WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and GRAEME GARDEN, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 13 February 1982)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Derek Nimmo and Graeme Garden 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 to Just A Minute. And this week we have three of our regulars, Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud. And we welcome back someone as our guest who has played the game before, Graeme Garden. And as usual I will ask them if they can speak on the subject that I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. And we begin the show this week with Graeme Garden. The subject is the strangest thing. Graeme can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
GRAEME GARDEN: Love is the strangest thing, in the words of the old song. But I don't actually...
NP: Ah Kenneth Williams challenged.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: The words of the old song are "love is the sweetest thing".
NP: For all we know, there might be an older song that Graeme heard.
GG: It's not that old song...
KW: It's (sings at the top of his voice in Ethel Merman style, and gets progressively louder and more Ethel Merman-like) love is the sweetest thing, love is a diamond ring, love is like an April day, love is lovely anyway! Love makes the whole world sing! And it gives you a special place, love is a warming place, love is a thing... (normal voice) no, it's the wrong song...
UPROARIOUS APPLAUSE AND LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE
KW: I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what, no, don't clap, no, never applaud an error!
NP: We'll give Kenneth a point for his cabaret...
KW: I have to admit I made a terrible error, I am willing to withdraw. I stand here, well, I sit here in black...
NP: Some people think you're actually...
KW: ... in sackcloth and ashes, in deep penitence. And I beseech Mister Graeme's, Mister Graeme's pardon.
NP: Kenneth, have you finished?
CLEMENT FREUD: We'll let you know.
NP: Thank goodness for that. I thought actually you were standing, that's what worried me. Anyway so Graeme that was an incorrect challenge, you have a point for that and you have 55 seconds to continue on the strangest thing starting now.
GG: The strangest thing I ever heard was Kenneth's performance just then! The strangest thing that...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DEREK NIMMO: Well he seems to have sort of packed up a bit, I think.
NP: I think he's a little bit rusty on the game because he hasn't played it for a time. And Derek you have the subject, there are 47 seconds, the strangest thing starting now.
DN: The strangest thing that I ever saw was the temple of the Buddhist tooth in Kandy in central Ceylon or Sri Lanka as it is known these days. I had wandered for many miles through palm trees and across paddy fields, and I eventually arrived at the Hotel Swiss. There across the lake, I could hear the drummers banging away, beckoning you to prayer. I crossed the water, on a boat actually, and got to the other side. And there through a series of arches, I spied the fang that was the object of worship. I crawled towards it, on my knees, lifting my eyes every now and again to the heavens...
NP: Ah Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Is he still in the boat?
DN: I crossed to the other side in the boat actually.
CF: But you didn't get out of the boat.
NP: I don't think...
CF: I was listening with care.
NP: You were listening with great care, but I don't think those factual points in order to keep going are strictly valuable. But let's give you a bonus for a very good and entertaining challenge...
DN: Why? It was a most boring challenge!
NP: I thought it was rather witty actually.
DN: Oh well you would!
NP: By my standards. But you still get a point for an incorrect challenge because you were stopped, and er there are 11 seconds for Derek Nimmo to continue on the strangest thing starting now.
DN: The strangest thing that I ever did was wandering along Piccadilly Circus...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Deviation, he's already said that the strangest thing he ever did was to go and see this temple of the tooth.
DN: No, that was the strangest thing I ever saw, the first one, the strangest thing I ever saw was, er the wooded tooth. The strangest thing I ever did, I was about to tell you, but you might be deprived of it.
NP: Oh they are clever indeed, yes, aren't they. Derek, you're correct, you have four more seconds to continue on the strangest thing starting now.
DN: The strangest thing that I ever thought was...
NP: So Derek Nimmo kept going magnificently till the whistle went, gained an extra point, other points in the round, and has increased his lead. Kenneth Williams, it's your turn to begin, the subject is power. Will you tell us something about power in the game starting now.
KW: What more illustrative of this word power is love. (sings at the top of his voice in Ethel Merman style) Love is the simple thing...
KW: ... (sings at the top of his voice in Ethel Merman style, and gets progressively louder and more Ethel Merman-like) love is a diamond ring, love is like an April day, love is lovely anyway!
