QI (E series)

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QI Series E
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 13
Original channel BBC
Original release 21 September 2007 (2007-09-21) – 14 December 2007 (2007-12-14)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series D
Next →
Series F

The fifth series of QI, the BBC comedy panel game television show hosted by Stephen Fry, started on 21 September 2007. As each series of QI is based around a letter of the alphabet, all questions in the series had themes beginning with the letter "e".

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).

E Series (2007)[edit]

Series E contained the first occasion of a single recurring theme specific to its run: the "Elephant in the Room" card. In each episode, one (or more) of the answers involved elephants. Whoever played their card at the correct time would score 10 bonus points.

A video podcast (featuring the best moments with some out-takes) was planned to accompany this series, but this was instead turned into a set of "Quickies" featured on the QI homepage of the BBC's website. As this decision was not reached until after recording though, they are still referred to as "vodcasts" by whoever is introducing them (usually Fry but occasionally a panellist or even the audience).[1]

This series contained the fewest number of debutants to date. Only two guests, Charlie Higson and Johnny Vegas, had not appeared on the programme before. This series was the first to contain an extra edition of outtakes.

Episode 1 "Engineering"[edit]

Broadcast date
  • 21 and 22 September 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 18 May 2007
  • QI's 50th episode.
  • Stephen used a toy train to send a sweet to the panellist who gave a correct answer.
General Ignorance
Presenter: Bill Bailey

Episode 2 "Electricity"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 21 September 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 28 and 29 September 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 10 May 2007
  • This is the first instance of a complete panel appearing twice. Brand, Hall and Lock all appeared together in episode 5 of series C.
  • The atmosphere is .... (forfeit: electric).
  • The best place to hide during a lightning strike is inside your car because it acts like a Faraday cage. If that can't be done you should crouch down into a ball with your bottom in the air. Trees explode from lightning strikes and splinters fly all over the place.
  • 3-6 people in the UK are killed by lightning every year, in America, the figure is 400.
  • Horses were used to catch electric eels by sending the horse out into the water. The eels discharge all their electricity in the water to attack the horse, and once their batteries are drained, they can be caught.
  • Elephant in the Room: In 1903, Thomas Edison released a film called Electrocuting an Elephant which showed how electricity could be very dangerous. He used the film as propaganda against his rival George Westinghouse.
  • Electrons move along wires at a drift velocity of 0.03 mph (forfeits: they don't, very fast). They travel by wave movements.
  • You could use the electric current from a lasagne to make a gherkin glow via a connection by a cable. Although, the lasagne would, ironically, need to be as large as the floor of The Gherkin building.
General Ignorance
  • The difference between a ship and a boat in naval terms is that all ships float on the surface of the water, while all boats are submarines (forfeit: ships are bigger).
  • The animal that creates the most methane in the world is the termite (forfeit: cows).
  • Thousands of Americans ring 9-1-1 on Christmas Day, because it is the only number that they can ring with their new mobile phone before it is activated, if they received one as a present. (Forfeit: they've eaten too much)
  • A Russian family would never call their son "Power Station" or "Industrialisation" because they are girls' names. (In Russian, they are "Электростанция" and "Индустриализация" respectively.) Boys' names include "Combine harvester" and "23 February". Stephen Fry also states that in Ukraine you can name your son "Не вбивай мене батько" (which he translates as "Don't kill me father") but this is a mistake, because it's actually a surname.
Presenter: Stephen Fry
  • If you were to give 200 monks an electric shock, they would all get the shock at the same time. It was proven to work when they all swore at the same time.

