Noel QI


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Noel

Sandi Toksvig hosts the QI Christmas special with guests Josh Widdicombe, Susan Calman, Matt Lucas and Alan Davies.


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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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Good evening! Happy Christmas! Joyeux Noel

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and welcome to QI.

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The turkey is in the oven, this Queen's speech is on YuleTube

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and it's time to see what's under the tree.

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You'll never guess who, Josh Widdicombe.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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A...bit of a know-all, Susan Calman.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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-X marks the spot, Matt Lucas.

-Hello!

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It's me! It's actually me!

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And a Christmas cracker, Alan Davies.

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Hello.

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WHISTLING AND APPLAUSE

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Right, let's hear their festive buzzers. Josh goes...

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# Dashing through the snow... #

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-Susan goes...

-# In a one-horse open sleigh... #

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LAUGHTER Matt goes...

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# O'er the fields we go... #

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And Alan goes...

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-CHILD'S VOICE:

-Are we nearly there yet?

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LAUGHTER

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So, God aften, velkomst to QI, or Glaedelig Jul.

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Yes indeed, this year, we have gone all Danish.

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The panel are dressed as nisse,

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which is the traditional Danish Christmas elf, and I have to say,

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this is a very Danish thing,

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we have a little competition on Christmas Eve...

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-Ooh.

-..to see who can find the whole almond.

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LAUGHTER

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It's not fun when you actually play it,

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but the winner gets a marzipan pig. There we are.

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Isn't that fantastic? LAUGHTER

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Oh, yes, please.

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Can I ask, where am I going to have to search for the full almond?

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Don't you worry about the almond, but the prize today,

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-the marzipan pig, is rather fine.

-It is.

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So, we shall be doing that and goodness knows what else besides.

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Now, a recent survey asked the British public what Christmas

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tradition should be preserved. Number three, paper decorations.

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Number two, carols, but number one was parlour games.

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-Oh, no.

-Right? Yes, so, let's try a parlour game to get us started.

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One Victorian parlour game was called taboo.

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You were asked a question and had to answer without using

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a taboo letter of the alphabet.

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Our taboo letter tonight is obviously N,

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so please answer the following questions

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without using the letter N. Matt,

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name a tasty yellow fruit grown mostly in the Caribbean

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and Central America.

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In the Philippines its name has been corrupted to bayabus.

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Is it, um, a bu-art-a?

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LAUGHTER

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I'm trying to think what's nice and yellow. Crisps.

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-I'm going for crisps.

-LAUGHTER

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-Yes, as a tasty yellow fruit.

-Yes.

-So, no, the answer is guava...

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-Ah.

-..is the answer we were...

-Oh, there is an answer?

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There is an answer! LAUGHTER

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I've been playing this game wrong for years.

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-It isn't banana at all. The answer is guava...

-Guava.

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..is the fruit that we were looking for.

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In the Philippines, it has been corrupted to bayabus.

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-Do you know what the Filipinos call bananas?

-No.

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LAUGHTER

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-They call them bananas. I could've got you with that one...

-Yeah.

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-..had you fallen for it.

-So, Sandi, even in counter...

-Yes.

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-..in cross-examination...

-Yes.

-..the rules of the game still apply.

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-No, just the answer, just the answer.

-Just the answer.

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But a supplementary counts as well, cos you said you could've got...

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It will do with you. Here's your question...

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LAUGHTER

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-Susa Calma.

-LAUGHTER

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Susan, what do you call a woman who looked after Victorian children

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whose mothers were social equals,

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but couldn't be arsed to do the job themselves?

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Well, I would call them the help.

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LAUGHTER

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Which is nice, but not the correct term.

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Well, then I would call them...

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SUSAN GIGGLES

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You've got such a gaze, Sandi! It's like the eye of Sauron.

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LAUGHTER

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Sorry, but Sauron's got an N in it.

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Oh, come on!

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I would've said the nanny, or a governess...

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-Oh...

-Yes.

-ALARM RINGS

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-I was actually cajoled into that.

-You were.

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So, not nanny, obviously,

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because how many Ns have you got there, Susan?

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-At least two.

-At least two.

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Also, not social equal, a nanny.

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It's au pair.

