WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and SHEILA HANCOCK, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 19 September 1972)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Sheila Hancock in Just A Minute, and as the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much indeed, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And today we are delighted to welcome back Sheila Hancock who's going to... who's going to pit her wits and brains and knowledge against our three regular male contestants at the game who are too notorious to be introduced again. So let us begin the show this week with Sheila Hancock but just to remind you, I'm going to ask them all to speak if they can for just one minute on some unlikely subject without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject on the card. Sheila will you begin please with the subject of sneakers. Can you talk about sneakers for 60 seconds starting now.
SHEILA HANCOCK: These are a peculiarly nasty type of people whom I have met many of, particularly when I was at school. I remember there was one particular girl called Ann Roberts whom I hope is not listening! But she was pretty nasty! And I joined the Young Farmers Club on one occasion and she let out to the headmistress that the only reason I joined this organisation was that when I was supposed to be cleaning out the rabbits, I gave my milk to junior members of the school...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged. Why?
CLEMENT FREUD: Hesitation.
SH: (laughs) Oh mean!
NP: No I don't think it was quite. Almost hesitation. But not quite. So Sheila you have a point and you keep the subject, you have 30 seconds left and you start now.
SH: And this girl sneaked to Miss James that that was what I was doing. She also told her that the only reason I joined the cricket team was that we played on a pitch that was next to the boy's school. And on top of that I used to pretend that I was hot and take my skirt off so that they could see my knickers! And she told this lady about it, and this lady wasn't best pleased! However when I...
SH: Oh dear!
NP: So whoever is speaking when the whistle goes in this game as you well know gains the extra point, and it was Sheila Hancock.
SH: You're being very gracious because I did repeat this lady!
NP: Well once you took... yes you did, but once you took your skirt off to show your knickers they resisted that sense of deviation, or maybe they didn't think it was very devious. Anyway Sheila at the end of that round you have two points, you have a commanding lead over everybody else because they've yet to speak.
NP: So we now move on to Peter Jones. Peter the subject is civil servants. Can you talk about them for 60 seconds starting now.
PETER JONES: They're usually associated with forms and offices. They do useful work. The most attractive civil servant I ever met was in Colwyn Bay during the war. She'd been evacuated from Whitehall. Her name was Veronica Hawkesworth. If by any chance she is listening to this broadcast I should be very pleased to hear from her again. She was a delightful civil servant. I don't know exactly what papers she had to deal with but one of her envelopes I still treasure to this day. And on St Valentine's Eve every year I open it and read it so than I can refresh my memory of this wonderful incident...
NP: Clement Freud why have you challenged?
CF: Ah um deviation, you can't open the envelope annually.
NP: You can't open the envelope...
CF: He said he kept the envelope...
CF: ...and every year on St Valentine's Eve he opened it...
PJ: And then after every St Valentine's Eve I closed it again!
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: I think...
CF: That is different!
NP: ... Peter's made his point. And I mean after all, what do you mean by opening an envelope? Do you mean that you have to actually lift the flap, or you have to break it open. I mean you can have a broken flap and just lift it up and pull it apart and take out the letter and that would be described...
CF: He never mentioned the letter!
CF: He never mentioned a letter.
PJ: I'm coming to the letter!
CF: That's what I was afraid of!
NP: He's been going magnificently. I'm fascinated with Veronica Hawkesworth, I want to know and I'd like to know next week if she writes as well Peter. No, I disagree with the challenge, you have a point for a wrong challenge and you have 13 seconds to continue with civil servants starting now.
PJ: It was written on the traditional Government buff note paper and the date was October the 15th, 1941. And it said "dear Peter, I have been waiting to write to you..."
NP: Ah Kenneth Williams has challenged just before the whistle.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: I don't believe civil servants write to you by your Christian name! Address you like that! Dear Peter! It'll be love next!
PJ: We'd met in...
NP: if you had this close relationship with Veronica Hawkesworth...
KW: But it's on Government buff note paper! He said so!
NP: She couldn't afford the other!
PJ: We met in the bomb shelter!
SH: What's that got to do with it?
