QI (B series)
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|QI Series B|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Original run||8 October 2004– 26 December 2004|
|Home video release|
|DVD release date||17 March 2008 (UK)
14 September 2011 (AU)
The first series started on 11 September 2003. Although not mentioned at the time, all of the questions (with the exception of the final "general ignorance" round) were on subjects beginning with "a" (such as "arthropods", "Alans" and "astronomy"). The following series continued the theme: the second series' subjects all began with "b" and so on.
The dates in the lists are those of the BBC Two broadcasts. The episodes were also broadcast on BBC Four, generally a week earlier (as soon as one episode finished on BBC Two, the next was shown on BBC Four).
- 1 B Series (2004)
- 2 Appearances
- 3 References
- 4 External links
B Series (2004)
Series B saw the first attempts to pay attention to a single theme within one episode, such as "Birds" in episode 2. The theme alluded to though, did not always begin with B (for example, episode 1 is announced as being about "Colour"), if present at all. As with series A, most of the titles below have been applied retrospectively to the episodes. In addition, extra footage was presented on the Series DVD, released in 2008. First-time panellists included Jeremy Clarkson, Fred MacAulay, Dara Ó Briain, Arthur Smith and Mark Steel. This series also saw the only appearances to date of Barry Cryer, Mark Gatiss, Phil Kay, Josie Lawrence and Anneka Rice, as well as the last appearance of Linda Smith before her death from ovarian cancer in 2006.
Episode 1 "Blue"
- Broadcast dates
- 8 October 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-22 points)
- Bill Bailey (7 points) 4th appearance
- Jo Brand (-20 points) 5th appearance
- Sean Lock (Winner with 17 points) 3rd appearance
- The Ancient Greeks claimed the sky was bronze as they had no word for blue. The Greeks never used colour to describe things. Homer believed that wine, the sea and sheep were red (Forfeit: Blue).
- Rainbows happen when the sun reflects off the back of a raindrop at 42 degrees. In Estonia, it's believed that if you point your finger at a rainbow, it will fall off.
- Urine used to be the third largest export from Newcastle after coal and beer, it was used to fix dye, such as that used in police uniforms.
- Crushed insects are used in food colouring: Red E120 (cochineal) is made from bugs. 70,000 bugs are crushed to make one pound of cochineal. E122 is mentioned as an alternative, but also that it is bad for you if you have an allergy to aspirin and tends to make you hyperactive (Forfeit: Beetles).
- A new type of beetle is discovered roughly every hour. Since 1700, the rate has been no more than 6 hours. There are around 2,000 coleopterists in the world and 10 million different species of beetle–around two thirds of all insects are beetles. If every species of animal and plant was placed in a row, every fifth one would be a beetle and every tenth one would be a weevil.
- A ptiliidae beetle can pass through the eye of a needle, unlike a camel or the Sultan of Brunei (an example of a rich person).
- General Ignorance
- Blorenge, a place in Wales, near Abergavenny and Gorringe (a surname) rhyme with orange. Blorenge has a famous car park in it. The horse, Foxhunter, is buried there. (Forfeit: Nothing)
- The planet Mars is brown. According to the New Scientist, recent NASA images were tweaked using filters to make it appear red. (Forfeit: Red)
- Nothing prevented Henry VIII from marrying Lord Pembroke, because it was one of the titles given to Anne Boleyn. (Forfeit: Gay Marriages Were Illegal)
- There are no green mammals. There is a sloth that looks green, but it has algae growing on it, so it isn't green.
- In ancient Greece, dildos were made from bread. This was only discovered in 1987.
Episode 2 "Birds"
- Broadcast date
- 15 October 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-40 points)
- Jo Brand (-8 points) 6th appearance
- Rich Hall (Winner with 3 points) 4th appearance
- Phil Kay (1 point) 1st appearance
- At the start the panel were asked to draw a kiwi, paying particular attention to the position of the nostrils. Alan correctly drew its nostrils at the end of the beak. Officially, a bird's bill is measured from the tip to the nostril, so the kiwi has the shortest bill of all birds.
- David Livingstone couldn't distinguish between the roar of an ostrich and the roar of a lion and claimed that the only difference was that the ostrich is seen during the day and the lion during the night.
- The tongue of a woodpecker can extend to two-thirds of its body-length, has sticky saliva, is covered in vicious barbs and has an ear at the end of it. The tongue goes around the back of its head when it's not outside its mouth. They can also beat wood 15 times a second, which is 250 times the force that astronauts are subjected to. It has lots of cartilage around its head as well. Woodpeckers are very popular on creationist websites, as it is argued that the animal is so well-designed for its purpose that it could not have evolved and must have been created.
- Since they have only 20–30 taste buds, birds can't distinguish the taste of chocolate, which is toxic to them anyway. Humans have 9–10,000 taste buds, but new ones are grown every 5 days.
- Skin, the largest organ in the body (Forfeit: Speak For Yourself), weighs 6 lb (2.7 kg) and covers 18 square feet (1.7 m2) on average. A single square inch of skin has 20 feet (6.1 m) of blood vessels, 1,300 nerve cells and 100 sweat glands. 50,000 cells are lost every second. A person will get through around 900 "skins" in a lifetime.
