Finally! A television programme I can just listen to.
I wasn’t old enough to really be interested in Just A Minute the last time it was broadcast on TV, back in 1999. In the intervening years, however, I have grown to love the radio show, as I have several of its Radio 4 stablemates, such as I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and (many years ago) Dead Ringers, so it’s great to see it on television to celebrate its 45th Anniversary. Just A Minute succeeds on both the television and the radio where something like ISIHAC wouldn’t, as there is no conceit – just three simple rules, five brilliant minds, and an awful lot of fun.
What sets Just A Minute apart from other panel shows on TV is that it’s not full of circuit comedians peddling bits from their stand-up shows. Mock the Week is fantastic in that I can get the same jokes but without having to fork out £25 for a ticket. The skill of Paul Merton and co. is that they let their imaginations and natural, unscripted wit flow forth without the need for preparation. It makes for highly entertaining radio, and transfers very well to the TV. Congratulations to whoever commissioned it – the format may be 45 years old, but it’s still one of the freshest comedies on our screens in years.
View episode 1 here