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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening,
good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening...
and welcome to QI -
where, tonight, we're mired in misconceptions
and nothing is as it seems.
Or is it? Or will they? Have they?
I don't know. LAUGHTER
Do you? Maybe not. I simply don't know.
Or do I? LAUGHTER
Joining me tonight are...
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
..and Alan Davies.
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-Thank you, thank you.
So, let's hear your buzzers.
-Chris goes... IDENTICAL BUZZER
Sara goes... IDENTICAL BUZZER
That wasn't a buzzer, that was a buzzard.
-That's harsh, though, isn't it?
-It is harsh.
Am I on minus then already,
-before I've spoken?
That is a new record.
I have no... My hands are tied. LAUGHTER
Now, because almost everything we think we know about
the world is wrong, we've given you each a map,
so you can refresh your memories.
-Yup, there it is. A map of the world.
-Is that wrong?
You're telling us that's wrong.
Well, the sea is where the land should be.
So, I'm saying yes.
-I don't mind that, shakes things up a bit.
-It does, doesn't it?
-It's wrong in other ways.
-But it's a representation,
so we'll forgive it for not being perfectly accurate.
-Because it's flat, and the earth is round.
If we were on a direct flight from Madrid to Montana...
which American states beginning with "M" would we fly over on the way?
Is that one?
None. Because you go over the top, you go straight over the top.
Is exactly right. Yes, that's right.
-We will show you the route here.
-You might go over Manitoba.
Yes, you do go over Manitoba.
You miss all the American states.
It's seems to not be a straight line,
but of course on the globe it is the shortest distance to go that way.
If you were to go what seems a straight line on flat paper,
it would actually be going around the curvature of the earth...
Madrid is on the same line of latitude as New York.
So you could go around that way.
Well, it's still further.
You've got a little globe there.
You can try with a piece of string.
OK. Let's do that.
Have a look.
Where's Madrid? There we go.
There you are, viewers.
I've illustrated it perfectly.
You're right. We're nearly over Winnipeg, there.
Go over Winnipeg and Regina.
Regina, you say?
If you compare the string with the lines of latitude on the globe,
you've come so much further up, haven't you?
Cos the line of latitude would be all the way along that way.
-Yeah. We need more string!
-You need more string.
Are you wrestling with the world, here?
-Aren't we all, Steve?
-Yes, I suppose.
Well, that's solved a lot of... Yeah.
That's an excellent in flight tool for any air hostess.
-Explaining where you're going.
Just going to colour in Scotland yellow.
-I didn't want them the same colour as England.
What we have here is a particular kind of view of the world.
It's a 16th century cartographer.
No, his name was Gerard Merchant, but it wasn't, it was Latinised.
Mercator. Well done, Chris.
It's called the Mercator Projection.
And it was the first time the world was expressed in such a way
that sailors could navigate using straight lines from the compass.
But in order to do that you had to compromise
the reality of the shape of the continent.
So Africa became, for example, much smaller.
-Everything near the equator was squashed.
Sometimes people think this was a sort of imperialist thing to make
Europe look bigger, but it wasn't actually anything to do with that.
It was, as always, to make money for commerce and trade.
Well, there you are, the great circle route is a roundabout way
of going in a straight line.
So, how did the first American airmail arrive at its destination?
LAUGHTER That's a good thought.
They just put a postman in a cannon and fired him.
Was it an air balloon?
It wasn't, I'm afraid. KLAXON
Welcome to QI. Quite right.
Oh, surely a carrier pigeon.
Was it by bus?
-Bus is closer. Airmail was by bus?
-Train is the right answer.
You deserve to get some points back, because it started by balloon,
-you see, Sara.
With great hoopla, they started an airmail service.
It was going to go from Indiana to New York.
Unfortunately, they chose the opening day
and lots of mail had arrived, which was very self-consciously excited.
"My darling, you're going to get this by a new means of transport,"
etc, etc. They were all thrilled by it.
There was no wind and, after five hours, it had gone 30 miles...
-LAUGHTER ..and so he just...
Basically, they let themselves down and got on a train.
Throwing the post overboard to keep height.
Was that in the days before the...
-They still had burners.
-Did they literally use air for air balloons?
-Well, yes, it had to be hot air.
-What's the technical term for...
-That is the technical term.
-It's a burner.
