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

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much. Hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And as you've just heard, we have two guests this week, who have both played the game before, that is Tim Rice and Gyles Brandreth. And they've joined to do battle with our regulars, Kenneth Williams and Clement Freud. And, and once again I am going to ask them to try and speak on the subject that I give them, and I wish them to try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. And we'll begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement the subject that Ian Messiter has thought up to start the show is lawyers. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Lawyers is the corporate name given to barristers and solicitors who in this country practice the law and in the United States go into politics! They are among the group of people...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TIM RICE: There was a very strong, confident um there.

NP: Tim I think there was hesitation. So you have a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject of lawyers and there are 46 and a half seconds starting now.

TR: I am particularly well qualified to talk about this fascinating subject of lawyers, because I was once a articled particle in a solicitor's office...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Of grammar. A articled.

NP: You have to deviate from the subject and he didn't do that. So Tim you have another point for an incorrect challenge, and keep the subject and there are 38 seconds starting now.

TR: Unfortunately I was required to leave this distinguished profession rather on the hurry, simply because I tore up the wrong pile of documents in that crucial moment in that firm's history. I was requested to rip into shreds, in the days before they had those machines, a whole pile of probated and wills which had been now caused to come out of date...


NP: Gyles Brandreth challenged.

GYLES BRANDRETH: I felt there were little moments of...

TR: Oh no.

GB: ... growing hesitation.

TR: No, no.

NP: Yes...

TR: Breathing problems, that's all it was.

NP: I think you expressed it extremely well Gyles, yes.

TR: Breathing problems.

NP: I mean he was stuttering to a halt, but didn't quite achieve it. There are 17 seconds for you Gyles on the subject of lawyers starting now.

GB: I come from a legal family. I once asked my papa if actors act...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Repetition of pa!

NP: Well I think papa is usually spelt as one word. So an incorrect challenge, Gyles you still have the subject, and 13 seconds, lawyers starting now.

GB: If dancers dance, do solicitors solicit was the question I wanted him to answer. But of course being of a very legalistic inclination he sat back and donned his marvellous wig which had belonged to his pater, and said...


NP: Well when Ian Messiter blows his whistle, it tells us that 60 seconds are up, and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. It was Gyles Brandreth, so he has taken the lead at the end of that round, ahead of Tim Rice, Clement Freud and Kenneth Williams...

KENNETH WILLIAMS: I think Gyles Brandreth is awfully good in this game! Don't you, Mister Chairman?

NP: Extremely good!

KW: So do I, Mister Chairman! I must say I'm very impressed, considering he's a newcomer, you know.

NP: Well he's not all that new. He's played it quite a few times before actually.

KW: Yes but I thought I ought to say something, Mister Chairman, as you haven't given me a subject yet. I thought I better get something in quick.

NP: Yes, and of course some weeks ago, this audience wouldn't remember because they weren't here, um he did actually er almost win.

KW: Yes that's right, Mister Chairman! Very good indeed, Mister Chairman!

NP: Why are you suddenly calling me Mister Chairman?

KW: Well after all, we've got to give authority the proper respect and due!

NP: Well I'm sorry that you can't begin the next round, because we've got it down for Gyles Brandreth to start. And Gyles the subject is confidence tricks. You bring off some of those in Just A Minute to keep going but will you talk on the subject starting now.

GB: I must plead guilty to having taken part in a confidence trick or two in my time. Nothing as grand as selling off the Eiffel Tower. But a few years ago I went to Petit France to get myself a passport and I am ashamed to say that I passed off a confidence trick on the people there. Because it was four o'clock on a Friday afternoon and I needed to go to the United States of America the following morning. And I did not have the required document. And they told me "I'm afraid it's too late, you need to book this weeks in advance". So I burst into tears and said "my mother is dead", knowing full well that the dear lady was alive and well and living in Baker Street. They said "this is tragic news". And there as I wept and cried, they assured me that they would do what they could, because I had to get to her funeral in New York. And within half an hour, I'm here to tell you, I had exactly the piece of paper that I needed, and swept off to Heathrow Airport where...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: He didn't have a visa!