Episode 3 "Eating"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 28 September 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 5 October 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 31 May 2007
General Ignorance
Presenter: Stephen Fry (imitating Johnny Vegas)

Episode 4 "Exploration"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 5 October 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 12 October 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 11 May 2007
  • The host and panellists are dressed in jungle exploration gear.
  • When the Pilgrim Fathers first arrived in America, the first thing that the Native Americans said to them was "Could I have some beer?" in English. Most of the Native Americans learnt their English from Squanto, a Native who travelled across the Atlantic Ocean 6 times. He was kidnapped to England, then brought back to America, he was kidnapped again and sold to slavery in Spain, before escaping to Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland, but he found it took too long to walk back, so he took a boat back to Ireland before returning to New England. The other famous Native, Samoset, learnt his English from fishermen.
  • Elephant in the Room: A map of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) had some of the contour lines form the shape of an elephant. It was a deliberate error on the part of a bored British Army cartographer.
  • The quickest way to get from the Eiffel Tower to The Louvre, without seeing a Frenchman is to go through the sewers, because they are lined up exactly the same as the streets of Paris. The Paris sewers are cleaned by a massive ball, which is pushed by a jet of water.
  • The best place to put a space elevator on Earth would be on the Equator, because it is the fastest part of the earth, so it would keep it in a geostationary orbit.
  • If a crewman in outer space went mad, the course of action to take would be to bind his/her wrists and ankles with duct tape, tie him/her down with a bungee cord and inject tranquilisers into him/her.
  • The difficulties of having sex in space would be that the penis would be smaller, because the blood pressure is lower in space and it would be hard to insert the penis into the vagina.
General Ignorance
  • The first words spoken on the surface of the Moon were "Contact light", spoken by Buzz Aldrin. Aldrin's sister gave him the nickname "Buzz" due to her inability to pronounce the word brother and he later legally changed his name from Edwin Eugene to Buzz. His mother's maiden name is "Moon".
  • The inventor of the moonwalk is Bill Bailey (forfeit: Michael Jackson). The only animal that can moonwalk is the manakin bird, which can also sing using its wings.
  • The first person to put 2 feet on top of Mount Everest was Radhanath Sikdar (forfeits: Sherpa Tenzing, Edmund Hillary), a mathematician from Bengal, who measured the peak as 29,000 feet, but because he thought people would think he just rounded up to 29,000 feet, he "added" 2 feet to make it 29,002 feet, the measurement of Everest up until 1955, when it became 29,028 feet.
Presenter: Stephen Fry, through a thicket of jungle plants.
  • Lisa Nowak travelled across the USA to attempt to murder a fellow astronaut. She wore a nappy so she would not have to stop to go to the toilet during the journey.

Episode 5 "Europe"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 12 October 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 19 October 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 25 May 2007
  • Each panellist had a flag, representing a different European country. Alan had Wales (due to his surname), David had England, Dara had the Republic of Ireland and Phill had Lithuania (his paternal grandparents derive from there). However, Alan and David swapped theirs, because Alan has no connections with Wales and David's mother does not like calling herself English (David has both Welsh and Scottish ancestry). Stephen also had several European flags around him, as well as the flag of the European Union.
  • During this recording Alan Davies filmed part of the show on his mobile phone. Those videos have been placed on YouTube and can be viewed here and here.
  • Baarle-Hertog in Belgium and Baarle-Nassau in the Netherlands, due to the Maastricht Treaty, has 5,732 parcels of land which are split between Belgium and the Netherlands. Many of these enclaves are split in the middle between the two countries, so many buildings have doors that lead from one side to the other. In pubs, the Dutch side closes earlier, so half the tables are cut off and everyone has to move to the other side. The Dutch also have a large sex shop next to the Belgium side. Fry inaccurately described the treaty as settling which parts were 'Dutch Belgium' and which parts were 'Frenchy Belgian-Belgium', while in reality the treaty did not affect the Flemish/Walloon border which did not exist before 1921.
  • No females of any species are allowed on Mount Athos in Greece. Prince Philip once visited the Mount, and the Queen had to stay in a boat 500 yards from the shore. They do however, allow hens because they use the egg yolks for icon paintings.
  • The German disease, the French disease, the Polish disease, the Portuguese disease and the English disease are all the same disease – Syphilis. It was common to name it after your enemy. Mercury was once used to cure it, but it would make the patients teeth turn green. Oscar Wilde covered his green teeth with his hand during his trial for being homosexual, but it counted against him as it was seen as effeminate. A later cure was to give the patient malaria, as the bacterium responsible for it literally cannot survive the high fever.[2]
  • "Call My Euro Bluff" - each panellist reads an EU regulation, and the other panellists try to guess if it is true or a "Bløff".
  • No-one actually knows where the Manneken Pis originates from. One theory is that a boy urinated on some explosives when Brussels was under siege and saved the city. Another was that it was Duke Godfrey who was hiding in a tree during a battle and urinated on the enemy. It has been up since 1388, and has been stolen seven times.
General Ignorance
  • The highest mountain in Europe is Mount Elbrus, in the Caucasus (forfeits: Mont Blanc, Eiger, Mount Etna).
  • The first words of the National Anthem of Germany are, "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das Deutsche Vaterland!" meaning, "Unity and justice and freedom, for the German fatherland!" (Forfeit: Deutschland Über Alles - Stephen asks the audience this question; they sang the forfeit line and lost 100 points)
  • Elephant in the Room: The thing under the panels nose's and sounds like a bell (the sound of a bell being a "dung") is elephant dung. Their notepads are made out of it.
Presenter: Stephen Fry.
  • The biggest thing in Europe that you can get for $170,000 a night is Liechtenstein.
  • George Mallory was found dead going down Mount Everest.
  • Vampires carry their soil around with them.
  • The Germans checked to see people who were claiming to be neutral Belgians were not French spies by getting them to count. "Seventy", "Eighty" and "Ninety" are named differently in French and Belgian French.

