starring PAUL MERTON, CLEMENT FREUD, TIM RICE and ANNABEL GILES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 21 August 2000)

NOTE: Annabel Giles's last appearance.

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 to welcome our many listeners in this country and around the world. And also to welcome the four exciting talented performers who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And we welcome back with great pleasure the exceptional humour of Paul Merton, the witty humour of Clement Freud, the clever humour of Tim Rice, and the delightful humour of Annabel Giles. And will you welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who's going to help me keep the score and blow the whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And as usual I'm going to ask our players of the game to speak for 60 seconds 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 which is on the card in front of me. And we are doing this particular edition of Just A Minute from the Swan Theatre in High Wickham in Buckinghamshire. We begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement the subject is chopsticks. Tell us something about chopsticks in Just A Minute starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: If you were to leave a lamb cutlet for too long in a frying pan, it could well be called chopsticks, as are the implements...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Well it might be called that but it would be wrong! You can't say that's chopsticks! What's with the English there?

CF: The chop sticks!

NP: Ah...

PM: Utter nonsense!

NP: I know! I know! But we, we allow a little bit of fantasy in this game. And you, you show exceptional...

CF: Why is it fantasy?

NP: Well, the fact is, well, you have justified what you said Clement and Paul's challenge was incorrect. So Clement gets a point for an incorrect challenge, he keeps the subject and there are 50 seconds available starting now.

CF: If you go to an Indian restaurant and ask...


NP: Annabel challenged.

ANNABEL GILES: I know this is really picky but I'm sort of learning fast. He said if twice. The first bit he had, he started with, started with if you and then...

NP: That's right! That's right! You don't have to justify it, I accept it...

AG: Is that too picky though, generally?

NP: No no no no, not with Clement Freud, he's been playing the game for 50 years! I mean...

AG: Yes it's ridiculous!

NP: You have the subject...

PM: I can't help but feel you'll live to regret it!

AG: I know!

NP: If this was television, the looks, the cameras would be jumping between the faces now! Right, you have a point for a correct challenge Annabel, and you take over the subject of chopsticks and there are 47 seconds starting now.

AG: Chopsticks to me is a piece on a piano, ah, probably invented...


AG: Yes I know!

NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There was an ah!

AG: Yes!

NP: Which we interpret as hesitation...

AG: That's hesitation, you're absolutely right!

NP: Paul let's hear from you on chopsticks, you've got a point for a correct challenge, you have 43 seconds starting now.

PM: Well if the Chinese are meant to be so clever, why aren't they using cutlery! That's what I seem to think! Because it's so much easier! When I would go into a restaurant and I order all kinds of different delicacies from their menu, I want to eat it with a knife and fork because I'm no good with chopsticks. Two bits of wood, do that, er....


NP: Tim Rice.

PM: I'm speechless! I'm speechless with anger Nicholas!

NP: I know, I know, it was shown in your face! It was registered but the audience got your mood and I'm sure the listeners did as well. Tim you have a correct challenge, you have a point for that of course, 26 seconds are available, the subject's chopsticks starting now.

TIM RICE: Chopsticks as the beautiful woman on my right, Annabel for those of you who are not watching but merely listening to this programme, is best known to many people. The word conjures up a piece of music. A wonderfully simple thing on the piano which you start by bashing at the notes F and G, and gradually move out...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: A very very slight hesitation.

NP: Yes...

TR: I was illustrating the gradualness of it!

NP: I know!

AG: I thought very well!

TR: Yes thank you!

NP: Seven seconds are available Paul for you to continue, I mean take over the subject of chopsticks starting now.

PM: I remember my family used to sit around the piano, wishing to God that one of us could play it! And every Saturday night we used to play Chopsticks on it...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition of play.

NP: Yes you did play...

PM: I know, I thought the whistle would go before then!

NP: Clement's cleverly got in with one second to go on chopsticks starting now.

CF: I...


NP: Who challenged? Paul.

PM: Hesitation, I'm afraid!

NP: No! Give him a bonus point but Clement was interrupted, he has got three quarters of a second on chopsticks starting now.

CF: Chopsticks!


NP: Oh whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud so he's equal in the lead with Paul Merton at the end of that round. Annabel Giles and Tim Rice are also equal in second place. And Tim it's your turn to begin, the subject is the bee's knees. Tell us something about the bee's knees starting now.

TR: I'd like to talk about bee's knees in five different sections. The first part is the actual anatomy of the insect in question. Many people do not realise that the only living creature on this wonderful planet that has four knees is the elephant. The bee on the other hand only has a couple. Even though it has more than two legs. Its knees are very very important as it...


