NOTE: Hattie Hayridge's last appearance, Neil Mullarkey's last television appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Hello and welcome to Just A Minute, the programme that turns an ordinary studio full of television celebrities into a Bacchanalian orgy of linguistic confusion. With me as usual I have my regular compadre, my faithful friend, loyal supporter, a man who is never without a kind word and a cheery smile...

TONY SLATTERY: Oh shut your mouth and close your face will you!

NP: ... Tony Slattery! Next to Tony, on loan from Celebrity Politicians Are Us, also known in the House of Commons, as the honourable member for Newham Northwest and we'll find out just how honourable he is as he plays Just A Minute, it's Tony Banks! On my right, known to her fans as a comedy actress famed for her dry delivery, which makes her ideal as Holly the ship computer in the comedy series Red Dwarf, it's Hattie Hayridge! And lastly toiled dangerously next to Hattie, is comedian, actor, presenter, Hollywood screenwriter, official biographer to Lord Naughty, star of the Comedy Store Players and Whose Line Is It Anyway, the world's leading expert on looking perplexed, it's Neil Mullarkey! The rules of Just A Minute are easy until you play the game. I ask each one to speak if they can on a subject I give them, and they try and do that without hesitation, repeating anything or deviating from the subject. They can challenge if they wish and if I uphold the challenge they gain a point. If not the one speaking gains a point. That's how we play, they can repeat the subject by the way. And we begin the show with Tony Slattery. Tony, why Oscar Wilde decided to live in Tight Street. It's a long subject, isn't it. Can you take that subject and talk about it in this game starting now.

TS: Well I can only presume that Oscar decided to live in Tight Street, because it was a bit of a camp name and Woopsie Avenue was full, as indeed was Fruity Mews. He then emigrated weirdly to Tight Street which was in Zimbabwe where he set up a boxing school and a gymnastic swimming... (laughs)... Rubbish!


NP: Right, yes... Neil you challenged first.


NP: Yes he not only hesitated but he deviated long before that. But hesitation is correct Neil, so you have a correct challenge, a point for that of course, and you take over the subject, why Oscar Wilde decided to live in Tight Street, 40 seconds are left starting now.

NM: Why Oscar Wilde decided to live in Tight Street is a question that has vexed many a historian. Firstly he lived there because there was a good library. It had a full collection of Janet And John books. He would go in there every day and read to his heart's contentment. Such a small...


NP: Hattie you challenged.

HATTIE HAYRIDGE: Well saved there! Um soporific, is there one for that? No?

NP: No, no, but he was deviating...

HH: Deviating.

NP: He didn't have a Johnet And Jan books, they weren't...

TS: Johnet and Jan?

NM: Johnet and Jan?

NP: Nor did he have Johnet and Jan books neither.

HH: Oh terrific!

NP: No, right, so Hattie well listened, correct challenge and you have the subject of why Oscar Wilde decided to live in Tight Street and there are 21 seconds starting now.

HH: Oscar Wilde just opened his A To Z one morning and thought I'm bored with where I'm living in this boring part...


NP: Yes Neil?

NM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, no she didn't hesitate.

NM: Yes no!


NM: She said bored and then she said boring

NP: That's right, boring and bored, but then you changed your challenge to hesitating Neil and that was wrong. I'm very sorry. Hattie has an incorrect challenge...

HH: It was worth buzzing for it!

NP: You get a point for an incorrect challenge Hattie, you keep the subject, why Oscar Wilde decided to live in Tight Street, 15 seconds starting now.

HH: Oscar Wilde threw his atlas up in the air and... decided...


NP: Tony Banks.

TB: Hesitation.

NP: That was hesitation Tony yes, you've got in on this subject and there are 11 seconds left starting now.

TB: Oscar Wilde's house in Tight Street was a wonderful example of art nouveau. When Oscar Wilde was carted off to Reading Jail for doing something that we would find perfectly acceptable today but unfortunately...


NP: When the whistles goes it tells us that 60 seconds are up and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Tony Banks so he's equal in the lead with Hattie Hayridge at the end of that round. And who's going to, Hattie! Would you take the next round. Here's a nice subject, what I would exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

HH: If I were to exhibit anything at the Chelsea Flower Show, it may well be a Chelsea pensioner. Because I think they think look very beautiful in their red uniforms...


NP: Yes Neil?

NM: Hesitation.

NP: No I don't think so.

HH: I just talk slow!

NP: Certainly not as slow as Neil! A point for an incorrect challenge Hattie, you keep the subject, 50 seconds, what I would exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show starting now.

