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Series 1, Episode 8

Transcript by: Josie Czechowicz and Sarah Falk

TRANSCRIPT

Stephen
Hello, and welcome to QI, the quiz that asks the question: "If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people in the world, then?" Joining me tonight, I am delighted to say, are four people who don't even know the meaning of the word "ignorance". Alan Davies, Linda Smith, Sean Lock and Clive Anderson.

The rules are as short, simple, and memorable as my underwear. Out of the generosity of my heart, I give the panel points for being interesting. Er, none of us will be any the wiser, but at least we will all go home cheerful. There are no wrong answers: only boring ones, predictable ones, which attract this hullabaloo. [raises his arms]

Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the word "BORING".

Stephen
The panel can also draw attention to themselves more discreetly like this. Clive goes:

Clive
[presses buzzer, which plays a trumpet fanfare]

Stephen
Sean goes:

Sean
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a bus bell dinging twice]

Stephen
Linda goes:

Linda
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a bicycle bell]

Stephen
And Alan goes:

Alan
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a door creaking open]

Stephen
Oh, Alan.

Alan's buzzer finishes with a man saying "Hello?"

Stephen
And I go, "Gozo is the second-largest town in Malta", and that sort of frightfully-interesting stuff. So, let's have the first question. Alan. An elephant walks into a bar. What do you offer it to drink?

Alan
An actual elephant?

Stephen
Imagine. Let's suppose.

Alan
It's not a euphemism for something . . . else?

Stephen
No, no. No. One of those, as . . . as in behind you. A pachyderm.

Alan
Should a pachyderm--

Stephen
Yes.

Alan
--go into a bar--

Stephen
Yes, it's a . . . a convoluted way--

Alan
They don't . . . They don't drink.

Stephen
What don't they drink?

Alan
They don't drink anything. They get all of the moisture they need from the grass that they eat. Which is the only reason you never see 'em in the pub.

Linda
I . . . I don't think they get enough moisture, because they've got very wrinkly skin.

Alan
Very wrinkly skin, because they don't drink.

Sean
So all those shots of them 'round water holes, they're just acting, there?

Stephen
Yes.

Sean
Drinking all that water; they're just putting that on.

Alan
No, they squirt it on each other!

Stephen
Yeah. So perhaps it is some kind of euphemism, in that case. Er, no, drinking . . . When we say, "Do you drink? Is he a drinker?" we mean, usually . . . ?

Clive
Alcohol.

Stephen
Alcohol, yes.

Clive
They do . . . They do drink alcohol. Or, they have alcohol. There's the . . . They get fruit, which ferments, and they eat it and they get drunk.

Stephen
Clever soul.

Clive
Have I . . . Have I . . . 

Stephen
You're so right, you've got yourself five points.

Clive
Is that the answer?

Stephen
It is. But you shouldn't offer them alcohol, because, erm, rather like humans, erm, elephants get incredibly stroppy. They can smell, er, ethanol, er, erm, fermenting in fruit from up to ten miles away. Er, and the effect is catastrophic.

Clive
So you can offer them anything. Any drink they'll have.

Stephen
Well, that's right, but they become uncoordinated; they become aggressive. Erm, much like humans.

Alan
Do they take it down the trunk?

Stephen
Why does that sound so awful?

Clive
After . . . After a few drinks, they'll take it anywhere.

Stephen
Oh, dear.

Alan
But I think I actually have seen an elephant with a bottle of beer, taking it and tipping it back--[tips his head back]--like that and drinking it down.

Linda
It's all fruit-based like Alcopops.

Sean
So it would be a Breezer, not a Guinness.

Linda
Yeah.

Alan
Bacardi Breezer, they'd have, yes.

Stephen
Do they see pink human beings when they've, er . . . when they're hallucinating?

Alan
Yes.

Clive
But human beings are pink.

Linda
--are pink.

Stephen
Well, that's true, yes.

Clive
It would be scarcely odd.

Stephen
They'd see blue ones. You're right.

Alan
They have little miniature frozen human beings in their drinks.

Stephen
Yes, they do. Exactly.

That's right, it's a mistake to offer them alcohol. Two hundred people every year die from, er, elephant rampages, many of which are caused--

Alan
What, when they're drunk?

Stephen
Many of them. Not all, obviously. Erm . . . 

Clive
Do they drink . . . They drink to forget, obviously. Because they're notoriously . . . 

Stephen
Very good, very good. Excellent.

