Sunday ponderings at Chez Bruce

I just was up pottering round the kitchen, so I stuck the radio on (decided it didn’t really become me, so I put it back on top of the bread bin), ah, Just a Minute, yay!  Wait, what? That Gyles Brandreth was getting a tad presumptuous declaring who got a point, Nicholas will sort him out ….. er, Mr Parsons? Um, not there! But this show was clearly recorded at this year’s Fringe, where is he?

A scramble round to locate an object with Google (no, I don’t have Alexa, I don’t reckon we’d get on) and a few minutes of frantic tapping later, and I’m ok, he’s ok, phew! Well, he is getting on, 95 years old and has only missed one other JaM recording, coming in after the start and not hearing his dulcet tones is definitely cause for concern.

Gyles Brandreth did make a pretty good go of being chairman, is he looking to the future and making a bid now for the seat? Yes, sadly it will inevitably happen at some point, Nicholas will ascend to that great game show in the sky – just think of all the marvellous line-ups available! On the one hand Mr Brandreth does like to talk at length and battle his corner against his opponents, would he want to give up the cut and thrust of competing? On the other hand, listening to him, he may well relish the power to award points and to pontificate chairmanly, hmmm.

Would Just A Minute even continue without Nicholas Parsons at the helm? To many this would be unthinkable. After all, we can always jump into the archives for classic Parsons JaM, if we so wish. Indeed, I am in the “unthinkable” party, but, isn’t it great hearing newer voices come on, getting to grips with JaM? Unlike some comedy shows, comedians cannot rely on their bank of material for JaM, they have to be quick-witted, attentive and eloquent. The show today had Mark Watson on it, a lovely funny chap but his speech pattern does seem to naturally include a lot of hesitation (ok, and he’s fairly new to JaM as well); I did enjoy Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, I thought she found her spot somewhere through the show, then really got into it, her name is now on my radar.

It has been said that Just A Minute will finish when Nicholas Parsons goes, but didn’t we all think the same about I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue after Humph died? I for one quickly recognised Jack Dee as a very natural successor, his deadpan, irritable style fitted in perfectly. But thankfully that time is not is not yet upon us (he says, just quickly checking BBC News), and long may that be so. In fact, if Nicholas Parsons makes it to 100, I think that day should be declared a National Holiday, who’s with me? 😆

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