we are already half-way through the new season so time for some thoughts. I thought today's show with Paul, Kit Hesketh-Harvey, Josie Lawrence and Liza Tarbuck was especially strong, certainly the best of the season so far. Kit was in his best form. I've already recorded here that 2011 was the first year in which he didn't do a show after appearing in every year since 1994. Yet he's such a good player and has a distinctive style - I think he is better value than many. Josie was really good again and Liza was as good as she has ever been, I think.
In praising Kit as I've done before, I should mention that I recently had an email exchange with him about an article he was writing for a newspaper - I have yet to see it in print so the stats and things I provided didn't help at all, it seems!
I also really enjoyed the show the week before with Julian Clary, Sue Perkins and Charles Collingwood - Sue was in tremendous form and Julian just gets better and better.
The first two shows with Gyles, Ross Noble and Jenny Eclair weren't so great. I thought the first show with the old subjects from the first season didn't quite work, except for the round on Derek Nimmo which I really enjoyed. But the second show wasn't great either. Not sure why as it was a very strong team.
Interesting that we had shows from the same recording at the beginning of the season, first time that has happened in 12 years. We also have a new whistle blower, welcome Sharon Leonard. Strangely Sarah Sharpe blew the whistle at the first Paul/Gyles/Jenny/Ross recording, and Sharon at the second.
Looks like the two Indian recordings will end the season which will be the first season since season 32 where Tony Hawks hasn't appeared, and only the second season he has missed since he debuted.
So at the moment - apart from Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons - Gyles Brandreth has the longest run of appearing every season, having appeared every season since season 50.