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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And welcome to QI.
Tonight, we are completely all over the place, a feast of O's,
with scrambled ovi.
Your ovations, please, for the overlooked Bill Bailey...
..the overexcited Jan Ravens...
..the overwhelming Grayson Perry...
..and all over the shop, Alan Davies.
Let's get their buzzers over with. Bill goes...
MUSIC: Over and Over by Hot Chip
MUSIC: It's Over by Electric Light Orchestra
Well, I like that one. That one's good. Grayson goes...
MUSIC: It's Over by Roy Orbison
I didn't know how to tell you, Grayson.
And Alan goes...
They think it's all over.
It is now!
It's finally one you like.
Ah, I love that!
So my first question is about ova, spelled O-V-A.
You can't learn to ski jump without breaking legs,
and you can't make an omelette without...
Yay! And we're off and running.
But you're going to show us how you can.
You can make an omelette without breaking eggs.
In Japan, it's called a golden egg, as we shall demonstrate.
What you need to do is...
-Get a chicken.
It's in a pair of tights.
It's in a stocking, so I'm going to pass this to you.
And what you need to do is you need to basically to break the membrane
that is round the egg yolk, that is called the vitelline membrane.
It's protein fibres. And what you do is, you spin it like this,
and you're trying to shake the egg and, actually,
it's one of the good things, when you let go, it does that.
I've got a very expensive suit on at this point.
-Ah, OK. Just spin it gently, would be the thing, yeah.
I don't think we've ever had anybody
who's worn expensive clothing on this show before.
Just a really cheap children's toy, isn't it?
-Have you broken yours?
And you spin it
and you mix up the egg inside the shell...
-It's actually quite tough to do.
-AS SCOTTY FROM STAR TREK:
-I cannae make it go any further, Jim!
And then you boil it, and it will, when you remove the shell,
it will reveal that it is an omelette.
I mean, some people would say it's more of a scrambled egg than an
omelette. But Escoffier's definition -
"In a few words, what is an omelette?
"It's really a special type of scrambled egg enclosed in a coating
"or envelope of coagulated egg, and nothing else."
So our version ought to qualify.
That's what a man looks like...
-It's a bloke, innit?
Actually, we could ask Grayson.
This is what a man looks like in tights?
Grayson, I'm so sorry.
I'll tell you, if my skirt was any shorter...
Let's have a look at the below-the-desk cam.
OK. I have a question for you all.
-Here is a bottle...
-..with an egg in it. How did it get in the bottle?
It's one of those tricks you read about in old encyclopaedias,
-And what do you think it is?
So you can't plunge that in a pan of boiling water
and then somehow extricate the shell.
So if I have another bottle, you can see that the egg...
Oh, I know how you do it.
You take all the air out of the bottle and it sucks the egg in.
So the way you do that is you're going to light...
Let me show you.
Do you want me to play some music or something?
Can you light that, darling?
Oh, well, it's doing it.
It's like trying to get into your jeans, isn't it?
That is what happens when you get
Eric Pickles and you try and get him out of an aeroplane.
We've overbooked the flight, you're going to have to...
Actually, no, you can stay.
You go up to 30,000 feet and open the door.
I've got one more trick. So this is a little bit hit and miss.
-But I will do my best. When it works, it's absolutely fantastic.
What is this?
-Oh. I have to be more...
-Can you hit it the other way?
I've got to... No.
-Does it work?
OK. Moving from eggs to bacon.
What did pigs finally manage to do in the 1930s?
Uncurl their tails.
Become a metaphor for socialism.
-According to the OED, pigs
oinked for the first time in 1933.
Before that, they just grunted.
Well, a few... Yeah, exactly. JAN GRUNTS
A few went... You do all kinds of impressions...
I do. I do animals, everything, yeah.
But it doesn't actually sound like oink, that, does it?
No, there's... There are other things.
"Rout", they went, apparently, in 1650.
One went "wick" in the 18th century.
But the practice of oinking is an American practice.
The Washington Post, 6th June 1933,
mentions a small white pig oinking
its disapproval of the effete city folks.
So they didn't oink until the Washington Post decided that
was the thing that they had to do. Oink.
-In Denmark, they say "oof oof".
French swine go "groin groin", apparently.
-That's more like it.
-I wonder if that affects how we view the animal,
because "oof oof" sounds quite positive,
even though, you know, in Denmark, they probably kill more pigs
per capita than in any other country in the world.
And we have no problem with that.
The very first pig to fly in fact
came 24 years before the onset of oinking.
4th November 1909.
