NOTE: Chris Neill's first show as producer, Helen Williams's first appearance blowing the whistle.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute.


NP: Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure not only to welcome our listeners, but to introduce the four exciting and talented players of the game who are going to take part this week. We welcome four exciting young comedians. Young Paul Merton, whoís shown such success in recent years, one of our star comedians today. Young Greg Proops, a great standup comedian whoís come from across the Atlantic and is now settled in this country to entertain us all. Young Graham Norton whoís shown such skill on this show. And that perpetually young entertainer whoís been with us since the show began, that other young comedian Derek Nimmo. Would you please welcome all four of them! As usual Iím going to ask them to speak on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that again as usual because those are the rules to speak without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject, in this game, or lose points accordingly. And those points will be recorded by Helen Williams who sits beside me with a pad and with a whistle to blow when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House in London. And we have a wonderful, new, exciting audience in front of us. And weíre going to start with Derek Nimmo. Why not? Derek youíve been with us longer so you get this one going. Getting in first. Starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: Well of course in this particular...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PAUL MERTON: I just thought Iíd get in first!

NP: Yes, youíve got in with your first challenge. Um I donít think it was good enough to get a bonus point Paul but nice to hear from you. Derek was interrupted so he gets a point for being interrupted, he keeps the subject, 59 seconds left, getting in first Derek starting now.

DN: Actually in this particular programme, itís not a very good idea to get in first. You should get in last because then you get a bonus point. I remember this being brought home to me in the very first programme that we did, in the Playhouse Theatre down on, by the embankment...


NP: Greg Proops challenged.

GREG PROOPS: Um Iím not sure what an on by would be, er...

NP: It was definitely hesitation.

GP: It was a slight hesitation and ...

NP: No it was a definite hesitation. Come on, be positive Greg, it helps on this show.

GP: All right! All right, darn it! Derek did it bad, and I want it!

NP: Right! Greg it was a correct challenge, so you got in. You get a point for a correct challenge and you take over the subject. There are 43 seconds left, getting in first, starting now.

GP: Getting in first is the object of my countryís goals and desires. I come from a land across the sea, a young place, an adolescent nation that is both once aggressive and of course, uneducated. Itís what makes us so terrifying to the world at large. The fact that we have enormous guns and we are not yet of an age to use them properly! Getting in first means to me that we should dominate everywhere we go, in, of course, a kind and benevolent...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: Well this is a bit picky, but there were, there were quite a few of courses.

GP: Was there?

NP: Yes Iím afraid so, a bit picky but...

GN: Is that a bad thing?

NP: No!

GP: No I said of course.

GN: It wasnít really a challenge, more of a comment!

NP: No! Itís good...

GP: Stand up and take it back, man!

GN: No it was just an observation!

NP: No itís good to hear from everybody in the first round!

GN: All right then.

NP: They all get in first. So Graham youíre in on the first round as well, thatís great. Correct challenge, a point to you, 13 seconds, getting in first starting now.

GN: Getting in first is a good thing. Because often getting in second isnít so special. Is it? I find, steady, when you approach a theatre, and get in first...


NP: Whoever is speaking in this game when the whistle goes gains an extra point. It was Graham Norton, and at the end of that round, he is ahead of all the others in the lead. And Paul will you take the next round, the subject, watching paint dry. Tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute if you can starting now.

PM: Emulsion is the most exciting. Because it takes slightly longer to dry than gloss. At first you see the sheen of the wet liquid glistening in the sunlight, and then you notice, after perhaps an hour, possibly two, it doesnít quite gleam with the same brightness...


NP: Greg challenged.

GP: Well first there was a repetition of gleam, and secondly, this was as boring as watching paint dry!

PM: Thatís, thatís very true!

NP: I will give you the repetition, because thatís what we have...

PM: I said shine the first time!

NP: I know you did...

PM: And then gleam the second time.

NP: I know you did...

PM: But youíre still going to give it to him for the repetition!

NP: No, not...

