NOTE: Richard Stilgoe's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello my name is Nicholas Parsons. And once more it is my pleasure to introduce the four diverse and talented individuals who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We welcome back Peter Jones, Wendy Richard, Tim Rice. And we also welcome for the first time Richard Stilgoe. I have beside me the producer's secretary, the lovely Anne Ling who has a stopwatch and a whistle to keep the time and blow her whistle when 60 seconds are up. And as usual I'm going to ask our competitors if they will speak without interruption 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. Let us begin the show this week with Tim Rice and who better? Tim the subject is chop suey. Can you tell us something about that gooey subject in this game starting now.

TIM RICE: Chop suey is a kind of nosh. Not the food however coming from China, it is in fact a Californian invention, the bastard version of food from that place I mentioned before in the Orient. Never... ever...


NP: And Wendy Richard has challenged, Wendy?

WENDY RICHARD: I think there was a slight hesitation there.

NP: Your thoughts are correct, I agree with you. So you take over the subject, gaining a point for a correct challenge. And it is chop suey and there are 45 seconds left starting now.

WR: I disagree with Mr Rice's interpretation of chop suey. I always understood it was invented by an Oriental gentleman who only had one saucepan to do his cooking in. So he put everything into the one receptacle...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Two ones.

WR: He's not going to be picky, is he?

NP: The audience reaction...

WR: We've had this before!

NP: ...shows you what a tough challenge it was.

TR: I derer to...

NP: But I must be fair within the rules of Just A Minute and say Wendy he is a tough challenger but it's a correct one. So Tim you get the subject back, a point and 32 seconds on chop suey starting now.

TR: This character from Eastern parts who flung all his food into one wok...


NP: Richard Stilgoe challenged.

RICHARD STILGOE: He said he was from California which is western parts.

TR: Well it depends. From China, California is east.

RS: Deviation.

NP: No, no, you're quite right Richard...

RS: One hundred and eighty degrees deviation!

NP: ..well listened.

TR: It depends where you are.

WR: I agree with Richard! Give it to Richard!

NP: After that last challenge I knew you would agree with Richard, Wendy! But no Richard well listened. Because I think to my mind Tim established he came from California. So Richard you have a point and you speak for the first time on Just A Minute with 27 seconds left on chop suey starting now.

RS: I'm sorry about that challenge straight away, because if you're called Rice, it must be incredibly embarrassing having to talk about chop suey! The afore-mentioned subject, oh no, I'm allowed to mention it's name of course, because it's chop suey and that's the name of the thing on the card. It's...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Lots of names there.

NP: Yes.

RS: Oh yes.

NP: Name on the card and the name was, yes...

RS: Sorry.

NP: It's difficult isn't it Richard.

RS: I expect charity from home!

NP: Anyway Richard you have a point and Tim has another point and he has the subject back, 12 seconds left starting now.

TR: The chop suey club just off the A6 near Preston who once had a magnificent football team starring my childhood hero Tom Finney who played right...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Now he's talking about football. And er Tom Finney...

NP: Tom...

PJ: Nothing to do with er chop suey.

NP: But he was also talking about his hero.

PJ: Well that's a kind of sandwich that is popular in America. Hero sandwich...

NP: I don't think he'd got...

PJ: ...somebody in Italy invented it who was taken over to California. Became very popular.

NP: Peter we did enjoy the interruption but I don't think he got sufficiently involved in Tom Finney to call it a deviation...

PJ: Well he's only got about five seconds left! I couldn't let him go on!

NP: I thought there was a bit of a ploy behind it Peter. I can't allow the challenge and Tim gets another point for incorrect challenge, keeps the subject with four seconds, chop suey starting now.

TR: An Italian gentleman started this...


NP: Peter Jones...

PJ: Repetition of gentleman.

NP: Yes he did have a gentleman before. Right at the beginning you had this gentleman from California Tim. So Peter you got in very cleverly with two seconds to go, chop suey starting now.

PJ: So he bunged everything into this one pan!


NP: For those of you who don't know, after 23 years, that whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, I will remind you of that fact now. And also to state that on this occasion it was Peter Jones. And Peter Jones will you take the next subject which is self-seal envelopes. Sixty seconds as always and you start now.

PJ: Well! I'd like to begin this short talk on self-sealing enevelopes by saying that they don't very rarely work you know. They kind of unpeel after you have tried to stick the two bits together. And this is a tremendous disadvantage if you've got something that you want put in the post. Watching it un... furl, as you... er walk to the Post Office...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: I think, ah, it was grinding to a halt.

NP: I think it almost reached the halt. There was a definite er there and I think he was quite relieved that you challenged, gain a point and you have 37 seconds to tell us something about self-seal envelopes starting now.

TR: This is a fascinating topic! Mainly because there has never yet been invented a truly self-sealing envelope. Think about it! Envelopes never seal themselves, you have to do something, even if the two parts are previously sticky. If there was a man who could invent a truly self-sealing envelope, he would make a fortune. Imagine the joy! Putting your letter into the envelope and sitting back watching it close itself...


NP: Wendy Richard has challenged.

WR: I think there's been envelopes other than coupled with self-sealing. Which is what we're talking about and are you not allowed...

NP: The subject on the card is self-seal envelopes.

WR: Yes but just a minute! He picked me up on ones, now if you're saying envelope on it's own...

TR: I think Wendy's right!

WR: ..more than once...

NP: Exactly! So is that your challenge?

WR: That's my challenge!

NP: Your challenge is correct then.

WR: Right.

NP: Don't get so aggressive Wendy.

WR: No I won't, I just want you to be fair on us all.

NP: Sixteen seconds are left for you Wendy on self-seal envelopes starting now.

WR: I entirely agree with Peter Jones and Tim Rice about self-sealing envelopes. They don't work. There is nothing more annoying than putting one's letter into one of these self-sealing envelopes and pressing madly on the back of the self-sealing envelopes to find that...


NP: So Wendy Richard speaking as the whistle went gained that all-important extra point. She's now in second place behind Tim Rice who's still in the lead. Wendy will you take the next subject, it is bliss. Will you tell us something about bliss in Just A Minute starting now.

WR: My idea of bliss is a Sunday morning between 10.15 and 11.15 when I can listen to the Archers, hopefully uninterrupted by anyone. I usually spend this hour of the day cleaning out the bird cage of little Henry our pet cockateel, of whom I've spoken many times on this programme before. And I know a lot of listeners are fascinated by this. This is definitely my idea of bliss. Every... seventh...


NP: Tim Rice got in first.

TR: Yes there was a hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes, she thought about her cockateel and she paused. Right bliss is with you Tim and 34 seconds left starting now.

TR: Bliss is extremely hard to achieve in this cruel world of ours. It is extremely difficult...


NP: Ah Richard Stilgoe challenged.

RS: Repetition of extremely.

NP: Two extremelys, yes yes. And there are 27 seconds left on bliss with Richard Stilgoe.

RS: I remember when I was a boy the most delightful series used to be on the radio called A Life Of Bliss. Does anybody in the audience remember that?



NP: Ah...

PJ: He can't get the audience to, ah, keep this thing going!

RS: I thought, I'd run out of things to say, I thought they might like to join in!

PJ: Well I know!

RS: Democratise the programme a bit!

NP: So in other words he hesitated while the audience joined in.

PJ: Yes!

NP: You get a point for that and you have 18 seconds to tell us something about bliss starting now.

PJ: It would be the ability to keep going, whatever the subject was, and never hesitate or deviate. But I don't have that wonderful gift, that, of the gab I think it's called, whatever gab is, I don't...


NP: Tim Rice.

TR: One too many gabs.

NP: Yes you gabbed a bit too much Peter. And you left four seconds to go only. And it's Tim Rice on bliss starting now.

TR: On October the 14th 1961 I purchased something which was abso...


NP: Well Tim Rice was speaking then as the whistle went and has gained the extra point and increased his lead at the end of the round. Richard Stilgoe your turn to begin. Will you tell us something about embarrassments in Just A Minute starting now.

