NOTE: Neil Mullarkey's last appearance.

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 throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme, four exciting, talented, extrovert, gorgeous individuals who are going to show their verbal dexterity, their humorous ingenuity and their sense of fun as they try and talk on a subject that I give them, and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four are seated on my right, Paul Merton and Neil Mullarkey. And seated on my left, Sue Perkins and Tony Hawks. Will you please welcome all four of them! Seated beside me is Charlotte Davies, who is going to help me keep the score, she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from that beautiful Theatre Royal in that charming town of Brighton on the Sussex coast. And we have a lovely Sussex audience. As we begin the show with Tony Hawks. Tony what an apt subject to begin the show with, seaside postcards. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TONY HAWKS: As I walked along the sea front before this show and was very nearly blown into the water, I took a look at some of the gift shops along the way and viewed the postcards there. Little bits of wood sticking out of the sea, this was the West Pier. I enjoyed that very much. Disappointed though I was, to find there was not any real sauciness as we used to get in the old fashioned seaside postcards of many years ago, Girls, perhaps leaning over telescopes looking out to sea with a naughty...


NP: Sue challenged.

SUE PERKINS: Repetition of sea.

TH: Yes.

NP: Yes when you walked beside the sea at the beginning, so you repeated sea.

TH: I did.

NP: So that is a correct challenge, you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, 28 seconds available, seaside postcards and you start now.

SP: Seaside postcards, kiss me quick hats and sticks of rock have come to me to represent holidays in Brighton. I was born in Croydon, which is as dissimilar from a beautiful seascape as anything could be. A Croydon mass...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Yes, a repetition of Croydon.

NP: Croydon.

SP: Well you know, I started to talk about it and I can't stop! It's so...

PAUL MERTON: So good they named it twice!

NP: So Tony a correct challenge and a point to you, you have seaside postcards, 14 seconds still available starting now.

TH: I wonder if the quality of seaside postcards is better in say, Blackpool, Bournemouth, or perhaps Brighton is...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Repetition of perhaps.

NP: No.

SP: He said perhaps before in the...

PM: And I very much doubt whether the postcards in Brighton and Bournemouth vary much in quality. I imagine there's an overall company that is producing these things.

NP: I don't know what you're talking about Paul.

PM: How dare you!

NP: Well I have to say anything to get a laugh. It got a reaction anyway. Sue repetition, a point to you, seaside postcards starting now.

SP: Ladies' breasts made to look like mice are my least favourite form of seaside postcard...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well that's where we disagree!

NP: So any challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

PM: No.

NP: No, well we give... because the audience enjoyed your interruption so much, we give you a bonus point for that. But Sue was interrupted so she gets a point for that and she keeps the subject and you've only got two seconds available, seaside postcards starting now.

SP: Scantily clad women being groped and fondled by...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Sue Perkins so she has actually a lead at the end of the round. And Neil Mullarkey we'd like you to take the next round or to start it. And the subject is the best sandwich. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

NEIL MULLARKEY: For me the best sandwich is hard to find, since I cannot eat bread. I have wheat issues. I must seek out other... grain...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There was a slight hesitation there.

NP: There was, errrrrrrr.

PM: Yes it was like that wasn't it.

NP: Yes that's right.

NM: Because I'd had wheat beforehand.

NP: You'd had some wheat I think. So we call that hesitation , Paul you have a point, you have the subject, 51 seconds, the best sandwich starting now.

PM: I don't know whether it could be called the best sandwich. But there's a hotel in London that is certainly selling the world's most expensive sandwich. It consists of cavi...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Deviation.

NP: Why?

TH: It's the most expensive sandwich.

NP: Yeah but it still could be the best sandwich. It could be the most expensive...

TH: I thought he made it clear that he didn't know whether it was the best sandwich?

PM: I certainly didn't rule it out!

NP: Exactly Paul! We can debate the situation of what is the best sandwich, and I think he has the benefit of the doubt. So you keep the subject Paul, an incorrect challenge, a point of course, 44 seconds, still available, the best sandwich starting now.

