NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello, this is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to introduce the four exciting personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We have two of our regular players of the game, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. We welcome back Lance Percival. And also our special guest this week, Christopher Timothy. Will you please welcome all four of them! The creator of the game, Ian Messiter, usually sits beside me to keep the score and also blow his whistle when 60 seconds are up. Well unfortunately Ian can't be with us today, so I am very fortunate because in his place I have our delightful producer's assistant Anne Ling. Now once again I'm going to ask our four panellists if they will talk for 60 seconds on the subject that I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. And we'll begin the show this week with Lance Percival. Lance the subject is applause. Will you tell us something about applause in 60 seconds starting now.

LANCE PERCIVAL: Applause is something that is craved by every artiste. And the only type of applause I do not like is the one engineered in TV studios. If you should attend a programme made on a television studio place, you will find...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: Well he repeated television.

NP: Yes you did say television twice.

LP: Well they repeat everything else on television!

NP: What I sometimes do is give bonus points. So give Lance a bonus point for that very quick and humorous response that the audience enjoyed by their applause. And Peter Jones gets the subject and a point for a correct challenge. And he has 47 seconds to talk on applause starting now.

PJ: Yes it's something that only performers are able to enjoy because other people make tremendous efforts and write books and take pictures and so on. But they don't ever hear that magic applause that people who are prancing about on the stage often receive. It's sometimes ironic of course and that can't be very pleasant. I've never experienced that myself of course. But occasionally there's a slow handclap, I don't know whether that can be included in types of applause of which there are many. But sometimes there's scattered applause which sounds like people sitting down in a nudist colony. There are the tremendous roars of applause that greet footballers when they score a goal in the winning team. And there are many other types of...


NP: So Peter Jones took over the subject of applause with 47 seconds to go and kept going until the whistle went which tells us that 60 seconds are up. And whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. It was Peter Jones who is in the lead of course at the end of the round. And Peter we'd like you to begin the next round. The subject is problems. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: There seem to be far more problems around than there used to be. And I'm terribly tired of people telling me it's no problem. If you ask a waiter for another cup of tea, he's quite likely to reply "no problem". And you know perfectly well there isn't a problem. And um...


NP: Christopher Timothy has challenged.


NP: And um, hesitation very definitely...

PJ: And um, yes yes, that's one of my problems.

NP: So Christopher you have a correct challenge and 43 seconds to talk on problems starting now.

CT: Problems are the things which we are all very guilty of and very aware of. One of the things that I have always been aware of and very... repetitive!


NP: Peter Jones challenged you.

PJ: Well everything was repeated! Things and aware of and so on.

NP: It's very difficult to repeat everything but I must say Timothy achieved it on that occasion. And Peter you have a correct challenge and the subject back of problems and 34 seconds left starting now.

PJ: Well I'm sorry Christopher Timothy...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Well I haven't said anything yet!

NP: That's your problem, I'm afraid!

CF: But he did begin his last tranche by saying well.

NP: I know he did. I think that's a mean challenge though. If he said it more often I might, but I think it's too harsh because otherwise we'd get started, would we. No I...

CF: Well!

NP: So an incorrect challenge, Peter gets another point, he keeps problems and there are 32 seconds left starting now.

PJ: I wonder if everybody in this audience went to a psychiatrist, just before they arrived, would it make any difference to the amount of applause they would award any particular...


NP: Lance Percival challenged.

LP: Applause was the last subject!

NP: I know! You've got to remember that Peter's not quite as young as the rest of us here. He still thought he was talking about applause. Actually Peter we've moved on to the subject of problems now! Which is no doubt your problem as well.

PJ: Yes yes.

NP: So Clement you've at last got in which is so unusual for you on Just A Minute and the subject of problems and six seconds left starting now.

CF: There are many professional organisations which if you have problems publish their telephone numbers so that you may ring them...


NP: Clement Freud was speaking then when the whistle went and he has gained that all important extra point. And at the end of that round, he is equal with Lance Percival and trailing our leader Peter Jones. Christopher Timothy is behind the lot of them but he has got points. And um...


NP: ... he begins the next round.

PJ: Hesitation!

NP: Yes definitely! And Nicholas Parsons gets two points, the chairman always gets twice as many points for any of his misdemeanours. Clement Freud would you take the next round, the subject is in-flight meals. Will you tell us something about that in this game...


