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 not only to welcome our many listeners throughout the world, but also to welcome the four exciting, challenging players of the game who are going to participate this week. we welcome back three players who have played it many many times before. The highly individual Clement Freud, the much travelled Derek Nimmo, and the charmingly amusing Peter Jones. And we also welcome someone who has only played it a few times before, and that is the delightfully witty Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Would you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Linda Cobley who's going to help m keep the score. She'll blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up and will also work the stopwatch. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Riding Stables in the wonderful grounds of Blenheim Palace. And we are guests of His Grace, the Duke of Marlborough. And we have a highly animated Oxfordshire audience who are going to give vent to their emotions and feelings as we set the ball rolling on Just A Minute with Derek Nimmo starting. My favourite view. Tell us about it in this game starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: Yes it's awfully clear really. It was coming round the kerb that leads to this great palace this evening, and I looked across at Capability Brown Lake, and I thought there can be hardly any more beautiful place in the world. You think of all those Irish navvies digging it out, and suddenly you forget about the hour. One just admires this perhaps one's almost favourite view. But for me, my absolute favourite view is as you come out of the Danyelli Hotel in Venice, and you turn right on the Mowlani and you sit down. And on your left is St Georgia Magiori. And slooping just over to one side, behind the Doge Palace, perhaps with a cup of coffee in your hand, and Lord McAlpine passing flowers, you see this grand sight of the great canal opening up to receive you coming down in your gondola. My most favourite view! But I have been to other places, I suppose, in my time...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: He can't be in the gondola and drinking the cup of coffee!

DN: I did say view, you see.

NP: I think he did establish Peter, that he was there, and that was one of the things he did. He would have had a cup of coffee, he'd have admired the view, he'd have gone in the gondola. There's a number of things he did while admiring the different views. I don't think he actually deviated in the technical sense of the word. So it's an incorrect challenge, so an incorrect challenge gains Derek Nimmo a point, he keeps the subject, six seconds are available, my favourite view, Derek starting now.

DN: And in front of me is the Chipiani which belongs to...


NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey.

KIT HESKETH-HARVEY: It's not, it's the Riding Stables at Blenheim!


NP: Yes, he didn't establish that he was back at Venice, so I will give it to you Kit. So a correct challenge and a point for you for a correct challenge, and three seconds to go on my favourite view starting now.

KHH: And it's one that I'm very happy to air on this programme! It's an end to party politics!


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Peter Jones, your turn to begin, the subject, the difference a day made. Go on that subject if you can for 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well that's not very long. Well I remember when I first got a job as an actor, and it was in a provincial town or city called Wolverhampton which was a place our parents sometimes took us for our summer holidays.


PJ: We had relatives there, so it was a pretty cheap business. But I got this engagement in the local repertory company on a Monday morning. And they said ah "you can rehearse in the afternoon, there are only four lines to speak, and then we do the first performance at 6.30." And I turned up, and I strolled around the town feeling very confident and thought I was, at last, embarked upon this wonderful career. And then the next day, I was walking about out of a job. Because I'd got the sack after the number one...


NP: Well this is a most unusual edition of Just A Minute because Derek Nimmo got the subject when he started and nearly went for 60 seconds, he went for 57. And on the second round, Peter Jones has gone for the full 60 seconds and that hasn't happened for a very long time. So Peter gets a point for speaking when the whistle went and a bonus point for not being interrupted. So well done. And after all his efforts, he's only now in the lead with two points, alongside Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Kit your turn to begin, oh here's an enchanting subject, googly! Yes, how will you take that, tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

KHH: Well in giving me the subject, you have actually bowled me a metaphorical googly. I know nothing of the rules of cricket. I find them esoteric and obscure and the costumes preposterous. But I have seen Nicholas Parsons bowling and as he does so, he waves his eyes around quite independently in a very seductive sort of way, like a goldfish giving you the come on! Those are googly eyes! And the ah...


NP: (hardly able to speak for laughing) Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of eyes.

NP: Yes, my eyes going round like a goldfish! Clement Freud had a correct challenge and there are 36 seconds left for googly starting now.

CF: I was watching a game if cricket on the village green in Warbeswick when a Frenchman came up and said "excuse moi monsieur, quest que ce a googly?" And I claimed that it was an off-break bowled with a leg-break action and hugely confused him. Firstly...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of break.