- Sperm can "smell" the aroma of Lily of the Valley. It has long been a mystery of how the sperm can swim so fast to the ovum, and whether there is a scent trail, so German scientists how tried all kinds of different scents, including Lily of the Valley. There are proposals to place it in maternity clinics.
- Chang and Eng Bunker were Siamese twins. Chang was once convicted of general assault on a member of the audience during one of the twins' variety acts. However, the judge in the case could not hold Eng in prison as well, so he set them both free. The Bunkers created the term "Siamese twins" for people who are conjoined, because they were originally from Siam. They lived till the age of 63 and married a pair of sisters and had 21 children between them. On the journey from Siam, one of the twins wanted a cold bath and the other didn't, so the captain had to placate them. Chang was a drunk and died first, so Eng woke up waiting for a doctor to separate them. Eng then died an hour later as he wrapped himself round his twin. It is believed he died from a broken heart, because he had no reason to die.
- General Ignorance
- The loudest thing in the ocean is the shrimp layer. All the bubbles that come out from them clapping their claws make the noise. It travels at 30 feet per second (9.1 m/s) and then pops. It can wake people up on coastal communities. They can white out the sonar of a submarine and deafen the operators through their headphones. A blue whale can hear another blue whale 10,000 miles (16,000 km) away, but in terms of amplitude, a normal person can't hear that. (Forfeit: Blue Whale)
- Which is more likely to happen–Being killed by an lightning or by an asteroid? – Despite the shows assertion that "statistically in the United Kingdom, one is more likely to be killed by an asteroid than by lightning", this is not strictly the case. The statistic in question refers only to the chance of dying as a result of said event. Id est; dying as a result of being struck by lightning against dying as a result of a meteor impact. The facts presented are correct in as much as it is true that if struck by lightning one has a higher chance of survival than if a meteor struck the Earth. It is not the case that at any given moment one is more likely to die from an asteroid impact. (Forfeit: Struck By Lightning)
- Camels originated from the continent of America, 20 million years ago. They spread across to other continents, because back then Bering Strait was land, rather than sea. They became extinct in North America during the last Ice Age. (Forfeits: Africa, Asia)
- Despite being pink, the Flamingo eats blue-green algae to get their pink colour. Flamingos fall over if they stood on both legs. (Forfeit: Eating Shrimps)
- Fry tells the story of Stephens Island Wren, the only flightless perching bird ever recorded, which was supposed wiped out by a single individual: the pet cat of a lighthouse keeper, Tibbles. However, this has since been discovered to be untrue, as there were some specimens found at a time when the island was home to numerous feral cats.
Episode 3 "Bombs"
- Broadcast date
- 22 October 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-4 points)
- Clive Anderson (1 point) 3rd appearance
- Rich Hall (2 points) 5th appearance
- Phill Jupitus (Winner with 4 points) 2nd appearance
- In World War II, the American forces planned to equip Mexican free-tail bats with napalm-filled 'waistcoats' so they could blow up Japanese towns, during dawn, so when the light was rising up, the bats would go into houses and they would detonate. In testing, however, the wind changed and the bats instead flamed a US army base.
- Zeppo Marx contributed to the design of release clamps used to hold the Hiroshima bomb inside the Enola Gay. Zeppo joined the Marx Brothers after Gummo Marx left. He appeared in 5 films, the last one was Duck Soup. He then left to become an agent for an engineering and design company. Zeppo also invented a wristwatch that could detect your pulse and gave an alarm if you were having a heart attack.
- Russian forces trained dogs with bombs attached to hide under tanks to blow them up. In training, food would be put underneath the tank, which is the most vulnerable part and then a trigger would detonate the bomb. However, the dogs would turn around in the battle and blew up the Russian tanks that they recognised in training and then the dogs were all shot.
- The first postcard sent from Antarctica featured a penguin being serenaded by a bagpiper.
- The common name for Ursus Arctos is the Grizzly Bear, if you're a European or the Brown Bear, if you're an American. Ursus is the Latin for bear and Arctos is from the ancient Greek for bear. The Arctic region gets its name from the constellations of the Great Bear and Little Bear. (Forfeit: Polar Bear)
- Polar bears disguise themselves by hiding in something white like snow. There is a misconception that they cover their nose with their left paw.
- General Ignorance
- Is this a rhetorical question? (No!)
- Technically there are only 46 states in the US, because Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are commonwealths. (Forfeit: Fifty)
- During World War II, the only six Americans to lose their lives on home soil did so on a church picnic in Bly, Oregon. They were killed by Japanese fugos – balloon bombs. They were hard to detect on radar, because they were mostly made by schoolgirls who didn't know what they were making out of a paper called washi. They also used the jet stream to make the balloon go faster, the interesting thing about that is that no-one else knew about it at the time. The fugo should not be confused with the Fugu fish. Between 30–100 people in Japan are poisoned by fugu and half of those die. It is believed that most Japanese people are daring enough to eat the fugu, but there are always traces of poison left, so you have to be an expert filleter. Japanese restaurants have lanterns outside with fugu skin, to show that a trained fugu filleter is inside. Part of the training involves eating the fugu that you have sliced up.
