NOTE: This was the first JAM to be recorded outside a BBC studio in central London. Sarah Smith's first show as producer.

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 the four talented people this week who are going to play Just A Minute. And we welcome Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. And we extend a special welcome to someone who's playing the game for the first time, Maureen Lipman. Would you please welcome all four of them. This is a very special recording of Just A Minute because it actually marks the 25th anniversary of the show. And we've come to Highgate School in North London. And over 25 years the basic rules have not changed. As ever I will ask four panelists to speak 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 on the card. And we begin this anniversary show with Peter Jones. Peter the subject is jam. Incidentally for those who don't know, jam is also the nickname for Just A Minute. Peter, 60 seconds, the time starts now.

PETER JONES: Yes the word jam appears in my diary quite often at this time of the year. It means that I'm coming along to do this marvellous show and and not to deviate...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Hesitation. And and.

NP: Yes there was a...

PJ: Yes, very small one yes.

NP: Right you have 44 seconds, Derek, you have got a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject of jam and the time starts now.

DN: Well money for old jam is what we actually get for playing Just A Minute. Because it is curious that the BBC in its wisdom has for so many years kindly paid us to talk absolute rubbish about something that we know nothing about! And here we come along...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of about.

NP: Yes. You did say about twice Derek.

DN: When?

NP: You did indeed, you may not have spotted it but the audience did and they were laughing...

DN: You certainly didn't!

NP: What's that? Clement it's a correct challenge, you take over the subject of jam, you have 26 seconds left starting now.

CF: Jam is a very English three letter word. It's multi-connotational. Politically it's in jam tomorrow. Transport-wise the M25. Um...


NP: He got on the M25 and ground to a halt like everybody else! Peter you challenged, a point to you for a correct challenge, 14 seconds are left, tell us something more about jam.

PJ: You mustn't deviate or hesitate or repeat yourself or...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Too many ors! Got too many ors in!

NP: That's what we call a sharp challenge. But as it's correct I have to be fair Derek. Yes it's correct, you have another point and you have 10 seconds on jam starting now.

DN: (speaking very slowly) I particularly like some of the beautifully carved door jams that one sees on fine English house furniture...


NP: And Maureen Lipman has challenged with one second to go. Maureen how clever! You've not played the game before! And you've got in there. In fact there's only half a second to go but what is your challenge?

MAUREEN LIPMAN: Well I just wanted to ask a question. Is he allowed to go that slowly?

PJ: No!

ML: I think that's a form of hesitation!

NP: Well normally he gets away with it but when you challenge he's not going to get away with it. So Maureen you have half a second to tell us something about jam starting now.


ML: Jam...

NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Ridiculous! And Maureen Lipman...

ML: I certainly did not!

NP: ...has another point for an incorrect challenge and she has quarter of a second on jam starting now.

ML: Jam has a lot of uses...


NP: So at the end of that round Maureen Lipman who has never played the game before is in a commanding lead with four points. And she has a singular achievement too because she gained them all in under a second! So well done Maureen and I think Maureen it would be a lovely idea if you took the second round, the subject is cabinets. Can you tell us something about those in Just A Minute, you have 60 seconds starting now.

ML: Cabinets come in many shapes and sizes. I have two bedside cabinets by the side of the beds and they are both right-handed cabinets...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Bedside, the bed.

ML The side of the bed?

NP: No she said...

PJ: Didn't she?

NP: ...bedside and I think bedside is one word.

PJ: Well a bed's got two sides!

ML: No your bed's got two sides, mine's got one against the wall.

PJ: Oh I see.

DN: Where does, where does Jack fit in?

NP: I would have thought very comfortably! Maureen that was an incorrect challenge so you have another point...

ML: Thank you!

NP: ...and you have 53 seconds left on cabinets starting now.

ML: Right there are medicine cabinets in which I keep lots of royal jelly, bzzz bzzz bzzz, which keeps me very...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: The third bzzz I thought was overdoing it!

NP: Yes, repetition of bzzz!

ML: It was all one bzzz really!

NP: I know, that's, that's the problem in this game. Clement a correct challenge, a point to you of course for being correct, 48 seconds are left, cabinets starting now.

CF: Chippendale and Thatcher spring to mind. The first as a constructor and the second as a demolition expert of Cabinets. I particularly recommend the latter because she got rid of more Cabinet Ministers than anybody in her time in Parliament. Where are you now, Norman Tebbit...


NP: Maureen Lipman challenged.

ML: I think there was a hesitation there.

NP: That was a pretty sharp challenge Maureen. I mean...

ML: Okay.

