NOTE: Arthur Smith's final appearance, Anne Jobson's final show as producer.

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 to this show, but also to welcome the four exciting an intrepid players of the game. Two outstanding comedians of the present generation, Paul Merton and Arthur Smith. Two outstanding comedians of a previous generation, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. Would you please welcome all four of them. Beside me sits Elaine Wigley whoís going to help me keep the score and also help me with the stopwatch and blow her whistle when 60 seconds are up. And as usual Iím going to ask our four players if they can to speak 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 delightful little Library Theatre right in the centre of the marvelous cultural wonderful city of Manchester. And we have a, we are part of a festival here in Manchester called Music Live and we are delighted because we havenít any music on the show! Weíre going to start the show with a subject which will ring echoes to anybody from Manchester and any television fans, the subject is the street. Paul Merton would you take that subject and start the show starting now.

PAUL MERTON: I remember an episode of Coronation Street from about 1963 when poor Martha Longhurst in the Snug collapsed. I think it was on New Years Eve or possibly Christmas Day, round about that time. And it was the first death in a soap opera. One minute she was sipping her milk stout, the next thing her head was impaled on the ashtray! There was dry roasted peanuts flying everywhere! Len Fairclough came over, I remember, with a rather concerned look...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of remember.

NP: Oh what a pity! We were enjoying it werenít we? It was lovely, yes, but he repeated a word, so that is not allowed in Just A Minute. And 32 seconds are still available, you get a point Clement for a correct challenge, you take over the subject which is the street, starting now.

CF: I remember Irma Ogden of whom I was tremendously frond, be...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Frond!

NP: Well inform the listeners of what he should have said.

PM: Fond, presumably.

NP: Whatís your challenge then?

PM: Oh well er deviation from the English language?

NP: Oh...

PM: Frond!

NP: Oh right! I didnít hear that actually. I was so fascinated by Clement having a relationship with Irma Ogden!

PM: You werenít listening?

NP: Well I er...

PM: They were listening in India and China!

NP: Well I mean I...

PM: And theyíre not paid to do that!

NP: I have only just arrived in the Library theatre here, you know and er itís a new show, weíve got a new audience! So all right Paul, 21 seconds, the street starting now.

PM: I was very frond of Florrie Lindley who used to have the Corner Shop...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Well heís doing what he complained about Clement doing!

NP: Yes so what are you accusing him of?

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Of what?

PJ: And imitation!

NP: Thatís not one of the challenges. All right Peter, benefit of the doubt to you, you have the subject and a point for a correct challenge and 23 seconds available, the street starting now.

PJ: I happened to be in the Granada Studios on the very day...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation?

NP: Why?

PM: He hasnít said frond!

NP: But he was interrupted with an incorrect challenge so he gets another point and 19 seconds Peter starting now.

PJ: They were recording the very first episode of Coronation Street. I was in a rather serious drama in an accompanying room. But nobody took...


NP: Arthur Smith challenged.

ARTHUR SMITH: I think there was a hesitation, accompanyeeeeeeeng!

NP: No I think he was keeping going!

AS: Oh come off it!

NP: No you havenít won this audience over yet Arthur! But...

AS: I love Manchester!

NP: No, no, it was nice to hear from you in the first round, because everybodyís spoken but I disagree with the challenge, Peter has another...

AS: Donít patronise me like that!

NP: Iím not, Iím just saying itís nice, it is! Itís a very genuine heartfelt stadium, itís lovely to hear from everyone...

AS: I love you! Kiss me!

NP: After the show! No I take that back immediately, Iíve just looked at you! Right there we are. Peter you have an incorrect challenge, another point, you have the street and there are 10 seconds left starting now.

PJ: Nobody paid a great deal of attention to the very high faluting drama that I was taking part in. Now...


NP: Arthur Smith challenged.

AS: Repetition of drama.

NP: Yes you did say drama before Peter.

PJ: Did I?

NP: Yes. And so Arthur has cleverly got in with two seconds to go on the subject, the street, starting now.

AS: I live in Frond Street!


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Arthur Smith who has two points and Peter Jones has three points, and the other two have one point. Isnít it exciting? Right Peter Jones will you take the next round, the subject, the hair of the dog. Will you tell us something about that expression in this game starting now.

