First broadcast in 2003, QI has become something of an institution. The BBC panel show which shines a spotlight on comedians’ knowledge and ignorance has been running since then with Stephen Fry and now Sandi Toksvig at the helm – along with creator and producer John Lloyd – but it’s behind the scenes where a lot of the (Quite) interesting action happens.
Writers and researchers on the hit TV show, the line-up of Dan Schreiber, James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray and Anna Ptaszynski joined together to create the podcast No Such Thing As a Thing, which acts as a sort of spin-off from, and logical extension of, the parent show. With more than 190 episodes under their collective belts, the podcast is fast becoming a staple of the burgeoning comedy podcast scene in the UK, which seems to be undergoing another boom lately.
Currently on tour to record some editions of their podcast, and also to plug their Book of the Year, a compendium of weird facts about 2017, they arrived at Warwick Arts Centre to discuss strange facts, trivia and highlights of the year, with a distinct nod towards nerdy humour. Part of the appeal of the podcast is that many of the obscure nuggets the QI elves (as they’re affectionately referred to on the TV show) come across are intrinsically funny, but even more than that is the natural humour of the four hosts, not least when they’re gently needling each other or riffing on some data which was hitherto under the radar.
There was an impressive amount of care which had gone into the preparation of the show, including research in museums, newspapers and other sources aside from the internet – though plenty of online curios were slipped in too. An engaging and funny chat among friends, with trivia and information peppered with jokes and warmth, No Such Thing As a Fish was a delight to witness live – and is a recommended listen for your podcast playlists.