starring CLEMENT FREUD, TONY HAWKS, JULIAN CLARY and KATE ROBBINS, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 13 February 2006)

NOTE: Kate Robbins's last appearance.

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, in this country and of course around the world. But also to welcome to the programme this week four exciting talented people who are going to pit their wits and their humour and show their verbal dexterity and ingenuity as they try and speak on a subject that I give them and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four people are seated on my right Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. And seated on my left Julian Clary and Kate Robbins. Will you please welcome all four of them! And beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, who is going to help me with the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Shaw Theatre, a delightful new establishment here right in the centre of the Bloomsbury area of London, not very far from St Pancreas' Station. And we've got a lot of people who have just got off the train and rushed in here to cheer us on our way as we play Just A Minute. And start the show with Clement Freud. Clement, the subject here to start the show is my headmaster. Will you tell us something about that subject in the game, starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: When I was a very small boy and went to a progressive boarding school in Devon, my headmaster's name was Bill. I tried to call him William but he wouldn't have it. He was not good at his job, he wrote books about problem children. And while we were around getting drunk, he went on scribing his parchment in order to do the publications that I have just mentioned. He had a tremendous favourite, a girl called Rachel Long. And if you have someone who you love beyond all other people in the school... I said school...


NP: Tony you challenged then.

TONY HAWKS: Ah repetition of something, I can't remember what it was.


TH: School that was it.

NP: No we were so captivated by the story...

TH: Yes.

NP: .. and about Rachel Long...

TH: Yes.

NP: ... I think we all wanted to know what happened to Rachel.

TH: Yes.

NP: And we were waiting...

CF: She's here. Rachel Long is here.

NP: In this audience tonight?

CF: In the audience yes.

NP: She must be pretty ancient by now if she was ah...


NP: No, because she'd be older than Clement. Legally for the headmaster to have a crush on one of the pupils, it must have been one of the older pupils. And Clement is not in his first flush! So if you look at it logically, I wasn't...

TH: You are watching a man digging himself out...

NP: I hope my digging was profitable. Tony you had a correct challenge so you get a point for that and you take over the subject with 24 seconds to go, my headmaster starting now.

TH: When I was at school, I got into terrible trouble with my headmaster for organising a game of Just A Minute in the classroom. And it was against the rules and no-one ever did it in the schools up and down the country because it was considered to be passe, and just something that...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Just.

KR: Yes.

NP: Oh yes, Just A Minute and just, yes.

TH: Oh yes, well spotted.

NP: Well listened Clement, and you've got the subject back with seven seconds to go, my headmaster starting now.

CF: My headmaster was sacked in 1943 for running an establishment which nobody came to...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud, and at the end of that round, you naturally have realised he's in the lead with two points, Tony has one, the other two are yet to score. But Kate we're going to hear from you now. Kate Robbins will you take the subject of kids, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

KR: Kids are so cute. I'm talking about the bearded and hairy variety, of course the offspring of goats, that's the kids I'm discussing at the moment. Do not try to eat the meat of this beast, however, it is vile, particularly as I'm vegetarian. And if you like the milk of this be... oh!


NP: Julian you challenged.

JULIAN CLARY: Well it was going to be a repetition but then it was a hesitation.

NP: That's right.

KR: And it was nearly a swear word!

NP: We call that hesitation and so Julian you have kids, you have 42 seconds available starting now.

JC: Thank you very much. I'm planning to move to the countryside and I'm hoping, hoping to get some...


NP: Kate challenged.

JC: To get a sentence out would be nice!

KR: I'll have my kids back please! Yes he just hesitated.

NP: I think we would interpret that as hesitation Kate so you've got kids back with you...

KW: I know!

NP: And there are 36 seconds starting now.

KR: Kids can ruin your life, never mind they make it more enchanting. I have three and they drive me round the...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Well I don't think she was actually going to say what it was she was being driven round, I think it was a hesitation.

NP: It was a hesitation.

KR: I was going to say round, round the wall. But you go up a wall, don't you.

TH: Yes.

NP: Why don't you go round the bend?

TH: You could have said bend, you hadn't said it before.

KR: Because I'm scared to say any word beginning with B on this show! Specially if I repeat BB and then C.

TH: I see what you mean.

JC: You can go round the wall though, if you wish.

KR: Yes yes. I was going to go round the wall so give it back to me!

NP: Well no!

TH: Certainly you're making it quite hard for yourself by avoiding words beginning with B as well!

NP: Unfortunately you stopped so it's a correct challenge and he now has 30 seconds to tell us something about kids starting now.

