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Just a Minute
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Just a Minute

Just a Minute is a BBC Radio 4 radio comedy panel game and was first broadcast on the BBC on December 22, 1967. The four panelists are challenged to speak for one minute on a given subject without repetition, hesitation or deviation.

The premise of the game came to Ian Messiter as he rode on the top of a number 13 bus, recalling a particularly cruel headmaster from his school days, who punished him with the task of speaking for sixty seconds without hesitating or repeating himself. To this, he added a rule preventing players deviating from the subject presented by the show's chairman, as well as a scoring system based on panelists' correct and incorrect challenges.

The long-suffering but good-natured host of Just a Minute was (and still is, as of 2004) Nicholas Parsons. Until 1989, Ian Messiter sat quietly on the stage with a stopwatch and blew a whistle when the speaker's minute was up.

The classic line-up of performers was:

Freud is still a regular competitor, but Nimmo, Jones and Williams are all now dead; those who participate regularly in the programme in their places include Stephen Fry, Tony Hawks, Paul Merton, Ross Noble, Graham Norton and Linda Smith.

The show's theme music is a very fast rendition of Frédéric Chopin's Waltz in D flat major, Op. 64, No. 1, nicknamed the "Minute Waltz".

A Swedish version of the show, called Pĺ minuten, is broadcast on Sveriges Radio P1.

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