PJ: The hair of the dog is really a homeopathic remedy for a hangover. And it was invented by, I think, Dr Harneman, or Horneman or something like that, in Germany in the last century, when he suggested that it might help if somebody took a very tiny milligram of some medicine which would... when the person...


NP: Oh itís a tough game! Itís the agony of watching the face try to get round the words and change direction. Paul you challenged first, 35 seconds, the hair of the dog starting now.

PM: Nicholas Parsons is wearing a toupee made from the fur of a fox terrier! So in many senses he has actually got on his head the hair of the dog. Itís rather unfortunate when you go out working with Nicholas because if he...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two Nicholai!

NP: Yes! I donít know that you can have too much of Nicholas in this! But anyway what outrageous nonsense! Twenty-one seconds, a correct challenge Clement and a point for that of course, the hair of the dog starting now.

CF: I thought the expression was a hair of the dog, because the hair of the dog seems to me totally meaningless. But as Peter Jones so very rightly said it is tremendously useful if you have a hangover to repeat what you drank on the previous evening, thereby giving your body...


NP: Arthur Smith challenged.

AS: Well I think thatís deviation because you only have one drink donít you for the hair of the dog. Like if youíve had seven pints the previous night and you get up the next morning and have another seven pints, thatís not doing you any good at all!

NP: I would quite agree but er Clement didnít convey to me that that was what he expected you to do actually.

AS: Well he did, he said if you drink an equal amount...

CF: No I didnít.

AS: ... I think was the phrase.

CF: No!

PJ: I donít think he said that.

NP: I donít think he...

AS: I think he did!

PM: No no I didnít hear that!

AS: Just me then, eh!

PM: But for the purposes of comedy Iím willing to agree with you Arthur!

NP: Well they struggle and itís good! I love them to be keen. But of course I must explain that Iím in the centre here, Iíve got two either side and Arthur is furtherest away from Clement so I donít think he heard him. Oh Clement youíve been very lucky, thereís only half a second to go, with an incorrect challenge, the hair of the dog starting now.

CF: Dacshund!


NP: Clement Freud got the point for speaking as the whistle went, heís now equal with Peter Jones in the lead and then come Paul Merton and Arthur Smith together in second place, just one point behind. Arthur it is your turn to begin, the subject is a red rose, there are 60 seconds starting now.

AS: My love is like a red rose, thatís newly sprung in June. Is a beautiful poem by Robbie Burns, and sung by Kenneth McKellar most exquisitely. It is also the symbol of Lancashire, most beautiful and profound of old counties around the north of England. I am here in that very selfsame department of Britain at the moment. And what joy and pleasure it brings to me to be amongst such noble bunch of people with.... please please stop me!


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Well he just rabbited on!

NP: He did and he came to a full stop!

PJ: A full stop, yes, that was the word, yes.

NP: And that is hesitation in Just A Minute.

PJ: Absolutely!

NP: Right! Iím glad that you cottoned on to it so quickly Peter! Because you have a correct challenge at last...

PJ: Yes, good!

NP: And 25 seconds are available for you on a red rose starting now.

PJ: Usually it is a sign of affection. A dozen red roses is a sign of something stronger...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of sign.

NP: There were too many signs there Iím afraid Peter yes.

PJ: Oh yes.

NP: Clement has another point and he has now red rose and 11 seconds available starting now.

CF: Quite a long way from Main Road, there is a football club called Old Trafford which...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, the football clubís not called Old Trafford. The ground is called...

NP: The ground is called Old Trafford. So well listened and youíve got in cleverly Paul with seven seconds to go on a red rose starting now.

PM: Instead of buying red roses I much prefer to purchase...


NP: Arthur Smith challenged.

AS: I thought there was a little pause there, didnít you.

NP: No!

AS: Yes see! Yes theyíre on my side now!

PJ: There was something!

NP: There was a little something but he kept going, he stumbled a little but he didnít actually pause...

AS: I thought you normally like to ask the audience and clearly theyíre on my side in this case.

NP: I only, I only, only when I have one of those situations on which it is impossible to judge. On this one I think I can judge, I didnít think it was hesitation...

AS: Iím calling my solicitor!

NP: Three seconds available for a red rose with you Paul starting now.

PM: I suppose if you were to look for the ultimate romantic...


NP: So we have an interesting situation in Just A Minute. Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Heís moved forward but heís equal in the lead with Clement Freud and Peter Jones, theyíre all equal there. And Arthur Smith is only a point behind. And Paul itís your turn to begin, the subject is a phrase, a right carry-on. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute if you can starting now.

