Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

August 30, 2007

still missed - a new tribute gig and book on Linda Smith

A new tribute gig is to be held in memory of Linda Smith, coinciding with a new biography of the late comic.

Jo Brand, Dara O’Briain, Jeremy Hardy and Phill Jupitus have already signed up for the West End show, which is expected to raise more than £35,000 for Ovarian Cancer Action. Smith died from the disease in February last year, at the age of 48.

Some of her Radio 4 colleagues, including Women’s Hour host Jenni Murray and announcer Charlotte Green will also be appearing at the gig, entitled Linda Smith’s Favourite Things, Vol 2.

It will take place at the Victoria Palace Theatre on Sunday October 28, a few days before the release of a new biography of Smith written by her partner Warren Lakin.

Driving Miss Smith is a follow-up to last year’s I Think The Nurses Are Stealing My Clothes, which contained Linda’s material mixed with tributes and memories from those who knew her.

Tickets for the new show will go on sale on September 10, priced £27.50 and £37.50.

August 28, 2007

The best player of all time

Is now Marcus Brigstocke who now has the best percentage of wins of any player in the show's history, 66.7 percent, four out of six games. He has passed Paul Merton who continues to improve but is on a mere 63.5 percent.

Of course Paul's record is over a lot more games. But I decided the qualification would be five games and Marcus is now on his sixth.

He is a very fine competitive player of the game.

Notably also, Clement is falling down the ladder as he only rarely wins these days, and is about to pass Derek Nimmo who can of course get no better or worse with his percentage. I will be slightly sad when Clement falls behind Derek...

Of course Marcus could fall behind again if he doesn't win this week.

Today's show

I thought it was one of the best of the season so far. Lots of interaction and joking around. I especially enjoyed Janey Godley saying she liked being interrupted and Paul replying "you must be ecstatic about how things are going then".

Janey I like very very much. She's got pluck and a goodly share of wit. We should have her back soon. Marcus deserves to be promoted to regular - he has the timing and the wit and competitiveness that suits the show so well. Clement was in the best form I've heard him in for a long time. Paul was good as always, perhaps a little quieter than usual, but great value all the same.

That was a lot of fun.

August 25, 2007

bits and pieces

Apologies I haven't been saying much - have been very ill...

My thoughts on this week's show - Fred MacAulay was very good. He should do the show more often - but it seems like he's only thought of when they're recording in Scotland. But he was everything a guest should be, combative, involved, witty.

Jo Caulfield didn't get very involved. It's hard going in your first game. Hard to think of people in recent times that have done well in their first show - Chris Addison did well. Lee Mack was good. She needed to get more involved even if it was in an Elaine-Stritch sort of way.

Paul and Clement were both good. An enjoyable show.

Teams for the next few weeks

Aug 27 - Clement Freud, Paul Merton, Marcus Brigstocke and Janey Godley
Sep 3 - Paul, Marcus, Pam Ayres and Maureen Lipman
Sep 10 - Paul, Gyles Brandreth, Jenny Eclair, Julian Clary
Sep 17 - the show to be recorded at Stratford-upon-Avon on Sep 9. Don't know the full team yet - Clement will be there, Paul will not. I'm picking Graham Norton, Sue Perkins and Juan Moore.
Sep 24 - Clement, Paul, Tony Hawks and Dave Gorman.

August 19, 2007


According to a poster here, the participants for the Edinburgh shows were

show one - Sir Clement Freud, Paul Merton, Fred MacAulay and Jo Caulfield.

show two - Clement, Paul, Marcus Brigstocke and Janey Godley.

Good to have Fred back again! And first appearance by Jo - the sort of comedian who should do very very well.

August 14, 2007

today's show

I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining edition. Tim Rice plays the role of Clement-type grump very very well. Alun Cochrane possibly didn't do enough to get a recall, but he was funny when he had the subject and was engaging. Paul Merton was in his usual form and his usual form is very very good.

I thought Chris Neill was the star though - he has a unique style now and camps it up magnificently. Every time he opens his mouth something funny comes out.

Alas, he has the poorest win record of anyone in JAM history - equal with Sue Perkins - of no wins in 18 games. I mention this because my scoring of what went to air showed he won. The scoring of what goes to air is almost always different to the scores announced because the show is edited - in this case two whole rounds were omitted. But still I know he sometimes reads the blog so maybe this will cheer him up a little.

August 11, 2007

Ross Noble's mega-gig

from the Chortle site

Ross Noble is to play a live gig that will be simultaneously screened on 43 cinema screens across the country.

The live link-up will also allow him to see and interact with the audiences in any of the multiplexes from Aberdeen to Exeter.

If the event is sold out, he will play to more than 10,000 people.

Noble said: ‘This will be the first time in stand-up comedy history where there is the potential to be booed-off in one town, and receive a standing ovation in the others. Plus, if somebody gets up to go to the toilet in Liverpool, the whole country will know they have gone for a wee.’

The show will take place at the Liverpool Empire on October 21 and be transmitted in cinema-quality video and sound to multiplexes in the Vue chain. It is part of his Nobelism tour, which starts in September, and the cinema tickets will cost £10

Noble added: ‘I’m very excited. The great thing about this is that 10,000 extra people can get tickets to enjoy the live experience. It’s all the fun of being there with the bonus of popcorn.’

It is the latest in a series of major events shown across Vue cinemas, which has included Genesis live from Dusseldorf and the first ever cinematic broadcast of the British Grand Prix.

Mark de Quervain, marketing director for Vue Entertainment, said: ‘We are delighted that Ross Noble is making his big screen debut with Vue. Our Larger Than Live programme brings together the highest quality sound and imaging technology with the most exciting performers in the UK

Participating cinemas include Aberdeen, Basingstoke, Birkenhead, Birmingham (Star City), Blackburn, Bolton, Bristol Longwell Green, Bristol (Cribbs Causeway), Bury, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cheshire Oaks, Cleveleys, Doncaster, Dublin, Edinburgh (Ocean Terminal), Edinburgh (Omni), Exeter, Hamilton, Hartlepool, Inverness, Lancaster, Leeds (Kirkstall), Leeds Light, Leicester, Livingston, Manchester Lowry, Newcastle Under-Lyme, Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Reading, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Southport, Swansea, Thurrock, Watford, West End, Worcester and York.

August 07, 2007

today's show

was pretty good I thought. Nicholas was in very good form, even getting a laugh from Paul at one stage. Dave Gorman was funny when he got in - he didn't get in as much as he would have liked, but I thought he was good when he did. Tony Hawks is a very canny player of the game these days, and always amusing. Paul I felt wasn't quite at his funniest.

I wouldn't rate it a great show - but a damn good one.

August 03, 2007

remaining shows in current season

August 6th - One of the London Clement, Paul, Tony Hawks and Dave Gorman shows

August 13th - the remaining show held over from last season with Paul, Tim Rice, Chris Neill and Alun Cochrane at Cheltenham

Aug 20th and 27th - A safe bet that these will be the two Edinburgh Festival shows. They always like to play these during the Festival

That leaves four shows in September. I'd say we'll get the second shows from Hay-on-Wye, Hastings and London, plus one of the shows being recorded in September.

It'll be interesting to see who pops up at Edinburgh. Personally I'd like to see someone experienced along with Clement and Paul - having two newcomers seems to make sure the show drags a bit. Maybe Graham Norton...