Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

January 07, 2018

2017 player rankings

For the 11th time - the annual JAM player rankings.

There were  25 JAM panellists in 20 shows this year, not including the two anniversary shows.

Numbers of shows looks like this...

Paul Merton 18
Gyles Brandreth, Jenny Éclair, 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, Tom Allen, Andy Hamilton, Rufus Hound, Fern Britton, Al Murray 2
Fred MacAulay, Janey Godley, Paul Sinha, James Acaster, Mark Watson 1

 For those interested in how I've ranked people in the past and checking out how good my picks were...

click here for 2016 rankings
 click here for 2015 rankings
 click here for 2014 rankings
click here for 2013 rankings
 click here for 2012 rankings
 click here for 2011 rankings
 click here for 2010 rankings
 click here for 2009 rankings
 click here for 2008 ranking
 click here for 2007 rankings

Those who appeared in 2016 but not in 2017 include Tim Rice, Holly Walsh, Pippa Evans, Josh Widdecombe, Nish Kumar, John Finnemore, Esther Rantzen, Katherine Ryan, Alexei Sayle and Will Self .

FERN BRITTON - over the past few years a few woman TV and radio presenters have been tried, but they don't very often seem to come off. It's a hard game to play with the blabbermouths who are on more regularly, but it will be surprising if she is on the show again.

FRED MACAULAY - Last year of the five I said wouldn't be back, Fred was the only one I got wrong. He seems to have scored a place again as a Scottish voice on the Edinburgh shows. But he just doesn't seem to get into the rhythm of the game.

AL MURRAY - Apart from on the first round, when he was given the gift subject of pubs, Al didn't seem to have much to say.

PAUL SINHA - OK but perhaps not quite quick-tongued enough.

MARK WATSON - Didn't make much of a mark (pun not intended).


JANEY GODLEY - She has become a Scottish tradition of Just A Minute. She is good fun, and her Twitter feed is memorable. Not sure this game is really the best outlet for her many talents, but as the section says, she has her moments.

ANDY HAMILTON - a witty panel game player who always has some good lines.

PHILL JUPITUS - It was good to hear Phill back on the programme again and he is a good contributor.

ZOE LYONS - She did six shows this year and she has a good energy about her.

ROSS NOBLE - I am a big fan of Ross, and he always has his moments. I'd like to see him on far more often.


JAMES ACASTER - I may be slightly influenced by his recent appearance on Would I Lie For You where he was very very good, but I thought he was pretty good on JAM too and I do hope he is on the programme again. One of the best of the young comedians.

MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE - It's always good news when Marcus is on the show.

JULIAN CLARY - one of those who is always funny and just fits in.

STEPHEN FRY - the panel game great graces JAM with a few appearances each year. He knows the game well now and we can only wish he would be on more often.

RUFUS HOUND - Bouncy, energetic and funny.


TOM ALLEN - Very impressed by Tom's shows, he has good humour, a quick wit and a touch of naughtiness that is reminiscent of Kenneth Williams.

JENNY ECLAIR - She is a delight whenever she is on the show, but more a top supporting act than a star.

TONY HAWKS - Sounded good this year with his good humour and cheeky wit.
GRAHAM NORTON - like a good wine he is ageing well.

SUE PERKINS - Away for two years but immediately back to her usual sharp-tongued form.


5th best
GYLES BRANDRETH - Becoming something of an institution on the show, Gyles's quick tongue and treasure trove of stories makes him a valuable contributor.

4th best
PAM AYRES - She has a unique, eccentric and very funny style, that just makes any show she is on so much better. Just great.

Bronze medal
SHEILA HANCOCK - Is it possible she just gets better every year? To me, she is still the cheeky quick witted young women who battled with Kenneth Williams so many years ago. Except these days he turns her wit on herself in a way that is just so much fun.

Silver medal
JOSIE LAWRENCE - If Paul retired from the programme, Josie would be the ideal replacement as the show's glue. She's a cut above as a funny, sharp competitor.

Champion of the year
PAUL MERTON - In a way every year Paul wins because he is the glue that holds things together. Capable of injecting himself at any time to lift the show. The best moments pretty much always have Paul at the heart of them, and let's be honest - if he had decided a few years ago to give up the show, likely the show wouldn't have made it to 50. Britain's greatest improvisational comedian is the key reason JAM remains the king of radio panel games .


Blogger dagi said...

These annual rankings are totally unmissable!

Where was Liza Tarbuck in 2017? One of my favourite contestants.

I agree with your views, insightful as ever.

12:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great rankings.i agree with your stars of the year.do you think paul merton will end up being the chairman after nicholas retires?

6:25 pm  

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