NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Oh 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. And also to welcome to the show four exciting guests who have played the game many times before. And it's always a pleasure to welcome back that engaging and delightful comedian, Graham Norton. The brilliant stand-up comedian who has filled theatres throughout the country including at the Edinburgh Festival, and that is Ross Noble. That charming and clever comedienne, Linda Smith. And also the clever and witty Clement Freud. Would you 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, who 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 the Warwick Arts Centre, which is on the campus of the University of Warwick. And we have a highly excited audience, who have assembled here from all corners of the West Midlands ready to cheer us on our way. And Graham your turn to begin, the subject, swashbuckling. Something which I associate you with, I'm sure.


NP: Will you swashbuckle a bit or talk about the subject starting now.

GN: Sometimes usually when I am a little drunk, I do get my sword out and wave it around! But I don't think we could really call it swashbuckling. I leave that to pirates. Oh they're fascinating men! Obviously they don't have pockets in their big trousers, otherwise why would they have hankies on their head?


NP: Ross why have you challenged?

ROSS NOBLE: I thought there was a little bit of a hesitation there, a little bit of a ahdwah.

NP: No no, I think he was stumbling for his words, but they were sufficiently coherent not to be interpreted as hesitation. So benefit of the doubt to you Graham and you keep another point and the subject and there are 41 seconds starting now.

GN: Swashbuckling, gosh, I know so much about it! I can't wait to get started! Up until now, it's really been a preamble. Pirates-cy...


NP: Ross.


NP: Yes!

GN: I'm a genius!

NP: You, what's, I know what...

RN: I was going to say pirates and then he went... nyeh nyeh wah.

NP: He did say pirates before.

RN: He did say pirates yes but then he...

GN: I said piracy.

NP: Oh I see, oh well the buzzer went too fast then, right. Ah cleverly done, this is what they do, have little tricks to trip each other up. So Graham you have another point, incorrect challenge and 32 seconds available, swashbuckling starting now.

GN: As I'm sure you're aware I'm talking on the subject of swashbuckling, and I couldn't be more excited! Oh the vision of ropes and the buckles being swashed, oh sweet Lord in heaven, what does it mean?


NP: Clement challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: I thought that was hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation.

GN: Yes.

NP: Yes so Clement you have the subject now, you get a point for a correct challenge. You have 19 seconds, tell us something about swashbuckling starting now.

CF: Swashbuckling is usually perpetrated by people who are younger than I am. Nevertheless there is a sort of seniority in the swashbuckling business. And I have friends aged 18, 27, 31 and 49 who have swashbuckled with the best of them...


NP: Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. Linda your turn to begin, the subject, chores. Tell us something about chores in this game starting now.

LINDA SMITH: Chores is a name we give to rather dreary and unpopular drugs... drugs?


NP: The look on...

LS: Not with my grandchildren!

NP: I think the look on your face got the laugh there Linda. But Graham, what was your challenge?

GN: I'm sensing deviation. Of a profound and worrying nature.

NP: Well that's another, that's another type of challenge. Yes but of course she repeated it. But 56 seconds, you tell us something about chores Graham starting now.

GN: Many years ago, and this is a little known fact, I can't wait for my autobiographicry to come out...


NP: Linda.

GN: Gosh that's a hard word.

NP: Yes.

LS: Just a touch of hesitation.

NP: Yeah we interpret that as hesitation. Linda you have the subject back, you have chores, you have 50 seconds starting now.

LS: Chores can involve things like washing the floor, unblocking drains and leading the Tory Party. All those sort of things you'd rather not do because they're rather boring...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Two rathers.

NP: There were two rathers, I'm afraid Linda.

LS: Yes there was.

GN: Yeah.

NP: So you have 30 seconds...

LS: I noticed that, I didn't like to say.

NP: Rather difficult when you were talking about other things too... 37 seconds are available for chores with you Clement starting now.

CF: Chores is the title of a Steven Spielberg film, pronounced by a Czechoslovakian. I have...


NP: Ross challenged.

CF: I said all I wanted to say!

NP: So Ross?

RN: He just stopped really!

NP: He just stopped yes. I think he felt he'd been such a... anyway carry on. You have a correct challenge Ross, you have 29 seconds, you tell us something about chores starting now.

RN: One thing I like to do is to go into pubs and say "have you done your chores?" And the barmaid goes "what chores?" And I say "I'll have a pint of lager please!" And in that way, I am able to get free drinks! Of course that's a stupid thing to do, as I don't actually drink. And I'm, laughter...