Now we're going to have a question straight from the National Curriculum – grade 4, section 14, English language, literature, and ring roads. Clive, describe either James Bond's Bradford or his Vesper.

Clive
Well, is . . . Is "James Bond's Bradford" a bit like, er . . . Is it "James Hewitt's Yorkshire", erm, or, erm, "Thomas Hardy's Wessex"? Is it just rebranding it, so . . . so . . . As in, describing--

Stephen
James Herriot, rather than James Hewitt.

Clive
James Herriot!

Stephen
James Hewitt Spencer, isn't it.

Clive
I sensed I got it wrong, there, but I couldn't . . . 

Stephen
You couldn't quite put your finger on it.

Alan
Is it an item of clothing or a briefcase or a pair of shoes?

Stephen
No, it's . . . That's closer than . . . than . . . 

Clive
Than anything I said, yes.

Stephen
It's closer than the city in Yorkshire, certainly.

Clive
Yeah. Yeah.

Linda
Is . . . Is it . . . 

Clive
Is it rhyming slang?

Stephen
What is he almost best known for?

Alan
Martinis.

Stephen
Yes.

Linda
Wait . . . 

Alan
Ian Fleming worked in naval intelligence during the war.

Stephen
He did. He did indeed.

Alan
Is that interesting enough for a point?

Stephen
Er . . . It's pretty well known, though, isn't it, dear? Really, you know. Sorry, did I call you dear just then? I'm so sorry. So sorry. So sorry. How that happened . . . I do apologise.

It’s, er . . . It is, in fact, the official name for a martini that is shaken and not stirred.

Alan
It’s a "Bradford"?

Stephen
Most Martinis are stirred, but when it's shaken it's called a Bradford. They're very specific names. If you put two olives on the stick, it's a "Franklin", after Franklin Roosevelt.

Clive
Yes.

Stephen
If you put a . . . a cocktail onion on a stick it's called a . . . 

Clive
It’s called a cocktail onion on a stick.

Stephen
Oh, don't be--

Clive
Well, obviously, it's called something.

Stephen
Yes, it's called the "Gibson", yes. But, in fact, because the Bradford contains three measures of Gordon's, one measure, er, of an extraordinary sort of vermouth called Kina "Lillet", it says when looking at it; I'm sure it must be pronounced "Lee-ay", I suppose. I mean, put a Lil-Let in there, you wouldn't have any drink left, would you?

Sean
Why would you . . . If someone said . . . offered me a drink called a Bradford, I'd assume it was, like, vodka and a rasher of streaky bacon sticking out the top of it.

Linda
Maybe a pork pie on a knitting needle, something like that.

Stephen
Well . . . 

Clive
Is there an official place for these names? Why is a Rusty Nail called a Rusty Nail and all the Collins family have drinks named after them? What . . . Who . . . Is there a clearing house . . . 

Stephen
There are histories of this. I mean, the, erm . . . The first, er, the first Bloody Mary was actually . . . It was in, er, the St Regis Hotel in New York, and was actually called a . . . a Red Snapper, which is rather a good name.

Clive
Fish, though. If you order red snapper . . . 

Stephen
In Australia, they call a . . . They call a Virgin Mary, they call a "bloody shame", which is rather good.

Clive
That's very good.

Alan [Australian accent]
"Ah, a bloody shame."

Stephen
Of course, cocktails developed during Prohibition, because the . . . the bathtub gin was . . . was so notoriously gut-rotting and . . . and, er, tasted so dreadful that all kinds of additions were made to it. But Bond insisted on a shot of vodka, so he had his . . . his . . . It's usually six to one.

Clive
Yeah.

Stephen
Six . . . Six gin to one of vermouth, or "ver-mooth", whichever you prefer, and, er, he added this vodka, which makes it strictly not a martini, so the, er . . . Bond actually gave his own name, which was a Vesper.

There's a rather good, er, phrase in one of the Bond books: "To Bond, the best drink of the day was the drink he had in his head before the first drink of the day." It's rather good, that, isn't it? We sort of know how he feels.

Alan
I don't really like James Bond.

Stephen
Don't . . . No, he's cruel. He's a cruel man.

Alan
No, I don't think I'd like him if I met him. I think I'd think he was a bit of a prat.

Stephen
Yes.

Alan
[mumbles suavely] "I'm undoing your zip with my magnet." [laughs foppishly]

Stephen
Yes, that’s . . . Alan, you should . . . You should read the books because . . . 

Alan
I don't have time to read the books.

Stephen
Surely, you . . . 

Alan
I haven't read all yours, yet.

