NOTE: Victor Spinetti's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: 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 throughout the world. Not only in this country, but those who listen on Radio Four, Radio Seven, the Internet, and of course on the World Service. And also it's a great pleasure as always to welcome four exciting, talented and intrepid performers of this game. It's a great pleasure to welcome back that outstanding comedian, that versatile artist and great stalwart in Just A Minute, that is Paul Merton. And sitting beside Paul, we have someone who has played the game more often than anyone else, and he always gives tremendous value in his own progressive and ubiquitous way, that is Clement Freud. And seated on my left, we have a comedian and a comedy actor who hasn't played the game for some time, but it is a great pleasure to welcome him back, that is Steve Frost. And beside him sits somebody who is at the moment quaking, he tells me because he has never played the game before. But we are delighted to have our first Welsh representative on the programme, and that is the lovely actor, comedian, solo performer, Victor Spinetti. 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 try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation . Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, who is going to help me with the stopwatch, and she is going to blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the lovely Grand Theatre in Swansea. And we have in front of us a great Welsh audience all excited as only the Welsh can be excited, dying for us to get started. So let us begin the show with Paul Merton, topical subject to begin with, mumbles. Paul tell us something about mumbles in Just A Minute starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Well Mumbles is a beautiful place just out...


NP: Steve's challenged.

STEVE FROST: I couldn't hear him, he was mumbling!

NP: Oh you're showing off your comic talent too early, Steve. Right! Steve, look, the audience enjoyed your interruption...

SF: Okay.

NP: So we give you a bonus point for that.

SF: Thank you.

NP: But Paul hadn't even got going so he keeps the subject, he gets a point for being interrupted and he continues with 58 seconds on Mumbles starting now.

PM: Swansea which is a beautiful place, but not perhaps...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: He said beautiful.

PM: Yeah.

NP: I know, that's what happens when you are interrupted sometimes. It is repetition so we give you that one, 54 seconds, you have a point there Clement, mumbles is with you starting now.

CF: (in indistinct mumbling voice) And the doctor said "if you go to this room and take that powder, there's no questioning the fact that we'll come along and look at you..."


NP: Steve has challenged.

SF: Repetition, he said (makes mumbling noise) twice!

VICTOR SPINETTI: I thought he was doing Marlon Brando!

NP: I will have to grant you that, because none of us could tell whether he was or wasn't. And so Steve we're going to hear from you on this subject with 44 seconds available, mumbles starting now.

SF: The first time I went to the Mumbles was in 1971 on a geography field trip. What a great place it was! Blow holes, stacks, wake-up platforms, yes, I passed my O level! The problem with... (starts to laugh)


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Hesitation sadly.

NP: It was a definite hesitation. That is Steve's technique, he goes with panache for about 10 seconds and then collapses, and it's...

SF: There's no need to get personal!

PM: Yes!

NP: But it's lovely Steve, that's why we have you.

PM: Yeah.

NP: Thirty-one seconds, mumbles is back with you Paul starting now.

PM: Marlon Brando recently passed away. When he appeared in the film...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He died!

PM: I'm sorry, did I indicate he would be making a special appearance tonight?

NP: Clement...

PM: Do we think it was a legitimate challenge?

NP: Not at all! Not at all! You have another point Paul, and you have 27 seconds, mumbles starting now.

PM: Guys And Dolls, his co-star Frank Sinatra, complained to the director that he couldn't hear what the previous actor was talking about, because he was mumbling away. And if we look at his Oscar winning performance in the 1971 film The Godfather...


NP: Steve challenged.

SF: Deviation, we can't look at it, it's radio. We can only hear it. He said if we look at his film...

NP: Oh Steve, come on, you're being pedantic...

SF: Oh it's all right if Clement does it!

NP: So no, an incorrect challenge, 15 seconds mumbles with you Paul, starting now.

PM: Francis Ford Coppola was the director, and there was an interesting little preview of how difficult the film tests were at the beginning. If you buy the DV-thing that you can rent...


VS: Hesitation!

NP: Steve?

SF: DV- thing?

NP: That's right, he didn't want to repeat the word D.

SF: Ah right.

NP: He's played the game quite a few times.

SF: Yeah.

NP: He's got quite a few tricks there yes.

SF: Can we accept DV-thing then?

NP: We'll accept that, because that's the only way you could play Just A Minute.

SF: That could mean Dead Vole thing.

NP: Yeah.

PM: I'm not saying it's not!

NP: We've never had more challenges in one round of Just A Minute than ever before! No, an incorrect challenge, I'm sorry Steve. Four seconds are still available for you Paul on mumbles starting now.

PM: This summer Catherine Zeta-Jones and her charming fresh-faced husband are going to Mumbles...


NP: So at the end of that, whoever is speaking in this game when the whistle goes, by the way, gets an extra point. With all the other points he got from all the many challenges in that round, Paul Merton has got a commanding lead. Two of them have yet to score and somebody's got, Steve's got two points.

VS: All I can think of is that like Jack Benny said, Rochester what am I doing here?

NP: Your time will come.

VS: Wow!

SF: I thought we were in Swansea.

VS: I'm in the... (starts to laugh)

NP: Victor...

VS: It's the front line here kids.

NP: That's all right, no, no, you've established that you're here.

VS: Yes.

NP: And they loved it.

VS: Yes.

NP: Right and Steve Frost will you take the next round.

SF: I will.

NP: And the subject is if I had a twin. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

SF: If I had a twin, it would look exactly like Mister Victor Spinetti, tall, handsome and very sexy. The problem with having a twin of course is that they have to wear the same clothes as you wear which is...


NP: Paul's challenged.

PM: No no, identical perhaps but not the same.

NP: Yes.

PM: You're not wearing the same clothes, are you!

SF: You don't...

NP: No, very subtle, but very correct challenge. So Paul, a point for that correct challenge, you take over the subject, if I had a twin, and there are 49 seconds available starting now.

PM: I do have a twin, and we had to wear the same pair of trousers from noon to midday. What a terrible time it was, he'd go one way, I'd go the other...


NP: Victor challenged.

VS: Noon to midday?

PM: Noon to midday.

VS: Exactly the same thing.

NP: Yes. I know so that is deviation...

PM: Can't it be 24 hours? Noon to midday.

NP: No you didn't establish it was 24 hours, you just said from noon to midday, and ...

PM: And you thought that meant...?

NP: From noon to midday, I thought, he slipped up. You wanted to say noon to midnight, you said midday by mistake, didn't you?

PM: No!

NP: But you did not establish it would be from noon to midday, the following day, but that would have been repetition of day. No...

PM: Oh I see, so when you hear noon to midday, you think, oh that's no time at all.

NP: The way you said, we knew what you were thinking. And Victor's got in with a good and clever challenge, and he deserves it, and he has his first point. And he has 42 seconds, if I had a twin, that's the subject Victor starting now.

VS: Well I think I might have had a twin actually. Because when I was born, Auntie Nell who was actually the, the...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Actually.

NP: Actually, there were two actuallys.

VS: Oh well there you are.

NP: There we are. So Clement actually you've got the subject and 37 seconds, if I had a twin, starting now.

CF: If I had a twin, I think my parents should have told me. It does seem deeply wrong that somewhere if I had a twin, there is someone who looks like me, who is roughly my age...


VS: Hesitation.

NP: Victor?

VS: Hesitation, roughly my age ooh! There was a hesitation there! Yeah!

SF: It's a convincing argument!

NP: Victor, it's lovely to hear from you, but actually it wasn't hesitation. I'm not going to inhibit you from trying please. Clement, four, 24 seconds still with you, if I had a twin starting now.

CF: If I had a twin, he would have been born on the 24th of April, nineteen hundred and a two and a four, because I couldn't repeat...


VS: Hesitation there.

NP: Yes yes. Victor I agree with you. He did hesitate as he tried to struggle after repeating those numbers. Right so the subject is back with you, there are only 15 seconds still to go, if I had a twin Victor starting now.

VS: Well she always said when I was born, that I was a twin, because the other one was there, she said, in the womb. I didn't realise that. And because, she said, my mother was so enormous there's got to be more than one kid in there...


NP: So Victor Spetti, Spinetti, Victor Spinetti was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and with others in the round he has leapt forward. He's now in second place behind Paul Merton, just ahead of Clement Freud and Steve Frost. And Victor it's your turn to begin.

VS: Okay.

NP: And the subject is Beatles. I'm sure you can tell us something about that in this game starting now.

VS: This year is the 40th anniversary of A Hard Day's Night, starring John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. They also went on to make Help. And they also went.... mmmmmmmm!

NP: Go on! Go on!


VS: I was warned not to do this show!

NP: Well I will give you a tip! Don't draw attention to your mistakes!

VS: I'm being honest!

NP: I know, but sometimes they can be sporting, you know, and maybe overlook some of the smaller words like that. But you've drawn attention to it, and Paul challenged first.

PM: Well just because he did...

NP: Yes right, so Paul...

VS: Sorry.

NP: You have, you have Beatles and you have 47 seconds starting now.

PM: Although I'm a big fan of the Beatles, my expert knowledge in no way matches Victor's. So I'd like him to have the subject back, if he'd... (pauses)

NP: Right, challenge!


VS: Hesitation!

NP: Victor you challenged, what was your challenge?

VS: Well he stopped! Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes I know, how very quick of you, I'm glad you picked it up so...

VS: Yes!

NP: ...rapidly there. So he got the subject back, 41 seconds, Beatles, starting now.

VS: They did another film for television called A Magical Mystery Tour. And as I was in all those films, I was stopped outside the hotel only today. And a man said to me "you were in all the movies with the Fab Four". I said "that's right". He said "that was a long time ago, are you still working?" And I said "yes but if I go on doing shows like this, my career will be ruined!" So absolutely finished, because you see, I was told when you come and do this show, it's like being thrown in through a pool of sharks. And I feel like that's exactly what's happened. And I'm blindfolded, my hands are tied, and I think this is the biggest nightmare I've ever had in show business, and all my...


NP: So Victor Spinetti kept going till the whistle went with a little help from his friends here...

VS: I couldn't believe it! Thank you very much!

NP: And speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and he's still in second place, but he's, he's way ahead, moving ahead of the other two, that's Steve Frost and Clement Freud, just behind Paul Merton. And Clement Freud will you take the next round, the subject is line dancing. Tell us something about that in this game... if you're thinking this isn't a natural subject for Clement Freud, I don't know why not. But Clement tell us something about it if you can starting now.

CF: If you dance with a lion, I think it is essential that you let him lead. Otherwise you'll have an awfully difficult time. Rumbas, Charlestons, quick steps, you name it. When the lion takes your arm, say "excuse me, I would like to do it the other way around". The old fashioned waltz is something that lions do incredibly well... Slow, quick...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: A bit too slow before slow.

NP: That's right.

PM: Hesitation sadly.

NP: So you have 34 seconds, you've got another point of course, line dancing is with you Paul starting now.

PM: Well Clement is quite right. Of all the big cats, the lion is most suited to the ballroom dance. Imagine the scene, Blackpool Tower Circus, the room is beautifully lit. Suddenly a spotlight hits the floor, a lion comes out, a magnificent...


NP: Victor you challenged.

VS: Deviation.

NP: What's that?

VS: Deviation.

NP: Deviation, yes, it's line dancing, it's not lion dancing.

VS: That's right, not lion dancing.

NP: Yes yes well listened, Victor.

PM: What, what's line dancing?

NP: Don't you know what line dancing...

PM: No, lion dancing, me and Clement are devotees!

NP: I know you are and...

PM: We sponsor a team!

CF: We quite often share the same lion!

NP: It must have a very small following, because I don't know anybody else who's ever done it. Anybody here ever seen any lion dancing?


PM: Yes look at the sea of hands!

