NOTE: Pauline McLynn's first appearance, Charlotte Davies's first appearance blowing the whistle.

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 throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme four individual and diverse personalities, who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And seated on my right, it's a great pleasure to welcome back that versatile comedian and great stalwart of Just A Minute with his great strength and humour, would you please welcome Paul Merton. And beside him sits the veteran player of this game with his own individual approach to this show, that is Clement Freud. And seated on my left we have that exuberant player of the game with his own individual style of performance Julian Clary. And beside him we welcome someone who has never played the game before. And she's had the courage to come here and take on these four intrepid players of the game and that is Pauline McLynn. Would you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Charlotte Davies, who is going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from Greenwich Theatre. So let's get the show started with Paul Merton. Paul a very topical subject to begin this show from Greenwich, Greenwich mean time. Would you tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now.

PAUL MERTON: On the African branch of the World Service a newsreader once said "the time is nine o'clock Greenwich. Meantime here is the news." And I always think of that when I come to Greenwich, what a beautiful part of the world it is. I've just walked up to the Royal Observatory and there you can see the mean time is written across the pavement, well I say it's not really the style I meant before, it's more engraved in the floor. What a wonderful...


NP: Julian challenged.

JULIAN CLARY: I thought there was a hesitation.

PMe: No!

NP: No! I think he was going with style and aplomb. Yes! And no no, Paul I disagree, so you get a point for a wrong challenge, you keep the subject, you have um 36 seconds still available, Greenwich mean time starting now.

PMe: Of course when...


NP: Clement challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: We've had of course.

NP: No we haven't.

CF: Oh we always...

NP: We often have of course but...

CF: We must have!

NP: ... he hasn't said it yet today.

CF: Really?

NP: No, no, really! So Paul another incorrect challenge, another point, and 35 seconds starting now.

PMe: It came to pass that I was walking though a magnificent open field, and I suddenly thought to myself how can I divine the longitude or indeed the latitude of where I am? And because I was ... oh!


NP: Julian you challenged.

JC: That I thought was another hesitation.

NP: That was definitely hesitation yes. He was running out of steam, so he came to a halt, hesitation. Julian you take over the subject, with a correct challenge and a point, Greenwich mean time is with you and there are 22 seconds still available starting now.

JC: It's a cheap thrill to be in Greenwich where actually mean time emanates from. And I went sniffing round the park...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: There was a bit of a stumble there Julian.

JC: I had to...

PAULINE McLYNN: Oh! That's very mean!

JC: I had a little phlegm in my throat, that's what it was.

CF: That's what we call hesitation!

NP: Yeah!

PMe: You ought to suck a Fisherman's Friend.

JC: Thank you!

NP: I think on this occasion Clement, I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt, and I may be able to redress it later on, when in your favour, somehow or other. So we won't allow it this time Julian, you keep the subject, you have 15 seconds, Greenwich mean time starting now.

JC: In that lovely green expanse, could I find the little egg that ticks tocks away from which Greenwich mean time throbs? I couldn't. I asked a policeman...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: Does Greenwich mean time throb from an egg? Is that how it works?

PMc: Well you stopped him, now we're never going to find out!

NP: I mean...

PMe: Deviation.

NP: ... justify what you said, how can it tick away?

JC: I think throbbing is kind of a rhythmical thing, much like a metronome. Therefore it's a useful tool to use when describing time.

PMe: From an egg?

PMc: But where does the egg come in? Where, where does the egg come in though?

JC: I'll tell you where the egg comes in if I can have the subject back.

NP: Well you're going to get the benefit of the doubt a second time Julian. With another point...

PMc: He's riding his luck!

NP: ... five seconds starting now.

JC: Not everyone knows but under that great big copper dome is a... thing that I mentioned before...


NP: Paul you challenged first.

PMe: There was hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation. You got in with half a second to go! Oh! And you have Greenwich mean time starting now.

PMe: Fifteen hundred...


NP: And in this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, on this occasion it was Paul Merton so at the end of that round he has a lead over everybody else, Julian's in second place, Pauline and Clement are yet to score. And Pauline...

PMc: Oh!

NP: Lovely to hear from you.

PMc: Well I'm officially terrified now, that first round was vicious!

NP: Don't worry darling, I'm here to help you. The subject is wine, I'm sure you know something about it, would you talk on that subject...


NP: Why are you laughing?

PMc: Is that my brother laughing? It is isn't it.

NP: Sixty seconds starting now.

