starring TONY HAWKS, LINDA SMITH, CHRIS NEILL and BILL BAILEY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 10 March 2003)

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: 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 in this country and of course throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show this week four exciting, talented players who are going to display their verbal wit and ingenuity, their creative, humorous talent as they try and speak on a subject I will give them and as they do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four people are, sitting on my right Bill Bailey and Tony Hawks, and sitting on my left Linda Smith and Chris Neill. Please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Claire Bartlett, who is 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 Mortings Concert Hall which is at Snape, near Saxmunden and not far from Alborough and other of those lovely towns in the great, lovely county of Suffolk. And in front of us we have a real Suffolk audience. As we start the show with Linda Smith. Linda, the subject is what I dreamt about last night. Tell us something about that in this game, starting now.

LINDA SMITH: What I dreamt about last night is a very unfortunate opening to a sentence, I think. If someone says to me "would you like to hear what I dreamt about last night?" I think "no, you're quite boring conscious..."


NP: Tony challenged.

TONY HAWKS: Repetition of think.

NP: Yes.

LS: Did I? Oh!

NP: Fifty seconds Tony, you've got in with a correct challenge, you get a point for that and you take over the subject of what I dreamt about last night starting now.

TH: Bizarrely, what I dreamt about last night was that I was on Just A Minute talking on the subject what I dreamt about last night. Which makes this particular period of time a bit weird for me. However I er also, I...


NP: Bill Bailey challenged.

BILL BAILEY: Ah oh er hesitation, deviation!

NP: I'd stick to the first one if I were you. Right, he did, he did hesitate Bill...

BB: Yeah.

NP: So you have a correct challenge, and you have the subject of what I dreamt about last night, you get a point for your correct challenge of course and you have 35 seconds available starting now.

BB: What I dreamt about last night was that I entered a pub, a tiny dwelling, very very small...


NP: And that's the natural speech pattern, isn't it.

BB: It is!

NP: Very small, very very small. Right Chris you challenged first.

CHRIS NEILL: Ah repetition of very.

BB: Yeah right.

NP: Repetition yes. So Chris we're going to hear from you on this subject and there are 28 seconds available, what I dreamt about last night.

CN: I think I may have been in Tony's dream, because I was dreaming about being on Just A Minute last night. In fact it was taking place on Shaftesbury Avenue in London, not at this very lovely place in, oh I've said place...


CN: I'm so honest!

NP: Eighteen seconds, another point to you Linda, what I dreamt about last night starting now.

LS: What I dreamt about last night was horrifying. Nicholas Parsons, crazed with power, decided to take over all the quiz shows on the radio. First of all he marched on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. Humphrey Lyttleton is now under house arrest. Then he moved in on The News...


NP: In this game, whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, on this occasion it was Linda Smith, and at the end of that round she has two points and all the rest have only one. But it's early days. Bill Bailey will you take the next round, the subject is opera. Something which we associate with this...


NP: I don't know why you're laughing, it's quite a natural thing to say in this part of the world, isn't it? Right, tell us something about opera Bill, 60 seconds starting now.

BB: To many people, opera is the perfect synthesis of music, drama, words and visual spectacle. For others a Gary Newman concert offers exactly the same... thing...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Ah hesitation.

BB: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation yes, it was...

BB: I do apologise.

NP: Right. I thought what you said was very apt and to the point. But Chris you got in with 49 seconds available to tell us something about opera starting now.

CN: No wonder we've been given this subject in this part of Suffolk. Because of course, here Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears lived.


CN: Don't laugh! It's not funny! Anyway the composer that I alluded to wrote in this very... oh!


NP: In this very what?

CN: I tried to say part, but then I knew that I'd said it before, but I didn't want to do that thing that I always do where I go "I've said it before". I tried to avoid doing it.

NP: You didn't so...

CN: And I was going to teach these people so much about Benjamin Britten.

NP: I think they probably know a bit about him anyway.

