WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, BARRY CRYER and IAN HISLOP, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 18 January 1986)
NOTE: Ian Hislop's first appearance.
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Barry Cryer and Ian Hislop 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 to Just A Minute. And as you've just heard we have two of our regular players of the game, Kenneth Williams and Derek Nimmo. And we have two guests. Barry Cryer who has played the game a number of times before, and Ian Hislop who is a newcomer to the show. And as usual I am going to ask our four panellists to try and speak on the subject that I will give them, without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card in front of me. Let us begin the show this week with Kenneth Williams. And Kenneth the subject that Ian has thought for you is trivia. Can you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: In the interests of energy conservation, they had a notice up, will you please be cremated with a friend. And of course, the idea there is that it's trivial but interesting. Rather like the old woman who lived in the grey green hollows of Bowery, Ireland, and knew nothing of the world except that her uncle was George The Fourth and he was always Cambridge in the Boat Race...
NP: Ian Hislop has challenged you.
IAN HISLOP: I don't think George the Fourth is trivial, is he?
BARRY CRYER: I would agree.
NP: Well he may not be trivial, but he was talking about trivia, and he wasn't conveying that George the Fourth was trivial, he was conveying that the subject material which concerned George the Fourth was trivia.
DEREK NIMMO: Hislop, you'll regret that challenge! You'll find him very very sharp with it now!
NP: Ian, as much as I like to encourage you as the first time you've played the game, I don't think I can possibly give it to you this time. So I have to give it against you, a point to Kenneth, he keeps the subject, 31 and one half seconds on trivia, Kenneth starting now.
KW: Then the elders came to her and said that the Monarch was not her relative at all. But she cried through her tears and said...
KW: ... "Virtue is its own reward"! and they realised...
NP: Kenneth I'm sorry, Barry Cryer here challenged you long before you got to the reward.
BC: A very hesitant stab at deviation. Who are these elders? How do they fit into this narrative? I wasn't quite clear.
NP: Well I think he was now...
KW: That was trivia. I can have my collection of trivia.
NP: So on this occasion I think I must give it to Barry Cryer. And say Barry you have a correct challenge and you have 20 seconds on trivia starting now.
BC: Is Kenneth working the audience with his foot? Trivia is a board game not of that specific name but containing all the contents of miscellaneous bric-a-brac of the mind that one can delve into, apparently unimportant, irrelevant, arcane, esoteric subjects that you shouldn't...
NP: So Barry Cryer took the subject and cleverly kept going until Ian Messiter blew his whistle which tells us that 60 seconds is up. And whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point, so Barry Cryer you are in the lead at the end of that round.
BC: It can't last!
NP: Well it's your turn to begin so maybe you can continue from there. The subject is package deal holidays. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
BC: Picture the scene a few years ago. My family and I making our way to Folkestone there to board a ferry, thence to France. So smooth, so unalloyed a pleasure...
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.
KW: There were two sos.
NP: There were two sos. Yes you got too soed up there I'm afraid Barry.
BC: I can't argue with that!
BC: Two sos, two sos.
NP: So Kenneth you have the subject, you have package deal holidays, you have 47 seconds starting now.
KW: Well they told me this Sheerbolg thing was all in 50 pounds. I said very cheap, what does it, what does it embrace...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
KW: Well I had to laugh!
NP: Yes you've been challenged again, I'm sorry. Yes? Yes?
NP: Yes I agree, there was a hesitation there. So Derek you have the subject, 40 seconds, package deal holidays starting now.
DN: I love going on package deal holidays. Arriving at Luton Airport with 47 screaming squalling children sitting around you, sucking lollipops. Their parents blaspheming and swearing in every direction. On you get onto the aeroplane and sit down. They bring you a little tray along with the most disgusting food you've ever seen...
NP: Barry you challenged.
BC: Rather late, but I'm at a funny age!
BC: Repetition of on.
NP: On? On and onto, he got onto the plane. Barry I don't think I can give it to you on this occasion. Twenty seconds still with Derek on package deal holidays starting now.
DN: I went to the club class at Qantas but it wasn't really quite like that. It was more of a gay bar really...
NP: Ian, Ian Hislop, yes?
IH: Ah advertising on the BBC?
BC: Hear hear! Some standards I think!
KW: But that's not in the rules. There's nothing in the rules there Ian. No, it just says no hesitation, no repetition, no deviation. It doesn't say anything about advertising.
DN: Quite right Kenny!
NP: I'm coming back to you Derek, you have 16 seconds, it's still with you...
DN: Who? Oh me?
NP: Package deal holidays starting now.
DN: And so we got off this little... transport plane...
NP: Absolutely right!
DN: I'm very surprised!
NP: Ian well done, and you have 13 and a half seconds on package deal holidays starting now.
IH: The best package deal holiday which I went on was with an aeroplane company which I'm not going to name for the reasons which I challenged last time. And after a while it became clear that some of the stewards were not necessarily as interested in the passengers...
NP: So Ian Hislop, our new player of the game, was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And at the end of the round, he is equal in the lead with Derek Nimmo! So Derek your turn to begin, the subject, finishing school. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
DN: A number of years when I was a 14-year-old schoolgirl, my father had not at that time sent me to Casablanca to have the operation you see. And I went to a place near Zurich to a very famous finishing school, run by a dear woman called Countess Magress...
NP: Barry Cryer has challenged twice.
BC: Geographical deviation.
BC: We were going to Casablanca, and suddenly we're outside Zurich?
DN: No, my father sent me to Casablanca for the operation.
BC: Ah yes.
NP: He had the operation in Casablanca, the finishing school was in Zurich.
BC: New readers start here!
NP: Right, even with my limited intelligence, I did actually pick that one up Barry.
BC: And you're self-taught, Nicholas! I admire it!
NP: Forty-three seconds are left for finishing school still with you Derek starting now.
DN: There were other young ladies from places like London and Liverpool and Manchester. But also from France and Germany and Luxembourg and Holland indeed and... Spain...
NP: Barry challenged.
BC: You didn't allow on, I agree that was pedantic. But how many ands do we have to have?
NP: You're quite right, I will agree, he had five ands, you can't have five ands without being repetitious.
DN: You can have five fingers but not five ‘ands!
NP: That's right!
BC: If the thumb is referred to as a finger.
NP: Right, 30 seconds, Barry you have the subject of finishing school starting now.
BC: I attended a finishing school. And It was the most rewarding part of my life, and I must explain to you why I say that. The finishing school was from morn till night, a source of joy, enlightenment, education and deep fulfilment. We rose at 8am, thence round the grounds for a brisk run, then into the pool for a...
NP: Derek Nimmo has...
DN: Three thens.
NP: Three thens.
BC: He's exactly right!
NP: So Derek you're back with six and a half seconds for finishing school starting now,
DN: One remembers the joy of finishing school. At the end of the term, packing the trunk in the dormitory, putting in old sweaty knickers before...
NP: So Derek Nimmo finished the round on finishing school, gained an extra point, and is now out in the lead, ahead of Barry Cryer and Ian Hislop, who are second, followed by Kenneth Williams who is one point behind them. Ian will you take the next round, the subject is sale. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
IH: Sale is what I have ben trying to effect on a house which I have been attempting to buy for a number of months now. The trouble is you have to do it via estate agents who are a number of people who one might class as sloan rangers...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.
DN: Ah numbers, two numbers. A bit mean.
KW: Well you're a guest! You're a guest!
DN: I'm sorry!
KW: You're a guest! You give a person a chance!
DN: I know!
KW: For goodness sake! You know, you give a person a chance!
NP: Well the audience agree with Kenneth. Ian we're going to leave the subject with you out of generosity and tell you that you have 47 seconds on sale starting now.
IH: The sale of the house...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Well he was awfully late starting, wasn't he!
NP: Yes it was! And you were the one who said how dare you challenge!
DN: (laughs) What a hypocrite!
IH: This man is a humbug!
NP: So if I don't allow Derek's challenge, so he missed gaining a point, I don't allow your challenge. Ian Hislop still has the subject, Ian...
IH: That leaves just you, Barry! Take it away!
NP: Right there are 45 seconds, Ian, for you on sale starting now.
IH: I was talking about estate agents, people who are...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Repetition of estate agents.
