NOTE: Kenneth Williams's last appearance although clips of him are heard on the 1992 25th anniversary special Silver Minutes, and on the 40th anniversary special.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once again it is my pleasure to introduce to you the four exciting personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And once again it is our four regular and long-standing players of the game. Would you please welcome all four Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. The rules are delightfully simple, and I as always do my best to interpret them. As I ask each panellist in turn to speak on the subject I give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card in front of me. Ian Messiter, the deviser of the game, sits beside me with a stopwatch in his hand to keep the time as the seconds tick away and also blow his whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And we begin the show this week with Peter Jones. Peter the subject is getting uptight, 60 seconds as always starting now.

PETER JONES: Well I suppose this is inevitable if you've gone to bed after a very heavy night's drinking and still haven't recovered by dawn. Now my advice, should this ever happen, is to take a hair of the dog, in other words a glass of lager or beer, possibly even spirits, in a reasonable way...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Hesitation.

NP: No I don't think he had really reached a hesitation point, he was keeping going. So I disagree with your challenge Derek, so Peter keeps the subject, gets a point for a wrong challenge, 38 seconds left starting now.

PJ: A prairie oyster is one of the best things you can have if you are suffering from that disability, which is a raw egg with a bit of HP sauce splashed on it. Not awfully easy...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Ah deviation, it's Worcestershire sauce.

NP: Yes you're right and you should know Clement what a prairie oyster is, not because you...

PJ: I think you can have a prairie oyster with more than one kind of sauce.

CF: No.

PJ: It doesn't have to be Worcestershire, it could be Flintshire sauce for all it matters.

NP: Well I'm going to...

PJ: Absolute rubbish! The kind of sauce I'm speaking of has a bit of anchovy in it, and vinegar, salt, spices and additional additives to preserve the natural flavour.

NP: A round of applause for Peter Jones for his culinary knowledge.


NP: But that wasn't in Just A Minute and I shall bow to the man who is a professional in the food world, as opposed to your great culinary knowledge, Peter.

PJ: He's not a professional in hangovers, is he?

NP: I don't know but I think he would know more about a prairie oyster and I bow to that fact. So Clement I agree with your challenge and there are 26 seconds left, getting uptight starting now.

CF: Whereas getting uptight is a word, an expression also used for having been drunk the night before and retaining this happy condition on the morning after, it is occasionally used in terms like a drum. One is, in Kenneth Williams sort of... way...


NP: (laughs) I've never heard Clement struggle so much!

DN: He's grinding to a halt, isn't he!

NP: I think the others were so surprised, none of them challenged! Derek got in there with a correct challenge and six seconds to go, getting uptight starting now.

DN: Well when I congratulated Clement Freud on becoming a Knight Commander of the British Empire, he said very firmly he was a Knight Bachelor. And I said...


NP: As I said before, Ian Messiter blows his whistle when the 60 seconds are up, and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. And of course it was Derek Nimmo, who therefore is obviously in the lead at the end of the round. Kenneth we're going to hear from you now as you take the next subject, which is popadoms. Will you tell us something about that delightful subject in Just A Minute starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: I had a popadom served by this chapati in Clapham. And I thought it was questionable...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Couldn't be served by a chapati!

KW: His name was Chapati and he lived in Clapham, you great fool!

CF: He was the chapati!

NP: Well we don't know so I think Kenneth has wriggled out of that one very successfully because he could have been called Chapati...

KW: Do you want to come out to Wandsworth with me?

NP: No, I would rather resist the temptation, not only because of Wandsworth. But going to Wandsworth with you is not something I would actually feel is the height of luxury. So Kenneth...

KW: I could take you up some of the back alleys!

NP: That was what I was afraid of, yes! Ah Kenneth you keep the back alleys to yourself and carry on with popadoms with 53 seconds to go starting now.

KW: Popadoms are very nice and in India you can have them with lady's fingers and very delicious they are. And in the Great Eastern in Kendall Street, a man in an enormous trenchcoat was eating the popadoms. And the woman with him asked the waiter "are these Bengali cooked?" And the man said "I don't think I have any reason to answer that impertinent..."


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Hesitation on the second syllable of reasonable.

KW: You know what he's after, don't you Nicholas?

NP: Well yes.

KW: He's just desperately trying to get in.

NP: I know but that is part of the game.

KW: He's got this awful egocentric desire to dominate everything!

NP: Yes...

KW: Unlike me! I'm quite happy to just be part of a team!

