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 millions of listeners around the world. But also to welcome to the programme today four clever and talented performers who are going to display their skills with word and language as they try and talk with humorous ingenuity on the subject I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition and deviation. And those four are, seated on my right, Paul Merton and Clement Freud. And seated on my left, a very talented comedian and writer, and that is Janey Godley and Marcus Brigstocke. Please welcome all four of them! Seated beside me is Trudi Stevens who is going to help me keep the score, and blow the whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from one of the venues, one of the largest venues at the Pleasance which is on the Festival Fringe up here at Edinburgh. And we have a wonderful enthusiastic Fringe audience to cheer us on our way. As we start the show with Clement Freud, the subject to begin with is five star review. Oh very important up here in Edinburgh. Tell us something about the subject starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: I'm never quite sure how many stars there should be. I stayed at a six star hotel and said to the manager "I thought five was the absolute limit". And he said "we got the extra star because we polish people's sunglasses on the beach." And five star reviews at the Edinburgh Festival, where we are currently, doing Just A Minute for the 19th year, and I wasn't that young when we began in eighteen hundred and forty-seven is a great pleasure. And it's full of Scotch people who don't like to be called...


NP: Janey you challenged.

JANEY GODLEY: Did he just call us Scotch people?

NP: That's right! Right, you're quite right Janey...

JG: Did he just...

NP: And there are all the Scots in the audience clapping you.

JG: Yeah.

NP: There's only one thing that's Scotch and that's whisky.

CF: I'm in the middle of a sentence.

NP: So what's your challenge darling?

JG: That he said Scotch and I think that's really... is it not really a good challenge to pull him up on Scotch?

CF: Not good.

JG: Am I allowed to arm wrestle him over it?

NP: Yes, no because you would win darling.

JG: Okay.

NP: No I mean he was referring to people and Scots people, when he said Scotch. So I give you the benefit of the doubt and say yes you have a correct challenge and you take over the subject with 23 seconds on five star review starting now.

JG: I have had a five star review. It did cost me quite a lot of money and it also took up a lot of my time and I never...


NP: Oh Marcus challenged.

MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE: Sorry repetition of a lot.

NP: There was too much lot.

JG: Was there a lot?

MB: A lot of a lots.

JG: It's because I've had a lot of five star reviews!

NP: So Marcus you've got in there and there are 18 seconds still available, five star review starting now.

MB: I will never forget how excited I was when I got my first five star review. I achieved this by adding together the reviews of three newspapers...


NP: Right Clement you challenged.

CF: Ah I thought he said review.

NP: No he said reviews the second time and review is on the card.

CF: Is it?

NP: Yes.

CF: It's you having the card really.

NP: Yes, I hate to remind you Clement, but you have been playing it for 40 years. But actually you can repeat the whole phrase or the words individually.

CF: Like in Just A Minute?

NP: In Just A Minute, that's right. It's lovely to review the way we can play the game. So it's an incorrect challenge Marcus and there's 10 seconds still available, five star review starting now.

MB: Most of the posters slapped up on the walls all over this fair city have got five star reviews on them. But many of course are written by the performer's mother or father. My own...


NP: So Marcus Brigstocke was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now taken a strong lead ahead of Paul Merton, Clement Freud and Janey Godley in that order. Janey would you take the next round, the subject, a nice Scottish subject for you hen, a sporran. Would you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

JG: A sporran is basically a dead cat that's been bashed flat and possibly sat, and then stuck on the front of a kilt. Many Americans try catching a sporran, but end up just getting a cold. You can't really find a sporran anywhere other than up an alley that has a sign saying Sporran Alley! Oh!


JG: I interrupted myself! I heckled myself!

NP: I know! You've only played it once before hen, but you're doing very well, don't worry. But Clement's played a lot, he spotted the er...

JG: He knows a lot of Scotch!

NP: ... repetition wasn't it. Right Clement...

CF: Yeah.

NP: You have the subject, 42 seconds, a sporran starting now.

CF: Scottish people who come from Scotland quite often wear sporrans. But Scotch people are those who drink not gin or rum or vodka, but the whisky, spelt W-H-I-S-K-Y. The E being reserved for Irish... similar...


NP: Paul you challenged first.

PAUL MERTON: A slight hesitation.

JG: Yeah.

NP: There was indeed yes. Couldn't wriggle out of it any other way but it was delightful. Nineteen seconds, a sporran with you Paul starting now.

PM: It's one of the great delicacies here at the Edinburgh Fringe, particularly stuffed full of crab meat, or cheese on the outside, and then deeply fried in a huge vat of oil, and then served up with chips and all kinds of other potato varieties such as saut�ed. Oh that's a lovely way to prepare a dish isn't it. And when you sit down with a sporran in your hand, you think to yourself...


NP: I should explain to our listeners abroad, and we have a great deal of them, please don't go into a restaurant up here and ask for fried sporran!

PM: No, do! Do!

NP: Anyway Paul Merton was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's moved forward, he's moving up on Marcus Brigstocke who is in the lead. And Marcus it's your turn to begin, ging gang goolie is the subject. Can you tell us something about it in this game starting now.

