starring CLEMENT FREUD, TONY HAWKS, GRAHAM NORTON and PAM AYRES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 20 January 2003)

NOTE: Pam Ayres's first radio appearance as a panellist.

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 throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme this week four individual, highly talented and exciting performers of this particular game. And we have great pleasure in welcoming back somebody who is highly successful at the moment, very popular, outrageously funny and always enjoyable, that is Graham Norton. We also welcome another comedian who is very good at the improvised humour, and that is Tony Hawks. We welcome back with always with great pleasure, somebody who has been with the show since it first began and is ever creative and witty in the show, that is Clement Freud. And we welcome someone who is playing the game now for the very first time, and so she's naturally very anxious about it, but that is the wonderful, original, entertaining performer, Pam Ayres. Would you please welcome all four of them! Thank you, thank you. And beside me sits Claire Bartlett and she's going to help me keep the score, and she's going to blow a whistle when the 60 seconds is up. And as usual I'm going to ask the four players of the game to speak on the subject that I give them. They will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the beautiful Old Vic Theatre in the heart of that great city of Bristol. And in front of us we have a Bristolian audience or some Bristolians, and a good Gloucester audience anyway because I see they've all come from outside as well, and they've all come to cheer us on our way. As we start the show this week with Graham Norton. And Graham, the subject here is upstaging people.


NP: I don't know why you laugh! I've never seen him upstage anybody. He gives all his guests free rein and freedom! But anyway, talk on the subject, 60 seconds as usual Graham, starting now.

GRAHAM NORTON: Upstaging people is something that the people of Bristol are very...


NP: Um Pam challenged.

PAM AYRES: Oh I think I'm in the wrong actually straight away!

NP: Yes you are.

PA: Because, because you can say people, the name of your subject, you can say it as many times...

NP: That's right.

PA: ... as you... in that case I'm very very sorry and deeply apologise!

NP: You don't need to apologise because it's lovely to hear from you. The audience enjoyed it. And you know, you got us off to a great start.

PA: Well I like, I like to be aggressive, you see.

NP: As you haven't played the game before, just you can repeat the, the phrase, the subject, or the words on the card.

PA: All right.

NP: That's the only thing you can repeat.

PA: All right, thank you very much. I am a novice you see.

NP: Well we won't charge anything for that Graham, and we'll carry on and tell you that you have 56 seconds to continue on upstaging people starting now.

GN: People who upstage people are the luckiest people in the world! And nowhere is that truer than watching the extras in the Casualty waiting room! Some doctor desperately emoting about a nurse he might have got pregnant, while a man rolls like a dog in paint, covered in sheep blood behind him. It's all you can watch! Another good way of upstaging people, that would be people you might upstage, is nudity! I'm aware that right now, no-one is speaking to me! They're all looking up Pam Ayres' skirt! She is truly the Sharon Stone of Bristol!



GN: Oh but now I have said Bristol twice!

NP: Clement challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: He said Bristol twice.

NP: Well though you can't repeat Bristol too often, you can in this game. So Clement that was a repetition, so you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject and there are six, no, eight seconds available starting now.

CF: Upstaging people is much more rewarding than upstaging ants, bees, cats, ducks, elephants...


NP: Whoever is speaking in this game when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud, so he naturally has two at the end of that round, and nobody else has got any at all! Tony Hawks, will you take the next round please. Tony the subject is office politics. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

TONY HAWKS: One of the advantages of being in show business is that you don't need to go into an office every day of the week, and try and indulge in office politics. Therefore I know very little about this subject. I imagine what you do is go up to the boss and say "here's a lovely pencil sharpener. It's all yours. Do you want to sleep with me?" This appears a way you can ingratiate yourself and then get promotion through the system. I did this on the one day I did of temping and there was rather an unfortunate incident involving the aforementioned instrument for the making pointy bits out, out of the lead, and of course the thing in which we lay...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: We've had a thing before.

NP: You've had a thing before.

TH: Yeah, so did the boss as well.

NP: Yes that's right, you can't substitute that word too often. Right so Clement, another correct challenge, a point to you, 16 seconds available, tell us something about office politics starting now.

