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 performers who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And we welcome back four regular players of the game, in Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones, Wendy Richard and Clement Freud. Will you please welcome all four of them! Anne Ling is sitting beside me, she has a stopwatch in one hand, a whistle in the other and a piece of paper on which to keep the score. And as usual I'm going to ask our four competitors, our four panelists, to compete against each other and try and speak on the subject I will give them. And they will try and do that as always without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. This week we're going to begin the show with Peter Jones. Peter, the subject, a good part to play. I'm sure you've had many in that time. But would you talk on that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

PETER JONES: I'm not sure whether it means a good part to play on the stage, in a theatre, or whether on the great, ah, theatre of life...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Unfortunately there was rather a premature er.

NP: Yes a premature er.

PJ: Yes, it wasn't due for another nine seconds!

NP: That we interpret as hesitation and as it was a correct challenge, you get a point for that Derek and you take over the subject. And there are 53 seconds left, a good part to play, starting now.

DN: Apparently Nicholas Parsons had a very good part to play in a Steven Sondheim musical, Out of the...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: I thought there was going to be a hesitation!

NP: No there wasn't.

PJ: And I was anticipating it.

NP: For once actually, he was going to pay me a compliment, I think.

PJ: That's why I was er, er, buzzing for hesitation.

NP: So I disagree with your challenge, Peter, but well tried. So Derek keeps the subject and a point for an incorrect challenge, 49 seconds, a good part to play, starting now.

DN: There are all sorts of people who are trying to get jobs in acting, and getting good parts to play these days. Roddy Llewellyn apparently auditioned recently. In fact Nicholas Parsons in...


DN: ..which I've repeated.

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of Nicholas Parsons.

NP: I know. Some people say you can have too much of Nicholas Parsons. In Just A Minute you can because you cannot repeat. And 32 seconds are left for you, ah, Clement, to take over the subject, a good part to play, starting now.

CF: A very good part to play would be that of Anne Ling in Just A Minute. Because she has a stopwatch in one hand and a whistle in the other and you wonder what she keeps the score with! But there are many other important parts that you could play. I think for instance Bottom in Midsummer Nights Dream. Or Wendy Richard's in East Enders would be...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WENDY RICHARD: He got my name wrong. Can I challenge him for that?

NP: No but you don't play Wendy Richard in East Enders, you play a character, don't you?

WR: No I don't, that's right, you're wrong!

NP: Yes. So tell us the character you play Wendy.

WR: Pauline.

NP: Pauline. She's Pauline in East Enders, not Wendy Richard in East Enders...

CF: That is why I said Wendy Richard's, meaning Richard apostrophe S, denoting the part that she played. I mean her name...

NP: Well tried Clement...

CF: Well her name is Wendy Richard and she said I got her name wrong...

NP: Wendy you've got a point and you have 11 seconds on a good part to play starting now.

WR: I like the part that I play in East Enders. Pauline is the salt of the earth and she gets all the sympathy of the public. When Arthur, her husband, was having his breakdown, the fan mail came rolling in...


NP: Just to remind our listeners, we might be getting a few new ones after 24 years. Um whoever is speaking when the whistle is blown gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Wendy Richard who now is in the lead with Derek Nimmo at the end of the round. And Derek your turn to begin. The subject, a hoax. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: I suppose the first recorded hoax in history was that which took place outside the gates of Troy. When Ulysses and Menilaus got together and had this huge horse built, filled with soldiers, and persuaded the Trojans within that this was an offering to the Gods. And they took it in through the wall at night, and after everyone had gone to sleep...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: There's a couple of hesitations there, is there not?

NP: There were, yes. I think we enjoyed the story but you were very kind to let the first one go.

CF: It was an old story!

NP: Yes! But the old stories are the safest on Just A Minute! Thirty-nine seconds for you Wendy on a hoax starting now.

WR: Orson Wells got into serious trouble once when he was making this movie and he did this radio programme...


WR: What?

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah it wasn't a movie, it was a radio programme.

NP: It was a radio show, the War of the Worlds. HG Wells' War of the Worlds. He didn't make a movie of it.

WR: Well I saw about it in a movie!

NP: I'm sorry, I disagree Wendy. Clement had a correct challenge and he has 31 seconds on a hoax starting now.

CF: Quite a good hoax is trying to get into the Paris Studio pretending that you're Derek Nimmo! It is... you...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well he waited for the cheap laugh, so there was a hesitation!

NP: And he got a round of applause! Derek, I agree, 23 seconds, a hoax starting now.

DN: Horace DeVere Cole is known as one of the greatest hoaxers of this century. In particular when a Cambridge graduate, he decided to visit the fleet, dressed as the Sultan of Zanzibar. With Virginia Woolf, with him no less, moustachioed, they draved, norted the boat there. And all the slaves were gathered in front of him...


NP: Wendy Richard.

WR: He's talking rubbish!

NP: So drave is a deviation of English isn't it! Five seconds for you Wendy on a hoax starting now.

WR: The person I was talking about earlier on did this radio programme about the war...


WR: What?

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Said radio twice.

WR: You were talking about the radio, you did mention the radio before. You said a film and then the radio. So Derek, I have to be fair, half a second, you've got in with half a second...

DN: He walked down Piccadilly with those others...


NP: So Derek Nimmo was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and has gone into the lead at the end of that round. Wendy Richard your turn to begin, the subject is spending a million pounds. A lovely thought. Will you tell us something about it, or what you might do, starting now.

WR: I wouldn't know how to go about spending a million pounds. Because I think that that amount of money is far beyond my comprehension. As I only have the brain size of a pea! So what I would do is, I suppose, as long as I was happy enough to have money to pay my bills. I don't need any more jewelry, I have sufficient. You can only wear so many bits and pieces. The same as I don't understand why people have more than one car. You can only drive one at a time! My husband is besotted with motor vehicles. I said "why? Why get yourself in a state...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged. Derek what is your challenge?

DN: Why, why.

NP: Why, why, yeah. And I think you could have had her for deviation because she's off spending a million and talking about not spending a million.

PJ: It was reported speech, it was her husband who'd actually repeated it, wasn't it?

NP: Peter, lovely to hear from you at last!

PJ: Well...

NP: I wondered where you'd gone to! So anyway, yes, the audience are on Wendy's side but Derek Nimmo had a correct challenge, he has 25 seconds to tell us something about spending a million pounds starting now.

DN: I wish I had the money of Lord Nuffield or Rockefeller. So that one could give away millions of pounds to the many deserving, particularly, environmental charities, in this world with with which I am concerned. Care Great Britain is one which I greatly approve of, and in their interests this year I ventured...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation. Yes, he paused for emotional effect, and I'm afraid, and Clement has got in with eight seconds to go on spending a million pounds starting now.

CF: I was going to say how very easy it is to spend a million but was shamed by Wendy's extraordinary reticence. And having only one small piece of jewelry...


NP: Clement Freud gained the extra point, he's in second place behind Derek Nimmo, then Wendy Richard and then Peter Jones in that order. Clement your turn to begin. The subject we thought of is women's rugger. Will you try and tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CF: There are certain positional difficulties about women playing rugby football. For instance when the judge says "you ladies were found doing a loose ruck on Piccadilly Circus, what is your answer?" And the defendant says "m'Lud, I am a hooker", it is jolly difficult to sustain that! Other sorts of places in which you might perform on the pitch would be fullback which doesn't sound nearly as good if you have skirts than if you have trousers. I've never seen women play rugby football, but it does seem...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: We've had two rugby footballs.

CF: Yes.

WR: You said women's rugger.

NP: Women's rugger is the subject on the card and you did mention football before Clement.

CF: Aha.

NP: Oh dear! (clears his throat twice)

WR: I'll tell you what Nicholas. In fairness to Peter, I'd like to hear Peter talk about women's rugger.

DN: Don't be so cowardly! You know nothing about it!

NP: Well he may get in on it. Do you want to take the subject Peter?

PJ: Not if it's charity!

NP: Give Peter Jones a bonus point because we enjoyed his remark and so did the audience. And Wendy's we're going to hear from you on women's rugger, 24 seconds, starting now.

WR: I know nothing at all about women's rugger. In fact I know very little about sport, not having much interest in it at all...


NP: Peter you challenged, what was your challenge?

PJ: Repetition.

NP: Yes repetition.

WR: Of what?

NP: People know. You said people know very little about, and you know very little about. You repeated the phrase, even.

WR: Oh so I did. Oh dear.

NP: So Peter you have 15 seconds to tell us something about women's rugger starting now.

PJ: I didn't like playing rugger myself and I wouldn't want to wish it on any woman I know. Or don't. But boys behind in the scrum used to drop little balls of mud down my shorts on the inside and then hit them from the outside...


NP: Well I'm glad we did hear from you on women's rugger, Peter. It sounded more like the boy's rugger. But you kept going until the whistle went, gained an extra point. You're still in fourth place but you're only one behind Wendy Richard and one ahead of that is Clement Freud and then two ahead is Derek Nimmo. And Peter your turn to begin, the subjct is getting your toe caught in the bath tap. That's what Ian Messiter's come up for you here. Will you tell us something about that subject starting now.

