NOTE: Helen Lederer's last television appearance, Clement Freud's last television appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you, thank you, hello and welcome to Just A Minute, the show that turns television celebrities into gibbering imbeciles, and gibbering imbeciles into television celebrities. And I have with me as usual, on my left the captain of the London team, someone who gibbers magnificently on television, the Dick Emery of improvised comedy, Tony Slattery!

TONY SLATTERY: Thank you, and with me I have someone who I think is more fun than Ned Sherrin put together. He's one of the old masters of the game, he's been playing Just A Minute ever since it started. And somehow has still found time to sit in Parliament, write for newspapers and cook dinner. He is the remarkable Sir Clement Freud!

NP: And on my right the captain of the Midlands team. The man who was shopping in a supermarket one day and suddenly thought "let's do a show right here!" And they did and now there's no stopping him! The host of Supermarket Sweep, Dale Winton!

DALE WINTON: And sitting next to me as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, a talented actress, comedienne and television presenter, the wonderful Helen Lederer!

NP: Well they're our four players of the game and they're going to try and make as many points as they can for themselves and also for their team, because it is the Midlands against London. And so far the scores are fairly equal. The game is so simple, it's quite ridiculous, until you play the game and then it is simply ridiculous. And what they have to do is to speak if they can on a subject that I give them, and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. At any time any of the other three can challenge. If I uphold the challenge, they gain a point, if not then whoever is speaking gains a point. It's all ridiculously simple as I said. Let's start the show with Dale Winton. Dale the subject we have to start with is the M1. Can you talk about the M1 in 60 seconds starting now.

DW: The M1 begins in north London and goes north. Famous focal points of interest along the way include Scratchwood, Toddington, Robbersthorpe, Newport Pagnell, Watford Gap. Highly intriguing places built...


TS: Yeah, repetition of places.

NP: Yes you talked about...

DW: Did I say places twice?

NP: You did say places twice, I'm sorry. So Tony you got in with a correct challenge which means you gain a point for that and you take over the subject. You have 46 seconds, the subject is the M1 and you start now.

TS: I had a dream the other night, slightly surreal, Dadaesque, fleetingly impressionistic, in which the letters of the alphabet had a scrabble...


NP: Yes?

HELEN LEDERER: I'm sorry, I thought I'd come in there. There was a hesitation, ahah!

TS: It wasn't that bad! Don't overdo it, darling! No you're right!

NP: You agree do you?

TS: No!

NP: I don't think so, I think he was keeping going under the pressure of the game quite well actually. So I disagree...

HL: I knew I'd be overruled! That's why I had to exaggerate the point

NP: But it was lovely to hear from you.

HL: Thank you.

NP: Right so Tony, an incorrect challenge, so you gain a point for that, you keep the subject, you have 38 seconds, the M1 starting now.

TS: A titanic battle it was between M and P, and the M won! There...


TS: Just working up to a bit of a...

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: I think ah...

NP: You think incorrect?

CF: Wrong, wrong challenge.

NP: Yes because the M1...

TS: Was it? Oh thank you.

NP: Right you have the subject still, you have 33 seconds having gained another point, with Clement Freud's help, the M1 starting now.

TS: The M1 starts somewhere around Edgeware in the north of London. I like to shoot up it and go to Birmingham which I also love. I know I'm not really meant to say that because we're meant to be on opposite sides. But the Midlands is I think my favourite topographical...



NP: Yes, Helen you challenged?

HL: I, I voluntarily and quickly and spontaneously challenged for good reason. Would you like to second my reason?

NP: He repeated the word meant.

HL: He repeated the word meant.

NP: Yes there we are so Helen you very cleverly got in with 16 seconds on the M1 starting now.

HL: The M1 was built originally in Victorian times...


NP: Um Dale?

DW: Now that's deviation I'm afraid.

NP: Absolutely, it was built in the early 1960s.

DW: Nineteen-sixty-one actually.

NP: Yes.

HL: Excuse me, no, there was an M1. If you know about the history of roading in the 19th century as I do, you know that...

NP: We don't go as far back as that actually.

TS: You do!