-Very hard to spell.
He was a piano maker turned ballooning pioneer,
Professor John Wise, who started it out. It was in 1859.
The world's first official airmail delivery took place in 1911.
-Where, do you think?
-Not South Africa or New Zealand.
No, it's India.
It's not that shocking, but it is perhaps surprising.
Yeah, it travelled five miles.
I wouldn't trust my letters in that contraption.
-They'd be blowing all over the shop.
-They would, wouldn't they?
He can't be a postman, he's not got his shorts on either.
-They wear a short, a tailored short.
That's powered by a dog chasing it.
The American airmail service was started in 1918
as a way of training pilots -
and the assistant postmaster was ruthless,
and he insisted that the trainees
would fly, whatever the weather.
And out of 40 who started,
-more than half were killed.
He was a lunatic. He, himself, didn't fly -
so it was pretty obvious he had no idea what was going on,
so it was all rather tragic.
Good to see the use of a sinister doll on the mailbag as well.
-The whole thing's sent by voodoo.
-Yeah, it is.
It's for when they don't want to get in the plane,
-he makes them with the doll.
He walks the doll.
"I don't want to fly in the plane!"
The first airplane-powered glider airmail service
was founded by whom?
-The first one was named after...
-No, she's not known as an aviatrix...
..she's known as a novelist.
Is the right answer!
That was very impressive, Sue.
Barbara Cartland flew the first glider that dispensed mail?
-Yep, that's absolutely right.
-Tell me it was painted pink.
The glider was called The Barbara Cartland, as you can see. Yeah.
-Where does she get her ideas?
Well, she was a flapper, she was a sort of deb.
She was very much an aristocrat,
part of the Bright Young Things - and they all loved to fly.
-It was an expression of youth.
-"Oh, because it was extremely good fun!
"I mean, just really, really good to get in a glider
"and just shove a few letters out.
"Lovely, rollicking, good fun."
One of the people I most admire in the 20th century was
the writer PG Wodehouse.
He had such an extraordinary sunny disposition
and a genuine belief in the goodness of people.
One of the things he did when he was in London, he would type letters,
type the address, stamp it and throw it out the window.
And he reasoned that the average Britain on seeing a stamped
addressed envelope would put it in the nearest letterbox.
And he claimed he never had a letter go astray.
But then he never had a reply either.
America's first airmail letters arrived by train.
Now, from airmail to e-mail.
What's the most effective way to do a massive data dump?
Is it - "Give your laptop to a British civil servant
"to leave in a car?"
LAUGHTER Yes, that will happen.
-A data dump?
I'm sorry about the picture,
it's nothing to do with anything lavatorial.
-Where have you got that from?
-I've no idea.
They just googled "data dump", and there you are.
-The techno turd.
No, don't... Forget that whole side of it. We...
-No, I'm obsessed with that image.
-It's our fault.
Our picture suggests the lavatory, but it's not about that.
If you want to transfer HUGE amounts of data,
-what's the best way to do it?
Dropbox. You send it... KLAXON
Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear.
Do you...? By data dump, do you mean to get the data somewhere else,
-or do you mean to...?
-To wipe it?
-Oh sorry, the "wipe it" again, I mean...
-No, not to wipe it.
But you always want to wipe after a data dump.
I'll give you an example.
Enormous data sets that come from Hubble
have to be transferred to different scientists,
to interpret and to render the images
and all these kind of... And they're huge data sets.
So, what do they use to send it? Do they use Ethernet?
Do they use...? What do they use? Fibre optics?
See, I'm regretting in our house that we divvy up all the duties.
You see, if you were to ask me about what factor sun cream
to pack for my kids' holidays, it's kind of one of my things.
Technology is my husband's.
Would your husband do the data dump?
Yeah, and light bulbs.
But he gives more to the family than that, do you know what I mean?
Do they just print it off?
-Do they put it in the Cloud?
-They don't put it...
They run to a phone booth. They do all that, like in the old films.
"I've got all the data. OK, have you got a pen? Listen."
"OK, first thing - a star, then a space, then another star..."
-..and do that for some time.
What they do is they post it...
in the mail, the ordinary mail.
-Bradley Wiggins delivers it.
It takes less than 24 hours for each transfer
if you take it by mail.
Whereas, to transfer the complete data set,
which is 120 terabytes,
it would take 111 days...
