WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and SHEILA HANCOCK, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 12 January 1971)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Clement Freud and Sheila Hancock in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much and welcome once again to Just A Minute. This radio game in which no holds are barred, and no quarter given. And once again we have our four most seasoned players of the game and they're going to try and talk for Just A Minute on some unlikely subjects that I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject in any way at all. If they can do this for a full minute then they will gain a point. And if one of the others thinks they are guilty of these crimes during that minute, they will challenge and gain a point or not as the case may be. I think if you are not sure of the scoring, we hope it will become obvious as we play the game. And let us begin with Kenneth Williams. Kenneth, Christmas party games. Can you talk on that seasonal subject for 60 seconds starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: Christmas party games in common with other activities of similar ilk are designed to cheat despair and obliviate boredom. And I think the fact that they are proliferating so much is probably one of the most condemning indictments of our age! But Christmas party games are preferably with paper hats, plastic party novelties, and doves coming out of a chimney bearing a message of peace. Walnut...
NP: Derek Nimmo you have challenged, why?
DEREK NIMMO: On the grounds of deviation. It's not games he's talking about, it's sort of Christmas demonstrations with doves out of the chimney and so on.
KW: Have you ever tried to get a couple of doves to come out of the chimney?
NP: Whether it's be a demonstration or not, I still think it could be interpreted as a game and certainly something to play at Christmas time. So as I disagree with the challenge Kenneth Williams gains a point and he continues speaking on the subject for another 30 seconds starting now.
KW: Maudie Fittleworth, Fun-With-A-Frankfurter, always said that Christmas party games occupied most of her leisure time the rest of the year. In fact (laughing) she said that the other times merely prepared her for Christmas party games. Her favourite one was dressing up as the chimney sweep, and embracing everyone at great propinquity so that the black on her came off on them, much to their great embarrassment of course. This isn't the kind of game I would recommend your playing at Christmas...
NP: Well Kenneth has started off this show with a real bang. He kept going for a full 30, ooh, a full 60 seconds with a...
SHEILA HANCOCK: Hesitation!
NP: Yes! I said a full 60 seconds with only one interruption. So Kenneth as you were speaking when the whistle went, telling us that 60 seconds is up, you gain another point.
KW: So I've leapt into the lead!
NP: You have a commanding lead!
KW: Oh good!
NP: You have two points and nobody else has any!
KW: Oh it's lovely innit! I hope it can continue!
NP: Yes! Derek Nimmo will you begin the next round. The subject is getting ahead. Will you talk on that for 60 seconds starting now.
DN: Of course it's terribly difficult to get a head if you haven't got one already. Because of course you don't have eyes to look for one with, or a nose to smell one, or even a mouth to ask for one with. So let's suppose that one has one and wants to find another one. Well of course it's very much more difficult than it was say 200 years ago. Then one would have just gone down to Plymouth or Portsmouth and hired oneself a good wooden walled ship and set sail westward with a handful of golden sovereigns. When one reached the river Amazon then one would sail up it for some time and then transfer to a small canoe having gone through Brazil, one would go into Peru. And there one would make contact with the local headsmen. And exchanging a few beads, a copy of The New Testament, and several prayer books, one would gain his services and proceed into the bush. And there one would find a likely body containing the aforesaid object on top of it. Then one would capture the same, and severing it from the neck, one would take it home, put it in a plastic bag...
NP: They're all brilliant today!
DN: Have I caught up?
NP: Yes you have! As you managed to speak for the full 60 seconds without being interrupted which is a pretty good feat these days when the others are so clever you gain a bonus point. So Derek you now have two points alongside Kenneth Williams.
SH: Oh dear!
NP: And we are yet to hear from our other two but Clement Freud it's your turn now, see if you can keep it up. Christmas pudding. Clement can you talk on this subject for Just A Minute starting now.
CLEMENT FREUD: It's fairly important to keep up a Christmas pudding which you do by putting it into a basin, and employing a number of egg-whites which are a leavening medium for this particular purpose. Ideally the subject about which I have to talk and about which I have to talk as long as...
NP: Derek Nimmo you've challenged, why?
DN: Repetition of talk.
NP: Yes I'm afraid there was a repetition of talk. As I agree with your challenge Derek you gain another point and there are 41 seconds for Christmas pudding starting now.
DN: There's nothing I enjoy at Yuletide more than a flaming Christmas pudding...
NP: Sheila Hancock you've challenged, why?
KW: What are you saying? Deviation?
SH: Yes! Deviation, swearing!
NP: All right. Well Sheila what I will do, as it was a clever challenge, I will give you a bonus point for cleverness. But I don't think within the context of the rules I can take the subject away. So Derek continues talking...
SH: But you do know I'm here now, don't you!
NP: Yes! You're not only there but you've got a point as well. So 36 seconds left for Christmas pudding Derek starting now.
DN: With the curtains drawn and the candles extinguished, I carry it into the room on a silver salver ablaze with brandy. I then put it in front of my friends and relations who are foregathered at Yuletide and they dig into it with their forks and spoons, all together commonly because it's a rather messy table! And then we find in it all sorts of ten new pence and five new pennies and all sorts of jolly things...
NP: Kenneth why have you challenged?
KW: Two mentions of pence.
DN: Ten new pence and five new pennies.
KW: Oh what a pity! I thought I could stop you!
NP: Yes! Very sharp but I'm afraid there it's not correct Kenneth. So Derek has another point and there are 17 seconds for Christmas pudding starting now.
DN: These are always made for me by Mrs Fairworld who lives at 14 Greenhill Road...
NP: Clement why have you challenged?
CF: It's illegal for private individuals to make currency!
KW: Oh that's clever! That's brilliant! Oh you're brilliant Clem! Oh!
DN: I always put currants in Christmas pudding!
NP: A very clever challenge but you can't get out of it Derek. As I agree, Clement Freud has a point and there are 14 seconds left for Christmas pudding starting now.
CF: Ideally Christmas pudding should be made some months before their use, as a matured mixture is ideal on the day of action...
NP: Sheila Hancock why have you challenged?
SH: Oh er sorry, I was going to say repetition of ideal but once was ideally wasn't it?
NP: Yes it was...
NP: Yes, one of those that Kenneth...
KW: He's gained a point now, you've given him a point!
SH: Oh dear! Have I?
SH: But I want to get the last few seconds like he always does!
KW: Oh I see! There's no flies on you!
SH: I know!
NP: Six seconds left for Clement Freud who has gained another point, Christmas pudding starting now.
CF: Then five hours before..
NP: Derek you've challenged.
DN: Well I wanted to get the last few seconds!
NP: So why have you challenged?
DN: Because I wanted to get the last few seconds!
NP: That's not a legitimate challenge...
NP: No, it's too late...
NP: Anyway I don't think, he wasn't deviating. So all that happens is that Clement gets another point and he continues with his Christmas pudding for another five seconds starting now.
CF: You lower the basin into boiling water...
NP: Ah Derek why have you challenged?
DN: Repetition of basin.
NP: Yes we've had basin once before.
SH: Oh you rotter!
NP: You;ve got in and you have three and a half seconds...
KW: Oh look how he's going!
NP: ...for Christmas pudding Derek starting now.
DN: And then I get a sprig of holly with three red berries and one green leaf...
NP: No, Clement Freud got in just before the, the whistle. Why have you challenged Clement?
NP: Of what?
CF: Three red berries!
NP: No I think it was a descriptive phrase, it wasn't repeating anything. There were three red berries on his Christmas pudding. I think I'm justified in leaving it with Derek Nimmo, a very clever challenge, Derek has another point and there's half a second left for Christmas pudding starting now.
DN: Get out your big soft Christmas pudding!
NP: So as Derek got in with that late challenge and then gained another point just before the whistle and then a bonus point for speaking as the whistle went, he's now taken a very definite lead at the end of that round. Sheila Hancock will you begin the next round, first nights. Can you talk for 60 seconds on that subject starting now.
SH: These are usually rather horrible. I'm not going to talk about first nights in marriage because I think it's actually a subject that's been flogged to death. But first nights in the theatre are the most terrifying thing that can happen to actors. I have a process where I have to do a bit of relaxing before I go, have to take medicine to stop myself being sick, because I am sick in the basin. Also one spends quite a lot of time rushing along the corridor. The most extraordinary thing happens to one's insides on first nights as my fellow actors will tell. Then you have to go on the stage and look sparkly and lovable...
NP: Derek Nimmo you challenged, why?
KW: That's not right is it, not legitimate is it!
DN: It's all this awful billiousness all over the stage!
NP: I know! I'm afraid I can't give you any points for nausea!
NP: So all that happens is that Sheila gets another point and continues with her nauseous subject for another 29 seconds starting now.
SH: The audience on these occasions is quite different from the audience on any other...
NP: You challenged?
SH: Well it's a different audience! I just said! The audiences on these occasions are quite different from the audiences on other occasions.
NP: That's a very clever way of getting out of it, but you don't succeed Sheila.
SH: Well you wait till the last few seconds Clement Freud! I've got my finger on the whatsit!
NP: And they've all got a whatsit to have their finger on, right! Twenty-five seconds left for you Clement on first nights starting now.
CF: My first night happened on the 24th of April on which morning I was born. It was a spring day, balmy, clear. And my mother tells me that the birds sang...
NP: Sheila Hancock why have...
SH: He's not talking about the first night, he's talking about the first day.
NP: No he did establish it was the first night after the first day in which he was born.
SH: But he's talking about the day being balmy and springy.
NP: You're right! He established the night and went back to the day. So Sheila you have another point and there are 13 seconds for first nights Sheila starting now.
SH: These audiences are made up of people...
NP: Derek Nimmo you've challenged.
DN: Repetition of these wretched audiences!
NP: Yes you've had audiences before.
SH: Oh I didn't think... oh yes!
NP: I know you hadn't mentioned it, but we'd already had audiences...
NP: So Derek Nimmo has a point and there are 11 seconds for first night Derek starting now.
DN: The first night of spring always gives me the greatest pleasure...
NP: Kenneth Williams why have you challenged?
KW: Deviation, it's first nights, not the first night of spring.
NP: Well I'm going to leave it to the judgement of our lovely wise looking audience. If you agree with Kenneth's challenge will you please cheer, if you disagree will you boo, and will you all do it together now.
CHEERS AND BOOS FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: I think it's a draw! No points scored, we continue with Derek Nimmo on first nights, seven seconds left, starting now.
DN: When one hears the first lark sing after the nightingale has...
NP: Clement why have you challenged?
CF: Deviation, larks don't sing at night!
KW: Oh that's brilliant innit? Oh that's brilliant!
NP: No they sing during the day don't they.
CF: That's right.
SH: Oh he's got it, he's done it again!
KW: In the last few minutes! Yes! Oh it's close isn't it! Ticklish!
NP: Has anybody in the audience ever heard a lark sing during the evening?
CRIES OF "YES" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Yes they have, right...
CF: At night!
KW: At night, not the evening!
NP: All right! Right Clement Freud has a point, there are four seconds left for first nights Clement starting now.
NP: Derek Nimmo.
NP: Derek has another point and there are three seconds left for first nights Derek starting now.
DN: The first night of Charlie Girl was most...
NP: Clement Freud you've got in again.
CF: We've already established that it's plural! The first nights!
KW: Yes we have.
DN: No we haven't actually.
NP: But when you establish it is first nights, you can talk about first nights and he was talking about a particular first night. It is a collective phrase but he's talking about one individual one which is part of this collective phrase. So Derek has another point and there are two seconds for first nights starting now.
DN: So I went into my dressing room and the first thing that came out was Clement Freud!
SH: Is that true? Did that really happen?
NP: Of course Charlie Girl could only have one first night can't it? Derek you've taken an even further lead at the end of that round. Kenneth Williams will you begin the next round, a lovely subject for you, ticklish situations. Will you speak on that for 60 seconds starting now.
KW: One of the most ticklish situations I ever faced was the opening of a revue in the West End of London where the entire cast was being barracked by a particularly noisy and insulting member of the audience. And at the time I arrived he cried out "ah, effeminate fool!" And I walked down to the footlights and I said "be quiet madam!" And he was forced to retreat and thus I resolved a very ticklish situation. I have faced others. I was in Ceylon serving with Her Majesty's Forces...
KW: ...They were then His Majesty's Forces...
SH: (laughs) Oh how lovely!
NP: Derek Nimmo you challenged.
DN: Well when I buzzed, they were still Her Majesty's Forces! Deviation!
NP: Yes! He got out of it before I heard what the challenge was! I will give no points because Derek buzzed and before I could ask him what the challenge was, Kenneth had qualified what he'd said. So Kenneth you continue, no points at all, 24 seconds left for ticklish situations starting now.
KW: In Ceylon, something exciting...
NP: Derek Nimmo you challenged.
DN: Repetition of Ceylon.
NP: Of Ceylon. Derek you take over the subject of ticklish situations, 23 seconds starting now.
DN: I'm involved in a very ticklish situation at the moment actually. Terribly nice, I...
NP: Kenneth why have you challenged?
KW: Deviation, he's supposed to discuss it!
NP: He's supposed to discuss it and not demonstrate it! All right Kenneth, I give you a point for cleverness, 19 seconds for ticklish situations starting now.
KW: They are generally brought about by eating biscuits in bed. And the crumbs are most irritating. People have landed up in some of our mental institutions, because it's driven them raving mad! "Oh get the crumbs out of the sheets..."
NP: Clement Freud you challenged.
CF: Repetition of crumbs.
NP: Yes you had crumbs more than once. The bed may have been full of them but you had too many I think. So Clement's in again just before the whistle. Three seconds left for you Clement, ticklish situations starting now.
CF: At the Theatre Royal in nineteen hundred and forty-nine the performance...
NP: Clement Freud was speaking when the whistle went, he gains another point which puts him in a very strong second place but Derek Nimmo's still leading. Derek will you begin the next round, pulling a cracker. What a delightful thing to do at this time of year.
DN: Is it the definite article?
NP: Pulling a cracker.
NP: Will you talk on that for 60 seconds starting now.
DN: (in Northern accent) I must say there's nothing nicer at Christmas than pulling a cracker. I like to hold of my cracker between my thumb and my index finger and give it a jolly good tug. And by doing that, I can always get hold of the motto and perhaps a little banger if I'm very lucky, and perhaps a little paper hat. And if I get the little paper thing I put it...
NP: Clement Freud why have you challenged?
NP: Of what?
CF: Well everything seemed to sound alike! But particularly paper.
NP: Yes indeed there was a lot of repetition of paper. So Clement, 43 seconds are left for pulling a cracker starting now.
CF: Many people think that pulling a cracker makes you blind. I don't personally agree with this at all...
NP: Kenneth why have you challenged?
KW: Deviation, nobody believes any such thing!
NP: I'm prepared to believe that you're absolutely right Kenneth! So I award you a point and you take over the subject for 35 seconds, pulling a cracker starting now.
KW: It's given to you by the other person, and you are supposed to have this resulting...
NP: Derek Nimmo why have you challenged?
DN: Deviation, it doesn't necessarily have to be given to you by the other person at all.
KW: In order to pull it, someone's got to hold one end.
NP: It doesn't matter, you needn't necessarily, but it can be and therefore it is not deviation. Therefore Kenneth has another point and he continues for 30 seconds with pulling a cracker starting now.
KW: The result is supposed to be an explosion and revealing of the hidden novelty or motto, depending of course on the type of cracker you are pulling. But very often it goes into what is known as a wet squib. And they say "oh!!!! Mine didn't go bang! And I've got nothing inside! What have you got?" And then you go and have a little kettle or your little bit of old, you know, motto, and...
NP: Well as Kenneth was speaking when the whistle went and he also gained other points on his cracker, he has crept up a little behind Clement Freud who is creeping up a little on Derek Nimmo who is still in the lead.
SH: Oh what about me? You haven't mentioned me!
NP: Well! You're doing extraordinarily well...
SH: One week I'll win!
NP: You will indeed, I'm certain of that. Christmas decorations, Sheila, can you talk on that subject for 60 seconds starting now.
SH: I find this a sad subject because it's something that always causes a row in our family. It starts by the fact that we can never find them. On Christmas Eve there's an absolute panic where we search every wardrobe and my mother says she definitely put them in the cupboard upstairs and my husband denies it. Eventually we find these rather dusty nasty silver things which we hang up with a bit of green stuff out of the garden because I have forgotten to buy any other new one. My little girl then drapes a few nasty coloured things that she's made at school, covered in glue, usually still rather sticky. I then take the Christmas cards that have been sent to me and stick them all over the wall. If you come into my house, you'll see the remains of it the entire year round. Then I put a great big bowl of dead flowers in the fireplace. As you can see I'm not really frightfully good at Christmas decorations, but I do my best! You can take some sprigs off a tree and a pot of silver paint and a brush and...
NP: Derek why have you challenged?
DN: We had a brush before.
CF: And you can't take a brush off a tree.
DN: We also had tree before.
KW: There was no brush before!
NP: The first, the first...
SH: That's true, there wasn't any brush!
KW: Stand up for yourself girl! Go on!
SH: He's trying to get in the last second!
NP: Will you shut up this time Derek Nimmo!
NP: No, the first thing you said that she repeated was brush and I don't remember her saying brush.
SH: No! Never!
NP: She did say twig before, but the first...
DN: Time will tell!
NP: The first thing you challenged on was brush and there's one and a half seconds for Christmas decorations Sheila starting now.
SH: And you...
NP: Clement why have you challenged?
NP: I'm afraid there was a hesitation!
KW: Oh it's a disgrace!
NP: Clement there's one second left for Christmas decorations starting now.
CF: Silver bells and...
SH: Well! I hope, I hope everybody writes in and says what a rotten sport he is! Address the letters to me and I'll see that they get sent to the Director-General!
NP: Yes! Well all I can say is that er perhaps he is a rotten sport but I do have to try and interpret the rules as fair as I can. And that was the longest hesitation you've done. It's a pity because you did go for59 and a half seconds without stopping.
SH: I don't care, I don't care! I don't want to win! Because I'm a pacifist!
NP: Well don't worry Sheila, I don't think you will!
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE AND CF
LOUD LAUGHTER AND MOCK TEARS FROM SH
NP: But you have crept up quite considerably.
SH: Oh I'm good at creeping up!
NP: And Kenneth and Clement are in second place creeping up behind Derek Nimmo. There's a lot of creeping goes on in this show as you can see. So let us continue with the show, Kenneth Williams will you begin and talk about showing off for Just A Minute if you can starting now.
KW: This is something at which I am particularly adept. It means to promenade and do in public what most people would do in the privacy of their bathroom! But I, throwing caution to the wind (starts to laugh) am prepared...
NP: Sheila why have you challenged?
SH: Oh deviation!
SH: It's terribly kinky! I mean, the mind boggles!
NP: He was going so slow, it was more than hesitation, I think. But once he threw his caution to the wind in the bathroom! I think I must agree with you Sheila. There was a certain sense of deviation there. So 39 seconds...
NP: What's that?
SH: Doing in public what you do in your bathroom!
KW: I make faces in the mirror!
NP: But you didn't, you didn't establish..
KW: It shows how mercurial things are! And she's a disgrace! Sitting there indicating a load of filth!
NP: The way you were going on, it sounded rather devious what was coming out, so I have to try and interpret...
KW: You can't assume I'm going to be devious. You can only go on what I've done.
NP: You went for 21 seconds and you haven't established anything that was non-devious. So I'm with Sheila who has a point and there are 39 seconds left for showing off Sheila starting now.
SH: This is an occupation which is peculiar to the male...
NP: Derek why have you challenged?
DN: Well she shows off! Deviation! It's not peculiar to the male.
SH: I was talking about...
DN: She's a very big show-off!
NP: All right Sheila, as a female is entitled to say that she thinks it's peculiar to the male...
NP: ...and therefore I must be within the context of the rules stick with Sheila who has another point and there are 36 seconds left for showing off Sheila starting now.
SH: If you read any book on ethnology you will discover that I'm right about this. Birds show their tails and different displays in order to attract the female. This is called showing off. You see it&'s a biological fact that men always are more resplendent than the women. That's why peacocks have great displays...
NP: Clement Freud you challenged, why?
CF: Repetition of peacocks.
SH: Did I?
NP: Yes you did, you did say peacocks before.
NP: Yes so Clement there are 17 seconds left for showing off starting now.
CF: This is something people do ideally in Trafalgar Square but also in other locations of...
NP: Ah Kenneth, Kenneth Williams, why have you challenged?
KW: Because there's nothing ideal about showing off! So it's deviation.
NP: Will you just say that again so I can think about it for a second?
KW: He said this is something done ideally and it has nothing to do with ideals, showing off. It's narcissistic and outrageous...
NP: Well tried Kenneth, well tried. But Clement Freud has a point. And there are 11 seconds left with Clement for showing off starting now.
CF: In fact one might well say the larger the auditorium the more efficacious is this means of projecting your own personality over that of those watching you. An aunt of mine...
NP: That is the end, not only of the round, but also the end of the game alas. And at the end of that game Sheila you came in a very commanding fourth place. Kenneth was in a very definite third place. Derek Nimmo just failed to make it, he was very definitely second place, only one point behind this week's winner, Clement Freud. Well that's all we have time for. We do hope you enjoyed this particular edition of Just A Minute, and we hope that you're also having a marvelous festive time. From all of us here, good-bye!
DN: (singing) The holly and the ivy when they are both full grown, of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown. At the rising of the sun and the running of the deer...
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by David Hatch.