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This is the second annual from the TV series QI, hosted by Stephen Fry and recently promoted from BBC2 to BBC1. Now in it's sixth series, QI, which stands for Quite Interesting, could loosely be described as a panel quiz- except it's a quiz show with a difference. It's produced by John Lloyd, and hosted by Stephen Fry (although MIchael Palin was originally approached to host it, he declined), and features regular panellist Alan Davies, with the other 3 panel spots rotating between a group of top quality comedians and television personalities. Originally broadcast on BBC2, and promoted this year to the giddy heights of BBC1 , this show is endlessly entertaining .What distinguishes this game from all the other panel quiz's out there, aside from the ever changing line up of contestants, is the way the points are awarded. Points are awarded not only for getting the correct answer, but also for interesting comments and facts presented by the contestants. You don't even HAVE to be right to get the points. Also, there's a trap - many questions have seeming obvious correct answers that turn out to be myths, and if you stumble upon one of these 'trick' answers, an alarm sounds and points are deducted. With many of the questions being obscure and not the sort of thing people would generally know, its not unusual to hear totally random comedy guesses, nor is it rare for a contestant to have zero, or even negative points at the end of the game.
I was wondering how an annual could stay true to the spirit of the game - but it manages it. Along with facts on all things 'f' , from frogs and finland to fornication, it also features contributions from familiar faces on the show - Jimmy Carr talks Fannies, Rich Hall takes us Foraging, and Rowan Atkinson demonstrates to us how exactly to use a chair . In typical annual fashion, it also includes tests (in this case the 'Effing Difficult Quiz') , funnies, cartoon strips, and colourful illustrations.I've been reading this book the last few days , occasionally pausing to inform anyone thats nearby that with the application of intense pressure peanut butter can be turned into diamonds, that Charlie Chaplain insured his feet for $150,000, and that coconuts produce pearls .
If you are a fan of the show , this book combines all the best elements of the TV show - fun but essentially useless facts, contributons from guests that fit with their personalities (Jo Brands 'Fags of the World) and some great artwork make this a very entertaining and enjoyable read .This book is available at £6.49 from amazon.co.uk .
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