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 huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners, not only in the British Isles but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show this week four exciting, talented and skilful players of the game. On my right, seated there, is one of Britain's most popular and most original comedians, that is Paul Merton, always lovely to have him here. And seated beside Paul is someone who has achieved so much in many areas of our national life, and not least in Just A Minute, that is Clement Freud. And seated on my left we have another very loveable and popular comedian who has also got a reputation for being one of our most outrageous comedians, and that is Julian Clary. And seated beside him we have a lovely actress, comedian, presenter, and she's all rolled into one but she's lovely and that is Liza Tarbuck. Will you please welcome all four of them! And as usual I'm going to ask them to speak on a subject that I give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Beside me sits Claire Bartlett, she's going to help me run the stopwatch for me, she'll blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Drill Hall near the West End of London. And we have an exciting audience who have drifted in from the rain outside. Let's start the show with Paul Merton. Paul the subject here, what my body language is telling you. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PAUL MERTON: What my body language is telling you is that I am desperately in love with Clement Freud. I sit next to him whenever we record Just A Minute, just to see his eyes...


NP: Clement challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of just.

NP: Just. Just A Minute.


NP: Those are the rules, audience! Repetition of a word, and he did repeat it.

PM: I did.

NP: And Clement you've got in with a correct challenge, a point to you. There are 51 seconds still available, what my body language is telling you starting now.

CF: What my body language...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Can I just say I've just gone right off Clement?


NP: What I often do in this show, I give bonus points for people who give us delightful comments. And that was one. Well deserved Paul, a bonus point for you. But Clement was interrupted, so he gets a point for that, he keeps the subject, 50 seconds available, what my body language is telling you starting now.

CF: What my body language is telling you is that my affection for Paul Merton is not diminished in any way at all. Also what my body language is telling you is that I would like a tar-tar-tere which is an upside down apple cake...


NP: Julian Clary challenged.

JULIAN CLARY: Didn't he repeat tar-tar?

NP: Yes but that isn't one word.

JC: Oh well it's foreign, I didn't know...

NP: It was a French word, tart, with the French pronunciation. Tart.

JC: Now you're talking my language!

NP: Clement Freud, you have an incorrect challenge, 35 seconds still, what my body language is telling you starting now.

CF: With Cornish clotted cream, and Austrian tropen-bearen-ausch-lader. Which is an excellent drink to have with almost any dessert, but quite especially the sort of confection which I’ve described earlier, which obviously...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Haven't we drifted a long way from body language?

NP: That's right yes. No no, I...

CF: Could you not read my body language?

NP: Your body language couldn't tell you a complete menu, I don't think Clement.

CF: I've failed!

NP: Paul, benefit of the doubt, you have the subject, 20 seconds, what my body language is telling you starting now.

PM: There are people who pretend to be experts in the world of body language. For example, I'm standing here now, in fact I'm rather sitting down...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Yeah deviation.

NP: He's not standing, he's sitting yes.

CF: That's right.

PM: But then I corrected myself in time.

CF: No, not in time.

NP: So the benefit of the doubt to you though some could say he corrected himself. But Paul got the benefit, you've got the benefit this time Clement. You have the subject back, 14 seconds, what my body language is telling you starting now.

CF: My body language is telling me that I have the benefit of the doubt, as a consequence of which I am going on talking about what my body language is telling you...


NP: Ah Paul challenged.

PM: Slight hesitation there.

NP: There was a slight hesitation Paul.

PM: Yes.

NP: So you got it back, five seconds on what my body language is telling you starting now.

PM: My body language is telling you, each and everyone in this room...


NP: Liza challenged.

LIZA TARBUCK: There was a sort of search for words there, wasn't there? Constituting hesitation?

NP: Well yes I think he saw the whistle go up to Claire Bartlett's mouth...

PM: I can only do one word at a time! Did you want them all together in one (noise).

LT: Maybe I just needed this...

NP: There was a, there was a, there was a, I think, the benefit of the doubt to Liza. We haven't heard from her. And for you, I know the normal pace at which you speak Paul, and you were teetering on hesitation there.

PM: Teetering on hesitation? So I didn't actually hesitate but I was teetering towards it!

NP: Yes which is enough for me to give it to Liza, and so you have the benefit of the doubt Liza...

PM: But because it's doubtful in your mind, that doesn't mean anything!

NP: I know!


NP: You see, I do have some friends. Liza you have half a second...

LT: Hooray!

NP: ... on the subject, what my body language is telling you starting now.

LT: If I were standing here...


