Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

October 03, 2008

My JAM Rankings for 2008

Last year I did a hugely popular (!) ranking of all the JAM panellists for the year. Here's this year's version.

You can see last year's here. I note that all of those listed as not being back, were indeed not back. We'll have to see if I can keep up my record this time.

Also note 27 people this year. That's enough for seven different panels. Doesn't that seem a lot?

They won't be back next year

Lynn Ferguson - She was competitive but didn't really have much to say of interest when she had the subject.
Janey Godley - Last year I had her in the "let's hear more of them" group. We did and I thought she was flat. She has some spark in her, but really nothing much to say when she has the subject.
Shappi Khorsandi - She seemed a nice person but it was a long time between jokes.
Josie Lawrence - It pains me to say it because she did get into the spirit of things well. And I adore her. I almost put her in the group above. But in the end she probably didn't produce enough humour to be worth another try.
Liza Tarbuck - Is there anyone else in the history of the show to have said and done so little that is memorable. Surely not worth another run.

They had some good moments

Chris Addison - Last year I had him in the "let's hear more of them" category. I didn't think he was as good this year and he seemed a bit quiet. Still, he does have a style that suits him to the show.
Rhod Gilbert - He wouldn't be top of my list for a comeback, but I thought he had some funny lines.
Robin Ince - A good one-off debut, where he seemed like he was a fan of the show and enetred into things well.
Ian McMillan - His poetry added something though he did almost end up in the bottom group.
Mike McShane - Big Mike did fine with some funny bits and pieces.
Owen O'Neill - Better than on his previous shows, with some witty lines.

About average

Jack Dee - the best of this year's newcomers, especially in the first show where he was funny and competitive.
Dave Gorman - Last year he was in the "good moments" group. He was better this year and seemed more like the sort of panellist who could do well in the future.
Kit Hesketh-Harvey - Last year in the "let's hear more" group. I do think Kit when he is sparking is very very good. He was a bit below his best this year.
Phill Jupitus - Last year in this group. He's a bit unlucky not to have moved up because he sounded more comfortable this year and had some funny things to say.
Fred MacAulay - Last year in this group. Again he's a funny man and a welcome guest, but not totally suited to this format.
Chris Neill - last year I rated him 5th best. I thought this year he wasn't as good. But he had only two shows, he could have done with more.

Let's hear more of them

Gyles Brandreth - Last year I gave him the bronze medal. I thought he wasn't as strong this year although he's a dependable performer with a big part to play in JAM's future.
Marcus Brigstocke - Last year I gave him the silver medal. I thought some of his shows were disappointing this year - I did consider him for the group below. But still someone we will hear a lot more from as he is well suited to the show.
Jenny Eclair - Last year in the "good moments" group. She was funnier this year and she's always welcome on the show.
Clement Freud - Last year in the average group. Back in better form this year, he remains a welcome voice.
Tony Hawks - Last year in the average group, I thought he was funnier this year, especially in the banter area.

Stars of the year

5th best - Ross Noble - Great to hear him again. Not at his absolute best but still wonderful.

4th best - Julian Clary - Same slot as last year. I think he gets better every year and could appear more often than he does.

Bronze medal - Graham Norton - Last year in the "let's hear more" group, Graham was a star in his shows this year.

Silver medal - Sue Perkins - last year in the "let's hear more" group. A real force in the show she appears in these days, Sue is witty, funny, competitive, and original.

Champion of the year - Paul Merton - Champ again. A lot better than anyone else in the show, even though he doesn't try to dominate as much as he used to. Can't open his mouth without being damn funny.

Overall, perhaps a little disappointing this year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't it pain you to say last year that Greg Proops-fellow Whose Liner- wouldn't be back? :oP

12:24 pm  
Blogger Dean said...

Yes it did! Here's what I wrote...

Greg Proops - I've a soft spot for Greg as he was one of my favourites on Whose Line Is It Anyway. And with nine shows spaced over 14 years, he doesn't get much chance to refine his JAM skills. But he is usually disappointing when he does get on the show, and he was again this year. Perhaps intimidated by the requirements of the game.

9:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's such a shame that some former Whose Liners don't appear to do well on Just a Minute (Greg, Josie, Jim Sweeney), whereas others appear to do well (Paul, Julian Clary, Sandi Toksvig, Mike McShane, Stephens Frost and Fry and Tony Slattery). Maybe it's a format that suits some people more than others, I don't know.

1:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and before I forget:

Kit Hesketh-Harvey wasn't in "Let's Hear More" last year, he was in "About Average".

1:58 am  

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