JAM:KWilliams,DNimmo,CFreud,DCoffey
WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!

starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and DENISE COFFEY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 6 October 1970)


THEME MUSIC

ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Clement Freud and Denise Coffey 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 very much, hello and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And once again I'm going to ask our four panellists to try and speak for Just A Minute on some unlikely subject without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject. And if one of the other three thinks they are guilty of doing this, they may press their buzzer. And if I agree with the challenge they will gain a point and also take over the subject. If I disagree with the challenge then whoever is speaking will keep the subject and continue and of course gain a point in the process. That's the way we score, and let us begin this week with Derek Nimmo. Derek, a subject that Ian Messiter has thought up which I am sure is going to give me great difficulty but let's hope, everybody else a lot of fun, polystyrene. Can you start the programme by talking for 60 seconds on polystyrene starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: Once upon a time in Northern Ceylon there lived an émigré family from one of the smaller Balkan states called Styrene. There was a mother, the father, the son and the daughter's name was Kinga. But unlike the rest of the people who were tea planters, she was invariably... oh...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud you've challenged, why?

CLEMENT FREUD: Hesitation.

NP: Yes hesitation, you were getting so carried away with an impossible story, he stumbled and I agree with the challenge. So Clement Freud gains a point and he takes over the subject, polystyrene and there are 43 seconds left starting now.

CF: As the sun rose late over Colombo, Polly Styrene went back to the plantation where her father had...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo you've challenged, why?

DN: He's dead!

NP: I thought I might have some difficulty but not this sort of difficulty! So Derek said he was dead and Clement says he's alive...

DN: You're sure...

NP: The only people who can judge whether Polly Styrene's father is dead or alive is the audience, because it's either Derek's word or Clement's. Do you think, ladies and gentlemen of the audience, that Polly Styrene's father is dead? And if you do would you please cheer?

CF: If he's dead who planted the tea?

NP: What's that?

CF: If he's dead... sorry!

IAN MESSITER: Who was planting the tea of he's dead?

NP: Brothers, brothers, even sisters. Will you cheer if you think he's dead and will you boo if you think, think he's alive, starting now.

BOOS AND CHEERS FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: A complete draw! So no points scored, Clement Freud keeps the subject...

CF: Oh no!

NP: ...and there are 35 seconds left for polystyrene starting now.

CF: This is actually a material for which the chemical formula is H22 C11 05...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo why have you challenged?

DN: It's not H22.

NP: Absolutely right! And er you gain a point and you take over the subject of polystyrene with 26 seconds left starting now.

DN: It's derived from the Greek word of course, meaning many and it really means a lot of little styrenes. And it's a fabric that is used for it's wonderful properties for keeping out damp and retaining the heat. And you can see it on the walls and on the ceilings. And it's terribly nice for tea planters to live in when they come back from hot climates. And therefore it's awfully interesting you know, that when you read a manual of British workmanship, you always find polystyrene mentioned at least seven times which is repetition...

WHISTLE

NP: Well whoever is speaking when the whistle goes which tells us by the way that 60 seconds is up gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Derek Nimmo and I think that was very well deserved because he kept going on something that he knew nothing about terribly well. So Derek at the end of that round has two points and Clement Freud has one and the others have yet to score. Denise Coffey will you begin the next round. The subject is my nighty. I paused because I suddenly thought as I said it, it sounded a bit funny. But anyway will you talk about my nighty, 60 seconds starting now.

DENISE COFFEY: I don't know what Nicholas Parsons' nighty looks like, so I can't really discuss it at any great length. I will however tell those ladies and gentlemen of the audience who think that I am wearing my nighty at this moment, that they're quite wrong. I've heard you, I've heard you... ooooohh ahhh...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo you've challenged.

DN: Repetition of I've heard.

NP: Very very rapid challenge there. And I agree with it so you gain a point Derek and you take over the subject of my nighty, 46 seconds left starting now.

DN: My nighty is an absolutely beautiful princess lined maxi made out of the finest gossamer woven in silk by Lady Hartdyke's little bo worms down a little mill somewhere...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud why have you challenged?

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Little worm, little mill.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: That's true.

