Stephen Fry investigates an imbroglio of issues with John Bishop, Frank Skinner, Sean Lock 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 we have an ill-assorted imbroglio of interesting items
initiated by I.
Here for your immediate inspection are the inestimable John Bishop...
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
..the inimitable Frank Skinner.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-The incomparable Sean Lock.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And Alan Davies is also in.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Now, this evening the buzzers are intentionally irritating.
SMALL DOG YAPPING
Can I ask, how long is this show?
LAUGHTER It depends how often you use the buzzer.
And Alan goes... "WRONG AGAIN" ALARM
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
As John and Frank have never played the game before,
I should explain that each of you has a Nobody Knows placard.
-You might like to show it. It's a question mark.
That's it. There will be a question tonight to which nobody knows the answer.
If you think, when I ask it, that this is the question to which there is no known answer,
you wave your card and you get extra points.
It looks like they had Strictly Come Dancing one night,
and someone did a dance so experimental...
You can consider it that way.
Now, to warm up the new boys, here's an easy one to begin with.
What's the French for "innuendo"?
Is it "double entendre"?
"WRONG AGAIN" ALARM Ohhhhh!
No, I've just remembered, "double entendre" is French for "big tits".
"Double entendre" means nothing to a Frenchman. You could say "double entente".
-"Entente" is like a...
No. Or "double sens", double sense. But they don't say "double entendre".
So it's a French phrase that the French don't use?
-So it's not French.
That's precisely what this round of questions is about.
There are other examples. If you're at a performance,
someone is very brilliant, you want them to perform again...
-You'd shout "encore". What would they shout in France?
No. But good thought!
But "encore" is a French word meaning "more", but they don't shout it.
They shout a Latin word which means "twice".
Anyone in the audience? CALLS FROM AUDIENCE
-They should try "encore".
You'd hate to do a show, wouldn't you,
and at the end, everyone goes "Bis".
-It's like that.
There are other phrases which we use, which sound French,
but again mean nothing to a Frenchman.
"Cause celebre" is not a French phrase.
Like "en-suite" for a bathroom, the French would go, "What?"
What about "bidet"?
"Bidet", they do indeed have, though it's easier to do a handstand in the shower, to be honest.
And if you want the expense of-of a bidet...
-If you're as nimble as I am.
I'd pay good money to see that.
I'd like to see you with a camera, going, "Tweet this."
The trouble is with the handstand in the shower, though,
it's like when you see a mountain stream, and you think,
"The water looks all right but I don't know where it's been."
When you're upside down and this water is pouring across your face,
lodging in your nostrils, and you know that it's been...
LAUGHTER Well, that's a worry.
I had a friend who had read somewhere that if you slept upside down, it made you more intelligent
-because the blood went to your brain.
-Went to your brain.
And I became obsessed with the idea that he would have a wet dream and die.
Oh, that's so... In so many ways, a horrific image.
This guy also told us, that a Chinese Burn, is called a Chinese Burn, because in China,
it's a form of torture.
-I was told that at school.
-It's the sort of thing school...
So a student in Tiananmen Square is stopped and a soldier says, "You,
"Come here, come here, arm out."
"Be careful, next time..."
"Next time, it be dead leg."
-I like the way you resisted the opportunity to go "dead reg."
-Yeah, we're not ready for those jokes yet.
-Oh, no, no, no.
So yes, there are words we use, "decolletage", for example, we use for the...
The French use "decollete" for that.
Excuse me, when you say "we", you mean you.
Well, it's not a common phrase.
No, it's not. Nobody says, "Look at the decolletage on that."
You never stop learning.
I've already learned how to say to my teenage sons, "Look at the knockers on that"
without their mum getting annoyed.
And now you can say "decolletage".
Also, "en-suite", which is used commonly these days for a bathroom connected to a bedroom.
-In France, they didn't use...
-(COCKNEY) And of course, the en-suite.
