ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Sheila Hancock in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you very much indeed and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And as you just heard, we have four keen and regular players of the game who are going to try and compete against each other and speak for Just A Minute if they can, on some subject I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject which is on the card in front of me. And let us begin the show this week with Kenneth Williams. Kenneth what a wonderful subject Ian Messiter's thought of, for you to start the programme. Ecstasy. Something that you display so magnificently in this show regularly, but will you talk on it now for 60 seconds beginning now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: This is produced in people by various causes. I can say that one lady I know is always ecstatic over a cup of tea. Somebody else of course could get this feeling from sexual bliss or rapture as it's sometimes called. And other people get it from sheer material things like success. I've heard it said and sung that life is sweetest when you're young, and kids of 16 or 21 are having all the fun. I disagree, I say it isn't so, and I'd be someone who ought to know. I...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Repetition of someone.

NP: Yes, yes, he did say someone more than once so ah being repetitious there. I agree with the challenge Derek, you gain a point for the correct challenge and you take over the subject of ecstasy with 25 seconds left starting now.

DN: Ecstasy can indeed be produced by so many different things. For instance, think of the agony of the ancient martyrs in the forum of Rome, or even in the great Coliseum itself, being thrown to the lions and there dying for the God in which they believed. It is strange for us now to be able to imagine the feelings of these great men who gave up their lives...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Repetition of great. He said great early on.

NP: Yes.

DN: Yes indeed, absolutely right.

NP: Yes it was a, it was such a great feeling that he was arousing, one was almost tempted to resist the temptation to challenge. But Peter it was a correct challenge for which you gain a point and the subject, and there are five seconds left with you on ecstasy now starting now.

PJ: Ecstasy was the name of a film in which Hedy Lamarr stripped and came out of her...



NP: You were challenged on the whistle Peter, but I think the whistle came first so as you were speaking when the whistle went, you gain an extra point as you know. And at the end of that round, you have the lead. And Peter Jones, we'd like you to begin this next round. The subject is my oldest profession.


NP: Oh! I'm sorry, I'm too vain to wear my glasses on radio! It actually, Ian just corrected me, my oldest possession!


SH: Oh dear!

NP: A title that's rather a marked difference! Except if you're in the oldest profession perhaps.

SH: I wouldn't have dared to buzz that one!

NP: There was a rather hushed silence. And a blush on Ian Messiter's cheeks because he knew he hadn't thought of that subject. Peter would you talk on my oldest possession for 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well I am very proud of it, of course. And I wish I could show it to you. It's something that I've prized for many years as you can imagine. It's getting on now as indeed I am myself. I polish it regularly every week with er beeswax and a little turpentine. And it contains some of the most wonderful volumes, Bibles which have been handed down to me, by my er father...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: You said er.

NP: There was an er. Yes, once he got on to the volumes he um hesitated. So Derek you challenged at exactly the same point in the last round, 25 seconds to go, you have a point and the subject, my oldest possession starting now.

DN: It's awfully difficult really to tell exactly what this question means. Does it mean a man-made article or does it mean a geographical phenomenon or geological perhaps...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation, he's discussing the title, not the oldest possession.

NP: Well he was saying it's difficult to know what this means.

PJ: Well he ought to pass it on to somebody else!

KW: Rambling on like some old twerp! I mean... he ought to know what the subject's about!

NP: Yes he was almost as quiet as you were in the first round, wasn't he Kenneth.

KW: No I had laryngitis!

SH: Oh is it better now?

KW: Yes, I had this bottle of linctus handy!

NP: Well your laryngitis...

KW: Mind your own business!

NP: Your laryngitis...

KW: This audience doesn't want to hear you enquiring about my medical affairs!

NP: I think that...

KW: Why don't you run the game, instead of trying to turn this into Health.

NP: I would...

KW: You ought to do your job and try and run the game...

NP: I would run the game if you gave me half a chance...