Episode 6 "Everything, Etc."[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 19 October 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 26 October 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 8 June 2007
  • This is the chemical composition of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, usually referred to as "Ecstasy" or "E". It was designed by the Germans to heal wounds during World War I.
  • The Blue Peacock project, dubbed the "chicken-powered nuclear bomb", was a British proposal, put forward in the 1950s, to hide several small nuclear mines in Germany in case of invasion by the Soviet Union. It was proposed the body heat given off by live chickens kept with the bombs would be sufficient to keep all the relevant components operating during extreme cold weather conditions.
  • Fainting goats help protect flocks of sheep by allowing the rest of the flock to escape from predators like wolves, whilst it is eaten. Older goats faint against walls to prevent themselves from being eaten.
  • The jumping French lumberjacks of Maine have a rare disorder called "Jumping Frenchmen of Maine", which lead to investigations into what became known as Tourette's syndrome. Symptoms of the disorder include obeying any order given to you suddenly and the need to repeat foreign phrases constantly.
  • Elephant in the Room: From 1884 onwards, the first thing greeting immigrants to New York City was a gigantic hotel shaped like an elephant on Coney Island (forfeit: The Statue of Liberty).
  • The multiple choice exam was invented by the American army during World War I to test recruits wanting to join up.
General Ignorance
  • House dust is mainly made up of dirt and grit (forfeits: human skin, dust mites), but it varies according to place, season and other factors such as pets.
  • In the middle of a pearl, you will find the sarcophagus of a nematode worm or another such organic creature (forfeits: grit, sand).
  • A glass bottom would not keep you out of the army. There is a myth that glass-bottomed tankards were used to prevent military recruiters slipping a coin into men's drink, and forcing them into the navy by accepting "the king's shilling". Any recruiter found using trickery would be court-martialed. (Forfeit:Taking the King's Shilling)
  • It does not matter what colour your clothing is in a hot environment. (Forfeits: black, white)
Presenter: Stephen Fry and every panellist on the show that night.

