NOTE: Jimmy Mulville's last appearance, although clips of him are heard in the 1992 compilation show Silver Minutes.

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 different and exciting personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We welcome back Derek Nimmo, Clement Freud, Paul Merton and Jimmy Mulville. Will you please welcome all four of them. Our producer's talented secretary Anne Ling sits beside me, she has a stopwatch in one hand which I read for the time, she has a pen to put down the scores, she has a whistle that she blows when 60 seconds are up. And I have the subjects in front of me and I'm going to ask all four at different times of course to speak if they can on the subject I will give them. And they will try and do that as always without hesitation or repetition or deviating from the subject. Clement Freud would you take the first round, the subject is bags. You can take it in so many different ways. Will you talk on the subject starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: The way I would like to take bags is as an item of luggage. And the odd thing about bags when I was first able to afford one was I went to Switzerland. And when I came out of the train, the porter put a chalk mark on to my bags, denoting that I was a light tipper. And as a result when I got to the hotel, I got the most appalling service. The people in this hostelry investigated my bags and found the hyrogliphics which were two strokes and a circle, to denote that I would leave very little money in return for services rendered. I think this is an absolutely revolting, disgusting, unpleasant and nasty thing to do, as you would expect the Swiss to behave normally! Because if you...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: He's no longer talking about bags, he's talking about his inherent meanness.

NP: I don't know if he was talking about that but I think he had got off the subject of bags on to the subject of the Swiss. So we give you a point for a correct challenge of deviation and say there are 13 seconds left and you take over the subject of bags Derek starting now.

DN: Bags in the sense of women can be applied to the ladies who were actually following the troops in days of old. They came along with the baggage and that is why they were so named bags. Now then the public...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gets an extra point. And it was on this occasion Derek Nimmo. And Paul Merton, would you take the next round. Walking the dog. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PAUL MERTON: I haven't got a dog but I've often dreamed of having one. And if I did own such an animal what I would do is first of all purchase a lead because I think that's the best way to walk a dog. It's no good expecting it just to run off and then to come back some time or other because it won't. It'll get a job somewhere, perhaps driving HGV lorries! What was that? I thought somebody challenged me. No, he didn't! Um, or run its own business delivering parcels in the West End area. These are the sort of things that dogs get up to, so that's why owners make sure that they control their dogs by a very long piece of er rope or twine...


NP: Ah Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation, of er rope.

NP: Of er rope, because he was trying not to say lead again. Derek you've got in with another point for a correct challenge and 28 seconds, walking the dog, starting now.

DN: Walking the dog is something that used to be done by the Governor's wife in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in the last century. And in consequence of that the cricket pitch around which you used to walk...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: It wasn't called Malaysia in the last century.

DN: It is called now.

NP: No, no, it became Malaysia after independence. Was Malay Straits before then. And Clement, as we go out to every country including Malaysia, I'm very glad that you drew their attention to that. And you get a point for doing so...

DN: What was it called then Nick?

NP: The Malay Straits.

DN: No it was just called Malaya. Or the straits...

NP: No before that it was called the Malay Straits.

DN: The Strait Settlement, no it was never called the Malay Straits, it was called the Strait Settlement.

NP: I've got postage stamps at home in my album with Malay Straits written across them.


NP: And who did, challenged? Paul?

PM: Um, the subject's walking the dog!

NP: A bonus point to Paul Merton, the subject with Clement Freud, 17 seconds left Clement, walking the dog, starting now.

CF: It is of course essential to have a dog in the first place. But when you have such an animal, put your left foot in front of your right and then repeat the process and see whether the canine friend will not follow or go on ahead. This is called walking the dog, a job often done by butlers...


NP: On that occasion Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained that all-important extra point. He's now in second place, Derek Nimmo's in the lead and Derek your turn to begin. The subject, 1066. A date that everybody in our country knows about, one of the first things that they learn at school. Will you tell us something that you learnt about it starting now.

