Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

January 22, 2011


Several newspapers published versions of this story... (this from the Guardian)

Sir Terry Wogan is to join the roster of regular panellists on the long-running BBC Radio 4 show Just a Minute.
The former Radio 2 breakfast host, who retired from his Wake Up to Wogan slot in 2008, will join the comedy series when it returns next month.
Also joining the programme, hosted by Nicholas Parsons, will be keyboard player and Grumpy Old Men regular Rick Wakeman.
Just a Minute sees a panel of wits aiming to speak for a minute on a given subject without hesitation, deviation or repetition. Parsons has been presenting the show since its launch in 1967.
Regular guests who are set to return include Paul Merton, Tony Hawks, Sheila Hancock, Ross Noble and Marcus Brigstocke. The new eight-edition series begins on 7 February.

It’s interesting that the same info was published in several newspapers. It does suggest a press release was put out by the BBC though I can’t see it in their archive of press releases.

The best news to me was a return for Ross and Marcus. Ross’s appearances have been infrequent in recent years. I regard him as among the very best players of all time and it would be great to have him on more often. I feel almost as highly about Marcus who did a couple of shows each season for five seasons – and then stopped. I do hope he is going to be on more often – very funny, very sharp and competitive.

On Wogan, I will be surprised if it is already decided that he is a new regular, before he’s even recorded his first show. The phrase “joins the regulars”, could mean just that he will be working with the regulars, rather than about to become a regular. He is a big name in the UK so he adds some prestige to the show, even just as a guest. His work has largely been confined to British audiences – his long running TV chat show never played here - so I’m not all that familiar with him. I don’t think of him as the comedian-type chat show host in the style of Graham Norton or Jonathan Ross, but perhaps I’m wrong about that.

Inevitably some wonder if he is being groomed to take over from Nicholas as his career does include stints as presenters of panel games. Anything is possible. I guess I will be surprised though if a man in his mid 80s is replaced by someone in his mid 70s. I would think they would want someone a bit younger.

I was terribly wrong with my prognostications about a replacement for Humph on Clue so my guesses on a replacement for Nicholas are likely to be just as wrong. But personally I’d say ...

* Gyles Brandreth is the favourite - he has a similar style to Nicholas, lots of presenting experience, good comic timing, and would be a good target for the banter!

* I think Tony Hawks has a good chance too – would give the show a younger feel and he has been closely associated with Radio Four panel games for years and JAM in particular without finding his niche. I could see him being good at it.

* David Mitchell seems to be given different shows to chair – is he being warmed up for one of the big ones?

* I also see Angus Deayton is about to chair a new Radio Four panel game. It did cross my mind that he was auditioning for JAM... though I guess Paul may have something to say about that and I expect he will have a big say in who gets the job.

* Perhaps slightly longer odds but in each case I think they would do a good job and bring something fresh to it – Julian Clary, Sue Perkins and Liza Tarbuck.

Final trainspotterish niggle – A couple of the papers listed JAM regulars as Julian Clary, Gyles Brandreth and Stephen Fry. Stephen has appeared in 2 of the last 109 shows over almost five years. However you define a regular, I don’t think he is one!

Incidentally the show is recording tonight (Sat) British time so if you’re going, maybe you will see Sir Terry’s debut. Please post here any news if you do go!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


i am a regular reader of your blog (it's great by the way) but don't really comment (i suspect that there are a fair few of us...). however, i thought i might fill you in on Wogan a little.

he did host a chat show for about ten years. these were very much different from the Jonathan Ross / Graham Norton era of chat shows, mostly featuring typical old-style chat with celebrities and belonging to a far gentler era.

he did however host Blankety Blank in the 70s, to which he brought much humour of a chaotic and whimsical nature, but in particular was a superb foil and straight man to a panel of celebrities.

perhaps though, he is now best known for his breakfast radio show which he only recently stopped making. in this, he developed a style of gentle anarchy, good use of innuendo and brilliantly chosen wording, and simply fantastic at bonhomie and using viewer correspondence as the starting point for spinning a topic into somewhere unusual.

the surprising thing really is that he has never appeared before, as he is a perfect fit and especially would have matched what was looked for in a guest in the 1980's. he would also have been well worth a try for host but for his age, which i agree may count against him.

i do hope that you found that useful.

may i also suggest that Charles Collingwood would fit the programme as host by the way?...


8:46 pm  

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