Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

October 04, 2006

Paul to count down?

Paul Merton is among the early favourites to be the new host of Countdown. For those outside Britain, Countdown runs every weekday in the early afternoons. It's a game show based around making words from letters and mathematical calculations.

According to the various newspaper reports, Paul was seriously interested the last time the job was open, about 18 months ago. And it seems he is a serious contender again.

I do find it hard to believe though. Why?

* Paul is seriously choosy about what he commits himself to as a regular gig. His "Have I Got News For You" gig, for which he is well rewarded, pays most of the bills, allowing him to pick other jobs that don't pay well but that he enjoys. I include in this Just A Minute and the Comedy Store Players. But I also include his interest in silent films for example. Doing a daily TV game show would make a big impact on what other work he could do.

* It's filmed in Leeds. Would Paul, want to travel that much - or shift up north?

* It doesn't seem a very good vehicle for his humour. Paul's an improiviser whose specialities are riffing off the comments of others, and taking us into the surreal. Countdown is a standard game show - it has comedy in it, but generally through the guests rather than the host.

* Paul always looks so uncomfortable as a TV presenter.

Still who knows - Paul is a hard man to read.

Othr JAMsters in the running for the gig are Gyles Brandreth, Jo Brand and Tom O'Connor.


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