Stephen
Well, no, that’s . . . I would . . . 

Clive
Nobody's done that!

Stephen
Read Fleming first. Read Fleming first. They're awfully good, they really are. There's a chapter for Casino Royale that begins, "Bond lit his 80th cigarette of the day." Now, how can you dislike a man . . . I mean, that's . . . 

It's full of interesting stuff. For instance, Bond has these strange ideas. Erm, he has this idea that homosexuals can't whistle, for example, which occurs, I think, in From Russia With Love--

Alan
[casually] ‘Cause they've always got a cock in their mouth?

Stephen
Yeah . . . [hides his face in the QI cards for several seconds].
I want you to go and stand in the corner!

Clive
You just put your lips together and blow; everyone knows that.

Alan
I've had a Blow Job--

Stephen
You can easily say the word "Wimbledon". Yeah.

Alan
--which is a cocktail, and you get it in a shooter glass and it's got something like Drambuie or Baileys or something in it.

Stephen
Oh, how sophisticated.

Alan
And then it's got . . . [breaks off and laughs].

Linda
Just a hint of--

Alan
And then it's got . . . it’s got whipped cream out of a can on the top of it.

Linda
Oh, that sounds a lovely drink, Alan.

Alan
And you get it put on the . . . You get it put on the counter, like that. You're not allowed to use your hands to drink it.

Someone in the audience groans.

Alan
Hence, it's called . . . There's someone groaning. [contorts his face] "Oh, God!"

So you have to put your hands behind your back and go like that. [clasps his hands behind him and mimes gulping awkwardly at a Blow Job]

Stephen
I've never been to Essex. Anyway, erm . . . Er . . . 

Anyway, that's enough of alcohol for me; I'm ready for athletics. Now, Sean, in 1913, the world long-jump champion was an Englishman who could leap backwards from the floor onto a mantelpiece without losing his balance. What interesting position was he offered after the First World War?

Viewscreens: Picture of C B Fry in his cricket whites.

Stephen
There he is.

Clive
But he's got a cricket bat in his hand.

Stephen
He was . . . He was an extraordinary sportsman.

Sean
He could . . .  And he could what? What did you say there? He could leap . . . backwards?

Stephen
He could leap backwards from a stationary position onto a mantelpiece, just leap . . . He was, er, described by John Arlott as the most variedly talented Englishman, er, ever born.

Sean
And how did he--

Stephen
He captained England and Surrey for cricket. He appeared in an FA Cup Final. He had the world long-jump record.

Alan
This isn't your relative, is it?

Stephen
It is CB Fry, yes.

Sean
What I want to know is, how did he discover he could do that?

Stephen
I suppose he . . . in phases.

Sean
How do you find out you can do that? You can just be standing in front of the fireplace and go . . . [leaps shallowly in his seat]. Was it a really boring party? Lord Delfont was chatting and he turned for a canapé. [jumps up again] "Whoop, I'm out of it."

Alan
Maybe there was a rattlesnake on the floor, or something like that.

Stephen
Well, he was quite a--

Clive
Somebody came for a cocktail and said, "I fancy a Blow Job" and he went, "Oop!"

Stephen
No, he was a Fry! He would have welcomed it.

Linda
And anyway--

Clive
He was just putting himself in a better position, that's it.

Sean
What was his name?

Stephen
Charles Burgess Fry, CB Fry, the greatest all-rounder . . . 

Sean
And what . . . what was the question?

Stephen
What extraordinary position was he offered after the First World War?

Linda
And also--

Sean
Chest of drawers?

Linda
--was that a mantelpiece with or without ornaments?

Clive
Without, afterwards.

Linda
Say someone had a tank of tropical fish . . . 

Alan
Yeah.

Sean
Competitive mantelpiece leaping, you just clear it, yeah. You move most of the stuff off it.

Linda
Everything.

Alan
Maybe he was on the mantelpiece, lost his balance, and thought, "I must get back up before anyone's noticed."

Linda
Lost his balance, fell on the sofa, bounced back up . . . 

Alan
Yeah. They went, "Blimey, did you just jump backwards onto that mantelpiece?" "Oh, yeah, yeah."

Clive
Or was it a sport we played?

Sean
It's a very old English pursuit, jumping backwards.

Stephen
Yes.

Sean
And there's a famous canal-jumper from the Black Country, somebody like Jack Darby, and he could leap 32 foot across a canal from a standing jump. There's a statue of him on one of the canals, and the way he did it was weights. He had two weights in his arms and he'd swing them, like that. [mimes swinging heavy weights affixed by rope to his arms]

Stephen
Like a bouncing bomb.

