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 personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And those regular listeners of the programme will be delighted to hear that we have our four regular and long-standing players of the game, who have been with us since the show began many years ago. Will you please welcome all four Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. Many of our listeners will know that since our last series one of our four regulars has been honoured with a knighthood. So I'm sure that this audience here and our many listeners throughout the world will want to join our other three panellists, and the creator of the game, Ian Messiter in congratulating Clement Freud! The rules of Just A Minute are ridiculously simple, and I will do my ridiculous best to try and interpret them. As I ask each contestant in turn to try and speak on the subject I give them and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card in front of me. And let us begin the show this week with Kenneth Williams. Kenneth the first subject we would like you to take is fashionable bed attire. Will you tell us something about your own or anyone else's bed attire starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: If anyone had told me several years ago that I would be wearing Hungarian pyjamas, I would have said you're out of your tiny mind! And yet I find that is indeed what I'm wearing. They're cotton and came from a reputable London store, no hole in the wall stuff for me on those street market stalls. I go to a very renowned establishment, in fact not far from here, a few hundred yards. And I said I want cotton, because I can't stand any of that winciette itchy stuff. Well...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Well he's supposed to be talking about fashionable attire so winciette pyjamas wouldn't come into it at all.

NP: I think that's a very good challenge Peter. Hardly fashionable...

DEREK NIMMO: He said not of that winciette stuff, is what he said. Not any of that winciette stuff.

KW: Thank you Derek! What a charming fellow!

NP: Who's the chairman? Peter Jones, you have the subject and there are 18 seconds left on fashionable bed attire starting now.

PJ: Fashionable bed attire must be pyjamas and it should be made of silk, without any lapels and a slightly nipped in waist...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Well he'd never get it on, would he!


KW: Oh you can't help laugh!

NP: I know! Just to show you my generous attitude of mind, Derek we will give you a bonus point for a lovely challenge. But it's not, Peter gets a point for being interrupted because it wasn't a correct challenge and he continues with five seconds on fashionable bed attire starting now.

PJ: I wasn't talking about what I wear but what is actually fashionable...


NP: And Ian Messiter when he blows his whistle tells us that 60 seconds are up. And whoever is speaking at that moment gains the extra point. It was of course Peter Jones who is in the lead at the end of the round. And Derek Nimmo will you take the next round and the subject, oh a charming one, pigs as pets. And just to give you ammunition, I discovered only recently according to the Chinese horoscope, I was born in the year of the pig.


DN: Yes well that seems to be fair.

NP: Pigs as pets, Derek, 60 seconds starting now.

DN: Well I never really thought of having a pig as a pet until some number of years ago now, I found myself playing the Honourable Freddie Fleetwood to dear Sir Ralph Richardson's Lord Ensworth in the series of Blandings Castle. We were filming at Petworth, the home of Lord DeLisle in his piggery, and there was this enormous great pig, the empress of the said establishment named in PG Wodehouse's book. And I had to lie in the sty, with my arms around this beast knee-deep in absolute manure, I think I'd better call it. It was most unpleasant and smelt very horrid. But I've found since that pigs can be frightfully good pets because you can use them for truffle hunting. If you put a ring through their nose and take them into the surrounding countryside where you find that particular delicacy, and put their snout to the earth, they will discover for you...


NP: So the first mini-triumph of this series. Derek Nimmo took the subject, he wasn't interrupted, he didn't hesitate, deviate or repeat himself. And he went on speaking for the full minute. So he gets a point for speaking then and also the bonus...

DN: I think it's the first...

NP: ... point so he has two points at the end of that round.

DN: I think it's the first time I've done that in 20 years of playing the game!

NP: I know.

DN: I usually get into a stutter!

NP: It had to happen, you have been practising for 20 years Derek. It had to happen some time, didn't it. So you now, you've taken the lead ahead of um Peter Jones. And Clement Freud takes the next round. Clement the subject is jacks. Nice to hear from you, would you like to talk on jacks in this game starting now.

CF: I would like to talk on jacks in this game starting now. If you get a flight to Florida, you might go to Clearwater, Miami, Palm Beach. But of all the best places, Jacksonville, known as Jacks, is probably the most climatically exciting, the most golf...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

CF: Two mosts.

DN: Sir Clement has had two mosts.

NP: He had two mosts. You can't have two mosts, he might have most of lots of things but not in Just A Minute. Derek you have 41 seconds and the subject of jacks starting now.

DN: Some few years ago I won the under-14 bowls championship on the Crown Green in Prestatton in North Wales...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: It was more than some few years ago!

