starring TONY HAWKS, TIM RICE, LINDA SMITH and CHRIS NEILL, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 21 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 this country, but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme four talented, diverse, delightful, interesting, humorous players of the game who are going to display their humorous dexterity, their verbal ingenuity as they try and speak on a subject that I give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And they are, seated on my right, Tim Rice and Chris Neill. And seated on my left, Linda Smith and Tony Hawks. Would you please welcome all four of them! And as I said they are going to try and speak without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, she is going to help me with the score, she is going to blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the delightful Mermaid Theatre which is in Puddledock near Blackfriars Bridge, near the centre of London. And we have a delightful cosmopolitan audience who are just dying for the show to start. Anyway we're going to start the show with Linda Smith. Linda the subject I have in front of me is how to attract someone's attention. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

LINDA SMITH: How to attract someone's attention, well, the best way to attract someone's attention depends on your situation. For example, if you are an audience for Just A Minute, the best way to attract Nicholas Parsons' attention is to moan and murmur and howl...


NP: Tim challenged.

TIM RICE: Murmur, mur-mur!

NP: Oh Tim!

LS: So you're suggesting repetition within the actual word?

NP: That, that is, that is getting a little bit pedantic if you don't mind my saying so. No, murmur is a word! So she wasn't repeating the word...

CHRIS NEILL: You might want to use it in a song one day!

NP: Ah Linda that was an incorrect challenge so you get a point for that, you keep the subject, there are 44 seconds available, how to attract someone's attention starting now.

LS: How to attract someone's attention, if you're in a restaurant and you're trying to attract the attention of the waiter, you often need to go to quite extreme lengths. For example, you need to stand on the table, stick your cutlery in your ears, wave a napkin about and say "oy, you in the penguin suit, we've been here half an hour, could we at least have a menu?" Sometimes even this doesn't work, and you have to actually walk physically into the kitchen, grab the offending person by the throat, and say "are you ever going to notice us? What..."


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Sorry, just a question, do you enjoy going out?

LS: To be honest, because I'm barred from most places!

NP: Chris the audience enjoyed what you said in the interruption, so I give you a bonus point for that. Linda you get a point because you were interrupted, you have 10 seconds still available to tell us something about how to attract someone's attention starting now.

LS: How to attract someone's attention isn't difficult if you're Chris Neill. You just wave your bonus points...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Repetition of wave.

NP: Yes that's right, you were waving before.

LS: Oh yeah, quite a lot of waving.

NP: So Tim...

LS: But in fact drowning, as it turns out!

NP: Tim you've got a correct challenge, you have a point for that and take over the subject, five seconds, how to attract someone's attention starting now.

TR: Get your kit off and run up the aisle starkers! This will always attract people...


NP: So in this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Tim Rice and he's equal now in the lead with Linda Smith, just ahead of Chris Neill and Tony Hawks. And Chris we'd like you to take the next round, it's going off the rails. Something that very rarely happens in Just A Minute, I've never been known to do it myself. Chris, going off the rails, 60 seconds starting now.

CN: Whenever I play this game, I always think to myself "now stay on the subject and be good and funny". It never works! I always go off the rails! See, lack of laughter proved my point! And I, oh I've stopped...


NP: Tony challenged.

TONY HAWKS: I think there was a slight hesitation.

NP: There was indeed Tony, you have a point for a correct challenge, you have 48 seconds, going off the rails...

LS: What gave you the clue there? Was it him saying "oh I've stopped"?

TH: Oh I'm not going to give away my secrets! I've got my own method, you get yours!


TH: Competitive, this!

NP: Tony, 48 seconds, going off the rails starting now.

TH: There's nothing I like more than playing this game although it can make you go off the rails. The excitement is intense, three people wait nearby...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Do we need to let some air out?

NP: So what is your challenge within the rules...

CN: I'm sorry, I'm just on this bonus point thing! I know I'm never going to get any legitimate points so I'm just sort of saying...

NP: GIve him his bonus point.

CN: Thank you!

NP: Tony you were interrupted...

CN: I cash them in for tinned peaches!

NP: I can't give you two. Forty seconds Tony, another point to you, going off the rails starting now.

TH: We live in a competitive world. There are a lot of stress out there for people to deal with. Not everyone...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: I thought a bit of deviation from the English language there.

NP: What?

LS: There were a lot of stress out there. There were a lot of stress out there.

TH: Did I say that?