- Penguins will live near the magnetic north pole in the event of a magnetic pole reversal.
- The panellists are shown a picture of Saturn and have to recognise that it is actually shown upside-down. Alan answered it correctly, but he revealed that he actually thought it should have been sideways, probably thinking it was Uranus.
- The Boy Scout salute is almost identical to the Polish army salute. The Polish army's salute is believed to originate from a Polish hero who had three fingers blown off.
Episode 4 "Bible"
- Broadcast date
- 29 October 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-6 points)
- Jeremy Clarkson (Winner with 5 points) 1st appearance
- Barry Cryer (-6 points) 1st and only appearance
- Jeremy Hardy (3 points) 4th appearance
- There are only 15 professional ventriloquists left in Britain. Ventriloquist means "stomach talker". There are 280,000 heroin and crack addicts in Britain, 50,000 practitioners of alternative medicine, 75,000 people are in prison and 10,000 practising druids.
- A Birmingham screwdriver is slang for a hammer. (Forfeit: Drink)
- The Kingdom of Bhutan, having little television and no cars, has the least use for Jeremy Clarkson. Television was only placed in Bhutan in 1999 and parking fees were recently introduced, although it has no traffic lights. Most people in Bhutan live 1 day away from a road and only 0.01% are on the Internet. The domain name for Bhutan is .bt. There are only 6,000 telephones in Bhutan, but they were only brought into Bhutan in 1980.
- According to the book of Leviticus, Jews are permitted to eat grasshoppers but not cuckoos, ferrets or camels.
- Leaders of Russia have alternated between being hairy and bald since Alexander III in 1881. The sequence goes Alexander III (bald) – Nicholas II (hairy) – Lenin (bald) – Stalin (hairy) – Khrushchev (bald) – Brezhnev (hairy) – Andropov (bald) – Chernenko (hairy) – Gorbachev (bald) – Yeltsin (hairy) – Putin (bald). (Following the broadcast of this episode, the trend has continued with Dmitry Medvedev (hairy), then returning to Putin (bald).)
- General Ignorance
- The English Civil War resulted in the highest proportion of British soldiers dying, as all the people fighting were British. (85,000 on the battlefield, another 100,000 of wounds subsequently – 10% of the adult population) The Irish population was halved by Cromwell.
- Less than 0.02% of the Earth is water. Seven-tenths of the Earth is covered in water. Earth can also go into the Eye on Jupiter. (Forfeit: Two-Thirds)
- Andy Warhol always wore green underwear. The only funeral he went to was his own and he didn't dance.
- Robert Burns never wore a kilt, since kilt-wearing was illegal in the 18th century, mainly because of the Jacobite Rebellion. He was never referred to as "Robbie" or "Rabby" Burns, but sometimes "Rab".
Episode 5 "Bears"
- Broadcast date
- 5 November 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-35 points)
- Bill Bailey (-5 points) 5th appearance
- Jo Brand (8 points) 7th appearance
- Jimmy Carr (Winner with 15 points) 2nd appearance
- The panel's "QI Brainteaser" was to make interesting phrases from a collection of fridge-magnet letters. Answers included:
- Other ones seen on the "QI Series "B" DVD" are:
- Lady Bush Trap (Jo)
- Koala Soup (Alan)
- Golum Kix Habit (Bill)
- Al-Quaeda Goose Pet (Bill)
- Sex Up Fry (Alan)
- Koalas make a kind of soup from their faeces for their young. It comes out of their bottom. They are the only animal that makes a kind of "soup" or "pap". Jo wonders why this soup hasn't been used as a bushtucker trial on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. Koalas aren't bears, they are marsupials. Fry incorrectly stated that koalas do not drink water.
- For the seven months that they hibernate, bears do not defecate anywhere in the winter. They recycle the urea as protein, so they don't need to urinate and they mix the hair and faeces to make a sort of plug that blocks the anus during winter. She-bears give birth during hibernation. They can also give birth to 4 cubs from 4 different fathers. (Forfeit: Woods)
- Toothpaste makes bears go crazy with desire. You'd be safer carrying a butchered elk leg. Dogs also go crazy from toothpaste, but there are dog toothpastes available in flavours such as peanut butter and beef.
- The animal with huge teeth and only one facial expression is the Giant Panda. It has the biggest teeth of any mammal and is a bear, but until 1996, it was thought to be a member of the raccoon family. The odd thing was that it was designated as a carnivore, but everyone knows it only eats bamboo and they're also the only bear that doesn't hibernate, because it has to eat bamboo for 12 hours a day to get enough nutrients. (Forfeit: Janet Street-Porter)
- Bamboo has a tensile strength greater than steel and can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 m) a day. It is used as scaffolding for buildings in Hong Kong and other parts of Southeast Asia. There are over 5,000 uses for bamboo. It is also a grass.