RN: Drink and drinks! Come on!

LS: Yes.

NP: Yes. You don't actually drink...

LS: I walked straight into your trap!

NP: Yes!

RN: Drink and drinks.

NP: I know, there we are, they're all doing it now, drink and drinks, plurals and singulars. So Ross, an incorrect challenge, 13 seconds, chores starting now.

RN: I have many chimneys in my house and they need cleaning on a regular basis. And I often get a small child to come round, and one of his chores is to go up that particular place for soot to gather and...


NP: Right so Ross Noble speaking as the whistle, gained that extra point. And for those interested in points, they're all, they're all three equal in second place behind Graham Norton who is in the lead. And Ross it's your turn to begin, the subject now is the best thing to do with an egg. There's tremendous scope there. Knowing your fertile mind I'm sure you'll go with it for 60 seconds starting now.

RN: The best thing to do with an egg is not let it sit on a wall. That's where problems arise. The trouble is you have to pay people to guard it, mainly King's men and horses as well. I mean obviously those blokes that are involved are useful, but the actual creatures themselves don't tend to lend themselves particularly well to...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Two themselves.

NP: Two themselves. So Linda you have a subject, you have 40 seconds, it's the best thing to do with an egg starting now.

LS: The best thing to do with an egg depends on what kind of egg it is. If it's a pterodactyl egg for example, the best thing to do is tend it, look after it, until that egg hatches and then you'll have a baby pterodactyl...


NP: Ah Clement challenged.

LS: I thought you might not notice pterodactyl twice! It seems a bit mean, a little word like that!

NP: Yeah I know! Well they all pressed their buzzers but Clement's came in first. And so you have the subject Clement, 25 seconds available, the best thing to do with an egg starting now.

CF: The best thing to do with an egg is to put it back whence it came. This is messy and painful and causes some alarm to the animal whence it emerged. But seriously what to do with an egg...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Not if it came from Tesco's! That would be quite a simple matter.

NP: I don't get your logic. If it came from Tesco's...?

LS: Well putting it back where it came from.

NP: No, he was talking about putting it back in the animal. If it came from Tesco's, it'd be rather difficult...

LS: Oh I wish I'd never mentioned it!

NP: I thought you were going to have him for something else but it's too late now. Right so Clement, it's an incorrect challenge and there are nine seconds, the best thing to do with an egg starting now.

CF: The best thing to do with an egg if you want to buy one is to go to Safeway, Tesco's, Sainsbury's...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Well this can't be the best thing to do with an egg.

CF: Yeah.

GN: No, because you just told us the best thing to do with an egg and that's shove it back in the thing!

NP: Yeah!

GN: So this is deviation. This is another good thing to do with an egg but it can't be the best!

LS: Graham we are, we are all a mass of contradictions.

GN: You've made me think tonight Linda, thanks!

NP: It's one of those difficult decisions Graham, but I see your logic. He has said, in Clement's mind, the best thing to do with an egg was to shove it back up the hen's whatsit. And now he's saying the best thing is to go... he didn't establish that. He said another thing to do with it. So he's now, he has deviated from what he originally said.

GN: Yeah!

NP: I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and I will try and arrest the balance some time in Clement's favour. But you have the benefit this time with four seconds to go, the best thing to do with an egg starting now.

GN: The best...


NP: And Clement challenged.

CF: Why don't I get the benefit of the doubt now?


NP: All you get Clement is a point, because the audience enjoyed your interruption. But as Graham was interrupted he gets another point and three seconds on the best thing to do with an egg starting now.

GN: The best thing to do with an egg is full of contradictions. People don't like to ...


NP: So Graham Norton was again speaking as the whistle went, and with that extra point has increased his lead. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is balty. Tell us something about balty in this game starting now.

CF: I wish this game was called Just A Second, because balty is Hindi for bucket.


NP: Ross you challenged.

RN: That was the most amazing pause I've ever heard, ever!

NP: Well he made his point, he waited for his reaction, he got it, and decided to retire on his laurels.

RN: He was like, he's like a Sultan giving forth information!

NP: Well he looks a bit like a Sultan on occasions. Anyway he's the doyen of the show, isn't he. And he's been with us since it started. And he's retired on his laurels there, he left it to you, you got in first, balty's the subject, 53 seconds starting now.

