Oddballs QI


Oddballs

Sandi Toksvig looks at some oddballs with Jason Manford, Jimmy Carr, Victoria Coren Mitchell and Alan Davies.


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Transcript


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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Hello, and welcome to QI,

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which tonight is an omnibus of Oddballs.

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Let's meet our obliging odd-fellows. An odd bod, Jason Manford.

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-APPLAUSE

-Odd? Odd bod?

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An odd fish, Jimmy Carr.

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APPLAUSE

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Really? Odd fish? OK, fine.

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An odd lot, Victoria Coren Mitchell.

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APPLAUSE

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What is an odd lot?!

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And Odds Bodkins, Alan Davies.

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-APPLAUSE

-Hello.

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Right, let's hear their Odd Ball buzzers.

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Jason Manford goes...

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TABLE TENNIS BALL BOUNCES

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Very good.

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Jimmy goes...

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BALL BOUNCES HEAVILY

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Oh.

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Well, my apologies.

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A Mexican lunch.

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Victoria goes...

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PINBALL MACHINE PINGS

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Oh, you... And Alan goes...

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# Bouncy bouncy

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# Bouncy bouncy

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# Bouncy bouncy

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# Bouncy bouncy. #

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Oddly enough, we start with Oddball games.

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So you've each got a selection of odd balls under your desks.

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Odd balls coming up.

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Kindly invent a new ball game, and I would like you to use your heads.

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LAUGHTER

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-That was funny.

-What did you do, just...?

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I threw it at his head, look.

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Not the baseball!

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OK, can we get the orange one back again?

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Can we have it thrown back by somebody?

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-Somebody will throw it to us, I'm sure. Come on.

-Oh, whoa!

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-That was terrifying!

-Do you know what?

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If you can't throw, don't volunteer.

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-Unbelievable! Unbelievable.

-Underarm, as well.

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If it comes over here again, I'll put a bloody knife through it!

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-Curmudgeonly old man.

-OK.

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There is a German game called Headis,

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and it is ping-pong played without a bat,

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where you just hit it with your head.

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So, it was invented by a sports science student.

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-Push.

-But don't forget the net.

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-The net?!

-Yes - so, there's a net in the way, right?

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OK, are you ready? Try now.

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Yes!

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APPLAUSE

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Can you get that?

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-Result.

-APPLAUSE

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He caught the ball.

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It was in 2006, his name is Rene Wegner,

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and he invented this game Headis.

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It is now played internationally.

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It is on the official sports programme of 15 German universities,

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and have a look a this, because the top players are extraordinary,

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and they use sort of noms-de-guerre -

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like, well there's things like "the Sausage Seller", "Leek Face",

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-and "Bob Der Headmaster", which I'm...

-Wow.

-..very pleased with.

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And they have astonishing rallies.

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So they're replaced the bat with their heads.

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I suppose it's better than the ball.

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Oh!

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ALL: Ooh!

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APPLAUSE

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I can't help thinking of the corners of the table.

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I know, yes.

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Another ball game we've discovered is a Swiss game

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called Hornussen, and this is one of Switzerland's national sports.

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You have two teams, but there seems to be no limit

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to the size of the team, or the size of the pitch,

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and there is a ball, which stands on this little thing like this,

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and then what looks like a bendy golf club, right?

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And you hit the ball and it goes out into a field,

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and then the opposition have these enormous sort of placards.

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So here's the guy who hits the ball.

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It's a bendy golf club, yeah -

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and then a guy with a placard... LAUGHTER

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..tries to stop the ball, OK?

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And yes, a lot of shouting...

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..and then - oh, there they are - and there seems to be no limit.

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-That is good.

-It's good!

-That is brilliant.

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It's been around since the 17th century,

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and it evolved from the ancient tradition

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of hitting burning logs down the mountainside to expel evil spirits.

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LAUGHTER

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But the ball can go up to 306km per hour -

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I mean, it's a fantastically fast thing.

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Ah, well, that explains why that fellow in the video

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-didn't have many teeth left.

-Yeah, I think that's the thing.

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-300km an hour?

-Yeah, yeah.

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-That's really fast, isn't it?

-It's really fast.

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It would tell us a lot about the human mind

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to know exactly when in history

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people went from, "Well, it's very important

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"that we hit this burning thing down the mountain

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"to ward off evil spirits,"

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to, "Let's just make a massive game of it."

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It's a huge, hilarious game.

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This game I like the look of,

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although I would not be able to play it.

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It's called Cycle Ball, it was invented in 1893,

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it is enormously popular in Germany.

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Anybody work out how you play it?

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Is it not like polo, but they're on bicycles?

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Yes, and you have to use the front wheel of the bicycle -

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and, again, just extraordinary skill that the players have with this.

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Obviously it's tremendously exciting.