RS: Embarrassments are the sort of thing that George Cole used to go through a great deal in a radio series called A Life Of Bliss. This used to have as it's signature tune, ba-da-da-da-dum-ba-dee! And then the programme itself would begin. He had a dog in it! That was me taking a breath incidentally, not a hesitation. He had a dog in it whose name was...


RS: Oh damn!

NP: The audience reaction is to Richard Stilgoe hitting his head with his hand because he realised if you pause you come back with the same sentence. And Wendy was the first to challenge so Wendy you've got another point, you have 39 seconds to tell us something about embarrassments starting now.

WR: We have all suffered embarrassments at one time or another. And I'm desperately racking my brain to remember one that has happened to me. I'm sure there must have been several and I'm desperately looking at my husband to give me a sign to remind me about something! I think one of the embarrassing moments we have had was when I was driving. No I wasn't in the, behind the wheel. He was...


NP: Tim Rice.

TR: This is just dying on it's feet!

NP: I rather...

TR: It's very embarrassing frankly! I mean... I tried to keep my hand off the buzzer but I couldn't.

NP: You very unsportingly but the audience enjoyed it, let her embarrassment go on longer than necessary because she had deviated and all kinds of other things. And you left 15 seconds for you to continue, oh no, to take over the subject of embarrassments starting now.

TR: There was a very embarrassing incident, I recall, which took place in Spain, quite near Madrid I believe. Involving the local fire service. The two chief men of this company called Jose (pronounced Hose A) and Hose B... were called out to a fire...


NP: Richard Stilgoe challenged you.

TR: You rat!

RS: Why can he pause for a laugh and the rest of us can't!

NP: No more than you can...

RS: Repetition of Hose.

NP: You could have had him on the other one as well because one has to be fair Richard. But you very cleverly got in on Hose and you have half a second, embarrassments, half a second, starting now.

RS: Embarrassments...


NP: Well we've had four rounds. Back with you to begin Tim, the subject is list starting now.

TR: I was once in a pub, and a bloke came up to me and said "you're Brahms and Lizst". I said "no I'm only one person, you must have got me confused with two other guys". This did not seem to satisfy him and he became rather aggressive. I turned to a companion of mine and said "what is this bloke on about? Is he.."


NP: Wendy challenged.

WR: Did we have two blokes there?

NP: Yes.

TR: There were four of us in all actually!

NP: There were two blokes, he repeated the word blokes Wendy, well listened. And you have 45 seconds to tell us something about list starting now.

WR: For several years I played a character in Are You Being Served called Miss Brahms. And I believe that name was chosen because it was supposed to go with Brahms and Lizst. Now why the producer...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Repetition of Brahms.

NP: Brahms yes.

WR: Oh I said it twice.

NP: Yes, oh yes. You played a character called Miss Brahms and Brahms and Lizst.

WR: Sorry.

NP: Don't apologise because Peter's delighted, he's got in and gained another point. And 34 seconds to tell us something about list starting now.

PJ: Well the only pictures I've ever seen of Lizst show him as a very old man. I wonder if there are any others, or anybody has seen pictures of him when he was young...


NP: Richard Stilgoe challenged.

RS: Two pictures.

NP: Yes that's right yes. I thought you were going to say yes you had Richard! But it doesn't really matter. Twenty-six seconds for you to tell us something about list Richard starting now.

RS: Funnily enough you're absolutely right Peter. That the most famous picture of Lizst shows him sitting on a train with a wart on one side of his nose and he has very long white hair and he has a priest's hat on his head. Because towards the end of his life he took holy orders in the cloth. This was after having an enormous life as a concert pianist playing.... the ... pieces of it...


RS: Piano was the word I was looking for!

NP: Ah dear me! It was the most obvious thing but he had to search in the recesses of his mind and it never came. Because Tim Rice challenged and got in with five seconds to go, list starting now.

TR: Playing the notes on his piano which were A, B, C, D, E, F...


