NOTE: Elaine Wigley's first appearance blowing the whistle.

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 experienced players of the game who are going to compete this week. We welcome back three of the senior members of Just A Minute, which is Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. And somebody who's a regular but hasn't been with us quite so long, from a different generation of comedians and that is Paul Merton. Would you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Elaine Wigley who's going to keep the score and she'll blow her whistle when 60 seconds are up. And this particular show is coming from the Pleasance Theatre on the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival. And I ask our four panelists to speak if they can on the subject that I give them and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. And let us begin this show with Clement Freud and a very apt subject for this round, the capital of Scotland. That is the subject Clement, speak on it if you can starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: I asked a man on Isla to name me the capital of Scotland. He worked on the Freug Distillery and he said it was Blurigaddie and I did not believe him. Went to a reference book and found in fact the capital of Scotland is spelled capital E, capital D, capital I, N-B-U-R-G-H. All in capitals because...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Repeat of capital.

NP: No it's on the card, you can repeat the words...

DN: Oh I'm sorry.

NP: The capital of Scotland. It's all right, you've only been playing the game for 28 years Derek! But um it is difficult to catch up with the rules sometimes. So that was an incorrect challenge so the person speaking gets a point for that, it was Clement Freud. He keeps the subject, there are 36 seconds left, the capital of Scotland starting now.

CF: A tunesmith from Edinburgh sang me a song which went "I belong to the capital of Scotland, dear old Glasgie toon!" Which outraged the natives who support Rangers, Hilberninan and other football teams...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Hesitation.

NP: I think so Peter. He really was sort of running out of steam there, wasn't he? So a correct challenge, a point for you Peter, 17 seconds left, tell us something about the capital of Scotland starting now.

PJ: A most friendly and hospitable place! I remember being here...


PJ: ... about one hour last night. I was walking along, a lady stepped out of a shop doorway and we, we got into conversation. And she ended up by inviting me back to see where she worked...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, it was of course Peter Jones. Actually Peter I have to tell you, I let you go a little beyond 60 seconds because I wanted to know what happened when the lady er...

PJ: Well as I said, but you didn't hear it, er, she invited me back to see the place where she worked.

NP: Right. It wasn't a motor car by any chance, was it?

PJ: No! No, no car involved.

NP: Right Peter, you...

PAUL MERTON: I'm sure if you're eager Nick, he can give you the address of where this happened!

NP: Peter...

PJ: Yes?

NP: You have got most points at the end of that round.

PJ: Oh good!

NP: And so you're in the lead. Paul Merton your turn to begin, the subject, souvenirs. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PM: I think they're a bit of a con, souvenirs. They tend to be a souvenir of the shop where you bought it. For example, you buy a plastic bowler hat with "welcome to Skegness" on it. It's not a souvenir of that particular place. It's simply a reminder of the shop where you...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two shops.

NP: There were two shops. Yes Derek you have a correct challenge, you have a point for that and you have 44 seconds on souvenirs starting now.

DN: I think when you travel around it's frightfully nice to bring back with you souvenirs. I have from Bali a wonderful wishnuthy, god of the Indian mythology. And a garuda which is a winged eagle on which he rides. From Peking I brought back a bottle which is painted on the inside with a hundred Chinese characters. And I look at that in my house. Every day I see it, I'm taken back to Old Cathay where I have such happy memories. No, souvenirs are very important. I have a brass elephant which...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PM: Repetition of have.

NP: You have er...


NP: He let the first three go but got you on the fourth one. So Paul a correct challenge and souvenirs is back with you, 14 seconds starting now.

PM: I shall be taking home Waverley Station to remind me of the wonderful times that I spent in Edinburgh. I shall probably put it in my back garden and in some er...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: I agree Clement, three seconds to go, you've got in just before the whistle, souvenirs starting now.

CF: I held my hand in yours, dear..


NP: As I said before, whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. It was Clement Freud who's now taken the lead at the end of the round. Peter Jones, your turn to begin, love letters. Would you tell us something about love letters in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: In my youth I wrote a lot of love letters, but I didn't ever receive quite as many. And I remember one long letter from a girl I wasn't really terribly keen on and she couldn't even spell er the word chauvinist...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Er.

NP: There was a hesitation before the chauvinist got out.

PJ: Very slight, wasn't it?

NP: It was.

DN: A very slight button in front of me!

