Stephen Fry hosts the quiz show in which contestants are rewarded more if their answers are 'quite interesting'. With Alan Davies, Jo Brand, Bill Bailey and Sean Lock.
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This programme contains adult humour and some strong language
Hello! Hello, hello, hello, hello.
A very good evening to you and welcome to QI,
where everything is as bright as a new pin and we avoid cliches like the plague.
I won't say our players are raring to go, not in a month of Sundays.
So, without further ado, let's meet and greet Bill Bailey!
Sean Lock! Jo Brand! And Alan Davies!
Tonight, although this is Series B, we're talking about colour,
so all of our buzzers are blue. Bill goes...
-LIGHT GUITAR RIFF
-And Alan goes...
-ORGASMIC FEMALE PANTING
-That's a genuine recording.
-You said that without moving your legs.
Em, right now, sweeties, you all have sweeties
and in a range of bright colours. Here's a nice Mediterranean one to get you started with.
What colour was the sky in Ancient Greece?
-Blue if that picture's accurate.
-Oh, no, actually it wasn't, I'm afraid, blue.
-I should have told you it was Ancient Greece...and I did.
-Yeah, you did.
They didn't take photographs in Ancient Greece, so that photo is of modern Greece.
-Well, I know...
-You fell into...
-It could be a very good carving.
-Could it be darker blue because it's faded over time?
Yes. It's a photograph.
-They call blue something else?
-They didn't call anything blue.
-They didn't look up ever? They didn't have colours?
-No, they did,
but didn't have a word for blue.
-What did they say? "The...sky."
They called it bronze. Homer did.
-I've no time for these Greeks.
-Without them you wouldn't be here.
-Rubbish! You say this every week.
-What do you mean?!
..mathematics, harmony, democracy, justice...
That's got nothing to do with people shagging for decades!
There wouldn't be television and without television you are nothing.
Is there a Greek word for television?
"Television" is a word that offends classicists. It's Latin AND Greek.
-It's a hybrid.
-They're so touchy.
"Tele" is Greek, "vision" is Latin.
The Saxon word for television would be boxy-light.
-We know the German. It would be Fernsehen.
Wake up, Sean!
-They've got blue in their flag!
-That's modern Greeks.
-"Ooh! We don't like them!"
-They just didn't have a word for it.
-I WOULD be here without the Ancient Greeks.
-I wonder how many Welsh words there are for colours.
Unfortunately, because of you English people destroying our culture, I don't know our language.
-Oh, yes. I must apologise.
-Cruel imperial invader!
My great-grandfather was forced to flee Cardiff and set up a restaurant in the East End.
Do you want to know something very interesting, Alan?
-There is no Welsh word for blue.
-I'm sure there is.
-There is! You just can't say it.
So when did Ancient Greece hand over to modern Greece? "There you go.
-"The sky is blue!"
-"There you are!"
-It's a very interesting question.
Some Darwinians believed the Greeks as ancient as Homer,
who was a very long time before even Sophocles and Socrates, who you and I talk about every day,
that they hadn't developed a colour sense in the eye,
but it's now perceived that they didn't find any use for calling things by different colours...
-Yes? Am I boring you?
-I'm losing the will to live.
-I'm so sorry.
-I'm so sorry.
Can you just hit your buzzer there, Al?
ORGASMIC MOAN An excerpt from a bronze movie.
Very good. Very, very good.
In a similar spirit, Homer regarded wine, the sea and sheep as all being the same colour - red.
To us, this seems peculiar, but colour is just one way of describing tones.
Look at this. What does a rainbow look like from the other side?
-Can't see it.
Just slightly different. It's nice, I'll say that,
but it's not as... You'd rather be on the proper side, but it's all right.
I wouldn't bother going round.
You can't concentrate. People go, "Come and look from this side!"
-But your first answer was correct.
-You can only see it...
-From the side that you're on.
-Otherwise you wouldn't know it's there. It's to do with where the rain is...
-Where the sun is.
-There has to be sun.
-And it has to be behind you.
The light comes from behind your head, goes through a raindrop, bounces off the back of it
and comes back to your eye. It only happens at an angle of 42 degrees.
-Can you tell me at what point in time human beings were actually able to sing a rainbow?
-Is there a song?
-# I can sing a rainbow... #
There's loads of different ones.
