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 in this country but also throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show this week four talented, exciting and experienced players of the game who once more are going to use their verbal dexterity and ingenuity as they pit their wits against each other to gain points in Just A Minute. And they are, in no order of seniority, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Linda Smith and Clement Freud. Would you please welcome all four of them! They are going to try and speak on a subject that I give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who's going to help me keep the score and blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the New Theatre in the wonderful delightful city of Cardiff, the capital of that great principality of Wales.


NP: And as our listeners can hear we have before us here a passionate hyped-up Welsh audience to cheer us on our way. As we begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement, very apt for this time of year, it is the year ahead. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: The year ahead is going to be called the year two thousand and the number between one and three. And I can see the most wonderful things ahead! Cardiff City will be promoted to the first division. Plymouth Argyle will win the FA Cup. And there will be a new fabric made of the chin fluff of an obscure Mongolian mountain goat which everyone will try to buy, and Vogue will plug like anything. I'm looking forward hugely to the year ahead because I believe that my autobiography which will be...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Ah hesitation...

NP: Yes...

PM: ... after shameless plug!

NP: Yes and well he might have hesitated after that. Yes so Paul you have a correct challenge, you receive a point for that and you take over the subject which is the year ahead. There are 13 seconds available starting now.

PM: Well who knows what's going to happen in the year ahead? When we look back at the year just gone who would have thought Prince Charles would end up marrying Anne Robinson? The wedding of the century! People were aghast! November the 24th they together walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey...


NP: In Just A Minute whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Paul Merton. We now move into the second round and this is quite a challenge for me because the subject I've been given is a Welsh subject, in the Welsh language. And um I should explain to all our listeners it is actually the longest word in the Welsh language. And it is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.


GRAHAM NORTON: What was that again?

NP: Oh! I don't think I can repeat it again!

GN: No, it was very good.

NP: Right! Linda we'd like you to take that subject. So can you talk for 60 seconds on Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch starting now.

LINDA SMITH: Llanfair PG as it's known to people like myself who are very intimate with that charming spot, is a delightful place. And demonstrates the danger of giving a sign writer too much time and too many dangerous drugs. Because they end up with a word that's basically a lot of scrabble tiles thrown into any order you might care to mention, and then painted up as a sign. I do not believe this. This is the most extreme example of Welsh people having a laugh at the English expense! There is no such place I am quite sure. And if there is, I'm sure people think...


NP: Oh Clement challenged.

CF: Ah repetition of sure.

NP: Yes you were too sure then, I'm afraid.

LS: Sure.

NP: So Clement you have 21 seconds available, the subject is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and you start now.

CF: When I learnt semaphore, somebody said "where are you?" And it was no trouble at all for me to signal that I was in (pauses)


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Well it was semaphore, um...

NP: It was semaphore, yes.

PM: But it was also hesitation.

NP: It was hesitation, and Paul you have the subject, you have eight seconds, you have this town in Wales which I don't wish to repeat again and you start now.

PM: You don't wish to repeat it, but eight seconds is really not long enough to say it. But here goes, I'm going to take a deep breath and have a really good run at it. (breathes in loudly)


NP: So Paul Merton was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And has increased his lead over all the others at the end of the round. Graham Norton would you take the next round, the subject is my nickname. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

GN: I can't help but think that my family, friends and work colleagues couldn't have tried a little harder and come up with a better nickname than "oh it's you"! It seems not the warmest cuddliest little nickname they could have. My mother did call me Buster as a child. Luckily it was the same name as our dog, so she didn't get confused at time. Some dinners tasted a bit funny, but I was young, and I didn't know. Later on I was nicknamed something else. If only I could think of it now! Oh it seems to have disappeared from my head! Nickname perhaps was the nickname, no it wasn't. But give me a minute, I'm sure I will recall it. I remember well in school...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah he's remembered before.

NP: He did so yes, he remembered before. And you went for 50 seconds!


