Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

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Location: Wellington, New Zealand

April 26, 2008

Humph - his great lines

Samantha spent many hours in conversation with the BBC gramophone library research staff for this round, deliberating over the fine old 7-inchers they presented for inspection. She says before deciding which she was going to spin she had to think about each one long and hard.

Samantha has to nip out again to see an elderly lord who regularly complains to Radio 4 about their parliamentary coverage. She says she thinks he's even going to start getting a little hard on Today In Parliament.

Samantha has got to go off early to meet an entomologist friend who's been showing her his collection of winged insects. They've already covered his bees and wasps and tonight she's hoping to go through his flies.

Samantha has to nip out to the House of Lords with her constituency friend. He's looking for support for his MP who's facing expulsion, and Samantha says it's important to have a good peer if his member's likely to be out.

Samantha has to nip off to the National Opera where she's been giving private tuition to the singers. Having seen what she did to the baritone, the director is keen to see what she might to for a tenor.

Samantha's just started keeping bees and already has three dozen or so. She says she's got an expert handler coming round to give a demonstration. He'll carefully take out her 38 bees and soon have them flying round his head.

Samantha tells me that she has to nip off to a special Welsh Conservative Association dinner for their most senior MP, whose name is said to be almost impossible to pronounce. She's certainly found the longest standing Welsh member a bit of a mouthful.

Samantha tells me she has to pop out now as she does a few chores for an elderly gentleman who lives nearby. She shows him how to use the washing machine and then goes out to prune his fruit trees. Later he'll be hanging out his pyjamas as he watches her beaver away up the ladder.

As the vanquished charwoman of time begins to Shake n’ Vac the shagpile of eternity, I notice that we have just run out of time.

Samantha has to go now as she’s off to meet her Italian gentleman friend who’s taking her out for an ice-cream. She says she likes to spend the evening licking the nuts off a large Neapolitan.

After tasting the meat pies, Samantha said she liked Mr Dewhurst’s beef in ale; although she preferred his tongue in cider.

In her spare time, Samantha likes nothing more than to peruse old record shops. She particularly enjoys a rewarding poke in the country section.

We've just heard some great news - I'm very pleased to announce that the BBC have arranged a special collection of Colin's entire work... they've bagged it up and the council are sending some men round for it on Tuesday.

We're coming to you from Northampton, described as the Naples of the Midlands - as often as Naples is described as the Northampton of Lombardy

The theatre we're in today is named the Lyttelton in honour of the internationally renowned jazz trumpet player whose glittering performances here, including today's, now total a staggering one.

Now it's time to play a brand new game called Name That Barcode. Here's the first one: "Thick black, thin white, thick black, thick white, thick black, thin white." OK who's going to identify that?

The experts' expert was, of course, Lionel Blair. Who could ever forget the opposing team captain Una Stubbs sitting open mouthed as he tried to pull off '12 angry men' in under two minutes.

Who will ever forget the show's, now famous, commonwealth tour, when Lionel Blair jumped up and displayed his Passage To India for the full two minutes!

The undisputed expert was Lionel Blair, but even he needed the whole two minutes on Harold Pinter's Caretaker!

No one who witnessed the event will ever forget the sparkle in Lionel Blair's eye as he received Free Willy from Michael Aspel for two minutes!

Sound Charades is based on Give Us A Clue, the seminal TV show which put Lionel Blair's name on the map...somewhere off the coast of Belgium

This is run on similar lines to the TV show that put Lionel Blair where he is today...visiting his aunt in Solihull Stratford-Upon- Avon

Sound Charades is based on the erstwhile TV show called Give Us A Clue, starring Lionel Blair, who once worked in this very theatre. Indeed, backstage staff still consider the role he assayed here as the very peak of his professional achievement, when he spoke the immortal line "So, that's two with milk & one with sugar"

Sound Charades was inspired by the popular TV show Give Us A Clue. Sadly, this program is no longer on our screens following an unfortunate, pre-watershed, incident in which one competitor was asked to describe An Audience With Bob Monkhouse using hand gestures alone Wimbledon

Give Us A Clue was made all the better by it's resident expert Lionel Blair, who was particularly good at the films of Richard Gere. Who can forget the gleam of satisfaction in his eye when he was given Yanks by Michael Aspel for two minutes!

In the original version, the players mimed a well-known book, film or song within a strict time limit after taking a card with the title. The master of the game was Lionel Blair. Who could forget the unbridled enthusiasm with which he picked up A Scottish Soldier to finish off against the clock!

This is based on Give Us A Clue, the entertainment show that really was something else. Give Us A Clue was the show where players were given a song or film title to mime in under two minutes. Who will ever forget the grand master himself, Lionel Blair, winning in a world record time of 3.5 seconds, when he brilliantly mimed Anchors Aweigh, by signalling 'First Word', 'Sounds Like', and pointing to himself and Timmy Mallett.

This game is based on Give Us A Clue starring Lionel Blair, the man who's talent made the show what it is today - padding for the schedule on cable channel 47.

