QI (TV Series 2003– ) Poster

(2003– )

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Very good
tonygillan6 November 2003
I have often heard Stephen Fry accused of being pleased with himself for being so clever. This implies that there is something intrinsically wrong with being clever.

QI is a perfect vehicle for Fry and others to show how clever and witty they are. And why not?

You know, if I was as clever and witty as Stephen Fry. I would be pleased with myself too.

As for the complaints about the intelligence and wit being sullied by smut, remember that many of us LIKE smut. The difference between fans and opponents of smut, is that you are unlikely to hear comments on 'Points Of View' complaining about a paucity of dirty jokes. So keep the smut forthcoming please.

There should be enough facts in the world to keep this show going for a while yet.
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Brilliant - and VERY interesting
limpermad6 May 2006
What word could sum up this programme? Wonderful? Fascinating? Hilarious? All of the above.

As the QI Master, Stephen Fry is as brilliant as ever, and his banter with regular panelist Alan Davies is fabulous - their contrasts just work so well. The things that they talk about are genuinely interesting, and all of our family love it. It appeals to all tastes and senses of humour, as the variety of guests makes the dynamics of the show slightly different each week - and it never falters.

I hope that they make 26 series of this - we've just seen series 'C' and I hope they see it all the way through to 'Z'. Marvellous!
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Quite Interesting, indeed!
Kathrine Ritchie (Frin)2 October 2004
It's nice to have something a little more intelligent and interesting as a quiz; it's educational and it's still hilarious - and sweary, hurrah!

I really have a soft spot for Stephen Fry, I think he's adorable!

And not forgetting Alan Davies, bless him - I loved it when they his assigned buzzer for the Obvious Answer alarm. :)

The guest panellists are always great too. Panellists I would like to see in the future would include John Sergeant, Mark Thomas, and Eddie Izzard; and I'd love to see Jo Brand and Jeremy Hardy back again. I'd also like to *be* on the show, but obviously that's not going to happen. :)

QI is fantastic, I'd recommend it to anyone - and have done.
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datrex115 October 2003
Stephen Fry, as per usual, is involved in one of the funniest and most entertaining shows on British Television. After Blackadder and the like what can one expect from him? This programme is not just funny it is indeed, Quite Interesting(sorry for the pathetic pun). If anybody has ever wondered what noises frogs make, how many wives Henry VIII had, or the why Plato was called Plato, you must see this programme!

My friends and the whole of my college, after me watching it, know what snippits of information have been on the programme because i make sure that they are told the best bits. I advise any power-crazed factophile to watch this at the earliest opportunity (Thurs BBC2 10:00, BBC4 10:30)!
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Great comedy platform
Neil Barnett28 May 2006
I really enjoy QI. It has what most 'quiz' show's lack. It never takes itself seriously, the guests are always witty and have fun making the show.

Back in 2005 I was lucky to watch them record an episode at the London Studios. What a great night's entertainment. The stuff that they leave out is just as funny so although it takes them over 2 hours to record a show the time flies.

Stephen Fry is such a clever man , the best bits are always when the other guests take the pee out of Stephen for being too posh.

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QI is exactly what it says on the tin - Quite Interesting.
Pjotr Houtman16 September 2007
QI is one of the panel shows that are so everlastingly popular in Great Britain, which such fabled programs as Have I Got News For You, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Never Mind the Buzzcocks previously gaining fame in the UK.

QI - short for Quite Interesting - is hosted by the all-around intelligent Stephen Fry, who asks questions that are 'impossible to get right' to a panel of four, most of them comedians. One of his panelists, Alan Davies appears on every episode, while others rotate. Many, such as Bill Bailey, Rich Hall, Sean Lock, Phill Jupitus or Jo Brand make regular appearances, but none are ever-present as Davies is.

The goal of the quiz is to answer Fry's questions, but there's a catch. The answer needn't be correct, all it asks is that one is interesting along the way. Points are given for interesting answers, and points are taking away (usually to Alan) for answers that are both obvious and wrong. Such answers are accompanied by a klaxon and the wrong answer flashing on a screen behind the contestants.

Example - Fry: How many sheep were there on Noah's ark? - Most people would think the answer is two, but, as proved when Alan answers this and is klaxoned, the Bible states that in the case of clean animals, Noah would take them in sevens.

The questions aren't necessarily the main part of the quiz, however, as, more often than not, the panelists will go off on wild ramblings that have little to do with the original subject, often scoring them points for being interesting.

At the end of each episode is a quick-fire round called 'General Ignorance', where they ask questions that they know will provoke an obvious answer - once again, usually from Alan Davies.

