WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, GYLES BRANDRETH and MARTIN JARVIS, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 30 June 1984)
NOTE: Martin Jarvis's first appearance.
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Gyles Brandreth and Martin Jarvis 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 as you've just heard we have two of our regular players of the game, Kenneth Williams and Derek Nimmo. And we welcome back a guest who has played it a few times before, Gyles Brandreth. And a guest who has never played it before, Martin Jarvis. And once again I'm going to ask our four panellists to try and speak on the subject that I give them, and to try and do that without hesitating, repetition, or deviating from the subject. And we begin the show this week with Kenneth Williams. And Kenneth, the subject is a hoax. Can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: A hoax is a trick that's played upon people whereby they're told something is true which turns out to be completely inaccurate or indeed a lie. And one thinks of something like decimal currency when we were assured, weren't we, that our money would retain its value, and we know we were done! And much the worst hoax that I can think of was played on poor Ramshee Garbua, forced to sit in that ring surrounded by six venomous cobras. And they said "you'll be all right, because you've got your snake charmer's flute". But they didn't say that one of them was deaf! Now that could sums up the sort of fear. He didn't worry, batted them with his own...
NP: Martin Jarvis, you pressed your buzzer.
MARTIN JARVIS: There was a pause after worry.
NP: For the first time ever, I've never heard Kenneth go with such fluency! And such pace actually, because sometimes he does drag it out a bit, you know.
KW: Yes I have been known to drag, drag it out, not, as opposed to dragging up! (laughs)
MJ: I did think he was dragging it out a little a bit actually, even then.
NP: Well the important thing is he hasn't come dressed in drag!
NP: So we're safe on that.
MJ: Anyway I am a guest, so I think I ought to...
KW: Hear hear! Hear hear!
NP: And the marvellous thing is, being a guest, we've heard from you, even though I disagree with the challenge.
MJ: Oh Nicholas!
NP: So I'm afraid that I have to give Kenneth a point for an incorrect challenge, leave the subject with him and tell him he has 13 seconds to continue on a hoax starting now.
KW: One was played in Portsmouth by two...
NP: Gyles Brandreth has challenged.
GYLES BRANDRETH: Well I thought it would be all right to let him say one four times. But when we heard it for the fifth time, I felt that repetition came into play.
NP: I only counted it...
KW: Who asked him?
GB: Well I felt that we had six of one, having half a dozen of the other...
KW: Well yes.
NP: Well actually, actually, he asked himself, I must put that one right.
KW: Oh I see yes.
NP: The other thing is as I have to count as well, I only counted four, and you challenged for five. So...
GB: But you are innumerate so that really doesn't count at all!
LAUGHTER FROM KW AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: I don't think we should bring my sex life into this!
GB: We weren't discussing your dyslexia, that's a different question, that's to do with the way you walk. We're talking about your innumeracy.
NP: Yes and I'm giving you plenty of...
NP: Martin why have you pressed your buzzer?
MJ: Is this really Just A Minute? Have I come to the wrong game?
NP: Well it does go on like this a bit. And I have to make a decision on whether Kenneth said one five times, and I worked out that he only said it four times. So strictly speaking and as you're not a guest for the first time, I have to give Kenneth the benefit of the doubt, and say it was not five times he spoke one, so therefore incorrect. Ten seconds, still with Kenneth, a hoax starting now.
KW: A hoax was played on me...
NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.
DEREK NIMMO: Played.
KW: No no no no no no.
NP: Play or played?
DN: Played, a hoax was played, he used the expression twice.
GB: Actually he's used it three times, I've counted it right, I'll have it for the next 10 seconds.
NP: Right at the beginning, he said about a hoax being played. You're quite right Derek, well listened. Nine seconds are left for you to take over the subject of a hoax starting now.
DN: One of my favourite hoaxes was played by Baron de Rothschild of Austen Manor. He invited 12 people for dinner. When they went in to dine, sitting around the table were 12 monkeys...
NP: Well at the end of 60 seconds, Ian Messiter blows his whistle. And whoever is speaking at that moment gains the extra point. And it was Derek Nimmo, who is equal in the lead with Kenneth Williams at the end of the first round. Our two regulars have points, and our two guests, who I'm delighted to hear we've heard from, but they've yet to score. Derek will you take the next round, the subject, paws. Ah there are 60 seconds as usual starting now.
DN: On the 17th of January 1981, I poured myself a large drink and went into my sauna which was turned up to rather an agreeable heat. The object of this was to open my pores and let out all the nasty oils and things that were contained in my skin. I then went into a cold shower, and the pores closed up. I poured myself another glass and went outside. It was a cold...
