International QI XL


International

Stephen Fry asks unanswerable questions with an international flavour. With Jack Dee, David Mitchell, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies.


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Transcript


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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Hello. Good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening.

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Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

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This is Captain Fry speaking in, I hope, a very reassuring tone,

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welcoming you aboard this QI international, around-the-world trip.

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We have an impressive roster of VIP passengers on board with us tonight.

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International man of mystery Jack Dee.

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APPLAUSE

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Global phenomenon Bill Bailey.

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APPLAUSE

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Seasoned world traveller David Mitchell.

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APPLAUSE

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And from another planet entirely, Alan Davies.

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APPLAUSE

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And gentlemen, if at any time you wish to get my attention, don't hesitate to use your call buttons.

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Jack goes...

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'Icelandair to Inverness, Gate B.'

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LAUGHTER

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Bill goes...

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'Iran Air to Istanbul, last call.'

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David goes...

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'Air India to Islamabad now closing.'

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And Alan goes...

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'Unexpected item in the bagging area.'

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-LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

-Very good.

-Oh, yeah.

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Good. If you make sure that all your seats are in an upright position, we are cleared for take-off.

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Don't forget that this year we are celebrating our ignorance

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with the Nobody Knows Round.

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FANFARE 'Nobody knows.'

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If you think that nobody knows the answer to that question,

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then you can wave your "nobody" and you get a big bonus.

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But if you wave it and you're wrong, you get a bit of an old forfeit.

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What are the points that you can gain by using it correctly?

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I think we all agree that nobody in this universe understands QI's scoring system.

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So, by that logic, were we to raise the subject of the scoring system and I was to do that, then...

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A-ha!

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-APPLAUSE

-Nobody knows.

-Nobody knows.

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-He's made a very good point.

-It's a good point.

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I suppose I'm trapped in an infinite loop.

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-Yes. Fortunately, that isn't one of the questions.

-Ah.

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If it were, in the hypothetical round, a question, "What is the QI scoring system?",

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and nobody knows, what would happen to the person that DOES the QI scoring?

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Would they not then feel rather sad?

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-They would.

-They, at least, presumably, are sitting there THINKING that they know.

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His name's Colin. He is brilliant. He works for Lumina, the scoring-system people,

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and HE knows what he's doing. But it is a bit of a puzzle to the rest of the world.

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-There's a company out there responsible for the scoring system on this programme?

-That's right.

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For nine years we've used them, and I think they've served us proud.

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-What happened before then?

-Served themselves!

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-They must be laughing all the way.

-What a good scam, Colin!

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I think they also do Pointless and Eggheads,

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and other things like that.

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-I think they reserve a lot of their creativity for this show, don't they?

-Yes, I know!

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-I wonder what the score is now.

-Yes, the score now...

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-Amazingly, Bill has three and everyone else has zero.

-APPLAUSE

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Why three?

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I either thought one or ten, but three?

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-How could you divide your contribution by three?

-Better than you, you, you. Three!

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APPLAUSE

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Let's get going, shall we?

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Now, if by some terrible, terrible concatenation of circumstances,

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both my co-pilot and I on this flight are suddenly taken ill,

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how would you land this plane?

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Can't they just land themselves?

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I'd stop reading the Kindle on the steering wheel and concentrate.

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LAUGHTER

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That would be a wise start, yes.

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-Don't you radio the...? The co-pilot is slumped normally in these situations.

-Someone talks you in.

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-Somebody talks you in?

-That's what happens in the movies.

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-Robert Duvall would probably be good. That's who I'd ring.

-Or Lloyd Bridges in the case of Airplane.

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-Perfect choice.

-Presumably, there are legal problems with someone talking you down

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because you could sue if it was interpreted by your relatives that you were given bad advice.

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So probably these days, the air traffic controller would refuse to give advice and say,

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"We're not covered for my saying something..."

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You'd have to sign a waiver and text it to them, then insurance would cover you to be talked down.

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It is a minefield. Extraordinarily, and happily, it has never occurred in commercial airline travel history

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that someone has gone, "Can anyone fly this plane because the pilot and co-pilot are ill or dead?"

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It's never happened, but it would be fraught with difficulty.

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They have tried various simulations.

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For example, those with American civil private pilot licences in America who can fly light planes

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were invited on to simulators of big jets.

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One of them couldn't even operate the seat that moved him towards the control.

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Another one turned the radio off. Another one turned off the autopilot and instantly crashed the plane.

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The fact is it's incredibly difficult.

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Stephen, am I allowed to say that in your uniform how incredibly unlike a pilot you look?

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So what do I look like instead?

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Be brutal, be frank.

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I think you'd be the chap who calls himself the bursar.

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He's got a big leather wallet and takes money for duty-free.

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Yeah, CALLS himself the bursar.

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-He calls himself the bursar?

-Yes, I think he does.

-Or the purser?

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-The bursar is the one that does the money for...

-Public schools.

-Yeah.

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What kind of plane is he flying on?

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LAUGHTER

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"The bursar will be collecting money for the end-of-term jamboree."

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"Here on Charterhouse Air..."

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The bursar with the trolley and then, with the drinks, the groundsman.

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Anyway, the fact is it's fraught with difficulty. The first problem is simply getting into the cockpit

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because since 9/11, of course, cockpits are locked.

