Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

August 07, 2011

Peter Jones - the fans' all-time favourite panellist

We've been having a bit of fun on the Yahoo group.

We did a series of one-on-one polls to establish who was the fans' favourite.

I ranked the top 16 panellists by appearances (both TV and radio) and then paired them off in one-one-one polls until we got a winner.

My initial ranking (by number of appearances) was
1. Sir Clement Freud
2. Kenneth Williams
3. Peter Jones
4. Derek Nimmo
5. Paul Merton
6. Tony Hawks
7. Sheila Hancock
8. Graham Norton
9. Gyles Brandreth
10. Andree Melly
11. Sir Tim Rice
12. Linda Smith
13. Kit Hesketh-Harvey
14. Wendy Richard
15. Sue Perkins
16. Jenny Eclair

The voting went like this
ROUND ONE - Gyles Brandreth (8) beat Graham Norton (4)
ROUND TWO - Clement Freud (15) beat Jenny Eclair (3)
ROUND THREE - Sheila Hancock (11) beat Andree Melly (1)
ROUND FOUR - Tony Hawks (15) beat Tim Rice (3)
ROUND FIVE - Derek Nimmo (7) beat Kit Hesketh-Harvey (5)
ROUND SIX - Peter Jones (15) beat Wendy Richard (0)
ROUND SEVEN - Paul Merton (11) beat Linda Smith (3)
ROUND EIGHT - Kenneth Williams (16) beat Sue Perkins (2)

FIRST QUARTER-FINAL - Clement Freud (15) beat Gyles Brandreth (4)
SECOND QUARTER-FINAL - Kenneth Williams (10) beat Sheila Hancock (8)
THIRD QUARTER-FINAL - Peter Jones (13) beat Tony Hawks (4)
FOURTH QUARTER-FINAL - Paul Merton (18) beat Derek Nimmo (5)

FIRST SEMI-FINAL - Clement Freud (12) beat Paul Merton (11)
SECOND SEMI-FINAL - Peter Jones (12) beat Kenneth Williams (10)

GRAND FINAL - Peter Jones (12) beat Clement Freud (11)

Oh the irony of Peter beating Clement on the whistle! That didn't happen very often in the game!

Some thoughts, bearing in mind the low numbers voting.

* Don't get me wrong, I love Gyles and think he is a great asset for the show. But I just can't imagine anyone not voting for Graham Norton who is so funny and original on the show.

* In only four of 15 contests did the one with fewer appearances win. In only five of 15 did the person who started playing the game more recentlyr win. People say the show is funnier today than it was in the past, but seems people love the olden days when it comes to players.

* Neither of the two stars of the show Paul Merton and Kenneth Williams made the final. Of course Clement and Peter were both brilliant in their own ways. But could they have carried the show. Clement while witty was something of a straight man while Peter went long periods without saying anything at all. I don't think the show would still be going without the contributions of Paul and Kenneth.

* Women did very badly. Six of the 16 were women but only one of the 14 contests was won by a woman and that was when Sheila was paired off with another woman. I'm sure, were she still alive, that Linda Smith would be much further up the rankings, perhaps between Sheila and Tony. Perhaps she would even be a regular with Paul - she certainly had a wonderful wit and her style of humour is an effective contrast to that of Paul.

But overall women fared badly. Could Kenneth have been right all along?

* Finally I can't help feeling that one who would have been surprised he did so well is Clement Freud. He is clearly held in great affection by many many fans.


Anonymous keith said...

Hello Dean,
If you and your chums want to meet up at my shop for an after hours game of Just A Minute I know a couple of my panellists from our Oxfam version that would love to play.Give my shop a ring on Monday or Tuesday daytime 0207 267 - 3560.
Home is 0208 932 4550
It would be lovely to see you . Sorry I am so crap at this computor stuff but my eyesight is worsening and have had a few bad seizures lately. That aside I would dearly love to meet up even if you have only an hour to spare.
Glad Peter won your poll. LOts of LOve kEITH

6:26 am  

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