NOTE: Simon Bates's first appearance.


ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo and Simon Bates 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, oh you do make one feel welcome. Thank you so much, lovely warm audience and welcome to Just A Minute. And as you've just heard, we have three of our regulars, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones, Kenneth Williams. And we welcome a guest, Simon Bates for the first time. And once again I am going to ask our four panellists to speak or try and speak on the subject that I give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And we'll begin the show this week with Derek Nimmo. And Derek the subject is slapstick. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: Well slapstick was literally the slapping of two sticks together, last used by harlequins or clowns when they banged one another in the old days of pantomime or harlequinade. Today of course it has rather a different meaning. It's the kind of rubbish which we put on at the Shaftesbury Theatre. A theatre of comedy which I am so sorry to belong to. Here we put on farces which are filled with slapstick. Banging one another on the face, dropping our trousers, all sorts of hugely unpleasant rubbish which people come along in coachloads to look at. It is quite amazing! Sometimes we have 2000 people in that particular place watching all this rubbish going on...


NP: And Simon Bates has challenged.

SIMON BATES: It's a repetition of rubbish I think.

DN: There's an awful lot of rubbish going on there!

NP: That's right. So Simon you have a correct challenge, he did repeat the word rubbish. So for that you get a point and you take over the subject, and there are 19 seconds left, slapstick starting now.

SB: Slapstick for me is nothing to do with the theatre, it is television. In the 1950s and watching one of the famous farceurs of the 1950s from London's West End...


NP: Derek Nimmo you have challenged.

DN: Nineteen fifties.

SB: Oh blast, spit and bother!

NP: Yes! I'm afraid the 1950s came up twice when we didn't know what you were fascinated about at that particular time. Because Derek Nimmo has the subject back with a point for a correct challenge and nine seconds starting now.

DN: Last year I did a play called See How They Run. And I had to sit next to a lovely lady called Maureen Lipman. And we indulged in a lot of slapstick...


NP: Well when Ian Messiter, the inventor of the game, blows his whistle, it tells us that 60 seconds is up. And whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. And it was Derek Nimmo, so Derek you're in the lead at the end of the first round because you have more points than anybody else. Simon Bates will you take the second round and the subject is wine. Will you tell us something about that beverage starting now.

SB: I must admit that I am not a great aficionado of wine. For me, something light, white and from the south of the valley will do absolutely fine. I am the sort of person who enjoys a bottle of wine with my meal. That is to say a bottle of wine and a few friends...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Repetition of bottle.

NP: You had a bottle of wine twice.

SB: Normally three times at a meal Peter! That seems reasonable.

NP: You can't repeat it on Just A Minute I'm afraid...

SB: I'm a drunk!

NP: Peter Jones you challenged for a bottle of wine so you take over the subject with a point for a correct challenge. And there are 43 seconds left starting now.

PJ: I like the names of wine so much like chardonnay and bouveray and cabernet sauvignon. And then in Australia er Barossa...


NP: Yes Derek Nimmo you challenged.

DN: Um.

NP: There was an er before the Australian wine came out. So Derek got in first and there are 31 seconds for you on wine starting now.

DN: I would just like to mention to anyone who might possibly be interested that I have written two books on wine. One was called Derek Nimmo's Drinking Companion, available...


NP: Simon Bates has challenged.

SB: This is pretentious nonsense! Are we here for plugging wine books?

PJ: Yes!

SB: Oh fair enough then, I'll be quiet.

PJ: If we happen to have written one!

SB: Well I haven't written one.

PJ: No exactly!

NP: So what is your challenge then? Deviation?

PJ: Sour grapes!


NP: What I sometimes do in Just A Minute to award bonus points when we have a good comment. All right, a bonus point for Peter Jones for that one, Derek Nimmo keeps the subject of wine and there are 24 seconds left starting now.

DN: Well I think Peter was just about to take a lovely trip down the Barossa Valley in South Australia. I think you were, weren't you? And it is really one of the most lovely wine growing districts in the ah...


NP: Simon Bates.

SB: Well he didn't actually get the sentence out so I suppose that...

NP: That was hesitation Simon, so you have back the subject of wine and you have 14 seconds starting now.

