Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

April 28, 2010

Paul on Loose Ends

He's very funny as is to be expected - click here

A new radio job for Graham Norton?

Sounds like it.... from The Guardian

Graham Norton has emerged as the hot favourite to replace Jonathan Ross for his Saturday-morning show on BBC Radio 2.

Norton, who is about to begin a two-week stint standing in for Chris Evans on the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, has also been tipped to take over Ross's Friday night chatshow slot on BBC1.

He signed a new two-year deal with the BBC at the beginning of this year, reportedly taking a £500,000 a year pay cut.

Radio 2 is yet to confirm a successor in the Saturday morning slot, which will become vacant when Ross leaves the corporation in July.

Norton will guest host the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show for two weeks, beginning on Monday, when Evans goes on holiday.

The chatshow presenter and host of BBC1's Over The Rainbow has also stood in for Steve Wright on Radio 2's weekday afternoon show, so he is already a familiar presence for the station's millions of listeners.

Last week the station's early morning presenter Sarah Kennedy told her listeners that Norton was being given a permanent show. "I've just learned Graham Norton is joining us full-time on Radio 2. That'll be nice," she said.

A Radio 2 spokeswoman said: "Radio 2 is currently considering its options regarding the new host of the Saturday morning slot."

April 24, 2010

A sad anniversary but a nice article

This would have been Sir Clement Freud's 86th birthday today - and of course it's a few days now since the anniversary of his death.

Emma Freud has written this beautiful article on him... enjoy ...

Emma Freud: My father, Clement Freud, remembered

It's a year since Clement Freud – intellectual maverick, broadcaster, writer, politican and chef – died. just before his 85th birthday. His daughter Emma Freud recalls the emotional turmoil leading up to his funeral and her joy at discovering how much he was loved

Is it possible to have a good death? If it is, my father's death was good. He was 84, and hated being old. He was many stone overweight, his legs hurt constantly, he was slow and lame, and things were going on in the waterworks area, with which I refused to engage. For the last 10 years of his life, he was actively waiting for his death. He'd spent 70 years as a chef, soldier, journalist, showman, MP, knight, author and raconteur – he'd had a big, bold, adventurous life and he was basically over it. Every birthday, rather than receive a present, he'd ask me to come to his flat and take something of his away.

So when he was told by a doctor in February 2009 that he needed a triple heart bypass, he took the news calmly. As he'd planned a birthday party for himself on 24 April, he asked for the procedure to be delayed until after he'd turned 85. The party invitation said: "7.30 for 8pm – though it may be wise to keep an eye on the obituary columns."

He had made some decisions about how he wanted his death to be. He wasn't going to leave any money to his children, as he thought we all had enough. He was keen that someone made sure Mum had enough food she liked in the fridge. And he didn't want Nicholas Parsons, who he had been torturing on Radio 4's Just a Minute for 41 years, coming to his funeral.

In the week he died, he travelled 400 miles around the UK, wrote three articles, and did his last Just a Minute. On Wednesday 15 April, he was at home with my mother writing an article for the Racing Post about the race meeting in Exeter he'd attended the previous day. He was mid-sentence in the first paragraph, when he had a massive heart attack. My mother came in to find him still in his chair, with his head slumped to one side. He had just ended. The last words he typed were "and in God's good time … ". My mother said that in all his years of writing, she'd never known him make reference to God in his articles. The Almighty had waited 55 years for a mention, and having finally got one, finished things sharpish.

I was in Copenhagen the night he died, having dinner with my boyfriend, Richard, and our two eldest children in a basement restaurant of an old Scandinavian mansion. I turned on my phone after we'd finished eating, and saw that my mother had called twice. I left the restaurant and went up two flights of stairs to the main hall to ring her.

There was something so shocking, but so inevitable about the news. It was a scenario I'd envisaged many times – but when it came it was like my own small heart attack. I made a noise – a bit like a lion and a bit like a gasp. I instantly felt sorry that my mum had had to listen to it. I didn't realise that two flights of stone stairs below, in a crowded restaurant, my 13-year-old daughter had also, incomprehensibly, heard it and instantly ran up to me as fast as she could. No one else had heard a thing, but something communicated itself down to the basement and she responded in a heartbeat. For the rest of that call, she held me in her arms, and at that moment of my parental loss, while trying to give solace to my mother who'd just become a widow after nearly 60 years of marriage, I was given unconditional comfort by my daughter – three generations of love.

