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 the four talented personalities who this week are going to play our game. And we welcome back Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones, Clement Freud and Paul Merton. Will you please welcome all four of them. Beside me sits the lovely Anne Ling with a stopwatch to tell us how the seconds are ticking away and a whistle to blow when 60 seconds are up. And as always I ask our four competitors to speak if they can on the subject I give them. And they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And let us begin the show this week with Peter Jones. Peter the subject, sneezes. Will you talk on that subject in this game starting now.

PETER JONES: I think they can be very healthy things, sneezes. Particularly for the person who is actually doing the sneezing. The people around perhaps don't. Sneezes and... spread diseases. There was some phrase during the war that my parents, I think, told me about. And ah this was something to do with not... passing the germs on to other people...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I agree, you did hesitate Peter...

DN: The actual expression which I remember well from the war was coughs and sneezes spread diseases.

PJ: That's it, yes, that's what I was groping for.

DN: I know, yes. I could tell you were groping.

NP: That's right. Um Derek you had a correct challenge so you get a point and you take over the subject of sneezes and there are 41 seconds left starting now.

DN: I quite agree with Peter. Sneezing can be extremely pleasurable. That's why I take snuff. It's very good you know. Powdered tobacco, bung it up your nostril and you have the most delicious tingling feeling. And then suddenly you sneeze. And what an excitement that is! But mind you St Gregory I think it was used to say to everybody "God bless you" when you actually heard somebody sneeze. Because, and the reason for this is, if you could play...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Repetition of sneeze.

NP: That's right, because the subject on the card is sneezes which you can repeat, and you have repeated the word sneeze. So Paul you listened well and you have got in. A point for a correct challenge, you take over sneezes and there are nine seconds left starting now.

PM: There are many different types of sneezes, for example you can sneeze like this. Ahchoo. Or you can er excel air through your nose...


NP: Derek, Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, he got all muddled because he was trying to prevent him saying sneeze.

NP: Yes and what is your challenge?

DN: Well deviation because he didn't...

NP: He wasn't deviating, he was keeping going...


PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes but it's too late now Peter. You can't have a second shot once somebody's got in and..

PJ: Well he made a mistake!

NP: Paul you have another point coz an incorrect challenge and you still have the subject of sneezes and only one second left starting now.

PM: Some people are allergic to various...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle is blown gains an extra point. And on this occasion it was Paul Merton who had others in the round. And Paul we'd like you to take the second round, it's dripping. I don't mean the second round's dripping, the subject for the second round is dripping. You have 60 seconds starting now.

PM: Now I'm not exactly sure what dripping is. I think it's the sort of white substance that somehow is derived from animal products. It's a kind of substitute I think perhaps for margarine or butter, something that was used perhaps during the war when these other commodities were less easily to hand as they are now. Um dripping is a wonderful thing. Um it has a marvelous...


NP: Ah Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation, er.

NP: Er, yes. Yes he dripped a bit too much there. And Derek a correct challenge, another point to you, 34 seconds, dripping, starting now.

DN: Dripping is of course animal fat which one leaves to go cold. And a dear aunt of mine who lived in Ilkeston in Derbyshire had a maid. And when I was very little I used to be able to go into the kitchen and she used to put dripping on bread. And on top of that one put wonderful salt and pepper. And I can't tell you how delicious it was. It... during the war of course. I suppose butter was not ...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetiiton of of course.

NP: Of course, you did say of course before.

DN: Oh really? Probably yes I did.

NP: Clement was listening well, gained a point and the subject and also dripping and 12 seconds left starting now.

CF: Dripping is fat which exudes from meat and is by far the best medium for frying chips. It is an extraordinary thing that many fry potatoes in oil or other...


NP: And Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. And he's in second place with Derek Nimmo behind Paul Merton. And Peter has yet to get any points. And Clement Freud we'd like you to take the next round which is Tom Keating. Will you tell us something about him in this game starting now.

CF: Tom Keating was a forger and an artist of great talent and ability. And he is dead. And I would like people in this theatre tonight to stand up and observe one minute's silence for Tom Keating... And anyone who interrupts this peaceful 50 seconds that remain must be a Philistine...


NP: Derek Nimmo are you going to be the first one?

DN: I'm a Philistine.

NP: Right, the only one that had the courage to come in. And 30 seconds for you to tell us something about Tom Keating starting now.

