Stephen Fry


Alan Davies (regular panellist)


Talkback for BBC2 and BBC4, 11 September 2003 to 2008

Talkback for BBC1, 22 December 2008-


Intellectual comedy panel show where four celebrity panellists (with comic and actor Alan Davies as a regular) try to answer difficult and arcane questions. Points are awarded for interesting answers and facts which are tenuously related to the question at hand. QI, you see, stands for Quite Interesting

If a player gives the really obvious (and usually wrong) answer, an alarm goes off and that player is docked points.

It's Stephen Fry mucking around with his comedy chums for half an hour really.

Stephen Fry, mucking around with comedy chums Alan Davies, Rob Brydon, Rich Hall and Gyles Brandreth

We've been to a recording of this, it took about two to two-and-a-half hours. We think it would be quite interesting if rather than showing the next episode immediately after on digital channel BBC4, they could do a special 90 minute edit from the recording gone out on BBC2. An ever-so-slight nod in this direction has occurred with the "F" series which, following the lead of Have I Got News for You, got extended repeats on BBC2 under the title QI XL (because it's both "extra large" and 40 minutes long, get it?).


"Ooooh, Alan!" *ALARM*


John Lloyd, the former producer of the Blackadder comedy series. He also devised The News Quiz.


It was originally going to be a radio show, but Talkback persuaded John Lloyd to take it to television as there wasn't any money in radio.

Why is Alan Davies a regular guest? Thereby hangs a tale. Originally, the series was devised with Michael Palin in mind as the middle-man host, with Alan as head of the 'thick' team and Stephen as head of the 'clever-clogs' team. However, Palin didn't want to do the show, so producer John Lloyd begged Fry to host the pilot. The result was such a success that Fry went on to present the series proper with Davies retained as a regular instead of a team captain.

The show was invented with spin-offs in mind. Fry and Lloyd bought an old building in Oxford which has been done up to become the QI Building featuring a bar and a bookshop.

The questions in each series (excluding those from the closing General Ignorance round) come from categories all beginning with the same letter. So series 1 featured questions about astronomy, animals, Alans and other such 'A' subjects; series 2 covered the Bs, and so on.


QI interactive DVD game

Web links

QI.com - official site

Wikipedia entry

Episode transcripts


Another episode, another panel: Alan, Stephen and Rich again, with Jeremy Clarkson and Sean Lock


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