Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

June 02, 2015

new season comments

A delayed post about the new season - I have been busy at work but now am catching up with the blog.

We've already had three shows and I thought they were each of a high standard. My favourite of the three so far  was today's where I thought Sheila Hancock was again in great form. I like her scrappiness which is reminscent of the great man Sir Clement Freud and DXerek Nimmo - perhaps more Derek. And she is so fluent and hunorous. Pam Ayres is a very special person now on the JAM panel with a unique style that is so delightful. Mike McShane is a favourite of mine from Whose Line days and he is not much of a challenger as yet but he is always entertaining.

The show with Graham Norton and Tim Rice and Liza Tarbuck was also excellent. Graham is a brilliant performer on this show and I thought Tim was very good too. I alos liked the other show which featured the debut of Susan Calman who went really well and I thought was one of the best debutantes in a while.

Some other thoughts and observations..

This is a eight-show season rather than just six. Since the BBC started the late spring/early summer season in 2011, the season has been just six shows. Let's hope this doesn't mean that the late summer season is cut back to six.

Tim Rice returned to the show for the first time since 2009. Tim has had an interesting time on JAM, with gaps between appearances between 1991 and 1998, between 2002 and 2005, and now between 2009 and 2015. In 2009 he was on the first show after Clement's death and I wondered if he could be on a lot more often as a replacement for Clement as an elderly curmudgeon who cares about the rules. Well that was wrong! But he does offer something different and with a new producer, perhaps he will be on more often.

For those interested in who has had longest between appearances, the record is held by Eleanor Summerfield who made her first appearance in 1968 and had to wait 19 years for a return gig in 1987.

Others with more than 10 years between shows are Sheila Hancock, who was rested for 15 years between 1987 and 2002; Gyles Brandreth and Barry Cryer  who both had a 13 year gap between 1986 and 1999, and Alfred Marks who was off for 10 years between 1977 and 1987.

Will anyone pass Eleanor's record? There are a few people who haven't been on since 1995 - can we hope for Lee Simpson or Dale Winton or Hugh Dennis to make an appearance in the next season? Dale would be good fun.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Dean and fellow Jammers, 2 London dates have been decided fro the Summer series. Both start at 7.30pm. Wednesday 15th July at the Radio Theatre,Broadcasting House. Tuesday 28th July at the Shaw Theatre. A recording will also take place in the Edinburgh Festival this year too.
A few comments - good to have Tim Rice back. I remember how nervous he was at appearing on the first recording without Clement. I met him in Broadcasting House foyer and he said 'We'll need all the luck we can get with this one!' He was still in a happy mood because he enjoys JAM so much and enjoys returning to it.
Nicholas told me of the fun the team had when they did a charity JAM for the senior citizen fund -raising organization - I think it's called Silverline. It's the charity that Esther Rantzen supports. Their JAM took place about 3 to 4 weeks ago at the Telecom Tower Theatre and besides Nicholas the team was Gyles Brandreth, Barry Cryer, Chris Neil and Esther Rantzen.
Sheila Hancock wasn't laid off as a panelist between 1988 and 2000 - she withdrew from the show because she was still missing her friend Kenneth Williams. She told me so in the letter she sent me. She also commented that she would be prepared to have a go with the new team. I photocopied the letter and sent it to Claire Jones and a little later Sheila turned up in a JAM recording at Hastings. It's good to have her back.
Aimi MacDonald is definitely up for some more JAM incidentally. Now her absence from JAM is longer than Eleanor Summerfield's. It would be good to have her return.
The format of JAM embraces women's style of performing so well. We are so richly blessed with a plethora of women JAM regulars.Sheila, Pam, Sue, Jenny, Liza, Josie and now Susan Calman.
Mike MacShane has such a big energy that it is almost untameable. He beats his fist on top of the desk whenever he breaks a JAM ruling. If only he can harness his energy and get enough steam up he will do well.
All the very best KEITH XXXX

1:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dean and Fellow Jammers, All those who want to see a picture of Nicholas and the team on their recent fund-raising visit to The Silver Line outing can do so by going to the Silver Line home website. Along the border of related photos you will see one of Nicholas, Esther, Gyles, Barry and Chris.
Keith XXXX

2:32 am  

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