PMc: I like a glass of wine as anybody who is my friend can tell you. But I am a little worried about my love of wine because they say that in vino veritas. That is not the case when it comes to me. When I've had too much wine, Pauline shuts down and a woman called Rachel takes over. Now I don't know who this person is, but she says things that I don't agree with. She is ruining my life and she has got to go! I suppose the thing would be that if I could practice moderation while drinking my wine I wouldn't have this problem. But it seems to me that wine is one of those things that you should enjoy with a meal, or perhaps a special occasion like a wedding or a funeral or a christening...


NP: Clement has challenged.

CF: There were rather a lot of ors.

NP: Yes.


NP: But you did go magnificently for 48 seconds.

PMc: Oh!

NP: So as it's her first time on the show...

CF: She ought to go on!

NP: ... let's give her a bonus point for doing well. No Clement...

CF: Let her go on!

NP: ... she's got a point and you had a legitimate challenge, so you have got 12 seconds, wine starting now.

CF: The wine waiter, when I asked for what I should have with my pudding, said "we have a sensational Gewurtztraminer choc-in-bevanausleitzer nineteen hundred and ninety-three". So I decided that would be...


NP: On this occasion Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now equal with Julian Clary in second place, Paul's in the lead, and Pauline has also scored. So all right...

PMc: Ooohh err!

NP: She's got some points I should have said. Julian would you take the next round, the subject now, hoodies. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

JC: I always wear my hood pulled up if you know what I am saying. And I went down to the supermarket the other day and I was refused entry. No hoodies in here, they said. I said I'm not some ruffian, I'm a celebrity, merely trying to go about my business and get in a few bits and pieces without drawing undue attention drawn to myself. You see there's a lot of fear about hoodies and I for one am standing up to them. Young people get cold, just like anybody else, and they want to have a bit of fur...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: Well it was a hesitation.

NP: It was a little hesitation there.

PMc: Oh it's cruel tonight!

JC: You're not allowed to inhale in this game?

PMc: Yes there's no rule that says no breathing!

NP: Yes I know but one has to make those difficult judgements and the audience is utterly prejudiced against anyone who is their favourite at that particular moment. You were their favourite in the last round, Julian is in this round, and Paul he might win the favouritism over to him on this one, as he takes over the subject with a point and 30 seconds on hoodies starting now.

PMe: Hoodies are like shreddies, except there's not so much fibre in them! What you do is you pour them into a bowl, put the milk on a marvellous breakfast, it's wonderful, it's made out of anorak and cheesecloth! Beautiful, the... beautiful...


NP: So Julian you challenged first.

JC: That was a hesitation.

NP: Yes I know it was.

JC: A stumble.

PMe: No it wasn't.

PMc: It was a repetition!

JC: Repetition yes, yes, repetition.

NP: Of course.

PMc: Yes!

NP: You got another point for that and you have another 19 seconds on hoodies starting now.

JC: There's a lady in about row 10 wearing a purple hat. And you see if you tried to go into the supermarket I went into, but no-one's noticed I've repeated...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: Repetition of supermarket.

NP: Yes you did go into the supermarket...

JC: I know! I'm not going to deny it!

NP: Right, I know people like to argue with me. Ten seconds is still available Paul, tell us more about hoodies starting now.

PMe: I went into the supermarket the other day and I was rather astonished to see this elaborate sign the other day. There in big red letters, as bold as you please, it said "you are not allowed to come in..."


NP: Paul Merton, speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point, and he has increased his lead at the end of that round, ahead of Julian Clary, Clement Freud and Pauline McLynn in that order. And Clement you take the next round, the subject is jockeying for position. Would you like to talk on that subject in this game starting now.

CF: Jockeying for position is what one does in the immigration queue, almost at any airport in the United States. The important thing is trying not to get behind a Puerto Rican. Because it takes such a very long time. So when you're in a queue...


NP: Pauline what is your challenge?

PMc: Ah repetition of the word queue.

NP: Yes that's right, well done. So Pauline, you're listening well, you've got a point, you have the subject and you have 43 seconds, jockeying for position starting now.

PMc: As a member of the one of the races of the world that have populated other countries, I have to say that I am thoroughly in favour of jockeying for position in the immigration line. It's true that the Irish built the world, and of course Shakespeare was one of ours as well, in case you didn't know. And we do like to jockey for position while claiming him. So I think that the Irish should be lauded...


NP: Ah Clement challenged.

PMc: Oh!

NP: Oh! You recognised it!

PMc: No, whatever it was, no!

NP: Yes!

CF: Repetition of Irish.

NP: The Irish, yes, you brought the Irish in just a little bit too much.

PMc: The Irish problem, oh!

NP: And a point to you Clement, 19 seconds, jockeying for position starting now.

CF: Positioning for jockeys is really the important thing. In any flat race you have to choose because it is drawn by the jockey club before... um...