NP: I've never had such an incredible reaction from the audience. In-flight meals have set our audience's stomachs alight obviously. And Clement will you talk on the subject starting now.

CF: There is something strange about in-flight meals, because people love to denigrate them, a bit like British Rail sandwiches. Whereas in fact I have had many in-flight meals which were absolutely excellent. I brought them myself! I made brown bread smoked salmon sandwiches and took a pepper mill and a wedge of lemon. I have for instance taken roast beef cut into thin slices...


NP: And Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of taken.

NP: Yes, you took them but you'd taken before and he has taken again. And you have taken him there with another point and the subject and 34 seconds on in-flight meals Peter starting now.

PJ: Well I have been travelling a lot by air lately. And I have had a number of in-flight meals. And I must say I thought they had improved a great deal since the first I had just after the war which was a packet of sandwiches wrapped in brown paper because aluminium foil I don't think was in common use. But these in plastic trays were really wonderful inventions on the part of the cook and the people who provided the basic ingredients. And they added wine very often, and occasionally cocktails or even beer was available on some of the flights. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course I was travelling most of the time...


NP: So Peter's going in great style this week and again kept the subject till the whistle went, gained the extra point and has increased his lead at the end of the round. Christopher Timothy your turn to begin, the subject, pantomime. Will you tell us something about that lovely subject starting now.

CT: In a country renowned for its theatre history, particularly classical theatre, Shakespeare...


NP: And you paused. Peter?

PJ: A teeter?

NP: No, more than a teeter.

PJ: It was, yes yes.

NP: Yes I know last week we were being generous to Christopher, but I mean now we...

PJ: No no no.

NP: He's won his spurs, he's been asked back and so we have to treat him the same as the rest of the gang. And Peter you have another point and pantomime with 53 seconds left starting now.

PJ: I remember vividly going to see Nicholas Parsons in pantomime. My parents took me!


PJ: And he played Widow Twankey. As far as I remember, it was some time ago. And I did think that he did assume the female characteristics with tremendous élan. And ah brazenness I might say really. He was a kind of ogress really...


NP: Lance Percival challenged.

LP: We had the word really in there a couple of times. Ogress really and something else really.

NP: Lance you have got a correct challenge and the subject and 20 seconds on pantomime starting now.

LP: I have been in three pantomimes during my life, the first time was when I was six years old and played a tree, very successfully. And the other two appearances were as a Dame myself, not Widow Twankey, but the Dame of Robinson...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two Dames.

NP: There were two Dames there yes. So Clement you have a point and sinx, sinx? Six seconds on pantomime starting now.

CF: I have never personally appeared in pantomime. But I once went to see Puss In Boots at the Theatre Royal in Wimbledon. And I found...


NP: So the batting order, well the batting order. The running order is still the same as regards points. It is still Peter Jones in the lead, followed by Clement Freud, then Lance Percival, then Christopher Timothy. And Lance begins the next round, the subject Lance is bills. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

LP: Most people seem to worry about bills a lot. But I am very lucky in the bills that I have met. Namely Bill Forsythe, Stuart, MacDonald, McGregor, Simpson and Stuartess, very famous Bills. The other type of course are the ones that come through your letterbox in the morning. And you have to pay for electrics, gas, the man who cleans up the service and washing machine, and the wife for services rendered. However I will go back now if I may to a few of the Bills I have met in the past. There is Bill Langley, Bill Parsons is a name that may not conjure up great things in your mind although his brother once played Widow Twankey when I was with him. However in the past I do believe...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of played.

NP: You are correct in your challenge Peter, you have 21 seconds left on bills starting now.

PJ: I am surprised it's as long as 21 seconds. Never mind. I don't really like getting bills particularly when they're printed in red ink, and some corporation or outfit suggests that they're going to cut you off from electricity, water or whatever unless you pay. If you happen to have been on holiday or away from home from three, four weeks, it seems reasonable particularly when you've lived...


NP: Well undaunted by the 21 seconds, Peter kept going until the whistle went and gained another extra point and has increased his lead at the end of the round. And we've come back to you for starting Peter. The subject now is happy day, will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PJ: One often thinks back and thinks of happy days that one has enjoyed. But it's beyond my capability to remember completely any one particular day on which I have been happy from start to finish. One remembers a particular incident but ah...


NP: And Christopher Timothy has challenged.

CT: But ah.

NP: But ah yes yes.

PJ: Yes yes.

NP: It wasn't butter. It was but ah, not the butter.

PJ: That's the problem yes.

NP: Yes so Christopher you have a correct challenge and you have 44 seconds on happy day starting now.

CT: Happy day seems like a very good title for a book. One's biography perhaps. You can pick on the day that you remember most of all, the one perhaps when you met your wife...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two perhapses.

CT: Really?

CF: Mmm-hmmm.

NP: Yes I know but he has only played the game once.

CF: Oh.

NP: Yes I know.

CF: All right, not two perhapses.

CT: Two something elses perhaps.

NP: Two something elses. On this occasion I'm going to be generous to you Timothy because you really hadn't got going and you've only played the game...

CF: His name is Christopher actually.

NP: What's that? I know but I'm, I'm... sometimes my public school background comes out and I refer to people by their surnames! I mean at school I was known as Parsons Two as I had an older brother called Parsons One.

LP: Bill Parsons was Parsons One!

NP: So I'll be very familiar now and say Christopher, you still have the subject of happy day and a point and 34 seconds starting now.


NP: And ah Peter...

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I'm going to be generous again Christopher, I'm sorry. So Peter has increased his lead and...

PJ: Happy day!

NP: Because you stopped for two whole seconds, Christopher!

PJ: Oh you didn't start.

NP: You never started.

PJ: He was breathing or something.

NP: We thought you'd passed out actually. You have 33 seconds Peter on happy day starting now.

PJ: I can recall one particular day...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: He didn't begin with well!

NP: So give Clement a bonus point for the challenge that we all enjoyed and the audience applauded. And Peter a point for being interrupted and he keeps the subject and there are now 26 seconds Peter on happy day starting now.

PJ: It started at about eight o'clock in the morning and the sun was shining. I leapt out of bed and went downstairs, the smell of coffee was drifting up the staircase. I drank the orange juice first and then I consumed the other beverage with toast and marmalade which is my favourite food. Meanwhile I was opening letters, offers from all kinds of people all over the place, the BBC and other...


NP: You just got that BBC out in time because that was very repetitious.

PJ: Yes!

NP: And Clement Freud it's your turn to begin, the subject is racing day. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Sorry, could you just give the subject again?

NP: Racing day and there are 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Well my very happiest sort of day would be a racing day. I would get out of bed at eight o'clock in the morning and have orange juice and coffee. And then I would go to Ascot which is possibly my favourite racecourse. It is situated only about 14 traffic jams from where I live. And at Royal Ascot which is a terrific racing day...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well he's mentioned Ascot before.

NP: He did mention Ascot, that is repetition.

CF: Royal Ascot! It's quite different.

PJ: Yes.

NP: So Peter you've got in first, and there are 53 seconds on racing day starting now.

PJ: I suppose if there was a chairman of some other television programme and he had a race with Robin Day, he could describe the event as racing Day. But I don't go racing very much and if I did, I think I would be able to talk about it at greater length. But horses have always ah entertained me, their prancing and racing, galloping and so on. And people put a lot of money on them. I know Clement Freud has once taken part in a wager with somebody, and he won I'm very pleased to say. Racing, it was er...


NP: Lance Percival challenged.

LP: Well I challenged because he just got to the post and hesitated.

NP: He did indeed, he said er about four times and nobody picked him up on it. He said it so quickly, you hardly noticed it perhaps. But anyway Lance I agree with...

PJ: I think because I'm so far ahead they're all discouraged you know! The heart's gone out of them.

NP: I think you're right actually Peter. They're so surprised as well.

PJ: Yeah I know yes.

NP: So Lance a correct challenge with 19 seconds on racing day starting now.

LP: Racing day on Thursday at Royal Ascot concerns ladies and their hats. And if you attend on this particular function you will find that every lady person in the place is...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Lady.

NP: Yes.

PJ: He tried to disguise it by saying lady person. But he failed in my opinion!

NP: You really are on the ball this week, aren't you Peter.

PJ: Yes yes.

NP: Racing day is back with you, nine seconds to go starting now.

PJ: It can be a very entertaining ah...


NP: Christopher Timothy challenged, Christopher yes?

PJ: Off the ball!

CT: There was an er.

