starring CLEMENT FREUD, TONY HAWKS, GRAHAM NORTON and ROSS NOBLE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 12 January 2004)

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, not only those who listen on Radio Four and Radio Seven but those who tune in on the World Service, and through the Internet. And also it's a huge pleasure to welcome four exciting, talented and experienced players of this game who have joined me this week to play Just A Minute. It's an infinite joy to welcome back that effervescent engaging and sometimes outrageous comedian, Graham Norton. And beside him sits an outstanding comedian, that is Ross Noble. On my right, we have another wonderful stand-up comedian, and that is Tony Hawks. And beside him we have one of the stalwarts of Just A Minute, who has been on the show more times than anybody else, and his engaging and witty and provocative contributions are always welcome, that is Clement Freud. And please welcome all four of them! And as usual I am going to ask them to speak on a subject that I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, she is going to help me keep the score, she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from London, from central London, from a place called the Drill Hall. And we’ll start the show with Graham Norton, who better? Graham, the subject is chewing the fat. tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

GRAHAM NORTON: I quite enjoy chewing the fat. Which is just as well because only just last weekend I ordered a lion of lamb that had so much fat on it, the only explanation could be that the baby sheep was raised in the food quarter of a Motorway Services! It was bizarre! It must have looked like a jellyfish with wool on it when it was in a field. I think my mistake was ordering it rare. I didn't think that meant the species, but obviously it was! Some freakish thing was served to me, and it was mostly fat. Fat of course is in the title, chewing the fat, so I can say fat quite a lot. I can also discuss the chewing of the fat. There, I said it again...


NP: Tony Hawks you challenged.

TONY HAWKS: Repetition of said.

NP: Yeah you said it before.

GN: Oh!

NP: Yes.

TH: Also he was talking absolute rubbish!

GN: I was chewing the fat!

NP: Yes yes, in a way that was an example of chewing the fat.

GN: Thank you!

NP: But Tony it was a correct challenge, so you get a point for that, you take over the subject. You have 19 seconds available, it's chewing the fat starting now.

TH: I am on a diet, so I only do low fat chewing, ah, which means I don't talk as much as I ought to when I'm with my chums. But they love to chew the fat, talk about what's going on in the world, and I'm not really interested. Like Graham, I would rather just say "chew the fat" rather than actually...



NP: Graham you challenged just as the whistle started, what is your challenge?

GN: It's a bit mean this, but repetition of chew.

NP: Yes because you did say chew before. And it's chewing the fat on the...


NP: You got in with quarter of a second to go...

GN: He buzzed me!

NP: You haven't won many friends, but you have a clever challenge there.

GN: Yeah!

NP: So you got a point for a correct challenge, you have got quarter of a second for chewing the fat starting now.

GN: Chewing the fat is a marvellous...


NP: Whoever is speaking in this game when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Graham Norton, he's naturally in the lead at the end of the round. Ross Noble, will you take the next round, the subject is poetic licence. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

ROSS NOBLE: In order to become a poet, you must sit a test for your poetic licence. You must first go along with an examiner who takes you into a small booth. He then will slap a pencil against the dashboard of the said area, and you must quickly think of something that rhymes with the word that he has pulled out of his pocket, written on a special card. You must then go from a standing start, turning in the road, at the same time reciting as many exciting lines of dialogue you possibly can muster, as a man in a floppy hat wanders lonely as a cloud nearby. It's very important that while he is doing that particular movement like the meteorological... device that is...


NP: Well done! You went for 44 seconds, oh yes!

RN: I know it's not a device! How can a cloud be a device?

NP: I know, but no, but Clement you challenged.


NP: What was it?

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I agree, there was a hesitation there. Just a little hesitation.

RN: Yeah. Fair enough.

NP: Fair enough...

RN: You're wrong!

NP: So Clement we're going to hear from you. You have a point, you have poetic licence and you have 16 seconds starting now.

CF: There was an old man from Japan,
Whose poetry never could scan,
When asked reasons why,
He replied with a sigh,
"Well you see it's like this, I always try to get as many lines into the last word as I possibly can."


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of can.

NP: No, it was scan to begin with.

TH: Yes.

NP: I thought there were two cans in the last line, it was going so fast I couldn't make it out or not...

TH: Where do all these toucans come from?

CF: I do speak very quickly, I know!

NP: Yes! In other words it becomes an incorrect challenge, and therefore Clement gets another point for that and he keeps the subject and he has four seconds on poetic licence starting now.

CF: Poetic licence is something which all poets need...


