starring PETER JONES, TONY HAWKS, GYLES BRANDRETH and JO BRAND, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Television, 12 May 1999)

NOTE: Jo Brand's last appearance, Peter Jones's last television appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And once again it is my pleasure to welcome you to Just A Minute, the ever popular and highly entertaining programme. And with me today I have four very popular and most entertaining performers. And first of all we welcome someone, a comedian who is very clever at improvisation and that is Tony Hawks. And beside Tony, a very popular and much loved comedian, Jo Brand. And on my left, the broadcaster, writer, politician, Gyles Brandreth. And beside him the much loved comedy writer, performer and broadcaster Peter Jones. Please welcome all four of them! And as usual in this game I am going to ask them to speak if they can on the subject that I give them, and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. They will score points as they challenge and somebody will finish up as the winner, but that is secondary to the fun. And let us begin the show with Tony Hawks, and who better? And the subject to begin with Tony, is my greatest wish. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TONY HAWKS: I suppose it's difficult to work out exactly what my greatest wish would be. But certainly I would like to see an event in the Winter Olympics in which the British team could win a gold, and it would be called tobogganing down an unsuitable hill with insufficient snow on a bin liner or tray. We at last would have an opportunity to excel in something like that. I also would like to talk for a minute without hesitating, repeating...


NP: Jo you've challenged.

JO BRAND: Well he said I'd also like to talk (makes spluttering noise) for a minute.

NP: Well I think he's actually deviating from my greatest wish because he wants to talk about something else. So that is deviation from the subject which is on the card in front of me. So Jo you have a correct challenge, you have a point for that and Jo takes over the subject which is my greatest wish. There are 37 seconds left starting now.

JB: My greatest wish is to get the Daily Mail columnist, Lynda Lee Potter, in a locked room, and invite all the people she's ever been horrible to in her entire life, to join me in the room and see what...


NP: Oh Gyles Brandreth.

GYLES BRANDRETH: Well both deviation, because when Lynda interviewed me, it was great fun. And repetition of room, a locked room and then joining me in the room.

NP: Yes if you repeat the word that is repetition.

JB: I got my main point across though, didn't I!

NP: But I think someone as popular as Lynda Lee Potter should be defended as well. She's been nice and kind and generous to more people than most journalists are. Really, really and truly. Gyles you have a correct challenge and you have 22 seconds on my greatest wish starting now.

GB: My greatest wish is to live in a country where the English language is spoken properly. One can find a chap who will say that a slight inclination of the cranium is as adequate as a spasmodic movement of one optic to an equine quadruped utterly devoid of any vision...


NP: Peter Jones you've challenged.

PETER JONES: Um deviation.

NP: Why?

PJ: Well we're not talking, we're talking about er one's...

NP: My greatest wish is not about his cranium.

PJ: My greatest wish.

GB: I'm sorry, my greatest wish is to be in a country where someone can say a slight inclination of the cranium is as adequate as a spasmodic movement of one optic to an equine quadruped utterly devoid of any visionary capacity, without being interrupted by somebody who thinks one means a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.

NP: He deserves a round of applause for getting it out! If that is your greatest wish, I'm very sorry for you Gyles! And I can say I think it's rather devious. So I'm going to give it to Peter Jones and say you have 10 seconds Peter, tell us something about, having got a point of course for a correct challenge, my greatest wish starting now.

PJ: My greatest wish is to have a very generous out-of-court settlement given to me by the BBC!


NP: And no-one's challenged you! Tony Hawks you challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of B.

NP: B!

PJ: No, no, no! That went out in 1934!


NP: No we can't have supplementary challenges, I'm sorry Gyles.

TH: But he also stopped as well.

NP: I know he also stopped, there was hesitation. So you've got in with one second to go on my greatest wish Tony starting now.

TH: Lynda Lee Potter often...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, on this occasion it was Tony Hawks who started the subject. And he has got a lead at the end of the round. And who's going to take the next round? Jo Brand, take the second round for us.

JB: Okay.

NP: Eccentrics, will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

JB: My favourite eccentric is a friend of mine called Christina. And she's eccentric because she's not exactly thick, but she is a bit daft. And I'll give you an example of this. She was asked recently in Trivial Pursuit, what is the other name for the Blackpool, oh what...


NP: You challenged.

GB: Yes indeed.

NP: Yes.

GB: I did, hesitation.

NP: Actually sometimes if you've got a good story, they can be generous and let you go on it. But anyway it was a correct challenge so Gyles you take over my, no, we've had my greatest wish, turn that one over. Eccentrics is the subject and there are 45 seconds starting now.

GB: Taking my cue from Jo, Michael Jackson, Mahatma Gandhi and Rolf Harris as well as George Harrison are four of my favourite people. The reason being they are true eccentrics. Why do I say this? Because they are people who all drink their own urine...


NP: Someone challenged, yes?

TH: I thought I'd better stop you before you went further there.

NP: I think so.

TH: Was there a repetition of people in there?

NP: There was a repetition of people, yeah. A correct challenge, 32 seconds available for you Tony on eccentrics starting now.

TH: Some people have told me I'm a little eccentric for I did hitchhike around Ireland with a fridge to win a hundred pound bet. But it did turn out to be a marvellous experience in my life, and one that I would never have wished. Indeed it could be my greatest wish to do it again, but that was something I was talking...


NP: And er...

GB: I think my greatest wish was the last round, not this one.

NP: And you're quite right, yes, I think you're in a time warp there. You're still on the first subject, we're on eccentrics at the moment.

TH: Yes.

NP: You started off on eccentrics and went on to my greatest wish.

TH: Can I see Nurse please?

NP: Listen, I like to pay a compliment if I can. I heard you broadcast extractions from my Round Ireland And Your Fridge on Radio Four. It was great! I really enjoyed it!

TH: Thank you Nicholas.

NP: You should have listened if you didn't.

TH: I'll give you the tenner later!

NP: Okay! Eccentrics is the subject Gyles, there are 17 seconds available for you starting now.

GB: The eccentrics that I so admire are these people who do indeed enjoy consuming...


NP: Ah Tony?

TH: I'm sorry but there was a repetition of people again.

NP: You see you can't repeat a word that you've already used.

GB: I'm well aware what the show is!

NP: No, no, but some people...

GB: It's just getting it right that's the problem!

NP: But some people who come on the show who haven't been on before, sometimes think that if ah they're starting again they can er...

GB: That's very sweet! I'm ready to be patronised now!

NP: Gyles...

GB: I'll take it on the chin!

NP: Anyway a correct challenge Tony, and you have er what is it, um, 13 seconds on eccentrics...

TH: I'm just...

NP: Do you know the subject by the way? Eccentrics...

TH: Okay.

NP: Starting now.

TH: My greatest wish is to get through this...


NP: Jo you've challenged.

JB: Oh have I?

NP: Yes you have, right.

JB: Just wanted to go to the toilet! Well he did say my greatest wish again.

NP: I know and I would consider that...

JB: Did you do that deliberately so you didn't have to talk about it?

TH: Well I wanted to hear about Christina. So this is a perfect opportunity.

JB: Oh, do you?

TH: Yes but don't say Christina again or I...

NP: Another point to you Jo, a correct challenge, you have nine seconds, eccentrics starting now.

JB: My chum who shall remain nameless was once asked, in a quiz game, um what is...


NP: Yes?

GB: I don't wish, I mean I want to be generous but um is actually a hesitation spelt out. It's not just a pause, it's actually...

NP: I know, but as she was repeating every single word she said last time she was speaking, I think the best thing is to let her finish and get this wretched story out! And then we can...

GB: So it's repetition as well as hesitation?

JB: It's going to be so dull, isn't it, by the time I get it out.

NP: No, no, we're all on tenterhooks, we want this story about your chum...


NP: ... and Trivial Pursuits... what's the matter Peter?

