Browse content similar to North Norse. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
THEME MUSIC PLAYS
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Lovely. Thank you very much.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to QI
where tonight, we'll be strapping on our snowshoes, saddling up our elks
and heading to the frozen north,
or as they say in Danish...
SHE SPEAKS DANISH
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING I know.
I've been here no time at all and we're already doing it in two languages.
Let's meet our nefarious Norsemen.
The cool Jason Manford.
-Hello. Thank you very much.
The chilled Lucy Beaumont.
The howling waste that is Rhod Gilbert.
APPLAUSE AND LAUGHTER
And an absolute zero, Alan Davies.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So, our northern noises come from Iceland because their buzzers
are all Bjorky.
So Jason goes...
# It's oh so quiet Shh! Shh! #
And Rhod goes...
# It's oh so still... #
-Cheap, I like it.
And Lucy goes...
# All alone Shh! Shh! #
And Alan goes...
# Wah! Wah! #
Now, I've asked you all to bring your favourite thing about Denmark.
So, obviously, my very first question is going to be,
what's the second best thing to come out of Denmark?
-And we will start with Alan. Start with Alan.
-It's you, Sandi.
And this week's winner is Alan!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
-Come on, favourite things from Denmark.
-They're not from Denmark.
-Danish pastries. They're not from Denmark.
-Not from there.
-I knew that.
They're from Vienna.
Well, they were made by Viennese pastry chefs in Copenhagen.
We call it wienerbrod, so Vienna bread.
I know that Copenhagen is on the same line of latitude as Glasgow.
Is that your gift to me. That particular fact?
No. No, no.
-There's a Danish thing that's not really a thing.
-It's like a hug.
-It's a hygge.
-It's a hygge.
-It's a thing.
-Like a feeling.
-Yep. It doesn't translate.
It's the most wonderful word and what it means is to get
together with your friends,
usually in candlelight, and to feel really mellow and enjoy yourself,
and in general that involves alcohol.
-Yeah, that's why...
-That's my gift to you.
-Thank you. Aw. That is lovely.
We say that to our friends.
We ring them up and say, "Come over, we'll hygge."
-And it just means bring beer.
-"We'll have a nice time."
Now, Lucy, surely you've got a little something for me as a gift.
My favourite thing to come out of Denmark
is Saga Noren, the character.
Oh, played by the genius Sofia Helin in The Bridge.
The only trouble with that, and I love the gift,
is she's Swedish.
-It's very similar, though, isn't it?
You're very particular about the what's Danish and what...
Doesn't really matter.
You know there was a murder on that bridge, don't you?
I have to say, it is the most brilliant thing.
Her portrayal of Saga Noren is astonishing.
It's the best portrayal of a person with Asperger's I've ever seen.
I know. I've never been so influenced by anything.
And sometimes I feel like her.
When I'm walking towards a car to get in it, I feel like her,
like when she walked towards her car.
I did it the other day, in Waitrose.
Can you show us how you got in the car? What you did?
Not without a car, no.
Right. What about Jason?
My favourite thing about Denmark, or from Denmark, of course...
-Oh, that is...
-Now, I must give it its official BBC title.
Generic Danish interlocking children's building set.
So, Rhod. You have to top the interlocking gift.
Well, when I was asked my favourite thing about Norway,
I didn't really know a lot about... Denmark, sorry.
Oh, does it matter? Come on!
So, what if I said, those Welsh and the Scots, they're exactly the same.
You'd get lynched.
I'm fine, there's no Danish people here apart from you.
-All right, Denmark. If you insist, Denmark.
Right, I didn't know much about Denmark, Norway,
call it what you want...
-So I sort of Googled it.
It always comes up as the happiest place or the second happiest place.
Yes, absolutely right.
Although, coincidently, it's always the happiest place
and the largest consumers of antidepressants.
So I don't know if that's linked. Just a thought.
It's cos they do chocolate flavoured ones.
Some people say it's the high incomes or the low levels of
inequality, the large welfare state, the good education...
Yes, darling, not really a speech,
more of a gift is what we're looking for.
Well, I don't think it's because of any of those things.
I think it's because they have a strict,
strict control over breaking wind in public cos I found this sign.
