WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring CLEMENT FREUD, GRAHAM NORTON, STEVE FROST and MARTIN JARVIS, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 31 January 2000)
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!
NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners throughout the world and also the four individual diverse and exciting personalities who this week are going to play this particular game. Well we welcome back one of the long standing players of the game, heís been with the show since it began over 30 years ago, that is Clement Freud. We welcome two very talented comedy performers, the outrageous Graham Norton, the more reserved Stephen Frost. And we also welcome a very distinguished legitimate actor from the world of theatre and that is Martin Jarvis. Would you please welcome all four of them! And as usual Iím going to ask them to speak on a subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst whoís going to help me keep the score and blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute comes from the Gateway Theatre in the delightful, ancient and historic city of Chester. And before us in this great auditorium we have an enthusiastic Cheshire audience ready to cheer us on our way with their Cheshire smiles. Let is begin the show with Graham Norton. Oh Graham what a good subject, well any time of the year I suppose, hangovers. Will you tell us something about hangovers in 60 seconds starting now.
GRAHAM NORTON: The worst sort of hangovers I find are those bellies on a man of a certain age that hang over his belt like a fleshy bag of heavy shopping from Netto or some such establishment. Thatís the sort of supermarket that probably doesnít exist here in posh Chester. Yes this is the town where you can buy pot pourri...
NP: Oh Clement Freud youíve challenged.
CLEMENT FREUD: Deviation?
CF: Chesterís a city.
GN: Iím writing that down!
NP: As we are in the city of Chester, I could not do anything but accept that challenge. So Clement a correct challenge, you get a point for that, you take over the subject of hangovers, there are 34 seconds available and you start now.
CF: Itís a very odd thing that people deny being drunk and are ashamed of it, but are hugely proud of their hangovers. I think it should be made clear that when you are inebriated, it really doesnít count unless...
NP: Stephen Frost has challenged.
STEVE FROST: Hesitation.
NP: Thatís right and youíve got 20 seconds and itís hangovers starting now.
SF: The worst hangover that I ever had was when I drank one bottle of vodka, two...er...
NP: You were so hung over that you canít remember! Graham you challenged first, yes?
GN: A bit of hesitation.
NP: Yes we spotted it, 15 seconds are available, itís still with you Graham, another point, hangovers starting now.
GN: Myself and my friend Nicky drank a case of wine one evening...
NP: Martin Jarvis challenged.
MARTIN JARVIS: Exaggeration!
GN: If only that were true!
NP: So have you a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute, or was it just nice to hear from you?
MJ: Well it was very nice to be here, it is very nice to be here.
NP: Yes but Iím afraid it was an incorrect challenge, but it was nice to hear from you. Graham you have another point, 12 seconds available, hangovers starting now.
GN: The best sort of hangover is lying in bed watching an omnibus edition of Hollyoaks filmed here in the city of Chester. How we love its brilliant storylines...
NP: Clement, Clement challenged you just before you...
CF: Repetition of Chester.
NP: You mentioned Chester before when you...
GN: Youíre so right! But can you say it too often, good friends?
NP: And Clement youíve cleverly got in with one second to go on the subject of hangovers starting now.
CF: If you can lie on the floor...
NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud. And Martin Jarvis welcome to the show. It has been so many years since you played this game and we love to have you back. And weíve got a subject for you to go on, friends in high places. Iím sure you know many but talk on the subject starting now.
MJ: I made friends with a stewardess on the plane coming from California to London. And she said to me "would you like to come up and sit in the flight deck and see how we land at Heathrow?" I said "Iíd love to". I sat behind the pilot. We landed perfectly with scarcely a bump. But the second officer turned around as we were just on the runway and said "this is where the problems begin, we donít know where the gate is". They got out a map...
NP: Hesitation Stephen.
MJ: Oh I was leaving a gap for the laugh.
NP: I know! Iím afraid you canít, this is, this is comedy theatre not legit. You canít wait for laughs, you have to go with it Martin, go with the flow. Stephen got in with 32 seconds to go, friends in high places Stephen starting now.
SF: I was queuing up to go to the nightclub last night, and it was at least 30...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Repetition of night.
NP: I was queuing up to go to the nightclub last night, yes thatís quite right. Ah...
SF: Heís been on the show 30 years...