- Thomas Edison believed that 15 tiny people lived within the human mind. He also believed that when you die, they moved to another person.
- Edison did not invent the light bulb, but he used bamboo as a filament for his prototype, although one of his letters contains the first written reference of the word "hello". He had 1,093 patents in his name. The original word, "Hullo", was intended as an act of surprise, rather than a form of greeting.
- General Ignorance
- Dinosaurs beginning with 'b' include the Brachiosaurus, Barney, Barosaurus, Barapasaurus, Bagaceratops, Becklespinax, Byronosaurus and Bambiraptor. The Brontosaurus was misidentified with the body of an Apatosaurus, with the skull of a Camarasaurus. (Forfeit: Brontosaurus)
- Mike the Headless Chicken lived for two years without a head. He was fed with an eye dropper. There is even a song about him.
- Penicillin was discovered by Ernest Duchesne. He discovered that Arab stable boys rubbed a mould on themselves that helped them get rid of saddle sores. The Institut Pasteur rejected his claims, but in 1949, five years after Fleming discovered it, he was posthumously given the credit of re-discovering it, so Fleming can only claim to have re-re-discovered it. Ironically, he died of TB, which if he had some penicillin, he wouldn't have died. (Forfeit: Alexander Fleming)
- Who is the odd one out? – Arthur Conan Doyle, Niels Bohr, Dmitri Shostakovich or Albert Camus? – Shostakovich was a qualified soccer referee, all the other played as football goalkeepers. Arthur Conan Doyle played in goal for Portsmouth, Niels Bohr played for the University of Copenhagen 1st team, Albert Camus was goalkeeper for the University of Algiers team.
Episode 6 "Beavers"
- Broadcast date
- 12 November 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-18 points)
- Bill Bailey (6 points) 6th appearance
- Sean Lock (-18 points) 4th appearance
- Anneka Rice (Winner with 7 points) 1st and only appearance
- The Pope could eat beaver on a Friday as it is designated by the Roman Catholic Church as a fish, because they're scaly and live in water and in Fridays during Lent, you can't eat anything fleshy.
- If aliens were looking to abduct Earth's most successful inhabitants, they would look to bacteria. If chicken had no bacteria, it wouldn't taste of anything and only a few types of bacteria are dangerous. There are 40,000 species in a gram of soil. 75% of bacteria in the stomach aren't fully identified as separate species.
- In the Battle of the Bulge, the 'stomach division' were the soldiers with illnesses not deemed severe enough to prevent them fighting in battle. They had their own latrines and their own special diet. It was the largest and bloodiest battle in American military history. 600,000 Americans were involved, which is more than the Battle of Gettysburg, in which the Americans were on both sides.
- The Earth bulges by up to 30 cm twice a day.
- The Earth has either 1 or 5 moons. Since the discovery of 3753 Cruithne in 1997, three more 'moons' have been discovered: 2000 PH5, 2000 WN10 and 2002 AA29. If Cruithne is classed as a moon, then so must the others. Otherwise, Earth only has one moon. (Forfeit: Two)
- General Ignorance
- Since 2003, only 11 points are required to win at table tennis. Also in 2003, the regulation size of a table tennis ball was increased by 2mm to make it slower and easier to watch on television. (Forfeit: 21)
- A kangaroo has three vaginas, but only two wombs. Soon as a joey is born it crawls along its mothers body into its pouch. If the joey doesn't survive the year, another joey is triggered and comes from the other womb, but the third vagina is a mystery to most researchers. The male only has two penises.
- There is nothing special about Julius Caesar's birth. The phrase is derived from the Latin word for cut. There was a form of Caesarean section back in Caesar's time, but the mother always died and his mother was alive well into his adulthood. Sean confused Caesar's birth with Romulus and Remus, who were famously pulled out by a wolf. (Forfeit: Caesarean Section)
- There are no offences for which you can be put to death in the United Kingdom. The last capital punishments were outlawed in 1999 by Jack Straw. Arson in the Royal Dockyards was outlawed in 1971. (Forfeits: Arson In The Royal Dockyards, Treason)
- Dead bodies are eaten by bacteria. Kitchen chopping boards contain 3 times more bacteria than toilet seats and dishcloths contain 1,000,000 times more than that. (Forfeit: Worms)
Episode 7 "Biscuits"
- Broadcast date
- 19 November 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-20 points)
- Rich Hall (2 points) 6th appearance
- Dara Ó Briain (Winner with 4 points–however, on his second appearance it was discovered that he should not have won because of his statement about water's triple point below and as a forfeit had points deducted from his score on the second show to make up for his win on this show) 1st appearance
- Arthur Smith (-18 points) 1st appearance
- If someone said that the British Empire was built on diarrhea, they'd be talking rubbish due to the low incidence of diarrhea during the reign of the British Empire. They were the first imperial power to overcome diarrhea. Pringle managed to sort it for the army and Lind managed to solve it for the Royal Navy. They originally thought that if anything smelt bad it shouldn't be consumed. Lind also suggested that the Navy eat lemons to combat scurvy. Since every place that had lemons hated Britain, they got limes from the Caribbean. Unfortunately, limes were only half as effective.
