Stephen Fry hosts the mind-expanding quiz in which the aim is to be interesting. Stephen plays I-Spy with Sandi Toksvig, Lee Mack, Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies.
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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening
and welcome to QI, where tonight, once again, the Is have it.
I spy with my little eye the illustrious Sandi Toksvig!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
The indubitable Jimmy Carr!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Thank you.
The incorrigible Lee Mack!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Thank you.
And the 'ilarious Alan Davies.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And I hear with my little ear their buzzers. Sandi goes...
-And Alan goes...
"# I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts"
Don't forget your Nobody Knows Joker.
FANFARE "Nobody knows!"
That's the one. There is a question to which the answer is, "Nobody knows"
and if you can predict which that question is and wave your banner, you'll get points.
And so to question I, I mean question one. No, I was right the first time.
What's the difference between an ai and an aye-aye?
Have you heard of an ai? It's a very useful word in Scrabble.
-Yes. Oh, yes! It's a sloth.
-A sloth! Exactly. But what about an aye-aye?
All right, so we've got the ai. Where does the ai live?
-Where does it live?
-In a tree.
-Yeah. In which part of the world would you expect to find it?
They're wonderful things. They look like humans dressed in a sloth costume.
But to be fair, you could say that about any animal. A giraffe looks like a human in a giraffe costume.
-You look at a picture of an ai and I think you'll see what I mean.
-That does look like a person in a costume.
-He's climbing a tree which looks like a man dressed as a tree.
He also looks like he's made of that stuff they used to make dish mops out of.
-Their heads are very disproportionate.
They live up to their name. They're very lazy. They only come down to defecate.
-They come down from a tree to defecate?
-The benefit of living in a tree is you can...
-Poo on whomever you like?
-Maybe they've got a downstairs toilet.
-Hadn't thought of that, had you?
-Once you've had it put in, you want to use it.
Very unusually for mammals, they need to bask in the sun to warm up their metabolism.
So that's the ai. We've got the ai. But tell me about the aye-aye.
-Is it spelt the same as the ai?
-Obviously there's more letters.
-And I happen to have been and seen one.
Very few people have, cos it's one of the most endangered species.
-Is it a Geordie version of that?
-Aye-aye? No, that's the why-aye.
-Are we in the same part of the world?
-We're not in the same part of the world.
-Is it a sloth?
It's more closely related to us. It's a primate.
-But it's not an ape or a monkey. What other kinds...
-Is it the aye-aye orang-utan?
-Lemur. It's a lemur.
-Therefore, it must come from only one place on earth.
It looks like someone's put some water on a gremlin.
That's exactly right. Which you know you mustn't do.
-I would think that the animal on the left has an easier job getting a well-fitting hat.
-LAUGHTER And a girlfriend.
-That may be why the aye-aye is so endangered.
-That's the only place you get lemurs.
You can't see there, but they have the most extraordinary middle finger which is fully extended
and looks like a dried twig. Really unusual. They tap with their finger on the barks of trees
and bring out little worms and grubs which they catch and eat off their finger,
-like a piece of cutlery.
-So nature has designed them to eat Hula Hoops?
Zoologists would say they fill the niche that woodpeckers filled in other environments.
There are superstitions about them, that if you... Pardon me. If I did this to you, or this,
-if one of those did that to you, that'd be...
It's called the Fady, which is the taboo system of the local people,
and because they're nocturnal creatures and because they look so weird,
they regard them as a curse and they have a habit of killing them.
-It does look like a really bad hair transplant.
Well, I'm not surprised people kill them.
Never mind superstition, if you walk across a street doing that, you're going to get a guy going,
-"I can take him on."
-And also, I'm not surprised they're endangered,
cos they're clearly not mating, are they? They're looking at each other and going, "I'd rather not".
-It is dark, remember.
-All the ugly ones come out in the dark.
-That's how Jimmy mates.
"I'm happy to do it, love, but it'll have to be with the lights off."
LAUGHTER I can't believe your wife told you that story.
-I even did that in a northern accent.
It's like watching two 1970s northern comics having a row.
-"Funny, cos your wife said..." "Your wife doesn't exist." "You what?"
-They do that on the streets of New York with "your mama".
-They do what with my mama?
-LAUGHTER Why don't you say "one's mama"?
-I'd love you to do that on the streets of New York.
-"Oh, one's mama to you!"
Yes. That'll jolly well show them!
Anyway, you didn't get that right, so let's try it again.
What's the difference between an "aye" and an "aye-aye"?
