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 to you the four regular players of Just A Minute. And once more I'm going to ask them to bring that style, authority, ingenuity and dexterity to the show as I ask them to speak on the subject that I give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And tour regulars are of course Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud. Will you please welcome all four of them! I will make the decisions as I try and interpret the rules that have ben thought of by the creator of the game, Ian Messiter who sits beside me with a stopwatch so that he can blow his whistle when the 60 seconds is up. And he also keeps the score for me. Let us begin the show this week with that inveterate traveller and itinerant thespian, Derek Nimmo. Derek the subject is jersey. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: Yes I've only been to Jersey once. I thought it was rather a charming little place. St Helier I think the capital city is or town, yes I found it very charming. Very nice cows, I think...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: He said very three times.

NP: He did indeed, he said charming twice, but you didn't pick that one up. Anyway...

PJ: Well that doesn't matter.

NP: Fifty seconds are left for you Peter, having got a point for an incorrect challenge to take over the subject of jersey starting now.

PJ: It's a kind of woolly material that people fashion garments out of. And there is a sort of er George...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.


PJ: Yes there was.

NP: Yes and two sort ofs as well. Forty-two seconds are left for you Kenneth, having got a point there, to take over the subject of jersey starting now.

KW: I visited Jersey and went by air, landing at St Helier, and stayed in a perfectly awful hotel. The weather was rotten and I returned in a few days saying I would never venture forth again. But I've been converted because I saw this thing called Bergerac, and I thought to myself oh it's jolly good, it looks such a delightful spot. And beautifully acted, this series was. A lovely plotline and no nonsense with people kissing or...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: People.

NP: Yes indeed yes. Clement you have 10 seconds on the subject of jersey starting now.

CF: I rather like Bergerac which is a series which goes to show that there is crime in every holiday resort, especially Jersey. The man is a detective and whichever week he is...


NP: Well when Ian Messiter blows his whistle whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. And on this occasion it was Clement Freud so he has the lead at the end of that round. And Peter Jones will you take the next round, omens, will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: In one of Evelyn Waugh's books, I think he described vultures on the roof as being a bad omen. And I think this must certainly be true. Incidentally when I tried to buy one of the volumes that he wrote, the girl said did she write Brideshead Revisited? But er that wasn't the particular...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: But er.

NP: Yes but er I'm afraid. So you waited for your laugh and I'm afraid you erred in the process. Which is not permitted in Just A Minute. So Kenneth got in and there are 40 seconds left on omens Kenneth starting now.

KW: Well MacBeth came upon them when those three witches said
When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning or in rain
When the hurly-burly's done
All the battles lost and won.
And of course he realised they were saying something to him!


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes you waited for the audience reaction which you can't do in Just A Minute so you hesitated. Eighteen seconds on omens Clement starting now.

CF: This is a series of films which I recently saw in my local cinema, Omen One, Two and Three. Each one of which is a greater disaster than the previous. The queues outside were substantial and I believe box office takings important. The French use a word for omen...


NP: Clement Freud was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. As well as other points in the round, he has increased his lead ahead of Kenneth Williams followed by Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo. Clement will you take the next round. Salt, will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: Salt is the common or popular name for sodium chloride, stuff put on food which makes it very tasty, although it does awful harm to your arteries. A man named Nathan Fitikin has made a lot of money and finally died, telling people salt was incredibly bad for the human people and er...


CF: I wish somebody, I wish somebody else would take the subject!

NP: Kenneth Williams has got in.

KW: Well I thought, yes it was...

NP: Yes yes fine so 38 seconds for you to talk on salt Kenneth starting now.

KW: I was interested to learn that salubrious actually meant salt air. And consequently the only area that can be considered fine are (unintelligible) Chesterton, Trelawn or near the sea. And when I enlightened quite recently someone on that subject, they were amazed. And I would also add I like a bit of salt and pepper with the meal. I don't believe any of this rubbish about it being injurious to the physical system. I've not suffered! I've eaten loads of salt...


