starring CLEMENT FREUD, TONY HAWKS, JENNY ECLAIR and ROSS NOBLE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 18 August 2003)

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 infinite pleasure to welcome our many listeners throughout the world, those who listen to us on Radio Four, the World Service, or tune in and hear us on the Internet. And also it's a huge pleasure to welcome four individual, exciting, clever, talented players of the game who are going to display their wit and humour and their skill with words as they speak on a subject I will give them, and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four people are Jenny Eclair and Ross Noble, Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. Please welcome all four of them! And sitting beside me is Janet Staplehurst, who 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 comes from the Palace Theatre in Westcliff. And we have a good Essex audience here as we begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement, something to write home about. Tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: I used to do a lot of writing home. Dear Mother, yesterday I ate a bakewell tart. Or... affectionate father...


NP: Ross challenged.

ROSS NOBLE: Did he hesitate?

NP: Ross you have a correct challenge, and you have 52 seconds, you get a point of course for a correct challenge, to take over the subject, something to write home about starting now.

RN: Having something to write home about is all very well unless of course you live on your own in which case it's quite a depressing thing. You return back to your place of residence and walk through the door to find masses of letters just saying "Oh I've had a great time", but you haven't really. It's also very unpleasing to your personal... mindset...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JENNY ECLAIR: You could drive a bus through that pause, couldn't you Nicholas?

NP: No, you couldn't drive a bus, but he did pause.

JE: He did pause.

NP: Jenny we interpret that slurring as a hesitation, so you have the subject of something to write home about, you have a point of course, and 30 seconds starting now.

JE: Dear Mum, can I have some money? Love, Jenny! I think perhaps to have something to write home about means, as a euphemism, a significant thing has happened in your life that you need to alert your loved ones too. Possibly you've been on holiday and met a lovely Brazilian girl. And you need to tell the wife, (laughs) sorry, I've lived with you for 30 years and hated you for 29 and a half of those, but I'm leaving you for this beauty. That would be something to write home about. And the recipient...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Jenny Eclair, and you, Jenny you're in second place you've got two points. Ross Noble has three points. And er Ross it's also your turn to begin. So would you tell us something about amusement arcades, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

RN: Amusement arcades are a good place to win teddy bears that clearly contravene every safety regulation that has ever been invented. There you go there kiddy, have a lovely toy from me! You rip the head off, there's a great big spike sticking out. Don't put it too close to the fire or it will slowly melt. Its face changing ever so slightly as the heat affects the synthetic fibres. This of course can be good fun as it looks quizzical and then sad. Then thoughtful and at the same time ponderous at the possibilities that it could have endured, had it not been taken to your... place with a fire...


NP: So Tony you challenged.

TONY HAWKS: Yes he did brilliantly, but there was a slight hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation. Yes he kept going magnificently for 38 seconds. But ah, and the audience enjoyed it, you showed that by the applause. But Tony you have a correct challenge, you have a point of course, you have amusement arcades, tell us, to talk on and there are 22 seconds starting now.

TH: I imagine there are a lot of amusement arcades in this general area where we find ourselves tonight, Westcliff-on-Sea or Southend. But I don't visit them. I have to say you see very little amusement in there, just people getting a little bit irritated, 20p in there and I nearly had that thing with the grabby, but it didn't get it and the cow fell over, and I've lost it and I'm now going to go and change a pound and I...


NP: So Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. He's equal with Jenny Eclair, Ross is in the lead. And Jenny it's your turn to begin, the subject now, puppy love. Tell us something about puppy love in this game starting now.

JE: (sings very badly) And they called it puppy lo-o-ove! Just because we're in our tee-eee-eens! Oh why can't I make them see this is not a puppy dre-eam...


NP: Tony Tony you've challenged.

TH: Deviation from the correct tune!


JE: I can't help it!

NP: God, I did hope someone was going to stop her! No, er...

JE: No I can't sing! I've got a car sticker because of that. I can't sing, I'm tone deaf, and it's not fair to laugh!

NP: I don't think it's sense, I don't think it's sensible to start! But Tony I agree with your challenge of deviation and er, and with relief I say yes you have a point and the subject.


NP: I should explain to our listeners that ohh and gasp from the audience was because Jenny pretended to be upset and overwhelmed and left the er stage here at Westcliff.

JE: Only my professionalism means that I will continue.