NP: That's right, yes. Two littles alas. Very sharp, and Derek... Clement Freud I agree with your challenge, you gain a point therefore and you have 32 seconds left for my nighty starting now.

CF: I inherited my nighty from my grandfather who always wore them. And when he died my grandmother said "would you like these?" There was a war on at the time and I said "yes very much indeed". And while many of you were not yet born or perhaps still on national milk, I was out there fighting for you in my nighty! This was a considerable embarrassment to my platoon sergeant, because at the time all the other soldiers were manifesting other ways of...

WHISTLE

CF: That's true!

NP: Well as Clement Freud was speaking then when the whistle went, he gains the extra point and another well deserved point because I do think his nighty was most fascinating. And I didn't realise that it was entirely due to his nighty that so many of us here today in this hall saved from the wrath of Hitler's Nazism! Nazi...

CF: Nighty!

NP: Heartlands and nighties! Right, Clement Freud would you begin the next round... oh by the way at the end of that round Clement Freud has a lead of one over everybody else which is actually Derek Nimmo because the other two have yet to score. Clement would you begin the next round for us, strange noises... actually it's been misspelt, it's strnage noises, is that right, it is strange is it?

IM: Strange noises.

NP: Thank you very much Ian Messiter, strange noises Clement Freud, 60 seconds starting now.

CF: One of the strangest noises I ever heard was the falling of eyelashes on a parkay floor...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo, you challenged, why?

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Anyway he did hesitate, what did you say Clement?

CF: Homiten.

NP: Homiten, I'm so sorry, it's Homiten.

CF: Ignorance of geography is no, no...

NP: Well your lack of diction is no excuse to insult the chairman either. There are 45 seconds left for you Derek Nimmo having gained another point and the subject, to talk on strange noises starting now.

DN: The strangest noise I ever heard was the tweeting of a common tern that stands on the top of Nelson;s monument in Trafalgar Square. All the pigeons were so surprised to see this nautical tern there, that they all took flight and flew around with the great whooooo. And it was very odd, because at that moment, rifle fire broke out on the other side of the palace and (gibberish)

BUZZ

DN: I had no idea what was going to happen!

NP: No, no!

DN: I'm so terribly relieved!

NP: And Derek Nimmo's no idea either!

DN: No idea!

NP: Kenneth you have challenged.

KW: Well it's hesitation.

NP: Yes I quite agree but I have to hear it.

KW: I see.

NP: That's right Kenneth and also it's nice to hear your voice. Kenneth you gain a point and you take over the subject of strange noises and there are 16 seconds left starting now.

KW: I heard some extremely strange noises when I was in Dietta Lauer in Ceylon. And I remember thinking at the time these must be bullfrogs I can hear! And I was so afraid I took out a fag. Now I was on sentry duty...

WHISTLE

NP: Well done Kenneth, you get two points now because you were speaking when the whistle went. And it is your turn to begin the next room. The subject is asthet... oh, aestheticism. I'll say it again to make sure, asthet... oh I can't pronounce it, aestheticism, 60 seconds starting now.

KW: Well I presume this pertains to the aesthete, someone who has a superior appreciation of beauty and elegance. My aesthetic sensibilities are always appalled and confounded by the environment in which I find myself today. Flat top buildings with no aspirational quality whatsoever! No sense of reaching out! Awful hoardings with their screaming commercial exhortations! Buy this, purchase the other! What a load of old rubbish! And that lovely (unintelligible) in great St Helens ruined, all the panelling gone now. One wonders where we are heading? Is it up to the gates of heaven in a formless din, trying to be the allotted one, will you betray one, think!I must do something to let us in! Or are we to sink into this quagmire whereby we judge nothing of beauty, nothing of real significance, a life totally dominated by...

WHISTLE

NP: My goodness me there were the rifle shots that were coming from the palace! Cle... Kenneth Williams, a well deserved round of applause there, a marvellous little diatribe...

KW: Are you going to tell me I've leapt into the lead?

NP: You have...

KW: Oh great! Oh hooray! Oh I might...