TH: Kids have it tough. The best thing about being an adult is that as many of you as you want can go into a newsagents' at any one time. That is fantastic and how I love to flaunt this advantage I have over kids, by mocking them as they are lined up outside, waiting individually to be invited in by the proprietor of that establishment. And when they go in I say...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Go in twice.

NP: I'm afraid you went in too often.

TH: Yes.

NP: Yes, go in, go in, and Clement's cleverly got in with five seconds to go on kids Clement starting now.

CF: Children are quite often referred to as kids. You might say "hello.... you kids..."


NP: You challenged.

CF: I saw the whistle.

NP: I know you did and I must explain to our listeners that Clement paused for only one reason then, he saw Janet put the whistle up to her mouth and thought she was going to blow it. And she was getting ready to blow it but not actually blowing it. So Kate...

CF: So I blew it!

NP: What's that? You got in with a hesitation with one second to go, kids starting now.

KR: Kids do not have...


NP: Kate Robbins speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point. And Kate, it's only the second time she's played the game, and last time she was struggling a little. But this time she's now in the lead with Clement Freud at the end of that round. And Julian Clary will you take the next round, the subject is lip service. Will you tell us something about lip service...


NP: Where do this audience come from? And it's lip service with you Julian starting now.

JC: If I pay you lip service, then I am indeed servicing you with my lips. That's what you were laughing about, and don't pretend that wasn't the reason. I think generally though it means a disingenius or insincere phrase...


NP: Kate challenged.

KR: I think you meant disingenuous.

NP: Yes and what did he...

JC: I know what I meant!

KR: He said disingenius.

NP: No that's right, so it is a deviation from English as we know it and understand it.

JC: You've got the hang of it now Kate!

NP: So Kate you've got the hang of it as Julian said, you've got 45 seconds, tell us something about lip service starting now.

KR: I once stayed in a hotel where you had lip service to your room if you wanted it. You rang down...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Could I have the address?


NP: Oh Julian, the mind boggles! We'll give you a bonus point because the audience enjoyed your challenge. It wasn't really a challenge, it was an interruption. But Kate gets a point because she was interrupted, she keeps lip service and, she doesn't keep lip service, she keeps the subject of lip service, and there are 39 seconds starting now.

KR: Lip service would be a great name for a collagen... clinic...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Hesitation.

NP: She did stumble over collagen, didn't she.

KR: Collagen cli-nic, yes.

NP: So Julian you got it back, you've got 35 seconds, lip service starting now.

JC: I'm now going to pay lip service to every member on this panel. Kate, I've always admired your work. Nicholas, you're looking younger every week. Clement, how long has it been since we last met for tea in Bloomsbury, I can't remember. And Tony, what a lovely top, is it blue? What particular fibre is that made from? And now let's start with the audience. Oh there's a man in the front row with ginger hair, well you don't see that very often! Nice if you're going to a party though, I always think. And the man behind you is chewing something...


NP: Tony.

TH: Ah repetition of man, I think.

KR: Yeah.

NP: I, yes.

JC: I like to repeat men!

NP: So Tony you got in with two seconds to go, they wanted to hear more about the audience too, lip service is with you Tony starting now.

TH: I think that my challenge wasn't that...


NP: At the end of that round Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. But he's still one point behind our leader who is Kate Robbins. So, the audience is with you Kate. And Tony Hawks your turn to begin, the subject is the glass ceiling. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TH: The glass ceiling that I have fitted to my kitchen is not very popular. Largely because the room above is the bathroom! No-one particularly likes to go in there knowing that I might be making a cup of tea down below and glancing upwards, as if one might even be looking at a blue plaque that was above someone in a...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: I was saving him!

NP: Yes! I think he was drowning in the water that was dripping through his glass ceiling. Clement you have 40 seconds, tell us something about the glass ceiling starting now.

CF: The Glass Ceiling was one of the very few unexceptionally bad films made by the Ealing Studios, and the reason why none of you have heard of it or perhaps seen it, is because it never came out. They worked on it day after night, week into months, for years. And yet the quality was so astonishingly poor that The Glass Ceiling hit the bin...


NP: Oh Kate thank you so much!

KR: I think I'm digging you out of it now Clement!

NP: Yes I think you... he was only struggling because it was such rubbish as well! But he's got such a convincing air, you were all carried away with it! I'm a contemporary of his, and I know that the Ealing Studios never made a Glass Ceiling. Anyway it doesn't matter...

CF: Hitting a film when it's down is really...

NP: It's hitting a film that never surfaced I think is... anyway Clement you had a correct challenge and saved him, and 13 seconds on the glass ceiling starting now.