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-Wow!

-Ooh, what a goal. Oh, nice.

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-Yeah, yeah. Look.

-Ooh, he's lobbed him.

-He's lobbed him...

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-Ooh, ooh!

-Crikey O'Reilly.

-Oh, this is a good show reel.

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-Yeah, that's, I mean...

-I would actually watch that.

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-It's quite exciting, don't you think?

-Yeah.

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-I would totally watch that.

-Yeah.

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This is, I think, I seem to...

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-For - I mean, for a bit.

-Yeah.

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LAUGHTER

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One I like is a game called Pushball.

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So, there's a guy called Moses Crane, in the 1890s,

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who watched a lot of American football, and he got confused.

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You know in American football they always have sort of like a scrum?

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They couldn't find the ball, so he invented this game.

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-"It's so big!"

-It is.

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It's a six foot ball that weighs 50 pounds.

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Wow.

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-So those guys are about to die.

-Yeah!

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No, the idea is you have to either get it across the line,

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or you have to get it across a crossbar.

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People played it on horseback.

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Is that the... Is that the American remake of The Prisoner?

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OK, balls away, please.

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Balls away.

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Now here's an odd question.

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How can I persuade you to do what I want using only my thumb?

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-Er...

-Ah, well, now, well...

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-I can think of a couple of possibilities.

-Yeah.

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-Just...

-Yes?

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-No, I've got nothing that isn't filth.

-Nothing.

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-Nothing, no?

-Nothing that isn't filth.

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It is known as the "thumb of power" and it's a hand gesture

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used very widely by modern politicians when they make speeches.

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Oh, it's to stop you doing this, isn't it? To stop you going...

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-Yeah.

-"You!"

-Apparently it's more powerful -

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don't do that, because people don't like it,

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-but if you do that you look like you're a powerful person.

-Yeah.

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-Never do that as a politician.

-No.

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There's a science of oratorical hand gestures,

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and it's called chironomia,

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and it was set out in precise detail in 95AD, so a really long time ago.

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Quintilian's Institutio Oratoria.

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It says here, "One of the commonest of all the gestures

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"consists in placing the middle finger against the thumb

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"and extending the remaining three.

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"It is suitable in the statement of facts,

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"but in that case the hand must be moved with firmness

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"and a little further forward

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"while, if we are reproaching or refuting our adversary,

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"the same movement may be employed with some vehemence and energy,

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"since such passages permit of greater freedom of extension."

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-You know, I'll tell you who does it...

-Yes?

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I think, Paulie Walnuts in the Sopranos.

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-Does he?

-And Spider-Man.

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LAUGHTER

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But the study of oratory and rhetoric

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dates back a really long time -

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and there's all sorts of rules about classic rhetoric

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based around the rule of three, which is the same as in comedy.

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So, tricolon, "I came, I saw, I conquered."

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Or veni, vidi, Visa - "I came, I saw, I shopped."

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Molossus, so that's three stressed syllables.

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"Yes, we can."

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And epizeuxis, so, "Location, location, location,"

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when you repeat the same word over and over again -

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but it hasn't changed, it hasn't changed.

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So you get ethos, logos and pathos,

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those are the three modes of persuasion.

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So, ethos is how you establish the credibility of the speaker.

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So, "Watch QI, I'm on it."

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Logos, you present the logical argument.

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"Watch QI, it's really good."

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And pathos, appeal to the emotions.

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"Watch QI or we shoot this kitten."

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LAUGHTER

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I was just using it as a rough example.

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There have been manuals about how you gesture

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since there have been speeches.

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-This is a wonderful one.

-Oh, I've done this on a stag do.

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-LAUGHTER

-It's brilliant.

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-Zorb - zorb football, it's called.

-You run downhill.

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It's a right laugh, 12 of you, "Boing, boing..."

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We didn't dress like that.

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Hob, dob, do.

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Hob, dob, do.

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Hob, dob, do.

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Ao.

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LAUGHTER

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I think he might - I think he might be learning the Macarena.

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LAUGHTER

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I'm totally sure.

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And politicians can't help but use them.

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My favourite example is Richard Nixon

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on the day that he was made to resign as President,

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that's what he chose to do as he left.

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Clearly hadn't got the message it hadn't gone all that well.

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I think I could play a young Nixon.

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-Yes, actually, that's slightly terrifying, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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And Angela Merkel always holds her hands like that.

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In fact, in Germany, it's known as the Merkel-Raute,

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the Merkel diamond, that's just how she always holds her hands.

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Trump, also, lots of signature hand signals.

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When Donald Trump took to office, little did he know.

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LAUGHTER

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APPLAUSE

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-JASON:

-Very good.

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-VICTORIA:

-I like Angela Merkel's one -

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it's like she's going to go, "Open the door, see all the people."

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It does look like that!