NP: Oh stop! Dale you had a correct challenge, you have got the subject, you helped your team, you have 12 seconds, the M1 starting now.

DW: Continuing my journey, Rugby, Loughborough, Leicester. In fact one can go as far as Scotland almost before turning off and taking a break at a welcome restaurant, ripped off...


NP: When that whistle 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 Dale Winton who is in second place, Tony Slattery has most points at the end of that round. And Tony, your turn to begin. The subject, Sir Christopher Wren. Will you tell us something about that distinguished man starting now.

TS: An architect, appalling body odour. That's not generally known in the historical books. Let me fill you in a bit more about Sir Christopher and his particularly nasty habits. here we go. One, awful limp, dreadful, embarrassing, comical, one foot down, the other foot up in the air. So...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two feet.

TS: Yes he did.

NP: So Dement you've got the subject, you've got a point for yourself and your team. And there are 42 seconds...

CF: Dermot?

NP: What?

CF: Did you call me Dermot?

NP: I said Clement! (in Irish accent) No, no, you're thinking of your Irish relations, no, no, not Dermot...

TS: Excuse me, excuse me, what accent's that?

NP: (in Irish accent) I believe your family originally come from that part of the world, so I'm doing an Irish accent for you now.

TS: Is it? Is there a touch of Scandinavian!

NP: (Irish accent) No, no! Definitely, it is probably Dublin, probably Dublin, I don't know, but there we are! Clement Freud that's your name, isn't it? Forty-two seconds on Sir Christopher Wren starting now.

CF: I am awfully pleased to be playing for the London team, because on a previous occasion I worked for the Midlands side and I had to put on this thick Brummy accent! Welcome to London, Sir Christopher Wren...


NP: Ah Dale Winton?

DW: We had two Londons then.

NP: We did have two Londons then.

DW: We had two Londons.

CF: Oh.

NP: Yes you did. Well listened Dale, 26 seconds starting now.

DW: Did he not create St er... St Paul's Cathedral?


NP: Yes?

TS: Bit of a hesitation there.

NP: Bit of a hesitation. He did actually.

DW: Oh.

NP: You couldn't get it out. Right, right, 24 seconds, Sir Christopher Wren, Tony starting now.

TS: I suppose St Paul's Cathedral is Sir Christopher Wren's best invention in the way, architecturally that is, but...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: We've had architecture.

NP: Yes.

TS: Have we?

NP: Yes.

TS: Oh blast!

NP: Nineteen seconds for you Clement on Sir Christopher Wren starting now.

CF: Sir Christopher Wren
Went out to dine with some men
He said "if anyone calls
Tell them I'm designing St Paul's."


NP: Why have you challenged Helen?

HL: Well I challenged for good reason, I wanted to get in ahead of anyone else before they challenged. Anyway um no, deviation, rhyming. I'm sorry, I can't work with rhyming.

NP: You can't work with rhyming! Oh dear! I had no idea you were going to be so difficult Helen! But you're so lovely with it. But it was a completely incorrect challenge, but it was lovely to hear from you and you got a huge laugh...

TS: Helen be very careful, he's on the pull!

NP: I'm going to give her a bonus point as well because we enjoyed it. So Clement you were interrupted, you get a point for that, you have 12 seconds left, Sir Christopher Wren starting now.

CF: The great fire of London was a huge boon to the architectural...


NP: Yes?

DW: That's the second London. Third London actually we've had now.

NP: Yes because you mentioned London before.

DW: We had London before.

NP: Yes and you cannot mention the words you've used before even if you start speaking again.

CF: Really?

NP: Yes. Nine seconds Dale, Sir Christopher Wren starting now.

DW: Such buildings ought to be preserved, Prince Charles is quite right. One only has to look at the skyline in London to see the wonderful designs these men created many many...


TS: Many many!

DW: I did actually, I did. After the buzzer.

NP: Yeah so Dale Winton's many many came after the buzzer and he was speaking therefore as the buzzer went... as the buzzer went! As the whistle went. And the scores between the Midland team and the London team are equal at this point. Dale Winton, your turn to begin, the black country. You're from the Midlands but can you talk about it, 60 seconds starting now.

