QI Series P: 7. Picnics. Rachel Parris, Richard Osman, Romesh Ranganathan. Not in UK/US/AU/NZ
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QI Series P: 7. Picnics. Rachel Parris, Richard Osman, Romesh Ranganathan. Not in UK/US/AU/NZ

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Hello! Welcome to QI, where tonight,
we’ve packed up our provisions and plonked down
for the perfect picnic. Let’s meet our picnickers. Making the sandwiches,
it’s Richard Osman. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Supplying the Thermos,
it’s Rachel Parris. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Carrying the hamper,
it’s Romesh Ranganathan. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE And reading the newspaper in the
car, it’s Alan Davies. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE And their buzzers are
quite literally buzzing. Richard goes… BUZZING Rachel goes… BUZZING Romesh goes… BUZZING And Alan goes… BEES BUZZING SPLAT LAUGHTER All right… You’ve been in my lavatory again,
keep in this basket? You get those if you go fruit
picking, baskets like that. Yes, you do, but not
this particular basket. I’m going to… It looks a
bit like a building to me. It is a building,
that’s exactly right. What you’d keep in it
is a basket-making company. Wow! No way. It is a seven-storey picnic basket. It was built as the headquarters
for a basket-making company called Longaberger Company. It was the brainchild of
Mr Dave Longaberger, and at one point, the architects
tried to talk him out of it, they said it was a very bad idea,
and he said, IN AMERICAN ACCENT: “If they can
put a man on the moon, “they can certainly build a building
that’s shaped like a basket”. LAUGHTER You say brainchild… Yeah. Hmm. Yeah. Unfortunately, Mr Longaberger
no longer with us and the Longaberger Company
has downsized and relocated. It’s rather sad, isn’t it? Was he buried in a coffin made
in a massive coffin-shaped factory? Yeah. LAUGHTER What do you think gets
made in this building? So it’s the middle bit
that we’re really interested in, the very long bit,
what do you think it was? Oh, now, is that the
ropemaking place at Chatham? It is absolutely the
ropemaking place in Chatham. Rope has been made there since 1618, and it’s where all the strands
are woven together to make the rope. I know it because I’ve been in it.
Have you? Why were you in it? We were doing a Horizon
documentary about how long
is a piece of string… Oh! And, er… Well, well, well, how… That’s the sort of thing Horizon
ought to be doing. LAUGHTER They’ve got a building
about a quarter of a mile long, the ropes go almost as far
as you can see properly. They make very, very
long ropes indeed. They do, and it’s really,
really tough work. You start the ropemaking process
by combing the raw hemp fibre across boards with long iron pins,
they’re called hatchels, and it straightens the fibres,
and then they use whale oil to lubricate the fibres,
which is known as train oil. Did you say whale oil? Whale oil, yes. A whale is part oil. I have a recipe. Do you want more? Is there a vegan version? LAUGHTER It would be nice if you could tap
into the whale and get some oil, without having to drag
it out and slice it up. Yeah, what, like a tap? Yeah. What are those things
you stick in trees, you know, that you wind in
and then the sap comes out? To get the sap out.
So you could do that with a whale. It wouldn’t be pleasant. No. If you said to the whale, “Look,
you’ve got two options here.” Yeah. LAUGHTER “Either we put a tap on you…” Yeah? “Or we slice you into pieces.
What’s it going to be?” You have to then go,
you have to go five miles away to hear the answer. HE IMITATES WHALE LAUGHTER “I think he said tap. Let’s do it.” LAUGHTER Right. I have a picnic here for you. Ooh! Now, I’ve got some packed
lunches for you here. Rachel, that’s for you, darling.
Oh, thank you! You’re going to have
a Cornish pasty. Yes! Richard, you’ve got ham sandwiches. Romesh, you’ve got a toast sandwich,
that’s for you. LAUGHTER I’ll be honest, Alan,
yours looks… ..a little tiny bit mouldy. LAUGHTER So, what quite interesting thing
can you tell me about your snacks? Richard, ham sandwiches. In nature… Yes? ..they’re the only thing that
grows in triangles. Well, here’s the extraordinary
thing, so 1851, we know from a census, that 436,800
sandwiches were sold on the streets of London, and they were all ham,
every single one. They didn’t sell any other sandwich?
