Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

June 28, 2007

new JAM recording

this info on a show being recorded next week

BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute will be recording 2 shows at The White Rock
Theatre, Hastings on Tuesday 3rd July (at 7.30pm).

It will be hosted by Nicholas Parsons and guests include Paul Merton,
Julian Clary and Gyles Brandreth.

You can apply for tickets by callng the box office on 08701 451 133
(09:00 - 18:00), tickets cost £5.

Again - any info on recordings or panels is gratefully received!

June 18, 2007

More on David Hatch

Probably the last set of tributes to Sir David Hatch.

This is from the Guardian

Philip Purser

In an age when television was still supposed to be the dominant form of broadcasting, and certainly one on which every career broadcaster should have won his spurs, Sir David Hatch, who has died of cancer at the age of 68, rose to the highest echelons of the BBC without ever straying from radio.

Then, in a complete change of role, he became the salaried, sometimes controversial chairman of the parole board. But even here he exercised the humanity and good humour for which he had been famed at the BBC.

The son of a Yorkshire vicar, he had intended at first to follow in his father's footsteps, but at Cambridge in the late 1950s - after school at St John's, Leatherhead - he was lured into the Cambridge Footlights company.

Its members then included John Cleese, Tim Brook-Taylor, Graham Chapman, Bill Oddie and Jonathan Lynn, who between them would go on to give television (and the world) the Goodies, Monty Python's Flying Circus and Yes, Minister. In 1963, they took a version of their last student entertainment, A Clump of Plinths, to the West End and then to the US for six months.

Hatch went with them, and on returning joined the BBC's light entertainment department. In the classic I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again (1964), he was the po-faced straight man essential to the wild comedy dispensed by the rest of the cast.

The back-stage business of broad-casting had by then taken his interest. He originated and produced Week-ending (which gradually turned into another weird comedy show), then I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue and Just a Minute, both of which are still on air. The Tennis Elbow Foot Game has, alas, dropped through the sieve of time and no recordings seem to exist.

He also oversaw adaptations from popular fiction such as Richard Gordon's Doctor in the House stories, and radio versions of popular television formats. His move to higher management came in 1974, to Manchester as head of network radio there, then back to London as head of light entertainment. He was controller of Radio 2 for thee years, moving to the same job for Radio 4 in 1983. In 1986 he was made director of programmes, radio, and managing director, radio, 1987-93, with a seat on BBC's board of management.

These were not easy times for the holders of such posts, with John Birt's reforms and the increasing determination of successive governments and prime ministers to appoint "strong" chairmen to keep broadcasters in their place.

But Hatch managed to keep a human face in all his contacts. Always good-tempered, affable, funny, he was renowned for the words of encouragement and praise he lavished on all deserving underlings. He got on famously well with the likes of Terry Wogan and David Jason. John Cleese affectionately called him Kipperfeet.

Hatch was a big-hearted man who let you know his thoughts, according to Will Wyatt, then head of broadcast, television. At his desk by 6.30 each morning, Hatch would send out a stream of little notes and memoirs, some containing advice or even a warning, others just to cheer up the recipient. "He sent me a little bit of advice one morning and signed it off, 'Cluck, cluck, Mother Hen'," said Wyatt.

It was the same story when he finally retired from the corporation in 1995 and, though retaining one or two honorary posts in broadcasting, began to take on responsibilities in quite different walks of life.

As a justice of the peace in Buckinghamshire, it was rumoured that he would sometimes feel so sorry for some poor offender that he would send him the cash to pay his fine in an anonymous envelope.

He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a governor of the British Nutrition Foundation and chairman of the National Consumer Council. He was made CBE in 1994 and knighted 10 years later for his work at the parole board.

This appointment raised eyebrows at the time. Previous chairmen had all come from a government service background, and again his tenure coincided with difficult times for the body he was heading. On the one hand there was much public disquiet over the release of offenders from prison who promptly went on to reoffend. At the other extreme was the case of Tony Martin, the East Anglian farmer jailed for shooting dead a Gypsy burglar, whose early release he opposed because he believed him to be dangerous.

Hatch defended the policy of releasing as many prisoners on parole as possible because he believed it helped to wean them off crime, and also helped relieve prison overcrowding. His staff welcomed his sturdy defence of the board's independence. They also found him an appreciative and generous chairman.

