NOTE: Craig Charles's only appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Hello, hello, thank you, thank you, thank you, yes, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. This show is a verbal version of sumo wrestling between four linguistic heavyweights, the contest to be decided by two falls, a submission and of course by myself. My guests this week, as usual the captain of the London team, a star from the top drawer of comedy and the top shelf of the video counter. Please lose your inhibitions for the very outrageous Tony Slattery!

TONY SLATTERY: Hello, and er tonight I have with me a poet, comedian and television presenter. Best known as Dave Lister in the wildly successful situation comedy Red Dwarf. He turned down a part in Porridge especially to be with us today. Ah would you er, would you please welcome back into the community Craig Charles.

NP: Well as you will have seen I have two anchors with me in this series. My other, yes... and with an audience like you, do I need them! Now my other regular guest on my right, captain of the Midland team. A radio DJ, hugely popular game show host who's probably thinking what fun he could be having right now on Supermarket Sweep. Please give a warm welcome to Dale Winton!

DALE WINTON: Oh thank you, thank you Nicholas. And sitting on my left I have a nuclear physicist, musician, comedian and popular science television presenter who makes Carol Vorderman... well actually I'd rather not say what he makes Carol Vorderman do. But he's also known as the bloke who plays the keyboard in Whose Line Is It Anyway, he's Doctor Richard Vranch!

NP: And this show is ridiculously simple until you start playing it and then it becomes simply ridiculous. They all try and gain points, yes and the one who has the most points at the end, of course we will judge him to be the winner. And they're also placing in teams so the scores in each team on either side will be added together at the end, and we'll find out whether it's going to be London or the Midlands who will triumph. I ask them to speak for Just A Minute on a subject that I give them and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. The other three can challenge, oh they can do what they like, but they can also challenge at any time they wish. If I uphold the challenge they get a point, but if not the other team gets a point. But you'll see how it all works out as we start the show this week with Tony Slattery. Tony...

TS: Yes what?

NP: Yes what. Weekends. You can take that any way you wish but will you talk on the subject starting now.

TS: My favourite weekend is spent in Sheffield Le Mouche which is a delightful mid 16th century Verinese palace near Streatham in London. I go there and have a whale of a time there. Banquets, jousting, old roast boars upside down in the fireplace, and Monopoly! (laughs) What we do there is just all gather round in a circle, spin a bottle of whiskey, drink it and the game is you just have to find out who's left the room if anyone has. Making any sense? I don't care. I'm just going on. Weekends are my favourite time of the week except the midweek period and the end! (laughs)


NP: Yes?

CRAIG CHARLES: Hesitation! Had to be!

NP: Craig I've got to say the cockiest player of this game I've ever come across. Nineteen seconds, weekends is the subject starting now.

CC: I spent a lovely weekend last weekend er when I weekend...


TS: Hesitation. I know it's very Liverpudlian! (in impression of CC's squeaky voice) Er I had a lovely weekend! Er I don't, I don't... er... End end...

NP: I'm not going to allow that, I think that was...

TS: (continues CC impression) I had a lovely weekend, er, er!

CC: What I want to know is what I'm doing playing for the London team?

TS: You speak Cockney and I'll speak Scandinavian!

CC: All right! All right! So sort it out! Sort it!

TS: (resumes high pitched impression of CC, shrieking "end" and "er" repeatedly)

NP: Craig, Craig, no Craig, I'm not going to allow the challenge. I think it was a bit of a mean one actually so I'm with you on this. I don't think it was sufficient hesitation. Mind you Tony's no fool, he's got another point for his team. So there are 15 seconds left for you Craig, on weekends starting now.

CC: When I weekended innnnnnnnnn Paris...


NP: Um Dale?

DW: I thought that was hesitation.

NP: It was hesitation yes.

DW: I'm sorry, this will not do, it was hesitation.

NP: I know he.... you'd almost fallen asleep hadn't you. You were a bit carried away. Right, that's a correct challenge Dale, you have a point for that, you have 13 seconds available for weekends starting now.

DW: There's nothing I like more than a weekend away. In fact I often go. Last time it was Amsterdam. I wandered along the canals...


NP: Yes?

TS: I just think you said the p-canals there!

NP: No he didn't.

DW: No I didn't.

TS: You said I wandered along the p-canals.

DW: Well there is... Tony... excuse me Nicholas. There is, this is what they're called over there.

NP: I don't think it was enough to call it a real hesitation. I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to you Craig and tell you...

DW: My name's Dale actually!

CC: We do look so similar though!

DW: Yes! And he's got the cheek to tell me I'm asleep!

NP: You know the trouble is when you try and twist the challenges in order to help people, then you go and slip up like that. Anyway Dale...

DW: Nicholas?

NP: I give you four seconds left on weekends starting now.

DW: In...


NP: Richard got in first.

