I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - In The Press

Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Jeremy Hardy and Jack Dee are taking the beloved radio show on the road. Here's some facts about them.

Written by Brian Donaldson. The List, 28th January 2014

There are the kind of jokes that often would make a Christmas cracker blush, but if you're in the right mood, it's hard not to find groans transformed into belly laughs by the relentless wordplay in I'm Sorry I Haven't Got A Clue. Tim Brooke-Taylor's contribution to this week's new dictionary definitions round helped wrap up the end of the 60th series (60th!) with a typically silly riff.

"Adamant: the very first male ant. Buoyant: Adam Ant's son. Descant: an ant with an office job. Distant: an ant who's been slagged off. Equidistant: an ant who's been slagged off by a horse. Hydrant: an ant with three heads. Mutant: an ant who's lost his voice. Tyrant: an ant who works for Kwik-fit. Incessant: an ant who's sleeping with his sister."

Richard Vine, The Guardian, 20th December 2013

"Colindale."

"Umm, de-de-de-dum-deh ..... Ealing Broadway."

"Ohh, ohh, ohh, ooohh."

"Yesss."

"Oh, hold up, hold up."

"No, no, no, no, it's the western approach, it's wide open there now."

"Yes."

"Barons Court short."

"Nice."

"Queensway"

"Yeahh."

"Can he do that?"

He surely can. This, ladies and gents of the non-I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue-listening order, is from a transcript of a charming game on the Radio 4 show, entitled "Mornington Crescent".

Charming, that is, for anyone who grew up listening to it with mummy and daddy and fell about to its whimsy; because if you come to it late and are trying to work out the rules, you'll be stymied: there are none. The players simply name stations on the Tube until one utters the Northern Line's least exciting stop. The skill comes in making it seem as though it's a game of strategy. Ha, and indeed, ha.

Now, the best of "middle-class humour", as diverse and hard to pinpoint as that might be, is fantastic. Michael McIntyre's observations are as smooth as Stewart Lee's battering of the mass market is acerbic. But this sort of "if you're not in the club, we're not telling you how to join" nonsense in the name of comedy flies in the very face of middle-class politeness.

Not that we care - never wanted to join your stupid club anyway.

*Walks off in huff*

Robert Epstein and Hugh Montgomery, The Independent on Sunday, 4th August 2013

Plans for a TV version of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue were dropped - because executives thought the teams were too old.

Chortle, 27th January 2013

It is the end of an era: I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue is to lay off the jokes about Lionel Blair.

Chortle, 18th December 2012

Tony Hawks, playing I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue sings Gangnam Style.

Audio Boo, 27th November 2012

No disrespect to Eton schoolboys or Ai Weiwei ("Gangnam Style is YouTube's most-viewed", 26 November), but surely the highest accolade that can be bestowed on Psy's Gangnam Style is to have the viral dance track included on Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. Last week's hilarious rendition by Tony Hawks as part of "pick up song" is a classic.

Gordon Williams, The Guardian, 26th November 2012

As the long-running Radio 4 show returns, the stalwart panelist celebrates the late Humphrey Lyttelton, his replacement Jack Dee - and the importance of silliness.

Written by Barry Cryer. The Radio Times, 12th November 2012

The late Humphrey Lyttelton once wrote: 'As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from desiccation.' No radio show has aided that cause greater than I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.

The Daily Mail, 24th September 2012

Veteran comic broadcaster Tim Brooke-Taylor recalls his 40 years on Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue...

Written by Neil Tweedie. The Telegraph, 9th January 2012

Writer, comedian and former Goodie Graeme Garden, 68, lives in Oxfordshire with his second wife Emma.

The Telegraph, 14th August 2011

There is no better place to seek out a little light relief than I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, now incredibly in its 55th series. Doubtless many long term fans of the show who still pine for Humphrey Lyttelton as chair, but Jack Dee does a fine job, especially when he throws in a few dry asides.

In the first instalment of the new series, recorded at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall, regulars Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer and Tim Brooke-Taylor were joined by relative newcomer Marcus Brigstocke, the latter managing to impress his cohorts with a classy move during a round of Mornington Cresent. With Colin Sell at the piano and Samantha on the scoreboard, the endless nonsense and wit was still laugh out loud funny, my favourite moment on this occasion being Summertime sung to the theme from Jim'll Fix It.

Lisa Martland, The Stage, 6th July 2011

The main problem I have with I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue as a reviewer is that it's impossible to review such a classic show, one which has been on the air for nearly 40 years. What can you say about it that hasn't been said already?