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GERMAN ACCENT: "I have ze steeple and zen - oh, look.

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"Ah, zere's no British people."

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LAUGHTER

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Don't you think, Victoria, when you have your photograph taken,

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it's awkward to know what to do with your hands?

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If you're a woman, especially.

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-You can't put your hands in your pockets, can you?

-No, yes, terrible.

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I've read things that say, you know,

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if you put one foot forward, you look thinner.

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I like the idea of the one foot forward.

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-Just do that. Always just do that.

-Why is that?

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Because people will always remember you.

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LAUGHTER

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"Remember that man

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"that thought there was a robbery going on all the time?"

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"Yeah, I remember him, yeah."

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-VICTORIA:

-Am I alone in this?

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When you see great-looking women at premieres,

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and they have a picture and they're looking over...

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Whenever I see a picture like that, I don't understand how they do it.

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-No.

-They used to have a pose they did on Page 3

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where it got the tits and the bum in the same shot.

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Really?

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Tits and the bum in the same shot?

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AUDIENCE CHEERS

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I think I've got it.

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-Yeah?

-You be the bum, you be the bum, and I'll...

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Bend over, be the bum, like that.

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There we go.

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APPLAUSE

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Enough Oratory.

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How did this man's bare bottom help Britain win World War I?

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He looks really different with his suit off, doesn't he?

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LAUGHTER

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Like, you wouldn't even know that was him.

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Give us a clue about the man -

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-did something go into his bottom or come out of it?

-Well...

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-The man is called William Lawrence Bragg...

-Oh!

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..he was a physicist. He was a Nobel laureate.

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In fact, he remains the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize -

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he received it in 1915, along with his father, a famous physicist.

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In 1915, he was serving as a subaltern in Flanders,

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trying to find out ways to use sound to locate enemy artillery.

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So, one day he was sitting on the latrine

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at the house where he was billeted -

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it was a tight little closet, with no window at all,

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and he'd shut the door,

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and so there was no other opening to the outside world

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apart from the one that he was sitting on -

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and he noticed that when there was gunfire nearby,

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his backside momentarily lifted off the seat.

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Even when he didn't really hear the explosion,

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there was a sort of a thing, like this -

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and meanwhile, another physicist he was working with,

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a man called William Tucker,

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was billeted in a tar paper hut,

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and he noticed that by his cot there were just a couple of little holes,

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and even on a day when there was no wind,

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little puffs of air were blowing through,

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and they compared notes, the two of them,

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one from the loo and one from these two little holes,

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and they deduced that this was the result

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of inaudible low frequency sounds of artillery,

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and they set about devising detectors,

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and by 1917 it was so advanced

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that the allies had a really devastating advantage

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in locating and targeting enemy guns...

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-Wow.

-..and it all came about

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-because his backside lifted off the lavatory.

-Ooh!

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Is this maybe the most inspiring story I have ever heard...

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-About a lavatory.

-..about a men's toilet and holes in a wall.

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LAUGHTER

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-Normally these end super differently.

-Yeah, yeah.

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Normally it's, "Then they had to shut down that garage."

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LAUGHTER

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And did they have to use his specific arse on all of this?

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No, I don't...

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Did he have to go round the whole - "Oh, it's over there."

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Yeah, but that's how he discovered it.

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-Wow.

-There are still 40,000 outside lavatories in the UK.

0:13:150:13:17

I'm surprised they've not all been turned into cereal cafes or summat.

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That's the sort of thing people keep doing now,

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turning toilets into bars.

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-Yeah, there's one not far from here.

-Yeah?

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-It's a toilet.

-That turned into a bar?

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It's called The Toilet, I think.

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I think it is, actually, that's right!

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Where you go to the loo, God knows.

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You can go out on the street and do it up the side of a pub, like...

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Well, there used to be a thing,

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when people were peeing up the sides of buildings, boys, let's be honest.

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-Let's be honest, yeah.

-Boys peeing outside buildings.

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And talented girls.

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Yeah, and talented - very talented girls

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who were straight from Page 3,

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showing their arse and their tits at the same time.

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Lots of London buildings had special tilted metal bars,

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so that if somebody did pee against it,

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the pee would splash back on the person's shoes.

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The most southerly public loo in Britain

0:14:020:14:06

is on the island of the Minquiers.

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Here is a picture of it. It says, "This toilet has the distinction

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"of being the most southern building in the British Isles.

0:14:100:14:13

"Please use with care as the nearest alternative is in Jersey,

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"which is 11 miles away."

0:14:150:14:17

LAUGHTER

0:14:170:14:18

It looks like those rocks are leaning against the toilet.

0:14:180:14:21

It looks like they're queuing up, doesn't it?

0:14:210:14:24

It does look like a queue, doesn't it, and they've solidified waiting.