It turns out that there are three main things people instinctively say when someone you love dies: "I'm so sorry for your loss"; "thinking of you at this sad time", and "let me know if there's anything I can do". This last one is the worst because of course there's something you can do. Send a present – any present, preferably cake. But even though everyone offers in a well-meaning way, no one actually does anything, and it's too awkward to ask, so you end up buying your own doughnuts. We need a new tradition there.

The other thing I longed for were stories about him – even when he'd been infuriating, which he was almost constantly. I received 130 emails the day after he died. My mum got 400 letters. I loved the people who wrote – and the longer the letters, the more I loved them. I was ashamed to acknowledge that I cared when people didn't write. And I was then appalled with myself when I realised how many times I hadn't written to bereaved friends because I couldn't think of anything to say beyond "thinking of you at this sad time". Communicating in the aftermath of death is something we don't discuss much. It's not until you go through it that you know what's needed.

By the time I arrived at my parent's flat that Thursday morning, my mother had just come back from the cashpoint where her card had been eaten by the machine. As soon as Dad's death was announced on the radio, the bank had frozen his account. At a loss, she spent that morning preparing Dad's clothes for the undertakers, and found £2,000 in his jacket pocket – his winnings from the races on the previous day.

The funeral director who oversaw Dad's burial told me that the average funeral involves around 2,000 decisions. So at a time when your brain and heart feel like they are passing through a Magimix, you're called upon to organise one of the most important events of your life. And you have a week to do it.

We wanted singing at the funeral, but my father really didn't like music. We turned to the transcript of his 1960s interview on Desert Island Discs for inspiration, but sadly the musical choices were hideous – a ghastly brass band anthem, a pointless old sea ditty and Teach Yourself Italian (why?). Instead we chose the Minute Waltz – the theme tune for Just a Minute – to play his coffin back down the aisle.

It felt to me to be the most beautiful and appropriate funeral of all time. On what would have been his 85th birthday, a jazz band played as the mourners arrived. The church was filled with forget-me-nots – the only flowers about which my father had ever had an emotion. My tearful nephews helped to bear the coffin upon which we had seated my dad's teddy with whom he had always, always travelled. Do many octogenarians sleep with a bear? We remembered to remove him before Dad entered the furnace later.

The prime minister read the apt lesson about Jesus and the catering innovation at the Cana Wedding. My mother read a poem by Joyce Grenfell. Richard and my brother Dominic rewrote Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man speech to reflect my father's own ages. My brother Matthew spent three days composing a remarkable eulogy, a rite of passage for him to deliver. Eleven of my father's 17 grandchildren told stories from his writings. And then I sang …

What was I thinking? I'm no professional singer, but I chose I'll Be Seeing You in All the Old Familiar Places, accompanying myself on the piano. I never once made it through a rehearsal without crying. The funeral director advised me to change my mind as he'd seen that sort of thing done before, and it mostly ended in tears and lifelong regret. But in the end, I decided what I wanted to do that day was to give him a love song.

As I walked up to the piano, right next to a wooden box containing the body of my dear dead dad, and sat on the piano stool in front of 400 people including the PM, Stephen Fry, Nicholas Parsons (oh, yes) and Bono (can sing a bit), I imagined Dad covering his ears and humming loudly – he loathed the sound of my singing – and somehow that got me through.

There was a wake afterwards where we ate the food that Dad was planning for his birthday party, and lots of people got horribly drunk – he'd have loved it. Then there was a cremation in Golders Green where it transpired that Sigmund Freud had bought an entire room for the Freud family ashes – a fact my father would have loved to know, but which we only discovered because he could no longer hear that news. Later that night, Richard and I walked down to the ice-cream parlour for a late night treat. As we walked in, Billie Holiday was singing I'll Be Seeing You in All the Old Familiar Places over their speakers. Obviously my father hadn't gone to heaven, he'd gone to Gelato Mio instead. And while he was there, he wanted to hear the song sung properly.

And now he's gone, lots of things have changed. I listened to Just a Minute last week – the first I'd ever heard without him in it. After a lifetime of hearing that programme with a knot in my stomach, longing for him to be wonderful, to be funnier than the young comics, and to win – it was something of a shock to realise that it's not actually a high court of reputation and justice, it's just a light-hearted game show.

