NOTE: Rob Brydon's last appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the strains of 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 to welcome to the show four delightful, exciting, and talented players of the game, who have come together to show their humorous capacity to try and speak on a subject without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four individuals are, seated on my right, Paul Merton and Clement Freud. And seated on my left, Rob Brydon and Chris Neill. Will you please welcome all four of them! Thank you, thank you, 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 near the city of London. And we have a delightful cosmopolitan audience drawn from all sections of this great city of London. They have come together to cheer us on our way. And we'll start the show with Clement Freud. Clement the subject here is skinny dipping. I'm sure it's something you have great experience of but please talk on the subject starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Crudities are not dirty words or filthy gestures, but actually raw vegetables which people serve at parties when the chef makes a dip. And the immersion of a piece of celery into the dipping liquid produced by the culinary expert, imported or possibly just employed for the night, is called...


NP: Paul challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Um... deviation.

NP: Yes you look very puzzled.

PM: I am a bit puzzled, I thought skinny dipping meant sort of swimming in the nude.

NP: It does mean that actually.

PM: Well what's it got to do with salads?

NP: I think...

PM: What was he dipping into the salad exactly?

NP: So therefore I have to agree with Paul's challenge and say Paul you have 32 seconds to take over the subject, you get a point...

CF: I might leave!

NP: Well if you leave you won't get your fee! And Paul you have 32 seconds...

PM: Will it be shared amongst the rest of us? I mean everybody here?

NP: No I'm afraid not, no, there we are. Thirty-two seconds Paul, you have a point for a correct challenge, skinny dipping starting now.

PM: First I take my jumper off, followed by a shirt, then the pants, trousers, socks, everything, shoes, everything's going...


NP: Chris challenged.

CHRIS NEILL: Deviation, well I suppose he could have the pants on the outside of the trousers but he said take my pants off and then my trousers. Well unless he dressed up like John Major in a cartoon.

NP: He didn't convey to me he did it in that sequence.

CN: Oh okay.

NP: He just...

PM: Nicholas always dresses like that!

NP: He might have dressed like that on purpose.

CN: No, it's true, as I started saying it, I realised he could have dressed like that.

CF: But it is much easier to take your shoes off before you take your trousers off.

NP: Yes but he did convey that he was doing it...

CF: Yes he did!

CN: Yeah!

CF: Yeah.

NP: But he might be one of these perverse...

PM: My personal habits are my own affair surely!

NP: He might be one of these perverse people who takes his shoes off after he's taken his trousers off.

PM: Yeah! I am! I'm a pervert! Thanks for backing me up on that one Nicholas!

NP: Therefore I give you the benefit of the doubt...

PM: Okay.

NP: Twenty-five seconds, you continue Paul on skinny dipping starting now.

PM: Stark naked, and I stand there in the kitchen diving into the salad bowl, swimming through the mayonnaise. Oh what a joy it is, a thousand islands dressing coming out your ear! I like doing it in the winter. There's a place in Hampstead where you can go, where all the waters there are just by the lake. And you jump in off the board and you're straight into the briny depths... not briny...


NP: Clement challenged. Yes Clement your challenge?

CF: Repetition of briny.

NP: Yes that's right, they're not briny as well up there.

PM: Yeah I tried to change it into a word that didn't exist but that doesn't really count, does it. It's not briny though.

NP: Hampstead lakes are not briny, they're fresh water. Well they're not very fresh but they're water. Clement you have a correct challenge so you've got skinny dipping back, seven seconds starting now.

CF: I saw you put your... tomato...


NP: Rob challenged.

ROB BRYDON: It was a hesitation.

NP: Yes I think we interpret that as hesitation Rob. So tell us something about skinny dipping in four seconds starting now.

RB: It takes a lot of self-confidence to go skinny dipping, because when you do so, you reveal...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking as the whistle goes gets an extra point. On this occasion it was Rob Brydon and he is equal with Paul Merton in the lead. And Rob we'd like you to take the next round, the subject is square. Just talk on the subject of square in this game if you can starting now.

