starring PAUL MERTON, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and PETER JONES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 19 January 1991)

NOTE: Peter Jones's 250th appearance, Derek Nimmo's 250th appearance.

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 to you the four personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We have Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones, Paul Merton and Clement Freud. And will you please welcome all four of them! The creator of the game, Ian Messiter, usually sits beside me, but unfortunately he can't be with us this week. So once again I'm fortunate in having with me the lovely Anne Ling who will keep the score and she will blow the whistle when the full 60 seconds is up. And once more I'm going to ask our four panelists to speak on the subject that I give them. And they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. Let us begin the show this week with Derek Nimmo. Derek, the subject, graffiti. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: Graffiti comes from the Latin word to scratch, graffito, and was first used when the ruins in Pompeii and indeed Rome and later Herculean were discovered. And they discovered upon the rules the most filthy scratched bits of the all kinds of vulgarities, ruderies, mostly obscene and sexual. I don't really think it's the sort of thing we ought to be talking about here. But you will...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged you.

CLEMENT FREUD: He repeated discovered some time ago.

NP: Clement well listened, you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject of graffiti, there are 33 seconds left starting now.

CF: In the public convenience at Oban which is on the west coast of Scotland, there is one of the most entertaining graffito that I have come across. Written upon the wall are the words "will the gentleman who got off the bus from Strandrath on the 14th of October 1983 and whom I met here and took back to meet my wife please be good enough, should he come past this location on another occasion, to call and see the afore-mentioned woman because she has certainly formed a sort of attachment to him". And I thought the whistle would blow by now...


NP: I will be honest Clement. We did let you go beyond the 60 seconds because I didn't, I wasn't sure whether this was the whole of the graffito that you referred to, or whether you were making it up. We now suspect that you were making some of it up. But you did extraordinarily well, you kept going until the whistle went which was 11 seconds over time. And you gain a bonus point for speaking as the whistle went, and at the end of that round you are of course in the lead. And it is your turn to begin, the subject, peanuts. Will you tell us something about those in this game starting now.

CF: We went some months ago to the Gambia which is totally self-sufficent on peanuts. It is the only thing in which it has a sufficiency. I should think it was probably the slave trade which brought peanuts from Brazil to that coast of Africa. I said Africa before...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of Africa.

NP: Yes you did say Africa before. So Derek's got in with 37 seconds on peanuts starting now.

DN: Well peanuts are what the British Broadcasting Corporation do choose to pay us for appearing on this programme! And we have done this for some 23 years, because we greatly enoy... enjoy entertaining the public...


DN: I do stutter! I stutter!

NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Deviation from known English language.

NP: Denoy, yes, or whatever the word was. Right, Paul you have a correct challenge, you have a point, you have 24 seconds on peanuts starting now.

PM: Peanuts is the name of a cartoon strip created by Charles Sh... Schulz, an American...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Hesitation.

NP: Well I suppose that slurring of words could be interpreted as hesitation.

PM: I couldn't remember his name, it was just...

NP: I think you did jolly well.

CF: That makes it all right!

NP: To keep going through the shhhh until it came out. Peter you have the subject of peanuts and 17 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well Paul was quite right. It was invented by this man Schulz. And he is one of the richest cartoonists in the world. I believe he employs now a lot of other people to do the drawings and still more to think of the ideas. I've never really been very amused by these pictures that I've seen...


NP: So Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went and he got that all important extra point. So he's now in second place at the end of the round. Clement Freud's still in the lead. Peter will you take the next round, the subject, indoor sports. Will you tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Well some of the best indoor sports can be played with great pleasure outside the doors. And whenever I am in a secluded place in the forest or on a beach that has very few people on it, I never forget to take my bat and ball with me and I play it wherever I am with whomsoever I might by with...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, he's talking solely about outdoor sports.

PJ: No I'm talking about indoor, indoor sports played outdoors.

NP: I think he did establish...

DN: That's not what we're supposed to talk about.

NP: It doesn't matter, I think he did establish that these were indoor sports and he was playing them out of doors. But they were still indoor sports. Peter keeps the subject, having gained a point with 37 seconds on his indoor sports starting now.

PJ: Ping pong is one of the best er indoor sports in my opinion. Sometiems called table tennis by professionals and people who take it more seriously. And I... wonder...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think so, in fact I'm certain of it. Twenty-six seconds for you Clement on indoor sports starting now.