NP: Right but anyway, it's a correct, the subject is line dancing, and Victor you spotted it very rapidly again! And you have another point and 22 seconds on the subject starting now.

VS: It's called line dancing, because they actually dance in formation. All of them together holding hands, and walking up and down the room in time to the music. Sometimes they have cowboy type music, with cowboy hats and guitars...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of music.

NP: There was a repetition of music.

VS: You're quite right!

NP: Yes he was. So Clement you've got line dancing and 10 seconds to go starting now.

CF: There's a man with a funny hat who tells you exactly what to do, with your left foot, your right, your arms, your shoulders, your rump, your thigh...


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now one behind Victor Spinetti, and he's a few ahead of Steve Frost, and er Victor is trailing Paul Merton by three points. And Paul it's your turn to begin and the subject is Cinderella. Tell us something about that lovely pantomime character in this game starting now.

PM: I was very lucky to play an ugly sister. Ronnie Corbett was my sibling...


NP: Steve challenged.

SF: He wasn't lucky, he was obvious! That's deviation.

NP: All; I can say is Steve, you got a good round of applause, but ah...

SF: Thanks very much.

NP: ... you haven't won any friends the other side of the room. So you get a bonus point because the audience enjoyed it. Paul was interrupted, he gets a point for that, he keeps the subject, 57 seconds, Cinderella starting now.

PM: It was about four years ago in the ITV pantomime. And unlike longer pantomimes that might be...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Mmmmm.

NP: Yes, pantomime and pantomimes.

CF: The S was rather...

PM: Late in the word! I agree!

CF: An afterthought!

PM: There's not many other ways of pronouncing it!

NP: Because he, because it was a long word...

PM: It's a sort of tradition, the S comes on the end! I don't know.

NP: Because it was a long word, you thought he'd repeated it. But he did add the S so it's plural and singular. Fifty-one seconds, Paul, still with you, Cinderella starting now.

PM: And it was a wonderful experience. I don't think I would like to do the three month variety. Swansea here has been the home of many a great show here at Christmas time in the Grand Theatre. But it does take a lot of, yes, a big cheer...


PM: A big, absolutely...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: It's got nothing to do with Cinderella.

NP: What?

CF: The big cheer.

NP: They were cheering for Cinderella.

PM: There's always a big cheer when Cinderella gets married! Always a big cheer.

NP: Yeah, and he said at Swansea they do it, a big cheer, a big cheer for the fact that Cinderella's been on here. No I thought it was er quite legitimate...

PM: I thought it was organic, didn't you, the way it's flowed? It was an organic flow, did you notice?

NP: (laughs) I don't think it was organic! I just thought it was completely within the rules of Just A Minute. So you have 38 seconds Paul to continue on Cinderella starting now.

PM: Well I seem to have been talking about this subject for a lifetime. And why not, because it's one of the greatest theatrical events of the season. When you grab the little kid by the hand, whether they want to or not, drag them into the nearest...


NP: Clement's challenged.

CF: Repetition of drag.

NP: Yes.

PM: I didn't say I dragged up as an ugly sister.

NP: He was dressed up in drag, but he didn’t use the word drag Clement.

PM: No.

NP: You look at me, as if you...

CF: He said drag twice, which is called repetition.


CF: Well boo to you!

NP: This, this...

PM: Is anybody, is anybody taping this? Because we could play it back...

NP: Oh yes he did! Oh no he didn't! But actually I don't think 800 people in this packed theatre could be wrong when they all said together no. So I would rather go with them than er... Twenty-eight seconds Paul, Cinderella starting now.

PM: I remember seeing one of them on the television, and what a fantastic production it was. But you can't get the full live experience unless you're there in the flesh, sitting in your favourite seat, row C perhaps, number 27. And there's Granny, sucking the hell out of a boiled sweet...


NP: Victor you challenged.

VS: Well hesitation.

NP: Yes indeed.

VS: Wasn't sure what...

NP: He did hesitate after he realised what he'd said actually.

VS: Exactly!

