Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

January 02, 2010

first 2010 post

I haven't posted much recently. That's because I've been busy bringing together the "new" website. As well as changing thousands of links, I've had to edit every page, changing apostrophes which haven't liked the move from Tripod to Yahoo. But also I have been working hard and had the blues a bit. Not sure why.

I've been listening again of course to the shows in the last season, the first post-Clement season. There are six very funny shows and four that were disappointing. I suppose that's not such a bad average, but it does make me think that the loss of Clement is a big one. We knew that I suppose, but still it's being confirmed.

The show starts again on Monday with Paul, Gyles Brandreth, Julian Clary and David Mitchell. David was both very funny and very competitive in his first two shows so I am expecting a lot from him.

Speaking of which I've listened a few times to the show he chairs, The Unbelievable Truth, one of those shows which fills time between JAM seasons on Mondays at 630pm on Radio Four. I mentioned on the Yahoo group a few months ago that I didn't find the show very funny, and just about everyone disagreed. I've heard a few more since and still feel unimpressed. The last one I heard was a special QI edition featuring Stephen Fry, Alan Davies, John Lloyd (an ex-JAM producer) and Rob Brydon. I settled down looking forward to an enjoyable programme - after all Stephen and Alan are among the funniest people in Britain.

Yet again I felt disappointed. For those who haven't heard it, it's a reworking of Call My Bluff. One of the panel reads a monologue where most of the material is fiction, but five facts are included. You win points by guessing which parts of the speech are factual.

The fun of panel shows is usually in the interaction between panellists. Call My Bluff had Frank Muir who couldn't not be funny if he tried. Later Sandi Toskvig and Alan Coren enjoyed scoring points off each other. As I said the panel was especially good - but somehow the comedy never really got started. I think the monologues go on too long or something. Anyway the Alan-Stephen double act never really came into play.

The one good thing about the show was David Mitchell who was by a distance the funniest person on the show. Most of the good lines came from him. It made me wonder if he could be the next chairman for JAM when Nicholas retires - which must surely be in the next two or three years. I have the feeling David could do a good job.

Anyway I'm off on holiday in a couple of days so may not hear the first show. It'll depend on whether I can get to an Internet cafe or not. But I'm sure it will be good and we will get 12 very funny shows this season.

Oh and this blog turns FOUR this week.


Anonymous Dave said...

I think that "The Unbelievable Truth" is closer to "Many A Slip".


I was in the studio audience of the 1990s "Many A Slip" remake pilot which really didn't work, therefore was not surprised that it didn't return as a series.

I believe that Graeme Garden was involved in the show resurrection as well as chairing. And who is one of the people behind "The Unbelievable Truth"? ...Graeme Garden.

12:03 am  
Blogger Dean said...

I think that's a good point about Many A Slip. Maybe Ian Messiter deserves some credit!

7:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a JAM fan, I enjoy reading your blog - keep up the good work.


8:14 am  
Anonymous Peter Katt said...

Hello, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your web site and am grateful for all your efforts in compiling it, and now in having to update it due to the demise of Geocities.

Are you aware that Australia ABC Radio National is broadcasting very old episodes of JaM? (Monday 0530 Australian Eastern Time, which is Sunday 1730 UTC while they're on summer time.) On December 14 they aired the very first episode. I missed it last week but I hope they continue with the older episodes. The "Listen Online" page is at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/audio.htm. Unfortunately you have to hear it when it's broadcast, as they don't offer a "Listen Again" feature as the BBC does.

1:53 pm  
Anonymous Peter Katt said...

Sorry, I miscalculated the time difference! 0530 Australian Eastern Time in their summer is 1830 UTC the previous day. They also air "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" at that time on Tuesday (Monday UTC), "My Music" on Wednesday, "My Word" on Thursday, and "The Goon Show" on Friday.

6:41 am  
Blogger Dean said...

thanks for that Peter. The ABc has been kind to the fans over the years!

5:03 pm  

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