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 interesting, attractive and diverse personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And seated on my right, we have that mistress of the written word, the humorous poet and performer Pam Ayres. And seated beside her we have that veteran player of the game, the man who contributes so much with his wit and his anecdotes, that is Clement Freud. And seated on my left we have that engaging and loveable comedian Graham Norton. And seated beside him we have another equally talented comedian and writer Marcus Brigstocke. Will you please welcome all four of them! Thank you. And as usual I'm going to ask them to speak on a subject I give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And seated beside me is Charlotte Davies, who is going to help me with 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 the Mermaid Theatre, in Puddledock, which is not far from the city of London, beside Blackfriars Bridge. And we have a very interesting, cosmopolitan, very excitable audience, who are dying for us to get going. So Graham Norton, begin the show for us with a subject here, how to spot an exhibitionist. Can you tell us something about that subject, in this game starting now.

GRAHAM NORTON: Let's face it. If you can't spot an exhibitionist, they're obviously not very good at their job! Is it possible for there to be a shy exhibitionist? Someone lurking by a tree in the park, undoing their top button? I don't think so! However in other cities, spotting an exhibitionist can be more difficult. For instance, in Newcastle, on a Saturday night. Exhibitionist or slut? You decide! I'm not sure how to do it myself! An exhibitionist is someone who likes exhibiting. But I don't think a lovely painter is an exhibitionist unless they are an exhibitionist. Lucky I can say exhibitionist a lot...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged you.


NP: Why?

CF: Grammar!

NP: Yes it was a little...

CF: A painter, and they.

NP: Ooooh Clement, yes!

GN: Ooooh!

NP: It's correct, of course.

GN: Suddenly I'm 13!

NP: You haven't won many friends on that side.

CF: I haven't come here for...

NP: You haven't...

CF: ... familiarity.

NP: You've come here to win points and win the game. Well yes, his grammar was a little bit devious. So I'm afraid a tough challenge, but Graham I have to give it to him. A correct challenge, a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject Clement, it is how to spot an exhibitionist, there are 17 seconds starting now.

CF: You get your exhibitionist and put him up against a wall, and splatter him with Worcestershire sauce, HP, even tomato ketchup will do. And the extraordinary thing is that the spots remain on the exhibitionist as long as he...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud so at the end of the round he has two points. Graham has one point. Pam Ayres will you take the next round, the subject, fame. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PAM AYRES: When you are famous, complete strangers make loud remarks about your appearance like "good God! Don't she look old!" Tracy Emin achieved fame by displaying her unmade bed which looked very frosty to me, and as though if it could do have done with a jolly good boil-up in the washer. Cecil Sharp gained fame by collecting old English songs and ballads with such titles as My Soldier Boy Wears A Blue Cockade, On The Banks Of The Claudee, and With A Box Upon Her Head! Men find that old lovers from long ago rise up and make unflattering comparisons with chipolatas if they are particularly unlucky. So all in all... no I couldn't say that!


PA: Oh blow!

NP: Well they enjoyed it Pam. So Clement you challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Yes she shouldn't have said. And sometimes, a tip, don't draw attention if you, sometimes they can be generous and let it go, you know.

PA: Oh really?

CF: I'd like to let it go.

PA: Well it's a bit late now!

NP: Clement I've never known you let much go in this game. You are sharp as anybody. Anyway you got in there, another point to you, a correct challenge, 14 seconds are still available, fame starting now.

CF: If you have a recognisable face, it is awfully difficult to know. Because people come up and say "would you be Clement Freud?" And I have to say "what is the alternative?"


NP: So there was a hesitation. He saw the whistle go in the mouth, he thought that um Charlotte...

CF: I thought she was going to blow it.

NP: She put it in a second ot two early. But Graham you now have two points and Clement's got three. And Marcus and Pam are yet to score, but it doesn't matter, it's early days. And who's going to speak next? Marcus, let's hear from you now.


NP: I've got a subject here, illusionists. Can you tell us something about illusionists starting now.

