starring CLEMENT FREUD, TONY HAWKS, JULIAN CLARY and PAM AYRES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 28 March 2005)

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Oh! Thank you, 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 this country but those throughout the world who tune in on the network, the Internet, Radio Four, the World Service, Radio Seven or wherever. And we welcome also to the show four exciting, extraordinary, exceptional, talented players of the game. Who once more are going to pit their wits, their verbal ingenuity and dexterity, their humorous inventiveness, as they speak on a subject that I give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four people are, seated on my right the lovely Pam Ayres. And beside her the amazing Clement Freud. And seated on my left the gorgeous Julian Clary. And beside him the delightful Tony Hawks. And would you please welcome all four of them! And beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, who is going to help me with the score, blow the whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the New Theatre which is the magnificent edifice in the centre of that amazing city of Oxford. And we have a great exciting audience drawn from all quarters of this noble county, come to cheer us on our way. As we begin the show with Clement Freud. And Clement the subject is double Dutch. What a comedown when you mention Oxford and you go to double Dutch. But that's the subject Clement, speak on it for 60 seconds if you can starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Double Dutch tends to mean gibberish, but also an accumulation or superfluity of people from Holland. Um a Dutch uncle putting into a Dutch oven a Dutch cap while outside the house the elm tree has Dutch disease. That's the sort of double Dutch which um I thought you'd want to hear...


NP: Julian Clary you challenged.

JULIAN CLARY: We had a hesitating um.

NP: We did have a hesitation there. So you have a correct challenge Julian and you get a point for that, you take over the subject, there are 36 seconds still available, double Dutch starting now.

JC: If you went on a weekend break to Amsterdam, and you met two Dutchmen, took them back to your hotel, you could experience double Dutch, which is one interpretation of the phrase which really as we all know here present means gobble-di-gook. But people are talking in a very highbrow falluting way, or possibly if they're intoxicated with drink or drugs, they would be talking double Dutch to you, and you will maybe nod politely, smile and move on to the next person in the hope that they're not going to be double Dutch in the same manner as your previous conversationalist...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking as the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Julian Clary, in fact he's the only one to get any points in that round, so he's naturally in the lead. And Pam Ayres will you take the next round, life on the ocean wave, that is the subject, tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

PAM AYRES: I have always hated sailing, ever since a bloke called Fred invited me to have a go at it on Farmoor Reservoir in, in his boat. I don't know what sort it was, but it was... heavily varnished...


NP: Julian you challenged.

JC: Hesitation again.

NP: I'm afraid that was a hesitation Pam. And they wanted to hear more about your life on the ocean wave. But Julian got in first, 44 seconds Julian, life on the ocean wave starting now.

JC: Years ago a life on the ocean waves was all the rage. And if you hung around Portsmouth, the streets were full of discharged seamen (semen). But it never...



NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: That is deviation!

NP: Yes! No I think it was probably accurate. I think he made a statement which was misinterpreted by all the audience. But it's correct, I mean there would be a lot of seamen who were discharged from the service who would be hanging about on the streets there, looking for work there...

JC: Don't go on about it! I think we've had our...

NP: Ah, but, so no I think Julian it was an incorrect challenge, you have another point and you have 36 seconds, life on the ocean wave starting now.

JC: A life on the ocean waves has never appealed to me because I get seasickness. I'd be hanging over the side, vomiting most of the time, which is not really any way to spend your days or indeed your nights. A life on the ocean wave, maybe you get used to the motion of the ocean, but I'm not sure...


NP: Tony challenged.

TONY HAWKS: Ah actually I made an incorrect challenge, but I'm going to come up with something cunning. Um because I think he's repeated, the subject is life on the ocean wave...

NP: Mmmm.

TH: ... and he keeps saying waves. So...

JC: Oh for goodness sake!

TH: Well, I, you know...

NP: You don't actually...

TH: I haven't said anything yet! I've got to get in somehow!

JC: But if I said waves several times, several waves are waves. If you see what I mean.

NP: No, that is the way we play the game Julian. If it's a singular on the card, and you repeat the plural, I'm afraid that is a correct challenge.

JC: Well I'll be quiet then!

NP: Nineteen seconds are available for you with a correct challenge and a point to you of course Tony, life on the ocean wave starting now.

TH: People will be interested to learn that this show is actually recorded and as I'm speaking now, Ellen MacArthur is in...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: This is nothing to do with a life on the ocean wave.

NP: Ellen MacArthur is right on the ocean wave.

JC: Oh, that woman on a boat?