There's a Greek phrase. The Greeks say "Katatraya stayeftika", I think it is.
And it means, "Who gives a shit?"
But literally, it means, "There is trouble in the gypsy village."
Depending how high you are up socially, it's right, isn't it?
Posh people wouldn't give a shit.
Anyway, that's the point. You can ask a Frenchman for a double entendre if you like,
but you'll be lucky if he gives you one.
Not to some... LAUGHTER
Thank you very much.
Now to some I-tunes.
Who wrote the songs, I'm Leaning On A Lamppost
and When I'm Cleaning Windows?
SMALL DOG YAPPING
Definitely not George Formby,
even though his wife Beryl insisted George had a credit so that he'd get money.
You're absolutely right, and you're a bit of a fan of George Formby?
I am indeed, yeah.
I'm Leaning On A Lamppost was one of his big hits.
Wasn't When I'm Cleaning Windows a bit dodgy?
Well, there was a phrase, "The blushing bride, she looks divine
"The bridegroom, he is doing fine
"I'd rather have his job than mine
"When I'm cleaning windows."
The BBC banned it.
However, George Formby was invited to perform at Windsor in front of the Royal Family in 1941,
and some troops, during the War, obviously,
and the Queen Mother insisted he sing the song properly, with no cuts.
She loved it, and asked him to sing it another three times. But the BBC still banned it.
There's a George Formby lyric, my favourite double entendre,
and he says, "I wonder who's under her balcony now,
"Who's kissing my girl. Does he kiss her under the nose
"Or underneath the archway where the Sweet William grows?"
You're a special group, George Formby fans,
and it's usual amongst George Formby fans, I believe,
that they teach themselves the banjolele, and as you are one,
we have a banjolele.
Can you delight us with some Formby?
-Am I on the spot?
-I don't know if it's tuned but...
Don't worry about that. "My dog has fleas", is what you need to remember.
# My dog has... # Oh, this one doesn't have fleas, he has distemper.
That, um, When I'm Cleaning Windows has got another bit that goes,
# Eight o'clock, a girl awakes At ten past eight a bath she takes
# At quarter past, my ladder breaks When I'm cleaning windows. #
Er, there's a bit that goes...
# There's a famous movie queen She looks a beauty on the screen
# She's more like 80 than 18 When I'm cleaning windows
# She takes her hair down all behind Then takes down her never mind
# And finally takes down the blind When I'm cleaning windows. #
Thank you very much.
So, what is it about George Formby? He was one of the biggest film stars of his time in Britain, wasn't he?
I went to his grave, and
there's a massive great, white stone, and the big face and it says,
"George Formby." And it's a massive monument,
and when you get closer, you realise, it's his dad.
He was Junior, wasn't he?
His dad was a massive music hall star, and at the bottom it says,
"Also George Formby, OBE." Blah, blah, blah.
So he got terrible billing, even on his own grave.
And the wife you alluded to, Beryl, was fanatically jealous.
I mean, if a make-up girl on a film so much as smiled at him,
she'd have her sacked, wouldn't she?
Indeed, but I think George got away with quite a lot of saucy...
-(AS GEORGE FORMBY) Turned out nice again.
-Exactly. It turned out nice quite a lot!
George used to say that Beryl only gave him five bob a week pocket money,
but his brother claimed, after George died,
that that was something that George came up with,
so when he was in the bar, he'd say, "I'd love to get a round in,
"but Beryl only gives me five bob a week."
There is a tradition, I don't know if it exists in other languages,
or whether it's peculiarly English, of the tradition of Frankie Howerd, Carry On.
It must exist in other languages. It must.
I guess it must.
Even in America, it doesn't really.
-They don't seem to set the same store.
-They seem a bit more mature, maybe.
Maybe they are more mature!
More sophisticated. They've got over it.
"Yeah, that did us until we were about eight."
In other countries, that symbolism is terribly sad,
portentous and awful.
