WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and PETER JONES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 1 March 1986)
NOTE: The last show produced by Pete Atkin.
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo 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 once again to Just A Minute. And as you have just heard we have our four regular panellists playing the game this week, no guests. And as usual I'm going to ask them to try and talk without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject that I give them. And according to how well they do that, they will win or lose points. Let us begin the show this week with Derek Nimmo. Derek the subject that Ian Messiter has come up to start the show is weather. Something you can take many ways and what we get a lot of in this country. But can you talk on it for 60 seconds starting now.
DEREK NIMMO: Well this has been the summer of my discontent. It has been quite the worst one that I can possibly remember because the weather has been so totally appalling. Last year I happened to be in Australia with some very dear chums, and I said you must come to this septic isle during the month of June because the weather is then at its absolute perfection. They arrived to stay with me on the second of that month, and ever since then the...
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: Hesitation.
NP: Yes I think there was a hint of hesitation there.
PETER JONES: He hesitated just before he said month for the second time. I think that was a reasonable point to hesitate.
NP: That's right but he challenged for hesitation. He was running a bit out of steam there.
DN: I didn't think I was at all! But never mind!
NP: Yes I think so. Maybe a little harsh but I have to occasionally make those difficult decisions. And Kenneth you have the benefit of the doubt with 34 seconds on weather starting now.
KW: You can have a bellwether. Or as Shakespeare said, whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
KW: ... against a sea of trouble, end...
NP: Kenneth! I'm sorry! I'm sorry to interrupt you. Do you want to take a bow for the histrionics and I'll...
KW: What are you stopping me for?
NP: Because Peter Jones challenged you.
KW: Oh, he would!
PJ: I don't, I don't think this half hour slot is a suitable one for him to play Hamlet in!
NP: And you would challenge for hesitation after arms...
NP: Oh deviation, what...
PJ: Well after about two verses of it, he left the subject.
NP: Of weather yes, the subject of weather.
KW: The whole, the whole speech is about whether to suffer or whether you don't! Don't you agree?
SHOUTS OF "YES" FROM THE AUDIENCE
PJ: No it isn't, it's or to take arms against a sea of trouble.
KW: (shouting) Well that's what I was going on to! Don't argue with me, you great fool! Oh it's...
PJ: Or in that ship of death, what day may come...
NP: I think actually I agree. You were not, I think, discussing the subject of weather in which ever way you take it. So this time...
KW: Well you are a very good chairman. So no-one could fault you! No-one could!
KW: I mean he knows his own mind, doesn't he!
NP: Yep well I have to with you four I must say. So there are 19 seconds for Peter Jones on weather starting now.
PJ: In this country we are not prepared for extremes of weather. And that does seem to me what we get on the...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CLEMENT FREUD: I just wanted to say hello!
PJ: Well yes.
CF: And he hesitated.
PJ: No I didn't.
CF: Ah, he didn't.
PJ: Only when you buzzed!
NP: Well it's nice to hear from you Clement. It's always nice to hear from everyone in the first round so all of our listeners do know that you have all arrived. But I disagree with that challenge so Peter gets another point for an incorrect challenge, keeps the subject of weather and there are 13 and a half seconds starting now.
PJ: We get the statistics on the radio and television and in newspapers all the time, describing how much worse the weather has been this day, week, month or year than any other time...
NP: 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. And on this occasion it was Peter Jones so he is in a commanding lead at the end of the first round. Peter I'd like you to begin the next round, and the subject is a ferret down my trousers. I don't know whether it is an experience you have had but will you try and talk on the subject in Just A Minute starting now.
PJ: I don't know whether Zefferelli or John um...
PJ: Can't remember his name!
DN: John, but we'll never know the rest!
NP: We'll never know the rest.
PJ: Well you may, I may get it back!
NP: Yes so Derek you got in and there are 55 seconds left, a ferret down my trousers starting now.
DN: Rather an intimate thought, isn't it really, for a little ferret crawling up and down your trousers. Moving from one side to the other, nestling, maybe even occasionally hibernating. One doesn't know. But to have a ferret down my trousers...
NP: Peter Jones challenged.
PJ: He said one doesn't know! Surely he must be incredibly insensitive...
NP: I would agree with that challenge and I think the audience applause endorses...
DN: Is that a new challenge? Lack of sensitivity?
NP: No it is the oversensitivity that makes me agree with Peter Jones and tell him he has 41 and a half seconds, a ferret down my trousers starting now.
PJ: Schlesinger, I was going to say. Or Richard Attenborough. As far as they're concerned, I could be starving to death because I'm never in any of their films. I'm reduced...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: What has this got to do with ferrets down your trousers?
