NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to introduce the contestants, the personalities, the bright witty people who are going to take part in Just A Minute this week. Well we welcome back three of our regulars, Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones. And in our guest chair we welcome back someone who has played the game with great success in the past, Tim Rice. Will you please welcome all four of them! Ian Messiter, the creator of the game, is sitting beside me as usual, he will keep the score and blow his whistle when 60 seconds is up. And as usual they will try and speak without hesitation, repetition or deviation from the subject that I give them. And let us start the show this week with Kenneth Williams. Kenneth, the subject is will power. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: Well this is where you screw your courage as the wonderful, what's his name...


NP: And Peter Jones has challenged immediately. Yes Peter?

PETER JONES: Hesitation.

KW: That's very unfair because I was hardly under way! That's most unfair to just spring on people like that.

PJ: Well you sounded under the weather to me.

NP: Peter you have a correct challenge, a point for that, you take over the subject with 57 seconds left on will power starting now.

PJ: Will Power was an amateur boxer in Bendon at County Cork just after the war. He lost his first 19 fights and became very discouraged. Then he went to Belfast where of course there was a great deal of trouble already. And he didn't find much satisfaction there with the sport that he'd decided on when he lived in the southern part of er Ireland...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Southern part of er Ireland.

NP: That is right Derek, and therefore you have the subject with a point, will power and 32 seconds starting now.

DN: Will power, one needs tremendous will power to journey through this hard life in which we find ourselves. All the time one is surrounded by many sensations and always one has to...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Three alls.

DN: No, always.

NP: Well it sounds like all all, that's why you challenged, wasn't it.

KW: Yes that's right!

NP: We'll ask the audience, do you think he said all all or always?


NP: What did he say?


NP: All right the audience are on your side as usual Derek, so that's right, so you keep the subject, a point for a wrong challenge...

DN: No they didn't. They were on his side!

PJ: I don't know, it does seem very...

NP: Twenty-two seconds with you Derek starting now.

DN: Tyrone Powers' brother Will was also a boxer, and he fought mainly in New Jersey after he'd left town, but with much greater success. So successful was he...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TIM RICE: Definite hesitation there.

NP: Yes you needn't underline it Tim. It's nice to hear from you. You take over the subject of will power and there are 11 seconds left starting now.

TR: Situations such as these in which I find myself, next to one of the most distinguished men of theatre of all time, Kenneth Williams, require nerve and will power without parallel. Because...


KW: Hear hear! Hear hear! Brilliant!

NP: Those followers of the game will know that whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. It was Tim Rice, who is equal with Derek Nimmo in the lead at the end of the first round. And Derek will you begin the next round. Derek, the subject, Stromboli.

DN: Stromboli is a rather large volcano to be found in the Limpari Mountains in the southwest corner of the Italian Peninsula. It was known in ancient times as the lighthouse of the gods because the great blowing top of Stromboli could be seen for many hundreds of miles, particularly when it was going through an eruption. The adjacent volcano to it is called Voltano...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: I think we had two volcanoes.

NP: Yes you had mentioned volcano before when talking about Stromboli. So well listened Tim, a correct challenge, and there are 27 and a half seconds, Stromboli, starting now.

TR: Famous though the eruptable mountain known as Stromboli is, this volcano is not the only item on this wonderful planet of ours to have this magnificent name. No, I am talking to you now about Stromboli the little-known Italian composer. His first symphony in C minor was an absolute majestic piece which I cannot fail to listen to without being moved to tears. As I recall now the notes of that first movement...


NP: And Ian Messiter was so moved that he almost blew the pea out of his whistle that time. And Peter Jones will you take the next round, the subject fudge. Will you tell us something about fudge in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Well that's typical! I'm always hoping to have an opportunity to reach out to the hearts of the people and the listeners, and I get a word like fudge! It's something I want to get my teeth into, well I suppose this is about the best they can do! Now fudge is made with cream and sugar. It's very bad for you. It's not on anybody's diet sheet unless they belong to Exits Course!



NP: Very nice line Peter!

DN: Hesitation er!

NP: Derek why did you challenge?

DN: Ah of course.