RB: Huey Lewis once said it's hip to be square. and how we all laughed at him! But when you reflect on his statement, I think perhaps he is on to something. Fashions will come and go, but if you stay the course with your silly glasses and your sensible sweater and your loafers, what people might think of as being square, you know that you will not be a victim of the vagaries of that word that I said earlier that comes and goes, in and out...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of comes and goes.

NP: Comes and goes.

RB: Did I? Oh fashion...

NP: Yes...

CN: It was so interesting as well!

RB: It was building to something certainly!

NP: Ah I noticed you were trying to avoid repeating the word square but you know you can repeat the word on the card if you want.

RB: It's very hard to get a grasp on the rules isn't it!

NP: Oh that's a lovely one right. Paul another correct challenge, 29 seconds with you, square starting now.

PM: Square, square, square, square, square, square. When I think of all the squares that are in London, I think perhaps my favourite...


NP: Rob challenged.

RB: Think, repetition of think.

NP: No he didn't say think twice.

RB: When I think of all the squares in London, I think of.

NP: Oh well done!

PM: Yes.

NP: So you got square back again, 19 seconds Rob starting now.

RB: And so being considered square has never bothered me. I'm quite happy supporting the likes of Shaking Stevens and other people who are considered to be a little...


NP: Ah Chris challenged.

CN: Sorry, it's just a question. When did you support Shaking Stevens?

NP: Ah Chris have you got a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

CN: Well no, it was just a question, a completely heartfelt question.

NP: Well you interrupted Rob so I'm afraid he gets a point...

CN: I'm waiting for an answer!

NP: Note afraid, he's delighted he gets a point for that. He still has the subject of square, 11 seconds Rob starting now.

RB: Triangles have so many theories associated with them which we learn in the school...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: This is deviation from squares.

NP: Yes.

RB: Oh I think that's a little, I was coming round...

PM: Yes!

RB: It was a, it was a preamble, I was coming around to squares.

PM: Mmm.

RB: Probably via a circle and a rhombus!

NP: But you didn't establish that when you started.

RB: But you give me... all right, fine! You know what you're doing. You're not creating a pleasant atmosphere, I'll tell you that!

NP: I've been very generous to you. The last time you were here I was very generous to you.

RB: Well maybe in your mind but... it took me days to get over the last visit! It's only now I've got the dosage right and I can come out of the house!

NP: Ah Paul it is correct, I agree with that challenge so you have eight seconds on squares starting now.

PM: During the years of...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hasn't mentioned squares!

NP: Clement you know very well, in this game we allow a certain amount of time to get going, and if during that preamble they...

RB: How much time? I only took three seconds!

NP: You have to establish that you are about to talk about squares and talk about triangles are similar or different from squares and ah, in geometrical terms and come round to it more rapidly. I'm afraid Rob you didn't and that's the way I've played the rules of this game for 30, 38 years now.


NP: Yes and soon we'll be doing our 40th anniversary. But Paul...

PM: How do you work that out?

NP: What's that? Well in 18 months time, this is the 39th series...

PM: Oh yeah, I see you're following that system!

NP: Yes! You mean I didn't get to it quick enough...

PM: No.

NP: ... so it was deviation. So we give Clement a bonus point for his interruption. Paul gets a point because he was interrupted, he has three seconds on squares starting now.

PM: Square bashing was the order of the day. You'd have to walk out on to the square...


NP: Right Paul Merton, speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And we're with Chris Neill to begin now. Chris the subject here is how to be more confident. I know it's very important in this game, but you've showed it on occasions. Now talk on the subject starting now.

CN: Some people suggest you take cocaine. Apparently that makes you more confident. I wouldn't know. I've noticed it does make some individuals, their teeth grind horribly and they talk rubbish all the while. I've never inhaled although that's nothing to do with anything really. But um so...