NP: Well you haven't suffered Kenneth, and you're here to show us the truth of that statement. And also you kept going until the whistle...

PJ: I wonder what it is that's doing the damage!


NP: Well anyway the damage he does here is appreciated by the audience. And you kept going till the whistle went and you're now equal in the lead alongside Clement Freud. Kenneth will you take the next round. Rob Roy, will you talk on that wonderful character in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: Well he was a grazier in Belquida and found himself the victim of marauders from the north, you see. And so gathered together a band of fellows who sort of played them at their own game an became what is known as a free booter. And by taking this plunder and distributing it, you see, to the poor, he well...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: No, I don't think so.

KW: There was no hesitation there at all.

NP: Nonetheless you were teetering on the edge of hesitation.

KW: No, I was very good, very good.

NP: You were very good but you almost hesitated. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt...

KW: Oh thank you! You're an awfully good chairman!

NP: When I give the decision in your favour. Right, would you like to continue on Rob Roy for 28 seconds starting now.

KW: Might be called a Scottish Robin Hood, and it is interesting to note that Rob Roy devoted himself eventually to religious causes and embraced the Catholic faith. Now this is not typical of his nation, notoriously Presbyterian and anti-Papal you might say. This man was...


NP: So Kenneth Williams taking the subject of Rob Roy, and in spite of interruptions from Clement Freud, kept going till the whistle went, gained an extra point. And of course another point in the round, he is now in the lead on his own ahead of the other three. And Derek Nimmo it's your turn to begin, the subject, a short address. There's one minute as usual starting now.

DN: The shortest address that I ever had was the car park, Edgeware Road. I used to live there in a caravan and it was a frightfully good address because I'd go to see a casting director at the British Broadcasting...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Two cars, two cars.

NP: A casting director.

PJ: Casting he said, casting.

KW: Oh I see, well you see, his diction's appalling, I couldn't hear that.

NP: So Derek, an incorrect challenge, a point to you, a short address is still with you and 52 seconds starting now.

DN: The young curate was asked by the bishop what he was going to preach upon and he said the milk of human goodness. And his superior said "condensed, I hope!" Because people do like to hear a short address. Now another very short address of course is number one, London, which is the home of the Duke of Wellington, Apsley House. It was given to him by a grateful nation after his wonderful success, not only at the Peninsula war but also Waterloo. Four hundred thousand pounds we gave to the old fruit to construct that particular edifice. Buckingham Palace is a very nice short address, I wouldn't mind living there myself. Sometimes however...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation, Buckingham Palace is not a short address.

NP: Oh.

CF: It's quite a long address.

NP: I think just Buckingham Palace with no zip code as they call it is a pretty short address.

CF: Really?

NP: He just said Buckingham Palace, he didn't say London, no...

CF: Three syllables?

NP: Good try Clement, but I disagree, the benefit of the doubt goes to Derek Nimmo, 16 seconds left on a short address starting now.

DN: In the grounds of Windsor Castle, some nearly 60, 70 years ago, there was a young chaplain wandering around, wondering how he was going to...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Did I?

NP: Yes.

DN: I said wandering and wondering, that's what he challenged on.

NP: There's only five seconds to go so you tried to get in...

CF: No no no, he's quite right. He mentioned both...

PJ: Didn't he mention the chaplain earlier on?

NP: Yes.

DN: There was a chapel.

NP: Five seconds Derek, with you, a short address starting now.

DN: They asked Benjamin Disraeli who was Prime Minister at the time what he would...


NP: Right so Derek Nimmo got all the points that were going in that round. Because the challenges were incorrect and he got in for one for himself. And he is now equal with Clement Freud, they're trailing behind Kenneth Williams and Peter Jones is trailing behind those two. And Peter your turn to begin, the subject, what should be locked up. That audience is laughing here because they know they think they're going to turn on me as they usually do. But I will tell you you have 60 seconds as usual to talk on that subject starting now.

