I'm doing it again – procrastinating over writing a website post, because there's just so darn much to say ! On the long weekend just gone, Paul, Jaim, and Jaim's friends Cynthia, Steve and Suzie – and of course myself – went to Wales for a bit of a random drive about and see things type holiday. It was excellent, I got a ton of photos, but that's not what I'm talking about today.
Last night Charlie, Dan, Geetha and I rocked along to the South Bank TV Studios to be in the audience for a filming session of one of my new favourite TV shows since coming to London, QI – sort of a quiz show but more of a directed discussion of trivia, chaired by the incomparable Mr Stephen Fry. The guests on the show were Andy Hamilton – a British radio comedian and producer, Helen Atkinson-Wood – an actress whose most memorable role in my opinion was Mrs Miggins in Blackadder, Bill Bailey – one of my all time favourite comedians and musical genii, and panel regular Alan Davies – sort of best described as a lost puppy dog figure who consistently stumbles into the intellectual minefield laid out ahead of him.
The format of the show is that Stephen will ask a general knowledge question, and the contestants will attempt to guess the answer. The show's title – QI – stands for Quite Interesting, which is sort of indicative of the style of question. Typically they'll be questions with a popularly accepted answer, which will be by and large incorrect, and if one of the contestants guesses that answer then alarm bells and sirens go off and that person loses points. Typically, Alan Davies stumbles into most of these, and last night was no exception. From the revealing of the actual answer to the question, discussion usually ensues between the contestants and Stephen about side facts relating to the topic, anecdotes, and general irrelevant banter. Essentially it's a loosely directed load of verbal wanking on that lasts about an hour, with the vague pretext of a quiz show thrown in.
Last night's discussion started with the number of chromasomes in a mosquito, then moved on to Bonobo chimpanzees, there was stuff about octopusses (or octopodi, as the correct plural), swimming through treacle, explosions, radium, rude French place names, chalk, and then there was the special mystery cuttlefish prize. Along the way there was also a great deal of talk centred around The Hair Bear Bunch, working with dangerous animals, London camera shops, Star Wars, and Stephen Fry occasionally bursting into tantrums about how reminiscing about the 70's and 80's wasn't actually equivalent to an observational comedic routine, and he was thoroughly sick of people doing it.
Hmm. I'm beginning to suspect that you had to be there. I was there, and I don't remember a bloody thing because I was too busy giggling. Sufficed to say, I would *LOVE* to have a job like that.
As they were finishing up, the celebs were cahtting about what they were doing next, and Stephen said he had to go and do a night's filming on his next project, V for Vendetta, a movie adaption of Alan Moore's graphic novel, which will star Natalie Portman and it looks like The Wachowski Brothers were involved in the adaptation too… sounds like a good one. I haven't read it for a while now – I think I borrowed it off Chris Stevenson or Bruce Alcorn about 6 or 7 years ago. Definitely one for the “must see” list !