NP: Rob.

RB: He said it himself, it's nothing to do with anything really! Therefore a deviation.

NP: No he was referring to what he...

RB: This is madness!

NP: No it isn't!

RB: This is, this is chaos and bedlam here tonight!

PM: Do you think we haven't noticed over the years?

NP: If we get too pedantic about that...

CN: I think Nicholas is talking a lot of sense actually!

RB: I refer you back to Mr Merton's challenge, saying I hadn't mentioned squares within four seconds! If that's not pedantry, then what is?

CN: Rob, love, let it go!

RB: I'm much happier when I'm holding it!

NP: Ah he hadn't, no, he was still on the subject of confidence but he hadn't got around to it again. So no, in a statement, no, 45 seconds, how to...

RB: It's because I'm Welsh, isn't it!

NP: How to be more confident Chris starting now.

CN: I find one of the ways to improve your confidence is to get out of the house ma, ma, more...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of ma.

CN: Right.

NP: Yes of course, 40 seconds Paul, how to be more confident starting now.

PM: Val Doonican had a song which went "walk tall and carry on..."


NP: Rob challenged.

RB: Well I, you haven't mentioned confidence! I'm sorry, I feel cruel doing it, but you've established that rule.

NP: He also hesitated.

RB: Yeah but that's not what I'm getting him on!

NP: Rob I'm sad to think you're going to go home and ever be thinking about this business of how unfairly you were treated over this challenge of squares and triangles. And I think it was reasonable and within the rules of...

RB: Clement doesn't! Clement agrees with me!

NP: Paul was talking about, he went for two seconds, talked about a song which Paul Doonican had, and I think...

RB: It was his brother, it was his brother Val!

NP: Val had...

RB: He was the more successful of the two!

NP: He was the one who didn't have the rocking chair, that's right.

CN: Actually I did know Paul Doonican, that was his brother!

NP: That's right.

CN: Yeah he was the father of a friend of my parents. Looked very much like him but didn't come with the rocking chair.

NP: Paul an incorrect challenge, 36 seconds, how to be more confident starting now.

PM: A certain tone in the voice, if you look someone in the eye, that's apparently what you're meant to do, to show that you're not scared. Also a thing perhaps is to go up and say my name, very clearly and confidently, is such and such...


PM: I could have said my own name, couldn't I?

NP: Yes.

PM: I could have said my own name then.

NP: Yes you could have done.

PM: Instead of mentioning the firm of solicitors.

NP: Rob you got in first, such and such, 21 seconds, how to be more confident starting now.

RB: I have confidence in sunshine, sang Julie Andrews in the film The Sound...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: You see there's no problem with that because you start talking about confidence straight away! So you're absolutely fine, there's no problem there at all.

RB: Shall I carry on then?

PM: Yeah.

RB: Okay.

NP: But there we are, just to show you how fair I am, you were interrupted.

PM: Yeah.

NP: So you get a point for that and there are 18 seconds on how to be more confident with you starting now.

RB: In this motion picture she played the part of Maria who was a very confident nun, in training in the hills of Austria. She fell in love with Christopher Plummer, this took great confidence. How...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well it's deviation because she, she fell in love with a baron, he was played by Christopher Plummer...

NP: I'm afraid that's right.

PM: But Maria, the nun, did not fall in love with Christopher Plummer.

RB: I accept that.

NP: Yes and I accept it too.

RB: I accept it, I'd be a fool to argue with that.

NP: Paul you have five seconds on how to be more confident starting now.

PM: Clement Freud has the right idea about confidence. When you see him walk into a restaurant and demand the menu, he says at the top of his voice, and why not...


NP: Paul Merton was again speaking as the whistle went and has increased his lead ahead of Rob Brydon who is in second place, and a very good square second place! And um Paul it's your turn to begin as well, a butterfly's wing. Tell us something about that delicate subject in this game starting now.

