NOTE: Annabel Giles's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute.


NP: Hello my name is Nicholas Parsons and as the Minute Waltz fades away once more itís my pleasure to welcome our many listeners throughout the world and also the four talented and individual performers who are going to play Just A Minute this week. We welcome back with great pleasure one of the most outstanding and popular players of the game, that is Paul Merton. And we also welcome back one of the senior and most skilful players of the game, that is Clement Freud. We welcome back after quite a long absence a very delightful and erudite player of the game, that is Tim Rice. And we welcome for the very first time someone whoís never played the game before and that is Annabel Giles. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, sheíll help me keep the score, sheíll blow her whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And as usual I am going to ask our players of the game to speak for Just A Minute if they can on the subject I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Swan Theatre in the delightful Buckinghamshire town of High Wickham. And we obviously have a really High Wickham audience in the audience who are going to cheer us on our way as we begin the show this week with Paul Merton. Paul, how I like to relax. That is the subject, talk on it if you can, 60 seconds starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Listening to good music, reading a good book, walking in the open air, horse back riding, looking at my tropical fish. These are the sort of things I do, often simultaneously to relax. As I find that the whole word of show business can be locked behind the door and I can sink blissfully into my dreams as I look out of the window...


NP: And Tim has challenged.

TIM RICE: I think we had a couple of looks.

NP: Yes he did look before, yes. And so you repeat the word...

CLEMENT FREUD: You said looking.

NP: ...and you challenged correctly...

PM: I said looking. I said looking at tropical fish and then look out the window.

ANNABEL GILES: Yes I donít want to stick up for him but I agree.

NP: All right, you did! Youíre quite right, you did! You did! Thank you, you clicked into my recall and er..

PM: I did what?

NP: Paul you get a point for an incorrect challenge, you keep the subject, 41 seconds available for how I like to relax starting now.

PM: Thereís a plant thatís grown in parts of the West Indies, that if you put it inside cigarette paper and then smoke it, it has the most extraordinary effect. I believe itís called a dandelion and itís a wonderful herbal remedy...


NP: Ah Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: If he believes that, heíd believe anything!

NP: So your challenge on deviation is the fa... well he could believe it! I mean, he may...

PM: Itís wonderful!

NP: I canít deny the fact that itís possible he could believe it! So Paul I think thatís an incorrect challenge and you keep the subject still, 28 seconds, how I like to relax starting now.

PM: Of course one of the best ways of relaxing is to take physical exercise. Swimming is a particularly good way of getting rid of the stress and strains of everyday life, I believe, as an exercise...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He believed again.

NP: You have been believing too much. This time a correct challenge, Clement, a point to you and you take over the subject, 17 seconds available starting now.

CF: I go to relaxation classes where strange elderly nerds with beards say things like "listen to the noise of the crickets"... "open your ears...


NP: Paul challenged.

CF: You have to relax between sentences!

PM: Yes! Thereís, thereís relaxing and thereís taking a two week holiday!. Thereís a definite hesitation there.

NP: And if you do that, you can relax, but if you do that in Just A Minute, we call that hesitation. So Paul a correct challenge, a point, how I like to relax, five seconds starting now.

PM: Thereís a woman in Earlís Court called Big Bertha who gives the most extraordinary massages. You go round to her house and for five quid...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Paul Merton, he has three at the end of the round, Clement Freud has two, the other two are yet to score. But Annabel begins the next round. Annabel Giles, making up. Tell us something about making up in Just A Minute starting now.

AG: The other day I was slightly caught short as a hot date was coming round to visit my house and I had no makeup on. So what I did, I made do with household products. First of all I smeared my face with some margarine, I applied it with an ordinary household sponge. Then I filled the bowl with cornflour, blew into it...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Could I just say slow down because people might be taking notes!

NP: Paul we give you a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption and you have 45 seconds still available on making up starting now.

AG: Mascara could be used in marmite, actually I havenít had...


PM: Mascara can be used in marmite!

AG: I know! Itís madness!

PM: Itís a form of madness isnít it!

AG: Yeah!

NP: Itís a form of deviation in Just A Minute.

PM: I think so.

AG: Yes.

NP: Forty-one seconds Paul on making up now, having got another point of course, starting now.

PM: The art of improvisation used in the Comedy store where I...


NP: Ah Annabel?

AG: Did he say er?

NP: Yes he did put an er in...

AG: Er!

NP: Definitely so!

AG: Oh no!

NP: Thirty-eight seconds, making up, starting now.

AG: Okay, try using cocoa powder for eye shadow, because thatíll be really good. Thereís also curry powder for er er...


