QI is a comedy panel game where the questions are completely obscure, and points are awarded for interesting answers.
BBC Two and BBC Four: 11 September 2003 – 14 December 2008
BBC One: 14 November 2008 – 2 May 2011
BBC Two HD: 9 September 2011 – Present
Stephen Fry (2003–2016)
Sandi Toksvig (2016–Present)
Four panelists compete in this game. The questions posed to the panelists are often misleading, obscure, and/or very difficult. Providing an "obvious but wrong" answer, called a "forfeit", causes a sequence of klaxons, alarm bells, and flashing lights to go off, and the panelist loses points. Usually, Davies gives forfeits. In the first two series, Fry produced the answer on a card to show the panelists; starting in the second episode, it also flashed on the large screens behind them (the cards were gone starting with the third series).
Because the producers expected that hardly anyone would be able to give a correct answer without significant prompting, they instead encourage sheer interestingness; this is how points are mainly scored. As such, tangential discussions are encouraged, and panelists are apt to branch off into frivolous conversations, give voice to trains of thought, and share humorous anecdotes from their own lives. The number of points given and taken away are normally decided by Fry or beforehand by QI researchers known as "The QI Elves".
At the end of the show, the panelist with the highest score is the winner; negative scores are common, and occasionally even the victor's score may be negative.
Original host Stephen Fry was the narrator in the first two series of the English version of the Spanish preschool programme Pocoyo.