WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and ANDREE MELLY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 4 January 1972)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Andree Melly in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much indeed, hello and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And once again I am going to ask our four contestants if they can speak for Just A Minute on some unlikely subject that I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject that is written on the card in front of me. And according to how well they do this, they will gain points or their opponents will. And let us begin the show this week with Kenneth Williams. Kenneth the subject for you to begin the show with, impulses. Can you talk to us about impulses for 60 seconds starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: Well this is a word that covers a multitude of sins. You can have electrical impulses, and you can have, how often have we heard it, what a generous impulse. And of course I myself have on many occasions indulged in just that kind of thing. I saw an old lady hobbling around Russell Square. I said to her you do...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged. Why?
CLEMENT FREUD: Deviation.
CF: You can't hobble around a square!
NP: A very clever challenge Clement, which definitely deserves a point. But as colloquially speaking one talks about going around the square if you're walking, I think it would be only fair to give Clement Freud a point for a good challenge, leave the subject with Kenneth Williams, 33 seconds, Kenneth, impulses starting now.
KW: And of course...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged you again.
CF: Repetition of of course.
NP: You wicked so-and-so! It is perfectly correct but when one has to gather steam and get going again, it is very difficult. All right Clement I agree with the challenge, it was legitimate. You gain a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, impulses, 31 seconds left, starting now.
CF: Sitting quietly at my desk, alongside Kenneth Williams, I perceived a most unpleasant situation on my right knee. I understood at once by the extraordinary expression on my friend's countenance that it was no less than his right forefinger, sticking in...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged, why?
PETER JONES: Repetition of right.
NP: Exactly, there was a repetition of right. I thought you were going to have him for deviation but you were most modest in that. And I would have allowed it too, because we can't have that sort of thing. As Kenneth Williams often says this is a family show, isn't it Ken?
KW: A family show! Good clean entertainment! I could go on and on on this subject! Are you giving me the subject?
NP: No, you haven't got it! I agree with Peter's challenge, it was a repetition of right, so you gain a point Peter, take over the subject, 10 and a half seconds, impulses, starting now.
PJ: When they're good and generous and constructive, I think they should be given in to. On the other hand, when they're destructive and when they are...
KW: Oh he's won! He's won!
NP: That whistle tells us that 60 seconds is up. And whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Peter Jones so he gained an extra point and he has two at the end of that round and so has Clement Freud. They're equal in the lead. And Clement Freud your turn to begin. From impulses to hopes. Can you talk to us about hopes for 60 seconds starting now.
CF: My first hope when young was that I would encounter a willowy wench from West Wickham with whom I would pass the rest of my evenings in what could be loosely called companionship. And then as time went on I realised that this was a pretty shallow hope. So I met an old age pensioner from Croydon and together we had such happy evenings, going together...
NP: Andree Melly has challenged, why?
CF: ..and joining the Derby and Joan Club where... yes?
NP: Yes! You're ready for the challenge, are you Clement? Andree why have you challenged?
ANDREE MELLY: Deviation because with that old age pensioner, charming as she might be, there'd be no hope at all.
NP: You don't know the old age pensioner, do you? And you obviously don't know Clement Freud! And after all...
KW: You're being extremely callous about old age pensioners!
NP: And also you can be, I mean, there's hope always wherever you may go...
KW: Yes it springs eternal, doesn't it?
NP: No I think... oh shut up Kenneth! No I do think it was a very good try because, but I do think you could interpret that, hopes, in this particular way, the way Clement Freud was taking it. I disagree with your challenge Andree, Clement has another point, 30 seconds, hopes, starting now.
CF: In maturity, my hopes took on a completely different countenance. Young girls, nubile nymphs, old...
NP: Andree Melly has challenged.
NP: Yes I think the audience helped the hesitation there by laughing at the nubile nymphs and Clement Freud. So Clement paused, Andree got in first, I agree Andree, a point to you, 20 seconds for hopes starting now.
