starring DEREK NIMMO, TONY SLATTERY, NICK REVELL and JOHN FORTUNE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Television, 24 February 1994)

NOTE: John Fortune's first appearance, Nick Revell's first appearance, Derek Nimmo's first television appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Hello and welcome to Just A Minute, a gracious and civilised game of erudition, articulacy and wit, with eight rounds, two submissions and a knockout to decide the winner. First the guests. And as usual, I'm accompanied by my close friend, bodyguard, hair stylist and home help, Tony Slattery! Next to Tony, a comedy writer and performer who's written and starred in award winning radio comedy series, as well as being a stand-up comedian. He's written for Dave Allen, and episodes of the last series of Drop The Dead Donkey, it is Nick Revell! And on my right, one of the founding fathers of British satire. Personally responsible for the downfall of the MacMillan Government in 1963. He's at it again on the Rory Bremner Show which has the Major Government not inconsiderably concerned. It's John Fortune! And lastly one of the veterans of Just A Minute. He's been with the show since it started on radio 27 years ago. Actor, producer, author, after-dinner speaker, and television's first ever comedy monk, it's Derek Nimmo! Those are the four who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And the rules are ridiculously simple until you try and play the game and then they're simply ridiculous. I ask them to speak in turn if they can on the subject I will give them. They try and do that without hesitating, without repeating anything or deviating from the subject. They can repeat the subject on the card, that's all they can do. They can challenge of course, and if I uphold the challenge they gain a point, and if not the one who is speaking gains a point. And we begin the show this week with my elephant and castle. Will you us something about that in this game starting now.

JOHN FORTUNE: My elephant and castle. Oh my dear, you must be my elephant and castle. So said the King of England when he was introduced to a lady who they say was known as the Infronta from Castille. And as the King did not speak very good English, he thought that that...


NP: Um...

TONY SLATTERY: I'm sorry, I think there was repetition of King there.

NP: There was a repetition of King, I'm afraid yes. And Tony Slattery, you had a correct challenge and 42 seconds, my elephant and castle starting now.

TS: Well in the eight tons of colour supplements that attach themselves to today's Sunday Times, there's often a feature that is about one's favourite place. Like My Islington or My Blackburn. You never hear my...


NP: Yes?


TS: Yes.

NP: No, my is on the card, my elephant and castle. You can use the word...

DN: Oh I'm sorry, I'd gone and put elephant and castle down. Oh I'm so sorry! I crave your indulgence! I'm so sorry!

NP: He's so frightfully gracious with it, isn't he. Ah Tony you have...

DN: Pompous is the word you are looking for!

NP: Yes but I'm not as rude as you are Derek, I don't use those words.

DN: Just trying to be accurate, that's all!

NP: And rude as well. Right Tony you get a point for an incorrect challenge, you keep the subject, 30 seconds are left, my elephant and castle starting now.

TS: My elephant and castle, well I know the place. I live quite near there. How to describe it? It's a series of not terribly concentric circles which continually bypass...


NP: Yes John?

JF: You can't have not terribly concentric circles...

NP: No, they can either be concentric or not. Very very shrewd.

TS: Very shrewd.

NP: What I call an intellectual challenge really.

JF: I'm going to get more than that.

NP: John are you ready...

JF: Yes.

NP: ...to take over, 23 seconds, my elephant and castle starting now.

JF: I don't have an elephant but I have a castle. A small model of a castle which I keep in my toy cupboard. You may be surprised that I still have a toy cupboard at my age but...


NP: Um Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: I'm rather surprised you've got two toy cupboards.

NP: Yes you repeated toy cupboard. It's a difficult game.

JF: It's a very difficult game, isn't it.

NP: I know, but they do love, we do love the way you play it John and that's important. Ah Derek

JF: Thank you.

TS: Oh stop flirting with him!

DN: So patronising!

NP: I only flirt with the opposite sex when they come on the show. Um Derek...

TS: Oh you butch thing!

NP: Well it's to stop all those stories about you and me. Right...

TS: I don't want them stopped! I want the flames of rumour fanned! I want to run my fingers lightly over your dreaming body! I want to shipwreck in your thighs!

NP: That's right!

JF: Do you want to go in my toy cupboard?

TS: Your toy closet!

NP: Are the Sunday tabloids listening? Right, Derek Nimmo you had a correct challenge, another point to you, 16 seconds, my elephant and castle starting now.

DN: The elephant and the castle actually was the crest of the Cutlers Company. Because in times of war, long gone, elephants used to carry on their backs castles. Now ivory was the product of the elephant and therefore the aforementioned flatware makers use it as their...