PJ: Well in this present climate I would think that practically anything of value of any kind. When I was a boy at school, and there was a sixpence missing or even an old sock or something, the headmaster would address two or three hundred boys and say "it's an outrage! Someone must own up!" But today my boys when they go to school...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Two lots of boys.

NP: Yes, the boys before in the school and your boys.

PJ: Yes. I don't know how to describe them otherwise!

NP: Your sons would have been...

DN: It's very kind of you!

PJ: Yes! Yes!

DN: He's giving you a little coaching now!

PJ: Yes! Yes I wasn't quite quick enough there.

NP: Kenneth you have the subject, there are 39 seconds left, what should be locked starting now.

KW: People say that silver, any jewellery, bank notes, things of real value. So I have nothing to lock up, and therefore I don't have to bother about banking and long systems going you see. I mean of course I would say to the bank manager you must look after my will. That is obviously a valuable document. Ask yourself who shall be bequeathed the writings of someone as eminent as myself...


NP: So Kenneth has increased his lead at the end of that round. He's a few points ahead of Clement Freud who takes the next round. The subject Clement for you, I'm sure something that you can wax lyrical about, Mrs Beeton. Will you tell us something about that amazing woman in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Mrs Beeton was an amazing woman in that she died at the age of 29, giving birth to her fourth child. And in those tender years in which she lived, had she tried all the receipts and recipes she gave in her manual of kitchen management, she would have to have had breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner eight times a day. It's just something that I thought I would tell you about. Take 14 eggs, two cows and a plough is the sort of instruction which she gave. She worked in quantities which are absolutely unheard of these days. But nouvelle cuisine would have infuriated her. All those bits and pieces, ever less food on larger pieces of crockery and china at prices which are unable to be afforded by most members of the public were exactly what Mrs Beeton deplored. She was married to the clerk of the court at Epsom Races and had a happy time...


NP: Well that spontaneous and loud round of applause for Clement Freud was not only because he took the subject and kept going without interruption, but also he was so informative in the process. Well done Clement, you get a point for speaking as the whistle went and a bonus point for not being interrupted. You're still in second place but you are ahead of Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones. Kenneth's in the lead and he starts the next round, herbal remedies. So Kenneth can you tell us something about those in just 60 seconds starting now.

KW: An old friend of mine in the west country used to say "clap on an (unintelligible) and that will do a treat". I thought that was charming and found to my benefit that some herbal remedies are extremely effective. I had what was called a nascent boil, and a friend said "use this root of marigold. Rub it in gently before you go to bed at night". And I thought what a load of old codswallop! I actually did it and believe it or not, the effect was incredible. It actually shrunk! Well I was amazed and I went off to this place, Cowpepper or something like that, in Bruton Street I think. And got a book of stuff, you see, and found it...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: You see, it is the second you see.

NP: Oh yes, what a harsh challenge but it is correct, he did say you see more than once. And there is five seconds for you to tell us something about herbal remedies Clement starting now.

CF: It is very surprising that someone like Kenneth Williams, who never has anything wrong with him, and eats salt...


NP: Clement Freud getting two points in that round is now equal with Kenneth Williams in the lead, and Derek Nimmo is just behind them, followed by Peter Jones. And Derek you take the next round, the subject is copper. Will you tell us something on that subject in this game starting now.

DN: Henry the Eighth adulterated the silver coins of the day with copper, and he was known as Coppernose Harry. Because when you chum these pieces of copper, in through it came the er prognosis...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Well he coppered himself with prognostication.

DN: I know.

NP: Yes I know and so he hesitated and lots of other things which were wrong in Just A Minute. And so Kenneth you got in first with 44 seconds left to talk on copper starting now.

KW: Well it was always the name of the London policeman, who's the copper round here, they say. And when...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: It wasn't always the name of the London policeman.

CF: No.

DN: Deviation.

CF: They were peelers.

NP: It wasn't always the name, no but...

DN: That's what he said, it was always the name!

KW: I was talking about my childhood, not yours!


NP: I'll tell you what we'll do to be utterly fair which I always try and so. We give Kenneth Williams a bonus point because we loved his remarks. And we give the subject to Derek Nimmo because it was actually a correct challenge...

KW: Why? What's correct about the challenge?

NP: Because it was not always a copper, no, they were called peelers and other...

KW: Everyone know the London policeman as coppers for ages and ages and ages, haven't they?


NP: No they've also been known, known as bobbies and peelers and coppers. So Derek I'm with you and you have 37 seconds on copper starting now.

DN: The very first coppers in the London Police Force were called Robin Redbreast because they used to wear a waistcoat of that particular hue. More recently because of... popular...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: To use your phrase Nicholas, was he teetering on the edge of hesitation?

NP: No he didn't teeter, he went right into a pause. So Peter you have a correct challenge, it's good to hear from you again, I'd thought you'd dozed off, and you have 28 seconds on copper starting now.

PJ: It can shine like gold when it's really well-polished with metal stuff which you put on it...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Metal er stuff.

NP: No that wasn't...

KW: I heard it. Metal er stuff.

NP: Metal stuff, no no no...

KW: It was metal er stuff.

NP: Look Peter, Peter really hasn't had a fair crack of the whip, and he didn't...

KW: That has nothing to do with it!

NP: It is!

KW: Talking about a fair crack of the whip!

NP: Listen!

KW: He made a hesitation, he said metal er stuff.

NP: Kenneth I have to be fair, and earlier on Clement challenged you, and you almost did the same thing and I gave you the benefit of the doubt. So I'm giving Peter the benefit of the doubt here and say thank you very much yes. Having enforced my decision...

KW: He never gets it right.

NP: Twenty-one seconds with you Peter still, copper starting now.

PJ: We had a copper at home, I think it was probably made of iron, but it used to wash the clothes once...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: I don't believe it!

NP: No it couldn't wash the clothes...

CF: Coppers can't wash clothes.

NP: You might have washed the clothes in it. A copper would be a policeman washing the clothes. So Clement I have to come back to you, deviation there.

CF: Oh?

PJ: If you left it with this er self, Rinso or something, it would wash the clothes, it would wash them.

NP: No it wouldn't wash the clothes, the clothes would be washed in. If we're going to be absolutely strict on deviation which I was with Derek, then I've got to be with you and Clement has the subject, 15 seconds, copper...

DN: It all depends on what kind of copper you've got.

NP: ... starting now.

CF: Copper is a terrific conductor, probably better than Andre Previn, and used a lot in crockery. When I worked in a kitchen we used to clean copper with a solution of flour and salt and vinegar. And what happened...


NP: So in spite of the pressures and problems in that round which I found very stimulating, Clement Freud finally finished with the subject, got that extra point, he's now in the lead with Kenneth Williams, followed by Derek Nimmo and Peter Jones in that order. And Peter your turn to begin, the subject is farce. Will you tell us something about that, a type of theatrical fare in which you've often appeared and also written of course. But will you talk on it in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: And I feel that I am involved in it at the moment! Somerset Maugham once said that farce is the lifeblood of comedy and I think that there's a great deal in that. People are rather snobbish about farce but ah it can be...


NP: And Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: But ah.

NP: That was a definite er, yes Derek. Will you tell us something about farce in 44 seconds starting now.

DN: Well I have appeared in one or two little farces. See How They Run was the last time I bestrode the London stage playing inevitably some totally kind of goofy parson, would you believe. And I actually rather enjoyed it as an art form...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of rather.

NP: Yes rather and rather.

DN: Yes that's all right.

NP: Clement Freud has challenged with 32 seconds and you would like to tell us something about farce now Clement starting now.

CF: Farce is the French word for stuffing. And you put it into a chicken or a duck, a turkey, goose, partridge, pigeon or whatever. And it is normally made of a forcemeat like mixture containing bread and flour, sultanas, raisins or any other dried fruit. And invariably roast meat. And farcee is the French name for stuffed. Get farcee, for instance...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of farcee.

NP: Yes, get farcee!