0:14:240:14:27

LAUGHTER

0:14:270:14:28

"Oh, hello, we're the Minquiers.

0:14:300:14:32

"Is there anyone in there?"

0:14:320:14:35

That's a great title for a band.

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"Hey, hey, we're The Minquiers."

0:14:370:14:39

"Hey, hey, we're The Minquiers."

0:14:390:14:40

On a lighter note, who takes their mother-in-law to a lunatic asylum?

0:14:400:14:44

-LAUGHTER

-Ooh...

0:14:440:14:46

-Terrible picture.

-Look at us there.

-VICTORIA:

-What's...?

0:14:460:14:49

Is that meant to be us as mothers-in-law in a lunatic asylum?

0:14:490:14:51

-JASON:

-Yes, that's exactly what it is.

-I think that is the general...

0:14:510:14:54

-That's the look we're going for.

-That's definitely the weirdest idea

0:14:540:14:57

-for a picture of us.

-Yeah.

0:14:570:14:58

-I'm just thinking of mother-in-law jokes now.

-Go on, then.

0:14:580:15:00

Well, the Les Dawson one is the best mother...

0:15:000:15:02

AWOOGA Ah!

0:15:020:15:05

-I haven't even told a joke!

-APPLAUSE

0:15:050:15:08

Damn you! That's not fair!

0:15:080:15:11

He had the classic,

0:15:130:15:14

I was walking down the street with my wife

0:15:140:15:18

and I saw my mother-in-law,

0:15:180:15:20

and she was being beaten and robbed by six men.

0:15:200:15:22

And my wife said, "Aren't you going to help?"

0:15:220:15:24

-I said, "No, six should be enough."

-LAUGHTER

0:15:240:15:27

-AS LES DAWSON:

-I knew the mother-in-law was around,

0:15:280:15:30

-because all the mice were throwing themselves on the trap.

-Yeah!

0:15:300:15:34

-He's amazing, amazing.

-Fantastic comic.

0:15:350:15:38

-Is this the old school... Like, the day out?

-Yeah.

0:15:380:15:40

-Like you would take...

-Yeah.

-..to watch.

-Absolutely right.

0:15:400:15:42

-It was just down the road from here, wasn't it? Bethlem Hospital.

-Yeah.

0:15:420:15:45

You could go and they had a viewing gallery,

0:15:450:15:47

-when you used to go and watch the crazy people.

-Yeah.

0:15:470:15:49

In 19th-century America, if you could afford a honeymoon,

0:15:490:15:52

you would go on a grand tour, like you'd go to Niagara Falls,

0:15:520:15:54

but you would also take an excursion to an insane asylum, prisons,

0:15:540:15:57

battlefields, homes for the deaf and dumb, orphanages -

0:15:570:16:00

and it was normal practice to take your new in-laws along with you.

0:16:000:16:04

Can you imagine?

0:16:040:16:05

It's funny how, like, there's a part of you that hears about that,

0:16:050:16:08

and you suddenly think, "Oh, well, I'm glad we've moved on,"

0:16:080:16:11

and then you think, "Isn't Big Brother still on the telly?"

0:16:110:16:14

-Yeah, yeah.

-And Britain's Got Talent auditions.

0:16:140:16:17

-Yeah, I know!

-It's pretty much the same thing.

0:16:170:16:20

I only actually watch those at the beginning,

0:16:200:16:22

when you've got the nutters. "Where are you from?" "Hull."

0:16:220:16:25

"Where are you from?" "Carlisle."

0:16:250:16:26

"Where are you from?" "Narnia!"

0:16:260:16:27

"Right, you're in, right to the front."

0:16:270:16:29

LAUGHTER

0:16:290:16:31

So, odd outings, and odd days out, if you were interested -

0:16:310:16:34

-sewage treatment works, for example.

-Oh, yeah.

0:16:340:16:37

The Sha Tin sewage works in Hong Kong

0:16:370:16:39

offers, "Thematic tours, display panels,

0:16:390:16:42

"model exhibitions and game booths,"

0:16:420:16:44

as well as "stage performances,

0:16:440:16:45

"a fun area for kids and photo-taking corners."

0:16:450:16:48

Can you see the guy in the bottom right?

0:16:480:16:50

LAUGHTER

0:16:510:16:52

That really, that's very much like, "Oh, this is a terrible..."

0:16:540:16:56

-Yeah!

-"I thought it was a funny idea,

0:16:560:16:58

"and now I'm here and it's bad."

0:16:580:17:00

There's a treatment plant in New Zealand.

0:17:000:17:02

"Sturdy, flat-soled and closed-in shoes are required,

0:17:020:17:06

"and rain coats are recommended."

0:17:060:17:07

AUDIENCE GROANS

0:17:070:17:09

That sounds like they need a redesign,

0:17:090:17:10

-if you've got to wear a raincoat.