Since the smoking ban, I'm all for this kind of thing.
Unfortunately, the word "fart" means speed,
and so this is a speed restriction area.
But, also, rather pleasingly,
the word for timetable is "fartplan."
Oh, I've needed one of those for years.
A proper fartplan.
Daily fartplan. Where you are, who you're with...
So, Denmark does lead the world in many, many things.
What is the main thing is that it leads the world in?
-Oh, that would be nice. Although they are quite miserable.
Actually, the real Hans Christian Andersen stories
-are quite sort of dark.
-Sawing their feet off.
-There is an obsession with...
I've noticed this with watching the kids' programmes,
the Disney films and stuff. There is an obsession with dead parents.
And it comes from that Hans Christian Andersen.
I don't know why it is, but one or both of them are either dead already
or killed within the film at some point.
OK, so, heading for parenting,
I'm going to try to get us to the answer, it isn't
Hans Christian Andersen we're looking for...
-What was the question?
-I'm looking for...
-what Denmark leads the world in.
I saw a lovely Danish sofa on eBay.
Also, I thought you said "surfer," so, for a brief moment...
I'm trying to think of a Dane surfing.
Is it something to do with childbirth?
-It's something exported from Denmark.
-It's to do with childbirth.
-Umbilical cords. Stem cells.
The audience is going to start screaming in a minute.
And the word they're going to start screaming
is "sperm." It is the world's...
They are the world's largest exporter of human sperm, and,
certainly in the UK, due to a shortage of home-grown donors,
and also because the laws mean you can't be anonymous in the UK,
about a third of the total used by fertility clinics
is Viking sperm.
Why have they got so...? Is it because it's dark like 20 hours...?
It doesn't get dark in Denmark like that.
How do you cope with having one and a half hours' daylight?
-It doesn't happen!
-It doesn't happen!
Denmark's the same as Scotland, where you come from!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
It's up in the Arctic Circle, way, way further.
A Danish winter is about one and a half hours' daylight.
-It is not, darling, no.
-You keep saying the same thing! It's wrong!
It's not, it's true. I've been there. An hour and a half.
Here's the thing. If that's not true, and the more you say it,
-the more points I'm going to make it not true for you.
When I went to Denmark...
-Was it night-time?
-It was winter.
This is it, Rhod. You come home late, you've slept through the day.
I did it as a teenager. And you wake up at five in the afternoon.
You don't see the daylight. You're like a ghost.
THEY TALK OVER EACH OTHER
It was dark for 20-odd hours per day in winter.
But your inability to distinguish the Scandinavian countries
means it's possible you were in Norway.
That is possible.
It is possible that I was in one of the other countries.
-But is it not true? It's about an hour and a half...
-Stop saying it!
It took me nine years to grow a tomato there.
There's no trees in China.
There you are, it's exactly the same. The largest exporter of sperm.
Also the largest exporter of wind turbines, grass seed,
the world's largest producer of insulin,
and the world's most popular toy, of course,
-the interlocking brick, as we shall call it.
The mermaid, which is the symbol of Denmark, it's a rather sad story.
-She's had her head decapitated. Twice.
-She looks good for it.
She looks good, doesn't she?
Twice somebody's cut her head off and swum off with it cos
she's out in the harbour. Her arm has been cut off.
-Is it the same person each time?
-Collecting a mermaid.
There was once somebody swam out and put a dildo in her hand.
What's wrong with people?
-Only 90 minutes daylight.
It's a wonder they could see her, frankly.
Anybody know what we use pretty much every single day
-in the modern world which comes also from Denmark?
It's a modern thing.
-A modern thing that everybody uses every single day.
-A tin opener?
A tin opener is the most modern device that...
-The electric tin opener.
-Oh, of course.
Bluetooth comes from Denmark. And that is the symbol for Bluetooth.
And it represents the runes of H and B, which is Harald Bluetooth,
who was a king of Denmark.
And he was the king who unified the Scandinavian countries and
when Bluetooth was invented, because it unified the way we communicate
together, the symbol for Harald Bluetooth, the king of Denmark...
-Was he always talking to himself?
-Constantly. It was relentless.