NP: You not only got a point for speaking when the whistle went, but you get that extra bonus point for keeping going for 60 seconds without being interrupted, the first time it's happened for quite a number of shows. And you have leapt into the lead alongside Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo. There we are! So the three boys are out there in front, neck and neck. And now we carry on, right. Derek will you begin the next round, weddings I've been to. That's the subject, can you talk about it for 60 seconds starting now.

DN: Well the very first wedding I went to was when I was four years old and I went to the marriage of my uncle, Ronald Kershaw Sudbury Hardy who married my auntie Marjorie. And I was a pageboy and I was in brown velvet trousers with a lovely green silk shirt. And very pretty I looked and I've got photographs to prove it. The most interesting wedding I went to I think was to my mothers, which was more recently. When my, she married again and a dear fellow called Reginald Walker, and I gave her away...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud why have you challenged?

CF: Well repetition of carelessness. His mother to marry again is repetition and to give her away I think is really...

NP: It's a very nice try but I don't think it's either repetitious. I mean the fact that he's given his mother away, I'm sorry, that's just between him and his mother, that's their problem to sort that one out. I mean you can't say...

KW: Well he should get a bonus point for wit.

NP: Well I thought it was amusing but not all that witty! I mean....

KW: Oooooooh here!

NP: I loved hearing it. I'm just going to give him a great complimentary pat on the back for trying very well and keeping us very well entertained. But it means that Derek keeps the subject and he has 36 seconds left, weddings I've been to, starting now.

DN: And then Lucy Makwith yarnham was spliced with Paul Myersburg. That was a very interesting one to go to because everyone wore floral clothes. Big hats with bunches of dandelions on top and lovely dangly things round about there and all sorts of floral shoes. And very pretty little...

BUZZ

NP: Kenneth Williams why have you challenged?

KW: We had floral twice.

NP: Yes indeed it is...

DN: Absolutely right! Quite right! Absolutely right!

NP: So Kenneth your floral gets you a point and the subject and there are 17 seconds left, weddings I've been to, starting now.

KW: The only wedding that I can ever recall going to was my aunt Phyllis's wedding. And it took place in the palace of Barnsbury. I had the good fortune to have a word with the vicar and he did give me some advice which I can...

WHISTLE

NP: Well as Kenneth was speaking then as the whistle went, he gets that extra point and he now definitely has a lead, a commanding lead of one over everybody else. Right Denise Coffey will you begin the next round, doing the splits. I don't know whether you can or not but that's the subject that Ian Messiter has thought of you to talk about for 60 seconds starting now.

DC: In my younger years I was in variety, or vaudeville as it's known in the United States of America. And I was extremely athletic and I was able to do all sorts of wonderful handstands. And I saw an advertisement one year when I happened not to be working anywhere. And it said "wanted, young girl for doing the splits, apply 15 High Street, Bunbury, Devon". So I thought well I can't really be worse off than I am. I was getting a bit old at the time and my splits weren't done as well as they had been in my youth. But I got on the train, I got off it quickly...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo why have you challenged?

DN: Deviation, she was in America at the time.

DC: Oh no I was not!

NP: I don't think so...

DC: It was merely a description of where I... vaudeville...

NP: I think she established she had been in America...

DN: I'm terribly sorry.

NP: ...but she'd seen this advertisement. And anyway even so she could have flown back before she got on the train, but she just ignored, didn’t bother to tell us that...

DC: They weren't invented, the aeroplane...

NP: So Denise has a point and keeps the subject and there are 24 seconds left for doing the splits starting now.

DC: Discovering it was going to Edinburgh, I left it quickly and got on one that was going to Devon where I arrived very late...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud why have you challenged?

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: It's impossible to get on the train that you think is going to Devon when it goes to Edinburgh. A different station, a different terminal, you know, really...

NP: It's quite possible, it depends on the state of mind you're in at the moment...

CF: Oh come on!

NP: You could have had her for repetition of Devon. But no I mean, obviously I mean, she hasn't actually deviated from the subject...

CF: She's deviated from Devon, she's gone to Edinburgh!

NP: I know! But she might have been in such, I mean, from the description of her ideas about the splits, it obviously seems that she was in such a devious and devastating state of mind that she could have done anything. And so she gets another point and keeps the subject...

CF: I'm sorry.

NP: ...and there are 16 seconds left for doing the splits Denise Coffey starting now.

DC: Apprehensive and distressed, I made my way to the address on the letter...

BUZZ

NP: Someone's pressed a buzzer but no light has come on. Oh was that you Derek?

DN: Yes, made my way actually, repetition of made my way.

NP: Yes she did make her way more than once, yes...

DC: I have yes.

NP: Yes it's very difficult sometimes when you're stopped and you start again, you start with the same phrase. So Derek you gain a point and the subject with six... 10 seconds left, doing the splits starting now.

DN: You don't need all this travelling at all really. All you have to do is you get hold of your left leg, shove it out to the east, go with your right leg, shove it out to the west and there you go!

BUZZ

NP: Denise Coffey why have you challenged?

DC: You actually pointed towards the north!

NP: If my compass is right he actually pointed towards the south! But it doesn't matter, he still wasn't pointing east and west. Well done Denise you gain another point and there are four seconds left for doing the splits starting now.

DC: I discovered to my horror it was a cafe in which I was supposed to put two milk...

WHISTLE

NP: So the splits has brought Denise Coffey back into the game with a bang, and she now is ins second place alongside Clement freud, who are both behind Derek Nimmo and Kenneth Williams who are still together in the lead. Kenneth would you begin the next round, in fact it's your turn to begin the next round. Things... oh dear, the subjects that Ian's thought of this week, things worth writing on a wall. So can you tell us some of the things Kenneth that you think are worth writing on a wall...

KW: Well there are many people...

NP: .... starting.... he's so keen! He's always at it obviously! Starting now.

KW: There are many people that...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo you've challenged.

DN: Repetition!

KW: I hadn't started yet!

NP: Derek it was repetition but he hadn't started. So perhaps the fairest thing is not to award any points so... oh no he must award a point because he had started, the other time was another thing, yeah! That's right, yes, you have another point Kenneth and you have 58 and a half seconds to continue with things worth writing on a wall starting now.

KW: The only things worth writing on a wall should be either instructions as to what it's there for, or leading to, or something...

BUZZ

NP: De... Clement Freud why have you challenged?

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Well a wall can't lead to anything!

KW: On the contrary...

CF: The whole point of a wall...

NP: Yes...

CF: ...is that it doesn't ever....

NP: How do you mean...

CF: ...lead to anywhere.

NP: How do you mean about leading to?

KW: Well obviously passages have walls and they lead somewhere.

NP: Passages have walls?

DC: Hear hear!

NP: Well that's a very...

KW: It may interest you to know the Roman wall led all the way from Berrick, didn't it?

NP: Yes...

KW: To somewhere else!

NP: Carlisle if you want to know.

KW: Oh thank you.

NP: In that... All right in that sense it did lead somewhere. You were... it's true isn't it! But of course one doesn't think of it leading in the sense that people...

KW: If you put your hand along you'll find that you'll be led somewhere! Of course you will!

NP: I've never followed a wall!

KW: Oh, not even in a dark room?

NP: I've felt my way along... I felt my way along a wall...

KW: So there you are, the wall was leading you somewhere.

NP: But I'm absolutely with you Kenneth. So you have another point, you have made your point and the audience is obviously agree with it and you have 47 seconds to continue with things worth writing on a wall starting now.

KW: The most worthwhile thing was of course written on the wall by Trajan, giving us that beautiful elegant script which we all now recognise as Trajan...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo you challenged.

DN: Trajan.

NP: Trajan, yes.

KW: Ah but it's hyphenated, Trajan-Roman I was saying.

NP: You said it before, you see.

KW: But I was hyphenated then.

NP: Well you've become unhyphenated from your subject, that's all. But you said Trajan twice, you can't get away with that...

KW: I think it's a disgrace! I really do!

NP: Derek Nimmo has a point, 34 seconds, takes over the subject, things worth writing on a wall Derek starting now.

DN: Well I always think exit is a very good thing to write on a wall especially if there's a door underneath, and then entrance if there's another door further along...

BUZZ

DN: ...so that's repetition of door.

NP: Denise Coffey why have you challenged?

DC: You took the words right out of my mouth.

NP: Right so Denise you gain a point and there are 26 seconds left, things worth writing on a wall starting now.