-All of Ibsen's plays are about...
The Master Builder's about towers and erections,
and it just means the man's sad and lusts after women he can't possibly have.
Everyone sits in the theatre, going, "Oh, God, this is awful."
In England, it would be Benny Hill going....
They can be clever, those innuendos. There used to be a joke, "She was only a so-and-so's daughter...
She was only a road-mender's daughter but she liked having her ass felt,
-or whatever it was.
She was only a fishmonger's daughter, but she could lay it on the slab and say, "fillet".
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Does anyone recognise the photograph behind you, where that's from?
That's from Round The Horne.
A hugely successful radio series of the 1960s.
That's Kenneth Horne in the middle and they pushed the boundaries of innuendo, probably further
than they'd ever been pushed in British comic life,
especially with Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick who played a couple called Jules and Sandy.
who basically used gay slang, in the 1960s, lunchtime Radio 2 comedy
at a time when millions were listening. They were doing extraordinary stuff.
But that was the great thing. They'd got that Polari thing going,
they had their own language, so they could say, "Oh God,
"my lallies are so tired," and people literally had no idea.
But it sounded funny.
-That's right, yeah, I know.
-And as long as you go,
"Oooer," every now and again...
I know. I know. Anyway, there you are.
That's probably enough innuendo.
If I see another double entendre, I'll whip it out and probably stick a blue pencil through it.
Now to an initiative test.
I want everybody here, and I'm including the audience,
our lovely audience, I want you to think of your favourite colour
and on the count of three, I want you to shout it out, as loud as you can. All right?
It affects everyone in the room. OK? One, two, three...
OK. So, Frank. What did John shout?
I was mainly listening to me.
-Do you know what Frank shouted?
-Did you shout, "Pink?"
Do you know what Alan shouted?
-Did you shout, "Red?"
-Do you know what Sean shouted?
-I thought you shouted, "Yellow." What did you shout?
-That was a guess, wasn't it?
I thought he shouted blue. He was really loud.
The fact is, it's very common, and these are use in tests for teamwork,
it's very common for people not to listen to other people when they are speaking.
It's not unusual, if you're making a noise yourself,
-Sorry, I wasn't...
-Oh, I beg your pardon!
And as there are, as you know, people who make money out of paying management people
to take courses in teamwork and it seems it's very, very important, that
even when you are shouting, you should hear what the other person is saying.
What a load of bollocks!
I know. You should have seen me when I first saw this,
because if there is a profession, it is that of people who basically
get management people to pay them, to tell them the art of
the so obvious, it makes your nose bleed.
"When you're speaking it's really important that people hear what you're saying.
-"You know, we do a four week course on this."
-The one I like, is the
people who come to your house and give you advice on what to do to sell it.
-Especially when you don't want to sell it.
-Yes! That can be annoying.
-Went in the toilet.
Put the toilet lid down, and said, "Lid down when showing."
Oh, really? So no floating solids?
-I always tell my clients that.
-Flush it first!
And I would stop the family doing hand stands in the shower.
It's a living bidet.
Pay the full price for colonic irrigation, don't do it like that.
We're being very critical, but the next time I'm in a situation
where I have to shout out a colour, simultaneously with a lot of other
people, I'm going to pay a lot more attention.
That's good to know. You're advancing.
ALAN: I said, "Blue" but really, I meant, "Red."
That's really difficult!
I also don't think that works, because I think
if you're making a noise, you can't hear a noise.
I think that would make choral singing an impossibility if that were true.
-Especially when they do that "I Can Sing A Rainbow" song.
It might surprise you, but I've not been in a lot of choirs.
That's a good point. But I've lived that life where we've had...
cos I used to have a normal life in a corporate world,
and I've been on training days...
Oh, you've actually been on the bloody things?
-And were they all absolute...?
-I mean, there's some part of it that you think,
this could be good. I can see what's going on,
when they say, "There's an issue within the company,
"you've all got different views, why don't you draw a picture?
