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.

Loose Ends, Desert Island Discs, Cerys Matthews

Well that was a strange Sunday morning. I heard Broadcasting House OK but a long, long-distance phone call to my daughter, newly arrived in Sydney, meant that I missed both Cerys Matthews on 6 Music and Desert Island Discs on Radio 4. I usually hear one or the other, but this week, I shall look forward to hearing both while at work.

Desert Island Discs – this week’s guest is Tim Minchin.

Cerys Matthews – 6 Music – this week, Cerys celebrates the written word with Trembling Bells and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy live. And next week, her guest is Anaïs Mitchell, who as I’ve mentioned before, we saw in concert a couple of years ago so I look forward to that too.

But I am listening to last night’s Loose Ends mainly to hear Alison Steadman. We saw her just last week on stage at Kingston’s Rose Theatre in the newly revived (and revised?) Michael Frayn play called ‘Here’. I found it hard to watch, I couldn’t emapathise with the characters, but there’s nothing wrong with some challenging theatre once in a while. It’s on at The Rose until next Saturday, 12th May, so buy some tickets now.

Also on the current Loose Ends is actor Richard Wilson and top mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, both of whom are sort of heroes of mine.

Loose Ends – Radio 4.