Books

The News Quiz: The Best of 2017

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Miiles Jupp chairs four hilarious and topical episodes of The News Quiz. Featuring the show's regular panellists, this collection highlights the best of this flagship Radio 4 comedy.

Just a Minute: Best of 2017

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Just a Minute is a national institution. Sparkling panellists have their wits challenged as they attempt to speak on a subject for one minute, with no hesitation, deviation or repetition. Presided over by the charming Nicolas Parsons and a stopwatch that takes no prisoners, this is a brilliant collection of the best of 2017.

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue: A Second Treasury

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Another bumper collection of classic fun and games from the award-winning BBC Radio 4 comedy show.

‘Risky, rude, brilliantly written and superbly performed’ The Judges, Sony Radio Academy Award

This second treasury contains over 30 hilarious editions of the award-winning ‘antidote to panel games’, first published as I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue Volumes 10 to 15, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue 'Live' Volumes 1 & 2, and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue Anniversary Special.

Highlights include the first episode from 1972, a 30th anniversary double edition, two volumes of vintage 'Live' recordings (ad-libs, retakes, warm-ups and all), and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Desert Island, in which famous fans including Dame Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent and Germaine Greer choose their favourite 'Clue' moments.

The late Humphrey Lyttelton and Jack Dee preside over regular players Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden and Willie Rushton, plus guests including Jeremy Hardy, Ross Noble, Andy Hamilton, Rob Brydon, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig, Tony Hawks, Linda Smith, David Mitchell, Marcus Brigstocke and Victoria Wood.

So get ready to laugh out loud as the gang indulge in more wonderful wordplay, accompanied by Colin Sell on the piano and the lovely Samantha, who’s always ready to score. Duration: 18 hours approx.

Just a Minute: The Golden Collection

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

To celebrate 50 years of Just a Minute, 12 previously unpublished archive episodes of the much-loved BBC Radio 4 panel game, presented by Nicholas Parsons

What better way to mark a glorious half century of Just a Minute than with a collection of episodes from each of the programme's six decades, ranging from 1968 to the very special Christmas 2016 edition, Just a Minute Does Panto!

As has been the case for each of those 50 years, Nicholas Parsons chairs every edition with impeccable manners and good humour. The plethora of seasoned players includes Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Tony Hawks, Gyles Brandreth and Sheila Hancock, and competing alongside them is an array of celebrated guests including Peter Cook, Barry Took, Brian Johnston, Ian Hislop, Betty Marsden, Sue Perkins, Liza Tarbuck, Jeremy Hardy, Stephen Fry and many others.

Who can talk for one minute on a given subject without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject? Who will leap in at the last second to trounce the competition and secure the lead? Find out as we play Just a Minute!

Just a Minute: Series 78

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Just a Minute has been entertaining generations of listeners since its first series in 1967.

With panellists including Paul Merton and the effervescent Nicholas Parsons as chair, this collection of 6 episodes highlights why Just A Minute is one of Radio 4's longest running and most popular series.

Who can talk for one minute on a given subject without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject? Who will leap in at the last second to trounce the competition and secure the lead? Find out as we play Just a Minute!

The News Quiz: Series 93

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

The complete 93rd series of the topical BBC Radio 4 comedy panel show, hosted by Miles Jupp.

The long-running satirical panel game returns with eight more episodes, featuring guests including Jeremy Hardy, Susan Calman, Andy Hamilton, Katy Brand, Zoe Lyons, Holly Walsh, Mark Steel, Hugo Rifkind and Rich Hall. The panellists give a comic commentary on new stories such as General Election, that leaky Brexit dinner, a close encounter with a wild boar, an intriguing hearing in the USA and an unorthodox lifeguard recruitment drive.

The News Quiz: A Vintage Collection

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

A sparkling collection of archive highlights from The News Quiz, which began on BBC Radio 4 in 1977 and continues to this day. Its chairmen have included Barry Norman, Barry Took, Simon Hoggart, Sandi Toksvig and Miles Jupp, and its guests have been drawn from the cream of British comedians, journalists and politicians: Alan Coren, Richard Ingrams, Ian Hislop, Peter Cook, Linda Smith, Jeremy Hardy, Clive Anderson, Jo Brand, William Hague, Boris Johnson, Edwina Currie, Matthew Parris and many more. This collection includes the following specially compiled programmes: The News Quiz: The First 25 Years (2003); The News Quiz (1991); Barry Took’s Pick of the News Quiz (1996); Barry Took’s Pick of the News Quiz 2 (1998); Simon Hoggart’s Pick of the News Quiz (2000); and Simon Hoggart’s Pick of the News Quiz 2 (2002).