GB: I don't wish to be pedantic or indulge in semantic by-play, but you will know that you can in fact keep a visa from an old passport, providing you take it with your new passport and you show it to the officials.

KW: Yes he's right!

NP: The thing is I don't think he was actually deviating from the subject of confidence tricks. He was telling us the one he pulled. So Clement I have to disagree and say there are seven and a half seconds for you Gyles on the subject starting now.

GB: There was a notorious confidence trickster who once managed to sell the Leaning Tower of Pisa to a group of Americans...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of Tower, we had...

NP: Eiffel Tower, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, I'm sorry. So Clement you had a correct challenge there, well listened. Three seconds are left on confidence tricks starting now.

CF: Confidence tricks are something people perpetrate while others pickpocket...


NP: Well Clement Freud was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's equal with Tim Rice who are trailing Gyles Brandreth. And Kenneth Williams, Kenneth the subject is collections. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: I had to take a collection once. And they said "your spot will be outside the theatre which you're appearing in, so that we will get more people coming by and your collection box will be filled". And I stood there, and I was saying to people "come on, give something". And one man was terribly rude. "Get out of my way! I'm giving nothing!" I said "well after all, these people are in need." "So am I! Get out!" I'd never known anything like it! And at that point the owner of the theatre came out in an enormous Rolls Royce, and got out and you know, that lovely sort of travelling round the rug legs was removed. And he said "hello, how are you doing with your collection?" And I said "not terribly well", because this awful man had been so dreadfully impolite. And he said "never mind, because you see, you must remember the old saying..."


KW: "... virtue is its own reward". I said that is worthy of entry in my diary, or indeed in the Gontforth diary which I...


KW: ... consider equally, I mean if not more important than the diary by someone like Ismay, or by someone like that other one, Peyps. Because I mean they're not marvellous diaries, Those people could write, but i would not have thought they were something to go over the moon about...


NP: Well that round of applause that came spontaneously from the audience was because Kenneth Williams kept going for one and a half minutes on the subject!

CF: I did press.

NP: And he was actually challenged twice, but I cancelled the challenges because I enjoyed what he was saying. And so Kenneth you kept going beyond the minute, so we give you one point for not being challenged and one for speaking as the whistle went. And you have three at the end of that round. And you are in second place!

KW: Oh how marvellous!

NP: Tim Rice will you take the next round, the subject is discs. I'm sure you know a great deal about that with your success as a song writer. But will you tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

TR: One of the most painful afflictions that can affect anybody, young or old, is a bad back. And the reason for this is very simple. Your... back part...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Hesitation?

NP: Hesitation, I agree Clement, 51 seconds on discs starting now.

CF: A disc is what it used to be called a record...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Did I hear correctly? A disc is what it used to be called...

NP: What it used to be called a record, yes. A disc is what it used...

TR: This is...

NP: Tim you have a correct challenge and 47 seconds starting now.

TR: I think however I will digress from the problems of the spine, and get to discs that we know and love, viz. the ones that Clement Freud was trying to talk about, those which create music. Now the new thing in discs is the compact disc. The compact disc is wonderful because...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of compact.

NP: Yes.

TR: It's all one word again, compact-disc!

CF: Oh is it?

NP: No no no, you're not going to get away with it, you can try! Thirty-one seconds, no, thirty and a half seconds on discs with you Clement starting now.

CF: Perhaps the most successful company producing discs is called Virgin, because their records do not have a hole in the middle! Which makes it very difficult indeed to put it on to a record player or play it...


NP: Gyles Brandreth has challenged, yes Gyles.

GB: Repetition of record.

NP: Thank you very much Gyles, he did repeat the word record. So Gyles you have the subject with 15 seconds, discs starting now.

GB: I am proud to say that I have made a disc myself, of me reading my great poetry. This was made in the early...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Deviation, arrogance, all these things.

