starring PETER JONES, LINDA SMITH, WENDY RICHARD and PAM AYRES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Television, 22 April 1999)

NOTE: Pam Ayres's first appearance, Peter Jones's first television appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you, thank you, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And once again it is my pleasure to welcome four exciting distinguished players of the game today, who are going to display their verbal ingenuity and dexterity as they speak on the subject I give them and they try and do it without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. First of all let me welcome from Albert Square, Wendy Richard. A stalwart of Just A Minute beside her, Peter Jones. And on my left, the comedienne and wordsmith Pam Ayres. And beside her that lovely comedienne Linda Smith. Please welcome all four of them! They will score points or lose points according to how successful their challenges are. And we begin the show with Wendy Richard, and who better? Wendy, the subject, Yorkshire pudding. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

WENDY RICHARD: I make a brilliant Yorkshire pudding. Now the secret of the batter is to make it the night before. Then put it in the fridge. You then remove it and place it under a tap. A squirt of cold water... beats the mixture...


NP: And Linda you challenged.

LINDA SMITH: A bit harsh, but hesitation.

NP: No, I think that was hesitation. She did pause long enough to be interpreted as hesitation. So...

WR: It's going to be like that then, is it Linda?

LS: I don't want to mess with you Wendy, I know you've got family!


LS: I might just leave it!

NP: Come on, it's not Albert Square now! Leave it out! Leave it out! It's family! Right then Linda Smith had a correct challenge so she gets a point for that and she takes over the subject which is Yorkshire pudding and she has 47 seconds available starting now.

LS: Yorkshire pudding to me is the kind of British pizza, only without the toppings and with gravy, so not really at all like that Italian snack that I described at all. I once tried to make a Yorkshire pudding and it wasn't a total success to be honest. Rather than light and fluffy like a little cloud, it was rather like it was some sort of matting or a ...


LS: Oh!

NP: You have challenged Wendy?

WR: I think there was a hesitation.

NP: No there was no hesitation.

LS: Maybe, there may have been.

NP: She kept going with aplomb I thought. But she did repeat rather like which nobody spotted. So let's carry on, it was an incorrect challenge...

LS: Oh tell her Nicholas, why don't you? Point it out!

NP: Well sometimes, you'd be surprised, I get letters from people saying did you know that she repeated something, why didn't you tell them? So I've told them now. So you have a...

WR: I still think she hesitated!

NP: Yeah but I didn't you see.

WR: Apart from that, I was giving you the secrets of making a good Yorkshire pudding, and she's ruined it. Now you won't hear the end of it!

NP: Ohhhhhh!

WR: Thousands of people out there wanted to know how to make a perfect Yorkshire pudding and now you will never know!

NP: Well all you have to do is to write to Wendy Richard, say please give me your recipe. You'll now get 7000 requests and have to reply to them all Wendy! She had an incorrect challenge so she gets a point for an incorrect challenge, she keeps the subject, that is Linda Smith, and she has 27 seconds starting now.

LS: Quite frankly I wish I'd never raised the subject of Yorkshire puddings. I had no idea it would be so contentious. I thought it was just some rather little leathery and not very appealing...


NP: Peter Jones you've challenged.

PETER JONES: Well she did say thought twice.

NP: She did say thought twice.

PJ: Yes.

NP: That is repetition, so Peter you have a correct challenge and you have the subject of Yorkshire pudding and you have 19 seconds to take it over starting now.

PJ: The secret is to let the meat drip on to the pudding beneath it in the oven. And there's a grid you see which will hold the joint up and then there's this mass of er whatever it was that Wendy described...


NP: Wendy you challenged.

WR: I think we're hesitating a bit there, aren't we.

NP: We are hesitating a bit there, yes. Yes as he tried to recapture his Yorkshire pudding, he didn't quite get there. Ah Wendy, a correct challenge, you've got in, you can finish your recipe! You have six seconds, can you do it in six seconds?



