One Minute Please. Copyright: BBC.

One Minute Please

BBC Light Programme panel show forerunner to Just A Minute. Broadcast, 1951 - 1957. Stars Roy Plomley.

One Minute Please

The forerunner of Just A Minute, created by Ian Messiter

Panel Show
1951 - 1957
BBC Light Programme
Roy Plomley
Ian Messiter

One Minute Please was launched on the BBC Light Programme in August 1951. Invented by its producer Ian Messiter - the format was a trial of wits between teams of three male and three female celebrities - and a jury.

The programme would eventually spin-off to become Just A Minute. In this version too contestants still had to speak alternately on different subjects without pausing, without repeating themselves and without side-tracking. But unlike its successor, One Minute Please had a further twist of various passwords which the competitors didn't know, but were told to listeners in advance. The first mention of the password gained three points, but every time it was mentioned again a point was deducted. And if one team member felt someone wasn't sticking to the rules, he or she could buzz in and appeal to the jury - which could either reject it or award a point. A running total of winning teams was kept, so that either the men's or women's teams triumphed at the end of the series.

Production Details

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Broadcast details

Last repeat
Sunday 31st December 2017 at 8:30am on Radio 4 Extra