Since 1975 or 76 I have listened regularly to 'Just a Minute,' the wonderful radio panel show hosted by Nicholas Parsons. In fact Parsons has hosted every show since the first one way back in 1967. The basic rules are simple. Four panel members are given a subject, often obscure, and they must chat about this for one minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation. This is of course much harder than it seems and at times has produced an excellent half hours worth of laughter.
Throughout the show wit, repartee and a quick response has been the regular order with occasional bits of smut thrown in, usually by Clement Freud or Kenneth Williams. Now however this programme has become a sad shadow of itself. Wit is replaced by constant smut and the old fashioned seaside postcard 'dropped drawers' humour abounds. Julian Clary and his one joke alongside Gyles Brandreth and his gay obsession reduces the programme to a low level, Brandreth being the worst offender. He does indeed possess talent and ability to speak well but insists on jokes 12 year old's would not find funny yet appears with monotonous regularity on the show these days. When the attempt to televise the show was attempted yet again recently it appeared more like 'Just a Gay' rather than 'Just a Minute,' the BBC liberal agenda being more important than the programme or the viewer. That flopped as such programmes do on TV but the present show is a poor reflection of what was once humour at its finest. Wit, banter and laughs, sadly usually missing today. Maybe this reflects society, maybe it reflects the small group from whom all panelists are chosen. I myself have lost interest and Radio comedy is a lot less funny than it has been in the past. Very sad that.