Stephen Fry comes over all indecisive. With Phill Jupitus, Rich Hall, Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies.
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Good evening. Good evening, good evening, good evening,
and welcome to an absolutely choice edition of QI,
which is all about indecision.
All in a dither tonight are A, Jimmy Carr...
-..B, Rich Hall...
-..C, Phill Jupitus
..or D, none of the above, Alan Davies.
Your buzzers are designed to help you make up your mind.
-WOMAN: "Turn right. Turn right."
-WOMAN: "Turn left. Turn left."
-WOMAN: "Turn round. Turn round."
-And Alan goes...
-MAN: "Excuse me, sir. Is this your vehicle? Are you sure?
"Would you blow into this bag, please, sir?"
And don't forget your "nobody knows" jokers.
Have you got them there?
FANFARE "Nobody knows."
There is a question, to which the answer is "nobody knows".
If you can flag it up, you get extra points.
Now, why was this tosser thrown out of The Magic Circle?
"Tosser" is a technical term in this particular -
Was he using real magic?
That's not the reason, but it's a damn good thought.
-What gets you thrown out of The Magic Circle?
-Giving away the secrets.
Yes. This guy, John Lenahan, was thrown out of The Magic Circle
for giving away a particular - a very famous -
you just have to buy a book and you know how to do it.
He said if he'd been a murderer, he'd have be out of prison by now,
but he's out of The Magic Circle for life because he appeared on Des Lynam's "How Do They Do That?"
..one of the classic card scams
that is used on street corners to make money.
-Oh! Find the Lady.
-Or as they call it in America, Three-card Monte.
-Because Find the Lady...
I prefer Three-card Monte because Find the Lady - I had a really bad experience in Thailand once.
-Did you feel a bit of a dick?!
Oh, I'm sorry!
And they've always got the guy that comes up and goes,
"Oh, this looks pretty good, everyone. I might have a go at this."
You're right. They have shills - the guys who say...
They put the money down and are paid out, you know.
-We've given you some money. Have you got it there?
-I have some to pay you, in case you get it right.
Here you are. Watch the screen. All you have to do is find the lady.
Watch and then... There we go.
-There she is.
-Keep your eyes on her.
OK, which is she?
-You're saying the left?
-It's obviously the left.
Here you are. Course it's on the left.
You just follow it with your eyes.
Let's have another go. This time, we'll do it for money now you've got the idea.
Keep your eyes on the lady.
-There she is.
-OK. Where's she gone?
-Right, OK, you three put that on a card each,
and I will stick this in a lady's knickers in the audience.
That's a whole other game! That's a whole other lady to find.
There's a lady put her hand up over there.
-She put her hand up what?
That's the trouble with this game. You always want to see it a second time.
-Place your bets.
-I'm going left.
I'm going left.
Three lefts and a right.
Audience, how many think left?
Oh, most of you.
How many think middle?
Only very few. How many think right? Actually, the majority think right.
OK, let's show.
-It is indeed the left!
-Two in a row! Come on!
-That's it, I'm getting my real money out. I'm on a roll!
That's the time to quit!
I ought to explain when talking about John Lenahan,
when I called him a tosser, that is the name for the guy who does that trick.
It's called tossing. You can win a lot of money by tossing.
I think somebody thought it was real money. Anyway... Interesting.
-What the hell was that?
-We'll find out, maybe or maybe not.
-OK, so -
-I'm not in on that, I just want you to know!
Anyway, John Lenahan was expelled from The Magic Circle
for exposing the secret of Find the Lady on TV.
The real secret is, even if you choose correctly,
someone is likely to run off with the money,
because that's the way they work.
Now for something beginning with "I" you wouldn't choose in 100 years.
Who expected the Spanish Inquisition?
Was it... Er... Was it...
According to Monty Python, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
But, in fact, they couldn't be more wrong.
Was it the Ku Klux Klan? Because those two fellas...
Yeah, it's true. They did wear similar...
-I thought that was the Pet Shop Boys.
That's one of their best videos, actually. It's very moody.
The fact is, the Spanish Inquisition always gave you 30 days' notice.
They said, "We're coming to inquisite you," or whatever verb they would use.
"Is that Mr Rabinowitz? It's the Inquisition here.
