starring TONY HAWKS, TIM RICE, LINDA SMITH and CHRIS NEILL, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 7 March 2005)

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners, not only in the British Isles, but all those many people beyond our shores who listen and enjoy the show as well. And also it's a great pleasure of course to welcome to the programme four exciting, individual and talented players of the game. And seated on my right we welcome back, after quite a long absence from the show, I'm delighted to say, one of our top lyricists, in fact our most outstanding lyricist in the country I think, and one most keen amateur cricketer, that is Tim Rice. And beside him, there's a very interesting and amusing and exuberant stand-up comedian, who is Chris Neill. And seated on my left the lovely, engaging, delightful comedienne, Linda Smith. And seated beside her another talented comedian and also a comedy writer, Tony Hawks. Please welcome all four of them! And as usual, I am going to ask them to speak on a subject that I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Seated beside me is Janet Staplehurst, who is going to keep the score for me, she is going to blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have expired. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the lovely Mermaid Theatre which is in Puddledock which is in the centre of London near Blackfriars Bridge. And we have a fine metropolitan cosmopolitan audience just dying for us to get started. So we'll begin with Tony Hawks. Tony the subject I have in front of me is what I have in common with the chairman.


NP: Your laughter indicates it's not going to be comfortable. You have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TONY HAWKS: I have quite a lot in common with the chairman. We both have lucrative modelling contracts. Mine is for cutting edge fashion garments, Nicholas mainly for slacks and slippers. We do also hang out in the same lap-dancing clubs on quite a lot of occasions. And he's a magnificent chairman of Just A Minute Inc, the corporation, multinational as it happens. We all make a fortune on this programme, I can't tell you how wealthy we are as a result of brilliant chairmanship running this particular enterprise of which I spoke some time ago. When I say some, oh I can't...


NP: Yeah well done Tony, you deserved the round of applause. Chris Neill you challenged.

CHRIS NEILL: Yes, sort of hesitationy thing.

NP: Yes it was hesitation, so you have a point for a correct challenge.

CN: Thank you.

NP: You take over the subject, there are 23 seconds available, Chris tell us something about what I have in common with the chairman starting now.

CN: What I have in common with the chairman of a small company in the West Midlands that produce plastic nuts and bolts is a fondness for the brown bits around the edge of a fried egg. That's a...


NP: Tim Rice you challenged.

TIM RICE: Definite hesitation there.

CN: I'm not so sure!

NP: No, I don't think so Tim. No I'm, we, we enjoy keenness Tim, but I think he was going extraordinarily there. Chris...

CN: Yes?

NP: I would have said that was an incorrect challenge.

CN: Thank you.

NP: So you have another point, you keep the subject and there are 13 seconds available, what I have in common with the chairman starting now.

CN: What I have in common with the chairman of the board, as Frank Sinatra was known, is a common soubriquet or sort of. He was known as one thing, I'm known as Old Four Eyes...


NP: Right, Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of known.

NP: Yes, I was known, I was known. Right Tony a correct challenge, a point to you, four seconds, what I have in common with the chairman starting now.

TH: We love to walk hand in hand along the beach...


NP: Yes Tim I think I know your challenge.

TR: Hand in hand.

TH: A schoolboy error, Hawks!

NP: Yes I thought you were going to have him for deviation, for taking the chairman's hand! There's no reason in this game, he wouldn't be deviating if he did that. Tim a correct challenge, we're going to hear from you before the end. And you got in with only two seconds to go, starting now.


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Hesitation.

NP: Because the audience enjoyed it so much, you get a bonus point for that interruption. But as Tim was interrupted he gets a point and he has one second on what I have in common with the chairman starting now.

TR: Well hung pictures...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking as the whistle goes gains an extra point. It was on this occasion Tim Rice. And at the end of that round, Chris Neill and Tim Rice both have three points, they're in a strong lead ahead of Tony Hawks and Linda Smith. And Tim I'd like you to take the next round, because the subject is Elvis Presley. I'm sure from your experience in the musical world, you can tell us a lot about that starting now.

