WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and ANDREE MELLY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 31 December 1973)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Andree Melly 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 and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And once again I am going to ask our four contestants if they can speak for Just A Minute on some subject that I will give them, without hesitation, without repetition and deviating from the subject on the card. And we'll begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement the subject is the wisest thing I have ever heard. Will you talk on it for 60 seconds starting now.
CLEMENT FREUD: It must be just about to speak on the wisest thing I've ever heard for 60 seconds, because it would by necessity be a long statement. And it is a mark of insincerity of purpose to seek a highborn Emperor in a low-down teashop. Which may well be the wisest thing I've ever heard, does in no way fill this bill by way of being too short.
NP: And Kenneth Williams challenged.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: Well hesitation I thought.
NP: Yes! He said it was rather difficult...
PETER JONES: He really came to a sort of fullstop really!
KW: Yes, a full-stop!
PJ: It wasn't hesitation!
CF: I'd had my say!
PJ: Yes and you stopped.
NP: And you stopped and Kenneth got in first. Peter spoke first but Kenneth buzzed first. Thirty-five seconds with you Kenneth now on the wisest thing I ever heard starting now.
KW: It was said of ah the King...
NP: Ah two buzzes from Peter Jones.
PJ: No, only one. Er, he said er.
NP: Yes I'm afraid there was a hesitation, an er there. Thirty-two seconds with you Peter on the wisest thing I ever heard starting now.
PJ: Some famous King, I can't remember which one...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: I just said the King.
NP: I know but he didn't say King.
KW: Well he got it from me!
NP: It still doesn't matter, he still hasn't deviated from the subject and he hasn't repeated himself in this round. So he keeps the subject, another point for that, 29 and a half seconds, the wisest thing I ever heard Peter starting now.
PJ: He asked all his wise men to go away and come back with a remark which would be applicable and helpful in all situations. And one of then returned with this saying, and this too shall pass away. I don't know who it was, but I've always thought that was just about the wisest thing I've ever heard. Because it does... disappear...
NP: Andree Melly has challenged.
ANDREE MELLY: Ah hesitation.
NP: Yes there was Andree because he couldn't find another word to the one that came to his lips. There are seven seconds on the wisest thing I ever heard, Andree starting now.
AM: The trouble with the wisest thing I ever heard is like the funniest joke I ever heard. I can never remember it a moment after I've been told. Cor, that's wise I think to myself...
NP: Once again the whistle tells us that 60 seconds is up. And whoever is speaking at that moment gets the extra point. It was this time Andree Melly. Peter Jones it is your turn to begin, the subject, power complexes. Can you talk on that for 60 seconds starting now.
PJ: Power complexes are very nasty things because they're what other people have. You have yourself a power for good, ambition, and a wish to serve the community. But a power complex gets people in to a kind of paranoiac state. (shouts) Sit still while I'm talking to you! (normal voice) And it becomes increasingly important that other people do your bidding. (shouts) Wake up at the back! Now if you'll all follow me, I will take you to the sunlit Uplands! Get... (normal voice) What's the matter?
NP: Nothing! Carry on! Carry on quickly! Keep going!
PJ: Ah I can't think of anything else to say... Um...
PJ: I was only trying to demonstrate what it was like. But ah...
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged you when you couldn't think of anything else to say.
PJ: Oh he did? Yes?
KW: I thought I had to, you see.
PJ: Yes quite, yes!
NP: Well somebody had to, didn't they, and it was you who got in first Kenneth with hesitation. So Kenneth the subject is power complexes, 16 seconds left starting now.
KW: It would be correct to say sid... Hitler had one...
KW: No he was known as Sid Hitler!
LAUGHTER FROM CF, AM AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: What you should have, waited till I asked what the challenge was and said I wasn't talking about that Hitler, I was talking about Sid Hitler who used to live in Camden Town with me or something. But Andree challenged first.
AM: On the deviation of...
KW: Yes don't rub it in dear! You've got it all right!