- Ballet is illegal in Turkmenistan, which is odd as Turkmenistan used to be part of the Soviet Union.
- Digestive biscuits aren't an aid to digestion. Digestives were called digestive because they were said to be anti-flatulent. In America, it's illegal to call them digestives. The word cookie is derived from the Dutch word Koekje, meaning a cake. The Americans also have a savoury snack called biscuits and gravy. 450 digestive biscuits are made every second in the UK.
- The difference between a cake and a biscuit is that when they go stale, a cake goes hard and a biscuit goes soft. A Jaffa Cake is a cake, despite many people thinking it's a biscuit. It was proven because in 1991, Her Majesty's Customs and Excise decided to re-classify the Jaffa Cake as a biscuit, but VAT was added to chocolate-covered biscuits as a luxury item. So, McVitie's baked a 12-inch (300 mm) one and proved that when it went stale, it was hard, so it was a cake.
- Straight roads were invented in the Iron Age. Although, the Romans can rightly claim to have made longer road networks. Another proof that roads weren't invented by the Romans, was that there were many straight roads in Ireland, which was never invaded by the Romans. (Forfeit: Romans)
- General Ignorance
- A group of baboons is called a congress. A replacement word, a "flange", originates from the sketch Gerald the Gorilla, on "Not the Nine O'Clock News".
- Aardvarks have the most bones in their noses, they have nine or ten. Elephants don't have any. (Forfeit: Elephants)
- According to Anders Celsius, the boiling point of water is 0°C. He decided that water should boil at 0°C and that ice should melt at 100°C. (Forfeit: 100 Degrees)
- What did Mussolini do? – The only train he made run on time was one carrying himself from Milan to Rome so he could become Prime Minister. All other improvements in the Italian transport system happened before he came to power. (Forfeit: Made Trains Run On Time)
- Which eye did Nelson wear his eyepatch on? – He never wore one, he only wore an eyepatch in Ladybird Books. (Forfeit: Right)
Episode 8 "Bees"
- Broadcast date
- 26 November 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-19 points)
- Jo Brand (-8 points) 8th appearance
- Rich Hall (Winner with 5 points) 7th appearance
- Fred MacAulay (4 points) 1st appearance
- Bees discovered that the world was round, as they used the Sun as a radar to find nectar. Out of all the bees in the world, only the honey bee dies, when it stings you, but wasps are more likely to die after stinging you.
- Bees buzz because they control their breathing through 14 valves on their body known as spiracles. Less than 1% of the noise comes from their wings. The bees breathing is a comparison to a human using a trumpet. (Forfeit: Wings)
- Barnacles were thought to be the embryos of a Barnacle Goose. Barnacles have the biggest penis of any existing animal, relative to their size. It's 7 times bigger than its shell.
- Nelson inspired his men after he died by asking them to store his body in a barrel of brandy on the journey back from Cape Trafalgar to Portsmouth. It's believed that his men used tubes of macaroni through the barrel to have a drink and the phrase "Tapping The Admiral" was made, but this story is believed to be untrue.
- Male anglerfish are deemed to be pathetic compared to their female counterparts, because they are 6 times smaller and after latching on to the female while mating, they disappear until their testes were left on the female's body. The rod on top of the anglerfish's head is bioluminescent.
- Chicken tikka masala was invented in Glasgow and it glows in the dark, thanks to a company called Biolume, who have created a chemical that makes food glow in the dark. Chicken tikka masala doesn't exist in Bangladesh or India. In a restaurant in Glasgow, a chicken tandoori was made and a customer asked for some gravy on it, so the chef improvised with tomato soup, cream and spices. It has no official definition, but it can be any temperature or any colour. Robin Cook claims it is the "great British national dish".
- It's possible to live in Mexico and not get complaints from your neighbours about eating Smut, a fungus that is grown there.
- General Ignorance
- Which has more caffeine – a cup of tea or a cup of coffee? – A cup of coffee contain 3 times more caffeine than a cup of tea. Weight for weight though there is more caffeine in tea. (Forfeit: Cup Of Tea)
- The only ball game completely invented in the United States is basketball. Originally, the basket was a peach basket, but they didn't put a hole in it, so every time there was a score, they had to get a ladder to get the ball out. A woman then created netball, but she misinterpreted the rules and thought that you had to stay still when you received the ball. Volleyball was also invented at Springfield College like basketball and netball. Lacrosse was also invented in America, but it was before it became the United States. (Forfeit: Baseball)
- Nelson's last words were "Drink, drink, fan, fan, rub, rub!" This was a request to alleviate his symptoms of thirst, heat and the pains of his wounds from battle. He was given lemonade, water and wine to alleviate his thirst, he was fanned by a fan and another person massaged his back. "Kiss me, Hardy" is what was actually claimed to be said, "Kismet, Hardy" is completely made-up.(Forfeit: Kismet, Hardy)
Episode 9 "Bats"
- Broadcast dates
- 3 December 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-72 points)
- Rich Hall (Joint Winner With 4 points) 8th appearance
- Josie Lawrence (Joint Winner With 4 points) 1st and only appearance
- John Sessions (-14 points) 3rd appearance
- Moth larvae eat clothes. Moths are only a quarter of an inch long. They don't eat synthetic clothing or anything that has been dry cleaned, which is why there are probably fewer of them. They work as well as a mothball. (Forfeit: Moths)
- Butterflies are an evolution from moths–they came out during the daytime to avoid being eaten by bats. There are two theories on why butterflies are so called; one is that it is derived from the Dutch word "to excrete butter" and the other is that the most common butterfly when the Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain were yellow. (See also Differences between butterflies and moths)
- Bats use sonar, shown in an experiment using bells: a pitch black room with bells hung from the ceiling and bats flying around created no noise, but owls did run into the bells.
