WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring PAUL MERTON, CLEMENT FREUD, ROSS NOBLE and JANEY GODLEY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 21 August 2006)
NOTE: Janey Godley's first appearance.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!
NP: Thank you, thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners, not only in this country but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show four exciting and diverse personalities who have come together to play Just A Minute. And they are, seated on my right, that great exponent of this game, that wonderful popular comedian, Paul Merton. And seated beside him the veteran player of the game who brings his own individual attitude to the show, that is Clement Freud. And seated on my left, another fine comedian who has got his own individual style, that is Ross Noble. And seated beside him we have a lovely actress, comedian, Janey Godley. And will you please welcome all four of them! And as usual I'm going to ask them to speak on a subject that I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And seated beside me is Charlotte Davies, who will 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 one of the venues at the Pleasance during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. And we have an extravagant excited Fringe audience in front of us who are dying for us to get started. So Janey Godley, welcome to the show. And I think we'd like to start with you. So would you like to take the subject of kangaroos. You have 60 seconds and your time starts now.
JANEY GODLEY: I love kangaroos, especially the talking kind. And I like that pouch that they've got on because it's a bit like a shoplifting thing that they can use. And they could go through Boots The Chemist and get stuff for me. Kangaroos are wonderful because they live in Australia. And I always wanted to go there and see Skippy, although he frightened me because he once drove a helicopter with these claws. And I'm not sure about a kangaroo that can do the helicopter flying thing...
JG: It was getting to the good bit!
NP: I know! But for a first time, 34 seconds, not bad! Right Clement, you were the first to challenge, yes?
CLEMENT FREUD: Yes.
NP: Yes I know but I have to, I must know your challenge to see whether I agree with it or not.
CF: Ah there were two helicopters.
NP: There were two helicopters, yes.
JG: Ah it always happens to me!
NP: So Clement you have 34 seconds...
CF: And no subtitles!
BOOS FROM THE AUDIENCE
JG: Yeah! You'll need two helicopters to get out of here now!
NP: As we enjoyed that interjection of yours so much Janey, I'm going to give you a bonus point.
JG: Thank you!
NP: Clement the subject is kangaroos and you have 34 seconds available starting now.
CF: DH Lawrence wrote a novel called Kangaroo, about Australia. I'm not at all sure why because Lady Chatterley's Lover seemed to me to be absolutely adequate! Nevertheless Kangaroo was set in Australia which will surprise...
NP: Ross has challenged.
ROSS NOBLE: Repetition of Australia.
NP: Yes that's right yes.
JG: Two Australias.
NP: So 18 seconds Ross, tell us something about kangaroos starting now.
RN: Who could forget the DH Lawrence sequel, Lady Chatterley's Kangaroo? What a ridiculous thing it was! All kinds of saucy activities bouncing around through the trees. The gardener, there he is, sawing things in the pouch that he possibly shouldn't have. Australia is one of those...
NP: So at the end of that round Ross Noble gained that extra point for speaking as the whistle went. Has gone ahead, he's one ahead of Paul Merton, and Clement Freud and Janey Godley follow in that order. And Ross we'd like you to take the next round. The subject is you and yours. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
RN: Ewen Yours is a Scottish wrestler. He's very popular, I believe that his father originally came from Scandinavia, hence the Yours. It's pronounced Yorf if you are from that neck of the woods. He has many signature manoeuvres where he would get somebody in a headlock and then flip them over onto their back and then once again repeat the...
NP: Clement challenged.
NP: I would agree with the hesitation, yes Clement. So you take over you and yours and you have 34, it's interesting, you had exactly 34 seconds last time you spoke. Anyway, 34...
CF: I think it's stuck on 34.
NP: I think those are into mysticism in numbers will have some interpretation. We haven't got time to ponder. You and yours with you Clement starting now.
CF: These are two very odd words to have in comparison. Yew is a tree which has very lush lavish leaves. And yours is the...
NP: Paul challenged.
PAUL MERTON: Hesitation.
NP: Not quite no. You have 25 seconds still available Clement, you and yours starting now.
CF: Mary Ure was a great actress who was married at one time to John Osborne. And the Ures is quite simply her father and mother, her cousins, her nephews and nieces...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: There was quite a lot of her.
NP: Yes there was yes yes. So Paul you have the subject, you have you and yours, you have 14 seconds starting now.
PM: The Chab version is Up You And Yours. And it's a very popular show, you can pick it up on local radio stations. Rather aggressive consumer reports. Buy this fridge or else you won't know what’s going to happen to you. That kind of thing goes on. Track suits are very popular at this time of year. I personally have bought...