RICHARD VRANCH: That was a big hesitation.

NP: That was a big hesitation. Richard you have two and a half seconds on weekends starting now.

RV: Weekends are the best way to get away when you haven't got any...


NP: So Richard Vranch was then speaking when the whistle went, and gained the extra point for doing so. It's a very interesting situation at this particular point because Craig Charles, Richard Vranch and Dale Winton are all equal in second place but they're only two points behind our leader who is Tony Slattery. And we now move on and I think Craig it's your turn to begin. The subject is rugby. Can you tell us something about that noble game or that fine city starting now.

CC: The game was invented by a pupil whose name escapes me at the moment, who decided he was too bored kicking the object over the time but wanted to pick it up and run. Now at my school, West Derby Comprehensive in Liverpool, that's called cheating! But public school being what it is...


NP: Right! Oh! Oh! Right! Richard you got in...

TS: It's turned into class warfare!

RV: There um, there were two schools there.

NP: There were two schools, yes. And there certainly are two schools where you come from. Right!

CC: I went to neither of them!

TS: Yes you burnt them both down, didn't you?

NP: Richard, rugby is the subject, 30 seconds are left starting now.

RV: Rugby is a fantastic town with a very famous school, and that's where the game of rugby was invented. But I always get very confused because rugby football is the usual title of that game, and yet soccer...


TS: Repetition of game.

NP: Yes, the game, well listened Tony, 19 seconds available...


NP: Not a popular man! Rugby starting now.

TS: When I used to play rugby and we used to have showers afterwards...


NP: Yes?

CC: Used, repetition of used. When I used to play rugby, when we used to have showers.

TS: Yes all right!

NP: You're learning fast for a man who burned down two schools! Right you've got in with 16 seconds to go on rugby starting now.

CC: The game always seems to be...


DW: No he said game earlier, I'm afraid.

NP: Yes you did, you mentioned game before.

CC: I've never liked him!

NP: Dale you got in with a correct challenge and another point, 15 seconds, rugby starting now.

DW: On the M1, junction 71, the sign says Creek. But in actual fact it's the road to Rugby. A grand school where they play sport very well... and they also make...


NP: Yes?

CC: It's got to be hesitation!

NP: I don't think it's got to be, no, I think he was going quite well, I don't think that was hesitation.

CC: All right, I'm getting carried away!

NP: I disagree with the challenge, it wasn't quite hesitation. So Dale you keep the subject, you have five seconds, rugby starting now.

DW: As I was saying, at this establishment where people learn all manners of what-have-you, sport is the...


TS: All manner of what-have-you?

DW: It got me a lot of points!

NP: Yes you were speaking as the whistle went, you gained an extra point. I'd like to know what the what-have-you is they were learning at the schools you were talking about though. I'm going to do something a little different now.


NP: Stop whispering! Listen are you two trying to get married or something in the middle of the show?

CC: No, we're not Guv, sorry!

NP: Right! Instead of giving them a subject, I am going to offer them an object. Those black segments will part and out of the bowels of the machinery rises an object...


NP: And I'm going to ask them to talk on that object if they can without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Richard Vranch, will you begin. There's the object, can you tell us what it is or something about it starting now.

RV: This bird in a gilded cage is definitely dead. And it's the very object which was used on the opening credits of a very popular television series going...


NP: Craig.

CC: Two verys.

NP: There were two verys, yes. Very well listened Craig. Right, you have 51 seconds, tell us something about it starting now.

CC: I actually know nothing about it others than it's er...


TS: A bit of an er.

NP: Yes it was a bit of an er.

TS: Yes it was.

NP: Right, 48 seconds left, there's the object Tony starting now.

TS: I think I'm going to carry on where Mister Vranch so eloquently left off...


NP: Richard?

RV: Doctor Vranch! Well it's just, I mean, if you're going to be formal, you've got to be...

TS: All right, from now on it's Madame Slattery! And can you have a look at my back?

NP: That was an incorrect challenge so Tony you keep the subject, you have 45 seconds starting now.

TS: Professor Mister... Einstein...


NP: Yes?

RV: That was hesitation.

TS: It was.

NP: It was hesitation, right. So Richard, you have the subject back there, it's the object... sorry! (laughs) oh nobody laughed at that! Forty-two seconds starting now.

RV: Arthur Negus the antiques expert would look at old bits of furniture. And even if they appear at first sight to be very boring, he with his anacolics and insight would make them seem the most interesting thing you'd ever witnessed on your television. And then at the end of the programme once more...


NP: Yes?

CC: Um oh sorry, oh er, um, it was deviation.

NP: Why was he deviating?

CC: Because he wasn't talking about, he was talking about Arthur Negus and his show and...

NP: That's right, he was talking about Arthur Negus and his description of objects, instead of talking about this particular object. So well listened Craig! Wonderful! You have, you have got a correct challenge, you've got another point. Thirty-four seconds, there's the object, tell us something about it starting now.