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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.

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-Do they have a secret knock?

-That's a lovely thought.

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-When they give them their lunch, they have to get in.

-Yes.

-So they must have a coded knock or something?

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Like... "It's me.

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"I've got your...

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"I've got your lunch."

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Something like that. They go, "It must be the lunch."

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Yes, it must be Deirdre with the lunch. The lunches. Why do I say "lunches"?

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-Because there's more than one.

-But why is there more...?

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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-You are accruing points at a fantastic rate.

-I tell you what...

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-Why is there more than one lunch?

-They have to eat different meals.

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-Yes, the pilot and the co-pilot must eat different meals.

-In case one of them gets botulism?

-Exactly.

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If one is by accident poisoned. And in extra long-haul flights, there are three pilots, not two.

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So you can't get into the cockpit, it's very dangerous, never been done.

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If it was on autopilot, you'd be able to fly level, but once you got into the landing situation,

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yes, the film scenario would take over whereby you'd be told how to operate the flaps and at what speed,

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but there are so many variables in terms of glide paths and vertical and horizontal axes and so on,

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it is extraordinarily difficult. There is an auto-land system.

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There's no way of flying it remotely from the ground? Just somebody with a Wii or something.

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-I don't know.

-Maybe one day.

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Someone comes in the room. "What? Oh!"

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LAUGHTER

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It's a horrifying thought,

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but fortunately it never has yet happened in major commercial air travel.

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They say the chances are one in ten if it was an intelligent person and the plane was on autopilot,

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-they could be talked down, there is a one in ten chance the plane would survive the landing.

-Right.

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-If it was not on autopilot, probably one in 100.

-This is not reassuring.

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There are 400,000 people in the air at any given time.

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-Is that right?

-Yeah.

-That's fabulous. Wow!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Very good!

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There is no question that trampolining is a very popular sport.

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-Yes! It sounded really plausible.

-I heard it once in a pub or something.

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There are points if you can give me, within five years, when the autopilot was invented.

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1965.

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1965 we've got there.

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-1970.

-1970.

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'77 to coincide with the Jubilee.

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I'm going to go for 1945.

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You're the closest, but you're still miles away. It's 1914.

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The first autopilot was used at the Paris Air Show. An American invented it. They were a huge success.

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They had a big rubber band on the joystick. "Look, no hands!

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"It's flying itself!"

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The gyroscope got so popular they would have the pilots standing on the wings.

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-We've got a picture showing you how impressive it could be.

-People were just crazy in those days.

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That's when people went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. They were mental!

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Those were the days of the barnstormers.

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You wouldn't want to be ball boy.

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But it's a surprisingly ancient invention. It was the early days...

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That's almost before aeroplanes were invented. He probably had this thing in his shed,

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-hoping something would be invented he could apply it to.

-It was a gyroscopic corrective mechanism.

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Is the modern autopilot still recognisably the same system?

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-No, it's more complicated.

-It's not a gyroscope where you put string in and wind it round to get it going?

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One of the worrying things about the autopilot is it's on for most of the time you're in the plane.

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They switch it off just before they land. They switch it off just as they take off...

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They watch the telly, then now and again they go to that channel where the map is

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to make sure they're heading in the right direction.

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Then they put Michelle Pfeiffer back on.

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There are long flights, but where is the shortest commercial flight? Do you know?

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Oh, Bill!

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I think I might know this. I don't know. I'll try it. I'll go out on a limb.

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Is it the Orkney Isles?

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-Yes!

-Is it?

-Yes!

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-APPLAUSE

-Oh, Bill, well done!

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-How many points?

-There's another 4.5 points(!)

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-Yeah.

-It's between...

-27 and a half, I think you'll find.

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-It's between Westray and Westray Papa.

-Yeah.

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It's usually done in around two minutes, though the record is 58 seconds from take-off to landing.

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Do you think people go, "I hope it's a quick one today?"

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The distance is shorter than the runway of Edinburgh Airport.

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Do they just take off, throw peanuts at you and then land?

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Run up to you and rush back again.

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But the most bizarre thing about it is a return ticket is £39.

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-It's not cheap.

-Why don't they build a bridge?

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-I'm assuming there is some sort of gorge to be got over.

-I assume there is too.

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You get a certificate and a miniature of Highland Park whisky for doing the flight,

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so maybe people just get off on the idea of doing the shortest flight in the world.

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The sea's quite choppy round there, so it's quite difficult...

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It is a bit like that. They just do the exits and... "Oh, here we are."

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Well, there we are.

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Ladies and gentlemen, we've arrived at our first destination, which is India.

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Which of these two gentlemen is going to make the better policeman?

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One of them has seen the camera and is about to arrest the photographer.

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That seems to be what policemen do nowadays, so I'll go with that one.

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-Interesting.

-And he's got a Biro.

-Yeah, the one with the pen.

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Writing notes down. The other one seems to be more concerned with how he looks.

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He's smiling, chatting away. The other one's a bit more sober, more professional.

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I think it's the guy in white behind them.

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He's plain-clothes. He's mingling in.

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You've missed the one detail that the state of Madhya Pradesh

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will pay policemen an extra 30 rupees a month to grow a moustache.

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-Really?

-They consider that policemen are better in all kinds of ways.

