NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners, not only in this country but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show four exciting, experienced and distinctive players of this game, who have come together to show their verbal ingenuity as they try and speak on a subject that I give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And seated on my right, we have Paul Merton with Clement Freud. And seated on my left Graham Norton with Jenny Eclair. Will you please welcome all four of them! And seated beside me Janet Staplehurst, who is going to help me with the score, she is going to blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Harlequin Theatre, that cultural centre of Redhill. I was told when we came in and here we have a Redhill audience ready to enjoy themselves. As we begin the show with Clement Freud. Clement, the first subject is the wow factor. What a lovely subject, 60 seconds, starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: What I have in common with Redhill is that the wow factor plays an astonishingly small part in my life. Our lives perhaps that should have been. A factor is someone who looks after things. Wow factoring in my case is of little import...


NP: Paul's challenged.

CF: There is hardly a wow...

NP: Paul has challenged you.

CF: ... in me, look where you will...

NP: You have still been challenged Clement.

PAUL MERTON: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, I think he was on autopilot then. Yes a hesitation Paul, a correct challenge, so you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject which is the wow factor, there are 36 seconds available and you start now.

PM: People in show business are always looking for the next wow factor, aren't they, the new musical or perhaps a brand...


PM: I was going to say new again, I was going to say new again.

NP: Yeah but Graham you challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes Graham, so you're going to talk on the wow factor as well and there are 30 seconds available starting now.

GN: The architect of this Harlequin Theatre certainly knew what the wow factor was. Oh if only you could see it, it has all the rococo splendour of a paving slab! I believe it was purpose-built in 1975 to house Council Estate, the musical. Or perhaps it was just left over from that festival of red bricks you had in Redhill in the same decade. It's reddish brown charm cannot be overestimated. I...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Graham Norton and he's got two points at the end of the round, Paul Merton has one. And Graham we'd like you to take the next round, the subject is envy. Tell us something about that deadly sin or take it anyway you like of course, 60 seconds starting now.

GN: As I enjoyed one of the several roundabouts one encounters on the way into this fair town, I was stunned when I saw Envy the night-club. Its venue spoke to me. I wanted to park and run in and have a dance! Imagine Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz in some New York hotspot, they can't really enjoy it now because at the back of their mind they're thinking damn, Redhill and its Envy, I want to be there...


GN: That's the place I want...

NP: Sorry because Paul has challenged you.

PM: Repetition of Redhill.

GN: Oh!

NP: Yes! Because you said...

GN: Isn't it funny, a word I've never said before!

NP: You didn't notice you saying it again as you drove into Redhill at the beginning. Paul you have a correct challenge, you have the subject of envy, 28 seconds starting now.

PM: I suppose there is a lot of rivalry in these places outside of London. I once saw an advert at the station at Hemel Hampstead, it said "hard luck London", I'm going to say London again...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JENNY ECLAIR: Yes he did say London twice.

PM: Yes.

JE: He did.

NP: Yes he did, you heard him which is the important thing...

JE: Yeah I did.

NP: And you pressed your buzzer first, so you have envy to talk on, to talk about I should say, 19 seconds starting now.

JE: I suffer terribly from envy. Every time I turn on television and see an advert that doesn't have my voiceover, I think why did they employ that piece of rubbish, it should have been me! The trouble with be, being...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: A bit of a hesitation.

NP: A bit of a hesitation yes.

JE: Yes.

NP: And you've got in with three seconds to go Paul.

PM: I do apologise, I must be a great disappointment to you all.

NP: But ah...

PM: It's slightly worrying.

NP: He was apologising actually for getting in with only three seconds to go which is very very thoughtful of him. So now you have the three seconds Paul, the subject is envy and you start now.

PM: I can't help but feel that those people who are booing me now are...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's now in the lead, ahead of Graham Norton and Jenny Eclair and Clement Freud in that order. And Jenny will you take the next round. Grumpiness. Tell us something about grumpiness in Just A Minute starting now.

JE: I'm so thrilled to be grumpy, it gives me the greatest excuse to go around with a face like a shark, waving my fist at everyone. Anything can trigger me off. I get up in the morning, stub my toe, drop myself into a bath, the water is not hot, it's cold! Next thing buttons are dropping off my new expensive cardigan, I trap my hand in my knicker drawer, my tights are laddered! I go downstairs, the dishwasher has flooded, oh God how hard...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Have you, have you sought professional help?

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

PM: No.

NP: Right...

JE: He was just trying to help me.

NP: No no, we enjoyed the interruption so Paul gets a bonus point for that, Jenny was interrupted so she gets a point for that, she keeps the subject of envy, no it isn't, we had that before, didn't we.

JE: Yeah, let me do grumpy.

NP: It's grumpy, we've gone from envy to grumpiness, 32 seconds starting now.

JE: Here are some more things that make me grumpy! Things...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: We had a repetition of grumpy.

NP: Yes because grumpiness is the subject on the card...

JE: Yes.

NP: ... and you used the word grumpy yes.

JE: I'll get it back!

NP: Audience, those are the rules of the game. Graham listened, got a correct challenge, 39 seconds, grumpiness Graham starting now.

GN: If grumpiness looked like something, I believe it would be this lady sitting to my right. It also has a smell, you probably can't get it where you're sitting, but ooooh, it's rank where I am! Grumpiness is a very odd thing, I feel. Grumpiness, there I've said it again because I can! It's the subject, I know it's making you annoyed, Miss Eclair, I've probably said Eclair but...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of Eclair.

NP: Eclair yes, right.

JE: And I didn't even pick up on it!

NP: So Paul, a correct challenge, and you've got in with three seconds to go, and... no it doesn't, that is the game! He wasn't deliberately trying to get in just before the end, it just happened that he repeated something. Three seconds, grumpiness Paul, starting now.

PM: The incredible sulk as he goes up the stairs is the most grumpiness of all...


NP: So Paul Merton was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, has increased his lead at the end of the round. And Paul we'd like you to begin the next round and the subject now is grasping the nettle. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: I'm not very good at gardening, I like the results, but I don't actually know what you do to make it look like that way. But I think grasping the nettle means that you must face the situation. You have to ah...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Yeah he was gibbering then wasn't he.

NP: He wasn't.

JE: Hesitating!

NP: No. He was just hesitating.

JE: Hesitating.

NP: Everything else he said was very coherent.

JE: Yeah okay.

NP: Well you don't want to rubbish the other people.

JE: No I didn't, no, but he took my grumpiness off me!

PM: Jenny, nobody can take your grumpiness off you! It's in your DNA!

NP: But you've got the subject now of grasping the nettle, 51 seconds available starting now.

JE: Unlike kittens and babies, you have to grasp the nettle firmly around the neck, grasp it round it's neck...


NP: Ah Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of neck.

NP: Yes you did.

JE: I didn't want it anyway!

NP: Graham you've got in with 41 seconds available, grasping the nettle starting now.

GN: Stroke the nettle, it will sting you, but grasping it, it's not supposed to. But growing up in Ireland in the country, it does, it's just a load of old rubbish. Then you run and find a dock leaf that grows in the hedgerow, sewer or... other thing by herbs...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: There was hesitation.

GN: Hesitation?

NP: In the sewer? Dock leafs don't grow in sewers!

GN: I was painting a word picture.

NP: Anyway it was lovely but you hesitated so Paul, talk now, you get the subject back, grasping the nettle, 23 seconds starting now.

PM: The stings don't affect you if you grasp it really hard, that's the idea. Faced with a difficult situation you must decide to be firm. Walk tall, as Val Doonican used to sing, look the world right in the eye. And that's what you must do, grasp the nettle, show that you're not afraid of it and...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Nine yous.

NP: I was wondering why your head was...

PM: That's right, Clement's written down the number nine, now I believe him! I see nine there!

NP: I must explain to our listeners that Clement's head was bowed during that, and I wondered if he was nodding off, but he wasn't, he was actually counting. So correct challenge Clement, six seconds, grasping the nettle starting now.

CF: Grasping the nettle is about masochism, something that I am particularly keen on, especially...


NP: So Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and he's now in fourth place. But he's just behind Graham Norton and Jenny and Paul Merton's in the lead. And Clement you begin the next round for us, a lovely subject for you, grey power. Tell us something about grey power in this game starting now.

CF: Power can be almost any colour, violet, indigo, blue. yellow, orange, red. But grey power means the power is vested in people of a certain age. Those whose hair might well have gone from black to white. And in Australia they actually have a political party called the Grey. And those are the most dangerous people because their only intention is seeing through legislation in the... equivalent of our House of Commons...


NP: Jenny you challenged.

JE: There was a pause

NP: There was a pause, a strong pause.

CF: Mmmm.