NP: Ah yes.

GN: No, don't patronise me!

NP: That's the, that's the curse of this game. You can go so well and you don't get any points for it. Clement got in with 10 seconds to go on my nickname starting now.

CF: My nickname was Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and I answer to that to anyone who tries to...


NP: So Clement Freud got points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went and has now moved into second place behind Paul Merton. And Paul your turn to begin, the subject, eating like a horse. Paul take the subject and 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PM: Well eating like a horse, I suppose, is something you could do. Hay is something horses like eating, and oats. But whum... oh!


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Slight hesitation.

NP: Yeah.

PM: I invented a new word there!

NP: Graham you have eating like a horse, and you have 53 seconds starting now.

GN: My father first taught me to eat like a horse when the lawnmower broke. I would put my hand on the lawn, he would pull my legs, push me, sort of like a wheelbarrow, down the garden. The grass was delicious, no complaints there...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Ah delightful Graham, but repetition of grass.

GN: Ah!

NP: Yes!

GN: Did I not say lawn?

PM: He said lawn.

NP: You did say grass.

GN: Oh then I did.

NP: Linda we're going to hear from you on the subject, eating like a horse, 36 seconds starting now.

LS: Eating like a horse means to eat heartily. My Uncle Roy always says "oh I eat like a bird!" Unfortunately it's a gannet actually! And it's fooling nobody! Eating like a horse could be quite a dreary diet. And also I don't think I'd like to have that rather rough nosebag over your face. I think that would itch especially as I have sensitive skin which requires a lot of skin care costing about five hundred...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of skin.

NP: You had too much skin there, I'm afraid, yes. So Clement you got in with another point to you of course and eating like a horse is still the subject and there are 12 seconds starting now.

CF: Riah Sauvarigan wrote "oh children of Eden who gave it all away for an apple, what might you not have done for a turkey stuffed with sweet chestnut..."


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well this isn't eating like a horse, is it?

CF: I was coming up to it.

PM: Oh I see, coming up to it.

NP: Well you actually, you went for 11 seconds and you never get to it. So I think in Just A Minute you did have to establish what you're, you know, the subject on the card much sooner that. Because otherwise...

CF: Ah!

NP: You know! So I...

LS: Nicholas, horses do like apples.

NP: But he hadn't got to that point.

GN: No, he mentioned an apple.

LS: I'm sure...

NP: But he hadn't related the apple to a horse. So I agree with Paul. So Paul you have one second on eating like a horse starting now.

PM: I once entered a horse...


NP: So Paul Merton spoke as the whistle went, gained an extra point, increased his lead over Clement Freud. Linda Smith and Graham Norton are equal in third place and Linda begins the next round. Linda, the best film ever made. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

LS: The best film ever made, there are so many to choose from. Could it be Casablanca? Or Seventh Samurai? The Godfather? Or possibly the film that followed that and was called the mafia boss Two but not in so many words, of course. It might be Citizen Kane. It might be a film by Fallini...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah two might bes.

NP: It might be, it might be, yes. Repetition of might be. Right, 40 seconds Clement, the best film ever made starting now.

CF: I think in my opinion the best film ever made was Twelve Angry Men. It is one which I go and see over and again. A wonderful 12...


NP: Graham Norton you challenged. Yes Graham?

GN: I feel horrible now! Repetition of 12.

NP: Yes we had the 12 again. Twenty-nine seconds, you tell us something about the best film ever made starting now.

GN: I believe the best film ever made was ET The Extra Terrestrial. It is a superb movie. And I remember my disappointment at hearing it didn't win Best Oscar. No, that went to...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: No such thing as Best Oscar.

GN: No, in fairness you're right.

NP: Well just a minute, no, let's be fair to Graham here. He didn't win the Oscar for the best film, but you could say that is the best Oscar to win, couldn't you? And you have 15 seconds to continue on the best film ever made starting now.

GN: The best film ever made was without doubt Gandhi. Oh the costumes...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Well deviation.

NP: Why?

PM: Because he said it was ET.

GN: I have changed...

PM: You changed your mind?

GN: ... my mind!

PM: Changed his mind!

NP: No, I think, I think that's a fair challenge. Paul you have...

GN: The world's turned upside down!

NP: You just said the best film ever made was ET!

GN: I was an idiot! What was I talking about! Childish sentimental rubbish!

NP: You did not establish...

GN: Gandhi! Now there's a hard hitting political film!

NP: Right, you didn't say I've changed my mind and in my opinion this is now the best film ever made. You made this statement and now you've contradicted the statement. Twelve seconds, the best film ever made starting now.

PM: Undoubtedly the best film ever made is Gandhi Meets ET...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Aahhhhhhh! It went off in my hand!

NP: In other words, your buzzer, accidentally, your finger slipped on the buzzer. I think we should establish that. So you don't have an actual challenge. Paul was interrupted, he gets a point, he gets eight seconds, the best film ever made starting now.

PM: It is very difficult to decide what you think is the best film ever made. Perhaps the question should be what is your favourite film. Undoubtedly...


NP: So Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. He's now increased his lead ahead of Graham Norton. You've had, you got 13, Graham's got seven, then there's Clement with six and Linda's got a few behind them. And er...

LS: What's a few behind six?

NP: Four, five, whichever you want! Graham...

GN: Yes?

NP: Your turn to begin, the subject is relatives. Tell us something about relatives starting now.

GN: Relatives are God's way of giving you flatmates. It's a random thing really because if I advertised for people to live with, I don't think I'd have accepted my mother and father! They're kind of old! They don't stay up very late! And oh they complain about the noise! Mind you, the old woman, she's good at the cleaning! My father also helps in the garden, that was good too. Oh I've said good twice today but who cares?


NP: Graham drew attention to it, sometimes they are generous. Paul you got in first and there are 34 seconds on relatives starting now.

PM: As Graham said, it's very impossible to choose your own relatives, whereas friends are somebody you can say yes, I like you, I shall be friendly with youuuuuu and...


PM: I was trying to turn you into another word!

NP: So Linda got in first then, we call that hesitation Linda, and you have 23 seconds on relatives starting now.

LS: I mainly see my relatives at family celebrations such as funerals which is very similar to Christmas without the paper hats. They're very similarly attired and sat around like crows on a fence and generally reducing us all to a state of mild depression that involves just over the counter drugs, nothing too serious. And I manage to endure it because I know...


NP: So Linda was speaking as the whistle went. With other points in that round she has leapt forward. She's still in fourth place but she's only one point behind Clement Freud, only two points behind Graham Norton, and only five points behind our leader Paul Merton. And Paul it's your turn to begin, here's a good subject, onomatopoeia. Yes!

PM: Oh there's posh!

NP: Yes! Talk about onomatopoeia in this game if you can starting now.

PM: It means words that sound like the noise they describe. Such as buzz, hiss, meow, the zoological gardens. These are examples of onomatopoeic words. It's one of...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of words.

NP: Yes that's right, he did say words.

PM: Yes I did.

NP: Yes. Forty-six seconds Clement, tell us something about onomatopoeia starting now.

CF: Onomatopoeia is a small town in Anglesea which hardly anyone is able to pronounce. You go to the station and on the platform there is this sign On-o-mat-o-poe-ia-gogoch!


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of go!

NP: I'm glad he didn't challenge for anything else, because I don't know what to interpret that. Anyway 28 seconds Paul, you have onomatopoeia back with you starting now.

PM: I don't know if anybody finds onomatopoeia particularly useful in this day and age. Perhaps in the 19th century people were wandering around London and other major cities of this marvellous British Isles of ours using onomatopoeia at every conceivable juncture. Perhaps people walking in and out of shops would say...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: I thought I was getting on a bus there! Room on top! Um what was I going to say? Oh I've forgotten now! Oh walking! Repetition of walking.

NP: Yes there was walking when you were...

PM: Yes!

NP: So Graham, well listened, you got in with eight seconds to go on onomatopoeia starting now.

GN: Until tonight, I always thought onomatopoeia was Welsh for tomato! But I now know so much more than that...


NP: So Graham Norton with points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went has leapt forward. He's now just behind our leader Paul Merton, and then it's Clement Freud and Linda Smith. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is the peach. Tell us something about the peach in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: The peach is a fruit, generally described as luscious. And if you go to Venice, Milan or Rome, Harry's Bar serves belinis which are the most sensational cocktails made of white peaches liquidised, mixed with brandy and champagne. I cannot recommend this peach confection enough. It is peachy to the extreme. Peaches jump out at you, your taste buds are taken over by the taste of peach with great enormous wonderful pink with white and yellow...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Was there a slight hesitation there?

NP: A slight one but not enough...

PM: Not enough?

NP: Not enough, I don't think. I mean he was struggling a little but Clement you have the benefit of the drought, you still have... benefit of the drought? And you have 21 seconds on the peach starting now.

CF: If you find women, sheep or goats attractive, you might say that is a peach. Meaning beautiful, lovely, enticing, embraceable, peach-like. I can't recommend enough...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Maybe not... but it was recommend.

NP: Yes he was recommend. He was recommending berlinis early on. And so...

CF: Recommend and recommending! But no way...

GN: No!

NP: I'm not sure you're right Clement, but um I think ...

CF: I'm sure you're wrong Nicholas!

GN: It was also, it was also repetition of white.

NP: Absolutely, he talked about the white peaches too.

GN: There was a...

NP: There is a repetition. Five seconds for you Graham on the peach starting now.

GN: An odd term of endearment, the peach. Are you saying you've got a crop of facial hair and a heart of stone?


NP: So Graham Norton was speaking on the peach as the whistle went, and gained an extra point. He's now only two points behind Paul Merton, our leader, and just ahead of the other two. And Linda, your turn to begin, the subject, cold feet. Tell us something about cold feet in Just A Minute starting now.

LS: Cold feet is an expression that tends to mean going off an idea. For example, if I were asked to introduce Anne Robinson in Eistenfydd I think I would very rapidly get cold feet. Sometimes you can have cold feet because you are just cold. For example, if you are on a holiday in Snowdonia in August, you may find that your feet and the rest of you are very cold indeed. And also quite damp because it will be raining constantly, probably about 29 hours a day if that's possible. With the kind of intensity that you wouldn't think mere moisture could have. It has a most extraordinarily penetrating quality I find, so your feet are definitely cold. If your feet are cold and the rest of you is very cold, then you may well be dead! This is a serious matter which you should attend to immediately. And...


NP: Oh! Oh Linda! Linda there must be something about the Welsh that inspires you! Because you get a point for speaking as the whistle went, you get a bonus point for not being interrupted. I hate to have to tell you that you're still in fourth place! No, this is what is so unfair about this game and I hate it because her contribution is so magnificent. But there we are! Graham Norton it's your turn to begin, the subject is my previous incarnation! Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

GN: My previous incarnation was as my aunt Irene. It was fine before I was born. But when we were both alive at the same time, it was hell! Particularly because I was quite small and fit none of her clothes! People began to notice! I could never be in the same room! Sometimes my mother would catch me in my cot dressed as Irene. She... oh!


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: An unfortunate repetition of Aunt Irene.

NP: Yes, Aunt Irene came in a bit too much. And Paul you've got in with 42 seconds on my previous incarnation starting now.

PM: My previous incarnation was undoubtedly something spectacular in the Roman Empire or maybe in Egypt. It always seems to be that people who believe in reincarnation do see themselves as Cleopatra's hand maiden, or plumber to Julius Caesar. Nobody says well, I was a farmer in East Anglia in the 14th century reeking of cow dung and died at the age of 36! Because that's not very romantic. And maybe that's the feeling that we want to get back to, that there's something intrinsically romantic... (laughs)


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes we interpret that as hesitation. Thirteen seconds Clement, tell us something about my previous reincarnation starting now.

CF: In my previous reincarnation, I didn't write an autobiography!


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: So why break the habit?


NP: A bonus point for the comment but have you any challenge? Well you let him off the hook there because he did er hesitate actually. So he gets a point for his interruption which was very nice, Clement gets a point for being interrupted, keeps the subject, my previous incarnation starting now.

CF: I was in fact an East Anglian farmer reeking of cow dung...


NP: Right, Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point, and he has moved forward, he's now one point behind Graham Norton and Graham Norton is four points behind Paul Merton who's in the lead. And Linda Smith is rushing up the rear! And um, we're moving into the last round. That's why I gave you such er precise comments on the state of play because this is the last subject. And it's a very apt last subject for this show coming from Cardiff. It is the Welsh language. And Paul it's your turn to begin. Tell us something about the Welsh language in 60 seconds starting now.

PM: I'm not very good with languages. I still struggle with English at times. I can't make it do what I want it. And the Welsh is very impossible to understand isn't it, if you don't have any learning or schooling in the subject. It doesn't make sense, the words don't bear any pronunciation similarities to what I (laughs)


PM: I told you about how I was no good at English, didn't I!

NP: This was Welsh we were asking you to talk about. Anyway it doesn't matter. Linda you challenged first.

LS: Yeah I, deviation from two languages there!

NP: Yes!

PM: I can be pig-ignorant in any language you like!

NP: Forty-two seconds available Linda, for you, the Welsh language starting now.

LS: The Welsh language has some omissions in its words. There are some concepts that do not have a... thing to denote them...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: It seemed like a hesitation.

NP: It was a hesitation. Right, Graham...

LS: Oh.

NP: So you tell us something about the Welsh language in 34 seconds starting now.

GN: I don't know what it is. Maybe it's because I'm sitting here in the fastest growing capital city in Europe! But I'm very drawn to the Welsh language. You know, I speak a little. I think if I try I can say industrial estate in...


NP: Linda you challenged.

LS: Well about half a dozen Is.


GN: It is the Welsh language!

NP: So you're having him for repeating I, I, I?

LS: Ah...

GN: No, no, no, that's a point. No, no, fine!

LS: I don't want to make a big thing out of it.

GN: No, no, fine!

NP: No, no, but I mean I have to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute. He did repeat I, I, I. And within the rules of Just A Minute that's repetition. So you have the Welsh language, you have 20 seconds starting now.

LS: When you listen to people using the Welsh language, quite often they come across a concept that doesn't have a word in Welsh. For example, English bastard! I've noticed that when you're sitting in a pub somewhere, you can't help feeling with the complexity and difficulty of the Welsh language that possibly it is entirely fictitious!


NP: So Linda Smith speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and has surged forward at the end of that final round. She got other points as well and she finished up just in fourth place. Only one point behind...


NP: No, no, no, but her contribution was so deeply appreciated. Only one point behind Clement Freud. And he was only two points behind Graham Norton. And they're all very very close aren't they. And he was only two points behind our leader Paul Merton, so we say Paul you are the winner this week! So it only remains for me to say thank you to our four intrepid and stalwart players of the game, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Linda Smith and Clement Freud. I also thank Janet Staplehurst for helping with the score and blowing her whistle so delicately. And we are grateful to our producer director that is Claire Jones. We are deeply indebted to the creator of this game Ian Messiter. And we are more than indebted to our audience here at the New Theatre in Cardiff who have cheered us on our way with Welsh passion and aplomb! From them, from our audience, from our panel, and from me Nicholas Parsons, thank you for tuning in, be with us the next time we play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here good-bye!