"How are you? Good.
"We're going to come round and pull your balls out through your mouth."
"We're in the area.
"But only for the next 30 days. Take advantage."
-They gave you 30 days?
-They're like the TV licence van!
They gave you 30 days to prepare and prove that you weren't a heretic.
You had to wait around the house all day.
-"They'll be there between eight and five."
-Or get a priest! Exactly!
Or say, "Torture my neighbour. I won't be in.
"He'll take my torture for me."
No, it is a surprising thing, perhaps. But when was it instituted?
It went on for 350 years.
-Give me a century.
-I can tell you -
-Bloody hell, that's close! Did you say 1483?
Is that a guess?
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
It was 1478. But five years... That's very close.
They called and said, "We're coming around in five years," so in '78...
You're right. The Spanish took it upon themselves to have their own inquisition.
There was a Papal Inquisition, but they wanted their own.
It was an anti-Semitic piece of legislation.
They doubted that Jews who had to convert to stay in Spain,
they doubted that they actually really meant it.
-It was under these rulers of Spain at that time, Ferdinand and Isabella.
-She's a dog.
She wouldn't mind you saying that. She would take it on the chin. LAUGHTER
I went to a Museum of Torture in Spain.
-And I thought -
I didn't know anything about it - but I imagined
that the Spanish Inquisition was an awful few years.
-Yeah. It was.
-But it went on for 350 years.
-And they had lots and lots of implements of torture that really...
-Oh, it was grotesque.
I mean, you can't make it up. But the one that really sticks in my mind is the one where
you would be impaled through your anus on a very large pole
that would go up your inside,
-but miss all your vital organs, and then come out at your shoulder.
So it wouldn't kill you and you'd just be there for days.
Usually, it'd be something public, so you'd be an example.
Did you know they put hanging people from cages full of spikes
from a pole at the entrance to towns?
The Catholic Church, you won't be surprised to know,
-still has the Inquisition.
-It's changed its name. In 1908, it changed to
the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office.
In 1965, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
and the leader under Pope John Paul II was...
-Who was in charge of it?
-It was indeed. Our current Pope.
He was in charge of the Spanish Inquisition, was he?
-Not the Spanish.
-They're very good at changing their name.
People talk about the Roman Empire falling. I don't think they fell, they became a church,
-continued on regardless.
Now then, given the choice,
what would be the next best thing to having a Nobel Prize-winner in our audience tonight?
Dennis Leary had a joke about the Peace Prize.
He said, "I'd kill for one of those." LAUGHTER
That's very good. There is a sort of seriocomic version of the Nobel Peace Prize.
-Oh, it's the Ig Nobel Awards.
The prize is given to people who usually are genuine scientists
who have conducted research, some of which is just a little bit weird.
We have on our left a woman who invented an emergency bra
that can be torn apart and turned into a gas mask.
Two gas masks, obviously!
On the right is the inventor of the Ig Nobel Prize, Marc Abrahams.
I'm proud to say that in our audience, we have a winner of the Ig Nobel Prize,
Professor Chris McManus! Are you there? There he is!
Professor McManus, they called you in the Press the "Oddball Professor".
Perhaps you'd like to tell us the reason you won the Ig Nobel Prize.
I got the prize in 2002
-for some work that was done half a lifetime earlier in 1976.
And the paper was published in the most prestigious of science journals, Nature,
and it was called "Scrotal Asymmetry In Man and In Ancient Sculpture".
-So, your work was looking at how male testicles were asymmetrical?
-I've got an issue. Maybe you could help
because you're an expert.
Perhaps I should examine you afterwards. It's probably easier.
I think I can explain. One of mine is bigger than the other two.
Very good. You are actually speaking with purpose, aren't you?
-A higher percentage of men have one ball lower than the other. Tell us which that is.
Most people have the right one is higher and the left one is lower.
-And that's the normal way round.
-Wait a minute.
-Which is fine. Yeah, hang on... Oh, whoa...
-For the joker...!
I've got two on the left.
-There's nothing on the right at all!
the surprising thing is, that in Ancient and indeed Renaissance sculpture,
-If you look at Michelangelo's David or any of these great sculptures,
the right one is higher and the left one is lower AND it's bigger.
