WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, PETER JONES, SHEILA HANCOCK and WILLIAM RUSHTON, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 25 November 1975)
Note: This show was transcribed by Vicki Walker! Thanks Vicki! :-) William Rushton's first appearance.
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Sheila Hancock and William Rushton in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, here to tell you about it is our chairman, Nicholas Parsons.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much indeed, hello. Welcome to Just A Minute. And once again I'm going to ask our four panelists if they can talk for 60 seconds on some subject that I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject, which is on the card in front of me. And we're going to begin the show this week with Kenneth Williams, and Kenneth, would you try and talk on the subject of pleasure for 60 seconds starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: One thinks of the lines, "Come live with me and be my love and we will all the pleasures prove." And then, in that delightful poem, he lists things like valleys, fields and dales and what he calls teepee mountains. But I very much doubt whether a gentleman on the Matterhorn, or Everest, come to that, would be thinking in terms of pleasure. Probably they'd be much more grateful instead of a poem for a box of tissues, because the nose as you know does run in extremely cold temperatures. Pleasure could be defined as hedonism or, as the Greeks would have it, Epicureanism, defining as a way of life the pleasure principle being virtuous because it's supposed to be a feeling that's engendered in us of community, of civility, of caring about our fellow human being. And what better, what better creed?
KW: I had to say that twice because you buzzed.
NP: No, Sheila Hancock did.
KW: Oh, what a nerve! What a nerve! They should never have had women on this show. They just right down lower the tone, you know!
NP: But you kept going for 55 seconds.
KW: That's what she's coming in on the last bit for!
NP: Yes, I know!
KW: That's her trick, isn't it?
SHEILA HANCOCK: You, you...
KW: Yes! They all agree!
SH: Well actually, you repeated...
KW: They're after, they're on to you, girl! Don't you worry about it!
NP: Kenneth, you kept going magnificently. We enjoyed it all. They were quite generous to you, and Sheila came in when you're with that very definite repetition.
KW: Oh, go on! Let her have it!
NP: So she gets a point for ...
KW: Let's see what wonderful pyrotechnic she's going to wreak.
NP: Sheila, you have five seconds, you've got a point for a correct challenge. You take over the subject of pleasure -- five seconds to go starting now.
SH: My idea of pleasure...
NP: Uh, and Kenneth Williams has challenged.
NP: Shut up!
SH: Oh, rubbish!
NP: Sheila Hancock has another point for a wrong challenge.
NP: She keeps the subject of pleasure, three seconds, starting now.
SH: Is to lie in the...
NP: And Peter Jones has challenged.
PETER JONES: Well, I would like to take this opportunity of saying good evening, and also I would like to welcome William Rushton, who also hasn't spoken...
WILLIAM RUSHTON: Thank you.
PJ: ...and I'd like everyone to know this is not just a two-handed show.
WR: I would like to know the name of Kenneth Williams' chemist. I want some of that stuff to sustain me!
NP: Sheila Hancock has two seconds to talk on pleasure, starting now.
SH: The sun shining on my face...
NP: Well, the whistle that Ian Messiter blows for us tells us that 60 seconds is up and who's ever speaking at that particular moment gets an extra point. And on this occasion it was Sheila Hancock, and at the end of the round she's the only one to have any points. She has a commanding lead. Peter Jones, we're going to hear from you now. Would you talk on the subject of weekends for 60 seconds, starting now.
PJ: They have rather a period flavor to me. I think of the twenties and weekends in Brighton at the Metropole and on the river at Hendley and Maidenhead. And in Paris I think of them. And, um...
NP: Uh, Sheila Hancock has challenged.
SH: Well, he has thought of them twice and he did hesitate at the thought, as well he might!
NP: He was thinking so hard about them that he had to repeat it. So, Sheila, you've got another correct challenge and there are 44 seconds for you to talk on the subject of weekends, starting now.
