Operations QI XL


Operations

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APPLAUSE

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Hey, good evening.

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Welcome to QI,

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for a show which is an overwhelming O-ssortment of operations.

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And joining me in my theatre team are, Dr No, Bill Bailey.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Dr Who, Rhod Gilbert.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Dr Doolittle, Katherine Ryan.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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And...

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"Doctor, Doctor, I think I'm a pair of curtains", Alan Davies.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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-Pull yourself together.

-Pull yourself together.

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Right, let's see how the patient's doing. Rhod goes...

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FLAT-LINING HEART MONITOR BEEP

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LAUGHTER

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Oh, that's bad, we've lost one already. OK, Katherine goes...

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REGULAR HEART MONITOR BEEP

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Oh, that's better, that's much better. Yes.

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OK. Bill goes... RAPID HEART MONITOR BEEP

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Wow, that's... And Alan goes...

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BEEP

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Vehicle reversing. Vehicle reversing.

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Vehicle reversing...

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-They're so loud, some of those trucks.

-They are!

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I was about 50 yards away

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and it was going, "This truck is turning left!"

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"It's turning left!" And it wasn't.

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I know, it's annoying.

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Right, let's start with a special operation.

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How can you turn a muffin into an offensive weapon?

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I have muffins for you all.

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There you are, there's some muffins, help yourselves.

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Douse it in petrol.

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-OK.

-I don't know, just chuck it at someone?

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Chuck it at somebody? Rhod, what do you reckon?

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Turning a muffin into some kind of offensive weapon?

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Just remove the "may contain nuts" label from it.

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LAUGHTER

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Yeah. We're in World War II.

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You drop it out of a plane.

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Just a single muffin?

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A muffin.

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"That'll teach you, Germans! Yeah."

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"Argh, it's got me in the eye!"

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Was it poisoned, was it presented to Hitler?

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"Oh, there you go, obst und mein Fuhrer."

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It is the most bizarre thing, Bill.

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During World War II, flour mix was invented

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that could either be eaten or used as an explosive.

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LAUGHTER

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And, yeah, so the mix was invented by the Office of Strategic Services,

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so that's the CIA's parent organisation.

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Wow.

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It consisted of 75% explosive powder and 25% ordinary wheat flour,

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which is the way I like my muffins.

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LAUGHTER

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And if the holder was challenged,

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it could either be eaten, or you could blow somebody up.

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-So the early versions made you quite ill.

-No shit!

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-Yeah.

-Yeah. I think that was part of the problem.

-Yes, yes.

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LAUGHTER

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But, later versions, they made it fully edible

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and it didn't matter whether you had made the flour into a cake.

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You could stick a fuse into a muffin and it would still blow up.

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Have you ever done that thing of making an exploding cake

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for a children's birthday party?

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It's very naughty, but it's terribly funny.

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-And potentially fatal.

-Yes.

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LAUGHTER

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You make a totally hollow cake and then you stick a balloon

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in the middle and then you ice the whole thing

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and when they cut into it, it goes, boom!

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LAUGHTER

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-A very good idea.

-That's a good trick, isn't it?

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-I'm very, very pleased with it.

-That's a brilliant idea, yes.

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And there were all sorts of things disguised in World War II

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-so that the British sabotage outfit, which was the S...

-SOE.

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Special Operations Executive.

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Because they were in the North African Desert,

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they invented exploding camel dung,

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and they also smuggled explosives into occupied Europe

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inside artificial turnips, lumps of coal, crabs, lobsters and tuna fish.

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Of course, the Germans had it, as well,

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they had bombs that were disguised as a chocolate bar.

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They had a mess tin full of bangers and mash,

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which in fact was exploding.

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Irresistible to the British Tommy!

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LAUGHTER

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"We jolly well shouldn't eat this, Roger."

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"You're right, we shouldn't eat it."

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"Enjoying your breakfast, Tommy?" "Yes, thank you." Boom!

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LAUGHTER

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And bombs were sometimes left in books

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and were triggered by the removal of a picture

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of a scantily-clad woman!

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COMEDIC GASPS

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"Don't remove the picture, Roger." "I can't resist her."

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Can't resist her.

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LAUGHTER

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In 1942, an SOE agent by the name of Monty Woodhouse, he parachuted

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into Greece to blow up a viaduct called the Gorgopotamos viaduct.

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And when he got there, unfortunately,

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some local children thought his plastic explosive was fudge

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and made themselves sick eating it.

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And the bit I like about the story, he writes about it as,

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"Thankfully, there was enough left over to still blow up the bridge."

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LAUGHTER

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That's the kind of thing you'd take to a children's party,

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-frankly.

-Yes, yes.

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Here, children, fudge, help yourselves, enjoy.

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Lots of SOE agents were dropped into Europe covered in Vaseline -

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anybody know why?

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LAUGHTER

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Where do you want us to take this?

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The door of innuendo has been opened.

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All the clothes that the SOE had made for them

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when they went in to Europe had to be in the European styles

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and new clothes were very rare in Germany at the time,

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so they were artificially aged by the SOE tailors,

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and the way they did that, they would wear them

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at home for a week and then they would smear

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the suits in a thin film of Vaseline and then sandpaper them.

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So it was just the suits they smothered in Vaseline?

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-Yes, not the actual...

-You led us down a merry road there, didn't you?

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And that, I think you'll find, Rhod, is my job.

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These two different armies flying down together

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with their different-shaped parachutes...

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They don't look like parachutes, they look like Quavers, don't they?

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They are Quavers.

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-That's what the Quaver started out as.

-As a parachute?

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-As an exploding crisp.

-Oh.

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-One of those has got their landing techniques wrong.

-In what way?

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Well, they can't both work.

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One's gone feet together, one's gone akimbo.

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I don't think health and safety was paramount back then.

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I mean, that just looks like a bed sheet.

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Health and safety was chronically neglected during the war.

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I think that.

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LAUGHTER

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Many things went on that were totally unacceptable.

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The streetlights were out the whole time...

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-You'd bump into things, wouldn't you?

-You'd bump into things.

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Stub your toe.

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It doesn't look much of an invading force, does it?

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-It's not the most terrifying force.

-It's just Roger and Tom, isn't it?

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Anyone that spots you, it doesn't matter.

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LAUGHTER

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OK, muffins away, which is not something I've ever said before.

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I might have mine after.

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I'm about to carry out an operation.

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What's the first question I should ask myself?

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LAUGHTER

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Is there a balloon in the patient?

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LAUGHTER

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Should I have taken all these selfies with the sleeping patient?

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LAUGHTER

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Am I sober?

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Yes. Where am I?

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Should I at least have a quick look on Wikihow?

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LAUGHTER

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So, there's a list of questions.

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-Is there? An official list?

-There's a list of questions.

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The first thing you have to ask yourself is,

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do we have the right patient?

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-Do we have the right patient?

-Is the very first question.

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Make sure you know which bit of the body

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you are going to be operating on.

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-I thought "location" meant am I in the hospital?

-Yeah.

-Yes.

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I'm in the shed with the pliers, is this best practice?

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LAUGHTER

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If it had said "identity" and then "location, location, location".

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LAUGHTER

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What are we doing in that location?

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In other words, what is the procedure that we're going to do?

