WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD, LIBBY PURVES and TONI ARTHUR, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 13 February 1985)
NOTE: Libby Purves's last appearance, Toni Arthur's only appearance.
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Libby Purves and Toni Arthur 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 once again to Just A Minute. And as you just heard we have two of our regular players of the game, Kenneth Williams and Clement Freud. We welcome back Libby Purves as one of our guests who has played it with such success before. And for the first time as a guest, we welcome Toni Arthur. So for once in Just A Minute we have two women competing against two men. They're going to try and speak if they can on the subject that I give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition, or deviating from the subject which is on the card in front of me. Clement Freud would you like to start the show this week. And the subject that Ian Messiter has thought of is what I saw in a joke shop. I've given you a moment to think about it, you have 60 seconds starting now.
CLEMENT FREUD: I'm not a great one for browsing around joke shops. But when I was a small boy, I did once go into a joke shop, and saw a tie which not only lit up when you pressed a rubber bulb in your pocket, but spun around in an ever greater circles when you did just what I described a little earlier in this programme. The other things you are likely to see in a joke shop are the most extraordinary faces, noses, masks, and other things to make people roar with laughter when they look at you. Beards, moustaches and other manifestations of facial hair are exceedingly popular in joke shops. And children from all over the world will gather on the pavements and purchase...
NP: Libby challenged.
LIBBY PURVES: At which joke shop do they gather from all over the world outside? I think that's a deviant comment.
NP: So Libby you have a good challenge there and a point for that...
NP: And eight seconds to talk on what I saw in a joke shop starting now.
LP: One day in Liverpool, I was passing a joke shop and I looked inside it and I saw the most wonderful thing. A rubber fried...
NP: At the end of 60 seconds for those of you who don't already know it, Ian Messiter blows his whistle. And whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. Libby is in the lead and she begins the next round. And the subject is laughing gas. Would you tell us something about that ridiculous subject in this game starting now.
LP: Listeners at home to this programme may wonder why it is that the most futile sally by Kenneth Williams is always greeted with roars of laughter. The reason for this is that he carries a small canister, tucked beneath his jacket of laughing gas. And at certain moments after he has made what he considers to be an amusing remark, he presses the nozzle and they all go hahaha...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of haha.
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Well the challenge was appreciated by the audience Clement, and you've got a point for that and the subject of laughing gas and 38 seconds starting now.
CF: Oddly enough, the amusement provided by my friend Kenneth Williams is not confined to listeners at home. Because even those who switch on their wireless sets in motor cars will get the same sort of sensation of happiness and joy and other emotions which may well cause the person driving a car... I wish somebody would challenge me...
NP: So Toni your buzzer came on then. So you've got the subject then and there are 16 seconds on laughing gas starting now.
TONI ARTHUR: Well actually I had laughing gas when I went to the dentist quite a long time ago. And the dentist said that it...
TA: I beg your pardon?
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
TA: Oh yes, dentists.
NP: There were two dentists, yes. But as you spotted it before Clement Freud said a word...
TA: Yes! Can I have another go?
NP: And you've never played the game, in fact you've never even spoken on the game before...
TA: I haven't.
LP: I think she ought to have a point for a correct challenge of herself!
TA: But anyway I was told that you were going to be charming to me Nicholas, as it was my first go. So can I have another go?
NP: I don't know why you had to be told. It was obvious from the way I greeted you that I was going to be charming to you.
TA: This is true but I didn't want everybody to know.
NP: Oh! Well why the hell did you tell them all?
TA: It just slipped out.
NP: Well in spite of the fact that you've revealed our secrets Toni, you have kept, you've got a point because I would not allow that after your very first attempt. And 11 seconds are left with you on laughing gas starting now.
TA: Well he said to me, he said that he was going to really frighten me when he took my teeth out. And to make me feel at ease at the time, he said "my goodness, look darling, you've lost an eyelash". Now he had a very good suit...
NP: Well Toni in the 15 seconds left, in spite of saying said five times, kept going until the end without being interrupted by the others who of course spotted it so that she has three points at the end of that round. Well done Toni!
TA: How kind! Thank you.
NP: So you're now in the game...
TA: I think my mother clapped in the audience!
NP: It is the effect of the laughing gas.