NP: Gyles Brandreth challenged.
GB: We've had poured more than once, and indeed the glass with the drinking, poured. Repetition I'm afraid there.
NP: It's not, pours is the word on the card you can repeat, but you poured a drink, you see. So that's a correct challenge, Gyles a point to you, and there are 37 seconds, pours starting now.
GB: My favourite paws are those belonging to my sweet little dog called Fido. A sophisticated creature...
NP: Martin Jarvis?
MJ: I don't think Gyles has a dog called Fido!
GB: We don't allow...
MJ: I don't think he has a dog at all.
GB: I'm sorry, we don't allow him down into the kitchen, that's the only place you've ever been in our house!
MJ: No, I have not...
LAUGHTER FROM NP AND THE AUDIENCE
MJ: I have never been in the kitchen in your house.
NP: Well the thing is, I don't know whether he has a dog called Fido or not. And we are allowed lights of fantasy in Just A Minute, otherwise we'd never be able to get going half the time Martin.
MJ: Well all right.
NP: Sorry I can't agree with you.
MJ: Well all right.
NP: Thirty-one seconds, still with you Gyles, paws starting now.
GB: Let me spell this chic pooch's name. P-H-Y-D-E-A-U-X. A most remarkable animal with really elegant paws at the end of his tootsies. Now I went for a tour dressed as the dog Snoopy, and people queued up around the block to get my paw-print on the book that I was promoting at the time. It is extraordinary when you are dressed in an animal's skin that is seven foot tall, because your paws are a long long way from your snout which isn't wet...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.
DN: Repetition of long long.
NP: Yes. Actually it would be very unfair if I said it wasn't a repetition of long long. It's just a repetition of long. You've been very cleverly, got in with one and a half seconds to go on paws starting now.
DN: I once did pause for thought...
NP: So at the end of that round Derek Nimmo was again speaking when the whistle went. So he's now in a lead, ahead of Gyles Brandreth who got points in that round. Kenneth is next and then Martin Jarvis who begins the next round. Spooks, will you tell us something about those in the game starting now.
MJ: People in Scotland might consider spooks to be metal wires in the middle of bicycle wheels. But in fact spooks are ghosts, or things that go bump in the night, or ghouls. I myself have encountered two spooks in my life. The first spook that I met was at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, after a production of The Heiress on the first night. And I was in my dressing room, and I was washing my face, and I felt a strange tap on my shoulder. I turned round and there was nothing there! I rushed down the corridor, I had a word with the man who was at the er... ahhhhhhhhhh!
MJ: At the ahhh which is...
GB: Ahhh is really rhyming slang for her and I don't know that it's entirely relevant in this particular context.
NP: You're quite right Gyles, so you have a correct challenge, another point and 30 seconds on spooks starting now.
GB: When I had a tap on my shoulder, I found if I turned it, hot water came out. And that was really a kind of hallucinatory experience which is really a ghastly as well as a ghostly thing to happen. Do you know, that actually what I wear on my nose when I'm in the mood for it...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
NP: Yes because he said "do you actually know" and "what I actually wear on my nose". Well done Derek, well listened, 16 seconds are left with you, spooks starting now.
DN: The most awful ghost that I've ever come across happened to me in Cumpton Wynyarts in Warwickshire, the seat of the Marquis of Northampton. He'd open up a tiny room which had been boarded up for a hundred and 50 years, and found on the floor a skeleton and round about were the remains of a woman's clothing. She had...
NP: So Derek Nimmo kept going with his spooks and his name dropping, until the whistle went, and has gone back into the lead alongside Gyles Brandreth. Kenneth Williams follows and he also takes the next round. Kenneth, the Bermuda Triangle. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
KW: This is a section lineated on the map by 70 degrees longitude and the same amount latitude. Do you follow me? And it's an area into which craft, be they ships or aeroplanes, have been alleged to totally disappear. And nothing has been heard of the crew or passengers aboard. And consequently it has gone into the annals of fable. And referred to by mariners afeared. Oh they say (in Cornish accent) "don't you go into the Bermuda Triangle, or you'll never be heard of again". And consequently Cornishmen don't bother with it. Mind you, it's an awful long way from that county, so it's just as well that they don't. I don't go myself...
NP: Gyles Brandreth listened well, yes.
GB: Three don'ts in a very short space of time.
NP: Yes, there were. You did say don't three times very rapidly. Gyles, another point, and you've got in cleverly with five seconds to go on the Bermuda Triangle starting now.
GB: The Bermuda Triangle is a beautiful instrument that they play so delightfully...
NP: So Gyles has gone back into the lead. Derek Nimmo your turn to begin, the subject, Sri Lanka. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
DN: Going up country to Kandy through tea plantations and those of rubber, similarly planted...
GB: Hesitation I'm afraid.
NP: Yes I think we have to interpret that as hesitation. There are 42 seconds for you Gyles on Sri Lanka starting now.
GB: I remember Ronald Reagan once saying to me that one should never name-drop. But when I was in Sri Lanka...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Deviation, the subject's Sri Lanka, it isn't Ronald Reagan or name dropping and he's completely off the subject.
GB: I was about to speak of...
KW: We're not interested in what you were about to speak, dear! When you're given a subject, you're supposed to name it!
NP: Right so I think he had deviated...
KW: Oh of course, of course!
NP: ... he hadn't established what he as going to in time. All right so Kenneth you have the subject of Sri Lanka and you're obviously dying to say something about it, and you have 42 seconds, no 37 seconds to do so starting now.
KW: As a young soldier, I was stationed on this island in a place called Coonagalle which is the old capital. Dominated by a Buddhist statue and a wonderful rock called after the elephant. Of which I travelled and I arrived back to camp late. And they said "where's your duty slip?" And I said "I always wear khaki drill!" Which I was wearing at the time. But I did go on to Colombo wearing my bush hat, and came ashore with the teeth gleaming. And they said to Willy "are you one of Wingate's boys?" And he said "no, I'm one of Colgate's girls". And he went to, well it went to...
NP: Now you know why he wanted the subject of Sri Lanka because he really did have something to tell us about it. And Kenneth you kept going till the end without being interrupted, you gain a point for speaking and you're still in third place. But only one point behind Derek Nimmo, and only four points behind our leader, Gyles Brandreth. But a few ahead of Martin Jarvis. Gyles you begin the next round, the subject is the last time I pulled a cracker. That is the subject that can be interpreted any way you wish, you have 60 seconds in which to try starting now.
GB: The last time I pulled a cracker was in 1968. Her name was Brenda and she had a pair of enormous twin brothers called Barry and...
MJ: Repetition, twin brothers.
NP: What I do for clever challenges because he wasn't deviating within the rules of the game, is give you a bonus point Martin, for a clever challenge. And of course Gyles gets one for being interrupted which is always difficult in Just A Minute. But he continues with 51 seconds, the last time I pulled a cracker, Gyles starting now.
GB: She was no ordinary cracker, if you pulled her at both ends, she didn't go off with a bang. But at Christmas time, it was very festive in our household, because they produced the more traditional kind of cracker that many of us think of. And indeed the one I found my favourite was the one where you opened it out and you read an amusing motto, along the lines of "don't worry if your job is small, and your rewards are few. Remember that the mighty oak was once a nut like you." Now what I think is good about...
NP: Martin Jarvis.
MJ: He said you about four times.
DN: He's very particular about that sort of thing, isn't he, Gyles!
NP: Yes, Gyles is very particular so I have to give it the benefit of the doubt, yes...
GB: Rather non-U!
NP: Yes because you had, it's the word, how it sounds on the ear. He had a you, Y-O-U, and Y-E-W, and it was repeated too often.
MJ: Absolutely Nicholas, absolutely.
NP: So well done Martin, you have 22 seconds, the last time I pulled a cracker starting now.
MJ: You may not believe this, but the last time I pulled a cracker was in fact this morning. Because I'm moving house and my wife and I were clearing up a whole lot of rubbish. And we pulled this cracker and we found a little motto inside it. And it said "what is yellow and swings across cake?" And the answer was Tarzipan! Which I didn't think was very good but it is exactly the sort of thing that you find in a cracker...
NP: So Martin Jarvis was then speaking as the whistle went and gained the extra point, and he's now creeping up on Kenneth Williams who is ahead of him, and the others who are a little further ahead. Martin it's your turn to begin, the subject is how to make friends with a centipede. What a ridiculous subject that Ian Messiter's thought of! Can you try and talk on that one for 60 seconds starting now.
MJ: The best way to try and make friends with a centipede is to say "hello Cedric, what marvellous legs you've got". I would then suggest that he met my brother-in-law who is the manager of a shoe shop, because I think it would be an excellent thing for my friend the centipede to go to my brother-in-law and see if he could get some shoes off him at a cheap rate. The other way of making friends with a centipede would be to say "what a lovely pair of walkers you have" because if you want to really get to know a centipede, you've got to be nice to a centipede. The other way of trying to get on good terms with this centipede would be probably...
NP: Gyles Brandreth has challenged.
MJ: I beg your pardon?
NP: Gyles has challenged you.
GB: I thought he was indicating that he was wanting to hesitate!
