starring DEREK NIMMO, TONY HAWKS, GRAHAM NORTON and LINDA SMITH, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 18 January 1999)

NOTE: Linda Smith's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Right! Yes! Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more, it is my pleasure not only to welcome our many listeners throughout the world, but also the four distinctive diverse talents who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We welcome back one of the golden oldies of the show, who's been with this programme since it first began many years ago, and we are delighted to have him back, and that is the inimitable Derek Nimmo. We also welcome back someone who has played it many times with great success, and that is the irrepressible Tony Hawks. And someone who's played it not so often but also with great eclan and that is the incorrigible Graham Norton. And someone who's never played it before, but we're delighted to welcome this wonderful comedy performer and that is Linda Smith. Will you please welcome all four of them! As usual I am going to ask them to speak on a subject that I will give them and they will have to do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Beside me sits the most attractive Elaine Wigley. She has a stopwatch in one hand to help me keep the time, and also a pencil poised in order to help me keep the score as well as a whistle to blow when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Lyceum Theatre in the seal city of Sheffield, the industrial heartland of what was Britain when it was an industrial nation. And in front of us we have a warm responsive Yorkshire audience as we start the show with Tony Hawks. Tony, oh, what a lovely subject to begin the show with. The full monty, that's the subject.


NP: I think they clapped because they thought we were going to do it! This is radio, we will try it on the radio. But Tony, talk on the subject, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TONY HAWKS: One of the main reasons for the success of this film, The Full Monty, is not as most people think, because men, er, of the, oh...


NP: Oh Graham Norton you challenged, yes?

GRAHAM NORTON: Ah a word I didn't recognise there.

NP: I know. he was thinking about what he saw in The Full Monty and he completely dried up. So Graham you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, there are 51 seconds left, the full monty starting now.

GN: Perhaps an unpopular opinion here, but I don't understand the appeal of The Full Monty. Frankly...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: It isn't an unpopular thing to say. Therefore, deviation.


NP: So what is your challenge Derek?

DN: Deviation.

NP: No I disagree. So Graham an incorrect challenge, you get another point, you keep the subject, you have 42 seconds still available, the full monty starting now.

GN: Imagine if you will Richard Whiteley standing on top of a glass-top coffee table, twirling his blazer above his head, yelling loudly "one from the bottom, Carol!"


GN: Well... that's... what I call a strip show! Surely if The Full Monty wanted to succeed on every level, that's the line they should have gone down. My other concern is the name, The Full Monty, given that Monty in itself is short for something. Ergo, if that makes sense, someone will tell me if it doesn't...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point and on this occasion it was Graham Norton. And Linda Smith, it's your turn, so let's hear from you. The subject, oh a lovely one, Auntie. Tell us something about Auntie in this game if you can starting now.

LINDA SMITH: Auntie, I've got an Auntie who's lovely, but she will knit, often quite unfortunate gifts for me. Example, one Christmas many years ago, she knitted Yours Truly a woollen swimming costume. It was fine until wet when the wretched garment stretched and dragged along the sea bed like some sort of drift net, probably contravening several EEC regulations about net size! However the pilchards came in handy and we'll never want...


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: There was another net wasn't there?

NP: Yes there was more than one net.

GN: No, maybe drift net is one word and I am so wrong!

NP: I think it's hyphenated. I'll tell you what we'll do. As you haven't played the game before, I will be generous and say that was an incorrect challenge. And so you have a point for that and you keep the subject and you have 28 seconds still available, on Auntie starting now.

LS: Well we never wanted for cryll! Another Auntie of those relatives who are not a real Auntie, comforting and familiar people like...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Er er hesitation.

NP: I'm afraid er er is hesitation. But no, you did jolly well and 14 seconds available for Auntie with you Derek starting now.

DN: My Auntie Nancy lived in Sheffield and she was Headmistress of Carfield School. And I well remember going to her retirement party in 1942 when she praised all the brave soldiers who'd gone off...


NP: Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went got that extra point. They've all got points now and in the lead, Graham Norton is one ahead of Derek Nimmo and Tony Hawks, and two ahead of Linda Smith. All very close, all great fun. Graham your turn to begin, the subject, guilding the lily. Talk on the subject starting now.

