Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

December 26, 2016

Just a Minute panto - Merry Christmas

For a variety oif reasons, my enthusiasm for Just Minute has cooled a bit recently. But the Just A Minute panto was absolutely excellent, one of the best editions of the show ever.

The surprise to me was the involvement of Prince Charles. I can take and leave Royal messages for anniversaries, but I thought what he said was nice. He was the only person to reference the panellists of the past despite all the talk of 50 years of Just A Minute, and did so in a natural and interesting way.

The pantomime material was really well integrated with the "game" which was played between two teams, I assume because the fourth seat was changed between four guest panellists, Tony Hawks, Tom Allen, Rufus Hound and Pippa Evans. Gyles Brandreth wrote the panto material and was in top form, I thought.. Paul was as funny as he has been in many years, Sheila Hancock was excellent. I would have liked to hear a bit more from Julian Clary who played a genie but didn't have much to do.

This really was an excellent production, and I loved some of the small touches, like the different sounds for the whistle. The song at the end was excellent - hasnb't Sheila Hancock got a great sionging voice.

Matt Stronge should take a bow - that was a really top-class production.

They jkept mentioning 50 years - in fact we have just passed the 49th anniversary and have almost 12 months to the 50th. But if this production is a taste of what is to come to mark the 50 years, we are in for a lot of fun in the year ahead.

Trivia question for someone - who is the lovely West Indian man (I think) who often does continuity at JAM time and was announcing at the beginning and end of today's show? What a great voice!