-Yeah.

0:17:100:17:12

Going on a log flume.

0:17:120:17:13

LAUGHTER

0:17:130:17:15

Yeah. "Close your mouth!"

0:17:210:17:24

The Dubbo Sewage Treatment Plant in New South Wales,

0:17:270:17:30

their open day includes "spectacular drone footage plus a free barbecue."

0:17:300:17:34

As the man in charge said, "I would be surprised

0:17:340:17:36

"if we didn't have at least dozens of people through."

0:17:360:17:39

LAUGHTER

0:17:390:17:40

Now, what do vegetarian goatsuckers eat?

0:17:420:17:46

LAUGHTER

0:17:470:17:49

-Right, wow...

-Can you show that on television?

0:17:490:17:51

I think that's taking vaping too far.

0:17:510:17:54

Is that a goat bagpipe?

0:17:550:17:57

It is a goat bagpipe.

0:17:570:17:59

He's done something odd to his hair.

0:17:590:18:01

Yeah, his hair, that's the problem with that picture.

0:18:010:18:03

LAUGHTER

0:18:030:18:04

So vegetarian goatsuckers, what do they eat?

0:18:060:18:09

He must eat the rest of the goat, surely,

0:18:090:18:11

before it becomes his instrument?

0:18:110:18:12

It's a vegetarian goatsucker.

0:18:120:18:14

-VICTORIA:

-So...

0:18:140:18:16

-Not goats.

-It's no use saying that.

0:18:160:18:17

What's a goatsucker?

0:18:170:18:19

-It's a kind of bird, it's an order of birds called goatsuckers...

-Oh.

0:18:190:18:22

..and they were named

0:18:220:18:23

because there was an ancient belief that they lived nocturnally

0:18:230:18:26

sucking the milk from the teats of goats,

0:18:260:18:28

-which sent them blind.

-Ooh, God!

-Ooh, hello.

0:18:280:18:29

-Feels like a fun-size owl.

-Well...

0:18:290:18:32

Like, if you're like, "Oh, I want to get an owl,

0:18:320:18:34

-"but I haven't got the space."

-Yeah.

0:18:340:18:35

LAUGHTER

0:18:350:18:37

"I'll get one of these."

0:18:370:18:39

They're called oilbirds, also known as guacharo,

0:18:390:18:42

and they are the only vegetarian species of goatsuckers.

0:18:420:18:45

Most goatsuckers eat insects.

0:18:450:18:46

These oilbirds eat fruit.

0:18:460:18:48

Sorry, you said that like it's like a huge surprise to us.

0:18:480:18:51

-What?

-We only just heard they existed,

0:18:510:18:52

and you went, "These are the only ones that are vegetarians."

0:18:520:18:55

Well, I've just found out. I mean, I literally couldn't care less.

0:18:550:18:57

LAUGHTER

0:18:570:18:59

And I'm speaking on behalf of everyone in the room

0:18:590:19:01

when I say, "No, really, these are the only vegetarian ones?!

0:19:010:19:04

"Wow, let's get this down."

0:19:040:19:06

What are you talking about? You've lost your mind!

0:19:070:19:10

They live in caves in the northern part of South America.

0:19:130:19:15

Well, no wonder they're vegetarian - what is there to eat in there?

0:19:150:19:18

Well, the thing about them is they get so fat

0:19:180:19:21

from the fruit that they eat, that they become incredibly plump

0:19:210:19:25

and there's an annual oil harvest,

0:19:250:19:27

where people take the plump babies in their thousands,

0:19:270:19:29

the local people, and they render them for the oil.

0:19:290:19:32

Because apparently it's excellent for fuel, and also for cooking.

0:19:320:19:35

Do they still suck the goats?

0:19:350:19:36

Nobody sucks goats, it's... There is no goat-sucking.

0:19:360:19:40

-How do you get the oil out of the bird?

-This is like a...!

0:19:400:19:43

Well, you can render any bird for its fat.

0:19:430:19:45

If you've ever cooked a duck,

0:19:450:19:46

you can get an enormous amount of duck fat out of it.

0:19:460:19:48

-Imagine a world where I've never cooked a duck.

-OK.

0:19:480:19:51

-LAUGHTER

-Imagine - I mean, it's...

0:19:510:19:53

I mean, it's like...

0:19:550:19:56

We're not really on the same wavelength here at all.

0:19:560:19:59

But fat runs off a chicken.

0:20:000:20:02

Have you cooked a bird of any kind?

0:20:020:20:03

-You'll have a drip tray.

-Yes. Yes, you have a drip tray.

0:20:030:20:06

-You've got one under your bed.

-Yeah.