CF: In the town of Oban which is on the west coast of Scotland, there is a tremendous lot of indoor sport goes on. And I came across a couple of games of snooker which were being played simultaneously to darts, table tennis which Peter Jones calls ping pong although professionals tend to call it the former. On Tuesday the 14th of April...


NP: So Clement Freud kept going with his indoor sports till the whistle went, gained an extra point and has increased his lead. Paul Merton will you take the next round, the subject is diet fads. Will you tell us something about those in this game starting now.

PM: There are many kinds of diet fads. People seem to think that if they drink nothing but water, they will lose weight. And they will, they will also die after about 56 days! And you lose a hell of a lot of weight once you're dead! Your body decomposes completely and you ser... ahhhhh!


NP: Derek challenged.

DN: He stopped, didn't he, really! He went nyahhhhh!

PM: I started to make myself laugh which was a bad move.

NP: You all make different noises when you come to a, come to a sticky end like that. Derek you got in on diet fads and there are 43 seconds left starting now.

DN: One of the most interesting diet fads I encountered on Oban on the west coast of Scotland. There they eat solely a diet of cockaleeky soup, non-stop for 48 days. And at the end of that, they're violently sick and lose all the weight that they might have put on. I think perhaps the nastiest is drinking lemon juice...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: This is just nonsense! This is deviation! People are listening to this, they might be tempted to go out and buy some tins of cockaleeky soup and they won't lose weight, they'll just die because they won't get enough protein.

NP: So I give you the benefit of the doubt Paul and you have 18 seconds to take over diet fads starting now.

PM: Another popular diet fad is bran. A lot of people eat this form of roughage because they know it's good for the digestive system and it's also useful to eat this particular kind of foodstuff because it is very good um to help...


NP: Clement Freud got in.

CF: There was an um.

NP: There was an um and you only had one second to go but you ummed just too soon. So Clement got in with one second on diet fads starting now.

CF: All bran...


NP: And Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes! So Paul you've got half a second on diet fads starting now.

PM: Bran is...


NP: So Paul Merton, surprisingly was speaking then when the whistle went. And Derek it's your turn to begin, the subject is painters. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: The United Kingdom didn't really produce any good portrait painters until the 18th century. Holbein, Van Dyke, people like that came from overseas to paint in this country. Then...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, the United Kingdom did produce paintings, portrait painters before that, because the caves during the stone age are full of portraits...

DN: You're pushing your luck on that one, mate!

PM: And if you go to Oban in Scotland, you...

NP: Yes!

PM: Cubicle three from the left, there's a very nice antelope on the door.

NP: Yeah! No I think the point that Derek is making is justified. So we leave the subject with...

PJ: Are we talking only about British painters?

NP: I don't know until you get the subject Peter. It just says painters is the subject.

PJ: Yes I see.

NP: Nice to have you with us again Peter! Ah Derek Nimmo has got it at the moment and there are 48 seconds to tell us something about painters starting now.

DN: Monet, Manet, Pisaro, Picasso, those are some of the foreign painters that Peter Jones would like to hear about. There are however some of the most wonderful paintings in the world in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. If you ever witness Botticelli's Venus rising from the sea, you will get absolutely agape at the sheer beauty of that which you behold...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PM: Deviation, it's impossible to witness it. You can see the picture, you can't witness Venus coming out of the sea.

NP: No. You, you can experience it, you can feel it. A very clever challenge, you certainly can't witness it. That's what happens when they have to keep going and they use colloquialisms and therefore that is deviation. Well done Paul, 21 seconds on painters starting now.

PM: My father was a painter. He painted the back shed in the garden several coats of white which was...


NP: Clement Freud's challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: What?

CF: Several coats of white!

PM: But it was over the course of 35 years!

NP: Yes! And he came from Oban as well, did he?

PM: He did!

NP: Yes! Well what we do is we give Clement Freud a bonus point because we all enjoyed the challenge. But as Paul Merton wasn't deviating from the actual rules of Just A Minute, he keeps the subject and he gets a point for the interruption, 15 seconds are left on painters starting now.

PM: Around the beginning of the turn of the century there was a movement in art...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: When exactly is the beginning of the turn?

NP: The beginning of the turn of the century! Yes!

PJ: When did it start to turn?

PM: New Year's Eve, 1900.

