Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

January 20, 2016

2015 player rankings

For the ninth time - the annual JAM player rankings.

The year has been another enjoyable one with just about every show a funny one. There were 24 JAM radio editions and seven Junior Just A Minutes. I have considered the Junior JAMs in terms iof the adult performers, but feel it unfair to rank the children.

There were 26 JAM panellists this year (again, not including the children).

JAM Radio appearances were as follows:

Paul Merton 20
Gyles Brandreth 10
Sheila Hancock 6
Susan Calman 5
Tony Hawks, Graham Norton, Jenny Eclair, Julian Clary, Josie Lawrence, Marcus Brigstocke, Alun Cochrane 4
Sue Perkins, Tim Rice, Liza Tarbuck, Stephen Fry, Pam Ayres, Shappi Khorsandi, Mike McShane, Robin Ince, Lucy Beaumont, Andy Hamilton, David Tennant, Josh Widdicombe 2
Janey Godley, Joe Lycett, Tom Allen 1

Junior Just A Minute appearances were as follows:

Josie Lawrence 7
Jenny Eclair 5
Paul Merton 2

For those interested in how I've ranked people in the past and checking out how good my picks were...

click here for 2014 rankings

click here for 2013 rankings

click here for 2012 rankings

click here for 2011 rankings

click here for 2010 rankings

click here for 2009 rankings

click here for 2008 rankings

click here for 2007 rankings

Those who appeared in 2014 but not in 2015 include Russell Kane, Richard Herring, Kevin Eldon and Stephen Mangan. Russell and Stephen must surely return soon however.

For those who want to know how good I an at picking who wouldn't be back -I scored five out of five on this last year, ie. none of those named in this category appeared this year. .

Lucy Beaumont- Lucy is a good contributor on other panel shows, but on JAM she would be a contender for the title of least effective player ever.
Alun Cochrane-
(2014 - had some moments, 2013: had some moments, 2012: had some moments; 2011: had some moments; 2010: had some moments; 2007: won't be back) As the preceding information shows, Alun really hasn't been a top contributor, and I think the time has come to decide that he has had a fair go and it hasn't been a big success. Time for Alun to look back on his 21 shows and for someone else to be given a go.
Janey Godley -
(2012 - had some moments, 2009: won't be back; 2008: won't be back; 2007: let's hear more) I follow Janey on Twitter where she tweets often, is funny and an advocate of bad language! On JAM she sounds like she is fun and enjoying proceedings but she isn't really competitive enough or witty enough to shine in this format.
Mike McShane - (2009: won't be back, 2008 - had some moments) Warmed up a bit by the end of his second recording this year. I adored Mike on Whose Line Is It Anyway. Perhaps if he was allowed to sing rather than talk?.
Tim Rice - (2009: had some moments; 2007: average) Tim first appeared on JAM as long ago as 1980. Thirty-five years on, we can say he had some good moments. But these days JAM needs comedians with more laugh lines, rather than just people who are brave enough to challenge Kenneth Williams or Clemen Freuld.

Tom Allen - A very good debut from Tom, let;s hope he gets a second run so we get a better idea of how good he can be.
Stephen Fry -
(2012 - let's hear more, 2011: average; 2009: let's hear more) There was a time when I would happily rank Stephen as one of the very best players ever. To me, he is not as good as he was and his last few appearances have been a little disppointing. Still we know he is a witty and competitive man so maybe his next shows will have him back at his brilliant best.
Shappi Khorsandi - (2014 - had some moments, 2012: about average, 2011: had some moments; 2010: had some moments; 2009: average; 2008: won't be back) Still jolly and amusing but not a top performer.
Liza Tarbuck - (2014 - average, 2013: average, 2012: average; 2011: average; 2010: won't be back; 2009: had some moments; 2008: won't be back) Liza is one of those players who appears every second season, she has a great hearty chuckle, and stands up to the boys. But it's hard to recall highlights from her.
David Tennant - David made the news with his first-up perfect minute. That must surely guarantee him a recall in the year ahead. 