NP: Those in the audience were saying ooooooohhh! Any ploy is fair game in Just A Minute. Tim Rice you've increased your lead. And Peter Jones it's your turn to begin. Peter the subject is leaks. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Leeks are among other things a very nice vegetable cooked, brazed I would suggest, rather than fried or cooked in water...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: Two cookeds.

NP: There were two cookeds, you were cooked twice Peter.

PJ: Oh yes.

NP: You cooked yourself unfortunately. And Wendy got in with a sharp challenge with 52 seconds left on leeks starting now.

WR: I'm not a great fan of leeks. My husband's informed me he hates leeks. Whenever I make a stew I always put leeks in and it's so well cooked he doesn't know he's eating leeks. So you see if you actually leave them in a pan for some number of hours they actually start to dissolve a bit so you don't know what you're eating and you are still getting all the goodness...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: She mentioned eating earlier.

NP: Yes you talked about your husband eating...

WR: Oh sorry.

NP: ... and he doesn't like eating leeks.

WR: No he doesn't.

NP: That's right, yes. Peter another point to you and 30 seconds and the subject's back, leeks starting now.

PJ: I was just thinking about Wendy's husband possibly listening to this. And he'll always know from now on that there is a high likelihood of leeks being in the dish that he's eating. Oh he's here is he? Oh well then, it's all gone! Blown! What about Government leaks, thinking in terms of dripping information to er people, journalists for instance...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: I thought there were several ers there.

NP: Yes he was dripping away himself. You were really dripping away.

PJ: Yes.

NP: It wasn't your best moment, I think, in the show.

PJ: No! I haven't had a good moment for some time!

NP: Tim you have got in with nine seconds on leaks starting now.

TR: I'm glad that Peter brought up Government leaks because this is an extremely interesting topic and version of this subject. For starters...


NP: For starters, pause! Wendy yes?

WR: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation and you've cleverly got in with half a second to go, leaks starting now.

WR: Leaks are the...


NP: So Wendy you increased your position by moving forward, ahead of Richard Stilgoe and Peter Jones but you're still trailing three points behind our leader Tim Rice. It is your turn to begin and the subject is lies. Can you tell us something about that starting now.

WR: I think lies and the people who perpetrate them are one of the most appalling sins in life. To tell one lie, one must tell another to cover the first lie. I personally try never to tell lies, unless I've put leeks in my husband's dinner and he asks me what they are and I try to fob it off as some other vegetable. But apart from that, I think that is called a white lie which probably isn't so harmful. But other lies can do irrepreprable damage or something... I'm not saying that word...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Deviation.

NP: Deviation in what sense?

TR: Well there was a word there that I didn't understand. I don't think...

NP: So you want to have deviation from standard English or recognisable...

TR: Yes absolutely.

NP: ...intelligible English...

TR: Yes precisely.

NP: We'll give you that deviation, you have 26 seconds on lies starting now.

TR: I have to disagree with my esteemed colleague because I think that lies can make the world go round. Occasionally it is extremely important to have the odd whopper in your repertoire. You never know when something will hurt and the truth can hurt often much more...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: He, he said hurt twice.

NP: Yes you did hurt.

TR: I did, I did, yes.

NP: Very concerned about it.

TR: Well spotted.

NP: Right Peter you got in with eight seconds on lies starting now.

PJ: Well I agree it's very important to have a whopper ready! At any time! Because you may be called upon to produce it and save somebody being hurt...


NP: So Peter Jones kept going until the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's moved up one point behind Wendy Richard who's four behind Tim Rice and trailing Richard Stilgoe, who's going to begin the next round. Richard the subject is my lucky number. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

RS: The choice of lucky numbers available to people is absolutely enormous. Let me give you one or two examples. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Deviation, he said one or two examples and he's already given us eight!

NP: A very clever challenge yes. Yes yes a clever challenge. Thank goodness, otherwise he'd have gone on until the 50 seconds up. So well done Tim, another point to you and 47 seconds on my lucky number starting now.

