Sandi Toksvig finds out what's new with Jo Brand, Clive Anderson, Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies.
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This programme contains some strong language
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hello! Thank you very much!
Hello, and welcome to QI, where tonight everything is new.
Please welcome the new faces.
New kid on the block, it's Jimmy Carr.
The new-fangled Clive Anderson.
-Oh, thank you.
The brand-new Jo Brand.
And the ruddy nuisance Alan Davies.
Let's hear your news. Jimmy goes...
# New York, New York. #
# Happy New Year Happy New Year. #
# Poppa's got a brand-new bag. #
And Alan goes...
# You won't find another fool like me. #
The New Seekers.
-So much better than the old seekers.
So, a nice easy one to start with.
What is this island called?
I'm going to have to shoot you now.
It isn't the correct pronunciation.
Hey, hey, hey, enough violence on this show.
Noof'nd-LAND is the correct pronunciation
and in 1876 a man was killed
during a brawl over the correct pronunciation.
Well, we were lucky, weren't we? We got off lightly.
It was two mill workers, William Atchison and John Davis.
One thought it was NewFOUNDland and one thought it was NewfoundLAND.
Atchison threw a punch, Davis drew his gun and killed Atchison.
He got away, Davis, and he spent 37 years on the run,
-so it's a really...
-I have a great-uncle who emigrated to Canada.
-Did he go to NewfoundLAND?
I think he went to Quebec, actually.
-And you inherited your shirt from him?
Anyway, just to finish this story, Davis, who killed Atchison,
he ran away for 37 years and then, on his deathbed, 1912,
he's in a hospital in Peoria in Illinois and he felt so bad about it
that he confesses on his deathbed
and then recovered and had to go on the run again.
I think he said, "I did that murder in NEWfoundland."
"No, it's NewFOUNDland."
Actually, both men were right, because at the time,
both pronunciations were perfectly acceptable.
It's only fairly recently that people have got a bit...
What's it now? Without looking.
Presumably if people are watching this in Newfoundland,
they're shouting at the television.
-Yes, they probably are.
-"They're all idiots!"
I have a constant argument with the pronunciation of Canadian places.
My other half is Canadian and everything seems to be pronounced
a little bit faster than it should be.
-So it's Trono, not Toronto.
-Oh, is it?
-Trono. Like, as quick as you possibly can.
Like, it's a crime to say it - Trono.
-I love Toronto. There used to be a bar there called...
There used to be a bar there called the Betty Ford Clinic.
And what's not to like?
Some fantastic names in Newfoundland.
Conception Bay South is the second-largest town.
Conception Bay South is, yeah...
Conception Bay South, maybe there's a North.
That's what I call it, she doesn't like it.
She thinks it's too formal.
Come on, love, let's have a look at Conception Bay South.
I bought you dinner, we saw the movie you wanted, come on.
Before moving on to Conception Bay North, I suppose.
Well, that's a special treat for birthdays.
-Which way up is she? Hang on.
It's possible that a girl may prefer the Newfoundland town of Dildo.
Or Eastern Tickle.
Which I like very much.
-Thanks for sharing.
-Not bad for me age. Erm...
Newfoundland, what's interesting about it,
the very first part of the British Empire, 1583.
It's the very first bit of England's first overseas territory,
Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland in 1583.
Now, here is a chance for some easy points.
When Europeans first arrived in New York, what did they call it?
PAPA'S GOT A BRAND-NEW BAG PLAYS
But it's an Elvis Costello song, it must be right.
And that's why I said it.
I think either the Spanish or the French were there first,
so it was either New Madrid or New Paris or nouvelle
cuisine or something like that.
It was the French and it was New Angouleme.
Well, there you go.
It was Giovanni da Verrazzano who first named it.
A Florentine working for the French crown and he absolutely wanted to
favour the French king, Francis I,
who was originally Francis of Angouleme,
that's where he came from.
He must have been very pleased when he got there
that he could buy a stick of rock to take home.
It's got New Angouleme all the way through it.
The weird thing about him, Verrazzano,
there's loads of things in New York named after him
and every single sign has his name misspelled.
It's supposed to be double Z.
And nobody quite knows whether they didn't have enough Zs in the
They've misspelled park way and bridge, as well,
so they're obviously not very good.
-So, here's a fact about New York...
-..which is quite interesting.
Gotham, I think I know the history of Gotham.
Because it's a small village outside Nottingham.
Where local idiots would live
and someone wrote this book called The Merry Men Of Gotham.
So, then, about 100 years later,
there's a writer in New York and he compares New York,
he says they're all mad here, it's like Gotham City here.
