Like all good Radio 4 listeners, I've spent quite a lot of time listening to Just A Minute, but to my shame, I've not listened to it in quite some time. I had been an avid listener for years, previously, but you know how things drift in and out of your life over time. Perhaps it's simply a case of too much repetition, in the same sort of way that I've slowly become bored of The Unbelievable Truth and QI.
Which means that I didn't listen to the final season with Nicholas Parsons. I may at some point hunt it down, just to "complete" the set, having at some point listened to the first one.
But with this first run with a rotating chair, I thought I had to dive back in, at least briefly, just to see how the handover was going. I assume they'll do what I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue did when the Humphrey Lyttelton passed away, trying a number of different hosts until they find one who wants to do it and proves suitable.
It is only fitting that the first of these rotating hosts is Paul Merton, who has been one of the programme's stalwart panellists for no small length of time. This episodes are also understandable, with Gyles Brandreth, Pippa Evans, Sheila Hancock and Tony Hawks, most of whom have done no small number of shows.
Merton slips into the host's chair with great ease, bringing the same sort of cheeriness needed, and willing to run with some of the sillier ideas that panellists come out with, and with a keen eye to a challenge. And the panellists do a decent job as well. Evans unfortunately gets mostly bullied out by the more experienced people, though tries to give a good showing. Hawks has always been a workhorse of the show, confident and competent. Now Hancock, she is always glorious. Witty, and able to prick the ego of others, which she does delightfully to the overly grandiose Brandreth. (Sorry, I just don't like him. I've never liked him. I'm not entirely sure why.)
It was a decent handover, but I think it scratched the itch. I'm not going to be too worried about keeping up with it.