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And did the patient, before they were conked-out,

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say that it was OK to do this?

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-Ah.

-So these are the things.

-It's really basic stuff, this.

-Yeah.

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I thought our surgeons were kind of ahead of this stuff.

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That's the extraordinary thing. 2008, the World Health Organization,

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they composed a set of 19 questions to be asked before

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and after all surgical operations to reduce hospital errors.

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And it's called the Safe Surgery checklist.

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And it sounds really simple

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but the use of this checklist has reduced deaths by 40%...

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Oh, no!

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..and complications by one third.

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So is that the... So before all these checks then,

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were there just surgeons just going, "Right, bring him in!"

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Yeah, yeah.

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LAUGHTER

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"Right, all done! Right, come on."

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"Let's just tuck in, come on!"

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"He looks like he could have his leg off."

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"Come on. Next!"

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"My leg! My leg! And you've left the poisonous arm!"

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LAUGHTER

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What about when you have your leg cut off and then you still

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-feel like you've got an itchy foot, even though it's been cut off?

-Yes.

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-Phantom leg itch.

-Yes.

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What about if you get that with two legs,

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and you've got a phantom third leg?

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That's what every boy thinks he's got.

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LAUGHTER

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The strangest thing is when people have heart surgery or something

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and they've never liked Chinese food before and they wake up

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and they love Chinese food and discover that the person

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whose heart they've been given really liked Chinese food.

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-Oh, is that true?

-So they say.

-Who says that?

-So they say.

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People who've had heart surgery who didn't like Chinese before,

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those people.

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It's a very niche group.

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The really weird one, the woman who had a bang on the head

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-and when she woke up she could speak French.

-Yes.

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Yes, and why don't they just do that anyway, for all of us?

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Cos it was very boring, learning French at school.

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-Yeah.

-It's not guaranteed to work, I don't think.

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It's unpredictable, that's the problem with it,

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as an educational tool.

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-Did you speak French in Canada?

-Yeah.

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But the way that I learned French is that my parents, I think as a prank,

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just put me into an all-French school when I was four years old.

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They didn't speak a word of French.

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My dad's from Ireland, so he barely speaks English.

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My mum's Canadian, they put me in this all-French school, and

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I vividly member coming home that day being like, "What's going on out there?"

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Thinking the whole world was this other language.

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And they wouldn't answer you in English.

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But what my parents didn't really account for is

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I had two sisters after me and we all went to that school.

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They gifted us a secret language.

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All our teenagehood we could make plans right in front of them.

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Of course, cos they didn't speak... That's a marvellous idea.

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"Lorsqu'ils sortent, on va avoir le party?"

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We could do anything we wanted right under their nose.

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-I mean, we didn't.

-No.

-Obviously.

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One surgeon who had no problem identifying the patient whatsoever

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was a Soviet surgeon called Leonid Rogozov.

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So he realised he had appendicitis, but he was visiting

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the Antarctic, so he had no choice but to operate on himself.

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-Oof!

-So he described the pain as...

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"A snowstorm whipping through my soul, wailing like 100 jackals."

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LAUGHTER

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I think he wrote that long after he was better

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because I don't think you're going to come out with that sentence

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-while you're...

-"What's it feel like, Leonid?"

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"It feels like a snow storm whipping through..."

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So, he got two assistants to hold a mirror for him,

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and he gave them instructions what to do if he lost consciousness.

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"Not my face, you idiots!"

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LAUGHTER

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He worked on himself for an hour and 45 minutes,

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and he was back at work within a fortnight.

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He worked on himself for an hour and 45...

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-LAUGHTER

-Sorry, sorry, sorry.

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Well, it's that kind of thought, Rhod,

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that led a man called Boston Corbett to perform self-surgery.

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Here is Boston Corbett.

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He is famous in history as the man

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who killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

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But he believed that he was very tempted by ladies, and that he

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didn't like this, so he castrated himself with a pair of scissors.

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-Ooh!

-GASPS

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Oh, good action, good action from the audience there.

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In order to avoid temptation of prostitutes...

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He cut his own testicles off with a scissors

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to avoid the temptation of...

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-Yes.

-Why didn't he just walk down a different street?

-Yes.

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LAUGHTER

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He was... I don't know how to put this nicely. It was religious craziness.

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He thought that eunuchs were more likely to get into heaven.

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-Oh, my word!

-I like him, I wish more men would take this path.

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Every house has got scissors.

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LAUGHTER

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They say that delivering a child hurts as much as having

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your leg amputated at the thigh without any pain relief.

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Who has been through those two things that could tell?

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LAUGHTER

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-BILL:

-That's unlucky. That's a bad day, isn't it?

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Possibly the least professional surgeon of all time

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is a man called Nicolas-Marie-Alexandre Vattemare.

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He lived between 1796 and 1864.

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-Hang on a minute.

-OK, so...

-That is terrible plastic surgery.

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He trained as a surgeon but he was not allowed to qualify

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because the whole time he was working on cadavers

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he kept getting them to speak and upsetting all the other surgeons.

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"Blah, blah, blah." "Put it down!"

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Apparently he was a really good ventriloquist. And he couldn't resist making dead bodies talk.

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I have to say, it looks a lot like Andrew Lloyd Webber, I have to say.

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Barry Cryer tells a wonderful story about a ventriloquist that he worked with,

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and the ventriloquist came in with his little trunk of things

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and took out one of the dummies and put it up on the wall like that, and said to the others,

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"Don't look in my trunk, OK? Cos I've got a lot of secrets."

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Out he goes, out the room, and of course everybody has a look, right? I mean, they can't help themselves.

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They hear him coming, they close the trunk, and as he walks in,

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the dummy on the wall goes, "They've been looking in your trunk." LAUGHTER

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The man who invented the game Operation.

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-Do you remember the game Operation?

-Yeah.

-Yes.

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There he is, John Spinello.

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He sold the rights to the game for just 500 in 1964.

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And in 2014 he had to crowdfund enough money to have an actual operation.

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-I know.

-We didn't have that game in Wales.

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-Did you not? Why?

-It was a six month waiting list.

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LAUGHTER

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APPLAUSE

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Thank you very much.

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No, it's good to have you here.

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Now, doctors, what's your diagnosis here?

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LAUGHTER

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-He's fallen asleep on a stag do.

-LAUGHTER

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He was running a circus school and his students hated him.

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The world's worst.

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It's a party game, is it?

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Pin the sword on the nutter.

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LAUGHTER

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So, this is possibly one of the earliest

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anatomical drawings for medics.

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He was known as the Wound Man.

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It's a medieval image, first printed in a book, 1491, in Venice.

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It's all the various things, so he's been injured, if you look there,

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with daggers, he's been shot with arrows, he's been lacerated,

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he's been stung by bees, scorpions, been clubbed in the head.

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Bitten by a dog, scratched by thorns.

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Blasted by cannonballs, he's definitely got plague

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and bad spots, and he appears to have a toad in his stomach.

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So, it's, as it were, the contents page to the book.

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What a shame though, for a guy who obviously looks after himself

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and goes to the gym.

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LAUGHTER

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To go down like that.

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-He eats Paleo.

-Yeah.

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You know, he's really healthy, he thought he'd have a long life...

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-Uh-oh.

-Yeah, all of those things happen to him.