-Which makes sense, if you think about it.
Why does that makes sense?
-You'd expect the heavier one to go lower.
-Yes, right. Oh, I see.
-But it's against...
-The trouble is, it ain't that way.
-When you get home later, you'll find that...
-Oh, no need, man!
..the higher one is also the bigger one.
So the Greeks got it wrong. That was where it got interesting.
That's odd, because they had bodies. Is it because they used mirrors and their own equipment,
and got it the wrong way round, or was there some other reason?
Their real problem is that they had a theory,
-and there's nothing more dangerous than a theory that's wrong.
They didn't know what the testicles were for. It seems strange, but they hadn't quite worked it out.
JIMMY: Mine are purely decorative. LAUGHTER
-What was the Greek theory?
-Aristotle had this charming theory
that little boys have tiny testicles and very high voices.
But as you get bigger and you go into puberty, the testicles get bigger,
-they pull down and they tension the body and the voice gets deeper.
So they thought they were weights to tension the male body.
LAUGHTER JIMMY: And is that not the case?
Which is why Barry White never did a marathon.
So for that, you won the Ig Nobel Prize and is that something you are proud of?
It's something I can't deny. Put it that way.
-It doesn't go to stupid people but goes to genuine scientists.
At the end of the Nobel Prizes, Marc Abrahams always sends his consolations
to those who haven't won it and particularly to those who have.
-I also believe you are expected to make an acceptance speech.
It's a tradition of the speech to be interrupted by a young girl
who shouts, "Please stop it, I'm bored!" Is that correct?
Yes. Marc has the problem that the Oscars and all the other award ceremonies have
that everybody talks too long and thanks everybody.
He came up with this device called Little Miss Sweetie Poo - who's a charming eight-year-old girl.
After 60 seconds she walks across stage and says, "Please stop, I'm bored.
-"Please stop, I'm bored. Please stop, I'm bored."
-A brilliant idea.
You had your own daughters do that job I believe.
At the show in London... I have identical twin daughters so we had both of them doing
-"Please stop, I'm bored." "Please stop, I'm bored."
-Is not one of them slightly bigger than the other?
Maybe a little shorter?
-Oh, that's brilliant.
Well, Professor McManus, thank you very much indeed.
-That is quite interesting.
-That is quite interesting, isn't it?
Anyway, the next best thing to winning a Nobel Prize is winning an Ig Nobel Prize.
First they make you laugh and then they make you think.
Here's a tricky decision. Which is more mammaly? A mouse or a hippopotamus?
So is this which one has got breasts?
Cos a mammal is...
It's about the way we decide. Indecision is our theme today.
If you give people tests about categories,
and you show them certain kinds of items that fit a category. Say you're doing the fruit category
and you show them an apple and a pear, they think they're both fruit.
But show them a fig and a raisin and they'll take a bit longer.
Show them a pumpkin and an olive and they'll take a lot longer. Ooh, are they fruits or are they...?
-The same with mammals.
-People instantly say that a mouse is a mammal.
A hippotamus? Oh, it's wet and slimy... Oh, of course it's a mammal. It just takes a bit longer.
I think if I was to stage an all-mouse production of West Side Story...
The way this is set up there, it does sort of look like the hippo is sneaking up on the mouse.
It does, doesn't it?
Could we Photoshop a Rizla in that mouse?
Shall I be really nerdy and say that really you shouldn't say Rizla? Do you know what you should day?
HIGH-PITCHED: What should you say, Stephen?
Well, it's French and riz is the French for rice...
-..and the company that makes it is Lacroix.
And you may notice when you see a Rizla packet that sometimes you might have torn the top part off...
-..for some reason. For some reason might need
-a spare piece of cardboard...
-Yeah, just to jot...
Just to jot down something. An email address. Exactly. But you'll notice
it says "Riz la" - Rizla, we think - and then there's a big cross.
And the company's Lacroix which is "the cross".
It's "rice the cross". It's rice paper made by "the cross" -
Lacroix. Lacroix is the name of the company.
Stephen, when I get to Glastonbury I'm going to be talking about that for nine hours.
-See, it's not there. Right.
-The cross. The cross.
No, where the cross WAS.
I tore that bit off.