AM: Hopes this finds you as it leaves me, yours ever Fred. This is a letter that I have kept over many years, because it expresses one of nature's most charming attributes. The feeling that perhaps in the future we will enjoy a happiness and good health. Man is always optimistic, that is what...
NP: Well with great energy Andree Melly kept going then right up until the whistle, gained the extra point...
KW: She had a vitamin injection!
NP: She was certainly hoping anyway. Andree you have two points now alongside Peter Jones, but Clement Freud is in the lead with three. And Andree your turn to begin. Superstitions, can you talk to us about that for 60 seconds starting now.
AM: These are omens and things that happen. Some things that we see which we feel we bring good fortune or bad luck. Actors are particularly superstitious, perhaps because more than other people their future depends on the appreciation of an audience and fortune takes a very important part. For instance, in the theatre you must never say the last line of a play before you actually get on to it on the first night. You mustn't mention a certain Scotch play written by Shakespeare. Why they haven't interrupted because I've said the same word six times I don't know! And whistling in the dressing room is particularly terrible. Somebody caught doing this has to go out of the room, knock on the door, I think turn round once, maybe again, before they can come back into the room. Ah... oh...
AM: You stopped me! I'm delighted!
NP: Clement Freud you challenged?
NP: Yes, yes gallantry. She really dried up. So that's not a challenge Clement, what are you...
NP: Yes all right then, hesitation. Yes you let her go on all the other things until she dried up of her own accord. Clement Freud came in first, one point Clement, eight seconds, superstitions, starting now.
CF: I was accosted by a man...
NP: Kenneth Williams why have you challenged?
KW: Deviation, he's never been accosted in his life! It's a load of rubbish!
CF: Jealousy will get you nowhere!
KW: How dare you!
NP: Actually I thought the deviation was you say he was accosted by a man.
KW: I never said anything of the kind!
NP: I know you didn't!
KW: I said he'd never been accosted in his life! You want to wash your ears out, you do, mate! Get your aural business seen to!
NP: I was suggesting...
KW: Yes! I see it all!
NP: I was just suggesting something more devious than what you had referred to Kenneth!
KW: There's nothing devious about that either!
NP: Oh is there not?
KW: Nowadays you can be accosted by anybody. Monkeys are doing it now.
NP: So I'll give you a point for a good challenge but he wasn't strictly speaking deviating from the subject. So Clement keeps it, superstitions, six seconds, starting now.
CF: There are some that think that if you take out your top row of dentures and hang them...
NP: Clement Freud was speaking when the whistle went, he gained the extra point, and he's increased his lead at the end of that round. We're back with you Kenneth, your turn to begin. The subject, Hadrian. Can you talk to us about him for 60 seconds starting now.
KW: Well I don't know very much. He was pro-consul in Britain and built that vast wall against the Vics and Scots who were marauding like mad, going about in all that wode and those dark sort of paints. And then he went back to Rome and there was this great lover, Antoninus. And he asked his sculptors to come and do a likeness of this boy, who I believe he elevated to Godhead. He made him some sort of divinity in Roman mythology. Whether of course you have any respect for Roman mythology is neither here nor there...
NP: Andree Melly has challenged.
AM: Two Roman mythologies.
NP: Yes I'm afraid so, because we were fascinated. He said he didn't know much about him but I thought he was mostly informative.
AM: Would he like to go on? Because I wouldn't like to...
NP: No, you've got it now! Right, keep your buzzers ready! Thirty-two seconds on Hadrian, Andree, starting now.
AM: He got hold of the left leg of my jeans and pulled it. A very vicious white bull-terrier by the name of Hadrian, belonging to friends of mine. I've always been particularly frightened of this species of dog, and thought that the name was soldier-like and suitable for this particular animal... I...
NP: Peter Jones got in then.
NP: Yes indeed Peter, you have the subject of Hadrian, eight seconds starting now.
PJ: His job as I understand it was to consolidate the territories that had been won by his group...
NP: Kenneth Williams why have you challenged?
KW: Repetition, I've already said that! He built the wall to keep out the Vics and Scots who were maraudering. I've already said that.
NP: Yes you've said it in different words and after all, you can, er, as long...
KW: Repetition is down here as a rule of the game! Repetition!
KW: That applies to themes and...
NP: But Peter hasn't...
KW: How dare you!
NP: I must explain to the listeners that actually what happened was Kenneth got up and took his jacket off to me, so I took mine off to him and he sat down again!
KW: It wasn't to have a fight! I was hot!
NP: Well I must point out I am a little bit bigger than Kenneth!
KW: I was hot though!
NP: I'm hot too, yes! You've no need to illustrate to us just how hot you are Kenneth! This is a clean show!
NP: Peter Jones had not repeated himself in this particular situation so it is not a correct challenge. So Peter has a point, six seconds, Hadrian, starting now.
PJ: One of the best four year-olds in training, won the Melbourne Cup in 1912 ridden by...
NP: Peter Jones was speaking when the whistle went, gained the extra point and he's doing some creeping up now. And Clement Freud your turn to begin, the leaning tower of Pisa. Can you talk to us about that for 60 seconds starting now.
CF: The leaning tower of Pisa, if you go and see it now, tends to lean which is not surprising in view of its name. But in fact it was built as a completely straight erection, after which people turned round and said "how boring is this pillar". And unlevelled the field in which it was constructed. So that the ground now slopes at an angle of something like 12 and a half degrees from one end to the other. And on this slope is this completely vertical...
NP: Andree you challenged first.
NP: Yes, Andree you have a point and you have 23 seconds, the leaning tower of Pisa starting now.
AM: If you are a tourist and you go to Italy you are expected to go and have a look at this object which is pretty boring...
NP: Kenneth Williams why have you challenged?
KW: Deviation, if you go as a tourist to Italy, you're not "expected" to do anything!
NP: What a very difficult thing for me to judge on!
KW: She's having us believe that the Italians are standing there saying "we expect you to look at the Pisa! Go and have a look!" They do nothing of the kind! Half of them couldn't care less and they're rather bored with the sight of you all swarming over their lovely country!
KW: You'd be better to keep out of their places!
NP: They're probably hoping that you're looking at, but I don't think they expect you to look at it. I think that's a legitimate challenge.
KW: Yes of course! Give the subject to me!
NP: Yes! You have a point and the subject, 15 seconds starting now.
KW: Guiseppe Bonsamo was asked to build this vast edifice. He said "of course!" He said "by running a vertical rod up the middle...
NP: Peter Jones why have you challenged?
PJ: Well I don't agree that it's a vast edifice. It's after all only 224 feet high.
NP: Are you going on or are you...
PJ: No but I don't think it's a vast edifice!
NP: Ah when does a small edifice become a vast edifice? This is where a chairman's job becomes impossible. Ah Biozimo Bigetti or whatever his name was probably, in those days, he considered it to be a fairly vast edifice. After all there were no Empire State Buildings in those days. So I think according to his idea it was vast. So Kenneth has another point, and five seconds, leaning tower of Pisa starting now.
KW: So he went across the Louis the Thirteenth who happened to be passing by and he said "do you know Coventry's coolerhouse..."
NP: So in that round Kenneth Williams did the creeping! And Andree it's your turn to begin, the subject is tadpoles. Can you talk to us about that... the audience seemed amused there! Anyway 60 seconds starting now.
AM: These are fascinating little creatures which come from... I've forgotten what it's called!
NP: Kenneth Williams.
NP: Hesitation, yes, her frog spawn stuck in her throat, and um Kenneth got in first, um, there are 53 seconds on tadpoles Kenneth starting now.
KW: Tad, as you can see by consulting the Oxford English Dictionary, is a small rag. The pole on which these bits of rag were festooned became known as the tadpole. And a later development of this is called a maypole which everyone used to dance around singing (sings) "there's a red sky just around the corner (goes into gibberish)
KW: (keeps singing high speed gibberish) What's the matter? Who challenged?
NP: You were challenged in the middle of your dance Kenneth.
KW: He always comes in on the end! You know that Nick!
NP: He came in the middle then!
