WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD, BARRY CRYER and LANCE PERCIVAL, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 14 March 1981)
NOTE: Clement Freud's 250th appearance.
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Barry Cryer and Lance Percival 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, hello and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And we have two guests this week, Barry Cryer and Lance Percival against our two regulars, Kenneth Williams and Clement Freud. And once again they're going to try and speak if they can on the subject I will give them. And they will try and do it without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Let's begin the show the week with Kenneth Williams and Kenneth the subject, my following. Would you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: It's interesting that I should be asked to discuss my following because it has made me something of a cult figure. And included such extraordinary personalities as Eli Passknocker and Gertrude Knoblock. Who once said to me that her Uncle Herman had left her shares which had brought in enormous numbers of dividends, but that they were entirely in hooks and eyes, and zip fasteners came in and ruined the market! Well she said it was...
NP: And Lance Percival has challenged.
LANCE PERCIVAL: I haven't understood a word, so there must be a deviation somewhere!
NP: I agree, he's deviated from his following, he's talking about hooks and eyes and dividends. So Lance, I agree with your challenge of deviation, so you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, 32 seconds left starting now.
LP: My following consists of a fan club which is organised by my mother because she's the only member of it! And we have free membership for anybody in this room who wishes to become a member...
NP: And Clement Freud has challenged.
CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of member.
NP: Yes there was two members in your club. Ah there are 25 seconds left for you Clement, having got the subject and a point from my following starting now.
CF: My following is actually a precaution, which made me come in so late on this round, because to name them all would have taken less than the number of seconds which were left. I would like to begin with Mr and Mrs Hill in the county of Suffolk, on the north side of the mountain...
NP: Well Clement Freud was speaking when the whistle went, which Ian Messiter blows to tell us that 60 seconds is up. And whoever speaks at that moment gets an extra point. It was of course Clement Freud who has the lead naturally at the end of that round. And all I can say is he does seem to have some very boring followers, because it almost inhibited the audience! We go to the second round, Clement would you begin it with the subject of after dinner speaking. Sixty seconds starting now.
CF: Your Majesty, Dukes, Marquises, Earls, Viscounts, Barons, my Lord Mayor, Brigadier, Colonel, Major, Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants, Corporal and men of the 83rd Battalion of foot the Royal Ulster Rifles. It is with a deep sense of civic gratitude that I stand before you on this evening to argue that I am not to old to be President of the United States of America. Indeed this has been done by a Governor to whose seniority I bow by the extent of some 15 years to put it mildly. And therefore today I would like you to consider the argument in favour of a democratic leadership of the Labour Party, or to put it another way, why don't you go home, eat up, and pay the waiter...
NP: Well I think that was one of the best after dinner speeches I ever heard, because it lasted exactly one minute! And you were not interrupted Clement, so you get a point for speaking as the whistle went, but one extra point for keeping going for the full 60 seconds. Congratulations! And er needless to say, you've increased your lead at the end of the round and we now move to Barry Cryer. Barry welcome to the show...
BARRY CRYER: Thank you.
NP: And er nice to hear from you. The subject is the last time I stood on my head. And you've got a fine head of hair on which to stand so will you tell us something on the subject in 60 seconds starting now.
BC: Standing on the head, a basically unnatural procedure, is nevertheless, one of the basic practices of yoga. Standing on one's head leads to the rush of blood to the aforementioned portion of the body, thereby leading to stimulation, and indeed a conducive element enters into this, in so far as one feels refreshed and revivified by the very reversal of one's bodily posture. The last time I stood on my head was in a television studio, the purpose being not for yogaesque activities, but for...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: I, I thought he said yoga, but he made it into yogaesque. He gets a point and I'm sorry.
NP: Yes! It was very cleverly done, you may have spotted it in the audience...
KW: Absolutely brilliant! I thought it was brilliant! Barry I must congratulate you!
NP: Yoga, yogaesque, very good!
BC: Thank you. Thank you.
NP: Marvellous! Marvellous!
BC: Very well said!
NP: Very clever of Clement to spot it, but ah very generous of him to give it away because he didn't have any alternative, really, did he? Twenty-eight seconds, you've got a point Barry for erm a wrong challenge, you keep the subject, 28 seconds left, the last time I stood on my head starting now.
BC: Was indeed in a television studio to illustrate the...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of "was indeed in a television studio"!
