Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

May 03, 2009


A while back there was a brief controversy in the papers when it was revealed that the panellists had prior notice of the subjects. The then producer Chris Neill responded by saying the show was really about the banter and relationships between the panellists.

If you think the same, as I do by and large, you'll be thinking about how the death of Sir Clement Freud affects the show. The decision to have just two regulars since Peter Jones's death means the show's living pairings don't have all that much history together.

Here are the top pairings where both people are still alive:-

Paul Merton and Graham Norton - 39 shows.
Paul Merton and Tony Hawks - 31 shows.
Paul Merton and Kit Hesketh-Harvey - 22 shows.
Paul Merton and Julian Clary - 21 shows.
Paul Merton and Liza Tarbuck - 18 shows.
Paul Merton and Sue Perkins, Paul Merton and Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Tony Hawks - 16 shows.
Paul Merton and Ross Noble - 15 shows.
Paul Merton and Jenny Eclair, Paul Merton and Chris Neill, Tony Hawks and Sue Perkins, Tony Slattery and Dale Winton (TV) - 14 shows.

Some comments - firstly at 39 shows, that figure is just dwarfed by the all-time record of 261 shows featuring both Kenneth Williams and Sir Clement Freud.

And even though they've appeared together 39 times, Paul and Graham don't seem to interact much together. They both seem to avoid teasing the other or making jokes about the other, or working together in the banter. I suspect each rather admires the other and that once the other gets going, they tend to leave him to it.

Of the 13 pairs, the only pair that have worked together much outside JAM is Paul and Julian who worked on Sticky Moments together.

In short the show lacks combinations where they really know how to push each others' buttons.

That of course will put more pressure on Paul to hold the show together. And perhaps on the producers to think about whether they need to "promote" one or two or even three people as regulars to get the relationships really cooking.


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