Just A Minute to be adapted for TV for 45th anniversary

Thursday 20th October 2011 @ 12pm by Ian Wolf

Just A Minute. Image shows from L to R: Nicholas Parsons, Paul Merton. Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.One of the longest running panel games in the world, Radio 4's Just A Minute, is to be adapted for television to celebrate the show's 45th anniversary.

A ten-part series will be broadcast in BBC Two's daytime schedule, presented by long-serving host Nicholas Parsons and featuring semi-regular panellist Paul Merton. Episodes will be recorded in November at BBC Television Centre and will be broadcast early next year. If successful, more series may be commissioned.

Parsons says: "After 45 years of chairing Just A Minute on the radio, I am excited to be hosting these special celebratory episodes for BBC Two. I'm sure they will be popular with the show's many fans and hopefully with a few new ones as well."

Just A Minute first began in 1967, the same year that BBC Radio 4 was established. Created by Ian Messiter, the object is for the panellists to talk on a given subject for a whole minute while obeying three seemingly simple rules: they must avoid repetition (you are not allowed to repeat anything you have said, except the subject on the card); hesitation (you must not stop talking); and deviation (from the subject, logic, the English language, etc).

With a weekly audience of millions, the series is one of Radio 4's most poular, and through broadcasts on the World Service has a global fanbase of several million more. Alongside I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue and The News Quiz, it is often regarded as one of the "Big Three" Radio 4 comedy panel games.

The late Clement Freud, Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones used to take part regularly. Current semi-regular players joining Parsons and Merton include Sue Perkins, Gyles Brandreth, Tony Hawks, Graham Norton, Julian Clary and Shelia Hancock. The BBC says viewers can expect to see a selection of the show's stalwarts, as well as some new players, taking part in the TV version.

However, this will not be the first TV adaptation of the series. London ITV broadcaster Carlton first brought the format to screens in the mid 1990s where it ran for two series. The BBC produced their own version in 1999, but neither were deemed particularly successful. Most recently the panel show appeared on TV as part of David Walliams's 24 Hour Panel People, in which the Little Britain star played a selection of different panel games over a period for 24 hours for Comic Relief.

Liam Keelan, the Controller of BBC Daytime, who commissioned the new series, says: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be bringing this much-loved radio classic to screens in celebration of its 45th birthday. I know it's something that daytime viewers and fans of the radio series will love to see."

Derek McLean, Entertainment Creative Director, adds: "Just A Minute was a huge success during Comic Relief's 24 Hour Panel People marathon, where David Walliams enjoyed a baptism of fire at the hands of Nicholas and the Just A Minute regulars. With the 45th anniversary looming, we just couldn't resist the chance to treat TV viewers to another dose of this legendary comedy institution."

Here is a clip from the 1990s ITV series:


Here is a recent TV advert promoting the radio series:


And here is filmed version of an edition of the game played at the Edinburgh Festival earlier this year:


Our Guide to 'Just A Minute'

 

Latest News

Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights to return as a live show?

Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights to return as a live show?

Newspaper reports suggest that Peter Kay is working on bringing his hit sitcom Phoenix Nights back for some live shows for Comic Relief.

Hancock's Half Hour star Bill Kerr dies aged 92

Hancock's Half Hour star Bill Kerr dies aged 92

Bill Kerr, who played Tony Hancock's dim-witted Australian sidekick in Hancock's Half Hour, has died at the age of 92.

Frankie Boyle criticises TV comedy

Frankie Boyle criticises TV comedy

Frankie Boyle has blasted TV commissioners for not taking risks, and criticised Mock The Week for no longer talking about important topics.

John Kearns wins Best Show at Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2014

John Kearns wins Best Show at Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2014

The results of the prestigious Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2014 have been announced. John Kearns, Alex Edelman and Phil Ellis are the winners.

BBC One orders comedy drama from Emma Kennedy

BBC One orders comedy drama from Emma Kennedy

BBC One has ordered a comedy drama series based on Emma Kennedy's best-selling book, The Tent, The Bucket and Me.

BBC One orders mountain rescue sitcom Mountain Goats

BBC One orders mountain rescue sitcom Mountain Goats

BBC One has ordered Mountain Goats, a sitcom about a mountain rescue team. The comedy was piloted earlier this year under the title Miller's Mountain.

Get More News

In The Press

In The Press

The latest press clippings from the newspapers and various internet blogs.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get news and more in your inbox every Monday.

Twitter

Twitter Feed

You can follow us on Twitter too. We post the latest news and gossip every evening.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our headlines in your news reader software.