WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring GYLES BRANDRETH, FRED MacAULAY, MARIA McERLANE and NICK REVELL, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 2 February 2004)
NOTE: Nick Revell's last appearance.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!
NP: Thank you, thank you, you're lovely, yes! 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 not only in this country, but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme four exciting, individual and diverse personalities who once again are going to show their verbal dexterity, their creative ingenuity and flair as they try and talk on a subject I will give them, and try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four intrepid people are, sitting on my left, Fred MacAulay and Maria McErlane. And sitting on my right, Gyles Brandreth and Nick Revell. Please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, who is going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Bonner Hall in the University of Dundee, on Teeside, that great university which has sprung from small beginnings now to being a major university in Scotland. And they have a great principal who is leading the audience here, and a lot of students, a lot of people from Angus and other places further afield who are going to cheer us on our way. As we start the show with Maria McErlane. And the subject, Maria, is cold turkey. Tell us something about cold turkey starting now.
MARIA McERLANE: Revenge is a dish best served cold. Sadly the same can't be said of... (pauses)
NP: Now we have a very difficult situation here, because I have a light that comes on for the first buzzer to be pressed. And two lights came on together, it's never happened before.
MM: We have special people here!
NP: I'll ask Janet, you judge. I think it was Nick's almost, infinitesimally earlier, was it? Right! So Nick Revell, you, we grant you the benefit of the doubt, your light was first, yours is the challenge, what is it?
NICK REVELL: I believe, hesitation.
NP: It was hesitation Nick. You have the subject of cold turkey, you get a point for a correct challenge and you have 53 seconds to take it over starting now.
NR: Cold Turkey, one of the greatest singles by John Lennon, talking about his heroin addiction in a rock and roll style. But I prefer it in a sandwich with cranberry sauce on the 27th of December. On Boxing Day, which is also my birthday, I prefer not cold...
NP: Maria challenged.
MM: Two prefers.
NR: Two prefers.
NR: I'm just so positive, you see. I prefer this, I like that.
GYLES BRANDRETH: The problem is "I like that" would have been okay!
NR: I know!
NP: Maria, a correct challenge, so you have cold turkey back with you...
MM: Nicholas, can I just say I feel I'm getting penalised for having big breaths. In between my...
NP: (laughing) Sorry, I thought you said "big breasts"!
LOUD LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
MM: Nicholas, you are an old ham, who milked that like mad!
NP: I didn't, I honestly thought you said that. And I really had what is known in professional circles, I corpsed myself now!
NR: And she's only 16!
NP: Maria you have the subject of cold...
MM: Frankly I don't want anything more to do with you Nicholas!
NP: Darling, last time we were here, I was in one of your dreams. I've never forgotten it! There are 37 seconds available, cold turkey is back with you Maria starting now.
MM: Cold turkey is also the term used when people come off very serious drugs, or clucking as I think they say in Narcotics Anonymous circles. Myself I have never clucked... Nicholas... (starts to laugh)
NP: Gyles you challenged.
GB: There was hesitation.
MM: I know, but...
GB: As she turned and looked lovingly at you!
NP: Maria, there isn't time to flirt!
MM: Well there's certainly less time for you than there is for me Nicholas.
NP: Yes all right, a good remark. Give her a bonus point for that because the audience enjoyed it. Shows you how generous I am. Gyles yes, a hesitation, 26 seconds, cold turkey starting now.
GB: When I played the part of Doctor Loo-little in the musical of the same name...
NP: Nick challenged.
NR: Loo-little? What was it about? A man who could talk to animals in a chemical toilet shop? Here, little hamster, come here, this loo-little will be just right for you!
GB: I was about to explain this was an aquatic version of it, we did it under water!
NR: Okay, just checking!
NP: I don't think you got as far. I think you should have established that right from the start, otherwise it does sound like deviation and which I have to grant it therefore Nick, within the rules of Just A Minute. So Nick Revell, you have 22 seconds on cold turkey starting now.