DN: The first memorable thing that happened that year was the death of Edward the Confessor who named as his successor King Harold as he subsequently became after the coronation. Then there immediately arose a rebellion in the north of England led by Tustig. And he managed to get the ruler of Norway to join him in this revolt. And the troops morched... morched?


DN: Morched? Morched?

NP: What you... Paul, yes?

PM: Um, lapsing into Middle English!

NP: That's right, yes. They morched him. I thought you were going to have him for showing off actually, but um...

PM: I was waiting to hear where Derek played an important part in this!

NP: Yes! Yes well it did seem to come from memory, didn't it! Paul you have 34 seconds to tell us something about 1066 starting now.

PM: Ten-sixty-six are the four digits that form the last...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: I think he hesitated.

NP: No I don't think he hesitated.

DN: Don't you think so? Well I thought so. Yes he... notice the way the sound carries.

NP: Nobody in the audience...

DN: Oh? Oh right. Fine.

NP: Nobody in the audience..

DN: No I'm quite prepared to admit that I can't hear!

NP: They don't want to hear any more from you on 1066. They were bored to death with morching up to the north. Thirty seconds for you Paul with another point and 1066 starting now.

PM: 1066, Fulton...


NP: Jimmy Mulville challenged.

JIMMY MULVILLE: That was hesitation.

NP: That was hesitation Jimmy, yes, well done. Nice to hear from you!

JM: Well I couldn't get a word in edgeways you see before.

NP: I know. I know. But you've got in, lovely to hear from you again, 27 seconds, 1066, starting now.

JM: It is the year in which the Normans came over to this country and brought with them all manner of different forms of language. Before that we had to use Anglo-Saxon and bits that the Romans didn't want. Then we were forced to use words like rick...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of forced.

NP: What was the other forced he had?

DN: They forced us and then they were forced to use...

JM: Forced...

DN: ...words the Romans...

NP: I know! I know he said it. But...

DN: I mean one and one makes two, Nick. You see.

NP: I know. But you see also occasionally I'm generous because when somebody's only playing the game for about the third or fourth time and they've only played it in the last series once...

DN: I see.

NP: ...I actually pretend I didn't hear. And so...

DN: Oh right! Oh good! Yes well...

JM: Right!

DN: I thought it was the battery running down.

NP: No I don't have a pacemaker like you Derek. The um, 10 seconds with you Jimmy still on 1066 starting now.

JM: I was once at university with a man whose great claim to fame was that his family came over with the Normans...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two Normans.

NP: Yes I'm afraid I can't let...

JM: That was in the last go, wasn't it?

NP: Yes...

JM: Oh I see, it continues, I see.

NP: You, if it's in this round though, it was in the last time you..

JM: I should have stayed home and watched television!

NP: Probably see yourself you're on so frequently! Um...

DN: There's a bitter man!

NP: I've said before Derek, it takes one to recognise one.

JM: Now girls! Please!

NP: There are four seconds for Clement to keep going on 1066 starting now.

CF: Ten-sixty-six was a very poor year for comedians. There were virtually...


NP: Well at the end of that round Clement Freud is in the lead. He's only one point ahead of Paul Merton and Derek Nimmo equal and then one behind them comes Jimmy Mulville who begins the next round. Jimmy, alternative comedy, you started there but you've moved in to the mainstream as it's called. But can you talk on the subject starting now.

JM: I doubt it but let me try. I think that people get mixed up when they think of alternative comedy. You see it didn't actually begin in the late 70s early 80s. It does in fact go back to the court of Henry the Eighth who was fed up listening to mother-in-law jokes having had six wives. And he called his Fool to him and said "look I am ffffff-really..."


NP: And Derek Nimmo got in first. Derek?

DN: A very nasty F which he changed to something else.

NP: So what were you challenging for?

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, right.

JM: Right.

NP: Thirty-eight seconds on alternative comedy Derek starting now.

DN: Well of course it really goes back to King Harold who was greatly influenced by Normandy when they shot him in the eye and he had to go for alternative comedy to Westminster Abbey...


