NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners, not only in this country but of course throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme four bright, clever and entertaining personalities who are going to play Just A Minute. And they are, seated on my left, we have from the world of improvised stand-up comedy and also a comedy writer, that is Tony Hawks, And sitting beside him one of our most distinguished actresses in both in comedy and drama, both on television and in the theatre, that is Sheila Hancock. And seated on my right, a man who has done so many different things, where do you begin? From the world of politics, from journalism, a restauranteur, he's done it, and it is of course Clement Freud. And seated beside him we have a representative of the principality of Wales, speaking up for that area because that's where we are at the moment, and that is one of our most versatile and entertaining actors who has done nearly everything you can mention in show business, that is Victor Spinetti. And will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, and she is going to help me keep the score, and blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the magnificent Theatre Clywd which is in Mold, northeast Wales, quite near to the English border, and nearly everyone in front of us speaks Welsh as well as English so that's... So we'll begin the show this week with Tony Hawks. Tony the subject, my pride and joy. Will you talk on that subject if you can for sixty seconds starting now.

TONY HAWKS: My pride and joy is to go down the newsagents and purchase lost of chocolate, and just to open them up one by one and...


TH: Oooh!

NP: Oh! You set yourself up almost for that one Tony. So Clement you were the first to challenge yes.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition.

NP: Ah repetition of one yes. So Clement you have a correct challenge, you get a point for that, you take over the subject and it is my pride and joy and there are 50 seconds available starting now.

CF: My pride and joy, and I do this as often as I possibly can is to go to King's Cross Station, find that I've got to the wrong place, and go to Euston and find a train...


NP: Ah Sheila Hancock challenged.


NP: Yes,

SH: Repetition of find.

NP: Yes, definitely you said find twice Clement. I should explain...

CF: I was listening!

NP: Sheila you have a correct challenge, you take over the subject, there are 36 seconds available, my pride and joy starting now.

SH: My pride and joy are my five grandchildren and particularly the most recent who is six months old, Charlie John, who adores me! Every time he sees myself he squirms with delight...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: What?

CF: Grammar.

SH: That's because I couldn't, I thought I was so clever because I didn't say me twice.

NP: I know. This is the trouble with this show, it is deviation.

SH: You can't, you can't get done for, for grammar!

NP: Well why not, it is deviation, isn't it, you're deviation from the English...

SH: Well blimey, if everybody got stopped for grammar!

TH: I got stopped for punctuation a couple of weeks back!

SH: What did I say? Maybe I can twist it round? Every time he looks at myself...

TH: I see myself yes.

NP: I see myself.

TH: Every time he sees myself.

NP: Every time...

SH: Every time he sees myself.

NP: Which doesn't actually really make sense.

VICTOR SPINETTI: And you've got (Welsh word).

SH: Oh all right, let him have it!

NP: Clement, another challenge, correct challenge, another point, 21 seconds, my pride and joy starting now.

CF: Watford, Nuneaton, Rugby, Stafford, Crewe...


NP: Sheila.

SH: Now come on, this is not his pride and joy.

NP: Pride and joy, no, I think that is, I agree with you, that is devious.

SH: Absolutely.

CF: I explained previously that the train journey was my pride and joy.

SH: How could it be your pride and joy? It could be your joy.

CF: And my pride.

SH: Why pride?

CF: I used to make sandwiches for...

SH: (laughs) Oh that's nothing to be proud of Clement!

NP: I still can't believe that that particular journey all the way from King's Cross is your particular pride and joy. I'm sure you've done more things in life than to make that your most significant one. So Sheila I agree with your challenge...

CF: I lied!

SH: How many, how many seconds have I got?

NP: You've got 16 seconds, my pride and joy starting now.

SH: Lola Lupin, my other... friend...


NP: Tony.

TH: I think that was a slight hesitation.

NP: We call that hesitation, a stumble is interpreted as hesitation. Tony a point to you, the subject, 13 seconds, my pride and joy starting now.

TH: I was lying when I mentioned the brown confectionery earlier, my pride and joy is of course a new cat that I own. Previously I was very against them, very much a dog man. But now I've launched into...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Tony Hawks so you have, in fact everybody has got two points at the end of that round except Victor Spinetti. He's yet to speak. Don't worry, you're going to hear from him now.

VS: Oh what what?

NP: So Victor the subject is the paparazzi. Tell us something about the paparazzi in 60 seconds starting now.

