Stephen Fry asks unanswerable questions with an international flavour. With Jack Dee, David Mitchell, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies.
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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hello. Good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
This is Captain Fry speaking in, I hope, a very reassuring tone,
welcoming you aboard this QI international, around-the-world trip.
We have an impressive roster of VIP passengers on board with us tonight.
International man of mystery Jack Dee.
Global phenomenon Bill Bailey.
Seasoned world traveller David Mitchell.
And from another planet entirely, Alan Davies.
And gentlemen, if at any time you wish to get my attention, don't hesitate to use your call buttons.
'Icelandair to Inverness, Gate B.'
'Iran Air to Istanbul, last call.'
'Air India to Islamabad now closing.'
And Alan goes...
'Unexpected item in the bagging area.'
-LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Good. If you make sure that all your seats are in an upright position, we are cleared for take-off.
Don't forget that this year we are celebrating our ignorance
with the Nobody Knows Round.
FANFARE 'Nobody knows.'
If you think that nobody knows the answer to that question,
then you can wave your "nobody" and you get a big bonus.
But if you wave it and you're wrong, you get a bit of an old forfeit.
What are the points that you can gain by using it correctly?
I think we all agree that nobody in this universe understands QI's scoring system.
So, by that logic, were we to raise the subject of the scoring system and I was to do that, then...
-He's made a very good point.
-It's a good point.
I suppose I'm trapped in an infinite loop.
-Yes. Fortunately, that isn't one of the questions.
If it were, in the hypothetical round, a question, "What is the QI scoring system?",
and nobody knows, what would happen to the person that DOES the QI scoring?
Would they not then feel rather sad?
-They, at least, presumably, are sitting there THINKING that they know.
His name's Colin. He is brilliant. He works for Lumina, the scoring-system people,
and HE knows what he's doing. But it is a bit of a puzzle to the rest of the world.
-There's a company out there responsible for the scoring system on this programme?
For nine years we've used them, and I think they've served us proud.
-What happened before then?
-They must be laughing all the way.
-What a good scam, Colin!
I think they also do Pointless and Eggheads,
and other things like that.
-I think they reserve a lot of their creativity for this show, don't they?
-Yes, I know!
-I wonder what the score is now.
-Yes, the score now...
-Amazingly, Bill has three and everyone else has zero.
I either thought one or ten, but three?
-How could you divide your contribution by three?
-Better than you, you, you. Three!
Let's get going, shall we?
Now, if by some terrible, terrible concatenation of circumstances,
both my co-pilot and I on this flight are suddenly taken ill,
how would you land this plane?
Can't they just land themselves?
I'd stop reading the Kindle on the steering wheel and concentrate.
That would be a wise start, yes.
-Don't you radio the...? The co-pilot is slumped normally in these situations.
-Someone talks you in.
-Somebody talks you in?
-That's what happens in the movies.
-Robert Duvall would probably be good. That's who I'd ring.
-Or Lloyd Bridges in the case of Airplane.
-Presumably, there are legal problems with someone talking you down
because you could sue if it was interpreted by your relatives that you were given bad advice.
So probably these days, the air traffic controller would refuse to give advice and say,
"We're not covered for my saying something..."
You'd have to sign a waiver and text it to them, then insurance would cover you to be talked down.
It is a minefield. Extraordinarily, and happily, it has never occurred in commercial airline travel history
that someone has gone, "Can anyone fly this plane because the pilot and co-pilot are ill or dead?"
It's never happened, but it would be fraught with difficulty.
They have tried various simulations.
For example, those with American civil private pilot licences in America who can fly light planes
were invited on to simulators of big jets.
One of them couldn't even operate the seat that moved him towards the control.
Another one turned the radio off. Another one turned off the autopilot and instantly crashed the plane.
The fact is it's incredibly difficult.
Stephen, am I allowed to say that in your uniform how incredibly unlike a pilot you look?
So what do I look like instead?
Be brutal, be frank.
I think you'd be the chap who calls himself the bursar.
He's got a big leather wallet and takes money for duty-free.
Yeah, CALLS himself the bursar.
-He calls himself the bursar?
-Yes, I think he does.
-Or the purser?
-The bursar is the one that does the money for...
What kind of plane is he flying on?
"The bursar will be collecting money for the end-of-term jamboree."