NP: Absolutely nothing as far as I can make out, and certainly he hasn't established there's any connection yet. So I agree with your challenge which was deviation...
PJ: Aren't you giving me an opportunity to establish a connection?
NP: You have to get in more rapidly and establish the connection, otherwise I have to make the decision that there is no connection. Because you haven't actually given us one at this point...
KW: All we've had is a list of film directors! And they didn't offer you any parts! Yes!
NP: So Kenneth I agree with your challenge, 32 seconds are left, a ferret down my trousers starting now.
KW: This is practised in the country where men do put the animal in their clothing. And apparently they're able to control themselves all the while. Nobody says they're jumping about with irritation. Nor do they say like Nimmo seems to be implying, that there is some sort of gratification to be obtained! I would dismiss the whole thing...
NP: So Kenneth was speaking as the whistle went, gained another point, and he is in second place now behind Peter Jones, followed by Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud in that order. And Kenneth you begin the next round, the subject, the chair. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: Well at all the council meetings I attend, you must defer to the chair. And at an AGM I am not likely to forget, there was a challenge by Dulcie Grey who rose and said "Mister Chairman, there is no paper in the ladies lavatory!" Then a cry went up "this is holding up the motion!" And on the other hand that the chair that I most adore is to be found in the home of Samuel Johnson in Market Square, Lichfield. I almost sat in it and an usher appeared, not allowed, I was told. So I had to stand back and simply admire, because the stability of that piece of furniture actually suggested the grandeur of...
NP: Well the audience applause rightly endorses your...
KW: I've got another mark! I've got another mark!
NP: Yes you get the mark...
KW: So I've gone into the lead! The lead!
NP: Not yet.
KW: Well where am I?
NP: I'll tell you in a moment! You get a point for speaking when the whistle went, and a bonus point for not being interrupted...
NP: ... for keeping going without hesitation, repetition or deviation...
NP: ... and you are in second place.
NP: And that is no, no I think that is the first time someone has gone for one whole minute when we've had the four regulars playing because it is much more of a needle match. So well done Kenneth, but Peter Jones is one ahead of you, and Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud follow. And Derek, will you begin the next round, the subject Derek, monsters of the deep. Will you tell us something about that in 60 seconds starting now.
DN: (very slowly, drawing out words in KW style) I suppose the largest monster of the deep must be the sea whale which is about 65 feet long and weighs some 33 tons. And then that is of course the largest mammal...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: I think he's running at the wrong speed!
DN: I'm trying not to leave any gaps!
NP: He's running at a Kenneth Williams speed, but not a normal... no, I agree...
PJ: Ah, hear that Kenneth?
DN: What's abnormal about Kenneth?
PJ: A dig in at you there!
DN: Very nasty I thought.
NP: Well I must say he was deviating in the sense that he wasn't running at the normal Derek Nimmo speed. So I am going to give the judgement to you on that one Peter and say that you have 36 seconds to take over monsters of the deep starting now.
PJ: It sounds like the title of a film, doesn't it. To do with electric eels and those ghastly skate things that are wriggling about on the lower part of the sea, or ocean. And they film them, usually using rubber pipes...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Repetition of film.
PJ: No, I said films, one of those films.
CF: Sounds like a film, they film them.
PJ: Sounds like one of those films.
DN: One of those films.
NP: Yes he did say films.
NP: Yes yes.
NP: So you have another point Peter...
PJ: Wrong challenge!
DN: Wrong challenge!
NP: Incorrect challenge, so you keep the subject and there are 21 seconds starting now.
PJ: Usually there is a beautiful woman something to do with it, and the tentacles of this creature...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Er, hesitation.
NP: No he didn't hesitate.
CF: Wrong challenge!
NP: Fifteen seconds are left for you Peter on monsters of the deep starting now.
PJ: And she is screaming or at least sending bubbles up to the surface. And then a big strong man dives in and swims down and saves her in the nick of time, much to the pleasure of this damsel who was in...
NP: With all those efforts to challenge Peter Jones, they all missed the fact that he said usually three times.
KW: Ah but you wouldn't want to pick someone up when they were going so beautifully, would you?
NP: I don't know, I didn't think there was anything particularly remarkable about it.
KW: Oh it was fabulous, all that damsel with these tentacles round her, and this great fellow with all his sinews coming in! Oh yes it was very good! I was, I was quite turned on! I was on!
NP: I suppose it takes everybody you know, if you can be turned on by a tentacle, I mean, I don't know. But Peter you gained a number of points in that round. You've increased your lead, you're way ahead of Kenneth Williams who is in second place. And for once Derek Nimmo is trailing and Clement Freud has yet to score. Clement the subject is hot air, there are 60 seconds as usual and you start now.