DW: Wolverhampton, Kidderminster, places like this are part of the black country. It is a flat area of land favoured by people who like to work in certain industries, allied to perhaps car making. British Leyland are based in Birmingham which is on the edge of the black country where people have a strange accent it seems, where they assemble Metros and other four wheeled vehicles. Please press your buzzer now...


NP: So Helen you pressed first, what's it for?

HL: I had to press it.

NP: Yes, because he deviated, by saying "Helen press your buzzer".

HL: Dale wants me to press my buzzer and I'm doing...

NP: But you've got to give a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute.

HL: What is it?

DW: Hesitation.

HL: Hesitation.

NP: No, he didn't hesitate, but he did deviate.

HL: Deviate, I meant.

NP: Yes because he said "Helen press your buzzer" which has got nothing to do with...

HL: Oh thank God, Nicholas, you're so quick!

NP: The black country with you Helen starting now.

HL: This area of England reminds me of the Polders, reclaimed so beautifully many many centuries...


HL: Oh!

NP: Yes?

TS: Repetition of many.

HL: Absolutely.

NP: Many many centuries.

HL: Yes indeed, well spotted there Tony.

TS: Thank you.

NP: Tony, 30 seconds, the black country starting now.

TS: The black country reminds me of the Polders as well. Helen was going on to say the Dutch in their never-ending and ceaseless fight against the (unintelligible) sea reclaimed land and therefore built little houses on it with (unintelligible) and windmills and they have a gorgeous time unlike...


NP: Yes?

DW: Oh for goodness sake! What was all that about?

NP: It was all about Holland which is deviating from the black country.

DW: How long's left?

NP: Dale you haven't given me your challenge yet.

DW: Oh deviation. Sorry.

NP: Right, yes, so of course you get a point.

DW: Oh good.

NP: You've got the black country back with you, 15 seconds starting now.

DW: As I was saying I lived in the black country for three years to be precise, where I still visit my friends occasionally. Towns I like to visit include Derby, on the edge near Longbridge where they make all those wonderful four wheeled vehicles...


DW: Aaaaaaahhhhh!

TS: Repetition of four wheeled.

NP: You had the four wheels before, I'm afraid.

DW: I did! Oh!

NP: Two seconds, you got in cleverly before the whistle, on the black country Tony starting now.

TS: Welcome back to Holland...


NP: Yes?

CF: We've had Holland.

NP: We've had Holland. You mentioned it before.

TS: Yes.

NP: So you've got in with half a second Clement, very cleverly, the black country starting now.

CF: Holland!


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained the extra point. And he and Tony have now taken the London team into a strong lead. Right, I'm not going to give them a subject now, I'm going to offer them an object. The black segments will part and from the bowels of...


NP: ... this piece of furniture or whatever it's called, this desk, rises a piece of china. Clement Freud it's your turn to begin. There's the object, will you please talk about this object. You have 60 seconds and try and do it without hesitation, repetition or deviation starting now.

CF: It is my mother-in-law, I recognised her quite simply by the spots on the dress which she always wore at teatime and she made the most wonderful trifles and jellies with custards and cream when we had Sunday lunch in Putney, London SW15. It was that particular area of the city. She had three daughters of whom I was privileged to marry one. And did not have a hole in her back as the porteau there depicts. But otherwise the expression, the genual...


NP: Tony yes?

TS: The word genual there. Sorry.

NP: Yes, 20 seconds for you Tony on the object starting now.

TS: My Chinese dynasty, the ones I remember are Chen and Ming. But of course this piece of pottery comes from the Shivaughan area of time which I mentioned in...


NP: Dale?

DW: A little minor hesitation there.

NP: Yes a minor one.

DW: Hang on, how long have I got left?

NP: Ten seconds.

DW: Oh good!

NP: Yes there's the object, talk about it Dale starting now.

DW: I know exactly what I'm looking at here. This was a bonus prize on the Sale Of The Century. You may well remember. I also had one along with Barbara Cartland. She uses it as a brooch. It's a beautiful kind of one and I would wear it myself...



NP: No, no Helen challenged before the whistle.

HL: Oh no, can I rescind that?

NP: Why?

HL: It's just mean!