NP: Clement Freud challenged you!
RIOTOUS LAUGHTER FROM DN, GG, NP AND THE AUDIENCE
KW: What's the challenge?
NP: What was your challenge Clement?
CF: It's a lot of love!
NP: Yes but let's be fair to Kenneth, you challenged after he'd only said one love.
CF: No no.
DN: No no.
CF: Three loves.
NP: No, you pressed your buzzer and then he went on with all the loves.
KW: Precisely! Yes! It was very unfair! I noticed that! It was very unfair! I've come all the way from Great Portland Street!
NP: So Kenneth you're still with us and there are 51 seconds on power starting now.
KW: Well there's electrical power. Steam power which always makes me think of that gentleman who watched it issuing from the spout of the kettle, and then came the revolution of locomotive. And a man in front of that powerful engine, and don't forget, at that time, it was considered dangerous indeed, had to go with a red flag, rather than have somebody caught under the wheels, and probably meet an all too untimely fate! Who knows, the power you think of a surgeon with that scalpel, exploring the Pandora's box...
NP: A surgeon exploring Pandora's box, what a thought ...
KW: A surgeon told me that when you open a patient, he said it's always like Pandora's box. You never know what to expect.
NP: As everything flies out except hope, you may just, it doesn't give much confidence in surgeons, does it! So Kenneth you kept going very well till the whistle went, gained an extra point, and you are now in second place, alongside Clement Freud, but way behind our leader Derek Nimmo. And Derek your turn to begin, the subject, boats for bath time. Can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
DN: Well I think the best kind of boat to have at bath time is a rubber one. Because you can sit on it, if you want to, and you can throw it against the side, and bounce back at you and it won't cause you any injury. But if you have a plastic boat, it can be decidedly uncomfortable if you sit upon it. Now the kind...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Two sits, I'm afraid.
NP: Yes. There were indeed and Kenneth you have boats at bath time, you have 44 seconds starting now.
KW: I would never bother with boats at bath time. Because I consider that bathing is not appropriate for that kind of playing about. I mean the most I would do is let the sponge glide gracefully before squeezing the water it contains upon my back, and my hair...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Deviation, he's talking about sponges at bath time, rather than boats at bath time.
NP: Yes I'm afraid you were so that I would consider deviation, and there are 25 seconds for Derek to take back the subject starting now.
DN: I used to regularly have baths with a girl called Barbara Fowler. And we had a rubber submarine and...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Ah repetition of rubber.
KW: And deviation, I mean this is supposed to be a family show! Disgraceful, talking about getting in the bath with girls!
NP: He was probably going to tell us that the girl in question was only five, and he was four, or something.
KW: They always do, yes!
NP: So Clement, a correct challenge, 19 seconds for you on boats for bath time starting now.
CF: Submarines are best, because they come down and can look at you sub-aquatically as it were, which is much...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Submarines by definition can't come down, they have to come up. They can't come...
CF: Do you think they're built below the surface?
LAUGHTER FROM DN AND THE AUDIENCE
KW: Well of course they can. If you were on the bottom of the ocean, and it came down to rescue you, you'd say it's come down, wouldn't you and met you on the bed...
DN: There wouldn't be much room for a submarine to come down in a bath with Clement Freud in it!
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM KW AND THE AUDIENCE
KW: No! Yes if he was in it there wouldn't be much room at all! (laughs)
NP: So Clement keeps the subject and there are 11 seconds starting now.
CF: Compared to a wind-up Pluto who does the backstroke, boats at bath time are really not much fun. Because the Walt Disney inspired toy races around the water...
NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went has moved forward. Derek Nimmo is still in the lead, then Kenneth Williams and Graeme Garden. And Clement begins the next round and the subject is atlas. Will you tell us something about that subject in the game starting now.
CF: There was, in my youth, one Charles Atlas, who advertised "have a body like mine" and you sent up, and got it in a plain brown envelope. There are also the Atlas Mountains which I seem to remember occur in the north of Africa, and there's a fly flying around my nose at the moment which is most off-putting...
DN: I think he's swallowed a fly, has he?
NP: He certainly paused. And the subject is atlas, Derek there are 37 seconds left starting now.
DN: One of the titans of course. Famed for carrying the world upon his back. And this was an interesting thing you know, that when the first book of maps was published, they used an illustration of Atlas on the cover. And that's why we today call a collection of... things describing the Earth's surface, an atlas. Now you know, one of my favourite forms of reading I suppose is to open an atlas, take a pin and just plunge on to a page and see what is the nearest place name, word to where that... little sparkly thing, sticking...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
NP: Yes it was,
CF: And he repeated "you know".
NP: Clement you have the subject with four seconds to go on atlas starting now.
CF: A-T-L and then the first letter again, S, is the way you spell it...
NP: Derek Nimmo's still in the lead, one ahead of Clement Freud. Graeme Garden begins the next round. Oh it's a nice one, pigs as household pets. I don't know whether this has been specially chosen for you Graeme, because of your knowledge of pigs or not, but can you talk on the subject starting now.
GG: Pigs as household pets has been a great interest of mine, almost for as long as I can remember. And I first kept pigs as household pets as long ago as er 20 years in the past...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Too long.
NP: As long ago, you repeated, I'm afraid Graeme.
GG: Oh long ago!
NP: It is difficult, isn't it. Forty-eight seconds on pigs as household pets Derek starting now.
DN: I once had the great good fortune to play Freddie Fleetwood to Sir Ralph Richardson's Lord Ensworth...
NP: Ah Kenneth Williams.
NP: I think so Kenneth. And you have the subject...
NP: ... of pigs as household pets and there are 43 seconds starting now.
KW: Well when they are piglets, they would be enchanting as pets. Because who can resist those tiny little faces, lee, gleaming...
GG: Ah, lee-gleaming I think.
NP: Yes. Deviation from grammar...
KW: I was going to say gleaming up at you, and then I said leaming and then of course it didn't sound like a pig at all.
NP: And you've got the subject back Graeme, and there are 32 seconds, pigs as household pets starting now.
GG: One of the main problems with keeping pigs as household pets is the variety of illnesses and conditions which they can suffer. They are very prone to getting pains the snout, and a pig with a painful front end of...
NP: Clement Freud... I know he's...
DN: Wrong challenge! Point against!
CF: Wrong challenge, point against.
NP: Wrong challenge yes, you thought...
CF: Yes! Quite right!
NP: .... he was going to repeat pain, but he cleverly went for painful. And so that was well thought Graeme, and you have a point for a wrong challenge, 15 seconds starting now.
GG: The only thing to do with the front end of a pig is to rub a little oink-ment into it! This helps to clear up the problem. However pigs as household pets do need a place of their own in which to live, and I've found that...
NP: Well Graeme got some points in that round, including one for speaking as the whistle went, and he has leapt forward but alas, he's still in fourth place. He's just behind Kenneth Williams, a little way behind Clement Freud, and Derek Nimmo's still in the lead. And Kenneth your turn to begin, what I dread is the subject, and you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.
KW: What I dread is too complicated for me to go into in 60 seconds, but I will try! Because the footsteps behind fill me with dread. And there is no question, about it, I will stand in a doorway, or cross a road, rather than endure the torment that it represents to me. Because it doesn't happen to be one of my proclivities to tolerate that. The other dread I have to own up to, I suppose you would say is part of the actor's syndrome. That dream where you think I'm on the stage and don't know a line! It's all gone out of my lovely head with its beautiful spun gold hair which people want to run through barefoot...
NP: Ah Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Deviation, he hasn't got spun gold hair!
KW: What lies! I mean you can see! All of you, you can see it!
NP: Well I see...
KW: You can see it's lovely, can't you! I mean, people have said "what lovely hair"! It's made me a cult! I'm an enormous cult figure! With great hair I've become a cult figure!
NP: But I must tell you Derek Nimmo's been very clever because with only two and a half seconds to go, he's got in just before the whistle on what I dread starting now.
DN: What I dread is Kenneth Williams, because every time...
NP: So Derek Nimmo increased his lead at the end of the round and he also begins the next round, the subject is waking up. Can you tell us something about that Derek starting now.
NP: Ah Kenneth...
NP: You rotten! You rotten! Hardly a second had gone, actually one second had gone. Derek I'm not going to allow it, you still have the subject...