- Batology is the study of brambles and blackberries, chiroptology is the study of bats. There are over 1,000 different types of bramble.
- Batophobia is the fear of being close to tall buildings. Another phobia similar to that is bathophobia, which is the fear of depth. (Forfeit: Fear Of Blackberries)
- Battology means pointlessly repeating the same thing over again.
- In Sweden on 1 January 1994, there was the same number of 8 year old girls (112,521) as there were 9 year old girls on 1 January 1995, with no migration or death, which is unique in all population statistics. In Britain during 1994, 8 people were injured by placemats, 13 were injured by cruets, 5 were wounded by dustpans, 8 had bread bin accidents, 5 were injured by sieves, 14 were injured by serving trolleys, 17 for draught excluder injuries, 476 were injured on the toilet, underwear hurt 11 people. Tea cosy damage was down from 3 in 1993 to 0 in 1994.
- The biggest tourist attraction in Canada between 1934 and 1943 was the Dionne quintuplets. They were 5 girls who were born from a single egg to a poor family. Their father wanted to exhibit them, so the Canadian Government agreed to exhibit them to raise money. The parents got their children 9 years later, but they all left at the age of 18. In 1998, the two surviving quintuplets were given $4 million from Mike Harris as compensation. Stephen mistakenly refers to Mike Harris as Prime Minister of Canada when he was actually Premier of Ontario. (Forfeit: Niagara Falls)
- In the first recorded Olympic Games in 776 BC, the only event was the 192 m (600 ft) sprint. (Forfeits: Discus, Javelin, Hammer, 200m)
- The winner of the first [recorded ancient] Olympics was Koroibos, who was a chef. Since all the competitors ran in the nude Stephen refers to him as the naked chef.
- The length of the marathon (26 miles and 385 yards) was dictated by the one run at 1908 Olympic Games in London. The British Royal Family dictated that the race started outside a window at Windsor Castle and the finish line at the White City Stadium. The original marathon ran by Pheidippides who was delivering a message from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. The nearest source came from Herodotus, who was born 6 years later, he claimed that Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Sparta, which was about 145 miles (233 km) and ran back, he also didn't die as many sources claim. It was a myth created by Plutarch 500 years later.
- General Ignorance
- The first modern Olympic Games were held in 1850 in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, England and arranged by William Penny Brookes of the Wenlock Olympian Society, according to Baron de Coubertin, the man credited with finding the modern Olympics. As a baron, he used his political connections to inform people about the 1896 Olympics in Athens. King George I of Greece sent a silver medal as a prize to the Much Wenlock Games. Brookes died a year before the Athens Olympics. (Forfeits: Athens, Greece)
- Charles XIV of Sweden had a tattoo saying "Death to kings", because he used to work for Napoleon Bonaparte. Charles XIII of Sweden adopted him, then after he died, he became king and backed away from France, forged an alliance with England and Russia, invaded Norway and his family are still the rulers of Sweden.
- Harald I of Denmark was the source of the name of Bluetooth technology. (Correction: Harald did not unite Finland, Sweden and Norway as suggested by Stephen Fry.)
- St. Bernard dogs carried barrels of milk not brandy. It is a myth created by the tourism industry. Brandy would kill a person with hypothermia. The only evidence of St. Bernard's with brandy is from an 1831 painting by Landseer. The dog in the painting was called Barry, who saved 40 lives, but was killed by his 41st rescuee, who mistook him for a wolf. In his honour, the handsomest dog at the Great St Bernard Pass hospice is named "Barry" in his honour. (Forfeit: Brandy)
Episode 10 "Bills"
- Broadcast date
- 10 December 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-26 points)
- Clive Anderson (Winner with 1 point) 4th appearance
- Phil Kay (0 points) 2nd appearance
- John Sessions (-10 points) 4th appearance
Much to Alan's relief, they were then told that was a joke and they could do it however they wanted.
At the end, everyone revealed their drawings, but everyone accidentally drew teepees instead of a wigwam, except Clive Anderson, who twisted the competition by drawing the pop group Wham! wearing wigs. The main difference between a teepee and a wigwam is that a teepee is made out of buffalo hide and sticks and were mainly lived in by Indians from the Great Plains, whereas wigwams are mainly made of hay and were lived in by Indians from the Northeast.
