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 pleasure to welcome our many listeners, not only in this country but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show this week the four delightful, talented, and experienced players of the game. And those four individuals are, seated on my right, Paul Merton and Clement Freud. And seated on my left, Rob Brydon and Chris Neill. And will you please welcome all four of them! Thank you, thank you, and as usual I'm going to ask them to speak on a subject that I give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And seated beside me is Janet Staplehurst, who is going to help me with the score, she's going to blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the delightful Mermaid Theatre which is in Puddledock in Blackfriars in the city of London. And we have an enthusiastic and extrovert audience here in front of us who are dying for the show to get started. So let's begin with Paul Merton. And the subject Paul, is the girl next door. Tell us something about the girl next door in this game starting now.

PAUL MERTON: The girl next door to me is beautiful. Her name is Clementine Freud. She has lovely eyes, a pert smile, legs like a kangaroo, goes like a train! Wonderful woman! As I look in her gorgeous eyes... (laughs)


NP: Clement you challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Ha.

NP: Yes he did say haha didn't he, that's right. As I said his idiosyncratic way of playing the game, he could have said hesitation, it would have been so much easier. But all right, Clement a correct challenge, so you get a point for that and you take over the subject of the girl next door, 47 seconds available starting now.

CF: Among the Commandments you are told to love your neighbour. And if that were natural, there wouldn't have to be a commandment. So the girl next door to you...


NP: Chris challenged.

CHRIS NEILL: Oh I, was that a bit of a hesitation?

NP: No.

CN: Oh. I withdraw.

NP: There was another error, but nobody spotted it. So carry on, so Clement it was an incorrect challenge...

CF: There was no error.

NP: What's that?

CF: No error.

NP: An incorrect challenge, you have a point for that, you have 35 seconds, you continue with the girl next door starting now.

CF: I don't know the people next door. But I'm sure the girl next door is tremendously nice and attractive and her name is Paulina Mertoni. She has blue eyes and green cheeks, red hair...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I don't have green cheeks! Green cheeks? That's not very seductive, green cheeks.

CF: Yes.

PM: That's gangrene, isn't it.

CF: You don't live next door.

NP: I think if a girl had green cheeks, it would be pretty devious. It really would.

PM: Yeah absolutely.

NP: And rather embarrassing.

PM: It would be awful, wouldn't it.

NP: Terrible.

PM: You wouldn't know where to look.

NP: So I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, give you the benefit of the doubt Paul, and say you have the subject, a point of course, 22 seconds available, the girl next door starting now.

PM: It's a lovely phrase. I suppose it conjures up an image of the girl next door who may not be a beauty queen but who nevertheless is some kind of beautiful woman in her own right...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Did Paul say beautiful before?

NP: No he said beauty...

CN: But no, no, no, first time round about Clementine Freud.


NP: Oh! Well listened!

CN: God, it's like being in a Nazi rally!

NP: No but you well listened, she did say that Clementine Freud was beautiful, didn't she.

CN: Well I thought so.

NP: Yes and you listened well. So you have a point and you have the subject, and you have 15 seconds, and you have the girl next door starting now.

CN: The girl next door to me is called Phyllis. She is 64 and has gone through a terrible time over the last couple of years. She has lost her husband, her mother and her dog. I really hope she is not listening because she is true and real and she does... oh I've said that... oh no, I haven't...


NP: Chris you've done this last time you played the game...

CN: I know!

NP: You let them know when you make a mistake.

CN: I know, I know, I know.

NP: Sometimes they let it go and Paul's got in with three seconds to go, what's your challenge?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes right. Three seconds on the girl next door starting now.

PM: Helen Margaret Jones, what a gorgeous...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, and in this case it was Paul Merton who has of course now got the lead at the end of the round. Chris Neill, will you take the next round, the subject is personal trainers. I don't know whether you've had one or not but will you talk on the subject in Just A Minute starting now.

CN: If you're very fat and you earn a lot of money it's much easier to book a personal trainer than it is to go on a diet...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: I just consider that to be an insult! That's all. Paul agrees.

PM: Yeah I agree, I agree.

NP: Clement they enjoyed your remark but I don't think it's got anything to do with the rules of Just A Minute. So we'll give you a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption. But Chris you were interrupted, so you get a point for that, you keep the subject, you have 54 seconds, personal trainers starting now.