An English aviation pioneer called JTC Moore-Brabazon,
he thought for a laugh he would
attach a wastepaper basket to a biplane,
and he took it on a 3.5-mile flight over the Kent countryside.
And he had to wait 100 years for YouTube to be invented.
Yes, I know.
He went on to be the Minister of Transport,
but he clearly liked a bit of a flight.
"When pigs fly" is known as an adynaton.
It's a figure of speech in the form of hyperbole,
and they have wonderful examples in other countries.
The middle one is France - "when hens grow teeth".
-The one on the right is Hebrew -
"when hair grows on the palm of my hand".
My favourite is the Russian one -
"when the crawfish whistles on the mountain".
And we say "when the Lib Dems reform".
Now, what makes the FBI say OMG?
Well, it's not going to be, "Oh, my God," is it?
So it's got to be something else.
It's to do with outlaws.
Moving fast, it would be, in fact. It's outlaw motorcycle gangs.
-They're known as OMGs
-to law enforcement.
-We got a OMG!
-Hell's Angels indeed.
-And do you know the term one-percenter? Do you know...?
They're the people with all the money.
Yeah, so the Occupy movement and so on,
they talk about the top 1% who control the wealth.
Because, you know, I've had motorcycles all my life,
and that used to be a badge I quite
often saw on those collections on denim waistcoats that people had...
Yeah, so what it was was that full badge members
wear the 1% to show their outsider status because there was a
claim by the American Motorcycle Association
that 99% of their members
were God-fearing and family orientated.
And so the 1% wanted to make damn
sure that everybody knew that they were
the bad guys. OK, while we're on the subject of Hell's Angels,
we're now going to play...
-What a game!
-Can you pick that board up there, darling?
-So what I want you to do...
We have written on it for you, Alan,
I want you to put the apostrophe in the correct place.
OK. Is it going to be angels belonging to Hell?
That's it, isn't it? No?
-Oh, you flippin'...
It was bound to happen, wasn't it?
-I hadn't even done it.
You were so keen.
After the S, up there, then?
Try that. Yeah, go on.
Go, go for it.
No, it's a trick.
-There isn't one.
-There isn't one?
There isn't one. They don't want one.
Oh, they don't want one!
No, and who's going to argue with them, frankly?
-I've gone off them.
they had a note in the FAQs of their official website.
"Should the Hells in Hells Angels have an apostrophe
"and be Hell's Angels? That would be true if there were only one hell,
"but life and history has taught us
"that there are many versions and forms of hell."
Then people still carried on criticising them and saying it
should be Hells' - with an apostrophe after the S.
And so it's since been amended, and it now says,
"Missing apostrophe in Hells Angels - yes,
"we know that there is an apostrophe missing, but it is you who miss it.
You know, that's the kind of
punctuation-based rebellion that we need.
Every time I put on my leather jacket, I think,
"Yeah, to hell with punctuation!"
Sticking it to the man, one apostrophe at a time.
Yeah! Us and the market stall traders.
Setting a poor grammatical example, that's the way we roll.
-Hell's Angels, founded in 1948,
some of the gangs that amalgamated together,
one of them was called the Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington.
Maybe too difficult to get on a jacket.
-That's a lot of studs.
-I think that's really good.
Anybody know where the name Hell's Angels comes from?
-Is it Paradise Lost or something?
It's a film, actually, by Howard Hughes.
So the American air squadrons in World War II,
which is probably where the motorcycle gangs got it from,
but the pilots got it from the Howard Hughes film.
-Hell's Angels are fierce in the defence of their trademark.
They've sued Disney and Toys R Us and so on.
You can't wear... Back patches in general are frowned upon.
If you're a motorcycle dude,
if you're wearing a back patch and it's not an official registered one,
you can get into trouble.
When I was young, the Coggeshall Bastards were the local one.
And they were so tough that they
eschewed the leather jacket because they thought that was a bit effete.
-So they wore pac-a-macs and Wellingtons on their bikes.
That was the myth, they were so hard they didn't...
Their skin didn't need leather protection.
-I love the idea of the sound of a pac-a-mac rustling in the wind.
You can get good slogans.
I was at the motorcycle show once and there was a T-shirt and it said
on the back, "If you can read this, the bitch fell off."
Right, moving on.
Um, can you name a female outlaw?
Well, not Jesse James.
-Bonnie out of Bonnie and Clyde.
Strictly streaking, there is no such
thing as a female outlaw in British law.
Outlawry is when an individual
was placed outside the protection of the law,
and females denied protection of the law were called something else.
They were called waived women.
Isn't that awful?
So their right to any petition was said to be waived,
so left out or not regarded.
Can you name a male outlaw of the Wild West?
-Of the Wild West, oof.
