Note: This was transcribed by Vicki Walker. Thank you Vicki! :-) Michael Palin's first appearance.

ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Michael Palin 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, hello and welcome to Just a Minute. And as you've just heard, we welcome for the first time to play the game with our three regular competitors, we welcome Michael Palin. As usual, they're going to try to speak for 60 seconds on some subject that I will give them without hesitation, without repetition or without deviating from the subject on the card. We'll begin the show this week with Peter Jones. Peter, the subject is a spree. Can you talk about that in Just A Minute starting now.

PETER JONES: What a marvelous old Edwardian word! I visualise an evening out, starting in the Strand at the Gaiety Theatre and then going on to Romano's for champagne and oysters and then perhaps Leicester Square to the Empire, where those great stars of the past were in shining lights and appearing on the stage night...


NP: Um, Clement Freud has challenged.


NP: Why?

CF: Those stars in shining lights. I mean, how can you be a star in shining lights appearing on the stage?

NP: Yes, technically it was deviating from, ah, um, the accurate, um, speech, so um, Clement you have a point for a correct challenge. You take over the subject of a spree. There are 41 seconds left, and you start now.

CF: It was dawn in the South Atlantic in 1941 when the Turpits slowly...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: What a boring thing to say! I mean, it was, it was dawn 365 times in that year in the South Atlantic and everywhere else!

NP: I would hardly have thought the story of the Turpits was a spree. And he hadn't got to...

PJ: No, he was going to go on about the graftschpee, you see. It's quite obvious.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: I never thought of that! That's brilliant!

NP: Well, I don't think he got there quick enough, whatever he was going to go onto, so I'm going to allow Peter's challenge and tell him he has a point for that. He takes back the subject with 33 seconds left, starting now.

PJ: And Marie Lloyd with any luck would be singing one of those wonderful songs like "I Sits Among Me Cabbages and Peas" and things like that. And those other great people who are also, ah...


NP: Uh, Clement Freud.

CF: Repetition of great.

NP: Yes, correct. Uh, Twenty seconds left, Clement, and you have a spree back with you now, starting now.

CF: Perhaps the most essential element in any spree...


NP: Ah, Michael Palin has challenged.

MICHAEL PALIN: Sorry, I was just testing my buzzer. Sorry. First time. I do apologise. I won't do it again. Sorry.

NP: Clement keeps the subject, well, he doesn't keep it, he didn't ever lose it. There are 17 seconds, Clement, left for a spree starting now.

CF: Is alcohol and cheese straws, particularly the latter; wine, red white or pink, champagne, burgundy, Bordeaux, high gravity beer. If you wanted to have a spree on Just a Minute, you could test your buzzer while someone else is talking.


NP: And Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Well, it is deviation, really. There's nothing to do, pressing your buzzers on Just a Minute hasn't to do with a spree.

CF: It's whatever...

KW: That is totally devious.

NP: I would agree with you, I would agree with you.

CF: It's whatever turns you on.

KW: No, don't come that, don't try that one on me, dearie. Ho-ho, no.

NP: Kenneth, you have the subject and you only have two seconds left. You've got in just before the whistle, and it's the spree. You start now.

KW: You have it with tinkers and tailors and soldiers and sailors all out for a bit of a spree.


KW: I won that one.

NP: Well, as you probably noticed...

KW: I was speaking when the whistle blows, so that means I'm in the front, doesn't it?

NP: No, you're not.

KW: Well, who is?

NP: Clement Freud. He got a lot of points.

KW: Oh!

NP: Um, let's go on to the second round. Clement, would you begin it, please? The subject is entomophobia. Will you tell us something about that in just a minute starting now?

CF: Entomophobia is presumably a fear of insects or possibly... being frightened of entomologists.


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, after the insects there was a hesitation and there are 54 seconds left and you have entomophobia, Peter, starting now.

PJ: My advice to anybody who suffers from this is to make friends with a daddy longlegs and give it a saucer of milk every day and try and keep it away from the light, because its wings are apt to be singed, let alone...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Well, deviation. I really can't allow this to go on. I mean, he said you could give it this milk and you can't give it the milk, dear, because he doesn't drink it! What are you talking about?

NP: You can still give it a saucer of milk whether he drinks it or not! He wasn't technically deviating from the subject on the card.

MP: It could always tread in the milk or swim.

NP: Yes! It could swim in it. It could have a bath in the milk.

CF: People give me lump fish roan and I don't, I don';t eat it.

KW: You're not going to tell me you're going to give a saucer of milk to spiders with the price of milk these days?

MP: Not spiders. What, spiders?

NP: Not spiders. No!

KW: It's deviation from the word!

NP: I mean, I think in these hard times we've all got to find, you know, simple little ways of enjoying ourselves. Peter's way is to give saucers of milk to daddy longlegs.

PJ: You don't have to go on very long. Their life span's only about three days! So who's counting the cost of the milk, for goodness sake?

NP: Well anyway, we'll continue with the show. Entomophobia is with Peter Jones, and he's got another point. There are 34 seconds left and he starts now.

PJ: They are very fragile creatures indeed, and it's vitally important that you should never crush them or let them bang themselves too hard against windows, ceiling or floors.


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Deviation. He's not talking about entomophobia. He's talking about entomophology.

NP: No, I quite agree. He's just talking about his daddy longlegs.

PJ: How to cure it, which of course is vitally important to the listeners!

NP: I would say quite the reverse. It sounds like someone who really adores daddy longlegs, which isn't entomophobia. So Clement, you have 22 seconds for entomophobia, starting now.

CF: I know a woman who is absolutely terrified of ants. Whenever one comes along, whether red or white, she covers her face with a sheet and locks herself in a closet, in which there are, unfortunately, spiders, daddy longlegs and a number of insects which give the...


NP: Uh, Michael Palin has challenged.

MP: Hesitation? Possibly?

NP: Possibly! Um...

MP: Sorry, I'm winding my case there. Hesitation, definitely!

NP: Ah, well, no, not definitely, no. You're warming to it magnificently. There are five seconds still, Clement, for entomophobia starting now.

CF: One of the best annual outings is that of the entomophobiostical society.


NP: Well, I certainly would have challenged him for entomphobiosity society.

CF: I nearly buzzed myself there.

NP: I know! You could have done it one second ago. You would have got three points in one burst. But you're still in the lead, Clement. Kenneth, will you take the third round, please? The subject is the princess. There are just 60 seconds in which to talk about it starting now.

KW: This is the title given, presumably for all I know, to the daughter of a monarch. And of course a thousand things spring to mind as the word "princess" is spoken. We might possibly be imagining a woman whom as Tennyson describes in the poem of the same name. The beautiful "Sleeps the crimson petal," he says, "the white fades the sides from the palace walk, these beautiful things, I mean, you...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

KW: What's he challenging?

CF: Repetition of beautiful.

KW: Oh, what a shame!

CF: Pretty nasty.

NP: And it was beautiful, wasn't it? There are 25 seconds for the princess, Clement, starting now.

CF: The only princess whom I know at all well...


NP: Uh, Kenneth Williams.

KW: Name-dropping.

NP: He actually, ah, he hasn't dropped a name yet. So in every count you were wrong. There are 22 seconds left for the princess, Clement, starting now.

CF: Is a battered Austin motorcar with a number plate HJB94326810.


NP: Uh, Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Deviation. It's not, uh, too many numbers. Too long a number, I mean.

NP: Yes, that wasn't a correct number plate so deviating from ah, oh, a forged plate. There are 10 seconds...

CF: It's a very big car.

NP: Would the owner of this car please, move it because the number plate is blocking the road. Right. Ah, there are 10 seconds left for you, Peter, on the princess starting now.

PJ: When I hear those two words, "the princess," Mrs. Mark Phillips inevitably comes into my mind. A skilled horsewoman, a most attractive...


NP: Peter Jones is catching up with our leader, Clement Freud. He's only one point behind him. But we're now going to hear from Michael Palin. We've heard from him, but we're now going to hear him talk on a subject. And I cannot imagine why, but Ian Messiter's thought of the subject of pythons. So, um, Michael, do you think you can talk about that in Just A Minute starting now?

MP: Pythons are long, sleek, slimy dirty-tongued little creatures, or rather, big creatures, actually... that live in the Amazon jungle. They're also the only animal known to naturalists to have their own television series. If I came across a python in my bedroom, I should probably get into the cupboard, douse myself totally in paraffin, which apparently pythons detest and loathe, march out of the, uh, receptacle in which I was sitting, go over to the window, leap out into a large vat of lard. The lard and the paraffin together make the python writhe...


NP: Uh, Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well, he's repeated so many things many times, and paraffin was as much as I could take, and, uh, and in any case I didn't want to get in earlier because I've got very little to say about pythons myself.

NP: When he got in the lard, you thought you'd try and rescue him.

PJ: Yes.

NP: Right. All right, Peter, you've got in magnificently with only three seconds to go on pythons, starting now.

PJ: I think that it's a type of comedian and that they appear...


NP: Um, Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Hesitation.

