NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away it is once more my pleasure to introduce the three brilliant, outstanding, outrageous and impossible characters who are going to play Just A Minute this week. We have three of our regulars, Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones. And we welcome back someone who has been very successful as our guest in the past, Tim Rice. Will you please welcome all four of them! The creator of this delightful game sits beside me to keep the score and blow his whistle when one minute is up. And once again I'm going to ask them to speak if they can on the subject I give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And we'll begin the show this week with Derek Nimmo. Derek, the subject is habits. Will you tell us something about that in the show starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: The last time I actually wore a habit was when I was asked to go over to Dundrun which is in Southern Ireland, and go on a charity walk with some monks who were raising money for something of which I did not approve like a missionary. They put me in this very grotty habit and I had to wander round the streets of Dublin with a collecting box. After 15 miles I retired to the Priory and was confronted by the Father Superior who said to me "are you a Roman Catholic?" and I said no, I was an Anglican. He said "glory be to God, he has walked all this distance and he's not one of us at all." I've always thought that was a very curious thing to say to someone who was leaning as well as I was leaning. That's not quite what I meant...


PETER JONES: Well there was hesitation.

DN: Yes Peter, well listened, well listened.

NP: I call that hesitation, he kept going for 55 seconds but didn't quite make the full 60. So Peter Jones you have...

PJ: He got the main part of the message over though, didn't he.

NP: You have a correct challenge and therefore you gain a point for that and you have five seconds to talk on habits starting now.

PJ: Well I have a number of very good habits. One is looking behind me when I get up from a seat on a public...


NP: So when the whistle goes whoever is speaking then gets an extra point. It was Peter Jones, in fact he's the only one to have any points in that round. And Peter we'd like you to begin the next round. The subject, my thermal underwear. I'm not referring to mine because I don't actually wear it, but it can be taken anyway you wish, you understand.

PJ: Oh I see. Thank you very much. I'm just as pleased I'm not having to talk about yours because I don't know anything about it really.

NP: You have 60 seconds...

PJ: Just the odd glimpse in the changing rooms!

NP: Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

PJ: Well I was presented with my thermal underwear when I was in a film which necessitated me being out in the cold and wet. It was a tremendous asset in this bitterly cold climate that I was in ah north of Manchester...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: In ah north of Manchester.

NP: Ah north of Manchester.

PJ: Ah yes.

NP: Yes you did er.

PJ: I erred in Manchester, yes.

NP: And Derek Nimmo has the subject of my thermal underwear, 34 seconds starting now.

DN: I really wouldn't be without thermal underwear these days. I used not to have any when I was a child and I suffered awfully because I had a liberty vest which I never liked very much. But my thermal underwear has totally changed the whole of my existence. I go wandering through the fields of the countryside in the depths of winter, aglow within and without! All because of my thermal underwear and I do recommend it to you, especially those that have come here from New Zealand. When you get to the South Island, go up the mountains near Queenstown, wear your thermal underwear!


DN: Then you will be nice and cosy like... what's the matter?

NP: Tim Rice challenged you as you were halfway up that mountain in New Zealand.

DN: I was in the middle of a commercial.

TIM RICE: There was a brace of wears.

NP: Tim Rice, our guest, who now knows the game pretty well, has got in with two seconds to go on my thermal underwear starting now.

TR: Ludwig...


NP: And Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think so! What a way to treat a guest!

PJ: He's almost one of us now.

NP: I know he is.

PJ: He's been here quite often.

NP: Sitting in the chair that is often occupied by Clement Freud who is very good clever at getting in, so some of that has obviously got off on to Tim. But Peter got in, there's one second on my thermal underwear Peter starting now.

PJ: You can get it...


NP: And Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Deviation.

NP: Why?

TR: The way that he began his discussion was quite clearly very very devious.

NP: Very nice to hear from you Tim, but absolute rubbish!

PJ: Yeah I do so agree.

NP: Yes, so you have another point Peter and an incorrect challenge and a fifth of a second starting now.

PJ: Or nylon.


NP: Ian Messiter couldn't get his whistle in his mouth in a fifth of a second so there was longer than that before the whistle went. But Peter you are in the lead!

PJ: Oh I'm not.

NP: Ahead of Tim Rice at the end of that... Tim Rice? He's hardly spoken, how did he got three points?

IAN MESSITER: Well he got two just then.

NP: Did he? Oh yes that's right, I do apologise.

TR: Yes thank you.

NP: Now Peter...

DN: He's getting a bit gaga, you know.

PJ: Repetition of ga!