"Here on Charterhouse Air..."
The bursar with the trolley and then, with the drinks, the groundsman.
Anyway, the fact is it's fraught with difficulty. The first problem is simply getting into the cockpit
because since 9/11, of course, cockpits are locked.
If the pilot and co-pilot were too ill to be able to fly, they may be too ill to let you into the cockpit.
-Do they have a secret knock?
-That's a lovely thought.
-When they give them their lunch, they have to get in.
-So they must have a coded knock or something?
Like... "It's me.
"I've got your...
"I've got your lunch."
Something like that. They go, "It must be the lunch."
Yes, it must be Deirdre with the lunch. The lunches. Why do I say "lunches"?
-Because there's more than one.
-But why is there more...?
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
-You are accruing points at a fantastic rate.
-I tell you what...
-Why is there more than one lunch?
-They have to eat different meals.
-Yes, the pilot and the co-pilot must eat different meals.
-In case one of them gets botulism?
If one is by accident poisoned. And in extra long-haul flights, there are three pilots, not two.
So you can't get into the cockpit, it's very dangerous, never been done.
If it was on autopilot, you'd be able to fly level, but once you got into the landing situation,
yes, the film scenario would take over whereby you'd be told how to operate the flaps and at what speed,
but there are so many variables in terms of glide paths and vertical and horizontal axes and so on,
it is extraordinarily difficult. There is an auto-land system.
There's no way of flying it remotely from the ground? Just somebody with a Wii or something.
-I don't know.
-Maybe one day.
Someone comes in the room. "What? Oh!"
It's a horrifying thought,
but fortunately it never has yet happened in major commercial air travel.
They say the chances are one in ten if it was an intelligent person and the plane was on autopilot,
-they could be talked down, there is a one in ten chance the plane would survive the landing.
-If it was not on autopilot, probably one in 100.
-This is not reassuring.
There are 400,000 people in the air at any given time.
-Is that right?
-That's fabulous. Wow!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
There is no question that trampolining is a very popular sport.
-Yes! It sounded really plausible.
-I heard it once in a pub or something.
There are points if you can give me, within five years, when the autopilot was invented.
1965 we've got there.
'77 to coincide with the Jubilee.
I'm going to go for 1945.
You're the closest, but you're still miles away. It's 1914.
The first autopilot was used at the Paris Air Show. An American invented it. They were a huge success.
They had a big rubber band on the joystick. "Look, no hands!
"It's flying itself!"
The gyroscope got so popular they would have the pilots standing on the wings.
-We've got a picture showing you how impressive it could be.
-People were just crazy in those days.
That's when people went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. They were mental!
Those were the days of the barnstormers.
You wouldn't want to be ball boy.
But it's a surprisingly ancient invention. It was the early days...
That's almost before aeroplanes were invented. He probably had this thing in his shed,
-hoping something would be invented he could apply it to.
-It was a gyroscopic corrective mechanism.
Is the modern autopilot still recognisably the same system?
-No, it's more complicated.
-It's not a gyroscope where you put string in and wind it round to get it going?
One of the worrying things about the autopilot is it's on for most of the time you're in the plane.
They switch it off just before they land. They switch it off just as they take off...
They watch the telly, then now and again they go to that channel where the map is
to make sure they're heading in the right direction.
Then they put Michelle Pfeiffer back on.
There are long flights, but where is the shortest commercial flight? Do you know?
I think I might know this. I don't know. I'll try it. I'll go out on a limb.
Is it the Orkney Isles?
-Oh, Bill, well done!
-How many points?
-There's another 4.5 points(!)
-27 and a half, I think you'll find.
-It's between Westray and Westray Papa.
It's usually done in around two minutes, though the record is 58 seconds from take-off to landing.
Do you think people go, "I hope it's a quick one today?"
The distance is shorter than the runway of Edinburgh Airport.
Do they just take off, throw peanuts at you and then land?
Run up to you and rush back again.
But the most bizarre thing about it is a return ticket is £39.
-It's not cheap.
-Why don't they build a bridge?
-I'm assuming there is some sort of gorge to be got over.
-I assume there is too.
You get a certificate and a miniature of Highland Park whisky for doing the flight,
so maybe people just get off on the idea of doing the shortest flight in the world.
