QI recording

I join Hamish and family in the audience for an espisode of QI.

An unexpected phone call from Hamish leads to an invitation to a QI recording session in London. With four tickets obtained free from the QI website, Hamish explained that there was one spare ticket. QI records two episodes each day, our tickets are for the afternoon recording which starts at 16:30, rather than the later evening session at 19:30.

We arrange the night before to meet at The Fire Station Bar & Restaurant on the corner of Waterloo railway station for lunch, a trendy and contemporary building conversion, where a Homemade Fish Finger Buttie is on the menu with Cola.

From the restaurant we walk past Waterloo station and the IMAX cinema to the Thames, where we walk along the embankment to The London Studios in the ITV building. We arrive to find an already large queue alongside the building, prompting doubts of our entry as tickets are over subscribed to ensure a full house. However, more people arrive after us and a two hour standing wait sees us directed inside the building and to our seats.

Once seated, we are given a short introduction by the floor manager, who then introduces the warm up act, host Stephen Fry. Stephen cracks a few jokes and records a couple of items for his blog, before introducing show regular Alan Davies. The two banter and record a show trailer together, before Stephen introduces the other guests, comedian Victoria Wood, comedian Jason Manford and presenter Richard Osman (Pointless).

The series letter is "k" and tonight stands for "kitchen". The show inevitably includes unusual historical eating implements and as a result strays into unusual foods including turtle, which is no longer recommended (illegal). Questions turn to knives, including the Ghurkha knife, Bowie knife and the Swiss army knife. Korea’s favourite dish is asked, Kimchee (spiced fermented vegetable, often cabbage), whereby a bowl is brought from under the desk by each of the guests and enjoyed so much by Alan that he begins to eat a second - this is a dish that I’d eaten in a Korean restaurant near Centre Point in London around a year previously.

The recording continues uninterrupted for two hours stopping only to bring out a science experiment; a liquid substance that once poured, due to its viscosity, the remaining amount can travel uphill. Recording concludes with a few minor retakes and a cast photo shoot, before we all leave the studio, walk back to Waterloo station and take the tube home.


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