QI (2003) s17e12 Episode Script


1 Good evening and welcome to QI, where tonight we are wading through a quagmire of Qs.
Rather than muddy the waters, let's plunge right in.
Up to her neck in it, it's Sally Phillips.
Getting bogged down, it's Sindhu Vee.
Absolutely swamped, it's Aisling Bea.
And the very emboggyment of QI, it's Alan Davies.
Let's admire their quagmires.
Sally goes FROG CROAKING That's nice.
Sindhu goes BUBBLING NOISES I've had weekends like that, I have to say.
Aisling goes SPLASHING SOUNDS Wow, so many things come to mind that I am not going to say.
There's only one thing, really.
Alan goes QUAGMIRE: Giggedy Giggedy! - Quagmire? You don't know Quagmire? - No.
It's a character from Family Guy.
- Do you not watch Family Guy? - No.
- OK.
Let's get stuck into some questions.
What's old, cheesy and found in the Bog of Allen? That's a good picture.
- This is kind of blowing my mind.
- Why? Because I'm from the Bog of Allen.
We used to take school tours to the Bog of Allen.
To the Bog of Allen? - So it's County Kildare.
- Kildare.
- Yeah.
- OK.
And we didn't realise how special it was, growing up, but it's #realspecial.
Because? Just because of its bogginess.
I just realised I didn't take anything in on the day when we went.
- OK, that's not really what I'm looking for.
- OK.
It's one of the unique places where you can find something.
A cheesy thing? A cheesy thing, yes.
Yoghurt? Keep going in the dairy thing.
- Butter.
- Butter.
- It's bog butter.
- What? - Bog butter.
So this is actual butter, buried Only one person enjoyed that.
My seven-year-old would be on the floor laughing at that.
"Butter in the bog, ah-ha-ha-ha!" There is a guy on YouTube who has a whole channel devoted to flushing different things down the toilet.
- Seriously? - Yeah.
Like soft cheese, Cheesy Puffs.
Like a whole beef Wellington.
"And does it flush? Yes, it does.
" So, I don't know what I'm more worried about, that that channel exists or that you're watching it.
You're the only subscriber! And Sally, is he single? And reader, I married him! I want to know how you crossed the bog as schoolchildren.
Did you go on planks? Do you know what? There were actually planks, and I remember one time we also went on a retreat that we had to cross it in the dead of night.
It was a Catholic retreat now, so I think it was trying to make us feel a bit like Jesus did, or something.
The story of Jesus and the bog is one that's not often told.
I know, but now Sandi, you don't just immediately walk on water.
- No.
- You have to build up to it.
Anyway, butter.
Butter buried in cloth or sometimes in barrels, and left there, and some of it has been there for as long as 2,000 years so clearly, been forgotten.
Still edible.
Sorry, who ate it? Allen.
Allen, yes.
Because of the cold temperatures, because of the high acidity and the lack of oxygen, it actually decomposes extremely slowly.
And, well, it makes our sell-by dates look rather ridiculous, frankly.
Now, the question is, why did people decide to bury their butter in the bog? To stop the British stealing the butter, maybe.
Theft is a really good reason.
What else? To preserve it.
Preserve it, particularly in the summer months.
Putting stuff in mud is a really good preservation thing.
When I was young, in the summer, my mother would make yoghurt and say, "go and put it in the mud.
" And then you'd forget.
And then she'd say, "bring the yoghurt" and then you would leave and try and get someone to adopt you because You couldn't remember where it was.
You couldn't be, "I lost the yoghurt.
" Because that would be it.
So you would just leave the house.
All summer.
So that's how you've ended up with us? - That's how I'm here.
- OK.
Did you have any bog people come out of the Bog of Allen? There were.
He went to school with us for seven years.
Denmark has shed-loads of dead people in the bogs.
In fact, one of the best preserved bog bodies was a Dane, - a guy called the Tollund Man.
- Yes.
And actually, if you have a look, it is, that is Ooh, there he is.
But isn't that extraordinary? Quite often corpses like this were found with incredible signs of violence.
Hanged, beaten, strangled, stabbed.
And I don't mean one of those four, I mean all of them.
- And then thrown in the bog.
- Yes.