PJ: Well I suppose it's got the makings of a comedy routine in a film or television show. But of course you'd have to be in the nude...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of of course.

NP: You did say of course.

PJ: At the beginning I said of course?

CF: Mm-hmm.

NP: Yes.

CF: And then again just then.

NP: Just then.

PJ: Oh I see. Yes yes.

WR: Of course you did Peter.

PJ: yes well that's the end of that then!

NP: Forty-nine seconds for you Clement on getting your toe caught in the bath tap starting now.

CF: I've never quite understood why it is the fire engine that's summoned to deal with people who catch their toe in the bath tap. But nevertheless you dial 999...


NP: And Derek was the first to spot it and the audience clap because they...

DN: Triple 9!

NP: Yes there were too many repetitions of nine. Twenty-one seconds for you Derek on this subject starting now.

DN: It is extraordinary painful if you get your toe caught in a bath tap, particularly if it is the hot one and it is still running. And when you try to lean forward to get hold of it, and you have a large corpulent belly like some people, you can't actually manage to get hold of the tap to release it...


NP: It's interesting to observe that sometimes a longer subject can be easier because they can repeat it all or parts of it if they wish. Derek you were speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point, you're one ahead of Clement Freud at the end of that round. It's your turn to begin, the subject is pigeons. Will you tell us something about those birds in this game starting now.

DN: Well the first time that pigeons were used for conveying messages was during the Olympic Games. But the actual pigeon racing didn't start until the last century in Belgium. I think the first piece of flight organsied by these racing devils was at the Antwerp...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: Two racings.

DN: No, race and racing.

CF: Racing pigeons and racing.

NP: Racing pigeons.

DN: All right, yes, okay.

NP: Wendy got in first with 42 seconds on pigeons starting now.

WR: In the north of England, racing pigeons are very highly thought of. And the chaps...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

WR: Why?

CF: Thought of very highly in the south of England as well!

NP: I'm sure they're thought of highly but it doesn't detract from the...

WR: I hadn't got there yet!

NP: Wendy, Wendy, I am supporting you.

WR: Thank you.

NP: It doesn't detract from the fact... don't be so sensitive! I try to be fair! And it also means they're thought of, she wasn't deviating from the subject of pigeons because they are thought of highly in the north. Wendy you have 37 seconds to continue with pigeons starting now.

WR: People like pigeons everywhere! And the...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, I hate the things! They're outside of my house and they excrete all over it. They're always terrible, messy, foul, filthy things.

PJ: They're trying to give you a message! I'm the only person here probably who's ever kept pigeons.

NP: Well you might get in on the subject. Because actually...

DN: I challenged!

NP: Derek your challenge was not within the rules of Just A Minute.

DN: Oh.

NP: So Wendy keeps it, pigeons, and 32 seconds left starting now.

WR: One day last summer when we had little Henry in his cage out on our patio, this pigeon flew down and went for his seed! It frightened the living daylights out of him because he hadn't seen a pigeon before. But apart from those sort of pigeons that fly about and do make a mess, I do agree, they are... very highly thought of...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I agree Clement, 14 seconds left for you on pigeons starting now.

CF: I bought a car sticker in New York, which said "keep the streets clean, eat a pigeon". And I was very pleased indeed. I thought that showed exactly the right attitude because they are pretty disgusting animals. You can cook them...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: They're not animals, they're fowl.

CF: They're animals.

NP: Um half a second for you Clement on pigeons starting now.

CF: Twenty-five minutes in a mark four oven...


NP: And some people find them particularly foul but I mean that's beside the point. Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went has increased his lead at the end of that round. Peter you said you're the only one who ever kept pigeons. What can you tell us about them as you didn't speak in that round?

PJ: Well how long have I got?

NP: As long as you want if you make it good.

PJ: Well, I, er...

NP: Oh bad luck!

PJ: I kept pigeons for a while when I was a boy. Kept pigeons, I used to take them out in baskets and release them on my bicycle. And ah, they couldn't ride of course. But um they didn't ever fly back. I always lost them. I had to keep getting more pigeons all the time. And this was in the Midlands, it wasn't the north or the south. But people I must say were very fond of them.

NP: And they never came back.

PJ: Never came back.

NP: Wasn't that sad.

PJ: Didn't go home either!

NP: Didn't go home.

DN: Was that because you moved the bicycle, do you think?