NP: Yes there was a definite er there Christopher, he erred in more senses than one. And you've got in with six seconds to go on racing day starting now.

CT: Racing day could be the very time that me and my horse, or rather I and my...


NP: At the end of that round Christopher Timothy got the point for speaking as the whistle went. He's moved forward, he's still in fourth place but he's only one point behind Lance Percival who is only one point behind Clement Freud and they're all a number of points behind Peter Jones. Christopher Timothy your turn to begin, the subject is Yorkshire. Will you tell us something about that wonderful county in this game starting now.

CT: Yorkshire is the largest county in the British Isles. And it is full of people who seem to be harsh as the countryside is. It is beautiful but it is harsh, it is rocky...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Harsh.

NP: Yes harsh. It was a very harsh challenge.

LP: It was probably harsher than we thought in the first place.

NP: So you were too harsh on your county of Yorkshire, Christopher. So Clement got in with a correct challenge and there are 50 seconds left starting now.

CF: If you wanted to have a racing day in Yorkshire, there are actually nine courses to which you could go. I read this the other day in a newspaper and was only able to identify six of them. As it would be incredibly dull to name them, I shall not. But if you wanted to go to York, you'd get up in the morning, you'd have orange juice and coffee, toast. And you'd get on a train, possibly from Euston or King's Cross and go north, passing Watford, rattling through Peterborough...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: If he shrunk from listing the racecourses because it was dull, how can he have the sauce of these places he passed by train?

NP: So what is your challenge?

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Because the...

PJ: He was being devious.

NP: He was being devious when he said to go to York, you would leave from Euston, which is quite wrong of course. It's King's Cross.

PJ: But you could change at Crewe.

NP: As an inveterate rail traveller who spends a lot of his time on all the many jobs I get throughout the country, no, you can't go from Crewe to York very easily. You can with some difficulty...

CF: Yorkshire.

LP: Anyway he said from Euston or some such station as, or something like that.

NP: But you would never go from Euston to York. But still that's beside the point now. Nobody picked it up.

PJ: You might be calling in at Peterborough to see...

NP: But you wouldn't go from Peterborough to Euston either! Euston goes up, it's the old LMS line, it goes up...

PJ: The LMS? Well that places you!

NP: Yes! The audience obviously knew what I was talking about, otherwise they wouldn't have applauded. So we're all of the same era obviously. So there we are, um, Clement I disagree with the challenge so you get another point...

PJ: Could you just tell me what the challenge was?

NP: Clement Freud still has Yorkshire and he has 17 seconds starting now.

CF: Cricket is a game which they used to play frightfully well in Yorkshire. They insisted on having only players that came from that county. And there are legions of stories about ladies in Lancashire who would take their babies across the border, simply so that they could be born and represent the county at Lords, the Oval...


NP: And I still believe at Yorkshire, the cricketers have to be born in the county in order to play for the county. But still somebody will write in and tell me if I'm wrong on that. And Clement Freud gets another point for speaking as the whistle went. He's creeping up on Peter Jones, which is a very devious thing to do but it means he is in second place. Lance Percival will you take the next round, the subject, pictures. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

LP: On the hall of my house, hanging on the wall are some pictures by a gentleman called Monet, Matisse, Gaugin and Van Gogh. I never paid much attention to them until I was on a wayday trip to Paris. And I discovered these particular old persons had painted several other pictures which were of considerable value. So I hitchhiked quickly back to London, rushed to my house, gathered the pictures and went to a well-known corner store called Sother-Christies. Where an expert came down to value them, took three seconds to evaluate the actual price and threw me out on the pavement, because I had not discovered the word is print. And when these prints are put into a frame, you can buy them for at least three pounds 50, and that is exactly what my darling wife had done 10 years previously. I was rather alarmed because I had read in the papers this particular...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of house.

NP: Yes you mentioned your house right at the beginning.

LP: No no no, because when I went to Paris I bought another one so I came back to a different house!

NP: You can wriggle as much as you like, but I have to try and remember these things and you did say the word house before Lance. So Clement Freud has got in with eight seconds on pictures starting now.

CF: I'm quite glad only to have eight seconds for pictures because you shouldn't look at them for more than that. I think three seconds per...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: You wouldn't see much of Gone With The Wind!

NP: Give Peter a bonus point, but Clement Freud gets a point for being interrupted and he still keeps pictures with one second to go starting now.