NP: Right so Jenny you have grey power, 27 seconds starting now.

JE: Grey power is when wrinklies all gang together and start demanding stuff like over 50s swimming and free perms on the National Health, public transport for nothing. The closer one gets to being a pensioner of course, the more this makes sense...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I think repetition of pensioner.

NP: No she didn't say that.

JE: I said wrinkly.

GN: No no no, the free perms for pensioners.

JE: Yeah you're right, I'd forgotten. God, I'm really close to it!

NP: So Graham, 12 seconds for you to tell us something about grey power starting now.

GN: Grey power conjures up an image of a whole army of pensioners, marching on the young 'uns, overpowering them with potpourri and tying them in large lacey doilies, with the ladies in crocheted hats...


NP: So Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point and with others in the round he is moving forward, he is creeping up on our leader Paul Merton, he's only two behind him. And Jenny we'd like you to take the next round for starters. It is my singing voice. Not mine, you can take the subject any way you like, my singing voice, 60 seconds starting now.

JE: My singing voice has got something wrong with it. Apparently I have over-hairy large larynx for a woman, which stops me from hitting high notes. This is combined with tone deafness. I don't think this is very funny, in fact I think it's a medical condition which should let me park on double yellows so there! In fact in my passport under distinguishing features it says mole on top of left thigh and can't sing! Actually this does depress me. Last year I did a charity gig for Comic Relief and I went into Fame Academy and I tried my hardest and I did a song from Chicago and a song, a song from another musical...


JE: They were really horrible to me!

NP: Paul, Paul has challenged you.

PM: Repetition of song.

NP: Yes, song, you said song.

JE: I shouldn't do songs.

NP: Right so Paul, you've got my singing voice and you have 24 seconds starting now.

PM: (sings) You are my honey, honeysuckle...


PM: Honey and honeysuckle are two different words.

NP: Jenny you challenged.

JE: I made a fool of myself!

NP: No you didn't.

JE: Honey, honeysuckle.

NP: Yes, honeysuckle's a word so Paul, incorrect challenge, 19 seconds, the subject of my singing voice starting now.

PM: I remember the occasion as if it was yesterday. The Albert Hall was in stunned silence. Nigel Kennedy was...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: The Albert Hall was closed!

PM: He's right, it was closed. He's right it was. I thought it was quiet!

NP: No, but it doesn't mean to say that you were not there.

PM: There was one bloke, I thought as long as he sits there, I would entertain him. At the end he said "are you going to be much longer? I've got to lock up!"

NP: Within the rules of Just A Minute, you could still have been in the Albert Hall, you could still have been closed, you could still have been doing that.

PM: Absolutely.

NP: Clement we enjoyed the interruption, bonus point to you, but Paul has a point for being interrupted, he keeps the subject, 14 seconds, my singing voice starting now.

PM: Suddenly the conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra looked me straight in the eye and I realised this was my solo. I couldn't let him down, I'd been training for the past seven months. The first verse you could hear in the very back row and I went (sings) "ooooooohhh..."


NP: So Paul was speaking as the whistle went again, he gets an extra point for doing so, he has increased his lead, the other three are almost equal, Jenny Eclair and Graham Norton in second place, only one point ahead of Clement Freud. And Paul will you take the next round, the subject is Chinese medicine, or medsin, whatever your pronunciation you prefer, starting now.

PM: I don't know a great deal about Chinese medicine. I know that acupuncture is about 6000 years old, and they have all kinds of different systems of explaining how the human body can repair and heal itself and ah jajaja!


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Was he reading a prescription? I felt a hesitation.

NP: We call that hesitation yes Graham. So tell us something about Chinese medicine, 49 seconds available starting now.

GN: Most things in Chinese medicine are made out of things that you would only eat if you were going to die anyway! They really don't look that appetising when you see them hung up in the pharmacy. I say that word because I can once, but I can't repeat it obviously. Those are the rules of this game, Just A Minute, hi, thanks for coming! Chinese medicine is a wonderful form of cures. Doctors in China use it because they want you to get better, so that you can pay them, they don't have a National Health Service...


NP: Jenny challenged.

GN: Yeah what is it? What? What? What?

JE: You and them, you and them, you and them.

NP: You and them, yes.

JE: You and them.

NP: Oh Jenny...

GN: Have you drifted into some sort of Neverworld? What are you talking about?

JE: I thought you were looking at me beseechingly.

