Invertebrates QI XL


Invertebrates

Stephen Fry looks at insects and other invertebrates. With Sarah Millican, Jimmy Carr, Johnny Vegas and Alan Davies.


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Transcript


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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Well!

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Goooood evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening.

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And welcome to QI for a show that's all about insects and other invertebrates.

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Let me introduce our completely spineless panel.

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-Busy as a bee, Jimmy Carr.

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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-Snug as a bug, Sarah Millican.

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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-Knee-high to a grasshopper, Johnny Vegas.

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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-And banging his head fruitlessly against a window, Alan Davies.

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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So before we begin, we should hear your buzzes. Jimmy goes...

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-FLY BUZZING

-Ooh, it's annoying.

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-Sarah goes...

-CRICKETS CHIRP Aw!

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-Johnny goes...

-MOSQUITO BUZZES / LAUGHTER

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-And Alan goes...

-MOSQUITO BUZZES

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SPLATTING

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Now, don't forget, there are some questions to which nobody knows the answer.

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-FANFARE

-'Nobody knows!'

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If you play your joker to a question to which nobody knows the answer you get extra points.

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-If you use it at the wrong time, you look like a bit of a tit.

-LAUGHTER

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-So, to question one.

-Right.

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-LAUGHTER

-What's the point?

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-LAUGHTER

-Aw!

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What do bees do better than dogs?

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-BUZZER

-Yes, Jimmy.

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Make honey. LAUGHTER

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That's probably true, I have to say.

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Probably true! You're giving me probably on making honey.

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OK, if that's the way you want to play it.

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-I'll give you that one.

-Thank you very much. I'm already in the lead. LAUGHTER

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They're better at sneaking up on you than dogs are. You'd never know if a bee had sniffed your crotch.

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-LAUGHTER

-Well, you might not.

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-There'd be a buzzing noise. But oddly enough, you used the word there...

-Is it crotch?

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-LAUGHTER

-No.

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-Sniffing?

-Sniffing. We use dogs to sniff,

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-to sniff in customs and for security...

-Sniffer bees!

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..for explosives and drugs.

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It takes a dog about three months at least to be trained

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to be a sniffer dog. It takes a bee ten minutes.

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All you have to do is put it in a box,

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add the smell and some sugar simultaneously, do that a few times,

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and it will instantly associate that smell with sugar and a reward and next time it comes across the smell,

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its proboscis will come out and if you set it all up right, it will cause an alarm.

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-So why aren't we in airports killing bees, then?

-It's beginning to happen.

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Unless drug dealers have an allergy to stings,

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I can't see them being pinned up against the wall by a policeman...

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-LAUGHTER

-..with a bee on a bit of kite twine.

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There's a company called Inscentinel which has developed this

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and it is beginning to be used by the military and airports and various others.

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You pop a bee in a little box and you train it.

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-That's not a little box, that's like the worst rucksack ever invented.

-LAUGHTER

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What if they like savoury stuff? What if they haven't got much of a sweet tooth?

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The great thing about bees is they only like sugar.

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There may be a rogue bee that likes meat or salami, and that would be useless.

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-Pasties?

-Pasties.

-He wouldn't be able to do that as a job.

-A Cornish bee.

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-LAUGHTER

-You shove a few in a box

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and then waft them near the thing you want them to check, there it is.

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That's not a bad idea cos that's the old joke about the best way to smuggle drugs being in a dog's bum.

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Because when the sniffer dogs come through... LAUGHTER

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..as soon as the dog sniffs, you just go, "Come here, you! Naughty little thing."

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-But with bees, how much could you get in a bee's bum? Very little.

-Very little.

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My dad once punched a bee.

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-Punched a bee?

-Yeah, it went for him, and it was huge, so he just punched it.

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He said it was like a velvet tennis ball. LAUGHTER

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A rather beautiful phrase, velvet tennis balls of the sky.

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I like that he was thinking of such poetic things when he was punching a bee.

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-Bees are valuable and they are in trouble. There seems to be...

-That one was.

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-LAUGHTER

-I'm going to offer you a reward.

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I've got a plate here of insect-related foods, Sarah,

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and you can choose your reward. This is a lolly which has got ants in it.

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This is a scorpion brittle, like a peanut brittle, only with a scorpion in it.

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I don't know if you can see it. Or just some dried bugs here. Would you like one of those?

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And where is the treat part? LAUGHTER

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-Chocolate ant, would you like a chocolate ant?

-I'll suck it.

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-Would you?

-No. LAUGHTER

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-Are you going to risk any of these?

-Erm, I'll have a look at them.

-If I had a chocolate ant, would you?

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-Er, I'll let you go first.

-I've eaten it. There it is.

-I'm not really bothered, to be honest with you.

-Ah!

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-LAUGHTER

-You made me eat it!

-APPLAUSE

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-Well, I want more bravery, because these are treats.

-I don't even eat brown bread.

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Don't give things like that to us.

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-You think of brown bread as being some sort of strange life form that's...

-Well, it's unnecessary.

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-LAUGHTER

-If that's a new range of pick 'n' mix, no wonder Woolies went under.

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-LAUGHTER

-It may well be the world is going to turn towards this kind of food

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because 2.5 billion of the world's population already regularly eat insects.

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Is that just by mistake when you're on a bike? LAUGHTER

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These are treats and it may well be that it will solve the problem.

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By the year 2030, they reckon there will be

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such a shortage of protein on the planet

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that there will be a genuine problem of starvation. There's already a problem with starvation

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but it will multiply enormously as the population increases.

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And insects and other invertebrates may be the answer.

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-Spider is genius. Like chicken legs but they have loads of them.

-Yes!

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What do you think are the advantages of eating and breeding insects for food?

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-You get to pretend to be a giant.

-LAUGHTER

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A giant of commerce.

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And you can train them all to come and exercise in front of you and get them to build tiny cars.

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-LAUGHTER

-Well, there is that.

-And I'll say, "Call me Johnny Nissan!"