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They're less intimidating, they work better with the community, they're more respected by the public.

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-They're extraordinary...

-The human race never ceases to disappoint.

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It's not just India. The British had weird ideas about moustaches.

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In India, they're considered a sign of virility, but at the moment there's a north-south divide.

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In the north of India, it's rarer to have moustaches because in Bollywood

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and the cricket team, the great heroes tend not to have moustaches,

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but in Tamil cinema, everybody has a moustache and that is just considered...

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It's Steve Wright in the Afternoon, isn't it?

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I've never trusted a moustache. I'm completely the other way.

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That's interesting because in the British Army from 1860

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it was a regulation that every soldier had to have a moustache.

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You could be imprisoned for shaving your upper lip, right up until the First World War,

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-then you had the option of shaving off your moustache.

-Why?

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Why suddenly in the First World War?

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"We're fighting total war. The moustache, that was ridiculous."

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Surely, if they think...if we need moustaches, we need them more than ever now. It should be beards.

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They give you a certain... Don't they?

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-Yeah? Yeah?

-APPLAUSE

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I think so.

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But this "beh-h-h" sort of moustache is...

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APPLAUSE

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Thank you. It's going to win a war, isn't it?

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But as you can see there, that's typical British soldiers, all of them with moustaches.

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I'm just imagining that that moustache is going to have its own website by the end of this.

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How long do you imagine the longest moustache in the world might be?

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24 feet.

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-Well, that's a little bit too much.

-OK. 12.

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-It's 14 feet. There it is. It's pretty impressive, isn't it?

-Wow.

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-This man makes a living out of it.

-LAUGHTER

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He was in the film Octopussy. I don't know what he did with his moustache...

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-But it's pretty impressive.

-Do you distrust him?

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Deeply.

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If he turned up to do a bit of woodwork in the house

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and he just... "I'll measure 14 feet."

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APPLAUSE

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I'd naturally...

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-You wouldn't want to stand at a urinal.

-Oh...

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-Oh, dear.

-Trailing it around on the floor?

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He's wringing them out!

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LAUGHTER

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-Did... When you were children, did you have Action Men toys?

-Yes.

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If I was to show you a picture of an Action Man toy, what could you tell me about this particular one?

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-Oh, Lord!

-That's the adventurer.

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Well, the adventurer just had a polo neck and jeans and boots.

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He seemed to be kind of a one-man band.

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-Yes, but this one is a member of an armed service.

-Well, he'll be in the Navy.

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Exactly, because it's only in the Navy that you're allowed to grow a beard.

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Yes, yes. And there are three jolly Jack Tars.

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In the Disney Corporation, none of the staff can have facial hair.

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-Really? In Disney?

-Or earrings or anything.

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There was a rather good story about Disney some years ago.

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There was a furious e-mail sent out by the head of human resources, or whatever,

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to all Disney employees, and said,

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"The Disney Corporation takes strong exception to the use by some employees

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"of the phrase 'Mauschwitz' to describe the Disney Corporation.

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-"If it is used again, anyone using it will be summarily fired."

-Shot!

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Within half an hour, they were using the phrase "Duckau".

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-I think it's very pleasing, isn't it?

-APPLAUSE

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It's interesting they didn't, in any way, see the irony of the fact people had been using a term -

0:18:040:18:09

a sort of fascist term - to refer to refer to their organisation.

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-"Well, we'll put a stop to this!"

-Yes, I know! Exactly. Exactly!

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You might like to see a picture of some interesting moustaches there.

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And I have actually... I have what you might call moustachabilia.

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These are real things used by people with moustaches.

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This is simply to drink. It's a silver, beautifully made thing you put in a cup

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so that you can sip through here without...

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-Without staining your moustache.

-Keeps it out of it.

-Nice and dry.

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With soup, you'd want a soup spoon. You just sip through that part.

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So you take your soup like so and you just...like that.

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Again, I keep my moustache nice and dry. What else have I got here?

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They hadn't invented the straw at this point?

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Albert Finney had this in Murder On The Orient Express. At night this went round your ears.

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Like that. Look at that.

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LAUGHTER Wh-What's that for, though?

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-You say you want to keep your moustache. Keep it from what?

-Escaping!

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APPLAUSE

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Wild creatures of the night? I don't know.

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-People might come and nibble at it.

-There's a slight air of gimp about it.

-There is!

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-Isn't there?

-The odd thing is that people using that spoon and drink cover

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are people who don't want to look stupid. "I don't want to look like a complete arse,

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-"so excuse me while I get out all my paraphernalia."

-It is true, what you are saying.

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Oh, dear. I'm going to take my moustache off now, cos it's causing me rather a lot of pain.

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Mm. Now, this is a question inspired by the International Brigade,

0:20:030:20:08

who fought - as I'm sure you know - on the republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

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Which of these is the odd one out?

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-Machine gun.

-Machine gun.

-A tomato.

-It's a Vickers.

-Vickers?

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You asked which one is the odd one out. They ALL are!

0:20:230:20:25

They're all the odd one out! They kind of are, aren't they?

0:20:250:20:30

Well, there is a misapprehension about jellyfish.

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-If you're stung by a jellyfish, what are you supposed to do?

-Wee on it.

