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 diverse and exciting personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And we welcome back Wendy Richard, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits our producer's charming secretary Anne Ling with a stopwatch, a sheet of paper and also a whistle which she blows when the 60 seconds are up. And as usual I'm going to ask our four competitors of the game to speak 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. Clement Freud would you begin the first round, the subject chosen is telepathy. Would you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Telepathy is communication without words. The other day I was driving along to Suffolk, switched on my car radio, and heard "oh give me a home where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word...


NP: And Wendy Richard has challenged.

WENDY RICHARD: I knew you were going to say that! You're just using one of your ploys! You're listing again aren't you Clement!

NP: Oh I thought you were going to say Wendy, that was your telepathy because you knew he was going to say that. That's why the audience laughed, I think.

WR: I know.

NP: Is this going to be one of your difficult days?

WR: It could well be!

NP: Clement, 42 seconds on telepathy starting now.

CF: And the sky is not cloudy all day! The extraordinary...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: A long pause after that.

NP: Hesitation.

PJ: Yes.

NP: I agree with you Peter, yes. You have a correct challenge, you have a point for that and you have 36 seconds to talk on telepathy starting now.

PJ: Well it's marginally less reliable than British Telecom! And...


NP: Your statement... You waited for the laugh, didn't you. And it didn't come! They're all members of British Telecom in the audience!

PJ: Oh really.

NP: Derek you challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Hesitation.

NP: I agree with it, 30 seconds for you Derek on telepathy...

DN: I've been married to my wife now for some 35 years, and we're in constant telepathic communication, one with another. I rang her up the other day from Manchester, said "what are you thinking about, darling?" She said "mushy peas", and I said "I was actually at that very moment in my head was going through my mind exactly the same kind of vegetable...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of mind.

NP: Yes you repeated the mind. You were trying to get away from the mushy peas, but you repeated the mind. Eleven seconds are left for you Clement on telepathy starting now.

CF: I can look at my wife, and know that she is going to say "surely you can wear that shirt for one more day?" It really isn't a question of telepathy, it is simply that we've been together now for...


NP: Whoever is speaking as the whistle is blown gains an extra point. It was Clement Freud who started with the subject. And Wendy would you take the next round, the subject is taking risks. I think anybody takes a risk, coming on this show, but would you talk on the subject starting now.

WR: Actually you're right. We do take risks coming on this show. Because I seem to get bibbed constantly by the gentlemen on my left, all of them. And it is taking a risk every time I open my mouth, because I can see they're just hanging on their buttons waiting to put me out of action for a while. Except they're not because I looked along and they're going to try and make me go the whole 60 seconds. You see what I have to put up with! It is extremely mean! And they are all taking another risk by being so nasty. But I shall undoubtedly carry on as best I can. Coming here in my taxi this evening I thought I was taking a risk in getting through all the traffic which is holding up all the streets around this West One area. As I live in West One I'm actually not too far away from the Paris Theatre where we are sat at this very moment. It seems like an absolute nightmare getting here. I also take risks every day when I go to work. Have you seen some of the drivers down the A1? I think quite incredible. I don't actually know how to move a motor car about myself as no doubt the listeners to this programme...


NP: Well Wendy they were playing you at your own game. You tried to arouse them and they did but they were... and I let you keep going for one minute and 15 seconds because I thought...

WR: Thank you!

NP: I thought you deserved it and the audience appreciated. So you not only get a point for speaking when the whistle went but you also get a bonus point for not being interrupted. Derek Nimmo, it’s your turn to begin, the subject is bowdlerising. Will you talk upon that subject in this game, if you can pronounce it, of course, starting now.

DN: Well Thomas Bowdler is one of those people whose name has gone into the language for bowdlerising rather like Sigmund Freud has passed into the language for Freudian. And indeed Doctor Spooner...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of Freud.

NP: No...

DN: No, Freudian.

CF: Sigmund Freud.

DN: And Freudian.

CF: Oh Freudian.

NP: I know, he was speaking into his...

DN: I thought you would have known the word actually!

NP: Difficult to hear!

DN: Just a Freudian slip!

NP: No. Forty-nine seconds are left with you Derek on bowdlerising starting now.

DN: Well he was a man of course who cleaned up Shakespeare, the family edition it was called. He took out all the rude bits, all the things that one quite likes really. For instance, Bottom had to be called Posterior in A Midsummer Night's Dream so that children when reading would not be offended by thinking it was a bum. They were able to go to sleep peacefully at night. I think it's a great pity he didn't do the um...