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He's a curious contradiction, though,

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because he doesn't look after his appearance enough

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-to remove a sword from his head.

-No.

0:14:560:14:58

But he does buy his underwear in Agent Provocateur.

0:14:580:15:01

LAUGHTER

0:15:010:15:03

Yeah. They're quite snug.

0:15:030:15:05

They are on the tight side, aren't they?

0:15:050:15:07

-Yeah. Ironically, that's the most pain he's in.

-Yeah.

0:15:070:15:09

LAUGHTER

0:15:090:15:12

"It's gone right up me arse, that has!" Ooh.

0:15:120:15:15

If I'd been...

0:15:150:15:16

The first three or four of those had gone in,

0:15:160:15:18

I'd think, "right, I'm going to put something more protective on than a thong.

0:15:180:15:22

He's come back from a sort of Civil War re-enactment, you know.

0:15:220:15:26

"So, how did it go?" "Don't ask!"

0:15:260:15:28

"They nicked my armour, I'm left in my pants, look at this!"

0:15:300:15:33

LAUGHTER

0:15:330:15:35

Oh, dear.

0:15:350:15:36

The doctor's going to go, "I'm going to try something new."

0:15:360:15:38

"Don't pooh-pooh it straightaway, it's called acupuncture.

0:15:380:15:41

Yeah.

0:15:410:15:42

LAUGHTER

0:15:420:15:44

They also had one for women, it isn't just the Wound Man.

0:15:440:15:46

They had Disease Woman.

0:15:460:15:48

LAUGHTER

0:15:480:15:50

There she is. And...

0:15:510:15:53

Is Marvel running out of superheroes?

0:15:530:15:55

LAUGHTER

0:15:550:15:56

Look over there, it's Disease Woman!

0:15:560:15:57

The wound man. Ian Fleming talked to his publisher

0:15:570:16:00

and he wanted to call one of his books Wound Man.

0:16:000:16:02

But his editor said no. Why do you think that might be?

0:16:020:16:05

-You'd read it the wrong way.

-The Wound Man.

-It might be Wound Man. That's exactly right.

0:16:050:16:08

And in fact, it turned into Dr No.

0:16:080:16:10

In the United States they have an exceptionally complex system

0:16:100:16:14

for categorising injuries. It's called the ICD-10 System.

0:16:140:16:18

The International Classification of Diseases.

0:16:180:16:20

There are 140,000 detailed codes for different complaints,

0:16:200:16:23

and they are extremely specific.

0:16:230:16:25

So they include "bitten by orca".

0:16:250:16:28

"Forced landing of spacecraft injuring occupant."

0:16:280:16:33

"Asphyxiation due to being trapped in a car trunk."

0:16:330:16:36

"Burn due to water-skis on fire..."

0:16:360:16:40

That's really hard!

0:16:420:16:43

-How could that ever happen?

-I don't know.

-That is so unlucky.

0:16:430:16:46

But my absolute favourite - "hurt at opera".

0:16:460:16:49

Otherwise known as the Abraham Lincoln.

0:16:520:16:54

Yes. The first attempts to categorise diseases in this country

0:16:540:16:58

are the Bills of Mortality.

0:16:580:17:00

And there was a man called John Graunt,

0:17:000:17:01

who was actually a haberdasher, but he was very interested

0:17:010:17:03

in trying to work out the various things that people died of.

0:17:030:17:06

So we're talking 16th century. And he put together these

0:17:060:17:08

Bills of Mortality, and they're great. If you have a look,

0:17:080:17:11

these are the different things that people died of. They are just...

0:17:110:17:13

"Griping in the guts," 1,288 people died of that, "griping in the guts".

0:17:130:17:17

Griping.

0:17:170:17:18

-"Lethargy" is already my favourite.

-That's a good one.

0:17:180:17:21

-That's quite good, yeah.

-"Oh, I can't be bothered."

0:17:210:17:23

-That's the way I want to go.

-Yeah!

0:17:230:17:24

-Lethargy.

-Just too lethargic to live.

0:17:240:17:27

I quite like "frighted". 23 people died "frighted".

0:17:270:17:29

That's good - "killed by several accidents".

0:17:290:17:32

I like the "found dead in the streets, field, etc."

0:17:340:17:37

"What, how did he die?" "I don't know, they just found him."

0:17:370:17:40

-He, no, he was just, he was just dead.

-Just found him.

0:17:400:17:42

Some of these Bills of Mortality, they just had,

0:17:420:17:44

"Cause of death - suddenly." That's it, just...

0:17:440:17:47

-That'll sort you out.

-Yeah.

0:17:480:17:50

-"Teeth and worms"!

-How do you die of teeth and worms?

0:17:500:17:52

Two thousand, six hundred and...

0:17:520:17:54

I'll tell you what, Wound Man would have read that, and he'd go,

0:17:540:17:57

"Yeah, I've had that, I've had that, I've had that.

0:17:570:18:00

-"I've had all them."

-Brain surgery - new, old?

0:18:000:18:03

Oh, no, it's probably old, isn't it?

0:18:030:18:04

I don't know. This is not brain surgery,

0:18:040:18:07

but it's about a doctor's understanding of the brain.

0:18:070:18:09

There was a guy who got, on the railroads,

0:18:090:18:11

who got, he had an accident

0:18:110:18:12

and he got a four-foot metal rod through his head.

0:18:120:18:14

-Right.

-Phineas somebody.

0:18:140:18:16

-Phineas Gage.

-Phineas Gage.

-Yeah.

0:18:160:18:18

Phineas Gage had an accident, pole through his head,

0:18:180:18:21

and they left it in

0:18:210:18:22

because they didn't want to take it out in case it killed him.

0:18:220:18:25

-Yeah.

-And he was fine until a train came through.

0:18:250:18:28

And then it affected his mood, so they were wondering where it had,

0:18:300:18:33

had it damaged his frontal cortex? Because I mean, I don't know

0:18:330:18:35

why they were so surprised it affected his moods, to be honest.

0:18:350:18:38

-Yeah.

-But his boss was saying he started swearing,

0:18:380:18:40

his wife left him, I think.

0:18:400:18:42

All his friends saying, "He's a real misery now."

0:18:420:18:45

I should imagine his wife left him.

0:18:450:18:47

-He probably couldn't get in the house.

-I know.

0:18:470:18:49

"Watch what you're doing with your pole!" "What?" "Ow!"

0:18:490:18:52

He had to do a three-point turn on the trains, just to turn round.

0:18:520:18:56

But we're going back much further than the 19th century, so Neolithic.

0:18:560:18:59

It's probably the oldest of the practised medical arts,

0:18:590:19:01

-brain surgery.

-Would this be trepanning, or something like that?

0:19:010:19:04

-So, trepanning, yes.

-Yes.

-They'd drill a hole in the head

0:19:040:19:06

because they want to get out the little tiny bits of bone that have

0:19:060:19:08

gone into the brain when they've been hit with a club or something.

0:19:080:19:11

A drill, though, how did they have a drill in Neolithic times?

0:19:110:19:14

-Ah, well, they would have had, like, a chisel.

-What would it have

0:19:140:19:16

-been in Neolithic times? What would the chisel be made out of?

-Stone.

0:19:160:19:19

A stone chisel. And then the hammer was made out of stone?