TR: I wonder if you're lonesome tonight
You know someone said the world's a stage
And each must play a part.
Fate had me playing in love with you as my sweetheart.
Act one was when we met, I loved you at first glance
You read your line so cleverly and never missed a cue
Then came scene two, you seemed to change and you acted strange
And why I'll never know.
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me
And I had no cause to doubt you.
But I'd rather go on hearing your misdemeanours verbally
Than to go on living with...


NP: Oh! Well you got a well deserved round of applause because you went for 32 seconds on that. Well done Tim!

TH: What was he talking about?

NP: I don't know, will you tell us what you were talking about?

TR: Well that was the most famous Elvis Presley, I think perhaps you're too young to remember it Nicholas but...


TR: That's the, er, talky bit in the middle of Are You Lonesome Tonight.

TH: Ah!

NP: Really?

TR: Yes!

NP: Right so Tim, you were challenged for repetition. Tony you have 32 seconds, Elvis Presley starting now.

TH: What a singer that man was! I know that's a little bit of an obvious statement, but he wasn't brilliant...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Two wases.

NP: Wases.

TH: I said wasn't.

NP: Wasn't, not was.

TH: The last one was wasn't.

NP: But wasn't is an alliteration, you should have said was not.


TH: You're allowed to say wasn't. I listened to a show, about 19 years ago on tape, and definitely somebody said wasn't on it, and got away with it!

NP: Colloquially speaking, people say wasn't.

TH: Oh all right...

CN: In this show, we're not allowed to use apostrophes!

NP: No-one...


NP: I bow to popular opinion!


NP: Oh I know how to win my audience. Right so Tony you have a point for that, because an incorrect challenge, 27 seconds, Elvis Presley starting now.

TH: Elvis Presley couldn't act! Because he didn't...


NP: Ah Linda challenged.

LINDA SMITH: Ah a bit of a hesitation I thought.

NP: There was, he looked at me and said there you are, sucks to you, so...

TR: Also very...

LS: Yes there was, wasn't there?

NP: Wasn't there yes. Right so who challenged, I've forgotten now. It was...

TH: Linda.

CN: Linda.

NP: Linda yes, well done Linda. Lovely to hear from you. Twenty-two seconds, Elvis Presley with you Linda starting now.

LS: Elvis Presley has a lot in common with my Uncle John, in that they both died in the toilet. My Uncle John however...


LS: Oh!

NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Yes a repetition of Uncle John.

NP: Uncle John, yes.

LS: Yeah.

NP: Tony 15 seconds, Elvis Presley starting now.

TH: For such a talented fellow he developed a huge attraction to burgers. He would stuff them in his mouth, that's the best place to put them, I've always found. And it would inspire him to sing when he did his gigs in Las Vegas towards the end of his career when he was wider and ever...


NP: So Tony Hawks was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And with others in the round, he's moved forward. He's now in the lead ahead of Tim Rice and Chris Neill, equal in second place and then Linda. And Chris Neill your turn to begin, the subject is writing a letter of complaint. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CN: My old dad always used to say "if a brick through the window don't work, write a letter of complaint". And he wasn't wrong! I've spent many a fine afternoon or morning, at my computer, or previously in the past a typewriter... cah...


NP: Tim you challenged.

TR: I'm afraid that was a definite hesitation.

NP: That was hesitation Tim. So you have the subject, you have 46 seconds, writing a letter of complaint starting now.

TR: I think when you write a letter of complaint, you should use the very gentle approach, be very kind... oh!


NP: Ohhhh! Chris?

CN: Ah repetition of very.

NP: Yes you got in first, there are now er um 40 seconds, writing a letter of complaint starting now.

CN: I had an extremely long correspondence with an oven manufacturer about a fan that went wrong. Fascinating, I know! And um you probably...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Um. And um he said.

NP: Oh yes, he did, didn't he. Sharp but correct, yes Linda, 32 seconds, writing a letter of complaint starting now.