Episode 7 "Espionage"[edit]

Broadcast dates
  • 26 October 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 2 November 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 7 June 2007
  • You can beat a lie detector by having exciting thoughts, clinching your anal sphincter (there are actually two of them, the internal and external one) without clenching your buttocks, or to relax completely when being asked control questions, such as your name or address. You cannot use lie detectors in the UK or United States courts. The FBI claim they are about as reliable as astrology and tea leaves.
  • The best way to trick a female spy into blowing their cover is by getting them to swear in their own language, particularly during childbirth, according to Heinrich Müller, the head of the Gestapo.
  • Elephant in the Room: Harry Houdini hid an elephant behind a mirror as part of a magic trick. Houdini used to debunk psychics, but this cost him his friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle. Some people now believe that he did not die from a punch to the stomach, but of appendicitis, which was worsened by the punch. Some people want Houdini's body exhumed to see if he was actually murdered by spiritualists.
  • You can tell when you have run out of invisible ink by covering the paper with lemon juice or milk, and heating it to see what was written. Mansfield Smith-Cumming or "C", founder of MI6, discovered you could also use semen as invisible ink.
  • Toilet paper helped win the Cold War because the Russians did not have much of it. So the Russians instead used secret documents, and spies stole the documents from bins, as part of Operation Tamarisk. The spies complained that they had to dig through all sorts of unpleasant items such as amputated limbs. However, this resulted in their spy masters asking them to steal the limbs to see what kind of shrapnel the Russians used. Operation Tamarisk was supposedly very successful, and without it, there might still be a communist Russia.
  • You could use Gummy bears to rob a bank by melting them down, making a fake finger and leaving a false fingerprint.
  • The best thing to do in a falling lift is to cushion yourself by lying on top of a fat person (forfeit: jump). However it is very unlikely that a lift would fall, as all of the wires are capable of holding the lift, and they have emergency brakes.
General Ignorance
  • The country where you are most likely to see a tornado is the United Kingdom (forfeit: America).
  • There is nothing (forfeit: swim) you can't do twenty minutes after lunch.
Presenter: Stephen Fry and every panellist on the show that night.

Episode 8 "Eyes & Ears"[edit]

Broadcast date
  • 2 November 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 9 November 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 1 June 2007
  • The panel have to identify an ear spoon, which is used for removing earwax. Earwax tastes very bitter.
  • Q-Tips or cotton swabs were invented by Leo Gerstenzang, when he saw his wife using cotton wool on the end of toothpicks to clean out their baby's ears. He called them "Baby Gays". Unilever produce 22.5 billion cotton buds a year.
  • You can tell your child is yours by the earlobes. Like eye colour, hanging or attached earlobes are inherited from your parents. Hanging earlobes dominate attached ones.
  • The best way to date a cod is to kill it, examine the earbones, and you can tell their age to a day.
  • Elephant in the Room: Elephants have the biggest ears of any animal in the world. They do not however improve their hearing, and are mainly used for cooling purposes. They are also used for aggressive displays.
  • A bit of rough music would stop you from beating your wife. It was a punishment used in the English countryside where the villagers made noise using metal objects in the middle of the night, that would drive the criminal out.
  • Nothing (forfeit: it bores into your brain) happens when an earwig gets into your ear.
General Ignorance
  • It is hard for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle simply because it is too big. Jesus was being literal when he said it and it was a common phrase at the time. Similar phrases appear in the Torah and the Qur'an. Rich people tried to create "get-out" clauses when they read this, so they came up with the idea it was a gate into Jerusalem (forfeit), and that it was a mistranslation of the Greek for "rope".
  • A Four-eyed fish has two eyes (forfeit: one). They are divided into two, so they are looking upwards all the time.
  • Statistically, you are very unlikely to die in a plane crash. The main problem in crashes is that under pressure, people try to open their seat belts like those in a car.
  • Most of the actors who played Captain Flint in film adaptations of Treasure Island were parrots.
  • An American 25-cent coin is called "two bits" because it corresponded to two pieces of eight.
Presenter: The Audience.

