Imbroglio QI XL


Imbroglio

Stephen Fry investigates an imbroglio of issues with John Bishop, Frank Skinner, Sean Lock and Alan Davies.


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Transcript


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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Go-o-o-o-o-od evening,

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good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening,

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and welcome to QI,

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where we have an ill-assorted imbroglio of interesting items

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initiated by I.

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Here for your immediate inspection are the inestimable John Bishop...

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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..the inimitable Frank Skinner.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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-The incomparable Sean Lock.

-Thank you.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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And Alan Davies is also in.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Now, this evening the buzzers are intentionally irritating.

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John goes...

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MOSQUITO WHINE

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Frank goes...

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SMALL DOG YAPPING

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Can I ask, how long is this show?

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LAUGHTER It depends how often you use the buzzer.

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Sean goes...

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TODDLER SCREAMS

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And Alan goes... "WRONG AGAIN" ALARM

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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As John and Frank have never played the game before,

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I should explain that each of you has a Nobody Knows placard.

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-You might like to show it. It's a question mark.

-Nobody knows.

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That's it. There will be a question tonight to which nobody knows the answer.

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If you think, when I ask it, that this is the question to which there is no known answer,

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you wave your card and you get extra points.

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It looks like they had Strictly Come Dancing one night,

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and someone did a dance so experimental...

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LAUGHTER

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You can consider it that way.

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Now, to warm up the new boys, here's an easy one to begin with.

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What's the French for "innuendo"?

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Is it "double entendre"?

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"WRONG AGAIN" ALARM Ohhhhh!

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No, I've just remembered, "double entendre" is French for "big tits".

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LAUGHTER

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"Double entendre" means nothing to a Frenchman. You could say "double entente".

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-"Entente" is like a...

-Two-man tent.

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No. Or "double sens", double sense. But they don't say "double entendre".

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So it's a French phrase that the French don't use?

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-So it's not French.

-Exactly.

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That's precisely what this round of questions is about.

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There are other examples. If you're at a performance,

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someone is very brilliant, you want them to perform again...

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-Encore!

-You'd shout "encore". What would they shout in France?

-"More".

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No. But good thought!

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But "encore" is a French word meaning "more", but they don't shout it.

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They shout a Latin word which means "twice".

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-Mm. Mm.

-Anyone?

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Anyone in the audience? CALLS FROM AUDIENCE

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Bis. B-I-S.

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-Bis! Bis!

-That's crap.

-They should try "encore".

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You'd hate to do a show, wouldn't you,

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and at the end, everyone goes "Bis".

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"Bi-i-i-i-is!"

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-It's like that.

-MOSQUITO WHINE

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APPLAUSE

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There are other phrases which we use, which sound French,

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but again mean nothing to a Frenchman.

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"Cause celebre" is not a French phrase.

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Like "en-suite" for a bathroom, the French would go, "What?"

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What about "bidet"?

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"Bidet", they do indeed have, though it's easier to do a handstand in the shower, to be honest.

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LAUGHTER

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And if you want the expense of-of a bidet...

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-"Easier"?

-If you're as nimble as I am.

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I'd pay good money to see that.

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I'd like to see you with a camera, going, "Tweet this."

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The trouble is with the handstand in the shower, though,

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it's like when you see a mountain stream, and you think,

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"The water looks all right but I don't know where it's been."

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When you're upside down and this water is pouring across your face,

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lodging in your nostrils, and you know that it's been...

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LAUGHTER Well, that's a worry.

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I had a friend who had read somewhere that if you slept upside down, it made you more intelligent

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-because the blood went to your brain.

-Went to your brain.

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And I became obsessed with the idea that he would have a wet dream and die.

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LAUGHTER

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Oh, that's so... In so many ways, a horrific image.

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This guy also told us, that a Chinese Burn, is called a Chinese Burn, because in China,

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it's a form of torture.

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-I was told that at school.

-It's the sort of thing school...

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So a student in Tiananmen Square is stopped and a soldier says, "You,

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"Come here, come here, arm out."

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LAUGHTER

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"Be careful, next time..."

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"Next time, it be dead leg."

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-I like the way you resisted the opportunity to go "dead reg."

-Oh!

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-Yeah, we're not ready for those jokes yet.

-Oh, no, no, no.

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So yes, there are words we use, "decolletage", for example, we use for the...

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The French use "decollete" for that.

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Excuse me, when you say "we", you mean you.

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LAUGHTER

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Well, it's not a common phrase.

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No, it's not. Nobody says, "Look at the decolletage on that."

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You never stop learning.

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I've already learned how to say to my teenage sons, "Look at the knockers on that"

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without their mum getting annoyed.

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And now you can say "decolletage".

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"Decolletage"!

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Also, "en-suite", which is used commonly these days for a bathroom connected to a bedroom.

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-In France, they didn't use...

-(COCKNEY) And of course, the en-suite.

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-It's

-commonly

-used.

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There's a Greek phrase. The Greeks say "Katatraya stayeftika", I think it is.

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And it means, "Who gives a shit?"

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But literally, it means, "There is trouble in the gypsy village."

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LAUGHTER

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It's true.

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Depending how high you are up socially, it's right, isn't it?

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Posh people wouldn't give a shit.

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Anyway, that's the point. You can ask a Frenchman for a double entendre if you like,

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but you'll be lucky if he gives you one.

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Not to some... LAUGHTER

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Thank you very much.

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Now to some I-tunes.

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Who wrote the songs, I'm Leaning On A Lamppost

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and When I'm Cleaning Windows?

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SMALL DOG YAPPING

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Definitely not George Formby,

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even though his wife Beryl insisted George had a credit so that he'd get money.

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You're absolutely right, and you're a bit of a fan of George Formby?