0:20:060:20:08

LAUGHTER

0:20:080:20:09

APPLAUSE

0:20:110:20:13

Do you remember when Sandi had a breakdown on television

0:20:160:20:19

and she was talking about goatsuckers?

0:20:190:20:21

And then we just gave up, we asked about three times,

0:20:210:20:23

"What has this goat got to do with anything?"

0:20:230:20:25

and she just went, "Oh, it's a bird,"

0:20:250:20:27

and then she kept on talking about goats for ages, before,

0:20:270:20:30

but then we just let it go.

0:20:300:20:31

You could look back on it as the tipping point,

0:20:310:20:33

they say that was it, it was one show too many -

0:20:330:20:35

and she explained to everyone,

0:20:350:20:36

"It's the only vegetarian goatsucker,

0:20:360:20:38

"but it doesn't suck goats, doesn't do it,"

0:20:380:20:39

-and she thought it made sense.

-Yeah, and then...and then she was...

0:20:390:20:42

..she was someone's mother-in-law, and then she ended up in an asylum.

0:20:420:20:45

LAUGHTER

0:20:450:20:46

And we went to visit her. Yeah.

0:20:460:20:48

It was an ancient belief that they sucked

0:20:480:20:51

the teats of goats for the milk, but they don't.

0:20:510:20:54

Sometimes, in the old days, they got things wrong.

0:20:540:20:58

I'd quite like to live in a cave.

0:20:590:21:01

Would you? Why?

0:21:010:21:02

I don't know, I always like being in a cave.

0:21:020:21:05

Whenever I'm in a cave, I feel quite relaxed.

0:21:070:21:10

This is the weirdest therapy session of all time.

0:21:100:21:13

I went into some really big caves once, and it was great in there.

0:21:130:21:17

LAUGHTER

0:21:180:21:19

I'd say whatever Sandi's got is catching.

0:21:210:21:24

LAUGHTER

0:21:240:21:26

And do you know what?

0:21:260:21:27

If my calculations are correct, I think the wind's blowing that way.

0:21:270:21:30

I don't think Jason's got much hope.

0:21:300:21:33

But you talk about the things that -

0:21:330:21:34

you say they're called goatsuckers and you don't believe me,

0:21:340:21:37

-there are...

-Oh, we're back to this, are we?

0:21:370:21:39

I mean, God bless Alan for taking one for the team,

0:21:390:21:42

but you really... Oh, yeah, no, back to the goatsuckers, yeah,

0:21:420:21:46

let's pull this round, because this lot can't believe it.

0:21:460:21:49

That is a thing, but it's also known as an oilbird,

0:21:500:21:52

but the type of bird it is is a goatsucker.

0:21:520:21:55

That's just the - what they became called

0:21:550:21:57

even though it isn't actually the...

0:21:570:21:59

Hundreds, thousands of years ago somebody went,

0:21:590:22:01

-"I bet they suck the teats of goats."

-Yes, exactly.

0:22:010:22:05

-"Let's call them goatsuckers."

-Yes, and it stuck.

0:22:050:22:07

Everyone else went, "But they don't do that."

0:22:070:22:09

-"I've named them now!"

-Yes.

0:22:090:22:11

"OK? I've written it down in the bird book!"

0:22:110:22:15

LAUGHTER

0:22:150:22:16

It's like that joke, "You shag one sheep..."

0:22:180:22:20

Yeah, exactly.

0:22:200:22:22

One of them mistook a goat's nipple for a berry...

0:22:220:22:25

..and the whole species was named.

0:22:250:22:29

Right, moving on.

0:22:290:22:31

The oilbird is the only vegetarian goatsucker.

0:22:310:22:34

It eats nothing but fruit. Right.

0:22:340:22:37

Let us move on to the outer limits of knowledge,

0:22:370:22:39

the odd world of General Ignorance.

0:22:390:22:41

Fingers on buzzers, please.

0:22:410:22:43

How many time zones are there in China?

0:22:430:22:46

Ooh.

0:22:460:22:47

Yes, Jimmy?

0:22:470:22:49

One.

0:22:490:22:50

-Yes.

-Come on!

-You're absolutely right, one.

0:22:500:22:53

APPLAUSE

0:22:530:22:54

-So...

-No, no, no, don't even explain, let's just...

0:22:570:23:00

Let's just enjoy that moment for a second.

0:23:000:23:01

I mean, I've never got anything on this bloody show.

0:23:010:23:03

-You're absolutely right.

-It's one, actually.

-Why do you think that?

0:23:030:23:06

Well, do you know what? That's not important. What matters is...

0:23:060:23:09

LAUGHTER

0:23:090:23:10

-..there's one time zone in China.

-Yeah.

0:23:100:23:12

-You can take that to the bank.

-Yeah.

0:23:120:23:14

I imagine the Communist Party decided what the time was

0:23:140:23:17

-and that was it.