-They're all idiots.
-I didn't know that.
Do you know why it's called Manhattan?
Is that a local Amerindian name?
It's a native Lenape American... It's actually quite a nice story.
So, 1609, Henry Hudson met a group of native Lenape Americans
and they were fishing and he offered them alcohol,
for the very first time, and there was a warrior
who swallowed the whole lot to test it and passed out
and everybody thought this is marvellous, and he then brought more
alcohol and they ended up getting fantastically drunk together
and the word, the native Lenape word, Manahactanienk,
means "the place we all got drunk".
I think the story is that it was also one of those places
that was sold for a few beads and so a few beads
were handed over and the Indians took those.
But they had the last laugh because they weren't even from that local area.
-They weren't from that area.
-They didn't even own the place in the first place.
They just took the beads and said, "Thanks, OK, good luck with that."
Here is something that was fantastically new in New York
in 1909 at Coney Island, which is a glorious place to hang out.
They ought to bring this back, because it's a really fantastic thing.
This is one stretch of track running multiple trains and if the two meet
while travelling in opposite directions,
so the passengers are in the lower part, I think you can just see,
it goes up over the top.
I think you can just see the arms of some of the passengers and it carries on.
I'm sorry, but that's like a very well engineered train crash.
They should have that on the Northern Line, that'd be fantastic.
I think it's absolutely brilliant, I love that.
Yes, indeed, New York was originally New Angouleme.
Where would you find the most pyramids in the world?
PAPA'S GOT A BRAND-NEW BAG PLAYS
-Egypt, fuck it.
I'm sure I've heard Mexico,
but I bet that's wrong as well, isn't it?
In the spirit of... I've seen one. I've seen one in Las Vegas.
Yes, there is one in Las Vegas.
-Let's go for it.
-# New York. #
-Yes. Let's try Switzerland.
-ONE PERSON LAUGHS LOUDLY
That's so sweet. One man appreciates you.
So, wait a minute, so, Jo, Alan and I have all been penalised,
but you've come out ahead by saying Switzerland.
-Is it the United States?
-Are there more pyramids in the United States?
-No, it's nearer to Egypt.
Libya? Algeria? Tunisia?
It is... You've got it, you're in the right part of the world.
-It is Sudan, absolutely right.
In fact, bizarrely, this is a photograph that I took myself
of the Sudanese pyramids. There's about...
You do your preparation for this show, don't you?
Sorry, what is the travel budget for this show?
Where's the licence fee money going? Hang on.
You went all the way over there to take this photo?
I made a long documentary about Sudan and I'd really recommend this,
because you go and there is nobody there.
-It is amazing.
-The massive civil war could be part of the reason.
Yeah. I did go... LAUGHTER
I did go before the civil war.
In Egypt, between 118 and 138, in Sudan there are about 220.
They're all in the Meroe area.
This was ancient Nubia and you can climb them, you can go inside.
There's fantastic writing, they had the Meroitic handwriting.
-Are they houses, these ones, or are they burial things?
No, they're burial things and what's really interesting about them,
the Egyptians' were clearly for the pharaohs and for the great and the good,
they were much more of a meritocracy, and so you get not such wealthy people
who had pyramids of their own, and what you can't see here is there
was an entire civilisation.
From the air, you can see the irrigation of tens of thousands of people
living there and then completely destroyed.
There was an Italian treasure hunter called Giuseppe Ferlini
who, in the 1830s,
chopped the tops off to see if he could find gold inside.
I went to Mexico a couple of years ago,
to a place called Coba.
And you went through a pine forest for about a mile,
quite off the beaten track.
And there's just a pyramid in the middle of the jungle
and you go, "Wow, that's incredible!" Take some photos.
And the guy just goes, "You can climb it, if you want. Good luck.
"Don't fall off. There's no ambulance."
And you climb up and you realise there are seven other pyramids
-in the middle of this jungle.
And they haven't bothered putting a fence around it and...
I think Jimmy's story kind of assists my answer,
because he's indicating there are a lot of these hidden pyramids
in Mexico in the middle of forests.
You should see the amount in Switzerland, mate.
The other new group in Sudan is the Nuer people.
They live on the Nile around Lake Nuer.
And their lives revolve entirely around cattle.
So the prestige is about how many cattle a man owns.
And they have fantastic rituals to do with sacrificing ox,
but they are so keen to keep the ox
that they'll replace the ox with a cucumber.
They want to sacrifice an ox, but it's, you know, an ox.
So they use a cucumber.