NP: I think I will give you the benefit of the doubt Peter and say you have a point for a wrong challenge and 32 seconds left to go on fudging the issue with the subject of fudge starting now.

PJ: You can make it at home if you're determined to do away with yourself through cholesterol excess. You get a saucepan, a fairly thick bottomed one so that it doesn't burn. And you put in some brown sugar, butter and a bit of flavouring if you like, a vanilla pod or some ah something...


NP: Kenneth challenged, Kenneth Williams.

KW: Well it's er.

NP: A definite er yes, a definite er.

PJ: Er yes.

NP: Fourteen seconds left with you Kenneth on the subject of fudge starting now.

KW: Well of course you can fudge an issue. Now this is very useful as a ploy and is used quite successfully by a number of modern Parliamentarians or as you probably call them...


NP: Kenneth gained that extra point then as the whistle went. And he now is equal in second place with Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo. Tim Rice is in the lead and he begins the next round which is unsolicited mail.

TR: You see before you sitting humbly in this hall an unsolicited male. Never have I been approached in the street by anybody, not ever. Not an opinion poll. I have never been asked whether I watch ITV or BB...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two er, repetition of never. Never been asked...

NP: Never been asked, yes I'm afraid so Tim. It was such a lovely idea you had there too. So Derek you take over the subject, unsolicited mail, and there are 47 seconds left starting now.

DN: One seems to get acres of unsolicited mail pouring through our...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Well he completely cocked up the word unsolicited.

DN: I have a speech impediment! It's very unpleasant of you to keep bringing it to the notice of people. Especially when people come from New Zealand and so on.

NP: Yes you know and people in Columbia who listen in order to improve their English. Tim, I give you the benefit of the doubt as you are a guest so there are 43 seconds left for you on unsolicited mail starting now.

TR: I'm delighted to be able to return to the core, the thrust of my argument which was gripping this audience so firmly but a few mere seconds ago. I was saying and I'm not going to repeat myself, that I have on no occasion been approached by anybody...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He repeated himself and said approached.

NP: Yes he did, he said I'm not going to repeat myself and you immediately said you'd been approached. You were approached before I'm afraid. So Derek has got back in with the unsolicited mail and there are 27 seconds left starting now.

DN: Dear Mister Nimmo, you have been privileged to go into the next round of some obscure raffle, where you're going to win 10 thousand pounds if you stick a stamp on the card and get our lovely new encyclopaedia of drains and sewers of Great Britain. If you don't like this volume within 24 days...


PJ: Very good!

NP: Oh well Derek got some points in that round including that extra one when the whistle went and now he's equal with Tim Rice in the lead. And Kenneth Williams will you take the next round. Oh I'm sure it has been chosen specially for you because it is Marcus Velius Petocilus. The time starts now.

KW: The author of History Romana. Now a very interesting man in so far as he was born in the BC period and moved on into AD, which must be remarkable when you consider that his peculiar talents were under Tiberius encouraged by one Sigenas who was Minister Plen, Plen...


KW: I wanted to say Plenipotentiary.

NP: Tim Rice challenged as you tried to say it.

TR: I'm afraid hesitation and...

NP: Yes so Tim, 31 seconds, can you tell us something about Marcus Velius Petocilus in 31 seconds starting now.

TR: If I was asked to talk about Marcus Velius Petocilus, I would say instantly this is a topic on which I am not an expert. But because I am in the situation in which i am now present, I am going to give it a jolly good try. Kenneth mentioned Tiberius. All I know about this gentleman was that he was killed by a foot stool in one hundred and thirty-three BC which means probably...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Not in one hundred and thirty-three BC, he wasn't alive then.

TR: This is another Tiberius.

DN: It couldn't be the one that Marcus Velius Petocilus...

TR: I was just coming on to that!

PJ: He wasn't, he wasn't alive late in one thirty-three, because he'd been killed by this foot stool!

DN: Yes!

PJ: You're probably thinking of late on in the year.

NP: That's too clever, no the Tiberius which er...

DN: Marcus...

NP: ... the man on the card was, so Derek is actually right, so nine seconds are left for you Derek on the subject starting now.

DN: Marcus Velius Petocilus drove about the Decapolis, the 10 cities which led down to Petra, the home of the ancient Edomites of the...