His publishers brought out a book of his articles a few months ago – and as I wrote the foreword, I felt I ought to actually read the book. Or some of it. He was obsessive about his columns and used to read them out aloud to us whenever we visited, with so much of his confidence resting on every page, so much unhappiness if we ever suggested he change a line, and so much fear that this would be the piece that might lead to a call from an editor doing away with his services for ever. But reading them again now, reading them as records of my wonderful father, rather than ongoing proof of his talent – they were all charming. Each one like a little piece of the man. That's one of the things about death – once someone dies, you start not to be annoyed by the things about them you can't change. In death, my dad was revealed to me as no longer a problem, simply my eccentric, outrageous, outlandish father. I wish I'd known that while he was still alive.

I wish he'd known it too. Rather than being an Austrian Jewish outsider, an intellectual maverick continually proving that he was still in the game, it turned out that he was enjoyed, liked, treasured, and respected. The problem was, he died the day before that all became clear.

April 19, 2010

nice article on Nicholas Parsons

from The Independent

Nicholas Parsons: 'That's what life's about – having fun'

After 43 years at the helm of 'Just a Minute', nothing can keep the all-round entertainer down. Andrew Johnson meets Nicholas Parsons

If anyone has a claim to the somewhat shaky crown that comes with the title National Treasure, it is Nicholas Parsons. At 86 he's four years older than Brucie and yet his punishing schedule is full for the next year. He is clever, witty, funny and he's done it all, from stand-up comedy to straight acting. So why bother? Why not just put his feet up and tend the garden he loves? Like many of us, he confesses he's still trying to prove himself to his parents.

Not that he's going to do anything as pseudy as baring his soul to a journalist. He is an old-style trouper. "I just love performing and that's the chief reason I still do it," he says.

So much so that he appears to have prepared quite carefully for our meeting. Is that a touch of rouge on his cheeks? Either that or he's preternaturally healthy. Actors do wear make-up, of course, just not usually at home. It must be for the photographs, for which he later poses without once dimming the wattage of his smile.

Now, this might be misinterpreted as vanity. But an interview, he says, is a job and as such he is "switched on" throughout the conversation.

Some performers, such as Eric Morecambe, whom Parsons knew, never switch off. When Parsons is switched on he is almost limitlessly engaging and entertaining. Every now and again, however, a grumpier – more human – Nicholas shoulders his way through. It is Nicholas who scolds the photographer for suggesting taking some snaps during the interview. "No, no, no," he says. "One can't possibly concentrate on what one is saying and on photographs at the same time."

As we seat ourselves in the living room of his new home in a Chilterns village outside Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, he takes a phone call. "I had to get a new battery for the car," he explains. "Everything is so technical these days. Once you put the new battery in it buggers up the radio. You have to have a special code to put in. I didn't know what the code is."

Nicholas is slightly irritated. But then we're off: Parsons returns and brings with him a fountain of engaging recollections, stories, anecdotes and, every so often, a little insight into what drives him.

He has a remarkable memory for the names of the people he has worked with, and, to his credit, not just the performers. He reels off the dates of the shows he's been in going back to the 1960s.

He would be great as a contestant on Just a Minute, the Radio 4 quiz show he has hosted for 43 years, in which contestants have to speak for a minute without repetition, hesitation or deviation. Actually, he'd be great at the first two: he'd be buzzed for deviation quite a lot.

Yet there's nothing vague about him; he is still remarkably busy and youthful. We are talking because he is about to take his one-man comedy show to the Brighton Fringe. But that's by no means all.

"I've got two one-man comedy shows," he says. "I've got one that I take around the country called Just a Laugh a Minute, but the one I do in Edinburgh is called Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour, which is me doing stand-up and having guests. I'm going back to Edinburgh for the 10th successive year. I do three weeks up there, which is quite demanding, and I'm also doing two Just a Minutes while I'm up there, and I usually guest on other shows as well. The Brighton Festival – they have a fringe and they said you should come and do Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour. I'm doing it for four nights; they are getting the guests. I normally get the guests with my PA, I go and see them, so I chat with them, then we can engage and spark each other off and have a bit of fun. But I haven't time."

He explains that he has to finish his memoirs, present a new touring show called Masters of the House in Newcastle – "It has a lot of top singers singing the top songs from the top musicals, and it's been so successful they've said 'Let's increase its appeal by having a host, a compere'" – and he's making a radio documentary about his time working as a marine engineer in the Clydebank shipyards "to please his parents".

