starring PAUL MERTON, CLEMENT FREUD, TIM RICE and ROSS NOBLE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 11 September 2006)

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 huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners, in this country and around the world. But of course to welcome to the show, four individual exciting skilled players of the game, who have come together to show off their surreal humour as they try and talk on a subject that I give them, and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four are, seated on my right, Paul Merton and Clement Freud. And seated on my left, Ross Noble and Tim Rice. Will you please welcome all four of them! Thank you. Beside me sits Charlotte Davies, she is going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Pavilion Theatre which is in that beautiful, lovely, warm resort of Bournemouth on the Hampshire coast.



NP: What's that?

CD: It's in Dorset!

NP: It was when I was a little boy! Just to keep the recording going, I said that to make sure the audience were alive and awake. And we've now established we have an audience here can I just say that this particular edition of the show is coming from the Pavilion Theatre in that lovely resort of Bournemouth in that amazing county of Dorset.


PAUL MERTON: We've moved!

NP: And we're going to begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement the subject is Thomas Hardy. Tell us something about Thomas Hardy in this game, starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Thomas Hardy is a very good West Country name which is in fact awash with Thomas Hardies. In the 18th century the captain of the Victory, the boat, or ship if you like, on which Nelson... died...


NP: Tim challenged.

TIM RICE: I'm afraid there was a hesitation just, just when it was getting interesting.

NP: I don't think you should rub it in Tim. There are 47 seconds available starting now.

TR: I always get rather annoyed by Thomas Hardy, because he sets his work in a fictitious area which is not quite where you want it to be. One always feels that Town A should be really B...


NP: Ross challenged.

ROSS NOBLE: Ah it was hesitation.

NP: Yes it should be, Town A, should be Town B, you didn't want to say Town again. Ross you had a correct challenge so he gets a point for that, 34 seconds Ross, tell us something about Thomas Hardy starting now.

RN: I went to school with a kid called Thomas Hardy. He was rubbish at writing, in fact he used to get his conkers and he would throw them around the place. And that's no basis for literary works. In fact some people say...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: I think we had two in facts, didn't we?

NP: Yes you did, at the beginning. In fact I went to school with a boy called Thomas Hardy, and in fact. Well listened Tim. Right, 22 seconds, Thomas Hardy is back with you starting now.

TR: Thomas Hardy's big mistake, after quite a successful literary career, was teaming up with Stan Laurel and making a lot of movies! This this...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Well we had this this. But deviation, they were the most popular double act in the movies, Thomas Hardy and Stan Laurel. How could that be seen as a mistake?

NP: Anyway the this this was a repetition. So Paul, a correct challenge, 14 seconds for you, tell us something about Thomas Hardy starting now.

PM: I remember the double act Thomas Hardy formed with Stanley Baldwin, who was then Prime Minister in the 1930s. What a fantastic team they were. They used to come on at the beginning of the news and say I, oh I can't repeat that...


PM: I, I.

NP: I, I.

PM: I, I.

NP: That's your lot. Right so Ross you challenged first.

RN: So who did I go to school with then?

PM: He lived his life backwards!

RN: It was a hesitation.

NP: What is your challenge? Yes it was, within the rules of Just A Minute, hesitation. You've got in with four seconds to go Ross on Thomas Hardy starting now.

RN: Big shoes, that's what he often wore. In those days it was very popular to...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Ross Noble, he has three points at the end of the round, so has Tim Rice. Paul has one, Clement has yet to score. And Ross I think you should take the next round, doing a runner. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

RN: I once tried to do a runner in a revolving restaurant, and unfortunately it meant that I stayed on the same spot. They turned up the machinery and the chef was able to reach across and smack me on the head with the ladle. The Police would have been called but unfortunately the ladle squad had not...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: A pair of ladles.

RN: Yes.

NP: It was, the ladle came back in again, right, 43 seconds are still available Tim for you to tell us about doing a runner starting now.

TR: I was never really gripped by Ross's story there because...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: I just took offence!

NP: Actually it was a very good story for Just A Minute. So we give Ross a bonus for the insult as well as the hurt. But Tim you keep the subject because you were interrupted, you have 40 seconds available, doing a runner starting now.

TR: Doing a runner is the coward's way out of a difficult situation.



NP: Ross challenged, but I must explain to our listeners, the reason why there was that laughter and reaction is because Tim decided to illustrate how to do a runner, and Ross, I know what your challenge was, 36 seconds, doing a runner with you starting now.

RN: Doing a runner is something that Olympic groupies all try to do, hanging around the village, possibly finding themselves somebody from the hundred metres, or possibly twice the length of that. They will stand there and see them cross the finish line, and approach them and attempt to be with that particular athlete after the whole thing has ended. And if they're successful they might live together in a harmonious...


NP: Oh the look on his face as he struggled to keep going with that rubbish! It was... Paul you challenged.

PM: It was a bit like Stephen Hawking towards the end, wasn't it!

NP: Anyway we call it hesitation Paul.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Ten seconds, doing a runner starting now.

PM: (in mechanical Stephen Hawking impersonation) The best way to do a runner...


RN: Well he's just copying isn't he! It was, it...

NP: He was doing an impersonation of somebody else.

RN: Yeah he was Hawking it up.

NP: That's right.

RN: He was deviating from his normal voice.

NP: I know he was, but you can do that in Just A Minute, it's not, nothing in the rules that forbids it.

RN: Oh.

NP: You can take as many voices as you like in one particular round.

RN: Oh well, I didn't realise that.

NP: In the old days, Kenneth Williams would sometimes use three voices within the space of one round and... am I going too far back? Nine seconds, Paul it was a correct challenge, sorry, incorrect challenge, point to you, nine seconds, doing a runner starting now.

PM: (in rather bad Kenneth Williams camp voice impersonation) I remember the very first time, it was at the Savoy Hotel, I was wearing black, you were wearing green...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two wearings.

NP: Two wearings, wearing black and wearing green. So Clement's got in with one second to go on doing a runner starting now.


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: No! Well tried, another point to Clement, half a second Clement starting now.

CF: Marathon.


NP: That long pause before the whistle was because Charlotte was laughing so much she nearly swallowed her whistle. And she came in a bit late, but it doesn't matter, Clement was speaking when the whistle should have gone and he gets that point for doing so. He's now in third place, with Paul, only one point behind Tim, Tim's one point behind Ross, if you are interested in the points, some people are. I'm glad you feel like that. Tim would you take the next round, oh this is interesting, three things you never knew about dolphins. They do think of some bizarre subjects, don't they. Anyway there is the subject, go with it Tim, best you can, 60 seconds starting now.

TR: Three things you never knew about dolphins, one of them is that no dolphin has yet stood for Parliament. There are several reasons for this, but they're rather boring so I won't go into them at the moment. The second fact that very few people have...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Few.

NP: Repetition, 48 seconds available Clement, three things you never knew about dolphins starting now.

CF: I never knew anything about dolphins so it is extremely difficult...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: They swim in the sea. You must have known that so that's deviation, he must know something about dolphins. He can't know nothing about dolphins.

NP: That's quite a good challenge, isn't it.

PM: Isn't it just.

CF: No!

NP: On the other hand he could justify it by saying he didn't even know that. But I don't think Clement is that ignorant.

PM: No.

NP: I think he's a very intelligent man.

PM: I think so.

NP: So I have to give you the benefit of the doubt Paul.

PM: Yeah.

NP: And I'll try and redress the balance later if I can Clement. So Paul you have the benefit, 44 seconds, three things you never knew about dolphins starting now.

PM: As dolphins approach the beach here...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Sorry it was a hesitation.

NP: It was a hesitation, 43 seconds still available, three things you never knew about dolphins Ross starting now.