LS: Writing a letter of complaint is something I've always meant to do. In fact on many occasions I've thought I'm going to write a letter of complaint. The only problem is I can never be arsed to actually do it. I think I'm not alone in this. Many of us get angry about things and it occurs to ah...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: I think again hesitation.

NP: Yes you're right Tim.

LS: Was it hesitation or passion?

NP: It was a passionate hesitation.

LS: Ah!

NP: But in the rules of Just A Minute the person who presses first gets the subject. Thirteen seconds with you now Tim starting.

TR: Letters of complaint never work. It is a fatal mistake even to embark upon such a distressing...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Deviation, they do, I got my fan repaired for free!

NP: Give Chris Neill a bonus point for that interjection. But Tim was interrupted so he gets a point and he still has seven seconds starting now.

TR: There are of course other ways of dealing with the problem. You can suck up to the fan manufacturer in a disgusting and possibly...


NP: So Tim Rice was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's leapt forward, he's now in the lead, just ahead of Tony Hawks and Chris Neill, equal in second place, Linda in third place. And Linda your turn to begin, the subject, double deckers. Tell us something about those in this game starting now.

LS: Double deckers used to be a chocolate bar. It had an advert on television where the jingle went (sings) "double deckers, double deckers, la-dee-da, double deckers..."


NP: You couldn't believe you got away with it for a bit, did you? Yes...

TH: Well I thought she was going to repeat. I was convinced she was going to go la-dee-da twice. And I was going to get her on la or dee or da. But cleverly she stopped.

LS: And you know what you've got me Tony? You've got me a bonus point!

TH: I have, yes.

NP: You can repeat the subject on the card, either as a phrase, or any word in the phrase. So double deckers it is with you still Linda, 49 seconds starting now.

LS: (sings) Double deckers, double deckers, ning-nang-noo, double deckers, double deckers, tum-too-dee, double...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Repetition of dee.

LS: Oooh.

NP: Yes.

LS: Actually I'm quite pleased. I thought Tim was about to tell me that was one of his lyrics, and I owe him a few quid!

NP: So Tim you've got in on double deckers and you have 41 seconds, double deckers with you Tim starting now.

TR: Any sane person on hearing the expression double deckers would think of buses that run on routes like one, two, three, four, five...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: No, the number two is a single decker!

NP: Can you prove it?

CN: Well I haven't got one in my pocket!

NP: We give you the benefit of the doubt Chris, and I will try and redress the balance come time later with you Tim. Thirty-two seconds, double deckers starting now.

CN: Ken Livingstone, the lovely Mayor of London... oh!


NP: Linda's challenged.

CN: I said that, then couldn't continue!

NP: Yes. He paused and got a big laugh. Yes Linda you challenged.

LS: Yes hesitation I'm afraid.

NP: Yes indeed, 29 seconds on double deckers Linda starting now.

LS: Double Deckers was also the name of a rather fine children's television programme...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of name. I think, in your first thing you were going on about it was the name of a, of a chocolate bar.

NP: Yes.

LS: I know I said it was a chocolate bar, not the name of.

TH: Ah well, I was just hoping nobody was listening.

NP: Well done Linda, you've told them the facts. Twenty-five seconds on double deckers with you Linda starting now.

LS: Brains, Doughnut, Tiger and Sticks were popular characters in that entertainment feast that I mentioned before. In a way that was unrepetitious, unlike the interjection from my colleague here, Tony, who appeared to mishear. However it was a wonderful show with musical adventures of these young people on a double decker bus. It was all presided over by Albert, the grouchy one who was played by Melvyn Hayes...


NP: So Linda Smith started with the subject, lost it, got it back again, and kept going till the whistle went, gained that extra point. She's now equal with Chris Neill in second place, and they're just behind Tim Rice, our leader. And Tony Hawks follows, and Tony you begin the next round. The subject is skiing. Tell us something about skiing in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: Yes skiing, downhill skiing, I've always thought that prefix was unnecessary. I've tried uphill skiing, it's a disappointment frankly! The Brits don't do very well at the skiing traditionally, largely because we don't have enough mountains. I think there should be...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: I heard the word don't. I've never heard it before. Does he mean do not?