PM: Or is gleam an anagram of shine I hadnít noticed?

NP: I thought I might do... deviation of the fact that her er um actually emulsion paint doesnít dry quicker than gloss paint.

PM: Oh, youíve made a study of it, have you?

NP: Iím a handy man with my paintbrush!

PM: Itís nice having a hobby in life!

NP: I know!

PM: I always wondered what you did other than this show.

NP: Greg, Iím going to be a little generous, if you donít mind Paul, because Greg has got 39 seconds, we want to hear from him on watching paint dry starting now.

GP: The town where my people live, in Missisippi, is called Casilla. This is an old Spanish word which means the boringest place in all of the south. In this place... aaaaaaaah!


NP: Paul got back in.

PM: Well not only was it very boring, we also heard repetition of the word place.

NP: Thatís right! And so you go out but you come back in with another point and you carry on...

GP: I meant it with the fish context!

NP: Twenty-seven seconds...

GP: Take your time and come to me!

NP: Watching paint dry with Paul starting now.

PM: As the beads of pigment slowly take off (starts to giggle)


PM: No I canít go on any more!

NP: Derek.

PM: No I canít!

DN: Repetition of slowly.

NP: Slowly. Yes, or the beads of pigment I love. Iím going to treasure that one! Derek you have 23 seconds to tell us something about watching paint dry.

DN: Watching paint dry, well, curiously enough, I donít very often tell the truth on this programme. But I was employed to watch paint dry. At Goodless Rule and Company in Speak. And they made something called Felspar Four to Two Hour Lacquer. And it had to dry within this period. And I worked in the laboratory for Mr Rule. And we, I was always sitting there looking to see whether this...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Did you say two twice? Coz wasnít it Four To Two? The paint, wasnít it Four To Two?

DN: Yes, Four To Two, or Two To Four!

GN: Four Two Two!

PM: Never in the history of the world has watching paint dry been such a complex... fought over...

NP: I would like to ask...

GN: Whatís so tempting?

NP:... is there anyone in the audience who would like to join in this discussion? Or anything to add to this fascinating subject! Derek I agree with you it was an incorrect challenge, so you have two seconds on watching paint dry starting now.

DN: Sitting in Raffils Hotel watching paint dry, I always...


NP: So Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Heís equal in the lead now with Paul Merton and equal in second place behind them are Greg Proops and Graham Norton. Ah Greg take the next subject, Broadcasting House starting now.

GP: Broadcasting House is a building of mystery, intrigue and adventure. Built over 2000 years ago, during Middle Earth, it was originally a place where hobbits dwelled, and dragons flew about its hallowed turrets. It also features a bar, the likes of which have not been seen, unless you have been to Singapore, to Raffils, where a gay bar, full of joie de vivre and bon mots hurtling through the air at lightning speed, is the type of tenor youíll pick up in this place of drinking...


GP: ... alleged domain...

NP: Paul?

PM: No I think he just went there completely! The words were still flowing but any sense of meaning had been left somewhere in Gibraltar!

NP: Anyway there are 26 seconds, a correct challenge from you and Broadcasting House is the subject Paul starting now.

PM: Indeed this show is currently being recorded in Broadcasting House, in the Radio Theatre of Broadcasting House which is where we are. Broadcasting House. I can say Broadcasting House because the subject on the card, funnily enough is House Broadcasting or if you prefer it the other way Broadcasting House. Now it was first built in the year 1936 and it was extended further...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: I think that was a, we interpret that as hesitation. Derek tell us something about Broadcasting House in four seconds...

PM: Oh!

NP: ... starting now.

DN: Arthur Askey and Stinker Murdoch, they used to live at the top in a little flat...


NP: Paul Merton and Derek Nimmo are still out in the lead together. And Graham Norton your turn to begin, the subject, a journey of a lifetime. Thank God Derek Nimmo didnít get that one! Thatís the subject, tell us something about it starting now.

