starring PAUL MERTON, DEREK NIMMO, WENDY RICHARD and STEPHEN FRY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 11 January 1992)

NOTE: Thanks to Vicki Walker for transcribing this show! :-) Stephen Fry's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: (Introduction to this programme on the Just A Classic Minute cassette/CD) In the 1990s there were new developments in Just A Minute, all of them subtle, but valuable to the continued life of the show, what you might call a polishing process as you might treat a fine piece of furniture. It increases the quality of the original product. For example in the 90s we created a new opening, dropping the formal and slightly old fashioned style with an announcer introducing the players following the Minute Waltz. I now welcomed the audience to Just A Minute, and through the applause the Minute Waltz was played. This was never a great signature tune, but it was apt and indicative of the somewhat formal way the show was played when it first began in 1967. Now it blended, and as it was faded away I then introduced myself and then welcomed and introduced the players. A small adjustment but a more modern approach as the game became sharper and more inventive. By the time of this next recording, Paul Merton, who first appeared on the programme in 1989, had become almost a regular. On his debut show he had been up against three very experienced male players of the game, all of whom were as usual keen to win, and would never give any quarter, even to a first-time player. Paul had loved the show as a youngster, was an avid listener, and longed to take part once he started in show business. He was so good on his debut that the then producer Edward Taylor immediately engaged him for two more recordings. The more Paul did, the better he became, and he is now undoubtedly one of the best loved and most popular players of the game. This episode also marked the first time Stephen Fry had played the game. Stephen is incredibly intelligent and articulate, but even he had not realised how difficult and challenging the game is until you actually play it. Floundering a little at the beginning, but drawing on his huge talent in order to play like a seasoned regular, by the end he was as you would expect most amusing. Wendy Richard also appears in this recording. She's been a successful player over the years, relying on her acerbic sense of humour to obtain laughs, often at the expense of others. She is by nature very outspoken and if something irritates her, she expresses her feelings, even in the show. She does this in such a passionate way that the audience think it is a humorous contribution and they laugh, but more often than not she really feels it. Wendy also has a thing about people reciting lists of items in a round, something of which Clement Freud is very adept. It's not as easy as it sounds, it's not against the rules, and it's usually funny. But Wendy cannot stand it and always goes on the offensive as soon as anyone does it. Derek Nimmo was the fourth player in this edition. Over the years he has probably said more insulting things about me than anyone else. But we were always good friends, and he always did it in such an engaging way that he knew he could get away with it. I've always seen my role as chairman as being a foil to the team. And as an experienced straight man to comedians, I've learnt over the years how to take the putdowns, laugh at the joke, and also come back if necessary. It all adds to the fun and success of the show. And there are plenty of jokes at my expense in this next classic recording, first broadcast in January 1992. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you've also enjoyed this whole collection. 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 diverse personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We welcome back Derek Nimmo, Wendy Richard and Paul Merton, and also we welcome for the very first time Stephen Fry. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Anne Ling, who is going to keep the score and also blow her whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And as usual I will ask them to speak if they can without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject which is on the card in front of me. Let us begin the show this week with Paul Merton. Paul, the subject is what to put on a muffin. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Well, I suppose there's all kinds of things you put on a muffin. You can have butter, jam or marmalade or indeed you can put a bicycle on top of a muffin. Anything at all, really. I don't know anything about muffins and this subject bores me rigid, I'm afraid. But what more can I say about it that I haven't said already? I can say lots of other things.


NP: And Derek Nimmo rang.

DEREK NIMMO: Repetition of say.

NP: Yes, you, what more could I say and what can I say. Derek got in with a correct challenge so he gets a point for that, of course. He takes over the subject of what to put on a muffin. There are 40 seconds left, Derek, starting now.

DN: Ah Muffin the Mule is a charming little quadruped much seen on children's television who's now making a comeback! I awfully liked Muffin. Terribly funny and amusing and charming, don't you think? Also...


DN: What's the matter?

NP: Um, Wendy...

WENDY RICHARD: I think that's the wrong sort of muffin. I think you've gone completely off your trolley.

NP: But could you...

DN: It doesn't have to, it can be any kind of muffin.

NP: Yes, it can be any kind of muffin. I was wondering if you could actually understand what he was talking about, could you?

