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Ja. Thank you.
Good evening and welcome to QI, where, tonight,
all I have to say is night-night.
END CREDIT MUSIC
Sorry... Too quick. That's the title of the show. Can't get the staff.
Right. Tonight is indeed the night.
And, joining me to hold hands in the dark are, a night to remember,
it's Holly Walsh.
A night on the town, David Mitchell.
A night on the tiles, Noel Fielding.
night after night after night, Alan Davies.
And their midnight buzzers buzz like this. Holly.
HEAVY DOOR CREAKS OPEN
And Alan goes...
MAN SNORES HEAVILY
Have you finished?
What is the most mysterious thing you do in bed?
-You regrow, you regenerate your body parts, don't you?
That's what I call it anyway! "What are you doing in there?!"
Do you mean bits that are broken,
you mend them? Is that what you mean?
Don't you grow a new liver every seven years, or something?
There's no bit of you that is actually the age that you are.
No, I think it's every ten years, you're a totally new person.
You're totally new bones, everything.
No, you don't grow gums back.
Gums recede and they don't come back.
You can't go, "Oh, I think I'm going to grow my gums long this year."
It's probably quite good that the gums don't keep growing and
growing and growing, though. Imagine having to get them trimmed.
That's going to be an extremely bloody...
-"What do you do for a living?" "I'm a gum-dresser."
Have to get head to toe in plastic, it's like CSI.
When someone comes in for a long overdue gum trimming.
You've got to show them the back of their gums.
-So, what's the thing that we do in bed, all of us?
-We have no idea,
-it's the most mysterious thing that we do in bed...
We just don't know why we do it.
Why would you end the day unconscious and basically paralysed
and leave yourself available to attack by predators unless
there is some fantastic evolutionary benefit that outweighs the risk?
The fact is, we just don't know.
People have thought it was to do with energy conservation.
Which is ridiculous because you actually don't save much energy.
-No, not when you sleep, no.
How many days can you go without sleep for before you die?
If you stay awake for 17 hours, it's the same as having
two glasses of wine, in terms of how it would affect your performance.
Red wine or white wine?
-If it's white wine, then I'll just start crying.
-Oh, would you?
Are you a bad drunk?
Yeah, I've never once drunk more than two glasses of white wine
and not used the phrase, "Why don't you just dump me, then?"
Even to people who you're not in a relationship with.
No, you save about 110 calories each night,
so a two-finger Kit Kat is 107, it's not a lot, is it?
-That's the only energy saving?
-That's the only energy saving.
So, when you wake up in the morning, you can have a two-fingered Kit Kat.
-Totally wipes it all out, frankly.
-It's a classy breakfast.
So, the theory that I like best,
there have been some scientists at the University of Rochester
Medical Centre in New York,
and they think it's when our brains are cleaned.
There's a professor, Maiken Nedergaard, and she says,
"You can think of it as having a house party.
"You can either entertain the guests or clean up the house,
"but you can't really do both at the same time."
That's the theory. But how much you sleep depends on
your own circadian rhythms. I don't sleep very much.
-Anybody here a good sleeper?
-I've got a five-month-old baby,
so I only sleep in hour-and-a-half chunks at the moment.
So, have you just come for a break just tonight?
This is the best thing that's ever happened to me.
Genuinely, I went to the dentist the other day,
and I had to have a filling.
And I lay back, and I was like, "I think this is the closest
"to having a relaxing time that I've had for five months."
It was so nice.
-Did he trim your gums?
Are you a good sleeper, Noel? Do you sleep well?
Yeah, I can sleep a lot, yeah.
Apparently, what you should do to find out how much you need to sleep
is you should spend a week not having an alarm clock at all
and you should let your body just wake up when it needs to,
and log how many hours.
And if you need six hours, and you need to get up at 7am,
then you know what time to go to bed.
Yes, but, Sandi, you need a wee at five...
no matter what.
Yes, it's very annoying.
And it's not like you particularly have that much wee to do.
You get there and you think, "Why have you woken me up for that?
"I would rather have just left that in the bed.
"I could have dealt with that..."
"..in the morning!"
Also, sometimes, the middle of the night wee, you can start thinking
about something stressful, or get frightened by noises in the house.
It's best just stay asleep til it gets light.
I think, really, the solution is some sort of an apparatus
where you can sleep on the loo.
My father was in hospital,
and he had a catheter fitted for a couple of weeks.
And he said he'd never slept so well for about 50 years.
The best thing that had ever happened to him.
-It's like when you go and stay in a hotel.
They say never use the kettle because people pee in it.