KW: Yes! Look at her! She's gone white!

NP: Kenneth if you give me half a chance, I will try and run the game. Back to the game now, I maintain that Derek was keeping going which is very difficult in this game as you know, on the subject which is on the card, my oldest possession. So he keeps it with an extra point, 17 seconds left starting now.

DN: In terms of antiquity, I suppose my oldest possession is a piece of earthenware which I excavated in a place called Souness just outside er Farmagusta...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitated just outside Farmagusta!

NP: That was nice, but he did it for you Peter, because I agree with your challenge, you have eight seconds on my oldest possession starting now.

PJ: And if I had the privilege of bringing this old box along for you to examine, I feel sure that you...


NP: Well um Peter Jones was again speaking when the whistle went, so he still keeps the lead and Derek moved up in that last round, got quite a lot of points so he's in second place, one point behind. Sheila and Kenneth have yet to score, but it's early days...

SH: I have yet to open my mouth!

NP: Um Sheila would you like to begin the next round, the subject what I find most difficult. Would you talk on that Sheila for 60 seconds beginning now.

SH: What I find most difficult in life is to carry out my intentions. I'm always deciding to do something, and very seldom finish it. The other day I was reading a Chinese horoscope book, and I discovered to my horror that I am what is known as a rooster. And these aforesaid birds scrabble around and shout and carry on, and never do a thing. And that in fact is a fair summing up of me. I am constantly sending off for books about extra...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Repetition of books.

KW: No, no, her first was singular, her second was plural. Chinese horoscope book.

NP: Thank you Kenneth...

KW: That;s fine! Thought I'd just jog you Nick! I'm only helping you out of course.

NP: I'm most grateful Kenneth! I'm most grateful!

KW: Yeah! Well!

NP: I mean if you'd like to do the two jobs...

KW: No, as long as we know where we stand, dear!

NP: I don't mind because I have signed my contract, I'll still be...

KW: I've signed mine too dear!

NP: There are 29 seconds Sheila, for you to stay with what I find most difficult having gained a point for a wrong challenge starting now.

SH: And these aforesaid leaflets...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of aforesaid.

SH: I didn't say...

NP: She didn't say aforesaid. She said it in the last round.

DN: Yes, no, aforesaid earlier on.

SH: Did I?

DN: Mmmm.

NP: No, I don't think so. Sheila you have another point and there are 26 seconds on what I find most difficult starting now.

SH: On evening classes, ah, what I...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Sorry hesitation.

NP: Hesitation.

KW: Well she couldn't help it! He's looking right at her!

NP: No she couldn't!

KW: Most ungallant!

NP: No, no, that was Sheila's fault entirely. Eighteen seconds, what I find most difficult Derek starting now.

DN: What I find most difficult is to understand how the good James...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: I'm afraid there was just a hesitation. And so... we all know Derek did have a slight stutter once. Ah there are, I was wrong when I said 18 seconds before, there were 24. There are now 20 seconds on what...

PJ: It gets longer each time!

NP: Peter the subject is what I find most difficult and there are 20 seconds left starting now.

PJ: I find it extremely difficult to speak on practically any subject without hesitating, deviating or in some way offending the other members of the panel. I've made the attempt week after monotonous...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged incorrectly!

SH: Yes!

NP: You thought you were being quick and clever...

SH: Yes!

NP: He laid a trap for you...

SH: Very clever!

NP: ...put the bait, and he's got a point for a wrong challenge and there are three and a half seconds left Peter, on what I find most difficult starting now.

PJ: Month and it's getting me down. Now I...


NP: Peter's cleverly laid trap meant he was speaking when the whistle went. He gained that extra point and he leads Sheila and Derek and Kenneth is trailing but he's going to begin the next round. And knowing your love of history Kenneth, Ian has thought of another historical subject for you. A personality, Edmund Halley. Would you talk about him starting now.

