NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners in this country and throughout the world to this amazing show. And itís also a great pleasure to welcome back four exciting talented and skillful players of the game. We welcome back the wonderful outrageous wit of Graham Norton, the charming wit of Linda Smith, the exuberant wit of Tony Hawks, and the clever wit of Clement Freud. And will you please welcome all four of them. And as usual I am going to ask them to speak on a subject that 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 keep the score for me and blow her whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the beautiful Theatre Royal in the centre of Nottingham, one of those great natural theatres. And the people of Nottingham are proud of their theatre and theyíre proud that theyíre in this audience here. Ready to cheer us on our way! So letís get moving rapidly with Clement Freud. Clement the subject on the card in front of me is stuffing a chicken. After the words Iíve just... used about this elegant theatre to come down to stuffing a chicken is a bit low! But anyway thatís the subject Clement, 60 seconds as usual, start now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Iíve always considered stuffing a chicken to be an ignominious pastime. Pushing bits of bread and herb and spice, salt and parsley, cake, beer, wine, into the cavities of a chicken has got to be one of the less exciting things that you can do in a kitchen!


NP: Yes he thought about it and absolutely came to a halt. So Linda Smith, you challenged.

LINDA SMITH: I challenged yes, the odd hesitation there.

NP: Hesitation yes is a correct challenge, so Linda you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject. There are 38 seconds available, it is stuffing a chicken starting now.

LS: When stuffing a chicken, the most... oh!


NP: Graham Norton, you...

GRAHAM NORTON: I was just preventing a swear word!

NP: Yes...

LS: Thank you Graham, you saved me from myself.

NP: Right, hesitation, Graham you have a point for a correct challenge, you have stuffing a chicken and you have 35 seconds Graham on stuffing a chicken, starting now.

GN: Stuffing a live chicken into a black plastic bag is considered a good night out in Loughborough! They stand there on street corners, with their fowl going "oh look! Iíve got ready ties in my sack!" And people ooh and ah as the flapping chicken...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TONY HAWKS: There was a... Interesting, a repetition of ooh! Because they said ooh look what Iíve got in my sack, and then ooh ah later.

GN: Ah!

NP: Theyíre pretty sharp, arenít they! So Tony Hawks you have a correct challenge and you have a point for that of course. And there are 14 seconds left and you will take over the subject now of stuffing a chicken starting now.

TH: If you are going to stuff a chicken, always get the permission of the chickenís parents first! Otherwise they could just get very upset indeed with you and start pecking around! Iíve never actually stuffed a chicken myself, but I have caught...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Tony Hawks and at the end of that round, heís naturally in the lead. Linda Smith, would you take the next round, the subject is contact lenses. Tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.

LS: Contact lenses. Speaking as a very short-sighted person whose glasses prescription is very similar to that of the Hubble telescope, I love contact lenses. Theyíve made my life so special. It now means I can walk around without two cut glass ashtrays clamped to the front of my face, drawing very unfavourable comparisons...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: The third very.

NP: Yes, too much very.

CF: I was kind after two!


LS: That was an interesting one because it went to dis, went from disapproval to grudging appreciation!

NP: No I think, I think there are partisan groups in the audience actually. One lot suddenly booed the challenge and the other lot cheered it! So itís a... itís good, itís good to have feeling isnít it! As long as... That was a correct challenge because you did repeat very. Clement you have the subject of contact lenses, 39 seconds, starting now.

CF: My eyesight is pretty good, sort of 20-19. I couldnít repeat the first number again. But so I have never had contact lenses. On the other hand I did once open up a chicken which had been stuffed, and found a contact lens within it. Not just liver and kidney, lights and throat, tongues and eyes, but a contact lenses in the chicken. Iíve said chicken again...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Well I think heís kind of, itís deviation because he couldnít repeat contact lens, realising that wasnít the subject so he said a contact lenses which doesnít make, doesnít make sense...

NP: He did, it didnít exactly make sense did it?

TH: No!

NP: Right! And he repeated chicken as well but that doesnít matter! Correct challenge, Tony Hawks, seven seconds, you tell us something about contact lenses starting now.

