NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And once again it is my pleasure to introduce to you those four exciting, evocative, stimulating and diverse personalities, the four regulars who play Just A Minute. As I ask them to speak on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And they are of course Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. Will you please welcome all four of them! The creator of the game, Ian Messiter sits beside me and he keeps the score, and he also blows his whistle when the full 60 seconds is up. And of those four personalities the one who probably embodies all those attitudes more than anyone else is Kenneth Williams so let him begin the show this week. And the subject that Ian has chose Kenneth, is a grand occasion. Will you talk on that subject in this game starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: I was asked to be present on a very grand occasion, given by an august body. All of them were to do in some way or another with medicine. And I rose to make the speech and said to them that incognito in a London hospital was Idi Amin for a haemorhoidal operation. But I was present at an equally grand affair when the Queen Mother presented us all with accolades on a piece called the Festival of...


NP: And Peter Jones has challenged you.

PETER JONES: I thought there was a bit of a stumble there.

NP: Well he said pestival instead of Festival.

PJ: Oh is that? Yes.

NP: it might have been a pestival for all we know.

PJ: Yes.

NP: He didn't actually stumble, he did keep going. So let us be generous to Kenneth, and say Kenneth...

PJ: Why?

NP: Because often I have to give the benefit of the doubt on a challenge to one or the other and try to be fair, and I try to balance it out...

PJ: If he said pestival as you admit, there's no excuse for allowing him to go on.

KW: That wasn't your challenge, it wasn't the substance of your challenge...

NP: No it wasn't.

KW: And therefore as a good chairman, he is insisting on fair play!

DEREK NIMMO: He's not a good chairman! He's barmy! Everybody knows he's barmy!

NP: You'd have to be barmy, to take on this job, wouldn't you that I have here! If you'd challenged for deviation of pestival instead of festival, I would have granted.

PJ: I said there was a stumble.

NP: It wasn't a stumble, he didn't, he kept going.

KW: Thank you!

NP: So I think um...

KW: Quite right! Yes! Very nice man!

NP: Kenneth I consider that an incorrect challenge...

PJ: Well by the very definition of the word stumble, of course he kept going, otherwise it would be a fall. If you stumble...

NP: Peter a stumble in Just A Minute means you hesitate. He did not hesitate, he kept going. He deviated but you didn't challenge for that. So Kenneth you have a point for an incorrect challenge, you have five seconds only to continue, a grand occasion starting now.

KW: This is an equally grand occasion because it's graced by that...


NP: Oh Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Equally, repetition of equally.

NP: Yes you did say equally earlier on.

KW: Well I think that's a bit much!

NP: Yes!

KW: I didn't ever say equally!

NP: Yes you did, you said another grand occasion equally was when you talked about the pestival of whatever it was.

KW: No I didn't, I said equal to.

NP: I will give you the benefit of the doubt once again Kenneth and...

KW: Thanks ever so much!

NP: Another incorrect challenge...

PJ: Anyway I think it was treasonable to suggest that this is as an important occasion as one in which the Queen took part! It's just absurd!

NP: I know, but you didn't challenge for that Peter, did you!

PJ: No I didn't.

NP: No.

PJ: Because I knew I wouldn't get anywhere! As your previous attitude. I think you've got it in for me!

NP: Oh you'll see as we go on, I'm always fair Peter. Two seconds are left with Kenneth on a grand occasion starting now.

KW: At Brighton, the Prince Regent's Ball...


NP: And our regular listeners to the game will know that whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains that extra point. It was of course Kenneth Williams who was of course also the only one to have any points at the end of that round. Derek will you take the next round, the subject is bats. Will you talk on that one starting now.

DN: Yes well you should be an authority on that subject! I'm awfully pleased however that you've asked me to talk about bats. Because only two and a half hours ago I got off a plane from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where I was presenting Richard Harris's cricketing comedy Outside Edge which contains the most prolonged...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Why?

PJ: Well he was talking about Richard Harris's cricketing comedy in Dubai.

NP: That's right, and not about bats.

PJ: No.

NP: Right, all right Peter, so I'm always fair...

DN: Which has a lot of bats!

NP: I know but you hadn't got to that point at that particular... I can see the connection, cricket bats, but you actually hadn't...

DN: Oh well done! Very good! He is good! Could we have a round of applause for the chairman please!


NP: Why is it that whenever they make a joke against me, you not only laugh but you also which to clap! No Peter, I agree, he had not established the connection between...

DN: Between cricket... (starts laughing)

NP: He had been going for over 15 seconds, not only he'd been only going for 13 seconds. But the subject is with you Peter, 43 seconds are left for bats...

CLEMENT FREUD: Forty-seven! Come on!

PJ: Well I...

NP: I know, I was just testing you Clement to see if you were still with us. You looked as if you'd nodded off actually! But thank you very much, yes. Bats Peter starting now.

PJ: Some people find bats rather repulsive, but in fact they're quite pleasant creatures...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: I just wanted to say hello!

NP: Thank you very much Clement...

CF: And I wanted Peter to have a point!

NP: Yes! And in interrupting Peter he gets a point for that...

CF: Good!

NP: And there are 38 seconds left for him to continue with bats starting now.

PJ: Cuddly and can be made into nice pets if you treat them right. Give them a saucer of milk and some bread in it every night, and perhaps a hot water bottle. And they'll hang from the ceiling if there's a hook or ah adjacent...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

PJ: No, it was a stumble!

NP: I think you hesitated actually Peter. So Derek Nimmo has the subject back of bats, there are 22 seconds left starting now.

DN: One of the most interesting restaurants that I have ever been to is in Bangkok. And there the speciality are bats. I must say it's an extraordinary sight when you go in there. Because it's rather like trout in a fish restaurant. The bats are hanging up in a cage at the bat, and you can go and choose your bat. Then they lightly grill the bat...


NP: Well Ian Messiter's whistle saved us all from any more of Derek Nimmo's joys of culinary pleasures. And um he was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He has two alongside Peter Jones and Peter begins the next round. Winter woolies Peter, will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Well it's a year or two since Ian Messiter gave me a subject about underwear. He seems to be obsessed with it, I don't know, and mine in particular! And at my age it does seem odd, let alone his! But er his...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Second er there.

NP: Yes there was a definite er, right 45 seconds are left for you...

PJ: Er?

NP: ... Derek on winter woollies starting now.

DN: My goodness, this winter it has been frightfully important to get your woollies and specially thermals. Do you wear thermals? I find them awfully...


DN: What's the matter?

NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of thermals.

NP: Yes.

DN: Oh yes, that's very good, well listened Clay!

NP: Clement Freud you're going to talk on winter woollies, 38 seconds are left starting now.

CF: There's a restaurant in Bangkok where you can order winter woollies and they hang them up and lower then down...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation.

NP: Why?

DN: Well there isn't a restaurant in Bangkok where they hang winter woollies upside...

NP: How do you know? I know you know Bangkok well, better than anybody...

DN: I know it very well, they're not winter woollies, they're winter willies! Quite different!

NP: They might have been a restaurant that actually has winter woollies hanging up in Bangkok, for all we know...

CF: As likely as bats!

NP: I think I will give you the benefit of the doubt on this occasion Clement, and say that you can be as fantastical as you like within the game, because who is to know that there's not a restaurant somewhere in Bangkok with winter woollies hanging from the ceiling. And if anybody in Bangkok who gets this programme would like to write to us and let us know, then we might next year confirm whether I was right or wrong in my decision. Clement Freud you have 31 seconds on winter woollies starting now.

CF: If you know any vicar, it would be interesting to ask whether it is better to use your pants in the vestry or your vest in the pantry? Having said that it is prop... you spoke madam?


NP: Peter, Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Hesitation or...

NP: Hesitation Derek, you have 19 seconds on winter woollies starting now.

DN: Bangkok has a mean temperature of 82 degrees and therefore you never need winter woollies. But you do need them...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Deviation, I don't think 82 is a mean temperature!

NP: I would say that what he means, it might not be mean in that sense, but it's mean in the sense, it's average. So therefore we give Derek Nimmo the benefit of the doubt, 14 seconds are left for you Derek on winter woollies starting now.

DN: I leap out of bed in the morning, there are my winter woollies waiting for me on top of the radiator. I discard my pyjamas with a wild fling and on go the woollies. And then I'm ready to meet the outside world, I trudge out into the snow, my big hat on, and...


NP: Well Derek Nimmo's winter woollies got him a number of points in the round including the one for speaking as the whistle went and he's now in a very definite lead ahead of the other three. Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject snails.