PM: Well I admit they can look a little bit ridiculous, perched on their heads, sort of ginger combed to one side. It's a... awful looking...


NP: Rob challenged.

RB: Well I thought that was hesitation.

NP: I think it was.

RB: Yeah, okay.

NP: Yes right, so you have another point, you have the subject, you have 53 seconds, a butterfly's wing starting now.

RB: Butterflies can be found at Scion House, a beautiful place to visit just to the west of London. They also have a reptile area, but let's concentrate for now on the butterflies. The wings of these butterflies as they glide and flutter by you are quite something to behold, a myriad of colours and hues. One of my favourite things is to try and attract a butterfly with its wing to come and see on my wrist, elbow or shoulder. And I listen to see if I can hear the butterfly's wing fluttering close to my, like a humming bird's... parts that stretch out...


NP: You went brilliantly there for many many seconds. But Paul got in with a first challenge yes.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, butterfly's wing is back with you Paul and there are 16 seconds available starting now.

PM: When you are out there on the middle of summer, and you see, coming towards you, a little...


RB: Sorry when you are out there on the middle of summer? Is it possible to be on the middle of summer?

PM: Yeah, June the 21st.

RB: Fair point, yes!

NP: Paul, another point, 12 seconds, a butterfly's wing starting now.

PM: You see a flower and you think to yourself, perhaps a butterfly is going to come and land gently on these petals. And there, just on the horizon, a little flutter...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of little.

NP: There was too many littles.

PM: Was there?

NP: Yes.

CF: Yeah.

NP: A little flower and a little flutter.

PM: Oh yes.

NP: Clement you've got in with three seconds to go, a butterfly's wing starting now.

CF: A butterfly's wing starting now...


NP: So Clement Freud got that extra point that time, he spoke as the whistle went and he also begins the next round. Clement the subject is tapas. Tell us something about those delicious things starting now.

CF: Tapas is Portuguese for slap. If you hit someone in Portugal, say you strike a person twice, it would be tapas! Tapas! It is an anagram of pasta, which in Italian is any meal made with wheat or other flour as well. But tapas in Spain are little dishes which you buy and eat...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Is it really Portuguese for slap? Is there anybody Portuguese in the audience? Is that right?

CF: That's right. That's right.

NP: There's a Portuguese person put his hand up.


NP: What has age got to do with it?


PM: Oh it isn't used any more.

CF: I've just used it!

NP: It may not be used any more, but it's still a word, it's still a Portuguese word, and it still makes sense and Clement was right.

PM: Yeah.

NP: And Clement you have another point.

PM: Yeah.

CF: That's so good.

NP: And you have tapas, and you have how many seconds? You have 31 seconds starting now.

CF: In olden days what was interesting about tapas was that they all cost the same amount. But you got different quantities of products. So if you had a tapas of lentils, there was a huge plate thereof. But if you had sausages, just maybe one or two. It was excellent because you knew exactly what you were going to get...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well deviation because if they were all different sizes, you had no idea what you were going to get. If they were all exactly the same, then you know exactly what you're going to get. But if sausages are bigger than lentils, or lentils are bigger than sausages, or the beetroot's that size and the onions over there, they're all different sizes, you can't possibly know what you're going to get. Very good chairman! Very good chairman! It's deviation isn't it.

NP: And a very good player of the game.

CF: You're sorry you said that now.

PM: I am, I don't know anything about tapas.

NP: Clement you have seven seconds still on tapas starting now.

CF: A square, if you don't use the triangle or the...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Deviation, he's not talking about tapas.

NP: Well he might, next thing he's going to say he was getting round to it or something. But no, you have, you have the subject, three seconds, tapas starting now Chris.

CN: If you were to gently stroke the backside of a donkey...


NP: So at the end of that round Chris Neill was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Paul Merton still in the lead, but he's only three ahead of Rob Brydon and four of Clement Freud and then Chris Neill in that order. And Rob we'd like you to take the next round, and the subject is what makes me sneeze, 60 seconds starting now.

