NOTE: Charles Collingwood's first appearance.

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 infinite pleasure to welcome our many listeners throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show this week four delightful, exciting and eager players of this game. Three of them have played it with great style and panache in the past, and that is Graham Norton and Ross Noble and Clement Freud. And someone who's never played the game before, it's a pleasure to welcome also Charles Collingwood. Would you please welcome all four of them! As usual I am going to ask them to speak on a subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who's going to help me keep the score and she'll 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. As we begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement, the subject is how to remember people's names. You have 60 seconds as usual and you start now.

CLEMENT FREUD: How to remember people's names presupposes that you have forgotten their names. So a very good idea is to go up to someone and say "are you Neil Hamilton"? And the likelihood is that they will instantly explain exactly who they are, and then you will know! My friend Robert Morley used to say, when he was unable to place someone, "do you ever go back, dear?" And it's extraordinary how often someone... I said someone before.


NP: I know! Graham Norton, you challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: Do you know, I have a funny feeling, he said someone before!

NP: Yes he did! He generously drew attention to it, so Graham you have a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject which is how to remember people's names, there are 30 seconds available and you start now.

GN: At parties, a very useful thing I find, in remembering people's names, is to bring with you a small portable tattoo kit! Then as people reveal their identities, simply place that name on their forehead! The needle is also handy for picking up cocktail sausages or small bits of cheese! Because often people don't provide enough toothpicks! Call me whiny but I do find it irritating, particularly when you don't even remember the name of the person who's holding the party and you can't complain!


NP: So Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went gains an extra point. As anybody speaking at those moments gets an extra point. And with other points in the round, in fact he's the only one to have scored any points in that round. And he went for 30 seconds on that subject. And Graham it's your turn to begin actually. And the subject I have in front of me is what I wear under my kilt. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

GN: What I wear under my kilt is shrouded in mystery! And a thick layer of dust! I find it an odd thing that kilts and what is worn under it, because it er sort of implies...


NP: Charles Collingwood challenged.


NP: Yes, we interpret that as hesitation. He stumbled Charles, so you've got in...

CC: Mmmm.

NP: ... with a correct challenge and you have 45 seconds, so your first attempt in Just A Minute. Go on it, what I wear under my kilt starting now.

CC: I once received a letter from a man in Scotland asking me if I would travel up and play cricket for him. I was happy to do this, until he said in his letter, ah...



NP: The audience enjoy it so much when you make mistakes, they clap every one of them. So...

CC: They'll enjoy me then!

NP: Clement, you challenged first, repetition of letter yes, right. What I wear under my kilt, 34 seconds available starting now.

CF: Grammatically I think the subject should be what i was under my kilt...


NP: Ross challenged.

ROSS NOBLE: Deviation, it isn't!

NP: I think he can express that thought within the show, and still not be deviating. But we enjoyed the thought and your contribution so much Ross. No, no, I give you a bonus point for that, because the audience really appreciated it. Clement keeps the subject and a point for being interrupted, what I wear under my kilt Clement, 29 seconds starting now.

CF: Underpants mostly, because I don't...


NP: Ross you challenged.

RN: Mostly? Mostly?


NP: So...

RN: Once you've got pants on, you surely can't wear anything else on top of them as well!

NP: So...

CF: Oh yes you can!

RN: Oh can you?

CF: Yes.

NP: So what was your challenge?

RN: I have no idea!

NP: Right!

RN: I just really hadn't said much, that's all.

NP: I know, you could have had him for hesitation...

RN: Hesitation!

NP: Too late now, I'm sorry! No, we can't have retrospective challenges. So Clement, another point to you, because it was incorrect, and what I wear under my kilt is still there, 26 seconds starting now.

CF: Also a truss, and a hearing aid.



NP: Graham Norton, you challenged.

GN: He stopped!

NP: I know he did. He was so amused with his own joke, he couldn't keep going! So Graham, you got in with hesitation, 21 seconds to tell us something about what I wear under my kilt starting now.

GN: I don't mean to criticise this lovely country, but it's not exactly the south of France. So why people decided to wear a skirt, and no knickers seems extraordinary! Big woolly pants, that's the way to go! It's freezing out there! And also tartany stuff, it gets very wet as well. So perhaps plastic could have been invented for...


NP: So Graham Norton is surging forward, speaking again as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now in a strong lead, he's just ahead of Clement Freud, Ross Noble and Charles Collingwood in that order. Charles it's your turn to begin, the subject, oh this is a good one, I don't know whether it's been chosen specially, archers. Tell us something about archers in Just A Minute starting now.

CC: The Archers is celebrating its golden anniversary this year. I am particularly proud of that, because it is no longer a soap opera, more of an institution and something that I feel the public love dearly. For my part, I have played the part of Brian Aldridge for 26 years, a character that the general populace find less appealing. But nonetheless I enjoy so much the fervour and the drama that is created for me by our scriptwriters. Mercifully I am not in true life married to Jennifer, but to the girl who plays Shula, Judy Bennett, the light of my life. And Shula is such a joy as is my wife, as sure as my middle name as Henry...


NP: So Ross Noble went for a full 60 seconds then...

CC: Ross Noble?

RN: Yes that's right, I'm the one with the points!

CC: I went for 60 seconds!

NP: I know!

CC: It nearly killed me!

NP: I know! So Charles Collingwood then went for the full 60 seconds without being interrupted. So he not only gets a point for not being interrupted, he gets that bonus point for speaking when the whistle went. And he's in second place. And I must say, I must explain to our listeners, the reason the audience were laughing so much at Charles, because he did extremely well, was that his actions and animation as he was trying to going were such, he had the audience in stitches. He actually acted far stronger than he spoke!

CC: Oh!

NP: But well done Charles! Ross will you take the next subject which is synchronised swimming. I'm sure you've got something to tell us about that subject in this game starting now.

RN: I find synchronised swimming very boring indeed. It tends to be the same old shapes time and... again! Because I think it would be much better if they were to simply introduce a live shark into the swimming pool! Seeing the bodies writhing around, and they'd all have to copy each other as well! Sometimes when the swimming suits come off, they all disrobe...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: There might be a, oh no! Er ah I'm a fool!


RN: Now he's hesitating!

GN: I, I did it on the swimming thing!

NP: You were, you were trying to have him on swimming and...

GN: I was trying to do swimming, but swimming's in the title.

NP: Yes you can repeat the words on the card, either together or separately. And in this case he did repeat swimming, but it's on the card. So an incorrect challenge, so Ross Noble you've still got synchronised swimming, and you've got 42 seconds to continue starting now.

RN: I feel that it would be also made incredibly difficult if they were to do it in jelly or possibility a thick golden syrup. There they would be able to move very slowly indeed, and practice manoeuvres which have never before been seen...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Three woulds, repetition.

NP: Yes, would. Would this and would that.


RN: You're a hard man, but fair!

NP: It was a correct challenge so Clement you take over synchronised swimming, 28 seconds available starting now.

CF: I would fight for the right of these people to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own pools. And most of them, I seem to notice, are Belgians! Now I, I'm not keen on, I don't know what was going on in God's mind when he invented Belgium...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Repetition of Belgians.

CF: Belgium!

RN: Oh!

NP: He said Belgians before, and he said Belgium this time.

RN: I'll get you, Freud!

NP: An incorrect challenge, another point to Clement, 11 seconds, synchronised swimming starting now.

CF: There are Dutch synchronised swimmers who come from Holland, or the Netherlands as some people like to call it. They get into a subterranean aqua...


NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, and gained other points in the round and so he's moved forward. He's equal with Graham Norton in the lead, and two points behind is Charles Collingwood and then one point behind is Ross Noble. And Clement, your turn to begin, the subject, the giraffe. Tell us something about the giraffe in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

CF: The giraffe I would like to recommend to all my listeners is at the Suffolk Zoo in Kessingland. You, from London, drive up the A12, via Brentwood, Cheltenham, Colchester, drive past Ipswich...


NP: Charles you've challenged.

CC: Being a new boy, I'm not trying to be impertinent. But it would seem more like a sort of map...

NP: He was being devious...

CC: ... a road map, rather than talking about giraffes.

NP: Yes.

CC: Deviation.

CF: How else would you get to Kessingland?

CC: Well I don't want to get there! So um...

NP: He was deviating, you're right...

CC: Thank you very much Nicholas.

NP: On to a route map, and er so, there are 44 seconds available, would you tell us something about the giraffe, starting now.

CC: I would like to say that when I drive into London from north of the area to the centre, I pass London Zoo...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: I'm wrong! I'm sorry!

CC: How good of you, I'll carry on!

NP: I don't know if you're wrong until you tell me what your challenge is.

RN: Was it London?

NP: What's that?

RN: Repetition of London.

NP: Yes, London and London Zoo.

RN: Did he not say Londonzoo?

NP: London Zoo and London, are they two different things?

CC: No, no...

CF: London apostrophe S Zoo!

GN: If they are, then we all go and live in the zoo!

NP: oh I think the word London was repeated.

CC: Yes I agree.

NP: That's fair enough Ross, so you have the subject, you have 34 seconds on the giraffe starting now.

RN: I find that the giraffe has possibly got the longest neck of any animal alive. That's probably because it's very difficult for them to get scarves. The knitwear industry doesn't cater for the sore necks of the giraffe. Why you would have particularly ill neck if you were...


RN: It's nonsense! It's quite clearly, it quite clearly isn't anything, is it?

NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition of neck.

NP: Yes that's right, and you have the subject, you have another point and you have 19 seconds, the giraffe starting now.

CF: England once had a five foot nine inch goalkeeper about whom it was written "unlike the female giraffe, he has considerable trouble with the high balls!" I have always remembered that because giraffes are such an extraordinary shape...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Oh I might be wrong, I think giraffes was er repeated.

NP: No he said giraffe, it was in the singular the first time.

GN: Oh was it? Female giraffes?

NP: You're right, it was female giraffes, wasn't it! Well listened Graham!

GN: Don't look so surprised, Nicholas!


NP: You've got in Graham, with one second to go on the giraffe starting now.

GN: In Dublin's Natural History Museum...


NP: Right so Graham Norton was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and he's moved forward. He's now in the lead actually, just ahead of Clement Freud and er then Charles Collingwood and Ross Noble in that order. And Graham it's your turn to begin, the subject is moving house. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

GN: Thanks to employing a cheap builder, my mother's bungalow actually shifts slightly in the wind! Neighbours gather to watch it! It's the moving house! It's attracted a lot of attention from the moving statue that was close by. Builders now come to that lady who gave birth to me's residence and stare in awe! She hates it herself, because of course little ornaments fall off all the time. Poor cow! I do find that it is fun to sit in though, when the wind is blowing and the thing's shifting...


NP: Charles you challenged.

CC: That must have been hesitation.

NP: It was hesitation.

CC: Yes.

GN: All right then.

NP: Yes, you've got in there Charles, and another point of course to you, and you have 24 seconds, you tell us something about moving house starting now.

CC: (in very good impression of Kenneth Williams' pompous voice) I've always been told that after death, moving house is the most stressful thing you can go through. If you clear out a house you find so many artefacts that need wrapping, that you no longer care for and so to me...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: What?

CF: You don't move house after death!

CC: I see, I beg to differ! How do you know? None of us know that!

NP: You don't move house. Someone else might move you...

CC: You don't know! I mean none of us know. We may move, everything just moves up with us. But maybe not, maybe I'm...

CF: I made a mistake! Sorry!

NP: I don't think you take your possessions with you. The, the, I should think you should explain to the listeners the other character you were doing. Sewell, what's his name, Brian Sewell.

CC: No, it wasn't. I was trying to do Kenneth Williams, and he was so good at it. I was...

NP: I thought you were...

CC: No, I can do, I'll do Brian Sewell later!

NP: I thought you were doing Brian Sewell then actually!

CC: (in very good impression of Brian Sewell) No, Brian Sewell talks like that! A rather extraordinary way of speaking!

NP: So he was...

CC: (in impression of Brian Sewell) Maybe I'll save him for later!

NP: Right! And they'll get utterly confused. It is radio...

CC: Yes, sorry!

NP: So Clement you cleverly got in with one, two seconds to go, on moving house starting now.

CF: Moving house.


NP: Right so Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point for doing so. He's moved forward, he's just in the lead now ahead of Graham Norton. And Charles Collingwood your turn to begin, the subject, cobbles. Tell us something about cobbles in this game starting now.

CC: Much as I like the sight of cobblestone streets, I do find that driving along them gives one a headache. This is because the noise that emanates from the street level...


NP: Ah Ross Noble challenged.

RN: Repetition of street.

NP: You said street before.

CC: I'm sure I did!

NP: Yes you definitely did. And so er 47 seconds available for you Ross to take over the subject of cobbles starting now.

RN: One of the lovely sounds I like to hear is hooves on cobbles. It sounds like a little bit like coconuts which er a friend of mine was actually tragically killed when a massive coconut ran over him...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah two coconuts.

NP: There were too many coconuts, I'm afraid.

RN: Did I not say coconuts and then coconut?

CF: No!

NP: No, no!

CC: No!

RN: I thought I did, but I must have been very wrong!

NP: They'll struggle for their points! Clement you have cobbles and you have 36 seconds starting now.

CF: Cobbles would have been on the thoroughfare along which Molly Malone plied her trade, as she wheeled her wheelbarrow, through streets broad and narrow, crying "cobbles and mussels, alive, alive, oh..."


CF: She was a fishmonger and sure, it was no wonder...

NP: Charles has challenged.

CF: ... for so were her father...

NP: No you've been challenged.

CF: ... and mother before...



GN: It's broken!

NP: Yes! No, no, you were challenged quite a while back Clement.

CC: I think he was talking a load of cobbles actually! He was obviously deviating.

NP: Yes because it wasn't...

CC: Because she didn't say, she said cockles.

NP: She said cockles and mussels, not...

CC: Which of course Clement knows.

CF: She had a cold!

CC: I'm so sorry! I'm sorry Clement!

NP: And er no, it was cockles and mussels, not cobbles. Well challenged there, a point to you Charles, cobbles is with you and there are er 22 seconds available starting now.

CC: When it's been raining, if you look down at the road, the reflection of the cobbles enables you to see your face. This is rather a surprise...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: You're saying this aloud!


GN: You don't want people knowing you do that! Just on your hands and your knees in the rain! Just to look at yourself!

NP: Graham...

GN: Go home! The bathroom, use it!

CC: Be kind to a radio actor!

GN: I was! I'm saving you there from yourself!

NP: So what...

GN: There'll be letters! The Psychiatrist's Chair will be the next programme you appear on!

CC: Oh I'd love that!

NP: So what is your challenge Graham?

GN: Um, just deviation from, from anything really!

NP: Well the thing is within the rules of Just A Minute...

GN: How did you know that?

CC: When it rains... I've been here months! When it rains, if you're looking down, you see your face!

NP: I must explain to the listeners, there are a lot of cobbled streets in Edinburgh. And if Charles is so strange that he does look down at the cobbles, and looks at his reflection when they're wet, well then that's something strange that he does! And he wasn't deviating within the rules of Just A Minute! Maybe a devious idea, but it's not devious speech. So an incorrect challenge from Graham on you Charles, you keep the subject, you have 10 seconds, go starting now.

CC: Only this morning as I watched, I saw this pimple on my lip and I thought That must be covered with Clearasil before this evening. And so when I...


NP: Charles Collingwood speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point, and for somebody who's not played the game before, he's doing remarkably well. He's now in second place, only one point behind our leader Clement Freud. And I must explain to all the people here, at the Fringe here, if you go round Edinburgh and you see somebody on his hands and knees squeezing a pimple into a cobble, you'll know it's Charles Collingwood! But we all have our idiosyncrasies and um, and um...

CC: That one's mine!

NP: And we're now with you Ross Noble to begin, the subject is clutching at straws. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

RN: Clutching at straws is the best thing to do, if you find yourself drowning in milk shake! Working at a well known burger restaurant and while stocking up the machine, you slip forward, the best thing to do is to grab with your hands and get yourself out of the trouble that you're in. Or you can possibly drink your way out. But the straw is the best method of removal from the thick glutinous liquid that is dragging you down into the strawberry abyss that is a large cup of shake. The other thing that I like to do when I put...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of thing.

NP: Yes you did mention the word thing before.

RN: I think I did.

NP: I know.

RN: You've done it again Freud!

NP: The audience enjoyed your surreal ideas there. But I'm afraid it was a correct challenge, 25 seconds for Clement, clutching at straws starting now.

CF: If you have a lap dancer sitting on you, then clutching at straws, especially if she's wearing a hula skirt would be a tremendous mistake. Because as clutching straw meets clutching straw, so does she...


NP: Ross er...

RN: Well I am a little bit nervous, I don't mind telling you! Straw, repetition of straw.

NP: That's right because the subject on the card is clutching at straws.

RN: Yes.

NP: And you repeated the word straw.

CF: But straw is in straws.

NP: Clement you've played the game with me for 36 years! And er, I think you know that...

CC: Don't you think Clement's clutching at straws a bit?

GN: We can mix up the letters? This is a good game now!

RN: Then it would just be Countdown, wouldn't it!

GN: Yes, so easy! Some of those letters are in there, yeah!

NP: Clutch right. So nine seconds, back with you Ross Noble, clutching at straws, nine seconds starting now.

RN: I once entered the International sponsored Move A Haystack tournament. It really was a marvellous event, all for charity and I found myself clutching at straws...


NP: So Ross Noble speaking as the whistle went. Once again, same thing happened last time we were in Edinburgh, it's all extremely close. Ah Clement Freud's just in the lead, two ahead of Charles Collingwood, and then four ahead of Ross Noble and, no, three ahead of Graham Norton and then Ross Noble. It's all very close and it's all great fun. And Charles it's also your turn to begin, a nice topical subject for Edinburgh, it's Arthur's Seat. Tell us something about Arthur's Seat in this game starting now.

CC: After about 20 minutes on this programme, I feel that ah my presence...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Oh I do feel horrible! But it was hesitation.

NP: It was hesitation.

CC: Yes.

NP: But as he's only played the game once before... no, he's never played the game before, has he?

CC: It seems...

GN: You tell us!

CC: Time's dragging, isn't it!

NP: No, no, no, but as, it was hesitation, but as he's never played the game before, and I'm allowed to give him one, every newcomer is allowed one dispensation...

CC: You are the sweetest man!

NP: And this is his dispensation. It's the last one I can give to you Charles. But Arthur's Seat, we won't charge any points on that, you keep going, 54 seconds starting now.

CC: I am to to Just A Minute what Arthur Scargill is to the Harrogate Young Conservatives! And as our politics moves further to the right, I wouldn't want to be in Arthur's seat. He seems to be a forgotten man. But behind us here in Edinburgh rises a rock from the ground. A large piece of turf covering this stony prominentry which I believe is covered with courting couples on warm summer nights. Sadly I have passed that stage in life when the idea of a night on a freezing cold ledge gives me any pleasure at all! But I can see, through my binoculars, from my flat, those people having all the fun in the world, when the weather isn't pouring with rain...


NP: So Charles Collingwood started with the subject, and in spite of interruptions he finished with the subject which means he had points in the round and one for speaking as the whistle went. He has now moved dramatically forward. He's only one point behind Graham Norton who is our leader. And I mention these things with emphasis because we're moving into the final round. And he's only one point ahead of Clement Freud who is in third place. And he's only three points ahead of Ross Noble who is in fourth place. It's still anybody's contest if you're interested in the contest. Um Ross Noble, the final round and it's your turn to begin. So the subject, answer machine messages. Tell us something about those in this game starting now.

RN: I don't really like answer machine messages because they tend to go something like this. Hi, it's John here, I was just wondering beeeeep! And that tends to sound like they're swearing at you! That kind of vulgarity isn't what I want when I come in of an evening! I would like to hear something like "hello there, this is Carol Smiley. I'd like to come round to your house and do it up specially for your pleasure." That's the kind of thing that really would make me happy. I've got...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Ah smile, kind, like. Um...


CF: You choose!

NP: He said Smiley anyway!

CF: No! Kind, like.

NP: That's right. All right Clement, you have another point, you have the subject, and you have 35 seconds, answer machine messages starting now.

CF: If you want to buy marijuana, press the hash key!


CF: Is possibly my favourite telephone answering machine. Sadly I do not smoke in any shape or form, and do not have such aaaaaaaa...


NP: Ross Noble challenged.

RN: He's clearly stoned!


NP: Hesitation, so Ross you've got the subject back, with 18 seconds available, answer machine messages starting now.

RN: I got home the other night and there was a message from my dealer. (in impression of CF's voice) Hello, this is Clement Freud, (normal voice) it said.


RN: I'll come round and give you some of the finest drugs that money can buy. I thought surely that's not acceptable from a man of your stature. But he did come round later on that day and something hilarious happened...


NP: Ross Noble finishing in strength and with a flourish, brought that round to an end and gets a point for doing so, and also brought the show to an end.


NP: Ohhh! Well yes...

GN: Well rehearsed! Well done!

NP: The series will carry on, so I hope you'll see us next year when we come up to the Edinburgh Fringe.


GN: Well rehearsed! Well done!

NP: Yes! You got us a rebooking, thank you very much! There we are so actually I must give you the final score. I mean I'd like to give you the final score. It's delightful to say that they were all so equally balanced, there's hardly, there's only one point separating most of them. Ross Noble was only just in fourth place, two points behind our joint second place, Clement Freud and Charles Collingwood. And congratulations to Charles, first time, really, in second place. Only one point behind Graham Norton who is therefore our winner this week! So it only remains for me to say thank you to our four delightful players of the game which is Graham Norton, Ross Noble, Clement Freud and Charles Collingwood. I also thank Janet Staplehurst who's helped me with the score. She's blown her whistle when the 60 seconds was up. And also we are grateful to our producer-director, that is Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game which we enjoy playing so much. And we also indebted to our audience here at the Pleasance on the Fringe in Edinburgh who have cheered us on our way magnificently. Come back next year to play Just A Minute. Until then, from all of us on the panel and me Nicholas Parsons, good-bye, tune in when we play this game again! Bye!