GN: Thank you Nicholas. The journey of a lifteime, Iíve chosen to speak about my own lifetime. It all began, dear listener, in a small front bedroom in Clindorkin, thatís just outside Dublin. My mother had chosen to have me there rather than in a hospital, because sheíd had a horrible time giving birth to Paula. She hated the nurses! So she was having a home birth. There I was, bursting into the scene, my father was close by, or possibly not, I donít know! Too young to remember. Iím blurring that bit, itís not that interesting! Weíll cut to year four. Iím off to school now. Episode Two! In school, it was a Mrs (starts to giggle)... oh dear God! It was a Mrs...


NP: Iíve never heard of anybodyís infancy getting a round of applause before! Maybe it was a very interesting birth...

GN: They just canít believe I have a mother, thatís all!

NP: Thatís right! Anyway Greg you got in first...

GP: Ah repetition of school perhaps.

NP: Yes, school, yes he did repeat school. Fifteen seconds are left for you Greg on the journey of a lifetime starting now.

GP: When leaving a erm minicab...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: There was hesitation there!

NP: I think so! So what episode are we going to have because thereís only 11 seconds left with...

GN: God!

NP: ... the journey of your lifetime Graham starting now.

GN: Oh the journey of a lifetime for me! It was in Australia...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of me.

NP: Thatís right, thatís what you started off with.

DN: If you donít like it....

GN: No! Fine! No, fine.

NP: Thatís all right! Itís just that I donít think they wanted to hear about Derekís!

PM: I donít think itís that, I think they could recite it with him!

NP: Well Derek tell us about this journey of a lifetime, you have six seconds, and if you, if you donít bring in Raffils you might get a bonus point! Starting now.

DN: My journey of a lifetime was when I went youth hostelling in North Wales. I went to Misutton and went at the same time as a very famous...



NP: No, no, Paul challenged just before the whistle.

PM: Repetition of went.

NP: You went, yes you did go, you went twice there. Yes...

GN: Gloves off now!

NP: So Paul you got in then just before the whistle, the journey of a lifetime starting now.

PM: Bangkok to Scunthorpe...


NP: Paul had other points including one for speaking when the whistle went, has increased his lead. Derek Nimmoís following and then it is Greg Proops ahead of Graham Norton. And Paul, your turn to begin, the subject, moniker. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Well itís a word that can mean a pseudonym or a special name that has been adopted by somebody. For example, Derek Nimmo was known as the Playboy of the Western World in the 1960s with his many theatrical excesses and... successes was the word I should have used apart from the one I just did. But thatís okay because it didnít matter, and I havenít repeated too much. He was perhaps the Scarlet Pimpernel of his generation. They sought him here, they looked for him elsewhere, and they did lots of things! I donít, Iíve given up really!


NP: It is tough!

PM: I was boring myself!

NP: I know, I know, yes. Youíre not the only person but I mean...

PM: Thatís rich from Nicholas Parsons!

NP: Anyway 29 seconds available for you Derek on moniker starting now.

DN: Moniker means a nickname as well as your proper name. I remember when a man called Richard Weir wrote a series with Charlie Drake. And at the end of the final recording, Charlie said "what, have I got a moniker...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Was there a repetition of Charlie?

NP: Charlie Drake, yes, and Charlie said at the end of the recording.

GN: But perhaps there wasnít! Perhaps we want to hear the whole story! Stepping away, stepping away!

NP: No! No, no, letís hear from you on moniker, 16 seconds Graham starting now.

GN: If moniker is like a proper name, then I suppose it is accurate to say out loud on this programme at this time is that my moniker is Graham! I say that without fear of contradiction....


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: I contradict him!

GN: Iím not afraid!

PM: No, youíre not afraid!

NP: Youíre not afraid, so what is your actual challenge?

PM: No, that was it!

NP: Well it is, oh you missed out there, he repeated I say...

PM: Well I know, but a lot of Grahamís stuff has got I and me and that...

NP: So Graham...

PM: You have to let that go!

NP: All right, well you let it go and Graham youíve got three seconds on moniker starting now.

GN: My mother...


