There are some shows on the BBC that are icons in their own right – they’ve gone beyond just being normal ‘radio’ and moved into the realm of culture and … well Britishness.
One of those shows is Just a Minute, chaired by the lovely Nicholas Parsons for the entirety of its 35 year run – alongside some of the fastest, sharpest wits of three generations.
Over the decades we’ve Paul Merton, Shappi Khorsandi, Graham Norton, Charles Collingwood, Clement Freud, Helen Lederer, Julian Clary, Josie Long, Liza Tarbuck, Sue Perkins, Gyles Brandreth, Jack Dee, Josie Lawrence, Tony Hawks, Chris Neill and Justin Moorhouse.
And in a previous era, now sadly missed include Linda Smith, Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones, but do you remember these panellists? Aimi MacDonald, Alfred Marks, Liz Frazer, Willie Rushton, Warren Mitchell, Barbara Castle, Prunella Scales, Fenella Fielding, Beryl Reid, Magnus Pyke, Thora Hird, Pam Ayres, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Cribbins and Patrick Moore. And recently, Brian from The Archers.
All of whome have attempted to talk for 60 seconds on a subject without deviation, repetition or hesitation – obviously the show is at its best when that doesn’t happen.
I’ve listened to a LOT of JAM – from the early editions right through to those being made and broadcast right now – thanks to the wonders of modern Bit…. you get the idea. Actually I’ve listened to a lot of them through audiobooks and only filled in the gaps with bit torrent.
Two of the most recent editions of the show have included Paul Merton, Shiela Hancock, Clement Freud and David Mitchell and they’ve been among the best I’ve heard.
That’s why this is my iPlayer pick of the week.