PM: The finest bread you can find, and just in the corner, nestling beside the butter, is a small cottage in Devon. That's what makes the sandwich so expensive. It's six hundred and sixty-seven...


NP: Neil challenged.

NM: He said expensive twice.

PM: I did, yes.

NP: And so Neil you have a correct challenge...

NM: But I want to know more about the cottage in Devon.

PM: Well perhaps you shouldn't have buzzed me then. It's like, you know, getting hold of a puppy, putting it in a sack, throwing it in the Thames, oh I wanted to take that for a walk! Bit late now for that sort of thing, isn't it! Bit late now!

NM: I don't think I shoved you in a sack and threw you in the river, did I? Is that how you feel?

PM: That's what it feels like emotionally.

NM: Can I rescind everything I ever said?

NP: No no no, because what we do, not just for hurt feelings, but because he creates so much entertainment for the audience, we do give bone... bone!

NM: Bone!

NP: We do give Paul a bonus point, not bone...

NM: Was it a bone?

PM: What happened to my bone?

NP: Well...

SP: They threw it in the Thames!

PM: I'm only doing this for the bones!

NP: Well I was going to say we give bone a Paulus point. But I'd rather say we give Paul a bonus point. But Neil gets a point for a correct challenge, he takes over the subject with 34 seconds on the best sandwich starting now.

NM: The best sandwich contains a small cottage in Devon. Lovely mayonnaise, how I delight in it. My goodness me, that... Devonian...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well hesitation again.

NP: I know! He's...

NM: I ran out of breath. I had some wheat.

NP: You're giving a sort of theatrical hammy performance. Yes you're, you're declaiming it all, it's tremendous fun, the audience love it.

NM: I'm an actor, darling.

NP: So Paul, you have a correct challenge, 23 seconds, the best sandwich starting now.

PM: A friend of mine at school declared for his money, the best sandwich was one his mother used to make which was basically two pieces of sliced, then a bit of margarine, and some sugar. And that's... all it was...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Hesitation.

NP: Yeah I think there was hesitation yes, he was searching for the sugar. And 12 seconds, the best sandwich, with you Sue starting now.

SP: Surely tuna mayonnaise, ethically fished without the use of machine guns, thereby avoiding dolphins...


NP: Neil challenged.

NM: Are we talking about ethically fished mayonnaise here?

NP: No I think they fished tuna.

NM: Yeah. Well that would seem to be tuna mayonnaise ethically fished.

NP: I think you're struggling a bit too hard actually Neil. But we enjoyed it.

NM: You don't know what's underneath the table, do you?

PM: When was it you last did this show, Neil?

NM: Ah 1903. Nicholas was celebrating his centenary then.

NP: He's working so hard, give him a bonus point. But you were interrupted Sue so you get a point for that, five seconds still, the best sandwich starting now.

SP: I do love a railway sandwich, loving cosseted in the arms of a disgruntled worker...


NP: Sue Perkins was then speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point for doing so. And she's now taken the lead ahead of Paul Merton, and then Neil Mullarkey and Tony Hawks in that order. Paul take the next round please, it's the king of the jungle. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: It's a sentence that refers to status. The king of the jungle is often thought of as being the lion, the most powerful creature in the African plain. Or is perhaps the elephant, tall, grey, austere, a mouthful of ivory, looks like a piano. You can think to yourself that the giraffe is tall, dominates the land...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Repetition of tall.

NP: Yes he did say tall before.

PM: Did I say tall?

NP: Yes.

NM: Tall elephant.

NP: Tall elephant.

PM: Oh yeah.

NP: Tall elephants and taller giraffes, 43 seconds Sue with you, the king of the jungle starting now.

SP: In this game, the king of the jungle is doubtless Nicholas Parsons. The silver fox that sits between us, and straddles the show like the colossus of entertainment that he so rightfully is...


NP: Paul.

