WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and BARRY CRYER, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 19 February 1980)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Derek Nimmo and Barry Cryer 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, hello, and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And er we welcome back to the programme as our guest Barry Cryer. Barry who won his spurs competing against our three regulars in the last series has come back to try and take them on at their own game that they play so well. And they're going to try and do it once more, speaking for Just A Minute, on a subject that I will give them without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And we begin the show with Derek Nimmo. The subject is my resolution for this programme. Can you talk on that Derek in Just A Minute starting now.
DEREK NIMMO: My resolution for this programme is to try to be a tiny bit amusing, slightly informative, but above all, to berate and abuse our totally inept chairman, with whom I've suffered many years, and find him to get to be increasingly tetchy, boring and elderly as the years wander by. If I can achieve this great aim, and my resolution for this programme as I say is to be ghastly and nasty to Nicholas Parsons, then I will leave this hall a happier man. Because no greater joy can anybody give anyone than to be beastly to the horrendous NP. Even his wife doesn't care for him any more! His children have long since fought against him! He should be held up to the full glare of public gaze! So we can all see what a snivelling wretch that he is! And I hope...
LOUD LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Ah would you like to clear the audience and get another one in? There's one waiting outside to come in. Fancy applauding that diatribe! That disgusting unbelievable nonsense! Derek Nimmo has minus two points to start the programme! And he kept going without being interrupted and or, of course they were utterly amazed, my other three friends on the programme! That anybody could speak in such a manner! But according to the rules of the game he must be awarded a point for speaking as the whistle went, and also a bonus point for not being interrupted. Why he should get any bonuses for that, I've no idea! Um so we carry on with Clement Freud and the subject is jogging. Clement can you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
CLEMENT FREUD: I'm not much of a one for jogging, because I take my exercise visiting those friends of mine who jogged and landed up in hospital! Many staircases in hospitals have I trodden in order to visit these sad (pauses)...
NP: Um Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: I thought hesitation.
NP: You thought correctly. Kenneth you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject of jogging and there are 43 seconds left starting now.
KW: I have dome a bit of jogging. I do it in Regent's Park as a matter of fact. And some very interesting people have jogged alongside me. And I must say this being a revolutionary occurrence in my own eyes, because I was always holding forth about the disadvantages of this activity. And now at half past six in the morning, I am jogging and seeing the sun come up over the Post Office tower and...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: The sun comes up from under the Post Office tower!
APPLAUSE AND LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: But usually colloquially...
CF: Especially at half past six in the morning!
NP: Now that I would have agreed about. But your challenge was coming up under and there was, the sun is always in colloquial English talked about coming up over the horizon, over the Post Office tower...
KW: Of course, it's come up.
NP: And that's what you challenged for. His phrase was perfectly correctly used, so he keeps the subject with four seconds to go on jogging starting now.
KW: I have a marvellous ability for jogging people's memory and saying "ah, can you remember the occasion when..."
NP: So Kenneth Williams was speaking as the whistle went, got that extra point and he's in the lead at the end of that round!
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: I got a bigger round of applause when he was rude about me! Right, Kenneth will you begin the next round, the subject is symmetry. Sixty seconds starting now.
KW: This must be ever-present in that wonderful art of poetry. And was it not Blake who said "what immortal hand or eye could frame that awful symmetry". We all want to make it rhyme. That is the essence of symmetry itself! And one of the finest exponents of the art unquestionably was Tennyson. When he writes "on either side of the river, lined with long fields of barley and of rye that close the world and meet the sky, going down to Camelot", there the symmetry is all the most beautiful balanced precise nature, and the delight to our ears, and on the page our eyes! I've said eyes twice but nobody thought to get in...
NP: Clement Freud, you challenged.
CF: Yes he had!
NP: Right, there are six seconds on symmetry Clement, starting now.
CF: Two, four, six, eight are what might be called non-symmetrical numbers...
NP: So Clement Freud got the point for speaking as the whistle went and he's in second place. Kenneth Williams is still in the lead. Derek Nimmo's still with us and Barry Cryer is yet to speak!
BARRY CRYER: Good evening!
NP: Good evening! Barry it's your turn to begin, the subject, very apt is town criers.
BC: If one...
NP: No, just a minute, I have to say in the game you have 60 seconds starting now.
BC: If one peruses the Domesday Book, one will find frequent mention and reference to the word and name cree-ay, C-R-I-E-R, of Norman origin from which I derive my own name. And from whence comes crier de ville, what we would call today a town crier still surviving as a tourist attraction in city and town and village and market squares. They deport themselves clad in traditional regalia, holding a bell, and crying forth "oyez, oyez". The origin of this...
LAUGHTER FROM NP, CF AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: Oh! So Derek Nimmo...
DN: Oh no, oh no!