-Yes. The odd thing is,

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the jellyfish is the odd one out cos it's the only one you're NOT supposed to wee on.

0:20:370:20:42

-You're supposed to wee on a tomato?

-Yes.

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Weeing on tomatoes is good, and weeing on machine...

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-DAVID: I've never been stung by a tomato.

-Not for that reason.

0:20:500:20:53

If they'd known about the weeing in the First World War, it could've saved a lot of casualties!

0:20:530:20:58

Well, it DID, actually. They did use them.

0:20:580:21:00

After the first wave on the Somme,

0:21:000:21:03

everyone's following with their cocks out?

0:21:030:21:05

It's not quite like that. There's a little more to it, David.

0:21:080:21:11

To get rid of the jellyfish first,

0:21:110:21:13

it's a fallacy to suggest that you should pee on a jellyfish sting.

0:21:130:21:16

The best thing you can do is sea water, which is likely to be around anyway.

0:21:160:21:20

Sometimes, acid is better than...

0:21:200:21:22

But you can't be sure unless you know the species.

0:21:220:21:24

But just leave it alone, and use sea water. Tomatoes?

0:21:240:21:28

Well, the fact is, the world is running out of phosphorus,

0:21:280:21:32

and human urine is an extremely good fertiliser for tomatoes.

0:21:320:21:36

When you said "urinate on tomatoes",

0:21:360:21:38

I thought you meant instead of salad dressing.

0:21:380:21:41

I agree - it was a laxly phrased question.

0:21:440:21:46

We're quite happy to use animal manure in order to grow things and know that they grow well.

0:21:460:21:51

I know. That's weird, isn't it? That's because I think we find -

0:21:510:21:54

and this may be a function of our own self loathing.

0:21:540:21:57

-We find our own excrement more disgusting than that of other creatures.

-Speak for yourself!

0:21:570:22:03

-What about the wee and the gun, though? Why is...

-Now, the gun...

0:22:070:22:12

-Now, what is the issue with machine guns?

-They kill you dead.

0:22:120:22:15

Dead, Stephen, dead.

0:22:150:22:18

-As a... We have here...

-A gun?!

0:22:180:22:22

We have a gentleman from the Royal Armouries - welcome.

0:22:220:22:26

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:22:260:22:28

-Thank you very much.

-He's not going to wee on it, is he?!

0:22:330:22:37

We did ask if he would - he declined.

0:22:370:22:39

He's left it unattended. Come on!

0:22:390:22:41

It's a mark one Vickers, 1917 model, as used in the First World War.

0:22:410:22:46

Used by the British Army all the way up to the Korean War.

0:22:460:22:48

A very, very popular form, but the main problem for the operator

0:22:480:22:52

- aside from them getting jammed occasionally - was overheating. So they had a jacket,

0:22:520:22:57

-and they were water cooled.

-Oh, OK.

0:22:570:22:59

But very often, of course, you were fighting in places where there was no water.

0:22:590:23:03

There's a jerry can - that's not where the water comes from.

0:23:030:23:07

The water is poured into a hole in the top,

0:23:070:23:09

and then it condenses and collects in the jerry can. You then reuse it.

0:23:090:23:13

But in the Spanish Civil War, the phrase "pass the piss" was used,

0:23:130:23:17

and they would actually fill up jerry cans

0:23:170:23:19

and use human urine to cool down the guns.

0:23:190:23:22

It was the only way of doing it - there was no water.

0:23:220:23:25

-Oh, I see.

-Must have been horrible in the trenches -

0:23:250:23:29

-not only the risk of being shot, but then, later, a very nasty cup of tea.

-Yes!

0:23:290:23:34

"Which jerry can did you use for the...?"

0:23:340:23:37

Actually, Robert Graves, in his great novel Goodbye To All That,

0:23:370:23:40

claims they used to make tea from the water used in the machine guns.

0:23:400:23:44

-Yeah, yeah. Very unpleasant.

-But that's not necessarily...

-Pee water.

0:23:440:23:48

There's no shortage of water in eastern France.

0:23:480:23:53

No, hence I was saying it was the International Brigade, in particular - the drier parts of La Mancha.

0:23:530:23:59

They probably made sangria out of it.

0:23:590:24:01

The Russians actually made a gun with a hole in which to pee,

0:24:010:24:04

they were so used to the idea that peeing into it would help.

0:24:040:24:07

They gave a little peehole so you could pee straight into the gun.

0:24:070:24:11

So you could pee and...while you're firing the gun.

0:24:110:24:13

I don't think...

0:24:130:24:15

Oh! Oh, that's good. Oh!

0:24:160:24:21

Oh, I needed that.

0:24:210:24:23

What a relief!

0:24:280:24:29

Well, there you are. That's really the answer, I suppose.

0:24:290:24:32

The jellyfish is the odd one out, because it's the only one that isn't improved by being widdled upon.

0:24:320:24:37

Maybe we can ask our lovely Royal Armouries friend to wheel away his Vickers now. Thank you very much.

0:24:370:24:43

Now, what was Italy's biggest export in the year 1953?

0:24:490:24:55

Er...frozen urine.

0:24:550:24:58

KLAXONS WAIL

0:24:590:25:01

-Urine?

-Yes, urine. We know you, Bill Bailey.

0:25:030:25:09

Would it be dried pasta?