The show has a truly intelligent feel to it, and, although the panelists aren't necessarily intelligent (Jo Brand) or interesting (Gyles Brandreth), they panel's banter and humorous routines are a great way to spend half an hour. My favourite by far is Rich Hall, and I hope you will enjoy him in the next season of QI, which starts next Friday on the BBC.

If you're a fan of useless facts, you'll love this show, and if you're a fan of panel shows, you'll adore it too.
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Very British, and as entertaining and hilarious as can be
maria-ricci-198323 March 2016
With lots of references to British culture, lifestyle and history, it is a difficult-to-translate show. But if you watch it in English and with a British mindset, there is nothing like it: smart, interesting, truly funny (and not prudish at all).

Davies and Fry are a lovely couple of hosts to watch, and the panelists are also quite funny (I like Hall and Jupitus very much).

It is a very entertaining show, with lots of interesting pieces of information which are simply funny (though probably extracted from a questionable use of sources and statistics, but it really doesn't matter because the whole show is hilarious).

I happened to watch it at a friends' and I didn't expect it to make me «laugh», just to entertain me with interesting stuff. However, to my surprise, it was funnier and wittier than many comedy shows. I laughed my heart out! Warning: It is not a «family show» unless you openly talk to your children about adult matters. References to sexuality, gay life and double entendres abound, but always in a subtle, witty way which does not strike as vulgar in general.

Kudos to Q.I.! Do not miss this program if you can!
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Never less than wonderful
beresfordjd23 December 2008
I love Stephen Fry and have never found him to be smug and up himself! He often has the p*ss taken out of him on QI and obviously enjoys it as much as we do. He is a real genius and his mimicry (particularly of Robert Robinson) is brilliant. He is always at pains to point out that he does not know everything and his "helper elves" are supplying him with the facts. Alan Davies plays the idiot to SF's brainiac wonderfully too and the programme works because of their relationship. Other panellists worthy of note have been Jo Brand, Andy Hamilton ,Sean Lock, Jimmy Carr, Rich Hall, Bill Bailey and just about every guest that has taken part. It must be quite daunting to be witty and funny among the talent that turns up time and again for this show. My wife and I watch QI as often as we can when it is on and still enjoy the ones we have already seen over and over again. I always feel I have been educated, amused and thoroughly entertained and informed. As a lover of trivia this programme suits me down to the ground- it's almost perfect in every way. I am always amazed at how quickly the 30 minutes go by and cannot wait for the next one. It should run and run for ever. Kudos to the one who devised this great piece of TV.
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Not just Quite Interesting... Quite Hilarious as Well!
thud-525 January 2006
Have you ever been watching a game show and thought, "what would it be like if the host just lost control and the celebrity panel took over?" Of course you have... we all have. Well, QI takes that premise and lets the humor fly.

There are right answers which get a couple points, glaringly obvious and often actually wrong answers that get points ripped away, and the main point of the show: Quite Interesting tidbits that get lots of points.

Stephen Fry stumbles through the questions, obviously reading them off of a prompter that is too far away, and completely knows when to just sit back and when to drop his own QI bits in.

Unfortunately not available in the US, this British show is refreshing, wonderfully staged, and a delight to watch.

It is obvious that like another British 'game show,' "Have I Got News For You" this program is shot over a period of many hours and edited down to the best parts. But who cares!?!? The point is not who wins or loses (generally the ongoing panelist, Alan Davies) but how many laughs we get per half hour and how many things you can learn by watching.

Pray for DVDs full of this or at least having BBC America pick it up.
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Fantastic Viewing
Tim Callaghan25 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This truly has to be one of the greatest Television Quiz shows ever green-lighted by the BBC. Fry's Wit, Charm and Intellect are all apparent in this show which seems to be the perfect vehicle for him.

The show is a refreshing change from the recent onslaught of reality shows that are dumbing down television, this show is very intellectual, but still focuses on what is interesting, not correct.

At half an hour though, its too short, and leaves the viewer begging for the next episode and yet more gratuitous abuse of Alan Davis and more interesting, if not completely accurate facts.

A well researched, Highly witty circus of amusement, long may it continue...
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The epitome of the comedy quiz show.
neil_t-223 May 2014
Back in the 60s this genre was handled best on the radio by I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again. There have been several TV attempts to revive that format and this one gets it absolutely right. The best description I have seen is like a really fun dinner party. The quiz part is still central, the questions are real, the answers are real, the points scored are real, but the time is largely taken up by the banter triggered by the questions.