0:19:190:19:21

-Yeah.

-And the bed was made out of stone, I'm guessing?

0:19:210:19:24

There was a lot of stone. There was a lot of stone, yeah.

0:19:240:19:26

Have you seen The Flintstones? It's just like that, yeah.

0:19:260:19:29

But surely in Neolithic period, they didn't know that your brain

0:19:300:19:33

was as important as it is. Because wasn't there a time

0:19:330:19:36

when they thought that your whole personality was in your chest?

0:19:360:19:39

Yeah, but everybody would have known what it was to have a headache.

0:19:390:19:42

I don't think that's a new thing.

0:19:420:19:43

Can you imagine if you'd said that to Phineas Gage?

0:19:430:19:45

"Yes, Phineas, we all know what it's like to have a headache."

0:19:450:19:48

I think maybe a lot of your personality is somehow in your chest.

0:19:510:19:54

And if you have a heart transplant and all of a sudden you like Chinese food, something's going on.

0:19:540:19:58

Something's going on, but whether your cognitive function is in your chest, I would dispute.

0:19:580:20:02

Mine is. Mine might be.

0:20:020:20:04

OK, some girls feel that. That's fine.

0:20:040:20:06

I like her.

0:20:090:20:11

I think we think from here sometimes.

0:20:140:20:17

Yes, we think in an emotional manner, rather than...

0:20:170:20:19

-Yes, I would agree with you.

-Yeah.

0:20:190:20:21

It's a good foot above where we think from.

0:20:210:20:23

Wound Man was a medieval superhero

0:20:250:20:27

whose superpower was having everything wrong with him.

0:20:270:20:29

What would you do if you found 2,000 skeletons in your closet?

0:20:290:20:34

I would cancel my dog's credit card.

0:20:340:20:36

Katherine, what do you reckon?

0:20:400:20:41

I live in a Catholic church conversion,

0:20:410:20:43

so it is likely there are.

0:20:430:20:45

-Oh. Does it feel spooky?

-It doesn't feel spooky.

0:20:450:20:48

My nana was really upset, but it's been deconsecrated

0:20:480:20:51

so that you can swear in it, and do all sorts.

0:20:510:20:53

I expect that happened before, don't you?

0:20:530:20:56

-She checked.

-Oh, really? OK.

-Mm-hmm.

0:20:560:20:57

-Is she Catholic?

-She is Irish Catholic, so, I mean...

0:20:570:21:00

-Oh, right.

-And dead.

0:21:000:21:02

And yet she still came over to check. That's love.

0:21:040:21:08

She was a little too nosy for her own good.

0:21:080:21:11

2,000 skeletons, you suddenly discover them,

0:21:110:21:13

what are you going to do with them?

0:21:130:21:14

That is a game of sardines that went too far.

0:21:140:21:16

LAUGHTER

0:21:160:21:18

A hidden mass grave.

0:21:180:21:19

So, a collection of thousands of skeletons was discovered in Rome

0:21:190:21:22

in 1578, and nobody knew who they were, and the Church thought,

0:21:220:21:26

"This is fantastic," because for several decades, the Protestants had

0:21:260:21:30

been stealing their relics, and what they really needed was new ones.

0:21:300:21:35

So, they employed psychics to try and see if there were any martyrs amongst them.

0:21:350:21:41

And a few of them had an M inscribed nearby,

0:21:410:21:43

and they thought, "That'll do, we'll have them."

0:21:430:21:45

Even though, like, Marcus was a really popular name at the time.

0:21:450:21:49

And when they found a likely candidate, they gave them

0:21:490:21:51

a new name and a back-story and they sent them out to the churches across Europe.

0:21:510:21:55

They couldn't actually sell them as relics, but what they could do is

0:21:550:21:58

they could charge them transport, decoration, induction, blessing.

0:21:580:22:02

They would dress them up, they would cover them in jewels,

0:22:020:22:05

like this, and put them on display.

0:22:050:22:07

The real problem with this was they didn't send them with any instructions.

0:22:070:22:11

So it was like a flat-pack without instructions.

0:22:110:22:13

Come on, put a bit of make-up on it!

0:22:130:22:15

-So loads of the skeletons were just...

-Bunged together.

0:22:150:22:17

Honestly, just all over the shop.

0:22:170:22:19

Looks like the House of Lords, doesn't it?

0:22:190:22:22

But there was a huge rush to name your children after the Saints.

0:22:240:22:27

So, when St Valentine would go on display,

0:22:270:22:29

boys would be called Valentine, girls would be called Valentina.

0:22:290:22:31

And in the most extreme cases in some villages up to half the

0:22:310:22:34

children would have the same name cos they were all named after the skeleton.

0:22:340:22:37

And very, very rich people would try and buy relics of a saint who had the same name as them.

0:22:370:22:41

It's like a personalised license plate that you get today.

0:22:410:22:43

It's the same sort of thing. And hundreds remain to this day.

0:22:430:22:47

Now, time for a secret operation.

0:22:470:22:48

What is the point of a tap in the ocean?

0:22:480:22:52

That's not a real picture.

0:22:520:22:54

It isn't a real picture

0:22:560:22:57

because in Britain you'd have two taps for no reason at all.

0:22:570:23:02

OK, I don't understand this.

0:23:020:23:03

So you have a... You have a hot tap and you have a cold tap, right?

0:23:030:23:06

-What? Yes!

-Yes, well, how is that?

0:23:060:23:08

-So you're trying to wash your hands.

-Yes...

0:23:080:23:09

And what happens, you put it under the hot tap, you go, "Argh!"

0:23:090:23:12

-"Argh, argh!"

-And then you go for the cold tap, and go, "Argh!"

0:23:120:23:15

-"Ooh-hoo-hoo, oh, hoo-hoo! Argh! Ooh-hoo-hoo!"

-Yeah.

0:23:150:23:18

How is it the British haven't discovered there's a mixer tap?!

0:23:180:23:20

-What is it...? What...?

-It's the only excitement we get.

0:23:200:23:23

Oh, is that...? Did you find that baffling when you arrived?

0:23:230:23:25

-I still find it baffling.

-Yeah, no.

-And I don't understand radiators.

0:23:250:23:28

Why you want to heat an entire house

0:23:280:23:30

with a small hot metal plate in the corner.

0:23:300:23:33

-It doesn't work!

-What would you do instead?

0:23:330:23:35

We have forced air in Canada, otherwise you freeze to death.

0:23:350:23:38

-What do you have? A four what?

-What?

0:23:380:23:40

-Forced air, just same as air-con.

-You know...

-Oh, forced air-con.

0:23:400:23:43

-Yes.

-Yeah.

-I've never heard the term... I'm 40...

0:23:430:23:46

..late 40s, and I don't...

0:23:460:23:48

I genuinely didn't know how old I was then, but I've never...

0:23:480:23:53

I'm not going to bother sitting here working it out,

0:23:530:23:55

but I mean, I'm 50 soon, and I've never heard the term forced air.

0:23:550:23:58

-Well, not in that context.

-I love the fact...

0:23:580:24:01

I love the fact, Rhod, that I'm asking you some quite complicated

0:24:010:24:04

science questions, and you don't know how old you are.

0:24:040:24:07

-I'm about 49.

