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Al that you can't leave behind
Lately a cuddly quiz show panel member, Alan Davies is going back to his first love, stand-up. He explains the rationale for the decision, but has less to say about his controversial comments on the Hillsborough Liverpool FC tragedy.
Paul Nolan, 22 Oct 2012
“He’s always pleading poverty,” laughs Davies. “They opened a QI club in Oxford, believe it or not – a restaurant, a bar and a club. None of them had any experience of running a club, and it seemed a massive money pit. It’s been a succession of ill-advised business ventures.”
With regard to the show itself, you couldn’t ask for a better host than Stephen Fry.
“Yeah, and it’s clever the way it’s done,” says Davies. “A whole team of researchers do it for months and get all this material. Stephen’s got fantastic recall; he can get the script and read through it and rehearse it. He seems to be able to absorb this stuff quite quickly. You never hear him say, ‘What’s the name of so-and-so, it’s on the tip of my tongue.’ Even if he’s wrong, he just keeps talking!”
Does Davies hang out with Fry socially?
“Not really, no,” he says. “I tend to see him a few weeks every year when we do QI, and I think by then he’s ready to kill me rather than going out for a drink.”
Does Davies have a favourite moment from the show?
“I like it when Stephen gets the giggles, when we incapacitate him,” he says. “He fluffed his lines when he was talking about the Parthenon at the Acropolis. I think Bill Bailey and Jimmy Carr were on. It’s on YouTube – we just take the piss out of him and he can’t cope.”
What did Davies make of the stories about Carr’s alleged involvement in a tax avoidance scheme earlier in the year?
“That was a bit awkward, wasn’t it?” he responds. “What I thought was interesting about it was that there were so many people in this scheme and he got picked on. I don’t know why.”
Because he always seems a bit pleased with himself.
“Maybe that’s it,” acknowledges Davies. “Gary Barlow is writing a bloody song for the Queen, so when you’re writing a song for Britain’s premier tax dodger, you can get away with it! I pay my taxes, that’s all I can tell you – and I will continue to do so after all the stick that he got!”