NP: So whoever is speaking in this game when the whistle goes gains an extra point. And it was Liza Tarbuck. And so Liza got two points, she's just behind Paul Merton, with three. Clement's in the lead with four. Julian is yet to score but it's early days. Julian, the subject is, the sales. Tell us something about the sales in Just A Minute starting now.

JC: I once slept in a sleeping bag outside Harrod's for three nights. Nothing to do with the sales, I just fancied the night-watchman! Finally once I got inside, I found a lovely refrigerator, originally priced at 14-95 thousand pounds. I bought it for 55 pence. But when it was delivered to my luxury home in North London, they couldn't get it through the doorway. So I phoned up Harrod's, and um I've repeated that now...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of Harrod's.

NP: I'm afraid you did, you went to Harrod's more than once.

JC: I knew it the moment it came out of my mouth.

NP: I know! Paul, correct challenge, you have the sales, 36 seconds starting now.

PM: As Francis Drake was playing bowls in Plymouth, suddenly a man came up to him and said "the Spanish Armada are on their way". And so he scanned the horizon by placing a hand just below his eyes. And saw...


NP: Liza challenged.

LT: Slight deviation, I think I'd class it. A hand just below his eyes?

NP: No, no.

PM: To match the horizon! To match the horizon!

NP: I don't think any admiral of the fleet, any admiral of the fleet, with any experience of going to sea would do that. Because you put the hand above in order to shade the sun and the light so that you can see what is on the horizon.

PM: Nicholas, he was drunk!

NP: Is that why he was playing bowls?

PM: That's why he was playing bowls.

NP: Right.

PM: He should have, he should have been out on the sea, but he was playing bowls, he was a bit drunk.

NP: Liza you have the subject. I enjoyed it, I enjoyed the banter. The sales is with you, 25 seconds starting now.

LT: The sales are basically glorified stock removal that lure us into assuming that we're getting a bargain, when we're probably not. Buying something that you don't really want at an er...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Ah hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation, Paul, so you lose the subject, you get it back again, you get more points, you've got 14 seconds, the sales starting now.

PM: Every January I find myself walking up and down London's West End, looking in the shop windows and wondering what I'm going to purchase in the sales. You can get some tremendous bargains. For example, I once bought a colour television set, I hope this pace is enough for you, and it was actually nine-95...


NP: Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. He has increased his lead at the end of that round over Clement Freud, Liza Tarbuck and Julian Clary in that order. Liza take the next round please.

LT: Okay then.

NP: The subject is how to get on with your neighbours, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

LT: Risking my current neighbours' inflammation, I would say civility and assuming a helpful demeanour is the best way to get on with your neighbours. Trees seemingly loo er...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Ah hesitation sadly.

NP: Yes I would call that hesitation Julian. So you have the subject and 50 seconds available, how to get on with your neighbours starting now.

JC: There are a number of different ways of course of getting on with your neighbours. I prefer a cheese and wine evening although it can result in the...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: why?

CF: He's talking about how to get off with your neighbours!


PM: Is that all you need, is it? Cheese and wine? That's all you need.

NP: One of your best Clement, yes, very shrewd remark! It certainly deserves a bonus point, but it's a way to get off with your neighbours, but it's certainly also a way to get on with your neighbours. So you can interpret whichever way you like. Julian you get a point for an interruption, and you carry on with how to get on with your neighbours starting now.

JC: I've no interest in getting off with my neighbours, in fact the last party I threw was a water and peanuts party, to avoid...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of party.

NP: Yes you had a party yes, before. It's 36 seconds available Paul, how to get on with your neighbours starting now.

PM: Well of course you must go across to see them and say "hello I'm your new neighbour, do come into the house", and they have a look around. And you say "would you like some whisky or some soda, perhaps..."


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Two somes.

PM: Yes.

NP: Yes there were two somes there, whisky or some soda. Twenty-seven seconds back with you Julian, how to get on with your neighbours starting now.

JC: The film Abigail's Party is a typical example of how getting on with the neighbours can go horribly wrong. Heart attacks may ensue, there may be general marital disharmony. So I prefer water and peanuts which is what I serve out as my way of getting on with my neighbours. They can bring their dogs around as well because I'm very animal friendly. As long as they don't moult, or defecate on the carpet...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Are we talking about the dogs or the neighbours?


PM: Because there's two mental images I've got competing! Because that's deviation, that's not getting on with your neighbours!

NP: We enjoyed it so much Paul, we give you a bonus point. But Paul, um Julian, you were interrupted because we assumed it was the dogs. And it wouldn't matter if it was the neighbours, you'd still...