Sean
And then throw them. And they'd take him across, and he'd go--[bounces his hand across the desk]--to the other side.

Stephen
Oh, wonderful!

Sean
And his name was something like Jack Darby, and he was . . . he died in the '30s.

Clive
He died in the canal, didn't he?

Sean
That's what it was!

Clive
The statue is at the bottom where he was commemorated.

Sean [seriously again]
I think he had the world, er, jumping-backwards record. Thirteen foot.

Stephen
Well, there you are. There you are, you see, it means something.

Linda
Did he not feel--

Stephen [interrupting]
Well, C B Fry, to bring us back to Charles Burgess Fry . . . 

Alan [quietly]
I never believe anything Sean says.

Linda [still trying to talk over Stephen and Alan]
I was just thinking, did he not feel, once he'd done the mantelpiece thing, and everyone went, "Wow, that's fantastic. That is so brilliant." After that, do you think it started to pall a bit? They'd think, "Oh, he's doing the mantelpiece thing again."

Stephen
It's a thing he did probably . . . It was just a party piece he did three or four times. It wasn't enough that he headed the class list at Oxford. He had the world long-jump record, he played in an FA Cup Final, captained England and headed England batting averages for four years in succession, spoke five languages, and what was this extraordinary position that he was offered?

Clive
Well, he was obviously a member of the Fry family!

Stephen
Well, that is extraordinary enough, I grant you.

Clive
Maybe he was offered to be quizmaster on a panel game to demonstrate his . . . 

Alan
Who was he offered the position by? A governmental thing?

Stephen
By the most governmental thing that existed after the First World War.

Clive
League of Nations?

Stephen
The League of Nations

Clive
So he was Head of the League of Nations?

Stephen
No, he was . . . no, no.

Clive
He was referee. He refereed the play-offs for the League of Nations.

Stephen
It wasn't sport . . . 

Clive
President of the League of Nations.

Stephen
No. More important.

Alan
Emperor . . . 

Sean
King.

Stephen
King!

Clive [seizing this]
King! King of the League of Nations!

Stephen
No, not of the League of Nations. One of the nations within the League of Nations.

Clive
Oh, he was King of . . . Albania.

Stephen
He was offered the throne . . . He was offered the throne of Albania.

Clive
Yes.

Stephen
There you are. Finally, we got there.

Linda
He said, "I don't want the throne, just give me the mantelpiece."

Stephen
No. Now, look, stop. I wish I'd never mentioned the bloody mantelpiece now. It was just one of the many things he could do, all right? Let's not refine on it; let's not make it too big a deal. He did it once or twice.

The reason he was offered it was his great friend was Prince Ranjitsinhji, and together, he and Fry dominated the cricketing world. It was known as the Golden Age of Cricket, still is. Erm, and Prince Ranjitsinhji was an important officer in the League of Nations when it was founded, er, and he brought, er, Fry along as a speech writer to the League of Nations. And they met the Albanian delegation, which was rather unhappy, because the, er, the King of Albania had been deposed and run away, and, er, so they offered Fry the throne, and he accepted.

But his friend Hilaire Belloc, the . . . the poet, said, "No." He said, "Don't accept it." He said, "All you need is a cellar full of wine and the society of those who love you. Turn it down." So he did.

Alan
And became a raging alcoholic.

Clive
He was talking Bellocs, wasn't he, because it would have been a great thing to be king.

Alan
I know someone--

Stephen
Well, I don't know. The next king was King Zog--

Clive
Ah.

Stephen
--who had a very short tenure and . . . and fled.

Anyway, one of the things--on the subject of Albania and its throne--that might have attracted the Albanians to Fry, was his moustache, his 'tache.

Linda
Ah.

Stephen
The Albanian language has an extraordinary richness of vocabulary, as far as facial hair is concerned, er, with 27 different words to describe the shape of moustaches and 30 for eyebrows. Er, for example, vetullan means someone with very bushy eyebrows; vetullor means "slightly arched eyebrow", erm, vetullosh is someone with very thick eyebrows, so, Linda, what is vetullushe, do you imagine?

Linda
Well, I don't know . . . You say they've had . . . they've got 30 words . . . 

Stephen
Thirty words for types of eyebrow.

Linda
Well, we've obviously got more words than that, haven't we?

Stephen
Really?

Linda
Because they've got one word for "very bushy eyebrow"; we've got three words. "Very bushy eyebrow."

