starring CLEMENT FREUD, TONY HAWKS, GRAHAM NORTON and PAM AYRES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 10 February 2003)

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 four exciting, talented, individual and successful performers of this game who have come together to pit their wits, their verbal ingenuity and their humorous dexterity against each other as they try and speak for Just A Minute on a subject I will give them and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four bright intelligent people are Graham Norton and Tony Hawks, Clement Freud and Pam Ayres. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Claire Bartlett, she's going to help me keep the score, and she'll blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the beautiful Old Vic Theatre in the great fine city of Bristol in the West country. And we have a fine Bristolian West country audience in front of us ready to cheer us on our way. As we begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement, the subject in front of me is being a rebel. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Politically I was never much of a rebel. My failed anorexic friend, Cyril Smith and I shared an office, and tried to do things as well as we could, and differently from others, but not rebelling as such. Now and again we voted against this party or that, and as a consequence nothing at all happened! This seems to be the fault of those of a political persuasion such as ours. As a child, I did rebel quite frequently. I remember my nanny saying that we were going to a pantomime. "No," I said, "not Peter Pan, I dislike that show, because instead of employing human beings, they have a dog who is a nanny which goes..."



NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TONY HAWKS: I'm sorry but I think that was a repetition of nanny.

NP: It was yes.

TH: Going so well.

NP: That groan, groan from the audience indicated how much they'd enjoyed it and...


NP: I didn't realise how funny that was actually! You could only say that in Just A Minute! Because you were enjoying it so much and you groaned because you weren't going to get any more from Clement Freud on that subject. But Tony, you challenged and it's a correct challenge...

TH: Thank you.

NP: So you get a point for a correct challenge and you take over the subject with eight seconds to go, being a rebel starting now.

TH: I like to read those Town Centre maps that say "you are here" from a distance using binoculars, because that...


NP: Pam Ayres challenged.

PAM AYRES: I, I don't see what it's got to do with being a rebel at all...

NP: I quite agree Pam, deviation.

PA: ... reading, reading maps.

TH: How much more rebellious can you be than that?

NP: It just sounds like it would be quite a natural thing for a lot of people to do, if you're as eccentric as you are. So...

TH: Sorry, the logic's lost on me there.

NP: I know, it has to be. Because Pam Ayres, actually you didn't establish that it was being a rebel. So you didn't, and you had er seven seconds, you went. So Pam you cleverly got in with one second to go, being a rebel starting now.


PA: Furthermore...


NP: Clement Freud actually challenged before you started.

PA: Oh?

NP: What was your challenge Clement?

CF: A hesitation.

NP: Yes.

PA: Oh!

NP: I'm afraid you do actually, I know you've played the game only once before, but you must gather your breath a little bit more rapidly really. But I won't...

PA: Oh all right...

NP: I won't...


PA: Oh!

NP: She's now playing to the audience, listeners! I was about to say I wasn't going to give it against her on this occasion...

CF: Boo!

NP: Because she's only played the game once before. And what it means is, as it's an incorrect challenge she gets another point as well as speaking when the whistle went. So before you boo the chairman in future, please wait and see! So at the end of that round Pam Ayres has got three points, Tony Hawks has got one, and the other two have yet to score. So we move on and Pam Ayres, it's your turn to begin, the subject, scrumpy. Tell us something about scrumpy in this game starting now.

PA: Scrumpy receives a very bad press, and is often associated in people's minds with red-faced yokels, dressed in smocks, legs akimbo, lying underneath some shaggy haystack, drinking the life blood out of a great flagon of scrumpy which is a vile fluid in which horrible ingredients such as dead rats have been dissolved. Whereas in fact nothing could be further from the truth because our son James makes scrumpy, or cider, and it is an un, undiluted...


NP: So Graham Norton you challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: Now I don't want to run before I can walk here! But what was that a hesitation?

NP: Definitely a hesitation.

GN: Oh right, oh right, yes.

NP: Definitely. You've played the game a lot before, I don't see why you wouldn't recognise it.

GN: No, but it could be a local word. Ah...

NP: So it was a definite hesitation Graham, you've got the subject, you've got 23 seconds, scrumpy starting now.