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-JOSH:

-Oh, no...

-Au pair.

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Oh, Josh! Don't start with your,

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"Oh, it was on the tip of my tongue there"!

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-It's been around since the 1840s...

-Has it?

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Well, it literally means social equal, au pair.

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-Does it?

-Yes.

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Have you met our social equal? She's really, really fit.

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LAUGHTER

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He's only run off with a social equal.

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LAUGHTER

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So, nobody doing very well,

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but I'm relying on Josh to get this one right.

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-Watch and learn.

-OK, here we go...

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SUSAN LAUGHS

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..what do you call a Roman Catholic religious woman

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who has taken simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience?

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Is it the au pair?

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LAUGHTER

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No, it's guava.

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LAUGHTER

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Oh, it's difficult, isn't it, now? Yeah.

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Yeah, not so quick with the answers now, are we?

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Tracy?

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LAUGHTER

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-Um, oh, go on, then. Nun.

-Nun...

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-ALARM

-Yeah.

-No.

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-No.

-So, here's the thing, the answer is a sister.

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So a nun has taken solemn vows, but a sister has taken simple vows.

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It's a technical difference to do with the repudiation of property.

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So a nun's SOLEMN vow repudiates property absolutely.

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A sister's SIMPLE vow allows her to reserve an interest.

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LAUGHTER

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She's hedging her bets, Josh. Hedging her bets, that one.

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-Right, Alan.

-Yes.

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Name any of the digits in the common emergency telephone number.

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It's like you can see the brain working.

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111. Oh, no, that's got Ns in...

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ALARM AND APPLAUSE

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-Oh...

-So, what's the difference?

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-There's an emergency number which is?

-999.

-999.

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ALARM

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They're great guys, they're great guys.

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LAUGHTER

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-But the common emergency telephone number is 112.

-Is it?

-Yes.

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So you can use it on a mobile phone, even if it's locked

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-or you haven't got a SIM card...

-It's got Ns in, 112.

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Well, I asked you to name any of the digits in the common emergency...

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-Oh, come on!

-So you could've said

-2. Oh, my word.

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INDISTINCT WAILING SOUND

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Two.

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LAUGHTER

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Well, it's Christmas, so Alan wins that one. There we go.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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We can dispense with our nisse hats, I think, for the moment.

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We might have some more parlour games a little bit later, you'll be glad to hear.

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Meanwhile, who are Spoon Licker, Doorway Sniffer,

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Sausage Swiper and Meat Hook?

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# ..The snow... #

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-Yes, Josh?

-Is that how you refer to us four?

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LAUGHTER

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And if so, name names.

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Yes!

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If you have to describe us, Sandi,

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which one of us would be the Sausage Swiper?

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LAUGHTER

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# We go...

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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I was being so careful...

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Are they reindeer?

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No, they're not reindeer, but it is obviously a Christmassy...

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-I think I know the answer, kind of.

-Yes, go.

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I think it's something to do with Iceland and Christmas.

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It is something to do with Iceland and Christmas.

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Does anybody have any ideas what it might be? Josh, yes?

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Is that the food they sell in Iceland at Christmas?

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LAUGHTER

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I bet whoever got Doorway Sniffer hasn't gone...

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-Ooh.

-Yes?

-Is it the nativity people?

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Yes, those are all the people who turned up to meet Jesus.

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LAUGHTER

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-I'm not going to lie to you!

-Yes.

-When I said it, I thought... I'm right!

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LAUGHTER

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And now I've never felt so stupid in all my life.

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It is what I call a random Scandinavian fact,

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it's a Randy Scandy.

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These are four of the Icelandic 13 Santas.

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They are called the Yule Lads. There they are, there's a Yule Lad.

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And each of them leaves a gift for the children

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on successive nights, starting on December the 12th.

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And there are some fantastic names, there's also Pot Scraper,

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and Bowl Licker, Sheep Cot Clod...

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Window Peeper, I worry about... LAUGHTER

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It's more of a gift for him, really, I think.

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Anyway, what's the worst thing about Christmas lights?

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-Oh, they get terribly tangled up, don't they?

-They do.

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The worst thing I've encountered about Christmas lights

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is they get in the way of the remote control.