NP: I think if they didn't all try and get in and play the game with that same sort of verve that you meant, the show would not be the show that it is. So what we'll do is, Peter, a very clever challenge, an amusing one, we'll give you a bonus point...

KW: I didn't think it was amusing at all!

NP: But I'm leaving the subject with you, so you get a point for being interrupted there, Peter gets a point for a good challenge, sorry, for what he contributed. Twenty-three seconds are left on popadoms starting now.

KW: Popadoms are best eaten in Hungarian pyjamas with a Vietnamese pig in attendance. Because this adds an almost exotic air to the whole proceeding. And when you finish off with...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: I'm sorry, I strongly dispute that popadoms are best eaten in Hungarian pyjamas. That is a deliberate deviation.

NP: No I don't think so. How do you know?

DN: I wouldn't have thought in the history of the world, there would be more than two popadoms eaten wearing Hungarian pyjamas.

NP: According, according to Kenneth they might be best eaten in Hungarian pyjamas.

PJ: No they...

NP: It's a matter of personal opinion, which you are allowed to express in Just A Minute.

PJ: They're the last things in the world to eat in bed. Because they're very crumbly...

NP: But you don't always wear your pyjamas in bed. Derek Nimmo, a few weeks ago, told us how he walked down Germon Street in pyjamas.

PJ: Well I'm not interested in all his exhibitionist secrets

NP: Right! So Kenneth I like the idea of eating popadoms in Hungarian pyjamas so you keep the subject with 11 seconds to go starting now.

KW: Popadoms devoured with a Madras curry, and then...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of Madras.

CF: No.

KW: I've never mentioned Madras.

CF: Bengali before.

NP: It was Bengali before.

DN: It was worth a go though, wasn't it!

KW: Yes! What a nerve! What a nerve!

DN: I'd know that Nicholas never listens!

NP: No it's not a nerve, you've got to try in Just A Minute. Seven seconds are left on popadoms starting now.

KW: And I have eaten them in...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of curry earlier on.

NP: Clement he did say curry twice, some time ago, six seconds for you on popadoms starting now.

CF: The reason why people don't make popadoms at home is that the batter requires which lentil flour which is very difficult to get...


NP: So at the end of that round Kenneth Williams got a lot of points on popadoms, he didn't get one for speaking as the whistle went, Clement got that. Kenneth is in the lead at the end of this round, just ahead of Clement Freud, followed by Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo. Derek takes the next subject which is witches, 60 seconds as always starting now.

DN: Well from the middle of the 16th century, witchcraft was a capital offence, or being found to be a witch. And a great deal of women, old ladies in particular, were hanged or burnt because of this. It was a most extraordinary period of British history, it lasted for about 200 years. And you think that they used to go around seeking out witches. And the way to find them was to look on their body for some extra teat which they used for their familiar. So if you had a large mole, and I'm speaking the absolute truth, because they thought the cat would drink from this little protuberance from the body, then you would be led away and very often burnt as a witch. In the 1720s a man wandered around Essex and found 60 witches which he actually tested by floating them on the water...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of burnt, some time ago!

KW: This is ridiculous! You can't have challenges like this, some time ago! I mean don't you agree that's ridiculous!


KW: Yeah you see, there you are! You've got to change the rules! You can't have people going...

NP: Will you stop working on the audience! Now listen I...

DN: I must confess that when I was talking about Guy Fawkes, I used burnt. I really did.

NP: Five seconds to go on witches Clement starting now.

CF: Bubble...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No!

KW: Yes I thought there was hesitation then didn't you!

NP: Four and a half seconds on witches Clement starting now.

CF: Toil and trouble are what the witches in Macbeth...


NP: Well Clement Freud, playing the game in this great one-upmanship way he has, has increased his lead at the end of that round and he also takes the next round which is a good night out. Would you tell us something about that Clement starting now.

CF: For me, a good night out means having a terrific dinner, enjoying the company of the people with whom I'm with. Recently in the Dordogne I had some soup made of araco beans followed by home-cured Bayonne ham, served with pickles which were candied fruit in mustard. And then came the jigo of lamb with green salad made with virgin olive oil and garlic and red cabbages. And cheese of many different kinds in a basket with fresh hot bread and butter, then lemon meringue pie. And the whole thing cost...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: This couldn't possibly be a good night out! He'd be inflicted with indigestion as a result!

NP: He might have put up with that stuff for his good night out, you see. It's an interpretation isn't it. What interpretation...

CF: In the mind of the beholder.