CN: Oh nothing!

NP: Linda you challenged infinitesimally ahead of Tony and what was your challenge?

LS: Ah hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes. Opera is with you Linda and there are 35 seconds available starting now.

LS: The most wonderful thing about the composer that Chris has just mentioned, is that in Alborough's award winning chip shop, you can get a Billy Budd supper in commemoration of that very man. It is a marvellous thing. A rather gloomy piece of haddock surrounded by chips, carved to resemble...


NP: Bill challenged.

BB: Chip, ah, chips.

NP: Yes fish and chip shop.

CN: Oh!

NP: No, no you didn't...

LS: But then you'd want more than...

NP: No, no, she said chip, fish and chip, it was, it was plural...

LS: No, I said chip shop and then chips.

NP: That's right.

LS: Yes.

NP: It was singular and plural.

BB: Yeah chips shop!

NP: No, she said chip shop. She said a chip shop.

BB: You don't just get one chip with fish do you.

NP: No, she called it, she talked about a chip shop. And then she said fish and chips.

BB: Chips shop.

NP: Yes, so opera's still with you Linda and there are 18 seconds available starting now.

LS: But apart from the person I alluded to before, opera generally...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Repetition of alluded.

NP: Yes.

CN: Thank you.

NP: Thank you very much.

CN: Thank you.

NP: Yes you said he'd alluded to Benjamin Britten before.

LS: Absolutely right.

NP: So alluded had come up again, 15 seconds is back with you, now you've said you want to tell them something about it starting now.

CN: Peter Grithe...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of Peter.

CN: Oh no!

LS: You see, you see...

NP: Because you said Peter Pears before.

LS: ... that's why I went with Billy Budd!

CN: Mmmm!

NP: Yes well, I know...

CN: And what I had to say was so good!

NP: I know! He's so keen to tell them all about it, but Tony, a correct challenge, so we're playing Just A Minute now, we're not playing opera buffing. Fourteen seconds, opera with you starting now.

TH: In opera sometimes I think they sing too loud. They hit those top...


NP: Bill challenged.

BB: Repetition of they.

NP: They, yes. Tough challenge Bill but correct.

BB: I'm trying to get everything I get...

NP: I'll say this Bill. This is only the second time you've played the game, but you have learned fast!

BB: God bless you!

NP: And you now have nine seconds to tell us something about opera starting now.

BB: Opera is derived from an old Latin phrase meaning "get on with it"! (pauses) It was...


NP: Bill haven't said "get on with it", you didn't get on with it!

BB: I know! I tried to think what the next phrase was!

NP: I know, right, having got your laugh you sort of sat back and Chris got in with a challenge with four seconds, what was your challenge?

CN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes it was hesitation, four seconds, tell us something about opera starting now.

CN: The Tale Of The Screw follows the theme of many of that man's operas. Basically he...


NP: Chris Neill speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's now in the lead just ahead of Linda Smith, and he's three ahead of Bill Bailey and Tony Hawks. And Tony it's your turn to begin, the subject is how to choose from the wine list. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TH: Choosing from the wine list seems to be a strangely important part of the ritual of courting. The man will hold the wine list and try to demonstrate enormous knowledge about different wines. If he fails to do so, he will have no sex whatsoever, with that lady later in the evening, which is why I have studied for hours. And I know a great deal about many different drinks of white and red colour. Also rose if I really want to impress but that's another story, and I haven't got time to tell it now, I've only got a minute. Anyway I was with a group of people who were tasting swine and er...


NP: So Bill you challenged.

BB: Yes, tasting swine.

TH: Well I was going to go on and explain why they were doing that.

BB: Ah! Sorry, maybe that was an incorrect challenge. They were tasting different sorts of pig!

NP: We'll call that in...

BB: Pig tasting?

NP: Hesitation.

BB: I like a wild boar of an evening.

TH: Well they were out with me so they were all right!

NP: So Bill, a correct challenge...

BB: Yes.

NP: And you have how to choose from the wine list, 19 seconds available starting now.

BB: How to choose from the wine list is probably one of the most best selling books ever written by me...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: I thought there, one of the most best selling wine books?

NP: Yes it was, that's right, one of the most best selling books.

BB: One of the most best selling books!

NP: Yes.

BB: It sells even more than some of the others!

NP: Yeah it was a slight deviation from grammar as we understand it, but on the other hand one has to keep going under pressure in Just A Minute.

LS: Fair enough.

NP: He's only played the game once before. I think I'd be very mean if I took it away from you. So Bill, another point...

BB: Oh!

TH: I'd like Bill to carry on, because he's clearly got a lot to say on this subject!

BB: Oh yes!

TH: Just the way you set off there, I'm really anticipating this!

NP: Bill, please, don't bang the table because it comes over very badly on radio. Well we get letters...

BB: It's like going on a school trip, this show!

NP: I know!

BB: Do this, do that, do this.

NP: It's even worse when you bang the microphone like that. You see when you're on television, when you're on television...

LS: Don't tell anyone, but I'm going home!

NP: When you're on television in The Buzzcocks, they can see you banging the table and it doesn't matter.

BB: Yeah, it's...

NP: On radio, they get a bit confused. They think somebody's, something more sinister is going on...

BB: Yeah

TH: Come on! I want to hear what he's got to say! Come on! Let's get going!

NP: I want to hear what he's got to say yes, and you've got another 12 seconds to tell us how to choose from the wine list starting now.

BB: Ohhh leave it...


BB: What?

NP: Chris why have you challenged?

CN: Well is that deviation?

NP: No.

CN: Well that ohhhhhhh!

BB: That's ah...

NP: That's how he chooses from the wine list!

BB: Yeah!

NP: I took it that he was making up his mind, ohhhhhhhh! I, I think I'd be mean if I took it away from you again. Now, 11 seconds, how to choose from the wine list Bill, starting now.

BB: Are we there yet? I'm hungry! I want to go to the toilet!


BB: These are examples of whines, what?

NP: Chris has challenged.

CN: Well this is deviation from how to choose from the wine list.

NP: Yes.

BB: No.

LS: That was a list of whines.

BB: A list of whines!

CN: Oh I see!

BB: It's true!

NP: Right, so you've interpreted the wine in a different way which is very clever, and the audience enjoyed it and er there are seven seconds...

BB: So, that is so patronising! That's very clever and the audience enjoyed it!

NP: Bill I could never patronise you, you're far too talented, I know that.

BB: Oh God bless you! God bless you!

NP: If it sounds like that, it is...

TH: You just did it then! You did it!

BB: (in patronising voice) I would never patronise you. I would never talk down to you Bill!

NP: I only say these things to give you ammunition to come back with your fertile humorous mind!

BB: Oh!

TH: Come on! He's got more to say on the wine list, come on!

BB: How long have I got?

NP: And you've got seven seconds...

BB: Seven seconds! That could be a lifetime! Right so!

NP: ... starting now.

BB: Oh haven't we got any crisps or pop? I really want to go. These are examples of whines that could be attributed to a teenager's whine...


NP: A very inventive way to use wine list and that's not supposed to be patronising! And Bill with all the other points you got in that round, it's meant you've leapt forward. You're in a strong lead. You're four ahead, no, you're three ahead of Linda Smith, four of Chris Neill, and five of Tony Hawks. And Linda your turn to begin, the subject, the North Sea.

LS: Oh.

NP: Which isn't very far from here.

LS: No.

NP: And you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

LS: The North Sea exists largely to remind us how lucky we are to be land mammals. If you've ever seen people trying to swim in the North Sea, you'll understand what I mean. You see poor little children come...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of see.

LS: No, seen and see.

NP: I know she was seeing see S-E-E, but it's still the same sound, you know...

TH: Fair enough, fair enough, okay. I withdraw, I withdraw my challenge.

