NOTE: Nicholas Parsons's 300th appearance.


ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo and Sheila Hancock 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, thank you very much, hello and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And once again we're delighted to welcome back Sheila Hancock, to try and do battle with our three regular competitors of the game. And once again they're going to try speak if they can on the subject that I will give them and they will try and do it without hesitation, repetition or deviating from that subject. Derek would you start the show off with the subject of disreputable people. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: Disreputable people, I suppose one of the most disreputable people I've ever read about was Samuel Foot who actually set out, a great wit of the 18th century, to taunt actors. Foot found a way of writing...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Repetition of Foot, or feet as you should have said actually.

NP: Yes so Peter you have a correct challenge, you get a point for that and you take over the subject of disreputable people and there are 37 seconds left starting now.

PJ: Well I think they're very often much more entertaining than reputable people. I would much prefer to be on a long train journey with say Horatio Bottomley or even Doctor Crippin. I think to be in their company and listen to what they have to say, try to reason with them perhaps, compare notes, would be an enjoyable experience and might even teach one to er live...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Of an er, yes. I'm sorry you were there Peter. There are seven seconds for Derek Nimmo to take back the subject of disreputable people starting now.

DN: Disreputable people, I take Peter's point actually. Nicholas Parsons is an entirely reputable person and that of course is why any train journey with him...


NP: Derek Nimmo took a long time to get round to bringing me into the subject. But Derek, you were speaking as the whistle went so you get an extra point for doing so and you naturally have the lead at the end of that round. Peter Jones would you take the next round, the subject is keeping an even distribution of fruit in a cake. Quite a long and involved subject, and perhaps if you repeat it a couple of times you'll probably got about 30 seconds there. Anyway there are 60 seconds to go starting now.

PJ: Keeping an even distribution of fruit in a cake, well, I certainly hope Clement Freud is listening to this because I happen to know the answer. You just put the fruit, that is sultanas, raisins, cherries, bits of... candied peel...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

PJ: What?

DN: Hesitation, I...

PJ: No, I was doing it slowly because people might be writing it down!


NP: Because we liked your comeback Peter, we're going to be generous and let you keep it! So Peter you continue with the subject with 37 seconds, sorry, 44 seconds on keeping an even distribution of fruit in a cake starting now.

PJ: In a bowl, and you add some flour. Jumble it all up together and the er the er...


NP: It's impossible to give a recipe in Just A Minute!

DN: I want everyone to write down all those ers you see!

PJ: I know, I know.

NP: I'm afraid Derek has it that time. Derek there are 37 seconds this time on keeping an even distribution of fruit in a cake starting now.

DN: To keep an even distribution of fruit in a cake, I would first of all take a bowl, and then spread on it these sultanas and raisins and currants and all the things that one needs to make this delicious cake. And then over the top I would put flour and roll it with a... mill of some...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: Hesitation. Roll it with a er mill.

NP: Yes yes I, I think it was just there. I was debating in the lottery of my mind...

KW: You want to wake up! You want to get out your hearing, you want to wake up and pull yourself together, for goodness sake! Supposed to be a chairman! Gracious me, you want to listen!

NP: I was listening and I recognised it, but I had to decide whether it was long enough to be a pause or not...

KW: I can help you! I can help you about that!

NP: On this occasion I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and we'd like you to take over the subject. And there are 22 seconds for getting an even distribution of fruit in a cake starting now.

KW: To keep an even distribution of fruit in a cake, and I've seen this done by an Army chef by putting a lot, all the ingredients into the bowl, and then stamping with your foot on the whole lot. Now this is...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: No! Very bad advice!

KW: We're not interested in whether it's good advice, mate! All you can do is challenge for deviation or repetition or hesitation and you couldn't do it! You just wanted to get your oar in because you were hoping to get a few points!

PJ: You'd just have a very nasty mess in the bowl and very juicy feet!

KW: What do you know about my feet? You've never seen my feet!

NP: He was suggesting actually that it was deviation because you would not get an even distribution on the way this chap was doing it.

KW: I object strongly! I object to the bad manners on this show! I'm a well mannered...

NP: Well then shut up! Now I'll tell you what I will do to be perfectly fair, because I'm not going to judge whether your Army chef putting his foot on this cake would create an even distribution or uneven distribution. So I'm going to let our wise and intelligent audience... them be the judge. So if you agree with Peter's challenge, you cheer for him, and that means it's an uneven distribution. And if you disagree, you boo for Kenneth, and that means it was an even distribution, and you do it all together now!