TH: Yeah it just about sneaks in as being about it.

JC: She wants...

NP: In fact if she hasn't had too bad a weather at this particular time, she could be approaching Falmouth within an hour or two...

JC: How exciting!

NP: Of this recording! And so by the time the show goes out, you'll know whether she made it or not. Or broke the record.

JC: I do hope so!

NP: Why, has she got home?


NP: She's got back!


NP: Wonderful!

TH: People at home in three weeks time thinking you hear it there first!

NP: So Tony...

TH: Ellen who?

NP: An incorrect challenge that was so you keep the subject, 13 seconds, life on the ocean wave starting now.

TH: When Mike Yarwood did his impression of Edward Heath, he always used to sing A Life On The Ocean Wave, and move his shoulders up and down in an extraordinary amusing manner...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: I think he used to sing A Life On The Ocean Waves!

NP: He did actually sing Life On The Ocean Waves so you see Julian, you got back in on the same sort of premise on which you were challenged. And you got it back with two seconds to go, life on the ocean wave starting now.

JC: It must be a lovely life on the ocean wave...


NP: So Julian Clary was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And with others in the round he's got a very strong lead there. Tony Hawks has got a couple of points, the other two have yet to score. And Julian it's back with you, it's your turn to start. And the subject is my favourite poem. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

JC: I can tell you that my favourite poem in all the history of literature is Sonnet 94 by a chap called William Shakespeare. Shall I recite it for you? Yes I'm going to, you don't have to answer.
They that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing that most do feel,
Who, moving others, are themselves as steel,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces
And husband...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I happen to know it goes on longer than a minute!

NP: Have you got any other challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

TH: I have nothing to offer.

NP: You haven't. Well the audience enjoyed your interruption, give you a bonus point for that. But Julian gets a point because he was interrupted, he keeps the subject of my favourite poem, 34 seconds starting now.

JC: I've completely lost the thread of my favourite poem now....


NP: Um Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Lost the thread!

NP: Yes but he was still speaking on the subject of my favourite poem by saying he'd lost the thread. He can say that, he hasn't deviated in that sense, so I don't think it's a correct challenge. So Julian you have another point, you have my favourite poem, you have 31 seconds starting now.

JC: I've kind of lost interest now, but I will carry on...


NP: Clement challenged, yes Clement?

CF: Repetition of that sentiment!

NP: Yes. No, he said before he'd lost interest and now he'd lost the thread. Right he did repeat the word lost. Right Clement you have the subject, you have 28 seconds, my favourite poem starting now.

CF: My favourite poem is not really suited to Just A Minute. It is
Oh Mary go and call the cattle home
And call the cattle home
And call the cattle home...


NP: Julian you challenged first.

JC: Ah repetition obviously, inevitable.

NP: Yes but as Clement did it deliberately to get a laugh, and he got a very good reaction, we give him a bonus point for that. You get a point because you interrupted him, correctly interrupted him, 19 seconds, my favourite poem starting now.

JC: Get off the table, Mabel, the money's for the beer, is a very short poem of which I'm particularly fond. I think it may have been written by Stevie Smith but I can't be sure. Andrew Marbell used to knock out poems, as did Mister...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: A hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation Pam, so you have my favourite poem...


NP: The trouble is Pam, I'm sure you've got, I know you've got lots of poems, but you've only got five seconds, to tell us a bit about your favourite poem so you start now.

PA: I wish I'd looked after me teeth
And spotted the dangers...


NP: It's also my favourite poem of all the wonderful ones you've written Pam. What's the second line?

PA: And spotted the dangers beneath.
All the toffees I've chewed
And the sweet sticky food.
I wish I'd looked after me teeth.
It does go on then for several lines.

NP: Anyway Pam you were speaking as the whistle went then, you gained an extra point for doing so, and you've got a few points there. Tony Hawks it's your turn to begin, the subject now is...

TH: Did you look after your teeth though really? Really?

PA: No, not very well, but I, they are mine, but they are fairly well repaired!

TH: Right.

NP: Right, the subject now is lovies. Tony, your turn to begin, 60 seconds starting now.

TH: One of the requisites of being a lovey is to boom out sentences. (in Laurence Olivier voice) Saying "darling do you remember the time we played the New Theatre, Oxford, and what an audience we had! They complained about the microphones! Oh I'm not going back there, I tell you!" (normal voice) And also a cravat is quite a good thing for a lovey to wear. I've seen Nicholas doing this sort of thing actually and telling stories about Rep. I heard him do that on this show so perhaps this man is a lovey. I put it to you, ladies and gentlemen. They're saying no, they don't want me to talk about him any more. I can see their point of view. Let's move on to something...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: A hesitation.