WR: Give it back to her!

PJ: Hesitation!

NP: Peter I'll give you a bonus point because the audience loved it so much but I actually hadn't said the magic words start now, because that's when they start the clock. So actually Wendy hadn't hesitated, but we'll give you a bonus point because we enjoyed it. Right but Wendy you still have Yorkshire pudding, you have six seconds starting now.

WR: Mix the batter up quickly, pop it in a tin which is full of hot fat...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Wendy Richard and she's taken the lead at the end of that round. And Peter Jones will you take this round, it is wallpaper. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PJ: Very boring subject really! But still, wallpaper is paper with a lot of designs and different colours on it, different textures...


NP: And Wendy you challenged.

WR: We had two differents.

NP: Two differents Peter.

PJ: We did, yes.

NP: Two differents, that is repetition and 53 seconds is now available with wallpaper with you Wendy starting now.

WR: I am waiting for my front hall to be wallpapered. In fact I have plenty of samples of wallpaper but no-one has come round to estimate how much wallpaper we will need. Unfortunately while I was waiting for my companion to join me on the front door step leaving the house, I peeled a piece of wallpaper off the existing bit that was there and I now have a great big wide blank bit in the middle of all the pink wallpaper that is adorning the inside of my house at the moment...


NP: Ah Peter you challenged.

PJ: Repetition of house.

NP: Yes she mentioned house before. So she had...

WR: I have two! I could have been talking about either one!

NP: They'll do anything to get their points, won't they? Well done Wendy! But no Peter, correct challenge, 21 seconds, you tell us something more about wallpaper starting now.

PJ: The word wallpaper is often used to describe innocuous kind of music which people play in some restaurants, cafes and pizza parlours and places of that kind. And I never enjoy it and I think they only do it in order to try and drown the conversation which is often also very tedious. That's been my experience anyway...


NP: Peter Jones speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. So he's now equal in the lead with Wendy Richard. And it's Pam Ayres' turn to start. Pam would you tell us something about hymn singing. I don't know whether, are you a hymn singer?

PAM AYRES: Oh indubitably.

NP: That's one of your favourite words.

PA: Yeah.

NP: I've seen you tell you that, well, tell us something about the subject, 60 seconds if you can starting now.

PA: Well I have never had the sort of exultant and soaring voice what I would have liked. But nevertheless it's always been a great source of pleasure to me to indulge in hymn singing. I attended both the village and the Sunday school in the Stanford-in-the-vale where I was brought up. And there I had great opportunities to indulge in hymn singing. One of my favourite hymns...


PA: Oh!

NP: Who challenged? Peter oh yes.

PJ: Well she did say indulge twice.

NP: You do indulge, yes.

PA: Oh sorry.

NP: We indulge you for a bit, but he couldn't let it go any further. And by the way they can repeat the words on the card, not as often as they wish, but a number of times. And which Pam did very successfully there, and kept going for 29 seconds. And Peter there are 31 left, hymn singing with you, and another point of course starting now.

PJ: Your arithmetic is incredible!

NP: Mmmm!

PJ: Twenty-nine from 60 is 31, he got it straight away like that, you. Didn't you?

NP: I know! Deviation, quickly, bess your pruzzer! Press your buzzer!


NP: Yes Pam, what was your challenge?

PA: Um, I don't know! What was it?


PA: Your mind's made up, what it was...

NP: He actually hesitated, he was deviating from hymn singing.

PA: Yes he hesitated and deviated from the subject of hymn singing without a doubt Peter.

NP: Absolutely he didn't mention it at all, did he?

PA: No he didn't!

NP: God, how quick you are sometimes!

PA: It's amazing really!

NP: So Pam you got the subject of hymn singing back and you've got a point for a correct challenge and there are 20 seconds available starting now.

PA: When I, one of the hymns that I particularly loved singing was the childhood one, There Is A Green Hill Far Away. However I was always troubled and deeply perplexed to the very core by the second line which is "without a city wall". Oh I wondered to myself, what had happened to it...


