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Just a Minute

Just a Minute is a BBC radio comedy panel game. 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 first broadcast of Just a Minute occurred in 1968.

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

The classic lineup of performers was:

Nimmo, Jones and Williams are all now dead, and those who participate regularly in the programme in their places include Paul Merton and Graham Norton.

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".

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