-No! You see, I don't want to know those things!
How far away is the bathroom?
I always think that must be a man who pees in that kettle.
-I can say, on behalf of men all over the country,
we do not piss in kettles.
You've got to take the lid off, you've got to unplug it...
-Those lids are spiteful.
-It's way too much effort.
I'm not making it up, it's a well-known fact.
I don't come on QI and talk bullshit.
I'm straight up with the facts.
-So, when you go to a hotel room and there's water already
in the kettle, that's a bit suspect. I always get rid of that.
To be honest, boiled piss is probably...
it might change the flavour of the tea but it's not...
it's not a bacterial threat, is it?
Another thing. Never eat the chocolate on the pillow.
Oh, where's that been?!
Anyway, moving on.
Describe the night of the horrified sheep.
So, it was an actual thing that happened, November 3rd, 1888.
And something happened that spooked all sheep over
a 200 square mile area in Oxfordshire.
Tens of thousands of sheep panicked, they jumped fences,
-they ran for their lives.
Well, that was one of the theories of the time, that there might
have been a small earthquake or something dropped from the sky.
But probably what happened is just one sheep panicked.
It's possible it was very dark, the sheep just went,
"Where's my friends? "Where's my friends?"
Had he just gone "Baaa!"
And then all the other sheep must've been going,
"He'll think he's on his own!"
Then when he panicked, they all went, "Oh, my God!
"What have we done?!"
Do you think if a sheep can't get to sleep,
do you think he counts his friends?
I wonder what the reason was that we decided to count them
in the first place at night.
Well, it must be really boring to count sheep.
-Yeah, it sends you off, yes. Well, I think you've nailed it.
I tell you what I'd love to count. Kittens.
-Imagine if 70,000 kittens ran past you.
That would just be the most adorable thing that ever happened to anyone.
See, I really struggle with this. I'm more of a dog person.
Probably why the kittens are all running away from a dog, I think.
I always think that cats, you know when people say, like,
"An old woman died in her flat
"and she was eaten by her cats," I mean...
What kind of world do you live in?!
-People being in kettles and old women...?
-Three days and your cat will eat your face.
Because it will have loosened up enough for it to get purchase.
-What sort of show is this?
They never say that, do they, about, you know,
an aged meat on a menu, you know with a 20-day-aged beef,
they never use the phrase,
"It will have loosened up enough to get purchase."
Have a look at this. Here is a night to remember.
This is 9th November, 1874.
The New York Herald front page article reported
AMERICAN ACCENT: "The wild animals broken loose from Central Park!
"Terrible scenes of mutilation!"
The article described 49 deaths and 200 injuries,
there's some excellent details in it.
It included a sighting of a lion in a church, and, my favourite,
a rhinoceros in a sewer.
How did they get out of the sewer?
-Never mind that. How did it get in there?
-A manhole cover.
It must have fallen in.
But it wasn't until the very last paragraph
that the article concluded, of course,
"The entire story given above is a pure fabrication.
"Not one word of it is true,
"not a single act or incident described has taken place.
"It's a huge hoax, a wild romance."
And then it went on to ask, which was the reason for the headline,
"What would we do in New York if this happened?"
It's one of the most notorious and, indeed, accidental media hoaxes.
But, in fact, it caused complete panic on the streets.
-Is that a huge risk? I mean, in zoos?
You'd think maybe it's something we don't need to worry about
if you've got enough cages. But, in February 2016,
the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo did their annual test to see
what they would do if an animal escapes,
and what they did was they got the 27-year-old gorilla keeper,
called Yumi Tamura, to dress up as a zebra.
There she is.
And there they all are dealing with it. So, yes...
Very fine death. Now, here's my favourite moment.
-Checking to see if animal is dead.
The famous poke them with a stick.
No-one knows why tens of thousands of sheep went crazy in Oxfordshire
on the night of November 3rd, 1888.
They may have been surprised by the fact that it got dark,
or by the news that, earlier in the day,
Preston North End beat Notts County 7-0.
I'm really trying with the football thing, just so you know.
Anyway, what's your worst nightmare?
I don't have nightmares.
-I just occasionally have dreams that are quite stressful.
-Oh, like what?
Increasingly, they involve having to do my A levels again.
For some reason, I've been busted back to the sixth form.
And I have to do my A levels again. And I keep saying,
"This is ridiculous! I've been to university.
"Why am I having to do my A levels again?"
But I do have to do them again.
-And I wake up all stressed by it...
-And have to go to the toilet.
It's quite nice because I reflect, as I go to the toilet,
that I don't have to do my A levels again. It's good news.
