NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello, this is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to introduce the four exciting, scintillating, brilliant and provocative characters who once more are going to play Just A Minute. We have two of our regular players, Kenneth Williams and Derek Nimmo. And we welcome two guests who have played the game with much success in the past, Sheila Hancock and Tim Rice. Will you please welcome all four of them! The inventor of the game, Ian Messiter, sits beside me and keeps the score, he also blows the whistle when the full minute is up. And as usual I am going to ask our competitors if they will speak on the subject I give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And let us begin the show this week with Kenneth Williams and who better. Kenneth, will you talk on the subject of fools starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: They are not to be suffered gladly, as has been pointed out by many including Alexander Pope who wrote,
Fly to altar, there they talk you dead
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
And how these lines reverberate in one's mind. Because although like many quotations they become over the years they become slightly altered from the original, fools still...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TIM RICE: I think it's deviation. He's talking about one of the most intelligent witty writers of all time, you're not talking about fools.

NP: He referred to fools rush in which was the quotation. And I think he was still on the subject which was derived from that quotation.

TR: That's what you think!

NP: So I think we must give him the benefit of the doubt, nice to hear from you Tim, but Kenneth, Kenneth gets a point for a correct, an incorrect challenge of course. He keeps the subject, there are 29 seconds left, fools starting now.

KW: Churchill once said he was surrounded by fools...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Repetition of said. Pope said and...

NP: Yes I'm afraid he said before yes. A very sharp harsh challenge but an accurate one. So Derek Nimmo's got in there with a correct challenge, a point to him, and the subject of fools with 26 seconds left starting now.

DN: If one was talking about our chairman, one would probably say there's no fool like an old fool.


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SHEILA HANCOCK: I know I'll get this point because you're criticising him. The thing that we were given was fools and he said fool.

NP: Yes but there are many fools so he is just taking one of those fools.

SH: Oh I think it's deviation because he is so rude to you Nick!

NP: Oh I think so as well Sheila, but I'm afraid it is not one of the rules of the game is it.

SH: Don't I even get a point?

DN: Can't we put it to the audience whether you're a fool or not?

NP: Sheila thank you for standing up for me, lovely to hear from you. But in spite of what they say in this show, I still try to be fair. And I still have to leave the subject with Derek Nimmo and 20 seconds left starting now.

DN: He is tolerably foolish because sometimes it has been said that when the girl says no, he is profoundly grateful. Because you see he is getting a trifle elderly and he lives in a fool's...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SH: I think he's gone off foolishness now, hasn't he. The fact that you're old age and you're, whatever you're...

NP: Yes he's gone right off the subject. He's on the subject of Parsons now isn't he, yes I quite agree Sheila.

DN: Oh I...

NP: So I support you there and you've got in with only eight seconds to go on the subject of fools starting now.

SH: Well only fools would play Just A Minute really because there are plenty of other things that you can do thing with your life. Kenneth, on the other hand, I have known...


NP: For those of you who may not be sure of the rules after 20 years, may I remind you that whoever is speaking when the whistle is blown gains an extra point. And it was Sheila Hancock who is in the lead, at the end of that round.

SH: I'll never understand the scoring in this game!

NP: Well you see, you got two points and Derek's got one and Kenneth's got one and Tim is yet to score and he's going to begin the next round. And Tim the subject is jumpers. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

TR: I have been very fortunate in my career to have visited the wonderful country of Australia. Let me recall some of the states of that fantastic land. New South Wales...


NP: Sheila Hancock you have challenged, what is your challenge?

SH: I think it's deviation, because he is not talking about jumpers.

TR: Nonsense! I was just building up a scenario...

NP: Yes but I'm afraid Tim, sorry to interrupt you, in Just A Minute you do have to establish in a minute your subject much more quickly than that.

TR: I'd been going for, how long had I been going for, Mister Chairman?

NP: You'd been going for nine seconds.

TR: Nine seconds! And you expect me to get to the thrust of my argument in nine seconds?