NP: Wait a minute, nightclub is one word.
SF: It is one word.
NP: Nightclub is one word, 28 seconds, friends in high places is with you Stephen starting now.
SF: I decided to go home because I couldnít wait to go in. But all of a sudden, the bouncer...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Is go hyphenated as well?
NP: Sarcasm is not hyphenated! And go is...
SF: It was a go-go club! Come on!
NP: Clement you got it this time, 24 seconds, friends in high places starting now.
CF: Iím never sure where high places are. Ideally I suppose it is God. But often they live at Number 10 Downing Street, the House of Commons, the Palace of Westminster...
NP: Martin Jarvis challenged.
NP: No itís difficult to do a list and heís quite good at it. And um...
GN: Give up now is really what youíre being told.
NP: Thirteen seconds, I donít know if heís going on, friends in high places Clement, another point for you starting now.
CF: If you go to Katmandu youíre almost bound to have friends who have been to high places. Because Everest towers above that country. Snow peaks show through...
NP: Oh, no, no, Graham...
GN: No, no, I didnít touch it! It went off in my hand! It went off in my hand!
NP: You donít want to take your challenge?
GN: Well he did hesitate towards the end.
NP: He did hesitate. He hesitated literally, was running down and that was a definite hesitation. And you got in with half a second to go starting now.
GN: Phoebe is...
NP: In that round Graham Norton and Stephen Frost got points, theyíre both equal in second place, Clement Freud is just in the lead and Stephen it is your turn to begin. The subject is Chester. tell us something about this wonderful city in 60 seconds... oh we know how to endear ourselves, yes. Sixty seconds starting now.
SF: As we all know now, Chester is not a town but a city. And the reason why it has acclaimed this title is because it has a cathedral, built here of course by the famous architect (starts to giggle)
NP: Martin you challenged.
MJ: Well he wasnít exactly waiting for the laugh. There was a great laugh as of course there always is with Steve but he did pause while it happened.
NP: He didnít pause, he came to a fullstop!
MJ: So I feel he did hesitate.
NP: We interpret that as hesitation Martin and youíve got a point, you have 46 seconds, you tell us something about Chester starting now.
MJ: I love Chester because not only does my son work in Nicholas Street in the Chambers there. But one of the great headmasters in this wonderful place, Roger Wixon, my old school friend, is at the place that they educate people at, just down the road...
NP: Clement Freud yes.
MJ: Isnít that beside the point?
NP: Ah I think...
CF: He also repeated at.
NP: You repeated at actually yes. Itís a tough one to get, at, but you did emphasise it as well. So Clement a correct challenge, 31 seconds, Chester, starting now.
CF: Chester is hugely famous for its football club.
NP: Martin you challenged.
MJ: I feel terribly nervous about challenging Clement about anything but I felt he hesitated.
NP: No he definitely played for the laugh, he got it, he was content with that and he stopped. So that is hesitation. And you have 20 seconds, youíve got another point, you take back the subject of Chester starting now.
MJ: Gyles Brandreth was an MP here and Iím keeping talking about my old chum who was er actually...
NP: Stephen Frost?
SF: Got a bucket? No, hesitation, he went er, there was an er in there.
NP: He definitely got an er in Iím afraid yes. Because the audience reaction was so powerful for Gyles Brandreth, you sort of erred. Eleven seconds for you Stephen on Chester starting now.
SF: Being an old Roman town not a lot of people know that Chester is Latin...
NP: Clement challenged.
CF: Chester is a city.
SF: Yes but when the Romans were here it was a town! Because they didnít have cathedrals, so they werenít a city!
NP: Youíre right Stephen, you did say an old Roman town, didnít you. You did. So it was an old Roman town which eventually got its cathedral and became a city. So I say that is not deviation, you keep the subject, you have eight seconds, you have Chester and you start now.
SF: It is Latin for...
SF: I said that!
NP: Ah Graham?
GN: Repetition of Latin.
GN: In fairness!
NP: I know yes.
GN: Iím not being picky, he did say it twice!
NP: No, no, no...
GN: Iím playing the game!
SF: Iím glad you interrupted because I havenít got a clue what itís Latin for!
NP: Six seconds, Chester, starting now.
GN: The city of Chester is of course world famous now as the home of...
