NOTE: Jan Ravens's first appearance.


ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Jan Ravens in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much. Hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And this week we have three of our regulars as you've just heard. And we welcome for the first time as a guest, a lovely actress and writer, Jan Ravens. Jan has courageously volunteered to take that fourth seat against these three intrepid exponents of Just A Minute, and try and compete with them, as they all try and speak at different times, we hope, on the subject that I give them, and try and do it as usual without hesitation, repetition, or deviating from the subject. And Derek Nimmo, let's begin with you. And the subject is getting at an itch...

DEREK NIMMO: Oh hang on!

NP: ... in the middle of my back.

DN: At?

NP: You have 60 seconds as usual, will you tell us something about that subject starting now.

DN: Well, getting an itch in the middle of one's back is really quite horrid, and you immediately need to get at it. And to this end...


NP: Ah Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Ah hesitation.

NP: No, I don't think so!

PJ: Oh all right.

NP: You're very keen Peter, but um, no I don't think so on that occasion. So Derek you keep the subject, there are ah, 53 seconds left, getting at an itch in the middle of my back starting now.

DN: If you remember I was talking about getting at an itch in the middle of my back. And to this, I bought a beautiful back scratcher. I bought it in Queen's Road in Central actually...


NP: Ah Jan Ravens has challenged.

JAN RAVENS: Repetition of bought.

NP: Yes.

DN: Absolutely right! Absolutely right! Jolly good!

NP: Well listened Jan. So...

PJ: I would have challenged, but I thought he'd probably got to say it about five times before I'd have it allowed!

NP: Well as with our other lovely lady guest of a number of weeks back, Liza Goddard, she got in on the first round, and so has Jan Ravens. Jan, the subject is getting at an itch in the middle of my back. Of course you get a point for that correct challenge and you have 46 seconds left starting now.

JR: I'm very good at getting at an itch in the middle of my back, because I'm very supple. And I remain fit because I go to lots of exercise classes including yoga. And so I find it very easy to get my arm right over there like that, and the other up there, and they meet in the middle, and I can scratch the itch in the middle of my back. Now this doesn't work very well if you're wearing tight clothing, because of course you're much more restricted and the arms can't meet...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Arms.

NP: She said arms then, it was arm before.

DN: Oh sorry, right.

NP: And for the people who can't, haven't got visual radio, Jan actually demonstrated while she did, by putting one arm over the back and the other one up behind, and they actually touched and the audience were actually agog.

JR: Yes I told you, I am very supple.

NP: Very supple yes, you were absolutely agog, weren't you? Oh they weren't agog then, they've gone to sleep! Ah Jan I disagree with the challenge, so you keep the subject, there are 15 seconds left starting now.

JR: Getting at an itch...


NP: Derek Nimmo...

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Rotten sport!

JR: Oh on my first time!

NP: I know! It's rotten, isn't it! I'm not going to agree with it Jan.

JR: Oh!

NP: Fourteen seconds on getting at an itch in the middle of my back starting now.

JR: Getting at an itch in the middle of my back is always very embarrassing when I'm in a public place. Because people stare at you as if you're some kind of animal from the jungle. Because the movement...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: Deviation, she's just said, just demonstrated how she does it. And she wasn't in the least bit embarrassed. And neither does she mind at all showing all these people here, now she's saying that when she does it in public she's embarrassed! Well what's more public than doing it here? The whole thing's devious!

JR: Oh considering some of the fictions I've heard from him!

NP: I know!

JR: I think that's a bit strong!

KW: Absolute deviation!

JR: No, I think that's a bit strong!

NP: It was a bit strong, but it was a very subtle challenge, and it was, I mean, having established that you were not embarrassed, and now um, so I think...

JR: I wasn't told I had to tell the truth!

PJ: No that was...

NP: But you denied what you said before, that was his challenge. So you were deviating from what you said.

JR: All right. All right.

NP: So Kenneth you have four seconds, getting at an itch in the middle of my back starting now.

KW: Yes well, of course you shouldn't have women on a programme like this, because you see it's essentially...


NP: When Ian Messiter blows his whistle, it tells us that 60 seconds is up...

JR: I'd like to challenge him on blatant sexism!

KW: Yes that's true you know, she's right!

NP: Well even if it was blatant sexism, he still wasn't deviating from the subject, you see. That's the difficulty of Just A Minute. So Kenneth got that point for speaking as the whistle went, he's in second place. But our first time player of the game, Jan Ravens, has a commanding lead at the end of the first round. So...


