WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring GYLES BRANDRETH, FRED MacAULAY, MARIA McERLANE and NICK REVELL, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 26 January 2004)
NOTE: Nick Revell's first radio appearance, Nicholas Parsons's 650th appearance.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!
NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners not only in this country, but throughout the world. Those who listen to us via Radio Four, BBC Seven, the Internet, or on the World Service. And also it's a huge pleasure to welcome to the programme four exciting, individual and talented personalities. We have back with us two people who've played the game quite a number of times. We have Scotland's finest and most entertaining broadcaster, Fred MacAulay. We have a multitalented and ubiquitous Gyles Brandreth. And we have two who have not played it quite so often, but it's always a joy to have them here. That lovely actress, comedienne and journalist, Maria McErlane, and that very talented comedy performer, and also a comedy writer, Nick Revell . Will you please welcome all four of them! 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, and she is going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Bonner Hall in that wonderful University of Dundee, or Dundee University as it's usually referred to in Teeside. And we have a very excited, voracious, and vociferous student audience, supplemented by a lot of the good people of Angus and further afield who have come to cheer us on our way. As we start the show this week with Fred MacAulay, and of course we have with our Scottish representative. Fred, the subject is doing two things at once. Can you tell us something about that subject, in this game starting now.
FRED MacAULAY: I am sure that I will win the favour of half the audience when I say that doing two things at once is something that women manage to do much better than men. They can listen to a conversation, conduct... chat...
NP: And Gyles has challenged.
GYLES BRANDRETH: A little hesitation.
NP: A little hesitation, yes.
GB: But enough!
NP: Enough. All right Gyles...
FM: I see!
NP: ... I will allow that little hesitation...
FM: I see how it's going to be!
NP: That's how it's going to be! And so Gyles gets a point for a correct challenge, he takes over the subject, of doing two things at once, and there are 48 seconds starting now.
GB: I agree entirely with Fred, that this is something that the female of the species is an expert at. And in fact I am currently on a course organised by my first wife. Don't misunderstand me, I'm still married to her, I just call her that to keep her on her toes! In which she is instructing me in the art of being able to do two things at once. I'm learning to do this by not interrupting her, not trying to answer every question before the question has actually been put. And then I found that there is a down side to getting in touch with my feminine side. And that is that unfortunately I can no longer park the car! But I am able to rub my tummy and at the same pat my head. This means that I can simultaneously do two totally contrasting, yet rather remarkable en, human endeavours. And I feel quite proud that I've become so adept at this multi-versatile...
NP: Maria has challenged you, I'm sorry. What was your challenge
MARIA McERLANE: Well there was a word there, that was in that flow, amongst that flow, that I didn't recognise. Which was en-human?
MM: Yes, I didn't know what that is.
NP: I think he was going at such a pace we would allow an en-human for an inhuman.
MM: Oh that was what it was meant to be, was it?
NP: I imagine it was meant to be that...
GB: Oh yes! The en-human is the person who has factor X!
NP: Gyles another point to you, you've got seven seconds to finish the subject, doing two things at once starting now.
GB: The most difficult ah sort of accomplishment...
NP: Ah now Maria, yes?
MM: You've already had a difficult.
NP: Yes we did have a difficult and there was a hesitation as well.
GB: There was a hesitation.
FM: There was a hesitation there.
GB: I was trying to do two things at once, you see, and I'm not very good at it.
NP: So Maria, you have a point and a correct challenge, and there are six seconds for you to tell us something about doing two things at once starting now.
MM: Doing two things at once...
NP: Ah Nick Revell er...
NICK REVELL: Hesitation.
NP: Yeah there was...
MM: I was breathing!
NP: No you weren't.
FM: That's not enough!
NP: I must explain to our listeners, she was actually demonstrating. And we were absolutely carried away because she stretched herself and she showed her full bosom to the audience which is beautiful and wonderful...
MM: That wasn't my full bosom!
GB: I think this is getting rather exciting, because she's actually showing us two things at once!
NP: I know!
FM: This is, this is grossly unfair! I'm sitting beside her, I can't see what's going on!
