WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and AIMI MACDONALD, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 28 March 1981)
NOTE: Thanks to Vicki Walker for her work on this transcript! :-)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Aimi Macdonald 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, hello and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And as you've heard from our announcer, we welcome as our guest this week Aimi Macdonald, who's very courageously come along to do battle with our three wicked, outrageous and intrepid exponents of Just A Minute. And they will try and speak if they can for 60 seconds on the subject that I will give them and do it as usual without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And let us start the show with Kenneth Williams and let's start with a subject dear to his heart, having women in the show. Kenneth, will you talk on that subject in the game starting now?
KENNETH WILLIAMS: Having women in the show is essential if you want that peculiar grace and charm that only the ladies can bring to any atmosphere. And when you come to pantomime, ask yourself what would you do without the women in the show, be it the lovely chorus, be it Cinderella...
NP: Uh, Clement Freud has challenged.
CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of lovely.
KW: Oh, well.
NP: See the women were lovely, and so. Right, Clement, there are 42 seconds left, and can you tell us something about having women in the snow... I'm, I'm sorry, that, that cold thought rather warmed them up, I didn't, uh, it's having women in the show, and not literally either. Um, 42 seconds to go on it, starting now.
CF: I think this is the first time in the 11 or 12 years in which I've taken part in Just A Minute that I've been instructed by the chairman not to take a subject literally.
NP: Uh, Aimi Macdonald has challenged.
AIMI MACDONALD: Oh darling, he's been talking for hours and he hasn't even mentioned the subject. What's that all about?
NP: I don't, I haven't the idea, yes. I think probably, Aimi...
CF: I don't think we ought to have women in the show!
NP: And Clement has given me the answer. We give Clement a bonus point for that nice comment but give the subject to Aimi there for her challenge, so she gets a point for having a correct challenge and you take over the subject with 32 seconds left on having women in the show, starting now.
AM: Well, I'm only ever here when there are women in the show. And I simply cannot imagine the show without these female species in it! Because women have this wonderful way of speaking, you see, without boring people to death!
NP: Uh, Peter Jones has challenged.
PETER JONES: Don't think they do.
NP: It can happen that you can be equally bored by a woman as by a man.
PJ: Quite right.
NP: So Peter, I agree with your challenge and you have 15 seconds to take up the subject of having women in the show starting now.
PJ: I'd like to welcome Aimi M-Macdonald as a woman...
NP: And Clement Freud has challenged.
NP: And Clement...
CF: That was a hesitation on...
NP: Yes. So he did ah stumble and hesitate, so 13 seconds are left for you, Clement, on having women in the show starting now.
CF: Mister Chairman, I would like to oppose this motion as strongly as I possibly can. Having women in the show is one of the most monumental wastes of time both on the part of the audience as the other people...
NP: Ah, no, Aimi Macdonald challenged just before the whistle.
AM: Well, it's absolute rubbish, isn't it, darling?
NP: Absolute deviation!
AM: I mean, apart from anything else, it's rude!
PJ: Yes, it is.
NP: I think that does put your finger right on it there. But the challenge, rude or not, because we are rude in this game, alas Aimi, and it is difficult sometimes if you are a woman. There is half a second for you, having got in just before the whistle, to talk on having women in the show starting now.
AM: It's a wonderful idea.
NP: When Ian Messiter blows his whistle it does tell us that 60 seconds is up and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. And as you realised, it was Aimi Macdonald and with the subject of women in the show she has the lead at the end of the first round alongside Clement Freud, the man who resents having women in the show. Peter Jones, will you take the second subject, which is how to say no. Aimi Macdonald is sitting beside you. Don't get overwhelmed by it this time. But talk on the subject if you can starting now.
PJ: Well, I think one has to say it firmly, showing tremendous consideration and sensitiveness for the people one is saying it to. Some people say no in this way. They say "nnnnnnnn-yes."
NP: Ah, Aimi Macdonald challenged.
AM: Aw, that was hesitation, wasn't it?
NP: It was!
PJ: No, that wasn't hesitation.
NP: It was. It was an illustration.
PJ: It was a demonstration!