PJ: I'm not on tenterhooks! But it does seem to me that you're asking her to do the impossible. She's only nine seconds.

NP: But I'll let her go beyond the nine seconds if the whistle goes...

PJ: You will?

NP: I want to hear the story, right. Finish the story about your chum and Trivial Pursuits.

JB: She was asked "what is the other name for the Northern Lights?"


NP: Carry on!

JB: And she said "Blackpool!"

NP: Jo Brand was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so with the help of course of the chairman. And what is the situation? Well um Tony Hawks and Jo Brand are equal in the lead as we move into the next round which is rice pudding, that's a lovely subject. Gyles I think you should take rice pudding. Talk on it if you can starting now.

GB: I was brought up on the old adage that says in this life you should try everything once except for incest and folk dancing. And consequently when I was first offered a delicious bowl of rice pudding, I looked at this glutinous mass of bubbles and thought to myself "am I going to taste it?" But I did and found it was sumptuous. And since then I've collected rice puddings from around the world. Most recently from Peking where...


NP: Jo why have you challenged?

JB: Absolute rubbish, of course he hasn't collected rice puddings! Where are they all?

NP: Where are they all? They should have gone off by now.

GB: Can I say that they've been through the system.

JB: So you've eaten rice puddings...

GB: Well of course, what else do you do with it?

JB: You haven't collected them.

GB: It's a perfectly legitimate story.

NP: It's a perfectly legitimate challenge.

GB: It isn't a legitimate challenge...

NP: You didn't establish that these rice puddings have been through your system. You thought you had collected them. We had this vision of you having a cellar full of rice puddings, all rotting away with the mice and the rats coming in to devour them! I think it's a, I think it's a just nauseous idea...

GB: I was about to tell a wonderful story about culinary treats in the far east. You're going to miss it now! It doesn't matter!

NP: You might get back in. You're very clever! You're very bright!

GB: I might get back in...

NP: Jo you have a correct challenge, you have a point for that of course. You have 36 seconds, no, 37, rice pudding starting now.

JB: Er deliberately so Gyles can tell his story.


NP: Oh what generous players of the game we have!

GB: Oh, to hesitate is human, to er when she does it is divine!

NP: Gyles tell us more about the rice puddings that have been through your system...

GB: Well there I was...

NP: Wait a minute! I'll give you the off! Starting now.

GB: Well there I was in Beijing when the rice pudding was served. And what did I see on the top of it, but not a fly, but a louse. I summoned the waiter. He came over, and in perfect Mandarin, he said "what do you expect? You ordered rice pudding. Of course there's a luddy rouse in it!"


NP: You challenged Jo.

JB: Can we have a vote on whether that was worth it?

NP: I think the vote came from the audience in their unspontaneous reaction. So you challenged first Jo, so you have another point and you have seven, no, 13 seconds on rice pudding starting now.

JB: Oh dear have I got that long on it? Well rice pudding was something...


NP: Peter you challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was a hesitation then.

JB: Did I hesitate? Isn't it awful, I didn't even realise!

PJ: You said "oh have I got so long on it".

JB: Oh I see, right!

NP: Peter...

PJ: Yes?

NP: You tell us something about rice pudding, nine seconds starting now.

PJ: Rice pudding is made with rice! Hence the name. Now if you put milk with it and a little sugar...


NP: Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. And it's all pretty even but Jo Brand is just in the lead. And Peter Jones it's your turn to begin, the subject, dragons. Tell us something about those amazing creatures, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PJ: Dragons were originally employed, I think, to defend maidens who lived in a castle from the er unwelcome visits of gentlemen who admired them, and wanted to ravish them. So this man George was ah given the job...


NP: Jo you challenged.

JB: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, one? There were six, I think! But you let him go, I thought we were going to hear his story.

TH: We were all waiting in case there was another recipe coming up! How to make rice pudding!

NP: How to make rice with the dragons, right.

PJ: Dragon steak.