KW: Well all I know really is that he had this comet which he predicted the return of, named after him. Of course well-known as an astronomer. At one time, I believe secretary to the Royal Society. He did share an activity of mine, curious though that they may sound to you, seeing as how he was in the 18th century, and me in the 20th, but...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Deviation, he wasn't in the 18th century, he was rather earlier.

NP: No, he wasn't he was more in the 18th...

KW: On the contrary! On 1701, he chartered the shores of this island, you great nit!

NP: He was Astronomer royal in seventeen hundred and one. But his comet, he didn't discover till 1730.

KW: Well that's still the 18th century, isn't it.

NP: I know, I'm agreeing with you Kenneth!

PJ: He was the astronomer...

KW: Don't you think an apology, an apology should be called for?

NP: No, I don't think we've had any apologies in this game! We're all so rude we'd never get on with the game!

KW: The faith of my veracity has been questioned!

PJ: No, it's not your veracity...

KW: And my integrity impugned! I've been impugned!

NP: You've been... the whole point of the game is to er, is to challenge everybody's veracity...

KW: I would have thought you should have added challenge correctly, Nicholas!

SH: No!

NP: No...

KW: Not challenge incorrectly! How many points did I get?

NP: You got a point for an incorrect challenge. Why are you complaining?

KW: Right!

NP: I justified you and you jeep the subject, a point, and the first point too, a round of applause because Kenneth's got his first point! You're still with Edmund Halley and there are 29 seconds left starting now.

KW: And in this small boat with which he conducted the hydrographic expedition around the coasts of this island, he wrote in the margin of his notebook, this very paradigm. Other evening, precious stone set in a special sea, this orb, this sapphire, this...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Can we have a repetition of thises? We've had an awful lot of them.

NP: Yes I think if he goes as slowly as that and he's being rather wicked by...

KW: Well I was hanging it out!

NP: I think on this occasion I must accept the challenge on a small word. Because they do resist the temptation, those who are sort of ardent or intense followers of the game, you may have noticed that they resist the temptation to challenge on as and thes and thises because we think it's a little unfair and the game would never get going. But I must accept it this time Derek, so you have a point. Three seconds left, Edmund Halley starting...

KW: Three seconds! What a cheek! He got in for three seconds! Anyone can fill in for three seconds! That's complete cheek! You've allowed him to do that?

NP: Yes I have! As you were being very cheeky and...

KW: (screaming at the top of his voice) I've got no points! I've got no points! I don't have a chance of winning! He's got the last three minutes! I haven't got a chance! What am I...

NP: You'll get laryngitis if you're not careful Kenneth!

KW: Thank you!

NP: After all, if you were asked to talk about Edmund Halley and then you make out that he wrote down some of Shakespeare's...

KW: I might as well not come here! It's a disgrace!

PJ: We all like having you here and you're a great help to me!

NP: You're a great help to us all! If we didn't give things against you, we wouldn't get such beautiful moments as the one we've just had. Ah Derek you have three seconds on Edmund Halley starting now.

DN: On the Bayeux Tapestry it depicted the first representation...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged you.

KW: He hesitated in the middle of it!

DN: I did not! Load of rubbish!

NP: Give Kenneth a point for supreme cheek...

KW: Oh!

NP: ... and leave the subject with Derek who has one second left starting now.

DN: I have two...


NP: So Derek Nimmo finished up speaking when the whistle went which seemed fair, and Peter Jones would you begin the next round. And the subject is poetry reading. We've had a small one from Kenneth Williams and would you talk on this subject now for 60 seconds beginning now.

PJ: I've only ever taken part in one, and that was organised at the... school... I did hesitate there actually.


NP: Oh why did you stop?

PJ: Well because I was too worried that I hesitated. And I felt that they might suggest that you were favouring me in some way and er the whole thing might blow up in our face! And anyway I haven't got very much to say about poetry reading!

NP: Anyway Sheila came in first. And Sheila, your challenge? Just...