NP: Well on that occasion it was Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point for doing so. He's equal now in the lead with John Fortune. And Derek Nimmo, we'd like you to take the next round. Oh a long one, this.

DN: Can I write it down.

NP: Yes, because you left out the my last time. We do know that. What I would do with Battersea Power Station. What I would do with Battersea Power Station. Sixty seconds as usual starting...

DN: Hang on!

NP: This is not the radio. You look totally boring when you're writing things down Derek.

DN: You look boring when you're not doing anything at all, you do!

NP: Gosh he's so rude, isn't he. What I would do with Battersea Power Station starting now.

DN: What I would do, I've always had a tremendous desire to turn...


TS: There, there was a stumble there, hesitation.

DN: There was not at all!

TS: You said I've always had a bit of a d-d-d-desire.

DN: I did not!

NP: No, I listened. I'll tell you how fair I am. In spite of what he just said to me, I don't think he stumbled. I think he changed direction but didn't pull up. So you keep the subject, 57 seconds, what I would do with Battersea Power Station starting now.

DN: I think bow-sically Battersea Power Station...


NICK REVELL: I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I thought he was going to try and say Battersea!

NP: Yes he was but he failed.

NR: Do you think so? No, I think he handled it rather well.

NP: No, that was hesitation, because it was, or deviation...

NR: Are you sure? Hesitation?

DN: I might have deviated, I might have made a total cock-up of it, but I didn't actually hesitate.

NP: Well you did all those things so all right. Nick Revell you have 56 seconds to tell us something about what I would do with Battersea Power Station starting now.

NR: I would not...


NP: Um...

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No, of course not! Go with 55 seconds on the subject starting now.

NR: Battersea Power Station and what I would do with it. I would knock it down and build a large...


NP: Um, John Fortune.

JF: He hesitated before he thought what he was going to do...

NR: No, no, no, that was a dramatic pause!

NP: It was really!

NR: They won't know, now, you see, what I was going to do with it, what I was going to build. The drama, the tension was...

NP: But Nick, they might like to hear what John Fortune's going to do with it because it was a correct...

NR: Right, fine!

NP: Fifty seconds, John, what I would do with Battersea Power Station starting now.

JF: I would turn it upside down and make it a billiard table!



NP: Well said John, well said. And Derek Nimmo?

DN: Well he stopped.

NP: Of course he did.

JF: I only stopped because they stopped me. Didn't you?

NP: It is what is called riding the laugh, but I think he rode it too long. Derek, back with the subject to you, 47 seconds starting now.

DN: I feel so sorry for the dear Princess of Royal who has to look out of her window...


NP: Princess of Royal?

TS: Princess of Royal. There's no such Princess. The Princess Royal and the Princess of Wales but not the Princess Royal.

NP: When he knows he's wrong, he always looks like that!

TS: I know! That's true! The basilisk, the basilisk stare!

NP: The basilisk stare, he knows he's wrong and he knows, when he can't wriggle out of it, that is the way. Right, 43 seconds, for you Tony Slattery on what I would do with Battersea Power Station starting now.

TS: I know what I'd do with Battersea Power Station. I'd drop it on the Elephant and Castle because it's an appalling eyesore and a crap landmark. Other uses for the Battersea Power Station would be to dismantle it and then move it 10 inches to the right and put it up again...


NR: He laughed! He laughed because he was hesitating! He did, he was trying to cover up...

NP: Yes all right, I agree with you.

NR: You agree with me?

NP: Yes I agree with you.

NR: Oh wow! What a black! Yes!

TS: God it's tough sitting next to you! It really is!

NP: Twenty-nine seconds, Nick Revell, on what I would do with Battersea Power Station starting now.

NR: I would not demolish Battersea Power Station. I would drop Michael Portillo and Peter Lilley through separate chimneys at the same time to see who hit the ground first! Not that I would care, as long as I knew it was a high enough fall and they would both hit the aforementioned...


NP: Yes?

TS: Repetition of hit.

NP: You said they were going to hit before.

NR: Ah I was just trying to avoid saying ground twice.

NP: I know, you said...

NR: I was already done, mate.

NP: Sixteen seconds with you Tony Slattery on the subject starting now.

TS: I'd put one of the chimneys in Nick Revell's mouth. This might stop him shouting in my ear!


NP: Nick Revell.

NR: Deviation, it wouldn't stop me shouting in his ear!

NP: No, it would just...

NR: I'd just go like this...


NP: It'd just make you even louder, wouldn't it.

NR: Yes it would, yes indeed.

NP: Nick you got the subject back, 11 seconds, what I'd do with Battersea Power Station starting now.