Are you a nightmare person, Alan?
No, but I wish I had a dream recorder.
That's boring, though, when people tell you their dreams.
-They're so boring.
-Not other people's dreams.
I don't want other people's dreams! My own dreams are amazing.
People always go, "Oh, my hands were made of coleslaw,
"and then you were in it, and you had really big..."
And you're, like, "This is so boring!"
Have you ever been...
When you hear someone describe their dream,
and they mention someone's in it, do you sit there,
rather hoping that you're going to crop up?
But you don't always, and you sort of go,
"I've not invaded this person's consciousness enough."
Do you sleep on your left or right side?
Cos that may have some impact on whether you dream or not.
Do most people have one side?
Are you a tosser and turner?
Yeah, I think so.
Oh, my God, this is a dream and you're going to wake up and
go to the toilet in a minute. We're all in your dream!
-So, what did you say? Left or right?
That fits with the study that they did in 2004.
You're more likely to have disturbing dreams if you sleep
on your left-hand side, than if you sleep on your right-hand side.
-So, I'm good. You toss and turn?
-It could be either way.
I didn't realise now I'm making a choice.
Am I just going for rest, or adventure?
What side does your wife sleep on?
I'm not aware of her having a preference
-for one side or the other.
-So, you have one side of the bed, right?
-Yeah, I'm not an idiot.
So, my husband makes me sleep facing away from him
cos I breathe too loudly.
-That's quite weird, isn't it?
-Like those two in the picture.
When I got married, another thing I found out,
that it wasn't usual to put your underwear and your socks on
before you put any of your clothes on.
-What, are you supposed to put them on afterwards?
Did you marry a superhero?
-I get my underwear on, and then I put my socks on.
-And then I put my outerwear on.
-OK. And what's wrong with that?
Well, apparently, it's weird to put your socks on before you put
your trousers and your top on.
I think your husband is telling you that things
he does are things that everyone does.
It's perfectly reasonable to put your socks on
before your trousers or shirt.
It's also perfectly reasonable to breathe while you're asleep.
The problem in your house is he keeps pissing in the kettle.
What is the worst thing you can do on a bed of nails?
-Fall from a great height.
-I would say so.
I'd say an orgy.
I'd say to get nailed on some nails would be a terrible thing.
Well, here's the thing.
So, I think you could have an orgy if you were fantastically
careful about how you got on and off.
Are we talking about the nails or the people?
It's about the even distribution of weight across the nails.
-I did do this.
I went on a bed of nails. With a contortionist.
What a night that was.
I filmed it.
And he showed me how to lie down.
It's all right if you're lying down, but he said be very, very careful
because your instinct when you get up is to put your weight
-on your hands.
And then that really hurts a lot.
When I was at school, one afternoon for some reason some
circus-skills people came round
and tried to teach us all circus skills.
I love the heavy note of disapproval in your voice.
Waste of bloody time.
I was seven.
You learn circus skills later.
What I needed was maths.
They came round and tried to teach us how to juggle,
we couldn't juggle.
Tried to put clown make-up on,
some of us had an allergic reaction.
You know. One of the things was a bed of nails.
They taught us how to lie on a bed of nails.
And the way you lie on a bed of nails is
you just lie on it and it's fine.
But it's about getting on and off. You're absolutely right.
So, let's have a look and test this out.
You've got a very small bed of nails underneath the desk there.
If you bring it out.
I'm not going on, on the bottom.
Noel, if you would take a seat.
Take a balloon.
Take a balloon and place the balloon on the bed of nails.
Now, apply the pressure evenly.
It's actually... Clearly this is a condom.
See, that's your big problem with having an orgy on a bed of nails.
If you press down on the wood evenly,
it can withstand it for quite a long time.
-Can I put some real weight on it?
-Go on. Burst it. Burst it.
-Go on, then, let's have a go.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
-You've done a lot.
-I'll try again.
A fantastic amount of pressure.
Great, I've got condom up my nose.
Put your beds of nails away.
Let's have a quick look.
We've got some video here of a woman.
Now, look how she gets on.
OK, now watch. This is actually slightly terrifying.
-So, she lies on the bed of nails and then...
An anvil left over from the Roadrunner cartoons...
No! - Her boobs!
I know. I know.
-Anvil in the boobs is worse than some nails in the back.
And rather pleasingly,
couple of spots which have been nicely popped there.
Maybe that's going to be the new pampering.
What, lying on a bed of nails?
Turns out, that's really good for the skin.
You just get on the nails, anvil, couple of guys with some hammers.