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-LAUGHTER

-In the wild, when they lay eggs, they lay billions.

-That's right.

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Only a few of them survive. But if you've got them, you can have all billion of them.

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Yeah, exactly. And they need far less feed than cattle.

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They produce far less noxious gas than cattle.

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-But how would you contain the insect equivalent of foot-and-mouth?

-LAUGHTER

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-That would be a problem.

-"Have you been near a fly?" "Yes." "Leave the airport."

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If you're trying to get this as an idea, this could solve starvation,

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could you maybe pick a picture of a guy that looks less nuts? LAUGHTER

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If you're trying to market it, if he's meant to be Captain Birdseye of the insect world,

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he couldn't look any creepier. LAUGHTER

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He looks as if he's auditioning to play the master in the original Dr Who.

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-Even the frame in the picture looks like he's about to black out.

-LAUGHTER

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-And the spider.

-"They're good for you."

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HE MOANS

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"My vocal chords are swelling up."

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-There is no reason not to eat them.

-"I expect you to die, Mr Bond."

-LAUGHTER

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-Sorry.

-Shrimp is essentially the same thing. It's just in the sea. That one is on land.

-Exactly.

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-They are delicious.

-We eat shrimp if there's a special on at Iceland.

-LAUGHTER

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-STEPHEN COUGHS

-Excuse me.

-Take a moment.

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-It may be that ant.

-It's the ant!

-LAUGHTER

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Oh, no, they're delicious, they could solve the problems of starvation...by killing us all.

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-LAUGHTER

-I have got a problem in my throat.

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Look at that man looming over you going, "At last, I got you, Fry."

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-Maybe that was a mistake.

-There's one brave ant. "We're going to cover you in chocolate,

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"we'll put you in front of Stephen Fry, you're going to go down there and sort things out."

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-"Once you're inside, release it."

-I've eaten those.

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They've got a terrible bitter aftertaste, the smoked insects,

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the little ants. I had them at Bug World in Liverpool.

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Were you supposed to eat them? Cos isn't that like a zoo?

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Is it shut now because you ate everything? LAUGHTER

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-That giant snail was a mistake.

-LAUGHTER

-It looked like a burger.

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-Oh!

-You're offered a bit at the end. But then you're not meant to go back on a frenzy and break the others.

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Just with a different hat on every time.

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I like a zoo where there's a buffet on the way out. Panda burger anyone? LAUGHTER

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Go to the Natural History Museum just lifting the cases.

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LAUGHTER

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I've also got acid reflux, I have to say. One little ant.

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Here am I supposed to be advertising it as the future of humanity,

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-and I have to say, I feel like shit at the moment.

-LAUGHTER

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-That has not gone down well.

-APPLAUSE

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The meat marketing board are watching this at the moment going, "Die! Die!"

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-LAUGHTER

-Talking of bees and dogs,

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do you know the premier site on the internet for dogs that are dressed as bees?

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LAUGHTER The best one? My favourite or the most popular one?

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LAUGHTER It's beedogs.com.

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Can you imagine a bee flying back and going, "I've found the queen!"

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-LAUGHTER

-"I've found the mother of all queens!"

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I've got a little extra question for you. I was going to offer you a reward of a chocolate ant,

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but I suspect there'd be no takers. I think I've got a leg stuck between my teeth.

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-There are hundreds of ants coming across the studio floor.

-LAUGHTER

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How can you tell if your dog has a guilty conscience?

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Is there a particular... Aww. Look at that boxer.

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-Is it that your slippers are full?

-Your slippers are full?

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-I was trying to put it in a nice way. Of shit.

-I know what you mean.

-LAUGHTER

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I know what you're saying.

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I think they go in the opposite direction.

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What a dog does with a guilty conscience is make a massive fuss of you.

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-Ah, very interesting.

-More than usual.

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-To try and make you love it and to make up...

-I thought that was husbands.

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LAUGHTER When you say a guilty conscience, do they have a...

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That's a point. The answer should've been nobody knows. The people who own dogs

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think they can recognise a guilty look in their dog, but they've done a number of tests

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in which they have told their owner their dog has done this particular thing

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and the owner has said, "Oh, yes, that's its guilty look, I recognise that" and it hasn't done anything.

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It's all in the mind of the owner. I've still got a little scaly something in the back of my throat.

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-Have a bit of scorpion brittle to take it away.

-Take the edge off, yeah.

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I was so looking forward to being brave and butch and taking this insect.

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Revolting! There it is. Oh, a little wing casing or something.

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-AUDIENCE: Ohhh!

-Very unpleasant.

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Dogs can identify guilt in people.

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-Yes, can they? They probably can.

-Yeah, they can.

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-If you come in...

-Certainly in airports, but bees are better at it. LAUGHTER

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That's very good. Now, why aren't there any vegan Venus flytraps?

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-Yes, Sarah?

-Maybe there are, but people don't invite them round for dinner

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cos it's too complicated. LAUGHTER

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That's a very good answer. Would you like a reward?

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No, thank you. LAUGHTER

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-Ohh.

-Vegan?

-Yes.

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-Are you all right?

-No, I'm not all right.

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Suppose a leaf fell in, why don't they eat the leaf?

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Cos hasn't it got... I had one of these when I was a kid.

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-Hasn't it got to hit two of them within a certain time frame?

-Absolutely right.

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They have a sort of time system on these tiny hairs,

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you can see it here. Poor little thing.

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-And then it just does another movement and bang.

-Ooh.

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-And it is really...

-Do you know what the coolest thing about them is?

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When that closes, that bit there is the stomach.

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It just closes really tight and then that becomes the stomach.

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And all the digestive juices absorb the little animal.

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It has a design fault, then. If you were one of those plants and you were starving

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-but you had a mouthful of lettuce...

-Yes.

-..it would never know.

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-No.

-It would starve to death rather than eat a salad.

-Exactly.

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-LAUGHTER

-Because the salad didn't move

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-in the right way.

