Every Monday evening, while I am feeding Jade by throwing her Science Diet nuts around for her to chase and eat, hubby and I are convulsed with laughter as we listen to various celebrities playing Just a Minute on BBC Radio 4. In case you are not familiar with this game, I’ll explain the rules. The players take turns to start and the starter is given a topic on which to expound for 60 seconds. The others try to catch them out in repetition, deviation or hesitation. If someone is successful in this, that player takes over the chat, trying to complete the 60 seconds. Points are awarded for reaching the end and for accurate interruptions. After an inaccurate interruption, the point goes to the speaker.
Nicholas Parsons is in charge and tonight the players were the comedians, Paul Merton, Julian Cleary, Jenny Eclair and Richard Herring. Poor Richard came last and Nicholas excused him for not having played before, although I actually found references to his appearances on the panel in June last year.
The winner was Julian Cleary who gave a perfect, and hilariously smutty, full minute on ‘my potting shed’ without interruption. It doesn’t happen very often; it’s really difficult to pontificate for that long without repeating yourself, hesitating or going off track. Anyway it sounded like he got a standing ovation from the audience, so well done, Julian.
Paul Merton is so clever, he usually wins, but he was wasn’t on form tonight and only came third. Jenny Éclair was second despite a seeming fixation on Marks & Spencers at Marble Arch in London, to which she thinks a visit is a great adventure.
Anyway, it does make us laugh and lights up a dreary Monday when needed. I'm thinking of adding it to the itinerary of our next family get together, probably at Christmas.
You can listen on line at BBC i-player. Example here.