TH: Itís very difficult to find a buyer for contact lenses if you try and sell them separately, which is what I did a few months ago...


NP: So Tony Hawks was again speaking as the whistle went, he gained that extra point for doing so and he has increased his lead at the end of the round, in fact the other three are equal in second place. And Graham Norton, itís your turn to begin. And the subject here is socks. Can you tell us something about socks starting now.

GN: Socks is famously the name of Bill Clintonís cat. And Iím reliably informed itís the only pussy in the White House that Hillary doesnít mind Bill Clinton stroking!


GN: Itís also... the name of.... a small woollen thing.... you put on your feet.... Iím still talking! I donít know what Iím rabbiting on about.... There we leave Just A Minute! Erm... Socks...


GN: Itís not my fault! They made me!

NP: I think thatís the first time someoneís brought the show to a complete halt! But Clement Freud you pressed your buzzer and challenged.

CF: I thought there was a hesitation.

NP: And well might he hesitate after what he said! Clement there was a hesitation, about a 20 second hesitation. But that was for the audience but it was worth it, wasnít it! Clement, you, you tell us something about socks in 25 seconds starting now.

CF: A number of American baseball teams call themselves the Whitesocks or the Redsocks. And should you go to watch them, you will be hugely disappointed because they also wear boots and pants and shirts. And those who think theyíre in for an interesting pornographic evening are hugely disappointed! You have 26, maybe more...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, has moved forward. Heís now in second place, one point behind Tony Hawks. And Tony itís your turn to begin. The subject is to have your cake and eat it. That is the subject in this game, 60 seconds, starting now.

TH: I used to think to have your cake and eat it too was the sequel to the film To Have Your Cake And Eat It! But it isnít in fact, itís this expression to have your cake and eat it and what is so unreasonable about that? Cake is nice, you eat cake! Is it so strange...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Oooh actually, no, didnít mean to.

NP: Oh well either youíve got to say something....

LS: Sorry, I was miles away! Um oh I donít know, just a stab in the dark! Hesitation! No! Deviation? No!

NP: No, I donít think, I donít think... He was almost hesitating, I think thatís why you probably anticipated a hesitation, didnít happen. So Tony an incorrect challenge, another point to you, 39 seconds, to have your cake and eat it, starting now.

TH: I suppose itís another way of saying that you canít have everything in this world. That you need a little balance. And hell, thatís true of me. You canít have my looks and still be good at the game Just A Minute. Youíll see in a minute, Iíll hesitate or devi...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Repetition of minute.

NP: Yes.

TH: Well I rest my case!

NP: So Linda got in, another point to her, she has 24 seconds...

LS: That must have been a psychic challenge that I did before.

NP: Why?

LS: Because then you know I anticipated that he was going to...

NP: To hesitate. Yes.

LS: I frighten myself sometimes!

NP: Linda to have your cake and eat it, and there are 24 seconds starting now.

LS: To have your cake and eat it is probably illegal as it sounds very very...


NP: Itís so easily done! Very very! Clement you were the first in, 11 seconds, to have your cake and eat it, starting now.

CF: This is a confectioners nightmare! But to have your chicken and eat it is something which I would recommend to everyone, quite particularly if it is stuffed! Get...


NP: Clement Freud gained that extra point, speaking as the whistle went, another point. Heís moved forward, heís now equal with Tony Hawks at the end of the round. And Linda Smith and Graham Norton are equal in second place. Clement, itís your turn to begin, the subject is toupees. You have 60... heís taken it in very good part! I think you should explain why because we do have listeners who canít see you... in fact... none of our listeners can see us!

GN: Thatís right!

NP: Itís amazing the things that strike you suddenly! Oh this is the joy of Just A Minute! Right, Clement, toupees, 60 seconds, starting now.

CF: I went recently to a dinner party in Soho, and was seated opposite a man who was wearing a toupee. And thereís something hugely embarrassing to a toupee wearer confronted with a man who is bald, such as me. I have little hair. I donít want to say I have lost any hairs, because...


NP: Tony why did you challenge?

TH: No he got me. I thought he was going to repeat hair but he said hairs the second time.