-It's the same question.
-Yes, but with different answers.
-Is it different answers?
-Oh. I don't know, then. LAUGHTER
-Maybe this time, aye-aye, sir. Is it "Aye-aye, sir" and "Aye, sir" are two different things?
That's the difference. In the navy... There's Kenneth Williams. A shining example!
Do you know how they separate the men from the boys in the navy? With a crowbar.
As you know, they say, "Aye" in the navy, but they also say, "Aye-aye".
And there is a difference and I want you to tell me what that difference is.
Does "Aye" mean yes, as in "What do you want?"
So you go, "You!" "Aye?" "Go and mop the floor." "Aye-aye."
Basically, yes. "Aye" is an agreement or an assent.
So the captain might say, "Nice morning, isn't it?" and the sailor would say, "Aye, sir."
But he might say, "Order hands to bathe" and then he'd go, "Aye-aye, sir"
-meaning, "I heard your order, I'll carry it out".
-Wash my hands.
-What does it mean?
All hands overboard. Sounds like, "Jump in the water".
-Hands are what you call the ship's company.
-All sailors have a bath together.
Yes, in the sea. "Hands to bathe" means, when they're in nice waters, they let the men swim in the sea.
But don't take your hats off. LAUGHTER
-Whatever you do!
-Don't take your hats off, the seagulls might need somewhere to land.
Are they singing a song while that's going on?
-If synchronised swimmers dressed like that, you'd think more of the sport.
-It'd get on TV more.
-Also, you could combine it with Total Wipeout.
You could run across the top as they're doing synchronised swimming.
More Is now. Why won't this woman stop staring at you?
BUZZER She's only human.
She's got her needs, like any woman. LAUGHTER
-Are we being suggested to say cos her eyes are following you around the room?
-Yeah, they do.
They don't literally follow you around the room,
but that experience is, wherever you are in relation to that painting,
-she is looking at you.
-What if you're behind her? Behind the painting?
That only works on paintings of owls. LAUGHTER
What's the most famous painting in the Wallace Collection in London?
You know you're looking at the wrong person, don't you? LAUGHTER
-Lee, I wasn't looking at you.
-Sometimes your eyes follow me round the room, Stephen.
-I honestly thought someone was stood behind me.
-It is the Cavalier?
-It is the Laughing Cavalier.
-The Laughing Cavalier?
-Very good. That has the same quality, as well.
It's true of a lot of portraits.
Surely any painting where the person is looking at the artist. It's not unique to that painting.
-No, it isn't.
-Any painting where the subject is looking towards the camera, for want of a better word.
But if you have a painting where someone's looking down, even if you get down to the eye level,
-it will never look at you.
-You would look mad in an art gallery doing that.
-LAUGHTER He's looking at me!
-Look at me!
-But it DOESN'T look at you.
-They only look at you when they're looking straight out.
-It's not like that in Scooby-Doo, though.
-There's somebody behind the painting and they really are following you around.
-In horror films.
-If you were to look at me now, and I walked over there
and you fixed your gaze forward, you wouldn't be looking at me. So you'd think it'd be true of the painting.
But you're not looking at the eyes of the painting,
you're looking through the eyes of the artist.
So wherever you stand, you look through the eyes of the artist, not your own eyes. Good night.
-Rather beautifully put.
-Stephen is three-dimensional and the painting is two-dimensional
-so that doesn't work.
-But I'm looking at you through my eyes.
So if I walk over there, I'm still looking at you through my eyes so it doesn't work.
But I'm not looking at HIS eyes, the subject's eyes -
I'm looking through the artist's eyes and they stay fixed at all times.
So it's like bending light. It's like having a telescope that bends round,
-you're looking through the artist's eyes.
-In a nice way, I'm going to say I don't think you fully understood.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
If you change the word "nice" to "patronising", that works. LAUGHTER
-And you're kind with the word "fully" cos I don't think I understood any of it.
-Anyway, we've got a little example of an optical illusion here.
If you photograph it in the right way, as you're about to see,
the eye plays extraordinary tricks on you.
So there it is. This is Einstein. There he is in profile.
And there's the inverted bit,
but hello, your eye tells you that's poking outwards, and yet it isn't.
That's the inside bit.
And your eye refuses to believe it until you get to that.
-Oh, you're twisting my melon, man.
-Isn't that extraordinary?
-Why does it do that?
-Because your brain is programmed to recognise human faces.
One of the first things babies do is look at faces, and you expect to see a face
-and even though you know it isn't a real face...
