NOTE: Ian Carmichael's first appearance.


ANNOUNCER: We present Clement Freud, Peter Jones, Ian Carmichael and Aimi Macdonald in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much indeed, hello and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And as you just heard we are pleased to welcome to the programme this week Ian Carmichael who's very courageously come along to do battle with our three experienced players. Well Aimi Macdonald's come back after quite a long break, she's not as experienced as the other two but she knows she can always keep her end up with our two experts. I'm going to ask...


NP: Oh thank you! We're going to ask them to speak if they can as usual on some unlikely subject without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject on the card. And we'll begin the show this week with Clement Freud. And Clement the subject is checks. Can you talk on that for 60 seconds starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Checks is a ministerial pet name for a country house, also known as Checkers to most other people. And it was left to the nation by the Czechoslovakian Society of Friends, who felt that high ranking Government positions ought to have somewhere...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Absolute rubbish! He's not allowed to say these things about Checkers which was actually left to the nation by Sir Winston Churchill himself!

NP: It certainly wasn't left to the nation by the Czechoslovakian er...

PJ: Society of Friends! No, no, no!

NP: I'm surprised it took so long to challenge.

AIMI MACDONALD: May I second that, Nicholas? Because it's always called Checkers actually.

PJ: Would you like to make a joint challenge then Aimi?

AM: Yes.

PJ: All right.

NP: Anyway Peter got in first, I agree with your challenge Peter, of deviation. You get a point for that and you take over the subject of checks and there are 41 seconds left starting now.

PJ: Well there are so many different kinds of checks. There are ones that bounce, and others that should never be worn with anything spotted or striped. Or with flowers. And then there are all those people who come from...


NP: Aimi Macdonald has challenged, yes?

AM: That's absolute rubbish!

NP: It may be rubbish, but it wasn't deviating from the subject, Aimi.

AM: Oh yes because in actual fact you can wear spots with checks. Worn nattily, it's terribly fashionable.

CF: Of course you can!

NP: That's what he said, he...

AM: No, he said they should never be worn with spots.

NP: Ah yes, you, he said which should never be worn. But a lot of people wear things that should never be worn!

AM: That's what I mean!

NP: I don't think that, in all fairness Aimi, as much as I'd love to give you the subject, he was actually deviating from the subject on the card. So a wrong challenge I'm afraid, he keeps the subject having gained a point for a wrong challenge and there are 35 seconds on checks Peter starting now.

PJ: As I was going to say, because they should be thrown away before they get worn. Otherwise it looks very tatty and shabby. And doesn't give the impression of being well dressed. Now all these people who come from Prague and Bernow...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of people.

NP: Ah yes there were a few...

PJ: Yes I did repeat people, I admit yes.

NP: Well done, Clement Freud has a correct challenge, a point for that and he takes over the subject again of checks with 23 seconds left starting now.

CF: There was a time when you used to go to your bank and receive your chequebook, and each single page had a stamp on it which was worth 2p or cost that sum of money. But those days are completely over. You now ask for a cheque and it has nothing, no imprint, just a sort of vague circle which shows that someone somewhere paid tax...


NP: Well in that round Peter Jones and Clement Freud both scored points, and they're equal in the lead at the end. And of course for those who don't already realise it, the whistle tells us that 60 seconds are up, and whoever speaks then gains an extra point. Peter Jones will you begin the next round, the subject is buying a second-hand car. Would you talk on that for just one minute starting now.

PJ: Well buying a second-hand car is a very different experience from selling a second-hand car. And if you ever make a purchase of one of these vehicles and I guarantee, drive just down the road to the first place where they are selling them. And you will find that the people's description of it does not tally in any way with the one given you by the salesman where you bought it. If you know what I mean...


NP: Aimi Macdonald has challenged.

AM: Oh it was obvious wasn't it? He was stuttering all over the place about...

PJ: I wasn't stuttering!

AM: You were about to, yes.

PJ: Well I was about to and I er lulled you and you, you fell for it, you see.

AM: Oh what was it called?

PJ: You anticipated it!

NP: Hesitation.

AM: Yes.

PJ: You anticipated my er, my hesitation.

AM: I know, I...

NP: She did it beautifully as well, she gets a point for a correct challenge, and she gets the subject now of buying a second-hand car Aimi, 32 seconds left starting now.

AM: Now this is a very dodgy thing to do. Because you never know who has had the car before. And it's terribly important to know who has been driving this car because there's some very bad drivers on the road...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of because.

NP: Yes.

CF: Ohhhhh!

NP: I'm afraid he let it go the second time, but the third time he had to challenge. So I had to give it to him, 20 seconds left Peter, buying a second-hand car starting now.

PJ: The first thing to do is to take the bonnet...


NP: Ian Carmichael has challenged.


NP: Yes, nice to hear from you Ian.

IC: Well I know! It's going very very fast, I'm not used to it, you see.

NP: I know!

IC: I'm really not used to it at all!

NP: I know. Don't worry, you'll still be in there, fighting with the others. They never give any quarter. You may be a newcomer...

IC: Quite so!

NP: ...but they won't give you an inch.

IC: Thanks!

NP: So you've got in there with a good challenge, 15 seconds to go, the subject is buying a second-hand car starting now.

IC: Well I would have thought that Pete...


NP: Ian, Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: I'd like to give him an inch!


NP: You almost deserve a point for a, an amusing challenge. You have given him an inch and actually given him a point and er which is much better in this game, and there are 13 seconds Ian for buying a second-hand car starting now.

IC: Surprised as I am that Peter Jones didn't go on for longer than he was threatening to do on this subject because many moons ago he played a second-hand car salesman in a film with me. And another chap who was playing another second-hand car salesman...



NP: Ah! Clement Freud got in just before the whistle, I'm afraid.

CF: Chap.

NP: Yes...

PJ: His usual place!

NP: Yes! Oh dear! Well you've got to be fair, haven't you? Right Clement, you very cleverly got in, there's half a second to go, buying a second-hand car starting now.

CF: Hello!


NP: So Clement spotted the repetition there and got in just before the whistle, got an extra point, has a lead over Peter Jones at the end of the round. Aimi Macdonald, Ian Carmichael trailing a little. Aimi will you begin, the subject which Ian Messiter's thought of, I know, specially for you is why I am loveable. Would you talk on that for 60 seconds...

AM: Yes.

NP: ... starting now.

AM: Well the reason I am loveable is quite simple really. I'm a very nice person! (giggles) And not only that but I'm quite delectable, lovely to look at, with an effervescent personality, and er bllabrmmmm (giggles), I'm um er...


NP: Peter Jones has come to your rescue.

PJ: Yes I felt somehow that Aimi was about to hesitate!

NP: Aimi I must let Peter have his challenge and there are 42 seconds Peter for you to tell us now why I am loveable starting now.

PJ: Well I don't really want this subject because I feel it's so inappropriate. I don't feel that I am, and...


NP: Aimi Macdonald has challenged.

AM: Yes that's not true, is it? He is loveable!

NP: So you think it's deviation?

AM: Oh yes.

NP: Oh yes we all think Peter's loveable Aimi.

AM: Yes.

NP: I agree with your challenge. So you have the subject again and you have er 34 seconds on...

AM: Do I get a point for that?

NP: You get a point as well.

AM: Oh good.

NP: Yes, you get a point every time you win a challenge...

AM: Oh yes that's true.

NP: And every time anybody wins one against you.

AM: Yes.

NP: Have you played the game before?

AM: Yes I forgot about that.

NP: Yes, 34 seconds, why I am loveable Aimi starting now.

AM: Another reason is of course I'm terribly great fun...


NP: Ian Carmichael has challenged.

IC: Well I think that both of them so far have got on to the wrong end of the stick. The question that Nicholas Parsons posed is why am I so loveable. And it is Nicholas Parsons that is speaking, therefore we should be saying why Nicholas Parsons is loveable.

NP: All right, it's not exactly a correct challenge, but I would like to hear you talk about it so um...

IC: I'm sure you would!

NP: ... I give you a point...

PJ: It's quite unfair to ask anyone to talk a minute, a whole minute, on a subject like that!

NP: Well a few seconds will do before he gets challenged! Ian there are actually 30 seconds to say why I am so loveable, why I am loveable starting now.

IC: Well as Peter Jones has said, really it will only take about a third of that time. But frankly I don't think that you are all that loveable Nicholas. I don't want to hold it against you. Many friends of mine have said on previous occasions that you are loveable. I know Peter Jones once told me...


NP: Ah Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of Peter Jones.

NP: Yes we can't have him repeated too often, can we? Um Clement Freud you have the subject now, there are 16 seconds left. Will you tell us why I am loveable starting now.

CF: I think basically it's my feet. I have these incredibly well formed toes, adorned with nails which are cut to the quick, very slowly each Tuesday. And then there's my hair...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hair? It's devious! It's nothing to do with the facts!

NP: You mean his lack of hair could hardly make him loveable?

PJ: Well no, I don't think so, I don't want to be personal but I mean...

NP: You are being personal! So you better keep...

PJ: Oh I see! Well...

NP: How do I judge on this? Ladies and gentlemen, whether you, do you think... I can't judge, I'm not going to judge on Clement Freud...

CF: What was the challenge?

NP: The challenge is deviation, whether you're loveable with your particular quantity of hair.

CF: I didn't say that!

NP: But that's what you conveyed Clement.

CF: I said "then there is my hair".

PJ: And that's what I object to, because there isn't any!

NP: And if you say "then there is my hair", and the subject is why I am loveable, we must connect the two. Otherwise you're admitting that you're being devious.

CF: Which no longer grows on my scalp.

NP: It's still got to do with the fact why I am loveable. I'm going to put this to the audience but I refuse to judge it. If you agree with Peter Jones's challenge and you think that Clement Freud is not particularly loveable with or without a great quantity of hair, would you all cheer. If you disagree with his challenge and think that Clement Freud is loveable, would you all boo, and would you all do it together now.


NP: You think Clement Freud is so, everyone in the audience, they're terrified of him, aren't they? They all think you're loveable Clement and you have a point from the audience and you have two seconds to go on why I am loveable starting now.

CF: My left knee...


NP: Well Clement Freud's loveable qualities kept him going so he increased his lead at the end of that round. Ian Carmichael your turn to begin and the subject is Stockholm. Would you talk about Stockholm for 60 seconds if you can starting now.

IC: As most people know, Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. Now in the middle 50s, I was engaged by the J Arthur Rank organisation to make films for them. And on one occasions I was taken over to Stockholm with a party of six other actors and actresses. On arrival we were taken to a hotel where we changed, had a bath, and went down to dinner. When I got there, I ordered the oysters because I thought they sounded rather nice. They were the largest ones that I have ever had...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Oysters don't talk!

NP: They sounded rather nice.

CF: How could they sound nice?

NP: Yes they could... No, they could smell or feel or taste but they could hardly sound. There are 30, 28 seconds on Stockholm with you Clement starting now.

CF: As most of you know, Stockholm is the capital city of Sweden...


NP: Aimi Macdonald has challenged.

AM: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

AM: Um...

NP: Ian said that?

AM: Ian's already said all that.

NP: Yes but you, I know, but you can repeat what anybody else has said, but you're not allowed to repeat what you say yourself.

AM: Oh that's easy!

PJ: But that would be terribly boring!

AM: I know!

PJ: If somebody speaks for 30 minutes on something and then the next 30 seconds...

NP: You could if you wanted to!

PJ: The next person repeats for another 30 seconds!

NP: It would be terribly boring but there's nothing in the rules to say you can't do it. Nobody's yet done it, it would be very amusing if they try. It would be very difficult to repeat exactly what someone else has said, wouldn't it? There are 24 seconds Clement, Stockholm with you starting now.

CF: I was privileged some years ago to be sent over there by a television company in order to do a programme on Stockholm British Week. And it was an extraordinary experience because the only thing you saw which was remotely English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish were old humbugs and liquorice all-sorts which was really...


NP: Oh well Clement, you increased your lead at the end of the round, and Peter Jones is going to begin the next round. The subject is quotations. Peter will you quote or speak on quotations, 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Life is hard, women are difficult, children easy to make, courage my friend. That is one of my favourite quotations, I can see it's gone very well with you! And another one my uncle used to quote in moments of dire stress, he used to mutter "farewell baskets, the grapes are gathered". I don't know quite who it was who first said it, but there are other famous quotations like Oscar Wilde when he was dying on his death bed. He looked round at the hideous wallpaper in these impoverished lodgings and said "one of us will have to go". And I often quote these er famous personalities of the past because it gives one a certain cache, even if one hasn't read all the books that famous authors have written. One can learn some of the quotations that...


PJ: I thought they'd all gone home!

NP: We were, we were hanging on every word and every second because we could feel you slowing and sort of losing grip of the subject and we wondered whether you would hold up for the full 60 seconds. Did you feel that yourself?

PJ: I see yes, there was a rather sadistic element I felt in your attitude!

NP: Well you got an extra point...

PJ: Oh well thank you very much!

NP: ...for starting with the subject and finishing the subject, the first person to do it for quite some time Peter, congratulations. You've increased your lead! No you haven't got a lead! You've increased your position, you were in second place and you're still in second place! Clement Freud's still in the lead...

PJ: Rather a lot of effort for nothing, it seems to me!

NP: It might pay off later!

PJ: Ah good, all right!

NP: Aimi Macdonald and Ian Carmichael are a little way behind. Aimi Macdonald would you begin the next round, the subject is my scene. Would you talk on my scene, 60 seconds starting now.

AM: Ah my scene was the most important scene in the whole play. That's the reason they asked me to do it, you see. And I came through the French windows out on to the garden. And there sitting on a tree trunk was my lover. I was wearing a long white dress, I carried a yellow parasol, had frills round my neck, and my hair was up with a frill on top. And the reason for this scene was (starts to laugh) that er...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well she said er and that's kind of ah leads me to feel that she was hesitating.

NP: Yes I'm happy to...

PJ: I don't think it was entirely intentional, that er.

NP: No I wish we'd seen the scene. Because how she described it, she got out there but she didn't tell us what it was all about, did she?

PJ: Exactly right yes.

NP: And it would have been better... well Peter you challenged correctly, you take over the subject and there are 27 seconds on my scene starting now.

PJ: Just to try and test your theory, my scene was involved this lover sitting on a tree trunk, and I was wearing something on my head and a pink parasol and he was sitting there without any um... (starts to laugh)


NP: Aimi Macdonald challenged.

AM: (laughs) That was hesitation.

NP: Oh it definitely was.

AM: Oh it definitely was,

NP: That's why people don't repeat what someone else has said, because it's not easy, is it?

PJ: No, it isn't, no, no.

NP: Aimi you have the subject back, there are 11 seconds, my scene starting now.

AM: The reason for the scene of course was that er my lover...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition.

AM: Ah...

NP: Yeah she said...

CF: She said er before!

NP: Yes!


NP: We still can't remember what her scene was! Did you remember your lines ever in that scene?

AM: Oh yes!

NP: Oh good!

AM: I was very good actually! (laughs)

NP: At forgetting your lines?

AM: No!

NP: Six seconds Clement, my scene, starting now.

CF: My...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Ah five seconds Peter for you on my scene starting now.

PJ: Once in the garden I threw my arms around her...


NP: Were you in the same scene by any chance?

PJ: No, unfortunately we weren't, no! We weren't even in the same play.

NP: Ah but you...

PJ: I wonder sometimes if we're in the same profession!

NP: Ian Carmichael will you begin the next round, the subject is what I said as I left the house. Can you remember or just talk about the subject for 60 seconds starting now.

IC: "I don't know what time I shall be back" is a thing that many people say. Sometimes they go further than that and they say "I shall not be coming back at all, ever"...


NP: Aimi Macdonald has challenged.

AM: Deviation because the actual question is what I said, not what anybody else said.

NP: Well that's quite a good challenge. He also...

AM: He said people say and...

IC: Oh, I think she wins!

NP: Oh good, you've helped me out of a difficult spot, because you weren't truthfully... anyway! Aimi you have a point for a correct challenge and you've got now five beautiful rounded points and... (laughs) I didn't...

IC: That's a novelty in itself!

NP: Oh dear! An unconscious association obviously! Aimi you have the subject and you have, which is what I said as I left the house and there are... stop shaking, Ian Messiter! That's better, now you've started the clock! There are 46 seconds Aimi starting now.

AM: What I said when I left the house was really absolutely nothing, because you see, there was nobody there to say anything to. So if I had, there would have been something a bit strange, wrong with me. Although sometimes I do speak to myself. Not very often. And never, almost never... oops!


NP: Peter challenged.

PJ: Well there was a bit of everything there, I think!

NP: You're right! Aimi may I give you a little tip? The thing is that always keep going even if you know you've made a mistake, because sometimes these three chaps can be very gallant and allow you to keep going...

AM: Yes!

NP: Sometimes they allow each other to keep going. So never draw attention, otherwise you're bound to lose.

AM: Yes.

NP: So Peter got in there and there are 27 seconds on what I said as I left the house Peter, starting now.

PJ: It was a workhouse and I told them exactly what they could do with their Christmas pudding! And as I slammed the gate, walking down the road with my whole belongings in a little old handkerchief hung on the end of the stick, I toddled off into the distance, hoping that somebody would give me a round of applause. But alas they were few and far between. I went past another place further along...


NP: That was a fine bit of gamesmanship! You were drying up so you asked for a round of applause from the audience!

PJ: No, no!

NP: They were very, they didn't play your game. They waited and you nearly didn't get it at the end. Anyway Peter your, increased your position, your um, your number if points I should say, you're in the same position. But you're back to where you were a time ago, you're one point behind Clement Freud.

PJ: I'm always one point behind Clement Freud!

NP: No, a little while ago you were six points behind him.

PJ: Ah! But I mean, that's the best I ever get!

NP: Oh! Peter will you begin the next round? The subject is reason. Can you talk on that for 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Oh how I wish Kenneth Williams were here! Because it would be a wonderful subject for him to discuss the Age of Reason. Which started I suppose with Descartes. And then Doctor Johnson had something to do with it. And all these people did not accept the teachings of the church and write er scientific...


NP: Aimi Macdonald has challenged.

AM: A hesitation, er.

NP: Er.

AM: Oh he did, he said...

PJ: I did hesitate, I have to admit it, yes.

AM: Yes, he got a point when I did it.

NP: It's just the way you said er that rather appealed to me Aimi! There are 41 seconds left on reason Aimi, with you starting now.

AM: There is a reason for practically anything in this world. The reason flowers grow is because the rain falls down. The reason flowers grow is because (laughs) more rain fall...


NP: Um Clement you challenged.

CF: Rain, was it?

NP: You have a point for a correct challenge and 27 seconds on reason starting now.

CF: One of the most extraordinary pieces of failure to see reason was perpetrated in the breathalyser legislation. Because anyone who had any idea of what it was about would have appreciated, not that 10 percent of the population drink and drive, but that 90 out of a hundred do so when they are sober. So what should have happened is...


CF: Can I just go on?

PJ: Yes we must hear what happened!

CF: What really should have happened was the Government should have looked at this and realised that 90 percent of all accidents are caused by sober drivers. And had they banned sober drivers from the road, this would have effectively reduced accidents by 90 percent and kept the roads safe for us 10 percent drunken drivers!


NP: I wonder why you applaud such devious thoughts! But anyway you kept going, you have a point for speaking when the whistle went, you've increased your position. I'm afraid we have no more time so it remains for me to tell you the final situation. Ian Carmichael, coming to play the game for the first time, doing extremely well, but alas could only finish in fourth place. A little way behind Aimi Macdonald coming back after a long absence, went through the game with flying colours but her colours only brought her into third place. Peter Jones who gained his colours and his spurs and everything else a long time ago did very very well but didn't quite beat our winner who once again was Clement Freud! We hope that you enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute, 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.