NP: ...he was, um...

ML: He was hesitating!

NP: No. It's what we call teetering on the hesitation. I have to make a judgement and I think if we got as sharp as that we would never really get underway. So Clement I consider that an incorrect challenge and you have 25 seconds to tell us more about cabinets starting now.

CF: I don't have any cabinets at home. But I have a number of houses in several different places...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Showing off!

NP: Absolutely true and thank you for drawing our attention to it. But as the audience enjoyed the challenge so much but it wasn't correct within Just A Minute, we give you a bonus point Derek. But Clement keeps the subject, 18 seconds left Clement, cabinets starting now.

CF: We have cardboard boxes in some, and in others nothing more than a shelf of wood or a piece of material onto which we can put bedside books...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He's not actually talking about cabinets, he's talking about bits of wood and cardboard boxes.

NP: Yes he's...

CF: No, I'm talking about what I have instead of cabinets.

NP: Yes, instead of cabinets, but I think...

DN: You're supposed to talk about cabinets.

NP: You have deviated from cabinets onto the bits of wood and the shelves and the cardboard boxes so I will consider that deviation. Derek you have a point and the subject and seven seconds starting now.

DN: (very quick) In America, the kitchen cabinet was people who actually...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: First three words, what were they?

NP: Ah I will give you a bonus point Peter! Ask Derek to start again using the same three words and...

DN: I was trying to go quickly because Maureen was complaining before, that's why!

NP: Well we start again with the same three words and you start the clock one second later. And Derek's time begins now.

DN: In America the kitchen cabinet as it's so-called are the people who actually hold the power...


NP: Peter challenged, Peter Jones.

PJ: It's not quite grammatical, really, to say the people are the Cabinet. Are! He said the Cabinet are, you see.

CF: Good challenge! Good challenge!

NP: The Cabinet is!

PJ: The Cabinet is!

NP: Let's ask the school. I often do this, I do put it to the superior wisdom and judgement of our audience. Now if you agree with Peter's challenge, then you...

PJ: Why do you assume they're superior?

DN: They must be superior to Nicholas!

PJ: Well I know! Perhaps in his case, it's all right!

NP: I believe in toadying to my audience! So if you agree with Peter's challenge would you cheer for him. If you disagree you boo for Derek Nimmo and you all do it together now.


CF: Hurray!

NP: Peter they entirely agree with you.

PJ: They do? Well that's very good.

NP: Yes entirely agree with you, you have another point and one second on cabinets starting now.

PJ: My father was a cabinet maker...


NP: Well at the end of that round, let me give you the score. Maureen Lipman is still in the lead with five points and then comes Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo equal in second place and then Clement one point behind them. And Clement your turn to begin, the subject, getting a break. A rather apt subject we may discover why they’ve chosen that for you as you talk on it starting now.

CF: Well it does so happen that I broke my left leg some months ago. And if you should get a break, it is terribly important that you should have got it in a reasonably exciting way because slipping on oxtail soup in the kitchen simply doesn't bear relating! Whenever you walk down the street people you don't know say "what happened to you then?" and have no desire to listen to what it is that occurred. So really it is unimportant but useful to have broken it parachuting...


NP: Maureen Lipman challenged.

ML: Little hesitation there.

NP: Ah yes I think we call that one hesitation Maureen. So you have the subject of getting a break and another point of course for a correct challenge. You have 27 seconds starting now.

ML: Well everybody needs a break in their lives. And a good break is to get away on a nice holiday. And everybody... oh I've said everybody...


ML: I've buzzed myself!

NP: Yes Clement Freud challenged you, yes. Clement?

CF: Ah two everybodies.

NP: Two everybodys correct. Getting a break is back with you, 21 seconds left starting now.

CF: Getting a break is also used in the hotel industry for going to places to which you have no desire to... go...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes, 13 seconds for you Derek on getting a break starting now.

DN: I got my break when I first joined the tremendous roller skating act Liz Rayner and Betty. And I used to go and miz bleurgh dat...


DN: A very good naval act that actually!

ML: I challenged for pebbles in the mouth!

NP: Yes! Clement you pressed your buzzer first.

CF: Yes it was for hesitation.

NP: Yes I'll give it to you for that hesitation. Right another point Clement and five seconds on getting a break starting now.

CF: We had a wonderful break in a hotel in Cornwall...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Repetition of hotel.

NP: Yes you had hotel...

CF: I said hotels before. I talked about hotels that went in for it. This was a hotel.

NP: That's right, you're quite right, you did say hotels before and he said hotel that time.

DN: Yes quite right.