NP: Six, ah 12 seconds on power complexes Andree starting now.
AM: This is something that men have and women practically never. It's interesting to wonder why...
NP: Kenneth Williams...
KW: Deviation! That is a disgraceful thing to say!
NP: I don't know whether it is disgraceful or not, but I agree that it is not correct. So Kenneth you have a correct challenge, a point for that and six seconds on power complexes starting now.
KW: Yes, Napoleon had one, and Benito Mussolini. I said to him, you know, "meo caro Benito..."
NP: Ah... ah Peter Jones actually did press his buzzer before...
KW: What did he press it for?
PJ: Well he couldn't have said this to Mussolini! Now if you're going to stop Andree saying something because it's not a fact, he can't get away with describing a conversation he had with Mussolini!
KW: I didn't challenge her because it wasn't a fact! I challenged her because she's propagating wickedness! Which is deviation of the worst kind!
NP: We're all...
PJ: Yes but Nicholas gave you the point because it wasn't right, didn't you?
NP: No, no, yes, it's incorrect!
PJ: Incorrect, well it's incorrect that he talked to Benito Mussolini!
NP: You never said you spoke to Benito Mussolini, did you?
PJ: Yes he did!
KW: Yes because I used to do it telepathically, you see! What I did was...
LAUGHTER FROM PJ AND THE AUDIENCE
KW: I used to feel I was talking to him. Do you know what I mean? I used to feel I was talking to Neville! Neville Chamberlain, I used to say Nev! I always called him Nev. I'd say "Nev, have you done the right thing flying to Berchtesgaden?"
NP: All right.
KW: That's what I used to ask him, you know what I mean?
NP: All right Kenneth...
KW: And somehow I always thought I got an answer!
NP: Yes well I'm sorry, we're not...
KW: It turned out to be somebody pulling the chain of the loo actually!
NP: If we allowed, if we allowed, if we allowed that sort of deviation from reality, telepathy...
KW: No, come off it! You've heard of ectoplasm, haven't you dear? Come on!
NP: Peter Jones is going to have a correct challenge and a point for one and half a second left on power complexes Peter starting now.
PJ: Well done, Mister Chairman!
NP: So that brings us an interesting situation at the end of that round...
KW: It was an interesting situation! I agree with you! It was!
NP: Everybody has almost the same number, Andree just happens to have one point more than the three men. Andree your turn to begin, the subject, competition. Will you talk on the subject of competition Andree starting now.
AM: The fact that I'm one point ahead doesn't affect me in any way at all, being a woman who realises that there are more important things in life than winning...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: She's not one point ahead.
NP: She is!
CF: Not as a result of this challenge!
LAUGHTER FROM NP, AM, PJ AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: But it's only after I have given a decision on the challenge is a point awarded.
NP: No, at this particular moment, she's still one point ahead, once I have given the decision we will know whether she's one point ahead or not. So Andree you get another point for an incorrect challenge...
CF: You see!
NP: You keep the subject of competition...
CF: There you are! She's two points ahead!
NP: It's impossible isn't it! It's a very good challenge, it's very clever! But I think the only thing I can do is tell Andree that you have 51 seconds on competition Andree starting now.
AM: Having two marks in advance of the other three men...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of marks.
AM: Points I said.
NP: She said points before I think. Yes there are 47 seconds now on competition with you Andree starting now.
AM: It gives you ulcers, heart attacks. What's the point...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged again.
NP: Yes well done, yes. Um there are 43 seconds on competition with you Clement Freud starting now.
CF: One of my favourite competitions are the ones they had in newspapers which were crosswords giving you the last three letters and all you had to put was the first hieroglyph to say an...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Deviation, I would like to know the definition of the hieroglyph.
PJ: It's a, it's a glyph that you don't buy outright, you hire-a-glyph!
NP: Clement Freud you have another point and you have 28 seconds on competition starting now.
CF: There's almost no competition in this game while the chairman absurdly favours one as opposed to the other three contestants. But in a normal contest...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: He is insulting the chairman!
