When it was announced that David Tennant was to make his debut on the Radio 4 panel show Just a Minute, host Nicholas Parsons said he thought the Doctor Who and Broadchurch star would do well.
Parsons waxed lyrical about Tennant’s “natural delivery”, which he said would help him compete in the tricky contest in which the object is to talk on a given subject for 60 seconds “without repetition, deviation or hesitation”. If you commit any of these sins your opponent buzzes and you have to stop.
Only it seems that Parsons may have underestimated Tennant’s brilliance. In his first ever attempt, alongside experienced Just a Minute hands Paul Merton, Julian Clary and Stephen Fry (see picture), he walked it, RadioTimes.com can reveal.
Tennant managed to speak perfectly on the subject of Shakespeare’s famous stage direction from The Winter’s Tale “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” in his first attempt, much to the delight of the crowd who whooped and cheered his triumph.
In the show, which will air on Radio 4 on Monday 9th February, Tennant is not fazed by his triumph, telling the audience: “Can I leave now before I ruin my record?”
Parson says: “A newcomer, coming on in this very difficult game, we make it sound easy for the listeners. And it is very difficult. And you have gone on, on your first attempt, speaking for sixty seconds without repetition, hesitation or deviation. Well done… I think you can relax now David.”
In the show, Tennant also reveals his great knowledge of Shakespeare, managing to speak very well on the subject of iambic pentameter, the poetic metre which is used to great effect in the Bard’s history play Richard II.
He also delivers a speech ranting about astrology, a pursuit which he says is “so fallacious as to make my skin crawl.”
Listen to David Tennant trying to get to grips with the Just a Minute rules here:
As for whether Tennant wins? Well, you’ll have to listen in on Monday to find out.
Just a Minute airs on Mondays on Radio 4 at 6:30pm