Just A Minute - In The Press
Main News Stories About 'Just A Minute':
Radio 4 panel games come and go. In some cases they come, then stick around for decades after you wish they'd disappeared. But not this one, which might still be the best of the bunch. Nicholas Parsons, Paul Merton and other regulars are back for the show's 66th series - and in the first episode, fans will be holding their breath for 60 full seconds as Graham Norton achieves the rare feat of speaking for a minute without hesitating, deviating or repeating himself. Pam Ayres and new BBC2 sketch-comedy star Kevin Eldon round out a great panel.
Jack Seale, The Radio Times, 21st May 2013
As any JAM fan will tell you, it's not often that a panellist speaks for the whole minute, uninterrupted, without deviation, hesitation or repetition, but that's exactly what Graham Norton does here. Admittedly, he does have a distinct advantage with his subject matter - it's the Eurovision Song Contest - but even so, it's a rare enough event to inspire a warm and spontaneous round of applause from the audience.
Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 20th May 2013
Written by Richard Herring. Metro, 12th June 2012
Written by Tilusha Ghelani. BBC Radio 4 Blog, 3rd April 2012
This week there was the last of two special episodes on BBC Radio 4 that were recorded in India (a documentary about the India episodes is on Radio 4 at 11.30 on Monday 2nd April), featuring regulars Nicholas Parsons and Paul Merton, English comedian Marcus Brigstocke, and Indian comedians Cyrus Broacha and Anuvab Pal. Topics for discussion included "It's just not cricket" and "Mumbai traffic".
For 45 years, Just a Minute has been challenging contestants to talk for one minute on a subject without hesitation, deviation or repetition - a feat seldom achieved. To celebrate its milestone birthday, the host of the BBC Radio 4 panel game - Nicholas Parsons - travelled to India to meet some of the game's fans, and to record special editions of the programme. On his journey, he found fast-paced hybrid versions of Just a Minute - so-called 'jamming' - being played in clubs across the country.
Written by Nicholas Parsons. BBC News, 2nd April 2012
Forty-five years after its invention, Just a Minute is taking its singular mix of the clever and the silly to India for two shows. The location, the Mumbai Comedy Store, changed the whole feel of the programme. Over here, it tends to take place in halls, where the laughter echoes; in the Comedy Store, the audience sounded like it was almost on top of the performers (Paul Merton and Marcus Brigstocke plus domestic talent Anuvab Pal and Cyrus Broacha), in what felt like a bearpit.
On a cold winter's evening I made my way to London's BBC Television Centre. Something rather special was taking place. To celebrate 45 years of a classic radio comedy show, those rich cousins in TV were recording a special series of Just a Minute, featuring its ever present chairman, Nicholas Parsons, joined by regular player Paul Merton and a host of favourite all-star panellists.
Written by Peter McHugh. BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra Blog, 15th March 2012
A special edition of the show as it hits its 45th birthday. "Am I really that old?" asks 88-year-old host Nicholas Parsons, thinking back to when the series started in 1967, and has to answer himself with an honest "Yes".
Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 6th February 2012
If I may say this without repetition, hesitation or deviation, a radio institution celebrates an anniversary on Monday as the splendid Nicholas Parsons introduces the panel show he has chaired since its inception in just a minute.
The brilliant Radio 4 panel show is to get a run of 10 episodes on BBC2 to celebrate its 45th birthday. Will you be watching?
Written by Vicky Frost. The Guardian, 20th October 2011
The true story behind what prompted Ian Messiter to come up with the idea for radio classic Just A Minute, which is being turned into a major BBC Television series.
Written by Martin Chilton. The Daily Telegraph, 20th October 2011
The brilliantly simple format and a host of incredible players are the reasons for its longevity - long may it continue.