KW: It's not a good night out, it's a blow-out!

NP: It's a good night blow-out and a good night afterwards. I think within the rules of the game, all right Derek, let's be generous and give you a point for a nice challenge but Clement keeps the subject, a good night out, 21 seconds left starting now.

CF: The price of this entire meal was under 10 pounds. And it is extraordinary that in this country which is no great...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: He's already told us that his idea of a good night out is in the company of his friends. Is he trying to tell us that this huge feast that he devoured in the company of all these friends that are so important to him only cost 10 pounds?

KW: (laughs) Yeah very stingy isn't it!

NP: Clement carry on...

PJ: They went Dutch I suppose, didn't they.

DN: They were at the Dordogne weren't they?

NP: No you're trying hard, I won't discourage you from trying but I don't think he was deviating from the er, from the rules of the game. So 14 seconds Clement starting now.

CF: Sometimes when it is a dark and stormy evening and I exit from my flat in London, I am known as a good knight out. And this has happened ever since that afternoon in September...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Showing off!

NP: All right, the audience round of applause confirms that you should have the subject after all your efforts throughout. And you've got in with two seconds to go Derek, a good night out starting now.

DN: My idea of a good night...


NP: And unfortunately we'll never know Derek's idea of a good night out because he spoke as the whistle went, he got an extra point. He's in second place behind Clement Freud, just ahead of Kenneth Williams and Peter Jones. And Peter would you take the next subject which is chopsticks. And there are 60 seconds as always starting now.

PJ: I think they're an important part of a Chinese meal because they slow it up. If you use a knife and fork, you're apt to get the food down rather too quickly. But with ah the difficulty...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: But with ah the difficulty.

NP: Yes that was hesitation. I must say it's a very culinary show isn't it. A good night out, chopsticks, popadoms. So um Kenneth, chopsticks is with you and there are 47 seconds left starting now.

KW: My idea of a good night out is in Hungarian pyjamas with a Vietnamese pig eating popadoms. Because I think that it's an awfully good idea and I don't care what...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: (laughing) He hasn't mentioned...

NP: Chopsticks!

DN: ... chopsticks at all!

NP: We thought you were going to say...

DN: He's got the subjects backwards!

NP: He hasn't mentioned the subject at all. We thought you were going to say a good night out with Hungarian pyjamas eating popadoms with chopsticks! And you never mentioned chopsticks which is the subject on the card. And they waited for it.

KW: Oh! I thought it was a good night out!

NP: They were very generous, they're very fair, they, they do play the game, they are sporting, you know, in spite of the hard way they try. So Derek you got in with 31 seconds on chopsticks starting now.

DN: If you are eating in the company of Chinese friends, it is important to show to them that you have some degree of gentility by displaying how you use your chopsticks. Now the important thing is to hold them very far up the actual stick and just move them very gently towards the popadom or whatever it is that you're trying to devour. If you hold them low down on the chopstick, that shows your innate and inescapable barbarity. In the meal itself it's very nice to...


NP: So Derek Nimmo took chopsticks to the end of the minute and got that extra point for speaking at that moment. And he's just one point now behind Clement Freud. Kenneth your turn to begin and the subject is spring. Will you tell us something about that lovely subject of spring when everything burgeons anew in 60 seconds starting now.

KW: Yes, in the spring, a young man's fancy according to Alfred Lord Tennyson, lightly turns to thoughts of love. Though I must say mine never have! And we hear from Wordsworth of these...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: I think they probably did, but he's forgotten!

NP: Peter we enjoyed that. Give Peter a bonus point and leave the subject with Kenneth Williams who gets a point for being interrupted of course. And the subject is spring Kenneth starting now.

KW: Spring, Shakespeare says "when birds do sing, hey ding! Sweet lovers love the spring..."


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

KW: And that of course is not...

NP: Clement has challenged you.

KW: What?

NP: What was your challenge?

CF: Ah repetition of love.

NP: Love?

CF: Mmmm.

KW: In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to love, not lovers, I said lovers the second time.

NP: Mmmm.

KW: So you see it's not repetition. So why don't you shut your mouth!

CF: He said lovers love the spring the second time.

NP: I think he might have done Clement, but as you are in the lead, and Kenneth was so good...

CF: Oh come on!

NP: And I think, you know, the audience do want to hear from Kenneth on spring...

KW: Yes! Quite right! Yes!

NP: ... I am sure you can be generous and allow Kenneth to go springing forward on the subject of spring with 39 seconds left starting now.