Most of the knowledge that we have about the Nuer
comes from an anthropologist called Edward Evans-Pritchard
and he worked there in the 1930s.
And they didn't think much of him when he arrived,
because he didn't have any cows,
so they wouldn't help him with his luggage.
Until he took out his cucumber and they were all...
Now, on to nudity, newlyweds and New England.
Who got married in the Emperor's new clothes?
Oh, that is a fabulous wedding.
-I want it to be that.
He doesn't do very much in the story, he just parades around.
He's a bit of an idiot, isn't he?
-I think that's the point of the story.
-I believe it is.
The thing I like about that story is that two swindlers come,
and this idea that there were swindlers who would go
from town to town swindling people.
And that's sort of died out, really, hasn't it?
-Social media's killed the swindling industry.
-Have you never had the e-mails?
-Do you get many e-mails? Yeah.
-The swindlers are online.
-You can trust everybody now.
There was a period of time when people got married naked in New England.
The 1700s. Why might they do that?
-Was it to do with witches?
-To prove you were a woman.
It's not to do with witches and not to prove that you're a woman.
Do you know there's still a thing with popes?
-Where they have to carry the chair over the cardinals
to check if they had a female pope,
which is obviously a disaster.
They carry him over the top so they can check out his junk.
Sadly, it's a myth, unfortunately.
-It's a myth?
-It's a want-it-to-be.
Do you know what? This is my issue with QI,
you say it's a myth, but I've heard it in a pub.
I'm pretty sure that's the case. Fact.
So, look, the bridegroom and the bride are both naked?
-No, just the bride.
-Is it to do with the Bible?
It isn't to do with the Bible. It's to do with debt.
They were known as smock marriages,
sometimes just in their underwear
and if the bride clearly has no assets,
if she's got nothing, then the groom is not liable for her debts or,
more importantly, if she's a widow, for her husband's debts.
-They didn't have to be visible, they just had to be naked.
So, there's a wonderful wedding that's talked about, February 1789,
a man called Major Moses Joy
and he married a widow called Hannah Ward
and she was starkers inside a closet
and basically she reached her arm through a hole in the door
to clasp his hand and then they got married
and then he'd left some clothes very nicely for her in the cupboard and then she came out fully dressed.
That's a bit like if a tree falls in a forest.
If you're naked and nobody can see you...
-It doesn't really count, does it?
-You don't need to be naked, do you?
I'm sure Lady Gaga would argue she was wearing a wardrobe.
Just a hell of a dress.
Did her head stick out the top of the wardrobe?
It was just her arm out, that was it.
-So it's a naked arm.
-That's it, just the arm.
It might not have been her arm, in fact.
Could have been anyone's arm.
Was yours a nightmare, Jo, your wedding?
I couldn't fit in a wardrobe, I had to go in a marquee instead.
-No, it was lovely.
-It's stressful, though, isn't it?
I was having a look at the planning nightmare that is a wedding.
If you have 17 guests and two tables of ten that has 131,702
possible seating arrangements.
A wedding with 100 guests and ten tables has
65 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion
possibilities as to where you want to seat people.
Crikey. I had a very little wedding.
I'd said to my friends, "Don't tell anyone or talk about it."
And one of my friends stayed at a local hotel and called a cab
to pick her up to take her to our wedding,
and she got in the cab and he went, "Where do you want to go?"
and she went, "I'm not telling you."
That's fabulous. They have a great tradition in Sweden,
here's a randy Scandi fact,
if the bride leaves the reception to go to the bathroom,
then all the women in the room kiss the groom.
And if the groom leaves, all the men may kiss the bride.
And that is how chlamydia started.
-It's a fine name for a child.
What's the biggest news item ever?
Has it got anything to do with the Kardashians?
I'm not even really sure who they are. So, no.
When was the golden era of the newspapers?
When was the biggest circulation? Would it be Titanic?
So, it's not an actual news item that we are looking for.
Not like the moon landing, which is a very big...
It's not a story. It's the actual news.
Did they do a live broadcast for, like, 36 hours or something?
Is it the size of the headline you're looking for?
-In fact, you can help me,
because I have a copy of what we are looking for,
but I can't manage it on my own, so, Alan and Clive,
if you could come and help me.
What I'm talking about is the largest newspapers ever published.
These were... This is called the Universal Yankee Nation.
-There you go.
-Oh, tiny print.
-Yes. You seriously had to have...
-Is this helping your presentation skills?
You all right, Sandi?
I don't want to hurt your feelings, but if Stephen was here,
his head would be poking over the top.
If I was good, I could've gone underneath, but I didn't want to play limbo with the newspaper.