I'd love a fajita.
Anyway I can see I'm boring you.
-Um, here I am...
-Not until we get an eight-year-old girl
running in front of you telling you who you are.
I want the twins!
One way to tell if something's a mammal is the check whether it has nipples
which reminds me of a piece of I for Irishness.
What do you call an Irishman with no nipples?
-Um, that's Richard Harris of course.
-In A Man Called Horse. A great movie, isn't it?
-I've seen worse.
-It seemed extreme at first but now there's guys in Camden Town that have that done.
Yes, it's true.
-That'd be an Edinburgh show now, wouldn't it? Part of the festival.
-Done things ten times worse
-than that for writing MacArthur Park.
-Oh, yes - the cake left out in the rain.
The cake in the rain. Who cares?
If my nan left a cake out in the rain it would've absorbed all the rain - she made a very dry cake.
He didn't actually write, to be fair to Richard Harris - it was written by Jimmy Webb - but he did sing it.
I think he is guilty of that. This isn't about Richard Harris, this is about Irishmen with no nipples.
It seems bizarre but there is a real historical point of interest here.
-What could an Irishman never be if he had no nipples?
We came back to...
Going back in the past in Ireland, it's a very peculiar thing
but part of your way of showing loyalty to your sovereign - if you were an Irish subject
in the ancient days of the Irish kings -
was you had to suck their nipples.
-RIPPLE OF LAUGHTER
So... And you may say, "OK, but what kind of person doesn't have nipples?"
There would be fights, contests and people would apply, as it were, to be King of Ireland.
And if they were found not suitable, they would have their nipples cut off,
-which meant they could never be King of Ireland.
-Sorry? They did it like Britain's Got Talent?!
-This is how Britain's Got Talent should tweak it so that it's the same.
It would be quite something.
But there is Old Croghan Man, one of the peat bog discoveries
He was so well preserved that when he was discovered, it wasn't archaeologists, or museums,
or anthropologists they contacted - it was the police.
It was between 300-odd to 100-odd BC that this person had died...
-The chances of...
-He was so well preserved...
-You would describe it as a cold case.
-No chance of getting a conviction.
People said, "Oh, my god! Here's this recently killed body." He was found with nipples cut off.
He appears to have been someone who was deprived ritually of his attribute of kingship
-before being killed. So there you are.
-That seems to be the case.
There are extra points if you can tell me the national colour of Ireland.
-Well this feels like a trap!
-It does indeed!
-That's the flag but that's not necessarily an indication of what the national colour is.
-Blue is the right answer!
-Well done, yes.
The fact is it's changed now that everybody thinks it's green.
And everyone paints themselves green in Chicago and New York
for Saint Patrick's Day. But Saint Patrick's colour was blue - Saint Patrick's blue.
The coat of arms of Ireland is a shield of a harp against a ground of Saint Patrick's blue.
And the Irish Guards are distinct because of the blue in their bearskins.
So blue was always the colour of Ireland until really in 1798,
when they had one of their many rebellions.
And then green became a symbol of Irish nationalism and sort of took over from blue.
Sucking a king's nipples was a gesture of submission in ancient Ireland.
If you lost yours you couldn't be king.
You've got a big decision coming up in 40 minutes, imagine, OK?
What's the best thing you can do now to ensure that you make the right choice?
-Just make the decision now.
No, it's coming up. You may not know what it is, like Dwight here.
Get into a rage. You make the right choices when angry.
Very well remembered from a previous edition. One of them is anger.
Apparently you make better decisions when you're angry. I'm giving you a clue.
-You're giving me a clue?
-Have some water.
Lots and lots of water.
-Drink lots of water...
-So that in 40 minutes...
You'll be in the loo and you won't have to make the decision.
You'd be popping to go to the loo and that's when we make our best decisions.
-When we need a wee?
It's true, girlfriend!
APPLAUSE Shut up!
The last decision I made when busting for a piss, was to pull over and have a piss at the side of a road.
Not that that's the best decision I ever made but it happened.
If you're given a SERIOUS decision to make, it seems...that, for some reason,
-it somehow allows you to make clearer decisions.
-Do you know why I think it is?
I think that's probably right.