KW: The spring went in a very valuable watch which I valued greatly. So off I went to an orologist who looked at it. But mind you, that was not before a very troublesome customer had gone on and on about...


NP: Clement Freud has got in then. Yes Clement, on and on, so you got in there with 24 seconds...

KW: Oh but the on and on is hyphenated, isn't it!

NP: Well if you hyphenate it! That extra laugh listeners was because there's a young lad of only about 10 or 11 in the audience who immediately knew that Kenneth had said something which was incorrect. Because he doesn't put hyphens at school between on and on. What are you demonstrating to him now?

KW: Well he said, he's not 10, he's eight, he said.

NP: I'm flattering him, he looks so grown up, but sitting down he looked about 10. So...

KW: Well he don't want you putting two years on his age! You'll have him in a grey beard next!

NP: He'd be even more upset if I took two years off! So um Kenneth...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: It's so long since I heard it, what is the subject?

NP: The subject is spring and Kenneth said on and on, and then he tried to get out of it by saying his on and on was hyphenated. Which shows that his command of grammar is not as good as we all expected. So Clement has the subject of spring and there are 24 seconds left... are you satisfied Peter?

PJ: Thank you very much.

NP: And he starts now.

CF: In spring, the bird is on the wing
But that's absurd, because the wing is on the bird...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of wing.

NP: Yes but he had to get his joke in which was very good. But Derek he did repeat...

CF: It wasn't a joke!

NP: ... wing and...

CF: Ogden Nash!

DN: Actually it should have been pronounced boid, I think actually.

NP: So 18 seconds for you Derek on spring starting now.

DN: I know a lovely little spring in Northamptonshire, near an old mill, to which I go very frequently. And the water there is extraordinarily efficacious. It has actual bubbles in it, almost like perrier. And I put it in the bottles, take it back and into my refrigerator it goes...


NP: So in this particular game of Just A Minute, as we're about three quarters of the way through I would think, it's still neck and neck between Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud, one point separates them with Clement one ahead. And Derek to take the next round, Derek the subject is olive. Will you tell us something about olive in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: I'd rather use olive's broad, because for me something about the olive is encapsulated sunshine. When I put one of those little black fruit into my mouth and devour it, I can actually taste the wonderful Mediterranean blue skies, with a brilliant S-U-N shining down upon me. But you know it's a very important plant. For years right back from the earliest times it has been regarded as a sign of peace. Was it not for instance that Paris when she was naming Athens gave a bough of olives to them as a sign...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Not a bough, that would be too big. A branch.

NP: A sprig or a branch, a bough yes, she couldn't have carried it, could she.

PJ: No.

NP: No, so Peter...

KW: Yes that's perfectly reasonable, an olive branch, it's always been referred to as an olive branch. And you could take a bough...

NP: A bough is something, you know, it's quite...

KW: Well this was being given by the gods, you see. Therefore...

DN: They are very big, gods!

PJ: Yes.

NP: Yes but they came in mortal form on occasions. So Peter you have the subject with 21 seconds to go, olive starting now.

PJ: Some of the best olives come from California and you certainly can't taste the Mediterranean when you chew one of those. They're not exactly...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Well it's ridiculous! Because as Derek was pointing out, when he savours them, he thinks of the Mediterranean.

DN: Quite right!

KW: He doesn't mean that the damn thing came from there! It's absurd! And the subject should never have been taken away from him because that stuff about the Greek Gods and about the Mediterranean and the sun, it was all so infectious and delightful.

NP: I know...

KW: Whereas old Jones drearing on... Outrageous!

NP: I disagree with your challenge too Kenneth!

KW: Thank you! What a rotten chairman!

NP: So Peter Jones gets another point and he keeps the subject of olive with 12 seconds left to go now.

PJ: With olives, you can make a wonderful pate, adding a little olive oil to the mashed up fruit themselves, with wine and savouring it with a little, a few herbs...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two littles.

NP: Two littles I'm afraid.

PJ: Oh yes.

NP: And Derek got in with one second to go on olive starting now.

DN: Noah's olive, there they are...


NP: So Derek Nimmo is now one point ahead of Clement Freud in this particular contest and Clement takes the next round.

DN: Why has this programme suddenly become a kind of recipe programme?

NP: Well I did remark earlier on, I've never seen so many culinary subjects. We've had olive, well you took it, it could have been Olive, you could have talked about a woman called Olive. But we've had chopsticks and popadoms...

