Belfast Telegraph

Prince of Wales joins 50th anniversary celebration of radio's Just A Minute

The Prince of Wales has recorded a special message to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of much-loved BBC Radio 4 show, Just A Minute.

His speech, which describes the programme as "one of this country's great institutions", will open a special festive episode broadcasting on Christmas Day.

Just a Minute Does Panto! will be hosted as always by Nicholas Parsons, who has been the voice of the comedy game show since it first launched in December 1967.

Having already heard the special royal tribute, Parsons, 93, said: "It was a pleasure to hear The Prince of Wales recount years of listening to Just a Minute with such fondness.

"But when he delivers his message will he make it to the end without hesitation, repetition or deviation? You'll find out on Christmas Day."

Long-standing regular Paul Merton will undoubtedly be listening closely for a challenge, as he returns to the show with fellow players Gyles Brandreth and Sheila Hancock.

The one-off episode will combine the traditional game with a journey through Panto-land to find the missing Golden Whistle, with special guests Pippa Evans, Tony Hawks, Rufus Hound and Josie Lawrence.

Controller of the station, Gwyneth Williams, said: " We know the Prince of Wales has enjoyed BBC radio comedy over many years so how fitting that he should join Just A Minute for this special Christmas episode.

"Radio 4 is the home of radio comedy and as controller I am delighted to welcome him to the team, but Nicholas Parsons and Paul Merton take no hostages so I can only wish him luck."

:: Just A Minute Does Panto! will air on BBC Radio 4 at 1.15pm on December 25.

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