NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, 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 throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show this week four clever, brilliant, witty and experienced players of this game who are going to pit their wits, and show their verbal ingenuity and their comic inventiveness as they talk for Just A Minute on the subject I give them and they try and do it without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four exciting people are Jenny Eclair, Ross Noble, Graham Norton and Clement Freud. Will you please welcome all four of them! Thank you, thank you! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who's going to help me keep the score and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Pleasance at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh. And before us we have a really hyped up Fringe audience ready to cheer us on our way. As we begin the show this week with Ross Noble. And Ross, the subject, the cleverest person I know. Will you talk on that for 60 seconds if you can starting now.

ROSS NOBLE: I don't really hang around with intellectuals. But I do have a friend who can peel a banana with his feet! I know you wouldn't think that was necessarily clever, but you know, he can put it into his mouth and really does perform a little bit like a monkey. Of course the chimpanzees are the most intelligent of all the apes and therefore they would be dubbed as being the most intelligent...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of most intelligent.

NP: Yes, the subject is the cleverest person I know, and he's mentioned most. So repetition, so Clement you have a correct challenge, you get a point for that and you take over the subject and you have 39 seconds available on the cleverest person I know starting now.

CF: Clever is no longer the good word it used to be. Perhaps the cleverest person I know is the one who has made the most of limited ability. And Jeffrey Archer springs to mind....


CF: There is a man who has only limited ability...



NP: Why do you groan? It's part of the rules! Jenny Eclair you challenged.

JENNY ECLAIR: I only pressed my buzzer Clem, because you said... oh I've forgotten what you said twice now!

RN: Limited.

JE: Limited, that's it! Limited! You were talking about someone with limited ability and I think I caught limited ability.

NP: You did.

JE: Yes.

NP: He did repeat the word limited.

JE: Yes he did.

NP: A correct challenge, he did repeat limited. You get a point for that of course, you take over the subject which is the cleverest person I know, and there are 20 seconds available starting now.

JE: The cleverest person I know is my boyfriend. Because he's managed to keep me by his side for 18 years, despite stiff competition from thousands of other men! And I mean that literally! Oh he can put up shelves, drive cars very fast down motorways aaaaand...


NP: Graham Norton you challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: Apparently he can't do anything else! There was a pause there.

JE: I was having to think quite hard!

GN: What else can he do?

JE: I was going to say he knows a lot about battleships but then that made me depressed! I stopped talking!

NP: He obviously knows about the important things Jenny, and Graham got in too! We've heard from everybody on this first round which is exciting! And Graham you got in, you have a correct challenge, a point of course and you've got in cleverly with only three seconds to go, and it's the cleverest person I know Graham starting now.

GN: Scotland's own Kirsty Young is surely the brightest person on the whole planet...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point in this game. On this occasion it was Graham Norton so Graham at the end of that first round has got a commanding lead over all the rest!

JE: Of one point!

GN: How did that happen?

NP: Jenny Eclair your turn to begin, and the subject is my beauty regime. Sixty seconds starting now.

JE: My beauty regime consists of cleanse, tone and moisturise every night, unless I can't be bothered. In which case I wipe it all off on the pillow, and remove the dribble in the morning! The products I use range from the cheap, ie. cooking oil, which is good for flexibility of the face, and the sublime like the secretions of albino bats from Nepal. Oh yes! When you've put your base on, I favour a nice thick orange pan stick and heavy powder. Because the trick to makeup is more equals better! I love makeup the way it makes your...


JE: Yes I said makeup twice.

NP: And Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Yes I know you did, did say it twice.

JE: Yes I should have said cosmetics, shouldn't I!

GN: That would have been good.

JE: I should have had a setter appear.

GN: Mmmmm!

NP: But Jenny you went for um 34 seconds.

JE: I could have won!

NP: Yes! Anyway...

GN: I don't mind giving you some random points!

NP: Graham...

GN: I probably still will!