Why did they design those?
Maybe there was a tax on each page of newsprint.
-That's exactly right.
They were known as blanket sheets
or mammoth newspapers or leviathan newspapers.
It was the introduction of the cylinder printing presses that
made them possible. It was the fact that it was possible.
This particular newspaper was only published
for about a year and a half from 1841 to 1842,
but it was called the largest paper in all creation.
Would have been very useful if you're an extremely fat tramp
that was sleeping out.
Yes. Except it was only one page thick, so it wasn't...
-In the summer.
-In the... Sleeping out.
What if you're two tramps having a liaison?
Yes, but they were designed for sharing.
But you said about the duties, it's why we had broadsheets.
-Yes, yes, there was a tax, wasn't there?
-Yeah. There was a tax.
With a tax, there'd be people trying to avoid it, wouldn't there?
-I would imagine, yeah.
-They would have ways of trying to get round it.
I guess. I guess some people would,
but, I mean, they'd be morally bankrupt, is what they'd be.
Getting their papers from Jersey or somewhere,
so it would be just crazy.
-Is that...? Would that work?
So it was a bit like modern fizzy drinks tax.
It was to discourage people from buying newspapers.
Because they were so critical of the government and so...
-We'll tax them out of existence.
-Yeah. For a really long time.
1712 till 1855.
And then when they took off the tax, all of the Daily Mails,
Daily Mirrors, popular press came in.
Because, you know, relatively poor people
-could afford to buy the news and find out what was going on.
During the time of the tax, people would hire newspapers,
they would buy second-hand newspapers,
they would read them in coffee houses,
they would club together to share them.
There were even bootleg newspapers.
Second-hand newspapers wouldn't be much use, would they, really?
-"Oh, dear, the Titanic's sunk...14 years ago."
But, you know, when you're on holiday in the old days,
you'd read almost any English newspaper that you find.
I remember I'd been in Thailand for three weeks
and I found a copy of the Daily Mail
and I read this brilliant article in it by Norman Tebbit
and he said, "I can't be..."
-"I can't be the only person
"who's noticed a rise in serious crime
"since same-sex partnerships were brought in."
No, Norman, you can.
You can be the only person to...
But this is a thing of the past now.
Until a few years ago, when you were abroad,
you'd pay any money to get an English language...
Now, you just get it online.
So younger people think, "What are they talking about?"
It's a real shame, cos you go away and you know when people die.
It used to be you'd get back from holiday
and that would sort of cheer you up.
"The holiday's over but, oh, he's dead, is he?
"Oh...I liked him."
Anyway, what can you tell me about any of these...?
OK, so these are newspaper headlines
and I want to know what the story is.
Oh, this keeps on coming up.
"Once! One time!"
Well, apparently, in 1955, there was a man in New Guinea
and he went for a swim and there was a load of equipment
that had been abandoned after the war
and he noticed there was a steam-roller
and there was a bolt missing in a bolt hole. And what did he think?
-"I'll shag that."
-That's a real view into a man's psyche, I think.
I think that's basically a message to any women watching -
"Make less effort. There's really no need."
So excited was he by the steam-roller
that he failed to notice that it was, in fact,
in an area where the tide was about to come in
and he got himself stuck as the tide was racing towards him.
And he didn't really want to call for help because, you know, awkward.
-He was a bit embarrassed.
-Yeah. But anyway, he was released by a doctor.
He said, "It came away all right, but was very badly torn."
AUDIENCE SUCKS IN BREATH
Quite a low hiss, that one. More boys than girls on that one, then.
Try this one as another headline...
Any thoughts on that?
-Are they two...?
-Are they towns?
It's a headline from an American newspaper
called the Bloomington Pantagraph.
And it referred to a couple in Illinois.
The town of Normal takes its name from
the Illinois Normal State University.
Oblong chose their name in 1880
because they were tired of their original name,
which was Henpeck.
Well, fair enough.
Is this one of those things where they had the headline on the shelf
and they were waiting for the story?
Yes, they almost had it typeset and ready to go.
This is a great local news story...
You would certainly think
the Catholic church have got more pressing matters.
This is a story from 2008 from the Arran Voice.
"Northend Thistle football players on the Ormidale pitch last week
"held their breath as a wayward shot at goal from Ben Tattersfield
"sailed through the air towards the stained glass windows
"of Brodick Church.
"But, thankfully, the ball struck the surrounding sandstone frame
"and bounced harmlessly to the ground."
And this one, which is from Brighton and Hove, which I like very much...
-So is this somebody picking up dog poo...