SH: Well, my hair has got very weak ends that are inclined to split. When this happens, I suggest that you rub in a bit of lanolin and let it soak, and perhaps olive oil is very helpful, and then you shampoo it off and your ends will be...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Well, she's not talking about weekends, but how to cure weak ends, which is quite a different thing, as well as advertising, which is forbidden.
NP: She's talking about shampooing her hair, which is deviation from the subject of weekends.
NP: I agree with your challenge, Peter. You have a point and you have 28 seconds starting now.
PJ: Well, I think they're due for a comeback. Not so many people can afford to go away.
NP: Uh, Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Deviation. Weekends can't come back; they're here perpetually.
NP: I think that the type of weekend that Peter was referring to...
KW: You -- I don't know how he gets these jobs! I really, they should chuck him out! He's a complete idiot, isn't he? There you are, they're all clapping, they're all realising...
KW: ...what a nit you are!
NP: I was...
PJ: Now, Kenneth, I don't want...
NP: Listen, Kenneth! You are going to...
KW: He's talking, not me!
PJ: I don't want it...
NP: You are actually going to be awarded the subject! But I have to...
KW: I don't want it now, thank you very much for your rudeness.
NP: Do you... My rudeness!
KW: Come all the way from Great Portland Street to be insulted!
NP: You have done all the insulting and all the rudeness. Do it again and I'll put you in the corner. I was about to say, I think I know what Peter was referring to, but yours was a legitimate challenge because weekends are here, they're always with us. It's a good challenge; I give you a point for it. Now try to be a good boy, take the subject and 24 seconds, starting now.
KW: I am ill equipped to deal with this because the notion is really one of leisure and that is something I know precious little about because...
NP: Uh, Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: If he knows little about it, let me have the subject back and I'll tell you.
NP: So as he was on the subject of leisure and not weekends, he was deviating. Peter, you've got the subject back.
NP: You have 16 seconds starting now.
PJ: I'm trying to visualize a series of weekends, in all, about 52, which I shall begin in January of next year. And the very first one will be in, of all places, Ilfracoombe, because I happen to know someone there who's going...
NP: And everybody in Ilfracoombe is now agog to know who Peter's going to start off his 52 with. But he got a point for speaking when the whistle went and he's into second place behind Sheila Hancock. And Kenneth, no, Willie Rushton, it's your turn to begin.
NP: Would... hello. Willie, would you talk on the subject of mumbling.
NP: You've given us a little bit of it, but now can you talk about it for 60 seconds starting now.
WR: Mumbling comes easily to me as I can mumble into my beard. In the Oxford dictionary it is described as a verb, to mumble: To make a noise of this nature: (five seconds of auto-racing noises). Anyway, Millen Concise, it is (three seconds of keening). In the Penguin Pocket, it is sort of: (five seconds of clucking). It comes from our own profession, the acting profession. We were known as mummers, and in those days purely mimed. As the profession grew, so did the...
NP: Uh, Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of profession.
NP: Peter, you have a correct challenge, a point and the subject. Thirty seconds on mumbling, starting now.
PJ: Mumbling was head gardener on the Duke of Portland's estate between the years 1906 and 1918. He was a very elderly man even when he took on the post. And he specialized in growing vegetables, parsnips and other things like carrots and so on. And he was a rather tattered kind of figure even in the early days with his trousers dangling over the gardening boots, which he wore perpetually. And...
NP: And Sheila... no, no, Sheila challenged just before the whistle.
SH: Well, I was just about to interrupt him for deviation because if his trousers were dangling over his boots, it must have been a pretty...
NP: Devious sight!
SH: Devous sight! Yes!
PJ: That's why he got the sack in 1918.
NP: I think to be fair, Sheila, he wasn't deviating from the subject on the card.
NP: Though probably we'll find out the whole thing was devious because he never existed. So there's half a second, Peter, on mumbling, starting now.
PJ: And, er, so --
PJ: -- that was it.