-You're about 49.

-About 49.

-Have you just worked it out?

0:24:090:24:12

Yeah.

0:24:120:24:14

I'm so used to saying "I'm 50 in a few years,"

0:24:140:24:17

I'm so used to saying that, that, for a moment, it stumped me.

0:24:170:24:19

No, but the thing is, though, it is quite good to KNOW how old you are,

0:24:190:24:22

and the producer has just told me in my ear, Rhod, that you're 48.

0:24:220:24:27

APPLAUSE

0:24:270:24:30

Ha-ha!

0:24:340:24:36

Is there a really easy way to remember how old you are?

0:24:360:24:38

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

-Is there like a little...?

0:24:380:24:40

Like some kind of song I can sing, or something? Or...

0:24:400:24:42

I've never needed a mnemonic for my age, but I'm sure we can invent one.

0:24:420:24:45

I'm going to come back to what's the point...?

0:24:450:24:48

-What's the point?!

-What's the point? That's the question.

0:24:480:24:50

-What was the question?

-Yes.

0:24:500:24:52

What's the point of a tap in the ocean?

0:24:520:24:54

My wife wrote a poem for me.

0:24:540:24:55

Oh, God Almighty! LAUGHTER

0:24:550:24:59

-Yes?

-It was really good.

0:24:590:25:01

Really funny poem about all things I do, like yelling at the kids

0:25:010:25:03

and being ill mannered and hungover and stuff.

0:25:030:25:06

Very accurate character assassination in rhyme.

0:25:060:25:10

But it was all about how I was 48.

0:25:100:25:12

And I read the whole thing and said, "You know I'm 49 today?"

0:25:120:25:15

I'll have it.

0:25:160:25:18

God, you don't think she was thinking of Rhod, do you?

0:25:210:25:25

-I've written one for you.

-Yeah?

0:25:250:25:26

-I've written one for you.

-OK, here we go.

-How about like,

0:25:260:25:29

# What year are we in today?

0:25:290:25:31

# When am I born? Just take that away

0:25:310:25:33

# You don't have to be a whiz

0:25:330:25:35

# That's how old Rhod Gilbert is. #

0:25:350:25:38

APPLAUSE

0:25:380:25:43

-Sweet!

-Very good.

0:25:430:25:45

I've just followed your poetic guidelines - I'm 48.

0:25:450:25:47

-Is this...

-At the risk of repetition,

0:25:470:25:49

WHAT IS THE POINT OF A TAP IN THE OCEAN?!

0:25:490:25:52

Is it so that when sea levels rise, you can turn it off? I don't know.

0:25:520:25:56

-So it's not actually a water tap.

-It's not a tap.

0:25:560:25:58

-No, it's a rather...

-Oh, tap, oh...

0:25:580:26:00

And so what else could you tap? What is another kind of tapping

0:26:000:26:02

-that people do when they're trying to listen in?

-I know.

0:26:020:26:05

-TAPS DESK

-There's a shark behind you.

0:26:050:26:07

-Yeah.

-Is it a wire,

0:26:070:26:09

when they put a transatlantic radio communications wire?

0:26:090:26:13

So, it's Cold War.

0:26:130:26:15

It's called Operation: Ivy Bells, and it took place from 1971 to 1981,

0:26:150:26:18

and it was the USA wire-tapping a Russian underseas cable.

0:26:180:26:22

That thing - they're moving it into position there -

0:26:220:26:24

is a giant tape recorder, and they just put it onto the wire.

0:26:240:26:27

-Good God!

-So the sailors on a submarine,

0:26:270:26:29

-the USS Halibut, located a Soviet cable...

-USS Halibut!

0:26:290:26:32

They located a Russian cable off the Russian east coast,

0:26:330:26:36

and they moved a six-metre long recording pod around it

0:26:360:26:39

to track the communications.

0:26:390:26:40

The thing I really like about it, because this - we're talking

0:26:400:26:43

some years ago now - the device had to be updated every month,

0:26:430:26:46

so divers had to leave a submarine once a month and change the tapes.

0:26:460:26:50

But it was hugely successful, it ran for a decade,

0:26:510:26:54

until a National Security Agency employee of the United States

0:26:540:26:56

sold the information to the KGB.

0:26:560:26:58

Spying was a lot more hassle back then,

0:26:580:27:01

when you've got to train a team of divers, get submarines...

0:27:010:27:03

-Yeah.

-Now you just need somebody's maiden name

0:27:030:27:05

-and their first pet's name, and you're off.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:27:050:27:08

Or if you're the Russians, you just have to go and see Donald Trump

0:27:080:27:11

and ask him.

0:27:110:27:13

APPLAUSE

0:27:130:27:16

99% of all international data

0:27:180:27:20

-is transmitted through underseas cables.

-Good Lord!

0:27:200:27:22

And so you know when we talk about the cloud?

0:27:220:27:24

It's actually underwater.

0:27:240:27:25

The cloud is underwater, Sandi?

0:27:250:27:27

-Good Lord.

-That's done your head in, hasn't it, Rhod?

0:27:300:27:32

-Yes.

-How old am I again?

0:27:320:27:34

# Happy birthday to you... #

0:27:340:27:37

I'm going to write down 48 and make a badge.

0:27:390:27:41

There we go.

0:27:410:27:42

550,000 miles of cable, so, enough to get to the moon and back. And...

0:27:420:27:47

If you were on the moon, and you jumped off...

0:27:470:27:49

-Yes?

-..would you land on the earth?

0:27:490:27:51

Hold on, hold on, what are you doing on the moon anyway?

0:27:510:27:54

Well, I don't know, maybe...

0:27:540:27:56

Have you been left behind by a spacecraft?

0:27:560:27:58

Yeah. You got an Uber, and it went horribly wrong.

0:27:580:28:00

It depends which side you're on.

0:28:000:28:02

I just think if you jumped off the moon, you would just fall...

0:28:020:28:05

-..and you'd land on earth.

-Yeah.

-No.

0:28:050:28:07

I don't think you'd be in a great state.

0:28:070:28:09

I mean I think you'd be like Wound Man by the time you got down.

0:28:090:28:11

-BILL:

-Yes.

-KATHERINE:

-They know about space, this is my problem with the sea.

0:28:110:28:14

-Right.

-They can tell us all kinds of things about planets and space

0:28:140:28:17

and other galaxies, they've been to the moon, allegedly,

0:28:170:28:20

but they've not been to the bottom of the sea.

0:28:200:28:23

I've been to the bottom of the sea, in parts of it.

0:28:230:28:25

-Have you?

-Yes.

-What's down there?

-My feet.

0:28:250:28:29

I don't know, I'm with you, Katherine. I think this...

0:28:320:28:34

It's an indulgence, all this fiddling around in space.

0:28:340:28:36

You don't like birds, you don't like fish, what's wrong with you?

0:28:360:28:38

I like birds, I like being on earth, it's boring up there.

0:28:380:28:41

How do birds know to stop?

0:28:410:28:44

-LAUGHTER Stop what?

-Flying?

-Stop going up.

0:28:440:28:48

Oh, right. They go round...

0:28:480:28:51

You'd think that you'd get into space and there'd be

0:28:510:28:53

loads of dead birds going round and round.

0:28:530:28:56

The air gets thinner and they can't fly around up there.

