In season 3 episode 2 or 3, Steven Fry says that marsupials aren't mammals, but they are. Marsupials are an infraclass in the mammalia class, infraclass being a further division of subclass...
An elf replies...
This quibble is probably a good time to give an explanation of how we deal with alleged mistakes. I wasn't in the studio for this particular show, and it's a long time since I saw it on television, so the first points of call are the show transcripts written by the fantastic Sarah Falk at http://sites.google.com/site/qitranscripts/ - this is what was said:
I'll tell you what, though. All the indigenous mammals in Australasia
Stephen: Er... are therefore not mammals.
Jimmy [stares at Stephen in disbelief]
Whoops. Even if it wasn't blatantly obvious; a cursory google shows that this is totally incorrect. So how did we make the mistake?
The next thing to check is our database of facts, to see if the error is in there - all of our facts are sourced and need to be amended if they're wrong - but the fact is not in there and so it seems likely that it was a slip of the tongue by Stephen.
Next port of call are our research boards at http://www.qi.com/talk, to see if the mistake has been mentioned before. Sure enough, QI creator John Lloyd, is at hand with an explanation of sorts...
"Stephen is not perfect. Like anyone else he makes the occasional mistake. Almost always these are spotted and corrected, sometimes they are not.
mammals/marsupials thing is different.
I know perfectly well that marsupials are classified as mammals, but I let it stand because I am a mean bastard.
If Stephen wants to show off, that's his look out.
I would like to apologise profusely to Stephen for my behaviour. "
if a mistake such as this is made, we would correct it in the
recording itself. If we miss it there, it would be cut out in the
editing suite, but in this case it was left in.
Whether you think it was deliberate, or whether you take Mr Lloyd's explanation with a pinch of salt, hopefully the odd mistake that makes it to air doesn't detract from the show too much.