NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the four exciting and original personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We welcome back Wendy Richard, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Barry Cryer. Will you please welcome all four of them! As usual in this game I am going to ask them to speak for Just A Minute if they can on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. Beside me sits Ian Messiter, the man who thought of the game many many years ago. And he's still getting royalties for it, I'm pleased to say! He has a stopwatch in one hand so I can tell how many seconds have been taken up. Wendy will you tell us something about gerry-building in Just A Minute starting now.

WENDY RICHARD: I know nothing at all about gerry-building. But instead I shall talk about Jerry Mouse, that well-known and beloved cartoon character. His antics (starts to laugh) on the screen...


WR: What?

NP: Barry Cryer challenged.

BARRY CRYER: Deviation from the... is this mouse built?

WR: I was coming to that!

NP: I'm afraid out of your own mouth you condemned yourself, because you said...

WR: Why?

NP: You said I won't...

WR: Well he... I'm about to say he lived in a building with Tom Cat!

NP: Yes but you actually said...

WR: That's Jerry building!

NP: Unfortunately Wendy, you actually said I don't know um, I don't know anything about gerry-building so I'm...

WR: Oh all right then!

NP: ... going to talk about Jerry er...

WR: Give it to him then!

NP: So Barry I have to agree with your challenge. So you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, there are 49 seconds left starting now.

BC: I wanted a garden shed some years ago and acquired a phone number from those good old Yellow pages, a man in our local area. And he came to see the garden, measured up a particular patch, then came the next day with a gaggle of materials and proceeded to erect this edifice. Lo, the very next day after he had left it began to lean and fall over. The rusty hinges which couldn't have been rusty because they were new...


BC: ... and I'll stop talking!

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of garden earlier on, and rusty quite recently.

NP: How very sporting of you to let the garden go. How very clever of you to let them know, the audience, to let the audience know you hadn't missed it! I will give it to you on either you like because it was repetition and you take over the subject having gained a point for a correct challenge, gerry-building, 22 seconds are left starting now.

CF: Gerry-building is a name we give to an unsubstantial edifice, such as Nash produced in Regent Street, and the northern part thereof which is Great Portland and Regent's Park. People think today is the only time when builders and merchants economised on materials...


NP: Clement Freud kept going until the whistle went and so he gains an extra point for doing that. And I'm still confused and puzzled how he can think that any Nash building was gerry-built. But nobody challenged him...

CF: They were!

NP: What?

CF: They were!

NP: Why?

CF: When they had another look at them to rebuild many of the crescents in Regent's Park they found that he was the most appallingly shoddy purveyor of goods and bought second-hand bricks and third-rate rubble, the buildings were all falling down. That's why.

NP: Well that's terribly interesting, isn't it!

CF: Quite boring....

NP: Yes!

CF: ...but it's true!

NP: Oh, so the next round...

BC: Our shed in the garden, it was a Nash shed!

NP: It was!

PETER JONES: It was a naff shed!

NP: Barry Cryer...

BC: Oh!

NP: Will you take the next round. The subject, frolics. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

BC: Allied to the word frolics, I always think of the word bunting, an expression which is very difficult to say after two BBC macons! Or indeed macoffs! Frolics are the very essence of life. I am a ciborite hedonist, an indulgent fellow who believes in fun and frolics. Why not, is responsibility all? Is a sense of social concern all we have to con... aaaaaahhhh!


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Um deviation.

NP: Why?

PJ: He was getting into social concern and everything which really had nothing to do with the subject which is frolics.

NP: Why didn't you challenge him for hesitation, it was much more obvious.

PJ: Well, we all have our little ways. I dare say if you were sitting where I am you might have done the same thing. I don't know. If I were the chairman I'm sure the game would be quite different!

NP: Probably wouldn't be running now! I am going to give Peter a point for his challenge and tell him he has the subject of frolics and 33 seconds are left starting now.

PJ: If there's anyone here who served in Cyprus in the Armed Forces just after the war, they will know there was a nightclub there called Frolics. And it was amusing because when anybody said "what are you doing tonight?" and you said "going to Frolics", they always said "say that again!" They weren't quite sure. But it was very dinghy, not at all glamourous. And they sold warm beer which they'd made themselves I think, somewhere in the back. And er there weren't any really ordinary people there apart from the er...


NP: I'm sorry Barry Cryer challenged.

PJ: Oh.

BC: Oh I feel a cad now. Hesitation I thought.

NP: Yes there was a hesitation and you've got in with half a second to go very cleverly.

PJ: Your timing's always been impeccable!

NP: Can you tell us something about frolics in half a second Barry starting now.


BC: This club...

NP: Peter, I'm sorry, Peter Jones challenged you.

PJ: He can't tell us anything about it...

NP: So give Peter Jones a bonus point for a good challenge and Barry gets a, er , no he's got another quarter of a second left starting now.

BC: This...


NP: Right so according to Ian Messiter you had quarter of a second left so you got one point previous to that for an incorrect challenge and you're now definitely in the lead at the end of the round Barry. Hold on...

BC: There's no justice! Shoddy chairmanship from the chairman!

NP: Clement Freud would you take the next round, the subject is snipe. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: A snipe is a small game bird who, unlike Wendy Richard, has a long straight bill and spends much of his time in the marshes. Now when I say that this is not the natural habitat of the lady sitting on my right, I'm only taking a guess because I know very little of her modus vivendi. Sniping in the Army is shooting... it derives its name...


NP: Wendy Richard has challenged.

WR: Hesitation and deviation, well there was deviation first, but then I thought perhaps he might wander back on the right track so I thought I'd let him get on with it. But then I thought there was a hesitation.

NP: There was a definite hesitation, I don't know what it is. Were you worried about the modus vivendi, were you?

WR: No I came in a car!

NP: A bonus point to Wendy Richard for her reply. And she takes over the subject now having gained a point for a correct challenge, 32 seconds on snipe starting now.

WR: I always thought snipe was a fish. But apparently as Clement has just said it's a bird. Unfortunately I don't know a lot about these little creatures either, except for cockateels, one of which I have, called Henry, of whom I'm very fond. I'm...


WR: What?

NP: Barry Cryer challenged.

BC: Deviation from the subject, I mean it's getting ornothological in much too wide a sense.

NP: Well just explain yourself before I decide.

BC: The subject's still snipe...

NP: Yes, and she's on to what, cockatoos?

CF: Cockateels.

BC: Yes.

WR: Cockateels...

BC: Cockateels.

WR: I was going to go back to snipe!

BC: Oh well! I wasn't...

WR: My very next words were going to be... but I...

PJ: What did you say? What did you say? Cockateels?

WR: Yes.

BC: Cockateels, yes.

PJ: Oh yes. Are they fish?

BC: No.

WR: It's a little bird with a funny hairdo.

CF: A cross between an eel and a cockatoo!

NP: Barry you have a correct challenge, you have 17 seconds on snipe starting now.

BC: This word makes me think of sniper and the end of that wonderful film, All's Quiet on the Western Front, when the soldier sees a butterfly fluttering just in front of him, reaches out and all you see upon the screen is his hand. At that moment a German sniper takes aim, you hear the sound of the shot, the butterfly fluttering...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Second butterfly.

BC: Second butterfly, yes.

NP: Second butterfly.

WR: I want to hear the end of the film. I didn't see it!

BC: Thank you Wendy! Very moving! I got quite emotional then. That's why I too...

NP: I know!

BC: ...toopered!

NP: Well Clement Freud has done to you what you did to Peter Jones at the end of that last round. He's got in with half a second to go on snipe starting now.

CF: Bang!


NP: So let me give you the score at the end of that round. Barry Cryer is still in the lead but he's now only one point ahead of Clement Freud. Peter your turn to begin, the subject is my first million. Will you tell us something about that, not, not any of the later millions you've got, just the first million we'd like to hear about Peter starting now.

PJ: Oh dear I am embarrassed, because I haven't actually made my first million. I'm talking about pounds of course. We are discussing money I suppose. If it were...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two suppositions.

NP: Yes I suppose, I suppose. Clement you have a correct challenge in that case. You have 50 seconds to tell us something about my first million starting now.

CF: I made my first million in Italy, where I put about 20 pounds each way on a horse which won at 30 to one. I got over a million lira, almost entirely worthless. My second million...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Why?

PJ: Well he said it was almost worthless and he also said it was worth 20 pounds at 30 to one. So it must have been worth about 600 pounds.

WR: Yes that's right, you're right.

NP: I would say that it was deviation because it wasn't entirely worthless. It was worth something...

PJ: That's what I mean! That is the challenge! I know I phrased it badly!

NP: Oh I see, well that's all right.

PJ: That was the challenge.

NP: So Peter we agree with the challenge, my first million is back with you and there are 35 seconds left starting now.