NP: I see you brought your fan club, they're all in the front. Yes! Peter Jones will you begin the next round, the subject is marbles. There are 60 seconds for the subject starting now.

PJ: Marbles, well, they're things that quite a lot of people don't have all of...


NP: And Jan Ravens has challenged.

JR: I think that was a hesitation.

NP: No, no, no, no, I mean that was a very sharp challenge, I mean...

PJ: That was a sharp challenge!

KW: Yes! They shouldn't have women on this show! They're always doing that, aren't they! They make these challenges, the poor man had hardly a chance to get under way, did he!

NP: No but he didn't actually, I don't think also...

JR: (in tears) He's refused me anyway! There's no need to get at me even further!

KW: That's all right darling!

NP: No, tears don't come over awfully well on radio, I'm sorry Jan! You're doing terribly well, I wouldn't worry. I'm always on the... Peter you have a point and you have 56 seconds to continue on marbles starting now.

PJ: They can be made of glass or porcelain or china. And it's a game that you play by putting one or two on the ground. I don't know exactly what the rules are, but I know you toss one or two at the other three, or roll them possibly, I don't know! It's a most boring subject I think...


NP: Jan Ravens has challenged.

JR: Repetition of know.

NP: Yes, "I don't know", he said, repetition of the whole phrase. Well done Jan! You have the subject...

PJ: What kind of challenge was that, Nicholas?

NP: A very good one.

PJ: Good, yes.

NP: Yes.

PJ: I, I'm, I'm keeping track of your description of the various challenges. The first one was a subtle challenge from Kenneth...

NP: Yes that's right.

PJ: And then it was a sharp challenge...

NP: That's right yes.

PJ: And then it was a good challenge.

NP: It was a good challenge yes.

PJ: And that's the kind of challenge that I'm out to make!

NP: Yes!

PJ: Later on, I want to make some really good ones!

NP: But you, the only problem is Peter...

PJ: We don't want any mean or too subtle challenges...

NP: No, there's mean challenges as well yes.

PJ: Yes.

NP: But I'm afraid you could never do one like that because you're not as beautiful as Jan.

JR: I don't know!

PJ: Well I don't know, you said that about, when Liza Goddard was here. You made some reference to my appearance. It seems very unkind!

JR: I think you're lovely, Peter!

PJ: Thank you very much!

NP: Yes actually it was someone...

KW: Well after all this rubbish, let's get on with it! Come on! Give someone the subject!

PJ: I don't know why you always object to other people's rubbish!

NP: That's a good point to go back to Just A Minute! Jan you have...

JR: What are we talking about?

NP: I'll tell you, it's marbles is the subject, and there are 37 seconds for you to take the subject starting now.

JR: Many people say to me where did the phrase originate, somebody's lost their marbles? Now if they had been in the school playground where I was brought up in Liverpool, they would soon know. Because when we played marbles, it was always very important who won. Now there were various kinds of marbles, of which the most powerful were always the steelies. Which were in fact huge ball bearings, and they could knock spots of any other marble which were...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, they wouldn't have knocked spots, they'd have smashed them!

JR: It's an idiom!

NP: Yes I agree, they would have smashed them. But she was using the phrase literally, knocking spots off something. And in that sense, I think she was not deviating. So Jan, you keep the subject with nine and a half seconds on marbles starting now.

JR: My favourite kind...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No! Jan you have eight and a half seconds...

PJ: That was a premature challenge, I thought!

NP: Yes! It was also slightly mean and very sharp.

PJ: Oh it was mean, sharp and premature. Yes right!

NP: And Jan has the subject still of marbles, and more points and eight and a half seconds starting now.

JR: The best sort of marbles in my opinion were called blood ollies...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged again.

DN: Repetition of sort.

NP: Mmmm?

DN: Best sort of marbles.

NP: Yes you talked about sorts of marbles before.

JR: I did, you're right, I accept that.

NP: There are four and a half seconds for you on marbles Derek starting now.

DN: The Seventh Earl of Elgin brought back from Greece the marbles that were named after him, and it's so brilliant he did...


NP: Well Derek Nimmo got points in that round, including one for speaking as the whistle went at the end. But in spite that he's only in second place, because Jan Ravens, our first-time guest has got a strong lead. Kenneth your turn to begin, the subject is Pluto. Will you tell us something about that...

KW: Yes.

NP: ... in the game starting now.

