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The world's most impossible quiz

Brace yourself for a feast of mind-bending trivia, foolish banter and BIG laughs!

The erudite and all-knowing Stephen Fry is both ringmaster and master of ceremonies as he presides over comic chaos in the “the world's most impossible quiz”.

Asking impossibly difficult questions of a four-strong panel of guests from the cream of current comic talent, Stephen Fry is harried and hampered at every turn by regular panellist and resident losing contestant Alan Davies.

Points are awarded for answers that are “quite interesting”, regardless of whether they are right or even relevant. But heavy penalties are imposed for those that are obvious but wrong. No place for common misconceptions or urban myths here.

Packed with surprising information, you will discover all the answers to questions you didn’t even know existed.

Series 12 is full of facts and topics starting with the letter K. Expect everything from Kris Kringle to the kichen sink.

You may wonder why you ever bothered going to school in the first place…

Facts

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

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!

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.

Profiles

QI

Stephen Fry

It's fair to say Stephen Fry is a man of many, many talents.

The versatile genius has earned great fame as an actor, author, poet, comedian, director, activist and television and radio presenter.

Stephen was born in 1957 and had a troubled childhood and adolescence, which saw him expelled from two schools and imprisoned for three months for credit card fraud. After resuming his studies upon his release, he then went on to secure a place at Queens' College, Cambridge to major in English literature.

It was here that he met lifelong friend and comedy partner, Hugh Laurie. They soon began to seen as a comedy double act and together, they co-wrote and co-starred in hits A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster.

Stephen has appeared in a number of comedy television series including Alfresco, Blackadder and Absolute Power to name a few. But his talents extend towards serious drama too. He has appeared in legal drama Kingdom, popular American series Bones, and in 2014, alongside Keifer Sutherland in 24: Live Another Day.

Since making his film debut in The Good Father in 1985, Stephen has continued to make regular film appearances, achieving much critical acclaim for his role as Oscar Wilde in Wilde. In 2003 he made his directorial debut with Bright Young Things, an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies.

As a stage actor he has performed in Alan Bennett’s Forty Years On and has appeared as Malvolio in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Globe. In 1984, his adaptation of the musical Me and My Girl enjoyed lengthy runs on Broadway and in the West End, and won him a Drama Circle award and a Tony nomination.

His presenting résumé is vast and includes titles like Stephen Fry In America, Fry's Planet Word and Gadget Man. Stephen is also well known as the voice behind the audio book versions of the Harry Potter novels.

Stephen is a celebrated author and his work includes three novels, several works of non-fiction, three autobiographies, and a guide to writing poetry, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within.

He has a huge following on Twitter, reaching out to followers in their millions. He is an outspoken supporter of gay rights, of Palestinian rights and promotes awareness of bipolar disorder.

QI

Alan Davies

Alan Davies graduated from the University of Kent in 1988 and went straight on to begin a career in stand-up comedy. It proved to be a good move, as within months he was runner-up in the City Limits New Act of the Year contest 1989 and named Time Out’s Best Young Comic in 1991.

Alan spent several successful years on the comedy circuit before landing his own show on BBC Radio 1, and appearing regularly on Have I Got News For You and The Clive James Show. His BBC Radio 4 sitcom, The Alan Davies Show, was nominated for a British Comedy Award.

In 1996, Alan took on the eponymous role of Jonathan Creek, which won a BAFTA Award for Best Drama and went on to achieve worldwide popularity. Having caught the acting bug, Alan went on to take up lead roles in numerous other TV shows like A Many Splintered Thing, Bob
 & Rose, The Brief and Whites. His big screen debut came in 2008 with a role in the hit movie Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.

Alan's famous partnership with Stephen Fry began in 2002 when he took part in a comedy pilot of celebrity quiz game, QI. He has appeared on every regular episode of the show since, with the exception of episode 10 of Series D, where he appeared in a pre-recorded scene in the opening minutes as he was attending the 2006 Champions League final in Paris during the actual recording. His chair was empty for the rest of the episode.

Alan also produces an Arsenal podcast called It's Up For Grabs Now and has written a book, My Favourite People and Me 1978-1988.

Next on...

Episode 6, Series 3

Thursday March 30 at 03:50

Cockneys

Bill Bailey, Rory McGrath and Phill Jupitus join Alan Davies to face virtually impossible questions in Stephen's tough quiz. 6/12

Episode 7, Series 3

Thursday March 30 at 06:50

Constellations

Stephen Fry quizzes Alan Davies, Sean Lock, Jeremy Clarkson and Rich Hall with almost impossible questions. 7/12

Episode 13, Series 14

Thursday March 30 at 16:10

Monster Mash

Quiz show in which the aim is to be interesting. Stephen Fry goes looking for monsters with Sara Pascoe, Josh Widdicombe, Phill Jupitus and Alan Davies. 13/16

Episode 14, Series 14

Thursday March 30 at 20:40

Messy

Comedy panel game in which four contestants try to answer obscure questions, hosted by Stephen Fry. Guest panellists this week are Noel Fielding, Rhod Gilbert and Cariad Lloyd. 14/16