PM: There's no need to take the piss about him! We're all, we're all trying to make it work! We're trying to make it work! Aren't we Nicholas?

NP: After 40 years I'm still trying, yes. Paul I normally give bonus points for people who get huge laughs like that, but I don't know whether I should. I'll show you how generous I am.

PM: Yeah.

NP: Because they did enjoy your interruption.

PM: Yeah.

NP: I didn't, but the audience did.

PM: You can say they endorsed it.

NP: But anyway you have a bonus point for that because it was a good joke. But Sue you have a point because you were interrupted, keep the subject, king of the jungle, let me tell you, 34 seconds starting now.

SP: Just before the show he beats his chest in a form of jungle ritual with which to get himself prepared for the rigours of the hours ahead. There he sits grasping Charlotte, in his perfectly manicured claws, while she struggles to get away, calculator in hand. I don't know why she's got a calculator...


PM: What a shame! (laughs) It's all true!

NP: Yeah but she hasn't got a calculator, which is why Neil challenged.

NM: Calculator was repeated.

NP: It was repeated yes and it's a stopwatch in her hand.

SP: Yes.

NP: It was lovely stuff Sue. Right, Neil got a correct challenge, 16 seconds, the king of the jungle starting now.

NM: The king of the jungle of course is the lion with its beautiful...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I've said all this!

NP: I know you have.

PM: I said exactly that, that the king of the jungle is of course... I've said all that.

NP: I know you have but you see...

PM: Deja vu!

NP: You have been playing the game, I think...

SP: It's your greatest hits!

NP: ... for 12 or 14 years, but you know, you can repeat what other people have said. It's not exactly a ploy that people use often...

PM: No.

NP: ... but there's nothing against it.

PM: Well I just thought that it was outrageous, he's using his own, not using his own words, that's all.

NP: Well he didn't, he used your words.

PM: Yeah!

NM: Wait a minute...

PM: What happens? I go home tonight and I find he's there?

NM: Yes.

PM: Being me?

NM: I'll be lying in your hotel room.

PM: I withdraw my challenge!

NP: Neil an incorrect challenge so you still have the subject, you have a point of course, 12 seconds, the king of the jungle starting now.

NM: Or should it be the tall elephant or the loquacious giraffe, shoved like a puppy...


NP: Neil, Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation, he didn't say tall giraffe!

NP: But he didn't establish that he was going to use your words, word for word.

PM: Well he had up till that point.

NP: I know he had up till that point, but it's Just A Minute so he didn't want to repeat it.

PM: So it's deviation, he's not repeating me.

NP: We give you a bonus point because we enjoyed what you said Paul.

PM: Yes, are you going to give me the benefit of the doubt?

NP: No! No benefits, it's definite, he was interrupted.

PM: Oh yeah.

NP: So you got your bonus point...

PM: Oh okay.

NP: ... but Neil gets a point because he was interrupted...

PM: Yeah.

NP: ... keeps the subject, six seconds, king of the jungle Neil starting now.

NM: The king...


NP: Who challenged? Paul.

PM: Hesitation. I hate to do it.

NP: You hate to do it, but you've done it, you've given him another point, I know, five seconds, the king of the jungle, Neil starting now.

NM: The king of the jungle is Nicholas Parsons with a calculator...


SP: That's exactly what I said!

PM: That's Sue back!

SP: Is nothing sacred?

NP: You...

SP: He said calculator, yes, I said calculator!

PM: Have we booked a personality or automaton?

NP: We've booked someone who has got a very subtle new way of playing the game, but I don't think he can do this all the time...

NM: A loophole!

NP: You've found a loophole, yes! You have another point, you have three seconds still, the king of the jungle starting now.

NM: The king of the jungle...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well he's got to do something wrong, hasn't he!

SP: This is like Groundhog Day! Tonight I'll be going to sleep with the king of the jungle, the king of the jungle, the king of the...

NP: Neil another point to you and one second to go, the king of the jungle starting now.

NM: The jungle is a beautiful place...