-..and, for some reason,
they put it in their handbag, I think is the story.
And then the handbag gets stolen and the...
Well, it's similar to that. But this man on a bicycle
actually pinched a bag of poo out of the hands of a...
She was an elderly dog walker in Worthing.
What is there, a hunt?
I mean, you'd think, "Oh, thank God for that. He's taken the..."
I suppose it is hot property still, but...
A spokesman for Sussex Police said,
"The lady was not harmed and clearly the thief stole nothing of value.
"Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police."
It's not the sort of stolen goods anyone wants to handle, either.
No. I mean, there are loads of these.
"Driver fails to find horn and shouts, 'Toot! Toot!'"
"Black cat seen near M6." That's a headline.
"Police called to pull up drunk's knickers."
Who knows what happened?
In other news now, what would you see on Camel News?
Is that the camel from the Camel cigarettes thing?
Is he doing a press conference going,
"Actually, I'm only meant to have one hump.
"Turns out smoking is not good for you."
It's funny you should say that,
-because it is associated with Camel cigarettes.
Yes, sponsored. Exactly right.
It was NBC's first daily news programme.
It ran from 1949 to 1956.
Did the guy...? Did he have a fag on as he was reading the news?
They had a no no-smoking policy.
So, er...you were not allowed to show any no smoking signs at all
anywhere in the news
and you were not allowed to show footage of real camels,
because it was thought to be damaging to the brand.
Yeah, Camel cigarettes, you can see how a camel would ruin it.
Well, they had in those days an actual camel called Jo,
who used to go around the United States giving out cigarettes.
I imagine he wasn't on his own.
You say they weren't allowed to show no smoking signs.
When was the first no smoking sign?
Cos I've seen a lot of old footage, people doing surgery going,
"Yeah, we'll have a... Oh, there you go."
Kind of they're constantly with a fag on.
Well, it certainly wasn't a problem on television.
There used to be a 1950s American television show
called Do You Trust Your Wife?
And it was sponsored by...
It was sponsored by L&M cigarettes
and there was a moment when the host, Johnny Carson,
asked a man what star sign his wife was and he said, "Cancer."
And it had to be redone as Aries,
because you couldn't have somebody who was a Cancer star sign
on an L&M cigarette...
But there weren't just cigarette sponsors.
We didn't really have that, did we?
I suppose soap operas, you know,
were presumably, originally, genuinely...
Soap flakes used to be the big thing to promote.
But also car manufacturers.
So the very first news programme was sponsored by Oldsmobile.
And the Ford Motor Company, they sponsored a programme
and they only agreed to sponsor it if the Chrysler Building
was removed from the backdrop showing the New York skyline.
Programmes sponsored by Chevvy
weren't allowed to use the expression, "Ford a river."
I mean, it really was sort of ridiculous
about the stuff they did and didn't allow.
Anyway, moving on.
What's the one thing Nigel has in common with Corbyn?
Does it mean the same thing?
No. It's about the number of children named.
2014 is the last year that we have statistics for.
And only ten babies born in England were named Nigel.
Yeah, Nigel's a name that's gone out of fashion.
Gone totally out of fashion. But there were also ten named Corbyn.
Oh, really? Are they all being kept in plastic boxes?
Well, in fact, only eight were kept. Two were thrown away.
"There's another Corbyn. Put it in the cupboard."
Is that Angelina Jolie's Amazon order?
The other ones with exactly ten instances in 2014 include...
You are joking.
Sedrick, Barry and Gordon.
-Can anybody guess the peak year for Nigel?
When was Nigel Lawson Chancellor of the Exchequer?
-No, not then. Not then.
You're close. '63 was the peak year for Nigel.
-The peak year for Nigel!
Nigel's a bit like Clive.
They're sort of names that have sort of come and gone.
I don't think many people are called Nigel.
-Well, Alan is still very popular.
-Alan is a good, solid name.
2014, 302 Alans born in the UK.
-Fine young men.
14 boys called Arsalan.
-Is that the lion from...?
-No, that's Aslan.
It's actually a Muslim name for lion - Arsalan.
The girls' names for 2014, the N names,
were Noreen, Nile and Non.
"This is my Non child."
But the interesting thing is - World War I,
lots of names that you wouldn't think now would have been popular...
Verdun was very popular. Ypres. Passchendaele. Heligoland.
-I mean, some extraordinary...
There were 84 Peaces and 120 Victorys
and 44 Poppys.
The royal family changed their name from Saxe-Coburg to Windsor
in the middle of the First World War because of anti-German sentiment.
But they only did it in 1917.