NP: So Paul Merton was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he’s increased his lead, just ahead of Ross Noble, a little way ahead of Clement Freud and Janey Godley. And Clement your turn to begin and the subject now is healthy scepticism. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
CF: Healthy scepticism is the reaction to something which is apparently untrue, certainly unlikely. For instance Paul talking about his days at Eton! I don't go with. I bet he played the Wall Game with some skill, was a dry bob and was expelled after a very short time. But I, a healthy scepticism...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: There was a hesitation.
NP: Yes all that errr was a hesitation yes.
PM: And actually you'll find I was deputy headmaster for a number of years!
PM: Deputy, yeah.
NP: Oh right! Thirty-eight seconds available, healthy scepticism starting now.
PM: If we look at the planet Pluto we can see that we ga-goo ... oh!
NP: Ross you challenged.
RN: The ga-goo?
NP: Yes, we interpret...
RN: Which I thought was a planet.
NP: I nearly didn't buzz in because I thought I want to find out about ga-goo.
NP: No we interpret that as hesitation. So you take over healthy scepticism Ross with 34 seconds starting now.
RN: Healthy scepticism is the best way of burning calories. If you go for unhealthy scepticism that is where you sit in a chair and look at things in a very sceptical manner. Whereas if you shoot past somebody very very quickly in jogging pants...
NP: Oh yes.
RN: Very very quick! Oh! You know what? I'm not an educated man and if that deputy headmaster had been better when I was at school...
NP: It's the old trap that is so easy to walk into. But Clement you were the first to challenge, yes very very. Healthy scepticism is back with you and 21 seconds starting now.
CF: When Ross told me he had been a lifeguard at Weston-Super-Mare and couldn't swim, I met that statement with healthy scepticism. It is total nonsense. He comes from Newcastle...
NP: Ross challenged.
RN: Sorry, I thought there was a hesitation there.
NP: There was a hesitation.
RN: Was it? Yes there was yes.
NP: Yes and you've got in with six seconds to go on healthy scepticism starting now.
RN: I remember my days in Weston-Super-Mare with great affection. The amount of times where I would pat... oh!
RN: Oh I was going to say run in slow motion and then I went I'd already said run. I'm a fool to myself! Can I have a point for challenging myself?
NP: Yes. You didn't, Paul got in first, he challenged. So Paul yes, what is the challenge?
NP: Hesitation yes. You've got in with half a second to go, healthy scepticism starting now.
PM: Eton School...
NP: Once again Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's increased his lead but Ross got points in the round so there's still only two points between the two of them, and a few points between them and Clement and Janey. And Paul your turn to begin, the subject, what cheers me up. That's the subject, speak on it, 60 seconds if you can starting now.
PM: Walking around the Edinburgh Fringe during the Festival is a wonderful thing. You see so many people in a good mood. I speak to taxi drivers they say (in broad Scottish accent) Aye it's a good time of the year for us! (normal voice) And you understand what they mean. If you can't understand the accent, I'll translate it for you earlier. Now it seems to me that one of the happiest things you can do in life is to look at the planet Pluto, and think to yourself I would like to live there for a fortnight, or two weeks, whichever is the longer. As a magnificent sphere that orbs our Earth...
NP: Ross yes?
RN: Does it orb our Earth?
RN: It doesn't.
PM: It's absolutely meaningless!
NP: So you've got deviation then.
NP: Yes it doesn't orb the Earth yes.
RN: I'd like it if it did!
PM: It's quite poetic.
NP: It's in our planetary system.
NP: Anyway, you, it doesn't orb the world, the Earth.
NP: I don't know what I'm talking about either.
JG: What's the subject again? Roy Orbison?
JG: Oh no it's orb isn't it?
NP: Is it?
JG: What's the subject? I've lost it!
RN: Roy Orbison? Is that what you said?
JG: I was making it up about orb in my head!
RN: I thought he'd just walked in.
JG: He did.
NP: No Janey, that's not the subject, orb, it's what cheers me up.
JG: Oh right.
NP: And Ross has got the subject, he's got 33 seconds starting now.
RN: Roy Orbison cheers me up. Every time I go to one of his gigs, I can't help myself. I was once strolling down the road and saw two old men coming towards me. A gust of wind caught the hat of one of them, it flicked in the air and landed on the crown of the said other fellow. I laughed heartily as this occurrence which happened before my very eyes. It was as if they were trained circus professionals who for many years had stood there waiting for this particular geo... not geological...
