Sue Perkins confirmed as new host of BBC Radio 4’s Just a Minute

Former Bake Off presenter to take helm of comedy panel show after death of Nicholas Parsons

The broadcaster and comedian Sue Perkins will be the next host of BBC Radio 4’s long-running comedy panel show Just a Minute.

Her appointment follows the death of Nicholas Parsons, who hosted the show for more than 50 years from its first broadcast in 1967.

“I’m beyond delighted to be asked to host this most legendary of shows,” said Perkins, a former presenter of The Great British Bake Off. “Nicholas’s shoes are way too big to fill, but I shall bring my own shoes, and work my socks off in them to keep our listeners entertained.”

The panellists Paul Merton and Gyles Brandreth will return for the new series, which begins on Monday 6 September on Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.

The show invites panellists, in rotation, to speak for one minute on a given subject, without “hesitation, repetition or deviation”.

In addition to its popularity in the UK, the series has developed an international following through its broadcast on the BBC World Service and latterly on digital platforms.

Mohit Bakaya, the controller of BBC Radio 4, said: “A repetition of Nicholas Parsons’ singular and much-missed genius was never likely, and a deviation was always on the cards. However, it is without any hesitation that I announce my absolute delight that Sue Perkins has agreed to be the new host of Just a Minute.

Nicholas Parsons in 2019.
Nicholas Parsons in 2019. Photograph: Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

“She is a brilliant, quick-witted comedian, who will, I know, make JAM her very own. I look forward to hearing how she will hold the likes of Paul and Gyles to account as she keeps the flag flying on this much-loved member of the Radio 4 family.”

Perkins has recently served as a guest host and has appeared 58 times on the show as a panellist.

Other participants have included Pam Ayres, Julian Clary, Nish Kumar, Sheila Hancock, Shappi Khorsandi, Miriam Margolyes, David Tennant, Stephen K Amos and the late Victoria Wood, Kenneth Williams and Bob Monkhouse.

The programme has been recorded at several locations through its history, in recent years mostly at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London, but also on several occasions at the Edinburgh festival fringe and twice in 2012 at the Comedy Store in Mumbai, India.

Parsons’ widow, Annie Parsons, said her late husband “would be delighted to know that Just a Minute will continue long into the future under the superb guardianship of Sue Perkins, who fully understands and embraces possibly the most often repeated five words on TV or radio: ‘Without hesitation, repetition or deviation’”.


Alex Mistlin

The GuardianTramp

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