PJ: I think we're doing it in lieu of lunch!

NP: And you'll never guess what the next subject is! Choosing a restaurant. My goodness me! Clement will probably tell us about that one where he took all his friends out for a tenner. So it is the culinary edition of Just A Minute, and Clement Freud you have the subject of choosing a restaurant, with 60 seconds to go starting now.

CF: If I had to choose a restaurant, I'm not sure that I mightn't go to the Dordogne, where there is a particular restaurant where for less than 10 pounds, you can have araco bean soup followed by cured ham. I think in view of the fact that many people have heard this recipe before, I will give you a better way of choosing a restaurant. And that is there has got to be an actual connection between the number of main dishes on the menu and the tables and chairs that are available. And if you ever find somewhere where there are 14 top courses and only seating for 20 people, you are quite certain that they have a huge deep freeze and don't know their job, and probably have a microwave opinion in which to warm things up, and displease you and poison you. So choosing a restaurant has got to be most carefully done. It isn't just food or drink, it is predominantly atmosphere...


NP: Clement Freud took that subject about which he should know a great deal, because he once owned a restaurant and a dining club, I should call it perhaps. And so he displayed some of his knowledge there. he kept going for a full minute, no interruptions, no hesitation, repetition or deviation. So he not only gets a point for speaking as the whistle went but a bonus point for not being interrupted. Congratulations again Clement and you're now equal in the lead with Derek Nimmo. Peter Jones your turn to begin and the subject, mumbling. Will you tell us something about mumbling which is not a good thing to do in Just A Minute. But talk on the subject, 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well this mode of delivery was popularised by Marlon Brandon many years ago. And a lot of American actors followed suit with the result (mumbles unintelligibly for 38 seconds) What's the time?


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: You'd better tell people not to adjust their sets!

NP: I think they did hear some noise. But he did actually at one point say er. I thought you might have challenged him for that.

PJ: Oh yes.

NP: But you didn't do your...

DN: Repetition of time I was going to challenge on him actually.

NP: No I never heard him say time twice. Um but he did actually er more than once, but you didn't get him on the er. So Derek, Peter, surprisingly, in spite of all that mumbling, you get a point for an incorrect challenge and you keep the subject with 11 seconds to go starting now.

PJ: I prefer people who speak distinctly, people who have elocution...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of people.

NP: People, you had two people I'm afraid Derek.

PJ: Oh really?

NP: Peter I mean, or Derek got in. Derek you got in with five seconds to go on mumbling starting now.

DN: On this programme, Clement Freud is the chief exponent of mumbling. (does impression of CF mumbling)


NP: What's your challenge Peter?

PJ: Well he was using my material!

NP: So that was repetition of what you said.

PJ: It was, absolutely.

NP: Absolutely right Peter, so you have the subject with half a second to go on mumbling starting now.



NP: So Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went and he has leapt forward in this contest. And he's still in third place alongside Kenneth Williams, but they're both only a few points behind our leaders, Clement Freud one point behind Derek Nimmo. And Kenneth your turn to begin, the subject is ogres. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: Well an ogre can be one of those mythological characters, like Medusa who had all those snakes in her hair. Or it could be something which you don't particularly like. You know and you could reasonably describe this antipathy as ogresome, you see. Mind you, there were an awful lot of them about it in ancient mythology. And the ones that spring to my mind, I suppose, were the Titans. Because you know they did the most extraordinary things especially on the island of Lesbos. And I was taken there on this yacht, you see, well, it was a...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of you see.

NP: Yes you did say did you see before.

KW: Oh!

NP: So Derek has the subject having got a correct challenge and this is the last round, and there's 18 seconds left starting now.

DN: To qualify as an ogre you have to eat human flesh. So in Jack and the Beanstalk when the ogre says, "fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman", it meant he was going to go and gobble the fellow up, which I think is awfully...


NP: So Derek Nimmo took ogres, to the end of the minute, gained that extra point for speaking then. And I'm afraid we have no more time this week to play Just A Minute. Let me just tell you that Kenneth Williams and Peter Jones finished together in third place a little way behind Clement Freud. And he was just a few points behind this week's winner, who is Derek Nimmo! We do hope you have listening to Just A Minute. And it only remains for me to say on behalf of Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud, and the creator of the game Ian Messiter, and our producer Ted Taylor, and myself, Nicholas Parsons, thank you for tuning in. Thank you for staying with us. And we hope that you'll be on our wavelength once again when we play Just A Minute. Until then good-bye!