The sea's quite choppy round there, so it's quite difficult...
It is a bit like that. They just do the exits and... "Oh, here we are."
Well, there we are.
Ladies and gentlemen, we've arrived at our first destination, which is India.
Which of these two gentlemen is going to make the better policeman?
One of them has seen the camera and is about to arrest the photographer.
That seems to be what policemen do nowadays, so I'll go with that one.
-And he's got a Biro.
-Yeah, the one with the pen.
Writing notes down. The other one seems to be more concerned with how he looks.
He's smiling, chatting away. The other one's a bit more sober, more professional.
I think it's the guy in white behind them.
He's plain-clothes. He's mingling in.
You've missed the one detail that the state of Madhya Pradesh
will pay policemen an extra 30 rupees a month to grow a moustache.
-They consider that policemen are better in all kinds of ways.
They're less intimidating, they work better with the community, they're more respected by the public.
-The human race never ceases to disappoint.
It's not just India. The British had weird ideas about moustaches.
In India, they're considered a sign of virility, but at the moment there's a north-south divide.
In the north of India, it's rarer to have moustaches because in Bollywood
and the cricket team, the great heroes tend not to have moustaches,
but in Tamil cinema, everybody has a moustache and that is just considered...
It's Steve Wright in the Afternoon, isn't it?
I've never trusted a moustache. I'm completely the other way.
That's interesting because in the British Army from 1860
it was a regulation that every soldier had to have a moustache.
You could be imprisoned for shaving your upper lip, right up until the First World War,
-then you had the option of shaving off your moustache.
Why suddenly in the First World War?
"We're fighting total war. The moustache, that was ridiculous."
Surely, if they think...if we need moustaches, we need them more than ever now. It should be beards.
They give you a certain... Don't they?
I think so.
But this "beh-h-h" sort of moustache is...
Thank you. It's going to win a war, isn't it?
But as you can see there, that's typical British soldiers, all of them with moustaches.
I'm just imagining that that moustache is going to have its own website by the end of this.
How long do you imagine the longest moustache in the world might be?
-Well, that's a little bit too much.
-It's 14 feet. There it is. It's pretty impressive, isn't it?
-This man makes a living out of it.
He was in the film Octopussy. I don't know what he did with his moustache...
-But it's pretty impressive.
-Do you distrust him?
If he turned up to do a bit of woodwork in the house
and he just... "I'll measure 14 feet."
-You wouldn't want to stand at a urinal.
-Trailing it around on the floor?
He's wringing them out!
-Did... When you were children, did you have Action Men toys?
If I was to show you a picture of an Action Man toy, what could you tell me about this particular one?
-That's the adventurer.
Well, the adventurer just had a polo neck and jeans and boots.
He seemed to be kind of a one-man band.
-Yes, but this one is a member of an armed service.
-Well, he'll be in the Navy.
Exactly, because it's only in the Navy that you're allowed to grow a beard.
Yes, yes. And there are three jolly Jack Tars.
In the Disney Corporation, none of the staff can have facial hair.
-Really? In Disney?
-Or earrings or anything.
There was a rather good story about Disney some years ago.
There was a furious e-mail sent out by the head of human resources, or whatever,
to all Disney employees, and said,
"The Disney Corporation takes strong exception to the use by some employees
"of the phrase 'Mauschwitz' to describe the Disney Corporation.
-"If it is used again, anyone using it will be summarily fired."
Within half an hour, they were using the phrase "Duckau".
-I think it's very pleasing, isn't it?
It's interesting they didn't, in any way, see the irony of the fact people had been using a term -
a sort of fascist term - to refer to refer to their organisation.
-"Well, we'll put a stop to this!"
-Yes, I know! Exactly. Exactly!
You might like to see a picture of some interesting moustaches there.
And I have actually... I have what you might call moustachabilia.
These are real things used by people with moustaches.
This is simply to drink. It's a silver, beautifully made thing you put in a cup
so that you can sip through here without...
-Without staining your moustache.
-Keeps it out of it.
-Nice and dry.
With soup, you'd want a soup spoon. You just sip through that part.
So you take your soup like so and you just...like that.
Again, I keep my moustache nice and dry. What else have I got here?
They hadn't invented the straw at this point?
Albert Finney had this in Murder On The Orient Express. At night this went round your ears.