"Instead of talking, let's draw a picture,"
"What are we going to draw?" "Anything that comes into your mind. Not a cock."
Getting to the bottom of a corporate infrastructure,
cock drawing, saying, "That's you," doesn't really help.
We had all these things, and honest to God,
you do get to it and you start looking at people and think,
"You live your life like this."
You can see them going home to their kids saying,
"Come on, I could make your tea, but wouldn't it be better
"if you made your tea?
"Wouldn't you feel better as a team if we made tea together?"
"Wouldn't it be better if tea didn't exist?
"Let's all think. Draw your tea.
"And let's remove it as an issue."
Well, it's becoming rapidly more clear, there are many people
who need to be killed and nearly all of them are management consultants. However, hopefully...
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Hopefully, that classic piece of management school trickery
will have taught you all a valuable lesson about the importance of listening,
so listen to this. What is an interrobang?
Is it the way you ask a question,
like the Australians finish all their sentences like it's a question?
-It's the lift.
-As if everything's a question?
-Yeah, and goes up at the end?
No, it isn't that. They sometimes call that the AQI, the Australian question intonation.
But that's not it. It's a punctuation mark that had a brief vogue
and it consisted of a question mark, which is the "interro" part,
and a "bang" is a printer's name for an exclamation mark.
-And there it is, that's how it looked.
-I love it!
It's rather good, isn't it? We should use it.
You know sometimes when you're typing a letter and you want to go, "What the heck?!"
It's not really a question, but because it begins with "What the..."
You think maybe it should be a question. That's the symbol they were using.
You do see people, they'll put a question mark
-and then an exclamation mark, to kind of make that point.
In the 1960s, they had a brief vogue and there were typewriters that had it as a character.
And it does exist as a Unicode character in the Askey set.
What does that mean when sometimes you see a question mark upside down on a text?
-Well, in Spain, they do that.
-Put one at the start.
-It means someone's in the shower!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
In Spain, a question begins with an upside down one and ends with a right way up one.
And indeed, they did an upside down interrobang,
which was known as a gnaborretni, which is just interrobang backwards.
# Do doo do doo-do! #
There was the sarcastrophe.
Which is a little like the circumflex accent the French used to have,
what's called a carat, you know, a little sort of hat shape.
You'd put that - "Oh, that's really funny" - outside the "really",
would indicate you were being sarcastic.
What's always frustrated me
is that on a standard typewriter keyboard,
-when you hit the semi-colon...
..you just have to hit the key, but to get the colon,
you have to press that other key.
If I was a colon, I'd think, "Surely I take precedence?
"You are merely a semi version of me,
"I should be the one that just needs one key!"
-I share your pain, Frank.
I've stayed up till dawn with whisky, going, "Why?!"
No, but I'll tell you, it's led me to an overuse of the hyphen.
-Instead of going
-all round the houses to the colon, I think, "Oh, I'll put a hyphen."
-Don't go down that track, Frank!
Get off the hyphen now, Frank!
There's people here for you, you don't have to go "hyphen"!
We can support you, we're friends here, Frank.
You know, your hyphen will just wear out.
-Unless you regularly put some cream on it.
-The alternative is to use...
It'll be hanging down by your knees before you know it!
I don't want to be using a semi-colon
instead of what should be a colon, just out of laziness.
I wouldn't know when you should use a colon or a semi-colon.
No-one uses a semi-colon, that's why you don't have a semi-colonic irrigation.
-That's the technical term for standing on your head in the shower.
Yes, the interrobang might be a useful new punctuation mark.
Now, let's play... WA-WA-WA-WAAAA
How Ironic Is That?
Mm, yes. I'm going to outline some situations,
and all you have to do is tell me how ironic they are, and why.
Is it out of 100?
No, you can just give me a sort of sense of just exactly how ironic you think they are.
I'm just worried about how we grade the irony.