His first wife, Ann, died in 1997. He is survived by two sons and a daughter from that marriage along with Mary, his second wife, whom he married in 1999.

· David Edwin Hatch, broadcaster, born May 7 1939; died June 13 2007

This is from the Telegraph

Sir David Hatch, who died on Wednesday aged 68, joined BBC Radio as a writer and performer on I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again and during the 1960s was the originator and producer of comedy shows such as Weekending, Just a Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue; he became controller of Radio 2, then Radio 4, before becoming overall head of BBC radio.

Hatch was the first radio controller to have endeared himself to staff by showing no indication that he regarded his postings at Broadcasting House as mere staging posts along the road to Television Centre. Very much a "hands-on" manager, he liked to walk the floors each day, looking in on presenters in the on-air studios. Terry Wogan, for one, rated him "the finest senior BBC executive I ever worked for".

Producers often found themselves bombarded with what they called "Hatchlets", timed notes reading "Heard your programme, why did you\u2026 ?" But he was also generous with his praise, not forgetting the technicians.

Hatch loved radio with a passion; even John Birt, who removed him as managing director of radio, saluted "an astute, straight-dealing and utterly committed champion of the medium".

This was immediately apparent when Hatch took over at the top in 1987. Knowing radio's strengths in people and ideas, he built on them. In 1993 it was at his prompting that Radio 2 restored Wogan to the network's breakfast show.

But not all the risks Hatch took came off (he was responsible for the launch of Radio 5, subsequently reinvented as Radio Five Live); yet as commercial radio expanded he placed BBC radio firmly back in the limelight.

Many expected Hatch to be a casualty of the Birt regime in 1993; he had opposed plans for the introduction of a rolling news channel and a large-scale shake up of Radio 1. As it turned out he was moved from his job as head of radio to make way for Liz Forgan, and appointed to a new post of "special assistant" to Birt.

As an adviser with influence but no power, Hatch described himself as "a sort of minister without portfolio" whose main function was to act as peacemaker among the "warring BBC barons". Though he helped draw up plans for the corporation to devolve more programme-making to the regions and loyally defended the new Director-General from his enemies, he was widely seen as having been (in Mark Tully's phrase) "shunted into a siding".

"I am told," Hatch said in an address to the 1993 Radio Festival, "that you get two chances to give this speech - once on the way up and once on the way down." He paused. "Welcome to my second speech." Hatch retired early in 1996, five years before the mandatory retiring age.

The fourth and youngest son of a country vicar, David Edwin Hatch was born on May 7 1939 and educated at St John's School, Leatherhead, and at Queens' College, Cambridge. He read Theology and might have followed his father into the Church, but he soon fell among the undergraduate comics of Footlights - a generation that included John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor - and changed his plans.

After graduating he joined other members of Footlights in a revue called Plinths (later renamed Cambridge Circus). "We were offered seasons in the West End and on Broadway, which seemed like a lot more fun than yet more Latin," Hatch recalled. But even then he was always the management figure, getting his fellow actors out of hotel beds and to the airports on time.

The charms of cabaret soon palled, however, and Hatch returned to London where, in 1964, with Bill Oddie, John Cleese and other Footlights members, he joined the BBC through a scheme run by radio light entertainment; he went on air as the straight man in the cult comedy show I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again.

Billed as a "radio custard pie", the show (hailed by one critic as "a weekly fusilade of rude, cheerful, chaotic and noisy sketches") ran from 1964 until 1973. But Hatch preferred working behind the scenes, and went on to produce a number of shows in the 1960s before moving into management.

Appointed network editor of radio in Manchester in 1974, he returned to London in 1978 as head of radio light entertainment. By increasing the number of scripted comedy shows he set about dispelling its reputation as a "Cinderella department" run by "old men covered in cobwebs".

During his three years as controller of Radio 2 from 1980, Hatch inaugurated a gradual and unobtrusive shift away from old-style, announcer-based shows towards "personality presenters"; he also commissioned a major project to broadcast all 13 of Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas.

Moving to Radio 4 in 1983, he vowed to reverse the trend of falling audience figures with a series of "minor changes" to programming, but found himself up against an audience which "if you try to make any even very minor changes in scheduling or programming, react as if you have gone into their living rooms and shifted all the furniture round". By his own admission he tried to change too much too fast, introducing an experimental sequence called Rollercoaster to the morning schedule which brought in sackloads of abuse and had to be dropped. "I'm sure they'll find that word engraved on my heart when I die," Hatch said later.