0:25:090:25:10

-KLAXON WAILS

-Ooh, I'm sorry.

0:25:100:25:13

It came from a place called Castelfidardo, and it's an object.

0:25:150:25:19

-It had thousands of parts but a very complex mechanism.

-Jigsaw. Jigsaw!

0:25:190:25:24

In 1954, they were overtaken by Fiat,

0:25:260:25:28

who then were the biggest exporter from Italy with their cars,

0:25:280:25:32

but in the year 1953, amazingly,

0:25:320:25:34

it was this object that Italy exported more than anything else.

0:25:340:25:37

-It was a musical instrument, Bill.

-Oh. Em, er... A hurdy-gurdy.

0:25:370:25:41

-No, an accordion.

-An accordion is the right answer!

-Yes.

-There you are.

0:25:410:25:45

Rather extraordinary!

0:25:480:25:49

There you are - it's the Italian town of Castelfidardo,

0:25:530:25:56

which still makes them to this very day, and is proud to do so.

0:25:560:25:59

Mm. Now what did Mussolini want Italians to eat to make them big and strong?

0:25:590:26:05

He had a national propaganda day for this foodstuff

0:26:050:26:09

and he wanted Italians to take to it.

0:26:090:26:12

-Was it a vegetable?

-Not quite.

-Nuts.

-Not nuts, no.

0:26:120:26:18

-It's something Italians do eat. They have a specialist dish.

-Polenta?

-Very close.

0:26:180:26:22

-What's a great Italian dish, apart from pasta?

-Macaroni cheese.

0:26:220:26:26

-R...

-Ravioli?

-Ri...

0:26:260:26:28

-Risotto!

-Which is made from...?

-Rice.

-Rice, exactly.

0:26:280:26:34

And he wanted Italians off the habit of eating pasta and onto rice.

0:26:340:26:39

-They didn't take kindly to this and so here are some...

-Paddy fields.

-..Italian ladies growing rice.

0:26:390:26:46

-And singing while they do it.

-As they did it.

0:26:460:26:50

He had on his side the Futurists. You probably know about the Futurist movement.

0:26:500:26:56

-Not yet.

-Like the Dadaists...

0:26:560:26:58

"Not yet". Very good! Much too quick. That was brilliant.

0:26:580:27:03

The Futurists were an art movement and they were pretty witty.

0:27:030:27:08

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, one of the great Futurists,

0:27:080:27:12

said pasta made Italians lethargic, pessimistic and sentimental.

0:27:120:27:17

This caused outrage. He opened his own restaurant and had some extraordinary dishes.

0:27:170:27:23

Way ahead of Heston Blumenthal and anybody like that.

0:27:230:27:27

My favourite one is Aerofood. Pieces of olive, fennel and kumquat

0:27:270:27:31

eaten with the right hand,

0:27:310:27:34

while the left hand caresses various pieces of sandpaper, velvet and silk.

0:27:340:27:40

All the while, the diner is blasted with a giant fan and sprayed with the scent of carnation

0:27:400:27:46

to the music of Wagner.

0:27:460:27:48

LAUGHTER

0:27:480:27:50

Isn't that a dish?

0:27:500:27:53

I think somebody should have the guts and the wit to open a Futurist restaurant.

0:27:540:28:00

There was Chicken Fiat. The chicken is roasted with a handful of ball bearings inside.

0:28:000:28:06

When the flesh has fully absorbed the flavour of the mild steel balls, it is served with whipped cream.

0:28:060:28:14

And Excited Pig - a salami skinned is cooked in strong espresso coffee, flavoured with eau de cologne.

0:28:140:28:21

GROANS

0:28:210:28:23

Have you been to a motorway services?

0:28:230:28:25

-I quite like the idea of a chicken that tastes a bit of metal.

-Yes.

0:28:260:28:31

I love the idea of stroking something while you're eating.

0:28:310:28:35

Have you ever been to one of those - there's one in Berlin I went to -

0:28:350:28:39

restaurants where it's completely dark?

0:28:390:28:42

All the waiters are blind, and they lead you to your table,

0:28:420:28:45

they recite the menu to you, and you order the food

0:28:450:28:48

and it's put in front of you. You often use your fingers.

0:28:480:28:52

It concentrates you entirely on the taste of the food.

0:28:520:28:54

I know it sounds a bit weird, but it is a fantastic experience.

0:28:540:28:58

I'm not saying you should go there every night.

0:28:580:29:01

The kitchen - chefs wandering around with no fingers.

0:29:010:29:05

I get stressed in restaurants,

0:29:060:29:08

when the waiters don't write down your order.

0:29:080:29:12

You know - "No, we're a cool restaurant, we can remember it."

0:29:120:29:15

And you say, "Well, CAN you remember? Are you sure?"

0:29:150:29:18

Because this is specifically what I have to eat.

0:29:180:29:21

If I want to torture my mother, which...

0:29:210:29:24

Then, it's a free country.

0:29:260:29:29

Do what you like, Wing Commander.

0:29:290:29:32

In a restaurant, she'll say, "What are you going to have?"

0:29:320:29:35

You say, "I'm not telling you. I'm going to tell the waiter."

0:29:350:29:38

-"No, tell me what you're going to have."

-"Waterboarding for you, Mother."