NP: Well Pam Ayres was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point for doing so. And you can see when you string words together in verse, you can also be very fluent in speaking off the top of your head on Just A Minute. Well done Pam! Ah Linda Smith the next subject is flies. I don't know why they've given it to you but talk on the subject if you can, 60 seconds starting now.

LS: Flies is a very versatile word. It can mean a group of flying insects, or it could mean a side order in a Chinese branch of McDonald's! As in "do you want flies with that?" It can also mean the fastening on a gentleman's trousers. Now Montague Burton's shifted an enormous amount of these articles and that's what's known as the Lord of the Flies. The length and breadth of Britain, he was known as that. Of course another meaning of the word flies is as a fishing aid when you're catching such as salmon and trout. And there was a lovely advertisement years back...


NP: Ohhh!

WR: A slight hesitation there.

NP: Yeah.

WR: But I don't want to talk about flies because you&'ve been so funny!

LS: Well it's too late now, isn't it.

NP: In the middle of the word she sort of stumbled and we call that hesitation. So Wendy you've got in on flies which you don't want but I’m sure you can keep going, 28 seconds are available starting now.

WR: Fishing flies come in a variety of styles and patterns. They are coloured and really quite beautiful. Some years ago I was staying at a tiny place up in Scotland when one of the local fishermen asked me if he could have a cutting of my hair. When I enquired why, he said to make a fly for his... fishing...


WR: I couldn't remember whether I said fishing or not!

NP: I know, it's so difficult, isn't it! But the idea of Wendy Richard's hair being floated to get fish out of the water! Oh it begs disbelief doesn't it. I wish I hadn't said that now! It's gone down like a load of old bricks, hasn't it! Peter, flies are with you, nine seconds are left starting now.

PJ: They tend to hide in the rafters of old buildings during the winter and emerge in the summer and make life hell for...


NP: Peter Jones speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And he's now got a strong lead at the end of that round, just ahead of Wendy Richard. And it's also Wendy's turn to begin, Wendy the subject is dribbling. I don't know why they've given that to you but it's a good subject to talk about, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

WR: Fond of I am, as... oh!


LS: Um I think Wendy's forgotten how to speak!

WR: Total non-starter Linda!

NP: Right it's difficult when to get going. Right so 57 seconds, 58 seconds are available on dribbling with you Linda starting now.

LS: My little dog Sparky used to be a marvellous dribbler with a football, so he was very good at dribbling. But he wasn't very good at team loyalty because he would dribble in either direction all over the pitch. And he would go into one or other...


NP: Pam you've challenged.

PM: Um...

NP: It was repetition wasn't it.

PA: It's my faculties Nicholas! It was repetition without a doubt!

NP: Not very good she said twice, didn't she!

PA: She said not very good twice without a doubt!

NP: Well done! Well done Pam! I'm glad you noticed that!

LS: Nothing gets past you Pam!

NP: Pam yes you have a correct challenge, well listened as I said before, 47 seconds, it's dribbling with you starting now.

PA: Sir Stanley Matthews was known as the wizard of dribble. It's something you do with the football when you give it little kicks and shoves, but you don't actually give it an almighty swipe and separate yourself from it. However dribbling is normally associated with babies, as and more particularly with teething babies because they develop spots...


WR: Two babies.

NP: We had too many babies.

PA: Oh blow! Yes!

NP: Blow! Oh she's so polite isn't she! Blow! Right Wendy, correct challenge, there are 26 seconds available for dribbling starting now.

WR: Fond as I am of animals, I do not particularly care for dogs that dribble. Because dribble can mark your clothes, especially if you've gone to somebody's house wearing something new, rather smart and the dog dribbles all over you. I've said dog twice and nobody mentioned it...


LS: Did Wendy say dog twice?

NP: She said dribble twice. But anyway she's very generous, she's given it away and Linda you've got in first. You've got er 12 seconds on dribbling starting now.