CF: I said jockey twice.

NP: I know and Paul you challenged first.

PMe: Repetition of jockey.

NP: Nine seconds, jockeying for position starting now.

PMe: (in voice of race commentator) And they're coming up the far side, but it's Lucky Boy followed by Mister T, and that's how the horse...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Three ands.

NP: Oh! Oh really no! It's a correct challenge so within the rules of Just A Minute I have to give it to you. But you get no more benefits of the doubt! And do watch it Clement, but you have the point and five seconds on jockeying for position starting now.

CF: Outside any church or synagogue or abbey or cathedral...


NP: Julian challenged. Hoisted on your own petard!

CF: Yup!

NP: Julian your challenge please.

JC: Horrible! Repetition of or!

NP: I know! Yes! Julian you had a correct challenge of or, and you have half a second to go...

JC: You see Paul...


NP: So you were speaking as the whistle went Julian and you've got that extra point, just one point behind our leader Paul Merton, and just ahead of the other two. And Pauline we'd like you to take the next round and the subject now is the best thing about cats. I don't know if you're a cat person or not but tell us something about them in this game starting now.

PMc: The best thing about cats, it seems to me, is that we can learn a lot from them. They have much to offer us in the way of how to manipulate a person. I think they're practically as good as the Catholic Church in getting people to do things for them for nothing. For instance I learnt a very interesting thing from my grey cat last week. As you may know there's a crisis in the health service and she got very ill. So I rushed her to the vet and they took her immediately into surgery. No waiting on trolleys for her. So I...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: There were three hers.

PMc: She's a she-cat! I can't deny her sexuality!

NP: I'm going to be generous here and say as Pauline hasn't played the game before. But you do have to watch it as they're very sharp as you see.

PMc: Ah they're vicious!

NP: So Julian gets a point as it was a correct challenge, but Pauline keeps the subject and carries on with the best thing about cats starting now.

PMc: I'm sure that if I presented myself to the vet and said I have learnt a lot from my cat...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: We had vet before.

NP: You had the vet before. Twenty-six seconds, tell us something about the best thing about cats starting now.

PMe: Chessington Zoo has got a special place for the big cat. And if you go there you will see lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, pumas, tabbies, all sorts are there. And you go and ask the staff what they feed them on and they say well...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Well he's not telling us what the best thing is about cats. He's just rambling on!

PMc: I concur!

NP: That's an interesting thing yes.

PMe: Isn't it, yeah.

NP: That's right, he's just giving us a list of all the things at Chessington Zoo. Not necessarily the best thing about it. So I think that was well thought out Julian, yes.

JC: Thank you, deviation.

NP: And you have a point for that, 13 seconds still available, the best thing about cats starting now.

JC: The best thing about cats is when they want to go to the lavatory, they dig a little hole and they position themselves...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: That's not great if you live in a flat! Terrible! Digging a hole! The best thing about cats? Deviation! It's a terrible thing about cats, it's not the best thing about cats, he's not mentioned the best thing about cats at all, deviation!

NP: No no no! Give Paul a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption. Julian you still have the subject and a point for being interrupted, eight seconds, the best thing about cats starting now.

JC: Down drops the effluence and then with their paw, they cover it up and go about their business and nobody's any the wiser...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: I think we're all the wiser now, aren't we?

NP: Yeah but within the world of the cat...

PMe: Is that really the best thing about cats?

NP: Yes, I think it's one of the best things about cats...

PMe: Do you?

NP: They're much more hygienic than dogs.

PMe: Oh okay.

NP: So Paul, another bonus point to Paul because they enjoyed what he said, you have a point because you were interrupted and you have three seconds, the best thing about cats starting now.

JC: Whether or not that's hygienic, I don't know. Depends whether...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: We've had hygienic.

NP: No, I said hygienic, he didn't.

CF: Well that's it!

NP: No so you didn't say hygienic.

JC: I didn't, no, you did.

NP: That's right.

JC: I followed up on your thought.

NP: So you've got another point and one second on the best thing about cats starting now.

JC: Washing their hands is...


NP: So the best thing about cats, all that talk about cats has really set Julian alight hasn't it, and he's moved forward, gaining one for speaking as the whistle went. And he's now in a strong lead ahead of Paul Merton, even stronger against Clement Freud and Pauline McLynn. And Julian it's also your turn to begin, the subject is my roots. Tell us something about my roots... you can take it whichever way you like! Starting now.

JC: I am a natural blonde, but every six weeks...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: When did you become a natural blonde?

JC: I was born this way!

PMe: Deviation, deviation, he's not a natural blonde Nicholas. You know about that, don't you? He does, he knows that.