-if you did it by the internet.
-You know, by e-mail.
That is surprising, isn't it?
And we've done some calculations.
FedEx or UPS, or any of those,
could deliver massive amounts of information
64 times faster than the internet.
Based on the weight of packages which ship every day...
They're going to love you!
-I hope you're getting money from them for this!
-No, it's just...
I didn't... Oh, from FedEx.
It all ends up on an island with Tom Hanks...
"Faster than the internet." - Stephen Fry.
..for three years.
Based on the weight of packages and the weight of memory cards,
they could transport 2,222 terabytes per second.
Now that... The whole internet, in 2016,
is expected to be 34.5 terabytes a second.
What's a terabyte, Stephen?
-Well, you've got a byte...
And then the terror-byte!
-Yeah. Megabyte I can do, yeah.
-Yeah, a megabyte. ..and then a gigabyte...
..and a terabyte...
..and then you have a petabyte, even bigger than that. Petabyte.
But the expansion of memory,
the expansion of processing power in computing is bewildering -
partly because it doubles every two years,
and do you know what that is called?
It was predicted in the '60s that it would double.
-A gobble, a gobble, a double gobble.
-No, there was a man who predicted...
-..that it would double every two years.
His name was Gordon Moore and it's called Moore's Law,
-and Moore's Law...
-Oh, that's good.
-That worked out well, didn't it?
Moore's Law has governed the astonishing rise in power
and capacity in computing ever since.
For a long, long time. It doubles and doubles and doubles.
To give you an example of how breathtaking and bewildering it is,
we've got some memory capacity here.
Here... This is from the '60s
and it's rather elegant in its own little way.
And it would have fitted into some sort of great, big cabinet
that was part of a computing system.
It's called the Univac 1004.
And it's a core store memory module.
And how much memory do you think that contains?
No, it's a lot more than that.
Oh, no, it's nothing like as big as that.
-It's one kilobyte.
-There's a kilobyte, too.
-What's a kilobyte?
-I don't remember.
And look. I've got here, this -
which is 128 gigabytes.
Can you see it? I'll put it there, it's a little...
micro SD chip.
And this, here,
would have to weigh 140,229 metric tonnes...
to carry this much information. LAUGHTER
-That is hugely impractical.
Just under six-and-a-half Ark Royal aircraft carriers...
-I'd need an extension done.
..if this was what you were using.
And it just shows, this is an example of Moore's Law -
you go from that to that.
Or maybe this.
Ah! There we are.
-Look at that. Isn't that beautiful?
It is a splendid piece of work, isn't it?
-That's the middle of C-3PO.
It's the Elliott 803 core store memory module.
It was made in the early '60s, also,
-and it weighs 7kg...
..and stores 20 kilobytes.
-How about that?
-My favourite one...
..is the Bryant Model-2 Series hard disk platter.
I love that. I've got all of them.
I have a poster. Did you have the poster?
-Yeah, absolutely. I was obsessed.
-I love it. I was in the club.
-I had the...
-GASPS AND LAUGHTER
-There it is.
THAT is a hard disk.
Isn't that good?
-It's a disk...
HE KNOCKS ON DISK ..and it's hard.
It's very rare for technology to double as S&M equipment, isn't it?
LAUGHTER I think it's absolutely blissful.
You look like a Borrower playing with a CD.
I'm going to put that down again...
Oh! ..because it's so heavy. Oh!
It's made of magnesium alloy of some kind.
-Careful, you'll scratch it.
Yeah, I don't want to scratch it.
It carried eight megabytes,
so that was pretty impressive.
-What's a megabyte?
-And its drive... LAUGHTER
The drive that operated the Bryant Model-2 Series hard disk platter,
the brochure boasted its short warm-up time.
These are wonderful, I think, of the advances certainly in
memory management and in capacity and everything else.
It doesn't make us any better people.
Well, listen, I ought to say that we are extremely grateful
to the National Museum of Computing, who lent us these fabulous items.
If you want a really great day out, and I'm completely ashamed about
recommending it cos I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to these things,
then you could do a lot worse than visit
the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley -
where, of course, Enigma was cracked
and it's the home of British engineering in that regard.
So we deeply thank Robert Dowell and Angie Lewis.
Alan, when will I finally be able to replace you with a machine?
