starring CLEMENT FREUD, TONY HAWKS, GRAHAM NORTON and ROSS NOBLE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 16 February 2004)

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: 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 throughout the world, those who tune into the World Service, Radio Four, Radio Seven or even get us through the Internet. We welcome them. And of course it's a pleasure to welcome the four exciting, distinctive and talented players who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We have on my left a most distinguished couple of comedians here, it is Graham Norton and Ross Noble. And sitting on my right, we have a comedian and also a comic and humorous writer, and well, a man who has done nearly everything there is to do in our country, and the comedian is Tony Hawks, and the other man is Clement Freud. 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 will 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 the Drill Hall. And we have a lovely delightful audience who have come from all corners of the metropolis to cheer us on our way. As we start the show with Clement Freud. Clement, the subject in front of me is 10 things I hate. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: I'm not sure 10 things. I hate garlic when it's raw. I dislike hugely desiccated coconut on anything. Therapeutic sandals, I believe that if you have some trouble with your feet, it ought to be between you and your extremities, and I want no part of it. I hate New York in June, how about you?


NP: Clement Freud, you were the first to challenge.

CF: Hesitation. I said "how about you" and nobody said anything.

NP: I know, and you got in first so you challenged yourself, and ah your challenge was repetition. Is that right?

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation. Yes you did hesitate Clement, so that's a correct challenge, so I suppose I have to give you a point.


NP: Please don't make a habit of this because it would make my job impossible! So if you have a correct challenge and you get a point for that of course, so Clement's got his first point. And he's still got 36 seconds with the same subject, 10 things I hate starting now.

CF: I hate people who change the laws in games, like challenging themselves and then getting a point for it! I hate anyone who votes differently to me...


NP: Ross challenged.

ROSS NOBLE: Repetition of anyone. He hates anyone and he hates anyone...

NP: Yes indeed!


RN: I'm like a young Sherlock Holmes!

NP: So well done Ross, you've got a correct challenge, therefore a point, and 24 seconds to tell us something about 10 things I hate starting now.

RN: I hate green bottles, especially when they're placed on a wall. That's why that song comes in so handy for me. Ten... particular receptacles...


NP: Tony challenged.

TONY HAWKS: I was thinking he was going to go into Ten Green Bottles, but he cleverly tricked me!

NP: Yeah!

RN: Like a young Sherlock Holmes!

TH: Yeah!

NP: So Tony, good to hear from you, but it didn't work, and ah Ross you had an incorrect challenge, you get a point for that of course. There are 14 seconds for 10 things I hate starting now.

RN: I hate cats and if there is 10 of them, that makes it worse. If you were to get those feline creatures and put them in front of me with names such as Steve, Brian, Trevor, Kevin, Archie, Terence...


NP: I won't ask you what you would do Ross. You got a point for speaking as the whistle went, that's what happens in this game. If anyone is speaking when that goes, he gets the extra point. It was Ross Noble who has got three points at the end of the round, and is naturally in the lead. Tony Hawks, will you take the next round, the subject is leadership qualities. Tell us something about leadership qualities in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: It seems to be today that when I look at our politicians, the leadership quality that you need the most is to be able to state the obvious. They turn up at a major disaster and they look sad and say "this is very disappointing, isn't it, we send out our sympathy". Brilliantly, they never say "this is good, let's have more of this..."


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Three "this"s.

NP: Yes, three "this"s, and quite close together too.

TH: Oh.

NP: So Clement, correct challenge, 40 seconds on leadership qualities starting now.

CF: I think if you look at the leadership qualities of the three good men who run our political parties, you would stop, not just hesitate or deviate, but actually stop...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah well repetition of stop.

NP: Of course, right. So you have 27 seconds, leadership qualities Tony starting now.

TH: I think that Clement has great leadership qualities...


NP: Clement challenged. Yes Clement?

CF: I agree.


NP: Clement is very clever at getting bonus points. Your round of applause there endorsed that they enjoyed what you said Clement. A bonus point for that, but Tony was interrupted, so he keeps the subject, leadership qualities and you have still 23 seconds Tony starting now.

TH: But he'll be disappointed when I go on to say, so does Nicholas Parsons! And I can tell you why I know this, because at the beginning of the show our great great man...



NP: I hope that groan was for me! So, ah Graham you challenged first.

GN: Repetition of the great.

NP: Of the great yes.

GN: Yes.

NP: And 10 seconds Graham, you tell us something about leadership qualities starting now.