-Yeah. You're absolutely right.

0:23:170:23:19

So, given the size of the nation,

0:23:190:23:20

-you would think that it would be many different...

-At least four.

0:23:200:23:23

At least four - but it's always Beijing time,

0:23:230:23:25

no matter where you are. So, if it is noon in Beijing,

0:23:250:23:27

then 3,000 miles away, it is also noon.

0:23:270:23:29

It was standardised, time, in 1949,

0:23:290:23:30

following the revolution and the civil war.

0:23:300:23:33

Is there people in the middle of the night like forcing lunch down them?

0:23:330:23:35

-Yes.

-"Ooh, lunch time again."

0:23:350:23:38

HE YAWNS Yes.

0:23:380:23:40

In the summer, there are places where the sun sets

0:23:400:23:42

in the middle of the night, and then in the winter

0:23:420:23:44

the sunrise might not come until ten o'clock in the morning.

0:23:440:23:47

First adoption of standard time in Britain?

0:23:470:23:49

-Why did we adopt it?

-Was that wartime?

0:23:490:23:51

No. 1847, so we're talking about the railways.

0:23:510:23:54

It's because there's no point in having the railways

0:23:540:23:57

-if you're all on different times.

-Oh.

0:23:570:23:58

You say that, but I don't know if you've used Southern Rail...

0:23:580:24:01

LAUGHTER

0:24:010:24:02

GMT. You start to get it -

0:24:040:24:06

1855, about 98% of the country is using it,

0:24:060:24:08

and then it became Britain's legal time in 1880 -

0:24:080:24:11

but there were still places,

0:24:110:24:13

some British clocks have got two minute hands,

0:24:130:24:16

so there is a still working public clock

0:24:160:24:18

over the old Corn Exchange in Bristol,

0:24:180:24:20

and it has a black minute hand for GMT

0:24:200:24:22

and it has a red minute hand for what was known as Bristol Time,

0:24:220:24:26

and it's ten minutes behind,

0:24:260:24:28

and that clock is still working.

0:24:280:24:29

Ten minutes behind!

0:24:290:24:31

-I've done some gigs in Bristol, that makes sense.

-Yeah.

0:24:310:24:33

LAUGHTER

0:24:330:24:34

Sometimes they don't get it straight away.

0:24:340:24:36

RENEWED LAUGHTER

0:24:360:24:37

I think they might be in.

0:24:390:24:40

-That reaction.

-What should I do if my child has got flat feet?

0:24:420:24:46

Oh, store them on a flat surface.

0:24:460:24:48

LAUGHTER

0:24:480:24:50

Why would I mind?

0:24:500:24:52

Ah, well, you're absolutely right, it doesn't matter.

0:24:520:24:54

-Nothing, nothing.

-It doesn't matter in the slightest.

0:24:540:24:56

-I've got very flat feet.

-Yes, it doesn't matter.

0:24:560:24:59

I mean it doesn't matter to me.

0:24:590:25:00

I don't give a damn about your feet. LAUGHTER

0:25:000:25:02

You've... You've really changed.

0:25:020:25:04

You were super friendly earlier.

0:25:040:25:06

Why has it ever mattered?

0:25:060:25:07

You used to be able to get out of military service.

0:25:070:25:09

-Yeah.

-Pike in Dad's Army - it was his feet, wasn't it?

0:25:090:25:12

-Yeah.

-That and his stupidity.

0:25:120:25:14

LAUGHTER

0:25:140:25:16

It's an old wives' tale, and we have no idea

0:25:160:25:18

why both the medical and the military establishment

0:25:180:25:20

decided to adopt it as something that was important -

0:25:200:25:22

and you could indeed be given exclusion from service

0:25:220:25:25

in the Armed Forces because you had flat feet.

0:25:250:25:27

-Not any more.

-Those are nice little feet.

0:25:270:25:28

-They're so... I love babies' feet.

-Mm.

-They're just so...

0:25:280:25:31

Like little slices of rare roast beef.

0:25:310:25:33

LAUGHTER

0:25:330:25:34

OK, that wasn't where I was going, but, yes.

0:25:340:25:36

LAUGHTER

0:25:360:25:38

-JASON:

-I've got a feeling the wind's blowing the other way now.

0:25:380:25:41

LAUGHTER

0:25:410:25:42

It's really, it used to be seen as a disability.

0:25:430:25:45

Some people thought it needed treatment, even surgery,

0:25:450:25:48

-but nowadays it's...

-That would feel like taking the piss,

0:25:480:25:50

if you parked in a disabled bay

0:25:500:25:51

and went, "Yeah, I've got..."

0:25:510:25:53

-Flat feet, mate.

-Flat feet.

-"I've got very flat feet."

0:25:530:25:55

What we think now is that feet just come in different shapes and sizes.