Billy the whatsit.
-Billy the whatsit?
-Billy the Kid?
The Sundance Kid?
Yeah, what's her name?
We can go on and on. Uh, so, again,
there were no outlaws as such in the old West. Male or female.
Oh, you amaze me.
So in the original meaning,
an outlaw is merely somebody who's been put outside the law,
so denied its protections.
ALAN HUMS DRAMATICALLY
Yeah, that's a fantastic film, isn't it?
So these were... So none of them were outlaws.
In order to be an outlaw, you had to be set outside...
Are trying to hum the theme tune to The Magnificent Seven?
-That's not the theme tune to The Magnificent Seven.
-No, that's Bonanza.
-Oh, that's Bonanza!
-Oh, I liked Bonanza.
-I thought Bonanza was...
-# Bonanza! #
Yeah, yeah, I think that was right. I think we need...
I demand that...
-That's the Muppets!
-Someone google it.
Does anybody know the bloody theme tune?
BILL HUMS: The Magnificent Seven Theme
Come on, everyone!
Everybody, join in!
Now, back over to O-V-A, ova now.
What is the secret ingredient
of virgin boy eggs?
Yeah, it's... Oh, I promise you, it's...
-Like taking it out with a syringe and sticking it in the egg?
Boy eggs. A pustule.
Done, it'll be like a Walnut Whip.
You see, I thought what I've got on the card is disgusting,
but it's possible you've topped it. I think that...
It's a Chinese dish called tongzidan.
-And it is literally virgin boy eggs.
They prepared by boiling hens' eggs in the urine of young boys.
-Now, come on,
it's a springtime delicacy in the
city of Dongyang in Zhejiang province.
-You're making this up now.
So they soak them in the urine and then they bring them to the boil,
and then they're simmered for a day with fresh urine, a few herbs,
and at the end of the process, they apparently look like that.
The urine is from boys under the age of ten,
and what they do is they collect it in a bucket in primary schools.
And each of the eggs are sold at...
It's about 20p apiece.
According to one Dongyang resident, they taste a bit like urine,
but not too much.
-There are people who do drink
their own urine for medical benefits,
-There are, yes.
That is a horrible picture.
Apparently it tastes slightly sweet but salty. A bit like a margarita,
Does he normally have it in one of those glasses?
With salt round the rim.
Oh, no! Oh, no, no, no.
You're saying salt round the rim, and then...
-Tastes a bit like urine, not too much.
-Not too much.
There was a Mexican boxing champion called Juan Manuel Marquez,
and he rather famously showcased the practice of drinking his own urine
ahead of a fight in 2009, with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But he lost.
Not a disgrace. Everyone loses to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
I don't think it would do you any harm
because, fundamentally, the toxins leave your body through the faeces,
-Can only do you harm if it's off.
-You've got to have it fresh and warm.
But if you drank some, and then you
urinated it out and then drink that,
and then urinated that out and kept on going...
-Yeah, you probably...
-..how many sort of goes before you...
Before it's completely nothing at all?
Before it's just a cube coming out, I guess.
Urine stock cube to use in your...
You go to the Chinese supermarket for a small boys' wee cube.
"You got the, uh..."
"I haven't got a bucket of boys' wee..."
"I haven't got time to go to the primary school.
"Can you give me some urine stock cubes?"
I spent time with the Mundari people of South Sudan,
and they used the urine of their
incredibly prized cattle to dye their
naturally black hair orange, so during the morning ablutions -
that's what's happening there - the men lower their heads into
the urine stream of a tethered cow, and they use the ash -
you can see his body is white there -
from burned cow dung smeared all over the face and body,
but it acts as a natural antiseptic and it stops mosquitoes.
It's a mosquito repellent. If he stays there too long,
he'll get a pat on the head.
Wow. Oh now, now, the audience are rebelling again.
Some are going, "No, that was good."
-No, no. Yeah, no.
-Don't encourage him. Don't encourage him.
For whom was it all over because of its ova?
Was it Edwina Currie?
Oh. Did she not have some egg...
-She had an egg-based scandal, didn't she, Edwina?
Yes, she's actually morphed into
Hyacinth Bouquet as I sit here, but...
She is from the same neck of the woods.
-Didn't she have an affair with John Major?
-She did, yes.
They said you could tell by the CURRY stains on his underpants.
Oh, now, you miss the pat on the head joke now.
Sorry, I just got a call here.
1982 want their jokes back.
OK, for whom was it all over because of its ova?
We are in a Bill Bailey area of information.
A bird. It'll be a bird, Bill.
-Was it stealing eggs, was it?
Well, yes, I suppose, there's a bit of stealing involved.