TR: My lucky number is 28. That's really all I have to say on the matter but I will...


NP: Peter Jones got in.

PJ: If that's all he has to say, he should shut up, shouldn't he!

NP: He certainly paused Peter so you have 43 seconds to tell us something about my lucky number starting now.

PJ: Before the war and... ah... in France...


NP: Wendy challenged.

PJ: That wasn't a hesitation.

WR: Slight hesitation.

PJ: Was it?

NP: One of the longest ers we've had on the show actually.

PJ: Oh really? Oh dear.

NP: Right, 40 seconds on Wen.. with Wendy on my lucky number starting now.

WR: My lucky...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Too slow!

NP: Yes! Thirty-nine seconds for you Peter, my lucky number starting now.

PJ: Before I was married...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Two befores.

NP: When was the other one?

TR: Before the war and now before he was married. There were two befores or one be-right!

NP: Tim you've got in very sharply on my lucky number, 38 seconds left starting now.

TR: But there are things I can tell you about this gripping topic which hadn't crossed my mind until I heard distinguished gentlemen such as... Peter Jones...


NP: Wendy Richard's challenged.

WR: Was there a hesitation?

NP: Yes, yes I think he almost but enough to, ah, a tough one but we give it to you. Thirty-one seconds on my lucky number Wendy starting now.

WR: My lucky numbers are various. And I put them all down on my football pools every week. They are in fact number 28, number 13, 32, 19, 27, some others I've forgotten. There is a bunch...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: She's forgotten them! So she can't go on giving us any more.

NP: Well it doesn't matter Peter. She's forgotten them, she's still keeping going on the subject.

PJ: Oh I see yes.

NP: Wendy that was an incorrect challenge so you've still got the subject, 16 seconds, my lucky number starting now.

WR: I've forgotten what I was saying now. But...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: There you are, you see! She's forgotten!

NP: So that is deviation, 15 seconds for you Peter, my lucky number starting now.

PJ: It was a telephone number. And whenever I rang it, I was lucky! .... Well, I, er, before the war...


NP: It took a long time for everybody to wake up that you'd...

PJ: I know, I know, I know! Yes!

NP: Richard Stilgoe you got in first, well, got in first, you got in at last! And there are four seconds left on my lucky number starting now.

RS: You haven't asked me what I was challenging about? All right, I won't tell you what I was challenging about, but...


NP: Nobody challenged you for deviation because you never asked me what I challenged about has got nothing to do with the subject. But they didn't, and so Richard you were still speaking when the whistle went. Tim Rice we're back with you to begin, the subject is sonaloomiere. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

TR: Sonaloomiere can be an example of theatre at its finest. As I am sure everybody listening know, son is the French for sound, aloomiere is the French...


TR: For light!

NP: Richard Stilgoe challenged.

RS: Repetition of French.

NP: Yes that's right, yes. And of course if he kept going he might have done it with such aplomb they may not have picked it up. But Richard, he paused, you picked him up and you have 48 seconds to tell us something about sonallomiere starting now.

RS: Sona Loomiere is one of the greatest French jazz guitarists that ever lived. The whole of the Loomiere family learnt this instrument and they played it with varying degrees of success around the clubs in which that particular sort of music is performed all over the nation whose name I may well have said but I'm not going to say it again just in case I have said it before. The Sonaloomiere is...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: He said it before twice, said it before.

NP: Peter you have 26 seconds on sonaloomiere starting now.

PJ: Do they in France call it sound and light, I wonder. I think it's usually pretty dreary and it's often raining when it takes place. And altogether any experoence I've had of sonaloomiere has been unhappy and damp. Well they have historical figures...


NP: Richard, Richard Stilgoe challenged you on the damp.

RS: No, was that an and er damp? Was it a hesitation between and and damp?

NP: No...

RS: Or is that being really mean?

NP: Not enough to be a real hesitation.

RS: I think one of the reasons I'm doing so badly is that Peter holds his buzzer completely different from me.

PJ: Well...

RS: I'll try it holding it like that. We'll see if we do any better.

