The Elves are the team of writers, researchers and comedians behind QI's shows, books and podcasts. They regularly emerge from their dens to appear on Zoe Ball's BBC Radio 2 show, create YouTube videos, tweet, and generally uncover the brilliant and the fascinating.
QI Assistant Producer
QI found Alex wandering the streets of London during his gap year offering suspiciously cheap Latin tuition to GCSE students. He now writes scripts and operates the klaxon for the TV show, occasionally appears on No Such Thing As A Fish, and is QI's in-house director and video editor. Although if anyone's interested, he still has a mattressfull of knock-off practice exam papers to shift, going for very reasonable prices at EZ-latin-A-grade.net.Twitter: @alexbell
Andrew Hunter Murray
QI Scriptwriter, No Such Thing As A Fish co-host
Andy has worked at QI since 2008, on the TV series and books, as well as co-hosting No Such Thing As A Fish. When not Quite Interestingly employed, he works at Private Eye, writing for the magazine and hosting the Eye's podcast, Page 94. He also performs with the award-winning comedy group ‘Austentatious’. His first novel, The Last Day, has just been published.Twitter: @andrewhunterm
QI Script Editor, No Such Thing As A Fish co-host
Anna is a researcher, writer and script-editor for QI and co-presenter of the podcast No Such Thing As A Fish. She has contributed to multiple QI fact books, The Third Book Of General Ignorance and The Book(s) of the Year 2017, 2018 and 2019. Previous employment includes licking stamps for an MSP, prettifying spreadsheets in the Melbourne theatre industry and selling plum wine to anyone foolish enough to buy it.Fax: 01865 400369
QI Assistant Producer, Museum Of Curiosity Co-producer
Anne is from Scotland and joined QI in 2011. She writes scripts and is an Assistant Producer on QI and produces our sister BBC Radio Four show The Museum of Curiosity. She worked on the series of QI fact books and was an Editor in Chief for the latest, Funny You Should Ask... Anne reached the semi-finals of BBC Two’s fiendishly difficult quiz Only Connect, has two Blue Peter badges and is the author of the children's mystery series Mickey and the Animal Spies.Twitter: @miller_anne
No Such Thing As A Fish co-host, QI's Head Of Development
Dan has done a lot of co-ing. He co-created and co-produced 7 series of BBC Radio 4’s The Museum of Curiosity, co-produced Frank Skinner’s The Rest Is History panel show, co-created and co-hosts the hit podcast No Such Thing As A Fish as well as co-authoring the bestselling Book of the Year Series and its spin-off BBC2 show No Such Thing As The News. Dan has also appeared on numerous TV and radio shows including his own Channel 4 documentary on UFO conspiracies, and co-hosting Beast Week on Animal Planet in the USA.Twitter: @schreiberland
QI Researcher and Scriptwriter
Edward has been a scriptwriter and fact-finder for QI since 2016. As the 'antiquarian elf' (his words, not workplace bullying) he has a speciality in antique maps and rare books. Outside of QI, he is the bestselling author of The Madman’s Library, The Phantom Atlas, The Sky Atlas, The Golden Atlas, and Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling and Other Forgotten Sports. His writing has been featured in The Guardian, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and other publications. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Edward lives in a dusty heap of old maps and books in London.Twitter: @foxtosser
QI Researcher, Scriptwriter, and Illustrator
Emily is in-house illustrator and researcher, currently working on the TV show as well as sister programme The Museum Of Curiosity. She also wrangles clips and compilations for the QI YouTube channel. Emily has a Masters in Social Anthropology, and in her spare time she makes good art and LARPs - that's Live Action Role Playing (think real-life Dungeons and Dragons in a field), which is nerdy even by QI standards.Twitter: @emilyjupitus
QI Researcher and Content Creator