Episode 9 "Entertainment" (Children in Need Special)[edit]

Broadcast date
  • 9 November 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 16 November 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 14 June 2007
  • The show initially began with Pudsey Bear, the Children in Need mascot, in the place of Alan Davies, but then Pudsey used his "Elephant in the Room" card to pick out Alan from the audience, who was wearing an elephant head costume. Alan walked out of the audience and took his seat to the tune of Nellie the Elephant. Everyone's elephant card was a picture of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, rather than the usual grey elephant.
  • The panel have to identify the owner of special pair of shoes. They belonged to Little Tich, one of the great entertainers of his day, who used them for his "Big Boot" routine. He had 12 fingers and 12 toes and stopped growing when he was 10 years old. The word "tich" is named after him. He influenced Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
  • Roland the Farter was a flatulist to Henry II and would fart for the King on Christmas Day. The King enjoyed his act so much, he gave him 30 acres of land.
  • The only athlete in the history of the Olympic Games to be given a personal mention in the closing ceremony is Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards in 1988. However, there is now a rule dubbed the "Eddie the Eagle rule" which states that all athletes taking part in the Olympics must be in the top 30% of their sport.
  • Elephant in the Room (or as it is put for the "Entertainment" episode "Heffalump in the Room"): A picture of a ballet and some ballet music called the Circus Polka is played and the panellists have to guess what is wrong. The answer is that none of the ballet dancers were elephants. It was written for elephants, and performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City. However, it was unsuccessful.
  • Questions on E-commerce. The panel is presented with an embarrassing domain name of a website, and have to guess what they provide.

These Websites are Real

  • Jo — www.whorepresents.com — Who represents: Finding agents who represent famous people.
  • Bill — www.expertsexchange.com — Experts exchange: A website where experts exchange information.
  • Jeremy — www.therapistfinder.com — Therapist finder: A site where you can find therapists.
  • Alan — www.penisland.net — Pen island: A shop selling pens.
General Ignorance
  • If you shaved a lion and a tiger until they had no fur left, you could tell them apart because tigers also have stripes on their skin.
  • The biggest squid in the world is the Colossal Squid. It is believed to be the world's biggest invertebrate. Its eyes are 1 foot in diameter.
  • If you find your goldfish floating on its side, it means it is suffering from swim bladder disorder (forfeit: it's dead). It comes from being overfed.
Presenter: Pudsey Bear holding up a signboard reading "Hello & welcome to the QI vodcast".

Episode 10 "England"[edit]

Broadcast date
  • 16 November 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 23 November 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 24 May 2007

Stephen and the panel have miniature flags of England in front of them, although Alan swaps his English flag for the Welsh flag, (note that in the earlier episode 5 of this series, Alan had swapped his Welsh flag for David Mitchell's flag of England).