NR: Cold turkey is not as good as curried turkey. But back to John Lennon and cold turkey...
NP: Gyles challenged.
NR: John Lennon, of course, repetition.
NP: You repeated it, yes.
NR: John Lennon.
NP: And Gyles got in first.
NP: Sixteen seconds Gyles, another point to you and cold turkey's with you starting now.
GB: When I played this particular role, the only character I did not get on with very well was the person who played the turkey. For she was cold towards me. Her name was Tilly Taylor, and the reason that she did not like me, was because I was playing the lead, and she was playing merely this bird and she had the dressing room up...
NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. And on this occasion it was Gyles Brandreth, who has now three. Nick Revell and Maria McErlane have two, Fred MacAulay hasn't, he's spoken, but he hasn't, not within the show. Well it's early days. Gyles we'd like you to take the next round, the subject is people like me. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.
GB: People like me...
NP: And Nick challenged.
NR: Deviation, there's nobody like him!
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Nick we give you a bonus point because everybody enjoyed that particular remark of yours. But I don't think you can have him for deviation or hesitation or anything like that. So Gyles you have a point of course Gyles, for being interrupted, and you have 59 seconds, people like me starting now.
GB: People like me love words. We agree with the philosopher who said "no matter how eloquently a dog may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents were poor but honest". People like me 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, when really what we are attempting to say is that a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse. People like me, I find it hard to believe I used to be liked by those who are interested in knitting and wool, fetishists of a kind. They seem to have an enthusiasm for me. But people like me, is that true? When I was a Member of Parliament, I found thousand hated me. Indeed I united an entire community. Thirty-seven thousand individuals got up on the selfsame day to say that they did not like me! They came to the polls, they kicked me in the goolies, it was humiliating! To say that people like me is a contradiction in terms. When you have been an elected representative in the mother of Parliaments, you know that "people like me" is not a phrase that can be uttered by normal human beings. Of course, it could not possibly be an...
NP: So that verbal tour de force by Gyles kept him going till the whistle went. Actually, he actually went for 59 seconds because he was interrupted after one second, so he did get a point then. Because normally if you go for 60 seconds, you get a bonus point. I think we should give him a bonus, don't you?
SHOUTS OF "YES" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: One for speaking as the whistle went, and a bonus point for not being interrupted, even though he actually did repeat one or two things. But they let him, generously, go, because they knew you were loving it, and he was loving it himself, I could tell that from his face. And Fred it's your turn to begin, the subject is the school disco. Oh that's got a little reaction?
FRED MacAULAY: Didn't it?
NP: They all know what school discos are about. Talk about them Fred, if you can, 60 seconds starting now.
FM: Sadly when I was a young man just venturing in the great er perrah oh...
NP: Nick you got in.
NR: The great perrah!
FM: I've lost the ability to speak now!
NP: Yes. Oh it happens! Fifty-five seconds, the school disco with you Fred, sorry, with you Nick Revell, starting now.
NR: I used to hate the school disco. Firstly it was a disco, and secondly it was at school. Two of the most horrific experiences that you can have in a social situation put together. You had to spend all week stealing booze from the local supermarket, pretending you were going to get completely legless, so that all your mates could have a laugh because they'd be legless as well. And if you...
NR: Oh yes!
NR: I forgot me repetition! Yes! I forgot me repetition!
NP: The audience were concentrating, did you notice that? Oh! Legless! Gyles you were in first, 35 seconds, the school disco starting now.
GB: At my school we always had a costume disco where we went in interesting outfits. I usually came dressed as a handbag so that the girls would dance around me! I had a second sort of outfit that I wore, which involved me wearing two left shoes...
NP: Nick challenged.
NR: Yeah yeah, it was repetition, but it was wrong. Because it was wearing and woring.
MM: There was outfit.
NP: No, no...
NR: Oh outfit, oh.
NP: He usually came dressed the first time, and wearing the second time.
NP: He's quite clever at this, you know.
NR: I know he's...
MM: Two outfits though!
NR: Almost slippery!
MM: Two outfits.
NP: I know, it's too late now, my darling.
NR: I'm sorry.
NP: Right so Gyles you've still got the subject, you've got an incorrect challenge, another point to you, 13 seconds, starting now.
GB: The school that I went to was called Beedale's...
NP: Maria you challenged.
MM: Two outfits earlier.
NP: To spoil your challenge by Nick Revell. You did say outfit twice. So you're entitled to hold back and spot it, and not come in too soon. So everybody else has a fair crack, but...
FM: But, but the outfits were different, one of them was a handbag!
NP: You're being too devious now for the show! Right, Maria you have a correct challenge, 11 seconds, the school disco starting now.
MM: I have terrible memories of the school disco, standing in the sidelines, waiting for that...
NP: Nick challenged.
NR: In the sidelines?
NP: Yes you...
NR: Rather inelegant, I thought, it's on the sidelines.
MM: I wasn't a very elegant child!
NR: Not really poetic!
NP: Oh! Maria you have eight seconds on the school disco starting now.
MM: Ten-C-C's I'm Not In Love was always the last song to be played at the school disco. And I'd be vomiting with dry cider all...
NP: So Maria McErlane speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point again. She's now equal with Nick Revell in second place. They're three points behind Gyles Brandreth, and they're just a little way ahead of Fred MacAulay. Gyles you take the next round, the subject now is dog training. Tell us something about dog training in this game starting now.
GB: At our home we have a considerable number of dogs, including a mongrel who thinks he is called Down Boy! And a very sophisticated French poodle called Fido, spelt P-H-Y-D-A-U-X. They've all been trained by a professional in this particular craft. Though the lady concerned unfortunately had a speech impediment. So that when she said "sit", what happened was quite... untoward!
NP: Nick Revell challenged.
NR: It wasn't hesitation, it was, it was, it was timing though I'm sorry.
NP: So why did you challenge?
NR: Because I was allowing the...
NP: Get on your microphone could you please.
NR: I was allowing the competition to get before the art. You know...
NP: Well I think, I think it was almost a correct challenge.
NR: Well it was a correct challenge, but at the same time, ascetically, you know I should have let it go, and then he could have ridden the laughs.
NP: Listen, I've given the benefit of the doubt to Maria on a marginal judgement to Maria, and to, to Fred. So now on a marginal judgement you have the benefit of the doubt, and you have the subject of dog training with 36 seconds starting now.
NR: Dog training is not something I'm directly familiar with. But some friends of mine who have a mad black Labrador in Australia called Algernon, have a very serious problem and need for dog training. Algernon eats toasters...
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: We've had Algernon before.
NP: Gyles you've got your dog training back and you have 23 second, tell us more about it starting now.
GB: When I began to attempt itself, I used a bullwhip. But then realised I was confusing the poor animals. And so now I treat them entirely with kindness. I wrinkle up my nose, get down on all fours, and give little woofing sounds...
NP: Maria challenged.
NP: Why? Within the rules of Just A Minute, how do you...
MM: Wait, wrinkling up his nose, getting down on all fours and giving little woofing sounds?
NP: It's a very devious idea, it's a very devious thought, it's a devious image you see Maria. But you see, he wasn't deviating within the rules of Just A Minute.
NR: I must say though Nicholas, sorry to interrupt, I must say it sounds better when Maria says it!
NP: So really I...
MM: No, I do think it is deviation from "dog training". That's not necessary to do all of that to train a dog.
NP: On the other hand Maria, Gyles is an unusual personality. It could be the way he trains his dog! Gyles you have the benefit of the doubt, so you've all had the benefit of the doubt now. And you have 11 seconds on dog training starting now.
GB: Mrs Barbara Wodehouse was for me, the woman who taught me all that I needed to know about dog training. She was a lady who had style...