Stephen
Yes. Good thinking. I like that.

Linda
So I'm rather unimpressed with their 30 words for eyebrow.

Clive
Are they short of conversation in Albania?

Stephen
They probably are. It's a pretty poor place. It's the poorest country in Europe.

Linda
I tell you what, though. I bet, you know, the Albanian police always get their man, don't they, because that Identikit picture would be pretty accurate.

Stephen
I think they use the magnet man with the iron filings.

Clive
An eyebrow that meets in the middle. You know, the ones that--

Stephen
That's true. There should be a word for that.

Linda
But you know what?

Clive
Well, there must be, in Albanian.

Linda
Josephus, the Jewish historian--

Stephen
Yes?

Linda
--reckoned that Jesus had a . . . a monobrow.

Stephen
I thought there was something shifty about him.

Clive
Where did he get that from? Because there's no description of Jesus in the Bible at all.

Sean
It's too good to be true.

Stephen
Exactly. It's actually, vetullushe, is the Albanian for a goat, but a special kind of goat, one with brown eyebrows.

Viewscreens: Picture of goats on a rocky hill.


Alan
Ahh.

Linda
Aw, they look lovely.

Clive
They're obsessed.

Stephen
They are. They are very obsessed. And with goats like that, you should imagine they'd be very happy people, wouldn't you? Erm . . . 

Linda
Why would goats need eyebrows, really?

Clive
To express surprise!
[raises eyebrows in exaggerated surprise]

Sean
To look quizzical. What's that called? That there? [strokes his philtrum]

Alan
That bit there.

Linda
I've no idea.

The panellists stroke their philtra in thought.

Stephen
The philtrum.

Linda
Yeah, but why is it a groove? Why is it like a . . . like a little guttering?

Sean
Because nothing actually comes out of that middle bit, does it? It goes either side. [he gestures to his nostrils]

Clive
It runs into there.

Sean
No. It goes either side. Nothing goes in there.

Stephen
No.

Sean
It's got a big lump of fat. It's stupid, that is.

Stephen
All right, Albania is the poorest country in Europe, with more than 60% of its population living in mountainous rural areas. Animals and facial hair are all they have. Albanian may be the only language in Europe where the word for male sheep, dash, is the same word for a well turned-out and attractive young man.

Now, fingers on the buzzers for this one. What is the difference between a pink fairy and a green fairy? La fée verte, the green fairy. Does that ring any bells with you?

Linda
Oh, yes.
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a bicycle bell]

Stephen
What does la fée verte--

Linda
Absinthe.

Stephen
Absinthe. Well done, Linda. I'll give you ten points for that. Absolutely right. Absinthe is the green fairy. The pink fairy is a type of armadillo.

Clive
Ah, right.

Stephen
Erm . . . What sort of animal, I'll give you five points for this, what sort of, er, animal is . . . is . . . is an armadillo?

Linda
Is it an anteater?

Stephen
It is an anteater. I mean, is it a reptile, is it a mammal . . . ?

Clive
It's the same as a badger. That one. That sort of . . . 

Linda
It's a mammal, isn't it?

Stephen
It's a mammal. Absolutely right. I'll give you five for that. Erm, it's unusual in many respects. It's the only mammal that can . . . apart from mankind, that can get leprosy. Erm . . . Armadillos give birth to four, er, identical, same-sexed baby armadillos, all from the same egg, all coming from the same egg, which is unique. The male armadillo has a penis two-thirds the length of its body.

Clive
Right. Yes.

Alan
You're joking.

Linda
I think you'll find, Clive, that that is the normal proportions.

Clive
Is it? You lucky girl.

Viewscreens: Picture of $100 bill, with Benjamin Franklin in the center.



Stephen
What alteration to the human anatomy did, er, Benjamin Franklin think would vastly increase human happiness?

Alan
Well, is it something to do with health?

Stephen
Not really. It's just--

Alan
Like smoke-proof lungs or something like that.

Stephen
It's almost . . . It's as mad as that.

Alan
Self-cleaning arsehole.

Stephen
Almost. You're so close! What anal emanation--

Linda
Oh, farts.

Stephen
Farts.

Alan
No farting?

Stephen
No, he thought . . . 

Alan
More farting.

Clive
A small exhaust pipe.

Stephen
. . . the ability . . . 

Clive
To run up, like diesel lorries, that little sort of cap on them.

Linda
Hoot, hoot.

Alan [as the horn on a lorry]
Parp, parp, parp.

