annoyance, one regular panellist insists on seeing the questions beforehand – but revealed that that person is NOT Alan Davies or Rob Brydon. Who might it be?