CF: If you get the eldest son of an earl, baron, viscount, duke, marquis or prince, and put him into a saucepan with tarragon, coriander, black and white peppercorns, onion, leek, and a sufficiency of water, boil for several days, you will get hot heir, one of the great cannibalistic dishes, known in Papua New Guinea and other parts of Australasia. There are also balloons which you can fill with helium which are called hot air as such and float up into the universe where their colours shine in the rays of the sun. In the evening I have frequently on the Norfolk Downs, the Broads and also in the Pennines and in Cumberland, watched the hot air rise over the heather late at night. And my wife...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Yes I thought it was ah, just juddering to a halt.
NP: No he wasn't, I think that was magnificent. The way he kept going...
KW: Apart from the fact that there aren't any Norfolk Downs!
PJ: There are when he's there!
NP: Anyway I thought it was a wonderful lot of hot air and you did magnificently for 55 seconds...
PJ: He was actually watching it during the night, you know, rising!
NP: Yes. Well the night can begin quite early and it's still daylight some places...
PJ: And hot air, you can actually watch it rising?
NP: The hot air was in the balloons! I think he'd established that. I thought that was magnificent, I was like Kenneth Williams, I was carried away, I was...
PJ: I wish you were!
NP: They only asked me to be on the show to give them cues for their gags! Right, Kenneth you have a correct challenge with six seconds on hot air starting now.
KW: Well it is talked by some people, when they are rather vapid and going on a bit...
NP: So Kenneth Williams speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point, another in that round and he's moving up on our leader Peter Jones. And Peter also begins the next round. Peter the subject is rain, which you can interpret many different ways of course. But would you talk on that word or that subject starting now.
PJ: We've had a lot of it this summer. And I suppose it's probably, if it starts raining this evening, it will come down on this magnificent roof which is protecting us from it. So we shall remain dry. There are five wonderful chandeliers...
NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.
DN: Doubly wonderful.
NP: Yes that's right.
PJ: Did I say wonderful twice?
NP: Yes I'm afraid you did Peter yes. So there are 43 and a half seconds for rain with you Derek Nimmo starting now.
DN: Raine Countess Spencer is one of the people I most admire, daughter of Barbara Cartland. I saw her only this last Saturday sitting at Althorp with the cash register, flocking in the paying customers at two pounds 50 a time, Johnny standing just behind, waiting to see how many gallant members of the paying population happen to wander through that ancestral home...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: He has stopped talking about Raine.
NP: And was on to the ancestral home of Althorp.
PJ: I thought so.
NP: Yes and I agree Peter. So you have another point and the subject with 19 seconds starting now.
PJ: So in the event of a cloudburst it will gush down off this roof through the pipes and...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of roof.
NP: Yes you mentioned the roof before Peter.
PJ: Oh I did yes yes.
NP: So Clement has got in with 14 seconds on rain starting now.
CF: The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. Is what Shakespeare wrote in a play whose name I could remember but will not mention, because it takes time to wonder which particular theatrical...
NP: So Clement Freud got points in that round and is moving forward. He's with Derek Nimmo in third place behind Kenneth Williams, and our leader is still Peter Jones. And Kenneth begins the next round, Kenneth, Michael Faraday. Will you tell us something about him in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: Michael Faraday is one of the great men of England. Probably you know, he would never have achieved the opportunity at the Royal Institution had it not been for Humphrey Davies appointing him as assistant. Well in came the extraordinary discovery of the dynamo. he invented the prototype generator which makes parts for all kinds of things including electrical machinery in industry. Well what a leap forward, because of one man doing for that realm, what a (unintelligible) does for progress you see. And what Magnus Magnusson, oh no, it's Magnus Pyke...
NP: I think that round of applause was because this on that occasion it should have been television. Because Kenneth was going with such fervour that he was demonstrating with dramatic gestures what he was saying, and thought he looked like Magnus Pyke, who waves his arms in equal fashion. But he obviously deviated and hesitated and Derek Nimmo got in. And there are 13 seconds Derek, Michael Faraday starting now.
DN: A grateful nation gave to Michael Faraday at the age of 43 a pension for life and a house at Hampton Court. Kenneth Williams is nudging 60, he has been given none of these things! Why, I ask...
NP: Oh! So Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went, got the point and a round of applause, because they all want Kenneth to have his pension...
KW: It's no good this minute thing! Because I mean Faraday is fascinating. I mean son of a blacksmith to rise to those dizzy heights. I mean to become such an academic and such a brilliant man. Every lecture, people said, the experiments and the chat just held them enchanted! You really shouldn't put those subjects down for one minute. It's much more than a minute isn't it!