GN: When scrumpy was discovered, one can't help but wonder, how thirsty were they? Before they tried that. Perhaps it tastes delicious, but it cannot be denied, it looks like well, I can't even tell you what it resembles. But you might find it in a hospital, not that there's any of them in Bristol. Ah now...


NP: So Graham Norton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and he's now just one point behind Pam Ayres, and the other two are behind him. And er Tony Hawks your turn to begin, the subject, a curate's egg, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TH: I don't actually know any curates. But if I did, I would be keen to get to know their eggs. Why I would wish to do that, I don't know. But we've already established...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of know.

NP: I don't actually know, you said at the beginning, any curates. And went on right.

GN: Interesting, interesting! Yeah!

NP: Yes so Clement was listening well, he came in there and you got a point Clement for a correct challenge. A curate's egg is with you, 50 seconds to go starting now.

CF: I happen to know how the expression "a curate's egg" came about. In 19, I'm sorry, 1895...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: I'd say a bit of a pig's ear there.

NP: A hesitation, yes.

PA: A hesitation, not a pig's ear at all, a hesitation.

CF: Didn't hesitate.

NP: Why not? You said sorry, there was a pause in between the sorry.

CF: No, no, I said "19 sorry 18".


NP: Well the audience are threatening me now! So I don't know whether... All right, the audience are always the final judge so all right Clement, get the benefit of the doubt, another point to you, 41 seconds, a curate's egg starting now.

CF: There was a cartoon in Punch in which a curate was having luncheon with his bishop, who asked him "how do you find your egg?" The reply was "good in parts". And this became an expression, a curate's egg, being somewhat better than bad, but not entirely wonderful. Why it should be called a curate's egg, instead of a rat catcher's, a vicar's, horse manure...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I thought there was a hint of a hesitation there as he was going into a list.


NP: There was a hint...

GN: Oh it's just mob rule in Bristol!

NP: There's only a certain...


NP: Listen, there's only a certain amount of dictation you can do in this show! You've got a curate's egg, 11 seconds starting now.

TH: I didn't actually read that edition of Punch because I wasn't born. It would have been a great... hello!


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: Hello!

NP: Hello! So what do you want, a hesitation?

GN: Yeah I'd say it's hesitation yes.

NP: Five seconds for you, a curate's egg Graham, starting now.

GN: A curate's egg can be decorated for Easter or indeed...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: Eggs make him sick!


NP: Again I've got to...

GN: Not eggs in themselves Pam!

PA: I think for the safety of the audience...

NP: I mean, actually I must explain to our listeners again.... when we were here, some time ago...

GN: You see the thing is Pam, in the intervening months, in the intervening months Pam, I've completely got over that egg thing!


GN: Ah I'd like to thank you!

NP: That was an incorrect challenge, you have another point Graham, and you have one second on a curate's egg starting now.

GN: A curate's egg could be delicious if boiled...


NP: So Graham, Graham Norton was speaking as the whistle went, and he has leapt forward! He's now in the lead ahead of the other three. And Graham it's also your turn to begin, and the subject is fashion victims. Maybe some of them have been watching your television show. Anyway that's the subject Graham, talk on it, 60 seconds starting now.

GN: Fashion victims are something I know very little of. Though I have heard some people describe me as less of a fashion victim, more of a fashion fatality. I don't really understand that. Sometimes I'm out in a discotheque and people are whispering "taxi for Mister Mutton!" Because perhaps the outfit I've chosen is more suited to a man of younger years than myself. I don't agree obviously. Fashion is a fascinating world in which people work, particularly in France, oh let's talk about that for some time! Yes, fashion victims in that country also reek of garlic. Not good! Mind you, from a distance perhaps the outfit looks better! And the garlic, oh I've said that again, ah...


NP: Yes the irony of the show. You went for 48 seconds and they loved it, but you get no points because you were interrupted.

GN: Ah well!

NP: And Tony what was your challenge?

TH: I think he repeated garlic.

NP: He did repeat garlic. So you have a point for that and the subject, and you have 12 seconds, fashion victims starting now.