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I am indeed, yeah.

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I'm Leaning On A Lamppost was one of his big hits.

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Wasn't When I'm Cleaning Windows a bit dodgy?

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Well, there was a phrase, "The blushing bride, she looks divine

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"The bridegroom, he is doing fine

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"I'd rather have his job than mine

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"When I'm cleaning windows."

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The BBC banned it.

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However, George Formby was invited to perform at Windsor in front of the Royal Family in 1941,

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and some troops, during the War, obviously,

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and the Queen Mother insisted he sing the song properly, with no cuts.

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She loved it, and asked him to sing it another three times. But the BBC still banned it.

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There's a George Formby lyric, my favourite double entendre,

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and he says, "I wonder who's under her balcony now,

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"Who's kissing my girl. Does he kiss her under the nose

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"Or underneath the archway where the Sweet William grows?"

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Whoa!

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You're a special group, George Formby fans,

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and it's usual amongst George Formby fans, I believe,

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that they teach themselves the banjolele, and as you are one,

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we have a banjolele.

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Can you delight us with some Formby?

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-Am I on the spot?

-I don't know if it's tuned but...

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Don't worry about that. "My dog has fleas", is what you need to remember.

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# My dog has... # Oh, this one doesn't have fleas, he has distemper.

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LAUGHTER

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That, um, When I'm Cleaning Windows has got another bit that goes,

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# Eight o'clock, a girl awakes At ten past eight a bath she takes

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# At quarter past, my ladder breaks When I'm cleaning windows. #

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LAUGHTER

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Er, there's a bit that goes...

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# There's a famous movie queen She looks a beauty on the screen

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# She's more like 80 than 18 When I'm cleaning windows

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# She takes her hair down all behind Then takes down her never mind

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# And finally takes down the blind When I'm cleaning windows. #

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Cheeky!

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APPLAUSE

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Brilliant!

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Thank you very much.

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So, what is it about George Formby? He was one of the biggest film stars of his time in Britain, wasn't he?

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I went to his grave, and

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there's a massive great, white stone, and the big face and it says,

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"George Formby." And it's a massive monument,

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and when you get closer, you realise, it's his dad.

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He was Junior, wasn't he?

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His dad was a massive music hall star, and at the bottom it says,

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"Also George Formby, OBE." Blah, blah, blah.

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So he got terrible billing, even on his own grave.

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And the wife you alluded to, Beryl, was fanatically jealous.

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I mean, if a make-up girl on a film so much as smiled at him,

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she'd have her sacked, wouldn't she?

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Indeed, but I think George got away with quite a lot of saucy...

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-(AS GEORGE FORMBY) Turned out nice again.

-Exactly. It turned out nice quite a lot!

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George used to say that Beryl only gave him five bob a week pocket money,

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but his brother claimed, after George died,

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that that was something that George came up with,

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so when he was in the bar, he'd say, "I'd love to get a round in,

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"but Beryl only gives me five bob a week."

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There is a tradition, I don't know if it exists in other languages,

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or whether it's peculiarly English, of the tradition of Frankie Howerd, Carry On.

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It must exist in other languages. It must.

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I guess it must.

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Even in America, it doesn't really.

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-They don't seem to set the same store.

-They seem a bit more mature, maybe.

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Maybe they are more mature!

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More sophisticated. They've got over it.

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"Yeah, that did us until we were about eight."

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In other countries, that symbolism is terribly sad,

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portentous and awful.

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-All of Ibsen's plays are about...

-Yes, true.

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The Master Builder's about towers and erections,

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and it just means the man's sad and lusts after women he can't possibly have.

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Everyone sits in the theatre, going, "Oh, God, this is awful."

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In England, it would be Benny Hill going....

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They can be clever, those innuendos. There used to be a joke, "She was only a so-and-so's daughter...

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She was only a road-mender's daughter but she liked having her ass felt,

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-or whatever it was.

-That's it.

-LAUGHTER

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She was only a fishmonger's daughter, but she could lay it on the slab and say, "fillet".

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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Does anyone recognise the photograph behind you, where that's from?

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That's from Round The Horne.

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A hugely successful radio series of the 1960s.

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That's Kenneth Horne in the middle and they pushed the boundaries of innuendo, probably further

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than they'd ever been pushed in British comic life,

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especially with Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick who played a couple called Jules and Sandy.

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who basically used gay slang, in the 1960s, lunchtime Radio 2 comedy

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at a time when millions were listening. They were doing extraordinary stuff.

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But that was the great thing. They'd got that Polari thing going,

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they had their own language, so they could say, "Oh God,

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"my lallies are so tired," and people literally had no idea.

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But it sounded funny.

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-That's right, yeah, I know.

-And as long as you go,

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"Oooer," every now and again...

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I know. I know. Anyway, there you are.

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That's probably enough innuendo.

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If I see another double entendre, I'll whip it out and probably stick a blue pencil through it.

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Now to an initiative test.

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I want everybody here, and I'm including the audience,

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our lovely audience, I want you to think of your favourite colour

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and on the count of three, I want you to shout it out, as loud as you can. All right?

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It affects everyone in the room. OK? One, two, three...

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ALL SHOUT

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OK. So, Frank. What did John shout?

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LAUGHTER

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I was mainly listening to me.

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Yes.

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-Do you know what Frank shouted?

-Pink.

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-Did you shout, "Pink?"

-No.

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Do you know what Alan shouted?

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Red.

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-Did you shout, "Red?"

-No.

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-Do you know what Sean shouted?

-Blue.

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-I thought you shouted, "Yellow." What did you shout?

-Blue.

-Oh.

-That was a guess, wasn't it?

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I thought he shouted blue. He was really loud.