NP: I quite agree! So Clement you've got the subject of jacks back with you and 33 seconds starting now.

CF: Jacks is a sort of game that kids play in the playground. And interesting it is...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: No, kids don't play it in a playground because kids are the offspring of goats! Does he mean children?

NP: Kenneth I...

CF: Really dredging away, isn't he!

NP: Yes, I applaud your remark because I hate the American slang phrase kids. I think...

KW: Quite right! You're a very good chairman because of that!

NP: Wait till I say something against him! Because children is a lovely word and a child is a nice word but kids is awful. But I'm afraid we are allowed to use slang phrases so he wasn't deviating from the subject. So he does have to keep it and there are 27 seconds left for you Clement on jacks starting now.

CF: Jacks is also a pastime pursued by many children, some of whom I know reasonably well. Jack...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes indeed. I think he hesitated because he thought he had made a mistake.

CF: No, no, it was a colon, a new line...

NP: Well he didn't, but Peter got in first with 20 seconds on jacks starting now.


NP: Peter you challenged yourself, that's very clever!

PJ: I don't know why I did that!

NP: What's your, what is your challenge?

PJ: Ah I'm not challenging really.

NP: I'd challenge you for hesitation.

DN: It's nothing to do with you, you're the chairman! Shut up!

PJ: Yes.

NP: You were trying to tell me what to do a moment ago. So were you challenging yourself for hesitation?

PJ: No it was a nervous twitch. I hoped you wouldn't because it is rather embarrassing.

NP: If you'd been very quick there, you could have got an extra point, because if you'd challenged yourself for hesitation, I would have given it to you and you'd still have continued.

PJ: Would I?

NP: Yes.

PJ: Well can I, can we think of it retrospectively?

NP: No I think you've missed the opportunity Peter. I gave you the cue, you didn't snap it up. But you continue now with 19 seconds on jacks starting now.

PJ: There have been a lot of jacks in show business. I can remember Whispering Jack Smith, Jack Merivale, Payne, Hylton...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think so, there was a bit of a pain after he said Payne and he searched for Jack Buchanan, I think.

PJ: No I didn't!

NP: What did you search for?

PJ: I told you, Hilton I said straight away.

NP: No you did have a pause.

PJ: You have to have a pause, otherwise you'd think it was a double-barrelled name!

NP: They'll try anything, won't they! Right, there are nine seconds left, Derek Nimmo has got jacks starting now.

DN: Now a male donkey is called a jack. And I remember those happy days on Prestatton sands when I used to climb upon...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of Prestatton.

NP: But that was in another round.

PJ: Well nevertheless, I think to mention Prestatton twice in half an hour is once too many!

NP: Yes you will never be invited to Prestatton now...

PJ: I don't want to be!

NP: No! Derek Nimmo will be given the freedom of the town...

PJ: And he's welcome to it! I've been there once!

NP: And I don't think you're going to play there again. Um Derek Nimmo, it was an incorrect challenge, you have two seconds on jacks starting now.

DN: Hydraulic jacks are awfully useful for getting in...


NP: So once again Derek Nimmo was speaking as the whistle went and he has increased his lead ahead of Peter Jones. He is ahead of Clement Freud, and then Kenneth Williams in that order. And Peter Jones takes the next round and the subject Peter is concealing the body. Will you tell us something about that exciting subject in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Concealing...


NP: And Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Hesitation.

NP: No no I don't think so, no, he'd hardly got a second. And I think you're the one who always says (in impression of Kenneth Williams) let him get under way!

KW: Do I sound as common as that?

NP: That, that, that was the modest impersonation. Right Peter, an incorrect challenge, you have another point and you have 59 and a quarter seconds on concealing the body starting now.

PJ: Concealing the body is one of the most difficult problems a murderer has to solve. There is a possibility perhaps of burying it, or putting it in deep water with chains around it, possibly even in concrete. But also there is a great danger of it floating to the surface in time. And perhaps when it is buried in soil, it will...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Ah hesitation.

NP: Yes I think he was petering to a halt there.

PJ: Yes.

NP: Concealing the body is the subject Derek, there are 35 seconds starting now.

DN: I always conceal my body in Hungarian pyjamas that I purchase from a small shop in Jermond Street at great expense. They are wonderfully fashionably cut and as I wander out of the establishment wearing the said apparel, people applaud me and say how splendidly, Mister Nimmo, are you concealing your body. Other ways of course...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Deviation, I don't believe he goes to Jermond Street in pyjamas!