They just sold ham sandwiches. Do you know who invented
the pre-packaged sandwich? Would it be a Joe Lyons tea shop? No, it’s much more recent than you
might imagine, it’s M&S… M&S?! M&S?! 1980. Wow. What? Apparently, an assistant wrapped
up some leftover sandwiches from the cafe and put them
out for sale and then it took off. This is like freestyling it, just
going for it and see what happens? Yeah, just go for it, sell them. So the most popular ones,
egg mayonnaise, BLT and chicken salad, those are
the ones that make all the money. All morally corrupt,
those sandwiches, just so you know. Am I right, my vegan brothers
and sisters, yeah? Romesh, let’s have a look
at your toast sandwich. What have you got in it? Er…
Do you have to rip it like that? If you’d just opened the bag, we could have reused it,
what is wrong with you? It’s got my name on it, it’s very unlikely you’re going
to have another Romesh on this. Or even me,
based on how this is going. LAUGHTER APPLAUSE Tell us what’s in your sandwich. So my sandwich has toast in it. Yes, it is literally
a toast sandwich. Yes. And I can give you a fact about
this. Go on, then. One day, Romesh Ranganathan
was given this on QI and was very insulted. LAUGHTER OK, so this is an historic sandwich.
So Mrs Beeton, the great Mrs Beeton, her Book of Household
Management in 1861, she had a recipe
for a toast sandwich. It was a piece of toast,
seasoned with salt and pepper, and served between
two slices of bread. Wow. In many ways, she didn’t need
to write that down, did she? No. I mean, no. She says, “This sandwich
will be very tempting “to the appetite of an invalid.” LAUGHTER I’ve got to tell you,
it’s delicious. Is it good? Mm. Toast sandwich. That’s a good idea, like, it’s all
about texture, isn’t it? And I bet that’s got
a lovely texture to it. Big up Mrs Beeton. Yep.
She’s absolutely smashed it. LAUGHTER Rachel, Cornish pasty, what do we
know about the Cornish pasty? Well, this bit is where you hold it. Yes. That’s called the… ..handle. Yes. Famously. Um, or in other parts of the
south, they call it the edge. LAUGHTER And why was it created? For the miners. Absolutely right. It was a
portable lunch, basically, to take down the mines,
you’re absolutely right. Is it true that in those pasties… Yeah. ..they put the pudding
in the pasty as well? Yeah, so it was perfectly possible
to have the savoury bit one end and the sweet bit the other end,
so you can see one there which has got… So is that a pastry barrier?
A little pastry barrier, yeah. Cos if they didn’t
have enough pastry, slam a bit of toast in there,
that’d do the same thing. It’s not the only one that does
that, actually, Romesh. A Bedfordshire clanger looks
like a long sausage roll and again, it’s two-thirds
savoury and one third sweet. They did that on the Bake Off. Did they? I didn’t see. Can I just say, we should whisper
this if anybody in Cornwall is listening, but the oldest
Cornish pasty recipe… ..comes from Devon. Oh! LAUGHTER HE SHOUTS: Did you hear
that, Cornwall? You didn’t even come up with a
pasty, losers! LAUGHTER The Devon one is from 1510,
the Cornish oldest one is from 1746. Are you enjoying that
toast sandwich?! It’s just, you think
it’s going to be boring but the middle bread just tastes so different from the other
two pieces! LAUGHTER You’ve really gone
full circle on it. Honestly, I think it might be
the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Well, you’re a vegan,
so I’m not surprised. LAUGHTER APPLAUSE I just remembered I know a thing. Oh, wow!