NP: Well, yes, it was. It was a stumble, which we'll call a hesitation. So you got in with half a second to go on pythons, Kenneth, starting now.

KW: The most gorgeous looking...


NP: So Kenneth was then speaking when the whistle went. He's got an extra point, but he's still in third place. But Peter Jones has joined Clement Freud in the lead. Peter, your turn to begin. The subject is legs. Can you tell us something about legs in Just A Minute, starting now.

PJ: Well, legs are a marvelous way of keeping the feet attached to the main part of the body.


NP: Ah, did you buzz there, Michael? What was your challenge?

MP: Hesitation.

PJ: Rubbish!

NP: No. Rubbish.

PJ: Didn't hesitate at all. Oh no, I didn't hesitate.

MP: I didn't see his lips move for a minute, so I thought I'd get in.

PJ: You weren't listening.

NP: Uh, there are 55 seconds left for legs, Peter, starting now.

PJ: They're invaluable to the stage performer, of course, and I've insured my own...


NP: Uh, Clement Freud.

CF: Repetition of "of course."

NP: Yes. Fifty seconds are left for legs with you, Clement, starting now.

CF: I was once asked what the average number of legs per human being was and was astonished to find that it was less than two. This is the sort of information without which no one should feel secure, let alone go to a party or make a speech at a school dinner, an after-breakfast oracle such...


NP: Uh, Kenneth Williams has challenged.

CF: I was ready...

KW: That was deviation.

CF: I was ready to...

KW: I thought that we left the legs. Suddenly we got to parties.

NP: I think he'd gone all over, yes, he was running down on oracles, oracles and all kinds of things. Kenneth, you have a legitimate challenge for a point and you have 22 seconds to talk about legs starting now.

KW: What a contrast between the legs when you see the film of the race course and the thoroughbred, and think then of the legs of a shyer horse with those manes of hair all spread about the feet, you see. Now you notice this difference and you say, "How incredible all those feet are!"


NP: Clement Freud, your turn to begin. The subject is ravioli. Would you tell us something about that in just a minute starting now.

CF: When I was appointed public relations officer to a spaghetti house chain, one of the first things apart from getting my customers into the newspaper as often as possible, which I think I did very well, was to study the composure of ravioli. And this is a pasta which can contains...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Deviation. It would be the composition, not the composure.

CF: No no. Oh no.

KW: How can ravioli be composed or discomposed?

CF: They can smile, they can...

KW: Smile? Ravioli, smile? You've seen a ravioli smile? Load of rubbish!

NP: Forty seconds on ravioli, Kenneth, starting now.

KW: This I tasted first on the rooftop of that incredible palace, which once was the home of one of the Doges, the D'Alieli in Venice. The taste was rather succulent, but on the other hand, you see, I'm not keen on anything which is starch-based. So I said to this bloke, "I don't really want this, I'll have a bit of a soup or some asparagus or something," which is more of a protein-like green, see. So he said "No, it's very good stuff." And I said, "I don't really like it. It's all right, I mean, if you were really starved, of course you'd...


NP: And, ah, Michael Palin has challenged.

MP: Repetition of "I mean."

NP: Yes! I mean to say, yes! Well done, Michael! You have a correct challenge. I mean, he was listening, wasn't he! And there are 13 seconds on ravioli with you, Michael, starting now.

MP: I once visited a ravioli factory in the Preston area of northern Lancashire. I was shown round by the manager of the factory, a tall man with a slight...


NP: Um, Clement Freud.

CF: That's two factories.

NP: There were two factories there.

MP: Oh, yes. It was a double factory. There were two. I was referring to the other one. Sorry.

NP: I know, but it doesn't matter in Just a Minute, I'm afraid. Uh, there are five seconds for ravioli with you, Clement, starting now.

CF: Spinach is one of the lesser-known fillings for ravioli, but nevertheless market... ooh!


NP: Ravioli has helped Clement increase his lead at the end of that round. And Peter Jones is still in second place and Kenneth only one point behind in third place. But Kenneth, it's your turn to begin. The subject: Andrew Jackson. Will you tell us something about him in just a minute starting now?

KW: Well, I don't know an awful lot about him, except that he was a famous general and did defeat in the War against the British, which was, of course, that incredible year 1812. Let it be engraved upon your memory apropos! Andrew Jackson, a most incredible victory he scored on that period... in that, uh, in that...


NP: Clement.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, repetition. You see what happens in this game if you slip up. It's best to keep going at all costs. And, um, Clement, you have the subject of Andrew Jackson. There are 36 seconds left starting now.