LAUGHTER FROM BC AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: Yes, crying oyez twice is repetition.
BC: Yes they did, but they do, you see.
BC: They do.
NP: They don't go round saying oyez twice.
NP: Right, Derek you have a correct challenge, there are 27 seconds, town criers starting now.
DN: The favourite town crier that I have seen is the one who is the official town crier for the city of Chester. And they've had a town crier there these many years. In fact it goes back some four hundred and thirty-two of the aforementioned periods in time. And when he wanders out into the marketplace, he said "oyez, oh ditto" quite frequently, and rings a large hand bell at the same time as he shouts to people what they can see at the local theatre...
NP: So Derek Nimmo took the subject, kept going to the whistle, gained the extra point and has taken the lead, one ahead of Kenneth Williams. And Derek, your turn to begin, the subject, cocktails. Will you tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.
DN: I do find it terribly boring to be given at a party a gin-and-tonic or a whisky-and-soda. It's so nice to see the return of the cocktail. Many more people seem to be constructing cocktails these days. One of the nice things about going to America...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: You might do all kinds of things with cocktails. You might mix them, but you wouldn't construct them. You can construct a building but you can't construct cocktails! You can only mix them! So it's deviation!
NP: Kenneth you have the subject...
DN: You can tell them!
NP: ... and you have 46 seconds on cocktails starting now.
KW: I like a Manhattan, and I've had a Bronx once or twice. But it does tend to go to my head. And they say it's an aphrodisiac! So of course I have this terrible fear that I will make a fool of myself and come out with some appalling exhibitionistic thing, and go off. And they'll never invite me to their parties ever again! So I have to be careful about cocktails. I like the sticks and the bit of the cherry and the look of it generally. And I do think that Derek Nimmo has a point when he says, rightly, that these ordinary drinks are boring compared to the glamour of this mixture. It's...
NP: So Kenneth Williams has retaken the lead and er Clement Freud's going to begin the next round, the subject, the average man. Can you tell us something about him Clement, in Just A Minute starting now.
CF: The average man, almost by definition, doesn't exist. For the record he has one point eight children. Now that is a fairly difficult achievement because two, three or even four progeny would seem like a reasonable number. But a vulgar fraction when it comes to boy or girl...
NP: Barry Cryer challenged.
BC: One point eight is not a fraction.
NP: Well challenged!
CF: You can't have a decimal of a child! So it's got to be called a fraction.
NP: The, the, I'll, it's a, it's a debatable point. But Barry is our guest and it's a clever challenge. So we give him the benefit of the doubt and you have um 37 seconds Barry on the subject of the average man starting now.
BC: The average man does not exist, the term is meaningless. What are the criteria for the expression? is it to do with height, weight, appearance, psychological makeup, physical achievement, size in shoes, colour of hair, race, religion, creed, politics. These terms do not exist in an actual fashion...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Repetition of exist.
NP: Bad luck!
NP: Yes but well tried. There are 18 seconds left, the average man Clement, with you starting now.
CF: Advertising agencies are always very keen to discover who the average man is, so they can... point...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Ah I forget what it was he repeated.
NP: That's right, well done!
KW: Hesitation, that's right.
NP: There are 12 seconds on the average man with you Kenneth starting now.
KW: Well you've got the living proof of it with me! I am your average...
DN: Deviation! No way is Kenneth Williams an average man!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: I have, alas, to agree with Derek Nimmo! About the most unaverage man I've ever met! I say that as a great compliment! You needn't look like that! You're looking like a very unaverage man now! So Derek you have the subject and there are seven seconds on the average man starting now.
DN: In my opinion, Horace Picklewick represents for me the average man. And I saw him one day jogging round past Golder's Green Cemetery...
NP: At the end of that round Derek Nimmo is equal in the lead with Kenneth Williams. But Kenneth's still staying there, out in front, and he's going to begin the next round and the subject is John Hunter, the one who was born in 1728 and died in 1793. Will you tell us something about him in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: His services to medicine are too involved and indeed complicated to mention in the short span of time which is allotted to me. He did discover things like the embryology, the inflammation of the blood, and was the head of the surgical department at Barts. In the Peninsula campaign he achieved an enormous amount and at Bell Isle on behalf of Her Majesty's forces in improving the kind of treatment...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: In 1728 to 1793, it couldn't have been Her Majesty's forces. His Majesty's forces! Deviation.
NP: Very clever yes, it would be His Majesty on the throne them. So um yes! Queen Anne 1714 so the Georges were there. And Derek Nimmo's got in with 19 seconds to go on John Hunter, the one from 1728 to 1793 starting now.
DN: John Hunter was married, and that was an interesting fact. Because this musician that went to their household put to... music...
KW: An awful lot of hesitation really and messing about.
NP: Yes, right and you've got in with only one second to go on the subject Kenneth starting now.
KW: He wrote about the human teeth...
KW: ... and the interesting thing was he was head of dentists for a time...
NP: Kenneth Williams and Derek Nimmo got points in that round. Kenneth was speaking as the whistle went and they're still both equal in the lead. And Derek Nimmo will you begin the next round, the subject pairs. A lot of variations on that word and can you talk about it in Just A Minute starting now.
DN: When I saw the average woman, I said "what a lovely pair". And all the advertising agencies were delighted with my remark because from that they were able to determine the cup size for this kind of person. And other kinds of pairs which interested people who deal...
NP: Ah Kenneth Williams.
KW: Two kinds.
NP: Yes that's right Kenneth, there are 45 seconds for you to talk on the subject of pairs starting now.
KW: I know a man who pares his nails so narrowly that they do damage the cuticles. And I've often said to him "your paring is hopeless". He said "I like to do this, it's nice". But I said "it's ridiculous, because you look so awful, and people get quite the wrong impression you see". And he said "well it depends on what a man pares, paring, pares, does to his own kind of sensibilities, and I don't really concern myself with what other people think, you know..."
KW: They didn't challenge because they didn't want it! (laughs)
NP: I don't know what the devil you were talking about...
KW: Neither did I!
DN: I didn't understand any of it!
NP: You did repeat and deviate and goodness knows...
KW: They didn't want the subject, I've told you! That's the only way you can win on this game, if they don't want it!
NP: Well... they want it but they don't want the subject! Right now you got a lot of points in that round Kenneth and you've gone into a very good lead. Keep it till the end and you'll be our winner again! Clement will you begin the next round, the subject, scope. You tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
CF: Scope is a word which I've frequently found on my children's school reports. The headmaster or other teacher would write "scope for improvement". We never actually knew what it meant, and I think that in all fairness when I look at my sons and daughters, theeeee...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Well he sort of packed up, hasn't he really?
NP: Yes! Forty seconds for you, scope Derek, starting now.
DN: There is a lot of scope in this programme for talking absolute rubbish on any number of subjects. Such as jogging, symmetry, town criers, cocktails, the average man, John Hunter who lived between 1728 and 93, and the average woman and indeed pairs...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Repetition of average.
NP: Oh yes. He eliminated saying 17 twice but he got tripped up on average. And Clement you got in with 26 seconds on the subject of scope starting now.
CF: "Could do better" was another thing that the professorial profession in the academies of learning to which my progeny went tended...
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.
KW: Well this has been entirely about educational establishments, it's not been about scope.
NP: Well he did establish that that was what was on the reports.
KW: He may have established it but that's not what we're discussing, is it. So we're not wanting that. I mean, let's get on with it!
NP: No, I don't think he'd deviated from the subject...
KW: Well you may not think it, but I think it! And I haven't been heard of for ages! And this audience wants to hear!
NP: Well that's the one thing I can say. When it comes to making decisions from the chair, it's what I think that goes and not what you think. Alas...
KW: That's why you're so unpopular, you see!
NP: Well if I always did what you think, I'd be even more unpopular and equally for any of the other three. So I disagree with the challenge, Clement keeps it, 15 seconds, scope starting now.
CF: Scope is also an anagram of both copes and pesco, the latter word meaning something to do with fish. While the former is the ability to carry out some function...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Well we're talking not about scope now, but about fish and anagrams.
NP: Yes I agree with you he was deviating now so you've got in with three seconds to go on the subject of scope starting now.
KW: The programme that gives the scope for my kind of talent...
KW: ... hasn't been invented! There isn't a programme that's been invented that doesn't give me the right scope!
NP: So Kenneth Williams showed his scope in this kind of programme, kept going for those three seconds, got the point for speaking as the whistle went and with other points he's increased his lead at the end of the round. And he's going to begin the next round and the subject is thunder. So will you thunder on on that one for Just A Minute starting now.
KW: I had to produce the sound of thunder in the theatre by rattling a sheet. It was made of some peculiar tin and an alloy added. And the sound thundered...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Repetition of sound.
KW: Oh you're awfully petty, aren't you! Good gracious, I hadn't even got under way! You know!
NP: Well you may not have got under way but you've got to try and get under way without repeating. And you did repeat the word sound and there are 44 seconds left on thunder Derek starting now.
DN: The great god Thor, the thunderer after whom the day of the week Thursday is named. On those great... new...
NP: So his thunder ceased and Kenneth, 35 seconds, thunder, starting now.
KW: It has often been said of me that when I use the baritone range, there is a thunder in the voice which leaves the listener, awed and full of admiration. (sings deeply) Old man river. (normal voice) Wonderfully thunderous sound that I alone, unless you count Macready, am capable of producing. And they used to say about The Times, the thunderer. And why isn't it on the book stalls...
NP: Well Kenneth really did thunder on then and kept going till the whistle went. Kenneth, all I can say is you've increased your lead once again. Barry Cryer will you begin the next round, the subject, the romantic movement. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
BC: The expression, the romantic movement, could be generally construed as referring to poets. In my case, I demean the expression by relating it to the movement of romance, in other words, the onset of rheumatism, fibricitis and neuralgia, has severely, have severely limited me...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.
BC: Argh! (bangs fist)
DN: Well he repeated severely.
KW: You're not supposed to bang on the table, because it causes interference and it ruins the microphone!
BC: I was provoked!
NP: I know but when you trip yourself up like that, it's very difficult not to give vent to your feelings which Barry Cryer did...
BC: Thank you Nicholas, thank you.
NP: He expounded his feelings through the microphone by banging...
BC: Thank you.
NP: ... on the table. Derek Nimmo got in with a correct challenge and Derek Nimmo, you start now.
DN: Right, now the romantic movement, one of the most romantic movements that I ever saw was when I saw Kenneth Williams in Regent's Park, jogging...
NP: Ah Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Repetition of I saw.
NP: Yes, you saw too much.
LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Thirty-three seconds left for Clement Freud to talk about...
CF: (sings) Old man river...
NP: ... the romantic movement starting now.
CF: I sang Old Man River but there was so much commotion...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Repetition of old man river.
NP: No, it was Kenneth Williams and it was in the last round as well.
DN: He said it twice then! He's gone (sings) "old man river" and then said "I sang old man river". I heard him!
BC: It's the oyez oyez syndrome!
NP: No, no, he didn't. Um...
BC: He did!
DN: He did!
NP: Well you were making so much noise that I couldn't have heard him!
DN: I wasn't...
KW: Stick to your guns Nicholas! Stick to your guns!
NP: Did the audience hear him?
SHOUTS OF "YES" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Right Clement, you have 28 seconds on the romantic movement starting now.
CF: A long way from the romantic movement comes our chairman, Nicholas Parsons...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Deviation, Nicholas Parsons has nothing to do with the romantic movement.
CF: My, my very words!
NP: This is one of those things I obviously can't judge on, so I'm going to let you be the deciders if I've got anything to do with the romantic movement. And if you agree with Kenneth's challenge, you cheer for him...
DN: He's already said that!
NP: ... and if you disagree you boo for me and you all do it together now.
CHEERS AND BOOS FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Oh I'm overwhelmed!
DN: He's just gaga!
DN: Rambling on! Doesn't listen to the questions any more, let alone the answers! He doesn't know what's going on!
NP: And after having sat with you four for as long as I have this evening, I'm entitled to be gaga. So there we are.
SHOUT OF "YES" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Thank you! Who said "yes"? Thank you darling! Join the club! Kenneth you have a correct challenge according to the audience and you have 23 seconds on the romantic movement starting now.
KW: it was very much a reaction to the 18th century and the age of reason. And was epitomised in poetry, unquestionably, by figures like Byron and Keats and Shelley. Hail to thee, blythe spirit, he went. And when you think of those lovely lines, you'll go no more...
NP: So Kenneth Williams took the romantic movement...
KW: Yes I did a sort of nasal effect then, did you notice?
KW: Did you notice that?
KW: Because I thought it would colour it, do you know what I mean?
KW: Because it needed colouring, you know. Because you're so dreary Parsons! You see, dreary! They wanted a bit of colour, you know!
NP: I was just about to make a very nice comment actually!
NP: The only man I know who can make the romantic movement sound good down his nose! So let me now give you the final score because we have no more time to play Just A Minute. Let me tell you that our guest Barry Cryer, in spite of the tremendous value he contributed to the programme did finish up in fourth place. Well done Barry, congratulations and bad luck! Derek Nimmo in spite of the revolting remarks he makes about the chairman who is consistently fair and kind...
KW: (laughs maniacally)
NP: ... finished up in third place with a lot of points. He was just behind Clement Freud. But there's no doubt about it, way out in the lead was Kenneth Williams!
CHEERS AND APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
KW: Hooray! Hooray! Well played! Hooray! He's done it! Hooray!
NP: Ah I must explain to our listeners...
KW: Don't explain nothing! Shut your row!
NP: I must explain to our listeners that if they thought the cheers for our winner this week were out of all proportion to the usual cheer our winner gets, it was because Kenneth Williams left the platform and joined the audience to lead the cheering! He did it magnificently! He's going to bring the same audience in when he plays again! And we hope that you in the audience will want to come and see us play the game again. We hope our listeners will want to tune in again and listen to us play the game. Kenneth Williams has left for another reason to go into the audience! 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.