starring DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and BARRY CRYER, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 30 December 1974)


ANNOUNCER: We present Derek Nimmo, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Barry Cryer 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, thank you very much, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And we're delighted to welcome back after his recent triumph in the programme to the fourth and vulnerable chair Barry Cryer to do battle with our three regular contestants of the game. And as always I will ask them if they can speak for just one minute on some subject, phrase or word without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from that subject if they can. And we'll begin the show this week with Clement Freud. And the subject Clement is distractions. Can you talk on distractions for 60 seconds starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: I think the distractions I come across most frequently are folk dancing and incest. It's quite surprising whenever you look up, there is somebody doing it. And it is incredibly difficult to keep your mind on the subject at hand. For instance the other day in St Paul's churchyard there were some 48 men and women, dressed in country garbs, with bobbins hanging from their head and knee boots with bells upon them, doing something called morris ah, I've used the word...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Morris ah hesitation.

CF: I didn't want to say dancing again.

NP: Well we realise that!

CF: Could I have half a point for a good challenge? No?

NP: No I was wondering why someone didn't challenge for the idea of the first two statements you made, joining them together, country dancing and incest! But um that I thought was devious for a start.

CF: They're distracting!

NP: Exactly! Twenty-five seconds um is left ah Derek Nimmo. You have a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject and you start on distractions now.

DN: When two or more brothers and sisters are gathered together to country dance, (giggles) I find this to be a great distraction...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged. Sorry?

CF: There was a verbal deviation or hesitation in that he went hahaha. It was a repetition of ha!

NP: It might have been a repetition, no, there was only a repetition of the sound, the, the laughter...

CF: That is exactly what repetition is! I mean if you have a repetition of gesture, you don't punish people in a radio show!

NP: No not for Just A Minute, you don't do the same for a laugh.

CF: It was a sound.

NP: I would say that he managed to keep speaking through his laughter and I think the audience would agree. Would you?


NP: So Derek Nimmo keeps the subject and a point for a wrong challenge and he has ah 18 seconds on distractions starting now.

DN: One of the greatest distractions I've ever seen in my life is Clement Freud with his great beard covered in soup stains! He sits there glowering at me, with evil expressions from his eye...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

DN: What?

PETER JONES: I'm sitting much nearer to him than Derek Nimmo is, and I can assure you he has no soup stains on his beard! Deviation!

NP: How can you assure us of that?

PJ: Well I'm telling you he hasn't!

DN: It's a radio programme, we've established that.

PJ: Well I think my word is as good as Derek Nimmo's! What?

NP: I will accept your word for it...

PJ: Oh thank you very much.

NP: ...give you a point for a correct challenge and there are 13 seconds on distractions Peter starting now.

PJ: As I heard someone say once in a play "the road of life is hard and rugged, it's a wise man that leaps over the hedge occasionally and has some fun in the fields". In other words diversions...


NP: The whistle which Ian Messiter blows for us tells us that 60 seconds is up and whoever is speaking at that moment gets an extra point. And Peter Jones you were doing it then, so at the end of the first round you have a commanding... no, you're not! You're in the lead.

PJ: I'm in the lead but it's not a commanding one!

NP: You're sharing the lead with Derek Nimmo.

PJ: Oh I'm sorry to hear that!

NP: But you both have a commanding lead over Barry Cryer and Clement Freud who've yet to score.

PJ: Ah!

NP: And Peter Jones will you begin the next round, the subject is where the money goes. Would you talk on that phrase for 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: I know mine goes to the Government. If you buy a bottle of brandy, you have to put money in the meter in order to get to the off-licence. And then they take the tax or duty from the sale of the liquor. Then on your way home you're as like as not to be stopped and fined because you smell of it. And so the money that you make or earn or even...


NP: Derek... Clement Freud.

CF: Repetition of or. There were three ors in that last bit.

NP: Yes there was also hesitation when he thought of the other ways he got his money! The um Clement, you have the subject for a correct challenge and there are 19 seconds left on where the money goes starting now.

CF: There's not much doubt but we are in a period of great inflation and as a farmer said to me the other day "apples are going up", to which I replied "this would come as a severe blow to Sir Isaac Newton!" Who spent so much of his life determining...


NP: I think after that remark you almost could have retired for the rest of the round Clement, and the audience applauded you suitably and you have got now two points and you're equal alongside Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones at the end of that round. And the subject is Derek Nimmo's and he, oh! I bet Ian Messiter thought of this deliberately for Derek Nimmo.


NP: If the listeners at home caught that noise, it's probably the ambulance coming to take me away because the subject that Derek is now going to talk about is old Nick!

