Meet the elves working behind the scenes at one of Britain’s national treasures, ‘QI’
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In case you weren't aware, the research team behind the hit BBC quiz show QI (known lovingly as the “QI elves”) have their own podcast - and it's full of as much fact-filled hilarity as the series they work on. For every episode of the podcast, called No Such Thing as a Fish, each elf brings along the most fascinating fact they’ve found that week. The next 40 minutes are always a joy to witness, full of fact-based humour and banter to fill your morning commute. With topics varying from the perfect aesthetic shape of an egg to the type of chair Margaret Thatcher sat upon in 10 Downing street, you’re sure to find something quite interesting to wow your friends with. In addition to recording podcast episodes each week, the No Such Thing As A Fish crew are currently touring with their live show and are releasing a book, humbly titled ‘The Book of the Year’, which comes out on November 2nd. I chatted with Andrew Hunter Murray and Anna Ptaszynski to find out more about their process. Did you ever expect that working as researchers for a TV show could lead to being well known in your own right? Anna: No, it's not what you have in mind when you apply for a research job. It happened entirely by accident, and without any of us really noticing. Although I think it's more that the podcast is well known (within a pretty niche group) rather than us as individuals, which suits us. We really just want to make our favourite weird facts famous; without them, we have very little to offer that would interest the public - except Dan, who does a strong line in dubious Yeti theories. Andrew: I, on the other hand, have dreamed of this from the cradle, and have been plotting it ever since then. What is the best opportunity you've been given due to the podcast? Anna: I got to face the famously relentless, adversarial questioning of John Humphries on the Today Programme. Although in this instance he basically just asked me to tell him an interesting fact and then moved swiftly on. Still, it's the stuff of dreams. Andrew: We got to do a live show in a massive model of an atom in Brussels, to an audience of not-completely-English-speakers, which was very weird and great fun, even if I had been billed as ‘Andy Murray’ and I think there were some disappointed tennis fans in the crowd. Who would you most like to have on as a guest?
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