NP: Don't worry. Toni it is your turn to begin...
NP: The subject is things I hide under my bed. Oh what a...
TA: Why are you laughing?
NP: I'm thinking of the things I hide under my bed. Um um maybe, don't reveal too much of our secrets Toni. So the things I hide under my bed, 60 seconds starting now.
TA: Well the thing I hide most of all under my bed is my nightie, because I in fact don't sleep with any clothes on at all. So that particular garment is always under my bed should somebody knock at the door and I have to go and answer the door. But the thing my...
TA: I said door.
NP: Libby has challenged yes.
LP: Two doors?
TA: There are two doors that I could have opened.
NP: It's the idea of you having to get out of bed as soon as there's a knock and get your nightie on that um, anyway, nobody gasped when you talked about this vision of your loveliness going to bed without a nightie. But still that was a correct challenge Libby, you have now 48 seconds, things I hide under my bed starting now.
LP: Whenever I get back from a trip away from home, I take my suitcase upstairs and kick it under the bed. And then when I pack for the next trip, I pack a different suitcase...
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: I'm afraid there were two packs.
NP: Two suitcases as well.
KW: Pack for the next trip and pack, and pack twice.
NP: So Kenneth you have the subject of things I hide under my bed, and there are 36 seconds starting now.
KW: Things that I hide under my bed are unbelievable. And I'll tell you for why. In my youth of course there was the jerry or po, as we sometimes called it. Because you see, a bathroom we did not have, no. I knew the most incredible property, and we used to sit there shivering. No such things as central heating...
NP: Libby got in just before the...
LP: He is actually deviating because it's things I hide under my bed now, and he was talking about things he hid under his bed...
KW: It isn't, there's not a now in this, in this er.
NP: Things I hide under my bed.
LP: Hide is the present tense. No?
NP: Yes it is, but things I hide under my bed...
LP: He doesn't hide his po any more. He's not poor now.
NP: Oh he established that way back in the past this was some of the things that he hid under his bed.
LP: Yes but that's things I hid under my bed.
LP: You're a hard man, Parsons!
NP: Semantic discussions and decisions to make. And with half a second to go, I don't know. Let me, let the audience be the judge. If you agree with Libby's challenge you cheer for her, and if you disagree you boo for Kenneth, and you all do it together now.
CHEERS AND BOOS FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: (laughs) I'm sorry Libby. Mind you, when Kenneth...
LP: He brings them all in!
NP: I know!
LP: They're all his aunties!
NP: The trouble is it costs him so much as well, he never makes a penny out of it. Kenneth there is half a second on things I hide under my bed starting now.
KW: Often a spare blanket, very handy...
NP: Well in spite of Kenneth winning a number of points including one for speaking as the whistle went, he's still one point behind Libby Purves our leader. And Kenneth begins the next round. Kenneth, the Naska ground drawings. Can you tell us something about those in the game...
CF: Again? Again?
NP: The Naska ground drawings. The ones in Peru.
CF: Oh yes! Those! Those!
NP: Those ones.
NP: There are only one lot of Naska ground drawings, they're in Peru. You have to take an aeroplane up to see them to get a perspective. I mustn't tell you about them, let Kenneth tell us about them in the game starting now.
KW: They are said to date from the sixth century BC. And certain gentlemen maintain that they are the results of designs made from hot air balloons. I find it awfully difficult because dirigibles, I'm sure, are comparatively modern. But they depict birds, huge specimens, and Baast monkeys, all laid out geologically, literally in the ground. And other people have said they point the way to sacred temples. This is where they worshipped ancient gods in other times. And it makes one think of things that are almost primeval when you actually imagine going up, as Nicholas Parsons has rightly remarked, seeing it airily. These incredible patterns that seem to stretch for miles and you ask yourself...
NP: Well that thunderous round of applause I'm sure indicates that you enjoyed, not only admiring Kenneth's skill in keeping going, but the information that he imparted during those 60 seconds. Of course there are other points. Some people actually believe that this is evidence that we have been visited from other planets and they put it down to something not primeval but something extraterrestrial.
KW: But if the other planets come here in the sixth century BC, they must have gone off a bit, don't you think so? Rather like...
