Although at first glance award-winning QI – might appear like any other TV comedy panel game…there is a twist. The questions on QI are so difficult that the panellists almost never get any right. So the host only gives points for interesting answers, regardless of whether they are correct, or even relevant. The host awards heavy penalties for wrong answers which are also ‘obvious’ such as clichés, misconceptions and ‘common wisdom’ (much of which is taught every day in school but is, in fact, completely untrue.)
Like the universe itself, QI is expanding rapidly.
What drives all this expansion? The jaw-dropping fact. Facts are the DNA of QI and their books are stuffed full of them. But, like its predecessor, it’s no mere list. It is arranged in such a way that new connections and patterns form as you read. Because, as Aldous Huxley reminded us: ‘Facts are ventriloquist’s dummies.’ It’s what you get them to say that counts.
John Lloyd is a broadcaster. He devised The News Quiz and To the Manor Born for radio and Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image, Blackadder and QI for television. John hosts The Museum of Curiosity on BBC Radio 4, now in its sixth series.
John Mitchinson is from the world of books and has published the Beatles, Michael Palin and Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. The smash-hit panel game QI first aired on the BBC in September 2003 with John Lloyd producing and John Mitchinson in charge of the research. There are now more than 100 editions of the programme.
James Harkin, QI’s Senior Researcher, has a maths and physics degree, a dark past as an accountant for a chain of pubs and is nicknamed ‘Turbo’ for his phenomenal work rate.