NP: I think you should have got to jumpers before that.

TR: Are you some sort of little Hitler?

NP: I could see the way your mind was going. You were working up to kangaroos.

TR: I was working up to kangaroos indeed. You could see it! She couldn't! It's not my fault that she's thick!

SH: Well I could see you were working up to kangaroos...

NP: Listen, I'm not going to have any more arguments much as the audience enjoy it, but no, I don't think you worked up quick enough to kangaroos.

TR: Fair enough.

NP: Mind you, who wants to work up quickly to a kangaroo? But um Sheila, no I agree with you, he hadn't got into the thrust of his argument quick enough. So there are 51 seconds for you to talk on jumpers starting now.

SH: I've got quite a lot of jumpers in my bottom drawer. Most of them are from Marks and Spencers, and they're those sort that have long sleeves and a V-neck so that you can wear a shirt underneath it. On the other hand, I've also got some Arran sweaters, which are very nice. They're knitted mainly for sssssailors...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Hesitation.

SH: Yes.

DN: Sailor.

SH: I was giving the effect of the sea. Sssssssssailors.

NP: So...

SH: Sailors.

NP: We consider that difficulty with language a hesitation. So Derek you take over the subject of sailors, there are 37 seconds left starting now.

DN: I suppose the most famous jumper would be Red Rum who won the Grand National in 72, the following year and again... three years later...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Well I thought a hesitation.

NP: It was hesitation Kenneth.

KW: Yes.

NP: So you have 28 seconds to tell us something about jumpers starting now.

KW: Well of course this was a show you know, it went on in London. It was called Jumpers and it had quite a success, I am told. I unfortunately wasn't able to attend, because if I'm in an auditorium people come up to me and say will I sign things. One lady wanted me to actually write on her leg and I...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Arrogance!


NP: So you're saying he's got away from the subject of...

TR: Deviation of the worst kind! I regret agreeing to be on this programme!

NP: He had deviated from jumpers on to people signing on his leg.

DN: I want to hear about this lady signing on his leg in the audience!

NP: Well we might hear about it later on. Right now...

DN: Oh right.

NP: I was harsh on Tim before, so I'm kind to him now, with nine seconds Tim, jumpers starting now.

TR: Queensland, the Northern Territory, Tasmania...


NP: Sheila Hancock.

SH: He's still miles away from the kangaroos, isn't he!

DN: There's a lot of kangaroos in the Northern Territory.

NP: Yes but this time he only went on the states of Australia for three seconds. He might have got on to his jumpers, these kangaroos, a bit quicker.

SH: All right.

NP: So it's still with Tim with six seconds to go on jumpers starting now.

TR: And then from out of the bush came this amazingly large animal. And I said "stone the crows, it's a kangaroo" and he...


NP: So Tim Rice who started with the subject eventually got to his kangaroo as he ended the minute. As the whistle went, he got the extra point and he's in the lead with Sheila Hancock. Derek Nimmo will you take the next round, service. Will you tell us something on that subject in this game starting now.

DN: I suppose my favourite service within the Anglican communion is matins. It's very difficult to get...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SH: Was it a, was that a kind of hesitation or a mutter? Anglican communyin?

NP: No no it was one of his religious pauses.

SH: Was it?

DN: It was a pause for thought, wasn't it.

SH: What were you saying? I didn't understand what you said.

NP: Haven't you noticed? When Derek talks on erudition, he gets that ecumenical voice going.

SH: Does he?

NP: And um...

SH: Right.

NP: He didn't quite pause Sheila. He has 55 seconds to continue on service starting now.

DN: On Ash Wednesday in a little church in Malaga, I managed to find one...


SH: I think there's something under the BBC charter where all religions should be represented, and we're only getting one here.

NP: He did, he did deviate but not in the way you challenged. I'm sorry Sheila, so he continues with 29 seconds left starting now.

DN: Salama Lakim is one of the things you might hear in a Moslem service. And very nice it is because one likes to have all religions represented...