NP: So at the end of that round theyíve all got points but the situation is excatly the same. Clement Freud is just in the lead, second place Graham Norton and Stephen Frost equal, and just behind them Martin Jarvis. And Clement Freud your turn to begin and the subject now is a flat battery. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
CF: A flat battery chicken is a fowl which has either been run over, or possibly beaten by a cook with a rock or a flat knife. The very best thing to do with such a fowl is to dredge it in flour or salt and fry it in a mixture of olive oil and butter until it is golden on each side. And people will say this is one of the most delicious flat battery chickens I have eaten...
GN: Oh no Iím wrong, Iím wrong.
GN: Chicken and chickens.
NP: It was chicken the first time and chickens the second time, yes...
GN: It was too easy, I walked right into it!
NP: I know! No he gets another point and he still carries on with a flat battery and he has 31 seconds starting now.
CF: A crisp three inch high feathered friend neatly grilled and done to a turn is something that restaurants in the city of Chester have never sufficiently tried to sell to Japanese tourists who abound. Go where you will in this splendid location and flat batteries attend your attention at every point...
CF: Thank you!
GN: Heís rambling now!
GN: Japanese tourists was the last bit that made sense! After that it was just words!
NP: I know! He was struggling. You could see it on his face. The audience actually were mouthing with him. It was tremendous fun...
GN: If you were writing for a transcript!
NP: And youíve cleverly got in with five... after all Clementís hard work, heíd gone for 55 seconds, you have five seconds to tell us something about a flat battery Graham starting now.
GN: A flat battery meant that a bus stopped here in Chester and...
NP: So Graham Norton gained that extra point for speaking as the whistle went, has moved forward. Heís now only one point behind our leader Clement Freud. And Graham it is your turn to begin, the subject, the litmus test. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
GN: The litmus test is one of the best tests I know. Iíve done many tests in my life. But the litmus test is by far the finest. Some people think itís about dipping some paper into s... another thing...
NP: Stephen you challenged first.
NP: Yes it was a hesitation. Stephen you had a correct challenge. You have 42 seconds, the litmus test is with you starting now.
SF: Of course the word litmus is Latin for Chester. Hence the name of this city should be called the city...
SF: Oh no!
NP: Martin Jarvis.
MJ: Everybody seems to hesitate of sssssssssssssssss. Whatever that means!
NP: I think it is, I think...
MJ: It was hesitation.
NP:... he was trying to be too involved and too clever, but it was delicious. Right, 34 seconds you have the litmus test now Martin and you have 34 seconds as I said starting now.
MJ: The litmus test is one of the least known of all cricket games in the world. In India in this lovely place called Litmus they play a game which is very very different, very different...
MJ: I thought I was starting to learn but clearly Iím not!
NP: Yes itís an impossible game isnít it, but a fun game and thatís part of the fun. Clement you were the first to get in, 21 seconds, the litmus test starting now.
CF: When I went to school as a very small boy, I was given... a package...
NP: Stephen has challenged.
SF: Deviation, heís not going to school as a man, is he?
NP: I think Stephen to be fair, itís a phrase you might use, when I went to school as a little boy.
SF: I wasnít particularly bothered, I was just...
NP: No, you were trying hard which we...
SF: Iím not very keen on this game, Iím just glad to be a contestant.
NP: Sixteen seconds Clement an incorrect challenge, the litmus test starting now.
CF: And my mother put a cashname tape around the litmus papers so I was ever unable to take the test. Didnít know whether it should turn purple, green or pink, or whether the rabbit was dead or my name was Frind, because litmus...
NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point and with other points in the round, heís moved forward. Heís in a strong lead ahead of Graham Norton, Stephen Frost and Martin Jarvis in that order. And Martin your turn to begin. The subject is quite simply actors or ac-tors. Sixty seconds, starting now.
MJ: Marlon Brando once said an actor is a guy who if you ainít talking about him, he isnít listening. And so I donít think this is true because I know some wonderful actors. Sir John Gielgud for example is one of the greatest thespians in the world. The way he speaks is just so fantastic, we love him. My Ralph Richardson is also an absolutely fantastic actor...
MJ: .. I know heís gone from us now...
NP: Graham Norton challenged.
GN: Were there two fantastics.
NP: There was a repetition of fantastic.
MJ: Well actors are allowed to say fantastic...
GN: Of course! Yes! Silly me!
