NOTE: Peter Cook's last appearance although clips of him are played in the 1992 compilation Silver Minutes.


ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Clement Freud and Peter Cook in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much, hello and welcome to Just A Minute, our radio panel game in which our four contestants pit their wits, their verbal dexterity and ingenuity against each other and try and speak for Just A Minute if they can on a subject I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject on the card. This week as youíve just heard we have three of our regulars and we welcome our guest Peter Cook. And we start as usual with one of our longest standing resident competitors of the game and it is Kenneth Williams. And the subject heís going to ...

KENNETH WILLIAMS: You see, even before I start, you hear the applause!

NP: Yes!

KW: Itís incredible, isnít it!

NP: I know! From two people! And Kenneth, how to get cracking, thatís the subject, you have 60 seconds starting now.

KW: Very appropriate for me! Because nothing is more enjoyable than a boiled egg to begin the day! And you take the bowl of the spoon, and crack it with that. And then a sharp whack with the knife, and you feel every bit as satisfied as learning that another nationalised industry has returned to its rightful owners! As my old aunt always used to put it, when it was a blue eggcup, she said, then a white egg was appropriate for it. Of course I wonít go...


NP: Peter Jones has pressed his buzzer. Peter what is your challenge?

PETER JONES: Repetition of egg.

NP: Yes, more than one. So Peter you have a correct challenge, you get a point for that and you now take over the subject of how to get cracking and you have 32 seconds left starting now.

PJ: Now I would prefer a different diet altogether. Get a good pair of nutcrackers and some Brazils and Filberts and chestnuts and coconuts and crack them over a warm fire, with a bottle of rum or port perhaps beside you...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Um it was the rum...


PJ: Um! He said um!

CF: It was the rum on the warm fire that I was worried about! From a safety aspect!

NP: Well he would be getting cracking in more ways than one! Wouldnít he!

CF: Not just cracking, he would blow up!

NP: That really would be cracking! So Clement, interesting challenge, but he wasnít deviating from the subject on the card. So Peter you have a point for a wrong challenge and you keep going with 16 seconds left starting now.

PJ: And if you can sip...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged again.

CF: Thatís the 11th and! I think even for a little word like and...

NP: For a little word like that we usually ignore it...

CF: Eleven!

NP: But he hadnít done it 11 times, I was counting! So...

CF: You wait!

NP: I know! The threats have started already and we havenít got through the first round! Um Clement, Peter Jones you have the subject still and there are 15 seconds left, how to get cracking, starting now.

PJ: And when youíve finished...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Well itís very obvious that heís not getting cracking. I mean, he should be disqualified. The whole thing should be given back to me who rightfully should have had it all along! I mean I didnít actually repeat egg at all. I said eggcup which is hyphenated. Any fool knows that! The trouble is Iím dealing with a load of illiterates here!

NP: You had a brown egg and a white egg...

KW: Iím the lone luminary so to speak!

NP: You did have more than one egg, and actually Iíve never heard Peter start so quickly after I said now so...

KW: Oh heís wonderful, innee! Oooh marvelous!

NP: No, Iíve got to try and be fair otherwise Iím going to be sent up rotten by all of you! So Peter, you only went for half a second and there are 14 seconds left for how to get cracking starting now.

PJ: And at the same time...


NP: Peter Cook! Peter Cook has challenged you.

PETER COOK: I think this is, I have to agree with Clement here. The use of the word and is, is getting the whole thing, becoming demeaning, I think to all of us here...

KW: Demeaning! That is the right word! Demeaning! You are right! You are right!

PC: Weíre getting demeaned by the word and!

KW: Demeaning! Itís demeaning!


KW: Demeaning! Thatís the right word...

NP: I donít know what youíre all talking about...

CF: Repetition of, repetition of demeaning!

NP: A very different meaning before. Peter, as you are our guest and he has now said it 11 times, I will then give you the benefit of the doubt and say weíve had really a bit too many ands. And we will hear from Peter Cook now with 13 seconds to go on how to get cracking starting now.

PC: Nothing so enhances a day as the beginning of it. And when it arrives you feel a strange movement in the sheets. And yet for a certain time you are not certain what...


NP: Thatís quite enough! Donít overdo it! I mean he has played the game before! Um Peter as you were speaking, Peter Cook, when the whistle went, you get an extra point for that. And so you at the end of the first round have two points, Peter Jones has got four, and Clement Freud and Kenneth Williams have yet to score.

CF: Awwww!