HH: I have a blue vase which is full of red poppies and...


NP: Yes.

NM: Red, she said that before.

NP: Yes red.

HH: Oh yes.

NP: Yes you mentioned that before. Well listened Neil, you have the subject, you have a correct challenge, a point, 46 seconds, what I would exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show starting now.

NM: What I would exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show would make you go pea-green with envy. I would exhibit small children, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, sabouchio players, politicians, tupperware, pants, saaaaandwiches...


TB: Hesitation.

NP: I would say he hesitated on the saaaaaand.

TB: It's a nice technique, though, he's got a very nice technique.

NP: Kenneth Williams tried that...

NM: Slow and rhythmical.

NP: ...when he did the radio show but he didn't always get away with it. Twenty-eight seconds are left for you Tony Banks, on what I would exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show starting now.

TB: If I was going to exhibit something at the Chelsea Art Show... Flower Show...


TB: Well!

NP: The secret is Tony, keep going whatever happens...

TB: Yes I know. I'm so honest, you see. I mean I just knew that I sort of...

NP: I know. Twenty-four seconds for you Tony Slattery on what I would exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show starting now.

TS: Well what I would exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show (laughs) apart from my...


NP: Neil Mullarkey.

NM: Hesitation.

NP: I agree, 21 seconds for you Neil on the subject starting now.

NM: What I would exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show has been disallowed by a group of umpires. A committee whose power has been vested by the royalty herself, the Queen...


TS: The power has been vested by the royalty herself! I'm sorry, that's deviation.

NP: Deviation from English as we understand it or as it is spoken. Eleven seconds for you back on the subject Tony Slattery starting now.

TS: I'd exhibit my new selection of Johnet And Jan books, along with Barbie's new friend, Neil, who (drawing out words in upper class accent) always talks like that with a view to getting to the end of the sentence...


NP: So Tony Slattery was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. And for once in this game, which we've been playing for quite a while now, each one is equal at the end of the round. They're all in the lead. Right, Neil Mullarkey will you take the next round. Oh what a lovely round, the sinner from Pinner. Will you tell us something about the sinner from Pinner in Just A Minute starting now.

NM: The sinner from Pinner was eating his dinner in a place called Chinner which is in Oxfordshire. The sinner from Pinner was very naughty, a miscreant of such magnanimous proportions that even a judge went so far as to say "you are indeed a naughty..."


NP: Yes?

TS: Two naughties, repetition

NP: There were two naughties, two naughty. The sinner from Pinner, it could be you Tony Slattery, 42 seconds starting now.

TS: The sinner from Pinner left his respectable middle detached house and...


NP: Neil?

NM: Deviation, middle detached house?

NP: Definitely, definitely, yes indeed, definitely...

NM: Call me old fashioned!

NP: Yes...

NM: But I know a little bit about architecture!

NP: I think he was searching for his middle class, but he left out the class.

TS: Hush!

NP: But there you are, it was Tony Slattery, what do you expect. Thirty-eight seconds, the sinner from Pinner, with you Neil starting now.

NM: The sinner from Pinner was lonely. He was sad, he'd lost everything including his wife who'd gone on a day trip to Harrow. She didn't know he was a sinner from Pinner, she thought he was a nice chap from Bapp. Unfortunately he was a sinner from Pinner, she had no right...


NP: Hattie Hayridge.

HH: I'm just doing it because he's spitting all over me!


NP: Well Hattie, Hattie you can have a bonus point for his spit...

HH: Thank you!

NP: ...and another point for the fact that he hesitated, and you keep the subject, sorry you gain the subject, 20 seconds, the sinner from Pinner starting now.

HH: The sinner from Pinner was an insurance man who used to go out early in the morning and round up people and get them all to stand in the local children's playground and go up and down the... slide...


NP: Tony Banks.

TB: There was hesitation.

NP: Yes definitely, yes, the sinner from Pinner's with you Tony Banks, 10 seconds starting now.

TB: The sinner from Pinner was a strange old man that used to live in Pinner Avenue. He had some exceedingly dirty habits. He used to drink an enormous amount of cider and go...


NP: Tony Banks was then speaking when the whistle went, he is now in the lead with Hattie Hayridge at the end of the round. And Tony Banks, your turn to begin, the subject Eton. Would you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

TB: I don't like Eton. They do very strange things at Eton, like sitting on a wall covered in butter, trying to knock each other off. They also wear strange boaters at Eton and strange winged collars...


