Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

September 05, 2009

Edinburgh shows

The Edinburgh shows have both played now and I wonder if you agree with me that they upheld what is becoming a tradition of being the worst shows of the year. For a long time they have been used in part to try out new players and the new players are almost always pretty average.

This year Mike McShane and Paul Sinha were both ordinary, neither doing anything to suggest they will be given another go. Richard Herring was funnier but not very fluent - he could be tried again. Janey Godley was jolly as she usually is, but not especially funny.

Sue Perkins took Clement's seat this year and was as always quite good, but especially in the second show Paul Merton seemed very quiet. I suppose he can't be on top form every show.

I suppose having so many comedians at Edinburgh gets the producers thinking they may as well try out people without the costs of travel and accomodation. But it seeme short-sighted to me. The Edinburgh shows could be the highlights of the year and for a while in the mid 90s they featured the then four regulars, Paul, Derek Nimmo, Sir Clement Freud and Peter Jones. Since then they've tried out people but the record isn't all that good. Here it is - just the people who were either making a debut, or in their second or third radio appearance.

1999 - Richard Morton - second radio appaearnce, hasn't been back since.

1999 - Richard Vranch - first radio appearance, hasn't been back since.

2000 - Ross Noble - debut, has been a success.

2001 - Charles Collingwood - debut, has been a success.

2002 - Sean Lock, only appearance.

2003 - Dara O'Brian - debut, four appearances since.

2004 - Lee Mack - only appearance.

2004 - Marcus Brigstocke, debut, has been a success.

2004 - Rob Brydon, debut, two appaearances since.

2005 - Bill Bailey - third appearance, hasn't been back since.

2005 - Owen O'Neill - debut, two appearances since.

2005 - John Sergeant - first radio appearance, hasn't been back since.

2005 - Rhod Gilbert - debut, one appearance since.

2006 - Janey Godley - debut, four appearances since.

2006 - Pauline McLynn - third appaearance, two since.

2007 - Jo Caulfield - only appearance.

2008 - Lynn Ferguson - only appearance.

2008 - Mike McShane - debut, one appearance since.

So not a great hit rate.

We have just four shows still to come and I feel we are definitely missing Clement's gravitas. I'll hope for a strong end to the series - and of course we do have two Graham Norton shows and another Stephen Fry show to come.


Anonymous Perra Dox said...

What I feel I miss the most is the contrast in styles of Paul and Clement.

8:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Merton said something interesting on a recent show, that he thought that his relentless drive to win each episode perhaps wasn't good for the show (or words to that effect). These past two episodes have been a bit weak, and mostly because he's been not as aggressive IMHO. Paul Sinha was a bit obnoxious too.

I feel a bit like they're pushing Sue Perkins into the Clement slot, and I may be alone in this, but I don't always like her. Occasionally she softens her competitive streak with some self-effacing humor, but other times she's a little too self-satisfied for my taste. At least she's more versatile than Shappi or Liza Tarbuck, but if they need a female regular, I'd prefer Jenny Eclair or Josie Lawrence.

1:22 am  
Anonymous 7th said...

Anonymous, I like Liza Tarbuck. She might not be an expert player of the game BUT she is fun, with a great giggle.

Maybe the show could go back to having 3 panellists only: Paul versus Sue versus Guest (Kit, Tony etc.). Or vary the threesome.

8:58 pm  
Anonymous Ant said...

We were listening to the second Edinburgh show in a traffic jam on the M56 south of Runcorn. Sue Perkins dominated the show, even going so far as to close the episode by going the full minute without being challenged! Paul was quiet by his standards. Richard Herring was pretty good for a newcomer, and Janey Godley was disappointing again.

10:34 pm  

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