NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Oh thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure not only to welcome our many listeners not only in this country, but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show four highly talented players of the game who have all excelled themselves in various forms of comedy or humour with great distinction. So it's a pleasure to welcome, in no particular order Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Jenny Eclair and Clement Freud. And would you please welcome all four of them! And as usual, as usual, i am going to ask them to speak at different times on the subject that I give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card in front of me. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who is going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the beautiful elegant Theatre Royal in that wonderful coastal city of Brighton in the lovely county of Sussex! And as you just heard we have in front of us a great cosmopolitan Brighton audience all ready and eager to get the show going. So let's start with Paul Merton, and the subject Paul, very apt for this show in Brighton, Brighton Rock. Tell us something about Brighton Rock in Just A Minute if you can starting now.

PAUL MERTON: It's a book and a film, and now a piece of souvenir confectionery. The movie was made circa 1948 I think, and Richard Attenborough played the part of Pinky and there were various other actors in there. It's a Graham Greene story originally and he may have indeed have written the screen play. It was a wonderful evocative piece of cinema, made just after the war, when Brighton was perhaps not... um...


PM: Bognor!

NP: Julian, you were the first to challenge.

JULIAN CLARY: A hesitation.

NP: A hesitation, an er there. So um Julian you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, it is Brighton Rock and there are 36 seconds available starting now.

JC: There's a lot to be aid for having something long, pink and hard in your mouth! The longer the better I always say! And particularly delicious when that sugary coating slips down the back of your throat! I never leave Brighton without a bag full of Brighton Rock! It's what I come here for! It's delicious! I can't get enough of it! It's particularly...


NP: Paul Merton challenged you. I think, just in time! Julian I think you struck a chord with this audience somewhere there! Paul what was your challenge?

PM: There was a slight hesitation there.

NP: Well there was so much laughter from the audience, I didn't hear any hesitation actually! No...

PM: You couldn't hear it?

NP: I couldn't hear a hesitation... I couldn't hear a hesitation, no, but I, I didn't observe it, I wasn't aware of it because he seemed to be going at full throttle, and the audience were going with him! Julian I disagree with the challenge so you have another point and you still have Brighton Rock and you have seven seconds starting now.

JC: It's particularly nice if pink and I...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: It's been pink!

NP: It's been pink before, yes. So that's a correct challenge to Clement, a point to him and four seconds to tell us something about Brighton Rock starting now.

CF: I like the film enormously because Hermione Baddeley was one of my favourite...


NP: In this show whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud so at the end of that round he has three points, Julian's got two, and the other two are yet to score. Julian will you take the next round, it's how to bring a boring conversation to a conclusion. You can repeat in this show the subject on the card or any individual words at amy particular time. Julian, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

JC: My favourite method of bringing a boring conversation to a close would be to say "I tire of you!" Failing that, I try physical means such as glazing over, perhaps falling asleep, or getting out a gun...


NP: Jenny Eclair's challenged.

JENNY ECLAIR: He might have been trying to breathe, but I think it was a hesitation.

NP: I think it was too Jenny, yes.

PM: Oh you heard that one did you?

NP: Yes! I observed it, I was aware of it, yes.

PM: Oh you were aware of it.

NP: I was aware of it, thank you Paul. Jenny, a correct challenge so you have how to bring a boring conversation to a conclusion and 46 seconds available starting now.

JE: The simplest way of bringing a dull conversation to a close is simply to say "I've got the most appalling diarrhoea! Do excuse me!" The other option one could try which works for me is to say "would you like to sleep with me?" At this point they look at their watch and simply remember... I don't know why I said simply, because I've said simply twice now...


NP: I know you have...

JE: I know what I have done!

NP: You know what you've done but sometimes they can be generous and let you go.

JE: Did know?

NP: They didn't, no, Paul Merton challenged.

JE: Oh.

PM: Well you said simply four times.

NP: Yes, so Paul you have a correct challenge, you have a point, you have how to bring a boring conversation to a conclusion and 28 seconds starting now.

PM: I usually find the words "goodness Nicholas, is that the time?" brings the conversation to an end! It's amazing how well this works! In any type of situation, you find yourself in circumstances where you're chatting away to somebody and think "oh my God, I wish I was dead!" and suddenly you see an opportunity to close that bit of intercourse between the two of you, and what a blessed relief it is...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: We're talking about conversation, not intercourse!

NP: Ah you can have verbal intercourse.

CF: You can!

NP: I also...

PM: That might be the best offer you get all night Clement!