NP: And she was using... look, just because poor Veronica has been ah compromised in this way and Peter's letting secrets out of the bag or out of the envelope, saying how she happens to filch a piece of Government buff paper to write a personal letter saying dear Peter. I'm completely with this story! I'm absolutely with Peter! You have two seconds on civil servants Peter starting now.
PJ: There were other civil servants in the same office...
NP: So Peter Jones kept going on the subject that he started with and gained the extra point for speaking when the whistle went so now he has three points, a lead of one over Sheila at the end of that round. And Kenneth and Clement have yet to score. And Kenneth we now hear from you with the subject of Charles Stuart. And you have 60 seconds starting now.
KW: Well as Veronica Hawkesworth always used to say, this is a King Charles's Head. And this means a preoccupation of sort and of course stems from the fact that this Monarch was executed. He married this woman, Henrietta Maria, who brought over a load of priests and things with her, and caused a lot of angrimony, agri... acri...
NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged you.
SH: Well it was a touch of your hesitations wasn't it really?
NP: A touch of the repetition of the ag.
KW: I was mixed up between aggravation and acrimony.
NP: I know it's so difficult when you...
KW: You knew what I was after! It wasn't hesitation, it was stumbling!
NP: And Sheila was the quickest on the buzzer there so... and so she gains a point for a correct challenge, she takes over the subject and there are 34 seconds left Sheila, Charles Stuart starting now.
SH: He did cause a lot of aggravation. However he did have pretty ringlets and black wig and loved spaniels. I think that's the one we're talking about anyway! And he had a son called James. He, I think, was a descendant of Mary...
NP: Clement Freud.
CF: Repetition of think, think.
NP: Yes we've had a bit too much thinking there. It's very difficult...
SH: Well I'm having to, because I don't know much about him!
NP: Well as you think, don't say you're thinking.
SH: No, I'm delving the depths of me ignorance!
NP: Ah Clement Freud I agree with your challenge, you take over the subject, there are 18 seconds left, Charles Stuart starting now.
CF: After the Interregnum Charles the Second came to the throne in sixteen hundred and sixty. And immediately proved himself to be...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Because, we're, it's not the one we're discussing.
NP: But the subject on the card is Charles Stuart.
KW: Well that always refers to Charles the First.
NP: No, it could be Charles the young pretender couldn't it?
NP: He was Charles Stuart! The young pretender was Charles Stuart, wasn't he?
KW: It always refers to Charles the First, and Sheila Hancock rightly described Charles the First.
NP: It could be...
SH: I was describing Charles the Second actually! I was!
SH: I thought it was Charles the Second.
NP: Oh well. Well done Sheila...
SH: They're all Stuarts, aren't they? And they all happened to be called Charles!
NP: Actually if you wanted, it's what I actually read out. You could say it was Charles S-T-E-W-A-R-T who's a chap that lives just down the road from me. You could talk about him if you wanted. Anyway so I disagree with the challenge Kenneth. Clement...
PJ: You couldn't expect us to talk about him! You know, we don't know anyone in your area of London!
NP: Well I thought Kenneth talked about Veronica Hawkesworth and he's never met her before.
KW: No but she's the one that rushed in and said "mine's a light" and somebody poured a bucket of cold water over her!
NP: Let's get back to Just A Minute shall we? Eight seconds for you Clement Freud having got an extra point for a wrong challenge. Charles Stuart starting now.
CF: Prior to the King I just mentioned, Charles the First, or Stuart, came to the throne in sixteen hundred and three. That was a good...
NP: Was Charles, what was it, sixteen hundred and three?
NP: Oh, oh! Right! I wasn't sure. Clement Freud, you've er taken the lead at the end of that round alongside Sheila Hancock and Peter Jones. And Clement you begin now and the subject is minnies. You have 60 seconds on minnies starting now.
CF: Minis is the plural of mini which is anything small or particularly um...
NP: Kenneth Williams you have challenged.
KW: I thought hesitation.
NP: Yes he was going rather slowly. He was doing a sort of Kenneth Williams, I thought, actually. I, the thing is, actually, on that sixteen hundred and three, I think you were a bit confused. Sixteen hundred and three was James the First. He came between sixteen hundred and three...
CF: Yes but it's not up to the chairman to object er...
KW: Particularly after...
CF: ..halfway, halfway... halfway through the next subject!
NP: Well I'll yell you why! I do get a lot of letters and I would have had a letter...
CF: Well we don't!
NP: ... saying nobody challenged Clement Freud...
CF: We don't get many letters!
NP: ...but he said Charles the First came to the throne in sixteen hundred and three and when I said "was it Charles?" you said "oh yes it was". I would have had letters saying you're an ignorant old so-and-so Parsons. It wasn't, it was James the First. So now, I hope I've stopped all those hundreds of letters coming in. Thank you for writing but don't write on this subject.
CF: I only said it because I would like somebody to write to me! I never get any letters!
SH: I'd like to write to you!
NP: Actually he often does that in order to try them out...
CF: Will you write to me? Sheila's going to write to me!
NP: ...and see if they will challenge him. He dared them. Kenneth stop yawning and let's carry on!
LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: You have the subject for a correct challenge, you have 50 seconds on minis starting now.
KW: She was due in, Minnie Dyers, on a soft September morn,
With her cheeks as red as apples and her hair as gold as corn.
Those were the attributes they said were Minnie's. They belonged to her like her bicycle lamp which hung, red on the back at night, and they could see her coming. And the view from the front wasn't as good...
NP: Peter Jones...
KW: ...as the one from behind!
LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Peter Jones has challenged. I think I know why.
PJ: Well it's this red lamp on the back, and they can see her coming!
NP: Coming, yes!
PJ: She couldn't ride the bicycle backwards!
PJ: Not even a woman with those attributes!
NP: I quite agree, not even with those attributes.
KW: Rubbish! It said she would pedal through the village...
KW: .... and she didn't pay no mind.
Up in front her little basket and her big red lamp behind!
Good gracious, if you're not familiar with the folk songs of old England. One of the greats. Minnie Dyer! One of the great folk songs of England, Minnie Dyer!
NP: If she had a little red lamp on the back and a big basket in front, they couldn't see her coming. They could see her going, if it was a red lamp, wouldn't they. No I agree with Peter's challenge, you said the red lamp on the back and they saw her coming! If she was as big as this and her basket as well, they wouldn't have seen the red lamp when she was coming towards them because that was behind her, wasn't it?
KW: Oh you're being very meticulous, aren't you? Oh!
NP: I try...
KW: Very cunning! Can you go him! Grand, innit! Mmmm!
NP: Peter I agree with your challenge...
KW: Oh yes Peter you're lovely! You're wonderful! He's the blue-eyed boy this week, he is!
NP: All right Peter you have 25 seconds on minis starting now.
PJ: They're small square motor cars with a wheel on each corner. And they've been exported...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged, why?
KW: Of course the wheels aren't on each corner. If you're being so meticulous, I think you'll have to disagree with that for a start!
NP: I do disagree...
KW: If they were on the corner, it would be a very funny car!
NP: I do disagree with it Kenneth, I do! I disagree with your challenge. Because anything must have a corner providing it's not round, and a mini is not round. So there must be four corners to a car. And approximately as far as you can get, you have a...
KW: Of course there are corners! But the wheels aren't on the corners! They're underneath with the chassis and they all face the same direction. How could they be called going on corners?
NP: We are being...
KW: If they were all on corners, the whole car would be going round and round in circles!
NP: ... very imprecise!
KW: Wouldn't it! Ludicrous rubbish!
NP: Actually a mini...
KW: You all agree! You agree with me, don't you!
CRIES OF "YES" AND CHEERS FROM THE AUDIENCE
KW: Yes! Yes! I... you should always ask the audience! You can't beat it!
NP: Actually the more you, if you put it to the audience, that'll only make me go the other way actually! Be determined to give it against you!
KW: Well you will earn their despite. They'll hate you for it!
NP: Have I earned your despite?
CRIES OF "YES" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: We'll go out, we'll get another audience in! But I'll tell you what I'll do, I will be fair, I will put it to the superior judgement, knowledge and intelligence. And I ask you in spite of the encouragement that you have received from Kenneth Williams who has been appealing to you in a very underhand way, this particular way, unsportsmanlike I would put it. If you agree with Kenneth Williams' challenge that the wheels of a mini are not on the corners, would you boo. And if you disagree and if Peter Jones is correct in what he says, or almost correct, that's enough in this, will you cheer. And will you all do it together now.
CHEERS AND BOOS FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Boo! Kenneth Williams I have to bow to the superior judgement of the audience.
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: You have the subject, minis don't have wheels on their corners. You have 19 seconds on minis starting now.
KW: Well they are very renowned for the fact that they use up very little petrol...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged, why?
PJ: Repetition of very. They're very renowned and they use up very little petrol.
NP: And that's a very little challenge. I'll tell you what, it is so tough. If we start, you know, immediately buzzing on every very and er at and it...
PJ: You mean I ought to hesitate first?
NP: Well of course, if you're going to challenge on that, I have to be fair and say yes. So all right Peter you have a point and you have the subject back and there are 11 seconds left starting now.
PJ: And another wheel for steering it inside the car. And this is a light metal device which is attached by a ratchet or some other...
NP: Peter Jones was then speaking when the whistle went, so he gained the extra point then, and he's increased his lead at the end of that round. Sheila Hancock we're back with you, your turn to begin. The subject is shortening. Can you talk about shortening, you're shortening your thumb nail at the moment in anticipation of it. Sixty seconds starting now.
SH: This is a sort of bread that Mama's little baby is very fond of. I haven't the slightest idea how it is made so I'll go on to the subject of shortening dresses which is something that I know a great deal about, having been a younger sister. I don't think I ever had a new dress when I was a child.
CRIES OF "OHHHHHH" FROM THE AUDIENCE
SH: All the time I had shortened...
NP: Kenneth Williams...
KW: Deviation, this is plainly appealing to the audience for sympathy!
KW: I'm not having this!
SH: Well look who's talking!
KW: She's plainly making a direct appeal! She's trying all that pathos!
SH: The well-known crawler!
KW: She's trying the sheer pathos! She's trying on the pathos! Look, one woman's crying! Look at her!
NP: And Kenneth, Kenneth, I quite agree. And the last time somebody appealed to the audience they got a point from them, that was you!
NP: So I give Sheila a point for... I will give Sheila the point and she has 38 seconds on shortening starting now.
SH: What happens is that you have to stand on a chair and your mother turns up the hem with some pins. After which usually, if she's a very thorough needle woman, she packs it up, tried it on again to see that it is level, you have to swivel round and she measures it from the hem to the ground...
NP: And Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Ah repetition of hem.
NP: Yes that is correct Clement and you have 16 seconds on shortening starting now.
CF: In the United States of America shortening is a term given to any sort of fat, be it dripping, butter or cooking oil. And this is very... deceiving...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Very er deceiving!
NP: You were very sharp then. I gave you the benefit of the doubt the last time you challenged Clement Freud actually on hesitation. I'm going to give Clement the benefit of the doubt on this occasion to be fair and say Clement you have four seconds on shortening startening... startening now.
CF: If a six foot two woman can use shortening to cure...
NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking when the whistle went so he has gained two extra points in that round, taking him into the lead alongside Peter Jones and Sheila Hancock's in third place, two points behind, and Kenneth Williams two points behind Sheila.
NP: And Peter Jones your turn to begin, my goodness. That is the subject that Ian Messiter's written on the card for you to talk about for 60 seconds starting now.
PJ: I associate it with a rich dark drink. But my own goodness I suppose, it's very embarrassing for me to even try to talk about it for a minute...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: If it's so embarrassing, why don't he shut up then? Let me go! I'll do it! I'll do it! I'll talk about it! I'll do it!
SH: I bet you will!
NP: You'll talk about Peter Jones's goodness, will you?
KW: Yes! If you like! Mmmm, I'll have a go!
NP: No I think what we do there is um, I think it was a very nice joke. Thank you for the laugh you gave us Kenneth. But it wasn't a real challenge so the only fair thing to do is to leave the subject with Peter, nobody gains any points. Peter you have 47 seconds on my goodness starting now.
PJ: And it can be drunk with shellfish, this dark rich liquor...
NP: Clement Freud.
CF: Repetition of dark, we've already had...
NP: Yes and rich.
NP: So Clement you obtain a point and the subject. My goodness, 42 seconds starting now.
CF: It was Easter Tuesday 1963 when this sad woman walked out to sea and found, having lost her depth, and her knickers, that there was nothing she could do but cry out for help or succour. At which I took off my vest, my trousers and my jacket and dived into the sea. Swimming strongly with both arms I reached her, rendered her unconscious with a sharp blow to her upper neck, and dragged her back to the firm sand of the beach. Which many people thought was my goodness but in fact I knew that she had in her wallet four 20 pound notes...
NP: Sheila, Sheila Hancock actually challenged half a second before, you were doing a Clement Freud on us, weren't you Sheila?
SH: Yes I'm challenging for deviation. Whereabouts on her person did she have the wallet? Because she was stripped down to her knickers or whatever it was.
KW: Very good!
NP: Yes! Well...
CF: I didn't say she took anything off, it was just her knickers! She had a money belt!
SH: A likely tale!
NP: A likely tale! The whole thing's a likely tale isn't it!
NP: Well what do I do? I mean we didn't establish...
SH: Oh let him have it! I don't care!
NP: I think I should let you have it because he plays the game far more often.
SH: I don't believe the whole story. I don't believe Clement would for one minute take off his clothes and leap into...
KW: Never mind that, it was most wonderfully fluent! Wonderfully fluent!
NP: It was wonderfully fluent but I don't believe that she had 20...
PJ: No, he wouldn't do it for 20 pounds. He would stand on the bank negotiating!
NP: I don't believe she had this 20 pounds on her and I think that was, his fluency eluded him in the last few seconds and Sheila got in very cleverly with half a second to go, my goodness Sheila starting now.
SH: It is...
NP: No Clement Freud actually got in, Clement Freud challenged on a quarter of a second. What was the challenge?
SH: (laughs) Oh mean!
NP: No I don't think it was quite. Almost hesitation but not quite. So Sheila you have point five seconds to go on my goodness starting now.
SH: I happen to be very...
NP: Sheila actually got two points at that particular moment...
SH: And blasted the mike!
NP: Oh she's taken the lead! No, she's alongside Clement Freud, they both have seven points at the end of that round. Peter's trailing by one and Kenneth by four. And Kenneth you begin the next round and the subject is hooters. You talk about hooters, 60 seconds starting now.
KW: It's a very interesting slang term for noses. And Bernard Shaw maintained that the larger these were, the better it was for the resonance in the vocal sense of the word. Now he always maintained that if you placed your palm against the spine of the person and listened to the deep register, you could feel the vibration they were giving off, so to speak. And Paul Robeson had very fine red, red...
NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.
KW: Reverberation I meant you see. I meant to say reverberation.
NP: Yes, no, Sheila challenged first.
SH: Yes it's repetition and a touch of deviation placing...
KW: Yes it is...
NP: Sometimes you see Sheila was very clever, they come up to the word they've used and they very quickly think and change to another. How can you change another word for vibrations on the spur of the moment?
KW: I was going to say reverberation.
NP: Oh yeah, bad luck! You did almost get it out Kenneth. Sheila I agree with you and you have 26 seconds for hooters starting now.
SH: You can have the high-pitched type or the low ones. There are also those rather nice ones that play a tune and I think don't fill the function about warning people that allows people to know that they have a car. To refer to the slang use of this, we have a fine selection of hooters on this team. I have a very straightforward one...
NP: I think she was just about to refer to the Parsons nose actually. Sheila you were speaking when the whistle went, so you got an extra point and alas we have to wind up the show for which we have no more time. To tell you the final result, Kenneth finished a, a moderate fourth to Peter Jones' mild third, to Clement Freud's tough second, to our undoubted winner of this week Sheila Hancock! We do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and will want to tune in again next time. Until then 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.