NP: Peter we would like you to begin the next round and the subject is the seven wonders of the world. So Peter Jones will you tell us something of those in 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Itís not very long allowed to speak about the seven wonders of the world but Iíll try. The Pyramids of Egypt and the Statue of Zeus, the Colossus of Rome and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and three others too well-known to mention! They were er listed by the Greeks when they were sending people abroad to tour the world like tourists do now. And they were given this list so they didnít miss anything important and they considered these seven items a far more er necessary to their education...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: I thought there was hesitation.

NP: I thought there was more than one! Yes! I didnít count the ers because I know you donít like to have er countings. But Clement I agree with your challenge, you have a point and 34, sorry, 24 seconds left...

PJ: Ers, did you say? Ers?

CF: Thatís one of the wonders.

NP: Yes, ers.

PJ: To er is human!

NP: Yes!


CF: No, no,!

NP: Oh no, itís not worth that! Please! Otherwise he might get worse! And there are...

PC: To um is worse!

NP: The seven wonders of the world, Clement Freud, is the subject and there are 24 seconds left starting now.

CF: It is an extraordinary thing that whereas the seven wonders of the world are very well documented, people will keep talking about the eighth and ninth wonder as if that impressive list needed addition, which of course is totally unnecessary. Kenneth Williams would love to be among that category of humanity...


NP: Peter Jones youíve challenged.

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Why?

PJ: Well heís talking, heís supposed to be talking about the seven wonders of the world, heís now talking about the eighth or ninth. Or in Kenneth Williamsí case about the million and fifth!

NP: I thought actually that he did establish that Kenneth Williams would like to be one of the seven. And he did actually say that, though he did say the eighth or ninth. So Clement I disagree with the challenge, you keep the subject, you have three seconds left starting now.

CF: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon...



NP: Peter Cook has challenged just before the whistle. Peter?

PC: Peter Jones already dwelt at length on the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and you brought them up again! Weíre fed up with the Hanging Gardens!

NP: Yes but Peter Cook as you are fairly new to the game, if someone else uses the words, or the subject or anything like that, within the same round, theyíre allowed to do it.

PC: So all four of us could go on about the Hanging Gardens!

NP: Thatís right! All four of you could go on about the Hanging Gardens!

CF: At the expense of our ratings!

PC: Right! I understand now!

NP: Yes. But as the whistle went at that particular moment Clement Freud gets a point for speaking as the whistle went, and he is in second place now behind Peter Jones. And Clement Freud itís your turn to begin and the subject is blue chips. Will you tell us something on those, of those in 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Blue chips is the name which is generally given to things that are peerless or impeccable. And I would like to tell you a story about a king who had three daughters. One called Ethel Reader, the second was a redhead, no hair, just a tete un tete rouge. And the third was named Gladys for reasons into which I will not now go. And he was known as the blue chip throughout the kingdom. And there came a point in time where his progeny were preparing to find escorts, husbands, lovers, whatever people of noble birth look for at that particular period...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of particular.

NP: Yes I know! But itís such a good story! Canít we hear the end of it?

PJ: Yes but you canít give him a point!

CF: Killed it! Killed it! Killed it!

KW: Killed it!

CF: Killed it!

KW: Absolutely!

CF: No sense of theatre!

KW: Itís like a balloon, itís deflated, itís as if he pricked the balloon, innit!

NP: Well Iíll tell you what...

KW: He put the mockers on it, didnít he! He put the mockers on it straight away, didnít he!

NP: As Peter Jonesí challenge was correct and we are playing Just A Minute, I give it to him and a point of course, he continues with the subject, and when heís finished weíll hear the rest of the story from Clement Freud. There are 15 seconds on blue chips starting now.

PJ: Blue chips are normal potato chips which have been died blue, in a vat and are sold in the bright sunlit ah...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Ah hesitation.

NP: Right you have a correct challenge, thereís four seconds left within the contest. When the whistle goes keep going on with the same story because weíd like to hear the end, and youíll get the point as the whistle goes but the subject is blue chips starting now.

CF: If you slice tubers exceedingly thinly, put them into a sieve...


NP: So weíll never hear the end of the story! Right! Clement Freud you got more points and youíre equal now in the lead with Peter Jones. And Peter Cook is going to begin the next round and the subject is a remarkable occurrence. Would you tell us something of that Peter Cook in Just A Minute starting now.