Appointed director of BBC radio in 1986 and managing director of Network Radio BBC the following year, Hatch served as vice-chairman of BBC Enterprises from 1987 to 1993. In 1989 the 25th anniversary broadcast of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again featured Hatch playing himself as one of the original stars of the series. John Cleese played a BBC Director-General who, on discovering that shows like those of Derek Jameson were damaging the ozone layer, summoned Hatch as radio's managing director and ordered him to recycle quantities of old programmes in order to repair the damage.

After leaving the BBC Hatch served as chairman of the National Consumer Council from 1996 to 2000. Later he returned to broadcasting, as chairman of Radio 4's Wireless World from 1999 to 2003.

He also become involved in the criminal justice field, as a magistrate and - from 2000 to 2004 - as chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales. He arrived at the Parole Board at a time when its workload was increasing and as it assumed responsibility for deciding on the release of the most dangerous prisoners. Determined to maintain the board's independence, Hatch was not afraid to take up issues on behalf of members and he fought to retain prisoner interviews with the aim of improving the quality of risk assessments.

He was appointed CBE in 1994 and knighted in 2004 for his work in the criminal justice system.

David Hatch married, in 1964, Ann Elizabeth Martin, who died in 1997; they had two sons and a daughter. He married secondly, in 1999, Mary Clancy, with whom he had been paired at a dinner party by Terry Wogan's wife Helen; Wogan himself was best man.

And this is from my friend Keith Matthews who has been doing some historical research in the BBC Archives

I was travelling up the A1 when I heard the news report on radio 2 concerning the death of David Hatch - Just A Minute's most influential director.

He was so important in establishing the blueprint for the show in the first dozen or so years. The framework of this essential bluepprint still, exists to this day.

It was he who cossetted and cajolled and generally massaged the reluctant Kenneth Williams' frail ego into toughening up and hardening himself against the established players of the game. If David had been an ego orientated person he would have left Kenneth to fend for himself and surely the show would have ended after the second series.

It was he who brought about the unwritten rule among the regulars of letting the speaker establish their story in the first fifteen seconds or so of their minute - a rule with which both Kenneth and Nicholas agreed.

Often Kenneth would visit David at his office under the premise of talking about one of the upsets that had occurred during his early days with the game and often his stays would end up talking about the world of comedy and anything else from theology to hospitals. They developed a deep respect for each other and as Kenneth began to excel at the game (in the performance bit anyway because he 'often trailed') David would write Kenneth letters that bordered on the fanatical. He would apologise for sounding so like a typical fan but in respect to Kenneth's work on Just A Minute he could not help himself. He would thank Kenneth over and over again for the excellent comedy that Kenneth had given the show - labelling some of Kenneth's shows as ' some of the best ever recorded'.

As for David ,Kenneth grew so attatched to him that he fretted whenever it looked likely that David was missing due to illness or a holiday claiming 'it was not the same.'

When David moved to producing for the BBC up North Kenneth virtually went in to mourning. As we know David Hatch did eventually return to producing JUST A MINUTE and so at least Kenneth was not left grieving the absence of David Hatch for long.

When Kenneth died David Hatch applied to the BBC's Archive department for several of the originals of the letters that Kenneth had sent him. The BBC granted his wish and kept photocopies on file and sent the originals to a very grateful Hatch. What emerges from these letters is the sincerest of friendships that Kenneth ever had with a radio producer. Radio was Kenneth's favoured medium of self expression by the mid 70s and it was Hatch who held the key to this treasure trove.

What also emerges if you spoke to anyone from any show that Hatch worked on is his selfless devotion to bringing about the best in everyone involved. His magician like ability to harness seemingly opposed talents and spin them into gold. This genius will be sadly missed by all lovers of radio comedy.

He will be missed...

June 15, 2007

David Hatch - obituaries

So far only two of the British broadsheets seem to have run obituaries. I would have expected The Telegraph to.

It's interesting that so far Hatch's brief career as a performer seems to have got more attention than his decades of work in radio!

