Next month’s release of the first series of Stephen Fry’s highbrow comedy quiz is one of the few times such online lobbying has proved successful.
QI Limited, the company behind the programme, had been trying in vain for three years to secure a DVD release from the BBC or independent distributors, even though it was BBC Four’s most-watched programme last year.
But it was only after 1,821 fans signed a petition that 2 Entertain, the BBC’s DVD arm, was finally persuaded to act.
A spokesman admitted: ‘We are very aware this has been an eagerly awaited title and took great interest in the online petition campaigning for its release.’
The show’s producer John Lloyd – whose previous credits include Blackadder and Spitting Image – told Chortle: ‘We'd been trying to get the first series of QI distributed on DVD over the last couple of years without much luck.
‘We were consequently thrilled when one of the regular visitors on Qi.com started a petition to get the first series released.
‘Initially, we weren't sure whether anyone would either bother to sign it, or whether it would make the slightest difference if anyone read it. But the response was absolutely amazing. Loads of people of all ages came and signed up, including people outside of the UK who'd seen QI on YouTube.
‘As a result, an all-singing, all-dancing DVD will be out in November. Hurrah.’
The DVD, which features 12 episodes, deleted scenes, out-takes and the original pilot episode with Eddie Izzard that has never been shown on TV, will now be released on November 6.
Published: 19 Oct 2006