About Cornish pasties. OK. That picture reminded me. Yes? Those ones where it’s all… The crimping. Crimping, I was going to say! I have all the baking
terms that you need. Yes. It was just going to be
that it’s called crimping. Oh. LAUGHTER Right, Alan’s eaten his sandwich, I said it was mouldy but this is
actually a rather brilliant thing, this is a mouldy anti-theft
sandwich bag! LAUGHTER So the sandwich is not mouldy
at all, the idea is to stop people nicking it out of the fridge! Didn’t work with Alan. No, clearly not. Do you want the rest
of your toast sandwich now, Rom? I’ll eat it…
Did you actually like it, Romesh? I did, I feel nervous about saying, cos I’m being persecuted as
a vegan on this show, but, erm, it tasted all right. I didn’t know you were a vegan,
you should mention it occasionally. LAUGHTER APPLAUSE Ahem. How long have you been a vegan? I’ve been a vegan
for five years, Sandi. OK. Was it to do with feeling sorry
for animals, or what was it? No, I just sort of wanted to feel
better than people, you know? LAUGHTER Oh, so, a smugness thing.
Yeah, I just sort of… Also, two cows came round
and kidnapped his children. LAUGHTER And said, “That’s too difficult to
talk about cos no-one believes it,” so he’s got to go
through this whole thing. LAUGHTER Is that because children
should be seen and not herd? LAUGHTER APPLAUSE Where did the first
ever picnic take place? The garden. KLAXON APPLAUSE Outdoors. In the… KLAXON I thought I was fairly safe there. The earliest picnics
took place indoors, it was a sort of potluck supper in which each guest brought some
food for the meal. I’ve got to make an admission here,
just based on what we’ve said in the last 30 seconds, I don’t
think I know what a picnic is. If you’re having a picnic
inside, that is a meal. Is it? LAUGHTER We now think of it as an entirely
outdoor thing, but it was absolutely
an indoor pursuit and, in fact, some of the earliest regular picnics were held by a group of Londoners
who formed The Picnic Society and they used to meet at a wonderful
place called the Pantheon in Oxford Street in the early 1800s
and it was always indoors. What I quite like about this is,
the Pantheon is no longer there but on that site is an M&S,
so you could in fact go to the Pantheon and
buy yourself a picnic. And maybe a packaged
sandwich from 1980. From 1980, yes, would be ideal. LAUGHTER So the first time we go outdoors,
Romesh, is the early 19th century, so the British and indeed
the American graveyards became very crowded and for the very first
time they began to be built further out of town and that’s
the very first place where people would go to enjoy some green
space out of the cities and they would pack a picnic and they would they join a day
out in the cemetery. But in fact, the first public
parks are actually based on these cemeteries. In fact, the top three attractions
of the United States were Niagara Falls,
George Washington’s house and Mount Auburn Cemetery
in Massachusetts. You know, today, you have all
sorts of things in cemeteries. There are people having yoga
classes, people who go bird-watching,
film festivals… I went to one the other day
that had a helter-skelter, I thought, “Come on, this is a bit
much.” That’s getting bit silly. Crazy golf is a good option. LAUGHTER A lot of obstacles
you need to get around. Right, back to the great outdoors
now, here’s a question about pests. What is the best way to keep
those pesky wasps at bay? A jar of something that they like,
and then they go to it. To kill them or to just trap them? Well, if they get stuck in there,
not much you can do. LAUGHTER A wasp gun? I don’t know. A wasp gun is a gun
that fires wasps, isn’t it? LAUGHTER You’re just adding to the problem,
aren’t you, just generating more and more of
them. It fires them a long
way away, Romesh. Makes them angry, though,
and when they come back… It’s like that joke about the bloke who throws a snail
off his front step. And then three days
later the doorbell goes, and the snail goes, “What?!” So, the best way to keep
a wasp away from a picnic, they send out scouts,
the wasps, to go and see where the best food is. If you see the first couple,
take them hostage. Oh, OK. If you trap them, they cannot report
back to the nest about the food source, but if you
kill them, they can release a pheromone and the other wasps go, “What?
What’s going on? What’s going on?” They get the pheromone smell…
Yeah. They go, “Can anyone
else smell Dave?” Yeah. Yeah. LAUGHTER But you shouldn’t kill
wasps at all because… That’s really good,
so just catch them and that’s it. Yeah, because they do
some fantastic good work. Oh, do they?