DN: Tom Keating's mother was a charlady and his father was a house painter. And he actually felt very ill towards the establishment for the whole of his life. But his life was actually changed...


DN: ..when he swung... I know I said life twice!

NP: Peter Jones has challenged. Yes Peter?

PJ: He did say life twice.

NP: He did yes...

PJ: He said he said life twice!

NP: Brilliant Peter, you've come in, you have a point and you have 19 seconds on Tom Keating starting now.

PJ: I think Tom Keating was one of the famous Keating family. And the people who started this powder which used to be spread on sheets and things in theatrical digs...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Deviation, he wasn't.

NP: How do you know that those Keating brothers with the sheets and the powder...

DN: Because his father was a house painter...

PJ: How does he...

DN: His mother was a charlady and he lived in Forest Hill. He had nothing to do with powder in digs...

PJ: No, it was the grandparents who started the firm.

NP: The subject on the card is just Tom Keating. You don't have to talk about Tom Keating, the well-known art forger. You can talk about the Tom Keating that er Peter's on about...

PJ: You mean I could actually talk about the Tom Keating that I know and went to school with?

NP: Yes! And you have nine seconds to continue starting now.

PJ: Good heavens! He was a very spotty boy and he used to tell very dirty stories. And I remember being a longstop when he was at the edge of the...


NP: Well as long as you keep going in Just A Minute and don't deviate from the subject, anything is fair game. So Peter you got some points in that round, you're now in second place equal with Paul Merton. And Derek it's your turn to begin, the subject is Monte Carlo. Will you tell us something about that...

DN: Would you like me to tell you about the boy called Monty Carlo that I was at school with? Or would you like to hear about the place in the south of France? Because I went to Monte Carlo this year in I think considerable style. I flew to Nice on Concorde which is very interesting because as we had to go Supersonic we had to go all round the edges and go through the Straits of Gibraltar. So it took two and a half hours by that particular machine rather than if we'd gone subsonic and gone straight through to France. But having landed in that lovely seaside...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PM: Repetition of France.

NP: That's right, yes. You have 31 seconds on Monte Carlo starting now.

PM: I've never been to Monte Carlo. Neither have I visited any of its casinos. Obviously if I've never been to Monte Carlo...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of never been to.

NP: Never been to Monte Carlo. So Clement, you've got in with 24 seconds on Monte Carlo starting now.

CF: There are number of places that I haven't been to. Monte Carlo is not amongst those. I've hardly ever visited Rome, seldom frequented Sicily...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, he's taking us on a guided tour of the places he hasn't been to...

CF: Where I'm not going by Concorde!

DN: ... and he's not talking about Monte Carlo!

NP: I agree with your deviation challenge Derek, so you have the subject of Monte Carlo and 11 seconds starting now.

DN: I feel terribly sorry for the Grimaldi family. They've had so many ghastly disasters, loved by the whole...


NP: So Derek you were speaking then as the whistle went, telling us about the Grimaldi family. For those who are not aware of it, they rule in Monte Carlo. And what has happened? You are now increasing your lead. You're two ahead of Paul Merton in second place. Peter Jones, it's your turn to begin and the subject is suburbia starting now.

PJ: Well it's fairly typical, isn't it, that Nimmo should be invited to talk about the pearl of the Mediterranean and I am given Golders Green! Well there isn't much, er resemblance. I think that there is a betting shop there but that's about all. Very little gambling up north of London. It is the home, incidentally, of one of the BBC orchestra, at the Ex Hippodrome in that aforesaid suburb that I was telling you about. There are other suburbs all round London of course, that's why they're called suburbs...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of suburbs.

NP: There were three suburbs, I'm afraid...

PJ: Oh yes.

NP: ...and the subject is suburbia.

PJ: Oh of course it is, yes.

NP: Yes.

PJ: Forgot that.

NP: It's a difficult game, yes.

PJ: Yes! Suburbia! Mmmm!

NP: Clement you waited for two and came in on three and you have 23 seconds on suburbia starting now.

CF: Suburbia is the collective name for lots of suburbs. And what they have in common is an 081 prefix in London. And there are many good charities that send food parcels to those disadvantaged people unfortunate enough to have had to move so far from the centre, the pulse of things. Like Paul Merton who is looking...


NP: Think of all our foreign listeners. I think someone should have challenged on the food parcels for deviation. Because people...

PM: That's true!