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-They do, they do interfere with your Wi-Fi. JOSH:

-Do they?

-Yes.

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The microwaves which come from your Wi-Fi router are quite weak

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and they can get locked by stronger signals, and indeed

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the Christmas lights would be a stronger signal.

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The man across the road from me changes my channel on my television.

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You must ask him not to sit next to you.

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-LAUGHTER

-No!

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He sits across the road and he changes my channel.

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Highland games for you.

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LAUGHTER

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So, it is the Wi-Fi, but that's not the first thing on the list.

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It's environmental cost, is the real thing.

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It's Incredible. So the US Energy Department,

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they did a study in 2008, and over the whole of the United States

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a staggering 6.63 billion kilowatt hours of electricity use,

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so that is twice as much electricity as Cambodia uses in a year.

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MURMURING FROM AUDIENCE

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-Just for the Christmas lights.

-It's very dark there, though, isn't it?

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Cambodia? LAUGHTER

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Well, it's also more than the annual use in lots of countries,

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-Ethiopia, El Salvador, Tanzania...

-I don't like, really...

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-Don't like what?

-They go a bit overboard, don't they?

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Oh, when they do the whole house it makes me crazy.

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-What I don't mind is a moving reindeer.

-Yes.

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LAUGHTER

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-I don't mind that.

-So you work on that impression all year

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-and then you bring it out at Christmas.

-What's this? What's this?

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LAUGHTER

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Moving reindeer! Every year.

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Christmas lights are also responsible for

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a great many injuries, so...

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-Tripping up, burning...

-Oh, my goodness. Yes.

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I mean, he's gone the wrong side up a ladder.

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LAUGHTER

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He's only got himself to blame. This is nothing to do with the lights.

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He's looked at the manual and just got it the wrong way round.

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LAUGHTER

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This ladder is shit!

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LAUGHTER

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So, lots of people injured putting up Christmas lights.

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-The average victim is a 55-year-old man.

-Well.

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Is he the one that lives across from Susan?

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LAUGHTER

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And now for a bit of a Danish Christmas parlour game.

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Or rather we're going to turn it into a parlour game.

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So, there is a Danish tradition... We celebrate Christmas Eve,

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and then we all hold hands and we sing standing around the tree.

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So we're going to give this a go,

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but we're going to do it in a very QI manner, and in order to help us,

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please welcome, from Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Helen and Steve.

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APPLAUSE

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OK...

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So, the really important thing, Helen,

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is that we have to hold hands and sing. OK, are you happy with this?

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-All right.

-This experiment works best if you hold hands and sing.

-OK.

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But we're going to start off telling you what we've got.

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-Over here I've got an amplifier.

-Right.

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Going into that is some traditional Danish Christmas music.

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-Thank you very much.

-Over there, another amplifier, coming out of that is a speaker.

-OK.

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And normally you'd use a speaker cable to connect the two.

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-I've taken that speaker cable and I've cut it in half.

-Half?

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-Is that exposed wiring, Helen?

-Yeah. But we've made it safe.

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-I would say don't try this at home.

-OK.

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What I need to do is I need to give you that bare wire...

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-It really is perfectly OK? All right.

-Yes, absolutely fine.

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We have measured the current going through this,

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it's either so low that our meter can't read it,

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-or our meter's broken.

-LAUGHTER

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So can I get you to hold that bare wire? So you've got bare wires...

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I love you, Mum.

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LAUGHTER

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-I just need you to touch the bare wires...

-It's seriously OK to do this?

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-OK.

-Absolutely. Just touch them together.

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GENTLE FESTIVE MUSIC

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Ah, that's lovely. That's a song we sing when we go round the tree.

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Um...

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-OK. And if I let go?

-Everyone else's whelm is very much under.

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LAUGHTER Yes, cos so far

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all I've done is connect up the speaker wire.

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What I can do is, Stephen,

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-you could give that to Josh and I will take this round...

-OK.

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Now, Matt, if you could take out your hand and grasp...

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Don't, Josh!

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LAUGHTER DROWNS SPEECH

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No! OK.

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-OK?

-No! No, it's fine.

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Ah! No, it's fine.

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LAUGHTER

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This is where you get to hold hands.