NP: I think we should give Peter a bonus point for all the pigeons he lost as a little boy! And we continue with Wendy because it's your turn to begin and it is finding luggage at the airport. That is the subject, would you talk on it starting now.

WR: Last September my husband and I went on a very long trip. When we returned to the wrong airport thanks to that wonderful airline that flies the flag, when we finally found our luggage...


NP: Ah Pe... Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: When we, repetition of when we.

NP: Forty-two seconds for you Derek on finding luggage at the airport starting now.

DN: It is awfully difficult finding luggage at the airport because when you get one of those trolleys you always get one with only one wheel...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Always.

NP: You always get one yes. Clement you've got in with 37 seconds on finding luggage at the airport starting now.

CF: Losing luggage at the airport is a much more usual practice...


NP: And Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Yes of course, you'll find the subject is finding luggage. Ah Peter you've got finding luggage at the airport and there are 34 seconds starting now.

PJ: Finding luggage at the airport is the easiest thing in the world! You just go to the baggage hall and there's masses of it! Now finding your own of course is a very different story. It may not be at the same place.


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes you hesitated after you found your luggage Peter.

PJ: Yes I did, I was so pleased that... you know... that little spark of life that I managed to get out!

NP: I think you're still thinking about the pigeons you lost!

PJ: Yes I probably was, yes.

NP: Seventeen seconds with you Clement on the subject starting now.

CF: When the customs officer said "I'm afraid I cannot find your luggage", I said "but I had one piece in Gibraltar and the other in Malta and there's surely no reason why they cannot both be here". To which the officer replied "I have heard that joke often before and got it better than you have". So I...


NP: Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, he's moved forward, he's in a stronger lead now ahead of Derek Nimmo. Clement, your turn to begin, the subject is what I ate last night. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Last night I ate sausages and bubble and squeak.


NP: And Derek Nimmo got in.

DN: That implied that he had repetition! But it was a pause, I think.

NP: Well no wonder, if he just had that, no wonder that he brought it back.

CF: That's all I ate last night.

NP: That's all he ate.

CF: It would be dishonest to claim...

NP: The audience enjoyed your ploy Clement, and Derek was the first to pick up the hesitation so 56 seconds for you on the subject starting now.

DN: What I ate last night at Great Milton started with some wonderful croudetaies and a very delicate sauce. And an assortment of canapés of great distinction. This was followed by a surprise, a turine of vegetables, with a cream liquid with them of great...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: Well a bit of hesitation there, haven't we.

DN: I don't think so.

NP: I think so. The audience thinks so anyway. So that's enough for me. Um 29 seconds for you Wendy to tell us something about what I ate last night starting now.

WR: We discovered a really good new Indian restaurant. It's not actually a novelty to other people but it was the first time we'd been there. And I ate prawn curry, matapanaia and then I had boiled rice, stuffed pirata, several popadons, and then I had lime pickle and I had mango chutney and...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Too many hads.

NP: Yes, you kept having it.

PJ: Too many pickles.

NP: Too many pickles. Clement I agree with your challenge, you have eight seconds on what I ate last night starting now.

CF: I'm afraid that I ate sausages and...


NP: Derek you challenged but what I'm going to do first, I know yes, we give Clement a bonus point because we enjoyed what he said. I think it's only fair that...

DN: I didn't enjoy what he said, I thought it was totally boring!

NP: He was being very sporting within the game...

DN: That's the first time in his life he's ever told the truth!

NP: But you still... You still get a point for a correct challenge and you take over the subject with three seconds to go starting now.

DN: Assorted fish cooked in seaweed which was...


NP: At the end of that round Clement Freud is still in the lead, he's two points ahead of Derek Nimmo and then comes Wendy Richard, then Peter Jones in that order. Peter, your turn to begin, the subject, the telephone bill. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: Telephone bills, now they come every quarter. And they're broken down quite often, I understand. I don't read all the material that comes with the bills. There's sometimes in the envelope a lot of literature which I throw away and so I don't entirely understand how they work out the cost of making a call. I know they're going to be more this year though they do claim that they're going to be less, because of the enquiries. They're going to charge 42p, is it, something like that. And they say that the overall charge to each customer of British Telecom will be a certain percentage lower than it was in the quarter before. Now have they all put down their things?


NP: No they haven't.

PJ: Oh they haven't, no.

NP: Derek Nimmo pressed his thing before on the 59th second. What is your challenge Derek?

DN: Deviation because he said have you all put down your things. Which has little to do with telephone bills.

NP: Well that could have been the receiver of the telephone, couldn't it. So Peter...

