Saturday, 30 June 2007

QI Rolling News - Widget Update

QI's Rolling News has proved a great success since its inception only 6 months ago. The Rolling News Widget, supplied by Widgetbox, has also been very popular. It has now received more than 100 subscriptions. An example of the widget can be seen in this blog's sidebar.

The widget can be placed on websites, blogs, facebook and myspace profiles (as well as many other social networking sites). It provides a good method of displaying links to all of the latest QI news stories in a small graphic.

Facebook users may be pleased to know that the widget will soon be available in the form of an application on their profile via the widgetbox application.

You can subscribe to the QI Rolling News Widget here.

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 21

This week's Telegraph column is all about the letter G (I make it sound like Sesame Street). If you're interested in; the Galapagos Islands, Lonesome George, Gay, Grannies, Greece, Gorgonzola or Gout then click here.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

QI Book Releases 2007 Update

Both of this autumn's book releases are now available on for pre-order. You can get order The Book of Animal Ignorance here and the QI Annual 2008 here.

In my last post about the QI book I posted the picture that would be used for the front cover of the BoAI. This has now been revised so I've posted a new picture at the top of this post. I've also added the front cover for the US edition of the BoGI which you can order from here.

The books will be released on the following dates (I've also added them to the sidebar of the blog for future reference):

The Book of General Ignorance (US Edition): 7th August 2007
The Book of Animal Ignorance (UK): 4th October 2007
The QI Annual 2008 (UK): 1st November 2007

Friday, 22 June 2007

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 20

Following on from last week's QI Column, the subject in tomorrow's Telegraph is Summer Games. You can read about the Olympics, Cricket and Croquet here.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

QI Series E Recordings - Series Review

The E Series recordings are over and now we must wait three months for the wizards in post-production to do their bit. If the recordings were anything to go by, it should prove to be an excellent series.

Getting in was harder than ever in this series. I remember when I went to my first recording (ep D01) and arrived at 6:00pm and I was seated in the middle of the top tier. If you arrived at the same time during this series you were lucky to get into the studio at all. OK it doesn't help that I am telling everyone to arrive early but I am sure that applause store are issuing more tickets. Meanwhile, it was even harder to get hold of tickets for QI this year. Demand must have increased significantly on 2006.

Stephen Grant supplied the warm up for all but two of the recordings. Maybe you've got a bit bored with my regular praising of his routine. However, if you go to any other shows regularly you'll learn how many warm ups don't bother to change their routine at all. It is so refreshing to have a comedian who makes an effort for the regulars.

One Notable Change from the last series was the repeated use of "regulars" from previous series. Where as series D used 12 new guests series E only introduced [highlight] Charlie Higson and Johnny Vegas to QI. This change, whether intentional or the result of constraints on guest bookings, has created a series with a different character. Whereas series D was notable for the variability of each show (some were brilliant classics and others unimpressive) the recordings this year maintained a constant high standard.

Audience Participation played a bigger role in this series than in any other. Expect some strange scores in the next series (though some might not make the final cut since more than one set was recorded).

(You will need to highlight the next paragraph as I considered some of its contents to be a "spoiler")

The "Elephant in the Room Card" was an interesting addition to the series. For those that don't remember, each episode contained a question where the answer was an elephant. Each panellist had a picture of an elephant on a stick to wave. I was surprised by its use because it ties the show into using the material from that question. It cannot be cut from the show in its entirety. Whether this will show in the final cut is difficult to say. I wouldn't think it to be a major issue.

Deciding the Best Recording is difficult after you've seen 8 in the space of 6 weeks. Of course E03 was a highlight because something that I researched made it onto the show for the first time. I'm still hoping that it will make the final cut but I'm not optimistic. Then Dara O'Briain revealed that he reads the blog (hope you're still reading Dara) in E06. However, my favourite has to be E04. The best joke of the series came when Stephen messed up a line one time after the other. Plus, it was E04 when I went into the green room after the show. That was a great experience and one that I will remember for a long time. I know Andrew will disagree with me though, he was singing his praise for E02 at all of the recordings.

Please tell me what your favourite recording was and why. You can add a comment (even if you are not registered with blogger) by clicking the link at the bottom of this post. Check out all of the reviews by clicking the QI Reviews tag.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

QI E12 Recording Review

*This is episode E12 in the Autumn transmission order.

The last recording
of QI series E was a brilliant end to the series with some excellent laughs. I'm now upset that I must wait so long for my fix of QI.