NP: Shall I put it to the audience and see what they think? No I don't think he goes down Jermond Street in pyjamas so that is deviating. But of course this is the problem we have in Just A Minute, he's not necessarily deviating from the subject on the card which is what I said at the beginning is he. I will put it to the audience, if you agree...

DN: He's wonderfully decisive, isn't he! That's about him...

NP: No I just like to be fair. So if you agree with Kenneth's challenge, will you cheer for him, and if you disagree you boo for Derek and you all do it together now.


NP: Unanimous! They're with you Kenneth as always. Right, concealing the body, 13 seconds starting now.

KW: I conceal my body in Hungarian pyjamas in the...


NP: And Clement Freud challenged.

KW: I was going to say in the company of a Vietnamese pig! (laughs) I went to see this Vietnamese pig in Hyde Park, I couldn't believe it! It was quite black and a sort of satiny coat. And I said to the woman with it, "I've never seen a dog like that". And she said "it's not a dog, it's a Vietnamese pig, you fool!" It's amazing!

NP: I must explain to, to our listeners, the extra laugh that came at the end was because Kenneth did actually try and kiss Clement Freud at the end. He's very continental, he always hugs people and does it on both cheeks. Right Clement, your challenge please?

CF: Ah hesitation.

NP: It's such a long time ago now. Yes it was hesitation yes. Concealing the body, eight seconds for you Clement starting now.

CF: You will know that every Tuesday Kenneth Williams has an at home to which all sorts of people are invited. But...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: He doesn't!

NP: I think you're right Peter so I'm going to give you the subject...

CF: The subject on the card.

NP: Concealing the body. No no, he was challenging on the fact that Kenneth Williams has an at home every Tuesday to which a lot of people are invited. I feel that...

CF: So one can't tell lies on this programme, is that right?

NP: You can tell them, but if I happen to know they're not true, they don't, then I give it against you if I can't judge whether it is...

PJ: It's deviation, isn't it.

NP: It's a deviation yes.

PJ: We know for a fact...

NP: We know...

PJ: ... that he doesn't have these because I have never been invited!

NP: Exactly!

PJ: And I know I would have been the first...

KW: On the one occasion you were invited, you went to the wrong block. I saw you ringing the bell of the wrong place. Go on, admit it! It's true!

NP: Is that true?

PJ: Wrong!

KW: It isn't wrong!

PJ: It's wrong, he doesn't have...

KW: It's true, he was ringing the wrong bell!

NP: Well all I can say Peter is...

KW: When I did investigate what bell it was, it said underneath "French lessons given"! Yes! Look at him! He's gone red! He's gone red! Yes that struck home!

PJ: I didn't think Kenneth lived in that area. He must have moved. Into Soho or somewhere.

KW: No it's not, it's opposite where you used to live, the White House.

NP: Shhhhh! Can you tell me Peter, what were the French lessons like? Were they worth it?

PJ: I didn't attend the French lessons.

NP: Oh you didn't? Oh that's all right. Well Peter you have done a Freud on Freud, as I call it, by getting in with one second to go and the subject is concealing the body starting now.

PJ: Get into a sack...


NP: Peter Jones got a large number of points in that round so he has moved forward. He is one, only one point behind our leader who is still Derek Nimmo, ahead of Clement Freud and Kenneth Williams. And Kenneth your turn to begin again, the subject Mona Lisa. Will you tell us something about her in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: Well it's this painting in the Louvre by Leonardo called DaVinci, because that's where he came from in Italy. And the painting is supposed to be a superb example of the fulmato technique by which the smoky almost indescribable transmission from positive to negative is achieved. On the other hand, we know for a fact that Michelangelo couldn't stand him. And when you look at the painting you realise why because she is a very ugly woman...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of painting.

NP: I'm afraid you did repeat the word painting. So Clement got in with 22 seconds on Mona Lisa starting now.

CF: On the very rare occasions that Kenneth Williams has a party, he is seen at the top of the stairs of his mansion smiling a Mona Lisa smile. "How good of you to come," he says, "and not ring the bell of the French teacher round the block." And it's frightfully good because Mona Lisa not only had this grin, this expanse of teeth...


NP: Clement Freud got rounds in that point, including one for speaking as the whistle went. He's still in third place. And Derek Nimmo begins the next round. The subject Derek, snuggling. And you start now.

DN: Well the important thing is to go through the green light. Because if you are intending to...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Yes, what on earth, first of all he hesitated, but what on earth has going through a green light got to do with snuggling?

DN: With an N?

KW: Snuggling, yes, snuggling.

DN: It's your diction, you see, I thought you said smuggling.

NP: Audience did you think I said snuggling.


