NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my immense pleasure to welcome our many listeners not only in this country but throughout the world, whether they listen on Radio Four, the World Service or the Internet. And also to welcome to the show four talented, individual, diverse and experienced players of the game. It's a joy to have back on the show that delightful and original comedian Linda Smith. And we also have somebody who is very skilled at improvised comedy, that is Tony Hawks. We have somebody who was a producer, but now making a name for himself as a stand-up comedian, that is Chris Neill. And we have one of the stalwarts of this show, he's been with it since it first began, the erudite and intelligent and wonderful versatile player of the game, Clement Freud. Please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, she is going to help me keep the score, she'll blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the delightful Malvern Festival Theatre, in that wonderful town of Malvern in the heart of the Worcestershire countryside. And we have in front of us a very hyped-up excited Worcestershire audience who are keen for us to start the show. So we won't delay a minute longer and we'll begin with Tony Hawks. I don't know why they've got this subject for you Tony, because you seem to have a very good complexion. But the subject actually is how to get rid of spots. It's a bit of a disgusting subject really but anyway! Will you talk on it if you can starting now.

TONY HAWKS: I have a good complexion because I know how to get rid of spots! Shout at them in the mirror! That's the method I've used over the years, and it's done me proud. I suppose it's a little bit of a cruel irony that when you become an adolescent you start becoming attractive to the opposite sex, and then you get the...


NP: Chris challenged.

CHRIS NEILL: Deviation, not always!


NP: I don't know whether they were applauding your honesty or your boldness!

CN: It is a fact, isn't it!

NP: Chris...

CN: I'm not saying I'm speaking personally but...

NP: No, nor was I, but Chris, Chris, what we do now, because he actually, that statement wasn't deviation, because it was a correct statement. But as the audience enjoyed your response, you get a bonus point for that and um Tony, you were interrupted, so you get a point for that. You keep the subject, 41 seconds, how to get rid of spots starting now.

TH: When I was a young lad, we used to have four dogs in the family, and they were all called Spot. I was in charge of getting rid of them. I took one of them up on to the Malvern hills, took it off the lead, shouted "fly"...


NP: Clement challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of took.

NP: Yes you took him too often I'm afraid. Twenty-seven seconds available Clement on how to get rid of spots starting now.

CF: There are many ointments and unguents which promise to get rid of spots. But if you want to be radical about this, I suggest you decapitate. It is, I know, painful and final, but the spots go...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: What if you've got a spot on your bottom?

NP: All right, give him a bonus point because the audience enjoyed his interruption. Clement was interrupted so he gets a point for that, he has the subject still and 13 seconds, how to get rid of spots Clement starting now.

CF: If you have a spot on your bottom, I suggest that the very best way of getting rid of it...


NP: Ah Chris challenged.

CN: Was that a repetition of "best way"?

NP: Yes, getting rid of it, best way.

CN: Oh.

NP: Well done Chris. Right, you have eight seconds Chris, on how to get rid of spots starting now.

CN: Living in London as I do, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the best way to get rid of spots is to squeeze them into your neighbour's face on a crushed Tube train. It happens to me almost daily...


NP: The nauseating images you create for us, Chris! I think you've lost a few friends there. Um would you take the next round, the subject, I can't imagine why we've thought of this one while we're here but it's mineral water. Will you tell us something about mineral water in Just A Minute starting now.

CN: It's a delicious thing that comes out of the ground. And Malvern has been particularly blessed with lots of it. Some of it's fizzy, some of it's still... oh no!


NP: Chris you're so kind, you give it away all the time.

CN: I was brought up by nuns! I can't help but be honest!

NP: I know! If you did it with a bit more panache, they might not spot it every time.

CN: What? If I said "some of it" and "some of it", they wouldn't notice?

NP: Tony you challenged first, yes repetition, 52 seconds, mineral water with you now.

TH: Well it's just been passed by law that you have to drink mineral water when you come to a restaurant in the Malvern area! I certainly believe that to be the case, although I may have been on speed when I...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Was there a repetition of may?

NP: Yes.

TH: Yeah we have them every year!

NP: Well listened Chris, you have 40 seconds, give us something more on mineral water starting now.

CN: I'm very glad I got the subject back, because I've got a lot to tell you! It's advised now to drink at least two litres of water a day, preferably mineral water. And you see people around the country and they won’t leave the house without clutching a two litre... oh I said that before.


NP: Linda challenged.

LINDA SMITH: Well I hardly need er...

NP: Well I'd better hear it in case I disagree.

LS: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

LS: Of what he just said twice!