RN: Balty is best eaten with a nan. If she's not available then get another elderly relative. Of course don't mix them up. The last thing you want is to get an old lady and dip into her into that hot spicy dish. Oh licking off the food is terrible, especially from all the little wrinkles around her eyes where it's quite nice, because you can put popadoms in the top of her head like that. And it'll hold it, nice and securely. Unfortunately the rollers can dispense a little bit of fluid from the top of the head, which can put you off your meal. The waiters tend to get a little bit annoyed as well when you start dragging OAPs into the place, backing up the special bus, putting the hydraulic lift down. Rolling them through, can I have a corma for Mister Wilkinson? No, he doesn't like that particular dish, no, no, he very much enjoys something...


NP: So Ross you picked it up quite soon after it started and so you went for about 50 seconds on that which was pretty good, and the audience really enjoyed it, the round of applause showed it. And they were very generous because there was a "no, no", at the end...

RN: There was a no-no, yes!

NP: Right, but they didn't that. If they had got in then that would have been really, um, really unfair, wouldn't it. Because you would have had two seconds and they'd have got two points. Anyway I don't... that was utterly boring wasn't it, I'm so sorry! Ah...

RN: At least you're honest!

NP: I know! Well I think this audience will let you know when you're winning or losing won't they. So Graham...

GN: Yes?

NP: It's your turn to begin, the subject now is my daily constitutional. And you have as always 60 seconds starting now.

GN: My daily constitutional is a walk. But before I do it, I like to dress up as a pirate! Have I told you about my interest in those men? Yes I have big brown boots, almost to my waist. They're like a sort of leathery wader. And then obviously I check my pockets. I don't have any! Curses! The pocket, they, oh no...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition of pocket.

NP: Yes there was the pockets there.

GN: I think I said pockets and pocket.

CF: No!

GN: It made no sense but I...

NP: You actually did but you did actually say pockets. The buzzer came on the pocket, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to Clement on this occasion. No that's only fair!

GN: Who cares about fair?

NP: Clement, 40 seconds, tell us something about my daily constitutional starting now.

CF: We no longer have a daily. We used to. But we now have a Portugese woman who comes three days a week. Her name is Maria. And I'm not sure about her constitution but I think I would...


CF: No, I...

NP: Linda you challenged first.

LS: Yeah he really wasn't sure about her constitution, was he?

NP: No she wasn't, so he paused. And you got in first, 26 seconds, tell us something about my daily constitutional starting now.

LS: My daily constitutional would be a lot more pleasant if it wasn't for cyclists on the pavement. These people drive me mad. Nearly always grown men. I stand and scream after them, "why don't you get a tricycle with stabilisers on, you big wuss! You shouldn't be on this..."


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Can a tricycle have stabilisers?

NP: Very good point! No because a tricycle...

LS: It can, it can if your child is very very nervous.

RN: Or incredibly simple!

LS: Or very simple, or just perhaps he has over protective parents.

NP: No, Ross's logic is right, because the stabilisers if it's a two-wheeler are the extra wheels to keep it stable. So a three-wheeler tricycle is stable already.

LS: I think if we start bringing logic in at this state of the game, it's a slippery slope!

NP: It's a slippery slope, but I have to use some kind of logic sometimes when interpreting the challenges. So...

CF: Is this new?

NP: He sits back and waits for it all the time, doesn't he? I save these lines for you Clement so you can come back with those putdowns and you enjoy it and so do the audience which is part of the show. Ross it's your turn, and you have my daily constitutional, you have nine seconds starting now.

RN: My daily constitutional is always ruined by the sight of Graham Norton on a stabilised tricycle dressed as a pirate...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: You can't have stabilised tricycles! That's madness!

NP: So Graham you have another point and you have three seconds on my daily constitutional starting now.

GN: My daily constitutional is once around the deck, and then below where...


NP: So Graham Norton was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's got quite a strong lead, he's ahead of Clement Freud, Ross Noble and Linda Smith in that order. Only one point separates the other three. Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is two left feet, which is an expression we'd like you to talk about. Sixty seconds starting now.

CF: Two left feet is absolutely fine, provided you have two right feet as well. The embarrassment of two left feet is when you are right footed or right handed...


NP: Um Ross challenged.

RN: Repetition of right.

NP: Two rights yes.

CF: It's hyphenated! Right footed, right handed.

NP: We've had this hyphenated discussion over the last 35 years! And... and as we deal in the world of sound, I'm not allowing hyphens any more, well I haven't allowed it for years. Because if the word is er correct, if it's a joined-up word, all one word, then we allow it, but a hyphenated word, no. Two right, it's your Ross, it's your call, 48 seconds, two left feet starting now.

