NOTE: Gyles Brandreth's first appearance.


ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Sheila Hancock and Gyles Brandreth 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 two of our regulars, Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams. We welcome back after quite a long interval Sheila Hancock. Sheila, who always says "I don't know why I come on this ridiculous game", but always does outstandingly well whenever she does. And we have a new guest, someone who hasn't played the game before, Gyles Brandreth. The rules have remained the same. I'm going to ask our four panellists at different times if they can speak on some subject I will give them, and they will try and do it without hesitation, repetition and deviating from the subject. And this week we will begin the show with Peter Jones. And the subject Peter, is a long one, the most outstanding personality in this show. What, what a, er, ah, um, a difficult subject to go on. You have 60 seconds and you start now.

PETER JONES: Well I think it's a very unkind subject to give me, the most outstanding personality in this show. Because I'm not going to give a name to the person I think who is. Because it would be both undiplomatic and unkind. I think that it is basically a team show. And when somebody stands out, and how terribly boring this is! Ah...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SHEILA HANCOCK: Hesitation, and not answering the question.

NP: I thought he was being extraordinarily diplomatic.

SH: But not answering the question.

PJ: But it isn't a question. You're asked to talk for a minute on a subject. It's not a question.

NP: No, it wasn't a question. No, he's quite right. But Sheila, I will grant your first challenge of hesitation. So Peter gets a, sorry Sheila, you get a point for a correct challenge and you take over the subject. There are 36 seconds, the most outstanding personality in the show starting now.

SH: The most outstanding personality in this show is definitely Derek Nimmo! Because he's tall...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Sorry, Derek Nimmo isn't in this show!

SH: Isn't he? Oh!

PJ: That's Gyles Brandreth over there!

NP: That's Gyles Brandreth.

SH: Sorry, sorry, oh all right.

NP: So Peter, that's a very good challenge, he's not in the show so you have 29 seconds to take the subject back again starting now.

PJ: And since he's not in the show, I can say how he fails to outstand...


NP: Ah Gyles Brandreth has challenged.

SH: (laughs) Fails to outstand!

GYLES BRANDRETH: Well I, I want to sound a bit like Derek Nimmo now. There was hesitation of a kind there.

NP: Of a kind, but not enough, I think...

GB: Oh, quite sufficient! It's not going to start...


GB: I've seen us greenhorns be trampled over before now on this... and I intend to start as I mean to go on! Right now...

NP: Well if you...

GB: How many seconds do I have left?

NP: Um if you intend to go on that way, do you wish to come up here? And take over?

GB: Not necessarily today, but perhaps next week!


NP: Um Gyles, I have the rules such as they are to try and adhere to. And I am going to with great strength of mind, overrule your exuberant challenge. Ah Peter you still have the subject, you got a point of course also for a wrong challenge and you have, there are 25 seconds left on the subject, the most outstanding personality in this show starting now.

PJ: If we're going by age alone, then obviously Kenneth is the most outstanding personality in this show, because he has been doing it for much longer than any of the rest of us. I've been doing it second, and er Sheila I think...


NP: Gyles Brandreth challenged.

GB: A combination of both hesitation and a repetition of doing it.

NP: Yes. But I can't give you two points.

GB: I'm quite prepared to accept just one point!

NP: Right...

GB: If I'm allowed to speak now.

NP: Yes! For a first time guest you've spoken more than anybody else who's ever played the game. Gyles I will give you the word to start, that's one of the few jobs left to me when you're on the show! Um it is the most outstanding personality in this show and you have 12 seconds starting now.

GB: There is no doubt at all in my mind that the most outstanding personality in this show is the boyish figure of Nicholas Parsons!

NP: Oh!

GB: Who I have known for so long that I knew him when he was merely known as Nick Curate!



SH: He said known twice.

NP: Much as I'd like to give Gyles Brandreth a bonus point for those brilliant and superbly phrased remarks of his, he does get a point actually for speaking as the whistle went. And he is actually in the lead alongside Peter Jones at the end of the round. And Sheila Hancock we're going to hear from you because you're beginning the next round. And the subject is getting the baby to sleep.

SH: Oh!

NP: Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

SH: It's something I'm really quite skilled at. Because when my little ones were young, I discovered an infallible method. You have to have the skin under your hands... (laughs) and...


NP: Kenneth Williams has...

KENNETH WILLIAMS: Hesitation, and obviously laughing! I mean the whole thing's disgraceful! All that giggling!

SH: I just knew that you'd interrupt! I was visualising what you'd say.

NP: What on earth does it mean? The skin under your hand?

SH: Unless you let me carry on, you won't know.

KW: No, well, we're not terribly interested!

NP: We'll ask you when the round is over. Kenneth you have the subject of the skin under your hands, oh no... oh no, it's an even better subject for you, it's getting the baby to sleep. So Kenneth tell us something about that in 46 seconds starting now.

KW: I have been complimented on my ability in this direction on more than one occasion. And a vicar, when I was holding a baby at the font, said "you have a curious knack! And what is the secret?" I said "a gentle massaging at the base of the spine, which was told me many moons ago, by a distinguished paediatrician in Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital..."


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yeah I think you had got so...

KW: Rubbish!

NP: .... slow...

KW: He's just jealous, darling! He's just jealous because I've got this lovely hair!

PJ: He didn't just...

KW: He loves this hair! That's why he's jealous! Ah I can tell you...

NP: I don't think you could have...

KW: He said earlier on, it's like spun gold! He said I'd like to walk through it barefoot!

PJ: It looks as though somebody has!

KW: (in tears) He's jealous! He can't bear me being a success! He can't bear it! Look at him! He's furious at my success!

NP: Kenneth, I'll tell you how successful you were. You weren't telling about putting the baby to sleep, you actually put the audience to sleep! And so the hesitation, I do think you couldn't have gone slower without hesitating. So I will give...

PJ: Well he hesitated not just between the words, but between the syllables!

NP: So Peter you take over the subject of getting the baby to sleep, 10 seconds starting now.

PJ: A few drops of good quality malt whisky into the, into the baby's bottle is an infallible method of getting the child to sleep...


NP: Gyles Brandreth has challenged.

GB: This is not just deviation, it's deviant! And also quite dangerous that people should be encouraged...

KW: Hear hear! Imagine people listening! It's a family show!

GB: Yes!

KW: And they'll all be getting the baby absolutely tight! It's a disgrace!

NP: No, it's horrible and wrong, but...

KW: Of course it is! Horrible and wrong! I couldn't have phrased it better! Horrible and wrong!

NP: But he's not deviating from the subject, actually, you see. That's what I have to interpret, it makes my life very difficult and I make...


NP: Awwww! Oh you are kind! Oh let's forget about the other four, I and the audience. So um Peter you keep the subject and you have two seconds, no, one second left starting now.

PJ: Have a good shot yourself first!


NP: Peter Jones gained a number of points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went and he's now in a very strong lead. Kenneth your turn to begin and the subject, Camelot. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

KW: The actual site of Camelot is the subject of considerable contention. Those who maintain that he had the castle in what is now called Pintago are probably, I would say... correct...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: There really was quite a hesitation between "I would say" and "correct". There was a kind of...

NP: There was, but I think it was dramatic effect on this occasion.

KW: It was dramatic effect! That's right, you see! I was after dramatic effect! That's true!

NP: A bit...

KW: He's a very good chairman, you know!

NP: A bit...

KW: He's got a feel for the game, hasn't he!

NP: It's very difficult, you weren't going as slow as you were before...

KW: No...

NP: ... but almost, and it's very difficult to judge and Gyles is a guest, but he's a very good guest, so I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, and telling you that you have 44 seconds to continue on Camelot starting now.

KW: In the musical Camelot, the lead was played by my old chum, Richard Burton. And I said to him "well you've taken on a pretty pill. It's a vast part, you know." And he said "yes, exhausting". And I said "far from those days when we were together at The Grand at Swansea." And there he was playing Constantine. Little did I dream then that he'd do Camelot...


NP: And Gyles Brandreth.

GB: We're now talking about Chekov, it appears, as opposed to Camelot.

NP: No, you're quite right Gyles, he has deviated from Camelot and gone on to Richard Burton...

KW: It was interesting, wasn't it!

NP: So Gyles, you have the subject of Camelot and there are 17 seconds starting now.

GB: There are many people who feel that Camelot is in fact a car park for dromedaries. They are incorrect and it is a paradise place. And I once taught at a school that was known as Camelot, a school for the sons and daughters of incredibly wealthy...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of school.

NP: Yes you had two schools you taught that Gyles. So Peter, correct challenge, Camelot's the subject, two and a half seconds left starting now.

PJ: Yes it was an interesting show in America, and it...


NP: So at the end of that round Peter Jones has increased his lead and Gyles Brandreth begins the next round. Gyles, something I think you know a great deal about, puzzles. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

GB: Those people who believe that a slight inclination of the cranium is as adequate as a spasmodic movement of one optic to an equine quadruped, utterly devoid of any visionary capacity will appreciate the world of puzzledom, because they will understand that that phrase actually means a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse. That is the kind of puzzle that I appreciate, a literary puzzle of a certain amount of refinement. My great-grandfather was a manufacturer of laxative pills, and he produced the first Brandreth's Puzzle Book in the year nineteen hundred and one, in order to promote the sales of these particular medicaments. The idea of them was that they made your tummy feel much more comfortable. The idea of the puzzles was to distract...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of idea.

NP: Yes, Peter you're in there with only three seconds to go on puzzles starting now.

PJ: Yes well crossword puzzles...


NP: Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: "Yes well", didn't he say that in this round?

NP: Yes well er, I agree, hesitation. There's only one second left for you Sheila on puzzles starting now.

SH: Puzzles are...


NP: Sheila Hancock got the point for speaking as the whistle went, um, and Peter Jones is still in the lead, Gyles Brandreth is following, and Sheila and Kenneth are trailing a little. Peter it's your turn to begin, the subject is getting a tan. Can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

PJ: What a lot of man-hours are spent, uselessly in my opinion, by people trying to...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: I'm afraid it's hesitation.

NP: Yes I'm afraid it was.

KW: Very bad hesitation!

NP: But very unkind...

PJ: It's just a mannerism really! It's probably...

KW: I'm not known for my kindness!

NP: So Kenneth you have the subject, there are 55 seconds on getting a tan starting now.

KW: Well the best way to do this is to lie in the rays of the sun and cover the skin with the appropriate lotions. Of course they're always trying to give you this old rubbish about vinegar and oil mixed together. But the feel of it is so horrible, and the smell is quite disgusting. So you're better...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: I don't think the smell of oil and vinegar can be described as disgusting. It is after all vinaigrette dressing and um, and it's er eaten by people all over the world with great relish.

NP: Well that is not deviating from the subject. So Kenneth keeps the subject, on getting a tan, there are 35 seconds starting now.

KW: In my youth, I got a tan if I was rude to my parents. And my father would say "you're going to be bent over my knee and you're going to get a tan..."


NP: And Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: "You're going to get a tan", I mean it's...

NP: "You're going to", that's right, he repeated the phrase.

PJ: And anyway it is obvious proof of the er, how appallingly badly he was treated as a child with this corporal punishment. He's ended up a warped emotionally stunted individual, and I think he ought to be given a point!


SH: For being emotionally stunted? All right yes, I'll give it to him, poor soul, I know!

NP: We've got into the realms of surrealism now, and I'm going to let Sheila Hancock have her challenge and there are 23 seconds left, getting a tan Sheila, starting now.

SH: Getting a tan was something I used to spend a great deal of time doing, and found it...


NP: Gyles Brandreth.

GB: It wasn't a dramatic pause, it was really hesitation.

NP: It really was.

GB: Her mind was searching desperately for something to say.

NP: Yes you are right...

SH: But I kept going! It was searching but I kept going.

NP: Yeah but you did pause in the process which is one of the rules of the game. So Gyles, you have the subject of getting a tan, there are 17 seconds left starting now.

GB: Sheila Hancock and I have something in common, in that we are both totally bald from navel to Adam's apple. And consequently when...


KW: What is it? Deviation! Deviation! Bald from where, did he say?

NP: Navel to Adam's apple. It was quite, it was perfectly clean and wholesome and proper.

GB: And I'm ready to prove it if Sheila is!

SH: I... (laughs)


NP: We see how far doe, down your mind rests, Kenneth. He was talking about the upper part that we can talk about in a family show. And so Gyles you have a correct challenge, I'm sorry, a point for an incorrect challenge, and you keep the subject, there are 10 seconds left, getting a tan starting now.

GB: As a consequence of my untanned torso, I have recently acquired a chest wig. It is a sort of hessian vest with horse hair sewn on to it, and I have to go with it matching underarm toupee...


NP: Well it's an interesting contest because Gyles Brandreth, our clever word spinner here, is leaping forward. He's now only one point behind our leader who is still Peter Jones. And Sheila your turn to begin, the subject is lines. Will you tell us something about those in the game starting now.

SH: There is nothing more pleasing on a Monday than to see lines of billowing washing that you've been doing ever since Saturday! Which I am sure all the ladies and gentlemen in the audience will agree with me. The other sort of lines that come to mind are those that are gradually becoming etched deeply upon my face, which give me less pleasure. Particularly as I have just acquired a singularly...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of pleasure.

NP: Yes.

SH: Was it?

NP: Yes.

SH: Yeah.

NP: You talked about the lack of pleasure before, I'm afraid Sheila. There are 37 seconds for you Peter, to take over the subject of lines starting now.

PJ: The lines I remember are the ones I was given at school for misbehaving. And I think it would probably have been better if I hadn't, because it put me off many of the things I had to copy out. And I don't recall any of the good advice that I was given on those occasions. And I'm all in favour of allowing children to behave...


NP: Gyles Brandreth.

GB: I think a series of little hesitations...

NP: Yes. I think so Gyles, so you have the subject of lines and there are 19 seconds starting now.

GB: I believe the most difficult line ever given to a radio actor was "this is the chair Schmitt sat in when he was shot". This took place in a thriller on the American radio network in the 1930s. The actor concerned was unfortunately intoxicated at the time of his performance and consequently, instead of saying what he should have said...


NP: That strange rather half-hearted attempt at a whistle blow was because I tried to pull the whistle out of Ian Messiter's mouth as he blew it, in order that Gyles Brandreth could carry on with the story because I thought it was rather a good one.

IAN MESSITER: And my teeth went with it!

NP: I know! You didn't tell me about that new set before we started the series. And so he did go beyond, so he was certainly well within the 60 seconds and gets a point for speaking at that moment. And he's now equal in the lead alongside Peter Jones. And the next subject is my goodness. And my goodness, it's Kenneth Williams, your turn to begin. So would you talk on the subject in Just A Minute, Kenneth starting now.

KW: Well my goodness is never in question. My altruism is obvious to anyone who has ever had any of the remotest dealings with me, that I would consider peripheral to the average kind of acquaintanceship. Now I'm not here to do a lot of self-advertising. I'm too humble a person to indulge in that kind of thing. So I will take that aspect of the phrase which means "my goodness" which is the kind of surprise we often register when told of some untoward happening. Some sensation it may be, you don't know, I mean...


NP: Gyles has challenged.

KW: You can have... what's the matter?

NP: Gyles Brandreth has challenged.

GB: There's a desperate man sitting next to me, who I thought needed to be let off the hook! He repeated some three times.

NP: He did actually yes. So you let him go on the second one, that was very generous of you, a guest first time. Gyles, you have 15 seconds on my goodness starting now.

GB: My kind...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation!

GB: If this is the way they treat a shy retiring first-time boy, it's monstrous!

NP: Well I wouldn't agree with that. But I do agree with the fact that it's your first time on the show, and we should be a little more generous. So we won't charge any points on that, and tell you Gyles, to continue with the subject of my goodness and 14 seconds starting now.

GB: My goodness springs from the belief that it is a better time to be alive now, than it has been in the whole history of the world. I know that for Peter Jones, 1959 was a very good year. And we do occasionally...



NP: Well our shy retiring modest new player of the game, Gyles Brandreth, is now in the lead. He's two points ahead of Peter Jones. And Gyles it's your turn to begin, the subject is hallucinations. Marvellous subject for this particular game as frequently it occurs here. But would you talk on the subject if you can in 60 seconds starting now.

GB: For many years I have suffered from the hallucination that I was taking part in Just A Minute, and curiously moving into the lead against all expectations. I was once put on a very mild drug called Xenipod, and as a result of this, I gained a terrible series of hallucinations, during which I believed I was firstly Noddy...


NP: Ah Kenneth Williams.

KW: Well I mean, I'm sorry, deviation, because we know Xenipods are not a drug. I mean they're a laxative, aren't they?

NP: I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt on that one and tell you that you have 40 seconds on hallucinations starting now.

KW: This definitely happened to me on holiday. I was given what I believed to be a Mickey Finn. That's what I think. And in the middle of the afternoon, I felt I was floating! And this awful sense of colours go right with my eyes. I thought "oh where am I? Oh my goodness!" And I suddenly thought of Charles Panini in Malaga...


NP: Gyles Brandreth has challenged.

GB: Deviation, my goodness was the last subject.

NP: All right Gyles, a bonus point for a clever challenge but Kenneth gets...

SH: Are you sure he isn't Derek Nimmo?

NP: Derek's clever enough to send somebody along disguised, you know... disguised himself, I don't know, I'm getting very involved here. Ah but Kenneth you get a point for a wrong challenge, you keep the subject, and you have 22, 23 seconds left, starting now.

KW: It seems now to be established that Joan of Arc definitely had hallucinations because she said that she was addressed by the archangel Gabriel and Saint Michael. And they came to her in this dream and told her to chuck out the English from France. Which was the most silly thing they could have done, because we were the people that made France what it is...


NP: Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: Well he's gone off the subject of hallucinations, he's talking about Joan of Arc. But also I think a lot of people would question his theory that they were hallucinations.

NP: But that's got nothing to do with Just A Minute, I'm afraid.

SH: Deviation!

NP: No your first deviation was correct, yes he'd gone off the subject of hallucinations on to Joan of Arc and chucking the English out and that area of history.

SH: Oh God, I don't want this subject, I've got nothing to say!

KW: (screaming) Well you were interrupting! You were interrupting! And now you've got to bear it!

SH: How long have I got to talk on it?

NP: Only four seconds.

SH: Right.

NP: Four seconds Sheila on hallucinations starting now.

SH: I saw this great big bear leaping around in Richmond Park...


NP: Um what is the score? Oh Gyles Brandreth is still in the lead, but Peter Jones is not far behind. Right, Peter Jones your turn to begin, the subject is sentimentalism. Ah there are 60 seconds to talk on that subject starting now.

PJ: Well there does seem to be more of it about than ever. I notice in these greeting card shops, the most sickly sentimental postcards are available. And in the columns of provincial newspapers, they have these personal advertisements... which seem...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Yes hesitation.

NP: Yes I'm afraid so. And so Kenneth you have the subject of sentimentalism and there are 44 seconds left starting now.

KW: It occurs most obviously in those lines.
And as I cannot see your face,
And cannot take you by the hand,
I send these words through time and space,
To greet you, you will understand.
And there is a charming sentimentality which none of us should despise. Who are we to run down someone's attempt, even though it's a little halting, might be pathetic. They are trying to express...


NP: Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: Trying, repetition of trying.

KW: Did I say that? Oh, how trying!

SH: Actually I wouldn't swear to it.

NP: I don't think he, he mentioned, no, I didn't hear him say trying.

SH: No?

NP: No, I think you were trying a bit hard there Sheila.

SH: Mmmm. You'll hear when the recording goes out, that he probably did, but I wouldn't swear to it.

NP: Well um we'll give him the benefit of the doubt and there are 11 seconds on sentimentalism Kenneth starting now.

KW: And charmingly evinced in the Victorian ballads. "Darling, I am growing older, silver threads among the gold..."


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: That's certainly the first true thing he's said all night!


NP: But Peter, he wasn't addressing you!

PJ: No.

NP: Peter we give you a bonus for a lovely challenge, Kenneth one for being interrupted, and he keeps the subject, and there are four and a half seconds, sentimentalism Kenneth, starting now.

KW: "Pluck the heart gently, my pretty Louise", was sung by sentimental...


NP: Well Kenneth Williams kept going on sentimentalism magnificently until the...

KW: Yes! Yes! Go on! I've got in the lead?

NP: You've got a point for speaking when the whistle went...

KW: Yes! Go on!

NP: And you have quite a lot of points...

KW: Yes?

NP: But you're still in third place!

KW: Oh!

NP: And it's time has come to give you the final score. Sheila Hancock, who when she was with us some weeks back, triumphed magnificently, um she finished up just behind Kenneth Williams because he had that last great flourish on sentimentalism. Peter Jones finished in second place. And the winner this week by three points is the first-time player of the game, a great performance, great value to the show, Gyles Brandreth!

KW: Hurray! Good old Gyles!

NP: Well as I'm sure you realise, we have enjoyed playing the game, I think our audience in the studio have enjoyed it. I hope you have enjoyed it as well because we will be back again next week and we want you to enjoy it then as well. 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.