NP: I think he went even further, I think he did actually hesitate.
GB: Well I was trying to say discreetly...
MJ: I beg your pardon?
GB: And also we had a couple of repetitions earlier of shoes.
DN: You said shoes twice.
NP: It's the first time, your first challenge is the one. But no, I agree, he did actually hesitate. So you have 24 seconds Gyles, on how to make friends with a centipede starting now.
GB: The best way to make friends with a centipede is to introduce it to Nicholas Parsons. Because he is innumerate and therefore won't upset you by reminding you, if you are a centipede, that you don't have actually 100 legs, but only 37, which is a curious fact about these little creatures which is not generally known, in the same way that millipedes...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: They've generally got 38.
GB: You haven't met my friend Long John Centipede.
NP: I think I will put this one to the audience because I am sure they will obviously know how many legs a centipede has. So if you think a centipede has 38 legs you cheer for Derek Nimmo, and if you think it's only got 37, then boo for Gyles. And you all do it together now.
CHEERS AND BOOS FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: You're all used to centipedes with a false leg! So Gyles the audience were on your side...
GB: The nation has spoken! It's rather gratifying isn't it.
NP: Yes! You have six and a half seconds on the subject starting now.
GB: How to make friends with a centipede is to tell him jokes. For example, what does the Queen do when she burps? She issues a royal pardon! Now this is a...
NP: So Gyles has increased his lead at the end of that round. Kenneth Williams your turn to begin, the subject is slot machines. Will you tell us something about those in the game starting now.
KW: A friend of mine was on Southend Railway Station, and he put the coin in a weighing machine. And it spoke "you are nine and a half stone and have missed your train!" He was absolutely furious! Although there are other kinds, such as you find in Las Vegas, so I'm told, where you win an awful lot of money when a certain series appears on the dial. I wouldn't approve of such things myself, because I think that gains of any kind in this world should be made honourably, and honestly. I don't like gambling, because I think it's a short-cut. And we should all of us, whether we're hanging it out in Just A Minute, or whether we're...
NP: Talking about hanging it out! You've never hung it out for so long! Every word became four syllables where there were only two sometimes. But nobody challenged you...
KW: Have you ever heard a playback of this show when you're on? Have you ever listened?
NP: Well I know...
KW: You hang it out yourself! I've heard you!
NP: I do speak quite rapidly sometimes, only Gyles and Derek can probably beat me. But no, nobody can speak as slowly as you and not actually pause, Kenneth! Um but you did keep going saying fewer words than anybody's ever spoken in 60 seconds without pausing. And you get a point of course for speaking as the whistle went, and a bonus point for not being interrupted. And you're equal in second place with Derek Nimmo, behind Gyles Brandreth, and ahead of Martin Jarvis. And Derek you begin the next round, the subject Derek is duck. Can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
DN: Actually duck is one of my favourite birds. I remember going to a little Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong and there I had duck's tongues, 12 of them on a plate. And when I put them into my mouth it was like having a French kiss in triplicate! It was the most extraordinary sensation I've ever had...
NP: Martin Jarvis has challenged.
MJ: Repetition, in triplicate.
NP: Oh I gave you a bonus point for the twins, do you want another one for the triplicate?
MJ: Yes please!
NP: All right, he's trailing a little, give him a bonus point.
MJ: Thank you very much.
NP: A point to Derek because he was interrupted and stops the flow. And he continues with the subject of duck, on 46 seconds starting now.
DN: Actually Gyles Brandreth once allowed me into his kitchen to allow a little duck with Fifi who was sharing it with me on the floor. We pulled a cracker together, and then consumed the duck. And I must say his...
MJ: I thought it was Fido, not Fifi?
NP: Yes actually...
DN: Fifi is the wife! Fido is the dog!
MJ: No, Fifi isn't the wife.
NP: But also...
GB: He had a little duck with Fifi on the floor!
NP: Exactly! And of course that is a repetition of Fi wasn't it as well, Martin?
MJ: I didn't even bother to mention that because I thought it was so obvious!
NP: Yes I know! I know and I'm glad you didn't, because it would have been... but you have 35 seconds on duck starting now.
MJ: One of the most shaming things of all in cricket is to score a duck. I have scored a duck many times, particularly when I played for the Old Wyckgiftians. I used to go in there with such good ideas about scoring a hundred...
NP: Gyles has challenged.
GB: Well we had scored twice earlier on...
NP: Yes and ah yes, yes...
GB: ... and ah if it had been getting vastly amusing, one would have allowed it to go on, but...
NP: Oh you are condescending!
GB: Well only because cricketing stories are not my metier, not my bag!