Really, really dead.
That is what you call overkill.
Or It is actually, that is the technical term, - it's called over-killing.
- Oh.
But then Sandi, can I ask, if we know that people are being tortured and then thrown into bogs, what kind of school takes children on a bog school trip? An Irish Catholic school! May I introduce you The Nuns? That's some school.
"It's only an eighth of what Jesus went through for all of you little shits! Do you understand me?" Does anyone have any butter for this roll? So you get it, you get it wrapped in cloth, you get it stored in barrels.
And there's a guy called Brian Kaller, we actually spoke to him.
He recreated bog butter in an experiment, at the Bog of Allen.
He only kept it for 18 months in the bog, which I think is not really long enough.
It should be 2,000 years at the minimum.
He says it has an earthy flavour not unlike Parmesan cheese.
- And apparently it's very good on popcorn.
- Oh.
In Wales, they came up with a completely different thing to do with bogs.
Any ideas? - I know this.
- Oh, right? Because I play a part who's the head of the Welsh Tourist Board - and they do bog snorkelling.
- Yeah.
It was conceived in the 1970s in a pub, curiously.
Something's got hold of him.
A dead body! - He's not alone in that water, is he? - No.
- No.
- He does look startled.
- Yeah.
I don't know where number one and number two are, but they're under the water.
It's essentially a swimming race.
It takes place in a muddy trench in the Waen Rhydd bog.
And contestants have to swim 110 metres through the marsh wearing a mask, snorkel and flippers.
They have to, they have to! Yeah.
But have a look, because some of them, I think, haven't really got the hang of it, you know, your basic snorkelling, I think.
This guy.
This one.
a little bit more proficient, He's actually got the hang of using a snorkel.
To keep your butter fresh, you might want to think outside the bogs.
Here's a tastier question, where does Quorn come from? Oh, yes? No, I do know this for a fact.
Mo Farah makes it.
- Do you eat it, Alan? Is it part of your - Yes, I eat loads of it.
Yeah? So do you know where it comes from? Sainsbury's, I get it from.
Isn't it a fungus or something? - It is, it's a mycoprotein.
- Yeah.
So it's made entirely from fungi.
- But why is it called Quorn? - Oh.
Branding? I mean, it's called Quorn because if you said "here's some myco-fungi," nobody would eat it.
Nobody would eat it.
Well, here's one of the most delicious pieces of irony.
It's named after one of the UK's biggest hunts.
I have to say that very carefully.
The hunt used to take place at Quorn Hall, in Leicestershire, in the village of Quorn.
It was the home of Hugo Meynell.
He was an MP and he was an absolutely fanatical huntsman.
But it is a village.
And in 1914, the Quorn Specialist Company of Leicester registered the word as a trademark.
They did custard powders and sauces and stuffings.
Because it's a vegetarian thing, it's what they It is a vegetarian thing.
When you're a vegetarian and you move here and you say "I'm vegetarian," they start presenting you with this stuff.
They say, "here's a Quorn hot dog, and a Quorn hamburger.
" And you're like, "I've never eaten a hot dog or a hamburger.
Can I just have like, a tomato? That's enough for me.
And you can spare me.
" But you must have hell in Denmark, because the Danes don't understand vegetarianism.
Oh, the first time I went to Denmark, I was going to meet my future in-laws and my husband was like, "Oh, let's go to McDonald's.
" So it was a drive-in, and then he said to the guy, and that time I understood no Danish, so he just leaned over and like, "hurdy hurdy hoo.
" And I had no idea.
But you do know what I mean, you know what I mean.
But you know what I mean.
That's what I heard.
I have a funny feeling you're not going to win this evening.
That's what I heard.
And I won't say what the lady said back.
She just said something in Danish.
And then she made two Big Macs, then she put my husband's in the box and then she took mine, opened it, threw out the patty, put that back on and handed it to us.
And she said, "Yeah, we have vegetarian here.
" And my husband was like, "yeah, I'm sorry, they're still catching up with vegetarians.
" But in 2004, the Quorn Hunt tried to register their name for Well done.
Thank you.
You're going to slip up in a minute.
I know.
I can't wait.
I know.