CF: I understand that the important thing about office politics is to take your sexual pleasures from people within your wage range. A mistake is when you are the boss, and you try and have it off with a secretary, a cleaner, or someone...


NP: Well Clement Freud was then speaking when the whistle went and gained the extra point again. But he got other points in the round so Clement really you see is gaining all the points. Graham has got a bonus point, Tony went again for about 40 seconds and didn't get anything but this is the irony of this particular game. Let's move on now and ask Pam Ayres to take the next round. Pam, the subject here is going to the dentist, 60 seconds starting now.

PA: Oh the agony of going to the dentist! The grip of fear upon the insides! The sinking of the heart as the loathsome building comes into view! The sinister tone of the doorbell, and, on walking in, the unmistakable, impossible to disguise, smell of the place. Oh imagine the scene, the magazines, the huddle of plastic toys, the thick board books for the very young. Can you hear the sounds? The distant drill in the marrow of somebody else's teeth! The, the traffic in the street, the receptionist making appointments with other victims. And then the approach of footsteps and your name being called! Oh...


NP: So Pam Ayres first time on Just A Minute, first subject, she went with it with style and panache and she kept going for 60 seconds. And so she gets a point for speaking when the whistle went, but a bonus point for not being interrupted. So Pam you're in second place now behind Clement Freud. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is rovers. Tell us something about rovers starting now.

CF: Rovers were very favourite magazines of mine, together with Wizard, Champion, Triumph, Adventure and Hotspur, mostly printed by Thompson's of Dundee. But rovers are also tickets which you can get on a regionalised er railway line...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I think there was a hesitation there.

NP: That's a stumble, we call that hesitation, yes. And So Tony, 44 seconds available, tell us something about rovers starting now.

TH: I often wonder to myself who are the best Rovers? Is it Tranmere? Blackburn? Or Bristol?


TH: It's difficult to know which side the audience will be tonight. Presumably there will be some bitter City fans in here...


TH: ... thinking we don't want him to go on and pay a lot of copliments to those 11...


NP: Oh!

GN: Pay a lot of what?

TH: Copliments.

GN: Yeah I sense a, a hesitation. Yes.

NP: We call that hesitation or deviation from English as we understand it, which ever way you like. Um, 23 seconds, rovers ah with you Graham starting now.

GN: I understand from what I've heard that Rovers has something to do with Bristol. Does that mean Roy of the Rovers comes from this fair city? I do hope so! Glancing around the audience, I see people, possibly sporty types. Is one of them the.... boy's name that I...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I think there was a hesitation there when he nearly said um...

NP: No there wasn't.

TH: ... Roy again.

GN: Yeah! No! No!

NP: I don't think so.

TH: I think actually Graham thought there was a slight hesitation!

GN: No!

NP: I don't think so. No, no, I felt it wasn't a hesitation. Difficult to judge sometimes, so Graham another point to you because an incorrect challenge and you keep the subject. And there are seven seconds available still for rovers starting now.

GN: The Rovers Return is a popular pub in Coronation Street. And in design terms, quite odd, because there's more room...


NP: So Graham Norton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's now equal with Clement Freud in the lead. And Graham it's also your turn to begin. And the subject is squash. Tell us something about squash in this game starting now.

GN: My favourite episode of Casualty ever began in the squash court. I thought "what's going to happen here? A broken leg? A twisted ankle?" No, the person fell over, broke the squash racquet, and ended up sticking the handle in their neck! I'm not making this up, it was on television. It was quite graphic and gruesome...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: I forget!


NP: I, I think that deserves a bonus point because they enjoyed what you said. But I'm afraid you haven't got a correct challenge, within the rules of Just A Minute. So Graham, 35 seconds still available, another point to you for the interruption of course, squash starting now.

GN: I grew up drinking squash. It was supposed to be a pleasant soft drink. It was in fact tap water with a slight bit of colour...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Three wases.


NP: It's true because what you repeated before was "it was".

CF: Yes.

NP: It was and now you said was was. So you actually... so Clement you caught up on yourself and you've got the subject and a point and 27 seconds, squash, starting now.