# Grey and grey and grey and grey Grey and grey and grey I can sing a woodlouse... #
-In Estonia they believe that if you point at a rainbow your finger will fall off.
-Oh, for God's sake!
-Estonians aren't stupid people, are they?
Very stumpy, though.
-What do you know about indigo?
-Blue, isn't it?
-It's the colour of, em...
-Could you sing that song?
-It's the colour of audacity!
Now I'M talking like that!
It's the colour of audacity.
-It's a sort of dark-y blue, isn't it?
-Isn't it a fertility thing?
It's an Indian plant that was used for dyeing.
In what sense a fertility thing?
Doesn't it come up on women's legs in circles when they're ready?
-That may be impetigo!
I think that's impetigo.
Or... "It comes up on women's legs"(?)
Impetigo. No, it's a dark blue dye used for such things as jeans and police uniforms,
which brings me... Why, oh why, take the piss out of Newcastle?
They haven't got any toilets.
They've got no toilets and they're so hard they can hold it in until they go on holiday.
That's why they talk out of the side of their mooth, like that.
-"Visiting Auntie! Can't wait."
-Is that wrong?
Is the urine exceptionally pure because of the filtering process of brown ale?
It used to be very pure, but no longer probably is. Newcastle was a major exporter of piss
-in the 18th century. What does urine contain?
-Some sort of infection thing.
-If a jellyfish stings you, you've got to pee on your leg.
-I'll give you a further hint.
-I introduced this by saying...
-It's used for policemen's uniforms.
So ammonia was used in the dyeing industry.
North Yorkshire had great quarries where they mixed the ammonia and stones and things
with woad and came out with these dyes.
-Newcastle's third biggest export after coal and beer was wee-wee.
-Ever weed into your own mouth?
Yeah. Oh, it's easy.
Babies do that. It's very funny.
They're lying wriggling and pee into their mouth.
-We used to have a toilet at school and it was urinal to there, then wall and then a window.
Quite high. And my friend, Danny, The Squirt...
-..bending quite far back like that could wee out of the window.
In Newcastle, people had to pee into buckets which were collected wee-kly.
The reason policemen's uniforms were such a rich and impressive hue
was that they'd been widdled on by Geordies, ultimately.
-Have you all enjoyed your sweeties? Which colour did you like best?
Most children, when asked which colour they liked, will say red.
When a food manufacturer wants to colour food red, he uses...
one of these. It's food additive.
It's E120, a colorant. My question is what is E120 made from?
A beetle of some sort.
-No, I'm afraid not! No.
We rather predicted you'd say that. Almost right.
-It's a bug, not a beetle.
-What's the difference, then?
-You should remember, of all people, because...
-Bugs suck things.
-Well done, you did remember! Five points.
-What do beetles do?
-They don't suck.
If you drink with a straw, they look at you. "I'm not a bug, all right?"
Bug is not just American slang for any insect. It's a specific scientific word.
-It has piercing mouth parts.
-You answered to that like it was your nickname.
-That was his nickname at school.
-The point about this stuff, which is also called...?
Yes, you get points back for that. It is made from crushed insects.
They're called Dactylopius coccus and they're a kind of bug.
It takes about 70,000 of them to make one pound of cochineal.
We've moved away from cochineal as people who don't eat animals felt they were being conned
by a tube of Smarties when it had dead animals in it. And they're not kosher.
E122 we now use, except in Smarties where you're eating crushed bugs.
The red ones. But E122 is very bad if you have an allergy to aspirin.
It can make people very blotchy or HYPER-active! Interesting issue.
I've changed my mind. I think I prefer the green.
-Where did the whole notion of crushing beetles to get their colouring from arise?
When did people think, "These foods are not the right colour. I need a bit more pizzazz"?
You only need to imagine. You're pounding maize in Mexico, where this started.
-And a few of these beetles...
-Accidentally fall in.
And it goes a beautiful pink. And your husband says, "I like this pink polenta!"
They didn't start crushing animals and work their way down? Squirrel...
"No, that's no good." Next animal.
-You've set your buzzer off!
They didn't say, "I love this pink polenta!" They said, "Thee pink polenta, I love eet!"
-"I want some-a pink polenta!"
So you think this happened after the Spanish colonisation of Mexico?
Ahh! He got you. That was a good one.
-Are you telling me the Incas talked like Oxbridge graduates?
-"I'm just going up to finish off Machu Picchu!
-"Help me with these stones?"
