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

Aimi Macdonald

JAM Appearances:
34 as a panellist on radio in 1968-1969-1970-1971-1972-1973-1974-1975-1976-1979-1980-1981-1983.
How she did:
Of all the guests to have appeared on JAM, arguably Aimi is remembered with most fondness. A distinctive style, the playing up of the dumb blonde combined with a high pitched childlike little-girl voice was combined with a good humour and the ability to stand up to Kenneth's sexist gibes.
Aimi appeared on a couple of shows in the first season and was regularly brought back as a guest over the following 15 years. She was frequently featured with Clement, Kenneth and Peter, with whom she developed a strong relationship.
It was always difficult to be sure with Aimi how much of the dumb blonde thing was an act. Certainly Aimi didn't spout the erudite stuff of a Kenneth Williams. But she didn't need to, she had the audience in the palm of her hand with the endearing manner and the way she would challenge Kenneth's sexism. Laughter was never far away while Aimi was on the panel.
Although arguably more popular with some producers than others, it's hard to argue with the fact that most of the shows she appeared in were gems. She hasn't appeared since the mid 80s when being a dumb blonde became perhaps not as acceptable in a more PC world. But with Aimi, the audience was laughing with her and not her, and it would delight many if she returned at some stage, unlikely as it seems.

Who is she:
Aimi started out as a dancer, but developed in to a fine comedienne and actor. Her career stated with a ballet company that toured the world. That led to a West End musical and eventually to a starring role in one of the first TV satire shows At Last The 1948 Show. Aimi's role was that of the dumb blonde who thought she was the star of the show, but clearly was not. The show ran for three years in the late 60s.
Aimi's career developed into a series of musicals andf plays, and she was a regular on the West End. Television work included some childrens TV and a series of game shows. She continues to appear regularly in plays. After a brief marriage in the 1960s she famously dclared her intention to love in sin for the rest of her life, she was regularly the subject of tabloid tittle-tattle, and linked to politicians.

Links to transcripts:
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Lee Mack

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on radio in 2004.
How he did:
Lee was a hit in one of the Edinburgh Festival shows proving witty, adept, quick on the buzzer and someone who just fits into the JAM style, trading barbs with the best of them.
Who is he:
Lee is one of the most talented young comics on the circuit. His bread and butter is stand-up with which he tours the world, but he is probably best known as star of the Bafta award winning television programme, The Sketch Show. Other TV and radio work includes They Think It's All Over, TV Heaven Telly Hell, Would I Lie To You and Not Going Out.
Links to transcripts:
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Jacqueline MacKenzie

JAM Appearances:
Two as a panellist on radio in 1970.
How she did:
Not great, another of the string of women guests that were intimidated in the hot-house atmosphere of the late 60s and early 70s.
Who is she:
Jacqueline was a comic actress who specialised in an elastic face and vocal mimickry. Her talents were well used on the stage when revue was at its peak. Her one TV venture Trouble For Two died an early death though. She also worked as a TV journalist. But she achieved greater fame perhaps as a campaigner for lesbian rights, and she founded the lesbian community magazine Sappho. She is perhaps better known as Jackie Forster. She died in 1998 and in Glasgow, the LGBT Centre has a room named after her.
Links to transcripts:
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Jason Manford

JAM Appearances:
Four including two as a panellist on Television in 2012 and two on radio in 2013.
How he did:
Pretty good for a first-timer, Jason was funny, fluent and enthusiastic and definitely deserves another run.
Who is he:
Jason is a stand-up comic and TV presenter.
Links to transcripts:
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Stephen Mangan

JAM Appearances:
Seven, including one as a panellist on Television in 2012 and five on radio in 2013-4.
How he did:
Stephen fared well on hbis first appearance, proving to be fluent, funny and competitive. Deserves at least one more run.
Who is he:
Stephen is an English actor, best known for his roles in the television series Green Wing, I'm Alan Partridge, Episodes and Dirk Gently.
Links to transcripts:
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Miriam Margolyes

