WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and ANDREE MELLY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 21 March 1972)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Andree Melly 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. And once again we have four brilliant players of the game who are going to speak if they can for just one minute on some unlikely subject that I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject on the card which is in front of me. And once again according to how well they do this, how often they may be challenged by their opponents, they will gain points or their opponents will gain points. This is the way we play and we're going to begin the show this week with Peter Jones. Peter the abdabs. Can you talk on the abdabs Peter for 60 seconds starting now.
PETER JONES: The abdabs, particularly the screaming variety, are associated in my mind with too much to drink. And I believe alcohol can cause this state of mind which is not exactly as bad as the um, forgotten the name of it...
NP: Andree Melly challenged you first.
ANDREE MELLY: Hesitation.
NP: Hesitation indeed Andree. So you have a correct challenge, you gain a point for that, you take over the subject, you have 41 seconds for the abdabs starting now.
AM: As bad as the heebie-jeebies. I think the abdabs originated in Ethiopia. It was a particularly nasty disease, a little like malaria and the symptom is something like an epileptic fit. The patient er...
NP: Ah Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: Hesitation and deviation.
NP: Which one do you want to er..
KW: Well there was an er so hesitation.
NP: Hesitation yes.
KW: And deviation because it was a lot of rubbish...
NP: Yes but it could be a fantasy idea...
KW: She's talking a load of rubbish!
NP: Kenneth I agree with the hesitation definitely, you have a point for a correct challenge and you take over the subject of the abdabs and there are 25 seconds left starting now.
KW: This is of course one of those slang corruptions which has no place in proper conversation, that is to say the talk that goes on between people we would call cultivated and mature. I would never use this kind of expression. But there are idiots about who say "ooohhh she had the screaming abdabs dear! Better get the doctor round! He gave her the sal volatile, she was lying on the floor..."
NP: So the whistle tells us, by the way for those who don't know, that 60 seconds is up. Kenneth was speaking then when the whistle went so he gained an extra point for doing so and he has a lead over everybody else at the end of that round. And Clement Freud it's your turn to begin, the subject is notwithstanding, 60 seconds starting now.
CF: Notwithstanding is a sort of useless word like hereunto, heretofore, notwithwhat, which is written as if it were one when in fact it is two or three ah collections of... letters making a er what you might call ah...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
NP: Undoubtedly yes. And you have a point Peter and you have 41 seconds for notwithstanding starting now.
PJ: As he said it is a quite meaningless phrase that's been joined up...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged, why?
CF: Deviation, it's not a phrase, it's a word.
NP: Yes I think that is...
PJ: Joined up into a word!
CF: You can't... (laughs)
PJ: I said joined up into a word!
NP: Oh yes you might have been saying it but you didn't actually.
PJ: Well I was interrupted before I said it!
NP: All right!
PJ: He anticipated that I was going to!
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Peter Jones they're on your side, notwithstanding is still with you, 36 seconds starting now.
PJ: So when my old aunt complained of these bunions having come from the chiropodist and I said "you poor old soul, what have you been doing?" she said "it wasn't from sitting, it was notwithstanding either. I have been running, up and down the stairs and in the garden where they have a lot of very steep steps which cause her a lot of inconvenience..."
NP: Ah Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Deviation, he says she got bugs from the chiropodist and then...
NP: Bunions from the chiropodist.
NP: I thought you take your bunions to the chiropodist.
KW: He said bugs, he never said nothing about bunions.
NP: He said bunions.
KW: Well your diction's worse than mine, mate!
PJ: That's a terrible thing to say about anybody!
NP: To use a phrase we've heard you use before now Kenneth, get your ears cleaned out! Notwithstanding, that is still the subject and it's still with Peter Jones, he's gained another point, he has 12 seconds starting now.
PJ: And my uncle was very sympathetic when she came in from...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged, why?
CF: An uncle can't be a she.
NP: He already has established his aunt had the bunions and his aunt was notwithstanding...
PJ: You know very well I don't have to talk about the same person I was talking about before I was interrupted!
NP: He said, it's quite clear to me Clement. He said his uncle, when she came in, he referred to the aunt...
PJ: Before you made a challenge which failed I was talking about the aunt! And now I'm talking about her husband.
NP: I quite agree...
PJ: Because they're listening and he'll be upset if I neglect any reference to him, you know.
CF: He'll be more upset if you call him she!
NP: He didn't call him she! He made it quite clear to me anyway so Peter you have another point and you have seven seconds, not withstanding starting now.
PJ: "Lie down," he said, "in the sitting room. It's notwithstanding that has caused this dreadful affray. Because a lot of..."
NP: Ian Messiter enjoyed that last subject so much he could hardly blow his whistle, he almost swallowed it. But he did manage to make a little noise and whoever is speaking of course when the whistle goes gets the extra point. It was on this occasion Peter Jones and at the end of that round he has a commanding lead of three over everybody else in the show!
CHEERS FROM THE AUDIENCE
PJ: Thank you very much!
NP: Anyway Andree Melly your turn to begin, it's a marvellous subject that Ian's thought of you, mud wrestling starting now.
AM: You might think that I would know extremely little about this subject and you would be absolutely right! I suppose it means wrestling in the mud, something like the Wall game which I believe they play at Eton, that well-known public school. Two men stripped to the waist perhaps get together and see which can get the other one down into the mud. Maybe...
NP: Kenneth Williams got in first.
NP: I indeed agree Kenneth, you have a point and you have mud wrestling, 34 seconds starting now.
KW: The idea of this game is to make your opponent look as ill at ease as possible. and of course the fact that (mock formal stentorian voice) you're in this disgusting substance does add enormously to one's potential in these points and circumstances. (high pitched hysterical fast paced voice) After all it stands to reason that if you're in a load of mud, you're not going to...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged, why?
PJ: Can't hear! Can't hear!
NP: Nor could I! I can't hear either so what's your challenge? I'll probably give it to you!
PJ: A foul! I think it was a foul!
NP: Well you've got to give me one or the other, what was it?
PJ: Ah hesitation covered up by the foul! Inaudible!
NP: Well if I couldn't hear him it must have been hesitation because he obviously never said anything, did he?
NP: We couldn't hear you, I'm afraid Kenneth, so I must give the benefit of the doubt to Peter on this occasion and say he has 14 seconds for mud wrestling starting now.
PJ: When the talkies came in in the 30s in America, the entrepreneurs there in a desperate effort to attract audiences put on this disgusting sport of mud wrestling. They sometimes employed women...
NP: I wondered when we were going to get to women in mud wrestling because I thought that was one of the chief attractions of the sport. Peter Jones was speaking then when the whistle went. And so he gained an extra point, has increased his lead at the end of that round. And there's a little joke going on on the other side of the room which I can't make out. Kenneth Williams your turn to begin, one of these lovely literary historical subjects for you, Doctor Johnson. can you tell us something about Doctor Johnson in 60 seconds starting now.
KW: Well it is recorded that he once said "any man in bed before midnight is a scoundrel"! I don't know whether we'd all concur with that but a charming anecdote is told when he took oars from the temple stairs to Greenwich, Boswell asked "do you believe in universal education? Would this boy row us any better if he had knowledge?" And Johnson leant forth and said "Bosun what would you give to know about the Argonauts?" the boy rested on his oars and said "why I would give what I have..."
NP: Clement Freud challenged you.
CF: Repetition of oars.
NP: Yes you had those oars that um that the (laughs)
KW: It was very beautiful because the boy said I would give what I have, and he never replied, the doctor to that, but he did give him double fare. Boswell noticed that...
CF: One for each oar?
KW: ...and so he thought that was rather a beautiful gesture from a very beautiful man. He was a very charitable kind lovely man.
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
KW: No, don't clap! It's awful!
NP: No, we, we enjoy being informed and I'm sure the listeners do. But Clement Freud had a correct challenge for repetition of oars and there are 34 seconds left for Doctor Johnson with you Clement starting now.
CF: When Stanley cut his way into the centre of Africa, he came into a clearing in the jungle and mentioned those famous words, "Doctor Livingstone..."
NP: You challenged too soon did you Kenneth?
KW: No, I didn't, I challenged for deviation.
KW: It was nothing to do with Doctor Johnson.
KW: We heard all about Africa and Doctor Livingstone, I presume...
KW: It had nothing to do with Doctor Johnson.
NP: Yes he had been going sufficiently long time...
KW: Of course he had!
NP: ...without introducing Doctor Johnson.
KW: It's ludicrous! I mean it just will not hold water! It just will not hold up, you see!
NP: Well you... so Kenneth you have another point and you have 14 seconds for Doctor Johnson starting now.
KW: (high-pitched fast squeal while drawing out every third word) Well of course another famous accomplishment is the first English dictionary...
NP: Andree Melly challenged. Why?
AM: Peter Jones can't hear what he's saying!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM PJ AND THE AUDIENCE
PJ: Has he started?
NP: So what is the challenge Andree?
AM: It's just palliness over here, you know, I like...
NP: If you give a wrong challenge all that happens I'm afraid is the person speaking gets a...
AM: Well he might speak clearly next time...
PJ: well actually I couldn't hear, but er I'm getting rather used to it now! I'm trying to lip-read as I watch!
NP: Well on this occasion...
PJ: Very mobile mouth!
NP: ... I definitely heard and I think everybody heard, I know the listeners heard. So Kenneth you have another point and you continue with Doctor Johnson and 10 seconds left starting now.
KW: Mrs Thraill once remonstrated with him "she is a good Methodist girl, doctor!" And he replied "the Church of England is good enough for me and it certainly should..."
NP: Peter Jones challenged you.
PJ: Repetition of good. He said good at least twice.
NP: Yes that's right, yes. You got in very cleverly with half a second to go...
IAN MESSITER: One fifth of a second.
NP: Ian Messiter tells me it's one fifth of a second to go on Doctor Johnson starting now.
NP: At the end of that round Peter Jones has increased his lead. Kenneth Williams is in a very strong second place. Clement Freud and Andree Melly are both trailing more than somewhat. Peter Jones it's your turn to begin, the subject, it sounds very bizarre to me, but perhaps you can talk about it if you can, kippers as pets. Will you talk on kippers as pets Peter for 60 seconds starting now.
PJ: I don't know what kinky mind invents these subjects for me! But in the Isle of Man and Yarmouth and Lowestoft they cure the herring. And these fish are then sent to the various centres, the wholesalers where they are... sold, and I'm hesitating occasionally because I'm hoping someone's going to interrupt! However...
LONG PAUSE PUNCTUATED BY AUDIENCE LAUGHTER
PJ: If I'm allowed... um, if I'm allowed (laughs) to expand on this subject and hesitate...
NP: You have every opportunity!
PJ: ... I might try different styles! Because of course pets of any kind are a matter of taste. Now I prefer them when they're alive. But if they're dead, well, one can't really er make, er, make this... (laughs)
PJ: They just didn't want to take the subject from me! That's what it was! They were afraid of it!
NP: Peter Jones was not speaking then when the whistle went but gained an extra point for doing so! He had the subject to start with and kept going.
PJ: Well that's very nice of...
NP: With the help of the deviation and the hesitation by the others till the end for the 60 seconds. He didn't say very much! And, but he got two points on that particular round and he increased his lead at the end of that round. Obviously the others didn't want to take the subject and they resisted the temptation. Oh and all right Clement Freud here's one for you and a very good answer that Ian's thought of, bloaters as enemies. Clement Freud will you go on bloaters as enemies for 60 seconds starting now.
CF: It's very much easier to have a bloater as an enemy than to have a kipper as a friend because as you probably know the former is a herring which is put into brine and then smoked in its split state. Whereas a bloater is a whole herring which is cured raw. And doesn't have the bones...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged, why?
NP: Yes indeed. He didn't challenge you for hesitation, you know, on your kippers.
PJ: Well I know, but he seemed to be floundering and I thought... I thought he might appreciate being interrupted. I would have appreciated being interrupted really when I was stuck with kippers!
NP: And after all, I quite agree, just because you're in the lead, why should you give any quarter? The others don't when they're in the lead do they Peter? Only when they're losing! All right you have another point Peter and you have 39 seconds for bloaters as enemies starting now.
PJ: He hesitated when he said raw because I think what he meant was the insides are left in for bloaters and they're cured complete...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged, why?
CF: Deviation, they're not, only the rows are left, the insides are taken out.
NP: The insides are not left in at all?
CF: No. Only the row, not the, not...
NP: All right Clement Freud you have a point and you have 31 seconds for bloaters as enemies starting now.
CF: Bloaters become very fierce enemies after a few days because of the pungency of their smell. A bloater ideally should be eaten in Great Yarmouth which is where they come from. And after a number of days, let alone nights and weeks, the smell is so unpleasant...
NP: Someone challenged, Andree Melly, was it you?
AM: Repetition of days.
NP: days and nights yes. So Andree a correct challenge to you and you have the subject, 14 seconds, bloaters as enemies starting now.
AM: They're particular enemies of mine because they are so extremely indigestible. And when I eat them, I'm not allowed to forget the fact for several days afterwards. They are something that you have to have a particularly strong stomach for...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Ah particularly twice.
NP: Yes particularly twice and Andree used it twice. And Clement you've got in very cleverly with one second to go, bloaters as enemies starting now.
CF: Bloaters as enemies...
NP: Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, he gained the extra point, he's creeping up on Kenneth Williams which is a very devious thing to do. But Kenneth's one point ahead but they're both, in fact they're all trailing more than somewhat behind Peter Jones who has a commanding lead in this game. Andree Melly your turn to begin, the subject, when I was seven. Can you tell us about that in 60 seconds starting now.
AM: I was evacuated to North Wales to relations who didn't particularly want to have me but preferred me to evacuees. We went to school which was a boarding variety and was one of the day girls, there only being six of them, which as anybody knows, is something very unpleasant. You're somehow out of the whole thing, nobody wants to know you. I had an enemy called Eve Lovett who had red hair, used to make me pinch food and take it to her at the said establishment the next morning. And she said she was always hungry and didn't have enough to eat. I was extremely frightened of this girl and have had an aversion for red freckly faces ever since. She made me hang upside down from a tree by my knees, and would then hide my Wellington boots so that when my uncle came to collect us to take us home, I had no shoes. This is the kind of torture...
NP: Andree said this is the kind of torture she did. Well she had another kind of torture tonight. The three men let her go on. Anyway we now know why Andree Melly is such a fine actress. Look at what she's suffered! It's all come out in some of her brilliant dramatic performances and she's moved forward into third place alongside Clement Freud at the end of that round. They're still one point behind Kenneth Williams who's still no less than seven points behind our leader who's still Peter Jones. And Kenneth your turn to begin. A subject dear to your heart, sympathy. Would you talk about sympathy for 60 seconds starting now.
KW: Yes it of course refers to the root which is pathos and means suffering, comes to us from the Greek. Now ladies who pick their leaves which are later made into tea have become synonymous with it. How often have we heard this beverage mentioned in conjunction with sympathy. (slowing down to a dawdle) Come round for a cuppa and get a bit of sympathy! How delightful this is! Many's the time I've...
NP: Clement Freud has...
KW: Who's challenged?
NP: Clement has.
KW: What for?
KW: Hesitation? Hesitation? Never! Not on your nelly! You great fool! Hesitation! (laughs) It's ludicrous!
NP: Well it's very ludicrous how slowly you can go without hesitating! And still keep going!
KW: To hesitate is visibly to pause, ducky! If you are speaking in a measured fashion, can no more be called hesitating...
NP: Of course it can't...