NP: I know there was. Ian Hislop has another point for making the same error as before and he still has 43 seconds staring now.
BC: My brain hurts!
NP: Barry you've challenged. Hesitation? I can't allow that when they wouldn't allow the other ones. So that's another point to Ian Hislop. So come on Ian, you're winning now, you're way out in the lead! You have er, he hasn't played the game very much, he doesn't yet know how to play it...
IH: You're helping me very well.
NP: You have 41 seconds on sale starting now.
IH: Sales are wonderful events where members of the public are persuaded to buy goods for a greatly higher price than they would for the rest of the year. You can see them in January hanging about in Brighton. I spent a lot of time in that particular seaside resort when I was a young boy, and one of our favourite games was to queue up outside a shop that didn't have a sale one, and wait and see how many mugs would join us behind. After about an hour even some of these people got bored with waiting around, hoping they were going to get the bargain of the century. And of course they didn't. And after about three hours they would say...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Well it's not bargain of the century, it's Sale Of The Century, isn't it Nicholas?
NP: Yeah but he was going for the bargain of the century. And you have 13 seconds on sale starting now.
IH: Sayle, Alexis Sayle is one of my favourite comedians. He does a wonderful act in the new...
NP: Barry Cryer challenged.
BC: How is the subject spelt?
NP: It doesn't matter. It's how he sounds, we're in the world of radio, aural.
BC: Fair enough!
KW: He gets another point.
NP: He gets another point, nine seconds on sale Ian starting now.
IH: His favourite joke was one about olden times. And he used to say that you could always tell what people did by their names. So a baker made bread...
NP: So you might be surprised to learn that Ian Hislop who started with that subject actually finished it. And in spite of about 50 challenges, with the help of the chairman, he's now got a commanding lead at the end of that round. Kenneth Williams, it's your turn to begin again and the subject is roads. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: Yes I suppose what Edward Heath would call the unacceptable face of capitalism. Cecil Rhodes was a shocker. He actually arranged for a monopoly on the diamonds in Kimberley which netted him a fortune, and persuaded the English to annex Bequanaland, then after the Jennyson raid, conspired to take the Transkei. That's left the country with a legacy of trouble we are still watching today. And I would say in all honesty, and waves of sincerity that this bloke was a walking disaster. I mean, it's all very well, you know. They say roads, M1, M2...
NP: And Derek Nimmo has challenged.
DN: Two Ms.
NP: There was two Ms.
KW: Well how else do you say the M2 or M1?
NP: Because you used the word M...
DN: Use the A3 instead?
KW: Oh yes you're very clever, Derek Nimmo, aren't you? Oh yes that's clever, to make your fellows look stupid and small. Oh yes, a hollow victory you're winning tonight!
NP: Kenneth have you never tried to make anybody look stupid and small?
KW: No I've never indulged in such cheap demeaning tricks!
NP: I'll remember that when you speak to the chairman next. Right Derek you have a correct challenge and nine seconds on roads starting now.
DN: The colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the world, some 100 feet high, fell to earth with a tremendous quake which brought it down...
NP: Ian, no, Ian challenged. You challenged with quarter of a second to go Ian, what was your challenge?
IH: Ah deviation, he was deviating from known history. No-one has any idea how the colossus of Rhodes finished.
NP: Quarter of a second to go, will you tell us something about roads starting now.
IH: That's right...
NP: Right so Ian Hislop has increased his lead at the end of that round and Derek Nimmo is not far behind. The other two are trailing a little. And Barry Cryer begins the next round. Barry the subject on the card in front of me is a good subject. Will you tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.
BC: My definition of a good subject would be the immortal McGonegal, the epitome of a servile, serving, servant of her glorious Majesty Queen Victoria. Oh glorious bridge over the silvery Tay, I'm sure those words ring a bell with you, often thought of as Scottish but...
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.
KW: They don't ring any bell with me at all!
NP: And who are you who never puts people down?
KW: That's not putting him down, it's deviation, he said I'm sure they all ring a bell with you. They don't ring a bell with me at all. They don't with anybody there either!
NP: Oh I mean...
KW: One person's dropped off! Look! Dropped right off in the middle of it!
NP: He was using a figure...
BC: Did the name McGonegal ring a bell with this audience?