NP: If I was to say that, it would look as if I knew Julian too intimately! And ah I'm sure that you were born a natural blonde. Is that right?

JC: I was!

NP: I'm sure and you have ah an interruption and you still have my roots and you have 58 seconds starting now.

JC: I go to a lovely woman called Katrina who funnily enough, is from Germany, which brings me to the other meaning of my roots. Because I recently did a programme called Who Do You Think You Are, and fancy, I'm a Kraut! Well I didn't have the faintest idea, I had to go to my mother and break the news. I said "it's not as if I'm saying look, I'm sorry, I'm heterosexual, it wasn't that bad!" But that... is there...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: There was hesitation.

CF: Repetition of but.

JC: I was just getting into character!

NP: I know! So Clement you have the subject of my roots and you have 35 seconds starting now.

CF: I am trying to remember what my roots were. I think roughly dark brown with the odd grey patch. And then there came a time, I've never lost any hair, I have kept every one that has come out. I happen to be bald. If this was television that would be an entirely unnecessary statement to make. But my roots on the family basis, side...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Oh I thought he hesitated.

NP: He did hesitate just then, you did, yes. And my roots is with you and there are 12 seconds available starting now.

JC: Turns out my great-grandmother got married in Detford which is just down the road, and then, looking at birth certificates, we found out that she was six months up the duff when she waddled down the aisle...


NP: So Julian Clary was again speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. And with others in the round he has increased his lead over the other three. And we move to Clement Freud and a fairly topical subject here, the Cutty Sark. Tell us something about the Cutty Sark, Clement, in this game starting now.

CF: The Cutty Sark is a clipper. And like most ships of that name it was made, invented, in the late 19th century, I think 1870s probably. And I was at school in Devon and went To Falmouth and saw the Cutty Sark which then was famed for getting from Sydney to London in 75 days which was incredibly fast, because there was then no London Underground or other means of getting from one place to another. Theeeeeeeee Cutty Sark...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PMe: Um that was a long sort of deviation from the English language, long pronunciation of theeee, so deviation from the English language as it would be normally pronounced. Do you see what I'm saying? Theeeeeeee.

NP: Well he was going so...

PMe: You can't have theeeeeee and the word goes on forever.

NP: He's been working for his benefit throughout this show, he's got another benefit of the doubt. You have 25 seconds Clement, and try and go a bit quicker if you can, the Cutty Sark starting now.

CF: There are some people who refer to the Cutty Sark as theeeeee Cutty Sark...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: Deviation he didn't go theeeeeeeee Cutty Sark, he just went the Cutty Sark like normal people do!

NP: So that was deviation?

PMe: Deviation from how he normally pronounces theeeeeeee. I'm not letting it go, am I?

NP: No! Give Paul a bonus point, he deserves it for that. Clement still has the subject and a point, the Cutty Sark still with you Clement, 22 seconds starting now.

CF: Theeeeeeeee Cutty Sark, if that's what Paul wants me to call it, is now...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: Is the on the card?

NP: Yes.

PMe: Oh never mind!

NP: Another point to Clement, 19 seconds, the Cutty Sark Clement starting now.

CF: I understand the Cutty Sark is now in Greenwich. And I'm very pleased to be here because mean time is what I know this... suburb of London...


NP: Paul yes.

PMe: A bit of hesitation there.

NP: Yeah there would have to be hesitation there Paul. Ten seconds is still available, tell us something about the Cutty Sark starting now.

PMe: Yes it's wonderful to be able to play this game of Just A Minute, just in the shadow of the great Cutty Sark. Who can forget the olden days when we looked...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: There's no shadow at night!

PMe: Didn't say there was! Well it's not dark, and also you get moon shadow.

NP: I was just about to say if it's in moonlight, you get lovely moon shadows.

PMe: Yeah exactly!

NP: You can get shadows at any time. Anyway you have two seconds on the Cutty Sark starting now.

PMe: The Cutty Sark, when you hear that name, you think to yourself I'm proud to be British...


NP: Right, so Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's creeping up on our leader Julian Clary. Julian is still in the lead and then it's Paul Merton and Clement Freud in that order, and then Pauline McLynn. And Paul it's your turn to begin, oh, an acid tongue, it happens a lot in this show, doesn't it. Tell us something about the subject in this game starting now.

PMe: An acid tongue is easily rectified by having something sweet. There's no point in being acid in your comments because people will come to hate you. Instead spread lightness everywhere you go. Look at Nicholas Parsons, we could make acid comments about him, but no, we tend to think of him as a lovely charming institution. It shows you...


