NOTE: Lottie Barker's first appearance blowing the whistle.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my infinite pleasure to welcome our many listeners not only in this country but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show this week four distinctive, dynamic and diverse personalities who are once more going to display their spontaneous wit, their verbal dexterity and ingenuity as they try and speak on a subject that I give them, and they do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And those four people are, on my right it's Paul Merton and Clement Freud. And on my left Linda Smith and Ross Noble. Would you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Lottie Barker who's going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Marlowe Theatre in that beautiful cathedral, historic city of Canterbury. And we have in front of us...


NP: In that wonderful county of Kent, the garden of England. And we have in front of us a fine Kentish audience ready to cheer us on our way. And we begin the show with Clement Freud. And how apt can you be, the subject is Canterbury tales. Clement, tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, and would have us believe that it was done on horseback by 31 people. He wrote
"At night there came into that hostelry..."
meaning the Tarboard at Suffolk,
"Full nine and twenty in a company,
Of sundry folk, by aventure fallen
In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all,
That toward Canterbury would ride;
The chambers and the stables were wide,
And well we were esed at our best.
But shortly, here the sunny had to rest,
So had I spoken to them every one,
That I was of their fellowship anon..."



NP: Well sometimes in Just A Minute I give out bonus points. But I'm going to give it out right away for that because to suddenly have a subject thrown at you, and recite some of Geoffrey Chaucer's words like that, was a real... piece de resistance. So a bonus point before we even start. Linda Smith challenged, what's your challenge Linda?

LINDA SMITH: Ah it's very lovely, um, but two fellowships.

NP: Yes there was a fellowship, you did repeat fellowship.

PAUL MERTON: Well strictly speaking...

LS: You can't have too many!

PM: That's Chaucer's fault! That's not Clement's fault! If anything, you should take a bonus point off Geoffrey Chaucer!

NP: Clement's going through it in his mind and wondering if he did repeat fellowship. You did say it at the beginning and later on. So ah Linda, you have a correct challenge, and in this game you get a point for that, and you take over the subject of Canterbury Tales, and there are 23 seconds starting now.

LS: In the Canterbury Tales the p-pilgrims to Canterbury...


NP: Ross you challenged.

ROSS NOBLE: There was a bit of a pa-pa-pah-pah!

LS: No! Actually that was Chaucerian English!

RN: Oh really?

LS: I wouldn't expect you to know that, Ross.

RN: It sounded, it sounded a little bit to me like the Pearl and Dean advert! Pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-papapa!

LS: Well it was actually. It's very similar, it goes pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pilgrims.

NP: Yes. Ross we do interpret that as hesitation.

RN: Thanks.

NP: So you have the subject, you have Canterbury Tales, you have 19 seconds starting now.

RN: The best one was the Parson's Tale. That was where a man got three people together in a radio environment...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation, there was no Parson's Tale.


NP: He's right, there was no Parson's Tale. I thought you were going to say something lovely...


RN: Hang on!

PM: That's not Geoffrey Chaucer, is it?

RN: I'll tell you what, the amount of gigs where he turned up, just...

NP: Is there somebody in the audience who thinks there was a Parson's Tale?


NP: Right.

RN: But the best thing is right, it's the only one I know! Because I was wandering around today and I got a book and I just flicked straight to the back.

NP: Ross you have a point for an incorrect challenge, you have the subject...

RN: Okay.

NP: And there are 14 seconds on the Parson's Tale... no, no, I'm sorry! On...

RN: You're, you're so used to offering a bit of Parsons tail around town, aren't you!


NP: I could take that further, but it's radio, and I think we'll respect people's sensitivities. Um, 14 seconds, Canterbury Tales starting now.

RN: There was a cook's story as well, I believe, which involved a young boy on a moped who would go to...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: (laughing) There was a Cook's Tale, he didn't have a moped.

NP: He didn't have a moped.

PM: It was a Harley Davidson, wasn't it.

RN: Yeah it was.