MB: Illusionists, this is not a very easy topic for me, because whenever I am asked to talk about illusionists, I am inclined to repeat the word "git" several times! I have no enchantment whatsoever with the world of magic. I am afraid that I simply never have. What they do is deceitful. They lie. All they have ever effectively achieved at the end of one of their ghastly tiresome little tricks, is to not tell you something they were doing. They spend hours in their little bedsits...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of little.

NP: There was a hesitation before the little, yes.

GN: And hesitation as well!

MB: Yeah!

GN: Yeah! Which I noticed!

NP: So Graham you have a correct challenge, you have 27 seconds, you tell us something about illusionists starting now.

GN: I love illusionists for they have given us a perfect alibi for murder. When I hate someone, I intend to tie them to a big wooden wheel, put balloons around them and then throw knives at them. And when they die, I explain it as a trick gone wrong! Who could prove me incorrect? That was close, wasn't it, I nearly said a word I'd already uttered, but I didn't! No! Anyhoo...


NP: So Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point, and he's now taken the lead, ahead of Clement Freud, followed by Marcus and Pam. And Clement would you please take the next round. The subject is the British transport system. Very provocative subject, will you talk on it starting now.

CF: The British transport system was honed in the early 19th century by sending prisoners and convicts to Australia. It was pretty successful until the Australians began to send them back! So...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: Ah it's a repetition of send.

NP: Yes.

MB: We sent them there...

NP: And they sent them back.

CF: Very good.

NP: Well listened Marcus.

MB: Is that just an ohhhh for interrupting a Sir?

NP: I think it was an ohhh of appreciation, I'm impressed.

MB: Yes.

NP: Marcus, correct challenge, a point to you, 43 seconds available, the British transport system starting now.

MB: In truth, I wasn't aware the British transport arrangements were still referred to as a system! But ah it is a very chaotic ah...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: There was an er there. Right Clement, another point and the subject back, 33 seconds, the British transport system starting now.

CF: The British transport system is epitomised by the M25. It is a circular road which doesn't have moving transport. And what drivers say to each other is "I wonder what happened before we constructed this motorway that circles this way round the metropolis? What would happen," they say...


CF: I've said that before.

NP: I know you did.

CF: Yeah.

NP: And you've just challenged yourself.

CF: Yes.

NP: So I have to ask you Clement, what is your challenge?

CF: I repeated myself.

NP: You are absolutely right, well listened, well listened, yes! You did repeat yourself so you obviously get a point for a correct challenge. And presumably therefore you keep the subject and there are nine seconds available, but please don't do it too often! Nine seconds, the British transport system, Clement starting now.

CF: I have a bus pass which is valid on the 13, the 26...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: I thought it was a hesitation.

NP: Hardly, my love, no.

GN: Interesting!

PA: I know, I'm getting desperate!

NP: I know! Yes I can understand that...

PA: I haven't got any points! I haven't got any points and I want to keep my end up!

NP: Yeah! In other words, you wanted to challenge him before he challenged himself again?

PA: Well yes, I thought as he's descended to challenging himself, even a weak challenge was worth a go!

NP: I think, I think Pam's reasoning deserves a bonus point! But as Clement wasn't, strictly speaking, hesitating, he keeps the subject and gets another point for being interrupted and there are, I can't see this watch, oh, five seconds starting now.

CF: South, east, west and north are pretty good directions for British transport...


NP: Right Pam will you take the next subject. The subject is personal shoppers. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

PA: A personal shopper is a person who tells other people what clothes they ought to be wearing. This may be useful if you have a thick neck, bat-wing arms, jodhpur thighs, stumpy legs and enormous feet. But being a woman with a strong confident sense of her own style, I have never yet needed to, needed ah...


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: There was a sort of hesitationy stumbly thing.

NP: Yes there was yes, correct challenge.

PA: Yes.

NP: Correct challenge, and 37 seconds still available Graham. Another point to you and personal shoppers starting now.

GN: Personal shoppers are people who tell you, just because you can fit into something, it looks good on you. And then as you leave the shop, go ha hee ho. Because you've paid full price for something that makes you look like a black pudding uncooked. It isn't kind, it's a nasty job. They are evil people and should be killed. I think that personal shoppers, dear God, will no-one interrupt me?


NP: Pam has interrupted you.

GN: Thanks Pam.