NP: Yeah? This image you created of our capital city, you know, amongst China and the other under-privileged areas where they don't have a lot of food, and thinking of them sending food parcels from the centre of London to the outer suburbs...

DN: There's plenty of food in China, it's Russia they're...

NP: How many people in the audience have received a food parcel recently? Oh they've got them with them! I'm so sorry! Right, what has happened? At the end of that round Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went moved forward and he's one point behind our leader Derek Nimmo. Paul Merton, your turn to begin and the subject, keeping stationery. Will you talk on that subject in this game starting now.

PM: A man walks into a shop and he says to the assistant, he says "excuse me, do you keep stationery?" And she said "no I scratch my nose every 15 minutes". So that rather old joke serves to illustrate the nature of what I'm about to talk about. I write a lot at home so I do have a lot of office stationery, stationery about my house. I have paper clips, typewriting paper, a typewriter, carbon copies of various manuscripts which I have knocked out over the past um...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes indeed. Derek you have keeping stationery...

PJ: A lot of equipment for that one little joke!

PM: But it needed every bit of it!

NP: Yes, I was going to say it's been beautifully filed. Um Derek, 30 seconds on keeping stationery starting now.

DN: Well I notice that in the audience tonight, we have a sergeant from the Royal Hospital at Chelsea. And I'm sure he will agree with me that standing to attention is one of the most boring things that you can possibly do. And all...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: It's less boring than lying down.

NP: You've given me an impossible decision. To an observer it's less boring, but to a person doing it, it's probably infinitely more boring.

PJ: Well...

NP: Shall I put this to our audience? Would you like to judge on this one? And what I ask you to do, if you agree with Peter, you all cheer for Peter. And if you disagree you all boo for Derek Nimmo and you all do it together now.


NP: Peter they're with you and so you have er keeping stationery, 17 seconds starting now.

PJ: I keep mine in a drawer. There are three pieces of writing paper, in case it should ever come over me that I need to actually send a letter to somebody. And there is one envelope and a stamp. It's admittedly a 15p stamp. I'm saving up for another tuppence...


NP: Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went and the score is very even at the end of that round. And Clement Freud begins the next round. The subject on the card is what shocks me. Will you talk on that subject starting now.

CF: Well not very much shocks me any more. It is an extraordinary thing that politicians, whenever anything totally predictable happens come on the radio or the television and say "I am shocked". Even deeply shocked. I don't wish to subscribe to that...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of shocked.

NP: Yes, because what shocks me is the subject and shocked was repeated. Well listened Paul and you have 31 seconds to tell us something about what shocks me starting now.

PM: What shocks me is that Nicholas Parsons still has a career in show business. You remember some of the terrible things he's been involved in over the years. Absolute turkeys, every one of them! And what do they have in common?


DN: Deviation...

NP: Oh yes!

DN: He's one of the greatest successes on the West End! You cannot get a ticket for Out Of The Woods at the moment.

NP: It's called Into The Woods.

DN: Into The Woods. I was talking about the people who leave at the interval! They're out of the woods!

NP: Who challenged? Derek?

DN: Me.

NP: Yes and what was your de.. challenge?

DN: Well deviation because he said you've been involved in a lot of terrible shows for the whole of your life. And I pointed out that the last has come good and you're in a good one.

NP: I can't win, whatever I do, can I? All right Derek, you have a, you have a bonus point...

DN: Thought I'd get two!

NP: But you have a point and you have the subject for 17 seconds on what shocks me starting now.

DN: What really shocks me is the amount of rubbish that is spread away along this country. All over it. If you drive along the M1, coming in from the airport, it is absolutely filthy and...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of along.

NP: Yes you came along twice unfortunately. So Clement you got in with seven seconds on what shocks me starting now.

CF: What shocks me is how difficult it is to fill seven seconds starting now. I could easily mention my hair which I no longer...


NP: And Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that all important extra point. He's moved into second place one behind Derek Nimmo and then in third place Paul Merton and Peter Jones are equal. Derek it's your turn to begin, digging the road up is the subject. Will you talk on that in this game starting now.

DN: I think one of the most interesting examples of a road being dug up was that which was perpetrated by Horace Devere Cole who was a cousin of Neville Chamberlain and a great practical joker. One day he found a gang of navvies standing somewhere in the West End. And he was a big fellow, full of authority. And he went over and said "come with me" and led them down to Piccadilly. He then mapped out in the road an area he decided they would actually enjoy digging up. And then he set them to work with drills and a huge hole was created. And then he put lights all the way round it, sent them home and said a new gang will be brought along tomorrow to do the rest of the digging up the road...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition, I told that story on Just A Minute in 1971!