NR: Having let two politicians fall from the power station...


NP: Ah yes?

DN: Fall twice.

NP: There were falls...

NR: Oh he's sharp on that, isn't he.

NP: Yes, he has been playing it for 27 years you know. Right...

DN: Oh you keep harping on about that!

NP: I'm not harping, I just mentioned it once.

DN: I feel like you're playing with a Zimmer!

NP: I wondered what your pastime was. Right, Derek...

TS: Nicholas has got a bath rug under here.

NP: That's right.

TS: We face you out to sea when we take you to Eastbourne, don't we? You like it as long as you keep dry!

NP: Tony Slattery, this material isn't going very well.

TS: It's going all right.

NP: Derek Nimmo, eight seconds...

TS: Better than your tour of universities. But anyway... Sorry. He's on a tour of universities and often he gets stoned and there's a... Not drugs. People just throw things. Sorry, Nicholas, I'm sorry.

NP: That's all right. I can take it all and the youngsters like to take me so that's great. Right, eight seconds with you Derek. Right...


NP: You look like a basquillist on occasions. Right, eight seconds...

TS: Basquillist? No such word! No such word! It's just gibberish!

NP: Will you let us get on with this game! Right, eight seconds, Derek Nimmo, what I would do with Battersea Power Station starting now.

DN: What I would do with Battersea Power Station is to knock it down and ask Mister Quinlan Perry to come along and design a great palatian mansion like he's done so well...


NP: The next round is Tony Slattery and the subject my Wimbledon racquet. Tony can you tell us something about that in 60 seconds starting now.

TS: I once had a dream where I was in the Wimbledon finals, curiously with Martina Navritilova. And the result was the same as it always is when that marvellous tennis player meets her opposition, she licked me clean. Now the point is, I then decided that I was never going to become a professional player. But I'd start a Wimbledon racket. I would become a tout. I styled myself as Nick, the aforesaid person who deals in black market tickets. And I trolled up and down the Wimbledon High Road thinking...


TS: I'm so sorry!

JF: Was that hesitation?

NP: It definitely was hesitation.

JF: I'm new to this game, you see.

TS: Well frankly...

DN: It wasn't a pause, more like a blinding flash, wasn't it.

NP: I think he saw the image of himself trolling and... it didn't please him at all. John Fortune you had a correct challenge of hesitation, my Wimbledon racquet is the subject, 29 seconds are left starting now.

JF: I use my Wimbledon racquet which is only called by that name because it's not used at Wimbledon. But I use it er in this case...


TS: Use it ah, a hesitation.

JF: It is rather, yes, I have to agree.

NP: Twenty-two seconds, you've got your Wimbledon racquet back again Tony starting now.

TS: I once decided my Wimbledon racquet (starts to laugh)


NP: Oh Nick Revell yes?

NR: Well he's lost the power of speech!

NP: I know! So you have my Wimbledon racquet and there are 19 seconds starting now.

NR: My Wimbledon racquet was made of plywood which made it very hard to return the ball when I was playing at Centre Court, funnily enough against Bjorn Borg, in a dream also, where I...


NR: Sorry, I just saw Bjorn Borg!

NP: But Slattery got in first.

TS: Yeah hesitation.

NP: Five seconds are left on the subject Tony starting now.

TS: I think er my favourite Wimbledon racquet...


NP: Yes?

DN: Er.

NP: Er yes and there are four seconds for you Derek on the subject starting now.

DN: My Wimbledon racquet was given to me by Fred Perry who won the championship three times. he...


NP: Right! Derek Nimmo was again speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. And he's one ahead of Tony Slattery at the end of the round. And I'm going to change things slightly now. Instead of giving them a subject to speak on, I am going to offer our panellists an object.


NP: That thing has opened and there it is! That was nice and sinister wasn't it. A little bell in front. John Fortune, look at it, talk about it, 60 seconds starting now.

JF: This is obviously a chastity belt upside down, rather like the Battersea Power Station. The legs as I divine are supposed to go either side of those little holes and the bell in front is supposed to warn....


TS: Repetition of supposed to.

NP: Supposed to.

JF: Yes.

NP: Supposed to, yes, supposed to. Bad luck John, 48 seconds, you got in there Tony Slattery there's the object, tell us what you can about it starting now.

TS: Early tennis racquets were not terribly good as we can see from this idea. The idea of in trying in 1813 to serve an ace with this on that hallowed earth is just incomprehensible....


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Deviation, this has got nothing to do with the subject at all.

NP: Absolutely, talking rubbish!

NR: It looks like an early tennis racquet to me. I'd back Tony up on that one!