The questions frequently have obvious, "everyone knows", wrong answers which receive a klaxon and a big forfeit and triggering this is occasionally the point of the question.

You're sitting down for an evening with 5 really smart, really quick witted, really comical people playing the pub quiz from hell and you're along for the ride. Wonderful, and archetypally British, entertainment.

Some adult humour, some disrespectful humour, some irreverent humour, lots of good natured teasing, and you still learn something. Great.
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The host, Stephen Fry is good
beamfjild4 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Since the beginning of QI me and my partner watched these series and loved Stephen Fry and his guests. The wit, the knowledge, the humor of most of the guests but certainly of Mr. Fry; they all gives us reason for at least smiling, but very often laughing our socks off. Please do not stop. We need at least another 10 series. And bring the actress Emma Thompson, back. She was especially funny and knows Mr. Fry very well and with her the show is even better. Also we love the role Mr. Alan Davies plays. Always thanking the people for their applause. He accepts the scores gracefully. We also like to see Jo Brand; we find her replies very funny. Lots of comedians came as guests and we liked most of them.
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Wonderful Programme
Samantha Messer2 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I love QI, it has something for everybody. Steven Fry is very intelligent and has helped make the programme very entertaining and educational. It also has Alan Davies who stops the show becoming too high brow.

The wonder of having Stephen Fry and Alan Davies is they are complete opposites. The banter between them is great, the best bit of the show in my opinion.

They have a good mix of guest panellists with very different comedic styles, which helps keep the show fresh.

I went to see a recording of a show from the seres E (currently being broadcast on BBC). The recording lasted 2 hours and was incredibly funny throughout. I also had the honour of witnessing Alan Davies win with a score of +13.

Another great thing about this programme is that it doesn't draw inspiration from the news. Shows like Mock the Week and Have I got News for you are not quite as funny when repeated because you forget the new items. QI avoids this trap.
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Not interesting
Dave9 May 2017
This is a BBC comedy panel game quiz show, whose title stands for Quite Interesting. It was hosted by Stephen Fry from when it started in 2003 until 2016. Sandi Toksvig has presented it since 2016. I haven't seen any of the Toksvig-presented episodes, so my review is only about the Fry-presented episodes.

There was a lot of intellectual boasting by Fry when he presented this - he was arrogant and patronising. He was more focused on showing off his intellectual superiority than being interesting, informative or entertaining.

Most of the supposedly interesting facts are trivial. Many of them are incorrect.

Some episodes are significantly better/worse than others, depending on who the panelists are.
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If only school had been this great
BritGirlJay21 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Never un-entertaining, sometimes whimsical,often hilarious (I seriously can't believe another reviewer said 'never hilarious')and occasionally side-splittingly, pant-wettingly funny, I can honestly say I don't think there has been one episode of QI in which I didn't laugh and I didn't learn some obscure (or not so obscure) fact about something in the world. Who would ever suspect that the great naturalist Charles Darwin once skipped cataloging a species, because he (and indeed everyone who came upon it) ATE the darn things almost into extinction. Who would imagine that rabbits weren't introduced into England until the 1300s and then remained penned up in enclosures for about 600 years before escaping into the wild (heck I didn't know they weren't native). This is a wonderful panel game (possibly an oxymoron?) and Stephen Fry, so beloved of the British public (and I think the Americans also, although perhaps lesser known here, but youtube is a great way to watch these if you can't get them on TV) makes a wonderful host; sometimes unable to contain the rambunctiousness of his comedic panel guests(which is just as entertaining as when he does manage to keep them in line). Watch it. Learn. Laugh.
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Stevie G30 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
** Spoilers included - well sort of **

I've been a long term fan of QI, I've watched it from the start and always tune in even to the repeats on UKTVG2 (Satellite channel in the UK). I've decided to put in a review as Series 1 has now finally been released on DVD.

Stephen Fry is perfect in the role of QI Master asking lots of general knowledge trivia questions that we, the audience and the panelists think we know the answers to, but are usually wrong (How many moons does the Earth have?, not it's not just the one, as we all thought). Alan Davies plays the regular stooge to Fry's Oxbridge smarty pants and usually looses. Joining Alan and Stephen are three other contestants who change each week and comprise of comedians, TV presenters, actors and assorted celebs.

