ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, here to tell you all about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much. Hello and welcome to Just A Minute. In fact this is a special edition of Just A Minute, a special Christmas edition. And I think you can already guess that our audience are in the Christmas mood and Christmas spirit. Our stage here at the Westminster Theatre in London is festooned with streamers. They've all got these funny little things that make a funny noise...


NP: Or they don't make any noise at all! I'm very sorry. In fact Ian Messiter has said we should call it Just A Christmas because all the subjects in the show are to do with Christmas. And who is more Christmassy than Kenneth Williams. So Kenneth as you create such bon homie and fun everywhere would you start the show this week. And the first subject which I suppose could be called Christmassy but certainly is in keeping with when the four panellists have a go at me, parsons' nose. You do get some parson's nose at Christmas but you can take it which ever way you like. So can you try and speak for Just A Minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: I have never actually eaten this part of the bird. But I understand it belongs to an unmentionable area. And though delectable, I am assured by those who have savoured of it, I remain in total ignorance. I realise of course that Parsons' nose could well be a reference to the patrician appendage on our chairman's face. And that feature which has earned him so much admiration from the ladies, and not to mention several actors I've seen hanging about and followed him all the way from Glasgow when he was as you know an apprentice shipwright. And never has lost his affection for Caledonia and all the traditions of that country which do not include...


NP: Well what a fine way to start our special Christmas edition of Just A Minute. With Kenneth starting with the subject and finishing without hesitating, repeating or deviating. And of course he gets a point for speaking as the whistle went. In this case it was one of those Christmas blowers that Ian Messiter used. And also he gets a bonus point for not being interrupted. So at the end of that round he is in a commanding lead. He is the only person to have scored any points so he must be in a commanding lead. So Derek Nimmo, we go to the second subject for Christmas, stuffing a bird. Derek will you tell us something, with your saucy little Christmas hat, perched on your delicate little protuberance there about stuffing a bird starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: Well stuffing a bird is something that gastronomically I have never attempted. But otherwise perhaps I have, but I've always followed very much in the steps of the master, Nicholas Parsons, famous for his nose. Because although he came from Glasgow in the beginning, trundling down that weary way to the southern counties, he kept with him the aptitude to be able to stuff a bird. And although he's now in his late 60s, he knows how a bird should be truly stuffed...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

DN: What?

PETER JONES: Ah correction, he's only in his early 60s!

NP: Some people think I haven't even reached them! But anyway he was deviating by saying...

PJ: He was deviating.

NP: ... by saying I was in my late 60s. And that I can assure you is not only a fact, but something I am going to say to Peter Jones, you have a point for a correct challenge and you take over the subject of stuffing a bird with 13 seconds to go starting now.

PJ: I suppose they mean the turkey, a very overrated bird altogether. Not native to this country of course, although they are reared in huge numbers in Norfolk. I've never stuffed one and never want to eat one in fact, because I don't find them particularly pleasant and since I've...


NP: So Peter Jones was speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point and with the other one in the round he's now equal with Kenneth Williams in the lead. And he also takes the next round. Peter will you tell us something about Christmas stocking in just A Minute starting now.

PJ: At the beginning of December every year I get this catalogue from a well-known shop in Bond Street. And it's full of the most extraordinary advertisements for things like pigskin boxes for taking lumps of sugar in to take down to give to your pony. And champagne whisks, and curious statistics regarding wine which you can, also machinery for pouring it. Once you've taken the cork out of your bottle, with a peculiar kind of corkscrew, them you can pour it by turning this handle and it's sort of levered over. It's very very complicated...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

PJ: What was that?

NP: Clement Freud challenged you.

PJ: Oh he did?

CLEMENT FREUD: He hasn't mentioned a Christmas stocking.

NP: No he hasn't!

PJ: No, these are things you can put in your stocking.

NP: You never actually said that though Peter.

PJ: I don't have to, do I? I don't spell it out. All these people understood me perfectly well.