0:29:380:29:42

There ARE people who cannot... Who just can't bear it

0:29:420:29:45

unless they know what everyone else is going to order.

0:29:450:29:48

So it does drive my mother slightly potty not to tell her.

0:29:480:29:52

Now, as far as pasta is concerned,

0:29:520:29:54

what sort of sauces fit what sort of pasta?

0:29:540:29:58

Do you think there's a rule that you should apply?

0:29:580:30:01

The Italians have a kind of code,

0:30:010:30:03

that certain pastas hold more sauce, so if it's a very strong flavour,

0:30:030:30:07

you want a pasta like the little shell-shaped ones.

0:30:070:30:11

Anything hollow, they reckon should have a tomatoey one,

0:30:110:30:14

because it's more liquid and it fills the inside of the tube, as well.

0:30:140:30:17

-They also don't have Parmesan on, by any means, any of it.

-They often regard that as vulgar.

0:30:170:30:22

-And Bolognese is just for idiots.

-Yeah. 'Fraid so, yeah.

0:30:220:30:26

And the other major thing is that we use about four times more sauce

0:30:260:30:29

on the pasta than the Italians do.

0:30:290:30:31

They just basically coat the pasta with the sauce.

0:30:310:30:33

The point is, though, they just have pasta as one of many courses in an elegant meal.

0:30:330:30:38

We say, "Oh, pasta's a great way of getting the whole chore of feeding ourselves over with,

0:30:380:30:42

"in one great stodgy go. We'll have loads.

0:30:420:30:46

"I'll have a pile of it, until I just can't face another mouthful."

0:30:460:30:51

Exactly. You're looking at the cooking instructions.

0:30:510:30:54

"Serves what?"

0:30:540:30:56

APPLAUSE

0:30:560:30:57

"Serves four? Nah! I'll double that, I think."

0:30:590:31:02

I regard myself, in some ways, as a sophisticated being and, yet,

0:31:020:31:06

I'm not even ashamed of the fact that I love spaghetti hoops on toast. I just do!

0:31:060:31:10

That's what the Italians wouldn't understand - the thing to do with pasta is to put it on toast.

0:31:100:31:15

Is that what you do after a show? Go home, get some spaghetti hoops, heat them,

0:31:150:31:19

put the toast on, turn the lights out, put the blindfold on...

0:31:190:31:23

My life! That's my life!

0:31:290:31:33

Moving to another country now, which international head of state

0:31:340:31:40

snubbed Jesse Owens after his triumph at the 1936 Olympics?

0:31:400:31:45

-Yes, Jack?

-Hitler.

0:31:450:31:48

-KLAXON SOUNDS

-Oddly enough, it's not true. It's what the whole world thinks.

0:31:490:31:54

And we know this from no greater source than Jesse Owens himself.

0:31:540:32:00

It's a really rather sad and very typically unfortunate story.

0:32:000:32:04

Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, stage-managed, of course, by Hitler.

0:32:040:32:11

On the first day, Hitler congratulated only German winners.

0:32:110:32:16

Someone said to him that he should either congratulate all the winners or none of them,

0:32:160:32:22

-so he said, "I won't congratulate any winners." So he didn't personally...

-Look at the far right.

0:32:220:32:28

-..he didn't personally congratulate Jesse Owens.

-LAUGHTER

0:32:280:32:32

Who are you looking at there?

0:32:320:32:34

The bloke on the far right is just going like that.

0:32:340:32:38

That bloke on the far right is called Hermann Goering.

0:32:380:32:42

LAUGHTER

0:32:420:32:45

-Surely they're all on the far right?

-Hey!

0:32:450:32:48

-Wa-hey!

-APPLAUSE

0:32:490:32:52

Brilliant!

0:32:520:32:54

They're all taking bets on how high the high jump was going to go.

0:32:570:33:02

-"About there."

-The one on Hitler's left is thinking, "I didn't get the memo."

0:33:020:33:08

How To Dress.

0:33:080:33:10

Well, no, it is rather sad. Hitler decided that he wouldn't congratulate anyone,

0:33:100:33:16

so he didn't snub Jesse Owens at all. According to Jesse Owens,

0:33:160:33:21

"When I passed the Chancellor, he arose, waved his hand at me

0:33:210:33:25

"and I waved back at him. Hitler didn't snub me. It was..." Who snubbed him?

0:33:250:33:31

-So Hitler wasn't such a bad guy after all...

-The jury's still out.

0:33:310:33:36

-We know he's bad, but he didn't snub Jesse Owens.

-The King of England.

0:33:360:33:41

-No, FDR.

-Bastard.

0:33:410:33:43

The President of his own country. It's a terrible story here.

0:33:430:33:48

"The President didn't even send me a telegram." He won four golds.

0:33:480:33:53

"When I came back to my native country, I couldn't ride in the front of the bus,

0:33:530:33:59

"I had to go to the back door, I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President."

0:33:590:34:06

He had to use the goods lift at the Waldorf Astoria to get into the reception

0:34:060:34:12

for returning US athletes as he wasn't to use the front door.

0:34:120:34:17

-Sammy Davis Junior couldn't go in the front of hotels in Vegas where he was performing.

-Astonishing.

0:34:170:34:23

-He went in through the kitchen.

-I know. That still happens to me sometimes.