LS: Dribbling is something that George Best was marvellous at. It almost seemed as though the ball was attached to his foot with a bit of elastic. It never seemed to leave the end of his... boot because he would be dribbling all over...


NP: Linda Smith speaking as the whistle went got that extra point. And Linda has now moved forward but she's still in third place, just behind Wendy Richard. Peter Jones is still in the lead, Pam's trailing a little. And Peter Jones your turn to begin. The subject, oh, a nice subject, a breath of fresh air. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: Well a breath of fresh air is not much good to anybody unless they're about a yard away from the edge of the swimming pool or lake or wherever they happen to be, and they're drowning. Because it won't keep them going long enough. If you want to be healthy then you've got to take draughts of fresh air over a long period of time. For instance you could be in Blackpool and breathe in deeply for up to er six hours...


NP: You challenged Wendy.

WR: I think we were starting to hesitate there a wee bit.

NP: No he was hesitating, no, no doubt about it. Thirty-six seconds for a breath of fresh air Wendy starting now.

WR: Coming up here and working with you Nicholas, is like a breath of fresh air after all the other jobs I have to do! I find you absolutely charming, witty, considerate, a true professional, and one of the best quiz masters on television. I think you should also have your own chat show because you're so good at dealing with the public...


NP: Peter you've challenged.

PJ: I think, poor Wendy... She's flipped her trolley!


NP: I think you're very unkind Peter! I've known you for years!

PJ: Yes I know!

NP: I think actually... I think Wendy deserved a bonus point actually! Anyway sycophancy will get you anywhere won't it! Wendy I would love to give you a bonus for those kind things. All I can do is give you a lovely big thank you! And Peter, what...

WR: It's only a game Nicholas!

NP: What was your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

PJ: Um I can't remember now! It's such a long time ago!

NP: Do you think she was deviating, do you?

PJ: Deviating is the word I was groping for. yes.

NP: And was she deviating? I know, as it's one of these things that concerns me personally, I think I can only really put it to the audience. Audience I'd like you to be the final judge. If you think that Wendy was deviating then, you boo. But if you think she was speaking the truth then you all cheer her. Will you all give your response together now.


NP: The cheers have it! And I'll meet all the booers afterwards outside! So Wendy they agree with you. Oh thank you audience, you are... And you have another point for an incorrect challenge, and you have the subject of a breath of fresh air, 16 seconds starting now.

WR: Of course the best breath of fresh air you could possibly get is if you're outside in having a breath of fresh air...


LS: I don't really need to say, do I?

WR: No!

NP: Deviation from grammar, you know, intelligent language as we understand it. Linda, a correct challenge, nine seconds, a breath of fresh air starting now.

LS: A breath of fresh air is often a lovely thing, but not if you're agoraphobic in which case it must be a nightmare to be out there in the open land...


NP: Wendy, no, Linda Smith was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. It's a very close contest and Pam Ayres begins the next round. Pam the subject we've got here for you is cloning. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PA: The cloning is the business of taking a small amount of genetic material and using it to create another of the same species. I often think that cloning would be a great bonus to the shepherd who is groping his way through the lambing on cold winter nights, on all fours in the sodden straw, as he delivers the lamb and listens to its plaintive plea...


NP: And Wendy?

WR: Two lambs.

NP: She said lambing before.

WR: I beg your pardon Pam.

NP: So that was an incorrect challenge, you get a point for that.

PA: Oh thank you.

NP: You carry on, you get a chance to get a breath of fresh air before you go on again...

PA: Yes.

NP: ...because you have another 34 seconds, if you can, on cloning starting now.

PA: The shepherd on all fours in the sodden straw listening to the plaintive bleats of the new-born lamb and the maternal utterances of the mother. Imagine how easy it could be for him to kick off his wellies and step instead to the sterile laboratory in his space suit, withdraw a rack of smoking test tubes and clone up a whole new flock of whatever his heart desires. And furthermore he wouldn't have to keep the ram!