DN: Ah!

NP: And he usually goes with great gusto and er venom about old Nick. But he's going to try and talk on the subject for 60 seconds starting now.

DN: The great god Pan, the devil, he who is unknown...


NP: Barry Cryer.

BARRY CRYER: Deviation, I don't think Pan symbolises the devil, in any sense.

NP: No, no, he was the god of the wood things on the little pipe wasn't he?

BC: Indeed yes.

DN: I would have got round to it! There's a lot of meanings to old Nick apart from you! I don't want to talk about you! I know we always equate you with the devil but it doesn't mean to say that I have to talk about...

NP: Barry Cryer was not equating me with the devil. You might have been, but Barry Cryer wasn't, he thought that Pan was deviation from old Nick.

DN: Oh I'll get it back in a minute anyway!

NP: I would agree Barry and you have 54 seconds on old Nick starting now.

BC: Old Nick, the connotation commonly used is the devil, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles and such cognomens. The vision of horns, hooves, a tail, a fork, is...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Hesitation.

BC: Yes! I was nearly there, I tell you!

NP: He was doing very well but he did run out of words there. And there are 39 seconds with you Derek on old Nick starting now.

DN: That great fat slob who sits up there on this podium! Week after same seven days! And adjudicates about this programme! Great big gross ugly man! I loathe him! "Old Nick", I shout every week when I come to this studio! How can I look at old Nick getting more and more elderly...


DN: Every time I see him the great thighs sagging, the dreary ears like a frog, ears like a frog...


DN: ... with his eighty-four year old mother!

NP: The round of applause was for the glass of water that I threw over Derek Nimmo! But long before he got going, Clement Freud challenged him. We'll come back to your challenge Clement.

CF: Repetition of great.

NP: Yes you're perfectly correct, and you challenged when there was 30 seconds to go...

DN: Oh as early as that? I'll have it again in a minute.

NP: So you have 30 seconds on old Nick, Clement starting now.

CF: This would be a short and popular way of referring to elderly Nicholas Parsons. Old Nick is the sort of phraseology which is used in I suppose the best circles who move within the British Broadcasting Corporation. But I have walked down streets in Hampstead, roads in St John's Wood, avenues in Bayswater and heard the populace cry "old Nick", meaning that very man who is now sitting on my left, chairman of Just A Minute...


NP: Um who is going to speak next? Clement Freud is, oh the subject is a toast. Can you talk on a toast for 60 seconds starting now.

CF: My Lord Mayor, ladies and gentlemen, Your Highness, you chaps over there, not forgetting the bride's mother. This is the sort of toast which you would get at a congenial evening when a club or society gather, in order to consume tomato soup or chicken and ice cream. But toast is also a word used for bread which has been subjected to heat. a toast for which I have much time is called toast Melba, and was in fact produced for the singer, Australian, of that name, who was very fat. And toast is... first of all...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I will give you that one Derek and you have...

CF: Don't you want to know how to make it?

PJ: We know how to make it!

CF: You don't!

PJ: Of course we do!

CF: You don't!

NP: Clement we know you're brilliant in the kitchen but we'd rather play Just A Minute!

CF: It's quite interesting.

NP: Do you want to know how to make...


CF: You see bad hotels always make it by cutting bread very thin and baking it. But it's actually made by making a slice of ordinary bread into toast, cutting the rinds off, slitting a knife in between and then toasting the other two sides in the middle. I just thought I'd tell you that.

NP: Somebody at the back just rushed home to make some! Derek Nimmo still has the subject and there are 14 seconds on toast Derek starting now.

DN: Am I able to give a recipe as well or not?

NP: You'll be challenged in a moment!


NP: Well done Clement Freud.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Well done, there are 10 seconds starting now.


NP: Ah Derek Nimmo.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Well done Derek, nine seconds on a toast starting now.

DN: Ladies and gentlemen, I would ask you to raise your glasses and drink a toast to old Nick, that dear fellow who adjudicates this programme with such Úlan...


NP: Derek Nimmo, at the end of that round you have taken the lead again. And you have one point now ahead of Clement Freud. And Peter Jones we'd like you to begin the next round. And the subject is Aries and you have 60 seconds as usual and you start now.

PJ: Aries is a astrological sign of the Zodiac and I think it's an absolute load of codswallop personally. It seems to me monstrous for people to believe that the position of the planet Jupiter will in some way influence their wretched coffee morning when they've read in the paper that it's a good day for entertaining. And I don't subscribe to this sort of thing. People are misled...


NP: Barry Cryer has challenged.

BC: Deviation, well away from Aries now, into other areas.