Stephen
No.

Sean
Steam-powered trousers.

Clive
Yes. Why not?

Alan [at viewscreens]
Look at him. He looks like he's just smelt a fart, doesn't he?
[wrinkles his nose and imitates Franklin]

Clive
Yes. Somebody else has just done it in front of him.

Stephen
And therefore . . . therefore, he thought, "Wouldn't the world be a better place if we could all discharge wind freely from the bowels . . . "

Clive
Without it smelling.

Stephen
Without it smelling. If he could find a drug to render all farts . . . 

Viewscreens: Pictures of saggy naked bottoms.


Alan
There's no need for that!

Stephen
. . . erm, to be perfumed.

Linda
That's gratuitous.

Clive
They're visual aids.

Alan
Geri Halliwell's not looking so thin these days.

Stephen
Lawks-a-lummy. Anyway, er, he believed, er, that this would do more good than the works of Descartes, Aristotle, and Newton put together. Franklin was, er, an extraordinary man, scientist, philosopher, inventor of bifocals and of the fire brigade. Er, he also helped Washington and Jefferson prepare the American constitution, although they refused to let him draft it, because they worried that he would put jokes in.

Alan
Fart jokes.

Stephen
Yes, fart jokes. Perfumed fart jokes, I suppose. Exactly.

Linda
Incidentally, while we're on the subject of Americans, if any of you do find any weapons of mass destruction under your seats, if you could forward them to the government, 'cause they've looked everywhere. Oh, it'll be . . . they'll be the last place they look!

Stephen
That's right.

Clive
Well, we have sent a . . . we have sent a probe to Mars, haven't we, so there's . . . 

Linda
I'm like that with scissors. I turn the house . . . Mind you, the difference is I have been stockpiling scissors for the last 20 years.

Stephen
That's worrying.

Now, what was the first processed food produced by H J Heinz in 1869? Fingers on buzzers.

Alan
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a cuckoo clock]

Stephen
Yes?

Alan [happily]
Ketchup.

Stephen
Oh! Oh, no!

Forfeit: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the words "TOMATO KETCHUP".

Stephen
Oh, finally. Finally, goddammit.
[holds up card which reads "TOMATO KETCHUP"]
Tomato ketchup is not the right answer, no, no. No, we predicted that.

Alan
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a cuckoo clock]

Stephen
Yes.

Alan
Baked beans.

Stephen
Oh!

Forfeit: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the words "BAKED BEANS".

Stephen
[holds up card which reads "BAKED BEANS"]
Alan, Alan, Alan. Oh, dear me. That's minus at least 20.

Alan
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a cuckoo clock]

Stephen
Yes.

Alan
Mayonnaise.

Stephen
No, you're safe on that one. A big German, er . . . 

Sean
Mini chicken Kievs.

Stephen
Not mini chicken Kievs.

Alan
Pickle.

Stephen
No, it's a hot one, though. It's a hot one. Not mustard.

Linda
Horseradish.

Stephen
"Horseradish" is the right answer.

Clive
Oh, well done.

Stephen
Well done. There you are. Horseradish.

Clive
The . . . If I may chip in, as far as I know, there never were . . . There were always . . . When they had that slogan "57 varieties", there were many more than 57 varieties. They just used 57 because it sounded such a good . . . 

Stephen
You're absolutely right, Clive. I'll give you five for coming in with that. They've never had 57. In fact, now they have more than 6,000 varieties, so they claim. There you are. They just like the number 57.

Clive
Yes.

Stephen
They're rather obsessed with it. Their phone number is, er, is 5757; their address is P.O. Box 57, Pittsburgh, if you wanted to write to them.

Clive
Oh. Really.

Linda
They've probably milked that idea, really, pretty much.

Stephen
Who do you think might have been the first customer in Britain . . . it's . . . who bought . . . I mean, a retailer, not an individual . . . 

Clive
It's Fortnum and Mason.

Stephen
Fortnum and Mason is the right answer. He sold them door to door in glass jars, did Heinz, so his customers could see it was free from such fillers as wood fibre and turnip and other such things. Heinz Tomato Ketchup followed in 1875, actually, Alan, and it wasn't until 1895 that he perfected the perfect baked bean. To this day, supposedly, only four members of the Heinz family know the baked bean recipe.

So now that we're within sniffing distance of the end, as Benjamin Franklin might have said, fingers on the buzzers, please, for another round of General Ignorance. How long do your fingernails and hair grow after you're dead?