NP: Two more seconds! Two more seconds! Keep going!

PA: Rams being extremely cantankerous animals at the best of times are liable to...


NP: Oh dear me! So she went for 57 seconds and then stopped! But the others were very generous and gave her a three second bonus.

PA: Thank you.

NP: And as you kept going to the whistle went, you get a bonus point for doing that and what have you done? You have leapt forward!

PA: Oh thank you!

NP: But you're still in fourth place! But you haven't played as much as the others! That was lovely!

PA: Thank you Nicholas!

NP: Anybody who can talk about cloning like that is amazing!

PA: It was impassioned wasn't it! It was impassioned! An impassioned speech about lambing!

NP: Yes well it came right from the heart and they loved it!

PA: Thank you!

NP: And that was what was good about it. Linda Smith, lost for words. Talk on the subject of lost for words, 60 seconds starting now.

LS: I have seldom been lost for words, but I've very often been lost for a decent OS map in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales, with not even a square of candle mitterned cake to keep body and soul together as the fog swirled about me, and the heather made an eerie "ooohhh" sort of noise, and the gathering darkness all about me and I couldn't even see a church spire ahead of me...


LS: And thank God!

NP: Sorry you've been challenged.

LS: In the name of decency, someone to interrupt me!

PA: Deviation I think, Nicholas. Yes I spotted it with, with alacrity that was deviating.

NP: Well done! So you've got the subject of lost for words which I don't think you have been. But display your ability and talk on the subject, 40 seconds starting now.

PA: I suffer from a terrifying nightmare. It is always the same. I'm in a play...


NP: Peter Jones you've challenged.

PJ: I'm trying to avoid your repeating yourself. You say it's always the same!

NP: What a delightful challenge Peter!

PA: I protest! I protest!

NP: No, what we do here...

PJ: She said that twice!

PA: Ohhh!

NP: Pam what we do here is we give Peter a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption. It was not a correct challenge within the rules of Just A Minute. So as you were interrupted, you get a point for that which puts your score up. You keep the subject, you have 33 seconds still, lost for words starting now.

PA: It is all the same. Ah I am in a play and I have not learned the words. I have not bothered, I have been...


NP: Yes?

WR: Too many have nots, I'm afraid.

NP: You were have notting and have notting.

PA: You're right, you're right.

NP: It was a nightmare, wasn't it.

PA: It was a nightmare.

NP: Yes so Wendy, correct challenge, 24 seconds and you have lost for words starting now.

WR: Someone who is never lost for words is Nicholas Parsons. I have never known anyone have so many words in their brain floating around at the same time specially as they come...


NP: pam you challenged.

PA: I thought that she said at the same time twice. I may be wrong. In fact I think I probably am. I am wrong! But I thought that I would make my presence felt!

NP: You've more than made your presence felt and your talent felt as well! But it was an incorrect challenge...

PA: Oh blow! Sorry! Sorry!

NP: It's nice to have someone on the show who says blow! But an incorrect challenge, so a point to you Wendy, you keep the subject, lost for words, there are 13 seconds starting now.

WR: And I said before he's never been lost for words. Sometimes lost for an audience, but that's a different story! I myself sometimes get lost for words even in...


NP: Pam you've challenged.

PA: I believe Wendy said sometimes twice.

NP: She did repeat sometimes. Yes you listened well.

PA: Oh good! Oh thank you! My one, my one good ear was working!

NP: So Pam you've got another correct challenge and you've cleverly got in with only two seconds to go. So two seconds, lost for words starting now.

PA: Ah when you...


NP: You were lost for words!

PA: I was, I was stoney!

NP: And so Linda's challenged with only half a second to go...

PA: Oh no!

NP: Linda you have half a second on lost for words starting now.

LS: Lost for words is a...


