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4.7 out of 5 stars70
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 5 April 2012
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been collecting every single ISIHAC CD set, since the BBC started producing them. My opinion has always been that the writing, the panel members and the complete disregard for the conventional panel game format - has created the perfect show.

Apart from Marcus Brigstocke, a man who leaves me cold, v.14 has a classy line-up, Jeremy Hardy, Sandi Toksvig, Rob Brydon are superb. David Mitchell is becoming less funny with every show he does, but not to worry.

When, sadly - Humph (Humphrey Lyttelton) passed away, there was an uncertain period. Who would replace him? It HAD to be a presenter who adopted the same cynical manner. The genius of Humph was that he never really wanted to be there, and found the jokes tedious. [it was an act!]. Thank goodness Stephen Fry was not chosen. He is everywhere and is far too 'sweet and safe'. Rob Brydon was good when he presented a few shows but Jack Dee is the ideal choice. Bored by the jokes and the script, he'd rather be at home, [just like Humph!].

Admittedly, not every segment works. In my opinion the Uxbridge English dictionary should be even longer, it's my favourite part of the show. The 'One Song to the tune of another' can wear a little thin, and Mornington Crescent is...just weird - BUT the general banter, innuendo and comedy is painfully funny.

Barry Cryer could make anyone laugh - just reading a bus timetable, and the 2 former Goodies never fail to provide hilarity. This particular volume is perhaps one of the less funny, slightly patchier series, yet I still believe it deserves 5 stars.

Long may it continue.
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on 21 March 2012
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When Humph left "I'm sorry" many of us wondered if there was going to be any suitable replacement. Jack Dee has filled the void admirably - a different style, but his pithy dry wit absolutely does the job.

The format continues to evolve modestly with new games (many of which are thinly disguised versions of old ones).

But the humour is unending and remains very very funny.

Not much of a review really, but just to say this show continues to be fantastic lunatic relief from the world, and on 2 CDs the pleasure is there for the taking
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VINE VOICEon 21 March 2012
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a cracking collection of great episodes. Jack Dee has stepped in as host to replace the late Humphrey Littleton, and although his style is different, it has the same quirky delivery that we have come to expect. The cast are excellent, although all sounding just that little bit older. A bit like some of the jokes!

It was a real pleasure to see that after a bit of a rest, Mornington Crescent has returned. If you don't know the rules of this classic game by now, don't worry, you never will! It's how they play it...

Uxbridge English Dictionary, a more recent game, allows the teams to define words according to their love of puns.

Other classics such as one song sung to the tune of another is timeless, and with the wit and cameraderie that we have come to expect from Grahame Garden, Tim Brooke Taylor et al, it is another bumper pack of laughs, however corny. I have been listening to and loving this programme pretty much since it started in the 1970s, and it still stands up proud, and ready to entertain. It is clever, intelligent comedy, much smarter than most modern radio comedy shows.

If you like this, you will probably also like The Goodies ... At Last! - BBC [DVD] or Just a Minute: The Best of 2011 (BBC Audio).
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Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was my first time listening to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, and I did so largely because Jack Dee was hosting it. Jack is an excellent host and mediator and his opening monologues for each of these four compilation shows are absolutely hilarious. I also vaguely knew two of the regular panellists (Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor) from re-runs of the Goodies, and probably most people know Barry Cryer even if not sure from where. I was expecting silliness and word play and silliness and word play was exactly what I got, and for the very most part I loved it.

Each compilation episode takes some of the best rounds from the recording of two or three programmes, each of which features a special guest and is taped in front of a studio audience who quite clearly are having a wonderful time. It makes you wonder just how much you are missing out on by not being able to see the panellists, especially when they are making duck noises. The reason for the duck noises is a round called "Whose Duck Are You?", and you can probably guess how the round works from the title. Another round that needs no explanation is "One Song To The Tune Of Another". Others need a bit more explanation, for example "Texting For Pensioners" finds new meanings for abbreviations such as MYOB ("Make Your Own Bovril"), and in "Unseen Prequels" the panel come up with titles for imaginary prequels to well known films, for example:

"The Land That Time Put in a Safe Place";
"Cheese Eaten Too Close to Bedtime on Elm Street";
"The Long Way Round, Avoiding the River Kwai"; or, my personal favourite:
"The Empire Gets Struck".