GN: I think the quality a leader requires is an attractive back of head. Why else would you follow anyone? They must look well groomed and beautiful from the...


NP: So Graham Norton was then speaking as the whistle went, and gained that extra point.

GN: Woo!

NP: He's now equal with Tony Hawks in second place, they're both one point behind Clement Freud and Ross Noble who are both in the lead. And Graham it's also your turn to begin, the subject is facelifts. Tell us something about facelifts in Just A Minute starting now.

GN: I think facelifts are wonderful things. For instance, how else could Joan Rivers have achieved the look of a baboon skull with a wig on top of it? It may be expensive, but it's easier than being in a house fire, that's the way I look at it!


NP: (laughing) Ross challenged.

RN: I thought there was a slight hesitation there, just a slight...

NP: No, there was a slight, but it wasn't enough to be a hesitation...

GN: Wasn't it?

NP: ... within Just A Minute... No, no!

RN: I think even Graham, if he was being honest...

NP: No, no, no, he kept going sufficiently well not to be penalised. And you have another point Graham, and you have 44 seconds on facelifts starting now.

GN: Facelifts are intriguing but quite terrifying. I think I will eventually have one. I, I quite like...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Was there a slight hesitation there?

NP: Well he said have have.

GN: Yeah yeah I think I did.

TH: I, I, I.

NP: Yes I call that either hesitation or repetition of have.

CF: And a deviation.

NP: What's that?

CF: And deviation, he'll probably have more than one!

NP: Come on Just A Minute and find out who your friends are! Tony, 36 seconds on facelifts starting now.

TH: If you need to get your face to the ninth floor and you don't fancy the stairs, the best thing is to use the face-lift. You get in, press the button, and it will take you there beautifully. I do it whenever I am in a building and need to do such a thing. I have had a facelift myself, I'm really a hundred and four years old...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I was just thinking: sue!

NP: What's your challenge Graham?

GN: Sorry, it was just me chatting! No, on you go Tony. If you're happy, you paid for it! Go on!

NP: You haven't a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

GN: Oh do I? Ah deviation.

NP: Why?

GN: From good sense!

NP: If I gave a penalty against good sense that went on in Just A Minute every time, I don't think we'd ever get anywhere. Tony, no, you weren't deviating enough, and 18 seconds, facelifts with you starting now.

TH: I'm actually an extremely ancient figure. Although when you see me sat before you in the audience, they can't at home listening on the radio, poor souls! I am not as young as I used to be is something people tend to say, but that makes no...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Oh now this is nonsense!

NP: He's talking not only rubbish...

GN: Deviation from something!

NP: It was deviation from sense, yes. Graham you got in with two seconds to go on facelifts starting now.

GN: I am 13 years old but thanks to a combination of...


NP: So Graham Norton was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now increased his lead over Tony Hawks. And the other two, Clement Freud and Ross Noble. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is now nostalgia. Tell us something about nostalgia in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

CF: (very very slowly) I have such very fond memories of neuralgia. Thinking back, my youth was replete with diseases that took one to Harley Street, Wimpole and Queen Anne. Many doctors, surgeons, psychiatrists, psychologists, and skin care folk had my custom.


NP: Ross you challenged.

RN: It was hesitation, but I was so hypnotised by what was going on. It was almost like my finger wouldn't press!

NP: I know!

RN: But there was a...

NP: It's amazing and the audience were as well.

RN: Yeah.

NP: And I think the listeners were, and they're going to be writing in about that.

RN: I think people will just be crashing their cars!

NP: Right, hesitation ah Ross, nostalgia's with you, 36 seconds starting now.

RN: People often like to take a trip down Memory Lane, but unfortunately I knew a bloke that lived there and he wasn't very happy! The traffic was appalling! They had to introduce special calming measures, there was so many old people going along that particular byway. It was terrible, terrible... oh!



NP: Oh! You see what happens? You get the audience with you, and they want you to continue and they clap. But Tony you got in first, right, hesitation?

TH: Ah yes.

NP: Seventeen seconds, nostalgia with you Tony starting now.

TH: I read a hilarious sign the other day when I was in this office saying "nostalgia isn't what it used to be". I fell about laughing, such was the amusement incurred by this said piece of writing. Nostalgia of course is...