"So I'm going to record that, it'll be two or three days up there. Then come August I'm back up to Edinburgh again, three weeks there, then I'm back doing Masters of the House, then I'm on a cruise ship where I entertain, doing my comedy shows, and my cultural show about Edward Lear, I'm doing a couple of dates on that."

Whew! He's also about to turn up in Miss Marple. He does stop every now and then, to go on holiday, play golf or tend his garden – "I'm mad about gardening" – but there are three reasons for his hectic schedule. The first is that it's in his blood. After five years at Clydebank he made an irrevocable choice to pursue his dream of acting, overcoming his stutter on the way. "You're never really cured, but you learn to control it." He spent years treading the boards in repertory, never getting a big break but a "succession of little breaks", which eventually saw him in lead roles in the West End in plays such as Boeing Boeing. His television comedy act with Arthur Haynes in the 1960s made him a household name. He was in films by the Boulting brothers.

"In this country they like to label you. I was an actor and I did my time in rep and proved I was an actor. But it was comedy work and I wasn't getting it. There was a lot of cabaret around then, so I started doing that, and they said, 'Oh, he's a cabaret artist' and I got more and more cabaret work. Then I started doing revues – 'Oh, he's a revue artist'. Then I did an audition for The Windmill, which was stand-up and they said 'Oh, he's a stand-up comedian'. Then I joined the BBC drama rep, which I thought was the furthest thing away because they had all these dialects, and they said 'Oh, he's a voice man'. And you get all these different labels, but I'm all of those things, so when people ask what can I do, I say I'm an actor."

Then "out of the blue in 1971" came the show he is still perhaps best known for – Sale of the Century for ITV. It also almost ruined him.

"I was asked to do a quiz. I'd never done a quiz before but as an all-round performer you assess what is involved in doing it and you find your way of doing it. The trouble is, it was so successful that people said 'Oh, he's a quiz master', and I stopped getting work as an actor. My career took a dip because the press was very condescending about quiz shows then."

His career recovered, however, not least because of his ability to adapt to each new generation. His role in an experimental late-night youth TV show in the 1980s called Night Network, as the narrator in a touring version of The Rocky Horror Show in the 1990s, and his work ethic saw him through.

The second reason for his work schedule is money. He talks about it a lot, unashamedly. "You develop a lifestyle and need to support that lifestyle. If I was retired we would cut down considerably on the lifestyle we lead. Annie [his wife] has her car, I have my car, we have a flat in London as well because of the work. Our overheads are high, but my work sustains that. I earn a good living, but it's not astronomical. But I take good work and I enjoy it."

The third, and perhaps the most telling, reason for his workaholism, however, is that despite all he has achieved he's still trying to prove himself to his parents. "Your very early childhood influences are always very powerful, and I think I'm still struggling to prove to my parents that this is what I should be doing. So I think that drives you to some extent. Once I became successful they were proud of my success, naturally. But they definitely didn't want me to do it. My father thought it was stupid."

Of course, when pressed on this, he quickly backtracks. "No, no, no. I gave you that as a suggested supplement. The major thing is because I was always imbued with the idea of becoming an actor and was thwarted. I just love doing it."

And he has another, very good argument for soldiering on: he believes people don't have enough fun in life. "You can't take yourself seriously. I learned that being a straight man. That's what I do on Just a Minute – laugh at myself and they make jokes at my expense. But that's what life's about, isn't it? Having fun."

Curriculum vitae

1923 Born Grantham, Lincs. His father was the local GP and may have delivered Baroness Thatcher when she was born in 1925 in the same town. His mother was a nurse.

1934 Educated at St Paul's Cathedral school, London.

1936 Works in a pump-making factory on Clydeside. Qualifies as a marine engineer. Appears in repertory theatre in Glasgow.

1947 Makes first film appearance in The Master of Bankdam.

1952 Becomes resident comedian at the Windmill Theatre, London.

1957 Gains fame as the straight man to comedian Arthur Haynes in ITV comedy show.

1967 Hosts BBC radio show Just a Minute. Has appeared on every show without hesitation, deviation or repetition ever since.

1971 Hosts ITV's Sale of the Century for 12 years.

2004 Made an OBE for services to drama and broadcasting.

April 17, 2010

a question of money

I was interested by this comment from Mark Damazer, resigning head of Radio Four - this was in answer to questions about whether financial cutbacks were harming the station...