-You have so much in common with these. LAUGHTER

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-If you fell asleep next to one of them for long enough...

-Yes?

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..and it closed on your finger,

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would it be able to digest part of your finger?

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I'm going to send you one and you will do the experiment.

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-LAUGHTER

-And let us know. You could try your knob, as well. It'd be funnier.

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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-In the cause of science.

-I couldn't...

-APPLAUSE

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-It would be a penis flytrap then.

-Aww!

-LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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-Well, we'll see.

-You're considering it.

-Yeah.

-LAUGHTER

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There are other exciting ways of catching insects.

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-You know the South American bolas, like a sling that you swing round?

-Yeah.

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There's a spider that does the same thing to catch insects.

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There, look at that. It's very clever.

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-It swings this...

-That's not real, it's just a drawing.

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-LAUGHTER

-I admit, we don't actually have a photo of it.

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I'll tell you why you don't have a photo. Because you made it up. It's not even a good picture.

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That isn't even a good spider. It's a heart-shaped thing.

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You started off doing a heart, it was probably a love letter, then you went, "I'll put some legs on it".

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I'm very sorry. But do look it up on the net. I'm sure you'll find a photograph. The bolas spider.

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-And he's doing this, is he?

-He makes a sort of lasso.

-He lassos the insect

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-and then he does...

-He goes, "Yee-hah!"

-LAUGHTER

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-It does seem crazy, but nature is crazy.

-And then he drinks in a saloon.

-Yes.

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What's the best way to charm a worm?

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There's a worm. How would you charm a worm?

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You tap, don't you? Because when it rains, they come up.

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Birds do that when they jump up and down, they make a noise like rain and they come up.

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Yes, actually, what they think is that there is a mole nearby.

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And the earthworm's way of escaping is to come to the surface, because moles don't come up.

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-Are they not friends? I imagine they would be friends.

-No, Moley and Wormy, not friends.

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-Moley eaty Wormy.

-I'm going to stop you there, because in my mind, they are quite good friends.

-Aww.

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They live underground and they have a terrific old time.

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Could you charm a worm with a tiny flute?

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Well, it's good you should say this because worm charming is a big, I won't say industry,

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but it is a big pastime, both in America and in this country. There is the commercial side of it.

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-Erm, because...

-Oh, for God's sake!

-I know.

-LAUGHTER

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-I know you've got your "get a life" look on.

-LAUGHTER

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-And I do know what you mean, but...

-I really have.

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There's nothing that discernable, is there? When you go, "Hi, you've got lovely..."

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-Oh, you mean charming them in that sense.

-No eyes.

-They have a little saddle, that can be attractive.

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-But that's that myth, that that's where they've been cut in half.

-Oh, I see, and re-grown. Yes.

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-Something happened between...

-You can chop them in half. You can do it with any animal.

-Yeah, but they...

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-LAUGHTER

-They don't join back together.

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No, they can't. It's a myth. But in America they call it grunting, worm charming,

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and it's reasonably big business because Americans love to fish,

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and obviously bait shops need worms as well as maggots as...

0:16:570:17:00

-The girl in the foreground is tapping the ground with flip-flops.

-She is.

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-She's got flip-flops on so she's taken extra flip-flops.

-LAUGHTER

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-She's only done it to annoy you.

-It looks like a car boot sale where everyone forgot the cars.

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-LAUGHTER

-They've been Photoshopped out of the picture.

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-APPLAUSE

-It does rather, doesn't it?

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-What it is, in Britain, the sport, if I can call it that...

-You may not!

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..involves dozens of competitors. Oh, my God!

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-Is that a worm on her T-shirt?

-She has a worm on her shirt!

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-I don't know if that's a worm. I don't think we should look at that.

-Oh, dear.

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-You have to lure as many worms...

-Ken Dodd on the right.

-..as you can in 30 minutes.

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-With a recorder?

-Well, with anything you choose. You can just tap...

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And why the time constraint, is that because you're out on day release?

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-LAUGHTER

-Possibly. The low point was in Woodhall.

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The Woodhall worm charming festival in Lincolnshire, none of the entrants in August 2010

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-managed to lure a single worm.

-This is the worm-charming festival, isn't it?

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Were those people inside at the time, were they in a building?

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Yeah, it was raining, they had to do it in the church hall.

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-LAUGHTER

-That would explain it.

-I'm getting nothing.

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LAUGHTER

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How do they decide the winner if nobody actually lured any worms?

0:18:210:18:26

Well, a spokesman said they were all winners because they raised more than £200

0:18:260:18:31

for the Woodhall Spa Twinning Association. I don't know who Woodhall is twinned with.

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I don't think it's twinned with anywhere. I think they had a suicide pact.

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-LAUGHTER

-Why has she got string on her fork? What's going on with these people?

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That's her fork, like when you're at the airport, with your case going round, you put a ribbon on.

0:18:440:18:50

-At least when you go trainspotting, there are trains.

-LAUGHTER

0:18:500:18:55

That's the best thing. The trainspotters are stood on the hill going, "Losers!"

0:18:550:18:59

-LAUGHTER

-"Get a life!"

0:18:590:19:02

APPLAUSE

0:19:020:19:05

-Oh, dear. It's true.

-"Keep digging, Cynthia, they're only jealous."

-LAUGHTER

0:19:050:19:10

Well, the fact is, yes, you can vibrate worms to the surface by pretending to be a mole.

0:19:100:19:16

Now, when would you go out with a bucketful of ladybirds?

0:19:160:19:20

What about if you had a bit of spare time and your hobby was collecting ladybirds?

0:19:200:19:25

-LAUGHTER

-Yes.

-Would that work?

-It might. But why do we like ladybirds?

0:19:250:19:28

-Don't they kill, er...

-Greenfly.

-Greenfly, yeah. They are very good pest controller animals.

0:19:280:19:34

-Are you sure they're not pests? I think they might be.

-Well, they're a pest if you're an aphid.

0:19:340:19:39

-But...

-I thought you said if you were an atheist.