GN: Guilding the lily is an expression I'm not that fond of. It is a little too poetic for my taste. However a good friend of mine, Ena Peron from Norway, introduced me to the joys of the Norwegian way of saying guilding the lily. That is...


NP: Linda you challenged.

LS: Um he's sort of talking like Stephen Hawking!

NP: (laughs) When he thinks he's sounding erudite, he goes into Stephen Hawking mode. But Linda that was a lovely challenge because um we enjoyed it and as the audience response showed you. What I like to do on those occasions is give you a bonus point for a, for er a lovely contribution. But as he wasn't actually deviating in any way, he still has guilding the lily and 37 seconds Graham starting now.

GN: Don't say guilding the lily, rather say butter on bacon...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah two says, don't say and rather say.

NP: Yes there were two says.

TH: Yes.

GN: You're so right!

NP: I know!

GN: Thank God you're here!

NP: Tony you have a correct challenge, you have 31 seconds on guilding the lily starting now.

TH: Guilding the lily is to add superfluous ornament to that which is already beautiful. This is why I'm not wearing any makeup this evening! I once tried to guild a lily. She was a big woman and she wasn't having anything of it! We got into terrible trouble. I'd never done any guilding before, and I don't think she'd been guilded to be honest! But we gave it a go, and after 20 minutes I gave up and er put some makeup on, why not? I'll say makeup again, no-one seems to...


NP: The person sitting next to you Tony did pick up the makeup. So Linda you're in first with a challenge which was repetition of makeup, so you have five seconds on guilding the lily starting now.

LS: If you wanted to guild the lily, you could guild the lily very successfully...


NP: So Linda Smith got a number of points in that round including the right one for speaking as the whistle went and she has gone into the lead alongside Graham Norton. Tony Hawks, your turn to begin, a thankless task. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TH: Some people would say that hitchhiking around Ireland with a fridge to win a hundred pound bet as I did in May 1997 was a thankless task. But frankly the remuneration I got from the book has made up for that! But enough plugging, you can't do that on this show, I know. But what I will say is that I used to do warm-ups for TV shows in the 80s. And if ever that was a thankless task, that was one. Producers used to ring me up and say "will you do this? Basically just chat to the audience before the TV recording, keep them happy and then everyone will laugh during the television show when it goes out..."


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of show.

TH: Correct.

NP: Yes and television too, but it doesn't matter. Twenty-five seconds left, ah Derek, a thankless task starting now.

DN: I was asked to do a television programme one ah morning early. And I had to choose the something I would like to be. An airline pilot. But I thought a more thankless task would be a dustbin man. So off I went in my car and my driver dropped me off at the place where you put on the things, threw my rags off, and off I went to be this particular fellow. Gosh it was such hard work, you've no idea. When you take one of those bins on to your back and throw them into...


NP: A more unlikely bin man I can't imagine! So at the end of that round Derek was speaking when the whistle went, gained the extra point and he's now equal in the lead with Graham Norton and Linda Smith. Only one point behind is Tony Hawks. It's all very close and Derek Nimmo it's your turn to begin. The subject now is enigma. Tell us something about this in this game starting now.

DN: I've always tried to be a little bit of an enigma myself. Slightly mysterious, curiously strange, a tiny bit weird perhaps. I am an enigma. Mind you, when one thinks of that wonderful music, the Enigma Variations and King George the Sixth, God bless him, his favourite piece of music which was Nimrod...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of music.

NP: Yes you did say music before. So Tony a correct challenge, 36 seconds are available, enigma, starting now.

TH: To me it remains an enigma that the film Back To The Future 3 was released first. Surely this should have been the other way around or in some way along those lines. But anyway I want, I want to say also...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of want.

DN: Oh well done! Well done!

NP: Well done! So Graham, you have the subject of enigma, 23 seconds starting now.

GN: Enigma to me are always that band. Don't know if you remember them, perhaps that wasn't even their name and I'm talking rubbish! But I believe...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: That was just a mercy challenge!


NP: Because he was deviating from enigma because he, you know, that group didn't exist, did it.

GN: No it did Nicholas.

