NICHOLAS PARSONS: (Introduction to this programme on the Just A Classic Minute casette/CD) The second programme in our collection is from the 70s, 1979 to be exact. The series has settled into a regular format by now. And there were four regular players of the game. Kenneth Williams, who appeared in every show, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. These latter three alternated occasionally with guests who came into the show. This added some extra interest and excitement as well as sparking off the regulars in different directions. In this particular recording Peter Cook and Barry Took were the guests, and it was only the second time either of them had appeared in the programme. Just A Minute may sound an easy game to its listeners, but until you've played it, you don't realise just how difficult it is to keep going under the restrictions imposed, and at the same time, have three bright keen players waiting to pounce on you with a challenge at any moment. It requires great discipline of thought, a good vocabulary, a quick wit and hopefully the ability to be amusing. Any individual, however talented, playing the game for the first time, is a little lost until the discovery of those particular ploys that help him or her to succeed. Peter Cook floundered a little in his first appearance, but he had a brilliant mind, was a very funny man, and obviously was a quick learner. In fact I think he gleaned something from Kenneth Williams in that first show in which he appeared, and had obviously noted how successful Kenneth was in using different voices. In the episode we're about to hear which was Peter's second appearance he resorted to his own personal repertoire of characters, not only to keep going, but also to be very funny. In fact in the comedy sense he rather dominated the show, and Kenneth for once was a little overwhelmed. Barry Took, while learning a little from his first outing, was struggling a little. But he provides much amusement, a lot of which I think was unintentional. But this all adds to the fun of the episode. The fact that Clement Freud, contributing his usual good value, was by now an MP, gave Kenneth Williams the opportunity to be very amusing at his expense on one challenge. It is always the interchange between the players, in addition to their individual contributions that creates the best humour. And there was plenty of that in this recording. There were also some brilliant moments from Peter Cook, which makes one sad he only appeared in just four episodes of Just A Minute. I hope you enjoy this one, broadcast in May 1979.


ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Barry Took and Peter Cook in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.

NP: Thank you, thank you very much, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And alas, this is going to be the last one in the present series...


NP: Awwww! But we are delighted to welcome back that new radio comedy duo of Cook and Took, Peter Cook, who did so well when he was with us a few weeks ago, and Barry Took, together they've returned to do battle against our two regulars Kenneth Williams and Clement Freud. They're going to try and speak if they can for Just A Minute on a subject I will give them, and do it without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And the first one is the Loch Ness monster, and Clement Freud, we decided that you should start with that. And you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: The Loch Ness monster is probably the most important aspect of Scottish tourism, after haggis and the kilt, two things which I often mix up or am unable to tell apart. In Loch Ness which is a huge inland watering hole, in the southern part of Scotland, um...


NP: Peter Cook has challenged.

PETER COOK: Whose hold is this Loch water? I don't, I don't think it's water hold at all. This er...

NP: He said it's a water hole.

PC: He said it was a watering hole.

CF: That's right.

NP: Oh no that's...

PC: Where is it watering? In which hole is it watering? I haven't heard of it watering. It's been there for years, the Loch.

NP: A watering hole sounds like a spa, doesn't it. You could hardly call Loch Ness a spa.

PC: You don't get a monster in a spa, unless Clement's down there!

NP: I agree with your challenge Peter, and you have 42 seconds on the subject of the Loch Ness monster starting now.

PC: Far more important to the Scottish tourist industry than the Loch Ness monster is of course the wife of the Loch Ness monster, the stranger flying lizard-like creature that hovers over Dundee of an evening. Often seen by Scotsmen in their kilts, sucking down the wonderful licquers that come from the foggy moors that abound in that part of the world. They take their drink and say (in Scottish accent) "och nee, do you see up there, flying high above us! Tis the wife of the Loch Ness monster, the wenglydanglydiddlidoodlebell!"


PC: Because they're all mad up in Scotland, I imagine!