NP: Anyway Kenneth, you did magnificently, the audience enjoyed it. You got a point for speaking as the whistle went, and an extra point for not being interrupted, and you've taken the lead at the end of that round.
KW: Oh heavens! That's wonderful! Very nice!
NP: There's a lady in the front row who yawned fantastically when I mentioned that. So Libby Purves your turn to begin, the subject is the Mad Hatter's tea party. Can you tell us something about that in our game starting now.
LP: Lewis Carroll, otherwise the Reverend Charles Dodgson, got the idea for the Mad Hatter's tea party in Alice In Wonderland when seeing somebody dip a French tea bag into a teapot. He thought this looked very like a mouse being similarly treated. And from that concept of the dormouse being hung by its tail into the receptacle in which this tea was made, a whole edifice of the Mad Hatter's tea party grew. Had the young author never been to France and seen a French tea-infusing device, used in this manner, he might never have written this whole wonderful work. His book which has given joy to generation after generation of...
NP: Clement challenged. Oh it's so frustrating isn't it Libby. Yes but that's part of the game. Clement you challenged and generation. Nineteen and a half seconds, the Mad Hatter's tea party with you starting now.
CF: The Mad Hatter's tea party was yet another occasion to which I was not invited. And I must say I feel pretty badly about this because...
NP: Libby Purves challenged.
LP: Deviation because he wasn't born, so he can't have been feeling badly, not prenatally.
LP: It was written in the 19th century, and Clement's only born in 1900!
NP: I know, but it doesn't say on the card we're referring to Lewis, it doesn't say we're referring to Lewis Carroll's Mad hatter's tea party. But I think we have to assume that is the one we're talking about. So I think we have to give it to you Libby and say there are, tell you there are 11 and a half seconds starting...
BOOS FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: He couldn't have been, her logic, that's the trouble, she's so damn logical, it is very difficult. Her logic is correct if you think about it.
CF: We're not talking about logic, we were talking...
KW: No! We're talking about Just A Minute! It's about Just A Minute! That's what you've got to talk about, Just A Minute! Not logic! What does she want us to be, an immoral society?
NP: We have to try, all right, in these situations, when there's an argument, I always like to bow to the superior wisdom and judgement...
KW: Oh don't crawl round that lot!
NP: We've already established that you brought them in, I wouldn't...
KW: Oh sorry! Yes!
NP: Why don't you be the final arbiters. If you agree with Libby's logic, and she is correct, then you cheer for her, and if you disagree then you boo for Clement, and you all do it together now.
CHEERS AND BOOS FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: You don't want logic, do you! All right Clement, they're on your side, 11 and a half seconds, the Mad Hatter's tea party starting now.
CF: The beverage with which the cups are replete is likely to have come from either Ceylon or India, then the Crown and jewel of our Empire, because Queen Victoria established...
NP: So a very close contest. Clement Freud got an extra point speaking as the whistle went, and he's one point ahead now of Libby Purves and Kenneth Williams, and three ahead of Toni Arthur who begins the next round. Toni the subject is barbecue. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
TA: I must say one of things I really hate is barbecues, because I always have a lot of trouble with sausages. You see the rouble is that these rather long...
NP: Libby Purves has challenged.
LP: Repetition of trouble.
TA: Did I really?
LP: I have a lot of trouble, the trouble with sausages, the trouble is.
NP: Oh yes.
TA: Oh I see.
LP: Double trouble.
TA: You didn't want to find out what my trouble and how I solved it?
LP: I did, I did...
TA: The solution was wonderful.
LP: ... want to find out but I don't want to let Kenneth win.
TA: I understand entirely! But could I have a point?
NP: No, no I'm afraid Libby, you did repeat the word Toni. So Libby has another point and there are 53 seconds with you, barbecue starting now.
LP: Barbecue is known in South Africa as brieflace which means burnt flesh. And this just about sums it up. It is a disgusting habit. It involves everybody going into the garden, laying out sausages and chops and kebabs and similar pieces of meat on a charcoal smelling fire. And watching them burn to a crisp. There is nothing I enjoy so much as a good barbecue. The healthy outdoor atmosphere...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Well she's obviously deviating. She told us earlier on it was disgusting and a filthy practice. Now she says she loves it, so she loves something that's disgusting? That's deviation isn't it.