It's conscious versus unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind is the smart bit
-and the answers bubble up. You know when you're trying to remember something?
To not concentrate on that thing, to distract yourself and sometimes it bubbles up organically.
-When you focus on it,
when you need a pee, that's all you can think about - needing a pee. Suddenly...
-Or the opposite - a crossword clue pops into your head.
-I'm going to try and nail the General Ignorance.
I think I'm definitely going to do Celebrity Mastermind now.
-Just 20 bottles of Evian before I go on.
HE BARKS WORDS
"Red! Orange! Hitler!
"I've got to go, John!"
"Red, orange, Hitler"? I'm trying to think what that would be...
What is your specialist subject?!
JIMMY: Love it!
Fair enough. Good one. According to the father of history who was Herodotus, the Greek historian...
Surely there hadn't been much history?
-Back then, it was... I mean, when he's talking about,
it's, "You know, two weeks ago..."
Has he got his hair woven into his beard?
It does... It does look all one-piece, doesn't it?
-A bit of hairdressing.
-That's the... But he wrote of the Persians,
"When they wanted to make a decision, they made a decision drunk
"and then reviewed it when sober. And if they both tallied,
"they thought it was right. Or, they made a decision when sober
"and then reviewed it when drunk." But he said also, as if shocked,
"To vomit or obey natural calls, in the presence of another,
"is forbidden among them."
It's like, "Gosh, Persians are really weird,
they don't pee and poo in front of each other. It says more about Greeks, which Herodotus was.
But he was surprised by that. Don't you think it's odd?
Does he mean that they go behind a tree, whereas the Greeks would go in front of the tree?
-In front of each other.
-The Romans used to all sit around chatting, didn't they?
I've seen the toilets in Pompeii. They just used to sit there - "All right?" - next to each other.
And why not? Well, all kinds of reasons, actually.
We stare straight ahead. Straight ahead at the wall.
Whereas, me, I'd go in with a ghetto blaster, so people can't hear the noises. Honestly.
That reminds me of one story about Marilyn Monroe.
When she was engaged to Arthur Miller, the playwright, she was very nervous about meeting
his parents, who were Jewish intellectuals, and they went to their small house in New York.
"Come in, meet Mum and Dad." And they were having a dinner and, at one point, she wanted to get up
and use the loo, and she realised that it was above the dining room.
To disguise the sound of herself peeing, she turned the taps on
and then had a pee and then flushed the loo and turned the taps off.
And the next day, Arthur Miller called up his father and said,
"So what did you think of Marilyn?" His father said, "Nice girl - pisses like a horse."
It's perfectly fantastic!
Now, what big decision did the driver of the number 78 London bus
have to make in December 1952?
-Ooh, yes, Jimmy?
-The Coronation is all I know about '52.
-The Queen didn't get the bus, did she?
-No, she didn't!
You might, if you were bus users, know where the 78 goes.
-It doesn't go my way.
-He had to jump the bridge.
He had to jump the bridge!
He was approaching it and there was some mistake with the warning sign.
As he was getting on... Do you know these?
They're called bascules, for the French for a seesaw.
And as he was approaching the first one, he was already on it when he saw they were rising.
He took a split-second decision and accelerated.
The second one was lower down
and, three foot in the air, whatever it was, he landed on the second one.
No-one was injured. And he won, for his bravery, £10.
And Employee of the Month.
-I'm sure Employee of the Month.
-Maybe Driver of the Week.
It was very brave. Very brave fellow.
-You'll want to know his name.
It was a good bus driver's name, Albert Gunton.
-Of course it was.
He should be proud. If his family are watching, I hope you're still proud of him.
What is that thing about split-second decisions?
-I don't know. He just made the right one.
-He must've needed a wee.
Making a split decision and coming close to something and...
It's weird when that happens. There are two odds.
One is, there may be something small you've seen that you can't remember.
The other is, you wouldn't be able to tell the story if you'd got it wrong.
-Everybody is alive, by definition -
-So, all the anecdotes about
"I made a split-second decision and it went very badly", they're not here?
-They're not there to be told! There is that side of it!
-Like the conductor who fell out the back!
-The one thing we can say -
-As he falls into the Thames,
One thing we can say with confidence, Boris,
is that that wouldn't have happened with a bendy bus.