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Let's find out if it works. So, if you can link up.

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So, Matt, you hold Susan's hand.

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My hair's already fallen out, but for you guys, who knows?

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-It's the spirit of Christmas...

-STATIC NOISE

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GENTLE FESTIVE MUSIC

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APPLAUSE

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Susan was looking very sceptical.

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MUSIC RESUMES

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APPLAUSE

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Have you got any Wham?

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LAUGHTER Why does it work?

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Humans are about 70% water and that means your skin's about 70% water,

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but water's not a very good conductor of electricity,

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but salty water is, so the sweatier you are...

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the better this works.

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That was absolutely fantastic.

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The Festival of the Spoken Nerd!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Scary, that was actually quite scary.

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I'm telling my mum that you made me do that.

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LAUGHTER

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Right, what's this Christmassy noise?

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INDISTINCT SPLUTTERING SOUND

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# We go...

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-Matt?

-That is after the Christmas meal when you've fallen asleep...

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LAUGHTER

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That's Grandpa farting, isn't it? Let's be honest.

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ALARM AND LAUGHTER

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APPLAUSE

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Thank you.

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-It's a pony.

-JOSH:

-Yeah, is it a reindeer?

-It's a pony or a reindeer.

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You think it's a reindeer? It is a creature.

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It's the death throes of a turkey.

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LAUGHTER

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You are the closest, you are the closest at the moment, it is a bird,

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-but it's a bird that might appear...

-A robin?

-..in a song?

-Partridge.

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It is a partridge. It is absolutely, it is the sound...

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-So, I...

-Rrrr!

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-Do you want to hear it one more time?

-Yes.

-Oh, yes.

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SPLUTTERING SOUND

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-That is the sound of a partridge Farting.

-..taking off.

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-Oh, taking off? Oh!

-Yeah.

0:15:200:15:22

So here is the extraordinary thing, it comes from the Greek word... ALAN BLOWS A RASPBERRY

0:15:220:15:26

LAUGHTER

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That's how they get themselves going.

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-Go...

-ALAN BLOWS A RASPBERRY

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LAUGHTER

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So here's the weird thing, Alan, it comes from the Greek, perdesthai,

0:15:360:15:39

-which means to break wind.

-Shut the front door.

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Partridge, the word partridge means to break wind.

0:15:420:15:46

And it gets its name from the rapid fluttering noise it makes when it flies away.

0:15:460:15:50

-ALAN BLOWS A SMALL RASPBERRY

-Partridge...

0:15:500:15:52

LAUGHTER

0:15:520:15:54

Time for another parlour game! Are you there, Moriarty?

0:15:540:15:58

This is a British one which I frankly don't understand. OK.

0:15:580:16:02

So, you are blindfolded, you hold each others' left hands,

0:16:020:16:07

one of you shouts out, "Are you there, Moriarty?"

0:16:070:16:09

The other one shouts, "Yes"

0:16:090:16:10

And the one who said, "Are you there Moriarty?"

0:16:100:16:12

then tries to hit them with the newspaper.

0:16:120:16:14

LAUGHTER

0:16:140:16:15

I'll be shouter.

0:16:150:16:17

OK. You take turns, you take turns.

0:16:170:16:19

Oh, all right, OK.

0:16:190:16:20

I mean, obviously I'm going to have to hit the target, but I'm not

0:16:200:16:23

sure how comfortable I am hitting a woman on national television.

0:16:230:16:26

It's Susan, you'll be all right.

0:16:260:16:27

LAUGHTER

0:16:270:16:29

-Right.

-Think about the man over the road!

-Oh, thanks.

0:16:300:16:33

-Left hands held.

-Give me your hand.

-Left hand.

-Left hands held.

0:16:330:16:37

-OK.

-OK, good.

0:16:370:16:38

Are you there, Moriarty?

0:16:380:16:40

Yes!

0:16:400:16:41

LAUGHTER

0:16:410:16:43

-Do I try again?

-You try again, that's it.

0:16:440:16:47

Sorry...

0:16:470:16:49

-Go on, Susan.

-Are you there, Moriarty?

-No, I'm not. No.