NP: Unanimous! It's your hearing Derek, you're getting old! Isn't it interesting, if I'm ever rude to the panel, you never laugh. If they're rude to me, you fall about! So Kenneth I agree with your challenge of hesitation and you have 53 seconds left on snuggling starting now.

KW: Yes you can't go through the green light when you're snuggling, because the whole point is privacy...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: If I was wandering through the green light with Racquel Welch, I would be snuggling.

NP: In other words you are saying it is possible to snuggle...

DN: It is possible to snuggle going through the green light.

CF: But easier on the red light.

NP: Yes but actually I think you've got it wrong, because it's not a green light, it's just because a green air, it's got a green sign over there, it doesn't. So the green light doesn't make sense.

KW: No you're quite right, quite right.

NP: Yes.

KW: Very good chairman! Very good chairman!

NP: We leave the subject with Kenneth with 47 seconds on snuggling starting now.

KW: Snuggling is best done under a beautifully warm whitney wool blanket! There is no substitute. All this crap about duvets, take no notice. The English beautiful wool merino blanket...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Two blankets.

NP: There was two blankets yes. Yes probably you need two blankets if you don't have a duvet. But Derek I agree with your challenge, you have 27 seconds on snuggling starting now.

DN: I've always been tremendously envious of Kenneth Williams on this programme, because he sits next to Sir Clement Freud, and he is able to snuggle up against him which he does frequently, with his enigmatic Mona Lisa smile. But one of the things which frightfully surprises me, because in happier days one would have thought one could have do it with some impunity because Mister F...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation is right Clement and you have got in with seven seconds to go on snuggling starting now.

CF: I enjoy snuggling as much as I enjoy being snuggled, like by Kenneth Williams on programmes which happens frequently...


NP: Let me give you a resume of the score. Clement Freud has now moved forward, equal in second place with Peter Jones and they're a couple of points behind our leader Derek Nimmo. Clement begins the next round, Clement, the subject, making a scene. Sixty seconds as always starting now.

CF: Making a scene is something that I don't do a lot because frankly it is not an enjoyable pastime. Many people when they go to restaurants and get foul food, bad soup, nasty fish, inedible meat, rush out and make a scene, call the waiter or the manager and say I would like to have my money back...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation, he said these people when they get this rotten meat rush out, and then he says they call the waiter. Well if they're out of the restaurant, how can they call anybody?

CF: Out of their chairs.

KW: I mean it's rubbish, isn't it, he's talking absolute rubbish.

NP: I didn't think it was such rubbish as that, no. I mean they rushed out but um...

KW: You, you rush out to the street, do you?

NP: He never used the word street.

KW: And then call the waiter?

NP: He never said they go to the street. He said they rush out.

KW: Well if you go out, you're not in, are you? You great fool! What did you say Derek?

DN: Well I was going to say, I mean if he has to rush out on to the street before he calls the waiter, he must be rather cowardly, mustn't he?

KW: Yes! Yes!

NP: I don't think he actually deviated from the subject...

KW: Well I do!

NP: So Clement you keep it with 41 seconds left, making a scene starting now.

CF: Sadly making a scene is totally counterproductive because it louses up all the enjoyment of a dinner and by expending a lot of energy and frustration and raising your voice and occasionally... jumping up...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well lots of... I mean really.

NP: He was teetering towards that, I think he was hesitating yes. Right so Derek, 26 seconds for you on making a scene starting now.

DN: When I'm going to make a scene, I hire first of all a particularly good scenic artist. And I would recommend Mister Terry Parsons who has done such splendid sets on the West End of London. He would provide for me elevations and ground plans which I would take along to a stage carpenter who would then for me build this magnificent scene. I'd have colour charts of course and perhaps a... cycle...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes he did hesitate.

DN: He did, he really did.

NP: Yes and you've got in Peter, with four seconds to go on making a scene starting now.

PJ: It's very difficult to make a scene in England because nobody pays any attention...


NP: One point separates Derek Nimmo from Peter Jones and Clement Freud and then Kenneth Williams in that order. And Peter takes the next round, Peter the subject is man's place in the kitchen. Would you tell us something on that sexist subject with 60 seconds to go starting now.

PJ: I don't think it's necessarily a sexist subject because I think man's place in the kitchen is beside the woman. And I don't see why they shouldn't both cook, either together or separately like we do at home. And the dinner or other meal that is prepared is enjoyed by us both and any guests that may be around, if they can find the address. Now the meals that we cook ah in unison...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: An er, he said we cook er.

NP: Yeah there was a bit of an er there. He got, he got a generous er on Derek, so I'll give you...