SH: Oh ah I've forgotten!

NP: Hesitation.

SH: Hesitation.

NP: All right Sheila, poetry reading is now with you and there are now 53 seconds on poetry reading starting now.

SH: I have done one or two of these myself, and attended many. And I get the most enormous pleasure out of them. There is a great upsurge, I believe, in appreciation of poetry, and not before time. Most of us have it dimmed down our throat at school rather unattractively. And suddenly when you reach ah old age...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: She hesitated before reaching old age.

NP: Yes she did,

SH: Yes I will, don't worry! I'm going to hesitate as long as I can!

NP: So Derek I agree with your challenge and there are 32 seconds for poetry readings starting now.

DN: Actually far from it me be it...


DN: Now that is a very interesting way to put it but in...

SH: Deviation.

NP: Yes of what?

SH: Bad grammar.

NP: Yes, deviation from grammar, yes.

DN: I was about to give an example of modern verse!

SH: Get off! Get off!

DN: Far from it me be it! It's a most moving line! Moving line! Thank you!


NP: I will put...

PJ: I'd like to know where he gets those pills!

NP: ... the point to the audience. If you agree with Derek Nimmo’s challenge to the chairmanship, would you all boo, and if you disagree will you cheer, and all do it together now.


NP: Thank you! They were cheering for the chairman, they were booing for you. There wasn't one boo, thank you ladies and gentlemen!

DN: Are you going?

NP: No.

DN: I thought he was going!

NP: Derek I disagree with you ah what you've just said, so Sheila gets a point and there are 26 seconds on poetry reading Sheila starting now.

SH: A lot of these poetry readings now take place in pubs. There are a group called the Barrow Poets of Modern People who do their own...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Hesitation.

NP: Yes Kenneth so you're now going to talk on poetry readings for 18 seconds starting now.

KW: Poetry readings are best done by those people who know their job, and it's certainly not done in pubs. Load of rowdies getting drunk!


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SH: That's absolutely not true!

KW: How dare you! There is nothing in what I was saying that could possibly be challenged!

NP: You said there are not poetry readings in pubs...

KW: That is my opinion and as such, it is inviolate!

SH: Oh!

KW: My opinion is inviolate! Nobody can challenge my opinion! Nobody!

NP: Well all right, you can have your opinion, but it was inaccurate and therefore it was deviation from the subject of poetry readings. Sheila was correct, so she has...

KW: (screaming at the top of his voice) How biased can you get! What a rotten chairman! How biased! Isn't he biased! Hear hear! There you are! Yes!

NP: You see how strong you have to be, to be chairman of this show. I've had Derek going off in the most violent way about me, and now I have to stick to my principles while Kenneth goes off!

DN: You have no principles!

KW: No, none at all! Hear hear! Hear hear!

NP: Well I'm going to stick to them all the same! And say Sheila has a point for a correct challenge and there are 12 seconds left Sheila, poetry reading starting now.

SH: Some of our very best modern poets...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Repetition of modern.

KW: Hear hear! Hear hear!

NP: Derek I agree with the challenge and here are nine seconds on poetry readings with you starting now.

DN: One of the most moving poetry readings that I ever went to started with the line "I know what I think, Kenneth Williams stinks!" And this was met with tremendous acclaim from the patrons in the audience...


NP: I'm sure the most moving poetry reading didn't begin with that line but...

DN: Are you questioning the veracity of my statement?

NP: Yes!

DN: I think it was the most moving line!

SH: Oh my God! I can't take this programme any more! The nerves!

DN: It's very noisy this afternoon, isn't it. I don't know that we've ever had such a noisy one while we've been doing this programme.

NP: It's a...

DN: It's very nice! While Clement Freud's away, we can all have a good time!