NP: Yes but er you didn't tell it on this particular show so he didn't repeat it.

CF: He didn't...

NP: Ten seconds for you Derek on digging the road up starting now.

DN: If you do go to dig up a road, then I think you need to take with you a pick-axe. Because it's awfully good to hit it hard so the surface cracks and the macadam breaks up and you can go...


NP: So Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point and has increased his lead. But Derek we did want to hear the finish of the other story about this man who took this team down to dig up the road and then put the thing round it.

DN: Well it was just that the police then came round the next day and there was this huge hole and no-one could account for it really. And I can tell you this sort of thing. When he went on his honeymoon, to Venice for instance, he actually arranged for a whole boatload of horse manure to be brought over during the night and he spread it all round St Peter's Square which, as you know, there's no horses allowed anywhere in St Peter's Square. The next day the populace were totally mystified why all this horse dung was all round St Peter's Square in Venice. But if you want me to go on, I know a lot about Horace Devere Cole...

NP: No, no...

DN: I don't know, I may have been on the programme in 1972, I can't really remember so...

CF: You were!

DN: ...maybe it's old hat!

PJ: Did he have a happy marriage?

DN: No he didn't actually because his wife eventually, she was a mistress to Augustus John I think, later on, and married Mortimer Wheeler. And then she shot him I think, if I want to...

PJ: Mortimer Wheeler or Augustus John?

DN: No, Augustus John died and then she shot Mortimer Wheeler rather later on.

PJ: Mmmm, yes.

DN: Winged him in the left arm, I think and got away...

NP: I must ask you...

DN: She hurt a lot of people...

NP: Are you enjoying this?

DN: I was just...

NP: You'd rather be playing Just A Minute, I'm sure.

DN: No well you asked me to go on about it. I mean...

NP: I know and you go on so well. In fact once you go on we can never stop you normally.

DN: Better than hanging around here all night!

NP: Peter Jones it's your turn to begin and the subject is men's fashion. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

PJ: Well I saw a picture of a jacket in a newspaper today, which had been designed by one of the greatest designers in the world, a millionaire I understand. And this garment had two lapels, one on each side. It had a pocket or so on the right and on the left, another one up here, two buttons. And it was identical to practically any sports jacket you can see in Oxfam shops and indeed the garment I'm wearing now. I said garment before.


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of garment.

PJ: Ah right.

NP: Yes yes, a garment you repeated and 30 seconds are left for Derek to tell us something about men's fashions starting now.

DN: I don't really subscribe to men's fashion, I always like to dress very casually in an open necked shirt and scruffy trousers and down at heel shoes. I'm not one of those, I've never been an arbiter of fashion. I don't really interest myself in the subject at all whereas...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: And he's not interesting me either!

NP: I must explain to our listeners that Derek Nimmo's actually dressed today in the most distinguished looking evening clothes because he's going on to some function which he's going to grace with his presence. And as he was deviating from the fact that he doesn't interested in clothes Peter I agree with your challenge. Ah and you have 14 seconds to tell us something about men's fashion starting now.

PJ: I thought Derek was dressed for being the chucker out at the Odeon! Or the, because all he needs is a very long coat which would go down to his ankles...


NP: So Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. He's now equal in second place with Clement Freud behind Derek Nimmo, and then just one point behind them is Paul Merton who begins the next round. Paul the subject is burps. Will you tell us something about that without demonstrating hopefully starting now.

PM: Um a burp is an exhalation of wind. Er in some countries it's considered quite a compliment to the chef, I understand, if you burp after the meal. In this country it is not a particularly nice thing to do. It reminds me of a story of this party that's going on and suddenly one of the guests burps. And the host turns to him and he says "how dare you burp before my wife?" And he says "I'm terribly sorry, I didn't know it was her turn." Burping is generally considered rude and ill mannered. Most people would apologise when they do burp...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: I let him get the joke but he has done a lot of singular burps. And it's really...

NP: The subject's called burps and you've given us a couple of singular burps. Derek's...

PJ: There is one thing worse than a burp. I'm not going to tell you what it is!

PM: That was the original version of that joke in fact!

DN: I can see why he needs all those paper clips and things!