I would say shiny...
Shall I tell you...
..down to rusty.
Shall I tell you what the shades of irony supposedly are?
I think what we're getting at is, "irony"'s often weirdly misused.
People say, "Ironically, he wasn't there."
-You mean, unfortunately.
-The invisible man.
There's verbal irony, the opposite of what's...
"As clear as mud", "Oh, this is a fine state of affairs".
Slightly less than sarcasm, that's verbal irony.
There's comic irony. Dr Strangelove.
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is the War Room," for example, is an ironic remark.
Little does he know that I'm about to...
Yeah, the audience knows Oedipus is the very murderer that he's hunting, as it were.
-As in, "Dive, thoughts, down to my soul. Here Clarence comes."
Yes. That's just the kind of thing. Richard III and others.
Ladies and gentlemen, an all-round entertainer!
And then there's Socratic irony, which is pretending to be dumber than you are,
like Socrates, or like Columbo.
Lieutenant Columbo, the greatest ever detective. There you are.
God, that's the greatest ever show.
Is that it? Like Socrates or Lieutenant Columbo?
-I would be hard put to say...
-I know they both did that, but beyond that...
I would be hard put to say which was greater.
I think Columbo is the greatest TV series ever made. I worship it.
-I absolutely agree with that.
I once spent a long night with David Baddiel having an argument
about whether Columbo had one eye or not.
Peter Falk, you mean? Yeah.
Well, no, this was the debate.
My argument was that Peter Falk does indeed have one eye,
but in Columbo, that eye plays the part of a real eye.
I think there's truth in that.
-Columbo has two eyes.
-That's how good he was. I agree.
How did this argument go on for so long?
-Was it like Women In Love?
-He wouldn't have it.
Were you wrestling naked in front of a fire? Women In Love?
That was how we had to decide it in the end. We couldn't find a coin.
So, is this ironic? John Kendrick was an American sea captain
who put into Honolulu Harbour in 1794
and was killed by the cannon which was fired to salute him.
Now, we understand situational and arguably, comic irony,
though the audience was very sympathetic.
-That's fairly ironic.
-It's pretty ironic, isn't it?
It's almost up in the spangly section.
Yes. What about Clement Vallandigham, who was an Ohio lawyer
who died in 1871 while defending a man who was accused of murder during a bar room brawl.
To show the jury how the pistol might have gone off accidentally,
this lawyer grabbed the gun, put it in his pocket,
and re-enacted the events as he imagined them.
-And sure enough...
-He was shot by a cannon.
No, the pistol went off and he was killed by the gun in exactly the way he was describing.
Just before he died from his own wounds, his client was acquitted.
And the good thing is, his client didn't have to pay.
No, exactly. It's perfect.
Situational irony, I think that would be called.
But, now, what about Abraham Lincoln?
He was shot while sitting in Ford's Theatre,
while Kennedy was shot while sitting in a Ford Lincoln.
Many other coincidences like that. That's just simply coincidence.
-Reagan was shot in Washington, and Washington was shot with a raygun.
If only that were true.
It would almost be worth inventing a time machine and going back with a raygun just to do that.
It's true. But nobody knew what a raygun was then, so they just went, "What's that?"
I have a picture - is this ironic? Is there something ironic about that?
That you basically cut all the wool off a sheep
-then knit it together again.
-A sheep in sheep's clothing!
More ironic that we look at it and go, "Awww,"
-then go, "Um-num-num!"
I saw an advert for a meat supplier and it said, "Caring for pork, from farm to fork."
I thought, there's a certain point where you go, "You're not really caring."
I wouldn't call that caring when you're just going...
MIMICS NOISE OF A MINCER
With the eyeballs, to make sausages. Phhhhfffft!
This is rather ironic.
In 1989 in America, convicted murderer Michael Godwin
had his sentence reduced to life imprisonment
after five years awaiting the electric chair.