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The fact is, it's very common, and these are use in tests for teamwork,

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it's very common for people not to listen to other people when they are speaking.

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It's not unusual, if you're making a noise yourself,

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-to be...

-Sorry?

-What?

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-Sorry, I wasn't...

-Oh, I beg your pardon!

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And as there are, as you know, people who make money out of paying management people

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to take courses in teamwork and it seems it's very, very important, that

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even when you are shouting, you should hear what the other person is saying.

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What a load of bollocks!

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I know. You should have seen me when I first saw this,

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because if there is a profession, it is that of people who basically

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get management people to pay them, to tell them the art of

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the so obvious, it makes your nose bleed.

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"When you're speaking it's really important that people hear what you're saying.

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-"You know, we do a four week course on this."

-The one I like, is the

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people who come to your house and give you advice on what to do to sell it.

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-Oh, really?

-Especially when you don't want to sell it.

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-Yes! That can be annoying.

-Went in the toilet.

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Put the toilet lid down, and said, "Lid down when showing."

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Oh, really? So no floating solids?

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LAUGHTER

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-I always tell my clients that.

-Flush it first!

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And I would stop the family doing hand stands in the shower.

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It's a living bidet.

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Pay the full price for colonic irrigation, don't do it like that.

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We're being very critical, but the next time I'm in a situation

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where I have to shout out a colour, simultaneously with a lot of other

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people, I'm going to pay a lot more attention.

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That's good to know. You're advancing.

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ALAN: I said, "Blue" but really, I meant, "Red."

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That's really difficult!

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I also don't think that works, because I think

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if you're making a noise, you can't hear a noise.

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I think that would make choral singing an impossibility if that were true.

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-LAUGHTER

-That's true.

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It is...

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-Especially when they do that "I Can Sing A Rainbow" song.

-Yes.

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It might surprise you, but I've not been in a lot of choirs.

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That's a good point. But I've lived that life where we've had...

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cos I used to have a normal life in a corporate world,

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and I've been on training days...

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Oh, you've actually been on the bloody things?

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-And were they all absolute...?

-I mean, there's some part of it that you think,

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this could be good. I can see what's going on,

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when they say, "There's an issue within the company,

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"you've all got different views, why don't you draw a picture?

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"Instead of talking, let's draw a picture,"

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"What are we going to draw?" "Anything that comes into your mind. Not a cock."

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-Apparently that's...

-LAUGHTER

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Getting to the bottom of a corporate infrastructure,

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cock drawing, saying, "That's you," doesn't really help.

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We had all these things, and honest to God,

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you do get to it and you start looking at people and think,

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"You live your life like this."

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You can see them going home to their kids saying,

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"Come on, I could make your tea, but wouldn't it be better

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"if you made your tea?

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"Wouldn't you feel better as a team if we made tea together?"

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"Wouldn't it be better if tea didn't exist?

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"Let's all think. Draw your tea.

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LAUGHTER

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"And let's remove it as an issue."

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Well, it's becoming rapidly more clear, there are many people

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who need to be killed and nearly all of them are management consultants. However, hopefully...

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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Hopefully, that classic piece of management school trickery

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will have taught you all a valuable lesson about the importance of listening,

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so listen to this. What is an interrobang?

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Is it the way you ask a question,

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like the Australians finish all their sentences like it's a question?

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-It's the lift.

-As if everything's a question?

0:18:380:18:41

-Yeah.

-Yeah, and goes up at the end?

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No, it isn't that. They sometimes call that the AQI, the Australian question intonation.

0:18:430:18:47

But that's not it. It's a punctuation mark that had a brief vogue

0:18:470:18:51

and it consisted of a question mark, which is the "interro" part,

0:18:510:18:57

and a "bang" is a printer's name for an exclamation mark.

0:18:570:19:00

-And there it is, that's how it looked.

-I love it!

0:19:000:19:04

It's rather good, isn't it? We should use it.

0:19:040:19:06

You know sometimes when you're typing a letter and you want to go, "What the heck?!"

0:19:060:19:11

It's not really a question, but because it begins with "What the..."

0:19:110:19:14

You think maybe it should be a question. That's the symbol they were using.

0:19:140:19:18

You do see people, they'll put a question mark

0:19:180:19:21

-and then an exclamation mark, to kind of make that point.

-Precisely.

0:19:210:19:25

In the 1960s, they had a brief vogue and there were typewriters that had it as a character.

0:19:250:19:30

And it does exist as a Unicode character in the Askey set.

0:19:300:19:34

What does that mean when sometimes you see a question mark upside down on a text?

0:19:340:19:39

-Well, in Spain, they do that.

-Put one at the start.

0:19:390:19:41

-JOHN:

-It means someone's in the shower!

0:19:410:19:45

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

0:19:450:19:47

In Spain, a question begins with an upside down one and ends with a right way up one.

0:19:500:19:55

And indeed, they did an upside down interrobang,

0:19:550:19:58

which was known as a gnaborretni, which is just interrobang backwards.

0:19:580:20:02

-Gnaborretni?

-Gnaborretni.

0:20:020:20:05

# Do doo do doo-do! #

0:20:050:20:06

LAUGHTER

0:20:060:20:09

There was the sarcastrophe.

0:20:090:20:11

Which is a little like the circumflex accent the French used to have,

0:20:110:20:16

what's called a carat, you know, a little sort of hat shape.

0:20:160:20:20

You'd put that - "Oh, that's really funny" - outside the "really",

0:20:200:20:24

would indicate you were being sarcastic.

0:20:240:20:27

What's always frustrated me

0:20:270:20:29

is that on a standard typewriter keyboard,

0:20:290:20:32

-when you hit the semi-colon...

-Ye-e-es?