Alan
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a cuckoo clock]

Linda
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a bicycle bell]

Stephen
Alan?

Alan
Two foot.

Stephen
No, no, no.

Clive
[presses buzzer, which plays a trumpet fanfare]
I'm just . . . I'm fascinated to know that your hair grows after you die, 'cause I'm looking forward to that, so, er . . . 

But it's . . . This is discussed at great length in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, and I think it's about, sort of, two hours, or something.

Stephen
Yeah. In fact, it doesn't at all.

Clive
Ohh.

Linda
Ahh.

Stephen
Neither . . . Neither fingernails nor hair, amongst others of the same substance, keratin. It's a complete myth. The skin merely tightens, creating an illusion of growth.

Anyway, what do bananas grow on?

Clive, Alan, and Sean buzz simultaneously.

Stephen [turning to Clive]
Yes?

Clive
Well, they're monocotyledons and they grow up like that--

Linda
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a bicycle bell]

Clive
--and they grow on banana . . . "trees", they call them, but they're not . . . 

Stephen
Ah, they're not trees!

Forfeit: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the word "TREES".

Clive [protesting]
Let me explain!

Stephen
No, take it back. Take it back, studio. Fifteen for that. They are a herb, distinguished by not having a woody stem, essentially, and by dying back after seeding.

Sean
They walk.

Stephen
I'm sorry?

Sean
Banana "plants", whatever you want to call them, walk.

Stephen
Nurse! Nurse, he's out of bed again.

Sean
They do, they walk. They move. I've been to Colombia. I travelled to Colombia and I went to a banana . . . 

Stephen
Yes, well, if you go to Colombia, you see, these things will happen!

Sean
I went to a banana plantation and I was admiring this banana field--

Stephen [Colombian accent]
"Sniff my bananas."

Sean
--and I said, "Hold on a minute." I said, "Hold on a minute," to the guy. "Why is there that big patch to the left of the field?" He said, "Because the plants . . . they walk--" [glides fingers sideways through the air] "--and they need a lot of room." So basically you need lots of room, because plants, they move, they walk. So they have to make the fields slightly larger than you . . . You plant the strip then you leave a strip, because they move across like that.

Stephen
Well, we shall . . . I shall have . . . 

Sean
You know like Betty and Keppel when they walk, like that . . . [mimes walking like an Egyptian]?

Stephen
Sean. Sean. As Clive said, the banana plant is actually a herb, because the stem does not contain woody tissue. And the banana fruit is technically a berry, in fact, or a juicy ovary containing seeds, to you. Now, what sort . . . 

Alan
[giggles quietly]

Stephen
Yes. Stop it! Oh, he's giggling in the back row, Miss.

[touching his earpiece] Erm . . . The intelligent voice in my ear tells me you're absolutely right, Sean. They do walk. They walk up to 40 centimetres in a lifetime.

Sean
[raises arms in triumph] Yes!

Clive
Well done. [claps and shakes Sean's hand]

Stephen
What sort of mother gives birth to either a baby lili or a baby titi? Maybe it should be "lie-lie" and titi. It may be.

Clive
[presses buzzer, which plays a trumpet fanfare]

Stephen
Yes.

Clive
Well, it's obviously armadillos.

Stephen
No, it's not.

Clive
Except there'd be four! There'd be four names.

Stephen
Yes, you see, exactly. No, no.

Alan
Pandas?

Stephen
Not pandas. No, no.

Alan [rapidly]
Dogs, cats, horses, cows, sheep.

Stephen
Well . . . 

Sean
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a bus bell dinging twice]

Alan
[continuing regardless] Mice, rats, gerbils . . . 

Linda
Bluebirds.

Stephen
Not bluebirds neither. No, if I say it should be "lie-lie" and "tie-tie", it's because it's something to do with "lie" and "tie". What animals begin with "lie" and "tie"?

Clive and Linda
Lions and tigers.

Stephen
Lions and tigers. Exactly. And if a lion mates with a tiger, you get a . . . ?

Alan
Scandal.

Sean
Very nice.

Stephen
A liger.

Clive
You should call them Sergeant because they'd all have three stripes.

Stephen
What happens is you also get a liger that mates with a lion and produces a lili, and a tigon which mates with a tiger, which produces a titi. Anyway.

Clive
Yes.

Stephen
Lions and tigers never encounter one another in the wild, of course, because lions are from Africa and tigers are from Asia. Er, different continents.

Sean
Where do they breed?

Stephen
They have bred successfully in captivity.

Sean
Oh, I thought you meant there was a club they went to.