NP: What was your challenge?

DW: Oh accept it, we'll get another point, just talk about you know...

HL: Oh I hit him!

NP: Yes I disagree with your challenge so Dale gets another point. He has half a second to go on this object starting now.

DW: Arthur Negus...


TS: (laughs) Press the buzzer!

NP: No-one's correctly identified the object so if anyone would like to have a go I would...

DW: It's a dog!

NP: Yes it's a China dog, it's a Chelsea dog from the Chelsea pottery. Right we've reached the halfway mark in our contest and...


NP: Down it goes! Back to Barbara Cartland! Right, there we are, the London team are four points ahead of the Midland team. So after that verbal pile-up, I'll have to cut the contestants out of the wreckage of what was once the English language. And so we'll take a short break, you stay tuned, and you'll see us after this.




NP: Welcome back to Just A Minute. We are all raring to go but first, let's play Just A Minute! And it's Helen Lederer's turn to begin. Here's the subject, odd ways to cross the Trent, 60 seconds starting now.

HL: By foot is an original approach to surfacing the water without getting your galoshes too wet or indeed full to give you a nasty cold. I've used canoes of course, practising first in the Dordogne, going down there to Bordeaux, Fromage, a town, a nice place to drop off. Nobody would know about that round this table because nobody else has done such...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two nobodies.

NP: There were two nobodies.

HL: Oh! That's rather trivial, isn't it?

NP: It may be, but it's correct Helen. So Clement, a correct challenge, another point, 37 seconds, odd ways to cross the Trent starting now.

CF: I think what Nicholas meant was the Traunte which is French for number 30, and (French word) the oddest way to cross the Traunte would be having it in neighbours, doubles, lines, squares, and sixfolds. The Trent river...


NP: Ah Helen?

HL: I'm sorry, I've got to come in.

NP: Why?

HL: Because it's deviation from the actual river Trent. We're not talking about Traunte.

NP: Well you see Helen, you can take the subject any way you like. It doesn't say the river Trent, it says odd ways to cross the Trent.

HL: Yeah but Traunte is spelt T-R-A-U-N-T-E and my understanding is that...

NP: Yes and you can't pronounce... if you say Trent, you wouldn't be, pronounce it Traunte, would you?

HL: No, where are you going with this?

NP: Well done! Congratulations! Eighteen seconds, odd ways to cross the Trent Helen starting now.

HL: Water-skis are another useful device to skut the water without getting...


NP: Yes?

CF: Two waters.

NP: There were two waters as well as skutting. I don't know what that was. Thirteen seconds Clement starting now.

CF: The river Trent rises in Staffordshire and makes its way over 170 miles until it reaches the Humpar where it sort of exits, sheds its water into the sea...


NP: Yes?

DW: Oh I'm sorry, no, I was thing about her water, not his water. Sorry! Bad challenge then!

TS: Clement's waters haven't broken!

HL: And mine have! Yes say it!

NP: Right, have you a challenge? Or otherwise you'll lose a point.

DW: Well actually deviation because um, he said 170 miles and to my certain knowledge it's not nearly as long as that.

NP: I think you're right. Half a second Dale on odd ways to cross the Trent starting now.

DW: Nottingham is where the Trent actually...


NP: Right there we are! So Dale got the extra point for speaking when the whistle went. And Tony Slattery it's your turn to begin, the subject is having fun in Farnham. I didn't know they had much fun in Farnham but try and talk on the subject if you can starting now.

TS: Having fun in Farnham, impossible! That's it!


NP: Hesitation, right...

CF: Yes.

NP: Fifty-six seconds, having fun in Farnham starting now.

CF: It is an interesting fact and will probably be challenged. But Farnham is the name of more places in this country than any other. Look what you where you will. In Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Staffordshire, Lincoln, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Clywd, Devon, Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey...


NP: You challenged Helen?

HL: Yes.

NP: There's not a Farnham in all those counties, is there?

HL: No. There just isn't.

NP: No, you're right. Certainly more Farnhams than any other place name, but there isn't one in every county that you mentioned. So Helen you very cleverly listened there and got in with a correct challenge on 31 seconds, having fun in Farnham starting now.