NP: He did hesitate Pam, so you got in with 19 seconds to go on lovies starting now.

PA: I saw Prunella Scales presenting a workshop on something theatrical on television. And she did actually address one of her students as lovey, and was instantly mortified, flung her hands up to her face and said "oh no..."


NP: Pam was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. The situation now is that Julian Clary's in a very strong lead, Pam Ayres follows, Tony Hawks and Clement Freud in that order. And Clement your turn to begin, the subject is existentialism, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

CF: It's not going to be very easy for me to talk for 60 seconds on existentialism, which is a philosophy dealing with gazing at...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Well don't put yourself through it then!

NP: Julian that was a lovely remark, the audience enjoyed it. We give you a bonus point for that, but he wasn't actually deviating, hesitating or repeating anything so he keeps the subject, he gets a point for being interrupted, 52 seconds still with you Clement, existentialism starting now.

CF: I didn't actually hear what um Julian said...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah was there a hesitation there?

NP: There was a hesitation yes. He actually said "don't put yourself through it", which seemed to be quite an apt remark considering you said you didn't...

CF: Perhaps he could speak into his microphone.

NP: Right but it doesn't make any difference, you won a point for it.

CF: Did I?

NP: Yes you got a point. But this time you lost it because it was a hesitation...

CF: Aha.

NP: Tony you got it, existentialism, 48 seconds starting now.

TH: I wish I looked after my teeth is in some ways an existentialist statement. Existentialists actually believe that it's a totally meaningless universe, and that the religious people who find meaning in all sorts of things are flawed, in their thinking. And I happen to ah...


NP: Julian you challenged.

JC: Ah hesitation.

NP: Yes there was, what a subject. Twenty-six seconds for you Julian on existentialism starting now.

JC: I can only suppose that existentialism is a way of trying to unravel the meaning of life, which is not something any of us should dwell on. Best to just carry on from one day to the next, and enjoy the present moment. Try and live in the here and now is my advice, not that anyone cares, and I haven't written any books on the subject! It's terribly highbrow and I'm a lowbrow kind of person...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Yes repetition of brow I'm afraid.

NP: Yes, too much brow yes, So Tony you got in with four seconds to go, existentialism starting now.

TH: I wandered lonely as a cloud is not necessarily something that an existentialist...


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, with other points in the round he's moved forward. He's still behind our leader, Julian Clary, he's just ahead of Pam Ayres and Clement Freud in that situation, in that order, or that sequence I should say. And Pam Ayres, your turn to begin, the subject now is killjoys. Tell us something about killjoys in Just A Minute starting now.

PA: Beware of killjoys, people who say things like "you'll be lucky" and "in your dreams". And "of all the stupid harebrained schemes I ever heard, that one really takes the biscuit". This is the parlance of the killjoy. And I knew a killjoy once. She was a publisher. I rang her up and said "would you like to publish my poems..."


PA: Oh!

NP: Clement challenged.

CF: No.

NP: No it's wrong.

CF: No, wrong.

NP: You said publish and publisher.

CF: Yeah.

PA: Yes it was.

NP: And ah, and ah...

CF: Wrong.

NP: He was wrong, but you were interrupted, you get a point for that...

PA: Thank you.

NP: And you have 33 seconds to continue, killjoys, by the way it's the plural on the card, do you want to be aware of that...

PA: Thank you.

NP: Starting now.

PA: She said "no, go home," she advised, poetry...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Three shes.

PA: Oh blow!

NP: Yes. Yes oh blow. Yes...

CF: Two blows!

NP: He let two go, but he couldn't resist the third one. So Clement, correct challenge, 28 seconds, killjoys starting now.

CF: Killjoys is a middle name of Robert Ilk, a politician who has founded his own political party, and is going precisely nowhere with it. I think Killjoys as he is known by his enemies, he has few friends, is...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was a hesitation yes. You were going so well Clement.

CF: I was thinking about it.

NP: I know, I know. You were almost resting on your laurels with that brilliant reaction you had. It was very very witty I thought. I was really... most impressed. Where were we? Yes you challenged Julian with four seconds to go, killjoys is with you now starting now.

JC: The age of consent for homosexuals for many years was 21, but for heterosexuals...