NP: So Peter has now taken the lead at the end of that round. He's one ahead of Sheila Hancock and he's, uh, five ahead of Kenneth Williams and William Rushton. And Sheila, it's your turn to begin. The subject is holiday snaps. Would you talk on those for just a minute, if you can, starting now.
SH: Holiday snaps used to be a source of great pleasure to me, although actually I didn't have all that many holidays when I was a little girl as it was during the war and we didn't get away a great deal. But it's all been ruined lately because my husband has acquired something called a sound telly camera, which means that you have to spend your whole time doing terrible antics and saying witty things. Otherwise the whole holiday is ruined because he's in a bad temper because we haven't performed sufficiently for him to provide a suitable show to show all his friends.
NP: And, uh, Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Because I heard two shows there, wasn't there?
NP: Yes, there was.
KW: That's right. I thought I was correct.
NP: But you challenged in such a civilized way, Kenneth. You feeling all right?
NP: Right, you have the subject, Kenneth, another point and holiday snaps. Thirty... 26 seconds left, starting now.
KW: These can provide a delightful memento of those halcyon periods on one's life when one never has to bother about reporting for work but lies indolently, sipping the eau de vivre, or the bee...
NP: William Rushton has challenged.
WR: I'd just wouldn't like to see a photograph of this going on. I feel he's wandering off the subject in no uncertain manner. His mind is bent.
PJ: He did. And he said he couldn't have any weekends, even, earlier on.
WR: I know.
NP: So what, actually, Willie, is your challenge?
NP: What is your actual challenge?
WR: I'm not absolutely certain, but suffice to say it's a strong partial one and I feel I support it, if it's all the same to you.
NP: You think he's deviated from the subject of holiday snaps.
WR: I think mainly on the grounds of taste, I think.
NP: I think, Willie, that he's deviated to some extent from the subject of holiday snaps and getting on to describing the subject. So there are eight seconds left for you to talk on the subject, starting now.
WR: One of the most beautiful holiday snaps taken of me, I was mounted on a donkey somewhere near Ilfacoombe on the beach where I was pounding like a demented stoat towards the pier.
NP: Well, William Rushton was then speaking when the whistle went. He gained that extra point and now he is equal in third place with Kenneth Williams behind Sheila Hancock and Peter Jones. Kenneth, your turn to begin. The subject now is promises. Can you tell us something about those in 60 seconds starting now.
KW: There was a notable argument between Argentine and Chile and they asked Victoria, our queen, to settle it for them. And she wrote and promised to do so. That incredible old lady ruled, as you know, for 60 years and saw one of the most prosperous periods...
NP: Uh, Sheila Hancock.
SH: I don't honestly think he's talking about promises. He's talking about Queen Victoria.
NP: Telling me her reign was full of promises. Um, Kenneth, you keep the subject.
KW: Thank you.
NP: And there are 34 seconds left starting now.
KW: And the aforementioned Empress, when her daughter was to be married, was begged by that poor creature that it should not take place in Berlin. And that gracious lady said, "Don't you worry, I promise you it will be in the Chapel Royal Windsor." Where the nuptials were celebrated, true to her promise which that lady kept. All her life Ö oh!
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of lady.
NP: Yeah, you did bring in the lady more than once.
KW: Well, she was a great lady. It's worth it.
NP: Five seconds are left, Peter, starting now.
PJ: My grandmother used to make a lot of promises and she added the words "all being well."
PJ: So as to get out Ö a saving grace. Well, it was an excuse if she didn't keep it, you see. So if all didn't go well, and so I have to change the arrangements, you know.
KW: Well, we don't want a biography, dear. I mean, we've only got...
PJ: And I don't want people to think you're a bad loser, Kenneth.
KW: Oh, I don't think anyone would think that! Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!
NP: Oh, dear.
PJ: Well, I mean...
NP: Peter Jones has taken the lead at the end of that round again. Well, he has increased his lead because he was leading Sheila Hancock before. And Peter, it's your turn to begin again and the subject now is breakages. Can you talk about breakages for just a minute starting now.
