THIS has been a week of last shifts and new starts on radio. On Monday evening Sue Perkins took over as the new permanent presenter of the hoary old Radio 4 institution that is Just A Minute. After a season of guest hosts, Perkins has been chosen as the permanent replacement for the late Nicholas Parsons and on the evidence of this first episode of the 87th season, you can tell why.

Perkins is a safe pair of hands, clearly respectful of the programme’s traditions but not ready to park her own sense of humour just because she is in a position of supposed authority.

For the two of you who listen solely to a diet of pirate radio and maybe the odd shipping forecast, Just A Minute is a simple game in which the guests have to speak for a minute on a given subject without hesitation, deviation or repetition. And at the end Paul Merton wins.

Just A Minute frankly couldn’t be any more Radio 4 if it served you tea and crumpets as you listened. It’s pleasant and polite and can either feel like the aural equivalent of a warm bath or a smothering blanket depending on your mood.

It’s not my cup of Earl Grey most of the time, but even on the evidence of one episode it’s clear that Perkins as host will not disappoint those who love the show. Indeed, as well as bringing her own quick wit to the table she also duplicates Nicholas Parson’s general loveliness.

When Just a Minute newbie Daliso Chaponda was interrupted by Jan Ravens almost as soon as he started speaking, Perkins rushed to his defence. “I would say it is Daliso’s first time playing the game and you buzzed in after three seconds,” Perkins chipped in protectively

Oh and, yes, Paul Merton did indeed win on Monday night. But on this occasion he had to share first prize with Ravens.

Meanwhile, as Sue Perkins takes up residence in one of Radio 4’s prime locations, Shaun Keaveny disappears from his afternoon berth on 6 Music.

The last few weeks have been something of a long goodbye for the DJ who has been at the station for 14 years. For much of that time he hosted the station’s breakfast show before switching to afternoons in 2019.

He has been winding up for this departure for weeks now. “The mawk continues,” as he pointed out early in the week.

It’s possible I’ve listened to Keaveny’s radio show more than anyone else’s over those 14 years. Partly out of inertia (once you’ve chosen your breakfast show it takes a lot to change it), partly because no one has made me laugh as much on the radio over that time. Not even Paul Merton.

I’m just disappointed that I never got around to sending him my Small Claims Court story of the time I was leaving a building at the same time as U2 were going in and Bono nodded at me.

This week he has been trotting out his favourite impersonations old and new (Paul McCartney and Rupert Murdoch both featured this week. On Tuesday he even gave us a blast of his Brian Sewell), as well as reading out farewell messages from listeners and reminiscing at length with his various guests. Yet it never felt too sentimental. As one of his listeners suggested on Wednesday his show has been a “perfect waste of time,” which sums it up well.

Everyone got a little emotional when Johnny Marr paid tribute to Keaveny on Monday. Imagine the greatest guitarist in the world singing your praises. That’s worth leaving your job for.

"For years I felt like I wasn't living up to my potential," he said during his sign-off yesterday. "Why can't I write a sitcom or an album or a novel, something that will live forever and stand the test of time.

"Radio's just ephemeral, right? It's just steam off your cup of tea. Well you're wrong. It's a community and we built this community together."

The last record he played on Friday? We've Only Just Begun by The Carpenters. Not a dry eye in the house.

Listen Out For: Liz Kershaw’s Legends in Their Own Lunchtime, 6 Music, 1pm, Sunday. Talking of eighties indie legends, Peter Hook, estranged member of New Order is Liz Kershaw’s guest tomorrow.