Stephen
No.

Alan
[vocalises a techno beat]

Stephen
A cross between a female lion and a male tiger is called a tigon, er, which is an even rarer animal.

Alan
Teflon is a non-stick pan.

Stephen
Developed by . . . ?

Alan
Someone in Iceland.

Linda
No, er . . . 

Stephen
DuPont.

Linda
Yes.

Clive
But not for the space programme. The . . . If you . . . If a lion mates with a lorry tyre, it comes out as a lilo.

Stephen
Hey! Very good.

Clive
That wasn't worth waiting for. Carry on . . . Carry on with whatever you're doing.

Stephen
Who coined . . . Fingers on buzzers. Who coined the phrase "survival of the
fittest" and what was his greatest discovery?

Clive
[presses buzzer, which plays a trumpet fanfare]

Alan
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a cuckoo clock]

Stephen [turning to Clive]
Yes?

Clive
I know . . . I'm going to avoid saying . . . It must have been the guy called Wallace, who, er, sent in the stuff to Darwin, erm . . . 

Stephen
No.

Sean
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a bus bell dinging twice]

Stephen
Yes?

Sean
Kevin Keegan?

Stephen
No.

Sean
And that stuff that keeps your perm tight. Alan uses it.

Alan
Darwin?

Stephen
I'm sorry?

Alan
Darwin.

Stephen
Oh, Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan!

Forfeit: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the words "CHARLES DARWIN".

Stephen
Why do you do it to us, to yourself, to anybody?
[holds up card which reads "CHARLES DARWIN"]
Not Charles Darwin, no, no. Er . . . 

Clive
I've worked out the logic of this game. You couldn't say Charles Darwin.

Stephen
It can't be that obvious. The phrase "survival of the fittest" was, in fact, Herbert Spencer, and his greatest achievement, Herbert Spencer, was the paperclip, which he invented.

Clive
He was just sitting twiddling with another paperclip and he came up with that one.

Stephen
He was an engineer, a philosopher and a psychologist, er, who, in his day, was as famous as Darwin. He first coined the phrase "survival of the fittest", which doesn't appear in the original Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, though Darwin adapted it, or adopted it, for later editions.

Norwegians will tell you proudly, very proudly, that the paperclip is a Norwegian invention--Johan Vaaler, in 1899. Spencer had patented his design for paperclips almost 30 years before Vaaler in the 1860s, but his supplier went bankrupt and he became ill for 20 years of his life and never followed it up.

Clive
He sent in his patent application with the, sort of, papers all neatly attached together. "What is your invention?" "See top left-hand corner!" [imitates confused patent office officials] "There's nothing there." "There was." "No, there's nothing written."

Stephen
Today more than 11 billion paperclips are sold annually, as a matter of fact, but a recent survey claimed that out of every 100,000 sold, only one in five are actually used to hold papers together. The rest are used as poker chips, pipe cleaners, safety pins, toothpicks.

Alan
Toothpicks. I use them as toothpicks.

Stephen
The others are dropped and lost or bent out of shape during awkward phone calls.

Alan
Have you ever bought a paperclip?

Stephen
Er, no, I don't think I've ever bought a paperclip.

Sean
They don't sell them in ones.

Stephen
No. "I'll buy one paperclip."

Sean
"One paperclip. I have a hundredth of a penny here. There you go."

Clive
"Would you like it wrapped, sir?"

Stephen
But, erm, on that merry note, we must pause, hold hands and contemplate the mystery of the final scores.

Alan
Oh, no.

Stephen
In, erm, last place, I fear . . . with minus thirty points, er . . . [looks pointedly at Alan]. I'm so sorry.

Alan
Well, if I got minus ten, three of those, that means I didn't get a point all night.

Stephen
No, I'm sorry, you must put your belly on the ground, as they say in Albania, for being last. I'm sorry about that. Er, in, er, third place it's Sean, with twenty-five. In second place, Linda with thirty QI points.

Linda
Not bad.

Stephen
Means our runaway winner today, with thirty-seven points, is Clive Anderson.

Clive
Oh, thank you very much.

Stephen
So, as we bid a tearful farewell to Clive, Sean, Linda, and Alan, a final reminder of why the battle for interestingness matters. When a market-research team was asked recently to come up with a new name for the merger between a university and a college in Bradford, they took three months, this company, to suggest the following alternatives: University of Bradford, The University of Bradford, or Bradford University. Their fee was £20,000.

Alan
Oh, Jesus.

Stephen
Good night.