Yeah. Anyway, beds of nails aren't too painful to sleep on,
so long as you climb on carefully.
Where's the best place to sleep on the job?
I used to sleep in the boot of my car when I was at work.
In the university holidays, I worked for a textbook company
and I could do what they needed me to do in about an hour.
-I just go out and I lie down in the back of my car,
and I started taking a duvet in.
A boot duvet. I called it a boovet.
I did get asked to leave after my boss saw me
climbing out the back of my car.
-During working hours?
Yes, I can see that that would have been a very bad thing.
Where I'd clearly been asleep.
-I had a job in a bakery and I lasted four hours.
What did you do wrong?
Well, the boss popped out and when he came back
I was lying on the floor eating eclairs without using my hands.
I was just going,
I looked up and went, "I'll go."
And then he didn't pay me and my mum marched down there and went,
"He did do four hours."
"He did do four hours and then you can deduct the cost of the eclairs."
So, that's not the answer.
What is the best place to sleep on the job?
Oh, is it British Leyland in the 1970s?
Oh, was that popular thing?
I believe that in the Cowley works in Oxford,
they had a dormitory that was discovered by the management
where they had found like beds and duvets.
Very much like the back of your car, but on the industrial scale.
We're talking further away.
Space. We are indeed talking space.
Neuroscientists at Oxford University have been studying
hibernation and they've been studying hibernation of the
Madagascan fat-tailed dwarf lemur.
That's a name that won't leave the lemur alone.
No. It's just...
Look at your fat tail, you dwarf.
And they are trying to unlock the secret of suspended animation.
And NASA have spent a huge amount of money because astronauts
sleeping their way to the stars would use
less water, less food, oxygen. Avoid boredom.
-Their hair would grow though, wouldn't it?
Their hair would grow. Here's the weird thing.
The genes for hibernation already exist in the human body.
And ironically, they're dormant.
-It's something we have forgotten how to do.
The secret of suspended animation.
So, it would protect, for example, the health of astronauts.
They currently have to exercise six hours a day.
Otherwise their muscles and their bones and everything atrophies.
And some animals can hibernate for six months
without suffering osteoporosis, or any muscle wastage whatsoever.
Apparently, lots of astronauts sleep on the launchpad
because there's nothing to do.
Marsha Ivins, and that is her there,
completed five missions for NASA and she said astronauts just take a nap.
"You're strapped in like a sack of potatoes while the system
"goes through thousands of prelaunch checks.
"And occasionally you have to wake up and say Roger,
"or loud and clear, but basically you just sleep."
Anyway, sleeping in space could help us reach towards the stars.
What does the EU have against nightingales?
-Is it the noise they make?
-Yes, it is the noise they make.
Why might it be?
-It's too loud.
-It's too loud, it breaks...
They're breaking regulations.
Yes, they are.
They're breaking EU health and safety rules.
There we are, you can have a listen.
They're too loud.
It's quite piercing, isn't it?
That's a male nightingale marking his territory there.
And he can sing at 95 decibels, which is the same as a chainsaw.
And our health-and-safety rules for the EU say you shouldn't be
exposed to anything over 87.
But the weird thing is, they've done some research in Berlin
and they have found that birds are now raising the volume
by 14 decibels to drown out the city sounds.
-They are having to.
-Are they really?
-I've heard that. In the cities, birds are louder.
-Noisy city birds.
And they go out to the country, "HELLO, EVERYONE!
"GOT ANY GOOD WORMS OR SPIDERS?
"I'VE EATEN NOTHING BUT OLD BURGERS ALL WEEK."
I must say, I've never heard a nightingale song before and
I'm afraid to say I expected more.
I thought a nightingale song was, like, incredibly beautiful.
-And that was kind of a bit...
-Irritating at best.
A bit pleasant, but also a bit irritating.
Isn't there a Vera Lynn song about it?
Nightingale In Berkeley Square, absolutely right.
Indeed, the BBC's very first outside broadcast, in 1924,
that was a cellist called Beatrice Harrison and it was
a duet with Beatrice Harrison and a nightingale.
And she had noticed that nearby nightingales were joining in
whenever she was practising and so she approached John Reith
and he was rather dubious about the idea.
But in fact it was broadcast and one million people listened to her
playing along with a nightingale.
Now, we step into the dark and stormy night of General Ignorance.
Fingers on buzzers. Where is this cheese from?
I'll give you a clue, it begins with S.
MAN SNORES HEAVILY Alan.
I don't know what made you think of it.
Sometimes, you know...
Sometimes you say the obvious one and then you go, "Yes."