PM: It wouldn't matter?

NP: It wouldn't matter in Just A Minute.

PM: Oh I see.

NP: Because he wasn't hesitating, repeating himself, or deviating. So three seconds still with you Julian on this subject starting now.

JC: If they do make a mess, I've got some kitchen roll...


NP: Well fortunes change in this show. Up until that moment, Julian Clary didn't have any points even though he'd spoken. But in that round he got a lot, he's now equal with Clement Freud in second place, just behind Paul Merton, and just ahead of Liza Tarbuck. And Clement your turn to begin, the subject is the perfect picnic. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

CF: I think a perfect picnic is something of an oxymoron. Because, for me, eating food with sand and flies and mosquitoes, lots of other extraneous animals, also people, makes no fun. I once had a perfect picnic in Dubai, and we went in a truck with tables and chairs and butlers, a kitchen, er...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation sadly. Although what sort of picnic is it when you take your own kitchen? Really?

CF: In the desert.

NP: It's hardly one's idea of a picnic. Anyway he paused. So Paul you got in there, the perfect picnic starting now.

PM: The perfect picnic is often a spontaneous picnic. When you're walking down the street and suddenly a picnic breaks out. You've got some bottles of lemonade, perhaps some cheese sandwiches you might have bought at the local bakers. And you lay a little tablecloth on the grass and you say to yourself ah...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: There are not too many pavements that have grass on them.

NP: You did say pavement.

PM: Did I say pavement?

NP: Yes. Definitely but there's some pavements that have grass verges.

PM: Exactly. They do. You're quite right, Nicholas. Good chairman. Very good chairman. Best chairman we've got. Best chairman we've got.

NP: I'm the only chairman you've got, so the...

PM: I didn't want to point that out! But yes!

NP: Again one has to give the benefit of the doubt...

PM: Yes.

NP: ... because I do think that er though you don't get grass on pavements...

PM: Yeah absolutely.

NP: ... it is possible that there could have been some grass around.

PM: Yeah.

CF: Mmmm.

NP: So benefit of the doubt, but I'll make sure I'll redress it later on for you Clement. The perfect picnic still with you Paul, 21 seconds starting now.

PM: Another place perhaps the perfect picnic...


NP: Oh Clement's got in already.

CF: We've had a perhaps before.

NP: Yes.

PM: Oh right yes.

NP: Yes you did.

CF: We haven't had a "I suppose" yet!

PM: No! I'll make a note of that.

NP: Right, we obviously have some regular fans of the show, because they recognise the "I suppose" which comes up occasionally with Paul. Right Clement, it's your turn, there are 18 seconds, the perfect picnic starting now.

CF: If you walk down the coast from Yarmouth via Lowestoft to Southwold, Warbeswick and Dunnage, along the beaches of that wonderful...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: We did have along the coast and along the beaches as well, along.

NP: Yes, along the coast.

PM: Repetition yes.

CF: A... long!

NP: You can wriggle if you like Clement, but I think... Paul's got it with eight seconds on the perfect picnic starting now.

PM: I like to watch Clement wriggle, and that for me would make the perfect picnic. If he was there, perhaps somewhere in the distance...


NP: Oh yes!

PM: (laughs) Oh no!

NP: Yes perhaps! So this is going to be your bogey word for this show, is it? Suppose, last time we were in the Drill Hall, perhaps this time. Right three seconds with you Clement, the perfect picnic starting now.

CF: Brown bread, egg and cress sandwiches...


NP: So Clement Freud got the point, speaking as the whistle went. Has moved forward, he's still in second place, just ahead of Julian Clary and Liza Tarbuck, behind Paul. And Paul Merton, your turn to begin, the subject hula dancing. I'm sure you know a lot about it, but tell us something about it in this game starting now.

PM: I have this budgie called Hula, and Hula loves to dance. People come from all over the world to see Hula dancing...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: I was ah, I thought he was going to say dance twice, but he didn't.

NP: No, he said dance, I know you don't play the game as often as the others, but you can repeat the words on the card, either as a phrase or individually.

JC: I know.

NP: So Paul unfortunately has a point. Well he doesn't unfortunately, I'm delighted, he is. Fifty-three seconds, hula dancing Paul starting now.

PM: Hula dancing, of course, very popular in Hawaii. You go to any particular Hawaiian and ask them to do a hula dance, and they will say to you "yes of course I will..."


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Of course.

NP: No he didn't say of course before.

CF: Yes he did.


NP: Some of the audience think it was. You have the benefit of the doubt, 45 seconds, hula dancing is with you starting now.