PJ: But he's giving us, using it as a French word.

NP: Yes?

PJ: But it is an English game this, isn't it? I mean it might mean something else in ah Singhalese or something, mightn't it.

NP: It might yes, but he was keeping going in Just A Minute, talking on the word farce and he'd gone on to... You didn't challenge for deviation from farce to farcee.

PJ: No, I was thinking about it!

NP: Yeah! Unfortunately Derek got in before you and he got in with only two seconds to go on farce starting now.

DN: Ben Travers I think is the greatest writer of the farce...


NP: A very close contest this week, Clement Freud's now in the lead, one ahead of Kenneth Williams who is one ahead of Derek nimmo who is a few ahead of Peter Jones. We're probably getting into the last round, it's Clement's turn to begin and the subject is puns. Will you tell us something on that in Just A Minute, Clement starting now.

CF: Puns is an Irish issue of currency from which the letter T has been omitted. I would like to everyone to go to shops next week and spend all the puns they have because unfortunately the era...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Hesitation.

NP: Definite hesitation, he was getting too involuted there in his twisting...

KW: I think you mean convoluted!

NP: Yes he was getting convoluted as well. But there are 43 seconds for you to talk on the subject of puns starting now.

KW: Charles Lamb gave a delightful illustration of the pun when he said he was in Oxford's High Street, a poacher was hanging with hares hanging from his belt and the man said "is that your own hare or is it a wig?" Now that is very funny and of course a highly intelligent audience would have fallen about! We don't possess that sort of thing in Just A Minute. We have to put up with your everyday people who make everyday puns...


NP: And Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of everyday.

NP: Yes.

KW: Oh right! Very wise! Very wise!

NP: I know! And though you kept going through the audience reaction which was very difficult to do Kenneth...

KW: Very difficult, considering there wasn't much of a reaction!

NP: It was a big reaction on your comment that there wasn't much reaction. So Clement you have got in with 12 seconds to go on puns starting now.

CF: We were sitting at home the other night... looking after...


NP: And Derek Nimmo has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I'm sorry it was Derek who buzzed first Peter, yes but you spotted it. Well done!


DN: (still laughing) Why are you so condescending to Peter?

NP: Well actually when I make jokes against members of the panel, the audience don't even laugh. They only laugh when you make jokes against me. I'm quite surprised for once! Derek you challenged first, eight seconds are left on puns starting now.

DN: Puns is the Malaysian word meaning bottoms. I remember saying to the (unintelligible)...


NP: Kenneth Williams got in.

KW: I couldn't understand a word of it! It seemed to be complete gibberish! I mean when I...

NP: All right, you needn't say no more, I will give you the challenge this time, the benefit of the doubt if you like. But you got in cleverly with two seconds to go, the subject is puns, it's the last round, you are neck and neck with Clement Freud, two seconds starting now.

KW: Well puns can be described as linguistic...


NP: Well I said that was to be the last round and it was indeed because they took up the whole time...

DN: You got something right, didn't you.

NP: Oh Derek! No-one would believe we're friends you know. Or maybe we must be friends or nobody would speak to me like that. Let me give you the final score, again the points I feel are secondary to the contribution. But Peter's contribution was as delightful and charming as ever but he came in fourth place. Derek Nimmo's was as exciting and eccentric as ever and he came in second place. He was one point behind Clement Freud, who was most brilliant and erudite as usual. But out in the lead, only one point was that histrionic, erudite, delightful, flamboyant, marvellous, and he likes all that, he's lapping it up, because he was this week's winner, Kenneth Williams!

KW: Oh thank you! Oh well earned, well earned! Thank you!

NP: Thank you studio audience for your applause and reaction. Thank you listeners for tuning in to us. And it only remains for me to say on behalf of Ian Messiter, the creator of the game, our producer Edward Taylor, and myself, Nicholas Parsons, and of course on behalf of our panel, Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud, good-bye, thank you for listening and I hope you'll be tuning in again the next time we take to the air and we play Just A Minute! Till then from all of us here good-bye!