NP: Yes but we have lots of listeners...


PJ: What's that?

NP: That very rude noise by the way was only somebody playing with one of these blower things. Clement Freud i agree with your challenge, he had not actually mentioned these were for the Christmas stocking.

PJ: No no.

NP: And there are 21 seconds left for Clement to talk on Christmas stocking starting now.

CF: In olden and prosperous days people used to put pillow cases so parents and loved ones could fill them with presents. And then they became Christmas stockings, and now socks, and any moment i expect British Airways slippers. Because as we have less money, more...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Well it seemed to just drag to a halt didn't it. Hesitation.

NP: It did indeed yes so that is also hesitation and there are one and a half seconds for you to tell us something about Christmas stocking Kenneth starting now.

KW: I want mine to be stuffed with nylon...


NP: So in this special edition of Just A Minute, Kenneth Williams has gained points again including one then for speaking as the whistle went...

KW: Does that mean I'm (hiccups) winning?

NP: Not only winning but overacting!

KW: (in drunken voice) Oh good! Right! It's the drink they give you isn't it! I think it's the drink at the BBC! It's not very good, that wine!

NP: (in drunken voice) It's (unintelligible) and of course in Scotland they use it to celebrate Hogmanay (goes into drunken gibberish, then normal voice) And let's get back to Just A Minute. And Clement Freud the next Christmas subject is mince pies. What a lovely thought and will you tell us something about it in the game starting now.

CF: Mince pies are part of traditional Christmas fare, and used in fact to contain real mince. Beef and mutton which was mixed with suet, currants, sultanas, raisins, mixed orange, lemon and grapefruit peel are other ingredients which you are likely to get in a mince pie. And it's covered in a pastry which can be short or less so...


NP: (laughs) Derek Nimmo.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think that's hesitation. Short or less so. It's a clever way to try and get out of it, he didn't quite achieve it. So Derek Nimmo has mince pies and there are 27 seconds starting now.

DN: Not many people know but this is totally true that a mince pie is emblematical of a manger in which our Lord was born. They used to put the mince which was made, as we already heard so graphically from Mister Clement Freud, a concoction of material they put...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: I would agree Peter so you've got the subject of mince pies and there are nine seconds left for you to tell us something about them starting now.

PJ: Mince pies is Cockney slang for eyes...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Mince pies are!

NP: No! No when you're talking about Cockney slang, it's mince pies is Cockney rhyming slang for eyes, and that's what he was going to say. So he is correct and you have another point for that Peter, and you have five seconds on mince pies starting now.

PJ: I hadn't been expect, I hadn't expected to be corrected on a grammatical point by a Parliamentarian...


NP: So Peter kept going by the whistle was blown by Ian Messiter again, telling us 60 seconds was up. And he gets the extra point for doing so and he is in the lead at the end of the round. And Kenneth Williams your turn to begin. Kenneth, a Christmas personality I'm sure...

KW: A what? A what?

NP: I haven't said anything yet.

KW: I can't hear with him blowing this toy in my ear!

NP: I know...

KW: What was you saying?

PJ: Have another drink Kenneth!

KW: I've had one! I've had three already! I can't keep on sitting here and (hiccups) drinking! It's ridiculous! What's the next one?

NP: I know. It's not often that Clement gets so carried away he blows something in your ear. The subject is Charles Dickens, he had a, wrote a lot about Christmas. But will you tell us something about that author in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: Well perhaps one of the most famous of his stories does mention Christmas. Because you know old Cratchett has terrible trouble, even with the ointment shoved on him. He said continually that his travails were unceasing. And consequently the old Christmas Carol is frequently used as an example if you will of two English attitudes which go on predominating. There are those who say drink, be merry. Others, I'm not giving ha'penny to any gaiety. And sit and say that the occasion has nothing to do with festivity, but everything to do with the sober and the profound reaction to a religious observance because that...