NP: Oh yes what a pity!


NP: Derek you have 18 seconds to take over googly starting now.

DN: I was never able to conceal an off-break to the right hand. This has always been my downfall because I never bowled googlies! I always wished that I could. It has been a tremendous sadness in my life. Often I go to bed at night. Just before I say my prayers, I say "what a shame I could never..."


NP: Derek Nimmo you were speaking as the whistle went, you gained that extra point for doing so, and you have moved into the lead. Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject, disguises starting now.

CF: A very good example of a disguise is to bowl an off-break giving the ball a sort of tweak which normally causes it to turn towards leg, and that is called a googly. Um, a German once said to me...


NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey challenged.

CF: (speaking in German)

KHH: (laughs) Vass ein a hesitation, wasn't it?

NP: Indeed it was, yes. Kit, 44 seconds, disguises starting now.

KHH: You see dis guy, dis guy's in love with you, went the old song in the 60s. But one of my favourite examples of a great disguise was when Virginia Woolf and all her friends went down to review the fleet off Southampton dressed as Maharajahs and strange Eastern potentates and had the entire fleet... oh no!


NP: Yes!

KHH: No!

NP: Clement got in first, yes, you got on to a good story but you've got to find different words. Disguises is back with you Clement, 26 seconds starting now.


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: I agree Peter, yes there was. Not often he's lost for words, but perhaps he was searching for another nationality to say "vass is ein googly?" Disguises, with you, 26 seconds starting now.

PJ: When I was trying to run away from boarding school, I adopted a disguise which was really quite complicated and involved putting wads of cotton wool in my cheeks, and darkening my eyebrows, acquiring a pair of spectacles which I didn't normally wear, and padding my stomach so that I appeared much fatter than I normally was. And I was walking along the canal bank...


NP: Peter Jones's disguise kept him going till the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so and he's moved back into the lead, one ahead of Derek Nimmo. Peter Jones, your turn to begin, oh what an apt subject, seeing this beautiful Blenheim Palace. But here the subject is stately pile.


NP: Sixty seconds starting now.

PJ: Well we must be grateful it's not in the plural!


PJ: A lot of stately piles, meaning buildings, were erected during the latter part of the last century. They weren't really stately but people who put them up and paid for them were manufacturers, made a lot of money cheating the cotton pickers and all the other people in the north. And they ah called them...


NP: Derek you challenged.

DN: I can't imagine there were many cotton pickers in the north!

NP: (laughs) Cotton pickers!

PJ: No, weavers I should have said.

NP: Yes.

DN: Instead of weavers you said pickers.

NP: I didn't want you to be interrupted but Derek had a correct challenge, stately piles Derek starting now.

DN: But being here at Blenheim Palace, the stately pile of the Duke of Marlborough. I think they made their money out of cigarettes or something! He's done frightfully well and managed to get Sir John Vanburgh to come here and design it for him. He who had just before, two years before...


NP: Clement, Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Correct challenge Clement, you have nine seconds, stately pile, starting now.

CF: Blenheim Palace is by all...


NP: Kit yes.

KHH: Ah hesitation there.

NP: Yes there was a hesitation. You've got a stately pile now and um er, five seconds starting now.

KHH: Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones, Nicholas Parsons, Sir Clement Freud, seem monumentum requries circumspicia...


NP: So Kit Hesketh-Harvey was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and you will be delighted to hear though he hasn't played the game as much as the other three, he has moved into the lead ahead of those three. Kit Hesketh-Harvey, your turn to begin and the subject is inspiration, you have 60 seconds as usual if you can go of that length. Start now.

KHH: When I seek inspiration, I need look no further than Nicholas Parsons. Some look at the marbled brow...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of look.

KHH: Yes I'm sorry.

NP: What a pity!

KHH: I know.

NP: I was enjoying that. I was preening myself all ready for the next thing. Fifty-four seconds for you Clement on inspiration starting now.

CF: This man telephoned the hospital, asked for maternity and said "my wife is having contractions every two minutes." And the nurse who answered requested the information "is this her first child?" And he said "no, you bloody stupid woman, it's her husband!"