DC: The only things worth writing on a wall are "starring Denise Coffey in the new play by the same author whose name has been mentioned above...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud why have you challenged?

CF: Repetition of name.

NP: Name?

CF: The name of Denise Coffey and the author of the same name.

NP: Oh yes that is perfectly correct, she did say that. Clement you have a point and you have the subject, there are 17 seconds left...

CF: What is the subject again? I'm sorry...

NP: I'm just about to give it to you! I speak fast enough most of the time! Things worth writing on a wall starting now.

CF: Oh God of battles, steel my soldier's hearts, possess them not with fear, take from them now their sense of reckoning of the opposing numbers...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo why have you challenged?

DN: Repetition of of.

NP: I'm not going to allow it! So Clement continues with the subject, there are nine seconds left, things worth writing on a wall starting now.

CF: The rich arrived in pairs, and also in Rolls Royces. They talked about...

BUZZ

NP: Denise Coffey why have you challenged?

DC: Repetition of rich people who arrived in pairs.

NP: He didn't say it, rich people, twice, he only said it once. They arrived in pairs...

DC: I'm talking about the pairs of rich people. The rich arrived in pairs.

NP: All right Denise. A bonus point for cleverness...

DC: Oh now I feel awful!

NP: ..and Clement continues with the subject, four seconds left, things worth writing on a wall starting now.

CF: Do not write upon this wall is probably less worth writing on...

WHISTLE

NP: Well as Clement Freud was speaking then when the whistle went, he gets that extra bonus point. And I hope feels now that things are equal in the case of justification for awards on decisions. And he's still trailing, one point behind Kenneth Williams and one point behind him is Derek Nimmo, a little behind is Denise Coffey. So Denise Coffey will you begin the next round for us, the subject is ghost hunting. can you talk for 60 seconds on ghost hunting starting now.

DC: I think ghost hunting is cruel and barbaric and it should be put a stop to immediately. As Oscar Wilde might have said, it's the incredible in pursuit of the invisible. And I think it's absolutely disgusting. I have a letter from a...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo why have you challenged?

DN: Repetition of disgusting.

DC: Did I say that before?

NP: Yes indeed you did.

DC: Oh!

NP: Derek you get a point and the subject and there are 48 seconds left for ghost hunting starting now.

DN: A friend of mine was staying in a hotel in Burford. He'd been told by the landlord that there was a ghost in this particular hostelry. Going to his bedroom he had no idea that this was the one in which it walked. It was the spirit of Oliver Cromwell. And the curious thing when he actually saw it, and this he did do, was that it had a terrible smell as well, because apparently the afore-mentioned leader of the Commonwealth had halitosis. And it's very strange, this happened only some three weeks ago. And I'm very interested in the story. Another time that I personally went ghost hunting was in a house called...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud why have you challenged?

CF: Have we had too many ghosts there?

NP: No we .. you can use ghost hunting which is the subject on the card more than once...

CF: I'd like to give him a point in that case!

NP: I know, when you're in the lead, when you're in the lead, you're exceptionally generous. And when you're trailing a little it's absolutely clawing tooth and nail! But there are 14 seconds left for you Derek Nimmo, ghost hunting, starting now.

DN: At this Craigie Hall, it went into a... room at the top of the house...

BUZZ

NP: Kenneth Williams you challenged.

KW: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation I agree. So Kenneth you get a point and there are 11 seconds left for ghost hunting starting now.

KW: Well I knew one man who did go on such an expedition. And he said afterwards that there was the most eerie sensation as a dress seemed to swish past him and...

WHISTLE

NP: Well I am sorry to have to tell you that that is the end of the show this week because that's all that we have time for. But I do have to give you the final score. And a very interesting result because it was neck and neck right up to the end. And we have joint winners this week. Just to let you know that Denise Coffey and Derek Nimmo trailed a little behind this week's joint winners, Kenneth Williams and Clement Freud!

KW: Oh I am proud!

NP: So all the acrimony and frustration that we saw on that side of the er ... that side of what? That side of the stage at the beginning of the show has now been put right because they're joint winners, and congratulations to them. We do hope that you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and from all of us here goodbye.

THEME MUSIC

ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by David Hatch.