Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

March 05, 2013

great shows

As we come up to the anniversary of last year's JAM TV series, I guess we have to accept that any future series is now on the backburner again.

That seems a shame as the series last year was certainly the best of the various attempts to bring JAM to TV.

Nevertheless I think on average the 10 shows never quite saw JAM at its best. They were good, funny shows, don't get me wrong. But perhaps not examples of the very best of JAM.

I'm thinking about this because I reckpn the current radio season has shows which are showcasing JAM at its funniest.

The key thing I think is that we are back to Paul Merton at his funniest and silliest. Last year I rated Paul a bit lower than usual but this year he is at his brilliant best, inventive and witty every time he gets the subject.

I think it helps that he has had such strong teams around him. Today's panel with Paul was Sheila Hancock, Josie Lawrence and Marcus Brigstocke. None of them had done the show in 12 months - Sheila not since 2011 - but they're all naturals  and just fit with the show. Marcus and Josie are great improvisers and Sheila's mix of wit and self-deprecation is tremendously effective. I am already looking forward to the second show in this season.

And the show the previous week was if anything even better. Richard Herring is showing signs of being a great contributor in the future. But Julian Clary and Jenny Eclair were both at their best. Both know the game inside out, clearly love it, and know how to adapt their styles to it.

JAM currently has a great cast list. I can't help feeling atht in their currenjt form, the current shows would also make great television.