Swedish TV to take on Stephen Fry’s QI

Sweden is set to adapt the hugely popular British TV-show QI this year, with producer Anders Lenhoff claiming that Sweden is finally ready for "more intelligent comedy".

Swedish TV to take on Stephen Fry's QI

“I’ve known of QI for several years through creator John Lloyd, and I’ve always thought it was simply brilliant,” producer Anders Lenhoff told The Local.

“We’ve long wanted a Swedish version, and after several years we’ve got the green light and we’re going into production”.

The new version, which is as yet unnamed, will be broadcast on Sveriges Television (SVT).

Filling the British host Stephen Fry’s enormous shoes will be Swedish quiz show veteran Johan Wester, who Lenhoff believes is the exact right man for the job.

Lenhoff is something of a Swedish producer extraordinaire, and was in charge of producing the world’s first Survivor series (called “Expedition Robinson” in Sweden) back in 1997.

And he is confident that his latest project will have Swedes nationwide laughing.

“This show is perfect for Swedish audiences. I think Swedish and British humour are quite often related, and Swedes love British comedy,” he said.

QI, or Quite Interesting, is a programme driven by curiosity. A panel filled with actors and comedians try to answer Fry’s probing (and often purposefully misleading) questions in front of a studio audience. And of course, extra points are awarded if a response is deemed to be “quite interesting”.

According to QI’s official website, “Everything is interesting if looked at in the right way”.

“At one extreme, QI is serious, intensely scientific, deeply mystical; at the other it is hilarious, silly and frothy enough to please the most indolent couch-potato.”

The date for the show’s premiére has not yet been confirmed but it will air on SVT sometime this year.

“Now is the right time for this kind of show in Sweden too, we are ready for a slightly more intelligent take on the comedy panel show,” Lenhoff said.

“We’re not going to pre-write the jokes, it will be a bit more like a discussion among the panellists – it will be realistic, funny and entertaining.

“This is a different kind of animal,” Lenhoff told The Local.

Swedes have been enjoying the British QI on BBC Entertainment, which runs the show five nights a week in Sweden. According to Stefan Nyman of BBC worldwide, it is the channel’s highest rated programme, and the rights to another five seasons have just been purchased.

Oliver Gee

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