Tuesday, 20 May 2008

QI Series F Episode 5 Recording Review

This review is written by Ian Dunn, QI’s faithful newshound.

This was my first time at not just a QI recording, but also my first time at a TV recording. This is mainly due to the fact that I come from Stockton-on-Tees, which for those who are not British is located in the north of England (where there be dragons). As a result, I have to get the train down from Darlington and book a hotel for the night, which makes the fact that most TV and radio records are free somewhat less significant.

My brother and I got into the studio at around 18:45, after talking to some of the people also waiting including other members of the QI forums. Stephen Grant was doing the warm-up again, taking the fun out of a Norwegian and an Austrian, but then it was revealed that some Americans were also there and the heat was took off the previous two. Stephen Fry then came out and played to us a recording on his iPhone featuring a rather bizarre and very rude Australian phone call.

But now, onto the content of the show. Tonight’s guests were Sean Lock, Johnny Vegas and yet another newcomer – the poet Pam Ayres. This makes Pam the fourth new guest of the series so far. The theme of the episode was “Fight or Flight”. Stephen put on an RAF captain’s cap, and the panel were wearing flying goggles and scarves. Sean was also wearing a very tight shirt, but this has nothing really to do with overall costume. The buzzers, instead of being pressed, were operated by joysticks. Topics covered in tonight’s episode were parachuting, spitfires, fish, fighting animals, boxing, ducklings, hot-air balloons, Viking sailors, rockets (and in General Ignorance) manned flight, the armed forces and knights.

Pam Ayers was certainly an interesting guest and gave a lot of quite interesting information. However, it could be said that she lacked the comic abilities of Sean and Johnny, but then again she is not a comedian by trade, but a poet. Like in his first appearance, Johnny was clearly dominating in his presence. Sean and Alan were their usual selves, although quite interestingly, Alan was the subject of one of the questions.

The recording was an interesting experience for a first timer. For starters, the stage was much smaller than I imagined, although it could well be the case that it was just Stephen and Johnny dwarfing the stage with their collective size. The other thing I noted was the seating. I do not know if this is familiar to those who attended previously recordings, but there is not much foot-room for the audience. I ended up with cramp.

After the show, my brother and I went into the Green room, which was a place of celebration as it was John Mitchinson’s birthday, who was presented with a birthday cake. I got chatting to members of the cast, crew and with fellow members of the QI talk boards. I was in conversation with John Lloyd – or to be more accurate, I talked and I had the feeling that I was going on a bit too long. If you’re reading this John, I apologise if I did.

It was a wonderful night as a whole and I hope to able to do more reviews if I come down to Series G. Thanks to those who allowed me to create this review. Remember: keep an eye out on the QI News section of the website for updates.

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