NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute! Yes!


NP: Hello, thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, it is once more my pleasure to welcome the four outstanding and talented players of Just A Minute. We welcome back Paul Merton who has only played the game a limited amount of times... with such outstanding effect. We are delighted he returns. And three players who have been with the show since it almost began, they are Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. But I would like you to welcome all four of them! This particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Pleasance of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And as usual I'm going to ask our four players to speak if they can on the subject I will give them, but they are going to try and do it without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Beside me sits Elaine Wigley, she holds the stopwatch, she will keep the score and she also has a little whistle which she will blow when 60 seconds have passed. Let us begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement, the subject, very apt for this show coming from Edinburgh, the Scotsman. Would you tell us something about the Scotsman in this game starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: The Scotsman is an excellent daily newspaper published in Edinburgh. And also for those who are at the Festival a male Celt, usually wearing sandals, a kilt, and...


NP: Paul Merton.

PAUL MERTON: Two kilts.

NP: No, I thought the first one he said was a Celt, and the second one was a kilt. Isn't that right Clement?

CF: One was a male Celt.

NP: That's what you said yes.

CF: Celt.

NP: So...

CF: C-E-L-T.

NP: ...he didn't repeat the word. It was worth, they loved hearing from you Paul so don't worry, don't be inhibited...

PM: I loved interrupting if it's any help to anybody!

NP: It was an incorrect challenge so Clement gets a point for that, he has 47 seconds to continue on the Scotsman starting now.

CF: When the sun goes down over the Royal Mile, male Scotsmen can be found eating each other...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Repetition of male.

NP: That was a correct challenge Derek, well done. You get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, 41 seconds are left, the Scotsman starting now.

DN: As Doctor Johnson said, the fairest sight that a Scotsman will ever see is the long road that leads to England. I think that was a very profound remark...


DN: It is not actually (laughing) the thing right here, but no doubt quite soon...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PM: Well basically just to stop a lynching!

NP: After all these years Derek hasn't yet discovered how to win friends and influence people! So other than the lynching, what else was your challenge Paul?

PM: Well it's deviation for a member of Just A Minute to be lynched by the audience! That's never happened before so therefore it's deviation.

NP: I, I agree with you as someone who is partly Scots. It is a devious thought, so I think, to save a lynching as well, we give you a point and the subject Paul and 27 seconds, the Scotsman starting now.

PM: When you first come up to the Edinburgh Fringe as a performer, you eagerly buy The Scotsman every night from The Assembly Room. There's a man sells it there, about quarter to 12. And you look through it to see whether you've got a good review or not. If you get a bad one, you always blame it on the fact that oh it's just a gardening expert that's written some review. And if you get a good one...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of review.

NP: Yes that is right Clement. You cleverly got in with eight seconds, another point, the subject, the Scotsman starting now.

CF: Scotsmen are quite the nicest most charming, warm hearted...


CF: ...clean kind sober...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: In an attempt to be lynched, they're not!


DN: Deviation!

NP: He doesn't learn anything, does he? It's not deviation no, you could have had him for the repetition of Scotsmen but it's too late now. And...


PETER JONES: Could I have him for grovelling?

NP: You could Peter, but it doesn't fit in with the rules of Just A Minute.

PJ: No. Pity really!

NP: It's lovely to hear from you. At least everybody's spoken...

PJ: I thought it was time I broke my silence!

NP: And Clement you have another point and you have three seconds on the Scotsman starting now.

CF: I am a creep...


NP: Whoever is speaking as the whistle is blown gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud and he has taken the lead naturally at the end of that round. The next round I think, Paul, would you like to take this one? It's my giddy aunt. You have 60 seconds as usual...


NP: There's nothing particularly funny about that! But it might be funny when Paul starts to speak. Anyway 60 seconds starting now.

PM: My great-aunt, Bebe Chip-Wingler was a wonderful woman...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of Be!

NP: Bebe! Well done Derek, a correct challenge!

PM: What do you mean well done?

NP: Well done as...

PM: Bebe's a name!

NP: I know! But we are in sound radio now, we may have an audience here at the Pleasance but it's sound radio, so it's as you hear it...

PM: What does difference does that make?

NP: Because Bebe may be written as one word but it can be interpreted...

PM: If, if you say a word once, how can that be repetition?

NP: Because you have said Be and Be and that is repetition. And I think it was a justified challenge within the rules of Just A Minute.


NP: The fact that you all hate Derek Nimmo has got nothing to do with the fact...

DN: You're...

NP: But I always try to be...

DN: You're here to stop mob rule, Nicholas!

NP: I always try to be scrupulously fair and so Derek you have a point, you have the subject, 55 seconds, my giddy aunt starting now.

DN: My giddy aunt was Fiona MacDonald. She was the most wonderful Scottish lady of tremendous beauty. She used to loft herself over to the Isle of Skye in a little rowing boat, singing jolly songs that people greatly enjoyed. I put on a play for my giddy aunt written by Mister Raymond Cooney, a considerable... author of farces...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes hesitation, I would agree Clement. You have another point and you have the subject, my giddy aunt, there are 38 seconds left starting now.

CF: My giddy aunt joined Exit and tried to kill herself with a surfeit of Uthynil. Which oddly enough was totally ineffective because of the colour. Pink is a rotten shade for doing in with yourself as many people told my giddy aunt...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Doing in with yourself?

NP: Yes. Doing yourself in would be better English, yes. And I... and I think that is grammatically devious and um... I give the benefit of the doubt to Paul so a point to him and the subject, my giddy aunt, 20 seconds starting now.

PM: She used to love going on carousels. She'd go down to the children's playground and the toddlers were saying "get off that lady, that's ours!" "Oh no, I'm going to spin round here till midnight!" And she often did. And sometimes the thing would actually spin off its axis and she'd go down the High Street...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

PM: Oh sorry, repetition of be there! I do beg your pardon!

NP: Clement you challenged first?

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Spin.

NP: That's right, eight seconds Clement, my giddy aunt starting now.

CF: Gertrude Jemima was tremendously keen on roundabouts, known as hurdy-gurdies. She would go...



NP: Oh no Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: They're not known as hurdy-gurdies.

NP: No! Hurdy-gurdies are quite, they're not roundabouts. You're quite right Peter, well challenged. Yes they're those things that you wind up, those are the hurdy-gurdies. Sorry, I realised this is radio and I was demonstrating to the audience then, I do apologise.

PM: We're not quite sure what you're doing to be honest!

NP: Well Paul, you're a different generation, you probably don't see hurdy-gurdies...

PM: You've got a hobby, you know, you carry on!

NP: Peter and I are of the world of the hurdy-gurdy, you know! It's all gone plastic! Anyway Peter a correct challenge and you've got in with one second to go, my giddy aunt starting now.

PJ: My giddy aunt fell over...


NP: Peter Jones speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. The situation at the end of the round is that Clement Freud is in a strong lead but Paul Merton and Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones are all equal in second place. Derek Nimmo will you begin the next round and the subject hay fever, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

DN: It was in a production Hay Fever given by the Gutris Waugh and the Dramatic Society, that I met my bride Patricia Sybil Anne Brown some 42 years ago. She was playing Sorrill and I was playing Audie Picty...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Too much playing.

NP: Yes there was too much playing going on. Forty-six seconds are available for hay fever with you Clement starting now.

CF: Hay fever in Just A Minute is a pretty poor ailment in that it causes you to hesitate, deviate and repeat yourself. (wheezes in and out)


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Repetition of (wheeze).

CF: All different!

NP: Derek, correct challenge, 35 seconds available, hay fever back with you starting now.

DN: Oh I do hate going out in the summertime, getting all that pollen in my nose. And I feel absolutely frightful and ghastly. And I come and go into the cold shower and lie on the floor in that arrangement for quite a long time until suddenly...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged you.

PJ: He said he lied on the what?

DN: On the floor of the shower. I have a very big shower.

NP: He actually said he lies on the floor in that arrangement. So I don't...

DN: I didn't want to repeat shower!

NP: I know you didn't.

PJ: You see you've got a big shower.

DN: if you prefer to say that I am a big shower that's up to you, but I'm...

PJ: I wouldn't do that, I wouldn't...

PM: I lie down in my shower, but I call it a bath!

NP: Peter I think that it's a bit devious lying down in a shower! So I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you have 20 seconds to talk about hay fever starting now.

PJ: It was one of these plays by Noel Coward where young people come in with tennis racquets and say "anybody ready for a game?" And it's pretty tedious in my opinion! It was revived or they tried to restore it to active life about 20 years ago. And the lady who played the leading part, an elderly actress...


NP: Peter Jones you have leapt forward as a result of that extra point at the end of the round, for speaking when the whistle went. You are now in a strong second place just behind our leader Clement Freud. And it is your turn to begin, the subject jazz.

PJ: Ah!

NP: Tell us something about jazz in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: It's made a great contribution to music, starting at the end of the last century, and the beginning of this one, with such magic names as Jelly roll Morton and Bessie Smith and her representative on earth now George Melly, and a number of other people. Like Jangho Reinhart in France with Stefan Grapelli, Humphrey Lyttlelton over here, and a number of people...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of number.

NP: Yes you did say right at the beginning a number of people.

PJ: Oh did I?

NP: Yes. So Derek got in with 34 seconds available on jazz starting now.

DN: In Monsegir, in a little town in Aquetaine in south west France, every year at the end of June, the beginning of July, they have a jazz festival. And it goes on for 24 hours. Every bar, restaurant in the town has jazz...


NP: And Peter's challenged.

PJ: He did say every.

NP: Yes.

PJ: Twice.

NP: Every, every.

DN: Probably, very probably.

NP: Peter you've got in again, keen, 21 seconds, jazz starting now.

PJ: I won't say his first name but Chisholm was a great trombonist, still is as far as I know. Comes from this country and has played all over America with great success over here...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Two overs.

NP: Two overs.

PJ: Oh dear!

NP: Yes oh dear. Two everys, two overs and eight seconds for Paul to tell us something about jazz starting now.

PM: Considered by many to be perhaps the greatest trumpeter in the jazz era is Miles Davis who first came to public prominence in 1949...


NP: Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. He's in third place with Derek Nimmo, just behind Peter Jones. Clement Freud is still our leader. Clement the subject now is grace. Will you tell us something about grace in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: For me Grace will always be Gracie Fields, a great singer who lived on the isle of Capri...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, I thought she was a rotten singer! (sings badly) Sally! Sally! (speaks) That's rubbish!

NP: This is an impossible thing on which to make a decision really, isn't it, in a way! But no...


NP: Yes?

PJ: Well it's a matter of opinion, isn't it? A lot of people don't think Miles Davis was the greatest musician in the world!

NP: If you go by popularity, then her popularity was such that she was considered a great singer. She was actually opera trained, she did have a very fine voice, but she ruined it by singing these popular songs. And so I'm going to give...


NP: That is a fact! If you want to research it as well.

PM: Not now perhaps!

NP: No! Wait till the show's over please!

DN: I once paid to go and see her having tea on the Isle of Capri. She charged admission to watch her having cups of tea. Very nice it was.

PM: They used to do the same with the monkeys in London Zoo, I think! That was about her level!

NP: It is obvious that Paul is not a fan of Gracie Fields. Clement you still have the benefit of my doubt and er another point to you, 52 seconds, Grace, with you Clement still starting now.

CF: Grace came from Rochdale, which, if you live in London, is near Scotland. She was exceedingly well-known and if you go to the Town Hall in that Yorkshire city which many people think is in Lancashire, you will see pictures of her and her music swells around the altar on a Sunday. And everyone says "that is our Grace..."


NP: Right, Paul you challenged.

PM: Well isn't Rochdale in Lancashire?

NP: Rochdale is in Lancashire, yes.

PM: Because Clement said it was in Yorkshire.

CF: No.

PM: Yes you said Rochdale is in Yorkshire but many people think it's in Lancashire.

CF: Yeah.

PM: Luckily I've got the Gracie Fields biography at home!

NP: If he said that, then that was devious and incorrect. So Paul you have 27 seconds on Grace starting now.

PM: She was a wonderful performer, perhaps the finest entertainer this country's ever produced! I could listen to her singing for hours! Sally of the Alley was a wonderful song and she used to...


NP: Er Derek?

DN: Repetition of wonderful.

PM: Oh yes.

NP: Yes. Derek would you tell us something about Grace, 16 seconds on Grace with you Derek starting now.

DN: For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful, Amen. The title for a Duchess would be Her Grace, or that same named lady of rank, of Devonshire perhaps, Devo to her chums...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Quite a few ofs, one after another.

NP: A tough challenge but it's true...

DN: A bit of a tough challenge!

PM: Well, two ofs in three words!

NP: If it's correct, I have to give it to him. Sometimes they overlook it but on this occasion they didn't. So Paul got in with three seconds to go on grace starting now.

PM: Probably the finest woman that ever lived!


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: We've had finest and woman before.

PM: No we had greatest before.

CF: And finest.

DN: We've had woman before.

CF: Mmmm!

PM: Well we all have! Not all of us, obviously!


PJ: It's devious because he was knocking the singer at the beginning of his minute and now he's praising her! It doesn't add up!


PM: I was, I was won over by Clement's eulogy of her! A lot of people think she was born in Yorkshire, you know! She was an opera singer but she ruined her voice with the pop songs! Go over to the Isle of Capri, two pounds, see her having a cup of tea!


NP: So...

PM: There'll be never another! With a bit of luck!

NP: Clement you got in with one second to go on Grace starting now.

CF: Grace Kelly is another!


NP: So Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, and extra point and others in the round he's increased his lead. Paul Merton will you take the next round, the subject, fossils. Will you tell us something about those...


NP: I know what you're thinking! That young spark's going to have a go now! That chairman's a bit of a fossil, isn't he! Yes, right, fossils is with you Paul, 60 seconds starting now.

PM: Millions of years ago a meteorite landed on this planet. A lot of scientists believe it came from Mars and they recently examined this particular fragment. And have found an organism inside, or rather a fossil of the very aforementioned thing that could perhaps prove that somewhere there is a parallel Nicholas Parsons working on a far distant Moon. Ah but he'd be a different kind of individual because in a similar uni... oh no...


PM: I couldn't think of another word for parallel!

NP: Peter you challenged first, ah, what was it?

PJ: He stopped!

NP: Yes he did stop, you're quite right, hesitation. Thirty-four seconds, fossils Peter starting now.

PJ: The best place to collect fossils is the coast of Dorset. And my advice to you is to hire a caravan or caravette and take your children, as I took mine, with several cases of Scotch. And we, while they combed the beaches looking for these bits of old things which wasn't very interesting to me, I stayed inside, it was pouring with rain. And I thought "it serves them right for being interested in such bizarre things". But they did survive and they brought a number of them back which, we have them...


NP: So Peter's tragic story kept going until the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's increased his position in second place, he's closer to our leader Clement Freud, the other two follow close behind. And Derek Nimmo your turn to begin, the subject, wisdom. Will you tell us something about wisdom in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: We are extraordinarily lucky to have on this programme as our chairman a man who is truly, deeply wise. Wisdom can be an underrated quality these days, but Nicholas Parsons has the wisdom of Solomon. Give him a baby and ask him to cut it up...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: There's only so much of this you can listen to!


NP: I don't know why you're clapping! So your challenge Paul?

PM: No, I'm challenging because it's deviation to say that you've got the wisdom of Solomon!

NP: Well...

PM: Same birthday, perhaps!


NP: To be utterly fair, I'll show you, show you that I can endeavour to display the wisdom of Solomon, what I will do on this occasion is give Paul a bonus point for his challenge which we all enjoyed, but leave the subject with Derek Nimmo who also gets a point for being interrupted, and he continues with 43 seconds on wisdom starting now.

DN: I do like that awfully jolly comedian with a cloth cap, don't you? Norman Wisdom. Funny fellow, I think. He's falling over all the time and I must say I'm in absolute guffaws whenever I see him. Now he's coming out of the back cupboard and...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: He said he was in guffaws. Is that right?

NP: No, not really. You can either guffaw but you're not in guffaws. It's again one of those difficult decisions, often we let ot pass, but you challenged and it is...

PJ: Let it pass if you like!

NP: no, no, no! It's a subtle, it's a subtle...

PJ: If you want to go home, I'm quite happy! I don't mind! Or have lunch, whatever it is you have in mind!

NP: Subtle deviation from English as we speak it and understand it so Peter you have the benefit of the doubt, you have another point, you have the subject, you have 30 seconds, you have wisdom starting now.

PJ: Well I was in a film with Norman Wisdom. And one day, when the camera broke down, we were all told to wait in our dressing rooms until it was repaired, which was going to be a very long time. So I suggested to Norman that he tell me his...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of Norman.

NP: Yes. Norman's not on the card, only Wisdom I'm afraid.

PJ: What a pity!

NP: I know!

PJ: Yes!

NP: Yes you've got the sympathy of the audience, I can say that anyway. Clement, 15 seconds, wisdom, starting now.

CF: Some years ago, though it may still exist, there was a toothbrush called Wisdom. And you were recommended to use it with a paste called G-L-35 which contained all those ingredients which kept plaque either on...


NP: Well Clement Freud's points, including the extra one for speaking as the whistle went has increased his lead at the end of that round. Peter Jones your turn to begin, fat cats, that is the subject. Tell us something about them in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Well they really get up my nose, I must say! All those men...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, how can a fat cat get up his nose?

NP: If you use getting up one's nose as an expression of being irritated or disturbed by somebody, then it is a perfectly possible um, it is not therefore deviation. And literally, no. Anyway, I just like to let everybody know why and how I make my decisions. Peter...

PM: It would remain a mystery otherwise!


NP: Fifty-seven seconds, Peter you still have the subject, another point, fat cats starting now.

PJ: I was thinking of these directors who vote each other golden handshakes and share bonuses and all kinds of odd things that nobody in the normal course of business would expect in their course of duty. But...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two course.

NP: Two courses, course of business, course of duty.

PJ: Oh yes.