Sooner than I would like.
Mm-hm. Yeah, that's maybe true.
There is a kind of, it's not a law, really, but when people predict
robots that replace humans, they always say in about 15 years' time.
That started in 1950. By 1965, they will have robots that replace us.
1965, it will be by 1980.
Presumably at some point that is true.
It's presumably that at some point that prediction comes true.
-Yes, it will be.
-Or possibly was.
Well, indeed cos there are plenty of things in which humans
have been replaced by computers. Can you think of any examples?
At the supermarket, with self service.
God, I hate those!
I think instead of getting the self service tills
they should have got robots behind the tills
and just put them in a nice tabard...
Even cheapest, to have the humans you already have who just go...
beep, boop, beep, beep, boop.
Doing all the things they'd normally do.
-Beep, boop, beep, beep.
-Peter Crouch tactic.
Boop, boop, beep, boop.
A friend of mine got so angry with those machines that he punched it.
I'll so end up doing that.
I'm sure that when I die and I'm in the crematorium,
last sound I'll hear will be,
"Unexpected item in the burning area."
I once mooned on that,
because I kept hearing, "Unexpected item in the bagging area."
Literally, trousers down and said, "Now there is."
-Had an absolute belly full of it.
-Deal with it. Exactly.
-Horrifying. Well, that is one area indeed.
And of course, planes, flying planes.
On an average, how long do you think pilots are in control of the flight?
Like, 10% of the time or something.
Less than that. Three minutes.
That is an easy job, isn't it?
It's pretty good, isn't it?
You turn up to work, you work for a minute and a half and you go,
"There we go," for ten hours.
Just the taxi into the runway, that three minutes.
-It probably is.
-And after that they go...
A couple of scientists at Oxford, Carl Frey
and Michael Osborne, have suggested that taxi drivers,
security guards, jobs most likely to be replaced by robots.
50% chance that computer programming could be outsourced to machines.
Cameramen have a 60% chance.
Stay where you are. Don't worry. It's fine.
Television announcers only 10% apparently.
Be a long time before comedians are replaced by machines.
That doesn't affect anyone here.
There are various teams around the world working on algorithms
to create jokes.
We've got two really weird ones here.
Dreadful puns, but they're so...
Surreal isn't the word, they're just odd.
What do you call a washing machine with a September?
I don't know, Stephen,
what do you call a washing machine with a September?
Autumnpoint. I don't know.
An autumn-matic washing machine.
-You nearly got it.
-Yes, well, it's one of mine.
I've been trying that for years in the clubs,
never got anything out of it.
A washing machine with a September?
It hasn't quite got the point, has it?
-Or, what kind of preschool has a wine?
Most of them.
So, hang on, they've taken presumably the end
and then tried to back work the joke?
Yeah, they take words that sound like other words a bit,
so they obviously can find that automatic
sounds like autumn, so they've got quite a good database of sounds.
Yeah, but just no sense of humour.
Needs work, I think.
I would love to see one of them at a club though.
-Sorry, this is all new.
What was I going to say next? Please don't leave.
What a funny idea.
I think it's safe to say that artificial intelligence
is still 15 years away.
Now then, for a question about mistakes,
what's the real cost of parachute jumping?
A shattered pelvis?
It can be.
Why do most people jump off planes?
Which is good, don't get me wrong. LAUGHTER
Can I just say, it's only in that situation,
falling out of a plane, that my hair makes sense.
I've been looking for a context for this for years.
-It does, doesn't it?
Stephen appears quite frightened at the back there.
-Well, I am...
-Are you on fire?
..because I probably know about the 1999 Perth Royal Infirmary study -
which is most unfortunate.
They looked at five years of charity jumps
and found they resulted in injuries to 174 people, right?
-Which cost the National Health Service...
How much had they raised?
The average amount raised per person for charity was £30.
So, every pound raised
cost the NHS roughly £13.75.
Oh, that is so depressing, though.
And, of course, about 70% of the jumps
were raising money for NHS-related causes.
-Oh, no. That is amazing.
It is amazing, isn't it?
The thing is, when you think about it, don't do something
that is likely to injure yourself, if that's your game.
"I'm having a sponsored catch-the-measles."
-For Measles Relief.
-Yeah, for Measles relief.
Sponsored spread cholera.