Each series has a letter as the common thread, series 1 was A, 2 was B and so on, this means a possible 26 series (I wish). Each question can be rewarded with 5 points for an incorrect but interesting answer or anecdote, 10 points for a correct answer and -10 points for the answer we think is the obvious but always incorrect (accompanied buy a loud siren and the answer flashing up on the screen), other amounts of points are sometimes awarded such as 1 million for recognising the chemical formula for a custard explosion. Also always fun to look out for a lovvie award given to anyone who mentions someone famous in an anecdote.

The BBC produces great quiz shows with Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You, but for me QI is the best of the bunch.
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Never hilarious but it is both quite entertaining and quite interesting
bob the moo27 December 2005
With it not being a standard comedy panel show or easy to describe, I didn't manage to get round to watching QI for quite a while but am now busily catching up. The show sees host Stephen Fry asking very detailed questions to test the knowledge of the panel of four; the "questions" are almost all based on trivia or little known facts. As with all panel games the scoring is not really that important, what is important is that the show is funny and keeps moving or, in this case, that the answers be Quite Interesting.

Interesting is not something it ever struggles to be because the questions are nearly always little "I never knew that" affairs that, although mostly trivial in nature, do at least mean that the show lives up to its name. This aspect is the foundation for the show so it is important that it was strong but what is just as important is that the panel can make jokes around the material while still being intelligent enough to be a going concern. Mostly they manage this and it is only some of them that are consistently annoyingly silly and seem to belong more on Never Mind the Buzzcocks than on QI. Fry is a perfect host for this sort of thing and he convinces that he knows it all – he seems genuinely in love with the detail of the answers and this helps convey it to me. The panellists are a mixed bunch but mostly do OK. I'm not a massive fan of Bill Bailey, Alan Davies or Jo Brand so I must admit being a little biased but mostly the panellists do well to deliver fresh jokes without detracting from the slightly intellectual nature of the programme.

Overall an enjoyably different panel show that can be enjoyed by anybody despite the appearance of being a rather intellectual affair. Fry is a great host and keeps the humour from sliding too far into the silly, to ensure that the air is kept intelligent. Never as out and out funny as your "Have I Got News" or your "Buzzcocks" but it manages to be quite entertaining as well as quite interesting nonetheless.
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Hilarious and Witty, but 'Quite Incorrect'
Alex_Hodgkinson10 April 2014
A hilarious series starring many of TV's greatest comedians. 'QI' is a very unique, funny and often intelligent show. It also certainly lives up to its name, 'Quite Interesting'. Many ideas for this series are ingenious, such as every subsequent series being called the next letter of the alphabet, and each episode using a word beginning with that letter and other words. 'QI' is certainly a very different show, and definitely not in a bad way.

Stephen Fry hosts this series, making it all the more funny and witty, with Alan Davies at his side every episode, taking a rather 'dim' role at time to add humour. The other three panelists vary, with many comedians and other celebrities appearing on multiple occasions. Fry will give very odd, but interesting pieces of knowledge to the audience and the panelists which he receives via an earpiece from the crew, to which the panelists will react as themselves, usually in shock or humour, and reply with witty comments. This system works perfectly, making the show both more hilarious and interesting than most others.

I'm not too sure on this, but I believe that the writing is more for Fry's and, on occasion, Davies' dialogue. The crew research interesting points, try to verify them and then write it down, making adjustments so it is short but still interesting. John Lloyd is the head writer, so most credit must go to him. The directing is pretty much standard for TV quiz shows, so nothing new here. The opening theme, composed by Howard Goodall, is unique and quirky, fitting the series. It's is actually also very catchy, and you may find yourself humming it in the shower after watching an episode.

Although both hilarious and intelligent, 'QI' can often be wrong. They state things very factually, obviously, but are wrong on occasion. They sometimes correct themselves episodes later, but this is not always a show. This is looked at as a very factual and intelligent show above anything else, but I am afraid that I cannot agree. I first noticed a huge mistake with the 'Earth has two moons' episode. This is wrong, Fry calls the 'second moon' "Cruithne", which is an asteroid which doesn't not orbit the Earth. This is a common misconception. After this I have researched many 'facts' from the show, and have found more than a few to be more misconceptions. However, the show is correct most of the time.

This is a great show, despite it being wrong on occasion. It is hilarious, witty and interesting, which is everything it wants and needs to be. It hasn't declined in quality, like most shows, and remains brilliant. I only put this at an 8/10 due to the misconceptions I have found. If you're looking for witty comedy, this is the perfect show for you.
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Interesting facts
Prismark1017 May 2014
QI is a panel quiz show which really sets out with the Reithian principle of to educate, inform and entertain.

QI stands for Quite Interesting and Stephen Fry seems suited to host it as he is known all around as a clever chap armed with a suitable quip. Alan Davies is a regular panelist and Bill Bailey tends to pop up often as a panelist as well.