NP: And also grammatically you can as well. We give you a bonus point for what you said, but Paul was not strictly speaking deviating from the subject on the card so he keeps the subject with another point and three seconds to go on how to bring a boring conversation to a conclusion starting now.

PM: The very best thing to do, and mark my words...


NP: Paul Merton, speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and has moved forward, he's now equal in the lead with Clement Freud. Right Jenny, will you take the next subject...

JE: I will!

NP: The subject is clutter.

JE: Ahhhh!

NP: Tell us something about... is it that something that's predominant in your life?

JE: Well...

NP: Anyway we'll hear about it in Just A Minute starting now.

JE: You know, being a slovenly old slut, I have heaps of clutter in my life. Beneath the bed, behind the curtain. I live with a minimalist for whom clutter is an absolute anathema. He's always following me around with his little dustbin and brush. In fact some days when I'm looking particularly untidy, he attempts to sweep me into the cupboard under the stairs which is brimming with broken hoovers, plastic buckets, empty tins of paint, and a cleaning lady that I once... killed...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Well I've heard of clutter, but having a cleaning lady you once killed in a cupboard, that's very untidy isn't it. There was a bit of hesitation in there.

NP: I will give you hesitation but no, I mean, in her world of fantasy, she could beat up a cleaning lady, I don't know. Anyway Paul yes, correct challenge for hesitation, 33 seconds for you on clutter starting now.

PM: My Mum used to work for Jenny Eclair as a cleaning lady. But sadly we haven't seen her for some 15 years now! We never know what happened to her! There was some talk perhaps she'd gone to the Amazon to find herself, or maybe to the Indian subcontinent...


NP: Ah Julian Clary has challenged.

JC: He's deviating, he's talking about his mother in the Amazon, and not about clutter.

JE: Yes he did!

NP: Yes I think that's a very good challenge! So um Julian, a correct challenge, 20 seconds available, clutter starting now.

JC: Some people live in filth but I'm not one of them. I enjoy nothing more than a squirt and a wipe in the kitchen! All my clutter is kept in cupboards, on shelves, neatly labelled and stacked in piles. There's green clutter in one cupboard and there's blue clutter under the stairs and...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of cupboard.

JC: There were two cupboards.

NP: Yes there were two cupboards yes.


NP: Listen you can enjoy the show but you mustn't be... Clement... oh I see why you said oh because you estimated, he's got in with only three seconds to go.


NP: Oh you've got some friends there, some are cheering Clement. Er so three seconds on clutter with you Clement starting now.

CF: I have two cupboards, none of which have any clutter...


JE: Oh!

NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. And with others in the round, he's now gone in the lead again, ahead of Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Jenny Eclair in that order. And Clement your turn to begin and the subject now is TV chefs. So tell us something about television chefs or TV chefs starting now.

CF: In olden days there was Vena Skinner and Philip Harbin. They were the...


NP: Jenny Eclair challenged.

JE: That was a gaping chasm!

NP: No, I don't think so.

JE: Do you not think?

NP: No, no, no.


NP: I know you work this audience up into a frenzy to be on your side Jenny! But no, I disagree...


JE: I killed Paul Merton's mother! I'm quite prepared to kill you! No, give him the ball back, I don't mind!

NP: I must, I must be fair within the rules of Just A Minute, I don't think he paused to that extent. Teetering, close, but not there. Fifty-five seconds with you Clement, TV chefs...

CF: I couldn't have paused much in five seconds, could I?

NP: Not much.

CF: Not having said all that I said.

NP: You were speaking a bit more slowly than usual, I think that was her point.

CF: Ah!

NP: But anyway it wasn't. Fifty-five seconds, TV chefs starting now.

CF: This original TV chefs actually taught viewers how to cook. They said "here is an oven, there a stove, under a grill, over a salamander." And eggs, meat, fish, nice things like people actually wanted to master were portrayed on the television screens. And today...


NP: Jenny challenged again.

JE: Did he say television twice? Did he?

NP: He, yes!

CF: TV chefs.

NP: TV chefs.

JE: Oh you're so cunning Clement!

NP: Yes he's cunning, but you are funny, so there we are! Thirty-two seconds Clement, TV chefs starting now.

CF: Today's TV chefs actually try to tell you how terrific they are. Almost any programme on any channel, I've said any twice...


NP: Yes. Paul was the first to challenge.

PM: Ah he said any three times.

NP: TV chefs, the subject's with you Paul, 23 seconds starting now.

