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Guest introductions

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1086915.  Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:06 am Reply with quote

With the M series being lined up, I just want to repeat a plea I made some time ago...

PLEASE, O QI Powers That Be, make sure some sort of explanatory introduction is given for every guest other than the regulars! This is becoming more and more vital as QI goes farther afield for guests.

Every single episode for the past few years, there's usually at least one guest where the question "who's that?" gets bandied about this living room, and the answer is almost always "no idea". Occasionally we can piece together some information based on things said during the show. More often we're no more enlightened by the end.

I don't mean chat-show puffery. Just a brief phrase. "Stand-up comic and sitcom actor". "Practising MD, medical journalist, and novelist". "Druid priest and classical guitarist". Whatever. Some sort of identification to help the viewer get a handle on who the person is and why they're relevant to the episode theme (if appropriate).

For any given guest, it's likely that the majority of viewers won't have heard of them. Just because someone is a household name among the trendy young leftish BBC crowd doesn't mean they're known more generally. Remember, the only thing QI viewers have in common is that they watch QI. They don't all read the same newspapers, listen to the same radio programmes (if any), download the same podcasts (if any), or have the same tastes and interests in anything, come to that.

Apart from that, viewers who know a name won't necessarily know the face, especially if the person is famous mostly for writing, radio, etc. Even viewers who theoretically know the name and face may not recognise them immediately -- the "rings a bell" or "tip of the tongue" effect.

1093784.  Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:27 am Reply with quote

I'm not really sure that it matters what the QI guests are (in)famous for. As far as I know, guests aren't really picked for specific episodes (except perhaps for gender-related ones, where the only thing that matters is their gender). It's not as though guests' show-biz credentials are likely to help them answer the questions.

1093794.  Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:53 pm Reply with quote

It might not matter for the quality of the show per se, but it would be a polite gesture to the viewers so they know who they are watching, laughing at/bowled over by/infatuated with ....

1093795.  Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:54 pm Reply with quote

The biggest problem I see is if a guest has a mediocre performance on QI, but when in their right element I would have loved them. Since I get a bad impression I don't look them up and they are potentially losing money from DVD/book/merchandise sale. It's also a loss for me if I'm never made aware of this awesome person (in the right setting), but I assume The Powers That Be don't care that much what I do and do not do.

Although the opposite is also true, people I love on QI aren't necessary entertaining for me in other settings.

1093808.  Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:46 pm Reply with quote

If there is someone on you have never heard of, chances are that they are a standing up comic from Antipodia.


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