NP: And that time...

PM: That was a hesitation.

NP: Yeah! One second on monicker Paul starting now.

PM: She was a lovely woman...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: There was a slight hesitation I thought!

NP: No there wasnít! There was not! There we are! Starting now!

PM: She used to be a...


NP: So Paul has increased his lead at the end of that round. And Greg Proops your turn to begin, the subject, dumbing down. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

GP: Dumbing down is a process whereby peopleís tolerance for the truth is reduced over a period of time. So that blatant lies seem as real as what is actually happening. For instance and in this example, I shall use television. It being a medium that does not require raging intelligence in order to understand and comprehend in any way. But rather an area whereby anyone may go and visit without... tiny ocelots of love often dwell near Derek Nimmoís head! As he...


NP: Paul you challenged.

GP: There was a lot of activity during my talking time!

NP: Paul what was your challenge?

PM: Well it did, it had come to a fullstop.

NP: Yes more than that yes, I donít know where it had gone! Nineteen seconds are left for you Paul on dumbing down starting now.

PM: Well Greg was quite right, and I was enjoying what he was saying, until he got put off by the fact that nobody was going to challenge him at all which is a rather unfair trick that people do occasionally play on guests on this programme! Dumbing down is something thatís been happening in the United States and other territories of the world for really the last 35 years, since the proliferation of the television industry in peopleís homes...


NP: So Paulís increased his lead at the end of that round. Derek Nimmo your turn to begin, the subject is foibles. You tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: I have quite a few rather curious foibles. When Iím visiting a friendís house, I nip off after dinner to the bathroom and wash my hands. And then putting the soap under the tap I take all the bubbles off. Because I donít want my chums to know that Iíve used the thing which I put onto my appendages here. And then another thing I do is I never open the towel. I put my hand inside and dry it within. And on the way out, I always look in the medicine cabinet to see what kind of pills theyíre using! This is very strange. My wife has amazing foibles. We were sitting in a restaurant the other day, and she said to me, she said "donít turn round, but whoís that sitting behind you?" And I thought what an incredible thing to say to a husband whoís been married to you for 42 years. But she does have lots of other funny foibles. She puts bits of fluff under the bed and expects me to crawl underneath on a Sunday morning, round about 11.15 with a vacuum cleaner...


NP: So Derek Nimmo started with the subject and finished with the subject. He went without hesitation, repetition or deviation and he wasnít interrupted for any other reason. And so he not only gains a point for speaking as the whistle went, he gains a bonus point for not being interrupted. So he gets two points at the end of that round. Well done Derek! We move on now to Graham Norton to take the next round and it is New Years resolutions. Tell us something about the subject starting now.

GN: My New Years resolution is to pay less attention to the wise words of Anne Diamond! Because I honestly believe that she has the ability to poison a mind! I really do! And at this point in the little chat, Iíve suddenly realised Iím not talking about that person at all. I meant another person... oh Iíve said person...


NP: Greg Proops challenged.

GP: I believe there was a repetition of the word person.

NP: Yeah but which person were you thinking about?

GN: Anne Robinson is actually who I meant!

NP: So if Anne Diamondís listening, Graham did not mean it at all! If Anne Robinsonís listening, he did mean it! Greg Proops it was a correct challenge, you have 30 seconds to tell us something about New Years resolutions starting now.

GP: During...


NP: Oh itís not fair is it!

DN: It is totally, no well, itís still hesitation, Iím afraid, because nothing happened really.

NP: I know! What do I do! Last time you were with us I didnít allow it! I must do this time, Iím sorry...

GP: Oh of course, take it away!

NP: Right! New Years resolutions...

GP: Iíll be watching your monologue very carefully.

NP: Right!

DN: Iím looking forward to it!

NP: New Years resolutions with you Derek starting now.

DN: My New Years resolution is to go to Ireland and meet Graham Nortonís mother! She always seems to me to be the most exciting wonderful character who likes...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, sheís been dead 20 years!

NP: Well I donít know if she has or not. Can you put us right on that one?