NP: Are you being sarcastic now or challenging...

CN: No I'm, I'm questioning whether that's English language.

NP: It's perfectly correct colloquial English language. Now you're being...

LS: He seems to have picked up Nicholas's almost Joycean aversion to punctuation.

NP: Joycean?

LS: He didn't like the apostrophe.

NP: James Joyce?

LS: He's the one yeah.

CN: No, my Auntie Joyce.

LS: Joyce Grenfell! Yes, funny old girl, didn't like aspotrophes!

NP: No...

CN: She hated them! Liked cats, hated apostrophes!

NP: I'm sure, I'm sure Joyce Grenfell never used an apostrophe. Anyway it doesn't matter, 42 seconds, Tony you've got another point, skiing starting now.

TH: We all use do appallingly in the Winter Olympics. There should be an event called tobogganing down an unsuitable hill with insufficient snow on a bin liner or tray! Then we could get out there, we'd be the best in the world! Nobody could match us! If we took out an entire family just enjoying the view, extra points! That's what we need! And I am the man to introduce it! I'm going to write a letter of complaint immediately to Switzerland and say "you've got your watches, you've got your range of peaks..."


NP: Ohhh! Yes they all heard it.

LS: Well I hate myself but... you've got! We had two.

NP: But that is the game Linda so you have to do it, don't you.

LS: I know.

NP: If you hadn't done it, one of the other two would have done.

LS: You've got to do it Nicholas, you've got to be cruel to be...

NP: Anyway he went for quite a long while, he had a good innings there.

LS: Yeah he didn't have a bad innings, did he.

NP: No.

LS: What's he moaning about? I don't know.

NP: You've got 12 seconds still available, on skiing starting now.

LS: Skiing is a sport I've never attempted. I'm too tall...


NP: Ah Tim challenged.

TR: I think deviation.

NP: Why?

TR: She's not entitled to speak about it!

NP: Tim in this game, even if you've never heard of it, you've still got to try and speak about it.

TR: I withdraw my, withdraw my cruel and callous challenge.

NP: So would that be a deviation? Would that be a deviation? Because whatever way it was, it was incorrect anyway.

TR: I think I was wrong. I'm sorry. I've been away from the game too long.

NP: No, not at all, it's lovely to hear from you always.

CN: (laughs) Such sincerity!

LS: (laughs) He doesn't get many visitors!

NP: Another point to you Linda...

LS: It's good of you to come! I know it's two buses!

TR: One double decker actually, and it's route two!

NP: And you entertain them by doing that piece from Elvis Presley on them...

TR: I'll do it again soon!

NP: Right, no we want to keep the audience. Nine seconds Linda on skiing starting now.

LS: Skiing always seems so dangerous either before you've even got to the...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: is that a sort of non-sentence sort of hesitation?

NP: Yes I think it was.

TH: (speaks in gibberish)

LS: I didn't notice!

TH: I'd like to see that sentence spelt out!

NP: There were no apostrophes in it anyway. No it was a stumble which we call hesitation Tony so you have a correct challenge and you have five seconds, skiing starting now.

TH: I'm fond of skiing, I've never done it with Nicholas Parsons, don't intend to...


NP: Well Tony got some points then including one for speaking as the whistle went. It's a very even game if you're interested in the points situation. They're all almost equal in first place, one point separates them all, well, one point separates them in descending order, Tony Hawks, Tim Rice, Linda Smith and Chris Neill. Um Tim your turn to begin, the subject is the stars. Tell us something about the stars in Just A Minute starting now.

TR: One of the greatest stars in show business was Elvis Presley. An even greater star was Beetlejuice or is the... star of that name...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah I'm afraid there was a hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation, stars...

TR: It was more of a pregnant pause I thought.

TH: You were nearly giving birth, I think.