NP: Well done Tony, but... All that happens is that Clement was interrupted so he gets a point for that and keeps the subject, and 40 seconds still available on toupees starting now.

CF: I know where everyone has gone! Itís the sort of philological euphemism which I disliked.


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: He sort of drifted into a reverie! As he is known!

NP: I think he was, he appeared to me to be stunned by his own profound statement. Clem... Iím sorry, Graham, a correct challenge, 33 seconds, toupees, starting now.

GN: If you lose your hair, I donít know why you would choose to wear a toupee. Because it just makes you a figure of fun. People point and laugh and go "look, thereís someone with a bit of car seat cover on their head!" Itís fooling no-one! I appeal to the nation now, take them off! Theyíre just stupid! Theyíre just...er..


GN: Where am I now? Oh...

NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was hesitation and there are eight seconds, you have the subject of toupees back again starting now.

CF: I very much agree with everything that Graham Norton has said, and congratulate him on winning a BAFTA award. Sadly on the day that...


NP: And Clement Freud with more points in the round as well as one for speaking as the whistle went, heís moved forward, heís taken the lead ahead of Tony Hawks, then come Graham Norton and Linda Smith, equal, following. Linda it is your turn to begin, the subject, oh I donít know why they thought of this, but we are in Nottingham. Robin Hood! Just A Minute you have to talk on Robin Hood, Linda, starting now.

LS: Robin Hood, I love Robin Hood, especially the song.

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen,

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men,

Feared by the bad, loved by the good,

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood!

He called the hunters and archers to a tavern on the green,

He vowed them to the service of the King...


LS: He handled all the trouble on the English country scene,

And still found plenty of time to sing!


NP: Right...

LS: Donít you just love him!

NP: Tony Hawks you challenged before she...

TH: Iím afraid she did too many of the lyrics, weíll have to pay the songwriter other royalties. So weíre in contravention of performing right rules. I only feel that as a lawyer, as my...

NP: Yes but what about Just A Minute? Repetition, hesitation or deviation?

TH: All of those, yes! Deviation.

NP: Why?

TH: Deviation from following the law of er... this wonderful land of ours! Ah you you, you canít, you see, you have to pay the er... Iíll shut up!

NP: Actually I donít think you made your case. She had other...

GN: She did deviate though!

NP: Why?

GN: It must be some sort of deviation to remember all the bloody annoying song! And you think thanks a lot Linda! Now we all know it again!

NP: Right!

GN: Weíd forgotten it!

NP: So Tony you didnít make your, your point very clearly...

TH: Yeah but Graham made it very well for me!

NP: No he gets a bonus point because the audience loved what he said but er... but Linda kept going. I mean nobody, normally we donít repeat the subject on the card quite as often as that. You got away with it magnificently Linda so carry on and you have 31 seconds, Robin Hood, starting now.

LS: Robin Hood was the first outlaw to popularise the use of tights, but on his legs rather than over his face, as is the now more popular use of this...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: There were two populars.

NP: Yes and two uses. Right.


NP: Now this audience...

GN: Itís like youíre watching chess, isnít it! (mumbles) Very good, right, very good.

NP: Ah 22 seconds are available for you Graham, tell us something about Robin Hood starting now.

GN: Robin Hood and his merry men, what a laugh that sounds! Roaming through....


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes you were going so slowly, Iím going to call that hesitation. There is...


NP: God you are fickle, you really are!

LS: Well it must be mayhem in panto season here!


LS: Oh yes it is!

NP: Clement yes I call that hesitation, 14 seconds for you on Robin Hood starting now.

CF: My favourite character in the Robin Hood saga is not Maid Marian but Friar Tuck, who I always thought was actually a spoonerism...


NP: Tony Hawks. Tony... Tony you challenged I think just in time!

TH: No, well, Iím glad, Iím glad I, Iím glad I heard him finish that little bit. Um no in fact, I may be wrong but wasnít it Maid Marian?

NP: Yes, what did he say?

TH: Maid Mary.

NP: No he said Maid Marian.

TH: I put it to you that all of you heard something different to me!

NP: Clement Freud, I hope you can continue with, in a different vein, and you have six seconds, Robin Hood, starting now.