NP: Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: Repetition of hear. He said one thing you hear in a religious service and something you like to hear.

NP: Absolutely right! Well done. You listened very hard there Sheila.

DN: I did not!

NP: Twenty-one seconds for Sheila on service starting now.

SH: Well I throw a ball up into the air and I take my arms back, and if it hits the net then somebody shouts out "let" and then I again do the same thing. And hopefully it lands in one side of the court...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Misuse of the word hopefully. The word hopefully is misused by nearly everybody in this country. It does not mean I hope this will happen, it means I will happen and I have hope. If you say "I'm going to Paris", or if you say "I'm hopefully going to Paris", it doesn't mean I hope I'm going to Paris, it means I'm definitely going to Paris with hope in my heart.

NP: Yes.

TR: And Miss Hancock used the word hopefully...

NP: Well thank you, Professor Rice. Well do you think she hit the ball with hope in her heart? Or do you think hopefully, she was being just colloquial? Very difficult! Ian you're the inventor of the game, colloquialisms in language are permitted?

IAN MESSITER: Tim is right.

NP: Absolutely right! I know he is! So therefore it's deviation from language and therefore he gains it, five seconds. Ian Messiter was the arbiter on that situation, service with you Tim starting now.

TR: Boris Becker is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Who would have thought that this young German lad, only 18...


NP: Well our guest, Tim Rice, once again managed to get in just before the whistle went. That trick which is so valuable if you want to try and gain points. He's still in the lead, but he's alongside Sheila Hancock and Derek Nimmo who gained many points with his service in that round. And Sheila Hancock takes the next round, bathing a baby.

SH: Oh!

NP: That is the subject Sheila, I know you've experience. Will you tell us something about that or off the top of your head starting now.

SH: Well as it happens there's two of the babies that I've bathed sitting in the audience today. And the back of one is rather bruised and bumpy which means that she was my first child and therefore had rather a bad time because I didn't know how to handle it and she kept slipping under the water. You are taught when you first have a baby at the nursing home how to hold them under the head, and you put your hand under their bums and lift them out, and then soak them on a little thing on the bed. Then dunk them into rinse it off and sometimes you can use a special liquid so you don't have to use a tablet of the aforesaid cleaning...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No I think she kept going with great fluency.

DN: Did she? Oh all right yes, fair enough.

NP: I thought she was going so fast, I didn't see how she could keep that acceleration of delivery going without stumbling. But she achieved it for over 30 seconds and there are 26 left for bathing a baby Sheila starting now.

SH: But in Ellie Jane's case, 21 years ago, my hands would shake and I...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Repetition of hands. There were...

NP: Yes.

TR: Hands under the head.

NP: You put the hand under the head before, didn't you?

SH: Yes.

NP: That's right so Tim you've got in with 21 seconds on bathing a baby starting now.

TR: The vital thing when bathing a baby is to get her really good quality soap. And I can recommend one particular brand which has never let me down in 34 years of experience in doing this article, bathing a baby. And I would like to say in...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged, yes?

SH: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation is right and you've got in Sheila with one second to go on bathing a baby starting now.

SH: Bathing a baby...


NP: So our two guests are maintaining the lead. This time it is Sheila Hancock leading Tim Rice and Kenneth Williams begins the next round and the subject is lines.

KW: Some of the most marvellous lines are always in my head. Especially that stuff from Hamlet. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. I find that absorbing and realise that that advice really is invaluable for a performer. Because he says you see, to so strut and swagger without Herod, Herod...


KW: Oh!

NP: So if you're going to quote accurately... oh what a pity! He tripped himself up then. Tim Rice came in, there are 30 seconds left for lines with you Tim starting now.

TR: When I was at school, and it made me the man I am today, we used to have lines if you transgressed in any shape of form. But we didn't have to write out, 422 times "I must be a good boy" or "it is important not to write rude things on the blackboard". No, we had to write lines...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of write.

NP: Yes you had to write, write.