NP: Clement Freud your challenge?

CF: Ah hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, correct, 21 seconds for bowdlerising starting now.

CF: He was the Mrs Whitehouse of his day. And it was extraordinarily stupid, I think, to look at the great literature and verse of this country and excise or obliterate from it all those words and phrases which people were really rather fond of, which were descriptive and meaningful and incidentally filthy. A...


NP: So Clement Freud kept going till the whistle went and has increased his lead at the end of that round. Peter Jones your turn to begin, the subject is dives. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: Well I haven't been to very many. I suppose this is really a dive because it is, it's three floors down from street level. And there aren't any drinks or drugs or anything very er disreuptable going on here...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Right, 48 seconds are left on dives, with you Derek starting now.

DN: One of my favourite dives is the Godown in Hong Kong. It;s in Admiralty and there, it is run by a very nice fellow called Bill Nash who dispenses champagne free of charge to all his chums. And I have a little brass plaque made saying "Derek Nimmo sits here" when in the colony which I am always rather touched by. Now if you take a dive in boxing that means you're actually going to the ground and pretending that you're being hit after...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Why?

PJ: Well I don't believe he has this brass plate. With Derek Nimmo's name on it and he sits on it when he's there which can't be a large proportion of the time.

NP: No.

PJ: And this man is too er shrewd a businessman...

NP: Ah as our show does go out to Hong Kong and I know it's very popular over there, if anybody listening at this moment can tell us, or write to us and tell us that Derek Nimmo does not have one, then he will be thoroughly penalised...

DN: I will accept ceroboams of champagne!

PJ: They've only got seven years!

NP: I'm sure they can reply under seven years and Derek, we give you the benefit of the doubt and dives to continue, 24 seconds starting now.

DN: I've never been very good at diving. Going to the top of the high diving board and I said diving twice and it's not on the card...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He said it three times now.

NP: Yes. And sometimes if you keep going with enough style and panache they don't pick it up. But you gave yourself away Derek very sportingly. Seventeen seconds for Clement to talk about dives starting now.

CF: The odd thing about dives in the United States of America is they all look as though prohibition was still on. They are seedy and dark and unpleasant and people who serve there are hoodlum-like in their behaviour. Gin, whisky, rum, brandy and I...


NP: Clement Freud was again speaking as the whistle went and gain an extra point, increased his lead. Derek Nimmo's in second place and then comes Wendy Richard and Peter Jones in that order. Clement your turn to begin, the subject Phineas Taylor Barnum. A wonderful character!

CF: Barnum was a great circus man who oddly enough didn't start in trade on his own until he was 61 years old. The most famous to me and wonderful Barnum story is of the day that he was told of the death of a man who was fired from the circus on the sawdust under the tent where he operated. And he said "the death of this man is grave news, it would be hard...


CF: "...to find a man of the same caliber!"

NP: And Wendy got the challenge in before you finished the story. What was it Wendy?

WR: I'm sorry for inetrrupting your story but you said death twice.

CF: Mmmm, I wanted to.

NP: He needed to for the story but well done Wendy. I waited till he finished the story, you got in on a correct repetition. And Phineas Taylor Barnum is the subject starting now.

WR: There was a famous musical and a very successful one called Barnum which was on at the Palladium in which Michael Crawford starred. In fact he did extremely well. This young man is a very talented actor and singer. I have seen him in Phantom of the Opera. I believe also he went...


WR: What?

NP: And Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well she's doing a PR job for Michael Crawford! And not Barnum!

NP: That's right, she has deviated from the subject of Barnum...

WR: I was just going back to Barnum! I hadn't got to New York yet!

NP: You really established the PR job for Michael Crawford who doesn't really need it anyway. Fifteen seconds with you Peter on Phineas Taylor Barnum starting now.

PJ: He couldn't get people to leave the er, the exhibition...


PJ: What?

NP: Derek got it.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes hesitation. Right Derek 12 seconds on Phineas Taylor Barnum starting now.

DN: Eventually Phineas Taylor Branum went into partnership with his great wife called Bailey. And it was when he invented the three ring...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Um some kind of hesitation.

NP: Some kind of hesitation?

PJ: Well I mean...

DN: I was rattling along!

PJ: He was making a noise, it wasn't actual silence, but it was a hesitation in the flow of the er anecdote if I can put it as high as that!

NP: So your challenge is that coherent speech was not coming out?

PJ: Yes! What a wonderful phrase! Yes well done!

NP: Well I actually did almost catch what he said...

PJ: You what?

NP: You can see why they call me a straight man, can't you! There we are! Yes I did just catch what he said Peter so...

PJ: How long have I got?

NP: If Derek was generous he would give it to you for sure.

DN: But he's not.

NP: He's not generous. Derek you have five seconds to continue on the subject starting now.

DN: He discovered the Swedish nightingale, Phineas Taylor Barnum, jellidlim. And he had wonderful porcelain models made...


NP: So Derek Nimmo has got points in that round and he's caught up with Derek Nimmo, they're both equal in the lead. Wendy Richard your turn to begin, the subject is magpies starting now.

WR: I'm very superstitious about magpies. Because as you know, if you see a magpie on its own you have to say "good morning Mr Magpie, and how is Mrs Magpie today?" Otherwise you're going to have bad luck. And this saying goes, one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy, five for a letter and six for something else, I forget what it is now. But so on and so on, which...


NP: Ohhhh! It's an impossible game, isn't it! Clement Freud you got in first?

CF: Ah yes...

WR: It would be you, wouldn't it!

NP: Clement you have 35 seconds on magpies starting now.

CF: The magpie is something of a target when you shoot which is not a bull and isn't an outer either. I've never quite worked out how many points you get for it...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of isn't.

NP: You are trying hard tonight, aren't you Peter!

PJ: Isn't that right?

NP: Yes absolutely right. We have usually let these sort of little repetitions go. But on this occasion I have to be fair within the rules. It is a correct um challenge...

DN: Challenge is the word, challenge.

NP: You have 25 seconds on magpies starting now.

PJ: When my wife and I moved into our present home there wasn't a magpie in sight, nowhere near. Now we're overrun with them and with squirrels. And these birds who are related to crows and I think to blue jays if I'm not er mistaken. But they're very unpleasant and they steal things from bedroom and they b.. bully...


NP: Derek got in on that case.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes. Ah five seconds on magpies Derek starting now.

DN: A corruption really of Margaret and piebald. A magpie is...


NP: So at the end of that round Derek is now in the lead just one point ahead of Clement Freud and then come Wendy Richard and Peter Jones equal in third place. Derek it's your turn to begin, jokes. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: I tend to get most of my jokes from The Times on a Thursday from a column written by Sir Clement Freud. And he has jokes such as the dyslexic atheist who tried all his life to prove that Dog doesn't exist. And I always thought that was a very good joke. And also the one about the Scotsman who took part in a pornographic movie and was so mean he always ran it backwards to see the prostitute giving him the money! And I think that's awfully good. Other people who do have particularly good jokes are comedians like Terry Scott. Now he has a different kind of jocular manner. And a joke of his which I would like to give to you is a man going into a kitchen finding it absolutely filthy. And he sees the chef going round the tart with his false teeth! He said "that's absolutely disgusting, you ought to have a tool for that". He said "yes, I save that for the do-nuts!" And those are jokes...


NP: I think you were saved by the whistle Derek! You have a point anyway for speaking when the whistle went and have increased your lead at the end of the round. And Peter Jones your turn to begin, Madras, that is the subject. Can you tell us something about it in this game starting now.

PJ: I think of curry and I think of that material that they weave there from cotton. Because it's a very hot part of the world, and this er material...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged you.

DN: Er!

NP: This er material, yes. Sorry Peter.

PJ: Yes.

NP: Yes. Forty seconds are left, Madras...

DN: The very first settlement in India by the British East Indian Company was in Madras in 1640. It was called Fort Saint George at the time. And it is the central Tamil population of the great subcontinent. And Peter's quite right, they do weave the most excellent cotton and grow it there. And that's why people from Madras have been sent to East Africa, Malaysia and so on, also to take part in the same trade. Madras I find very hot. I like the curries enormously, ah, probably better than the...


NP: Clement got in.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: There was an er there. Yes Clement you have another point and 12 seconds to tell us something about Madras starting now.

CF: Madras is a contraction of Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras as it is called in French. It's also a province of...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, total rubbish! A contraction of Shrove Tuesday! What's he talking about?

NP: Madras is not a corruption of Mardi Gras. And anyway... maybe in your language and maybe in the column you write for the Times...

CF: You know so much Nick!

NP: No I don't! But I do have to make decisions and be seen to be fair to everybody taking part in the show. And I think on this occasion I would agree with Clement's challenge and say he has five seconds to take over, back, Madras starting now.

DN: There was a young lady from Madras who sat herself down on her bottom. Dr Bowdler said this is how it should be pronounced because he didn't like to use the word...


NP: Ah you've increased your lead at the end of that round. And Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject is puns. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think so. For once Clement Freud was absolutely speechless! It's never been known to happen in Just A Minute before! Fifty-nine seconds for you on puns Peter starting now.

PJ: Ah puns is the er initials...


NP: Clement Freud has got it back...

CF: Repetition of ah!

NP: Another point to you Clement, 56 seconds starting now.


NP: Peter Jones you challenged again. Another hesitation, well done. You've got the subject back again, 55 seconds on puns starting now.

PJ: Philip Unwin and Nigel Streak, two very nice chaps who preceded Gilbert and George in the artistic world. And they were very similar, they walked about arms together. And they lived in ah Putney...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Lived in ah Putney.

NP: Er Putney, yes.

PJ: They lived in Putney.

DN: Yes well that's what you should have said.

PJ: What?

DN: That's what you should have said.

PJ: Oh I didn't?

NP: You erred before you got to Putney. I know a lot of people have done the same thing as they approached Putney! In this game you can't say it! Thirty-nine seconds for you Derek to tell us something about puns starting now.

DN: The Leader of the Opposition, Mr Neil Kinnock, is much given to puns. They're not frightfully funny but he seems terribly keen on them. For instance he said the other day, he said "Michael Heseltine...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Two saids.

NP: Clement has a correct challenge, 28 seconds for you Clement, puns starting now.

CF: On the whole people get extraordinarily tired of people who make puns about their name...


CF: ..and I've said people twice.

NP: And Peter Jones picked it up first.

PJ: Well he did, yes.

NP: Well done Peter, 33, 23 seconds...

PJ: That's not too short a word, I mean, is it?

NP: No, no... The bitterness is showing Peter! Oh dear me, they'll try any ploy won't they, to get one over on me. Twenty-three seconds, puns with you Peter starting now.

PJ: They lived in this South London terraced house next to a poet. And they used to pose for photographs a lot. And there are one or two still available in sepia, I see them...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: I really can't see what this has got to do with puns.

PJ: Philip Unwin and er Norman Streak! These two young men that I, well, I don't...

DN: I don't want to know about you and these two young men!

NP: I think, I think Peter's demonstrated that he doesn't know what it's got to do with puns either!

PJ: P-U-N-S!

NP: There are 12 seconds for you Derek on puns starting now.

DN: (in Neil Kinnock voice) Michael Heseltine was unstable. And the only thing he could say about Douglas Hurd is he is stable. And then as far as Mister... the Prime Minister...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes hesitation and repetition. And for those abroad who don't know, he was trying to impersonate the Leader of the Opposition, Neil Kinnock. And not very successfully I would add! Three seconds for you on puns starting now.

CF: I'm pretty sick of Freud eggs and bacon, also...


NP: Clement Freud was then speaking when the whistle went, he got that extra point, he's moved forward. He's still in second place, two behind Derek Nimmo. Wendy your turn to begin, the subject is stamps. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

WR: When I was a child, I used to collect stamps. And some stamps had the most beautiful illustrations on them. In fact I have seen stamps with pictures of cockateels that look just like little Henry on them. I er, I still collect stamps now. Because if you turn off any used stamp, it doesn't matter...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well she did say collect twice.

WR: Did I?

NP: Yes you did. Why do you say it in that sort of way as if you weren't confident of your challenge?

PJ: Well you know me, I'm so insecure! I think it's terribly embarrassing you should have brought that up Nicholas really! I think you could have just glossed over that, for goodness sake! I don't want to parade all my insecurity all over the world!

NP: You've made a good living out of it Peter! Forty-three seconds on stamps with you Peter starting now.

PJ: Wonderful things to collect because they don't take up much room. You can actually fill a whole house with stamps and still have a lot of space left. Now if you on the other hand try to assemble a lot of traction engines or farm utensils, then soon there isn't any space left...


NP: Um Wendy has challenged.

WR: I think we had space twice, did we not?

DN: No, room. Room and space.

NP: No you could have had him for deviation because he's now gone on to other, collecting other than stamps. But I'm afraid you didn't. Twenty-four seconds left, still with you Peter, stamps starting now.

PJ: I know a man who once advertised the picture of the Queen which he said was an engraving and asked people to send a pound. And in return he would post them this. And he posted them a stamp!


PJ: And made quite a lot of money!

NP: Derek Nimmo you challenged.