-Bring typhus back...for charity.
A lot of them are first-time jumpers, of course,
and what happens is, very often,
when the ground rushes up to meet you,
you forget everything you've been taught
and so all the bad things you've been told could happen, happen.
And you need longer training,
not necessarily on the details of how to roll and drop -
but on how to prepare your mind so that you don't panic.
-That's the key.
-Is that a thing that they do in the paras then?
So before they go behind enemy lines, are they there going,
"Just don't drop us yet, I'm not quite there."
LAUGHTER Maybe. Maybe.
I mean the fact is, it's a dangerous thing to do.
And in the days of, you know, those great commando parachute drops,
they're unlikely to survive more than three.
Well, but then there were people shooting at you then -
which might actually make them more fun, these charity drops.
Certainly add a bit of spice.
Well, there was a dog called Rob, in 1945,
and this was in Africa and Italy, in the campaign there, and he...
Apparently, he did 20 drops, and he won...
For the RSPCA!
He won the... LAUGHTER
He won the Dickin Medal, which is the VC for animals.
They just open the door of the plane, throw a bone out
and off he goes.
But it wasn't until 2006 that it was revealed
that his heroism was a hoax.
Well, not quite, actually. Well, sort of morale, in a way.
It was that the couple from Shropshire,
who had given the dog to the regiment, said,
"Can we have him back, please?"
And the regiment were so fond of him,
they made-up all these things to show that he was indispensable.
"He's a heroic dog, you will not believe what he can do."
And so they went, "Oh, all right then, you'd better keep him,
"I suppose. He's valuable for the war effort."
-But he wasn't at all, he was just a mascot.
They just liked him.
Sending them pictures of him chewing Hitler's legs.
LAUGHTER Yes, that's right.
I presume that was the actual shape of his right front leg there.
And they were like, "Look what he's done on his trip, he was so brave."
After World War II, in America, they used surplus parachutes
to help repopulate beavers into the wild.
The idea was they'd shove them in a box.
They first thought, "We'll shove them in a box and they'll fall
"and then they'll gnaw their way out of the box."
-Then they worried...
-This doesn't sound like sexy times to me.
Just shove them in a box. They'll pull through.
They worried that they'd eat through the box
-while they were still in the air.
-They chucked them out of a plane?
There are huge areas of wilderness.
-It's incredibly hard to...
-Yes, it makes total sense.
..give them their own territory.
Couldn't they have driven them there, Stephen?
-They could have driven them there.
Huge areas of wilderness. They're bigger than countries.
-They're bigger than England, these...
No, the parks! The parks. LAUGHTER
"Bring me some massive beavers!"
-The parks in which you wished to drop them.
And you want to sort of get them disposed evenly around.
-Why had they been dying out?
-People had been throwing them out of planes.
As you fall out, you gnaw your way out of your crate and go,
"Oh, thanks a lot!"
-"Well, this is the middle of...
"I've got to go all the way back to Ottawa."
Until another beaver lands on your head at high velocity.
The rest of the wildlife...
The moose around there,
"What is going on?!"
Beavers coming out of the sky.
"My God! It's actually happening!"
"It's raining beavers."
Part of the moose religious texts is that that's...
That's a sign of the rapture is when the beavers start dropping.
Well, they had tried moving them
into new territories for them by mule
and they just simply got too hot and they really didn't like it at all.
-They put a beaver on horseback, essentially?
Well, you've got to transport it somehow.
-What...? How would you transport it?
But I don't understand why the beavers...
-I don't understand any of this.
They thought, "We can't..."
"OK, there's no way we can drop them into a park,
"other than from the sky."
Or by mule, which you found also incomprehensible.
Is there a man with...?
Or a lady with the beaver on horseback?
Or is it just a beaver on horseback?
Of course there's a person.
So, is it one beaver per mule?
Because then they're repopulating the place with mules,
-as far as I can work it out.
Yeah, the beavers didn't want to stay.
The mules have forced the beavers further along...
They were relying on the mule to find its way back.
More complicated than you think, this beaver transportation thing.
Yeah, it is. Well, that was harder work than I expected.
In 1834, someone translated these ancient Swedish ruins.
-What do you think they said?
-Best before 1833.
Don't try assembling the Billy bookcase from Ikea.
Is it particularly ghastly, the Billy bookcase?
