starring PAUL MERTON, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and PETER JONES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 20 February 1993)

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 interesting and diverse personalities who this week are once more playing Just A Minute, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo, Paul Merton and Clement Freud. Will you please welcome all four of them! And once more we have an enthusiastic audience here so it's a great pleasure to be back once more in Llandudno. And once more I'm going to ask our four players of the game if they will speak on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And we'll begin the show this week with Peter Jones. Peter the subject is stocking. Can you tell us something about stocking in this game starting now.

PETER JONES: In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked upon as something shocking but now anything goes! Now that's the first and only reference I can think of...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged very rapidly, Paul what...

PAUL MERTON: Deviation from the lyrics. Now heaven knows...

NP: That's, that is the correct lyric Paul.

PM: Yes.

NP: But he didn't establish he was actually quoting from the lyric, he just...

PM: So just by sheer chance he said the same words!

NP: That's right, yes! He decided to paraphrase the song. And I accept that as an incorrect challenge, you gain a point for that of course..

PJ: Oh good.

NP: And you have 50 seconds to continue on stockings starting now.

PJ: Mrs Thatcher as she then was, once used to hoard food when she thought there was going to be a crisis. And she recommended this to the nation. Of course she called it er stocking...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: She called it er stocking.

NP: She did er.

PJ: Yes.

DN: Maybe, maybe he said her stocking, did he? Maybe I misheard it.

NP: No you didn't so you get a point for that and you take over the subject, there are 37 seconds left, stocking starting now.

DN: There was a time there are a lot of people who used to actually put their money into a stocking because they thought it was the safest place to keep it. They didn't really trust banks or wouldn't have it counted at those particular premises. And they used to bung this stocking up the chimney. And it always seemed to me to be rather curious because any self-respecting burglar would know that anyone who had a stocking full of loot would be putting it up this thing above the fire...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of up.

NP: Yes you were putting too much up. I thought for a moment you were talking about Ken Dodd actually.

PM: Why would he want to shove Ken Dodd up a chimney?

NP: Seventeen seconds for stocking Paul, starting now.

PM: Every Christmas I would wake up eager to see on that particular morning what Santa had left me in the stocking at the end of the bed. One... mmmm....


NP: Clement you got in with a challenge.

CLEMENT FREUD: Good evening.

NP: Good evening. If that's your challenge, it's incorrect.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation of course. Seven seconds for you Clement on stocking starting now.

CF: It's something you do on shelves in supermarkets if you wear an apron and are employed...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle is blown gains an extra point and it was on that occasion Clement Freud, so he's in the lead at the end of that round. And Clement it is your turn to begin, roast duck. Will you tell us something about that delicacy in this game starting now.

CF: It's a very odd thing that people of my sort of age think that roast duck, because it was a post-war delicacy is now totally inedible. The sad thing is that after 1945, the only celebratory food that was given in restaurants and hotels was roast duck. And it used to be served with sour cherries or peaches or other totally unrelated and badly fitting foods in order that it should be...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

CF: What shall we say?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Right,. Paul, 31 seconds for you to tell us something about roast duck starting now.

PM: The way I like to roast a duck is bung it in the oven for four hours and then take it out when it's been on maximum regulo eight. And it's very crisp at that point. It's wonderful, it's like eating old rubber and I love it! In fact when I get a bit of a sort of sprain in my shoe... a sprain in my shoe? No, I don't get a sprain in my shoe at all...


CF: Repetition of a sprain.

NP: A sprain in my shoe, yes.

CF: Yes.

NP: Shouldn't have drawn attention to it, should have kept going like Derek Nimmo did.

PM: I think someone would have noticed if I hadn't drawn attention.

NP: Clement you have the subject back, 16 seconds, roast duck, starting now.

CF: A duck is a very badly designed animal, also a bugger to pluck. Incredibly difficult to...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: I don't think you can say words like that on this programme!

PM: Are you using Cockney rhyming slang? It certainly sounds like it!

NP: Yah! So what is your challenge Derek?

DN: Deviation, buggering a duck, I suppose!

PM: And this was a post-war delicacy, was it?

PJ: Mister Chairman, on a point of order...

NP: Yes?

PJ: However you describe the plucking business, you can't actually pluck a roast duck at all. Because it's already been plucked.

NP: You're a bit late with your challenge.

PJ: Well all these other people were waffling on and er...

NP: Derek I think that was deviation and so...

CF: Explain that!

NP: Well I don't wish to go into the details! It is far too embarrassing! And so Derek I give you the benefit of the doubt, nine seconds on roast duck starting now.

DN: I think roast duck is marvelously more edible than cold turkey and much more pleasant when one thinks about it. I like it particularly with cumquats, those sweet little orange...


NP: So Derek Nimmo is now one point ahead of Clement Freud in the lead and then comes Peter Jones and Paul Merton equal in third place. Peter your turn to begin and the subject is who I would like to be. And you have 60 seconds in which to tell us something about that starting now.

PJ: I think I'd like to be the Prince of Wales. Because he's so incredibly gifted. He's able to play the cello, and make a speech in French and ride a horse. He can pilot an airplane. Ah, I know he has a number of difficult relatives but who doesn't?


NP: Derek, Derek challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was a hesitation. And not surprising if you wish to gain any more honours.

PJ: I don't! Given up long ago!

NP: Derek Nimmo you have the subject, 45 seconds and you can tell us now something about who I would like to be starting now.

DN: I would like to be Sir Clement Freud. This distinguished former politician, Knight Bachelor, married to the most wonderful wife Jill, and of course father to the divine Emma...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, yes, I would have left him go on, he was saying such nice things about you.

DN: When did I hesitate?

NP: Clement it was a hesitation so you have 34 seconds for you to tell us something about who I would like to be starting now.

CF: I'd actually rather like to be Derek Nimmo who's enormously grand and rich, has chauffeurs and butlers and flats and houses. Derek Nimmo has just bought a chateau...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PM: Repetition of Derek Nimmo.

NP: Paul would you tell us something about who I would like to be and there arec 23 seconds starting now.

PM: I would like to be a roast duck in post-war Britain because it sounds like it had a right old time indeed! Not only could you look forward to being basted in the oven but there was the pre-buggery beforehand! This used to give such fun and enjoyment...


PM: ...as you realised that this was indeed to be your fate in life...

NP: Clement Freud has challenged you.

CF: I think it's established that it's deviation!

NP: I think we're giving ourselves incredible problems about our future in radio here because er..

PM: I think there's a new quiz show in this!

NP: Yes, you think so? How far can you go?

PM: Whose Duck Is It Anyway? Blind Duck, you could have contestants lined up behind a screen and have to pick a duck to go out with. Duck of the Century! Dixon of Duck Green!

NP: Clement Freud said that it was what he was trying to do to the duck which was out and um...

PM: Sounds like a perfect evening! A bit of sex and a meal afterwards!

NP: So have you got any more titles before we carry on, Paul?

PM: Always a few more but I think we'll leave it there!

NP: Right, yes. Clement I disagree with the challenge so Paul... so Paul continues with nine seconds on who I would like to be starting now.

PM: I would like to be Mack Senett, that Hollywood pioneer of silent comedy who worked in America..


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well he couldn't be, he'd never stop talking long enough!

NP: The fact that Paul's a great verbaliser and has a great gift with words has nothing to do with the fact he'd like to have been a great pioneer of comedy. And Paul is, in many ways a great pioneer of comedy...

PM: I think I've broken through the duck barrier anyway!

NP: And you have another point as well, and three seconds to go on who I would like to be starting now.

PM: There was a number of comedians who were...



NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation, there were a number of comedians.

NP: Oh I think that's pedantic. And the audience you agree, don't you. Yes. You could have had him for repetition of comedian but unfortunately you didn't. Half a second for you Paul, having got another point, starting now.

PM: Charlie...


NP: Well Paul Merton got a lot of points in that round but he's still only in third place. Peter Jones is a little behind him but one ahead is Clement Freud and one ahead of him Derek Nimmo who's in the lead. And Paul it's your turn to begin. We're going to hear from you again. And guess what the next subject is, who I would hate to be. There are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PM: I would hate to be a roast duck because nothing puts my back out like, I mean, I couldn't put up with it at all. I would hate to be walking through the fields and the forests, and suddenly there comes a hunter shooting at me. I end up on somebody's plate later that night. Oh that wouldn't be any good to me at all. I'd be much happier being somebody like um, oh I don't know, Abraham Lincoln...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: He said someone like um Abraham Lincoln.

NP: He did indeed, her erred...

PM: Yes.

NP: That's hesitation Peter, another point to you and 42 seconds for you to tell us something about who I would hate to be starting now.

PJ: Well I'd hate to be...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Sorry. He always starts with well but he hadn't started so...

NP: Yeah.

DN: It's a reflex action, I'm sorry.

NP: He always starts with well, but as long as he doesn't repeat well when he starts again.

DN: Mmmmm.

NP: So Peter you have another point for an incorrect challenge, 41 seconds, who I would hate to be, starting now.

PJ: I'd hate to be Mack Senett...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, he didn't start with well!

NP: Well!

PM: We've established he always does and he didn't!

NP: Right, a point to Paul, Peter, you were interrupted, a point to you. You carry on, 40 seconds, who I would hate to be starting now.

PJ: Well he's dead for one thing...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of well.

PJ: Well I know, he challenged before so I thought I'd better put it in!

NP: Oh I see.

PJ: Double bluff!

NP: A double bluff. It didn't work, I'm sorry Peter, you did repeat the word and Derek picked you up. Thirty-eight seconds for Derek on who I would hate to be starting now.

DN: I would hate to be Emma Freud, because I'd have as my father Sir Clement, that awful bearded ogre who makes so many people feel uncomfortable, frightens them, terrifies them. And one of the people...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of people.

NP: Yes there were too many people there. There are 26 seconds, who I would hate to be, starting now.

CF: I would hate to be a marriage guidance counsellor to the Royal Family. Because I would hate to sell my stories to tabloid newspapers and embarrass nice people. There are a lot of other people I wouldn't much like to be...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of people.

NP: Yes.

CF: Yes.

NP: Yes you said people before Clement and there are four seconds for Peter Jones who got in then on who I would hate to be starting now.

PJ: Paul Merton, whose ambition it is to invent silent films!


NP: Well at the end of that round it's a very close contest because equal in third place are Peter Jones and Paul Merton. They're only one point behind Clement Freud and he's only one point behind our leader who's still Derek Nimmo. And Derek your turn to begin, the subject, cue. You can take it anyway you like as you know and you have 60 seconds and you start now.

DN: Of course you can have a billiard cue, but it's not a game I really like very much so I won't talk about that I don't think. In China before Sung Yat Sien came to power they used to wear pigtails which they called cues. And when this new regime started they were all forced to cut them off, and so masses of these little long black bits of hair lying all around the pavement. It was a very curious thing altogether. But the English are very good at queuing. It is surprising that when you go to a chain store, they form themselves into an orderly line and go one after another, to the counter to gasp for whatever...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of to.

NP: Yes to the counter to.

DN: All right, I don't mind.

NP: Paul 22 seconds for you on cue starting now.

PM: I once went to the doctor the other day and I said to him "I feel like a billiard ball" and he said "get on the end of the queue". Which is a fair enough comment because I had barged in front of other people. I used to play snooker with alacrity, who was a friend of mine, Bert Alacrity...


PM: I've said alacrity twice, I'll say it four times...

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Yes too much alacrity I'm sorry. Five seconds only on cue starting now.

CF: Q is the top left hand letter of the standard keyboard, followed by W...


NP: So Clement Freud has taken the lead at the end of that round, with the extra points he gained and Clement it's your turn to begin. The subject is ginger. Will you tell us something about ginger in this game starting now.

CF: There was a Victorian song that went "Ginger, Ginger, they all know Captain Ginger, Jolly old pot, OT Ot, 95 in the shade, what?" and that word would be repeated which I cannot do here. Ginger is a wonderful substance in cooking. I feel that ginger with sesame oil, onion, perhaps garlic, but above all lemon juice, gives and enhances food to an unqualified degree. There are many Chinese and Thai restaurants who serve not only ginger but also chili pepper which in Thai is called prick. It's very embarrassing should you be in Bangkok having to say "please can I have some more of this condiment?" But lemon grass is also excellent to have. There are gingery restaurants all...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged you.

PJ: Hesitation. He paused for a long time.

NP: There was a shocked reaction actually at the...


PM: There was a repetition of restaurants.

NP: I know there was but he didn't challenge for that.

PM: No, but I've just done.

NP: But Peter got in first, I disagree with the challenge actually Peter. So Clement has to keep the subject even though Paul's challenge was correct. Mind you, it doesn't mean to say that he can't challenge later. Twelve seconds left, starting now.

CF: Candy to caramelised...


NP: Paul Merton you challenged.

PM: Repetition of restaurants.

NP: Yes! Ten seconds for Paul Merton...

PM: That was one of the most bizarre rulings that I've ever come across!

NP: But you challenged for repetition of restaurant.

PM: Yes I did.

NP: And he did repeat restaurant.

PM: He did.

NP: That's right.

PM: But you wouldn't give it to me before.

NP: But he, you, let's get, I mean, there are simple rules which we follow. He did have restaurants...

PM: Nicholas, in an earlier programme you accused me of living in a world of my own!

NP: I try to live in the world of Just A Minute which is particularly difficult making these obstuse... decisions...

PM: Obstuse?

NP: And obtruse! I tactfully suggested you could challenge later, you did challenge later, you got in there with another repetition of restaurants and Clement Freud was right there so actually I am entitled now to say to you yes that is right, because Clement Freud did repeat restaurant before and so I even get a point for a correct challenge and take it away from Clement Freud. You take over the subject, there are 10 seconds left...

PJ: Oh no!

DN: He's finally, he's finally flipped!

NP: You've got a point and you now... Ten seconds on ginger starting now.

PM: Could I have that last ruling in writing?


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes indeed. Right Clement you have the subject back, there are nine seconds on ginger starting now.

CF: Candied, caramellised, preserved, crystallised, there's virtually no form of ginger which is not entirely delicious and...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, what about radioactive ginger? That wouldn't be delicious! That's a form of ginger. Can I say that he repeated restaurants as well?

NP: You've got a point for that already! Clement I don't think that's a correct challenge, you have another point...

PM: Oh I give up!

NP: You know... one point and one second to go, ginger, starting now.

CF: Hotels and cafeterias...


NP: Clement Freud got a number of points in that round and has increased his lead. And Peter Jones it's your turn to begin and the subject, pears. And there are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PJ: When you're making some of these decisions, I imagine the programme going out on the radio, and I can see millions of hands all over the world reaching for the on-off switch! And extinguishing this programme forever!


PJ: Pairs...

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged... before you said pairs...

DN: He has a little diatribe but he hesitated before. And he hadn't mentioned pairs at all really!

NP: And pairs is with you Derek and 44 seconds are left starting now.

DN: Noah when he actually called the animals to the Ark had a very good idea when he asked them to come along in pairs. Because that was quite necessary for breeding purposes after the floods had disappeared. And they all went up...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Surely Noah didn't ask the animals to come along in pairs, he just sort of picked pairs. He didn't sort of say to a couple of hedgehogs "right, just two of you please!"

PJ: I can't imagine that all the pairs waited until the water had evaporated before they started breeding!

NP: That's what I was thinking! Nothing else to do on board! So...

PJ: You've been on a cruise yourself, have you?

NP: Oh yes!

PM: Was there two roast duck on this cruise?

NP: Oh yes um, there are 28 seconds for you Derek to continue starting now.

DN: Pear is a particularly nice form of fruit. It goes tapering to the top and rather bubbles beneath. What I can never understand is how they put them into a Pear Wilhelm bottle. I suppose they must actually... put the bottle...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think that was hesitation. And 15 seconds, Clement, starting now.

CF: Grated ginger is an awfully good thing to have with pears. Pears cooked in red wine is a speciality of many restaurants. And the best way to prepare them is to get some water and add sugar and lemon rind...


NP: Well at the end of that round, Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. He's increased his lead, second place is Derek Nimmo. Paul it's your turn to begin, the subject is loans. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: Whenever I'm short of money, I go into the sea and borrow some off a loan shark. These peculiar creatures carry great big wads of cash around with them. They are in fact known as the er money lenders of the sea. And when I'm down in this particular briney piece of water I see them swimming past with fivers sticking out of their spoutholes. But they don't have those of course, because I'm thinking of whales. It's something else entirely and everybody's going to carry on and let me talking now, so I'll just talk gibberish for the next minute and a half. Pears are my favourite fruit er because without a doubt there is something about a pear that I absolutely love. And if I haven't got enough money to buy a pear I will go down to the bank and I say "excuse me, can you give me a loan because I simply must have more of this particular fruit?" And they say "of course and here's a thousand pounds". And so I go down to the greengrocer and I say "look, I've got a thousand pounds" and he'll say "yeah it's a thousand pounds actually." And I say "how many pears have you got?" And he said "for that amount of money, you did say a thousand?" And I said "I did yeah". He said "I can give you, I can give you about 8000 pears for that because they are about um eight pounds each." I said "well that's not right, is it? Because I mean if they were eight pears a pound, they would be 8000." He said "all right," he said, "but I didn't do algebra at school and um, I'm very pleased that you've come here now to my shop because with this money I can have a holiday..."


NP: Well for the listeners I must tell you that was a bit of naughtiness on the part of the other three players. They decided to let Paul Merton go and just to prove to us all he does live in a world of his own! And er..

PM: Repetition of thousand!

NP: Everything! Absolutely everything! You went for one minute, 20 seconds. You get a point for speaking when the whistle went eventually and also a point for not being interrupted, so you have two points for that. Derek it's now your turn to begin, the subject is robbing Peter to pay Paul. That's a good subject for this show, isn't it. Starting now.

DN: Well it actually really means sort of moving around so you never have to actually settle a debt...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two actuallys.

NP: Two actuallys, yes indeed yes. Clement you have the subject, another point, 53 seconds, robbing Peter to pay Paul starting now.

CF: Unless Peter is reasonably well heeled, there wouldn't be a lot in it for Paul is what I can't help thinking. But Peter is sitting over there, and Paul on this side... I think it ought to be up to them...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

CF: ...to discuss this subject.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes. It was getting so boring I'm awfully pleased you challenged. The um, you have 39 secodns to try and tell us something about robbing Peter to pay Paul starting now.

PM: Peter Jones owed me a thousand pounds for a pear venture that we went into several years ago. I kept asking him for this money and he wouldn't give it to me. So in the end I went round to his house and I took goods for the appropriate amount. I took a video recorder and his television set, and I have them now at home and I'm very happy with them indeed. It was a 12 inch screen, I believe, and the video came compatible with Nicam digital stereo which is one of these great new inventions. Why you want to hear people talking in Nicam digital stereo (starts to laugh)


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Nicam.

NP: Yes a repetition, eight seconds are left for you Derek to tell us something about robbing Peter to pay Paul starting now.

DN: When the Abbey Church of Saint Peter was accorded the rank of a cathedral, the lands were taken away and given to Saint Paul's and that is why the expression...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of saint.

NP: Yes there were two saints there Derek.

DN: Oh yes there was.

NP: So Paul Merton's got in very cleverly with only half a second to go starting now.

PM: Yes...



NP: Clement Freud challenged. What is your challenge Clement?

CF: He hesitated.

NP: You're being very generous because you're in the lead because he gets another point for that, of course he didn't hesitate! Quarter of a second to go, robbing Peter to pay Paul starting now.


NP: Right. So we're moving into the last round now, so let me give you the score before we do, because it's very close. Clement Freud is still in the lead, but only just ahead of Paul Merton and then Derek Nimmo and then Peter Jones. And Clement your turn to begin, the subject, this audience. As I look at them, oh what lovely charming Welsh faces they all have. Will you tell us something about this audience Clement in this game starting now.

CF: This audience is just the nicest, warmest, prettiest, hottest, most fanning, supportive bunch of people I have come across this side of Prestatton! I've encountered... human beings...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Forty-one seconds are left for you Derek on this audience starting now.

DN: Well I can honestly say having played the game for 25 years that the audience here tonight has really been quite exceptional. Without any doubt at all, and I mean this most sincerely, they're the most filthy minded audience we've ever played to!


NP: And proud of it to boot! Paul you challenged.

PM: Repetition of most.

NP: Paul you have another point and 31 seconds to tell us something about this audience starting now.

PM: Nicholas told me a few minutes ago that he is so pleased with this audience he's invited them all up to his hotel room for a roast duck supper! And when the people in the front row heard this they couldn't wait to book their seats and they rushed out to find out from the receptionist in which room Nicholas... aha!


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of room.

NP: Yes, repetition of my room yes indeed. I can't get them all in there... um, wouldn't mind one or two of them coming up! Or one at a time. I mean...

PM: One at a time! At your age? There must be about 400 people here! Can't you just be satisfied with the front row?

NP: So anyway, Clement you have 12 seconds to tell us something about this audience starting now.

CF: Can I compare this audience to a summer's day? I think on the whole...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, no you can't!

PJ: They're a very warm audience aren't they. In very sense of the word. I mean they're fanning themselves.

NP: Clement I disagree with the challenge, you have another point and eight seconds on this audience starting now.

CF: This audience is about to leave this hall because it is time for them to wend their weary way towards Prestatton...


NP: Well that was a very apt and delightful subject on which to finish this edition of Just A Minute. And let me give you the final score. Peter Jones finished just in fourth place behind Derek Nimmo, then came Paul Merton. He didn't manage to overtake Clement Freud so we adjudge him to be the winner of the show this week, Clement Freud! We hope all our listeners have enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute as much as we've enjoyed playing it. We do thank our four players of the game for the contribution. We thank Jane Stevens for blowing the whistle magnificently and also keeping the score. We thank Ian Messiter who created the game, and our producer Sarah Smith. This is Nicholas Parsons saying to you all, good-bye.