January 18, 2007

Horse 706 - Just A Minute

Currently at 10 to midnight and thanks to the miracle of the internet I'm listening to that perennial panel game Just A Minute on BBC Radio 4. The rules of this game (which was invented atop a number 13 bus) are dead simple. One has to speak on a subject without hesitation, repetition of any words or deviation from the subject.
This in principle sounds like a simple thing to do but if you consider even within the confines of this very sentence the amount of times that someone actually repeats a word, you'll find that it's actually quite a hard thing to do.

A point is given to anyone who is able to make a correct challenge on any of the rules or alternatively, if an incorrect challenge is made the point is given to the person who was interrupted. Bonus points are awarded for keeping the subject at the end and for any witty remarks for which the chairman happens to find amusing.

Due to the nature of the scoring system, the points are often quite idiosyncratic and it is possible to speak for an entire 59 seconds without a mistake and still not get even so much as a single point for your effort. Contestants like Clement Freud and Paul Merton are particularly good at making interjections for the sole purpose of winning bonus points.

I think one thing that the show does is still show the power of radio as a medium. You can very easily do something else like the ironing while the program is on. Radio game shows are something I think have been sadly lost on the Australian public, and I for one thank the BBC for continuing to produce them.
If I was given my wish, I should like to run a version of this on Vega with me as chairman. Wouldn't that be brilliant?

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