Damazer says the cuts have been ‘utterly, utterly copable with. I haven’t had to decimate the schedule. The repeat rate is up, but only by a tad. The currency that works here is the quality of people’s ideas, and there’s virtually nothing I can’t do because of budget cuts. I can still afford Paul Merton, Graham Norton, David Mitchell, Melvyn Bragg, Martha Kearney, John Humphrys.’

Firstly, isn't it nice that Damazer thinks of Just A Minute first! Ahead of his daily breakfast news programme.

But - if he's thinking of Merton and Norton as high costs, maybe this is part of the reason why JAM now almost always records in London? And why Norton doesn't appear as often as the fans would like....

great article on Paul

from The Times....

Paul Merton looks me in the eye. “I’ve not written a joke since 1988,” he says. This is a fib. In the early Nineties the comedian was lead writer on his own Channel 4 sketch show and in 1998 he embarked on a stand-up tour. On the other hand it is true that his best jokes have for many years been the ones that neither he nor anyone else has written down. Since he is one of the funniest comics around, you can see how rivals might resent that.

We meet one morning in the Ivy Club in London’s West End. Merton, friendly, funny, dishevelled in a black velvet jacket and large patterned floral shirt, sprouting facial hair in unusual places, explains how even at 52 he sometimes feels that an “impro guy” is an outsider in comedy.

“‘Oh! Improvisation!’ they say. They dismiss it because it can be naff in the wrong hands but also because you don’t have to do any work.”

At the age of 8, Merton claims, he had an encyclopaedic memory for jokes he had read in the Beano but by 13 he knew he had to raise his game to keep his friends laughing, and that spontaneity was the way to go. Although he has endured all the heartbreak that cliché could hope to associate with comic genius, he has remained spontaneously funny ever since: on Whose Line Is it Anyway?, Have I Got News for You, Just a Minute and even on his excellent travel documentaries for Five, where serendipity forever peels him from the tourist trail. But if you want to see his talent at its purest, head on a Sunday night to the Comedy Store in Leicester Square where he has led an impro troupe for decades.

Alternatively, Paul Merton’s Impro Chums begins a two-month national tour later this month. “The great luxury is to go into big theatres with big stages, you can be much more mobile. You can be much more visual. You can sort of walk into a scene with an attitude, a physical attitude, which you can’t do at the Store where you are basically appearing on a platform the size of a bar of soap. It is a more theatrical show when it’s in a theatre.”

Critics who have scolded television for not finding a more formal vehicle for his talents rather miss the point they made themselves when they said his Channel 4 shows, while original, were not as funny as Have I Got News. Merton takes spontaneity very seriously. During Have I Got News he monitors how he is doing. If he has been a little flat in one round he determines to “win” the next, not with points but with laughs. One week, after two decent jokes fell flat in succession, he paused, looked up, shook his head and admitted to the audience that he just couldn’t think of anything to say that wasn’t funny. Even in stand-up he was best on the hoof. The funniest moment, when I saw his 1998 set, was when he humiliated a latecomer with a brilliant, breakneck, 60-second resumé of the first ten minutes of his act. It was almost as if he harboured contempt for even having a “routine”.

As for impro, there are, he explains, rules. You do not repeat gags from one night to the next. Sometimes you deliberately wrong-foot another member of the troupe, but you do not contradict, “you build”. He gives an example. If he comes in and says “Hello, doctor”, Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson, Mike McShane or Suki Webster (his wife) — or whichever troupe member he is addressing — should never reply: “That’s funny, because I’m a plumber.”

“Because then where do you go?” Merton says. Suddenly his mind points him in exactly the right direction. “Well, I supposed I’d say, ‘Oh good because my sister’s incontinent.’ Perhaps the only golden rule is that whatever you do it has got to be entertaining to the audience.”

It is the hardest one, as ITV discovered two years ago when it persuaded Merton to star in a new impro show, Thank God You’re Here (the viewers weren’t). “To the higher-ups at ITV, it made sense to have someone in the programme who couldn’t do it but was well known. So we had a couple of people — soap-opera stars, young actresses — who really shouldn’t have been in it. You really need to have experience and confidence. And a couple of them didn’t, and it wasn’t their fault.”

The Comedy Store Players, which he helped to found in 1985, three years after a sensational debut at the club in which he cast himself as a hallucinating copper giving surreal testimony in court, form a major part of a remarkably static CV. He wrote to the producer of

Radio 4’s Just a Minute in 1989 after the death of Kenneth Williams and has been a regular ever since. Have I Got News began the following year and he opted out of only one season.