LS: Oh he did!

NP: Well as the audience didn't hear it, I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Tony another point to you, and 34 seconds, going off the rails starting now.

TH: Time for me to try a new emotion as I speak about this subject, because it goes down very well with the other panellists when I move around...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: It's not that popular!

NP: I think you've evolved a new way of playing the game! Come in with the...

LS: He just stands on the sidelines and heckles!


NP: He heckles his way into the lead! All right, another point to Chris, 26 seconds with you Tony now, going off the rails starting now.

TH: I was trying to balance on a railway line not that long ago, last Tuesday in fact. I kept slipping off to the left-hand side, very disappointing, the wind was coming from the other direction. Foolish but I was overcompensating by a big duffle coat...


NP: Linda challenged. You're struggling to think of a challenge?

LS: I was overcompensating by a big duffle coat!

TH: I was going to go on to explain...

NP: I know, I know, save it Tony...

TH: ... what the buffle coat was doing there, it's a fascinating story...

LS: Oh it's a buffle coat now, is it, a buffle coat? They're the worst aren't they! You get a lot of them about! I'm sorry, this is sheer surrealism! I was by a duffle coat? No!

NP: Linda we enjoy your contribution which is more between the shows than on the rounds. Tony it was an incorrect challenge, you still have the subject, 13 seconds, going off the rails starting now.

TH: The Rails were a pop band that I went to see many years ago when I was at school. They were a fine group, able to play most kinds of music but...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Repetition of ago. I was, I was going through his extremely boring speech, in the first part he said...

TH: I could have it typed out for you!

TR: ... "not long ago, last Tuesday"...

TH: Yes.

TR: He was standing on a rail...

NP: You don't have to justify it Tim.

TR: Oh really?

NP: I quite agree with you.

TH: Yeah absolutely.

TR: Fine.

NP: Three seconds for you Tim on going off the rails starting now.

TR: I was in the band called The Rails and I was extremely upset...


NP: Tim Rice was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that all important extra point. And he's now equal in the lead with Tony Hawks, and they're both one point ahead of Linda Smith and Chris Neill who are equal in second place. It's very even and Tim your turn to begin, the subject, Achilles. Tell us something about that interesting subject starting now.

TR: I always thought Achilles was a big hunk of a man, until I saw the film Troy, in which some cove called Brad Pitt ponced around for two hours and 15 minutes in a skirt, and frankly lost virtually every fight he had. He was a nasty piece of work, he whipped his weapon out at any opportunity...


TR: ... and...


NP: Oh...

LS: A hint of hesitation.

NP: Well I'm not surprised! I mean we've got such a filthy minded audience here! In Just A Minute you do have to say sword.

CN: Is that another ruling? In Just A Minute, you have to use the word sword? Where you can, best to get the word sword in.

NP: Sorry he did, you misunderstood the double entendre the audience were laughing at. It's unfortunate for you Chris.

CN: I didn't do it!

NP: It was a massive hesitation. Linda you have the correct challenge, 42 seconds, Achilles starting now.

LS: Of course Achilles is famous fro his heel which tended to chafe a bit in those sandals he used to wear. This wouldn't have happened if he'd gone to Clark's and got an extra wide fitting in one of those kinds of footwear that my mum used to...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Deviation, a wide fitting wouldn't help the heel problem.

NP: No.

TH: Wait for it, ladies and gentlemen, a very interesting debate is coming up!

NP: You can't justify that Linda!

TH: You'll love this!

LS: So you, so you're a chiropodist now Tim?

TR: No, but if I have a sore heel, I want longer shoes...

CN: A sword heel?

TR: No, a sore heel, I want longer shoes or sandals...

LS: No no, not if it was chafing at the side!

NP: Listen we're not going to have an argument about it...

TR: No, you said it was chafing on the heel.

CN: Yes!

LS: The side of the heel, the heel's not a one dimensional thing!

NP: Linda...

LS: If you've got a heel in a shoe, if it were too tight that way...

NP: Linda...

LS: ... the side of your heel...

NP: Linda darling, I've never known you so aggressive. You're lovely with it...

LS: I know!

NP: ... but I mean you don't have a leg to stand on with this one! I mean I'm not a chiropodist but Tim's exactly right.

LS: No, fine, okay. Fine, you can stand by a giant duffle coat but you can't, you can't have a little bit of chafing on the side of your heel apparently!