VS: The paparazzi is in fact a word invented by Luchino Visconti, the great film director. That's what he used to call the actors who played the press pack in his film Dolce Vita. He would shout "eh paparazzi" and that's where it came from. I once faced the paparazzi in Rome. I landed there about to do, to direct...


NP: You went for 30, no, you went for 25 seconds, well done Victor! Sheila you've challenged.

SH: Well I hadn't, I hadn't buzzed him on the repetition of that's so I did buzz him on, on hesitation. He'd done a few that's before that.

NP: Oh I don't think he hesitated very much.

SH: You wait! You'll hear when you hear the programme go out! You'll get the letters Nick!

NP: It was a sort of Welsh hesitation wasn't it.

SH: It's very mean of me, because he is one of my best friends!

NP: I know! Well all right it was correct...

TH: Used to be!

NP: Thirty-five seconds, the paparazzi with you Sheila starting now.

SH: They can be a terrible nuisance. I have occasionally been hounded by them and ah...


NP: Ah Victor, yes, hesitation Victor well listened. So you got her on hesitation. The paparazzi is back with you Victor, and you have 29 seconds available starting now.

VS: I faced the paparazzi in Rome...


NP: Tony you've challenged.

TH: Twice!

NP: I don't think you...

TH: Actually yes if you do it in the first time...

NP: You mentioned Rome...

VS: Oh yes.

NP: ... and if you get the subject back, you can't mention...

VS: Oh I got it back? Oh!

TH: But I, I think Victor should keep it, don't you? He didn't know that. He didn't know that.

NP: He's only played the game twice before. Victor if you get the subject back you mustn't repeat what you said in the first part. You can repeat it in another subject...

TH: Yes.

NP: ... but not in this one.

TH: And we'd let you off once but if you do it again and you're in trouble pal!

NP: So we go back to 29 seconds and say the paparazzi starting now.

VS: The paparazzi, there they were, in front of me...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of front.

NP: They were in front of you before.

TH: This, Victor, this isn't the best forum for telling stories!

VS: I know!

TH: You have to talk absolute rubbish! There's no point in trying to tell a story!

VS: Okay.

TH: I gave up years ago!

NP: Tony you have the subject, 28 seconds, the paparazzi starting now.

TH: You should have seen the scene outside the theatre this evening, as the paparazzi were here to greet Nicholas Parsons as he stepped out of his stretch limousine which he always insists on having, even though we have to cycle here, the rest of us. It's quite embarrassing, it's humiliating, but that's the kind of chairman he is and he rubs it in. But the paparazzi loves it of course, they were there flashing...


NP: Oh Clement challenged.

CF: Of course.

TH: Of course you challenged.

CF: You said it before.

TH: Did I?

NP: No.

CF: You said it again.

NP: Tony I don't think you did.

TH: Thank you.

NP: You have one second left on paparazzi starting now.

TH: Glenda Jackson...


NP: Well I couldn't give it against you after that image of me that you created for this audience and for our listeners. Tony Hawks has taken the lead at the end of that round and we move to Sheila Hancock to start the next round. And the subject Sheila is how to win an argument. Sixty seconds starting now.

SH: Well it varies according to the person you are arguing with. Should it be a child you are having a contretemps with, the ideal is deviation tactics. For instance Lola Lupin who I mentioned before won't eat her dinner. So what I do is say "yes it is rotten food, let us sing a song", making sure that that particular chansonne has a few vowels in it which require her to open her mouth! During which I pop the spoon in and I have won the argument. However if it is an argument with a person who knows their subject what I do is nod sagely and smile superciliously, let them ramble on, and at the end I say "well I'm sorry, I think you're completely wrong", turn on my heels and leave. I...


NP: Not only how to win an argument but how to play Just A Minute! What a shining example!

SH: Amazing! Amazing! I'm sweating like a pig after that!

TH: You get one miserly point for doing that.

NP: No no no...

TH: Two is it?

NP: You get a point because you weren't interrupted...

TH: Right.

NP: A point for speaking as the whistle went...

TH: Yeah.

NP: ... and a bonus point for...

TH: You get three do you?

NP: You get two points.

TH: Oh I would have done it more often if I'd known!

NP: Clement let us come to you now to begin and the subject now, a nice topical one, as we're in Wales, Hollyhead.


NP: That gets a nice laugh doesn't it. So obviously people who live in Clywd think Hollyhead is funny! But Clement talk on the subject, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

CF: I always thought Hollyhead was pronounced holy-head, but I may be totally wrong. It is on theeeeee...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I don't think there are that many es in the!