NP: This of course is one of the BBC's quieter shows where passions don't get inflamed. They sat that, they say... Anyway you'll want to know the score, I'm sure, because a lot of points were made on poetry readings and the veracity and inviolations and all kinds of things in that round. Derek Nimmo has taken the lead over Peter Jones. He's two ahead of Peter. Peter's one ahead of Sheila who is four ahead of Kenneth. And Sheila would you begin the next round, my latest acquisition. Would you talk about it for 60 seconds beginning now.

SH: My latest acquisition is an incipient nervous breakdown after the outbursts from Kenneth and Derek on this show! I feel a dreadful trembling in my body, as well as a sense of panic and sweat on my brow which I believe, according to the medical dictionaries, means that I'm in for a crack-up. And it is entirely due to the fact that amongst our programme, we have anarchists who are about to break up the BBC's favourite panel game which is deeply respected amongst the listeners. And I am here to bring sobriety and reason back to this panel, because I think it is a disgrace that they should be allowed to insult one another, and me, and our honest chairman there...



NP: Peter Jones has challenged, I disagree with the challenge! Sheila has another point...


NP: And there are 13 seconds left Sheila, on my latest acquisition starting now.

SH: However I will take a sip of water and try and pull myself together, because I do not wish to acquire one of these things because they can be very unpleasant. But I hope that if I do Kenneth and Derek will actually...


NP: Derek Nimmo and Kenneth Williams wonder if they should leave! But ah, there's still a little bit more time left. Sheila started with the subject and finished with it, which hasn't happened for a long time. She gains two points as a result and she's moved into second place. And she's proved she can play the game as well and with as much feeling and passion as the chaps. Congratulations Sheila! And who's going to begin next? Kenneth your turn to begin the next round, how I amuse myself. These subjects are thought up before we start the show, and yet they've all been very apt, haven't they, so far. How I amuse myself Kenneth, for 60 seconds starting now.

KW: Well it certainly isn't by coming here, to listen to all this drivel from Sheila Hancock! I did try to amuse myself outside her dressing room on one notable occasion. I pretended...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SH: Deviation!

KW: (shouting) It's true! I'm going to tell the world! I'm going to tell them! Yes!

SH: (trying to shout over Kenneth) I'm telling you if you let him say it, it'll be deviation and the show will be taken off the air!

NP: All right Sheila, I have to run that risk and leave us in the delicate hands of Kenneth Williams, because he hasn't yet deviated from the subject on the card. So I have to disagree with your challenge and put our trust in Kenneth Williams and er...

SH: To change his story!

NP: He gains a point and there are 47 seconds left Kenneth, how I amuse myself starting now.

KW: And your trust is safe Nicholas, because as you know my taste is impeccable! And any anecdote would be utterly blameless as indeed as this account of my standing in the corridor and knocking on the door labelled Sheila Hancock. When she opened it, I feigned to be a corpse, felling on her, and went "aaaaahhhhhhh!" like some dying thing you see. And I thought it was rather effective, you see. And she said "oh get up you great twit" or something like that. And of course it didn't work at all. It was my desperate attempt, you might say, to amuse myself. But of course in so-doing to cause happiness for another human being...


NP: Ah Sheila Hancock challenged just before the whistle.

SH: Actually he was in a filthy temper with me, and he tried to frighten the living daylights out of me!

NP: Well what a difficult decision to have to make! I would say that if someone did an action like that, it could well frighten the living daylights out of you.

SH: It did!

NP: So Sheila what I'm going to do is you got in very cleverly before the end. There's one second to go, you have the subject, and I've only just seen, as Ian Messiter's awarded you that point and written it down. With one second to go, I've been also told we have no more time, you begin, how I amuse myself starting now.

SH: How I amuse...


NP: And that last point has made all the difference to the final score which I now will give you. Kenneth finished in fourth place, Peter Jones was in third place only two points behind Derek Nimmo. And Derek was in second place, one point behind this week's winner with a last flourish...

SH: Me!

NP: Sheila Hancock! We hope that you've enjoyed the programme this week, from all of us good-bye!


ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by John Cassels.