RN: A lot of people don't realise that dolphins love to wear hats. This is a shame for them because they tend to...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: I don't think that's true.

PM: No.

NP: Actually...

PM: You give a bottle-nose a trilby, it's very happy!

NP: I don't, the thing is if you watch them in some of these dolphinariums...

PM: They're wearing hats, aren't they.

RN: Yeah.

NP: No they're not, they're not wearing them. But the trainer puts a hat on them when they leap up and they put a hat on them.

PM: That's if one of them is getting married.

NP: I love your bizarre humour but it's not getting you anywhere in this round.

PM: I'll shut up.

NP: I have to give the benefit of the doubt on this occasion to Ross, so Ross, you were the one who said about wearing hats, wasn't it.

RN: Yeah, yep.

NP: Thirty-eight seconds, three things you never knew about dolphins starting now.

RN: The problem is they put them over their blowholes and when they breathe out, they fly up in the air. And everybody thinks it's like the end of a football match in the olden days. Hurrah! But it isn't. They'd be very wrong to think that because they have no concept...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of think.

NP: You should be wrong to think, yes, mmm, 26 seconds for you Paul on three things you never knew about dolphins starting now.

PM: They move towards Bournemouth beach and they say "ah the coast of Dorset". One of them says "this used to be in Hampshire, you know." "Really?" And where else can dolphins go? As they make their way from (unintelligible) back to Norfolk, on that train journey which...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: I don't know.

NP: But Paul was interrupted so he keeps the subject, three things you never knew about dolphins, 13 seconds available starting now.

PM: Mathematical equations are enough to test any average bottlenose's ability...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Repetition of bottlenose. He had a bottlenose before.

PM: Yeah but that was in my...

NP: It wasn't in the round, he was talking about the bottlenose outside of when he was speaking on the subject.

PM: Yeah.

RN: Oh well that's very devious that!

PM: Also it was bottlenoses rather than bottlenose.

NP: It doesn't matter.

PM: It might not matter to you.

NP: He didn't repeat it.

RN: It does if you're in an off-licence.

PM: Yeah exactly.

RN: Yeah. If you want a bottle of wine and you get a dolphin!

NP: Oh we love this! We enjoy the idle banter, but Paul within the rules of Just A Minute, it was incorrect, you have seven seconds, carry on with three things you never knew about dolphins starting now.

PM: I went to the off-licence and ordered a pack of six dolphins. The man looked at me curiously, he said "do you know this is a particular brand of beer which shouldn't be drunk in this country?" And I said "I don't care..."


NP: So Paul had a number of points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went, and he's moved into the lead one ahead of Ross Noble. And he's three ahead of Clement Freud and Tim Rice in that order. And Paul I think you should take the next round, I think it's your turn. And you've had a bit of the lion's share of the show so far but funnily enough, that is the next subject, the lion's share, 60 seconds starting now.

PM: The lion's share of course is the largest piece of the cake. And you can hear the siren coming towards me now because Nicholas, I'm afraid, has been up to his old tricks again. He's been staring into old ladies' windows...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Well deviation and...

PM: Don't tell me about it! Tell him!

NP: What is your, what is your, what is your...

TR: Well deviation, he was talking about your personal problems rather than the lion's share. He got right off the topic of the lion's share...

PM: But he gets his lion's share, looking at old ladies through windows!

RN: Can I have repetition? He said old twice, old ladies, old tricks.

NP: I know you did. But unfortunately you can't have a second challenge.

RN: He, he had the first challenge.

NP: It's too late now Ross right.

RN: Sorry. It is for those old ladies!

NP: Although it was an utterly devious thought, within the rules of Just A Minute, he wasn't actually deviating. Because he can say that and let people think in some weird fantasy way I might be capable of such a devious thought, but...

PM: Excuse me, you asked to borrow my ladder!

NP: I'm with you Paul still, 49 seconds, the lion's share starting now.