NP: So we call that hesitation, right. Hollyhead is with you Tony, 53 seconds starting now.

TH: There's nothing I like more than to buy a dinghy, take it to the edge of the shore and row to Hollyhead with a gang of people nearby. Nobody really knows that I do this, but every Sunday I pack my bicycle on to my back and walk to this beautiful part of Wales. I do think I'm talking quite a lot of rubbish, but it doesn't seem to matter because it's within the rules of this marvellous game...


NP: Sheila challenged.

SH: That is not, because you're not talking about Holly head.

TH: No, I agree, for God's sake, take the subject, I know nothing about it!

SH: I don't know anything about Hollyhead.

NP: So what's your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute, Sheila?

SH: Oh deviation.

NP: Why?

SH: Because he wasn't talking about Hollyhead.

NP: He was, he kept saying he took his boat out and rowed to Hollyhead.

TH: You just like seeing me suffer, don't you Nicholas!

SH: Go on then, you can have it back, because I don't know anything about Hollyhead.

NP: Yeah you did establish it was about Hollyhead...

TH: Okay.

NP: ... even though it was fictitious.

TH: All right.

SH: I got you an extra point then.

TH: Good work Sheila! Let's work together!

NP: Anyway a point to Tony, the subject still with him, 29 seconds, Hollyhead starting now.

TH: There was also a girl at my school called Holly Head. Don't know how she got that name, don't want to go into it. But she was tremendous fun, captain of the skipping team, not many schools had those. But I was very impressed by the way that she hopped up and then down again...


SH: No no no.

NP: Sheila?

SH: No it's a mistake.

NP: Why?

SH: I don't know. I hopped up, and I thought it was a bit of a hesitation but it wasn't. He carried on.

NP: So he gets a point for being interrupted...

SH: Yeah he does! I got you another point!

TH: Thank you Sheila! You're doing very well!

NP: You are working for him!

SH: (laughs) I know!

NP: Fourteen seconds, Hollyhead still with you Tony starting now.

TH: The finest church in Hollyhead is called St Clemence. It's on the hill. Nobody knows that I'm talking rubbish but I...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: I know.

NP: He's talking rubbish.

CF: Yeah.

NP: Clement, all right, you have the subject, six seconds, no, eight seconds, Hollyhead starting now.

CF: It's on Anglesea or strictly Holy Isle...


NP: Victor challenged.

VS: On Anglesea, hesitation.


NP: You just want to see Victor have the subject, don't you! All right you have the benefit of the doubt, six seconds, Victor, Hollyhead with you starting now.

VS: The hop...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation?

NP: Yes! He got you back on the same thing.

VS: Yes he did.

NP: There you are, you've got the subject still Clement, five seconds, Hollyhead starting now.

CF: It is the Paget family who are the Marquises thereof, and their son is called the Earl of...


NP: At the end of that round a number of points were scored. Tony Hawks got a large number, he is still in the lead, he's closely followed by Sheila Hancock and then Clement Freud and then Victor Spinetti in that order. And not many points separate any of them. But Tony it's your turn to begin and the subject is the north south divide. Oh! That got an ominous reaction from the audience. They're dying to hear you go on it Tony, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TH: The north is prosperous, rich and has a booming economy! And the south is nothing but a drain on it. But nothing about Italy, let's talk about Britain where the situation could be argued to be slightly different. I am actually well qualified to talk on this, being born in Brighton, of a father who came from Bridlington in the north and a mother who is from Ilford. So in a way I cross that divide in my daily life, when I wake up. Because I am an amalgam of north and south. I also have a north bit to my body and a south, and I use the middle bit for things you don't...


NP: Clement.

CF: Repetition of bit.

NP: Yes, too many bits!

TH: There are! For me the correct number of bits!

NP: And some of them very attractive bits but we don't want...

TH: Thank you! I'll see you after!

SH: How do you know?

NP: We give away all kinds of secrets on this show. But anyway we'll press on, Clement, north south divide is with you, 22 seconds available starting now.

CF: You can tell from the whippets. In the south we don't have any of these greyhound like animals, whereas north they abound. I know this...


NP: Victor challenged.

VS: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I agree there was a hesitation there, yes they were bounding and then they stopped. Ah and so Victor you've got in on the north south divide, 11 seconds starting now.

VS: Well there is a difference, north and south Wales, because in south Wales they speak Welsh...