RB: I will sneeze if I sniff some pollen in a park on summer. I will also sneeze if I get that strange tingling sensation that starts in your toes and it works its way up your body and you...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: No, that's a stroke! I suppose it might make you sneeze.

NP: Right, give Chris Neill a bonus point because we enjoyed the challenge, Rob was interrupted, he gets a point. He still has what makes me sneeze and there's 47 seconds starting now.

RB: Pepper can make me sneeze. Sometimes when I'm in the Spanish restaurant trying out the tapas, I might ask, could I have some of this particular condiment and soooooomething inside me...


NP: Paul... (laughs)

RB: I was having a stroke! I don't!

NP: Oh that's the most valiant attempt to keep going I've ever heard in Just A Minute! You almost deserve a bonus point. But Paul your challenge.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes hesitation, we interpret it as hesitation. But Paul, there are 36 seconds, what makes me sneeze starting now.

PM: Hay fever of course is one way of making me sneeze. During the summer months, walking through any open air area will always do that to me. But of course there are other...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: That was our second of course.

NP: Yes, Clement there are 27 seconds, what makes me sneeze starting now.

CF: Well of course, snuff makes me sneeze most...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: He said of course, he's using my material! That's been my catchphrase for years! I'm known for it!

NP: I know, I know. Give him a bonus...

PM: Or thingamy.

NP: Right, give him a bonus point, of course you must have a bonus point. But Clement you get a point for being interrupted, what makes me sneeze, 24 seconds starting now.

CF: If you hold out your hand and stretch your thumb as far as you can, a cavity appears between your wrist and the nail of your...


NP: Rob challenged.

RB: Well on the rules that have been established, we could be talking about anything other than sneezing. We could be talking about wrists, fingers, cavities. Not a single sneeze.

NP: No, Rob, just to show you how fair I am, he did go too long before he got round to sneezing. So you have a correct challenge.

RB: Thank you. Thank you.

NP: So you have 14 seconds on what makes me sneeze starting now.


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Hesitation.

NP: No! Another point to Rob and there are 13 and a half seconds starting now.

RB: Sometimes I...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: He spoke much too quickly!

RB: That's another point for me!

NP: Yes and I don't think it deserves a bonus, I'm afraid. What makes me sneeze with you Rob, 12 seconds starting now.

RB: Sometimes...


NP: Oh!

RB: Oh yes! Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!

PM: Repetition of sometimes.

RB: It's a fair cop, yes.

NP: Yes, fair cop, it's when you get interrupted a lot, you come back with sometimes the same word and you did Rob. You were challenged, it was correct, 10 seconds, what makes me sneeze Paul starting now.

PM: You get something itchy inside your nostril whether it be right or left. Undoubtedly I know that there will come a moment when I will feel it building up inside my head. The most...


NP: Rob challenged.

RB: Inside, repetition. Inside my nostril, inside my head.

NP: You...

PM: Do you not experience much triumph in your life normally?

RB: I must admit...

PM: Is there a cash prize I'm unaware of?

RB: I, I shocked myself when I hoisted my T-shirt over my head and did a lap of honour!

NP: But you got in with a correct challenge, two seconds on what makes me sneeze Rob starting now.


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Um...

PM: And also he didn't say sometimes, so deviation!

RB: I was taking a breath in to speak.

CN: You have to do that before. You can't just wait till Nicholas, I mean, otherwise you'd be here all night.

NP: Um you did actually pause for a full second.

RB: Fair enough then, fair enough, I'll play by the rules.

CN: And time is dragging, for me a second feels like an hour.

NP: Paul I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this occasion. One second starting now.

RB: Sneezing can for many people...


NP: So let me give you the situation then at the end of that round. Rob Brydon with a lot of points has moved forward. He got one for speaking as the whistle went, and he's now actually in the lead, equal with Paul Merton. Which will give him a lot of satisfaction. Then there's Clement Freud and then Chris Neill in that order. And we're into the final round.