0:20:320:20:37

..you just have to hit the key, but to get the colon,

0:20:370:20:41

you have to press that other key.

0:20:410:20:43

If I was a colon, I'd think, "Surely I take precedence?

0:20:430:20:47

"You are merely a semi version of me,

0:20:470:20:51

"I should be the one that just needs one key!"

0:20:510:20:53

-I share your pain, Frank.

-Yeah!

0:20:530:20:56

I've stayed up till dawn with whisky, going, "Why?!"

0:20:560:21:02

No, but I'll tell you, it's led me to an overuse of the hyphen.

0:21:020:21:06

-As might...

-Instead of going

0:21:060:21:08

-all round the houses to the colon, I think, "Oh, I'll put a hyphen."

-Don't go down that track, Frank!

0:21:080:21:13

Get off the hyphen now, Frank!

0:21:130:21:16

There's people here for you, you don't have to go "hyphen"!

0:21:160:21:19

We can support you, we're friends here, Frank.

0:21:190:21:23

APPLAUSE

0:21:230:21:25

You know, your hyphen will just wear out.

0:21:270:21:30

-Unless you regularly put some cream on it.

-The alternative is to use...

0:21:300:21:35

It'll be hanging down by your knees before you know it!

0:21:350:21:37

I don't want to be using a semi-colon

0:21:370:21:40

instead of what should be a colon, just out of laziness.

0:21:400:21:43

I wouldn't know when you should use a colon or a semi-colon.

0:21:430:21:47

No-one uses a semi-colon, that's why you don't have a semi-colonic irrigation.

0:21:470:21:51

-Messy!

-That's the technical term for standing on your head in the shower.

0:21:510:21:55

Yes, the interrobang might be a useful new punctuation mark.

0:21:570:22:00

Now, let's play... WA-WA-WA-WAAAA

0:22:000:22:04

How Ironic Is That?

0:22:040:22:06

Mm, yes. I'm going to outline some situations,

0:22:060:22:10

and all you have to do is tell me how ironic they are, and why.

0:22:100:22:16

Is it out of 100?

0:22:160:22:18

No, you can just give me a sort of sense of just exactly how ironic you think they are.

0:22:180:22:25

I'm just worried about how we grade the irony.

0:22:250:22:27

I would say shiny...

0:22:270:22:29

Shall I tell you...

0:22:290:22:31

..down to rusty.

0:22:310:22:34

Shall I tell you what the shades of irony supposedly are?

0:22:340:22:37

I think what we're getting at is, "irony"'s often weirdly misused.

0:22:370:22:41

People say, "Ironically, he wasn't there."

0:22:410:22:44

-You mean, unfortunately.

-The invisible man.

0:22:440:22:47

LAUGHTER

0:22:470:22:49

There's verbal irony, the opposite of what's...

0:22:490:22:52

"As clear as mud", "Oh, this is a fine state of affairs".

0:22:520:22:56

Slightly less than sarcasm, that's verbal irony.

0:22:560:22:59

There's comic irony. Dr Strangelove.

0:22:590:23:01

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is the War Room," for example, is an ironic remark.

0:23:010:23:06

Dramatic irony.

0:23:060:23:09

Little does he know that I'm about to...

0:23:090:23:11

Yeah, the audience knows Oedipus is the very murderer that he's hunting, as it were.

0:23:110:23:16

-Dramatic irony.

-As in, "Dive, thoughts, down to my soul. Here Clarence comes."

0:23:160:23:21

Yes. That's just the kind of thing. Richard III and others.

0:23:210:23:25

APPLAUSE

0:23:250:23:26

Ladies and gentlemen, an all-round entertainer!

0:23:280:23:33

And then there's Socratic irony, which is pretending to be dumber than you are,

0:23:330:23:37

like Socrates, or like Columbo.

0:23:370:23:39

Lieutenant Columbo, the greatest ever detective. There you are.

0:23:390:23:42

God, that's the greatest ever show.

0:23:420:23:45

Is that it? Like Socrates or Lieutenant Columbo?

0:23:450:23:49

-I would be hard put to say...

-I know they both did that, but beyond that...

0:23:490:23:53

I would be hard put to say which was greater.

0:23:530:23:56

I think Columbo is the greatest TV series ever made. I worship it.

0:23:560:24:00

-I absolutely agree with that.

-I'm glad.

0:24:000:24:02

I once spent a long night with David Baddiel having an argument

0:24:020:24:07

about whether Columbo had one eye or not.

0:24:070:24:10

Peter Falk, you mean? Yeah.

0:24:100:24:13

Well, no, this was the debate.

0:24:130:24:14

My argument was that Peter Falk does indeed have one eye,

0:24:140:24:18

but in Columbo, that eye plays the part of a real eye.

0:24:180:24:22

Yes! LAUGHTER

0:24:220:24:24

I think there's truth in that.

0:24:240:24:26

-Columbo has two eyes.

-That's how good he was. I agree.

0:24:260:24:30

How did this argument go on for so long?

0:24:300:24:33

-Was it like Women In Love?

-He wouldn't have it.

0:24:330:24:36

Were you wrestling naked in front of a fire? Women In Love?

0:24:360:24:40

That was how we had to decide it in the end. We couldn't find a coin.

0:24:400:24:44

So, is this ironic? John Kendrick was an American sea captain

0:24:440:24:48

who put into Honolulu Harbour in 1794

0:24:480:24:51

and was killed by the cannon which was fired to salute him.

0:24:510:24:56

GROANING

0:24:560:24:58

Now, we understand situational and arguably, comic irony,

0:24:580:25:02

though the audience was very sympathetic.

0:25:020:25:05

-That's fairly ironic.

-It's pretty ironic, isn't it?

0:25:050:25:08

It's almost up in the spangly section.