0:19:390:19:42

LAUGHTER

0:19:420:19:45

That's a fantastic idea.

0:19:450:19:49

Those ladybirds, proving the existence of God again.

0:19:490:19:52

LAUGHTER There must be a god because they're so adorable.

0:19:520:19:56

Well, they're sold on the internet to gardeners

0:19:560:20:01

-and the idea is that they help you with your aphid control problem.

-So they're all alive in a bucket?

0:20:010:20:06

Yeah. There are all kinds of insects you can buy. I remember buying for a conservatory,

0:20:060:20:11

you can buy gall wasps, I think they were,

0:20:110:20:14

because there was some sort of pest I had in the conservatory.

0:20:140:20:17

Did they just ring the bell? Two wasps turned up?

0:20:170:20:20

LAUGHTER "We're here about the aphids."

0:20:200:20:23

LAUGHTER "Where do you want us?"

0:20:230:20:26

No, ladybirds are very helpful, obviously, but the problem with them is,

0:20:260:20:30

if you order them on the internet and you get a bucketful,

0:20:300:20:33

if you release them, they'll simply fly away.

0:20:330:20:36

So there's a secret to it. You release them at night cos they don't fly at night.

0:20:360:20:41

So you release them into your garden at night and they go to work.

0:20:410:20:44

Then during the day, they may fly away, but they may by then have eaten your aphids.

0:20:440:20:48

-Why don't they fly at night?

-They prefer not to.

-Can't see where they're going.

0:20:480:20:52

-We don't have an answer to that.

-My mum used to be like that driving. Didn't like it.

0:20:520:20:56

Why not just go through them individually and break a bit of wing?

0:20:560:21:01

-LAUGHTER

-And then keep them in your garden?

-You do want them to fly a bit.

0:21:010:21:05

-Well, that's why I said break a bit. I didn't say snap both.

-LAUGHTER

0:21:050:21:10

Break a bit so they can have a bit of aspirational flight, but they can't escape.

0:21:100:21:14

-That's cruel.

-Well, I paid for them online. It's not like I go out picking on random ladybirds.

0:21:140:21:21

-Slavery is what it is.

-Yes.

-No, no, no.

0:21:210:21:23

What it is, it's about getting your money's worth.

0:21:230:21:27

LAUGHTER A bucketful of ladybirds.

0:21:270:21:31

Now, how did the thing with the amazing eyes escape from the tank? Look at that.

0:21:310:21:37

It's known as a mantis shrimp, although it isn't a true shrimp.

0:21:370:21:41

-It's a crustacean.

-It doesn't sound like anything.

-It looks amazing, doesn't it?

0:21:410:21:45

Are those the eyes on the top?

0:21:450:21:47

The top bits are the eyes, which are extraordinary because they're divided into three.

0:21:470:21:52

-So they have three types of vision in each eye. Look at it.

-Like bifocals?

-Yes, they are.

0:21:520:21:57

They've got two of these eyes, but even more than that, they have power that is almost beyond belief.

0:21:570:22:03

-They can cut through glass.

-Hang on, this is sounding like Saturday morning kids' TV.

0:22:030:22:08

-Power beyond belief.

-They do! It's extraordinary...

-Is it the power of prayer, Stephen? Do they pray...

0:22:080:22:14

LAUGHTER Do they pray to get out of the tank to the little baby Jesus?

0:22:140:22:19

They're mantis shrimps, but not praying mantis shrimps.

0:22:190:22:22

Nice though, come on! LAUGHTER

0:22:220:22:25

They can accelerate, they can accelerate through the water at 10,000 times the force of gravity,

0:22:250:22:32

which causes the water in front of them to boil. I know it sounds mad.

0:22:320:22:37

-That's how extraordinary they are.

-It seems like a disadvantage cos when you stop, you're in boiling water.

0:22:370:22:43

LAUGHTER "I seem to have cooked myself." So they cook themselves?

0:22:430:22:47

They have this amazing power.

0:22:470:22:50

They have been known to break out of aquarium glass with one strike of their claw.

0:22:500:22:55

-They can actually break the glass and get out of their aquariums.

-Have we got footage of this?

0:22:550:23:00

-I can show you one punching its prey.

-It had better have a "Kapow!"

0:23:000:23:04

That's it on the left there. And this is obviously massively slowed down.

0:23:040:23:08

-And there it... Bang!

-Ooh.

0:23:080:23:11

And that was a really... There you go...

0:23:110:23:13

-That is insect domestic violence.

-LAUGHTER

0:23:160:23:21

It really is. They're very powerful creatures.

0:23:210:23:24

They have three sections of each eye. They can see ultra-violet, infrared, polarised,

0:23:240:23:28

and are the only creature on earth that can see circularly-polarised light.

0:23:280:23:32

-Does that mean they can watch Avatar without the glasses?

-Yes.

-LAUGHTER

0:23:320:23:36

That's exactly what it means, basically. They're very remarkable creatures.

0:23:360:23:41

-Where do they live?

-Vietnam, that's where you find them.

0:23:410:23:44

-Would you like to see a shrimp on a running machine?

-More than you know! LAUGHTER

0:23:440:23:50

-Take a look at this.

-It's the Iceland research facility.

0:23:500:23:54

LAUGHTER

0:23:540:23:57

-Aw! How good's that?

-It's very good, isn't it?

-They've not got it with a stop button.

0:23:570:24:02

No, I know, it doesn't have control. Do you know, they can go three hours before they get exhausted?

0:24:020:24:08

What has he got on the iPod?

0:24:080:24:10

-Yeah.

-He does look much slimmer than he did at the beginning of the footage.

0:24:100:24:14

There are various excuses that scientists have given for why they're doing that to them.

0:24:140:24:20

Was it mainly boredom? LAUGHTER

0:24:200:24:22

I was kicked out of there for just breaking one wing on a ladybird, and look what they're doing.

0:24:220:24:29

Are they doing any research into Marie Rose sauce? LAUGHTER

0:24:290:24:33

Because you need the two together, in a wine glass.

