starring TONY HAWKS, SUE PERKINS, TIM RICE and ROSS NOBLE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 16 July 2001)

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners who tune in throughout the world and also to welcome to the show four exciting and vibrant personalities who have come here to pit their wits and their verbal dexterity against each other as they try and speak on Just A Minute and in Just A Minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And they are Tony Hawks, Sue Perkins, Tim Rice and Ross Noble. Will you please welcome all four of them! Thank you! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who's going to help me keep the score and blow a policeman's whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the delightful and famous City of Varieties in the heart of Leeds in the beautiful county of Yorkshire. And we have before us an exciting, throbbing, white rose county audience who are ready to cheer us on our way. As we start the show this week with Tony Hawks. Tony the subject is very apt for the City of Varieties, the good old days. Tell us something about the good old days in Just A Minute Tony starting now.

TONY HAWKS: Well how appropriate that I am given this subject. We are in the City Varieties Theatre where the magnificent show The Good Old Days came in the 70s, on BBC1 I think it was. With Leonard Sachs, he was the master of ceremonies. And he would introduce an act using extraordinarily long words. And the audience would get so excited, they'd scream and jump about and wet themselves like they were in a crèche...


NP: Ross Noble has challenged.

ROSS NOBLE: Deviation, wasn't the audience just full of pensioners?

NP: That's probably why they were wetting themselves!


NP: Ross what is your challenge within the rules...

RN: They weren't exactly jumping about!

NP: So have you a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

RN: No, not really!

NP: Give him a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption. But Tony Hawks gets a point because it's an incorrect challenge. And he keeps the subject and there are 36 seconds available, the good old days starting now.

TH: A lot of the top variety stars...


NP: Ah Tim Rice challenged.

TIM RICE: Repeat of variety.

NP: We had variety before.

TH: I thought I said City Varieties.


NP: You did indeed.

TR: A quibble! A quibble!

NP: Yes but the audience were listening, this is what we were testing. And um you've obviously brought your friends in with you as well. So Tony another incorrect challenge, you keep the subject, 34 seconds, the good old days starting now.

TH: Morecambe and Wise probably appeared here. Nicholas Parsons, our esteemed chairman probably did. That's why the place...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Two probablys.

TH: Yes.

NP: Yes right.

TH: Yes.

NP: Your esteemed chairman did appear here...

TH: Yes.

NP: ... but it was not in the good old days, it was doing my own show...

TH: It was before then! God!

NP: I know!

SUE PERKINS: The good old prehistoric days!

NP: That's right! Tim you had a correct challenge, you have the good old days, you have 28 seconds starting now.

TR: The good old days, Bobby Vee, Rydell, Johnny Tillotson, several other classic stars of American rock and roll. Yorkshire winning the county cricket championship. How long ago that seems! Mivvy lollypops, Laurel and Hardy down at the flicks, these are just some of the things that come to me when I think of the good old days. And a tear springs to my eye. And also...


NP: Tony challenged,

TH: Deviation, he's not crying!

NP: He's not crying but I think he was speaking metaphorically as I understand it so I don't think it was a legitimate challenge within the rules of Just A Minute. So Tony, no Tim, you have a point for an incorrect challenge from Tony, three seconds to go, the good old days starting now.

TR: Leeds United winning the league championship...


NP: Well there's a player who knows how to ingratiate himself with the audience! Right, whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On that occasion of course it was Tim Rice who has got four points at the end of the round. Tony Hawks is following with two, Ross Noble with one, Sue Perkins is yet to score. But it is her turn to begin, and Sue the subject is Peter Pan. Tell us something about Peter Pan in Just A Minute starting now.

SP: Peter Pan was a boy who didn't want to grow up, a little bit like the modern day Keith Chegwin but without the nudity thankfully! Born in the very wealthy borough of Kensington, Chelsea, he disappeared one evening, and strangely Social Services were not called. He then went on to prance round with a small girl called Tinker Bell. But not happy with his underground exploits with pirates such as Smee and a man with a strange clawed hand, he used to nip into the chambers of other children and drag them along with him. One night John was enjoying a restful kip when suddenly through his window a small elfin child appeared. "Hello," he said, "I've come to take you away from the drudgery of school and football and take you into a Neverworld of madness..."