NP: Twenty-eight seconds with you Tim on Achilles starting now.

TR: Not that anybody else in this movie was any better, they were all pretty unpleasant and they all were...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: He said pretty before.

TR: When? Only, only in the Green Room darling, beforehand!

CN: You said, you said something about Brad Pitt being pretty something or other.

LS: Did he?

NP: Yes it was Brad Pitt.

LS: I don't remember him saying that.

CN: Yeah no, he did, didn't he?

NP: Chris, 24 seconds...

CN: I can't believe I got that!

NP: ... Achilles starting now.

CN: Um...

NP: Starting now Chris!

CN: Oh anyway, so there was a...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yeah for three seconds. Achilles is with you now Tony, 23 seconds starting now.

TH: Achilles, said to be the mightiest of the Greeks, there may have been some other fellows from this country who might have objected to that...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Oh no! No it's not is it?


CN: No!

NP: An incorrect challenge.

CN: Give me a bonus point anyway!

NP: No! Sixteen seconds starting now.

TH: He did have a very bad heel as we all know. Foolishly he went out and bought the wrong kind of shoes to cure this illness. Advised he was by a foolish chiropodist...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Two foolish!

NP: Yes.

LS: He said foolishly didn't he?

TH: Foolishly, yes, and foolish.

NP: Right, thank you very much. Tony, you've still got the subject, six seconds, all right, we heard you! Tony, six seconds, Achilles starting now.

TH: Just after I saw The Rails, Achilles, the band, came on. They were terrific! Tim Rice wasn't in them...


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now gone into the lead, ahead of the other three, who are almost equal in second place. And Tony, your turn to begin, the subject is a fair cop, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TH: My favourite fair cop was David Soul in Starsky And Hutch. He used to bundle in and out of cars with his gun cocked in a heroic manner. And I was only a small lad and was impressed by this when it was on the television in the 70s. It's ahhhh...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: That was a sort of hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation yes. A fair cop is now with you Chris and there are 43 seconds starting now.

CN: I never watched that David Soul programme myself. But I knew a lovely fair cop called Gerald, had beautiful long, blonde hair, terrible job keeping it under his helmet! And um so I...


CN: Was it repetition of foolish?

LS: It usually is with you!

NP: Linda you challenged first.

LS: Well that was hesitation.

NP: Yes correct, 34 seconds Linda with you, a fair cop starting now.

LS: A fair cop would be someone like Sergeant Lewis in Inspector Morse. He always seemed to actually solve the crime, unlike Morse himself, who I mentioned before, you may have noticed, apparently not...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Um er, repetition of Morse?

NP: How did you spot it?

LS: I don't know why we bother, no-one's listening!

NP: Chris,a correct challenge, 22 seconds, a fair cop starting now.

CN: Cops have a very hard time being fair, or brunette in fact. And so it's best that we consider those with red hair to be superior. I'm not sure why I say that...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Several hairs.

NP: Yes. And you have...

TR: Both red, fair, brunette, the lot!

NP: Yes and 13 seconds...

LS: He also said "superior" in a sort of French kind of way.

TH: We've got him bang to rights!

NP: Tim, correct challenge, 13 seconds, a fair cop starting now.

TR: I rather object to the way that this serious subject has been hijacked by cheap tacky jokes about blonde policemen. What the subject matter really is is far more...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Is is.

NP: Yes.

TR: Depends what the meaning of is is!

LS: Well would you care to explain the meaning of is is, for us Tim?

TR: No!

NP: So Linda you...

TH: Unless it's pronounced wrongly!

NP: A fair cop back with you Linda, three seconds starting now.

LS: A fair cop is what policemen always say when the hand of the law...


NP: Right so Linda Smith speaking then as the whistle went gained that extra point. She's now one point behind our leader Tony Hawks, and she's one ahead of Chris Neill and Tim Rice who are equal in second place. And Linda it's your turn to begin.

LS: Oh?

NP: A brilliant subject for you now Linda...

LS: Lovely! Smashing!

NP: Motorway service stations.

LS: Oh!

NP: Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

LS: Motorway service stations are always so disappointing. You get so excited at the thought...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Two sos.

NP: Yes, so exciting, so...

LS: Oh!

TH: Very good!

NP: Oh yes! Tough!

LS: Harsh but fair!

NP: Yes and there are 54 seconds for you Tim to tell us something about motorway service stations starting now.