PJ: Yes!

NP: But enough for me to decide it was a hesitation.

PJ: Right.

NP: So Derek comes in on love letters with 46 seconds starting now.

DN: My darling heart, I adore you. You are the most beautiful creature that I've ever seen in my life. My Venus, my Aphrodite...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Four mys.

NP: Four mys. Paul tell us something about love letters, 37 seconds are left starting now.

PM: I love letters, they're so much better than postcards. Because you can express your thoughts with a vast expanse of paper. There's no limit to how long this particular letter can be. There can be 10, 15 pages, it doesn't matter...


NP: Clement Freud you challenged, there was no noise but your light came on.

CF: Two there can bes.

NP: Yes, there were there can be, there can be. That's shattered the audience, hasn't it!

PM: Que sera sera!

NP: Twenty-four seconds, love letters Clement starting now.

CF: I received a love letter from a girl who worked on a pick-your-own-grass moor. And it was one of the most enchanting epistles that I have had...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He stopped.

NP: He did. Thirteen seconds Derek, love letters starting now.

DN: My...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He didn't start!


NP: The audience applause tells me that they enjoyed your challenge Clement, but it wasn't correct. I'll give you a bonus point because of the challenge that we enjoyed, but Derek gets a point for being interrupted, he keeps the subject, 12 seconds...

DN: My love letters I keep in a suitcase up in my attic...


PM: Repetition of my!

NP: Paul, 10 seconds, love letters starting now.

PM: My darling, when I look into your blue azure eyes, I can see...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Three Is!

NP: No, he said when I look...

DN: No, no, from the last time, I was counting them!

NP: He did say I when he was speaking last time, you're quite right Derek, yes. You've got in very artfully with three seconds to go on love letters starting now.


DN: Her name was Grizelda...

NP: Paul Merton.

PM: I, I just buzzed on the chance that he might say my again! Seeing as his record in the recent past has been... fairly my-heavy!

NP: It was a, it was a good anticipation but incorrect. So Derek...

PM: Well how do you know that it was incorrect?

NP: Because it wasn't hesitation. No, it wasn't repetition...

PM: It was anticipated repetition!

NP: Yes...

PM: I stopped him before he said it.

NP: But there's nothing...

PM: So how can you possibly judge whether it's right or wrong?

NP: I can judge because in this game it's only if you actually repeat the word and he hadn't. Anticipation is not part of the rules. So...

PM: It should be!

NP: I know! Right, two and a half seconds Derek, love letters starting...

DN: This glorious girl called Jean Pirret...


NP: Paul Merton.

PM: Repetition of girl.

NP: Yes you had a girl before. So at last you've done it, half a second to go, you've got in. Paul Merton, love letters starting now.

PM: The letter A...


NP: So an interesting situation, a lot of points were scored in that round. Clement Freud and Paul Merton are equal but they're one point behind Derek Nimmo who's now in the lead. And Derek it is of course your turn to begin and following love letters we go on to the loving thoughts of Venus. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: Well I was talking about Venus a few minutes ago. And I would have gone on to say if I hadn't been so rudely interrupted, it rose from the sea at Pathos on the coast of Cyprus. They call it Aphrodite and in fact they call the island...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of call.

NP: You called her and she called.

DN: Oh he's listening very keenly, isn't he!

NP: Venus, 45 seconds, with you Paul starting now.

PM: Venus De Milo, I always wondered where the arms went. Perhaps they're in another museum somewhere where, just demonstrated in a little glass case just two concrete... not that they're made of that particular substance but two stone things...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of two.

NP: Two yes, there were two twos too. Right Venus, with you Clement and 32 seconds available starting now.

CF: Venus is an anagram of snuve. I don't think many people knew this. And she was a goddess of love. I had a godchild who I took to the theatre and she said "there's my best friend, I hate her!" I think on the...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think so Peter.

CF: Where?

NP: After you tried to get a laugh on that thing about your godchild.

PM: You don't have to rub it in, do you?

NP: I have to have a little bit of my own back on occasions because you rub it in to me, quite frequently, all of you.

PM: Wishful thinking!

NP: I know!


NP: Peter Jones you have 17 seconds for Venus starting now.

PJ: The beautiful Venus was made to marry Vulcan who was a metal worker, I understand, and as far as I can remember. Paul will probably be able to tell us more about it! She didn't get on with him terribly well, he was ugly and rather unattractive person. And anyway...


NP: Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went, he's moved forward but he's still trailing the other three who are equal just ahead of him. Paul Merton, your turn to begin, the subject virtual reality. A rather modern subject but tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: We have before us a virtual reality version of Nicholas Parsons. We can see and hear him but somehow he's not quite there! It's almost as if you could put your hand through the ghostly shadow that we see before us and we know we will find very little backbone or any kind of life as we understand it on this planet. But this doesn't stop him finding regular work on the radio! Alas television got wind of him quite some time ago, and his appearances there are now restricted to early afternoon or perhaps half past four in the morning before we get the truck racing from Idaho or Eurosport...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He's not talking about virtual reality, it's a sustained attack against our revered chairman!

NP: Derek what has come over you? That's the first time, the first time you've paid me a compliment in 28 years! So what is your challenge actually?

DN: Deviation, not talking about virtual reality.

NP: I think whatever the challenge I would have given it against him actually. Derek, virtual reality, 17 seconds starting now.

DN: Apparently you can go to a virtual reality cafe and you can tune in, with this headpiece that you put on, to restaurants around the world and talk to people actually sitting within them. But the trouble is you can't eat any food because that is reality and not virtual reality. I don't see any point to it myself. I would like...


NP: Well Derek Nimmo got the points in that round and he's now gone into the lead ahead of Clement Freud and Peter Jones and Paul Merton. Peter Jones your turn to begin, passing out. Would you tell us something about that starting now.

PJ: Well you can pass out from a college or academy or school. Sometimes it's associated with fainting. Guardsmen do it. Even educated fleas do it! But anyway if you want to er think of passing out as...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation I'm afraid.

NP: It was hesitation yes.

PJ: Yes there was.

DN: It's a rotten subject! I don't know why I buzzed actually!

NP: Passing out, 44 seconds left on the subject starting now.

DN: I remember passing out on Number Nine Wireless Regiment in Cyprus. It was some few years ago, let me think, about 1948, yes it was. And I remember then I passed out with tremendous acclaim particularly from the Sergeant Major who was a chum of the Colonel. And we won't go into that because... these things were not...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation Paul, yes.

DN: Thank goodness!

NP: Passing out is with you, 23 seconds are available starting now.

PM: I remember when I was about 14 years old and I was travelling on a bus back from school. And several of my friends at that particular establishment were smoking cigarettes and I was quite young. And we all started inhaling this particular cancerous...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two particulars.

NP: Yes, 10 seconds, passing out Clement starting now.

CF: Passing out of a regiment was probably the most exciting thing that happens in your entire wartime career. I was called up...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Not as exciting as a bomb going off within... five feet of where you're standing! You'd pass out then, wouldn't you?

NP: Yes! You actually give me an impossible decision because in the...

PM: How can you make it then?

NP: I'm not, I'm going to let the audience make the final...

PM: Why are you asking them to make an impossible decision? If you can't do it, these poor chumps haven't got a clue, have they?


NP: I'm shifting the responsibility in the, in er... are you booing him or me? I mean in Clement's um er...


PJ: Hesitation!

NP: Definitely hesitation! Colloquially speaking Clement may think that that was a er...


NP: Right, I'm going to put it to the audience! If you agree with er Paul Merton's challenge....


NP: I'm getting a lot of points! You realise that don't you!

PM: It seems to be impossible to judge and impossible to say!

NP: I know. If you agree with Paul Merton's challenge you cheer for him and if you disagree you boo for Clement Freud and you all do it together now.

CF: Boo!


NP: You, you've actually conned this audience, haven't you? Right you have the subject Paul, three seconds, passing out starting now.

PM: Suddenly there was a blow on the back of my head and I fell...


NP: Paul Merton and Clement Freud are equal, one behind Derek Nimmo who is in the lead, and Peter Jones is only just behind all of them. And Derek Nimmo your turn to begin, the subject Bobby. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: Being in the fair city of Edinburgh, or Dunedin to give it its ancient name, one immediately thinks of Greyfriars Bobby, that wonderfully loyal terrier, who after his master had died, spent 14 years, ladies and gentlemen, waiting by the grave. And he's now commemorated with a glorious fountain in Candlemakers Row. I think that is one of the most charming tales that I've ever heard! My teddy bear was called Bobby. He's now at the Stratford-on-Avon museum for that said animals. Very nice, much loved, a sleek bear with nice teddy, oh, I've said teddy, somebody will buzz...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: I was agreeing with him!

NP: You were agreeing with the fact that he said teddy. Right Clement, 24 seconds on Bobby starting now.

CF: Bobby is a name given to London policemen because of Robert Peel who invented the whole crooked race when he was the Victorian Home Secretary. I'm not a tremendous believer in calling...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

CF: Why don't you just er press your button as I start speaking?

NP: Because, actually, I'll be truthful Clement, you were hesitating.

CF: I speak slowly!

NP: That was a definite hesitation. And it was Peter Jones who got in first, eight seconds on Bobby, Peter starting now.

PJ: Bobby Jones was a very famous golfer when I was a boy. And then there's Bobby Schwartz who is one of the greatest evening entertainers...


NP: Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went, he's moved forward. They're all almost equal but Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo are exactly equal in the lead. And Clement your turn to begin, the subject shuffling. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CF: Shuffling is very nearly an anagram of flushing. And if you are Welsh and put things with a double S, it would be. Um, shuffling is something that one does to a pack of cards and Cabinets, especially if they are unsatisfactory. Ah...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: You definitely said er.

CF: I stop at the end of a sentence!

NP: But you not only stopped...

PM: It's not the stopping, it's the starting again!

NP: And if you put an actual er in between, it is more than a definite hesitation.

PJ: It draws attention to it, doesn't it really!

NP: Yes! Forty-two seconds on shuffling with you Paul starting now.

PM: Well it can be seen as an indication of guilt, if a person shuffles from one foot to another. I believe that there are many in...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Another hesitation, 33 seconds Peter, will you shuffle for us starting now.

PJ: Well this method of propulsion is famed in song and story in the famous number Shuffle Off to Buffalo. Though why one would want to go to Buffalo...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well I thought it was a sort of hesitation and tongue-tied sort of funny noise.

PJ: Just say hesitation, that'll be enough!

NP: Strangely enough, he said hesitation, but though he may have got a sort of glottal stop in the middle of a word, he didn't actually hesitate in speech. So I don't think I can grant it.

DN: Oh? Fine!

NP: Twenty-one seconds, still shuffling with you Peter starting now.

PJ: I'm just worried about this glottal stop! I don't know, perhaps it's my Arab upbringing, I don't know.


NP: Derek, yes?

DN: Repetition of I don't know.

NP: I don't know, you repeated I'm afraid.

PJ: Oh yes I did, yes.

NP: Thirteen seconds Derek, shuffling starting now.

DN: See them shuffling along, isn't that an exciting thought! I'd love to go out to Buffalo and see them shuffle in...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of see them.

NP: I'd love to go out, yes, isn't that lovely seeing them shuffling along, go to Buffalo and see them shuffling along.

PM: It is almost half a sentence being repeated!

NP: The reason I, I have to do it, I must explain. Because this audience will bear me out. They look at me as if to bluff me out and say "you cannot..."

DN: It's not, we just, we just look at you with contempt!


NP: Why do you want to applaud insults all the time!

PM: From the same man who a moment ago talked about our revered chairman!

NP: I know! Amazing how he can change!

DN: You converted me!

NP: There's such a thing as fickleness and it's been demonstrated. And there are six seconds for Paul Merton to tell us something about shuffling starting now.

PM: See them shuffling along, ditto! I love that actual experience because once they go...


NP: Well Paul Merton got that extra point and he's now taken the lead at the end of that round. And it's his turn to begin. Paul the subject ram-raiding. Will you tell us something about ram-raiding starting now.

PM: It's a disgusting habit! What people do is they ram sheep through shop doorways, smash the windows and run off with hi-fi equipment. And the poor animal's lying there with blood running out of its head. The police come along. "Can you give us an adequate description of the people that rammed you into this?" "I've no idea, it happened so quickly officer. And that's not the half of it. It was Friday night and you know what happens round here!" And so they have to go down an identification parade. "Was this the particular villain that got hold of you that night?" "Well I can't really say because he came up to me from behind, he had a stocking over his head, and he was putting on some sort of funny accent which I can't be entirely sure if it was this feller in question." At this point the authorities will say to the sheep today "you must understand that this practice must cease!" And so the ram will go around in disguise, probably a policewoman with a fur coat over her back. She'll walk around the shopping centre, late one particular evening, trying to see if these villains, who I mentioned before... I know what's going on, and I don't care! Also if you go to Wales there's a lot of different kinds of ram-raiding that goes on. This is called dating! And what happens then...


PM: (trying to continue over huge applause) ...is that you find, you find people will place this animal against the slope of the meadow that you find them in. Always Lovers Lane is a very good bet. And you take the torch, a pair of rubber gloves and a bucket. And what you do with the rubber gloves is, well, I can't really go into...



NP: So Paul Merton started with the subject and he kept going with a little connivance from the chairman who actually blew the whistle on that occasion after one minute, 30 seconds! Because we were enjoying it so much, the audience were enjoying it. So Paul you not only get a point for speaking when the whistle went, you get another point for not being interrupted and I'm going to give you a bonus point for going another 30 seconds over the time! And so you've increased your lead at the end of that round. And we're moving into the last round, oh dear. It's still very close though Paul's just in the lead.

PM: Oh!

NP: Yes I know, all good things have to come to an end. But remember you did get in free. Peter Jones, we're moving into the last round, it's still anybody's game and it's your turn to begin, the subject, pauses. We've had a few of those in this game, will you talk about them starting now.

PJ: Well pauses should be the lifeblood of conversation and dialogue. Harold Pinter's made a fortune out of them! Now I think it would be nice if we could have a game where one paused for a minute, without actually speaking! I should probably win the game...


PJ: ...every week! Because these loquacious people around me...

NP: Clement Freud ...

PJ: What?

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: It's another game.

NP: Yes you repeated the word game, I'm afraid.

PJ: Oh I see, yes.

NP: So Clement you have the subject of pauses, you have 44 seconds starting now.

CF: I'd quite like to have a game where you hesitate for a minute, which would be much more fun. Even repeating yourself for 60 seconds might be not unamusing. In Germany the word... punder...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: I think so, yes, yes.


PM: Or not! So... I'm not married to it, you know!

NP: If I'd given the other debatable hesitations, I must give that one as well, it's only fair. So Paul, 30 seconds, pauses starting now.

CF: What? Just a minute!

NP: Yes?

CF: Fair?

NP: I must be consistent and that is being fair, fair to all the players....

CF: You suffer from delusions of adequacy!

NP: Yes and I'm used to getting insults from all the panel, but now you, now, you, I've got the fair share. Everyone has insulted me except Peter Jones. So let's carry on now...

CF: Peter!

PJ: What?

NP: Peter...

PM: I don't think he knows who you are Nicholas!

NP: You're going for the record, are you? Where did you get that sweater by the way? Colourblind-Are-Us or something, I don't know!


NP: Thirty seconds are still available for you Paul to take over pauses starting now.

PM: Pauses is what puppies have at the end of their feeties. And you see the footprints they leave in wet concrete or damp grass or anywhere that's capable of sustaining an impression of what they have at the end of their body at each corner..


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: At the end of.

NP: At the end of, yes.

PJ: Yes.

NP: Peter you got in with 13 seconds, pauses, starting now.

PJ: Well they're quite interesting...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of well.

NP: I think you said well last time.

PJ: You think I did? Ah! I know I often do!

NP: You did actually Peter.

PJ: Yes.

NP: Yes, 12 seconds Derek, pauses starting now.

DN: It would really be very nice to be able to have a pause now and have a glass of cold water...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two haves.

DN: Pause now, have a glass of water.

NP: Yes.

DN: How does that make it two haves?

NP: Well it's repetition of have. That's another rule of the game Derek.

PM: The loss of short-term memory ruined it!

NP: Clement you have six seconds on pauses starting now.

CF: Four paws per dog is just about the right number, I believe...


NP: Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. At the end of the contest it is extraordinarily even. I said the contribution is what matters and it's interesting that Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo are all almost equal in second place. But just only three points ahead was Paul Merton so we say he's the victor this week! It only remains for me to say on behalf of our four outstanding panelists on Just A Minute, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones. And also to thank this audience here on the Pleasance at the Fringe in Edinburgh for the warmth of their response. And also Elaine Wigley for the way she blew her whistle and kept the score, Ian Messiter for thinking of the game which we all enjoy playing so much. And above all thank our producer Anne Jobson. From them and from our audience we do hope you've enjoyed the show and will tune in the next time we take to the air to play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here good-bye!