TR: Write, right yes.

NP: He is right and he has 13 seconds Derek, lines starting now.

DN: If you were navigating an aeroplane in Australia, you follow what they call the Iron Compass which is the railway line. And if you're going from Queensland to New South Wales...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Yes I thought there was a hesitation there.

NP: And you thought correctly.

KW: Yes.

NP: Because you got in with three seconds on lines starting now.

KW: Oh I didn't realise I was supposed to speak, they didn't warn...


NP: I would still have given it to you because you gave us a very good line there, to finish and speak as the whistle went. You gained an extra point and you are still in fourth place! But you are creeping up on Derek Nimmo who is just one behind Tim Rice who is one behind Sheila Hancock. And Tim begins the next round, Tim the subject is plagiarism. Would you tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

TR: I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to speak to you about this most important subject, plagiarism. Because I and many other people like my good self have suffered at the hands of fiends, varlots and vandals who have flagrantly nicked my lines over the years. It is quite appalling to pour sweat, blood, tears and bones into something which means more to you than anything else in the whole wide world. And then to find some... absolute...


NP: Sheila Hancock, you challenged there and you are correct, he did hesitate. So 29 seconds for...

SH: What's the subject?

NP: I'm just about to give it to you.

SH: Oh.

NP: Plagiarism or plagiarism, which ever way you like to pronounce it. I believe there are two pronunciations starting now.

SH: I ah...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Definite hesitation there.

NP: I think it was definitely right and there are 27 seconds for you to take the subject back Tim starting now.

TR: Twenty-five miles south of Stockholm there is a beautiful little bay on the Baltic Sea where I wrote for many a moon with young Benny Anderson and a youthful Bjorn...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: He's deviated from the subject, he's not talking about plagiarism.

TR: I am, I'm talking about writing.

DN: He's talking about...

TR: I'm talking about my own writing.

DN: Are you a plagiarist?

TR: No no I'm talking about my lifeblood which is writing. I was about to go into a very moving story about how I've had my stuff nicked.

NP: I will be generous to you on this occasion because you were a little slow getting into it again. On that shore in Sweden. You were absolutely carried away with that lovely Swedish lady you were with. So I will leave it with you Tim, another point to you, 16 seconds left starting now.

TR: This huge kangaroo came leaping out of the bush...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SH: Ah he's back to the kangaroo again, deviation.

NP: So deviation yes.

SH: Deviation.

NP: So the kangaroo's got nothing to do with this subject. It's 13 seconds for you Sheila on plagiarism starting now.

SH: Well we are told that it is, is... ah!


DN: Hesitation.

NP: Derek Nimmo is right.

SH: I've got nothing to say about plagiarism!

NP: Ten seconds for you Derek starting now.

DN: The most flagrant example of plagiarism I've ever seen is the musical called Joseph And His Technicolor Dreamcoat...


DN: Which was pinched from the Old Testament!

NP: Tim Rice challenged you.

TR: Deviation, he got the title wrong! And not only...

KW: Not good enough.

NP: He might have been talking about another title.

DN: Another one!

NP: He was talking about one which was play, play, oh was copied and nicked from your original.

TR: Oh I see. well I guess I'll withdraw...

NP: Is that what you were on about?

DN: Yes absolutely.

NP: Yes that's how I understood yes. So Derek was cleverly having us all up the garden path there and he keeps the subject, five seconds left starting now.

DN: People say that things ain't what they used to be are from Mountain Greenery which is a song sung by...


NP: Well Derek Nimmo got some points in that round but he's ah, he's just a little way behind, he's still behind our two guests who are not equal but in the lead, one point separates Sheila from Tim Rice. Derek Nimmo your turn to begin, the subject, fortune telling, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

DN: Fortune telling rather interests me. The first time I went to see one, was I opened a garden fete not very far from here. And afterwards they said would I please go and see the fortune teller. She looked at my palms, read my cards and said I was going to get an offer to work in a theatre in America. I went back, to the place where I was working. And on my dressing place was a Western Union telegram...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Well place, two places.