The brilliant thing with the bendy bus,
it would go between the two things, and the bridge could play the accordion!
That's true! It never occurred to me!
If one or other of these identical twins committed a burglary
and you had eye-witness reports, DNA and fingerprints,
how could you get a conviction?
-I may have to refine that.
It's even simpler. It's twins. It's the evil one.
It's, a, we have to be legal, so waterboarding is out.
-But they are identical - monozygotic twins - in other words, their DNA is...
-What have we got?
-We've got DNA.
-Fingerprints. Eye-witness reports.
-Are fingerprints the same in..?
-No, that's the point. Fingerprints are very, very, very simliar
and you have to be a heck of an expert to be able to detect the difference,
-but in a court, you can demonstrate the difference.
-Is this real or did you forget to tape CSI?
It's a real question. There have been, indeed very recently, here's a case, just January 2009.
6.8m-worth of jewellery was stolen from the Kaufhaus des Westens,
one of the great department stores of the world, one of my favourites, in Berlin.
-And they stole...
-As it was German, nobody cared.
Well, 6.8m-worth, a lot of insurance.
A pair of twins named Abbas and Hassam Omurat were amongst the three suspects
and walked free, despite their being DNA evidence of their presence at the scene. Or one presence.
"From the evidence we have, we can deduce that at least one of the brothers took part
"in the crime, but it has not been possible to determine which one."
You can't imprison both, just because one of them did it. That's the point.
-What happens with conjoined twins?
-That has happened, as well. In the case of the original Siamise twins,
one of them was rather a drunkard and commited an offence,
but couldn't go to prison because it would mean imprisoning the other, so they got away scot-free.
Now, identity parades. Fascinating things.
As you know, you are a suspect and the police are supposed to get people who look vaguely like you,
wear the same clothes, and an eyewitness says "number three" or whatever.
-Nowadays, they use something called VIPER.
Video Identification Parade Electronic Recording.
Because as recently as 1997, South Yorkshire Police had a suspect
who was six foot three, 16 stone and black.
They couldn't find anyone of that description,
so they got a make-up artist to black-up a group of white men,
-but not including their hands.
Unsurprisingly, the eyewitness chose the genuinely black person.
These days, they have all kinds of ID parades,
but the old type is not regarded as reliable.
There are reasons for that, and we might be able to demonstrate what those reasons are.
Earlier in the show, you may remember a rascal ran across the set
and stole some money from my hand.
-You all saw it happen.
-You apprehended him!
-Can you pick the culprit from this line-up?
We've apprehended him and we've got some others
to see if you can find out who it is.
Here they are. One, two, three and four.
Was it number one, stealing our money?
Was it number two, stealing our hearts? Or is that just me? Er...
-Was it number three...
Was it number three, stealing himself for a spanking?
Or was it number four, stealing a format idea from Never Mind The Buzzcocks?
Very good control from our ID parade.
So I'll ask each one of you to give me a number.
You all saw the moment, or at least very briefly, which is how crimes are committed.
-Phill, one, two, three or four?
This isn't fair. Phill's had much more experience in this game. He's built a career on this game.
He knows which one is in The Kooks.
If you could just stick a bass player in there for me!
-It was fleeting, wasn't it?
-I'm going one.
-Two and one.
-It's number one.
-Number one. We're split between two and one.
Those in the audience who think it's one, raise your hand.
That's quite a fair number.
-Who thinks it's number two?
-You probably had a better view.
-That's quite a lot.
A few of you. And number four? Again, a few of you.
-Would the real thief please step forward?
-Wait a minute!
There you are! Number two. Well done.
Well done. Very good. Very good, indeed.
Thank you all for our line-up, including the three innocents.
-Can I just...?
I got that wrong. I said number one and it was actually number two, but when I saw number one,
I instantly thought, "That guy has done something very, very bad."
I think, in a couple of months' time, the news will land
that he's done a terrible thing and I'll be proven tight.
That, unfortunately, is, kind of, the way people go. "Ooh, I don't like his face".
I have to say, I am impressed by the audience, because, as you probably all know,
we've all heard of tests in which this kind of thing happens if you're doing forensics
-or criminology this happens in lectures and so on.