I think they all are. I don't know.
I can't and won't...
Have you noticed that you never see a lorry with Ikea on the side?
-And that's because they transport
so much stuff that it would freak you out if it had Ikea on the wagon.
It would put the brand that much into your head, like,
"Wow, they've taken over the world. This isn't great."
So they just do it undercover in white wagons.
-That's really interesting.
-In white wagons.
A friend told me that on the way back from the pub, so...
As he was saying, just behind your head an Ikea lorry was just going.
But it's good. You never see a lorry with that.
You know that Eddie Stobart is the Swedish for Ikea.
Oh, I love an Eddie Stobart.
I like how the front of Eddie Stobart lorries
always have the name of the driver's lady love.
I've always wanted to see just one of those guys in the Stobart livery,
with the tie, and just "Keith".
It would be great.
"I love him."
-Back to the ruins. It's in Runemo in Sweden.
-So what is it?
Well, from the 12th century it was believed to be a secret message
written, no-one could solve it.
The Royal Danish scientific society took a look in 1833.
A scholar called Finnur Magnusson had a breakthrough.
He announced that no-one else had been able to decipher them
is that they were in Icelandic and they should be read backwards.
And he came up with the ruin's poem telling you of a battle victory.
And then they discovered in 2000-ish...
-Oh, dear. I sense bad things.
-Is it birds or something?
-It's just cracks in the rock.
He had worked on a copy someone else had made and it's just nothing.
So he'd written some huge poem?
That's right. It was 700 pages he wrote.
He must have padded that out. Look at that.
He thought it said this. Which is Runic for...
Out of focus.
STEPHEN READS OUT POEM
I like that there's obviously two symbols that he just couldn't
figure out and went, "They must be brackets."
It's a nice thought that, isn't it?
But what "Ole, hate" is about, I don't know.
It's an early football chant.
Yeah, the mysterious Runemo ruins turned out to be
a load of old cracks.
Now, we're off to the match and it's penalty time.
For the best chance of success, where should you aim?
At the ball.
-And then into the goal.
I'm so bad at sport, my inclination would be to...
I know where I'd hit it,
so I would then just reverse my natural inclination.
That would probably be the best.
-So, a bit of game theory going on, on yourself?
-See, I'd go top right,
which means that probably the best way would be bottom left...
Yeah, top corner either way is not the best.
Is it "at the goalie?"
-Because he's going to jump...
-Yeah, because he's going to...
-He's going to go.
-Because the goalkeeper nearly always
-goes one way or the other.
-So you hit it straight down the middle?
Straight down the middle is, far and away,
the most statistical likely way of doing it.
But it's odd, because footballers know this...
because it's been, you know, obviously well gone over...
and yet footballers don't.
Is it because they just think they'd look so stupid
-if they kicked it right at the keeper...
..and the keeper just caught it?
If the one or two times out of 100,
the goalkeeper does actually stay in the middle
and the ball goes and hits him,
the crowd would just boo their heads off
and think that the penalty taker is the biggest idiot in the world.
Although, statistically, he was doing exactly the right thing.
So, they'd rather not look a fool. You're absolutely right.
Because it's seen as 50/50.
If the goalie goes the correct way and saves it,
-it's still seen as all right, isn't it?
In fact, it's 57% in one direction,
41% in the other.
-Do you know which that might be?
-It's 57% left, yes.
-They go left more often.
-..use your right foot.
And 2% in the middle.
Three countries have an absolute
0% success record in penalty shoot-outs.
They played two and lost two.
-No, it's Gabon...
-..Romania and Chile.
But there's one country that's taken part in more than two
and has the worst record of all in the world, apart from those three...
-Is it England?
-..and it's England.
-Why is that?
-What a surprise(!)
We've only ever won one.
We've won one out of eight.
12.5% success rate - as opposed to Germany, who've won 83% of theirs.
Why is that then?
Because, presumably, all teams have access to that
very simple statistical information.
Is it just the fact that it's now embedded in the psyche?
-FAUX GERMAN ACCENT:
-"You are weak, mentally weak."
-Do you think hypnotism would help?
-Of the keeper.
-Of the keeper, yeah.
-Of the keeper, like...
I think if it was me, I'd stand by one post, feigning indifference...
-Having a fag.
-..and, as they run up to take it,
-I would sprint to the other post...