KW: It was given the title, Pluto, when they built that pipeline under the ocean, which was instrumental, incidentally, in our victory in the war. But in Greek mythology, Pluto is the King of the Underworld. In Greek, it's Hades...


NP: Jan Ravens.

JR: Did you repeat Greek?

NP: No, he hasn't said Greek yet.

DN: I talked about Greece when I was talking about the Earl of Elgin.

JR: Oh I'm all of a doodah, you see, now, aren't I!

NP: Yes.

JR: Got carried away because I'm winning.

NP: Yes I know, it's lovely! But it's lovely to see you in a doodah! I would love to see more of your doodahs!


NP: I didn't mean that! I meant the state that she was describing! Oh dear! What happens on a spontaneous show when you can't cover it up afterwards! You have 38 seconds on Pluto, Kenneth starting now.

KW: Pluto was married to Pisephanie. She's sometimes called Prosipina, and is legendary in underworld parlance for...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: We've been down twice, two underworlds.

NP: Yes you talked about the underworld when you mentioned...

KW: Well he's the King of the Underworld, Pluto!

NP: I know, but you mentioned the word before...

KW: How do you say it, underground?

NP: You find another way...

DN: Hades!

NP: ... as you frequently do...

KW: That's his name, you fool! Hades is his name! Ha-des! It means without sight. Therefore the mystery.

NP: Anyway you repeated the word underworld...

KW: It's not meant to be used for a place. It's just ignorant people who use it for a place. Hades is the God.

NP: Kenneth you know you can't repeat a word in Just A Minute. That's the, the stress of the game, and there are 25 seconds for Pluto with you Derek starting now.

DN: Well not knowing that he was the brother of Jupiter and Neptune, what I do know about Pluto is of course that wonderful comedy character invented by Walt Disney. To go to Anaheim in California, there you will see Pluto with his loveable big nose and floppy ears wandering around...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of loveable.

KW: Oh yes, you done that twice!

NP: Well listened!

KW: You said loveable! Yes!

NP: Loveable...

KW: Isn't he good! Oh that's good, that's a brilliant challenge, that is!

PJ: Brilliant challenge!

NP: So Peter you have a point for a correct challenge and the subject is Pluto and there is seven seconds left starting now.

PJ: Pluto is the planet which is furtherest away from the Earth, in the solar system, going round and...


NP: So we had many aspects of Pluto discussed there and talked about in the game. Peter got the extra point for speaking as the whistle went. He's in third place, Kenneth is one behind him, Derek is one ahead of him, and Jan Ravens is still in the lead. And she also begins the next round. The subject Jan is neighbours. Tell us something about those in the game starting now.

JR: The good kind of neighbours are those you can always rely on to borrow a cup of sugar from in a crisis. When you've run out and you want some, you can always go round to your neighbours and get a... container with some sweet stuff...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: I would agree with that hesitation yes Peter. And there are 46 seconds on neighbours starting now.

PJ: I think that's a very old fashioned idea of a neighbour, getting cups of sugar from them. Because most people don't drink, eat it anyway. They have sweetex or something. And very... remarkably small number of people...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

PJ: What was that, what was that Derek?

NP: Derek challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, I agree yes.

PJ: What kind of challenge was it?

NP: It was an ordinary challenge.

PJ: Ordinary!

DN: Ordinary!

PJ: Brilliant! Mine was brilliant!

DN: (laughs) I'm rather sorry I made it, really!

PJ: Yes, hardly worth it really!

NP: It was about an average one as well. And it's also a correct challenge and there's also 35 seconds left on neighbours starting now.

DN: As our Lord said, love thy neighbour as thyself. Now if we all did this, what a much happier world it would be! (laughs) And having made...

NP: Peter Jones...

DN: ... who wants enemies when he clasps me on the shoulder and tries desperately to put you off and also scratches your back at the same time? He's just wanting to try that handy thing. And you can't be challenged...


NP: Jan Ravens has challenged.

JR: Hesitation, but I do feel a bit mean because Peter...

NP: Yes you're absolutely mean, but it was a correct hesitation, I mean a correct challenge.

DN: Hesitation?

NP: Yes I agree. I must explain to our listeners...

DN: I flinched when he moved from my shoulder and went lower!

NP: Peter Jones sits beside...

PJ: I was being neighbourly, that's all!

NP: Peter Jones sits beside Derek Nimmo, and he was patting him on the back in good neighbourly fashion then!

PJ: Not from choice, of course! I'm not sitting here from choice!

NP: No but he did...

PJ: They're trying to break Kenneth and me up!