-It was really the Aztecs we were concerned with.
-Ever felt like your weapon's not big enough, Jo?
-Let's move from bugs... from bugs to beetles.
"I love thee pink polenta!"
Beetle fanciers, as you probably know, are called...
-Very good! I'll give you five points.
-Press him on how the hell he knows that!
-When I was a child...
In Alan's world, knowing something is a kind of freakish, weird thing.
Can you explain how you know something? He'd love to know the mystery of this.
"Welcome to my world of knowing!" The wonderful world of... looking up things in books.
-You looked it up?!
-No. When I was a kid, I collected butterflies.
-What were you called?
Not a leopard collector.
Did you run out and kill them yourself?
No, you put them in a bottle with chloroform... I know, it's cruel.
Not very nice. Were you a lepidopterist?
-I did do a bit of bug hunting, as the Americans say.
-I can see you running along with the big net.
-"Tarquin, I've got one!"
-Dressed as an Ancient Greek.
Flowing toga and a big net.
-Quite right. Coleopterist.
-"I am an Aztec!"
-I was a philatelist.
-Is there a special word for someone who did metalwork?
-I did a bit of that when I was a young man.
Loser, we called them.
Coleopterists, who love beetles, are extremely busy people,
far too busy to watch television panellists dithering about, so we have to push on a bit.
-How long since anyone discovered a new type of beetle?
-Eight seconds is quite recent...
Oh, 700 years.
No. Look, no-one is forcing you to play this game.
If you want to sit in the corner...
HARMONICA Killer! You're a killer!
I released them into the wild, after they'd been killed.
The supreme irony is that moths got into the collection and ate them all.
The answer is about an hour.
Since 1700, they reckon that a new species was discovered
at the rate of one every six hours, but it's accelerated.
There may be 10 million different species of beetle and only 2,000 coleopterists in the world.
-So many beetles, just not enough time.
The amazing thing is that two-thirds of all insects are beetles, but even more,
if you put all examples of plants and animal species in a row,
every fifth one would be a beetle. Every tenth one would be a weevil. So, next question...
Odd one out. A ptilidae beetle, a camel or the Sultan of Brunei?
-Is it a ptilidae beetle?
-It is. Correct.
Can you elaborate?
Well, I don't want to show off.
-The camel stores water in its hump...
-I know the Sultan of Brunei...
-You don't know the Sultan of Brunei.
He can afford to pay pop stars to dance in their knickers.
He's that RICH. What do rich people have in common with camels?
-The ability to sustain water in their humps.
"OO-OOH-YEAH!" They're BLEEP miserable all the time!
-What can they not do?
-Pass through the eye of a needle!
-Pass through the eye of a needle.
"Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle..."
This beetle is so small, it can go through the eye of a needle.
-And they come in very varying sizes, beetles.
The biggest one, Titanus Giganteus, is huge. We have a sample of the second-biggest one.
-This is the Hercules beetle.
-From the Natural History Museum.
-How many examples of beetle do you think they have? How many different...?
-No, a lot more. It's 12 million.
Finally, we plunge into the land that knowledge forgot. Daviesland. A place we call General Ignorance.
Fingers on buzzers, please, for one last chance to avoid looking like Charlies.
Firstly, back on our colour theme, what rhymes with orange?
-Can you think of any word that rhymes with it?
-Borange would rhyme with it.
I don't think there's such a thing.
No, borange. That's what you suck up, em...
Sir, sir! Lock's making it up, sir.
Terribly close. Blorange. It's a place. Anybody know where it is?
-It sounds like it's in Belgium.
-No, closer to home.
It is. It overlooks Abergavenny. It has a famous car park.
A horse is buried there. A famous horse called Foxhunter.
-There's also Gorringe.
-If you say porridge with a cold.
Porange. "I'll hab some porange, plead."
Lester Piggott, he goes... "I'll have some porange."
I'm sure that Richard Whiteley on Countdown said that nothing rhymes with orange.
-We're here to explode...
Gorringe. It's a surname. Probably the same root as Goering.
-My prep school tailors were called Gorringe. We got our uniforms made.
-They had a tailor?!
You had a tailor for a suit you wear when you're five!
Were you born in the 1850s?!
-"I shall measure up, young sir,
-"for your shorts and cap."
-He was the school outfitter!
-A tailoring shop...
-"Which side does young sir dress on?"
Hardly worth bothering about!