I doubt that very much. I hate them. OK, so here’s the thing
that you may not know, so social wasps eat
cockroaches and spiders. There is a woman whose Twitter
handle is @waspwoman, Dr Seirian Sumner, she estimates they eat 14 million
kilogrammes of insects per year in the UK. Each? Not each, no. Oh, right. LAUGHTER No, as a team effort. Oh, OK. Yeah. OK. Let’s go to Italy. So what did they do in Italy to stop people eating their
lunches as picnics? So have a look here,
this is of course the gorgeous Basilica of Santa Croce. You don’t want people having
a picnic on the steps, do you? No, but what they want
is for you to respect the place. This particular building
is the place where you will find the burial place of Michelangelo,
Galileo, Machiavelli, Rossini, it’s like all
this greatness of Italy and they don’t want people
just eating sandwiches on the steps, so they had a really simple idea
how to stop them doing this. Was it that they get the spooky
voices of all those dead people on a loudspeaker? IN GHOSTLY VOICE:
Stop eating sandwiches! Hey, this is a-Michelangelo! I see you’ve brought a sandwich! Why you ruin-a the steps
with your sandwiches? LAUGHTER You need to stop! It’s me, Rossini! I’m-a going to be crazy angry when you’re
eating a sandwich on the step-as! Sorry, none of these
are spooky enough voices! No. Too jolly! Don’t you want to see a film
where Romesh plays Michelangelo? LAUGHTER I’m-a going to do
a ceiling-a picture! This one is-a God, this one?
That’s-a Jesus, that one! LAUGHTER It’s good, eh? They did a really simple thing,
they hosed down the steps. While you’re having a picnic? To stop people,
they simply washed the steps. With water? With water. And it stopped people sitting down
because you… Cos they’re wet. Cos they’re wet. And they’re very concerned
about their buildings, has anybody been to the Trevi
fountain in Rome? Mm-hm. They have a whole squad of volunteer
retired police officers guarding it because apparently,
people like to swim in it. So you can be fined for sitting on
the fountains, for washing your feet in them, letting your pets play, water
fights… Thus far, I’m still hearing you can
have a wee, no problem. Yeah. I went to Florence and I saw, by
some miracle there wasn’t a queue, Michelangelo’s statue of David… It’s a great-a statue! LAUGHTER IN ITALIAN ACCENT: You go all
the way behind, see everything! It’s got massive
hands, a tiny winky. That’s how we do it. LAUGHTER I’ll tell you who it is,
it’s Rossini, don’t tell anyone! LAUGHTER But what I was going to say was… LAUGHTER No, no, I think they’ve
got more to do! There’s a replica of it outside.
Right. And, honestly, you can’t
tell the difference. No. So don’t bother queueing
up and going in. I agree. OK. Why did Shakespeare not
suffer from hay fever? Benadryl? LAUGHTER Is that his friend? Claudius and Benadryl. Yeah.
Because there wasn’t any? Because there was less pollen
in the air back in the days of yore. Well, you’re probably heading
in exactly the right direction. Yes! Vagueness pays off! Yes, very good! So are you saying there was less
pollen? I didn’t know that. Yeah. Amazing.
I could go on, but I won’t. Yeah, yeah. So, basically, today one in four
people have hay fever. It appears not to have
existed until the 1800s. So anybody, we just picked
Shakespeare at random, but anybody who died before then
can’t have had it, and we don’t really know why. So the very first documented case,
1819, there was a doctor called John Bostock and he suffered with it
and he decided to investigate, and he spent nine years looking for
people with the condition and he only found 28,
so it could be a change in the environment,
the type of crops grown, intensity of farming, it doesn’t
seem to have existed at all. Bostock called the condition
summer catarrh and he tried to treat himself – I have to say these are not
things I recommend – bleeding, cold baths,
vomiting, opium, meh… LAUGHTER You’re open to it! Yeah, whatever. No success with it at all and then there was a scientist
called Charles Blackley, 1859, also had hay fever
and he finally found the cause, he identified the culprit as grass.