NP: Oh yes. Derek you're in with a correct challenge on this occasion and 42 seconds are available for you to tell us something about fat cats...

DN: I would really like to be a fat cat. And people to give me massive...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: You are a fat cat!


NP: Peter to be fair again, and show the wisdom which Derek talked about, I will give you a bonus point for a challenge which everybody enjoyed. But Derek Nimmo was interrupted so he also gets a point, but he continues with the subject for being interrupted. Thirty-seven seconds still available for you Derek, fat cats starting now.

DN: What was the fellow's name? Wasn't it Brown or something, who was chairman of British Gas who got a tremendous amount of money for what seemed to me to be very little indeed. Like the chairman of You-Okshire... Yorkshire, Walkshire...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Two chairmen.

NP: Yes that's right Clement, 28 seconds, fat cats with you now starting.

CF: If you get a cat or perhaps another one, and feed it all the food you can find, sausages and mushrooms, bits of egg, dry toast, grape nuts and cream, hot and cold milk, distilled water, and especially a test tube whereby you can shoot nutritive ingredients up its colon...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Well a bit of a hesitation there.

NP: I think there was, I think he was trying to keep going on ingredients and he just slipped up a little. Or hesitated. And two seconds are available for you Peter, got in just before the end on fat cats starting now.

PJ: And their wives drive around in company cars...


NP: So we are moving into the last round. So Paul it's your turn to begin, a very apt subject to finish on, the Stuarts. Will you tell us something about that very Scottish subject in this Scottish edition of Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Charles the First was a Stuart. He was the son of James the Sixth of Scotland. And of course he came into an enormous amount of difficulty, around about 1641 when he wanted to wage war against the er country north of the border, and Parliament wouldn't grant him the money to do so. So it turned out there was an English Civil com... confrontation between the Parliamentarians...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: A funny little world, comsomtation.

PJ: Confrontation.

PM: I was trying to avoid saying war!

NP: But you got the word out even though it did come out through your nose instead of your mouth.

PM: A good trick if you can do it! And it doesn't stop there!

NP: Right! So benefit of the doubt to you Paul, you keep going, 37 seconds on the Stuarts starting now.

PM: So Oliver Cromwell basically cut his head off in 1649 and that brought to an end the reign of the Stuarts...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Not permanently!

PM: No, no, but for a while!

DN: Well it would do, wouldn't it, yes!

NP: So what is your challenge?

DN: Well it's deviation, he said it brought to an end the reign of the Stuarts.

NP: Yes but then he said...

DN: The Stuarts went into exile...

NP: They went into exile...

DN: They'd never given up the throne.

NP: Oh gosh! They didn't give it up but...

DN: Then William came...

NP: They did temporarily go into exile and oh I didn't know! Paul you have 30 seconds to continue on the Stuarts starting now.

PM: It's a bit of a shame because I don't know much more about them really! But I know that the er Duke of Buckingham was a very good friend of the er previous...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation er.

NP: Yes there was a definite er there. So Derek you've got 21 seconds to tell us something about the Stuarts starting now.

DN: I'm a particular admirer of James the First, who was known by the Scottish King as the wisest fool in Europe. I think very...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation, the wisest fool in Christendom.

NP: The wisest fool in Christendom, not in Europe. Well done, 13 seconds for you Paul on the Stuarts starting now.

PM: There was a man who lived next door to him whose name was the most idiotic man... oh!


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah yes!

NP: Hesitation, Clement yes, eight seconds, the Stuarts starting now.

CF: The Stuarts get up my nose! All of them! From James the First, who was the Sixth of Scotland to his son...


NP: Well as I said before we began that round there wouldn't be any more time to continue at the end of it. A very fair result, a few points just separated them, but who's counting points? Probably the players. Well I do get letters about the points actually! Derek...

PM: It's nice somebody writes to you, isn't it!

NP: Particularly from abroad! Anyway Derek Nimmo and Paul Merton...

PJ: What kind of a broad is it who writes to you?

NP: Those broads write about different points Peter! Paul Merton and Derek Nimmo, they finished equal in third place. They were only one point behind Peter Jones who gave his usual good value, didn't quite overtake our leader, Clement Freud, you had most points so you're the winner this week, congratulations! So it only remains for me to say thank you to our four players of this game, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo, Ian Messiter who created the game and goes on keeping us all in work like this, our producer Anne Jobson, Elaine Wigley who has kept the score, blown her whistle, and particularly this delightful excitable audience at the Pleasance on the Fringe in Edinburgh. And from me, Nicholas Parsons, from all of us till we take to the air once more to play Just A Minute good-bye and thank you!