CF: As animals, snails are pretty slow. Culinarily or gastronomically they're known as schnicken in German and escargot in French. And you cook them quite slowly, normally with garlic and butter and parsley and any other herbs that you find. There are also tongs with which you are asked to eat them, holding one tong in a hand and the other in the mitt on the er...


NP: Yes well there we are, this is how they trip themselves up in Just A Minute. And if course for the listeners at home, they also make gestures as they try and wriggle out of the problem they set themselves, and that's why we laughed so much. And Clement you've lost it to, who pressed it, Derek Nimmo. Thirty-two seconds on snails Derek starting now.

DN: One of the interesting things about snails is that you couldn't help find edible ones around the place where there were Roman camps. The... people that brought them over here...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: I would agree Peter. So there are 24 seconds for you to talk on snails starting now.

PJ: They're very interesting to watch during their courtship, during the mating period...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of during.

NP: Yes that was a very quick challenge.

PJ: Really?

NP: You almost anticipated him saying it but he did indeed say during twice. Nineteen seconds are left for snails back with you Clement starting now.

CF: The courting of snails is pretty difficult because as with all invertebrate molluscs, you don't know which are men and which women, let alone girls to boys...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Two whiches.

NP: Yes.

KW: Which are men and which...

PJ: In any case it doesn't matter any more!

NP: I beg your pardon Peter?

PJ: It doesn't matter any more, does it, whether they're men or women or male or female.

NP: I think it might matter to another snail.

PJ: Well yes but they can work that out for themselves, they don't need your help!

NP: Right so the repartee and banter increases and Kenneth Williams takes it up with nine seconds to go on snails starting now.

KW: They go along the ground and leave a sort of grey slime behind them in a path with a ghostly tumescence and manifest themselves in a strange way...


NP: I didn't know you were a gardener Kenneth, but I must say, your description, every gardener knows and he doesn't like the sight of it either. You are in second place just behind Derek Nimmo. Clement Freud is in third place, Peter Jones follows, one and two points separates each of them. And Kenneth we're back with you to take the subject, it is Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Will you tell us something about that gentleman in this game starting now.

KW: Well he was a notable rake and tremendously outrageous. I mean dressed up to kill in the court and quite handsome, people went over like ninepins. And this Elizabeth Barry he got in with, she described herself as an actress but I think we all know the right description that should be applied! He wrote poetry it's called amatory verse and also letters which have been preserved. And many say they're extremely witty. He wote one about the King...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: What did he say, he wote one?

NP: Yes, he wote one about the King, that's right.

PJ: Well was that a stumble again?

NP: No it was not a stumble. Is that your challenge?

DN: No, it's deviation.

PJ: No, it's deviation.

NP: You didn't say deviation first though did you Peter?

PJ: I don't have to say it first...

KW: So you don't get anywhere, you great fool! Challenging me! I've come all the way from Great Portland Street! I'm not here to be treated like a load of rubbish!

NP: No if you'd said er devi...

PJ: I first of all had to establish whether you'd heard it.

NP: What makes you think I shouldn't have heard it?

PJ: Well you often miss things!


KW: Don't clap! Don't clap!

NP: Next time I miss something, draw my attention to it. I concentrate harder than anybody in this game, I maintain. Thirteen seconds are left for you Kenneth to talk on Wilmot, Earl of Rochester starting now.

KW: Here lies a great and mighty King whose...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: We've had a King.

NP: Yes you did mention King before, he wrote a poem about...

KW: Well he wrote this epitaph for Charles The Second.

NP: Yes but you mentioned the word King which you can't.

KW: Yes you see, he said
Here lies a mighty and great King
Whose promise none relies on
He never said a foolish thing
Nor ever did a wise one.
And since, since that is genuine Rochester and since I've actually learned it and repeated it on more than one occasion, some extremely august. The Queen Mother herself was at one occasion when she said...

NP: Kenneth!

KW: ... I'd like to hear that again!

NP: Yes!

KW: You can't say that often enough!

NP: Yes! Well some of the audience think that but can we get back to playing Just A Minute?

KW: Yes righto!

NP: Right! Fine! So Clement had a correct challenge with eight seconds to go...

CF: What is the subject?

NP: What?

CF: What is the subject?

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

CF: Sorry.

NP: The subject is Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, eight seconds starting now.

