QI (D series)

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QI Series D
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 13
Broadcast
Original channel BBC
Original run 29 September 2006 – 15 December 2006
Series chronology
← Previous
Series C
Next →
Series E

The fourth series of QI, the BBC comedy panel game television show hosted by Stephen Fry, started on 29 September 2006. As each series of QI is based around a letter of the alphabet, all questions in the series had themes beginning with the letter "d".

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).

D Series (2006)[edit]

Series D was the first to have a specific theme and official title attached to it from the start. The majority of episodes also contained at least one QI debutant. Ronni Ancona, Julian Clary, Vic Reeves and Liza Tarbuck made their first appearances while Rory Bremner, Graeme Garden, Jessica Hynes, Roger McGough, Neil Mullarkey, Andy Parsons, Jonathan Ross and Johnny Vaughan all made what have so far been their only appearances to date.

This series contained a few other notable firsts. One was the first victory of an episode by "the audience", while another was the first recording (broadcast episode 10) where Alan Davies was not present. This was also the first season longer than the original regular length of 12 episodes.

Episode 1 "Danger"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 29 September 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
Topics
  • Odds of very unusual accidents:
    • 1 in 48 million — Being burned alive whilst you sleep.
    • 1 in 30 million — Being murdered.
    • 1 in 120 million — Choking to death.
    • 1 in 20 billion — Death by tea cosy.
    • 1 in 257,000 — Dying today.
  • According to the United Nations, you are three times as likely to die at work than you are at war.
  • Lumberjacks have the most dangerous jobs in America.
  • The most dangerous job in the world is said to be an Alaskan crab fisherman.
  • The most dangerous military stratagem was organised by King Goujian of Yue in 496 BC. Convicted criminals were in the front line of his army and were forced to cut off their own heads.
  • The most dangerous sport in the world is flying kites in Pakistan (the most dangerous country in the world) during Basant. You have to sever kite strings filled with glass and metal shards. It can only be played for 15 days of the year.
  • The most dangerous manager was Harry Colcord, manager of tightrope walker Charles Blondin.
  • The first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel was Annie Edson Taylor.
  • The most dangerous sporting activity for women is cheerleading.
  • Bungee jumping is a British invention.
General Ignorance

Episode 2 "Discoveries"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 29 September 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 6 October 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
Theme
Topics
General Ignorance

Episode 3 "Dogs"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 6 October 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 13 October 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
Topics
General Ignorance
  • Gorillas sleep in nests. They make a new nest every day, even if there is nothing wrong with it. The scientific name for Gorilla is Gorilla gorilla. This is known as a tautonym. The same is true of Bison and Iguana.
  • The scientific name for a rat is Rattus rattus.
  • The scientific name for a Golden Oriole is Oriolus oriolus.
  • The scientific name for a Whooper Swan is Cygnus cygnus.
  • The scientific name for a Manx Shearwater (forfeit: puffin) is Puffinus puffinus. The puffin's scientific name is Fratercula arctica.

Episode 4 "Dictionaries"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 13 October 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 20 October 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
Topics
General Ignorance

Episode 5 "Death" (Halloween Special)[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 20 October 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 27 October 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists

(Despite the audience being announced as the winner, Alan Davies was announced as having come third, suggesting that the audience's victory was in fact unofficial. In this case, Parsons was the winner and thus the fourth debuting contest in succession to win.)

Theme
  • The chairman and all the panellists are dressed in black.
  • There is a coffin in the centre of the set, replacing the "i" inside the "Qi" magnifying glass.
  • The forfeits on the wallscreens are coloured green as opposed to the normal white.
Topics
General Ignorance

Episode 6 "Drinks"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 27 October 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 3 November 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
Theme
  • The show is based around an old-time Pub theme, with various of the questions and decorations referencing classic British pub culture, games, etc.
  • There is a drinks rack behind Stephen Fry, including a keg of Watney's Red Barrel, and a Dartboard taking up the centre of the main background.
  • Every panellist has a drink — Alan Davies has a martini, the other three have pints of lager.
Topics
General Ignorance

Episode 7 "Differences"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 3 November 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 10 November 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
Topics
  • The main difference between men and women is the chromosomes. Women have two X chromosomes, but men have one X and one Y chromosome.
  • Alcohol has a greater effect on men. In the long run, women are more likely to have alcohol-related brain and liver damage. (Forfeit: Women)
  • Women get colder quicker, in order to keep the vital organs warm.
  • The guests have to correctly identify a picture of a Yupik. (Forfeit: Inuit)
  • You cannot describe the difference between left and right.
  • Deaf people applaud by waving their hands in the air. There is a misconception that they clap louder or harder.
  • The similarity between herring and teenage boys is that they both communicate by farting.
  • The only difference between brown eggs and white eggs is the colour.
  • You would use cogs or Meccano to make a difference engine. It was only completed in 1991 and worked perfectly. Charles Babbage (who invented the machine) deliberately put some mistakes in the plan, so if anyone stole it, it wouldn't work.
  • The difference between ping pong and table tennis is that "ping pong" is a brand name.
General Ignorance
Note: Alan Davies answered "Randy", and as a result was docked 150 points. The final scores were then revealed almost immediately afterwards, and Alan was on -144 points, a record lowest score in the show's history. Without the 150 point penalty from the earlier question, Alan would have won with 6 points.