This from The Independent

Sir David Hatch
Brilliant BBC radio producer and performer turned administrator
Published: 14 June 2007

David Edwin Hatch, actor, producer, writer and radio executive: born 7 May 1939; Radio Network Editor, BBC Manchester 1974-78; Head of Light Entertainment (Radio), BBC 1978-80; Controller, BBC Radio 2 1980-83; Controller, BBC Radio 4 1983-86; Director of Programmes, BBC Radio (later Network Radio, BBC) 1986-87, Managing Director 1987-93; Vice-Chairman, BBC Enterprises 1987-93; Adviser to the Director-General, BBC 1993-95; CBE 1994; Chairman, National Consumer Council 1996-2000; Chairman, Services Sound and Vision Corporation 2000-07; Chairman, Parole Board of England and Wales 2000-04; Kt 2004; married 1964 Ann Martin (two sons, one daughter), 1999 Mary Clancy; died Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire 13 June 2007.

David Hatch was a brilliant radio producer, writer and performer who became a hands-on BBC administrator and was able successfully to negotiate the shark-infested waters of the Corporation, eventually becoming head of the entire radio enterprise, or in BBC bureaucratic jargon "Managing Director, Network Radio BBC".

On his way to the top he endeared himself to staff and colleagues generally by championing radio at every opportunity and showing little inclination to use his various posts as stepping-stones to what some might think of as the greater glory of television. Hatch remained a radio man, pure and simple.

Yet he was essentially an easy-going, sociable man with a droll sense of humour who, especially in his early days, fitted perfectly the role left empty by the death of Kenneth Horne, another superlative radio performer. Hatch was a superb "straight" man: never more so than in the comedy programme he inherited as producer when he joined the BBC in 1965, I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, which was stuffed with up-and-coming comics such as John Cleese, Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden, Jo Kendall and Tim Brooke-Taylor.

While the rest of the cast engaged in extravagant and hilarious foolery, Hatch played the classic lone figure of sanity in a mad universe, by turns avuncular, stern, unflappable. At the end of one series, in 1969, the I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again survey (a regular feature) examined "Love":

Hatch: What is that certain something that first attracts a boy to a girl? No one can say.

Bill Oddie: I can.

Hatch: Not on radio you can't. I suppose really the special allure of a woman was probably best summed up by an eminent psychoanalyst when he said . . .

John Cleese: Phwoooar!

David Hatch was born in 1939, the fourth and youngest son of a country vicar. He was educated at St John's School, Leatherhead, in Surrey, and then Queen's College, Cambridge, where he gained an MA and a Diploma in Education. Originally he planned to read theology, to follow in his father's footsteps, but got sidetracked into the Cambridge Footlights company, which then included Cleese, Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman, Oddie and Jonathan Lynn.

It was a comic melting-pot which later produced Monty Python, The Goodies, Yes, Minister (co-created and co-written by Lynn) and a multitude of other classic comedy shows and radio and TV programmes.

Leaving Cambridge, Hatch successfully toured America with Cambridge Circus and broke into the West End for a run. He joined the BBC in 1964 through a scheme run by radio's "Light Entertainment" department, and cut his producing teeth on magazine programmes such as Roundabout (an early evening show).

After I'm Sorry, he produced numerous light entertainment shows, including The Tennis Elbow Foot Game (a "lost" programme collectors of old radio shows would give their eye-teeth to be able to hear again) and Just a Minute, as well as adaptations of the novelist Richard Gordon's Doctor in the House, and television-to-radio transfers (a flourishing trade in the 1970s) like Brothers in Law and All Gas and Gaiters. He also created and launched the Friday late-night satire show on Radio 4, Week Ending, which began unpromisingly po-faced (and voiced) but soon became a cutting-edge programme to which most of today's best comedy writers contributed at one time or another.

After a while Hatch discovered (somewhat to his surprise, as he later recalled) that he was no longer "getting a buzz out of studio work. Management seemed an obvious move".

Following a stint in Manchester and then a couple of years as Head of Light Entertainment Radio, he was made Controller of Radio 2. During his three years there he let commercial stations mount full-scale and frenzied assaults on Radio 1 while he quietly built up "personality" presenters on his own network, replacing the old "announcer" system. Seeing that there was a dearth of female presenters, he captured and built up Gloria Hunniford into a star performer.

In 1983 he moved from Radio 2 to Radio 4, again as Controller. He found an enormous listener-loyalty which was immensely enthusiastic, but could also be immensely ferocious. Changing the steady morning schedules into an overall "running" show, Rollercoaster, proved fairly disastrous, as Hatch ruefully realised in short order. "[It] brought me tremendous abuse", he recalled years later. "I'm sure they'll find the word 'Rollercoaster' on my heart when I die".