Marcus Brigstocke - (2013 - average, 2012: let's hear more; 2011: let's hear more; 2008: let's hear more; 2007: silver) Still a very good player in the Paul Merton style and always a welcome addition to any panel.
Julian Clary (2014 - let's hear more, 2013: 4th, 2012: silver; 2011: bronze; 2010: 5th; 2009: let's hear more; 2008:4th; 2007: 4th) I'm a big fan of Julian - I didn't feel he was at his best this year.
Andy Hamilton
- A pretty good debut from a Radio Four favourite.
Tony Hawks - (2014 - 5th, 2013: let's hear more, 2012: let's hear more; 2011: average; 2010: let's hear more; 2009: average; 2008: let's hear more; 2007: average) Tony is always up for the show, and usually has a few good lines.
Robin Ince - (2008 - had some moments) Long overdue for a second go on the show, he was funny and clever and I hope we don't have to wait another seven years to hear him again,
Joe Lycett
- (2014 - average, 2013: average) A good contributor who we could hear more from.

Pam Ayres - (2013 - 5th, 2012: let's hear more; 2011: had some moments; 2010: average; 2009: average; 2007: let's hear more She gets better all the time, she adds something completely different to everyone else, and I think she should be on more often.
Susan Calman - A really strong debut year, very reminiscent of the cheeky humour of Linda Smith. She will surely be on the show many more times.
Graham Norton
- (2014 - 2nd, 2013: had some moments, 2012: had some moments, 2011: 5th; 2010: let's hear more; 2009: 5th; 2008: bronze; 2007: let's hear more) Always very funny but he doesn't a;ways get as many chances to speak as the others.
Sue Perkins - (2014 - let's hear more, 2013: let's hear more. 2012: champion; 2011: let's hear more; 2010: let's hear more; 2009: bronze; 2008: silver; 2007: let's hear more) Only two shows this year and was at her usual good form.
Josh Widdicombe- A very strong debut from Josh, he fitted in like a glove, and we must have him back soon.

5th best
Jenny Eclair -  (2014 - let's hear more, 2013: bronze, 2012: 4th; 2011: let's hear more; 2010: 4th; 2009: let's hear more; 2008: let's hear more; 2007: had some moments) Jenny is a great contributor these days, consistently funny and stroppy.
4th best

Josie Lawrence - (2014 - let's hear more, 2013: let's hear more, 2012: let's hear more; 2011: 4th; 2010: let's hear more; 2009: had some moments; 2008: won't be back) Why she waited so long to do JAM, I don't know, because she is great at the show these days - witty, inventive and argumentative.
Bronze medal

Sheila Hancock - (2014 - champion, 2013: about average, 2011: silver; 2010: let's hear more; 2009: average) Sheila now does a couple of shows every season and is always up for an argument and a funny story. I love her and she continues to provide a Clement-like gravitas to the show which is very much appreciated.
Silver medal

Gyles Brandreth - (2014 - 4th, 2013: champion, 2012: 5th; 2011: let's hear more; 2010: bronze; 2009: 4th; 2008: let's hear more; 2007: bronze) Second only to Paul these days as a witty and competitive player, and has a growing role as the butt of everyone else's humour..
Champion of the year
Paul Merton - (2014 - 3rd, 2013: silver. 2012: bronze; 2011: champion; 2010: champion; 2009: silver; 2008: champion; 2007: champion) Paul is the glue for this show and gracefully guides the show. Hard to imagine the show would or could continue without him.


Blogger Unknown said...

Fantastic summary as usual, Dean. Love reading this every year.

2:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear hear!

10:55 pm  
Blogger antster1983 said...

Yep, looks about right :)

6:43 am  
Blogger Dean said...

thanks (though I see I am wrong about Tim Rice already!)

3:53 pm  

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