This year, members of the PCO have once again contributed to the BBC TV series QI and its spin-off book titles. It’s a relationship that has existed ever since the first QI Annual was published in 2008.
The TV show – in which each season follows a letter of the alphabet – was already in its fifth ‘E’ season when it was decided that some sort of annual was in order. True to form, QI inventor John Lloyd (also the man who created The News Quiz, The News Huddlines, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image, produced all four series of Blackadder, and co-wrote two episodes of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with his friend Douglas Adams) sought out the funniest contributors he could find, roping in the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Alan Davies and, of course, Stephen Fry. He also needed illustrations and lots of them. And that’s where the relationship with members of the PCO started.
The annuals have featured work by Jonathan Cusick (cover of the ‘G’ Annual), Adrian Teal (who also painted the cover of the ‘F’ annual), and Stevyn Colgan. This Christmas, the brand new ‘H’ Annual will feature more submissions from Adrian and Stevyn. Also, the first three E, F and G Annuals are being bundled into a softback compilation edition in November with a brand new cover by Stevyn. And, for the first time, artwork by Adrian and Stevyn will be seen on the TV show itself gracing the big screens behind the panellists in the episode on ‘Horses’ and ‘Humans’.