So they were clearly waiting which way it was going to go.
"It's 1914. Shall we change our name or not?"
"Oooh, I don't know. It's..."
Anyway, as far as newborns are concerned,
Britain hit peak Nigel in 1963.
What can you tell me about the false memory diet?
Hm... Do you develop a memory
that you remember that you've eaten a full meal
and that's a false memory and, therefore, you don't eat.
That's a false memory.
It is a false memory, but it doesn't quite work like that.
It is a suggested way of getting people to not eat.
Oh, you put them off food they...
Yes, you put them off certain foods is exactly right.
You make them think they don't like hamburgers.
There was a study in 2011 and what they did was
they told people that there was a questionnaire
and the questionnaire could identify
early childhood experiences with food
and then somebody would be told that certain foods had made them unwell.
So, as a child, for example, got sick after eating carrot.
Totally made up,
but the participants believed it and went off that food.
And the researchers managed to put people off
an extraordinary array of things.
Strawberry ice cream. White wine.
It's not a great meal, but, erm...
You'd have to go through such a huge range of food
in order to put people off enough food that they could have a diet.
-Well, I think you'd start with chips, wouldn't you?
-I suppose so.
But there's still lots of other, you know, filling-up foods.
The woman who ran it, Elizabeth Loftus,
she said that if you picture a food you don't want to eat
and you imagine it making you unwell,
then eventually you won't want to eat it any more
-and the cravings will go away.
Success, Jo. Success.
-Lettuce is hard work, isn't it?
-Oh, it is.
You know, lettuce is supposed to make you sleep well.
-Yes, it is.
-Cos it's so boring.
It's all right with chocolate on it.
There've been some really weird diets, though.
There was an 18th century doctor called Malcolm Flemming
and he suggested eating soap as a weight loss method.
I mean, it 100% works.
No, it doesn't and don't do it.
That's basically the thing. And didn't Elvis...?
-Makes your wee smell lovely, though.
Elvis did the Sleeping Beauty diet, I think.
Which is the theory that you drug yourself
and you sleep for several days
and then you don't eat during the time that you're asleep.
It's called the Sleeping Beauty diet.
-I mean, Elvis didn't nail the diet thing.
-He totally didn't.
What's so good about eye of newt?
Has it got very few calories in it?
I would imagine. It isn't to do with calories.
-Is it gluten-free?
-It's nothing to do with food.
-So, this is Macbeth, is it? Is that what you're quoting?
-It is in the Scottish play.
-But what's so great about eye of newt?
I think we studied this at school.
There's a whole list of things that sound like disgusting things,
but they're not really. They're references to plants or something.
Well, that is absolutely true.
But the thing about the eye of newt that is extraordinary,
they did a study where they kept removing the lenses
-from the eye of a newt...
-I bet it annoyed him.
Well, he systematically replaced it.
They did it for 16 years and they keep just replacing the lens.
They are able to regenerate new lenses.
That's brilliant. Why can't we do that?
-I don't know. It's so clever.
-In some animals, the teeth replace...
Specsavers' worst nightmare.
And what's extraordinary about them, the lenses that are replaced
are just as good as the very first ones that they had
and they're able to continuously regenerate.
Are you sure he didn't have just insurance or something?
-So, sorry, that's one newt?
-That's one newt.
-I'm not a big fan of animal testing at the best of times.
-But 16 years, this poor newt's thinking, "Oh, him again."
"He's going to pull my bloody eye out.
"I'll grow it back, dick."
15 years in, is he not thinking,
"Are you not getting the message here?
"These grow back."
Presumably, there were periods when he couldn't see him coming.
-LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
-Of course. Of course.
Did you know that they're not actually called newts?
-Did you know that?
-What, newts aren't called newts?
-No, they're not.
-They are, I tell you how you know,
-they're called newts.
-They are ewts. It was an ewt.
-It's like an orange, isn't it?
A nickname was an ickname.
It became nickname and newt is just because we're lazy.
Nigel wasn't a name, either. It was an Igel.
This is all new to me.
-It's an extra name.
-An additional name.
There are lots of words like that. Apron is one.
In fact, orange is the other way round, isn't it?
It was a norange was the word and we call it an orange.
Yes. My favourite...
It's not quite the same thing.
Apple-pie order. Which is French for nappe pliee, neatly folded linen.
And we just call it apple-pie order, because we don't speak French.
The thing about the witches brew you mentioned about the Scottish play.
-So you're absolutely right, so the eye of newt and toe of frog,
wool of bat and tongue of dog,
probably wild mustard seed and buttercup leaves and moss and hound's-tongue.