0:25:080:25:10

Yes. What about Clement Vallandigham, who was an Ohio lawyer

0:25:100:25:15

who died in 1871 while defending a man who was accused of murder during a bar room brawl.

0:25:150:25:21

To show the jury how the pistol might have gone off accidentally,

0:25:210:25:25

this lawyer grabbed the gun, put it in his pocket,

0:25:250:25:28

and re-enacted the events as he imagined them.

0:25:280:25:33

-And sure enough...

-He was shot by a cannon.

0:25:330:25:36

No, the pistol went off and he was killed by the gun in exactly the way he was describing.

0:25:360:25:42

Just before he died from his own wounds, his client was acquitted.

0:25:420:25:47

And the good thing is, his client didn't have to pay.

0:25:470:25:50

No, exactly. It's perfect.

0:25:500:25:53

Situational irony, I think that would be called.

0:25:530:25:55

But, now, what about Abraham Lincoln?

0:25:550:25:58

He was shot while sitting in Ford's Theatre,

0:25:580:26:01

while Kennedy was shot while sitting in a Ford Lincoln.

0:26:010:26:04

Many other coincidences like that. That's just simply coincidence.

0:26:040:26:09

-Not irony.

-Reagan was shot in Washington, and Washington was shot with a raygun.

0:26:090:26:14

LAUGHTER

0:26:140:26:15

If only that were true.

0:26:150:26:19

It would almost be worth inventing a time machine and going back with a raygun just to do that.

0:26:190:26:25

It's true. But nobody knew what a raygun was then, so they just went, "What's that?"

0:26:250:26:30

LAUGHTER

0:26:300:26:32

I have a picture - is this ironic? Is there something ironic about that?

0:26:320:26:37

That you basically cut all the wool off a sheep

0:26:370:26:41

-then knit it together again.

-A sheep in sheep's clothing!

0:26:410:26:44

More ironic that we look at it and go, "Awww,"

0:26:440:26:48

-then go, "Um-num-num!"

-"M-m-mint sauce!"

0:26:480:26:52

I saw an advert for a meat supplier and it said, "Caring for pork, from farm to fork."

0:26:520:26:59

LAUGHTER

0:26:590:27:03

I thought, there's a certain point where you go, "You're not really caring."

0:27:030:27:06

I wouldn't call that caring when you're just going...

0:27:060:27:09

MIMICS NOISE OF A MINCER

0:27:090:27:13

With the eyeballs, to make sausages. Phhhhfffft!

0:27:140:27:19

"Aaagh! Phhhhfffft!"

0:27:190:27:21

This is rather ironic.

0:27:230:27:25

In 1989 in America, convicted murderer Michael Godwin

0:27:250:27:28

had his sentence reduced to life imprisonment

0:27:280:27:31

after five years awaiting the electric chair.

0:27:310:27:34

But he was then accidentally electrocuted while sitting naked on a steel lavatory seat

0:27:340:27:39

in his cell in Columbia. He was trying to fix his TV set.

0:27:390:27:42

He bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

0:27:420:27:45

-That is a kind of cosmic irony, really.

-That's not irony. That's God's will.

0:27:450:27:49

It's God's will. I think you may well be right.

0:27:490:27:53

That's irony for you. The things we call irony often really aren't that ironic.

0:27:530:27:57

Ironically. Or not.

0:27:570:27:59

Now, um, for some inside information. What's inside this?

0:27:590:28:05

Can anyone tell me?

0:28:050:28:06

It's a natural thing.

0:28:060:28:08

Well, it looks like a coconut.

0:28:080:28:10

-It could be an elephant turd, couldn't it?

-It could be. It isn't.

0:28:100:28:14

This thing is actually a nut.

0:28:160:28:18

Weirdly, the things inside it are not nuts,

0:28:180:28:21

but the things inside it are familiar to all of us as nuts.

0:28:210:28:26

This is how these grow.

0:28:260:28:29

Here they are.

0:28:290:28:30

-Oh, Brazil nuts.

-Brazil nuts.

0:28:300:28:32

They grow inside... These are seeds, but we call them nuts.

0:28:320:28:37

Biologically, these are the seeds, and they grow inside this, the nut.

0:28:370:28:41

They grow on top of the tree.

0:28:410:28:43

They're very heavy, they've been known to kill people.

0:28:430:28:46

But it's a very strange life cycle they have.

0:28:460:28:49

This tree cannot be cultivated, so they're only wild.

0:28:490:28:52

Only wild trees produce these nuts, inside which are the Brazils.

0:28:520:28:57

And they can only be pollinated by a very particular bee,

0:28:570:29:01

and that bee will only be able to pollinate it

0:29:010:29:04

if there is in the area a very particular orchid.

0:29:040:29:07

So there's a really strange chain of necessary life situations

0:29:070:29:11

in order for us to get our purple Quality Street, essentially.

0:29:110:29:15

There is something unique as well about the Brazil nut.

0:29:150:29:18

As you know, there are people who are allergic to nuts.

0:29:180:29:21

But the Brazil nut, uniquely, amongst all the nuts...

0:29:210:29:26

This is really unfortunate.

0:29:260:29:27

You can sexually transmit Brazil nut to a partner.

0:29:270:29:34

That is to say, if a male has eaten a Brazil nut,

0:29:340:29:38

and they inseminate a person who is allergic,

0:29:380:29:42

that person's allergy will be affected by it.

0:29:420:29:47

That's a good murder plot, isn't it?

0:29:470:29:50

LAUGHTER

0:29:500:29:52

It is amazing.

0:29:520:29:54

I actually feel right in the middle of an episode of House now.

0:29:540:29:59

Cos how on earth has that been found out?