So the hunt from Quorn tried to register their name for a range of non-foodstuffs, and they couldn't, because Marlow Foods, who own it, objected and said they might be adversely affected by being associated with a hunt.
And they won.
Quorn gets its name from a famous hunt.
Who searches for scollocks around a bunny hole? See, now you've nearly said bollocks.
Is it Hugh Hefner? It does sound like it.
We are using historical slang from Cornwall.
I can tell you that a hollibubber might search for scollocks around a bunny hole.
So, Cornwall, what's Cornwall famous for? - Pixies.
- Pixies, I love that.
- Crabs? - Tin.
It is quarrying.
- We are in the world of quarrying.
- Worrying.
Scollocks are small pieces of stone which you might find around the edge of a quarry.
The bunny hole is pretty simple actually, it's just the entrance to the mine or the quarry.
And the hollibubber is someone who makes a living collecting these stones.
So, we've got that.
Hollibubbers, scollocks and bunny holes.
Can you work out what any of these pieces of quarrying slang might be used for in a sentence? - There they are.
- Oh, ho ho! Anybody want to make a sentence out of one of those words? Dumble-hole is the online porno name that Dumbledore goes by.
Leggo's the most fun you can have with plastic.
Leggo of me Knob, you Dumble-hole.
Or I'll Throstle you in the breast.
Yeah, there you go.
They're wonderful words.
To Knob is to remove protruding pieces of stone.
No, no, it isn't.
Throstle-breast is any kind of stone which has got a sort of spotted appearance.
Dumble-hole is sweet, isn't it? It's a derelict quarry.
So one that's no longer in use.
And Leggo is an old word for a fault in a quarry.
Quarry, of course, comes from the Latin meaning to make square.
That is, a place where square blocks of stone were made.
What was the problem with the biggest stone ever quarried? It was really heavy.
Yes, is the right answer.
It rolled down the hill and landed on Wile E.
No, it was too heavy to move, the largest stone ever quarried.
It was found in Lebanon in 2014.
It was named The Stone of the Pregnant Woman.
It weighs 1,650 tonnes, which is the same as 500 elephants, or 8.
25 - Um - Camels.
AUDIENCE: Blue whales! Blue whales.
Blue whales! But how can they say it's the biggest stone ever? Surely that would be the Earth.
- It's the biggest stone quarried.
- Or a cliff.
Oh, quarried? Because it had probably been cut 2,000 years ago.
It was intended for a nearby Temple of Jupiter, but it was so big they never were able to move it.
- So you can see, it has actually been cut.
- Oh, I see.
- It's not just a random bit of earth.
- OK, yeah.
Right, quarries, we're going back to quarries.
They can be rather dangerous places, especially abandoned ones, because they look rather inviting.
So there was a quarry, a disused one in Buxton, and this is not it, actually, but it had bright blue water.
And it attracted lots of swimmers.
But it gets its colour from the caustic alkaline chemicals in the rock, it gives it a really high PH.
So it's got a PH of 11.
So if you imagine bleach has got a PH of 12.
Yeah, painful rashes is what you're going to end up with.
And they put signs up, people don't want to read signs, people kept going, "Yay, blue water!" And in the end, in 2013, the council opted to dye the water black.
And people went, "Oh, yeah, I'm good.
I'm not going to go in there.
" No matter how attractive they may look, stay away from Dumble-holes.
It's like a lesbian advice night.
We should do a feature, "Lesbian advice - holes to steer clear of.
" Number one, the Dumble-hole.
I quite like the idea of Alan hosting a lesbian advice! Yeah, I'll do it.
I'll say, "other advice is available.
" Right, OK.
Here we go.
How can I be certain I'm not drunk right now? Oh, it's very hard.
I once, my body became a micro-brewery.
- What? - Yeah.
I felt terrible and a bit woozy all the time.
Was that just like a terrible yeast infection? Yes.
Just basically.
In my brain, I had thrush in my brain.
- What? - I know that.
- Which made me drunk.
Yeah, I went to, I had Salmonella.
- Sorry, wait, wait, wait, whoa! - I went to - Whoa! - Yes? I went to Mexico with Oxfam and they used me as a kind of test-run for Coldplay.