But he was then accidentally electrocuted while sitting naked on a steel lavatory seat
in his cell in Columbia. He was trying to fix his TV set.
He bit into a wire and was electrocuted.
-That is a kind of cosmic irony, really.
-That's not irony. That's God's will.
It's God's will. I think you may well be right.
That's irony for you. The things we call irony often really aren't that ironic.
Ironically. Or not.
Now, um, for some inside information. What's inside this?
Can anyone tell me?
It's a natural thing.
Well, it looks like a coconut.
-It could be an elephant turd, couldn't it?
-It could be. It isn't.
This thing is actually a nut.
Weirdly, the things inside it are not nuts,
but the things inside it are familiar to all of us as nuts.
This is how these grow.
Here they are.
-Oh, Brazil nuts.
They grow inside... These are seeds, but we call them nuts.
Biologically, these are the seeds, and they grow inside this, the nut.
They grow on top of the tree.
They're very heavy, they've been known to kill people.
But it's a very strange life cycle they have.
This tree cannot be cultivated, so they're only wild.
Only wild trees produce these nuts, inside which are the Brazils.
And they can only be pollinated by a very particular bee,
and that bee will only be able to pollinate it
if there is in the area a very particular orchid.
So there's a really strange chain of necessary life situations
in order for us to get our purple Quality Street, essentially.
There is something unique as well about the Brazil nut.
As you know, there are people who are allergic to nuts.
But the Brazil nut, uniquely, amongst all the nuts...
This is really unfortunate.
You can sexually transmit Brazil nut to a partner.
That is to say, if a male has eaten a Brazil nut,
and they inseminate a person who is allergic,
that person's allergy will be affected by it.
That's a good murder plot, isn't it?
It is amazing.
I actually feel right in the middle of an episode of House now.
Cos how on earth has that been found out?
Surely the woman would feel the Brazil nut?
I think you may have slightly misunderstood...
The man would too, really.
May contain nuts!
We must ask the QI audience, both the physical one here, and those watching TV,
to be our experimental cohort,
and I want you all to eat Brazil nuts and then make love to your beloveds.
-I'll eat the nuts.
LAUGHTER Sean is volunteering on that side.
I'm happy to eat the nuts. You line up, I'll eat the nuts, let's check it out.
-There you are.
-Let's do this!
-Let's do this thing for science.
Incidentally, does anyone know, in a packet of mixed nuts,
why do the Brazils always rise to the top?
Surely nobody knows that.
TRUMPET FANFARE You're right!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE I'm very impressed.
It is a known and observable process,
that in bags of muesli and nuts, the Brazil nuts do go to the top.
Scientists have worked hard to try and understand why.
At first they thought the little ones settle down through and leave the big ones at the top.
You may say, why should they waste their time? There are all kind of good reasons,
like sorting rubble after earthquakes.
I've got to be honest, I've never heard of an earthquake victim
being crushed by a load of nuts.
No, nor have I, I'm talking about the science behind the lodgement
and the dislodgement of solid objects.
You'd think, because they're the heaviest nut in the bag...
-It seems counterintuitive.
-In a box of muesli, it's the larger items, for example,
the currants, that go to the bottom.
-You get a lot of currants in the last portion.
Nobody knows precisely why it happens,
but it seems to be an observable phenomenon.
But if you get almonds in mixed nuts,
I find they rise to the top, above the Brazil nuts.
-And I'm starting to think it could be...
Cashews, dates, maybe. And so on.
-Walnuts at the bottom.
-And walnuts right at the bottom.
Good, you're all doing extremely well.
What do the signal bars on your phone mean?
Well, it means how much... signal... you can...
Don't be scared.
They mean how... how...
the thing with the thing in the sky and they come through,
-not there, all gone.
-I need it in English, I'm afraid.
-Talky talky power all gone away.
Sky no fly down in the air here.
Big bird in sky.
You're either connected or you're not connected.
So levels of connectivity are a bit irrelevant.