-..your brain fills in the gaps.
-I did it again.
-It's an astonishing illusion.
-Does it only work with Einstein?
-LAUGHTER Would it work with another man?
-It would work with any human being.
-It's very creepy.
-It's amazing, isn't it?
-But I can't believe it did the same trick twice.
-Listen, we're not going to fall for it this time.
-Not three times.
Outside, outside, outside, outside, outside.
-This is going to be inside, Lee. This one's inside.
How does he do it? How does he do it?
-It's so clever.
-He's so clever.
-We literally filmed this. You can see,
-that's all it is.
-This is a great trick. I might cut my head in half and scoop out my brain.
-What a wonderful thing. It would make the most wonderful blancmange.
Are we going to bother with the rest of the show? Cos I could happily just...
LAUGHTER I mean, it's lovely chatting and everything,
-and I love what we do, but let's just...
-Have you got any others apart from Einstein?
-No. But we can make the Queen happy or sad with a £5 note.
You can do this with your own £5 notes. We'll give you a demonstration. You do a little fold.
-Do you remember when they ran the Derby, her horse, Carlton House?
"It's winning, it's winning, it's going to win the Derby! Oh, bollocks."
-It came third and a Frenchman won.
-Does it only work on a fiver? Does it work on bigger money?
-It'll work on most denominations.
-And will it work on the Queen if you tilt HER?
-It will also work on the sovereign herself.
Is that why she looks so sad when she's bowing? Not that the Queen bows much.
-She's probably never bowed in her life.
-No, I've met her.
-Does she bow?
-She does, yes.
Another thing is to find out where and how we look.
There is a whole science called gaze detection.
-No, I do not...
-LAUGHTER Don't even look at me.
-It's a science, is it, Stephen?
-It's actually a "dar" I believe.
-No, not the gaydar.
Gaze detection. G-A-Z-E.
And there are tests done between men and women and the different way they look at bodies.
When women look at a human being, they look at their faces.
-When men look at a human being...
-I know this.
Yes. Yes, they...
-I'm afraid they look at their faces and their groins.
And their groins. And the American Kennel Association, even more disturbingly,
found that when looking at animals, women look at the dog's face,
men look at the dog's face and genitals.
There are some things you can't hide.
And gaze detection is most important commercially, though, for what?
For the new idea that I've just had of writing advertising slogans on ladies' groins.
-We're going to be rich, Stephen!
-It's not just ladies' groins.
-Men look at men's groins, as well.
-I'm afraid they do.
-You wouldn't get much of a slogan on a Chihuahua, would you?
-You wouldn't get much of a slogan on me, never mind the Chihuahua.
-Why, though? Why do boys look at dogs' genitals?
-This is news to us.
LAUGHTER This is news to all of us. There's not one man in the room
thinking this is observational comedy, going, "That's me". LAUGHTER
-We're all going, "What? We look at dogs' genitals?"
-You may not know you do it, but you do it.
This is what the experiments show. It's most useful in merchandising in supermarkets,
to see that there are certain areas in any store
where people are automatically drawn and therefore they are the most valuable,
so the items that go there are the ones that are being pushed.
So if you really wanted to sell something to men, have a beautiful woman walk past,
and you'd look at the things right by her eye and she'd have a dog with her with large genitals.
-Yes. You're conflating the various things I've said.
I'm still horrified by men looking at dogs' genitals!
-Do we do the same with horses?
-It is news to men.
Horses don't do anything for our self-esteem. LAUGHTER
I went to a wedding in a beautiful country church and it was in the middle of fields and so on,
and the couple were having their picture taken, and not one of us had noticed
there was a horse in the field just behind the happy couple
-who had the biggest area of expertise I've ever seen.
-That's all you can see in the photographs.
They couldn't crop it out, it was so large.
Well, we must move on, charming as this is. The way to get the eyes to follow you around the room
is to paint them looking straight ahead. Next, a question about infancy.
Which best-selling children's author has something to say on rabid dogs,
suicide victims, slaughtering cattle and how to tie your shoelaces?
-Katie Price. LAUGHTER
-It's a wild stab in the dark...
-That was the title of her second book.
-How To Slaughter Cattle?
-Yeah? This has probably sold 150 million copies since its first publication.
-In a children's book?
-A book written for children.
Look at the boys looking round at the dog's genitals. LAUGHTER
He is! That's Dick on the left. Dick, Anne and Julian.
And Dick is looking at Timmy's bits.
Girls, eyes forward. Boys going, "Hello!"