And so I went round and everywhere I went, people would kill a chicken and cook it in a bin.
And naturally I got incredibly ill and was hospitalised with Salmonella.
And for many months after that, I had like chronic fatigue syndrome, and no-one could work out what was wrong.
I was having tests everywhere.
And it turned out that it was yeast in my brain.
- Oh, my God! - Yes, so You could have produced sour dough in your head.
I was making my own alcohol.
I was just pissed.
- Oh, my God! - Wow! - All the time.
- But did you feel pissed? I suppose I did, in retrospect, but I didn't think I was, because I wasn't drinking.
To be honest, Sally, you were great fun at the time.
I was very easy.
Can I just say that none of this is where I was heading with this question? Also - The whole question is about quartz.
- Quartz? Yeah, about quartz, specifically amethyst.
What was the question again? How can I be certain I'm not drunk right now? Oh, right, OK.
And the answer is to do with amethyst.
So it's a violet version of quartz and Anglican bishops traditionally wear an amethyst ring to remind themselves that they are not drunk.
Oh, look at this! - Have you got an amethyst on? - Yes.
- Oh, my word.
And I can tell you now that mama's been drinking and it's Woo! Yeah, always.
But why do you wear it, darling? Just because you think it's pretty? No, I basically grew up a Catholic, shunned Catholicism because I was like, that magic isn't real.
And then immediately replaced it with all sorts of like lady magic, like crystals and psychics and crystal healers and energy healers.
And reading my star signs instead of the news.
The belief that amethyst keeps you sober dates back to antiquity.
It comes from the ancient Greek word, amethustos.
It translates as 'not intoxicated'.
And what's interesting to me is that you have something that is ancient and comes originally from the Greeks and then goes into traditional religion.
So bishops traditionally wear the amethyst ring to remind them that they are not drunk, that they are filled with the Holy Spirit, is the idea.
I believe in the power of colour and holding something external to yourself and energy and power.
Because if you look at what powers a watch, it's just quartz.
So there is a lot of power in stones.
Other advice is available.
A bishop can tell how squiffy he is by taking a look at his ring.
But why would a Scotsman want a glass bottom? Well, you can see through a glass bottom, can't you? You can.
Why might you want to see through a glass bottom? We are in a particular kind of drinking done in Scotland.
Whisky drinking? Yes, what might you drink whisky out of in Scotland? - A glass? - A tumbler.
- It's a special kind of cup called a quaich.
- A what? - It's called a quaich.
- Yes.
- Oh.
It's a shallow cup, it's used traditionally to drink whisky, often made with a glass bottom.
That normally has mango chutney in it.
OK, so, there's some thought that Bonny Prince Charlie supposedly liked to see through the base of his, of his cup, just in case his enemies were up to anything.
You can drink and still use your eyes.
So we thought it would be great to let everybody have a drink.
- Some whisky? - Yes, please.
Yes, so, I'm very pleased with this.
It is Toksvig's Finest Whisky.
There you go.
This is the most, like, rock and roll QI has ever been.
There it is, there you go.
Skol, skol.
- Skol.
- I can't open mine.
- Go for it.
- Slainte.
- Slainte.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
But still looking at the bottoms of drinking vessels.
The ancient Greek kylix.
So, this is a wonderful thing, it's a shallow drinking cup for wine.
It's similar to one of these cups, but it had obscene pictures painted on the inside, which were gradually revealed.
Oh! We've censored this, because, you know.
And they would have things like a couple having sex, a man wiping his bottom.
Naked people.
And then an eye cup.
So it's a wide mug with eyes and sometimes a nose painted on the outside, and it looked like you were wearing a mask when you drank it.
- That's so great.
- And sometimes they painted ships on the inside, so it looked like the ships were sailing on the wine as you drank it.
- I think we should have more fun with cups.
- Yeah.
How great that you're drinking, you're getting pissed, and at the bottom of the cup is something that you're probably going to do, you know, when you've been drinking.
- Like an instruction manual? - Yes.
- Like, you know what? This is where this is heading.
- Ooh.
I feel like that just kind of cuts to the chase.
I would be really annoyed though, if I got to the end of my cup, and I was like, "so what now, I have to learn the flute as well?" OK, so I just want to see what kind of audience we have in tonight.