CC: Sylvester is actually the name of the cat, not the name...


CC: Oh! What do you want?

TS: Repe... repetition of name I'm afraid.

NP: That's right. Tony there's the object, 30 seconds starting now.

TS: This is the prime exhibit from the latest exhibition at the Tate Gallery featuring post-modernist art called Gymnast Descending A Staircase. It's worth eight hundred and fifty million pounds and...


NP: Ah Dale?

DW: It's got nothing to do with it! It's absolute rubbish! It's absolute utter... rubbish!

NP: Right and that's a correct challenge, you got one clap for it and you've got 18 seconds on the object starting now.

DW: What you see here is the canary reduced in size somewhat for display purposes. If you'd like to visit any museum on a good afternoon you might...


TS: There was a hesitation there.

DW: I think there was, actually I take that point.

NP: No actually Tony's got the point with a correct challenge. Ten seconds, Tony, there's the object starting now.

TS: Yes the famous head-hunters of Africa also miniaturised...


NP: Yes?

CC: That's nonsense!

TS: I didn't give any...

NP: Deviation from this object?

CC: Deviation from the subject...

NP: Yes well listened Craig.

CC: What's this got to do with head-hunters?

TS: Look, you're on my team!

CC: I know, but I got a point now for a correct um...

NP: Challenge.

CC: Yeah!

NP: He's got a point for a correct challenge so he's gone up and also your team's gone up.

CC: Yeah!

NP: You have five seconds, there's the object starting now.

CC: (breathes in very loudly and very deeply)


NP: Someone challenged you, what was the challenge?

RV: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, absolutely right, he never got started! Richard there's the object, you have three seconds starting now.

RV: In mining industries in the Midlands in the old days before the...


NP: Yes?

CC: Lots of ins, in the mining industry, in the Midlands...

TS: In the old days.

CC: In the old days.

NP: well you got in with half a second to go on the object starting now.

CC: I like...


NP: There we are! Craig Charles gets the extra point for speaking when the whistle went but Richard Vranch also gets the bonus point because he's the only one that has correctly identified it. That is the canary that miners would take down into the pits in the old days...

TS: No wonder it's stiff! Looks hard!

NP: To find out whether there was any methane gas. Very sad way to treat a beautiful little bird but there we are!

TS: Oh don't get soppy Nicholas! For goodness sake!


NP: Let me tell you what the score is at the halfway mark in the contest. Well Tony Slattery is still in the lead just two ahead of Craig Charles. And then comes Richard Vranch and Dale Winton in that order. And the London team are leading the Midlands team by seven points. All right.


NP: Something tells me we have a biased audience. So after that coruscating round, we'll take a break to rub iodine into our emotional rounds. So stay tuned because you will see us after this.




NP: Welcome back, welcome back to Just a Minute. You join us in the brutal closing stages. The English language is surrounded on all sides and our panellists are moving in for the kill. Richard your turn to begin, the subject, getting lost. Can you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

RV: I am sure to get lost in the next minute as I attempt to speak without hesitating, deviating or repeating. But if you are an at ah er...


NP: Tony?

TS: That's Swahili, I think!

RV: Yeah.

NP: So either deviation or hesitation. Er Tony you have the subject of getting lost, you have 50 seconds starting now.

TS: Here's a sure way to get lost. Ask a London traffic warden the direction. They don;t know anything. They're too busy putting expensive tickets on your car and putting you up against the wall and shooting you...


NP: Yes?

DW: I'm sorry, there were two theres and two puttings.

NP: There were two puttings there, yes.

TS: Yes sorry.

DW: They were putting them everywhere!

NP: Yes!

TS: It makes me angry, that's all.

DW: I know, as I would do too.

NP: Yes, getting lost is the subject...

DW: I'm going to beat myself in a minute.

NP: What was that?

DW: I said I'm going to beat myself in a minute.

NP: Oh right.

TS: Oh not now!

NP: We don't want self-flagellation in this show now please. Right, getting lost is the subject, 40 seconds starting now.

DW: Getting lost is something that I never ever do because I have an excellent A to Z of the British Isles. This team I am playing for is the Midlands team which is why when you are up north, a little bit below, it is called ah...


NP: Tony yes?

TS: I think there was a hesitation.

NP: I think so too. Right you have 28 seconds Tony on getting lost starting now.

TS: As we walk the road of life, sometimes, don't we, we get lost...


NP: Richard?

RV: There were three wes in there.

NP: Yes you can't...

TS: It's been a long evening!

NP: Yes you can't have too many wes in any round in this show. Right, 24 seconds are left for you Richard, getting lost starting now.

RV: If you get lost on a starry night, you can always find your way to the place you're going to by looking up and seeing where the pole star is...


NP: Dale.