NP: It was a demonstration, but your demonstration included pausing, which unfortunately you can't do in Just A Minute. It's awfully difficult, isn't it?
KW: You going to sit there and take that? You going to sit there and take it? Haven't you any fight in you? Haven't you got any guts in you, Jones? I mean, what you was doing apparently was a legitimate thing. You were elongating your vowels, right? Yes! Many people do that. They go "nyeaaaaaaah."
NP: And that...
KW: There was no pausing. You didn't pause. Stand up for yourself!
PJ: No I didn't. Quite right!
NP: First of all, Peter Jones does know how to say no, and that particular diatribe came from the man who's got the most elongated vowels in the whole of show business! Uh, Aimi, I agree with the challenge. You have 46 seconds to talk on how to say no and we'd like it from a woman now, this is going to be great fun, starting now.
AM: There are very many different ways of saying no, depending on the circumstances under which you have to say that little word. You might say "please don't do that now," or "I'm...."
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Hesitation or pause.
AM: What? When?
CF: Oh, of course not, no.
NP: Of course not.
NP: The audience paused in stunned amazement. Please don't do that now. They all want to know when. Thirty-three seconds on how to say now still with you, Aimi, starting now.
AM: You could say, "I really..."
NP: Uh, Clement Freud challenged again.
CF: Did I?
CF: We, we shouldn't have women on the show. Spoils it!
NP: As good a challenge as any, but as it doesn't apply in the game, I'm afraid that's another point to Aimi with 31...
NP: ...and a half seconds to go, starting now.
AM: "I really would prefer it if you didn't do that", which is a much nicer way of saying "please don't do it!" No, in other words... I say no...
NP: Uh, Kenneth Williams challenged.
KW: Oh, that was a bit of hesitation there.
AM: Yes, I lost my train of thought.
NP: That was, there was more than a bit.
KW: I'm afraid it was hesitation there, yes. Yes. I've the subject.
NP: Yes, it was more than a bit. Kenneth, you have the subject of how to say no and there are 21 seconds starting now.
KW: Well, on the other side of the Atlantic they frequently say (American accent) "The answer is in the negative," or "At this time I do not have total recall" (usual voice) and all kinds of other versions of it. Whereas Peter Jones rightly points out, diplomacy is the greatest asset you can possess when that appalling verdict...
NP: Well, it does seem that Kenneth Williams seems to drag his fan club in. Because when he speaks as the whistle goes...
KW: You shouldn't use that word drag.
NP: No, they're very respectably dressed. None of them are in drag today. Um, Kenneth got a point for speaking when the whistle went as well so he is now in third place, one point behind Clement Freud and Aimi Macdonald's in the lead. And Clement, your turn to begin. The subject: port. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
CF: One of the less important things about port is that the decanter moves to the left when you sit at dinner and the butler asks the wine waiter to bring you the container, cut of crystal or whatever other glass it may be, you have to turn it to what in naval terms is the opposite of starboard. It is, of course, a reinforced wine which comes from Portugal and of all the delicious after dinner drinks I cannot think of one that compares with it unless I mention...
NP: Aimi Macdonald challenged.
AM: Oh, uh, it's boring, isn't he, darling?
NP: No, no, I thought he actually had the audience in the hollow of his hand.
CF: Oh, give it to her.
CF: We ought to have more women on the show!
NP: No, you weren't deviating on this occasion, Clement. You were really sticking to port there. And there are 19 and a half seconds on port starting now.
CF: Cognac, almongnac, liqueurs of whatever country they may emanate from, which includes France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Sweden...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: I don't think you can compare a fortified wine with a spirit.
CF: After-dinner drinks.
NP: Yes, but he, he was talking, the subject was port and since he started again he's not mentioned port. He's mentioned every other after-dinner drink.
CF: Oh, are you challenging now? Perhaps we can get the producer and the sound recording man!
NP: Well, I dare say they all...
CF: Make a real gangbang of it!
NP: ...they all, I think they all have an opinion to contribute. But Peter Jones...
CF: Oh, good. Give them a few points. Give them a few points then.
NP: There are seven seconds for you, Peter, on the subject of port starting now.
PJ: Bournvita and Ovaltine, let alone a glass of hot milk, are delightful drinks to have after...
NP: So Peter Jones got the extra point speaking as the whistle went. He's now in third place ahead of Kenneth Williams. Clement is ahead of them but Aimi Macdonald is still in the lead and she's taking the next subject, which is getting out of an awkward situation. Am, no, sorry, I misread it. Getting out of an awkward position, there's a subtle difference! That's the subject that Ian Messiter's thought of. Will you talk on it for 60 seconds if you can starting now?
AM: Depending on the position you are in is a very sort of strange way of getting out of it, if you know what I mean. You could be practicing yoga, you could be standing on your head, and if you are, you could be feeling very uncomfortable and so want to get out of that awkward position. Whereby you would roll your body down ankles first to the floor, lowering your buttocks down thereupon and sweeping up into the sitting position. Then, you might decide to...
NP: Uh, Peter Jones at last challenged. Yes, Peter?
PJ: Uh, hesitation.
AM: Well, he was making me laugh.
PJ: I was making you laugh, no.
AM: Yes you were. I could feel you!
NP: How dis...
AM: I can't see him!
NP: I'm, what an awful thought! If you feel Peter Jones, you laugh!
AM: Well, his, his chair was shaking. I could feel him doing that.
PJ: I was worried about people listening who might get into trouble trying to do as you were describing.
PJ: Particularly children. You know, like when they go to see Peter Pan, they jump off mantelpieces and things like that. I thought there'd be people tied up all over the country.
NP: Peter, I agree with your challenge, so you have 16 seconds to talk on getting out of an awkward position starting now.
PJ: Yes, if for instance you're standing astride a barbed wire fence, it can be extremely difficult to move in either direction. It's wisest if you can to have a friend standing by who will be able to lift one leg...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of standing.
NP: Yes, there was a bit too much standing in that one. So Clement's got in with one and a half seconds to go on getting out of an awkward position starting now.
CF: There are four good directions...
NP: So Clement Freud, getting an extra point as the whistle spoke, has gone forward and is now in the lead with Aimi Macdonald. And Kenneth Williams, will you begin the next round? The subject: contemplation. You look very contemplative at the moment and will you talk on the subject if you can starting now.
KW: Contemplation. If only a little more contemplation was indulged in by the leaders of the nations and the world, what a much better place it would be! In the words of that great sage who uttered the famous lines, the old order change is yielding place to new and the everlasting fulfills himself in many ways lest one good custom should corrupt the world. Comfort thyself or comfort...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: I'm just thinking...
NP: Of a challenge.
PJ: Yes. My first impulse was to stop him!
NP: You were being generous, were you?
PJ: Yes, yes.
NP: Well, Peter shall we give you a bonus point for a very nice challenge but as it doesn't in the rules of the game, leave the subject with Kenneth Williams, who gets a point for interruptions, of course. And he continues with 23 seconds left on contemplation starting now.
KW: Well, it was long ago remarked by an ancient divine that all the public know of a subject is the reputation of that aforementioned article. To contemplate your navel is one of the philosophical attitudes which derives...
NP: So Kenneth Williams, starting with the subject, finished with the subject in spite of interruptions which of course gave him points throughout, including one for speaking as the whistle went so he is now in second place! Equal with Peter Jones! Peter, will you begin the next round? The subject: The Oregon Trail. Can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
PJ: Oh, that wonderful, clean and gracious state north of California, home of the giant redwoods, where one of them has actually been hollowed out and you can drive a horse and cart right through this huge tree. What a lovely place it is! And the way to it of course is along the Oregon Trail, where the pioneers who first opened up the, uh, western part...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
NP: Yes, there was a definite er there, Peter, and so Clement Freud has the Oregon Trail and there are 31 and a half seconds starting now.
CF: What I remember particularly well about a book called "The Oregon Trail" was that people ate each other. And cannibalism, together with incest and arson, are things which shouldn't be discussed on a family programme such as this but I'm prepared to make an exception on this occasion. They came by trailer in the latter part of the 19th century, ran out of supplies and discovered that the only way in which they could feed themselves was on the flesh of each other.
NP: So Clement Freud finished with the subject, gets an extra point for doing so and he has now taken the lead ahead of Aimi Macdonald with Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams just a little behind.
