Ian Messiter




The Adventure Game (script writer and Argond)

Bob's Full House (question writer)

Celebrity Squares (question writer)

Dealing with Daniels (originally Fair Deal)

Family Fortunes (question writer)

Hoax! (originally False Evidence)

Just a Minute (originally One Minute Please)

Lucky 13 (devisor)

Many a Slip (devisor)

Quickfire! (devisor)

Steal (co-devisor)

Twenty Questions (producer)


One of BBC radio's most creative individuals, he worked his way up from Programme Assistant (or record-putter-oner) to producing and co-devising shows such as Petticoat Line, a programme where women could write in for their problems to be solved.

His first taste of quiz was assisting on the long-running Twenty Questions where he would suggest some of the topics for the panel to guess. In 1951, he had a crack at producing his own panel game One Minute Please which later transformed into the still ever-present Just a Minute.

He died in 1999.


He had a working submersible submarine in his garden pond.

He took part in the Normandy Beach Landings in WWII. In 1959, he returned to the spot on 'Omaha' beach where he landed and drank a bottle of champage with his wife, Enid.

Had a pronounced stutter.

He played Twenty Questions with King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II played Many a Slip with special questions written by Messiter about subjects such as the Royal yacht.

Books / Tapes

My Life and Other Games - autobiography

Web links

Infax database

The Guardian - obituary

The Independent - obituary

IMDb entry

Wikipedia entry


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