Episode 8 "Descendants" (Children in Need Special)[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 10 November 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 17 November 2006/18 November 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists

(All scores in this game were multiplied by 1,000,000 as a generosity gesture from Stephen Fry, on account of it being for Children In Need. Therefore, the actual scores were -29, 2, 1 and 3.)

Theme
  • The show initially began with Pudsey Bear, the Children in Need mascot, in the place of Alan Davies, but Pudsey was replaced after all the panellists had demonstrated their buzzers.
  • Each panellist has a Pudsey bear in front of them, however Rich Hall's Pudsey does not have one eye covered. This is because Rich Hall, being American and not aware of Pudsey's trademark, removed the eyepatch and bound his Pudsey's hands behind its back using the eyepatch before the recording of the episode began.
Topics
General Ignorance

Episode 9 "Doves"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 17 November 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 24 November 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
Topics
  • The pigeon is the bravest species of animal, having won more Dickin medals than any other. The medal was organised by Maria Dickin in 1943 to honour animals in war. Out of the 60 occasions, it has been awarded to a pigeon 32 times.
  • A kamikaze pigeon unit was set up to use pigeons in missiles. The pigeon was trained to peck at a ship. In the missile, if the ship was slightly to one side, the pigeon would peck on a glass target and it would relay a signal moving the missile and it would continuously peck as the ship got bigger and bigger. Every time it pecked correctly, the pigeon would be showered with grain. It wasn't used in combat. See Project Pigeon.
  • The most influential piece of modern art (according to the Turner Prize committee) was Marcel Duchamp's Fountain.
  • The dik-dik is able to hide, unlike the dodo, which is probably one of the reasons why the dodo is now extinct.
  • According to Moby-Dick, a sperm whale's penis can be turned into an apron.
  • Swift Nick Nevison robbed some people in Kent, then rode from Kent to York in 15 hours. He managed to evade the law by playing in a bowls match against the Lord Mayor of York, and bet him in the match, to used the mayor as his alibi. (Forfeit: Dick Turpin)
General Ignorance
This was a bonus question for 50 points was supposed to subsequently asked, only for Fry to accidentally provide the answer before asking the question. Alan Davies then answered the question regardless, and earned the 50 point bonus. As it turned out, he would still have won without the bonus had nobody else answered the question correctly. In Fry's words: 'That was supposed to be the answer to the bonus question and I fucked it up completely!'

Episode 10 "Divination"[edit]

Alan Davies was absent for the recording of this episode, as it clashed with his favourite football team, Arsenal, playing in that year's UEFA Champions League Final - the biggest game in their history. Close-up shots of him in his chair at the start were taken during the recording of episode 8 (to match with Phill Jupitus being seated on his right). The customary opening long shot of the whole panel was accomplished with a lookalike taking his seat.

The final edit then showed him dematerialising after pressing his buzzer, which supposedly teleported him to the football match (accompanied by the TARDIS sound). His other brief contributions - which earned him forfeits, ensuring that he still lost - were also pre-recorded and played in the studio as a voiceover.

Broadcast dates
  • 24 November 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 1 December 2006 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 17 May 2006
Panellists
Theme
  • Each of the panellists were told to predict their scores using a form of divination.
  • Whoever managed to accurately predict their own score at the end would be rewarded with 666 bonus points. No-one managed to do so accurately with their own scores, but Vaughan correctly guessed Garden's score. The 666 points were not given because it had to be their own score they predicted.
Topics
General Ignorance

Episode 11 "Denial & Deprivation"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 1 December 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 8 December 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
  • Alan Davies (-39 points - this gave him a grand total beyond -1000 for the series)
  • Roger McGough (joint winner with 1 point) 1st and only appearance
  • Vic Reeves (joint winner with 1 point) 2nd appearance
  • Mark Steel (-6 points) 3rd appearance
Theme
  • The show was deprived of the normal set. Instead, Alan Davies and Mark Steel were sitting at school desks, Roger McGough and Vic Reeves had side tables and glasses of whisky and Stephen Fry sat at an auctioneer's stand with a gavel. The director of photography was "fired" so there was a lack of light. Some of the studio was lit by candles. The audience was forced to watch in the street (although only for a humorous pre-filmed segment). The buzzers were hand-cranked.
  • The team were each given a tray, containing dental floss, chilli powder, a potato and a green pen. The panellists had to find out how each item had been used in a prison escape.
    • Green pen - Steven Russell dyed his shirt green, the same colour shirts as those of the prison doctors, and walked out of the prison.
    • Dental floss - Vincenzo Curcio used floss to file down the bars.
    • Chilli powder — Five prisoners from Pakistan threw spice powder into the eyes of a warden and ran out of the prison.
    • Potato - John Dillinger stole a raw potato, carved it into the shape of a gun, painted it black with boot polish and held up a warden with it.
Topics
General Ignorance

Episode 12 "Domesticity"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 8 December 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 15 December 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
  • Alan Davies (-64 points)
  • Jo Brand (-18 points) 13th appearance
  • Jessica Hynes - at the time still going under her maiden name of Stevenson (winner with -3 points) 1st and only appearance
  • Phill Jupitus (-4 points) 12th appearance (5th appearance of the series)
Topics
General Ignorance

Episode 13 "December" (Christmas Special)[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 15 December 2006 (BBC Four)
  • 22 and 27 December 2006 (BBC Two)
Panellists
Theme
  • All the questions in General Ignorance are themed on saints.
Topics
General Ignorance

Notes[edit]

  • Wolf, Ian: QI: Series D, published on the British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2009-02-25.

References[edit]