NP: Well with two more points in that round, Derek Nimmo has increased his lead and...

DN: Terrible subject!

NP: He hasn't cracked it and he also starts the next round. Derek the subject is cannons. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: Cannons, well there are all sorts of cannons, aren't there. Those are the ones that roar. I remember going along the coast of Iman and going to a castle there in which I...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: We had two goings.

NP: Yes.

DN: Yes, Kenneth.

NP: You're right Kenneth.

DN: Well listened.

NP: There are 47 seconds on cannons with you Kenneth starting now.

KW: Well they fire them off on the occasion of the Queen's birthday, or anything which is to do with honouring the Monarch. I love it, you know, because I think it's just a bit more to our pageantry list so to speak. in the old Tower of London they've a cannon there. You wouldn't believe the size of it. And when I was confronted with this gargantuan monstrosity, I could hardly believe my eyes! And they explained it all to me and told me how it was recovered from the base of the Tower, old cannon...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Two Towers.

NP: Yes you mentioned the Tower of London before.

KW: What a shame!

NP: Yes!

KW: Because I was just warming to it, you know!

NP: You were really flowing then, weren't you!

KW: Yes that's right! You got the feel!

NP: I really did! I'm glad I wasn't as close as Tim Rice was either! Six seconds Tim, cannons starting now.

TR: Friends of mine who play billiards tell me a cannon is something you get when you bang your balls together. You take two...


NP: Tim with those two extra points, you have gained and now gone into the lead ahead of Derek Nimmo, and Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams are trailing a little. And Peter you begin the next round, the subject, packing. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

PJ: Packing is something I am not very good at. I usually have a list of the things that I need to wear in the time that I am away if it is an engagement or maybe a social event of some kind. But the one item that I always overlook is pyjamas. I don't know why, it may be natural optimism on my part! But somehow I don't think it is because I need them if I'm staying in a hotel and the chambermaid comes in and I have to wrap a towel around myself or anything, it is rather embarrassing. And I always wish I were much better at packing than I am. Now there is another school of thought, how much longer is there to go on this?


NP: You've been saved by Derek Nimmo.

PJ: Oh have I?

DN: Deviation!

NP: That was deviation.

DN: He dried up and was talking about something else.

NP: Yes, how much longer to go is deviation.

PJ: Oh it is yes yes.

DN: So 20 and one half seconds on packing Derek, with you starting now.

DN: Packing, I agree, is something which should be er attended to with tremendous...


DN: My impediment is getting worse!

NP: Tim you have the subject of packing and there are 17 seconds left starting now.

TR: When going abroad on a trip to foreign parts, there are two golden rules you should observe when packing. One is to take half the luggage you think you will need and the other take twice the money you think you will require...


NP: Kenneth.

KW: We had two takes.

NP: Yes.

TR: Oh, give over!

NP: You don't give over when he does a repetition.

KW: No, it's part of the game isn't it!

NP: So Kenneth's got in with five seconds to go on packing starting now.

KW: You should pack cotton wool into your ear holes if you live in the metropolis because the...


NP: So Kenneth, speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point, he has leapt forward into third place. He's just ahead of Peter Jones who is trailing behind Derek Nimmo and Tim Rice in that order. And Tim you begin the next round, the subject, great silent films. Will you tell us something about those in this game starting now.

TR: I well remember how one of the greatest silent films I've ever seen began. (silence)


NP: Yes?

PJ: Hesitation.

TR: That was the sound track of the film!

NP: Well I don't know what to do there! I think the fair thing to do is to give Tim a bonus point for a very nice joke and let, give Peter the subject because he was correct, and then I'm keeping within the rules of the game. And so Peter will you talk about great silent films with 55 seconds left starting now.

PJ: The best silent film I ever saw was Broadway Melody in 1939. Now it really was most enjoyable. I was hoping that someone would have challenged and said that it wasn't...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Now I'm challenging because you're departing from the theme which is supposed to be great silent films, and hoping that you're going to be challenged...

NP: Which is deviation.

PJ: What is the challenge?

KW: Deviation.

NP: Deviation.

PJ: Well I don't think that's a reasonable challenge.