Who would like us to remove the pixels? Put your hands up.
"Hey, brilliant.
" Who is quite happy with it being censored? Oh, my.
No-one at all.
The best audience.
All right, let's remove the pixels and see what's behind.
It's going to be a flute.
Literally nothing.
Aah! - Genuine disappointment.
- What a tease! Well, especially for him.
Conflicts in the 18th century would end with a great Scottish quaich-off.
I'm working.
Now, that brings us to the round where things are always as clear as mud, General Ignorance.
Fingers on buzzers, please.
Other than a dog, what's the one thing you need to play a game of Fetch? - Yes? - An arm.
- What else do you need? - One of those ball launcher things.
Yes, I love those.
- What is the thing you don't need? - You don't need a stick.
You don't need a stick.
In fact, the People's Dispensary of Sick Animals say it causes horrible injuries to dogs.
- They get lodged in the throat, they get cuts.
- Really?! They get splinters, it can get down into their digestive system.
What you need is a ball, and I'm going to just show you, I think probably the finest dog in the world just catching a ball.
Let's have a This is, er - Aah.
- That is my dog Mildred.
Aah! APPLAUSE Isn't she gorgeous? I think she's very clever.
What is the general thing? Do we think dogs are clever or not clever? - Super clever.
- Super clever.
Doesn't it depend on the dog, like with humans? - No, it depends on whether you like dogs, really.
- Yes.
So they've done lots of analysis of all the different studies of dogs, and they're of average intelligence, frankly, compared with similar animals like LAUGHTER But people who like dogs will say it's great.
Most authors who want to set out to prove that dogs are really - smart already think so.
- But then that's the same as humans, isn't it? There are some real dum-dums out there, guys.
Many vets say that playing fetch can be dangerous, though they can expect to get a bit of stick.
LAUGHTER Right, here's another controversial idea.
What's so wasteful about this fruit? Yes, darling? It's all wrapped in things that are bad for the environment.
OK, so, here's the thing, we're not going to klaxon this one, but it is an interesting point, rather than a trick question.
So, here's one of the biggest problems in the West is about throwing away food.
According to some environmentalists, the carbon release associated with food waste is a much greater problem than any pollution caused by plastic waste.
And here's the thing - sometimes wrapped in plastic is a GOOD thing.
It can be a very efficient way to keep food fresh.
So, a shrink-wrapped cucumber will last four times longer than one that is just loose.
Bananas in a perforated plastic bag will last twice as long as a loose bunch.
And pears in a plastic bag in a fridge will last 14 days longer than left loose in a fruit bowl.
So, the best idea is not to buy food that you're going to throw out at all.
- Also, edible packaging is the future.
- Yes.
Now when they deliver the newspaper, - it comes in something made out of potatoes.
- Does it? Yeah, and you have to stuff it in your veg recycling.
Oh, I did not know people still had newspapers delivered.
There we are.
LAUGHTER Plastic is undoubtedly bad for the environment, but it can be good for making your fruit last longer.
Which Chinese dynasty made the most valuable vases? Ming.
KLAXON - Yes? - Quing.
LAUGHTER Well, we will get there eventually.
- Bling.
- It rhymes with "bling".
- Thing, I like thing.
Most expensive Chinese item ever sold at auction is a Qing vase.
It went for £43 million in 2010.
Here's the thing about it - a brother and sister found it in their parents' attic in West London.
Nobody knew how it had ended up there.
And if you look at it, it's full of holes.
It's not even a very good vase, is it?! The most expensive Ming vase sold in 2011 for a mere 17.
25 million.
Who's paying this money for a vase? - It's insane.
- In the end, it's only worth what someone will hand over.
So, these are the different ones.
- There's a Ding on the left.
- Are you kidding? A Ming and a Qing.
These are all different types.
Ding are the cheapest, they're the ones on the left.
There was one bought for 3 at a yard sale in New York, and it sold for 2.
2 million.
- SHE GASPS - Whoa! But you can see the decoration is strikingly less intricate - than the Ming and the Qing.