NP: Clement Freud, I know you don't...

CF: I don't!

PMe: He doesn't, I know, he doesn't!

NP: I think you're utterly mean to applaud that!

CF: Honest!

NP: I'll show you how fair and generous I am, because you did applaud him and he got a good joke, Clement can have a bonus point. But it was an incorrect challenge and Paul you keep the subject and you've got another point of course, 42 seconds, an acid tongue starting now.

PMe: When I was younger I didn't care what I said to people. Consequently I had very few friends. But on the close guidance of this...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: It was repetition of people.

NP: When did he say people before?

JC: Earlier on, before Clement interrupted him.

NP: Correct challenge, 36 seconds, an acid tongue starting now.

JC: If after this recording I said to Paul, "let's go for a walk in the moonlight", he, his acid tongue would...


NP: Paul challenged.

PMe: A bit of sort of deviation there.

NP: It was a slip-up, a bit of a slip-up there.

PMe: Just a tiny one, not much but still.

NP: Back with you Paul, 31 seconds, an acid tongue starting now.

PMe: I remember one teacher said to me at school...


NP: Pauline challenged.

PMc: I just think he made an arse of the word neither. So does that mean hesitation or deviation?

NP: He did do that but he didn't actually, actually it was an incorrect challenge, my darling. But we give her a bonus point because she was...

PMc: I'm so far behind, you might as well!

NP: Darling, it doesn't matter about the points, it's your contribution...

PMc: No, the winning is everything!

NP: Give her another point for that line. Paul, 29 seconds, an acid tongue starting now.

PMe: If you remember, Kenneth Williams wrote a book called Acid Drops, and very popular it was too. Full of show business anecdotes and theatrical stories relating where somebody with an acid tongue has said something which has made somebody else look a little bit...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Some.

NP: Some. So 15 seconds Clement on an acid tongue starting now.

CF: Go to a butcher and buy tongue, and pickle it in vinegar, salt, shallots, onions, chilli peppers, tamarack, juniper berries, cumberland sauce...


NP: So Clement Freud, speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point, he's moved forward. And we are actually moving into the final round. Out in the lead is Julian Clary, but he is only four points ahead of Paul Merton, then trailing a little is Clement Freud. In fourth point is Pauline McLynn but she hasn't played the game before. She's making a great contribution and she's going to take the final round. Pauline the subject is pop. Tell us something about pop in this game starting now.

PMc: Pop is the sound that a weasel makes when he goes. Pop is the sound of champagne...


NP: Julian challenged.

PMc: Ohhh! Sorry.

JC: It was a repetition of sound, sadly.

NP: Of the sound yes. But it's the last round and she hasn't played the game before. Can we be generous to her?

PMc: Don't! Don't!

NP: The audience would love it wouldn't they!


NP: You're in the lead, strongly there. Fifty-three seconds Pauline on the pop starting now.

PMc: Pop is the music I grew up with. I'm... sorry... ohhhh!


JC: Well she had a general breakdown!

NP: So Julian takes it on this occasion, a point to Julian, 50 seconds, pop starting now.

JC: I've always been a huge fan of Blazing Squad, and I think their particular brand of music comes in the category of pop. It's finger snapping, toe tapping, and you can sing along at the top of your voice in your bathroom which I do. I don't have a particularly fine voice but then nor do they! Which blends in. And if you ask me to name any of their particular hits right now, I think...


NP: Pauline challenged.

PMc: Repeat of the word particular?

NP: He did repeat particular.

PMc: Yes.

NP: Twenty-six seconds on pop starting now.

PMc: I was delighted to see Tony Christie's pop classic, Show Me The Way To Amarillo, go to number one recently. But I have to tell you I am old enough to remember it when it first came out. I'd bought that record and yes, in those days, it wasn't a CD, but a 45. I sang along, happy as the day was... going... because I loved that tune and...


NP: So Pauline McLynn speaking as the whistle went gained that well deserved extra point, and the audience obviously delighted that you did.

PMc: They can smell my fear from where they are!

NP: But I have to tell you in the final analysis of things you didn't get a lot of points. You didn't... but you did give a great contribution for which we are grateful. Clement Freud gave his usual contribution, coming in third place. Paul Merton gave his excellent contribution but finished up in second place. But out in the lead, six points ahead was Julian Clary so we say this week Julian, you are our winner! So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Pauline McLynn and Clement Freud. I also thank Charlotte Davies, who has helped me with the score, she's blown her whistle when the 60 seconds were up. We thank our producer-director Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are grateful to this lovely audience here at Greenwich Theatre who have cheered us on our way. From our panel, and from me Nicholas Parsons, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Until then good-bye!