The News Quiz: Series 92

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

The complete 92nd series of the long-running BBC Radio 4 satirical quiz, hosted by Miles Jupp. The popular topical comedy panel game returns with eight more episodes, trawling through news stories big and small to provide comedy, commentary, irony and irreverence. Duration: 4 hours approx

The Now Show Series 49

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Seven more episodes of biting satirical wit from Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis, Mitch Benn and guests, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in November and December 2016. Duration: 3 hours approx.

Maeve Binchy: Collected Stories

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

A collection of full-cast dramatisations and readings from the bestselling author

‘There’s nobody like Binchy for warming the cockles’ Times

Maeve Binchy was one of Britain’s best-loved storytellers and this compilation of her finest fiction, as heard on BBC Radio, demonstrates all the warmth, wit and compassion that made her so popular.

Firefly Summer is a moving, humorous novel about a sleepy Irish town facing monumental change, dramatised in six parts with a full cast including David Soul and Lorcan Cranitch.

No Nightingales, No Snakes features full-cast dramatisations of five Maeve Binchy short stories, with a distinguished cast including Niamh Cusack, Sam Dale and Harry Towb.

The Garden Party contains four short stories specially commissioned for BBC Radio 4, read by Niamh Cusack, Dervla Kirwan, Doreen Hepburn and Stella McCusker.

The Homecoming comprises four more stories exclusively written for BBC Radio 4, read by Sean Campion, Joanna Myers, Patricia Hodge and Kate Binchy.

Dealing with families, friendship, love, loss, sorrow and joy, these stories will delight all Maeve Binchy fans. Duration: 6 hours approx

The News Quiz: Series 91

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Eight episodes of the topical BBC Radio 4 comedy panel show, presented by Miles Jupp.

The long-running satirical panel show returns for its 91st series, with guests including Jeremy Hardy, Lucy Porter, Andy Hamilton, Kerry Godliman, Susan Calman, Hugo Rifkind, Holly Walsh, Rebecca Front, Zoe Lyons, Frankie Boyle, Baron Finkelstein, Angela Barnes, Paul Sinha and Dane Baptiste.

They take turns to provide comic commentary on topics including the Labour conference, the US presidential election race between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, the exit of Sam Allardyce as England manager and The Great British Bake-Off.

Miles Jupp is in the chair, while newsreaders including Kathy Clugston, Caroline Nicholls and Susan Rae read a selection of humorous cuttings sent in by listeners. Duration: 4 hours approx.

Just a Minute: Series 76

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Eight episodes of the ever-popular BBC Radio 4 panel game hosted by Nicholas Parsons – including two special shows recorded at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Just a Minute has been entertaining generations of listeners since its first series in 1967. Now Nicholas Parsons and guests return for the 76th series of the panel show where participants must try to speak for 60 seconds without hesitation, deviation or repetition. (No repetition? That's no small order after nearly 50 years...)

Guests include veteran players Paul Merton (now the second most prolific player of the game after Kenneth Williams), Sheila Hancock, Marcus Brigstocke, Gyles Brandreth, Julian Clary, Tony Hawks and Josie Lawrence. Among the other panellists are Nish Kumar and Janey Godley, and appearing for the first time are Will Self, Pippa Evans and Katherine Ryan, who completed the full minute on her very first turn.

The subjects include Maple Syrup, Andy Warhol, The Royal Mile, My Olympic Event, Hair of the Dog, Brighton Rock, Enid Blyton and The French Connection.

So join the plucky players as they prepare to do verbal battle on the show where every second counts! Duration: 4 hours approx.

The Now Show: Series 48

BBC Radio Comedy

Six more episodes of biting satirical wit from Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis, Mitch Benn and guests, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in November and December 2016. Duration: 3 hours approx.