-I was sitting in a cafe
and I saw some kids stealing a scooter with some bolt-cutters
and they sped off with it and a few minutes later the police arrived and I went over the road
and I said, "I saw the kids who did this."
And the copper said, "What colour was the scooter, sir?"
I said, "It was gold, metallic gold."
-And the owner was there and he went, "It was silver."
-So suddenly you weren't very trusted?
No, and about ten minutes later, the kids came past
and I followed them round the corner onto Highbury Fields - keeping my distance -
and then phoned the police station, "It's here. I've followed them. They're walking along."
-That's because you were doing a silly voice.
Do it in your own voice next time.
It isn't entirely useless having an ID parade.
-You did very well.
-I got it right!
-You got it right.
-You know how I got it right?
-I wet my pants.
-That's it! Exactly!
You're learning! All right.
It is more difficult than we think, or realise, to pick a suspect from a parade,
although half our panel did very well.
And now to the moment when I'm afraid you have no choice at all. Fingers on buzzers, please.
Remember, we haven't had our "nobody knows" question.
Who was the first person to go round the world in 80 days?
"Turn right." Michael Palin.
I meant a real person. I'm not counting fictional.
-In fiction, of course...
-A blue whale.
The "first person" was very much in the question.
But it's interesting I said "person". It was a woman.
Amy Johnson? WOMAN SHOUTS FROM AUDIENCE
Shout that again, in the audience.
-Well done, audience member!
-Nellie Bly is the right answer!
APPLAUSE DROWNS OUT SPEECH
Very impressed indeed.
Nellie Bly is someone we all should've heard of.
She was possibly the world's first investigative journalist.
She was a remarkably bold, brave and adventurous woman.
She worked for The World, which was Joseph Pulitzer's newspaper.
In 1890, after the astonishing success of Jules Verne's Around The World In Eighty Days,
Joseph Pulitzer decided that he would try and get someone genuinely to go round the world in 80 days.
He awarded the role to one of his journalists and Nellie Bly said,
"If you don't give me the task, I will go to another newspaper."
And so valued was she, he said, "You've got the job."
And she did it in 72 days, which is pretty damned impressive.
In those days, before aeroplanes, obviously,
getting from one place, all the way round the globe, to another
in that amount of time was a heck of an achievement.
-It took a long time to get from Scotland to London in those days.
Can you remember in the book the forms of travel Phileas Fogg used?
-There were some trains, weren't there?
-Hot air balloons.
-Not hot air balloons!
-There's a balloon on the screen!
-Because of the film.
In the Michael Todd film with David Niven,
one always thinks of the balloon, but he doesn't use a balloon.
Anyway, she did it in 72 days, six hours and 11 minutes from New York to New York.
She should be remembered for campaigns against bad landlords,
injustice, injustice to women in prisons
and, most amazingly, she managed to smuggle herself into an insane asylum
and wrote an extraordinary report about the unbelievable cruelty dealt to the mentally ill.
It sounds like she managed to talk her way out of an insane asylum...
-..with a story about being an investigative journalist. That is genius.
In both cases, impressive.
How can you tell which of these chicks is male and which is female?
This must be... This must be...
-I'm afraid not!
Had you said that in the 1920s, the answer would've been "nobody knows".
But in 1929, the Japanese astonished the world
by revealing that they'd found a way to sex chicks.
In other words, to determine their gender.
It sounds... It sounds so wrong, doesn't it?
-"I know how to sex a chick!"
-JIMMY: I can do that!
It seems impossible with the naked eye to do it
because you have to wait till they're six weeks old.
And in the egg-laying industry, that's a heck of a waste,
because the male chicks are of no use whatsoever to them.
Gassed on the first day. Enjoy your eggs!
That's why... Good point!
In 1927, at the World Poultry Congress in Ottawa,
-this was announced...
-The World Poultry Congress.
That's a lot of chickens.
"Will the representative of Albania make himself known?"
"Albanian chicken!" CLUCKING
It's one of the biggest businesses in the world.
The most popular bird we eat, then we eat their eggs.
And so there are World Poultry Congresses!
We've all done corporate gigs. I imagine I did 20 minutes at the end.
I once did Phillips Small Appliances. Sounds mad.
-That poor boy!
