Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

February 06, 2007

this week's show

It seems so nice - waking up on a public holiday here in New Zealand (Waitangi Day), and knowing that there is fresh JAM to listen to. And that one of your all-time faves is on the show in Graham Norton. It's a very very pleasant feeling, I can tell you. I'm also looking forward to the newcomer Chris Addison. It's been a while since a newcomer made a big imapct on their first show - will Chris do this today?

And off we go, the theme music, and today the team in seating order is Paul Merton, Sir Clement Freud, Chris Addison and Graham Norton, and the venue is the Mermaid Theatre at Puddledock in London.

The first subject is Paul's, "the streets of London". He's already on to Nicholas, calling him a third-rate actor from the 19th century. Clement now describing his journey down various streets and after a wrangle over points, Paul says "it's good to hear Clement is doing the Knowledge!" (That's the test for taxi drivers.) Chris's first challenge is a clever one, repetition of "street'. I think Chris has listened before! Graham's in now, they've all had a go. Chris again talking about interpretation of the rules - maybe he's a big fan of the show!

Anyway Graham's off and is in good form, berating amateur shoppers: "I have money to spend and quickly!" He sounds tough which Nicholas picks up on, "I've never heard you speak so violently", and Graham responds "it's the new me!" And Graham is in an early lead.

Clement has the next subject, "monkey business". Starts off very slowly and even a bit stumbly, coming into the middle of a joke about a nun and a taxi driver. Clement awards Nicholas a point who replies "I can't do anything with my points, you can". Graham interjects "is that age", and Clement chimes in "we've noticed!" Is there a game show host anywhere in the world that gets as much abuse as poor Nicholas? Paul now talking about a Marx Brothers film. Chris is in now, going well on a monkey newspaper. Sounding strong and fluent - Clement picks him up on repetition of "monkeys". Clement starts and Paul picks him up on grammar, so he's in with two seconds to go. "Catherine Grant and Katharine Hepburn.... " and Clement has it back with half a second to go and he is now in the lead.

Chris now has the subject, "a false economy". "The economy of Vulgaria is a false economy on the grounds that that place does not in fact exist..." Paul buzzes: "I've just bought a house there! What have I done?" Paul is a master of picking up on others lines. Chris keeps the subject to the audience's delight. Chris picks up, "the Vulgarian economy exists largely on selling imaginary houses to comedians..." Wow he's doing a Paul back at Paul, that doesn't happen often. (I have tears in my eyes now from laughing.) Paul assures us he's seen the home. Nicholas assures us that listening to Chris is his job and Graham pipes up, "he doesn't want to, you understand..."

Clement going on about the Chancellor moving in to a new property, and Chris buzzes, "deviation, it's nothing about a false economy." Nicholas doesn't agree and Clement puts down the youngster, "you're not that new, any more..." I think Clement also thinks Chris is doing rather well. Paul talking about his false teeth! Graham gets in with three seconds to go and gets the buzzer. Graham and Clement now equal in the lead.

Graham's subject is "when I was in prison". He says everybody has lovely nicknames - now how is that for an unexpected start. Chris has the subject now: "when I was in prison, I was struck by two things, one was a metal pail being used for slops, by Big Danny, my cellmate." He runs out of steam. Clement now to talk about his prison-life and he buzzes himself for deviation from the truth. It's not often Clement buzzes himself! Chris and Graham now chiming in to give Clement some points - I've heard this happen with Peter Jones, but there's usually not much generosity towards Clement.

Paul now has the subject again and it is "12 angry men". He remembers the play, and the film with Henry Fonda - certainly a classic. Clement takes it in a football direction, now listing countries. He says they fight for the referee, and Graham quips "is it like a bouquet at a wedding?" Clement says "I wasn't listening" and Paul replies "well you're in the majority there." Paul now listing men in the audience. Nicholas says some were women, and then suggests they could have been transvestities. Paul apologises to the ladies in the audience who Nicholas can't distinguish from transvestites!

Graham's subject is "in the year 2525". Graham says Just A Minute will be difficult then because of the repetitiousness of the date. "There will be many mysteries, like how is Kim Cattrall still 40?" He's wickedly funny, just a brilliant comic mind. Chris having a good argument with Clement now - he is doing very well. I'm enjoying him a lot, indeed I'm enjoying the whole show. Chris: "In the year 2525, I will be 554 years old..." Clement buzzes, "he won't be..." Chris replies "Prove it! I'm on a very strict regime, you know!"

The final round is Chris to start with "body langauge" but he hesitates in his second second. Graham has 58 seconds, he's repeating gestures and the audience is loving it! Nicholas assures us the gestures were quite obscene and Chris challenges for repetition of the gesture. He's going to get a bonus point and now they're all making gestures at Nicholas in the hope of a bonus point. Nicholas says he will give a bonus point to everyone except Graham and he squeaks "but it was my idea!" Hillarious! I'm just imagining the scene! The pictures are better on radio!

Now Paul finishes off on a funny note and that was a top-class show. Chris came fourth, Clement third, Graham second and Paul first.

They were all in top form. That was delightful!


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