0:16:490:16:53

LAUGHTER

0:16:530:16:54

No, I've left! Ow! Ow!

0:16:540:16:58

-Do you know what?

-Yes?

0:16:580:16:59

I'd love the idea that someone has turned on this for the first time and gone...

0:16:590:17:03

LAUGHTER

0:17:030:17:04

"It's really changed without Stephen, hasn't it?"

0:17:050:17:08

LAUGHTER

0:17:080:17:10

Uncle Stephen would never have allowed this.

0:17:100:17:12

-SUSAN:

-Ow! Ow!

0:17:120:17:15

-Ow! Ow!

-Fascinating. This is good, this is good.

0:17:150:17:19

-I've found her, so I don't need to...

-Right, you two, come on, let's have a go.

0:17:190:17:22

-Do we stand up?

-So... No...

-Ow!

-LAUGHTER

0:17:220:17:26

I think Alan's won.

0:17:260:17:27

So now hold left hands.

0:17:290:17:30

I'm not going near him, he's an animal!

0:17:300:17:32

-Hold left hands. OK.

-Got you.

0:17:320:17:35

-So, Josh shouts, "Are you there, Moriarty?"

-Are you there, Moriarty?

0:17:350:17:39

Ow.

0:17:390:17:40

Ow!

0:17:400:17:41

-No. Alan...

-What?

-So, you have to say...

-How am I doing?

0:17:410:17:44

LAUGHTER

0:17:440:17:46

-SUSAN:

-You missed!

0:17:460:17:47

Let me just do it again.

0:17:470:17:49

Josh is going to shout, "Are you there, Moriarty?"

0:17:490:17:51

Alan's going to shout, "Yes", to indicate his location,

0:17:510:17:54

and then he's going to try and escape Josh hitting him.

0:17:540:17:56

OK? Right, Josh.

0:17:560:17:58

-Er, are you there, Moriarty?

-Yes.

-Now, try and escape.

0:17:580:18:01

LAUGHTER

0:18:010:18:03

-Just one hit!

-Ow!

0:18:030:18:05

LAUGHTER

0:18:050:18:07

I don't want to... Ow!

0:18:070:18:09

LAUGHTER

0:18:090:18:11

Ow!

0:18:150:18:16

LAUGHTER CONTINUES

0:18:160:18:19

No!

0:18:220:18:23

APPLAUSE

0:18:260:18:29

Josh, you were rubbish at that game. You were rubbish.

0:18:360:18:39

I don't want to turn this into a Carry On film,

0:18:390:18:40

but mine wasn't as rigid as Alan's.

0:18:400:18:42

LAUGHTER

0:18:420:18:44

I'm not sure that was the problem...

0:18:450:18:47

I think the, the overall winner of that is Alan.

0:18:470:18:50

APPLAUSE

0:18:500:18:52

This is great. Are you all right?

0:18:520:18:54

Now, what does a Siberian getaway car look like?

0:18:570:19:02

-Some sort of a sled-y thing?

-Is it huskies?

-It is a sled thing, it's not huskies.

0:19:020:19:05

-SUSAN:

-Reindeer? Cats!

-It is reindeer.

0:19:050:19:08

-JOSH:

-"Cats"!

-Apparently, the local indigenous population are very,

0:19:080:19:12

very skilled at reindeer driving and reindeer sleighs are faster

0:19:120:19:16

over snow than police snowmobiles.

0:19:160:19:19

In fact, in 2014, the Moscow Times reported there were plans

0:19:190:19:22

afoot for a police reindeer division...

0:19:220:19:24

-to tackle this specific...

-I bet they look lovely in their wee hats.

0:19:240:19:28

-Oh, yes, and blue lights.

-Yeah.

0:19:280:19:30

Blue lights on the reindeer, that would be very...

0:19:300:19:32

-JOSH:

-Or just the nose, going like that.

0:19:320:19:34

LAUGHTER

0:19:340:19:36

I had a chance encounter with a reindeer once.

0:19:380:19:40

In the Arctic, and here's the thing that is extraordinary about them,

0:19:400:19:43

they've got hairy noses.

0:19:430:19:44

-They don't have shiny, moist noses.

-Aw!

0:19:440:19:47

They've got these really delightful hairy noses.