PC: (in bad Southern accent) One of the most remarkable occurrences in my experience, and during my lifetime there have been many things which I would regard as extraordinary. But perhaps the most remarkable one was when I was aloft in a jumbo jet and a woman of mixed opinions sat next to me and gave forth to this utterance. "Brother," she said, in a voice strangely filled with awe, "could you possibly explain why you have such a peculiar accent?" I hesitated for a moment and said to her "my dear lady, I have no idea, I was born in a part of the United States where people talk very weird". And she looked at me and said "this is a very strange day for me because when I got up my little son was only two years old...


NP: Well Peter Cook started with the subject of a remarkable occurrence, gave us a remarkable performance, kept going for 60 seconds without being interrupted, and therefore gains not only a point for speaking when the whistle went but a bonus point for not being um, not deviating, or hesitating and not being interrupted. So Peter two points there but youíre still in second place, just behind Peter Jones and Clement Freud. But Kenneth Williams, alas, is yet to score. This might be his big moment because heís taken the subject of Epicurus and he starts now.

KW: Well he was a Greek philosopher born in Sayos, but he went across to Athens where he attracted a large number of pupils who flocked to him, because he maintained that philosophically he had a cure for the principal ills that afflict mankind. Affectionately known as Eppy, they shouted "Eppy cure us", and thatís how of course the name was devised! Also we are told by wags But I would dwell on more serious aspects of his work which is handed down to us by Lucretius in a remarkable poem, The Rearroom Natura, in which the body of Epicurean thought is well established. That the principal fears for mankind on this earth are fear of death and of the supernatural, gods if you will. Donít forget, we are dealing with the Helenic school of philosophy, not as we now face it, oh I meant to say...


KW: Well I meant to say, I meant...

NP: Kenneth youíve been buzzed with only half a second to go.

KW: Only half a second! I was nearly there! I was nearly there! (Sobbing) Bailiffs come round to my door and they make me a very nice proposition! And I missed it by half a second!

NP: Well you donít know, his challenge might not be a good one. Peter Cook challenged, what was it Peter?

PC: I challenged on the grounds that I thought Peter Jones was going to challenge and I wanted to get in first! Which is not a valid challenge I have to say!

NP: Well I think it is an extremely good challenge but it doesnít get you any points!

PC: No I know that!

PJ: But I did press my butter, er button...

NP: Your button?

PJ: Buzzer...

NP: Had you pressed your buzzer you would have got in a bit better! So Kenneth youíve done well, you got a point for a wrong challenge...

KW: Oh good!

NP: Yes!

KW: Good!

NP: You keep going with half a second to go on Epicurus starting now.

KW: A...


NP: So Kenneth Williams started with the subject, finished with the subject, got two points for doing so, and heís still in fourth place. And um and um Clement would you begin the next round, the subject faggots. Would you tell us something of those in 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Among other things, faggots are things that you buy...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: There were two things.

NP: Yes.

KW: Among other things, faggots are things that you buy.

NP: Yes, yes, Kenneth, yes, yes.

KW: Well I thought that you didnít hear!

NP: Youíre so sharp that I was shattered.

KW: Yes!

NP: There are 56 seconds for faggots with you Kenneth starting now.

KW: These are made from bits of sage and onion and meat and all kinds of rubbish are chucked into them. And of course there are other kinds of faggots which are chucked on the fire to burn people...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Well repetition of chucked and a few other...

NP: Yes you chucked the stuff in the first place and then you chucked it in the fire. So you had two chucks. Clement you have the subject back with 48 seconds on faggots starting now.

CF: When you walk down Piccadilly, with a poppy or a lily, in your medieval hand, and everyone will say as you pursue your flowery way, if this man expresses himself in terms too deep for me. This is from Patience by Sir W.S. Gilbert, and refers to...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation! This is nothing to do with faggots!

CF: Wait! Wait!

KW: Iím not waiting! Iím not waiting one second!

NP: No, I think...

KW: Weíre not supposed to stand around waiting, weíre supposed to get in 60 seconds.

NP: Yes Clement you did go on rather a long time before you got the connection. So it was a correct challenge from Kenneth Williams, faggots, and there are 30 seconds left starting now.

KW: In the olden days you made a bonfire of these faggots and people were burned for evil. Sorceresses were known to be shoved up... (starts to giggle) donít make me laugh!


KW: He makes me laugh and put me off!

NP: Peter...

PC: Hesitation, he got stuck half way up the sorceress!

NP: And Peter Cook made him laugh and he got the correct challenge. So Peter Cook can take over the subject and 20 seconds are left for faggots starting now.

