NOTE: Kit Hesketh-Harvey's first appearance, Nicholas Parsons's first television appearance, Tony Hawks's first television appearance, Tony Slattery's first television appearance, Helen Lederer's first television appearance, first show produced by Mike Mansfield.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you for that lovely warm reception. Hello and welcome to Just A Minute, the crazy game show that I first hosted on radio when I was just a little boy with short trousers and a runny nose, and it's been running ever since! The Parsons Nose! Just A Minute has been running for about 14 million minutes since it first started, so let's not waste any more of them, and I'll introduce my guests. First of all my regular guest, though there's nothing regular about him at all. A comedian, a singer, a tap dancer, a judo black belt no less, a bon viveur and a gun runner for the boy scout movement, Tony Slattery! Next to Tony, a brilliant comedian, actress and TV presenter all rolled into one brilliant comedian, actress and TV presenter, it is the delightful Helen Lederer! On my right, another Tony, a man of many parts, and a few of them are actually working, those that are on show are definitely working tonight, it is the fabulous Tony Hawks! And beside Tony, a writer of songs, screenplays and West End musicals, he's also a sophisticated cabaret performer. Some people like to go camping on holiday, this man goes camping for a living, it is Kit Hesketh-Harvey! The rules of Just A Minute are delightfully simple. Well, they're simple until you start playing them and then they're delightfully ridiculous. I ask our four panellists in turn to try and speak on a subject that I give them, and they try and do that without hesitating, repeating anything, or deviating from the subject. They challenge each other at various times, and if their challenge is upheld by me, then of course they get a point. And if not, then the one who is speaking gains a point. They can repeat the subject that I give them. And we begin the show this week with Tony Slattery. Tony, the subject, very apt for London, Eros. Will you tell us something about Eros in this game starting now.

TONY SLATTERY: A lot of people think that the embodiment of Eros, or sexual lust and love, lies in Madonna, the singer. I don't think so! Anyone can suck a toe! It's easy! What you have to do to really get the bodily temperature up is run your fingers lightly over my dreaming body, and mingle sweat between your fingers. And also then talk to Nicholas Parsons, because in many ways, you know, he walks into a room and people...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged.

TONY HAWKS: I'm sorry, there seems to be an element of deviation here! He mentioned Eros fleetingly at the beginning....

NP: Yes he did.

TH: ...and hasn't mentioned him since.

NP: And now gone on to Nicholas Parsons. And yes, all right, I think he had deviated from the subject of Eros, I agree with you Tony...

TH: Thank you.

NP: ..so you gain a point, sorry you win a point for a correct challenge. You take over the subject, there are 28 seconds left starting now.

TH: Cupid, draw back your bow and let your arrow flow straight through to my lover's heart tonight. So wrote Sam Cook in his song which was a tribute to Eros. Though why firing...


NP: Ah Tony Slattery.

TS: Well that's deviation, it wasn't, it was a tribute to Cupid.

NP: Ah yes, so you get a point for a correct challenge Tony, you take back the subject, it is Eros and there are 16 seconds left starting now.

TS: Eros of course is a statue in Piccadilly Circus. But there's nothing particularly sexy about it. It just looks a bit of a git with a potty on his head! With tin wings coming out the side! How that could possibly be described as erotic is beyond me. One, you can't really do anything, you can't take it home. And when...


NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey.

KIT HESKETH-HARVEY: There were two you can'ts.

NP: You can't, yes. And Kit has got in with only one second to go...

KHH: Oh!

NP: You are very clever at doing this Kit, right. But you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, Eros starting now.

KHH: A kebab house in the Tottenham Court Road...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point and it was Kit Hesketh-Harvey. So he has two points at the end of that round. So Helen the subject is an unusual way to cross the Thames. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

HELEN LEDERER: There are many modes of transport which have not yet been privatised. Praise be to Allah, or our Lord as some of our more desperate public travellers have to cry at times, given the current climate. I use flippers, I use snorkels, I use...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

HL: Oh!

TH: If I hadn't stopped you, you would have done use about nine more times!

HL: In fact Tony, that is really great, thanks!

NP: You were using it too often. Right Tony, so a correct challenge, a point to you, and 43 seconds left, an unusual way to cross the Thames starting now.