NP: So Julian Clary was again speaking as the whistle went, has increased his lead at the end of the round, ahead of Tony Hawks, Pam Ayres and Clement Freud in that order. And Tony your turn to begin, the subject now, a snake in the grass. Oh said the audience. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TH: A snake in the grass is probably an expression that comes from the fact that a snake in the grass is usually quite difficult to see. Although that would depend on the length of the grass, for instance...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: No sorry, I just recognised the two grasses but probably I should have kept my finger off the buzzer.

NP: Because you can repeat any word which is in the...

PA: Yes sorry.

NP: ... the phrase...

PA: Sorry Tony.

NP: No, don't apologise...

PA: I'm abject!

TH: I get an extra, I get an extra point.

NP: We love the keenness.

TH: Yes.

NP: Tony doesn't mind because he gets an extra point because it was an incorrect challenge. He carries on, 48 seconds, a snake in the grass starting now.

TH: If you were on a putting green for instance, like Tiger Woods, and a snake were to come towards you, you'd probably spot it. We know for a fact that this golfer has been bitten by very few snakes. And there are no books you can check that fact in...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: Hesitation.

NP: Yeah I think so.

TH: Yes yes I think it was poor.

NP: I think you were running out of steam.

TH: Yeah I'd had enough!

NP: Yes. So you Pam, you've got in on the subject of snake in the grass, 31 seconds starting now.

PA: Long ago in the hills above the village of Byberry in Gloucestershire, I was walking with my boyfriend Jeremy. And to my horror I saw, slithering away from me in the bracken and other undergrowth, an adder, no, and...


TH: It was called and, this adder, was it?

PA: Yes! Yes.

TH: And the adder.

PA: Old And, yes.

NP: So Julian you challenged first.

JC: It was hesitation.

NP: Twelve seconds, you tell us something about a snake in the grass starting now.

JC: A snake in the grass, there but for a small typographical ever, error is...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: How are you spelling that? I think he hesitated.

NP: Yes we call that hesitation. So you got in again Tony on a snake in the grass, seven seconds starting now.

TH: Possibly someone within a company who was sneaking on the boss, selling information to another enterprise might be considered to be a snake...


NP: So at the end of that round Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. He's gained others in the round, he's moved forward, he's now only one behind our leader Julian Clary, but they're both some points ahead of Clement Freud and Pam Ayres who are equal in third place. Clement it's your turn to begin and the subject now is a dark horse. Tell us something about a dark horse in this game starting now.

CF: Oddly enough, a dark horse can be white, grey, brown, dappled, piebald, skewbald. The thing about dark horses is that you don't know what they are on about. A dark horse can be a terrific good-looking horse that has no speed, or vice versa. In bookmaking circles, a dark horse is usually referred to as... an equine...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Hesitation.

NP: I call that hesitation too Julian. Thirty-five seconds now with you, correct challenge, a dark horse starting now.

JC: Many years ago I thought I was on my own in a field in the countryside in Wiltshire. However I heard a snorting noise. I turned around, what do you think I saw, it was a dark horse. So I climbed upon him, and what happened next still gives me nightmares. I was bucked horribly to within an inch of my life. So a dark horse is not to be mounted in my considerable expense. I prefer a light-coloured horse, but I may be accused of deviation so I'll stick to the subject. A dark horse is of course a kind of euphemism for someone who creeps around and you can't trust them...


NP: Julian you're really flying tonight. Not only do you keep going for a long time, but you get the extra point for speaking as the whistle went. You've increased your lead over Tony Hawks, Clement Freud and Pam Ayres in that order. And Pam we're back with you to start, and the subject now is the 50s. I don't know how much your experience was of that particular era or period, but tell us something about it if you can, 60 seconds starting now.

PA: In our village in the 50s, we had a sweet shop run by a lady called Mrs Miles, and I used to stop there and buy coconut macaroons which had a brown top, and a white stalk, and were yummy. One day she gave me back the ration book, and said "we don't need this any more, Pammy". And so for me, the end of rationing meant an even bigger bag of the tooth rotting fungi. And...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of bag I'm afraid.

PA: Oh blow!

NP: Yes Clement a correct challenge, you have 31 seconds, the 50s starting now.

CF: I remember my 50s very well. It was about 30 years ago, and I had a wonderful time. I had lots of hair, no beard...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: I thought that was a hesitation.

NP: No not quite.

PA: Not really? Okay.

NP: No no.

PA: I'm just feeling got at!

NP: We'll give her a bonus point, they mustn't get the lovely Pam.

PA: Oh thank you very much!