NP: Clement you just pressed your buzzer. Have you challenged yourself?

CF: I was, didn't want to be challenged for hesitation.

NP: So you've challenged yourself for hesitation?

CF: Yes.

NP: Well listened. There are 28 seconds starting now.

CF: Twenty-eight seconds is really a very long time to talk about inspiration. It is spelt I-N-S-P. There's an R and a T later on, but I wouldn't like to mention those a second time, for the...


NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey challenged.

KHH: Repetition of time, wasn't there?

NP: Yes, well done, well listened Kit. You got in there, 13 seconds, inspiration starting now.

KHH: I tend to go for displacement activity when I'm seeking inspiration. I dynorod the hamster, or I rehang the Jehovah's Witnesses in a rather prettier pattern on the wall, because it is difficult unless you have Nicholas Parsons...


NP: So once again Kit Hesketh-Harvey was speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point for doing so. He's just ahead of Clement Freud, and Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones are following in that order. Clement your turn to begin, lovely subject, parsley. Just A Minute starting now.

CF: I'm quite fond of parsley sauce, in which you take parsley, chop it, amalgamate it with cream and butter and maybe salt, pepper and wine. But what is inequitous, I have always believed, is the caterer's use of parsley as a source of hiding blemishes. You have a potato with a wart in it, and parsley is scattered over it, so the customer doesn't see. I believe parsley should become a banned substance, just like so many others. P-people might...


CF: ...be afforded a small...

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: I think that was a small hesitation. Yes Derek, you've got a point of course, and 35 seconds on parsley starting now.

DN: Curiously enough I bought some parsley from a garden centre in Kent this very day...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: What's curious about that?

DN: It's coincidental then!

NP: I think it's very curious that here at Blenheim Palace he should happen to mention the fact that while he was in Kent this afternoon, he bought some parsley. It is very very curious.

DN: Even though it's the subject on the card?

NP: Even though it's the subject on the card. I mean, there's no, there's no reason, it's not curious that you should be buying parsley, but curious that this subject should come up, and therefore while he was in Kent he had to buy some parsley. And that's the way I interpret that particular way he went...

PJ: He probably had some potatoes with a lot of warts on them!

NP: Or perhaps like me, he has a thing about parsley. I love eating it, it, it's just natural. I take it in the garden and I stuff it in my mouth. It's wonderful! It flavours anything! Helps to keep all kinds of infections away too! Derek Nimmo.... look at this audience, they're, they're thunderstruck! They want to know what the infections are! I can't go any more because I don't play the game, I just have to try and adjudicate. Incorrect challenge, 21 seconds on parsley starting now.


NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey challenged.

KHH: Ah hesitation?

NP: Yes there was a hesitation, he didn't even start.

DN: I thought he got it.

NP: No!

DN: You said it was a wrong challenge.

NP: A wrong challenge, yes, but you were talking.

DN: Well I can't ... I....

NP: No, you were talking...

KHH: It wasn't me...

NP: You were talking...

DN: Clement was talking about parsley...

NP: No you happened to mention that curiously you bought some parsley... I'm sorry Derek, I know you're nearly as old as me but you are going I'm sorry! So Kit Hesketh-Harvey, I'm afraid, yes, Kit, he did challenge. If he can't remember that he was talking a few moments ago! What life must be like at home for your wife, if you can't remember 10 seconds later what you said! My goodness me! So 19 seconds with Kit on parsley starting now.

KHH: I'm a very special lion called Pars Lee he said on The Herbs, a lovely little programme I used to watch as a child, long before even Derek Nimmo was born. We're terribly concerned that Derek Nimmo is still...


KHH: Oh no no!

NP: Derek yes, you were listening then.

DN: He took my name in vain twice!

NP: Yes but at least you got in with a challenge so eight seconds for you on parsley Derek starting now.

DN: I very much like tabule for which I need some parsley and cracked wheat and also garlic and oil. And mix it all together and I...


NP: So Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. He's moved forward, he's ahead of Clement Freud and Peter Jones. But he's still two points behind our leader who is Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Derek it is your turn to begin, Oxfordshire. Tell us something about that delightful county in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

DN: We are in Oxfordshire at this very moment. And how happy I am to be here in front of His Grace, and taking place in this awful stabled joint, and stuck in a rather long galley where we might... Last time I came, I was in a much better place in Surrey. But now we're being...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of place.

