Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

March 06, 2007

Today's show and a season ends

Paul Merton was at his brilliant best today and as we all know his brilliant best is the sort of thing that makes you cry with laughter. He did this to me on several occasions today. His friendship with Neil Mullarkey made Neil a great straight man for many of Paul's jibes, but Paul was just as funny without him.

Tony Hawks I thought was not as good as he can be. Sue Perkins was very good again. Surely she Neil Mullarkey seemed like a fill-in really. But Paul made the show.

As he did the series. Paul Merton is a brilliant comedian and it seems like he has to carry the show on his shoulders these days. The two shows without him got a bit bogged down in challenges over small words and the like, though Marcus Brigstocke shone through and is surely someone we will hear a lot more from in the future.

Chris Neill is another who had some of his best JAM work in this series. People like Tony Hawks, Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Tim Rice were as ever steady support. But the season could have done with contributions from Stephen Fry, Ross Noble, Jenny Eclair and more than one appearance by Graham Norton. This lack to me meant the show was an eight out of 10 sort of season rather than a nine or a 10.

It was also Tilusha Ghelani's first season. If this season is an indication, she will spread the net widely - with 16 people in 10 shows, that's the highest number to appear in any radio season except the first.

Out of 16 players, only three were women. I would say that neither Maria McErlane nor Pauline McLynn did much to deserve another call-up in the summer, so that leaves just Sue Perkins, who is always first-class these days. She can lock horns with anyone.

Statistical oddity. Now that he has made the qualification of five shows, Marcus Brigstocke is now the second most successful player of the game ever, behind only Paul Merton. If Marcus wins his next show, he will go into the lead. Maybe I'll have to change the qualification!


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