SB: Let's talk about the simplicity of wine, the art of getting drunk with friends over a good meal. Something if I may so none that none of these team members know anything about. They don't live in the real world...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: I always get drunk over meals! What are you talking about?

NP: So is that one of those things I put to the audience to decide...

DN: Deviation! They all know I get drunk over meals. My son's there, he'll tell you I get drunk over a meal!

NP: Ah I don't know whether he gets drunk or not so how do I decide on that one? I'll tell you what. Let's, as Simon is a guest, decide that it was not a correct challenge, but not give um a point against Derek. Leave the subject with Simon Bates, three seconds starting now.

SB: Good friends, food and an excellent wine is...


NP: So Simon Bates our guest has got a point for speaking as the whistle went, and now is in the lead, alongside Derek Nimmo. I couldn't have built the remark up more.

SB: No, a stunned silence!

DN: It didn't go very well.

NP: Kenneth Williams we'd love to hear from you and so will you start the next round. The subject is tall story. Will you tell us something, you've got a lot of those in your repertoire. But tell us one in Just A Minute starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: A tall story which I am very fond of was told me by young Ted Ray. I say that because he was to my mind. And it was about the Empire State Building and the elevator shot to the top, and the woman was found on the floor of the lift. And the operator said "are you all right lady?" And she replied "yes I always wear my corsets round my ankles". I remember that being brought up as a tall story, because, you see, one of the tallest buildings, the Grand Hotel in Tokyo built by Frank Lloyd Wright. And when Fujiyama erupted, you see, why didn't that collapse as all the other buildings did? Because it had the needle foundation as opposed to the quadrangular or float foundation which is common in Europe and most of the world...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of foundation.

NP: I'm afraid you had one too many foundations.

KW: Well it was a lot more interesting than any of the rubbish he comes out with, wasn't it!

NP: Well...

KW: Absolutely disgusting!

NP: It was extremely interesting and the audience applause endorsed that comment. But I'm afraid you ah did commit one ah of the ah...

KW: Oh get it out! Hurry up! You have to wait here half the night for his verdict, don't you! Think I'll come back later on, tell me then dear!

NP: I was searching for the word breach, breaching...

KW: You were searching for a lot more than that, I can see! Don't worry yourself!

NP: You breached one of the rules and so Peter Jones has got a correct challenge, a point for that and three and a half seconds left on tall story Peter starting now.

PJ: They're building one in New York which I believe is even taller than the Empire State...


NP: For those of you who may not be aware of it, when Ian Messiter blows his whistle it tells us 60 seconds is up. And whoever is speaking at that moment gains the extra point. And it was on this occasion Peter Jones who has now taken the lead. Peter...

PJ: Yes?

NP: It's your turn to begin. The subject is annoying drivers. There are 60 seconds to talk on that subject starting now.

PJ: Well the drivers who annoy me most I think are when I'm approaching a major road, and I look to the right, and one is coming towards me, a driver in a car. And I stop and wait. And then I find, about five minutes later, he turns up the road that I'm just trying to emerge from without any indication. And I could have turned much earlier. So thus I've lost five minutes...


PJ: ... of valuable time helping other people and dogs across the road in my usual way I spend my day...

NP: Kenneth Williams challenged you before you helped the dogs across the road.

PJ: Oh he did?

KW: You had two turneds and three roads.

NP: Yes, a lot of turneds, a lot of roads.

PJ: Yes I repeated myself.

NP: Yes that's right yes.

PJ: Yes.

NP: So Kenneth has the subject back, no sorry, he has the subject and there are 36 seconds, annoying drivers starting now.

KW: Well Frank Lloyd Wright, the great American architect always said...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged you.

PJ: He did mention Frank Lloyd Wright earlier. And I'm very pleased to hear him repeat and tell us more about this marvellous man.

NP: But he didn't mention Frank Lloyd Wright on this subject of annoying drivers.

PJ: No, I know he didn't.

NP: Then why are you challenging?

PJ: Well it's interesting that every time he has a subject like this, he brings in Frank Lloyd Wright!

NP: At the present moment...

PJ: Is he the only architect he's ever heard of?

