NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, you're more than kind. 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 not only in this country but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show this week four talented and distinctive players of the game. Yes you are right! And it's a pleasure to welcome back, the clever and sometimes surreal humour of Paul Merton. The provocative and sometimes outrageous humour of Graham Norton. The individual and sometimes sardonic humour of Clement Freud. And the charming and feminine humour of Liza Tarbuck. Would you please welcome all four of them! And as usual I am going to ask them to speak if they can for Just A Minute or even less on the subject I give them, they will try and do that if they can without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Beside me normally sits the elegant Janet Staplehurst, but unfortunately she can't be with us this week. So instead of her we have the lovely Claire Bartlett who's going to help me keep the score, she'll blow Janet's whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Radio Theatre which is in the heart of Broadcasting House which is at the very heart of everything which is best in British broadcasting. And in front of us we have a really hearty, fine British audience ready to cheer us on our way. As we start the show this week with Graham. The subject, discos. Tell us something about discos in this game, starting now.

GRAHAM NORTON: Tragically I do still go to discos, and I stand in the middle of the dance floor while young people gather and shout "taxi for Mister Mutton!" It is an appalling spectacle to see! I weep at the sight of myself when sober. And of course, that's the key with discos. Oh...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Hesitation.

NP: No, I don't think so! No, no...

GN: Are you sure? (laughs)

NP: I'm quite sure! I disagree with the challenge so Graham you have another point, you keep the subject, 39 seconds available, discos starting now.

GN: Forget the dangers of drunk driving! Where are the signs warning us about the dangers of don't drink...


NP: Paul challenged.


NP: Yes!

GN: He's right! I'm loving this crowd! I'm loving this crowd!

PM: Two dangers.

NP: Yes Paul, a correct challenge, and you have discos, you have 32 seconds and your time starts now.

PM: Unlike Graham, I've never really been much of a disco fan. I've always wanted to be in a situation where I can talk. I don't like loud music particularly, I've never cared for dancing. So that does kind of rule out the discotheque. I know somebody when I was much younger who used to love going to these things. And he would tell me all about them. He'd say you'd get there about half past seven...


NP: Clement FReud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of there.

NP: Yes you'd been there before.

CF: Third.

NP: You look...

PM: I'm not particularly impressed by that challenge!

NP: No!

PM: Very small word!

NP: But it was a correct challenge, so I have to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute. And Clement you have another point and you have the subject and you have 10 seconds and it is discos and it is starting now.

CF: Ten seconds is about long enough to throw discos 45 metres...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well that was a hesitation.

NP: Yes it was, I give you the benefit of the doubt. So... I balance it out, I have to make discretion. But tough challenge against Paul, so Paul gets the benefit of the doubt and he gets it back again. I think that's fair, it's justice, I have to try and see it. So I have to try and balance things. Paul, four seconds, discos is with you starting now.

PM: Donna Summer was known as the Queen of Disco in the 1970s...



NP: Ooooh Clement challenged just before that.

CF: I just wanted to balance it out!

NP: Well what I will do there as I like to do on these occasions if someone gives a clever interruption like that. We give you a bonus point Clement because they enjoyed your comment and reaction...

CF: And one for when the whistle went!

NP: No, no! No, no, Paul had the subject when the whistle went so he gets a point for being interrupted and also one for speaking when the whistle went. So he gets two points. Liza your turn to begin, the subject, a certain age. What a nice subject! Tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

LIZA TARBUCK: When cur memorying over your past life, it might be that you occur to yourself as... (laughs)


LT: You know what? I knew I should have broken myself in earlier, with a comment!

NP: Oh no!

LT: Cur memorying... what do I mean?

GN: Is that the first time you've spoken today?

LT: It is! I walked the dog at 2, and I haven't seen a soul! Oh go on!

NP: You've been talking all day probably and suddenly you have to talk under these rules, it all goes...

LT: It's a nightmare!

NP: But the audience loved it! The way those few words...


LT: Thank you so much.

NP: You obviously say four words and absolutely have the audience embrace you like that. I think it's lovely but you were challenged. It was a correct challenge. Graham Norton, it was you, you have a certain age and you have 53 seconds starting now.

GN: I think 11 is quite a certain age. Because you're certain you'll be happy, fall in love. No-one's told you you'll have hair on your back, and last Saturday you might sink a cue tip in one ear and suddenly be deaf in both! I don't understand it but my voice is echoing round my skull. Oh I'm rambling now! Still! A certain age can also be a lady of a certain age, do you see? I hope you're following this. It's fascinating! Get a pen quickly! I've only got another few seconds to go. I...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: No, he's got longer than that!

LT: That's a horrible one! (laughs)

NP: We're going to give him another bonus point because he got a round of applause, it's very difficult to judge in this case. Clement did you have a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute though? No, obviously not! So you have another point Graham...

GN: Do I? Good!

NP: Yes!

GN: I don't understand it!

NP: And you have 23 seconds, a certain age starting now.

GN: A certain age or pour-certain-ah as they say in the French. I believe that was a very good film! Probably made by Francois Truveau or some such clever clogs in that country. I watched it in university perhaps, reading the subtitles all the while going blind through cider. I sometimes think on about...



NP: Paul challenged just before...


GN: It's good!

NP: Paul you got in with half a second, what is the challenge?

PM: I thought there was a sort of stumbling hesitation there.

NP: he was stumbling a lot, I don't know about a hesitation! He stumbled, listen, I gave it in your favour last time, on, on the hesitation, this time I must give the benefit of the doubt to Paul and say Paul, we give you hesitation. And you have half a second, a certain age starting now.

PM: Fifty-three...



NP: Oh no!

GN: I... A slight hesitation, I felt!

NP: No, there was no hesitation! So Paul was speaking as the whistle went, gained a point for that and he has increased his lead over the other three. Right! And er I won't say what the other situation. He's got twice as many as Graham and Clement and X times as many as Liza!

LT: I can't think why!

NP: Right, Clement Freud, your turn to begin, or we'd like you to take the next round. It's my favourite children's programme and you have 60 seconds Clement starting now.

CF: I am hugely opposed to favouring some children over others. And therefore I would like not to speak about my favourite children's programme, but my children's favourite programme.


NP: Liza you challenged.

LT: He's hesitated for applause, which I just saw my way in to increase my score.

NP: That's right, he did. He tried to ride the laugh which he thought was coming...

LT: But it, but it came! I just sneaked in the back door!

NP: In Just A Minute you have to try and go through your laugh, what we call riding the laugh. And I call that hesitation yes. And you could have had him on pomposity as well! But ah...

LT: He's being grammatically correct, aren't you Clement?

NP: He is, yes.

PM: Are we allowed to challenge for pomposity?

NP: No, no, no...

LT: Oh please!

NP: But I thought it might get a laugh, so I said it! And Liza you have the subject of my favourite children's programme and 43 seconds starting now.

LT: When I was a child, I used to enjoy watching The Magic Roundabout. As I got older, unfortunately I found out that there were various rumours connected with each character which ah Phillida law has actually said aren't, aren't true!


NP: Graham challenged, yes?

GN: Oh was that horrible of me, but you did say aren't aren't!

LT: Yeah I know.

GN: I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that!

LT: Hands up, I can't speak! You know what happened today? I've had the inside of my mouth made over with felt! It's a nightmare!

NP: It's what happens if...

GN: It looks lovely!

NP: It's what happens when you come on Just A Minute, Liza! It is, it is difficult. Right, it's my favourite children's programme, you have the subject now Graham and you have 25 seconds starting now.

GN: My favourite children's programme while growing up of course was Wanderly Wagon. Now people living in Britain were deprived of this treat, nay, gem of a show. The whole point of the thing was that it was in a caravan which was wonderful, and people travelled around in it...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: That was hesitation.

NP: I think it was definitely hesitation. More than hesitation.

GN: I'm not making it up!

NP: But you were taking the audience with you. They were in that caravan there, I could see it in their faces. Clement, the subject is, on the card, my favourite children's programme, and you have three, oh, you only have three seconds, very clever!

LT: Oh!

NP: Starting now.

CF: Prime Minister's Question Time...



NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well deviation.

NP: Why?

PM: It's not a children's programme, Prime Minister's Question Time.

NP: Well it depends on your mentality, I suppose.

PM: Well do you think children sit there while Prime...

NP: No, let's be fair within the rules of Just A Minute...

CF: My children's favourite programme!

NP: Yes...

PM: Is Prime Minister's Question Time?

CF: Yeah! They love it!

NP: I think ah Paul, on every count he's justified it. So he gets a point for being interrupted, he gets a point for speaking when the whistle went...

PM: What do they like about it best, do you think? Is it the theme music?

NP: Right, there we are! So at the end of that round, Clement Freud moved forward. He's now one point behind Paul Merton, followed by Graham Norton and Liza Tarbuck in that order. And whose turn is it to begin? It is Paul Merton, back with you. Paul, Cleopatra's needle. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PM: Well she wanted to be the Empress of Rome and what annoyed her was that she wasn't. She tried to have it off with Mark Anthony and that was no good. Then Julius Caesar and people used to say to her "listen Cleopatra, it doesn't matter if you don't become what you want to be." She said "it's very important to me, I'm very... very very very!


NP: Very, Liza you got in this time first.

PM: Very very very very very.

LT: Very very, yes.

NP: Cleopatra's needle is with you Liza and you have 43 seconds starting now.

LT: Cleopatra's needle lodges itself on the embankment and interestingly enough, there are some chunks out of it, which apparently are from shrapnel from London being...


LT: Oh London London!

NP: Paul?

PM: Two froms.

NP: Two froms.

LT: Oh, two froms? Thank the Lord! I thought it was worse!

PM: You did very.

NP: It was a tough one. You criticised for the away being a tough challenge, from is even tougher isn't it? Anyway Paul, correct, 33 seconds, tell us more about Cleopatra's needle starting now.

PM: Not many people know that it's made out of doughnuts and jelly and it's a marvellous invention which was first brought to our attention many years ago when it was sailed from Egypt by a man called Mister Bishop. He was an individual, a gentleman if you like, who decided there was money to be made from exporting a marvellous sight from the other side of the world and bringing it across a couple of hemispheres and plonking it on the London embankment...


NP: Liza challenged.

LT: Well he's just talking rubbish!

NP: Actually... no he actually isn't talking rubbish.

LT: He said it was made of jelly and doughnuts!

GN: What, that it was made out of jelly and doughnuts?

NP: Yeah but...

PM: It might be rubbish to you, it's a career to me!

NP: So you didn't make your challenge specific so what is your challenge then?

LT: Well he said it was made of jelly and doughnuts which I ran with!

NP: I thought you meant the other part...

LT: I am slow tonight, I think I've proved that!

NP: Jelly and doughnuts is a correct challenge, but I thought you were challenging on the fact that it was brought over here.

LT: By Mister Bishop?

PM: Mister Bishop...

NP: No, it was brought over from Heliopolois.

LT: By Mister Bishop?

PM: Yeah!

GN: The guy from Neighbours?

LT: Is that Emily Bishop's husband?

GN: He went missing for a long time, he's probably drowned. He fell off the rock!

NP: In 18...

GN: That's what he was doing! He was transported here by Cleopatra's needle.

NP: Everything else he said was correct, except the jelly and doughnuts!

PM: Yeah!

NP: And that's what you want to have him for.

LT: Yes.

NP: All right you've got it. Um...

GN: Hurray!

LT: I'm sorry!