The wrap party would follow the episode, so it was no surprise that there were a lot of production guests. Consequently fewer people from the queue got into the studio and I'm sure that a large number were turned away. Sadly these people will have to wait until the next series to see the show.

Stephen Grant's performance was the best of the series. Some wardrobe issues meant that his warm up was the longest so far. This forced him to move on from his usual routine and to pick on members of the audience. After finding a Jordanian and a 'spy' (the connection was obvious but well executed) he asked for questions from the audience. A lady sat at the back pointed out that Santa was in the audience. I don't know if Stephen already knew this but that person was John Mitchinson's father (I was very fortunate to be briefly introduced before the start). For those that don't know, John Mitchinson is a writer and researcher for the show, as well as co-author for the two QI books of ignorance. The fact that it was a member of the audience who pointed out Mr Mitchinson's resemblance to a white bearded gift distributor probably saved Stephen's bacon. Perhaps for the next series he might find it a good idea to avoid people sat in production guest seats.

On with the spoilers below. Highlight the first paragraph for details of guests, the second for the theme and the last for the questions in the show.

The guests were Sean Lock, Bill Bailey and Jo Brand. Everyone performed well in this episode and Bill did some of his excellent character acting. Sean and Bill had a little banter about their receding hairlines!

The theme of this episode was Empire. This episode was also the Christmas special so the set was decorated appropriately. Each of the guests was dressed in suitable Victorian dress. Fry came onto the set as Oscar Wilde (complete with wig). Sean Lock was dressed as a soldier (based on someone in particular according to Fry but I didn't catch the name). Bill Bailey was dressed as a plantation owner and Jo Brand was dressed as Queen Victoria (she pulled off the look very well). Young Alan was dressed as an Indian Raja, complete with turban.

The subjects discussed were; Mr Bean, Clothes, Victoria's Secret, Erotica (Bottoms), George Tryon, Enquire Within Upon Everything, Boots (research supplied by Rebecca Shawcross, sorry if I got your name wrong), Shoes, Indigenous Japanese, Chinese Funerals, Christmas Inventor, Pianos, Lesbianism, Winterval and Presents.

The show was one of the best in the series with some really hilarious moments. After the pick up the panellists joined around Stephen (as after every recording) and they had their pictures taken. They started joking around and so no one got up and left. Eventually everyone began looking around trying to work out if we were supposed to leave (the large number of production guests didn't help because they are required to remain seated after the show) until someone finally decided to leave. A very surreal moment! However, anyone that did go then will have missed their chance to join in with the QI Vodcast. The entire production staff joined with Stephen and did the "Welcome to the QI Vodcast" in a Christmas pantomime style with the audience delivering an "Oh no it isn't". OK, you didn't miss much if you went early but it was a nice way to end the series.

Apologies for the delay to posting my review. I will be back in the week to bring a review of the entire series. I'll also be trying to dig out a poll for you lot to decide which was your favourite recording. Oh and don't start thinking that because there aren't anymore recording reviews there wont be anything for me to blog about. I'll find something soon :-)

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 19

This week's Daily Telegraph Column is all about summer drinks. Read the thirst quenching article here.

Friday, 15 June 2007

QI E11 Recording Review

*This is episode E09 in the Autumn transmission order.

Right, once again QI Fanatic couldn't make it tonight so it's down to me to write about the penultimate recording for QI Series E...of course QI Fanatic himself is going to review tomorrow's final recording...that's what I'm led to believe anyway!

Stephen Grant was on top form this evening once again...he had quite a bit more to do this evening as well...more of that later.

Now for the more juicy parts although you will have to highlight them in order to read them as I don't want to be accused of giving anything away to anyone who doesn't want to know.

Tonight's Children in Need Special was all about 'Entertainment'. The 4 panel members were Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Jeremy Clarkson and Pudsey Bear...however Pudsey did spot the Elephant in the Room - Alan Davies! All will become perfectly clear when this episode is aired on 16 November!

Some of the subjects mentioned tonight (once again in no particular order and whether or not they will be included!!) were small people, several moons, jesters, rhinos, QVC (!), websites, olympics and fish...

There was no mention of the vodcast tonight and for once there were no pick-ups to be done.

After the recording tonight the audience were given the opportunity to stay in their seats and watch the first ever public screening of the new show from the 'Peep Show' writers and creators called 'Ladies and Gentlemen'. It was described as being a 'bit like Friends' but set in 1865 in olde London town!