NP: Utterly reasonable! I hope that someone would challenge me has got nothing to do with silent films.

KW: Defer to the chairman's ruling if you please!

NP: So we're going to hear from Kenneth William...

PJ: Oh yes?

NP: Kenneth William? We're going to hear from Kenneth Williams on great silent films with 45 and a half seconds left starting now.

KW: The greatest silent film...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: There was some kind of Nimmo-ism there!

NP: I must say I have noticed that Nimmo is picking up a few of Kenneth's tricks, his vocal tricks and Kenneth's picking up some of Nimmo's! It's quite...

DN: Do you think they're infectious or something?

PJ: No, it was a reasonable ah challenge, don't you think?

NP: Very reasonable, but incorrect.

PJ: Why?

KW: Oh do shut up! I don't know why they have him here!

NP: I'll give you a bonus point because I enjoyed the challenge. But I'll leave it with Kenneth who also gets a point for an incorrect challenge.

KW: Thank you. Thank you.

NP: And there are 44 seconds left, great silent films starting now.

KW: It was The Passion Of Joan Of Arc and was shown...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Deviation.

NP: Why?

TR: Joan of Arc is nothing to do with silent films and...

KW: Of course it was! Theodore Dreyfuss's The Passion Of Joan Of Arc is a silent film and that's why it was taken to see it.

TR: You've got to get straight to the point so we know you're talking about the subject. It seemed to me that...

NP: I think he couldn't have got straighter! He started straight off with The Passion Of Joan Of Arc.

TR: Well in that case, there were two ofs!

NP: We can't allow secondary challenges, I'm pleased to say! Kenneth you still have great silent films and there are 39 seconds left starting now.

KW: And we saw the Saint at the stake. And a passer-by spat in her face and the close-up of this spittle was so humiliating and yet illustrated in a degree that was graphic, heart-rending in its simplicity and almost spiritual in its outcome. I turned...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: He's talking about one particular film, and this subject is ah great silent films.

NP: That's right. Well he's talking about one. He can take one and talk about it, he can talk about a number of great silent films...

PJ: How long has he got for the others? I know I'm quibbling but if you were about 10 points behind all the time, you'd quibble as well! It's humiliating!

KW: Have you no respect for the chairman of this show?

PJ: No!

NP: If we all had complete respect for the chairman, I think the show would rather slowly pack in, wouldn't it! But there we are. Kenneth I disagree with his challenge which we enjoyed very much. And it's not the points you get Peter, it's your contribution...

PJ: Oh thanks very much!

NP: ... which is all important. And Kenneth we leave it with you, nine seconds on great silent films starting now.

KW: Well Charlie Chaplin was in quite a few. And the lovely sight of this fellow which...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Repetition of sight. Sight of the spittle and the sight of...

NP: That is right, he did have the sight of the spittle, and now it's the sight of Chaplin. So Derek you cleverly got in with only three seconds on great silent films starting now.

DN: I have made some great silent films in my (unintelligible) but I can't persuade anybody to look at them...


NP: Well since I last gave the score a lot of points have been scored. Derek Nimmo got an extra one then for speaking as the whistle went, but he's still just behind Tim Rice who is one point ahead in the lead. But Kenneth Williams really has moved forward, he's only one behind Derek Nimmo, and Peter Jones, in spite of what he said, is only trailing a little. Kenneth the subject is the life of Riley. Will you tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: It is a pleasure to discuss a poet of this distinctive nature. Andrew Riley who said
Oh dear my love (goes into full speed unintelligible poetry)


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Utterly incomprehensible! I mean was it English he was speaking?

NP: A form of English yes, but um...

KW: These people understood what I was saying, didn't you?


KW: Yes you see! Lovely audience! What a charming, charming group of people!

NP: I think they got the mood if they didn't get all the words.

KW: They got the mood, yes, I'm in the mood!

NP: Kenneth Williams, we have to ask you to go a little slower with your words. Otherwise, not too slow because you're often too slow. But we can't work it out whether you're actually repeating anything or not. But you have the benefit of the doubt and the subject still, the life of Riley, 40 seconds starting now.