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue Treasury

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

A bumper collection of classic fun and games from one of BBC Radio 4's best-loved and most enduring comedy panel games. ‘The funniest comedy quiz show of them all.’ Sue Arnold, Observer The inimitable Humphrey Lyttelton is in the chair for these 36 hilarious editions, collected together for the first time. He presides over regular players Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden and Willie Rushton; plus guests including Stephen Fry, Tony Hawks, Andy Hamilton, Paul Merton, Sandi Toksvig and Jeremy Hardy. Hear them having their wicked way with favourite rounds including One Song to the Tune of Another, Limericks, Sound Charades, Cheddar Gorge and Swanee Kazoo. The teams are helped along by lively audiences from a variety of British towns and cities and, as is customary on Clue, Colin Sell is at the piano and the lovely Samantha sits on Humph's right hand. Also included is a special episode, Everyman’s Guide to Mornington Crescent, which reveals the full and unexpurgated history of The Greatest Game on Earth; and Willie Rushton's last show, featuring an introductory tribute from Ned Sherrin. First published as I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue Volumes 1 to 9, this feast of unrestrained revelry and inspired ad-libs is the authentic, award-winning antidote to panel games. Accept no substitutes! Duration: 18 hours approx.

Just a Minute: Series 75

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Nicholas Parsons chairs six more episodes of the evergreen BBC Radio 4 panel game.

Fresh from winning the Radio Award for comedy in the 2016 Chortle Awards, the perennially popular show returns for a 75th series.

Guests joining Nicholas Parsons include regulars Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence, Sheila Hancock and Marcus Brigstocke, as well as relative newcomers Josh Widdicombe and Holly Walsh. Debutants Alexei Sayle and John Finnemore play their first games with panache, while Gyles Brandreth and Graham Norton both mark the same milestone as they celebrate their 100th appearances.

Among the diverse topics they tackle are Halley's Comet, Answering the Telephone, Clock-watching, Insomnia, A Hot Potato, Thomas Hardy, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Physics for Beginners and Sellotape.

So as the Minute Waltz fades away, prepare to enjoy the wit, competitive spirit and verbal skills of the plucky panellists as they attempt to speak unchallenged for sixty seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Duration: 3 hours approx.

The News Quiz: Series 90

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

The complete 90th series of the long-running BBC Radio 4 satirical quiz, hosted by Miles Jupp.

The popular topical comedy panel game returns with nine more episodes, trawling through news stories big and small to provide comedy, commentary, irony and irreverence.

In these nine episodes, panellists taking some satirical swipes at the headlines include Jeremy Hardy, Susan Calman, Rebecca Front, Edwina Currie, Vicki Pepperdine, Andy Hamilton, Holly Walsh, Bridget Christie, Dane Baptiste and Frankie Boyle.

They face questions on subjects including the Panama Papers, Tata Steel, the London mayoral elections, the collapse of BHS, Leicester City's Premier League triumph, Donald Trump and – of course – the ins and outs of the EU referendum.

Miles Jupp is back in the chair and in charge of proceedings, while newsreaders including Corrie Corfield, Zeb Soanes, Neil Sleat and Kathy Clugston read an assortment of hilarious newspaper cuttings sent in by listeners. Duration: 4 hours approx.

Just a Minute: Series 74

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Six episodes of the perennially popular BBC Radio 4 panel game, chaired by Nicholas Parsons.

'Just a Minute' was born the same year as Radio 4 itself, and is one of the longest-running and best-loved radio comedy shows. Hosted by the inimitable Nicholas Parsons, it tasks contestants to speak for sixty seconds on any given topic "without repetition, hesitation or deviation".

Under the watchful eye of the Chairman, they must fend off challenges and win the points, using only their wit, ingenuity and improvisational skills. Duration: 2 hours 50 mins.

Just a Minute: A Classic Quartet

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Four classic episodes of the popular BBC Radio 4 panel game.

5 January 1977/8 January 1980/11 March 1980/23 June 1988

Nicholas Parsons chairs four archive episodes of the evergreen BBC Radio 4 comedy panel game, featuring the four original regular players of the game: Clement Freud, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo and Kenneth Williams. These specially selected episodes, all published for the first time, see the formidable foursome squaring up to eachother in a battle of wits – and wit.

As they endeavour to prevent each other from talking for the full minute, topics introduced – and swiftly dismissed – include Bath Night, Donald Duck, Getting in a Frenzy, Gooey Buns, My Accolade, The MostPleasing City I Have Visited, Getting Uptight and Poppadoms.

Camaraderie, competition and brilliant banter are the order of the day, as these sparkling raconteurs come out with some of their best andfunniest lines and demonstrate their quick thinking and wonderful way with words. Full of comic gems and irreverent fun, these four classic shows are a delight to listen to.