RN: Two Left Feet is the sequel to the film My Left Foot with Daniel Day-Lewis. It really isn't as good as the original, quite frankly. I was most disappointed when I went to the cinema. Rather than being a touching story about a young boy, quite frankly it was just...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Well I feel badly but it was frankly twice.

NP: Yes there were two franklys. Right Graham, 33 seconds, tell us something about two left feet starting now.

GN: Two left feet are fine except perhaps for the soldier who tends to march in circles. This doesn't go very well in battle, you know. But mind you, you need a nice corn circle perhaps or a...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: I don't really know why!

NP: You don't know why, darling?

LS: I think, was somebody else talking as well as Graham?

NP: No, no, even the audience were quiet too.

LS: Oh.

GN: No but I was sort of, I was just mumbling yes you could say that.

LS: Oh were you? Well that might have been it...

GN: Yes yes.

LS: Perhaps I thought it was more than one person.

GN: Yes could have been. Yes.

NP: No I think you're, you're on the other side of the stage from Graham. I think you've couldn't quite hear him. He was keeping going.

LS: Was he?

NP: He might have dropped his voice slightly as he does sometimes. He does go up and down you know, he modulates it rather dramatically...

LS: Yes.

NP: It's part of his technique for humour and drama. And ah...

LS: Sorry Graham, I tried but he's not buying it!

GN: No okay.

NP: But Graham actually, no, you did keep going so you have 21...

RN: You might, you might be hearing voices?

LS: No I don't think so, I have put tinfoil in my shoes! Usually does the trick!

NP: Twenty-one seconds for you Graham on two left feet starting now.

GN: Two left feet, oh it's a medical miracle! And a shopping disaster...


NP: Clement challenged. Yes?

CF: There was an um.

NP: There was a hesitation there yes, you, you did draw a longer breath than usual and um, yes you did.

GN: You see, I thought the last time I did hesitate but this time...

NP: No, this time you did hesitate. No, no, I have to explain to our listeners, they look at me to try and bluff me out of it. No Graham, your look, as engaging as it is, I give the benefit of the doubt to Clement, it was a hesitation. Fifteen seconds Clement, two left feet starting now.

CF: With two left feet, you have 10 left toes and a double handful of left... toenails. It is particularly important to remember that because two left feet is simply a wrong way...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained the extra point. He's still in second place behind Graham Norton our leader, but he's ahead of Ross Noble and Linda Smith in that order. And Graham, your turn to begin, the subject now, fiddling. Tell us something about...


NP: What's the matter? Why do they laugh? They must have strange lives! Fiddling is with you Graham, 60 seconds starting now.

GN: I have often been accused of fiddling. Sometimes in the middle of the night my mother would shout "Graham, if you fiddle any more, you'll knock the caravan over!" And I would say to her, "no, how many times must I tell you, it's not fiddling, it's playing the violin. You're making yourself sound common! Don't you want us to improve?" And so I would take my small case and skip to school, past the hedgerows containing beautiful wild flowers, look, there's a bird, hi! And then I would get to the gates of the educational establishment, and I would fiddle by the bus stop...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of would.


NP: Oh it's quite true, he did say would more than once.

GN: Yes, harsh but fair.

NP: You haven't won any friends with that challenge Clement but it...

CF: I'm not here to make friends!

NP: But you've won points and you've got another one now, fiddling is with you, 20 seconds starting now.

CF: Fiddling is a small violin, as with duck and goose, duckling, gosling, it is quite simple, a very minute instrument of music. We were very lucky once buying a house and in the attic we found a Toulouse Lautrec and a Stradivarius. The sad thing was...


CF: May I finish my story?

NP: Yes Clement, yes you'd like to finish that story, yes?

CF: The sad thing was that few people know what crap violins Toulouse Lautrec made!


CF: Sorry I mentioned it!

NP: Clement you were speaking again as the whistle went, so you have moved forward, you're creeping up on our winner Graham Norton and you're both...

CF: Not the winner!

GN: I might be!

NP: Our leader, so sorry yes, our leader in the show at the moment, Graham Norton. And you're both two points ahead of Ross Noble and Linda Smith in that order. We're moving actually into the last round. And Ross it's actually your turn to begin and the subject is fancyman. Tell us something about fancyman in this game starting now.

RN: Fancyman was the greatest of all superheroes! Oh yes, he was able to dance about the place. "Oh look at me", he would say as he ran about... all over the town if somebody was...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: A sort of hesitation there on the all over the.