NP: Well Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, he gained that extra point. He is now one ahead of Graham Norton, and then Tony Hawks and Ross Noble in that order. And Tony your turn to begin, the subject is Samuel Pepys. Tell us something about that great man in this game starting now.

TH: There's a little hole in the fence at the bottom of my garden. Whenever my godson Samuel comes round to my house, he goes down, and Samuel peeps through that opening into a wonderful world where you don't need a poetic licence to do poetry, or anything like that. In fact, Samuel Pepys, little known to most people, was the man who invented the peep show. He went into Soho one day, and he was so excited by what he saw around him...


NP: Ross Noble challenged.

RN: Repetition of so. Soho, so excited.

NP: Yeah, Soho is a word, and so is another word.

RN: I was feeling mischievous!

NP: I know you were! You know, we give you a bonus point because the audience enjoyed it, a bonus point to Ross Noble for that challenge. But Tony was interrupted, he gets a point, he continues with Samuel Pepys, 33 seconds starting now.

TH: Got up at 7AM, wandered down Threadneedle Street, noticed it was on fire. This is the sort of thing that Samuel Pepys would have written down, many centuries ago, in his famous diaries which I haven't read myself. But I believe they're rather well-written and quite enjoyable to look at and possibly even scan your eyes over if you're feeling that way inclined. In fact I think next week, prompted by what is happening tonight, I will go out and get Samuel Pepys's works and will study them until I'm...


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And well done, because he started with the subject, had one interruption, and finished with the subject. Well done Tony! Clement your turn to begin, oh yes, a lovely subject now. The subject now is nudists. Clement the subject is nudists, 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Nudists are people who wear no clothes. Shoes, socks, pants, shirt, ties, jackets, pullovers, cardigans, anoraks, are all out with their possession. Because nudists like to flaunt what God has given them. Skin, bones, and genitalia which...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Oh that's deviation, surely, they don't, they don't flaunt their bones!

NP: No I think they flaunt their flesh, their muscles, their skin, whatever...

RN: Yeah. Their bones!

NP: But not their bones. No no I'm sorry, I think you're pushing it a bit too far there Clement. So Ross you have a correct challenge and you have 40 seconds on nudists starting now.

RN: Somebody once gave me a brilliant piece of advice. Never do a show in a nudist camp, because when they all sit down, it's like a round of applause. And that may be very confusing, especially if the people on offer are particularly flabby as they go... towards...


NP: Graham your challenge.

GN: Oh a sort of hesitation there. He did stop.

NP: It was a hesitation, Graham.

GN: Yes.

NP: So you tell us something nudists in this game and you've got 25 seconds starting now.

GN: When I look at nudists, I always wonder which came first. The tanned leathery chicken wing arm, or the volleyball? It is extraordinary! They take their clothes off, and it's like they're like flies, oh I'm saying "like" a lot, ah I'm just chatting...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah I think repetition of like. I wouldn't have stopped it if...

GN: Did I? Did I say like? I didn't notice myself.

NP: Yes you did, right. And Tony we're going to hear from you on nudists as well, so everybody's had a go at the bare flesh. Right, 11 seconds for you starting now.

TH: When I think of nudists, I remember the Carry On films, and the careful placing of the guitar by the director. As one of the characters stands on a fence...


NP: So Tony Hawks, with points in the round, and including one for speaking when the whistle went, has moved forward. He's now in the lead, he's two ahead of Clement Freud and Graham Norton, and three ahead of Ross Noble. And Graham, it's your turn to begin again, the subject, a busman's holiday. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

GN: Presumably the expression "a busman's holiday" comes from times of yore, when the people who worked on buses, conductors, drivers, possibly inspectors, maybe even those who tinker with the engine beyond the bonnet, big things in a bus. They went on holidays on a coach, which is a sort of bus, let's face it! And of course that would be quite dull for them because that's where they work. It would be a bit like Nicholas going on holiday, and seeing an exhibition of ties from schools he never went to! And...


GN: I just wonder if... oh dear! Was that too cruel?


GN: Stop me!

NP: Ross, Ross you challenged.

RN: (laughing) I just thought I'd stop for your sake! You know...

GN: Yes I'm glad you did!

RN: I thought you might have lunged across and punched the man! Um I think there was a touch of hesitation.

NP: There was a touch of it, yes. he got his big...

GN: I was just driven by guilt! It was awful.

RN: And slight regret as well!

NP: Guilt... I just think you got the laugh, a bigger laugh than you ever expected and you just er...

GN: I know, I stumbled across a terrible truth, didn't I! I wasn't even sure, but they "oh yes, oh yeah!"

NP: No, it's the lot of the chairman in this show. Have a good go at him, and you get a big laugh, right. But you lost the subject and Ross you have a correct challenge, you have a busman's holiday and you have 21 seconds starting now.

RN: Busman was the most rubbish of all the super heroes. Unlike Superman, who was able to leap tall buildings in a single stride, fly across the metropolis. Sadly Busman wasn't up to scratch. All that he could do was get loads of kids and take them to school...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Well I think he's had enough time to tell us about this Busman's holiday. So I'd say deviation.

RN: Oh I was getting to that!

GN: Thank you, Mrs Hawks! (laughs)


TH: The subject is busman's holiday.


NP: You divided the audience, I'll say one thing.

TH: I have, I don't think I have, I think they're all against me!


NP: Maybe, yes...

TH: Was he, was he, was he talking about a busman's holiday?

NP: I have to make a decision and I have to give the benefit of the doubt. So you have the benefit of the doubt on this occasion...

TH: Oh!

NP: ... and I will redress the balance if I get an opportunity in favour of Ross later. And you have five seconds on a busman's holiday starting now.

TH: Let's all go on holiday together, the panel, because we all love each other so much...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Two alls.

NP: Two alls? Because we all love each other so much...

CF: Let's all go on...

NP: Let's all go on holiday.

TH: Yes that's fair.

NP: Yes there were two alls. And you got in there, we thought you had another challenge um which is... with one second to go on a busman's holiday Clement, starting now.

CF: It's better to travel...


NP: Clement speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point. And he's now only one point behind our leader who is still Tony Hawks, and the other two in third place equal. Ross Noble your turn to begin, the subject, old wives' tales, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

RN: Old wives' tales are my favourite type of movie. How many times have I sat with the local Blockbuster's offering to watch a story of old wives. They really are quite exciting. Sadly not as much action as in Tales Of Busman, which is quite frankly the best action film I've, I've said action twice, no-one's buzzed me...


NP: Graham.

GN: Sorry, just stabbing in the dark. Action, the repetition of?

NP: Sort of intuition, that one.

GN: Yes.

NP: Yes of course it was, yes. He drew your attention to it, he should have kept going. Thirty-nine seconds, old wives' tales is with you Graham starting now.

GN: Old wives' tales I've noticed tend to be quite dull. Usually involving a neighbour's hip replacement, or perhaps how a perfectly lovely meal...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Sorry, I thought he was going to hesitate, he didn't, I withdraw immediately.

GN: Oh well, thanks for that! (laughs)

NP: So are we having psychic challenges now?

TH: Well... I got a bit too trigger happy.

NP: You got trigger happy. Well all that happens is that Graham was interrupted, he gets another point for that.

TH: Sorry.

NP: And 31 seconds to continue on old wives' tales starting now.

GN: Old wives travel in packs and descend on restaurants, at the end of which the matire'd might as well say "anything all right with your meal?" Because they love to complain. Their tales are more like moans really. Those old wives, they love a good old ghern and a gnash about something. That gives them almost pleasure in fact. Ah oh...


NP: Oh you were going so strong...

GN: Was I?

NP: And Clement came in with three seconds to go. Clement you challenged yes? Hesitation...

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Right, old wives's tales, three seconds starting now.

CF: I have an old wife, and she...


NP: Clement speaking as the whistle, gained that extra point and with the other in the round, he is now one ahead of Tony Hawks who is still our leader, and the other two are equal almost in third place. Tony Hawks, your turn to begin, the subject, resting. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: Many years ago I had a delightful teddy called Tom. And I would wander round the house until my mother insisted on wresting it away from me, so fond of it I had become. So I decided to become an actor and become...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: I'm afraid, become.

NP: Two becomes, two becomes yes. Resting's with you Clement, and there are 44 seconds starting now.

CF: It goes on a lot in funeral parlours. Look where you will, and they are resting. Hardly any noise emanates from those buildings. And if you ask why that should be, it is simply that they are resting. Quietly awaiting whatever people have in mind for them. And I'm not sure what it is or whether...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Buried or burned! That's what's awaiting them! They're, they're the options! Right, he doesn't know they are, buried, burned! There's no, nothing else.

NP: Nothing else...

RN: You don't just flick 'em over a fence!

GN: No, you could be...