NP: Yeah you went for that all...
RN: That's not weather is it, geological.
NP: Genealogical. So you've challenged Janey, you've got two seconds to tell us something about what cheers me up starting now.
JG: Donny Osmond...
NP: Clement challenged.
CF: Hesitation I thought.
JG: Oh come on! I was taking a breath so you could understand me perfectly!
NP: I think he was being generous so you get another point.
JG: I love him!
NP: So you got another point there Janey.
NP: What cheers me up, one second left starting now.
JG: Oh come on!
PM: That really was hesitation.
NP: It really was hesitation.
JG: I know because there was a bad word in my head!
NP: Listen Janey, but as you've never played the game before, I'm going to be generous to you.
JG: Thank you.
NP: Because I didn't give it to you again when Clement challenged, I'm not going to give it to you now he's challenged you. You get another point for that and you've got half a second to go, but please start when I say now!
NP: You've got half a second on what cheers me up starting now.
NP: So Janey Godley was speaking as the whistle went then, gained that extra point, and she's now leapt forward, my goodness me. She's still in third place but she's leapt! She's ahead of Clement Freud, she's just behind Ross Noble, and one or two behind Clement Freud. And Janey it's again your turn to begin, (in Scottish accent) oh this is a Glasgow subject, it's a good Scottish subject. Right this brings out all my Scottish blood anyway. William McGonigal. Do you know much about William McGonigal?
JG: Not in that accent! A wee bit.
NP: Give us a wee bit of William McGonigal in 60 seconds starting now.
JG: William McGonigal was known as the world's worst poet in the English language. His famous ditty was the old one about the Taybridge disaster. This man hung about railway stations waiting for bad things to happen so he could write poems about them. Some of his other poems...
NP: Ohhhh! It's a difficult game. Clement you challenged.
CF: Ah repetition.
CF: Of poems.
NP: Poems right. You tell us something about William McGonigal with 45 seconds available Clement starting now.
CF: I've always found the William McGonigal myth very strange. Because normally, if you are a bad poet, no-one reads him. Yet in William McGonigal's case, he seems to have become increasingly famous, as his verse deteriorates in every er...
RN: That was a hesitation.
NP: Yes, he thought about deteriorating and then he was running out of steam really. The, like a McGonigal poem! Right Ross, you've got William McGonigal, and you have 28 seconds starting now.
RN: The difference between William McGonigal and Kate Adie is that he could rhyme. She would always turn up to places where there were disasters and things happening, but she didn't even bother herself to write a limerick. And that's why...
NP: Clement challenged.
NP: Of what?
CF: Rhyme, write.
NP: That's right yes, I had to ask you Clement.
NP: You might have said something else I disagreed with, so you have the subject back, you have 16 seconds, William McGonigal starting now.
CF: I didn't know about the Taybridge disaster until I had read William McGonigal, and I am now probably more knowledgeable on that subject than on any other awful thing that happened anywhere during the last 49 years. I...
NP: Paul's challenged you.
PM: There was a bit of a gap there.
NP: There was a hesitation. So Paul...
PM: You could have made a ham sandwich, couldn't you Nicholas.
NP: Well not quite a ham sandwich but anyway, anyway it's a correct challenge Paul, so it's justification, you've all got points, and you've got a quarter of a second on William McGonigal starting now.
PM: William McGonigal...
NP: So Paul was speaking again as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and he's increased his little just a little, no he's just in the same position, two points ahead of Ross Noble, three points ahead of Clement Freud, and four points ahead of Janey Godley. And that's the situation as we move on to Ross Noble to start again. Ross, the art of mime which is wonderful of course on radio. What an amazing subject for a radio show! You can't illustrate it but talk about it, 60 seconds starting now.
NP: Janey! Janey!
AUDIENCE ROARS WITH LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FOR 29 SECONDS
NP: Well that's one of the biggest laughs we've ever had in Just A Minute. I should explain to our listeners, Ross took the subject, I have to explain and he went into a mime. And the audience loved it. This is the first time we've had mime on radio and it's worked! And he got so carried away with the reaction he got, the only way we were going to stop him was for me to leave my chair and go over there and physically restrain himself!
JG: I tried!
RN: I do have to say there was a repetition of (nothing). There was a repetition of walking against the wind.
NP: I know, I know.
RN: Which, it's an easy mistake to make.
NP: Well I'll tell you what we'll do. Paul was the first to challenge and so he gets the subject. We're going to get back into the realms of sound radio! And we're going to give you two bonus points...
