One Minute Please



Roy Plomley


BBC Light Programme, 26 August 1951 to 21 September 1952

BBC Light Programme, 13 August to 19 November 1957


The forerunner of Just a Minute, this was played in a very similar fashion but with two teams of three instead of four individual panellists.

Ian Messiter described his inspiration in a radio interview: "Well, it came from school. I was looking out of the window. Suddenly the cane came down on my desk, like thunder - it was quite the most extraordinary noise, like a gun going off. The master in charge said 'Messiter, stand up! Would you repeat what I've been saying without repeating yourself?'"

One of its most famous contributors was Gerald Hoffnung, a humourist, cartoonist and tuba player, who sadly died at an early age due to a brain haemorrhage. Other regulars included actress Yvonne Arnaud, Frank Muir, Denis Norden, Gilbert Harding (once thrown off the show for being drunk), and Windmill girl Margot Holden.


This was the first British quiz format to be sold in the USA.


Ian Messiter


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