NP: Well Neil Mullarkey, as you realise, gained a large number of points in that round and has really leapt forward. Tony it's your turn to begin and the subject now is tickled pink. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TH: I'm tickled pink to have got this subject. A little disappointed it's not king of the jungle, but there you go. I'm not normally this pink. But before we came out this evening, Nicholas tickled me this colour. Quite an exciting thing to watch, if you had tickets which none of you did. I am...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I had tickets and it was rather boring! Wasted 40 pounds!

NP: What were your tickets for?

PM: For him, for you tickling him!

NP: No, there were no tickets issued for that.

NM: He just said he had one.

PM: I had a comp!

NP: There weren't even any comps. It wasn't actually, it was a fiction anyway.

PM: Oh really?

NP: Yes.

PM: I thought I'd missed out on something.

NP: I hope it was. Because I don't remember any tickling going on.

PM: That's not a guarantee of anything, is it?

NP: Oh that's why I love working with you! Because I throw them out and you come back with bigger and better ones all the time. Give him a bonus point, he's lovely. Tony you've got a point because you were interrupted, tickled pink is still with you, 42 seconds starting now.

TH: I was tickled pink to be asked to do this show at the Theatre Royal, because Brighton is my home town. Born and raised here, went to Brighton Hove And Sussex Grammar School...


NP: Neil challenged.

NM: Did he say Brighton twice?

NP: He did say, yes.


PM: Let's change the rules...

TH: I said down here at the Theatre Royal.

NP: That's right.

PM: Let's change the rules.

NM: If you say Brighton, that's okay. How about it?

TH: I said down here, I was tickled pink to do this show down here at the Theatre Royal.

NP: At the Theatre Royal, you didn't say Brighton.

SP: No.

NM: You've changed your tune.

PM: He said Brighton twice.

NM: He said the Theatre Royal in Brighton.

TH: You wait! You play it back when you get home!

NP: You said the Theatre Royal in Brighton, didn't you?

TH: I didn't say in Brighton, I said at the Theatre Royal.

NP: What did he say? Did he say Brighton twice?


NP: I think the benefit of the doubt goes to Neil Mullarkey, tickled pink...

NM: Oh well done!

NP: ... 31 seconds starting now.

NM: Buying tickets for the Tony tickles Nicholas Parsons show this morning, I was delighted how cheap they were. A mere 40 pounds, comp, fie fie, you don't need a comp to watch...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of fie.

NP: Fie yes, Tony you've got it back and you've got more points and you've got another 22 seconds to tell us something about tickled pink starting now.

TH: There are a few people I would like to be tickled pink by. I have a list up in my dressing room, should anyone like to come back after the show and read it. They could have a go at tickling me, should they so wish that...


NP: Neil challenged.

NM: Should.

TH: Should?

PM: Yes should.

NP: Should yes, you did say should yes. You repeated should. You're obviously very sharp now Neil, and you've got 10 seconds, tell us something about tickled pink starting now.

NM: Tickled pink is what a snooker player might say, as he sees that ball on the table, it goes into the pocket. Ha-hah!


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of ha.

NP: Yes. This is what happens when...

NM: I put a hyphen between them!

NP: It doesn't matter...

PM: Well I've broken that!

NP: Paul a correct challenge, you have tickled pink and you've got three seconds. Oh you've got in just before the whistle starting now.

PM: I like to make lobster laugh! And the best way to do it is to tickle them...


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle, gained that extra point, he's now in second place, one point behind Neil Mullarkey and just ahead of Sue Perkins and Tony Hawks in that order. And Neil we'd like you to take the next round, the subject is my holiday romance, 60 seconds starting now.

NM: It was Saltdine, 1989, she was a sophisticate, I was a mere innocence. Ah ah wah...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well it was a deviation, he said mere innocence, he should have said innocent.

NP: Innocent, that's right yes, deviation from...

PM: Yes.

NP: ... language...

PM: Language as...

NP: ... or grammar or whatever you want to say.

SP: So she was a sophisticate from Saltdine?

