Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

September 21, 2008

Just A Minute - Best of 2008

I'm happy to be able to give details of the latest JAM CD which goes on sale next week.

The Best of 2008 features Paul Merton, Sir Clement Freud, Graham Norton, Sue Perkins, Tony Hawks, Gyles Brandreth, Jenny Eclair, Julian Clary, Marcus Brigstocke, Chris Addison and Phill Jupitus.

The four specific shows selected are

686, featuring Clement, Graham, Gyles and Phill.
687, featuring Clement, Paul, Jenny and Marcus.
694, featuring Paul, Tony, Graham and Sue.
704, (yet to air) featuring Paul, Julian, Sue and Chris.

All of the above feature on the cover except for Marcus and Phill - and are joined of course by Nicholas.

It gets released on Monday 29th September, the day 704, the last show in the current season, goes to air.

I'm really looking forward to this arriving in the mail. Plenty of laughs here!

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!

September 12, 2008

New section on website

The one thing I have regular requests for (apart from how to add to collections of 700 shows) is an episode list.

I used to have one divided into four pages, but when I expanded the episode information it was no longer feasible to do it that way.

Well I've added a new one. You can see it here. You'll note it's very simple with just the most vital information - date, cast and first subject as a lot of people divide up their collections that way. All on one page.

Now of course it's note exactly pretty or even especially readable but hopefully it is functional for those who would like to print off a full list.

I could be persuaded to add episode numbers if people found that useful. I'm never sure if anyone else uses the numbering system which is entirely my invention. I think anything else would make it too cluttered and it is cluttered enough already.

Tell me what you think if this is something you have asked me for. (I must have had about 30 requests over the years.)

My next project is a searchable subject list!

September 11, 2008

best of 2008

The latest CD is due out next month. I can't find a list of which shows are in it yet, but guessing - my picks would be

* one of the Paul Merton/Sir Clement Freud/Jenny Eclair/Marcus Brigstocke shows
* one of the Paul/Sue Perkins/Tony Hawks/Graham Norton shows
* the Paul/Clement/Ross Noble/Phill Jupitus show
* one of the Paul/Sue/Julian Clary/Chris Addison shows

I guess that way because these things are picked on how well-known the members of the teams are.

September 10, 2008

I'm (not) Sorry We Still Have Clue

As predicted here, it's definitely back next year.

Still no word on who will be in the chair though. My pick now is Jack Dee.

September 08, 2008

Piers Nimmo

My friend Martin Hood sent me this message...

I was listening to an episode of 'Dad Made Me Laugh' on Derek Nimmo in which his son Piers Nimmo is interviewed by Sally Magnusson. When discussing Derek's participation in Just A Minute, Piers mentioned your web site: He said:

"There is a guy in the world who has actually typed up every single Just A Minute Program in scripted format and sometimes on occasion I put my name or his name into Google on the Internet and it comes up and he (Derek) loved my name..."

Now I have always said my primary reason for building the site has been for my own amusement.

But... it really gives me a very warm feeling to think Derek's son gets some pleasure from the site, helping him to remember how much his Dad cared for him.

I'm sure Piers has plenty of ways to remember Derek. But it really moves me to think looking at his words on my website helps in some small way.

Piers, if you ever read this, I want you to know that Derek's many fans thank you and your family for sharing him with us. Because he created so much pleasure. On Just A Minute and other shows.

And just as you'll always remember your Dad, he will always be remembered by people all around the world as a lovable, funny, warm, witty man. Perhaps most of all through Just A Minute.

September 02, 2008


JAM brought up number 700 today. What an amazing number of shows. Well done especially to Nicholas who hasn't missed one yet - the ultimate professional.

Julian was great - he just gets better and getting in in the last few seconds of the show to get the winning point must have impressed the likes of Clement and Paul (and Derek up above). Paul was great as he always is. Sue was excellent and Chris was wonderfully cheeky in his bits.

I sat listening with a big smile on my face.

September 01, 2008

Last and next

The Edinburgh shows were both good without being JAM at its best. Mike McShane was the best of the guests, though Fred MacAulay and Rhod Gilbert were both fine. Lynn Ferguson was a disappointment I thought.

This week's show features Julian Clary, Sue Perkins and Chris Addison with Paul. Julian is one of my favourites - I would rate him higher than I used to. He's someone who is funny just about each time he speaks these days. Sue is a real up-and-comer and someone who should really be appearing more often than she does. She's funny and cheeky and just sounds like a player. Chris has only appeared twice before and was very good so I'm looking forward to hearing how he goes.