NP: Ross has challenged.

RN: No I didn't.

NP: Well your light came on.

RN: Oh did it? And the thing was I was really enjoying it. I think there actually was a repetition of small. Small child and small...

NP: I think there was.

RN: A small girl, I think there was a fairy.

NP: Yes and then take away as well.

SP: What?

RN: I didn't want the challenge, it was my finger! I was quite happy listening to the story!

NP: Right Ross, you can take it if you wish.

RN: Oh go on then!

NP: Go on then, right, you have a point, you have 19 seconds on Peter Pan starting now.

RN: Somebody once accused me of having a Peter Pan complex. By this I thought he meant the boy who couldn't grow up. It did in fact mean that I enjoyed wearing tights...


NP: Tim...

SP: Let him continue with that story!

TR: No, I think I stopped him just in time!

RN: Yeah, pretty much!

NP: Tim Rice you challenged first.

TR: There were two means, two means.

NP: That's right, correct challenge, another point to you Tim, and 12 seconds, Peter Pan starting now.

TR: I prefer Peter Ban... bah!


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Yes er deviation, he's talking about Peter Ban who we don't want to hear about!

TR: I hadn't finished. I prefer Peter Ban to Peter Pan!

SP: The oriental martial artist!

NP: Yes! Tony let's hear from you on Peter Pan, or about Peter Pan, 10 seconds starting now.

TH: Peter Pan was keen on green tights and flying. Whenever I do that, I get thrown off the aircraft! Which doesn't seem fair in many ways. Tinker Bell has quite a...


NP: Tony Hawks then speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point and others in the round. He's now taken the lead equal with Tim Rice, followed by Ross Noble and Sue Perkins. And Tim Rice it's your turn to begin, the subject is best sellers. Tell us something about best sellers in Just A Minute starting now.

TR: The best cellars are to be found way under ground in the best houses and they contain the best wine, red, white, rose, champers. This is the quality of a good cellar. And I ould... oh!


NP: Ross you challenged.

RN: Eurgh bleurgh!

TR: It's the Peter Ban syndrome!

NP: Right, we call that hesitation, 43 seconds available, best sellers with you Ross starting now.

RN: I think that the best Sellers was probably his work in the Pink Panther films. I mean the way he whooh...


NP: Tim.

TR: Definite hesitation.

NP: Well it was a similar hesitation to yours.

TR: Well yeah, I thought it was actually worse.

NP: You don't have to rub it in and say "definite hesitation". I mean, hesitation or not, and leave the chairman to judge. Um...


NP: Oh I can get quite pompous if I want to. It's the role of a chairman.

TH: There's that noise, ooohhh, in the City Varieties.

NP: Yes.

TH: Oooooohhhh! A long word! Oooooohhh!

NP: Right! Thirty-seven seconds, Tim, best sellers starting now.

TR: Best selling books are always controversial. Is it important to unload hundreds of millions of...


NP: Sue Perkins.

SP: There was a slight hesitation on hundreds.

TR: I was emphasising the word.

RN: I think there was a definite hesitation!

NP: I don't know who's running the game, Ross Noble, Sue Perkins or the audience? But Sue we will give you the benefit of the doubt, 31 seconds on best sellers starting now.

SP: My favourite best seller writer has to be Jackie Collins who always sets her work in the heart of Hollywood where inevitably a man called Lancelot who happens to be a tennis professional ends up working his way around the wealthy women of said area. Often his family history id chequered with divorce, possibly incest, depending on whether she's hoping for large sales in her own country. His forearm grip is good, we're told that repeatedly, and every page or so we're treated to the word member, which crops up with frightening regularity...