0:24:330:24:36

It's like shrimp horse-jumping. When the white line comes round, it jumps.

0:24:360:24:40

-Oh, does it? Oh, yes!

-LAUGHTER

0:24:400:24:43

-Oh!

-Whey!

-LAUGHTER

0:24:430:24:46

-And he's coming up here now on the third turn.

-LAUGHTER

0:24:460:24:49

And he's looking strong. He's not looking bad.

0:24:490:24:52

-He's lost his jockey but he's still in the race.

-LAUGHTER

0:24:520:24:55

The man responsible is called Professor David Scholnick of Pacific University in Oregon.

0:24:550:25:00

-He gives his name out?

-Yes.

-LAUGHTER

0:25:000:25:03

He said, "These studies will give us a better idea of how marine animals can perform in their native habitat

0:25:030:25:08

"when faced with increasing pathogens and immunological challenges". How I've no idea.

0:25:080:25:13

-We have to take his word for it.

-I'm waiting to see a crab with some dumbbells.

0:25:130:25:17

LAUGHTER It is strange, when you look at that,

0:25:170:25:21

because the shrimp is an insect, but we quite happily eat that.

0:25:210:25:25

-Pick the legs off it, take the head off.

-I know. And lobsters and things.

0:25:250:25:28

As you say, we'll happily eat them as a treat.

0:25:280:25:31

-But these... Oh, God.

-LAUGHTER

0:25:310:25:35

It's not done me any favours. And I felt so confident.

0:25:350:25:39

-I was going to have the scorpion, as well, but I'm not now.

-LAUGHTER

0:25:390:25:42

-I'll have the scorpion.

-Would you like the scorpion?

-I'll have it.

-Oh, my dear fellow. There you are.

0:25:420:25:48

-You mean you're going to take it...

-I've had those. The aftertaste is just horrendous.

0:25:480:25:53

It's there for hours. But I'll have that.

0:25:530:25:55

-Yeah? Are you going to eat it now in front of us?

-If I put it all in my mouth, it might...

0:25:550:25:59

-I'll break it in half.

-Good idea.

0:25:590:26:02

-Make it manageable.

-Yep.

-# Half the poison, half the fun

0:26:020:26:06

LAUGHTER

0:26:060:26:09

-Ready?

-God, it...

0:26:090:26:12

LAUGHTER

0:26:120:26:15

-APPLAUSE

-That's God telling me something, isn't it?

0:26:150:26:18

-Wow, that is one tough...

-I think the scorpion might be alive. I think it might be like Han Solo.

-Hey!

0:26:180:26:24

-Not any more, it's not.

-Erm... Tail end or front?

0:26:240:26:29

I would go for the front. The tail end might have a sting in it.

0:26:290:26:32

-Always ask a lady.

-Hey!

0:26:320:26:35

-LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

-Ohh!

0:26:350:26:39

James Carr!

0:26:390:26:41

Well, you could hardly break the thing, so...

0:26:450:26:47

-LAUGHTER

-Come back in nine hours.

0:26:470:26:51

-LAUGHTER

-Oh, you're having one, too! Good for you!

0:26:510:26:54

-Excellent.

-I've been licking the brittle and I'll be there all night.

0:26:540:26:58

-I was eating it like a Club biscuit.

-LAUGHTER

0:26:580:27:00

-Licking all the chocolate off.

-Is it quite sweet? It's basically sugar.

-It's horrible.

0:27:000:27:05

-I can't feel my toes.

-Oh, dear.

-LAUGHTER

0:27:050:27:11

It's like hemlock. It just works all the way up.

0:27:110:27:13

It's like bonfire night with death.

0:27:130:27:16

-LAUGHTER

-Go on, Sarah, you know you want to.

0:27:160:27:19

-You've got to be joking.

-Have a lick anyway.

0:27:190:27:23

-Is this what you had, the chocolate ant?

-Sarah, just think, what if we all develop superpowers as a result?

0:27:230:27:28

-LAUGHTER

-Ohh!

0:27:280:27:31

-LAUGHTER

-Ohhh...

0:27:310:27:33

-Alan had the ant.

-How could you eat that?

0:27:330:27:36

-He has the power!

-You saw what it did to me.

-He has the power of nausea!

0:27:360:27:41

-LAUGHTER Ohh!

-That is absolutely repellent.

0:27:410:27:46

-As soon as you break the chocolate, if whiffs.

-I know, it's not nice.

0:27:460:27:50

Something's happening. Something's happening!

0:27:500:27:53

-LAUGHTER

-Whey!

0:27:530:27:57

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:27:570:27:59

-Oh, my word!

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:27:590:28:02

-Something...

-Power of the scorpion!

0:28:050:28:08

LAUGHTER Can I ask, are scorpions known for forward rolls?

0:28:080:28:15

-LAUGHTER

-Definitely.

-Oh, yes, Sarah, you're showing your ignorance there.

0:28:150:28:20

-LAUGHTER

-I've tried a scorpion and I've tried an ant.

-Well done.

-And that's it.

0:28:200:28:25

-All right.

-That's like the start of a really bad musical.

0:28:250:28:28

BOTH: # I tried a scorpion, I tried an ant

0:28:280:28:32

-# And that's it

-LAUGHTER

0:28:320:28:35

-# Try a bug, try a bug, no

-LAUGHTER

0:28:350:28:38

-I mean...

-# Now I'm an insect sycophant

-LAUGHTER

0:28:380:28:43

-Have you had anything, Sarah?

-No.

-You should try an ant.

-I think you should have an ant.

0:28:430:28:48

-Well, you're not me mam, so...

-LAUGHTER

0:28:480:28:52

APPLAUSE

0:28:520:28:55

You might all end up with superpowers, but you'll need somebody to save.

0:28:550:28:59

-That's true.

-No, we'll need somebody to push us round.

-LAUGHTER

0:28:590:29:03

-We'll need some home help once we get our superpowers. We'll all be delirious.