He had a load of hay on his chin. LAUGHTER But what they didn’t understand
was why would city dwellers get it if it’s to do with grass pollen,
which is what Blackley suggested? Why would sailors at sea get it? So he flew kites with sticky paper
on them at different altitudes and he was able to analyse
the dispersal of pollen at various altitudes and established that it carried
hundreds of miles out to sea. In fact, there is more pollen
at an altitude of 1,000-2,000 feet than there is at ground level. Does anybody have it here? I do. Do you know exactly
what it is and why you get it? No, I don’t. But I was…
Well, then, you don’t deserve it. LAUGHTER Now, Paul McCartney and John Lennon
first met at a picnic in Liverpool, but why are the Beatles the reason
you can now eat out in Australia? Er, did they, like, go to a
restaurant and then wanted to go outside and
then they said, “You can’t do that,” and they said, “We’ll do what we
want, we’re bigger than Jesus,” and then they went
and ate outside and… Er, no. Let’s do Beatles in
two different senses. Different sort of beetles.
Oh, Richard! Ahh.
Like you’ve played the game before! Like beetles with an E. Whoa. Ahh. This is just such a joke, man. You’ve said the names
of the Beatles, you’ve put the photo up there. Yeah. And I trusted you. Yeah. Yeah. What I actually said was that
they met at a picnic… Yeah. God knows what a picnic
is any more, after this show. LAUGHTER So, Australian picnicking was saved by the introduction of
millions of dung beetles. So let us imagine,
Australian cattle industry takes off in the 1960s,
what is the side-effect of a fantastically successful
cattle industry? Load of manure. Poop.
Loads of poop. Loads of cowpats. So, the native dung beetle,
they’re used to a little bit of a dry poo, like a kangaroo poo,
for example. They don’t like the wet
dung that is introduced by the European cattle. And there was a period of time
when these cows were producing 200,000 pats… ..per minute. I know. The poor guy that’s got to count
those up just to get that figure. I mean, Australia was in danger
of disappearing entirely underneath a load of shit. And it wasn’t vanishing because the dung beetles were not
eating it, so there was the
Australian dung beetle project and they imported 1.73 million
beetles, 43 different species, and it was so successful,
that is now the reason why Australians can enjoy a picnic. Look at the size of that! Blimey.
And they ate the whole thing? LAUGHTER And it does look nice and dry. It’s spelt wrong, though. LAUGHTER What are you saying it should be? Yes, what would you say? I wasn’t going to say it cos
the klaxon was going to go off. Ah! LAUGHTER No shit! KLAXON I was trying to lure
you into my trap! I felt that. Now it’s time for the gathering
storm that we call General Ignorance.
Fingers on buzzers, please. Heading off to Italy for a moment, where are you if you are
dining alfresco? BUZZ Rachel. Outside. Outside!
KLAXON No! I’m sure that’s right! Do you want to try again? BUZZ Inside! Yes! Absolutely right. They don’t call
eating outside alfresco, so they think of it as being
in the cool, OK? And for them, that means
being in prison. So it’s like the English
slang, “in the cooler”. So eating alfresco
is to eat in prison. If the Italians eat outside, it’s
called fuori or al aperto, so outside the door. Now, what liquid can you take five
times more of through security at Genoa Airport? BUZZ
Yes! Pesto? Yes! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Like you were my own boy,
I was so proud! How did you know that? Cos he’s a vegan! LAUGHTER I didn’t know you were vegan! LAUGHTER Yes, they have relaxed the ban,
but only for pesto, the liquid ban. Passengers can now carry 500ml of
pesto in their hand luggage. It has to be the proper stuff,
not supermarket-bought, and they have a special
machine to scan it. I say special, it’s the same one
that does breast milk. LAUGHTER They changed it because so much
pesto was being confiscated, they thought, “This is ridiculous,
we have to stop this.” Now, they also had a problem
at London City Airport. What was it that was being
confiscated in great quantities? Coffee? No, it’s particularly British
in the same way as pesto… Marmite.
It is Marmite, absolutely right, They ran a Marmite amnesty
in July 2017 and if you took through an oversized
Marmite, you could swap it and get a small 70g one.
The trouble is that half the security officers
would let you through, it’s the other half who wouldn’t. LAUGHTER OK, moving on. If you’re…
Oh, this is so controversial. If you’re making a cuppa, does the milk… SCATTERED GASPING
I know. Oh, a gasp, an audible gasp! Does it go in first or second? AUDIENCE RESPONDS Did I ask you?
KLAXON LAUGHTER OK. Not everybody agrees,
first or second? AUDIENCE RESPONDS Second.