GB: Arrogance maybe, deviation not at all. They were quite respectable poems.

NP: No it doesn't matter whether you're arrogant, it doesn't matter how you appear or put over what you say, as long as you don't deviate from the subject so...

CF: Did he sell more than one?

NP: We will find out perhaps as he continues with nine and a half seconds starting now.

GB: Two copies of this particular disc were sold by me to myself and to my dear mother, who very sweetly bought it in order to be able to play it night after evening through the long winter...


NP: Gyles Brandreth speaking as the whistle went...

CF: Is this before she died in Baker Street?

NP: Gyles Brandreth has actually got the point for speaking as the whistle went, and has increased his lead. And Gyles Brandreth begins the next round, Gyles can you tell us what goes into my wastepaper basket. That is the subject on the card, will you talk on it starting now.

GB: As you might well guess, what chiefly goes into my wastepaper basket is my poetry. I sit at my desk scribbling away all day, and then crumple the little bits of paper and chuck them despairingly away. Today for example if you looked into my wastepaper basket, you would find an ode I had written to the distinguished chairman of this particular programme. Dedicated to Nicholas Parsons, it began
Don't worry if your job is small
And the rewards are few
Remember that the mighty oak
Was once a nut like you.
Having written this epic epitaph I decided that then it wasn't good enough, and I would have to start all over again. And I thought this time I would take as my inspiration, Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon himself. And decided that I would write a miniature epic on the subject of Romeo and Juliet, and the night they went out together on, oh....


NP: Tim Rice got in there on your ohhhh. Tim, 10 seconds, what goes into my wastepaper basket starting now.

TR: I put many things into my wastepaper basket. But the problem that I usually find attacks me in this particular manner is that object number one every day is...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: It was a, I'm sorry...

NP: Well if you interrupt...

CF: Yes he must have several points!

NP: Not several, he gets one point. You interrupted...

CF: It was nevertheless a slip.

NP: You tried to get in with one second to go...

CF: No, oh no!

NP: Well you almost achieved it. So Tim you have a point for an incorrect challenge, one second on what goes into my wastepaper basket starting now.

TR: Del Shannon...


NP: And with a little help from a Freudian slip there, Tim Rice has moved into the lead, one ahead of Gyles Brandreth, two ahead of Clement Freud, and a few ahead of Kenneth Williams. Who begins the next round, Kenneth the subject is Christian Doppler. Will you tell us something about him in this game starting now.

KW: I can't really think that the people here would be terribly interested in Christian Doppler. But nevertheless he was an Austrian physicist born in the 19th century actually. And the interesting thing about him was that the Doppler Principle for which he is famous, is the measurement of noise variation which he maintained decreased at the same ratio as the observer retreating or approaching the source. Now...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Cobblers! The way he described the Doppler Shift was not very accurate.

NP: I thought it was extremely good actually.

KW: It was exactly right, you great fool!

NP: And exactly right!

KW: You know nothing about it!

NP: Well done...

KW: It's disgraceful I should be subjected to these sorts of insults from people like him! I mean come on...

NP: Kenneth I'd put up with them because you get a point every time you're interrupted for an incorrect challenge...

KW: But it's so insulting! I've come all the way from Great Portland Street!

NP: Kenneth...

TR: I shall withdraw!

NP: It was an incorrect challenge, you are right about the Doppler Principle. And Christian Doppler is the subject and there are 28 seconds starting now.

KW: And Christian Doppler had terrible trouble getting a visa. So he spun a great story about his aunt in Baker Street and said he had to get to New York in time for her funeral...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Well this surely is deviation. I mean if i was...

NP: Well we don't know, he might have dome it, mightn't he?

KW: How do you know there isn't another Christian Doppler who wants to get to Baker Street?