NP: In your fantasy world, maybe. What a pity. Clement, correct challenge, you have eight seconds, the subject is now, or still Canterbury Tales starting now.

CF: The Canterbury Tales...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Sorry, I forgot to mention it was a donkey that looked a bit like a moped.

NP: It's too late now Ross.

RN: Sorry!

NP: If you're not careful, if you do too many interruptions, the other people get points.

RN: I'm meant to be trying to win this? Sorry!

NP: But I won't charge any points on this occasion...

CF: Why not?

NP: Well I suppose that's only fair, you were interrupted...

CF: Yeah!

NP: ... and those are the rules of the game, that's how it works. Right Clement, another point to you, you love getting your points, and I'm giving them to you! Right and you have seven seconds, Canterbury Tales, starting now.

CF: But nay the less, while I have time and space,
Ere that I farther in this taly pace,
To tell you all the condition
Of each of them, so as they seem to me...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud, so naturally he's in the lead at the end of that round. It made me think...

PM: Clement's just said that he knows the whole of The Canterbury Tales.

NP: Well I'm afraid we haven't got time for it all.

PM: Haven't we? It's an achievement though, isn't it.

NP: It's an achievement, yes. I just think it shows it's taken him all these years to show that his education wasn't wasted!


NP: No, I didn't mean that as a snide remark! I was trying to pay him a compliment. And to show that he was a well-educated man.

LS: It is a useful trick, I think, to be able to do that.

NP: Yes.

RN: He might be in a pub quiz, can you do the whole of The Canterbury Tales?

NP: I think we'll get on with Just A Minute. Ross would you take the next round, the subject is mumbo jumbo. We have a lot of that in Just A Minute because they have to keep going under pressure. There are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

RN: A lot of people think that donkeys disguised as mopeds is mumbo jumbo. But I'm here to prove them wrong. I have a catalogue backstage, which I would like to show to each and every one of you, to make sure that my particular train of thought on that is correct. But mumbo jumbo of course. There once was a family called the Bojumbo family. There was Mum Bojumbo, there was Dad Bojumbo, and of course as well as that who could forget the little...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Well I don't know really. Is this a repetition of Bojumbo?

RN: No, it's on the card!

NP: No, no...

PM: Part of it's on the card.

NP: Part of it's on the card. You can repeat either the word or the, but you've actually split a word and created a new word, Bojumbo. So...

RN: I should have an extra point for that then!

NP: The words on the card are mumbo and jumbo. So I think strictly within the rules of Just A Minute, I mean, I have to be fair. But I think that's a correct challenge Paul. So he split the words and Bojumbo...


RN: I'd run out of family members though! That's the trouble!

NP: I've got rules to stick to...

PM: Well, six people don't agree with it!

NP: I know.

PM: Out of 500!

NP: I know you have your favourites, and I know, but please, one has to make these difficult decisions. Um Paul, a correct challenge...

PM: All right, Nicholas, yeah.

NP: Thirty-three seconds, mumbo jumbo starting now.

PM: When the first elephant appeared at Regent's Park in about 1862, the general public were baffled as to what it actually was. Many of them hadn't seen an elephant before. And they wondered whether this strange creature was an amalgamation of different beasts. If you look at the trunk, you could say it's like an anteater. If you look at the huge backside of the creature, it could be something that you've seen once standing against a wall in deepest Romford...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Er a little hesitation there, but I think there was a repe, not a hesitation, I mean deviation.

NP: Why?

LS: Oh you've confused me now with your questions.

NP: What was the deviation, my love?

LS: Oh, he did something. What did he do? I don't know.

NP: He didn't hesitate, that was your first challenge.

LS: No, what did he do? Oh there was a repetition before that.

RN: He repeated...

NP: This is too late now, it's too late.

LS: Oh.

NP: Your first challenge was hesitation, and I have to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute.

LS: Well I thought he did hesitate a little bit, sort of stumbled. Is that called hesitation?

NP: No, no, he kept going quite wonderfully...

LS: Oh did he? Oh all right.

RN: Nicholas, he did actually repeat creature.

NP: I know, but don't say it now because you lost out!

RN: But, but I was miles away, I forgot to press my button!

NP: I know! He did repeat something but nobody spotted it. Paul...

LS: I was miles away and I did press my button, and that's even worse!

PM: Well I can't help you! I wasn't listening to a word of it! Absolute rubbish!

NP: I know but...

PM: I'm surprised they broadcast that kind of stuff!

NP: Well we do in Just A Minute! You'd be surprised!

PM: Do you? Do you really?

NP: I've heard some other lovely rubbish from you on occasions Paul, which is memorable. You have two seconds, you have an incorrect challenge, a point for that of course, two seconds, mumbo jumbo starting now.

PM: If you say it the other way it's jumbo mumbo, and that doesn't make any sense at all! Did you say two seconds? That's more than two seconds...


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking when the whistle went, and gained an extra point for doing so. He's now just one point behind Clement Freud who's in the lead. You, you spotted the repetition but didn't challenge for it.

RN: No, I...

NP: What was it?

RN: What?

NP: What was the repetition?

LS: It was creature.

RN: Creature. Repetition of creature.

NP: Yeah and he also repeated the word look.

PM: Did I?

NP: Yes. I say this because I do get letters saying "why didn't you tell them?" I've told them now. So right...

PM: You say you get these letters but nobody's ever actually seen them!

NP: Because I answer them, I'm very very conscientious in that respect.

PM: Shall I tell you something Nicholas?

NP: What?

PM: It's me that sends those letters!

NP: I wondered why they were so illiterate! I have to get back occasionally Paul! No ill feeling meant! Right, so Linda your turn, will you take the subject, the American dream. What a lovely subject. Talk on it if you can, 60 seconds starting now.

LS: The American dream, well, I suppose the American dream is epitomised by George W Bush, a man who has worked his way up from a humble President's son to be the first citizen of his country by sheer graft! And I mean that in the true sense of the word. I believe the American dream to have served other people less well. For example, the salesman in Death Of A person-who-does-the-job-I-just-mentioned, a very well-known American play. Willie Loman, the American dream doesn't work out very well for him, because he dies in fact, so that could hardly be worse! Another person for whom the American dream failed is the... person...



LS: Thank you for your pity!

NP: You, you went, you went for 47 seconds.

LS: That's a first!

NP: No, it is very difficult in this game. And you kept going through that wonderful applause you got. You had to keep going because you otherwise would have been interrupted. Wonderful, and they enjoyed it so much. But you were challenged by Paul, what was it?

PM: Repetition of person.

NP: Yes, I'm afraid there was.

LS: Yes.

NP: Twelve seconds Paul, you tell us something about the American dream starting now.

PM: It is the belief in American society that one day, it doesn't matter who you are, you can grow up and become President of the United States of America. And just look at the...


NP: Er Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition of America.

NP: Yes because it's American on here.

PM: Oh yes.

NP: You can repeat the words on the card, but not America, it's American on the card. So well listened Clement, two seconds to go, tell us something about the American dream starting now.

CF: Sleepless In Seattle never ever had an American dream...


NP: The un, Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point, he's increased his lead over Paul Merton. But I think the irony of this particular show is Linda Smith went wonderfully for 47 seconds, had you in stitches out there, and she didn't get any points at all.

LS: Not one? Not one?

NP: No, because you were challenged, you see.

LS: Oh!

NP: They got the subject over, they get points for challenging, correct challenge...

LS: So it's a cruel world!

NP: It's a cruel game, but you are appreciated.

LS: Thank you Nicholas!

NP: Yes and strictly by this audience here. Paul will you take the next round, the subject pizzaz. That's a good subject isn't it. Tell us something about pizzaz in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Pizzaz, it's an extraordinary word. Let me spell it for you. P-I-Z, well I think the rest of it you can imagine! It's an extraordinary term... oh!


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Too extraordinary.

NP: Yes I'm afraid so. Clement, correct challenge, 52 seconds available, tell us something about pizzaz starting now.