GN: Well itís a bit of a hidden secret. She wishes she had been, particularly right now! Sheís walking along the streets, thereís bound to be people pointing "look, she gave birth to the devil child!"

NP: So what we do as Paulís was a nice challenge and it came out of the blue so we give him a bonus point because we enjoyed the challenge. Derek gets a point for being interrupted, he keeps the subject, New Years resolution starting now.

DN: Iím sure she, like her son, has the gift of the blarney! And if I would turn up at her abode, I would be welcome...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Was that turn up at her aboe?

DN: Abode!

NP: He did her say abode.

PM: Oh Iím sorry, the d didnít travel!

NP: I know! It got about as far as me, I must explain to our listeners, Iím half way apart...

PM: And what did you do with it?

NP: Whatís that?

PM: Because it didnít get over here! You put it in your pocket, I didnít hear it, I heard aboe!

NP: You heard aboe...

PM: Thereís a missing d! Nobody leave until we find this d!

NP: I can understand why you challenged but I wonít charge anything except to say Derek keeps the subject, New Years resolution, and there are seven seconds left starting now.

DN: A bottle of Guinness and some Irish stew, with plenty of potatoes would be offered to me. And I would enjoy...



NP: Paul Merton challenged again just before the whistle.

PM: Deviation, I donít think heíd be offered a pint of Guinness and some Irish stew!

NP: Why not?

PM: Because he canít pronounce his ds properly!

NP: No, right! Another point there and Derek was speaking as the whistle went, so letís blow the whistle again!


NP: Thanks for that yes! Paul Merton is still in the lead, heís one ahead of Derek Nimmo now. Then comes Graham Norton and Greg Proops in that order, a little way behind. Paul it is your turn to begin and the subject is the way of all flesh. Tell us something about that exotic subject in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

PM: Ashes to ash, dust to dusty. I suppose in the end this is going to be our finish for all of us here. But not as soon as Nicholas Parsons, because I think... oh I donít know what Iím talking about!


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged first.

DN: Well I think itís very mean to suggest that Nicholas is going to precede you.

PM: I know!

DN: Heís in remarkably good nick for a man of his age!

NP: Derek, the way of all flesh is with you, 44 seconds are available starting now.

DN: As Paul has said, we all eventually die. It is the only certainty in life. It seems to me to be a fairly gloomy subject to have in Just A Minute...


NP: This is the most...

GN: No Iím sorry, I just had to stop him! I just had to stop him!

NP: I mean if you can lift this sepulchral tone thatís descended on them Iíd be most grateful Graham. Because thereís 33 seconds left, the way of all flesh starting now.

GN: Oh please, the way of all flesh to my mind is to the table. Mmmm, cook it, because thereís an enormous superb restaurant in South Africa which I went to. And oddly Derek Nimmo wasnít there! Who knew? But itís called Carnivore, and you can imagine what they serve. Yes, meat! Great big spears of the stuff because theyíre not patronising or demeaning the indigenous culture in any way! And they serve giraffe, rhinoceros, elephant, crocodile, cow...


NP: Ah I think we should give Graham Norton not only a point for speaking as the whistle went but a bonus point for lifting the mood of Just A Minute! The way it had descended... All right! And they also have ostrich, which is a great delicacy. We had a lot of ostrich when we were out in South Africa.

GN: Did you go to Carnivore, Nicholas?

NP: No, I was eating the carnivore, because they were serving them up.

GN: Ostrich eat meat?

NP: A meat eater is a carnivore, right?

GN: Yeah but you werenít eating them, I hope!

NP: Ostriches, yes...

GN: Just tip like a normal person Nicholas! Thereís no need for that!

NP: I was eating ostriches!

GN: Oh right!

NP: Itís a great delicacy over there now. Ostrich steaks, and also ostrich eggs. You can make 22 omelettes from one ostrich egg. Did you know that?

GN: Is this all my fault?

NP: You have to get a drill and, because itís so hard, you drill the end at both ends, and then you shake it out from both sides...