QI's network of secretive recruiters identified Ethan early as he spent most of his teen years fact-checking Daily Mail articles and posting corrections in the comments section. Having been subjected to QI's gruelling elf training regime, he researches for the TV show and Twitter feed, and works in the QITV studio. Ethan's trademark party tricks include echolocation (like a dolphin) and putting both legs over his head (if you're lucky).Twitter: @rupareliaethan
QI Researcher and Scriptwriter
Jack is an Under-17-javelin champion from Lewisham (that's as far as we got down his CV before immediately hiring him). As well as hand-rearing tweets for @qikipedia, producing videos for YouTube, and researching for the TV show, his maths degree has earned him the job of maintaining the company database, BlueWhale. In his spare time he cooks, plays Ultimate Frisbee and trumpets in a salsa band, which might explain why the weekly research meetings now take the form of a louche late night elf fiesta.Twitter: @QuiteWhelming
Head of QI Research, No Such Thing As A Fish co-host
James was originally an accountant for a chain of pubs, but agreed to come and work for QI in Series B (on the condition that he was also allowed to do the company accounts on the side). Fifteen years later, James is now Head of Research for QI (which incidentally is now technically a charity based in the Cayman Islands). In the course of his duties, James has sung karaoke with Bhutanese monks, danced with the world's most advanced humanoid robot and learned how to tear a telephone directory in half. He is one of the team behind QI's hit podcast No Such Thing As A Fish, appeared on BBC2's No Such Thing As The News, and has co-authored three volumes of The Book of the Year as well as the last eight QI books.Twitter: @jamesharkin
Social Media Manager
James was hired in 2017 as QI's Social Media Whisperer to track down the long-forgotten passwords for our feral Facebook, YouTube and Instagram accounts, and run the @qikipedia Twitter feed (which now has over one million followers). A former Countdown champion and Eurovision correspondent, James possesses the rare psychological stamina to deal with the vast amount of imaginatively explicit fan art sent to QI on a daily basis. By night, he DJs at Vauxhall's premier club night 'Push The Button'.Twitter: @jrawson
QI's Founder, Museum Of Curiosity host
John had to abandon a promising career as a fire-extinguisher salesman after setting light to a camera shop in Harlow. Hired by the BBC in a case of mistaken identity, he went on to become the founding producer of The News Quiz, Quote...Unquote, To The Manor Born, Not The Nine O'Clock News, Spitting Image, Blackadder and QI. He had a key role in the inception of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Mr Bean, has directed lots of TV commercials, written many books and presents Radio 4’s The Museum of Curiosity. Due to a strange anomaly, he has won more BAFTA awards than anyone except Dame Judi Dench (10 each).
QI Associate Producer and Researcher
Justin ‘Bo’sun’ Pollard is an award-winning historian and archaeologist. Having given up digging holes for himself he now provides historical consultancy for feature films such as Elizabeth, Atonement and Pirates of the Caribbean – as well as TV series including Peaky Blinders and Vikings, which gets him into lots of trouble with other historians. He is the co-founder of the world's first crowd-funded publishing company, Unbound, and is the author of twelve history books which are available at all good booksellers (and quite a few bad ones). He is also a (jolly good) fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Geographical Society.Twitter: @justinpollard
Mandy has been a waitress, a hair washer, the complaints department for a well known retailer, a stage manager, a bookseller, a fiction reviewer for a national Sunday newspaper, a lecturer in biochemistry and done post-doctoral medical research, all before becoming a QI Elf. She spends some of her time elving away on @qikipedia, does research for QI, helped out on the TV series No Such Thing As The News and has contributed to some of QI’s books. She has four grandchildren on whom she tests out many of her ideas and held the school record for 'throwing the rounders ball’. What can I say? It was a very weird girls' grammar school.