DN: I was trying to put a bit of pace into it.

NP: Yes.

WR: That's the only time I've ever heard you speak quickly. Normally you string it all out so you can get the 60 seconds.

NP: Well... Wendy, no. I mean, you can take the subject any way you like and he decided it must be Muffin the Mule. Derek, you have another point. Thirty seconds are left, starting now.

DN: In the 19th century a muffin was a man who followed young girls. And I suppose in that case you would put onto a muffin a policeman to make sure they didn't do anything improper with the ladies that he was pursuing. Onto a muffin which is like a crumpet, I would put of course butter and jam and honey, and all those lovely gooey things which I enjoy hugely. Muffin the Mule I would have put on...


DN: What's the matter?

NP: And Stephen Fry has challenged.

STEPHEN FRY: I think that's our second mule. We had one in the previous version when you first talked about it.

DN: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely right.

NP: You've never played the game before, and you've very cleverly got in with one second to go! So what to put on a muffin is the subject with you, having gained a point of course for a correct challenge, and you start now.

SF: Marmalade, of course, is...


NP: So at the end of that round Stephen was speaking as the whistle went, and whoever does that gets an extra point. So he has two points at the end of that round. Derek Nimmo also has two points so they are equal in the lead. And Stephen Fry, will you take the next round? And the subject we've chosen for you is Wilhelm Furtwängler. Can you tell us something about... I'm sure it's been specially chosen for you! But there are 60 seconds to keep going if you can starting now.

SF: Well, Wilhelm Furtwängler, as it should properly be pronounced because there's an umlaut on the A in his name, was a great Germanic com, ah, conductor er of...


SF: Oh dear!

NP: And Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: It's unfair but there were rather a lot of ers.

SF: Yes there were!

DN: I mean, somebody so bright as he should be...

NP: Awful lot of ers.

DN: ... able to speak properly.

NP: But he's never played the game before...

DN: Oh, all right.

NP: ... and I think really, it was a bit...


WR: Aw, that was mean.

NP: The audience are entirely...

DN: And they've reduced the price of his book at Dylan's, haven't they!

NP: Yes. Stephen, I'm not going to allow that.

SF: Well, you're an old sweetie!

NP: So, for... because you were interrupted ...

SF: Thank you!

NP: And, um...

DN: Nobody's ever called him that before!

NP: No! Stephen, you have 49 seconds to continue the subject Wilhelm Furtwängler.

SF: Well Wilhelm Furtwängler was noted chiefly for his interpretations of Wagner, the great German composer of opera and so forth. Ah, he performed many times at the Saltzsberg Festival where he get quite a reputation... got quite... eh, oh my God! Really!


SF: Do you know, it's a lot more difficult than it seems when you're listening on the radio! My respect for Paul and Wendy and Derek, which was previously rock bottom, er, it's extraordinary. These people are brilliant! I don't know how they do it! Never mind, carry on!

NP: Paul, you challenged first. You have the subject and there are 36 seconds left, Wilhelm Furtwängler starting now.

PM: Wilhelm Furtwängler was the winner of the silliest name competition in 1946. He won several years in a row, after that, right in ...


NP: Ah, Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He won twice.

NP: He won too much.


NP: Stephen Fry challenged.

SF: This is impossible because he died in 1954.

PM: Yes but, yes but his name lives on!

NP: I think the one you were talking about, the real one, was different to the one Paul was.

PM: Indeed.

NP: So ah Derek, you had a correct challenge, 26 seconds on ah Wilhelm Furtwängler starting now.

DN: I was wandering in this rather seedy part of Hamburg and this man came up to me and said, "My name is Wilhelm Fartwängler," I thought he said, but he said, "No, it's Furtwängler". I said "What an extraordinary...thing...


NP: And Stephen challenged.

SF: That was an extraordinary... hesitation I thought!

NP: Yes, extraordinary hesitation, I quite agree. And you have 13 seconds on the subject starting now.

SF: His interpretation of Tristan and Isolde with Alfred Suthaus as the eponym and ah...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

SF: Oh, why did I bother!

NP: Derek, another point and eight seconds on this subject starting now.

DN: I have many records when he was conducting and I do think they're amongst my most treasured possessions. Unfortunately, I only have them on long play...