You should know that! It's written on the toilet walls!
-"Do you want to get measured up for shorts?"
-"Would Sir like to wear a cravat on the cross-country run?"
You're all such beasts!
-Anyway, Gorringe is a splendid English surname.
-"I'd suggest a cummerbund for Geography."
-"I do rather like this pink polenta!"
Gorringe was the surname of Henry Honeychurch Gorringe,
who brought Cleopatra's Needle to New York's Central Park.
What colour - fingers on buzzers - is the planet Mars?
-I KNEW that was gonna happen.
-I'm afraid it's actually brown.
-Browny brown, really.
It only appears red sometimes because of dust in the atmosphere.
-Its landscape is a very boring brown.
-Why are we going there? What's the f'ing point?
Oh, you are...! You are just unbelievable.
The... I see, I see.
Yes, I see.
Right. I refuse to rise to the bait.
According to New Scientist, the most recent pictures of Mars issued by NASA were tweaked by...
-Put Britney Spears on it.
-..in order to conform...
with our expectations of its redness. Next, apropos of absolutely nothing at all,
what prevented Henry VIII from marrying Lord Pembroke?
Em... Because gay marriages were illegal.
-Oh, you've done it!
No, he did marry Lord Pembroke, eventually.
-He married Lord Pembroke?
-Was Lord Pembroke a nickname for...
-Lord Pembroke WAS a lady.
-It was Anne Boleyn.
-He was married to Catherine of Aragon.
-She disguised herself as a man to sneak into his chamber!
-No, she was just very miffed.
-You were like in a school play!
"She disguised herself as a man..."
-You're supposed to be an actor!
-Have you never seen Jonathan Creek?
"She disguised herself as a man to sneak into the king's chamber!
"I must leave for France!"
He was married to Catherine of Aragon, the Pope was head of the Church,
Anne Boleyn was very annoyed, so he offered her a title.
She wanted a proper title, so he made her Marquis of Pembroke, which is a male title, of course.
Eventually, he did overcome it, declared his marriage null and void
and married Anne Boleyn, then cut her head off.
To mammals. I'm one, you're one, Lord Pembroke was one.
-We come in a wide variety of colours - white rhinos, black panthers...
-Pink elephants - ha-ha! Name a green mammal.
Now name a green MAMMAL!
An Ancient Greek cow!
Now a green MAMMAL.
-OK, a rotten badger.
Very good. Excellent.
-We've all seen them!
-Chameleon's a lizard.
HARMONICA A really, really jealous shrew.
No, there are none.
Very common to birds, reptiles, fish, but no green mammals.
There is a sloth that looks green, but it's algae on his fur.
He's so slow that moss grows on him?
So much a sloth, exactly.
Lastly, we come full circle to the mad, mad world, Alan... of Ancient Greece.
Why wouldn't an Ancient Greek...
Why wouldn't an Ancient Greek baker mind if you told him where he could stick his baguette?
Cos they were a bit like that.
You know what I mean. I think we all know. I'm not gonna say it.
Cos you can't these days. Ooh, very hot water.
I almost thought it was Bertrand Russell talking(!) As a pleasuring device?
-Bread dildo is right.
They made dildoes out of bread.
You know that most women would have gone for the eating option.
-Is that written down in Ancient Greek?
-It was only discovered in 1987, actually. Very recent.
Who discovered it?
There was a Greek baker frozen in a glacier.
No, he was going like that...
He was handing the baton of Ancient Greek democracy to us.
It's time for the final reckoning. Scores!
Now, just in last, fourth, place - just - with minus 22, is Alan Davies.
But a brilliant performance. In third place with minus 20 is Jo Brand.
In second place with a huge plus 7 is Bill,
but way out in front with 17 is Sean Lock, ladies and gentlemen.
Well, my thanks go to Bill, Sean, Jo and Alan. I'll leave you with two interesting remarks on colour.
The first is from Frank Borman, the Apollo 8 astronaut.
"My experience helped me to see how isolated and fragile the Earth is.
"It was also beautiful, the only object in the entire universe that was neither black nor white."
And US President Gerald Ford - "Ronald Reagan doesn't dye his hair. He's just prematurely orange."
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Stephen Fry hosts the quiz show in which contestants are rewarded more if their answers are 'quite interesting'. The subjects include blues, beetles and baguettes. With Alan Davies, Jo Brand, Bill Bailey and Sean Lock.