NP: Correct challenge, you're listening well, Cinderella's with you, 11 seconds only starting now.

VS: The first pantomime Joan Littlewood, this great director, ever did, was in er, in fact Cinderella...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well it was hesitation there.

VS: Yeah you're right. It was my teeth.

NP: I thought he kept going even though his dentures seemed to get a bit loose.

VS: They did yes.

NP: He kept going, he didn't actually hesitate. So no incorrect challenge, so you've got another point Victor. And you've got six seconds on Cinderella starting now.

VS: And I played for the first time an ugly sister. And it was with Brian Murphy who played the other ugly sister...


NP: Fortunately the whistle went before the other ugly sister came out.

VS: I know! Right!

NP: So you were speaking as the whistle went, you gained an extra point for doing so. And you are moving forward, with rapidity. You're still just a little way behind Paul Merton. But you're ahead of Clement Freud and Steve Frost. And Steve Frost, your turn to begin, the subject, brains. Tell us something about brains in this game starting now.

SF: Brains, and what a lovely pint of beer it is! Three point eight ADB, the dark brown colour, head frothy on the top as it slowly sinks down your throat, pleasing...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation, Steve's head's never been frothy on the top! He's been like that for 20 years, he's never had any froth on the top! Have you had any froth on the top? Nicholas you've known him for 20 years, has he had froth on the top?

NP: He did once!

PM: Did he?

NP: He wasn't born bald!

PM: He was!

SF: I was!

NP: I mean did you suffer from alupecia in your youth?

SF: I'm sorry, from what?

NP: Alupecia.

SF: Bless you!

NP: No hair at all. I'm assuming you, I'm assuming you didn't. And Paul, they enjoyed the challenge, the interruption. Steve you've still got the subject and a point, 48 seconds, brains starting now.

SF: The great thing about the drink known as brains is that you can have at least 20 in one night, and get absolutely jolly on it. And not go looking for trouble on the streets of Swansea. People greet you and say "he's been drinking Brains. He's all right." And that is absolutely true. The only problem with it, of course, is it makes you urinate a lot more than it would if you were imbibing another type of liquid refreshment, lager per se, perchance, perhaps, who knows? But playing darts whilst drinking Brains is the best thing...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of drinking.

NP: Yes.

SF: It's the only way to do it!

NP: And 15 seconds, you've got in on brains Clement, starting now.

CF: Brains with black butter is one of my absolute favourite restaurant dishes.


CF: The audience may well jeer or make noises, but there is no better main course on a warm summer's day...


NP: I hate to have to tell our listeners that one or two people in the audience are throwing up at this moment. Clement kept going with the subject, because he was keeping to the rules of Just A Minute. He's moved forward and an extra point for speaking as the whistle went, he's now equal with Victor Spinetti in second place, behind Paul Merton, and just ahead of Steve Frost. And Victor it's your turn to begin again. And the subject is my favourite Welsh celebrity. I'm sure you have many, but tell us about one of them anyway starting now.

VS: My favourite Welsh celebrity must of course be Richard Burton, the great Welsh actor. When you do an impersonation of Richard, you have to actually...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of Richard.

NP: Richard.

VS: Oh I thought you could use the name in the thing.

NP: No no...

VS: You could say the name Richard Burton.

NP: You can say anything in the subject...

VS: I've got it, sorry yes. Thank you yes. Good-bye!

SF: You'll be all right, you'll be all right once we start recording.

NP: Clement, correct challenge, 49 seconds, my favourite Welsh celebrity starting now.

CF: One is sort of seduced into saying JPR Williams, Cliff Morgan, Clem Thomas. But my favourite Welsh celebrity is Owen Glendyr, friend of Henry the Fourth Part Two. And famous for saying "I can call spirits from the vaste deep", to which Harry Hotspur replied "and so can I, and so everyone, but will they come..."


NP: Steve challenged.

SF: That's a lot of so-sos going on.

NP: There was, and so can I...

SF: The speech was a bit so-so as well.

NP: You did say so twice. And in Just A Minute...

