Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

April 12, 2014

Nicholas to lecture at university

Nicholas is to lecture at the University of Lincoln on what it takes to be a great TV/radio presenter and host.

Details here.

Somewhere Sir Clement Freud is rolling in his grave...

April 10, 2014

who knew?

Our all-time JAM favourite Peter Jones was once the star of a US sitcom.

youtube video

April 01, 2014

congrats to Sandi Toksvig

she's married her long-time partner! Congrats to them both.

Another JAMmer Sheila Hancock played a part in the ceremony

read all about it here

and Sandi herself writes about it here

March 27, 2014

JAM panel at latest recording

The team was Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Jenny Eclair and "Feltz". I'm presuming this is Vanessa Feltz, the former TV presenter who is now presenting a BBC Radio Two show.

March 26, 2014


BBC Radio Four has said they are trying to get more women on their panel games.

Just A Minute hasn't been specifically singled out, and my feeling is it has a better record than most of thge shows - far better than Clue, for instance.

Some stats - just looking at the radio shows, leaving out compilations, TV and the Junior version...

Including next week's show, yet to be broadcast, there have been 824 games, and 72 women have appeared on the show. Collectively they have made 573 appearances so on average, there are 0.698 women per show.

But - if we just take the show since Clement Freud's death in April 2009, roughly the past five years, the record is a bit better.  110 shows and 113 collective appearances, so 1.02 women per show.

I think we will find that average will improve over the next few years.

I'd be interested to know who you think would be a good female addition to the show. Also - would you like a four-woman panel? I think a panel of Sue, Jenny, Josie and Sheila would be interesting.

some stats...

All women appearances, radio games
92: Sheila Hancock
54: Andree Melly
50: Sue Perkins
48: Jenny Éclair
34: Aimi Macdonald, Linda Smith
30: Wendy Richard, Liza Tarbuck
20: Pam Ayres
18: Geraldine Jones, Josie Lawrence
10: Shappi Khorsandi, Maria McErlane
6: Janet Brown, Denise Coffey, Janey Godley, Maureen Lipman, Jean Marsh, Pauline McLynn
5: Libby Purves
4: Juno Alexander, Fi Glover, Betty Marsden
3: Liz Fraser, Charmian Innes, Jan Ravens, Katharine Whitehorn, Victoria Wood
2: Joan Bakewell, Lucy Bartlett, Blythe Duff, Rebecca Front, Annabel Giles, Thora Hird, Miriam Karlin, Helen Lederer, Jacqueline Mackenzie, Kate Robbins, Prunella Scales, Eleanor Summerfield, June Whitfield
1: Toni Arthur, Isobel Barnett, Elisabeth Beresford, Teddie Beverley, Carol Binstead, Barbara Blake, Barbara Castle, Jo Caulfield, Lorraine Chase, Wilma Ewart, Lynn Ferguson, Fenella Fielding,.Emma Freud,  Liza Goddard, Diane Hart, Renee Houston, Bettine Le Beau, Moira Lister, Josie Long, Miriam Margolyes,  Marjorie Proops, Caroline Quentin, Beryl Reid, Millie Small, Elaine Stritch, Una Stubbs,  Sandi Toksvig, Joan Turner, Holly Walsh, Suki Webster,  Anona Winn

Women appearances, radio shows, past five years
26: Sue Perkins
19: Jenny Eclair
14: Josie Lawrence
12: Pam Ayres, Sheila Hancock, Liza Tarbuck
6: Shappi Khorsandi
4: Fi Glover
2: Rebecca Front, Janey Godley, Holly Walsh
1: Pauline McLynn, Suki Webster

Nicholas misreads his notes?

Usually as we know, the four panellists take turns to start each round. It’s not always exactly symmetrical as they edit a round out here and there. But there was an unusual instance in last week’s show.

here are the rounds and the panellist who started each one...

April showers – Josie
ambience – Sheila
unanswerable questions – Richard
a sporting bet – Paul
the very first telephone – Josie
the best ingredients for breakfast in bed – Sheila
growing tomatoes – Sheila
analysing a joke – Paul
connecting the dots – Josie

yes, Sheila started the “growing tomatoes”round, even though she had started the previous one, and it was Richard’s turn.

There are three possible explanations...

1. they edited out three rounds between the two rounds.

2. they edited in a round from the other recording. Back in the 90s they did this occasionally, but I’m unaware of it being done recently.

3. Nicholas misread his notes.

I reckon the last explanation is the more likely!

February 22, 2014

panel at tonight's JAM recording

was Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Miles Jupp and newcomer Holly Walsh

February 17, 2014

Jenny Eclair on sexism on panel shows

February 11, 2014

panel news

the last recording of the current season is on February 22, with the panel to include Paul Merton, Graham Norton and Sue Perkins.

the show was back today- I thought Paul, Tony and Gyles were in exceptional form. Great to have the show back!

February 04, 2014

JAM is back

next Monday. The BBC webpage says the first show features Paul Merton, Tony Hawks, Gyles Brandreth and Fi Glover, and that it’s an eight-show season (though on both points, the webpage has been incorrect in the past).