Like that. Look at that.
LAUGHTER Wh-What's that for, though?
-You say you want to keep your moustache. Keep it from what?
Wild creatures of the night? I don't know.
-People might come and nibble at it.
-There's a slight air of gimp about it.
-The odd thing is that people using that spoon and drink cover
are people who don't want to look stupid. "I don't want to look like a complete arse,
-"so excuse me while I get out all my paraphernalia."
-It is true, what you are saying.
Oh, dear. I'm going to take my moustache off now, cos it's causing me rather a lot of pain.
Mm. Now, this is a question inspired by the International Brigade,
who fought - as I'm sure you know - on the republican side in the Spanish Civil War.
Which of these is the odd one out?
-It's a Vickers.
You asked which one is the odd one out. They ALL are!
They're all the odd one out! They kind of are, aren't they?
Well, there is a misapprehension about jellyfish.
-If you're stung by a jellyfish, what are you supposed to do?
-Wee on it.
-Yes. The odd thing is,
the jellyfish is the odd one out cos it's the only one you're NOT supposed to wee on.
-You're supposed to wee on a tomato?
Weeing on tomatoes is good, and weeing on machine...
-DAVID: I've never been stung by a tomato.
-Not for that reason.
If they'd known about the weeing in the First World War, it could've saved a lot of casualties!
Well, it DID, actually. They did use them.
After the first wave on the Somme,
everyone's following with their cocks out?
It's not quite like that. There's a little more to it, David.
To get rid of the jellyfish first,
it's a fallacy to suggest that you should pee on a jellyfish sting.
The best thing you can do is sea water, which is likely to be around anyway.
Sometimes, acid is better than...
But you can't be sure unless you know the species.
But just leave it alone, and use sea water. Tomatoes?
Well, the fact is, the world is running out of phosphorus,
and human urine is an extremely good fertiliser for tomatoes.
When you said "urinate on tomatoes",
I thought you meant instead of salad dressing.
I agree - it was a laxly phrased question.
We're quite happy to use animal manure in order to grow things and know that they grow well.
I know. That's weird, isn't it? That's because I think we find -
and this may be a function of our own self loathing.
-We find our own excrement more disgusting than that of other creatures.
-Speak for yourself!
-What about the wee and the gun, though? Why is...
-Now, the gun...
-Now, what is the issue with machine guns?
-They kill you dead.
Dead, Stephen, dead.
-As a... We have here...
We have a gentleman from the Royal Armouries - welcome.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-Thank you very much.
-He's not going to wee on it, is he?!
We did ask if he would - he declined.
He's left it unattended. Come on!
It's a mark one Vickers, 1917 model, as used in the First World War.
Used by the British Army all the way up to the Korean War.
A very, very popular form, but the main problem for the operator
- aside from them getting jammed occasionally - was overheating. So they had a jacket,
-and they were water cooled.
But very often, of course, you were fighting in places where there was no water.
There's a jerry can - that's not where the water comes from.
The water is poured into a hole in the top,
and then it condenses and collects in the jerry can. You then reuse it.
But in the Spanish Civil War, the phrase "pass the piss" was used,
and they would actually fill up jerry cans
and use human urine to cool down the guns.
It was the only way of doing it - there was no water.
-Oh, I see.
-Must have been horrible in the trenches -
-not only the risk of being shot, but then, later, a very nasty cup of tea.
"Which jerry can did you use for the...?"
Actually, Robert Graves, in his great novel Goodbye To All That,
claims they used to make tea from the water used in the machine guns.
-Yeah, yeah. Very unpleasant.
-But that's not necessarily...
There's no shortage of water in eastern France.
No, hence I was saying it was the International Brigade, in particular - the drier parts of La Mancha.
They probably made sangria out of it.
The Russians actually made a gun with a hole in which to pee,
they were so used to the idea that peeing into it would help.
They gave a little peehole so you could pee straight into the gun.
So you could pee and...while you're firing the gun.
I don't think...
Oh! Oh, that's good. Oh!
Oh, I needed that.
What a relief!
Well, there you are. That's really the answer, I suppose.
The jellyfish is the odd one out, because it's the only one that isn't improved by being widdled upon.
Maybe we can ask our lovely Royal Armouries friend to wheel away his Vickers now. Thank you very much.