CF: I never met William, Earl of Rochester...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I would agree Derek, you've got five seconds on Wilmot, Earl of Rochester starting now.

DN: Wilmot, Earl of Rochester was tremendously debauched, and he died at 30, I'd hardly got going by that age...


NP: So Derek Nimmo has increased his lead at the end of that round and we're with Derek to begin again. Derek as we've often established on this show travels the world greatly. And one of the places he regularly visits is Singapore, and we're now going to ask him to talk on that subject for Just A Minute if he can starting now.

DN: Singapore, the lion city. An island which is really just a marshy swamp inhabited by pirates until Sir Sir Thomas Stafford ran...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Well I thought he got er into a bit of a lather there.

NP: You call that hesitation, yes yes ayub yub. So that was nine seconds in but 51 seconds left for you Kenneth to talk upon Singapore starting now.

KW: I was there in 1946 and I used to visit a place called Raffles Hotel. And along the front were mendicants and pedlars with these canes from which were suspended leaves on which they served a delicacy called mahmee. It is spelt M-A-H...


NP: Ah Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: I anticipated the next M!

NP: Oh! It just shows you how agile the minds are in Just A Minute and Clement is probably the most agile of all.

KW: Yes that Freud, he don't half fall right into it, don't he!

NP: Yes!

KW: He falled right into it! Fly to altar, there they'll talk you dead, fools rush in where angels fear to tread!

NP: Right! So he wasn't being foolish but very bright, but unfortunately tripped himself up. So Kenneth you have an incorrect challenge, another point to you, 29 seconds on Singapore starting now.

KW: Seeing these wares sold, an English serviceman out there cried out "I'd walk a million miles from one of your smiles Mahmie!"


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: That is repetition of Mahmie.

NP: Yes that's right.

KW: No it's another word. Mammy is not Mahmee! Don't give it to him, the audience...

NP: Kenneth we have established.

KW: I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles, Mammy!

NP: It is the way you pronounce a word which is a repetition in Just A Minute. So I have to give the benefit of the doubt on this occasion to Clement Freud and tell him he has...

KW: I don't see why you should! After all he's not very important!

NP: To me...

KW: It's not as though he were a distinguished guest or something is it!

NP: To me, all four of you...

KW: And he's been round for years!

NP: To me all four of you are equally important!

KW: Well that's awfully sweet of you!

NP: Singapore Clement, 19 seconds starting now.

CF: I stopped over in Singapore the other day and went to the Airport shops. And there was not a single item in anyone of them that was not cheaper in Tottenham Court Road or Charing Cross. It is quite extraordinary what a rip-off duty free establishments are and I think someone should put a stop to it...



NP: And Derek Nimmo, no, Derek Nimmo, you pressed with about half a second to go.

DN: Repetition of duty free was what I was going to say.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: What's that?

DN: Repetition of duty free.

NP: That's right, you've got in with half a second to go on Singapore starting now.

DN: Boogee Street...


NP: So Derek got in...


NP: And he's pressed his buzzer again. Derek stop doing that! Your buzzer works perfectly all right. You got in artfully with half a second to go, you got that extra point, you've increased your lead, what more do you want?

DN: Nothing.

NP: Right! Peter Jones will you take the next round, the artistic temperament. Would you talk on the subject for Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Well the artistic temperament is often put forward as an excuse for appalling behaviour. But in fact it merely means that somebody is trying to get it right. They're struggling with ah technicians, audiences...


NP: And Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: With er.

NP: There was an er there I'm afraid Peter. So you erred and Kenneth Williams got in first with 46 seconds left on the artistic temperament Kenneth starting now.

KW: Yes it was described by Emerson wonderfully as a cockatoo forever repeating. And that of course sums up the dilemma. Because for the artist to continually refashion what is after all a facet of something we've all recognised, whether it be ancient Greek or Rome. Those two cultures which have provided a fountainhead of inspiration for great artistic temperament. I would say for instance that Shakespeare himself deriving so much from Plutarch. Oh the great debt in that direction and the temperament...


NP: Well Kenneth Williams showing off his erudition as well as his ability to play Just A Minute kept going till the whistle went, gained the extra point, and he's now only one point behind our leader Derek Nimmo. Clement Freud and Peter Jones trail a little behind them. And Clement your turn to begin, red tape. I'm sure something that you've had great experience of, but will you talk about it in this game starting now.