NP: ... you challenged, another point to you and the subject. Let us hear with 26 seconds available about my beauty regime starting now.

GN: My beauty regime is harsh but effective. For instance who could have guessed that I went to school with Nicholas Parsons? Yes, my exfoliation cream, and I use that word carefully because I don't do that. I actually (shouts the word in deeper voice) scruff! (normal voice) Because I buy beauty products for (shouts the word in deeper voice) men! (normal voice) Yes they are (shouts the word in deeper voice) masculine! (normal voice) I didn't know I could sound like this but apparently I can while I'm in Scotland! It must be something to do with...


NP: So Graham Norton was again speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point for doing so. And with other points in the round, he's just increased his lead. And Clement your turn to begin, and the subject now is braces. Tell us something about braces in this game starting now.

CF: Braces is four or more grouse shot in pairs. Or things that hold up your trousers, and you can choose whichever depending on the time of year. Glorious 12th of August...


NP: Ross Noble challenged.

RN: Deviation because surely you can't hold up your trousers with live grouse!

NP: It's a lovely thought, it's a lovely...

RN: I'm not a hunting man! But...

NP: We loved the thought that you er sort of threw into the show, we'll give you a bonus point for that. But he wasn't, within the rules of Just A Minute actually deviating. In fact I think he made it clear that they were not connected. So Clement you have the benefit of the doubt, you have the subject still, another point of course, 46 seconds still available, braces starting now.

CF: Braces are an awfully good thing to give people as Christmas presents or for their weddings, engagements, hangings, funerals, and especially festivals of the church. I would recommend that they be made of elastic and have holes for four buttons which tend to be attached to nether garments such as they keep up. But to go back to sporting birds...


NP: Jenny Eclair challenged.

JE: Oh I'm guessing here, but did you say birds twice? No, you didn't. Okay Clement I'm very sorry.


NP: Yes?

RN: Can I challenge then?

NP: What...

RN: I think he re, I think you repeated four.

JE: That was what I was going to say!

NP: Yes!

JE: Four birds, four buttons!

RN: You can have it if you want!

JE: Shall we share it? Shall we do it together?

RN: All right then! As one...

NP: All right Jenny, a retrospective, I hadn't said anything before you changed your mind so I'm entitled to accept the other challenge. So you have another point, you have braces, you have 15 seconds starting now.

JE: My daughter's just about to have braces put on, courtesy of the National Health! Hurrah! When I was a teenager I was also attached to braces...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah repetition of catamaran!


JE: Oh yes, you're right!

NP: I think that, I think that's a sort of sour grapes challenge, isn't it! He was going to challenge on anything! Right Clement, you made a point and the audience enjoyed it, so I'll be generous and give you that bonus point which I've already given one to Ross. But Jenny you were interrupted so you get a point for that, you keep the subject and there are seven seconds available, braces starting now.

JE: An orthodontist named Mister Clifford in Liverpool put my braces on. And every time I visited this...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: They were her daughter's braces.

JE: No, I was also talking about my braces...

CF: No, you hadn't!

JE: No, I did! I said when I was a teenager I also had braces attached!

NP: Jenny, it's all right. You did say that.

JE: Yes!

NP: I was listening.

GN: It was just after that bit about the catamaran!

NP: Yes! You, we, we admire your dedication to getting points Clement. But in this case, I disagree. One second is still available for you Jenny with another point, braces starting now.

JE: I wore my braces on a catamaran!


NP: So Jenny Eclair was speaking then as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. And she's moved forward, she's now actually in the lead.

JE: That's never happened before! Yes!

NP: She's one ahead of Graham Norton, three ahead of Ross Noble, and four ahead of Clement Freud in that order. And Ross your turn to begin, the subject, topiary. Tell us something about...


NP: Why should you laugh? Just because his head, his hair looks like something that needs topiaring?


NP: Oh I'm going to get it now, aren't I!

RN: I knew it was a mistake not wearing a tie!