NP: Right in the middle of the song! But we waited till the end, we let you finish the song, we couldn't understand a word of it! Clement Freud challenged first, yes?
CF: I understood two words and they were both red sky!
NP: Well you were closest so I'll take your word for it! Clement you have a point, 30, 26 seconds for tadpoles starting now.
CF: When I was young I knew that tadpoles came from a butterfly. And turned into frogs which later became eaten by vile Frenchmen who put flour, egg and breadcrumbs...
NP: Andree Melly has challenged. Why?
AM: A load of rubbish!
KW: Of course it is!
AM: They don't do that! Butterflies!
NP: You're a bit late with your challenge weren't you?
CF: That's what I...
AM: Because I knew he'd have some clever reason to get it back at you. You wait, he'll have it, you wait!
CF: I said that's what I thought when I was young.
AM: There you are, I see.
CF: That's what I said.
NP: You did actually say, yes, you're quite right. So Clement has another point, there are 13 seconds for tadpoles starting now.
CF: And then I went to botany lessons and learnt the error of my ways. The tadpole is frog spawn which matures. And arbiters of taste will be pleased to hear that frogs have very little fun...
NP: You can't allow to give Clement any quarter. You know how clever he is at the game. Clement Freud has gained a very definite at the lead at the end of that round and Peter Jones, it's your turn to begin, the subject is cunning. Can you talk to us about that starting now.
PJ: I suppose the most remarkable exponent of cunning was Machiavelli. And I've no doubt that Kenneth will interrupt me very shortly and tell me all about him. He wrote a wonderful book called The Prince which I feel all politicians have studied very carefully. In a nutshell the message is that the end justifies the means. And this in the, you know er...
NP: Kenneth did challenge you.
KW: Well I think it's er...
KW: ..disgraceful that he should quote me as an authority on Machiavelli. I mean...
NP: He wasn't actually.
KW: ...it's not right. I sit here, a fair haired example of sprightly youth, don't I?
KW: I mean I'm beautiful, I'm lovely....
NP: Yes you're, absolutely...
KW: ... I am direct, I am honest.
NP: ... you're the epitome of, you're the absolute embodiment...
KW: To associate me with cunning and evil...
NP: Yes, absolutely, but he wasn't. He was stuck on how to keep going on the subject of cunning which I suddenly threw at him and the only thing he could think to say was that perhaps you would interrupt him and tell you, him, all about Machiavellian cunning. And it was quite a clever way to keep on cunning, you see.
KW: Oh! Oh!
NP: But you got in there on hesitation which was quite legitimate so you have 30 seconds to take over cunning starting now.
KW: Cunning is of course the using of ulterior motivation in order to achieve your object. Now this is something totally alien to the English spirit. Here in this country we've been taught the war is won on the playing fields of Eton. How true that is! Even today we see those lads going out there with their sabers flashing and there's nothing like it...
NP: I think you got in just in time! The idea of them going out on the playing fields at Eton with their sabers flashing, really. Somebody did challenge you, actually it was Andree Melly but she did it a fraction after the bell so there we are. You have leapt forward...
KW: Oh good!
NP: From fourth place to second place.
KW: Well I've never won in this series, let's face it.
NP: You used to win quite a lot...
KW: Not in this series, I aint!
NP: No, no, no, the dice is stacked against you, but you...
KW: Stacked against me, you see!
NP: But you give us great value Kenneth.
KW: Well thank you Nick! You are kind!
NP: Kenneth Williams it's your turn to begin again, the subject Wednesday. Can you talk to us about Wednesday for 60 seconds starting now.
KW: Happily I can! For it is named after Woden, the God of course of war. Norse actually, that is Norse so...
NP: Oh Clement Freud has challenged you.
CF: Two Norse.
NP: Two Norse. So Clement, a correct challenge, repetition of Norse, 49 seconds Wednesday starting now.
CF: Wednesday is the third or fourth day of the week, depending on whether you count Sunday as being the first or last...
NP: Kenneth Williams why have you challenged?
KW: Deviation, we're not discussing Sunday.
NP: But he was establishing where in the week Sunday came.