NP: Derek Nimmo was then speaking again as the whistle went, gained the extra point and has moved his lead even further forward. Stephen Fry's still in second place, then comes Paul Merton and then Wendy Richard. Derek, your turn to begin. The subject is wearing spats. Will you tell us something about it in Just A Minute? You can start now.

DN: Ah! Wearing spats is a question I would very much like to have because for some considerable time I played in a play called... The...


NP: Ah, Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: Hesitation.

NP: He'd forgotten the name of the play he was in, yes! Wendy, you've got in with a very sharp challenge on wearing spats. Fifty-four seconds are left, starting now.

WR: I think spats are a lovely men's fashion. My father used to wear spats. I think it's very elegant. Apart from that, it also helps you save on shoe polish because you only have to clean the part of your footwear which is showing below and around the spats. They used to come in various colours and you can get several little buttons or just one or two fasteners on the side. As I said before...


NP: Um...

WR: I've repeated myself.

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

DN: Self-confessed repetition. As she said before.

NP: As she said before, yes.

WR: I know, I knew, I was digging my own grave.

NP: I have to be sure, because sometimes you challenge just to bluff one out of it. Derek, correct challenge, 30 seconds, wearing spats, starting now.

DN: Originally, they were part of military wear. You can still see them in the Scottish regiment. In the summer they were worn in white canvas and in the winter months...


NP: Uh, Wendy challenged.

WR: I think he's hesitating, you know.

NP: No, no, no.

WR: You don't think so?

NP: No. It was very close. No, no. I don't think that was hesitation.

DN: One moment I'm going too fast and the next minute I'm going too slow!

WR: I know, well, I've got the measure of you now. I know.

NP: For our listeners, Wendy and Derek Nimmo are sitting on one side together and Derek's now got his arm around Wendy. And Stephen Fry and Paul Merton are on the other side.

SF: I haven't got my arm around Paul, by the way. Yet.

NP: I know people like to have visual images of the people who are performing. Twenty-one seconds for Derek on wearing spats, starting now.

DN: Spats are the spawn...


NP: Ah, Paul Merton challenged.

PM: For the people at home who like visual images, I would like to point out that I'm wearing a jumper.

NP: For those who are concerned with the sartorial wear of the cast, Nicholas Parsons is in a sports jacket, Wendy is wearing a floral dress with a scarf, Derek Nimmo's in a smart suit with a waistcoat and, of course, Stephen Fry is wearing a dinner jacket. Eh, who challenged?

PM: I, I made a joke, Nicholas. It's short-term memory, that's your problem. It's difficult, it's sad.

NP: With your jokes, some of your jokes are short-term memory in my case! But it was an interruption, so unfortunately Derek does...

PM: Yes.

NP: ...get a point and he continues with 20 seconds on wearing spats, starting now.

DN: Spats are the spawns of shellfish and if one was going to wear them, I suspect one would put them on the edge of a hat rather like the Antipodeans wear corks because they really would be rather niffy. The spats that you wear on your feet...


NP: Uh, Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of wear.

NP: Yes, you've been wearing...

DN: Absolutely.

NP: Yes, 'cause wearing is on the card, but wear is not to be repeated. So six seconds for you, Paul, on wearing spats, starting now.

PM: My grandfather was a great man for wearing spats. He used to wear them on all sorts of occasions.


NP: Well, Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's equal with Stephen Fry in second place. Derek Nimmo's still in the lead and Wendy is trailing a little. Paul, it's your turn to begin. The subject, Nell Gwynne. Can you tell us something about her in this game, starting now.

PM: Well, Nell Gwynne I suppose is remembered as Charles the Second's bit of stuff. She would sell oranges around the Covent Garden area. Drury Lane as well, I believe, was part of her patch. She would walk the streets and cry, "Who will buy my lovely jaffas?" And various people would come up and say, "Oh, they look good. I wouldn't mind giving them a squeeze," and they'd take home four or five of them for the children at home to play with.


NP: Stephen Fry challenged.

SF: Did he say home twice?

DN: He did.

NP: That's right, he did. Who's in charge?

PM: Did I?

SF: You did.

DN: We're just sort of...

WR: I was buzzing as well.

NP: Stephen, 24 seconds for you to tell us something about Nell Gwynne starting now.