NP: He's writing, at the moment he's writing a book about Frank Lloyd Wright.

PJ: Oh I see.

NP: So Kenneth that was an incorrect challenge, there are 33 seconds for you on annoying drivers starting now.

KW: They all annoy me because I'm a pedestrian you see. And I think they just hog the road and we're almost crossing at their behest so to speak. It's not as though we've any right to be there in their eyes. And I don't feel that when I'm in a car being driven at all. I think "get them out of the way! Go on! Shove this lot out!" And I don't mind that at all. But once...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Repetition of mind.

NP: Yes it is I'm afraid. So Derek you have a correct challenge and 20 seconds, annoying drivers starting now.

DN: One of the best ways to annoy a driver is to poise yourself double parked, and when you see somebody trying to slip in to the side so they can put their car into a space, then you go in front of them. They get so terribly cross, and out they get, and they want to indulge in fisticuffs and all sorts of things but you smack them in the face and say "go away you horrid man, you look like a pedestrian"...


NP: So Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now taken the lead one ahead of Peter Jones who is one ahead of Simon Bates who is one ahead of Kenneth Williams. And in that order we begin the next round, Derek it's your turn, the subject teeth. Can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

DN: I once heard a story of a lady going to visit the dentist. And she sat down and said "I hate having my tooth filled. I hate having my teeth attended to..."


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Two I hates.

NP: Yes there were indeed Kenneth. So you have a correct challenge, a point and there are 48 seconds on teeth starting now.

KW: Of course we all agree that it is a most unpleasant experience to be shoved into one of these dentists chairs... (laughs)


NP: Peter challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think that was a hesitation, it was a, it was a crack-up actually, a dry-up.

KW: Well I felt a bit guilty about the way I treated Derek Nimmo. I was feeling guilty, and of course the guilt so to speak repaid me...

DN: Yes...

NP: But Kenneth you should never...

DN: The first time he's felt guilty in 18 years, I might say!

NP: And you should never feel guilty about the way you treat Derek Nimmo. Ah 39 seconds left for you Peter on teeth starting now.

PJ: Well teeth are about the only part of the human body you can flash without being arrested!


PJ: Now I like to flash mine and smile, you know, and let people see them. I know I have to keep going even when you applaud, otherwise I shall be had up for ah hesitating...


PJ: Oh very sorry!

NP: He kept going and did exactly what he shouldn't. So Derek you challenged.

DN: Ah hesitation.

NP: Yes hesitation.

DN: And also repetition.

NP: Twenty seconds on teeth Derek starting now.

DN: And she said "well I'd rather have a baby than have my teeth done..."


NP: Simon Bates.

SB: Have no, now, annoying me now? Now my? Sorry, what?

NP: He was giving a character performance.

SB: Oh I'm sorry.

NP: It was supposed to be a Cockney accent.

SB: I withdraw my protest.

NP: I know there was a lot of other, he was trying to withdraw the tooth I think. But um Derek actually, he didn't deviate Simon, so we let him continue with 16 seconds starting now.

DN: And the man in the white coat said "do make up your mind because I have to adjust the chair!" Now I always think this is rather a nice little story. But I remember once going along, and I heard in a newspaper from Tottenham and Devon of a man who had thrown his dentures into the...


NP: So keeping going with the most outrageous material, Derek Nimmo was speaking again as the whistle went and has increased his lead. Simon Bates the next subject is for you, it is certificates. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

SB: Certificates and examinations. We are talking of course earlier on about dentists. And when you go into their room and see their certificate hanging over the place where you are about to have your tooth extracted, you know that the certificate gives the gentleman in the white coat a great deal of power over you. Because he can plunge his hand into your mouth and remove that tooth willy-nilly without any so much as a by-your-leave or how's-your-father or up-your-nose. And he can do that because he has a certificate hanging on the wall. Can you imagine the responsibility of having that certificate hanging on the wall...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well he did repeat himself quite a bit including hanging on the wall.

NP: Yes, he was hanging on the wall. In fact Kenneth Williams, I must tell the listeners, was almost on the floor! Because Simon Bates was gesticulating with such power...

SB: Sorry.

NP: He nearly knocked Kenneth out in the process. There are 16 seconds for you Peter on certificates starting...