NP: So Peter Jones and Tim Rice are in the lead equal at the end of that round. And Kenneth Williams we're going to hear from you at last because we'd like you to start the next round, and the subject is getting the audience excited. Something you're very good at doing. But would you now speak on that subject starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: Getting the audience excited is a marvellous subject for this programme. Because a man who has done exactly that is of course the honourable gentleman beside me, Tim Rice. The shows that have excited audiences all over the world, not just here but in the metropolises afar. And all due to this...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Yes I don't think metropolises is a correct word. I think the plural must be something else.

NP: Metropoli?

TR: Um possibly, I'm not sure, but I know metropolises is wrong.

NP: I know speaking colloquially one would say, and especially trying to keep going under pressure in Just A Minute, you would say metropolises. It's...

TR: Pressure is the name of the game!

NP: I know...

DN: I think that's very mean when you were being so nice and flattering about him Kenneth, too.

NP: Yes...

DN: He's got a nasty streak, I think.

NP: I think we're going to let him get away with metropolises, let him keep the subject with 34 seconds left, getting the audience excited starting now.

KW: Well when Bette Davis walked on at the Ascot Theatre in A Question Of Gravity, people were leaning forward on their seats, agog with excitement. Isn’t this the very essence of great performing? I recall seeing Charles Laughton at the theatre which was then called Windham, and he was absolutely marvellous. What was I talking about then...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

KW: I meant the New Theatre.

DN: Deviation.

KW: Which is now called Albury, that's what I meant.

NP: Mmmm so what was your challenge Derek?

DN: Deviation, he's talking rubbish you see!

KW: It's true, the New is now the Albury.

DN: I know it is.

NP: No, I must give you the benefit of the doubt here Kenneth and you have five seconds on getting the audience excited starting now.

KW: This happened in the Chalk Garden when Edith Evans said "conversation is not a carthorse, it is a thoroughfare..."


NP: So Kenneth Williams was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he gained other points in the round and he now is equal with Peter Jones and Tim Rice in the lead, at the end of the round, and for once Derek Nimmo is a little way behind. And Tim it's your turn to begin and the subject is what I do best in 60 seconds. Can you reveal something of yourself in Just A Minute starting now.

TR: What I...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Hesitation.

NP: No!

KW: Definite hesitation! You know it!

NP: That was absolutely... I wouldn't allow it twice to a guest like that. Peter Jones got away with it once but it was a long hesitation. It was only half a second. No, Tim you have a point for an incorrect challenge. By the way, when I set that subject, two people in the audience nudged the woman sitting next to them. I know it was rather sweet. Tim the subject is what I do best in 60 seconds and there are 59 seconds in which to talk about it starting now.

TR: What I do best in 60 seconds is excite an audience with my charis, charismatic...


NP: That's a new word for it, isn't it. Peter you challenged first.

PJ: Yes yes it was appalling wasn't it? Hesitation.

NP: You're not here to pass judgement on the efforts of our guest!

PJ: No, no, quite! He hesitated.

NP: He hesitated.

PJ: Yes.

NP: And Peter you continue...

PJ: I don't even remember now what the subject was!

NP: I usually repeat it before I ask you to go.

PJ: Oh thanks very much.

NP: You've woken up again! I'll say you have...

PJ: Well he was saying the audience were excited! I was looking at them, their eyelids were dropping, they were leaning forward going to sleep.

NP: Well there are 52 seconds for you to tell us something on the subject of what I do best in 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well you'll never believe this but I get undressed terribly quickly. When my children were small and it was difficult to get them to go to bed because they didn't want all the routine of getting their clothes off. And I used to demonstrate...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: There was a definite hesitation there.

PJ: No, not at all. I used to demonstrate, I said.

NP: It wasn't definite, but there was a hesitation.

TR: I'm a sporting man...

PJ: It wasn't definite but there was a hesitation?

NP: Yes and as he was a little bit harsh on you before, I will allow that harsh challenge in your favour and say that you have the subject back of what I do best in 60 seconds and say there are 38 seconds left starting now.

TR: In my younger days, i was quite a keen runner and I used to sprint four hundred and four...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: That was a kind of indefinite hesitation that I demonstrated just a moment or two ago!

NP: No it wasn't as bad as yours.

TR: Hear hear!

NP: Tim keeps the subject and there are 34 seconds left starting now.

TR: What I do best in 60 seconds is often talking. But when I'm in the company of such distinguished gentleman as the erudite Mister Nimmo, the flamboyant Mister Jones, and the undescribable and indescribable Kenneth Williams, I feel myself clam up, forgetting that in fact I am an extremely gifted talker, that in normal circumstances would be able to continue in this sort of flow of unmitigated...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Another one of those little hesitations, definitely.