CF: Pizzaz is the plural of pizza, and you can get them almost anywhere. Anchovies, sardine, beef, oregano...


CF: ...parsley, chive...

NP: Ross has challenged. Ross, your challenge?

RN: Oh just let him have it!

NP: You were just irritated by the fact that he can...

RN: He's listing again! But no, it's good. I was thinking he was...

LS: Ross, I was writing down that recipe!

RN: I think, I think there was like a slight hesitation. But then, I don't know.

NP: No, no, no, he was listing and it just got to you, didn't it.

RN: Yes it did! Dohh!

NP: Yes, pizzaz is still with you, another point as well, 42 seconds available starting now.

CF: If you go to any pisaria and ask for pizzaz, they will know exactly what you want. Might ask, request information...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Actually, I suppose it would be deviation from the Italian language. Shouldn't it be pizzeria rather than pisaria?

NP: Oh!

PM: Well I didn't, it didn't sound like they were selling pizzas!

NP: No, no. I think...

LS: I tell you I wouldn't go in! I'll tell you that!

PM: I wouldn't go near it!

NP: I think, I think that's a um moot point, I don't think so. Pronunciation of pizzeria whether you do it the Italian way or the Anglicised version, I don't think we could allow that one Linda. A pity because I'd love to hear from you again. But Clement has got a point and there are 34 seconds starting now.

CF: If you go to a place where they sell pizzas and ask where the pisa is...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Haven't we had "if you go" before as a phrase?

NP: Yes you did, you had "if you go".

PM: Yeah and it's repetition.

NP: Paul, you have a correct challenge, you have 28 seconds, pizzaz starting now.

PM: Al Jolson amongst the old entertainers could best be described as a man of pizzaz. They used to say he wouldn't need a microphone, just bound on to the stage, grab the audience by the scruff of the neck and beat the living daylights out of them! And by the end of the evening as the songs rolled out of their ears, California Here I Come...


NP: Ah Ross challenged.

RN: Um deviation because the songs, they roll out of the mouth into the ears, and not actually out of the ears themselves.

PM: No, but in the brain, they've got to come out of the ears. Otherwise they're stuck there and they can't hear anything.

NP: I see what you mean but on the other hand you could also say it went into the brain and they didn't want to retain it so they came out again. So I mean, you know...

RN: But he said he had pizzaz! If he didn't, if he had pizzaz, it would have retained it...

NP: Yeah, we could go on arguing like this for the rest of the night!

RN: I'll draw you a diagram!

NP: I think, I think...

RN: Here is an ear...

NP: I think Ross, I think it's a far-fetched challenge. There's a certain amount of truth in it. I have to give the benefit of the doubt to Paul on this occasion and say Paul you still have the subject, you have nine seconds, pizzaz starting now.

PM: In today's modern show business world, it's very hard to find people of a certain stature. Perhaps Shirley Bassey who can belt out a tune louder...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Ah belt, the other chap belted.

NP: What's-his-name was belting it out before.

PM: I can't believe I repeated the word "belt"! When I'm not even talking about belts!

NP: Yes!

PM: That's extraordinary!

NP: Well you were talking about people who belt out songs.

PM: Yes!

NP: It came out naturally, right. So Clement you had a correct challenge, you have got one second, pizzaz starting now.

CF: Shirley Bassey!


NP: So Clement Freud with other points, speaking as the whistle went, cleverly getting in just beforehand, has increased his lead ahead of Paul Merton, Linda Smith and Ross Noble in that order. And Ross your turn to begin, the subject, ah, a good topical subject for Canterbury, Thomas a'Beckett. Tell us something about that character in this game starting now.

RN: Thomas a'Beckett, as all local people know, was actually named after a pub! That's right! His father, this good old-fashioned man who used to bring him up when he was a kid, was in fact very much enjoyed the places of drinking and in fact had a penchant for...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of fact.

NP: Yes.

RN: Oh I tried not to say enjoyed, oh!

NP: I know, this, this is the toughness of this game. So Clement, 42 seconds available, you tell us something about Thomas a'Beckett starting now.

CF: Thomas a'Beckett is a gymnasium in east London where Henry Cooper and many other boxers trained before their bouts. I think the gym was called after a man who was sainted, who was Archbishop of Canterbury, lived in the 12th century. And I don't know too much about him, other than... that...

NP: Someone challenge!

CF: ... he was canonised...


NP: Ross you challenged.

RN: Well he was about to hesitate then, wasn't he!

NP: Start to hesitate? He never stopped hesitating! I've never known anything go on! I thought they none of them want this subject.

RN: Well he deviated then.

NP: They don't want it so they let him go on struggling like that. Yes he definitely hesitated.

RN: Yes he hesitated then.

NP: Yes. He almost ground to a halt. Ross you have 18 seconds on Thomas a’Beckett starting now.

RN: That information that Clement just gave was absolutely correct, and I know all those facts as well and I would have said that had...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of facts.

NP: Yes! Clement you have 10 seconds on Thomas a'Beckett starting now.

CF: TS Eliot's play Murder In The Cathedral was based on Thomas a'Beckett who met his end in that ecclesiastical palace in Kent, not far...


NP: Clement Freud's knowledge of history, though he didn't know, 1171, Henry the Second. Fourteen, he's got so many points, he's way ahead of Paul Merton, Linda Smith and Ross Noble in that order. And Linda, your turn to begin, the subject is sailors. Hello, sailor. Give us something on that subject, in this game starting now.

LS: Sailors, my favourite sailor has to be Ella McCarthy. What a marvellous feat of sailing round the world she did. It must have been very hard wrestling with the sails alone. You know yourself how hard it is with a duvet. You need two people and then you don't make a very good fist of it. It usually leads to a row and someone stomping off saying "oh well I thought we'd changed it three weeks ago, anyway". And that usually tends to be the man and you say "yes, you're supposed to change them every week actually, at least..."


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I think this is very much a personal issue for Linda Smith. I think changing duvets has moved on quite a bit from sailors.

NP: So what is your challenge?

PM: Deviation from the subject.

NP: Yes I think it has.

PM: I admit that sailors would sometimes change duvets.

NP: There was, there was another mistake she made.

LS: Even more difficult in a storm!

PM: Yes!

NP: Right we'll give you deviation Paul, and it's 33 seconds for you on sailors starting now.

PM: Well of course if you didn't have sailors, there wouldn't be boats. And if you didn't have boats... oh!


NP: That's the fun of the game as well as the toughness of it! Right, you got it back it again, sailors with you, 28 seconds Linda, starting now.

LS: Sailors are the sea borne wing of the Armed Forces. They are the... soldiers of the watery substance that surrounds our island. And they're very much like those land warriors, except that they have a more relaxed attitude to the obviously homophomic ele... elements...


LS: Oh! I, I invented a word!

NP: I know!

LS: Point for me!

NP: No, I'm sorry, not, Linda, right.

PM: Do you get homophomic elephants? Does that...

LS: Yeah! They're called Mumbo Jumbo!

PM: Ah!

NP: Right, Ross...

LS: Homophomic, that must count for something, that word.

NP: Yeah. What was your challenge Ross?

RN: Homophomic.

NP: Homophomic, deviation...

RN: Deviation from an actual word.

NP: ... from English as we understand it...

RN: Yes.

NP: ... and use it and normally speak it...

RN: Yep.

NP: Even in Just A Minute. Ross you've got a correct challenge and you have 11 seconds, you have sailors starting now.

RN: All sailors have tattoos. They also eat spinach and that's the way they fight off big burly men that try and get off with their very skinny girlfriends that have got names similar to that of cooking stuffs, ie. Olive Oyl...


NP: So Ross Noble was speaking when the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so and er he's er, oh well he's moved forward but he's still in third place. And er Paul, oh we're moving into the last round. So let me give you the situation before we do move into the last round. Linda Smith is trailing a little. She has some points and has done very well. In fact she's spoken longer than most people but hasn't got many points which is very sad. Ross Noble's contributed well, he's in third place. But Paul Merton in second place is just a little way behind our leader Clement Freud as we move into the final round. And Paul Merton, it's your turn to begin, and the subject is the gutter press. Oh yes! Yes tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PM: The gutter press, yesterday's trees, tomorrow's fish and chips. Not many people take much notice of what they read in the gutter news apart of course from the individuals that are featured. Imagine your embarrassment if you were caught consorting with prostitutes and taking cocaine?


PM: What an enormous, terrible thing that would be if you had to appear on television while people pointed fingers at you and general laughter. It's an incredible thing that this should happen in this day and age. Here we are in the 21st century, why can't show business stars spend the BBC licence-payer's money as they see fit? If they find a strumpet in a hotel, give her 50 quid, she's probably worth it!



NP: Linda you challenged.

LS: Yeah, partly just for the, you know, out of common decency really! But also...

NP: Who are you protecting?

LS: Well, who knows? I don't know what you get up to, Nicholas!

NP: So darling I've got to have a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute.

LS: No, the challenge was repetition of hotel.

PM: Really?

NP: Yes, you mentioned...

PM: Are you sure about that Nicholas?

NP: Yes, earlier on you said about a hotel room, and then you said about the strumpet in this other hotel.

PM: Oh yeah, different hotels you see.

NP: Yes.

PM: Same chain but different hotels.

NP: I'll tell you what we'll do, I've done this before in this game. If something goes particularly well and you ride your laughs and so forth, we throw out those bonus points. I did it for Clement Freud recently, I give it to you again. A bonus point to Paul for his er positive reaction from the audience for his hilarious piece. And Linda you have a correct challenge and you have 23 seconds, the gutter press starting now.

LS: I was once a victim of the gutter press. It was The Ayrwith And Crayford Observer incorporating The Kentish Times. They reported a joke I told on television about my home town which was the first mention of the places in the name of that publication. I said it was boring on the means of communication that I have previously described...


NP: And Ross challenged.

RN: I think that was every single one, wasn't it?

NP: Yes, indeed yes. I think you were being a bit unkind. I mean the look on Linda's face as she struggled to keep going then was such that you, you were enjoying it, and the audience were. They were laughing with her.

RN: Yes.

NP: And your challenge, yes, what is it?

RN: I've forgotten now!

LS: Which is what comedy's all about, after all.

RN: It was a repetition of previously.

NP: That's right.

RN: Yes.

NP: And one second, you've got in with one second to go Ross.


NP: It is the game!

RN: All right! Have it back then!

NP: Those are the rules! Really! You've been listening to it now for nearly 30 minutes, I'd have thought you'd have realised that by now! Ross you have the gutter press and one second to tell us something about it starting now.

RN: The gutter press, I was...


NP: Well as I said before that round started, it was to be the last. And it's very sad, we have to bring the show to a close.


NP: I'm glad you've enjoyed it because it's given us such pleasure to help you enjoy it. Right so let me tell you the situation. Linda who did so well and you loved seeing her didn't you in all the way she struggled, she finished in fourth place. But she gave such good value. Such good value. And Ross Noble gave great value as well but he finished in third place. And Paul Merton always gives great value, I mean you've cheered him already this evening. He got a lot of points. But he didn't quite catch up Clement Freud. You should give a round of applause for the other two as you gave one to Paul as well.


NP: No, no, I must explain to the listeners, that was Paul milking it! But now a final round of applause for the winner this week, Clement Freud! I must thank these four outstanding players of the game, Paul Merton, Linda Smith, Ross Noble and Clement Freud. I also thank Lottie Barker who has helped me keep the score, she's blown her whistle so elegantly. We also thank our producer, Claire Jones who does such a marvellous job. And we are also indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are also thankful to this lovely audience here in the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury in this beautiful area of Kent, the garden of England. We've come to the garden and you've given us a wonderful, horticultural, spontaneous, fabulous reaction! Until we play Just A Minute again, good-bye!