NP: Yes.

KW: I went back to the place where I was working and...

DN: Absolutely! Dead right Ken!

NP: Yes!

DN: Absolutely! Well listened Ken!

NP: And Kenneth, fortune telling, 41 seconds are left starting now.

KW: They say "cross my palm with silver and you will cross water..."


NP: Oh!

SH: God!

NP: Tim Rice you came in first.

TR: Yes a couple of crosses, I'm sorry about that.

NP: Yes you got too cross there, I'm afraid and very rapidly. So 34 seconds are left for fortune telling with you Tim starting now.

TR: I want you all to listen very carefully because what I'm about to say is fascinating and it is all about fortune telling. I will not deviate for one minute. Firstly there are many many...


NP: Derek...

DN: Many many.

NP: Yes so there we are, 26 seconds, it is difficult, isn't it. Twenty-six seconds on fortune telling starting now.

DN: I remember once watching a friend of mine having his fortune told by a very old lady in a village outside a place called Maidenthorpe. And what happened was she set up a table, she had a crystal ball upon it. And he was being told by an Indian chap to go and have his fortune telling person to perform for. Now when she sat down she told him the most extraordinary things and he was a barrister, a silk, his name was Gilbert Rodger...


NP: Well Derek has now overtaken Sheila, one point ahead. They're still one point behind our leader Tim Rice. Sheila Hancock will you take the next subject, dice. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

SH: It's curious you should ask me to talk about dice because...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Deviation.

NP: Why?

TR: It's not curious at all. That's why she's here!

NP: It's a good way of starting. Let's give Tim a bonus point for a good challenge...

SH: I was building up to a story, you have to lay the foundations...

NP: Yes.

SH: ... before you lead to the point.

NP: Sheila does get a point for being interrupted and she keeps the subject, 57 seconds left for you Sheila on dice, starting now.

SH: Because only recently I was trying to learn how to do macrobiotic cooking. And a lady came round and taught me that it is very important, the way that you dice vegetables. You don't just chop them up like I normally do. A carrot has to be loved and diced downwards with the grain of the carrot. And similarly...


SH: Oh yes!

NP: Tim has challenged.

TR: A brace of carrots.

SH: Yes.

NP: Yeah yeah the carrots yes.

DN: I don't think the carrot was treated very lovingly if it was cut down the middle!

KW: You can't have a brace. What are you talking about, a brace of carrots? You can have a bunch! You can't have a brace of carrots! That's ridiculous! And there he was going on earlier, about the misuse of hopeful when a person meant optimism. They were saying hopeful which is correct. But now he goes and makes a bloomer!

NP: Well...

KW: A brace of carrots!

NP: We allow...

KW: I've never heard of it! Have you heard of a brace of carrots?

NP: Oh they regularly go into the shops and say yes, I'll have a brace of carrots and er, a triplet of parsnips and... Tim it is a correct challenge so we do give you the subject and 36 seconds for dice starting now.

TR: People often use the word dice wrongly because dice in the singular means...


NP: Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: Deviation, he's being arrogant, isn't he!

NP: Yes he is.

SH: He's keeping correcting us all the way along.

NP: But he hasn't deviated from the subject of dice.

SH: No.

NP: He's being very pompous as well!

SH: I just wanted to get back at him!

NP: But he's established himself as Professor Rice on this show where the pomposity is allowed and there are 30 seconds for him to continue on the subject of dice starting now.

TR: Speaking pompously, I would like to say that die is the one unit word for dice. And so many individuals get this incorrect. And it is vitally important when playing dice that one realises the odds stacked in or against one's favour. There are but six numbers of any dice, viz. one, two, three, four, five and the number which is gained by taking away... 15...