NP: Fifty seconds Tony with you, the stars starting now.

TH: "I want to fall from the stars straight into your arms", sang Mick Hucknall in his hit of many years ago, Painful, I thought. You'd want somebody at the top of a stepladder, oh...


NP: Right yes I know what you're going to say Linda. You have the subject, you have 38 seconds...

LS: Oh!

NP: The stars with you starting now.

LS: The stars are studied by Patrick Moore, on his excellent programme, The Sky At Night. I love that man, he looks like a badly upholstered armchair wearing a monocle. And on he goes in that exciting way of his. It's now a fashion for people to have stars named after them...


NP: Ah who challenged, ah Tim?

TR: Yes I thought there was a repetition coming up, but I'm afraid there wasn't.

LS: Coming up? Coming up?

CN: There's one coming up?

LS: Coming up? What are you, psychic?

TR: (laughs) Yes!

NP: Nineteen seconds, Linda has another point, the stars starting now.

LS: All the romance is taken out of the stars, if you look up to the sky and say oh...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of sky.

NP: You had the sky before...

LS: True! Bang to rights! Yeah.

NP: ... when you were talking about Patrick Moore. Right 13 seconds with you Tony on the stars starting now.

TH: (singing strangely) Some of us belong...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Well deviation from normal words! I mean what... (sings in operatic style) Shay we are... (normal voice) What was that? You've got to make some sort of sense even with an apostrophe! I mean...

TH: I was singing!

LS: Do you think he was trying to play the game in a sort of club style?

CN: Yes I do.

NP: Chris because they enjoyed your interjection, we'll give you a bonus point.

CN: Oh!

NP: No-one's ever had so many bonus points in one show before. But Tony you were interrupted because it wasn't a correct challenge, 11 seconds, the stars starting now.

TH: There's nothing I like more than to go on a walk along a moonlit beach and look up at the stars and...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Well deviation, if it was a moonlit beach, he wouldn't be able to see the stars. I mean if the moonlight was that bright, you wouldn't see the stars.

CN: No...

LS: No no...

NP: If it was a cloudy night, you wouldn't see the stars.

TR: Yeah but it wasn't, it was a moonlit night.

LS: You'd see a smattering.

CN: Yeah you would see a few stars.

LS: You'd see a smattering to be honest. I mean, it wouldn't, yeah you're right, it wouldn't be spectacular!

TR: No, well he's...

LS: It could even be disappointing!

TH: I was, I was going to go on to express how disappointing it was!

NP: And I disagree with the challenge so you have four more seconds Tony, the stars starting now.

TH: And I could hardly see any stars at all...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: See, you said see before.

NP: See, yes, before. Well done Tim.


NP: Hurray!


NP: You've got in, two seconds to go, the stars starting now.

TR: Barry Manilow is...


NP: I've just had a message that we're moving into the last round.


NP: Well I was rather thankful really after the... But thank you for your reaction to that. I'll give you the situation point-wise as we move into the last round because it's all very close. Chris Neill is only just in fourth place. A little way behind Linda Smith, who is one point behind Tony Hawks, who is one point behind Tim Rice, in that order. So all to play for, even with you Chris. And the subject is power cuts. Linda it's your turn to begin and you start now.

LS: Power cuts, I remember power cuts from my childhood when the lights would go out in the evening. It was all down to that portly mataleaux Edward Heath, at the time Prime Minister of this fair land. We would sit around candles, goodness me, I think now, wasn't the past a load of rubbish! Apart from that...


NP: Ah Tim challenged.

TR: This is, I think there wasn't really any structure to that last sentence. It was kind of, it was just slowly dying and I thought I'd put it out of its misery.

TH: Yeah.

TR: It was deviation really. Drivel is the word I'm looking for.

LS: I think if we're going to buzz for drivel, we won't get very far in this show, will we!

TH: It's true...

NP: You've got to keep going...

LS: However I appreciate your notes!

TH: Yeah! You won't win any points poetically for "wasn't the past a load of rubbish" but I suppose it's within the rules.