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went has now moved forward, and he's equal with Graham Norton in the lead, just two points ahead of the other two. And Tony it's your turn to begin, the subject is examinations. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TH: I've never understood why they put discuss in exam questions when you're not allowed to! I actually turned to the person next to me during the examination, and did just that. And the man sent me out, saying "Hawks, you're not supposed to be chatting". Well it was very unfair indeed. I don't understand why in this country we're so obsessed with examinations...


NP: Ross Noble challenged.

RN: Repetition of "I don't understand".

NP: Yes that's right, you did say that before, right. So Ross, well listened, you've got in with 37 seconds on examinations starting now.

RN: A popular examination is the cat scan. Now don't be confused. This isn't picking up a feline, and going (makes musical note sound) blip like that. Oh no, that can be very very wrong especially...


NP: Ah...

RN: Very very.

NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Oh I'm sorry, but it was very very.

NP: Very very wrong, well listened.

RN: You got me bang to rights, Holmes!

NP: Ah Graham, 26 seconds for you to tell us something about examinations starting now.

GN: The worst sort of examinations are of the medical variety. I recently did a voiceover for a biscuit and had to go for a full examination...


NP: Ah Tony challenged.

TH: How much was this biscuit paying you?


GN: Peanuts!

NP: Give Tony a bonus point, because the audience enjoyed his interruption. But Graham gets a point for being interrupted and he still has examinations and he has 14 seconds to continue starting now.

GN: In Ireland there are two main examinations. One is called the Intermeeeediiiiate Certificate! This examination proves that you are somewhere in the middle. You haven't started, you haven't finished. But...


NP: I thought that was the longest elongation of a word without hesitating I've ever heard in Just A Minute. And your face expressed it all. But you...

RN: Is this a new rule? Hesitation, deviation, elongation?


RN: Just to spice it up!

NP: You mean that you can challenge for elongation?

RN: Yeah.

NP: It could happen, but I don't think we'll institute it now. It's going to be too difficult. Um...

TH: I'm up for it!

NP: Well, no, I think...

TH: Come on! What the hell! Let's live life! Let's, come on, it's been running 37 years! When was the last change?


TH: Let's introduce elongation! Who's with me?


NP: The last change...

GN: Can I vote against?


NP: The last change came when ah you used to have deviation from the subject when this show first started many years ago, and now it just says deviation.

TH: Ah.

NP: So you've got all kinds of scope to be inventive and creative...

TH: How wrong I was then!

NP: Right, ah, and nearly everybody at some time has indulged in elongation. So ah...

GN: We all experiment!


NP: I'm talking about verbal elongation! Where do this audience come from? Ah oh yes Graham, you were speaking as the whistle went...

GN: Was I?

NP: ... gained an extra point, yes you've moved forward. You're in the lead, just two points ahead of Tony Hawks, and four ahead of Ross Noble and Clement Freud...

GN: What, I'm in the lead?

NP: You're in the lead!

GN: No! And you say nothing's changed in 37 years?

NP: You are in the lead, keep it up. Right, Ross it's your turn...


GN: Repetition of elongation!


NP: I think we'll move on rapidly before we get completely bogged down! Right um Ross it's your turn to begin, the subject is shaving, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

RN: Shaving is something you have to do very carefully, especially when you're shaving your pets, I find. I once had a cat which I didn't like. I don't know why I bought the thing in the first place. I was so angry at the fact that I had this creature, I went and got myself a lovely razor, and a bit of foam, and I shaved him up so that he looked like a completely different creature. In fact a tiny little panda...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of creature.

NP: Yeah.

RN: Fair enough!

NP: I'm glad you got in there, I didn't like the way it was going at all! It was... I'm sure we were going to get...

RN: We've all shaved our pets! Come on!

NP: Our pets of the human kind, but not of the ah, the ah...


GN: That, that opened a window we wished had stayed shut!

NP: You have to shave under your arms, a lot of people do that! Right, Tony...


NP: Hysteria has taken over the panel and the chairman is collapsing! Right, 38 seconds for you on shaving Tony starting now.

TH: Clement probably has to shave more than me because the hair on his head appears to grow inwards and come out on his chin! And this doesn't happen to me...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes he did, Clement you've got in with 28 seconds on shaving starting now.

CF: Monsieur Ving from Provence who was a very good chef, came to me and said "what shall I do, now that I have come to England?" And I suggested he start a restaurant called Chez Ving. Where he could serve the most delicious French foods to anyone who so desired. His speciality...


NP: Ross has challenged you for some reason.

RN: Ah repetition of French.

NP: Yes that's right, you did say French restaurant, and you mentioned this Frenchman who came to the, England.

