Outpodcast your posse by coming to see the award-winning No Such Thing As a Fish podcast embark on their brand new live tour with a date at the Leicester’s De Montfort Hall.
We are all at a stage in our humanity that a fact being on QI is the be all and end all. Of course, we all go to sleep at night after we have ironically prayed to the oil painting of Stephen Fry above our beds and leave blank fortune cookie paper under our pillows for the deities known only as the QI elves.
Those mysterious elves, who are rumored to live in Stephen Fry’s ear canal, are so vastly talented they have created the hugely successful podcast from simply knowing too many ‘quite interesting’ facts.
We’ve managed to get an interview with the elves themselves ahead of their upcoming date at De Montfort Hall.
First and foremost, can we please have a fact or two about Leicester, or at least Leicestershire, the rural heart of England?
In 1863 a baby boy was named Leicester Railway because he was born at the train station.
For a while the people of Leicester were called ‘Balloonatics’, after an incident in 1864 when a hot air balloon took off. It took so long to inflate that people rioted, burnt the balloon, ripped it up, and paraded it through the streets.
How did it all get started? Was it a QI elf uprising, desperate for recognition from the masses or was it accidentally leaving the phone on record during a sting operation?
A furious revolt against our fact overlords. No, not really. We noticed that we had more and more facts going spare that we couldn’t quite fit into the TV series – we were having so much fun talking them over in the office that we thought we’d see if anyone else wanted to listen. Thankfully, they did!
Due to the huge popularity of QI, did NSTAAF’s success seem to be inevitable?
Not at all. In fact, we didn’t even mean to upload the first episode when we did – we put it up online for our bosses to listen to, thinking it was private, and were staggered when several thousand people downloaded it in that first week.
Is there a group whatsapp especially for facts, or perhaps beepers, for instant factual relief or are the facts saved up until the podcast recording?
We tell each other the ‘headline’ facts, so the other three know what to research – but we keep everything else we’ve found out to ourselves. Sometimes we find out very similar things, but more usually we’ve all gone off in completely different directions…
Have your own standards for what constitutes an interesting fact been raised to ridiculous degree?
Well, we’ve done over 10,000 facts over the last three years on hundreds of subjects, but the aim is to never get blasé – and amazingly, we keep finding great things courtesy of the many scientists, historians and journalists around the world. And we’re always open to receiving more – please keep sending them in. For heaven’s sake.
Is there a particular field that you prefer delving into?
Everyone has their own particular area of expertise. James is a master of the sporting world (and if he can crowbar in a pun, he will). Anna is constantly finding out about uncontacted tribes with strange customs. Andrew mainly likes finding out about parachuting animals, like the para-dogs used in the Normandy landings. And Dan likes yetis.
Do the elves go on fact-finding retreats in the woods to work on some edgier material?
We don’t, but we could probably do with being a bit edgier. Once someone wrote in to ask us to keep our voices down because she listened to us in bed and our laughter kept waking her up.
Everyone and their mothers has a podcast now, do you have any essential advice or some life-hacks for podcasts, pod-hacks if you will?
If you’re wanting to MAKE one, our main advice would be: make sure it’s something you can do at least twenty episodes of without getting bored. If you’re a listener, then the crucial thing is: don’t feel bad about falling behind. There are millions of brilliant podcasts out there.
Finally, what are you expecting from the show? Will you be seeing much of Leicester? Is it a get in and get out job?
We’re all bringing shovels in the hope of finding the remains of the 1864 hot air balloon under one of Leicester’s car parks.
No Such Thing As A Fish comes to DeMontfort Hall on Tuesday 28th November.