PM: The very first Carry On film was made about 1957 and it was called Carry On Sergeant. At the time it was a simple barrack room comedy that nobody thought would ever produce a whole series of movies after it. The one after it that really took the box office by storm was one that was called Carry On Matron, I think, which starred Hattie Jacques. And had that marvelous moment in it were Wilf...


NP: Arthur Smith challenged.

AS: Itís a little bit boring!

NP: Yeah but itís factual, he hasnít hesitated, deviated...

AS: I know, I know, I just wanted to stop him for a bit!

PM: Well heís quite right because there are another 27 films to go! I think itís a kindness!

NP: I know, but as you didnít commit any of the crimes or faults of Just A Minute or contravene the rules, shall we say, 38 seconds are still available for you Paul, a right carry on, starting now.

PM: One of my favourite lines in any of those particular pieces of entertainment is in Carry On Regardless, where Charles Hawtrey goes to a strip club, thinking heís going to an ornithological meeting and he says to the guy, played by Sidney Tapper, he says "do you have any bluetits?" He says "no Iíve got central heating". That was considered a very risque line in 1963 and indeed...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Nineteen.

NP: Nineteen, 1957 and 53 before, yes. Carry On Regardless, the Carry On film in which I appeared as well, did you know that?

PM: Which one were you in Nicholas?

NP: Carry On Regardless.

PM: Oh yes you were werenít you.

NP: Thatís right, yes.

AS: What part did you play Nicholas?

NP: I played a wine expert, a wine connoisseur. And Joan Sims poured two bottles of wine all over me and she got smashed out of her mind. Everybody enjoyed it so much. This is going terribly well isnít it! Clement you have a correct challenge, the subject is a right carry on, there are 16 seconds left starting now.

CF: The opposite of a right carry on would be a left carry on. Where you turn to walk...


NP: Arthur Smith challenged.

AS: I think it would be, the opposite would be a wrong carry on.

NP: Well I think it depends the way in which you look.

PM: Or wrong carry off!

NP: I think it could be any of those things so Clement has not actually deviated, so he keeps the subject and another point of course, 11 seconds Clement, a right carry on starting now.

CF: In Australia instead of having takeaways they have carry outs, often known as carry ons, even carry offs. And I like to say this because...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point and others in the round. So heís moved forward and heís just in the lead. And Peter Jones itís your turn to begin and the subject is my favourite invention. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: My favourite invention is the radio. I think itís just miraculous to think that little Italian who had no advantages. He wasnít even English! And he managed to invent this, and it was put on the map once and for all when it was uesed as a device to arrest Dr Crippin, the murderer who I always admired enormously! And I was very sorry that he got his deserts as they say with his girlfriend who was dressed as a man on the HMS Montrose, I think it was. And he was then brought back er to justice. But he was ah immortalised in Madame Tussaudís. And Iíve seen his effigy there and I didnít think it was really awfully good. I must ack...


NP: Well Peter Jones took the subject of my favourite invention, kept going until the bitter end for 60 seconds with hesitation, repetition and deviation, with a little bit of encouragement from the other three members of the panel. But he did it in such style the audience really enjoyed it. He not only gets a point for speaking as the whistle went, he gains a bonus point for not being interrupted and heís now gone back into the lead, one ahead of Clement Freud, two ahead of Paul Merton and then Arthur Smith. Clement your turn to begin, the subject, hotpot. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Hotpot is a Lancashire recipe containing no specific ingredients. But therefore named after the vessel in which it is cooked! I would recommend that meat, onion and potatoes and some sort of sauce flavoured with spice and herb is the normal ingredient. And yet one can make a fair argu...


NP: Arthur Smith challenged.

AS: I think he paused there.

NP: I think he did too, so letís hear something of you on a hotpot with 35 seconds to go starting now.

AS: What interests me about the phrase hotpot is that both the words rhyme with each other. Just as dognog or wigbig...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Or numbum!

NP: So, so what is your challenge?

PM: No it wasnít a challenge, I was just adding to the general flavour.

NP: All right give him a point then, and Arthur gets a point for being interrupted and he has 26 seconds on hotpot starting now.

AS: Or indeed numbum. Also...


NP: Paulís challenged.

PM: I knew he was going to say that!