MM: And anyway Gyles, that isn't my full bosom. My full bosom is in the dressing room behind, I just used half of my bosom tonight!
NP: Well, I just, I think we've had enough about bosoms. I mean...
MM: No! Surely not!
NP: I didn't want to go down, Gyles had the temerity to actually express it, and he got a big round of er reaction, so give him a bonus point for that. Nick Revell had a correct challenge of hesitation, and Nick you've got four seconds on doing two things at once starting now.
NR: Doing two things at once is something I regret doing at this...
NP: Nick Revell gets a point for that, you were speaking as the whistle went. And so Nick Revell will you take the next round, the subject is a parallel universe. That's a tough one, isn't it. A second's thought and then you carry on, 60 seconds if you can starting now.
NR: Parallel universe and how to describe it in Just A Minute. Well a job for Stephen Hawking rather than me, but I'll try. Imagine if you will the er male...
NP: Gyles challenged you.
GB: Yes I felt a little assistance was needed.
NP: There was, yes.
GB: I felt he wanted to be, well, I mean, we could, we could have gone for deviation, Stephen Hawking without an S. But instead we waited till the hesitation was there, and er the momentum had sort of disappeared...
NR: I was running down!
NP: Gyles, I know, I know you're a little bit hyper because your train arrived just two minutes before we started the recording but you don't need to lay it on!
GB: I'm as high as a kite to be honest!
GB: It's the com, it's the combination of valium, Benzedrine and a rather amusing person I picked up in Forfar!
FM: It's little wonder he was late if the train came via Forfar!
NP: You have a correct challenge Gyles, of hesitation...
GB: What's the subject again?
NP: You need to be reminded, because it is a tough one, a parallel universe, six seconds, sorry, 50 seconds starting now.
GB: (pauses) In my parallel universe...
NP: Nick challenged.
NR: Ah I don't want to be pedantic but I thought there was a bit of a hesitation there.
NP: Hesitation. You got in again.
GB: No, no!
NP: Definitely Gyles, you never got it. Nick you got it back, 47 seconds, a parallel universe starting now.
NR: According to physicists, subatomic theory...
NP: Fred you challenged.
FM: I know that Gyles and I have been having words this evening, but I think that was rather unfair. I mean, there was a slight hesitation but he was talking from another universe! I mean there's bound, there's bound to be a delay! Even with these wonderful Radio Four engineers, there's going to be a slight delay.
NP: No, you mean the universe that takes him through Forfar, yes. No, no, he was a definite hesitation, he's been pretty sharp with you on hesitation already. That was a fair decision in my time. And you've interrupted Nick who's got another point for that, he's got 45 seconds, a parallel universe starting now.
NR: A parallel universe is somewhere where things are the same as in this one, except paradoxically not quite similar. Imagine if you will a universe like this one, but where Just A Minute was a programme...
NP: Maria challenged.
MM: Repetition of Just A Minute. "As I explain on Just A Minute".
NR: Yes I did!
NR: Yes oh!
NP: Well listened!
NR: Very well remembered!
NP: My goodness me, your university education has come in wonderfully! Thirty-three seconds, a parallel universe with you now Maria.
MM: I often feel that a parallel universe is sometimes when you're asleep and dreaming. For instance last night I dreamt of Nicholas Parsons!
NP: Nick Revell.
GB: A clear case of deviation!
NR: That's deviation yeah!
NP: So what do I decide on that, audience?
MM: Do you want to know more, Nicholas?
NP: Well I hope it was a devious thought you had with me, Maria. That's all I can say. But ah...
MM: You were teaching me how to drive!
NP: I can't, within the rules of Just A Minute, within the rules of Just A Minute, Maria is entitled to dream about whoever and whatever she likes. So it's not really a devious thought. And if it was devious, well then it doesn't matter, she wasn't being devious within the rules of Just A Minute.
GB: No but she wasn't in a parallel universe.
GB: She was in a dream world.
NR: She was allowing her libido to soak up, rather than allowing her subatomic particles to slip sideways...