DW: Well there were too many stars.

NP: There were.

CC: There was too many wheres actually.

DW: I thought he said star.

NP: But you said, he only mentioned star once.

DW: Oh was it once? Oh sorry. Oh I'm sorry Richard.

NP: No it's all right. It doesn't matter. You've been very clever again. He's your partner, he gets a point for an incorrect challenge...

DW: Oh right.

NP: ...keeps the subject.

DW: You're welcome!

NP: Right, 15 seconds are left, getting lost Richard starting now.

RV: But it means that you have to walk only in that direction. There are no other objects in the firmament which tell you any of the other points of the compass...


NP: Craig yeah?

CC: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation.

CC: Hesitation.

NP: Craig you cleverly got in with six seconds to go, getting lost starting now.

CC: Getting lost is what I did today when I walked to the studio expecting to be on Surprise Surprise...


NP: Oh!

CC: Oh no! (holds head in hands) That's not...

NP: It's a tough game isn't it.

CC: I could have picked any show, couldn't I!

NP: But you picked that one. But Tony got in with a correct challenge, he's also in your team, I wouldn't worry too much. Tony you got in with one second to go on getting lost starting now.

TS: Where am I?



NP: No, no, I won't allow that. Tony Slattery was speaking when the whistle went, gained the extra point. He's increased his lead at the end of that round. And the subject now is getting sent and it's Tony Slattery's turn to begin. So you can take that in any way you wish, it's how it sounds and not how it sounds Tony, 60 seconds starting now.

TS: Getting scent, well, when I was a teenager and first started to shave, high karate was one of my favourite ah...


NP: Richard Vranch has...

RV: A big hesitation.

TS: Sorry I just went blank, I'm so sorry.

NP: Oh I see, I thought it went back and the memory was so overwhelming you couldn't continue.

TS: Well it's just because you're wearing it at the moment. I mean, it's very trustian you know. Very evocative.

NP: Richard you had a correct challenge, you have 52 seconds, getting scent starting now.

RV: The time most people get scent is at Christmas when we buy presents for people who we don't really know that well. The problem is we haven't a clue what perfume they'd wear. So we go into the shop and try not to buy the cheapest one because that's a bit naff. So I always think the best thing to do is buy the one...


TS: Repetition of buy.

NP: There was too much buying I'm afraid.

TS: Sorry.

NP: Tony you've got the subject back, another point of course, 32 seconds, getting scent starting now.

TS: I won't get accused of advertising here because the product is no longer on the market. There was a particular man's odour called Denham and it was for the person who didn't have to try too hard. Nicholas, that's right...


TS: ... and then someone went like that...


TS: ... and they slapped their hand and um I...


NP: Um...

DW: Major hesitation there.

CC: I was at fault there surely!

DW: I don't care, I still want the point!

TS: I was nobbled...

DW: You were enjoying every minute of it!

NP: Nobbled your own partner! Dale I agree with the challenge, I agree with....

TS: I was being accosted!

DW: First time you've complained about that!

NP: Nineteen seconds...

TS: Where did that come from?

NP: Right, 19 seconds, getting scent starting now.

DW: Getting scent is a fragrance of course. In the Midlands we use Odour Kidderminster. Now this is a delicate aroma. Most miners who work in the area often dabble a little behind each ear and on their forearm. This makes them terribly appealing when out for bingo...


DW: ...or an odd, an odd bit of rugby...


DW: You're on my side!

RV: I know, there were two odd bits there.

NP: There were two odd bits. Yes.

TS: But how interesting! What a nightmare world in the north you've conjured up! With miners with forearms dabbing scent on their pulse points! And then going to bingo! I bet you're a hit in Nottingham, darling! It sounds fun!

DW: I don't know what I was talking about!

TS: You do! It's your average weekend!

DW: Oh dear!

NP: Tony you can have a bonus point for that. We do that occasionally, give out bonus points because we enjoy the challenges. But Richard you had a correct challenge there of, what was it?

RV: Repetition.

NP: Repetition that's right. But you're on his side so you get the point but also your team does. Three seconds are left, getting sent starting now.

RV: Getting sent out of the classroom when you're at school because you've been naughty is perhaps one of the most embarrassing things...


NP: So Richard Vranch then speaking when the whistle went gained that all important extra point. But it hasn't made a great deal of difference to his team I'm afraid. Because we've reached the end of the contest and Tony Slattery had most individual points so congratulations to him. Very well done Tony! His was individually the highest score, but along with Craig Charles, who actually finished in second place equal with Dale Winton, they as a team are no less than five points ahead of the Midlands. So they are the team winners this week! Sadly the sands of time have dribbled through our trembling fingers. So from my guests, Tony Slattery, Craig Charles, Dale Winton and Richard Vranch, and from myself Nicholas Parsons, it's time to say farewell we take to the air to play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here, good-bye!