TB: ... and I've said strange twice. Not at all strange

NP: No, 16 seconds for Tony Slattery on Eton starting now.

TS: I've eaten strange things in my time, one of which is a back which was made curiously enough in Belgium. It was made of iron filings...


NP: Yes Tony Slattery?

HH: A bit deviation.

NM: It was horrible... I'm not Tony Slattery, he's Tony Slattery.

NP: I know, Tony Slattery was interrupted then.

NM: Yes he was deviating horribly, nothing to do...

NP: No he wasn't.

NM: Something to do with a bang in Belgium.


NP: You've challenged, what was that for?

HH: Um...

NP: Repetition, you're quite right, seven seconds with you Hattie starting now.

HH: The boys go to Eton at any age, I think, that they can be put down for it, but they (laughs)...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: This is deviation, they're not put down like animals, are they!

TB: No, you can get your name put down for Eton. That's a perfectly acceptable phrase and I think that Hattie was incorrectly interrupted if I may...

TS: Oh what's going on between you two?

TB: Wouldn't you like to know Slattery!

NP: Tony Slattery, correct challenge, you have one second on Eton starting now.

TS: Mavis Nicholson was...


TB: I tried to get in, I tried for you! That was absolutely outrageous!

NP: Tony, please, try to keep quiet for a second. It's very difficult having politicians on the show. Right Tony Slattery was then speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point for doing so and he's taken the lead at the end of that round. Hattie Ayridge...

TS: Hattie Ayridge? Ah!

NP: (in country accent) Hattie Ayridge, is going to take the next subject, and Hattie the subject is my Ascot hat. Hattie will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

HH: When I go to Ascot every year I take the same hat which is a white cotton one, which goes on my head and is knotted at each corner, into which I place a large rhododendron. But apart from that, I usually enjoy myself putting my hat on...


HH: ... ahhhhh! That's not fair!


NP: Tony Slattery.

HH: He's frightening me!

TS: I think there was a hesitation when Hattie suddenly turned into Barbara Windsor! (in Barbara Windsor voice) Ahhhh get out of it! Oooooohhhh!

NP: I think as she was being harassed by the Mullarkey...

TB: Yes she was!

NP: I don't think she deserves to be interrupted there.

TB: That's true.

HH: I was being harassed.

NP: I'm going to give you a point, allow you to continue on my Ascot hat with 31 seconds to go starting now.

HH: I have a nice hat that I wear to...


NP: Yes Neil?

NM: I think she said nice earlier on.

NP: Yes she did say have a nice hat.

HH: It was very nice.

NP: It was very nice yes. It was a ghastly thing you described at the beginning. Neil Mullarkey you had a correct challenge, you have my Ascot hat, you have 29 seconds starting now.

NM: My Ascot hat is a thing of beauty. People envy it far and wide. "Look at his hat, Neil's got an enormously big hat. Oh that's so large that even a group of extraterrestrials noticed it on their satellite dish, hahaha," they said...


NP: Yes.

TS: Repetition of ha.

NM: Isn't haha an accepted word?

NP: No, no, no, no...

NM: Otherwise you could say bzzzzzz tutu.

NP: That's right, then you'd be had for tu.

NM: I will be had for tu in a minute.

NP: Tony Slattery you have a correct challenge, my Ascot hat, 11 seconds, starting now.

TS: My Ascot hat is extremely cumbersome because it's made of metal and the pilot light keeps going out. Nevertheless I go to the races and...


NP: Neil Mullarkey.

NM: I think that's deviation. A pilot light?

NP: His pilot light.

TB: Old Ascot. Old Ascot.

NP: It doesn't really matter. It doesn't really matter, he can go in whatever flight of fantasy as you've already demonstrated there. Ah Neil so this is a flight of fantasy, five seconds, my Ascot hat, Tony Slattery starting now.

TS: My other Ascot hat curiously is made of dead bison. What a stir it causes as I wander up and down the race course...


NP: Once again Tony Slattery was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point and has increased his lead at the end of that round. What we're going to do now is rather than me give our panellists a subject we're going to offer them an object.


NP: Wasn't that dramatic! Absolutely flawed our studio audience here. Tony Slattery will you begin, would you tell us something about that object there in 60 seconds starting now.

TS: Anne Summers opened her first shop in 1850 and the business has been flourishing ever since. For those quiet evenings in, when there wasn't television or videos, people were very much left to their own devices, and this is one of them. Often when the... news...


NP: Tony Banks.

TB: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was a hesitation so Tony Banks, you take the subject, or sorry, the object, 43 seconds starting now.

