I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue

Series 57 of this much loved antidote to panel games has just started on Radio 4.

And I’m very excited because tonight, I am going to a recording at the Rose Theatre in Kingston.

Two shows will be recorded tonight, each taking about an hour of real time, and then edited down to a little less than half an hour. Sometimes, the games don’t work, or the number of jokes is limited, so what we hear on the broadcast really is the best. I’ve been to a couple of recordings before: once in Tunbridge Wells and once at the London Palladium.

The audience is requested not to take photos, so I am unable to share the lovely pictures I have of the delightful assistant, Samantha who sits on the right hand of the chairman.

It may be the ‘antidote to panel games’ but its many games and catchphrases certainly permeate into the rest of our lives. I invariably smile inwardly when I’m on the Northern Line and pass by Mornington Crescent, the name of one of ISIHAC’s more esoteric rounds.

As I walk around, I sometimes think of new definitions to old words, possible candidates for the Uxbridge English Dictionary, but of course, I don’t write them down and my genius is lost to the world.

Sometimes I do try to sing one song to the tune of another. And that’s OK, until I realise that the local vicar has been following me along the road for who knows how long.

When I meet a Scotsman for the first time, I try very hard not to ask, “Ye’ll have had yer tea?”

Yes: series 57. It’s been going since 1972 and I’ve been a regular listener, on and off, for 40 years.

ISIHAC Radio 4 Monday 6.30pm and Sunday 12noon.

Oh and there’s a lot more here at Wikipedia. Not to mention the ISIHAC Official Website – but take care here, the theme tune starts playing straightaway, not ideal for work.

And here on Amazon there’s a multitude of Clue merchandise, including old shows, books, cassettes, CDs, limericks, games but sadly, not a photo album featuring Samantha.


20 thoughts on “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue

  1. I’ve been listening for years and own many of the recordings, but the series 57 episodes (chaired by Jack Dee) from Swansea are the funniest I think I have ever heard. I can hardly wait for them to available for purchase so I can share them with friends.

    • I agree: the ‘one song to the tune of another’ even made it to Pick of the Week! The Kingston recordings were great fun too, I’m sure you’ll enjoy those. Sadly I think some of Ross Noble’s best gags might not be broadcast.

      • Sorry I should have used the word Swansea. Or Abertaw as Jack would have had ’til Rob and members of the audience corrected it

  2. I regularly play “Pick Up Song” while vacuuming and listening to music. When the vacuum stops and I’m within a midges eyelash of the tune, I award myself points – and we all know what they mean. So far I have scored 47.

    I’ve just realised this makes less sense than Mrs. Trellis’ missives. Time to follow Barry into the home methinks..

    • Sven made a reappearance in the Christmas Special 24/12/12. He filled in Samantha’s slot before they pulled him off at the end of the show.

      • I heard the show and enjoyed Sven’s participation. Stephen Fry was good too, but I think he’s on the verge of becoming far too ubiquitous on our radio, never mind on TV. I hope someone bought him the word ‘no’ for Christmas.

  3. The click for the lottery for the December recording comes up with the message ‘show not available’. What kind of lottery is that?

  4. It’s funny.,,as the blog entry says, how moments from the show have passed into our inner world.

    I was reading the November issue of BBC Wildlife magazine over my bowl of cereal this morning, and it has a feature on how ‘we’ have used wild animals in various working roles.

    Apparently, and I am not making this up, they are using honeybees to sniff out hidden explosives at airports. The story, accompanied by a picture, explains the machine that is ues, and then sates that ‘the device holds 36 bees’.

    I am instantly reminded of the time Samantha took up bee-keeping, starting with a few dozen of the animals, and invited the kindly old archivists to come round and examine her 36 bees….

  5. I’ve enjoyed this programme for years. I’M pleased that you’ve dropped the innuendos about Samantha & Lionel Blair. (although… Tony Blair…maybe?)

    • Come, come, dropping two of the highlights is not on. The thought of the archivists seeing Samantha’s crack up through the glass ceiling was a classic.

      • Or how she loved nothing better than to lick the nuts off a large Neopolitan when she dated an Italian boyfriend…

      • Actually, if the words had been as you say it wouldn’t have been funny. The context were about Samantha’s struggle against the male dominated BBC hierarchy and going to rise despite it, and the words were something like “the kindly archivists are hoping to see her crack through the glass ceiling”. The humour is from the dual meaning of what could be a perfectly acceptable (if contrived) sentence having another, smutty,interpretation.

  6. I’m suprised at Barry – he used the title “Alice in Sunderland” as a humorous answer. Has he never read, or heard of, “Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment” by Bryan Talbot, published in 2007? Lewis Carroll had links with Sunderland and the book uses this as a starting point.

  7. We would urgently like to hear Jeremy Hardy and Rob Brydon singing ‘Man or Muppet’ to the tune of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

  8. Got the new `40 years of…` book for Christmas. Wet the bed laughing on Christmas morning. Fortunately I was at my mother in laws.

    • I have some ISIHAC books too, Lyttelton’s Britain: A User’s Guide to the British Isles and a couple of volumes of The Uxbridge English Dictionary. As you say, they are lethal in company. “What’s so funny?” asks mother-in-law. Well, I can’t actually say, it’s very funny – buy very rude! Happy new year, and many thanks for your comment.

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