CF: As did Shakespeare!

NP: Yes. And that is repetition in Just A Minute...

CF: A good precedent!

NP: And so Steve had a correct challenge...

PM: Well Shakespeare wouldn't have been any good at this! To be or not to be?

SF: Yes! And Henry The First, Henry The Second, Henry...

NP: Steve you have my favourite Welsh celebrity, 22 seconds available starting now.

SF: My favourite Welsh celebrity was Ivor the Engine, that little train that would go up the hill and back down again, puffing away like the marvellous piece of machinery he was, although of course it was only a drawing...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of of course.

NP: Yes.

SF: I didn't say horse.

NP: Of course, you did say of course when you started.

SF: Of course.

NP: So Clement you've got back in on my favourite Welsh celebrity, three seconds available starting now.

CF: I just wanted to confirm that Anne Robinson is not...


NP: And so Clement again speaking as the whistle went with other points in the round has moved forward. He's now only one point behind our leader Paul Merton. And he's two or three points ahead of Victor Spinetti, and then Steve Frost. And I give you that situation because we're moving into the final round. And Paul it's your turn to begin, the subject is what gives me a sleepless night. You have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PM: The last time I appeared on Just A Minute was in Cheltenham. And I had a very sleepless night that particular evening, because after the recording I went to the hotel and what a wonderful time we had! Sitting around the table listening to Tony Hawks's policy on how you could advance lawn tennis in this country. And that went on till five o'clock in the morning, drinking lots of red wine, and it was fantastic. The next day I had a writer's meeting, appointment and timed for about ten-thirty I think, and I turned up at four o'clock. But I did tell them I didn't...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition unless you think four-thirty is not a four. I call that repetition.

NP: It is repetition.

CF: Oh!

NP: Thirty-three seconds, what gives me a sleepless night Clement starting now.

CF: I suppose I am a sleepless knight. Before I received a title in 1987, I used to be just somebody who couldn't sleep. I had insomnia. But now everybody...


NP: Victor challenged.

VS: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I agree with you, it was hesitation.

VS: But now!

NP: Yes hesitation Victor, well listened. You have 21 seconds, tell us something on the subject of what gives me a sleepless night Victor starting now.

VS: This show gave me a sleepless night last night. And I was worrying about...


NP: Steve challenged.

SF: I'm sorry, I was going repetition of night. But that's the word on the... card.

NP: Yes you can repeat the words on the card.

SF: Yeah I do apologise.

NP: In the context or out of it.

SF: Yeah sure, I apologise Victor.

NP: Another point to you Victor, and you have 16 seconds, what gives me a sleepless night starting now.

VS: I was like an owl staring at the ceiling, waiting for the moment when I had to wake up and think "oh my God, I'm doing Just A Minute, I cannot believe this because it is a nightmare". I was told this, I was warned...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: He talked about doing Just A Minute earlier on.

NP: Mmmm, that's right.

VS: Okay.

NP: That's right.

VS: I give up!

NP: No, don't give up, you're doing very well. You're in third place, a very strong third place. Clement a correct challenge, five seconds, what gives me a sleepless night starting now.

CF: What gives me a sleepless night is an inability to close my eyes and...


NP: And an awful lot of points have been scored in this show. In fourth place was Steve Frost with quite a lot of points. But he finished just behind our first time player of the game, Victor Spinetti who in spite of all his anxieties did extraordinarily well. He was a few points behind Paul Merton who frequently triumphs in this game. But just ahead of him was Clement Freud so we say Clement you are the victor this week, a round of applause for you! It only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, that is Paul Merton, Victor Spinetti, Steve Frost and Clement Freud. I also thank Janet Staplehurst, who has helped me with the score, and blown her whistle with such aplomb when the 60 seconds were up. We thank our producer-director, Claire Jones. And we also are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are deeply indebted to this lovely audience here in the Grand Theatre in Swansea who have enjoyed the show but cheered us magnificently and given us a show to remember. We hope you have had one as well, and tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Until then from all of us good-bye!