Isn't that pretty? Hound's-tongue on the right.
And what herb was liver of blaspheming Jew, then?
Was that a particular...
I'm not sure that was entirely a herb.
-Is that marjoram?
It's the worst Welsh rarebit they've ever had.
The plant on the right stinks,
it's also known as mice and rats due to its smell.
People used to put it in their shoes to keep dogs away from their shoes.
Apparently it stinks.
They used to put it in their shoes because it stinks?
To keep dogs away. You know, dogs do love...
-Steal their shoes.
-Keep your shoes.
And that's why, to this day, dogs don't wear shoes. Goodnight.
And toe of frog, not sustainable at all.
There is a terrible decline in the world frog population.
They're absolutely plummeting.
In fact, it's now illegal to catch frogs for human consumption in France.
And India, which has been the biggest exporter to France of frogs, has just ceased exporting.
I have a pond in my garden which used to be full of frogs,
they used to come and have orgies every year.
They're not there. All been replaced by newts now.
This sounds like an angry letter to the Daily Mail.
"These frogs, coming over here, having sex in our ponds."
The most extraordinary newt, just want to show you this.
Unbelievable, it's called the rough-skinned newt.
It has enough toxins to kill 25,000 mice and it's so toxic, this thing,
that the Native American tribes used to force-feed them to their enemies
to kill them.
And the really incredible thing about them is that whatever
eats one, dies before the newt dissolves in its stomach.
-That's how toxic it is and then it hops free.
I know! Ergh! Ergh!
But newts are fantastic, they can regrow their eyes,
they can kill...
What is the measure of how toxic it is that it kills 25,000 mice?
That was such an odd end to that sentence.
-Well, it's poison.
-Just four dogs would be a better...
How many humans can it kill? That's what we want to know.
It's usually things like a mouse the size of Wales it can kill.
What about the Spanish newt? They are extraordinary.
When threatened, they can shoot their ribs out of their body
and stab their enemies with poison.
Oh, I can do that.
That seems counter-productive.
I feel like if an enemy's coming towards you, I mean,
by all means defend yourself, but shooting a rib out...
Even if they don't attack, you're going to have to go to A&E.
Now, it's time for a fresh new batch of general ignorance.
Although, I think we've done quite well so far.
Fingers on buzzers.
How long is New Zealand's Ninety Mile Beach?
-Oh, come on. You know you want to!
-I think it is 90 miles long.
-Go for it!
Well, are they going to exaggerate or...?
-What do you reckon?
-I say it's 75 miles.
You're getting closer. Any more for any more?
I say it's six miles.
It's 55 miles long.
And one of the theories is that the mistake was because
missionaries knew that it took a day to travel 30 miles and it took three
days to travel the beach and so they made the calculation of 90 miles,
but, in fact, they forgot that you travel much slower on sand.
-So, do people go and walk up it and ask for their money back?
-I don't think so.
Or drown at the end because they just walk into the sea
thinking there's another 30 miles to go here.
Well, the Maori do rather better. They call it Te Oneroa-a-Tohe,
which just means The Long Beach of Tohe.
They're not giving it a number. Just can't be bothered.
But there are lots of misnamed things.
Melbourne's Shark Bay has been renamed...
It's called Safety Beach now.
And another famous misnaming - the Thousand Islands archipelago,
which is on the US-Canadian border,
it's actually 1,864.
So will they have to change the name to 1,864 Island Dressing now?
-Well, they should do, shouldn't they?
Now, they have rules about what counts as an island.
So you have to have at least one square foot of land, that's all,
above water level for the whole year.
And it has to have two living trees.
Then you're an island.
It does look amazing, though, doesn't it?
Now, let's have a look at this.
OK. So, going to set this up.
-Quite good. Like that.
My question is, who invented this?
Isn't it Winston Churchill?
I want it to be Winston Churchill.
You're so epically wrong there that the buzzer didn't even go off.
Well, we normally call it Newton's balls, don't we?
-I think Newton's cradle would be...
-I think Newton's cradle there.
Sorry. I'm afraid...
I'm afraid I went to a rougher school than you did.
I think if Newton had that many balls,
it's no wonder he discovered gravity.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
-Who actually invented it? Do we know?
-It's not quite as...
-Was it like a toy manufacturer in the '50s?
-I can't remember who it is.
Is it JFK? Is it Marlon Brando?
-It's earlier than that.
-Is it Delia Smith?
It's a French priest in the 17th century...
-Called Abbe Edme Mariotte.
-And then he started the hotel chain?