NP: But the process did mean that he hesitated. Jan got in with a correct challenge, she takes the subject of neighbours, 10 seconds starting now.

JR: My unfavourite kind of neighbours are those that are very nosey and won't leave you alone. And also, speaking on behalf of the younger generation, the people that won't let you...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, she's knocking on a bit!


KW: Oh it's marvellous!! Oh innit marvellous!

DN: Please don't call that the younger generation!

KW: No! Of course not! Look at her!

DN: We can see she's a middle-aged boot!

KW: Look at her! You can see! You can see! You can see she's no longer young! That much is obvious, even to me, and my eyesight's going!

JR: I'm speechless with rage!

KW: Well it's an insult you'll just have to swallow!

JR: Just you wait!

KW: We are waiting at the moment on this bloomin' chairman! Look at him! Just sitting there dithering! What's supposed to be happening?

NP: If you put up with those insults, you do win a lot of points you see Jan, and you're going to increase your lead as a result. And the reaction of the audience was obvious, that they disagreed entirely! They could see how devious and incorrect and insulting the challenge was! And you have half a second, half a second, that's all, to take on the subject of neighbours starting now.

JR: Neighbours are...


NP: So Jan Ravens gained points for the insults, and for speaking or not speaking as the whistle went, but has increased her lead. She's actually four points ahead of Derek Nimmo who's in second place, and he also begins the next round. The subject, Derek, what I want for my birthday. There are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

DN: Yes well, what I want for my birthday is really rather special. And all those listening, I'd like you to take a pencil and paper, and write down the date. It's the 19th of September, that's what you have to remember, and if you send it to me, care of the British Broadcasting Corporation, in Portland Place, I will be very pleased to receive it. Now I am not suggesting on this occasion that I want Mrs Nicholas Parsons, because she wouldn't travel very well through the post. And what I would like are a collection of marbles, particularly those played with in Liverpool Playgrounds, where I too spent my youth, much at the same time as that old boot, Miss Ravens! And I found there that if she played with these ollies as they were often called...


NP: Ah you have been challenged Derek. And actually the person who challenged first was Peter Jones.

PJ: Yes well you couldn't send these huge steel balls through the post. The postage would be prohibitive, they probably wouldn't accept them. In any case, I object to this er gratuitous insult...

NP: So what is your challenge?

KW: He don't know! He don't know! He doesn't have on! Look at him! He's just rambling on!

NP: You didn't have a challenge of deviation then?

PJ: No, I'm just objecting.

NP: Objecting?

JR: Me too!

PJ: Is it overruled?

KW: Objection overruled!

NP: So unfortunately if you'd got in first, I would have agreed with your challenge Jan, but ...

JR: I was! I was buzzing away like billy-oh!

NP: I know but he got in a split second before with a ridiculous challenge...

PJ: A ridiculous challenge! (laughs)

DN: (as if writing it down) Ri-dic-u-lous challenge!

NP: And you can write that one down, Peter Jones! Ridiculous!

PJ: Ridiculous challenge!

NP: If you can spell it! And er Derek continues, alas with 16 seconds on what I want for my birthday starting now.

DN: There are various other things that I want for my birthday, and these I would like delivered specially to my door. Particularly I would like some early Dewsbury Derby porcelain from about 1760 to 65. It is a particularly good period...


NP: Jan Ravens has challenged.

JR: He said particularly about three times now.

KW: No he didn't! No, only once!

DN: Only one in this one, only when I was talking about the Elgin marbles.

JR: He said it before earlier on.

KW: Oh earlier on doesn't count!

JR: It does!

NP: No what I would particularly like and he said particularly then again. Yes well done Jan, there are three seconds on what I want for my birthday starting now.

JR: What I would particularly...


KW: Hesitation!

DN: Hesitation!

KW: Hesitation!

NP: I know but Derek pressed his buzzer and you spoke, so it doesn't count...

PJ: Double challenge!

NP: So she keeps the subject. Jan you weren't ready, you haven't played the game before, so we go back to that challenge again, three seconds are left, what I want for my birthday starting now.

JR: What I would like for my birthday are all the single earrings from the pairs that I have lost...


NP: So with the insults which are helping Jan tremendously, she got in again before the whistle went, gained an extra point for speaking as the whistle went, increased her lead at the end of that round. And Kenneth begins the next round, the subject is my favourite type of restaurant. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: My favourite type of restaurant is actually run by those hospitable people, the Italians. And I know this girl called Glorifonti who was a receivist for, she took upon herself that new appellation, by marrying a beautiful young man called Romano. And the dishes they prepare are out of this world! I had these kidneys, they were devilled they said. Well, the piquancy was (in French accent) indescribable. Ah, I have become suddenly the French because as you know, the French restaurants...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two French.