NP: If you didn't catch what he said twice, I don't think I can take it away from him.

LS: I, I... I did, I did catch it, but...

CN: It was the word clutching.

LS: It was the word clutching. Do you know...

NP: Chris you're...

LS: I think it's time you moved out of that nunnery!

NP: You're the most honest player of the game we've ever had!

LS: As I was about to say, it was repetition of clutching. I say that now...

CN: But actually Nicholas, I had the correct repetition, I think I should get the subject back!

LS: But surely...

NP: Linda was really clutching for the repetition...

CN: She certainly was!

NP: I'll tell you what I'll do Chris, to be fair to you, because the audience enjoyed your response. We give you a bonus point for what you said...

CN: Right.

NP: But Linda has the subject because she got the repetition, 26 seconds Linda, mineral water starting now.

LS: Mineral water is of course close to our hearts, as we are in this lovely spa town, although I myself am more of a Waitreux girl. Mineral water is a good thing to drink if you are worried about the quality of water coming out of your tap. I live in London and the water there is very hard but fair! I find that mineral water tastes better. The water that comes through the faucet in my house has...


NP: So Linda Smith speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point and has moved forward. She's in fourth place, only one point separating all of them except Clement is...

LS: How can you move forward to fourth place?

NP: Well you move forward...

LS: Was I outside the theatre before that?

NP: I was combining two thoughts here. You moved forward in the sense that you er, you're still in fourth place but you moved forward. But you're only one point behind Chris and Tony who are equal in second place. But Clement's two points ahead of them. By the way you may be interested to know that a number of years ago they did a survey on all these waters, and they found some of the tap water, particularly London tap water, it came out top for the best quality of ingredients when it comes to minerals.

CF: Boo!


NP: But of course the people who have the mineral waters have got such wonderful PR systems behind them...

CN: No, to be fair, Nicholas did say you "may" be interested!


NP: Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is sushi. Will you tell us something about...

CF: What?

NP: ... sushi in this game...

CF: I don't know what you're saying!

NP: Ah sushi is the subject, 60 seconds as usual Clement starting now.

CF: Sushi is an extremely good thing to have on a hot day. And today it may interest you to know, the temperature is 30 degrees centigrade, and if you want to translate that into Fahrenheit you multiply by nine...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: I can't help feeling a touch of deviation.

NP: Why?

LS: Well he was turning into Michael Fish there!

TH: Fish and sushi!

NP: Fish and sushi!

LS: Mmmm I suppose! Actually...

NP: Ah...

LS: Fair point Tony! Fair point!

NP: No I always try to be fair with it. I think he'd established a connection, and he hadn't gone sufficiently far for deviation. I gave the benefit of the doubt against him last time, he has the benefit this time, he keeps the subject, 46 seconds, sushi Clement starting now.

CF: When it is very warm it is advisable to rub yourself all over with sushi. The seaweed, sticky rice and raw fish applied to all parts of your body when the sun shines...


NP: Ah Clement, Linda challenged again.

LS: Oh I could be wrong but were there two bodies?

NP: No he hadn't mentioned body before.

LS: Oh no!

NP: Rub it all over yourself.

CN: You could have asked me, and I'm very honest, and I would have told you he hadn't said that!

NP: First time it was rub it all over, second time it was the body.

LS: Beg your pardon.

NP: Incorrect challenge so Clement you're moving forward further, another point to you, 31 seconds...

LS: I'm doing this because I've got a tenner on Clement to win actually!

NP: Sushi still with you Clement starting now.

CF: It is a little known fact that sushi came from Malvern. In the old days at the Link where horses used to be added to those already pulling carriages, sushi was available in all shapes and sizes. Both piscine, vegetable, and porcine sushi and goodness they loved it...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Well apart from the fact that he's talking rubbish! I think he hesitated at the end there.

NP: I think he hesitated a bit! Yes Tony you have the benefit of the doubt, six seconds, tell us something about sushi starting now.

TH: If you knew sushi, like I know sushi, you'll be fully aware that it's a lovely...


NP: So Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, he gained an extra point, he's moved forward, he's still two points behind our leader Clement Freud. And Chris Neill and Linda Smith in that order, only a couple of points separate them all...

CN: Look where honesty gets you!

NP: No, your time will come Chris, don't worry!

CN: Mmmm!

NP: And Linda it's your turn to begin, the subject pilates.

LS: Oh!

NP: Oh yes! A moment or two to think about it, tell us something about pilates in this game starting now.

LS: Pilates is a form of exercise that's practised to make you sleek and svelte. It's practised at a place of gymnasium type...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Was there a repetition of practised?

NP: It was, yes indeed, yes.

LS: Oh!

NP: Chris you have a correct challenge, you have pilates, you have 49 seconds starting now.

CN: He was a Greek philosopher, Pilates, who famously said "I bend, therefore I am"! He lived between the years 80 BC and 20 BC...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of B, and then shortly afterwards C!

CN: No, to be fair, at least I didn't draw your attention to it!

NP: Um Tony you have a correct challenge, pilates is with you and 40 seconds starting now.

TH: I know absolutely nothing about pilates, except that Madonna does it, so it must be a good thing to do with your time. She's not the sort of woman, let's face it, who'd waste it. Having had many hits, she's now happy to go to a workout studio, tug on her lycra, and do the exercises that are incorporated with this magnificent sport. It may be not that, it could...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation, it's not a sport.

NP: It's not a sport, actually, no.

TH: I was about to go on and say that it wasn't.

CF: Too late!

NP: He didn't give you the chance, he came in very rapidly. Deviation Clement, 19 seconds, tell us about pilates starting now.

CF: Pilates is the plural of Pilate. Pontius and all the other Pilates went about saying "if we could only find more people who bear our name, then we could go in to battle..."


NP: I think he saw Janet's hand going for the whistle and he thought he maybe would hold it up. But it wasn't enough because you got in with a correct challenge. What is it this time?

TH: Yeah I had the theory that he didn't think he was going to get that far with it!

NP: Right!

TH: Um yes no he hesitated.

NP: He hesitated yes, four seconds are still available Tony, tell us more about pilates starting now.

TH: Pilates is something that I would do if I had the honour of mixing in show biz circles...


NP: So Tony Hawks with the whistle, speaking at that time. He wasn't whistle speaking, no, he was speaking as the whistle went. And he's moved forward, he's now equal with our leader Clement Freud, in fact they're equal in the lead. Then comes Chris Neill and then Linda Smith. And Chris it's your turn to begin, oh a lovely subject for this part of the world, Edward Elgar. Tell us something about that, no, listen to the audience. Oh yes! A warm feeling of empathy there. Edward Elgar, 60 seconds Chris starting now.

CN: I would imagine a lot of people in this audience will be surprised how much I can teach them about Edward Elgar. Apparently he was a man who lived near Malvern, or possibly in it, and he walked on the hills and was very inspired to write some lovely...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Wasn't that hesitation?

NP: No it wasn't.

CN: No I don't think so.

CF: It sounded pretty... from here...

CN: Once again Clement, I would have told you if it was!

NP: The word came out in a slightly stumbly way, but not enough, to my mimd, to be interpreted to my mind as a hesitation. So an incorrect challenge Chris, you have another point and you still have Edward Elgar, 46 seconds starting now.

CN: I feel terribly sorry for Edward Elgar because actually his music has been hijacked on the very last night...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: I think that was the second actually.

CN: Oh for goodness sake!

NP: Actually you're right!

LS: Actually.

NP: Linda, another point to you, 40 seconds, tell us something about Edward Elgar starting now.

LS: Edward Elgar was once represented in a film by Ken Russell, many years ago, for Monitor. Huw Weldon I believe was the editor of that fine series at that particular time. Ah the...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I think that was a hesitation.

NP: There was a definite er there.

LS: No, I was about to say Ergar... as he is known by people with a speech impediment.

TH: But we didn't give you time, did we.

NP: Well tried Linda, another point to you Tony, 16 seconds, Edward Elgar starting now.

TH: As I drove in to Malvern today, I saw a signpost saying "the Elgar way", with a little picture of a cello. And I imagine people climb on to this instrument and then fly around the hills as Edward Elgar himself obviously did many years ago...


NP: Tony Hawks, speaking again as the whistle went. Another point for that and others in the round, he's now just got ahead of Clement Freud, followed just behind by Chris Neill, and then Linda Smith. And Clement your turn to begin, the subject now is the spice of life. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: Different countries have differing spices of life. For instance cumin, turnarique, ah...


NP: Linda your challenge.

LS: I challenged, not familiar with the spice erm!

NP: Right hesitation, 53 seconds Linda, the spice of life is with you starting now.

LS: People say the spice of life is variety. But I always hate that little...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: I think that was a little hesitation.

NP: It was a little hesitation.

LS: I'm afraid it was. This...

CN: Dull but true! All this...

LS: This honesty's catching!

CN: Yeah!

NP: Chris, another point to you, the spice of life is with you, 48 seconds available starting now.