Now, what was Italy's biggest export in the year 1953?
-Yes, urine. We know you, Bill Bailey.
Would it be dried pasta?
-Ooh, I'm sorry.
It came from a place called Castelfidardo, and it's an object.
-It had thousands of parts but a very complex mechanism.
In 1954, they were overtaken by Fiat,
who then were the biggest exporter from Italy with their cars,
but in the year 1953, amazingly,
it was this object that Italy exported more than anything else.
-It was a musical instrument, Bill.
-Oh. Em, er... A hurdy-gurdy.
-No, an accordion.
-An accordion is the right answer!
-There you are.
There you are - it's the Italian town of Castelfidardo,
which still makes them to this very day, and is proud to do so.
Mm. Now what did Mussolini want Italians to eat to make them big and strong?
He had a national propaganda day for this foodstuff
and he wanted Italians to take to it.
-Was it a vegetable?
-Not nuts, no.
-It's something Italians do eat. They have a specialist dish.
-What's a great Italian dish, apart from pasta?
-Which is made from...?
And he wanted Italians off the habit of eating pasta and onto rice.
-They didn't take kindly to this and so here are some...
-..Italian ladies growing rice.
-And singing while they do it.
-As they did it.
He had on his side the Futurists. You probably know about the Futurist movement.
-Like the Dadaists...
"Not yet". Very good! Much too quick. That was brilliant.
The Futurists were an art movement and they were pretty witty.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, one of the great Futurists,
said pasta made Italians lethargic, pessimistic and sentimental.
This caused outrage. He opened his own restaurant and had some extraordinary dishes.
Way ahead of Heston Blumenthal and anybody like that.
My favourite one is Aerofood. Pieces of olive, fennel and kumquat
eaten with the right hand,
while the left hand caresses various pieces of sandpaper, velvet and silk.
All the while, the diner is blasted with a giant fan and sprayed with the scent of carnation
to the music of Wagner.
Isn't that a dish?
I think somebody should have the guts and the wit to open a Futurist restaurant.
There was Chicken Fiat. The chicken is roasted with a handful of ball bearings inside.
When the flesh has fully absorbed the flavour of the mild steel balls, it is served with whipped cream.
And Excited Pig - a salami skinned is cooked in strong espresso coffee, flavoured with eau de cologne.
Have you been to a motorway services?
-I quite like the idea of a chicken that tastes a bit of metal.
I love the idea of stroking something while you're eating.
Have you ever been to one of those - there's one in Berlin I went to -
restaurants where it's completely dark?
All the waiters are blind, and they lead you to your table,
they recite the menu to you, and you order the food
and it's put in front of you. You often use your fingers.
It concentrates you entirely on the taste of the food.
I know it sounds a bit weird, but it is a fantastic experience.
I'm not saying you should go there every night.
The kitchen - chefs wandering around with no fingers.
I get stressed in restaurants,
when the waiters don't write down your order.
You know - "No, we're a cool restaurant, we can remember it."
And you say, "Well, CAN you remember? Are you sure?"
Because this is specifically what I have to eat.
If I want to torture my mother, which...
Then, it's a free country.
Do what you like, Wing Commander.
In a restaurant, she'll say, "What are you going to have?"
You say, "I'm not telling you. I'm going to tell the waiter."
-"No, tell me what you're going to have."
-"Waterboarding for you, Mother."
There ARE people who cannot... Who just can't bear it
unless they know what everyone else is going to order.
So it does drive my mother slightly potty not to tell her.
Now, as far as pasta is concerned,
what sort of sauces fit what sort of pasta?
Do you think there's a rule that you should apply?
The Italians have a kind of code,
that certain pastas hold more sauce, so if it's a very strong flavour,
you want a pasta like the little shell-shaped ones.
Anything hollow, they reckon should have a tomatoey one,
because it's more liquid and it fills the inside of the tube, as well.
-They also don't have Parmesan on, by any means, any of it.
-They often regard that as vulgar.
-And Bolognese is just for idiots.
-Yeah. 'Fraid so, yeah.
And the other major thing is that we use about four times more sauce
on the pasta than the Italians do.
They just basically coat the pasta with the sauce.
The point is, though, they just have pasta as one of many courses in an elegant meal.