Yes, I would have accepted a Nobody Knows card, too late now,
because basically, there is no standardisation between manufacturers,
and different handset makers have different ways of showing
what is apparently a full signal,
and we're all really thrilled, "Oh, look, I've got five bars."
How many Nobody Knows questions are there in this tonight?
Ah! Nobody knows.
What I find really annoying is when you're talking to someone on the mobile phone and it cuts out,
then when they call you back again, they say, "Dunno what happened then."
In the past, I've always said, "Well, it must be you,
"because I've got five bars." But now you're telling me...
-Exactly. I'm afraid that is...
-You've pulled the rug from under me, Stephen!
I'm sorry to do that, but that's one thing we do on this show.
Nobody knows quite what the signal bars on your phone really signify.
And now we sink our claws into the soft underbelly of knowledge,
and tear out the fetid entrails of general ignorance.
So fingers on buzzers, please.
What use is an inflatable anchor?
Is it for hot air balloons?
Very smart answer. No.
SMALL DOG YAPPING
-Is it to stop submarines from, um... going too low?
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
That's so sweet.
When the surface is incredibly sandy,
and a standard claw anchor would have nothing to catch onto,
you send down an inflatable one.
It's a spike. It goes into the sand, and you inflate it with fluid, not air, in fact.
And it lodges in the sand. That's what they use. Now you know.
Which animal did Richard I have three of on his shirt?
Now, can I suggest that at this point in history,
no-one in England had ever seen a lion.
Is that possible?
So, it's not a lion.
-What did Richard I spend most of his time doing?
-I don't know.
-There weren't any lions in Arabia, were there?
-There were in Africa.
Bloody everywhere, they were.
Zoos. The Tower of London had a menagerie, a little later, I grant you.
In a picnic in those days, not wasps, lions.
Millions of them.
GET OFF ME SANDWICH!
The point is...
Seen some lions! Swans are the bastards.
He looks like he's going, "Ooh, get you in your suit of armour!"
He looks like he's doing a sort of, "Ooh!"
This is the badge of English royalty that was first used by Richard I,
and it's three...
Well, I'd say, not lions.
You're right to avoid the word lions.
They were known as leopards. They called them leopards.
They were not familiar with the difference between a leopard and a lion.
And leopard really just means a bearded lion, and it's a heraldic thing.
If they were that shape sideways on, those were leopards.
So there was a song, wasn't there?
-Wasn't there, Frank Skinner?
And that would have caused me a lot of scanning problems.
Yes. It was based, however, on a lie.
No, it was based on a lion.
-"Three leopards on my shirt."
-Were they rampant or couchant?
It's gone a bit Sale Of The Century!
They were actually passant gardant.
But the rampant lion is the sign of the Kings of Scotland.
-Very hairy knees, the Scottish one.
-Yes, they have rather, haven't they?
They would be called lions in heraldry,
whereas the three lions on the shirt would be known as leopards.
So, which years did your song chart, Frank Skinner and David Baddiel's Three Lions?
-It was number one in...
-'96, and then again in '98.
Yeah. It charted in...
And then it charted in, er, 2000.
2002. It missed out 2000, I'm afraid.
-Yeah. 2002, 2006 and 2010.
-That's quite impressive.
-I must check my platinum discs.
Yes, I think we can safely say we milked it.
You milked those leopards.
Can I ask, was it big in any other country?
It got to the top ten in Germany.
The Germans, when they actually won Euro 96,
which is what the song was originally written for,
they figured they'd won the song as well,
so they were on the balcony in Berlin, leading the crowd
in Three Lions On A Shirt.
Now, that's irony.
The fact is, anyone can get a Grant of Arms.
You only need £4,225,
which is cheaper than some cherished number plates.
Sir Christopher Frayling, former Chairman of the Arts Council
and expert on Clint Eastwood movies
took a motto, which is "Perge Scellus Diem Perficias".