NP: Yes all over, yes right. Right Graham a point to you, 49 seconds, fancyman starting now.

GN: Fancy man? No thanks, I just had one! Is something you can sometimes hear in restaurants where they serve a rare fish called man. Ah, the...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: There was an ah.

GN: Yes there was.

NP: There was, because after what he said... he thinks, he completely hesitated and naturally! Right, 38 seconds, fancyman with you Linda starting now.

LS: I think a fancyman is some kind of exotic pet like a fancy rat, that people keep and pet, groom and get them to the peak of...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I'm an idiot! But anyway she did repeat pet.

LS: Oh I might have done.

GN: Yes.

LS: Did I?

GN: Yes you petted, you pet...


GN: Oh! Audience, mob, there's a thin line across it! Oh er!

RN: There's people with pitchforks up the back there!

GN: Burn her! Ahhhh!

LS: I don't like the look of that one with just the one tooth!

RN: That's actually one of Graham's pirate friends!

NP: They're engaged, they're committed, and so are the players. Thirty seconds available for you Graham, fancyman starting now.

GN: Sometimes I think that I might be accused of being a fancyman because of the ridiculous clothes that I sometimes wear. I think...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Two sometimes.

NP: Yes sometimes yes.

GN: Was that right?

NP: Yes it was right!

GN: I trust you completely!

NP: You said at the beginning "I sometimes think"...

GN: Oh no no no!

NP: ... and then you said "I sometimes wear". Clement, 23 seconds, you tell us something about fancyman starting now.

CF: I can't really tell you a lot about fancymen because I have never done so.


NP: Graham you challenged first.

GN: Ah hesitation.

NP: Yes absolutely right. So Graham you've got in with six...

LS: Quite, quite reasonably so, I think.

GN: Yes.

NP: Yes, 16 seconds now on fancyman starting now.

GN: Following on from what Clement said, that means...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: I quite fancy Graham!


NP: And judging by the applause, a lot of people in the audience do as well! Clement, obviously it's not a serious challenge but the audience enjoyed your interruption. We shall give you a bonus point for that. But Graham was interrupted so he gets a point for that, he has 14 seconds, Graham fancyman starting now.

GN: Fancyman is some sort of man, I think, that a woman has on the side. A sort of green salad of sex...



NP: Oh I love that!

GN: Am I wrong?

NP: Yes! No, but the image you created was lovely. And when you put the dressing on as well, it's even... So what was your challenge Clement?

CF: It was a positional deviation.

NP: A positional one?

CF: The "on the side"!

NP: No, I think technically speaking, that's often what it's referred to. Colloquially speaking you can talk about having somebody on the side...

CF: Ah I wasn't objecting to the colloquialism. But to the position!


CF: A woman can have a fancyman on her back...

NP: Yes! You don't need to go into graphic detail! We know what you meant, and so did the audience, they understood...

LS: Is that some kind of drug problem? I've got a fancyman on my back!

NP: We're going down fast, I don't think we...

GN: I've got a monkey on mine!

NP: I think we should leave the five seconds that are still available with you Graham, because it was an incorrect challenge, fancyman starting now.

GN: We all know the old song, fancyman, fancyman, fancyman, fancyman, fancyman...



NP: No, just a minute, don't do that. Janet Staplehurst who sits next to me just said to me "I didn't blow the whistle". Everybody clapped because she put the whistle in her mouth, and they thought the whistle was going. And he'd gone on with "fancyman, fancyman", disobeying the rules and so forth. And Ross did actually challenge with half a second to go. So what was your challenge?

RN: We don't know the old song "fancyman, fancyman, fancyman"!

NP: All right! So Ross you bring this round to a close with half a second to go on fancyman starting now.

RN: All together now...


NP: So let me give you the final score which Janet is now going to pass to me because she's kept the numbers for me. And just to give you, well, they were all very close, they all scored points. They all did so well. Linda was just in fourth place, just behind Ross. And Clement was only in second place just three points behind our winner who is this week Graham Norton. A round of applause for Graham! Right a popular winner! Thank you very much, I do hope you've enjoyed the show. It only remains for me to say thank you to Graham Norton, Ross Noble, Linda Smith and Clement Freud. Also thank Janet Staplehurst, who has helped me keep the score, blown her whistle so delicately, particularly when I told her to do it. And also we thank our producer Chris Neill. And we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are very grateful to this lovely audience here at the Warwick Arts Centre. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, from the panel, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!