NP: It did? I know, I was just trying to help Linda because you said you were talking rubbish, you see, so...

GN: All right.

NP: So Linda we give you the benefit of the doubt there and you have 12 seconds on enigma starting now.

LS: What Nicholas was talking about then is a complete and utter enigma to me. What was he wittering on about? I haven't the slightest idea. I don't want to be rude because I've only just...


NP: Linda Smith speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and she's taken the lead at the end of that round. Linda it's your turn to begin, Yorkshire. Sixty seconds starting now.

LS: Ah Yorkshire, it's where we are now. Yorkshire, the county that gave us Geoffrey Boycott, Freddie Trueman, and the Yorkshire Ripper! But on a, on a lighter note, Yorkshire pudding, mmmm, the pizza of the north but, but with gravy on top, rather than mozzarella, anchovies, green peppers, olives, tomatoes, pepparoneeeeeee...


LS: Pineapple!

NP: I've got to be fair here. I have little lights in front of me listeners, Tony and Derek, you actually coincided. Who's going to take the subject?

DN: Give...

GN: Me!

NP: Tony you're sitting next to Linda, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and I'll be generous to Derek next time in such a situation. So Tony, 35 seconds, Yorkshire starting now.

TH: My father is actually from Yorkshire, Bridlington, so I've always liked coming here and support Sheffield Wednesday to some degree, I don't know why...


TH: ...who happened to beat Manchester United three-one, quite some time ago. That was tremendous! I think Yorkshire pudding as Linda was talking about earlier is absolutely delicious. Nothing I like more than having it served up on a Sunday lunch as I sit there round my little table. Totally alone, nobody else there. And I tuck into it, gravy on the top, It is...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Repetition of I possibly?

NP: Ooohh she's learning fast isn't she! Your challenge is correct so I have...

LS: I'm sorry, the rules are so arcane!

NP: I know!

LS: You interrupt, you don't interrupt, I don't know what...

TH: I think it's fair, I mean I only got the subject because I was sat next to her! So...


NP: The same thought crossed my mind Tony. So she has it back again and started with it, and you have eight seconds to continue, Yorkshire starting now Linda.

LS: Yorkshire, Sheffield where we are tonight, is a city in Yorkshire and the city of The Full Monty which many people don't realise...


NP: So Linda who hasn't played the game before and finds the rules arcane um is doing extraordinarily well and has a commanding lead over all the others at the end of that. Graham Norton your turn to begin, mind altering substances, 60 seconds starting now.

GN: Mind altering substances were, I believe, introduced into my Midland Mainline coffee today! For I just took one sip and then i had the sensation that the train was moving very slowly...


GN: ...for a long time! Nothing outside that window was blurred at all! I could see every leaf on the trees crystal clear! And suddenly I found myself feeling depressed, even bored. And I'm not like...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: He's taken too many mind altering substances!

NP: So what's the challenge?

TH: Um, er, I know, I'll think of one! Ah deviation from er being normal!

NP: No, I think he was being utterly Norton actually! And er, and obviously the audience was enjoying it. So Graham, 14 seconds, continue with your mind altering substances, the demonstration was as good as the dialogue. Fourteen seconds, starting now.

GN: Mind altering substances are great! I think everyone should buy them! Go out there and buy some on the street! There's probably people out there... oh I said out there twice. Never mind, three times now...


NP: The fatal mistake in this show is to draw everyone's attention to it Graham! But Derek got in first, Derek yes, he repeated out there, six seconds for you, mind altering substances starting now.

DN: I remember going to Lake Maccapicho and there they had lots of cocoa leaves which I shoved into my mouth with a little lime juice and that...


NP: Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's now equal in second place with Tony Hawks. Just behind Graham Norton who's just behind Linda Smith. And Tony Hawks your turn to begin, a hard boiled egg is the subject. Tell us something about it in this game starting now.

TH: Recently I went up to a boiled egg, and said "all right then, come and have a go, if you think you're hard!" And it was, it had a black belt in judo and it broke my arm! I shan't be doing that again! I have nothing left oh er... I like more...


NP: Derek Nimmo you challenged then.

DN: There was a gap then, wasn't there.