JB: Can I just say to Peter, you and I were the only two who were described by Nicholas as much loved at the beginning. Did you realise that?

PJ: Really?

GB: But the question is who will be described as much loved at the end!

PJ: Yes...

JB: Not you, Gyles!

NP: Jo, correct challenge, another point to you, 42 seconds available, dragons starting now.

JB: Dragons is a pejorative term for people who look like me! Hattie Jacques is my favourite dragon because Hattie Jacques weighed about...


JB: Oh yes.

GB: I'm sorry, there was a repetition of Hattie Jacques.

NP: You can't have too much of her, but in Just A Minute, you can't repeat it. So Gyles another correct challenge and another point and 32 seconds, dragons, starting now.

GB: In Victorian times, they had problems knowing what to call their underwear. Unterhosen, bloomers or knickers were considered complicated words. And consequently they came up with the notion of calling them drag-ons. Items of clothing that you pulled over your cruel appendages which was the polite way of terming legs in those days. And the attractive drag-ons were ones that had on them little emblems of creatures with fiery flames. And you thought whereabouts on my aforementioned garments am i going to have these little creatures? Where are they going to pop out from? Where...


NP: Tony you've challenged.

TH: Repetition of creatures.

NP: There were too many creatures there. You did very well! Oh yes you did so well, he got in with just one second to go!

GB: Oh!

NP: Yes and Tony, yes, one second on dragons starting now.

TH: Jo Brand could never be a dragon...


NP: Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point in doing so. And it's pretty even stevens throughout with a few points they've all got. Just ahead still is Jo Brand, followed by Tony Hawks and Gyles Brandreth and Peter Jones, in that order. And who begins the next round? Tony we're back with you. Apres ski, that's a good subject, tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: I used to think that apres ski is something you did after you'd had a yoghurt. But that isn't the case at all. It's all about what you do of an evening after you've been skiing down the slopes as I love to do. Oh I've put my skis on, obviously they're essential equipment if you're going to do that. There's no point in doing it in shoes, it would be silly. You'd just sink into the snow and you wouldn't go anywhere. But you get drunk apparently. I don't do it myself because you get so tired. Skiing, which I've said before, but nobody's challenged me on it, so I'll keep going...


NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: Well, an invitation, I thought, to challenge.

NP: Yes you accepted it ah gracefully, you've got 32 seconds to tell us something about apres ski starting now.

GB: I've always associated apres ski with Coco. Not the drink but the clown. This is because as a child I was brought up in Germany where I had as an instructor on the slopes somebody who had formerly worked in a circus in Berlin. And he came to Maublaughan and took me down the far side, dressed in a funny costume with a nose and big ears and that floppy hair...


NP: Tony's got in.

GB: With one second probably!

NP: Ten seconds actually.

TH: He's gone mad!

NP: So what is your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

TH: Deviation from sanity.

NP: But Gyles has made a good living out of being a bit eccentric like that. Any other? Hesitation?

TH: No, no, no, he was going very well. I was just trying to be silly.

NP: Incorrect challenge, you were interrupted, you keep going, apres ski, 10 seconds starting now.

GB: The best kind of apres ski is an evening in the chalet where you're surrounded by your family and friends after you've had a wonderful day which has made you feel full of the air of the alpine reaches and suddenly you realise...


NP: Right, Gyles Brandreth was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and has taken the lead ahead of Jo Brand. And Jo Brand it's your turn to begin, the subject is Viagra. So can you tell us something about Viagra in this game starting now.

JB: I feel rather sorry for the wives of men who take Viagra because there they are, looking forward to a nice night in front of the telly with a bag of crisps and feet up, with a bottle of pop. And in comes some pulsating middle aged horror, and forces them, across the settee, to commit unspeakable acts of sexual deviation! And that's all I have to say!


NP: So...

JB: Can we just call this Just A Ten Seconds? I'd be better at it.

NP: Viagra is with you with 35 seconds, Gyles starting now.

GB: I went to see my doctor about this particular problem, and discovered that he was a philosopher and poet as well as a medical practitioner. And he said to me "Gyles don't worry, if your part is small, and your rewards are few. Remember that the mighty oak was once a nut like you!" And consequently he provided me with a little capsule which I took and the effect was quite extraordinary. I have to tell you I have not seen anything quite like it in years. And because suddenly out of my...


NP: Yes Tony?

TH: I just don't want to hear any more!

NP: No, I don't think anybody does!

GB: Has he got one second? Has he got one second to go now?

NP: No, no, he has about four and a half seconds actually. But we have increased our viewing audience with what you've been doing. They've been rushing out from the kitchen , saying "oh they're really going on it, on this show today!" Right Tony, four and a half seconds, tell us something about Viagra starting now.

TH: I don't know anything about this subject really, but I think I should hand it over to someone...


NP: Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And it's very close, there we are. Yes, Gyles Brandreth is now in the lead still, just one ahead of Tony Hawks, one ahead of Jo Brand and a couple ahead of Peter Jones. And Gyles your turn to begin, the subject, wildlife. After that last subject, how'd we come up with wildlife? Anyway talk on the subject if you can, 60 seconds starting now.

GB: Oscar Fingle O'Flaugherty Wills Wilde had an extraordinary life. Born in Dublin, brought up in London, died in Paris. Wit and raconteur, noted for his capacity to talk extensively without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Indeed he professed that he could speak on any topic that was offered to him. And on one occasion at a London dining club, somebody at the back of the hall cried out to the Queen. And Wilde, whose life we are discussing said "that..."


GB: Oh and the payoff is quite good!

JB: Sorry.

GB: It doesn't matter.

NP: Very dramatic.

GB: It's actually not that good.

NP: Jo you've got in there, there are 24 seconds available, he did hesitate there, wildlife is with you starting now.

JB: I live in Shropshire, and in a little village quite nearby we have wildlife. We have a beast running about eating sheep. And everyone thinks it's a panther. And a local farmer in one of the pubs recently told the other farmers... oh no!


JB: I said farmers and then I thought eurgh!

NP: It's a difficult game. But Peter you got in first...

PJ: Farmers, repetition.

NP: Yes, farmers yes.

JB: I challenged myself, didn't I.

NP: But your light didn't come on first. People have been known to challenge themselves in this game and get away with it. too. Peter you had a correct challenge, you've got wildlife and you have seven seconds, keep going, starting now.

PJ: Wildlife includes all animals on the planet who are not in zoos or farms or domestic animals. And they...


NP: Peter Jones speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point. He has leapt forward but he's still in fourth place! But he does begin the next round and Peter, the subject is CVs. You have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PJ: They're nearly always pure fiction. But if I tried to work out my own, it would involve going back such a long way, that nobody now alive would understand who I was talking about. Or who had employed me when I was 17 in a fitter company in Southwold in Suffolk for instance. Because ah Zefferelli for instance would never have heard of Southwold and yet I might be submitting my CV to him for perusal so that he could perhaps employ me in one of his movies, which I should really like to do. But I don't want to deviate, though I could of course for about 65 years. I won't do that now. Ah he was one of my er ah... (starts to laugh)


PJ: Sorry.

NP: That's all right. No, no, Peter, they were enjoying it. I mean they were enjoying it so much they let you go.

PJ: Really?

NP: Yes.

GB: We wanted to know what happened in 1943!

NP: You went for 45 seconds.

PJ: How long?

NP: Forty-five seconds.

PJ: Well that's not over, is it?

NP: No it isn't.

PJ: You said you let me go on.

NP: They did let you go on because you erred a bit actually.

PJ: Well...

NP: And Jo Brand saved you. She came in with only 14 seconds available. And she's going to tell us something now about CVs starting now.

JB: I have made up quite a lot of my CV. At the beginning of it it said that I used to be a ballet dancer in Russia for several years. Following that I was a nuclear scientist by...


NP: So Jo Brand kept going until the whistle went, gained an extra point. And she has increased her lead at the end of the round. And Tony Hawks, we're back with you, take the next round. Blowing bubbles. Tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: I'm forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the sky. They fly so high, they reach the sky. But like West Ham...


NP: Yes Jo?

JB: Well you see he said "pretty bubbles in the sky", and then you said "they fly so high, they reach the sky".

TH: Repetition of sky? Is that what you're getting at?

JB: No, I just love the sound of your voice!

TH: Oh!

NP: It's a, it's a rather involved way of saying he repeated the word sky actually Jo, but it was correct. It was repetition, another point to you, and the subject of blowing bubbles, 52 seconds starting now.

JB: Blowing Bubbles is a song sung by West Ham fans. And I used to be one of these when I was a child, because my brother supported Manchester United. And we used to lose every week which was an excuse for my brother to kick the poo out of me!


NP: Gyles?

GB: Well we were back in poo country! And I don't think you were referring to a bear, but there was a repetition of brothers.

NP: You're a fine one to talk about poo with all those rice puddings going through you!

JB: It was better than saying another word!

NP: Yes!

JB: It rhymes with...

NP: Blowing bubbles, 35 seconds starting now.

GB: The blest place to blow blubbles...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: He's drunk!

NP: So deviation from English as we understand it...

TH: Yeah also a little hesitation.

NP: So Tony you got in, 32 seconds on blowing bubbles starting now.

TH: You can get those little things at fairgrounds and you blow through the things and the bubbles go up into the air. And it's such enjoyment i could do it for hours. And several times in my life, I have done. I think of my little nephews who don't exist, Derek and Clive, a lot, and he...


GB: Both repetition and deviation. Repetition of things, and then deviation, these relatives of his that don't exist.

NP: Oh you're greedy, you want two points, don't you?

GB: No, happy to take one.

NP: Hesitation, right, you have 19 seconds on blowing bubbles Gyles...

GB: I only wanted one second! I wanted to come in at the one second moment.

NP: I know, well, you must wait a bit longer.

GB: Oh dear!

NP: Nineteen seconds, you've got, see if you can keep going on blowing bubbles starting now.

GB: In the bath blowing bubbles is an amusing thing to do. Because you do it with your hands, soaping them up, parting them like this, and then gently exhaling it. And you try and get your bubbles to get as big as they can, and looking at yourself in the mirror by the bath through the bubble...


NP: And Jo Brand has challenged you.

JB: I'm only doing this, I know there's one second to go! Oh is it two? Oh I can't possibly go that far! Sorry Gyles.

NP: What was, what was the challenge?

JB: There wasn't one, I was just sort of timing it to see if I could...

GB: Because when I've got a second to go, that's when other people chip in!

JB: I'm trying Hawks' tactics you see!

NP: Right...

JB: But it doesn't work every time, does it.

NP: Yes but you've got to have a challenge even if you try his tactics. So Gyles that was an incorrect challenge, you get a point for that, you keep the subject, there are two seconds on blowing bubbles starting now.

GB: Making a splash as one blows one's bubble...


NP: Gyles Brandreth not only brought that round to a close, getting an extra point in doing so. But he also brought the show to a close in the sense that we have no more time to play Just A Minute. So let me tell you the final situation. Peter Jones had a few points, Tony Hawks got some. Jo Brand was in the lead, finished up in second place, just ahead was Gyles Brandreth. Today Gyles we say you are the winner! So my thanks to Tony Hawks, Jo Brand, Gyles Brandreth, Peter Jones and from them and me Nicholas Parsons...


NP: Who's pressed their buzzer?

PJ: I did.

NP: Yes Peter you challenged?

PJ: Well I just had the feeling that it wasn't working properly! Well it was very slow to respond when I er interrupted you know.

NP: Give Peter another five points!

PJ: Please!

NP: You're just about equal with the others. But from them, from these delightful guests and myself, hope you've enjoyed Just A Minute. Be with us the next time we play this delightful game. Until then good-bye.