MM: But Gyles, who's, who's to say a parallel universe isn't the dream world?
NR: I just told you!
NP: Right, I think you should save all that in case you get back in on the subject. Maria, I disagree because within the rules of Just A Minute, you can have as many devious thoughts as you like, providing you're not devious within the rules of Just A Minute. You haven't been, you still have a parallel universe, and you have me, if you want it, in your dream, and there are 23 seconds starting now.
MM: I did have you, and then I woke up, because it was a hideous, horrible nightmare!
SHOUTS OF "AWWWW" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: You ruined it, Maria!
MM: Oh! (laughs)
NP: You lost them, darling! Gyles challenged.
MM: I certainly lost you, haven't I, Nicholas?
NP: Gyles, the benefit of the doubt to you, 18 seconds, a parallel universe, Gyles starting now.
GB: I wish to move to a parallel universe where Maria and I can have triplets called Einstein, Wiegenstein and Helen of Troy. Because between us, we would produce creatures that are so beautiful and wise, that everyone would think no, this wasn't a parallel universe, this was heaven itself! A very paradise, a paradigm of all that is curious and bizarre, and yet...
NP: So Gyles Brandreth got points in the round, including one for speaking as the whistle went, and has increased his lead over Fred MacAulay and Nick Revell, who are almost equal in second place, and Maria McErlane is only one point behind them. And so Gyles we are with you now to start and the subject is cake. Tell us something about cake in Just A Minute starting now.
GB: Jane Asher was the first truly beautiful woman to sleep in my bed. Maddeningly, I was elsewhere at the time! But she did explain to me the brilliance of cake in all its manifestations. Battenburg, Christmas, sponge. But she said to me the prince of cake is always Dundee! Because it comes from a heritage that is unique. There is to it a quality of fruit, a texture that is just inalienable. There is something when you stir a cake from that particular part of the world that makes you feel magic itself. You don't need to throw the odd sixpenny piece as you do with a Yuletide cake. No, this is a kind of gateaux for people who have intellect, who have persuasion, who have a quality in their water...
NP: Fred, Fred your light came on but I didn't hear your buzzer. Let's see if your buzzer is working.
NP: Yes it is working. But the light came on so I take the challenge yes.
FM: I feel terrible about this because I was so enjoying Gyles's Dundee cake. But there were two whos.
NP: Yes and "you have" as well. Right so there we are. So a correct challenge, yes it was good. But you restrained yourself for 42 seconds. So 18 seconds are available anyway with you Fred on cake starting now.
FM: A man walked into a baker's shop in Pasley, and saw a pile of pies, and went to grab the one off the top. And the baker said "get your hands off the wedding cake!" Clearly this is something that would not occur in a fine city like Dundee, which Gyles has already...
NP: So Fred MacAulay with other points including one for speaking as the whistle went, in that round has moved forward. He's still in second place and then it's Nick Revell and Maria McErlane. Gyles is leading. And Maria, it's your turn, the subject is the office party. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.
MM: This is the time of year for the office party. When you can tell Kevin in Accounts just about his hygiene problem, and photocopy your bottom, should you choose to. You can also use it to blackmail many of your colleagues, by videotaping their antics whilst in the stationery cupboard. Of course they may choose to take out a contract on you, but it's a lovely way to think "every day I go on to that boring..."
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: Well hesitation.
NP: A major hesitation I think. But either size, it doesn't matter, because it's correct and you have the subject and you have 38 seconds and you have the office party starting now.
GB: When I went to The Office party, I was excited to find that Ricky Gervais was actually there, celebrating the success of the series named after, well, I can say it, can't I. The Office. He and all the other people celebrating were behaving in a most...
NP: Ah Nick Revell challenged.
NR: I think there was a repetition of celebrating.
NP: There was of celebrating.
GB: Ah, could have been.
NP: Celebrating yes.
GB: Could have been.
NP: So Nick, another point to you, you're in on the office party with 21 seconds starting now.