NP: Paul you've still got the subject and 11 seconds, another point, painters starting now.

PM: A movement that was described...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of movement.

NP: What's that?

DN: Repetition of movement.

NP: Ah so nine seconds, you are correct Derek and painters is with you starting now.

DN: Jean Baptiste, D'Apaelo, Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Gogh were names that come to my mind when I try to think of painters. Other ones that I would like to mention are...


NP: So they all had a good go on painters and all gained points in the round. The situation is that Clement Freud is still in the lead, just ahead of Paul Merton and Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject, ballyhoo. Would you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: William Shakespeare wrote a play which should have been called Quite A Lot of Ballyhoo Concerning Not Much. But instead he named it Much Ado About Nothing. And it has been watched...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of much.

NP: Yes, much ado and it has much. Well listened Paul and you've got in with another point, 45 seconds, ballyhoo starting now.

PM: Ballyhoo I suppose is something that is described... oh I don't know...


PM: I'm not interested in it at all, really!

NP: It's a lot of ballyhoo, isn't it! Right, Clement you've got in with a challenge. I should hear what it is which is?

CF: Well almost everything!

NP: I think you've got to select one and see if I agree.

CF: It's deviation from the way we like to play this game!

NP: I think everybody enjoyed that. Perhaps I shouldn't give it to you on that. No I think we give it to you on the hesitation. All right Clement there are 41 seconds on ballyhoo starting now.

CF: Ballyhoo was a pretty competent four year old hurdler that won at Liverpool, the Aintree race course in 1981. And I was there. I put some money on him at 100 to eight and added more at 10 to one. The winnings I remember well were called the Ballyhoo Fortune in the Freud family. And we went out and had dinners, suppers, breakfasts and luncheons. We visited theatres and operas, cinemas...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: This is just boasting!

NP: It may be boasting but it's not one of the rules...

PM: I know!

NP: You could have maybe had him for deviation, but you didn't. So we, Clement Freud has another point and ballyhoo, two seconds starting now.

CF: The son of Ballyhoo then ran at the...


NP: So Clement Freud again speaking as the whistle went again increased his lead. And Peter Jones, your turn to begin, the subject Ali Baba. Will you tell us something about him...

PJ: Well it could be quite dangerous I suppose. There are probably lots of people in the Middle East called Ali Baba and they might have it in for me if I say something that isn't, er, flattering...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation, there was an er there, I'm sorry Peter.

PJ: There was, yes.

NP: Yes definitely was.

PJ: Yes I actually heard it!

NP: I think, it's so wonderful when you listen Peter. Because...

PJ: Yes.

NP: ...you're always such great value to the show.

PJ: Yes.

NP: Um, 51 seconds for you Derek on Ali Baba starting now.

DN: Ali Baba was a four year old gelding that I won money on at Towcester in March this year. Also of course one thinks of that wonderful story from the Arabian Nights. Of Ali Baba who followed this robber band back to their cave and overheard them saying "open Sesame!" And this great boulder theundered instantly...


DN: What's the matter?

NP: And Paul Merton challenged.

PM: This is deviation. I might be wrong but isn't Open Sesame Aladdin?

NP: That's right, yes.

DN: It's not, it's Ali Baba too.

NP: Is it? Ali Baba?

DN: Yes. Originally...

NP: I've only done Cinderella and Babes In The Wood.

DN: But you're always in a frock anyway!

NP: The audience seem to think that you're correct about Open Sesame, so... Is he right audience?


NP: All right, it's on your... because this does go all round the world, this show, and there'll be people writing in...

PJ: Well it has up to now!

NP: They want to know that our traditional pantomimes are played correctly. Derek you have 28 seconds on Ali Baba starting now.

DN: He was entered in the July meeting at Goodwood on the Thursday which is of course the most...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: No horse that runs at Toaster over the sticks could be entered in a July meeting at Woodward.

DN: You can run at Toaster.

CF: On the flat!

DN: It's not always over the sticks at Toaster.

CF: Yes always!

NP: Twenty-two seconds on Ali Baba, Clement, starting now.

CF: Frankly I always preferred the 40 thieves to Ali Baba. I always thought they were more gracious, generous...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yeah I think there was a hesitation after the graciousness. Fifteen seconds back with you Derek on Ali Baba starting now.