NP: Jimmy Mulville challenged.

JM: He's talking gibberish!

NP: I don't think that is alternative comedy.

DN: It is alternative comedy. Alternative comedy is gibberish!

JM: Oooooohhh!

NP: No, no, ooh, no...

PM: There's a bitter man!

JM: There's a bitter man!

PM: Definitely!

NP: No there was nothing comic about being shot in the eye! So I agree with your challenge, you have 27 seconds on alternative comedy starting now.

JM: The definition of an alternative comedian is someone who's made his name sniping at the Establishment and makes his fortune doing adverts for it! This little phenomenon of comedy goes back to about 1980 in this area of London, Soho. People like Rik Mayall or Alexei Sayle, Peter Robinson, Robbie Coltrane...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Um, deviation, I've never heard of Peter Robinson.

JM: He didn't do very well! He was a bit of a one night stand man. He then changed his name to, I think it's...

PM: Doesn't he, doesn't he own a chain of...

JM: I think it was Annette...

CF: DH Evans I think.

JM: DH Evans, that was it!

NP: Right I agree, he very cleverly, he almost bluffed us out but...

JM: Actually he actually was in a show called Cliffhanger, Peter Robinson. He changed his name to Peter Something Else.

NP: Yes but he wasn't very alternative.

JM: How am I doing?

PM: I'm swayed by your powerful argument!

NP: That's right, yes. But Paul Merton who's made a great success in alternative comedy will now talk on the subject with seven seconds to go starting now.

PM: Such a success have I made in this chosen career that I find myself sharing a stage with Nicholas Parsons!


NP: Paul you have gained an extra point for speaking as the whistle went and you are now in the lead at the end of that round. And Clement Freud your turn to begin again, the subject is burglars. Will you tell us something about those in this game starting now.

CF: Burglars are people which take things that do not belong to them. Rather like comedians who steal jokes from Arthur Haynes or Nicholas Parsons who would not be good people from whom, to whom... of whom....


NP: You challenged Paul.

PM: Um, repetition of whom.

NP: Whom, yes. Yes right yes. Because he didn't quite deviate but nearly. Forty-seven seconds, burglars Paul starting now.

PM: About a year ago I had a burglar. I was lucky, I disturbed him. I said "there is no God". But he was the kind of individual who liked to rob people of their possessions when they're not in, hopefully. And I disturbed him outside...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two disturbeds.

NP: Yes, your, he was too disturbed, I'm sorry.

PM: Yes.

NP: Thirty seconds are left for burglars, it's you Derek starting now.

DN: The last time I had an intrusion by a burglar I'd just had a heart bypass and I was lying on my bed. And the chellow smashed the door down, came in and took all kinds of possessions from me which I greatly valued and I miss sincerely. I then put in all manner of devices to prevent them. I have pads and locks and alarms that go directly to the police station. And I've joined Neighbourhood Watch! And I ask you all to join that particular organisation because it's very worthwhile...


NP: Such a pathetic story nobody dared to challenge him! But well done Derek, you kept going until the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so and you'll be in the lead now with Paul Merton equal and then comes Clement and then Jimmy Mulville. And Paul your turn to begin, the bottom line. Take it any way you wish but talk on the subject starting now.

PM: The bottom line can also be referred to as well as VPL, which is Visible Panty Line which the women in the audience will know what I'm talking about. It's a rather unsightly ridge that you sometimes have appear at the back...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: Two sometimes.

NP: Yeah, two sometimes, a tough challenge but it's correct.

DN: It's not particularly tough, it's just perfectly obvious, isn't it. He said sometimes twice and you press the button. I don't think there's anything...

NP: But sometimes I've noticed you're all very sporting and let someone get under way, so that, you know, you can have a bit of a flair and flourish from them before you challenge with a tough one. Forty-seven seconds are left on the bottom line with you Derek starting now.