CF: Yeah.

NP: You, you look surprised.

CF: No.

NP: No, no, no, it's... Ross you had a correct challenge, nine seconds, shaving starting now.

RN: I went to a French restaurant once, and was served badger, a frothy creature. That's right, it was the most bizarre dish...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: He said creature again!

RN: I'm actually being sponsored!

NP: Tony, another creature, another point to you, and three seconds on shaving starting now.

TH: I enjoy getting up in the morning and shaving in the bathroom...


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, with other points in the round, has now moved forward. He's gone one ahead of our previous leader, Graham Norton, and then Ross Noble and Clement Freud in that order. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject here is quite a long one actually. My advice to the person sitting next to me. Sixty seconds as always is available and you start now.

CF: I don't actually have any advice...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Well I think that's self-explanatory, that, isn't it? I'll have the subject then!

NP: Oh give Ross a bonus point for that. And Clement you were interrupted so you keep the subject, you have a point of course and you have my advice to the person sitting next to me, 58 seconds starting now.

CF: My advice to the person sitting next to me would be exactly the same...


NP: Ross challenged again.

RN: Deviation, he said before he didn't have any advice, and now he says he does! You can't have it both ways!

NP: That was justified Ross, you have 53 seconds, my advice to the person sitting next to me, starting now.

RN: The advice I'd give to the person sitting next to me is try not to be so flamboyant! Stop wearing those crazy costumes, and running over town making those camp suggestions!


RN: And Nicholas just won't listen!


NP: I'll show you how fair I am! Right, because he had a wonderful twist there, they all thought you were talking about Graham. Give him a bonus point...

GN: Did they?

NP: And Tony, but you challenged Tony?

TH: Well believe it or not Nicholas, and you probably won't, um, I was going to ruin his joke, I was going to buzz in and say "stop talking about Nicholas", you see. So ah, he got in there first...

NP: Great comic minds think alike!

TH: Yes, exactly!

NP: But he was in the flow, so he got in first.

TH: He got the laugh, and the point. I lose all round!

GN: Repetition of joke!

NP: So he was interrupted as well, so he gets another point for that, and he keeps the subject, and 44 seconds, my advice to the person sitting next to me starting now.

RN: I would give advice to the person sitting next to me...


NP: Tony challenged.

RN: Ah repetition of, oh, God, it's on the title again! I've given him another point!

GN: Is, is Ross paying you to interrupt him this often?

NP: Ross, 42 seconds on the subject starting now.

RN: I think that the advice that I would give to the person...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Sorry, my mistake!

NP: What is the...

GN: I thought he was hesitating but no, he wasn't!

RN: I'm going all the way on this one!

NP: Forty seconds Ross on the subject starting now.

RN: The advice that I would give to the...


CF: Repetition of would.

NP: Yes that's not on the, that is not on the card. The subject is my advice to the person sitting next to me. That's on the card, and you said "the advice that I would give" twice! So Clement you've got in on the subject, 38 seconds starting now.

CF: The advice I would give to the person sitting next to me, is that as I have no chance of winning this game, they should buzz in quickly...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: He said buzz, I did!


RN: But I'm not sitting next to him!

GN: But you're not sitting next to him!

RN: But if I move my chair, can I have a point?

NP: No! Clement you were interrupted, you have a point for that, you have the subject still, my advice to the person sitting next to me, 30 seconds starting now.

CF: Ross Noble, Ross Noble, Ross Noble...


NP: Tony Hawks.

CF: Awww!

TH: Repetition of Graham Norton! No, repetition of Ross Noble.

NP: I give you Ross Noble. Tony, you've got the subject, 28 seconds, my advice to the person sitting next to me starting now.

TH: My advice to the person sitting next to me is to take out his wallet and pass 250 pounds cash to the person on his right. This would please me, not be particularly entertaining...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Oh now... I've turned into a points charity down the end! No, I thought he said "me" twice, but it was "be" the second time.

TH: Be, yes.

NP: And "me" is on the card anyway.

GN: What is? What?

NP: The person sitting next to me.

GN: All right, clever clogs!

NP: It's my job to point these things out!

GN: I was looking stupid enough already, no need to rub it in!

NP: Ah 15 seconds Tony, with you on the subject starting now.

TH: My advice to the person sitting next to me is to come out with me after the show and we'll go clubbing. What a night! Clement and me, picking up girls, like it's nobody's business. I want to see him boogie the night away! Let...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Was that repetition of night?