NM: We met in Saltdine.

PM: That means she had her own teeth!

SP: Yeah!

NP: So Paul you have the subject, another point and 53 seconds, my holiday romance starting now.

PM: My first holiday romance, I remember it so well. Butlin's Holiday Camp, somewhere near Bognor Regis. There was a young girl riding a donkey. There hasn't been a day go by I haven't thought of that donkey! I was...


PM: It's true!

NP: Unfortunately to get the laugh, you had to repeat the word donkey.

PM: Well it's not...

NP: But to be honest it was worth it. It was worth it for the laugh.

SP: Once you've had donkey you can't help...

NP: Tony you challenged first.

TH: Yes I think there was the slightest repetition of donkey.

NP: Of donkey yes, so you have 43 seconds, my holiday romance starting now.

TH: Many years ago I went to a South Sea island a long way away. Met a beautiful exotic native girl and we struck up a beautiful romance...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Was that a repetition of girl? Met a girl and then a lovely native girl.

NP: Native girl, yes and girl, that's right. Well listened Sue.

PM: Yeah.

NP: You have 35 seconds, my holiday romance starting now.

SP: I used to come to Brighton because I lived in Croydon. I don't know whether any of you have ever heard this story, but my family used to take us down. It would take 40 minutes, and my Dad would wake us at 5 in the morning. At which point we would arrive on the sunny shores of Brighton at...


SP: Oh Brighton!

NP: Yes! Of course some people here would say you can't mention it too often. But Tony you challenged first, 20 seconds, my holiday romance starting now.

TH: And I shall continue this exciting story, set...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: You may continue it, but it's certainly not exciting! Deviation! I mean it's just boring! Blah blah, you know, there's nothing remotely exciting about that.

NP: Well he was interrupted I'm afraid.

PM: Oh was he?

NP: I don't think your interruption was enough to justify a bonus point.

PM: I know. I wasn't really looking for a point, I was just expressing a deeply held opinion.

NP: All right, give him a bonus point! Seventeen seconds Tony, my holiday romance starting now.

TH: Finally she took me in her arms, and said the only four words she knew in English, please leave me alone. My heart was cut in two...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well he said this was going to be exciting! It hasn't been exciting so it's deviation. Please leave me alone is not something Alfred Hitchcock's going to go, "oh, I'm going to sign that up"!

TH: I think the audience are on their edge of their seats out there.

PM: Yes they're getting their coats!

SP: What kind of English lessons did she have?

NP: Listen, I'm afraid I have to be fair on this one, but I do think that Tony was obviously excited up to that point.

PM: Yeah.

SP: I know, I'm sitting next to him.

NP: And you have actually made the audience laugh twice with your interruptions. So we give you, I think it's the fairest thing to do, a bonus point for your interruptions. But the benefit of the doubt to Tony and you've got still five seconds, to tell us more about, but do try to make it exciting if you can...

PM: There's a challenge! Five seconds, see if you can make it exciting in five seconds.

NP: My holiday romance starting now.

TH: Then we saw this donkey on the beach. Boy did things start to happen then! She jumped on the back...


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He has leapt forward, because he was trailing a little before. He's just ahead of Sue Perkins, he's one ahead of Neil Mullarkey and he is two behind Paul Merton. As we press on with Sue to begin and the subject, one of my favourite things, apple pie. Tell us something about apple pie in this game starting now.

SP: It's made with sweet short crust pastry, which should be baked blind. By which I mean put a teacloth over your eyes and shove it in the oven. Beware the flame however because when your ocular bits have been covered, you'll find it somewhat distressing as the visuals will be blurred or forever masked. Eventually after some time has passed, remove said platter from the heating device and you will see there a perfect crust that has formed. Add to this some semi-sweated Granny apples, English are the finest but you won't find them in a supermarket. Perhaps wander around Devon, and you might come across a couple there, all based in their own natural juices. This is time to add custard, the best and most perfect ingredient of all. Some people shove in raisins, I say tosh! Never put an apple with a raisin, it is disgusting. It is against nature, God and Gordon Ramsey! This quintessential dish must be allowed to breathe freely, just the presence of the fine English orchard, the water, the baked fine stuff, all there waiting to be served to a happy family...


