WHO'S WHO IN JUST A MINUTE!
Some info and comments on the cast of Just A Minute..... Click here to return to the main cast page

Elisabeth Beresford

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on radio in 1968.
How she did:
I haven't heard her show yet.
Who is she:
At the time of her JAM appearance Elisabeth was a journalist and broadcaster. But 1968 was a very good year for her in more ways than one, as it was the year she created the Wombles, which have gone on to huge book and TV fame. And that theme song continues to reverberate in this 70s kid's head.
Links to transcripts:
I haven't transcribed her show yet.

Teddie Beverley

JAM Appearances:
One as a Panellist on Radio in 1969.
How she did:
Not much of an impact on the show in her one appearance, though she seemed a jolly hockey sticks sort. She made some good starts but found it hard to keep going for the full minute.
Who is she:
Part of one of Britain's longest lasting and most popular singing groups, the Beverley Sisters. Recently honoured by the Queen, the trio has been performing for 50 years, hitting the charts in 1953 with the Christmas classic "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". They continue to perform regularly.
Links to transcripts:
1

Carol Binstead

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on Radio in 1967.
How she did:
Carol made history of a sort appearing on the second ever show, but made negligible impact. A good waffler.
Who is she:
An actor that appeared on both movies and TV in the 60s and 70s.
Links to transcripts:
1

John Bishop

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on Radio in 2010.
How he did:
A memorable first appearance, John competed very well with Paul and Gyles, finding the show a good outlet for his wit. Will surely be back.
Who is he:
John is a Liverpool comedian, who specailises in stand-up. Also had a brief semi-professional soccer career.
Links to transcripts:
1

Tony Blackburn

JAM Appearances:
Two as a panellist on Television in 1994-1995.
How he did:
A penchant for old jokes and a good patter made him a passable guest though he semed more on for his celebrity status than his contribution. Seemed a bit nervous and never quite relaxed.
Who is he:
One of the best known names and voices in radio, Tony was a pioneer of hit parade radio in Britain in the 60s. He's been a top breakfast jock ever since and is well known for his bad jokes. He's also worked in television. He left breakfast radio on Classic Gold in 2008 but still appears on BBC London radio.
Links to transcripts:
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Isla Blair

JAM Appearances:
Two as a panellist on Television in 1999.
How she did:
She charmingly put up with Gyles Brandreth slobbering all over her, and proved to be a bit of a raconteur herself without ever seeming to quite get the tone right for this silly game. However she did win one of her appearances, with some help from the chairman.
Who is she:
One of those actors that you recognise in an ad or a bit part on TV or in a movie, without being able to recall the name. Isla has a long career of acting work behind her, combining glamour and good looks with a sweet voice and real acting ability.
Links to transcripts:
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Barbara Blake

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on Radio in 1968.
How she did:
Pretty good for a one-timer with her pleasant voice being a bonus.
Who is she:
Blake was the first black woman TV journalist on Britain back in the late 60s, at around the time of her JAM recording. She returned to Jamaica in the early 70s and has had an outstanding career as a film-maker, novellist, journalist and public speaker. She was briefly a MP in the Jamaican Parliament and has also been a delegate to the United Nations.
Links to transcripts:
1

Henry Blofeld

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on radio in 2013.
How he did:
Henry was locquacious and interesting and funny and good on the repartee. He was also remarkably fluent but ended his first show without having made a single challenge.
Who is he:
Henry is a cricket commentator and journalist, best known for his work on BBC Radio. But he's well-known around the world, and was a regular on TV cricket commentary for many years. These days in semi-retirement he has branched out into a comedy show which drew good crowds in Edinburgh.
Links to transcripts:
Not yet done.

Helen Boaden

JAM Appearances:
One as a guest subject setter on Radio in 2003 at the 35th anniversary special.
How she did:
The representative of the BBC bosses at the 35th anniversary show, as controller of Radio Four. Pleasantly ignored Nicholas Parsons' crawling.
Who is she:
According to the Guardian one of the most powerful media people in Britain. Helen's background is in journalism, and she was the BBC's head of current affairs before taking on the Radio Four job in 2000. She led the station to its greatest successes and then took on the jopb as Head of BBC News in 2004.
Links to transcripts:
1

Hugh Bonneville

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on television in 2012.
How he did:
Hugh seemed happy to be there but wasn't too competitive or too funny when he did speak. But he had an enjoyable time.
Who is he:
Hugh is best known for his leading role in the hit drama series Downton Abbey, but has a long stage and film career to his credit. He has a Bafta for his role in Iris.
Links to transcripts:
1

Jo Brand

JAM Appearances:
Three as a panellist on Television in 1994-1999.
How she did:
Very funny and acerbic, and hit the right tone of insult for the show, but perhaps not sufficiently pedantic to make a big impact on the show. Has a dry voice reminiscent of a female Clement. Can verbally wrestle with anyone by putting the least amount of effort into it. A relaxed feminist whose one liners have the comic effect of depth-charges.
Who is she:
One of the best female comedians in Britain, Brand is well-known for her jokes about men, sex and eating. She has fronted television shows, but remains perhaps best loved for her stand-up appearances. Has recently branched out into plays and the hosting of stage chat shows. Was judged one of the 50 funniest people in Britain. She's possibly best known these days for her appearances on QI.
Links to transcripts:
1 2 3

