Quite Interesting: contestants on BBC quiz show know the questions in advance


Matilda Battersby
Thursday 29 August 2013 12:54
Alan Davies, Stephen Fry on BBC panel show QI
Alan Davies, Stephen Fry on BBC panel show QI

Audiences have long marvelled at the apparently off-the-cuff erudition of panelists on BBC Two quiz show QI.

But now Alan Davies, the self-confessed “QI dunce”, has let slip that the show’s guests have time to prepare their responses – confirming that they get to see the questions in advance.

The comedian’s admission comes three years after Stephen Fry, host of the comedy quiz show in which contestants are rewarded if their answers are “quite interesting”, insisted Davies did not see the questions prior to filming. Fry told his Twitter followers in 2010 that neither Davies nor frequent panelist Rob Brydon get advance sight of the questions, but admitted “one regular guest” insisted on seeing them.

In a new interview with the Radio Times Davies contradicts Fry’s claims, saying: “On QI you get the questions [in advance], but they’re incomprehensible!”

Davies added: “I haven’t been on Mock the Week, but I know they prepare material.”

Davies, 47, has been a permanent panellist on the John Lloyd quiz show since it started in 2003. Asked how he felt about being the QI dunce, Davies said: “It only dawned on me after a couple of years that I was the dunce in the class! A willing dunce. And that was John’s masterstroke!”

Speaking of author and TV presenter Fry, Davies said: “Stephen is an accumulator of knowledge, and always has been, since he was young… You’ll never him say, ‘Oh, it’s on the tip of my tongue!’ He can always remember things. I can never remember all of it! It’s like it’s a ten-piece jigsaw and I can remember three of the pieces; it’s enough to go on but not enough to be complete.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments