NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, hello my name is Nicholas Parsons, and as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my infinite pleasure to welcome our listeners wherever they are throughout the world, and of course particularly in Great Britain. And also to welcome on to the panel four exciting talented oh excellent performers of this game. We welcome back with great pleasure Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Sue Perkins, Clement Freud who are going to show their verbal dexterity and intellectual ingenuity as they try and speak for Just A Minute on a subject I will give them and doing that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who will help me keep the score, she'll blow her whistle when 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Radio Theatre which is in the centre of the West One district of London. And we have an audience here that have been cobbled together from every corner of this great metropolis looking as though they're trying to get in out of the weather. But they are going to be a happy group. As we start the show with Graham Norton. And Graham the subject is the secret of eternal youth. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

GRAHAM NORTON: The secret of eternal youth is to make friends early on with some very old ugly people, and bring them with you at all times! And then no matter where you are, it doesn't concern you about the lighting conditions or any such thing, you'll always look quite good relatively speaking. This explains why some people in East Enders fancy Phil Mitchell! Because in life I can't really see it myself! But in the confines of Albert Square he is a bit yeehaa oh my goodness what a heartthrob! Back to the subject which I seem to have deviated from...


NP: Sue Perkins challenged you. Yes I think he admitted his own error so deviation from the subject of the secret of eternal youth. And so you have a point for a correct challenge Sue, you take over the subject, you have 11 seconds to tell us something about the secret of eternal youth starting now.

SUE PERKINS: The secret of eternal youth is to try and never die. This can now be done by sending yourself to space where atmospheric conditions mean you don't get as many wrinkles...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Sue Perkins who had another point in that round. In fact at the end of the first round she's the only one to have any points at all. And Clement Freud will you take the next round. And the subject is Baker Street. Tell us something about Baker Street in Just A Minute starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: In the early 1930s GK Chesterton wrote a letter to the manager of Baker Street Underground Station. Dear Sir, he wrote, although Saturdays occur with regular monotony, they always seem to take you by surprise. Baker Street is a thoroughfare of which I am very fond, all the way from the lost property office at one end to a dress hop called Robelle which a maiden aunt of mine ran before the war at the other. The Abbey Building Society where Sherlock Holmes was...


NP: Ah Paul...

PAUL MERTON: This is sort of deviation, isn't it, it's the Abbey National Building Society.

NP: It's the Abbey National Building Society. Yes.

PM: Not the Abbey Building Society.

NP: And I don't think Sherlock Holmes was there when it was the Abbey National Building Society!

CF: It wasn't then called the Abbey National though.

NP: I know, I know...

CF: It was the Abbey Building Society.

GN: He didn't exist everyone! There you are, because you were talking about him as if...

PM: I've seen him on television!

NP: Deviation and 22 seconds Paul, tell us something about Baker Street starting now.

PM: Two-two... oh I can't...


PM: Oh dear me!

NP: Yes you were trying to say 221 Baker Street weren't you, Sherlock Holmes...

PM: I was trying to say that!

NP: Yes! Clement you challenged first, right, repetition, 20 seconds you have Baker Street back with you starting now.

CF: Baker Street goes from north to south and to it's west and east you find Wimpole, Wellbeck, Harley, Great Portland, Titchfield, Gloucester Place...


NP: Paul...

PM: Are you doing the knowledge?

NP: Yeah but he ran out of streets...

PM: Hesitation.

NP: You got in with six seconds to go now Paul, Baker Street starting now.

PM: Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty, Doctor Watson. What do those names conjure up? I...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Not Baker Street!

PM: Sherlock Holmes?

NP: Sherlock Holmes, I'm afraid, I'm afraid in my mind it definitely conjures up Baker Street. Everybody...

CF: The Abbey Building Society wasn't!

NP: No, definitely I associate those names with 221B Baker Street which there, he was his residence and therefore Paul you have a point for being interrupted and you have half a second on Baker Street starting now.

PM: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...


NP: Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went and with other points in that round has moved forward. He, well, moved forward, he's moved from nowhere to being in the lead ahead of Sue Perkins. Clement Freud has a point. Graham Norton has yet to score. And Sue it's your turn to begin...

GN: What?

NP: It doesn't matter, you haven't got any points yet, but you've spoken, you haven't got any points yet. This is Just A Minute you know, people can speak for ages and not get any points.

GN: I know, I have!

NP: Sue Perkins will you take the next round, my best friend is the subject. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

SP: My best friend in all the world is Fidel Castro. We first met at school when he was 35 years above me. I was attracted by his big bushy moustache. And whereas I went on to present a fairly mediocre day-time pres... er programme...


NP: Yes Paul?

SP: The memories of which have addled my brain!

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes, 46 seconds, my best friend with you Paul starting now.

PM: My best friend has changed over the years. When I was about nine years old, my best friend was definitely somebody I went to school with. But then later on it became somebody else. Isn't it odd? I wonder if we do keep our best friends throughout our life, or whether they do actually change, so you say...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of change.

PM: Possibly.

NP: No..

PM: No?

NP: The audience...

GN: No, no, there wasn't! I don't know what drawed me!

NP: He did repeat something else which I won't say or otherwise someone will challenge for it...

GN: He repeated another thing though!

NP: There was something else. No, it's too late now. He didn't repeat that, he repeated something else. But if I say, you'll challenge for that.

GN: No, wait, ummmmm.....ummmm... oh, what are we talking about again?

NP: So incorrect challenge, Paul, 29 seconds, my best friend starting now.

PM: I've recently started...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of somebody.

NP: That was the one, yes! You did say somebody twice. Clement you were listening and um... which is a very good thing to do in Just A Minute actually. You have 28 seconds, tell us something about my best friend starting now.

CF: People who talk about their best friends invariably mean dogs, canines, four legged animals with damp mouths and wet skins and hair that leaves its mark on the carpet. I've never had that sort of best friend because mine have only two, a left and a right, pedant coming from their hip...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: No, something's gone wrong there.

NP: A right and a left pedant...

PM: Yeah I don't know what's gone on there. It's pick a word, any word, there!

NP: Any word! You were the first in there, yes, deviation from sense really I suppose. And er five seconds for you Paul, tell us something about my best friend starting now.

PM: My best friend is somebody I'd like to name here on the radio...


NP: Paul, Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of somebody.

NP: Oh, oh yes, you've got to listen in this game haven't you? Clement, correct challenge, three seconds, my best friend starting now.

CF: My best friend went to Cuba for his holiday...


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. With other points in the round, he's moved forward, he's ahead of Sue Perkins, Paul Merton still in the lead, and Graham Norton is trailing a little. And Paul, would you like to take the next round, the subject is a bouquet of barbed wire. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: Well it was a television series in the 1970s that was particularly raunchy I seem to remember. Frank Finlay starred in it. I believe the scripts were written by somebody called AF Newman, it was definitely a woman, anyway I remember that much. And there was...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of remember.

NP: Yes you remembered too much.

PM: Oh did I?

NP: Yes. So Graham you've got in with 48 seconds, a lot of time, and you've got a bouquet of barbed wire starting now.

GN: Imagine the wedding where the brave bridesmaids stand in a row thinking "oooh I might catch it! And next time it'll be me." Little do they know their horrible friend has chosen a bouquet of barbed wire. Suddenly they are hideously scarred, they will never marry. Their ugly dresses are in tatters, because the bouquet has hit them quite hard across the hip as they struggle in the... heat...


NP: Sue... (starts to laugh) Yes Sue what's your challenge?

SP: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, hesitation, a collapse I think. Sue, a bouquet of barbed wire now is the subject, it's with you, there are 17 seconds available, and you start now.

SP: And as the bouquet of barbed wires hits the bridesmaids in the face, the slashing and ripping of flesh, the blood tearing off their beautiful tear stained faces. They think "whyyyyyyyyyyyy?" And their voices....


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Elongated vowels.

NP: Yes.

SP: I was just going, I was just acting...

NP: I know you were acting...

GN: You were catching!

NP: Yes but you were getting it from Graham Norton, because your vowel sounds were catching. I think we'll interpret that as hesitation, so Paul, you've got in with five seconds on a bouquet of barbed wire starting now.

PM: It is an extraordinary phrase, isn't it, where we take two disparate elements and put them together to actually...


NP: So Paul Merton speaking again as the whistle went and the other points in that round, he's increased his lead. Graham Norton your turn to begin, the subject, yoga. Can you tell us something about yoga, if you can, start now.

GN: Yoga is an ancient form of realaxation, using the age-old traditional method of boredom! Yes, people sit cross-legged in a room nodding off, thinking "oh my God, I spent 40 pounds for this session, and all I've done is think about the ring around the bath that I didn't get to clean this morning, I'm not relaxing at all apart from falling asleep. It often involves wearing lycra which, let's face it, is a mistake for many people. You think yoga good, but that particular form of material, isn't a great choice. Sting claims he stays in shape using yoga, yes, in a gym with some heavy weights attached, I'm thinking! Because you don't look like that if you do yoga, do you? It's just...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: It's a small word, but there was do in about, do do.

NP: You did have a lot of does.

GN: Ah right.

NP: Yes...

GN: Very interesting!

NP: Yes, he let the second do go, but he came in on the third do. Dododo. Right and you got in with five seconds to go Paul...

PM: Yes...

NP: ...on yoga starting now.

PM: Undoubtedly it is a very good way of keeping fit. First of all what you must do is you must put on...


NP: So Paul Merton again speaking as the whistle went gained the extra point and increased his lead. And Sue your turn to begin, the subject, the tube. You have 60 seconds starting now.

SP: I love foreign visitors on the tube, dressed in all their gaudy colours of the rainbow, and mandatory rucksacks which mean that they can't sit upright but instead assume a very strange 45 degree angle position on the seats which is good because they're particularly uncomfortable. They ask me directions. "Where is Buckingham Palace?" I like to say "get on the Circle Line and keep going around until it stops and meekly walk off into the sunset." When tube bosses got together to work out how they were going to establish the network, they discovered the amount of people who might be travelling...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of people.

NP: Yes you did mention people before, and so Clement you've got in with a correct challenge, 25 seconds, the tube, starting now.

CF: I like the Bakerloo line best. It is so much more attractive and comfortable than is District, Piccadilly, Jubilee, Central. Whereas the London Docks light railway now...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: I don't think there is a Docks light railway.

CF: Well wait, when this is broadcast... it isn't going out immediately...

GN: Oh right! So they're building it...

CF: Can we...

GN: He's a powerful man, Sir Clement, isn't he? Just to get a point he's going to leave this studio, ring someone and go "build it! Build it now! I don't care how much it costs!"

NP: Well done Graham, yes, deviation, 11 seconds for you, the tube starting now.

GN: There are lots of brilliant tube things. There are tube socks, boob tubes were popular for a while. I never quite understood them. It's not quite a garment, is it?


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation from the tube, he's talking about socks now.

NP: No but he had tube socks...

PM: Tube socks...

NP: He talked about tube socks...

PM: Oh did he?

NP: Yes.

PM: I must have nodded off. I do apologise.

NP: That's all right. Don't apologise...

PM: That's all right.

NP: It's all part of the fun. It's all part of... it's all grist to the mill of the show.

PM: Is it?

NP: Graham it was an incorrect challenge, you have another point and you'll be delighted to know you only have half a second to tell us more about the tube starting now.

GN: The central line is by far the...


GN: Oh.

NP: So Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point and with other points in that round came from absolutely nowhere to be in er fourth place! I'm sorry Graham...

GN: From whence he came, so he returned!

NP: I, I didn't mean to do that Graham, I'm terribly sorry...

PM: From first to last position!

NP: But you're only one point behind Clement Freud and about three behind Sue Perkins, but you're all quite a few behind Paul Merton. Clement Freud it's your turn to begin and the subject now is the seven deadly sins. Tell us something about those in this game starting now.

CF: Originally the deadly sins were gluttony and pride, things like that. But in today's scenario, I think, a deadly sin is wearing Doctor Scholl therapeutic sandals, or also putting desiccated coconuts on cakes which everybody dis...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation sadly.

NP: Yes there was. On the desiccated coconuts. Right, 40 seconds, no 48, I can't read the lights shining on the clock. Um it's um...

GN: We've seen the lights again!

NP: We have... I have to hold Janet Staplehurst's hand when I...

SP: You don't have to hold her hand!

NP: Yes I do hold her hand! So that I can...

GN: Yes he does! Because otherwise she'd take it away!

PM: It's actually a vice-like grip that he's got there!

NP: Oh I do set myself up very nicely for them, don't I! But that's one of the fun of the show. Forty... well it is! You are kind! Forty seconds are available for the seven deadly sins... well that's a lovely idea isn't it! You have 40 seconds for the seven deadly sins Paul starting now.

PM: The Seven Deadly Sins is a film made by Graham Stark, usually an actor but he became a director in a round about 1974 I believe. And it featured all kinds of different comedians. Spike Milligan was in there, I think, playing envy, Harry Secombe certainly, Bruce Forsyth, all those kind of...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: All those.

NP: All those, we had...

PM: Oh really?

NP: Yes, oh really. Yes. And Clement you've got in with a correct challenge of repetition, 23 seconds, the seven deadly sins starting now.

CF: I think what should be added to the seven deadly sins is letting your children get fat. It seems to me quite disgraceful that if you have offspring and don't feed them at all, you go to prison. But if they are filled with butterbuns and cakes and cream and...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Oh I think I'm wrong though.

NP: Why?

GN: I am, aren't I! Cake.

CF: You are wrong!

GN: There was cake and there was cakes.

NP: There was cakes and butterbuns the second time.

GN: Yes.

SP: Can I ask what a butterbun is?

CF: A butterbun is a wonderful confection which is sold in Southworld where I live.

NP: Right. So you're happy now?

CF: Where I came...

GN: We all know that area! It's the one full of fat children! You can scarcely cross the street...

CF: No!

NP: Right! And the sin you're referring to is of coutrse gluttony but you still have the subject with two seconds to go starting now.

CF: I think giving people garlic without warning...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went has moved forward into second place just ahead of Sue Perkins and Graham Norton. Paul Merton is still in a strong lead. And Sue your turn to begin, the subject, a good egg. Tell us something about a good egg in Just A Minute starting now.

SP: A good egg is an aristocratic term for an old man who sits in a battered brown leather armchair who possesses extremely right-wing views and is a member usually of a gentleman's only club. Day in he'll spend puffing on his cigar and pontificating about matters about which he has no idea, usually he'll describe himself as an old liberal which is a blanket term...


NP: Ah Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Were there two olds?

NP: Yes. There was two olds there.

GN: I'm just asking!

NP: No you... I'll accept the challenge.

GN: All right.

NP: You're correct, 38 seconds Graham, a good egg, starting now.

GN: A good egg was Humpty Dumpty, sadly he wasn't a very good acrobat or climber! Heights were not his friend! A good egg though he was, he sat atop the wall. Did he fall? Was he pushed? These are the sorts of mysteries that hound me throughout most of my waking hours! All things...


NP: Paul Merton you challenged.

PM: Well he's getting suicidal!

NP: I know!

GN: I've learnt from Humpty's example!

NP: Right so what is your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: No, no, he was going, he was elongating rather a lot. But I don't think he got to the stage where I'd call it hesitation.

PM: Really?

NP: But sharpen it up a bit, otherwise I'll just have to give it against you.

GN: All right.

NP: Eleven seconds, Graham, still a good egg starting now.

GN: A good egg is only known to you once you cracked it. This seems a sort of design...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Not necessarily, because you can, you can put an egg in its shell into water and if it sinks that means that it's a bad egg.

NP: Yeah that's right.

GN: Do you believe that?

PM: It's true.

NP: It's true.

GN: You see, I think you're probably just throwing away a very good egg which was a bit heavy!

PM: No!

GN: You'll never know unless you crack it open!

NP: The point is Paul that er that is true. But on the other hand...

GN: I don't believe it!

NP: It doesn't matter whether you believe it or not, according to you Graham a good egg doesn't become a good egg until you've cracked it open. That is your philosophy, that is your attitude, so I accept it, it is not deviation. All right and you have four seconds to continue on a good egg starting now.

GN: A good egg in my book is made by...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Have we had the phrase in my book?

NP: We had the my book before I'm afraid.

GN: Really?

NP: Yes! Oh Graham you strip yourself right down!

GN: Awwwww!

NP: Awwww! Yes!

GN: Now I'm fine!

NP: Paul you got in this time, two seconds, a good egg starting now.

PM: A good egg is the one that was fertilised by my father...


NP: Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point, has increased his lead at the end of the round. We're moving into the final round and actually it's Paul Merton's turn to begin. But before he starts let me say Paul you're in a strong lead. And Sue Perkins, Graham Norton and Clement Freud are almost equal, only one point separates them in second place.

GN: Let's do that again! One point separates three people, but they're all in second place.

PM: He's being kind.

NP: It's getting through to me at last! It really is. Actually what happens is Clement Freud one point ahead of Sue Perkins and Sue Perkins one point ahead of Graham Norton. For those who are interested in the score. So it is actually second, third and fourth. But Paul is in the lead...

CF: So we are not in the lead?

GN: As I suspected!

NP: In other words, the other three are not in the lead.

GN: So Paul's in the lead? Is Paul in the lead?

NP: Paul is in the lead.

GN: Paul's in the lead.

NP: Paul's in the lead and he begins the last round...

GN: All right.

NP: And it is, oh very apt, we're doing this recording in Broadcasting House in the Radio Theatre here and the subject is Broadcasting House. Tell us something about Broadcasting House, 60 seconds, starting now.

PM: It's a building with a fantastic history. I was listening only yesterday to a recording of ITMA which took place in this very room in 1947 with the King and Queen in attendance. The trouble with the show is it;s not particularly funny any more because a lot of topical references are missed. If you come in to this building you will see a big sign...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of building.

NP: Yes you talked about the building...

PM: Oh did I?

NP: Yes you did so Broadcasting House is with you Clement, 45 seconds available starting now.

CF: Seventeen stations approach Chester-le-Street, 412 Ravenscoft Avenue...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: It's the ramblings of a taxi driver!

NP: So what's your challenge?

PM: I want to know, well I want to know if he goes south of the river...

NP: So even if he's going to try and establish that there are...

PM: It's nothing to do with Broadcasting House.

NP: They're not, not Broadcasting House. They may be Broadcasting House buildings but they're not Broadcasting House. So I'm afraid I agree, I interpret that as hesitation. Paul it's back with you, 38 seconds starting now.

PM: By the men who stand outside and guide the public around... I can see you looking at me Clement, but it's not going to put me off, you'll soon find...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation, it had nothing to do with Broadcasting House.

PM: We're in Broadcasting House and you're looking at me!

NP: No, no, I must explain to our listeners. Clement sitting beside Paul Merton did intimidate him by looking at him and having his buzzer under his nose and his intimidation I'm afraid has paid off. So Clement I have to be within the rules of Just A Minute, it's a correct challenge...

SP: In what way is intimidation? It's not deviation or hesitation, intimidation...

NP: He deviated from Broadcasting House and you're quite right, Clement Freud is in Broadcasting House but er... I don't know. I'll put it to the audience. If you agree with Clement's er challenge...

CF: Yes!

NP: ...you will cheer for him. If you disagree you all boo. And you all do it together now.

CF: Boo!


GN: What a lovely sound! I'm glad you encouraged that!

NP: Clement I think they're with you on this one. So you have the subject and you have thirty...

PM: Okay!

NP: I know...

GN: Could we say the other thing...

NP: Of course they boo... listen! Mob rule... mob rule does not work in radio!

SP: Only intimidation!

NP: Only intimidation.

PM: Let Clement have the subject.

NP: He's got the subject, he's got such a... 31 seconds, Broadcasting House, Clement, starting now.

CF: In my opinion any house in which one broadcasts is....


NP: I must explain to our listeners that... huge laugh and that round of applause was because Paul Merton was getting his own back on Clement Freud and he went even further. He walked out in front of him and he waved his arms so he couldn't continue. The audience loved it, Clement dried up...

PM: Hesitation.

NP: ..so you get the benefit of the doubt and Paul you now have it again.

PM: This is creating a dangerous precedent!

NP: It's a dangerous thing, intimidation has got Clement, you've got intimidation, but please do not resort to intimidation all the time because it will get too difficult to judge. Twenty-six seconds, Broadcasting House, starting now.

PM: Nations shall speak unto ditto... Ah you thought I was going to say nation twice, didn't you! (laughs)


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of nation.

PM: Yeah.

NP: Nation, yes.

CF: He said you thought I was going to say nation.

PM: Wasn't that after the buzzer?

NP: Yeah but that was after the buzzer.

CF: No it was not.

NP: No it wasn't after the buzzer right. Have you pressed your buzzer yet?

CF: Yes I pressed it when he said nation the second time.

NP: I think he's actually...

PM: He's right.

NP: I think he's right, so Clement, 22 seconds, Broadcasting House starting now.

CF: In London there is a Broadcasting House situated in Portland Place, not far from Regents pak, and equally adjacent to Oxford Circus. Easily approachable by the Underground and buses. And in olden days when I was a child, a trolley service from Marble Arch passed very close to Broadcasting House...



NP: Paul Merton challenged actually just as the whistle went. I'd like to know what your challenge was.

PM: Well he said a trolley service. I think he probably meant a trolley bus service.

NP: He did mean a trolley bus service...

CF: I'd said bus before, you see.

PM: Oh I see.

NP: There you are...

PM: Deviation from trolley...

NP: No I think, I think actually, I think, he did convey that it was a trolley bus...

GN: The second bus was different then! It pushed you all the way back to your flat with the shopping.

NP: So we give an extra point to Clement Freud because he would have got one then because that was an incorrect challenge. So let me give you the final score for those interested in points because it's the contribution isn't it. Graham Norton who last time we did a show here in the Radio Theatre won magnificently. But this time he finished only in fourth place. He was, only just, because he was only one point behind Sue Perkins who was only just in third place. Because she was only just a few points behind Clement Freud who was definitely in second place because many points ahead, way out in the lead was Paul Merton, so Paul you're the winner this week. So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four talented players of the game, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Sue Perkins and Clement Freud. I also thank Janet Staplehurst for helping with the score and blowing her whistle so excellently when the 60 seconds are up. And of course we thank Claire Jones our producer director. And we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game and keeps us all in work and keeps us so happy. And our audience here in the Radio Theatre who have cheered us on our way. From them, from our panel, from me Nicholas Parsons, thank you for tuning in, be with us the next time we play Just A Minute.