NP: Yes! That was beautiful, but I'm afraid you were challenged before you, in full flight and flood by Clement Freud, I'm afraid.

CF: Repetition of wife.

NP: You rotten player! Three seconds to go and our guest was in full flood, and in fact he was in an alcoholic mist up in Scotland somewhere! But it was a correct challenge so I have to give it to you Clement and you have three seconds on the Loch Ness monster starting now.

CF: Miniature submarines have gone into the loch, looking...


NP: Well Ian Messiter who blows our whistle tells us 60 seconds is up and whoever is speaking at that moment gets an extra point. It was of course Clement Freud, he's in the lead at the end of the first round. Kenneth Williams, the subject is taking command. I'm sure it's something you can do admirably, will you tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: There are certain figures in history who were obviously adept at taking command. One thinks immediately of someone like Alexander the Great, Wellington, and Bermadot, who as one of the most successful commanders in Napoleon's army was then asked by the Swedes "would you come and be our King?" He said "I will, I'll come" and he did take command, not only of their country...


NP: Peter Cook has challenged.

PC: Two comes, come come.

NP: Yes he said will you come. Well listened Peter, and 39 seconds on taking command starting now.

PC: (in very good impression of KW, stretching vowels in a very KW-ish way) The entire art of taking command, whether it be women or men is to have in one's demeanour that strange gleam of authority which is respected by other people. When I am asked to take command, I do not do it lightly. For the responsibilities of being in command are enormous...


NP: (laughing) Barry Took has challenged.

BARRY TOOK: Well, repetition of command which I thought...

NP: That's on the card, that's the subject on the card and you can repeat...

BT: Oh I'm sorry but... could I sit somewhere else?

NP: Nice to hear from you Barry...

BT: And he's so dominating when you're close to him!

NP: I know! The visual example of taking command which er Peter Cook gave us there while he was talking about the subject was quite incredible. And I'm afraid I disagree with the subject Barry. Peter Cook gets a point for that and he continues on taking command with 13 seconds left starting now.

PC: Yes, another few moments of that and I'd have been bombing Dresden! Such is, such is the power of command when it gets into my hands! When it is...


NP: Yes such is the power of command in Peter Cook's hands that he can keep going on the subject until the whistle and gain that extra point. And he's taken a commanding lead at the end of the round. Peter Cook will you begin the next round, the subject other well-known cooks.

PC: Lots of well-known cooks are all over the world. There's Thomas Cook who started off that wonderful travel firm on which I go. But possibly better known than him is Alistair Cooke with his letters from America. He used to be in France before America, but he didn't bother to send the letters...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of America.

NP: Yes, of what? I didn't hear, sorry.

CF: Repetition...

NP: Yes.

CF: ...of...

NP: Of?

CF: ... America.

NP: America, yes, I didn't hear you say the word America.

CF: I'm sorry, I thought you didn't hear of!

NP: There are 40 seconds on other well-known cooks starting now.

CF: I could talk for some time on other well-known cooks like Escofier. But frankly Peter Cook seems to me to be the very essence of that name. By far the greatest exponent of Cookery in this part of London. Not to say in America, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Holland, Norway...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation, he said not to say it and then said 'em all!

NP: Well done Kenneth! So you have a point and the subject and there are 18 seconds, other well-known cooks starting now.

KW: One thinks of course of Mrs Beaton. She was always at it! Doing the old egg whites and bashing away at the batter! Never stopped! And what an industrious woman she turned out to be! And gave her name to one of the most famous books on the subject! Not only...


NP: Peter Cook has challenged.

PC: Repetition of the word book.

KW: Oh yes!

PC: It's not true, but I had to think of something!

NP: Well done Peter! Three seconds on other well-known cooks starting now.


NP: And Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes but he's a guest and you're rotten to do that! So we're going to leave it with you Peter, two seconds, other well-known cooks starting now.

PC: They do not spoil the broth, much as...


NP: So Peter Cook did have the subject once again as the whistle went and got that extra point, has increased his lead and Clement Freud is in second place. Barry Took will you take the next round, the subject, Spanish dancing. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.


NP: And Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: That's hesitation, I'm afraid.

NP: Yes well I er, as he's also a guest, and I didn't give it when Clement Freud...

KW: Are you rewriting the rules of the game or something? Who do you think you are? You're supposed to be the chairman!

NP: Yes...

KW: Not the devisor!

NP: No I'm not devising, and I'm not rewriting, I'm interpreting the rules!

KW: Oh!

NP: And I've decided that he hadn't got under way, he's also a guest, I'm not going to count it. And he has a point for a wrong challenge and he continues with 58 and one half seconds on Spanish dancing, well he hasn't started yet, but he'll start I hope, soon, sometime on Spanish dancing starting now.

BT: Tap, tap, tap, tap! Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap...


BT: ...tap, tap, tap...

NP: Clement Freud has challenged you.

BT: What on earth for?

NP: Too many taps!

BT: Mister Chairman, I was just getting into my flow!

NP: I know but it was a very repetitious flow!

BT: Well...

NP: You only said one word!

BT: How can you describe Spanish dancing without going tap tap tap tap tap tap?

NP: Well you can say a lot of taps, a frequency of taps, um, continuous tapping...

BT: Right!

NP: Yes...

BT: I'll do that then!

NP: Clement you have the subject...

BT: Do I have the chance... I'm awfully sorry! Don't I have the chance...

NP: No, no, I've given you one chance. I can't give you too many, otherwise I would get too many letters.

BT: Yes I do see.

NP: I have to answer some of them too.

BT: I do see that.

NP: There are 56 seconds on Spanish dancing starting now.

CF: Click clock cluck cleck clack!


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Oh this is just the same thing. They're repeating...

NP: No, it isn't, they were all click clock cluck clack, they were all different.

KW: No, the C-K occurred in every one!

NP: Oh! But as you know, it's not the written word, it is the pronunciation...

KW: Well you're always altering the rules as you go along! So so am I!

NP: I trued to establish I try to interpret them, loose as they are! And Ian Messiter's thought up some pretty loose rules in this game and you play it rather loosely sometimes. Um Clement wrong challenge, 55 seconds, Spanish dancing starting now.

CF: One of the most interesting aspects of Spanish dancing takes place annually in Pamplona when the bulls are run down the street, and the Spaniards dance in front of them, occasionally getting gored for good measure. Ernest Hemingway...


NP: Peter Cook has challenged.

PC: They're not gored for good measure!


PC: Do, do the bulls come up and gore them for good measure? Excusie, senore, volio gorey! No it doesn't happen! I've been to Pamplona!

NP: Yeah...

PC: It's all rubbish!

NP: Have you danced in front of the bulls?

PC: No! I've not danced in front of the bulls! I allow them to get on with their dancing first and then when they're exhausted, I do mine!

NP: Well before you're exhausted in Just A Minute, let's hear from you on the subject of Spanish dancing, Peter Cook, and 41 seconds left starting now.

PC: Spanish dancing was invented many years ago by an old senor in Pamplona itself. Before he invented that wonderful movement...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of invented.

NP: Yes.

PC: Yes, very true!

NP: Clement, 30 seconds are left for Spanish dancing starting now.

CF: One of the great Spanish dancers was a man called Antonio who performed all over London in the 1950s, and even in the beginning of the 1960s. And I often went to see him at a theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, where he perspired from the stage into the auditorium to the enormous delight of many thousands of people who had stood in line, queued up, sometimes for as long as 24 hours in order to purchase tickets to this...


NP: Peter Cook.

PC: Well it's absolute rubbish again isn't it. I mean can you imagine thousands of people queuing up in the wind and rain to get perspired over?


NP: So what is your challenge?

PC: My challenge is the perspiration aspect of the game! If you look up in the rules, the perspiration aspect, which doesn't often crop up because very few people bring up sweat on the programme...

NP: No, no...

BT: It's rule 72C!

PC: Yes!

NP: No, I disagree on this occasion Peter, with your challenge because I think he was keeping going without deviating. And Clement continues with two seconds on Spanish dancing starting now.

CF: Dorita...


NP: Clement Freud got the extra points speaking as the whistle went, he's now one ahead of Peter Cook, Barry Took and Kenneth Williams are trailing somewhat. And Clement Freud's going to begin the next round. Clement the subject is Lindbergh's solo Atlantic flight. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Lindbergh's solo Atlantic flight was from America to the European continent. And he underwent or took this flight on his own, hence it was called Lindbergh's (laughs) solo Atlantic flight. It took...


NP: Barry Took.

BT: He couldn't have done it on his own, he must have had an aeroplane!

NP: A very good challenge Barry. So he's took it and he took the challenge and he's got a point for that. And you have 42 seconds Barry on Lindbergh's solo Atlantic flight starting now.

BT: Lindbergh was better known as Lindy, and they invented a dance that they called after the man. And they called it the Lindy hop, and it was the rage all over Europe. And when he landed at Lebourgier which was the airport in France where the er intrepid aviator...


NP: Peter Cook has challenged.

PC: Oh we had a lot of erring round the air...

NP: Yes he certainly erred there, didn't he. Peter, you have 36 seconds on Lindbergh's solo Atlantic flight starting now.

PC: (in German accent) What was it, one wonders, that decided Lindbergh to cross the Atlantic on his own in a primitive aeroplane? Was it perhaps some deep psychological rootings in his past that caused this desire to traverse a whole ocean, only to reach England. And for what purpose would a man wish to reach England...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Ah repetition of England and he didn't.

NP: No, he didn't reach England I'm afraid.

CF: He went to France.

PC: So the doctor was quite right!


NP: But you did repeat England so Clement Freud has the subject with four seconds to go starting now.

CF: And the people of France amassed and gathered, ran towards...


NP: Kenneth, Clement Freud has increased his lead at the end of that round. Kenneth Williams is going to begin the next round and the subject is George Nathaniel Curzon. Will you tell us something about him in the game starting now.

KW: One of the most outstanding figures of the 19th century, he became Under-secretary for India at a very early age. And when he was 39, Viceroy of that enormous terrain. And succeeded in partitioning Punjab and creating the north-west province. Now the interesting thing about this man was he had spinal curvature. And this would, in another person perhaps, have been a tremendous obstacle. He didn't allow that and had great belief and confident er attitude you see, because he um he thought...


NP: Peter Cook.

PC: Well as soon as the curvature began, a lot, a lot of ers started stumbling in.

NP: Yes he began to double up himself.

PC: Began to double up with his curvature yes.

NP: Peter Cook, a good challenge and there are 24 seconds for you to take over George Nathaniel Curzon as the subject starting now.

PC: Twenty-four seconds is scarcely adequate to describe a man, who his own mother once said "I don't know, he seems so peculiar these days! What with his wishing to go to India and run about that part of the world where there are so many people who are feeling ill and haven't got enough to eat, it makes me wonder what on earth Dad and I did wrong..."


NP: The great thing about this game is even if his mother didn't say that, you can say it and you believe at the end that she did say it. And Peter you kept going, you got the extra point as the whistle went and you're back in the lead alongside Clement Freud. Well done, our guest is doing extraordinarily well. And Peter Cook you're going to begin the next round, it is boredom. Something that never happens when you're talking, but can you talk on the subject in Just A Minute starting now.

PC: (in boring squeaky monotone voice) As far as I'm concerned, I'm unable to understand why anybody in the world suffers from the problem known as boredom. When you look around the countryside you see the leaves on the trees and the insects dancing away in the air as they fly. The full bewildering span of nature is before you. And for anyone to suffer from boredom under those circumstances surprises me immensely...