NP: There was the other place, yes, you mentioned place twice. So that is repetition, 45 seconds with you Clement on Oxfordshire starting now.

CF: Blenheim Palace, as Derek Nimmo has so rightly said, is situated in Oxfordshire. And... the Duke of...


NP: Kit Hesketh...

KHH: I'm sorry, that was unkind. I thought there was a hesitation but there wasn't.

NP: No, no, not really hesitation. But what happens I'm afraid Kit, I mean you're very keen, and you're in the lead and I recognise all that. But no, it was very close but what we call teetering but not there. So Clement you have the benefit of the doubt, you have 37 seconds to continue on Oxfordshire starting now.

CF: I was privileged to know His current Grace's father when I worked at the Dorchester. And I remember very well on a television programme somebody said "what does the Duke do?" And the child said "appears on Jukebox Jury!"


CF: Which made...

NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey challenged.

KHH: Aren't we a long way from Oxfordshire?

NP: His story, he has deviated within the terms of Just A Minute. Yes you're quite right Kit.

KHH: It was very funny.

NP: I know! That's why you very generously waited till he finished the story. And then you challenged but then I've forgotten what your challenge was about! So 20 seconds available, Oxfordshire starting now.

KHH: This park designed by Capability Brown was done by a Northumbrian for that's from where he hailed. He changed it from Oxfordshire into Northumberland as quickly as he could...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

KHH: Repetition of Northumberland?

NP: Yes right Derek, you listened well. Ten seconds, Oxfordshire starting now.

DN: Great Milton has a wonderful restaurant, the Manor of (unintelligible) and happily that is in Oxfordshire. And I go there all the time with tremendous delight but a very light pocket is usually...


NP: So Derek Nimmo you have moved forward. You're one behind our leader, Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Peter it's your turn to begin, the subject, sensible shoes. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Well sensible shoes should be foot shaped! Quite a lot aren't and they're uncomfortable to wear. They should also have special soles which don't pick up chewing gum which people increasingly seem to leave on the pavements in the area where I live. Though how they find space with all the dog shit that's there, I don't know.


PJ: But that's what happens! The laces should be elasticated so that they're not too tight and makes the upper part of the foot sore and unpleasant. Well...



NP: Well Peter we all enjoyed your sensible shoes and they showed their appreciation. Kit, 12 seconds, sensible shoes starting now.

KHH: They're normally Oxford brogues are they not, as Alistair Sim used to wear. But they wouldn't be at all sensible shoes to wear on a beach. If one were hiking in a high mountain possibly...


NP: Clement Freud challenged?

CF: On a beach on a high mountain?

KHH: I'd gone on to another subject.

NP: No, he was saying...

KHH: On a beach, full stop, if one were hiking.

NP: In sensible shoes, if you had sensible shoes...

KHH: If one...

NP: To my mind he established it quite well. He was wearing his sensible shoes, it wouldn't be ideal for this beach or the high mountain.

CF: Or the high!

NP: Yes.

CF: (laughs) That was the missing word!

NP: Yes but...

KHH: I applied the full stop.

NP: But you Clement, because you are one of the cleverest people in this game, of giving lists of things and not putting or in each time. And he didn't put his or in...

CF: I don't put my or in!

NP: No! And we don't want too many ors in this show, I recognise that. So but that was not a correct challenge and he was not deviating. Four seconds are available, still with sensible shoes for you Kit starting now.

KHH: One wouldn't want to look like Margaret Rutherford at a tea dance, you'd need some shiny patent shoes for that, wouldn't you...


NP: Right so Kit again speaking as the whistle went, and other points in the round, has increased his lead at the end of the round. And strangely enough, it's his turn to begin. The subject, Kit, two of a kind. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

KHH: Alike as two peas in a pod, they say. And sometimes when I look at Nicholas Parsons, I feel that on some strange level we are two of a kind. The same elegant brow, the same dimpled little bottom...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah same.

KHH: Oh yes, the same, the same.

NP: The same, oh I thought you were going to have him for deviation. Um, 44 seconds Clement, two of a kind starting now.

