NOTE: Wendy Richard's last appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Oh! 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 of course throughout the world. And also to welcome on to the show this week four clever, talented, experienced players of this game who once more are going to pit their knowledge, their wit, their humour, their verbal dexterity and ingenuity on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four bright sparks are Paul Merton, Wendy Richard, Liza Tarbuck and Clement Freud. Please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who's going to help me keep the score, and she'll blow the whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular show is coming from the Drill Hall, which is just off Tottenham Court Road actually if you're interested, and not far from the sort of West End of London, it's sort of in the central part of London. And we have a fine London audience here...


NP: I'm allowed to repeat things.

WENDY RICHARD: No, I'm just wondering, are we playing Just A Minute or Mornington Crescent?

NP: No, no, Mornington Crescent, we leave that entirely to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. We have this lovely audience anyway and they are going to cheer us on our way as we start the show this week with Wendy Richard. The subject (laughs) I don't know why they've chosen it for you, the butchers. Tell us something about the butchers in Just A Minute starting now.

WR: I get on very well indeed with the butchers in my corner shop. Whenever I go in there, they always know what I want and the fact that I will not order goods in kilos. I'm still pounds and ounces and they get on with it, and there I get the exact amount required for whatever recipe I might be doing. I hasten to add I'm a very good cook. I'm not much...


NP: Liza challenged.

LIZA TARBUCK: Dear, you're going to hate me, but there's been a lot of I'ms.

NP: Yes. You said I'm, I'm.

LT: I and I'm.

WR: Oh was there?

LT: Yes.

WR: Oh dear!

NP: Liza you had a correct challenge there, 37 seconds...

LT: Thirty-seven?

NP: ... on the butchers starting now.

LT: My butchers is the best butchers in North London. He sells fanta.... ta... tastic... (laughs)


LT: That'll learn me, won't it?

NP: Paul Merton.

PAUL MERTON: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, you want the butchers.

PM: Okay.

NP: And there are 31 seconds starting now.

PM: There is a butcher near me who doesn't actually sell any meat. In fact he's a greengrocer. He sells apples, pears, bananas, cherries, plums, all kinds of different produce...


NP: Clement challenged.


NP: Why?

CF: Because it's about butchers.

PM: No, he's a butcher that doesn't sell any meat. He calls himself a butcher but he actually sells fruit.

CF: No.

PM: I didn't say it made sense! I just said it happened.

NP: This is the problem, isn't it, because it doesn't make sense, but it's perfectly possible he could be a butcher who sells vegetables.

PM: Yes he's allergic to meat.

NP: Rather than meat.

PM: He's allergic to meat.

NP: It's perfectly possible!


NP: The audience say Clement, you've got it right, Clement, 19 seconds, the butchers starting now.

CF: I know of an undertaker called Mister Butcher who sells cat food. It's fairly...


NP: Liza challenged yes.

LT: Well that's exactly the same, I'm catching him on what he caught Paul on.

NP: That's right so you have the subject. Come on Liza, you have the subject, 13 seconds...

LT: You're having me on!

NP: ... the butchers starting now.

LT: My 's pep... peppery chipolatas...


LT: Ohhhhhhh!

NP: Wendy you've got in and you've got 11 seconds on the butchers starting now.

WR: There used to be a lovely butchers in Bloomsbury, with the most wonderful tiles on the walls depicting cows and sheep and a lovely green hillside with blue sky...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of lovely.

NP: There were two lovelies there I'm afraid.

WR: Oh dear.

NP: There was a lovely butcher and a lovely er scenery. Oh you've got in with one second to go Clement...

LT: Ohhhhh!

WR: Ohhhh!

NP: That hasn't won many friends but anyway it's correct, that's the game, Clement, the butchers, one second starting now.

CF: Butcher, baker, candle stick maker...


NP: Well at the end of that round Clement Freud was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. With others in the round, he's increased his lead over the other three. And Clement Freud would you take the next round, the subject is congestion. That's applicable to London, 60 seconds starting now.