  • The correct response to the question "How do you do?" is to say "How do you do?" back or a small bow (forfeit: I'm fine, thank you). It is considered impolite to answer the question.
  • The only lake in the Lake District is Bassenthwaite Lake (forfeits: Windermere, Coniston). All the others are waters, meres or tarns.
  • The first King of both England and Scotland was Athelstan in the year 937 (forfeit: James I).
  • The first recorded use of the V sign was in 1901 and no-one knows exactly where it comes from (forfeit: archers). Some suspect it to be a representation of the cuckold's horns. The myth about English archers showing the enemy they could fire their arrows was invented in the 1970s. The introduction to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is the same as the letter "V" in Morse code (Dot, dot, dot, dash).
  • "Abumgang" means "Thank you" in the language of the Eton tribe of Cameroon. Other words used by them include "Mrmrminger" which is a beautiful woman. Other tribes in Cameroon include the Bum, Bang, Banana, Mang, Fang, Tang, Wong, Wang, War and the Pongo.
  • Elephant in the Room: Jumbo was a very large elephant who was born in Sudan, which was captured and taken to Cairo, Paris and London where he became very popular. In 1882, P. T. Barnum bought him for $10,000 under great protest from the English. Some even proposed they kill Jumbo and Barnum to keep the elephant English. In 3 days, Barnum made $30,000 from Jumbo, and $1.5 million in 3 years. Jumbo was killed in a train crash. His skull was broken in over 100 places. Jumbo was stuffed and used as a mascot for Tufts University until he was destroyed in a fire. His name is the origin of the epithet "Jumbo". (Note: Although Fry claimed that Jumbo was born in Sudan, he was actually born in French Sudan, present-day Mali).
  • Apart from the Bible, the most successful book in England in the 16th century was a book about behaviour for children by Desiderius Erasmus. It includes the advice that you should not be afraid of vomiting, you should not offer your handkerchief to anyone unless it has been freshly washed nor look into it after you have blown your nose, and should not move back and forth on your chair, as this gives the impression of breaking wind.
  • The best place to find people called "Nutter" in England is Blackburn. "Pigg's" are in Newcastle upon Tyne. "Daft's" are in Nottingham. "Smellie's" are in Glasgow. "Bottom's" are in Huddersfield. "Willy's" are in Taunton. The surnames that dropped in use in recent years include "Handcock", "Glasscock", "Higginbottom", "Shufflebottom" and "Winterbottom".
General Ignorance
England' was still an all-embracing word. It mean indiscriminately England and Wales; Great Britain; the United Kingdom; and even the British Empire. (A.J.P. Taylor, Volume XV: English History, 1914-1945, page v)
Since then there has been a trend in history to restrict the use of the term "England" to the state that existed pre 1707 and to the geographic area it covered and people it contained in the period thereafter. The different authors interpreted "English History" differently, with Taylor opting to write the history of the English people, including the people of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Empire and Commonwealth where they shared a history with England, but ignoring them where they did not. Other authors opted to treat non-English matters within their remit. (Forfeits: England, France[clarification needed])
Presenter: Stephen Fry
  • When Jesus returns, you want to be living in Bedford, because this is where the Garden of Eden was, and is therefore the only place that will survive the Second Coming, according to the Panacea Society. This religious cult has bought a house in Bedford for Jesus to live in called "The Haven", and several houses in the Castle Road area.

Episode 11 "Endings"[edit]

Broadcast date
  • 23 November 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 30 November 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 17 May 2007
General Ignorance
Presenter: Stephen Fry
  • The world's most isolated tree, the Arbre du Ténéré, is an acacia tree in the Sahara and is 250 miles away from the nearest tree. It was destroyed when an allegedly drunk Libyan truck driver crashed into it in 1973, a metallic replica is now in its place.

Episode 12 "Empire" (Christmas Special)[edit]

Broadcast date
  • 7 December 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 14 December 2007 (BBC Two)
Recording date
  • 15 June 2007
  • This is the second instance of a complete panel appearing twice. Bailey, Brand and Lock all appeared together in episode 1 of series B.
  • Queen Victoria probably thought very unfavourably of Mr. Bean, because he tried to assassinate her. John Bean was one of several people to attempt to kill her. He tried to shoot her, but he filled his gun with wads of tobacco. (Forfeit: She Was Not Amused)
  • Victoria's secret was that she suffered from haemophilia, as did most of the royal families in Europe, because of her. Prince Leopold, one of her sons, died of haemophilia. Another of Victoria's daughters, Princess Alice, married into the Russian royal family, had a daughter, Princess Alexandra, whose son was also a haemophiliac. It is possible that this helped start the Russian Revolution because, as a result of Alexandra seeking treatment for her son, Rasputin became involved with the Royal Family. Some believe that the chances of Victoria inheriting haemophilia from her parents are so remote, that she might have been illegitimate.
  • In the Secret Museum of Pornography in Naples, it is forbidden to laugh or be aroused by the exhibits, because they are meant to be there for educational purposes. Most of the exhibits come from Pompeii, which was full of pornographic graffiti, art and statues. Nowadays you need a special permit and a guide to visit it.
  • It was easier to put your boots on in the dark between 1600–1800, because there were no left or right boots. All boots were designed to fit either foot, because it was too difficult to make left and right heeled-boots at the time.
  • Elephant in the Room: The panel have to identify a picture of four boots, that were worn by an elephant. They are worn by elephants in captivity to protect their feet.
General Ignorance
  • Victorians put covers on the legs of pianos to stop them from being damaged (forfeit: they thought they were rude). Although most of the time, they did not bother. The English Victorians thought the Americans were more prudish.
  • The Victorians legislated against male homosexuality and not female because it seems never to have been considered (forfeit: Queen Victoria didn't believe it existed). It had nothing to do with Queen Victoria, because she had almost no power. The law that banned homosexuality was the Labouchere Amendment, in 1885, and Oscar Wilde was one of the first people to break it. The judge sentenced him to two years hard labour, but said that he wished he could punish him even more, saying it was, "The worst case I have ever tried." A week earlier, the same judge tried a case of child murder.
  • Winterval was created as a promotional campaign for local business by Birmingham City Council (forfeit: political correctness gone mad). There is an urban myth that Winterval was created to prevent cultures being offended by references to specific religious festivals.
  • In 2006 in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a mother got the police to arrest her twelve-year-old son for looking at one of his presents, a Game Boy Advance, early. The boy was released the same day, but the police claimed he showed no remorse.
Presenter: Stephen, the panel, and the entire QI production team, in the style of a pantomime with the audience shouting back.
  • George Orwell wrote of socialism in The Road to Wigan Pier in 1936, "Socialism draws towards it with magnetic force every fruit juice drinker, nudist, sandal wearer, sex maniac, Quaker, nature-cure quack, pacifist and feminist in England." He talks about, "Vegetarians with wilting beards", "Outer suburban creeping Jesus' eager to begin yoga exercises", and "That dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal wearers and bearded fruit juice drinkers who come flocking toward the smell of progress like bluebottles to a dead cat."
  • A woman was thrown out of a hotel in Ockham, Surrey because she wore cycling bloomers. The Cyclists' Touring Club took the case to court to get it overturned, but they lost.
  • HMS Victoria sank outside Beirut, Lebanon.