NP: Pam what is your challenge?

PA: I just thought I would!

GN: It was a plea for help!

PA: He said "would nobody interrupt him" so I thought perhaps he hesitated.

GN: Yes I did.

PA: Oh thank you, thank you, you're very sweet.

NP: He said he hesitated so we give Pam, on his own admission, you take over the subject, 10 seconds to go, personal shoppers starting now.

PA: The tremendous advantage of personal shoppers is that they introduce to a range of raiments which you otherwise would probably...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: Yeah it's a challenge based on not knowing what a raiment is.

NP: It's...

MB: So I'm not confidently saying that Pam got something wrong. I'm just saying I don't know that word.

PA: As far as I'm aware it's from the Bible. He rent his raiment.

NP: So if you'd read your Bible, you would have known what she was talking about!

MB: Right.

GN: Did he keep his receipt? Did he bring back his rent raiment? His raiment looks quite shoddy.

NP: Oh Marcus as you haven't played the game...

MB: Is it a real word?

NP: Yes it is.

MB: Is it? Oh good.

PA: Yes. It's another word for clothing...

NP: It's another word for garment.

PA: ... and apparel. Apparel is another good one.

CF: Do you know apparel?

MB: I do, yes! Thank you yes!

CF: Try and stick to it!

GN: Top, top is another word for clothes.

MB: Yes!

NP: I think, I think...

MB: It's good to know several words for the same thing in this game, isn't it.

NP: Yes that's right, and the raiment that you're wearing at the moment is particularly fetching.

MB: Thank you very much.

NP: You're into corduroy, aren't you.

MB: I do love a bit of corduroy.

NP: We'll give him the bonus point because he hasn't played the game very much before.

MB: Does anyone know another word for patronising?

NP: That wasn't patronising...

MB: Condescending is not the same!

NP: We enjoyed hearing from you so much...

MB: Bless you sir!

NP: Your interruption was so enjoyable, I was just carried away with the fun we had.

MB: Oh lovely.

NP: So I thought we'd give you a bonus point for that. Pam gets a point because she has an incorrect challenge, keeps the subject, three seconds available, personal shoppers starting now.

PA: Personal shoppers make no charge for their...


NP: So Pam Ayres speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. And the situation, if you're interested, is Clement Freud is just in the lead, one ahead of Graham, and he's two ahead of Pam, and Pam is two ahead of Marcus. That's the situation as Marcus starts the next round. Marcus the subject we have here is toddlers. Tell us something about toddlers in this game starting now.

MB: I've got toddlers and the experience is deeply unpleasant. They can walk while they're toddlers, but only in the direction that their massive head takes them. They haven't really developed a sense of balance at that stage or any desire to sleep beyond about three or four o'clock in the morning, when they toddle into your room and wake you up with great big smiles saying "hello Daddy" and you have to pretend to be pleased to see them. You then spend the rest of the day toddling yourself because you're so exhausted you can't really walk properly. They are also positioned...


NP: Graham's challenged.

GN: Was there a repetition of walk?

NP: Yes, because they walked...

GN: The audience has spoken! Yes, they cry! We're playing as a team, well done audience!

NP: Graham, he said yes they walk into your room.

MB: It's true.

NP: So Graham you had a correct challenge, you listened well, 26 seconds starting, toddlers starting now.

GN: All I know of toddlers is that they're very needy. They want things constantly. And what do you get back? Nothing at all! Even when they get older, they present bits of old wool and say it's a gift, and want something shiny in a box in return! It's not right. That's why there are no toddlers in my house, but a very large gay furry baby I call a dog...


NP: So Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's increased his lead at the end of the round. Graham did you say you had a gay dog?

GN: No no no no no, it's just my gay furry baby. It's a dog.

NP: Oh I see. I just wondered what the difference between a gay dog and a straight dog was. The ah...

GN: Very little!

NP: And Graham it's also your turn to begin and the subject now is American slang. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

GN: American slang is bad, by which I mean good! That's an example of American slang. Things that are cool can be hot. If it's hip, it's not a word meaning a replacement, no, it ah indicates something...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: Yes it was a sort of hesitation involving a grinding down to just clucking noises eventually!