TH: An unusual way to cross the Thames is dressed as a bear with lots of other runners around you. And this happens every year in the London Marathon. You see these people and you wonder how long did it take them to get pissed off before they realised they got one er...


NP: Helen Lederer.

HL: I'm really sorry to come in, Tony! But there was a hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation. Helen you have the subject back and you have 29 seconds starting now.

HL: Oxygen masks can... oh!


NP: Yes Tony?

TS: It's a very little known gas, roxyngen! Sorry that was a bit of a hesitation.

NP: Deviation from the English as she is spoke perhaps.

TS: Yes.

NP: Right, 28 seconds for you on an unusual way to cross the Thames, Tony starting now.

TS: Well I'm sorry to be blunt about it but one of the most unusual ways (starts laughing)...


NP: Helen you challenged first, yes? Whose light came on first, was it you?

HL: His light came on first, but I think my challenge was slightly more superior. I don't know if you want to give it a whirl or not?

NP: No, no....

KHH: No, no, Leave it!

NP: All right, Helen what was your challenge?

HL: Ah diction! And you know...

NP: That's not the only thing!

HL: Diction stroke deviation.

NP: I think you saved us all from the most embarrassing moment on television actually. So all right Helen you have the subject of an unusual way to cross the Thames, 24 seconds starting now.

HL: Masks and snorkels and can also be attempted to use in that friendly gesture across...


NP: Tony Slattery challenged.

TS: I'm sorry, that doesn't make sense! Masks and snorkels can be attempted to use in? Doesn't make sense to me!

NP: Deviation from English. All right, 19 seconds for you, Tony on the subject starting now.

TS: Exocet missile, certainly not very economical but worth straddling it. It would get you from Lambeth to Waterloo in no time! Not that that's really crossing the Thames, because they're both on the same side! But it doesn't really matter, we're not talking about the A To Z here. A very unusual way to cross the Thames is by camel because you can't do it! The aforesaid animal drowns for one...


NP: So Tony Slattery kept going until the whistle went and gained the extra point for doing so and he got other points in that round, so he has now taken the lead at the end of that round. Kit Hesketh-Harvey will you take the next round. The subject is Big Ben, will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

KHH: When the House of Parliament burnt down in the middle of the last century, ideas were submitted for new buildings which were won by Nicholas Pougan who adopted the new Gothic style for his magnificent erection which is known as Big Ben. And leans nowadays at a very suggestive angle towards the statue of Queen Boadicea which turbulently thrusts itself towards it. Very like the Tower of Pisa, I believe, only perhaps not quite so droopy. It is a magnificent tower and I...


KHH: Oh two magnificents!

NP: Yes Tony Hawks got in.

TH: Repetition of tower.

NP: Yes, you mentioned the tower before. But you did very well, they were all very impressed with your erudition there. Right um, Tony has a point and he takes over the subject and there are 30 seconds left, Big Ben starting now.

TH: Bill and Ben, the flowerpot men, stopped working together because people referred to Ben as Big Ben. And to Billy by no such title. He was very upset and decided to attack Big Ben with a flowerpot. This he did...


NP: Ah Kit you challenged.

KHH: I'm afraid two flowerpots.

TH: Yes there was.

KHH: Enchanting though that story was!

TH: I thought the story was going nowhere actually!

NP: I think the audience thought the same as well!

TH: Yes! Wasn't quite as impressive as yours, was it?

NP: Right, 14 seconds left, the subject is still Big Ben. Kit Hesketh-Harvey, it is with you starting now.

KHH: Although the magnificent athlete Lynford Christie is undoubtedly big, Ben Johnson too is extremely big, I mean possibly...


NP: Helen Lederer?

HL: Two bigs.

NP: Yeah but Big Ben's on the card. Overcome with these big athletes obviously! You can repeat the words on the card and so it's an incorrect challenge, Kit so you keep the subject. Big Ben and you have seven seconds left starting now.

KHH: Every night on Radio Four the chimes ring out over London. And I curl up...


NP: Yes Tony Hawks?

TH: I think he said London in his previous er time.

NP: He did indeed yes.

KHH: Oh you are so alert!

TH: I know!

NP: That's what you have to be in Just A Minute and you got in cleverly with two seconds to go, Big Ben, starting now.