TR: I have passed time on many motorway service stations including those on the M One, Two, Three, Four, Five and several others. Ah...


NP: So that's what happens if you start to go off in that particular direction. Tony you challenged first.

TH: Yes I think a little hesitation.

NP: A little hesitation, Tony you have the subject of motorway service stations, 44 seconds starting now.

TH: The most irritating thing about motorway service stations is the way they serve the sfood under...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Is that, I don't know, is that hesitation, that sfood? Sfood?

NP: Yes it was hesitation yes. He was going for a different word and it came out sfood.

TH: Yes I just did a little bit of Swedish just to check your...

NP: We interpret that as hesitation so Chris you have the subject, 37 seconds, motorway service stations starting now.

CN: As a rule, motorway...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Hesitation.

CN: No!

NP: No!

CN: Ridiculous!

LS: He went "as a rule..."

NP: No!

CN: No, "as a rule", comma!

LS: But as you know, Nicholas doesn't allow commas!

CN: It's apostrophes that he doesn't like.

LS: He doesn't like any punctuation actually!

CN: But you must get the word sword in!

LS: I know! The rules get more arcane every week!

NP: I love...

TH: I look forward to you saying sword on this subject! Let's see how you manage it!

NP: Right, motorway service stations Chris, another point to you as well, 35 seconds starting now.

CN: I had the most delicious swordfish steak with chips! It was fantastic!


CN: Mayonnaise on the side and a salad and I had a coca-cola with it. This was on the M-One, I don't like the one on the M-Two, and the one of the M...


CN: Oh bugger!

NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Yeah repetition of M.

NP: M, yes, he was so carried away with his success there that he went... we don't know what you said during the laughter but I'm sure it was all right Chris.

CN: Thanks!

NP: Another point to you Tony, 23 seconds, motorway service stations starting now.

CN: I was approached by a man with a sword in a motorway service station. He resembled Brad Pitt but after some questioning he turned out to be an angry centurion who had wandered off a film set nearby. Some people may think I'm making this story up...


NP: Tim?

TR: I'm, I'm convinced he is! This is deviation.

TH: He only had to resemble Brad Pitt, this man, he didn't have to be Brad Pitt, which makes it more plausible, I think.

NP: I think I'll give you the benefit of the doubt Tony, and you have eight seconds on motorway service stations starting now.

TH: You're going 75 miles an hour, getting a bit hungry. Shall I pull in? Maybe not, leave it for another 20...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Deviation from the law, you shouldn't go above 70!

TH: Did I not mention, did I not mention that I was on a German motorway?

NP: One second on motorway service stations Tony starting now.

TH: Lulu sang several...


NP: So Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point, and he's increased his lead at the end of that round over the other three. Chris Neill your turn to begin, the subject is the art of blowing your nose in public, 60 seconds starting now.

CN: There are many things you need to learn in this world, and I'm not entirely sure that the art of blowing your nose in public is one of them...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Well shut up, and let someone else speak about it! Bonus point?

NP: I was, I won't give you a bonus point for what you said, but I will give you a bonus point for that comment when you said "bonus point". And er Chris was interrupted, he gets a point for that of course, he keeps the art of blowing your nose in public, starting now.

CN: It's a bit like learning the best way to fart in front of a nun, not one of life's essentials really...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Well you should always let her go first!

NP: Chris has another point, he has the art of blowing your nose in public, 49 seconds starting now.

CN: If you must treat it as an art, the best thing to do is to wear your birthday suit, and out of your very carefully placed pocket, produce a beautifully crisply ironed handkerchief and...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Well there were several things really. No there was a bit of hesitation there...

NP: No...

LS: A sort of eurgh, going like that. The eurgh sounded a bit, did you not think?

CN: I didn't say sword either!

LS: That was another thing.

NP: He was stumbling a little over his words.

LS: Yeah stumbling, hesitation.

NP: No.

LS: Just babbling incoherently.

NP: He has the benefit of the doubt, he keeps the subject, and there are 35 seconds, the art of blowing your nose in public starting now.

CN: Of course, if it's your responsibility to blow somebody else's nose in public, the best thing to do is to approach them quietly...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I think we had the best before, didn't we.

CN: Yes.

NP: That's right yes.

TH: The best thing and the best.

NP: So Tony you have another point, you have the subject and you have 31 seconds, the art of blowing your nose in public starting now.

TH: If you are Picasso, Monet, or such like, the art of blowing your nose in public is easier to achieve than say if you are a plumber...