KW: We all know that! Everyone here knows that! They don't want that! What do you think they are, a load of idiots? Do you think they need telling where Wednesday comes?
NP: Yes! You've got to keep talking even if you talk to people as if they, telling them information they already know! And anyway it was very interesting.
KW: Oh you think so?
NP: Yes. Anyway...
KW: I'm throbbing with it here, I am! Scintilating!
NP: Well throb a little more with Clement Freud...
KW: Load of rubbish!
NP: All right!
KW: Is that the best you can do! Third day of the week! You want to give up!
NP: Or fourth day. Whichever way you like to have it.
KW: So Clement has another point, 40 seconds on Wednesday... And I must tell the listeners that he's about to start again with intimidation from Kenneth Williams who's sitting beside him. Wednesday, Clement, 40 seconds starting now.
CF: The Normans had a saying of "if Wednesday's here, Thursday cannot be far behind". And the Royal Society for the Propagation of Uplifting Tuesday to Wednesday Status never caught on...
NP: Andree Melly why have you challenged?
AM: It was a slip of the thumb.
NP: You cannot afford them in this game because whoever is speaking gains a point for an incorrect challenge. In this case it was Clement Freud again.
AM: How many times is he allowed to say Wednesday? That's what it was really.
KW: Four, you're allowed four.
NP: You have to leave it to my discretion, depending on how often and in what space of time...
AM: Oh well, repetition, he said it too many times.
NP: He hadn't, he still got another point, 26 seconds for Wednesday starting now.
CF: Saturday night is the loneliest night of the week because that is the night...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged. Repetition...
PJ: He's talking about Saturday night...
NP: Yes a repetition of night, Peter, so you have a point and there are 23 seconds for Wednesday starting now.
PJ: And very little happens on it as a rule. I can remember many that I've enjoyed, they started at about 7.00 in the morning in various parts of the world. And the afternoon of Wednesday is a holiday...
NP: Andree Melly challenged, why?
NP: No he didn't, he paused almost enough to hesitate. You were a bit keen, his or came out... that's a funny way to put it, isn't it? Actually he didn't know whether to say or or something else, but the oh turned into an or. I disagree with the challenge, four seconds on Wednesday Peter starting now.
PJ: Holiday in Doncaster and also in Warrington, so if you happen to be...
NP: Peter Jones was then speaking when the whistle went, he gains the extra point and he has leapt forward. It is a very tight neck-and-neck game. And Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject, close to your heart I know, racing. Can you talk to us about it, 60 seconds starting now.
CF: Racing close to one's heart is one of the most dangerous things as any medical expert will tell you. The beat of that organ which I'm not supposed to mention again should be around 18 to 23 a minute. Yet when it's racing, when the speed is upwards of 40, then the blood pumps through your veins, your head swims, an excess of nitrogen may well enter your stream and the system fades out whereby the only thing you can do is phone the undertaker...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged, why?
PJ: Well I thought I'd better ring the buzzer, he seemed to be about to expire.
NP: You mean, obviously if he's faded out, he couldn't phone the undertaker.
NP: Exactly thank you. And after all if you're going to go on undertakers and this, I'm afraid, is the last subject for which we have time for in this particular round. So Peter Jones you have a point and you have 21 seconds for racing starting now.
PJ: Well before we wind up on this subject, I would like to say that I used to do it with pigeons when I was a small boy. And it was great fun sending them on baskets on the train, sometimes as far as the Channel Islands or even the coast of France. They used to fly back, they were...
NP: Peter we are deeply indebted to you. At the end of this particular edition of Just A Minute you left us that with that particular thought in our minds. Because none of us know how you managed to do it. I'm afraid we have no more time so it remains for me to give you the final score. Equal in third place were Andree Melly and Kenneth Williams and they were four points behind Peter Jones who in spite of a last little rush there didn't catch up our leader who remained throughout and still is this week's winner, Clement Freud. I'm sorry we have no more time to play Just A Minute because we have enjoyed playing the game as usual. From all of us here, goodbye.
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by David Hatch.