NR: One of the worst things about being self-employed is that when you have an office party, you're the only one that goes! On the other hand there is the advantage that you're always certain that you're going to pull, if you want to! I don't have a photocopier, but I've just got one of those new phones, so that I can take pictures of my genitals with that. Soon...
NP: I think the whistle came just in time! But you were speaking as the whistle went, and gained another point, and you've moved forward, but you're still in third place. But it doesn't matter, I mean , we loved it. And Nick it's your turn to begin as well, the subject is Latin. In this academic atmosphere, what a wonderful subject to talk about. Latin, tell us something about it, Just A Minute if you can starting now.
NR: A moe, a muss, a mat, a monk, a mink, a minibus, as John Lennon conjugated comically the Latin verb "to love". Proving that Latin, which is often thought of as a daunting dusty and dull subject, and indeed language, can be fun! Caesar adsum jam forte pompy adarat. Nonsense of course, but a macaronic gag! And then there's Catullis who we learnt at school. He did a poem about getting ready for a party and sending his er invitation...
NP: Oh! Oh it was such lovely stuff there! Right, I think it was Gyles who challenged first, 28 seconds Gyles, on Latin starting now.
GB: Julius Caesar, the Roman geezer,
Squashed his face into a lemon squeezer.
For many years I thought that the equivalent of in loco parentis was "my dad's an engine driver". But then the teachers that I had at school who instructed me in this subject, were not as learned as they might have been. I went to a bizarre academy where when they thought they were teaching Latin, actually it was a kind of curious double Dutch because the fellow came from Amsterdam, and spoke not a word of that ancient Roman tongue. No, Greek...
NP: Well Gyles got another point then, and has increased his lead at the end of the round. And he also begins the next round. Gyles, a senior moment. Oh it's got a little, a little friesance in the audience. There's some who have experienced it, no doubt. But will you talk on the subject Gyles, 60 seconds starting now.
GB: A senior moment is the description we give to that time when people of riper years find it a little bit difficult to remember what they want to, and say the word CRAFT being an acronym for Can't Remember A Flipping Thing! I suffered from this even when I was a junior person. And as an actor, I appeared in the famous Danish play by William Shakespeare, and forgot my lines. I went on as Hamlet, came off as Omelette, because they threw eggs at me. It was humiliating, and it was the effect of actually not having the proper recall. But eventually, now I have reached seniority...
NP: Nick challenged, yes?
NR: I know it's spiteful, but there was a little sort of...
NP: There was a...
GB: It's the game! It's the game!
NR: No, no, no, it was spiteful. That's what I am saying.
GB: No, no...
NR: I was trying to be spiteful!
GB: Oh I see!
NP: I don't think so. I think the pace he goes, his hesitations are a little smaller than others. But it was a correct hesitation. So Nick, you have the subject and you have 25 seconds, tell us something about a senior moment starting now.
NR: I almost had a senior moment then, when I couldn't remember what the subject was! But it was a senior moment, and I'll tell you something else. The subject is a senior moment...
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: The subject has been repeated twice.
NP: The subject, you repeated subject.
NR: Oh I see! When you said I could repeat the subject, I thought you meant repeat "the subject"!
NP: Gyles a correct challenge, tell us something about a senior moment, or more about a senior moment, 17 seconds starting now.
GB: More recently when I assailed the role of the Chinese waiter in King Lear, and came on in Act Two, Scene Three, and attempted to say "come hither ho..."
NP: Maria challenged.
MM: How recently was this, Gyles? When you say "more recently", I didn't think it was recently.
GB: Well earlier I was talking about my junior moments, I'm now talking about my senior moments. Hence I've moved from Hamlet to King Lear.
MM: So when did you play King Lear?
NP: Maria, there's no Chinese waiter in King Lear!
MM: (laughs) No, there isn't!
GB: There is! That's the whole point! He comes on in Act Two, Scene Three when Lear calls to him, he says "come hither Ho"!
NP: Give Gyles a point for the round of applause that he was searching for. And Maria, a point fo a correct challenge and she takes over the subject...
MM: Oh really?
NP: ... a senior moment, with 10 seconds starting now.