PJ: Yes, I have a friend...
NP: Uh, Kenneth Williams has challenged.
NP: There was a hesitation, actually. But it was only one and a half seconds, so I don't think it's really fair at the beginning. We do let people get underway, Kenneth. So we won't allow that one and Peter continues with breakages starting now.
PJ: I have a friend who worked for a millionaire.
NP: Ah, Sheila Hancock challenged.
SH: Repetition of "I have a friend."
KW: Ah, brilliant! Yes! Oh, brilliant!
PJ: That's not fair! Not fair.
NP: That's what you call ganging up, actually.
SH: Oh, yes!
NP: He's in the lead, so the two of them ganged up.
NP: But Sheila's got the subject.
PJ: Obviously it's a plot! They worked this out carefully beforehand! I saw you together at the tea bar.
SH: Rotten! Rotten. I apologize.
NP: But Sheila, you got in and there are 56 and a half seconds on breakages starting now.
SH: Oh, this is something I'm pretty good at. But not as... excellent as a friend of mine.
NP: Um, Kenneth Williams.
KW: I'm afraid it's a definite hesitation, I'm afraid.
NP: I make the decisions; you can make the challenges. Your challenge on hesitation, I agree with you, Kenneth.
PJ: What a happy coincidence!
NP: There are 52 and a half seconds on breakages, Kenneth, starting now.
KW: The last time this occured was when my mamma broke a very fine piece of royal Worcester, and it fell to my lot to secure its repair by an old gentleman who lived off Andal Street, whereupon the broken handle was welded, as the term goes, back to the vessel which contains the liquid. So, you see, I have very carefully, in describing that, not again referred to the name of that particular carrier of tea or coffee as...
NP: Sheila has challenged.
SH: Well, that is deviation.
NP: Yes! He's now onto the, onto the, onto the... no, you are deviating.
KW: You great fool! Rubbish! Oh, well, give it to her, I'm taking a motorcar.
NP: There we are. Ah, there are 12 and a half seconds on breakages, Sheila, starting now.
SH: A mate of mine brought a new dishwasher.
NP: Peter Jones.
NP: Yes, Peter.
SH: Oh! You didn't give it to him!
SH: It wasn't clear! You didn't --
NP: Well, you...
KW: You shut up and don't protest! He's a good chairman! He's a very good chairman!
NP: I try to keep the balance and you were unfair to Peter before, so now that redresses the balance.
SH: You're so far away.
KW: You shut up! We shouldn't have women on the show anyway!
SH: You said you let people get under way.
KW: Under way! Yes, but you practically slipped anchor.
SH: I agree with William Rushton. This is a stupid game!
WR: Yes, it is!
SH: I've got a very good story on breakages and now you'll never hear it and I'm glad.
NP: Well, Peter Jones might have a good one as well. He's got 11 seconds...
SH: He won't.
NP: ... on which to tell us starting now.
PJ: And this millionaire had a book with a list -- of every item...
NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.
NP: Yes, all right. Now I'm on your side, so you think it's a good game, do you? So you've got a good hesitation there and breakages is with you, eight seconds starting now.
SH: This dishwasher, she put all her new crockery in and it was a big dinner party...
NP: Uh, Peter Jones.
PJ: Who did? We don't know anything about this!
SH: I... I've been trying to tell you. I've said my pal, I've said my mate, I couldn't say my friend. I'd repeated it all. So I have to go to Ö
PJ: Yes, but we don't know anything about it. I mean, you haven't told this story properly.
SH: If you'd shut your face, I'll tell you!
NP: There are three seconds... can you finish this story in three seconds, Sheila? Breakages, starting now.
SH: And all the dishes were broken in this thing because they went round and round.
PJ: Well. And that's the amusing anecdote.
