After thirteen years and over 180 episodes Stephen Fry has decided to ‘retire’ from panel show QI. Fifteen to One presenter Sandi Toksvig is to take his place.
“Stephen Fry has announced his retirement halfway through the alphabet. The upcoming ‘M’ series will be his last.” – BBC
Originally cast as a team captain opposite Alan Davies, he generously agreed to chair the show as a last minute replacement for Michael Palin ‘just for the pilot’. But, from the first few moments, it was instantly clear that he was born for the role.
His sparkling wit, charm and effortless erudition have taken QI on a rip-roaring, award-winning ride across three BBC channels – BBC Four, BBC Two and BBC One as well as UKTV’s Dave.
“[Fry has taken the show] to international acclaim all over the world, educating the nation by stealth and bringing a new kind of general knowledge – ‘General Ignorance’ – to a whole generation.” – BBC
Stephen’s place will be taken by his old friend and university contemporary Sandi Toksvig OBE, the Danish-born writer, presenter, actor and comic, who herself stepped down earlier this year after a dazzling 10-year run as chair of Radio 4’s The News Quiz. Alan Davies will continue as QI’s resident panellist and genial fall guy.
“For 13 years I had one of the best jobs on television. Behind the camera, squadrons of quite extraordinarily brilliant researchers, programme-makers and uniquely curious (in both senses of the word) people making that job so much easier. In front of the camera, generations of lively minds and above all, of course, the wonder of nature that is Alan Davies. After passing the alphabetical halfway mark I thought it time to move on, but I will never cease to be grateful to John Lloyd for devising QI and for everyone else for making it such fun.” – Stephen Fry
The last series of QI starring Stephen Fry begins on BBC Two at 10pm on Friday the 16th of October. The star-studded panel includes Bill Bailey, Matt Lucas, Jo Brand, Romesh Ranganathan, Sheila Hancock, Jimmy Carr, Jeremy Clarkson, Sami Shah, Eddie Kadi, Sarah Millican, Sue Perkins, Noel Fielding, Sara Pascoe, Johnny Vegas, Julia Zemiro, Josh Widdicombe, Sara Cox, Rhod Gilbert, Phill Jupitus, David Mitchell, Lucy Porter, Ross Noble, Danny Bhoy, Aisling Bea, Susan Calman, Greg Davies, Chris Addison, Cariad Lloyd, James Acaster, Tommy Tiernan, Dermot O’Leary, Jenny Eclair and, of course, Sandi Toksvig.
“QI is my favourite television programme both to watch and to be on, so this is absolutely my dream job. (My Nordic background also makes me keen to spend time with the Elves.) Stephen has been utterly brilliant with the first half of the alphabet. Now I look forward to picking up the baton, mixing my metaphors and sailing towards the Land of Nod (ie Z). Who knows what lies ahead? It should all be quite interesting.” – Sandi Toksvig
Pictured Top: QI with chairman Stephen Fry and QI’s resident panellist, Alan Davies. Pictured Bottom: Sandi Toksvig.