Brace yourself for a feast of mind-bending trivia, foolish banter and BIG laughs!
QI is the world’s most impossible quiz (Series “N”)
On the face of it, QI (short for Quite Interesting) is a TV comedy panel game like any other. It has a chairman and four contestants, who are asked questions and get points for their answers. But there the resemblance ends.
The questions on QI are so difficult that the panellists almost never get one right. So the chairperson only gives points for interesting answers, regardless of whether they are correct, or even relevant.
In theory, it is quite possible for the most ignorant person in the room to win the game. In practice, this rarely happens. This is because the game is booby-trapped to the disastrous disadvantage of people who believe everything they are told.
The chairperson awards heavy penalties for wrong answers which are also “obvious” – clichés, misconceptions and “common wisdom” – much of which is taught every day in school but is in fact completely untrue.
The subject matter of QI is unique because it takes as its canvas not familiar material like the news, sport, television and pop music but the entire universe, of quite interesting things.
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 Sandi 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 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.
Intelligent but irreverent factual entertainment.
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