0:28:570:28:59

But when they fall dead, when they hit the ground,

0:28:590:29:03

we don't know, they're just found dead in the field.

0:29:030:29:05

They don't hit the ground, they just fall down to an area where they can fly again.

0:29:050:29:08

So they sort of black out?

0:29:080:29:10

LAUGHTER DROWNS SPEECH

0:29:100:29:14

And then come back down and suddenly they go. "Oh!"

0:29:140:29:16

"Oh, F...!"

0:29:160:29:19

Just out of interest, which particular bird are you being?

0:29:190:29:22

I'll tell you what you were there, you were a bar-tailed godwit.

0:29:220:29:26

Cos the bar-tailed godwit, they fly the longest of any bird.

0:29:260:29:29

Because what they do, they do a very weird and quite disgusting thing

0:29:290:29:32

called autophagy, where they actually consume their own

0:29:320:29:35

internal organs, partially, to keep them going on the long flight.

0:29:350:29:38

And what do they do when they get there and they've got no liver?

0:29:380:29:40

-Just sort of "ping!"

-They make another one.

-They make another one. Yeah.

0:29:400:29:43

Their livers regrow. It's the most extraordinary thing.

0:29:430:29:46

Wow, I know a few drinkers who would love that trick.

0:29:460:29:49

On the cables, because of the incredible pressure under the sea,

0:29:490:29:52

it is very difficult to lay them, and what they have,

0:29:520:29:55

it looks exactly like a plough that places them down onto the seabed.

0:29:550:29:58

-Sandi...

-Yeah, look at that.

-What were we talking about?

-Cables.

0:29:580:30:01

-Underwater cables.

-Oh, yeah.

0:30:010:30:02

LOUDLY: You're 48!

0:30:040:30:06

So, the cables are different thicknesses depending on the water,

0:30:080:30:10

so in shallow water they can be as thick as a soft drink can, but once

0:30:100:30:13

they are down under the deep water they are as thin as a garden hose.

0:30:130:30:17

-Good Lord.

-The very first undersea cable that linked France and England.

0:30:170:30:20

-1851.

-Oh, look, it's Wound Man.

0:30:200:30:23

APPLAUSE

0:30:230:30:27

It took two minutes to send a single character. So, one letter or one number.

0:30:320:30:36

So, one word every 10 minutes.

0:30:360:30:37

One of the very first messages of the transatlantic cable, which

0:30:370:30:40

was laid in 1858, they sent a 98-word word letter from Queen Victoria

0:30:400:30:44

to President James Buchanan, it took 16 hours to send it.

0:30:440:30:47

And basically she just said "hi".

0:30:470:30:50

By the time we get to World War I, there's a really intricate network of cables

0:30:500:30:54

connecting Britain, France, Germany and the US, and in fact,

0:30:540:30:57

Britain's very first hostile action at the outbreak of World War I,

0:30:570:31:00

so, five hours after it started, was to cut-off Germany's undersea cables.

0:31:000:31:04

And that meant Germany could only communicate by wireless,

0:31:040:31:07

and that's good for Britain because...?

0:31:070:31:08

-They could...

-Listen in.

-They could listen in.

0:31:080:31:11

But Britain had really thought ahead.

0:31:110:31:13

They had a network of cables called the All Red Line,

0:31:130:31:16

and it was a worldwide network, and they were able to communicate

0:31:160:31:19

cos it only passed through British territory, and so to cut

0:31:190:31:22

it off you would have had to have 49 separate cutting missions.

0:31:220:31:25

So, they protected themselves and were able to communicate.

0:31:250:31:28

-This looks like a post-Brexit map to me.

-It does, doesn't it?

0:31:280:31:31

LAUGHTER

0:31:310:31:34

Now, which body part was used to stop the Netherlands flooding

0:31:340:31:37

in 1953?

0:31:370:31:40

Yes, Bill?

0:31:400:31:42

Somebody put their finger in a dyke.

0:31:420:31:44

Oh!

0:31:440:31:45

KLAXON

0:31:450:31:47

No, it's been mentioned on QI before,

0:31:490:31:51

the story of the Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dyke is a myth.

0:31:510:31:53

What other body part might you put in a hole to...?

0:31:530:31:56

Anybody?

0:31:580:32:01

-The penis.

-Penis!

0:32:010:32:02

KLAXON

0:32:020:32:04

Hurray!

0:32:040:32:05

I was sucked into that!

0:32:050:32:07

I can categorically tell you no dyke needs a penis. So...

0:32:080:32:11

Wahey!

0:32:110:32:14

APPLAUSE

0:32:140:32:16

No, sadly 100 men just put their shoulders against the water barrier,

0:32:190:32:22

that's all. So it feels...

0:32:220:32:24

GROANS OF DISAPPOINTMENT I know, tame, it feels really tame.

0:32:240:32:26

-Is that what it is?

-Yeah.

0:32:260:32:28

-Where did the finger...? OK, so that's a myth.

-It's a story.

0:32:280:32:30

What is a short story, sorry?

0:32:300:32:32

A little boy put his finger in the dyke to stop the place flooding.

0:32:320:32:35

-Apparently.

-But it's not true.

0:32:350:32:37

It's like you've woken up from being cryogenically frozen.

0:32:370:32:41

That is how I feel a lot of the time.

0:32:410:32:44

-There is a famous story...

-Is there?

-..about a single...

0:32:440:32:47

Oh, "famous"? You had a little dig there.

0:32:470:32:50

There is a poorly known story...

0:32:520:32:54

-Thank you.

-..about a hole springing in one of the dykes in Holland

0:32:540:32:56

and a little boy put his finger in the hole until somebody came

0:32:560:32:59

and rescued him, but it is in fact just a short story about...

0:32:590:33:01

-What was the kid's name?

-The child's name was...

0:33:010:33:03

IN DUTCH ACCENT: Thomas.

0:33:030:33:06

I made that up. I have no idea.

0:33:060:33:08

I don't know the name of the dyke, either, and that's unusual for me.

0:33:080:33:11

APPLAUSE

0:33:110:33:14

But there is a story of plugging a hole,

0:33:150:33:17

it's done in a rather more dramatic manner.

0:33:170:33:19

So, these were the great North Sea floods, and there was a danger of

0:33:190:33:21

three million people being at risk if this particular dyke had burst.

0:33:210:33:24

And what the mayor of the town did, he requisitioned a grain barge,

0:33:240:33:28

and he ordered the captain to steer it directly at the dyke head-first,

0:33:280:33:32

and it plugged the breach and it saved thousands of lives.

0:33:320:33:34

So, yeah, there is a story where somebody did something heroic, but

0:33:340:33:37

it was neither done with a finger nor their nether part of any kind.

0:33:370:33:41

That must have been difficult, the water rushing.

0:33:410:33:43

Yes. And the captain having to decide to do that.

0:33:430:33:45

Trying to steer it. They could make that a film with Tom Hanks.

0:33:450:33:48

Yeah.

0:33:480:33:50

But almost half the population live below sea level,

0:33:500:33:53

and a lot of the country's windmills are in fact used

0:33:530:33:55

to pump water uphill to reclaim land.

0:33:550:33:57

So the Netherlands is actually much bigger than it used to be.

