While Stephen Fry travels the world looking for endangered species to film, his TV celebrity parlour game QI continues to entertain, with the most recent edition pitting Emma Thompson, John Sessions and David Mitchell with regular Alan Davies.

The premise – if you’ve never seen the show – is simple. Various topics of Quite Interesting trivia are raised, and the players lose points if they answer with a commonly believed fallacy. Following the correct factual explanation, the matter is talked about a little more.

How a show such as this could possibly get past the paper outline to the pitching stage is remarkable, and yet here it is, alive and well and at times hilarious. Some have considered its success to be down to Alan Davies’ presence, others to the flexibility of the very vague format, but most agree that on the whole the success is down to Stephen Fry’s witty and urbane position as the chairman (a role he is soon to take on a rota-basis on BBC Radio’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue).

He’s been a comedy mainstay for the last 24 years on British television, appearing in Blackadder, Jeeves & Wooster and A Bit of Fry & Laurie (all with at some time or another comedy partner Hugh Laurie now better known as the star of House), popping up on other shows such as Have I Got News For You and Room 101 as well as being an original member of the Whose Line Is It Anyway? show.

Now in its 6th series, QI is a highlight of the BBC One Friday night line-up, and long may it remain!


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