PJ: Sixteen? He seemed to be going on for ages!

NP: Yes 16 seconds starting now.

PJ: I can't remember the name of the subject. He was so far from it...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Deviation.

NP: No he wasn't!

DN: He couldn't remember the name of the subject!

NP: He can still say I don't remember the name of the subject and keep going and talk about it.

DN: (laughs) If her doesn't remember the name, how can he keep talking about it?

NP: Because he was speaking...

DN: If he doesn't remember the name of the subject, how can he talk about it? You are an oaf!

PJ: Well I...

NP: He might, he might within the next minute or second have discovered the subject and been talking about it.

PJ: Yes.

NP: You didn't allow him to establish...

PJ: I might have just hit on the right thing!

NP: So Peter, you have another point and 14 seconds on certificates starting now.

PJ: I've never had a certificate except the birth one...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: I think it's high time he was given a certificate!


NP: So we give Kenneth Williams a bonus point for that delightful remark. And we leave the subject with Peter which is still certificates and there are 11 seconds starting now.

PJ: I've had bits of paper and receipts and invoices and bills. But a certificate always seems to evade me. I don't know why this is. I believe you can if you're ill and you go to the doctor...


NP: So Peter Jones with some help from his friends and speaking as the whistle went gained a number of points in that round. And he's now equal in the lead with Derek Nimmo, and equal in second place, a few points behind, are Simon Bates and Kenneth Williams. And Kenneth you begin the next round, which is Sir Benjamin Hall. Would you tell us something about that distinguished gentleman in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: The only reason this man has any claim to fame is that he was Commissioner of Works for the Palace of Westminster responsible for the Bell Tower. And when this great thing was cast at Stepney Foundry in 1858, they called it Big ben after him. It's cracked and that gives it a certain resonance which people say is extraordinarily attractive. And when it was out of action for a bit and they used St Thomas's, everyone said "oh great Tom's not a patch on Ben!" And I know...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of Ben.

NP: No you see the Ben...

DN: The name on the card is Benjamin.

NP: Benjamin yes but you see Ben is on the card. If Benjamin's on the card, Ben must be on the card.

DN: He's talking about bells, not Sir Benjamin Hall isn't he.

KW: Well the bell's named after him, you great fool! What an idiot! What an idiot! Goodness me!

NP: I think if Ben is on the card that must be one of the rules. Ian Messiter you thought of the rules...


NP: That's right, Ian Messiter includes. So Kenneth you have another point and you keep the subject and there are 21 seconds, Sir Benjamin Hall starting now.

KW: As a matter of fact, when he was in charge Frank Lloyd Wright, the great American architect, had quite a bit of advice for him. Because he knew about...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: It would be quite impossible because they didn't live at the same time.

NP: You're quite right Peter. So you have a correct challenge and 11 seconds on Sir Benjamin Hall starting now.

PJ: If Sir Benjamin Hall had written some advice, it might have been read later by Frank Lloyd Wright. If it had been about some building or other which might have helped him when he was designing these...


NP: Simon Bates has challenged.

SB: Might repetition, might have been.

KW: Oh yes you did say might twice! I'm sorry!

SB: It's turning nasty now!

KW: Yes!

NP: And you've done what is often referred to as a Clement Freud on us, by getting in with only half a second to go Simon. And the subject is Sir Benjamin Hall starting now.

SB: Some...


NP: Well he still gets the points for opening his mouth as the whistler went if not speaking. And he's in third place just ahead of Kenneth, just behind Derek Nimmo, who is one point behind our leader who is Peter Jones who also begins the next round. Peter the subject is pleas. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: Well it's a word you don't often hear. I suppose it's usually used in courts of law when people are making pleas which are heard by juries sometimes, magistrates, judges, whatnot and um...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

PJ: Boring subject really, isn't it! Yes.

DN: Hesitation.

KW: Well he's always after that certificate you see.

NP: Well I never heard a whatnot hear a plea actually. They're nice little bits of furniture in the corner of the room usually.

KW: We don't want to hear from you! We'll hear from a panellist! You're there to judge, not make comments!

NP: All right, all right...