NP: Ah Clement Freud challenged.

AG: Yes.

CF: Two powders.

NP: Yes.

AG: Yes.

NP: Right, 32 seconds Clement, tell us something about making up starting now.

CF: Once upon a time in a town called High Wickham in Buckinghamshire, there was an audience who was far from spontaneous in that they applauded and cheered and booed whenever they wanted to, quite irrespective of the validity of the challenge that might come from this audience. Making up...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Did we have two audiences there?

NP: I donít think he... did the audience hear two audiences?


NP: Thank you very much?

CF: Which audience?

NP: Paul you have seven seconds on making up starting now.

PM: When youíre standing on the stage and you have no idea whatís going to come into your head next, you could be accused of making it up as you go along. Indeed thatís what Iím doing now...


NP: So Paul Merton was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, heís increased his lead, heís just ahead of Clement Freud and Annabel Giles in that order. Tim Rice follows and Tim, you havenít yet scored but you have a chance now, itís your turn to begin. And the subject is playing by the rules, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TR: Playing by the rules is extremely important. It makes life continue happily and smoothly. However there are exceptions to this when playing by the rules is wrong and I would like to suggest that the ludicrous legislation brought in by this Government about the imperial rules as opposed to the metric kind is an example when we should disobey and we should ignore, we should flout the Government. Playing by the rules is vital for any civilised society. How else could we survive on this tiny planet, this small orb, spinning in the firmamemt, a mere 93 million miles from the Sun, itself 864,000 of those units in diameter. Itís absolutely crucial for every man and woman Jack of us, and Jill, that we...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Every man and woman Jack of us! Went a little bit odd there, didnít it?

NP: A little bit odd but...

TR: Every man, yes.

NP: Every man, woman...

PM: Every man woman Jack of us...

TR: I was trying to be unsexist!

NP: No he would say every man, woman, I knew where, I knew where he was going...

TR: Jack or Jill.

PM: So itís not deviation from the English language?

NP: No, no, every man woman Jack Jill of us, I think yes it makes sense to me, but then Iíve got a...

PM: Yes well that clinches it!

NP: Yes! I can see his thinking and I think he was keeping going cleverly within the rules of Just A Minute, and he has playing by the rules still, another point to him for an incorrect challenge, 14 seconds Tim starting now.

TR: Very few sports in this wonderful nation of ours would survive if the participants didnít play by the rules. For example, rugby, tennis, golf, hockey ice, lacrosse...


NP: So Tim Rice started with the subject, kept going till the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. And he has moved forward from the last place into third place. And um Paulís still in the lead, thereís only , thereís only the odd point between them, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Tim Rice, Annabel Giles in that order. And Clement your turn to begin, the subject is my star sign. Tell us something about your star sign in this game starting now.

CF: Let me begin by saying that I have a message for anyone born under the sign of Leo. You can come out now! My own star sign is Taurus. I was born on the 21st day...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Two borns. First he rambled on...

CF: Thatís right, quite right.

NP: Yes..

TR: ... about being born under...

NP: Well listened Tim, 47 seconds on my star sign starting now.

TR: If ever I see a star in the street to whom I take a violent dislike, I give him or her a sign that will let that person know what I actually feel about them and their appalling acting...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: So it was you!

TR: No, Paul, I said star!

NP: Tim was interrupted so he gets a point for that as well, 29 seconds my star sign Tim starting now.

TR: Pisces the fish!


NP: Paul challenged. Yes Paul?

PM: Sounded like he was introducing an act! So itís a sort of hes...

NP: Yes.

PM: A sort of hesitation.

NP: And the act didnít come on stage, did it? So he hesitated and you have my star sign and you have 26 seconds starting now.

PM: When I had to change my name, my original name was Paul Martin...


PM: Oh!

NP: Oh yes! Clement, yes?

CF: Repetition of name.

NP: Two names, right Clement, you have my star sign, 24 seconds starting now.

CF: I read that Taureans should be fairly careful this week, lest they be attacked by the militant wing of the Womens Institute. As a result of which I came here by train, on a very fast moving St Marylebone bound...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: I think we, we hit a red light!

NP: So Paul youíve cleverly got in with six seconds to go on my star sign starting now.

PM: When I eat a lot of eggs I get Marylebone bound. And I donít know what it is, I get able, thereís something in my stomach. I get the most awful feeling, and what I actually believe is going to happen... has the whistle gone yet?