NP: Eleven seconds, Cleopatra's needle starting now.


NP: And he's, Paul's challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: She's still getting over the shock of the jelly and doughnuts! And the fact that it was brought over from Heliopolis! She didn't know that before, she's still trying to digest that information. So I disagree Liza, you still have 10 and a half seconds, and Cleopatra's needle with you starting now.

LT: As a sewer...


NP: Clement?

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: She didn't hesitate.


NP: You get another point for a wicked challenge...

LT: Thanks for that!

NP: And you have nine seconds for Cleopatra's needle starting now.


NP: Ah yes, Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition, she hesitated again!

NP: This could go on for the rest of the show! I'm going to give you another point Liza because I don't think you hesitated but I'm going to say you have now nine and a half seconds, and I do want you start promptly...

LT: I know!

NP: ... because I don't want to adjudicate on the next challenge.

LT: I'm under pressure!

NP: Cleopatra's needle starting now.

LT: Cleopatra's needle was made of steel. It was massive and she used it...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: It's not made of steel either, in fairness.

NP: No, it's made of stone.

LT: No, this particular sewing needle was!

GN: I'm so sorry!

LT: She used to darn Empress Tiberius's socks with it!

NP: That's right.

LT: She did! Thanks for that!

GN: And a nasty hole in her asp!

LT: (laughs) To the monument!

NP: So you justified it Liza and there are five seconds for you to continue with Cleopatra's needle starting now.

LT: Her embroidery was second to none. People would come all up the Tigress and...



NP: Yes you challenged?

PM: Bizarre zoological sexual practices!

NP: I know but it's a good laugh...

PM: Deviation.

NP: Yes. Deviation yes, the Nile, yes...

LT: Guilty!

NP: I know but it doesn't matter, right. It was a lovely thought! And Paul you've got in with half a second...

LT: Oh!

NP: Cleopatra's needle starting now.

PM: Cleopatra's needle...


NP: Right so Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went has increased his lead, and er Liza Tarbuck has leapt forward in that round. And then Clement Freud and Graham Norton in that order. And Graham your turn to begin. I'm sure this subject's been chosen specially for you, celebrity weddings! Can you tell us something about celebrity weddings in Just A Minute starting now.

GN: Celebrities, unlike normal people, don't get married in church or registry offices, but rather in the pages of OK magazine! Now I've only been to one celebrity wedding but it was quite a corker! It was Liza Minnelli marrying David - oh my God, have you seen him - Gest! And I was astonished because when I did see the photographs I thought oh, they used black and white film. But no, they were in colour, just everyone looked like that! It was a wild old day! Strangely moving! After the ceremony, oh let's call it a freak show, we moved off to the reception. I can't believe these people fed me and I'm now slagging them off like this! But never mind, I paid for my own flight! But er...


GN: Oh that's hesitation, bad!


NP: Paul challenged.

LT: That was breathing!

NP: Oh I'm glad we thought of that subject for you, they enjoyed that er Graham. You challenged Paul?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation yes. I'm not surprised with what he said about friends. But anyway, but in spite of that, you enjoyed the wedding?

GN: Oh it was a lovely day out! Thanks Liza! Thanks David! Wedding to follow, oh no, the present! (laughs)

NP: Ah Paul you have 10 seconds, you tell us something about celebrity weddings starting now.

PM: One of the first celebrity weddings was Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, this was in the era when film stars suddenly became the most famous people in the world...


NP: Ah Clement Freud.

CF: Famous twice.

NP: Two famous.

PM: Oh.

NP: Yes and Clement...


PM: You're on your own madam! Unless somebody's just let the air out of their girlfriend!

NP: I think it was just your fan who came in actually.

PM: Oh was it?

NP: Yes. But Clement you got in with half a second on celebrity weddings... oh! Starting now.

CF: Tom...



NP: No, Liza challenged.

LT: I was just being a smart alec! I went for hesitation!