NP: Wants to get to New York, with an aunt in Baker Street. I'll tell you what, we'll let the audience, because I can't really judge on this. I don't know whether there's another Christian Doppler who has got an aunt in Baker Street and wants to go to New York. So will you be the final judge and arbiter. Now if you agree with Kenneth Williams, there is another Christian Doppler, will you cheer for him. And if you disagree will you boo for Tim Rice and do it together now.


TR: Boo!

NP: I think the cheers have it. Except they said hooray instead of cheered. So they're with you Kenneth, as usual, and there are 19 and a half seconds on Christian Doppler starting now.

KW: On one occasion he did a variation on a theme with a piece called Romeo And Juliet. Now it was about the night they were supposed to meet on this balcony, you know, where she says that stuff about the sun rising or the sun setting, I can't ever...


NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: I'm sorry, a couple of suns there.

NP: Yes yes indeed there were. Gyles you got in with three seconds to go on Christian Doppler starting now.

GB: My little poem about Christian Doppler begins in this very amusing way...


NP: So at the end of that round, Gyles Brandreth speaking as the whistle went, has now taken the lead. And Tim Rice, you begin the next round, the subject, sneezing. Can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

TR: It's a funny thing about sneezing, is that you hardly ever sneeze just once. And...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: He says it's a funny thing about sneezing that no-one ever sneezes once. Well it's not funny at all. I'm not laughing!

TR: No, strange, funny peculiar.

NP: There's a famous line that Will Hay, not Will Hay, Ian hay, wrote in a play called, the man said "was it funny?" He said "do you funny peculiar or funny haha?"

KW: Oh how original!

NP: Yes so I think this was funny peculiar and I leave it with Tim Rice and there are 55 seconds on sneezing starting now.

TR: When I was a young sprig of a thing, I used to sneeze twice, never more...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: What? Of what?

CF: Sneezing twice!

NP: Ah sneezing twice, that's right, I'm sorry.

TR: Give over!

NP: So Clement, 51 seconds for you on the subject of sneezing starting now.

CF: Oh I've got it?

NP: Yes.


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

CF: It was a very poor decision on your part.

TR: Hesitation.

NP: Well done Tim and you've got 50 seconds on the subject of sneezing starting now.

TR: And yet when I was a little bit older, I found myself sneezing three times, not just once, not two times...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of times.

NP: Yes. Because you said, the last time you were speaking, you said...

TR: Yes yes I admit it.

NP: So Clement you got in there with 43 seconds on sneezing starting now.

CF: There's a very good way of stopping yourself from sneezing because by taking your right and left forefinger, and pressing it on your upper lip, which somehow stops you from making that noise which in polite society is totally unacceptable. I don't know why it should be that emitting noise from one or other aperture...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: He shuddered to a halt, didn't he.

NP: He didn't shudder to a halt, but he did pause.

KW: Yes yes.

NP: Yes.

CF: Between words?

NP: No you paused Clement, and Kenneth has the subject with 24 and a half seconds on sneezing starting now.

KW: You can encourage the process of sneezing by taking snuff. And as you know, it's a tobacco derivative, and can be awfully charming. I had a friend who used to put a little on the back of the thing, and then pass it under the nose, with tremendous elan, elegance I would say. And always a sneeze followed, violent...


NP: So Kenneth Williams is moving up there, they're all fairly close at the end of that round. And Clement Freud begins the next round. Clement the subject is header tanks. So would you start with it Clement, 60 seconds now.

CF: I went the other day to an Irish race course where an elderly female gypsy came up to me and offered me white heather for luck. Now if I didn't have bad fortune, I wouldn't have any at all. So I decided not to purchase any, or to put it another way, I said "no header, t'anks".


NP: Ah Kenneth?

CF: I was interrupted.

KW: There was no, there was such a long pause.

NP: There was yes.

CF: Mmm.

NP: Because he was waiting for his applause.

CF: Yes.

NP: So Kenneth you have the subject with 39 seconds on header tanks starting now.

KW: These tanks as you know were designed by Alexander Header...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Well it was quite clear that I didn't know!

NP: It doesn't matter!

CF: He can't say "as you know".