0:34:230:34:29

Moving on elsewhere again, where does the rainwater that falls into this creek go?

0:34:290:34:35

-It's in Wyoming, I should say.

-FANFARE

0:34:350:34:39

-'Nobody knows!'

-You're right!

0:34:390:34:42

CHEERING

0:34:420:34:43

Well done!

0:34:430:34:45

All right!

0:34:470:34:49

You're very good at this. As you probably know, round about the Rockies

0:34:520:34:58

there is the Continental Divide and rainwater that falls on one side drains into the Pacific,

0:34:580:35:04

-the other to the Atlantic, but in this particular place...

-LAUGHTER

0:35:040:35:09

Nobody knows.

0:35:090:35:12

-It's called North Two Ocean Creek in Wyoming.

-It's a big one.

0:35:120:35:17

-LAUGHTER

-Nobody, as you rightly say, knows. And there it is.

0:35:170:35:22

Now fasten your seatbelts as we head into a spot of unexpected general ignorance.

0:35:220:35:29

Name the world's largest pyramid.

0:35:290:35:32

Don't know the name of any.

0:35:340:35:36

-That one in the middle.

-LAUGHTER

0:35:360:35:38

KLAXON

0:35:380:35:41

Oh, Jack! I'm so sorry.

0:35:450:35:48

-Am I really that predictable?

-I'm afraid you are. Terrible thought.

0:35:480:35:53

Well, well, I don't know. I'm going to say something that will be wrong, like Giza.

0:35:530:35:59

Well, that's where we're looking.

0:35:590:36:02

-The three great pyramids of Giza.

-It's not an Aztec one, is it?

0:36:020:36:06

Yes, it is. I don't expect you to know its name. If you did, you'd get 40 points.

0:36:060:36:12

I don't know its name, but I'll spit out some consonants!

0:36:120:36:17

-It's called Cholula.

-Ah, Cholula!

0:36:170:36:21

-It was on the tip of my tongue.

-It's not Opl-lopl-opl...?

-No, it's not Popocatepetl.

0:36:210:36:27

It's Cholula. Although it's got a flat top and it's not as high, its cubic capacity is much bigger.

0:36:270:36:34

It's 4.3 million cubic yards as opposed to Khufu or Cheops' 3.36.

0:36:340:36:39

-It's not actually a pyramid.

-According to archaeologists, that qualifies as a pyramid.

0:36:390:36:45

There is a word for a pyramid with a flat top.

0:36:450:36:49

-Unfinished.

-LAUGHTER

0:36:490:36:53

APPLAUSE

0:36:540:36:56

It's on the sign.

0:36:560:36:58

"Due for completion early BC497."

0:36:580:37:02

It's called a frustum. Name the world's fattest country.

0:37:020:37:06

Or the country with the fattest citizens.

0:37:070:37:09

-Cos otherwise I'd say it would be Russia.

-No.

-Tonga.

0:37:090:37:12

-Not Tonga. No.

-Fiji.

0:37:120:37:15

No, but you're absolutely in the right area, you've correctly...

0:37:150:37:18

-Vanuatu.

-No, you're abso...

0:37:180:37:21

-You're so... Oh!

-The Cook Islands.

0:37:210:37:23

-So close to round there.

-Fiji.

0:37:230:37:26

It begins with N.

0:37:260:37:27

Nnnn...

0:37:270:37:28

Nyuh!

0:37:280:37:29

Nnn-not Tonga.

0:37:290:37:31

Nauru.

0:37:310:37:33

Near Tonga.

0:37:330:37:34

North Tonga!

0:37:340:37:35

Nnn-never Tonga.

0:37:360:37:38

Is it Nauru?

0:37:380:37:39

Now! Exactly, yes.

0:37:390:37:41

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:37:410:37:43

In your face!

0:37:430:37:45

It only has a population of 10,000 people,

0:37:480:37:50

but 97% of the men are obese or overweight and 93% of women are obese or overweight.

0:37:500:37:55

-I remember they had a one-man Olympic team and he was in the weightlifting.

-Yes.

0:37:550:37:59

They get rather upset at being called obese and they say they're a stocky people

0:37:590:38:02

-and...

-Big boned.

0:38:020:38:04

Big boned, exactly. Exactly.

0:38:040:38:05

-It's their metabolism.

-Well, I'm afraid the fact is,

0:38:050:38:08

you can't really put on weight, as I know to my cost,

0:38:080:38:10

unless you put things in your mouth.

0:38:100:38:12

That's where it comes from.

0:38:120:38:14

When was the First World War first named as such?

0:38:140:38:18

The outbreak. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

0:38:200:38:24

-You think it was straightaway?

-Before it started.

0:38:240:38:28

It would be an act of a pessimist to call it that early.

0:38:280:38:34

- It's going to be some point after 1939, isn't it? - A realist, surely.

0:38:340:38:39

"There's going to be more of these." KLAXON

0:38:390:38:42

Excuse me! I think what I said, people in the box,

0:38:440:38:49

is AFTER 1939,

0:38:490:38:51

which may contain 1939, but does not mean it.

0:38:510:38:55

KLAXON

0:38:550:38:57

OK... No, no, no.

0:38:580:39:02

I think "After 1939" and "After the Second World War" are not synonymous.