"Harald, you talking to me?"
"I'm on the phone, mate. I'm on the phone." "Sorry, Harald."
You mentioned Denmark,
world's happiest country in the latest happiness report,
followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland.
Just behind Mexico and Singapore, those...
OK! Enough about Denmark. I never thought I'd say that.
What's moving towards Russia at 35 miles per year?
-You're definitely going to win. Definitely going to win.
Is it the London to Moscow Megabus?
-Is it America?
-Is it America? No. But it is a sort of a thing.
-North Pole. We're looking at Ns.
-It is. We are looking at Ns.
-Which North Pole?
-The north one.
-The south one.
-It is, absolutely right. Alan is exactly right.
-It is the magnetic North Pole.
-Sandi, you're not going to give him
-a point on the back of my... that, are you?
-Do you know...
-How does that work?
-All I can say to you, Rhod,
whatever happens through the whole of the rest of the show,
you're not going to win.
Every time you said it's about an hour and a half of daylight,
-you lost ten points.
-Seriously, you're going to be so behind,
it's going to be a new QI score low.
You wait till the BBC Diversity Department hears about this.
We've already had our quota of Scots. We're fine.
You're absolutely right, Alan. It is the magnetic North Pole.
So, that's best described as the place to which compasses point.
It was in northern Canada until 2015.
It is slowly moving towards Russia at about 35mph. It's currently in...
-35 miles a year.
-It's in the back of someone's car.
It's in the back of a Skoda.
Someone's got a little mermaid in one hand,
and the North Pole on the other.
The magnetic North Pole is moving imperceptibly slowly towards Russia,
along with fashion, democracy, and gay rights.
Do you know the one about the Dane and the Canadian arguing about
a rock and a hard place?
The Dane is Hamlet and the Canadian's Celine Dion,
-have they fallen out, have they?
-No, it's an actual place.
-Think about a Danish dependent territory...
-Close to Canada.
So, the Nares Strait is the bit that passes between the Danish
dependent territory of Greenland and Canada's Ellsmere Island.
And the border of the two countries passes down the centre
of the strait and right through a barren rock called Hans Island,
named after a great Inuit explorer called Hans Hendrik.
-Hans Christian Island.
-It should have been. This is...
There it is. It's gorgeous, isn't it?
It's really lovely,
but it's the most civilised conflict in the world.
What they do is they both agree first of all to inform each other
if they're going to visit. Which is quite nice.
When the Danish military go there, they leave a bottle of schnapps.
When the Canadian military forces go, they leave a bottle
of Canadian Club, and a sign that says "Welcome To Canada."
Which I think is positively inflammatory.
There is some talk of the two countries running it as
-a park together. I don't know why you'd want to visit, but...
-Swings, and a roundabout.
-Just a load of hammered soldiers.
The Danes don't like to be too belligerent, and there's
another lovely example of Danish belligerence - the protest pig.
This was very popular in the late 19th century.
So, the Prussian forces had invaded southern Denmark.
They banned all Danish symbols, and the pigs were bred so that their
white markings and their ruddy colour imitated the Danish flag.
They were known as protest pigs. Isn't that sweet?
They're very polite people.
In Denmark, it's illegal to desecrate foreign flags,
but you can help yourself in burning your own.
Now, we move south a little to another north place.
What do the North Koreans do better than anyone?
using only a pudding bowl and a Stanley knife?
Are you going for haircuts? Is that it?
Yeah, they do create a haircut that is simultaneously hilarious
-Looking at that picture, I would say it's solemnity.
It does look like solemnity but, no, it's not that.
"WHERE'S MY GLOVE? WHERE IS MY GLOVE?
"I WILL NOT...
"..LEAVE HERE TILL MY GLOVE IS RETURNED!"
Then he turns and he goes, "There is no missing glove.
"My glove is at home. Bwa-ha-ha!"
I love the idea of being a dictator for comedic effect.
He always looks like a sort of cross between
a Bond villain and Augustus Gloop.
If you upset him, you don't know if he's going to destroy the world
or just refuse to give you one of his gobstoppers.
But the thing they do best is that they make a fake something or other.
I imagine they make fake munitions to make it look like they've
got more Army than they have.