KR: The glass ceiling that you'll find at Kew Gardens is amazing. It of course covers all the beautiful plants that are there, and is now a term used in the ozone... oh...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Was there a slight hesitation?

NP: Yes there was. You mustn't be put off by them.

KR: No.

NP: I know he made a noise and I saw you look at him.

KR: I know, but I like him, you see.

NP: But that wasn't why you looked at him.

KR: No.

NP: It was because you thought he was putting you off.

KR: He's quite nice looking.

NP: And again he's got in, what's your challenge?

TH: Ah hesitation, I don't want to repeat the challenge, I'll get done for repetition.

NP: I don't think you did, you struggled a bit, you didn't actually ah, no you didn't really hesitate, no. The benefit of the doubt on that one and I'll have to redress the balance if it happens. The glass ceiling still with you Kate, starting now.

KR: The glass ceiling in my bedroom was supposed to be a mirror...


NP: Well Kate Robbins was again speaking as the whistle went and has increased her lead at the end of the round. And Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject is penguins. Tell us something about those creatures in this game starting now.

CF: The penguin is a flightless seabird that looks astonishingly like a nun. There are ordinary penguins but also emperor penguins and fairy penguins which I thought just might ah please some...


NP: Kate challenged.

KR: You really hesitated this time, aren't you.

NP: You did hesitate.

KR: You did.

JC: He was looking at me as he said fairies! What's your point Clement?

KR: Oh!

JC: (in tough voice) Now, outside!

NP: So Kate another point to you, 44 seconds available, tell us something about penguins starting now.

KR: Penguins do very bad impressions of people going to balls where Jeffrey Archer does auctions, wearing tuxedoes. These places are not very good for penguins to actually go to. They are places... oh!


NP: Oh! Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of places.

NP: Places, correct challenge Tony, another point to you, 33 seconds, penguins starting now.

TH: A penguin is a bird that cannot fly. What is the point of that? That's like being a Prime Minister who can't mislead his people! Thankfully that will never happen...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: That was the fourth that.

KR: Yeah he did.

NP: Yes there were, there were four thats. Um yes...

CF: We don't like four thats.

KR: For that reason he's got the challenge.

TH: Yes.

NP: So we give it you Clement, benefit of the doubt perhaps but it's yours, 21 seconds, penguins starting now.

CF: Penguins quite like the cold when it snows, freezes...


NP: Julian's challenged.

JC: Fairy penguins don't!

NP: Julian if there are such things, I think they're like all other penguins and they probably do enjoy the cold. So we give you a bonus point because we enjoyed what you said, and the interruption means Clement gets a point and he has 17 seconds on penguins starting now.

CF: Penguin in French is (pronounces penguin in French). In German (pronounces penguin in German). Isn't that interesting.


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: No!

NP: And have you got a rule within the rules of Just A Minute?

TH: Ah, I'm struggling a bit!

NP: Yes go on!

TH: Ah deviation.

NP: No he wasn't deviating, he...

TH: He made a definite statement that it was interesting and I think we all in this room agree that that was an incorrect statement.

NP: No you just got a laugh because you're a good timer of comedy. But he hesitated...

TH: Well I accept being a good timer of comedy, coming from you that is a wonderful thing to hear! So I'm happy, I'm happy with the compliment, and I'm happy not to get a point, in fact I'm over the moon about everything!

NP: We're delighted to have you on the show. Right so I consider that an incorrect challenge Clement, you still have penguins and 10 seconds starting now.

CF: Penguins are tremendously attracted to zoos. I don't really have a lot else to say about penguins but will leave it to Nicholas Parsons to...


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point and others in the round. He has leapt forward, he's now equal with Kate Robbins at the end of the round, followed by Tony Hawks and Julian Clary in that order. And Kate it's your turn, the subject is chalk and cheese. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

KR: Chalk and cheese sandwiches were what I ate when I was pregnant for the third time. It was a delicious mixture of alkaline and acid which is contrary to the idea of chalk and cheese being very different and not going together very well. I enjoyed this delicacy because I was craving weird things. That's what happens to women when they are gestationally... ah...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Hesitation in the middle of your gestation.

NP: Yes. Right that's the problem with the game isn't it, once you try to find another word to express something you've already said and there's very few other words of saying pregnant. Right um, 37 seconds Julian on chalk and cheese starting now.

JC: Anne Widdecombe and Kate Moss! Clement Freud and Julian Clary! These are examples of chalk and cheese. People from opposite ends of the spectrum, so far apart that's it hard to imagine them, imagine them having anything...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Slight hesitation on the...