KW: No! They've never heard of him!
NP: Now just a minute, I've got to be fair, I've got to be just, this is one of my jobs. He was using a figure of...
KW: Fair? Fair? You? Fair?
NP: He was using a figure of speech, he was not deviating from a good subject. So Barry you still have it and there are how many seconds, there are 37 seconds left starting now.
BC: William McGonegal was wont to visit...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.
DN: Repetition of McGonegal.
NP: Yeah he's not...
BC: repetition of McGonegal.
NP: He's not the subject. A good subject is the subject. William McGonegal is not, so Derek's in there with 36 seconds on a good subject starting now.
DN: The waters of Leith where pretty girls went down to wash their teeth was an awfully bad rhyme by Mister McGonegal who is not a very good subject...
NP: Ian Hislop.
IH: Repetition of McGonegal?
NP: Yeah but he hadn't used the word McGonegal before, it was Barry who used it last time.
NP: So sorry Ian, eight and a half seconds still with you Derek, a good subject starting now.
DN: Kenneth Williams is a great patriot and a wonderfully good subject. Her gracious majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, defender of the faith, is somebody that he reveres greatly. And at every time tries in every way to enhance her image in this country. He is one of the best subjects Her Majesty has ever been able and privileged to have. Would you all please stand and say God save our gracious Queen and...
NP: Well Derek Nimmo stylishly brought that round to an end, gained an extra point. He's creeping up on Ian Hislop, which is a very devious thing to do. And Barry Cryer and Kenneth...
IH: I'm well on the other side of the studio!
NP: Yes! Just a little way behind. In fact they're more than a little way behind, but I don't want to rub it in! Um Derek it's your turn to begin, the subject is pointers. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
DN: Pointers are a particular kind of gundog that you put them out in the field, and they find the birds hiding in the bracken or the heather, wherever they may be. And then having done that they come out and as it were act as a pointer to where you might find this particular prey. I like the story of Alistair Milne who was Director-General of this revered establishment, the British Broadcasting Corporation, who...
IH: Sucking up to the management? Was that...
NP: Yes, you can suck up to the management but not deviate from the subject. So he's still with pointers Derek, and 36 seconds starting now.
DN: Who was shooting at a large estate in Yorkshire as a matter of fact. And then one day, out came, not in fact a pheasant, but a peacock. And this is totally true this. He shot off with his first barrel and missed. Somebody said "this is a male peahen". And then he shot with a second one of those long shooting arrangements...
NP: Barry Cryer has challenged you.
BC: What's a male peahen?
DN: A peacock, but if I had said peacock, I would have been repeating.
NP: Repeating himself.
BC: You can't have a male peahen!
NP: You're right, that is devious, you're either a peahen or a peacock. So I think that is a very good challenge Barry, there are 15 seconds for you on the subject of pointers starting now.
BC: I once had two pointers, domestic members of our family, one male, one female, who were wont to disport themselves in our garden, in the park, and down the lane. They were called Jane and Bill. I think...
NP: So Barry Cryer speaking as the whistle went, got an extra point. He's creeping up, well, I've used that expression before. He's moving up on Derek Nimmo who is one point behind our leader, Ian Hislop. And Ian you begin the next round, the subject is sports. Will you tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.
IH: Sports is the collective noun for a group of Australian men as in "hello sports". They can always be found hanging around London Airport. I remember my first encounter with a group of sports was when I said to one of them "have you got the time?" And he said "no time for Poms!"
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
NP: There were two times Ian, I'm afraid. So that's 44 seconds left, and Derek Nimmo takes over sports starting now.
DN: I'm very pleased to be able to talk about sports, because I get very few fan letters these days. So what I would like to do is to talk about dog baiting, because I think then that will produce a number of letters from people who will not be very keen on the idea. Otherwise cockfighting is an awfully good sport don't you think? You pop those poor defenceless creatures into a cage with great long spikes on the back of their legs, and they claw each other to death with blood everywhere...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Yes I mean I certainly challenged. deviation, it's not sports he's discussing, it's something quite disgusting! And I think that every decent person who is listening to this kind of programme would be apoor, apoor, would be appalled.