0:33:570:33:59

-Anybody ever been to Schiphol airport?

-Yas.

0:33:590:34:01

It's now the site of the Netherlands' biggest airport.

0:34:010:34:04

It was the scene of a sea battle in 1573.

0:34:040:34:06

Is that why they are so tall, the Dutch, then?

0:34:060:34:08

Because...their feet are wet? I don't know what...

0:34:080:34:11

Because it's so low, because it's so...low.

0:34:110:34:14

So they need to be able to see over the wall?

0:34:140:34:16

I don't think that's the reason.

0:34:160:34:18

Welsh people are only 5'8" on average, but we've got hills.

0:34:180:34:21

-Right, so people in flat places tend to be tall?

-It's just a theory.

0:34:210:34:26

LAUGHTER

0:34:260:34:28

30% of the flooding in the Netherlands has been done

0:34:280:34:30

deliberately since 1500 and is done for defensive reasons.

0:34:300:34:33

The Dutch always had very flat-bottomed gunboats,

0:34:330:34:36

so the depth of only about 30 centimetres, Dutch boats could

0:34:360:34:38

still get through, but it would stop the enemy from getting through.

0:34:380:34:40

So they used the water for defensive purposes.

0:34:400:34:42

ALAN SPEAKS IN DUTCH-STYLE ACCENT

0:34:420:34:44

Did you know that some British canals have got plugs in them?

0:34:440:34:48

In 1978, a man called Bill Thorpe was employed to work on

0:34:480:34:52

the 18th century Chesterfield Canal - there it is, extremely beautiful -

0:34:520:34:55

and he was dredging the canal to get rid of rubbish,

0:34:550:34:57

and he accidentally pulled the plug out.

0:34:570:35:00

And when he got back to work the next day, the canal was gone.

0:35:000:35:03

Gone!

0:35:030:35:05

Most canals were built with some form of emergency drainage,

0:35:050:35:08

but he had no idea there was a plug.

0:35:080:35:10

Now for the mopping-up operation that we call General Ignorance.

0:35:100:35:13

Fingers on buzzers, please.

0:35:130:35:15

To the nearest five years, what was the average age in the Home Guard?

0:35:150:35:21

Yes, Rhod?

0:35:210:35:22

60.

0:35:220:35:24

KLAXON

0:35:240:35:25

60 is a very, very fine answer.

0:35:250:35:27

How can that be a buzzer, that?!

0:35:270:35:29

Katherine, do you know what the Home Guard is?

0:35:290:35:31

Have you ever seen Dad's Army?

0:35:310:35:33

-Know it well.

-So, what do you reckon, average age?

0:35:330:35:35

-67.

-Still too...

0:35:350:35:38

35.

0:35:380:35:39

-It's 30. It's...

-30.

-I was going to say 30! Oh!

0:35:390:35:41

-Damn!

-I went up to 35!

-Yes.

0:35:410:35:44

But 30 was my first thought!

0:35:440:35:47

Half of the membership was younger than 27, and a third was under 18,

0:35:470:35:49

so the average age was about 30.

0:35:490:35:51

My dad was from Ebbw Vale, and my mum was from Abertillery,

0:35:510:35:54

and they used to have... The Home Guards in each of

0:35:540:35:56

those towns in the Welsh valleys used to battle each other, you know.

0:35:560:35:59

What they used to have to do was take the flag off the town hall

0:35:590:36:02

of the opposite town's thing.

0:36:020:36:05

And he said that all the Ebbw Vale boys were up in the hills,

0:36:050:36:09

trying to make their way through the kind of forests and stuff,

0:36:090:36:11

across to Abertillery, and then they looked down and saw on the road

0:36:110:36:14

below, and the Abertillery boys were going into Ebbw Vale on the bus.

0:36:140:36:17

It was incredibly popular, being in the Home Guard.

0:36:220:36:24

So when they established it, they thought about 150,000 men

0:36:240:36:27

would volunteer, and in the first 24 hours, 250,000 men signed up.

0:36:270:36:31

At the end of June, 1940, over a million, 1942, nearly two million.

0:36:310:36:35

My grandfather was an ARP warden,

0:36:350:36:37

and I thought that was quite special when I was a kid.

0:36:370:36:40

And then I looked into it, and there were 1.2 million ARP wardens.

0:36:400:36:43

-Yeah, it was, it was...

-People just volunteered for everything.

0:36:430:36:46

They wanted to help.

0:36:460:36:47

If you put it in context, the Chinese People's Liberation Army,

0:36:470:36:50

which is the largest army in the world, has got 2.2 million men.

0:36:500:36:52

And we had two million people in the Home Guard.

0:36:520:36:55

But they did very important work - anti-aircraft guns,

0:36:550:36:57

coastal artillery, and in fact, over the war,

0:36:570:36:59

1,206 Home Guard men were killed on duty, or died of their wounds.

0:36:590:37:02

-So, not quite the comic thing that Dad's Army shows us.

-I see.

0:37:020:37:04

What is the tallest mountain in the UK?

0:37:040:37:07

-Well, I'm going to say Ben Nevis. You'll ring the thing.

-KLAXON

0:37:070:37:14

-Erm... Snowdon.

-KLAXON

0:37:140:37:17

I'm on a roll here.

0:37:170:37:18

It is called Anton Dohrn, is the highest mountain in the UK.

0:37:180:37:22

It probably rises about this much out off the ground

0:37:220:37:25

and then goes down 10 miles underneath.

0:37:250:37:26

-It's underwater.

-Oh, I knew it.

0:37:260:37:28

-It's underwater, 100 miles off the north-west coast of Scotland.

-That doesn't count!

0:37:280:37:31

And it's named after a German, of course.

0:37:310:37:33

It was discovered by a fishing vessel called Anton Dohrn.

0:37:330:37:35

He was a 19th-century biologist.

0:37:350:37:37

But it's 1,700 metres in height. It beats Ben Nevis by about 350 metres.

0:37:370:37:43

There is Anton Dohrn, the German biologist.

0:37:430:37:45

But the thing that is interesting,

0:37:450:37:47

it is home to some of Britain's finest coral reefs.

0:37:470:37:49

-Look at that!

-Isn't that like a piece of jewellery?

0:37:490:37:52

Stunning. How deep is it there?

0:37:520:37:54

-Between 200 and 3,000 metres down you get...

-What?!

0:37:540:37:56

And the reefs get up to 30 metres tall.

0:37:560:37:59

A single coral mound like that

0:37:590:38:01

can be home to 1,300 species of marine life.

0:38:010:38:04

It's a thing of absolute beauty.

0:38:040:38:05

Isn't the coral reef dead now?

0:38:050:38:07

It depends on which part of the world you are in.

0:38:070:38:09

But we are discovering new coral reefs all the time.

0:38:090:38:11

In 2016 scientists found a coral reef that stretches

0:38:110:38:14

over 9,500 square kilometres at the mouth of the Amazon.

0:38:140:38:17

And there are some oil platforms even in the North Sea that have coral growing on.

0:38:170:38:21

Now, how many stars are there in Orion's Belt?

0:38:210:38:25

Three.

0:38:250:38:26

KLAXON Three. Yay!

0:38:260:38:29

Oh.

0:38:290:38:31

Five, there's five.