KW: Oh very sharp! That's sharp!

NP: Yes and very French. So Derek got a point, the subject, and there are 13 seconds on my favourite type of restaurant starting now.

DN: My favourite type of restaurant is a Chinese one, and I went recently in Hong Kong to a most unusual one. And there...


NP: Jan Ravens.

JR: Repetition of one.

NP: Yes there were two ones. And so Jan got in...

JR: Oh the old boot isn't looking so old now, is she!

NP: She put the boot in there and she has five seconds on my favourite type of restaurant starting now.

JR: My favourite type of restaurant is one where you are greeted by a friendly matire d'hotel...


NP: So Jan Ravens was once again speaking as the whistle went, and she has slightly increased her lead at the end of the round by one point, three ahead of Derek Nimmo, and quite a few ahead of Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams. Jan it's your turn to begin and the subject is the zodiac sign of Taurus.

JR: Taurus, the zodiac bull, happens to be my very own star sign. And I do think that it is one of the most wonderful things to be born under. Because you possess many very great...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of under.

NP: Yes, so Peter you have the subject, there are 46 seconds on...

PJ: I don't really want it, actually!

NP: Taurus, the zodiac sign...

PJ: Yes.

NP: ... yes, starting now.

PJ: Well I believe that it's the sign of the bull. But I'm not terribly conversant with the meaning or the implication of ah...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation really.

NP: You weren't even interested in the subject, were you?

PJ: No, I wasn't no. Why are we getting so many of these? We had Pluto the other er day...

NP: We had Pluto in this show.

PJ: We did, yes!

NP: When you nodded off, and you came back, and you talked about Pluto.

PJ: Oh yes, that's right yes yes.

NP: The planet in our solar system the furtherest away from the sun, I mean planet from the earth.

PJ: Yes yes.

NP: And there are 36 seconds on Taurus the zodiac sign with Derek Nimmo starting now.

DN: I was very interested to hear that Jan Ravens is a Taurean. Because people born under that sign are warm, loving, compassionate, loveable. Hitler was a Taurus! And therefore they all seem to bring out quite the nicest sorts of things about people. And then I wandered through the world, looking for people who are born under the sign of Taurus, I do find that they are quite different to other people! Gifted in many ways like playing marbles, and scratching their back, and you can always spot them in a public place. One looks over there and sees a young lady and thinks that is someone who...


NP: Well Derek Nimmo got extra points, I'm also very flattered, because normally he saves those sort of remarks for me, and he's put me in the same company with you, Jan. Derek crept up on, he's that kind of fellow, and he's only one behind Jan Ravens who is still our leader. And Derek begins the next round, getting the winkle out is the subject that Ian Messiter thought of. Derek can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

DN: Getting the winkle out. Well I'm very sorry that I have neglected Nicholas Parsons because I would like to get his winkle out and if I did, I don't quite know what I would do. Because he's very keen on eating this particular kind of small sea water snail. And when I see him with a winkle in his hand, I then get a pin, and help him to remove, take the winkle out. For this purpose, I usually have a stock, one, this little one here, with a little diamond, or quite a few of them, come to think of it. And a pearl, and I place it into the winkle, and gently prise it out, and pop it into the aforementioned chairman's mouth. And he sucks it down in a quite disgusting way as he tends to do. But getting the winkle out...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation, I don't believe he has ever done this sort of thing for you!

NP: Absolutely right! My goodness me, how devious can you get? So Kenneth I agree with the challenge, and there are 16 seconds for you on getting the winkle out starting now.

KW: You get your winkle out, if you have any sense at all, with a great deal of alacrity. Because you need a lot of them on a slice of bread, if you're going to make what I call a delicious winkle sandwich. Now there are some...


NP: Well we not only have finished the round in style once again, with Kenneth Williams gaining the extra point for speaking as the whistle went, but we have finished this particular show. Let me give you the final scores. Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams finished equal together in third place, about six points behind Derek Nimmo. Who did very well but he did not manage to beat our first time player of the game, and she's done magnificently to win, on her first time out, Jan Ravens! So we hope you've enjoyed listening to the show. We'll be back again with Just A Minute in about a week's time, till then from all of us here, good-bye!


ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by Pete Atkin.