NP: Well Sue you may have fewer points than the rest of the team, but you've certainly got bigger applause from this audience. They...

SP: Charity deal, we're on!

NP: Yes! Yes and you got the extra point for speaking as the whistle went and you have leapt forward but you're still in fourth place. But just a few points behind Ross Noble, and Tim Rice who are equal in second place. Our leader is still Tony Hawks and Tony your turn to begin, the subject is my favourite fairy tale. Tell us something about your favourite or you can take the subject in any way you like, my favourite fairy tale starting now.

TH: I'm not exactly sure what my favourite fairy tale is although...


NP: Tim Rice.

TR: Well, get off!

NP: All right, give Tim a bonus point because they enjoyed the interruption. Tony gets a point because he was actually interrupted incorrectly and he continues with my favourite fairy tale, 57 seconds starting now.

TH: I'm pretty certain that by the end of this 57 second period, I will be sure which fairy tale it is, because I'm going to discuss it openly with you in an honest manner, no secrets, you, I'll have your...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: That was complete collapse of stout party.

NP: It was hesitation, so 44 seconds, Tim, my favourite fairy tale starting now.

TR: My favourite fairy tale is the very well known tale of Peter Ban who is a disgusting old man who wants to stay in that very venerable state for as long as possible. He has some truly disgusting adventures en route involving strange men with hooks and a lot of dodgy Indians, red Indians that is...


NP: Tony yes?

TH: Yes, repetition of Indians.

NP: Yes yes, he paused, he thought he hasn't challenged me for the pause, and then he went on and repeated. Right, 21 seconds Tony, my favourite fairy tale starting now.

TH: Most fairy tales are really irritating because they used to end with the words "they lived happily ever after". And this is just the beginning of the story. The castle they'd moved in has probably got leaks coming through the ceiling, subsidence underneath, they can't pay the mortgage, they get eating disorders, it's miserable. We want to know the story after...


NP: Tony Hawks kept going till the whistle, gained an extra point, and with others in the round has increased his lead. And Ross it's your turn to begin, and the subject, the industrial revolution. Very apt for a big industrial place like Leeds. But tell us something about it in this game starting now.

RN: I really wish that I'd paid more attention in school when we'd been learning about the industrial revolution, because I know virtually nothing. The one thing that I am aware of though is that looms were very popular back in those days. I'd like nothing more than the large device that makes the fabric, and especially the small children who crawled inside to brave the jammed workings of that particular machine. Their little fingers would go in there and they'd be working away and sometimes severed causing blood to squirt across changing the colour of the... garments that were being...


NP: For somebody who admits he doesn't know anything about it, he did jolly well. He kept going for 32 seconds on the industrial revolution. Yes! And then Sue Perkins challenged, and what was your challenge Sue?

SP: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was more than one. But you've got in there...

RN: But they were all chucked together into one!

NP: I know, but they loved what you did so much, they kept, they let you go on. Twenty-eight seconds now available, the industrial revolution Sue starting now.

SP: My favourite thing about the industrial revolution was the spinning jenny, where one poor woman from a local mining village was forced to endlessly rotate...


NP: Ross you challenged.

RN: Didn't she say woman before?

NP: No, she hadn't spoken before on this subject. Nineteen seconds Sue, another point to you, the industrial revolution starting now.

SP: As I said...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Hesitation.

NP: No!

TR: But in that case, she was about to repeat something! Because she said "as I said".

NP: She was but she...

SP: But I wouldn't have used the same words!

NP: Different words...

TH: Let's just see if she can do it though Nicholas! I've got my little sheet out!

NP: She's got another point and she has 18 and a half seconds on the industrial revolution starting now.

SP: The best thing about the industrial revolution was the invention of buzzers where people could randomly interject and claim you'd said things that perhaps you might have dome three weeks ago but...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged.

TH: Actually the way you started the first time, you said "the best thing about the industrial revolution was those jenny things". So repetition of the best thing.

NP: The best, well listened Tony yes. Eleven seconds Tony, on the industrial revolution starting now.

TH: The industrial revolution bears very little resemblance to the Russian revolution. Hardly any Bolsheviks were involved, and Russian speaking was at a minimum...


NP: Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and has increased his lead. And Tim Rice, your turn to begin, the subject is the blues. I'm sure something close to your heart but tell us about it in Just A Minute starting now.

TR: The thing about the blues is that the second line is always exactly the same as the first. So if your blues singer warbles (sings) "well I woke up this morning, Lucille was not in town", (normal voice) you know that the subsequent stanza is going to be precisely what you just...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged.

TH: I'm going to be very picky here, because a stanza would be four lines, and er...


NP: You are correct, you see, that's a musical man talking as well.

TR: I said the subsequent stanza, ie, the next group of four lines would also have the same repetition...

RN: Tell it to the judge!

NP: I'm sure you were Tim, but I think you didn't establish that in time. Forty-nine seconds for you Tony on the blues starting now.

TH: Blue is the colour, football is the game, we're all together and winning is our aim. A marvellous stanza sung by the Chelsea football, where they, I like that team very much. But most of them don't seem to be from England at all which seems a shame. I remember the days when you used to turn up for a football match and you could see people playing...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Two footballs.

NP: Two footballs, yes.

TR: You swine!

NP: Tim you've got a correct challenge, you have the blues again, 27 seconds starting now.

TR: The blues is something which can hit all us at any time, even in a beautiful place like this. In a wonderful city like Leeds, it is still possible to be melancholic, to be gum, but not often...


NP: Tony challenged, why?

TH: Repetition of like and also repetition of to be. He said...

NP: I don't think you should rub it in actually, one will do. Correct challenge, eight seconds, the blues Tony starting now.

TH: I woke up this morning and that was the same as the previous...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: I mean that was hesitation.

NP: That was hesitation Tim, yes, four seconds for you on the blues starting now.

TR: (sings) I went to bed this evening...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: I er... it was repetition of I, but that's just not fair, is it?

NP: I know it isn't fair.

RN: Oh repetition of that tune! (in same tune as TR) Da-da-da-dah!

NP: Ross a very subtle comment and challenge but remember this is radio, and we're working in the term of sound. It's what they say, not a repetitious thought.

SP: (in same tune as TR) Da-da-da-dah!

RN: (in same tune as TR) Da-da-da-dah! (normal voice) I can't believe I'm actually picking up Tim Rice on that, really...

SP: Yes!

TR: They were different keys.

RN: They weren't different keys!

TR: I was in A flat minor for the first one. (sings) I woke up this morning, (sings in different tone) I went to bed this evening. (normal voice) That was in B flat.

NP: And I recognise it too, but the point is Ross, because it was a very clever idea of yours, we give you a bonus point for that...

RN: Thank you very much.

NP: But as he didn't repeat any words, and therefore we go on language in Just A Minute, Tim has another point and he has three seconds to continue with the blues starting now.

TR: Leeds United Football Club always seems to...


NP: So Tim Rice had a number of points with the blues, including one for speaking as the whistle went and has moved forward again and he is now in second place just behind Tony Hawks and just ahead of Sue Perkins who's in third place, then Ross Noble. And Tony your turn to begin and the subject is sitting ducks. Tell us something about sitting ducks in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: If ducks had theatres or went to big outdoor events, somebody would have to be in charge of sitting the ducks. Because if a duck was standing, the ones behind wouldn't be able to see the event at all which would be a travesty of justice especially if they'd been paying through the nose for their ticket. But in a way we're all sitting ducks here this evening, seated as we are beautifully in our chairs, talking for a minute when anyone can dive in at any given moment, buzz their buzzers...


NP: And Sue Perkins challenged.

SP: There was two ours, about an hour before I buzzed.

NP: Right, well listened Sue, you have 31 seconds, sitting ducks starting now.

SP: If you're standing here as I am, or even sitting which is what...


NP: Tim Rice.

SP: Excuse me, my taxi's outside!

TR: Well deviation.

NP: Yes I think we do know, even all the listeners around the world know...

TR: Unless she's extremely small, she's sitting!

NP: ...that we are seated here and in fact I've established it quite at the beginning of the show. So that's a correct challenge Tim, you have 28 seconds on sitting ducks starting now.

TR: Ducks only really sit when they're on water. I can tell you this because I've been studying these feathered creatures. Actually I don't know why I said that phrase because I can use the word ducks as often as I jolly well like. Ducks, ducks, ducks, duck, duck! And...


NP: And Tony challenged.

TH: This is going to be an extraordinarily clever challenge.

NP: I know exactly what it is!

TH: The word ducks is on the title so he can say that...

NP: Yes and he said duck duck duck.

TH: Yes so it's repetition of duck duck.

NP: I can't give you two points for repetition of duck duck, as opposed to one point for repetition of the word duck. So anyway Tony, you have 15 seconds, you've got the subject back, sitting ducks starting now.

TH: I've seen ducks sitting not in the water because when they have their eggs they like to place themselves over them to keep the duck eggs warm. Now I'm going too quickly probably for some of you, but it's how it works...


NP: You actually had them in awe there, I don't know why they thought it was so incredible information you were imparting there. But Tony you increased your lead at the end of the round. Then Tim Rice and Sue and Ross. And Sue Perkins your turn to begin, the subject, sleep walking. Tell us something about sleep walking in Just A Minute starting now.

SP: Everyone knows that sleepwalking involves wearing a ridiculous hooded night-gown and cap and walking through to your brother's room where you disturb him. My plan is this. Why not try sleepwalking in the daytime? Visit your local grocers. Pilfer some goods and as he tries to arrest you, say "I'm sorry, I've just been asleep". It worked for me certainly until after six or seven times, I was caught red-handed by the peelers and sent down for 12 months. Other uses of sleepwalking, if you become bored with your partner and wish to assassinate them in the middle of the night, it works as an excellent excuse. I was unconscious, governor! Once again, I was sent down for another 12 months...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Sent down.

NP: Sent down and 12 months as well. Right...

SP: Happy memories!

NP: Tim you have got the subject of sleepwalking starting now.

TR: Some people seem to sleepwalk through life. It seems that... oh!


TR: Sorry I was falling asleep.

NP: That's right. Sleepwalking is the subject and Tony got in first, 20 seconds, sleepwalking Tony starting now.

TH: I...

NP: Sorry.

TH: I'm quite keen on sponsored sleepwalking. I go up to people with a little form, ask them if they're prepared to sponsor me for this event...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Two sponsors.

NP: No, it's sponsored sleepwalking and sponsor me for the event.

TR: I'm terribly sorry.

NP: That's all right.

TR: I got it completely wrong. Very well chaired!

NP: No, no, that's all right. Tony has another incorrect challenge and keeps the subject of sleepwalking, 11 seconds, starting now.

TH: Sleep dogging is another fantastic activity. I do this around the the park and people think how impressive it is, especially as I'm dreaming at the time. But I am having...


NP: Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained more points and has increased his lead. Sue I've got to ask you a question here. Every time, not every time, but many times when the whistle's been blown by Janet, your light comes on in front of me...

SP: Yep.

NP: Do you have an instinctive reaction and you press your button?

SP: Sheer desperation Nicholas! Absolute untrammelled desperation at the 11th hour! But there's always, with Tony there's...

NP: If you get in at the 11th hour, sometimes you get a challenge. But you do it exactly as the whistle goes.

SP: Yeah well, I don't have the benefit of the stopwatch telling me exactly when the time is up you see.

NP: Oh I thought it was a sort of reaction to the noise.

SP: (laughs) They've conditioned me out of that now!

NP: I thought it was your 12 months in the clink that had... suddenly you realised you hear the policeman's whistle and you, you press something.

SP: I got sent down for another 12 months for that Nicholas!

NP: Right! And we're moving in to the final round. So um Ross it's your turn to begin, the subject is the pyramids. Tell us something, we've given you the industrial revolution, and now the pyramids. They're really loading it on you, aren't they Ross! Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

RN: I recently visited the pyramids in Giza. The reason they are called this is because they were built by Cockneys. A lot of people don't understand how they put the stones up there. Well, it was done with transit vans and Capri's, going all about the place! The thing about the pyramids is deep beneath the stones there would be... bah!


RN: There'd be tobahhhhh yes! Yeah that's right!

NP: Tobaaaaahhs? Sue Perkins got in first.

SP: I thought you said to-pow. Deep beneath the stones there'd be to-pow?

RN: Yeah!

SP: Carol Decker is buried beneath this sacred... sacred rock.

NP: Hesitation Sue, 40 seconds for you, the pyramids starting now.

SP: I'm obsessed with the riddle of the Sphinx. What would be the question this strange wind creature...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: I think this is deviation, the Sphinx is down the road from the pyramids. We're talking about the pyramids.

SP: It's Egypt in general! I mean...

TR: That is not the topic, I'm sorry!

NP: I think...

TR: I'm sorry, I came up here to play a game! Those are the rules!

NP: She hadn't been going long enough. She could have been going from the Sphinx and the riddle of the pyramids...

SP: The riddle was how do you get from here down the road to the pyramids!

NP: You don't have to justify it Sue, because I'm with you on this one.

TH: There's a tram link, I think!

NP: I think if she'd gone on a bit longer and hadn't brought in the pyramids, then she would be deviating. But I don't think you gave here a chance. So Sue you have 39 seconds, you have the pyramids still starting now.

SP: The pyramids is one of the wonders of the world, the eighth wonder being Nicholas Parsons in the nude which I was privileged to see once, but only fleetingly...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: That's about the 500th wonder, I'm afraid!


NP: You see the reaction you get Tony.

SP: There were a lot of wonders weren't there!

NP: You can go too far on occasions! So you challenged to get a cheap laugh...

TH: Yeah!

NP: And all that happens is Sue who was interrupted gets a point...

TH: Oh dear!

NP: And she has...

SP: I'm still speaking about the pyramids?

NP: Yes and you've got 26 seconds...

TR: You haven't started yet!

NP: ...starting now.

SP: Based loosely on a design by the Tobleroan manufacturers, the early Egyptians decided that rather than go for a cubist design, they'd opt for this strange...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Designs.

NP: Yes, two designs there. So Tim, you have got in on the pyramids and 19 seconds starting now.

TR: The pyramids are absolutely gripping. I warmly recommend a visit. I went there once and hit my head on Tutankhameun's ceiling...


NP: Ross has challenged.

RN: Um Tutankhameun's in the Valley of the Kings! Not round the pyramids!

NP: That's right!

RN: That's er, that was the only day I turned up for school!

NP: Well it was worth it, wasn't it! You got a point in Just A Minute from that one day at school, right. And you've got another point now and you have the pyramids, 11 seconds starting now.

RN: The pyramids are large impressive buildings which the Pharaohs would be buried inside. Only the richest were allowed in. A little bit like Richie's Night-club here in Leeds! The only difference is...


NP: So Ross Noble, speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He has moved forward but he's still only in fourth place. But his value is incomparable! I mean, they've all got, they've all got lots of points actually. Sue's in second place, only two behind Tim Rice. But justifiably, with all the points he gained, you can understand that Tony Hawks got the lead, so our winner is Tony Hawks! A round of applause please! We do hope you have enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and it only remains for me to say thank you to our four vibrant players of the game, Tony Hawks, Sue Perkins, Tim Rice and Ross Noble. I thank Janet Staplehurst for helping with the score, blowing her whistle. And of course our producer Claire Jones. And we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this delightful game. And we are most grateful to this lovely audience sitting in the City of Varieties here in Leeds who cheered us on our way magnificently. From our audience here in Leeds, from our panel, from me Nicholas Parsons, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!