NP: You made your point Marcus...

MB: Yes.

NP: Hesitation. A correct challenge to you, you take over the subject, Marcus got in there, 45 seconds, American slang starting now.

MB: Of course linguistically there are lots of differences between British people and the Americans. They have lots of words that mean almost nothing to us...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of lots.

NP: Lots.

MB: Oh yes.

NP: You did repeat the word lots.

MB: Yeah but there are quite a few people in both countries. So it's hard to know what to do about it.

NP: But you can't say the word twice in this round.

MB: Yeah yeah yeah I know, I'm going to write that down actually!

NP: Clement another point to you for a correct challenge, 37 seconds, American slang starting now.

CF: I don't know anything about American slang.


NP: Pam challenged, Pam you challenged first.

PA: I did think it was a hesitation.

NP: It was a hesitation.

PA: I did, I've got very few marks so I'm fighting for my life here!

NP: You're doing very very well, you're equal with Marcus.

PA: Oh goody!

MB: Yeah!

NP: And you're only three behind Clement Freud, that's not bad.

PA: Yeah.

NP: He's played it quite a lot of times.

PA: Yes that's true, yes I am something of a virgin!

NP: Are you? I don't think you should bring your private life into this show! Pam there are 33 seconds, tell us something about American slang starting now.

PA: During the Second World War, in the village of Stafford-in-the-vale in north Berkshire, ah, a few...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: Yes a hesitation.

NP: It was a hesitation Marcus, you have the subject, you have 28 seconds, American slang starting now.

MB: Democracy is not a word that means a great deal in America, whilst of course over here we use it and understand. Basically what it means...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I would say deviation, because that isn't slang in either country.

NP: No, you haven't introduced the slang into this at all.

GN: Yeah Marcus, where's the slang? We've only got a minute here! Come on! Keep it moving!

NP: No I think it's deviation, you should, didn't establish early enough you were talking about American slang.

GN: Yeah that was really bad!

MB: Right! Bad meaning good?

GN: Yeah!

MB: Thanks! Wicked!

NP: So Graham another correct challenge, another point. And American slang is back with you starting now.

GN: Yo is a way of saying hello. Recently I met P Diddy or Puff Daddy or some man in glasses with a lot of diamonds on...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Three ors.

GN: You're not wrong!

NP: I know! Tough challenge but correct.

GN: Yes.

MB: You may go ooooh but you try rowing a boat with that number! Just round in circles.

NP: American slang's back to you Clement and 11 seconds starting now.

CF: In East Anglia I know several practitioners of American slang, both in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire. And especially...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: Yeah deviation, you said both and then listed more than two things.

NP: Clement you've had people on grammar before now, in fact in this show.

MB: I'm a sly fox! I pretend to be thick, but I'm not!

NP: The glasses are not just there for effect? Both yes, two and a number. And you got in with one second to go on American slang starting now.

MB: American slang...


NP: So Marcus Brigstocke was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's moved forward, he's just ahead of Pam Ayres, he's one behind Clement Freud, and Graham Norton still in the lead. And Pam we're back with you to start, the subject now is summer holidays, 60 seconds starting now.

PA: I have had many summer holidays, all chosen...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition!

PA: Oh no!

NP: It's a repetitious thought Clement. She was not repeating any words or anything like that. It's a lovely idea so Pam gets another point for that. It's all right, you've still got it my darling.

PA: Have I?

NP: Yes you have.

PA: I'm afraid I got lost there. Did I say too many, did I say, or are you just being cantankerous?

GN: Oh look at them flirting!

NP: Yes, an incongruous couple, right! There we are.

PA: You're only jealous because there's no action down your end!

GN: And hasn't been for a long time!

MB: I'm doing my best!

NP: I think we should move on!

MB: I'll be your big gay dog if you like!

NP: A point to Pam because it wasn't a correct challenge and she still has summer holidays, and 57 seconds starting now.

PA: Everything went wrong. Delayed flights, so-called villas situated beside thundering motorways along which a river of hateful, hornet-like little motorbikes stormed, morning, noon and night, in filthy swimming pools without a filtration plant, and blocked drains...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: I don't know whether it's deviation, but you can't realistically expect an entire filtration plant to be attached to a swimming pool!