NP: A lot of repetition, alas, and that's what happens when you're interrupted. Clement you have the subject and there are 26 and a half seconds, the last time I stood on my head starting now.
CF: The last time I stood on my head I took tremendous trouble to make sure that my underwear was of a right degree of cleanliness and propriety, in case my trousers which were loose at the time, fell below...
NP: Barry Cryer.
BC: Deviation from the practical truth. One's trousers wouldn't fall down, if you were upside down.
NP: No they wouldn't.
CF: No, they fall down towards the ground. We...
BC: But not...
CF: We who believe in gravity...
BC: But how would they bypass your underpants?
CF: ... consider down to be down.
BC: How would they bypass your underpants, thereby revealing then?
KW: Yes they couldn't...
BC: They couldn't Kenneth!
KW: I know! Because you'd have the crutch wouldn't you!
BC: We speak of...
KW: Crutch or crotch, as they say in the OED...
BC: We're into the area of gussets here.
KW: Gussets and the crotch! Yes you're right Barry! And that was very erudite of you Barry!
BC: An ongoing gusset situation!
KW: Very clever of you to realise that, Barry!
BC: Thank you.
KW: I think that's very bright, very bright! Don't you, Mister Chairman?
NP: Definitely! But I can't get a word in when you start going!
KW: Well I think you should congratulate our guest!
NP: I can't because you're speaking so much!
KW: Oh sorry! I beg your pardon, Mister Chairman.
NP: I think that was a good challenge, yes! A very subtle one, but a good one. So we'll give it back to you Barry, with 12 seconds to go on the last time I stood on my head starting now.
BC: If you stand on your head, liquid held in your hand within a vessel will proceed to the floor. If the picture is then reversed on a television screen, the afore...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of television.
BC: I quite agree.
NP: Yes you were in a television studio before.
BC: I quite agree.
NP: The last time you were speaking. And Clement's got in with two seconds to go on the last time I stood on my head starting now.
CF: My ears became very red indeed...
NP: Um and so as Clement Freud, as you realise, was speaking again as the whistle went, and has increased his lead at the end of the round. And we're with Lance Percival now. And he's going to talk on Sinbad the sailor in Just A Minute starting now.
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Hesitation! I've never known anything so disgraceful! I mean, you know, you could literally see his brain turning over couldn't you. I mean...
NP: Well as...
KW: I think he's dropped off! Look at him!
NP: As he's a guest, and he hasn't been on the programme for a very long time, I think it's only fair...
KW: That's very nice of you, Mister Chairman. I think you're a very nice chairman.
NP: He gets a point for a wrong...
KW: You're one of the few people with that type of Christian generosity that is so lamentably lacking from today, isn't it.
BC: Hear hear!
KW: You don't find many people like him about, do you! What did you say? "Just as well"? That's very unkind! You know, he's doing his best!
NP: Yes I'm doing my best, and I'm going to give it to Lance Percival. He gets a point actually for a wrong challenge there, Lance.
NP: And you still have the subject of Sinbad the sailor and 58 and a half seconds to go starting now.
LP: Sinbad the sailor comes from the Arabian nights. He used to travel the world in boats, telling the most dreadful untrue stories, one of which was about rock, which was a bird which he had on his shoulder, which was so big that he could go and eat elephants or carry them at least. Now on the other hand, there was an old man from the sea on his shoulder. He was supposed to have killed this old man, never mind whether he was from the ocean or the other place I have mentioned. And either of these stories are very unlikely to be true. The rest of the Arabian nights I know nothing about, so I'm hoping that somebody will interrupt in a moment and tell you...
NP: Kenneth Williams has helped you out.
KW: Well I would help out a friend and he said he wanted somebody to buzz him, didn't he! So I come in quick! You know I never, never let down a friend! I think you've got a, got a duty really haven't you!
NP: And what's your challenge Kenneth?
KW: Well that he was deviating by saying he wanted someone...
NP: No he wasn't. He was repeating Arabian nights, and also...
KW: Oh I see! Yes that's right! He was repeating Arabian nights. That's right! That's very bright of you! You do see these things, don't you! You're very quick!
BC: He also said "on the other hand there was an old man on his shoulder".
KW: Yeah that's right. He put it on his shoulder and his hand.
NP: That one went like a damp squib amongst the audience! Thirty-two seconds, Kenneth you've got a point and you have the subject of Sinbad the sailor starting now.