NP: But Graham he did repeat the word, so thatís a correct challenge and you have the subject of actors and you have 39 seconds starting now.
GN: Most people are not actors. Theyíre not even members of the Hollyoaks cast. Though that fine programme is one of my favourites, mostly for the outdoor scenes...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Repetition of most.
NP: There were two mosts you had there yes. Clement youíre listening well, 27 seconds, actors starting now.
CF: One early winter afternoon in the Sailors Reading Room at Ashby-la-Zouch, I met an actor. I could tell because he was wearing sandals and had dandruff that was virtually terminal.Come here he said, as did the ancient mariner...
NP: Ste, Stephen has challenged.
SF: Thatís unfair. Heís talking about Martin Jarvis and I just donít like that! I donít think thatís funny at all! I apologise on Clementís behalf.
NP: Right! Stephen what we do there because we enjoyed the interruption, is we give you a bonus point because the audience reaction justified it. But as Clement was interrupted he gets another point and he keeps the subject of actors, seven seconds available starting now.
CF: A party of Bohemian bond dealers interrupted the conversation I had with this actor who said...
NP: So Clement Freud was again speaking as the whistle went and has increased his lead. And Clement it is your turn to begin, the subject is Greek myths. Tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.
CF: If you had a speech impediment, the answer to that would be Ariadne, Aurora, Persophine, Aphrodite. But if it is myths with a t-h, I guess the vestal virgins who were slaughtered because the gods appreciated...
NP: Martin Jarvis you challenged.
MJ: I feel terrible about this!
NP: The audience are feeling worse! But carry on!
MJ: I felt there was some hesitation there.
NP: I think he was slowing down to a little bit of a halt. And weíll interpret that as hesitation Martin, especially as you havenít played it quite as often as the others and say 38 seconds available for you on Greek myths starting now.
MJ: Helen of Troy was a Greek myth. She it was who said "weíll always have Paris". Andromige, Cassandra, le trois de terre le (goes into French) is the French....
NP: Graham Norton has challenged.
GN: Repetition of le.
NP: Oui oui yes! (goes into French) Right!
GN: That is the World Service broadcast of the....
NP: We go around the world with this one so there we are! We enjoyed that! Right!
GN: They wonít understand it but...
NP: Well theyíll understand you Graham as you tell us something about Greek myths in 26 seconds starting now.
GN: Of all Greek myths surely the greatest is that the donner kebab is a form of food! It is of course a manufacturing device for slipper innards! You simply slice down whatever that was if it ever lived and...
NP: Stephen challenged.
SF: Iím going for repetition of ever.
NP: Yeah there were two evers.
NP: Whatever that was if it ever lived.
SF: Oh yes.
NP: Itís very difficult. So an incorrect challenge Graham and you still have Greek myths and seven seconds starting now.
GN: In university I studied Greek and Roman civilisation. And I was fascinated...
NP: Well Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Heís moved forward, heís now equal in second place with Stephen Frost, theyíre trailing Clement Freud a little. And Martin Jarvis, itís your turn to begin and the subject is too much of a good thing. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.
MJ: I played Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon in a big film. And it was called Titanic. Four days we spent on the dinner scene with real caviar. It was too much of a good thing, because in the third day, instead of going down on the Titanic, we were throwing up on the great ship. It was absolutely extraordinary how terrible our stomachs felt with this hugely expensive beluga that we had to consume day after night after every single hour of the millennium... I hated those days... on the... ship.... But anyway....
NP: Well youíve triumphed in many theatres, but now youíve had one of your greatest triumphs at the Gateway here in Chester! And is it true that nearly everything you did in that film was cut at the end? I donít mean that unkindly! This is what happens in films! You get your best role, itís happened to me, itís happened to... you get your best part and so forth and then they start editing and they leave the stars in...
MJ: In fact as I say in my new book Acting Strangely, I er did spend most of my time throwing up! No I had a wonderful time and I think this great part was cut down to about three lines and Iím very happy about that!
NP: Do you know weíre entering the last round of this particular edition? Well I tell you what, if you enjoyed it so much, maybe we can come back again! Oh after that warm reception, I think weíll just have to! Iíll talk to the powers that be and see what we can do.Um so whose turn is it to begin? Clement Freud would you take the last round, itís graffiti. Itís a lovely subject, you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.