It is fake US dollars. They make them better than anybody.
They're known as super dollars due to their superb quality.
Some people say they're better than the originals.
And it took some very sophisticated forensic analysis to confirm...
-They do sort of swell out in the middle, though.
-Yeah, that's true.
It's not the only contraband.
Its methamphetamine is supposed to be of extraordinary high purity.
And it's counterfeit Viagra is rumoured to exceed the bone fide.
Can you say that, "bona fide?"
You have to say it like this, "BONA fide."
And the other fantastically successful North Korean export -
this is fantastic, I love this -
it's giant statues of African dictators.
They make them better than anybody.
Isn't that brilliant? It's the Mansudae Art Studio Gallery.
And the work they've made, they've made statues for Angola, for Benin,
Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea,
They seem to have a common theme of the leaders all hailing a taxi.
-That seems to be a thing.
-They're all playing "Where's My Glove?"
"I'M NOT LEAVING... UNTIL THE GLOVE IS RETURNED!"
From North Korea to North America, what can you see here?
What do you think this is?
-That's New York.
-It is New York.
-It's Niagara Falls without any water on it.
-You are absolutely right.
That is exactly what it is.
-What gave it away for you?
-The viewing tower.
What is incredible about it, this is a photograph from June, 1969.
And the water at Niagara Falls normally goes over three falls.
It goes over the American, the Bridal Veil, and the Horseshoe.
And the American Falls had loads of debris at the bottom,
which you can see there.
It's known as talus, from the Latin for ankle,
because it's thicker at the bottom.
And all that debris was swirling and causing erosion of the falls.
So plans were to temporarily divert the water away
from the American Falls and over the Horseshoe,
and dry out the American so it could be cleaned.
It is the most extraordinary picture. The construction company,
the Albert Elia Construction Company, they built a temporary dam
in just three days out of 28,000 tonnes of earth.
And the tourists flocked to see the dry American Falls
and the, of course, much stronger than usual Horseshoe Falls.
And lots of coins were recovered, and two bodies.
-Were they both in barrels?
-One came out and went, "Thank God!"
I found his glove!
There's a wonderful waterfall in the city of St John
in New Brunswick in Canada where the waterfall flows upwards.
It's the most astonishing thing.
Twice a day, the tide in the bay rises 28ft 6in,
to the point that it overtops the waterfall over which
the St John River normally flows, and the river flows backwards.
-Isn't that amazing?
-We've learnt so much, haven't we?
Niagara Falls got its first real really good clean
in the summer of '69. And, now, another dirty northern secret.
What's the worst disaster that doggers ever experienced?
When you have to wait for somebody to get out and let you out.
It's like the walk of shame, but you're just lying there.
-I assume, I assume.
-It's not that.
-Are you looking for an N?
-Is the answer an N?
-It is a place in an N, if that is of assistance.
-Is it Dogger Bank?
-It is to do with Dogger Bay.
It isn't to do with dogging. It is indeed to do with Dogger Bank.
I was going to say a nipple trapped in an air vent.
-I imagine window wipers are a nightmare.
They're not in the car, though, are they?
Yeah, but there's people watching.
-How close do they get?
"Back off! You're supposed to be at the other side of the car park...
OK, it's nothing to do with dogging.
-You shouldn't have put the car up, then!
-Why did you put a picture of some doggers up there in a car?
That is people on their way to the North Sea to see
where Doggerland used to be,
which is the worst-named amusement park of all time.
It was an area of land which attached Britain to mainland Europe
between East Anglia and the Netherlands.
And it was populated by prehistoric humans.
It very slowly flooded by rising sea levels until, eventually,
it was deluged by a tsunami triggered by
a massive undersea landslide in Norway in 6000 BC.
So, it now lies under the North Sea.
-Don't be offended, but you lost me a bit there.
It's attached to Britain.
Then there was a tsunami, an ice age, a volcano...
8,000 years ago...
-Oh, I'm with you, yeah.
-There was a bit of land.
-And then there was a flood.
-And now it's not there any more.
That was clear. Was it clear? That was clear.
All this talk of the north brings us to the arctic wastelands
of general ignorance.
So, fingers on buzzers, please.