NP: There was a slight hesitation Julian, ah Tony, so you have chalk and cheese and you have 22 seconds starting now.

TH: Ten years ago Nicholas Parsons asked me if I wanted to be in a double act called Chalk And Cheese. I said "what am I going to be?" He said "you will be Chalk" and obviously he would have to be the other one. And I didn't agree to this because I thought I was a master of comic timing as we've already established earlier in the show. And that he might not be able to keep pace...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of might.

NP: Might yes, you did say might before. Clement you've got in with a correct challenge and you have got ah, three seconds to go on chalk and cheese starting now.

CF: I went to a restaurant called (unintelligible) and asked for chalk...


NP: Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went again and gained that extra point and has increased his lead by two over Kate Robbins, and then comes Tony Hawks and Julian Clary. Julian it's your turn to begin and the subject is Bernard Shaw. A lot of people may not know that this theatre, the Shaw theatre, was named after that great playwright.

CF: Oh!

NP: You have six seconds...

JC: Are you sure?

NP: Anyway, Bernard Shaw, 60 seconds Julian starting now.

JC: Bernard Shaw was a cheery man with a very long beard who passed his days writing plays which were very successful, generally speaking, and put on in the West End to great acclaim. He was as far removed from Oscar Wilde, as is possible to be. They were chalk and cheese. I think he lived an awfully long time, I think...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Well I think it is possible to be, he did say that they were about as opposed as it was possible to be Oscar Wilde...

NP: No they were, their style was different.

TH: No but one of them could have been a, er, you know worked as a dustman. One of them could have been a Flemish dustman.

JC: Oh shut up!

NP: When it came to writing plays they were almost as chalk and cheese, by a stretch of the information you could say that. One wrote those smart witty clever comedies, and the other one wrote social pamphleteer type plays with a social conscience. And there wasn't much of a social conscience in the...

TH: I can sense this ruling isn't going my way!

NP: Well he's got the benefit of the doubt even if you don't agree with me.

TH: Okay.

NP: So Bernard Shaw is still with you Julian and there are 39 seconds starting now.

JC: Bernard Shaw had a very formidable intellect. And if you sat in his company, before long he'd come out with a bon mot that you could treasure and take home and tell your grandchildren, Bernard Shaw told me that. He's still very popular today in fact. Just up the road in the West End, there's a play of his which I have seen...


NP: Um um sorry, Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of play?

KR: Yeah.

NP: No it was plays before. He wrote plays.

KR: Oh.

NP: And they're as different as chalk and cheese, I think that was what it was, wasn't it?

JC: Yes.

NP: So...

TH: I can't wait to tape this and listen back to it!

NP: Twenty seconds still with you Julian, Bernard Shaw starting now.

JC: It's come back to me now. The performance I have seen is called You Never Can Tell. And it's stunning. In fact I reviewed it for a well-known periodical and I gave it five stars which I don't hand out very often. I am very stingy with my stars but on...


NP: Kate challenged.

KR: I'm afraid you said stars twice.

NP: Yes you had too many stars. I know that for someone like you stars are... Kate you've got in with four seconds to go on Bernard Shaw starting now.

KR: Bernard Shaw was a lad in my class at school, little Bernie Shaw, he was a real hard case and...


NP: So Kate Robbins was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point, and she's leapt back into the lead but alongside Clement Freud and in second place equal are Julian Clary and Tony Hawks. Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is now the art of flower arranging. Tell us something about that art in this game, or that subject in this game starting now.

CF: The art of flower arranging is something George Bernard Shaw was very keen on. I'm awfully pleased because I was going to speak about this man earlier. He was born in 1856, which was...


NP: Kate's challenged.

KR: Deviation!

NP: Yes.

KR: He's talking about Bernard Shaw and we were supposed to be talking about the art of flower arranging.

CF: Which he did.

KR: Well that's...

CF: It was one of the...

KR: Come on!

NP: Yes but you did actually say that you were going to now talk about Bernard Shaw.

KR: Which is surely...

CF: Who was one of the great flower arrangers.

NP: You said he was good at flower arranging.

CF: Yes.

NP: But I'm now going to talk about Bernard Shaw.

CF: The number one flower arranger...

NP: No you didn't...

CF: ... in Buckinghamshire!

NP; I, to my mind you established that you were now going to go on to the subject that we've had before...

KR: Yes.

NP: ... of Bernard Shaw and not...

CF: Oh did we have Bernard Shaw?

NP: I often give benefits of the doubt, Kate you have the benefit of the doubt on, and so you have the art of flower arranging and you have 47 seconds starting now.