PJ: My first million fans were of course really treasured. And I still have many of them surviving. And there are several millions, they've been joined by billions since then and many of them write to me, two or three times a year, one of them does. In fact he's the one who writes! But others who I'm hoping to make er fans round the world with this great programme Just A Minute, which I suppose if it's been on for 20 years and there are 20...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: There's another supposition. He supposed yet again.

NP: Yes. Yes he supposed again.

BC: You're getting very suppository tonight!

NP: You can't put too many suppositories into one round can you? Right. Clement you have a correct challenge, seven points, my first million starting now.

CF: My first million voters for the party which I represent consisted of all sorts of people who never seemed...


NP: So Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went and he gained that all important extra point. He's now in the lead at the end of that round, he's overtaken Barry Cryer, Peter Jones follows and then Wendy Richard. And Wendy begins the next round. Wendy the subject is sweetpeas. Will you tell us something about those delightful plants with their wonderful scent in Just A Minute starting now.

WR: I love sweetpeas, they're one of my favourite flowers. They come in a variety of very pretty shades from a deep pink, white, and a lovely little purple colour. I've never had any success in growing them myself. I've tried several times but now I'm going to try peas. I didn't have any luck with them either before. So I shall have another go next year and perhaps a few tomatoes. There's nothing nicer than to look at than a whole trellis of sweetpeas growing up all round a pretty door or window. It really does gladden the eye. And is no-one going to buzz me in a minute?


NP: Peter Jones has helped out. Peter what was it?

PJ: Yes well ah I just accepted your invitation!

NP: She obviously enjoys being buzzed. Um...

PJ: Steady on there, Parsons!

NP: No she was deviating by talking about being buzzed, and away from sweetpeas. So that was correct deviation Peter, you have 24 seconds on the subject sweetpeas starting now.

PJ: Sweetpeas were first cultivated in the small town of Shropshire where I was born and brought up. I do believe we've had this subject before. Am I right in thinking...


NP: Barry Cryer has challenged.

BC: If we have, that's repetition!

NP: We did have the subject before, 15 years ago Peter. And I made a classic error by mentioning the fact that I, someone challenged on the fact that sweetpeas did not bloom in November because someone said, brought up the time of year. And I said that it was perfectly true, and I then got through the post no less than 20 or 30 or 40 packets of sweetpeas all forwarded from the BBC to prove that I was wrong. And they were all dead of course when they got there!


NP: I've utterly bored this audience to death now! Wendy Richard has challenged.

WR: Deviation, or dare I say it Nichol-arse, boring!

NP: You can say whatever you like Wendy because you're so charming and attractive the way you say anything. I give you a bonus point for that...

WR: Thank you!

NP: It's lovely to have you in the show. And Barry Cryer had a correct challenge some time ago...

BC: I don't think it was!

NP: Because he was, Peter did deviate from the subject of sweetpeas. There are 13 seconds for you...

BC: I don't think he did! I was just making a whimsical point. I didn't... I'm ashamed of that challenge actually.

PJ: And you can't remember it!

BC: No! I can't remember it now!

NP: You...

PJ: And there's Nicholas, remembering every bloody thing that happened 15 years ago!

NP: You challenged, you challenged for repetition when he said of the subject because we had it many years ago...

BC: But that isn't er, doesn't stop Peter continuing does it? I'm ashamed of that...

NP: Absolutely! Absolutely! Absolutely right. So Peter you have a point for an incorrect challenge and you have 13 seconds to go on talking about sweetpeas starting now.

PJ: In this little field in Sellop they grew the sweetpeas. And the seeds they send all over the world. And every sweetpea that you see nowadays, in New Zealand or South Africa, wherever it may be, comes...


NP: So Peter Jones got some points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went and he's now equal with Barry Cryer in second place, only one point behind Clement Freud. Barry your turn to begin, the subject is paper hanging. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

BC: Paper hanging in any sense of the term does not work. If you believe in capital punishment which I do not, using paper for this purpose causes a loud tearing noise and the plummeting of the lucky victim to the ground. If you try to hang a paper the same thing applies. The whole exercise is pointless. It just floats about fluttering in the wind, on the end of a piece of string. Mind you, certain rooms in the house that could be useful and practical. But hanging a paper is absolutely pointless. Another interesting interpretation of the phrase paper hanging could be that one that I have yet to think of. So I will revert to the first connotation of the grisly subject of capital punishment...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Why?

PJ: Well he went from the original subject, I mean the theme that he was following, and he said I'll talk about another interpretation of the word and then he couldn't think of it and then he went back to the original. And got on no better!