NP: We give you a bonus point because the audience enjoyed your interruption which has got nothing to do with the rules of Just A Minute. And you've got a bonus point. Clement was interrupted, he gets a point for that, he has 21 seconds still with you Clement, resting starting now.

CF: Actors when they are not working are said to be resting, which is a polite way of saying "you are out of work".


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: He's clearly out of work!

NP: The words stopped...

TH: He stopped, I think we'll interpret that as...

NP: Right...

TH: ... a hesitation.

NP: Yes it was a definite hesitation, a fullstop. Tony, 12 seconds are available, you tell us something about resting again starting now.

TH: Everybody knows that acting is so exhausting, that after you have acted in a play for three weeks, you must rest for 18 months. And this is what I did when I...


NP: Right so Tony Hawks, with points in the round, and one for speaking as the whistle went, has moved forward and he is now one ahead of Clement Freud. He's now taken the lead from Clement. The other two are coming up behind very rapidly. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject now is Hillaire Belloc. Tell us something about that man in this game starting now.

CF: Hillaire Belloc was a poet, philosopher, and a Liberal Member of Parliament who exceeded to the Palace of Westminster in nineteen hundred and six for Campbell Bannerman's first ah...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Ah hesitation.

NP: Yes there was a definite er there. So Ross...

RN: I don't actually want the subject to be perfectly honest!

NP: Well you challenged, you got points, do your best. Knowing how you can freewheel in your show, I'm sure you'll find a way to go with Hillaire Belloc, 48 seconds starting now.

RN: It is in fact a wrestling move, invented by a man called Hillaire. It was used in woodland activities. When a bear would approach, you would use the Hillaire bear-lock by grabbing him in a special thing like that. You would simply drag the creature across the area and put your arm down on top of him. He would be growling in your face, but you mustn't be discouraged, no matter how desperately he tries to get the picnic basket off you...



NP: Oh he got so many rounds of applause in that thing, give him an extra bonus point for what he did, because the audience applause then endorsed his act. Clement you had a challenge.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Well it was a long way from Hillaire Belloc!

NP: No! No he was talking about his particular Hillaire Belloc which is a wrestling term in the, when you're wrestling with bears, wasn't it?

RN: Yeah and you can get no closer to a bear!

NP: That's right, I gave the benefit of the doubt against him last time, he gets it this time...

RN: Oh hurrah!

NP: Another point and he has 19 seconds starting now.

RN: A bear was once...


RN: Oh!

NP: Clement yes?

CF: Repetition of bear?

NP: Yes he was. So Clement you've got your subject back again, you have 18 seconds, Hillaire Belloc starting now.

CF: Among the cautionary verses Hillaire Belloc wrote:
Lord Finchley one night
Tried to mend the electric light
Himself, he got a shock,
It struck him dead, serve him right.
It is the duty of a nobleman
To give employment to an artisan.
He also:
I shot a hippopotamus with bullets made of platinum...


NP: So Clement Freud was speaking again as the whistle went, and with other points he got earlier on, he has now gone one ahead of Tony Hawks. It's neck and neck, and then comes Ross Noble, just two or three points behind, and then Graham Norton. And Graham your turn to begin, the subject, bingo. Tell us something about bingo in Just A Minute starting now.

GN: Two fat ladies, I wonder if they're going to bingo! And they could well be, because yelling "housie" isn't exactly a great calorie burner! No, as a form of exercise, it's really quite sedate! My favourite bit is that marker pen you get that can do nothing else but go splodge on the number on the card which you have in front of you, on the desk by the seat near the floor...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: There was three ons in a row there.

NP: There were three ons in a row yes, I mean...

GN: It's a short tiny word.

NP: And a short tiny word, they often let two go, but three, and close together.

GN: Okay.

NP: Tough challenge. Oh he's hurt now.

GN: No, no, no...

NP: You were doing a great double act a moment ago, it's all broken up now. The ah, Ross, 35 seconds, bingo starting now.

RN: I did a charity gig recently for The Big Issue. While playing bingo for people who live on the streets, it's always difficult to shout "house", because it can be considered in some way to be not very pleasant and in a lot of respects... but wrong, just buzz me!


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I think that was a hesitation there.

NP: It was definitely a hesitation. Tony tell us something about bingo, 18 seconds starting now.

TH: Bingo is actually a human being I met when in Ireland. Unusual name, but I went hitchhiking with him...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Two wents.

NP: Ah Clement, correct challenge of course, 11 seconds, bingo with you starting now.

CF: Before the gaming laws were changed, dogs were given as prizes for bingo, and were always called Ognib. Which is bingo backwards. I thought you'd be interested...