0:19:470:19:50

They're also unique amongst deer in that they are actually

0:19:500:19:52

attracted to the smell of human urine.

0:19:520:19:55

Er, I guess if you wanted to lure a reindeer to you,

0:19:550:19:59

-that would be the way.

-Let's do it now! Let's do it now!

0:19:590:20:02

Someone pee there and we'll see if one comes.

0:20:020:20:05

It's Christmas!

0:20:050:20:07

Excellent.

0:20:070:20:08

Right, that's the turkey dinner out of the way,

0:20:080:20:11

let's fall asleep in the comfy armchair of General Ignorance.

0:20:110:20:14

-Josh, last year...

-Yes.

0:20:140:20:15

-..you told us all about the hairy hands of Dartmoor.

-Yes.

0:20:150:20:19

Is that right?

0:20:190:20:20

They grab the steering wheel of your car and drive you off the road.

0:20:200:20:23

I wonder if you could just remind us which road you said it was.

0:20:230:20:26

Er, the B3021?

0:20:260:20:28

Yes...

0:20:280:20:30

ALARM AND LAUGHTER

0:20:300:20:31

This is, I can promise you,

0:20:340:20:36

one of the finest quibbles that QI has ever received.

0:20:360:20:38

There is a gentleman called Ian Dunn who has written in to point out that

0:20:380:20:42

the hairy hands of Dartmoor actually haunt the B3212 and not the B3021.

0:20:420:20:48

LAUGHTER

0:20:480:20:50

You are...

0:20:500:20:51

APPLAUSE

0:20:510:20:53

I'm afraid you're having points docked this time.

0:20:550:20:58

-What? Posthumously?

-Yes. It couldn't be more wrong,

0:20:580:21:02

the B3212 runs across Dartmoor between Exeter

0:21:020:21:05

and Yeovilton via the hamlet of Postbridge,

0:21:050:21:07

-that's where the hairy hands hang out.

-Of course, yeah.

-The B3021

0:21:070:21:10

I'm afraid goes from Old Windsor to Datchet in Berkshire.

0:21:100:21:13

Remember that, the next time you make a joke.

0:21:130:21:15

LAUGHTER

0:21:150:21:16

Can I just say that he watched me talk about these ghost hands

0:21:160:21:20

that appear and drive you off the road and his quibble

0:21:200:21:22

-was with the number of the road?

-Yes.

0:21:220:21:25

You didn't just let Ian down, or the show down,

0:21:250:21:28

you've let yourself down, haven't you?

0:21:280:21:29

In many ways, I think I've let Jesus down.

0:21:290:21:31

-LAUGHTER

-Yes, I know.

0:21:310:21:33

And his hairy hands!

0:21:330:21:35

LAUGHTER

0:21:350:21:37

And now for another of those Christmas traditions that

0:21:380:21:41

people want to preserve, cutting decorations out of paper.

0:21:410:21:44

So you should have some scissors and some paper.

0:21:440:21:46

And here is my question, if I want to make a five-pointed star,

0:21:460:21:50

how many straight lines would I need to cut?

0:21:500:21:53

I tell you what, these would've been a game-changer

0:21:530:21:56

in Are You There, Moriarty? Wouldn't they?

0:21:560:21:58

LAUGHTER

0:21:580:22:00

So how many cuts do we think? It's a five-pointed star.

0:22:010:22:04

That's two so far, Sandi.

0:22:040:22:06

-OK.

-I'll do a couple more now. There's another one.

0:22:060:22:10

-How are you doing?

-Great, Sandi.

0:22:100:22:13

Got the solution immediately.

0:22:130:22:15

-Here we go, here we go.

-Oh, no!

0:22:150:22:18

LAUGHTER

0:22:180:22:20

MUTED APPLAUSE

0:22:210:22:23

Oh, that's very good.

0:22:260:22:28

It looks more like a person, a sort of happy person jumping.

0:22:280:22:31

SUSAN LAUGHS

0:22:310:22:33

What is that?

0:22:330:22:35

-What is that, Josh?

-I don't know.

0:22:350:22:37

It looks like that London 2012 logo, doesn't it?

