NOTE: Claire Bartlett's first appearance blowing the whistle.

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 not only in this country but all those others who tune in to this programme throughout the world. And it's also my pleasure to welcome four outstanding, individual and talented players of the game. And we welcome first of all with great pleasure, that master of comic invention and witty rapport and response, that is Paul Merton. And someone who's equally at home in improvised comedy, that's Julian Clary. And also somebody who's also clever at ad hoc spontaneous humour, Tony Hawks. And also someone from a different generation, but equally at home in improvised humour, that is Clement Freud. And would you please welcome all four of them! And as usual I am going to ask them to speak on the subject that I give them, and they will try and do that if they can without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card in front of me. Beside me sits Claire Bartlett who's going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular recording of Just A Minute is coming from Fowey in that beautiful county of Cornwall. And we are part...


NP: And we are part of the Daphne du Maurier Festival here in this tented village of Fowey. And we have in front of us a really hyped up festival Cornish audience who are dying for us to start the show. So let us begin with Paul Merton. Paul, the subject is weather forecasts. Tell us something about weather forecasts in Just A Minute, starting now.

PAUL MERTON: The weather forecasts in this country are always reliable. If they say it will rain, the sun will shine! And vice versa! Maybe that's being unfair to the Meteorological Office because it is a very difficult science. It's not an art. It isn't perhaps something that we could all do, or would want to be a... (starts to laugh)


NP: Tony Hawks you challenged.

TONY HAWKS: I think there was a hesitation there.

NP: Yes it was. He stumbled over his words, we call that hesitation. So Tony you have a correct challenge, you get a point for that, and you take over the subject which is weather forecasts and there are 39 seconds starting now.

TH: I should have listened to the weather forecast last night. Because I decided to come down to Fowey very early this morning to enjoy the sunshine. How wrong I was! I got here, the clouds opened, and I was wet through by mid-afternoon! The weather forecasts are...


NP: Ah Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Well deviation, do clouds open? They part don't they, but the clouds don't, don't open.

TH: They did this afternoon, I think.

NP: I, I, I think Paul, colloquially speaking people do talk about clouds opening.

PM: Do they?

NP: And shedding their water, yes. I think it's a colloquial phrase people use. And I think it would be unfair to take it away from Tony on that challenge. So Tony an incorrect challenge, you get a point for that of course. You keep the subject, 22 seconds are available, starting now.

TH: I like to think of myself as being something of an amateur weather forecaster. For instance, I predict that tomorrow will be snowy in the morning, followed by a thunderstorm...


NP: Ah Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of morning.

NP: Yes.

TH: Correct.


NP: Excuse me audience, it is part of the game! He's got a correct challenge, with a point for that Clement, 11 seconds, weather forecasts starting now.

CF: It is becoming increasingly difficult now that you no longer have entrails inside chickens. But in olden days...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Do chickens no longer have entrails? Is this, this is some sort of genetic modification?

NP: As far as I'm concerned, chickens do have entrails!

PM: They do, it's deviation to say they haven't.

NP: They do, it is deviation.

PM: Yes.

NP: Clement you needn't look like that, I'm afraid...

CF: Ah...

NP: Mmmm?

CF: I think in fairness...

NP: Mmmm?

CF: Weather forecasters never looked at entrails inside chickens. And it is the shop-bought chickens which no longer have entrails in them.


NP: I don't see there's any connection with weather forecasts, so on that score as well. No, you tried to justify it but you nearly succeeded but not quite! So...

TH: Nice to have a little chat about entrails though, isn't it!

JULIAN CLARY: I'm all moist!

NP: Paul, correct challenge, you have three seconds left, weather forecasts starting now.

PM: The clouds opened up...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: We've had clouds.

NP: No, it was er, it was Tony who talked about clouds.

PM: Yeah I haven't mentioned clouds.

CF: You always mention them!

PM: No! Tonight's an exception!

NP: Paul, an incorrect challenge, another point to you and two seconds, weather forecasts starting now.

PM: Fog, mist, these are the enemies of the fisherman...


NP: And whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. Paul Merton on that occasion, so he's taken the lead ahead of Tony Hawks and Clement Freud in that order. And Tony Hawks, will you take the next round, the subject is my favourite schoolteacher. Tell us something about him or her in this game starting now.