NP: Peter all I can say is you're trying extremely hard.

PJ: Well thank you very much.

NP: He didn't actually deviate...

PJ: I would like to return the compliment Nicholas!

NP: Well just to show you how generous I am Peter I will give you a bonus point for that response. But your challenge was incorrect because he didn't deviate from paper hanging. So Barry still has the subject, 21 seconds are left Barry starting now.

BC: The context I couldn't put my tongue to has returned. Paper hanging as in interior decoration. I recall a weekend last year when my lady wife of some 26 summers and 34 winters asked me to hang the paper in our back room, which faces on...


BC: Good Lord!

NP: And knowing his lovely wife Terri I must say Terri if you're listening I'm sure he doesn't mean it. But Barry you... oh you do!

BC: What did I say? I never said anything about her!

NP: Barry you kept going until the whistle went and gained that extra point, you are now once more in the lead. You're one point ahead of Peter Jones who's now equal with Clement Freud, he's moved up Peter has. And Wendy Richard is trailing a little. Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is dripping. Let me explain myself, the subject isn't dripping, dripping is what I hope they'll talk about. There are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

CF: There used to be a joke about dripping, was "does your mother keep dripping?" "No, she uses butter." I never thought it was very funny and by repeating it in front of this audience I realise I was absolutely correct. Dripping is what emanates when you fry or roast a bird or piece of meat. And the residual fat is called dripping and if set can be spread on pieces of bread or toast which taste quite delicious and make you fairly fat. At the bottom of a pan of dripping you find a marvelous dark brown goo which is really the substance of all great cookery, in that it is the basis for sauce. Escofier suggested many years ago that dripping's base ought to be put into a sauce elondes which we call...


NP: Wendy challenged.

WR: Sauce twice. It's too saucy!

NP: Yes! It was very interesting but it was repetition. So Wendy...

WR: It wasn't that interesting either!

PJ: Well don't rub it in!

WR: Sorry!

NP: I'm sure some people found it interesting.

BC: What, rubbing dripping in?

NP: Ah Wendy you have seven seconds to tell us something about dripping starting now.

WR: I always save the dripping from when I've been cooking meat or chicken or whatever fowl. It does come in useful for when you are...


NP: So Wendy got points in that round, including one for speaking when the whistle went. And it's a very interesting scoreline because only one point separates Wendy who's in third place from Clement Freud and Peter Jones who are in second place. And one point ahead of them is our leader still, Barry Cryer. Peter Jones your turn to begin, the subject punctures. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: One doesn't have so many punctures nowadays that tyres have improved. But when I was a boy and had a bicycle, I had a little tin with which to mend punctures. But better now I think to call the RAC or one of the other organisations who send a van. And they change the wheel and that's um much more interesting. But er not um interesting enough really to...


NP: Barry Cryer's challenged.

PJ: ... go on talking about it for a minute.

BC: Deviation from accuracy. Can you call the RAC to a bike?

NP: Yes.

BC: You can? Sorry! I withdraw!


NP: Wendy...

WR: I challenge actually, I should have challenged before. Because Peter said he had a little tin with which to mend the puncture. You didn't mend the puncture with the tin but with the contents of the tin!

PJ: Yes! Quite right!

NP: But unfortunately Wendy you didn't challenge before, Barry did. And Barry yes whether, it's obviously possible to call the RAC to a bicycle...

BC: Yes...

NP: ...but I don't think you'd get a very good response when they arrive.

PJ: You don't even get one if you've got a car!

NP: No wonder they refused your application last time you wrote in Peter. So you keep the subject Peter for an incorrect challenge, sorry a point for an incorrect challenge and you keep the subject, 37 seconds are left to tell us something more about punctures starting now.

PJ: They tend to happen on a very busy road when it's raining. That's been my experience. It's sods law really that applies to punctures as it does to so many little accidents that surround one in one's life. Now I've had a puncture in a very busy street in Valentia in Italy and nobody there was able to tell me the er, the number...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I agree with that hesitation, nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh. It's punctures with Clement Freud, 13 seconds left starting now.

CF: I'd like to say one or two kind words about the Automobile Association who are also very competent dealing with punctures. You ring any telephone number given to you on your card and a small man comes out and...


NP: So Clement Freud gained the extra point for speaking when the whistle went, he's now one ahead of the other two and in the lead. And Wendy Richard your turn to begin, the subject is auctions. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

WR: I love auctions. I find them absolutely fascinating because I am a collector of a great many things. My boyfriend says they're rubbish but I know they are wonderful antiques, and one day they're going to be worth a lot of money. Well I have been stopped going to auction rooms because my best friend and I used to go. And her husband stopped us going, because we went after a very heavy lunch one day and ended up buying a lot, well, it was rubbish, you have to admit it was er, not worth it...