DN: I played Ali Baba when I was with Number Nine, Signa Regiment in Cyprus many years ago. My chief robber, in fact, was Sir Peter Miller as he now is, chairman of Lloyd's. And I thought that was very suitable he should take that particular job he's got now...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged you.

PJ: He's not talking about Ali Baba, he's talking about this other geezer who was something to do with a bank.

NP: Yes, once he got on to talk about him being suitable. I agree with you Peter, that was deviation...

DN: I was talking about my production of it!

NP: Peter you've got in with one second to go on Ali Baba starting now.

PJ: He was never a horse!


NP: Well it's a very close contest this week. For those interested in the score and I know there are always some, Clement Freud is still in the lead and he's followed by Derek Nimmo and then Paul Merton and then Peter Jones but there's only about one of two points separating any of them. Paul Merton, we're back with you to begin and the subject is boggling. Will you tell us something about boggling in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Boggling was a four year old filly that ran in the 1888 Derby and unfortunately it didn't do...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Fillies don't run in the Derby!

PM: Ohhhhh!

NP: Clement is correct and he's got boggling with 55 seconds starting now.

CF: Boggling is a state where your eyes pop out more than other peoples so that... you...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes he hesitated as soon as his eyes popped out. And there are 49 seconds for you Derek on boggling starting now.

DN: I remember I was sitting in a lavatory at Oban. My mind absolutely boggled at what I saw! Because there was Sir Clement Freud who works for the Tourist Board of that particular city and mentions it whenever possible, standing outside waiting his turn to come in. It was the most boggling sight you can ever imagine. One time I was going...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged you.

PM: Deviation, I can think of more boggling things than Clement Freud waiting outside a public lavatory!

DN: Don't be personal!

NP: I don't know, it sounds mind boggling to me!

PM: Really?

NP: Twenty-nine seconds, I give you the benefit of the doubt Derek, boggling starting now.

DN: It was a game that the old Droves played in the old days when they were coming into...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of old.

NP: Yes you had a bit of old in before. Um, so you got in this time correctly Paul and you have 26 seconds to tell us something about boggling starting now.

PM: Boggling was a horse that ran...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of horse.

NP: Yes you used the word horse before.

PM: I said filly before.

DN: He said filly before.

NP: No he said a filly, three year old filly Clement. There are 23 seconds on boggling starting now.

PM: And my great-grandfather put a rather enormous amount of money on this particular four legged animal...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of four.

NP: Four year old filly and four legged horse. Oh bad luck Paul! So you can't win in this game. Sixteen seconds on boggling Clement starting now.

CF: The sort of thing that would make me boggle would be if a four year old filly ran in the Derby! It is the most astonishing concept that female equine animals run in Epsom round Tattenham Corner against horses of...


NP: So Clement was again, Clement Freud was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and has increased his lead. We're back with Derek Nimmo to begin, the subject Derek is covens.

DN: A coven consists of 13 creatures, 12 witches and the Devil itself. Covens used to meet on certain Saint Days, particularly of course All Hallows Eve and Alamamass and Mickelmass. When they gathered together they... pleaded....


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Lost the will to live! Hesitation.

NP: Yes!

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation Paul, well done. And there are 41 seconds for you to tell us something about covens starting now.

PM: My father made a lot of money on a horse called Covens which ran in the 1927 Derby. And with that cash he decided to set up a coven of his own. He invited all the neighbours around and they had a black Satanic mass including the woman at Number 47. And they dressed up, um, totally...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was an er there and Derek's got another point and the subject and 20 seconds on covens starting now.

DN: These evil crones used to have on their broomsticks with then cats which were called their familiars because it was believed that they had an extra nipple to feed the beast with. An extraordinary thought! But until... 1540...


NP: Oh Clement you challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Clement you're in with six seconds on covens starting now.

CF: A coven is an assembly of witches who sit around a cauldron wondering what...


NP: Again Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, again increased his lead. But he's closely followed by Derek Nimmo, and then one point behind Paul Merton and then two or three behind him is Peter Jones. And Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject, hey presto.

CF: Hey presto is the sort of thing that you might say if you put turnips, carrots and potatoes into an oven, opened it and found a chocolate mousse! Witches and magicians use hey presto quite a lot in order to...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, I don't find witches use hey presto.

NP: No...

PM: A magician uses it because he's in the business of trying to deceive the public where witches are trying to summon up the dark forces...