KW: Hear hear! Hear hear! Hear hear!
NP: And as I never favour one at the expense of the other three, then it is obviously deviation, isn't it Peter?
NP: So you have a point...
PJ: I think you kind of cheat everybody more or less fairly... It all comes out in the end, you know! As long as one isn't dropped from the game of course.
NP: You have a point...
PJ: Ah thanks very much.
NP: It's a pity I can't give you two and you have 18 seconds on competition starting now.
PJ: Well I think it's rather overrated. Because at school, for instance, one boy is top, and all the rest are not top. Now this...
NP: And Andree Melly has challenged you.
AM: There were two tops.
NP: There were two tops.
KW: No, no, it's a hyphen. Not-top, not-top is a word, hyphenated you see.
PJ: No I must be perfectly frank and admit that I did repeat the word.
NP: Ten seconds for Andree Melly to go on competition starting now.
AM: I don't like competition at school. My daughter received a purple smartie because she was better at spelling than her best friend who is now her greatest enemy. You see, it gives people a sort of...
NP: Once again Andree Melly was speaking when the whistle went, gained another point for that and has increased her lead at the end of the round. Kenneth it's your turn to begin...
PJ: I think it was probably a purple heart you know, it wasn't a purple smartie. It's worrying, they don't come in purple.
AM: They do.
KW: You shut your row! We're perambulating towards my question.
PJ: Oh sorry.
NP: Yes. And the quest, the subject is, believe it or not the question I'd most like to ask. That's the subject, a long one, the question I'd most like to ask, 60 seconds starting now.
KW: The question I'd most like to ask is of the Government. And that is why aren't they building homes for people? I'm sick of these office blocks going up everywhere and I would demand an answer to that question! It seems to me categoric that everyone should have a roof over their heads. Next comes the food and the clothing...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
KW: How dare he! What's he on about?
CF: Having food and clothes over your head!
NP: Oh it's a lovely challenge Clement. I wish I could give you a bonus point for it. I'll tell you what we'll do, I won't charge anything for that, it was a lovely thought, a nice laugh, but it wasn't deviating from the subject on the card. So Kenneth you keep it, the question I'd most like to ask, 31 seconds starting now.
KW: Doubtless I will never be able to ask that question. Because they don't show me in to meet the heads of the legislature. I've asked! I've shouted through the letterbox! Hello in there! Head! Head, you in there? Nothing happened.
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
KW: What's he on about now?
CF: Repetition of head, head head.
NP: Yes you...
KW: No, I said Ned! Ned head! Yes you see I often call them the two, you see. All right love?
NP: No no. From where I was sitting which is further away than Clement Freud is, it sounded like two heads. You shouted the head too often! Ah Clement you have a correct challenge and there are 16 and a half seconds, the question I would most like to ask starting now.
CF: The question I would most like to ask is why is there no starch in blancmange. For many years at school I assembled my thoughts on the matter, investigated the cornflour element of this sweetmeat...
NP: Well Clement Freud kept going, I thought somewhat stumblingly towards the end, but until the whistle went, gained the extra point. And our leader is still Andree Melly. Peter Jones, it is your turn to begin, the subject is what I suggest you do. Will you talk on it for 60 seconds starting now.
PJ: Well it's very difficult to know under what circumstances I am supposed to advise you, If for instance you want to make an omelette I suggest you go and get hold of some eggs from somewhere and a basin and a fork, salt and a frying pan, and break the um...
NP: Andree Melly has challenged you.
NP: Yes, Andree you now have the subject of what I suggest you do with 43 seconds left starting now.
AM: What I suggest you do is take off your shoes and your socks and your belt, take your trousers down, then your tie, place it on the chair, unbutton your shirt. You should then be in your underclothes, sit on the floor in the lotus position, close your eyes and relax. That is the very best advice you can possibly be given because you will then revive your energies and feel that you can face the day with a sense of enjoyment and happiness, peace of mind etcetera...
