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 pleasure to welcome our many listeners not only in this country who tune in to Radio Four, but also around the world, on the World Service and those who listen to us on the Internet. And also it's my huge pleasure to welcome the four exciting, individual and highly talented players of the game. It's always a pleasure to have on the show that highly inventive, original, and wonderful comedian Paul Merton. We also have another equally talented and more outrageous comedian, that is Graham Norton. We also have a wonderful comedienne, a lovely actress, Linda Smith. And we have one of the original members of Just A Minute, who has contributed so much over the years, that's the ever talented Clement Freud. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, she is going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from St Edmund's Hall which is in the lovely Suffolk town of Southwold on the coast of this beautiful county. And we have in front of us a wonderful hyped-up enthusiastic Suffolk audience ready to enjoy this show which is, I told them they are going to enjoy it, so they obviously are. It is part of the theatre festival here in Southwold. And we begin the show this week with Paul Merton. Paul, oh dear, the best dressed member of the panel. Will you talk on that subject, 60 seconds starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Sir Clement Freud is wearing a charming, off the shoulder, cocktail dress, besparkled with a million sequins. And as they glitter in the light, I can't help but wonder where the earrings, which are part of the matching ensemble. Norman from Tottenham, I think, is the designer. What a wonderful, brave decision to wear a bra outside your jacket, as well as the charming high heeled shoes, made out of pink leather, a marvellous hat...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: There were two marvellouses.

NP: There was two marvellouses.

PM: Too marvellous for words!

NP: Too marvellous for words! Too unbelievable for words! Clement you have a correct challenge, so you get a point for that and take over the subject. The subject is the best dressed member of the panel, and you have 34 seconds available starting now.

CF: My book, Dressing For Radio, I think tells you what you need is a colour co-ordinated rapport with the microphone. And of all the well-dressed people on this panel, may I suggest Nicholas Parsons, although I think wearing a morning coat in the evening is overdoing it to some extent...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Well it's slight deviation, isn't it, because it's the best dressed member of the panel.

NP: Yes.

PM: And you're the chairman.

NP: Oh what a clever...


NP: Yes in fact, they hadn't spotted it, but they applauded when you spotted it. Yes, Paul a correct challenge, deviation, you got in, you have a point of course for that, 11 seconds are available and you begin now.

PM: The temperature of this hall is very hot, so hot... (laughs)


NP: Oh yes! Even after the many years you've played it, it's still a tough game isn't it. Clement you got in first, I think we all know what it was, seven seconds, the best dressed member of the panel Clement starting now.

CF: I'm on day seven of the Atkins Diet, and I thought I would just mention...


NP: Linda challenged.

LINDA SMITH: Perhaps a hint of deviation?

NP: I think he should establish right at the start that the Atkins Diet has got something to do with him being the best dressed member of the panel, and he didn't. So I give you the benefit of the doubt on this occasion Linda, and you've got in with one second to go on this subject...


NP: We've got friends for both sides in the audience! Starting now.

LS: The best dressed person...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. It was on this occasion of course Linda Smith, and she has two points, and so has Clement Freud at the end of the round. Paul has one, Graham is yet to score. And Graham you begin the next round, the subject is DJs. Tell us something about DJs in Just A Minute starting now.

GRAHAM NORTON: DJs are of course also known as disc jockeys. This name came about in olden days when records were much bigger, and small Shetland ponies dragged needles around and around with a little man... oh!


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Around and around.

NP: Around and a, no, a round and around.

GN: I think it was round and around.

LS: Well I was sitting next to him but I wasn't really listening!

NP: We'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you...

GN: Really?

NP: Yes! A point to you for incorrect challenge Graham you keep the subject, there are 45 seconds available, DJs starting now.

GN: Tragically in my home I do listen to Radio One. I dance around and neighbours glance in the window...


NP: Ah...

PM: Repetition of around!


LS: Yes he...

NP: You see Paul, poetic justice, if you let him go he comes back again doesn't he. So...

PM: Do you think there's no element of doubt in that particular challenge?

NP: No doubt at all, right...

LS: Even I, even I heard that one!

NP: Yes, Paul you have 37 seconds, tell us something about DJs starting now.

PM: The first DJ on the BBC... oh...


NP: Clement yes?

CF: Repetition of B.

NP: B, yes. I know it's a tough game. Right 35 seconds Clement, with you, it's DJs still.

CF: The best dressed member of the panel wears...