NP: I think that actually he um er, yeah all right Barry yes. Yes he was getting on to coffee...

BC: I speak as a ram!

NP: With your hair like that...

BC: Not very often!

NP: You, Barry, you, I agree with the challenge, there are 33 seconds on Aries starting now.

BC: Aries, my astrological sign, the ram. Thrusting, forceful, magnetic, dynamic, charming, generous, hospitable, open...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Well it just proves what old Peter Jones said. It's a load of rubbish! He's nothing like that, is he? I mean...

NP: So what is your challenge?

DN: Deviation.

NP: No he wasn't deviating...

BC: I didn't deviate from Aries.

NP: Oh you definitely didn't deviate.

BC: Absolutely! Dictionary definition!

PJ: It was more like monomania really!

NP: But he gets a point for it anyway and there are 25 seconds left on Aries, Barry, starting now.

BC: Brave, diffident... (starts to laugh)


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: I know, you bluffed him out of that.

BC: That was diffidence.

NP: Yes you were too diffident I'm afraid. Twenty-one seconds Clement on Aries with you starting now.

CF: It's often felt that people who were born between the 13th of June...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation Derek...

CF: Oh come on! If one doesn't stop between words, one becomes totally unintelligible!

NP: There are 17 seconds left on Aries with you starting now.

CF: Between the...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: Well that was hesitation, that time!

NP: Clement Freud has another point and there are 16 seconds left on Aries starting now.

CF: The 14th of June and the 19th of September and this in fact is totally false. Because Aries is nothing like that. It is a sign of the Zodiac. Unlike Taurus which is the 19th of March to the 21st of April...


NP: Clement Freud was then speaking when the whistle went. He started with Aries and finished with taurus which I thought was devious but nobody else bothered to challenge. He's got a commanding lead at the end of that round, I won't tell you what everybody else has got. I don't wish to embarrass them. And um so let's go to Barry Cryer now. Barry would you begin the next round, the subject is what I wrote on a wall. Can you reveal that in this programme and keep going for 60 seconds without hesitation, deviation or repetition starting now.

BC: I like writing on walls. It's a habby. It's a... it's a habby?


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

BC: I'm not going well!

DN: Hesitation.

BC: I was about to correct my mispronunciation.

NP: I know you were, it was very bad luck, as you were under great pressure...

BC: Yes.

NP: Not only the fact that you just returned after a very difficult ordeal, your first visit here.

BC: Yes.

NP: You're sitting next to Derek Nimmo, the most difficult player of the game...

BC: He treated me very shobbily! Very shobbily indeed!

NP: And my wife has just arrived in the audience which I knew threw you. Because I understand that and all the other factors that were present...

BC: Don't go on!

NP: So there's absolutely no shadow of doubt that you should get a point for an incorrect challenge, have 55 seconds on what I wrote on a wall starting now.

DN: Oh was it me? Oh I thought...

NP: Not you! No!

DN: Hesitation, he didn't say anything then!


BC: I write on walls as a hobby and relaxation...

DN: Hesitation, he didn't say anything for ages!

NP: No!

DN: Oh!

NP: He didn't hesitate, he started! Barry you have another point and there are 54 seconds on what I wrote on a wall starting now.

BC: It is a relaxation, a source of solace to me. I write at my convenience which is the most suitable place to write. I saw "Dame Nellie Melba is the toast of the town" and just underneath that I inscribed "I love grils". Returning the following day somebody had written underneath "you mean girls, you fool". And returning the following day somebody else had written "no he doesn't, what about his grils?" The other thing I...


NP: Halfway, I'm afraid halfway through the joke you were challenged. I let it go because I wanted to hear the payoff.

BC: Well that's very nice of you.

NP: At least I knew the payoff but I wanted the audience to hear the payoff...

PJ: Well let's hear the payoff!


BC: The payoff of the joke is actually it said on the top of the tin "pierce and stand in boiling water"!

NP: Clement Freud you actually challenged.

CF: Yes.

NP: What was your challenge?

CF: Repetition of returning.

NP: When he was returning? Oh yes he returned...

CF: Throw your mind back...

BC: The word was not returned on each occasion. There was a return, a returned and a returning.

CF: No...

BC: I wish to state quite categorically that that's an utter lie on my part!

PJ: Well this person kept coming back...

NP: It's all right, I know it was a lie, but it was, he did return to his convenience three times very rapidly...

BC: It must have been the beans!

NP: Yes with the...

BC: I'm not a regular member of the programme!

NP: He was standing in boiling water... anyway! Clement Freud you have 34 seconds on what I wrote on a wall starting now.