CF: It is a game which shouldn't be played by anyone with a heart condition and I use that term very widely because most people have pectoris of some kind or another and squash must... not... be...


NP: Pam you've challenged.

PA: Well I'd say that was a hesitation.

NP: And you would be right Pam, I'd agree!


NP: We know where the audience's sympathies lie, you're going to get a point every time you say anything! You have 11 seconds to tell us something about squash starting now.

PA: In my garden...


NP: Clement challenged.

PA: Oh!

NP: Yes Clement?

CF: Hesitation.

NP: No!


GN: Panto's next week!

NP: I think that was a generous gesture among things. Another point to Pam Ayres, and still the subject of squash with her, nine seconds starting now.

PA: In my garden I like to grow...


NP: Tony?

TH: I'm afraid this is a bit cruel, but that's repetition of "in my garden".

NP: No, that was in the other round she talked about in my garden.

GN: No! No, no, no, just this second, she said it!

NP: Oh did she? Oh well that's all right, thank you very much for telling me.

PA: Oh!

TH: It was a bit, it's very cruel, because she was, she was only getting going. But I thought I've only got one point and...

NP: I know...

TH: I haven't said anything for ages!

NP: It's quite true you have only got one point, but you have spoken quite a lot.

PA: As the Sharon Stone of Bristol, I object, mate!

NP: So Tony, a point, another point to you and you've got seven seconds, tell us something about squash starting now.

TH: I've never understood why businessmen insist on playing this game to relax. When they get on the...


NP: Ah Pam challenged.

PA: He irritated me! I was irritated!


NP: All right, only because of the audience reaction, we give Pam a bonus point for that. Because er, quite a novel way of playing the game but er the audience reaction means I give you a bonus point.

PA: Oh thank you! Thank you.

NP: Tony also gets a bonus point because he was interrupted and he has two seconds to continue on squash starting now.

TH: A glass of squash with Pam after the show would...


NP: Well it's very even at the moment. Pam Ayres, with some help from Clement Freud, with his challenges, has brought her right up equal with Clement in the lead. And only one point behind is Graham Norton. And now Tony, with some help, has jumped up, and he's only one point behind Graham. And Tony your turn to begin, what a lovely subject here for Bristol. A great Bristolian, Cary Grant.


NP: Oooohhh! It's all come back, they're all nudging each other, "oh he came from Bristol, you know!" Anyway would you tell us something about Cary Grant in 60 seconds starting now.

TH: It will come as some surprise to you that Cary Grant was born in Bristol. Under the name Archibald Leach. He must have been a very odd figure indeed to leave such a beautiful city and head off for Los Angeles and Hollywood to try and make fame there, when he could have come to the Old Vic Theatre and had a wonderful career here! But there you go, that's him and it's nothing to do with me! But what I will say is that I enjoyed watching him very much in that film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, North By Ditto West. And I thought it was very good because the way he was running around underneath an aircraft which I believe was trying to spray some sort of thing on top of him. And he ducked down in the cornfields. Oh what a heroic figure! English, you know! Did I mention that he was from this part of the world? I can't remember...


NP: Ah Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Yes he had!

NP: Right he...

CF: Bristol, I think it was.

NP: Ah yes he did, you did repeat...

TH: No, I said "this part of the world" the second time.

NP: Well another point to you then, and seven seconds, tell us more about Cary Grant starting now.

TH: Some people have likened me to the great Cary Grant. And why not? I have the elegant looks, the speaking voice...


NP: So Tony Hawks started with the subject and finished with the subject. He was interrupted on the way so he got a point for being interrupted, he got a point for speaking as the whistle went, he’s now equal with Clement Freud and Pam Ayres in the lead. And only one point behind is Graham Norton. And Pam it's your turn to begin, and the subject is husbands. Tell us something about husbands in Just A Minute starting now.

PA: Husbands have largely been overtaken by partners. Now the modern image of a husband is of a reliable dull old plodder, laden down with cares about his children, his grandchildren, his mortgage repayments, his diminishing pension. See him in your mind's eye, as he digs his garden, deturning the sod...


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: Well now, I don't know, there was an odd, it was, deturning the soil? It was hesitation, I thought, before turning the sod

PA: That was my accent!


GN: Silly me!

NP: No I don't think she hesitated. I mean...

GN: What did she say then?

NP: I don't know but she wasn't er...

GN: You're in a very odd mood tonight, Nicholas! Are you listening to any of this? Are we keeping you up?

NP: She was, she was turning the soil, but obviously they do it in a different way in Oxfordshire and obviously...

PA: Yeah!

NP: They deter it instead of turning it or...

GN: Fair enough! I'm an idiot!

NP: Right! Right so Pam the benefit of the doubt, and 34 seconds to continue on husbands starting now.

PA: Making his way through the wearisome tasks to the merciful end. Partners on the other hand...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I might be wrong, was it partner before and partners this time?

PA: Yes! Absolutely! Yes one wasn't plural!

NP: Actually you could have got away with it if you hadn't said partner and partners.

GN: Right, I get away with that which is wrong, but to say the nice lady stumbled over deturning soil... that's madness!

NP: Twenty-six seconds Pam, another point, husbands starting now.

PA: On the...


NP: Yes?

TH: I thought there was a hesitation.

NP: I think it really is! Pam I'm sorry, I can't be kind on that one again. So it was a hesitation yes, it was one and a half seconds actually. Um 25 seconds for you Tony on husbands starting now.

TH: I have a completely different picture of husbands to Pam. I see them as virile, fine, upstanding men, deturning the sod in the garden if they like, doing whatever they please in a heroic way, going out, earning a fine wage, returning, giving it to the children saying...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of turning.

TH: One was deturning and the other one was turning. We all know deturning is one word!

NP: That's right! So Tony you have another point, you still have husbands and you still have nine seconds starting now.

TH: (mumbling) There was a Woody Allen...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Mumble!

NP: Mumble? There was a Woody Allen.


NP: Who's running the show?

GN: In fairness to the audience Nicholas, somebody has to!


GN: They realise there's a big gap in the middle of the stage! They're just taking over!

NP: Tony, seven seconds, husbands with you starting now.

TH: Film by that American director called Husbands And Wives. And I watched this to see if there were any...


NP: Tony Hawks was then speaking as the whistle went, and with the other points he gained in that round, including one for speaking as the whistle went, has taken him into the lead, ahead of Pam Ayres and Clement Freud and Graham Norton in that order. And Clement it's your turn to begin, and the subject is Dutch courage. Tell us something about that in this show starting now.

CF: Dutch courage is bravery shown in the light of drunkenness. As opposed to Transylvanian bravery which is...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of bravery.

CF: Mmmm! Quite!

NP: Yes right, another point Tony...

CF: Absolutely! Didn't, didn't want it!

GN: Thank God we're all agreed!

NP: Fifty-one seconds Tony, on Dutch courage starting now.

TH: I always thought someone who had Dutch courage was Ruud Hullett for having that hair style. Because he would run around that pitch, it would bounce up and down in an extraordinary way. And I thought there's a figure with Dutch courage. And I'd sometimes tell my chums...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of thought.

NP: Yes you did think twice. And you used the word thought. So Clement, another point to you, 34 seconds, Dutch courage starting now.

CF: In a restaurant, you would say to your partner "shall we go Dutch or run away before the bill comes?" And Brussels has...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I thought there was a hesitation there.

NP: Yeah it was so small I'm not going to allow it.

TH: Okay, fair enough!

NP: I mean you have to judge sometimes so... Benefit of the doubt to Clement on this occasion, and he keeps the subject, 25 seconds, Dutch courage starting now.

CF: Daffodils, windmills, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, quite apart from Queen Wilhelmina are the...


GN: Now I can't gauge by myself, I look to you Nicholas, was that a hesitation? It seemed like one to my untrained ear!


NP: Graham it was definitely a hesitation. Seventeen seconds, we're going to hear from you Graham on Dutch courage starting now.

GN: Imagine the amount of Dutch courage you would require to go home if you lived in a windmill. Bad enough sober, but drunk, trying to get your key into the door with that huge thing smashing around, going back and forward? It doesn't bear...


NP: Well I'm very pleased you got in on that subject because they loved it! Right! And you were speaking as the whistle went, you gained an extra point. You've leapt forward! And you're still in fourth place but er, but you're only one point behind Pam Ayres and Clement Freud, and they're two behind Tony Hawks who is in the lead. And Tony your turn to begin, the subject is in the doghouse. Can you take that subject and deal with it for 60 seconds if possible starting now.

TH: I wonder if I've rather mischievously been given this subject. Because a while back I wrote a book called Round Ireland With A Fridge. And those who have read it will know that in this I slept in a doghouse with a member of the opposite sex. And had the courage, Dutch perhaps, to write it down and recount every last detail.

NP: Oh!

TH: I can see the people here want those facts now but they can go out to the bookshop if they want that. However what I will say, if you're in the doghouse, usually people think bad things about it. You've upset people in a little way and I've said people three times now...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: He's said people.

NP: People yes, people. You've got another point Clement, you've got the subject and you have 20 seconds, in the doghouse, starting now.

CF: In the doghouse or (speaks in French), (speaks in German) is a very popular expression for being in in bad, in in...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Well normally you see, we don't pick up on words like in.


TH: But when you say them consecutively! You do!

NP: So Tony, a correct challenge, repetition or hesitation, whatever you want. Six seconds in the doghouse starting now.

TH: I would be in the doghouse with this Bristol audience were I to say Tranmere Rovers ware a finer team than the other 11...


NP: Right so at the end of that round, Tony Hawks was again speaking as the whistle went, he gained an extra point for doing so, of course. He's got a, er, in a lead. He's a definite lead. He's just ahead of Clement Freud who is two or three ahead of Pam Ayres, and she's equal in third place with Graham Norton. So we only have time for one more round and it's Pam Ayres' turn to begin and the subject Pam, very apt for someone who talks about her garden and all that is chicks. Tell, I don't know if you've got any chicks, but tell us about chicks, 60 seconds starting now.

PA: Chicks are interesting creatures and may be ordered at one day old when they will be sent to you, probably by road. At this time they do not require any feeding because their bodies contain the vestiges of the yolk sack which has sustained him within...


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: I felt sick!


TH: I, I enjoyed the information, the fact that they would be sent to you probably by road!

NP: So Graham you were sick, that's your challenge?

GN: I just felt that it had deviated from just...

NP: No, no, what, look.... he gets a bonus point because he was sick and um...

GN: I'm not proud! I'll take it!

NP: Because the audience enjoyed his comment and reaction so he gets his bonus for that. But Pam keeps the subject and a point because you were interrupted. And you still have chicks and you have 42 seconds starting now.

PA: Upon receipt of your chicks, you will discover that the two main threats to their well-being are predators and cold. Mink and rats will devour your chicks if you let them. And an infrared overhead lamp must be suspended close to them, in order that they do not become chilled which will kill 'em off quicker than anything!


NP: Tony challenged, what was your challenge?

TH: Well I think hesitation because she's...

NP: Yes yes...

TH: She stopped completely!

NP: In case you said something different. So Tony, you have a point for that, you have chicks, you have 10 seconds starting now.

TH: I ordered some chicks once, expecting them to be delivered by road. But they weren't, they were air-dropped in by a helicopter. It was up there and he held them all...


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, not only gained that extra point but he brought that round and that show to an end with a certain style and panache. And I'll give you the final score. Graham Norton was equal with Pam Ayres in third place, but they were only one point behind Clement Freud. But he was a few points behind Tony Hawks, so Tony we say this week, you are our winner! So we have no more time to play Just A Minute, so it only remains to say thank you to these four players of the game, Graham Norton, Tony Hawks, Clement Freud and Pam Ayres. We also, I also thank Claire Bartlett for helping with the score, and blowing her whistle so delicately after the 60 seconds. And I thank our producer and director, Claire Jones, who contributes so much. And also we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are deeply indebted to this lovely audience here in this beautiful Old Vic Theatre in Bristol who have cheered us on our way magnificently. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, and the panel, good-bye and tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!