DN: I suppose you can call the bottom line on a boat the Plimsoll line. He was an MP, the gentleman of that name, for Derby. And he brought in an Act, the Shipping Bill of 1887 because vessels were being tremendously overloaded and...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, we're talking about the shipping bill of the last century now and...

DN: And the bottom line, for bringing in the Plimsoll line.

PM: No.

CF: The Plimsoll line isn't the bottom line.

NP: No the Pilmsoll, no we...

DN: It's the bottom line to which they're allowed to be loaded.

NP: No, no, he didn't, no, I must be fair. Paul you didn't actually challenge for that. And just to show you how fair I am with the things Derek says to me, he didn't challenge for the fact that it isn't a bottom line which I would have agreed with if he's challenged for that...

PM: Ah yes, that was my second point!

NP: Yeah! And he was to my mind still talking about the Plimsoll line which in his mind he did establish was the bottom line. So Derek I'm being generous and saying you have the benefit of the doubt, another point to you, 31 seconds, the bottom line starting now.

DN: If you're preparing a set of accounts you put at the top your income which might come from a variety of sources, and you add all that together and subtract from it the expenses that you have incurred. And at the bottom, beneath, you will have what they call the bottom line which means that you either made a profit or indeed perhaps if you've been unlucky enough and injudicious enough, a loss...


NP: And you've got two... Clement?

CF: Ah repetition of enough.

NP: That's right yes, I nearly said it, I'm sorry...

CF: Not an important word, but he said it twice.

NP: And he said it very deliberately too. So Clement five seconds for you on the bottom line starting now.

CF: When I went to a skin graft they looked at my posterior and said "surely that is..."


NP: And the intriguing thing about Just A Minute is that we will never know about Clement Freud's posterior and what happened when they looked at it after they'd seen the skin. Because the whistle went, he's gained an extra point for speaking at that moment. He's equal with Paul Merton in second place behind Derek Nimmo and then it's Jimmy Mulville. And Derek your turn to begin, the subject, stoppers. Will you tell us something about stoppers in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: The best kind of stoppers for a bottle of wine probably are made from cork. In fact actually they're always made from cork which can...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Um, repetition of cork, I'm afraid.

DN: Absolutely! He's very sharp!

NP: Yes you said made...

DN: A little word!

NP: Fifty-two seconds are left for stoppers with you Paul starting now.

PM: Stoppers is a piece of football jargon. It's a phrase that managers talk to describe about old-fashioned centre halfs. There's a sentence and a half indeed! It is a... oh....


NP: Jimmy Mulville you got in on that one.

JM: Yes he stopped himself there.

NP: He stopped himself, hesitation and deviation. But you've got in and you have a correct challenge, 41 seconds to tell us about stoppers starting now.

JM: The best stopper that I ever saw was a man called Morris Sethers who wasn't an alternate comedian but in fact the way that he played football he did use to get a few laughs. His method of playing that particular game was to stop anybody...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of playing?

NP: No he didn't say playing before.

PM: No?

NP: No, no...

JM: I did say a few things twice but I didn't say...

NP: No, no, 27 seconds for you Jimmy on stoppers starting now.

JM: And this was a very very...


NP: Oh! Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Ah, West Bromwich Albion! Very very.

NP: You have to know, I might disagree but he did say very very yes. I agree with that one, 22 seconds on stoppers starting now.

CF: There was an awfully jolly sort of sweetmeat called a gobstopper which you put in your mouth which made it absolutely impossible for you to speak. Which would have been enormously helpful for anyone playing Just A Minute or other similar pursuits. Stoppers in football are, as has very rightly been said, people who are the opposite of strikers in that they prevent...


NP: Clement Freud is now equal in the lead with Derek Nimmo and then comes Paul Merton and then Jimmy Mulville. And Jimmy your turn to begin, the subject, throwing a party.