- There are over 200 folk names for a pansy, more than any other flower, including "jolly jump-up and meet me in the corner", "tickle my fancy", "love idol", "kiss me in the buttery", "pink of my John" and Heartsease. The word "pansy" originates from the French word pensée meaning "thought" or "idea", because they were believed to help with the memory. You can eat them in a tea that can be used to help the complexion and clearing the phlegm.
- Bottomry is when the master of a ship borrows money upon the bottom or keel of it, so as to forfeit the ship itself to the creditor, if the money is not paid at the time appointed with interest at the ship's safe return.
- Buffalo Bill did nothing with buffaloes, because buffaloes in America are actually bison. The bison aren't even related to the buffaloes. In 18 months, Buffalo Bill killed 4,280 bison, while he worked for the Pony Express as a boy. The advert that Buffalo Bill applied to says "Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily, orphans preferred. Wages: $25 a week." The Pony Express only lasted 19 months, so Buffalo Bill was then hired by the Kansas Pacific Railway to kill bison to gather food for the construction workers. In Dances with Wolves, the Native Americans just killed them for fun. The Native Americans preferred to lure them over cliffs, by causing them to stampede, because they can't stop stampeding. Cows eventually replaced the bison, but they created a dust bowl, so then bison were re-introduced by crossing them with the cattle. There were 60 million bison at the end of the 17th century, down to a few hundred at the end of the 19th century. There are now around 50,000.
- Sitting Bull's (who defeated General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn) real name was Jumping Badger. He inherited the name "Sitting Bull" from his father when he was a teenager. He killed his first bison when he was 10. He then took part in a rading on a pro-Crow Indian settlement. Bulls sit down when it's about to rain, like Ferdinand the Bull. His mother was called "Her-Holy-Door".
- The BBC paid Hilda Wright 3 guineas for the 3 radio programmes of the Flower Pot Men. Since acquiring the rights, the BBC made £2 million from video sales of the series. She named Bill and Ben after her brothers. When they were naughty, their mother said Was it Bill or was it Ben?, which became the catchphrase of the show. Their little sister, Phyllis was Little Weed.
- Billy the Kid and Ben-Hur are connected to Lew Wallace. He signed Billy the Kid's death warrant while he was Governor of New Mexico and wrote Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ in 1880.
- As you go upstairs in a tall building, your thoughts in your head, your breathing and metabolism go faster, because time is slower, the weaker the gravity.
- Note: This is incorrect. When gravity decreases, time speeds up.
- The best floor of a building to throw a cat without killing it is the 7th floor. Researchers studied records for veterinary casualty wards, and found that the higher up to the 5th floor, the rate of injury increased. But, after the 7th floor, they can reach their terminal velocity of approximately 60 mph. Like a squirrel, they spread themselves out and parachute down. Cats have even survived from falling aeroplanes.
- General Ignorance
- The commonest material in the world is Perovskite, named after the mineralogist Count Lev Perovski. It's a mineral compound of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. It accounts for half of the world's mass and is what most of the Earth's mantle is made of. (Forfeits: Oxygen, Water)
- In 63 AD, Pompeii was destroyed by an earthquake. Then of course around 16 years later, it was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius, even though it wasn't fully rebuilt. It's also due to erupt soon. It's also believed that the Phoenician civilization was finished by a volcanic eruption.
- Roman Emperors ordered gladiators' deaths by putting their thumbs up, known as pollex infestus. The saving symbol involved placing the thumb inside the hand, known as pollex compressus (the thumb signified respectively a drawn and sheathed sword). The gladiator's sword is known as the gladius. (Forfeit: Thumbs Down)
- The organization that the Americans fought in the Vietnam War was the Việt Minh, named after their greatest hero, Hồ Chí Minh. The Americans invented the words "Việt Cộng", "Charlie" and "the Gooks". The CIA believed that "Việt Cộng" sounded more menacing and was associated with communism. (Forfeit: Việt Cộng)
Episode 11 "Beats"
- Broadcast date
- 17 December 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-13 points)
- Mark Gatiss (-4 points) 1st and only appearance
- Sean Lock (-8 points) 5th appearance
- Linda Smith (Winner with 2 points) 3rd and final appearance
- Snakes prefer to look at musical instruments, since they have no ears. Although it was recently revealed that they have an otic nerve. All you have to do is pretend you have an instrument and it will still move around as if it was mesmerised by the actions.
- What have cats got to do with violins? – Nothing, sheep's guts are used for making violin strings. In Medieval times, it was considered unlucky to kill cats, so the people who had the monopoly on violins claimed that they used catguts, because their rivals would never kill a cat. The same rival families have been making them for over 600 years. Nowadays nylon and steel are added, but many claim the sheepgut is still the best. A cat's penis has barbs and a bone in it. (Forfeit: Catgut Strings)
- Spiders like listening to classical music, according to research at the Ohio University. When listening to techno and rap, they made their webs as far away from the speaker as possible, but when listening to Bach, they made their webs as near to the speaker as possible. Huntsman spiders are the only spiders with lungs.
