Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

June 02, 2015

Is JAM scripted or rehearsed?

There was an interesting exchange on Twitter the other day after Gyles Brandreth went the full minute on the subject of "Alice in Wonderland".

Christopher Ager@ager2734
: BBCR4 Just a Minute. Gyles Brandreth's faultless recitation on Lewis Carrol is proof of scripted rehearsal.

Gyles @GylesB1: Absolutely not. Repeat the suggestion and I'll sue!

Janey Godley @JaneyGodley: I have done Just A Minute and have never heard of a rehearsal. It was always in the moment - I have no reason to lie.

Gyles: Thank you Janey!

Susan Wilson @Sukey99: It clearly wasn't scripted - he is just jealous of you, Gyles! (I was at the recording.)

Gyles: This is a nice tweet: thank you!

It's interesting, so many people do feel that really good improvisation must in some way be a con. A few years ago now a former producer said the panellists did have the option of seeing the subjects they were going to start. But anyone who has been to a recording must know the show is not scripted. Could it be that some panellists think ahead about what they are going to say? Maybe.

But the reason that Gyles is so good is - well because he is so good. I think he's a great foil for Paul Merton and a real asset for the show.


Blogger Francis Wells said...

I remember reading in Clement Freud's excellent autobiography 'Freud Ego' that Ian Messiter would often tip Kenneth Williams off if a impending subject was a particular historical figure so that he could cram up and consequently launch into one of his inimitable monologues on the said person.

9:16 pm  

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