Duration: 2 hours approx.

Just a Minute: Series 73

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

The complete 73rd series of the hugely popular BBC Radio 4 panel game, chaired by Nicholas Parsons.

Just a Minute is a national institution which has entertained generations of listeners since it was first broadcast almost fifty years ago. Its winning formula – contestants must speak on a given subject for one minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation – is a surefire recipe for hilarity.

In these eight episodes – including two special editions recorded at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2015 – the topics range from Street Performers, A Trip to Ikea and the Hippocratic Oath to Kipling, Caravanning and The First Cheque I Ever Wrote.

Regulars such as Paul Merton, Gyles Brandreth and Sheila Hancock return for more fun and games, while other players include Janey Godley, Josie Lawrence, Andy Hamilton, Sue Perkins, Josh Widdicombe, Tony Hawks and Tom Allen.

As ever, unflappable chairman Nicholas Parsons presides over events as the players race against time to beat the clock and win the points. Duration: 4 hours.

The News Quiz: Series 89

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Miles Jupp presents eight episodes of the topical BBC Radio 4 comedy panel show.

The long-running satirical panel show that inspired Have I Got News For You returns for its 89th series, tackling the big (and not so big) events that have been making the headlines.

In these eight episodes, players poking fun at the news include FrancisWheen, Susan Calman, Zoe Lyons, Hugo Rifkind, Lucy Porter, Sarah Kendall, Jeremy Hardy, Samira Ahmed, Rich Hall and Steve Lamacq.

Using their considerable comedic talents, they dissect topics as varied as the forthcoming EU referendum; the junior doctors' strike; the controversy over Oxford University's Cecil Rhodes statue, the US election front runners and the Met Police's idea of using eagles to intercept drones.

Keeping the panellists in order is chairman Miles Jupp, while newsreaders including Kathy Clugston, Susan Rae, Diana Speed and Zeb Soanes read a selection of the funniest cuttings sent in by listeners.

Duration: 4 hours approx.

Biography

The formula for this long-running and popular radio panel game was devised in the early 1950s by Ian Messiter, a Light Entertainment producer who was on the staff of the BBC from 1942 to 1952. Although Just A Minute was Messiter’s preferred name for the show, the Head of Light Entertainment thought this too slick - and insisted the show e called One Minute, Please. The idea came from a humiliating experience that Messiter had suffered as a schoolboy at Sherborne. The 13-year-old had been staring out of the window, daydreaming during a Latin class. Suddenly the Latin master, Parry-Jones, told him to come up to the front of the class and repeat what had just been said without hesitating or repeating himself. Of course he couldn’t, and the resultant caning in front of the class provided a lasting lesson. In that first show Roy Plomley acted as Chairman, with Gilbert Harding, Kenneth Horne and Reggie Purdell pitting their wits against Yvonne Arnaud, Valerie Hobson and Nan Kenway. One Minute, Please was responsible for introducing the versatile talents of the artist, tuba player and raconteur Gerard Hoffnung to a wider audience. It was on the show that Hoffnung first told his famous Bricklayer Story, which was used to warm up the audience before the start of the programme. In 1952 Messiter left the BBC and set up a commercial radio station in Johannesburg. According to Ian’s wife Enid Messiter, it was here that Just A Minute first went on air in the format we know. Ian Messiter produced and chaired the programme, and Enid herself played Chopin’s Minute Waltz for these South African recordings. In 1967 the Messiters returned to England, and a pilot edition of Just A Minute was proposed to Roy Rich, then Head of Light Entertainment for BBC radio. The pilot was made, but initially rejected. Producer David Hatch threatened to resign unless it was offered to BBC Radio 4 planners. It was, and the rest is history. In addition to the radio series, there have been several TV series on both ITV and BBC. For many years the regular panellists included Clement Freud, Derek Nimmo, Kenneth Williams and Peter Jones. As their numbers dwindled in the early 1990s, however, an increasing number of guests joined the show. Paul Merton has become a mainstay of latter-day Just A Minute, while many others now form a pool of semi-regular contestants. In 2003 the programme won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award, and in 2012 it celebrated its 45th year. With Nicholas Parsons at the helm for its entire tenure, Just A Minute has been a continually popular feature of the Radio 4 schedules. Decade after decade it has succeeded in both finding new fans and pleasing its legion of loyal older ones.