NP: She hasn't played as much as others. But it was an incorrect challenge, he was going at his usual measured delivery on that occasion. So Clement, 23 seconds, the 50s starting now.

CF: In my 50s, I went to my village in Suffolk which is called Warbeswick, and there was a sweet shop. And a nice man called Mister Reynolds to whom I said "I would like a chocolate macaroon". He said "no way, there's no..."


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of said.

NP: Yes you did say, you said before. Twice said.

TH: I said, he said.

NP: Said.

TH: And you were saying everything that she'd said as well!

NP: But the wicked thing about this game is that you can do that.

TH: Yes.

NP: Right, see if you do it now, seven seconds, the 50s starting now.

TH: I wasn't actually around in the 50s, because I'm such a youthful thing. However I do know my history, and rock and...


NP: Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And we're moving into the last round.


NP: I expected more than that! The ah, and I will give you the situation as we do, because Tony has moved forward again. He's still one behind our leader Julian Clary. And then Clement Freud and Pam Ayres come a few points behind them, but they're quite strongly placed in third and fourth position. And Julian it's your turn to begin, the subject is singing telegrams. Tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

JC: Many years ago, before I became a natural treasure and a household name, I used to scratch a living as a singing telegram. For 25 pounds, you could have had me knocking on your doorstep, dressed as Tarzan. I also, at Christmas time, used to don a green leotard. And believe it or not, I was known as the human Christmas tree, which was very very festive as singing telegrams...


NP: Ah Tony challenged.

TH: Did he repeat Christmas? Did he say at Christmas time, and I used to...

JC: No I don't think so.

TH: I used to be a Christmas tree at Christmas time. How did he refer to it the first time?

NP: I was so much enjoying it, for once I switched off! I'm sorry. I don't think, you did say Christmas time, didn't you?

JC: Are you switched on now?

NP: Yes! I'm switched on yes. Christmas tree at Christmas time. Yes you did talk about Christmas time, I remember now. I've just done a quick recall in the mind. And Christmas tree. So Christmas was repeated and Tony, singing telegrams with you, 37 seconds starting now.

TH: Singing telegrams have offered actors and actresses who have been unable to find parts in plays a wonderful opportunity to supplement their meagre income. That is if they're in Rep, of course...


NP: Julian you challenged.

JC: I was only testing to see if you were switched on!

TH: I think you've got your answer, didn't you!

NP: Right...

JC: I don't know that you were.

NP: Yes I am switched on, and your reaction was great, so give him a bonus point. But Tony was interrupted so he gets a point, 25 seconds, singing telegrams starting now.

TH: I am fascinated by this former life of Julian Clary as a singing telegram. And when this show is over, I will quiz him in the dressing room about...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: You certainly won't! I've got a car, I've got a car waiting outside, I won't be in the dressing room!

NP: Julian, the audience enjoyed your comment, so we give you a bonus point for that. But Tony was interrupted so he gets a point for that, he keeps the subject, singing telegrams, 16 seconds starting now.

TH: I often wonder what sort of person wants their telegram sung. What if it's a terrible piece of news, this would be awful if they did sing it to the tune of say...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: Sing.

NP: Yes.

PA: No, no, no it was sing and song, wasn't it.

TH: Sung the first time.

NP: It was sung the first time.

PA: I'm sorry about that, I'm just feeling got at again!

NP: But he did repeat the word telegram and it's telegrams on the card.

PA: That's what I meant!

NP: Yes that's what... And I thought as the other two are equal at the moment, and you haven't done it so often...

PA: And I'm lagging behind!

NP: And you're lagging a little.

PA: Yes.

NP: And we're bringing the show to a close, I thought it was only apt as we're in Oxford and you come from Oxfordshire, I thought it would be nice to finish with Pam Ayres. Two seconds to go, singing telegrams starting now.

PA: Dressed as a singing telegram I...


NP: Let me give you the final situation. Clement Freud, for once, which is unusual, finished up just in fourth place. He was three points behind Pam Ayres, who was in a very powerful second place. She nearly caught these two fellows sitting on my left. But a very fair result. Julian Clary and Tony Hawks are equal together in the lead, so we say they are joint winners! So thank you. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Pam Ayres, Julian Clary, Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. I thank Janet Staplehurst, who has helped me with the score, and blown her whistle with such panache when the 60 seconds was up. We thank our producer-director who is Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are very grateful to this lovely audience in the New Theatre in Oxford, who have cheered us on our way. So from them, from me Nicholas Parsons, and this wonderful panel, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!