British Comedy Guide

Ian Messiter

Why Just a Minute hides a far more ruthless reality

Just A Minute has become one of the nation's most beloved radio shows -- but it began as a classroom humiliation, inflicted on daydreamers by a history teacher at Sherborne School in the Thirties.

Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail, 1st December 2017

The humiliating experience that sparked Just A Minute

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.

Martin Chilton, The Telegraph, 20th October 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.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 31st July 2010