NP: So you were interrupted again Arthur, another point, 23 seconds, hotpot starting now.

AS: Or indeed...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of or.

NP: Or yes.

AS: And indeed!

NP: And indeed, right. Clement, 23 seconds with you for hotpot starting now.

CF: In France it is called le hoopoo because the final letters are not pronounced in the language of our allies in the European union whom so few of us get on with better than we need. I have had hotpot in Burnley, Bolton, Manchester City as well as United...


NP: Clement Freud started with his hotpot, he lost his hotpot, he got his hotpot back again, and kept going with his hotpot until the whistle went and gained that extra point for doing so. And with the other points he has moved forward, heís now equal in the lead with Paul Merton followed now by Arthur Smith who must have got a lot of points on hotpot, I didnít realise that, and Peter Jones, whoís now in fourth place. But thereís very few points between them all. Paul itís your turn to begin, the spinning jenny. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PM: Well it was a machine that was invented during the Industrial Revolution. Itís a rather curious contraption, itís a cross between a donut and a Volkswagen. And what happens is the driver has to get in where the steering wheel is, and the person next to them have to make donuts. And from that you get very fine cotton, and from that a lot...


NP: Arthur Smith challenged.

AS: Thereís double donuts!

NP: Yes, those donuts came up more than once.

PM: No I said donuts and then donut.

NP: You did, youíre quite right Paul, Iím glad I listened...

AS: Yeah but like earlier on...

NP: Yeah?

AS: Clement challenged on 19, when it was 1963 and 1938.

NP: 1957 actually.

AS: Iíve lost the will to live!

NP: Iím just proving that I not only listen but itís my job to listen and it was, and he did repeat the word 19, so he was entitled to have the challenge. On this occasion he didnít have a...

AS: But that was part of... oh no!

NP: Paul very cleverly listened to himself and realised that he said donuts...

PM: I find it helps in life!

PJ: I think he was alone!

NP: Oh theyíre all so bright arenít they! Paul you still have the subject, you have a point for an incorrect challenge, spinning jennyís with you starting now.

PM: There was an old woman who used to live in my village that people used to say was a witch. Her name was Jenny and if you ever saw her spinning in the High Street, you knew there was going to be a piece of bad luck that was going to happen to somebody somewhere along the line...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Spinning jenny was not in the Industrial Revolution, it was much earlier.

NP: I think heís totally incorrect because I mean, certainly it wasnít before, it could have been later, but I believe it was during the Industrial Revolution. Weíll get letters about that...


NP: Um Arthur Smith challenged.

AS: Iím still worried about this donut business!

NP: How a spinning jenny could have produced donuts? Which you donít know what her private life is like!

AS: No I still feel badly wronged by this! Iím a little bit upset to be honest!

NP: Well you donít show it Arthur! Youíre a great sport!

AS: Iím crying inside Nicholas!

PJ: You see itís about four years since Arthur was last on Just A Minute, and we donít want him to go on bearing a grudge for another four years!

NP: So I disagree with Clementís challenge...

CF: You think James Hargreavesí Blackburn invention in the 18th century was part of the Industrial Revolution?

NP: All right Iíll put it to the audience. If you think that the spinning jenny was not part of the Industrial Revolution then you cheer for Clement Freud...

CF: Hooray!

NP: And if you think it was you boo for Clement Freud and you all do it together now.


NP: It was not part of the Industrial Revolution! So Clement you have 35 seconds on spinning jenny starting now.

CF: The result of the... spin...


NP: Yes?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, you got it back, spinning jenny with you and it is 31 seconds starting now.

PM: Always going to be bad luck for somebody! The woman at number54 I remember got very...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Weíve had a woman before.

NP: You had a woman before. On the...

AS: Before the show?

NP: Iím sure a lot of us have had a woman before. But on this occasion heíd spoken about it before. Twenty-seven seconds with you Clement, a spinning jenny starting now.

CF: An awful lot of people in Lancashire lost their jobs as a result of the spinning jenny. Because instead of person after people...


NP: Paul challenged.

CF: ...pushing a thread...

NP: No he has challenged...

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Thatís right yes. Are you two having the game by yourself now? Sixteen seconds, spinning jenny with you now Paul starting now.

PM: And soooo the old...


NP: Arthur...

PM: Now what? I didnít mention woman! Or donuts! What could possibly be the challenge?

AS: That o went on for about three or four seconds! Sooooooooooo.