CF: ... a DJ which is of course a dinner jacket...

NP: Linda you challenged.

LS: Well I suppose deviation, I was going to say deviation because he's talking about what we were wearing. But also deviation because no-one's wearing a dinner jacket.

NP: No, but he did say before, it doesn't matter, DJs is an abbreviation for dinner jacket...

LS: That's true.

NP: ... and he was going on about dinner jackets.

LS: I wish I'd, I just, I feel awful now!

NP: No you don't! No, he was rather shrewd and clever, and you know you're all keen and you got in and you're the first one in there.

LS: Oh.

NP: But unfortunately Clement, an incorrect challenge, so you keep the subject, you have a point of course, 32 seconds, DJs starting now.

CF: A jay is a bird rather like a tit, but unlike...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: He's hesitated yes, you can have him for hesitation. You could have him for deviation, a jay is nothing like a tit! Too more different kind of birds you couldn't see... ah, 25 seconds with you Paul on DJs starting now.

PM: It was Christopher Stone, and he used to play records round about 1926, and the term disc jockey, I think, was coined for him. It is one of those avenues in show business, where if you're not particularly good looking, you don't wish to appear on television, you can still earn quite a good whack by appearing on the radio playing other people's recordings. You can say "hello, this is the latest track from Blondie", or if you're more up to date, something from perhaps Geraldo...


NP: So Paul Merton kept going for a number of seconds until the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and he's equal in the lead with Clement Freud at the end of that round. And Linda your turn to begin and the subject now is crabs. Well, Warbeswick is known for its crabs. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

LS: Whenever I come to Southwold, I always go home with crabs. I think it's because I hang around outside the sailor's reading room for quite a while. It's lovely to go down the pier and fish for crabs. Crabs are always a delightful treat to get to eat. Dressed crabs are more expensive, because it's so difficult to get their jumpers over their little claws. That's where the extra money goes! It's a tasty repast that I like to think of it as the chicken of the deep, because it has brown and white meat, as does the fowl I have just mentioned. I think that crab sandwiches are maybe the best way to enjoy this little meal. It is ah perhaps also...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition of little.

NP: Little yes yes.


LS: Oh don't worry, it wasn't an accident!

NP: I think you've got the audience with you. But Clement, correct challenge, you have 20 seconds available, tell us something about crabs starting now.

CF: The best dressed crab, I always say, is one that has hard boiled egg, both the albumen and the yolk, chopped carefully with parsley, onion and anchovy. You put these on a plate in the shell, and serve it at outrageous prices...


NP: So Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. And with the other one in the round he's now taken the lead ahead of Paul Merton, then Linda Smith and Graham Norton in that order. And Clement your turn to begin, and the subject now is time saving devices. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: A home hysterectomy kit springs to mind! But I suppose after some consideration, a blender would be high up in my list. If you want to make a mayonnaise, put into it eggs, mustard, lemon, vinegar, salt and a pinch of sugar before adding the oil, which in the case...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I think it's deviation because surely a real time saving would be just to go out and buy mayonnaise in a jar.

CF: That's not a device.

GN: No, no, but you've saved time. Fair enough, on you go!

NP: I, it's one of those difficult decisions, I think, because it is a device for making it, and it's probably time saving, you could argue it that way. So I don't think he was strictly speaking deviating within the rules of Just A Minute. So Clement, benefit of the doubt to you on this occasion, keep the subject, 38 seconds, time saving devices starting now.

CF: If you don't like those sort of devices, you can go out to a shop and buy some condiment, whatever you like, in a shop or...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Did we have repetition of shop?

NP: Yes you did. Paul I agree with that, 27 seconds available, time saving devices starting now.

PM: Some time saving devices aren't actually very good. The microwave does save an awful lot of time, but unfortunately all the food it cooks is awful. And there is good, good, oh...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Repetition of good.

NP: That's right, yes, good, good, good, and their all the fingers went, but yours went first Linda. Eighteen seconds with you, time saving devices starting now.

LS: If I met Jeffrey Archer, I'd take an immediate dislike to him. That would be a time saving device which would be very useful to me in life. Some time saving devices are less good, ah, I...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Was there repetition of good?

LS: No I don't think so.

NP: No.

GN: Ah there was a hesitation.

LS: No there wasn't.

GN: There was repetition of ah less!

NP: No Graham, she actually hesitated but you didn't spot it. It's too late now, I have to accept the first challenge. So Linda you keep the subject, you have four seconds on time saving devices starting now.