CF: Keep it for another programme!

PM: Yes!

NP: I think you made an extraordinarily good case and I'm sure the audience are entirely with you and so am I. So you have 42 seconds for...

PJ: I was very pleased that it didn't turn out to be another horse!

NP: So Paul Merton, hey presto, 42 seconds, starting now.

PM: Hey presto is something that you might hear from a magician rather than a witch because a witch is somebody who...


NP: Oh Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two witches.

NP: Two witches! Thirty-five seconds for you Derek, no, 36 on hey presto starting now.

DN: So I ran to the middle of the main street in Canberra and banged my top hat with my magic wand and said "hey presto!" And out came a lovely little bunny, white rabbit. People were so thrilled and pleased because in the Antipodes they love magic. And...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well in the first place I don't believe that it happened! And in the second place people in Australia would not be thrilled and delighted at the sight of a rabbit!

NP: I'm sure you're absolutely right Peter! So we give you the subject of hey presto and there are 23 seconds starting now.

PJ: I wish I could say "hey presto" and a taxi would arrive outside to take me home! But I must hang on for another hour or so. And then I shall go home and say...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of home.

NP: You mentioned your home...

PJ: Oh yes! I was going home, I'm thinking about it all the time, you know.

NP: What worried me was the fact that you were going to hang around here for another hour or so...

PJ: Exactly! Yes, I know!

NP: ...because the show's going to be over in a few minutes actually. I just got a note that this is about the, the round after this will be the last round.

PJ: Oh really? Ah!

NP: Clement Freud you have 13 seconds to tell us something about hey presto starting now.

CF: There are a very limited number of professions who are entitled to use the expression "hey presto". And I would like to name some from whom this is withheld. Parsons...


NP: Clement you were speaking again as the whistle went and again not surprisingly you gained an extra point. And again not surprisingly you increased your lead. And we're now into the last round and it's Peter Jones' turn to begin and the subject, Peter, oh you won't believe this. It's hope. So will you talk on the subject starting now.

PJ: Faith, hope and charity. And the greatest of these is charity...


DN: Too much charity, let it begin at home!

NP: You should have, you should have changed the quote and made it hope!

PJ: What?

NP: You repeated charity.

PJ: Oh did I?

NP: Yes.

PJ: Yes, I was so carried away by the great theme of it all.

NP: You should have said the greatest of these...

PJ: Yes.

NP: ...should have been hope and then we...

PJ: Yes of course, I should have stopped. I never know when to stop, you see, that's the trouble.

NP: Derek Nimmo had a correct challenge, and he got in first so he takes the subject with 55 seconds on hope starting now.

DN: Faith, hope and love as described in the new English Bible comes from 13th Corinthians, letters that Saint Paul wrote the people of that fair city. But I would like to talk about the Hope Diamond. Have you ever seen it, ladies and gentlemen? You probably haven't. But I did look at this great stone, Hope rock! And was I impressed. Three hundred and forty-two and a half carats. Is that not enormous? And who discovered it, I ask you? Mister Jones. Not Peter, alas, but a feller working in the mines in South Africa who came across it by pinging an umbrella into the side of a rock, and there was this nugget...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of rock.

NP: You talked about the diamond, Hope...

DN: Yes, yes, all right. Don't...

NP: Instead of saying the Hope Diamond, you said the rock. And Clement got in with nine seconds on hope starting now.

CF: I rarely...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Well done Peter. There's always hope, you see, Peter. You have nine seconds left... oh!

CF: It must have been a hell of a hesitation!

NP: Actually it should be eight seconds for hope starting now.

PJ: Hope springs eternal in the human breast. And I must say that this applies to me as well as everyone else. We're all brothers...


NP: So Peter Jones speaking on hope brought this particular show or this particular edition of Just A Minute to an end and also he gained an extra point at that moment. But he still finished, alas, in fourth place. The man who gained most points for his clever performance in this show was Clement Freud so we say he is the winner this week! We hope that you've enjoyed this particular edition of Just A Minute. And it only remains for me to say on behalf of our four excellent panelists Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones, Clement Freud and Paul Merton, and also Anne Ling who's kept the score. And also Ian Messiter who created the game and our producer Edward Taylor and myself Nicholas Parsons, thank you for tuning in and we hope you'll all be with us again the next time we play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here goodbye!