-You see, even Enid Blyton knew.
-It's an old English book?
-Published in the Edwardian era.
-Are we looking for the name of the book or the author?
The name of the author was Robert, later Lord, Baden-Powell.
-Oh, Scouting For Boys?
-Scouting For Boys is the right answer.
Scouting For Boys has got something on suicide?
-It has. It has an amazing entry. Maybe you'd like to hear it.
-I would love to hear it.
"When a man attempts suicide..." They don't count women, "..a scout should know what to do with him."
-"In a case where the would-be suicide has taken poison,
"give milk and make him vomit by tickling the inside of the throat with a finger or a feather.
"In the case of hanging, cut down the body at once,
"taking care to support it with one arm while cutting the cord.
-"A tenderfoot," which is scouting for novice...
-They make that sound very simple.
"..is sometimes inclined to be timid about handling an insensible or a dead man, or even seeing blood.
"Well, he won't be much use till he gets over such nonsense."
There you are. Advice to young boys on how to slaughter cattle.
"If you're a beginner in slaughtering with a knife,
"it's sometimes useful to first drop the animal insensible by a heavy blow with a big hammer
-"or the back of a felling axe on top of the head."
-Kindest thing to do, really.
-Stopping a runaway horse?
-Does he give advice on that?
-That would stop the horse?
-Oh, no, they don't tread on you.
-Oh, I know, play dead.
-How would that stop the horse?
-I'm thinking of a ferocious grizzly bear again, aren't I?
What you don't do is stand in front of it waving your arms. That's the mistake to make.
-You go to the side and ease it towards the side of a wall or house.
-When it's running?
You ease a running horse to the side of a wall, yeah?
"Don't worry, lads, I'll just ease this running horse to the side of a wall."
It can see out of the corner of its eye, and it will slow it down, according to Baden-Powell.
"Give us a hand!" "I can't, Uncle Pete's hung himself."
-What about saving someone who's fallen in front of a train?
-Oh, I know this,
you ease the train up against a wall. LAUGHTER
"If the train is very close, lie flat between the rails,
"make the man do the same till the train passes over,
"while everyone else will be running about screaming, excited and doing nothing."
-You jump on the track with him and push his head down?
-Sure, I'd do that(!)
-Is there such a big gap between the wheels?
-There is in the movies but I wouldn't be the one to try it.
It'd be great if you hung yourself and a scout cut you down, and you went, "OK, I'll jump under a train."
"He's here again!" LAUGHTER "Hello, mate!"
I was once given a book that was given to women in the 17th century,
and it was advice for young ladies, and the advice for the marriage bed,
it says, "Of the marriage bed, we can't speak of a husband's appetite,
"so we will describe it in terms of food."
And what it said is that you must feed your husband whenever he's hungry,
feed him a variety of meals, or you will soon find he's eating next door.
I like this book, was it called The Good Old Days?
Goodness gracious me! With that in mind, here's an initiative test.
What should you do if you were to meet a friendly jackal?
Well, I know where my eyes are going!
Do they use their friendliness to lure you into a terrible trap?
Well, they sort of do.
-But how can it be friendly? I don't understand the concept.
-That's the point.
They're only friendly under one circumstance, because they're wild animals, they're not tameable.
-It's if they have rabies.
One of the symptoms of rabies in wild animals
is that they become very docile and they will approach humans and look rather submissive.
A great mistake would be to pet them.
Is the hint not that they are frothing at the mouth, usually?
They don't always froth at the mouth, so you can't always tell.
I did a trip for the BBC in which I canoed the Zambezi,
which I don't recommend.
You get a condition I can only describe as trench bottom.
I was told all the way down to avoid all dogs because of rabies.
I was very surprised to see that most of the local people
had a dog with them, and I thought, "That's nice.
"They've all got a pet." But it turns out that's not the case.
They've got the dog in case they're attacked by a crocodile.
So what they do is throw the dog.
They throw the dog at the crocodile as a sort of a tapas.
-I'm sorry, did your boat have a dog?
-They had you?
"We've got a small lady from the BBC we're using. Don't tell anyone."
If you meet a friendly jackal,
you should probably give it a good kicking to be on the safe side.
The next question requires a bit of intelligence.
Who finished off Russia's greatest love machine?
No, he can't say that! How has he got away with that?
-We're talking about Rasputin?
-Let's go through the lyrics.
This is all I know about Rasputin.
-Ra, Ra Rasputin, Russia's greatest love machine.
-Lover of the Russian Queen.