NP: So an incorrect challenge...

PJ: Quite close though, wasn't it!

NP: Indeed! Clement you still have the subject, another point, getting a break starting now.

CF: It was on the Tamar overlooking...


NP: Well at the end of that round Clement Freud got a number of points. He also got that all-important extra point for speaking as the whistle went.

CF: Why is it all-important?

NP: Because you haven't worked for it. Well yes you have worked for it, I suppose. I don't know Clement, I just happened to say it, why...

CF: It's the same importance as the other points!

NP: Just as important as the other points. I just happened to say it, I thought it was a nice phrase. Derek Nimmo didn't complain for once...

CF: Oh do challenge!

NP: I don't know why you want to make a fuss about it!


NP: Yes Maureen?

ML: Waffling!

NP: So it wasn't an all-important point but Clement got one for speaking as the whistle went and he's now in the lead, one ahead of Maureen Lipman and then comes Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones, in that order. And Derek Nimmo your turn to begin and the subject is my lucky stars. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

DN: My lucky stars is rather a good subject to have, I think, in Just A Minute. Astrologers of old thought that one's whole life was predetermined by the conjunction of the stars. For instance if Uranus was doing something rather curious with Jupiter, that perhaps would bring you tremendous good fortune. People today also read astrology columns in various newspapers to discover what their destiny holds for them on a particular day. Some people for instance, born in March, are Pisceans. So their sign is a fish and presumably they'd be happiest wrapped in newspaper or immersed in water...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of newspaper.

NP: Yes because you mentioned the newspaper...

DN: Newspaper and newspapers.

NP: No...

DN: Local newspapers and wrapped in newspaper.

NP: No I was listening Derek, you said...

DN: I said read newspapers...

NP: You said newspaper columns. The plural was on the columns.

DN: I didn't mention columns at all!

NP: No... Rubbish! Derek you have...

ML: Is he allowed... sorry... is he allowed to sing it?

NP: He can do whatever he likes actually...

DN: What's the matter this time? First it was too slow, then it was too fast, and now I'm singing it!

ML: Well I have to work with you love at the theatre!

NP: Derek you have another point for an incorrect challenge, you have my lucky stars and 18 seconds starting now.

DN: Aries the ram, Cancer the crab, Virgo, Gemini and them of course we must not forget, but I nearly did, that very interesting star which we all have and never forget which we call...


NP: Derek Nimmo you got an extra point for speaking as the whistle went and you're now equal with Clement Freud. Peter Jones we're back with you to start and the subject is phantasmagoria. Will you tell us something on that general subject starting now.

PJ: Well it's a kind of mixture of things. You get a sort of effect like Picasso does sometimes. You could imagine about 14 of Picasso pictures all jumbled together...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Picasso.

NP: Picasso.

PJ: Oh of course yes.

NP: I'm afraid Derek you have the subject of phantasmagoria and you have 49 seconds starting now.

DN: I'm not terribly keen on having phantasmagoria because it's a rather complicated subject. It's a collection of images which are not quite... A goria of course means... a place, assembly...


NP: Maureen Lipman challenged.

ML: There was a little hesitation there.

NP: There was a little hesitation. We give it to you Maureen.

ML: I'm ever so sorry.

NP: We'll hear from you on phantasmagoria and 40 seconds are left starting now.

ML: Well phantasmagoria puts one in mid of course of fantastic and fabulous and all sorts of fabled things like that. Phantasmagoria, the word that is on the card, is something that is really unknown to me and therefore while I shall be talking about it, I will be talking a tremendous amount of nonsense...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: I thought that was a good time to stop!

NP: Is that all your challenge?

CF: Yes.

NP: Well in that case it was incorrect.

ML: Yes.

NP: We'll give you a bonus point because we liked the challenge. You could have had her for talking but she repeated that.

ML: Talking? Can't I talk?

NP: Yes you used the word talking twice.

ML: Oh did I? Sorry.

NP: But he didn't have you for that. I thought he might have done.

CF: Talk and talking.

NP: So Maureen you have another point for an incorrect challenge... no you don't! No, no points are given because um it was um...

PJ: Talking nonsense has never been a disadvantage in this particular game!

NP: Maureen you have 24 seconds to continue with phantasmagoria starting now.

ML: Well of course I do know what phantasmagoria...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: That's her second of course.

NP: It was her second of course. What a mean challenge!

ML: But anyway of course you were right.

NP: Of course. Clement you have a point and 22 seconds to tell us something about phantasmagoria starting now.