TH: I was definitely a fashion victim some weeks ago when I was attacked by a group of catwalk models, as I walked down the street. I couldn't believe it, they turned on me, Jodie Kidd at the front...


NP: So ah Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. He's in second place, he's one behind Graham Norton, and one ahead of Clement Freud and Pam Ayres in that order. And Clement your turn to begin, and the subject is the best suspension bridge. Tell us something about the best suspension bridge, 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Isambard Kingdom Brunell is such...


CF: ... is such a terrific name to give a child, there's little wonder that as a consequence he built the best suspension bridge. Many people believe that it was George Best but he had nothing to do with it at all. The suspension bridge is suspended from one end of the waterway to the other. And people may walk along it from left to right, unless they approach from the opposite direction when it would be in reverse. The suspension bridge...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Well that would depend which way you were facing! It wouldn't necessarily be the reverse if you were facing the other way to the person who was watching it from the other side.

NP: I think you're getting very convoluted there. I think, I think the logic was there and keeping going under the pressure of time. I give him the benefit of the doubt, no Clement, it was in reverse, so there you are. You have a point for an incorrect challenge, 22 seconds, the best suspension bridge starting now.

CF: Few people know who invented, let alone built, the best suspension bridge. And I can tell them, or would be able to, had I not mentioned the name of the person previously, which would cause me to get a buzz indicating repetition...


NP: Graham Norton has challenged.

GN: Well no, I think, weirdly, there was repetition. Was it person? We had two persons. The people don't know the person who built the, invented the thing...

CF: Man.

GN: Did he say man?

NP: Man, yes.

GN: I'm so wrong!

NP: There was something else you could have had him for but it's...

TH: I can't wait to find...

GN: Deviation!

NP: Yes and you've got it. Five seconds on the best suspension bridge Graham starting now.

GN: The best suspension bridge is surely one that remains suspended. That's all it has to do...


NP: So Graham Norton was speaking as the whistle went and has increased his lead at the end of that round. Clement Freud is now in second place but only one ahead of Tony Hawks and Pam Ayres. And Pam your turn to begin, and the subject is my favourite cousin. Tell us something about my favourite cousin starting now.

PA: My favourite cousin, Fred, was a sailor on board the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle during the 1950s. He travelled to such thrilling places and would visit us laden with exotic gifts. Imagine my joy, as a child from the council estate, to be given a white silk kimono emblazoned with dragons, stitched in gold thread, all down the back and sleeves. My mother too received a sumptuous pink fluted shell fashioned into the shape of a lamp, and a glorious rug bearing eastern scenes of a caravan decamped in the desert, and exotic dancers, cavorting in the firelight. My cousin Fred, furthermore...


NP: Clement, Tony...


NP: You're not popular Tony! Why have you challenged?

TH: Well he's so fantastic, this cousin Fred, but she did actually repeat Fred. Repetition of Fred.

PA: Oh I suppose I did.

NP: I'm afraid she did yeah.

PA: Oh!

NP: Well I've got to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute. So it was a correct challenge, so Tony you have a point for that, you have nine seconds on my favourite cousin starting now.

TH: My favourite cousin, Steve, was in the Navy and he brought me nothing! Every time he'd come back, I'd say "what do you..."


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's moved forward, he's only our one point now behind our leader Graham Norton, but ahead of the other two. And Tony, your turn to begin, and the subject is ambient trip hop.


NP: All the Bristolians know what that's about, don't they! Tell us something about it Tony, 60 seconds starting now.

TH: I am absolutely delighted to have been given this subject, ambient trip hop. Because it's something about which I have a huge knowledge, although for the sake of.... hello!


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: Hello. (laughs) It was a hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, right Graham, you have ambient trip hop, you have 50 seconds starting now.

GN: We're all big fans of ambient trip hop up here! The last time we were in Bristol, afterwards Pam said "hey let's head out to a rave!" I said "I'm not sure", but the others insisted! And sure enough, the ambient trip hop played late into the night! The laughs we had! Scrumpy flowed! It was superb! Ambient trip hop is just the world's best music and...


NP: Pam you've challenged.

PA: I thought it was a hesitation Nicholas.

NP: No, it was a dragging out of the vowel sounds...

PA: A dragging out, yes.

NP: But I think if he'd dragged a bit slower, it would have been. But he hadn't dragged down to that, that...

GN: No, I think I had!

NP: No! So you've got the benefit of the doubt Graham, on this occasion, and you keep the subject and you have 23 seconds, ambient trip hop starting now.

GN: Whenever I go to the record shop, I immediately walk, I'm lying, run, towards the section marked ambient trip hop. I enjoy so much flicking through the discs, records, CDs, albums...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of records.

NP: You mentioned records before.

GN: Did I?

NP: Yes.

GN: That's interesting!

TH: I think he said record shop.

GN: Oh I said record shop.

NP: Yes well that's, you still, and this was records, singular and plural, you're quite right. Record shop, so this was records.

GN: (laughs) Like I was listening! But I...

NP: An incorrect challenge, so you still have ambient trip hop and you have um 11 seconds...

GN: How many seconds?

NP: Eleven.

GN: Eleven of them!

NP: Starting now... starting now.

GN: Ambient trip hop is best listened to when...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of best.

NP: Yes you did say best.

GN: Yes of course.

NP: Definitely. So Clement, right, you're in there, right, nine seconds, ambient trip hop Clement, starting now.

CF: Cary Grant used to be called Ambient Trip Hop. He changed his name because it just didn't look right over the films...


NP: Well he didn't want the subject, Graham Norton, of ambient trip hop, but he did wonderfully with it, he's increased his lead at the end of that round. But Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point as well. He's now in second place, one ahead of Tony Hawks, and a few ahead of Pam Ayres. And Graham we're back with you, it's your turn to begin. And a bit of a musical question again, what I liked about Elvis Presley. So can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

GN: What I liked about Elvis Presley was his home, Graceland. I visited this place, let me talk you through it. You arrive up a gorgeous driveway, it's tarmacadam, none of your gravel, Bristol, no! It's really beautifully done! The front door is white, spacious, opens on to a wide hall. To the right is a small reception area, nothing much. To the left, however, is the dining room. Priscilla made it lovely! She went for the sort of pink and white theme, the china is still there to this day...


NP: Um Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of white.

NP: Yes, there was white yes.

GN: True!

NP: Twenty-six seconds Clement, what I liked about Elvis Presley starting now.

CF: Twenty-six seconds will do me very well for explaining what I liked about Elvis Presley. Are you ready? (long pause)


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Ah yes I think there was possibly a hesitation there! (laughs) No, no, I think, I don't think he was very keen on the...

NP: He wasn't very keen, he said 26 seconds would do him nicely, but he did only 10 actually. You have um 15 seconds now on what I liked about Elvis Presley starting now.

TH: Maybe I didn't hold you quite as often as I should have,
Little things I should have said and done...
I did like that song You Were Always On My Mind, and it was indeed something I liked about Elvis Presley. Big belts he went for too, didn't he, sometimes...


NP: So Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's now ah equal with Clement Freud in second place, behind Graham Norton who is in the lead just two points ahead. Pam Ayres is just a point or two behind them all. And ah Clement your turn to begin, the subject is croutons. Tell us something about croutons in this game starting now.

CF: I think it's a huge mistake to put croutons into your soup. What you want to do is get a slice of fairly stale bread, cut off the rind and spread a little marmite upon it. Then cut it into cubes which you fry in a mixture of olive oil and butter, until it is, they are golden...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Well do, deviation, because he's not talking about croutons. He's talking about this other better thing. And er and there was an "it is, they are", not making sense really.

NP: Which one do you want?

GN: I'll go with... the second one?


NP: I'll give you the second one of hesitation. Thirty-nine seconds with you on croutons Graham, starting now.

GN: What sort of culinary accident resulted in croutons? They're an awful idea! Soup should be liquid and lovely and easy to swallow. You don't want a pebble made of bread in it, do you? It's a vile idea. Equally in salads you're chomping away...


NP: Tony you challenged, why?

TH: Actually I think he repeated idea.

NP: Well listened Tony, and um 22 seconds, croutons starting now.

TH: Elvis Presley was very keen on croutons. He used to have them every evening in his soup, thinking to himself "these are a great idea, aren't they? I shall pop them in and eat hundreds of thousands of them. I don't care even if my tummy gets a bit big." Croutons were a lovely French family who lived down the road. They would visit us with loads of...


NP: Well Tony Hawks was then speaking when the whistle went and gained that extra point. And he's now equal in the lead with Graham Norton. Pam it's your turn to begin, the subject is my idea of romance, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PA: I have never gone in for the contrived idea of romance, with intimate dinners for two, scented candles and sumptuous gowns. In my experience this takes a great deal of pulling off, and often goes pear-shaped. I find that the food does not work out as you had wished. The most boring person on the face of the Earth comes banging on the door. And you dislike the fragrance of the flames. I once heard an American woman in a ladies toilet proclaim that the pinnacle of her romantic aspirations was to make love on a tiger skin rug in front of an open fire. Apart from the obvious conservation issue here, I would be very afraid that a burning brand would roll from the fire, and set fire to my camisole. And I would feel inspired to clutch a fire extinguisher to my chest even...


NP: Well Pam Ayres she started with the subject, she finished with the subject. She gets a point for speaking as the whistle went and a bonus point for not being interrupted. Tony Hawks it's your turn to begin so take the final round which is credit and you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TH: You know, it's not easy to chair a show like this. And yet our chairman does a fantastic job against all the odds and he deserves some...


NP: Clement Freud, I know what you're... we know what you're going to say Clement! They know what you're going to say about it yes!

CF: Sycophancy!

NP: I'm afraid as everything is so close, I can't give out any more bonus points. Um um ah so anyway I think for that, but Tony...

GN: Is there a cash prize tonight or something?

NP: yes, Tony you were interrupted so you get a point for that and you keep the subject of credit starting now.

TH: It's quite important to say in credit if you can in your bank account. Otherwise you will have people coming round your house, trying to take your things away. Hopefully these will be people sent by that...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of people.

NP: Yes you had the people twice. So you have a point there Graham...


NP: They're clapping because they can feel the tension as we come to the end! You know it's neck and neck and they're playing for these points. Thirty-nine seconds with you Graham on credit starting now.

GN: "Would you credit that?" is something my mother says quite often. Sometimes she asks people to believe what they've seen. Other times... that's one word...


NP: Tony yes?

TH: Well actually, actually I think he thought he'd made a mistake, but you said sometimes and then he said other times so...

GN: Yeah!

TH: .... that was all right. No I withdraw...

GN: I knew that!

TH: I withdraw!

NP: But actually the chairman usually decides these things.

TH: Sorry!

NP: So...

TH: What a, what a fine job you do!

NP: I can't give any more bonus points, sorry Tony. But Graham you had an incorrect challenge and you have 27 seconds, on credit starting now.

GN: Credit cards can be vaguely embarrassing because you've got no control over the design of them. Some of the credit things made of plastic that you can put in the machine in the wall, work very well to get money. Other credit bah er...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Well I think he lost the will to live there!

NP: So we call that hesitation and you've got in with nine seconds to go on credit starting now.

TH: "Would you credit that?" is something that Graham Norton's mother used to say a lot to me when I'd go round to visit. And what a wonderful host she was. She...


NP: Right so Tony Hawks brought that show to a close and got a point for speaking as the whistle went. And now as I told you before it was to be the last round so I'll give you the final situation. A very fair one, very even, but somebody has to finish out ahead. But Clement Freud and Pam Ayres were equal in second place, only four points behind our joint winners on 14 points which was Tony Hawks and Graham Norton, our joint winners! So thank you very much, and it only remains for me to say thank you for these four outstanding players of the game, on my left Graham Norton and Tony Hawks, and on my right Clement Freud and Pam Ayres. I thank Claire Bartlett for helping with the score, and blowing her whistle so delicately. Also we thank our producer-director, Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are most grateful to our lovely audience here at the Old Vic Theatre in Bristol who have cheered us on our way magnificently. And from our audience, and from me Nicholas Parsons, and our panel, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!