NP: As long as you keep going, even if you're boring or uninteresting...

TH: A lot of us keep getting asked back!

NP: I thought it was... absolutely, I wondered what...

LS: Some of us have based a career around that!

NP: Incorrect challenge Tim, Linda you still have the subject, power cuts, and there are 39 seconds starting now.

LS: It was miserable indeed, in the gloom of power cuts. The gloaming settled around us in the most alarming way...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Deviation, she's making too much sense! I don't, I don't, it's, its too good for words! And and I'd like to hear more!

NP: It was very dramatic. You've interrupted her and she wasn't hesitating, deviating or um pausing. There are 30 seconds, power cuts with you Linda starting now.

LS: Power cuts happen these days, often small power cuts occur in my district when the fridge and the freezer go off for a little while. It's almost as if the National Grid is having a little stroke and...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Did we see a repetition of little?

NP: Yes.

LS: Oh yeah.

NP: Well done Chris, you've got 18 seconds, tell us something about power cuts starting now.

CN: I'm glad I've got this subject, I've got an enormous amount to say on it. Um power cuts...


CN: Oh.

NP: Linda your challenge?

LS: Well ah hesitation, but also yes, it's a lovely subject, isn't it!

CN: Isn't it! Yes!

NP: Linda, 12 seconds, power cuts starting now.

LS: Power cuts are exciting marvellous scintillating things. The world...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Repetition of things.

NP: Yes you said about things before.

LS: Oh have I? Oh. Oh very near, well, I'm not arguing with you.

NP: And deviation, I don't think they're exciting at all. Nine seconds, and of course things can happen that are exciting. Nine seconds Tim with you, power cuts starting now.

TR: Should... there be a power cut...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Hesitation.

NP: No! No, Tim...

LS: Should... there be a power cut!

NP: No, no...


LS: I think the mob are with me! I don't...

NP: Linda...

LS: Don't rile them up! Don't rile them up!

NP: Linda the mob are with you, I think you brought them with you actually. But the, but that, I will not allow that one. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt Tim, you have another point, you have seven seconds, power cuts starting now.


TR: If there were to be...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: That definitely was a hesitation. You said "starting now", there was a gap.

NP: That's only because the audience were making such a row!

CN: Well that's not... what's that got to do with it?

NP: He was intimidated by the audience so...

CN: Are we starting this now, either deviation, repetition, hesitation, or the audience get the better of you?

LS: Well I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what Nicholas, why don't you just give me a bonus point, and then we'll forget all about it.

NP: No, I don't give out...

LS: Let's ask Tim. Tim...

TR: Yes?

LS: Do you think you hesitated between those two words?

TR: I was demonstrating what would happen if there were to be a power cut in my speech. But...

NP: Right at the beginning of the show, I gave the benefit of the doubt to Chris Neill against you Tim. So I'm redressing the balance now and giving you the benefit of the doubt against Chris Neill. So you have six seconds...

TR: What a man you are!

NP: ... and you can bring power cuts to a close if you want to, starting now.

TR: Power cuts are extremely annoying events and they can change your...


NP: So we have no more time to play Just A Minute, let me give you the final situation. Chris Neill who hasn't played the game for a while, came back and with a tremendous flourish and a lot of words, but few points. Great contribution, lovely to have you with us, right! Fourth place, but only a little way behind Tony Hawks, our sometimes winner. And he was great, great situation there in second place, only two points behind Linda Smith, wonderful contribution from Linda as always. But out in the lead surprisingly but magnificently with 20 points, the Elvis Presley look-alike, Tim Rice! We do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Tim Rice, Linda Smith, Chris Neill and Tony Hawks. I thank Janet Staplehurst, who has helped me with the score, she has blown her whistle with such charm every time the 60 seconds disappeared. We thank our producer, Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this delightful game. And we are very indebted to this vociferous audience here in the Mermaid Theatre in London, who have cheered us on our way. From our audience here, from me Nicholas Parsons and the panel, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!