“Just a Minute”. The pinnacle of British comedy?

For almost forty years ‘Just a Minute‘ (JaM) has been a regular staple of the more sophisticated side of British humour. The current series on Radio4, featuring the usual octogenarian team of Nicholas Parsons and Clement Freud and regulars Paul Merton, Lisa Tarbuck et al is particular delightful.

Nicholas Parsons in age-defying mood (image from bbc.co.uk)

I don’t know whether somebody has been mixing Donezepil into Freud’s and Parsons’ coffee, but these old codgers are currently flying. Supported by their younger team mates, they certainly showcase how witty you can be in your eighties. On top of that, Clement Freud seems to have taken his inhalers regularly, as he doesn’t have to pause every two seconds between sentences to catch his breath.

Paul Merton waiting for Clement Freud to take a breath (image from guardian.co.uk)

Janet Street Porters accusations of Radio 4 being utterly middleclass are of course utter hyperbole (The middle class’s radio tuning dial is firmly welded to Radio2). I would call Radio 4 and it’s brillant comedy output rather the station for the thinking class. And thinkers are classless.

One thought on ““Just a Minute”. The pinnacle of British comedy?

  1. Couldn’t agree more – being an avid R4 listener myself. If you’re tired of thinking let yourself be intelligently bemused by the new Rudy’s Record Shop (by and with Lenny Henri, Tuesdays 6:30pm) and the Museum of Curiosities (with Bill Baley, Wednesdays 6:30pm).

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