-That'll be champion.

0:29:030:29:09

-Oh, good.

-Remember, never put anything in your mouth that hasn't been boiled.

0:29:090:29:13

I thought that was an old mother's thing.

0:29:130:29:15

My mam said you don't have to put anything in your mouth you don't want to.

0:29:150:29:20

-LAUGHTER

-That was my sex chat.

0:29:200:29:23

-That was your sex chat?

-Yeah.

0:29:230:29:26

LAUGHTER

0:29:260:29:28

-She didn't mention your vagina, then? Just your mouth.

-LAUGHTER

0:29:280:29:31

-Well...

-LAUGHTER

0:29:310:29:35

-Oh, no!

-LAUGHTER

0:29:350:29:38

-I don't know what came over me.

-APPLAUSE

0:29:380:29:41

-This is my first time on the show!

-I know.

0:29:410:29:44

Don't make me put a scorpion up me nunny.

0:29:440:29:48

LAUGHTER Sarah, if you would just entertain...

0:29:480:29:52

I'm not saying now, I'm not saying now,

0:29:520:29:55

but if you did five minutes before an gynaecological appointment

0:29:550:29:59

and you went, "I've got a bit of an itch..."

0:29:590:30:01

-LAUGHTER

-You would be the subject of a medical paper

0:30:010:30:05

that would be published around the world!

0:30:050:30:08

-Wow. Fame.

-You would be the miracle woman.

0:30:080:30:10

-Anyway...

-That shrimp is now looking like it's going, "Hurry up".

-LAUGHTER

0:30:100:30:15

-"Is there another round? Cos I don't think I've got another jump in me."

-LAUGHTER

0:30:150:30:19

Apparently it'll take him three hours to get exhausted.

0:30:190:30:23

Anyway, from shrimp mills to ant mills. What does an ant mill do?

0:30:230:30:28

-Is it like ground ants?

-Ground ants?

0:30:280:30:33

-Delicious.

-Would you like some ground ant?

-Do they make bread?

-No.

0:30:330:30:38

No, what happens is, occasionally they lose the pheromone trail

0:30:380:30:41

that the leaders have and they start following each other in a circle

0:30:410:30:45

and the circle just goes round and round and round and round until they die.

0:30:450:30:50

-They just get completely stuck.

-What, like an ultimate conga?

-Yes.

0:30:500:30:54

LAUGHTER

0:30:540:30:56

HE SINGS CONGA

0:30:560:30:59

I'm knackered!

0:30:590:31:01

There was one observed in the 1920s. It was 1,200 feet in circumference.

0:31:010:31:06

It took two and a half hours for an ant to complete a whole circuit

0:31:060:31:11

and they were just going round and round and they just follow the one in front.

0:31:110:31:15

-Like dads at a wedding.

-Yes!

-LAUGHTER

0:31:150:31:18

If one of them was a bit down

0:31:180:31:20

and wanted to take some others with it...

0:31:200:31:22

Yes! It could lead them on a false trail.

0:31:220:31:26

-Absolutely.

-Cool.

-Wouldn't that be beastly?

0:31:260:31:29

I've got a rule. If it comes in my house then I'm allowed to kill it.

0:31:290:31:33

-Right.

-Trespassing.

0:31:330:31:36

-So how many Jehovah's Witnesses have you...

-LAUGHTER

0:31:360:31:39

APPLAUSE

0:31:390:31:41

-Yeah. You're laughing, but...

-LAUGHTER

0:31:430:31:47

-Yeah. Four.

-Under the floorboards.

0:31:470:31:50

But if it's outside, I have to leave it alone, cos technically I'm in its house.

0:31:500:31:54

That's a rather sweet way of looking at it.

0:31:540:31:56

Ants in an ant mill follow each other round in a circle until they died.

0:31:560:32:00

Why shouldn't you breathe... Excuse me, what shouldn't you breathe in...

0:32:000:32:04

-What shouldn't you breathe in if you're a stink ant?

-Is it your own...

0:32:040:32:10

-Your friend's anus.

-LAUGHTER

0:32:100:32:14

I think that's a general rule.

0:32:140:32:16

-You don't have to be a stink ant.

-LAUGHTER

0:32:160:32:19

It's a really weird life cycle, this.

0:32:190:32:21

It's a really creepy and unpleasant life cycle that the stink ant is victim of.

0:32:210:32:26

It spends its life in the rainforests of Cameroon

0:32:260:32:30

foraging on the ground, eating bits of leaf mould and generally having a perfectly reasonable life.

0:32:300:32:36

And way up in the canopy somewhere is this spore.

0:32:360:32:39

And occasionally they go "Pssshhh!", a fungus, and millions of these things drop down.

0:32:390:32:45

And if the ant breathes it in, it eats the ant from inside

0:32:450:32:50

and it starts with the brain and it sends the ant a bit mad.

0:32:500:32:53

And it does something that the ant would never otherwise do.

0:32:530:32:57

It makes the ant climb the tree.

0:32:570:32:59

So the ant climbs the tree and it gets to a certain height

0:32:590:33:03

and it's kind of programmed its brain. It sounds insane.

0:33:030:33:06

The ant then puts its mandibles into the tree and waits to die

0:33:060:33:10

and then the spore keeps growing and growing

0:33:100:33:13

and it pushes a shoot out of what was once the brain of this poor ant,

0:33:130:33:17

it's eaten all its other soft parts,

0:33:170:33:19

and this great shoot comes out which produces more spore

0:33:190:33:23

that drops down and drags up more ants.

0:33:230:33:25

We've got a picture, just in case you don't believe me, of a poor ant...

0:33:250:33:29

-You've done a picture of this happening.

-This is a real thing. This is the ant climbing up,

0:33:290:33:33

looking a bit unfortunate. You'll be able to see, this is it here.

0:33:330:33:37

It's been eaten from the inside and there is the spore growing out of what was once its brain.

0:33:370:33:41

You can see, the rest of its body has been eaten.