The undisputed mime maestro was, of course, Lionel Blair. Who can forget the look of relish on his face when he was given two minutes on The African Queen!

The game is based on the TV show Give Us A Clue, where the teams score points by miming film titles against the clock, & who can forget that breathtaking finish when Lionel Blair came from behind and had Dirty Harry licked in under two minutes?

Who will ever forget the relish in Lionel Blair's eye as he got stuck into Howard's End for two minutes!

In the original, the ever energetic Lionel Blair would mime the titles of TV shows against a strict time limit, and who can fail to remember the occasion he scored double points by using both hands in different actions to finish off One Man & His Dog in under thirty seconds!

The master of the genre was undoubtedly Lionel Blair, and who will ever forget him, exhausted and on his knees, finishing off An Officer And A Gentleman in under two minutes?

The game is based on that TV classic Give Us A Clue. In the original, where the teams had to mime book, song or film titles against a strict time limit, the undisputed master of the genre was surely Lionel Blair. No one who saw it will ever forget the gleam of relish in Lionel's eye as he put everything he could manage into The Talented Mr. Ripley for two whole minutes.

The game is based on that old TV favourite Give Us A Clue, where players had to mime to titles given to them on cards by chairman Michael Aspel. The undisputed mime-master was Lionel Blair who used to get quite emotional at times. Who can ever forget the tear of pleasure in his eye as he bent over the chairman's desk to receive A Man Called Horse?

We all recall how film titles were demonstrated in mime against the clock by the grand master of the game, Lionel Blair, who would use just his hands to delight his teams' members. None of use can forget the relish with which he once gave Melvyn Hayes and Christopher Biggins Yanks for two whole minutes.

The master of the genre was undoubtedly Lionel Blair, who at the height of his powers could mime out a double bill of film titles in record time. No one will ever forget his stunning performance when he managed to knock off The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Their Lover and The Godfather II in under 30 seconds.

The next game is Sound Charades. This is based on the erstwhile television favourite Give Us A Clue, where teams of players used to delight their audience by miming the titles of songs, films or plays against a strict time limit. The most highly skilled of all was Lionel Blair, but how the tears of frustration welled up in his eyes during their Italian tour, at not being allowed the use of his mouth to finish off Two Gentlemen Of Verona.

Sadly Give Us A Clue hasn't been made recently, so we'll never know what team captain Lionel Blair would have done with modern films. Lionel used to get quite emotional, and no doubt after two minutes against the clock, The Talented Mr. Ripley would have put a lump in his throat.

The next game is Sound Charades. This is the teams' fine homage to that TV classic Give Us A Clue. In the original, the teams scored points by miming book, song or film titles against a time limit. The undisputed master of the genre was Lionel Blair who would use every ounce of his mime acting skills. None of use will ever forget the gasps of amazement when he spent a frustrating two minutes trying to fit in the whole of The Man On The Flying Trapeze.


We particularly recall the unalloyed pleasure in Lionel Blair's face as he bent across the chairman's desk to receive Uncle Vanya.

Possibly the most versatile performer was Lionel Blair, and no one will ever forget the occasion he was given A Town Like Alice, when he chose to do a silent impression of the author. Such was the performance, Una Stubbs gasped in amazement when she saw Neville Shute in Lionel's face.

The master of the game for many years was Lionel Blair, who's skills became finely honed over the years. On one occasion, it took him but a matter of seconds to finish off Lucky Jim using only one hand.

Sadly, the show is no longer aired, but its stars still turn out at such events as celebrity cricket matches, which are not without their hazards. At The Oval last week, Una Stubbs nearly fainted in horror when she saw Lionel Blair receive a full toss on the chest from Christopher Biggins.

Who can forget the practiced ease with which Lionel Blair sauntered over to pick up The Virgin Soldiers?

The expert's expert was Lionel Blair, and none of us will ever forget the look of gleeful anticipation in his eyes when he was offered Howard's End across Michael Aspel's desk.

So expert was the grand master Lionel Blair, that he even managed to score points on an obscure TV documentary called Tales Of Thuggery by indicating 'third word sounds like' and calling for assistance from Christopher Biggins.

The undisputed experts' experts was Lionel Blair who was particularly good at Mickey Mouse cartoons. However, he occasionally had to save the day when he was let down by his team. Una Stubbs still recalls how amazed she was when Christopher Biggins failed miserably with Fantasia, and Lionel was straight in behind him with his Steam Boat Willy.

The most accomplished player was, without doubt, Lionel Blair, but on one fateful visit to entertain the troops, even he was caught out. Lionel was quite happy on The Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy, but he was hard-pushed to finish off the rest Of Company B in under two minutes.

His biography records how Lionel Blair bent over backwards trying to fit in All The King's Men in under two minutes.

Sadly the show is no longer aired, but regulars Lionel Blair and Christopher Biggins recently appeared on Stars In Their Eyes, where Lionel, singing Maggie May, came second to his old team mate. Biggins said Lionel's Rod was outstanding but he easily had it licked.