NP: One because the audience... one because the audience enjoyed it so much and also because it was so inventive. And Paul you challenged, and when you pressed your buzzer, there were 55 seconds to go, so please tell us something...
PM: Wait! It was about 30 seconds in! And there's 55 seconds to go?
NP: Because you pressed your buzzer almost immediately. Because it was miming and we had five seconds of silence, and you pressed your buzzer and that's when, that's when it went...
NP: So that's all right. Please don't mime, I don't think we can take another one. Talk on the subject, on the subject, talk on the art of mime, 55 seconds starting now.
PM: If we look at the silent comedians of the 1920s, we can see very skilled mime artists. Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy all reached great heights in this rather unusual medium. If you see a mime in the street these days as Ross indicated just now, you might see a number of various actions which you have seen before. The walking against the wind, or the trapped inside the glass box. The great thing about the comedians in that era that I mentioned...
NP: Ross challenged.
RN: I'm just going to interrupt. Like he's a genius on this subject! This is like, he, it's not an official thing but he knows everything there is to know and therefore I just thought I’d just interrupt!
NP: Ross I've got to say, you've played the game often enough, you know even if you know all about the subject, you still hesitate, you still repeat yourself. It's very difficult to keep going...
RN: That's right.
NP:... to keep that discipline of thought going...
RN: Well I thought, I thought I'd beat him to it.
NP: No, you interrupted him actually, he was going in fine style.
RN: I thought so.
NP: And he...
PM: And don't tell me I've got 55 seconds left!
NP: You've still got 29 seconds! You've got another point, you've caught your breath, Ross has helped you out again...
NP: ... 29 seconds, because you get another point for being interrupted and you start now.
PM: Charles was perhaps the finest of all those particular comics I mentioned earlier. I can't mention... oh no!
NP: That's what often happens, you get interrupted, and the flow goes. Right, so Clement was the first to come in...
NP: You know what it was, we all know, the art of mime and you have 20, oh, 24 seconds starting now.
CF: In 1215 the Magna Carta was signed at Runnymede, against the will of King John...
PM: Wasn't it signed against a tree? It was signed against a tree. It wasn't signed against a will of somebody. That seems very awkward! It was signed against a tree!
NP: It wasn't a tree, it was against his will, he didn't want to sign it.
PM: Doesn't that make the handwriting shaky?
NP: So we let him keep the subject, 16 seconds Clement, the art of mime starting now.
CF: I have several gramophone records, both 78 and 33s, of mime artists. They bore people to distraction. After dinner I say "let us sit down and we will get the gramophone and wind it up, and sharpen the needle..."
NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. He's now one point behind our leader Paul Merton, one point ahead of Ross Noble, and three points ahead of Janey Godley. And Clement it's also your turn to begin so we're going to hear from you again. This is a good subject for you, how to snub somebody. No, the wording on the card, I must get it right, because you mustn't... how to snub someone. Sixty seconds starting now.
CF: You put your arms around them and your tongue into their mouth, leave...
NP: Janey you've challenged.
JG: He stopped for a long time.
NP: No, he paused.
JG: All right, okay.
NP: Hesitation yes.
NP: Well you get his tongue in your mouth, of course I mean...
JG: I get frightened.
CF: I thought that is how to snog someone.
JG: He sounds like a snogger!
CF: Shall we? Shall we get the sound engineer to come back?
JG: Is it snog or snub?
NP: It is snub.
JG: It is snub, yeah.
NP: It's a snub yes, right.
JG: I've never had lessons how to snog before, that was wonderful!
NP: Well um, talk to Clement, he obviously knows all about it. But Janey you did have a correct challenge so you take over the subject and there are 52 seconds on how to snub someone starting now.
JG: The best way to snub someone is stand in front of them, make funny eyes, and wave at people behind them. And every time they speak just stick your two fingers up under their eyes, laugh, laugh, oh!
NP: Oh it's a difficult game isn't it. Right, Ross you challenged first.
RN: Repetition of laugh.
JG: No, surely not!
NP: Yes, 42 seconds available Ross, how to snub somebody, someone, sorry, someone starting now.
RN: I always feel sorry for snub-nosed dolphins because it's physically impossible for them to be friendly to anyone. They simply approach them and instantly snub. At any party, should you invent that particular creature along, you will find, one, they will be flapping along on the ground because they need to be under water. And they'll be knocking the vol au vents all over the place. Let alone meeting somebody! And the next thing you know they're rolling around on the floor with Clement Freud while he snogs them...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: He's had floor before.