- And it also has no holes, so who's going to waste money on that vase, right? It is always like when one of those goes onto Antiques Road Show, I'm always waiting for someone to go MULTIPLE BLEEPS What?! Like, there's no way I would be like, "Yeah, I bought this "for three quid in New York and now it's what, 2.
2 million?" BLEEPS Are youkidding me?! Oh, my And by that, I mean, "lovely stuff, great.
" LAUGHTER Well, they say that, and they say, - OK, we're going to have to do the reaction again.
- Yeah.
LAUGHTER So would you mind saying, "Oh, I wouldn't dream of selling it.
" LAUGHTER "It belonged to my grandmother.
" So, the high price is put down now to patriotism of the newly wealthy Chinese collectors, cos a lot of it came to Europe and now they want to have it back.
But the worst story about these fabulous vases was in 2006, I don't know if you remember, there were three Qing vases in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
They were on a staircase and a member of the public was coming down the staircase and stumbled.
Oh, stop! Yeah! Smashed them.
"The visitor tumbled down the right-hand flight of stairs "then along the windowsill from right to left, "colliding with each vase in turn.
"The impact reduced them to rubble and scattered them - "across the landing and the stairs.
" - Was it Fiona Bruce? - It wasn't.
LAUGHTER What is amazing about this picture, this is the vases after they've been restored? - Do you not think that is a remarkable? - They mended them? - Yeah, they mended them.
- You know, I have to tell my mum that.
- Yeah.
She was here.
This story had come out and I was like, Oh, my God, Mummy, that's terrible.
And she said, "Who fell down? "Who fell on the vase? Did they kill him?" LAUGHTER - So I'm going to tell her.
- Yeah, it's all fine.
- They look so pretty now they're back.
- Yeah.
If you knock something over in a shop, the moment you knock it over, you have to go like this.
"Oh, you little bastard! Where's he gone?!" LAUGHTER There's a little kid, a silly little kid just knocked something over! I'll go outside and look for him.
LAUGHTER Other advice is available.
LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE Right, where's the traditional place for Irishmen to celebrate Paddy's Day? In a pub? KLAXON - Well.
Why not the pub? - In England? Alan, why not the pub? Why not the pub? Cos it's a holy day.
Yeah, it's a holy day.
It's St Patrick's Day, March 17th.
All pubs in Ireland used to be closed, 1927 to 1960.
It usually falls on Lent and all alcohol sales, under the same kind of law, were banned on Good Friday, for even longer, 1927 to 2017.
However, there was one place in Ireland where you could buy a drink on that day, and it was the Royal Dublin Dog Show.
It was historically a Protestant community event.
But everybody went, because whether you're a dog-lover or not LAUGHTER - Very funny.
- .
because you could get a drink.
I love that.
IRISH ACCENT: "I love dogs, I've always loved dogs.
"I love dogs and St Patrick.
" The great Irish poet Brendan Behan is supposed to have abducted a stray poodle in order to get into the members' lounge.
But I love that.
Do you think, that should still be going on now, I think, don't you? That people should have to bend the rules, find a dog to get a drink.
It'd be rather fine.
You know there was that time, that awful time in British history where in a lot of pubs and venues they'd say "no blacks, no dogs, no Irish".
And I always think, that feels like the stupidest thing in the world, cos can you imagine a pub with just black people, just Irish people and just dogs? Like, that's the most craic I've ever heard in my life.
LAUGHTER Is there still that thing in Dublin that they have singing and non-singing pubs? Irish people naturally all think they're great singers, cos of an actual sadness in our necks.
Like, give me a song, give me any song that I might know the words to and I'll show you what I mean.
Twinkle, Twinkle.
# Twinkle, twinkle little star How I wonder what you are.
LAUGHTER APPLAUSE The Danes would just be sitting in the corner crying, going, DANISH ACCENT: "She's absolutely right.
" LAUGHTER Which brings us to the messy matter of the scores.
In first place, emerging completely unsoiled, oh, with five points, it's Sally.
APPLAUSE In second place, with four whole points, Aisling.
- APPLAUSE - Yay! In penultimate place, with minus 17, Alan.
APPLAUSE And in last place, for Pete's sake, with minus 27, Sindhu! APPLAUSE Thank you to Sindhu, Aisling, Sally and Alan.
And goodnight.
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