0:29:590:30:04

Surely the woman would feel the Brazil nut?

0:30:040:30:07

LAUGHTER

0:30:070:30:09

I think you may have slightly misunderstood...

0:30:110:30:13

The man would too, really.

0:30:130:30:15

May contain nuts!

0:30:150:30:18

LAUGHTER

0:30:180:30:19

We must ask the QI audience, both the physical one here, and those watching TV,

0:30:190:30:24

to be our experimental cohort,

0:30:240:30:26

and I want you all to eat Brazil nuts and then make love to your beloveds.

0:30:260:30:30

-I'll eat the nuts.

-Yep.

0:30:300:30:32

LAUGHTER Sean is volunteering on that side.

0:30:320:30:36

I'm happy to eat the nuts. You line up, I'll eat the nuts, let's check it out.

0:30:360:30:40

-There you are.

-Let's do this!

-Let's do this thing for science.

-Yeah.

0:30:400:30:46

Incidentally, does anyone know, in a packet of mixed nuts,

0:30:460:30:50

why do the Brazils always rise to the top?

0:30:500:30:52

Surely nobody knows that.

0:30:520:30:56

TRUMPET FANFARE You're right!

0:30:560:30:59

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE I'm very impressed.

0:30:590:31:03

It is a known and observable process,

0:31:030:31:06

that in bags of muesli and nuts, the Brazil nuts do go to the top.

0:31:060:31:11

Scientists have worked hard to try and understand why.

0:31:110:31:14

At first they thought the little ones settle down through and leave the big ones at the top.

0:31:140:31:19

You may say, why should they waste their time? There are all kind of good reasons,

0:31:190:31:24

like sorting rubble after earthquakes.

0:31:240:31:26

I've got to be honest, I've never heard of an earthquake victim

0:31:260:31:29

being crushed by a load of nuts.

0:31:290:31:32

No, nor have I, I'm talking about the science behind the lodgement

0:31:320:31:36

and the dislodgement of solid objects.

0:31:360:31:38

You'd think, because they're the heaviest nut in the bag...

0:31:380:31:42

-It seems counterintuitive.

-In a box of muesli, it's the larger items, for example,

0:31:420:31:46

the currants, that go to the bottom.

0:31:460:31:49

-You get a lot of currants in the last portion.

-You do.

0:31:490:31:52

Nobody knows precisely why it happens,

0:31:520:31:54

but it seems to be an observable phenomenon.

0:31:540:31:56

But if you get almonds in mixed nuts,

0:31:560:32:00

I find they rise to the top, above the Brazil nuts.

0:32:000:32:04

-And I'm starting to think it could be...

-TOGETHER:

-Alphabetical order!

0:32:040:32:09

-Almonds, Brazils...

-Cashews...

0:32:090:32:14

Cashews, dates, maybe. And so on.

0:32:140:32:18

-Walnuts at the bottom.

-And walnuts right at the bottom.

0:32:180:32:21

Good, you're all doing extremely well.

0:32:210:32:24

What do the signal bars on your phone mean?

0:32:240:32:27

Well, it means how much... signal... you can...

0:32:270:32:32

LAUGHTER

0:32:320:32:34

Don't be scared.

0:32:350:32:37

They mean how... how...

0:32:370:32:40

the thing with the thing in the sky and they come through,

0:32:400:32:45

-not there, all gone.

-I need it in English, I'm afraid.

0:32:450:32:49

-It's got...

-Talky talky power all gone away.

0:32:490:32:53

Sky no fly down in the air here.

0:32:530:32:57

Big bird in sky.

0:32:570:32:59

You're either connected or you're not connected.

0:32:590:33:01

So levels of connectivity are a bit irrelevant.

0:33:010:33:06

Yes, I would have accepted a Nobody Knows card, too late now,

0:33:060:33:10

because basically, there is no standardisation between manufacturers,

0:33:100:33:14

and different handset makers have different ways of showing

0:33:140:33:17

what is apparently a full signal,

0:33:170:33:19

and we're all really thrilled, "Oh, look, I've got five bars."

0:33:190:33:23

Absolutely meaningless.

0:33:230:33:25

How many Nobody Knows questions are there in this tonight?

0:33:250:33:29

Ah! Nobody knows.

0:33:290:33:30

What I find really annoying is when you're talking to someone on the mobile phone and it cuts out,

0:33:300:33:35

then when they call you back again, they say, "Dunno what happened then."

0:33:350:33:40

In the past, I've always said, "Well, it must be you,

0:33:400:33:43

"because I've got five bars." But now you're telling me...

0:33:430:33:46

-Exactly. I'm afraid that is...

-You've pulled the rug from under me, Stephen!

0:33:460:33:50

I'm sorry to do that, but that's one thing we do on this show.

0:33:500:33:54

Nobody knows quite what the signal bars on your phone really signify.

0:33:540:33:58

And now we sink our claws into the soft underbelly of knowledge,

0:33:580:34:01

and tear out the fetid entrails of general ignorance.

0:34:010:34:05

So fingers on buzzers, please.

0:34:050:34:07

What use is an inflatable anchor?

0:34:070:34:10

MOSQUITO WHINE

0:34:110:34:12

Yes?

0:34:120:34:14

Is it for hot air balloons?

0:34:140:34:18

Very smart answer. No.

0:34:180:34:23

SMALL DOG YAPPING

0:34:230:34:25

-Yes?

-Is it to stop submarines from, um... going too low?

0:34:250:34:32

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

0:34:320:34:35

That's so sweet.

0:34:370:34:39

When the surface is incredibly sandy,

0:34:390:34:42

and a standard claw anchor would have nothing to catch onto,

0:34:420:34:46

you send down an inflatable one.