NP: So Linda Smith got the extra point on that occasion. It's very interesting for those interested in the score because Peter Jones, Pam Ayres and Linda Smith are all equal in second place. But just two points behind our leader who is still Wendy Richard. And Wendy it's your turn to begin, snobs. There's a good subject to talk about, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

WR: I cannot stand snobs, although at times I think I'm a bit of a snob myself. This doesn't always show me in a very good light. It really depends who I am dealing with. But snobs generally are the biggest pain in the butt you can ever get. I was at a dog meeting recently and one of the trainers came up to talk to me. He was so much a snob, I cannot tell you! Just because they have some high falutin' hyphen in the middle of their name doesn't give them the right to speak down to other folk. I really resented him speaking to me and I hope he doesn't recognise my description of him, if ever he watches this programme! But snobs can be the bane of anyone's life. They can go on... I wish someone would buzz me...


NP: A plea for help which was answered by Linda Smith. Linda, yes, a correct challenge, hesitation, that's what we interpret it as hesitation. Twenty seconds are available for you to tell us something about snobs starting now.

LS: The snobs I particularly dislike are the wine snobs. Because what happens when you go ot their house is that they will offer you a thimbleful of delicious wine and then nothing more...


NP: Pam?

PA: Wine, I thought that Wendy um...

NP: Wine snobs, she said and thimbleful of wine, well done.

LS: That's not hyphenated then? Wine snobs?

NP: Wine snobs are not hyphenated.

PA: I thought the word wine...

NP: Only that man that Wendy met at the er dog track.

LS: That's what threw me!

NP: Was it? So Pam, well listened, you've got in with 10 seconds to go on snobs starting now.

PA: At a party once, a terrible rodent-like little man approached me. And fixing me with his beady eyes, he said...


NP: So Pam Ayres speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. And now we have three people in the lead, the three ladies, Linda, Pam and Wendy are all two points ahead of Peter Jones. What's going to happen? If you're interested who's going to win, let's see as it is Peter Jones' turn to begin. And the subject, Peter, is making mistakes. See if you don't make any as you keep going on that subject starting now.

PJ: It's very important to make mistakes early in life, and I encourage the young to do so. Because they'll obviously learn from those things that happen to them and then they won't repeat them later in life when they're old...


NP: Pam you...

PA: Life! The word life.

NP: Yes, he did repeat life. My goodness, she's getting sharp now isn't she!

PJ: Yes!

NP: So Pam Ayres, making mistakes is the subject, there are 48 seconds available starting now.

PA: The most catastrophic mistake I ever made myself was in agreeing to take my two teenage sons to the French Alps for a skiing holiday. I myself had never indulged in this pursuit before, and as I limped daily about my business, I often wished that I had never heard of the practice. I...


NP: Linda you challenged.

LS: Well slight hesitation.

PA: Yes there was.

NP: There was a hesitation yes. You could see her brain moving as she was searching for different words to describe the same thing. Linda you've got in with a correct challenge, there are 24 seconds, let's hear from you on making mistakes starting now.

LS: Making mistakes is a terrible thing in life and you feel that you've just made the wrong choice. And you just can't go back and change it in any way. And it feels so irrevocable and you feel so doomed, and why am I...


WR: Too many feels I think.

NP: There was too much feeling going on there.

LS: Can there be too much feeling?

NP: Yes! So Wendy you have got in and it is still making mistakes, there are 11 seconds available starting now.

WR: Well we all make mistakes and feel sorry. Most of us have to go on and face up to these things in life. I think every mistake we make is there to teach us a lesson...


NP: So Wendy Richard was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. And the show has come to a close today. The final situation was that Peter Jones who has triumphed so many times in the past finished just in fourth place. In second place equal Pam Ayres and Linda Smith. But one point ahead of them was Wendy Richard, so today Wendy you're the winner! I hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains to say from Wendy Richard, Peter Jones, Pam Ayres, Linda Smith and from me Nicholas Parsons, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute. Till then from all of us here, good-bye!