CF: The reason why we don't tend to get words like phantasmagoria in Just A Minute is because phantasmagoria has so many syllables that people using it, saying phantasmagoria, waste a great deal of time and are that much closer to when the whistle blows! That's really what I wanted to say but...


NP: And you didn't quite get...

DN: He's obviously said all he wanted to say so he's going to hesitate and that's going to be the end of him! So I thought I'd just anticipate it a bit, perhaps precipitate slightly that he's going to stop so I was helping him out. Hesitation. Embryonic hesitation.

NP: Clement started to slow down and he started to have a challenge. I don't know how to judge on that. I think it was an incorrect challenge Derek because he didn't actually hesitate but he was slowing down. Clement you have two seconds left on phantasmigoria starting now.

CF: Things that go bump in the night as we...


NP: Clement was speaking again as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now in quite a strong lead ahead of Derek Nimmo and then comes Maureen Lipman and Peter Jones. And Maureen we're back with you to begin and the subject is making up. Will you tell us something about making up in this game starting now.

ML: I have to make up every night for the theatre for the play that I'm appearing in, with...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Making up every night is repetition.

NP: I know it is!

CF: Boo!

NP: But after 25 years Clement, I thought you’d know that the repetition in this game means you must not repeat the words. You can be repetitious but you do not repeat the words. And Maureen Lipman who's never played it before knows that, so she gets a point.

ML: Thank you very much.

NP: And she continues with 55 seconds to go, making up, starting now.

ML: So I have to put a lot of makeup on my face in the evening. So therefore during the day I try to keep any sort of makeup off my face...


ML: Face.

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two faced!

NP: Yes.

ML: Oh Derek! I counter challenge on that!

NP: Maureen I agree but you can't control Derek when he's got the bit between his teeth. Derek you have a point for a correct challenge, making up's the subject, 47 seconds are left starting now.

DN: I have seen Maureen Lipman make up in the evening. It is the most extraordinary sight. Because when the daytime one comes off, underneath there is this extraordinary raddled but beautiful woman nevertheless. And then she piles it on, pancake, all sorts of rubbish and ruse, and then the wig and finally she goes out to tumultuous applause because she has made up so wonderfully. And I also make up to her in the professional sense. Because she is a great star, a stellar body. And I want to keep on the right side of her because she is going to do a play by Neil Simon and I don't think I...


DN: ..am going to be in it unless I do make up to her. What's the matter now? What's the matter? What's the matter?

ML: I'm going to challenge you on the grounds of schmoozing! And if you say you don't know what it means, you can't be in a Neil Simon play!

NP: Actually Maureen you can have him for deviation because his description of you when you were making up, I thought, was quite erroneous. So you have a point for that, you have the subject, you have five seconds on making up starting now.

ML: Making up to...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: A real positive huge hesitation.

NP: I know...

DN: I've never seen her before at a loss for words!

NP: Absolutely!

DN: It was a great treat, it really was!

NP: After the things you said about her, I'm not surprised! So Maureen I give you another point for that because... and you have three seconds left on making up starting now.

ML: Making up after a row can be something very very passionate...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Very very, repetition.

NP: Very, very yes. Derek you got in with another point, half a second to go, making up, starting now.

DN: I like making up very much indeed because...


NP: Well we have an interesting situation at the end of that round because Derek Nimmo's now in the lead, but only one point ahead of Clement Freud and Maureen Lipman equal in second place and then comes Peter Jones. And um Clement it's your turn to begin. And the subject is laughter. Will you tell us something about laughter in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Mrs Thatcher was walking down Whitehall and saw a man sitting on the pavement begging. And this would be anathema to her. And as she approached she noticed the badge around his neck which said Falkland Veteran. And she was genuinely touched and opened her handbag and gave him 50 pounds. And he said "mucho gracias"!



NP: Derek you challenged.

DN: Well I suppose that sort of, 20 seconds of laughter must constitute a hesitation.

NP: I think so. Yes I think he should have picked it up, yes, he really milked that laughter didn't he. He never came in at all after it so I have to give it to you Derek and say, yes, and there are 28 seconds for laughter starting now.

DN: Lord Chesterfield in his advice to his son said "a man should only be seen to smile but never heard to laugh". Dean Swift could only remember producing laughter from his own body twice in his life. It is extraordinary that it only became fashionable in after years, during the reign in fact of Queen Victoria, a Monarch not known greatly for her laughter herself. When Gladstone was taken to task for not having a sense of humour...



NP: Clement challenged as the whistle went. Clement what's your challenge?

CF: Name dropping!

NP: Well as they're names that Derek's supposed to be associated with, I...