CN: The spice of life to me are those unexpected...


NP: Ah Linda challenged.

LS: I have no idea why! Sorry, I think that was a small fit that I had!

NP: That's all right.

LS: I'm all right now.

NP: You're all right now, you've recovered. Right, well ah I can't give you bonus points for a fit. So ah Chris was interrupted, he gets a point...

LS: In a better world, you would!

NP: Chris, you were interrupted so you get a point for that and you have 45 seconds, the spice of life starting now.

CN: With a twinkle in his eye, Clement Freud smiles coquettishly but temptingly at me. And that is the spice of life. That kind of stuff, it makes you want to live! It makes you... oh!


NP: It makes you want to realise you've made a mistake in Just A Minute. And Clement you were the first to challenge, yes, repetition and all that. Right you've got the subject of spice of life, Clement, it's back with you and it's 34 seconds available starting now.

CF: I think withdrawing coriander, semolina is the spice of life. It is to me the most delicious wonderful incongruously different and yet fetching spice. Life without that tapioca like substance would be absolutely nothing... except...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: He wants to get out more!


NP: Have you got a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

TH: Was there a slight hesitation?

NP: Well he was going very slowly. I don't know. I'll certainly give you a bonus point for what you said, and I think give you the benefit of the doubt Clement. But if you go any slower it would be hesitation. And you still have 11 seconds, the spice of life starting now.

CF: Edward Elgar who comes from around here, and was originally called Ted Lager but decided to change his name, is the spice of life to many people in Worcestershire. That no other musician...


NP: So Clement, extra point for speaking as the whistle went. He's now equal in the lead with Tony Hawks, closely followed by Chris Neill, and then a little way behind Linda Smith. And Tony your turn to begin, monkey business, that is the subject, tell us something about it in this game starting now.

TH: Well I'm something of an entrepreneur, so I started off a number of businesses. One was a giraffe business, a hippopotamus business, duckbilled platypus business, and of course the monkey business in which I took a lovely monkey, and asked it to dance for me, and then put a hat down in the street, and collected money. And we did very well together, me and this monkey. We had quite a good...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Did you pay tax?

TH: Maybe, maybe not.

NP: So Clement, any challenge within the rules of Just A Minute? I don't think...

CF: I saw some, I saw somebody else's finger about to press.

NP: So you tried to anticipate them?

CF: Yeah.

NP: Was it enough for a bonus point, I wonder?

CF: No! Yes oh yes! Yes it was!

NP: All right, I've given bonus points out, give him one, he likes his bonus points. But Tony gets one for being interrupted, 36 seconds available, monkey business with you Tony starting now.

TH: There's an awful lot of monkey business goes on in this show, you know. The panellists sit there and they try and twist the subject, and take off it into all kinds of different directions. And boy, do the audience love it. They sit there trans...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Deviation, they don't necessarily love it!

NP: So what's your challenge then?

CN: Deviation.

NP: No, no, they do love it.

CN: Oh.

NP: Twenty-three seconds Tony, with you, monkey business starting now.

TH: A lot of people would be imagining that I'm fast running out of things to say on the subject of monkey business. But that is far from the case, let me tell you, because my brother had a monkey business too. Differed quite greatly from mine because he took a monkey and he inserted it in a large...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: I wanted to save him from himself!

NP: Yes he might well have hesitated and with reason and you've saved him as well. And you've got a point, and you've got the subject and you've got six seconds, and you've got monkey business starting now.

CF: Duck Soup and Monkey Business are probably my favourite Marx Brothers films, although At The Races and A Night At The Opera...


NP: So now, it's neck and neck between Tony Hawks and Clement Freud, if you're interested in the point system. The value that they all give, to my mind, is more important than the points they gain. But Clement is one ahead of Tony Hawks, a few ahead of Chris Neill and Linda Smith. And Linda your turn to begin and the subject now is flat sharing. Tell us something about flat sharing in this game starting now.

LS: Flat sharing is something that I was involved in as a student. I was flat sharing for about three years. It was a grim business because people get very possessive about stuff when they're flat sharing. For example a chap called Dave, with whom I was flat sharing over a period of time, would engrave his name on every granule of coffee in his particular jar, which I felt was a little bit mean of him. But there you are, we all have our little obsessions. When one...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Was there a repetition of little?

NP: Yes there was, a little, a little bit mean, a little bit.

LS: Oh okay. It's a fair cop.

NP: Chris you've got a correct challenge, you have 30 seconds, tell us something about flat sharing starting now.

CN: I have never flat shared although (pauses)...


NP: Linda you...

LS: Extreme hesitation!

NP: I can't, he came to a sudden halt, didn't he.

LS: He came to a complete halt.

CN: No, I just suddenly thought I've got nothing to say on this, why bore them?

NP: Oh I thought you suddenly thought, oh I've said something wrong again and your conscience pricked you.

CN: No!

NP: Right...

CN: It was my conscience pricking me, but it wasn't about saying the wrong thing.

NP: Linda you had a correct challenge, another point and 26 seconds, flat sharing starting now.

LS: I'm not quite so scrupulous as Chris. I have little of interest to say on this subject but I don't really mind going on about it. As long as I can get away with it within the confines of Just A Minute. Sometimes when you're flat sharing, you flat share with somebody quite nice. This is quite rare. Oh!


NP: Chris.

LS: Oh I know, I know. Quite!

NP: Yes, two quites.

LS: Two quites, don't rub it in!

NP: Right...

TH: It was a fascinating story though, wasn't it?

LS: Yeah I liked where I was going with it!

TH: Yeah after the show, do you mind finishing off that story?

LS: Well I have a few friends invited...

NP: You had this audience enthralled! Absolutely in the palm of your hand.

LS: Or perhaps in a coma!

NP: Chris you had a correct challenge and seven seconds are available, tell us something more about flat sharing starting now.

CN: When my grandmother was very young, they were also extremely poor, so they would share the flat iron in the street...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation, when my grandmother was young, "they" were also?

NP: No, it, it, it, it made a sort of er a sort of colloquial sense to me, even though it wasn't um grammatical...

CF: What? My grandmother they?

CN: She was a very big lady!

NP: Right, actually you're right Clement. If we're going to be correct grammatically then you have a correct challenge. One second Clement, flat sharing starting now.

CF: It's slower than speed dating...


NP: And Clement with those extra two points has now taken the lead ahead of Tony Hawks, as we go into the final round. And Chris Neill it's your turn to begin, the subject now is herbal teas. I don't know whether you drink them or not but tell us something about them in this game starting now.

CN: When I was 15 years old, I tried to give up smoking for the first time. And to wean myself off cigarettes, i made roll-ups with herbal teas. They were disgusting! Absolutely foul! Whereas tobacco, delicious, and so that is what I went back to. People usually have them with water, hot, as a rule, in a mug. And they can come in a variety of flavours...


NP: Linda what was your challenge?

LS: Oh just the tiniest hint of hesitation, I thought.

CN: Yes.

NP: Yes a hint of one, yes. The stumble over words which we call hesitation.

LS: Sorry.

NP: Linda you have 38 seconds, tell us something about herbal teas starting now.

LS: Herbal teas are quite annoying. I don't like it when people come round my house and I offer them tea and they say, "have you got anything herbal?" I usually give them a cup of radox. It seems to relax them and takes away any aches and pains they may be suffering. Herbal teas never really taste of much. For example the red ones all just taste of redness. Ah they seem very much like drinking some hot water...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of like.

NP: Yes.

LS: Oh.

NP: There were two likes there, I'm afraid Linda. Clement you got in with 11 seconds on herbal teas starting now.

CF: If you get a sprig of parsley and tickle somebody's behind, that would be called a herbal tease. And I know many people, like Chris...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: No I think it's called sexual harassment!

NP: I think if it was your partner, they might be quite enjoying it actually yes.

CN: What, with parsley?

NP: Well it depends on your proclivities, doesn't it? Linda they enjoyed your remark, so we give you a bonus point for that. Clement was interrupted, he gets a point and oh gosh, once more he's got one second on herbal teas starting now.

CF: Tea with rosemary and basil...


NP: Right so we've come to the end of Just A Minute. Let me tell you what the final score is. For those interested in the points and some people are. Are you interested in the points?


NP: Well some of you are, right. Linda, who always gives good value, and gave great value again but she did finish in fourth place. A little way behind Chris Neill, great value again. In second place was Tony Hawks. But a few points ahead, in fact, quite a number of points ahead was Clement Freud, so we say Clement you are the winner this week! Thank you, it only remains for me to say thank you to these four outstanding players of the game, Tony Hawks, Linda Smith, Chris Neill and Clement Freud. I also thank Janet Staplehurst who has helped me keep the score, she's blown her whistle so delicately on the 60 seconds. And we thank our producer Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are deeply indebted to this lovely audience who have come on this extremely hot day to the Malvern Festival Theatre to cheer us on our way. From our audience in Malvern, from me Nicholas Parsons and from the panel good-bye! Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!