PM: This is the Manchester music festival! I was warming up for the aria! (sings) O Solo Mio!

AS: Buuuuuuuut youuuuuuuuuuuu couuuuuuuuuuuuld taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalk liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike thaaaaaaaaaaaaat...

PM: Exactly!

NP: Well Clem... well Kenneth Williams made a feature of it didnít he! he only actually used one word and rather drawn out, so I think it would be very unfair to penalise him on one word. If it had been drawn out longer than that I think youíd have been right Arthur. So Paul you continue with 14 seconds, spinning jenny starting now.

PM: About five years ago I went to my grandfatherís house. And I said to him "can I have a look in your attic". He said "of course". So I climbed up the stairs, poked my head up through the trapdoor and there was the most marvellous...


NP: Well Paul Merton not only was speaking when the whistle went, got that extra point for doing so, but also got many points in that round and has leapt forward. And the other three are all almost equal together in second place. Peter Jones... well theyíre not exactly equal. Do you want to know exactly how they stand?

CF: No!

NP: You couldnít care less, could you! All right Clement Freud and Peter Jones are actually equal in second place, but only one point behind them is Arthur Smith. So Peter I think weíre moving into the final round. Because youíve created, all of you, so much amusement and merriment in this particular edition of Just A Minute from the Library Theatre in Manchester. I mention that because weíre so happy to be here! And the subject is the man on the Clapham Omnibus! Iím sure itís a subject close to your heart, but would you talk on it starting now.

PJ: Well it means the man in the street, and it was invented in the latter part of the last century. And I think itís awfully patronising and unpleasant and snobbish, because it isnít just that the man is on an omnibus. It is that he isnít in a taxi, or even in a hansom cab. And he lives in Clapham, which at that time was not at all a smart area to reside. Now this really places the man...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Iím afraid there was Peter yes. The man on the Clapham omnibus Clement starting now.

CF: The privatisation of the public transport system resulted in so many bus companies coming into existence that there is now only one man on the Clapham omnibus! Which shows what total lunacy it was on the part of the government not to realise that buses and trams and trolleys and trains should belong to the country so that they can... um...


NP: Arthur Smith challenged.

AS: Well I need not say, need I?

NP: No but Iíd like to hear you say it in case itís some other bizarre idea that you have.

AS: It was just hesitation.

NP: It was definitely hesitation. Arthur you have five seconds, bring the show to a close with the man on the Clapham omnibus starting now.

AS: Donut, donuts, donutting....


AS: Donutter! Donutful!

NP: So Paul you challenged.

PM: I um...

NP: Yes, it was singular, plural and um...

PM: Yes! No it was fair enough!

NP: A verbalising of...

PM: But he hadnít sufficiently established the subject of the man on the Clapham omnibus!

NP: Well I got the impression they were all eating donuts!

PM: Did you?

NP: Yes I did! I think thatís what he was leading to because er on the other show he said he was psychic so thatís my psychic powers there. Arthur you have three seconds to bring the show to a close on the man on the Clapham omnibus starting now.

AS: What a pleasure itís been to be in Manchester, I must say!


NP: And Iím sure we all echo that! Everybody loves coming to Manchester, and weíve had a wonderful Mancunian audience. And I have to tell you thereís no more time to play Just A Minute. Thatís a lovely heartfelt response. Iím sure youíd like to hear the final score. Are you interested? I know the audience arenít but our listeners are so itís my duty and responsibility to tell you that they all gave their usual fine contribution. The points become secondary but for those who are interested Peter Jones only just finished in fourth place. He was only one point behind Clement Freud and Arthur Smith who were equal in second place. But just out in the lead, a few points ahead was Paul Merton so we say he is the winner this week! It only remains for me to thank our four outstandingly humourous players of the game, Paul Merton, Arthur Smith, Clement Freud and Peter Jones. We thank Elaine Wigley for keeping the score and blowing her whistle with such aplomb! We also thank Ian Messiter for creating the game which we enjoy playing so much. And also Anne Jobson who produced and directed the show. On behalf of them and myself Nicholas Parsons, thank you very much. We do thank our Mancunian audience here in the Library Theatre. Itís been a joy to be part of this Music Theatre in here in Manchester. And also to our listeners for staying to the bitter end! And if you thought it was worth it tune in the next time we take to the air and we all play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us, goodbye!