DN: I don't mind him dropping Margaret Thatcher! At least my Prime Ministers are dead!

NP: We thought they were comtempoaries, I'm sorry Derek. The...

DN: They probably are to you!

NP: No Clement it's not a challenge within the game so ah um, it's a point to Derek Nimmo, half a second left for you on laughter Derek starting now.

DN: I think it is a very good noise!


NP: At the end of that round Derek Nimmo getting another point speaking as the whistle went, has increased his lead at the end of the round. And Derek it's actually your turn to begin. So would you take the subject now of ministers and tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: It's one of these rather curious questions. There are of course many different kinds of Ministers. You can be a Minister of religion as well as a political Minister. Ah I think actually one of the most curious kinds of Ministers are the non-conformist ones. Oscar Wilde once said "don't make love to a Methodist standing up because it could lead to dancing". And I've always thought this was rather good advice for any Minister of religion because it does seem...


NP: Maureen Lipman has challenged.

ML: Religion. Repetition.

NP: And he repeated the word religion.

ML: Religion, yes.

PJ: Are you sure he didn't say religions?

DN: Religion.

NP: No but Maureen's not played the game before so I'm certainly on her side. Maureen you have 34 seconds on Ministers starting now.

ML: Ministers come in many shapes and sizes. There was a very famous Minister not long ago called Cecil Parkinson and there was a little joke at the time saying why is Cecil Parkin...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of Cecil Parkinson.

NP: That's right.

ML: Just as well!

NP: Clement...

ML: The things that come out of your mind! Honestly!

NP: Yes yes. The subject is Ministers Clement, 24 seconds left starting now.

CF: When I told my friend Cecil Parkinson that I was going to be on this programme he said "should the question of Ministers come up, I'd be awfully grateful if you'd protect me because my good name is in jeopardy". And I said "of course, I know what sort of things people are likely to say about you, you can trust me". I said to him...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Absolute deviation, no-one could trust Clement Freud!

NP: I would have had it for hesitation because he did almost run down. But no Clement, I think we can trust you and so there are three seconds left on Ministers starting now.

CF: George Brown was probably my favourite Minister because...


NP: So it's very close out in the lead, Derek just one point ahead of Clement Freud, and then Maureen Lipman and Peter Jones is trailing a little. But Peter it's your turn to begin. What can you tell us about what's in a sausage. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PJ: Well it's really anybody's guess, isn't it! It must have been a brave man who ate the first sausage I should think. Because they are advised to put in a certain amount of bread, I think, but it is limited. Most of it is pork, various parts of the pig oushed into this intestine and mixed up. Pepper is quite an important ingredient I suppose. And I don't know what else. A moist...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Absolutely.

PJ: Yes yes.

NP: You never sounded so boring in your life Peter.

PJ: No.

NP: It's a boring subject.

PJ: It's not a subject that really interests me really, I never eat them! I wouldn't eat a sausage I mean for anything!

NP: Right so Clement you have the subject of what's in a sausage, there are um 37 seconds left starting now.

CF: In three words the answer would be: not enough meat. According to EC regulations...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well I don't really want the subject obviously. But he's not talking about what's in a sausage, he's talking about what's not in a sausage, not enough meat, he said.

NP: Good challenge Peter, you have 20 seconds to continue on what's in a sausage starting now.

PJ: I believe you can put venison or even ostrich meat, I heard on the radio, into sausages. As long as they're flavoured with a number of herbs and things. But I don't really advise anybody to try it because of course it's embarrassing to kill an ostrich in cold blood...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two ostriches.

NP: There's another ostrich.

PJ: Oh yes yes.

NP: Unfortunately.

PJ: Yes, true, yes.

NP: So Derek, yes, you didn't bury your head in the sand there enough Peter. There are three seconds left on what's in a sausage Derek starting now.

DN: Cumberland sausages do contain some very interesting ingredients. I like them particularly...


NP: We have no more time to play Just A Minute so let me give you the final score. Peter Jones finished in fourth place, then came Maureen Lipman, and then Clement Freud and just two points ahead of him was the man with the most points so we say he is the winner this week, Derek Nimmo. It only remains for me to say a special word of thank you to our delightful audience here, you have been helping us to commemorate the 25th anniversary of this show, Just A Minute. And it only remains now for me to say on behalf of the creator of the game, Ian Messiter and Anne Ling who's been keeping the score, and our producer Sarah Smith and also our four delightful panelists and myself Nicholas Parsons, thank you for listening and we hope that you've enjoyed the show and will be tuned in again next time we take to the air and play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here goodbye.