Today I’m delighted to take part in the blog tour for 1,342 QI Facts To Leave You Flabbergasted by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, James Harkin and Anne Miller.
Today we’ve got Anne Miller here to tell us about how she became the chief Literary QI Elf.
Without further ado, over to Anne!
I did a Sociology and Politics degree and spent a lot of time on extra curricular activities – one year I ran the campus magazine, another year the university tango dancing society. When I graduated I was lucky enough to win a place on the Edinburgh TV Festival’s talent scheme The Network. (It’s fantastic – if you’re interested in working in TV you should definitely look them up!) We had a wonderfully busy weekend of going to workshops and talks from people like Jay Hunt, who runs Channel 4, and Charlie Brooker about how the TV industry works.
I worked in various TV jobs and then met the team at QI when I had a day shadowing on the QI set all the way back in Series I. They said to stay in touch and I emailed in a fact that I saw on the wall of the Dundee Science Centre that said ‘an eagle can swallow enough botulism toxin to kill 300,000 guinea pigs.’ They liked the fact and said that if I sent them more they might employ me. I like a challenge so sent more facts and a few months later I joined an internship scheme at QI and began helping out on the Twitter feed (@qikipedia) and organising their databases.
That was five years ago and now I write scripts for the TV series, am the Head Researcher for our sister BBC Radio 4 show The Museum of Curiosity and have just co-authored our new book 1,342 QI Facts To Leave You Flabbergasted. My favourite facts from the new book include:
- In the time it takes to listen to The Proclaimers’ ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, the ISS travels 500 miles, then 500 more.
- Until the 1950s, the rural poor in Norway warmed their feet in cowpats.
- Hans Christian Andersen wrecked his friendship with Charles Dickens by staying with him three weeks longer than planned.
- The Pieza genus of fly has species called Pieza kake, Pieza pie, Pieza rhea and Pieza deresistans.
- During the launch of BBC2 in 1964, a kangaroo got stuck in a lift at Television Centre.
- In 2016, the Swiss city of Lausanne banned silent discos for being too noisy.
Thanks Anne! I do love a quite interesting fact…
1,342 QI Facts To Leave You Flabbergasted is out now at Amazon and Waterstones.