CF: Iíve never quite understood the allure of going into a gentlemanís convenience and writing "bollocks" on the wall. And yet there are those that continue to do so....
NP: I think that was one occasion when you were quite right to ride the laugh... not ride the laugh, but wait for it and get the full response. As you paused for about five or 10 seconds Graham got in first. Graham...
GN: I was just saving himself because I thought he might remember some more!
NP: I see! Right! Well what do you remember of your graffiti? I donít mean personal graffiti, I mean the graffiti youíve seen! And 60, no there are 39 seconds available starting now.
GN: Graffiti always sounds to me like an obscure form of pasta. And what a happy day it was when I found alphabetty spaghetti. When you combine the two arts of...
NP: Martin Jarvis challenged.
MJ: Deviation because pasta is nothing to do with graffiti.
GN: Alphabetty spaghetti sticks to the wall!
MJ: What can I say in the face of such expertise?
NP: But also Martin...
GN: Weíve all done it!
NP: Also Martin I thought he was conveying the fact that the word graffiti sounded like a type of pasta which I thought was rather amusing.
MJ: It was extremely amusing, yes.
NP: But anyway, it didnít get a laugh, I know...
GN: I kept going!
NP: Incorrect challenge, 29 seconds available Graham on graffiti starting now.
GN: Graffiti I have seen that I enjoyed included some writing above a mirror in a mens toilet, for I havenít strayed too far from where Iím supposed to be, and it said "of course youíre going home alone". Just above the mirror...
NP: Stephen Frost challenged.
NP: The mirror, yes. You repeated the mirror. Yes!
GN: Thank God for that!
NP: So Stephen you got a correct challenge, there are 10 seconds available, tell us something about graffiti starting now.
SF: I went into a toilet once after Clement Freud had just come out...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: I went into a toilet once!
NP: I think he was establishing the fact that on one occasion...
CF: I thought he meant only once!
NP: And Stephen you still have the subject of graffiti, seven seconds available starting now.
SF: Get a can of spray ke...
SF: My microphoneís not working properly! Itís making all my words come out funny!
NP: Graham youíve got in first, deviation from English as we understand it...
GN: Yes indeed yes.
NP: Five seconds...
GN: How long to talk, oh five seconds, yes.
NP: No, no...
GN: Thatís fine.
NP: You want to say something?
GN: Oh no, no, no.
NP: We always love to hear from you.
GN: No, no, no.
NP: Youíre always good value...
GN: Letís go, letís go, hey! Hey! Hey! Itís graffiti, letís talk about it! Come on! Come on, come on!
NP: All right, five seconds, can you do it? Graffiti, bring the show to a.... close, to a finish on a high, five seconds, graffiti, starting now.
GN: In my school...
NP: No Stephen you challenged.
SF: I think he was hesitating, he was too busy doing the dance!
NP: He certainly wasnít hesitating, he only went for one and a half seconds. But still another point to you Graham, youíve got three and a half seconds on graffiti starting now.
GN: (very fast) Iíve only once attempted to do any graffiti...
NP: Martin Jarvis challenged.
MJ: Gabble, gabblisation!
NP: Youíre all trying too hard just because itís the last few seconds. The last. Thatís an incorrect challenge, you have one second left on graffiti with you Graham starting now.
NP: Well the final round, what can I tell you except that I think it was a great show and everybody here seemed to enjoy it. And an amazing number of points were scored throughout the whole show. Martin Jarvis who hasnít played the game very much, hasnít been with us for years actually, but he got a lot of points, he finished only just in fourth place behind Stephen Frost. No really! You Stephen were only three points behind Graham Norton and Clement Freud who finished up with that last flourish of yours Graham, catching up Clement Freud, so equal together in the lead, our winners this week, Graham Norton and Clement Freud. You at home or in your cars or wherever youíre listening to this edition of Just A Minute have enjoyed the show as much as weíve enjoyed performing it. It only remains for me to thank our four talented players of the game, Graham Norton, Clement Freud and Martin Jarvis and Stephen Frost. I must thank Janet Staplehurst for helping with the score and blowing her whistle. And also we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game, and our producer Chris Neil who produces and directs and tries to keep some sort of control. And particular this lovely audience here in Chester who encourage us on our way at the Gateway Theatre. And from them, from me Nicholas Parsons and from all of us here, goodbye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute.