starring CLEMENT FREUD, TONY HAWKS, LINDA SMITH and CHRIS NEILL, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 8 September 2003)

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners, those who listen to us on Radio Four, or the World Service or the Internet, you are so welcome to go on listening. And it's a joy to welcome four exciting, experienced and talented players of the game. And once again they're going to display their verbal ingenuity and their humorous talent as they speak on a subject that I give them, and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And sitting on my right we have Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. And sitting on my left we have Linda Smith and Chris Neill. Please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, she is going to help me keep the score, and she'll blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Malvern Festival Theatre, in the heart of Worcestershire. And Chris Neill would you take the first round, it is shorts. Shorts, there are all kinds of shorts in this world. Tell us about some of them starting now.

CHRIS NEILL: As it's an unbelievably hot evening we record this here in Malvern, I find myself wishing I hadn't worn a suit, but instead shorts. Probably you're thinking "I bet he's got gorgeous legs" and you wouldn't be wrong! Actually, tanned, rather muscular. Some have compared me with Michael Owen. And...


CN: That's where I stop!

NP: Linda challenged.

LINDA SMITH: Well a hesitation.

NP: Yes he mentioned Michael Owen in the comparison and it was enough for him, he paused.

LS: It pulled him up a bit sharp, didn't it.

NP: It did, he, he got the visual image of himself...

LS: Because he's an honest lad!

NP: That's right, yes! Linda, correct challenge, a point to you and you have 18 seconds on shorts starting now.

LS: Some shorts are better than others. Clare Short's recent dithering over whether she would leave the Government was rather irritating. Shorts that you wear as an item of clothing can be quite difficult for a short person to wear. Because it just...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Was that repetition of short? Clare Short and short person.

NP: No she talked about shorts.

LS: Well shorts...

CN: Yeah but shorts is the subject, not short.

TONY HAWKS: I think he's right, he's right!

LS: No! I said, I didn't say Clare Short, I said Clare Short's. So Short's is a word that we can say.

TH: Well Clare Shorts was never in the Government!

CN: Who's Clare Shorts?

LS: As in, as in her, as in her's, the action that was her's.

CN: Clare Shorts?

LS: Clare Short's recent dithering. That makes sense!

NP: No she...

CN: I heard the apostrophe and it quite upset me!

NP: An incorrect challenge from Chris, a point more to Linda, four seconds to go, shorts with you Linda starting now.

LS: Shorts often look better on a taller person I think. Shorts...


NP: Ah Chris challenged.

CN: Absolute rubbish!


NP: I should explain to our listeners that er...

CN: Don't you dare!

NP: Well you have to because they'll wonder why on earth did they laugh.

CN: Tell them I'm a six foot three Nordic God!

NP: I think they've realised now that you're not! Chris is the shortest of all four of us here. That's a kind way of putting it, isn't it. So there we are. Chris we will give you a bonus point because the audience enjoyed what you said. But Linda was interrupted, she gets a point for that and she has got half a second on shorts starting now.

LS: Shorts...


NP: So Linda Smith with a bonus point for speaking as the whistle went got a strong lead and she also begins the next round. And the subject is George Bernard Shaw. Tell us something about that great man in this game starting now.

LS: George Bernard Shaw and his lovely daughter Sandy have a very strong connection with the town of Malvern. He premiered many of his plays here. Such plays as um...


NP: Chris challenged.

LS: Don't even say it, just, just hand him the subject!

NP: Chris you've got a correct challenge, 49 seconds on George Bernard Shaw starting now.

CN: As we all know George Bernard Shaw wrote My Fair Lady expressly for Martine McCutcheon...


NP: Clement challenged. I know what it is.

CLEMENT FREUD: No he didn't.

NP: He didn't, yes. It was Pygmalion was written by Bernard Shaw, and My Fair Lady was Lerner and Lowe I think. Forty-five seconds on George Bernard Shaw with you Clement starting now.

CF: George Bernard Shaw was particularly well known for his shorts. George Bernard Shaw trousers. But in fact many of his one act plays were...


NP: Linda challenged.

CF: ... shorts!

LS: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, that's right, yes. You have 35 seconds Linda, the subject is back with you, George Bernard Shaw starting now.

LS: George Bernard Shaw was a socialist. But he was rather greedy in the name department, having two first names, George and Bernard. Surely one's enough for any sane person. George and Bernard, that's far too many names for one...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of names.

NP: Names yes, you mentioned names before. Tony you've got in on the subject, 23 seconds available, George Bernard Shaw starting now.

TH: Like Edward Elgar, George Bernard Shaw was drawn to this delightful area of Malvern. He would premiere many of his plays here. And did the audiences love him? Yes, most certainly. Because the people of this fantastic area are very...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: We've had an area before.

NP: Not in this round.

CF: Repetition, oh yes.

CN: I think Clement is right. Like Edward Elgar, drawn to the Malvern area.

NP: Right...

CN: I could do your job, Nicholas!

NP: I think you should concentrate on your own actually!

CN: I've given up on that one!


NP: Well listen, this is a, this is a strange thing about... They can be as rude as they like to me, and you laugh! If I, If I am at all naughty to them, you go "ooooohh". So six seconds Clement, on George Bernard Shaw starting now.

CF: Ed St Lawrence is probably the best known location of George Bernard Shaw. But his connection with Malvern...


NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now moved forward. He's equal with Tony Hawks in second place behind Linda Smith, and then Chris Neill behind them. And Tony Hawks your turn to begin, the subject, Alexander technique. Tell us something about that technique in the game starting now.

TH: If I was going to make a hit record, I'd use the stage name Alexander Technique. I think it could be a rap song. In fact I've done this before, in 1998, with a song called Marta.... hello! And I'll keep going, nobody's...


NP: They were so surprised that they didn't. Linda you buzzed first.

LS: A bit of hesitation.

NP: A bit of hesitation.

TH: Yes I completely lost the will to live almost!

NP: Forty-seven seconds are available Linda, you tell us something about Alexander technique starting now.

LS: Alexander technique is a technique whereby you dominate the entire known world of your time, and you become Alexander The Great. That's called Alexander technique. It seemed to work very well for that particular world leader or...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Was there a repetition of world?

NP: Yes there was.

LS: Oh was there, yes there was, yes.

NP: There was, yes, 33 seconds, Chris you have Alexander technique starting now.

CN: The only Alexander I knew had fantastic technique!



NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Well I was going to do him for deviation, but that's not right! No... I...

NP: You must know something about this Alexander he referred to before, yes...

TH: No, actually I made a mistake, I thought he said Alexandra. But he didn't and he's er, I...

CN: I did not.

NP: Chris an incorrect challenge so you have 29 seconds more on Alexander technique starting now.

CN: Oh...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Yes I think we could possibly get him for hesitation there.

NP: I think you definitely could. So Tony you have 27 seconds, Alexander technique starting now.

TH: I've had a bit of a stiff back recently. And it's affected my right hamstring. Fascinating, I know. But I was thinking of going and having some treatment along the lines of the Alexander technique. I've become very interested in what they do. It's to do with how you ride...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Two dos.

NP: Yes.

CF: To do.

NP: To do, so Clement, 12 seconds, you tell us something about Alexander technique starting now.

CF: Alexander began with his ragtime band. "Come over here" was the first line. And Alexander after that developed a technique whereby the first and the second...


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained the extra point. He's one behind our leader who is still Linda Smith. And they all took it off that subject in different ways, and only one of them referred to what Alexander technique actually is. So for those of you who are interested, write to Tony Hawks! Clement Freud will you take the next round, the subject is the Midas touch. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: My Da's touch was much warmer than my Mum's touch!


NP: Chris you challenged first.

CN: Ah hesitation.

NP: I know, he's got it, he said it, got a big round of applause, and just retired on his laurels. Chris you have a correct challenge, 53 seconds, tell us something about the Midas touch starting now.

CN: Martine McCutcheon starred in a film called The Midas Touch where she was turned to gold and couldn't speak ever again. Hurrah! It was a marvellous film! I saw it at the cinema, some time ago now, in Richmond. I can't remember now who starred in this film, apart from the lovely M-M as I call her...


NP: Tony challenged.

CN: Oh no!

NP: Oh it's a tough...

CN: Oh I thought I was being so clever!

NP: I know! It's a tough merciless game. Tony, M-M, you have the subject and you have 22 seconds, the Midas touch starting now.

TH: Well I tried to tell you a little bit about the Alexander technique in the last round and you weren't interested. But I'll try in this...


NP: Clement tried.

CF: Try.

TH: No, I tried in the last round, and try, I'll try in this.

NP: Yes you did, yes you're right Tony, yes, you tried in the last round and...

CN: It was similar to short and shorts!

NP: Yes. So a point for an incorrect challenge, 16 seconds, the Midas touch starting now.

TH: Midas I believe was a Greek King who was given the power of turning things into gold by Dioneses. Anything, yoghurt he often did, if it took him, ah, toilet paper...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Ah, ah toilet paper.

TH: Well that was a sort of expressive way of er...

LS: Well that's hesitation isn't it. You meant to say ah?

TH: Ah, toilet paper!

LS: It wasn't a Proustian moment!

TH: We've all done it! We've all gone "ah toilet paper"!

NP: I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say yes, but you would be better having him for deviation. Because they didn't have toilet paper when Midas was around, I can assure you.

LS: Well I think if we start pulling on that thread, the whole show comes to a halt.

NP: Midas touch with you Linda, two seconds on the Midas touch starting now.

LS: Midas touch, it's a spice...


NP: So Linda Smith again speaking as the whistle went, and with other points in the round, has now increased her lead ahead of our joint second, Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. But only one point behind them is Chris Neill. In the points area, it's anybody's game. And it's Chris Neill's turn to begin. So you wanted to talk Chris, here's your big opportunity. And the subject is a wonderful one for you, my ideal evening. Tell us something about my ideal evening, oh they're full of anticipation in the audience! Just waiting for you to go in your usual lascivious way. Right here we go, my ideal evening starting now.

CN: Thank you Nicholas. I'd like to tell you about my ideal evening. For a start, I'd stop being so honest and goody... G!


NP: Um Linda challenged.

LS: Um he just stopped.

CN: Why can't I say the word ditto?

LS: He just stopped, didn't he really.

NP: Well only just.

CN: Can I start again Nicholas?

NP: It would be a good idea. No, Linda, another point, 53 seconds, my ideal evening starting now.

LS: My ideal evening would involve about eight or nine hundred people in a theatre in Malvern. It's such a lovely spot to have a evening that is ideal...


NP: Chris Neill challenged.

CN: Deviation, that's not what she was saying backstage!

NP: Chris I'll show you how fair I am, I'll give you one bonus point for your remark because the audience enjoyed it. But Linda has the subject, another point, my ideal evening starting now.

LS: My ideal evening would involve rather less of Christopher's famous honesty. It's beginning to pall I must say. I believe that um, oh...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation yes, 34 seconds Tony, you tell us something about my ideal evening starting now.

TH: My ideal evening would probably be with George Bernard Shaw were he alive, doing the Alexander technique in the Malvern Hills where he loved to walk as did Ed-waaad Elgar. Now....


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Ed-waaad Elgar?

NP: Yeah but you see...

LS: Deviation from the man's name!

NP: No, it wasn't, you see some people might say Ed-waaad instead of Edward. I mean the thing is he has to keep going...

CN: There is a big Spanish community in Malvern!

LS: Yes, down, down in the Latin quarter, there are... lots of Ed-waaad Elgar...

TH: There is probably an Ed-waaad Elgar somewhere and that's whom my ideal evening would be with!

NP: I don't think he deviated enough within the rules of Just A Minute when you have to keep going under pressure to, for me to take it away from him. So Tony, another point to you, 22 seconds, my ideal evening starting now.

TH: We would sit there looking out over the delightful views contemplating life, wondering how important we really are in the scheme of things. Perhaps drinking, getting completely drunk is a possibility. I've never seen George Boinard, oh well I've said him...


NP: When you've drunk too much, he does become George Boinard! Right so your challenge, I better make sure what it...

LS: My challenge was deviation.

NP: Yes yes right, we have you on that pronunciation. So Linda another point to you, and six seconds on my ideal evening starting now.

LS: My ideal evening is rapidly drawing to a close. What a shame! It's been so delightful...


NP: And it could be your ideal evening because you're moving forward rapidly with another point for speaking as the whistle went. You have a strong lead over the other three, who are almost equal in second place. Linda your turn to begin and the subject is weeds. Tell us something about weeds in this game starting now.

LS: Weeds are often described as flowers in the wrong place. So a bunch of roses in an asthmatic's bedroom would be weeds. I'm a keen gardener and weeds are the bane of my life, bindweed, brambles, any kind of weed gets on my nerves. I notice...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Was there a repetition of weed?

LS: No, weeds.

NP: A kind of weed.

CN: No, well, I don't know. I'm sure there was two weed.

NP: No, no, she talked about weeds all the time, but she did say weed at the end, but I think she only said weed once. But keep listening! Linda another point, weeds is still with you and there are 43 seconds available starting now.

LS: I notice that that bra-less TV gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, never has very much trouble with weeds. Notice I was very careful to use the plural of that plant just...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Three thats.

NP: Three thats we do condone, so 29 seconds Clement on weeds starting now.

CF: My ideal evening would be looking for weeds. And I would begin at the Worcester Cricket Ground where there is more weed than grass, I am told. In my day, a bowler called Reg Perks was the...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: We'll never know what he was! He hesitated.

NP: Tony you have a correct challenge and you have 13 seconds, weeds starting now.

TH: If at school you weren't particularly tough, the horrible boys would call you a weed. It never happened to me because I was quite strong. I've lost a lot of that strength now as you can see me, but it's been a hell of a long evening, I can...


NP: Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point and other points in the round. He's moved ahead of the, Clement Freud and Chris Neill who are equal in third place, but he's four points behind our leader who is still Linda Smith. And Tony it is your turn to begin and the subject is teenagers. Tell us something about them in this game starting now.

TH: I think it would be very nice if they could invent a pill that would get adolescence out of the way, in one rebellious, spotty lunchtime. It's a miserable time of your life, and as a teenager I wasn't particularly happy. You get spots sometimes, ah, particularly when you're attractive...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: A little er.

NP: Particularly when you're er. Yes right Linda, another point to you, 38 seconds, tell us something about teenagers starting now.

LS: Teenagers go through so many physical changes. They tend to put on a lot of weight, all on their bottom lip! Because they seem to pout all the time, and have problems with their feet because they can only wear trainers that cost 500 quid...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Two becauses.

NP: Yes there were two becauses, yes.

LS: (in pouting voice) Oh that's so not fair!

NP: But you got your joke out about the trainers which was very good. Right...

LS: That's the main thing, isn't it really Nicholas.

NP: Yes well it was so appreciated. Twenty-six seconds Tony on teenagers starting now.

TH: (sings) Why must I be a teenager in love? (normal voice) One of my favourite songs, had I been alive...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: I think it was uncalled for in the city of Edward Elgar really!

NP: Any other challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

LS: No, just musical taste!

NP: Just musical taste! A point to Tony because he was interrupted, 19 seconds, teenagers Tony starting now.

TH: I would listen to the radio as a teenager...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: I definitely heard teenager twice.

NP: Yes you did say teenager before.

TH: This is your little area where you specialise!


CN: Yes it's my area of expertise!

NP: Yes...

CN: I'm singularly interested in this particular field.

NP: You're a plurals man obviously.

CN: Mmmm!

NP: Right! Ah Chris correct challenge, 15 seconds, tell us something about teenagers starting now.

CN: Somehow I can't imagine Nicholas Parsons was ever a teenager. I should imagine he was born into the world at the age of 56 at least! When you look at him he's terribly fresh fesh...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Ah fresh fesh.

CN: I was speaking in Catalonian at that moment!

NP: Ah right, ah...

LS: Catatonian!

NP: Linda you got in with four seconds on teenagers starting now.

LS: Teenagers...


NP: Who challenged? Clement.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Oh rubbish, because you've got a bet on him winning, haven't you? And you're doing it now.

LS: I have.

NP: So you're going to lose the money, have to give it to Clement. Right, incorrect challenge, you've got a...

LS: Can you hesitate before you've even started?

NP: Yes, half a second went. That's all right.

LS: Oh okay.

NP: You have three and a half seconds on teenagers starting now.


LS: Oh? Wait, I thought that went to Clement!

NP: No it wasn't, you had the point.

LS: Oh I'm sorry, well I thought it was, I thought Clement had a correct challenge.

NP: I'm afraid not, no.

CF: He has now!

NP: You have now! That's a correct one Clement, you have two seconds on teenagers starting now.

CF: Between the ages of 12 and 20 there is little else...


NP: Right! So the three of them very close in second place, Clement Freud, Chris Neill and Tony Hawks, Linda still in the lead. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is doctor's orders. Tell us something about that if you can in 60 seconds starting now.

CF: In the Armed forces one used the term... doctor's orders...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Sorry it's a bit harsh...

CF: A bit soon, isn't it.

NP: A bit soon, it was a bit soon.

TH: It was a bit soon but Clement, Clement wouldn't have forgiven me in a similar situation!

NP: I think you may be right! Tony, doctor's orders starting now.

TH: I used to work in a fish and chip shop near a hospital and took a lot of doctor's orders. Mainly for haddock and chips, cod and the same, pickled onions. That kind of thing. I've lasted Clement's... oh I've had it!


NP: Linda you've challenged.

LS: Ah bleurgh bleurgh! Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes Linda, 34 seconds, doctor's orders with you starting now.

LS: Doctor's orders, on doctor's orders I started to go to a gym, but then his wife found out, and that was the end of that! So I don't think doctor's orders are always a very good thing to follow. My doctor ordered me about something chronic. It's very annoying. I think he perhaps oversteps the bounds of the patient... doctor...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Was that a hesitation?

NP: It was a hesitation.

LS: It certainly was Chris.

NP: Yes. You were waiting for your plurals again were you?

CN: I was really, but I thought I have to look at new pastures, you know. Can't stay in the same old place.

NP: Thirteen seconds Chris Neill, you tell us something about doctor's orders starting now.

CN: Ah they're what... doctor...


CN: Is someone suggesting that might have been a hesitation?

NP: I, all their buzzers went, all their fingers went. But Tony's, you were infinitesimally earlier, because your light eliminated the others. And you have hesitation of course yes, 11 seconds, doctor's orders starting now.

TH: I try not to go to the doctor very much. I would prefer to use other methods. The Alexander technique springs to mind. But I think they're too keen to ser prescribe...


NP: I think the heat's getting to all of us. Linda yes?

LS: That, that hesitation.

NP: Yes I haven't heard so many fluffs on words since this show began. Right you've got in cleverly with one, one word, one word to go! One, one second to go Linda on doctor's orders starting now.

LS: Doctor's orders are...


NP: And so Linda speaking as the whistle went, got another point, increased her lead. And we're moving into the final round alas.


NP: Awwww yes, and we've enjoyed it as much as you. And so um, and let me give you the situation. So ah Clement Freud and Chris Neill are equal in third place, and I think with only one round to go, they don't have much chance of overtaking Linda. But you never know, things have happened...

CN: No! Let's try and not be so defeatist about it, Nicholas!

NP: Tony Hawks is in second place, but he's quite a few points behind Linda who's in the lead. But Chris Neill it's your turn to begin and the subject I think is ideal for you, going to the supermarket, 60 seconds starting now.

CN: In London there is a district called Islington which has an absolutely super market in Chapel Street. You can go from one end to the other, and buy mops or carrots or turnips or old cassettes...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Rather a lot of ors.

NP: There were a lot of ors, we don't like too many ors in this...

CN: No, obviously not.

NP: Right, Linda, another point, 49 seconds, going to the supermarket starting now.

LS: Going to the supermarket these days is much more exciting than going to the supermarket with my Mum when I was little used to be. Because the products she bought were very dull, such as trout hall grapefruit segments. I used to think that the fruit based product was... tinned...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: I think that was hesitation.

NP: That was hesitation, 30 seconds Clement on going to the supermarket starting now.

CF: You can enhance your enjoyment of going to the supermarket by taking a trolley that only has three wheels. Specially it should have four. I have had most extraordinary happy moments in many supermarkets... with...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Once again he needs to get out more, doesn't he?

NP: And within the rules of Just A Minute?

TH: There was a hesitation.

NP: Hesitation right Tony, 13 seconds on going to the supermarket starting now.

TH: I don't like it when you get to the check-out and you've got your goods, and they give you a 20 pound note, or you pass one to them, and they hold it up and check it! When they do that I...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of check.

CN: Oh yes.

NP: You go to the check-out and you do a check.

TH: Check-out is one word.

CN: It's hyphenated and that's all about the area.

NP: It has become one word in some people's way of speaking. And certainly supermarkets put it as one word. But it is originally check out, then it became hyphenated. If it has gone to one word, it is incorrect. It is check out, he said check-out... He said, he said it as two words, check to the check-out and you said check. I think it should be a repetition of check and who is it said... I don't know who challenged now! Clement...

LS: Come on!

NP: It doesn't really matter. Can you get so passionate about so, such rubbish! Yes! You can but you enjoy it don't you! Right Clement you have a, who's challenged who? Right Clement, three seconds, another point to you, going to the supermarket starting now.

CF: In Czechoslovakia I go...


NP: Right so after all that tension, and with the heat as well it was difficult. But I'll give you the final situation. Chris Neill, who did so well when we were here in Malvern before, he finished this time just in fourth place, but his value was invaluable. Oh God I'm having trouble with words now! Equal in second place were Clement Freud and Tony Hawks. But they were five or six points behind Linda Smith, so Linda, you made it, you are our winner this week! It only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Linda Smith, Tony Hawks, Chris Neill and Clement Freud. I also thank Janet Staplehurst who has helped me keep the score, she's blown her whistle so charmingly. And we also thank our producer Claire Jones who does such a delightful job. And we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we do thank this lovely audience in the Festival Theatre in Malvern, who have cheered us on our way in spite of the heat. From our audience in Malvern, from me Nicholas Parsons, from our panel good-bye! Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!