NP: Ah Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: You can't face the day in your underwear!
NP: As facing the day...
PJ: Or in the lotus position!
KW: How do you know?
NP: You could actually...
KW: Have you ever been in the lotus position? Come on!
KW: Oh you have?
PJ: Do you want to see it?
KW: No thank you.
NP: You can face the day in any position at all...
KW: Exactly Nicholas! Well spoken!
NP: Peter Jones.
NP: I disagree with your challenge. Four and a half seconds...
NP: ... for Andree Melly to continue talking on the subject of...
KW: Oh has she still got it?
NP: What I suggest you do...
KW: Not just a pretty face!
NP: Starting now.
AM: What I suggest you do is try to emulate Kenneth Williams. If only you too...
KW: Oh that's true! Very clever that girl! She's on the ball!
NP: Well Andree Melly has moved even further ahead at the end of that round and she's got quite a commanding lead. Um Kenneth Williams your turn to begin, the subject is Charlotte Corday. Would you talk on that for 60 seconds starting now.
KW: Well she come in the room when he was having his bath and stabbed him! She made out that she was on the side of the Jeromed Party in order for him to make a statement. He did, said "oh I'll guillotine hundreds of them". So she plunged this weapon into his heart. When she was arrested, placed in a conciergerie, she was sitting for her portrait by Hauer, quite an interesting artist. It remains to this day quite that incredible portrait for anyone who wishes to see it...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of portrait.
KW: No, at first I said picture, I didn't say portrait twice. I said picture. I did, didn't I, I said picture. You see they're agreed...
SHOUTS OF "NO" FROM THE AUDIENCE
KW: Shut your row! I'll have you all out of here! We'll get another audience in here next week! It's disgraceful! It really is! I've come all the way from Great Portland Street to be treated like this! I was just getting worked up about it! That Charlotte Corday really got me going! I was getting so interested you see!
NP: You didn't get us very interested.
KW: Oh I see.
NP: And even your loyal supporters were very fair and said no you didn't say picture before.
KW: Well she did kill him. She killed him by ratting his bath, poor old thing. Still I suppose when you've got to go, you've got to go.
NP: For those who were wondering who the he was, they now know. You did say she about seven times.
NP: But they were very fair, they let it go after six. Clement I agree with your challenge and there are 18 seconds on Charlotte Corday starting now.
CF: In my own history book I always felt that they'd made a mistake about Charlotte Corday. Because they gave her weight as 98 kilos which I translated into more stone than I would care to mention in front of a mixed audience. They also said she was a close relative of Helen Corday which I didn't really believe...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged just before the whistle.
PJ: He didn't read that in his history book.
NP: No because Helen Corday was many many years later and they were...
CF: It weren't that many years later in my history book.
NP: I refuse to believe that your history book had put such an error as that. Helen Corday was more a contemporary of ours. There's half a second on Charlotte Corday with you Peter starting now.
PJ: At the waxworks, see her there...
NP: At the end of that round Andree Melly is still in the lead. Andree your turn to begin, the subject is celebrations. Would you talk about celebrations for 60 seconds if you can starting now.
AM: The best kind of celebrations are those which happen unexpectedly. Happenings when something marvellous has occurred, and you get a whole lot of friends to go out together and out... oh crikey!
NP: And Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Well I thought it was a sort of mix-up, a hesitation.
AM: It was yes.
NP: Yes, it was a hesitation and more than a sort of, it was a definite one.
NP: There are 47 seconds for celebrations now with you Kenneth starting now.
KW: I have had so many of these that it would be difficult for me to encapsulate the entire subject into 60 seconds. Nevertheless, that is my job and I shall meet this task, daunting though it may seem, by discussing my birthday. On this occasion many dear acquaintances and some rather idiotic friends sent ludicrous telegrams, and equally facetious and stupid greetings cards, with silly little drawings of daisies and...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Well I can't believe at Kenneth's age that a birthday is a cause for celebration!
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE
KW: Oh he don't half make you laugh does he! You've got to admit it he does get you going!