CF: The National Gallery...


NP: At the end of that round Peter Jones is still in the lead. Clement Freud got points in the round including one for speaking as the whistle went, he's now only four points behind our leader. And Christopher Timothy and Lance Percival trailing a little. And I think this will be the last round, and it's Peter Jones's turn to begin, and the subject Peter is lucky numbers. Would you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PJ: Well I don't believe there is such a thing as a lucky number. And I know what I said at the beginning of this, and nonetheless Clement is sitting there, he's actually given up and put his buzzer down, I notice, which is lucky for me! But some people think that 13...


NP: Lance Percival has challenged.

LP: I think lucky has come twice now.

NP: Yeah but lucky is on the card, lucky numbers. You can repeat the words on the card. Forty-two seconds are left for you Peter on lucky numbers starting now.

PJ: Hotel keepers seem to believe in it because they often have the number 12 followed by 14 in the actual rooms. And ah there are people...


NP: Christopher Timothy challenged.

CT: And er.

NP: Yes.

PJ: And er yes.

NP: I must tell our listeners that Christopher is sitting beside Peter Jones. And all he does is watch his face for the and ers! He's actually got him on five and ers since we started playing! He doesn't worry about anything else! He just waits for the pauses.

CT: I want to do some more of these and I know what it's based on!

NP: Yes you're getting to know the ropes now, aren't you Christopher. Well good luck, you're doing jolly well...

CT: Gosh thanks!

NP: And you got in again, you got another point, you've got 32 seconds, lucky numbers starting now.


CT: Oh!

NP: And Christopher Timothy, you challenged yourself?

CT: Did I?

NP: Yes! You really are getting to know how to play this game aren't you? Can I ask you what your challenge was?

CT: Well I thought if Clement Freud can get a laugh on it, I'll do the same!

NP: You get two points for that, yes, you get a point for a good thought, and a point for um you know a hesitation.

CT: I'm ready now, I'm ready now.

NP: Are you ready now? So you managed to get through three or four seconds there, and there are 31 seconds left for lucky numbers starting now.

CT: Carrying on with Peter's thought about hotel numbers, there is a very famous story of a lady and man in a hotel room, not really allowed to be there, either in the hotel or together. And at one point suddenly there's a knock on the door, and the wife says "oh, Lord that must be my husband." The man replied "but this is the 13th floor". And she said "this is no..."


NP: No, finish the story please. I want to hear the end. Yes finish the story.

CT: It's timing then, isn't it.

NP: The man said...

CT: And the woman said "this is no time to be superstitious!"


NP: It's a good story, it happens to all the best people, if you're ever in a restaurant, somebody always comes out just as you get to the payoff. But Clement you challenged, what was your challenge?

CF: Ah deviation, that was an unlucky number!

NP: Very clever! So he let the three repetitions of hotel, and man and everything else go. But he very cleverly got in on that deviation of an unlucky number. Well done Clement.

LP: No no no no, I think a lot of people have a lucky number of 13. It's just a superstition that 13 should be an unlucky number.

NP: I know but he's talking about lucky numbers. It is a superstition, but still, to most people it is unlucky and so Clement is right. It happens to be my very luckiest number ever, I love 13. But Clement's challenge was correct.

LP: All right. I thought I'd mention it.

NP: They do try hard don't they. So Clement you have 10 seconds on lucky numbers starting now.

CF: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 are quite lucky numbers. And many people believe that 11, 12, 13, 14...


NP: Lance Percival challenged.

LP: The four of 14 came in before as four.

CF: I hadn't got to it!

NP: Oh give him a bonus point, for a clever try. But leave the subject with Clement Freud and half a second to go on lucky numbers starting now.

CF: Fifteen.


NP: So unfortunately we have no more time to play Just A Minute and the last thing I have to do in this show this week is to give you the final position. Lance you did extremely well but alas you did finish in fourth place. But it is not as I say the points they get but the contribution that they make. Oh right. We had a great contribution from our guest Christopher Timothy who finished in third place. A number of points behind one of our regulars, Clement Freud, who was only a few points behind the man who got most points, and did most of the talking this week, and therefore we judge him to be the winner, Peter Jones! So we hope you have enjoyed listening to this particular game, thank you for tuning in. And we hope that you'll want to tune in again when we take to the air and play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here good-bye!