-It was a long time...
-It was a long time ago...
-Leave his appliances alone!
-It was a long time ago...
-Which is why I won't have him in the house any more!
-How do you sex a chicken?
-It's very complex, that's the point.
And it's highly... No, we do know. It's highly paid.
The discovery lowered the price of eggs worldwide overnight.
That's how important it was.
The Zen-Nippon Chick Sexing School was founded.
I know you're laughing, but it's true! It's true!
You're looking at a graduate.
And they taught their sexers in such a rigorous way
that only five to ten percent of applicants received accreditation.
When you passed, you were paid huge sums of money.
-You are chick master!
-Yes. Hundreds of dollars a day. It was a really big business.
-It still is!
-"Boy..." "How do you know?" "I know."
-"You don't know. You pay."
The best in the business can sex around 1,200 chicks an hour
and there are some talented ones who can have one in each hand...
"Boy, boy, girl, girl, boy, boy, boy, girl,
"girl, girl, boy, boy. Boy, girl, boy, girl. Boyyyy."
-The point is...
The point is, you go like that, and pop them in bins. Girl bin, boy bin.
And you can do 1,200.
-Is it to do with the weight?
-No. They do a slight squeeze...
-You won't like this.
-They do a slight squeeze...
-And if they go, "Oww!" it's a girl.
And if they go...
-If they go, "Steady on, mate..."
-It's a boy!
They have a cloaca tract, which is their reproductive and excretory tract,
and there is a slight difference in the ridges and bumps, the innies and outies.
So you do a slight squeeze. If it's too big, you throttle them, or the outie becomes an innie.
It's a real skill. It's something I vaguely knew about growing up in Norfolk,
because in Norfolk there is a community of Vietnamese turkey sexers, who live...
I know it sounds mad!
I can never watch Platoon again!
You've ruined Apocalypse Now for me.
-I'm sorry about that.
-"What sex is chicken?!
-"You tell me now!"
-I know it sounds bonkers.
They live in tunnels under the fence!
-Not in the fence, it's in Norfolk, he said defensively.
-I beg your pardon.
-Tell me they work for Bernard, please!
Bernard Matthews is the largest employer.
"Mr Matthew, this one bootiful!" LAUGHTER
All right. Chicken sexing is a fine art these days.
The sun rises roughly in the east, as we know, and sets in the west. But what does the moon do?
-What direction does the moon...
-Which moon are we talking about?
-This show is getting tough.
-It goes the other way.
-The opposite direction?
-Actually... That isn't true, either.
-No, it's the same.
-It's the same.
-"Are you sure?"
-Correct! Well done!
The moon rises in the east and sets in the west.
Lastly, how many different species of mussel can you see here?
-Is this it?
-Oh! Oh, oh, oh, oh! There you go.
-Jimmy got there first!
-I just found it quicker than Phill.
-It had to be!
-It's the last one.
-It's almost impossible to identify...
-Impossible to do or impossible to care?
Do you think they just go, "Shall we just boil these and eat them? Time's a-wasting."
We used to think, by size and appearance, you could tell.
We now find the genome tells us. Species we thought were different we've discovered are the same.
And conversely, species we thought were the same are different.
So, which nation are secretly training their citizens to be able to tell what species of mussel...
-Do the Albanians have mussel ninjas?
-It is almost certainly the Albanians, you're right.
But the time has finally come to act decisively and declare tonight's winner.
It's very exciting. Yes, indeed.
Let's... Well, let's start at the top.
With a fantastic result,
our winner with a clear plus-10 points is Phill Jupitus!
I don't know how that happened. I never know how that happens.
In a rather surprising second place, with four points, it's the audience!
That puts Jimmy, who would otherwise have come second,
-in third place with minus one.
And in fourth place with minus two, Rich Hall!
But, erm, it still doesn't stop Alan from coming last, I fear,
-with minus 14!
So, thanks to Rich, Jimmy, Phill and Alan.
I leave you with this tale of choice in Soviet Russia from comedian Yakov Smirnoff.
"In Russia, we had only two channels. Channel One was propaganda.
"Channel Two consisted of a KGB officer telling you,
"'Turn back at once to Channel One.'"
-Thank you and goodnight.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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