SF: "Let not poor Nellie starve!" was said to be Charles the Second's dying phrase, though I don't think he actually said le noble dictur but it's a...


NP: Uh, Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Said, twice.

SF: Oh.

NP: Yes, he did, yes. Yes, but I do think you're way out in the lead, Derek. I think we can allow a ...

DN: I don't think Stephen Fry requires pity!

NP: He doesn't require pity! I just wish him to gain confidence...

WR: It's all favoritism tonight, isn't it?

NP: No ...

WR: That's what it is!

DN: It's all since Stephen called him sweetie, have you noticed? An old sweetie, he said!

NP: All right. Once more, Stephen, you have the benefit of the doubt. Twenty-six seconds for you to continue on Nell Gwynne, starting now.

SF: It's a pub, of course, in the Aldwych or thereabouts, the Strand, perhaps. It serves all kinds of drinks and was famous recently for a bit of a fracas which had unfortunate repercussions around the world which by the time this goes out will probably be far from topical. However, like most ah public houses it has within its purliew or bailey wick a number of optics and a great many beams and horse brasses and things of that distinction and is named after the Nell Gwynne that this subject, I suppose, is really all about.


NP: So you see, putting Stephen under pressure, he got the bit between his teeth and he did magnificent! He kept going until the whistle went, gained that extra point and he's in second place just behind Derek Nimmo, ahead of Paul Merton and Wendy is in fourth place. And your turn to begin, Wendy. The subject: forecasts. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

WR: I never take any notice of weather forecasts because I don't believe they have much accuracy about them at all. I also include in forecast the horoscopes. Now just last week I read mine and it said, "You'll be hearing of a large sum of money." The only two letters I had received that day, one was an income tax demand for an incredible amount of money and the other a demand for several more pounds...


NP: Uh, Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Unfortunately, repetition of demands.

DN: Demands.

WR: Demands! I know!

NP: They were demanding too much from you, Wendy. And so Paul's got in with a correct challenge. Another point to him and 36 seconds are left on forecasts, Paul, starting now.

PM: There are all kinds of people who try to forecast the weather through amateur means. They hang up seaweed outside their window or they look at what the cows are doing in the fields. There's all other kinds of...


NP: And Stephen Fry challenged.

SF: Lots of alls and kinds.

NP: Yes, there were indeed, Stephen. Well listened.

PM: Yes.

NP: Twenty-three seconds for you to tell us something about forecasts, starting now.

SF: Me and my...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Indeed, yes. Twenty-two seconds for you, Paul, on forecasts starting now.

PM: There...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes indeed, Derek. A hesitation there. Twenty seconds for you to tell us...

DN: Standing in the Blackwater River, which is a tributary of the Buelly, I had to make at least four casts before I hooked my salmon. I was using a collie dog, which is a rather curious fluffy fly but very effective if you are in that particular water, looking for that...


NP: Um, Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of water?

NP: Yes.

DN: Blackwater's one word.

NP: That's right, you were at Blackwater, well done, yes, sorry. Bad luck, well tried, yes. Six seconds for you to continue, Derek, on forecasts, starting now.

DN: I never miss the weather forecast on television because there's a little funny man on it who makes me laugh...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation. There was a weather forecast on just now and you've missed it. You've missed a weather forecast.

DN: If I could help it, I said!

NP: A very clever challenge of deviation, Paul. You got in with one second to go on forecasts starting now.

PM: All kinds of betting systems...


NP: Cleverly got back with only one second to go and he's now moved into second place just ahead of Stephen Fry and only just three points behind Derek Nimmo. And Wendy's still trailing a little. Stephen, it's your turn to begin. The subject is New York.

SF: New York, New York, so good they named it...


DN: I was too quick on my buzzer, I'm afraid. Too quick.

NP: Well, you were, actually, because I hadn't actually told him to start.

SF: Oh, hadn't you? Oh, I'll start again.

NP: The subject is New York, and you start now.

SF: New York, New York, so good they named it twice, the old song goes. Of course, people who live in that city have the address twice because...


SF: Oh hell! I said twice twice.

NP: Um, Wendy Richard.

WR: Twice twice.

SF: I said it because I knew Wendy would get it.

DN: It was chivalrous, I thought.

NP: Chivalrous. Good Lord, the things they say when they don't succeed. Fifty-one seconds for you Wendy to take over New York, starting now.

WR: I have never been to New York, but I do look forward to paying a visit there, hopefully in the new year. I understand...


WR: What?

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, I'm afraid. So the thought of going, she hesitated. Forty-five seconds Derek. Tell us something about New York, starting now.

DN: New York was originally called New Amsterdam. But then it was bought by us, or rather filched by the British and rechristened New York. Unfortunately, though, one particular area is a film named after a Dutch family, the...


NP: Uh, Stephen Fry challenged.

SF: Oh, did he say named twice or have I gone completely mad?

NP: No, no, he didn't say named twice.

SF: Oh, what a pity.

DN: Yes I did say it twice.

NP: Yes, he said named, that's right. Because New Amsterdam was named, it was named New Amsterdam...

DN: Nick wouldn't have picked it up.

NP: No, I know. No, of course not. Sometimes you wonder why I'm here, according to Derek Nimmo.

DN: Absolutely!

NP: Ah, Stephen, you have a correct challenge and 32 seconds on New York starting now.

SF: I like the isle of Manhattan, smoke on your pipe and put that in, as one lyricist had it. Of course I believe it was founded by Peter Stuyesvant, the man, not the cigarette, of course; that would be absurd to have some kind of fag founded the city. Of course, you could say that about San Francisco. Mind you, the great thing about New York, the metropolitan area, is it comprises, ah Staten Island...


NP: Paul.

SF: Oh, he's so tense!

PM: Um, hesitation.

NP: Yes.

SF: Rather.

NP: Twelve seconds for you to tell us something about New York, starting now.

PM: I want to be a part of it, New York, New York. That is the way the rest of the lyrics go to that particular song that Stephen mentioned earlier. What a wonderful metropolitan city...


NP: Well, Derek is still in the lead, then comes Paul Merton and then Stephen Fry and Wendy, surprisingly, is in fourth place. Derek Nimmo, it's your turn to begin. The subject is BBC Radio. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: In the United Kingdom today we have BBC 1 and BBC 2, BBC 3, BBC 4, BBC 5, BBC Radio Nottingham, BBC...


NP: Wendy...

WR: He's listing! Now we had this out last year, didn't we? We're not doing lists.

NP: But you don't, actually. You have Radio 3 and Radio 4. It's not BBC 3 and BBC 4. So it was deviation, wasn't it?

WR: Yes.

NP: Absolutely right, Wendy. So you have 46 seconds for you to tell us something about BBC Radio, Wendy, starting now.

WR: I have had the good fortune to work for BBC Radio on several occasions. I always enjoy this as I see my dear friend Anne Ling and Nicholas Parsons. A pleasure to see any of them...


NP: Uh, Paul Merton challenged.

PM: I'm afraid, repetition of see.

WR: It was.

NP: Yes.

SF: As well as hideous sycophancy, I may say!

PM: This is good coming from someone who called Nicholas sweetie earlier!

WR: I might have been going to say...

SF: Very true!

WR: I might have been going to say something nice about you, you see. You don't know.

NP: Yes.

WR: You'll never know now.

NP: Yes. Any way to keep going, it doesn't matter. Paul, you had a correct challenge, another point, 34 seconds, BBC radio, starting now.

PM: The BBC Radio Light Entertainment Department has a long and glorious history. If we go back to the 1940s, we can recall such shows as Bandwagon, uh...


NP: Wendy challenged.

PM: That's the only one I could recall!

WR: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, that's right. Twenty-three ...

PM: Itma was the one I was trying to think of.

NP: Oh yes, and Much Binding In The Marsh.

PM: That's no good to me now, is it, sweetie?

NP: Twenty-three seconds for you, Wendy, on BBC Radio starting now.

WR: I have done several plays for BBC...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

WR: What?

DN: Repetition of done.

WR: I've only just started!

DN: Last time you said it.

NP: I'm very...

WR: I could have been at home watching the weather forecast!

NP: Wendy, if you really did ...

PM: I video-taped it so...

WR: It's all right, sweetie, don't worry! Go on.

NP: It was Derek who challenged you.

WR: Oh, well, go on, then. Do another list.

NP: Twenty-one seconds, Derek, on BBC Radio starting now.