GN: No I wasn't.

NP: No he wasn't.

GN: Very confident, this is something I know a lot about.

NP: They're sitting beside each other, but I think Jenny was trying too hard. And an incorrect challenge or benefit of the doubt to Graham, 16, no, how many seconds available, 17 seconds, Chinese medicine starting now Graham.

GN: Seventeen seconds you say, I am glad, because my wealth of knowledge about Chinese medicine is hard to curtail! Let me enlighten you at some length! I hope you're sitting comfortably because I have so much...


NP: So Graham Norton got that extra point and he's moved forward, he's still in second place, a few points behind Paul Merton, ahead of Jenny Eclair and Clement Freud. Clement will you take the next round, the subject, burgers. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: Burghers are people who live in a borough. Such as cheese burgers who presumably reside in a place of the...


NP: Yes?

CF: I failed!

NP: Yes you're running a bit out of steam Clement. But um Jenny you got in first.

JE: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation. Forty-nine seconds, tell us something about burgers Jenny starting now.

JE: Burgers get a terribly bad press. But if you make your own out of organic ground beef from your good butcher's, maybe the one in Lordship Lane, East Dunnage, near where I live. Mmmm, free chop for me I think! You can make tasty burgers that don't need to be a...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of make.

JE: Yes.

NP: Yes you can make, you can make.

GN: You could have said cooked, couldn't you.

NP: Yes. Right so Graham you tell us something about burgers, there are 32 seconds available starting now.

GN: In the moving film Dancer In The Dark, Bjork, the loon from Iceland, is sentenced to death. Oh dear I hope you've seen it, otherwise I've rather spoilt the story for you! And she is sitting on Death Row and they bring her last meal...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of death.

NP: Yes.

PM: Sentenced to death...

GN: Death Row is one word!

NP: No no!

GN: It was worth a try!

PM: You're thinking of Jethro! Very similar!

NP: Right Paul, 15 seconds, tell us something about burgers starting now.

PM: They are perhaps the greasiest food you can eat these days. If you look in one of these kitchens in one of those... oh!


NP: Right Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of one of those.

NP: One of those, yes Clement, well listened. Nine seconds, tell us something more about burgers starting now.

CF: Some people believe that burgers are greasy, but they're not. Only if there's much fat in them, and the best sort of burgers are those made with hardly...


NP: So Clement Freud got that extra point then when the whistle went. He's still in third place, but he's now equal with Jenny Eclair, he's moving forward. Graham Norton is ahead and then Paul Merton in the lead. And Graham Norton, we'd like you to take the next round and the subject is how to be environmentally friendly. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

GN: The best way to be environmentally friendly is not to throw anything away. But what I've found is that turns your own personal environment into a sort of living hell. Soon you're lying on a big case of bottles, well for tax blah...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, bla bla bla.

GN: All right, you don't need to repeat it, we all heard it the first time!

NP: Sorry Graham. Oh his face is a picture! Forty-four seconds Paul, how to be environmentally friendly starting now.

PM: It's very difficult. Because if you drive to the bottle bank to get rid of your unwanted glassware, how much energy have you consumed in garbon emissions... garbon emissions?


PM: Garbon emissions?

GN: It's like an echo!

NP: Yes I know. We're all getting so tense and excited, right...

PM: I wish, I wish you'd share it with the rest of us!

NP: Oh maybe because I touched Janet's hand at that particular moment, I don't know! Really I have take her hand every so often because she's got the stopwatch there and I have to...

PM: Why, is she a stranger in paradise?

NP: She's a silent stranger if she is. Right, 37 seconds, how to be environmentally friendly Jenny, starting now.

JE: Buy a bike, get knocked off it, and insist on being buried in a cardboard coffin! There you've done your bit. The other thing you can do is go and live in a teepee in Wales. Of course that takes the friendliness out of it. No-one's going to visit you, are they. Can't you see their point, you stinky hobbit living in a tent, for heaven's sake...


NP: Paul challenged. Stinky hobbit!

PM: Repetition of tent.

NP: Yes you had another tent earlier on.

JE: Oh I thought I'd won!

NP: Oh Jenny I love it because you're not always with it in this game. Eighteen seconds, Paul, how to be environmentally friendly starting now.

PM: It's very difficult to lead a green life...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of difficult.

NP: Yes he did say it was difficult before.

GN: Yes he did.

NP: Sixteen seconds available, how to be environmentally friendly Graham starting now.

