WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and WILLIAM FRANKLYN, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 25 January 1986)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Clement Freud and William Franklyn 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 from our announcer we have a guest with us this week playing with three of our regular panellists, and that is Bill, or William Franklyn, I should say, Bill to his friends. So will you please welcome him! He has played it once or twice before, but any guest does need all the encouragement they can get from our audience in the studio. Once again I am going to ask our panellists if they can talk on the subject that I give them, without hesitation, repetition or deviation for just one minute. And we're going to begin the show this week with Kenneth Williams. And who better to begin any show? And the subject, Arabian nights. That is the subject Kenneth, can you tell us something about it in the game starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: Well the Arabian Nights is mistakenly thought by many to be derived from the Sufi manuscript and therefore Persian. But Marcus Gravel in the latest Oxford Literary Companion assures us that in fact they come to the western world via Egypt. This fascinated me because I had an Arabian night myself in the Reff Mountains, dressed in the authentic jelava. And my host, a Sheikh no less, provided an Arab mare which kicked while carrying me. I fell on my coxics and there was wailing and lamentations. But this grand man said "walk naturally". And I tried to do it, but I couldn't quite pull it off. And my gait has been referred to ever since as somewhat affected...
NP: Well not for the first time Kenneth Williams has started the show, taken the subject with style and panache, and kept going for one minute without repeating himself, hesitating or deviating. And so he gains a point for speaking as the whistle went, and a bonus point for not being interrupted. Well done Kenneth! Let us continue, and at the end of that round, you are in a commanding lead! That went down like a load of bricks, didn't it! So we'll get on with the next round. Peter Jones the subject is you. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
PETER JONES: Well I'll talk about you Nicholas. I know you are a man who can walk into a pub and say "landlord, I'd like to buy everybody drinks. And if your lady wife will join us, I will be particularly pleased." And there you are apt to stay, for some hours if necessary, always purchasing these alcoholic refreshments for whoever or whosoever may come into this place of entertainment. You may give them a song at the piano without very much encouragement if you like. But very often when strangers come in and recognise you, you are particularly polite and disarming, generous, signing autographs...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CLEMENT FREUD: Hesitation.
NP: No I was enjoying what he said actually! Not, no, I don't think he quite hesitated. Teetering on hesitation but not quite. So Peter an incorrect challenge, you get a point for that and you continue for 15 seconds starting now.
PJ: Taking addresses and sending photographs to people all over the world...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of people.
NP: Yes you did mention people before.
PJ: Oh really? Yes.
NP: Yes, I can't be with you on this one Peter.
PJ: It's a pity I was interrupted really.
NP: You did get a point for the interruption.
PJ: Oh I did yes.
NP: And some people put a great deal of store on the points they gain, others of course on the contribution they make.
PJ: Very good! Very good! Very good! I like that!
NP: Clement Freud you have a point for a correct challenge, you take the subject of you and 10 seconds are left starting now.
CF: During a by-election at Breckham A bradna, I spent a great deal of time propositioning youse, trying to get their vote. "Good afternoon", I would say to these four ladies...
NP: When Ian Messiter blows his whistle, it tells us that 60 seconds are up. And as I mentioned before whoever is speaking at that gains the extra point. It was Clement Freud, who is now alongside Kenneth Williams in the lead. And he also begins the next round. The subject Clement is laughter. Will you tell us something about that delightful subject which we work so hard to produce in this game starting now.
CF: Laughter is a not unnatural reaction to a joke. For instance if someone were to tell you that they were arraigned in court for sticking green shield stamps on their national insurance card, and the magistrate gave three months prison sentence or an electric toaster, there is every opportunity of a risible response to a story of that ilk. In this country when you tell humorous anecdotes, you have every chance of achieving laughter. Whereas in the United States of America you actually have to pinpoint humour. You have to say this is going to be funny. And astonishingly unless you commence with that preamble, nobody will react as you would wish them to do. In Albania no-one laughs at all. It is actually considered a crime if not a sin to make statements which are anything...