In contrast his private life has been filled with vicissitude. At the end of the Eighties he had two spells in Maudsley psychiatric hospital in South London. He now believes his acute mania was brought on less by overwork than by the side effects of an antimalarial pill he had taken and were then compounded by a mistake in the administration of drugs in the hospital. In 1998 his marriage to the actress Caroline Quentin ended after eight years. Then, in September 2003, his second wife, the writer and comedy performer Sarah Parkinson, died of breast cancer. A statement said that she had died in his arms.

I was amazed that only a few weeks later he was returned for a new series of Have I Got News. “If I’d had to sit at home and watch somebody else doing it, that would have been depressing,” he says. “I think it was about three weeks after. If it had been three days after, or a week after, it wouldn’t have been right at all. But three weeks?

“I went down to the Comedy Store shortly after she died, not to do the shows, I thought that would be misunderstood, but I did go down on the Sunday and just hung around. It wouldn’t have been right for me to go on stage, although some people do.”

Parkinson can be seen on the net talking in an old South Bank Show about Merton. She was obviously very much in love with him. “It was awful,” he says simply. “I spent a lot of time with the Comedy Store Players after Sarah died and they were a support group. It is wonderful to be with a group of people in a room with 300 people laughing in it.”

It was through the Comedy Store that he met Webster, the 38-year-old comedian whom he married last year. “She used to do the Comedy Store Players but I didn’t really know her that well at all.” So how did he get to know her better? “Oh, just you know, just gradually. As I say, I spent a lot of time at the Comedy Store.” I congratulate him. “Thank you and we’re having a good time.”

Children? “It was never a key thing for me. I sort of made that decision rather grandly, a bit like a man in the middle of the desert making the decision not to have any more fine wine. But I knew that a family early on would just be a terrible burden, the old phrase about the bar to creativity is the pram in the hall.”

As one of his Impro Chums, Webster will perform with her new husband during the coming tour. She also works on the BBC Four films he makes from time to time about his great obsession, silent movies and has co-written a forthcoming series on the early days of Hollywood. “I know all this stuff but she’s like ‘What are you talking about?’ So I realise I can’t just throw out names like Francis X. Bushman.”

His enthusiasm for early cinema is matched only by his ignorance of most contemporary comedy. He has still not seen Gavin and Stacey, for example because, he says, he does not want to be influenced: “It is easier to be in an isolation chamber.” The obvious danger is that he may lose touch. Will Self, an occasional panellist on Have I Got News, recently called on Merton and Ian Hislop to quit on the grounds they were “plump, middle-aged multimillionaires sitting behind a desk making jokes about Clive Anderson’s hair style” and that was no satire: “Leave it to younger people who are hungry and savage.”

Might he have a point? “He’s a bit upset, Will,” Merton replies, “because the last time he was on the show it didn’t go very well for him and he did a joke about fisting which nobody liked and he got quite angry it was cut out of the show.”

Is he a multimillionaire? “I should hope so or I’m in the wrong job. But that hasn’t changed my attitude to how I do the show or anything. You can’t be — well, I can’t be — complacent.”

So he’ll keep on with Have I Got News, with Just a Minute and the Comedy Store, keep on making it up as he goes along? “The Comedy Store Players have been going 25 years this October and, yes, we’re going to keep doing it until we get it right. Until somebody laughs, I mean.”


a new occasional series....

first, a prominent political leader in Britain

then, our favourite game show host

we wonder if they could be related...

(h/t) this blog

April 03, 2010

Just a Minute on TV

Over the past couple of years, JAM fans have added quite a few clips from the radio series to YouTube. But just noticed that someone is also adding clip from the 1994-95 TV versions - in excellent quality too. Featured performers are Tony Slattery (three shows), Dale Winton (two shows), Arthur Smith (two shows), Graham Norton, Jim Sweeney, Tony Banks, Mariella Frostrup and Ann Bryson.

So if you haven't seen them before, enjoy JAM on TV!


Okay - off-topic but I'm allowed to be off-topic once every five years!

Maxim magazine went and asked NFL players in the US to name their favourite swear word.

My question is - having gone to the trouble of sending someone out to video people naming their favourite swear words... why the bleep would you bleep it????????????????????????????

April 01, 2010

Has Have I Got News For You had it's day?

A debate here in the Telegraph.