NP: Um yes?

CF: Repetition of Wales, I'm afraid.

NP: Yes so back with you Clement, six seconds starting now.

CF: Dividing two by four into six is quite different from the north south divide...


NP: So they all got points in that round. Clement got also one for speaking as the whistle went. He's moved forward, he's equal with Tony Hawks in the lead, Sheila Hancock and Victor Spinetti following in that order, and Victor you begin the next round.

VS: What?

NP: The subject is my first day at primary school. Have a little think about it. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

VS: My first day at primary school I will never forget, even though it was a long time ago. The headmistress was a lady called Mrs MacBeith. And if ever you saw bombazine black moving gracefully through this building, it was her! She pointed to me and said "Spinetti, I hear you can read?" It all happened because one day at the house I said to my Dad, "oh look over there Da, the Queen Mary's just crossed the Atlantic." "Who said that?" I said "it's here in the paper." So my cousin took this to his heart, took me round... round...


NP: Oh!

VS: It's those stories again! I'm sorry!

NP: Well you went for 44 seconds!

VS: Shouldn't have a storyteller in the game.

NP: Sheila you buzzed.

SH: Yeah I couldn't let him get away with that. Hesitation.

NP: Well yes and more than one but it doesn't really matter. But I thought you did him for repetition but it doesn't matter. Sixteen seconds then for you, my first day at primary school Sheila starting now.

SH: My first day at primary school was one of the most frightening days of my life. I had already visited the convent that I was going to be at, and the nuns had terrified me. As I was dragged up the hill towards this school by my father, I was...


NP: Sheila Hancock was then speaking as the whistle went, and she's moved forward and with that extra point for doing so an interesting situation. She, Clement Freud and Tony Hawks are all equal in the lead and only a little way behind is Victor Spinetti. Sheila the subject now is, well it's your turn to begin, is weddings. So will you tell us something about weddings in this game starting now.

SH: I have been married twice in my life and both of my weddings were miserable! The first one was at Welling Embassy Showrooms. My mother had laid on a sit-down tea and all my aunts and uncles were there, with my fellow actors. So you can imagine it wasn't a great mix. And Dad made a speech in the way he always did, weeping and bellowing, that he was losing his daughter which wasn't very kind towards my future husband. My second wedding, I was very pregnant and was vomiting all the time. My two children who were already there were thoroughly enjoying themselves with John, whilst I was in the corner upchucking the whole of the wedding ceremony. We didn't tell anybody that we were getting married, but on the car back we heard on the radio...


NP: She did it again!

SH: Oh I got that!

NP: Sheila Hancock was saying before the show, it's ages since I've played this, I don't know whether I can still do it.

VS: Oh!

SH: I, I, they're being kind.

NP: No no no!

SH: On the card...

NP: I was listening very very carefully...

SH: I'd have buzzed me!

TH: I don't, I don't understand how you get pregnant before you get married! I...

SH: Ah! I'll take you aside afterwards!

TH: Oh I see! Yeah!

NP: So Sheila you were not only speaking as the whistle went, get a point for that. And you get a bonus point because you were not interrupted, went the full 60 seconds.

SH: I think you should get more points when you go for the full thing. Don't you?


SH: I think you should get 10 or something!

VS: You can have some of mine, Sheila!

NP: So Sheila has now taken a small lead at the, ahead of all the others at the end of that round.

SH: What do you mean, a small lead?

NP: Well last time you were equal with Tony Hawks and Clement Freud, now you're two points ahead of them.

SH: Well I think that's a big lead!

NP: In comparison with the number of points you've scored, no, it's a small lead.

SH: I want a moment of triumph!

NP: Ah Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject is the chaos theory. Would you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: The chaos theory is something practised by political parties in choosing their leaders. What you have to do is get the most unsuitable person you can find, and see how much he hated the previous head of that faction of the political divide. I said political before...


NP: And Tony picked it up, with your help.

TH: Yes! And then said it again, so I think, in the end, we've got to go for repetition of political.

NP: Right and you've got the subject, you've got 40 seconds available, the chaos theory is the subject and you start now.

TH: Not being that much of a scientists I've never fully understood the chaos theory. Something to do with a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere can make something extraordinarily happy...


SH: Oh no no no!

NP: Sheila?

SH: I thought some some, no, somewhere and something.

TH: She's done it again!

SH: I know.

TH: She keeps getting me these points!

SH: I know!

TH: Wonderful!