NP: Ah Marcus, explain, I mean why couldn't...

PA: It was a very big swimming pool!

MB: Was it! Was it!

PA: It was an Olympic sized swimming pool!

GN: Was it a villa beside a sewage plant?

MB: Why complain about the villa?

PA: No I don't accept that, I think plant is a, filtration plant I've heard it many times, and I defend my right to say it!

NP: And even if it wasn't, that was what you referred to it as, wasn't it, that's what you called it while you were over there on that holiday. Yes!

PA: Yes Nicholas!

GN: And also, and also Pam wasn't saying there wasn't a filtration plant!

NP: Yes absolutely.

MB: Yeah good point.

NP: It's an incorrect challenge, you keep the subject...

PA: Thank you, thank you.

NP: Summer holidays, 36 seconds starting now.

PA: Had it not been for the valiant efforts of my brother-in-law on his hands and knees with a metal coat hanger, we would have had no sanitation whatsoever. I am never doing that again. My dream holiday would be to go horse riding on a pleasant old nag that liked me, did not bite me with his yellow teeth, or kick my shins too much with his iron-shod feet. Together we would plod through fragrant woodlands, alive with birdsong and babbling water. I've run out of steam...


NP: So Pam Ayres speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and let me give you the score. Because I've just heard that we are going into the final round.

PA: Oh!


NP: I thought you might have groaned a bit more than that. So let me give you the score as we do that...

GN: They hoped earlier!

NP: Graham Norton is still just in the lead. Clement Freud follows, only three or four points behind. But then equal together still, one point behind Clement, are Pam Ayres and Marcus Brigstocke. So it's still quite a close contest...

GN: Gosh it's tense!

NP: And Marcus your turn to begin.

MB: Yes?

NP: The subject, oh topical for us at this particular moment, hose pipes. Tell us something about hose pipes in this game starting now.

MB: There was an announcement about these just recently that had the last few remaining teddy boys that live in my area extremely worried. Of course they then realised it wasn't about drainpipes but hose pipes. So they cheered up immediately. There's a ban on the use of hose pipes at the moment because the water companies basically can't be bothered to mend any of their underground pipes. They're too busy creaming off all of the money and giving it to their lovely shareholders, who refuse to invest in the people who would be mending these pipes and therefore making double bubble at both ends of the pipe itself effectively. So I shan't be using my hose pipe this summer at all, on account of I do not...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of pipe.

NP: Yes, you're quite right, because the subject on the card is hose pipes.

GN: Haha!

MB: So in fact, a repetition of a single pipe would make pipes, wouldn't it! Is that a stretch?

NP: Yeah, very shrewd observation...

MB: Yeah.

NP: ... but it doesn't work in Just A Minute, Marcus.

GN: Dream on!

NP: So Graham yes, we have to grant you that as a correct challenge and say that you have hose pipes, to talk about, I should say, 21 seconds starting now.

GN: Hose pipes are banned, but I don't quite understand why that prevents water getting to your garden. You could train a small animal perhaps, to take a mouthful of that substance, H2O, and trot into the yard and then spit it on a plant. Oh and how much more fun that would be...


NP: So Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. And with that strange idea of that dog watering his garden from the mouth!

GN: You make it sound dirty and wrong now, Nicholas!

NP: Why don't you just use a watering can, which you're allowed to use. A watering can. That's permitted. Anyway give you the final score. Pam Ayres and Marcus Brigstocke equal together, but only just in fourth, no, third place, third place because they're equal. And one point behind Clement Freud who did extraordinarily well as usual. But a few points out in the lead was Graham Norton and so we say Graham, you're the winner this week! It only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Graham Norton, Marcus Brigstocke, Pam Ayres and Clement Freud. I thank Charlotte Davies who has helped me with the score, blown her whistle with, well, she blew it with some aplomb. We thank our producer Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this delightful game. We are very grateful to this lovely audience here at the Mermaid Theatre down in Puddledock who have cheered us on our way. Thank you from our audience, thank you from me Nicholas Parsons, and from our panel, tune in, listeners, the next time we play Just A Minute!