Here it is: David Tennant’s spectacular debut on the Radio 4 panel show Just a Minute.
As you can hear below, the Doctor Who and Broadchurch star manages to speak non-stop for 60 seconds on the subject of Shakespeare’s famous stage direction from The Winter’s Tale “Exit, Pursued by a Bear”.
That he performed this rare feat on his first go is testament to the brilliance of the actor whom host Nicholas Parsons always thought would do well on the show in which you have to speak without repetition, deviation or hesitation. If you commit any of these sins your opponent buzzes and you have to stop.
As you can hear, the crowd whooped their delight in an edition that sees the actor competing alongside experienced Just a Minute hands Paul Merton, Julian Clary and Stephen Fry.
In the show, which will air on Radio 4 tonight (Monday February 9th), Tennant is not fazed by his triumph, telling the audience: “Can I leave now before I ruin my record?”
Parsons 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.”
Tennant later manages to speak with great skill on the subject of iambic pentameter, the poetic metre which is used to great effect in the Shakespeare’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’s moment of triumph here:
Just a Minute featuring David Tennant airs on Radio 4 tonight at 6.30pm