TH: Robert Powell hanging from a clock at the end of Thirty-nine Steps. What a marvellous...


NP: So Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point for doing so. And has gained other points in the round. He's now taken the lead at the end of that round. I'm surprised actually. Nobody challenged Kit before, in case anybody wants to write in, I think you all know that Big Ben is not the clock, it is the bell inside.

KHH: Oh really?

NP: Yes.

KHH: Oh it's informative as well, isn't it!


TH: You're deluding yourself that anyone would want to write in!

NP: If they do write in, they always write to me and say why didn't you tell them that!

TH: Ah!

NP: You big nit!


NP: Why do you laugh? Because I'm a big nit?

TS: Because big nit doesn't refer to you, it refers to the brain inside your head!


NP: You do know how to win friends and influence people, don't you? Tony Hawks your turn to begin. Would you talk on the subject, M25. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

TH: I'm reminded of a very splendid story about a man who wanted to go to Newcastle in his car and set off on the M25. Eight hours later, he stopped to ask a policeman if he was near his destination who pointed out he was now only seven miles from where he had originally started! The man had made the error of not leaving the M25! It is essential to get on to the M1 to begin your journey northwards. What a foolish fellow this man was! So I am now going to tell you that the M25 is thinking of having more lanes put on it. How it can think when it's only a motorway...


NP: Oh yes...

KHH: Sorry! I was going to say think twice, but he didn't. It was an incorrect challenge...

TH: Thinking and think.

KHH: ... and I wish to flagellate myself before an audience!

NP: I thought you were going to have him for deviation for the idea of the M25 being able to think. But he didn't, so Tony has a point for an incorrect challenge, keeps going, and there are 21 seconds left Tony, M25 starting now.

TH: In the auditions for M in the James Bond film, 25 actors turned up for it. M25 was given to the last one to go in. He didn't do very well in this particular... hour of his...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: There was a bit of a hesitation, he was doing very well.

NP: Yes he was doing very well. In fact there's only eight seconds left, and he started with the subject too. But you've got in, Tony Slattery, M25 starting now.

TS: M25 is famous for being the worst ever name given to a female perfume because it smelt of diesel fuel. Women, especially in Paris, would dab it...


NP: What rubbish you do talk on occasion! But he did keep going to the whistle went, gained an extra point, and the two Tonys are equal in the lead now, one ahead of Kit Hesketh-Harvey, and three ahead of Helen Lederer. Um oh we're going to change the procedure a little. I will now not give them a subject. We are going to... we're going to have an object on which to talk. Oh this is your favourite moment isn't it!


NP: Here it comes through the hole! There's a little man straining under there to do that and that was why the noise was there! There is an object, Tony Slattery we want you to begin the round. Will you please talk on that object for 60 seconds if you can starting now.

TS: It might look like a small statue of a King. It is in fact a medieval prototype of a pair of rotating nose clippers. You used to shove it up that particular part of your anatomy and it would whiz in a circular direction and get rid of all the nasal hair which would then fly out. And being of course in that particular epoch of humanity, there were pigs and things. And they'd catch the hair in their mouth...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged.

TH: Repetition of hair.

TS: Yes there is.

NP: There was a repetition of hair, yeah. I'm surprised you didn't have him for deviation as well! But 34 seconds for you to tell us something about this object, Tony Hawks, starting now.

TH: This is in fact a very fine sculpture of a man called Chris who was well known in the 16th century for having no torso. He He used to wander round using his shoulder blades to manipulate him in a forward direction. This gave him a great name in the court circles of the time. And he became a heroic figure, thrusting himself forward in front of all the people, though they couldn't see him because he was only two inches high! Saying "I can lead you to a new generation! If you follow me, my Crown on the head..."



NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey, yes? Well done! Well done! Yes Kit your challenge?

KHH: It was a hesitation, but he was going so well, I thought.

NP: I know he was and he had only four seconds to go, you rotten thing!

TH: Everyone apologises when they challenge me!

NP: I know...

HL: I don't, Tony!

TH: Thank you!

NP: Nobody challenged yet for deviation. Right Kit you got in, four seconds to go, there's the object, tell us something about it starting now.

KHH: Once more into the breach, dear friends, ditto, said...


NP: Um, Helen Lederer?