MM: I had a recent senior moment when I found myself in the middle of the stairs, not being able to remember if I was going up or going down...
MM: Two goings! Ah!
NP: Fred got in.
FM: I haven't a clue why I buzzed, but thanks for the...
LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE
FM: Two goings! That'll do me fine!
NP: Sometimes if you give it away, sometimes they can overlook it. But Fred got in with three seconds on a senior moment starting now.
FM: I sincerely hope that my senior moments are going to be...
NP: So Fred MacAulay got points in that round, and he's got a more, he's keeping up on Gyles who is still in the lead. He's a little way ahead of Nick Revell, and he's a little way ahead of Maria McErlane. That's the situation. And Maria it is your turn to begin.
NP: The subject is making ends meet. Gosh! It can all be go, be tied into your dream, can't it. But tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
MM: Making ends meet is something I think about every time I put on my trousers. When I lie on the bed and can't even get the middle to meet, let alone the beginning...
MM: Oh dear, this is all rubbish isn't it!
GB: Hesitation. And prior to that, there was deviation.
GB: She is the slimmest, trimmest, most dainty creature I've ever seen! She could slip into any pair of trousers!
NP: I can't...
GB: Can I tell you Maria dresses so well, and so quickly!
NP: But obviously you, we've all been in your dreams Maria! The er, yes we give you hesitation and ah but not the other thing. And all that flattery, really! Making ends meet with you now Gyles, and 48 seconds starting now.
GB: Making ends meet is a disaster when it comes to a sandwich recipe, because the whole thing is inside out. What you want to do of course is to make the inside meet...
NP: Nick Revell challenged.
NR: Well the, the, I felt the "the" was sort of sliding away from you a bit, but also I didn't know what the hell you were on about!
NP: I can give you hesitation there.
NR: Thank you.
NP: Right. And you have 38 seconds on making ends meet Nick, starting now.
NR: It's never been a problem for me, because I don't care if I haven't got any money and I can't make ends meet. Then I'll just sell The Big Issue like Gyles Brandreth was, when he came in this morning. He's an example to us all. You just keep going and if you need to think for a moment, you just.... ahhhhhhhhhh!
NP: Nick stick to your own routine!
NR: Yeah I know, I know.
NP: Stick to your own routine. Leave Gyles...
NP: Yes, imitation. Gyles you had hesitation and you have 22, you had a challenge of hesitation and you have 22 seconds, making ends meet starting now.
GB: My financial adviser is a psychotic by the name of Ebeneezer Everard Scrooge. A curious name that he uses, and I don't know quite why he is called this, except that he is somebody who is both perverse and vile...
NP: Nick you challenged.
NR: I'm sorry, I think there were two names in there.
NP: There were two names in there.
GB: There were. There were.
NR: I'm terribly sorry.
GB: Actually there were three names, Ebeneezer and then DeVere and then Scrooge. But...
NP: But you repeated the word name.
GB: I did.
NP: Which drew us, the name. So Nick Revell who has got back in with only 10 seconds to go, making ends meet starting now.
NR: Making ends meet is easy as long as you cut your cloth to meet your pocket or whatever they say in...
NP: Maria challenged.
MM: That made no sense at all. Cut your cloth to meet your pocket?
NR: Well it did in a sort of poetic sense, didn't it.
NP: In a poetic sense, it did.
MM: Really? That's poetry where you come from?
NR: I can't afford a coat, so I just have the pockets!
NP: I know, he got his metaphors muddled. But I agree with you, so that is deviation from the metaphor as we understand it, or English as we like to comprehend it. So Maria, you got in with five seconds to go on making ends meet starting now.
MM: It's very difficult to make ends meet at this time of year because we all go way over our budgets...
NP: So Maria McErlane was again speaking as the whistle went and she has moved forward. She's almost equal with Nick Revell and Fred MacAulay. They're all very close in a sort of second place, behind Gyles Brandreth who is still in the lead. And we're moving into the final round, and it's back with Gyles to begin and the subject is origami. So a little moment to think about it Gyles, then will you go on origami if you can, 60 seconds starting now.