0:39:020:39:08

This is just giving you time to type "After 1939".

0:39:080:39:12

KLAXON

0:39:120:39:14

Oh...

0:39:170:39:18

Why not just type, "Mitchell is a cock"?

0:39:180:39:22

-I wouldn't put it past them!

-LAUGHTER

0:39:240:39:28

No, the surprising news is that it was in 1918 that it was first called the First World War.

0:39:280:39:35

A British officer, Lt Col Charles a Court Repington,

0:39:350:39:39

recorded in his diary for 10th September that he met Major Johnstone of Harvard University

0:39:390:39:45

to discuss what to call the war. Repington said to call it The War was no good.

0:39:450:39:51

-That War?

-To call it the German War gave too much credit to the Boche.

0:39:510:39:56

"I suggested the World War," Repington said, "Finally, we agreed to call it the First World War

0:39:560:40:02

"to prevent the millennium folk from forgetting that the history of the world was the history of war."

0:40:020:40:08

In 1920 he published a book called The First World War, 1914-18.

0:40:080:40:13

-Wasn't it called The Great War?

-Yes, but there was another Great War before that. Do you know it?

0:40:130:40:20

-Napoleonic War?

-Napoleonic, yes. So wars do change their names. There you are.

0:40:200:40:26

Supplementary on this international question,

0:40:260:40:28

why did the colonels in chief of the Royal Dragoons and the 1st King's Dragoon Guards

0:40:280:40:34

fail to turn up for duty at the start of the First World War?

0:40:340:40:37

They were entwined in an embrace.

0:40:370:40:39

-Only now can we reveal the truth.

-It was one of those embarrassing things about...

-Oh, I know!

-Yes?

0:40:450:40:50

Because it was Kaiser Bill.

0:40:500:40:52

Yes. Kaiser Bill was in fact the colonel in chief of the Royal Dragoons,

0:40:520:40:56

and Franz Joseph Habsburg was the colonel in chief of the King's Dragoons,

0:40:560:41:01

-so...

-That's a security risk, that.

-It was a bit, wasn't it?

0:41:010:41:04

If it turned out that Osama bin Laden was actually an admiral of the fleet,

0:41:040:41:10

that would have been a nightmare.

0:41:100:41:11

We appointed Emperor Hirohito a field marshal in the 1930s though,

0:41:110:41:15

so we carried on doing this. There was a bit of embarrassment when they had to go to war

0:41:150:41:19

with their colonel in chief. It was eventually sorted out,

0:41:190:41:23

and we pretty much spanked their botties.

0:41:230:41:25

We pretty much did.

0:41:250:41:26

-So...

-Only four years of carnage.

-Yes. Quite.

0:41:260:41:29

And lastly,

0:41:290:41:31

on the international journey that we've been enjoying,

0:41:310:41:34

who invented this salute?

0:41:340:41:36

-The Scouts.

-The Scouts, no.

0:41:360:41:39

Is this a kind of "who were the first fascists" question?

0:41:390:41:42

Not really, no.

0:41:420:41:44

Who actually used this as a salute first, do we know?

0:41:440:41:47

Oh! Was it a Roman?

0:41:470:41:48

-Ah... No.

-KLAXON

0:41:480:41:51

Unfortunately not.

0:41:510:41:53

It was basically the French Classical artists, notably David,

0:41:530:41:57

-the leading French Classical artist, who...

-Artists have a salute?!

0:41:570:42:00

They painted Romans doing this, but there is no evidence in Roman literature, murals or art

0:42:000:42:05

-that Romans ever did this as a salute.

-They're bound to have done.

0:42:050:42:09

-At some point, I mean...

-They might have put their arms out, but it wasn't used as a salute.

0:42:090:42:13

It just became a common idea that they did this.

0:42:130:42:17

And so it then became very much a symbol of the Olympic movement,

0:42:170:42:20

it was the Olympic salute, until 1936.

0:42:200:42:23

Um, and also, American school children when they took the Oath Of Allegiance they did that.

0:42:230:42:29

-And then again, once it became a fascist salute...

-Now they do...

0:42:290:42:32

It's a strange thought that the Nazi salute was in fact American school children and Olympic athletes

0:42:340:42:40

who first used it. There you are, wasn't invented by the Nazis at all.

0:42:400:42:43

And with that we reach our final destination. Please remain seated for the scores.

0:42:430:42:49

My goodness, me. Well, I'm afraid very much in the bucket class,

0:42:490:42:55

with minus 44, is David Mitchell!

0:42:550:42:58

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:42:580:43:01

Standing room only at the back. With minus 27 it's Jack Dee!

0:43:060:43:09

APPLAUSE

0:43:090:43:11

-With a surprising amount of leg room, at minus 10, Alan Davies!

-Thank you.

0:43:140:43:19

Which means... that tonight's First Class passenger with four points is Bill Bailey!

0:43:190:43:27

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:43:270:43:30

So thank you for flying with QI International. My cabin crew, David, Jack, Bill and Alan, and I

0:43:350:43:41

wish you a pleasant onward journey. And don't forget the wise words of Halvard Lange, PM of Norway,

0:43:410:43:47

who said, "We do not regard Englishmen as foreigners. We look on them as rather mad Norwegians."

0:43:470:43:54

Good night.

0:43:540:43:56

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