HL: Quotes! Um, deviation from a descriptive form of what we're supposed to be doing.


NP: What are you challenging about?

HL: No, I mean he's referring to Shakespeare. Who said...

NP: No, actually he's right, your deviation is wrong. Because that is a statuette, the head and shoulders are of Lawrence Olivier dressed in his garb for Henry The Fifth.

HL: Ah, lucky you then, lucky break!


NP: So good try Helen, but bad luck! So Kit you got another point and only two seconds on the subject starting now.

KHH: I think Helen Lederer should have an Olivier award for her valiant contribution to the world of show business...


NP: So Kit Hesketh-Harvey was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. And also right at the end, he let everyone know what that object is, it is one of the...


NP: That's called... in show business, we call that timing! Tony... Helen...

HL: I'm here!

NP: Good! Will you talk on the subject, Isle of Dogs. Sixty seconds starting now.

HL: The Isle of Dogs is one of the most fashionable places to set up one's own company. Not the Canary Wharf, of course, which has had a resurgence. Whether I agree with that or not is a private political point, and not one to share in this current company or climate. However I think that Saatchi's did have some access to some of the buildings that were erected in the Isle of Dogs with the greyhounds that predominate the streets, happily for a lot of dog lovers and gamblers. It's a wonderful recreation for children and for parents alike. To er be patronised by one's fellow game players who are very happy for an ordinary person to have a go at joining in a game show. She's not as good as everyone else, but she plays her part in trying to win a few points...


HL: ... humble though they are. We can't all be Clever Clogs or Indig Males, as is today. Some of us hope that repetition will not go marked, as in this case it isn't being. Um vocalisation and diaphragm work that my training has afforded me with my own education stands me in good stead. Have I done 10 minutes? It doesn't matter...


NP: Well done! Well Helen Lederer started with the subject and kept going for 80 seconds! And she kept hesitating and repeating herself and deviating from the subject! But in spite of that, she did magnificently and your applause indicates that she deserves a point for speaking as the whistle went and a bonus point for not being interrupted. And at the end of that round, she's still in fourth place! We're now at the halfway mark in our contest. Kit Hesketh-Harvey is in the lead with Tony Hawks. They're one point ahead of Tony Slattery, and he's two points ahead of Helen Lederer. And it's time for an orgy of deviation, repetition and perhaps a bit of hesitation. in other words, it's time for the adverts. Stay tuned, we'll see you after this.




NP: Welcome back to Just A Minute, the show that's longer, softer, stronger and with a handy little cap to prevent those sticky dribbles! It means nothing, but it was sweet, wasn't it! Like half the commercials! Right then, Helen Lederer will you take the next round, the subject is Peyps. Will you tell us something about Peyps in this game, twinkly winkly peeps, starting now.

HL: Yes I will inform you all about Peyps, a man who wrote a diary, similar to our ex-leader. Let's not refer too much to that particular woman at this juncture in this programme. He was a bit of a notorious womaniser, and had a lovely top room, front chamber...


NP: Um Kit Hesketh...

KHH: Did she hesitate? I don't know, it might have been...

NP: I don't think she hesitated, no.


NP: It doesn't matter, she gets a point because you interrupted her...

KHH: Yes that makes a big difference!

NP: You're being naughty! Right Peyps is still with you and there are 40 seconds left Helen starting now.

HL: He was known as a womaniser down the...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: Repetition of womaniser.

HL: Oh!

NP: You mentioned the womaniser before, yes.

TS: Sorry.

NP: That's what happens sometimes when you are interrupted, you get going with the same words. Tony there are 38 seconds left for Peyps starting now.

TS: Little Bo, and her brother Big Johnny had the same surname, Peeps. They could collectively be referred...


NP: Ah yes?

KHH: Surely her surname is Peep rather than....

NP: Little Bo Peep, yes, you got the wrong one.

TS: No, I was talking about a different family.

NP: I know, yes. You can't get out of it that way. No Kit you've got in there, 30 seconds left on Peyps starting now.

KHH: Samuel Peyps who was Clerk of course to the future James the Second in Greenwich and Detford for his Navy, did womanise a great deal up in the top room. And he er...


NP: Ah yes Tony Hawks?

TH: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, and er you've got um nine seconds on Peyps, Tony starting now.