KW: People say leading the life of Riley means you've got a barmaid in one hand and a glass of brown ale in the other. Though the circumstances might be adverse, yet you treat the whole thing as though it's the most opulent occasion imaginable. And your spirits rise and your fortune is suddenly enhanced in a way that you would never possibly have envisaged in the ordinary...


NP: What is your challenge?

DN: Well incomprehensibility really.

NP: It's slightly incomprehensible!

DN: Deviation, I can't understand a word he is saying.

KW: The audience understood, didn't you.


KW: Yes they all understood you see!

NP: They didn't understand, they just enjoyed you! Come on, be fair...

KW: You're the chairman! You're not here to give, give, give verdicts!

NP: I do have to regularly give a verdict. You were literally incomprehensible. If you're incomprehensible a third time, I'll have to give it against you Kenneth.

KW: Well you can put your teeth back in for a start! What a nerve!

NP: Kenneth I'm still being generous to you and saying you have nine seconds to continue on the life of Riley starting now.

KW: Life of Riley means of course that you are enjoying circumstances you ordinarily wouldn't be having...


NP: Well Kenneth Williams in the life of Riley and really making himself at times very difficult to understand did manage to achieve a large number of points, including the one for speaking as the whistle went. And I have to tell you he has now definitely taken the lead. And we have time for one more round, it's Derek Nimmo's turn and the next subject is a bizarre one, which I'm sure with your bizarre turn of mind, you will take with great alacrity. It is the sex life of the sandhopper.

DN: The sex life...

NP: I haven't quite said "start now" yet. You've only got to mention the word sex and he's keen to get going! derek there are 60 seconds starting now.

DN: Most sandhoppers I know are celibate! But one or two clearly have to indulge in sex in order to continue the species. This they do in a most delicate way, behind screens...


NP: Tim, Tim Rice... (laughing)

DN: What did I say?

NP: Oh!

DN: Even Mary Whitehouse couldn't object to that!

NP: Oh the audience applauded then because they realised how cleverly Derek was avoiding saying anything which someone like Mary Whitehouse would not object to. But actually you were challenged by Tim Rice while you were being so flagrant and delicate.

TR: Yes there were a couple of mosts. His first word was most and then there was a most when I buzzed.

NP: Was there? I was enjoying it so much I didn't notice actually.

DN: I didn't say most at the beginning!

TR: You did. You began "most sandhoppers are celibate". And then later on in that rather frankly boring speech, you, you then went on about something else with most.

PJ: Yes he did go on...

DN: I could have made it much more racy if I'd been allowed!

KW: You should wait for the ruling of th chairman.

NP: Yes.

KW: I mean, what do you think we've got this chairman for?

DN: I've often wondered!

TR: About 30 quid!


NP: I didn't hear that one Tim. But in spite of that I'm still going to let you have the subject and there are 44 seconds on the sex life of a sandhopper starting now.

TR: If you were a sandhopper, just think what a ghastly time one would have in that situation. Because if you wanted to have any sort of amorous linkup with a fellow creature, you had to catch them on the hop. This makes things very difficult indeed. It is impossible to get these little creatures to stop hopping for one minute. They are up and down on the beach, going on and continuing all the time, never ever stopping to do anything whatsoever. They just hop...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two hops, hop's not on the card.

NP: So Derek has got back the sex life of a sandhopper and he has 12 seconds left starting now.

DN: many sandhoppers have their sex lives in nunneries, some time where they can be carefully supervised to make sure they are behaving in a totally decent and splendid way...


NP: Well that extra round of applause was not only for Derek speaking as the whistle went, but as this audience knows that he can be somewhat racy on occasions, it was his restraint on taking such an outrageous subject they applauded so loudly. Peter Jones who gave us his usual good value but didn't get many points came, actually he came in second place. Because we have a very fair result. We have three people in the lead, and three winners, Derek Nimmo, Kenneth Williams and Tim Rice, all together equal! It now only remains for me to say I do hope that you have enjoyed listening to this edition of Just A Minute. And on behalf of Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Tim Rice, the creator of the game Ian Messiter, the producer Edward Taylor, and myself Nicholas Parsons, good-bye and we hope you want to join us again next week! Until then from all of us here good-bye!