JM: Throwing a party is a subject very close to my heart. In the old days when I was in my 20s, it was no sweat at all. Just a bottle of wine, a lump of cheese, and friends, a room, and there you had it, a party. Today it seems that we need some kind of a reason to throw a party, a theme. And it is these sort of parties against which I rail. Today we have for instance parties where people come dressed as the Depression, 30s parties, 40s parties...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

JM: Hello Derek, come in!

DN: Sorry, um, yes, I can't think of a challenge at the moment!

NP: Oh really?

DN: I wish I could help, but um...

JM: We'll just have a game of cards and you think of one and when you...

NP: Twenty-two seconds for you Jimmy to carry on with throwing a party...

JM: I've been to a 60s party, a 70s party, an 80s party and last week I went to a 90s party. I've been to a party...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of went, he went to a 60s party, went to a 70s party.

NP: You went too often! You also repeated 80s, 90s and 60s. Anyway there are 12 seconds for you Derek on throwing a party starting now.

DN: Last night a very dear friend of mine called Derek Picot, runs the Sheraton Park Tower Hotel, threw the most wonderful party. We had fireworks and it was for the Savoy gastronomes...


NP: Jimmy Mulville challenged.

JM: A hesitation and I thought you weren't allowed to advertise on the BBC.

NP: Well you're not officially allowed to advertise but...

JM: Well he was plugging one of his mate's gaffs! Wasn't he?

NP: I know!

JM: The Sheraton Park Hotel!

NP: Yes but...

JM: Pretty ropey as well actually!

NP: But the rules are of this game...

DN: Sir Clement Freud is going for lunch there this week.

NP: As long as he doesn't hesitate, deviate or repeat himself...

JM: I thought there was a slight hesitation as well actually.

NP: Well it's a bit late now to come in with that one. So...


NP: Paul?

PM: Hesitation!

NP: Yes!

JM: He nicked my hesitation!

NP: Yes that's right. Ah but Derek you still have two seconds to tell us something about throwing a party starting now.

DN: The best party I ever went to was on VJ Day...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He's already talked about the best one.

NP: The best one yes, it was the best party once before, that's right, yes. So that's what happens if you get interrupted isn't it. One second Clement, well done, throwing a party starting now.



NP: Clement's now in the lead at the end of that round but only single points separate them all in descending order. And it's also your turn to begin Clement, the subject is Marconi. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: Marconi was one of the few Italians who did not have a pasta named after him which is more than you can say about macaroni, probably a distant relative. And the type of fettucini to which he gave his name was the hull of spaghetti...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, we're talking about pasta now.

NP: We're on to pasta and fettucinis, yes, but we're well off Marconi.

CF: It was all to do with Marconi.

NP: No, no, no, I think you definitely veered off the subject, deviating and Paul Merton got in with a correct challenge, 44 seconds, Marconi, Paul, starting now.

PM: One of my old school chums who I remember from many years ago was Eric Marconi. What a wonderful boy he was. He was so clever at all the different lessons in the school. He was good at mathematics, history, English, woodowrk, technical drawing, geography, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Latin, chemistry, biology, physics, and he was quite good at sports as well, football, cricket...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of good.

NP: Oh yes, he didn't deserve that after reeling off all those subjects. Well done Paul. Almost deserve a bonus for that. But Clement got in with a correct challenge, 15 seconds on Marconi starting now.

CF: He was into communications quite heavily. And Jack the Ripper or one of those fairly famous criminals...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, it was in fact Doctor Crippen...

NP: Doctor Crippen.

PM: ..who was...

CF: What are you talking about?

NP: Well what are you talking about? We don't know what you're talking about. What's the connection between Marconi and Jack the Ripper?

CF: Just wait for it!

PM: I'm prepared to wait for it!

NP: All right, you're prepared to wait for it. Let's see what happens then, eight seconds on Marconi, Clement, starting now.

CF: Might have been caught as quickly as Doctor Crippen... had the same scientific...


NP: Right Paul has challenged you again.

PM: Um I waited and um I still think it's deviation.

NP: You think that he would not have been caught as quick as Doctor Crippen?