0:25:550:25:58

-That'll be it.

-Like ears and noses,

0:25:580:25:59

they come - you know, there's no right or wrong.

0:25:590:26:02

It's possible that the whole concept of arched feet

0:26:020:26:04

is just a cosmetic ideal.

0:26:040:26:05

People thought it was rather beautiful.

0:26:050:26:07

I don't really get the foot fetish thing.

0:26:070:26:09

-Do you not?

-Like, how did that start?

0:26:090:26:11

Well, there was a goatsucker and...

0:26:110:26:13

LAUGHTER

0:26:130:26:14

APPLAUSE

0:26:140:26:16

The best treatment for flat feet is no treatment at all.

0:26:190:26:22

When a boa constrictor squeezes its prey,

0:26:220:26:25

what is the cause of death?

0:26:250:26:26

Oh, that's so horrible.

0:26:260:26:28

No, snakes are brilliant.

0:26:280:26:29

It'll be something creepy.

0:26:290:26:30

-Yeah.

-Snakes are real murderers.

0:26:300:26:33

Is the answer, you're beaten to death with a candlestick?

0:26:330:26:36

Oh! In the library by the boa constrictor.

0:26:360:26:39

They are the absolute Agatha Christie of killers.

0:26:390:26:42

Do you know, I normally quite like snakes,

0:26:420:26:44

-but that one is just rude.

-Yeah.

0:26:440:26:47

Don't they, don't they sort of trigger a heart attack?

0:26:470:26:49

-Yes, that is exactly right.

-Is that their thing?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:26:490:26:52

It used to be thought that they squeezed so hard

0:26:520:26:54

that the victim couldn't breathe,

0:26:540:26:55

and that each time the prey exhaled,

0:26:550:26:57

the snake would tighten its grip

0:26:570:26:58

until they couldn't breathe any more -

0:26:580:27:00

but what they've now discovered

0:27:000:27:01

is it's stopping the blood flow to the vital organs.

0:27:010:27:04

They've done these studies

0:27:040:27:05

to know how the snake knows when to stop squeezing.

0:27:050:27:07

Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, they gave their boa constrictor

0:27:070:27:10

dead rats into which little robot hearts had been inserted.

0:27:100:27:15

So, although the rat was dead, it still had a heartbeat,

0:27:150:27:18

and the snakes didn't relax their grip

0:27:180:27:19

until they turned off the heartbeat.

0:27:190:27:21

They seemed to have the ability to work out, to monitor the heartbeat.

0:27:210:27:24

They're like a, they're like a demon blood pressure cuff.

0:27:240:27:27

LAUGHTER

0:27:270:27:28

Listen to the things people have done,

0:27:280:27:30

you haven't even cooked a duck!

0:27:300:27:31

LAUGHTER

0:27:310:27:33

APPLAUSE

0:27:330:27:35

That's told me! That's told me.

0:27:410:27:45

Time to look at some odd numbers.

0:27:450:27:46

It is the final scores -

0:27:460:27:49

and our winner, with minus four, this is very exciting,

0:27:490:27:52

is Victoria.

0:27:520:27:54

Oh, fair play.

0:27:540:27:55

APPLAUSE

0:27:550:27:57

In joint second place, with minus eight,

0:28:000:28:03

it's Jason and Alan.

0:28:030:28:04

-APPLAUSE

-Oh!

-That's good.

0:28:040:28:07

We came second.

0:28:070:28:09

I've never even cooked a duck!

0:28:100:28:12

Or sucked a goat.

0:28:120:28:14

In...

0:28:140:28:15

-LAUGHTER

-Well...

0:28:150:28:16

-Too much information.

-I had a fabulous gap year,

0:28:180:28:20

I don't want to discuss it.

0:28:200:28:21

With minus 23, last place goes to Jimmy!

0:28:210:28:25

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:28:250:28:27

So, it's thanks to Victoria, Jimmy, Jason and Alan -

0:28:330:28:37

and we leave you with a memory of Winston Churchill,

0:28:370:28:40

who was not only a great orator, but a great student of oratory.

0:28:400:28:42

He used to rehearse his speeches constantly

0:28:420:28:45

to make them sound natural.

0:28:450:28:46

He'd practise in the bath, for instance,

0:28:460:28:48

and it's said that the first time his valet heard him doing this,

0:28:480:28:50

he asked, "Were you speaking to me, sir?"

0:28:500:28:52

"No," said Churchill, "I was addressing the House of Commons."

0:28:520:28:55

Goodnight.

0:28:550:28:56

APPLAUSE

0:28:560:28:57

Sandi Toksvig looks at some oddballs. Tune in for the odd ball games, but be sure to stay for the vegetarian goatsuckers - you won't regret it. With Jason Manford, Jimmy Carr, Victoria Coren Mitchell and Alan Davies.


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