NP: Well, the subject of breakages broke a few strong nerves, and William Rushton, it's your turn to begin and the subject is what I can say in a minute. Can you tell us something on that subject in 60 seconds starting now.
WR: What I can say in a minute is approximately twice what Clement Freud can say in a minute as he speaks very slowly and I've always spoken extremely quickly, which is one of the few things I have to my advantage. Um, I could not talk for a minute on, say, nuclear fission. I could talk for about 10 seconds and then drop dead. The knowledge would flow from my brain, my brain would explode, my entire body would crumble. I could at the same time talk for 45 minutes, 38 seconds on the joys of Mrs. Bradley's body, but then at the same time you don't want to hear about that; the programme's not long enough. Uh... hesitation.
NP: Uh, Sheila Hancock challenged.
WR: Do I get a point for buzzing myself?
NP: You would have done... it's been known to happen, that someone challenges themselves and got a point for a good challenge. There are 32 seconds for you now with the subject, Sheila, what I can say in a minute, starting now.
SH: What I can say in a minute is absolutely anything because there isn't a definite subject in this instance. So I might give you a quick chorus of "God Save the Queen" or...
NP: William Rushton.
WR: A silly thing to say. What heading does that come under?
SH: What I can say in a minute!
WR: I don't agree with you at all.
NP: Sheila Hancock has the subject still and she's got another point and there are 19 seconds and she starts now.
SH: I could give you a talk on animals or sex...
PJ: Or dishwashers.
SH: -- or William Rushton, dishwashers, Peter Jones, Kenneth Williams, Nicholas Parsons, the audience, London, the city, the tower, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, women's institute, how to make cakes...
NP: Uh, Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: What's Henry VIII got to do with women's institute?
SH: I'm telling you!
NP: A great deal, I would have thought!
KW: I should think that he'd be very much opposed to them!
NP: No, she didn't deviate.
KW: But you're supposed to say the things you can talk about.
NP: No, the subject is what I can...
SH: But I could talk about the women's institute and Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. I'll give you a lecture on Henry VIII if you'd like.
KW: No, please don't. Please.
NP: The rather unfortunate subject is what I can say in a minute. Sheila, you have two seconds on what I can say in a minute starting now.
SH: I can say in a minute absolutely anything.
NP: Sheila, you've increased your lead at the end of the round and it's your turn to begin again. And the subject is learning another language. Will you tell us something about that in 60 seconds starting now.
SH: Learning another language is something that I am always making up my mind to do. And I have a cupboard of those teach yourself records... German, Spanish, French. I even have some that you're supposed to put by your bed and play while you're asleep and you wake up in the morning and know it, but I'm here to tell you that that didn't work for me. I also considered going to that academy in London where you could learn a language in about two weeks, and in fact I have a friend who did exactly that. Another language that I've had to learn lately is that of 11-year-old children because they seem to have coined a whole lot of new words like grotty and supes and various other things which do need quite a lot of translating if you are to understand your kinter. Also, I have to...
NP: Ah, Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: What is this word "kinter"?
SH: That was another language.
KW: I see. Instead of making a word up, and she simply made a mess of it.
PJ: And another word, "supes," she said.
NP: Kenneth has a correct challenge, I've discovered, and he has 13 seconds to talk about learning another language, starting now.
KW: This is always best done with a native of the country whose language you wish to...
NP: Uh, Sheila, William Hancock, William Rushton has challenged.
WR: He appeared to fall over his words, whatever you call that.
NP: You call that hesitation.
WR: Hesitation, you call that.
NP: Yes, I think so, yes. You have five seconds...
WR: Good point, hesitation. Slowing down, a collapsible process.
NP: Five seconds on learning another language with William, starting now.
WR: I for many years struggled with Esperanto. If you go to a public house in Staffordshire, I think it is, the entire business of the public house is conducted in...
NP: Well, William Rushton was then speaking when the whistle went. And Kenneth Williams, your turn to begin. The subject: Marco Polo. Will you tell us something about him in 60 seconds starting now.