NP: Absolutely apoored, apoored yes and I think you should take it over because of that without any doubt. They'd be appalled. And so Kenneth there are 18 seconds for you to tell us something about sports starting now.
KW: The one I adore in sports is McEnroe. Because you see he's not only a brilliant technician, I mean, wonderful technically at tennis. But you get the wonderful tantrums as well! And that shows that the man is vulnerable and when we learn that about a human being, our sympathy is engaged...
NP: Well cockfighting and McEnroe all in one round is quite something! Kenneth you were speaking as the whistle went, you gained that extra point, and you're still in fourth place, just behind Barry Cryer, who is a little way behind Ian Hislop and Derek Nimmo who are equal in the lead as we go into the next round. And Kenneth it is your turn to begin, the subject is string. Will you tell us something about string in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: (sings) Tie a piece of string around your finger, and you'll remember me. (speaking) Was a number that I remember from my youth and I loved it...
NP: Barry Cryer challenged you.
BC: Deviation from the tune!
NP: Give Barry a point for a good challenge, but as he wasn't deviating from the subject, deviating from the tune is not one of the...
KW: I wasn't deviating! It was exactly on the note.
NP: Was it?
KW: Note for note. (sings) Tie a piece of string around your finger. (speaks) That's how it goes.
NP: Was he on the note or not?
SHOUTS OF "YES" FROM THE AUDIENCE
BC: All right, you sing the rest of it!
NP: Give him a bonus point, he was on the note! Right, and Kenneth you still have the subject and you have 57 seconds starting...
KW: (sings) And...
NP: I'm sorry, you don't, you have 53 seconds on string starting now.
KW: Now this is the truth you know. It may be a game but occasionally you do hear fact in this programme. One of the reasons the economy of an important place in the world, St Lima, fell so badly, was because the post office no longer used the string specially made by them, and substituted elastic bands. And so you can see how an entire economy was brought...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Repetition of economy.
NP: You mentioned economy before.
KW: Well I mean it's such an interesting thing!
NP: Derek there are 16 seconds on string for you starting now.
DN: Whenever I think of strings, I think how wonderfully important and generous it was that the archers of Britain going to Agincourt took with them two strings to their bow. Because as a result of that wonderful bit of foresight, we managed to win that big battle. Because one...
NP: Derek Nimmo has taken the lead just ahead of Ian Hislop and Barry Cryer and Kenneth Williams in that order. And Barry begins the next round, Barry the subject is nonsense. Quite a lot is spoken in Just A Minute, but would you talk on the subject starting now.
BC: Nonsense is a great English tradition. One remembers Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, the Monty Python team. The tradition continues throughout the years. Oh to drive a cucumber up the M1! To gambol upon its back and then to light upon a camembert...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: It wasn't the M1, we've already established it was the A3!
NP: Oh come off it Derek, all you've done is give Barry another point.
DN: Well I thought he'd like another point, I was being very generous wasn't I.
NP: Right, 37 seconds on nonsense Barry starting now.
BC: And then to meet a shepherd who lives in the middle of Glasgow and has not over much work, and is called Hillary. We cry as he plays his bagpipes by a novel method with his feet. How can the toes achieve this sound. I will tell you how this does come about...
BC: The bagpipes are upon, I've repeated bagpipes...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged before the bagpipes. Yes Kenneth?
KW: Two hows.
NP: There were two hows even before the bagpipes. So Kenneth you've got nonsense now and you have 16 seconds starting now.
KW: I suppose it means constructing a sentence in which there literally is no sense. And it is a very difficult thing to do because most of us, in order to communicate in th first place automatically do so in a manner...
NP: Kenneth Williams speaking as the whistle went got that extra point at the end of that round and that subject of nonsense rather aptly brings this particular edition of Just A Minute to an end, I'm sad to say. Kenneth Williams finished up in third place, equal with our guest Barry Cryer. They were four points behind Ian Hislop, congratulations to Ian. And our winner, out in the lead, just two points ahead of Ian was Derek Nimmo! We hope all you people listening at home or in your cars or wherever you listen to Just A Minute have enjoyed listening to the show and will want to tune in a game, at the game? Tune in again at the game, at the game, at the game, at the game. Tune in again at the 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.