QI Christmas Special, BBC1

by | Dec 23, 2008 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

We feared that transferring Stephen Fry’s comedy panel game from BBC2 would be the ruin of a fine show, what with those BBC1 viewers being a lot less erudite and demanding. Yet this first BBC1 outing was every bit as good as any edition we’ve seen before.

What was good about it?

• Rob Brydon was by far the best of the guests, with his Christmas crackerish fireman’s pole joke to his detailed explanation that smoke not fire kills and his dismissal of a heckler as he did his Richard Burton voice – “You wouldn’t know a good impression if it sat on your face.”

• Stephen Fry, jolly as ever, descending into smuttiness (“Do you swallow?”) and being a little bit embarrassed about it.

• Stephen Fry in a snow-covered Trilby.

• Clive Anderson’s slinky dance (with hands only) to Light My Fire.

• Stephen Fry’s closing “I felt your presence” joke for Star Wars fans.

• We learned that the largest fireman’s pole in Europe is a 40 footer in Birmingham; we were informed that Australians use the phrase “I wouldn’t piss up your ass if your kidneys were on fire”; and we discovered there was a World War Two plan to deploy aircraft carries made from ice and sawdust.

• Alan Davies throwing himself into Stephen’s parlour game called Christopher Biggins Has Up His Bottom Tonight.

What was bad about it?

• The audience laughter when the panellists press their tailored buzzers. This has always been a stupid, annoying part of QI.

• The opening round – about Indian smoke signals – struggled to catch fire.

• Dom Joly labouring his urine-soaked granny “joke”.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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