Some rounds are unashamedly lowbrow, but nevertheless laugh out loud funny - mostly because the panel are themselves laughing out loud and it's contagious. One such example is a round called "In My Pants", where TV programmes are improved by adding the very same three words to the end of them. There are also plenty of rounds featuring puns, charades, and other general forms of cleverness, such as "I got a satellite television, now I have to go up in a rocket to watch it".

Like I said earlier, as a newcomer to the show I needed the sleeve notes to understand the show's history, but where are the sleeve notes explaining the rules of Mornington Crescent I wonder? Well, what the sleeve notes actually say is that the "rules have eluded and baffled listeners for years". That brings me to my final observation, which is that the show has no scores. There are many TV programmes, I'd guess, that owe much to this long running radio series and where the actual scores at the end of the programme mean nothing, so why even have them? I think ISIHAC (in texting for pensioners, that stands for "I see I have a colostomy", but actually stands for I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue) has it completely right by not having a score at all. That only raises another question though - why is there someone called Samantha who always scores everywhere they go?
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VINE VOICEon 20 March 2012
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The "antidote to panel games" returns with this 14th collection of four extended episodes, recording during 2010 and 2011. This is the second volume to feature the deadpan Jack Dee as the programme's host - well, he's *usually* deadpan, except when the panellists manage to crack his straight-faced façade! Regulars Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden are given silly things to do alongside guests Marcus Brigstocke, Rob Brydon, Jeremy Hardy and David Mitchell (not Sandi Toksvig as stated in advance information).

Rounds include the perennial Mornington Crescent, One Song to the Tune of Another (in which David Mitchell sings "Gordon is a Moron" to the music from "The Girl from Ipanema" and Rob Brydon combines the tune of "Islands in the Stream" with the lyrics to "I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester"), Sound Charades, Swanee Kazoo, and my personal favourite, Uxbridge English Dictionary. Hear Barry Cryer's definition of "phlegmatic" (again - it was also in I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue 13 (BBC Audio)), how Graeme Garden defines "warehouse", and what "fallacy" means to David Mitchell.

Other highlights include Texting for Pensioners (popular acronyms adjusted for the elderly), Unseen Prequels (movie titles that might precede certain well-known films), Beer-Drinkers' Film Club and Hairdressers' Songbook (movies and songs that may appeal to those audience groups). The panellists are also invited to complete the advice from an etiquette manual and the titles of celebrity autobiographies, and to ask Jack questions that can be answered with the word "sausages".

No edition of "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" would be complete without the host's trademark putdowns, and this volume is no exception, featuring well-aimed barbs directed at the panellists, pianist Colin Sell, and in particular Lionel Blair. Innuendo regarding the delightful Samantha is somewhat scanty this time, but I suppose you can't have everything.

There's lots more fun to be had during the two-and-a-half-hour running time of this double CD. Order it now and give yourself a silly thing to do.
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VINE VOICEon 24 April 2012
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What could I possibly add by way of a useful review of this latest set of ISIHAC?

If you know the show (and who with a reasonably sharp sense of humour has any reason not to be a devotee, I wonder?) there is not much I can tell you. Like others, I had some reservations when Jack Dee took over from the much-missed late Humph. I thought his "studied" air of deadpan would not really suit the show - well not as host, anyway. But I have grown more accustomed to him now - though Humph's way of serving up the smutty innuendo with all the innocent guilelessness of an unwordly maiden aunt, could never be bettered in my view.

The regulars are all there on this set - by which I mean both the panellists (whether real or fictional as in the case of the much-maligned, resident nymphomaniac, Samantha) and the rounds.

I would heartily recommend this to anyone* - it's always in the car for fun on long journeys and why not sample some of the other editions available too?(*though Lionel Blair may wish to give it a wide berth).

A hysterical show that maintains, and exceeds, its own very high standards and provides riotous good fun for anyone. Brilliant!
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2012
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
You can always guarantee that the BBC will produce top quality radio game shows and ISIHAC is one of the better ones.

Containing all the favourites like one song to the tune of another and Swanee kazoo and of course the always brilliant Mornington Crescent in all it's different variations this collection is another slice of classic radio genius.

It loses a star as with all of these game shows the replay value is slightly limited - maybe not so much as other shows but still limited nevertheless. And nowadays with the plethora of free podcasts available I question if paying seven or eight pounds for four episodes of a game show is good value for money.