0:34:460:34:49

It's a spike. It goes into the sand, and you inflate it with fluid, not air, in fact.

0:34:490:34:54

And it lodges in the sand. That's what they use. Now you know.

0:34:540:35:00

Which animal did Richard I have three of on his shirt?

0:35:000:35:04

Now, can I suggest that at this point in history,

0:35:040:35:06

no-one in England had ever seen a lion.

0:35:060:35:09

Is that possible?

0:35:090:35:10

So, it's not a lion.

0:35:100:35:12

-What did Richard I spend most of his time doing?

-I don't know.

0:35:120:35:17

-Crusades.

-Crusading.

0:35:170:35:18

-There weren't any lions in Arabia, were there?

-There were in Africa.

0:35:180:35:22

Bloody everywhere, they were.

0:35:220:35:24

Zoos. The Tower of London had a menagerie, a little later, I grant you.

0:35:240:35:28

In a picnic in those days, not wasps, lions.

0:35:280:35:31

Millions of them.

0:35:310:35:32

GET OFF ME SANDWICH!

0:35:320:35:35

The point is...

0:35:350:35:36

Seen some lions! Swans are the bastards.

0:35:360:35:41

He looks like he's going, "Ooh, get you in your suit of armour!"

0:35:410:35:46

He looks like he's doing a sort of, "Ooh!"

0:35:460:35:49

This is the badge of English royalty that was first used by Richard I,

0:35:490:35:53

and it's three...

0:35:530:35:55

Well, I'd say, not lions.

0:35:550:35:58

You're right to avoid the word lions.

0:35:580:36:01

They were known as leopards. They called them leopards.

0:36:010:36:04

They were not familiar with the difference between a leopard and a lion.

0:36:040:36:09

And leopard really just means a bearded lion, and it's a heraldic thing.

0:36:090:36:13

If they were that shape sideways on, those were leopards.

0:36:130:36:18

So there was a song, wasn't there?

0:36:180:36:20

-Wasn't there, Frank Skinner?

-There was.

0:36:200:36:22

And that would have caused me a lot of scanning problems.

0:36:220:36:24

Yes. It was based, however, on a lie.

0:36:240:36:27

No, it was based on a lion.

0:36:280:36:30

-"Three leopards on my shirt."

-Were they rampant or couchant?

0:36:300:36:35

-Good question.

-AUDIENCE: Oooh!

0:36:350:36:37

It's gone a bit Sale Of The Century!

0:36:370:36:40

They were actually passant gardant.

0:36:410:36:44

But the rampant lion is the sign of the Kings of Scotland.

0:36:440:36:48

-Very hairy knees, the Scottish one.

-Yes, they have rather, haven't they?

0:36:480:36:52

They would be called lions in heraldry,

0:36:520:36:54

whereas the three lions on the shirt would be known as leopards.

0:36:540:36:58

So, which years did your song chart, Frank Skinner and David Baddiel's Three Lions?

0:36:580:37:04

-It was number one in...

-'96, and then again in '98.

0:37:040:37:09

Yeah. It charted in...

0:37:090:37:11

And then it charted in, er, 2000.

0:37:110:37:15

2002. It missed out 2000, I'm afraid.

0:37:150:37:17

-Did it?

-Yeah. 2002, 2006 and 2010.

0:37:170:37:21

-That's quite impressive.

-I must check my platinum discs.

0:37:210:37:24

Ooh!

0:37:240:37:26

Yes, I think we can safely say we milked it.

0:37:260:37:30

You milked those leopards.

0:37:300:37:33

Can I ask, was it big in any other country?

0:37:330:37:37

It got to the top ten in Germany.

0:37:370:37:39

The Germans, when they actually won Euro 96,

0:37:390:37:41

which is what the song was originally written for,

0:37:410:37:44

they figured they'd won the song as well,

0:37:440:37:47

so they were on the balcony in Berlin, leading the crowd

0:37:470:37:51

in Three Lions On A Shirt.

0:37:510:37:53

My God.

0:37:530:37:54

Now, that's irony.

0:37:540:37:56

LAUGHTER

0:37:560:37:58

Very good.

0:37:580:38:00

APPLAUSE

0:38:000:38:02

The fact is, anyone can get a Grant of Arms.

0:38:020:38:06

You only need £4,225,

0:38:060:38:08

which is cheaper than some cherished number plates.

0:38:080:38:11

Sir Christopher Frayling, former Chairman of the Arts Council

0:38:110:38:14

and expert on Clint Eastwood movies

0:38:140:38:17

took a motto, which is "Perge Scellus Diem Perficias".

0:38:170:38:22

-"Go ahead, punk, make my day"?

-Yes! Very good!

0:38:220:38:27

APPLAUSE

0:38:270:38:29

In heraldic, "Proceed, varlet, and render perfect the day."

0:38:300:38:35

On my coat of arms, its says, "Katatraya stayeftika".

0:38:350:38:38

"There is trouble in the gypsy village."

0:38:380:38:40

What's the Latin for "Nick nack nocky noo?"

0:38:430:38:45

LAUGHTER

0:38:450:38:47

Frank Skinner's career as a pop star

0:38:470:38:49

is, in fact, built on a lamentable terminological inexactitude,

0:38:490:38:53

or lie.

0:38:530:38:54

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

0:38:540:38:57

Now, name...

0:38:570:38:59

APPLAUSE

0:38:590:39:01

If you can, see if you can name a living animal

0:39:010:39:05

whose scientific name is exactly the same as its common name.

0:39:050:39:11

SMALL DOG YAPPING

0:39:110:39:12

Isn't a gorilla called Gorilla gorilla?

0:39:120:39:15

"WRONG AGAIN" ALARM

0:39:150:39:16

I'm afraid so. Unfortunately, it's called Gorilla gorilla, but the common name for it is just gorilla.