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on Radio in 1979.
How she did:
Miriam was a stunner in her only appearance, flirting outrageously with Nicholas, standing up to Kenneth and being very funny in a self-deprecating way. They should have been begging her to return as she seemed to have lots of fun too.
Who is she:
Miriam has had a long stage and cinema career and was a close friend of Kenneth Williams. She has played on a good voice and her large figure to specialise in comic parts but has also won the Bafta for dramatic acting. More recently that voice has seen her heavily in demand for voice work on animated features. She currently appears in the Harry Potter movies.
Links to transcripts:
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Alfred Marks

JAM Appearances:
15, including 14 as a panellist on radio in 1973-1974-1975-1976-1977-1987, and one in the 40th anniversary special in 2007.
How he did:
Alfred was a special part of what were arguably JAM's best days in the mid 70s where he was a regular guest whose style seemed to fit in remarkably well with Kenneth Williams and Peter Jones in particular. Pretty much all of the shows he appeared in were very very funny shows with Alfred's store of shaggy dog stories, and willingness to argue with the others making him a great hit.
Who is he:
A fine and popular comedian in the 50s, 60s and 70s, specialising in radio but also being a regular on stage and TV. Also appeared in films. His TV show Alfred Marks Time had a six year run. He died in 1996.
Links to transcripts:
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Betty Marsden

JAM Appearances:
Four as a panellist on Radio in 1968-1969.
How she did:
Very well, her comic timing and ability to keep talking made her a good guest for the show. Had a demeanour that made it seem like royalty had descended on the show.
Who is she:
Betty was a comic actress with a long career but was probably best known for her appearances on Round the Horne and Beyond Our Ken where she appeared with Kenneth Williams. But Betty was also seen often on TV and the stage, and had a sunny attitude which made her popular everywhere. She died in 1998 having a drink with friends - if only we could all go that way!
Links to transcripts:
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Jean Marsh

JAM Appearances:
Six as a panellist on Radio in 1973-1974.
How she did:
Okay, Jean wasn't overwhelmed but a soft voice and not much humour in her delivery meant she was never going to tote up too many appearances. But certainly very pleasant.
Who is she:
Jean will always be associated with the international hit drama series Upstairs Downstairs where she was star and co-creator, and more recently with writing the show The House of Elliot. She has also done a lot of comedy work, and her career began as a model and actress.
Links to transcripts:
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Carolyn Marshall

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on Television in 1995.
How she did:
Carolyn's one show was possibly the worst ever JAM with so many pin-pricking challenges that the fun never got a start. Carolyn largely distinguished herself with her mop of red hair, but that wasn't able to save a dud of a show.
Who is she:
At the time of her JAM appearance Carolyn was a popular TV presenter on a variety of shows. Is still working but no longer such a big name.
Links to transcripts:
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Mathilda ?

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on Junior Just A Minute in 2015.
Who is he:
A junior contestant in the second series of Junior Just A Minute.
Links to transcripts:
His show not yet transcribed.

Pete McCarthy

JAM Appearances:
Two, one as a panellist on Radio in 1994, and one as a panellist on Television in 1994.
How he did:
Pete was okay but nothing special, he had a nice gently humorous style, but didn't do enough to warrant further appearances.
Who is he:
Pete became a hugely successful writer of very funny travel books, and tours doing readings and signings. At the time of his JAM appearances Pete was a regular on the stand-up circuit and at London's Comedy Store. He died sadly young in 2004.
Links to transcripts:
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Maria McErlane

JAM Appearances:
14 including 10 on Radio in 1996-1998-2000-2004-2007, and four on Television in 1999.
How she did:
Maria seems to be best remembered for her hearty chuckle, and the obvious enjoyment she got out of the game. Also uses her voice as weapon. As a particpant she was probably too prone to fits of giggles to make a real impact on the game though she was able to poke fun at herself in best JAM style.
Who is she:
Maria is an actress/comedienne who was regularly on TV in the late 90s with her own game show Carnal Knowledge which she hosted with Graham Norton, and appearances on sketch shows like The Fast Show and Eurotrash. She is also a writer occasionally columnising in the press.
Links to transcripts:
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Alistair McGowan