Let me show you.
-So I've got...
-Oh, my Lord!
..some eggs here.
-So this one is an ostrich egg.
-Isn't that amazing?
-This is roughly the size of the egg that I am talking about.
Now, you can't have a real one
because they're worth an absolute fortune.
-So this is...
-Is this a prehistoric egg of some kind?
It is the elephant bird.
-The elephant bird.
-The elephant bird.
And this is a Heston Blumenthal
chocolate egg that is roughly the same...
-I know. And it's got something in it.
I don't know if we should open it and have a look.
Does anybody want to...?
-Oh, please, go on.
-So what happened is, humans stole the eggs for food,
-Do you know about the elephant bird?
They were around until the 17th century.
They were flightless, they were about 10ft tall.
-They weighed about half a tonne,
and they lived on the island of Madagascar.
They had a ferocious kick, so you wouldn't have been able to
get near them, human beings. I mean, imagine such a big bird.
But the eggs of the elephant bird were 100 times the size of a
chicken's egg, so it could have fed a family for several days.
So you couldn't attack the bird to eat it,
but you could probably get hold of the eggs,
and so many eggs were taken that eventually the bird became entirely
extinct. And we still find fragments of the shell of the elephant bird
near where we know human beings lit fires.
David Attenborough, didn't he reassemble one?
From pieces he found on the beach?
Yes, he did, because they're incredibly valuable.
The last one that was sold at Christie's, which was in 2013,
sold for £66,000.
And also, when they are found now, the Malagasy government claims them,
and so any ones in private ownership or in museums or whatever are
incredibly rare. So that's why we've got the chocolate one.
-What a shame it died out, isn't it?
Yeah. Now, here's a simple question.
Who spends all day fossicking in the mullock?
I feel like I'm doing that right now, after I've eaten that egg.
It sounds like you are sort of looking in the washing basket for a
clean pair of pants, the cleanest pair of pants, doesn't it?
Well, you are looking... You are looking through dirt.
Is it between tides?
So "fossick" is possibly from the Cornish meaning "to search out",
and "mullock" is Middle English for "dust" or "rubbish".
It's the business of grubbing around,
that's the fossicking, in the spoil,
the mullock, of numerous mounds left by opal miners around Coober Pedy.
-They call it "noodling".
It's a small town in the vast desert outback of South Australia.
-Have you been there?
-I've been there.
-And they have underground
-Did you fossick?
-I did fossick briefly, yes,
in the minibar.
What is this, the "what" capital of the world?
The opal capital of the world.
The opal capital of the world. Provides about three-quarters of the
-Otherwise known as Vauxhall, in this country.
It gets so hot in the summer, they have to live underground.
And I met a bloke there who went there when he was 20,
and he was digging around... Just... You can...
And the bloke next to him found a 7 million opal.
And that's it, he never left!
He was still there, after all this time.
Well, you can buy a permit for less than £40.
-Yeah. You could.
-So it is possible you could make your fortune.
You talked about those underground places -
cos it's all sandstone, they built these astonishing...
-I stayed there!
Serbian Orthodox underground church!
It is. Half the town's residents...
There's 3,500 people live there. Half of them live underground.
And, in fact, the name Coober Pedy is
an Anglicised version of the aboriginal "kupa piti",
which means "white man in a hole".
Do you play golf at all, Bill?
-I do, yes.
-Cos one of the top ten extraordinary golf courses in the
-I didn't play there, but it looked extraordinary.
It's a unique golf course.
There is no grass.
-So you get given a little tiny turf of grass,
-anybody who plays golf.
-It's all bunker!
It's all crushed rock.
And the greens are made of sand mixed with sump oil,
so that the sand doesn't blow away.
And to avoid the daytime sun, which can be incredibly hot,
they often play at night, and they use these...
..these glow-in-the-dark balls...
Can we just turn the lights out and see if these will actually function?
I'm going to see if I can...
So there's a glow in the dark...
Sandi's shirt, as well!
-Did you know it's the only golf course in the world that has
reciprocal rights with the Royal and Ancient?
It's an extraordinary place.
People do... I mean, there's mining, that's it.
-It's all there is.
-But look at that...
It's funny in Australia, though, cos it's all kind of "no worries",
you know, and, "Yeah, great, no worries."
And you kind of think, "Oh, that's great, they're such a
"happy-go-lucky, lovely people."
And by about a week in you're thinking,
"Can we actually worry about something now?!"
No, it's all just, "Great, no worries."
There's a great expression they have there which is "too easy".
You ask them, "Can I get a beer, mate?"
"Too easy." You know.