NP: Yes Maria you challenged.
MM: Two taughts.
NP: There were two taughts, well done, well listened Maria. And um, Maria you've got in with four seconds to go on dog training starting now.
MM: You can't teach an old dog new tricks, and Nicholas is living proof of that...
NP: So Maria McErlane, again speaking as the whistle went, is catching up on our leader Gyles Brandreth. She's only three points behind him, she's just ahead of Nick Revell and Fred MacAulay in that order. And Nick Revell your turn to begin, the subject, buried treasure. Sixty seconds starting now.
NR: "Pieces of eight! Doubloons! Emeralds! Rubies as big as a man's hand!" shouts the rag and bone man touring the streets of Knightsbridge! No, I'm just kidding, just getting you into the mood for one of the most exciting stories concerning buried treasure ever written by a Scotsman, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island. And I'll tell you it happened to me once. There I was, waiting tables at the Admiral Benbow. And I got this map from a drunken pirate. Off we sailed with a couple of cabin boys, and a squire and a load of muskets and stuff. We got on to the island, we found the place on the map, we met a marooned person who was painted blue and red, because two tankers had collided and the paint had gone everywhere. And then we realised, we had forgotten the spade, and oh blimey!
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NR: All the way back we had to go to get the spade, and when we got there...
NR: Oh no! Who would dare buzz in!
NP: They were so generous, they let you go...
NR: I know!
NP: ... through the longest pause we've ever had in Just a Minute! And then when you come back in and you've got your breath, you come back with the same word! But Gyles you pressed first, yes, we can't allow two spades. So you got in there, and only five seconds to go, right, buried...
SHOUTS OF "AWWW" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: I know, but it is the rules of Just A Minute, isn't it. Five seconds Gyles, buried treasure starting now.
GB: The day we buried Treasure was a sad one for me, he was such a lovely dog. My...
NP: So Gyles Brandreth speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point and increased his lead. But what I forgot to say, Nick you get a bonus point for that great tirade of yours which the audience loved when he was interrupted. So you get a bonus point in there. And we're moving forward and it's Fred MacAulay, your turn to speak. Oh a lovely Scottish subject here, right. I knew all about this in my Glasgow days. Looking peelie-wallie. That's the subject, and for the Sassenachs who are listening in, you know, everybody who's not Scottish, including people in China and India, and everywhere else. I won't say what it is because I don't want to take away from their thing, right. Fred...
FM: Yes you just said everything I was going to say!
NP: I know! I realised I was stealing your thunder...
FM: I've only got about 18 seconds to go, haven't I?
NP: I'm stealing your thunder, I'm very sorry. Fred it's looking peelie-wallie, and you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.
FM: As everybody in this audience knows, it's unusual for someone to look peelie-wallie, because nobody ever looks peelie-wallie in full, they only ever look a wee bit peelie-wallie. Because that is what you say when someone is looking slightly under the weather. They may not be fit for work, they may be phoning from... home...
NP: Gyles challenged.
FM: Two maybes.
NP: There was a hesitation.
FM: Oh right.
NP: Yes right. So you have the subject...
FM: I got away with the maybes then!
NP: Right! Forty seconds, still available, looking peelie-wallie starting now.
GB: One of the reasons that I am glad that I am not Prime Minister is that after a few years, whoever does aspire to this post, is told that they are looking, whenever they come to Scotland, peelie-wallie. Inevitably this is the price you pay for leadership. I of course was very loyal. In my day when Mister Major became leader of my party, I went grey overnight! Then when William Hague became the leader, I started to go bald. I was only grateful that Anne Widdecombe did not succeed in her ambition! Because then not only would I have looked peelie-wallie, but I would also have required to have some...
NP: Fred challenged.
FM: Some time ago, there were two leaders.
NP: Yes that's right.
GB: In fact, it was a long time ago!
NP: And they generously let you go, because they enjoyed it. But it did come in latterly with two leaders, and quite right Fred. ten seconds on looking peelie-wallie starting now.
FM: Amongst my friends at school we had different skills, but none moreso than wee Wallie, who demonstrated what he was able to do every day on the way back, when he would stand himself...
NP: Well! Do we say there that Fred MacAulay was saved by the whistle? Anyway he was speaking as the whistle went, he gained an extra point for that. He's now almost equal with Nick Revell in third place, Maria McErlane's in second place, Gyles Brandreth still in the lead. And Maria your turn to begin, the subject, the youth of today. There's quite a lot of them in this audience here at Dundee University, or the University of Dundee as they prefer. Will you tell us, will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
MM: Youth is wasted on the young, so they say. I always feel that maybe age is squandered by the elderly as well. What's wrong with the youth of yesterday, or the youth of tomorrow? Youth basically is overrated. As somebody, as Nicholas told me earlier on, it's, oh no I can't really...
NP: I don't know what you were going to say!
GB: She turned towards me.
MM: I know, but I was going to say something which is very rude to reveal a gentleman's age.
GB: Well that's absurd!
MM: Is it?
NP: I never told you what my age was. Nobody knows it.
MM: No, but somebody...
GB: Nicholas is younger than springtime!
MM: No, but somebody has, someone has painted it outside the university!
GB: We are indeed in a 30 miles per hour limit, yes!
NP: Gyles you challenged.
GB: Yes, hesitation.
NP: Yes indeed right, you have how many seconds, you have 42 seconds, the youth of today starting now.
GB: The youth of today, you can't beat 'em, that's the problem, no discipline! In my day, the role model was Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School. Now there was a kind of youth of today that we should see. Somebody who was overweight, dishonest and thoroughly abused as a child. But who was he abused by, oh blast!
NP: Yes Fred you challenged.
FM: Repetition of the word abused.
NP: Yes, yes, too much abusing going on. So Fred, you have 20 seconds, you tell us something about the youth of today starting now.
FM: I've seen Maria McErlane's shopping list. And the top of the list... oh!
FM: It's so long since I've played this game! It really is!
NP: Oh you must come back more often Fred. Right...
FM: (laughs) Say that like you mean it!
NP: Gyles you have 15 seconds on the youth of today starting now.
GB: "Oh crikey", said the fat owl as Mister Quelch came into the room brandishing...
NP: Nick challenged, Nick Revell.
NR: I think there was a fat in his previous visit to this subject.
NP: Yes, Billy Bunter.
NP: Well listened Nick, you haven't been for a time, but you're getting the hang of it now, listening with sharp er intention, sharp er, well it's sharp something! Sharp um er... I was going to say sharp ears but that wouldn't be little with um, sharp acclaim, right... Isn't it lovely when you talk rubbish! It makes me so happy, it's not a senior moment, it's just rubbish! Right, 10 seconds on the youth of today starting now.
NR: The youth of today, I hate them! All they do is go out drinking and having sex with each other, and I can't do it these days because they won't look at me in the bars, and I drink and I can't...
NP: So Nick Revell speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And at the end of that round, er he's er, well he's in a very strong second position behind Gyles Brandreth, and Gyles it's your turn to begin. And the subject now is hardy perennials starting now.
GB: For many people the hardiest of hardy perennials is Tess of the d'Urbervilles. But I'm not interested in the works of the great Thomas. For me, Oliver Hardy is the one who has perennial charm. As a child, I used to get the annuals in which he featured, with his companion, Stan Laurel. And those hardy perennials were books that came in one's Christmas stocking every year and made one feel young and gay in the traditional old fashioned sense of the word. You're quite right, there's a touch of Tommy Two-Ways about me, but I'm suppressing it, because I am taking flower, from a hardy perennial in my garden. It's a kind of version of St John's work, that makes sure that though I am, because I am married, I have the butch side in the ascendance. Hardy perennials come in all sorts of different ways. You can think of, if you would, the great Hardy who was at Nelson's side at the unfortunate Battle of Trafalgar. If only he had...