PJ: I was talking about my wife, not 'Er!

NP: So Kenneth will you tell us something about man's place in the kitchen with 32 seconds starting now.

KW: Man's place in the kitchen has always been supreme. This is why the world's best cooks are chefs. Generally in France they've always been regarded as bikes and Lords and no question about it. No women of this world have no more ability to cook when you compare them...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well that's totally wrong! Deviation!

NP: Yes.

KW: I didn't finish the sentence. I was going to say no ability to cook when you compare their efforts with men's. That's what I was going to say.

NP: I'm glad you did finish it because now I'm quite convinced that you're wrong! Because, no, you think of some of the fine cooks who have demonstrated it from Fanny Cradock upwards...

KW: Fanny who?

NP: And all those other things...

KW: I think you're trying to think of Mrs Beeton, that's who you're after.

NP: Mrs Beeton started it...

KW: That's more your period, I think!


NP: I can't actually go back as far as you Kenneth! So that's probably why...

KW: Well you'll remember with your historical knowledge that it was a French chef they sent for in the Crimea! Do you remember that? Remember when Florence Nightingale said the stuff being served to the men was so disgusting that a French chef...

NP: Did you know that that exceptional woman, Mrs Beeton, died when she was only about 26?

KW: Oh poor bitch! Who'd have thought!

DN: Where did she live? Where did she live?

NP: I don't know...

DN: Under the grandstand at Epsom Racecourse!

CF: Epsom Racecourse.

DN: That was the interesting part.

NP: Did she camp out then?

DN: No, her husband worked at Epsom racecourse, clerk of the course he was.

NP: You do pick up some interesting titbits of information in Just A Minute, don't you. Right Derek I agree with your challenge because women are equally successful in the kitchen as men. And the subject with 16 seconds to go is man's place in the kitchen starting now.

DN: Man's place in the kitchen is determined upon which task he is asked to perform. If he should be the sous chef he would have to do something quite different to that if he were the vegetable peeler. Or maybe just washing the dishes and I've said that word...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, just before he got in with one second to go Clement, man's place in the kitchen starting now.

CF: Welsh rabbit!


NP: So as we approach the last round of Just A Minute, still one point separating our three leaders but in different sequence. It's still Derek Nimmo first, then Clement Freud, then Peter Jones, and then a little way behind, but not far is Kenneth Williams. But Kenneth takes the last round which is snaps. So will you snap into the final round Kenneth with 60 seconds to go starting now.

KW: I've got a lovely snap of me on the beach with this deck chair that blew over. And I'm wearing a banana skin for a moustache! And everybody falls about when I go through the album and turn this particular page. There was a wonderful sketch which Derek Nimmo drew my attention to, of this man who showed his snaps and said that this was a chicken he'd got rather fond of. And it leads to various inci, well inci...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

KW: I was going to say insidious! (laughs)

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Well unfortunately you can't change under the mental strain of Just A Minute because you hesitate and Clement picked up, and Clement you have 26 seconds left with an even Steven situation in the lead at the moment. And the subject is snaps starting now.

CF: Whereas we do have albums in respect of each of our children, the snaps that I most prefer are brandy snaps. And they are made with the addition of a judicious mixture of flour, treacle, sugar, butter and a very hot surface, ideally a frying pan, which is used for no other may, means of cooking...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, you've got in with three seconds to go and I think you've now clinched the situation, snaps is with you Derek starting now.

DN: I have a wonderful snap of me on Prestatton Beach with a donkey...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged. Oh this sort of one-upmanship with half a second to go in the final round. What is your challenge Clement?

CF: The third Prestatton! I...

NP: A third Prestatton but in a different round, so a good attempt...

CF: I'd like him to win convincingly!

NP: That's, well you couldn't actually achieve that fact but you've made sure that he does win with quarter of a second to go on snaps starting now.


NP: And someone challenged? Derek you challenged yourself. You are going to win convincingly, you hesitated, you're quite right. Another point to Derek Nimmo and you now have a third of a second starting now.

DN: I like snapping very much...


NP: So as you see the scoring is secondary to the fun and also the contributions of our four contestants. Kenneth Williams finished in fourth place a little way behind Peter Jones, a little way behind Clement Freud. But in the lead, only just but definitely and convincingly this week was Derek Nimmo! We hope you have enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and will want to tune in again next time when we are on the air. So on behalf of our four panellists, Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud, also Ian Messiter who thought of and devised the game, and our producer Ted Taylor, and myself, Nicholas Parsons, good-bye, until we’re next on your wavelength. Good-bye!