NP: Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and has increased his lead. And itís his turn to begin. The subject Paul is sitting on the fence, tell us something about sitting on the fence in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, which wasnít really a fence, but itís a similar kind of thing. I suppose that sitting on the fence means that you are unable to decide between two opposing points of the view. You might for example say that Clement Freud is the life and soul of any party! On the other hand people might be able to say ooh Iím not...


NP: Clementís challenged.

CF: Two mights.

NP: Two mights.

PM: Two mights? Oh yes.

NP: I know. Clement you got a correct challenge that time, 44 seconds, you tell us something about sitting on the fence starting now.

CF: Were you to try to go to High Wickham by train, there are no chairs at Marylebone Station which leaves you to do nothing but sit on a fence. And the fence is between Platforms Two and Three, and are deeply uncomfortable! Sitting on a fence is also an expression for being unable to decide between two alternatives...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Ah you can only have two alternatives! So um that was deviation from correct English usage!

CF: You can have three alternatives.

TR: No then they would be possibilities!

AG: Choices.

TR: Choices yes. No youíre right! Annabelís with me!

AG: Yes but I didnít want to be seen to be your friend in this instance! Itís an unpopular challenge!

NP: I know, we do have this...

TR: But an accurate one!

NP: So right as a wordsmith we have to bow to you, yes. It is actually deviation from grammatical English as we understand it. But not always as we use it. But therefore what can you do in Just A Minute but say you have a correct challenge, 23 seconds Tim, sitting on the fence starting now.

TR: Sitting On The Fence was a hit record in 1966 on the Immediate label, a white coloured bit of the record, which was recorded by an unknown act called Twice As Much. And I would suggest, as it was such a wonderful song that they re-form immediately and go on tour as so many olden acts are doing very successfully these days. However sitting on the fence, in real life, is actually extremely...


NP: So Tim Rice speaking as the whistle went and with other points in that round um has moved forward. Heís now in second place behind Paul Merton, just ahead of Clement Freud and then Annabel Giles. And Annabel your turn to begin, and the subject now is pop. Tell us something about pop in Just A Minute starting now.

AG: Pop is one of those words which is the same backwards and forwards. Therefore itís called a palindrome, similar to Mum and Dad. Interestingly enough in America, the word for Father is Pop. Pop is also something people are given to drink when theyíre 14, in pub carparks with a packet of crisps. It is also part of a famous earthquakes... oh, get me off now please Nicholas!


NP: The first person on radio whoís actually appealed publicly to be taken... say get me off. Right so Paul you decided to get Annabel off and um...

PM: That could have been better phrased couldnít it!

NP: And Paul you have a correct challenge and you have 40 seconds on pop starting now.

PM: It seems odd to be talking about the subject of pop, because we have with us in the shape of Mr Tim Rice, perhaps one of the foremost experts on this very subject. And I, heíll probably be able to put me right, but I believe he may still have every number one, thatís ever been number one, since about 19...


PM: Oh!

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two number ones. Or number two, three, four...

NP: Two number ones, yes. Another point and 27 seconds, you tell us something about pop starting now.

CF: Pop would appear to be a secret society at Eton, where young men in funny waistcoats send letters to their butlers at half term, which is not called by that name, because the school wants to be special and different and use language...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Weíre a long way from pop here, arenít we?

NP: No, no, pop is a club or a erm society at Eton.

PM: Is it?

NP: Yes it is. I didnít go there but I happen to know that.

PM: Well I donít remember it being mentioned when I was there! But it was a coach trip and we were only there for about three hours!

NP: Iíd like to give you some bonus points for your humour, but Iím afraid...

PM: Then do!

NP: No, no, no! Clement gets one for being interrupted, he has 12 seconds on pop starting now.

CF: Carbon dioxide is absolutely essential for the creation of pop. Iron brew, ginger beer, lace with aniseed, almost any carbonated...


NP: Clement with points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went has moved forward. Heís ahead of Tim Rice, heís two behind Paul Merton. And Tim, itís your turn to begin, catchy lyrics. Tell us something about that subject which is close to your heart and something I hope you can talk about with competence, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TR: I see you are a logger and not a common bum, because nobody but a lumberjack stirs coffee with his thumb. This is an example of a very catchy lyric. But by and large, and that is a yachting expression in case you didnít know it, I think it is impossible for lyrics to be catchy. Music is catchy. And whoever phrased this category should be taken out quietly and given a stern talking to. You cannot have catchy lyrics. It is absolutely out of the question. Lyrics are far too subtle, far too intelligent, far too...


NP: Clement Freud challenged. Yes?

CF: Far too often!

NP: Far too, yes. You were getting so passionate about your personal subject, Tim, that you got carried away and repeated. Twenty-nine seconds, Clement, on catchy lyrics starting now.