Yes. This is how I learned history.
-If it doesn't rhyme, it can't be true.
-Do you mean who killed him?
-We don't really know.
-Is it that moment?
Everybody tried, didn't say? There was a prostitute who tried.
I like the way Sandi led us into that. "Nobody knows, but I do, you fools!"
There's a man who's given credit for it,
who claimed to be responsible, who was Prince Felix Yusupov.
It seems that he wasn't personally responsible for it.
He claimed to have poisoned him
and the poison didn't work, then they shot him.
There's Grigor Rasputin. He was just plain shot in the forehead.
They tried to poison him and then he was shot and then he was drowned,
and then they got him out of the river and they decided to burn him, and my favourite bit,
which I'm sure is not true, is that he then sat up in the fire.
-He sat up?
-It was all part of demonising this extraordinary man.
What was his importance to Russia? Why was he worth killing?
-Do you know anything about him?
-He had the ear of the Tsarina.
-He had the ear of the Tsarina, exactly.
-He had more than her ear!
-There were rumours.
He certainly shagged a lot of women,
because he had a peculiar theological belief that the more you sinned the more holy you were,
which is rather handy.
He basically had the freedom of the palace,
and this was when Russia was about to join the First World War,
and he tried to persuade the Tsar and Tsarina not to go to war with Germany.
So one of the countries that had a great interest in the death of Rasputin was Britain.
Because we were at war with Germany, and we wanted at least half the German Army
to be occupied on the Eastern Front fighting the Russians.
-He doesn't look like a love machine.
-It so happens the last bullet that went into the brain
of Rasputin was from a gun that came from an MI6 operative.
We don't know if it was a British plot.
But certainly it benefited Britain that Rasputin was killed,
because it kept Russia in the war for longer.
He must have had a good chat-up line,
cos if you saw him at a party you wouldn't think, "I bet he pulls by the end."
Anyway, the point was, Prince Yusupov arranged a party,
and he claimed in his autobiography that he gave cakes and drinks
to Rasputin which were filled with cyanide
and he didn't seem to move at all, and then they stabbed him
and then they shot him, and he got up again,
so then they threw him in the river,
and they found when his body was exhumed that he has drowned.
An autopsy showed it just wasn't true.
If I was at a party and they were giving out cakes full of cyanide
and then they stabbed me, I would leave then.
I would make my excuses, no matter how rude it appeared,
before they got their gun out.
I think I'd go, "Do you know what, I've got an early morning."
What about the durable Mike Malloy? Have you heard of him?
Now, he is a man who really wouldn't die.
This is a very extraordinary story. The durable Mike Malloy.
We're in the age of prohibition, and we're in New York City.
We've got a gang of criminals,
because anyone who runs a speakeasy is a criminal in prohibition, and they hit on a scam.
They thought, "We'll get some drunks,
"we'll get them to sign life insurance forms to our benefit,
"and then we'll feed them so much alcohol that they'll die.
"And we'll get all the money." What can go wrong?
Had they never met Irish people before?
They were bankrupt!
They ran out of booze!
Owner Anthony Marino hatched this plan, got this Irishman,
he was Irish, they befriended him,
they plied him with free drinks, and they got him to sign
three different life insurance policies amounting to nearly 2,000,
a lot of money in those days.
After several weeks of free booze, they started to get a bit impatient, because he wasn't dying.
He kept singing the same songs!
God, he's doing that one again!
# Oh, Danny boy... #
"He seems tipsy."
They started adding antifreeze, he collapsed a bit,
but he kept coming back for more drink.
So they then gave him drinks that were filled with turpentine,
horse liniment, rat poison, rotten oysters in wood alcohol
and sardines mixed with carpet tacks.
-None of this had any effect.
-"Thanks very much... I suppose if it's on the house!"
So next, they got him drunk, they stripped him naked - this is midwinter New York -
and they poured five gallons of cold water on him before dumping him on a snow bank.
If you've ever been in New York, midwinter, it is seriously cold, gets to minus 20 degrees.
Why didn't they just shoot him?
-I think a bullet hole might have been...
I think naked on a mound of snow's quite a giveaway, isn't it?
He was drunk, having sex with a snowman(?) LAUGHTER
But, the police found him - he turned up the next day saying
"You'll never guess what happened, they found me in Central Park, on the snow, naked!
"They took me to a hostel and got me these nice new clothes."
And so he carried on drinking.
They paid a cab driver 150 bucks to knock him over.
After two attempts, they left him sprawled in the road...