NP: Oh I know it's a difficult... you were going so well, and so interesting, but it is a difficult game! Very very! Clement you were the first, 36 seconds available, tell us something about the bees knees starting now.

CF: A Patagonian came up to me and said "what is your beezness?" And it took me a while...


CF: ...to realise what it was...

NP: Clement actually Tim Rice challenged. Why?

TR: Well it's very unsporting but he was trying to milk the applause! He hesitated.

NP: No to be fair on this occasion...

PM: He was riding the laugh!

NP: On this occasion...

TR: He was riding the laugh!

NP: The laughter was so loud, he was riding it, I mean you couldn't... he wasn't milking it, that means he was having to build it up. It wasn't, it was spontaneous. So Clement I don't allow it and you have another point for an incorrect challenge and you have 29 seconds on the bees knees starting now.

CF: I told him that I was a cook, and at one time ran a tobacconist's shop, and found that he had no idea what he was about as I did not. Bees have more than two knees. And I think Tim Rice is absolutely wrong in that every leg which is attached to a bee has about it an ankle, a knee, a calf and a thigh....


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I don't know! I've led a sheltered life! I don't think bees have thighs!

NP: No! And they don't have calves...

PM: They don't have ankles either! They might have calves but they definitely haven't got thighs!

NP: They... well, I don't think they've got calves either but anyway they don't have those muscles...

PM: No!

NP: They, their legs are little stick-like things! So Paul, a correct challenge, six seconds, the bees knees starting now.

PM: I love to dress bees up in all kinds of stockings, and beautiful suspenders, to show off their wonderful thighs and their calves...


NP: Paul Merton got the point for speaking as the whistle went then, he's still equal in the lead with Clement Freud. And Annabel Giles and Tim Rice are still equal in second place. Annabel your turn to begin, the subject is mummies. Tell us something about mummies in this game starting now.

AG: Good mummies to me strike me as ladies with lots of lovely big bosoms and nice hips and baggy jumpers and leggings. Who when they clasp their children, their children... oh for goodness sake!


NP: Tim a correct challenge, mummies is with you, 52 seconds starting now.

TR: Mummies are what the Egyptian Kings became after they passed away and shuffled off this mortal coil, their subjects weeping, moaning, crying, desolate in their sadness and despair, would take the corpse, the stiff and shove it down a pyramid where... It was a very sad occasion this and not one which should inspire laughter in any but the most disgustingly minded of audience. I find it very hard to continue with such a mood...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation from the subject.

NP: Yes, he's now gone off the subject of mummies and he's now talking about the audience here. And they don't look like mummies to me, they're very much alive! And so Clement a correct challenge, you get a point of course, mummies is with you, 23 seconds starting now.

CF: Many children have found to their cost that if Daddies get it wrong, they end up with their Mummies, also Stepmummies and other Mummies from children of other people...


PM: Nurse!

NP: So Tim you challenged first, yes, hesitation, 13 seconds, mummies starting now.

TR: Mummies are very important in every child's life. Perhaps it is the very first being that...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: I think a Mummy is important to any child's life.

NP: I think he was speaking collectively in saying that Mummies are important in children's lives. It's a plural he was using. No I don't think he was deviating from that///

CF: The more Mummies a child has the less important they become!

NP: A shrewd observation...

CF: That was for an extra point!

NP: All right, give him an extra point, he's desperate to have one!

PM: Is that a new rule? We can get a point just by asking for one?

NP: Seven seconds, Tim, on mummies, incorrect challenge starting now.

TR: Come with me down the river Nile, whose nymphs...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well it's not very convenient actually! I can't just drop everything and say okay let's go down the river Nile!

NP: Right, he wants his bonus point, he's got it, Paul Merton!

PM: Thank you!

NP: And Tim you were interrupted so you get a point for that, so you have five seconds on mummies starting now.

TR: Come with me to the front foyer...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: He's repeated the phrase come with me.

NP: Come with me, yes!

AG: Tragedy!

TR: It's a tragedy!

NP: Once you lose your flow, it's often...

TR: I was offput!

NP: Your flow doesn't come back, right. Three seconds, mummies with you Paul starting now.

PM: Tutankhamuen is perhaps the most famous...


NP: Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's one ahead of Clement Freud at the end of the round. And Paul it's your turn to begin, the subject now is the secret of good relationship... I'm sorry I read it wrong, it's the secret of a good relationship. Sixty seconds starting now.

PM: The secret of a good relationship is to respect the other person's point of view, listen to what they've got to say, then make them agree with you! It's the only way forward. Other people's opinions are an awful bore...


NP: Tim you challenged.

TR: Two others!

