"Common Knowledge" is the third episode of the C Series of QI and the 27th episode overall. It was first broadcast on BBC Two on 14 October 2005. It featured the first appearance of Rory McGrath. The episode was preceded by "Cummingtonite" and followed by "Cheating".


Numbers in brackets mark appearances - e.g. "(2)" means "(second appearance)".

  1. Rory McGrath (1): 88 points
  2. Sean Lock (6): 0 points
  3. Alan Davies (27): -9 points
  4. Jimmy Carr (3): -12 points


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  • The commonest bird in the world is the domesticated chicken.
  • John Napier, inventor of the decimal point and logarithms, kept a black cockerel which he used as a ploy to catch a thieving servant. He would hide the cockerel in a darkened room and ask all his servants to stroke it, but they didn't know he covered the cockerel in soot, so the innocent ones would stroke it and have dirty fingers, but the guilty one would pretend to stroke it and have clean hands. Napier supposedly invented the machine gun.
  • A chevin, or chavender, is a type of carp,[1][2] better known as the European chub.
  • Fry stated that marsupials are not mammals. (Note: this is incorrect.)
  • The fingerprints of a koala are indistinguishable from those of a human.
  • 'Dermatoglyphics' and 'uncopyrightable' are the longest words in English language with no repetition of a letter.
  • The commonest metal in the human body is calcium,[3][4] mainly because the bones are calcium phosphate crystals. ("Genius" award - 100 points to Rory McGrath).
  • The "first" Prime Minister was Henry Campbell-Bannerman;[5][6] prior to this the official title was First Lord of the Treasury. He became Prime Minister in 1905, 5 days after becoming First Lord of the Treasury. Prime Ministers nowadays become both Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury. Campbell-Bannerman's last words were "This is not the end of me". Walpole never referred to his position as "Prime Minister".

General IgnoranceEdit

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  • Another name for the common cormorant is the seacrow.[7]
  • The Queen's corgis are of the Pembroke variety, not the Cardigan.
  • Tweed used to be fixed with stale urine.
  • Mr Chicken lived in 10 Downing Street,[8] he was actually the last private resident.


  1. A chav called Kevin
  2. A chav in EastEnders
  3. Iron
  4. Mercury
  5. Walpole
  6. Pitt the Elder
  7. Shag
  8. Kentucky

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