It's a lovely thing. It's like, "Too easy, mate. Don't worry."
And it gets annoying after a while.
I was in the hotel, and this bloke phoned me up and said, "Mr Bailey,
"there's a package for you." I went, "OK."
He goes, "Do you want me to bring it up?"
I went, "OK," and then he went, "Too easy."
"All right, then. Well, fly it up, then!"
"Make it more difficult!"
I expect there's Australians at this very minute
on a panel show going, "They always ask, 'How are you?'
"but they don't want to find out!"
And if you're in LA,
you go down to breakfast, and the waiter says to you, "Hey there,
"how's your day been so far?!"
You think, "I'm just coming down to breakfast.
"Nothing much has happened so far."
-"I've drunk me own urine, and now I want some eggs.
"Can you boil them in a bucket of boys' piss?"
I once had a waitress in Los Angeles...
Did you, now?!
I didn't mean for that to get out. OK...
Now it's time to go straight over to general ignorance,
fingers poised over buzzers, please.
What happens if you put a frog in cold water
and then heat it up to boiling point?
MUSIC: Over and Over by Hot Chip
MUSIC: It's Over by Roy Orbison
-It gets a little bit warm and it jumps out.
-It does jump out.
The myth is that the frog will stay in the hot water.
It's often used as a sort of political parable -
Al Gore used it in The Inconvenient Truth, about climate change.
The idea that because it happens so slowly, you don't notice,
and then eventually you're going to die.
-But frogs are not that stupid.
-They are just not that stupid.
Put it the other way round,
so if you put a reptile in a warm tank and you gradually reduced the
temperature, it might very well allow itself to freeze to death.
Cos it's cold-blooded, it would respond to the dropping temperature
by shutting down its systems, basically.
It would go to sleep, and then it would freeze in its...
He's a jolly chap on the left there.
He's fab, isn't he?
And lastly, it ain't over until...
The fat lady sings.
-Why do we say that?
Opera, is it, and the fat lady comes on and sings,
and then when she's done, that it's over?
-Is it that?
-The usual explanation is that it is Brunnhilde in Wagner's
-The Ring Cycle.
-Look at those bosoms!
Requires a substantial soprano.
Madonna's gone to seed, hasn't she?!
# Like a virgin...
# Touched for the very first time... #
OK, that's it, get out!
She sings one of the longest
operatic arias in history at the end,
but her aria is not quite the final sung part of the opera.
The last words go to the villain of the piece, Hagen.
He's an evil, scheming, Burgundian warrior who sings "zuruck vom Ring",
"get away from the ring", as he's
dragged by the Rhinemaidens to the river.
MUSIC: The Ring Cycle by Richard Wagner
# Zuruck vom Ring... #
I bet the queue at the loo is already forming,
as those bars are played!
Do you know that wonderful story about the end of Puccini's Tosca?
There's a marvellous moment when the soprano's supposed to leap to her
death off the walls, and Eva Turner, who was a famous British soprano,
was doing this at the Lyric Opera in Chicago,
and she complained that the mattress she was supposed to fall on was not
really springing enough, so they
replaced it with a trampoline, and...
..she reappeared three times!
There's an American saying, "It ain't over till it's over,"
which is a sort of variant on the fat lady singing,
and it's usually attributed to Yogi Berra,
who was the much-loved catcher of the New York Yankees,
but he was celebrated for his wonderful turns of phrase.
He said things like, "It's deja vu all over again," which I like.
"The future ain't what it used to be."
And the most famous thing he's supposed to have said is,
"It ain't over till it's over."
But now it really is all over, barring the scores.
Now, here's the thing, OK? Because Jan and I have been friends for a
really long time, and I know that Jan can do an impersonation of me...
I've got a blonde wig,
and I'm going to give you my glasses...
-Can I be you, and you be me?
This is a marvellous thing.
So I'm going to shift myself over, next to Grayson...
-OK. Right, so...
-Curiously, all you have to do with Sandi is remember the tune
goes up and down a lot, and, er...
So that brings us to the scores.
All over the place, it's Alan with minus 77 points.
Slightly overwhelmed, Bill with minus 7 points.
Over a barrel, Grayson, with plus 3 points,
but, OMG, this week's winner...
Well, it's JANDI, with five points!
So it's thanks from Grayson, Jandi, Bill, Alan and me,
and I leave you with this piece of advice from WC Fields -
"Start every day off with a smile, and get it over with."
Sandi Toksvig looks at over and ova. Learn some tricks you can do with eggs, meet a flying pig and join in as the studio audience sings along with western film themes. With Bill Bailey, Jan Ravens, Grayson Perry and Alan Davies.