DN: It could.

PJ: Yes that was it.

NP: Incorrect challenge and you have one second on telephone bills starting now.

PJ: Mercury is the answer...


NP: Well Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went, he's now equal in third place with Wendy Richard, and they're just behind Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud still just in the lead. And Derek it's your turn to begin, the subject is what I bet on. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

DN: I think the thing that I would bet on is the constancy of man's inhumanity to man. It always...


NP: And Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: Two man.

NP: Two mans.

DN: Man's inhumanity to man. It's a well known phrase Nicholas.

NP: So Wendy had a correct challenge and he has 51 seconds to tell us something about what I bet on starting now.

WR: What I bet on is nothing really. I don't approve of betting. When you go past these shops where one goes to put a bet on and you see it full of people standing there, probably putting their last pound and shilling...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of putting.

NP: Putting, there was too much putting, I'm sorry.

WR: Oh was there? Sorry.

NP: So Clement’s going to tell us something about what I bet on and there are 38 seconds left starting now.

CF: I bet on just about everything. When I pass a betting shop, I always regret the fact that so many people inside smoke. And it is my ambition to have a no smoking chain of such establishments but for the fact that nobody would go in. The sad thing is that people who, what I bet on, are the sort of folk who have cigars and cigarettes and pipes. And fumes and tobacco emanate from their mouths and noses and nostrils. Their ears are also contaminated by nicotine...

NP: Peter you challenged.

PJ: Um?

PJ: Deviation.

PJ: I was just, um...

NP: Yes. Are you confident of that Peter because that was your challenge.

PJ: Yes I know, oh I'm 100 percent... well...

NP: Ten seconds for you to tell us something about what I bet on starting now.

PJ: I don't actually bet. Though I would if I could find enough people to provide me with Havana cigars to go into some of these grand betting shops...


NP: So at the end of that round Peter Jones was speaking as the whistle went, gained that all important extra point. He's now in third place, just ahead of Wendy Richard and Wendy it's your turn to begin, the subject window shopping. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

WR: I used to love window shopping at one time. But now London seems to be so over-crowded and people wandering all over the pavements, you can't actually get yourself a direct line up beside the window to shop in, can you? Because there's folk all over the place....


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well hesitation.

NP: I could call that hesitation, yes. Derek, 44 seconds for you to tell us something about window shopping starting now.

DN: I wandered along Regent Street tonight, enjoying my window shopping most enormously. The windows were filled with the most glorious goodies imaginable, coming from the four points of the compass. I had never seen such an abundance of magnificent delectable objects of every kind, fairly priced. Because all those window shoppers want to see a good buy. And the lights were strewn about, the pavements were clean, there was no litter...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of pavements.

NP: Yes you came down the pavement. Oh it was pavement before and this was pavements.

PJ: Oh was it?

NP: Mmmm.

PJ: Oh.

NP: There are 12 seconds still with you Derek on window shopping starting now.

DN: My wife stopped in a shop doorway and I continued walking along. And I suddenly said...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: We had walking before.

NP: You were walking before Derek, yes you did.

DN: But I didn't have a car!

NP: I think you have a magnificent car Derek, but you were walking on this occasion more than once. Seven seconds on window shopping with you Wendy starting now.

WR: Regent Street...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No!

WR: I am not a ventriloquist! I can't speak without opening my mouth! Give me a chance to open my mouth!


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition.

WR: I haven't started yet!

NP: Five seconds are left for you to keep going on window shopping starting now.

WR: I don't know what part of Regent Street he was walking down tonight but the streets weren't clean at all!


PJ: I wish Derek had had time to finish because the last, the last thing we heard about his wife was he'd left her in a shop doorway! Very dangerous thing to do in this area!

NP: In Regent Street as well, yes.

CF: The prices were fair!

NP: Ladies and gentlemen of our audience, have you enjoyed yourselves?


NP: Wonderful, I will give you the final score. Peter Jones coming from former triumphs came in fourth place. No he has triumphed magnificently in the past. Derek Nimmo who's triumphed overwhelmingly in the past on occasions didn't quite succeed in beating Clement Freud and Wendy Richard who have one point more than him. So this week we adjudge them to be our joint winners! It only remains for me to say on behalf of Clement Freud, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo and Wendy Richard, thank you for being such a delightful audience. My thanks to Anne Ling who keeps the score so magnificently and of course our producer Edward Taylor without whom none of us would be here. We hope you've enjoyed it and will want to tune in again the same time next week. And this is Nicholas Parsons until then saying goodbye.