0:33:410:33:44

And that is... And there's that spore growing out

0:33:440:33:48

and then it eventually stops and the whole thing starts again.

0:33:480:33:52

-What a weird and cruel thing. Isn't it?

-Aw, that's sad.

0:33:520:33:56

It's like when people say, "There must be a god because of skylarks and water voles."

0:33:560:34:01

-You say, "Yeah, and because of that?"

-LAUGHTER

0:34:010:34:04

It's called cordyceps, this particular fungus, and that's its life cycle,

0:34:040:34:08

basically to rain down onto the forest floor,

0:34:080:34:11

get breathed in by an ant, make the ant go crazy and climb a tree and complete its cycle.

0:34:110:34:16

Or to give it its human name, Special Brew.

0:34:160:34:19

LAUGHTER

0:34:190:34:22

That is a good visual representation of what the hangover's like off it.

0:34:220:34:27

-LAUGHTER

-Ohh, what am I doing up a tree?

0:34:270:34:31

-LAUGHTER

-Agh, my head feels like I'm growing spores!

0:34:310:34:35

LAUGHTER

0:34:350:34:38

-Imagine if it happened to people.

-Oh, God.

-To see someone, like, "Oh, no, he's going up a tree".

0:34:380:34:43

-LAUGHTER

-And all the soft tissues get eaten.

0:34:430:34:46

You can see, it's not just the brain, it's all the bits lower down.

0:34:460:34:50

-You'd just have to let them go.

-I'd be really gutted if I breathed it in,

0:34:500:34:53

didn't really climb the tree, fell off and just ended up with a bump.

0:34:530:34:57

-LAUGHTER

-Cos there wasn't enough material to feed off.

0:34:570:35:01

-Aww!

-You just wake up and they go, "What's that?" and you go, "Oh, nothing".

0:35:010:35:05

-LAUGHTER

-There's plenty in there.

0:35:050:35:08

And so to the inevitable backbone of QI, General Ignorance.

0:35:080:35:12

Fingers on buzzers if you please. Name a vertebrate with no backbone.

0:35:120:35:17

Nick Clegg. LAUGHTER

0:35:170:35:20

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

-Whey!

0:35:200:35:24

A popular answer.

0:35:270:35:29

-Er...

-A vertebrate without a backbone?

-It seems an impossibility.

0:35:290:35:34

-But there is something that is classified as a vertebrate that has no backbone.

-Worms?

-No, a big...

0:35:340:35:40

-Like a whale or something?

-Well, it's not a mammal. It is a fish, though. Big fish.

0:35:400:35:45

-Eel.

-Dolphin?

-Er, a dolphin isn't really a fish, to be honest.

0:35:450:35:50

-LAUGHTER Well, it looks like one.

-It looks like one, I agree.

0:35:500:35:53

-Stingray.

-Well, stingrays and mantas don't have them, but it's the shark.

0:35:530:35:58

Sharks are classified as vertebrates.

0:35:580:36:00

They neither have ribcages nor do they have backbones.

0:36:000:36:03

They have things that look very like a backbone, but they're half the weight of bone,

0:36:030:36:08

they're cartilaginous matter with connective tissue. You can see a cross-section.

0:36:080:36:13

-He doesn't look very happy.

-No. It's a very cross section.

0:36:130:36:16

LAUGHTER You see the thing behind his eye going all the way back to his tail,

0:36:160:36:23

along his back that looks like a bone? LAUGHTER

0:36:230:36:26

-Yes.

-I'm just saying...

-I know. It's not actual bone, though. It's cartilaginous matter.

0:36:260:36:33

Cartilage, as we would say in England.

0:36:330:36:36

-LAUGHTER

-That's all I have to say on that subject. So, there we are.

-Fine.

0:36:360:36:40

-Let that be an end to it!

-Yes.

-LAUGHTER

0:36:400:36:43

What's the strongest creature for its weight in the world?

0:36:430:36:48

-Is it Johnny? LAUGHTER

-Geoff Capes.

-Geoff Capes?

0:36:480:36:52

There is a stronger man than Geoff Capes in the world at the moment.

0:36:520:36:56

-Zydrunas Savickas, who can...

-Can he pull a lorry along with his teeth?

0:36:560:37:00

A 70-tonne plane. But that's only 411 times his own weight and it has to have wheels.

0:37:000:37:06

This creature can pull a force equal to 100,000 times its body weight.

0:37:060:37:11

When I say creature, I mean, it is a living thing,

0:37:110:37:13

-but it's not even an insect, it's tinier.

-Our old friend bacteria.

0:37:130:37:17

It's a bacterium. It's a bug in that sense. And it's not one you want to catch.

0:37:170:37:22

It's one that would be most unwelcome in the trouser department.

0:37:220:37:27

-Crab.

-No, no, no, it's an actual bacterium, not an insect.

0:37:270:37:31

-Gonorrhoea.

-Gonorrhoea is the right answer.

-The strongest thing in the world?

-Yep, the gonorrhoea...

0:37:310:37:37

-It pulls down your pants and...

-LAUGHTER

0:37:370:37:39

-Oh, that's your excuse for catching it.

-Seriously, love, I didn't stand a chance.

0:37:390:37:44

Stripped me bare! Do you know how strong they are?

0:37:440:37:48

They have these bundles of long, thin, contractile filaments called pilis...

0:37:480:37:52

-Why is all that toast on screen?

-They use these to crawl

0:37:520:37:56

and they can pull along 100,000 times their weight, which is a very small weight.

0:37:560:38:00

Do you know what the cure for gonorrhoea used to be?

0:38:000:38:03

-Er...

-Yeah. They'd put a sort of umbrella up the urethra,

0:38:030:38:07

press a button to open the umbrella inside the shaft and then pull out...

0:38:070:38:11

-We've heard it all. We don't need to hear it.

-I'd like to hear it. Tell us again.

0:38:110:38:15

-LAUGHTER

-You can only do it if they're in your house.