NP: Right then you keep that to your side of the thing. Them er ah Derek you have a correct challenge, deviation, 36 seconds on the object starting now.

DN: The object is made of metal and was used for putting over a scold's head. The bell in front is to deter from speaking further. You can see how it can be fastened very firmly at the back, the eyes can look through and there's a mouth and a nose. And devil's ears. Very popular actually in the West Country, particularly if you go down to er Cornwall where they find....


NP: Yeah?

TS: I don't know that place, ti-Cornwall. Deviation

DN: It wasn't really in the West Country, that's the trouble you see.

TS: No.

NP: (in country accent) Ah right, they talk nice in Cornwall down there. (normal voice) Right, ah you've got a correct challenge so yes, they won't have this in Cornwall. Eighteen seconds to tell us about this object starting now.

TS: Yes this Halloween mask of Andrew Lloyd Webber can be yours, if you send 13 pounds care of Just A Minute, it will be sent to you, under plain wrapper and in a box. Charm your neighbours and your friends by...


NP: Yes Derek.

DN: Deviation, it isn't of Andrew Lloyd Webber is it.

TS: Well the similarity's pretty clear to me!

NP: You are very interesting and entertaining but you're actually deviating from the subject.

TS: Okay.

NP: So back with you Derek, with six seconds to go starting now.

DN: If you go to the Museum of... me....


DN: Oh God, love a tree!

NR: I suppose the Museum of methar medieval is in t-Cornwall.

NP: Yes quite, Nick, you have four seconds to tell us something about this object starting now.

NR: This early air conditioned motorcycle helmet...



NP: No, sorry, you got in with half a second.

TS: I thought there was a bit of a pause there.

NR: I was letting them laugh! I was letting the audience into the show wasn't I! I just paused for the laugh didn't it.

NP: Nick...

TS: You're so lovely when you're angry!

NP: I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, so you have half a second, half a second on the subject starting now.

NR: Goes round and...


NP: So Nick Revell was then speaking as the whistle went and gained a point and one just before, and he's still in third place.

JF: Can you tell us what it is?

NP: I will tell you what it is but actually we have to give a bonus point to Derek Nimmo because he did actually deduce what it was. Derek you were absolutely right, it is a widow's scold, a medieval device to prevent a widow in mourning for being tempted to kiss anybody or indulge in any other kind of frivolity. Mind you, she could have indulged in a frivolity, with that over her head, another part of her anatomy was quite clear! But anyway...

NR: The Government are thinking about bringing these back in the new back-to-basics moral values um campaign that they're...

NP: That's gone down very flat. I feel...

NR: That's a modern one!

DN: Why have you got to put him down every time? He had a jolly good go. He tried to be witty and amusing and he kills everything. Horrid, I think.

NR: Thank you Derek.

DN: He's always been like this.

NP: It's not nearly as bad as the things you say about me. Right, I think we should all take a break now and try to get to know each other just a little bit better in a jacuzzi with a warm talosalata. So we'll see you all after this.




NP: Welcome back to Just A Minute and the second half of our mission. So let's boldly go to the unknown territory of the next round. And here I don't give a subject to our panellists, I ask our audience to suggest a subject on which they would like them to speak. Any ideas for subjects from our audience?


NP: Luton Airport, yes, we've had that. Yes?


NP: Charom dark, okay yes. Obviously a native of that area, yes?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Pulling at the Hammersmith Palait.

NP: Pulling at the Hammersmith Palait.


NP: I hope you're not talking... Derek, we want you to begin the round, would you like to talk about pulling at the Hammersmith Palait?

DN: No.

NP: Would you prefer one of the other subjects then?

DN: No. I'll talk about Luton Airport if you like.

NP: All right, talk about Luton Airport, all right, he's a bit shy about pulling at the Hammersmith Palait. So he's going to talk about Luton Airport, 60 seconds starting now.

DN: Luton Airport is probably one of the most unpleasant airports in the whole wide world. I've been to all five continents and apart from Hobart in Tasmania, it's quite the nastiest that I've ever seen. Since...


NP: John Fortune challenged.

JF: Hobart isn't a continent, is it?

DN: No. I'm talking about places in continents.

TS: You're talking about incontinence?

DN: I said all five continents. Luton Airport isn't a continent either.

NP: I don't agree with the challenge so you get another point, 48 seconds, Luton Airport starting now.

DN: They always have trolleys there so when you get hold of them, they have one wheel that turns left. And you go downhill fighting desperately to pull them back. Why are you hanging on to your buzzer like that? Your miserable buzzer?


DN: I want to talk about Luton Airport, don't you go on like that! It is...

