Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

July 31, 2010

Gyles on the new coalition government

Gyles Brandreth having some fun with the British pollies - he describes the Cameron/Clegg partnership as "the ultimate gay wedding" here and debates it all here. All for the BBC show This Week. Very funny.

happy talk

Graham Norton's chat show has been promoted into the Friday night slot previously held by Jonathan Ross - which seems to be the premier comedy chat slot.

And another JAMster Rhod Gilbert is in the running to host a chat show on Monday nights in Graham's old slot...

July 27, 2010

JAM back

next Monday at 630pm... Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Gyles Brandreth and Jenny Eclair are on the panel and Tilusha Ghelani is back as producer.

July 18, 2010


According to Nicholas via my friend Keith Matthews, JAM is to move to three seasons a year, of eight shows each. Twenty-four shows a year - the largest number since the mid 70s. Sounds good to me!

Others said to be appearing this season are Tony Hawks, Sue Perkins and Liza Tarbuck. Paul Merton will be in all the shows this season. Apparently the BBC is looking for some "big names" to guest star this season so that could be interesting.

report on first recording

Kirsty Gold attended the first recording of the new season... here is her report

Went, Laughed so much and was impressed by the quickness of some of the panellists. No problems with the 'you're not guaranteed entry' thing. at half an hour to go to door opening, however, we were 113 &4 in the queue. The theatre holds about 300.
Photographs weren't allowed but I took one of the stage - very bare, black backdrop, 6 chairs, each space had a decanter of water, a note book/ pad of paper and a pen.
The producer introduced the night - (can't at the moment remember her name) She looked about 12 ! (Or is that just that I'm old!!) she gave some house rules, fire exits, mobilephones etc then introduced Nicholas.
Panel was Paul Merton, Gyles Brandreth, Jenny Eclair and Graham Norton.
Nicholas was looking very dapper - is he ever anything else!! in a black and red striped jacket. His assistant scoring the thing was very demure in a black dress and embarrassed face when he pointed out that she had sort of sneaked on to the stage.
I had read someone's review of going to a Clue recording and how disappointed they were that a lot (most?) of the stuff was scripted. (In my ignorance, I still thought it was ad libbed) HOWEVER, aside from taking the odd note about the subject - and occasionally what other people said, no one referred really to the notepads.
Paul, in particular, looked out over the audience for most of the show and had a sort of half glazed look when he was obviously concentrating. Gyles became very animated when he spoke and on a couple of occasions, startled other panel members.
Jenny interrupted a lot with challenges for words like "I" or "Me" which sort of seemed a bit mean - a few times she was given the subject but she did get a very gentle 'telling off' from Nicholas of 'we sometimes let words like that go'.
Graham was very funny and had a good audience rapport. He managed to get a couple of hints about things from someone at the front of the audience and got both huge laughs and extra points! So if you hear reference to "the woman with the white dress" that's why. (she'd first reminded him why he'd buzzed, there had been a lot of banter back and forward and everyone had forgotten where it had started from)
In the first of the 2 shows recorded, each player had 2 subjects to start. In the second show there was a lot of banter in the middle about challenges and I think there were maybe only 5 or 6 rounds started instead of 8.
After the first show, a small trailer was recorded - Nicholas and Paul with a sort of "Just a minute is back tomorrow" sort of thing. The ending of that was done a few times - "next week" and "today" Even that was ad libbed. They both referred to the fact that the script for that was very sketchy!
In the 2nd show, one of the topics was the Moon landing. Gyles clearly stated there was no such thing as a moon landing and it had all been shot in a film lot in America. After challenging, Paul got that subject and started to tell a joke (Probably apocraphal) about Neil Armstrong and his neighbour. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_armstrong_reference_about_his_neighbor_at_moon link to the story
Paul started the story and said something like "the punchline of which I can't really say on Just a Minute", he lost the subject but when he got it back again, he obviously had forgotten he'd said that - and went on to complete the joke with the expression Blow Job. There was of course great hilarity and several challenges (mainly since he'd repeated the phrase) but he asked that he could be given the last 5 seconds again, when he'd regained the subject. He retold the ending with the words "goodnight kiss"
There was also a sequence where Gyles was talking about the Balls Pond Road, apparently in Islington, N1. Paul mischeviously challenged just so he could say variations on the expression "a lot of balls" and went on to goad Nicholas into saying it back to him. (He managed to resist..... mostly)
At the end of that sequence, Nicholas kind of 'let himself go' a bit and did tell a story about Lord Rees, a statue and that he had asked for 3 inches to be taken off a young child's penis since he declared the original to be too rude to put on public display.
I've always had an inkling that Nicholas can be a bit prissy about innuendo - maybe naive is what I mean - but I saw tonight that he knew fine well what was being said to him - and why. The next subject announced was "a straight aim" which was greeted with vast hilarity from the audience - mainly at Graham's face (his round) and back on went Nicholas's "What??????" face!
Recording started at 7-30. It was 9-20 when we came out. There was no other interaction with the audience at the end, it was the close of programme speech and then we all just got up and left, which I have to say was a bit of an anti-climax.
Hilarious bits of the night included a round about "Our American Cousins" with Graham declaring that we must have had a fat aunt and uncle - and a small rant about how large Americans are. (all tongue in cheek) 4 minutes later when he had the subject back, he started off with how All Americans are really into fitness and keeping fit and how they are at the gym so much. The complete backtrack was very funny.
Gyles had a great start to a subject about sailing west from Bristol to find the Western World of the Americas. Paul's interruption about Bristol not being part of the western world then??? was taken as a running gag throughout the first show.
Gyles also had a great subject about Roundheads and Cavalliers.
Paul, straight faced throughout with his dead pan look, burst into genuine laughter at something Graham said, and I wish I had a better memory to remember what it was!!
Get tickets if you can. The whole thing was hilarious. The audience had a sort of cameradery - we all like this slightly goofy / nerdy/ off beat programme. Lots of conversation broke out spontaneously round the hall before the panel came in - who was going to be there, who had heard what about tonight, who were 'good guests' and who would be 'rubbish'. No one was rubbish!!!
I look forward to hearing how they've edited them down. (Certainly the balls routine will have gone!!)
Sorry it's long - but I've completely wound down now. Thank you for letting me de-brief! (I really was hyper about this! Friend was nearly slapping me at one point to get me to calm down!)


July 17, 2010

new recording

The team for the show recorded on Friday night in London was Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Gyles Brandreth and Jenny Eclair.