starring DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD, TONY HAWKS and FRED MacAULAY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 2 August 1997)

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our listeners, our audience in the studio, and the four talented people who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We welcome back two of our senior players of the game who have been with the show since it began over 30 years ago, that is Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud. We also welcome back two of our younger generation of comedy performers, that is Fred MacAulay and Tony Hawks. Would you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Elaine Wigley who is going to help me keep the score and she will blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the beautiful little Citizens Theatre in the Gorbals in Glasgow and is also part of the May Fest, or May Fest up here. In fact it's the first show of this season's May Fest. And I'm going to ask Clement Freud, in fact, I'm going to ask them all at different times to speak if they can on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Clement will you please begin the show and the subject, very aptly, is Glasgow. Tell us something about this great, this great city of culture starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Well I'm very glad to be back here in Glasgow. Because during the war I enrolled in the Highland Light Infantry. And I fought at Mayer Hill Barracks! Actually most behind public houses at closing time! And I became immensely fond of Glasgow and sang "I belong to Glasgow, dear old Glasgow toon". And I went to Millguy and Lorders and walked down Sochiehall Street. I was...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged, I think.

TONY HAWKS: He can't have done that, he wouldn't be here now!


NP: So what is your challenge Tony?

TH: Ah deviation.

NP: why?

TH: Oh I can't be bothered! Let him carry on! I...

NP: Well I can believe he walked down Sochiehall Street. He certainly, he certainly paused, but you didn't have him for hesitation.

TH: All right, hesitation.

NP: Too late now.

TH: Oh!

NP: Too late now, because um, so no that was an incorrect challenge of deviation. So Clement keeps the subject, he has 25 seconds to go and the time starts now.

CF: There was a restaurant in the Midland Hotel near the Station, which is awfully good. And London actors who came up realised that I was fighting in the...


NP: Oh Tony you've challenged again.

TH: Well I went for hesitation, but then I don't think he did, to be honest!

NP: What?

TH: I'm not having a very good evening, am I?

NP: But I thought you had repetition, did you?

TH: I didn't have repetition either, no, I'm sorry.

NP: He did actually repeat fighting but you didn't spot it. Right, so um...


NP: Fred you challenged.

FRED MacAULAY: Repetition!

NP: It's too late now Fred! So that was an incorrect challenge from Tony, we don't get a second challenge...


NP: Derek has challenged as well.

DEREK NIMMO: I'd just like to say that I'm very pleased to be back in Glasgow as well!


NP: They're all so delighted to be in Glasgow but Clement Freud has still got the subject and another point for an incorrect challenge. He keeps going for 14 seconds on Glasgow starting now.

CF: As my train pulled into Queen Street, I said to myself it's deja vu all over again! Because all those nice people, the Scottish...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of all.

NP: All those nice people, yes. Derek, a correct challenge...

CF: Oh!

NP: ...four seconds are left for Derek having got in...

DN: It is so wonderful...

NP: Wait a minute, I haven't finished with the audience yet!

DN: Oh!

NP: You, you've got plenty of time. When I say you've got plenty of time, you've no time at all so it's fairly easy. But I have to tell the audience, you've got a correct challenge, another point, you start off now on Glasgow, four seconds starting now.

DN: When St Kentigern came here in 500 approximately...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Derek Nimmo, so he's now equal in the lead with Clement Freud. Tony Hawks will you take the next round, the subject is Saturday night fever. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: (sings in a Bee Gees high pitched way) Ah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Staying alive!


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.


CF: Repetition.

NP: I'm afraid so. If you'd just done it once, but you went on doing it, huh...

TH: Hang on! Ahahahaha is all one word!


NP: No it isn't, I'm afraid. I, I have to be accurate within the rules of Just A Minute and it was repetition, I'm sorry Tony. Clement has a correct challenge, he gets the point, he gets the subject, he has 55 seconds to tell us something about Saturday night fever starting now.

CF: Ninety-six point seven Fahrenheit is the sort of average Saturday night fever. Although if you find Centigrade folk walking down Sochiehall Street, you're likely to discover thirty-six point nine...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged.

TH: Well he's repeated point, and ...

NP: And there were points before and there's points now, yes.

TH: Well...

NP: So repetition...

TH: I just wanted to say something!

NP: Tony at last you've got in correctly, 39 seconds are available, you tell us something about Saturday night fever starting now.

TH: That marvellous song was sung by the Bee Gees in very high voices. And that film heralded a new era of dancing, the chance for people's Dads to turn up at weddings and think they're being trendy by sticking one right hand in the other and the leg out to the left, not realising they're in fact being deeply embarrassing and the teenage girl they're dancing with is having a miserable time. John Travolta, his career was heralded in by this film. And he only got the part because Nicholas Parsons wasn't available! I personally have a Saturday night fever whenever I come to this fantastic place of Glasgow. I get so excited, there's so much to do. Not like in Edinburgh...


NP: They certainly know how to ingratiate themselves with the audience! Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. He's now in second place, Clement Freud's in the lead, Fred MacAulay's yet to score. And Derek, my worst journey is the subject. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

DN: My worst journey took place a few years ago. I was appearing in the west end of London in a musical and had to do a television the following day, which was a Sunday, in Manchester. And as I was rather frightened that I wouldn't sleep on the railway train that was going to transport me to Lancaster, I decided to take a sleeping pill during the second act of the show. Not normally taking these tablets, I felt I'd better have a second one just in case. I then arranged to get into my pyjamas and dressing gown and I had a car to take me to Euston Station. When I got there, I was deposited rather a long way outside, because they were pulling part of the station down. And I was walking there, just looking like an Arab carpet salesman, until I got to the platform and there I found myself very very weary...


DN: Oh!


DN: It's my own stupid fault!

NP: Yes you kept going for 44 seconds, and I know they want to hear the rest of the story, but unfortunately very very is definitely repetition. Clement got in first, 16 seconds are left Clement, my worst journey starting now.

CF: My worst journey used to be going from London to Isla which was exceedingly difficult. Because a car, ferry...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

CF: I wanted Tony Hawks to challenge.

TH: Hesitation.

NP: It was hesitation, Tony another point to you, and six seconds are left for my worst journey, tell us something about it starting now.

TH: My worst journey was coming to do a show in Almouth with Just A Minute, and I forgot to get off the train and it went...


NP: Tony Hawks was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, he's equal in the lead with Clement Freud. Derek tell us the remainder of that story as briefly as you can, because I know the audience would like to hear it.

DN: Well it's just that I... (laughs) was looking like an old Arab carpet salesman and as I say I was going fast asleep on the platform. And I did go to sleep, and I had left a little note to say where I was going. And suddenly when the train eventually did come in, They put me on the train and off I went to Manchester. And that's the end of the story. Very boring really but there you are! I was just trying to fill in really!

NP: Ah now we move on to Fred MacAulay to start and Fred we'd like to hear from you on my best journey. Will you tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

FM: Yeah, wouldn't it be terrible if my best journey was exactly the same as Derek's worst journey? But I think it's difficult for you to ask somebody who is married what their best journey is because there can be few better journeys than the one you make to get married. I can remember the trouble I would have got into with my wife If I'd said...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: I thought he said wife twice, but I don't think he did actually.

CF: He said married twice.

DN: Married twice.

FM: No, I've only been married once!

NP: Fred you have a point for an incorrect challenge, you keep the subject, my best journey and there are 43 seconds left starting now.

FM: Imagine the matrimonial disharmony I would unleash if I said my favourite journey had been to see Scotland football team play Denmark! I can remember it well! I was dressed in tartan with a scarf and a flag. We hitchhiked, we got a ferry, we got a bus...


NP: Tony.

TH: Ah we got a few gottas!

NP: We got a, we got a, yes. So Tony you got in with 26 seconds to go on my best journey starting now.

TH: Do you know, I'm on the best journey now! The journey we call life!


NP: Ah Fred?

FM: I tried to get in before he got to the journey through life, because he's on no journey whatsoever! He's static!

NP: So what is your challenge?

FM: Ah it would have been deviation.

NP: Ah and er...

TH: What does it end up being in the end?

FM: In the...

NP: An anticipation of the boredom he might have been instilled?


FM: (laughs) Deviating from the, from the subject, he's not making a journey!

TH: Ah but I did, I went on a ...

NP: I think, I don't think he'd gone far enough to establish it or not Fred.

FM: All right.

NP: So Tony another point, 22 seconds, my best journey starting now.

TH: For some of us, it's a windy tortuous road we have to take. But for me, it's filled with pleasure, as I'm surrounded by faces that are happy and smile... oh this is sickening!


NP: (laughs) Clement, yes?

CF: I thought he was sickening!


NP: I think he was falling apart and trying to be philosophical. So Tony you lose the subject, a point to Clement and the subject, 11 seconds, my best journey Clement starting now.

CF: My best journey was going to Euston Station to see Derek Nimmo in his underpants waiting for a train to Manchester! It was extremely hilarious and many...


NP: Clement Freud and Tony Hawks are still in the lead together equal. They're followed by Derek Nimmo and then Fred MacAulay in that order. Tony your turn to begin, and the subject, my favourite spice. Will you tell us something about that subject, that person, in this game starting now.

TH: It's so hard to choose because there's Posh Spice, Sporty Spice, Ginger Spice, Scary Spice. Frankly I'm just waiting for 30 years when there's Old Spice. Up until now, I've managed without actually having a favourite spice. Do you need one? I don't think you really do. But if I was pushed on the subject, I suppose it would be rosemary. Because it would remind me of Rosemary Wilcox. What a time we had together...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah rosemary, I'm afraid.

NP: Yes rosemary and...

TH: Repetition, there was as well, I can tell you!

NP: Well perhaps you saved us something with your challenge Clement. You have 32 seconds, having got a correct challenge Clement, to tell us something about my favourite spice starting now.

CF: I think my favourite spice would be a culinary rather than a physical feminine one. Nutmeg springs to mind. Vanilla comes not far behind.


NP: He'd gone into a reverie with his spices, hadn't he?

TH: I think he hesitated...

NP: He hesitated...

TH: ...because he realised how ridiculously sad it was to have a list on which vanilla was not far behind nutmeg! A little chart up at home? Oh, I think this week vanilla's gone up two places!

NP: Tony you have the subject, a point, 16 seconds, my favourite spice starting now.

TH: When you're cooking it's very important to pick the right kind of seasoning. It's no good putting a... that doesn't mean anything!


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He sort of packed up, didn't he?

NP: Yes! Yes he did, my favourite spice is with you Derek, 10 seconds starting now.

DN: Well it's quite interesting. I was in manilla yesterday and the papers were absolutely full of pictures of the Spice Girls, who they'd cleverly taken out to Bali, thinking it was one of the spice islands...


NP: Oh who challenged? Tony?

TH: Well he's just showing off that he was in Manilla yesterday!

NP: But he always does that in Just A Minute!

TH: Anyway barley isn't a spice!

DN: I was going to come to that!

TH: Ah right!

NP: So sorry, an incorrect challenge, one second left for you Derek on my favourite spice...

DN: And then they did a haka, and the New Zealanders got frightfully cross...


NP: Derek speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's moved forward, he's one behind our joint leaders and Fred MacAulay's one behind him, it's all very close out there as they battle for points and entertain you. Derek your turn to begin, bringing the house down. Will you tell us something about that, 60 seconds starting now.

DN: For my sadness, because I am very poor, last Christmas I had to do pantomime at the Theatre Royal, Bath. I didn't get many laughs and I myself didn't bring the house down. But at the end of the show for the song sheet, we asked little children to come up and tell a joke. And one little girl, terribly pretty, said to me, she said, she said, "what is the definition", she said, "of a drawing pin?" and...


DN: ... I said "I've no idea". And she said "a smartie with a willy." Now...


DN: And that brought the house down!

NP: I let you finish the story after the buzzer went. I wish I hadn't now, actually! Tony challenged you before you got to the payoff. What was it Tony?

TH: Well I wanted to stop him bringing the tone of the show down!

NP: Right!

TH: Repetition of she said. She said...

NP: She said, she said. Right, correct challenge Tony, 39 seconds available, bringing the house down starting now.

TH: Why did the one-armed monkey fall out of the tree? Because I waved to him! Now I think it would be fair to say I brought the house down with that gag here at the Citizens in Glasgow. People are barely able, they probably faded the laughs out, listening at home. But I can tell you, they are still rolling in the aisles at the wit of that. I am delighted because I've always wanted to do that particular thing here. I can repeat of course bringing the house down because that's the subject I am talking about, but I chose not to then, but I've done it now! Anyway, a couple of years back I was performing with Fred MacAulay at the Edinburgh Festival, we don't like that, we prefer the May Fest obviously...



NP: Oh! Fred you actually challenged just before the whistle went. What was it?

FM: Ah repetition of that.

NP: Of what?

FM: It was the most pedantic thing I could come up with! It was repetition of that.

NP: Than?

FM: Tha-ttttttt! Sorry... I've a curious Scottish accent!

NP: I know! Only one point separating all four of them out there in the lead as they battle for points. And Fred it's your turn to begin and the subject is the old firm. Something that means a lot...

FM: Ooohhh! (laughs)


NP: It doesn't mean a lot to this lot out there, I can tell you. You, we've touched a raw nerve I think in the Glasgow psyche. But tell us something about it, inform us Fred, you know more than anybody on the old firm, 60 seconds starting now.

FM: Well hopefully I do know more than the other people on the panel. Because there are few things more likely to cause trouble in Glasgow than discussing the old firm. Because as you know it's Celtic and Rangers, and not my old team St Johnson, who don't believe in Glasgow at all, unfortunately. But they'll be here...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition of Glasgow.

NP: Yes you mentioned Glasgow before, I'm sorry, Fred, right. Forty-five seconds are available for you Clement with the old firm starting now.

CF: I do not come from Scotland. And to me the old firm is United Carlogatti, Stevenson and Slater Limited who used to make ice and distribute it to hotels and restaurants throughout the south-east of England. The old firm had many Italian employees who were very up on the production of frozen water which was shaped into cubes and circles and occasionally sold in large blocks...


NP: Fred MacAulay challenged.

FM: There was a hesitation there.

NP: I think so as well Fred, yes. Eleven seconds are available for you Fred, and the old firm is back again and with you starting now.

FM: Well before I get back to the old firm in Glasgow, I would...


NP: Oh! Yes Clement?

CF: Repetition. (laughs)

NP: Glasgow again yes. Difficult not to say the old firm in Glasgow, isn't it, right. Six seconds, the old firm back with you Clement starting now.

CF: I understand there are several old firms in Edinburgh, a city not far removed from where we are at this moment. You catch a...


NP: So Clement Freud got a number of points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went. So he has moved forward, he's now in a strong lead just ahead of Tony Hawks and then comes Fred MacAulay and then Derek Nimmo in that order. Clement your turn to begin, the subject the thistle.

CF: The thistle...

NP: Tell us whatever you like about it, 60 seconds starting now.

CF: The thistle is the name given Partic Thistle, Glasgow's third football club. And they are a quite...


CF: ...splendid institution. In the 1922-3 season, the Thistle known as familiarly, the Jags because of Harry Rag, um, won just about everything that there was...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Ah a hesitation.

NP: There was an um, yes, definitely. Right, he was searching there. Thirty-five seconds are still available Derek, you have another point, you have the subject, it's the thistle, starting now.

DN: I bought a video the other day of Partic Thistle's 275 good throw-ins! It was absolutely wonderful, I enjoyed watching it quite tremendously. The Thistle, the order of, is of course the greatest... act...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation is right Clement, yes, 19 seconds are still available for the thistle with you starting now.

CF: Alec Hare and Alan Rough were probably the best known goal scorers for the Thistle...


NP: Fred MacAulay challenged.

FM: Sorry, it's local knowledge. Alan Rough was a goalkeeper.


FM: So I think...

CF: He took penalties and scored goals!

FM: My challenge was deviation.

NP: I entirely agree with you Fred that he was not one of the top goal scorers. I think he was one of the bottom goal scorers with Partic Thistle and so I agree with Fred's challenge and he has 13 seconds to tell us something about the thistle starting now.

FM: Well sadly the top goal scorer and the bottom goal scorer are much...


FM: Oh!

NP: So you get back...

FM: I know!

NP: I know, right! We all know! Nine seconds Clement, the thistle starting now.

CF: Fifty thousand people turned up to watch the thistle play Rangers in a marvellous game, 61 years ago...


NP: So Clement is piling up the points, he's moved further ahead including one for speaking as the whistle went. Tony Hawks will you take the next round, the subject, the sporting life. Will you tell us something about it in this game starting now.

TH: Clement as we know loves his racing, and no doubt is a devotee of The Sporting Life. I asked him not long ago if he was addicted to gambling, and he said it was nonsense, and gave me six to one odds that he would have given it up by the weekend! I like to read The Sporting Life, it's a marvellous publication. But I know why I have been given this subject, it's because I lead such a sporting life myself. I get up at 8.00 in the morning, go for a 10 mile run. Then it's table tennis, then golf, bob sleigh. Sometimes I'll do some synchronised swimming if I'm feeling that way inclined. I just love the bit where you put those neck things... oh that's my nose, not my neck! Anyway that doesn't matter, I didn't repeat anything. It was rubbish but I'm still going and I'm loving it. When I'm playing one of my favourite sports, I like to wear... oh please stop!



NP: I'd love to see you in synchronised swimming. Who do you do it with?

TH: With you.

NP: Oh! I wondered who it was beside me. Right...

TH: Well that's after I've taken the hallucinogenic drugs!

NP: Yes! Right, 14 seconds, Derek, you got in first and helped him out and you've got 14 seconds to tell us something about the sporting life starting now.

DN: The most extraordinary story that I read in The Sporting Life recently was that Sirgar has been bought by an insurance company. It only won 10 million pounds while it was racing, but they have to give 25 er...


NP: Tony you got in first.

TH: Hesitation.

NP: Yes because he couldn't repeat the word, and couldn't find another one in time and you have one second to tell us more about the sporting life starting now.

TH: Partic Thistle...


NP: So Tony was the biggest point scorer in that round, he's the one who was speaking when the whistle went. He's moved forward, he's still in second place just ahead of Fred MacAulay and a little further ahead of Derek Nimmo. And Derek it's your turn to begin, blithe spirit. Tell us something about that subject in this game if you can starting now.

DN: Blithe Spirit really is one of my favourite plays. Written by Sir Noel Coward during the early days of the last war. It concerns a Mr and Mrs Condomine, this is his second wife, Charles. And his first bride had died most sadly in a motor car accident because she had a very unhappy honeymoon in Budley Salterton and then married or went off with a Mr Bracegirdle. Then they asked for the local medium who was called Madam Acarty to come to the house to have a seance. They all sat down and talked in the dark. And suddenly there appears Elvera, his first marriage. And she is the most beautiful creature, all with a green face. And they actually issue a certain special makeup for it at Fox's in London which you can use when you're playing this particular part. There's also a doctor and his er bride too, and it's a very charming play...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Bride, I'm afraid twice.

NP: Yes two brides, yes. You were twisting the, the er phraseology very well until...

DN: Until I went wrong!

NP: Seven seconds are left, 53 seconds you kept going Derek.


NP: That's the best round of indifference I've heard for a long time! Clement, seven seconds on blithe spirit starting now.

CF: Hail to thee, blithe spirit, bird thou never wert. I was never quite sure about that final word...


NP: At the end of that round Clement Freud is still in quite a strong lead, three or four points ahead of Tony Hawks and then Fred MacAulay and Derek Nimmo in that order. And we're moving into the last round and Fred it's your turn to begin, the subject, curry sauce. Will you tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute if you can starting now.

FM: We have a knowledgeable audience here in Glasgow, which is appealing to me because curry sauce is quite distasteful. I think it covers a kind of generic term for many different flavours that come from the Indian subcontinent and even further afield, but you can usually only find them in Chinese restaurants. It's like saying that something tastes of pie and there are different kinds of tart like that. Apple or mince although sadly sometimes they both taste much the same as each other. We are very fortunate in this fine city, this dear green place, which is separated sadly by the old firm, which some people think refers to the pre-impotent condition of old age pensioners. But it's not, nor is it likely (laughs)



FM: I'm sorry, I thought I heard the buzzer but it's obviously just a strange kind of applause coming from the second row in the balcony! Curry sauce, ladies and gentlemen, would you ever put anything on your chips that wasn't tomato ketchup. I certainly wouldn't. Not that... I've tasted it once, but of course I'd had several pints of lager before it which is a prerequisite for eating anything with curry sauce ...


NP: So Fred MacAulay kept going till the whistle went without being interrupted, he didn't hesitate, repeat himself. He probably deviated quite a bit, but it didn't matter. He kept going for a full 60 seconds. It hasn't been done for quite a long time Fred. Congratulations! You...

FM: You're most kind!

NP: ...gain a point for speaking as the whistle went, you gain an extra point for not being interrupted and um you are in second place alongside Tony Hawks, just ahead of Derek Nimmo. And just out in the lead is Clement Freud. But I'm afraid you brought this show here during the May Fest in Glasgow at the Citizens Theatre, being our Glaswegian representative on the panel, brought the show to an end in great style and panache. We congratulate you for that, we congratulate all four players of the game, particularly Clement Freud who got most points as our winner, a round of applause for Clement! And it only remains for me to thank them, Derek Nimmo, Tony Hawks, Fred MacAulay and Clement Freud, and Elaine Wigley for keeping the score for me and blowing her whistle so well, this lovely audience in the Citizens Theatre here in Glasgow here, and also our listeners who've tuned in. And particularly our producer Anne Jobson and Ian Messiter who thought of the game and keeps us all in work, and from me Nicholas Parsons, and everyone else, good-bye until we all play this game again!