WR: What?

NP: Barry Cryer challenged. Barry challenged.

BC: What on earth, repetition, there were two rubbishes.

WR: Yes.

NP: Yes there was too much rubbish, I'm sorry.

WR: There was.

NP: Yes yes, so Barry has another point and he's now equal with Clement Freud and he has 35 seconds to tell us something about auctions starting now.

BC: Attending auctions is fraught with peril. Every scratch of the nose, lift of the eyebrow or involuntary movement of the head can be interpreted as a bid. I was in an auctioneers called Phillips two years ago with some friends. And there was a lot that took my eye as in a lot, not a large quantity. And I thought that I would put in a bid which I did which was then...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of bid.

NP: You bid more than once, unintentionally.

BC: Yes.

NP: Yes and Clement has another point and the subject back, auctions, 15 seconds left starting now.

CF: When the game of bridge was first invented, you played either auction or contract. It was quite interesting because it was such a tedious way to pass the hours, putting down cards without having proceeded by estimating the number of tricks...


NP: So Clement Freud getting points including one for speaking as the whistle went has now taken the lead again at the end of that round. Barry Cryer your turn to begin, the subject fun and games. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

BC: Fun and games calls to mind the previous topic of bunting and frolics. Because I am obsessed with enjoyment as long as it does not harm other people. Selfish it may be but harmless I hope it is. My favourite games are soccer as in Association football and tennis as in a court which I play with our three sons. The last time I played I incurred a torn ligament playing tennis, and I'm trying (starts to laugh)


NP: Oh he collapsed, I wish you could have seen him. Wendy you, no sorry, Clement Freud you challenged first, what was it?

CF: He collapsed!

NP: Twenty-eight seconds on fun and games starting now.

CF: I think at my time of life fun is rather more important than games. Because I don't get a lot of it! But football, tennis, soccer, squash, fives, badminton. Now there is a game which you play with a shuttlecock which very nearly makes it fun!


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: Hesitation.

NP: Yes indeed it was.

CF: I stopped.

NP: When he thought of the devious remark he'd just made!

CF: Really?

NP: And then he hesitated and so Wendy you got in with five seconds to go, tell us something about fun and games starting now.

WR: Jerry Mouse and Tom Cat had a lot of fun and games in the cartoons. I love watching them because they get...


NP: Well Wendy started the whole show with gerry-building, and she managed to get back to Jerry Mouse again. Very cleverly, well thought out Wendy, you kept going until the whistle went, gained the extra point and you are now equal with Peter Jones in third place, one behind Barry Cryer and he's three behind Clement Freud who's in the lead. Clement the subject is putting up a tent. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CF: I can tell you something about putting up a tent, but I would particularly ask anyone who is listening not to pay very close attention. Because each time I have attempted to do so myself there has been disaster and the tent has collapsed. You have a number of poles and guyropes and pegs, also canvas and a book of instructions. And the most important aspect is that whatever is written tends not to be effective. I have had tents which I er put up...


NP: And Wendy challenged.

WR: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was an er, Wendy you've got in with 25 seconds to go on the subject of putting up a tent starting now.

WR: I have no idea how to put up a tent. I think the best thing to do is to find somebody else and ask them to come and do it for you. But I have seen people struggling a lot with the ropes and the pegs and the... poles...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, yes, she did hesitate there. Twelve seconds for you to tell us something about putting up a tent Peter starting now.

PJ: Putting up a tent requires many of the same qualities and ingenuities as paper hanging. Because you have to be very dexterous although the tent isn't made of this wood fibre, afore...


NP: So Peter Jones was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point and he has also brought this show to an end because we have no more time to play Just A Minute. And Wendy Richard and Barry Cryer who play the game less than Peter Jones and Clement Freud finished equal in third place, but only one point behind Peter Jones. He was two points behind Clement Freud. So this week we call him our winner, Clement Freud. It only reminds for me to say on behalf of our four delightful panelists, Wendy's just packing up her bag ready to go at the moment, that is Wendy Richard, Barry Cryer, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. And our producer Edward Taylor who contributes so much behind the scenes and myself Nicholas Parsons, thank you for listening, we hope you've enjoyed it, and you will want to tune in again at the same time next week when we take to the air and we play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here goodbye.