NP: Clement Freud with more points then, including one for speaking as the whistle went, has moved forward. He's now three ahead of Tony Hawks, and four ahead of Ross Noble, and five ahead of Graham Norton. And Ross your turn to begin, the subject, extreme sports. You've told us about one already but maybe you can tell us about some more in this game starting now.

RN: There are many extreme sports people. For example, Fabuolo De Silva is one. She is the inline skating champion. And the greatest skateboarder ever is a man by the name of Tony Hawk. You can see where this is going, can't you! Yes, imagine the confusion when a man sitting not too far away from here gets booked to do a big stunt display, and the said athlete is here to do Just A Minute! Obviously the buzzer goes and he can't answer because unfortunately, whilst being very good at spinning in the air on that small piece of wood with wheels on it, he's absolutely rubbish at this game! I haven't ever seen the bloke over there attempting to do any form of 360, a toe in the nose, or one of those fantastic double back-flip somersaults with a 970 triple axle fly spin half-section 349 of the aforementioned sporting activity. The sport that the person that I'm...


NP: So Ross Noble started with the subject, finished with the subject. Towards the end he was rambling a bit, but the other three were very kind.

RN: They were just too old to buzz in and go "he's talking rubbish there"!

NP: No, no, they loved the way...

RN: "He's a young person, he must know what he's talking about!"

NP: They just loved the way you were suffering actually. Yes so you not only get a point for speaking as the whistle went, but you get a bonus point because you went for the whole 60 seconds without being interrupted. So ah you're now ah, well you leapt forward but you're still in second place now, not far behind Clement Freud, ahead of Tony Hawks and just ahead of Graham Norton. And we're coming into the last round, and er the number of points they've got doesn't give any indication of the contributions they've made. They're all in equal proportion but the actual point score is slightly different. Um...


NP: I'm glad you appreciated that! In descending order it's Clement Freud, Tony Hawks, Ross Noble and Graham Norton in that order...

GN: Forget it!

NP: But only about one or two points separates each one of them. And we're moving into the final round, anybody can win if they're interested in points. And Clement, your turn to begin, and the subject is canteen food. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: I think any subject that bears my initials has got to be pretty good. And canteen food is something I know hardly anything about. While 60 seconds are just about right for discussing canteen food. Bangers and mash.


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I think 60 seconds is too long in fact!

NP: I think so, and once he got, he thought about his bangers and mash and came to a shuddering halt.

TH: I did.

NP: Right so there are 45 seconds, no, 43 seconds still available Tony, you have another point, you've got the subject, you've got canteen food starting now.

TH: Whenever I come to one of the buildings of the British Broadcasting Corporation, I make a point of heading for the canteen, because I love the food that they supply there. It gets a lot of criticism, but those people don't know they're born. It's fantastic! I sit down, I take my knife and fork, put the plate in front of me, put the canteen food on top, that's the correct procedure I believe! No-one can tell me otherwise because they're fools if they think so. I tuck into gammon with pineapple because they think that's sexy in the...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of think.

NP: Yes they did think that more than once there, I'm afraid. So Clement you're back with your canteen food and you've got 16 seconds starting now.

CF: Fish and chips, peas, beans, tomatoes!


NP: I can see that you haven't been to many canteens Clement! That's all you can think of that exists there! But it was...

GN: It was nice till he got to the tomato. I thought "oh that was delicious". And then tomato, no!

NP: And then he went, he flipped. Right you got in first Ross, and sorry, Graham and you've got 10 seconds, and you've got canteen food starting now.

GN: I, like Tony, love canteen food in school. Oh it was exciting. On Fridays it was scotch eggs and chips. When in my first year you got two of the lovely...


NP: Oh well done! Graham Norton was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And we have have a final result, if you're interested in the points, which is so fair it's not true. Graham Norton with that last little flourish, Ross Noble and Tony Hawks all finished equal in second place. A round of applause for the three of them! But only three points ahead was Clement Freud, so we say Clement, you are the winner on points this week, another round of applause for Clement! And it only remains for me to say thank you to these four intrepid players of the game, Graham Norton, Ross Noble, Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. I thank Janet Staplehurst, who has helped me keep the score, she's blown her whistle so delicately when the 60 seconds was up. We thank our producer, Claire Jones who looks after us and makes sure it all goes out so smoothly. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are very grateful to this audience who have staggered in from all parts of London to come and cheer us on our way. Thank you to the panel, from me Nicholas Parsons, and all of us here good-bye! Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!