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on radio in 1993.
How he did:
Perhaps one of the lesser appearances on JAM, Alistair just didn't seem to have what it takes on the night. Strangely given that his chief talent is impersonations, he didn't do any.
Who is he:
Alistair is a big name impressionist with his impersonations of well-known voices being available even on mobile phones! He stars in his own long-running show Alistair McGowan's Big Impression. He also appears in many other shows including Dead Ringers and appears on the comedy circuit on stage. In recent years Alistair has turned more to the stage, appearing in musicals. He's also known as an environmental campaigner and has recently bought land near Heathrow, to try and stop the expansion of the airport.
Links to transcripts:
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Pauline McLynn

JAM Appearances:
Six on Radio in 2006-2007-2009.
How she did:
Pauline seemed bubbly and friendly and was a good sport but didn't make much impact comedically. Still she entered into the spirit of the game well without producing the big laughs.
Who is she:
The Irish comedienne is still probably best known for her bit part in Father Ted, even though the show has been off the air now for a decade. She has also acted in movies, winning a Best Actress nomination in the 2005 Irish Film Awards for her part in Gypo. She's also a novellist and a regular on the stand-up comedy circuit.
Links to transcripts:
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Ian McMillan

JAM Appearances:
Four on Radio in 2008-2010.
How he did:
Without starring, Ian was a cheerful contributor, and entered into the banter better than most newcomers. He seemed to work especially well with Paul Merton. A humorous man who would be worth another go.
Who is he:
Ian is a rock poet, whose humorous poetry has won him a national audience. Based in Yorkshire he is a broadcaster, especially on poetry programmes. Witty and polished, he is in increasing demand for a variety of work.
Links to transcripts:
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Hamish McRae

JAM Appearances:
One as a panellist on Junior Just A Minute in 2015.
Who is he:
A junior contestant in the second series of Junior Just A Minute.
Links to transcripts:
His show not yet transcribed.

Mike McShane

JAM Appearances:
Four on Radio in 2008-2009-2015.
How he did:
Mike had some good lines and was up to it in the banter stakes, but wasn't much competition for Paul and Clement.
Who is he:
Mike is a world-class improviser who first came to fame as a regular on Whose Line Is It Anyway. His ability to improvise song lyrics on the spot was a special gift, but he was equally adept at other games. He wasn't wanted for the US version of the show but did become a regular on the sitcom Brotherly Love. These days he still appears in improv shows with Paul Merton.
Links to transcripts:
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Andree Melly

JAM Appearances:
54 including 53 as a panellist on Radio in 1968-1969-1970-1971-1972-1973-1974-1975-1976, and one as chairman on Radio in 1972.
How she did:
Andree was the first woman to make a real impact on the programme and appeared frequently in the first decade of the show. She tends to be forgotten these days and has not been featured in any of the compilation programmes or Classic collections, but without doubt was a major contributor to the show's early success.
Andree appeared in the first show when each show had two woman guests, and did so well she became a regular in one of the female seats, appearing in eight of the 16 shows. Although no regular after that, she continued to appear often, having more appearances than Sheila Hancock when she did her last show in 1976.
Andree usually played "straight woman" to the others, but was capable of a witty remark. Her main role was to stand up stoutly to the regular male panellists. This she did very well, refusing to be brow-beaten by Clement, insulted by Derek or shouted down by Kenneth. She remained unflustered by the activities around her. Often when Andree is on the show you hear Kenneth on one of his sexist tirades "they shouldn't have women on the show", the point goes to Andree who continues on as if the interruption had never occurred. In those days many women were put off by Kenneth's screaming and this is undoubtedly a reason she was used so often: she could stand her ground.
In retrospect Andree seems possibly not funny enough to have played as often as she did. But she helped to set the tone for woman contestants on the show, plucky, agile, good fun.

Who is she:
Andree was busy in the late 50s, 60s and 70s as an actress. She was probably best known for her regular appearances on Hancock's Half Hour, the huge sitcom hit of British radio's early years but also did plenty of movies and plays. She now lives in retirement in Spain. She is the sister of jazz musician George Melly.
Links to transcripts:
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Links to transcripts as chairman:
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