NP: There was a gap, yes, there was a gap. Yes he was riding his laughs there. Forty-four seconds Derek, a hard boiled egg starting now.

DN: I must say in all these years I've never had such a rotten subject as a hard boiled egg!


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: It was another mercy challenge! I thought not happy, Derek wasn't happy with that subject.

NP: So...

GN: I just stepped in and removed it from him!

NP: Well he hasn't hesitated, deviated or repeated anything. So Derek do you wish to hand over or keep going?

DN: I'll keep going...

NP: Fine, fine. So Derek has a point for an incorrect challenge, he keeps the subject, 36 seconds, a hard boiled egg starting now.

DN: Get the water to a boil and then put the egg in for five minutes and then it'll be really hard boiled and you can use it for a salad 'swarze with some...



NP: Oops sorry, mike, I just hit it!

DN: Awfully sorry! It doesn't matter!

NP: Elaine's cracked up! She's gone!


NP: Yes I hit the microphone by mistake and said "sorry mike". Who challenged? I hit the mike. It was Linda, you challenged. Right Linda, Linda yes, I hit the mike as I turned to face Linda, Linda's on my right and Derek's on my left, I should explain to our listeners...

DN: I, I seem to have lost the plot a bit!

NP: Linda, Linda you challenged, what was your challenge? Can you remember?

LS: Oh, God knows! I er ah...

NP: I think it was a correct challenge anyway!


NP: Twenty-six seconds Linda, a hard boiled egg starting now.


NP: Linda's gone as well as Elaine now, they're in fits of giggles! Right Derek, you got in first, another long pause from Linda then.

DN: Well you said you wouldn't give her a second chance and she didn't start again.

NP: Right correct, 24 seconds, a hard boiled egg starting now.

DN: I have not known many hard boiled eggs though I did once go to an island with a very similar name which was rather soft which was a bit of a shame because it's not entirely what I'd expect at all. The thing is to get the yolk and the white equally hard and then you have a truly haaaaaaard boilllllllllllled...



NP: Wait! Wait a minute! Tony challenged just before the whistle, yes?

TH: Ah well I thought he was going to take about an hour saying the word hard!

NP: I think it was so slow I will interpret that as hesitation.

TH: Ah thank you.

NP: Drawing it out to an extreme length so we call that hesitation. You've got in with one second on a hard boiled egg Tony starting now.

TH: Sometimes people print...


NP: Linda, our first time player of the game, is still in the lead, one ahead of Derek Nimmo. He's one ahead of Tony Hawks and he's one ahead of Graham Norton. Isn't that exciting? Right Derek, your turn to begin. The subject is now behind the scenes, tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: In the theatre, we have something called the Actor's Church Union and there are for this er...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: I think there was a slight hesitation.

DN: Definitely.

NP: There was a definite hesitation. Fifty-three seconds, behind the scenes is with you Tony starting now.

TH: If you were privy to what goes on behind the scenes before the recording of this show, Just A Minute, you wouldn't listen to it! Frankly it's disgusting! We're out there rehearsing The Full Monty behind that curtain. It was quite a sight to see. Kenneth... oh God he's not...


NP: Oh and they go at me when I get the names confused.

TH: Oh dear, you started it with the mind altering substances!

NP: It was a bit of deja vu, you brought Kenneth Williams back from up above, or...

TH: Wherever he went!

NP: Yes! Derek challenged first, there are 39 seconds, behind the scenes starting now.

DN: At the Palladium lots of these priests used to come round, particularly when we had a big chorus of beautiful girls and they would try to teach them about God. Now if it was an all-male show, they'd never turn up at all. But some might, you never know these days, do you really? But I must say the things that go on behind the scenes are very fascinating. For instance our chairman did something called The Rocky Horror Show. And he wore fishnet stockings and lovely high-heeled shoes. So it's well worth going behind the scenes to see him at it, as it were. He's a very popular fellow throughout the country. He's played this lovely theatre, the Lyceum many times...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of theatre.

NP: Yes.

DN: Absolutely true.

NP: Absolutely true. Tony, once more you have got in with one second to go, one second Tony, behind the scenes starting now.

TH: The scenes are lovely...