He survived, and gradually brought round most of his critics and the vast Radio 4 audience to the view that change was really inevitable, and could often be liberating.

In 1986 he was made Director of Programmes, Radio, and finally Managing Director of the entire Broadcasting House enterprise. He finally retired in 1995, having been Adviser to the BBC Director-General from 1993.

From being a BBC apparatchik (though a friendly and approachable apparatchik) Hatch became Chair of the National Consumer Council from 1996 through to 2000, joining the ranks of the great and the good. He helped to run the British forces broadcasting network and was a JP, sitting regularly at Aylesbury and Amersham. In 2001 he was made a governor of his old school, St John's, Leatherhead.

Jack Adrian

This one ran in The Times

Sir David Hatch
Comedian who became managing director of BBC Radio, where his optimism helped to lighten some gloomy times

David Hatch was a mainstay of BBC Radio for some 30 years. His early training had not particularly marked him for this: the fourth son of a Yorkshire vicar, he went to Cambridge with theology in mind. There, through the aegis of the Cambridge Footlights, he fell in with John Cleese, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor, and with them took a revue show, A Clump of Plinths (later renamed Cambridge Circus) to the West End and Broadway in 1963.

The following year he took the straight-man role in the radio series I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again. He also did six months on the West End stage, and then played New York. He reckoned this new life to be “better than yet more Latin”.

But he was swiftly drawn to life on the other side of the microphone. He joined the BBC staff in the mid1960s, and over ten years in radio light entertainment built a solid reputation for innovation and effective producing. He was the moving spirit behind Week Ending and Just A Minute; he cast his net wide, and high on the list of passing recruits who became lifelong friends were Terry Wogan, Richard Briers and David Jason.

He spent the late 1970s running radio in Manchester, and then headed the light entertainment department from London. He moved into management, and ran Radio 2 for three years from 1980, switching then to Radio 4. Not everything he did was lauded: his experiment with a roller-coaster sequence on Radio 4 proved too much for his morning audience, but his undergraduate humour did not desert him. “Radio 4,” he wrote, “should be a daily anthem of joy – and anthem is as anthem does.”

He resisted the temptations of television: unlike many of his radio colleagues, he was not restless or frustrated in his medium. Television, it was true, had more money, but radio commanded a deep loyalty from listeners. He was for the most part uncomplaining about the traffic of talent out of radio and into television. He saw radio as an important training ground, from which the best would inevitably move on, be it John Lloyd or Steve Coogan. It was, however, a matter of irritation for him that his television colleagues failed to make the best of this nursery, even on occasions allowing BBC radio shows to find a visual outlet on ITV. He held that comedy was too rare and precious a commodity to be so lightly set aside.

The BBC’s habit of looking to television for its radio chiefs amused Hatch. He would cheerfully wonder who the BBC would next send down the road from White City to Broadcasting House. He soldiered on with good grace under Aubrey Singer, Dick Francis and Brian Wenham, finally getting the top job himself in 1987.

As the first managing director to face competition from networked commercial radio, he sought to tidy up: he corralled sport, Open University, schools, education and new children’s programming into a newly mixed Radio 5. The soufflé failed to rise, however, and Hatch came under increasing pressure to make way for rolling news. His resistance to this put him on a collision course with John Birt, then operational boss of BBC journalism and shortly to become director-general. It was widely assumed that when Birt took over, Hatch would go.

In fact, an intervention from the Heritage Secretary, David Mellor, added an unexpected twist. Mellor argued that the BBC could ill-afford to lose one of its few managers with a human face, and Hatch stayed as special adviser to Birt. He peppered him with morning memos designed to lighten the onward march of Birtism.

Notwithstanding that his Radio 5 had been removed in favour of the newsy Radio 5 Live, Hatch stayed loyal to the new regime. His support proved crucial when Birt’s career nearly foundered on the question of his tax status.

Hatch was asked to redefine the BBC’s regional priorities, and find ways to put more work away from London. This led to its fair share of idiocies as programmes were biked hither and thither to fulfil quotas, but Hatch felt that the scheme’s heart was in the right place. He had always seen that a strong BBC needed to draw inspiration and insight from the length and breadth of the land.