PC: Faggots are much maligned. What more delicious way to spend a cold afternoon than to warm your faggots by the fire and watch them slowly browning, turning endlessly on the skewers provided by the purveyors of such things. Faggots themselves are things of beauty...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of things.

NP: There were, yes, and you got in with two seconds to go on faggots, Clement, starting now.

CF: And very excellent they are also!


NP: And Clementís...

PC: I think thatís rather a lame postscript, didnít it?

NP: Yes!

PC: And very excellent they are also!

KW: He just done it to get in on, to get the score! Thatís all he does!

PC: Heís after the points!

KW: Oh heís a conniver! Oh what a conniver here!

NP: But heís taken the lead again, and youíll be pleased to hear that Peter Cook is still in second place. Kenneth Williams has crept up only one behind Peter Cook in third place...

KW: Iím always doing that! I creep up, you know!

PJ: Well the last two or three times I pressed my buzzer and thereís no light, you see...

KW: Never mind! Donít wangle! Heís always arguing and quarreling and making these petty points! Just get on!

PJ: Ridiculous!

NP: Yes, yes...

KW: It donít matter who scores! Itís just a game!

NP: Yes, yes. Um Peter Cook would you begin the next round, the subject is conductors and you have 60 seconds starting now.

PC: Conduc...


NP: Yes Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, he never started at all, did he! Two and a half seconds nearly! Ah Peter Jones the subject is conductors and there are 58 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well some of them are awfully nice I think. The way they go around, up and down the steps of the buses, and collecting the money, giving the tickets. And theyíre so very good tempered, when the buses crash...


NP: Peter Cook has challenged you.

PC: They canít give you tickets when theyíre collecting money, theyíre purveying them, they havenít been given. Theyíve been bought.

NP: Oh they are giving them out Peter...

PC: Of course they are! Yes I was just annoyed that I hadnít started!

KW: Hear hear! Hear hear! Hear hear! Hear hear!

NP: Well said! Peter Jones has a point and the subject still, and there are 43 seconds left on conductors starting now.

PJ: Oh let him start!


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: He was right! You let him get in and you wanted Peter Cook to get in!

PJ: Yes I said let him start.

NP: I know but Clement Freud got in!

PJ: Yes I was interested to hear what heís got to say!

NP: I know!

PJ: Iím not interested in what Clement Freud has to say because Iíve heard everything he has to say!

NP: So Clement Freud got in but as Peter Cookís our guest, weíll give it to him as thatís what Peter Jones wanted and there are 44, 45 seconds left on conductors, Peter Cook, starting now.

PC: These jolly men and women dressed in their traditional costumes roam throughout the buses, looking for people willing to part with money. Form an integral part of the British way of life and is a...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: I think thatís enough!

NP: Good challenge but it doesnít get you a point! There are 34 seconds left with Peter Cook still, conductors, starting now.

PC: With their wonderful songs and melodies such as (singing) give me your money, Mr Jones...


NP: And Clement Freud has...

PC: (singing) For we love the way you sit upon our seats! (normal voice) These and other songs bring....

NP: Well you have been challenged as you burst into song!

PC: I never noticed! When Iím singing, Iím oblivious!

NP: The trouble is most of the audience are as well!

PC: I know!

NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: It was repetition of such as.

NP: So Clement you have the subject, 30 seconds left, conductors, starting now.

CF: Andrew Previn is one of the conductors who springs readily to mind...


NP: Peter Jones.

PJ: I didnít quite hear that!

NP: He said Andrew Previn and itís Andre Previn. So you got a very good challenge...

PJ: Well heíll say that he knows an Andrew Previn, up in Scotland or something!

NP: But heís not a good conductor!

PJ: No he isnít!

NP: No, no. So Peter Jones you have 24 seconds on conductors starting now.

PJ: Lightning conductors, now theyíre stationary and terribly useful. And they last for hundreds of years. And they take the electric current down from the top, the very pinnacle of the house, down into the ground where it canít do any harm...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Two downs.

NP: Yes that is right Kenneth and there are 12 seconds left with conductors and you have a chance on this subject starting now.

KW: I was actually on a bus when a conductor said "Regent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue". And a man said to him "did you say letís be having you?" And the conductor was rightly indignant because he hadnít! Heíd said Shaftesbury Avenue...


NP: And Clement Freud challenged.

CF: (barely audible through the laughing) Repetition!

NP: Yes!

KW: What of?

NP: Shaftesbury Avenue!

CF: Shaftesbury Avenue!

KW: No dear I wasnít talking in the game again, I was telling you privately! After the challenge!