KW: Yes! What a nerve commenting on the panellists! What a cheek! What kind of a chairman are you! Disgraceful isn't it!

NP: One minute I'm a good chairman, the next minute I'm impossible! Right Peter you didn't um commit any of ah...

PJ: I didn't have any zest for the word.

NP: You had no zest for the subject or the game...

PJ: No.

NP: But you didn't deviate or repeat yourself or hesitate so you keep going on pleas with 43 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well I like to hear people say please and thank you when you've given them something. It does kind of ah...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: I think you definitely hesitated there Peter. Derek Nimmo you have the subject, 34 seconds, pleas starting now.

DN: Now one of the interesting things is that Sir Benjamin and Sir Terficate contacted Frank Lloyd Wright and said would you please come to see us. And so...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Well deviation, it's already been established they couldn't have spoken to each other.

NP: They might have contacted each other on an astral plane somewhere.

DN: You...

KW: You don't know anything about astral planes! What kind of a chairman are you anyway! It's ridiculous isn't it!

NP: All right I was trying to be ah, to be ah, be fair. But Kenneth you have the subject of pleas with 26 seconds starting now.

KW: I always think of that song, (sings) please lend a little ear to my plea. (normal voice) And it's so charming, you don't hear it a lot nowadays do you. More's the pity! All the rubbish they sing, bawling it out, I don't understand a word! But in those days, please lend a little ear to my plea...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of lend a little ear to my plea.

KW: Well worth it! They were all loving it! Yes! Apart, apart from that one in the ah...

NP: But you did repeat more than one word.

PJ: Well he did.

NP: Peter got in with a challenge, nine seconds for the subject you don't want and don't like, pleas Peter starting now.

PJ: He was demonstrating the reason why we don't hear much of it nowadays. In my opinion, the song I mean.


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He stopped!

NP: I know, he stopped again!

PJ: I was relying on your buzzer being faulty!

NP: Two seconds for you Derek on the subject of pleas starting now.

DN: Sil vous plait, (unintelligible) pour favor, a word...


NP: So Derek once again was speaking as the whistle went and now he's gone into the lead, one ahead of Peter Jones, and quite a few ahead of Simon Bates and Kenneth Williams. And Derek your turn to begin, the subject, wonders of the world. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: The Pyramids of Egypt, that's the only one that survives of the seven ancient wonders of the world. There was the Collosus of Rome, do you remember? The hanging gardens of Babylon, the Pharos of Alexandra. All those things have been swept away by time. But Cheops great building remains as one example of the last of the seven original wonders of the world. Today I would like to add a new one, it's the Taj Mahal. Shah Jakhan's great edifice to his beloved wife, his most wonderful woman he cared so greatly for. Perhaps I would add to... in Sydney in Australia...


NP: Simon Bates challenged.

SB: Hesitation.

NP: Yes hesitation Simon. So you can now tell us something about wonders of the world with 23 seconds left starting now.

SB: Can I pursue the point that was made by my worthy colleague on my left hand side about modern wonders of the world. And indeed he was mentioning Sydney which is not the capital of Australia as many people know, but is the second city of Australia because Melbourne of course is smaller...


NP: And Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Well he's not discussing one of the wonders of the world, he's discussing which is the capital...

SB: I was getting there! Give me a chance!

KW: Which is the capital of Australia.

NP: You're right, it was deviation, I'm sorry.

KW: Yes deviation.

NP: Let me tell you you've got nine seconds, wonders of the world Kenneth now.

KW: One of the great wonders of the world is what you as audience are watching tonight, me! I can't tell you how very lucky you are, what a great honour...


NP: Well obviously the audience think there's no way, no better way to finish Just A Minute than Kenneth telling us that he is one of the modern wonders of the world. They don't know him as well as we do! We have reached the end of this edition of Just A Minute so let me give you the final score. Simon Bates who as our guest has not played the game very often, but he did remarkably well because he got a lot of points, but finished just one behind Kenneth Williams. And Kenneth was just three behind Peter Jones who was only one behind this week's winner, Derek Nimmo! And we do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute which is slowly becoming one of the modern wonders of the world in radio. And we hope that you will want to tune in again same time next week when we take to the air and we play this delightful game. Till 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.