0:22:390:22:42

LAUGHTER

0:22:420:22:43

So the answer is one.

0:22:450:22:46

The Fold And Cut Theorem states

0:22:460:22:49

that any shape composed of straight lines

0:22:490:22:51

can be made using a single cut,

0:22:510:22:53

if you can just figure out which way to fold the paper.

0:22:530:22:55

So all you need to do, here they are, is just cut along the red line.

0:22:550:22:59

-Just cut along the red line.

-I've done it.

-So, one cut...

0:22:590:23:03

I've done it.

0:23:030:23:04

ALAN CRIES OUT

0:23:040:23:06

LAUGHTER

0:23:080:23:10

Well that's... What is that?

0:23:100:23:12

LAUGHTER

0:23:120:23:13

They've all done it! What's wrong with you all?

0:23:170:23:21

-Oh, yeah, no.

-We've got the wrong bit!

-The wrong bit of paper.

0:23:220:23:26

I got the wrong bit as well.

0:23:280:23:29

-Who's got it? Who's got the star?

-Me.

-There we go.

0:23:290:23:32

From one single cut you can get a five-point star.

0:23:320:23:36

And there is a presumably apocryphal story, Betsy Ross,

0:23:360:23:41

the woman who is alleged to have made the very first American flag,

0:23:410:23:44

was discussing the design for the flag with George Washington,

0:23:440:23:47

and he said, "Could you do a six-pointed star?"

0:23:470:23:49

And she said, "A five-point would be easier", and she showed him

0:23:490:23:52

by folding a piece of cloth in that manner, and that is why

0:23:520:23:55

the modern flag has the five-point star.

0:23:550:23:57

There's a problem with this story, if you go to Philadelphia,

0:23:570:24:00

you can visit Betsy Ross' house, but it's almost certain that she didn't

0:24:000:24:03

live there and probably didn't make the flag, but there we are...

0:24:030:24:05

LAUGHTER Other than that...

0:24:050:24:06

American history in a nutshell.

0:24:060:24:09

LAUGHTER

0:24:090:24:10

Susan, I want you to have my star and also be my girlfriend, please.

0:24:100:24:14

Susan, be very careful.

0:24:140:24:16

He's the man from over the road!

0:24:180:24:20

LAUGHTER

0:24:200:24:21

Do you know what?

0:24:230:24:24

I always used to get quite lonely at Christmas cos I didn't have

0:24:240:24:26

a date and I don't feel lonely this Christmas because I've got you now.

0:24:260:24:30

Brilliant. We are boyfriend and girlfriend.

0:24:300:24:33

APPLAUSE

0:24:330:24:34

There you go.

0:24:350:24:37

That's the most uncertain round of applause.

0:24:370:24:39

I didn't want it to come to this, but Alan...

0:24:390:24:42

LAUGHTER

0:24:420:24:43

APPLAUSE

0:24:480:24:50

OK, how would you consume the original Humpty Dumpty?

0:24:510:24:56

Is it that he wasn't an egg? He was something else?

0:24:560:24:58

Is correct. Yes.

0:24:580:25:00

It's always been a sort of a nickname,

0:25:000:25:02

but it wasn't an egg. In fact, in the early depictions of the rhyme,

0:25:020:25:06

he's actually depicted as a child.

0:25:060:25:08

There he is, not looking entirely content.

0:25:080:25:10

Some people think it might have been a story about Richard III

0:25:100:25:13

depicted as humpbacked in Tudor histories, and he was defeated,

0:25:130:25:16

and despite all his king's men and horses, at the Battle of Bosworth.

0:25:160:25:20

Oh, isn't he gorgeous?

0:25:200:25:23

So when did it start becoming about an egg?

0:25:230:25:25

Because it's an egg, isn't it?

0:25:250:25:27

Well, we now think of it as an egg,

0:25:270:25:28

but the earlier citation in the OED is for a drink made with ale,

0:25:280:25:35

boiled with brandy...

0:25:350:25:36

-Yes, please.

-And I have some here.

0:25:360:25:39

And I have five glasses.

0:25:410:25:42

Oh, yes.

0:25:420:25:43

Are you sharing it out or just having a brilliant time?

0:25:430:25:46

I am sharing it out.