NP: You challenged first Nick. You had a correct challenge of deviation, you take over the subject of Luton Airport, 37 seconds starting now.

NR: The curious thing about Luton Airport is when one is not seeing Lorraine Chase drinking a ... oh bugger!


NR: I was going to say the band, wasn't I.

NP: Yes, right.

DN: She wasn't actually drinking a bugger, she was drinking something quite different actually.

NP: Derek you had a correct challenge...

DN: Yes.

NP: And there are 31 seconds on Luton Airport starting now.

DN: Seven-four-dittoes very seldom take off from that particular place because the lunway is not long enough...


DN: I'm Chinese!

NP: They have lunways in Hong Kong but not over there...

TS: (in Chinese accent) Lunway not long enough!

NP: Twenty-five seconds, Luton Airport with you Tony starting now.

TS: I visited Luton Airport the other week. And I met someone called Group Captain Sir Arnold Hyphen Bagshotte. I said "are you writing a book?" He said "yes, it's about pulling at the Hammersmith Palait". And then I decided to get on to a plane and seek my fortune. But it didn't take off because the runway was iced and slippery and there was too much fog and...


NP: Yes?

DN: If it was only the other week, it wasn't iced!

NP: The other week, well...

NR: Ie. not this one.

NP: He was using a colloquial expression, the other week.

NR: He's only conscious two or three weeks every few years. One of the other ones....

NP: No, no, I think it would be a harsh challenge against you Tony, so you keep the subject, five seconds, Luton Airport starting now.

TS: The thing about eating in the er...


NP: That's what happens sometimes. Yes Nick?

NR: He appeared to vomit in the act of speaking which I presume is deviation and hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes, but you only get one point. Three seconds, Luton Airport Nick starting now.

NR: Last time I was at Luton Airport Derek Nimmo ran me over on a shopping trolley which...


NP: Nick Revell was then speaking as the whistle went and has gained that extra point for doing so. He's moved up into third place. Derek Nimmo's still in the lead just ahead of Tony Slattery. John Fortune is trailing a little. And I think, no, Nick, it's your turn to begin, the subject is the angel. Can you tell us something about the angel in this game starting now.

NR: The Angel of course is a tube station on the Northern Line in Islington. I'm very fond of this particular place because it's near where I live. It is also a square on a Monopoly board. Every time I travel there on a tube, I'm delighted because now they have escalators rather than the lift where you used to have to sit and wait for hours and hours and hours and hours...


NR: ...until somebody interrupted you for repetition and this time it was Tony Slattery.

NP: It wasn't, it was Derek Nimmo, got in first. Forty seconds, Derek on the angel starting now.

DN: I know the angel must be the archangel Michael. The King, the Prince of the heavens. Beneath him are many other angels, all subservient to him...



DN: Why'd you push his hand for? What on earth did you push his hand for? Did you see that ladies and gentlemen? He actually pushed John Fortune, pushed his hand.

JF: I was just about to press.

DN: Well you might well have been but you didn't do it, he did it.

JF: I was challenging about deviation.

NP: That's right and John Fortune is entitled to have a little help from the chairman...

DN: Why?

NP: Because he's only played it once, never played it before and you've played it for 27 years. So John, I give you the benefit of the doubt, yes, a good challenge...

DN: What?

NP: Well listened! And 29 seconds...

DN: Tell us what the challenge is for a start!

JF: Deviation.

NP: Well hesitation and deviation, yes. Twenty-nine seconds John, starting now.

JF: Walking away from the Angel tube station, I often turn right and move down the hill towards the City Road. I do this because my grandmother used to live in the City Road where she had...


TS: Repetition of City Road.

JF: Very true.

NP: Tony Slattery, correct challenge, 18 seconds on the angel starting now.

TS: I had a dream the other day and I was visited by a vision in white. It was Margaret Rutherford. She had ascended into the great heavens where all the best actresses go. She said "I am the angel, tell me to take you to the celestial paradise which is my domicile. Take my hand and I will show you..."


NP: So Tony Slattery was then speaking as the whistle went and gained an extra point for doing so. And I'm afraid we have no more time to play Just A Minute this week. So Tony did very well in that round, but he didn't quite catch up with Derek Nimmo. So with the most points scored, the winner this week, Derek Nimmo! And our chief engineer tells me that the dilithium crystals that are throbbing in the engine room of this mighty show cannot take it any longer. So it only remains for me to say good night from Tony Slattery, Nick Revell, John Fortune, Derek Nimmo, and myself Nicholas Parsons until the next time we beam ourselves down into your home to play Just A Minute. Until then, good night.