CF: Half a pound of tupenny rice, a threepence worth of treacle, thatís the way the weasel goes, pop goes...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well heís, heís... the lyrics so catchy heís completely mangled it!

NP: So...

PM: Deviation from the lyrics!

NP: De... from the original lyrics...

PM: Yes!

NP: Well done Paul, 21 seconds, catchy lyrics starting now.

PM: Of course we have to listen to what Tim says because he has made a great deal of money and had enormous success writing lyrics. My favourite lyricist I suppose is probably Irving Berlin. Or is it maybe Cole Porter? In olden days, a glimpse of stocking, was looked upon as something shocking, now heaven knows, anything goes! That scamís slightly wrong but I think you get the general meaning and thrust of what I was saying...


NP: Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point, has increased his lead over Clement Freud, Tim Rice, Annabel Giles in that order. Clement Freud, your turn to begin and the subject now is the gravy train. Tell us something about the gravy train in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

CF: The gravy train could be a description of any diesel or locomotive driven vehicle in which a mixture of Bisto, Oxo, Marmite and mascara is poured over the food and drink in the restaurant car therein. Gravy trains go from all London terminals, St Pancras, Euston, Paddington, Victoria, Fenchurch Street, Waterloo and London Bridge. Iíve said London twice.


AG: I was going to say when are you going to say Marylebone, because surely thatís going to come into this as well?

NP: Annabel, you have the gravy train, you have 31 seconds starting now.

AG: I always thought a gravy train was better known as a gravy boat, which is after all a jug thing which has a saucer attached. I never know why theyíre all in one piece, you would have thought that theyíd be easier to wash up if they were separated, but no! A gravy the other thing implying a ship word, oh for goodness sake!


PM: Chivalry!

AG: Yes!

NP: Chivalry, yes!

AG: Thank you!

NP: Yes she was coming to a halt of some kind. Right, 17 seconds, the gravy train with you Paul starting now.

PM: Iíve been doing Just A Minute now since 1988 and the gravy train really...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

PM: Two eights?

CF: Mmm-hmm!

PM: Eighty, 88! Eighty-eight!

NP: Eighty-eight!

PM: Eighty-eight!

NP: Was that your challenge? But no... 88!

PM: Walked into my trap! My gravy trap!

NP: Yes your gravy trap! Theyíre two different words, 80 and eight. So, you canít challenge for half a word which is repeated. So Paul an incorrect challenge, 12 seconds, the gravy train starting now.

PM: Iíve since toured the world promoting this wonderful show. I sell T-shirts in Bombay, souvenir teacups and saucers...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of tea.


NP: Youíre absolutely partisan arenít you?

PM: Youíve got some trouble at the back there, Nicholas. Thereís going to be a hanging at High Wickham!

NP: I tell you what as you, as youíre so belligerent, and you frighten me, I will be, no, I will let you be the superior judge. I will let you judge. If you agree with Clement Freudís challenge you cheer for him, and if you disagree, you boo for Paul Merton, and you all do it together, together now.


NP: Well thatís the biggest boo youíve ever had, Paul! And so you get it, five seconds on the gravy train starting now.

PM: I remember the A Team. Who remembers Mr T? What a fantastic character!


PM: Whatís the problem?

NP: Tim.

TR: Well, a, there was a repetition of T, and b, this is absolute deviation. Whatís it got to do with gravy train?

NP: Yes er...

PM: A very popular show! It made an awful lot of money!

CF: Can I ask which T he repeated?

NP: Tim, two more seconds, tea, not tea, no, thatís not the subject...

TR: Gravy train!

NP: The gravy train, starting now.

TR: The Common Market is a typical...


NP: So Tim was speaking as the whistle went, heís now equal with Clement Freud in second place, ahead of Annabel Giles, and theyíre all trailing Paul Merton who is in the lead. And Tim itís your turn to begin, the subject, swan. Can you tell us something about swan in Just A Minute starting now.

TR: Swan conjures up so many wonderful images. Itís hard to know where to begin talking about such a magnificent topic. Swan, the bird in flight, the bird, argh!


NP: Paul challenged, yes?

PM: When he said it was hard to know where to begin, um, the swan was repeated twice.

NP: It was...

PM: The bird, yeah!

NP: The bird, the bird was repeated! Right, 49 seconds, swan with you Paul starting now.

PM: It makes excellent Sunday lunch. The only difficulty is trying to cram it into the casserole dish, because theyíre quite nasty little buggers, and you get the little beak in, and you try to chop up the vegetables and suddenly you get hold of the bird...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Well deviation, first he said they were large and then he said they were little.