DN: The gauleiter in charge of BBC Radio is one David Hatch, who was the first person to direct this particular programme many years ago when he also performed in a very well known wireless program which was called ...


DN: ...I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again.

NP: Eh, Stephen Fry.

SF: He said direct this programme, and then a very well known wireless programme.

DN: What's wrong with that?

WR: Wireless programme.

SF: Programme, yes, you said it twice.

NP: Programme.

DN: Programme, I see. Too many programmes!

SF: I think you're not allowed to repeat words Derek, I think that's the clue.

DN: Absolutely yes.

NP: Too many, too many programmes. Right! BBC Radio is with you, Stephen. Eight seconds left starting now.

SF: (Derek Nimmo voice) Of course, the original gauleiter of the BBC was David Hatch...


NP: Paul?

PM: Imitation!

NP: Yes!

PM: Very bad one!

NP: So he was deviating from his normal voice!

PM: And incoherent, yes! Deviation!

NP: Five seconds for you to tell us something about BBC radio starting now.

PM: The nine...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No. Four and a half seconds on BBC Radio, Paul, starting now.

PM: The 1950s saw such...


NP: Stephen Fry.

SF: It's a repetition of 19. He was talking about the 1940s earlier on.

NP: Yes, you talked about the 1940s before and now you've got the 1950s. So that is repetition that time.

PM: What an extraordinary decision, sweetie!

SF: He's a honeypuckle, isn't he?

NP: I'll never survive this, I really won't! There are two seconds for you, darling, on um ah BBC Radio starting now, Stephen.

SF: It used to be a decent institution where words like sweetie...


NP: Right. It's turning into the most theatrical performance of Just a Minute we've ever had. well Derek Nimmo's still in the lead but he's only one ahead of Paul, and he's only one ahead of Stephen and Wendy is catching up on the three of them. And Paul Merton, your turn to begin. The subject: deal. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Well, a deal I suppose is an arrangement between one or two people, or perhaps even more. For instance, if I were to say to Nicholas Parsons, "I will give you 15 pounds for that jacket," that would be a very good deal as far as Nicholas was concerned.


NP: Wendy challenged.

WR: It's two Nicholases.

NP: Yeah, there are two Nicholases, and you can't have too much of Nicholas, can you? The, except in Just a Minute. So Wendy, a correct challenge, 42 seconds, starting now.

WR: I enjoy going round antique markets, and hopefully get...


NP: And Stephen Fry challenged.

SF: A spot of hesitation there.

WR: Yes, it was.

NP: I'm afraid it was, yes. Stephen, you have the subject of deal. Thirty-seven seconds starting now.

SF: I think it's a town on the south coast where resides one of my very favourite living authors, Simon Raven, the author of the Arms for Vivian series.


NP: Uh, Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of author.

PM: No no, authors and author I think it was.

NP: Yes, that's right.

DN: Oh, right, right.

NP: Yes. So Paul is working for Stephen Fry and Stephen, an incorrect challenge. You still have the subject of deal, 31 seconds starting now.

SF: A hardwood from a nonrenewable source, I believe. Our desks at school were made of deal, and very tough and resilient they are, too. I carved into the deal my initials SJF and put next to it "I hate Mr. Miller" in very large letters. Deal can take that kind of punishment. Shove on some polish and there it is, good as new the very next day. What deal can't take, however, is fire.


NP: Em, Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of take.

SF: Oh, yes.

NP: Yes, you can take it and you can't take it.

SF: That's fine.

NP: So Paul, you have a correct challenge. Eight seconds to tell us something about deal, starting now.

PM: I once entered a remarkable deal with a friend of mine. I bet him 15... ah!


NP: Stephen Fry.

PM: Why did I say 15?

SF: Fifteen pounds was the sum offered ludicrously for your jacket!

NP: Which you rudely offered for my jacket!

PM: I could have said anything but 15!

NP: Well, that was only because you have a guilty conscience about being so rude about my jacket, you see.

PM: I think it's a good price!

NP: Stephen, you had a correct challenge. You've still got the subject of deal and you have two seconds, that's all, starting now.

SF: Gentlemen, we have a deal are the words which greet you when you first...