NP: A very good challenge and I'm not going to allow it.
PJ: You're not?
NP: I think, looking like he does, it's every cause for a celebration. So Kenneth...
KW: Oh I bet you say that to all the boys!
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM NP, PJ AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: Well I must say, you must agree, we do have some fun in Just A Minute. Kenneth I disagree with the challenge so you have another point and you have six seconds on celebrations starting now.
KW: The most notable one in my life was in Kandy in Ceylon and the lads gave me some drambuie. I didn't really know how powerful the stuff was and I swooned...
KW: I started off that, I don't know if you noticed, I started off that very slow. Did you notice that? Did you notice that?
NP: And finished up very quick, yes.
KW: I hoped that I would win you see.
NP: Well you did win, you got a lot of points in that round, you’ve moved forward...
KW: But she's still in the lead, isn't she?
NP: Oh she's still in the lead.
KW: Yes I thought so.
NP: And Peter Jones is still in second place.
NP: But you're only one point behind them.
NP: But Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject, the best philosophy. Can you talk on that for 60 seconds starting now.
CF: There are people who say that honesty is the best philosophy. This is not an opinion I share. Perhaps dirt, filth, power complexes, celebrations, Charlotte Corday, what I suggest you do, the wisest thing I ever heard, would be much better philosophies than that...
NP: Ah Peter, Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Well deviation, I mean he just slung a load of subjects together. That don't amount to any kind of coherent philosophy. Therefore it's devious.
NP: I would say that's a very good challenge Kenneth. And so you have a point for that...
CF: Would you say that?
NP: Yes, and I'm in the position of power...
CF: Yeah I heard you!
NP: You may disagree with me but I have to make the decisions...
CF: Oh no no no no!
NP: You have disagreed. You regularly disagree. In fact the day will be when you agree with me for once Clement! And there are 41 and a half seconds for you Kenneth starting now.
KW: This will be my opinion, you must understand. The best philosophy is one that takes as its cornerstone the very essence of liberalism which maintains it is my duty...
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
KW: Wait a minute! What happened?
KW: I couldn't! Something happened! Why...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
NP: Yes I know but he was...
KW: No, something happened, there was an actual noise...
NP: I know, there was a noise from the audience, but you must ignore...
KW: No no no, I thought that was a buzz. I'm sorry, I really thought I heard a buzz and therefore I thought it was a challenge...
NP: But you must keep going, all right Kenneth, we'll be, we'll be kind to you, you thought it was a buzz...
KW: Well it's ruined my whole thing now! Just ruined it and my flow's gone! I've got no flow!
NP: Kenneth we're showing you how kind and generous we all are. We'll believe you that you thought it was a buzz and not a noise from the audience, and allow you to continue with no points scored to anybody, with 22 seconds left, the best philosophy starting now.
KW: It's one that takes as its base the theological premise called the ontological argument...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of premise.
NP: Yes I think you said premise before and so...
KW: Well I mean it was so far back, and I was so rudely interrupted! How can I be expected? I really do think I'm labouring under appalling conditions! Don't you!
NP: I'm afraid that is the, the part of the game...
KW: I'm labouring here under terrible conditions!
KW: Don't you think I'm labouring under appalling conditions Clement?
LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE
KW: He's dropped off!
NP: He suddenly woke up and shook his head which made the audience all laugh. Peter Jones I agree with your challenge, you have 16 seconds on the best philosophy starting now.
PJ: Well I was thinking about philosophy only the other day when it occurred to me at about six o'clock in the evening that I found it quite easy to go through an entire 24 hour period without reflecting on those less fortunate than myself. And I...
NP: Well I'm afraid that we have no more time to play Just A Minute so I will give you the final score at the end of this edition of the programme. And the situation is that Kenneth Williams was in third place, equal with Clement Freud. They were only two points behind Peter Jones who finished a very good second to this week's winner, Andree Melly! We do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute, 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 Bob Oliver Rogers.