Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

January 22, 2006

The Exeter show

My friend Keith Matthews was there - he obviously enjoyed himself!

Jenny was a time bomb in both shows. She and Graham get on so well - laughing and chatting about the show and the others during the applause at the end of the minute. A real camaraderie. Graham was on form too. Making remarks about his holiday in Cape Town, his acquisition of a dog called Bailey (a labradoodle) half poodle and half labrador. And being taught music by a strangely weird teacher called Father Glitter. But it was Jenny who rose splendidly to the occasion. The woman is certifiably funny. She obviously loves appearing on the show.

Keen wasn't the word - like a dragon using up her last bellyful of fire she scorched us all with her frantic personality and her outbursts - leaning nearer and nearer to that phallic microphone with it's foam knobhead-cover. Her voice, an octave below laryngitis, was getting louder and louder and the result was tinnier and tinnier. A gizmo on their desk that controlled their microphones, aroused Graham's suspicion, he'd never noticed it before, so he began twitching with it and then got feedback.

Nicholas, several times, edged forwards and tried to signal her that she was too near the microphone, but she continued to rave. Like a not too distant relative of Kenneth Williams she fought like a bitch rottweiller to get her subject back - and she got it!

Paul I'm afraid showed his bad side. And there is no denying it. My friend said to me in mid-show "Paul's a bit quiet isn't he ?" My reply "How can he compete with somebody like Jenny getting all the laughs. He looked thoroughly miserable. Clement and Graham, Nicholas and even Janet were enjoying the fun of the new number 1 lady player of JUST A MINUTE's modern age.

Paul must have got bored with all Jenny's frivolity and then challenged. Made a remark about Jenny, but the stinger that did the damage was one that referred to Jenny's mouth going near the phallic mike - Something to the effect "doing that reminds you of your old job." Some of the audience laughed at his borrowed line, but it was immediately followed by noises of disapproval from the rest of us. Jenny stood up and made a couple of steps away from her seat. Graham's face was a classic picture of camp mock-outrage. Faced by what was obviously a no-no in our eyes, Paul's quick as lightning mind came up with a very lame- "I meant as an ice-cream seller! "

About the incident with the swearing. Paul was speaking and off on one of his flights of fancy that no-one can challenge him on deviation for. However he slipped up, made a mistake and Clement challenged and just said "Bullshit!!". We all fell about. Even Paul laughed. It stopped the show. Nicholas was besides himself with laughter. He knew Clement was right and so let Clement continue. Paul, not wishing to be topped by what obviously was one of the biggest laughs of the evening, challenged and then just said the word "Crap!!" Graham and Jenny were shocked, while the rest of us laughed.
Nicholas said "This round will probably get edited out anyway." Paul got his point and continued and then Clement challenged and said "Bollocks!!" I never dreamt that words like that could fall from Sir Clement's mouth but they did. That was in the penultimate round before Jenny's complete minute at the end of the 1st show.

Backstage there was hardly no light and as they all left the stage Jenny patted Clement on the back and put one hand on his arm, while Graham put one on his shoulder and they helped him over the loose cables which should have been masked down with bright yellow masking tape. They obviously have a great affection for the sultan of Just A Minute. Clement seems age-less.

But other than that -it was a cracker.


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