Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

November 27, 2017

the first of the Just A Minute anniversary features

This one is in the Sunday  Mail

Paul says his fave ever panellist was... Peter Jones!

November 23, 2017

more deets on anniversary specials

Looks like there will be two...

On Christmas Day a highlights programme but it's being edited to sound like Kenneth, Derek, Peter and Clement are interacting with current panellists...

the publicity material for Just A Minute: 50 Years in 28 Minutes says...

Ever wondered what would have happened if Kenneth Williams had faced Sue Perkins across the Just A Minute desk? Now you can find out, in this special archive celebration of 50 years of Just A Minute, based on an idea by Paul Merton and lovingly mashed-up by audio wizard Gareth Gwynn.
In this one-off archive programme to celebrate Just A Minute's Golden Anniversary on the airwaves, Nicholas Parsons hosts a version of the popular panel show as you've never heard it before as guests from across the programme's history are brought together for one night only. Listeners of a sensitive nature should be warned that wanton hesitation, repetition and deviation will feature from the start.

 The other programme is on New Years Day and 50 Years of Just A Minute: An Audience with Nicholas Parsons features Nicholas interviewed by Paul... and others...
As part of the special programming celebrating 50 years of Just a Minute, Paul Merton talks to Nicholas Parsons about his life, and his 50 years of hosting Radio 4's beloved panel show, with guest appearances from some of the many regulars who have appeared over the years.
In a career which started in 1945, Nicholas Parsons has worked with an extraordinary range of people - from the golden age of British cinema in the 50s and 60s, to the seedy glamour of the Windmill Theatre where he rubbed shoulders with the cream of stand-up talent including Bruce Forsyth and Tommy Cooper.
He formed a famous double act with the legendary comic Arthur Haynes, and worked with him on both sides of the Atlantic - all before Just a Minute was even thought of.
In later years he worked with Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson, guest starred in Doctor Who, and will shortly be heard as the voice of God in a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens.
Not bad for a lad who started his career as an engineering apprentice on the Glasgow Docks...
 sounds good fun doesn't it - good on them for thinking up a new way of doing a clips programme!

November 22, 2017

Paul Merton video and other things

Paul did a talk/chat at the Oxford Union a few days ago and the video has been placed on YouTube.
You can see it here

Inevitably most of the questions are about his TV work, Have I Got News for You in particular. But he does answer a couple of questions on JAM. He says the show works because of the banter between the panellists when they are not actually playing the game. This is true, I think and it's certainly very true of the Kenneth years when the relationships between the panellists and Nicholas were the highlight really. Paul says a show where the players were consistently speaking without interruption for the whole minute probably wouldn't be much fun and that's true too.

He also talks about how one panellist used to glare at the others and be grumpy but the listening public couldn't see this. As he was saying it, I thought he was referring to Clement Freud, but he then said "she" so I guess he meant Wendy Richard.

It does make me think that an interesting thing would be to hear Paul and some of the other long-serving panellists being interviewed about the game. Paul is clearly very thoughtful about his comedy.

Inevitably though the centrepiece of the 50th anniversary celebrations is an interview with Nicholas to be conducted by Paul. I've been asked to submit a question so you may hear my voice as part of this programme - though it may also be dumped.

There is also to be an archive programme "with a twist". I've asked for broadcast dates so will post again if I get these.

Finally - an updated list of appearances this year... just 20 shows this year - though I guess the anniversary programmes may also be this year.

Paul Merton 18
Gyles Brandreth, Jenny Eclair, Zoe Lyons 6
Josie Lawrence 5
Sheila Hancock, Graham Norton 4
Tony Hawks, Julian Clary, Sue Perkins, Ross Noble, Stephen Fry, Marcus Brigstocke, Pam Ayres, Phill Jupitus, Rufus Hound, Tom Allen, Andy Hamilton, Fern Britton, Al Murray 2
 Fred MacAulay, Janey Godley, Paul Sinha, James Acaster, Mark Watson 1

It's interesting that there were far fewer debutants this year. Also Zoe Lyons appeared in all three seasons -  it's good to hear her but am not convinced she is a futre regular or semi-regular. What do you think?