NP: Tony Hawks with those points and the extra one for speaking when the whistle went has now taken the lead. He's one ahead of Linda Smith and Linda begins the next round. Linda, the subject is where it's at, starting now.

LS: Where it's at, everybody these days wants to be there it's at. Ah or even where it's at...


LS: Possibly, maybe, I don't know...

NP: I'm sorry, Graham challenged you.

LS: Nicholas, move a bit further away!

NP: Sorry, Graham challenged you, I'm afraid, after five seconds.

GN: Oh there just seemed to be a lot of words.

LS: I think there were a lot of words, not necessarily in the right order! Yes!

NP: So all right Graham, you have it, 52 seconds...

GN: I don't want it in that churlish way!

NP: Fifty-two seconds starting now.

GN: Sadly I never seem to know where it's at, man! Possibly it was a mistake to me er bleurgh!


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah hesitation.

NP: I think so Tony, where it's at, 44 seconds starting now.

TH: It's very important to know where it's at particularly if you're going to catch a plane. There's no point going to say Gatwick, for your aircraft when where it's at is Heathrow. I did this once and it's no good at all. You really need to go where it's at. Then you can get on it, sit in the chair and it'll take you to the place where you want to be. Whereas in my case I was at the wrong place. That's no good at all...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Oh was there repetition of place.

NP: Two places, yes there were. Twenty seconds where it's at with you Graham starting now.

GN: Where it's at, I think is a sort of urban street kid kind of slang for an exciting place to hang out where they're spinning the discs and they're tapping their feet and saying things like "where it's at". I...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Possibly repetition of and, maybe, I don't know.

NP: Well he did repeat and but er you've got in with three seconds Linda on where it's at starting now.

LS: I hope when...


NP: Derek challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No! She went immediately with flourish! Two and a half seconds, Linda, on where it's at...

LS: Where it's at, I'd like to be where it's at but I don't know where it is...


NP: So Linda, where it's at, was speaking on where it's at, and as the whistle went and got that extra point. So that's where it's at at the moment. So we move into the last round and it's Graham Norton's turn to begin. And the subject, oh what a lovely subject to finish the show on, gossip. Graham I'm sure you can gossip but talk about gossip starting now.

GN: My mother used to say to me "always remember Graham, a problem shared is gossip!" And how right she was! I remember being at a dinner party once, gossiping about some sort of bizarre incident involving myself and a mounted policeman when it was revealed that the woman sitting opposite me was the wife of said... guard-on-a-horse...


NP: Derek you challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

DN: So 29 seconds for you Derek on gossip starting now.

DN: Landladies are the greatest gossips. I remember staying in digs in Birmingham and the landlady, well, the woman, she said to me, she said... um...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I interpret that noise as a hesitation.

NP: Yes, got in, she said, she said, right! Tony gossip, 21 seconds starting now.

TH: Personally I don't believe the gossip that Nicholas Parsons is in fact a woman, Amy Wilcox of Potterton Avenue, Dorking. The gossip columnists have got it all wrong. He's Miss Wilkins from East Sussex in... well...


TH: In East Sussex!

NP: Derek you challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation? I'd have had him for deviation long before that. Four seconds to go, gossip with you Derek starting now.

DN: I had Mister Frankie Howerd staying here once, very lonely, terribly sad...


NP: Well did you enjoy that?


NP: Right! Would you like to hear the final score?


NP: Good! It's a very fair result because their contributions have been absolutely outstanding. But Graham Norton just failed to get up with the other three.


NP: No, no... no, no, he had a tremendous number of points, incredible contribution as always. He finished only three points behind. But the other three were equal in the lead so we have three winners, Derek Nimmo, Linda Smith and Tony Hawks! They're our three winners this week! It only remains for me to say thank you to our three delightful players of the game, Tony Hawks, Linda Smith, Graham Norton and Derek Nimmo. Also to thank Elaine Wigley who has kept the score for me so magnificently. We also thank Ian Messiter who created this game, keeps us all in work which we love doing. And also our director producer Chris Neill for being such a support to us as we play this game. And particularly we thank our lovely audience here at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield for encouraging us on our way so magnificently. To all of you, from all of us, thank you very much and God bless, good-bye!