First? Some people shouting first? KLAXON LAUGHTER OK. The trouble is that there is no
correct answer, that is the point, yet opinion is so unbelievably
strongly divided. But the
British Standards Institution has a 5,000 word report… LAUGHTER ..on the correct way
to make tea. Which you are going
to read out to us now. LAUGHTER
I’m going to precis for you. OK. It’s like when they dramatised
the Leveson Inquiry or something like that. It is. We’re going to do an
interpretive dance. OK. Here is the definitive
thing from them, they say milk should go in first. GASPING Oh, I know, I know! SCATTERED APPLAUSE I know, it’s very upsetting
for some people. And they also say you should
have 2g of tea per 100ml of water and it should be brewed
for six minutes and served at a temperature
between 60 and 85. Milk first – a 2003 experiment at
Loughborough University found that adding milk after
the water can heat it unevenly, and that leads to the proteins
in the milk clumping. But Yorkshire Tea says milk second, particularly if you’re brewing
in a mug. Then you should brew the tea first otherwise the milk will drag
down the temperature of the water. If the teabag’s in the cup, you
can’t put milk in till it’s brewed. That is the thing.
That’d be stupid. Yeah, so the milk
has to go in second. Yeah. But in that debate, they’re called
Miffers – milk in first – and Tiffers – tea in first. Ah! Ooh! Oh! See, now, this always
happens at a picnic. But speaking of football, Alan… Yes? Romesh… Yes? Who is the most successful
Arsenal manager of all time? BUZZ Is it me? Do you want it to be you? No, that’s Bertie Mee, he was one of your most famous
managers, wasn’t he? Well, in terms of winning trophies,
it’s Arsene Wenger. KLAXON LAUGHTER Do you follow football, Rachel? Not at all, but I’m willing to
participate in this conversation. OK. Timothy… Say George Graham,
say George Graham. George Timothy… KLAXON Rachel, it’s not George Graham! Herbert Chapman. KLAXON LAUGHTER Steffi Graf. Steffi Graf. Weirdly, Rachel is heading closer
to the correct answer than anybody. What?! Oh, really? Martina Navratilova. Er… LAUGHTER Serena Williams!
It is women that we are… Vic Akers. It is Vic Akers, absolutely right, who founded the Arsenal Ladies
football club. He managed it til
retirement in 2009. Under his management, the ladies’
team won 32 major honours, including the FA women’s cup ten
times as opposed to Arsene Wenger’s
management, where the men’s team
has won seven FA Cup titles. Vic Akers is the kit man
for the men’s team and he always wears shorts, no matter
what the weather. So on my podcast, we refer
to his genitals as little Vic and the Akers. LAUGHTER He’s greatly loved, Vic. What a fantastic track record,
32 major titles. Astonishing. I mean, at the time hardly anyone
else played women’s football, it must be said. Well, there was a time in the 1920s
when there were 150 women’s football teams in England and they could draw
bigger crowds than the men’s teams. The reason it all fell apart was
that the FA stopped women playing on Football Association pitches. This team is Where’s Wally FC. LAUGHTER This team was actually the
Dick, Kerr’s Ladies team, they were named after the munitions
factory where most of them worked. They were the first women’s team
to ever play in shorts and my favourite player
is a woman called Lily Parr, and apparently she was astonishing,
but she was also a chain-smoker and she insisted… Look at the length
of that cigarette! LAUGHTER She insisted that part of her wages
was in Woodbine cigarettes and sometimes she was known to play
while still smoking. LAUGHTER THUNDER So, it looks like our luck
with the weather has run out. Let’s have a quick look at
the scores before we are completely rained off. Er, last tonight by… Oh, that’s frankly…oh, dear,
there we are. Last tonight with
a rather narrow margin, the audience with -20! Getting drenched in fourth place,
with -19, it’s Richard! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Slightly soggy with -15, Rachel! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE A bit moist with -14, Alan. Thank you. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE And coming in from the cold,
with two points, it’s tonight’s winner, Romesh! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Finally, my mum will love me. LAUGHTER I’d like to thank Rachel,
Richard, Romesh and Alan, and leave you with this from
American actress Marie Dressler. If ants are such busy workers, how come they find time to go
to all the picnics? Good night. APPLAUSE


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