TB: That is undoubtedly a prototype of an Iraqi super-gun. I recognise it from the handle at one end and the spout at the other, which is now pointing towards me and I think there is a very large projectile in there. Fortunately it is now pointing towards the audience. They don't look at all...


NP: Ah...

NM: Repetition of towards.

NP: Yes and that's right, Neil and...

TB: And fortunately.

TS: And point.

TB: And point, and everything else.

NP: Twenty-eight seconds Neil on the object starting now.

NM: This interestingly enough is a medieval sausage making machine. Mister Wall who lived in Chipping Camden in 1403 used... an object...


NP: Tony...

TB: Hesitation.

NP: Yes we call that zzzzer hesitation. Eighteen seconds for you Tony Banks on this object starting now.

TB: I've changed my mind. I think this is now one of those...


NP: Neil?

NM: I think he said think in his earlier disposition.

NP: Said what earlier?

TB: Well it's most unusual if a politician actually said think. So I don't think I did.

NP: No I don't think you did either Tony, 16 seconds on the object starting now.

TB: This is undoubtedly one of those...


NM: He did say undoubtedly before.

NP: Yes, undoubtedly before, you did say that before, Tony, 14 seconds with you Neil...


NP: ...starting now.

TB: It's a cruel game!

NM: This piece of machinery is so exciting to me as a member of the public that I cannot but extol its virtues to the very rafters of this exciting TV studio...


NP: Ah...

TS: Repetition of exciting.

NP: Yes you had too much excitement there.

NM: I did.

NP: Here's the object Tony Slattery, two seconds are left starting now.

TS: Barbara Cartland's makeup...


NP: Yes Neil?

NM: Deviation.

NP: Why?

NM: Barbara Cartland's got nothing to do with this. She wouldn't be seen dead with it. Although she'd probably like to.

NP: I can tell you Barbara Cartland is closest to that object than anybody else has got so far! I'll tell you what it is in a sec because you've got half a second to go starting now.

TS: A lot of people think...


NP: It was Tony Slattery again speaking as the whistle went, gaining an extra point and has again increased his lead. I'll give a bonus point to anybody who can accurately or closely identify that particular object.

TB: It's for curling hair.

NP: Well done! Why didn't you say that before?

TB: Because I was saving the excitement till then!

NP: Well a bonus point to Tony Banks. In fact he was so quick on it, two bonus points. And now he's also in the lead!Yes, now it's time for me to milk some of the venom out of my guests and feed them some live mice and that is not a pret...


NP: That is not a pretty sight, and nor is that as it goes down. Not a pretty noise either. So I'm afraid we have to leave you but stay tuned and we'll see you after this.




NP: Welcome back to Just A Minute, the game we make up as I go along. So we now move on completely unpredictably to the next round. And in this round I don't give our panellists a subject, I ask our audience to suggest some subject on which they'd like one of them, or all of them at different times to speak. Have we any suggestions for subjects from the audience. Yes stand up and tell me please. Yes?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Road works on the M25.

NP: Road works on the M25. Yes, stand up, what is it?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: The big bang.

NP: The big bang. Yes!

TB: I haven't had one of those for a long time!

NP: Any... yes all right, stand up, yes?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Soggy leaves.

NP: Soggy leaves. Tony Banks, we'd like you to begin. Do any of those appeal to you? Soggy leaves?

TB: Well I'd like to combine them actually. I think a big bang on the M25 sounds like the most exciting thing that's ever likely to happen to anyone on the M25.

NP: Well you can combine them all if you want to...

TB: I think the big bang.

NP: The big bang, all right Tony Banks you have the big bang, you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TB: There are some who say that the universe was created in a millisecond at the time of the big bang. This is when there was an enormous big bang and we started expanding as a universe...


NP: Tony.

TS: Repetition of universe, sorry.

NP: Too much of the universe there, 50 seconds are left Tony Slattery, tell us something about the big bang starting now.

TS: The universe was created in moment one of time when millions of tons of Marks and Spencer underwear suddenly exploded and the planets were formed by...


TB: It's deviation and complete rubbish!

NP: Of course it is, yes!

TS: You weren't there! Or maybe you were! You knew about the curling tongs! How far do you go back?

TB: I got a big bang there.

NP: Forty-one seconds, Tony Banks, the big bang starting now.

TB: And what happened when the big bang went bang was that large numbers of people found themselves in a considerably difficult position. Because of course they were not expecting the big bang. They could of course have had a big bang...


TS: Repetition of could of course.