CF: Andrew Jackson came vastly into the news some three years ago at the time of Watergate because he was the only other president of the United States...


NP: Uh, Kenneth Williams.

KW: Deviation. Andrew Jackson did not come into the news. The memory of him might have done, but as he'd been dead for so long, he couldn't have come into anything!

CF: You die and see whether you don't come into the news.

KW: How... what an impertinent thing to suggest!

NP: There are 27 seconds left for Andrew Jackson with you, Kenneth, starting now.

KW: And thereafter he moved on to greater things, elected to the Senate and eventually, President of the United States. He made a most incredible statement...


NP: Uh, Clement Freud.

CF: The second incredible.

NP: Yes.

KW: Oh, what a shame.

NP: Mmm. Fifteen seconds with you, Clement, on Andrew Jackson starting now.

CF: Impeachment, as many people will realize, is particularly rare in the United States. But...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Uh, repetition of United States.

NP: No, he said Watergate earlier on. So, um, I'm sorry, it's a wrong challenge, Peter. There are nine and a half seconds left for Andrew Jackson, Clement, starting now.

CF: And when the Senate voted on Andrew Jackson's suitability to remain in the high office which he held in that transatlantic country...


NP: So with the subject of Andrew Jackson, Clement Freud has once again increased his lead. Michael Palin, we're back with you. We'd like you to start the next subject, and it is establishment. Will you tell us something about that in just a minute starting now.

MP: The Establishment comes to my mind as the name of a club in Greek Street which gave birth to great performers such as Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, my friend Ian...


NP: Um, Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: No, it didn't give birth to ah Dudley Moore and, uh, Peter Cook.

MP: Technically, technically.

PJ: They were very well known long before they appeared there.

NP: Clement Freud has just reminded me that they actually worked for him before they went to The Establishment. But as he didn't really achieve anything , let him, Michael, Clement Freud...


CF: May I remind you that you worked for me as well.

NP: I know I did! You never let me forget it!

CF: And look what it got you!

NP: I think that they really came to the, to be known through The Establishment, so I agree with Michael and he has 52 seconds left to talk about the establishment starting now.

MP: I remember going to The Establishment club one night. Paying a certain amount at the door, I was shown in to a seat four rows back on the left, from which I couldn't see one corner of the stage. At this corner of the stage was sitting William Rushton, and at a certain moment when he came out with a line which I forget at this moment, a large man behind me eating a sandwich coughed loudly. Pieces of ham flew past me onto the stage. Rushton, who was crossing the stage at the time, slipped, fell backwards into the arms of I think then Diana Ross, now in the Supremes, making her only appearance at the place at the time. She fell backwards off her... WAAGH BLUM!


MP: Stark dried up.

NP: Michael Palin, you challenged yourself.

MP: Yes, I dried up.

NP: For hesitation?

MP: Hesitation.

NP: You're absolutely right.

MP: Thank you.

NP: A very good and keen challenge. You spotted it so quickly! Marvelous. So you have a point for that and you keep going. There are 14 seconds left for the establishment starting now.

MP: The name Establishment was presumably chosen because the nature of the club was to take digs at the establishment, bishops, judges and all the panoply of authority in this country today. This was done in several ways.


NP: Um, Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: It wasn't today, it was 20 years ago.

MP: Oh, very good, yes. That was very good, I must say.

NP: He's so honest!

MP: You got me there.

NP: That was Michael Palin saying "Oh, very good."

MP: It was wonderful.


NP: Um...

MP: Sorry, no, no, I didn't mean it.

NP: Michael Palin challenged again.

MP: No, I was...

NP: You're agreeing with me? You get another point for that. There are two seconds left to continue on the establishment, starting now.

MP: One of the great figures of the establishment at...


NP: Michael Palin started with the subject of the establishment and against all opposition he finished with it and got a lot of points in that round. And he's still in fourth place.

MP: Thank you. Wonderful quizmaster, Nicholas, wonderful.

NP: Peter Jones, it's your turn to begin. The subject is plots. Can you talk about that in just a minute starting now?

PJ: As far as I remember, there are 27. Or is it 30? I forget. But, uh, they...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: He said "Er." Hesitation. He said "but, er."

NP: I didn't hear the "er." Did you?


NP: Rotten audience you are! The um, Kenneth, you have 55 seconds on plots, starting now.