NP: So once again Kenneth took the subject at the start and carried on right through the 60 seconds without being interrupted or deviating, hesitating or repeating himself, and gained an extra point for speaking as the whistle went and one for not being interrupted. And he's now in second place, one behind Peter Jones. Derek will you take the next round, the subject crackers. Oh what lovely Christmas fare! Will you tell us something about them in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: Crackers, well I don't see why we have to bring our chairman back into the game every time we have a subject even though it happens to be Christmas. But I awfully liked as a child Crawford's cream crackers that I used to eat with wesleydale and stilton and cheddar, cheshire, fine English cheeses. But of course when you're sitting by the tree, oh shove off Parsons! When you're sitting by the tree...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Sitting.

NP: So Clement Freud had a correct challenge, the subject is crackers Clement, and there are 33 seconds left starting now.

CF: It is the capital of Venezuela in South America and...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: No it isn't!

NP: No it isn't.

PJ: Deviation.

NP: It's not quite pronounced crackers.

CF: Go there!

NP: Well it's a difficult decision to have to make...

PJ: No it isn't at all! It's quite easy!

NP: Peter Jones has the benefit of my doubt and he has crackers and there are 28 and a half seconds Peter starting now.

PJ: Well I've known a number of crackers in a very active life of pleasure. And perhaps one of the best was a girl called Myra who lived in Perth in Western Australia. She really was a cracker...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation, are we to believe that we can lower and demean the status of women by reducing them to this term, cracker? Are we going to sit here and maintain that women can be referred...

NP: You have to keep going somehow in Just A Minute.

KW: Most demeaning to the fair sex! I'm not going to sit here and listen to denigration! I can't bear denigration!

NP: You're giving one of your best performances Kenneth! Maybe this little sheila out there in Perth would enjoy being called a cracker. Some of them do you know, specially Australians. So I don't really think it was within the rules of our game...


NP: The reason for that laughter listeners was that Clement Freud, the least likely one, has thrown another streamer right across, and one has just hit me on the head and I'm sure increased my appearance. So I will now say Peter Jones, an incorrect challenge, you continue with crackers and there are 16 seconds left starting now.

PJ: I've done a great deal of feminism and I don't believe that Kenneth is really sincere, when he hiccups his way into this programme and berates me for describing a girl in Western Australia...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He hasn't talked about crackers at all, he was talking about Kenneth Williams. Kenneth Williams is not a cracker.

KW: Well I dispute that!

NP: But he was, he was going at Kenneth Williams for him talking about the way he was referring to women as crackers.

DN: Kenneth Williams is not the subject on the card.

NP: No, but crackers are and he was still talking about crackers to my mind. So um yes...

DN: Your mind!


KW: Oh you see they've definitely gone anti!

NP: Yes! All changed isn't it. They obviously want to hear from Derek Nimmo. You want to hear from Derek Nimmo, do you?


NP: All right, I can be magnanimous. I can be full of Christmas spirit and say Derek you have a challenge which I disagree with, but you have a point for that. And you have six seconds, as Peter's in the lead, I can be generous to Peter. And crackers is the subject, six seconds starting now.

DN: I hate wom, women called crackers, I was...


NP: Clement Freud got in there first, yes?

CF: Repetition, ah hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, repetition of hesitation, right, five seconds on crackers Clement starting now.

CF: If you pull a cracker yourself and have a beard it is extraordinarily dangerous because...


NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, and he has moved forward, one ahead of Kenneth Williams, just behind our leader Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo is in fourth place. And Peter begins the next round. Peter, brandy butter, will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PJ: Well it's an ideal thing to eat in large quantities if you want to commit suicide by cholesterol. If you smear it on chips, you'll have a almost certain chance of expiring before the meal is over. It's not very pleasant of course to eat in that context or at least smeared on a said...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I thought you were going to have him for smeared, but I think that was hesitation. All right Clement.