NP: Yes.

RN: What a night it would be.

NP: A night on the town.

TH: Ah!

NP: Yes, well listened Ross, you've got may advice to the person sitting next to me, two seconds starting now.

RN: My advice to the person sitting next...


NP: So Ross is getting carried away with his subject, and has got many points including one for speaking as the whistle went. He's now got a good lead over Tony Hawks, and then Graham Norton and Clement Freud in that order. And Tony it's your turn to begin, the subject now is Henry the Eighth. Tell us something about that amazing monarch in this game starting now.

TH: There are not many similarities between Henry the Eighth and me. He had six wives, I've had hardly any! He had a huge palace in Hampton Court, I've got a modest property in Wimbledon. He was fat, I'm thin. And the differences go on! He split with Rome, I've just had a tiff with Milton Keynes. That's all it is! Henry the Eighth was in many ways our finest King. He did do some marvellous things, I'm not going to list them all now because I don't want to embarrass you with my knowledge. But what I will do is tell you...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Was there a sort of hesitation there? I think...

NP: A sort of hesitation, yes Graham. So the benefit of the doubt to you on this occasion, 27 seconds, Henry the Eighth with you starting now.

GN: What sort of dreary cut-price baby name book does the Royal Family have? That they must continually name their children the same thing, over and that thing again. Henry the...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Repetition of thing.

NP: Yes there were two things.

GN: Did I?

NP: Yes.

RN: And there was a slight elongation as well, just...

GN: Leave it! Leave it!

RN: Just a slight, slight elongation.

NP: We haven't instituted that yet, Ross.

RN: Oh come on! You know you want to!

NP: Repetition, 13 seconds, Henry the Eighth with you Ross starting now.

RN: Henry the Eighth is often pictured with chicken legs, and by this I mean standing there holding one that he is about to eat, I don't mean that his particular limbs are that of that poultry creature...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: By this I mean, and then he said I don't mean. So repetition of mean.

NP: By this I mean, I don't mean.

RN: That's just mean!

NP: Tony, three seconds on Henry the Eighth starting now.

TH: (singing) I'm Henry the Eighth, I am, Henry the Eighth I am...


NP: Oh dear! Right so we're moving into the last round. I'll give you the situation as we do so. Ah the contributions have been great all round, but the points are slightly different. Ross Noble is still in the lead, he's two ahead of Tony Hawks, and then a few ahead of Graham Norton and Clement Freud. And Ross it's your turn to begin and the subject for this last round is how to treat pregnant ladies, 60 seconds starting now.

RN: How to treat pregnant ladies, well, you could always take them out and buy them some big pants. That's what they like, yes. There you go, love, dive in, help yourself to the largest elasticated wear that you could possibly muster! But try not to look like a clown, that's very important. How many times have I made that mistake? Bought a beautiful maternity dress, only to realise they they are in fact hooped pantaloons, that should be given to Coco and his hilarious mates from the circus. Oh those poor pregnant ladies as they squirt their flowers at each other, their hats flying off their head as they try and wallpaper the baby's room, hitting each other with planks in the face, falling over as everyone rolls around, confetti everywhere! A tiny little car comes in, honking and exploding, as the wheels fly off, right, left and centre. Who would have thought it, that Mothercare would have to provide a special service that would be important...


NP: And Ross Noble brought it to a finish with a flourish! The whole 60 seconds without being interrupted, you get a point for speaking as the whistle went, a bonus point for not being interrupted. You were already in the lead, and actually even if you weren't in the lead, I'd have given you another point as well, because the audience applause at the end was so good. But it doesn't make any difference to the final result. Clement Freud who normally does so well, but he was rather overshadowed and pushed down to a very surprising fourth place. But that's what happens, it's the contribution that's more important than the points anyway as I always say. Graham Norton was in the lead for a long time and then suddenly he eclipsed himself and finished up in third place. Tony Hawks was in second place. He was four points behind our leader who was Ross Noble, and Ross, I think we will have a round of applause for your contribution! It only remains for me to say thank you to these four talented players of the game, Graham Norton, Ross Noble, Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. I thank Janet Staplehurst, for helping with the score, and blowing her whistle after the 60 seconds expired. We thank our producer, Claire Jones. And also we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. We are grateful to this lovely audience who have stood the test of time, come from all corner of London to cheer us on our way in the Drill Hall here. From our audience, from our panel, and from me Nicholas Parsons, hope you've enjoyed it but tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!