Monday, 26 March 2012

Just a Minute



'Just a Minute' is my favourite Radio 4 programme.  Hosted by the ageless (well almost 90 actually) Nicholas Parsons the simple format requires each of the four panelists to speak for one minute on a given subject without hesitation, repetition or deviation.  Simple yet very difficult when put to it.  At any infringement of the rules others will jump in and collect a point, if correct, and often huge hilarity does come about.  

Today however saw yet another attempt to transfer this long running show to television.  During the forty five years since it first began, in 1967 before I was born you understand, there have been occasional short lived TV adaptations, none of which have worked.  It took just a minute to realise that once more it will fail!  The whole power of the game lies in the spoken word, and television looks for image, not words.  The gimmick on this occasion, to enliven the programme for stupid people, was to keep the camera constantly moving slowly as the panelist spoke.  Worse still was that other needlessly annoying habit of closing slowly into the speakers face until we are right up their nose!   Not something we do in the normal conversations we have I believe.  

I couldn't look!  Instead I played a solitaire game, not easy on this laptop, there again nothing is easy on this brute, and listened while they made their hesitant way to completion of the programme.  Indeed there were good moments, although heightening the laughter needlessly as TV does was not one of them, but this is a standard for radio programmes, and will not succeed on TV until TV people consider the viewer rather than their trendy ideas.  The image, and the trendy fashion of the day, concerns TV people far too much.  The last thing they care about is the viewer.  Return the programme to the radio please, and another blessing is we don't have to look at Sue Perkins either!


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8 comments:

Jenny Woolf said...

Surely they haven't taken it off the radio have they? I heard it just a few days ago I am sure. I agree with you, it rarely works to put radio shows on TV and half the fun of listening to the radio is NOT having to look at the tv.

Jenny Woolf said...

Wouldn't have guessed Nicholas Parsons was nearly ninety though, amazing !

Mike Smith said...

That and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue are just brilliant. Nicholas Parsons doesn't look 88.

Adullamite said...

Jenny, I think it remains on radio but this is yet another attempt to cash in, and Parsons is indeed 88.

Mike, I agree! Clue wouldn't work on TV either!

Mametz said...

I recall a joke from the excellent 70's radio program "Hello Cheeky" - "First prize tonight is a blank sheet of paper entitled How I became a star by Nicolas Parsons."

I remember him on Anglia TV doing MR and Mrs - He's a national treasure, might even be owned by the National Trust, with a walk in coffee shop.

Adullamite said...

Mametz, He is old enough to be owned by the national trust! :)

Relax Max said...

It sounds hilarious. I do agree, however, that tv is no place to be showing talking people.

Adullamite said...

Max, TV is for images, such as football!