KW: Well he lived in the 13th century and he left for Venice with his dad to go over land by way of Bacarrah to the court of the great mogul Kubla Khan. And when he returned with a vast amount of precious stones and various items of jewelry, he obviously made a bomb and became very, very successful. I shouldn't have said that twice, but nobody's bothered to challenge me...
NP: You shouldn't have drawn attention to it! You might have got away with it. Sheila Hancock got in first.
SH: I don't even know what he said twice, because I've gone into a trance! But presumably...
KW: Oh, well, oh, well then that's all right. Well I keep the subject.
NP: So what was your challenge?
SH: Repetition of whatever he said twice.
NP: And as you don't know what he said twice, so Kenneth keeps the subject. And he has 29 seconds on Marco Polo, starting now.
KW: And while he was imprisoned by the Genoese as part of the Venetian War, he wrote his famous book, which has been handed down to us in many different editions. And Polo today is the famous name, not to be confused with that game which is played by the Duke of Edinburgh because that comes, though also from the East, via Calcutta, so it mustn't be confused with the Italian...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged you.
PJ: Repetition of confused.
NP: Yes. You got confused. You repeated yourself with only four seconds to go and Peter's got in again. And the subject's Marco Polo, Peter, and you start now.
PJ: He brought pasta back from China and invented...
SH: He brought pasta back from China? A likely thing!
KW: Actually disgraceful, isn't it?
NP: What? What was disgraceful?
KW: Why, I mean just waiting until the last five minutes or something like that. It's so obvious! It's been happening all the time.
PJ: It takes a lot of guts to sit here and... (KW kisses him) ... sit here and listen to you ranting on for a whole minute! You know, it's not too easy!
NP: Peter, you're going to rant a bit now because we're back to you to start and the subject is my favorite aunt.
PJ: My favorite aunt.
NP: Sixty seconds, starting now.
PJ: Oh, she was a lovely old lady with gray hair and two buns, one on either side of her forehead, and a very wet kiss she had, I remember vividly. And in her 67th year she met her childhood sweetheart in a butcher shop in Wolverhampton... this is absolutely true! And he deserted her when she was very young and gone away and married somebody else, they died, came back from being round the world on a sailing ship and they joined together, married and lived happily ever after, which of course wasn't a terribly long time. But it was hilarious! The wedding, this old man... he was a porter on the Great Western Railway at Wolverhampton, and she was working in the shop where they sold the meat, as I told you before...
NP: Ah, Sheila Hancock has challenged.
SH: Yes, you did mention the shop before.
PJ: Yes, I know, but I said where they sold the meat. I didn't say butcher shop, you see.
NP: You did manage the word shop twice.
PJ: Oh, well that, for God's sakes. Picky!
NP: Sheila, you have the subject and it is my favorite aunt and there are 12 seconds left starting now.
SH: I have a very dear aunt called Auntie Ruby who introduced me to many good things in life, especially sausages and chips at Lyon's Cornerhouse when I was a little girl.
NP: Uh, Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: They are not good things. Sausages and chips are rotten things and therefore you cannot possibly sit here and say they're good things.
NP: Are you, have you finished, Kenneth?
NP: Good. To a child of tender years, a sausage and chips are delicious! And Sheila has two seconds to continue -- my favorite aunt, starting now.
SH: Followed by an ice cream sundae that you had to stand on the chair to reach.
NP: Well, I've just received a message that our 30 minutes is up. So I must now wind the show up. Before I do it, let me tell you that William Rushton, coming to play the game for the first time, contributed a great deal. Kenneth was only three points ahead of him. Peter Jones was, ah, only six points ahead of him but way out in the lead was this week's winner, Sheila Hancock! We hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just a Minute and want to tune in again the same time next week when once again we take to the air and we try and play the game of Just a Minute. Till then, from all of us here, goodbye!
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just a Minute was Nicholas Parsons. The programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by John Lloyd.