NP: Um Barry Took has challenged. Very good challenge.

BT: Repetition, deviation, hesitation, all rolled into one delicious bunch.

NP: And as you were fast asleep with boredom, obviously you're the finest one to challenge on that. So we give it to you out of kindness and say you have 23 seconds on boredom starting now.

BT: Well I've never suffered from boredom myself, being often in the company of such brilliant people as those gathered here today. I speak of course not of my er immediate other...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes Clement. There are 18 seconds, I'm sorry, there are 13 seconds on boredom starting now.

CF: Boredom I think is predominantly enduced by people who like to talk about themselves and leave no facet of their character unturned. They show you pictures of their wives and children, their aunts and uncles...


NP: And Clement Freud kept going to the whistle, gained the extra point, and he is now one ahead of Peter Cook, and they're both way out in the lead ahead of Barry Took and Kenneth Williams. Barry it's your turn to begin and the subject is smash and grab. Sixty seconds beginning now.

BT: The first thing that happens with a smash and grab raid is that a man in a mask, or possibly a balaclava helmet turned around the wrong way walks up to a jeweller's window, throws back his arm... arches the...


NP: Peter Cook has challenged.

PC: You can't throw back your arm!


PC: It's impossible!

NP: I know!

PC: You can't throw your arm anywhere!

NP: Unless you cut it off first and very few people do that.

PC: Ah you can throw your voice.

BT: Well you can't throw...

PC: That's no good if you're doing a smash and grab.

BT: You can't throw back your voice and hurl a brick through a window.

PC: Well I can't.

BT: Hands up all those who can! I'm sorry Mister Chairman!

NP: No, that's all right. Actually Barry...

BT: It's a very fair point.

NP: Colloquially speaking we do say, you know, he threw his arm back and um whipped the ball down or something like that.

PC: Because it wasn't big enough, you know yeah. I threw it back, it wasn't big enough yeah!

NP: So Barry you keep the subject, smash and grab, and there are 45 seconds left starting now.

BT: Well sometimes you can throw your head back, but this not often happens in a smash and grab raid, where the intention is to steal things, mainly items of jewellery such as gold watches of a certain value. Rings, other artefacts that women like to wear round their necks. Tiaras which are worn on the head so that when they heave back their golden tresses and the like...


NP: Peter Cook has challenged.

PC: He's, he's thrown his arms back, he's thrown his head back, and now he's thrown something else back. That's three backs, back to back!

NP: Very repetitious! Peter you have a good challenge and the subject and 23 seconds on smash and grab starting now.

PC: Well personally if you're going to do a smash and grab raid, the necessities are a lot of other people and a bit of courage. You size up the target and then you snoop around for days and days watching the movements...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of days.

PC: Yes.

NP: So Clement has got another point and there are nine seconds on smash and grab Clement starting now.

CF: To be a successful smash and grab operator, it is homework which counts...


NP: Kenneth Williams has...

KW: Deviation! I don't think a MP's got any right to broadcast stuff about to be a, to be a, to be a efficient smash and grab man! Absolutely disgraceful!


KW: Very devious! Most devious!

NP: On the basis that it is devious for an MP to be put forward those sort of recommendations...

KW: Hear hear! Hear hear!

NP: I er...

KW: Very glad you picked that point up Mister Chairman! Very good! Very glad, I'm glad we've got an astute chairman here! Very glad!

NP: And the fact that you haven't got very many points, I'm going to be generous to you...

KW: Thank you very much! Thank you very much!

NP: You have three seconds on smash and grab starting now.

KW: Well it's a disgraceful business! And moreover the law in this country should come down hard...


NP: So Kenneth Williams much to the audience's pleasure was speaking as the whistle went so he got that extra point and he is still in fourth place.

KW: Really relishes it, doesn't he!

NP: You did win a few weeks ago when Barry Took and Peter Cook were here, and um, this occasion, I think we have little, we've only probably got time for about one more round. I don't know. So I don't think there's much chance of you winning Kenneth but er keep up the good work. And it's Clement Freud's turn to begin. He's in the lead, by the way, one ahead of Peter Cook. And the subject is a good buy. Will you talk on that subject Clement starting now.

CF: I'm not at all sure whether a Member of Parliament, bearing in mind the edicts of the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, should come on to a programme and talk about a good buy. Because if he got it wrong, and the purchase, which the prospective purchasor was about to make turned out...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Deviation, there's no such word. It's purchaser, not purchasor. You have E-R at the end, it's not O-R. And it's disgraceful for him to give this wrong information to the public! There they are, sitting out there, getting their words all wrong!

NP: Well as I said before, Kenneth Williams has obviously got a new catch phrase for the next series, if we have one. Because this is the last one for this series, you know. We shouldn't have this information given to the public. It used to be women! And er...

CF: Did he use to give women to the public?

NP: We shouldn't have women on the programme was his catch phrase! Kenneth you are raring to go, I can see that. You have 40 seconds in which to do it, the subject is a good buy starting now.

KW: It's when you get something practically for nothing. And you say "oh that's marvellous! A knock down price!" And you immediately know that another day you'd have to pay three or four times as much. So of course you think, how wonderful! This is a good buy! You see...


NP: And Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I'm afraid there was. And this is a very apt subject because I realise it is going to be the last one in the er show and in the series actually. There are 24 seconds Clement, a good buy starting now.

CF: Butter...


NP: Barry Took has challenged.

BT: Butter? Butter what? I mean! I'm slow to catch on Mister Chairman, but at least even I got that one!

NP: Yes! I'll tell you what I'm going to do. Because it's going to be the last subject in the round and the series, and there are only 23 seconds left and we want to hear from you again Barry. So I'm going to say that marvellous challenge of yours deserves a point and you take over the subject of a good buy starting now.

BT: A good-bye should always start with a kiss and work its way down from there. Whether, whether you kiss your loved one on the top of her head and then move slowly down over her brow to her eyebrows and...


NP: Peter Cook has challenged.

PC: I don't like where his hand is!


PC: If that's not deviation, I don't know what is! I did not, I did not agree to do this programme knowing that gesture and mime and that sort of thing would be going on next to me!

NP: Well while he probably wasn't...

BT: I shall toss my head back!

NP: ... deviating in the radio sense, I think your challenge was so good and as we only have nine seconds on which to finish the round and the series, we want to hear from you again, Peter Cook. You take over the subject now with nine seconds, as I said before, the subject, a good-bye starting now.

PC: A good-bye can be such a sad occasion, and yet on others it can be a time of joy...


NP: Barry Took.

BT: I didn't think I'd work on a programme with such an appalling actor! I mean, these commonplace characterisations aren't good enough! Look at the ones we get from the other side! I mean...

NP: I'm afraid the audience...

BT: Not only Kenneth Williams. I mean Clement Freud! He's brilliant!

NP: No I think the performance was really quite up to the standard that we have on Just A Minute! So I disagree with your challenge Barry, and Peter Cook keeps the subject and he has three seconds to continue on a good-bye starting now.

PC: I remember when my lady wife, whose name for the moment escapes me...


NP: That good-bye and so we have reached the end of the round, the end of the show, and the end of this series. And now I must give you the final score. Kenneth Williams who won last time we had these two particular guests with us, the Cook and the Took, came in fourth place, a little way behind Barry Took. And he was way behind Clement Freud. But with that last flourish from Peter Cook took him into the lead, one point ahead and is this week's winner, Peter Cook! So Peter Cook triumphing with one point. And just I'm sure before we wind up we'd all like to say we hope you've enjoyed not only the show but also the series and will want to be with us when we return, if we return. We hope we'll return. Till then 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.