NP: Could of course.

TS: I'm sorry.

NP: It's tough.

TB: Oh no, don't apologise, don't apologise.

TS: All right, I'm really pleased you're doing badly!

TB: You're very, you're a sadist Mr Slattery!

NP: Thirty seconds for you Tony Slattery...

TS: It's only a game!

NP: The big bang Tony starting now.

TS: The universe, as I said before...


TB: He challenged himself, I think he should get a point for that!

NP: Oh dear.

NM: Ah universe.

NP: Universe yes, 28 seconds, the big bang with you Neil starting now.

NM: The big bang was an event of such stupendous histrionics that they wrote about it in the local gazette. The big bang, they said in big letters, the big bang...


NP: Yes Hattie?

HH: Repetition of big...

NP: Ah big bang is part of the subject I'm afraid. Oh bad luck. So Neil has another point I'm afraid, 19 seconds, big bang Neil starting now.

NM: The big bang took the people of Fleetwood by surprise. They hadn't expected it. They were expecting...


TS: They hadn't expect-peck-peck-pee-pee. Deviation from the English language.

NP: Deviation from English, even if he goes slowly, he can't get the words out correctly. Fourteen seconds, the big bang, Tony Slattery starting now.

TS: The big bang happened in the city in the mid to late 80s when lots of investors and yuppies with telephones invested their... oh...


TB: Hesitation.

TS: Yes.

NP: No, he, yes he hesitated because he repeated something, right. Five seconds for you Tony Banks on the big bang starting now.

TB: Some say that the big bang will end with the big crunch. This is when all matter falls back on itself...


NP: Tony Banks was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. He's now moved up in his second place, just behind Tony Slattery and then comes Neil Mullarkey and then Hattie Hayridge. And Tony Slattery will you take the next round, the green belt. Will you tell us something about the green belt in 60 seconds starting now.

TS: I am weirdly a judo black belt, although you wouldn't think it to look at me now. That meant I had to go through various stages in the sport, and one of those particular elements was getting a green belt which means I wasn't terribly good, but no-one could build on me! It's a terribly old joke. Often when sitting next to Nicholas Parsons, these things just bubble to the surface. Nicholas was around in the...


NP: Neil Mullarkey.

NM: Repetition of that lovely word Nicholas.

TS: Yes you're right again.

NP: Why do you want to suddenly flatter me Neil? Right...

NM: You've got to!

NP: Right, Neil Mullarkey, the green belt, 36 seconds starting now.

NM: The green belt is something purchased by Nicholas Parsons to go with that lovely jacket he is sporting at the moment. He...


TS: Deviation, it's not lovely!

NP: I'm going to put that to the audience.

TS: Dangerous!

NP: Hands up those who like the jacket? Those who don't like the jacket?

TS: That's everyone!

NP: You rotten lot! You will not be invited back, you do realise that! So that, I'm always fair, I'm always fair. So that means that Tony Slattery has a correct challenge. You want him to have it?


TS: I'll just have the challenge.

NP: You've got the point, 29 seconds, the green belt Tony starting now.

TS: The green belt is an ever expanding area of alleged verdure in the countryside on which industrial developments...


NP: Neil Mullarkey.

NM: I'm sorry, he's suddenly becoming Thora Hird!

NP: Why er...

NM: (does impression of TS) Verdure.

TS: That's your impression of Thora Hird, is it? All right, here's my impression of Joshua Nkomo. Wheeeeeeeeeee! It's about your level, isn't it.

NP: No I disagree with the challenge, green belt is still with you Tony Slattery, 22 seconds starting now.

TS: So that we better enjoy the countryside...


NP: Yes, Neil Mullarkey?

NM: That was her!

HH: No!

NP: You're giving it to her, Hattie what was the challenge?

HH: What?

NP: The better, well done!

HH: No he was wrong...

NP: Well listened Hattie, you have the subject, 19 seconds, the green belt starting now.

HH: The green belt, it’s never been decided what particular shade of green it is. I suppose it's the green of the countryside, but it could be a bright green or a pale green or an electric green...


NP: I'm afraid we have no more time to play Just A Minute, but I do have time to give you the final score. Hattie Hayridge got lots of points but did finish in fourth place, only just behind Neil Mullarkey who was a little behind Tony Banks. But in the lead was this week's winner, Tony Slattery. I do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute, and so from Tony Slattery, Tony Banks, Hattie Hayridge, Neil Mullarkey and myself Nicholas Parsons, thank you for watching and we'll see you next time on Just A Minute. Until then good-bye!