Well, let's start off with the guest panellist - first-timer Marcus Brigstocke. Out of the four panellists (the others being the three regulars, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden), he seemed to have the funniest bits. Maybe he was the funniest, maybe it's the show's view to make the guest look the funniest, I don't know. However, he did seem to have many high points in the episode I listened to - his rendition of "Common People" to the tune of "If You're Happy and Know It", for example, was great.

There was also the introduction of a new round in this show called "Heston's Services". This was akin to similar rounds such as "Book Club" and "Film Club", in this case coming up with meals that Heston Blumenthal would serve at a motorway service station.

The other main component of the show, of course, is host Jack Dee. I know that there are lot of people out there who won't accept him as host and won't be happy until Humphrey Lyttelton is exhumed, reanimated and blowing his trumpet in the chair for all eternity, but Dee does a good job as far as I'm concerned.

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 4th July 2011

Video of Nicholas Parsons being inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.

Written by Steve Bowbrick. BBC Radio 4 Blog, 29th October 2010

The regeneration of the host of I'm Sorry I Haven't Got A Clue is complete: Jack Dee has finally fully transformed into the grouch we know and ... the grouch we know. Just A Minute returns next week, a handover Jack celebrated with a game entitled Just A Minim - "the teams' musical version of the longrunning wireless favourite hosted by Nicholas Parsons. I never miss him."

Earlier the teams had supplied us with some new definitions - internet is what the England team didn't do at the World Cup, asterisk is the chances of being hit by an asteroid and fallacy is "like a penis". The last gag was from David Mitchell - brilliant panel guest as ever, but I'm beginning to worry about him. Hasn't he got a home to go to? And if he has, does it contain a panel show in every room?

Johnny Dee, The Guardian, 29th July 2010

Jack Dee has been winning hearts and minds as the new host of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. Enough words have been spoken about the totemic Humphrey Lyttelton, so I'll not weigh them up here. But on the self-titled "antidote to panel games", Dee is the perfect antidote to the cloying comfiness of the audience clapping along to "one song to the tune of another". You're left with the distinct impression that he's flashing them a trademark pitying sneer, and it's like a palate cleanser, allowing you to enjoy the craftsmanship of panelists Cryer, Garden, Brooke-Taylor and, this week, Toksvig.

Celine Bijleveld, The Guardian, 8th July 2010

The grumpy comic has taken over from the late Humphrey Lyttleton and proved a hit. But are some presenters simply irreplaceable?

Written by Ryan Gilbey. The Guardian, 5th July 2010

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue is a sad show now, the ghost of what it was. I never thought the day would come, and I really wish it hadn't, but I sat through last night's start to the new run with one smile and a single snigger.

Written by Gillian Reynolds. The Telegraph, 22nd June 2010

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue returns with Jack Dee in the chair solemnly reading his script and distributing questions. The audience (in Cheltenham) roar their appreciation throughout. In fact, the Clue participants seem under the dangerous delusion that they're at some private party rather than doing a radio show.

Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph, 19th June 2010

Pub close to I Haven't Got A Clue Tube station is renamed after jazz musician.

Written by Dan Carrier. The Camden New Journal, 27th May 2010

Barry Cryer, stalwart of BBC Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, has attacked modern comedians for being "cynical" and "cruel".

Written by Stephen Adams. The Telegraph, 19th November 2009

By chance, John Humphrys asking "Would you like a turn?" featured as one of the Questions That Are Never Asked on the new series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. The choice of Jack Dee to take over from the lamented Humphrey Lyttleton was an inspired one, even if his first joke about Jacqui Smith's husband destroying her career "single-handed" did sound a lot like [c]The News Quiz[/x]. Fortunately, with the help of panellists like Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden, the programme's unique flavour remains. Like Wogan's world, the "antidote to panel games" depends a lot on the surreal, the in-joke, and the trick of being risqué without being offensive. New games like Pensioners Film Club ("Death in Fenwicks" "The Postman Always Has to Knock Twice") mixed with old favourites like One Song to the Tune of Another. The sound of Rob Brydon singing the words of Jim'll Fix it to tune of "Mad World" made me choke with laughter. The problem with in-jokes though, is that people get them too quickly. At one point Jack Dee had to issue the howling audience with a plaintive reprimand. "I have got punch lines... please wait."

Jane Thynne, The Independent, 19th November 2009

British Comedy Guide columnist Si Hawkins ponders Jack Dee's promotion to the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue hotseat, and harks back to some unheard Humphrey Lyttelton for a few words of wisdom.

Written by Si Hawkins. Circuit Training, 29th October 2009

Comedian Jack Dee will host the next series of long-running BBC Radio 4 show I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.

BBC News, 16th October 2009

Like Private Eye, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue is one of those comic institutions where the idiosyncrasies and familiar jokes are glorious fun for the initiated, but mildly baffling to the outsider.

Written by James Kettle. The Guardian, 26th September 2009

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