QI Senior Researcher
Mat first came to public prominence in 1983, as runner-up in the Hampstead Darts League Singles Knockout. Pretty much downhill from then on, until he was reduced to becoming a QI Elf in 2005. He has an O-Level in British Constitution, but Would Be Willing To Swap for an advanced swimming certificate. As well as being a short story writer and a long-standing columnist for Fortean Times magazine, he is the gardening correspondent for the Morning Star (the world's only daily, English-language, socialist newspaper), and his latest book, Eat Your Front Garden, isn't nearly as rude as it sounds.matcoward.com
QI Researcher and Scriptwriter
On leaving school, Mike’s first job was as a bingo caller and it’s been downhill ever since. Having been on (and won) many TV quizzes, he decided to have a go at writing them. His work can now be found on TV, radio, national press, books, apps and probably semaphore and telex. Mike has been Senior Writer for BBC2’s Only Connect since before it was on BBC2, a role he combines with research for The Museum of Curiosity and QI. Mike was a performer in the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, and once sat in a bath of baked beans for an hour on national television whilst being interviewed by a puppet.Twitter: @MikeTurner100
Piers ‘Flashy’ Fletcher has been QI's producer for over ten years but his career before that involved three years at Oxford and a stint in the Army, where he was put in charge of the northernmost Observation Post in Hong Kong. Had the Chinese invaded, he would have been the very first opponent they encountered. (They didn't.) He then spent a gruelling 22 years as a commodity broker in the City of London, specialising in potato futures and compliance issues. Lord Flashheart, the Blackadder character played by Rik Mayall, is based on him. You can also spot him in the Downing Street press conference scene in Love, Actually.Twitter: @piers_fletcher
QI Japes Consultant
Dr Will Bowen is the elf behind the often explosive experiments, you see on QI - usually quite a long way behind, wearing welding goggles and asbestos gloves. His purely mathematical doctoral thesis was on topological dualities of distributive lattices. Nowadays he is a stage designer, but on our set he is frequently the only thing between you and a small desk fire. Miraculously (despite his tendency to leave unmarked flasks of aqua regia in the office fridge) no National Treasures™ have ever been sublimed, pyrolised, irradiated, or otherwise genetically mutated during the making of QI – Yet!Agent: Noel Gay
Alexey was born in the city of Chelyabinsk (of the 2013 meteorite fame) and joined QI in 2018. He finds facts for the QI Twitter feed and helps with research for the TV show (the R series, obviously). Before that, he had defended a PhD thesis on humour in Samuel Beckett and Flann O'Brien, translated several non-fiction books into Russian, and worked as a marketing copywriter. While not wearing his QI researcher ushanka, Alexey composes questions for the intellectual game 'What? Where? When?', tries to write short stories, and wrangles two cats.Twitter: @ruseaby
Lydia joined QI in 2018 after successfully completing a gruelling SAS: Who Dares Wins style elimination process (with fewer crampons and more coffee and coloured pens). She now provides facts for the QI Twitter feed and is an Archivist on Radio 4's Museum of Curiosity. Lydia once went to dinner with the Archbishop of Canterbury and a Russian punk rock star. She has played Pictionary with Alice Levine while wearing a headlamp, and is a distant descendant of Dick Turpin. When not dredging up facts from the Internet sea-bed for QI's Twitter feed, or eking out every interesting tidbit about a Museum guest, Lydia can be found herding students from a safe distance at Leicester University.Twitter: @lydiamizon
Lauren is the token American on the QI research team, and contributes to QI's social media presence. When not misspelling the word "color" on the internet, she is a PhD student in political science at UC San Diego, where she studies political methodology, comparative politics, and how to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Before her current career, she was a nuclear astrophysicist. No, none of this makes sense to her either.Twitter: @notanastronomer
Manu is one of the latest additions to the QI team. In 2019, she sent an email to an Elf titled ‘Can I have your job, please?’ and wangled an internship the following year. Now she peddles tweets for @qikipedia whilst summoning up the courage to start a PhD. Before joining QI, Manu worked as a chef. In spite of the free food, she soon chose to study kitchens rather than work in one, and wrote a scathing ethnography on chef machismo. In her spare time, she enjoys well-fitted sheets, good olive oil, and popping bubble-wrap.
Miranda enjoyed a fleeting moment as the engineering toast of Haringey when she won certificates for the fastest and furthest flying paper plane in school. Unable to top this achievement, she immediately retired from the scientific world. Had her grasp of physics been developed into adulthood, she might not have fallen in the Serpentine after becoming distracted by a flock of pigeons. Rescued by two passers-by and a dog, she now works at a university. When not elfing, she is drawing and reading copious amounts of poetry.Twitter: @MirandaPencil
Rob has a proper job as an astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. If that can be deemed a "proper" job. I mean, it's hardly toiling down the mines, is it? In his spare time he dabbles in QI research, mostly to spot mistakes in science questions. He would like to claim at least some credit for any good science questions, and blame any incorrect science questions on the script editors.
Mitch was QI’s original Director of Research, an elf before elves had been invented, and a writer for the TV show and co-author of many of the QI books. He now runs the publisher Unbound, hosts the popular books podcast Backlisted, and keeps his QI eye in by supplying agreeable factlets for @qikipedia.