Episode 14, Series 14

Friday March 31 at 00:15

Messy

Comedy panel game in which four contestants try to answer obscure questions, hosted by Stephen Fry. Guest panellists this week are Noel Fielding, Rhod Gilbert and Cariad Lloyd. 14/16

Episode 7, Series 3

Friday March 31 at 00:50

Constellations

Stephen Fry quizzes Alan Davies, Sean Lock, Jeremy Clarkson and Rich Hall with almost impossible questions. 7/12

Episode 8, Series 3

Friday March 31 at 06:50

Corby

Phill Jupitus, Bill Bailey and David Mitchell join Alan Davies in the world's most impossible quiz, hosted by Stephen Fry. 8/12

Episode 14, Series 14

Friday March 31 at 16:35

Messy

Comedy panel game in which four contestants try to answer obscure questions, hosted by Stephen Fry. Guest panellists this week are Noel Fielding, Rhod Gilbert and Cariad Lloyd. 14/16

Episode 8, Series 3

Friday March 31 at 17:05

Corby

Phill Jupitus, Bill Bailey and David Mitchell join Alan Davies in the world's most impossible quiz, hosted by Stephen Fry. 8/12

Episode 8, Series 3

Friday March 31 at 19:00

Corby

Phill Jupitus, Bill Bailey and David Mitchell join Alan Davies in the world's most impossible quiz, hosted by Stephen Fry. 8/12

Episode 15, Series 14

Friday March 31 at 19:30

Mix and Match

Stephen Fry mixes and matches a melange of M-themed subjects with Jo Brand, James Acaster, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies. 15/16

Episode 15, Series 14

Friday March 31 at 20:45

Mix and Match

Stephen Fry mixes and matches a melange of M-themed subjects with Jo Brand, James Acaster, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies. 15/16

Episode 15, Series 14

Friday March 31 at 23:35

Mix and Match

Stephen Fry mixes and matches a melange of M-themed subjects with Jo Brand, James Acaster, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies. 15/16

Episode 1, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 11:50

L-Animals

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'L-Animals' with guests Sarah Millican, Ross Noble, Colin Lane and Alan Davies.

Episode 2, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 12:20

Location, Location, Location

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Location, Location, Location' with guests Jason Manford, Aisling Bea, Johnny Vegas and Alan Davies.

Episode 3, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 12:50

Literature

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Literature' with guests Victoria Coren Mitchell, Jack Whitehall, Lloyd Langford and Alan Davies.

Episode 4, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 13:20

Levity

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Levity' with guests Josh Widdicombe, Sue Perkins, Frank Skinner and Alan Davies.

Episode 5, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 13:50

Lenses

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Lenses' with guests Jo Brand, Josh Widdicombe, Phill Jupitus and Alan Davies.

Episode 6, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 14:20

Liblabble

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Liblabble' with guests Reverend Richard Coles, Sara Pascoe, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies.

Episode 7, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 14:50

Lethal

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Lethal' with guests Sarah Millican, Ross Noble, Colin Lane and Alan Davies.

Episode 8, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 15:20

Lovely

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Lovely' with guests Josh Widdicombe, Aisling Bea, Tony Hawks and Alan Davies.

Episode 9, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 15:50

Ladies and Gents

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Ladies and Gents' with guests Ross Noble, Kathy Lette, Sue Perkins and Alan Davies.

Episode 10, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 16:20

Lying

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Lying' with guests Sarah Pascoe, Jack Whitehall, Adam Hills and Alan Davies.

Episode 11, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 16:50

Lumped Together

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Lumped Together' with guests David Mitchell, Roni Ancona, Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies.

Episode 12, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 17:20

No L

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'No L' with guests Carrie Fisher, Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies.

Episode 13, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 17:50

Lucky Losers

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Lucky Losers' with guests Jeremy Clarkson, Sandi Toksvig, Danny Baker and Alan Davies.

Episode 14, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 18:20

Little and Large

Stephen Fry guides his guests, and regular panellist Alan Davies, into the strange worlds of the very little and the very large.

Episode 15, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 18:50

Long Lost

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Long Lost' with guests Suggs, Claudia O'Doherty, Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies.

Episode 16, Series 13

Saturday April 1 at 19:20

Landmarks

Stephen Fry asks questions on 'Landmarks' with guests Jo Brand, Colin Lane, David Mitchell and Alan Davies.

Episode 11, Series 14

Sunday April 2 at 09:15

Menagerie

Stephen Fry visits the menagerie for a look at some animals which start with the letter M, with Sue Perkins, Romesh Ranganathan, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies. 11/16

BBC Brit

Intelligent but irreverent factual entertainment.

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Denmark – Canal Digital DTH: 42 | YouSee: 18
Finland – Canal Digital DTH: 27
Norway – Altibox: 46 | Canal Digital Cable: 24 | Canal Digital DTH: 41 | GET: 16 | RiksTV: 11
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