The incentive to stay and watch wasn't just to be amongst the first people to see this new show but also to have the chance to win several superb QI goodies in a raffle which was held after the screening...including QI books, DVDs, £100 cash, signed QI cards and....wait for it...a lifetime pass to every recording of QI! Unfortunately I didn't win anything...there's always next time...well if there is a next time! :-)

Thanks go to QI Fanatic for giving me the opportunity of writing on his's hoping this won't be my last time!

Bye for now!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Alan the Cameraman (part 2)

For those who read the review for the E09 recording you'll know that Alan Davies used his phone to record some of the show. He has once again put them on YouTube.

There are two videos. This is the first and this is the second.

Please note that once again the videos do give away who some of the guests were and the subject of the recording...

Note by QI Fanatic: I've added the videos to the blog, scroll down the sidebar and click on the pictures under "Alan the Cameraman" to watch them without leaving the page.

QI E10 Recording Review

*This is episode E05 in the Autumn transmission order.

The 10th Recording
leaves us with only the final week to go. I'll miss going to these recordings for the next year.

Before entering the studio I found out that there were 113 production guests seated in the studio. They made up more than a fifth of the audience. As a consequence fewer than normal people with normal tickets got into the recording. It doesn't help that there was quite a long priority queue today. I suspect that applause store have been handing out priority tickets to people that have missed previous recordings (as they will often do if you call them and explain your disappointment).

Next Friday the show will be followed by the wrap party which means there will be a lot more production guests filling the studio and probably plenty of priority ticket holders too. That means fewer people with standard tickets will get in so you will need to arrive earlier to get in.

Stephen Grant's warm up was masterful. There were some French visitors in the audience for the first time which unleashed Stephen's best work of the series. After next week we'll have to pay to see him do his stand up!

As always the spoilers are whited out below. Highlight the first paragraph to find out the guests and the second paragraph to see what was in the show.

The guests were Cilve Anderson, Vic Reeves and Jeremy Clarkson. It's Clarkson's first show this series and it was good to see him back. Stephen introduced Vic Reeves by saying that it was his 3rd show. Vic corrected him by saying it was his 5th show. Neither of them is right, it is Vic's 4th episode of QI. Jeremy Clarkson does an excellent impression of an American accent!

The theme
of the evening was everything (which seemed to mean anything beginning with E). The subjects included; a Molecule, No Es, Ebay, Explosions, Goats, Lumberjacks, Coney Island, Aliens, Sleep, Multiple Choice, Mountains, Dust, Pearls, the King's Shilling and Desert Colours.

Stephen Fry revealed that he is one of only 5 people in the world to know the ending of the final Harry Potter book. Since he has done the audio book it was necessary for him to know the ending. J K Rowling can rest assured that Stephen did not break his confidentiality agreement.

The QI Vodcast intro and outro was done by all of the guests, Alan and Stephen, although Jeremy Clarkson did his best to ruin the proceedings. The Recording finished very late last night and since it was 21:50 before I left the studio.

Once again a big thanks to U-Girl, this time for bringing some exquisite chocolate and raspberry brownies.

Andrew will be reviewing next Thursday's show and I will be going to the last recording. It's just dawned on me that I'm going to have to find something else to talk about until September/October.

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 18

This week the QI column has a buffet of babies. Read it here.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

QI E09 Recording Review

*This is episode E07 in the Autumn transmission order.

QI Fanatic couldn't make it to tonight's recording so he's left it to me to do the review for him again...not sure whether I'll be doing another one this series....we shall see :-)

Three quarters of the recordings of this series have now been done and that leaves a mere three recordings.

Once again the brilliant Stephen Grant was the warm up... He had a bit more time than usual however his job was made particularly hard tonight with lots of production staff milling around due to planning a small amount of audience participation which everyone will have to wait until October or so to see as I couldn't see what was happening...

When introduced, Alan Davies came out already filming so we shall be looking out for that latest video on YouTube!!

Now for a few bits of information which I shall hide in case you don't want to know who the guests were or the subjects discussed...

Tonight's guests were Clive Anderson, Jo Brand and Vic Reeves. When introducing Vic to the audience he said that this was Vic's second appearance but that is actually wrong (sorry Stephen!) as Vic did 2 recordings in Series D.

The main theme tonight was espionage and Stephen, Alan and the guests were suitably disguised with moustaches (where appropriate!), shades, hats and trench coats! Some of the topics discussed were (in no particular order) mobiles, magicians, nazis, 40 titans, ink, toilet paper, Napoleon, 4000 giants and lifts...