NP: All right, you have the benefit of the doubt on this occasion Derek, and 10 seconds on what I do best...

DN: What?

NP: What I do best in 60 seconds, 10 seconds starting now.

DN: What I do best in 60 seconds, somebody once said making love to me was like going to one of those modern dentists. It only takes a minute and you don't feel a thing! Now I think that might be a very unpleasant thing to say for 60 seconds so I might say...


NP: Only Derek Nimmo could get away with it!

DN: I'll be censored again! Back to the sandbox!

NP: Derek you gained some points, but you're still in third place with Kenneth Williams, but only a little way behind Peter Jones, who is trailing, only one point behind our leader, Tim Rice. Derek your turn to begin and the subject, the Seychelles. As you travel a great deal, I don't know whether you've been there but tell us something about that island starting now.

DN: Well it might interest you to know I have been to the Seychelles. Only once though Mister Parsons. I enjoyed it greatly. It's a little island or group of islands about in the middle of the Indian Ocean off the coast, well roughly driving...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: Oh the whole thing was just terrible from the word go. But he, A, repeated island and then hesitated.

DN: Island and islands.

NP: No, I don't think he did, I must say his words...

DN: It was a trap, a deliberate trap, it was, island and islands.

KW: Well of course you're bound, you're bound to take his side. You said tell us something about that island...

NP: I know I meant to say...

KW: Having said the Seychelles, you said tell us something about that island!

NP: We're not all...

KW: How can you be more stupid! I mean, I mean you're supposed to be erudite! You're supposed to be sitting there, learned, sagacious, witty! I haven't seen any sign of it!

NP: Kenneth!

KW: No sign of it!

NP: Kenneth! I've heard...

KW: And we know he's on quite good money!

NP: Kenneth I have heard one member of the panel...

KW: More than us!

DN: Yes he gets more than us, doesn't he! We know that!

NP: Kenneth I have heard one member of this panel regularly say have some respect for the chairman!

KW: That's when you're, that's when you're, that's when I think you're being done down!

NP: Well what do you think I'm being done to you now by you?

KW: No you're on a crest at the moment!

NP: All I can say is nobody's perfect, and as I said the subject the Seychelles, I realised it should have been group of islands instead of island. But as I said, you know, we can all make mistakes, can't we.


NP: The audience in the studio are on my side. What happened, what was the challenge now anyway. Oh no no, Derek, you managed somehow, very stumblingly to keep going so I disagree with Tim's challenge and you keep the subject of the Seychelles and there are 47 seconds left starting now.

DN: In 1981, Colonel Mad Mike Hore tried to keep a coup there. And he landed in South Africa with an aeroplane with a load of mercenaries, machine guns...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

DN: What's the matter now?

NP: Tim Rice.

TR: I don't think he took off from South Africa.

NP: He did actually, yes.

TR: I do think he took off from South Africa!

DN: How do you know?

NP: Tim I disagree with the challenge and there are 36 seconds left on the Seychelles with you Derek starting now.

DN: If you leave the capital of the Seychelles, Victoria, on a boat and progress across the water to another one of the Seychelle group, you will find on that particular...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: At last we've had two groups, he cannot deny that.

NP: Yes you had the group of islands. Right at the beginning you talked about a group of islands. And now you've had a group again, that's definite. And there are 25 seconds for Tim Rice to talk on the Seychelles starting now.

TR: As the palm trees sway in the golden breezes, I remember...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: You can't have golden breezes!

KW: How can you have golden breezes? Gold? I've never heard such rubbish! Golden breezes! Imagine if any breeze had got a colour!

TR: No no...

KW: I've never seen breezes with colour!

NP: You can see, audience, how when they wind each other up, the difficulty of keeping going. It's so easy to come out...

DN: If a breeze is golden, it's called by quite a different name.

PJ: The lyricist in him is beginning to come through!

NP: I know.

TR: Not a moment too soon!

NP: But in Just A Minute, I think it was deviation, so whoever challenged has the subject and there are 20 seconds left on the Seychelles Derek starting now.

DN: On the palm trees grow the cocoa damaray which is a curious fruit which in fact looks like a human being's bum. It is collected and brought back from there by people all over the world because it is deeply rude. And when you look at this and say "what is this", they don't say this is a fruit...


NP: So I think Derek really was saved by the whistle then. If we'd heard the rest of that sentence, I don't know what would have happened. Ah but he got a lot of points in that round and he's now equal with Tim Rice in the lead. And Peter Jones will you take the next round, the subject punks. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: I rather like them with that Mohican hair style. They have to express themselves some way or other. They don't have many of the resources that ah wealthier people have...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: That er wealthier.

NP: There was an er, yes. So Kenneth you have the subject and a point of course and 50 seconds on punks starting now.

KW: This is just another way to draw attention to oneself in streets which are averagely filled with people that are dressed quite differently. I would say orthodox fashion. I mean if you look at the... oh...


DN: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, Derek got in first, so he takes the subject of punks and 33 seconds left starting now.

DN: Punks are a kind of tinder wood which you use to light fires. Or so they were in my youth, but I now know there are other kinds of punks, ones that you see in the King's Road and so forth. What I like about them is their freedom of expression. I once interviewed Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious on a television programme. And they took one look at me and said "you're boring! I've never seen anyone look so stupid as me in the whole of my life!" And I had to agree with them because I caught a glimpse of myself in a looking glass at the same time. Punks are very forthright, brightly coloured hair, and sometimes they wear...


NP: Listen to Just A Minute and hear the punks defended! And Derek Nimmo did that and kept going till the whistle went. He has now taken the lead ahead of Tim Rice with Kenneth Williams and Peter Jones just behind Tim. And Kenneth your turn to begin, the subject Buffalo Bill. Will you tell us something about that character in this game starting now.

KW: Well like myself he's something of a cult figure. In America, part of the folklore...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: No I disagree. It was a sort of, no no it wasn't real hesitation. No Kenneth you keep the subject...

PJ: No, simulated!

NP: It was teetering on the edge of hesitation but not quite tipping over...

PJ: I see!

NP: ... into the error.

PJ: Yes right.

NP: So 52 seconds for you Kenneth, still on Buffalo Bill...

DN: Two seconds?

NP: Fifty-two!

DN: Oh, 52, I'm sorry, I'm getting yes.

NP: Buffalo Bill, they are getting so tense and so needling, aren't they. Fifty-two seconds left, Buffalo Bill, Kenneth starting now.

KW: They called him Buffalo Bill because he was reputed to have destroyed over 5000 buffalo in order, apparently, to provide meat for the workers on the Kansas...


NP: Tim Rice challenged.

TR: I felt that it was building up to a big hesitation.

NP: It was building up to a big one but he didn't have a small one!

KW: I was saying the Kansas Pacific Railway. There was nothing...

TR: It was kind of...

KW: ... odd about that.

NP: You did actually hesitate, there was a long pause at one point...

TR: He was grinding, grinding towards...

NP: I would go with that one.

PJ: Did it go beyond teetering?

NP: Yes.

KW: I was, listen, I was, I was making the point, I said the Kansas Pacific Railway on which these men were, now he killed these buffaloes so they could have meat, you see.

NP: I've got to be fair within the game and Tim you now have the subject with 33 seconds on Buffalo Bill starting now.

TR: Buffalo Bill went to see his cowboy psychiatrist and said "sometimes I think I'm a wigwam and sometimes I think I'm a teepee..."


TR: And the psychiatrist said "you're too tents!"

NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition, yes, repetition of sometimes.

NP: Yes I know, and you're...

KW: Absolutely ruined his joke!

PJ: Yes!

NP: Some in the audience got it!

KW: I mean he never got to the point, too tense, you see. That was the gag!

PJ: You mean I'm too tense?

NP: No, that was the gag Peter.

PJ: What?

KW: It was supposed to be a joke.

TR: It was a joke.

NP: You pressed your buzzer on the payoff.

PJ: Yes.

TR: I kept going like the professional I am.

PJ: But he did repeat sometimes.

TR: Yes I did.

NP: He did repeat sometimes so you're in there, what you have to do is let him get the joke out, then press your buzzer, then give the repetition...

PJ: But if I wait for him to get the joke out, one of these two people will press their buzzers.

NP: Not if they're going to wait till he gets the joke out as well, It doesn't matter, you have the correct challenge...

DN: How do we know there's going to be a joke? Is there some...

NP: Well if you haven't got that professional antennae, that sixth sense that tells you that there's a good joke coming, then I don't know...

KW: Not with Tim Rice, you don't know!

NP: Oh it doesn't matter, as long as they're rude to someone.

PJ: Even when he's made the joke, you sometimes don't know!

KW: (laughs) It has to be explained! (laughs) Oh laugh, I nearly bought me own beer!

NP: Now they're being rude to Tim who is one of the most successful of our lyricists and authors in this country. But Tim, that is what you suffer on just A Minute. But you're a great sport and we love having you. And Peter Jones has the subject and there are 26 seconds left on Buffalo Bill starting now.