GB: Origami is the ancient Chinese practice of paper folding...
NP: Nick challenged.
NR: Sorry, matey, it's, I believe it's Japanese...
NP: It is, yes.
NR: ... so that would be deviation.
GB: I'm afraid I don't notice people's racial characteristics. But if this is something you're hung up on, I'm amazed the BBC want to broadcast this kind of thing. But there we are, fine.
NP: So you've got a correct challenge and a round of applause as well, it almost deserves two points. But you have the subject, 56 seconds Nick Revell, origami starting now.
NR: Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. It is very... old and...
NP: Gyles got it back immediately, yes?
GB: I don't really want it back, because I know bugger all about it!
NP: Anyway you have origami and 50 seconds starting now.
GB: Robert Harvey wrote a marvellous book on this subject some years ago, in which he enabled us to create an amazing range of artefacts, objects, indeed buildings, using forms of tissue so that you could actually build an Eiffel Tower, then set it to sail. And if you didn't want to do that, you could actually put a match to it and light your cigar. This is the versatility of origami. You could also try doing it yourself if you want to liven up your sex life. Because in fact if you look at one of these little model books...
NP: Maria challenged.
NP: What, yes... Yeah but on what grounds, my love?
MM: Livening up your sex life with...
NP: Origami, I don't think, would liven up anybody's sex life.
MM: Well how do you know, Nicholas?
NP: I'm trying to help you actually, my love!
MM: I'm saying it's devious to use ori, to use paper animals to liven up your sex life.
NP: Yes and I'm agreeing with you Maria, because I want you to have the subject.
MM: Oh do you?
FM: You brought up the animals!
MM: He said animals. Gyles said animals.
NR: He was talking up all kinds of objects in an abstract way.
NP: I agree, it was, I think, devious as well as the fact that you can't do all those things in origami...
FM: Have I slipped into a parallel universe? Where Maria McErlane is bringing up animals?
NP: No, no, she's just it's just a dream world she lives in...
NP: ... and the dream went sour. But she's got a correct challenge, 21 seconds, origami Maria starting now.
MM: I will now make something out of origani... origami...
NP: Fred challenged.
MM: I made a mistake, I corrected it very quickly.
NP: It was too late. But anyway...
MM: I'm so going off you Nicholas!
NP: But anyway we're on radio where demonstrations...
MM: I know, that's why I thought it'd be funny to do a demonstration on radio!
FM: Maybe origami is the, the Chinese...
FM: ... paper folding! Look!
NP: Tell us something about origami, there are 17 seconds...
FM: It's a bird!
MM: What is it?
FM: It's a bird! Not a very good one!
NP: I must explain to our listeners that the fun that is happening now is Maria took her piece of paper, threw it, teared it up and that was the noise, she threw it over there. And Fred looked down his nose at it, he's got the subject of origami, 17 seconds starting now.
FM: Origami can be found in chapter three of The Good Sex Guide. But only if you pull page 47 out, and fold it up into a model of the Eiffel Tower, and set fire to it, sail it down the Seine, and who knows where it might end up? Perhaps in the bordello of a... Parisian...
NP: Nick challenged.
NR: I hate to do it to you, but it was hesitation.
NP: It was hesitation Nick and you cleverly got in with two seconds to go on origami starting now.
NR: Origami, folding paper...
NP: So as I said before this is to be the final round which it is. And the final situation is, well, they all gave such value. And they were all so lovely. But Maria McErlane did finish only just in fourth place. She was just behind our two equal second, no, that would be third place Maria, because the other two were in second place equal, Nick Revell and Fred MacAulay both were equal. And they were oh, seven or eight points behind our leader Gyles Brandreth, so Gyles we say you are the winner this week! So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Fred MacAulay, Maria McErlane, Gyles Brandreth and Nick Revell. I also thank Janet Staplehurst for helping me with the score, and blowing her whistle so delicately. We thank our producer, who is Chris Neill. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are most grateful to this lovely audience here at the Bonner Hall at Dundee University who have cheered us on our way most magnificently. From that audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, and our panel, good-bye! Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!