CF: How else can you take the lead other than ahead of?
NP: Um, well, to take the lead you have to go ahead.
CF: Yeah, that's what I thought.
NP: And that's what I was trying to convey and if, under the pressure of the moment and the tension and all the sour looks that I get from you and everybody else which gives me under tremendous pressure to keep going and not to try to hesitate, deviate and so forth...
NP: Aw. If I make a grammatical error, I know the audience are on my side.
NP: It's, I was guilty of that thing that ortologists do, isn't it Ian?
IAN MESSITER: Tortology.
NP: Tortology. Tortology, right. The next subject, Clement, is archaic practices. It's your turn to begin and would you please start now.
CF: One of the strangest and most archaic practices with which I have come face to visage is in the House of Commons where when they remove the nail brushes from the gentlemen's cloakroom. I've never quite understood why but the moment the chamber is pirogued, the gentleman in charge...
NP: Uh, Peter Jones challenged.
PJ: The chamber is what?
NP: Pirogued. It's a word they use in Parliament which nobody understands and nor do they but which they go on using hoping no-one will ever find out.
PJ: Thank you very much.
NP: So he was actually being correct. So he's piroguing away there. And there are 36 seconds, 37, actually, archaic practices, starting now.
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Hesitation, I'm afraid.
NP: Yes, yes. He actually perouged too long, didn't he, then? So Kenneth, you have 35 and a half seconds on archaic practices starting now.
KW: One that I particularly enjoy is this bloke who cries out, "Oyea, Oyea"
KW: That's not the way you do it, is it?
NP: Aimi Macdonald...
KW: It is archaic, and he has to do it, doesn't he?
AM: I knew you were going to do that, darling.
KW: Yes, well you're wonderful, you're telepathic, you are.
NP: Well, she picked you up very rapidly there and put you down again equally quickly. There are 29 and a half seconds for you, Aimi, on archaic practices starting now.
AM: There is an archaic practice that is still going on and I'm not quite sure I really understand why. It pertains somewhat to the subject we had before, Clement Freud's port. People still drink port after dinner...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
NP: On port.
CF: On what? Port.
NP: You see, port was the subject before.
AM: You're allowed to say, er...
NP: But that's not on the card. That was on the other card.
CF: It was on the card earlier.
NP: Yes, but you can't use another word from another sh-card...
CF: Oh, can't you?
AM: You were going to say another show. It's the same show, darling!
NP: In this round, the subject is archaic practices which you can repeat, but port was another round. I'm sorry, Aimi. But I have to be fair, otherwise I might get six letters.
CF: What? Is this a change of policy?
NP: No. Haha, I'm sorry I missed that one. Clement, I am being fair, and against my inclinations, which are towards Aimi, giving you the subject. And you have 14, sorry, 15 and a half seconds on archaic practices, starting now.
CF: One of the most archaic practices is getting out of an awkward position. And...
NP: Uh, Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Er, hesitation.
NP: Yes indeed, yes. He got himself into an awkward position there. And there are five seconds for you, Peter, to take over archaic practices, starting now.
PJ: Well, I don't know a great deal about them, because...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Well, if he don't know anything about them, why don't he shut up?
NP: You know, in all the years this game's been going, he's said that so many times and you still laugh!
CF: It's always, always worth a point.
KW: When I was in the middle of a very fluent piece of oratory, he said that it was so boring it ought to be shut up!
PJ: And so it was.
KW: How dare you! I've come all the way from Great Portland Street. Didn't come here to be insulted.
PJ: You must remember, Kenneth, ignorance has never stopped you from talking about the subject.
NP: There were four people who clapped. There are two seconds for you, Peter, on archaic practices starting now.
PJ: Guy Fawkes, for instance, on November the fifth...
NP: So if things keep changing in the lead, no no, Clement Freud is still in the lead, but Peter Jones is now in second place ahead of Aimi Macdonald, and Kenneth Williams just one behind Aimi. Aimi, your turn to begin and the subject is ticklish situations. And there are 60 seconds starting now.
AM: Those... Aw!
NP: And you've been challenged.
AM: Oh, rubbish!