NP: Well yes, she has deviated so Kenneth you have the subject, 21 seconds, barbecues starting now.
KW: I think a barbecue if the circumstances are right, and all people are buoyant in a celebration, sort of drinkies on the lawn, can be all fun. You know what I mean, it's sort of Southern, deep south really and you go on and you have your croutons and your saveloys...
NP: So Kenneth was speaking as the whistle went and he has crept up on our leader Clement Freud. They're equal together, both one point ahead of Libby Purves, and only three points ahead of Toni Arthur. Clement begins the next round, the subject Clement, passports. Will you tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.
CF: I once had a ferret called Passports. It was an extremely long, ugly, yellow, smelly animal which people would put down their trousers and wonder whether they could last out two minutes or even three, let alone 30 seconds. But passports is perhaps more usually a document with which you travel from one land to another, showing it to a Customs officer as a mark of good faith and belonging to one country from which you have travelled in order to allow you to reach another to which you may be going. Mine is blue. The sad thing is that if we are to believe the EEC Commission's regulations which may well come into force by the time this broadcast is repeated, they will bear another colour shortly...
NP: Libby Purves challenged.
LP: It's quite sad but I think he said colour twice, didn't he? He said colour...
NP: No, he said blue before. He said his was blue before.
LP: He didn't say that it was coloured blue?
LP: The colour blue?
NP: No no he said, no he said it was blue...
LP: I don't like to think of him getting another point.
NP: I know, I have to concentrate very hard, because you're so clever at this game Libby. No no he did say blue before, not the colour blue. He did repeat the word E and no-one picked him up, EEC.
NP: Five seconds are left with you Clement on passports starting now.
CF: Ernest Bevin signed my very first one. He was Foreign Secretary and wrote on page one...
NP: So Clement Freud started with the subject of passports and in spite of being interrupted, kept going until the end and therefore has increased his position and is two points ahead in the lead. And Kenneth Williams begins the next round. Kenneth the subject is fan letters I answer. Will you tell us something about those in the game starting now.
KW: Fan letters I answer of course are the ones which are complimentary. Needless to say, anything that is rude, I chuck in the wastepaper basket straight away. Those others that are always nice, kind, something constructive, I certainly say thank you dear Sylvia or Fred, John perhaps, Lesley. You never know what people are going to be called do you. Often they put a stamped addressed envelope inside which I am very grateful for. But I don't mind if I do have to fork out. I've put my hand in my pocket on more than one occasion, apropos fan letters, I can tell you. The man in the Post Office said to me "you're always in here aren't you?â" I said "oh I've got masses to post, haven't I though!" And what happens? They ask us for photos or a lock of my hair, you know. And I give them bits of myself, well I've given so many portions...
NP: Libby Purves has challenged.
LP: I really don't believe that the reason his hair is so thin is that heâ€™s given bits of it to his fans.
NP: You don't think he'd send a lock of his hair to anybody.
LP: I think, I think that's a lying deviation, there isn't enough of it.
NP: I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you have nine seconds on fan letters I answer starting now.
KW: And one came from Bishop Stortford, a lady who said "where did you find on that programme when you were talking about Clemencie, such a beautiful excerpt?" And you write...
NP: So once again we have the situation where the person who started with the subject, in spite of interruptions finished with it, and it was on that occasion it was Kenneth Williams who has got that extra point for speaking as the whistle went. And he is back in the lead alongside Clement Freud. Libby Purves, it's your turn to begin, the subject is the terrors of show business. Will you tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.
LP: I am glad to have this opportunity to explode the myth of the terrors of show business. There is no such thing. Actors like to pretend that they have a miserable time in the wings, that they stand there gasping...
NP: Toni Arthur's challenged.
TA: I absolutely disagree. I think, I think you're wrong there because actors do have a miserable time in the wings...
LP: They do not! She's proving, she's proving my point! She's pretending!
TA: I'm not pretending at all! No, not at all!
NP: I'm sure she's speaking from the heart.
TA: Absolutely from the heart.
NP: I mean some people may not have terrors. But there are some people, Iâ€™ve seen them shaking in the wings literally.
NP: Go on, they forget their words, they stumble...
LP: You're another of them, aren't you. You're an actor.
NP: Yes and you're not an actress, are you?
