Running Time 11hrs
Twenty-two episodes of the ever-popular BBC Radio 4 panel game chaired by Nicholas Parsons, showcasing five key players from the past five decades – Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Paul Merton – and including two very special editions of the show.
Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Paul Merton are the ‘Famous Five’ of Just a Minute: sparkling raconteurs whose sharp wits and skill made them consistently a pleasure to listen to. Each brings their own unique quality to the show, and this box set showcases their highlights – the moments which reveal these talented players at the very top of their game. Also among the featured shows are the first ever Just a Minute, plus the 25th anniversary edition and the infamous episode when Clement Freud failed to appear and the show’s ever capable chairman Nicholas Parsons replaced him as a panellist. Full of fast-paced, irreverent fun and ferocious competition, this collection is a goldmine of wonderful comedy nuggets from five fantastically funny comedians.
Ian Messiter was the creator of a number of quizzes and game shows, but is best known as the inventor of the massively popular and long-running radio panel game Just a Minute.
Paul Merton (Reader)
Paul Merton was born in 1957, long before such things were fashionable. He spent his first eight years living within cheering distance of Fulham Football ground at Craven Cottage although he can’t remember any cheering. Upon
leaving school with two ropey A Levels and a CSE Grade 5 Maths, Paul enlisted in the Civil Service where he survived for two and a half years. He made his stand-up debut at London’s Comedy Store in 1982 where his policeman on acid routine regularly stopped the show. In 1985 he joined the Comedy Store Players, an improvised comedy group which led, in 1988, to him appearing on Whose Line is it Anyway? for the first few series before he couldn’t stick it anymore.
He has appeared on Have I Got News For You as a team captain since 1990 and is also proud of his other long running gig, Radio 4’s Just a Minute.
Other TV highlights include his eponymous surreal sketch series from 1991-3; interviewing Spike Milligan in what was to be his last major television appearance as host of Room 101; and making several programmes about early
cinema, including The Birth Of Hollywood which he co-wrote with his wife, Suki Webster.
He still performs with the Comedy Stores Players every Sunday.
Clement Freud (Reader)
Sir Clement Freud, grandson of Sigmund, was born in Berlin, 1924. His varied career began in Britain as one of our first ‘celebrity chefs’, and then as a familiar face on TV in a series of dog food adverts. In 1973 he became the liberal MP for Ely and retained his seat for 14 years, subsequently being awarded a knighthood. He was a much-loved regular panellist on long-running Radio 4 show Just a Minute.
Nicholas Parsons was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, in 1923 and moved to London with his family at the age of eight. His career in entertainment spanned eight decades and, in 2004, he was awarded an OBE for his services to drama and broadcasting. He died in January 2020 after a short illness.