PM: I don't really take much notice of these TV chefs. Antony Worral-Thompson is one and Ainsley Harriet I know from the days when he used to be on the cabaret circuit in London. But it's not the sort of show that I, really appeal to me. I'm not that interested in watching other people cook. It's a bit like watching paint..


PM: Watching!

NP: Ah Jenny?

JE: He said like twice.

NP: Yes, and watching. And you got in this time...

PM: Is that right?

NP: Yes!

JE: I'm overexcited!

NP: TV chefs is with you now, nine seconds starting now Jenny.

JE: My favourite was Fanny Cradock, a ghastly gargoyle of the kitchen who used to bully her poor husband Johnny into a little puddle...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: The subject is TV chefs!

NP: Oh you're being very subtle now! And I think Fanny would like to put herself into that category.

JE: She has more balls on her, that woman!

NP: Yes!

PM: I don't know anything about her private life! What do you mean, she had more...

NP: How would you have described her, Clement?

CF: She was one chef, and the subject is chefs.

NP: I think Jenny, you were not deviating and er Fanny Cradock certainly was a chef and a cook and so forth. And you have one second to continue starting now.

JE: The galloping gourmet...


NP: So Jenny Eclair with other points in the round and also one for speaking as the whistle went, has leapt forward. And she's now in second place, just ahead of Julian Clary, and just ahead of them Paul Merton and Clement Freud in that order moving upwards. And Paul, your turn to begin and the subject, things that make me sneeze. Unusual subject, tell us something about them in this game starting now.

PM: Teflon saucepans, balconies. These are the kinds of things that make me sneeze. Hay fever is a terrible affliction which I suffer from very... mildly...


NP: Julian you challenged.

JC: I didn't mean to challenge.

PM: Did you not?

JC: I thought you were about to...

PM: Yes but I didn't, did I? You were a bit premature!

JC: Are you going to take a point away from me?

NP: No, I can't, I never take points away, you either gain points...

JC: Oh don't you?

NP: Yes. You gain points, and if you have him for hesitation, you gain a point.

JC: Ah but then you give him an extra point.

NP: No, I don't give him an extra point!

JC: Oh!

NP: Julian you've played this game before...

JC: Now you tell me!

NP: Yes! And you've got a correct challenge...

PM: Hang on! What is it? What was his challenge?

NP: Hesitation.

PM: Well he hasn't said that yet!

NP: You did say it, didn't you?

JC: I passed you a little note!


NP: You've given me an impossible situation Julian. He hesitated and you haven't said it...

JC: No, no, I agree, he hesitated.

NP: Ah I'm sure your friend Paul will give you a belated challenge. Fifty-one seconds, let's hear from you on things that make me sneeze starting now.

JC: I...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: That's right Paul! You've actually got the subject back. You didn't start, it had gone for a whole second and nothing happened there.

JC: Oh I was inhaling!

NP: I think this makes it all fair and all square, they've both got a point. So Paul, you have the subject back again, 50 seconds, things that make me sneeze starting now.

PM: London Transport buses, gravel, wallpaper, hotel foyers, loose women...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: I think in his head he was seeing a comma, but it was a hesitation.

NP: No it wasn't a hesitation.

JE: Wasn't it?

NP: No, no, no, he was going, an incredible list which was getting more and more devious as it went on, but nobody challenged him...

JE: Yes you deviated!

NP: No, no! It was a devious thought but he wasn't deviating within the rules of Just A Minute. Paul you have 44 seconds, things that make me sneeze...

PM: Oh really?

NP: Starting now.

PM: Oh and trains and it's all kinds of things. Maybe perhaps the people we must feel sorry for today are the sneezers of Great Britain. Those poor souls that can't help but find themselves afflicted by this terrible condition of the inner nostril. It's a crime that the government doesn't spend more money... I can't believe that people are listening to this rubbish!


PM: There's somebody, somebody in the front row taking notes!

NP: Well they're doing an after dinner speech obviously, somebody. Julian you challenged.

JC: Ah a general breakdown that would come under the heading I think of deviation.

NP: All right, he obviously wants to release the subject to you. You have 21 seconds on things that make me sneeze Julian starting now.

JC: I actively seek out things that are going to make me sneeze, because I enjoy the sensation. It's the nearest thing to an orgasm that some of us know. And...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: No! No! You have 13 seconds on things that make me sneeze starting now.

JC: Next to my bed I've got a pepper mill, just in case I wake up in the night and feel like a jolly good sneeze. I have been known to have a multiple sneeze, which was particularly thrilling. The last time I had one of those was in Greece. I think it was the donkeys that were the...


NP: Well Julian Clary was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and others in the round. He's now moved forward from the last place into second place with Paul Merton, one behind our leader Clement Freud, and just ahead of Jenny Eclair. And Julian it's also your turn to begin, and the subject is appearing in panto.


NP: I think I should explain to our listeners, the reason we got that immediate reaction from this audience here in Brighton was because Julian was in panto last Christmas here in Brighton. Appearing in panto is the subject Julian starting now.

JC: Yes indeed, it's true! This very erection on er which I'm sitting...


NP: Jenny you challenged.

JE: He developed an unfortunate speech impediment!

NP: After what he said, I'm not surprised! And Jenny you got in with 57 seconds, appearing in panto starting now.

JE: Extraordinarily enough, I have never been invited to appear in panto. Possibly because I don't have the legs for the pantomime's leading man-boy-thing. I've got...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There's always the horse!


NP: Oh Paul!


JE: All right, I'll come back!

NP: Jenny, sometimes I give bonus points for funny remarks. But this...

JE: Take one off him for being nasty!

NP: On this occasion I won't take one off him. I'll give you the bonus point which goes, should have gone to Paul for his...

JE: Have I still got the round?

NP: You've still got the round, yes.


NP: Because actually you see, you weren't deviating or anything so you get a point for being interrupted.

JE: Yes...

NP: And you get a bonus point for the insult. And you have appearing in panto starting now.

JE: I don't have to...


NP: And Clement Freud challenged you.

CF: Hesitation.

JE: Yes! Go on, have it!

NP: All right Clement, 37 seconds, appearing in panto starting now.

CF: There are two things you can do in life. One is to appear in panto, the other is not to appear in panto. And I have chosen the latter of these options which...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well repetition of appear.

NP: Yes.

CF: It's on the card.

PM: It's appearing.

NP: Appearing is on the card.

PM: And you said appear twice.

NP: Appearing in panto.

PM: You said appear in panto or not appear in panto.

CF: Did I?


NP: No, don't say ooohh, it's a correct challenge.

PM: On the basis of TV chefs and TV chef!

NP: Yes I agree with Paul, that was pedantic, this wasn't, this was correct challenge Paul. Twenty-seven seconds, appearing in panto starting now.

PM: I appeared in pantomime with Julian Clary on the ITV version of that popular Christmas pantomime. And the audience was sickened by some of the things they saw on stage that night! Luckily myself and my fellow panellist over there were absolved from the main blame, but the spectacle was absolutely appalling in the second half when somebody, a well known TV face and indeed name lost the plot completely and was very rude to one of the other performers on that particular erection. Now I can't go into what they...


NP: Julian Clary challenged.

JC: Well he's nicked my word, erection! I said that earlier!

PM: Well I was trying to not say stage again.

NP: Yes and er it's also, I don't think the word is actually your particular personal...

PM: Well he's done a lot, he's done a lot to make it popular!

NP: I know! But I don't think he can claim it for himself! I think, I think he has to share it around!

JC: Well if there's one going, I'll have it!


NP: I don't know where we're going with this one, but I think it's gone quite far enough! Paul you've still got the subject, seven seconds, appearing in panto starting now.

PM: The first pantomime I saw was at the London Palladium...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of pantomime.

NP: Yes he did say pantomime before. Right...

PM: Really?

NP: And the subject on the card is panto, hoisted on your own petard. Clement you've got in with three seconds on appearing in panto starting now.

CF: I would like to give a number of locations in which I did not...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained the extra point, has increased his lead at the end of that round. And I've got to say this is the most partisan audience we have ever had in Just A Minute. My goodness me, you've got your favourites, you're prepared to fight for them. Paul it's your turn to begin, and this could be a very interesting round. Because the subject in front of me here is Albert Einstein's theory of relativity! Paul, it's fallen to you to start the ball rolling from your great wealth and erudition and your incredible education. Tell us something from your knowledge of science of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.



NP: And Julian eventually challenged.

JC: Well he didn't say anything so...

NP: Yes...

PM: I didn't hear you say now.

NP: I didn't say now?


NP: Oh! I was so carried away with this subject! And thinking over E equals MC squared...

PM: It's quite ironic that we should have an argument about time but er... I was waiting for you to say your time starts now.

NP: Yes I always do say that. On this occasion I slipped up, I didn't say it did I?

PM: Isn't it amazing?

NP: I've been playing this game for 35 years and it's the first time I've ever said it! Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, 60 seconds starting now.

PM: Well we are all familiar with Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. I can see the woman in the front row nodding. E equals MC squared, and what a wonderfully evocatively formulaic thing that is! Who can forget the early days of the 20th century when Einstein turned to his wife and he said "I've got it, eureka!" And he got out of the bath and Archimedes playing of an isosceles triangle was born! Indeed I believe it was the great architect Isambard Kingdom Brunell who once said apropos of absolutely nothing at all, that the distance between the Moon and Scunthorpe was somewhat closer than the inside pocket of an airing cupboard that was found back in the streets of Harlem...



NP: I think that spontaneous round of applause means that they want you to have an extra point whatever happens, Paul. So you've got it. But Julian you challenged.

JC: I'm afraid it was deviation.

NP: Yes he didn't stick to the theory of relativity!

PM: How do you know?

NP: I happen to know because the theory of relativity was on the basis that M is mass, and energy is equalled by mass...

PM: That was, that was his first theory!

NP: That was his one! The one you quoted E equals MC squared. Energy equals Mass multiplied by the velocity of light in a vacuum which is C squared. That...


NP: I did a bit of science at university! Julian, Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, 19 seconds starting now.

JC: Well what a bore he must have been? Had he nothing better to do than sitting round, painting his nails, saying "oh I think I've come up with a theory!" How about relativity? Then he went next door and he spoke to his neighbour who said "do you know what you want to do? You want to sit down with a pen and paper, and think about it long and hard, and in the years to come, you'll be remembered as the Albert Einstein..."


NP: So Julian Clary with a point in that round and other points of course, he's moved forward. He's just one point behind Clement Freud, he's just one point ahead of Jenny Eclair and a few points behind Paul Merton, our leader. So I think there's a fight for second place as we begin the last round and it is Clement Freud to begin and the subject is my first words. Tell us something about that Clement starting now.

CF: My first words when I went to my preparatory school was to say to the headmaster "I would very much prefer not to be beaten by you, because my parents are against corporal punishment". My first words when I was in Parliament were fairly similar! My first words in a bookmaker's shop were "four pounds each way on Pebbles who is going to run in the Thousand Guineas at Newmarket ridden by P..."


NP: Julian Clary challenged.

JC: Well in the interests of light entertainment! I challenged, it was deviation.

NP: The audience are applauding because they enjoyed the challenge but actually according to the rules of Just A Minute, he wasn't actually deviating from my first words. He was keeping them very much in the forefront of his dissertation, saying his first words here, and his first words there. So Clement I can't give it against you, and you stay with it on 30 seconds to go, my first words starting now.

CF: My first words when I was asked to discuss Albert Einstein's theory of relativity was to say everything is pretty relative. Uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents. And my first words when I was sober at the...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of when I, when I.

NP: When I, when I...

PM: When I went into the betting shop, when I...

NP: When I...

PM: When I spoke about Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, when I went to...

NP: Yes!

PM: I don't want to rub it in!

NP: Yes! I think you made your point!

PM: I did!

NP: Yes! Fourteen seconds Paul, you tell us something about my first words starting now.

PM: My very first words on the professional stage were heard at the Comedy Store in 1981, a very tough venue in the heart of London's West End. And I was quite nervous about how it was going to go. But luckily I was acclaimed...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition of west.

NP: West?

CF: West End and West One.

PM: I didn't say West One.

CF: Yes you did.

PM: No I didn't.

NP: No he said the heart of London, he didn't say West One.

PM: I didn't say West One.

CF: He meant West One!

PM: How on earth do you know that?

NP: Yes! He was bluffing again, trying to get in with one second to go and he's failed. So Paul you have the last second of the last second of this particular show incidentally. My first words starting now.

PM: Zoological gardens...


NP: We have no more time to play Just A Minute so I'll give you the final situation. Jenny Eclair, Julian Clary and Clement Freud were almost equal in second place, there was only one point separating all three of them. But quite a number of points ahead, way out in the lead was Paul Merton so we say Paul, this week you are our winner. A round of applause for Paul! And er it only remains for me to say thank you to our four intrepid players of the game, Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Jenny Eclair and Clement Freud. We thank Janet Staplehurst who helped me keep the score and blowed the whistle so excellently when the 60 seconds was up. And of course we are grateful to our producer and director, that is Claire Jones. And we are grateful or indebted to the creator of this game, Ian Messiter. And we are deeply indebted to this lovely audience here in this lovely city of Brighton who have cheered us on our way and interrupted whenever they could! It's been a lovely audience. From our audience, from our panel, from me Nicholas Parsons, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute. Bye!