NP: So far a classic version of Just A Minute, with within a short space of time, two people taking the subject from the start and not hesitating or repeating or deviating and keeping going until the whistle went. Well done Clement and raising laughter while talking about laughter. And you gained two points of course, one for the whistle, and one bonus point and you're in the lead at the end of the round. And now we hear from our guest, William Franklyn. William the subject that Ian Messiter has thought of is stomach butterflies. Those are the ones that flutter about in the stomach, no doubt, but will you tell us something about them starting now.
WILLIAM FRANKLYN: Particularly in my profession, the stomach butterfly is very prevalent. I'd like to think that butterflies actually suffer from stomach actors! There are people who talk about a conda in search of an actor. The stage performer learning his words, deeply immeshed in his text as I am nightly at this very moment, doesn't think of what lies ahead as those vast and small and all-sized vultures prepare to descend upon your intestines on the night that you are about to perform this text that you hope you will not feel prepared for...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Ah repetition of text.
KW: Well I mean, good gracious Peter, you have a guest beside you! Where are the manners? Have you no manners?
NP: Well I think if he had interrupted after a few seconds, yes that would, I’d agree with you. But he had gone actually for 34 seconds. That's not bad.
WF: I was so glad to hear my friend Peter pressing his tin.
PJ: I had actually...
NP: You can say that...
PJ: I hadn't expected to reveal this but Bill, just a moment ot two ago, said "I do hope you'll interrupt me". And I was just waiting anxiously to make this guest feel at home. So Kenneth you've embarrassed me terribly and so you've embarrassed William probably even more...
KW: Well what about me? I'm full of chagrin!
KW: You can see! You can see my chagrin, it is showing!
NP: So we're all embarrassed...
PJ: Yes it's...
WF: I'm terribly sorry to have brought you all...
PJ: Do you think we all ought to start again?
NP: No I definitely don't! I think it was a legitimate challenge. You have a point for it being correct and you take over the subject of stomach butterflies and there are 26 seconds left starting now.
PJ: When I'm nervous, I don't think of these things in my stomach as butterflies. They're more like Mills bombs! Or mortar fire. Butterflies are much too light and airy sort of thing to describe what I feel and suffer. Because it's violent and strong and it does create a tremendous effect like a lead ball in a sort of balloon or something of that kind. And I don't think...
NP: So Peter Jones kept going until the whistle went. I think only just actually, looking at his face, which you of course at home with your radio sets couldn't see...
PJ: You didn't have to say that Nicholas!
KW: No, I thought that was very cruel!
NP: No it wasn't cruel!
PJ: It was, it...
KW: It filled me with chagrin!
PJ: The people all over the world might have enjoyed that and never known that I was on the brink of drying up if you hadn't said anything.
NP: I was actually wanting them to know that you don't normally speak like that, struggling for words. You're much more fluent. But anyway let's forget it. You gained points in that round Peter...
PJ: Oh good!
NP: ... which is the important thing and you are in second place one behind Clement Freud, one ahead of Kenneth Williams, and a few ahead of William Franklyn who is yet to score. Peter Jones your turn to begin again, wet picnics. Will you tell us something about those, and for those who listen to us in foreign countries, this summer has been one of the wettest on record and a lot of people have experienced wet picnics. Peter will you talk on the subject starting now.
PJ: Well you've already told these people all over the world about the summer in England. Which is a pity really because it would have been a good springboard for my little chat which I hope will go on for 60 seconds. Now if you're going to have a picnic in this country, it would be wise to prepare for a wet one. So get your wellies out and your sou'westers and raincoats and umbrellas. And try to get some sandwiches in plastic covers so they won't get soggy. This is the best I can advise. I don't know whether you ever like barbecues, but if you do, it is probably wise to cook the food in the house and take it outside where under awnings you might be able to consume it in a reasonable degree of dryness and perhaps warmth. An electric fire wouldn't be a bad idea really. And if you cover yourself with that sort of...
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.
KW: Deviation, an electric fire in wet weather is a very bad idea! You'd all get a shock! It's very bad! Very bad advice! Very bad advice to give the general public!
NP: Yes it's bad advice but it was also deviating, having an electric fire...
KW: Deviating, that's what I meant Mister Chairman. You're a very good chairman!
PJ: No you didn't...
KW: He always brings you back to the point you see. He always brings you back to the salient point, that's why he is a very good chairman.
PJ: I said you were under an awning!
WF: Electric lights can now be run by solar energy, and you could have a small solar energy kit operating this electric fire which would be, I'm defending you...
KW: Nobody asked you to stick your oar in! Shut your row!
WF: I could quite easily...
KW: It's the chairman who decides.
WF: ... have spent the evening at an abattoir party. But I came along here thinking I would meet some very nice pleasant friends...
KW: Well we all labour under these illusions, don't we!
PJ: Yes yes.
KW: In amy life a little rain must fall, you were obviously drenched!
NP: Kenneth we're going to hear from you about wet picnics because I agree with the challenge and there are nine seconds left starting now.
KW: I had to go on them with the Boy Scouts, and we drank cocoa. It was simply frightful and the BO...
NP: William Franklyn...
WF: I had to interrupt you because the fifth word was totally incomprehensible!
KW: There's nothing in this game about being comprehensible!
WF: Oh? You mean it doesn't matter if you are...
KW: No it says deviation, hesitation and repetition.
WF: I know it's going out to the whole world, but I mean generally speaking are we using the Anglo-Saxon? Is that standard?
NP: Yes we do, lots of people tune in just to improve their English by listening to people like Kenneth Williams.
NP: But ah...
KW: They won't have much luck with him, will they? (laughs)
PJ: I think...
WF: Mind you, can you imagine people practising his dialect in an igloo? Can you imagine the echo?
PJ: Of course it only goes out to the Commonwealth, which is probably one of the reasons why we've lost it!
NP: Well I must say Just A Minute may have lost the Commonwealth but it's gained the rest of the world. That's all I can say.
PJ: Really? Yes. I went to Yugoslavia last summer, nobody knew who I was!
NP: Well I can tell you we're getting a very big following in Red China.
PJ: Well that's nice.
NP: And I would like to say after the last time you went, to all those people who were put off by what I said about you last time, you look absolutely animated and marvellous and scintillating as he was talking then.
PJ: Thank you very much.
WF: He's quite keen on you, isn't he? He's quite keen on you.
NP: Kenneth, you have the correct challenge and um, oh sorry I disagree, it was such a long time ago! Bill I disagree with your challenge so you have half a second on wet picnics starting now.
KW: Get close...
NP: At the end of that round, Kenneth Williams, having gained a number of points during the round, has taken a positive lead above Clement Freud and then Peter Jones and then William Franklyn. And William Franklyn takes the next round. Bill the subject is sellers. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
WF: As you probably know it can be spelt in a number of ways. You can end with an ARS, an ERS. You can begin with a C, you can begin with a S...
WF: I would like to elaborate a bit more on that.
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: There's five repetitions to date, the R, the S, the begin, the begin and the...
WF: They are, if I may say so just purely as a new boy and a vitiate who doesn't really know much about it, these are all part of the actual word...
NP: I know but you did repeat them you see, and that is one of the things you mustn't do in Just A Minute.
WF: Oh from the dictum that I received, I received a very detailed report here which I'm going to read to you. It will take about 20, 25 minutes probably which should see us through! I thought you were allowed to imitate, you were allowed to use the actual words themselves.
NP: No you can use the word which is on this card, sellers, you can repeat that a number of times, not too many times but...
WF: You can't break the word down into its...
NP: No no, you repeated the word S, R, you repeated the word begin...
PJ: No I think the umpire's decision is final. You are becoming the Botham of this outfit!
WF: When I arrived you were very definitely my friend, but you've quite gone off me.
NP: It's all right being the Botham of the outfit, it's once you become the John McEnroe that we begin to worry! Clement Freud I agree with your challenge, the subject is sellers and there are 50 seconds starting now.
CF: In the Victorian era, cellars used to be used for storing ice. It was a fascinating thing because there was no other way of manufacturing frozen water, other than to wait till the lake friz up, and then you scooped off...