We say, "Oh, pasta's a great way of getting the whole chore of feeding ourselves over with,
"in one great stodgy go. We'll have loads.
"I'll have a pile of it, until I just can't face another mouthful."
Exactly. You're looking at the cooking instructions.
"Serves four? Nah! I'll double that, I think."
I regard myself, in some ways, as a sophisticated being and, yet,
I'm not even ashamed of the fact that I love spaghetti hoops on toast. I just do!
That's what the Italians wouldn't understand - the thing to do with pasta is to put it on toast.
Is that what you do after a show? Go home, get some spaghetti hoops, heat them,
put the toast on, turn the lights out, put the blindfold on...
My life! That's my life!
Moving to another country now, which international head of state
snubbed Jesse Owens after his triumph at the 1936 Olympics?
-Oddly enough, it's not true. It's what the whole world thinks.
And we know this from no greater source than Jesse Owens himself.
It's a really rather sad and very typically unfortunate story.
Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, stage-managed, of course, by Hitler.
On the first day, Hitler congratulated only German winners.
Someone said to him that he should either congratulate all the winners or none of them,
-so he said, "I won't congratulate any winners." So he didn't personally...
-Look at the far right.
-..he didn't personally congratulate Jesse Owens.
Who are you looking at there?
The bloke on the far right is just going like that.
That bloke on the far right is called Hermann Goering.
-Surely they're all on the far right?
They're all taking bets on how high the high jump was going to go.
-The one on Hitler's left is thinking, "I didn't get the memo."
How To Dress.
Well, no, it is rather sad. Hitler decided that he wouldn't congratulate anyone,
so he didn't snub Jesse Owens at all. According to Jesse Owens,
"When I passed the Chancellor, he arose, waved his hand at me
"and I waved back at him. Hitler didn't snub me. It was..." Who snubbed him?
-So Hitler wasn't such a bad guy after all...
-The jury's still out.
-We know he's bad, but he didn't snub Jesse Owens.
-The King of England.
The President of his own country. It's a terrible story here.
"The President didn't even send me a telegram." He won four golds.
"When I came back to my native country, I couldn't ride in the front of the bus,
"I had to go to the back door, I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President."
He had to use the goods lift at the Waldorf Astoria to get into the reception
for returning US athletes as he wasn't to use the front door.
-Sammy Davis Junior couldn't go in the front of hotels in Vegas where he was performing.
-He went in through the kitchen.
-I know. That still happens to me sometimes.
Moving on elsewhere again, where does the rainwater that falls into this creek go?
-It's in Wyoming, I should say.
You're very good at this. As you probably know, round about the Rockies
there is the Continental Divide and rainwater that falls on one side drains into the Pacific,
-the other to the Atlantic, but in this particular place...
-It's called North Two Ocean Creek in Wyoming.
-It's a big one.
-Nobody, as you rightly say, knows. And there it is.
Now fasten your seatbelts as we head into a spot of unexpected general ignorance.
Name the world's largest pyramid.
Don't know the name of any.
-That one in the middle.
Oh, Jack! I'm so sorry.
-Am I really that predictable?
-I'm afraid you are. Terrible thought.
Well, well, I don't know. I'm going to say something that will be wrong, like Giza.
Well, that's where we're looking.
-The three great pyramids of Giza.
-It's not an Aztec one, is it?
Yes, it is. I don't expect you to know its name. If you did, you'd get 40 points.
I don't know its name, but I'll spit out some consonants!
-It's called Cholula.
-It was on the tip of my tongue.
-It's not Opl-lopl-opl...?
-No, it's not Popocatepetl.
It's Cholula. Although it's got a flat top and it's not as high, its cubic capacity is much bigger.
It's 4.3 million cubic yards as opposed to Khufu or Cheops' 3.36.
-It's not actually a pyramid.
-According to archaeologists, that qualifies as a pyramid.
There is a word for a pyramid with a flat top.
It's on the sign.
"Due for completion early BC497."
It's called a frustum. Name the world's fattest country.
Or the country with the fattest citizens.
-Cos otherwise I'd say it would be Russia.
-Not Tonga. No.
No, but you're absolutely in the right area, you've correctly...
-No, you're abso...
-You're so... Oh!
-The Cook Islands.
-So close to round there.