PM: I went to Africa once and I was looking at the lions walking in their natural habitat. It's very strange, you get up just before dawn and you walk around this place. It looks unlike, a little bit, well...


NP: Ro, Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Lions aren't allowed into Habitat!

NP: Presumably you mean the shop and presumably you are right, but it's not a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute. But we enjoyed what you said Clement, another bonus point to you, Paul was interrupted and there are 40 seconds, the lion's share starting now.

PM: If you look at this panel show that we have in front of us, we have four contestants and the wonderful Nicholas Parsons. All have microphones to address...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Repetition of Nicholas Parsons.

NP: No he's never mentioned my... oh yes he did.

TR: Of course he did, you...

NP: Of course, well listened yes.

TR: I was cruelly denied points earlier.

NP: It shows you how modest I am, you mention my name, I forget it immediately. Tim correct challenge, 32 seconds, the lion's share starting now.

TR: Nicholas Parsons deserves the lion's share of the credit for the enormous success of this brilliant programme which I am...


NP: I'm afraid Clement Freud has challenged. I think... yes...

PM: And four people clapped!

NP: Clement?

CF: Creep!

NP: Well there's nothing against creeping in Just A Minute! You can creep as much as you like.

CF: Not like that!

NP: You're not getting very far Clement, I think I'd lay off. Tim, an incorrect challenge, so 24 seconds for the lion's share with you starting now.

TR: Another shining light of this superb output...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes hesitation, I know what he was going to say, he was going to praise someone else but didn't get into it. Ross you got in, 21 seconds, the lion's share starting now.

RN: They certainly do because they're a rugby team, and that's the way the game works. Lion's share obviously, oh I've done it wrong, haven't I!


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well that's sort of...

NP: Yeah.

PM: Hesitation really.

NP: It's packing up so it's hesitation.

PM: Sadly.

NP: Thirteen seconds, so it's back with you Paul, the lion's share starting now.

PM: I am so pleased to talk about the lion's share because when you actually think about it, isn't that the share that is worth having? The one that's bigger than everybody else's. Don't worry about democracy, buy your own island, me and Clement Freud together...


NP: So Paul Merton got that extra point for speaking as the whistle went and others in the round, he's increased his lead ahead of Ross Noble and Clement Freud and Tim Rice equal in third place. Clement it's back with you, we'd like you to take the next subject, it's doodles. Tell us something about doodles in this game starting now.

CF: Doodles is something artists do. But if you are a wordsmith, cauliflower, microbiology, mathematics, algebra are the sort of doodles which if you didn't have a pencil or a pen, let alone paper, you might verbally entertain people with. Now my...


NP: Paul has challenged.

PM: What sort of party is this? "Can we get any music?" "No no no I'm just going to do some mathematical equations out loud to entertain you! The next one is B squared!" "Oh Clement, you spoil us!"

NP: Oh dear, perhaps on your cauliflower...

PM: Deviation.

NP: Right deviation, you have a point for that, a point for your little tirade there which they loved, 37 seconds you have got though now for doodles starting now.

PM: When I lived in a bedsit I had my own little pet Doodles, the pit pony. He was a wonderful creature but he used to get his hooves through the pillow cases. Every day I would take him down to the local park and let Doodles run free as nature intended, clip clopping up the hill, his little maney head would turn to me almost as if to say "thank you for letting me free from that previous..."


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Repetition of free.

NP: Yes he was running free.

PM: Well he's a free spirit, a free spirit.

NP: Yes well listened Ross, he did repeat free.

PM: I'm missing him as well, I do miss him.

TR: He tasted good!

NP: There are 16 seconds still available Ross, carry on, no carry on, take over doodles starting now.

RN: To chefs, doodles are evil noodles. They go into the pan and instead of simmering up nicely, you'll just hear them, under their breath, making horrible rude-type noises. And they'll rise up against you and they'll fight you and they'll knock you to the floor...