NP: William Franklyn challenged.
WF: Until the lake what up?
NP: Friz up?
WF: Was that?
CF: I'd said frozen before.
WF: Yes so you invented a word?
NP: No no...
WF: Is that not a deviation?
NP: I know...
WF: Is that a deviation from the English language? I'm only asking!
PJ: It's east Anglian dialect!
NP: I know all of those people in China who are listening to the show at the moment will be puzzled by the word friz, and we don't want them coming over here and saying (Chinese accent) "all right, it's friz". (normal voice) Because it isn't the correct way. It is the colloquial way when you cannot repeat the word frozen before. So I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt Clement, leave it with you, 35 seconds, cellars Clement starting now.
WF: It's so corrupt, this programme!
CF: And when you go into the...
WF: I've never been with so much corruption!
NP: He's talking about corruption Clement, but you still have 31 seconds on cellars starting now.
CF: So you would go into the basements of these grand mansions built in the era of the Queen who reigned from 1832 to 1901, actually 37 I'm sorry. And there would be lumps of...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Well I mean, I'm his friend, I've taken his side more than once, I really have. But he suddenly juddered to a halt.
NP: He did judder to a halt yes because he...
KW: And I have a soft spot for him, you know that.
NP: I know, but we try to keep quiet about it in Just A Minute...
KW: If I had my own way, I would gather him to the household...
KW: I think it's all about vulnerability, isn't it, life. You put a hand out, it might be spat on. But on the other hand, somebody might grasp it in friendship and warmth...
NP: Kenneth! What are you talking about? I think you should take the subject because you had a correct challenge and there are 16 seconds on cellars starting now.
KW: I had a cellar we occupied in Marchment Street where I used to go for my mother. Poor old thing, couldn't get in the coal in herself. And I would...
NP: So Kenneth Williams again speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point as well as others in the round. And he's still in the lead, ahead of Clement Freud and Peter Jones and William Franklyn in that order. And Kenneth your turn to begin. The subject is a wicked thing I did. That is the subject, will you talk about it in this game starting now.
KW: I will admit a wicked thing I did on this show in fact. And that is why it is so apposite I discuss it now. was a rudeness to no other such august personage than, yes, you have guessed it, the chairman Nicholas Parsons. I had been carrying on and he reproved me "Kenneth I couldn't talk like that", he said. And I replied "no you haven't got my vocabulary!" And that got an enormous laugh, far bigger than the one here got tonight. But the fact is it was a wicked thing to do because we must observe authority! If the light goes green you can cross, but not if it goes red, because that is the law, that is the ritual...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of that.
NP: Yes there were about three thats.
KW: Oh come off it! That! So! You've done loads of them! Loads of them, hasn't he!
NP: No actually, he's not, you did loads and loads...
KW: (in tears) I just don't think it's good enough!
NP: Well you did make a great stress on the word that and that again. So it was a very definite repetition so I give it to Peter with eight seconds on a wicked thing I did Peter starting now.
PJ: Well I do realise now Kenneth has pointed it out, that was a wicked thing to do. To challenge him on a simple word which is normally...
NP: So Peter Jones is now equal with Clement Freud in the lead, and both trailing Kenneth Williams. And Peter begins the next round. Peter, the subject, doing my own thing. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
PJ: Well it's something that I should naturally enjoy. I don't feel somehow instinctively this programme is quite the place to do it. Perhaps Thought For The Day would be a suitable slot for me to try and advise other people on the way to live, and make their lives smoother and more serene, solving many of their problems perhaps by the simple faith that I have carried throughout my life and my career, to which I attribute some of the little modest success that I have enjoyed. In this programme and other programmes. But...
NP: Kenneth, Kenneth Williams.
KW: Well I was quite incorrect, he said programme and programmes.
NP: I know yes.
KW: I'm a fool!
PJ: Oh right!
NP: So you came in, anticipated because he did say programme and programmes. And it was an incorrect challenge and you continue Peter with 24 seconds left, doing my own thing starting now.