NP: She is so keen!

TH: Yes.

NP: She's in the lead. You've still got the subject Tony, another point and 29 seconds available, the chaos theory starting now.

TH: Could cause an earthquake or suchlike elsewhere and yet surely this is nonsense. The chaos theory made up by a man who had a bottle of whisky too many on a Thursday afternoon whilst being an academic in a university somewhere in north Wales perhaps. Could have been somewhere else perhaps, I'm not going to pontificate on what could have happened because that would be foolish and indeed I'm not that sort of chap. The...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: I think he is!

NP: Clement, a lovely remark! Have you got a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

CF: He lied, he is that sort of chap.

NP: I...

CF: Deviation from chappingness!

TH: Yes I...

NP: I don't know, we, other people might have a different opinion of Tony because he's an enigmatic character. So what I'm going to do is, no, I don't think he's necessarily that sort of chap. And you may have a personal opinion about that. But it was such a lovely interruption, I'm going to give you a bonus point for that. Tony will get a point for being interrupted and he continues with three seconds to go on the chaos theory starting now.

TH: Glenda Jackson once said to me...


NP: Sheila you've challenged.

SH: He obviously just says Glenda Jackson all the time, and it's deviation.

VS: Repetition!

SH: No, it's another time before. No Victor, it was another subject, darling!

NP: Another subject, oh yes. Yes but we'll give you a bonus point because you did spot it! But Sheila you haven't got a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute, have you?

SH: Well yes, deviation, because I don't think he was going to go on to say that Glenda Jackson was anything to do with the chaos theory, were you?

NP: You don't know, he...

TH: I most definitely was! Yes yes!

NP: When he said Glenda Jackson, he hadn't had a chance to establish...

VS: Have you seen her dressing room?

SH: All right, go on then, I'll give you an extra one.

NP: So he's got another point and only one second on the chaos theory Tony starting now.

TH: Jenny Attica...


NP: Right so let me give you the final score at the end of that round because actually we're moving into the final round in this show.


NP: I thought it was worth more than that! And the situation is that Tony has got quite a good lead ahead of Clement Freud, no, Sheila Hancock's now in second place, only three points behind. Sheila's one ahead of Clement Freud, and he is three ahead of Victor Spinetti. That is the sequence as we move into the final round. And Tony it happens to be your turn to begin. And the subject is piercings. I don't know whether you have any personal experiences of piercings Tony, talk on the subject, 60 seconds starting now.

TH: We are always talking about this subject backstage before we come on to do Just A Minute. Nicholas is in something of a quandary, "should I have my nipples pierced?" he says to us. Most of us are against it, but he insisted on doing it. And it means that we can hang him up on the wall before he comes out to perform. He hangs there indelicately and it gives us an opportunity to go through his pockets and take his money, anything of any value that we might like to have. I'm using his passport at the moment which is causing me a great deal of trouble when I'm trying to travel abroad. Piercings are something that you can do to different parts of your body. A lot of people favour the area, I suppose, of...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of people.

NP: Yes there were other people.

TH: There were before.

NP: You mentioned people before. Clement you've got in with 19 seconds to go on piercings starting now.

CF: A piercing is a shrill penetrating scream. And piercings, I presume, are several of these. Even louder and noisier, more disruptive and less acceptable and yet Grace Kelly always used to say the trouble about piercings is they have no class...


NP: Well let me give you the final situation. Because Clement Freud, speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And it's much the same as when we started the round actually. Victor Shinetti...

VS: It happens all the time!

SH: (laughing) I can't get over the image of you hung up by your nipples! Lovely! I shall cherish it! Thank you Tony!

NP: Let me give you the final situation. Victor Spinetti, who has only played the game twice before, came back with a lot of panache, finished up in a brilliant fourth place. And yes! And just ahead of him was our other person who hasn't played the game as much as the others, that's Sheila Hancock, finished in a very strong third place. She was only one point behind Clement Freud, sometimes has won, oh he's won on many occasions. But three points, two points ahead of him was Tony Hawks so we say Tony you are the winner this week!

TH: Thank you.

NP: It only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Victor Spinetti, Clement Freud, Sheila Hancock and Tony Hawks. I thank Janet Staplehurst, who has sat beside me and has also blown her whistle so magnificently. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we thank our producer-director, that is Claire Jones. And also we are also very grateful to this lovely audience at the Theatre Clywd in Mold in north Wales. From them, from me Nicholas Parsons and our panel, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!