starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD and GERALDINE JONES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 30 September 1968)

NOTE: Kenneth Williams's first appearance, Geraldine Jones's first appearance, first appearance by a three person panel.


ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud and Geraldine Jones in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is Nicholas Parsons.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Hello again and welcome once more to Just A Minute. The game, as a lot of you will probably remember is a very simple one. I'm going to give these three members of the panel some unlikely subject which they know nothing about and ask them to speak for Just A Minute without hesitation, without repetition and without deviation. And if any of the other two, either of the other two I should say, think that they are guilty of these crimes they may challenge by pressing a buzzer. And if I uphold their challenge they will gain a point. And if the challenge goes against them the person speaking will gain a point. I think the rest of the game will become clear as we play it, so let us start straight off with the person who's played it a bit before and knows quite a lot about it, Clement Freud. The subject is learning to fly Clement. Would you like to try and talk for Just A Minute starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: One would have thought that when you learn to fly you need a plane. But this is utterly untrue. You need a blackboard and a man with a white shirt with gold stripes on his shoulders who has a pointer and draws...


NP: Kenneth...

KENNETH WILLIAMS: Well I challenge that. I don't see what men with gold rings has got to do with flying! It's a disgrace, it's deviation isn't it! He was deviating! I could see him deviating! His eyes were deviating too!

NP: Kenneth you are pressing your point very very strongly...

KW: Thank you!

NP: But even though you are new to the show, I'm afraid that I can't uphold it. I have seen men with rings around their arms connected with flying, in fact all flying officers have got them. So I uphold Clement Freud...

KW: It's a disgrace isn't it!

NP: You look shocked, you needn't look so shocked! I know you keep all your best expressions for radio but... Clement Freud you have another point, you have 45 seconds for learning to fly starting now.

CF: On this blackboard he draws things that look like fillets of paste but are in fact aeroplane wings and explains that pressure on these wings causes the plane to rise or lower. And after two or three days happily spent in a classroom you approach for the first time the aeroplane which they are going to teach you to fly. The plane has to be inspected so you walk round pulling at things, kicking at wheels, making quite sure the under-carriage is secure...


NP: Geraldine Jones why have you challenged?

GERALDINE JONES: Deviation, this is an inspection of an aeroplane, not a learning... not a lesson.

NP: A very clever challenge, you have gained yourself a ploint, a point, a ploint? I don't give out many ploints but for you Geraldine I would give a ploint. Actually in the game I can only give points and you have gained one and you also have the subject now with 14 seconds to go, learning to fly, starting now.

GJ: I spent four very happy years learning to fly between the ages of five and nine. It was my ambition then not to fly by the base means of an aeroplane but to fly by spreading out my wings...


NP: Clement Freud you challenged. Why?

CF: Repetition, four flies.

NP: There were... There were definitely four flies on Geraldine's speech and... and before we go any further on that subject Clement Freud I give the subject back to you of learning to fly with only three and a half seconds left starting now.

CF: The teacher says "take this power lever in your left hand and grip..."


NP: And as the bell went then, Clement Freud was speaking. So he gains another point. Geraldine it's your turn to start, oh a lovely subject for a lady, beans. Have a little thought about beans as you're new to the game and start talking for Just A Minute if you can now.

GJ: I detest beans in any shape or form. Though I have to confess that Clement Freud has never prepared them for me. He hasn't even as much as thrown in a recipe for them in a colour supplement. I think that beans are not only a tasteless and unappetising vegetable, they are terribly confusing vegetables as well. Because they come by lots and lots of different names. A cabbage is a cabbage is a cabbage...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Repetition.

NP: You do see when you've played the game a bit, you spot them very quickly. Clement Freud you've gained another point...


NP: And Geraldine you appear to have challenged yourself. Do take...

GJ: No, I just wanted to deny that it was repetition. It was necessary for the literary elusiveness of my style.

NP: Oh... You can see that the audience are utterly with you Geraldine. But I'm afraid in fairness I feel that I must give it to Clement Freud who has another point, he has the subject, he has 38 seconds, beans, Clement Freud starting now.

CF: Arico, flagoulie, green and runner are the more common types of this vegetable to be found in the shops during the year. But they also come in tomato sauce in tins...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I definitely agree, yes. Can you discourse on beans for 23 seconds starting now.

KW: I know very little about beans, the vegetable. But I must say I've had a lot of pleasure from watching those beans that jump up and down. Men sell them in the street, they jump up and down. Early days...


NP: Geraldine Jones why have you challenged?

GJ: Repetition.

NP: Repetition yes.

KW: What was repeated?

NP: You repeated your little jumps up and down in the street Kenneth, and it was almost becoming embarrassing, so we will continue with Geraldine Jones on beans starting now.

GJ: I particularly hate beans because as a small child, my name which is Geraldine used to be shortened to Jelly and sometimes Jellybean. And as I was rather a round little girl and not to say fat I used to...


NP: Clement Freud you challenged.

CF: Deviation from the truth! She still is a round...

NP: Do I uphold your challenge? Are you asking me to be ungallant and say that I agree? I refuse to be on this particular occasion. Geraldine you gain an extra point because you are not of that description of Clement Freud's. You gain one more point and I'll tell you this. You have one second to continue the subject so you might even get another, and you start now.

GJ: Jellybeans are a...


NP: Clement Freud challenged again.

CF: Hesitation.

KW: Yes!

NP: She didn't hesitate Clement. She has a third point and she has half a second to start beans...

GJ: In the tradition of...

NP: She's too keen now, she knows the one sitting on her left! Don't worry, I'll say now. Geraldine, half a second for beans starting now.

GJ: Beans are confusing...


NP: Well with Clement Freud's ungallant challenges, Geraldine has now taken the lead with six points, Clement Freud has four and Kenneth has one. But Kenneth it is your turn to begin and here's something I'm sure you can talk to us at great length about but Just A Minute will do. It is making friends, and you start now.

KW: I have made friends all over the place, I really have. I've made friends on park benches and I've made friends on ships. And I think that's a very interesting way to make friends on a ship, because then you get off the ship and you don't see them again. So you're not bored by them! Otherwise you tend to be rather bored if you overdo the friendship at first. It needs rationing, you might understand. What is friendship, one might ask onself. Well you could say it's taking the chaff and the grain together and sifting it all out and with a breath of kindness blowing the unpleasant things away. On the other hand of course, some friendships can become a great bore. This is largely because you overdo it from the start. It should be rationed, you see. Friendship should be rationed...


NP: Clement Freud you're... Yes he's back in the war isn't he! With his rations!

CF: Yes.

KW: Are you not allowed to repeat anything?

CF: Not as often as that!

NP: Not as often... not as often as that as Clement said. No Clement Freud you have the subject, you have a point...

CF: What is the subject?

NP: I'll give it to you in a second. I'm not going to give him too much help because you've played the game so often. You have 15 seconds for making friends starting now.

CF: Making friends with Kenneth Williams is a particularly rewarding occupation. You go up to him very quietly, preferably from the left hand side, grip his fingers firmly in your hand and say "dear Mr Williams, I would like you..."



NP: Kenneth...

KW: He's repeating himself isn't he. He said my name twice.

NP: No I think he called you Kenneth Williams and then Mr Williams. He upgraded you!

KW: Oh!

NP: You have to listen very...

KW: Whose side are you on?

NP: Clement Freud has another point and one second left for the subject so he might get another one if he's clever, making friends, Clement, starting now.

CF: "Sir", I said to Kenneth Williams...


NP: So Clement has just snatched the lead from Geraldine Jones and Kenneth Williams is still trailing a little.

KW: You don't need to rub it in!

NP: I must say what's in front of me, the listeners like to know. I said you were trailing a little, I didn't say what the little was you were trailing.

KW: You made it sound very derogatory.

NP: Very devious. Clement Freud it is your turn to begin, the subject is writing books, and I'd like you to try and talk for Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Ideally for this, you need a pen. But a pencil and a lot of paper will also suffice. You take the pen firmly in your right hand...


NP: Kenneth Williams, you buzzed twice.

KW: I didn't, I buzzed once. This lady here buzzed once. I don't know on what grounds.

NP: Well what was your challenge Kenneth?

KW: Deviation, it's nothing to do with the subject at all. You take the pen in your hand! I mean it's just commenting on something so obvious, it's banal, isn't it!

NP: How would you start to write a book? Your expression has answered me! I'm afraid Clement Freud has another point, he has 50 seconds left for writing books starting now.

CF: Next you need a plot, and ideally one that has a beginning, a middle and an end....


NP: Kenneth you challenged.

KW: I challenged because it's entirely irrelevant, it's entirely untrue. You don't need a plot. You could write, you could write without a plot, you could write a whole ream of stuff without a plot.

NP: Why have you challenged?

KW: Many rotten playwrights have proved it!

NP: I will give you a bonus point for a very clever try but I don't think within the context of the game, it's a justified challenge. The subject is still with Clement Freud starting now.

CF: Books when they're written ought to look impressive. So when you go about strating the whole object, you want to put words neatly together, phrase af...


NP: Geraldine Jones.

GJ: Hesitation.

NP: I would say so, yes. I think he was beginning to hesitate a little way back. He has a very clever trick of running his delivery down as he... Anyway 25 seconds, Geraldine you have the extra point, you have the subject with you, writing books starting now.

GJ: Writing books is really an alternative phrase for being on the dole or unemployed. People who say they are writing books are usually wriitng books because they have...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: She's written three books!

NP: I hate to take it away from you Geraldine but Clement Freud you have another point, you have the subject, you have 16 seconds and you start now.

CF: Perhaps the most important thing is to find a publisher because otherwise writing a book is entirely pointless as a venture. The man...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Hesitation. Before a venture was a long hesitation.

NP: Yes. You haven't spoken for a long time have you Kenneth?

KW: No! Exactly! Yes!

NP: Of course you're new to the game...

KW: I thought it was time I asserted myself!

NP: Yes!

KW: I mean, you going on about me trailing behind!

NP: Let's hope you won't trail quite so much now. And er writing books, Kenneth, have you thought about the subject, having asserted yourself?

KW: I have...

NP: Right! Well you have eight seconds and you start now.

KW: I have written every day of my life for the last 15 years and I venture to suggest that it might make an interesting book. I don't know, mind you, whether anyone would dare...



NP: No the bell rang before the challenge and so that means you have an extra point...

KW: Oh yes!

NP: Well Kenneth isn't trailing quite so much behind now. He is catching up Geraldine Jones who is a little way behind Clement Freud. And the next subject is with Geraldine Jones, it's your turn to begin Geraldine. Ah a nice subject for a pretty girl, lipstick. But buying lipstick, that's the subject, and you begin now.

GJ: The gentleman players of this game, if such there be, may look upon buying lipstick as a fairly humdrum affair. I can assure them however it is a most agonising ordeal. Because it involves going into a large department store, going up to the great dragon at the cosmetics counter, and facing her and saying "I'd like to buy a lipstick". She immediately turns upon me and blinks her well-made eyelid at me and says "what sort of lipstick would you like?" And I say "well, I thought the one I had on". And she says "oh is Madam wearing lipstick today?"


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I thought you were going to challenge on something else, we had four lipsticks you know. But there was a slight hesitation..

KW: I thought it was lovely! I was all worked up!

NP: Oh dear me!

KW: It was beautiful, I thought!

NP: Well Clement Freud, the subject is with you, there are 29 seconds for you to talk about buying a lipstick starting now.

CF: I should really say straight away the embarrassment suffered by Miss Jones when buying a lipstick is nothing to mine when confronted by the dragon opposite the cosmetics counter when I ask for a petunia red, because it goes with the colour of my eyes...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: I challenged.

NP: Why?

KW: Well his eyes obviously don't go with petunia red!

NP: So why have you challenged?

KW: So it's inaccurate! It's dishonest, it's deviation!

NP: It's deviation, that's the word I was searching for...

KW: Yes I'm sorry, I meant to come round to it, I was coming round to it!

NP: His petunia eyes you feel are devious. So Kenneth you have an extra point, you have the subject, there are 12 seconds left for you to talk about buying a lipstick starting now.

KW: I buy a lipstick very often, especially in the winter. It's not a coloured one I admit. But it is something you put on your lips, and it stops the wind cracking them. Because if the lips crack open and you bleed, it's awful when you smile. Because you go "hello" and it's all...



NP: Geraldine I'm afraid the bell went before your challenge, so Kenneth has another point. He has almost caught you up but Clement Freud is still definitely in the lead. Kenneth Williams it is your turn to begin this time.

KW: Yes!

NP: Something perhaps you've got some personal experience about, the bank manager. I'm giving you a time to think about it because you're new and if you'd like to talk for Just A Minute starting now.

KW: (at breakneck speed) I went to see the bank manager recently about this business of tax reserve certificates. So I said to him "I don't want to have the money there, and the interest, pay the interest on it again, do I? I'll buy these certificates and I get two and a half percent tax-free." And he said "that's absolutely true". And so I said "that's marvelous, with that money I could do with a new suite because the springs on my chairs are coming right through! It's not very comfortable to sit on!" So I went along and asked about this, and he said "yes you could". And I said "well the money would be useful to me afterwards." And he said "wait a minute, you can't use it". And I said "what?" He said "no, the interest you earn has to go to pay more tax for another year". I was furious! I think the whole things a great con, don't you? If it says tax-free, you think naturally you can keep it, don't you, the earnings. And you can't keep it at all! Because it turns out they put it aside and you...


NP: Geraldine... Why have you challenged?

GJ: He's deviated from the bank manager.

NP: Yes, a long long time ago!

KW: That's an absolute lie! I deny that! I deny that absolutely! It's very cogent! It's cogent!

NP: Yes it is, and if you go on much longer, you'll probably make the audience laugh again!

KW: I know! I'm trying to make...

NP: You still...

KW: I'm trying to make... now listen! I'm a very sincere person Nicholas. I'm trying to play sincerely.

NP: You've been very sincere but you also...

KW: I think she's done a very dirty trick there. She's played a fraudulent trick on me.

NP: Mr Williams, you may be very sincere but Geraldine's gained a point, she's gained the subject, she has nine seconds for the bank manager starting now.

GJ: I have a perfectly super relationship with my bank manager which is...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: That's indecent! We're not... No need for filth!

NP: All right, waht have you challenged on. The subject, what, what, the three things...

KW: Deviation of course! The worst kind of deviation!

NP: Yes ah Kenneth I think it is probably justified within the rules of the game what Geraldine just said. But as it was a clever challenge, I will give you a bonus point. All right?

KW: Yes thank you.

NP: But Geraldine still has the subject...

KW: Oh she still has it?

NP: Yes! And she has six seconds left for the bank manager starting now.

GJ: It's based on the entirely erroneous assumption by him that one of these days I'm going to make an enormous...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Four seconds without any mention of the subject.

KW: Yes! That's brilliant! It's true, you see!

NP: Well if she'd mentioned the subject, you would have had her for repetition! No I'm still with Geraldine Jones who has another point, she has two seconds left for the bank manager and she starts now.

GJ: The bank manager thinks that I'm going to make an enormous amount of money...


NP: Geraldine you're only one point behind Clement Freud now and Kenneth Williams is four points behind Clement Freud. You've taken out a cigarette, you're getting a bit tense are you?

KW: Oh yes! I'm throbbing here, I really am!

NP: Clement Freud it is your turn to begin. The subject is traffic jams, can you speak for Just A Minute please starting now.

CF: Traffic jam is generally caused by a lot of cars, and a shortage of road. This you can see particularly in the early mornings or the late evenings in metropolitan rather than urban areas of this country. A particularly unpleasant traffic jam in which I once found myself had in front of me three cyclists while behind me was a car of indeterminate make in which a man had fallen asleep...


NP: Kenneth Williams why have you challenged?

KW: This is deviation, I mean to say it's a traffic jam, not a man falling asleep.

NP: This man had fallen asleep in a traffic jam. I think it's entirely justified. Clement Freud has another point, he still has the subject, 29 seconds to continue now.

CF: I sounded my horn which I understand is an offence in a traffic jam. And a policeman came up to me and said "Here! You sounded..."


NP: Geraldine Jones.

GJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes he did. The policeman hesitated...

CF: I didn't want to say sounded your horn.

NP: And you can't get out of it by saying the policeman hesitated when he spoke to me either! So Geraldine you have a point, you have 20 seconds left for the subject of traffic jams and you start now.

GJ: Traffic jams should be part of Girl Guides teaching because they enable you to prove how much patience and good will you have towards other people on the road. If you can survive in a traffic jam without losing your temper, I think you must make a jolly good Girl Guide or even a jolly good Boy Scout. Traffic jams, to me...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Three traffic jams, two Girl Guides. Repetition.

NP: Yes but just the traffic jams will do. We don;t want the Girl Guides and the Boy Scouts to complain. Anyway there we are Clement, you have three seconds left for the subject of traffic jams and you start now.

CF: On the Exeter bypass during the summer weekends, you will find...


NP: Well as you were speaking when the bell went Clement, you now have another point, you still have a lead of, you increased your lead to three over Geraldine with Kenneth a little way behind. Kenneth it's your turn to start. The subject which, no doubt, someone with your horticultural background and your thinking on the artefacts and all of those things can discourse on at great length, but Just A Minute will do, puffballs, starting now.

KW: Well I don't see what a knowledge of botany has got to do with it. Puffballs as everybody knows is a breakfast food. Puffballs, you pour the milk on them and they make these funny noises. And they're also delicious, they've got this sort of honey stuff coated on the outside of them, and they crunch in your mouth because they’re balls, they're puffed up of course. And naturally when you crunch them, you, you...


NP: Geraldine.

GJ: Repetition of crunching all the time.

NP: No I would have given you one for hesitation but I don't think there was any repetition, was there repetition of crunching? Did you think, ladies and gentlemen...

GJ: Hesitant repetition of crunching!


NP: Kenneth you've still got the subject, you've got the audience with you as well, I can see that. You have another point, you have 37 seconds left for puffballs starting now.

KW: Well these puffballs are very nice, as I say, if you like all that crunching noises in the morning. But personally I try to steer clear of it, because I think that a cup of coffee is quite enough to begin the day...


NP: Geraldine.

GJ: Deviation from puffballs. Breakfast habits!

NP: Well I think that these particular puffballs that Kenneth Williams has constitutes strange breakfast habits. Kenneth I'm still with you.

KW: Oh?

NP: Yes. You don't want it?

KW: Well...

NP: You've got it! Puffballs starting now.

KW: Well there are other kinds of puffballs of course. I mean we all know about...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes. Puffballs with Clement Freud, 21 seconds left starting now.

CF: Botanically speaking these are white fluffy cotton wool...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: They're not white fluffy cotton wool.

NP: Clement would you like to justify what you were going to say?

CF: Yes I would. Botanically speaking they are white fluffy cotton...


KW: You can't do that!

NP: Kenneth you cannot challenge on a challenge! Take your finger off your buzzer and let Clement Freud finish his, see if he can justify it. Clement, yes, botanically speaking?

CF: They are white circular globules of fluff which are called fluff balls.

NP: I thought they were called puffballs?

KW: Of course they are!

CF: Also known as fluff balls! In any summer's afternoon...

NP: All right, I'm only asking you to justify it. I agree with you, Kenneth's challenge was unjustified, you have another point...

KW: Oh!

NP: You have the subject with 16 seconds.... Don't look like that Kenneth, it honestly won't get you a point. Sixteen seconds left for Clement, puffballs starting now.

CF: One of the most uplifting things about puffballs is that you can take them in your hand and blow gently down the palm of your hand towards the tips of your fingers and these...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Deviation, it's nothing to do with puffballs whether you're blowing them down your fingers.

NP: All right, Kenneth, I'll give the subject back to you. You have seven seconds left for puffballs starting now.

KW: Well of course it falls to me to right this terrible wrong. I mean they are not white fluffy things that he's talking about. They are, look like those...


NP: Well that last terrific burst of speed from Kenneth Williams on the back of his puffballs brought him right up equal with Geraldine Jones. They are both second but the winner is definitely Clement Freud.


ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute is Nicholas Parsons, the programme is devised by Ian Messiter and produced by David Hatch.