NP: It was even! Even distribution. Kenneth you keep the subject according to the audience and you have eight seconds to continue on keeping an even distribution of fruit in a cake starting now.

KW: Most housewives would agree it's done with a wooden spoon, and very diligent stirring until the right consistency is maintained and then popped in the oven...


NP: So Kenneth Williams kept going until the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. And with the other points in the round, he is now in the lead, alongside Derek Nimmo, and just ahead of Peter Jones and Sheila Hancock. And it wasn't so very long ago at one of these recordings you were complaining that you never got into the lead.

KW: Well it goes in spates Nicholas, you see. You have a period when nothing seems to go for you. You understand my point?

PJ: Yes! I've been going through a bad patch that's lasted about 14 years!

NP: Right Sheila the subject is charm, and it's your turn to begin. And will you tell us something about it in the game starting now.

SHEILA HANCOCK: Well I think everybody has charm. There isn';t a single human being in the world that you can't find some little bit of them that is attractive and charming. I mean, for instance, you look at the panel, you've got Nick, with nice... nice hair!


SH: I was stumped! I was stumped!

NP: She looked at me and couldn't think of anything to say! I am shattered!

SH: I went blank! I really did, I went blank!

DN: I'm not surprised! He has that effect on most people!

NP: So Sheila Hancock went blank and er Peter...

PJ: Yes?

NP: You have 45 seconds to take over the subject of charm starting now.

PJ: As JB Priestley has said, quoting JM Barrie, charm has a sort of bloom on it...


NP: Peter, Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Repetition of J.

NP: I'm afraid so, JB Priestley and JM Barrie.

KW: Oh that's ridiculous! That is ridiculous!

PJ: Just a letter, you know!

KW: I mean if we're going to get down to that, you might as well you say you can't say a, you can't say the, you can't say any bloomin' word!

NP: All right...

PJ: It's not even a word!

KW: You're going raving mad! Mad! Mad!

NP: I'm sorry, I was laughing at Kenneth's outburst! But actually, no I think it's a very good challenge, JB Priestley and JM Barrie...

KW: (mimicking NP) Oh a very good challenge! Rubbish!

NP: After a kind of wardrobe...

KW: I'll come after you too, don't worry yourself! I've never heard such rubbish in my life!

SH: Listen, he'll stop you winning if you don't shut up!

KW: Oh I don't care! I mean that's a point at which you snap, isn't there! I mean, a genius like me coming along here with this sort of quibbling!

NP: It is not quibbling, I Think it was a good challenge. Derek I agree with your challenge and so you take over the subject with 37 seconds, charm starting now.

DN: I have a charm of which I'm very...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Deviation, he's no charm whatsoever!


NP: Oh it's going to be one of those shows again!

KW: No! No, I'm a liar, I don't mean it! No, he's all right, he's all right really! I was just wild about the last issue, that's all!

NP: Yes.

KW: I don't really mean he's got no charm, of course he has.

NP: Yes.

KW: I mean he's...

NP: He's got as much charm as you, hasn't he?

KW: Eh?

NP: He's got as much charm as you.

KW: Yeah that's right yes.

NP: So Kenneth didn't mean it but give him a point for a very good challenge, only because the audience enjoyed it, for no other reason. It was not good in the game...

PJ: He said "a charm" didn't he? He said "a charm", yes. It's probably one of those things to keep rheumatism at bay!

NP: So Derek you get a point for a wrong challenge, you keep the subject, charm, and there are 35 seconds starting now.

DN: And it's a lucky Cornish pixie which I bought from Mrs Trethowan who lives near Penzance. And I take this charm with me, and it has had the most beneficial effects. Sometimes I rub my charm until it gleams like gold, although of course actually it's made of brass. And it for me produces extraordinary good fortune, and that is really what a charm should be. It comes from a very old Latin word, carmen which the ah...


DN: I've stopped!

NP: Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, once he tried to show off his classical education, he dried. So Sheila you have the subject of charm with eight seconds to go starting now.

SH: Nicholas has got this ability to smooth over...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Regretfully, repetition of Nicholas.

SH: No, I said Nick last time, didn't I?

KW: Yes!

NP: Yes.

KW: You see? Yes he did! That's clever! That's clever!

NP: Anyway we'll decide that you did Sheila, and you have five seconds on charm starting now.

SH: Pouring il on troubled waters such as Kenneth and Derek and Peter when they get snotty...


NP: Well it's a very even contest because not a lot of points are being scored and they're keeping close. Sheila Hancock's now crept up into second place alongside Peter Jones, and they're both only one point behind Derek Nimmo and Kenneth Williams, our joint leaders. Kenneth your turn to begin, the subject, amber. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

KW: I had a very pretty row of amber beads and alas they became irretrievably lost along with those lovely old hooks and eyes I used to save in a wonderful little thing made of japonica. And the amber in this japonica bowl... oh!


NP: Yes his japonica tripped him up. So Peter there are 39 seconds for you to talk on amber starting now.

PJ: Well I think it's made of rosin, and it lasts for a long time. Occasionally you find a wasp or bee imprisoned in it and it keeps them like that as they...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Deviation, there's no, it's not made of rosin it's made of resinous material. It' not rosin. Where did you get this word rosin?

NP: Is that right?

PJ: I thought it was called rosin.

NP: No, rosin's something you use to get a shine on things.

PJ: Isn't that the same thing?

NP: No!

PJ: Really?

NP: It's a resin! I think Kenneth's right!

PJ: Oh well! It's nice to have an educational element in the programme! Didn't know that! Resin is it?

NP: Yeah!

PJ: Like they make the wine out of in Greece?

KW: Yes don't go on and on about it! I'm supposed to have the subject back!

NP: Retsina you're thinking if!

PJ: Oh is that it?

NP: Yes!

PJ: And that's what you put on your shoes?

NP: You can, but you might have the dogs licking them!

PJ: Yes!

KW: He's thinking of the resin that is the quality in the, in the timber, yes.

NP: Yes, right so there are 27 seconds for you to take over the subject of amber Kenneth, or to take it back, I should say, starting now.

KW: Well she was the subject of a great novel, you know, a story of this wanton woman who was always getting mixed up in various sexual escapades. And held a great readership in enormous...


NP: Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: Is that running out of breath or hesitation?

NP: Well I couldn't hear a word he was saying so I don't know what he did!

SH: He kind of ran out.

NP: Well I couldn't hear a word so I'd have to say Sheila that yes he ran out and there was a pause. So you now have the subject of amber with 14 seconds to go starting now.

SH: I once had a beautiful amber ring which was a kind of murky brown set in gold, about half an inch across...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation.

NP: Why?

DN: Well if it was a murky brown, it wouldn't be amber, and it wouldn't be beautiful.

NP: She was describing it and her amber ring might have been exactly that colour, we do not know. She hasn't got it with us to prove the point. So she keeps going with six seconds on amber starting now.

SH: No, very sadly I lost it a little while ago. But it was amber, it was called some special sort of amber...


NP: So Sheila's special sort of amber kept her going. It was amber, I knew it all the time Sheila. And you have an extra point for speaking as the whistle went and you are now in the lead! Derek your turn to begin, the subject is olives. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

DN: Sitting there on the balcony, overlooking the bay at Pyreus, I was eating some beautiful olives and quaffing retsina. How nice I thought! And as I did this, I remembered Peter Jones, that dear wise old chum who was much given to being at islands like the one I've just described. Olives are something which has been a symbol of purity and circumbity for many years. Indeed ancient maidens used to weave olive leaves into their...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Well deviation. I mean, ancient maidens? I mean aren't maidens young? What are you doing with all these ancient old crones who are suddenly maidens?

NP: Yes.

KW: I mean, I mean it's ludicrous!

NP: I think so, you can't be ancient and a maiden.

KW: I shouldn't have thought so! You're a crone! I mean if he means maidens in ancient times, well he should pick his language more cleverly, shouldn't he.

NP: So Kenneth, you take over the subject with 27 seconds on olives starting now.

KW: Whatever Olive's is usually mine as well, because we know each other very well. And she's often said to me "anything you fancy, dear, just you make it known and I'll accommodate you in more ways than one". And I have found her to be a stalwart in times of appalling adversity. I've run to Olive and she's always said "what's Olive's is yours and..."


NP: (laughs) Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: That's the second time she's said it.

NP: Yeah you repeated the whole phrase, what's Olive's is yours.

KW: Well it's jolly good, isn't it, because she's a generous person.

NP: So Sheila you cleverly got in with one second to go...