PM: No because Crippen was caught because he was on a trans-Atlantic liner and they radioed ahead and said "Doctor Crippen's on this boat".

DN: Apart from which Jack the Ripper was never caught.

NP: Paul you have a correct challenge and you're in with one second to go on Marconi starting now.

PM: Marconi...


NP: Clement Freud and Paul Merton are now equal in the lead just two ahead of Derek Nimmo and one behind that is Jimmy Mulville. And we move into the last round and do anybody can win. The subject is manners and it's Paul Merton's turn to begin. Paul will you start talking now.

PM: Some people say that manners aren't waht they used to be. They look back to some golden age where men were chivalrous and society...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: I think that was hesitation, yes. It's manners, Derek got in, 52 seconds on the subject starting now.

DN: Manners is the family name of the Duke of Rutland. He is in fact married to a very lovely woman who is the daughter of Margaret Argyle and Charles Sweeney, she being the Duchess, ah, thereof...


NP: And Jimmy Mulville challenged.

JM: He sort of hesitated...

NP: He did hesitate.

JM:... on the Duchess, yes.

NP: He was trying to work up some more relations, I don't know. And so Jimmy I agree with your challenge, you have 36 seconds to tell us something about manners starting now.

JM: I was always told when I was a boy to stand up for anybody who was on the bus. And I was, when I was a child, forced by my mother to give up my seat whenever I saw an old age pensioner or a pregnant lady or a...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation, it's got nothing to do with manners, he used to do it with maternal, um...

NP: Instruction.

CF: ...pressures.

NP: You obviously want to win the game...

CF: No I don't, no!

JM: That's how I learnt my manners. How did you learn your manners? Oh sorry!

NP: No that was...

CF: It's not manners!

NP: It is, it is good manners standing up for old age pensioners...

CF: Not being made to by your mother!

JM: I've always, I've always done it for you Clement, so...

NP: Yes. Right and I stand up for Jimmy Mulville on this occasion metaphorically speaking of course and it also makes the scores very equal as we carry on with 22 seconds with you Jimmy, manners, starting now.

JM: Of course manners oil the machinery of society. Without manners we would not exist. If I thought I could take it upon...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, I think, you know, we could exist without manners.

NP: I agree with your challenge and you have 16 seconds to tell us something about the subject starting now.

PM: There are certain things that are regarded as good manners. For example, standing up for a people who may be less fortunate than yourselves who are on public transport...


NP: Jimmy Mulville challenged.

JM: I don't think it's a socio-economic thing, being less fortunate than ourselves. What's he going on about?

NP: Well if some...

JM: You don't have a means test to give up your seat, do you?

NP: No, no...

JM: Can I have evidence that you... I mean...

NP: Jimmy I see your interpretation to do with money and means and we are in a market orientated society so I give you a bonus point for an interesting challenge. But after all people less fortunate could be crippled or something like that. So Paul has...

JM: You've got lovely manners haven't you Nicholas?

NP: What's that?

JM: I say you've got lovely manners.

NP: Yes. So Paul has...

JM: A certain insincere of purpose...

NP: I disagree with your challenge, Paul still keeps the subject, six seconds left starting now.

PM: My parents drummed into me from a very early age the importance of good manners...


NP: So as I said a little while ago this was to be the last round so let me give you the final score. What I love is the contribution they all make and the score to my mind is secondary. But Derek Nimmo who often wins came in fourth place but only one point behind Jimmy Mulville and Clement Freud equal in second place and they were only three points behind the one who has most points this week so we adjudge him to be the winner, Paul Merton. it only remains for me to say on behalf of all four of them who have entertained the audience so well and we hope the audience, thank you very much, on behalf of Anne Ling who's kept the score and kept the stopwatch moving and of course the creator of the game Ian Messiter, our producer Edward Taylor and from me Nicholas Parsons, we hope you've enjoyed it and will want to tune in again same time when we take to the air and we play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here, goodbye!