NP: Yes you had two floors.
RN: Oh yeah, that's, yeah.
NP: Right yes so Clement you have the subject back, it is snub by the way.
NP: And 17 seconds on how to snub someone starting now.
CF: If someone comes up to you, for instance, and says "you are very fat", a very good reply is "it's because every time I go to bed with your wife, she gives me a biscuit!"
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM JG AND THE AUDIENCE FOR 18 SECONDS
NP: Paul you challenged first. Nobody challenged for quite a long time actually! It was very interesting, they were absorbing what went on. But you eventually challenged.
PM: Yes well it was hesitation.
NP: Hesitation, it was a complete full stop! But I think he actually retired on his laurels at the volume of laughter he got. So we give him a bonus point because they obviously enjoyed the joke. And Paul you've got in with three seconds to go, how to, and a point of course, how to snub someone starting now.
PM: Custard creams are my favourite, but indeed, if you really want to snub somebody...
NP: So Paul Merton was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point and he's now taken the lead ahead of Clement Freud, who is just ahead of Ross Noble, and Janey Godley has got a number of points but she is still in fourth place. But it doesn't matter, she's going to take the last round, Janey, it is my favourite nursery rhyme, and you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.
JG: An Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe is my favourite nursery rhyme. I don't know why this woman had so many children, and then beat them with a stick, and made them live inside leather. Possibly she was from the east end of Glasgow which makes her part of my family. It was my mother, in fact, who lived there. And we...
NP: Clement you challenged.
CF: Mother, repeat.
NP: Your mother yes, there was.
JG: I don't think so! I only had one mother.
NP: I think there was two mothers.
JG: Lived, there was two liveds. You missed the two liveds but there was one mother.
NP: Well I'm going to overlook it Janey as you haven't played the game before.
JG: Thanks! Clement's looking at me like he's going to snog me! And that's frightening!
PM: I'll get the equipment!
NP: So Janey carry on with my favourite nursery rhyme, 43 seconds starting now.
JG: She was a scary woman in the show but her...
NP: Right yes.
PM: That was repetition of shoe.
NP: Shoe, you had the shoe before.
JG: Oh right I thought it was only segments, you're right.
NP: No, if you've used it before, even in this round...
JG: Yeah yeah okay.
NP: So Paul it's back with you, my favourite nursery rhyme, 40 seconds starting now.
PM: Just thinking about now my favourite nursery rhyme, I'm going to pluck one from thin air and hopefully it doesn't have too much repetition.
Little Jack Horner sat in the corner,
Eating his curds and whey,
Up came the spider,
And sat down beside her,
And the number seven bus goes this way.
What a fantastic poem! London Transport in the 1930s produced A Children's Book Of Poetry. You could read all kinds of things. The Terminus That Stopped At Acton or The Bus That Never Went Home. And there were very sad stories that helped us beat Hitler in the Second World War! How many people here can remember Goebbels' Happy Hour, what a puppet show that was! I still remember it... what the hell am I talking about?
NP: It doesn't matter Paul, they loved it. But Ross you challenged, what was it for?
NP: Yes it was from my favourite nursery rhyme. Oh I don't know. Could it be Goebbels' nursery rhyme...
CF: What the hell am I talking about?
RN: What the hell am I talking about?
PM: That's one of my favourite nursery rhymes! It questions our innermost beliefs! No, don't worry, I'll give up on that one!
NP: I'll give up, I'm not going to justify it. Benefit of the doubt to Ross, and you have six seconds Ross, my favourite nursery rhyme starting now.
RN: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. And then he came off and hurt himself quite badly, his shell was damaged and he was in...
NP: So it remains for me to give you the final situation. Well, Janey Godley who has not played the game before, did very well, she got quite a few points, but she did unfortunately finish in fourth place. But well done Janey!
JG: Thank you.
NP: Come back again. And ahead of her, with only one point separating them all, but in ascending order, it was Ross Noble, one point ahead Clement Freud, and one point ahead Paul Merton, so Paul, we say you're the winner! But it was even stevens wasn't it, congratulations to them all! Thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Ross Noble, Janey Godley and Clement Freud. I thank Charlotte Davies, who has helped me with the score, blown her whistle delicately. We thank our producer who is Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are very indebted to this lovely audience here at the Fringe, at the Pleasance in Edinburgh who have cheered us on our way. You've had a great time, we've had a lovely time, thank you very much, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!