KW: .... than to fly to the moon!
NP: But it cannot be called hesitation, but there must be a limit to which you can measure out your words...
KW: No, there's none! This game doesn't say anything about limitations on...
NP: All right! The game doesn't say anything but I have to make decisions in this particular game, but on this occasion I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. But if you go any slower I will give it against you. You have a point, you have 29 seconds on sympathy Kenneth starting now.
KW: (getting more drawn out and more drawn out) We should pour it out, one to another! And in...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged you, why?
CF: I think that was fractionally slower than before.
NP: no it wasn't. Actually I thought it was fractionally faster.
CF: I haven't got my meter out on it!
NP: Well my sort of inbuilt...
CF: I'd like him to have another point!
PJ: I was so pleased to be able to hear it distinctly that I didn't mind his being rather hesitant!
NP: He's going to have another point and 20 seconds to continue with sympathy starting now.
KW: (very very quickly) It's the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thought nor to measure words. But to pour it all out, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift those thoughts, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of spectrum.
NP: (laughs as heartily as I've ever heard him)
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM CF, AM AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: For those in the audience who've missed the joke because you may not have heard what Kenneth said, he didn't say spectrum, but Peter decided it was as good a word as any to buzz, to challenge. Actually if you'd had him for hesitation I would have given it to then but he didn't repeat spectrum, I could just hear what he said. I gave you the benefit of the doubt last time but not this time Peter, Kenneth gets another point and has four seconds on sympathy starting now.
KW: The sympathy we all need, for a specially discarded love like an old glove thrown away...
NP: So sympathy gave Kenneth a lot of points including one for speaking as the whistle went. He has moved forward with great speed and a good number of points. And he's now three behind our leader Peter Jones. And Peter it's your turn to begin, the subject is riddles. Would you talk on riddles for 60 seconds starting now.
PJ: I'm not going to talk in them though that is sometimes done. But I often hear them at home. My children tell me riddles like when they were very young, one was why does a chicken cross the road? I don't know what the answer to that was. I think it was so that it can get to the other side. And similarly, what is red and white and black all over? And the answer is a coloured newspaper. I'm not absolutely certain of that but I think I'm right in saying so...
NP: Andree Melly has challenged, why?
AM: Repetition of not and I think and...
NP: Yes I think you were right more than once there. Andree I agree with the challenge, it was very repetitious, very boring too! And Andree has another point at this moment for a correct challenge and she has 28 seconds for riddles starting now.
AM: One of the places that you find these boring little sayings is in those crackers which we have at Christmas time. You either pull them and make a nasty bang and then open them out, with a little bit of paper which says something like Peter Jones has just told you...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged, why?
KW: It doesn't say something like Peter Jones has just told you.
NP: I quite agree, I've never opened a cracker that said Peter Jones has just told us.
AM: Why did the chicken cross the road?
PJ: Yes why did the chicken...
NP: Yes but the way that you put it this time made it sound that Peter Jones was part of the riddle himself! Kenneth you have a point for the correct challenge and 12 seconds on riddles starting now.
KW: Why is getting up in the morning like a big sail? Twirly! Is a typical example of course because the instance there is too early has been so intwined to make it sound like a big sail...
NP: I've just been told that I'm afraid we have no more time to play Just A Minute this week. So now let me give you the final score at the end of that round. A very interesting result because for once, and I can't remember when it's happened before, Clement Freud was in fourth place.
CRIES OF "AWWWWW" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: We know that when he puts his mind to it he usually can beat the others. But he was trying but he was beaten well by Andree who was in third place, very well by Kenneth who was only just in second place. He came with a rush at the end but his rush was not enough to it...
SMATTERING OF APPLAUSE
NP: Shut up! Wait for it! His rush was not enough to overtake this week's winner Peter Jones! A well deserved win and obviously from our audience reaction a very popular win. I'm sorry that we have no more time to play Just A Minute because we enjoy playing the game. From all of us here good-bye!
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by Simon Brett.