CF: It seems to me that the subject what I wrote on a wall is an invitation to indulge in obscenities or graffiti of which one is personally the author. And as I have never done that sort of thing and disapprove very much of defacers of walls generally and obscenic authors in particular, it seems to me the best thing I can do is sing a short song...


NP: Barry Cryer has challenged you.

BC: I would challenge the definition of obscenic.

NP: So would I but I wouldn't be able to answer it!

BC: Can I have him on deviation to challenge the inclusion of a non-existent word?

NP: What about Ian Messiter? What about obscenic? Do you think there's a word...

IAN MESSITER: It's there!

NP: It's there. Oh I'm sorry, Ian Messiter's ruled you out. I'm terribly sorry Barry. Clement Freud, obscenic is with you, I mean, sorry...

PJ: What's the difference between, what's the difference between obscene and obscenic? Nick, I suppose!

BC: Good!

NP: Peter you don't say much when you have the subject but what you say when you haven't is well worth every moment of it.

DN: Are you going to answer the question?

NP: Yes!

BC: Hear hear!

NP: It was an incorrect challenge so Clement Freud has another point and he has eight seconds on what I wrote on a wall starting now.

CF: Grasping a piece of chalk and remembering what I ought to do, I did approach this wall and write upon it the word damn...


NP: At the end of that round Clement Freud has got a commanding lead. Derek Nimmo would you begin the next round, the subject, following that one is what I read on a wall. Would you like to tell us something about that subject in 60 seconds starting now.

DN: I read on this particular wall "no parking". Another one said "Lexington Gardens". One said "Whitehall Place". I remember a wall in Yugoslavia which had something on it which read (goes into gibberish)


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: He became incoherent! I happen to speak perfect Yugoslavian and I know that he stumbled over the second syllable.

NP: Yes! And I would have thought that his accent was definitely from the um...

DN: The Croat?

NP: No, it wasn't Croat, no, it was more Dalmatian or Hep...

PJ: Serbo-Croat, wasn't it?

NP: No, Hepzigolian definitely!

PJ: Yes well...

NP: And so for that I definitely award you a point for a correct challenge and you have 45 seconds Peter on what I read on a wall starting now.

PJ: Well the door of this toilet was about nine inches off the floor and it said on the wall "beware of the limbo dancers"!


PJ: That's er...


NP: Oh! Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: Well actually deviation because he said he read it on the door, he didn't read it on the wall.

NP: I don't mind where he read it! He deserves a point and he gets a point for a wrong challenge and he carries on with 25 seconds on what I read on a wall Peter starting now.

PJ: And in another place I saw on the wall "the Romans came to Shrewsbury in 54 AD and damn all has happened since!" And it was signed by an American serviceman who gave his number and address. I remember that quite distinctly. Now...


NP: Well Peter not so much kept going, he gave you very good value, so he didn't have to keep going much. You laughed so much he was able to pause in between. And Clement we come back to you again and the subject is what I have not thought of. This is the last subject. Would you start now, 60 seconds now.

CF: Barbecued jellied eels, I think, I haven't thought of for a very long time. You would have to catch the things which sting and then...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: I would agree Derek and you have what I have not thought of and there are 49 seconds left starting now.

DN: I suppose really, because he invented the steam engine, that one doesn't often think of these days because it's been superseded by diesel. And therefore James Watt somehow has passed into oblivion, into the history books and one doesn't quite attend to his...


NP: Barry Cryer.

BC: I can't quite define it but passing into oblivion and the history books at one and the same time, does that come under deviation or...

NP: Definite deviation.

BC: Utter confusion or...

NP: Confusion, deviation, it could not be both. I agree Barry, 34 seconds with you on what I've not thought of starting now.

BC: I have not thought of shoe trees for months, nay, years. Shoe trees strike me as a banal subject...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: I felt so strongly about it, I had to mention them twice. They're so banal! I wanted to stress its banality.

NP: Yes well I'm afraid the banality has er alas given Derek a point. And there are 26 seconds on what I have not thought of Derek starting now.

DN: Witchity-grubs seldom pass through my mind these days. Nor do power slugs which are green things that sometimes one finds in New Zealand lurking under the sand. But I haven't, you know, even had the tiniest glimmer of a thought about those particular things for these many months. It is strange isn't it, somehow, that the tinier creatures of this world...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: I would agree Peter and you have six seconds on what I've not thought of starting now.

PJ: I haven't thought about the pier at Scarborough for several weeks...


NP: Well that was a very nice subject on which to finish this particular edition of Just A Minute. You probably guessed the result. This week's winner, once again, Clement Freud! We hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute, from all of us here, good-bye!


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