TH: Farmer Peyps in Somerset had a very fine hoe which he referred to as the Peyps hoe. This was something that people...


NP: Helen yes?

HL: Fine hoe, referred to as Peyps hoe. Are they two hoes or am I just imagining it?

NP: No, they're two hoes. You've got in there, don't worry Helen. You're doing well, you're still in fourth place, but you're doing marvellously. But you have three seconds, keep going to the whistle, and you start now.

HL: The nursery rhyme I refer to often at bedtime...


NP: Um...

TS: I'm sorry, you said refer earlier.

HL: Did I now?

TS: Mmmmm.

HL: Well fine! If you just want to be like that!

NP: She did say refer earlier I'm afraid.

TS: I'm sorry!

HL: No, you're not sorry Tony.

NP: And you have one second to go on Peyps starting now.

TS: Jeepers, creepers, where...


NP: Yes you got in yes, half a second...

HL: Bad language!

NP: Yes!


NP: I am going to say half a second on Peyps starting now.

HL: I hate Peyps!


NP: So Helen Lederer. Tony Hawks, Tony Hawks is going to tell us something now about Covent Garden, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TH: It's difficult to believe but I won the Street Entertainer of the Year award at Covent Garden many years ago which my splendid...


NP: Ah Tony Slattery?

TS: Deviation, it's not difficult to believe because... you're very wonderful!


NP: Oh! Crawling!

TH: I haven't told you what the act was yet!

NP: Well to some it might be difficult to believe and to others not. And I think we give Tony Hawks the benefit of the doubt and say he was interrupted and he has 51 seconds to continue on Covent Garden starting now.

TH: I used to juggle chickens. Unfortunately they were still alive and made a lot of noise during the said performance. A lot of people are...


NP: Ah yes, Kit Hesketh-Harvey got in first.

KHH: There were two a lots there.

NP: There were indeed.

KHH: Allotments there!

NP: Forty-seven seconds for Covent Garden with you Kit starting now.

KHH: It was when the mother of our beloved Monarch was descending the stair at Covent Garden into the foyer to polite applause...


NP: Yes Helen?

HL: Well I say Covent and he says Cuvent. I mean Cuvent Garden! Where do you come from?

KHH: Very very very near Coventry actually!

HL: It's just a pronunciation thing but I would call that deviation from the RP that I tend to use.

NP: I know, and he would call yours deviation from the RP that he's inclined to use so what do I do? I think it was an interruption, he comes from Swotham in Norfolk which is nothing to do with Covent Garden but maybe that's what he got in Swotham there! So off you go then. Covent Garden, 36 seconds, Kit starting now.

KHH: She turned to the general administrator beside her and said "I don't know why they're applauding dear, we're just a pair of old Queens descending a staircase!" Into the room they went and probably felt the freison as I do, as they see the ruby rich velvet curtains, and hear the thrilling Basso warming up underneath your feet. And think "here I am in one of the great opera houses of the world. What am I to see? Is it Fleidermaus? Is it another show?"


NP: And Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Ah two is its in there.

NP: Yes, is it. Is it that and is it? Repetition it was indeed and there are 13 seconds for you Tony to tell us something about Covent Garden starting now.

TH: I once directed a French lorry driver to new Covent Garden. He flagged me down in his car and asked me in a quaint accent...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: Deviation, if he was a lorry driver, he wouldn't have been driving a car!


TH: Why not? Why? I was going to point out this was his day off and he was out...

KHH: He was French!

TH: We all...

NP: Yes he could well have done it, bad luck! Six seconds for you Tony Hawks, to continue on Covent Garden starting now.

TH: He was enjoying his Sundays because he usually worked so hard in his job in le cammion as he described it...


NP: Let me give you the final score. Helen Lederer finished in third place, she was equal with Kit Hesketh-Harvey and she was only one point behind Tony Slattery who has played the game many times more.

TS: Yes all right!

NP: Two points ahead was Tony Hawks so we say he is the winner this week! Thank you! Well I hope we'll see you again soon on Just A Minute. Until then, it is from Tony Slattery, Helen Lederer, Tony Hawks, Kit Hesketh-Harvey and myself Nicholas Parsons, good-bye. We hope you've enjoyed the show and be with us when we take to the air once more and play Just A Minute. Till then from all of us here, good-bye!