PJ: Perhaps I could do my own thing in a chat show and invite Kenneth Williams and William Franklyn, Clement Freud and a few other people, including perhaps Derek Nimmo...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of perhaps. It was the third perhaps, I was pretty good for the first two.
PJ: You mean you missed the first one.
NP: No it was. Why didn't you invite me on your chat show?
PJ: Well I don't want to...
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM KW, CF AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: Invited all the rest of the team, but he left me out!
PJ: I guess I lose that do I?
NP: Yes you didn't play your cards right there Peter. Right Clement, you have a correct challenge, doing my own thing and there are 13 seconds left starting now.
CF: Doing my own thing in London is pretty difficult because I play petanque or boules, and it's awfully hard to get terriere or ground where you can practice that Francophile...
NP: Peter Jones challenged with half a second to go.
NP: What of?
PJ: Well you heard it as well as I did!
NP: I wish to know if you know what he repeated.
NP: You're doing a Clement Freud on us!
PJ: Well what's wrong with that?
NP: There's nothing wrong with it, but he didn't repeat the word practice.
PJ: Didn't he? I thought he did. There must be an echo in this room, you know.
WF: Doing my own, doing my own thing, now I'm here on my own with nothing much going on on this side of the room. So I thought I'd do something all on my own, my own thing. Because these three have got a club of their own from which i am at the moment totally excluded. And it doesn't matter what you repeat or what you say, how many words you twist or anything. You can just go on indefinitely and nobody gives a damn. Just as long as you've got the bottle to keep doing it. Oh hello Peter sorry.
NP: That's all right. The chap in the white coat, we've just asked him to go away. Quite all right. It's all right, we're going to leave him for the rest of the show, no, don't worry about him, it's all right. Just calm him, give him some water or something.
PJ: How many more seconds have I got to speak on this subject?
NP: You've lost, you haven't got the subject.
NP: Clement Freud has got it. Clement you have one second on doing my own thing starting now.
CF: Palm's eyesight...
NP: Clement Freud has now taken the lead, one ahead of Kenneth Williams, and he also begins the next round. Clement the subject is going about. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
CF: Going about is a nautical or naval expression, meaning that the ship, boat, sail, vessel or whatever you have is about to do a 180 degree turn. It is... a pleasant sort of thing...
NP: William Franklyn has challenged.
WF: I thought there was a hesitation.
NP: Definite hesitation Bill. I'm delighted to hear from you because we haven't heard from you in the game for a while...
CF: Hello! Where have you been?
WF: I've been over here just doing my own thing.
WF: But that was some time ago, of course.
NP: So Bill you now have the subject of going about and it's the last subject so keep going if you can for and you start now. Oh let me tell you, let me tell you before you start, there are 45 seconds left starting now.
WF: In Columbria which is in Southern Italy it is a very pleasant picture on an autumnal evening to see the families going about together. The girls from the age of about 14 to 17 holding their hands. The boys who are aged between 17 and 22, walking on the other side of the road, all with their heads looking over, glancing over at the pretty pictures of these young maidens. The mamas walking a little bit behind their daughters, the papas walking behind the son, keeping everybody in order...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
WF: This is a picture of such pastoral... mmm?
NP: Of what?
CF: Aged, mamas, papas, walking, behind, in front...
WF: Rules! Always rules!
NP: That's right, I just had to know whether you had observed it, or whether you were trying it on. Clement you have a correct challenge, going about is the subject and there are 18 seconds left starting now.
CF: Being hit on the head with a boule is probably the most painful aspect of going about when you are sailing the oceans or seas of this world. In the Mediterranean in 1949, and then again 14 years later, I was struck very hard indeed...
NP: So Clement Freud spoke as the whistle went, gained an extra point. And with that final flourish brought the show to an end. So let me give you the final score. William Franklyn, our guest who has not played the game very often before, finished up in fourth place. he did gain some points, I won't tell you how many. And Peter Jones was in third place, only one point behind Kenneth Williams, who was two points behind this week's winner Clement Freud! We hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and will want to tune in again at the same time next week when we take to the air and play this delightful and sometimes ridiculous but always enjoyable game. 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.