CF: The Sheriff of Nottingham is an infinitely more significant person than the Mayor of Market Harbourough....


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went has gained that extra point, and has increased his lead and heís surged ahead above the other three. Graham Norton, itís your turn to begin, the subject, oh so charming! Over the rainbow, tell us something about that in this game starting now.

GN: well Judy Garland is famously obsessed with going over the rainbow. I always wondered why. Bluebirds fly there, an irritating little thing. Lemondrops hang over chimney tops. Now consuming sweets covered in soot canít be good for anyone! Particularly a small child, she could choke, drop her dog in a basket! Itís also where youíll find an er alarming amount...


NP: Linda you challenged.

LS: Well I could be wrong!

NP: You were right Linda, it was hesitation, but er the audience were really caught up in his er delightful verse. But I have to play the rules of Just A Minute, Iím sorry, I know the audience would...


NP: I think mob rule has now finally taken over!

LS: Itís telling to...

NP: But Iím not going to be intimidated by the mob, Iím going to say, I have rules to interpret, I will be a referee and say yes, Linda, correct challenge and so you have the subject, 34 seconds starting now.

LS: Over the rainbow I think you would find not those items that Graham has mentioned but Bungle, Zippy and Geoffrey! Theyíre the ones youíd find! Zippy with his voice that...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Repetition of Zippy.

NP: Zippy came in again, yes. So Tony you tell us something about over the rainbow, 23 seconds starting now.

TH: (singing) Somewhere over the rainbow...


NP: Ah Graham Norton has challenged you.

GN: Tony you know we canít afford that!

NP: I agree Graham! He was going on about performing rights earlier on, and now, yes...

TH: Well my invoice alone for singing on this show would be very very expensive! No, that was going to be my point. I was going to go on to say that given that we...

NP: Was that your big number when you were Morris Minor and the Minuets? Or whatever they were?

TH: Morris Minor and the Majors. No, it wasnít, it was, cleverly we did another song that hadn't already been a hit!

NP: Oh right! Did it get into the charts?

TH: Ah the one we did, yes, it was, it was, Iím pleased... Do you want to talk about my entire CV?

NP: No but I thought...

TH: Iíve got two books out at the moment if youíre interested!

NP: No we were interested in your past...

TH: Oh! But not the present.

NP: Your pop record days.

TH: Fine.

NP: So Graham you tell us something about over the rainbow again, 20 seconds... They want to hear from Graham on over the rainbow!

TH: Yes thatís right!

NP: Graham they want you on over the rainbow, 20 seconds, starting now.

GN: Frankly Nottingham, now I am over the rainbow! Itís time to move on! Letís talk about other things! Clouds, sun, hello trees! The rainbow is vastly over-rated. Who can go back to rainbows after witnessing the Northern Lights? Gosh, theyíre terrific!


GN: You see, you really didnít want me to go, oh Iím still going! Oh no! Blow it! Blow it! Iíve said that before! Er...

NP: Linda did challenge you with half a second to go. Linda what was your challenge?

LS: Ah hesitation.

NP: It was indeed hesitation, yes. So Linda you have half a second on over the rainbow starting now.

LS: Over the rainbow...



NP: And youíve been challenged, Clement Freud, you challenged.

CF: Hesitation.


NP: The mob will not take over! It was not hesitation! Another point to Linda and quarter of a second to go starting now.

LS: Over the rainbow is...


NP: So Linda got some points in that round, so has leapt forward and joined Tony Hawks and Graham Norton in second place, behind our leader who is still Clement Freud. And Clement Freud your turn to begin. And the subject, mobile phones. Sixty seconds as usual, starting now.

CF: It is very difficult to give your mobile telephone number which now has 11 digits, without repeating one of them. But I will do my very best. Itís 07968-5421 and I canít go on because otherwise there would be the case of repetition and someone would buzz. And itís likely to be Graham Norton who won a BAFTA award, which I would...


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: Repetition of compliment!

NP: Yes but it was in a different round you see. So in every round we could all pay you a compliment, and go on...

GN: Did he say something else twice?

NP: Whatís that? No.

GN: Did he say something else twice?

NP: No, nothing else twice! No, no, he did pay you a compliment twice but that...

