No Such Thing as a Fish is a podcast hosted by Dan Schreiber, James Harkin, Anna Ptaszynski and Andrew Hunter, otherwise known as the elusive “elves” from the hit TV show, QI. The gang are members of the research and writing teams of the popular comedy panel quiz show and each week, they present 4 facts they discovered in the last seven days, while researching topics and segments for QI. Each host brings a wealth of knowledge and entertainment to the table while discussing their particular fact. Often bonkers and yet always informative, if you love QI, then you will certainly enjoy this perfect companion to the BBC show, allowing you to take QI on the road with you.
No Such Thing as a Fish is not just a regular fact show, as it dishes up an endless stream of hilariously random facts which is perfect for building up your repertoire of perhaps useless information. The hosts are incredibly knowledgeable in their own right, with interesting tidbits to contribute to whatever random fact they introduce us to.
Occasionally a guest will join the team to offer up their own fact and bring an entirely new world of knowledge to the show, such as journalist and author Mary Roach, who talks about defensive vomiting, and National Geographic explorer and paleoanthropologist Ella Al-Shamahi who explains the origin of handshakes.
Releasing their first episode in 2014 with their pilot No Such Thing as a Pilot Fish, they continue to release new episodes every week, amassing almost 400 episodes to date.
There is no topic they won’t cover, from the science behind the aurora borealis in No Such thing as the Northern Lights, with special guest Robin Ince, or the conspiracy of moving sofas and the manipulation of IKEA architecture in No Such Thing as a Bouncy Theatre. Along with supplying us with an incredible array of facts, their discussions often develop into equally interesting tangents. Like how child actor Hayley Joel Osment, best known for his role in the Sixth Sense, was discovered by chance in an IKEA.
One of my favourite episodes is one of their more recent episodes, No Such Things as a Waiter Made of Potatoes, in which they spend the entire first quarter of the episode discussing various potato facts, including Irish singer Nadine Coyle’s habit of eating a potato before every show and how she loved eating them so much, they are able to share her top 5 ways she enjoys eating potatoes. Did you know there is an island nation off the coast of Chile whose residents carry potatoes in their pockets to ward off the spells of spiteful neighbours? I didn’t! It may be one of their most random episodes, but hey, now I have a litany of random potato facts to pull out at parties.
But the show isn’t limited to purely whacky facts, with each topic brimming with some genuinely interesting science or history behind it. In the same potato-obsessed episode, we learn all about Antoine Parmentier, who introduced the potato into France in the 18th Century at a time when they were looking for an alternative form of nourishment in the country, and how he popularized the foodstuff by writing an essay and hosting a dinner where everything was made of potatoes.
A perfect podcast to listen to on a rainy afternoon or while doing some chores, I can’t recommend No Such Thing as a Fish highly enough.
If No Such Thing as a Fish sounds like your thing, why not give What Would You Do If a try? A silly but informative podcast that answers those “what would you do if?” questions, with a bit of fun while we all learn something new.
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