NP: Two others, yes. Right, 49 seconds are available for you Tim, you've got another point, to take over the secret of a good relationship starting now.

TR: The secret of a good relationship is lust, passion, sweaty...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: No, he didn't hesitate, no...

PM: Clement why did you have to challenge at that point!

NP: He was playing the audience, he had us all on tenterhooks! No he didn't, he didn't actually...

PM: Well he had us in the palm of his hand!

NP: I know! He definitely... Tim an incorrect challenge you have 44 seconds on the secrets of a good relationship starting now.

TR: The secret of a good relationship is celibacy! It is absolutely fatal to go anywhere near somebody with whom you wish to have a good relationship, because once you get into all that groping and cuddling, it all goes out the window. And that relationship is...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: It all goes out the window? This, this is deviation, I've never... I've never done any cuddling that's ended up going out the window!

NP: Yeah it's a very amusing thought that you've got. But he was using it as a phrase, it is a common cliché, things going out the window, and I don't think he was deviating from the subject of the secret of a good relationship. But Paul, right, they enjoyed your remark, give him another one. But Tim was interrupted he gets a point, he has the secret of a good relationship and there are 30 seconds starting now.

TR: If you wish to have a good relationship with your fellow artist or panellist, don't keep interrupting him with fatuous challenges...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I had to!

NP: So what is your challenge within...

PM: Well I disagree, I think it is good to interrupt and challenge! No, I just knew it would get a laugh if I pressed the button! It's an incorrect challenge.

NP: An incorrect challenge, Tim you have another point, you have the secret of a good relationship, 24 seconds starting now.

TR: It's very important if you wish to have a good relationship with your partner to wear the same colour underwear...


NP: Annabel challenged.

AG: This is quite picky but I feel the need! Um, partner, he's said partner lots actually now, hasn't he?

TR: Yes I have, yes, yes...

AG: He has... yes I've challenged! Woohoo! It's an unkind and uncertain thing but I have got no points yet! I can see the scoresheet from here and I have none!

NP: You have got points...

AG: I've got one have I?

NP: No, you've got two!

AG: Oh well! I should be grateful then!

NP: And you've now got a third one, you've got a third one...

AG: I've got three now...

NP: You've got three now...

AG: Oh well, I'll retire!

NP: And you have 20 seconds now to tell us something about the secrets of a good relationship starting now.

AG: The secret of a good relationship is not to have one at all! After all who wants some smelly bloke on your sofa with the remote control, deciding what to watch on TV and snoring all night long, keeping you awake. The secret of a good relationship...


AG: ...is to... what?

NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Three alls!

AG: Oh did I say all lots? I love you for that!

PM: If you might remember this started with two ifs.

AG: Yes! It's a fair cop!

NP: Seven seconds Clement, the secret of a good relationship starting now.

CF: The whole point of the secret of a good relationship is that no-one should know about it, otherwise it would no longer be a secret...


NP: So an interesting situation as Clement Freud got that extra point speaking as the whistle went. He's now equal in the lead with Paul Merton and they're only one ahead of Tim Rice and a few ahead of Annabel Giles... no, no, no, she's not far behind! Oh about five, that's all, it's not many. Clement Freud it's your turn to begin, the subject is bucks. Tell us something about bucks in this game starting now.

CF: Bucks is the popular name for the county of Buckinghamshire which is north of the city of London and bounded by Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and probably other counties whose names I can never really remember. Hamersham is the jewel of Buckinghams... Bucks...


NP: Tim you challenged.

TR: Two Buckinghamshires.

NP: Yes the subject is Bucks and he mentioned Buckinghamshire...

CF: That's why I stopped.

NP: Thirty-nine seconds on Bucks with you Tim starting now.

TR: I'm delighted to have the opportunity to talk to you at length about Bucks! Because I was born in Buckinghamshire, this is true! In fact I was... created in the...


NP: Clement Freud you challenged first.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes indeed, you've got Bucks back, you have 29 seconds starting now.

CF: It should not be forgotten that Newport Pagnell is in Bucks. As is Orney where they have annual pancake races, great events in which people take a confection made of flour, milk and eggs, in a pan, down a street, tossing them as they go...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: A natural stop! Hesitation.

NP: Yes that's right, yes, hesitation. Ten seconds Paul, you tell us something about Bucks starting now.

PM: Bucks is also a term for sexually active young men. And there's nothing I like better than doing it right out the window. It's the people downstairs I feel sorry for because they're having their tea and suddenly it goes right...


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's now one ahead of Clement Freud and then Tim Rice one point behind them. And Tim your turn to begin, the subject, Monday mornings. tell us something about Monday mornings starting now.

