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 exciting personalities who are going to pit their wits, their erudition and their verbal dexterity against each other in playing Just A Minute. This week we welcome back Derek Nimmo, Christopher Timothy, Barry Cryer and Clement Freud. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits the man who invented the game. He has a stopwatch in one hand, a whistle in the other which he will blow when 60 seconds are up. And once more I'm going to ask each of our contestants to speak in turn if they can on ther subject I give them. And they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Let us begin the show this week with Derek Nimmo. Derek the subject is Manhattan. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: Manhattan is quite one of my most favourite cocktails. In fact I had one the other day coming back from Madrid on British Aiways and it couldn't be more delicious. If you read that excellent book Derek Nimmo's Drinking Companion or one by the same author called Shaken and Stirred, you will find in it a recipe for a Manhattan. This is a particularly good one. You have sweet vermouth, rye and a dash of bitters. It was invented at the Manhattan Club in the 1870s for a party given by Lady Randolph Churchill for a Governor, Tillings I believe. And it was a tremendous success. Now if you read another volume...


NP: And Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Second read.

NP: Yes you were reading your book too often I'm afraid Derek. You said about it, you read your book before and you read it again. Clement Freud you have a correct challenge which means you get a point for that and you take over the subject of Manhattan and there are 22 seconds left starting now.

CF: Man Hatton probably did less for Liverpool than any local politician I can think of. For some astonishing reason he was elected on to the local authority where he aggrandishdommed himself...


NP: Barry Cryer has challenged.

BARRY CRYER: Deviation of correct spelling. It would be Man Hatton.

NP: Yes and you think it should be Mad Hatton do you?

BC: Pardon? My brain hurts.

NP: It's a deviation from the spelling, but you know Derek has...

BC: Derek Hatton is Hat-ton isn't he?

NP: Yes that's all right.

DN: Well how do you know how it's spelt? You're only going by a sound. I think Freud's absolutely right. Clement is brilliant...

NP: Actually I was about to say that Derek Nimmo before you took the words out of my mouth...

DN: That's very silly, you don't have any words in your mouth!

BC: And anyway he thought you'd finished with them!

NP: Clement you have another point and you have seven seconds to continue on Manhattan starting now.

CF: Well the streets go in one direction, and the avenues in another...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Repetition of the.

NP: That's one of the meanest challenges we've ever heard!

DN: Well he was very mean on my read, wasn't he?

NP: Well it's a correct challenge so I have to be fair because I always try...

CF: No, no, you don't try!

NP: Yes what did you want to say Clement?

CF: This is now ruling that one cannot say the more than once.

NP: No the rulings are that you might say it more than once but if you're mean enough to challenge like Derek Nimmo then I will have to give you the challenge. I hope that you will not hold up the game by keep challenging on every the. But Derek Nimmo had a challenge. I have to be fair within the rules of the game that he has a correct challenge and he has a point for his mean challenge and he has three seconds left on Manhattan starting now.

DN: My doctor told me to take more fruit so I had two cherries in my Manhattan.


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle is blown gets an extra point. And the man who got in just before the whistle was Derek Nimmo. So at the end of that round, he has two points alongside Clement Freud. Barry Cryer will you take the next round, the subject garages. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

BC: The garage at the bottom of my garden contains everything, save a car. It is... inhabited by sarcophagus...


NP: Derek Nimmo got in...

DN: Hesitation I'm afraid.

BC: Oh hardly!

DN: That's fair!

BC: Half-way through is!

NP: half-way through is, yes. He's playing a tough game this week, I know. He played...

BC: What is it?

NP: He's played the game for 22 years, you've only played it for two or three I think Barry which is showing up at the moment. But you'll no doubt...

BC: You mean I'm younger?

NP: Fifty-two secodns for you Derek on garages starting now.

DN: The price of one London garage is today absolutely astronomic, over priced and frightful. How can they expect ordinary people to afford a rent, sometimes of a hundred pounds a week for a mere shack in South Kensington or in Knightsbridge in deepest Shepherds Bush. Ladies...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He said in twice.

NP: And I could see Clement Freud waiting for it!

DN: I knew!

NP: And he got back, that is the way to play the game and inhibit them from challenging on thes and ins. Right, 33 seconds for you Clement on garages starting now.

CF: The extraordinary thing about garages these days is that they seem to sell absolutely everything except petrol. Glasses, cups, flowers, sandwiches, coca cola and its rival which I mustn't mention either.


NP: Christopher Timothy has challenged.

CHRISTOPHER TIMOTHY: A pause after either I thought.

NP: There was a pause.

CT: I thought there was.

NP: And he looked at you and you pressed your buzzer and you got in, well done! Christopher...

CT: But I don't want to talk about garages if that's all right with you! No, all right, go on.

NP: There are 17 seconds to hear from you on garages Christopher Timothy starting now.

CT: I remember a time when I had my first car, a tiny not very well equipped Austin Seven. And when I went to fill it up, it cost oh be it two pounds something or other. Today I got petrol in order to come to London from where I live on the South Coast and would you believe that the bill came to nearly 20 pounds. And that indeed as Mr Clement...


NP: Many...

DN: Can I just make a comment? I think it's extraordinarily philanthropic of him to grace this programme tonight, because it's more than he gets for his fee!

CT: What fee?

NP: Right at the end of that round um Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud are still in the lead and Christopher Timothy is one point behind them and then comes Barry Cryer. And Clement Freud would you take the next round. The subject, clout. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CF: Clout is a fairly friendly word. And Governments that are unable to do anything are said to be without clout. From which administration I should like to exclude the Portugese who have quite immense power in that when you buy an electrical appliance in Portugal, you have to have a battery and a plug within the parcel that you purchase. And I think if our people had that sort of clout, I would spend much more time in electrical and hardware stores, shops...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of electrical.

NP: He said electric plug before, now he's talked about electrical.

DN: Did he?

NP: It was absolute rubbish, the whole thing but I mean... In fact I have to say quite...

CF: You don't have to say anything!

NP: I've never heard... I've never heard an intelligent man talk such rubbish in my life! So Clement it was an incorrect challenge and you have 24 seconds to continue with clout starting now.

CF: Emporia of hardware sell many things with which you can clout people. Such as hammers, files, blocks of woods, buckets. Almost anything that you can purchase in that sort of store is available for smashing someone on the head with. And I very seldom end sentences with prepositions but will make an exception...


NP: Well he found every verbal ingenious way to keep going till the whistle went and he gained that extra point and he's now in the lead ahead of Derek Nimmo, that is Clement Freud I refer to. Christopher Timothy will you take the next round, the subject bungling. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CT: This describes usually the failure in achieving or polishing off a task that most people consider very simple. A bungle is when you cannot complete a task although you've done everything in your power to do so. Let me give you...


NP: Barry Cryer challenged.

BC: Repetition of task.

NP: Yes he did say task more...

CT: I accept that.

NP: And so Barry we're going to hear from you on the subject of bungling and there are 49 seconds left starting now.

BC: It could be said that I majored in bungling early in life. Ineptitude was my middle name. Incompetence, kack-handed, call it what you will. I was unable to fulfill any task without completely botching it in the process, although maintaining throughout a smoothness that did in fact deceive many people into thinking I was working efficiently in the execution of this particular job. But no, if they had looked below the surface they would have glimpsed my utter inability to achieve anything with any degree of certitude, skill...


NP: And if you listeners could have seen the strain on Barry Cryer's face as he was searching for some more words in that vast vocabulary of his...

DN: I thought he was constipated!

NP: He probably is but that's got nothing to do with the way he speaks. Clement Freud you got in first and you have...

DN: I got the bell!

NP: You may have done it but Clement's light came in.

DN: Oh I see.

NP: So there... what is your challenge Clement?

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes of course. Right so 13 seconds are left, bungling starting now.

CF: If you have a chairman who really bungles things, then Derek Nimmo can press a button and my light will come on! The result of which I receive an extra point and leap into the lead as a result...


NP: I, I, I have to defend myself occasionally and I must explain to the listeners that I have nothing to do with this box of tricks in front of me which is an entirely mechanical device invented by the BBC in which there are four lights in front of me and only when a light comes on do I press a little button there and the light goes off. And Clement Freud's light came on, I didn't bring it off.

BC: You haven't got the clout have you!

NP: Derek Nimmo will you take the next round, the subject friends. Will you tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: I remember that wonderful remark of that outstanding leader of the Liberal Party, Mr Jeremy Thorpe, when, it was during the massacre that MacMolan caused...


NP: Christopher Timothy challenged.

CT: A falter I thought.

NP: A falter which we interpret as hesitation so I give it to you. Forty-eight seconds are left Christopher on friends starting now.

CT: And Neighbours, a very very popular song when I was...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of very.

NP: Oh yes you said very very.

CT: Yes.

NP: Yes oh yes. I'm afraid...

CT: Very very...

NP: When you've played the show, yes, your first time with us was last year Christopher but there's been no quarter given on your return visit.

CT: Quite right, I was sported that last time.

NP: You're looking very impassive. Forty-five seconds for you Clement on friends starting now.

CF: Well in 1963 after the Profumo scandal when Harold MacMillan, the Prime Minister of this great country sacked half his Cabinet, Jeremy Thorpe said it was the wrong 50 percent of whom he got rid. He stood up in the House of Commons at Question Time and said "Mr Speaker does... the Right Honourable..."


NP: So Derek Nimmo wants to finish the story after all! So Derek you wish to take over the subject of friends and obviously finish that story with 23 seconds left starting now.

DN: He said "no greater love hath any man than to lay down his friends for his life" which I thought was terribly witty and very good. I must say to have a chum in life is hugely important...


DN: I have a very...


NP: Christopher Timothy challenged twice.

CT: Repeat of life, twice.

NP: Yes, life.

CT: Life.

NP: Christopher there are 11 seconds for you on friends starting now.

CT: Max Bygraves was the slinger who scored a vast hit...


NP: Barry Cryer.

BC: Slinger?

CT: What?

NP: And so your challenge is?

BC: Deviation.

NP: I don't know, some people might call him a slinger for all we know. Barry I agree with your challenge and seven seconds for you on friends starting now.

BC: Friends are the very life and staff of my very existence...


BC: Two verys.

NP: Two verys and Christopher...

BC: It's a very disease going round!

NP: Christopher you have three seconds on friends starting now.

CT: There is once and only a friend..


NP: So Christopher Timothy speaking as the whistle went at that moment and at the end of the round he is in second place, only two points behind Clement Freud who is still our leader. Then comes Derek Nimmo and then Barry Cryer. And Barry begins the next round...

BC: I've moved up!

NP: What, from fourth place to fourth place?

BC: Yes! Fourth, but higher fourth! I feel it!

NP: Yes! Well maybe you'll move forward even further with the subject of American football starting now.

BC: American football has impinged on our lives in the last year or so. My youngest son, Bob, apprised me of the details of the gridiron game. I watched one night and saw Bo Jackson who plays both for Los Angeels Raiders and the Chiefs of that very city in a baseball capacity. What a polymath I cried! Not only a footballer but a baseballist! And as you watch...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: There was yes. it was so nice, wasn't it. A polymath...

BC: I've a sore throat, you mentioned my sore throat haven't you Nicholas.

NP: No I'm going to mention in a minute it's getting worse.

BC: Yes! Well that would... they won't be pauses, I'll be taking breaths. You understand.

NP: No, no, no, well...

BC: Ohhhh!

NP: Derek I agree with your challenge, you have 33 seconds on American football starting now.

DN: I can't stand the game. All sorts of funny names they have like Ice Cube and so on, they come rushing on. I don't really trust them, there's something very peculiar about them. They're all...


NP: Barry Cryer challenged.

BC: Well Ice Cube... do you mean Fridge? The Fridge!

DN: Might have been called Ice Cube!

NP: I don't think Ice Cube is a phrase in American football actually.

BC: No I think Derek was alluding to a player who was known as the Fridge. Very large...

NP: I know there's a player called the Fridge.

BC: Well he's not called the Ice Cube! There is a player called the Ice Cube?

NP: Right, thank you, would you come very week that fellow in the audience there? Someone in the front row of the audience here at the Paris Studio has told us that there is somebody called the Ice Cube, thank goodness! I can now um make a decision which is that Barry's challenge was incorrect and Derek Nimmo keeps the subject with 27 seconds on foot, American football starting now.

DN: There is something decidedly queer about it. The way they come on the field of play, hugging each other, and fall on a big heap on the groudn with their arms entwined. And when they get up again, have you noticed there's always one man there still lying there smiling! I think the whole game is deeply suspect and I don't really like it. And I don't think it ought to be allowed on our screens. It's due to people like, I think, Michael Grade, who's over at Channel Four. He encourages it. And that Jeremy Issacs who they discuss the...


NP: So Derek Nimmo got points in that round including that one for speaking as the whistle went. He's moved ahead of Christopher Timothy and one behind our leader who's still Clement Freud who begins the next round. Clement the subject, scandal. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Scandal, it seems to me, is an extraordinarily overused word. All sorts of things which are really of small account are now considered to be diabolical liberties and scandals. Even American footballers called the refrigerator who have slightly smaller comparable and less efficient ball players who are called Ice Cubes are being challenged...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

CF: I didn't want to go on talking about it!

DN: He sort of stopped, didn't he really.

CF: Yes.

NP: Yes he was certainly struggling, I've never seen him struggle so much. Right, 33 seconds for you Derek on scandal starting now.

DN: There is a tremendous amount of scandal in our newspapers today. Most of it is fiction. I deplore and loathe the way the newspaper proprietors, particularly Australian, seem to be able to invent these absolute lies about people and put them on the front page...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: He's not Australian.

NP: He didn't specify anybody.

CF: There is no British newspaper proprietor currently who is an Australian because Mr Murdoch became an American.

DN: I... he is Australian by birth. You could become a naturalised... Abyssinian but I would still call you an Englishman.

NP: I think we'll give you the benefit of the doubt Derek and you keep the subject of scandal with 19 seconds left starting now.

DN: Well for the sake of the profit from one edition, they're quite prepared to put people out of work. Anybody in the media, well they will absolutely destroy their lives. They do not care! The newspapers in this country are absolutely foul and in this er...


NP: You can give him a round of applause for what he said! But Christopher Timothy could not absolutely could not let him go any longer so he buzzed and what is your challenge Christopher?

CT: There was a pause...

NP: Oh I thought you were going to challenge for the four absolutelys which everybody let go because they agreed with what he was saying.

CT: And the four absolutelys.

NP: All right we give it to you on the pause. One second Christopher starting now.

CT: I absolutely agree!


NP: So Derek Nimmo's now in the lead, one point ahead of Clement Freud and Christopher Timothy who are equal and then comes Barry Cryer. And Christopher Timothy begins the next round. Christopher the subject is theatrical disasters.

CT: A fine phrase applying more often than not to shows in the theatre in London, in the West End even, that are not successful. This may be due to many many things...


NP: Ah!

CT: Oh!

NP: You can tell he's playing to the audience to get the ahs and oohs when... Derek Nimmo pressed his buzzer, Derek your challenge?

DN: Repetition of many many.

NP: Many many yes right, 46 seconds Derek, theatrical disasters starting now.

DN: I think I would like to include as one of the major theatrical disasters of the century our chairman Nicholas Parsons who we have seen on the stage in this country from time immemorail it seems to me. One of the plays that I was once in was a musical comedy with that lovely star who is called Dame Anna Neagle. And she used to have a microphone down her bumbles with a deal of wire. And the transmitter was in her nickers. And they used to shove the aerial where it was very uncomfortable! And one day woud you believe the elastic, whatever held together, snapped and out came the recording device from her bumble and then slowly there emerged from between her legs the recording equipment which hung there in a most puzzling way. And the audience could not have enjoyed it more, they applauded...


NP: I might mention that the show that Derek Nimmo was referring to was Charley Girl and after that reference to me being a theatrical disaster, I must point out that 20 years after Derek Nimmo created the part I was cast to take it over. So that says something about my age, doesn't it.

DN: That's why I called you a theatrical disaster!

NP: Right Derek so in spite of all the things you said, you kept going until the whistle went and you gained an extra point for that and you've increased your lead at the end of the round. And you also begin the next round, the subject, leaping ahead, which you've just done but would you talk on it starting now.

DN: Leaping ahead seems to be a most boring subject. I suppose one could refer to this game. You score an extra point, you might leap ahead. But perhaps the Seoul Olympics would be a point where you might be able to leap ahead and actually win a gold medal. And that would be frightfully thrilling wouldn't it. I like Seoul it's a lovely city and is ideal as I say for leaping ahead because of the garlic you see. They eat a tremendous amount of it there and that seems to refuel you and give you an extra impetus as you leap ahead...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of leap.

NP: That's right because on the card it's leaping ahead and you use the word leap.

DN: That's all right, I'm not bothered, that's all right.

NP: That's all right well, I have to explain.

DN: I'm a good loser!

NP: Thirty-one seconds are left Clement for leaping ahead starting now.

CF: I was telephoned by a theatrical impresario the other day who said that if I wanted to get into the leaping ahead game he had in 20 years time a role for me playing the old Derek Nimmo revised by Nicholas Parsons part in Charley Girl. The only condition was that I would have to become a naturalised Abyssinian and it was thought that this was too great a price to pay, even for so fine a role in the theatre...


NP: So Clement Freud kept going till the whistle went, gained the extra point and he's now one point behind our leader Derek Nimmo and only one point ahead of Christopher Timothy. And Barry Cryer begins the next round. Barry the subject, I don't know why Ian Messiter decided to give you this subject.

BC: He's a sadist!

NP: Is it? Well the subject is sex.

DN: Oh!

NP: I don't know whether you've anything to say on that subject.

BC: My voice has finally gone!

NP: Let us hear from you on sex starting now.

BC: My libido which is not something in a bathroom if you are labouring under that misapprehension, is sorely tried and troubled these days. Because it now takes me all night to do what I used to do all night. And I reflect upon...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

BC: It was worth it!

CF: Repetition.

BC: Yes!

NP: What's that?

CF: Repetition.

NP: Yes I know, you challenged on the pay-off to the story, which Barry Cryer wrote years ago for some comic.

BC: No, no, no.

NP: Right, so yes repetition and 48 seconds for you on sex Clement starting now.

CF: This is not a subject that I want to speak on at great length but as I only have 40 seconds, there seems no good reason why I shouldn't tell you about a Bedouin whose camel died in the desert...


NP: Barry Cryer challenged.

BC: Repetition, he told us it before the show!

NP: Well what I do there is give Barry Cryer a bonus point for a lovely challenge but as Clement Freud actually hasn't deviated from the rules of Just A Minute, he keeps the subject with 34 seconds to go on sex starting now.

CF: The sexuality of this Arab was something that has much...


NP: Derek Nimmo got in, yes?

DN: Hesitation I'm afraid.

NP: Hesitation. Now we have sex from you Derek on 28 seconds left starting now.

DN: I haven't very much interesting to say since I've reached the age when a girl says no, I feel profoundly grateful! And therefore I don't really feel that perhaps I'm the most qualified person to talk about sex. Although I remember in my day in the distant youth, there was a certain amount of pleasure. I would never have made...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two remembers.

NP: You were remembering too much.

DN: It's such a long time ago.

NP: Well I must say it's very honest of you Derek. Seven seconds left for you Clement to tell us something about sex starting now.

CF: And the genie said to this... sex crazed Abyssinian...


NP: Well Clement Freud got more points in that round including that one for speaking as the whistle went and he's now taken the lead ahead of Derek Nimmo. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject, spoofs. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CF: Spoofs are something that are very popular on April Fool's Day which next year is going to be on a Tuesday, unless it could fall on a latter day of the week. Um...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well it was sort of bizarre wasn't it really, a sort of, he sort of fiddled around and then stopped.

NP: Yes.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Derek it was a hesitation, 47 seconds for you on spoofs starting now.

DN: Oh such happy childhood memories of spoofing. I used to tie an Abyssinian purse on a piece of string, and leap around the corner, wait around the other side, and as somebody came to pick it up, I'd give it a little pull and it would come towards me. I'd say "hello! Whatho! And I've spoofed you!" And they used to thump me very solidly on the top of the head. Quite right because it's very annoying to have young children playing round with spoofs. I don't know whether any member of the audience here have spoofed. I hope they haven't. Not at the moment anyway, it'd be very unpleasant...


NP: Christopher Timothy has challenged.

CT: A piece of spoof, repeat of spoof.

NP: Yes too much spoofing, you did spoof a bit too much there Derek. But you did it very well! The audience seemed to enjoy it, they got a bit wet from all the spray. So Christopher you have 17 seconds to tell us something about spoofs starting now.

CT: A similar thing in America is known as trick or treat when a child will knock on a door and say "trick or treat"...


NP: Clement Freud challenged. Oh it's an infuriating game isn't it! Clement Freud got in then, everybody knows why. So it's 11 seconds for you Clement on spoofs starting now.

CF: The BBC some years ago...


NP: Ah Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of B.

NP: Yes. All right, well it's neck and neck. There's one point separating Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud. We're in the last round and there, the subject is still spoofs and Derek you have nine seconds to go starting now.

DN: The British Broadcasting Corporation some years ago had a wonderful spoof about spaghetti grown in Italy shown on the Panorama programme...


NP: Well as I said a few moments ago we were in the last round and now we have no more time to continue in this game of Just A Minute. The final situation was that Barry Cryer coming with his hoarse voice, but his erudition and wit came in fourth place just behind Christopher Timothy who has not played the game as often as our two players who have played it many years. And very aptly they finished equal in the lead. So we adjudge them to be the winners Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud! We do hope that you've enjoyed listening to this edition of Just A Minute. We've enjoyed playing the game. And it only remains for me to say on behalf of our four delightful panelists Christopher Timothy, Clement Freud, Barry Cryer and Derek Nimmo and of course the creator of the game Ian Messiter and our producer Edward Taylor and myself Nicholas Parsons, thank you very much for tuning in, staying with us until the end and we hope that you will want to tune in again when we take to the air once more and play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here good-bye.