-"Go ahead, punk, make my day"?
-Yes! Very good!
In heraldic, "Proceed, varlet, and render perfect the day."
On my coat of arms, its says, "Katatraya stayeftika".
"There is trouble in the gypsy village."
What's the Latin for "Nick nack nocky noo?"
Frank Skinner's career as a pop star
is, in fact, built on a lamentable terminological inexactitude,
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
If you can, see if you can name a living animal
whose scientific name is exactly the same as its common name.
SMALL DOG YAPPING
Isn't a gorilla called Gorilla gorilla?
"WRONG AGAIN" ALARM
I'm afraid so. Unfortunately, it's called Gorilla gorilla, but the common name for it is just gorilla.
There's only one animal we can think of
where the common name for it is exactly the same as its Latinate...
Does it sound a bit Latiny?
-In a way.
-Is it rhinoceros?
-No, that's Greek.
-It's not that, no. That doesn't sound Latin at all.
No, that's equus. No, it's not a mammal, OK?
-It's not a mammal?
No, it's not. It's herpetic, it's ophidian, it's long and narrow.
-Snake. It's a kind of snake.
-Oh, it's a kind of snake, not snake.
-No, no, it's a species we're after.
Oh, I see, cos if you know about them, you don't go, "Look, snake."
You go, "Ah, it's Snakus curmuncunus."
-Exactly. There is one where precisely...
-Boa constrictor is the right answer!
-I was thinking it!
The scientific name for the Boa constrictor is Boa constrictor.
As far as we can tell at QI, there is no other animal where that's true.
There's some plants where it's true, Aloe vera, or whatever,
but no living animal, as far as we know, except the Boa constrictor,
has the same common name as scientific name.
What's wrong with these bananas?
They're upside down.
Yes, they're upside down.
Bananas do not grow like that.
They grow like... that.
-They grow upwards.
-It's my area of expertise.
I'm impressed. I'm very impressed. Well done.
You probably know something else interesting about bananas.
They have a quality, you might call it a negative quality,
which some other foods have, including these.
And that is, they are faintly radioactive.
Not that there's any harm in eating bananas.
The isotope in question from potassium, K40, is present in our bodies in any case.
Especially in men, in our little naughty areas.
Is that why they look like bananas?
-No, actually, within the epididymes, the...
-Speak for yourself!
-I'm waiting for mine to stop being green.
I'm more in the line with the Brazil nut.
How long is the half life of the radioactive component of a banana?
-I'd say six hours.
-1.25 billion years.
You were only a bit out, then.
It was going to be one or the other.
Brazil nuts contain radium, and are 1,000 times more radioactive than other foods.
We're told that if you walk into a nuclear power plant with a pocket full of Brazils,
it's liable to set off the radiation leak alarm.
-And get a bit of a reputation.
"Here he comes, cheeky chappy, with his pocket full of Brazil nuts."
And an easy one to end with - which country is the world's largest producer of Brazil nuts?
-Brazil is the second largest.
Bolivia is the right answer!
I suspect you were thinking of Bolivia Newton John, which isn't quite the same.
I often do.
Bolivia is the world's...
-Surely with all that radiation, it should be Bolivia Neutron Bomb.
Which brings me to the nutty scores.
Well, my goodness, my gracious, and my word.
-We have a tie for first place.
-And would you believe...
We're not Harry Hill here.
Wonderful as he is.
Would you believe that our two winners, our tie for first place,
is our first-time players, Frank Skinner and John Bishop, four points!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And in third place with minus 14 points, it's Sean Lock!
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
But I'm afraid that the currant that settled at the bottom of the box
with minus 21 is Alan Davies.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Well, that's your lot for this week. My thanks to John, Frank, Sean and Alan.
I leave you with these wise words from Groucho Marx.
"He may look like an idiot, he may sound like an idiot,
"but don't let that fool you, he really is an idiot." Goodnight.
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