Friday, 27 February 2009
I agree entirely with the excellent Brit's comment below the Bouncing Fish - Paul Merton is indeed in his element on Just A Minute. He's probably the main reason why the show has found a new lease of life in its old age - it's been going ever since 1967, the year Radio 4 started, which is amazing longevity even for radio. Kenneth Williams also found a perfect niche on the show - to the point where some weeks he was virtually the whole show - and after he died it looked as if Just A Minute might run out of steam. But it was refreshed with new comedy blood and gradually regained its top form. Despite its age - not to mention Nicholas Parsons' - it comes up fresh and full of bounce week after week. But what I was meaning to post on was the unsettling news that I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - which should surely have been allowed to die naturally post-Humph (after all, there's 36 years of archive to draw on) - is to return, with three 'rotating' chairmen: Stephen Fry, Jack Dee and Rob Brydon. And the first in the chair will be the orotund, unstoppable Fry - a figure about as unlike Humph as it's possible to be. This could be a good thing, as there will be no question of trying to 'do a Humph' (he was genuinely unique and inimitable anyway) - but the prospect fills me with trepidation. Even if, with one or all of these chairmen, it works pretty well, it can never be the work of sheer radio genuis it was in the hands of Humph. It seems an awful shame to me that they're carrying on with it.