PJ: If you don't pay cash for your buffalo, a buffalo bill is what you get. Now you can give them a cheque I suppose, or you could put it on American Express or some other card...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation, we're not discussing Buffalo Bill, we're talking about paying money and American Express.

NP: No he wasn't, he was still on the subject of this particular...

KW: The subject is Buffalo Bill. It's not paying your bills with credit, credit cards!

NP: He had rather cleverly taken the subject of Buffalo Bill...

KW: It's deviation, isn't it!


KW: There you are!

NP: For the first time...

TR: You're welcome!

NP: He had quite firmly established his way of taking the subject was talking about a bill for buffaloes. So Derek, Peter, sorry it's Peter, I'm getting confused now, they don't look much alike either. There are 11 seconds, Peter Jones, 11 seconds, Buffalo Bill starting now.

PJ: I believe you can order buffaloes on ah mail...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TR: There was a definite er there.

PJ: There was yes. There was.

NP: Yes they keep changing their allegiances this audience. One minute they're with Kenneth, next thing they're with Peter Jones. And Tim Rice you have a correct challenge, seven seconds, Buffalo Bill starting now.

TR: When I owned a small herd of buffalo, I gave them all extremely...


NP: Peter Jones has, Peter Jones yes?

PJ: Jones it is, Jones. Um... he didn't ever own a herd of buffalo, any more than Colonel Hore flew from South Africa!

NP: What did you say? Did you say about owning a herd of buffaloes?

TR: I hadn't yet finished, I explained this was in fact a herd of model buffalo...

NP: Yes...

TR: ... which I had as a child.

NP: It's perfectly possible.

PJ: It would be a set of model buffalo.

NP: Could have been a dream he had, couldn't it?

PJ: Well I don't want to go into his unconscious, for God's sake!

NP: Tim there are four seconds for you to continue with Buffalo Bill starting now.

TR: One I called Dave, one Ron and one...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: We had two ones. One I called and one...

PJ: He had three as a matter of fact.

NP: So Kenneth you very cleverly got in with two seconds to go on Buffalo Bill starting now.

KW: There's a town called Kobe in Wyoming...


NP: Well Buffalo Bill gave us a lot of fun and the situation is that Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams are equal only just in third place behind Derek Nimmo, who is only one point behind our leader Tim Rice. And I think it's probably going to be the last round, I've been told it is. So it's going to be neck and neck to the end with Tim Rice beginning and the subject is perfection.

TR: Who is to say what is perfection? Answer I am, because I have to speak about this subject. Frankly some people's perfection is other people's idea of hell. There are many individuals who would state categorically without fear of anybody disagreeing with them, that say, for example, the Mona Lisa was perfection in the world of art. And who am I to disagree with this view? But I could put up a very good case for The Laughing Cavalier. And as I can't think of too many other pictures, I was rather hoping somebody would have pressed the button by now...


NP: Kenneth Williams helped you out with a challenge.

KW: Well deviation, he's talking about people pressing the button, he wasn't talking about perfection.

NP: Right Kenneth, so correct challenge, another point to you, and the subject of perfection and 27 seconds starting now.

KW: It is of course, me! I embody those lovely things which people want to get...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: Deviation, he doesn't!

NP: Some people might think he does! I'm sure his mother is convinced that he does! So therefore however much you disagree or however much you agree, there is certainly someone who would agree with Kenneth on that. So Kenneth I give you the benefit of the doubt, perfection, and there are 18 seconds left starting now.

KW: My first director said to me "you are perfection! It's marvellous to have you on this stage looking such a treat! Always you're here knowing what you've got to do, thoroughly professional and what a walk," he said I've never seen a gait like it...


NP: I don't think anyone dared challenge on such conceit as that. So Kenneth kept going until the whistle went, he gained that extra point, and he has leapt forward, and let me give you the final situation. And once again we have a very fair result at the end because I think you would agree it is their contribution that is important and not the points they gain. And so Peter Jones giving his usual good value finished just in fourth place. Only one point behind Derek Nimmo, who was only one point behind our joint winners, Kenneth Williams with Tim Rice! We do hope that you have enjoyed listening to Just A Minute as much as we have enjoyed playing this game. And it only remains for me to say on behalf of Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Tim Rice, the creator of the game Ian Messiter, our producer Edward Taylor, and myself Nicholas Parsons, thank you for listening. We do hope that you'll want to tune in again when once again we play this delightful game! Until then from all of us here good-bye!