0:39:160:39:22

There's only one animal we can think of

0:39:220:39:24

where the common name for it is exactly the same as its Latinate...

0:39:240:39:28

Does it sound a bit Latiny?

0:39:280:39:30

-In a way.

-Is it rhinoceros?

-No, that's Greek.

0:39:300:39:32

-It's not that, no. That doesn't sound Latin at all.

-Horse?

0:39:320:39:35

No, that's equus. No, it's not a mammal, OK?

0:39:350:39:39

-It's not a mammal?

-Frog.

0:39:390:39:42

No, it's not. It's herpetic, it's ophidian, it's long and narrow.

0:39:420:39:47

-Snake.

-Snake. It's a kind of snake.

-Oh, it's a kind of snake, not snake.

0:39:470:39:52

LAUGHTER

0:39:520:39:53

-No, no, it's a species we're after.

-Monty Python.

0:39:530:39:56

Oh, I see, cos if you know about them, you don't go, "Look, snake."

0:39:560:40:00

You go, "Ah, it's Snakus curmuncunus."

0:40:000:40:03

-Exactly. There is one where precisely...

-Boa constrictor.

0:40:030:40:07

-Boa constrictor is the right answer!

-I was thinking it!

0:40:070:40:10

APPLAUSE

0:40:100:40:12

The scientific name for the Boa constrictor is Boa constrictor.

0:40:130:40:18

As far as we can tell at QI, there is no other animal where that's true.

0:40:180:40:22

There's some plants where it's true, Aloe vera, or whatever,

0:40:220:40:25

but no living animal, as far as we know, except the Boa constrictor,

0:40:250:40:29

has the same common name as scientific name.

0:40:290:40:32

What's wrong with these bananas?

0:40:320:40:35

They're upside down.

0:40:350:40:37

Yes, they're upside down.

0:40:370:40:39

Bananas do not grow like that.

0:40:390:40:41

They grow like... that.

0:40:410:40:43

-They grow upwards.

-It's my area of expertise.

0:40:430:40:46

I'm impressed. I'm very impressed. Well done.

0:40:460:40:49

You probably know something else interesting about bananas.

0:40:490:40:53

They have a quality, you might call it a negative quality,

0:40:530:40:56

which some other foods have, including these.

0:40:560:41:00

And that is, they are faintly radioactive.

0:41:000:41:03

Not that there's any harm in eating bananas.

0:41:030:41:06

The isotope in question from potassium, K40, is present in our bodies in any case.

0:41:060:41:11

Especially in men, in our little naughty areas.

0:41:110:41:15

Is that why they look like bananas?

0:41:150:41:17

No.

0:41:170:41:18

-No, actually, within the epididymes, the...

-Speak for yourself!

0:41:180:41:23

-Actually, yes!

-I'm waiting for mine to stop being green.

0:41:230:41:27

Oh, no!

0:41:270:41:29

I'm more in the line with the Brazil nut.

0:41:300:41:33

How long is the half life of the radioactive component of a banana?

0:41:340:41:38

-I'd say six hours.

-1.25 billion years.

0:41:380:41:42

You were only a bit out, then.

0:41:420:41:45

It was going to be one or the other.

0:41:450:41:49

Brazil nuts contain radium, and are 1,000 times more radioactive than other foods.

0:41:490:41:54

We're told that if you walk into a nuclear power plant with a pocket full of Brazils,

0:41:540:41:59

it's liable to set off the radiation leak alarm.

0:41:590:42:02

True story.

0:42:020:42:04

-And get a bit of a reputation.

-Yes, definitely.

0:42:040:42:08

"Here he comes, cheeky chappy, with his pocket full of Brazil nuts."

0:42:080:42:13

And an easy one to end with - which country is the world's largest producer of Brazil nuts?

0:42:130:42:18

-TODDLER SCREAMS

-Costa Rica!

0:42:180:42:22

-No.

-Ah.

0:42:220:42:25

-Nice idea.

-Brazil.

-No!

0:42:250:42:28

-Brazil is the second largest.

-Bolivia.

0:42:290:42:32

Bolivia is the right answer!

0:42:320:42:35

I suspect you were thinking of Bolivia Newton John, which isn't quite the same.

0:42:370:42:42

I often do.

0:42:420:42:44

Bolivia is the world's...

0:42:440:42:46

-Surely with all that radiation, it should be Bolivia Neutron Bomb.

-You'd think!

0:42:460:42:51

Which brings me to the nutty scores.

0:42:510:42:55

Well, my goodness, my gracious, and my word.

0:42:550:42:58

-We have a tie for first place.

-Fight!

-And would you believe...

0:42:580:43:03

We're not Harry Hill here.

0:43:030:43:05

Wonderful as he is.

0:43:050:43:06

Would you believe that our two winners, our tie for first place,

0:43:060:43:10

is our first-time players, Frank Skinner and John Bishop, four points!

0:43:100:43:14

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:43:140:43:16

And in third place with minus 14 points, it's Sean Lock!

0:43:190:43:22

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

-Thank you.

0:43:220:43:26

But I'm afraid that the currant that settled at the bottom of the box

0:43:260:43:33

with minus 21 is Alan Davies.

0:43:330:43:35

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:43:350:43:38

Well, that's your lot for this week. My thanks to John, Frank, Sean and Alan.

0:43:420:43:46

I leave you with these wise words from Groucho Marx.

0:43:460:43:49

"He may look like an idiot, he may sound like an idiot,

0:43:490:43:52

"but don't let that fool you, he really is an idiot." Goodnight.

0:43:520:43:56

APPLAUSE

0:43:560:44:00

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0:44:150:44:18

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0:44:180:44:21

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