0:38:150:38:20

If you had a particularly unsympathetic doctor,

0:38:200:38:23

he'd then jump around the room going # I'm singing in the rain

0:38:230:38:26

-LAUGHTER

-Yes.

0:38:260:38:30

And he'd splash in your own tears.

0:38:300:38:32

LAUGHTER They then cover it in chocolate and sell it as ants.

0:38:320:38:37

-LAUGHTER

-Oh, dear me. Yeah.

0:38:370:38:40

That's enough of gonorrhoea, I feel. What do oystercatchers mainly eat?

0:38:400:38:45

-BUZZER

-Yes?

-Oysters?

0:38:450:38:49

-Ohh!

-ALARM BLARES

0:38:490:38:52

-They're just misnamed, oystercatchers.

-What do they catch?

0:38:520:38:56

-Is it other shellfish?

-Yes. Cockles and mussels, mostly.

0:38:560:39:00

-Are they not very good at catching oysters?

-They just love a cockle.

0:39:000:39:03

Who doesn't, pet? Who doesn't? LAUGHTER

0:39:030:39:05

-Are they mainly cockneys?

-A huge percentage of European ones are in Britain.

0:39:050:39:10

And the amount they catch is astonishing. Each oystercatcher can get 500 cockles a day

0:39:100:39:15

and given that half of the European population is in Britain,

0:39:150:39:18

that's more than 300,000 birds,

0:39:180:39:21

that's a potential seasonal consumption of 8.9 million tonnes of cockles.

0:39:210:39:25

-I love a cockle.

-I love cockle. In vinegar.

0:39:250:39:28

-With a stick.

-Yep. That's it. Gorgeous.

0:39:280:39:31

-From a man in a little mobile kiosk.

-A little hint of grittiness sometimes.

0:39:310:39:36

-Bit of vinegar.

-Yep. Anyway, which animal has the most genes?

0:39:360:39:40

-Des Lynam.

-LAUGHTER

0:39:400:39:43

Jeremy Clarkson.

0:39:430:39:45

-ALARM BLARES

-Ohh!

0:39:450:39:49

APPLAUSE

0:39:490:39:51

Ohh.

0:39:510:39:53

That's unfortunate.

0:39:530:39:56

It's to do with the age, it's not to do with the complexity.

0:39:560:39:59

-It's Jeremy Clarkson, then.

-LAUGHTER

0:39:590:40:02

-Isn't it some plant that has loads more genes than us?

-Yes.

0:40:020:40:06

There are quite a few things that have more genes than us. The fruit fly has many more.

0:40:060:40:10

-This is a little water flea.

-Don't they think that's because of the age?

0:40:100:40:14

-It's just been around for so long, it's mutated all these different times?

-8,000 more genes than us.

0:40:140:40:19

It's quite a lot. It doesn't do much. It lies around.

0:40:190:40:22

-It carries its own umbrella.

-LAUGHTER

0:40:220:40:27

It's a very important part of the food chain in water.

0:40:290:40:33

-It's eaten by fish and...

-You can imagine the fish going, "Mm, taste those extra genes!"

-Yes!

0:40:330:40:39

Now, why are moths attracted to light?

0:40:390:40:43

-FANFARE

-'Nobody knows!'

-Oh, Alan! Well done!

0:40:450:40:48

-You're good at this.

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:40:480:40:53

-Very good!

-Well, I just feel that it would've come up, someone would've told me.

0:40:540:41:01

Yes, you're right. There are various theories.

0:41:010:41:04

One is that they're used to the moon and that other sources of light disorient it

0:41:040:41:08

-and they use the moon for navigation and...

-It does seem odd that they only come out at night.

0:41:080:41:13

-If they saw the sun, they would love it.

-Yes, you'd think!

-It would be... LAUGHTER

0:41:130:41:17

If they got up in the morning, they'd go, "Look at that!"

0:41:170:41:21

-Cos the amount they love my bedside lamp...

-Exactly.

0:41:210:41:24

I mean, they love my beside lamp, but the sun is significantly bigger than my bedside lamp.

0:41:240:41:29

Maybe that's why they don't, cos if they went for the sun,

0:41:290:41:32

they would all just go for the sun and then fly into the atmosphere and that would be a disaster.

0:41:320:41:37

Some people believe different sources of light confuse their navigation system

0:41:370:41:41

and others think that the moth may think the light is the moon,

0:41:410:41:45

others think the infrared spectrum from things like candles

0:41:450:41:49

may contain a few of the same frequencies of light

0:41:490:41:52

that are given off by a female moth's pheromones. But they're all theories. No-one really knows.

0:41:520:41:57

I like their ambition. They think it's the moon and they go, "I could make it. Look at these. Come on!"

0:41:570:42:03

If you try and catch one, if you're trying to kill it like I do, cos it's in the house,

0:42:030:42:08

and then you turn the light off, I always feel really guilty

0:42:080:42:11

-cos it's as if they go...

-SHE SIGHS

0:42:110:42:14

-LAUGHTER

-So, nobody knows.

0:42:140:42:17

And that mystery brings us to the eternal mystery of the scores and how fascinating they are.

0:42:170:42:24

In a resolute last place with minus-24, it's Mr Jimmy Carr!

0:42:240:42:29

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:42:290:42:33

Almost teetering on the brink of plusness is Alan with minus-1!

0:42:330:42:39

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

-Minus-1.

0:42:390:42:43

And Sarah Millican's first performance has been astonishing with plus-2!

0:42:430:42:50

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:42:500:42:53

But tonight's winner with plus-4 is Johnny Vegas!

0:42:530:42:58

-Yes!

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:42:580:43:02

Ohh! That's all from Jimmy, Johnny, Sarah, Alan and me,

0:43:050:43:09

apart from this final word from Bill Vaughn.

0:43:090:43:12

"We hope that when the insects do take over the world,

0:43:120:43:15

"they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on our picnics." Good night.

0:43:150:43:21

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:43:210:43:23

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:250:43:29

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0:43:290:43:33

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0:43:330:43:33

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