NP: No the story I know about that is when the Queen was in a carriage on a state occasion and she was riding along with some Sultan from Brunei or somewhere. And the horse in the front let off an incredible excavation of wind from his rear quarters. And the, Her Majesty was very embarrassed and said "oh I do apologise". And the Sultan said "oh it's quite all right, if you hadn't said anything I wouldn't have known."

DN: I don't think Tiny Rowlands would like all those Sultan of Brunei jokes!

NP: Derek you got in with a correct challenge, there are 20 seconds left on burps starting now.

DN: When I held my youngest son on my knee for the first time I give him some dill water which was extraordinarily effecaceous. And you put it into the mouth and then he was able to burp. And somehow with tiny babies mothers, fathers, even maiden aunts love to hear the sound...


NP: Right so Derek Nimmo was keeping going till the whistle went, gained an extra point and has increased his lead at the end of that round. And Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject spirits. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CF: I was always very fond of... Henry the Fourth, part two, in which there was a good joke on spirits. One character said "I can call spirits from the vasty deep". To which the other one replied "and so can I, and so can any man, but will they come when you do call for them?"


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

CF: Not a challenge which the audience...

DN: Well hesitation, I thought he was waiting for a round of applause. It didn't come so it left a rather large gap.

NP: And Derek yes there definitely was a very long pause and you have 40 seconds to tell us something about spirits starting now.

DN: I particularly enjoy a nice glass of Arnmagnac. But another spirit which I find parti...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes because he was trying to think of another word for particular and failed! So Peter you got in with 32 seconds to tell us something about spirits starting now.

PJ: Perhaps he was going to say Cognac which is one of my favourite drinks...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He wasn't, he was going to say Mardivigoigne!

NP: Thank you Derek but you did interrupt Peter so he gets a point for that...

DN: Right.

NP: And it wasn't a correct challenge too. And Peter you continue with 27 seconds on spirits starting now.

PJ: I don't know how he could prefer that because it's made of skins and pips from grapes and very bitter and gives you a terrible headache. Whereas the product of the Cognac region is much more refined licquer. And it has to be put in those casks and remains there for several years. And then they sometimes add a little brown sugar to it to give it a more appetising colour. And it's shipped over to England and they charge about 18,000...


NP: So Peter Jones kept going until the whistle went, gained an extra point and he's moved into second place behind Derek Nimmo who also begins the next round. Derek the subject is betting. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

DN: Well I've often gone to the races with Sir Clement Freud. And he is a great betting man. He has all kinds of systems and the annoying thing is that whilst I always lose, he has...


NP: And Clement Freud challenged you.

CF: I don't want to hear this!

DN: Fascinating chap really.

NP: Well you had such a nice reaction I want to give you a bonus point for the challenge Clement. Derek keeps the subject, another point and betting is still with him starting now.

DN: The Old Coral, Cyril Steen. What a lovely sound they add when one hears them being called out on a race course in the silver ring. And you can see the orange sign which says Ladbrokes and you go over and you place your bet to a chap who says "Hey cherry, whatho, Mr Nimmo". Puts down the amount and you think it's all over! And then five weeks later when you've forgotten about going to Kempton Park, the bill arrives and the wife always opens the envelope. That's the worst thing about betting, she says "what have you been doing this time?" I said I'm out with a distinguished former Member of Parliament who very kindly asked me to go to his box at Royal Ascot and on other occasions. And I always accept. And he pays cash...


NP: Clement Freud challenged you.

CF: Repetition of always.

NP: Yes you said always too often and we're in the last round and it's very clsoe for second place. And Clement Freud has the subject of betting and there are six seconds left starting now.

CF: I always enjoy betting, quite especially when Derek Nimmo is there, because he's such an appreciative audience.


NP: Well the subject of betting was the last subject in this edition of Just A Minute. And Clement Freud had it as the whistle went, gained an extra point and we have an interesting result. Paul Merton who hasn't played the game quite as often as the other three came in a very strong fourth position, a little behind Peter who came in an excellent third position. But excelling with most points, we say he is the winner this week, is Derek Nimmo. And it just remains for me to say on behalf of our four talented competitors, thank you very much for playing Just A Minute. Also thank Anne Ling for keeping the score so well and blowing her whistle so delicately. Also we thank Ian Messiter who created the game and that's why we're still working here. And our producer without whom none of us would be here, that is Edward Taylor and of course from me Nicholas Parsons. On behalf of everyone goodbye and thank you for listening. Bye!