TR: Monday mornings for me are extremely important. They are the most dynamic part of my week. I get up every Monday morning with a determination to do even better than I did on Sunday which in my case is not very difficult as most of the holy day of each week for me has been an absolute disaster for the last 35 years. Therefore every Monday morning I think "now is the opportunity I have to make good, to do...


NP: Annabel challenged.

AG: Yes he said morning twice and in the title it says mornings, I'm going to getvery picky...

NP: Well listened Annabel, he did say morning twice...

AG: Yeah!

NP: And the subject is Monday mornings...

AG: I'm so sorry! You were doing so well!

TR: I know!

AG: What I want to know is what happens on Sundays that's so awful?

TR: I can't go into it, but...

AG: Oh really! Can we have... can the next one be Sunday mornings please!

NP: And you, and you want Tim to start with it, to find out... Annabel you have a correct challenge, you have 33 seconds, you tell us something about Monday mornings starting now.

AG: Now you see I rather enjoy Monday mornings because that's my day off. A long time ago I realised I really dreaded Monday mornings coming up, and so I decided that I would work very hard on a Sunday instead and take...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Two Sundays.

NP: No she hasn't said Sunday...

AG: I haven't said Sunday! Ooooh, wrong!

NP: She hasn't said Sunday yet Tim.

TR: Oh I said it, didn't I!

NP: No...

AG: Yes it was you!

TR: Yes!

NP: She said...

TR: It's a very difficult game!

NP: She said Sunday when she was talking before she started.

TR: Right!

AG: Yes! Oh!

TR: Yes! Sorry!

NP: Right so Annabel, an incorrect challenge, you've still got the subject, you've got another point and you keep going, 32 seconds available, Monday mornings starting now.

AG: So this Monday for example, I decided to tidy my bedroom because that's what I really enjoy doing. Get everything ordered. If you have a neat bedroom you have an organised...


AG: ... mind... Oh who now? What?

PM: There was two bedrooms.

NP: She...

AG: Oh was it? Oh thank you, because I'd really had enough now! Yes! Right!

NP: You took too long in the bedroom I'm afraid Annabel.

AG: Yes.

NP: Monday mornings, Paul, 15 seconds starting now.

PM: Bob Geldaff and...


PM: Who? Who?

TR: It's Bill Geldaff!

NP: So what is your challenge Tim?

TR: Um, error. Deviation, it's Bob Geldof.

NP: I think he was...

PM: No, Bob Geldaff! Happens to be a very good friend of mine! Although I now see what you're saying, there is a similarity!

NP: How can I judge on that? Because I agree with you, I'm certain he meant to say Bob Geldof...

TR: He stumbled with emotion!

NP: It is stumble, but...

TR: At the recalling of his close friend!

NP: He could well say he was going to talk about Bob Geldaff, and...

PM: Yeah!

NP: ...he didn't hesitate!

PM: No!

NP: So I must stay within the rules of Just A Minute, to be completely fair, I must say incorrect challenge, 13 seconds, Monday mornings with you Paul starting now.

PM: He was a big fan of the pop single, I Don't Like Mondays, which was an enormous hit some time I believe in the early 80s, based on a true and sad case of a pupil who went to school on a Monday morning...


NP: So Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, with other points in the round has taken the lead now. Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject now, a Mexican wave. tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: By virtue of the fact that Mexico has coastlines to the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, a Wexican wave...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I think we're in the world of Spoonerisms here! A Wexican mave!

NP: I think that's deviation from English as we understand it. Fifty seconds for you Paul on a Mexican wave starting now.

PM: It's called a Mexican wave because it did originate in Mexico during a particularly dull football game. The crowd got it into their heads to suddenly do this wave around the stadium. By standing up, the person next to them would do the same thing and it would carry on around the arena...


NP: Annabel challenged.

AG: Do the same, do the same thing.

NP: Do the same thing, yes. So you got in on a Mexican wave and there are 36 seconds available starting now.

AG: If a Mexican was to wave to me, he would probably be saying (speaks in Spanish) but I think I'd probably...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Well I thought there was some hesitation but maybe I'm wrong...

NP: No, no, no...

AG: No you have it!

NP: She hesitated because of what that Mexican said to her!

TR: Yes! I don't blame her!

NP: No an incorrect challenge...

AG: I think I was leaving space for the question mark...

TR: Oh sorry!

AG: That's what I was doing.

NP: You've got 30 seconds, a Mexican wave starting now.

AG: A Mexican wave could occur on the beach of Acapulco, as that is I believe a sandy resort of the er...


AG: Yeah!

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

AG: Much appreciated Clement thank you!

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Right, 24 seconds, a Mexican wave Clement with you starting now.