KW: You've just admitted a second had gone! You just said it yourself!
NP: I know, but when you begin a subject, you've got to take a breath to start with. I think we let him get away with that one. Waking up, Derek starting now.
DN: When I wake up in the morning, I suddenly feel so alive! I leap out of bed and do my exercises. The Canadian Army one is so good for you. And then I get my crossword, sit back on the sheet, and very carefully fill in the first answers to various clues that are presented to me. I ring then a bell beside my bed and summons my breakfast which comes on a little tray with a silver pot of coffee, some marmalade, some toast, a nice...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Two somes.
NP: There were three somes there.
CF: Three somes.
NP: So er um 30 seconds are left for waking up, Clement starting now.
CF: Waking up is much easier when one takes a breath. And especially incredibly more simple now that terminal dandruff is no longer a problem. This is by virtue of the fact that much of my hair has gone, although when someone said you have lost a great deal of what you had, I had to deny it and say on the contrary, I know where every one has gone. It so happens that I am rather bald. On Tuesday afternoon... I went...
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.
KW: Well I thought it was a hesitation.
NP: Yes it was definitely a hesitation.
CF: Tuesday afternoon?
NP: And you got in with one second to go Kenneth, waking up, starting now.
KW: I do it with a light heart...
KW: I'm going to get in on this cheating and waiting till the last minute! Everyone else on the show's been doing it! It's about time I started doing it! Certainly Clement does it, and certainly that Nimmo does it! A lot!
KW: They wait till the last bit!
NP: Yeah it's the last second you want to get in, not the last minute though.
KW: Well that's what I meant!
NP: Right so Kenneth you be, you're doing well. I mean you're moving rapidly forward in third place but still a little behind Clement Freud, who begins the next round. The subject Clement is my hobby, 60 seconds as usual starting now.
CF: It's very difficult to talk about my hobby, because I don't particularly have any hobbies. Hobbies one tends to feel are things that a man pursues when he has insufficient professional or leisure activities to occupy his mind. And in my case what is left of such brain as I might at one time have had is fully occupationally pervasively used, morning, noon and night. Although in June, July and August, I quite often wonder what on earth to do next, because I wake up so late, that it's almost time to go to bed when the alarm clock has sounded. Tripe and onions are a marvellous thing...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: He's not talking about hobbies at all!
NP: I know he isn't! He's going on...
CF: I have explained at some length that I have no hobbies.
NP: Seventeen seconds are left for you Derek on my hobby...
CF: Oh he is clever, getting in with 17 seconds!
KW: Yes! He was waiting you see for that 17 seconds! He always does that! Oh he's very sly!
CF: Forty-three seconds for nothing!
NP: Seventeen seconds, my hobby starting now.
DN: Well my hobby or one of my hobbies anyway is sailing. And I have great pleasure this last spring to take a beautiful ketch, leave Hong Kong, and drift down across the South China Sea to Manilla Bay. Now if you haven't experienced a hobby like this, ladies and gentlemen, I really can commend it to you...
NP: So Derek Nimmo kept going till the whistle went. You have increased your lead considerably and you're way out in front. And Graeme Garden, you begin the next round please. The subject is catching conga eels. Sixty seconds starting now.
GG: The way to catch conga eels is to get your apparatus and take it down to the seaside. What you need for the catching of conga eels is a net, rod, line and Latin American band. You persuade the leader of your tiny orchestra to strike up that well-known piece of music which entices the conga eels to come out, not singly but hordes of them, one after the other, hanging on to the tail of the one in front. They swim through the water rhythmically, dancing to the strains of the melody that your musicians are providing for you. All you then have to do is to take your reticulated piece of apparatus and dangle it into the briny, ahead of the conga eels, and they all swim into it, and you will have captured them. Another good way to catch conga eels is to go to a conga eel shop and ask a man to do it for you...
NP: The applause shows the audience appreciation and well deserved. That's the first time for quite a while Graeme, that someone has started with a subject, and finished with it, kept going for 60 seconds without being interrupted.
GG: That's the first time for quite a while I've got a point too!
NP: Well you get two points actually, one for doing that and one for speaking as the whistle went, and I'm afraid you're still in fourth place!
NP: But not far behind Kenneth Williams, who is not far behind Clement Freud, and Derek Nimmo is way out in the lead. And Kenneth your turn to begin, the subject now, giants. Will you tell us something about those in the game starting now.
KW: Giants of the music hall were the ancient Crays. I will never forget the thrill as they came on. She was always in black and there was no lighting, so you couldn't see a thing. And that was what made it so fantastically intriguing! They said these are giants of the music hall and...
NP: And Clement Freud challenged.
CF: That's two music halls.
NP: You said giants of the music hall before.
KW: Well I thought they were quite interested, you know.
NP: They were, in your terms, agog, but I'm afraid we have to keep to the rules of the game. And there are 42 seconds for Clement to talk on giants starting now.
CF: Collecting giants is actually one of my hobbies which I had forgotten to talk about earlier. Very smallish giants are the ones most prized in those that I have gathered over the years. I once found a giant of two foot nine. Almost unique in the annals...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Deviation, nothing can be almost unique. It's either unique or not at all.
CF: No, no, no, it's not true.
KW: It isn't, it's a singular quality, unique, you can't have something that's rather unique...
CF: No you...
KW: The Mona Lisa, the Mona Lisa is the only one that's ever existed and that's why it is unique. You can't say rather unique, rather like it.
CF: I didn't say rather.
KW: You said...
NP: So this is a matter of...
CF: Almost unique.
KW: Well anyway I should have the subject back anyway! I mean, that's my point, all that rubbish he was going about small giants! Have you ever heard such nonsense?
NP: No, you didn't challenge him on that. If you'd challenged him about small giants, I think you might have had it. I'll tell you what, this is the last round, and none of you can win, and as you haven't spoken as much as anybody else...
DN: Somebody must be able to win!
NP: You're going to win! You're way out in the lead! And it it's nice to hear from Kenneth before the show finishes...
CF: Yes we haven't heard enough from him!
NP: I'm sure Clement would be generous and allow you to have the subject of giants starting now.
KW: A giant of the musical stage...
NP: Oh Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: I regret it!
DN: I apologise, I thought you were going to say music hall.
NP: The musical.
DN: I was too eager Kenneth, I'm very sorry.
KW: Yes, I see! Yes! Hoisted by his own petard! I got frightened, I thought I really had done something wrong! (laughs)
NP: ... you have a point, yes, and the subject still, giants and there are 18 seconds starting now.
KW: One thinks of Ethel Merman singing those wonderful songs. What a giant in the theatre that lady was! (sings at the top of his voice in Ethel Merman style) Love is a simple thing, love is a diamond ring...
KW: (sings at the top of his voice in Ethel Merman style) Love is like an April day.... (normal voice) Wonderful voice!
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM DN, NP AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: Clement Freud what was your challenge?
NP: Of what?
CF: I buzzed after the first love, knowing there would be another!
NP: So Kenneth still has the subject, Clement has a point for his challenge, and so does Kenneth. Kenneth you carry on with eight seconds because he buzzed only after the first one. Giants is still with you...
KW: Under this classification must come myself, because a talent such as mine can only be described as giant-like! It is...
NP: Derek Nimmo.
DN: I can describe it in various other ways!
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM CF, NP AND THE AUDIENCE
KW: I don't have to sit here and be insulted!
DN: You said only describe.
NP: Unfortunately if you come on Just A Minute you do often have to sit down and be insulted. I mean that seems to be one of the aspects of the game. But yes you weren't actually deviating from the subject Kenneth so you have another point and you keep going, and one second to go, giants starting now.
KW: And it includes that wonderful show where I sat...
NP: So alas we have come to the, not only the end of the round, but the end of the contest for this week. And Kenneth Williams gained a great number of points in that last round. Unfortunately Graeme Garden, not having the experience of the others, finished in fourth place, but gave his usual good value as our guest. Clement Freud was overtaken and finished in third place, by Kenneth Williams who shot forward into second place. But out in the lead which he obtained quite early and kept to the end was this week's winner, Derek Nimmo! Thank you very much. We have enjoyed playing the game and we hope that you will want to tune in again at the same time next week when once again we take to the air and we play Just A Minute. Until 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 Pete Atkin.