DN: Well hesitation. He was posting the stamp.

NP: Yes you know why he hesitated, because he repeated posted.

PJ: I know! I had to, otherwise it wouldn't have made sense at all.

NP: You should have kept going Peter.

PJ: I was host by my own petard!

NP: Nine seconds on stamps... did you bring your private laughers in because there's some people laughing at only your jokes Peter!

PJ: Oh really? Well I don't know...

NP: Nine seconds Derek, stamps, starting now.

DN: British Guyana once sent magenta, the most excellent stamp ever sold. It.. was Stanley Gibbons...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: We had a hesitation there, didn't we?

NP: Yes I would agree Wendy that was a hesitation.

PJ: How can it be expensive if it's only one cent?

NP: Right, four seconds on stamps with you Wendy starting now.

WR: Collecting stamps is a good way of learning geography. Not only do you have the...


NP: Right. So Wendy Richard speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and she's leapt forward. And she's still in fourth place! Not far behind Peter Jones and a little way behind Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo in that order. And Derek your turn to begin, and let me tell you, this is the last round and it's neck-and-neck between you and Clement. Derek the subject is presence of mind, will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: If you play Just A Minute, you have to have great presence of mind and able to talk about things like telepathy, taking risks, bowdlerising, dives, Phineas Taylor Barnum, magpies, jokes, Madras. Also puns, stamps and in particular presence of mind. And that's what one tries to have as one steels one self coming in...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged you.

WR: We've had about half a dozen ones, have we not?

NP: We've had more than one ones, yes. Well done Wendy, 42 seconds, you've overtaken Peter, and there are, presence of mind's with you starting now.

WR: Presence of mind means knowing how to cope with a difficult situation. Some time ago I was filming with the London Fire Brigade. The chaps of that wonderful order of gentlemen. I have a great...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

WR: Was that you?

CF: Mmmm, me.

WR: I was going to say something fascinating then!

NP: Clement why did you challenge?

CF: I'm sorry I buzzed. There are women in the fire service as well.

NP: Yes I can...

WR: Yes, but the story I was coming up with, there weren't any there! It was just me and all these handsome young men!

NP: I would agree with Clement's challenge, so 28 seconds...

WR: You'll never know now!

DN: Oh put it to the audience!

NP: Well even if Clement wins this round, I don't think he'll win the show. So I'm sure the audience reaction means they'd like to hear from Wendy on the rest of this round for the rest of this show if she can make it because you have 28 seconds, you might still be challenged of course, on presence of mind Wendy starting now.

WR: He's taken my buzzer away!


NP: Clement challenged again.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation.

WR: But he...

DN: Horrid! Very!

NP: As you pressed Wendy's buzzer, it meant she was buzzing herself for hesitation. So Wendy that was a correct challenge, you have another point and you have 26 seconds on presence of mind starting now.

WR: Who? Me?

NP: Yes!

WR: Right! Anyway! We was at this fire station...

NP: You've been challenged again. What was it?


NP: No! Derek, yes?

DN: Fire station, repetition.

NP: No that's wrong Derek. Wendy incorrect challenge, presence of mind is still with you. Try and control yourself and give us presence of mind and go on talking about it, 21 seconds on the subject of presence of mind starting now.

WR: And the alarm bell went off and we all had to rush on to this fire engine. And I couldn't get on it because I had these yellow waders on. And this young... person from the fire... brigade... didn't know how to get me on this fire... engine (laughing) and all of a sudden, he just went wallop! Straight up my bottom as Mr Bowdlerising would say, and I fell flat on my face on the floor....


NP: Well in spite of repeating fire engine and fire brigade and hesitating and deviating from the subject of presence of mind, Wendy kept going...

WR: No he was showing presence of mind, he got me on the fire engine!

NP: You were showing presence of mind...

PJ: I would like to know, was the film released?

NP: Anyway the audience enjoyed it Wendy, which is all that matters in Just A Minute. And Wendy got an extra point for speaking as the whistle went. And you have at the end of the show now leapt forward to join Peter Jones in third place, a little way behind Clement Freud. But we do have to declare a winner, so we say this week it is Derek Nimmo! It only remains for me to say thank you very much to our four excellent panelists for the contributions they make and the fun they provide. And also to thank Anne Ling who's kept the score so magnificently without any deviations, hesitations or repetitions. And also of course the creator of the game, Ian Messiter, who can't be with us. And our producer Edward Taylor who, thank goodness, is with us. From all of us here, goodbye.