NOTE: Jenny Eclair's first appearance.

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 welcome the four exciting personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And we welcome back Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo. And we welcome someone who has never played the game before, that is Jenny Eclair. Would you please welcome all four of them. Beside me sits Jane Stevens who is going to keep the score and blow her whistle when the 60 seconds are up. This particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Ocean Room in the lovely seaside resort of Scarborough in North Yorkshire. And I am as always going to ask our four panelists to speak on the subject I give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. We'll begin the show this week with Peter Jones. Peter the first subject is very aptly Scarborough. Will you tell us something about this delightful seaside resort in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

PETER JONES: Well I've only been here two hours. But I have formed a very favourable impression. It's always been...


NP: Jenny Eclair has buzzed right away.

JENNY ECLAIR: Was there a slight hesitation?

NP: No Jenny...

PJ: No! Not at all!

JE: He was just taking breath! I'm sorry.

NP: He was taking breath.

JE: Too keen!

NP: No, no, we love to hear from you, the first time on the show, that was a little keen...

PJ: And a little early!

JE: I'm so sorry Peter.

NP: Right he keeps the subject, 55 seconds left Peter to continue with Scarborough starting now.

PJ: It was the birthplace of one of my heroes as a boy, Charles Laughton, who was a great English actor of the time. I believe his parents kept a hotel here, a very grand hotel, rather like the one...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Two hotels.

NP: Yes there were two hotels. I also think it was a pub his parents kept. But...

PJ: No, no, no.

CF: No.

NP: No, later they got the hotel, which was the Royal Hotel which they lost. But they started in a pub. Clement you have a... you have a correct challenge...

PJ: Well I wasn't telling his life story! I just said he... he lived here you know! For a time!

NP: Yes and so did his two brothers.

PJ: What did they do?

NP: Clement you had a correct challenge, you get a point for that, you get the subject and there are 43 seconds left to talk on Scarborough starting now.

CF: There's a ballad about Scarborough which is too repetitious to repeat. But it went roughly: as I was going to Scarborough fair, bath buns, trifle, jelly and nougat, I won't... er.. My wife's people came from very near here, Watford! (pauses because of loud laughter from the audience) Tremendous...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Hesitation after Watford.

NP: Well there was such a big laugh, I would er understand why he hesitated. But we will give you the benefit of the doubt, say you have a point for a correct challenge, 23 seconds on Scarborough starting now.

DN: Mr Mayor, ladies and gentlemen, I'm very pleased to be back in Scarborough. Because I used to come here a great deal as a childhood, principally for the cricket festival in September. And then I also met here the children's seaside mission who used to build little sandcastles and pulpits on the beaches. And I'd decorate them with flowers and seaweed and occasionally shells. And then we went back at night to a little hut behind the cricket ground...


NP: And Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of little.

NP: Yes there was, little came before I'm afraid. Don't look so mystified!

JE: It was a beautiful story!

PJ: He was going to tell us what happened in the little hut!

NP: Clement you have a correct challenge and you cleverly got in with one second to go, the subject is still Scarborough starting now.

CF: The Crown Hotel...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. It was Clement Freud and if course he's in the lead now at the end of the first round. Clement we'd like you to take the second round and the subject is landslides. That got a spontaneous response from this audience here in Scarborough because they've had an experience of that last summer. Clement will try and talk on the subject with 60 seconds to go starting now.

CF: It does seem very odd that if one of your best hotels slips down a cliff, that you should meet the news thereof with hilarity! I think landslides are among the most boring things to watch. When you're asked to dinner and your host says "come into the sitting room, I have some interesting landslides to show you. I have Hollar in Scotland, Heligoland, Lapland, Finland" I seize up. I find it so intensely boring, so stultifyingly dull...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: I think he said boring twice.

NP: Peter correct challenge, a point, 27 seconds, landslides, starting now.

PJ: There weren't any star names in the landslide here, whereas in Malibu, California, where they have them all the time, they always mention these huge names who are involved...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Two names.

NP: There were two lots of names there Peter.

PJ: Oh really?

NP: Yes Derek you have landslides and 17 seconds starting now.

DN: The only time I've ever actually seen a landslide was at Mount Cook on the South Island of New Zealand. And I was skiing down the Tasman Glacier. And suddenly I heard this terrible frightening rumbling behind me. And mountains of cliff and snow surged past me, missing me by a very short distance...


NP: Derek Nimmo was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and he's now taken the lead alongside Clement Freud. Jenny Eclair will you take the next round and the subject is quite a long one, things that go bump in the night.

JE: Thank you.

NP: So Jenny, 60 seconds starting now.

JE: If you're very lucky, your headboard might go bump in the night. But more often than not it is myself, going to bed after several pints of foaming brown ale, awaking at 3am, necessitating a visit to the little girl's room. Unfortunately without my contact lenses I am rendered Batwoman! And this is when I go bumping into furniture and I start screeching and blood is running down my shins. Other times when there are bumps in the night I lie in bed thinking "oh no, what..."


JE: I said bed twice! I know!

NP: The other two let you get away with it, but not Derek Nimmo...

DN: I'm so terribly sorry, it's very rude of me. It's just sort of trigger happy...

JE: It's all right Derek, don't worry about it.

DN: I was enjoying it very much.

JE: I had more to say...

NP: Would you like her to continue?

DN: Yes I'd love her to continue.

NP: So Jenny you have 39 seconds to continue on things that go bump in the night starting now.

JE: Other things that go bump in the night happen when local yobboes come into my house in order to relieve me of my electrical goods, my toothbrush, my microwave, television, electric curling wand. What must I do? I slither from under mu duvet on my belly to the telephone where I ring the local constabulary which must come immediately to my aid. Also other things that go bump in the night are poltergeists and then I must ring a vicar and say "come and lay your gentlemanly hands on my quivering body because I am so frightened." Or it could be the cat with her... I'm breaking every rule in the book, aren't I!


JE: Yes!

NP: Well Jenny Eclair was..

JE: Was being massively patronised!

NP: ...speaking then when the whistle went which went after one minute 20 seconds. And you other three were very sporting because she did hesitate and repeat herself and er...

JE: And was rather boring for a long time!

NP: And of course you were speaking when the whistle went, you get a point for doing that, you have two points at the end of that round.

JE: Points mean prizes!

NP: Yes! You're equal with Peter Jones who's trailing Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo's in the lead. And it is Peter's turn to begin. The big one Peter. Can you tell us something about that in 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: I suppose that's Mount Everest, isn't it? Well, I'm one of the few English people who's never climbed it, actually! But um it has er the reputation of being difficult...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Quite a lot of hesitation really.

NP: There was quite a lot of hesitation. I don't know why... he asked a question! You don't usually ask questions in Just A Minute because we can't reply Peter, you've got to kepe going.

PJ: Yes I suppose so.

NP: Fifty seconds for you Derek on the big one starting now.

DN: I'm very pleased to be talking about the big one, as I've been talking about the little one most of the evening. For me actually, the big one was when I went into the under-14 bowls championship in Prestatton in North Wales.


DN: And I... thank you very much! You were there obviously! And I...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: What is your deviation?

CF: He talked to someone in the back of the audience!

NP: Yes he's so unused to getting spontaneous reactions like that, that he responded to it.

DN: So what's this new challenge then? You can't talk to the audience? What is the challenge?

NP: Clement said you were deviating from the subject of the big one by talking to a little one in the audience.

DN: I was just... rejoicing in the fact that they witnessed my success, that's all.

NP: No they weren't, they were just responding to the Welshness that you were conveying. They're obviously here on holiday from Wales. Is that true? You're on holiday from Wales, someone?

PJ: Now you're talking to the audience!

NP: Clement your challenge was correct, in my definition anyway, 33 seconds are left, the big one, starting now.

CF: I have completed a big one all along the north coast of Wales. From Wrexham to Flint, Aberkenny, Penzances, St Asath and Llandudno where I ran...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Wrexham isn't on the coast.

NP: Peter I agree with your challenge, you have 22 seconds to tell us something about the big one starting now.

PJ: Well I was talking about Mount Everest...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He's already said well!

CF: He always says well!

DN: He always says well!

NP: No, he didn't say well.

DN: He did say well, I made a note of it.

CF: He always says well.

DN: I always make a note of it when he says well! Because he always says it again the next time he picks it up!

JE: Is it a fight?

NP: Well I think it was such a mean challenge, I'm not going to give it to you on this occasion. I might...

DN: Why was that mean? I can't talk to the audience! I can't challenge! Is there nothing I can do?

NP: On this occasion I'm going to let Peter have the benefit of the doubt and continue on the big one for 22 seconds starting now.

PJ: About Mount Everest...


NP: And Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Didn't say well!

NP: We give Clement a bonus point because we enjoyed the challenge but Peter gets one for being interrupted, he continues on the big one, 19 seconds starting now.

PJ: Someone asked the Duke of Edinburgh why people wanted to climb it, and he said "I think because it is there". Well I've never been one of those people...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well I've never been one of those people.

NP: Derek well listened...

PJ: You mean is the word well forbidden to me all together?

NP: Well if you keep repeating it Peter, yes. And the last time I didn't allow it, I gave you the benefit of the doubt, so...

PJ: Oh that created a precedent I thought! You've given me freedom to say well as often as I like! Well, well, I am surprised!

NP: I'm showing my fairness again and letting Derek Nimmo have the point, 11 seconds on the big one Derek starting now.

DN: Well I suppose to a lot of children today the big one is a Big Mac. They go into those hamburger places and order something right full of muck and nasty meat and...


NP: Jenny Eclair you've challenged.

JE; Oh I don't...

NP: Don't be so honest! Don't be so honest when the chairman's trying to help you!

JE: I obviously don't know how to cheat well enough! Well...

NP: He was hesitating then.

JE: What did he do? He hesitated, didn't he Nicholas! He did!

NP: You've got half a second Jenny on the big one starting now.

JE: I have been called a big one...


NP: Jenny Eclair then was speaking as the whistle went, surprisingly. And gained another point for that. But Derek Nimmo's still in the lead. Clement your turn to begin. The subject is spell Missisippi. Can you talk on that subject starting now.

CF: I would suppose that the only way to spell Missisippi, bearing in mind the need not to repeat yourself, is using the hardware store code. I therefore spell Missisippi Freeman, Hardy and Willis, Fortnum and Mason, Selfridges, Harrods, Boots, Timothy White. I could go on a bit but using that...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: What on earth is he talking about? It must be deviation! Why is he talking about Timothy White's and tailors instead of a river in America?

NP: Deviation, I agree Derek. It's all right, you don't need to convince me. Thirty-five seconds are left for you on the subject of spell Missisippi starting now.

DN: Well actually I think it's a particularly ineffective spell, Missisippi. You can say abracadabra abracadee and those sorts of things...


CF: Abra.

NP: Abra?

CF: Repeat.

NP: Abracadabra, you repeated.

DN: They're both different words.

NP: Abracadbra is one word but abracadee...

DN: You say it in pantomime don't you Nicholas?

NP: Absolutely yes, and you usually appear from behind a cloth! Twenty-nine seconds on spell Missisippi starting now.

DN: Well it is really spelt literally...


NP: Peter challenged you.

PJ: He started by saying well!

NP: But Peter the unfortunate thing is he hasn't said well in this round.

PJ: He said it! He began by saying well!

NP: I know but he hasn't repeated well yet.

PJ: You can't remember that!

NP: I have to remember that otherwise I wouldn't have this job! Twenty-seven seconds are left on spell Missisippi starting now.

DN: It really is spelt literally as it's said. Miss-I-sip-pi. Any fool could spell it so there's really not much point in asking us to do it. And... you get just one of...


NP: Jenny Eclair's challenged.

JE: I think he's hesitated quite a lot.

NP: He's definitely hesitating Jenny, 15 seconds for you on spell Missisippi starting now.

JE: When I was at school which wasn't very long ago, we had a teacher who taught us spelling...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, it was a very long time ago!


JE: I think that's unfair and cruel!

NP: Yes Jenny...

JE: Forget it!

NP: He will not get away with it. Because that was an incorrect challenge...

JE: Yes!

NP: You have 11 seconds to continue on spell Missisippi starting now.

JE: We were taught a rhyme which went: Missisippi, how do you spell it? And those of us who didn't know would say I-T! Hahaha! How we would laugh...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of ha!

JE: I should have gone ha-hee-ho!

NP: It is a difficult game Jenny. Right Clement's got in cleverly with three seconds to go, spell Missisippi starting now.

CF: Abracadabra!


NP: So at the end of that round Clement speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. Derek it's your turn to begin, the subject is slips. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: Well if you are playing...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: He said well.

NP: He said well, but he hasn't said well before.

PJ: No I just wanted to establish that he has said it once! Now all you have to do...


PJ: All you have to do is remember that...

NP: Yes?

PJ: ...and wait for him to say it a second time!

NP: Right! So give Peter Jones a bonus point because we enjoyed the challenge and there are 58 seconds left on slips starting now.

DN: In my youth, at the Scarborough cricket festival, there used to be some wonderful slip fielders. I remember people like Jack Ikin playing, Pollard...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: How can you remember people (emphasising) like Jack Ikin?

DN: It's a colloquialism!

CF: I mean do you remember Jack Ikin, or just remember people like Jack Ikin?

DN: Well people, there were other players who played for Lancashire who were like Jack Ikin.

NP: Clement grammatically was entirely cotrrect and he has therefore the subject, 51 seconds, slips, starting now.

CF: Slips is an excellent position on the cricket field. You can play first, second, third, fourth, fifth, gully, which is also a slips position but rather...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two positions.

CF: One was positions that you can play. and the other was position.

NP: Quite right, one was the singular and the second was the plural. Yes Clement, thank you for reminding me. Thirty-nine seconds to continue with slips starting now.

CF: The people who look at slips from afar would be behind the wicket, long stop, square leg, long thereof, also...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: No position is long thereof, is there?

NP: There is definitely no position of long thereof. And there are 28 seconds for you to tell us something about slips starting now.

PJ: Well slips are the name that our fishmonger gives to small dover soles. And very good they are. They're a lot cheaper than the original type of fish that you get in that south er part of the country...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Derek you have 15 seconds to tell us more about slips starting now.

DN: One of my great dreams is to end up in Jenny Eclair's bedroom as she removes her slip...


JE: Obscenity! And I'm leaving the show!

NP: So you consider that is deviation, do you?

JE: Yes! Surely! I'm not the kind of girl that wears a slip, I have to tell you.

NP: Ah now that is deviation...

JE: I'm not Lady Diana!

NP: If you don't wear a slip that is definitely deviation from the subject.

JE: Deviation, yes!

NP: And you have one second now Jenny, tell us something about slips starting now.

JE: I remember my first pay slip...


NP: Well Jenny Eclair speaking as the whistle went has inched forward a little but she's in third place now, just ahead of Peter Jones. Jenny it is your turn to begin, the subject is stick. Can you tell us something about that starting now.

JE: Lots of things come on sticks. If you go to a party, like old people or a cocktail sticks contain things like sausages, pineapple, cheese. If you have a dog, you could throw him a stick in a park. What a happy sight this is. Unfortunately I do not have a canine pet and it would look ridiculous for me to hurl a stick at a tortoise. Stick can be meted out vocally and I do not agree with that maxim that goes "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" because they do! When people criticise my hair style, I collapse to my knees sobbing! What else can you do with a stick? You can beat people with a stick...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: We've had a beat.

NP: Yes. But you did jolly well, you went for um, you went for a long time.

JE: I went for over a minute in fact!

NP: You went for 37 seconds.

JE: Story of my life!

NP: Clement you have the subject, 23 seconds left, stick, starting now.

CF: If you play pontoon, you have the option to twist or stick. And sticking seems to me a very sensible thing to do if you have 12 or more against the bank's six which is a rotten card. And do remember this. The next time you are in a casino, just shout "stick" and you'll be absolutely all right because in those gambling halls...


NP: Clement Freud kept going until the whistle went, gained an extra point and he's actually now taken the lead. Peter Jones your turn to begin, the subject, ERM. Will you tell us something about that subject in the game starting now.

PJ: Well it's the initials of er many people...


DN: Just so you'd remember he said well once!

NP: I have remembered! So Peter gets a point for that and he continues with the subject of ERM with 58 seconds to go starting now.

PJ: Mostly it stands for Exchange Rate Mechanism. Now this is something that's going on all over Europe, and I wish I had more time to explain it to you. Because even if I were to repeat many of the things that the Chancellor said and the previous one as well, I don't know that I could convince it sufficiently for you to grasp the very complicated monetary arrangement that has been reached by our leader, the Prime Minister at er... wherever it was! (huge laughter as Peter gets slower and slower) I can't remember! (long pause) Oh well!


NP: Peter you came to a natural halt there...

PJ: I did yes! I did yes!

NP: Actually somebody did eventually challenge you which was Clement Freud.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

PJ: Well!

NP: You're quite right, he did. Clement you have 13 seconds to tell us something about ERM starting now.

CF: When you talk to industrialists and say were we right to come out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism which we did in the early part of 1993, I think on the whole they say this was a sound tactic...


NP: Clement Freud speaking again as the whistle went, another extra point and Clement your turn to begin, the subject, my friends. Will you tell us something about my friends in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: There's a story about Winston Churchill who was approached by a colleague who said "could you lend me twopence to phone my friend?" And the great man said "here's sixpence, phone all your friends." Among friends on this programme, you can see on one side of me Nicholas Parsons, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo. The latter is one with whom I travelled from London. He has just come from his house, his chateau in France where he was bottled...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: I haven't got a chateau in France, deviation.

NP: I agree, um, I haven't been there...

CF: What do you mean you agree?

NP: I take Derek's word, I trust him...

CF: Aha!

NP: It's not a chateau, it's a...

CF: What is it?

JE: It's a caravan, is it?

NP: What would you call it? A villa? A farm house?

DN: A pigsty!

NP: All right Derek, I give you the benefit of the doubt and the subject and 30 seconds, my friends starting now.

DN: My friends, well, there are quite a few of them really. I like particularly someone called William Compton and another chap called Willie Christie...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of called. Somebody called this and somebody called that.

NP: And somebody called that. And 19 seconds for you Clement on my friends starting now.

CF: When I first started playing cricket the captain turned to me and said "where would you like to field?" And because he was my friend, I said "anywhere as long as it is close to you". And we have been tremendously fond of each other since. He is now...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation.

NP: Why?

DN: Oh some unnatural friendship is going on between...

CF: You can't have an unnatural friendship when you wear a box!

DN: Okay Nicholas, rule on that one!

NP: I don't have to, I think he's said enough to get a laugh and...

PJ: He's said enough to get arrested!

NP: I don't think it was deviation so he keeps the subject, there are five seconds on my friends Clement starting now.

CF: Alan, Basil, Charles, Peter, John, James, Richard...


NP: Clement Freud again was speaking as the whistle went and actually has increased his lead. And it is Derek Nimmo's turn to begin. Derek the subject is my enemies. Following my friends can you tell us something about my enemies starting now.

DN: Well I do suppose I have quite a lot of enemies. Chief among them is Nicholas Parsons. When I first met him 26 years ago, I regarded him with some contempt. That then went to animosity and now it is pure hatred. And he feels exactly the same way about me. That's why he never gives me any points at all, if he can possibly avoid it. Another particular enemy of mine is...


NP: Jenny Eclair, you pressed your buzzer.

JE: Only because you told me to Nicholas! Because you wanted to be saved this humiliation and this character assassination!

NP: Ah yes I did try to indicate...

DN: He's corrupt as well, you see! He's corrupt!

NP: I did try to indicate to you because actually what he's saying is blatantly untrue and it's complete deviation.

CF: No, no, he doesn't like you!

JE: I was going... I was also going to go on to say I don't like you either Nicholas!

DN: I don't think Peter Jones likes you anyway!

PJ: I don't! That's why I haven't interrupted!

NP: So he was deviating, Jenny...

DN: (laughs)

NP: ...you have the subject, you have 36 seconds, my enemies, starting now.

JE: The good thing about enemies is that er, is that they er fuel your...


NP: Derek Nimmo's got it back.

DN: Hesitation.

JE: I was getting upset thinking about it!

NP: Yes. It was yes, it was a hesitation. Derek you have the subject of my enemies, 33 seconds starting now.

DN: Another enemy of mine is an actor called Geoffrey Palmer who you may have seen in that wonderful series with Judi Dench. Now he like Nicholas started off as a chum. But he's a very keen fisherman and one day fishing the Blackwater, I caught a particularly large salmon. And unfortunately, or perhaps happily, there beside was the ace reporter from a magazine called...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of Nicholas.

NP: Yes it was a long way back!

CF: Well I let him go on a bit, I didn't want to...

NP: No! Well actually I'll tell you something, this..

DN: I'm making it up, I've got no idea how it's going to end! So...

NP: Well this actually is the last round Clement and you're in a lead and even if Derek gets the point for when the whistle goes he still can't win. So would you like to finish the round or would you like Derek to finish it?

CF: I'd like Peter to finish it!

NP: As it's your prerogative as it was a correct challenge. So there are 11 seconds Peter for you to tell us something about my enemies starting now.

PJ: Well this has come as something of a surprise! Um, I don't know that I have any! They don't make themselves known to me. I don't get vicious letters in the post, I don't get anonymous phone calls...


NP: Well Peter Jones very nicely and pleasantly brought that particular round to an end, and he's also brought the show to an end as we have no more time to play Just A Minute. Jenny Eclair who's never played the game before did extremely well, one behind Peter Jones. In fact if Peter hadn't got that generous point from Clement Freud, they'd have been equal.

PJ: I don't like accepting charity!

NP: Then came Derek Nimmo but in the lead this week, so we call him our winner, was Clement Freud! A round of applause for him. It only remains for me to say we hope you've enjoyed this particular edition of Just A Minute. We thank our delightful audience in Scarborough for the warmth of their reception. And we thank Peter Jones, Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo and also Jenny Eclair for the talent they have displayed. I thank Jane Stevens for keeping the score so accurately, Ian Messiter for inventing the game, Sarah Smith for so brilliantly directing the show. And this is me Nicholas Parsons, saying good-bye, hope you enjoyed it, and be with us next time we play Just A Minute!