CF: He said smear before.

NP: Yes 40 seconds on brandy butter starting now.

CF: Brandy butter is certainly not the capital of any South American town. But it is...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: What's he talking about South American town? How can you have a capital of a South American town?

NP: That is deviation then.

KW: Of course it is. Total deviation. You have the capital of a country.

NP: Exactly!

KW: You can't have the capital of a town.

CF: Don't make a meal of it.

KW: Well I mean, I know you've had a few! Still, still, still not slurring of diction, diction, I mean. (hiccups)

NP: Kenneth pull yourself together which I know is not difficult for you, and with 35 seconds tell us something about brandy butter starting now.

KW: Well you know, when you've got your Christmas pudding, if you don't fancy the cream, brandy butter is gorgeous. It leavens it and gives a nice sort of oleaginous touch. Because the pudding can...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of pudding.

KW: Well I meant the pudding can get a bit dry you know, at times.

NP: So you mentioned pudding before Kenneth and that was repetition, and Clement Freud has the subject, Clement Freud has the subject back of brandy butter, 18 seconds starting...

CF: It's a very great mistake to try and make brandy butter in a liquidiser. Because it tends to curdle or churn the butter and you get a nasty lumpy gristly gritty substance which does nothing at all for your Christmas pudding which it should make smooth and...


NP: Well Clement Freud just kept going till the whistle went, and only just. But he did manage it, he kept um, got the point for speaking at the end of the round, and also begins the next round which is the delightful subject of pantomime. So Clement will you tell us something about pantomime in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Pantomime is the sort of thing without which Christmas wouldn't be at all complete. Panto is an unusual singular like graffito, raviolo and spaghetto um which you come...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation and deviation.

NP: Why?

PJ: Well he hesitated, you heard that.

NP: No I didn't.

PJ: Well then deviation, because he said that no Christmas was complete without it. Well it's complete in Russia, North America, South America, all kinds of places they don't have pantomime and their Christmases are as complete as any.

NP: Well I don't know, that's open to question. I think...

DN: Very good! Very good! Well done!

NP: I think a British Christmas is more...

PJ: Who was talking about a British Christmas?

NP: It doesn't matter.

DN: Just because you're doing pantomime, you don't need to get a plug in all the time.

PJ: Yes quite!

NP: Well I am, I've got the skirts on again this year, playing Dame.

PJ: You never took them off, did you?


NP: Dick Whittington will be going great guns down at Croydon. All right Clement I disagree with the challenge, it's still pantomime and there are 47 seconds left starting now.

CF: I would like to tell people though it's probably too late that Nicholas Parsons will be appearing in Dick Whittington at Croydon. And I thought I would mention this in case it was cut from when he announced it himself. He is playing the Dame with boots and whiskers as the cat...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes he did hesitate, because I can play the Dame with boots and whiskers and the cat. Um there are 27 seconds left for pantomime with you Derek starting now.

DN: Well as Nicholas Parsons comes on stage, they all shout "hello brandy butter". Because they all look over at him with a gaze of extraordinary esteem because they know that within those skirts lurks a man. A fellow with the very apparatus that is required for going about...


DN: Oh!

NP: So Derek Nimmo got the point for speaking as the whistle went and got it in style. He's moved forward, he's still in fourth place just behind Kenneth Williams, then we have Peter Jones, Clement Freud still in the lead. And Kenneth begins the next round, robin redbreast. Kenneth will you tell us in this special Christmas edition of Just A Minute something about robin redbreast starting now.

KW: I had this scene in a pantomime where the robin redbreast was put onto a bough. And then I had to say beneath the tree
Here's a piano in the wood
A song and dance will do us good.
And this little puppet which was of course what the bird was actually made of, it was puppetry, you see, actually did sing and the audience followed the lyrics which ran
I had a little robin
In the Blackfawn tree
But with all his bobbing
He didn't sing for me.
Now many people found it sad, and some didn't join in, because they said "oh this is a rotten song, why don't we have the bees.
Don't tease the bees please
Don't tease the bees...