NP: Well, you'll be interested to hear that our first-time player of the game, Stephen Fry, has with the success he's achieved and the style that he's shown and some of the other phrases that he's come up...

SF: Best term of endearment I ever spent, wasn't it! Calling you sweetie.

NP: Yes. You've taken the lead ahead of Derek Nimmo and Paul Merton, who are equal in second place! As we come to the last round. And Wendy, the subject is style. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

WR: Style is something you cannot acquire. You either have it or not. Nicholas has a modicum of style, as one can see by this wonderful jacket that Paul Merton seems determined to give him 15 quid for. Personally, I think he's being slightly over-generous. Perhaps from a distance the said garment does look all right. I like to think...


NP: Uh, Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No!

WR: I was drawing for... what...

DN: You had your mouth open like a goldfish! I could see your tonsils!

WR: Oh yes?

NP: You shouldn't have been looking so closely, Derek. Wendy, I disagree with the challenge. You have another point, you have style and you keep going in style for 38 seconds, if you can, starting now.

WR: Style could also be the way one interprets a role or a piece of music if one is a singer and, like...


NP: Stephen Fry.

WR: That was hesitation.

SF: I thought there was a bit of hesitation there.

WR: Yes. Thank you, Stephen.

SF: Not at all.

NP: Yes, it was a bit of hesitation. So Stephen, you have 29 seconds to tell us something about style starting now.

SF: Le style s'alons, somebody said, French I expect, meaning the style is the man. There was dasch style, of course, which is an artistic movement of the early 20th century also known as neo-plasticism of which Mondrian was a leading proponent. Style, however, is also regarded...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Out of Nicholas Parsons' depth.

NP: You speak for yourself, Derek! Um...

PM: Can you repeat any of that?

NP: Yes, all those neo-plasticism of the 18th century and the soubriquet of le style, and... I was listening, actually, for hesitation, repetition and deviation. No, I won't give you a bonus point for a rotten challenge.

DN: I thought you wouldn't.

NP: I'll just let Stephen get a bonus point for being interrupted and 15 seconds on style, starting now.

SF: The rather raffish quality of people like Noel Coward is always considered to be an epitome of style in the 20th century. Beau Brummel, perhaps, in the 18th and latter part of the...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

SF: Complete drivel.

DN: Repetition of two centuries.

NP: Yes, yes.

PM: I thought you were going to get him for repetition of 'th. Eighteenth, 19th. Seemed to work with 19, didn't it?

NP: Six seconds are left, Derek, for you to tell us something about style, starting now.

DN: I remember helping this old lady over a stile and she was immensely grateful...


NP: Uh, Stephen Fry challenged.

SF: I can see on the card it's written S-T-Y-L-E, not S-T-I-L-E.

NP: Ah, but Stephen, I have to explain: it is how it sounds because this is radio.

SF: Ah! I didn't realise! Homophones are all right, are they?

NP: Oh, yes, yes.

SF: Good.

NP: You took deal as, well, it's all spelled the same way but it doesn't matter.

SF: Yes it is! It's spelled exactly the same way, Nicholas! I take your point absolutely.

NP: Yes, yes. It is radio. It is how it sounds.

SF: I'm a silly old fool. Pay me no, never mind.

NP: No, it wasn't, no. You've given Derek another point, I'm afraid, and he has three seconds to continue in style starting now.

DN: I picked up my stile on the wax tablet and inscribed my name, which was...


NP: And Derek, keeping going very cleverly until the whistle went and gaining that all-important extra point for speaking as the whistle went, you have gone one point ahead. So let me give you the final score: Wendy, who's done so well in the past, gave us full measure again but finished in fourth place. Paul Merton, who always gives full value, finished in third place. Stephen Fry, who's not played the game and he played it like a real sweetie, he really did! And he did extraordinarily well, he came only one point behind the chap who's got most points, so we call him the winner this week, Derek Nimmo! We do hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and will want to tune in again at the same time next week. It only remains for me to say on behalf of our players of the game, Wendy Richard, Derek Nimmo, Stephen Fry and Paul Merton and Anne Ling, who's been keeping the score, and also the creator of the game, Ian Messiter, and our producer, Sarah Smith, and myself, Nicholas Parsons, thank you very much for tuning in! We hope you'll be with us again the next time we all play Just a Minute! Bye-bye!