NP: Derek Nimmo did press his buzzer as the whistle went but I think we give Tim the benefit of the doubt because he was struggling so manfully and did so extremely well on that subject. And he's now in a very positive lead. Kenneth will you take the next subject, it is Sir Christopher Cockerel. Will you tell us something about that distinguished gentleman in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: In the official biography, he says he was a radio engineer and he invented this amphibious craft which is called a hover and I think it goes over the water by jet propelled air, you see. The first successful crossing was the Dover-Calais one in 1959. And for this incredible feat, after all it was an invention which set the world agog. People looked at the thing and thought how amazing that this cushion can actually...


NP: Sheila Hancock, yes?

SH: Haven't we had a bit of a deviation. I don't think the whole world was saying how amazing that this thing, nine times out of 10, it doesn't go, I'm here to tell you.

NP: That's a phrase that you might use in, in describing the amazement...

SH: You don't think it's a bit excessive to say that the whole world...

NP: No I don't think so, not, not for such an original invention as the hovercraft. So we give Kenneth the benefit of the doubt...

KW: Very good chairman! Very good!

NP: Wait till I give one against him!

KW: Excellent!

NP: Nineteen seconds left with you Kenneth on Sir Christopher Cockerel starting now.

KW: And the Queen invited him to the Palace known as Buckingham, and said "kneel" and dubbed him knight. And when he rose and came outside that grand edifice, his relatives with him all the time...


NP: So Kenneth Williams started with the subject and despite of interruptions, kept going with that subject until the 60 seconds was up. Gained that extra point for speaking at that particular moment. And it's our, our guest Tim Rice will take the last round which is doggerel. After all the pompous things you said about speech...

SH: Yeah!

NP: Tell us something about doggerel now Professor Rice, starting now.

TR: Well doggerel is like common speech which is the sort of thing that people what aint pompous talk about. And I...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Doggerel is not like common speech. It's written, in fact Stevie Smith, one of our most distinguished poets, write doggerel. It has nothing to do with common speech. It's everything to do with rhyming.

TR: Quite right. I'm totally wrong.

NP: Yes you're quite right, it can be perfectly good speech but it's doggerel.

TR: Sorry, I apologise.

NP: It's not just common, so Kenneth with his erudition has claimed a point there and has 54 seconds to tell us something about doggerel starting now.

KW: When my hat was in my hand
I met a fellow in the Strand.
Now that was written by Doctor Johnson. It is an example of his doggerel. And very charming it is. I think, you know, we could do with a lot more of it, because it gives a rhythm and a kind of excellence of a piquancy to speech itself. And I think it enriches our experience linguistically. I love it when I hear these little limericks, all of them really just doggerel, aren't they...


SH: No sorry sorry.

NP: Well you pressed your buzzer, now you'd better give a challenge.

SH: Well no, I was going to say he said doggerel before, but you're allowed to do that, aren't you.

NP: You're allowed to do it, yes, you're allowed to say it. I know you haven't played it for a long time Sheila...

SH: No, I know, I know.

NP: You're allowed to say the subject on the card, because if you do press your buzzer and stop the um, person that's speaking then they of course get a point for the interruption and they continue. Twenty-one seconds are left Kenneth starting now.

KW: There was a young fellow called Clyde
Who once at a funeral was spied
When asked who was dead
He smilingly said
I don't know, I've just come for the ride.
That is an example you see of charming doggerel. And what does it arouse? A little smile, perhaps a laugh, and so enlightens and amuses at the same time which is always...


NP: Well once Kenneth Williams got hold of the subject of dobberel, dobberel? Oh! Once he got hold of the subject of doggerel there was no stopping him. And he surged forward, gained many points in that round. He surged so far forward he finished up equal in second place with Derek Nimmo and Sheila Hancock. But they were a few points behind this week's winner, Tim Rice! So our guest Tim came again to triumph. And on behalf of Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Sheila Hancock and Tim Rice, the inventor of the game Ian Messiter, the producer Edward Taylor, and myself Nicholas Parsons, thank you very much, we hope you enjoyed it and will want to tine in again when we play Just A Minute! Until then from all of us here good-bye!