KR: The art of flower arranging is something the Women's Institute like to do quite a lot of. And it's something that I am not very good at because I always put chrysanthemums in which apparently don't look very nice in the arrangement of flowers in a...


NP: Julian you challenged first.

JC: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation.

JC: Suddenly and inexplicably!

NP: Tell us something about the art of flower arranging Julian with er 33 seconds to go starting now.

JC: I don't go in for flower arranging myself. I choose tulips whenever possible, particularly popular at this time of the year, because you pop them in a vase, come downstairs the next morning, and do you know, they've arranged themselves! And as the days pass they lean towards the window saying I'm over here, sunlight! And it's delightful, it's like having a budgie or a parrot. Every time you walk in the room there's something different going on with the tulips, red ones...


NP: Clement challenged.

JC: Tulips.

CF: Tulips.

NP: Tulips, tulips yes, you can't repeat the subject ah, the flower. Right, six seconds, we're back with you Clement, the art of flower arranging starting now.

CF: In Japan they're tremendously keen on it. Go to...


NP: Ah Julian challenged.

JC: On what? George Bernard Shaw?

NP: Only because you got a round of applause Julian, will I give you a bonus point because they enjoyed the interruption. But he wasn't deviating from the art of flower arranging so a point and you've got three seconds on the subject starting now.

CF: Even in the train from Tokyo to Kyoto there is a flower arranger...


NP: So at the end of that round, I have to tell you by the way we're moving into the last round. And Julian Clary and Tony Hawks who have won in the past in this game are equal together in third place. They are three points behind Kate Robbins who has only played the game twice. And this is her second time by the way. But just out in the lead is Clement Freud as we move into the final round and it's Kate Robbins to begin. The subject is fibs. Kate tell us something about fibs in Just A Minute starting now.

KR: Fibs is an acronym for, sorry about this Clement, Freudian Inference for Believable Stories, meaning lies. Something I have never ever told in my life. There you are, there's one for you now. Obviously when in court you can't refer to "I never did any fibbing, Your Honour". I never...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Yes repetition of never.

NP: I never yes, well done. Fibs is with you Tony and there are 47 seconds starting now.

TH: The Glass Ceiling was a tremendous Ealing comedy that never got released. That would be an example of a fib, I believe. But Clement pulled it off with some aplomb because he is an excellent fibber on this show. Heaven forbid, I'm not saying he would do it outside of this arena...


NP: Kate challenged.

KR: I didn't understand, he went ha-ha-ha-hem! What's that mean? Ha-ha-ha-hem!

NP: I think that he was keeping going, it might have sounded like hesitation.

KR: Ha-ha-ha-hem, I'm sorry, he sounded like a pop singer.

NP: He got his words out, but he, his...

KR: Ha-ha-ha-hem!

NP: No I think we must give him the benefit of the doubt on this occasion so he keeps the subject of fibs and Tony there are 26 seconds starting now.

TH: Fourteen people are in the audience this evening. That could be an example of a fib. We all know from the reaction that we are hearing, the enthusiasm to my voice, that there are over 25...


TH: ... demonstrating it as I speak, you can hear them cry out...


NP: Kate you challenged.

KR: You got so carried away then that you did hesitate then in the middle of your triumphal speech.

NP: Actually he didn't hesitate until after you pressed your buzzer.

KR: Oh? No he did a bit, he went hah-jaj-ee-ah...

NP: No he has the benefit of the doubt again, he was rousing the audience, you have ah, seven seconds to go on fibs with you Tony starting now.

TH: I'm not sure if fibs actually is an acronym as Kate was stating earlier. It may well be her...


NP: So let me give you the final score. That was Julian Clary who has won in the past on occasions, did very well but he did finish unfortunately in fourth place. But we love having you Julian, your contribution is invaluable. And in second place, someone who has only played the game once before is Kate Robbins who did magnificently on her return visit. Tony Hawks who won the last time we were at the Shaw Theatre, finished up on a magnificent um place in second place. But he was two points behind Clement Freud, so Clement we say this week you are our winner! Thank you very much indeed! We hope you enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Julian Clary, Tony Hawks, Kate Robbins and Clement Freud. I thank Janet Staplehurst, who has helped me with the score she has blown her whistle magnificently when the 60 seconds elapsed. We thank our producer-director Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who has created this game. And we are very grateful to this lovely audience here at the Shaw Theatre in Euston Road who have cheered us on our way. We hope the listeners have enjoyed it so, from me Nicholas Parsons and our team, good-bye. Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!