The vodcast introduction and goodbye were today done by Stephen, Alan and all the guests - anyone else looking forward to see what goes in these vodcasts??

I'm not sure if QI Fanatic can make it to all of the last 3 recordings so I may or may not be back...either way I hope you've found my posts Quite Interesting! ;-)

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Quite Interesting Statistics

A regular reader of the QI Blog, Scott Vaughan, has sent me some interesting statistics for the scores by QI's guests. I thought I would share them with you (they're based on all of the episodes up to the end of the D series).

It won't surprise you who has the worst scores on QI. Alan Davies holds the 5 lowest points scores ever. These range from -144 points in D07 to -64 points in D12. Nor will it shock you that Alan has the lowest average score of any guest who has appeared more than 4 times. At -23.3 points, Alan's average is far below the -6.9 of Jo Brand.

Then again, only Rich Hall and Clive Anderson have won more episodes than Alan. He succeeded in A10, D06, and D09 where a mistake by Stephen gave Alan his highest score of 54 points (enough to get into the top 5) although he would have won anyway.

So who is the king, or queen, of QI? Well Helen Atkinson-Wood must be the queen having scored the most points of any guest, 200 in C09. The king's crown must go to Jeremy Hardy who scored an average of 11.3 points, the most of guest to make 4 appearances. His two princes, Rich Hall and Sean Lock are the only other panellists with a points average greater than 1 who have appeared in more than 4 shows.

You can see the statistics in greater detail right here. Meanwhile, although I haven't been posting the scores in the reviews, I can tell you that some shows have produced some very interesting results, especially with more audience participation. We'll have to wait and see what makes the final cut before the statistics can be updated.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

QI E08 Recording Review

*This is episode E08 in the Autumn transmission order.

The eighth recording
of QI was, in my opinion, the best that I have seen in the series so far. It also means that there are now only two weeks of QI recordings left before the long summer wait for the new series to start.

I made a point of going to check the length of the queue at 5:55pm, just before the queue was moved in through the gate. It was clearly evident that people arriving then would not be getting into the recording. Phil was turning people away at the end of the queue soon afterwards since it was obvious that they would be wasting their time.

Stephen Grant is back and he's even written some new material for his warm up. Hurrah! Hopefully he'll be warming us all up for the rest of the recordings because we did miss him.

Phill Jupitus brought his camera onto the set with him and made a point of photographing the audience. Since he had been at the E06 recording I can only presume that he is competing with Alan Davies who put his mobile phone video up on YouTube. Then again, perhaps he just wants some snaps of the occasion.

Now for some details about the recording which include spoilers. You'll need to highlight the following text to read it. The first paragraph only has details of the guests if that is all that you want to know.

The guests were Phill Jupitus, David Mitchell and Jimmy Carr. All of them have made previous appearances in the series. Phill and Jimmy were both doing their fourth recording. If the reliance on the same guests is a strategy for this series, it seems to be working because all of the guests produced an excellent performance. Alan was on his best form as well.

The theme of the episode was eyes and ears. The subjects discussed (some very cryptic ones here to avoid making the answers too obvious) were Scoops, Babygays, Biometrics, First Looks, Ecoboxes, Cod, Cooling, Big Ears, Sneezing, Acronyms, Rough Music, Earwigs, Earing, Grass, Camels, Four Eyes, Plane Crashes and Captain Flint.

The recording of an intro and outro for the QI Vodcast is becoming a regular feature of each recording (one presumes that the decision to do these must have been made half way through the series since they were not made in the early episodes). This week it was the audience that produced the intro and outro.

Finally, a big thanks to U-Girl (again) for bringing those excellent dark chocolate covered flapjacks. I'll have to do a lot of laughing to burn off all of those calories.

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 17

This week the people at the Daily Telegraph made a cock up and the link on their website goes to last week's column. Anyway, thanks to the hard work and persistence of violetriga on the QI forum you can now read this week's QI column right here.

The subjects this week is all about subjects starting with the letter F. These include Flies, France, Finland, Foxes, Ferrets, Flu, Five, Fruit and Fruit Machines.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Alan the Cameraman

For those who read the review for the E06 recording you'll know that Alan Davies used his phone to record some of the show. He promised to put it on YouTube and he has fulfilled to his promise.

There are two videos. This is the first and this is the second.

Please note that the videos do give away who the guests were and the subject of the recording.

A huge thanks to Heleen for adding the comment with the link to the videos. Alan only put them up yesterday so that was a very good spot.