-Never to me.
No, it doesn't come from Shropshire. Anything else?
Begins with an S, does not come from Shropshire.
Spain, Sussex, Surrey, Scotland.
Scotland. It comes from Scotland. It absolutely does.
And it was originally called Inverness-shire Blue or Blue Stuart.
And I don't know why they thought if they renamed it Shropshire,
people would be more likely to buy it.
-It was a PR job.
-So, is it is quite a recent invention?
It's a fairly recent cheese, yeah. Rather like Stinking Bishop.
Oh, yeah, that's like a made up olde worlde thing, isn't it? Yeah.
-It's a... 1973 it was invented.
-Like Hobnobs. They're quite recent.
-Yeah, the Hobnobs.
Oh, that's and old biscuit, I'll have a Hobnob.
It's about something like 1981.
I resent the Hobnobs' quick entry into sort of...
It's a quick biscuit to refer to in a joke.
You go, "Oh, a Hobnob", or whatever.
No, hobnob. You're new.
Leave the biscuit references to the rich tea and the digestive.
They've genuinely... They've done the time.
It's like a bloody ploughman's lunch.
Ad executive's inventions.
And tonight's show was sponsored by Hobnobs...
to whom we can only apologise.
Stinking Bishop is actually named after the perry,
so the pear drink it's steeped in.
The pear itself was bred by a man called Mr Bishop
and he was so bad-tempered, he was known as Stinking Bishop.
So bad-tempered that once
his kettle failed to boil as fast as he wanted it to,
so he shot it. LAUGHTER
And then he pissed in it.
Now, when is Sunday and how long does it last?
Oh, I'm not getting into that one, someone else can do that.
Anybody else to buzz?
WOLF HOWLS Yes, David.
Between Saturday and Monday and 24 hours.
Oh, dear. KLAXON
No, is the answer.
So, it is not Sunday. It is sun day.
-And it is...
-Is it the summer solstice?
It is the one day in the year.
Where might they be so thrilled to see the sun?
Oh, is it somewhere in Scotland?
Slightly further north.
Oh, is it when the sun appears at the end of the Arctic winter
-or something like that?
-Yeah, it is.
It's in a place called Uummannaq in north-western Greenland.
It takes place on February the fourth and it's when the sun first appears after winter.
And it lasts for six minutes.
But it is so exciting...
Farming's going well there, isn't it?
Think of their garden.
Alan Titchmarsh, show as your stuff.
It looks like where the Thunderbirds live.
"Why do we live here?" "I don't know."
And they celebrate that day.
The schoolchildren take the day off and they have hot chocolate
and doughnuts and so on
and they organise sites that everybody can see the sun.
I bet you they still get their tops off when it comes out like here.
Do you think?
I think just loads of middle-aged men go out
just in their boxer shorts.
Just to get a bit of a tan.
-Where does that happen?
Every park in the UK.
Speaking on behalf of middle-aged men,
there's no way we would strip down to our boxes in any park.
You two are really making a lot of statements on behalf of
all men this evening.
Yeah, as are you, kettle pisser.
From someone who sleeps in the boot of her own car.
Did anybody ever go to that fantastic exhibition in the
Turbine Hall at the Tate called the Weather Project
-where they just had a large sun?
-Did you see it?
Yeah. It was amazing.
I went to an exhibition at the Tate and it was on pop art and
there was a room that was set aside from everyone else because it
was very explicit by this artist called Jeff Koons who does
basically high art, but pornography.
And this middle-class woman and her two kids came up and the guy on the
door stopped them and said,
"This is for over 18 only, you can't come in." And the woman said,
"I'll go in and have a look and I'll come back out and tell you what I saw."
So she went into the room and she came back out
a split-second later, completely ashen faced.
And I heard her lean down to these two kids and she said,
"What happens between a man and a woman it's a beautiful thing.
"What I saw in that room is of no help to anyone."
That's what you said after the circus skills workshop.
I'm trying to get my head around long division.
I don't need this bullshit.
Don't try and tempt me with Hobnobs.
Take your unicycle and go.
Anyway, let's have a look at the scores.
And the winner with a full three points,
Second place, with -8, it's Noel.
In third place with -10, Alan.
David, it's a magnificent loss, can I say?
-37 in last place, it's David Mitchell.
So, it's thanks to Holly, David, Noel and Alan.
That's all from this quite interesting night,
apart from this Neolithic newspaper nugget from the Western Daily Press.
A student who woke up after a drunken night out with the words,
"Barry is a twat" tattooed on his arm
says he has no idea who Barry is.