CF: A surfeit of almost anything could be called congestion. Ah too much mucus...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well there's, there was a hesitation there, but I think it's also deviation as well. A surfeit of anything could be called congestion? The ocean is a surfeit of water but you wouldn't call that congestion.

CF: No.

NP: I think speaking sort of colloquially and broadly and conversationally, Clement was not actually deviating, and he certainly didn't hesitate either. So he gets a point because he was interrupted...

LT: Yes he did!


PM: (laughs) Let's not have anarchy, thank you!

NP: So Clement you've got 55 seconds to continue on congestion starting now.

CF: Too much mucus in the nose, wax in the ears...


NP: Wendy challenged.

WR: I just don't want him to start talking about mucus, I'll be sick!

NP: Well in Just A Minute you can talk about whatever you want...

WR: Yes I know, but it's not very nice, is it.

NP: Of course it's not very nice, but I mean, there are all kinds of things in life that are not very nice but we sometimes talk about them.

WR: Yes, but not on radio, not on Radio Four, Nicholas!

PM: Anyway, Radio Three's the mucus station, surely!

NP: Yes! He wasn't hesitating, deviating or repeating anything. So Clement, another point to you and 52 seconds, congestion starting now.

CF: I was not going to mention excrement in the colon, but saying the word... is now getting...


PM: Some people say it's the best place for it!

NP: Yes!

PM: Hesitation!

NP: Yes Paul, he did hesitate as well as he might. Right Paul, you have a correct challenge, you have the subject of congestion, my goodness, we're going, we've only been going for 19 seconds and we've still got 41 to go, congestion with you starting now.

PM: Forty-one plus 19 makes 60, that would be about right. I think London at this time of year is now experiencing a kind of... oh!


NP: Liza challenged.

LT: Visually that was hesitating.

NP: Vocally we say as well, so Liza you have the subject and it's congestion and there are 32 seconds available starting now.

LT: This week there's been massive congestion around where I live, and I'm talking of course about cars. Mercury's been retrograde so tempers have been frayed. And sitting in my motor, watching people do ridiculous things like dump rubbish out the window or gesticulate at someone who's trying to cut in, it's all part and parcel of London life. And congestion...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of London.

LT: Yeah okay.

NP: The part of London where I live, you said, and then you mentioned London again. Clement, another point to you, and 13 seconds, congestion starting now.

CF: The resurrection of the word congestion is likely to be due to Ken Livingstone's legislation. He is the Mayor of this town, unless there is a repeat of this programme...


NP: Wendy Richard challenged.

WR: It's a city, not a town.

NP: Um, the city of London's in the centre, and he's the Mayor of...

CF: London.

NP: .... the greater London council, so I think it's probably, he's not actually inaccurate saying that. Two seconds to go on congestion starting now.

CF: Congestion starting now...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud and with other points he gained in the round he's got a strong lead. And Liza your turn to begin, contact lenses. Can you tell us something about contact lenses in this game starting now.

LT: Contact lenses can be worn instead of spectacles to enhance one's appearance. And many a face has the weirdest of looks about it when they've taken their glasses off and suddenly start to wear said contact lenses. It seems odd. There are clubbers contact lenses with cat's eyes, or peepers of a crocodile or just the general colour of...


NP: Wendy challenged.

WR: Too many ors.

LT: Yeah that'd be right.

NP: Yes there were, right, pretty sharp but there we are, it's correct. Contact lenses, 41 seconds Wendy starting now.

WR: I could never get on with contact lenses. I actually wear glasses. In fact I went to have my eyes tested this morning, and I'm happy to say my sight has improved. So all the spectacles that I have at home I've got to give away to a charity, because I can't see through them...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: There were rather a lot of Is, I thought.

NP: Yeah I.

WR: But it's the eye...

PM: It is about contact lenses!

WR: ... and that I. And when I do it in Scottish, it's och aye!

NP: No but you did say I've got to do this, and I went there, and I did that. And though they let one or two go, three or four, I don't think we can Wendy. Sorry about that.

WR: Right.

NP: You're looking really as if you're very upset. I do apologise.

WR: No, no, I'm ecstatic, Nicholas! Don't worry about me!

NP: And there are 25 seconds for you Clement on contact lenses starting now.

CF: The main market in contact lenses is via people who lose them. They go to opticians and say "I would like to buy a pair, a set of contact lenses". And then put them away, and can't remember where it was they placed them. As a consequence they return to the edifice which housed the...


NP: Wendy challenged.

WR: I think he's struggling a bit now.

NP: He's really struggling...

CF: No, I was going very nicely.

NP: But, but he's...

CF: Timing myself!

NP: Right! Have you, have you a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

WR: All right, he was starting to hesitate.

NP: He was starting but he didn't actually achieve it. Clement, an incorrect challenge, three seconds, contact lenses starting now.

CF: Buy two , get one free...


NP: So Clement Freud is still speaking as the whistle went in each round, and getting other points, he's increasing his lead all along the line. And Paul Merton, your turn to begin, the subject is now molehills. Tell us something about molehills in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Well it's capable of several meanings. There is the molehill that you find in your lawn, created by the mole who's been digging away, trying to get at the various grubs and all the other things that might be living in your, the bottom of your garden. Or there is indeed the actual molehill that you can turn into a mountain by worrying about something, pulling away, fretting, thinking that the problem is actually bigger than it actually is...


NP: Liza challenged.

LT: Two actuallys.

NP: There were two actuallys, I'm afraid. So Liza you got in with 40 seconds to go, tell us something about molehills starting now.

LT: To get rid of moles, it's quite a good idea to start mowing the said meadow or lawn that you possess because they don't like the vibration. I heard that on a very interesting gardening programme on Radio Four. Another way to get rid of moles is wait till...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of get rid of.

NP: Get rid of.

LT: Oh!

NP: The subject is molehills and not get rid of.

LT: Is it? Oh!

NP: Yes, right, who challenged, it was you Clement. The subject is molehills, 26 seconds starting now.

CF: Limericks tend not to work on Just A Minute, but I will try regardless.
The delectably lovely Miss Colesill,
Once chanced to alight on a moles hill,
The inquisitive mole
Stuck his nose up her...



CF: Would you, would you at least permit me to finish it?

PM: I'm dieing to know what the rhyme is for molehill!

CF: Miss Colesill's all right, but the mole's ill!


CF: Wendy told me that!

NP: But before you finished and got that extra round of applause, we'll give him a bonus point for that anyway because it was quite an achievement getting it out in the time. Um what was your challenge Wendy?

WR: Well I was trying, I was trying to prevent him from saying something! I was trying to bleep it out! But er it was too late.

NP: You were, you know, with good taste, you were trying to save us.

WR: Yes yes.

NP: Well unfortunately. But he's not talking now so he's obviously pausing. So ah...


WR: Well I'll have a point!

LT: That was a Wendy tour.

NP: So he finished his rhyme, he got a bonus point for that. And Wendy you've got 10 seconds, tell us something about molehills starting now.

WR: On one occasion when we were out in the country, as I've said earlier on, I'm very short-sighted. And I was looking out the window and I thought "good heavens, they've got enormous molehills on their lawn" when one of them got up and hopped about...


NP: So Wendy Richard was then speaking as the whistle went, and gained that extra point. She's moved forward but she's only in second place with Liza Tarbuck, and followed by Paul Merton. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is parrot fashion. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: Parrots have an extremely limited sense of fashion. They wear the same boring colours, beaks that are blue, eyes red...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

CF: Wings, wings yellow...

NP: Yeah, you challenged?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, you're right yes.

CF: And they hesitate a lot!

NP: So you have 49 seconds Paul, tell us something about parrot fashion starting now.

PM: Well I think it means that you learn something by rote perhaps, but don't always understand the true substance you've actually tried to commit to memory. For example, the seven times table would be very foolish for me to go through because there is an awful lot of repetition. But I do remember sitting in the class chanting along with everybody else through this dreary rigmarole of these numbers, and I've never really been able to apply mathematics to any other portion of my life. I have an accountant who looks at the money I'm paid. He lives in Brazil, but I'm sure there's a reason for that. I'm... certain...


NP: So Wendy you challenged.

WR: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes. Thirteen seconds, tell us something about parrot fashion, Wendy starting now.

WR: Parrots are some of the most beautiful colours to behold. There's reds, yellows, greens, African greys, they're the best talkers. And then there are parakeets that are also fantastic colours like...


NP: So Wendy you were speaking as the whistle went and gained an extra point. You're creeping up on Clement Freud which is, well it's a very interesting situation that. And you're just ahead of Liza Tarbuck and Paul Merton. And Wendy it's your turn to begin, the subject is Oxford Street. I'm sure you know a lot about it, tell us something about it in this game starting now.

WR: I am fortunate enough to live in walking distance to Oxford Street. In fact Selfridges is my corner shop. I am often to be found in there wandering about or in, no, I mustn't say...


NP: Liza challenged.

LT: I'm helping her out but it's hesitation.

WR: I know.

NP: Yes it was hesitation. Liza, 49 seconds, tell us something about Oxford Street starting now.

LT: At Christmas time, Oxford Street is a dreadful place to be because you have to be aware of things like pickpotters... potters?


LT: Pickpotters?

NP: Paul?

LT: Throwing pots!

PM: Um, well it was deviation I'm afraid.

NP: Deviation, yes, from English as we understand it. Ah 43 seconds on Oxford Street starting now.

PM: It's one of the most famous streets in the world I suppose, full of shoe shops and record stores. There used to be a beautiful cinema in Oxford Street called the Academy, and I used to go there in my early teens, to watch a season of Buster Keaton films. I think round about the years 1970 through to about two years later. And it was a wonderful opportunity to see these movies followed by...


NP: Wendy challenged.

WR: Are we having too many sees?

NP: Yes I used to go there to see the film...

PM: Ah yes.

NP: ... followed by you seeing the movies. Wendy, well listened, 21 seconds, more on Oxford Street starting now.

WR: I think Oxford Street has more show shops than any other street in London. Unfortunately it's very difficult to find footwear for children. There's plenty of the high heeled...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation.

WR: Yes there was.

NP: Yes, 10 seconds, Oxford Street with you Paul, starting now.

PM: When I was a boy I thought Oxford Circus meant just that. And you could go along and there would be tumblers, acrobats, pretty little ponies trotting around and who knows, a glamorous fire eater...


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. He doesn't often trail in this show but he was. But he's now catching up, just beside Liza Tarbuck, one behind Wendy Richard and one or two behind our leader who is still Clement Freud. And Liza it is your turn to begin, my favourite beetle. Tell us, even if you haven't got one, tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

LT: My favourite beetle is a relative of the scarab and is the guy called dung-beetle. He excretes and collects all this poo into a great big ball and then eats it. And the female comes along and lays its egg in the middle. And then as they gestate from the heat of said manure, they grow up enjoying excrement and then move along and they...


LT: (laughs) I didn't know and I froze up!

NP: Ah so Clement you challenged first.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes, after what she'd said she hesitated. Clement you've got 38 seconds, my favourite beetle starting now.

CF: I too am very fond of dung-beetles. In South America there is a beetle which when it dies, is dried and pounded into cochineal. The colour being given solely because of the blood of the favourite beetle...


NP: Wendy challenged.

WR: Too many ofs.

NP: Yes there was.

CF: Of?

NP: Correct Wendy, 17 seconds, my favourite beetle starting now.

WR: My favourite Beatle was John Lennon. I had the good fortune to work with the Beatles. In fact it was my first film. Unfortunately my role, the scene I was in, ended up on the cutting room floor. I was mortified! But in the days I was with the Beatles...


NP: So Wendy Richard speaking as the whistle went, is moving forward in second place, she's catching up on our leader Clement Freud. She's just a bit ahead of Liza Tarbuck, Paul Merton is third and then Liza Tarbuck. And Paul, your turn to begin, the subject is things you should never do in the back of a cab. We've heard some pretty funny things in the show already but let's hear some more about the back of a cab starting now.

PM: Breeding pigs in the back of a cab is an extraordinarily difficult thing. Because first of all, you have to keep it quiet from the driver. And he's bound to, after a while, turn around and say "excuse me, what are you doing with that syringe?" And you have to point out that actually what you're trying to do is to bring forth little piglets from the porcine specimens in front of you. And of course, he won't have it. He'll say to you, he said "listen, you can't use the back of my cab for such animal husbandry" and he'll kick you out. Other things you can't do in the back of a cab is to create a life-sized picture of Clement Freud from matchsticks. It's far too fiddly a thing to do. Other people have tried it, some with a degree of success. But the whiskers generally try to give... oh!


NP: So Clement your challenge?

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think so there yes. He was going so fast and rapid, he stumbled and... 21 seconds available, you tell us something about things you should never do in the back of a cab starting now.

CF: I think the most important thing you should never do in the back of a cab is attempt to speak to the driver. I just wish drivers would do the same regarding...


NP: Wendy challenged.

WR: I was going to say driver, but it was drivers. I do beg your pardon.

NP: He said drivers and driver.

WR: Yes.

NP: Yes my love quiet. Twelve seconds Clement and a wrong challenge, still with you, things you should never do in the back of a cab starting now.

CF: I think somersaults are quite difficult to perform. Although the Arabesque might be possible driving down Oxford Street which is my favourite...


NP: Clement Freud again was speaking as the whistle went, with other points has increased his lead at the end of that round. And he also begins the next round because it's your turn Clement. And the subject is the perfect alibi. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: My Lord, I didn't do it, I was performing things in the back of a cab at the time...


NP: Liza challenged.

LT: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation.

LT: Or finality.

NP: He waited for his laugh, right, 53 seconds for you Liza, the perfect alibi starting now.

LT: Perfect alibi is basically I wasn't there and I can prove where I was. I happen to be sat at home with my wife, for example, would be a good one for Nicholas perhaps, or anybody who is in fact married...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Not if he'd been murdering his wife!

LT: True!

PM: That would not be a good alibi. I was sitting at home with the wife, that's not a perfect alibi!

NP: Ah...

PM: It isn't, is it Nicholas?

NP: No it isn't. No it isn't. But we, we noticed she hadn't established any circumstances under which that perfect alibi would be...

LT: Listen, I think he's right!

NP: You've let me off the hook! Thank you very much! Because ah you know in Just A Minute you can take the, interpret the rules any way you like. So 41 seconds, the perfect alibi with you Paul starting now.

PM: Presumably people have employed perfect alibis, we just don't know how perfect they were...


NP: Ah...

CF: Sorry.

NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Sorry. Sorry.

NP: Because you thought it was, but it's on the card. So Paul gets another point, he was interrupted, he carries on, the perfect alibi, 36 seconds starting now.

PM: I'm sure there are people somewhere in...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of people.

NP: Clement, 33 seconds on the perfect alibi starting now.


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: A hesitation.

NP: I think it was yes. Thirty-one seconds, the perfect alibi Paul, starting now.

PM: It's supposing that you can get away with the idea that somebody says "excuse me, where were you on the night of the 24th? Were you anywhere near Hampstead Heath?" And you can point out quite clearly you were sunning yourself in Rio de Janeiro. If you can prove that, then you have of course the perfect alibi. But do we suppose that the perfect alibi is actually covering up a crime, or is it in fact that the individual, this is probably the most boring speech...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: In fact.

NP: In fact you did say in fact...

CF: Came up in that boring speech a number of times.

NP: So Clement you cleverly got in with three seconds to go on the perfect alibi starting now.

CF: The thing to do is to talk to the policeman...


NP: And I'm afraid I have to tell you that this is to be the last round. But let me give you the situation as we go into the final round. It's ah Liza is Tarbuck in fourth place, but only just, only just! She's ah a point or two behind Paul Merton...

LT: Only just, I either am or I'm not really!

NP: ... equal with Wendy Richard, and they're all trailing Clement Freud who is still in the lead. And Wendy it's your turn to begin, so will you take the last round which is courting. Tell us something about courting in this game starting now.

WR: Courting seems to be very rarely done these days. Young couples go rushing into relationships whereas they should have a bit of courting first. Because it can be quite fun, you know, when you're courting and you can get taken out to the theatre and to the cinema and you're bought chocolates and perfume and diamond rings and all sorts of things like that. That is what courting is all about. Also I feel I am courting disaster any second now! I'm just hoping someone is going to buzz me...


NP: So Liza your friend sitting beside you, challenged you first.

LT: Yeah it was a certain look in the eye there and um...

WR: Panic!

LT: Yeah, a cat's paw under the door, wasn't it. Help me!

NP: Help her so...

LT: I'm in here, help me.

NP: No, no actual challenge but Wendy's quite prepared to sacrifice the subject. I mean, have you got a challenge?

LT: Oh we're suddenly being strict now, are we?

NP: I have to be fair, I always am fair throughout. So, so have you got a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

LT: Ands, there was a lot of ands.

NP: Yeah, a lot of ands. Right, 27 seconds, courting with you Liza starting now.

LT: Courting is the motion that you make whilst playing tennis and moving around the court...


NP: Ah Paul challenged.

PM: No, this is deviation, there's no such term in tennis as courting, you don't...

NP: No...

PM: It's nonsense! It's absolute rubbish! It's balderdash in fact! Balderdash!

NP: You created that on the spur of the moment and tried to bluff your way through it...

WR: No, I think she's right! Because... you have fielding on a cricket field, don't you...

PM: Yeah yeah...

WR: ... and on a football field. So you play tennis on a court, so you have courting. So Liza's quite right, because it's where you rush round the court you see.

PM: So on a football pitch you have pitching?

LT: Well but you do.

PM: Where?

NP: You only have courting...

LT: On the pitch!

CF: In the corners, the corners!

NP: You only have courting when you're playing tennis, when two lovers are together and they're not really playing the game seriously.

WR: What are you talking about?

NP: And they stop serving, they go behind the bushes and they're together. She created that word, Paul is right, you don't have courting in tennis. And...

LT: I'm going to look that up, photocopy it, and send you both that!

PM: Yes!

NP: All right, okay and 20 seconds on courting Paul starting now.

PM: You know it is strange that now we don't have that magical time when a couple can look in each other's eyes and say "I wonder how much money you're really worth". And you can judge that by the quality of the presents you're getting. Diamond rings is one thing but a tractor, that would...


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and with others in the round he has leapt forward. But I'll give you the final situation. Liza Tarbuck finished in a magnificent fourth place. She was... she gave her usual good value with great charm and panache. Wendy Richard who always gives good value, you finished in a very strong third place. Paul Merton who usually does magnificently, he did very well because he's in a beautiful second place. But that's all right, enough. And er, out in the lead, with a very strong lead was Clement Freud, we say Clement, you're the winner this week! It only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Liza Tarbuck, Wendy Richard and Clement Freud. I also thank Janet Staplehurst who has helped me keep the score, she's blown her whistle so delicately. And we also thank our producer-director, Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created the game. And we are very grateful to this lovely, warm, spontaneous audience here in the Drill Hall in the centre of London who have cheered us on our way magnificently. Thank you, from me Nicholas Parsons, from our panel, and from the audience as well, thank you, good-bye and tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!