NP: No no and you don't want too many people to score in Just A Minute in any sense of the word. Ah...
GB: I want to talk about ducks, that's why!
NP: You're going to talk about ducks, and you have ah 24 seconds in which to go starting now.
GB: What is the best thing to put into duck pate? Your teeth of course! Now I happen to be an expert at cooking with these little feathered friends. The most difficult part of course is plucking them, because once you have caught hold of them and wrung their necks...
NP: Martin Jarvis.
MJ: He keeps saying of them, of them.
NP: Yes, you did say of them.
GB: I concede that.
MJ: And also, if I may so, I didn't think it was very amusing either!
GB: Dead right!
NP: Quite right yes, and he wanted the subject so badly, didn't he. So you really ah he slipped up there. There are seven seconds for you Martin, having got the subject back, of duck starting now.
MJ: I find the best way to carve duck is with a pair of poultry shears. What you do is you open them very wide and put them right over the top of the duck...
NP: So our first time guest Martin Jarvis was again speaking as the whistle went, gained more points, and he's gone ahead of Derek Nimmo by one, but he's still trailing a little behind Gyles Brandreth. Kenneth's in fourth place. Gyles begins the next round and the subject is busking Gyles. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
GB: It is an unusual form of busking that I indulge in, because I dress up as an oriental, by name Confucius. And I dance about on the pavement and I give people truthful sayings. For example, "I... I..."
NP: Derek challenged.
DN: Well I think it must be judged to be a hesitation.
NP: It was, even in, even in...
DN: Otherwise he was going to the dentist!
GB: Tooth hurty, you see! It's all oriental!
NP: Yes but even in Confucian terms it was still a hesitation in Just A Minute. So there are 40 seconds for Derek to busk, or on the subject of busking starting now.
DN: Oh gosh I used to love the old buskers in London town! Do you remember the happy wanderers outside the Odeon in Leicester Square, dancing up and down. The sand walk they used to do as well, which was so vastly entertaining. People with banjoes and sometimes just with gramophone records they used to wind up, and then go into all kinds of fairy-like perambulations which most ah...
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: He's clearly on the way to the dentist as well!
NP: Why the dentist?
GB: Oh well because that was an allusion back to what he'd said before, you see Derek...
DN: Is this a new rule? We're not allowed to go to the dentist?
NP: No, I just want to know why...
GB: He was hesitating.
NP: I know what you said, hesitating, but you didn't say it, you were talking about the dentist. You were being far too clever!
GB: Clearly for you, I was! I think the listeners will understand!
NP: Yes! So Derek I disagree with the challenge, you keep the subject, there are 13 seconds on busking starting now.
DN: In deep... tragedy...
NP: Martin Jarvis challenged.
MJ: That was another excellent demonstration of dentistry!
NP: I disagree. I don't know what all this dentistry's about!
MJ: He was opening his mouth but nothing was coming out.
GB: You should have your teeth examined!
NP: I'll take them out and pass them to you if you really want! No, no, I, honestly, these subtle allusions defeat me. There are 11 seconds for you on busking Derek starting now.
DN: I found once a fellow telling duck jokes in the street. He said "what's the difference between a duck, both of the legs are..."
NP: Martin Jarvis challenged.
MJ: Duck twice, I think, "duck jokes" and "what's the difference between duck". Two ducks.
NP: There were two ducks. So Martin you have four and a half seconds...
DN: I'm not disputing.
GB: Duck is allowed! Isn't duck the word?
NP: No, busking is the word, and it was the subject that you started with...
GB: You're quite right.
NP: And as you're always on the ball and your brain is far more alive than any of the rest of us...
GB: No no, I'm afraid the valium's beginning to wear off!
NP: Four and a half seconds with Martin Jarvis on busking, bringing the round and the show to a close alas, starting now.
MJ: One of my favourite places for observing busking is Sanjamantes Pres in France where they have mime artists...
NP: Well as I said a moment ago, the show was coming to and end, and that last whistle tells us we have no more time. And let me give you the final score. Well in Just A Minute, the scores aren't important, it's the contribution they make. And as usual Kenneth gave more than adequate, but he finished in fourth place once again. Our other regular, Derek Nimmo, gave his usual tremendous value and surprisingly finished in third place. Behind our first time guest Martin Jarvis, who was only three points behind our winner this week... no I'm sorry, I can't do, I'm innumerate I'm sorry. It is five points behind this week's winner, Gyles Brandreth! Our congratulations to our guests and to our regulars and to our audience. But particularly our listeners, we hope you've enjoyed it as much as we've enjoyed playing it. Until next week same time, good-bye, cheerio, thank you!
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by Pete Atkin.