CF: I don't hula dance a lot any more, because of the shape of my body. I, this machine ring circle... wooden...


NP: Paul challenged.

CF: I would give him the benefit of the doubt.

NP: It inhibited you to have the benefit of the doubt, yes.

CF: I didn't like not...

NP: I know...

CF: ... not being the outright winner.

NP: I had to take it from the audience, that's why. So Paul you challenged.

PM: Well I think, it was, I think deviation. He was just picking words at random towards the end! Threw the dictionary at the wall and just read out what landed.

NP: So hula dancing's back with you Paul, 35 seconds starting now.

PM: Hula...


NP: Liza you challenged.

LT: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation Liza, so tell us something about hula dancing and there are 32 seconds available...

LT: Oh good.

NP: .. starting now.

LT: Usually performed by a woman in a straw skirt with floral garlands to hide her bosom, and perhaps one in her hair...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: How will it hide her bosom if it's in her hair?

LT: I'm talking about the garland!

PM: Is she a big girl? Is she a big girl, Nicholas?

NP: What's that?

PM: Is she a big girl? You'll know.

NP: Give him a point for his laugh. Liza gets a point because she was interrupted...

LT: God!

NP: Hula dancing is with you, and there are 22 seconds starting now.

LT: Elvis Presley was a big fan of hula dancing, seen often in his films, undulating hips moving towards some lovely dusky beauty in a dreadful film that required watching on a Sunday afternoon. Fabulous music, little bits of lei hanging hither and dither, which is another word for some sort of flowery string of things that go...


NP: So Liza Tarbuck was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point, has moved forward. She's still in third place, but not far behind Clement Freud, who is a few points behind our leader which is, who is Paul Merton. And Julian Clary your turn to begin. The subject is respect so you start now.

JC: Respect was a song by Aretha Franklin. R-E-S-P-C-T, find out what it means to me. Which has always been one of my favourites. It's also what the brothers and sisters in the streets say to each other other, except they say respec, missing out the final T. Margaret Thatcher was not particularly respected by the British public, as she found out in the fullness of time. And it's a basic human requirement to be respected by our peers. In 1953, Winston...


NP: Oh Paul you challenged. We got a lovely history lesson there, and ah, from Julian. But you challenged on what?

PM: It was hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes, you tell us something about respect in 28 seconds starting now.

PM: As Julian said, it's a fundamental human right to be respected by other beings of the same species. I would like to now propose a toast to the great great... oh!


NP: Oh it's an impossible game, isn't it. Right Clement, you challenged first. Great great, and you have a point, and you have respect, and you have er, you've always had respect but talk about it in this game, starting now.

CF: If you remember the scout law which is "honour, loyalty, duty, brotherly, courteous, kind", there is nothing about respect. Which is sad because respectfulness, respectability and respect are things which I believe all children should be brought up to observe...


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. He's moved forward, he's still in second place behind Paul Merton. And Liza it's your turn to begin, what I love about buses. Are you a bus fan or not?

LT: I am, I'm a regular user.

NP: Well that is the subject, a moment to think about it. If you like buses, it'll be easier perhaps. Sixty seconds now, starting now.

LT: There's nothing I like better than hopping off and on a London bus, particularly those ones that make it easy because their back is open. Usually found in London and it is rumoured they want to ban them. But enough of that, I don't like the enclosed ones. So I get on this open bus and nip up to the top and down to the front, and I'm banking on a clean window. But it's very rare that London Transport have actually taken...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Ah London, third time.

LT: Oh, will be.

NP: Yes, London buses at the beginning, and now London Transport. Right Clement, correct challenge, 37 seconds, what I love about buses starting now.

CF: I don't really have a lot to say. But what I love about buses is their colour and their numbers.


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: A natural stop.

NP: A natural stop which we call hesitation.

CF: I'd finished.

NP: Thirty seconds Paul, what I love about buses starting now.

PM: I love London buses so much, because you can go along and see Clement jumping on and off them...


NP: Julian you challenged.

JC: Hesitation.

NP: I call that hesitation yes, a stumble over words. We call it hesitation. Twenty-five seconds with you Julian, what I love about buses starting now.

JC: What I love about buses is they transport the general public from one stop to another, and keep them safe and warm and dry. And I hop on them occasionally in order to overhear the people talking. I once on a bus heard a woman said "I've got three children and a husband on a machine". Her friend said "stop dribbling Shirley", which amused me no end. I rushed home to my parents and said "you'll never believe what I heard on the bus..."