Written by Johnny Dee. The Guardian, 17th May 2011
Just a Minute, the Methuselah of panel games, has been going since 1967 with plenty of hesitation and repetition, but still no sight of the final whistle. Preserved like an intact fossil in the sedimentary layer of radio history, its formula remains perfect, its host Nicholas Parsons unchanged, despite 60 years on radio, and new talent accretes like barnacles on its venerable frame. The latest guests who are likely to stay the distance are Terry Wogan, who should be fabulous if he can cope with the hesitation rule, and Rick Wakeman, rock star and anarchic thinker who turns out to be an amusing and quick-witted addition to the ranks of Radio 4 comedians.
Sir Terry Wogan is to become a panellist on long-running BBC Radio 4 gameshow Just A Minute.
BBC News, 18th January 2011
Invented by Ian Messiter in 1967, now starting its 57th season, still brilliantly chaired by resourceful Nicholas Parsons (who got the gig when Jimmy Edwards, the original choice for chairman, said he'd rather play polo than turn up on a Sunday to record the pilot episode). Messiter, who also invented Many a Slip and other fondly remembered amusements, used to wear red socks at recordings, for luck. Perhaps "red socks" could be a subject for tonight's panel, Graham Norton, Paul Merton, Gyles Brandreth and Jenny Eclair, as they strive to fill their 60 seconds.
After 43 years at the helm of 'Just a Minute', nothing can keep the all-round entertainer down. Andrew Johnson meets Nicholas Parsons.
Written by Andrew Johnson. The Independent on Sunday, 18th April 2010
For more than 40 years, contestants on Radio 4's Just A Minute have tried to outdo each other by talking for 60 seconds without "without repetition, hesitation or deviation". Now however, the increasingly competitive nature of the show has sparked a fierce debate among listeners about whether the constant stream of interruptions are actually ruining its flow.
Written by Urmee Khan. Daily Telegraph, 24th March 2010
If you prefer your comedy straight up this week's Just a Minute sees panellists Tony Hawks, Josie Lawrence, Justin Moorhouse and Dave Gorman at Derby University this week, talking about mature students, Derby, paying off student loans and Zanzibar (which happens to be the name of the student bar in Derby). The players' verbal dexterity is amusing, but it's their petty squabbling and Nicholas Parsons's exasperation that provide the belly laughs. And if this show doesn't snap you out of the January blues, there's probably no helping you until spring arrives.
There were real laughs to be had, and plenty of them, on Just a Minute (Radio 4, Sunday), the last in the current series. The mood was already rather hysterical ("When I look at that beautiful masculine form I can't help but think of King Kong" said Paul Merton of host Nicholas Parsons) when Gyles Brandreth was given the topic of "pretentious vocabulary". Off he went, unstoppably, unleashing a torrent of verbal flourishes. So unstoppable, in fact, that they let him go beyond the full minute. Moments later, Brandreth was emboldened to assert that he has no hair on his body at all. "Show us your chest," suggested Parsons. "Dear Lord," muttered Pauline McLynn. "Off, off, off!" chanted the audience. "What on earth," asked Graham Norton, "has happened to Radio 4?"
It's Just a Minute, Jim, but not as you know it. The long-running BBC Radio 4 comedy series has been reinvented for the web, and they've only gone and put pictures to it. Not only pictures, but some rather clever animations to go with 60-second discussions of sudoku, CCTV and Monkey's favourite, good old digital audio broadcasting (DAB) radio.
Written by Monkey. The Guardian, 25th September 2009
Today I fulfilled one of my professional ambitions. In fact I think I can now die happy. I was on Radio 4's "Just A Minute".
Written by Richard Herring. RichardHerring.com, 18th August 2009
Chris Neill, who has both produced and appeared on Just a Minute, offers a behind-the-scenes view.
Written by Chris Neill. The Telegraph, 27th July 2009
Flights of fancy from BBC Radio 4's panel game Just a Minute are to be given an animated spin on the BBC's new-look comedy website - part of a major move towards web-only comedy commissions. Comedy indie Angel Eye has asked animators to illustrate monologues by panellists such as Paul Merton and the late Clement Freud, with a brief to reflect the often surreal avenues taken.
Broadcast, 14th May 2009
In homage to Sir Clement Freud, The Telegraph imagines a few new contestants being recruited to replace him.
Written by Jim White. The Telegraph, 18th April 2009