CF: In Acapulco there are Mexican waves that come from the sea to the beach. And I'm sorry I said Atlantic before...


NP: Tim Rice challenged you.

TR: Well I thought there was hesitation but more importantly I think we had sea before Clement.

PM: No!

NP: No, no, no we didn't.

PM: He named them but I don't think he said sea.

NP: No, he talked about the oceans. Eighteen seconds still with you Clement on a Mexican wave starting now.

CF: When you leave the city of the country from which Mexican waves originate, people take out their handkerchiefs and unfold them, waving them for goodbye, hello, I've got a headache, where's the nearest chemist...

NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I don't think this is a good system! If one wave means hello, goodbye, where's the nearest chemist! No wonder they're always having revolutions! You might be seeing your mother-in-law off the train, waving, and she thinks why does he want to know where the nearest chemist is!

NP: I do think what he was saying was deviating from what a Mexican wave is...

PM: Absolutely!

NP: No, no, you can't wave and...

CF: So a Mexican waving is deviation from a Mexican wave? Interesting!

NP: You got the benefit of the doubt last time Clement so Paul will have it on this occasion. Two seconds to go, a Mexican wave, starting now.

PM: A Peruvian gesture is a but like a Mexican wave...


NP: So at the end of that round Paul Merton has increased his lead ahead of Clement Freud and then Tim Rice and Annabel Giles in that order. Not many points separate any of them. We're moving into the final round and it's Tim Rice's turn to begin and the subject is aardvarks. So Tim tell us something about aardvarks in this game starting now.

TR: Aardvark is one of the first words in the dictionary. It's also a South African ant eater, a furry beast which strangely enough eats ants. Aardvarks to me mean something very moving, because the first pop group I was ever in had that name. We were called the Aardvarks because it meant we were always top of any alphabetical bill. We would be ahead even of Abba, even Airon...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: There were a lot of repetitions but even was...

NP: Even even was the one that stood out, quite right...

CF: No they all stood out!

NP: Clement you have a correct challenge, you have 38 seconds, you don't have to rub it in all the time! Thirty-eight seconds, aardvarks, starting now.

CF: An aardvark is a sort of ant eater that lives...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: It's not a sort of ant eater, it is an ant eater!

NP: It is an ant eater yes!

CF: It's a sort of ant eater!

TR: Hundred percent bona fide ant eater! It's not...

NP: I agree with you Tim!

TR: It is not a bus, it's not a cabbage, it is an ant eater!

NP: They'll argue over the slightest interpretation but that is a correct comment Tim and you have the subject back of aardvarks, 35 seconds starting now.

TR: Aardvarks are very homely creatures. They are very proud of their sets...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Two verys I'm afraid.

NP: There were two verys there, yes. So Paul we're going to hear from you on aardvarks with 32 seconds to go starting now.

PM: Aardvarks are a different breed to soft varks! Aardvarks are the people that come towards, "Ere! Who you looking at? You want a bit of a trouble? You got any ants on you? You know what I mean!" Whereas the other kind I emntioned earlier was more likely to...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Five yous.

NP: You want to do this, you want to do that, yes. So Clement a correct challenge and you have 22 seconds to tell us something about aardvarks starting now.

CF: If you order one in a restaurant, I suggest that underdone or upwhere is better than blue. I think...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I don't know, he could be making up words! I've no idea!

NP: I think you've all got so many points that for the peace and quiet and harmony Paul, I'm going to allow you to continue for the last 12 seconds on aardvark starting now.

PM: The only way to hypnotise an aardvark with any degree of success is to get hold of its (starts to laugh)


NP: Tim you challenged. You see you lost it right away...

TR: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation right. Two seconds on aardvarks with you Tim starting now.

TR: They only come out at night, these aardvark creature things...


NP: So that brings the show to an end with a huge climax. They all spoke on aardvarks in that round. We enjoyed the contribution of every one of them. Annabel Giles coming back for a second time did extremely well, got three times more points than she got the first time. Tim Rice returning to the Swan, his place of triumph, did extremely well, finished in third place, but he got four times as many points as he did last time. Clement Freud who did very well last time we were at the Swan in Wickham got twice as many. And Paul Merton didn't get quite so many but he still got four more than Clement Freud. So once again we say Paul Merton you are the winner this week. 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 thank Janet Staplehurst for helping with the score and blowing her whistle. We are indebted to our producer Claire Jones who keeps us all in order and suffers our eccentric behaviour. And also we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. But particularly we are indebted to this lovely audience here at the Swan Theatre in High Wickham. From them, from the panelists, from me Nicholas Parsons, goodbye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute.