NOTE: Sarah Wade's first appearance blowing the whistle.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute! Yes!


NP: Hello my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more, it is my pleasure, not only to welcome our listeners throughout the world, but also to introduce the four exciting and talented performers who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We welcome back three of our regular players of the game, the young talented comedian who's now one of the stars of the comedy firmament over here, that is Paul Merton. And two of the older generation of comedy performers, that witty delightful Peter Jones, and the erudite amusing Clement Freud. But also we welcome on to the programme for the second time actually, she's only played it once before, many years ago. But we're thrilled to have that most distinguished and talented actress Maureen Lipman. But would you please welcome all four of them! And as usual I'm going to ask them to speak on the subject I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And beside me sits Sarah Wade who's going to help me with the stopwatch and keep the score going and also blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the BBC Radio Theatre in the heart of Broadcasting House quite near the centre of the metropolis of London. It's a totally exciting moment as we have a truly London audience in front of us. And we're going to ask a true London man to begin the show, Paul Merton. Paul, the subject, oh very apt for starters. Where Just A Minute can be enjoyed, will you talk on that subject, 60 seconds starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Well it can be enjoyed just about anywhere I suppose, such is the portability of the radio. It's wonderful that this show goes out over the sound waves and can be literally picked up throughout the world. I personally enjoy listening to Just A Minute when I'm in the bath. I run the water about five minutes before the programme comes on, and then settle down and listen to the lovely mellifuous... mellifuous isn't a word...


NP: Clement Freud you challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Melliflue... er...

NP: Yes which we interpret as hesitation because he didn't quite get the word out in the way that we normally hear it pronounced. So Clement with a correct challenge gains a point for that and he takes over the subject and there are 38 seconds left, the subject where Just A Minute can be enjoyed Clement starting now.

CF: Acton, Barking, Clapham, Danton are the sort of places where I would genuinely recommend that people listen to Just A Minute. Especially if they are a Nicholas Parsons eliminator which makes the programme so much more enjoyable. Wapping, Isle of Dogs...


NP: Maureen Lipman you challenged.

MAUREEN LIPMAN: I think there was a whopping pause on Wapping.

NP: Yes I think there was, a small hesitation Maureen. And you haven't played it for so long, and lovely to hear from you. You will get the benefit of the doubt on that and say that there are 16 seconds available for you to tell us something about where Just A Minute can be enjoyed and you start now.

ML: I too love listening to Just A Minute while soaking in a tub of hot water with a little lavender oil placed in there. I like to lie back and listen to the... mellifluous...


NP: Peter Jones you challenged.

PETER JONES: Bit of hesitation there.

NP: There was yes, there was hesitation. Peter you have cleverly got in with only three seconds to go on this subject of where Just A Minute can be enjoyed. Go for three seconds starting now.

PJ: Lying in a hammock in the south of France with a glass of wine in one hand, and more...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point and it was Peter Jones. So at the end of that round everybody has scored points except the man who started with the subject. But that's the way it goes in Just A Minute. Ah Peter will you take the next round, glass ceiling, what a strange subject. Will you talk about it if you can starting now.

PJ: It's usually a kind of er conspiracy to stop people from rising within the firm they work for. And it's glass because they don't want to admit that it actually exists, the people at the top...


NP: Maureen challenged.

ML: Ah people twice.

NP: Yes. There were, Maureen, well listened. You have a correct challenge, another point to you and the subject of glass ceiling and 47 seconds available starting now.

ML: Yes they said there was a glass ceiling in the days of Margaret Thatcher, because she didn't want any other women to come along and take her place away from her. And that means pulling the ladder up after you. We all thought that women were going to have a wonderful time in Parliament after Margaret Thatcher. But no, it was men...


NP: And Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of Margaret Thatcher.

NP: Yes.

ML: Oh a fate worse than death!


NP: And she's coming on the show next week by the way! Paul you have 27 seconds to tell us something about glass ceiling starting now.

PM: In an Alfred Hitchcock film made in 1926 called The Lodger he uses a glass ceiling to get over a particular effect. There are a number of people in a lodging house that believe that the guest who has recently moved in is Jack the Ripper. And at one point they hear his footsteps on the ceiling and they look up. And what the director does, he merges from an ordinary ceiling into a glass ceiling so...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: I forget.

NP: I could prompt you but I won't. But if you can't remember Paul gets a point...

CF: Well merging...

NP: What's that?

CF: No, let him have it!

NP: That's false magnanimism.

PM: Loss of short term memory is a killer in this game!

NP: I know! He actually repeated the word scene but you didn't say that so...

ML: It's on the card.

PM: But isn't glass ceiling on the card?

NP: No, scene! You repeated...

PM: Oh did I?

NP: Yes but it doesn't matter because Clement didn't say it. So you get a point for being interrupted, you have two seconds to go on glass ceiling starting now.

PM: It starred Ivor Novello, the curious man who wrote...


NP: But Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. If I digress for a moment, the nice little joke, absolutely true story, I did a quiz show once for quite a number of years. I mention that because quite a lot of people around the world perhaps don't know it. And I asked a question once, I said what you should not do if you live in a glass house? And the woman pressed her buzzer and said "take a bath!" And it wasn't as funny... I thought it much funnier! Clement will you take the next subject, hoary jokes. Tell us one, talk about the subject, Just A Minute starting now.

CF: This woman of easy virtue went into a chemist shop and said "do you sell talcum powder?" The man behind the counter said "certainly madam, would you walk this way?" to which...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of counter.

NP: I don't think he repeated the word counter.

PJ: You don't think?

NP: Actually the reason I wasn't thinking as hard as usual then was that I couldn't believe he was going to tell the hoariest joke in the whole of the sort of music hall idiom! Um did you repeat the word counter Clement?

CF: No.

NP: Right. I have to trust their honesty, I don't think he did Peter.

PM: Well when it goes out we can listen to it and find out.

NP: Clement, 47 seconds, hoary jokes starting now.

CF: A hoary joke is not necessarily a humorous anecdote concerning a hooker. It can also be a fairly old fashioned, well used, oft repeated...


NP: Maureen Lipman challenged.

ML: A little touch of per-per-per hesitation there I thought.

NP: A little touch of hesitation, but as I was, he was a bit mean with you before I'm going to be generous to you now Maureen and say yes, you have 36 seconds to tell us something about hoary jokes starting now.

ML: Yeah hoary jokes are the sort of jokes that music hall comedians tell, working club people tell, oops. And it's always things like my dad used to breed ferrets until he find out they could breed them for themselves. Repetition of the word breed.


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

ML: I challenged me!

PM: Maureen beat me to it!

NP: Yes.

PM: Repetition of breed.

NP: That's right Paul, correct challenge, another point, hoary jokes is with you and there are 21 seconds available starting now.

PM: A man goes into a restaurant and he orders a bowl of soup. Waiter comes over with the aforementioned item and he's got his thumb stuck in the hot liquid. And the customer says "why have you got your other digit apart from your finger stuck in what I ordered earlier..."


PM: A lot of comedy does depend on repetition!

NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition of stuck.

NP: Stuck yes, oh he was stuck on trying to find another word. Well done, well tried Paul, we enjoyed it. Six seconds are available for you Clement, hoary jokes starting now.

CF: Who was that lady I saw you with last night? That was a female of a quite different kind...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went then gained an extra point for doing so at the end of the round. He's increased his lead over the other three. Paul would you like to take the second round, silhouette. Tell us something about that starting now.

PM: Er silhouettes were of course invented by Monsieur Silhouette in Paris in 1746. He was the first gentleman to realise that if you got a piece of card, looked at the side of somebody's face and cut round the line on the piece of stiff paper in your hand...


NP: Maureen Lipman challenged.

ML: Piece? Piece!

PM: Piece.

ML: Didn't you say piece twice?

PM: I wasn't listening to be honest!

NP: A piece of card... It was a piece of card and a piece of hard paper.

PM: Was it really?

NP: It was indeed. Yes you got away...

PM: I don't know why I bothered saying hard paper, I might as well have said card.

NP: Yes. So Maureen well listened, silhouette is with you and there are 45 seconds available starting now.

ML: A silhouette is a distinctive outline, a form, a shadow. Now certain people would be very recognisable. For example Alfred Hitchcock who had a very small amount of chin beneath his mouth. Or Winston Churchill who also had a round...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: He had an enormous amount of chin!

ML: But it was a receding chin, Peter! It receded. Boom-ba-boom-boom-boom, boom-ba-boom! Boom-ba-boom-boom-boom...

NP: It's a very difficult thing because there was a lot of chin hanging under his um jaw line...

ML: But this is, this is chin...

NP: But you said underneath his chin, and presumably it was his neckline you were referring to...

ML: That's his wobbly jowls!

NP: I think you are arguing your way out of this very successfully Maureen, but er...

ML: Oh go on...

NP: No, no, no, you haven't played the game as much as everyone else, we'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say silhouette is still with you, another point and 30 seconds starting now.

ML: Silhouette is also a form of corset or bra. Many young girls going in for their first appendage which holds things up that are on your chest... (laughs)


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: I've got a feeling she's bluffing!


PM: You see, I don't know!

ML: Who's heard of silhouette bras and corsets?


ML: I thank you.

NP: There you are so Maureen you win that one, 19 seconds to continue on silhouette starting now.

ML: Corsets of course are not worn...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of corsets.

NP: That's right, you talked about corsets before Maureen.

ML: Oh right okay.

NP: Yes Paul you got in on silhouette and there are 16 seconds starting now.


NP: Clement got in.

PM: I've got nothing more to say about it!

NP: Right!

CF: Hesitation.

NP: I think that was hesitation yes definitely, I would agree. Clement another point and 14 seconds, silhouette starting now.

CF: Silhouette and Guillotine were two of the most famous 18th century French noblemen rather like Sauniee Lumierre who came a couple of hundred years later. And if you went to Paris, especially around the...


NP: So at the end of that round Clement Freud still in the lead, but Maureen Lipman is catching him up, she's only, she's only two points behind and then following Paul Merton and Peter Jones in that order. Maureen Lipman it's your turn to begin, the subject is lush. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

ML: Lush can have several meanings. It could be tropical forests of the Amazons where you see nobody but film crews and luxuriant palms. It could also be music of the type that Richard Clayderman, say, or Liberace, with lost of strings, although he only had a piano you remember. But Mantovani for example. All that over-the-top er...


ML: (rolls tongue to make gibberish sound)

NP: Oh you were going so well! Right but Paul got in first, 36 seconds are available for lush with you Paul starting now.

PM: An American footballer was once asked "what do you prefer to play on, astroturf or grass?" He said "well I've never smoked astroturf." You've got to repeat it, you see, that's the trouble with these things but nobody...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: (barely able to speak for laughing) Repetition of astroturf.

PM: All my anecdotes depend on repetition!

NP: Yes as you said earlier on, most humour does depend...

PM: As I said earlier on! Even saying it's a repetition!

NP: Right, Clement got in first, 24 seconds, lush Clement starting now.

CF: A very good game for two lushes to play is for each of them to come into a room bearing a bottle of whisky. And when they have finished their drink, one goes out and knocks on the door and the other one has to guess who it is...



NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Repetition of one.

NP: Yes there was too many ones there. But again he had to repeat it in order to get the joke. But we got the joke in and we got the laugh but you lost the subject Clement. And there's nine seconds available for Paul on lush starting now.

PM: It is an old fashioned term I suppose for a drunk. Somebody who can't really handle all their alcoholic consumption. I myself have been uniquely blessed by the Almighty and I can put it away...


NP: So Paul got a number of points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went. He's moved forward, he's equal with Maureen Lipman. They're still trailing Clement Freud our leader and Peter Jones is just behind the other three. Clement your turn to begin, Doric columns. Tell us something about that architectural subject in this game starting now.

CF: In the Army you march in Doric columns. Left. right, one, two, A, B, the sergeant shouts. And one foot goes before the other...


NP: And Peter challenged.

PJ: Repetition of one.

NP: That's right, one two and one foot, well listened Peter. You've got 48 seconds, tell us about Doric columns starting now.

PJ: Well in ancient Greece there was er a group of people called er Dorins. And ah one of them invented this er column. Is that all right?


NP: Carry on!

PJ: What are they doing?

NP: Keep going!

PJ: It's very strong and very straight. And it's given its name to this style of architecture, Doric.


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of astroturf!


NP: You're challenging yourself from the previous subject obviously Paul. But no I don;t think he did mention astroturf, I listened very carefully. And so Peter you have another point and you have 22 seconds to continue on Doric columns starting now.

PJ: Frankly there's really nothing more to say about them!


PJ: And er it seems to me rather boring to rabbit on when there's nothing to say...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well nothing to say, repetition of say.

NP: Repetition of nothing to say.

PJ: This is an attitude that has hampered me for 32 years!


NP: I don't know, the strong silent type often gain a lot of success. Um Peter you were challenged and 14 seconds are available for you Paul on Doric columns starting now.

PM: Perhaps the most famous racing tipster of the 1930s was Doric who wrote for The Sporting Life. And his columns were avidly read by followers of the turf. They wanted to know who he thought was going to win the 3.30 at Chepstowe and quite often he was completely wrong...


NP: So Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. He's now only one point behind our leader who is still Clement Freud. And Paul your turn to begin, faucet. Will you tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Well it's an Americanism, one of those words which is actually longer than the thing it replaces. Farrah Tap-Majors doesn't have the same ring about it really as... oh... Farrah Fawcett-Majors!


NP: So Maureen you got in first and we know why so we'll say you...

PM: How stupid can you be to repeat Farrah Fawcett-Majors! A name I previously have never uttered out loud!

ML: Three names you've never uttered out loud!

NP: Forty-six seconds are available for faucet with you Maureen starting now.

ML: Faucet I would imagine is from the French word. And it actually has other words that mean the same thing. Things like stopcock, and halfcock and ball and cock, and other sorts of things...



ML: Did I mention a word more than once? What was it?

NP: Yes do you want to say what your challenge was?

PM: Well there was a lot of cock as far as I was...

NP: There was so you repeated cock, I don't know why. Thirty-six seconds are available for you Paul on faucet starting now.

PM: The Americans call...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: We've already had the Americans.

PM: No we had Americanism before.

NP: You had Americanism before.

CF: Ah!

NP: Yes. So an incorrect challenge, another point to Paul, and faucet still with you, 34 seconds starting now.

PM: She was a wonderful actress. Who can forget her part in Charlie's Angels where she was superb. Any excuse for the three of them to walk around in bathing costumes and that was what was considered a very popular show in the 1970s. It was based on the conceit that a man called Charles employed these people, winged messengers from God if you prefer, to investigate various things...


NP: Maureen challenged.

ML: Can you get him on deviation for that?

NP: I think you can. He's gone way far from Fawcett...

ML: Way, a long way...

NP: About Charlie's Angels and I know Farrah Fawcett-Majors was in them, but you didn't even mention her name again...

PM: (shouts hysterically) Well I couldn't, could I?

NP: I know!


PM: I was hoping...

NP: That is the, that is the agony of Just A Minute...

PM: Yes!

NP: And Maureen's got in, deviation, 10 seconds available, faucet with you Maureen starting now.

ML: No, the agony of Just A Minute is trying to think of anything else to say about a word like faucet. it is a sort of valve and I guess that it stops the water from dribbling through any known kind of tap...


NP: So Maureen Lipman was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and with the other points gained in the round, we have an interesting situation for those that are interested in points. It is that Paul Merton, Clement Freud and Maureen Lipman are equal together in the lead followed by Peter Jones. And Peter it is your... with this next one, an apt subject, the trick. And if you've got the trick of Just A Minute, you could leap forward and overhaul them.

PJ: Right!

NP: And that's the subject Peter, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PJ: Well I've heard it applied to the art of acting. When one has been told that sincerity is the great thing to aim for, and if you can be sincere then ah you're away with er, you can get away with practically anything...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Ah a sort of hesitation.

NP: A sort of hesitation? Yes, more than a sort of. But it was a hesitation, Paul. You have a point, you have the trick and you have 46 seconds starting now.

PM: I don't know if there's anybody here who can explain to me what the Indian rope trick is all about. Because you read...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: I can!


NP: Clement we give you a bonus point because we liked the challenge but it's not within the rules of Just A Minute. So Paul gets a point because he was interrupted, he keeps the subject, the trick, 39 seconds starting now.

PM: Nevertheless if Clement knows how this particular trick is done, he's more than welcome to buzz now if I repeat Indian rope trick and I'll hear the explanation...



NP: So he did buzz, and they're playing together on this one, aren't they? Instead of against each other. Thirty-two seconds...

CF: Repetition of Indian rope trick.

NP: Yes I know, he did...

PM: Makes a change from Farrah Fawcett-Majors!

NP: Yes, I did actually spot that one Clement. And you have the subject, 32 seconds, the trick starting now.

CF: The reason why there are so few conjurors on radio is because as a medium it doesn't lend itself...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation, he's not explaining the Indian rope trick!

NP: Well um, it was only at your invitation, it wasn't at anybody else's.

PM: Well Clement accepted the invitation, I expect an explanation of the Indian rope trick! We had some nonsense about conjurors on the radio! I could have said that! I'm challenging Farrah...

PJ: They've formed a splinter group! And it's nothing to do with Just A Minute! Is it?

NP: No it is actually because...