NP: I know, he did it to you...

LT: I just fancied it, you know what I mean?

NP: But it wasn't correct so...

LT: It wasn't.

NP: Clement Freud...

CF: Can I go on with...

NP: Yes, you... you've only got a quarter of a second now but you...

CF: I have a grandson called Tom who does celebrity weddings and if anyone or any listener or anyone in hearing, um...

NP: I think it's much better that we play Just A Minute! Clement Freud's family shenanigans! Right um Liza...

LT: Ah!

NP: Your turn to begin, and the subject is things you should never do in a lift. And there are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

LT: Dry-fry Lincolnshire sausages on a baby belling. Inflate a life raft. Urinate into balloons and then cut them with scissors over people that are standing there. Let rip with some hellish passage of wind. And yodel. Ah sing a Cliff Richard song in a loud and unruly fashion. Invite over eight very large people to pogo up and down as you're going to your journey or destination. Jam an elephant in the door. Rip somebody's clothes off and lick the person next to you. Cover my legs in jelly and call me Brenda. I am struggling, I don't mind telling you...



LT: Thank you!

NP: Well you went for 20, no, you went for 43 seconds.

LT: You're joking!

NP: Yes! Very good!

LT: Do you know what? I wish I wore a watch! I really wish I wore a watch! But I don't!

NP: Mmmm!

LT: Consequently one of you swines has removed this off me!

NP: I think, I think to go off in that list of things like that was absolutely brilliant in 43 seconds. But unfortunately you did er were challenged. What is the challenge, let's see if it was a correct one.

PM: It was hesitation.

NP: It was a hesitation.

LT: Yes yes.

NP: And well she might have. But you got the round of applause, they showed how they appreciated your talent. Paul a correct challenge, 32 seconds available, things you should never do in a lift starting now.

PM: Plummet!


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, Clement...

PM: But that, that's all!

NP: I know it's all.

PM: There's nothing else, everything else is perfectly permissible in a lift.

NP: But in Just A Minute if you pause, you lose the subject. Clement got in first, 16 seconds Clement, things you should never do in a lift starting now.

CF: Troo, trooping the colour...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Previously unexplored speech impediment! Rendering repetition.

NP: It was a repetition of the letter T, wasn't it?

PM: T-t-yeah!

NP: So we give you the benefit of the doubt Paul, you have 15 seconds, things you should never do in a lift starting now.

PM: One of the many things you should never do in a lift, particularly if it's crowded, is to ask the other people around you to join in with your rendition of one of the worst songs...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of one.

NP: Yes.

LT: Oh!

NP: You had the word one before.

LT: Oh!

PM: Yes you're right, I did, yes yes.

NP: What one shouldn't do in a lift.

PM: Yes absolutely.

NP: Right, four seconds Clement, you've got in, things you should never do in a lift starting now.

CF: I wouldn't recommend a eightsome reel...


NP: Liza you challenged.

LT: Just a pause after reel.

NP: That's right yes.

LT: Which I think is hesitation.

NP: That's right.

CF: I spoke for four seconds, that's the time.

NP: No, it took four and a half.

CF: Ah.

LT: Are you watching your clock there?

CF: No.

LT: You rogue!

NP: His inner clock is not going at the same pace as the one beside me. Half a second Liza, things you should never do in a lift starting now.

LT: Try and park and...


NP: So at the end of that round Liza and Clement both got points, they moved forward. Paul Merton is still in the lead. He's followed by Clement Freud and then Liza Tarbuck and then Graham Norton in that order. And Clement will you take the next subject which is deja vu. Will you tell us something about deja vu in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: No!


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: He just stopped!

NP: Right Clement gets a bonus point because he got a big laugh and the audience appreciated his joke. If you're going to make jokes and you have to pause as a result of them, you deserve a bonus. But you got a point because you got a correct challenge Graham, and you have 57 seconds, deja vu starting now.

GN: Deja vu or (French accent) deja vu (normal voice) as they say in the French, is an extraordinary expression. Roughly translated, it means summer television schedule! Other ways it can be used that I particularly like were in a horror film once where an American teen woman, screaming after another bloody murder, went "oh it's like deja vu all over again!" I swear to you that's true, and they filmed it! Deja vu or as they say in French, (French accent) deja vu...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of French.

NP: As they say in French, yes. You said it before, yeah I know. Clement you've got in with 18 seconds on deja vu starting now.

CF: If you've seen 101 Dalmatians 93 times, it could be called deja vu meaning you have seen it before. I've said seen twice...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Seen three times.

NP: Mmm right and Paul you've got in with eight seconds on deja vu starting now.

PM: It's that curious feeling when you're walking down a country lane in the middle of summer, and suddenly over a hedge you hear the warbling of a thrush. And you think to yourself...


NP: Right so we're moving now into the last round. And er you'd be interested to hear what the state of play is the points at this moment. Well Clement Freud with the other points in that round has now actually taken the lead. He's one ahead of Paul Merton, but he's closely followed by Liza Tarbuck and then Graham Norton is bringing up the rear. Oh what a wonderful subject to finish this show on! (laughs) It's er facial hair! And Graham, and I should explain to our listeners, someone who's never sported facial hair before, which is Paul Merton, has come fully bewigged today and um...

PM: No I haven't! I'm completely clean shaven! Explain that visual image to the listeners!

NP: Well I said at the beginning of the show that sometimes Paul goes for surreal humour and that is an example of it. In other words, in his mind he's shaved but to us we can see he's got a beard and moustache. Right, have I answered your question? Graham we'd like you to begin, it's your turn actually, facial hair, 60 seconds starting now.

GN: Facial hair would be all well and good if it stayed where it's meant to be. In the general beard area. Sadly mine has decided to start a trek up to examine my eyeballs and it's getting very close! Meanwhile my fiendishly foppish boyish fringe seems fascinated by the back of my head, and is fast making a trek there. Why must the hair be so curious? Why can't it stay where it is...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Sorry, no, I was going to, repetition of hair, but it is facial hair. Sorry.

NP: So an incorrect challenge, because that's not correct. Hair is in the subject, you can repeat the phrase or individually the words. So with you Graham, facial hair, 33 seconds starting now.

GN: Facial hair can be very useful, particularly for a doctor if they want to know what a bearded man's been eating over the last 24 hours. So much can be discovered! Little bits of egg yolk, yummy! Or perhaps the head of a lager...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of head. The back of the head before.

NP: The back of the head. Yes.

GN: Yelle genius! Very good!

NP: So Paul you've got in with 17 seconds on facial hair starting now.

PM: As Nicholas pointed out earlier, I do have a beard and a moustache at the moment. And the reason why I grew them is because I can walk around the streets of Great Britain and not be recognised. Which is very good because I owe an awful lot of people money! There's a man who lives at...


NP: I want to give them the final situation. And it's a very interesting and fair one. Graham Norton finished only just in fourth place. He was...


NP: I know but it was so lovely having him on the show. And he was a few points behind Liza Tarbuck, and it was also lovely having her on the show. And she was four points behind two people who have fought it out, neck and neck, and very apt and fairly, they finished up with the same number of points. They are the joint winners, Paul Merton and Clement Freud! A round of applause! Thank you! It only remains for me to say thank you to our four outstanding players of the game, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Liza Tarbuck and Clement Freud. I also thank Claire Bartlett for helping me with the score so admirably, first time she's done it, blew her whistle with panache. We also thank our producer director, Claire Jones for her contribution. And we are indebted to the creator of this game, Ian Messiter. And we are also very grateful to this lovely audience here in the Radio Theatre in London for their contribution, who have cheered us on our way. From them, from me Nicholas Parsons, and from our panel, thank you and tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Till then good-bye!