Awaiting news of his death, several weeks later
he came fresh out of hospital, turning up looking for a drink.
So finally they challenged him to a rigged drinking contest -
they got him really pissed, and then pushed a gas hose in his throat and gassed him to death.
-So they cheated.
But a few months later - don't worry - they started squabbling amongst themselves,
and they all went down the river to Sing Sing
and got fried in the electric chair, the whole gang of them.
When you said they put a gas hose in his mouth, and cheated... the audience went "Awww!"
-But before that, when they were trying to kill the man...
-you were going, "Well, that just sounds like bloody good fun!"
"The gas hose - That's not playing straight."
-It's an interesting morality you're working with.
Take a good, hard look at yourselves.
Well, that's the story of "Durable" Mike Molloy.
A hero of his time, in some ways.
-Did HE tell you that story?
And he's here tonight(!) LAUGHTER
Comes in, naked, full of gas...
IRISH ACCENT: "Oh, they didn't get me at all!"
He's up there...
Now, how many things beginning with I are there in this picture...?
Oh, now...are we looking at insects?
We are, Alan, you're spot on.
-So...we don't know.
-No, I think there's going to be like, a square metre of sky
and there's going to be... a hundred thousand insects.
-There's billions. Millions and millions...
-We couldn't count it.
They take a square kilometre, and they use little entomological radars to see how many there are.
And high up in the air at all times, there are billions of insects...
So did they find this on the first Space Shuttle when they didn't have windscreen wipers...
Well, actually in the early days of flight, Lindbergh and various others started to do tests, and they put
sticky things on... Because they were thinking, "Why are there insects so high up?"
as we got to go higher and higher. And the record was they found a termite at 19,000 feet.
-It was on an aeroplane.
30 million large insects, which is larger than a ladybird, were discovered by this radar.
But take into account smaller insects, aphids or parasitic wasps,
which outnumber the large ones by a factor of hundreds or so,
you're talking about a serious quantity, it's like an insect belt
around the world.
So, how many insects do you eat a year?
Oh, not on purpose, you mean?
Not on purpose.
-Are you inhaling them all the time?
-And then they get stopped by your systems.
-There are a few myths on the internet -
most people might eat eight spiders a year.
The myth is, that when you're sleeping, spiders crawl into your mouth.
-Please, please, tell me that's not true.
-It is not true.
LEE: No, it's hedgehogs.
SANDI: That wouldn't be so bad, you'd know it was coming.
There's an internet thing about it being a pound a year,
which is overdoing it, but to give an example,
in the USA there are laws about how much insect matter
can be sold in food. Right? So...
the average jar of peanut butter is legally permitted
to contain 30 insect fragments per 100 grams.
Well, that's what makes it crunchy.
Get the smooth stuff, there's nothing in it.
And one rodent hair.
That's an allowable limit.
There's a weird thing on food safety where's there an amount of faeces allowed as well.
-Which is really distressing.
Yes. Tomato juice is allowed to contain ten fly eggs,
or two maggots,
from the drosophila fly per 500ml.
Ginger is allowed 3mg of mammalian excreta per 100g.
Um, fig paste is allowed to contain 13 or more insect heads per 100g.
Ground marjoram, the kind you find in a spice jar,
can contain 1,175 insect fragments per 10g.
Pot Noodle, do what you like.
The point is, there are allowable levels of tiny bits of insects in most food.
It wouldn't be pounds a year, but we have bits of insect inside us whether we like it or not.
You know when you get the ingredients on the side, people are obsessed by calories,
and what are the ingredients, does it have E numbers in? Is it fresh?
That whole thing. But they never write "tiny bit of shit in this."
I mean, not much!
But your recommended daily allowance...
-of shit in this tomato juice.
-"May contain crap."
-Yeah, "may contain a bit of crap."
-Now, eyes front,
I spy general ignorance up ahead.
What can you tell me about the lifespan of this lobster?
BUZZER I don't know but look at the size of the fish he's just caught.
APPLAUSE I don't think the fish was that big, he's just giving it all that.
-In theory, a lobster can live forever. In theory.
-It's not one of these, is it?
Yes, it is. The point is, you can't tell the age of a lobster.
FANFARE AND APPLAUSE
-So you say you can't tell the age of a lobster?
-They shed their actual... The whole skin comes off.
-Did you say lobsters can live forever?
In theory. The trouble is, we don't know, because they live so far down on the ocean's floor,
there may be giant submarine-sized lobsters for all we know, but we've never seen them.