NP: I thought it was worth more than that actually.

PM: No, they got it about right.

NP: The final round. Chris Neill your turn to begin, the subject is reflexology. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CN: Reflexology is the study of the art of admiring yourself in the mirror. I've been, I stand there many hours, happily peering at my own visage, my countenance. From the top of my head, my balding pate, down to my unnnnnn...


NP: Paul challenged first.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation because it was a stumble. And Paul, 47 seconds, reflexology starting now.

PM: Well it's an art, isn't it, the... (pauses)


NP: Rob challenged.

RB: Ah repetition of art.

PM: But I didn't say it.

CN: He hadn't said it.

RB: No no, Chris, you repeated what Chris had said.

NP: Well it doesn't matter.

CN: That's allowed.

RB: Yeah I know, I know, I know.

NP: You are trying a bit too hard now Rob.

RB: Yes yeah.

CN: He did hesitate a bit.

NP: No, it's too late now. Um...

PM: What we could do is a postal vote perhaps. Open it up at the end of the week and see what it was.

NP: So Paul you have another point, you have 45 seconds, reflexology starting now.

PM: There are various points on the feet that relate to other parts of the body. So if your foot is being massaged by an expert, you suddenly say, ah, my liver is sealing me... what?


PM: My liver is sealing up? Did I say.

NP: Chris you challenged.

CN: Yes well it was a sort of stumbly hesitation.

NP: All right Chris, another point to you and the subject and 35 seconds starting now.

CN: I don't know why you bothered telling me that, I won't get anywhere near it. But anyway a friend of mine studied to be a reflexologist out in Berkshire. Interesting, and she had a table in her house and would put people on it, and they'd play, she'd play with their feet really, not the other way round...


NP: Rob challenged.

RB: Repetition of play.

NP: Yes there was too much play there.

CN: Oh no, it was a real old laugh.

NP: Twenty-six seconds Rob, reflexology starting now.

RB: Reflexology is looked upon as an alternative therapy. Many people turn their noses up at these sorts of treatments. For others, they are an absolute boon as their ailments get a grip as the years advance. And reflexology will often be something that a person in the grip of a particular...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of grip.

NP: Repetition of grip, yes.

RB: Oh did I?

NP: Yes, it's a tough game. Paul, another point, another correct challenge, nine seconds, reflexology starting now.

PM: I went to see a reflexologist last year. I made my appointment at two o'clock, turned up at that time, sat in the clinic and this man came over to me and he said to me, looking straight at my feet...


NP: Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And now it remains for me to give you the final situation. Chris Neill who has triumphed in the past...

CN: No I haven't!

NP: Yes you have! You always give good value otherwise you wouldn't be asked back. You are great Chris and you did very well, but you didn't get a lot...


NP: You have your followers, you didn't get a lot of points but you gave a great contribution. Clement Freud always gives great contribution, and he usually get a lot of points, but he got fewer points this time. Rob Brydon who is very new to the game did extraordinarily well. But eh didn't get quite as many as Paul Merton who was two or three ahead...


PM: I know it must be a big disappointment to you! I'm really sorry! Really sorry!

NP: A deserved winner, and a consolation round of applause for Rob Brydon who was the runner-up! And it only remains for me to say thank you again to these four excellent and entertaining players of the game, Paul Merton, Rob Brydon, Chris Neill and Clement Freud. I also thank Janet Staplehurst, who has sat beside me and blown her whistle with such charm and delicacy when the 60 seconds elapsed. We thank our producer-director, Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are very grateful to this lovely audience here at the Mermaid Theatre in Puddledock in Blackfriars in London who have cheered us on our way, sat back and enjoyed every minute. We hope you've enjoyed it, I've enjoyed it. So from me Nicholas Parsons and our audience and our panel, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!