PM: You drill both ends of the ostrich?

NP: Egg!

PM: Oh the egg!

NP: I see, get it down, yes.

PM: Weíve stopped a few unpleasant scenes at Windsor Safari Park.

NP: Yes!

DN: Why are we talking about ostriches all the time? Youíre all quite balmy!

NP: I know...

PM: Letís get something right. Is ostrich the subject on the card?

NP: It was not the subject on the card, but I thought this audience here would love to hear about it, and people who have not been to South Africa might like to know about it, and the audience was certainly entertained. So um, itís better than what you were talking about last time! So as we go into the last round Derek Nimmo and Paul Merton are equal in the lead. Graham Norton is behind them in second place because theyíre equal and then comes Greg Proops in third place. And Greg you are going to take the last round, it is the perfect host. They could serve ostrich eggs or anything you like, but there we are, talk about the perfect host starting now.

GP: Nicholas Parsons has been to me both gracious and kind, attentive, and servile, both... weaseling, wheedling...


GP: Yes, darling?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, once you mentioned the word servile, you realised youíd flipped and...

GP: Okay.

NP: Paul got in on hesitation and 51 seconds, the perfect host Paul starting now.

PM: The perfect host undoubtedly is the ostrich. It has a wonderful way of looking around the room seeing if everybodyís got a drink! I was once at an ostrich farm...


PM: Iíve said ostrich twice, itís not the subject!

NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: There already was an ostrich.

NP: Yes.

GN: Enough ostrich now!

PM: Yeah!

NP: Right, so 41 seconds for the perfect host from you Graham starting now.

GN: The perfect host to my mind does not attend their own party! That way you can freely slag off their furniture, food and friends without fear of being overheard by the host! Doesnít that sound fantastic to you? It certainly does to me. Sadly it rarely happens. Donít hosts tend to show up in their own home when you do? Itís so annoying! You ring the doorbell thinking maybe a guest will let me in, Iíll never see the host. I canít quite believe Iím still speaking but yes I am...


NP: Greg Proops has challenged.

GP: There were many hosts.

NP: Yes...

GP: Oh no...

GN: Weíre allowed hosts...

GP: Guests! Guests!

NP: The host is on the card.

GP: Yes I realise that...

NP: But he said he hoped that someone would interrupt him and you did, Greg. Fourteen seconds to go on the perfect host Greg starting now.

GP: The perfect host is one that always knows exactly when to end the show, this being the...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No, indeed not, no, another point to him, seven seconds, the perfect host with you Greg starting now.


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: That was hesitation!

NP: No it wasnít hesitation! Greg you have...

PM: What do you mean it wasnít hesitation?

NP: It was only half a second, six and a half seconds the perfect hosts starting now.

GP: The name of this show is of course Just A...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of show.

NP: Yes! So you see you get a point, you get it back and you have the subject, you have another point, you wind up, three seconds to go, the perfect host Graham starting now.

GN: The perfect host would be Anne Robinson, I think sheís fantastic! I really love her!


NP: Well as I said this was to be the last round so let me give you the final score, the state of play as we say. Because it was rather nice as Graham Norton and Greg Proops who havenít played the game nearly as much as Paul and Derek came surging forward in that last round and gained lots of points, but they did finish in third and fourth place respectively! No, no, no, but it was their super contribution which, which we love! And then Paul Merton finished in second place and five points ahead was Derek Nimmo, who spoke most, gained most points. So we call him the winner this week! It only remains for me to say thank you to our four outstanding players of the game, Paul Merton, Derek Nimmo, Greg Proops and Graham Norton. I also want to thank Helen Williams whoís been helping with the score and sheís kept the score and blown her whistle so magnificently. Our producer and director, Chris Neill. Ian Messiter who thought of and created the game for us which we all enjoy playing so much. Our audience here in the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. And particularly our listeners throughout the world, we hope youíve enjoyed the show and you will be tuned in the next time we take to the air to play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us goodbye.