0:25:460:25:47

-So here is the thing as well, the traditional...

-Keep pouring!

0:25:470:25:52

The traditional food that is eaten at a Danish Christmas

0:25:520:25:55

is something called aebleskiver.

0:25:550:25:57

They are a little tiny, like a pancake thing,

0:25:570:26:00

which you have in jam,

0:26:000:26:02

and these have been made for me by a brilliant Danish chef,

0:26:020:26:05

Bronte Aurell, from the Scandinavian Kitchen in London,

0:26:050:26:07

who's here in the audience. Where are you, Bronte? Give us a wave.

0:26:070:26:10

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:26:100:26:12

Brilliant.

0:26:120:26:13

-Have a glass, there we are.

-Then took the jam on your head...

0:26:130:26:16

There you go.

0:26:160:26:18

-There we go.

-Thank you.

0:26:180:26:20

-Say it's medicinal.

-Oh, God, that's horrific.

0:26:200:26:24

LAUGHTER

0:26:240:26:26

SLURRING So, Humpty Dumpty was originally a mixture...

0:26:260:26:29

This is lovely, isn't it?

0:26:290:26:31

I never had a happy childhood, I wasn't happy.

0:26:310:26:35

THEY TALK OVER EACH OTHER I didn't like you, either! OK...

0:26:350:26:38

Let's all just get a taxi...

0:26:390:26:42

SUSAN SLURS

0:26:430:26:45

LAUGHTER

0:26:470:26:48

Humpty Dumpty was originally a drink...

0:26:500:26:52

of ale and brandy and you consumed it like this. Cheers to everybody.

0:26:540:26:58

-Cheers.

-Skol!

-Cheers.

-Cheers...

0:26:580:27:01

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:27:010:27:04

OK, so, that brings us to the matter of the festive scores,

0:27:060:27:09

and here's what I've decided, it's Christmas, so everybody is a winner.

0:27:090:27:14

First equal to everybody,

0:27:140:27:16

but the marzipan pig goes to the man of the hour,

0:27:160:27:20

Alan Davies.

0:27:200:27:22

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:27:220:27:25

Go on, eat it, Alan.

0:27:260:27:28

QI THEME TUNE AND APPLAUSE

0:27:300:27:31

OK.

0:27:340:27:35

So, it's thanks to Susan, Matt, Josh and Alan.

0:27:370:27:39

Now, Christmas is a time of togetherness, so I thought we could

0:27:390:27:42

end the show tonight by solving a Christmas equation together, OK?

0:27:420:27:47

Are you ready? Here we go. So, Alan, let's have a quick look.

0:27:470:27:50

Here is an equation. What would you like to do with that equation?

0:27:500:27:54

LAUGHTER

0:27:540:27:56

-I would... Now...

-Yes?

-I would multiply both sides by R squared...

0:27:570:28:02

OK, we're going to multiply both sides by R squared.

0:28:020:28:05

There we go. Right, Josh?

0:28:050:28:07

-Er, well, LN is obviously the natural log.

-SUSAN:

-Whoo!

0:28:070:28:11

-ALAN BLOWS A RASPBERRY

-Yeah...

0:28:120:28:14

-So if we raise both sides to the power of the natural log...

-Yeah.

0:28:170:28:21

-..which is, the base is E...

-Yeah.

-Cancels out, doesn't it?

0:28:210:28:24

OK, well, fancy. It does, yes, like that? Is that what do you mean?

0:28:240:28:28

THEY TALK OVER EACH OTHER OK, so, very good, Matt.

0:28:280:28:30

Well, I am going to propose we multiply both sides by M.

0:28:300:28:35

Oh. OK, excellent. Susan?

0:28:350:28:37

Well...

0:28:390:28:41

-we've all had a lovely time.

-Yes.

0:28:410:28:43

LAUGHTER

0:28:430:28:45

-SLURRING

-It's Christmas...

0:28:450:28:47

I just love you all.

0:28:470:28:49

I think we should go a bit mad and expand the R squared.

0:28:500:28:55

Expand the R squared thing and there we are,

0:28:550:28:57

you've only had it on cue, Merry Christmas, everybody!

0:28:570:29:00

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:29:000:29:03