Quiz show prime for laughs

JANE BOWRON
Last updated 08:34 02/11/2012
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KEY VIEWING: Stephen Fry hosts Qi where many of the questions are impossible to answer.

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Prime's nifty move to insert the quality British quiz show The Best of QI in the current affairs slot of 7pm on a week day night provides viewers with a real alternative.

TVNZ's recent decision to announce Close Up's axing at the end of the year will have had some of their audience abandoning ship already, the psychology being no-one wants to watch a show pulled by its own network. No doubt they will tune in for the last week with a medley of Best ofs (including host Mark Sainsbury's precious moments with Sir Ed Hillary).

Newcomers to QI get the added bonus of the edited series being the best of the long running show, which guffawed its way into being back in 2003. Permanent panelist, Alan Davies, along with comedian Bill Bailey - who incidentally was Davies' best man at his wedding - are kept on their toes by Welsh comic, writer and actor Rob Brydon of Gavin and Stacey fame.

The beauty of QI is when host Stephen Fry asks a question which 99.9 per cent of mere mortals wouldn't know the answer to, the expectation to deliver the correct answer is zilch. Instead, highly entertaining wrong answers are welcome with the high IQ panelists and host taking the answer to ridiculous, imaginative heights.

Question from Fry: "Could Jesus walk on custard?" Answer supplied by guest panelist Rich Hall: "Maybe at some point - when he was a child entertainer". Correct answer - custard is a non Newtonian dilated fluid and the more pressure you put on it, the harder it becomes. This factoid was followed by inferences of low level smuttiness all expertly managed and prevented from copping an X rating by ring master Fry.

Wednesday night heralded the finale of Underbelly: Badness with a perish-the-thought 18-year non-parole sentence delivered to Anthony Perish, and his brother and core cohort receiving a hefty chunk in pokie too.
The Underbelly phenomenon ran out of puff ages ago and Underbelly: Badness has been less than overwhelming with Jonathan Paglia turning in a performance that was more pose than punch.

The finale paid tribute to the hard work of real life cop, Camille Alavoine, played by the young, pretty actress Ella Scott Lynch, whose youth did not match the obituary provided that the real Camille was born in 1966. Best in show was Kiwi-born actor Aaron Jeffery, who played grasser Frank O'Rourke with likeable threat and charisma. No more Underbellies please, how about instead some Abovebellies?

ONE TO WATCH

Strangely entertaining expose of British male prostitution in True Stories – Male Hookers Uncovered screening tonight on Prime at 8.35pm, following the very earnest Arctic with Bruce Perry at 7.30pm.

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- The Dominion Post

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