PJ: It is, is it? Oh all right! I see!

NP: Paul handed it on the plate to him because he said he wanted the Indian rope trick. Within the rules of Just a Minute, he didn't deviate, hesitate or repeat himself, so he can go in any direction he likes. He may even be leading to the Indian rope trick, I don't know. Ah but so I'm sorry Paul. I liked the challenge anyway, you can have a bonus point as well for that but Clement gets a point for being interrupted, he keeps the subject, the trick, and there are 25 seconds left starting now.

CF: If you look very carefully into my left hand, you will see something completely different to what I am holding in the right. And that is the sort of trick which on radio doesn't get huge support...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of radio.

NP: Yes, you did mention radio...

PJ: I think they've never tried it, you know!

NP: Well they have done that sort of thing on radio where somebody's in a submarine and they have to guess what they're holding in that submarine, years ago, those two people. One was in the studio and her husband was in the submarine...

PM: What was it called? Guess What I've Got In My Hand?

NP: That's right!

PM: I remember that show!

NP: That famous show of the 50s.

PM: The combination?

NP: They were Australians. So that's a little memorabilia for our audience here! Paul a correct challenge, radio and you have er nine seconds left, the trick starting now.

PM: I said to Farrah Fawcett-Majors "how did you get your lawn looking so beautiful?" and she said "ah it's not grass, it's astroturf, that's the thing..."


NP: So Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. He's now only one point ahead of Clement Freud, just followed behind by Maureen Lipman. A little way further back is Peter Jones. So we're moving into the final round, a very exciting situation. And we have the final subject. Maureen Lipman it's your turn to begin, the subject is money for old rope. Can you tell us something about that phrase in this game starting now.

ML: Money for old rope is what B players like our good selves get fir coming on a show like Just A Minute! Ably, ably... oh ably... oh God...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: The ably triplets!

NP: The ably triplets, yes Paul, another point to you, 49 seconds, money for old rope starting now.

PM: I used to run a business where in fact I charged money for old rope. What I would do is I would go down to the old rope factory and I'd say to the people there "have you got any old rope you don't want?" And they said "well there's some old rope in the corner". So I'd pick up old rope, and I would, for money sell it to my various customers. I don't know what they did with these particular pieces of rope. Sometimes when I take on a new member of staff, I'd say "let me show you the ropes". I'd take them out in to the back yard and I'd say "there's the old rope in the corner there. Now if anybody comes in to my premises wanting to purchase such an item as the old rope there, you'll know where it is&". And they'd say "thank you very much". And I retired about three years ago on the proceeds of all the old rope I sold. I sold a lot of it actually to Radio Two...


NP: Clement challenged. For the odd person who may never have heard of Just A Minute before, you are allowed to repeat the subject on the card...

CF: Oh are you?

NP: I don't think, I don't think it's a...

PM: I can't wait until Farrah Fawcett-Majors is a subject!

NP: Yes that's right, yes. I don't think they should have repeated it quite as much as that but still. He got away with it entertainingly and there are five seconds Clement starting now.

CF: Money for old rope is money which you get for old rope...


NP: Maureen challenged just before the whistle. Yes Maureen?

ML: Repetition of the word for.

NP: For? No, it's on the card...

PM: Money for...

NP: Money for old rope.

ML: Oh so sorry! Fine!

NP: You can repeat the words on the card...

ML: Sorry about that.

NP: ...as a sentence or individually Maureen. Very sorry about that. Oh it's going to make a very interesting final situation because Clement's got another point and er the subject's money for old rope and there's half a second to go starting now.

CF: Money for old rope!


NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went and so now I have to give you the final score for those interested in the points. Peter Jones got a few. He gave us his usual wonderful value but he didn't gain many points. Maureen Lipman who has only played the game twice before, came back, got a large number of points, finished in third place. But just ahead of Maureen equal together very justifiably because their contribution is utterly equal, Paul Merton and Clement Freud so we say they are the joint winners this week! It only remains for me to say thank you to our four excellent and delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Maureen Lipman, Clement Freud and Peter Jones. Also thank Sarah Wade who's been helping with the score and the stopwatch and blowing her whistle so elegantly. We thank Ian Messiter who has created the game. Our producer Chris Neill for producing and directing it so efficiently. And from all of them, we hope that you've enjoyed it here in the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. And from me, Nicholas Parsons, and all of us up here, good-bye, thank you for tuning in. Be with us the next time we play Just A Minute. Till then good-bye! Yes!