|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (October 2015)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Home station||BBC Radio 4|
|Syndicates||BBC Radio 4 Extra|
|Recording studio||BBC Radio Theatre|
|Air dates||since 4 January 1976|
|No. of series||51 as of October 2015[ref]|
|No. of episodes||470 as of October 2015[ref]|
|Opening theme||Duddly Dell, written and performed by Dudley Moore|
Quote ... Unquote is a panel game broadcast on BBC Radio 4 based on quotations. Every episode since the beginning of the series on 4 January 1976 has been chaired by its deviser, Nigel Rees. The programme broadcast its 51st series in September/October 2015.
The main part of the programme consists of a non-competitive quiz where the chairman asks each of the four panellists in turn to identify where a certain quotation, phrase or saying comes from. In between these rounds, the panellists are asked to share some of their favourite quotations on a specified theme. Other parts of the programme are devoted to answering queries from the programme's listeners about the sources of quotations and the origins of everyday phrases and idioms.
There have been over 500 guests on the programme, many appearing multiple times. They include: Tom Stoppard, Peter Cook, Peter Ustinov, Judi Dench, Alan Bennett, Denis Healey, David Attenborough, Kingsley Amis, Kenneth Williams, Douglas Adams, John Mortimer, Neil Kinnock, Katharine Whitehorn, Malcolm Muggeridge and Lord George-Brown.
The programme uses former BBC staff announcers or actors to read the quotations. Ronald Fletcher was the original reader. In recent years the main male reader has been Peter Jefferson, formerly of Radio 4, who took over from William Franklyn when the actor died in 2006, though Charlotte Green has taken over the role from the beginning of Series 50 in August 2014. Former Radio 3 announcer Patricia Hughes was another regular, starting in 1994.
A number of significant comedy producers have supervised the programme early in their careers, including John Lloyd (deviser of QI), TV executive Geoffrey Perkins, Have I Got News for You producer Harry Thompson and Armando Iannucci.
The programme's theme tune, between which snatches of quotations are inserted at the beginning of each show, is "Duddly Dell", written and performed by Dudley Moore — the B-side of the single "Strictly for the Birds" (1961).