Yes, that's right. That's right, exactly.
He was an amazing thinker, Mariotte.
Do we have to guess which one he is there?
He's the one at the back thinking, "If I put chocolates on pillows,
"people will stay here."
I stayed at a hotel where they did that
and I wished somebody had told me.
I woke up in the morning, honest to God,
I thought I'd had a brain haemorrhage.
I made some red lentil and tomato soup the other week.
-And my daughter...
-This is going to end in tears.
..really liked it.
Going, "Oh, this is lovely. Lovely. Really delicious."
And it was.
And then some virus was going round the school.
Anyway, middle of the night, I could hear some wailing and screaming
and I went into her bedroom and there she was in her white nightie
with white sheets and she'd barfed up.
And, honestly, it looked like she'd been disembowelled.
One of the most alarming things I've ever seen,
just a sea of red everywhere.
All in her hair. It was like Carrie, you know Carrie?
I had to pick her up at arm's length and put her in the bath
and then I didn't know what to do with her.
She's just covered in lentils.
I was going to start hosing her down and she was going...
-I could never have done that.
-Hosing her down!
It was very, very, very funny.
I could not have done that. My bath's full of gin.
When's the parenting book coming out?
The very first modern...
What we call Newton's cradle was created by an actor called Simon Prebble, he was called.
And he sold it to Harrods in 1967.
He wanted to promote it and so he made a giant version which had to be
taken down after one of the balls knocked out a child.
Not good to laugh, people. Not good to laugh.
These chrome ones were created by a sculptor and film director
called Richard Loncraine.
Is Churchill not involved anywhere in this?
Nothing to do with Churchill.
Newton was an extraordinary boy, though.
Massive Pink Floyd fan.
He came 78th out of 80 at school.
-He used to wander off...
-Who else was at school?
Einstein was there...
The bloke on the right thinks it's a lightsaber.
"Bloody hell, Newton, I think you're on to something."
He made a very strange list of his sins when he was 19, Newton.
It included making pies on Sunday night,
using Wilfred's towel to spare my own,
threatening my father and mother Smith to burn them
and the house over them.
Wishing death and hoping it to some.
There's a fantastic...
They've tried to make big Newton's cradles.
Here's one made with 15-pound bowling balls.
Oh, that child's for the chop.
You'll get £250 for that on You've Been Framed in a minute.
The child that must be punished there.
The guy with a beard, is that a baby dangling from him?
Or is that the whole baby with a beard on it?
The biggest Newton's cradle ever built
was for the US television show Myth Busters,
they used five one-tonne steel and concrete wrecking balls
hung from a steel truss.
It was incredibly difficult to make and it didn't work.
So, I'm going to put that away.
Pop that down.
Now, fingers on buzzers, name the part of Canada
that Britain and America's most popular dog comes from.
Are you saying it's pronounced in a different way or there's a different dog?
No, they don't come from Labrador is the thing of it.
So, it is the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
They are the most popular dogs in the UK and the US, the Labrador retrievers.
They have held the top spot for 25 years running and are exhausted.
But they come from Newfoundland and not from Labrador.
But what happened was, when they arrived in the UK,
there was already a dog called a Newfoundland.
Also known as a St John's water dog.
So, they needed to find another name.
So... They are so gorgeous!
And they've got a thing... They don't stop eating,
they've got a genetic mutation.
I had a Labrador and he was a nightmare.
An absolute nightmare.
-Good for training...
-It turns out...they can't help it.
I hope they find that in humans soon.
Maybe you're part Labrador.
-Maybe I'm all Labrador.
-All Labrador, baby.
Do you shake yourself like that after a bath?
-I don't have baths.
So, Labradors aren't from Labrador.
-Was it...? Is it close to...?
-It is absolutely close to.
So, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador comprises the large island
of Newfoundland and the mainland of Labrador.
And Labrador is extraordinary.
It's three times as large as the island,
but only 10% of the population live there.
It is rather bleak. And that brings us to the scores.
Well, this is fantastic.
In first place, with a magnificent -5,
-Can't believe my luck.
In second place with -16, it's Clive!
-Think I got some points from you.
And in third place with -19,
Which means a triumphant -25, in final place, it's Alan.
So, it's thanks to Clive, Jimmy, Jo and Alan.
I leave you with this, Parkham WI.
The speaker at the April meeting
was Captain Colin Darch, who talked about piracy.
Embarrassingly, the WI all dressed as pirates for the evening,
not realising that Captain Darch was going to be talking about
his experience of being held hostage by Somali pirates,
rather than piracy in general. LAUGHTER