GN: I recycle things, but I can't say that word because I did before...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Repetition.

GN: Of what?

JE: Recycle.

GN: Did I say... no I never said recycle. No I didn't.

JE: You said you did.

GN: No, just now I did.

JE: Fiendishly clever, give him a point.

NP: Give him a point, no, he gets a point for an incorrect challenge, 12 seconds, how to be environmentally friendly starting now.

GN: Rhino dung can be made into paper. It's not a very pleasant letter to get, but still you know you've done your bit! Oooh the post's here...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I think the rhino's done his bit!

NP: So do you have a challenge within the rules... no you don't, but you get a bonus point for your comment which was very amusing and the audience loved it. And there are two seconds for you Graham with another point of course, how to be environmentally friendly starting now.

GN: A large compost heap is the best thing to have at the bottom of your garden...


NP: Well let me give you the situation points-wise as we now move into the final round in this show.


NP: Yes well I'm glad you feel like that.

GN: Have you seen outside?

NP: You mean they've only come in here to rest their feet?

GN: It's a mugger's gauntlet when we leave here.

NP: Right so Graham, I'll give you the score as we move into the final round. Clement Freud for once is trailing a little in fourth place. He is one point behind Jenny Eclair who is in a strong third place. But ah she's behind Graham Norton who is three points behind our leader, at the moment is Paul Merton. And Jenny we'd like you to start this round, poetry in motion, 60 seconds starting now.

JE: Pam Ayres...


JE: Awwwwwww! Pam Ayres on a unicycle.

NP: You've been challenged. And the challenge is from Graham and Paul, both their lights came on together.

PM: It was hesitation on my side.

GN: It was hesitation over here as well, yeah. Even sitting close, she hesitated.

PM: Yes.

NP: I think that was a good attempt but both of you were completely erroneous. She'd only been going for half a second. So no points, Jenny you have a point for that, you have 59...

CF: Could I have an extra point for not challenging?

NP: Yes! The audience applause endorses that you should have an extra point Clement. So you have an extra point for not challenging, we're getting so many new rules in Just A Minute! How many new ideas can they think up to gain their points? Ah 59 and a half seconds Jenny, with you, with you, you're still there, poetry in motion starting now.

JE: Verse doesn't have to be involved. It's a sort of figure of speech. Let's say you're watching a young lad doing his skateboard business really well. That could be poetry in motion. Or a surfer dude riding the crest of the wave on Bondi Beach. A little ballerina lady with leading toes, pirouetting around again and doing that spinny thing! Hurrah for her! She is poetry in motion. I used to be a poet and I used to meet lots...


NP: Ohhhh! Graham you challenged.

GN: Repetition of used to be.

NP: Yes, used to be.

JE: I used to be many things.

NP: And you have 25 seconds Graham, tell us something about poetry in motion starting now.

GN: There is a poet called Andrew Motion which makes me think of this subject, poetry in motion. And yet it sounds a bit toilet-based, doesn't it! As if he's eaten books of his own verse! I'm not enjoying the visual image! I'm sure he's very good, he's no Laureate or anything. Do we still have one of those?


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: He is the Poet Laureate!

NP: He is the Poet Laureate!

GN: What were the chances of that?

NP: And he also happens, he also happens to listen to this show! Yes he, Andrew Motion is our present Poet Laureate.

GN: Hey, get a PR, Andy!

NP: Right and Clement you've got in with a correct challenge with six seconds to go, poetry in motion starting now.

CF: If you have been constipated for a long time and take laxatives, then that could be called poetry...


NP: So Clement's particular unsavoury thought brought that show to a close. He gained an extra point for speaking as the whistle went. I'll give you the final score. Clement was worried about trailing a little. He still trailed a little but he didn't trail into fourth place. He's just ahead of Jenny Eclair, who are a few points behind Graham Norton who came in a brilliant second place, absolutely amazing! Didn't quite make it to the front because two points ahead was Paul Merton. So Paul we say this week, you are our winner! Thank you, thank you. We do hope you have enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four excellent players of the game, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Jenny Eclair and Clement Freud. I also thank Janet Staplehurst, who has helped me with the score, she has blown that whistle with great style when the 60 seconds elapsed. We thank our producer-director Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we do thank this lovely audience here at the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill who have cheered us on our way. We've enjoyed it, you've enjoyed it. From them, from me Nicholas Parsons, and the team, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!