KW: There were 24 plots that belonged to my school when it was evacuated to Bicester in Oxfordshire. And the headmaster said, "To you will fall the honor of owning the first, which will show if we can in this rural community emulate their own particular skills at planting and raising flowers, vegetables" My aide and abettor in the scheme was the redoubtable bet, Mr. Chisholm. And he said to me, "Your test will be the straw round strawberries. These will protect them from the rigors of climate. And if you get a luscious crop, you will easily win the trophy!" Oh, the adrenalin flowed through my veins!


KW: I became tech... What's the matter?

NP: Michael Palin has challenged.

KW: What's the matter with you?

MP: I'm sorry.

KW: I'm getting worked up here.

MP: I, I was enjoying it so much...

NP: I noticed...

KW: You rotter!

MP: I would have...

KW: Who woke you up with your canopy and your bishops and stuff?

MP: Oh!

NP: What is your challenge, Michael?

MP: Well, I, I felt he was deviating.

NP: Why?

MP: Talking more about strawberries and growing of strawberries, which I was fascinated by, but nothing to do with the plot.

KW: That is the plot, the plot, the ground I was given to grow the things on! What else am I to talk about?

MP: A lot of...

NP: Well, it's a difficult one. You were onto more about strawberries than plots.

KW: Well you have to have one to grow the things on, you great fool! I was under way, wasn't I? You could see me, it was flowing, and now it's all ruined!

NP: Actually, it's still flowing like mad! I think before he dries up, we'll let him carry on! With five...

KW: That's rotten! All bits and tatters I'm in now.

NP: Kenneth. While it's still with you, and the adrenalin's there, five seconds on plots, starting now.

KW: I've lost it!


KW: Let him have it.

NP: Clem, uh, Michael Palin, you challenged.

MP: Hesitation?

NP: Yes, right. You have five seconds, four seconds on plots, starting now.

MP: One of the most...


NP: Am, Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Hesitating.

NP: Yes.

MP: Purely digestion. Momentary bit of wind.

NP: Uh, 2, 2 seconds on plots, Clement, starting now.

CF: If you...


NP: Ah, Michael Palin challenged.

MP: Hesitation?

NP: Yes, he hesitated. Ah, Michael you have one second on plots starting now.

MP: In the 18th century the...


NP: Clement, it's your turn to begin. The subject is red plastic garden gnomes. Can you talk about some of those charming little horrors in just a minute starting now?

CF: One of the less productive crops you can grow on a plot is red plastic garden gnomes. You can try to get a small red plastic garden gnome, water him daily, and see whether he will not get bigger, fatter or possibly more hirsute. The likelihood is that he will remain exactly the small red garden plastic gnome that you have at the beginning. So they are then sold and put in front of houses in order to show passers-by what kind of people live therein. Cottages, mansions, even council flats... have...


NP: Michael Palin.

MP: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, I think you were right. After the council flat, he wasn't sure of the gnome there. There are 20 seconds left for the red plastic garden gnomes with you, Michael, starting now.

MP: Red plastic garden gnomes...


NP: Eh, Clement Freud.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: No. Hardly got going. Nineteen and a half seconds on red plastic garden gnomes, Michael, starting now.

MP: Red plastic garden gnomes do make a very attractive addition to any herbaceous border. But in my opinion they suffer from the weather. Whereas red plastic garden gnomes made out of a steel base and only coated in plastic do in fact...


NP: Uh, Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of plastic.

NP: Well, plastic's on the card. You know you can repeat...

KW: Ha, called you out! (cackles)

PJ: Out of context, though. I thought he had to repeat the whole thing, you see.

NP: Michael's got another point. And he has five seconds left on red plastic garden gnomes starting now.

MP: Red plastic garden gnomes with the steel base will not be...


NP: Ah, Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of steel.

NP: Yes, he did repeat that. And there are two...

CF: And base.

MP: Oh I, well, that was ages ago.

NP: It doesn't matter how long ago. This is the problem I have, to try and remember what everybody said, so I can remem... er, judge whether it's correct or not. Peter Jones, two seconds on the, er, sorry, red plastic garden gnomes starting now.

PJ: Well, unlike conservative plastic, uh garden gnomes...


NP: I'm afraid we have no more time to play Just a Minute, so before we close let me give you the final score. Very interesting and very close it was. Peter Jones, who one time had the lead, finished in fourth place, but he was only one point behind Kenneth Williams, who did very well. Michael Palin, who lagged for quite a while, suddenly had that burst of energy, the adrenalin that was flowing through his strawberries and the gunpowder plots, and he surged forward. But he never quite caught up on our leader, who is this week's winner once again, Clement Freud. Well, we hope you've enjoyed listening to Just a Minute and will want to tune in again at the same time next week when once again we take to the air and we play this ridiculous and enjoyable game, 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.