NP: Well he can start, he used to say, he was using it as a figure of speech. You may not know but some people may. He was using it as a figure of speech, which is not deviation in Just A Minute and there are 37 seconds, header tanks Kenneth starting now.

KW: And the idea behind them was a light construction capable of moving at great speed. Now in the event of a push which is what the enemy makes into your territory when invasion is imminent, this is the tactic...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: It doesn't make a push when invasion is imminent, it makes it when invasion is actually happening.

KW: Oh you're right! That's brilliant, you know! He's, I mean that's not, he is not just a pretty face!

NP: No, even with the beard! Um so Tim Rice, yes what a clever challenge. There are 19 seconds for you on header tanks starting now.

TR: I once owned a horse called Header Tanks. And it wasn't a particularly successful one, which is why many people in this beautiful building, the Westminster Theatre, won't have heard of it. But I think it's well worth talking about now. Header Tanks first ran at Worcester in 1963. It came a good fourth behind three extremely speedy nags, and i was not at all disappointed in its results. So we...


NP: So Tim Rice's horse kept him going till the whistle went, gained an extra point, and he has now increased his lead at the end of the round. Gyles Brandreth will you take the next round, the subject is wisecracks. You've produced a few of those in your time, some against me. But will you talk on the subject in Just A Minute starting now.

GB: Wisecracks could be a newspaper headline about the partner of Eric Morecambe. Or it could indeed be a turn of phrase, a witty saying, such as the great one of Anthony Burgess along the lines of laugh and the world chuckles with you, snore and you sleep alone! Now that to me is a perfect example of a wisecrack, because there is there both a jest and a hidden truth. Whereas all too often wisecracks are banal, cracker mottoes, of the kind that when one might say of the Queen, what does she do when she burps? She issues a royal pardon! Now some people might think this is a witticism of a sort, but I do not consider it to be a wisecrack, because there is no fundamental gravitas to it. And it is essential when considering wisecracks that one has both pith and moment. And speaking of the latter, let me give you what I think is a superb...


NP: So a thunderous round of applause for Gyles Brandreth. Well deserved, taking the subject and keeping us entertained with it which is also very difficult and without being interrupted, well, without deviating, hesitating or repeating himself. Gains an extra point for speaking as the whistle went, and a bonus point for not being interrupted. And he is one behind our leader Tim Rice, just ahead of Clement Freud and Kenneth Williams. Oh no, it's Kenneth Williams in third place, for once Clement Freud is in fourth place. Kenneth it's your turn to begin, the subject Kenneth is old wives tales. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

KW: A cold key down your back will alleviate shock. The other one was poultices made of cold tea which will...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Two colds. Repetition.

NP: The old, yes. There were two colds, weren't there, I'm sorry, he'd just got going as well. But 52 seconds for you Clement on the subject of old wives tales starting now.

CF: This is quite absurd. Old wives don't have tails. Rats and mice, lambs, cows, horses, all sorts of animals...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Yes I thought hesitation. It was deviation and hesitation actually.

NP: Was it? Oh well done. So you get the subject back Kenneth with 42 seconds on old wives tales starting now.

KW: What is curious is that so often what appears to be an old wives tale has such a degree of truth, that modern medicine recognises it. In the west country they always cry "ah clap on a handful of cobwebs for a cut or an abrasion". It's been proved since that these things which spiders weave do contain enough cleansing material, to not only heal the wound, but to perform a kind of natural sterilisation. And I think that we should all stand in awe of these home-made...


NP: So Kenneth Williams cleverly and with great skill kept going until the whistle went, gained that extra point. And you probably know the result, but let me tell you it was a very equal contest. First of all let me say they all contributed marvellously in equal quantity. Clement Freud was only one point behind Gyles Brandreth, who was only one point behind Tim Rice and he was only one point behind this week's winner, Kenneth Williams! So in spite of what he often says, he came to triumph this week. We hope that you have 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 we play this delightful and sometimes ridiculous but 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.