Latitude 2009

Countdown to Latitude: Just A Minute

Michael Bonner

Previously, Radio 4 has hosted its arts magazine show, Loose Ends, from Latitude. Loose Ends returns this year, to the Radio 4 stage, along with satirical comedy The Now Show, Roger McGough's Poetry Please and current affairs programme, Broadcasting House. But surely the most impressive presence on the Radio 4 bill is the legendary panel game, Just A Minute.

Now in its 41st year, the show – where contestants have to talk for a full minute without repetition, deviation or hesitation – will include Phill Jupitus and Ross Noble among the panelists, while the redoubtable Nicholas Parsons will, as ever, be in the chair. Who knows – maybe we’ll also see Parsons out and about at the festival, listening to the beatific harp noodlings of Joanna Newsom, enraptured by the sweaty punk blues of Grinderman or Julian Cope’s psychrock assault..?

If you’ll indulge us, we’d even like to see Cope or Nick Cave on the Just A Minute panel. We can but dream…


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In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call...