..surely distracting him
and, if he did go that way, it would hit me on the way past.
That would do it. Yep, that's the plain truth.
To be successful in penalty shoot-outs,
either go straight down the middle or be German.
Do an impression of the world's first mime.
"Come back! I'm not supposed to be saying anything. Come back!"
-Is it the one where you do...?
They do the... Is it that one?
KLAXON Oh, they're all doing it.
You're all doing activities.
Where does the word "mime" come from, do you imagine?
-"Twat in white gloves?"
Mimic, the same root as the word mimic.
-Greek word meaning... Yes, imitation.
But imitation doesn't stick to physical movements, does it?
No. So was it more like sort of Rorius Bremnerus?
It was acting,
it was full-on acting.
Speech and movement and everything else.
The world's first mime was a fellow called Sophron,
who was much admired by Plato, amongst others.
His audience don't seem to like him very much.
Well, no, that's... LAUGHTER
-They're punching him.
-No, I think...
They're recreating that night after Top Gear.
Very good. APPLAUSE
In Rome, mimes were pretty amazing.
Women took the female parts, which is just...
Performers did not wear masks or formal acting shoes.
"My formal acting shoes."
"What kind of formal acting shoes would you wear?"
The object... Now you'll like this, Alan.
The object was to get laughs, no matter how obscene...
LAUGHTER ..the jokes had to be.
They all had a character called the "stupidus," or fool, who was some...
-Who's actually the cleverest one of them all.
-Yes. Now, exactly.
Sometimes they featured adultery live on stage.
-Or a little bit less, less...
-Gets better by the minute!
live executions with actors replaced by condemned criminals.
-Were they wearing the right shoes?
The church excommunicated all mimes in the fifth century AD.
Not a moment too soon.
-I guess, because they were pleasurable and...
It's not why, it's...
-It's hard because you can't scream.
Marcel Marceau of course is the famous French mime
with his character Bip. Bip on the left.
And he's hardly recognisable as a man himself.
-Has he been excommunicated?
-I don't think he has.
He did a sketch called walking in the wind,
and do you know who was influenced by that?
The people of East Anglia.
Charlie Chaplin. The people of East Anglia.
No, not Charlie Chaplin. It's Michael Jackson.
Moonwalking was essentially derived from Marcel Marceau.
Is that where the white glove comes from?
-Like an homage to...
And the scary white face.
The first mimes had plenty to say for themselves.
If you want something, what's the magic word?
This is something that's been researched.
There is a particular word.
Let's suppose that you queue-barge.
Now, in general, if you queue-barge apologetically and charmingly,
60% of people will let you in without too much complaint -
this was done for a queue to a photocopier -
but if you used this one word in your sentence,
you would get 95% of people letting you in quite happily.
-Letting you in...
-"I've got the smallpox. Can I get in?"
Letting you in, not abandoning the queue.
-It's a good thought though.
-It's probably better though.
-What do you say?
Do you say, "Room for a small one?"
You say, "I like your blouse. Can I come in?"
LAUGHTER It's one word.
"Because. Yeah, because I've got some photocopying to do."
And it's obvious you've got photocopying to do,
you've gone to the front of the photocopying queue,
-but just saying "because" is the magic word.
It unlocks people's objection. "Because I'm in a hurry."
"Do you mind? Because I'm in a hurry."
Can you turn to someone and go, "Because!"
# Because, because, because, because... #
Obviously there are...
There are variables in terms of attitude and niceness.
# I'm off to see the wizard... #
"All right, go in front, Christ!"
-He's going to do the whole musical.
-You're ever so silly. Oh, dear.
# The wonderful Wizard of Oz... # "All right, go in front of me!"
Well, I can illustrate the answer, actually,
because - say it's a magical word here, this is...
-You know I like to do little magical moments...
..because it's the M series here -
and we've got, as you can see, MAGICAL.
So, what we do is, we take all the letters from MAGICAL...
As you can see, I hope.
..and we shuffle them about.
-I'll have one from the bottom, please.
Or from anywhere else, please, Carol.
What I'll do is, I'll give you... I'll give you the numbers,
so you can call out where you want the letter to go.
-Do you see?
-OK. Yes, sir.
So I'll pick a letter up and you decide where it goes, all right.
One, two, three, isn't it? There. Yeah.