NP: No, the challenge, itís still on, the gameís still on! And there are two seconds to go and Clement Freudís got in again...

KW: Yes! He always does! Nasty! Nasty! Conniver!

NP: Two seconds on conductors Clement starting now.

CF: My favourite orchestra...



NP: And Peter Cook challenged before!

KW: Good!

NP: Peter what was your challenge?

PC: There was a great deal of hesitation in the middle of the word orchestra!

KW: Hear hear! Hear hear!

PC: We only heard orchest!

KW: Yes!

PC: Then there was a challenge, a hesitation, a bell, curtains moved, paranormal substances were seen! Ectoplasm!

NP: Well youíve contributed a great deal to the game and the show, but it wasnít a correct challenge.

PC: No, I realise that!

NP: So Clement gets one for speaking as the whistle went. And we move on to the next subject which is Kenneth Williamsí turn. Going up in the world, Kenneth, will you tell us something about that during 60 seconds starting now.

KW: This generally means to have achieved a better position for yourself in society. And those on the lower rungs of the echelon, so to speak, will always say what a load of snobbery all that is! Trying to be grand and keep up with the Jonesí or the Mannerings or Mainwarings as some would have it! Or as the French .. oh I said or twice! But it doesnít matter!


NP: Clement.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Yes, yes, he went off. You see Kenneth if you keep going some...

KW: No itís wrong challenge, I wasnít deviating, I was talking about the subject.

CF: Yes! You said you said or twice.

NP: You said or twice which is nothing to do with going up in the world.

KW: Course it is! You say or twice, they say what or? What are you talking about! Wouldnít they, in society!

PC: Yeah lotís of Ďores have gone up in the world!

KW: Yes! Precisely! Brilliant! Brilliant point! Yes!

NP: But it doesnít get him a point. So Clement you have...

KW: Oh donít force yourself!

NP: Iím trying to be accurate! There are 34 seconds Clement, going up in the world, starting now.

CF: We once had somebody who worked for us in the basement, who went up in the world so amazingly quickly...


NP: Peter Jones.

PJ: Who does he mean we? Does he mean Kenneth and him? Who does he mean?

NP: I imagine he means his family and his whole entourage that live in his establishment!

CF: Quite right!

NP: And I think heís entitled to use the word we.

PC: Is he entitled to keep his slave in the cellar?

PJ: Yes!

PC: I mean itís not allowed! I donít think itís the proper thing!

PJ: I didnít know whether he meant the Liberal Party or some Playboy Club...

NP: Well he could have meant anything. But he wasnít deviating within the strict rules of Just A Minute, well theyíre not very strict, but within the rules of Just A Minute, the very loose rules of Just A Minute. And so Clement Freud will...

PJ: And rather haphazardly administered if I may say so!

NP: Yes thank you! That didnít get any reaction from the audience, theyíre entirely on my side. And there are 30, 29 seconds Clement, going up in the world, starting now.

CF: Anyone who goes to Hampstead Heath on November the 5th, Guy Fawkes night, will see an amazing number of things going up in the world. Anything except Catharine Wheels which go round, in the heath...


CF: Sorry!

NP: Peter Cook has challenged.

PC: Hesitation and going round and...

KW: Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

NP: Yes...

PC: Was this Catharine the one you kept in the cellar?

NP: She was doing her cartwheels!

PC: Doesnít hold water at all!

NP: Peter Cook you have 16 seconds left and the subject is going up in the world starting now.

PC: To go up in the world, the real way to do this is to acquire things which are inner. Inner beauty and he said inner twice...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: He said inner twice!

PC: Yes he said inner twice.

NP: He said inner twice and as heís our guest and he canít possibly win the contest...

CF: He said it three times!

NP: ... and itís the end of the last round, Iím not going to take it away from him, because we want you to finish...

CF: Give him the point!

NP: ... this particular round and this particular week, Peter Cook, and there are six seconds left, going up in the world starting now.

PC: Within us all is the chance to find a thing of beauty so divine, the poets said, that no-one bothers...


NP: Well Peter Cook got a point for speaking as the whistle went with my help. But as I said earlier he couldnít unfortunately win because we have no more time left to play Just A Minute. Let me give you the final score. Kenneth Williams did alas finish in fourth place, but only just behind Peter Jones who was a little way behind our guest this week Peter Cook. And he was only three points behind this weekís winner, Clement Freud. We do hope that youíve enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute, from all of us here, goodbye!


ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by David Hatch.