- In 1995, NASA did an experiment on spider webs after the spider has had caffeine, LSD and marijuana. When subjected to LSD, they were more geometrical. When they had caffeine, they were all over the place and with marijuana, they slightly in between the other two.
- Synesthesia is a term created by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, which is when you think of a colour when you hear a sound. Neuroscientist Julian Asher tried to explain it while he was a child, because when the orchestra played, the colour seemed to improve while the music was playing.
- In 1988, Warner Communications paid $28,000,000 for the rights to the song "Happy Birthday To You". It was composed in 1924 by two women, but Irving Berlin first included the words to the music in 1933. Officially, if you sing it in a public place, you owe Warner Communications money. It was also the first song to be sung in space, by the Apollo 9 crew. The song was originally a song to be sung in class, referred to as "Good Morning To All".
- Mike Batt's (who wrote the song for "The Wombles") worst compilation was the song "One Minute Silence", which he stole from John Cage's notable 1952 record 4′33″, which is total silence. He actually credited the song as "One Minute Silence (Batt/Cage)" and he also wrote the song for William Hague's 1997 leadership campaign.
- During a news bulletin on Good Friday in 1930, there was no news, so the presenter played some music for a period of 10 minutes. Apart from football matches, the only main thing going on was a rebellion in Chittagong, India, but that didn't happen until after the news had finished.
- General Ignorance
- A stave is shown using the Benesh movement notation, displaying steps of the Hokey Cokey. The American version was made by a man called Larry LaPrise who died in 1996.
- The first invention to break the sound barrier was a whip's sonic boom. The sound of a whip isn't leather hitting leather, it a loop made by the whip that tapers to a point and reaches a speed of 724 mph. It was only discovered after humans used high-speed cameras to slow it down. (Forfeit: Cannonball)
- When you listen to the waves in a seashell, you hear the air. (Forfeits: The Sea, Blood Vessels)
- The composer of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was, according to Stephen, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who wrote 12 variations of the theme when he was 5 years old. This is actually a common misconception as the melody is actually a traditional French one and was not composed by Mozart.
Episode 12 "Birth" (Christmas Special)
- Broadcast dates
- 26 December 2004 (BBC Two)
- Alan Davies (-52 points)
- Rich Hall (Winner with 7 points) 9th appearance (6th appearance of the series)
- Phill Jupitus (-3 points) 3rd appearance
- Mark Steel (2 points) 1st appearance
- Stephen Fry (-56 points)
- As well as being the gas that inflates balloons, helium alters the timbre of the voice and the sound travels faster through helium. (Forfeit: Makes It Go Up)
- The link between Santa Claus and Emperor Penguins is that they "come once a year".
- People who smoke shorten their life expectancy by 5 years, while cutting off the testicles adds 13 years.
- Italian barbers did castrations, but as the practice was illegal, they explained it as an accident; Castrati are people that sing in a high pitch because they have been castrated.
- There were no animals present at birth of Jesus. In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi first came up with the idea that Jesus was in a crib. (Forfeits: Donkey, Camel, Cow, Sheep)
- The Bible does not state that there were three Wise Men (or kings), they were priests, it just said that there were three gifts. It doesn't even say there were three of them or even if they were male.
- The name of Herod's wife was Doris. (Forfeit: Mrs Herod)
- In the Middle Ages, the church simultaneously recognised Saint Anne (Jesus' grandmother) had seven different heads. (Forfeit: One)
- Water bears can die and come back to life after three days of being dead.
- The coldest place in the universe is in Louisiana – scientists at LSU took the temperature down to a fraction above absolute zero.
- General Ignorance
- Davies insists that he will not be humiliated on Christmas, so Fry offers for the two to change place. Davies asks his own set of questions, most of them "just for Stephen Fry". (All Alan's questions still had pictures relating to them on the studio's big screens, indicating that the switch was thoroughly planned. As evidenced by his regular forfeits though, Stephen was still unaware as to what the questions would be.)
- Thomas Sørensen plays in goal for Aston Villa.
- Mozart's middle name was Wolfgang. (Forfeit: Amadeus)
- There are six different states of matter (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Bose–Einstein condensate and Fermionic condensate). (Forfeit: Four)
- In the Northern Hemisphere, water drains in whichever direction you choose.
- When penguins in the Falkland Islands see jets they move away from the noise. (Forfeit: Fall Over)
- No animals are sacred in India (Forfeit: Cow). The word "sacred" is a Christian word that doesn't really apply to India, and even if it did, it would not apply to cows. There are no cow deities, statues, icons; and no temples to cows.
|Alan Davies||12 (24)||0 (1)|
|Rich Hall||6 (9)||4 (5)|
|Jo Brand||4 (8)||0|
|Sean Lock||3 (5)||1|
|Bill Bailey||3 (6)||0|
|Clive Anderson||2 (4)||1 (3)|
|Phill Jupitus||2 (3)||1|
|John Sessions||2 (4)||0 (1)|
|Linda Smith||1 (3)||1|
|Jimmy Carr||1 (2)||1|
|Dara Ó Briain||1||1|
|Jeremy Hardy||1 (3)||0|