KW: Oh! That's brilliant, isn't it! Talk about doing a Freud!

SH: (laughs) I'm doing a Freud! Yes!

KW: She's doing a Freud here!

NP: She's sitting in Freud's chair there and...

SH: Yes it takes you over!

NP: Yes! One second to go on olives Sheila starting now.

SH: Olives are my very...


NP: So Sheila Hancock has increased her lead at the end of that round, and Peter Jones begins the next round. The subject Peter is why I've given up the harp.

SH: Oh! (laughs) Oh dear!

NP: Will you tell us something about that subject in the game starting now.

PJ: Well I haven't given up the harp as a matter of fact. So I can't see how I can be asked to, in fact I've never taken it up in the first place!


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

PJ: And have no intention of doing so while I'm still living!

KW: Two in facts.

NP: Yes. Yes.

PJ: What was that?

NP: In fact, and the fact, the fact that you never actually went on the subject. So Kenneth has a correct challenge with...

PJ: Terribly unfair, it's like have you stopped beating your wife? You know, it's just er one of those questions isn't it.

NP: Yes well let's see what Kenneth does with it, I think that was the reason Ian Messiter thought of it...

PJ: So I'd lose it to him? Yes! I see what you mean, yes!

NP: Well we thought we might have a bit of fun with this one. Kenneth the subject is why I've given up the harp, there are 52 seconds starting now.

KW: The reason was I was very privileged once to help out with the Monestram Orpheus Choir. And one of the instruments used there was a beautiful Welsh harp. And I was instructed ah about playing it you see...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I couldn't hear again. So Peter you have the subject back again with 37 seconds, why I've given up the harp starting now.

PJ: Well, assuming that I did take up the harp, let us imagine that I played it for a while and then gave it up...


NP: Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: Hesitation.

NP: Yes Sheila...

PJ: No hesitation! What was the hesitation?

SH: You paused!

NP: You stopped! You paused!

PJ: Paused?

NP: It was a dramatic pause but I'm afraid we can't allow that in this game...

PJ: Yes, I got to the end of a bar!

NP: Sheila will you tell us something about why I've given up the harp, 29 seconds starting now.

SH: Why I've given up the Harp is because I think The Carpenter's Arms is a better pub. Because they served rotten beer at the Harp, it was kind of smoky and it had a bad froth on the top. So eventually I toppled down the road and I went into The Carpenter's Arms and I said "I don't think much of the Harp..."


NP: Derek Nimmo has...

DN: She's been in The Carpenter's Arms twice.

NP: Yes, The Carpenter's Arms.

SH: Oh yes.

NP: It's got too much of a plug in this show, they're rushing down there now. There are 14 seconds Derek on why I've given up the harp starting now.

DN: Why I have given up the harp is because it's the cognisance of Ireland in heraldry. And there's something particularly distasteful about those three points of the harp that remind you of the Irish trilogy...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Oh I don't know! Some, must be some reason!


PJ: I didn't like that part of it at all, you know.

NP: I just think you've been rather sharp, but I'm afraid I have to be fair to Derek Nimmo...

PJ: I am a bit trigger happy with this hand, you know.

NP: You've tried very hard Peter, but Derek keeps the subject, there is, there is one fifth of a second to go starting now.

DN: Why I've given up the harp...


NP: So an even more interesting situation now. Let me give you now the score...

KW: Do you have to? We're awfully bored by all these scores! Dreary isn't it!

NP: Well you might be surprised to hear...

KW: Dreary recitation of scores all the time!

NP: ... that some people actually enjoy knowing what the score is. And you are now in second place with Derek Nimmo. You are two points behind our leader who is Sheila Hancock, and Peter Jones is two points behind you. And Sheila takes the next subject, and this one should give us some fun, if Sheila loses it, that is. The subject is dancing with Nicholas Parsons.

SH: Oh!

NP: And you have 60 seconds to tell us something about that in the game Sheila starting now.

SH: I should imagine that if one was lucky enough to dance with Nicholas Parsons, it would be a kind of graceful waltz. I don't think somehow it would be reggae or anything like that. This Ginger Rogers dress I'll have on, and he'll be in an evening suit, or tails even. And we'll waltz around...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Second waltz.

SH: Yes.

NP: I'm afraid that was the second waltz. I have saved the last waltz for you Sheila...

SH: Thank you Nicholas, thank you.

NP: But the second one goes to Derek Nimmo!


NP: Derek...

SH: You shouldn't have let him win it! He'll be evil!

NP: Oh I don't know, we can have some fun with this one. Derek Nimmo, you have the subject of dancing with Nicholas Parsons. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

DN: I can imagine absolutely no fun at all in dancing with Nicholas Parsons. And the fact that I have 27 seconds in which to talk about it is almost too long. The thought of those great hairy arms locked around mine fills me with great disgust and revulsion. Can you imagine, any of you, ladies and gentlemen, I implore you, the thought of that ogre, that monster I know, treading on your toes, his great hairy... oh!


NP: Sheila challenged. You gave me too much hair, I'm sorry.

DN: You are getting a bit thin!

NP: Sheila you have the subject back and there are 12 seconds on dancing with Nicholas Parsons starting now.

SH: The band should be something like Victor Silvester and...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: It won't be in this world if it's Victor Silvester!

SH: I knew you'd say that! It's a record!

NP: She did say it should be something like Victor Silvester.

SH: Yes.

NP: She didn't say it will be our dear departed Victor Silvester. So Peter, lovely challenge, the audience gave you a round of applause for it, give Peter a bonus point. But Sheila gets the subject and another point too because it was a wrong challenge. There are eight seconds left, dancing with Nicholas Parsons, Sheila...

DN: He likes this subject, doesn't he!


NP: Peter's challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes! Sheila he wants to talk about it, give it to him. Sheila gets a point for that incorrect challenge, Peter Jones takes over the subject because he wants to talk about dancing with Nicholas Parsons starting now.

PJ: Well naturally I would prefer to be a wallflower! But if I were forced and paid an enormous amount of money, I suppose I would contend...


NP: So Sheila's generosity has brought Peter up into second place, alongside Derek Nimmo. Kenneth's one point behind but Sheila has a very strong lead there. Kenneth you begin the next round, the subject is stoppers. Can you tell us something about those in the game starting now.

KW: They're peculiarly difficult for me because they should contain right inside the cap, if you're using the screw-type, the sort of material which acts as a washer if you like. But to ensure that when shaken up and down, it doesn't actually dribble in any way. Now that particular element seems to be often missing in my bottles. And consequently, obeying the injunction which is always there from the chemist, shake before using...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two shakes.

KW: No, I said shaking before, you great fool! Why don't you listen! It's so ridiculous isn't it! I don't know why I come here! I come all the way from Great Portland Street!

NP: I mean just because he made a mistake, you don't need to...

KW: Well he's got no right to! I don't make any, ever, on this show!


KW: Shut your rows!

NP: For once, Kenneth, the audience unanimously disagreed with you!

KW: I'll have them all expelled from here! Disgraceful!

NP: So actually Derek was incorrect, so you keep the subject and there are 29 seconds on stoppers starting now.

DN: Children have some that they chew called gobstoppers. And I hear...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: No, they don't chew gobstoppers. They're much too hard.

NP: No, you can't chew a gobstopper, that's a good challenge. Yes you have to suck it. And so Peter you have 24 seconds to tell us something about stoppers starting now.

PJ: Well I have in mind show stoppers. People who come on in the middle of a revue or a variety programme, and they actually stop the performance with enthusiasm engendered by the audience...


NP: Derek Nimmo came to your rescue.

DN: Repetition of audience and hesitation.

NP: Yes, Derek you have 10 seconds on stoppers starting now.

DN: Yes it's the sort of joke that you hear. What have you got if you have got a green ball in your left hand, and one in your right one as well? And the answer is of course...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

DN: ... a leprechaun's undivided attention!

PJ: He's repeating one again. Up to his old tricks!

NP: This time you've got in with one and a half seconds to go with a correct challenge.

PJ: Ah great!

NP: Yes!

PJ: Great, that's great, isn't it!

NP: The subject is stoppers and you start now.

PJ: My dentist is always...


NP: So Peter Jones was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And unfortunately we have come to the end of the show this week. The final score was that Kenneth who had the lead at one point finished up in a very strong fourth place. Only one point behind the two who were equal in second place, that was Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo. And our winner was our guest who only will come once ina while, but when she does come here, she adds not only charm, wit and inventiveness to the game, I wish she'd come more often!

SH: She wins it!

NP: Sheila Hancock! So congratulations because it's difficult with the regulars to try and beat them, but Sheila our guest, she did just that. We hope you have enjoyed the show this week 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.