NP: So she has returned. I wouldn't bother to go into Pop Idol if they ask you... ah Jenny. Tony, 47 seconds are available, tell us something about puppy love starting now.

TH: (sings) And they called it puppy lo-ooo-ove. Just because (speaks) I'd love to play that at the Westcliff-on-Sea Palace Theatre...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: He deviated from the words! Just because we're in our teens, not (sings) in Westcliff-on-Sea!

NP: Yeah but he stopped doing the lyrics...

RN: He didn't sing the song, he went on to talking about Westcliff...

NP: He stopped, no he said...

RN: ... which wasn't in the original.

NP: He broke off from singing the song in tune to say I'd like to do that at the Westcliff-on-Sea ah Palace Theatre. It wasn't a correct challenge, Tony you have a point, you have the subject still, puppy love, 37 seconds starting now.

TH: You're a sad little 11-year old and you fancy Alison Wilcox like nobody's business. It is a case of puppy love and every time I went to say hello to her, she rejected me. Oh my goodness, I can feel the sadness in this very room, or theatre, call it what you will. But it was puppy love all right, and I suffered more than anybody else ever did. And it looked like Janet was going to blow the whistle then, but she didn't...


TH: Did you, did you just do a, you, you went like that, you teased me with the whistle!

NP: Yes!

TH: I thought I'll relax, I've nearly done it!

NP: This is what they do, for our listeners, they watch Janet and when she picks up the whistle, they think there's only two seconds to go. But she did a little naughty there, didn't you Janet? Well anyway Jenny challenged first, what was it?

JE: Deviation, two Janets.

NP: Well it's...

JE: Wasn't his girlfriend called Janet?

NP: No, no, it wasn't.

JE: Oh damn!

NP: Is your challenge hesitation or...

JE: Yes! Hesitation! And deviation!

NP: No, what was your first challenge was deviation...

JE: What was it Ross? What was my challenge?

RN: I have absolutely no idea!

JE: But you told me to! You nudged me!

NP: Jenny your first challenge was deviation.

JE: Deviation!

NP: I'm sorry, I can't accept it!


NP: He did hesitate.

JE: (in tears) That's the second time I've been made to cry now!

NP: Within this game I do have to accept the first challenge someone gives. He hesitated but you didn't have him for that, 12 seconds still with you on puppy love, Tony starting now.

TH: Donny Osmond had a big hit with that song. And it was memorable, 1972, someone might pick me up on that, but I don't think they...


NP: Jenny has challenged.

JE: Nineteen-seventy-three!

NP: It's actually 1971!

JE: I was already lying about my age back then!

NP: Right! I don't think we charge any points from that and let Tony keep the subject and there are five seconds on puppy love starting now.

TH: But if I could have held her hand in that playground, I would have...


NP: Oh yes Clement challenged.

CF: We've had a playground.

TH: Yes.

NP: Yes you were in the playground before, yes, when you went out to this puppy love. And Clement's got in with one second to go...


NP: Oh! Yeah someone clapped, I don't know why. And the others were groaning. But still Clement, you have one second, puppy love starting now.

CF: Immature affection!


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. He's equal with Ross Noble in second place, behind Tony Hawks, our leader, and one point ahead of Jenny Eclair, who's in fourth place.


NP: I never know if two people are equal in second place, whether the next person is third or fourth.

TH: It's not important information for you to know Nicholas! You're only the host of a quiz show where you have to get these things right!

NP: Tony I'd like you to take the subject of Esperanto. I'm sure you can speak it, if not tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: (Esperanto-sounding gibberish) Is of course Esperanto for "I've taken on the bet that I can beat the entire Moldavian national football team at tennis, will you play with me?" I learnt this for a very specific reason. I had always wanted to speak Esperanto, great admirer of Zammonhoff who was the Polish physician who came up with this peculiar little thing where they spoke, almost a bit of romance and then er other things...


TH: Hello?

NP: Ross challenged. Ross?

RN: He went er.

NP: I know! He was giving us so much interesting information...

TH: I should tell you it wasn't Esperanto at all, it was Romanian!

NP: I recognised that, but I, it was not my position to say it! Ross you challenged first, um 25 seconds on Esperanto starting now.

RN: I once attempted to learn Esperanto. I went down to my local bookshop and bought a tape. Unfortunately the player that I was using, the batteries were very low. So all I can say is (makes noise like a record or tape playing very slowly, words being unintelligible) ....


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: It was repetition.

NP: I think it was repetition. It sounded like (makes similar but more repetitive noise) ...

RN: No, no, it was, let me do it again. (Makes noise like a record or tape playing very slowly, words being unintelligible) I'll translate. I'd like a coffee!

NP: I think you elongated the vowel sound to such an extent, I know it was a demonstration. I've got an impossible decision here. Um I think the fairest thing to do is to give both of you a point because it could have been interpreted as deviation, but you illustrated that it wasn't. Hesitation I mean. And er um Ross you continue with 11 seconds on Esperanto starting now.

RN: Well I got home and powered up that particular...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Got home twice.

RN: I did get home twice.

NP: Yes, you got home...

RN: I've got two homes!

NP: Jenny you got in with nine seconds on Esperanto starting now.

JE: I think even if they made it law, us Brits wouldn't bother speaking it! We'd just point and shout louder, because that's what we call communication!


NP: So Jenny Eclair was speaking as the whistle went, she was trailing a little before, but she's now catching up the other three who are actually all equal, one point ahead of her in the lead. And it is Clement's turn to begin, Clement Freud would you speak on my childhood sweetheart, 60 seconds starting now.

CF: When I was about 12 years old in the village of Warbeswick in East Suffolk where I then lived and live now, I had a childhood...


NP: Yes?

RN: It was, was it lived and...?

NP: Then lived and live now.

RN: Oh he's done it again!

NP: Yes I know!

RN: Damn you! Damn you Freud!

NP: So that wasn't a repetition, bad luck Ross. Fifty-one seconds still with you Clement, my childhood sweetheart starting now.

CF: My childhood sweetheart was called Julie and I was deeply fond of her, and wrote to her from school. And then I learnt that there are so many billion people in the world, and the likelihood of my ending up with someone who lived in the same community that I did. I said lived twice.


NP: I know! It's Tony who challenged first.

TH: Yes, I think it was a repetition of lived, you know.

NP: Yes and Clement very generously drew everybody's attention to it. Thirty-one seconds, you've talked a bit about your childhood sweetheart so tell us a bit more Tony, starting now.

TH: Yes I've already begun to speak on this subject in a previous round. Alison Wilcox, lovely little girl she was. And I took her out one day, I was only 12 years old, didn't know really how to go about taking a girl on a date. So I took her to see...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Two tooks.

NP: No, it was taking and take...

JE: Yeah but he...

NP: Taking and take.

JE: Taking and taking.

NP: No, it was taking and then take, and now it's took. It's a tough game, sorry Jenny! A point to Tony still, 16 seconds, my childhood sweetheart starting now.

TH: And she shouldn't come with me because she was out with Julie, the girl...


NP: Ah Clement Freud challenged.

CF: She.

NP: She, yes?

CF: She wouldn't, she was.

NP: There were too many shes Tony, and Clement has 13 seconds to tell us about my childhood sweetheart starting now.

CF: I had another childhood sweetheart whose name was Alicia Felicia Delicia, and was absolutely charming. One of the nicest, and her feet were...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point and he has increased his lead. He's just ahead of Tony Hawks, Ross Noble and Jenny Eclair in that order. Ross will you take the next round, the subject is muscle builders. Can you tell us something about muscle builders in this game starting now.

RN: Mussel builders are a ridiculous idea! Making seafood do odd jobs around the house? It just, whatever next? Will we have prawns laying patios? Whelks outside putting the decking in, in the back garden? It's simply preposterous! Jellied eels will be turning up giving you a quote on a loft installation system! I think that this sort of carry on should be outlawed. People talk about cowboys but I think that the deep sea activities of these particular creatures is bang out of order...


NP: Clement...


NP: Awww! Clement you interrupted his flow, what have you challenged for?

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Mussels are shallow, not deep sea!

NP: Ohhhhh! Ah yeah but we could have interpreted the fact, that he could have had deep sea characters coming up to quote as well. So what I think we'll do... I suppose, I suppose to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute, it's just that he was going so well. Give him a round, give Ross a bonus point for that wonderful piece of improvisation that he did! And Clement Freud has a point for a correct challenge and he has 28 seconds starting now.

CF: You have to have muscles to begin with. A muscle builder is really pretty hopeless if you're fat and flabby, and have no muscles in your legs or arms, let alone shoulders, neck, ribcage...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Muscles in your ribcage?

JE: Yes you do...

NP: There are little muscles in your ribcage, you know. They're very small ones.

RN: I say we have an autopsy! I'm not happy until we've had an autopsy!

NP: I must explain to our listeners that Jenny was actually demonstrating with her ribs you know. She bared them and showed them to, to Ross.

JE: I've actually hurt myself quite badly with that demonstration! May I have a point?

NP: No! Clement another point to you because an incorrect challenge, 10 seconds, muscle builders starting now.

CF: If you join a gymnasium which is pretty expensive, especially in London or cities of...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: The YMCA offer reasonable prices for all sorts of people, due to a membership scheme. Can I have the subject back please?

NP: For hesitation?

RN: Yeah if you like.

NP: Right hesitation, it was correct, four seconds on muscle builders with you Ross starting now.

RN: Make sure you don't confuse steroids with stair rods. Because that can cause a lot of problems...


NP: So Ross Noble speaking as the whistle went has got points. He's just two behind our leader Clement Freud, and just ahead of Tony Hawks and Jenny Eclair. And Jenny your turn to begin, the subject, good turns. Tell us something about good turns in this game starting now.

JE: My idea of a good turn is a 360 degree spin on a six inch stiletto. Hey yeah what's that! If you're a scout or a brownie, you're brought up to believe good turns are a Christian thing to do. They're so dull, they usually involve picking up a pound of cod for an invalid from the fishmongers. I would rather lend somebody 50 quid cash, than do them a good turn. The thing to do when people do you good turns is that inevitably, six months later, they say "ah but can you look after my dog, while I go on holiday?" And the smelly beast comes round and tries to have sex with your leg! And that's just your friend's husband! But I would honestly rather donate money...


NP: Thank you Ross, you challenged.

RN: Repetition of rather.

NP: Yes.

JE: Rather.

NP: You did say rather, yes, before.

JE: Only because I would rather.

NP: Yes so Ross you've got in on good turns and there are 16 seconds to tell us something about it starting now.

RN: Good turns can be found in the following roads. The A13, 127, B2943...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of two.

NP: Yes. Two!

RN: But I was reading it off a sign as one! You're right though!

NP: I know!

RN: And they're all straight roads so I was cleverly pulling a trick.

NP: Yes right, so many other numbers you could have chosen. But Tony you got in with eight seconds on good turns starting now.

TH: One good turn deserves another. So when somebody does one for me, I say "do it again, pal, I want all of them..."


NP: Clement challenged.

TH: ".... I'm not stopping, I'm going going, I'm on a roll now, I'm just..."

NP: Wait a minute, Clement's challenged you, your roll's stopped.

TH: Oh.

CF: Repetition of one.

NP: Yes there was one, too many ones there.

TH: Yes.

NP: So Clement's got in with two seconds to go on good turns starting now.

CF: The fox-trot involves...


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went got extra points, as well as the others in the round, he's increased his lead. Tony Hawks it's your turn to begin, and the subject here now is tear jerkers. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TH: Some people go to a cinema to be frightened. Some to the theatre to be scared on occasions like tonight. But they might actually visit one of these establishments in order to cry. The tear jerker is designed specifically for this. Let's think of some. The Love...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: That was the third some.

NP: Yes.

TH: That's true.

CF: I let the first two go.

NP: Yes so Clement you've got in with another point, and 42 seconds available, tear jerkers starting now.

CF: I cry at almost every film that I've ever seen. The Wizard Of Oz (pauses)...


NP: Only one film, Clement?

CF: I was thinking about it! National Velvet reduces me...

NP: Right but Tony got in on the hesitation...

CF: Yes.

NP: And 35 seconds starting now.

TH: Ring Of Bright Water was a particularly sad film. I watched it when I was 11...


NP: Ah Ross challenged.

RN: Repetition of film.

NP: Yes you mentioned the film before. Ah so Ross a correct challenge, you got in with 31 seconds on tear jerkers starting now.

RN: Tier jerkers are people who like to spoil wedding cakes! That's right! They walk up, take the middle section of that particular cake, and then whoop it back like that very quick! And there'd be a bride at the other side turning round and she would see has happened to that lovely piece of confectionery style eating type...


NP: Tony, Tony challenged you.

TH: I think um, I think it was a repetition of piece. Piece of cake earlier and then that piece of confectionery style thing, he didn't want to avoid...

RN: Oh you're good!

NP: I know! It's quite true, but they loved it, didn't they! So um, so his improvisation was brilliant but it didn't keep him going. And 12 seconds available for you Tony on tear jerkers starting now.

TH: The Wizard Of Oz is a movie which made Clement cry. And why not? The Tin Man himself when he walked down past Dorothy, his lovely metal stuff dangling...


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, a lot of points, He's now moving forward, he's only two behind our leader Clement Freud, one ahead of Ross Noble, and two or three more ahead of Jenny Eclair. That's the sequence as Clement begins the next round which is recycling. Clement tell us something about recycling in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Re cycling, I would like to remind listeners of the Tour de France which is a sensationally exciting race involving bicycles that go all over France...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: No, they follow a specific route!

NP: A very good challenge, but I think that I've got to give the benefit of the doubt to Clement and say you have recycling still, and you have 46 seconds starting now.

CF: There are in some villages and towns, also cities, bins made of either rubber or wood, even metal, which are for recycling. It says tins, cardboard, paper, rubbish. Excellent people who really care about the environment, and have the well-being of their neighbours at heart, recycle like you wouldn't... get...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I agree with that one Jenny, so there was a hesitation. You have recycling, you have 10 seconds starting now.

JE: Domestically I'm not much of a recycler. I start off with great intentions, the next thing I know there are 592 empty wine bottles in my hall...


NP: So Jenny Eclair got the point for speaking as the whistle went, and with others in the round, she's moved forward, unfortunately she's still in fourth place. But we're moving into the final round, so I'm sure you'd like to know the state of play as we do that. Jenny is just trailing a little in fourth place, but she's not very far behind Ross Noble, um, she's um a few points behind Tony Hawks and they're all a point or two behind Clement Freud who is still in the lead. Ross I think it's your turn to begin so would you take the final round which is my early years. Tell us something about your early years starting now.

RN: I was a little bit like Lord Greystoke, I was brought up by monkeys. And that's unusual for people to believe in the Newcastle area, but there are quite a lot of wild simians in that particular vicinity. There were many occasions where I remember my early years, like the time my father took me to St James's Park, wrapped up in a hat and a scarf. And that's where I got my dream of being a knitwear model! We were going down there, it was a ridiculous thing though really, considering that we were monkeys and we had...


RN: I said monkeys twice!

NP: So Tony you interrupted the flow, yes?

TH: Repetition of monkeys?

NP: Yes monkey yes right. Twenty-six seconds Tony for you on my early years starting now.

TH: My early years were largely spent recycling! But I don't want to go into that now, because Alison Wilcox once again crops up. The saga in the playground, unfit...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Sorry, I had a flashback there, and I heard playground and thought I'm buzzing that! It's an incorrect challenge, I'm very sorry, I thought we'd slipped through time!

NP: That's right! No, it was, the playground was in another round, Alison... so was Alison in another round. In fact she was in two other rounds.

RN: I certainly hope he got it in with her! Because he's been nothing, if not persistent!

NP: Tony you were interrupted, it wasn't a good challenge. You get a point for that of course and you have 16 seconds available, my early years starting now.

TH: There were marked similarities between my early years and my later years. Each were 365 days in length...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Ah, leap year!

NP: Yeah...

CF: Some of them were 366!

NP: Yeah but he might have been going on to say that, mightn't he?

CF: No.

NP: It's a difficult decision, because, no, he said some of them were 365 days each... oh each year? In between...

TH: Each of them were, yes. Um, let's give it to Clement, shall we?

NP: I think he's dead keen to have it. He's just in the lead and he's now gone further in the lead. Seven seconds, my early years Clement, starting now.

CF: My early years were really a very long time ago, by virtue of the fact that my late years are upon me now...


NP: I said a little while ago this was the last round. So the final situation is to say how they all finished up. But let me say before we start, they're all winners but one will have most points and we give him an extra round of applause. In fourth place was Jenny Eclair. She was just behind Ross Noble, he was four points behind Tony Hawks, and he was only three points behind Clement Freud. And so Clement you are adjudged to be out in the lead, and get that extra special round of applause! It only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Jenny Eclair, Ross Noble, Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. I thank Janet Staplehurst for helping me with the score, and blowing her whistle so magnificently. We also thank our producer-director, Claire Jones. And also we are indebted to Ian Messiter who thought of this game which we all love playing. And we are very grateful to this lovely Essex audience here in the Palace Theatre at Westcliff-on-Sea. So a lovely audience seeing us out on a round of applause! From me Nicholas Parsons, tune in the next time we all play Just A Minute!