TH: The trouble with school is that they don't really teach you anything that's going to be useful to you in later life. For instance when I was at school, I had to do pottery, and since leaving school, I haven't had one occasion when I've had to make a pot. Even in an emergency! But fortunately my favourite teacher at school did interest me greatly. His name was Mister Acres and he taught at me Brighton Hove in Sussex Grammar School For Boys. He took history and he used to turn up with a guitar. And sing songs about that subject. At the Board of Trade Mister Husquarson made reductions in the rate of duty on many raw materials and certain goods ready for sale. And he relaxed the Navigation Act and made reciprocity treaties, and he went on! And I was able to just sing these little ditties in my examinations and everyone thought I was so intelligent and I'm so grateful to him for that! The art teacher on the other hand wasn't really my favourite, although in a way he was for many of the other children in the school, thus making him still relevant to talk about...


NP: Well done! This is such a difficult game, it is very rare that someone goes for the full 60 seconds. And you did it with style and panache, and you didn't hesitate or repeat yourself or deviate. And when that happens he gets a point for speaking as the whistle went, and also a bonus point for not being interrupted. But you're still in second place! That was me making a joke. But you're only one point behind Paul Merton, and Clement, your turn to begin. The subject is petite pwois. Tell us something about petite pwois in this game starting now.

CF: Petite pwois is a French word such as...


NP: Um Tony challenged.

TH: It's two French words!

NP: Two words!


NP: That is a correct challenge so Tony we're going to hear from you again very rapidly and you've 56 seconds to tell us something about petite pwois starting now.

TH: Pwois is a French word. And if you tack the other one, petite, in front of it, you end up with petite pwois. I once had a grande pwois of my own which I used to put on a plate and people wouldn't eat it because they said it's too large. "Can't you go and get a petite one?" And so I did, I scurried off to the back of the house where I kept all the petite pwois in a large basin, marked...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of large.

NP: You had large once before.

TH: I had grande, didn't I?

NP: No, so 32 seconds Clement, you have petite pwois back and you start now.

CF: (speaks in French) er...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Well he did an er which I know is very French but it could be viewed as hesitation.

NP: Yes it was a French er though, it wasn't an er in English, which we would interpret that. Let's see if he can go a bit further and see what happens! So Clement, you know, you didn't er within the context of, I mean, it was a French er. (speaks in French) Continuez, sil vous plait, maintenon, (French) petite pwois (French).


NP: Paul?

PM: I don't know the French for hesitation!

NP: Hesita-shee-on.

PM: Otherwise I would say it!

NP: Right, you have the subject though, 22 seconds, petite pwois starting now.

PM: Well they're very small peas!


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Obviously he knew nothing more about petite pwois! So I can get back to my brilliant basin of petite pwois at the back of my house story!

NP: Yes you can, and I'd save it because you've got another 20 seconds and you start now.

TH: Everyone was gathered round my...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of everyone.

NP: No, I don't think... no, no, no, I think you're bluffing!

PM: Are you sure?

NP: I'm sure! He didn't say everyone before, no!

PM: Okay.

NP: Right, 18 seconds, petite pwois starting now.

TH: The clouds opened, they said "look out, the petite pwois will get wet!" And so I pushed...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: He's mentioned wet before.

NP: Not in this round! When he was talking about the clouds, he mentioned getting wet. He certainly mentioned wet, but not in this round! My God, he talks a lot but er... in this show, 13 seconds, still petite pwois with you Tony starting now.

TH: And then my favourite teacher came in. He said "give me some of those, they look delicious..."


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation.

NP: Why?

PM: Well Tony said it was a brilliant story!


TH: Listen...

PM: I've been patiently sitting here...

TH: It is a brilliant story when it's uninterrupted!

PM: Really?

TH: Yeah! I'll tell it to you after!

NP: Right, I'll tell you what we'll do. Give Paul a bonus point because we enjoyed the inventiveness of his challenge, but you get a point because you were interrupted Tony. It's still petite pwois and you have eight seconds left starting now.

TH: The restaurant was dark but everybody knew that petite...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Everybody, repetition.

PM: Yes.

NP: Yes, everybody.

TH: Well hang on! The last argument was over everyone, if you remember! Sorry to be picky!

PM: No, no, everybody, it was everybody.

TH: I mean I may have said everybody about 15 minutes ago! I probably did.

NP: It was everybody. I'm sorry, no, it wasn't everyone, it was everybody. Five seconds, with you now Julian, on petite pwois starting now.

JC: Petite pwois are little peas ripped from their mothers' breasts and we enjoy them...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well I don't know, pea, peas don't really have breasts! Do they? A mother pea doesn't have a breast, does it?

NP: They don't, they're not ripped from anybody's breasts, they come from the pod!

PM: That's right!

JC: But I was speaking metaphorically there. They're plucked before they're ready! They're too young to be eaten! It's like eating suckling pig!

NP: You have justified it now very cleverly but I don't think you made that clear when you started...

PM: No! Oh yeah!

NP: And if you're going to be as subtle as that... what?

JC: I don't think Nicholas likes me!

NP: Julian, I love you very much, so I give you the benefit of the doubt. Right and you have one second on petite pwois starting now.

JC: We eat them because...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

CF: I, I buzzed for deviation of you loving Julian very much!

NP: You can love your fellow human beings! I love a lot of people!

PM: Yes.

NP: And Julian happens to be one of them. He's an extremely loveable young man.

PM: Yes.

NP: And you've got half a second on petite pwois starting now.

JC: I think...


NP: So Julian Clary got points in the round including one for speaking as the whistle went and he's leapt forward. He's overtaken Clement Freud, but he is trailing Paul Merton and Tony Hawks, who is now in the lead. And Julian it's your turn to begin, the subject is avoiding income tax.


NP: I don't know why they laugh in Cornwall about that! There are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

JC: I think avoiding income tax is a terrible thing to do. I would happily pay more than I already do. Perhaps the most notable entertainer who avoided his own particular tax was Ken Dodd. He did recover from that and the public still love him. It's one of those crimes that don't seem to be viewed too suspiciously by people in general. But I think it's wicked and...


NP: Ah Tony challenged.

TH: I think repetition of think.

NP: Yes you were thinking a bit too much.

JC: I was.

NP: Yes.

JC: I was thinking about how you don't like me!

NP: I thought I'd established it was quite the reverse! But it doesn't matter. Ah 36 seconds with you Tony on avoiding income tax starting now.

TH: The best way of avoiding income tax is to avoid income. Which is why working for Just A Minute is a tremendous idea. However I have to say it's a great pleasure. I am with, very much, Julian's viewpoint that avoiding income tax is immoral. And generally speaking people do get away with it too often. And I can't be bothered to go on...


TH: It's suddenly turning into a political speech, for goodness sake!

PM: I'll vote for you! I'll vote!

TH: You'll vote for me, will you?

NP: Yes Clement?

CF: Deviation.

TH: I'm sorry, I'm...

NP: Deviation yes.

TH: Yes. And absolute rubbish!

NP: Deviation, what is the deviation?

CF: He, he said I can't go on with it.

NP: Oh I see. Oh I see, it was a subtle challenge instead of hesitation. So right, so anyway, you have the subject Clement, you have 14 seconds on avoiding income tax starting now.

CF: Perhaps the very best way is to move, and keep moving. Also change your name and continue so to do. Smith, Jones, Roberts...


NP: Tony, Tony challenged.

TH: Just in the interests of justice, I don't think he should go on! Otherwise... people are going to write it down and they're going to do it!

NP: We give you a bonus point because we enjoyed what you said. But Clement was interrupted so he gets a point for being interrupted, he keeps the subject and he has four seconds on avoiding income tax starting now.

CF: Not known at this address is an excellent thing to put on a brown envelope...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now equal in the lead with Julian Clary, and they're trailing the other two. And Tony Hawks is now in the lead, one ahead of Paul Merton. I was surprised that nobody in that round actually challenged on the subject. Because you all talked about avoiding income tax, which actually is not illegal. It's evading income tax which is illegal. And Tony it's your turn to begin. Tony the subject is caravans.


NP: I thought that might strike a chord in Cornwall! Caravans, that is one of the things they see throughout the summer. But talk on the subject Tony, 60 seconds starting now.

TH: I've got a sticker on the back of my car which says "if you can read this, someone's nicked my caravan"! Now I don't actually have a caravan myself. My plan is to get a ploperty or even a property...


NP: So Julian you challenged first.

JC: Well ploperty, does that count as deviation?

NP: I think it was either hesitation or deviation from English as we normally speak it. Julian you have 46 seconds, you have caravans and you start now.

JC: Caravans are what common people use to go on holiday with. I saw one as I drove into Fowey and it was parked by the side of the road with net curtains in. And I thought how ridiculous! Who do they think they are! And sometimes they make little white wicker fences all the way round, as if they're marking off their property, like some mongrel dog! I think they should be banned, they're very ugly and unsightly things and goodness knows what conversation goes on inside them. (in Cockney accent) Here, oh gor blimey! Look at that lovely house! That's what we could afford to live, if only we had a bit of money! (normal voice) No, I'm sorry, they're very vulgar, and they're usually white, and sometimes little chintzy things. Oh no, I'm sorry...


NP: My you certainly struck a chord there, Julian! And yes but you challenged first Paul.

PM: Two sorries.

NP: Yes there were two sorries and ...


NP: That is the game! And if we allowed everybody just to indulge themselves so that you can be, have more pleasure, um... well I'm delighted. You'll pleasure yourselves but let us, let us play the game. All right, there are five seconds for you on caravans Paul starting now.

PM: I went on a caravan holiday when I was about 16 years old. It was a static affair, not...


NP: Ah Julian challenged.

JC: How common!


NP: It's very interesting! Half the audience clapped and the other half booed! Anyway Julian we loved the interruption and the remark so you get a bonus point for that because of the response it had from the audience. But Paul gets a point for being interrupted and he keeps the subject and there's half a second to go, caravans starting now.

PM: My mother and father...


NP: Well Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle and gained that extra point. He's now just gone ahead of Tony Hawks who was in the lead, and the other two are trailing a little. And Clement Freud it's your turn to begin. And the subject now is manners. Tell us something about manners in this game starting now.

CF: As most people in Cornwall will know, Manners is the family name of the Duke of Rutland.



CF: I think I'll leave it there!

NP: Well you certainly... you certainly got an amazing response. And I've given out some bonus points to others, so give one to Clement Freud. But Tony, Tony you challenged first.

TH: Well he was so surprised by his own knowledge that he was unable to carry on and he stopped. We call that a hesitation, in the business.

NP: We call it in Just A Minute a definite hesitation.

TH: Yeah.

NP: And you have the subject and you have 50 seconds on manners starting now.

CF: I'm intrigued by the good manners which people have to do at dinner parties very often. You have the food and people say "mmmm, delicious". I...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: It's very picky but there were two haves. Have to do, manners have...

NP: Yes. A tough challenge but it's true, isn't it.

PM: Yeah.

TH: Yeah it's very difficult to join things together without saying that!

NP: You haven't actually endeared yourself to the audience with the challenge Paul. But it's...

PM: No, well, well I can withdraw the challenge.

NP: No, no, it's correct, so I have to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute. You have 41 seconds, tell us something about manners starting now.

PM: In a caravan, manners are very important. If one has had a full dinner, you must always open the window! It's very breezy sometimes in some of these contrivances that you find yourself on holiday. But generally speaking the effort is well worthwhile. Tony mentioned the manners that people have at dinner parties, and perhaps there are...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I'm sure he's repeated something! In the course of joining up all that, he must have repeated something! It's for you to go through it, Nicholas, and work out what it was!

NP: A quick rerun through my mind, I've got a quick retape from the unconscious and brought it forward to the conscious and he did not repeat anything.

TH: Oh okay. Fair enough.

NP: And so when you listen to the repeats of the show, I think you'll see I'm right. Paul, 22 seconds on manners starting now.

PM: Pass the port from the left is something I've never understood. Why does it have to go that way?


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation, you pass the port to the left.

NP: That's right, not from.

PM: From the left.

NP: To the left.

PM: Yes.

CF: I got the point!

PM: Aren't they the same thing?

CF: Yes.

NP: So I don't know how I judge this.

PM: Shall we have a fight?

NP: No, I'm going to leave it to the superior judgement of our audience.

CF: It comes from the right, and it's passed to the left!


NP: The audience have agreed that you are right, Clement! So you have a point, you have the subject, you have 15 seconds, manners starting now.

CF: If you have a plateful of food and you leave a little bit on the side of whatever you're eating from, it is called...


NP: Paul.

PM: Well there was a hesitation there.

NP: So Paul you've got the subject back, six seconds, manners starting now.

PM: How dare you fart before my wife? I didn't know it was her turn! That is...



NP: Julian!

JC: I don't know why I buzzed really, because it was, why, it wasn't deviation at all!

NP: Fortunately for Paul he was interrupted, so he's got one second more to tell us about manners starting now.

PM: Perhaps the most important...


NP: So Paul Merton, again speaking as the whistle went has increased his lead at the end of the round. In fact he's got a considerable number of points and so has Tony Hawks in second place. And the other two have some but not as many. And Paul it's your turn to begin, the subject is the perfect murder. Tell us something about the perfect murder in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: The idea of the perfect murder is you carry out such a crime and not be found out. Alfred Hitchcock made films based on that theme. Perhaps his most successful was called Strangers On A Train. The idea in that particular movie was that two people should murder individuals they had never met. So they would in fact each murder the other person's victim...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of person.

NP: Correct Tony, and you have 36 seconds on the perfect murder starting now.

TH: In the world of comedy we often talk about dying on stage if we're not doing very well. But also we say I murdered them out there last night, if we go down a storm...


NP: Ah Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Three ifs.

NP: I'll give it to you on three ifs. Let's restrain ourselves though on the tiny words. Clement a point to you and the perfect murder and 25 seconds starting now.

CF: The perfect murder is when the victim is totally, thoroughly dead. As opposed to the imperfect murder where the body has a leg or an arm still flailing about, still...


NP: I love it when they create images like that! That caused a ripple through the audience! But Julian you challenged.

JC: Well if the leg or the arm is flaying about, then they're not murdered, are they?

PM: That, that's an imperfect murder.

NP: That's an imperfect murder.

PM: Yes.

NP: No, but this is the perfect murder.

PM: Oh.

NP: And so, that's the subject so the other case is deviation. And it's 11 seconds, the perfect murder starting now.

JC: The perfect murder I consider probable is one in which the body can never be found. So therefore you must dig a large hole and you must remember to take...


NP: Ah Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two musts.

NP: Yes you did say must twice I'm afraid, yes. So Clement you're back in there with a sharp, with two seconds to go, the perfect murder starting now.

CF: Hitchcock was a great man for the perfect murder...


NP: So Paul Merton still in the lead, then is Tony Hawks and then Clement Freud is in third place now having gained points in the round and one for speaking as the whistle went, and then Julian Clary. And Julian it's your turn to begin. Now I know that you love dogs. I don't know if this has been chosen specially for you, teaching an old dog new tricks. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

JC: They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but it's not true. Fanny the wonder dog was 19 when she expired and for the last five years of her life she was deaf. And I managed to teach her sign language so that she could see where I was. And if you held your arms out thus, that meant I'm over here. If you held your arm out like that...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

JC: Two arms.

CF: Two arms.

JC: Yes.

NP: Too many arms, I'm afraid.

PM: Wasn't it arms and arm?

CF: No!


NP: I think it was plural, both.

PM: It doesn't really...


PM: Mind you, it doesn't really qualify as a new trick, does it? Spotting somebody with their arms out?

CF: If the dog is blind?

PM: Yes!

NP: Julian you have the benefit of the doubt, you have this audience on your side, you've 38 seconds available on teaching an old dog new tricks starting now.

JC: Eventually Fanny died...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I didn't think I'd be saying this tonight, but repetition of Fanny!


NP: That was his dog, yes. So...

CF: Did he say fannies before?


NP: Oh give Clement another bonus point! He's working hard for it! But Paul gets a point for a correct challenge and you have got the subject of Fanny and... no, no, I'm so sorry! It gets in your brain sometimes and... You've got 36 seconds, teaching an old dog new tricks starting now.

PM: I had a labrador, it was 15 years old. And I taught it to play the trumpet. And what a fantastic noise it got out of this instrument. You wouldn't think it possible. It was the Humphrey Lyttelton of the canine world! No sooner would it walk into a room than an excited visitor would say "give us a tune, Arnold". That happened to be its name, a strange name perhaps... oh!


NP: Clement your light came on fractionally first. You have 17 seconds on teaching an old dog new tricks starting now.

CF: We had a 16 year old standard poodle called Polly. Whom we taught to do a three card trick which was extremely difficult because he was left handed!


NP: Oh! Oh Tony, yes...

TH: Well what's this dog doing with hands? Surely paws would be...

NP: Yeah, deviation on every count! There we are, but five seconds, teaching an old dog new tricks starting now.

TH: We had a 17 year old dachshund that we taught to do downhill skiing. And it was so impressive! You would see him at the...


NP: Well what a hysterical round! My goodness me, it was difficult to keep a straight face! Anyway let me give you the final situation. Um Julian only just finished in fourth place. He was a few points behind er...


NP: Another ohhh please, Clement Freud was then in third place. Awwww!


NP: And Tony Hawks who did extremely well, he was leading for quite a long time, he was in second place.


NP: But with 22 points which is a very high score, in this game, out in the lead was Paul Merton. We say Paul, you are the winner this week! So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. Also thank Claire Bartlett for helping me with the score, and blowing her whistle so elegantly. And we thank our producer and director, that is Claire Jones. We're indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game which we all love playing. And we are very grateful to this lovely Cornish audience here. From our panel, from me Nicholas Parsons, thank you. Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!