LP: It's them against, it's them against us! They love it! They love going on stage! You all love it!
NP: Oh yes, they love doing the job. But it doesn't mean to say you're not petrified before you go on.
LP: It's not terror, is it? Mean not like facing lions!
CF: Why don't you...
TA: It's worse! It's worse!
NP: You should see some of the audiences we have to face! And if you've ever walked out in front of an audience in a northern club, well that was terrifying.
LP: They stick together, these actors!
CF: Why don't you three girls argue it out somewhere else?
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
LP: I think we should give him the subject!
NP: Clement just because you wish to be alone with Kenneth Williams, doesn't mean to say that you should come out with remarks like that! So I agree with Toni's challenge and she has the subject now with 50 and one half seconds on the terrors of show business starting now.
TA: I can actually categorically say that show business is absolutely terrifying. Recently in fact this Christmas, I was appearing as Aladdin in pantomime. And I had to walk to the front of the stage, and talk to all the children, whilst Henry Kelly, my great friend, was being lowered behind me on a curving wire. And he was...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: How can you lower Henry Kelly?
LAUGHTER FROM TA, NP, KW, LP AND THE AUDIENCE
TA: Well you can, you can physically but not mentally.
NP: I think that amused our audience here particularly because some of them I think were here in the audience when Henry Kelly was a guest some weeks back on the show. And it's gone down particularly well. And I think we should give a bonus point to Clement Freud for a very good challenge but leave the subject with Toni. And she gets a point of course for being interrupted and there are 32 seconds left starting now.
TA: I was left facing the audience wondering what was...
NP: Libby Purves has challenged.
LP: Repeated audience.
TA: Oh may I not immediately after the challenge...
NP: No no you can't repeat anything.
TA: Oh I see, fine.
NP: You're allowed to repeat the words on the card which are the terrors of show business.
NP: So Libby did have a correct challenge there and she has 29 seconds on the terrors of show business starting now.
LP: Actors are a shocking load of wimps if they're terrified of audiences...
NP: Toni has challenged.
TA: Sorry I don't agree with that either! Actors are not a terrible load of wimps!
NP: Well in, in Libby's mind they can be. I mean that's a comment, I mean she's not deviating from the subject on the card. She can express that opinion in Just A Minute if she wishes.
TA: Oh I see.
NP: So I mean you can disagree with her.
TA: I do disagree with her violently.
NP: I'm glad you made the point, and if you get in again you can...
TA: I don't think wimpy actors is a deviation in a way, I mean it's nothing to do with show business, the terrors of show business.
NP: Well Libby, that is her opinion and there may be some wimpy actors in show business. No Libby, you weren't deviating so there are 25 seconds for you to continue on the subject starting now.
LP: Look at the groups that we have watching us today. They're not terrifying at all. They're kind, smiling, nice people, some of them knitting, many of them have brought their crochet. One or two are fast asleep and there's a gentleman in the seventh row who couldn't terrify anybody at all, lying there snoring, curled up happily under his coloured crochet blanket. How anybody can talk about the terrors of show business when some...
NP: Well there's no doubt that Libby Purves, having got back in again, made her point whether you agree with it or not. She got a number of points including one for speaking when the whistle went, and she's brought this particular edition of Just A Minute to an end. Let me give you the final score. Toni Arthur, our guest, who has never played the game before, in spite of all that she expressed about the terrors of show business did very well. She finished in fourth place, just behind Libby Purves, who was actually in second place behind our joint winners this week, our two regulars, Clement Freud and Kenneth Williams! And if the listeners at home are wondering what that extra laugh was about, it was because Kenneth was so overcome with joy at the idea of winning this week, even if he had to share the honour with Clement Freud, he's not only dancing around the stage, he's actually pulling his trousers up and down, in, with excitement!
KW: The excitement is mine!
NP: So he's overcome. And please don't write to me and say there was nobody in third place, in that show. I should have said of course Toni Arthur finished in third place, because we had a joint second place, no, a joint first place. Having got that right...
TA: We're still last!
NP: ... and having confused you utterly, you can write to me about the confusion I create because that's all part of Just A Minute. I hope you've enjoyed the game, because we've enjoyed playing the game. And if you did, then tune in again, same time next week. Until then, from all of us here, good-bye!
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by Pete Atkin.