Seven? All right. This will go in seven.
-Are you sure seven?
-All right, OK.
One, two, three, four, five. Yeah.
-This is what happens when you do these things.
Four? Oh, God, you had to do that, didn't you?
Two? All right, all right, all right.
And what are the chances? What are the chances?
What are the chances?!
The laws of physics absolutely defied on this programme.
It's frightening. LAUGHTER
Now - since this whole show has been about Misconceptions -
this week, we've replaced General Ignorance
with a test of your M-themed general knowledge.
There are lots and lots of points to be won in this quickfire round,
so fingers on buzzers.
What's the capital of Mexico? BUZZARD
Is the right answer. Very good. Name the deepest part of the ocean?
Marianas Trench or something?
The Mariana Trench is the right answer.
If something is genuine, it's the real...?
No, the original phrase is McKay.
That's 42 years older than the phrase - "the real McCoy."
It's from G McKay, the Scottish distillers.
There you are.
FAUX SCOTTISH ACCENT: "A drappie o' the real McKay."
So, what city can be found on the Moscow River?
Is the right answer!
What's the name of Cameron Mackintosh's
Abba-themed London Musical?
BUZZER Mamma Mia? Oh, Alan!
No, indeed. BUZZER
Mamma Mia was produced by Judy Craymer -
but, before that, a musical called Abbacadabra,
produced by Cameron Mackintosh,
-staged at the Lyric, Hammersmith, in 1983.
So, who created Miss Marple?
-Of course. You see, nothing to be frightened of.
-I'm scared now.
LAUGHTER That's the point...
-I'm really scared.
-..we want you scared.
Agatha Christie, of course, created Miss Marple.
What's the gambling capital of the world?
-Oh, that was really unlucky.
-I don't know.
-Is it Croydon?
It's seven times bigger than Las Vegas.
-It's Hong Kong.
-No. You're in the right area.
-The other one.
-What's our themed letter?
-AUDIENCE CALL OUT:
Audience gets the points. BUZZER
-I guessed on your behalf.
-Is it really?
-Where's your sheep, though? Hey!
-Here's me cow.
-Very, very, very, very...
Macau is the gambling capital of the world.
Where's your cow?
Which planet is closest to the sun?
Is of course the right answer.
How long do mayflies live for? BUZZER
Oh, no. BUZZER
That's a good answer. You didn't say a day.
No, it's not a day and it's not...
Ages is the right answer.
-No, up to four years.
-This is nonsense.
-Not in that form.
But from the larva all the way through.
They have a long, long lifespan.
So they're in their adult form for 17...
-Yes, for a day.
-A day and they're kids for...
As juveniles, they have a long, long time.
That's double a hamster.
I'm going to get those beauties for my kids.
"Oh, lovely mayfly."
Your last chance for lots of points is a picture round.
Please draw a picture of a juvenile fruit fly brain.
A juvenile fruit fly brain?
that it doesn't have one.
I'm going to do it...
So, we've already got...
We've got there, from Chris's juvenile fruit fly brain
-I've done a banana. What have you drawn?
You've got a strawberry.
Well, the shattering news for you, Alan -
and it really is disappointing -
is that, for once, what you usually draw could have worked.
-What, it's like...
-It's a cock and balls!
-..a cock and balls?
There they are.
You see, the one time you didn't.
The one time you behaved. Oh, you did?
-Before the show.
-Before the show.
Before the show? I see.
We got the cock and balls out of our system before the show.
-We got that out of the way.
First thing you do when you arrive. Do the cock and balls.
Do the cock and balls, then you won't make a fool of yourself
by drawing a cock and balls on the programme.
Well, on that cock-shell, let's take a look at...
Let's take a look at the scores.
It's pretty exciting, because we have a clear winner,
on a staggering...
plus - and minus - zero,
is Chris Addison. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
In second place...
with a highly impressive minus six,
Sue Perkins. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Usually this would be good enough to win the wooden spoon, Sara,
it's a brilliant first appearance to get minus 13...
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
..but it takes an old hand to do really, really badly at this game,
-Alan Davies on minus 54!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So it's thank you from Sara, Chris, Sue, Alan and me.
And I leave you with this from Charlie Brown.
"Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong?'
"Then a voice says to me,
" 'This is going to take more than one night.' "