CF: Looking for two of a kind, feet come closely forward. The Inkspots of whom I was extremely find had a song called "I Hates You Because Your F-E-repeated-T Are Too Big". Down at Harlem, at a table for two, there was four of us, me, your big (pauses) and you ah were the lyrics. It's very...


NP: (laughs) Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: The Inkspots never sang that! It was Fats... it was Fats Waller.

CF: No! Wrong!

CF: The Inkspots did sing it, so what is your challenge? Is it deviation?

PJ: Deviation. Deviation.

NP: Well it was deviation from English the way... it was deviation from the song.

PJ: Yes.

NP: Yes definitely, the song, that was completely devious because they're were not all those pauses when I heard the Inkspots do it! And Fats Waller! So two of a kind with you Peter, 20 seconds available starting now.

PJ: Elsie and Doris Waters were a typical example of two of a kind. And thinking of other er music hall...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Oh the hesitation, I'm sorry Peter. Two of a kind with you Derek, 12 seconds starting now.

DN: Now if you're buying some shoes, it's frightfully important to have two of a kind. One left, one right, because it can be terribly uncomfortable if they don't match. I always have mine made by Cal Hoon in Hong Kong...


NP: Right so Derek Nimmo was speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. He's creeping up on our leader, Kit Hesketh-Harvey, there's two points difference, and a few points separate them from Clement Freud and Peter Jones. And I mention that because we're moving into the final round, and it is still a very even contest for those who are interested in the points. Clement Freud it's your turn to begin, the subject is the experiment. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: Norman Douglas who went to Uppingham, as did Stephen Fry, wrote a very interesting treatise on aphrodisiacs. Oysters, we all know, are such. In fact I once ate a dozen which were so powerful that if I didn't...


NP: Derek?

CF: ...swallow them quickly...

DN: Hesitation.

NP: That's right yes.

CF: .... I got a stiff neck!


NP: Oh that is the frustration of this game, if you want to get a good laugh in, or a good story. And Clement's very generous in the way that he does that. Derek got in with a hesitation before that because I thought he actually paused at the thought of those dozen oysters he ate. So Derek I have to be fair within the game, 42 seconds with you, the experiment starting now.

DN: I think it's been a very successful experiment bringing us all here today in this old stable, to play this little game which has bored the world for 32 years! A very good experiment and I hope it will be repeated Nicholas. Because you've got lots of other chums belonging to other clubs, and I've said other twice!


NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey challenged.

KHH: I didn't know that he'd repeated until he told me about it!

NP: I know.

KHH: So I thought I'd go for it.

NP: It's a bit foolish. If you keep going with style and panache, they sometimes, they don't notice it. Twenty-three seconds, the experiment Kit with you starting now.

KHH: I like the experiments that turn up in jokes. To wit, how many feminists does it take to change a light bulb? Five, one to do so, and four to celebrate the passive role of the socket.


KHH: There are (speechless with laughter)...


NP: Well that was the first time one's tell a joke in Just A Minute, and the laughter was so continuous that it kept him going for six or seven seconds after he'd finished. And it also kept him going till the whistle went, which he gets an extra point for, and he has leapt forward. And you've brought this particular edition, and this particular round to a finish with tremendous style and panache, Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Congratulations! Because...


NP: For those of you interested in the score, Peter Jones and Clement Freud gained a number of points but they were a little way behind Derek Nimmo who was three points behind Kit Hesketh-Harvey, our winner this week. Again, congratulations. And it only remains for me to say now thank you very much to our four delightful and talented players of the game, Kit Hesketh-Harvey, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud. I also thank Linda Cobley who's been keeping the score for me. She's blown her whistle, she's kept the stopwatch moving. We thank our producer Chris Neill who's out in some van somewhere recording the whole show and he keeps us in order and makes sure it all runs smoothly. We must of course thank Ian Messiter because he thought of this game and has kept us in work for 32 years! Dear Ian, we think of you constantly! And also we must thank the Duke of Marlborough for allowing us to come into the delightful Stables here of Blenheim Palace and record this show and be present at this delightful stately home and look out at all the wonderful views displayed all over Oxfordshire. From them, from me, Nicholas Parsons, thank you for tuning in and we hope you'll be with us the next time we take to the air and we play Just a Minute. Till then, good-bye!