NP: Right Tim challenged.

TR: Two if you ares.

NP: If you are, yes, repetition Tim.

TH: Yes.

NP: If you are, the art of blowing your nose in public, 22 seconds starting now.

TR: There are some subjects which just don't grab you, I'm sorry to say this is one of them, but I'll do my...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: I'll have a go then!

NP: Linda's got her first bonus point, Tim was interrupted, he keeps the...

CN: By the way, Linda is lovely!

NP: Seventeen seconds Tim, the art of blowing your nose in public starting now.

TR: If you have the desperate urge to blow your nose in public, I would recommend that you get the members of the public down to the smallest possible number...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Two publics.

NP: It's on the, the subject on the card.

LS: Oh it's on the card! Oh!

NP: Blowing your nose in public.

LS: Oh I feel such a fool!

NP: So an incorrect challenge Tim, you've still got it, and 11 seconds, the art of blowing your nose in public starting now.

TR: Slink into the shade of a coolabar tree where there will be very few people there to witness this disgusting action, which I cannot in any way contem...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Can I just ask, what do you do if there isn't a coolabar tree present?

TR: It's a...

LS: A duffle coat is just as good!

NP: Tim you were interrupted so you get another point and there are two seconds on the art of blowing your nose in public starting now.

TR: If the aforementioned arboreal thing...


NP: Oh we're moving into the last round. Let me give you the situation as we move into the final round. Well Linda Smith for once is trailing just a little in fourth place. She's only just behind Chris Neill in third place. But equal in the lead are Tim Rice and Tony Hawks. And it's Tim your turn to begin, the subject is my motto.

TR: My motto is a friend in need is a pest! There's another very useful motto which is a one-armed man deals cards slowly. These mottoes have got me through my life without any cock-ups or sword problems whatsoever. I have had an extremely successful existence based round these vital proverbs. I wish, wish, wish somebody...


TR: Would interrupt me!

NP: It's an evil game isn't it! Tony...

TH: Three in a row, you can be sent home! They're coming to get him now!

NP: There are 38 seconds available for you Tony on my motto starting now.

TH: I've always liked the motto, you're never too old to be turned off by a park keeper. I made it up myself and I think it's true of life. A bird in the hand is definitely worth two in the bush, so the expression goes without that middle word in that line...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: We had Swedish before with sfood, and now we've got mittle from German!

NP: We give you the benefit of the doubt, hesitation, with you Chris now on, 17 seconds available, my motto starting now.

CN: My motto would be if at first you can't succeed, why not try and get a bonus point? It seems to work very very well. I would...


NP: Oh!

CN: Bugger!

NP: Oh! Tony yes?

TH: Well we've had wish wish wish and very very, and frankly they need to study harder! In their downtime between their...

NP: I know, but the audience love it, don't they! Ten seconds are still available on my motto with you Tony starting now.

TH: My motto, (speaks in Latin), in work and play and life...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Deviation from the English language.

NP: Yes but...

LS: Unless he's speaking in tongues, I don't know.

TH: Latin, motto, a lot of mottoes in Latin.

NP: Linda you know, there's nothing in the thing, you could actually do the whole round in French, if you wanted to.

LS: Really?

NP: Yes.

LS: For goodness sake.

NP: I don't think it would go over very well with most of the audience at the BBC!

LS: It would probably go over better than Latin, I would think.

NP: He didn't go on too long, and he didn't deviate or hesitate or repeat anything.

LS: No, I know.

NP: So it's an incorrect challenge, Tony another point to you and five seconds, my motto starting now.

TH: (speaks in French)


NP: For those of you who don't understand French, um let me just tell you that Linda Smith was just in fourth place. Chris Neill was in third place. He was just behind Tim Rice. But out in the lead with a magnificent 19 points, was Tony Hawks so he was the winner! We have reached the end of the show, alas, alas, alas. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four intrepid and magnificent players of the game, Tony Hawks, Linda Smith, Chris Neill and Tim Rice. I thank Janet Staplehurst, who has helped me with the score, blown her whistle so well for me after the 60 seconds had gone. We thank Claire Jones who is our producer. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this lovely game. And I am grateful to the man in the front row who gave me the Strepsils, my voice has just held out through the flu. I apologise to any listeners if I sounded croaky, but our audience here have been lovely. From our lovely audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, thank you for tuning in, be with us the next time we play Just A Minute!