PJ: Absolute rubbish! Nonsense! Rubbish!
NP: He's being very generous because you've only been going for three quarters of a second, actually.
CF: Was it?
NP: And it was a very ticklish subject.
CF: Sounded longer.
NP: So Aimi, you have another point and ticklish situations is still with you, 59 seconds starting now.
AM: Often people find their feet are their ticklish situations. In my case, this is not true. You can tickle those things on the end of my legs as much as you want and you...
NP: And Aimi Macdonald has challenged. Hesitation.
AM: Did I press my button? I didn't mean to. It was panic.
NP: Oh, I thought you did mean to, Aimi, because you challenged for hesitation and you get a point for hesitation.
AM: Did I?
NP: It's a correct challenge, yes.
AM: Oh, of course I do.
NP: Yes! For those of our listeners who are still completely in the dark about what's been going on here in this Paris Studio at the BBC, when Aimi Macdonald talked about her ticklish feet Peter Jones made a dive for them under the seat, which amused everybody in the audience and Kenneth Williams thought he was up to no good under the counter there. Ah, but Aimi Macdonald still has the subject. There are 47 seconds, no, 43 seconds, left, ticklish situations starting now.
AM: It's when they work up the body that things start to get uncomfortable. Behind the knees, for example, is very strange. The worst part for me is by...
NP: Aimi Macdonald has challenged.
AM: I thought I'd do it again because he's doing things to me!
NP: Peter Jones is still doing things to Aimi Macdonald. And her only form of defence in a ticklish situation is to challenge herself.
AM: Could I just finish this, Peter, please?
PJ: Yes. Would you like to press my button?
NP: So Aimi, you have another point for challenging yourself, and it's a correct challenge.
AM: How many more seconds have I got to go, darling?
NP: You have 28 and a half seconds on ticklish situations, starting now.
AM: Um... the
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.
KW: Well, that was a very, very definite hesitation.
AM: Yes, yes. I'll give that one to you, darling. You've been dying to have it all the time, haven't you?
NP: We'll no more comments on that and Kenneth will take over the subject, which is rather apt after Aimi's remark, of ticklish situations. There are 27 seconds left starting now.
KW: I faced a very ticklish situation with tinea, which I got in the crotch. And I was forced to apply calamine lotion. Well, I ran all round the regimental paddock. I was never in such agony (accent on second syllable), I cannot tell you, in all my life.
NP: And Aimi Macdonald challenged.
AM: What's agony (accent second syllable), darling?
NP: It's Kenneth's particularly flamboyant and poetic way of saying agony. But anyway, Kenneth, I know what you were conveying, and though you deviated from pronunciation, you are still with us on ticklish situations, 13 and a half seconds starting now.
KW: And the medical officer said that henceforth, during that suffering I should be excused wearing... khaki drill...
NP: Aimi Macdonald challenged.
AM: "Wearing... khaki," he went.
NP: I know he did. I saw him and so did everyone in our audience here! If you like, I'll put it to the audience. If you agree with the challenge you boo for Aimi and you cheer for Kenneth and you all do it together now!
AUDIENCE CHEERS AND BOOS
KW: Yes, they all adored me, you see! I could feel the waves of affection. You see that? They're on my side! They should never have women on the show at all.
NP: I think you're overplaying your hand now. They were on your side until you went over the top and they started to boo. Kenneth, you had the benefit of the doubt from the audience and from me. So you're well there with five seconds left and it's the last round and you're all very close, what's going to happen! Ticklish situations, starting now.
KW: The ideal thing to do is to rub in pomenganator potash and follow it up with a little poudre on the shelf...
NP: Well, this is about the closest contest we've had for a very long time, and only one point has separated the respective challengers and panelists. Peter Jones, giving his usual good value, finished in fourth place but only one point behind Aimi Macdonald, who was equal in second place with the one and only Kenneth Williams. But our frequent winner, just one ahead of them, was Clement Freud. So I'm sure that Clement is happy to share that applause with the second and the third and we'll say from all of us here, thank you very much for listening. We hope you enjoyed this show and will want to tune in again. Until then, from all of us here, goodbye.
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons. The show was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by David Hatch.