NP: Well some of them are little...

TR: And frankly, rather disgusting!

NP: Yes!

AG: Oh is that a challenge?

NP: No I donít think he was deviating within the rules of Just A Minute so he keeps swan and he has 39 seconds starting now.

PM: I believe the Queen owns all the swans on the Thames. And there is a particular practice that happens around about a certain time of the year swan upping, which is an offence on the Isle of Man, but they can still get away with it on the banks of that marvelous waterway. I suppose the wonderful...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He supposed before!

PM: Did I?

NP: I suppose, yes.

PM: Lord!

NP: Clement, 23 seconds, swan, starting now.

CF: Kentucky Fried Swans comes in a...


NP: Paul you challenged first.

PM: Hesitation, sadly.

NP: Yes! He got such an amazing reaction he couldnít continue! Seventeen seconds, swan with you Paul starting now.

PM: Like Clement, I love Kentucky Fried Swan. I often get a beak and chips on a Saturday night, and itís wonderful because you can put the vinegar inside the mouth of the actual swan itself, and you can dip your French fries in, and it makes a most delicious...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: We had French fries or fries more than once.

PM: Chips I said, and then French fries.

AG: Oh no, theyíre going to turn again, look!

NP: You had chips before. French fries now.

AG: He said French fries twice! Oh sorry, itís none of my business is it!

NP: The audience think itís their business whatever happens! It was chips before, five seconds on swan with you Paul starting now.

PM: I believe it was Proust...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Heís believed before!

NP: Youíve believed before.

PM: Have I?

NP: Yes you have, Iím afraid. Four seconds, Clement, swan, starting now.

CF: A swanburger with pon fritte is the sort of thing I would really like...


NP: Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and weíre moving into the last round which is very sad because weíre enjoying ourselves. Awww! Youíre enjoying yourselves, are you? Cheer them on their way! What a lovely subject to finish on, Frederick Chopin. Clement itís your turn to begin, tell us something about Frederick Chopin in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: There was a Polish musician called Frederick Chopin who was um from Poland. And when...


NP: So Paul you have the first challenge, 48 seconds...

AG: Yes, go on!

NP: Frederick Chopin, starting now.

PM: Fred Chopin was possibly the finest mouth organist ever to come out of the Hackney area. On a Saturday night heíd be down the pub and people would say "whip it out and give it a blow"! And he would! In front of the surprised publican and all of the regulars, the customers would gather around. And they would sing the old tunes as the harmonica blasted...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

PM: It was the mouth organ and harmonica.

NP: Whatís your challenge Tim?

TR: I was just wanting to say that he said mouth organ and then harmonica!

NP: And how clever of him!

TR: How clever that was!

NP: How clever he was too. So Paulís got another point, give Tim a point for that, we liked the interruption. It doesnít really matter to the final result. And um Paul you have 31 seconds on Frederick Chopin starting now.

PM: Of course the instrument that he composed for was the piano. And he is known perhaps as one of the finest writers of that particular instrument...


NP: Tim you challenged.

TR: Iím sure we had two instruments and maybe two finests.

NP: I think you did indeed have both of them. This time you are in on the subject with 24 seconds, Frederick Chopin, starting now.

TR: It amazes me every time I think of the genius of Frederick Chopin. How he was able to create such magic by simply using a few notes, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, and the sharps and flats that relate to those particular letters. He was a...


NP: He was, Clement?

CF: I thought he said e was!

NP: No! I think he said he was and if not, he was doing the French thing, "íe was!" No, no, Iím not going to allow that one Tim, youíve got two seconds, two seconds more from you on Frederick Chopin, bring the show to a close with a flourish starting now.

TR: Good old Fred! What a fan...


NP: And good old Fred also is the composer of the tune which is the signature tune of Just A Minute. In this particular edition of Just A Minute, Tim Rice was speaking then when the whistle went, heís moved forward, heís equal with Clement Freud in second place, just ahead of Annabel Giles. But out in the lead by a considerable number of points was Paul Merton and so Paul, we say this week you are our winner! It only remains for me to say thank you to our four outstanding players of the game, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Tim Rice and Annabel Giles. I also thank Janet Staplehurst for helping with the score and her whistle. And also our producer Claire Jones for being so patient and tolerant with us all. And also weíre indebted to Ian Messiter who created Just A Minute. And we are also indebted to this lovely audience at the Swan Theatre at High Wickham who have cheered us on their way, even though theyíve become an unruly mob on occasions! From them, from the panel, from me Nicholas Parsons, goodbye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us, goodbye!