Nevertheless this is still one of the funnier shows on the radio and will entertain the whole family on a long car journey.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 17 April 2012
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the second collection of shows with Jack Dee as host and he is settling in well. With the exception of some of the (very) long running gags -the introductions for the lovely Samantha are getting a bit repetitious - the chairman's script no longer sounds as though it was written for Humph, and Dee is now sufficiently comfortable in the role to ad lib freely.

The three regulars (Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke Taylor and Graeme Garden) are good value as usual with a running gag developing over Cryer's drinking and ageing. The usual rounds (Mornington Crescent, Uxbridge English Dictionary, Sound Charades) are present and correct and are as enjoyable as ever. Of the newer rounds, one particularly fun one has Jack Dee having to respond with the answer "sausages" to any question put by the contestants. It doesn't sound promising, but the general elevation of silliness in the questions and the breaking down of Jack Dee's "miserable git" persona make it a highlight.

In the years since Willie Rushton died, the quality of the show has often depended on the guest panellists. In this collection, we have David Mitchell, Jeremy Hardy, Marcus Brigstocke and Rob Brydon. As the longest serving guest, it is perhaps a little disappointing that Jeremy Hardy is the weakest of the four here, but the disc editors have recognised this by increasing the amount from David Mitchell who is on good (and not too pompous) form. Marcus Brigstocke is the provider of some erudite wordplay, and Rob Brydon is on song (literally in "One Song to the Tune of Another" where his rendition of The Wurzells "Brand New Combine Harvester" to the tune of "Islands in the Stream" is another highlight).

Overall, a good addition to the collections of fans of literate (if occasionally filthy) jokes.
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Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After running for nearly four decades, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue still hasn't run out of steam or material, holding up strongly without the need of life support just yet with its eclectic mixture of celebrity-owned duck impressions, competitive boasting, product plugging, Uxbridge English Dictionary (cue plenty of pirate jokes), Swannee kazoo sessions, letters from Mrs Trellis of North Wales (book token to the usual address) and, of course, Mornington Crescent. These four extended episodes feature cheerful host Jack Dee, regulars Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer along with guests David Mitchell, Jeremy Hardy, Rob Bryden, Marcus Brigstocke date from 2010 and 2011, comprising of extended episodes from Cambridge and Cheltenham and two compilation episodes from Nottingham (taken from two different shows nearly a year apart) and Chatham (taken from three episodes recorded over the space of a year). The editing is certainly seamless, though the quality is somewhat variable: the first episode is easily the best, with the remainder sloping off somewhat while still providing plenty to laugh at, especially in the musical rounds, with Graeme Garden's rendition of Shaft to the tune of My Grandfather's Clock, Marcus Brigstocke's rendition of Mr Boombastic and Rob Brydon's I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester threatening to stay with you for weeks to come. Not quite the gold standard for the series, but still a lot of fun.
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Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Four more episodes of a classic BBC Radio comedy quiz, this self-styled "antidote to panel games" must now share the comedy crown with Monty Python and The Goons.

Based on a conventional radio panel-game show, ISIHAC gives the three regular panelists (Brooke-Taylor, Garden and Cryer) a chance to air their finely-tuned senses of humour, shepherded by chairman Jack Dee and scored by the lovely Samantha. It rapidly becomes clear, however, that no points are being scored and double-entendre is the order of the day. Described by a Mrs Trellis (allegedly of North Wales) as having 'an enormous fistful of rampant innuendo rammed into every crack', and by Tim Brooke-Taylor as being a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to gather round the radio and listen to thirty minutes of unbridled filth, it hardly needs to be stressed that it's NOT family listening. One wonders just how the panelists manage to get away with what they get away with, week after week. But they do, and thank god for it. ISIHAC never fails to get me crying with laughter.

Dee does a fine job as chairman, bringing his trademark dry, laconic and slightly grumpy style to a part that Humphrey Littleton invented. Humph left a very large pair of trousers to be filled and it's no surprise (nor is it anything to be ashamed of) that Dee doesn't quite fill them. Close enough though.

All the old favourite "games" are played; Mornington Crescent, One Song to the Tune of Another, Sound Charades, Cheddar Gorge, Swanee Kazzoo and so-on. Hamish and Dougal make their appearance, as do guest panelists David Mitchell, Jeremy Hardy, Marcus Brigstocke and Rob Brydon. Lionel Blair comes in for his usual battering (as does Nicholas Parsons) while the long-suffering Colin Sell plays with his organ.

If you know what to expect, you hardly need to read the review. If you don't? Well, relax, batten down the hatches, loosen any tight clothing and prepare for a barrage of tasteful smut.
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