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 not only to welcome the audience to the show, but also to introduce our four exciting players of the game. We have two from the older generation who have been with us since our show first began, that is Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo. And we have two comedians from the younger generation, one Tony Hawks, who has played the game a number of times, and Graham Norton who's only played it once before. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Jolanta Zbucki who's going to keep the score and blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up. And as usual I'm going to ask our four panellists to speak if they can on the subject I give them. And they will try and do that as usual without hesitation, repetition and deviation. And some time ago we were in the lovely town of Ainwick in the beautiful county of Northumberland and they were so a warm friendly audience, I suggested then that we might come back again! And we're going to play the game, start with Tony Hawks. Tony, Lindisfarne, a local subject, a local place. Give us local information in 60 seconds starting now.

TONY HAWKS: Lindisfarne or holy island as it is known, is a site of a church and a monastery founded by St Aden in 635 AD and abandoned soon after when he realised it was rubbish for public transport! Also the name of a group who had hits like Meet Me On The Corner, Lady Eleanor, Run For Home, and tragically Fog On The Time which they recorded with Paul Gascoigne. Ah they only made the one record together because Gazza put his knee out while altering the height of the mike stand and was sent off for dissent shortly afterwards. It is of course near Ainwick, that marvellous town where we are this evening. And I was told by the taxi driver on the way here, because tragically that is how I made my way to this venue, shunning the er obvious stop at...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Hesitation.

NP: Yes. It was hesitation. The audience were disappointed because they wanted to hear more about his travels.

PJ: Oh God!

NP: And how he got here...

PJ: I can't win!

NP: You can, you have a correct challenge Peter, you get a point for a correct challenge...

PJ: Oh I see.

NP: You take over the subject and it is Lindisfarne and there are 13 seconds left starting now.

PJ: I'm told that if I leave the hotel and turn left instead of right, I would eventually come to the castle. I haven't done that, because I haven't really had time. Barely enough actually, to get here...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: (laughs) Deviation, he's not talking about Lindisfarne. He's talking about traffic problems getting to the castle.

NP: He was, he was deviating from the subject of Lindisfarne, I don't think he'd established it well enough Peter. And Derek's cleverly got in with one second to go on the subject. He gets a point for that, he takes the subject, Lindisfarne starting now.

DN: Eric Bloodaxe was one...


NP: When Yolanta blows her whistle, it tells us that 60 seconds are up and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. And it was Derek Nimmo so naturally he's in the lead. Peter would you take the next round, the subject, follies. Will you tell us something about follies in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: One of the best follies in the world used to be Ziegfeld's in New York and I wish I had been to see Will Rogers and Eric Blore and a number of other well-known comedians who appeared there, including Fanny Brice. Now um er there er were...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: It was a bit hesitaty wasn't it?

NP: It was definitely hesitation Graham, definitely.

PJ: It was.

NP: You have a correct challenge, you have a point, you have 43 seconds, tell us something about follies starting now.

GN: There can be little more pleasurable than wandering around looking at follies. For instance a garden shed built in the shape of a toilet brush!


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: He wants to get out more!


NP: Tony lovely challenge but he wasn't deviating from any of the rules of Just A Minute. So you get a point because we enjoyed the challenge but Graham gets a point because he was interrupted, he keeps the subject, 33 seconds, follies starting now.

GN: One of the most famous follies in all America is a lovely guest bungalow built beside a swimming pool as a homage to the bra of that great heroine of all, Dolly Parton! This seats eight people comfortably! I know because I was there! Barbecues aren't advised though! They can be a little dangerous so you have to have a medical team standing by at all times. Other follies I have visited in my short life include the thatched...


GN: Oooohh!

NP: Graham Norton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and he's now in the lead at the end of that round. And Graham...


GN: I'll enjoy it while I can!

NP: You have a big following in Ainwick Graham! I'd work on that one if I were you! Graham it's your turn to begin too, scandal. Can you tell us something about scandal in Just A Minute if you can starting now.

GN: I love scandal and gossip, aren't you surprised! But some people do claim not to like terrible behind-back-type stories, ie scandals. You meet these fellows and you think "no wonder you're never invited to a dinner party, you're too dull!" Because if you don't talk about scandals, what on earth are you going to talk...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged.

TH: Um I think, um, yes, I think the subject's scandal and you said scandals twice.

NP: You did indeed, I'm afraid Graham yes.

TH: Oh!


GN: I'm moving to Ainwick! I've more friends here now than I do in the rest of this country.

NP: And Tony Hawks has a correct challenge, you take it over starting now.

TH: There is no scandal like a royal scandal. And 22 and a half million people listened to Princess Diana spill the beans about her marriage. And it is a scandal that only 18 or 19 million er people will be watching...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Million, repetition.

NP: You repeated million I'm afraid.

TH: I know I did too.

NP: And 26 seconds for you Derek on scandal starting now.

DN: Yes I think we all like a bit of scandal. Ross Benson in The Daily Express, Nigel Dempster in The Mail. We like to read of things like...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Repetition of like.

NP: You liked yes.

TH: We all like a bit of scandal...

GN: Oh that was awful, wasn't it.

NP: And they like him, they like Ross Benson. The reason I have to sometimes explain to the players this is because they look at me with such disdain as if how I could possibly dare to take the subject away from them. And I have because it was a correct challenge Tony, 18 seconds, scandal starting now.

TH: There was a film called Scandal starring John Hurt and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer about the Profumo affair, a Tory Minister involved in a sex scandal. Thank goodness those days are behind us now!


TH: (speaking slowly through the applause) We have nothing like that again! Now the scandal of this game...


NP: so Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point for doing so, and he's taken the lead one ahead of Graham Norton. Derek Nimmo, your turn to begin, the subject, buccaneers. Will you tell us something about those characters in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: There was a musical written some time ago by Stanley Wilson which starred the late, very lamented Kenneth Williams. Called The Buccaneers, all about the newspaper and he was the editor of it. And gosh, he was extraordinarily wondrously funny with it. And I do wish they would revive it, but who ever could possibly play that part that talented former member of this team actually enacted at the time. The original buccaneers came from Espanolia. Buccan was a sort of dried spiced meat which they used to eat. And there were constant sailors from France and Germany and indeed of course from England. And they were pirates. But somehow if you are a buccaneer and a rather swashbuckling sort of man it makes you feel sort of good. And shiver me timbers, lad! And I'd like to be one of those chaps, out on the Spanish Main, sailing across, hoist the flag, up the mainsails, during the.. what's gone wrong with everyone? Why is the...



NP: Peter Jones you challenged.

PJ: Well he seemed to be auditioning for The Pirate King!

NP: So what is your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

PJ: Well I don't know. I'm just going over what you said.

NP: Amazing you could remember it!

PJ: Well I can't of course, that's why it's taking so long!

NP: No right, so he wasn't actually hesitating or being deviant or repeating anything so seven seconds still with you on buccaneers Derek starting now.

DN: When the ship sailed into Plymouth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth sent an envoy to greet it. And after the ship came amast...


NP: So Derek Nimmo started buccaneers and finished with buccaneers, he was interrupted at one point. He gained points for that and points for speaking as the whistle went, and he's now equal in the lead with Tony Hawks. And your turn Tony to begin, and the subject, bonds. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

TH: Until recently I was dealing heavily in stocks and bonds, until my adviser Nick Lesson no longer could help the cause! Sellotape could be argued as being a kind of bond and interestingly the Australian word for this item is Durex. And when in Australia I tried to purchase a contraceptive, and was most taken aback by what they gave me in its place. It looked to me like they wanted me to make one myself! Billy Bonds of course, the ex-Hammers footballer told me a story once. He said "what's the difference between a...?" No he didn't because that's another tale completely I shan't tell you. What he did say was... oh I can't go on...


NP: Peter you challenged.

PJ: Yes. He er...

NP: Tell me what it is.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes well he came to a juddering halt actually.

PJ: Well all right, I didn't want to rub it in.

NP: We interpret that as hesitation. Peter a correct challenge, 19 seconds are available for you to tell us something about bonds starting now.

PJ: Well bonds are things that people tie each other up with. And er they use...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation er.

NP: No! Definitely not! Fourteen seconds still with you Peter on bonds starting now.

PJ: It's something to do with S and M, and I don't mean Marks and Spencers. I've only read about it and I've seen advertisements for ice cream on the television and I imagine it may have something to do with that particular dessert. I don't know, I'm really...


NP: Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went. It's a very even show this week, they are all three equal in the lead and only one point behind is Graham Norton. So anybody's....


NP: It's only one point behind, he'll soon pick that up when he has a chance! Peter Jones it's your turn to begin, the subject, a scoop. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Well we're back to ice cream again! And I don't really see why...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: It's obviously repetition then.

NP: Why?

GN: Well, back to ice cream.

NP: But he hasn't said it in this round.

GN: No, but conceptually, I thought!

NP: We don't have conceptual...


NP: If we had conceptual challenges and psychic challenges, I think we'd never get anywhere in this game! It might be a very interesting round to have. But um it's no, I'm sorry Graham...

GN: Fair enough!

NP: Another point to you Peter and you have 56 seconds, a scoop, starting now.

PJ: I watched this couple eating this delicacy for many months now and I wonder why they don't ever have a change! What about good old bread and butter pudding, or spotted dick or something like that! They could keep their clothes on and enjoy it so much! But they don't do that! Or apple tart, I can go through... a bakewell tart, that's one of my favourites...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of tart.

NP: Yeah too many tarts I'm afraid. Thirty-six seconds for you Tony having got another point, a scoop, starting now.

TH: A scoop is an exclusive item in the newspapers. A headline like Parsons Adjudicates Panel Competently would be an example of a scoop! Far be it from me to suggest that that might be in any of our publications. I like to make a trip to the seaside where I'm taken by my er parents and I have a scoop...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: A deviation from words..

TH: My harents?

GN: I think a harents thing.

TH: I said harents instead of parents.

NP: Yes a deviation from English as we understand it. So Graham, well listened, you have the subject of a scoop starting now.

GN: My mother has a scoop, an ice cream scoop. But culinary whiz and general kitchen goddess that she is, she doesn't use it for that cold thing that comes out of the fridge with sugar in it. No she prefers to make lovely mashed potato...


NP: So your oooohs and ahs when Graham Norton was one point behind the other three. At the end of that round with the extra point he got then, he's now equal with the other three at the end of that round. And Graham it's your turn to begin, the subject, gluttony, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

GN: Ah some people see gluttony as a vice, but I think it's a virtue. Because if you don't eat it, it will just go off! There's a rule in my house that you don't go to bed until that fridge is empty! Now gluttony however does have a down side. For instance my body is expanding in strange ways so that when...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged.

TH: In that case I don't want to sit next to you any more!


GN: I understand that. Tis awful!

NP: Tony we enjoyed the challenge, so did the audience, we give you a bonus point for that. But Graham was interrupted he gets a point for being interrupted, he continues with the subject, 38 seconds are left on gluttony starting now.

GN: When I go to a disco and start dancing, often I look like Gloria Hunniford playing volleyball! This is as a direct result of gluttony! Things I like...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: I'd just like to point out, I don't think it's a very noble suggestion to say that Gloria Hunniford looks like a glutton.

GN: Oh no, no, that's not what I'm saying, oh no...

DN: You said that!

GN: Oh please!

DN: I'm sorry you said that.

GN: Gloria Hunniford is a gorgeous woman and I would never say that! No it's just that gluttony has led me to look like her. No, no, no, no, no, God designed Gloria in that sort of Hunniford shape! But he designed me in a sort of Norton shape, but due to gluttony I'm becoming the Hunniford shape! That's all I'm saying!

NP: Twenty-eight seconds, another incorrect challenge and you have another point Graham, 28 seconds on gluttony starting now.

GN: Gloria Hunniford is in fact a glutton for...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Repetition of Gloria Hunniford.

GN: Yes!

NP: Tony, gluttony and there are 25 seconds starting now.

TH: I was once writing with a friend and we stopped what we were doing and decided to go out and have a break. And we bought some cake and some ice cream, took it back to the house and consumed all of it! And felt stupidly sick. And this is why you need parents to tell you that you can't finish everything off. One of the hazards of being an adult is that you will go on eating till you explode into shapes mentioned by Graham Norton, but far be it for me...


NP: Tony Hawks was speaking then when the whistle went, gained an extra point, and he's one ahead of Graham Norton. And Derek Nimmo, your turn to begin, the subject casts. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: I would dearly like to cast a fly into the Caspian Sea and capture one of those wonderful sturgeon, preferably a veruga which doesn't actually have any young for 20 years before it lays the egg. It can live for over a hundred of the things I've just mentioned...


DN: What's the matter?

NP: Someone challenged, Tony.

TH: Clumsiness!

NP: I must explain to our listeners that Derek Nimmo was demonstrating his casting of the fly, and in the process knocked his bottle of water over which was beside him on the table. And that's why we had the challenge of clumsiness and the audience couldn't care less because they saw it all!

PJ: You couldn't go fly fishing in the sea!

NP: No, that's, I quite agree.

PJ: You wouldn't have a chance!

NP: So Tony, 44 seconds now on casts starting now.

TH: I'm interested in the way that Michael Winner casts his films. Because he seems to be going out with the leading lady shortly afterwards. I was casting my fishing rod the other day but that's another story, I can't be arsed...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Is the subject casts?

NP: Yeah that's right, the subject is casts.

PJ: He's not talking about casts, he's talking about casting.

NP: Yeah and he's repeated casting as well, hasn't he?

PJ: Yes.

TH: Absolutely. I was talking rubbish as well.

NP: I know.

PJ: Well we have to disregard that! Otherwise...

NP: We'd never be able to play Just A Minute, would we?

PJ: No! Quite right!

NP: Right, 19 seconds for you Peter on casts starting now.

PJ: Dear old Kenneth Williams was invited to play a part in which he had to brown his face. And the producer said "you do realise what you have to do, because this is the part of a half-caste, you understand?" And Kenneth said "yes, you mean the part's been promised to someone else!"


NP: Peter Jones speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point, and reminded us of our much loved and departed friend Kenneth Williams, who was so successful on Just A Minute for many years. And your turn Tony to begin and the subject, old masters. And you have 60 seconds starting now.

TH: We had an old master at my school called Mr Simpson, who took a very keen interest in the boy's extracurricular activities. And he'd invite a select few back to his house to go swimming. And when the authorities discovered that he didn't have a pool, he was sent to prison! And I remember thinking it's a harsh world we live in, isn't it, when you can be locked up for not having bathing facilities! The Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci is an old master. That enigmatic smile, a famous image throughout the whole world inspiring reverence and ridicule. One remembers Dada, the gesture by...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of Da!

NP: Yeah!


NP: All right Derek you have 25 seconds to tell us something about old masters starting now.

DN: When you look and see what has won the Turner Prize this year 20,000 pounds for cutting a cow in half! It is absolutely monstrous! That's why one prefers old masters. Right here in this lovely town of Ainwick you have fine Camalettoes up in the castle. They're the sort of paintings that I would like to own, would like to purchase if I could...


DN: ... and I said like twice.

NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Ah yeah, repetition of like to.

NP: Like to. Like to won yes. Tony you've got another correct challenge and you've got four seconds left on old masters starting now.

TH: Why did that poor girl I mentioned in the picture before look so glum? Was it...


NP: Tony Hawks speaking again as the whistle went has increased his lead and the other three are equal in second place. And Peter Jones your turn to begin, the subject, superstitions. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: Well I'm not superstitious myself. But I do try to observe the niceties when I'm talking to other actors who are notoriously superstitious themselves. They don't like the Scottish play, for instance, to be even mentioned let alone quoted from. Or even if you are talking about it er...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well hesitation, I didn't want to terribly, really, but in the end I thought I ought to!

NP: He was thinking about the Scottish play and then he really did, the superstition overwhelmed him actually. Forty seconds Derek on superstition starting now.

DN: I'm always terribly careful not to walk under ladders. I've never believed the superstition, a very silly one too, come to think of it. But I find myself compelled to walk out on the road, often in front of traffic coming towards me. Black cats, very lucky, like them around, have them all the time, everywhere I can find one of these feline critchers, creatures of a noir...


NP: Peter Jones.

PJ: Hesitation there.

NP: Yes. Peter you have a correct challenge...

PJ: Yes.

NP: And the subject is superstitions, there are 15 seconds left starting now.

PJ: Well I'm rather sorry that there's as long as 15 seconds because I've already said everything that I have to say about superstitions. There are some that involve being, er, throwing salt over the back...


PJ: ...of your neck or something like that...

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged you before.

DN: Well er.

NP: There was and er I'm afraid Peter. Derek's got in with three seconds on superstitions starting now.

DN: If I spill salt on the table, I pick a pinch up and throw it over my left shoulder...


NP: Well Derek Nimmo was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He has moved forward. And surprisingly because Derek's often out there, in front, but he's still equal only in second place. Our leader is still Tony Hawks. And Graham Norton, your turn to begin, the subject stout. Would you talk on the subject starting now.

GN: Gloria Hunniford is not stout! I want everyone to know that and be aware of it! She is a svelte feline like thing that prowls Radio Two like a disco goddess! Now in Ireland stout is a sort of beer, particularly a sort of dark one...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of sort of.

GN: Oh thank you!

NP: So Derek another correct challenge and another point and another subject, stout with you starting now.

DN: I think the Murphy's marketing people are frightfully clever to get President Cameron to have a picture taken in front of one of their bottles, Clinton, when he was over there a few weeks ago. And he was drinking the foaming broth of this wonderful liquid. But actually his lips only touched the top, they didn't sip one little bit, much to the delight of the Guinness people who hoped to have a similar snap taken for their own nefarious purposes. Now stout is something that you get if you are a glutton. And I was very deprived because I was not allowed to talk on gluttony which I would dearly like to have done. Because being stout, obese is one of the things which I am rapidly moving towards...


NP: Derek Nimmo was speaking as the whistle went, he gained that extra point, he's moved forward, he's now only one behind our leader who is still Tony Hawks. And Derek it's your turn to begin, a number of points, leapt forward from fourth to second, what's going to happen now as we approach the end of the show but not quite. And the subject is my favourite clothes. Will you tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: My favourite clothes, I suppose I would start with plus twos, and some long socks and an old tweed jacket, a pullover perhaps beneath if I'm going out on a walk. And a cloth cap with a couple of fishing flies stuck in it in case I found a river and had my rod with me. I like particularly elderly clothes. There's something par... awfully nice...



NP: Derek Nimmo illustrating how difficult it is to play Just A Minute. Yes, instead of saying, repeating particularly he hesitated and Tony Hawks got in first, my favourite clothes Tony and there are 39 seconds starting now.

TH: My favourite clothes are trousers. Whenever I go to people's houses, I take them off so I can feel the benefit of them when I leave! I also like bellbottoms and clothes from the 70s like tie-die shirts and those great big white ties that people used to wear with penny collars also. This was the kind of fashion that we should bring back today, instead of people walking round in black which they tend to do a lot I've noticed now. My other favourite clothes are shoes. These are to be worn on the feet, preferably not on the head...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well shoes aren't clothes.

NP: I think that is open to debate, I think it's the way you interpret the word. So I think I'll give the benefit of the doubt to Tony Hawks who has the subject as we're moving into the final whistle. And Tony there are six seconds left, my favourite clothes starting now.

TH: My favourite clothes include my boxer shorts which I'm wearing at the moment. Obviously otherwise I wouldn't have any pants on and that would be a disgraceful way to behave...


NP: Tony Hawks' boxer shorts brought Just A Minute to arousing climax. And er...


NP: And as he was speaking when the whistle went he gained that extra point for doing so, increased his lead. And it just remains for me to give you the final score. Graham Norton who has only played the game once before and he finished only just in fourth place, one point behind Peter Jones who was only one point behind Derek Nimmo. But out in the lead with quite a few points more was Tony Hawks so we say he is the winner this week, Tony Hawks! We thanks them all for their contribution which was far more important than the points that they gained! So on behalf of Tony Hawks, Graham Norton, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo, and also on behalf of Jolanta Zbucki who's been keeping the score and blowing a whistle for us, and Ian Messiter who created the game, and our producer Anne Jobson, and myself and particularly our thanks from all of us to this lovely audience here in the Playhouse Theatre in Ainwick where we've enjoyed our return visit. And we say thank you to them and thank you to our listeners. We hope you'll all be with us the next time we take to the air to play Just A Minute.