NP: Right and Linda another point to you...

CN: Well done Linda.

NP: ... and 48 seconds starting now.

LS: Regardless of all this bickering, my point is it's bloody freezing in there! You cannot swim in that substance because you see people coming out, they're shivering like mad, their teeth are chattering, their limbs are lavender. Their poor little things have got to be resuscitated by...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Repetition of their?

NP: Well yes...

LS: Oh at the very least!

CN: Their limbs and their something else.

NP: Yes there was too many theirs. Right...

LS: Swim as well. I said that twice, nobody noticed. I don't know why I bother sometimes.

NP: Chris a correct challenge, the North Sea's with you, 32 seconds starting now.

CN: There is a player of this game, Just A Minute, Clement Freud, that told me once that he likes to spend New Year's Day swimming in the sea off Warbeswick, in the nude! Nice! Anyway (starts laughing)...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Shall we all come up next New Year's Day? No, I think he sort of stopped because he kind of, the thought of it made him unable to carry on.

NP: No I think he got such a good laugh, he thought he'd retire on it. Um but um but it was a definite hesitation. So Tony you have 18 seconds, tell us something about the North Sea starting now.

TH: If there's a North Sea, I think there ought to be an East Sea, or a West Sea, or a South Sea. But there isn't...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: There is a Southsea, it's lovely!

TH: True.

NP: It's not a sea, but it's just near Portsmouth, it's a town.

LS: It's lovely.

NP: But within the rules of Just A Minute, it's a correct challenge so Linda...

LS: Blimey!

NP: ... 10 seconds to tell us more about the North Sea starting now.

LS: What a wonderful opportunity to tell you all more about the North Sea. I believe I may have covered its salient feature, ie. a slight deficiency in the temperature department...


NP: Linda Smith was then speaking as the whistle went. Got that extra point and with others in the round, she has leapt forward. She's now equal with Bill Bailey in the lead, and they're three points ahead of Chris Neill, and then comes Tony Hawks. And Bill, your turn to begin again, the subject, how to change your identity. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

BB: How to change your identity sounds like an autobiography of Gary Glitter. It would be something you'd have to do if you were trying to escape your former life. For example, wear a massive wig all of your existence, and then when things go a bit pear-shaped, take it off...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Two existence, it was your former existence and then existence.

BB: Was it?

LS: I think it was.

BB: Ahhhh!

CN: Can't say I heard that!

BB: No.

NP: I didn't hear that either.

LS: Yes but you didn't hear me say swim twice, did you?

CN: No, I did, but I didn't know which one of your faults to pick up on!

NP: Linda, 43 seconds, how to change your identity starting now.

LS: How to change your identity is quite easy. You come and live in an East Anglian village, somewhere like Swoppam or Swarfega, or one of those totally made-up places. And you wouldn't really have to change your identity because no-one would bother to try and find you, because it's such a bloody long way! It's...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: But it's not a long way if you live in Alborough.

LS: Oh it is!

TH: No it isn't, it's all relative you know. You're saying it's a long way, that's a very London-centric thing to say.

NP: You didn't, you...


LS: But if you lived in Alborough, you probably wouldn't talk to people who lived here, so you wouldn't need to change your identity.

TH: Nobody lives here, this is a theatre!

NP: Listen, Um there are 25 seconds available for you Tony on how to change your identity starting now.

TH: I think a good way of changing your identity is to buy one of those little plastic clip-on moustaches that they sell in joke shops, and then adopt a French accent and pretend to be Hercule Poirot. Hours of fun to be had there and on a boring rainy Sunday, that's how you could pass your time. Of course you could travel to London...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Was there a repetition of of course?

NP: There was, he did say of course before. So Tony, Chris, correct challenge and you have four seconds to tell us something about how to change your identity starting now.

CN: I am a master of disguise!


NP: At the end of that round, one point separates them all. Linda Smith is in the lead. One point behind is Bill Bailey, then Chris Neill and then Tony Hawks. And Chris, your turn to begin, the subject is good manners. Tell us something about good manners in this game starting now.