Yes, and they have a special protease-type DNA enzyme called telomerase
which basically replaces lost DNA during cell division,
so that their cells remain young and pristine each time they divide.
Unlike with us, where they just get flabbier and flabbier.
The largest on record was caught off Nova Scotia in 1977. It was 3.5 foot long from tail to claw.
-3.5 foot? That's a lot smaller than a submarine.
-Yes, it's a lot smaller than this studio.
It's a lot smaller than many things, but the largest lobster ever caught.
-Sandi did say they could be as big as a submarine.
-Sorry, I missed that bit.
-That's all right.
Just so you know, I didn't randomly say, "3.5 foot, I've got an interesting fact about 3.5 foot,
"a lot smaller than a submarine. Back to you, Stephen. Beat that with your interesting facts!"
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE It was relevant to what she said. That would be a bonkers way to...
-I've got slightly too used to you saying rather stupid things.
-I apologise on bended knees.
-You mean stupid things like
lobsters can live forever and grow to the size of submarines?
-What doesn't make sense in the picture is it shouldn't be red.
Because it's in the water, it should be black. Are they not only red...
-You thought it was dead.
No. The vast majority of lobsters are a sort of darkish colour,
with little bits of iridescent colours on them, but you can get red ones.
-Have you ever seen a blue lobster?
-I'm not falling for this again, Stephen.
-Er, I don't think I have seen one.
-Would you like to see a blue lobster?
-Oh, here we go.
-Go on. Is it going to hurt?
-There, have a look behind you and you'll see a nice blue lobster.
Look at that. Every now and again you get a really blue lobster.
I just think BP have got a lot to answer for. LAUGHTER
-It looks like it's been sprayed by a vandal.
-It does look like it.
But Sandi was right about it detaching itself from its old shell.
It does that 25 times in the first five years of its life.
And each time it does, it grows by 50 percent. But it's a really odd business and quite dangerous.
It has to detach itself from its old shell.
It has teeth inside its stomach and they're part of the exoskeleton
so the lobster has to pull out the lining of its throat, stomach and anus
-every time it gets rid of its shell.
-I've had hangovers where I've felt like that.
They also, rather like the people of Doncaster, communicate with each other by urinating.
-Hang on, why Doncaster?
-I was there with a TV crew on Friday night and there was a lot of weeing.
-You should have been at Wembley at a cup final.
-It was horrible on the terrace when it used to...
-It used to rush down the terraces.
-You know how they get the Champagne glasses and do that?
-That's where they got the idea from. All bubbling at the bottom.
In America, you can buy a Stadium Pal. A Stadium Pal.
-This is a little thing you can pee in.
-It's a thing you attach to yourself and it goes in a bottle.
And they've developed one for women, but it looks a bit more like a gravy boat. I'm not sure.
-Now with wings!
-That would be good for long journeys in the car, too.
-There is a thing you can pee into in the car.
-You pee in a bag.
You can pee in a bag anyway, no-one's stopping you.
If you're not allowed to use a mobile phone in a car, you're not allowed to urinate in a bag.
-You pull over.
-If you pull over, why don't you go in a tree?
-Go in a tree?
-In a tree.
Not in a tree, against a tree. I don't mean carry a woodpecker with you at all times.
"Tap a hole in there for us!" LAUGHTER
"Fill it in and on your way!"
I really need to pee now.
Oh...not long. You always... Why do you always need a pee?
I drink loads of coffee, pints of coffee. I run on caffeine.
-OK, let's get on. Anyone have to pee?
Don't do that to him, that's cruel.
Which side is it?
-He can't tell!
Get it the right way round, for God's sake.
It'll be like Wembley again.
-Don't you dare!
-You know, I never thought I'd see...
-You're making it come back.
-Never thought I'd see Einstein in that position.
Not so clever now, are you? Yeah.
Suddenly it's...P = MC squared!
So, the fact is, it's impossible to age a lobster.
What would they have called this shop in the olden days?
Well, I'm guessing not an old pork pie shop? That's a bit too easy.
-How do you pronounce it, you mean?
-How do you pronounce it?
-"Yee Old Pork Pie Shopp-ee."
-It's... That's not pronounced "Yee."
-Old porkie pie shop.
-No, you said it.
-Why is it "the"?
-It's the way they wrote it down, isn't it?
-It's because it's not a Y. It looks like a Y,
and they used Ys when printing came in. It's an Old English letter from Anglo-Saxon called the thorn,
which is the letter for a "th", like a Greek theta.