CN: I was driving across Clapham Common only the other week, well not over the grass you know, but you know, round the roads. And there was a very big fat bird who was being pulled by a...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of fat.

NP: Yes.

CN: Yes.

NP: Fat, you said fat before, yes yes. A fat bird who was being pulled, ah... Right Paul you have the subject of personal trainers, you have 44 seconds starting now.

PM: I'm of a certain age that I can remember plimsolls, and that's all we had and we were glad of it. But now of course the trainers come out and they are remarkably comfortable shoes. I've just recently bought a pair which I'm working at the moment. You can't see them because they are underneath the table. But they are one of the more leading brands of the particular trainer that you can buy in your supermarket or indeed your shoe retailer. It is perhaps the most boring speech that's ever been on Just A Minute...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: I've heard much more boring speeches!

PM: Well that, that's because you used to be an MP!

CF: I meant from you!

PM: You obviously don't listen to yourself talk then, do you?

NP: Clement because you got such a strong reaction from the audience, I think it would be only fair to give you another bonus point. In fact I think you're going to get all your points that way at the moment. And, but Paul was interrupted so he gets a point for that and he has 20 seconds to continue on personal trainers starting now.

PM: There is a hygiene issue that comes into personal trainers. Because if you don't change them enough, you don't use odour eaters perhaps somewhere...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Was there a repetition of don't?

NP: Yes, don't use them and don't um... whatever he said. Chris...


CN: It's so like an audience at Wimbledon, yeah!

NP: Yes! But their heads don't move quite as rapidly. Thirteen seconds still available, personal trainers Chris starting now.

CN: I used to have a personal trainer of the piano. He was based in Twickenham and was bizarrely went by the... oh he did... no...


CN: Oh I try! I don’t know, I try and then I ‘fess up!

NP: Mmmm! Rob you challenged.

ROB BRYDON: What he said. He fessed up and then... well it was a hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, Rob, lovely to hear from you.

RB: It's just nice to be involved, yes!

NP: You've only played it twice before Rob, it takes a little time to get that energy going and get into it. You'll be back there don't worry. Six seconds you've now got on personal trainers starting now.

RB: My life turned round the day I took on a personal trainer. My abdomen...


NP: So Rob Brydon was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, it's all very close at the moment. Paul Merton is one ahead of Clement Freud, one ahead of Chris Neill, one ahead of Rob Brydon, in that order. Rob will you take the next round, the subject is platforms. Will you tell us something about platforms in Just A Minute starting now.

RB: Train spotters in anoraks with sandwich boxes and thermos flasks and books and pens love to stand on platforms around the country. When I think of the word in question, my mind goes back to the 1970s when I would gaze at the television watching people like Sweet and Mud and the Glitter band and the shoes that they wore were called platforms. And I would love to wear these things. I'd come down the stairs in them, teetering along, and my father would enquire whether I'd applied for planning permission. That was how big these things were. Of course for a man of diminished stature like me, that type of footwear affords an opportunity to gaze down on one's fellow disco raver from an unaccustomed height. And to adopt a rather superior attitude to the other movers and shakers at the local discotheque as they endeavoured to get down to the next...


NP: Rob! That applause was well deserved. I said you'd only played the game twice before, but to come back and the first time, no hesitation, no repetition, no deviation...

CN: I'd not even given you any hints or anything!

NP: I know yes! And go on your platforms. So you get a point of course for speaking as the whistle went, and you get a bonus point because you were not interrupted. So...

RB: What a nice evening!

NP: You're in second place with Clement Freud. So...

RB: Thank you.

NP: Well done, no, you can relax now.

RB: Thank you very much.

NP: And Paul Merton your turn to begin again. The subject is the call of nature. Will you tell us something about the call of nature in 60 seconds starting now.

PM: I love being in nature, down by the sea, sniffing in the ozone. It's a wonderful experience with the grass underneath your feet, a distant owl hooting in the treetops. Where's my gun, I wonder, I run back into the house. It's a wonderful thing to be surrounded by all that God has created on this wonderful earth of ours...


PM: I think I said wonderful twice.

NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Ah repetition of wonderful.

NP: Yes. Clement you have a call of nature, I don't mean really, it's the subject you have, you have the subject of the call of nature and you have 43 seconds starting now.

CF: It is a philological euphemism for...


NP: Rob challenged.

RB: Philological?

NP: Mmmm.

RB: Oh it is a word, isn't it. Sorry! I was so confident!

NP: You thought deviation?

RB: I thought philological wasn't a word!

CN: I thought it was something to do with stamp collecting.

NP: No that is philately.

CN: Oh!

NP: Yes.

RB: It'll get you everywhere!

NP: So Clement you have another incorrect challenge and there's 37 seconds, the call of nature starting now.

CF: Philology is very important if you're trying to get new words like leak or urinate instead of call of nature. But call of nature it is and it's odd because nature does depend incredibly on the liquid which we distribute over the grasses and bushes and flowers...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Deviation, nature doesn't depend on the liquid that we distribute over the grasses and ferns, well not us!

PM: Actually I think it conjures up a very unpleasant idea...

CN: Yeah!

PM: ... of distributing your liquid all over the countryside!

NP: No and people do that...

PM: Oh look there's Sir Clement Freud, coming over the hill! What is he doing? Oh look the sun's behind him, you can see a rainbow! Look for the pot of gold!

NP: Yes! I don't think it's our calls of nature that are the ones that...

CN: No.

NP: ... make nature achieve what it is. So Chris I agree with your challenge, deviation. You have 16 seconds on the subject of the call of nature starting now.

CN: Of course the call of nature depends on the animal that you're talking about. It could be woof, baa...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: No sorry, I thought you were trying to say wolf. I didn't get that. And then it came out as woof, so then I, but I'd forgotten there was a word called woof. But when you said baa I realised what concept you were talking about.

NP: Eleven seconds Chris, you still have the subject starting now.

CN: Meow, cluck...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: I think he's confusing the call of nature with the sound of wildlife.

CN: But it is the call that nature makes.

NP: No no no, he is correct, that's a very good challenge. The calls of nature.


CN: On your head be it, Nicholas!

NP: The call of nature is the atmosphere when you get, with the smells of the grass and the trees...

CN: Once you've peed on them!

NP: Ah I don't, I think those are extraneous sounds, they're not the calls of nature, they're the calls of the animals in the world of the nature, natural world. I'm struggling but I hope I'm getting there.

PM: Very good chairman! Very good chairman!

NP: Nine seconds Clement starting now.

CF: The call of nature could be wind, rain, hail, even storms. Lightning makes a very small noise but thunder...


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point, and also I'm very grateful as he did give us a very explicit account of the calls of nature as opposed to the animal calls that Chris was arguing about. And the audience seemed to be in sympathy with him, I don't know why.

CF: No they weren't.

NP: Maybe it's a strange impression of nature. Chris it's your turn to begin so there we are. American pronunciations. That's an interesting one isn't it. Can you talk on the subject starting now.

CN: I read in a magazine some time ago that apparently people on the east coast of the United States of America have an accent which isn't dissimilar to the Elizabethan accent that we had here... oh I said accent twice...


NP: Yes you did.

CN: And I was going to say something so interesting!

NP: Oh! I'll say one thing, you've got the audience with you.

PM: Shall we stop the game for a moment while Chris tells us what it was? And then we can carry on.

NP: I think it's more important to keep the game going Paul, and you challenged first for repetition we know. Forty-nine seconds, American pronunciations starting now.

PM: Americans say Edin-burrow. Why do they say that? It's not difficult. Edinburgh's not a difficult name to pronounce...


PM: Oh two difficults. No I said Edinburgh. Who challenged?

NP: Rob you challenged.

RB: That would have been me. Well I'm sorry but repetition.

NP: Yes, 43 seconds Rob, American pronunciations starting now.

RB: As the planet has shrunk the difference between pronunciations...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Devi, the planet hasn't shrunk!

RB: Oh I, I think that's unfair!

CN: I mean it's done lots of things, I don't know, has it shrunk?

NP: No!

RB: I don't want to get caught up in a fight but I won't forget this!

NP: Oh dear!

RB: You may laugh, you may laugh, they said David Icke was mad!

PM: Yes but they were psychiatrists!

NP: Chris, 38 seconds, American pronunciations starting now.

CN: I was in Los Angeles for about a month last year and I was somewhere where I was trying... oh I keep saying I was!