KW: These bees are very particular to please
I try to please the bees out of the trees...

NP: Kenneth I'm sorry...

KW: But life isn't easy for the poor dear bees.

NP: Yes. And before you had got to your fifth bees Clement Freud had challenged you.

KW: Well what's he on about anyway?

NP: Well he wants to play Just A Minute.

KW: Oh I see.

NP: You were repeating yourself, and he's got the subject back, and he's got another drink or and you've had another hiccup and there are nine seconds to go...


NP: Oh and someone's cracked a dish. And anyway, robin redbreast is the subject Clement, nine seconds starting now.

CF: It must be a sign of great stupidity on the part of the bird to remain in a cold climate sitting on the branch of a tree with snow while ice forms around you...


NP: So Clement Freud now with more points has increased his lead. Derek Nimmo takes the next round and the subject is what my aunt gets for Christmas. What an interesting subject. Derek will you tell us something about what my aunt gets for Christmas in 60 seconds starting now.

DN: My aunt actually lives in Lancashire and what she gets depends on whether Nicholas Parsons is coming down from Scotland at the time. But what she will receive this year is an autographed copy of that fine autobiography Just Williams, which is written by this most distinguished member of the panel I have the privilege of sitting with today. He most kindly said that he would sign his name on the page of the aforementioned book, for my dear aunt. What a wonderful prize! What a marvellous present I thought, as I handed her, him, eight pound 50 which is the price that you have to give for this actual publication. I would also give to her a turkey unstuffed, some oranges, apples, sugar, pears, peaches, lumps of coal, tissue paper, several knickers...


DN: What?

NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Lumps of what?

DN: Coal!

NP: Lumps of coal.

PJ: Oh I didn't hear that.

KW: It's good luck, don't you know? When you give a lump of coal, it's good luck!

PJ: Not if you're living in a centrally heated flat.

NP: Well replied Peter but actually he wasn't deviating from the subject of what my aunt gets for Christmas.

PJ: Yeah but what was Kenneth on about? Why did he interrupt? What right has he got to say that?

NP: Well he didn't say anything for a long time because he was getting a plug for the book.

KW: Yes, another, that's another thing. Yes.

PJ: I suppose you'll be selling his book from the stage of the theatre in Croydon where you're appearing. Probably be auctioning it, will you?

NP: No, I'm selling my own book from the stage of the theatre in Croydon.

PJ: Yes.

NP: Egg On The Face that one's called. And I've had plenty of that in my time. I get plenty of it in Just A Minute and some of the stories are in Egg On The Face. Let us get back to Just A Minute and Derek there are 12 seconds, what my aunt gets for Christmas starting now.

PJ: If I appear to be not listening, it's actually, I'm writing a book!


NP: Ah well in Just A Minute, nothing if not nepotism isn't rife. Derek there are 11 seconds, what my aunt gets for Christmas starting now.

DN: What I shall also be giving to my aunt at Christmas are chewing gum sleeves, all arranged without their contents because they're sort of mystified...


NP: So what Derek's aunt gets for Christmas brings this special Christmas edition of Just A Minute to a close. So his aunt has not only achieved fame but perhaps even immortality. Did you all have a good Christmas?


NP: Marvellous and a happy new year to you all. Now in third place very fairly, Derek Nimmo and Kenneth Williams were...


NP: They're now throwing the streamers as I give the final score. Peter Jones finished only two points ahead in second place. And only just two points ahead of him was our many times winner and our Christmas winner, Clement Freud! Well to all our patient audience here in the studio, we thank you for braving the winter storms and the snow and slush and coming out and sitting and being our audience here. We thank you very much and we do hope that you had a lovely Christmas. And so from all of us here, God bless and thank you!


ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by (hiccup) Pete Atkin.