0:38:310:38:32

KLAXON Five, no, there aren't five.

0:38:320:38:35

Seven, there's seven.

0:38:350:38:36

KLAXON Seven, there's not seven.

0:38:360:38:40

It looks like three, it's one of the most famous things.

0:38:400:38:43

Do you call it Orion's Belt, or do you refer to it...?

0:38:430:38:45

Yeah. I mean, we have the same solar system.

0:38:450:38:47

But it has... It has lots and lots of different names,

0:38:530:38:56

so in Latin America they call it the Three Marys,

0:38:560:38:59

the Arabic name is the Accurate Scale Beam.

0:38:590:39:01

Really? I mean, what is it going to be,

0:39:010:39:03

hundreds of thousands, but looks like three?

0:39:030:39:05

No, it is in fact nine, is the answer that we were looking for.

0:39:050:39:07

-One more go, I'd have got it!

-It looks like... I know.

0:39:070:39:10

I was going to go nine next. I was going in twos.

0:39:100:39:13

I know. It was like the guy who invented Six Up,

0:39:130:39:15

and he was so close to a successful soft drink.

0:39:150:39:17

There are the three that we think of,

0:39:190:39:20

the bright ones that you can see.

0:39:200:39:22

They're called Mintaka, Alnilam, and Alnitak.

0:39:220:39:25

But if we take Alnitak, it's actually three different stars.

0:39:250:39:28

There's a blue super giant and two smaller companions.

0:39:280:39:32

And each of the three main stars in Orion's Belt is at least

0:39:320:39:34

20 times the size of the sun, and at least 18,000 times brighter.

0:39:340:39:40

Blimey.

0:39:400:39:41

-But it's just far away?

-It's so far away.

0:39:410:39:43

-This is why I hate space!

-Why?

0:39:430:39:46

Because I don't have the ability to conceptually understand

0:39:460:39:51

how a mathematician can go, "Oh, well, because of this and this,

0:39:510:39:55

"and my periscope, then, like, it's that far away".

0:39:550:40:00

I don't understand.

0:40:000:40:02

-BILL:

-That's where you're going wrong.

0:40:020:40:04

-Using a submarine, that's the...

-Using a submarine.

0:40:040:40:07

So it's possible if you are up there, apart from being burned alive,

0:40:080:40:13

that you can't even see our sun.

0:40:130:40:16

-That is perfectly possible, it would not be bright enough.

-Not bright enough.

0:40:160:40:19

So, this idea that aliens are looking, they can't even see us.

0:40:190:40:21

No idea.

0:40:210:40:23

There is nothing there. It's just us. There's nothing.

0:40:230:40:26

There's the sun, then there's Mercury, then Venus,

0:40:260:40:29

then there's Hummus, Spandau Ballet and...

0:40:290:40:33

And then nothing.

0:40:330:40:36

Orion's Belt may have three notches,

0:40:360:40:38

but it's actually made up of nine stars.

0:40:380:40:40

Now then, one test of a great surgeon

0:40:400:40:42

is their ability to concentrate while under stress.

0:40:420:40:44

So, while you are answering the next question,

0:40:440:40:47

you have got next to you bananas, and you have got a needle.

0:40:470:40:52

So this is how surgeons learn to do surgery.

0:40:520:40:54

What I would like you to do is half-peel the banana, like this, OK?

0:40:540:41:00

Your needle has been already threaded for you.

0:41:000:41:02

And I want you to sew the banana back together.

0:41:020:41:04

I can't. I can't open it.

0:41:040:41:07

Can't open it?! Monkeys have mastered this, Alan.

0:41:090:41:11

Darling, put it higher up, because that looks awful.

0:41:150:41:18

Can't open it!

0:41:220:41:24

Argh!

0:41:240:41:26

Argh!

0:41:260:41:27

Before you start, what's your first question?

0:41:270:41:30

-Am I a surgeon?

-Is this the banana you were looking for?

0:41:300:41:32

Yes! Have I got the right banana?

0:41:320:41:35

-Yes.

-Is exactly right. OK.

0:41:350:41:37

So, try and sew the banana back together.

0:41:370:41:39

Now, one of the great tests, because the whole thing

0:41:390:41:41

about a surgeon is the ability to concentrate,

0:41:410:41:43

I want you to tell me the name of the food that you are holding

0:41:430:41:45

if it was made without using any pesticides.

0:41:450:41:48

Organic banana.

0:41:480:41:50

KLAXON

0:41:500:41:52

Organic banana, there we go. Off and running.

0:41:520:41:54

-Oh, me thread's not enough.

-Might as well go for it - plum.

0:41:540:41:58

Mine's a mess.

0:41:580:41:59

Katherine's doing a wonderful job here.

0:41:590:42:01

This is where I shine on a panel show of lots of men.

0:42:010:42:04

Oh, look at that!

0:42:040:42:05

In fact, although it's true that organic food contains

0:42:060:42:09

fewer pesticides or fertilisers than any other foods,

0:42:090:42:11

the answer is that none of them contain none.

0:42:110:42:13

I'm afraid, if you're eating organic food and you think,

0:42:130:42:15

"Yay, look at me," it has all got a bit of pesticide in it.

0:42:150:42:19

I'll tell you what, I have made quite an effective sort of dolphin

0:42:190:42:22

-there, look at that.

-Actually, yeah.

0:42:220:42:26

Let's put our bananas away.

0:42:300:42:32

That brings us to the end of tonight's operation.

0:42:320:42:34

The anaesthetic is wearing off, the gloves are in the bin,

0:42:340:42:37

and the panel and the bananas have been royally stitched up,

0:42:370:42:39

which brings us to the scores.

0:42:390:42:42

And, with minus 35, yes, indeed, it's Rhod.

0:42:420:42:46

APPLAUSE

0:42:460:42:47

Equally creditable minus 27, Bill.

0:42:490:42:52

-APPLAUSE

-Hurrah!

0:42:520:42:54

Minus 16, Alan.

0:42:560:42:59

-APPLAUSE

-Thank you very much. Thank you.

0:42:590:43:03

And with an amazing whole 4 points, Katherine!

0:43:030:43:06

-Thank you.

-APPLAUSE

0:43:060:43:09

And I'm very pleased to present Katherine with this week's objectionable object prize.

0:43:150:43:20

It is this small selection of gallstones.

0:43:200:43:24

-Which I had removed only just last month.

-Thank you so much!

0:43:240:43:28

It only remains for me to thank Katherine, Rhod, Bill, and Alan.

0:43:280:43:32

And I leave you with this -

0:43:320:43:33

when the West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer

0:43:330:43:36

succumbed to a heavy cold at the age of 90,

0:43:360:43:38

he did nothing but complain to his doctor.

0:43:380:43:40

"I'm not a magician," said the doctor.

0:43:400:43:42

"I can't make you young again."

0:43:420:43:43

"I haven't asked you to," said the Chancellor.

0:43:430:43:45

"All I want is to go on getting older."

0:43:450:43:47

Thank you, and good night.

0:43:470:43:49

APPLAUSE

0:43:490:43:51

Sandi Toksvig looks at operations. If you've ever wondered how to turn a muffin into an offensive weapon, this is the show for you. With Bill Bailey, Katherine Ryan, Rhod Gilbert and Alan Davies.


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