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of I was.

NP: I was, yes. All the buzzers went and Clement's came in first, 33 seconds, American pronunciations Clement starting now.

CF: The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain is not American pronunciation. The...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation.

NP: Why?

PM: It's not American pronunciation!

NP: Paul a very good challenge, you have the subject now, 24 seconds starting now.

PM: Lie-cester Square, that's another one that you often hear when you're looking for Leicester...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: I've never heard Lie-cester Square!

PM: You've never heard Lie-cester Square?

CF: No.

NP: (American accent) The Americans do say Lie-cester Square.

CF: Okay.

PM: But they don't do it in a Greek accent!

NP: No but you, if they spoke like that you wouldn't mock them but just because I put on an American accent, you do.

PM: Yes.

CF: Is that what you put on?

NP: Oh they are evil aren't they? But you enjoy it, don't you, that's the trouble. There we are. So no that was an incorrect challenge and American pronunciations are still with you Paul, 19 seconds starting now.

PM: All kinds of terms have been associated with Americans over the years. They come up with such phrases as friendly fire which of course is nothing anything but...


PM: Nothing anything but?

NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Well it was sort of deviation from English, nothing anything but, that sentence there.

NP: No no, it wasn't, it wasn't deviation from English, he just didn't continue.

PM: Yeah.


RB: Hesitation.

NP: Normally within the rules of Just A Minute, I don't give secondary challenges. But Rob as you have only played twice before and also you were very upset about my last decision, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you have American pronunciations...

PM: Excuse me! I've been upset with a lot of your decisions over the years! I just keep quiet about it!

NP: Well you should come in more often and maybe you'll get some more points. Right, nine seconds Rob, American pronunciations starting now.

RB: Although the planet hasn't changed in its dimension over time it is nonetheless...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: The planet's changed dimension enormously over time. It started off as a tiny little ball like that. Now it's the size of Basingstoke! Not always been that size.

NP: But that's not the subject, it's American pronunciations.

RB: Which I was getting to! That was my preamble.

NP: Right.

PM: It's not called Just An Hour!

RB : Just like last time! This is institutionalised abuse and prejudice!

PM: No no no, it's not as organised as that!

NP: I was very generous to you last time...

CN: Nicholas, I think I was completely in the wrong!

NP: Right...

CN: You see it's not just myself I pick up on!

NP: No more The Sky At Night please! Let's get back to Just A Minute. Paul what was your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

PM: Who can remember? No because it's always, Rob said it's always been the same size throughout it's entire history which of course it hasn't, because when it first started it was a tiny little thing like that. And it acquired matter throughout space and meteorites and various things came in and it got bigger.

NP: Well done, congratulations! It's got nothing to do with American pronunciations.

PM: No, exactly!

NP: Right...

PM: So it was deviation.

NP: Thank you, three, you have three seconds on American pronunciations starting now.

PM: The Earth is flat said President Bush, only last week...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained another extra point, and he's now equal in the lead with Clement Freud. They're only just ahead of Chris Neill and Rob Brydon in that order. And Rob your turn to begin, the subject now is shopping online. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

RB: Shopping online makes the whole business of purchasing little trinkets and baubles so much easier. You can sit in front of your monitor and peruse at your leisure a range of goods and services from stores not just in the UK, by which I mean Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland but also America...


RB: Oh I know!

NP: Now I've got a problem here because normally whoever presses their buzzer first, infinitesimally first, one light comes on. I've got two lights here.

RB: Probably, probably best if I just carry on then!


NP: I think the audience applause has decided it for me. So I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say carry on.

RB: Your eye alights on something that you fancy and you manoeuvre your mouse so that the clocker is over the right point. You press down on that little instrument and select what you want. Remember you will have to pay postage and packing as this item is being sent across the ether and...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Deviation, you don't always have to pay postage and packing.

RB: It will be contained in the price if it's not stated separately.

CN: Well it's not separate is it.

RB: Chris you get nothing for free, my friend.

NP: You don't always have to, Chris, but you do sometimes so he wasn't actually technically deviating on this subject. So 22 seconds Rob, you continue shopping online starting now.

RB: The excitement is just beginning. Every morning you will pad down to the letterbox to see if your parcel has arrived...


NP: Ah Clement challenged.

CF: I just wanted to help him. You can say shopping online again.