A bit like the TV programme, Call my Bluff it seems to attract stars on the show as it gives them an opportunity to shine or show how clever they are. Its a blend of learning something interesting as well as having a few laughs nu sometimes appears to be rather smug and self satisfied though.
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Stephen Fry again
screenman11 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Starring the BBC's ubiquitous rent-a-host; multi-talented Stephen Fry enticingly draws this excellent panel show along with an often unlikely though almost always entertaining mixture of guests, subjects and answers. Alan Davies gags it up as 'fool in residence', complementing Fry's towering intellect. Three other personalities ad-hoc the panel into a foursome.

Although hugely entertaining at times, it is often compromised by the sort of toilet-humour innuendo that make it an unpredictable watch for younger viewers. And that's a pity, because it's intelligent and thought provoking in a way that few programmes are, and is precisely the sort of entertainment a juvenile generation deserves. It would be nice to have at least one comedy programme that didn't provoke needlessly embarrassing explanations to a young family.

It looks set to run, on and off, for quite some time; and deservedly so. It's definitely a winning format.

But - gosh - isn't Mr Fry clever?
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Comic Relief Special
Graham Lewis-James15 February 2007
Jonathon Ross is either incredibly wise or very, very, very well briefed. He was absolutely superb in this episode. Poor old Stephen was sometimes lost for words!!!!

Jonathan kept coming up with trivia fact after trivia fact that seemed endlessly linked together in a stream of knowledge.

It makes such a difference when intelligence is celebrated on TV.

Alan was great. I did see an episode in the last series where he actually won! Even then he didn't know how!

Congratulations to everyone involved in this show, I would recommend it to anyone.

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Uncannily Interesting, but....
Littlelep27 July 2016
I learned about QI in a search for British comedy and was an instant fan of the quirky show that presented quirky facts with quirky comedic conversation thrown in.

My subsequent binge-watching of all QI seasons has left me feeling dirty all over. When the learning and the laughs on YouTube ended and after Stephen Fry's last appearance as host, I began to reflect on what really had gone on and what the show was primarily all about.

Basically, this has been a vehicle for gay propaganda. The majority of the panel members are gay and are eager to profess that -- some describing in great detail their perversion. This delighted Mr. Fry, whose constant references to gay acts and other private bodily functions make one's head spin. The first few seasons were temperate compared with Fry's final seasons, where depictions of nude men (and a few nude women) comprised a great percentage of the graphics. Topics were chosen that had otherwise benign references because they could be turned into juvenile gay witticisms -- any word that could be connected with gay sex or excretion or flatulence was.

The news is that Fry's replacement is a lesbian. I expect that, because of her apparent dignity, the show will be less obviously focused on all things sexual and anal. One will have to tune in to see. Such a revised format would be more respectful of panelists and audience who find bathroom and bedroom humor uncomfortable. I expect that the trend toward gay guest panelists will continue and that they will proudly proclaim themselves to be such to the delight of the gay world and the giggles of those present in the studio; but it may also actually be possible to have a combination of education and comedy that stays out of the bedroom.

One other trend we see in QI is the obsession toward political correctness in the composition of the panel. The first few seasons were tremendously successful because of the quality and recurring appearances of the same terrific comedians. The compliance with the demand for that to change was obvious when all-male panels or panels with the same female comedienne suddenly became comprised of equal numbers of males and females and then three-to-one females. The female shows have as a rule been stunningly boring, yet it is fair to say that with a female host, this will become the norm.

All good things come to an end. In this case, "the end" was the beginning, middle, and conclusion. Sometimes comedy will permit one to become enmeshed in the sewer without one becoming cognizant of the sewage that surrounds you. QI is the epitome of that condition.
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Incorrect spelling rule
david-mulrine25 December 2010
I'm sure I am not the only person to have noticed that Stephen Fry (via his researchers, no doubt) wrongly quoted the 'i' before/after 'e' spelling rule, thereby making a nonsense of it. The correct rule is: When the diphthong rhymes with 'key', the 'i' goes before the 'e', except after 'c'. The only exceptions to this are 'weir' and 'weird'. So it can be seen that the words 'hacienda', 'concierge' and 'veil' do not fall into the category above, and therefore are not exceptions.

I and countless thousands of pupils have followed this rule over the years and see no reason for it to be discontinued as a teaching guide.

Having said all this, I nevertheless pronounce myself a big fan of the show and hope that it continues for many years.

Merry Christmas

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