LS: Instant tea is a time saving device but it's ghastly! Marks and Spencers...


NP: So Linda Smith was speaking then as the whistle went, gained an extra point, and she's now equal with Paul Merton in second place behind Clement Freud. And then Graham Norton coming up behind them all. And Paul it's your turn to begin, the subject is fake tans, tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Fake tans are labour saving devices. It says something about the person who has a fake tan. It says I'm bright, I'm busy, I'm orange! These are things that fake tans do for you. Unlike the real tan there is no particular health problem associated with the fake tan. You just go into one of these shops, they squirt you full of some kind of brown like liquid, I'm not quite sure exactly what goes on. But there is no problem with it, unlike the rays of the sun...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of problem.

NP: Yes, so Graham you've got in with 37 seconds on fake tans starting now.

GN: I did once, I'm afraid to admit, have a fake tan. I went into a shop and got what they call a San Tropez. And I'm here to tell you it was a dismal failure. No tan showed up anywhere, exactly my hands did look like I'd been doing something that a novice vet might have to spend a lot of time on! It wasn't a great look, I wasn't happy. Er the other...



NP: What was that oh for? Joy, pleasure or...

GN: It's as though you're hitting just key word, one.

NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Repetition of wasn't.

NP: Wasn't yes, there were two wasn'ts there. Fake tans Paul, it's with you, eight seconds starting now.

PM: Undoubtedly when you look at somebody like David Dickinson, you think to yourself, can that tan possibly be real? Well...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Yes it is real. I've seen him up close, he looks like a tortoise dipped in Bisto!

NP: Linda, what we do on these occasions, as he wasn't deviating or doing anything wrong within the rules of Just A Minute, we give you a bonus point because the audience enjoyed your interruption. But as Paul was interrupted, he gets a point for that, keeps the subject, one second to go, fake tans Paul starting now.

PM: Satsuma is one of the most...


NP: So at the end of that round, Paul Merton with one or two points, has gone one ahead of Clement Freud into the lead, and then two ahead of Linda Smith, and then Graham Norton. And Graham it's your turn to begin, and the subject is de-cluttering, 60 seconds starting now.

GN: You've got to feel a little sorry for clutter which people do feel obliged to de...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well there was a repetition of feel.

NP: You've got to feel, yes.

GN: You're quite right! Yes!

NP: There were two feels, you were feeling it too much.

GN: Yes yes.

NP: The expression on your face, there was huge feeling as well.

GN: Yeah yeah. It was very deep yeah!

NP: Paul, a point and the subject, and 54 seconds, de-cluttering starting now.

PM: De-cluttering is one of those words that's popped into common use in the last few years...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Common use? (laughs) I've never heard it before!

NP: Oh no, I think it's been around for quite a bit.

GN: Oh has it?

NP: Yes.

GN: I'm so wrong!

NP: I think it's been around for quite a while, and if not, it's been used for quite a while...

GN: Yes!

NP: ... if it's not in the pop...

PM: So it's a word that's been used, but has actually not been around?

NP: That's right, it's not been...

GN: Around? Don't say that again!

NP: A bonus point for Graham for his around, Paul was interrupted, a point for that, de-cluttering still with you Paul, and 50 seconds starting now.

PM: It's a by-product of feng shui, which is a Japanese term meaning you have more money than sense. There was a couple who wanted to buy a house in Yorkshire, but they had an expert in this particular art who advised them not to buy each property they saw...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Repetition of buy.

NP: Yes you were buying yes. You've got 36 seconds to talk about de-cluttering starting now.

LS: My house could do with de-cluttering. When I leave the er home that...


NP: Paul challenged.

LS: Oh it was a hollow victory, wasn't it?

NP: But it was lovely to hear from you.

LS: Thank you Nicholas.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation Paul yes, 32 seconds de-cluttering starting now.

PM: The eskimo has no particular problem with de-cluttering because when it comes to spring, his house melts away! He doesn't have to worry about picking up those little things thinking "why did I ever buy that?" My wife buys chairs. She sees one of these items for sale in a shop, she has to go in and purchase it, we have 28...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Three shes.

NP: Ah 17 seconds Clement, de-cluttering starting now.

CF: De-cluttering is a word that I particularly didn't want to speak about, especially for 17 seconds. It is the opposite of...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well I thought I'd relieve Clement of the responsibility. There was a slight hesitation there I thought.

NP: No there wasn't a hesitation.

PM: No. No, I didn't think there was either myself really.

NP: And I don't think there was a big enough response for a bonus either.

PM: No. No. Well we could just sit here and sort of wallow in my misery, or we could just move on with the show!

NP: Clement, another point and nine seconds, de-cluttering starting now.

CF: Mrs Cluttering's daughter, Dee, was one of the most attractive women that I have come across. She lived in Wessleton, near Wettleton, not far from...


NP: Right so it's a pretty close contest. Clement Freud is now one point behind Paul Merton, who is in the lead, and Linda Smith with all her bonus points is only three behind our leader. And Graham Norton is a few more behind but that's all. And Linda it's your turn to begin, the subject now is it-girls. Tell us something about those girls in this game starting now.

LS: It-girls are posh girls who are famous for going out and wearing clothes. Tamara Beckwith is an it-girl. I saw her on television having an enema! How extraordinary, it crossed my mind. Colonic irrigation, it's sort of a kind of a...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I was just buzzing a sort of full stop! Ah hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes I agree with you Graham. Will you tell us something about colonic irrigation... no I'm so sorry...

GN: I can if you want me to! (laughs)

NP: What I wanted to say is why I missed it is because I actually was asked to be in that programme, and I turned it down. I didn't want to see them, out in the jungle there, looking at all the stuff that's gone through the colonics...

LS: Oh God no, we don't want that!

NP: Oh no, did you see the programme?

LS: It was ghastly actually! Colonic irrigation is basically, it's centre parts for sweetcorn!

NP: Yes!

LS: It's the British holiday the weather can't spoil!

NP: Right. Another bonus to Linda, some of them have been...

PM: What was this programme called? I'm A Celebrity, Shove It Up My Arse?

NP: That's right!

LS: Yes!


PM: I'm on top of that!

NP: I'm A Celebrity, Get It Out Of Here!


NP: That's why I turned it down, I didn't want to have my Nichol-arse on television! And but you saw it anyway. But Graham you got in there...

GN: Yes!

NP: The subject is it-girls actually, not the other one.

GN: Oh is it it-girls?

NP: Forty-three seconds are available, it-girls is the subject with you starting now.

GN: It-girls tend to be skinny and are famous for what they do. Nothing! They have, tend to have very rich parents... oh tend.


NP: Linda.

LS: Well hesitation but I could bite my tongue off really for doing it!

NP: Actually it was a bit incoherent but it wasn't actually a genuine hesitation.

CF: No.

NP: So you have the benefit of the doubt on this occasion.

GN: Oh thank you!

NP: You don't want it?

GN: Oh go on then!

NP: Go on, I'm sure you can go very well on it-girls. You have many it-girls on your programme on the television?

GN: Do I?

NP: Yes! Thirty-five seconds, it-girls with you Graham starting now.

GN: Tara Palmer-Tompkinson, Tamara Beckwith, Lady Victoria Hervey, they are all it-girls. They have little funny stick limbs, hardly big enough to hold up a glass of champagne, and yet somehow they can! God they're brave! They manage to stroll out of small flats in Notting Hill, night after evening, and eat canapes off trays, not too many hors d'oeuvres for me or I won't fit into a very narrow...


NP: You didn't want the subject but you went magnificently, and you raised the temperature of the room as well as your own. And Graham Norton has a number of points in the round including one for speaking as the whistle went, he's still in fourth place, but a very good fourth place now! He's only just behind Linda Smith, who is one behind Clement Freud, who is one behind Paul Merton. Paul let's start the next round with you and the subject is how to be the perfect spy. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Undoubtedly the most perfect spy is yet to be found. It could be somebody that we've never heard of. Undoubtedly it's...


NP: Yes yes, undoubtedly yes. Fifty-four seconds, how to be the perfect spy starting now.

CF: I think the important thing is the false moustache. Look where...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Not if you're a female spy!

NP: Paul I'll give you a bonus point because they enjoyed the challenge, but you actually could find a female spy having to use a false moustache in certain circumstances.

PM: Under what circumstances?

NP: I can't...

GN: It's Berlin, it's 1930!

NP: I can think of a scenario for you. She might be caught in a compromising situation, have to get out, pretend she was a bar... I don't know. But I feel within the rules of Just A Minute, he wasn't actually deviating. So ah, but you got your bonus point...

PM: Okay.

NP: But Clement has a point for being interrupted, 50 seconds, how to be the perfect spy Clement, starting now.

CF: A hirsute upper lip is extremely useful if you are a woman spy and I would recommend it to everyone. There was a lady called Olga Porlovsky, of whom a song, about whom...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Two whoms.

NP: Two whoms yes yes. Whom to whom, yes. Right, 35 seconds, how to be the perfect spy Graham, starting now.

GN: The perfect spy would be a bearded lady, stuff that moustache! And just go out and about, and of course people would be distracted and slightly embarrassed by the terrible facial thing going on, and would never suspect her of looking for secrets hither tither. And of course she could hide them in the fluffy thing hanging off her head, like a small bird's nest. Perhaps the secrets could be in small egg shells and they could...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Was there a repetition of small?

NP: Yes. There was a repetition of small.

GN: Oh pity!


NP: They enjoyed it all, yes! Quite bizarre but they enjoyed it. Right seven seconds Paul, you've got in now on how to be the perfect spy starting now.

PM: There is a man who apparently infiltrated the Russian KGB organisation in 1935, and what he did was, he disguised himself...


NP: So at the end of that round, Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's one behind our leader who is Clement Freud. A little way behind equal in third place, Graham Norton and Linda Smith. And Linda it's your turn to begin and the subject is the best use of a beach hut. That's struck some chords in our audience here, they're very expensive items these days I believe. You have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

LS: The best use of a beach hut is to sell it to some idiot down from Islington, for 500,000 pounds, and I think you'll find that this is very easy to do! Dress up a small child as an estate agent, and get them to show them, these people around, and they'll think it's more spacious than it is. But of course, living in that part of North London that I have mentioned before, they will think that's quite spacious anyway...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of spacious.

NP: Yes.

LS: Absolutely!

NP: Absolutely, it's too spacious. Thirty-three seconds is available for you Clement on the best use of a beach hut starting now.

CF: The best use of beach hut is for speed dating. What you do is you get a whole queue of people on the north side of the beach hut and speed date them...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of speed dating.

NP: Speed dating.

CF: No! I said speed date.

NP: Yeah but you repeated the word speed, didn't you?

CF: But he said repetition of speed dating.

NP: Well he did mention the word speed and I have to be...

CF: He didn't say repetition of speed.

GN: Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

NP: Yes... If we're going to be semantic...

LS: Nicholas, Clement, leave it! It's not worth it!

NP: I think the rules of Just A Minute...

LS: We can't go out anywhere, this happens everywhere we go! I'm sick of it!

NP: I think the rules...

LS: We're having a nice night in the theatre and this goes off! Honestly! I'm sick of it!

NP: Another bonus point to Linda! The um, I think that, I think the rules as originally devised by Ian Messiter were as long as he mentions you repeated one of the words, it is repetition. So Paul you have the benefit of the doubt with 21 seconds on the best use of a beach hut starting now.

PM: When you go down to the beach early in the morning, the sun is low in the sky and you think to yourself, I'm going to go for a swim. But what shall I do? How shall I change from my ordinary clothes into my swimming costume? I know, a beach hut! And as it appears on the horizon, you move towards it. With glistening brow, you think to yourself, I'm going to get changed into the most magnificent swimming costume that any man...



NP: Oh wait a minute! No, there was a challenge just before the buzzer.

CF: Repetition of public library!


NP: Clement...

PM: He's right! He's right!

NP: I know! Clement without knowing it, your clever and devious mind has given me a wonderful way on which to finish the show...

PM: Are you resigning?


NP: Half a second Paul, beach hut starting now.

PM: Undoubtedly...


NP: Right so we have no more time to play Just A Minute. How sad that is. But Graham Norton, who hasn't played it quite so often recently, because he's been very busy on television actually, came back but finished in a very strong fourth position. He wasn't very far behind Linda Smith who was in a very powerful third position. But out in the lead was Clement Freud and he was just one point behind Paul Merton. So what I think is the only fair thing to say, let's give both of them a big round of applause! It only remains for me to say thank you to Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Linda Smith and Clement Freud. I also thank Janet Staplehurst who has helped me keep the score, she's blown her whistle with such aplomb that it's been charming. We thank our producer who is Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this delightful game. And we are deeply indebted to this lovely audience here at the St Edmund's Hall in Southwold who have cheered us on our way in spite of the heat. You've been lovely! We've enjoyed it! From the panel, from me Nicholas Parsons, good-bye! Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!