NP: Nick challenged.
NR: Well deviation, I don't think that the Battle of Trafalgar was unfortunate. We spanked the French, that's always a very good thing.
GB: For Nelson, it was a rough day!
NR: Well, true!
GB: It was a tough call, it was unfortunate for him. You see, I was talking about Hardy and Nelson and "kiss me", and it was all linked and been Tommy Two-Ways and maybe he even had access to the same hardy perennials that I've got in my garden. It might have worked out differently.
NR: I know, I know, I know, I know.
GB: That was the background to it, but I'm quite happy to concede the point because the news has just begun!
NP: So Nick Revell, eight seconds for you, hardy perennials starting now.
NR: The hardy perennial is of course a plant which is a metaphor which can be applied to many things such as jokes. Here is a twist on an old...
NP: So Nick Revell was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he was in second place, he is still in second place, he's moving up on our leader Gyles Brandreth. I'm giving all these facts because we're going into the final round alas. And Nick Revell it's your turn to begin, the subject is webcams. A very modern subject, but talk on it if you can, 60 seconds starting now.
NR: Webcams is what you might think a spider makes its home video on. But no, it's just another means of communicating with other people. You can stick it on the side of your computer screen. And...
NP: Gyles Brandreth challenged.
GB: Repetition of computer.
NP: Yes, two computers I'm afraid.
NR: Well I've got two computers.
NP: Give him a bonus point for that remark. Gyles has got a correct challenge, a point to him, he takes over the subject, 47 seconds Gyles, webcams starting now.
GB: Until very recently the only excitement in my domestic life was when I went into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, the light went on, and I did my little routine. Now that my computer has attached to it a webcam, I'm able actually to send my communications to people while pulling funny faces. This does indeed amuse some people, also it's brought the police around. I'm not sure quite why, but the constable came to see me and said "what you are doing in your webcam is not considered polite in our society nowadays. You are supposed to be simply using the webcam to communicate. Instead you seem to be doing it..."
NP: Nick you challenged.
NR: Two communicates.
NR: Send your, no, send your communication.
NP: No, he had two webcams which were singular, and the subject is webcams.
NR: Ah! I wasn't, I'm not challenging on that!
NP: I'm trying to help you Nick!
NR: I, ah, oh, yes that was it! That was it! Yes!
NP: I just wanted to have an exciting finish! Eleven seconds Nick, on webcams starting now.
NR: And if you're not communicating with Emil and webcams, you can text people and say "what are you doing?" "Oh I'm just on the computer and the webcam..."
NP: Maria challenged.
MM: Sorry, there was another computer. You may have three now.
NP: No, no, you had computer before, before when you were speaking. So Maria you've cleverly got in with two seconds to go on webcams starting now.
MM: I can be appearing on a webcam somewhere near you...
FM: Can I also point out to Nick, that if you were texting somebody, you wouldn't be saying "what are you doing?" You would be saying "wht ry dng".
NP: Let me give you the final situation. Fred MacAulay who has achieved such wonders in this show in the past. But this wasn't one of his greatest days. But it's always lovely to have him, and we always enjoy his humour and his remarks. But he did finish just behind Maria McErlane who was in third place, one or two behind Nick Revell. But he was still four points behind Gyles Brandreth, so we say Gyles once again you are our winner! Thank you, thank you! So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, sitting on my left was Fred MacAulay and Maria McErlane, and sitting on my right was Gyles Brandreth and Nick Revell. And sitting beside me was Janet Staplehurst, helping with the score, we thank her. We thank our producer, Chris Neill. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we do thank this lovely audience here at the Bonner Hall in the University of Dundee, who have been such a warm passionate audience and given us such fun. And we hope you've had even more fun. So from our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, from the team, good-bye! Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!