NP: Ross, topiary is the subject, talk about it, 60 seconds starting now.

RN: Topiary is the process of clipping hedges into different shapes. Sometimes tramps like to sit underneath the said... bushes...


NP: Graham you challenged first.

GN: A bit of hesitation there.

NP: There was a hesitation, so you've got topiary and you have 42 seconds and you start now.

GN: Topiary is a hobby of mine. Because I have a lot of body hair, I find it very useful on the shoulders. Er on the left one I have a hen and three chicks clipped out of some rather mousy curly hair. While on the right, I have the outline of St Paul's Cathedral! These prove fascinating gifts really on a beach holiday. People come up and chat, take pictures, hug me which I like. And things like that...


NP: Jenny challenged.

GN: Thank God!

NP: Jenny Eclair you challenged.

JE: I was just helping him.

NP: Why?

JE: He gave me a look which said "please, I don't know what else to say!"

GN: I've had that look since the beginning!

JE: He was, the ramblings of the mad!

NP: Yes...

JE: And he was hesitating and deviating and...

NP: Darling, go for one please, because he wasn't hesitating. He was deviating.

JE: Deviating! Deviating!

NP: Yes!

JE: He was talking about wanting to be hugged on beaches!

NP: That's right.

JE: I don't think this is suitable for Radio Four!

NP: He had got away from topiary, I agree. So you have deviation and you have 17 seconds available for you to tell us more about topiary starting now.

JE: If you drive from south east London, Camberwell to this ice rink in Stretton and pass Nor... wood...


JE: I forgot where I lived!

NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Devi, sorry, hesitation.

NP: That's right.

JE: Yeah I was...

NP: Stumble we interpret...

RN: And you can't actually go to Norwood through...

JE: I know!

RN: Yeah!

JE: I know, Ross...

RN: What secret road have you got?

JE: I got lost, I forgot where I lived! Can we hear more of your story about the tramp sitting under the topiary?

NP: It is fairly, hang on a second. Jenny do you want to run the show for a bit or...

JE: No!


NP: What do you mean oooh? Oh you do want her to do it? Right!


NP: Right, a correct challenge Ross, and you have topiary and you have 11 seconds starting now.

RN: An easier way to create the same effect is simply to take objects and stick leaves to them. Why not get yourself an old steam train, and using glue apply foliage and park it outside...


NP: So Ross Noble was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. He's moved forward, he's equal with Graham Norton. They're both one point behind our leader still Jenny Eclair, and Clement Freud is just behind them. And Jenny it's your turn to begin, the subject is men with moustaches. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

JE: Men with moustaches are usually either gay or policemen who don't understand! But if they have a moustache they look quite homosexual. My favourite moustache is those twirly Salvador Dali ones, but then I have an unhealthy obsession with circus ringmasters! Which I need to go and see a doctor about! Women who have moustaches aren't really socially acceptable...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: That has to be deviation...

NP: No...

GN: ... on so many levels! But...


NP: No...

GN: You asked her to talk about men with moustaches.

NP: Yes, but Graham, she was talking about men with moustaches. I think she just put out that one sentence, women with moustaches. She could have gone on to compare them with men with moustaches. So she hadn't actually had a chance to properly deviate.

JE: Though if I'd had a chance with a ringmaster to deviate, I'd have deviated!

NP: So no, I must be fair, within the rules of Just A Minute. She continues with men with moustaches, 42 seconds Jenny, another point of course as well starting now.

JE: Freda Carlow the Spanish...


NP: Graham yes?

GN: She's still talking about women with moustaches!

NP: Jenny, no, Jenny I think you should have made the comparison much sooner. This time, Graham you have the subject, you have the correct challenge, 40 seconds available, you tell us something about men with moustaches starting now.

GN: A man's moustache can tell you a lot about the person. For instance, what he had for lunch. Was there a nice head on his lager? Or even does he have a cold? It is unfortunate! It's radio, it's a visual medium! Now it does, oh, I'm saying the same thing again...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: There was a little bit of deviation there.

NP: Yes, there was indeed. Right, so you have the subject, you have er 24 seconds is still available, men with moustaches Ross, with you starting now.

RN: One of the good things about being a man with a moustache is the fact that you can use it when thinking. Able to twiddle it as Hercules Poirot did, when he was trying to tell people who the murderer was. This tends not to work as well if you've got a massive beard, because you have to run your fingers through it. A lot of people think that men with moustaches are quite sexy. For example, ah, Tom Selleck...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, there was an er there.

RN: Oh was there?

NP: Yes you put an er in, and we call that hesitation.

RN: Is it me? Or did somebody walk past? Erring as they went?

NP: No, Clement you've got in with two seconds to go...


NP: That's all right, it's within the rules of Just A Minute. And you have men with moustaches, two seconds starting now.

CF: In two seconds...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: I think there was a slight er, just underneath...


RN: Just under his breath!

NP: Just...

RN: It was very small, but it was...

NP: You're sitting next to him. I should explain to my listeners that I have two on my right, which is Ross and Clement, and two on my left which is Jenny and Graham. And so you now have the picture. And Ross is maintaining he heard him say er under his breath. He didn't! You were, Clement...

RN: I was just being mischievous!

NP: Yes I know, and that's all part of the game. So one second Clement, on men with moustaches starting now.

CF: Upper lips!


NP: Clement Freud, speaking as the whistle went, has now leapt forward. He's still in fourth place! But he's only one point behind Graham Norton and Ross Noble, and he's only two points behind our leader Jenny Eclair. They're very close actually, but er, which is delightful, isn't it. And in every sense of the world, they're very close. They bond wonderfully!

GN: Yeah right!

NP: And Graham your turn to begin.

GN: What?

NP: The subject is ways to save energy. Sixty seconds to tell us something about that subject starting now.

GN: I am thrilled to be able to take this minute to share with you some of my energy saving ideas. Turning on the oven just to bake one potato? No! That is so wasteful! Far better to take said object, wrap it in a damp teatowel, leave it for a week, by then...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation, you can't put an oven into a damp teacloth!


NP: Well! (laughing) This is one of those impossible decisions. I know what Graham was conveying, but if you want to take the logic of his words, Clement is right. So which, it's how you interpret it. What I might do now is what I sometimes do. I look at this very intelligent and wise audience and say you be the final judges. And if you agree with Clement's challenge, you cheer for him. And if you disagree with it, you boo for him. And you all do it together now!


NP: All right, that's enough, that's enough! Don't keep it up for the rest of the show, I mean you... I would say the first impact I got was a boo! They feel you have the benefit of the doubt Graham, you continue with ways to save energy starting now.

GN: Ways to save energy are numerous! I can think of some! Ah but a lot of them are quite...


NP: Ross challenged you.

RN: There was definitely an um.

NP: There was an um yes.

RN: Yeah.

NP: Because he thought of something...

RN: He went ummm.

GN: No, I was meditating! It's very good for the slowing down of the metabolic rate!

NP: We can see from the...

RN: Is meditation allowed within the rules?

GN: I think it is. It's fair enough!

NP: I think...

RN: Did he go omm omm?

GN: Omm.

RN: No, that's fine. Okay.

NP: Graham I saw the expression that came over your face. It was quite lascivious and so I realised that er...

GN: Lascivious?

NP: Yes! And so I agree with Ross...

RN: I don't understand it, but I'd be offended!

NP: So you did hesitate, you had a little private moment of thrill there! And Ross you have 37 seconds to tell us something about ways to save energy starting now.

RN: A good way to save energy is to move to the North Pole. That way, the days last six months and you never have to turn your lights on! Also, the nights are also longer...


NP: Ah yes Clement?

CF: I'm sorry, he said nights and not lights.

NP: Yes he said lights one time...

CF: Sorry! That's right. Apology.

NP: Yes he did, no, no, no...

CF: Point to him!

NP: No, point to him. No, we enjoy generosity and sharp listening. And 33 seconds for you still Ross...

RN: I'm sorry, I'll start meditating!

NP: Ways to save energy starting now.

RN: Another good way to save energy is to simply sit around the house, in your pants, not moving whatsoever. That way as you sit...


RN: I said sit twice!

NP: Clement challenged.

RN: I'm a fool.

CF: Repetition of way.

NP: Yes because you did, the subject on the card is ways to save energy and you said way before.

RN: And I said sit. You could have two points there if you'd wanted Clement!

NP: Graham you, no Clement, you got in on ways to save energy, you have 17 seconds starting now.

CF: There was a man who came to Reception of a hotel where I am staying who explained that his company...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Man who who explained. Who, two whos. Who, who, and who again.

GN: Jenny you're hooing like an owl! It's bad!

JE: Am I right that he did repeat though?

NP: Yes he did repeat who. So you have er eight seconds, tell us something about ways to save energy starting now.

JE: On show days I save energy by lying under the duvet gently smoking... (laughs)


JE: Sorry!

NP: Ross challenged.

RN: There was a bit of a hesitation.

NP: I should think so, it was the most devious thought...

RN: And deviation on the way there as well!

NP: How many duvets have you set alight? Ross you've got in with three seconds to go on ways to save energy starting now.

RN: I once sat under a burning duvet, and the problem with that was it's very...


NP: Ross Noble speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point and the situation keeps moving from round to round. Ross Noble's now taken the lead ahead of Graham Norton, and then Jenny Eclair and Clement Freud equal in third place. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is scotch. Tell us something about that wonderful subject in this game starting now.

CF: The people north of the border are quite particular on whether to say Scottish or Scotch. And Scotch appears to be reserved for whisky, mist and corner, perhaps other geographical locations also. I'm really very fond of this country and have close family ties with it, because my wife's people came from Watford! Scotch whisky is perhaps the best known scotch...


NP: Ah Jenny Eclair challenged.

JE: Repetition of whisky.

NP: No, he said scotch then, love. That's a wrong challenge...

JE: Oh sorry, I went deaf! And just guessed!

NP: He said the best known scotch then, not the best known whisky.

JE: Oh I apologise, Clement.

NP: No, don't apologise...

JE: I take that apology back!

NP: He just gets another point. He's thrilled, he's delighted! So he gets another point and he has 29 seconds to continue on scotch starting now.

CF: At the location called Scotch on the border between England and Scotland, there is a cafeteria which specialises in scotch bacon sandwiches which I would recommend to you, especially if the pork meat smoked comes from Aberdeen which is an excellent, wholly truly wonderful place from which... pork meat comes...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Pork.

NP: I know! Thank God you challenged! I mean it was... Jenny you got in cleverly with three seconds to go on scotch starting now.

JE: Hopscotch is a good game to play if all you've got is a pavement and a piece of chalk...


NP: Ah after that close call, Jenny Eclair got another point for speaking as the whistle went, and another point. She's now moved forward, second place, just behind Ross Noble, but just behind them equal are Clement Freud and Graham Norton. We are moving actually into the final round, it's very very close actually, because Clement Freud is just in fourth place, just behind Graham Norton, and he's only two points behind equal leaders as we go into this final round which is Ross Noble and Jenny Eclair. Isn't it exciting!


RN: Like you care!

JE: I'm going to crack under pressure!

NP: The subject Graham, is ageism. A good subject, I've suffered from it in my time up here. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

GN: Ageism is a lovely simple way to hate people! You don't have to think of a reason. You just look at them and you dinnae like their age...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: He went stupid!

GN: No I didn't!

JE: He repeated age, he said age, and he went gaga like a baby!

GN: No! No!

JE: What did he do wrong, Ross?

GN: Nothing!

NP: He didn't do anything wrong!

GN: I did nothing wrong!

NP: He regularly does do things which are wrong, but...

JE: He didn't there.

GN: In that instance, I didn't!

NP: He didn't! Oh they're so keen, this is wonderful!

JE: Go on then!

NP: No, he didn't disobey any of the rules of Just A Minute. And Graham got a point then because it was an incorrect challenge, so he's joined Ross, just one ahead. There are 51 seconds available Graham, ageism starting now.

GN: You could hate old people because they give crap presents at Christmas...


NP: Ross ah challenged, yes?

RN: Was that hate? Did he say hate before?

GN: Well listened! I so did!

RN: And what I like is the fact there was no flicker of naughtiness on your face!

NP: The natural honesty of the players is wonderful. Ross you've got in with 47 seconds on ageism starting now.

RN: I think one of the finest examples of ageism is not allowing babies to ride motorcycles. I mean, sure, they enjoy the buggies. But they'd much prefer to sit on a Triumph Speed Triple, and fly around the place. Strictly speaking, it's impossible to fly on a motorcycle, but they would...


NP: Ah Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Oh I could be wrong, repetition of motorcycle?

RN: Yes.

NP: It was, yes.

RN: No, motorcycles! To ride...

NP: I know but you did repeat fly as well, didn't you.

GN: Because it's a short word, I didn't want, I didn't want to say that!

NP: So you, ah Graham, you've got in with 30 seconds to go on ageism starting now.

GN: I can detest young people because of their... oh!


NP: Clement yes?

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation's right. Clement you have ageism, 26 seconds starting now.

CF: I think of all the isms I dislike, landlord-ism is worst...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Well I think he's deviating because he's meant to be talking about ageism and he's started talking about landlord-ism.

NP: Yes I agree with that one. So you have ageism...

CF: Of all the isms! One of the isms is ageism! And I've spoken for five seconds!


GN: In fairness Jenny...

NP: In this game you've started off about landlord-ism. And I think once you established...

CF: No, I started off with "of all the isms"!

JE: But I didn't think that the subject matter was of all the isms. I can't see that on your card!

GN: Jenny I'd back off! You're looking really unattractive now!


JE: I'm being too needy! I don't want to play this game any more! No, Clement you can have the ball back!

NP: He's got the ball back! Right, 21 seconds, ageism with you Graham, sorry, Clement starting now.

CF: The law is very keen on ageism in that it allows you to be 16 before you have sex, 18 in order to vote, 21 for... taking out a mortgage...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: He was about to deviate!

NP: Right, so hesitation. Nine seconds on ageism with you Ross starting, Ross start now.

RN: Oh starting now? Well I think ageism...


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes! Graham, a correct challenge, you've got seven seconds to tell us about ageism starting now.

GN: I love ageism! I think...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He hasn't mentioned ageism!


CF: Not, not by the time I buzzed! (laughs)


NP: Give Clement a bonus point. Graham you get a point for being interrupted and you have the subject still, six seconds on ageism starting now.

GN: Ageism is rife in the workplace, ladies and gentlemen, and must be stopped. Some of our grey haired friends...


NP: Well as I said it was to be the last round and indeed it is, and now I'm going to give you the final situation, because it was extremely close. And their contributions are so wonderful, I hate to have to say someone, someone was in fourth place, but it was only one point behind the second place, that is Clement Freud in fourth place. Working upwards then, Jenny Eclair, and then just above Ross Noble, and two points behind Graham Norton, out in the lead, we say you are the winner this week Graham! Thank you! So it only remains for me to say thank you to our four delightful and humorous players of the game which is Ross Noble, Graham Norton, Jenny Eclair and Clement Freud. I'm also grateful to Janet Staplehurst who's helped me keep the score. She's blown her whistle delightfully when the 60 seconds were up. And also we are grateful to our producer Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this delightful game. And we are very grateful to our lovely audience here at the Pleasance at the Festival Fringe who have cheered us on our way magnificently. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, from our panel, good-bye, until we play Just A Minute!