NP: Wait a minute! Clement challenged.

CF: Three yous.

NP: Yous.

PM: That's almost a flock!

NP: Against you... it was a correct challenge.

PM: Yeah it was.

NP: And you've got in with half a second to go Clement, doodles starting now.

CF: Oodles of poodles...


NP: So another point to Clement Freud in this particular edition of Just A Minute. And Ross Noble got one for speaking as the whistle went, he's one ahead of Clement. And I say it's Ross's turn to begin, Ross, the subject is the jurassic age, 60 seconds starting now.

RN: I used to love dinosaurs when I was a kid. Unfortunately I was born in the 70s and they'd all died out, and that meant that my Dad had to go out and buy paper mache and he would smear it all over a dog and have it run around the place, pretending to be a triceratops or a diffadocus. I'm never sure whether that's how it's pronounced or whether it's a deploddicus. I think...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Repetition of that word.

NP: Which one?

TR: Well the one that he pronounced in two different ways.

RN: No, the second one was his name, D. Ploddicus. His...

NP: I think...

RN: His real name was Dennis Ploddicus.

PM: Yes.

NP: Actually Tim we've never actually had this challenge in Just A Minute, if you're taking a certain word, a long word, and pronounce it in quite a different way, whether that is repetition. Because I think we go on repetition of the word as we've heard it.

RN: Yes.

NP: So I think we have to give the benefit of the doubt to Ross on this occasion. But thank you for your interesting challenge. Ross another point to you, 37 seconds, the jurassic age starting now.

RN: I'm not a big fan of pterodactyls, in fact my favourite of the dactyls is the happy-dactyls. Before they called it the jurassic age, it was just going to be called big lizard time...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Two called.

NP: Yes before they called it, it was going to be called.

RN: Yeah.

NP: Right Paul you have the correct challenge. (clears throat) Sorry, 27 seconds Paul, the jurassic age starting now.

PM: When I look over at Nicholas, I suddenly think of the Jurassic age. I don't know why this should be. Maybe it's because there's an elegant gracefulness in the way that he moves. It reminds you of a very big dead reptile. I'm sure it simply has to be. The jurassic age has spawned many films over the years. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the first book of The Lost World in 1924. And that was made into a Hollywood flicker of that era...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's increased his lead ahead of Ross Noble, not much, but Clement Freud follows in third place and then Tim Rice. And Tim we'd like you to take the next round, the subject is Pandora's box. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

TR: Epimethus and his lady Pandora were lounging around the world just having been created, when this box appeared, delivered by Mercury, win-ged messenger of the Gods or Gawds as some people call them. Furthermore this chap also known in Greek as Hermes said to Pandora, "whatever you do, doll, do not open this..."


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: It was repetition of Pandora.

TR: It's on...

NP: It's part...

RN: Pandora's box and it was Pandora.

NP: Yeah but it's apostrophe S, so you have...

TR: Well said Nicholas! Brilliant!

RN: I thought it was Pandora's box, so I can't have just Pandora?

NP: No no, you can't just have Pandora, because Pandora is there. They put the apostrophe S in so it's Pandora's or Pandora, you can have either.

RN: I apologise wholeheartedly!

NP: So Tim you have the benefit of the doubt if it's necessary because I said I'd give it to you, 35 seconds, Pandora's box starting now.

TR: Around the box was a golden cord or cooed as some people say...


NP: (hardly able to speak for laughing) Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of or some people call it.

NP: Or as some people call it, yes. You said that about God and Gawd, you said it before. That's why, it is such a wicked game because you were going so well and they were loving it, God or Gawd, and now... but anyway Clement, correct challenge, 30 seconds, Pandora's box starting now.

CF: The box or bwart as some people call it, contained all the great qualities that the Gods had decided to give to their favourite Pandora. And when it was opened, the absolute mayhem which was called to the world or wooled as some people...


NP: Tim you've challenged.