CN: When in Suffolk, I believe it to be good manners not to make jokes about inbreeding! It seems rather silly in this county when there are so many lovely things to point out. Also it seems particularly ridiculous when you realise that Norfolk is only next door! It's also good manners... oh!


NP: You must admit the people in East Anglia can laugh against themselves, can't they!

CN: They certainly can!

NP: They're lovely lovely people.

CN: I love 'em all!

NP: Yes! Bill you challenged first.

BB: What?

NP: You challenged.

BB: Did I?

NP: Yes. He came to a halt. Good manners, you challenged first Bill, 42 seconds starting now.

BB: I absolutely love good manners. There is nothing more horrible than somebody on a train, for example, with a walkman that is too loud, and someone in the audience coughing very very loud... oh!


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Well he got tripped up by the old very very again.

BB: Yes. Someone put me off with a (cough cough). Right in the middle of the... sorry, I banged the table!

NP: I won't draw your attention, otherwise you'll say I'm patronising you again.

BB: I do apologise.

NP: That's all right, don't apologise. Right, 25 seconds Tony with you, good manners starting now.

TH: It's not considered good manners to fart before the Queen. You have to let her do it first! So I'm told. Now good manners is something we're losing a little bit in this country. The British, we used to enjoy such a reputation around the world. But as Bill said, you do see some things that I don't think people should get away with. Mobile phones, too loud on trains. This guy on one recently was making so many calls it was just like being in his office. I wouldn't have minded but he had me doing photocopying...


NP: So Tony Hawks got points in that round, and one for speaking as the whistle went. And he's leapt forward, he's now trailing a little but not so much as he was. Just behind Chris Neill, and a point or two behind our leaders Linda Smith and Bill Bailey. And Linda, your turn to begin, the subject, shop assistants. Tell us something about them in this game starting now.

LS: Shop assistants come in all types. Particularly ones I dislike are those snooty ones in posh department stores...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of ones.

NP: Of ones, yes. They come in, yes. Yes well done Tony, you've got 53 seconds, tell us something about shop assistants starting now.

TH: I'm irritated by the shop assistants in whitegoods stores who tell you how brilliant the product is, sell it to you, and then try and sell you insurance!


NP: Chris challenged.


CN: He's obviously struck a chord there.

NP: Yeah.

CN: Um, is there repetition of sell.

NP: That's right, he sell it to you and then sell insurance. Forty-four seconds with you Chris, shop assistants starting now.

CN: I must come to their defence. My mother is a shop assistant, she works in Boots in Teddington, which is a very dull suburb of London. She's on her feet all day and I worry about the bunions and the varicose veins that could ensue from this since you don't get paid much. Honestly, you should see it.... oh!


NP: Yes Linda what's the challenge.

LS: I didn't mean your Mum!

NP: So what's, what's your... why have you challenged?

LS: Um, oh there was something! What was it?

CN: I did sort of hesitate and a stumble.

LS: Yes, thank you Chris, you hesitated.

NP: I didn't actually hear him hesitate.

CN: No, I didn't hesitate.

NP: You didn't, no. He didn't actually hesitate.

LS: Oh he didn't? Oh I'm so sorry.

NP: Yes. So Chris you've got another point and you've got 31 seconds, still with you on shop assistants starting now.

CN: When I was about 18, I worked in the London store, Liberty for two whole days...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of London.

NP: Yes, you talked about London yes...

TH: The dull suburb of.

CN: It's a fascinating place!

NP: Teddington's not a very nice part of London. So 27 seconds available for you Tony on shop assistants starting now.

TH: You feel like taking them by the throat and saying "if it's so useless, why did you make me buy it in the first place?"


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: I think he said buy before.

NP: Yes, you did say buy before when you were talking before. Right, 18 seconds Linda, shop assistants starting now.

LS: Shop assistants with a superior attitude are quite annoying. You ask them, for example, "oh where are the gloves please?" And they look at you as if you'd just asked Princess Michael of Kent to clean a toilet! I don't like that when I go into a shop. Some other shop assistants that annoy me are those very very young ones...


LS: Oh!

NP: Tony yes you got in there.

TH: Ah repetition of annoy actually before...

NP: Yes, annoy as well, but the very very came later. You can't have two points, only one, and you've got one second to go on shop assistants starting now.

TH: When I was on...


NP: Yes Bill?

BB: Repetition of when.


BB: It was worth a try, wasn't it?

NP: That's right, yes he did say it before.

BB: Yeah.

NP: Right so you've got in there, half a second on shop assistants starting now.

BB: Well I...



NP: Ah right we're moving into the final round, I'm sad to say.


CN: Just pretending!

NP: Um Linda you are still in the lead as we go into the final round. You're three points ahead of Bill Bailey, and Tony Hawks equal in second place, and four points ahead of Chris Neill. It's a very close contest.

LS: It is.

NP: If you're interested in contests. And er whose turn is it to begin...

BB: Is there a prize?

NP: Mmmmm?

BB: Is there a prize?

NP: Yes! You get to take me out to dinner afterwards!


TH: Why was I trying so hard?

LS: Is that the prize for the runners-up as well?

NP: Right Bill, our second-time player of the game, so you're going to take the last round or start the last round. And the subject is hippies. Tell us something about hippies in this game starting now.

BB: Hippies are people that are unfairly stereotyped as having long hair, beards, and a relaxed attitude to personal hygiene. This is absolutely not true. Also some hippies have specially designed hands like trowels that they can dig under the ground and form tunnels under the floor. Some hippies have...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of under.

NP: There were two unders.

BB: Unders.

NP: Under the ground, yes, under yes anyway. I should explain to our listeners, because the early laugh was because Bill actually has long hair and a beard. This is radio you see, I have to explain these things Bill.

BB: Yes.

NP: The audience laughed because they could see you.

BB: Yes. Sorry, do the...

NP: I hope that came over. He scratched his beard and then threw his hair all over the microphone. Tony you have a correct challenge and you have 43 seconds, tell us something about hippies starting now.

TH: It's just occurred to me that I'm actually wearing a shirt that might be worn by hippies. But this being radio, Nicholas will have to describe that at the end of this round! Which is something we'll all be looking forward to enormously. I was a hippy in the late 70s, which was a little bit on the er...


NP: Bill you challenged.

BB: Yes er.

NP: Er yes, hesitation, yes I quite agree with you Bill. Absolutely. Twenty-three seconds, let's hear more from you Bill on hippies starting now.

BB: Hippies will walk through fire to get to a face painting tent. They will also take great lengths to get to a juggling workshop, a stilt-walking per... formance...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: (laughs) A bit of hesitation.

NP: There was hesitation yes. Oh right, Linda you have another point, you have 12 seconds, hippies is with you starting now.

LS: Hippies are usually gentle souls, but they can go bad. Like Cat Stevens for example, who left his hippy ways of kindness and musical settings to old hymns and started persecuting...


NP: Well as I said a short while ago, this was to be the last round, I'm afraid it is, and I'll give you the final situation. Chris Neill came only just in fourth place. He was just one or two points behind our equal second place, Bill Bailey and Tony Hawks. But four points ahead of them was Linda Smith, so we say Linda you are our winner this week! It only remains for me to say thank you to our four fine players of the game, Linda Smith, Chris Neill, Tony Hawks and Bill Bailey. I also thank Claire Bartlett who helped me keep the score, and she's blown her whistle so delicately. And we are grateful to our producer Claire Jones who tries to keep us in order. And we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this particular game. And we are very grateful to this lovely Suffolk audience here who have cheered us on our way with great aplomb and panache. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, from our team, good-bye, thank you for tuning in, be with us the next time we play Just A Minute!