It begins with N.
Is it Nauru?
Now! Exactly, yes.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
In your face!
It only has a population of 10,000 people,
but 97% of the men are obese or overweight and 93% of women are obese or overweight.
-I remember they had a one-man Olympic team and he was in the weightlifting.
They get rather upset at being called obese and they say they're a stocky people
Big boned, exactly. Exactly.
-It's their metabolism.
-Well, I'm afraid the fact is,
you can't really put on weight, as I know to my cost,
unless you put things in your mouth.
That's where it comes from.
When was the First World War first named as such?
The outbreak. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.
-You think it was straightaway?
-Before it started.
It would be an act of a pessimist to call it that early.
- It's going to be some point after 1939, isn't it? - A realist, surely.
"There's going to be more of these." KLAXON
Excuse me! I think what I said, people in the box,
is AFTER 1939,
which may contain 1939, but does not mean it.
OK... No, no, no.
I think "After 1939" and "After the Second World War" are not synonymous.
This is just giving you time to type "After 1939".
Why not just type, "Mitchell is a cock"?
-I wouldn't put it past them!
No, the surprising news is that it was in 1918 that it was first called the First World War.
A British officer, Lt Col Charles a Court Repington,
recorded in his diary for 10th September that he met Major Johnstone of Harvard University
to discuss what to call the war. Repington said to call it The War was no good.
-To call it the German War gave too much credit to the Boche.
"I suggested the World War," Repington said, "Finally, we agreed to call it the First World War
"to prevent the millennium folk from forgetting that the history of the world was the history of war."
In 1920 he published a book called The First World War, 1914-18.
-Wasn't it called The Great War?
-Yes, but there was another Great War before that. Do you know it?
-Napoleonic, yes. So wars do change their names. There you are.
Supplementary on this international question,
why did the colonels in chief of the Royal Dragoons and the 1st King's Dragoon Guards
fail to turn up for duty at the start of the First World War?
They were entwined in an embrace.
-Only now can we reveal the truth.
-It was one of those embarrassing things about...
-Oh, I know!
Because it was Kaiser Bill.
Yes. Kaiser Bill was in fact the colonel in chief of the Royal Dragoons,
and Franz Joseph Habsburg was the colonel in chief of the King's Dragoons,
-That's a security risk, that.
-It was a bit, wasn't it?
If it turned out that Osama bin Laden was actually an admiral of the fleet,
that would have been a nightmare.
We appointed Emperor Hirohito a field marshal in the 1930s though,
so we carried on doing this. There was a bit of embarrassment when they had to go to war
with their colonel in chief. It was eventually sorted out,
and we pretty much spanked their botties.
We pretty much did.
-Only four years of carnage.
on the international journey that we've been enjoying,
who invented this salute?
-The Scouts, no.
Is this a kind of "who were the first fascists" question?
Not really, no.
Who actually used this as a salute first, do we know?
Oh! Was it a Roman?
It was basically the French Classical artists, notably David,
-the leading French Classical artist, who...
-Artists have a salute?!
They painted Romans doing this, but there is no evidence in Roman literature, murals or art
-that Romans ever did this as a salute.
-They're bound to have done.
-At some point, I mean...
-They might have put their arms out, but it wasn't used as a salute.
It just became a common idea that they did this.
And so it then became very much a symbol of the Olympic movement,
it was the Olympic salute, until 1936.
Um, and also, American school children when they took the Oath Of Allegiance they did that.
-And then again, once it became a fascist salute...
-Now they do...
It's a strange thought that the Nazi salute was in fact American school children and Olympic athletes
who first used it. There you are, wasn't invented by the Nazis at all.
And with that we reach our final destination. Please remain seated for the scores.
My goodness, me. Well, I'm afraid very much in the bucket class,
with minus 44, is David Mitchell!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Standing room only at the back. With minus 27 it's Jack Dee!
-With a surprising amount of leg room, at minus 10, Alan Davies!
Which means... that tonight's First Class passenger with four points is Bill Bailey!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So thank you for flying with QI International. My cabin crew, David, Jack, Bill and Alan, and I
wish you a pleasant onward journey. And don't forget the wise words of Halvard Lange, PM of Norway,
who said, "We do not regard Englishmen as foreigners. We look on them as rather mad Norwegians."