TR: Repetition of some people!

NP: You're quite right yes. You started something Tim, which has been taken up and used to great effect. So you got the subject back, deservedly, Pandora's box, 11 seconds starting now.

TR: All these evil things came flying out of the box...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: is that repetition of things?

NP: Yes you did talk about the things before in the box. So well listened Ross, you have eight seconds, Pandora's box starting now.

RN: Ohgwa eeebah oo-wah oak wah oorr markowah...


NP: You were challenged, I don't know why. Paul what was your challenge?

PM: Repetition of gwah.

NP: I don't know what you were trying to convey Ross, but you certainly did repeat gwah. And Paul...

RN: I thought no-one would notice but you know...

NP: There we are, you have three seconds Paul, Pandora's box starting now.

PM: As the bowler eyed up the opposition he realised one thing...


NP: So Paul was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's increased his lead at the end of the round, and we're going into the final round. I'll give you the situation as we go into that round. Tim Rice, he's now in quite a strong fourth place actually but I don't think he has much chance of getting out in the lead. Clement Freud is in third place, labouring a little behind Ross Noble in a very strong second place. But out in the lead is Paul Merton and he also, it's his turn to begin. So Paul the subject now is a fish out of water. Will you talk on that subject in this game starting now.

PM: A fish out of water, a dolphin in a hat shop. There is all kinds of places that you can find where you are out of place. For example if you were to see the Pope at a lap dancing club, you'd say "well I've seen better strippers, but here's a fiver, stick it in his hat!"


NP: Tim you've challenged.

TR: Repetition of hat. Dolphin, dolphin in a hat shop, and then Pope, stick it in his hat.

PM: I, I am sorry, I should have said hart shoop!

NP: Yes!

RN: Hart! Hart!

NP: Stick it in your...

PM: I should have said hart yeah.

NP: In your hart.

PM: Never mind.

NP: Why didn't you tend to stick it in his cassock? Tim correct challenge...

PM: I don't know him that well to be honest!

NP: Forty-five seconds, a fish out of water starting now.

TR: Sven-Goran Erickson in my opinion was a fish out of water, because he was not British. He was not...


NP: He was not.

TR: Knotted! He was knotted.

NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Two nots.

NP: Two nots, yes, he was... well I won't get into it. Right, 39 seconds, a fish out of water Paul starting now.

PM: But if you are a fish out of water, there is also room to improve and learn new skills. For example, if you saw a HGV lorry driver, grade three perhaps, starting a ballet class, you'd say to yourself well he has absolutely no chance. But Margot Fonteyn couldn't drive a truck! So it's all horses for courses. I was once a fish out of water when I first appeared on this show, Just A Minute...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Nothing has changed!

NP: And you thought he was your friend!

PM: No I never thought that!

NP: Clement it was a wicked but a very funny remark, we give you a bonus point for that. Paul was interrupted so he gets a point for that, he keeps the subject, a fish out of water, 17 seconds Paul starting now.

PM: Imagine the scene. It's twilight outside an old lady's home somewhere in Boskim. Nicholas Parsons comes up the drive, his cravat glinting in the moonlight. His silver jacket is looking superb as he knocks on her window and looks inside into the murky interiors and then removes his...


NP: Paul saved by the whistle! We didn't want, I'm glad he didn't tell you what I removed. Right, I'll give you the final situation. Tim Rice, he was only two points behind Clement Freud, who was only two points behind Ross Noble. But Ross was quite a few points behind Paul Merton so this week we say Paul, you are our winner! Thank you. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine funny players of the game, Paul Merton, Ross Noble, Tim Rice and Clement Freud. I thank Charlotte Davies, who has sat beside me and blown her whistle with such elegance and kept, helped me with the score. We thank our producer-director and that is Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are very grateful to this lovely audience here in the Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth, who have been absolutely marvellous. We have loved playing to you, we've loved the show. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, and from our lovely panel, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!