This is a popular parlour game whose greatest exponent of the age is little Lionel Blair, the boy wonder, and what an extraordinary child he is, having only just turned forty-seven. In fact, Lionel is best known as a dancer who puts on grand ballroom evenings noted for the excellence of their light snacks. There isn't a fashionable young dandy in town who hasn't been seen enjoying a nibble at one of Lionel's balls.

The grand master of Give Us A Clue was, of course, Lionel Blair, but even he had the occasional day when he was off-colour. However, Lionel could always rely on his loyal team-mate Christopher Biggins to lend a hand whenever he was feeling a little dicky.

The undisputed master of the game was Lionel Blair, whose TV career has sadly waned of late. He did, however, recently audition for I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here!. Lionel's challenge was to sail a raft across a river with a small crew, but sadly the raft hit a rock and sank, and what a look of horror there was on Ant's face when Lionel went down with both hands on deck.

The past master of the game was, of course, Lionel Blair, who regularly amazed and delighted his team mates with his mime portrayals of the songs and movies of the so-called Blacksploitation genre. Una Stubb's eyes were out on stalks as she witnessed Lionel using his hands on Isaac Hayes' 'Shaft' for two minutes.

The show's virtuoso was, without doubt, Lionel Blair, but even he had his off days. His team mates recall their apprehension during one close-run contest when, in the dying minutes, Lionel was given Free Willy by Michael Aspel. Of course, he blew it.

The undisputed grand master of the game was Lionel Blair, but following the show's demise, it seems his fortunes may be at a low ebb. Christopher Biggins was saying recently how he met him in the street, and Lionel asked if he could bum him for a fiver.

The grand master of the genre was, of course, Lionel Blair, who became so renowned internationally he was invited to Paris to work as a mime coach. In fact, when Marcel Marceau was looking to brush up his hand technique, it was Lionel who pointed him to Le Coq.

The undoubted master was Lionel Blair who used to work himself to a frazzle leaping up to be given his films titles on cards. Even when Lionel collapsed over the chairman's desk receiving The Dirty Dozen, he could still cope with The Sting afterwards.

The undisputed master of the genre was Lionel Blair. Hopeful team members used to constantly badger Lionel with pleas to get a place on the show. Lionel relates how he once had Christopher Biggins on his back every night for a month before he finally got the part he wanted.

Give Us A Clue's past master was, of course, Lionel Blair, who's mimes of 1950s westerns were legendary. Lionel even tutored Christopher Biggins on how to do The Big Country actions

The undisputed master of the game was Lionel Blair. His live performances were always loudly praised by his team mates. Una Stubbs recalls listening through the dressing room wall as Christopher Biggins and Melvyn Hayes were still gushing ten minutes after Lionel blew them away on tour.

The undisputed master of the game was Lionel Blair. As a team captain, Lionel's management style operated at a democratic level. Christopher Biggins recalls how, rather than using top-down leadership, Lionel has always been a bottom-up man.

The original programme is no longer aired, bu the undisputed mime-master of Give Us A Clue is still Lionel Blair. He now tours the country doing exhibition performances in bars and restaurants, but sadly, last week's show had to be cancelled . Lionel's van broke down on the M6, and he had to pay £50 to be pulled off into a Little Chef.

Lionel still does demonstration events, and recently guested at the Multi-faith Conference, improvising his mime of Thought For The Day. Eyes were out on stalks as he started his impressions of the lesser known presenters, before Lionel blew the Bishop of Bath & Wells, and the Chief Rabbi.

Sadly, the show is no longer aired here, but there are plans in Los Angeles to revive the show for American TV, so Lionel is to be put on a plane to see how he goes down on the pilot.

The grand mime-master of Give Us A Clue was Lionel Blair, but since the show ended, he's confined to the occasional pantomime appearance, and they say he's becoming difficult to work with due to his mood swings. In this year's Snow White, they said one minute Lionel could be feeling Happy, and the next he'd come all over Grumpy.

The undisputed mime-master of Give Us A Clue was team captain Lionel Blair. When the show was scrapped, his team was devastated to the point of tears, but ever the trooper, Lionel took a video round to Christopher Biggins, and they pulled themselves together over The Fabulous Baker Boys.

The undisputed master of the game was Lionel Blair, who was particularly good at the Rocky series of movies. Christopher Biggins relates how Lionel visited his dressing room to hone his impression of Sylvester Stallone beating his opponent, often going down several times before knocking one out.

The show's undisputed master of the mime genre was Lionel Blair, who was particularly expert at the Victorian novels which he read with alacrity. He liked nothing more than to be tucked up in bed holding a little Hardy, before getting stuck into the Mayor Of Casterbridge.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this!This is a wonderful tribute to the great great man.
Rest in peace Humph!

10:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can hear him, telling his famous Samantha lines even now, and I'm laughing as if it's actually on the show.

Hilarious and very poingnant. A nice tribute.

10:57 pm  

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