NP: Oh! Well a tremendous round of applause because Sue started with the subject and finished with it, in spite of a little bit of indulgence from the panel. They let it go because you were going such full flood! And so magnificently! I also let it go and you went for 68 seconds! And it was only because you were going rather purple in the face that I stopped it then!

SP: Yes! It's all those raisins!

NP: Yes but Sue you're still in fourth place I'm afraid.

SP: Oh my God!

NP: But you're right up there with the others...

SP: In fourth! Why, are they in fourth as well?

NP: No no, you're only one point behind Neil, and two points behind Tony and three points behind Tony, so that's the situation. But you get a point for speaking as the whistle went and you get a bonus point because you were not interrupted. That's why you leapt forward.

SP: To fourth! From fourth! But it was a massive leap forth that I made.

NP: I know.

SP: In order to come last!

NP: It was the contribution that you brought to the show, for which we love you.

TH: I missed that, could you do it again Sue?

NP: Oh it's the final round with Paul Merton, the subject is the future of radio. Paul, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PM: For my money, the future of radio could be listening to Sue Perkins describing the most perfect apple pie. And if you listen to digital radio, there is a chance that you will hear that again at some point in the future. I think that it is beautiful to be able to hear these old shows of long ago. Nicholas once appeared in a show called Much Binding In The Marsh, made in the 1940s. And it is with great joy that some of those recordings are still played across the airwaves and we can sit back and laugh at all those marvellous references to Lord Haw, the man who was a traitor. I think that perhaps my favourite radio show would be...


NP: Yes?

TH: Repetition of show.

NP: Yes yes.

PM: Yes.

NP: The future of radio is the subject and you repeated show. So Tony you've got in and you get a point for a correct challenge, 23 seconds, tell us something about the future of radio starting now.

TH: About 40 years, this bloke came up with an idea for a show called Just A Minute. They all said it would be the future of...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Did I?

PM: No no no...

SP: Now that's the future of radio!

NP: Tony I have four lights in front of me and whoever presses their buzzer first, that light comes on and it was your light. So you must have, you must have obviously challenged yourself. So I have to ask you...

NM: He's trying to get a bonus!

NP: What was your challenge?

TH: Well I hesitated clearly!

NP: And that's, that's perfectly true Tony, you did hesitate. So well listened! So you have a correct challenge so you get a point for a correct challenge obviously and you have 17 seconds for the future of radio starting now.

TH: Where will the Internet take us, I wonder. Will we be in the South Sea Islands with our particular girlfriends, listening to Just A Minute, or will we not...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Repetition of Just A Minute.

NP: Yes and will we as well, right.

TH: Yes.

NP: So 10 seconds for you Sue on the future of radio starting now.

SP: The future of radio is Charlotte. As yet she is bound and mute and one cannot hear. But trust me, I have heard her backstage in the Green Room and she is a woman of such decisive talent and energy that one day she will be let loose on the airwaves...


NP: So Sue Perkins was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And they've all given such incredible value, this is the fairest result I've seen for a very long time. Because we have...

SP: I'm fourth, aren't I?

NP: No no! We have in second place equal Sue Perkins and Neil Mullarkey, who did so incredibly well. But only one point ahead, equal in first place, Tony Hawks and Paul Merton. Could it be fairer than this! That round of applause I'm sure was for all four of them. And I only have to thank them for being so magnificent in this game, Paul Merton, Tony Hawks, Sue Perkins and Neil Mullarkey. I thank Charlotte Davies, who has been so sweet, taken so much flak, and blowing her whistle with such delightful charm. We thank our producer Tilusha Ghelani. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are grateful to this lovely audience at the Theatre Royal in Brighton who have cheered us on our way magnificently. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons and from the panel, thank you and tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!