# Wah! Wah! #
Very, very sensitive.
As, indeed, are my ears.
Now, we all know where this comes from, don't we?
# It's oh so quiet... #
-It's got to be done, it's got to be done.
-So, here's the thing.
In the 1970s, Japan didn't import fish,
and salmon was not on any sashimi menu.
And, I love this, in the early '80s, there was a seafood delegation
from Norway -
totally different place to Denmark...
And they began a thing called Project Japan
and they wanted to sell Norwegian salmon to the country,
and, these days, Norwegian salmon is the sashimi fish of choice.
Can I just ask, do you know those salmon in that waterfall that
goes backwards, what do they do there, then?
Do they dive down, then, or do they...
Or do they go up but reverse up?
-It's a fair point, I think you'll...
-It's going to keep me awake.
Supplementary question - in Japanese cuisine, the milt, so, M-I-L-T,
the milt of some fish is a delicacy. Does anyone know what it is?
-It's the leather trousers.
-It's the leather trousers?
A milt is a mum in leather trousers.
-I think that's a Roger McGough.
-No, it's something in the trousers.
-Something in the trousers?
-Something in the trousers, as it were.
They don't wear trousers, but if they did,
it would be in the trousers.
If a fish wore trousers, it'd be in the fish's trousers?
It would be in a boy's fish's trousers.
Someone shouted out sperm again. It can't be sperm every time, you know.
-It is sperm.
-It is sperm!
The correct name for fish sperm is milt, OK? Molluscs have it, too.
-And they spray it on the roe. That's pretty much how it works.
Japanese salmon sashimi actually comes from Norway.
What's the one untrue thing
that everyone in Norway believes about lemmings?
That they're Danish. No, that they...
That they throw themselves off things in a kind of, you know,
anthropomorphised suicide leap.
-Is that good enough?
-It's not been a good show for you.
No, in fact, in the very first episode ever of QI,
it was talked about the fact that lemmings do not commit suicide.
No, but, hang on, wasn't the question what was the one thing...
-I was expecting to be...
-Yes, but it is the most common...
-It is a double bluff.
It isn't the most common myth about them in Norway.
No, the most common myth in Norway is that lemmings are really angry
- they don't look it - and they get so stressed that they burst.
And parents will tell children not to chase after lemmings
-in case they explode.
-I love that!
I love a parent just lying to children. It's brilliant.
The myth seems to have come about
because lemmings get very aggressive if approached.
They shriek and jump about.
And there's an old saying in Norway, "As angry as a lemming."
Finally, we go north of the border.
What's the main source of sugar for the people of Scotland?
# So still... #
-I know it's going to go "bring"
and you're going to laugh at me,
but deep-fried Mars bars, somebody's got to say it.
ALARM BLARES, LAUGHTER
The things I do!
Is it edible bagpipes?
They do look like they're made of liquorice, don't they?
Something surprising, Lucy, that...
I mean, sperm has been the running theme, hasn't it, but...
It's not their main source of sugar.
-In Scotland, yes.
Other places, maybe sperm is the very thing...
It is fruit.
Unexpectedly, they did a study in 2015, and they found that
the single biggest source of sugar in the Scottish diet is fruit.
12.3%. I'm not saying that the Scottish diet is all that
healthy because soft drinks came second. And confectionery third.
Then biscuits, then cakes.
Intriguingly, 65% of the Scottish population are either
overweight or obese.
Well, you'd know, Rhod.
Scotland's sugar hit of choice is a healthy portion of fruit.
All of which healthy eating brings us to the fruity matter of
-the scores. And let's have a look.
-Starting with the winner.
I'm going to tell you that the winner with 12 points is Alan!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
In second place with two points, it's Lucy!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
In third place, -16, it's Jason!
Can't even remember the name of the man who came fourth.
He's gone from my mind. With -22, it's Rhod!
Well, that's all from Lucy, Rhod, Jason, Alan and me.
I've enjoyed our time in the north,
and I leave you with this from the Danish mathematician, Piet Hein.
It's in the glove area, this one.
"Losing one glove is certainly painful but nothing compared
"to the pain of losing one,
"throwing away the other, and finding the first one again."