GN: Oh thatís a deviation! Thatís what that is! Thatís deviation!

NP: Thatís deviation! Yes!

GN: Thank you!

TH: Weíve tantalisingly nearly got Clementís phone number though havenít we! And I reckon in 10 goes I could probably dial it!

NP: Graham...

GN: Yes?

NP: Yes youíre going to have that one. A correct challenge, mobile phones...

CF: What is it?

NP: Mmmm?

CF: Why is that a correct challenge?

NP: Because...

GN: Deviant!

NP: He said you were deviating from the subject of mobile phones because you were congratulating him on his BAFTA award.

CF: On my mobile telephone!

NP: Ohhhhh! I said he was one of the cleverest players of the game! You did not establish that in my mind.

GN: I havenít received the call as yet!

NP: Right! Graham, 33 seconds Graham tell us something about mobile phones starting now.

GN: Mobile phones are a terrific aid to modern communication. Imagine, dear new friends, how we could establish without the mobile phone to our loved ones, that weíre on the train! Or that potatoes will be fine but make rice if thatís what you have! Itís a super tool! We are now constantly available for all sorts of dreary calls, people we never want to...


NP: So Graham Norton has moved back into second place alongside Linda Smith and Clement Freud is still in a very strong lead. This is going to be the last round by the way. And Linda itís your turn to begin, the subject, allergies. Tell us something about allergies in Just A Minute starting now.

LS: Allergies. Allergies are very popular these days, in fact fashionable. In fact I think they are the new black....


LS: Everyone seems to...

NP: Tony challenged.

LS: Oh sorry, I didnít hear him.

TH: I thought there was a repetition of in fact.

NP: There was in fact twice, yes. You have 52 seconds, you tell us something about allergies starting now.

TH: Iím actually allergic to mobile phones. This bloke on the train up was making so many calls. It was just like being in his office! I wouldnít have minded but he had me doing photocopying, making coffee. His wifeís going to Paris next weekend, he wants me to come with him! Itís a nightmare! Theyíre all over the place! I know the subject is technically allergies but I think itís possible to come out in a rash listening to the drivel these people talk. Anyway...


NP: Lindaís challenged.

LS: People, repetition of people.

NP: Yes there was too many people there. You made your point anyway!

TH: Thank you very much!

NP: Twenty-nine seconds and the subjectís back with you Linda, allergies, starting now.

LS: You meet people who have allergies to wheat...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of people.

NP: You did say people before.

LS: But he said that!

CF: You did too.

NP: He said it but you said it when you were speaking the first time.

LS: Oh did I?

CF: Yes.

NP: Yes.

LS: Oh! Thank you for pointing that out to me!

NP: Clement you have 26 seconds, allergies, starting now.

CF: People do have allergies! An awful lot of them! They go to their doctors who invariably examine them having taken their clothes off and say "your trouble is allergies! Stop eating eggs! Begin consuming rice! Consolidate your menu with a higher starch content than you had previously!" And allergies go on and consume...



NP: Graham you did get in with quarter of a second to go. What was your challenge?

GN: Actually I was wrong!

NP: I know it was!

GN: Yes!

NP: Because you thought he was going to say on and on.

GN: Yeah! Iím a fool to myself!

NP: So he gets a point for an incorrect challenge and a point for speaking when the whistle should have gone. Let me give you the final situation. And well it was, you know, it was an amazing situation because Linda Smith, Graham Norton and Tony Hawks all finished up equal in second place. Youíre showing appreciation for the value that they gave. But now a round of applause for the man who had more points than anybody else and our winner this week, Clement Freud. So it only remains for me to say thank you to our four intrepid players of the game, Graham Norton, Clement Freud, Linda Smith and Tony Hawks. Also thank Janet Staplehurst for helping with the score, and blowing her whistle so delicately. We thank our producer, the delightful Claire Jones for producing the show with such elegance. And also we thank this audience here at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham for the way they egged us on our way. And we are deeply indebted to the man who originally created this game, that is Ian Messiter. So from me, Nicholas Parsons, and from all the players here, goodbye, hope youíve enjoyed it, tune in the next time we take to the air to play Just A Minute!