RB: Thank you.

CF: He has taken such great trouble not to repeat the subject.

NP: Oh that's very generous of you.

CF: No it's fine, it's nothing.

NP: You can repeat the subject on the card as often as you like.

CF: The least I can do.

NP: So carry on, 15 seconds, shopping online starting now.

RB: Shopping online is so delightful. You say to yourself as your eyes stare out the window, waiting for the mailman to arrive, his sack bulging in the distance as he pads out the path towards your...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well we've had two pads.

NP: Yes he padded up before with the mailman.


PM: It's no good booing him! How do you think that makes him feel?

NP: He had a very good run, you know. So ah Paul you got in with four seconds on shopping online...


PM: Do you have a problem with that?

NP: I have to point out to our audience it is the rules of the game! Four seconds Paul, shopping online starting now.

PM: Shopping online has completely altered my life. What I do is I get up in the morning, I turn on the computer and find...


NP: So Paul was speaking then as the whistle went, gained an extra point. He's now two ahead of Clement Freud. We're moving into the final round and they're both, Clement Freud's just four ahead of Chris Neill and Rob Brydon who are equal in third place. So it's all very close as we move into the final round and it is Clement's turn to begin. And the subject is men with moustaches. We don't have a single, oh we do have one moustache. And Clement would you talk... it's such a modest one I hadn't noticed it. Right, men with moustaches, starting now.

CF: For a man with only one moustache to talk about men with moustaches would be much more difficult, had it not been for the fact that not all that long ago everybody had moustaches. George...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Sorry, deviation, not everybody had moustaches!

NP: Yes! Not everybody.

CN: Every man, woman and child had a moustache?

NP: Oh Chris I agree with you, not everyone had moustaches. Most men had moustaches. Ah 46 seconds, men with moustaches with you Chris starting now.

CN: Kissing a man with a moustache although it's something I've never done, doesn't appeal to me. However it's probably nicer than kissing a woman with a moustache...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of kissing.

CN: Oh.

NP: Yes.

CN: Can't have enough though can you.

NP: Clement you've got the subject back, 39 seconds, men with moustaches starting now.

CF: Henry The First had a moustache as did the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, The Seventh and Eighth. William and Mary...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There was a hesitation after the Mary.

NP: I think there was yes.

CF: There was always a hesitation after the name of Mary.

PM: Oh if it's traditional I withdraw the...

NP: No it was correct Paul, 28 seconds, men with moustaches starting now.

PM: Every man in Iraq has got a black moustache. I find it ridiculous, they can't all think it suits them...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: No they don't.

NP: I didn't hear Clement, sorry.

CF: No. They. Don't.

PM: You said before that everybody in the world had a moustache. I've just narrowed it down to one sex and one country and suddenly you pipe up!

CF: I lost!

PM: Did you?

CF: And you have too!

PM: Oh I see. He's trying to make decisions for you there Nicholas.

NP: Right...

PM: Best chairman we've got! Best chairman!

NP: No I'm not, I just give you your head so we...

PM: Oh thank you very much! Just the subject would be enough for me!

NP: No no... You don't even know what is the subject, you're very funny in between the subjects which is great. um Clement there are 25 seconds, men with moustaches starting now.

CF: When you have men with moustaches trying to eat soup, especially a velute of cream rather than concermay or a clear broth, they get awful trouble. Because bits of Chinese cabbage, wood pigeon and tapioca retain the hold on the hirsute part of their...


NP: I think up here we were all so transfixed by that disgusting description you gave us that nobody bothered to challenge. But you did keep going until the whistle went Clement, you got an extra point for doing so and well done, good luck to you. The final situation is that,. I don't know how you describe this, but I put it this way. Because they're equal, there's too lots of equal. Chris Neill and Rob Brydon were equal in second place. And only five, six or six points ahead was another equal. And Paul Merton and Clement Freud were equal together and we say therefore they are joint winners this week! We do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. And it only remains for me to say thank you again to our four delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Rob Brydon, Chris Neill and Clement Freud. I thank Janet Staplehurst, who has helped me with the score, she has blown her whistle very elegantly. Also we thank our producer-director, Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this lovely game. And we are very grateful to this lovely audience here at the Mermaid Theatre in Puddledock in the centre of London. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons and our team, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!