Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

February 09, 2007

Jenny Eclair, Queen of Just A Minute

Jenny Eclair has appeared on JAM 26 times over 13 years - enough to make her a familiar voice to the fans. Since her first appearance she has been just a little different to the other women of JAM, and a very welcome breath of fresh air.

On a show where how you speak and present yourself is so important, Jenny's style is unique. She speaks almost in a confessional way, up-front, open and revealing about herself. But if that sounds almost as if she is an Oprah Winfrey type figure, it should be noted that she can hardly utter a sentence without being funny.

She has a delicious deepish voice which sounds fun. She is competitive, she argues vehemently over the points, she is playful and she is very very witty.

Jenny is a stand-up comic and novellist and in the past few years has become better known on the telly in the series Grumpy Old Women. This is a very funny show where vaguely well-known women grumble about modern life. Jenny's comments are usually among the funniest and the show has become so popular that she now tours the show as a stage act, with a few of the other women involved. It's perfect for Jenny's style as her schtick is to poke fun at herself for getting old.

As I said she can talk on any subject very well because of her comic gifts, but she is also highly competitive. She has said that although she enjoys doing JAM she doesn't like the fact that it brings out the competitive side of her nature. She can argue, or indeed whine about a decision that goes against her. This tends to annoy Paul Merton in particular - ironically as who is more competitive than he? But she is just sensationally funny and even Paul can admire that.

It would be wonderful to have Jenny on the programme more often. Her wonderful wit and story-telling abilities make her a deserved Queen of Just A Minute.

Jammy facts about Jenny

Appeared on the show in 1994, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2006.

Has won 3 of her 25 games, a 12 percent success rate, making her the fifth most successful of our eight queens.

Has appeared most often with Clement Freud (15 times), Paul Merton (10 times ) and Peter Jones (eight times).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

no argument here. i find Jenny quite endearing, and usually always on her side, then again I side with whomever has the biggest grievance if something goes against them. anyway, she is very funny and I often see her as strange amalgamation of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller, because both are very funny women with a penchant for poking fun at themselves, griping about modern life and about ageism, what women consider beautiful, and so on. but Jenny is definitely a unique voice in her own right and always love hearing her on JAM, it is rather ironic that Paul finds her competitiveness annoying, since he can be just as argumentative as her or as anyone else on the show. i wonder if that's part of the reason she hasn't been back recently? curious.

but anyway, I hope she does come back, cuz she is simply excellent

6:16 AM  

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