NP: Yes but this isn't Just A Scientific Minute, it's called Just A Minute, on which we have any subject...
PJ: Well he thinks it should be called Just A Half Hour.
KW: That's right! That's right! Then you'd get more guts in the thing!
NP: And a lot more boredom sometimes too. But anyway...
PJ: Imagine me talking about a ferret up your trousers for half an hour! I mean the mind boggles!
CF: And not just the mind!
NP: Not just the mind! Or hot air for half an hour, any of them.
NP: No Kenneth, nicely said, but I think Just A Minute will do for this particular game. And we're back in the game for Derek Nimmo to start on the subject if Venice starting now.
DN: The most divine of cities (speaks Italian). One approaches it firstly, if one is most fortunate I think these days, by the Orient Express. As you pull into the station there is a lovely barge to take you across the canal to of course the Gipriani. Where else would you possibly, could you want to stay...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: The Daniellie!
NP: For those who don't know, they're both most attractive places in Venice. So what is your actual challenge?
PJ: Well he was just droning on about this place, and he said there was a bar and everything. That doesn't seem the thing that would want to hear about...
DN: I didn't say anything about a bar!
PJ: Oh you were, it was, I misheard it then. It wasn't too clear.
NP: I must say...
NP: Last time I actually gave you the benefit of the doubt when you challenged him on going slowly. This time, to make it fair, I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but he mustn't really alter his style to go so slowly because I can't make the judgements otherwise...
PJ: No it's too difficult.
NP: So Derek...
PJ: It's too difficult.
NP: Too difficult.
DN: On this extraordinary...
NP: Yes all right! Forty seconds starting now.
DN: On this extraordinary lagoon in the Adriatic, the people came fleeing from the Vandals and the Gogs and the Visigogs, it's a hyphenated word. And there they saw sanctuary amongst the reeds and the marshlands and built this extraordinary city comprised of canals which brought to it eventually the great painters of Europe, And in 700 years, Venice grew the Mediterranean as far as Maxos, where I know Mister Kenneth Williams has been to, Cyprus itself. All across that blue sea was controlled by the Venetians. The Doe of Venice was one of the great emperors of the world and yet of course...
NP: Well Derek Nimmo was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. And wen he gets into the Derek Nimmo style, then we know...
PJ: A dramatic change!
NP: A dramatic change yes, and how good he is when he is speaking as Derek Nimmo, and not as someone else. So Derek, let me give you the score. Um yes Derek's moved forward, he's one behind Kenneth Williams, just ahead of Clement Freud and Peter Jones is still in the lead. And Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject is Pluto, 60 seconds as usual starting now.
CF: Pluto was one of my favourite Walt Disney characters, along with Mickey Mouse, Minnie, and others whose names I cannot at this moment recall. It's also the meteorological name of Pluto... of plutocracy, plutocrats...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.
NP: Yes he did hesitate. Ah Derek you have 44 seconds on Pluto starting now.
DN: Pluto, son of Saturn, brother of Neptune. Why we think about him today. Very often you know, because the war, because you remember P-L-U-T-O, that was the pipeline that under the ocean which went across under the Channel during the war...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of under.
DN: Absolutely right! Well listened!
NP: Yes so Peter Jones comes in on the subject of Pluto with 29 seconds to go starting now.
PJ: It was GK Chester ton who said tradition is the democracy of the dead. And since democracy...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: You can't have too much democracy but he has repeated it.
NP: In Just A Minute you can if you repeat it. You are right Clement, there are 20 seconds on Pluto starting now.
CF: Pluto was a very good friend of Midas and stood for everything that the... Conservatives prize...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Well I thought there was a hesitation there.
NP: I think you're right Kenneth. And you are now going to talk on Pluto...
CF: I was talking to somebody!
KW: ... with 13 seconds to go starting now.
KW: Well Pluto, you see, in Greek mythology is supposed to appear as this dog. And drag Yurradicci down with him into this appalling abyss. And this poor boy cried out...
NP: Well Kenneth Williams was then speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point and has gone forward, but not enough to beat our leader. But let me tell you unfortunately we have no more time to play the game.
NP: Ohhhh! But for once and surprisingly Clement Freud who does so well in Just A Minute finished in fourth place.
NP: A little way behind another of our panellists who does so well, Derek Nimmo. He was in third place. Ohhhhh! And ahead of him in second place was someone who occasionally excels with points, but always with his verbosity and impetuosity and talent, Kenneth Williams. But our leader and winner for a change, he took the lead at the start, he retained the lead with style and panache to the end, and this week our winner is Peter Jones!The audience's applause shows that they enjoyed you winning Peter. And let me tell you that we do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute, and will want to tune in again when we take to the air and we play Just A Minute. 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.