KW: It's only me from over the sea, said Sinbad the sailor. Come down before, I knock down the door, said Sinbad the sailor. And then she said (sings) I'll come down and let you in, and I'll have a glass of gin! (speaks) I don't know about that! And then they got very very tight together...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged. Clement has challenged you.
CF: I think very very.
NP: Very very tight, yes. You should have just been very tight.
KW: Oh I see.
NP: Very very tight, unfortunately is repetition in Just A Minute. And Clement, to silence, has the subject. And there are 11 seconds on Sinbad the sailor starting now.
CF: I'm personally a Popeye man, never having gone much for Sinbad...
NP: Ah Clement, Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Deviation, he's not pop-eyed at all. His eyes are quite all right, aren't they! There isn't anything wrong with them, they look all right to me!
NP: We'll give Kenneth...
CF: A very good challenge!
NP: A very good challenge. We'll give him a bonus point...
KW: Thank you very much! I thought that! Oh that's nice!
NP: And in fact, even more, Clement has very generously said you can have the subject back again...
KW: Oh thank you very much!
NP: Because he doesn't want it any longer. So you have the subject back, you have another point for a wrong challenge because Clement has given it to you, and you have 11 seconds, Sinbad the sailor starting...
NP: Six seconds! Six seconds...
NP: Only six seconds on Sinbad the sailor starting now.
KW: It's an interesting name because it's tautological if you think. Sin of course is bad, and that is followed by the same word. Well now...
NP: So Kenneth speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point, and has leapt forward into second place. He's one point ahead of our guests, Barry Cryer and Lance Percival. Clement Freud is way out in the lead. Kenneth it's your turn to begin, the subject, legs. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: My own have been the subject of admiration the world over. And when I produce them, as I've had to do on more than one occasion, people have said to me, "well my goodness, your legs could make you a cult!" I've become something of a cult figure, because of the legs, you see...
NP: And Barry Cryer has challenged.
BC: Repetition of cult.
NP: Quite right, and Barry has the subject of legs and there are 42 seconds left starting now.
BC: My legs were once described as few and far between! An understandable reaction. They are parallel, they produce a pleasing symmetry. They echo, they mirror each other, and work as a fleshy team, in the propulsion of my upper parts around this funny old tapestry we call Earth. I move on these appendages, at the bottom of which are situated what I like to call my feet. My feet are...
NP: Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject, how to make a fortune. Will you tell us in 60 seconds how to do that please, starting now.
CF: In this day and age, the best way of making a fortune is to invent something and then sell it so that no-one else can produce it. I am suggesting things like the everlasting light bulb and the self-sharpening razor. Both of which have been discovered and then were flogged off because I can't use the other word again, to commercial or industrial concerns, who already had a patent permitting him to use those. But making an after dinner speech is not a bad way of making a fortune. Your Majesty, Dukes, Marquises, Earls. Well it did get a laugh last time, and flogging a dead horse is something I've always been exceedingly keen on doing. I knew a man who made an awful lot of money by reading the small print on an airline ticket, whereby he found that there were discounts to be had if you were a clergyman, blind, youthful or travelled standby...
NP: Well it doesn't often happen in one game that someone keeps going twice without being interrupted in Just A Minute. But Clement Freud has achieved that again and so two points, one for speaking as the whistle went, and one for not being interrupted and he has increased his lead. Barry Cryer, your turn to begin, the subject, going to the dogs. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
BC: Greyhound racing is not one of my predilections. But I have on one occasion visited a stadium where the aforementioned activity took place, and I would like to relate an anecdote resulting from that evening's entertainment. I met two gentlemen who told me they had a partnership in one of the animals, but they had been acutely dismayed by its tendency to be unable to corner. In other words it would run straight into the crowd. They were disturbed by this, that being a predilection of...
NP: Ah Lance Percival.
LP: Repetition of predilection.
NP: Yes you used that...
BC: I like predilection.
CF: It's only a little word!
NP: Yes it's such a little word, yes. Stands out like a sore predilection, doesn't it!
NP: Lance you have the subject, you have 30 seconds to keep going on going to the dogs starting now.
LP: I go to the dogs every day, because I possess two basset hounds, one of whom is called Raver and the other one is called Bella. And they neither run in a straight line nor round corners. They don't run at all. They find the latest tree and cop a leg upon it. That is their main occupation in life. Except Bella being a feminine bird, does not, er dog...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: I thought there was hesitation there.
NP: Yes indeed, you were very generous before. There were three or four runs there. They were running all over the place, your dogs.
LP: Oh yes, but they do!
NP: Yes! Right Kenneth, you got in with 12 seconds on going to the dogs starting now.
KW: They do this at Wembley, and they all follow this helectric hare. I can never say electric, I say helectric hare, because I always feel that...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of helectric.
NP: Yes, there was two helectrics! Four seconds Clement going to the dogs starting now.
CF: They're numbered one, two, three, four, five, six, and have stripes, black, red...
NP: And um Clement Freud was speaking once again when the whistle went, and has increased his lead. It's Barry Cryer's turn to begin, and it's Icarus. Can you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
BC: Icarus as is obvious is the son of Deedilus. The two of them were imprisoned in the labyrinth by Meenos or Mynos, there are two schools of thought, and I was expelled from both of them! They were imprisoned therein and the father of the pair...
NP: And Lance Percival has challenged.
NP: Yes, so Lance...
BC: That was a dramatic pause actually, before I launched into the narrative...
NP: It was very dramatic...
BC: You could sense the impetus I was building up there!
BC: Sad! Sad!
NP: It's very sad but alas it is one of the rules of Just A Minute. So um ah Lance Percival, you have the subject of Icarus and you have er 36 seconds starting now.
LP: Regardless of the pronunciation of the word M-I-N-O-S, because you can do it either way, the real problem with this particular name is from the original Greek translation it was Nicholas! Spelled K-N-I-C-K-E-R-L-E-double S. Which is one of the reasons why he couldn't fly too well, sun or no sun, with feathers on his arms. I've found myself that without knickers, it is absolutely impossible to go up in the air, at all, ever! So I, with regard from now, unless I'm wearing briefs, I do not even go to London Airport. And therefore I'm hoping that somebody...
NP: Barry Cryer has very wisely challenged, yes Barry?
BC: There was hesitation and deviation...
NP: Definitely! Yes!
BC: And all sorts of bumper bundles...
NP: Deviation, taking my name in vain. And four seconds for Icarus, with you Barry starting now.
BC: The aforementioned gentleman headed for the sun, bearing upon his shoulders the wings...
NP: Ah Kenneth Williams challenged.
KW: I think, as the chairman of this game, you should point out to your guest, Mister Cryer, that he's allowed to repeat the subject as many times as he likes.
BC: I, I would second that.
KW: You keep on saying the aforementioned, as though he mustn't say the word Icarus. I mean you should help him, because you're chairman, you know. You should help him!
NP: It's not my job to interrupt him, and then tell him what he can do. It's much better to let him go, and if he wishes to do it as cleverly and brilliantly as he does, why should I interrupt a genius in his flow?
CF: It might get you a laugh!
NP: So you get another point for being interrupted Barry, and you have half a second on Icarus starting now.
NP: Well our two guests gained a lot of points in that round, Clement Freud is still in the lead. And Lance Percival, your turn to begin, the subject, waterfalls. Will you tell us something about those in the game starting now.
LP: Waterfalls can be found all over the world. And the best way of looking at them is from the bottom end. The reason I say this is because I have often visited Niagara which is halfway between America and Canada...
NP: Clement Freud.
KW: Deviation, he hasn't often visited it at all!
KW: He's only been there a couple of times. I mean often means many times, doesn't it. It means you're popping over for the weekend all the time, doesn't it! If you said you often go to Paris, you'd be there every other weekend. He's only been there, what, how many times have you been there? Come on!
LP: Twice last week!
KW: Twice! There you are! Twice is all he's done and he says often! I object to this, Mister Chairman!
NP: He said actually...
KW: He's showing off! He's trying to have us feel he's some globe-trotter! You know! As though he's going all over the place!
NP: Well I'm inclined to agree that you're probably correct, that...
KW: Yes! Of course I'm correct!
NP: So Kenneth you have the subject of waterfalls, 49 seconds left starting now.
KW: They cascade down with this wondrous sound. Indeed Wordsworth referred to it as "trilling omonatapaecism" which is delightful if you think about it. I mean Wordsworths aren't born on trees, are they? You noticed how careful I was to add the plural there so no-one could accuse me of repeating myself! (laughs) Oh yes I've got the all wits about me, you...
NP: Clement Freud, oh sorry, Clement had pressed his buzzer.
KW: Oh you pressed your button, did you? What's your challenge mate?
KW: Oh, oh he's got a point then.
NP: Repetition of?
NP: Ha. You ha-haed so Clement has the subject of waterfalls and there are 31 seconds left starting now.
CF: When I went to Niagara Falls, which is halfway between Canada and America, or to put it another way, on the border, there was a restaurant in which I was served with a hot dog which was dry and nasty. So I said to the waitress "do you have sauce?" and she replied "HP?" and I said "no, I will pay cash!"
CF: That's really all I wanted to say...
NP: And er Lance Percival has challenged.
LP: Bit of hesitation there at the end.
NP: And deviation, he got on to hot dogs and not waterfalls. There are seven seconds for you Lance on waterfalls starting now.
LP: On the other hand, a lot of waterfalls do look like hot dogs...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: You can't have waterfalls on your hand. What's he on about, on your other hand?
NP: I know...
LP: Same as the old man. Same as the old man.
NP: Yes, I disagree entirely, so you have another point Lance, and there are five seconds on waterfalls starting now.
LP: The difficulty of getting over the top of the Niagara Falls is that if...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of Niagara Falls.
NP: Yes you can say the subject on the card, but it's not Niagara Falls.
LP: Ah yeah, yes, sorry.
NP: So Clement's back in again with one and a half seconds on waterfalls starting now.
CF: Waterfalls is the subject on the card...
NP: And Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, and gained more points, increased his lead. But Lance is still strongly in second place, and Barry Cryer and Kenneth Williams in that order following. Kenneth back with you to start, the subject, hauntings. Will you tell us something about that spooky subject in 60 seconds starting now.
KW: Haunting times, haunting tunes, haunting pictures, haunting ectoplasms. Oh yes what manifestations are there here? And I once saw a person manifesting themselves on the bacon counter. And I took aside the manager and said "have you seen that?" And he said "yes it only occurs at Ash Wednesdays usually, because you see, it's rumoured that the previous incumbent used to have a yen for streaky." And I said "what do you mean..." and then I repeated the word. I can't do it now, you know what I mean. And he said "well it took his fancy" and then did this terrible sort of slow wink. And it was a sort of walleye look, you know? I thought "well that's odd. I'm not coming back here because I don't want to feel that people around here with these strange proclivities..."
NP: Three uninterrupted rounds in one show. Kenneth Williams achieved it in that occasion and magnificently too.
KW: So I've gone into the lead! I've gone into the lead! Go on!
KW: Ah I've gone into the lead, you see! Yes!
NP: You're leading Barry Cryer.
KW: Yes. Oh?
BC: The strain!
NP: By one point! But you're still trailing behind Lance Percival and Clement Freud. And Clement begins the next round, the subject, the best putdown I ever heard. As long as it wasn't an after dinner speech, we don't mind! So will you talk on that for 60 seconds Clement starting now.
CF: The best putdown I ever heard was exceedingly short, as are all good putdowns. And in a game in which you have to waffle for 60 seconds, and best being not a word that one can conditionalise in any way, I will have to give you the build-up to this putdown, in order that the short sentence with which I will end my speech may not be outside the rules of Just A Minute. It was a summer evening in Aberdeen. It was raining slightly and the mist was coming down from the hills. And at the banqueting hall in the Royal Station Hotel, the head waiter nudged the main speaker and said "functions are about to begin, it is up to you to open your mouth". And Mister Gladstone, who was there on this occasion, was introduced at such very great length by so boring a man that when he was finally told "and now we come to the Prime Minister to give his address", the aforementioned gentleman said "Ten Downing Street..."
NP: Well Clement Freud kept going not only for a minute. He kept going for er 70 seconds, because we wanted to hear the payoff which he cleverly managed to put in after the 60, and we didn't blow the whistle until 70 was up. But Clement, well done, you gain an extra point of course for speaking as the whistle went and keeping going without being interrupted. Four uninterrupted rounds in one show, ah, a great achievement in Just A Minute. And the final score, because we have alas reached the end of the show. Barry Cryer coming from previous triumphs, finished in a very strong fourth place. Kenneth Williams er just slipping a little from previous great pinnacles of achievement, came one ahead of him. Lance Percival, returning after his exuberance in previous appearances, finished in a strong second place. But there was no doubt about the winner, it was Clement Freud! So congratulations to our winner and all the other competitors. We hope you've enjoyed the show and will want to tune in again. Till then 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.