CF: The reddest tape I ever came across was when at the age of six, I was in the under-eight incontinent 50 yard sprint. I won it with a nose bleed which made the tape so incredibly red that they had to stop school sports day. Red tape is also an expression given to the excesses of Parliamentary bumf or papers... and...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well he stopped he did.

NP: Once he thought of Parliamentary bumf he paused. And you got in there Derek first with 37 seconds left, red tape starting now.

DN: Actually one finds people on the subcontinent of India, they very much like red tape, they call it the Babu mentality. It greatly appeals to them and if you don't have any binding a document together they...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: We had two greatlys.

NP: No.

KW: They greatly admire red tape.

DN: You said you were the best listener, you listen most carefully.

NP: I do listen most carefully.

DN: I was waiting for you to come in...

NP: I was doing a very quick recall in my brain which was...

DN: Crikey! That'd be difficult, wouldn't it!

NP: And if this audience clap much longer at Derek Nimmo's cracks against me, I'll turn the whole lot out! Um, who was that, right. So Kenneth 26 seconds for you on red tape starting now.

KW: A famous man told me that he actually couldn't gain admission to an event because of red tape. As he said rise in the early maude, waiting in the clarity in the milode, in ord...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, he's talking rubbish!

CF: He usually talks rubbish!

NP: A very clever challenge Derek, I agree, you have 15 seconds on red tape starting now.

DN: When you see a barrister coming out of an English court, you see him carrying a great bundle with red tape around it. Now this is for a very particular reason. It's because it will all fall apart unless he has it done up like that. And I think this is very interesting, that's why there is so much red tape...


NP: So Kenneth Williams and Derek Nimmo got most of the points in that round. Derek got the one for speaking as the whistle went. He's just two ahead of Kenneth Williams, and Peter Jones and Clement Freud are still trailing. Kenneth we're back with you to begin and the subject is rockers. Will you tell us something about that in 60 seconds starting now.

KW: Children have loved rockers, whether it is on those horses rocking...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: I think you're right Peter. A very sharp challenge!

PJ: I wish you would try and keep the surprise out of your voice!

NP: Who else in the whole of show business would sit in this position here and suffer the insults of these four delightful characters? Fifty-four seconds for you Peter on rockers starting now.

PJ: The popularity of the rocking chair was at its height in the last century and the best of them were made in Boston. And they were beautifully fashioned out of the wood that grew there and the backs were painted or stencilled, sometimes transfers were put on, and they were extremely attractive objects. You can still buy them today, may exist. We have one at home because my wife, being American, she rather likes to sit in it and rock to and fro, thinking of her home land and the place where this thing was created. The...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of created, created in Boston, now they're being created at home.

NP: He didn't use the word created before.

DN: Yes he did.

NP: Did he?

PJ: I thought I said fashioned. I thought it was rather clever of me to, you know... but still I'm sure you'll still be able to recall it in time!

NP: I've done my...

PJ: Do remember the News is at 10!

NP: Yes! I've done my quick recall and you, Derek Nimmo is correct, 18 seconds on rockers starting now.

DN: In the 1960s we had mods and rockers. The first mentioned wore rather smooth suits and their hair was closely cropped and they were very much into purple hearts and things like that. And then there were the rockers, who were influenced by rock and roll music...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: No! I don't think so!

CF: Deviation?

NP: No! Derek there are five seconds for you to continue on rockers starting now.

DN: The rockers would roar down to Brighton or Winchelsea on their great bicycles and there...



NP: Clement Freud, no no, Clement you challenged with just half a second to go.

CF: Great, the second great.

NP: Yes you did say great before, I'm afraid. So Clement you got in with half a second to go, half a second, rockers starting now.

CF: Peterborough...


NP: Now let me tell you that Peter Jones finished sadly for in fourth place. A few points behind Clement Freud, who was just two points behind Kenneth Williams who was just a few points behind this week's winner, Derek Nimmo! Thank you for that applause here in the studio. We do hope all our listeners have enjoyed Just A Minute. And it only remains for me to say on behalf of the creator of the game, Ian Messiter, our producer Edward Taylor, myself, Nicholas Parsons, and our four regular players of the game whose names I have mentioned frequently throughout this contest, good-bye, hope you'll tune in again next time we take to the air and we play Just A Minute! Till then good-bye from all of us!