HL: It's easy to have fun in Farmon, the tea shops...


TS: Farmon? I think deviation.

NP: I think she did say Fireman there actually!

TS: Yes! She did, she did.

NP: So...

TS: We should get together!

NP: Twenty-eight seconds for you Tony, having fun in Farnham starting now.

TS: One of the best ways to have fun in Farnham is to just go round...


NP: Clement?

CF: Deviation, he said there was no way of having fun there!

TS: That's true! I'll stick to my guns! That's correct!

NP: Well challenged Clement, another point to you, having fun in Farnham, 25 seconds starting now.

CF: There is a town called Farnham in Surrey where there was a theatre. And it used to be called the Michael Redgrave, I think, and was previously the Castle in which my wife who is an actress, performed with Alan Bodell in a brilliant afternoon theatre...


NP: Yes?

DW: Well that was hesitation, it was staggering on, wasn't it. I'm sure it was a good production as well though.

NP: Yes. You've just got in with half a second to go Dale, aren't you clever? Having fun in Farnham starting now.

DW: Having fun in Farnham...


NP: So Dale Winton got the point for speaking as the whistle went. He has now taken the lead ahead of Tony Slattery and Clement Freud equal in second place. Dale Winton it's your turn to begin.

DW: Oh!

NP: The subject is what gravity is for.

DW: What gravity is for is to differentiate between people who live in the south and those who habit the north. Which is why I represent the...


TS: Those who habit the north?

DW: Oh!

TS: That's deviation.

NP: Right...

TS: Sorry.

NP: From English as we understand it.

DW: No, you're right actually Tony, I stand corrected.

TS: Thanks, later!

NP: Fifty-three seconds, what gravity is for Tony starting now.

TS: Gravity is for keeping you stuck to the Earth I suppose. Life is a veil of tears, there is so much bitterness, rage and intense human betrayal, especially in this studio. I feel it animating in currents of anti-warmthness.


NP: Helen yes?

HL: Um I'm going to question the anti-warmthness concept, um...

TS: It's a neologism.

HL: Yes but we don't have that in this game!

NP: I don't recognise it as a sort of normal English word. So I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say it's not English as we understand it or speak it normally. Thirty-six seconds for you on what gravity is for, Helen starting now.

HL: Gravity is essential. We humourise so many jokes, tittle-tattle, titillation...


NP: Ah yes?

DW: No it was false challenge there.

NP: There were tittle, there were two tittles.

DW: Oh there were two tittles. There were...

HL: No excuse me, tittle-tattle...

DW: No listen, you're on my side here, so it's worth a point, you can have it back in a minute!

NP: So it's incorrect challenge, you get a point for that, your team gets more points, you continue, 31 seconds, what gravity is for starting now.

HL: It's important to be serious. People trivialise the essence of life and I hate the way people go down...


NP: Well done Dale, yes?

DW: Now this time I have to say there were two peoples.

NP: There were two peoples. You got in with 24 seconds, what gravity is for, Dale starting now.

DW: Gravity is for keeping things up and down! No, it's true! (laughs) Dolly Parton...


NP: Yes?

TS: Dolly Parton!

CF: Hesitation.

DW: You missed a fabulous story just then!

NP: Well after your faux pas Clement Freud challenged because there was a pause and he got in...

CF: There was a gaffe, it was not a faux pas.

NP: There was a gaffe, right. Well it was a faux pas and then he paused. Right, 17 seconds Clement what gravity is for starting now.

CF: For Dolly Parton, it is immensely important because it keeps her corsage close to her body which is, I think, of huge import to all people in America and some of us who watch her. Were it not for gravity, we might be on Pluto or...


NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point for doing so. You have moved forward, equal with Dale Winton and jointly you have got most points. Congratulations to the two of you! Then came Tony Slattery and Helen Lederer. But four points ahead of the Midland team were the London team. So the Londoners, you are the winners this week! It's time to leave anchor, swab the decks, and break open the fish fingers. So from Tony Slattery, Sir Clement Freud, Helen Lederer and Dale Winton and myself Nicholas Parsons, we hope you’ve enjoyed the show and will be with us the next time we play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here good-bye!