NP: How were you holding it Richard?

RS: Well I was holding it like that... this is great fun for listeners at home! Um and Peter's holding it like that.

PJ: Yeah but you're holding it as if you're going to blow the bloody place up!

RS: Any moment now!

NP: That was some of the finest radio we've had! So we'll carry on with sonaloomiere and I disagree with your challenge, by the way, Richard.

RS: So do I!

NP: Peter keeps the subject, another point to him and there are 11 seconds left starting now.

PJ: Sometimes they have a narrator booming out over the Tanoi, describing what these other people are doing, dressed up as historical characters and so on, actors usually employed in this way. Well...


NP: Peter Jones then speaking as the whistle went gained that all-important extra point and we've reached a very interesting situation because Peter has now leapt forward, he's equal in the lead with Tim Rice. A little way behind is Wendy Richard and then comes Richard Stilgoe. And we have one subject, time for one more subject and Peter it's your turn to begin, the subject is making a fortune. Can you tell us something about that with 60 seconds to go starting now.

PJ: Well somebody once told me ages ago when I was just starting out in my career, that if I wanted to make a small fortune, the best thing to do would be to possess a large one, and it would be quite easy. Now that's a kind of joke, I suppose, but there's ah, a lot of truth in it! It's quite er...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: I think there was a bit of hesitation there.

TR: There was hesitation there Tim, I agree with you. So you gain another point and you have 42 seconds to tell us something about making a fortune, and who better? Starting now.

TR: You need discipline. Hard work. Guts. Drive. Talent. Vigour.... An example...


NP: Wendy you challenged, he dried up after the vigour.

WR: Just a slight hesitation.

NP: Yes.

TR: It was a dramatic pause for effect.

WR: Sorry! Well cancel my challenge then, I'd forgotten about that.

NP: No, no, it was definitely a pause. He thought of all the things that had gone into making his fortune and then he paused. And you got in with a correct challenge Wendy and you have 35 seconds to tell us something about making a fortune starting now.

WR: The trouble is that a lot of people who don't understand our profession think that one is making a fortune. But in fact you're not. You do have to work very hard for whatever fortune, small or big or large or even larger, might come your way. It is not easy by any means and one has to look around for all sorts of employment to hopefully bring in this large...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Split infinitive.

WR: How dare you! What do you mean I've got split infinitives?

NP: They may be split...

TR: I thought she wanted to be eased away from the topic.

NP: No...

TR: She seemed uncomfortable.

NP: She might have looked as if she did, but also I'm sure she'd like to win points and try and overtake you. Because you can split your infinitives as long as you keep going without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Ah she is all right. So Wendy you're now two points behind Tim Rice and there are eight seconds left, making a fortune, starting now.

WR: I've been struggling for nearly 31 years to make a fortune. Hopefully I will achieve this...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: My advice would be for her to give in!

NP: Oh! Isn't it awful how the audience always applaud all the wicked challenges! Peter honestly, the audience enjoyed that challenge so much we give you a bonus point for the challenge. But we leave the subject with Wendy who gets a point for being interrupted, two seconds left, making a fortune starting now.

WR: Actually I don't really want a big fortune. I think just...


NP: And nobody picked her up on the word big which she used before, because, but it did leave us with a very interesting situation at the end of the show. Richard Stilgoe playing the game for the very first time did magnificently, didn't he ladies and gentlemen. That solo applause Richard was to compensate for the fact that you're in fourth place. Not many points behind our leaders, all three finished with the same number of points, Peter Jones, Wendy Richard and Tim Rice, our three joint winners today! A very fair result because I always say it's what they contribute is far more important than the points they gain. It only remains for me to say on behalf of our four talented panelists Richard Stilgoe, Peter Jones, Wendy Richard and Tim Rice, Anne Ling who's kept the score, the creator of the game Ian Messiter and our producer Edward Taylor, and myself Nicholas Parsons, thanks for tuning in and we hope that you'll tune in again next time that we take to the air and we play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here goodbye.