Gyles Brandreth

JAM Appearances:
104, including 94 as a panellist on Radio in 1982-1983-1984-1986-2002-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016, eight as a panellist on Television in 1999-2012, one as a guest subject setter on Radio at the 35th anniversary show in 2003, and one on the 40th anniversary special in 2007.
How he did:
Gyles's style has been compared to Derek Nimmo's and certainly Gyles is one of the more able guests ever to appear on JAM. He has a fruity English voice which he used to good effect. He is as quick as anyone on the buzzer, challenging others and is locquacious enough to keep going without pausing for longer than most. He has a good knowledge of history and poetry, and is able to tease Nicholas in the show's style. He needs someone able to puncture his confidence, to be with him on the panel. Was a regular guest in the mid 80s, and then was brought back as a regular on the TV series in 1999, and has been appeared again since 2002.
Who is he:
Gyles has one of the most varied careers of anyone who has ever appeared on JAM, perhaps Clement Freud is his only rival. He was a Member of Parliament from 1992 to 1997, in the Conservative Government of John Major, slowly rising through the ranks to become a Government Whip, but he lost his seat in the 1997 election landslide. He was a book editor and publisher, working on Kenneth Williams's books. He was also a broadcaster, presenting breakfast television and became famous for his woollen jerseys. He was also a successful businessman before entering Parliament. Since then he has returned to broadcasting and writing, presenting talk shows on radio, and writing regular features for the Sunday Telegraph. He has published diaries of his time in Parliament and wrote a biography of the actor, Sir John Gielgud. Other books have been on the romances of the Queen and Prince Philip, and Prince Charles and Camilla. Both before and after his time in Parliament, he was a regular on the stage too, with appearances in pantomime, and after dinner speeches: a non-stop 12 and a half hour long speech won him the world record for non-stop speaking. He did a stage show in Edinburgh and London in Rocky Horror type fishnets and suspenders.
Links to transcripts:
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Marcus Brigstocke

JAM Appearances:
27 including 25 as a panellist on radio in 2004-2006-2007-2008-2011-2012-2013-2015-2016 and two on Televsion in 2012.
How he did:
One of the very best of those introduced in the past 10 years, very funny, competitive, and lots of fun.
Who is he:
Marcus is a stand-up comedian who appears regularly on the circuit, especially in Edinburgh. He's appeared often on Radio Four shows including The Now Show, The News Quiz and The 99p Challenge. He also has a developing career on television and film, including regular appearances on the panel game Argumental.
Links to transcripts:
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Cyrus Broacha

JAM Appearances:
Two as a panellist on Radio in 2012.
How he did:
Cyrus was one of two guest Indian comedians and was the stronger of the two. Bold, aggressive on the buzzer and witty, he made a strong contribution to a very funny show.
Who is he:
Cyrus is a TV anchor, satirist, and stand-up comedian, best known for his TV shows Bakra on and The Week that Wasn't.
Links to transcripts:
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Tim Brooke-Taylor

JAM Appearances:
Three as a panellist on Radio in 1979-1981.
How he did:
One of the funnier guests ever to appear on JAM, Tim launched his too-brief JAM career with a show in which he denounced Clement Freud, and won by a healthy margin. He had all the necessary skills, vocal agility, a wagging tongue and the ability to pick up the mistakes of the others. Recalled in 1981 he was again very good, but hasn't appeared since.
Who is he:
Tim is probably best known for his long-running series, the radio shows I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, and the TV show The Goodies. ISIHAC continues to broadcast as a sort of sister show to JAM which has achieved great success with its silly semi-improvised humour. Tim has been a regular panellist throughout its history. The Goodies was an anarchic satirical show, hugely popular in the 70s, a sort of live cartoon. Since then Tim's best known regular TV show has been a sitcom, Me And My Girl. He continues to appear on ISIHAC and writes and does stage work.
Links to transcripts:
1 2 3

Janet Brown

JAM Appearances:
Six as a panellist on Radio in 1976-1977-1978.
How she did:
Another of the women who tried and were quite nice but didn't really get into the swing of the game. The main interest from her seemed to be her undoubted skill as an impressionist and she performed some of her best-known impressions in most of her shows.
Who is she:
Janet was perhaps Britain's best known woman impressionist in the 70s, doing impressions of Margaret Thatcher, Barbara Castle and Cilla Black. She also appeared regularly as an actor on TV sitcoms like Mr Digby Darling and How Do You View. Was married to Carry On star Peter Butterworth.
Links to transcripts:
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Ken Bruce

JAM Appearances:
Two as a panellist on Television in 1999.
How he did:
Ken was jovial and had a few jokes ready but perhaps isn't the sort of quick-witted comedian who excels on JAM.
Who is he:
Ken is a long-serving radio broadcaster on the BBC, presenting music programmes on Radio Two.
Links to transcripts:
1 2

Rob Brydon

JAM Appearances:
Three as a panellist on radio in 2004-2005.
How he did:
Rob started on the same show as another debutant, Marcus Brigstocke, and was better than Marcus, with a few good lines and a competetive instinct. He earned a recall a year later.
Who is he:
Rob's career began as a radio DJ in Wales, but he is now a very welknown name in comedy throughout Britain. His TV show Marian and Geoff would have provided his biggest audiences, but he is a very regular face on the stand-up circuit these days. Panel games also play a large part in his life with appearances on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, QI, and Would I Lie To You.
Links to transcripts:
1 2 3

Ann Bryson

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on Telvision in 1994.
How she did:
Nice and jolly and quick on the buzzer and a bit dull.
Who is she:
Ann is an actress on TV and stage who has done a lot of comedy work and also done some work as a stand-up comic. Best known for her appearances in TV ads.
Links to transcripts:
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Addison-Beaumont    Buckman-Daly    David-Clement Freud    Emma Freud-Hawks    Hayridge-Jupitus    Jupp-MacAulay    Macdonald-Melly    Merton-Oliver    O'Neill-Richard    Robbins-Slattery    Small-Tyrell    Unwin-Wood



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