Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

September 15, 2008

current season

Am I the only one who feels the current season isn't so great? I think part of the reason anyway is that there are a few too many "newbies" around who aren't proving to be all that good. It's a difficult game, and you need a few goes before you get into the rhythm of it. People just struggling to even get a flow of words going isn't all that funny if repeated week after week.

Of the 19 performers in the current season - a huge number - five are making their debut, and another five are making either their second or third appearances. In other words, half of the cast are inexperienced at the game.

Although producers always need to be thinking about freshening up the cast - but has Tilusha Ghelani gone too far? Maybe.

I wouldn't have minded hearing Ross Noble again - he's such a natural at JAM that I reckon he could have had a second recording this year. Graham Norton, Jenny Eclair, Chris Neill, Kit Hesketh-Harvey, Stephen Fry, Tim Rice, Pam Ayres - would have been great to have heard for any of these.

It's not easy to get the mix right, but I feel as if the show is a bit too reliant on Paul Merton to give it a spark at the moment.

I'll probably feel differently by the end of the season but somehow I'm not expecting great things. We have Sir Clement Freud, Gyles Brandreth, Marcus Brigstocke and Owen O'Neill this week. Owen has been very poor on his two previous appearances. So I guess we look to Marcus for the biggest laughs. Next week, it's Paul Merton, Tony Hawks, Shappi Khorsandi and Ian McMillan - half of the cast new. Then the season ends with Paul, Julian Clary, Sue Perkins and Chris Addison - potentially the best of the three shows.

I think next season it would be good to consolidate a little - pick out those that have performed well among the newcomers. And more of the possible and probable stars - Graham, Marcus, Jenny, Sue...

But as I say, I'll have a different view in three week's time... I hope!


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