Some thought Hatch too much a man for all seasons. The truth was that he treated most political considerations with insouciance. It was therefore natural for him to rub along with the chopping and changing of policy fashion simply to get on with the task in hand. That, as he saw it, was the role of the public servant.

The affection expressed for him when he finally left the BBC in the summer of 1995 was genuine and widespread. Hatch was not without a fondness for the louche, but in him it sat happily alongside a love of the Church. In 1995 he became a justice of the peace in Aylesbury and the next year was appointed CBE.

In 2000 he became chairman of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation and, to the surprise of some, the Parole Board. He fought hard against budget cuts that meant prisoners seeking release could not be properly interviewed, and was incensed when Home Office researchers concluded that conducting interviews did not make much difference to Parole Board decisions. His warnings bore bitter fruit in 2006 after a number of killings by men freed in error.

Hatch was knighted in 2004. He will be best remembered for his steadfast commitment to radio, especially in those gloomy years when it seemed the good times were gone for ever. Hatch rightly suspected that television would lose some of its lustre, and it is largely to his credit that BBC Radio regained confidence in itself. As he always asserted, radio makes better pictures.

His first wife, Ann, predeceased him. He is survived by his second wife, Mary, two sons and a daughter.

Sir David Hatch, CBE, managing director of BBC Radio, 1987-93, and chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales, 2000-04, was born on May 7, 1939. He died on June 13, 2007, aged 68

June 14, 2007

Sir David Hatch dies

David Hatch has died at the age of 68.

He was the first producer of Just A Minute and probably the single person most responsible for the development of the show.

Ian Messiter came up with the idea and rules, but it was David Hatch that brought it to life.

He was at that time, 1967, a talented young producer, aged 28. The BBC commisisoned a pilot, but didn't want to commission the series. David Hatch told his bosses "I think we have a winner here. If I'm wrong, I clearly don't know much about radio". He said he would resign if the series didn't go ahead.

That was a very brave thing for a young producer to say against the hierarchial stuffy BBC bosses.

And as we know the BBC gave in, and the series did go ahead. That shows how much they wanted to retain the talented young man

And the key casting of Nicholas, Clement, Derek, Kenneth and Peter was all the work of David Hatch.

David Hatch produced the first few seasons, and then shared production duties until 1974. He returned to produce the series for three years from 1979 to 1981.

He will be sorely missed.

The BBC's tribute can be found here.

This article also has some interesting information.

June 12, 2007

Just A Classic Minute Volume Four

I just received today the latest JAM compilation.

I'm hugely impressed. The four shows are all great - the small bit of money gets you this cast.... Clement Freud, Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo, Paul Merton, Sheila Hancock, Wendy Richard, Stephen Fry, Richard Murdoch, Lance Percival, Jan Ravens and Tommy Trinder.

The four shows are these...

Clement, Kenneth, Derek and Sheila
Clement, Kenneth, Peter and Tommy
Clement, Wendy, Richard and Lance
Peter, Paul, Stephen and Jan

The shows selected are all very good. The one with Tommy Trinder is so damn hillarious, it just has me laughing out loud here on the nine zillionth listening.

And there are new introductions from Nicholas Parsons. You can read those by clicking on the links. I think they're especially interesting and the best he has done.

Thoughts for next time. The cover again has a picture of Clement, Kenneth, Derek, Nicholas and Ian Messiter. I know Ian is important - but what about including the great man, Peter Jones, next time?

And as good as Nicholas's reminscences are - he's useless on the history stuff but he always is - maybe they could give Clement a go at this next time? Or even someone different for each show? It's a thought anyway.

But I can't recommend that you buy this too highly.

June 03, 2007

New season - post 2

According to Simon in the comments, a JAM was recorded at Hay in Wales with the panel being Paul Merton, Pam Ayres, Maureen Lipman and Marcus Brigstocke for the first show and Dara O'Briain for the second.

Sounds great - excellent to have Maureen back on the show - first time since 1998.

And first time with two women on a panel since 2003.

And first time they swapped panellists between recordings, outside Edinburgh, since 1994.

Any more information anyone?

Tilusha Ghelani used 16 people in 7 recordings in her first season - we now have 19 in seven. It seems very clear that Paul and Clement are now the only two regulars and otherwise the net is being cast wide. I think that sounds interesting and we may well find some top talent that will keep the show fresh.

June 02, 2007

next season

They should have started recording for the next season of JAM - anyone been to a recording or heard any news of venues, dates or panels?