John ‘Mad Jack’ Lloyd is the former producer of Not The Nine O'Clock News, Spitting Image and Blackadder, as well as being the brain behind QI.
After a promising start at The King's School, Canterbury, John loitered around Trinity College, Cambridge for a few years, where he was eventually headhunted by a man in a beard from the BBC, who lured him into the world of radio producing. He spent 15 years working like a maniac, creating such classics as The News Quiz, To The Manor Born and Quote...Unquote. He was good friend Douglas Adams' sole co-writer on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - later going on to associate produce the TV series of the same name - while also shooting TV commercials in his spare time. Television having rather caught Lloyds's fancy, he went on to create Not The Nine O' Clock New and Spitting Image, as well as producing all four series of Blackadder. For most of the 1980s he went without lunch and slept for four hours a night. He won an absurd number of prizes and became very, very tired.
On Christmas Eve 1993, Lloyd came to the sudden and alarming realisation that he didn't really know anything. Changing gear, he started reading books for the first time since he was 17. To his horror, he quickly discovered that he hadn't been paying attention and, with painful slowness, unearthed the closely guarded secret that the universe is actually quite interesting. QI is the result, and has now graced our screens for over ten years.
John has lately taken to the stage, selling out every night of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with his debut one-man show, Liff of QI. He can occasionally be found performing it in theatres around London and the rest of the UK - keep checking the QI Twitter feed for updates on that.
John used to have a recurring nightmare that involved meeting the Queen, who would upbraid him for making her into a Spitting Image puppet. To his horror, this came true in 2011 when he was awarded the CBE in the New Year’s Honours List. Turned out, she was really rather nice.
Maybe the universe is a giant practical joke and we don't know the punchline.
Comedy Panel Quiz on BBC Two (2003-present)
To The Manor Born
Radio Revival of the original television series - on
BBC Radio 2 (1997)
Satirical Puppet Show on ITV (1984-1996)
Historical Sitcom on BBC One (1983-1989)
Not The Nine O'Clock News
Comedy Sketch Show on BBC Two (1979-1982)
The News Quiz
Topical Panel Game on BBC Radio 4 (1977-present)
John did a live online
Q&A on Reddit in
December 2013 -
click here to read.
Do I think QI will ever get to Z? Definitely. And then we're going to start on the numbers.