When printing came in, a lot of them didn't bother making a separate thorn,
they used the Y cos it was so similar,
so when they were writing "the", they would put a Y in.
But they knew to pronounce it "the", and that, much as we do in texts and tweets these days,
it's been very common for human beings to abbreviate, and they abbreviated "that", to "yt", th't.
Whenever you see in old churches "ye this" or "ye that" or you see "ye olde" it's actually "the".
-What about "Old-ee"?
-You don't pronounce the silent "e" on it.
-I haven't got one word right. Here we go, I've got one. Pie?
-Get in! Now, how do you say that tricky one in the middle?
How northern is that? If someone's just flicked onto this show, and said, "Oh, Lee Mack's on."
And you go, "Pie!" and there's a round of applause. LAUGHTER
-In which war did both sides fight under the Union Jack?
Ye Second World War.
Both sides fought under the Union... What, the Germans?
I wanted to get a gag in about "ye", I can't think of any other wars,
I just... I panicked. I panicked after the "ye".
Cos what's happened, I've said "ye", it hasn't got a laugh, I have to back it up with a fact,
I've gone in, worst possible war. Everything about it -
the joke was wrong, the story is inaccurate,
everything about that was totally terrible.
The explanation was brilliant, I have to say.
-Which war is most likely to involve both sides?
-English Civil War.
-SIREN WAILS American Civil War.
It hadn't come into existence as a flag by then.
-The American War Of Independence is the right answer.
Because the British flew the Union Jack, Union Flag as it was then known.
And George Washington designed the Stars And Stripes
and, in fact, the canton - the important quarter of the flag - was the Union Jack.
So you can see an example of an early American Union Flag with the Union Jack in its corner.
-The stripes... The stars - Betsy Ross hadn't made that yet.
There is one state in America that has a Union Jack still in its state flag.
-Do you know which state that is?
-I would say...Alaska.
Who are you going to ask? Sandi?
I don't know, but I would guess Virginia.
-No, it's not. It's actually Hawaii.
-Oh, is it?
-Hawaii has a Union Jack in the state flag.
What went up by 57% during the Blitz?
House prices? LAUGHTER
-They might, but no.
-Was it Mother Brown's knees?
-By 57 %?
-They were always up listening to the Cockneys during the Blitz. Always up.
-The birth rate?
-Crime went up a huge amount during the Blitz.
-Sorry, do you count crime as dropping bombs?
Because if that is listed as a crime, there was a lot of that going on.
It's not a crime, in acts of war, to do that, unfortunately. But I'm talking about Londoners' crime.
Mad Frankie Fraser actually said,
"It was a tragedy when Hitler surrendered,
"because wartime London was a criminal's paradise."
That's the way he put it.
All you had to do was get an ARP Warden, you know, like Hodges in Dad's Army,
"Napoleon!", all that. You put one of those on and people just obey you, and a tin hat with a "W" on it.
And people would actually help them load their cars with stuff they'd stolen.
"Here, come here! Help me load this car!" They'd go, "Ooh, yes," because you were a warden.
-Are you suggesting that's what the Queen Mother was doing in the East End?
-My granddad was one of those, an ARP warden.
-Well, he says that.
-Oh, I'm sure he was.
-So was it mainly looting?
-There was looting, there was also scams.
There was one fellow called Handy who made a claim for his house being bombed - for which you got £500 -
before they caught onto him.
And ordinary people were also committing crimes through ration books.
People who didn't think of themselves as criminals were black-marketeering,
or involving themselves in the black market. Generally speaking, it was a very good time to be a criminal,
because the police and everybody were concerned with bombs falling on houses and incendiary bombs.
Is there truth in... I read a thing about... A house would be bombed and the people would be dead,
-people would come and steal watches...
-It's really grizzly.
-I'm afraid it is. We think of it as our finest hour and of the Blitz spirit.
Unfortunately, there's another side to it. There was a huge amount of bravery and camaraderie
and communal spirit and so on, but there was also, sadly, the darker side.
Now, I spy with my little eye, the scores,
and how interesting they are.
In first place, by really quite a long way,
-is Sandi Toksvig with 12 points!
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And in second place, with minus four, Jimmy Carr!
APPLAUSE Oh! Very happy with that.
Only just in third place, with minus five, Lee Mack!
APPLAUSE I'll take that - third. Best I've done.
And a proud fourth place with double-I, minus 11, is Alan Davies!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So, it's thanks to Sandi, Jimmy, Lee and Alan.
And as Yogi Berra said, "You can observe a lot by watching." Goodnight.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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