NP: So Julian Clary was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. He's equal with Liza Tarbuck in third place, behind Clement Freud, and then Paul Merton in the lead. And Clement your turn to begin, a soft touch. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: A soft touch is someone who is gullible and will lend you money if you ask, and possibly if you don't. That's the great thing about being a soft touch. Also of course it is the hand or perhaps foot or other extremity of the body of someone else touching you. Isn't that.


NP: I think you drifted on to the mist of memory there.

CF: I was...

NP: You just came to a halt.

CF: Waiting...

NP: I'm glad you've got such lovely memories Clement. Um Liza you challenged first.

LT: I did, because of hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes.

LT: Because he was thinking about it, and who can blame him?

CF: I was waiting for something.

NP: A soft touch is with you Liza, and 36 seconds available starting now.

LT: I've got a nephew who's at that particularly difficult age where hormones have hit. So I find a folded up tenner, handed over in a slightly sweaty handshake, makes me a very popular auntie, or in fact a soft touch. Salt washes also make you have a soft touch. If you put the salt on before you go in...


LT: Salt!

NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of salt.

LT: Yes.

NP: Yes, salt washes and salt again. So Paul you've got in with 16 seconds on a soft touch starting now.

PM: Show business people are often approached by other folk at stage doors, who think you have loads of money and say "will you please sponsor me to ride around the Arctic Circle on the back of a double-decker bus that's leaving Piccadilly Circus in about 20 minutes?" I say...


NP: Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and has increased his lead. And Paul it's your turn to begin, the subject is yin and yang. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: Well opposites attract is what they say. For example if I was an iceberg was to float into the middle of this room now, I think we'd all be very happy. Because the overall temperature is extremely high. It is hot in here at the moment. So something that was made of some icy substance coming into towards us, we would say "ah we will welcome this, we will embrace it, we shall..." That's four wes. We shall walk together with this iceberg down Oxford Circus. And people will come up to us, and they say "why are you doing what you're doing?" And I say "I am doing this because..."


NP: Ah Liza challenged.

LT: Doing. Two doings.

NP: Two doings, yes.

LT: Doings and wes!

NP: There are 30 seconds still available on yin and yang, it's with you Liza starting now.

LT: Yin and yang are the complementary principles of Chinese philosophy, I'm led to believe. Yin is dark and feminine, yang is bright and masculine. Together they interact and maintain harmony of the universe, and everything within it. Some of the organs of the body have in fact got yin or yang elements. For example, your kidneys are yang. So if you were to have a transplant it would be apt to suggest that somebody else's donor organs could be of the same...


NP: Right, um...

LT: Who would have thought?

NP: Yes, Liza Tarbuck was speaking then as the whistle went, and gained that extra point. And she's moved forward, she's in a strong third place, now behind Clement Freud. And we're moving into the last round. And oh, before we move into the last round let me tell you what the situation is. Paul's in a strong lead. He's quite a few points ahead of Clement Freud, and then just behind him is Liza Tarbuck, and just behind her is Julian Clary. And Julian, it's your turn to begin. The subject is tidying my drawers. Sixty seconds starting now.

JC: Tidying my drawers is something I do every spring. I've got a number of them to choose from. There's a cutlery drawer. There's a nicknack drawer which is most exciting amongst of all of them. Inside there is all sorts of bits and bobs which I'm not going to discuss on Radio Four. There's another special extra large drawer on the ground level where the saucepans are kept. That's in need of a wipe as we speak, and I'm embarrassed to be discussing it in front of you. Above that is the serviette drawer which I'm very particular about. They're all ironed and folded, neatly packaged ready for when my visitors come round. They may be wanting to eat, but on the other hand they may require to look inside my drawers. If you know what I'm saying. There's a double meaning in most of my sentences, which you haven't always picked up on thus far! Upstairs the drawers are many and splendid. In the guest bedroom, they're mostly empty. It's...


NP: Right, well the audience appreciated your ability there Julian. Because, first time it's happened for quite a while. Someone starting with the subject and finishing it, not being challenged, no hesitation, repetition or deviation. And you have leapt forward, but you're still in third place with Liza Tarbuck!


NP: I know! But it doesn't matter, it's the quality we get. It doesn't matter about the points, does it. So let me give you the final score. Julian Clary and Liza Tarbuck finished just in third place. Two or three points behind Clement Freud. And he was a few points behind Paul Merton, so we say Paul this week you are our winner! Ah it only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Liza Tarbuck and Clement Freud. I thank Claire Bartlett, who has blown her whistle for me so delicately. We thank our producer-director, Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are deeply indebted to this lovely audience here, we're indebted to you, thank you. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons and our team, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!