Episode 13 "Elephants"[edit]

Broadcast date
  • 14 December 2007 (BBC Four)
  • 26 and 29 December 2007 (BBC Two)
  • A clip show using unbroadcast material from Series E.
  • The beginning and ending of the show has Stephen playing Father Christmas and Alan sitting on his lap (shrunk down in size).
  • Eating: The proper Neapolitan way to eat spaghetti is to lean back and drop it into your mouth by hand.
  • Exploration: The teams have to identify a wave map used by explorers from Polynesia and Micronesia. It uses the scrotum, because it is the most sensitive part of a man's body. You put it in the sea, and you are able to tell where the waves are coming from, so you can tell where the islands are by using waves.
  • Europe: The biggest exporter of bananas in Europe is the Republic of Ireland, mainly because they buy the entire banana crop of Belize and Iceland produces the most bananas in Europe.
  • Espionage: The biggest banknote ever produced by the Bank of England is worth £100,000,000, known as the "Titan". There are 40 Titans. There are £1,000,000 notes, known as the "Giant", of which there are 4,000.
  • Engineering: In order to use an ejector seat in a helicopter, you have to fire the rotors away. Such helicopters that use this system include the Black Shark. 7,000 airmen's lives have been saved by using ejector seats.
  • Eating: The world's most expensive meat is produced by using stem cells known as myoblasts (forfeit: Japanese beef). Such cells can multiply so many times, they could produce enough meat to feed the world. However, one kilogram currently costs $10,000. Winston Churchill in 1932 predicted that in 50 years time, people would just manufacture the parts of meat they would want, rather than kill a whole animal, so in fact he was right.
  • England: There is a counting system called Yan Tan Tethera that was used to count sheep. The number for 15 was "Bumfit".
  • Eating: Breast milk contains monosodium glutamate. Men can also produce breast milk.
  • Engineering: A triglyph was used when temples were made out of wood, as they would support wooden beams. They say of the Acropolis, where the Parthenon is, that it has no straight lines.
Presenter: A shrunken Alan Davies. There is no new material; all clips are taken from the episode.


  1. ^ "Comedy — QI". BBC. Retrieved 22 September 2007. 
  2. ^ Smith, Tara C. (13 June 2007). "Malaria: the cure for AIDS?". ScienceBlogs. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 

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