MB: Ging gang goolie is not, as many people think, a nasty cycling accident where you fail to lift your leg high enough to get over the saddle. It is a song enjoyed by scouts, sitting round a campfire at the campness of...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Do they really enjoy it? I think they're made to sing it! I think it's deviation, I don't think they enjoy singing it at all!

NP: Well they look as if they're enjoying it.

PM: Oh yes but that's just pressure.

NP: Have you seen Ralph Reed's...

PM: Peer pressure, that is.

MB: Scouts look as though they're enjoying a lot of things they don't really like, Nicholas.

JG: No.

NP: Ralph Reed used to really whip them up into a frenzy when he started the Boy Scout movement.

PM: Yes.

JG: It was the one he whacked that was frightened...

NP: He didn't start it, Baden Powell started it, but Ralph Reed used to run The Gang Show...

PM: Yes, back in the 1940s!

NP: Yes, before you were around Paul, right, but you knew about it.

PM: Yes.

NP: You're looking at me, you said "you were one of them, weren't you?" No I wasn't.

PM: Yes.

NP: Right...

PM: Were you too old? He was too old!

NP: You were interrupted Marcus...

MB: Yes.

NP: ... so you get a point for that...

MB: Right.

NP: ... and you have 45 seconds on ging gang goolie starting now.

MB: I was not a member of any of Baden Powell's youth adventure groups. I was er in the Goths...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well it was a hesitation.

MB: It was.

NP: There was an er, a definite er.

PM: I note he's not a member of this troop, he's saying they're enjoying it, he doesn't know! I thought he had inside information, he says he's got nothing to do with it! I feel cheated!

NP: It doesn't matter if you know nothing about the subject Paul, you know yourself, you have to keep going with it...

PM: Yeah.

NP: ... and do your best. And you bluffed as you did with your sporran very well. Thirty-nine seconds, ging gang goolie Paul starting now.

PM: (sings) Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Goolie goolie goolie goolie.

NP: That's right.

PM: It's on the card.

NP: I know it is.

CF: Not five times.

PM: It's not five times on the card? Ging gang goolie is on the card.

NP: Yes and you only repeated it twice, ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie.

PM: Yeah.

NP: So that's four.

PM: I'd have repeated it more if you'd let me go on a bit more.

NP: I know, I would have done. So incorrect challenge actually, 37 seconds still available, ging gang goolie starting now.

PM: Three of the finest Indian cricketers of the generation. Unfortunately Goolie was the only one that played for the full team. Ging and Gang were keen competitors and would practice their off-spin bowling round the back of the Texaco's Delicatessen...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: Texaco don't have a delicatessen so...

PM: Tesco's!

MB: Yes!

PM: Did I say Texaco?

JG: Yes.

MB: Yes.

PM: Oh did I?

NP: It was Texaco yes.

PM: I am being sponsored by Texaco!

NP: Marcus we're still with you, ging gang goolie, 17 seconds starting now.

MB: I'm thrilled that the subject's come back to me because I've got lots more to say about it. Chiefly this, that when I was in the Goths, a youth group that was a lot of fun, we didn't get badges...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: He said group before.

NP: You said group before.

MB: Oh yes I had yes yes.

NP: Clement you have the subject now, you have seven seconds, ging gang goolie starting now.

CF: I think most people know that ging gang goolie is not an anagram of kleptomania and yet it is pretty important...


NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's in third place behind Paul Merton who is just behind Marcus Brigstocke who is still in the lead. Janey is trailing a little, and Paul we're back with you to start and the subject is naming names. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: When a child is born, it is truly a miracle of birth. And we look down at that poor sweet child... children...


NP: Marcus yes.

MB: Repetition of child.

NP: Yes it was.

PM: That was dreadful!

NP: Yes, 52 seconds are still available Marcus, tell us something about naming names starting now.

MB: I think one of the hardest things about naming names is that a name, but its nature, has already been named. However in the cash-for-honours crisis er there were...


NP: Janey challenged.

JG: He erred a wee bit, there was a wee bit of hesitation.

NP: No, where was the wee hesitation?

JG: He did er. And that in Scotland, is definitely a hesitation. Sorry Marcus.

MB: No that's fine.

NP: I'll give you the benefit of the doubt Janey, because you um, you're fairly new to the game, and I think you were ah very good. And therefore you've got naming names and 43 seconds starting now.

JG: Naming names in Scotland is when you�re called a grass. And many people have been a naming names type person and we get there eventually. Naming names is a hard thing. When my daughter was born, I decided to call her Ashley. I couldn�t think of what to... say about that...


JG: Ahhhhhhh!

NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation yes, 26 seconds Clement, naming names starting now.

CF: What people tend to say on this subject is I am not naming names. I...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: Yes, on deviation, I've just had this subject and I didn't tend to say that at all!

NP: You did have the subject...

MB: Yes.

NP: ... you didn't say that...

MB: No.

NP: But Clement has decided that he can say that, and within the rules of Just A Minute he can say that.

MB: Oh yes, no, but Sir Clement said...

CF: I specifically did not mean you!

MB: Oh! You mean ordinary people? I'm so sorry, I misunderstood!

NP: So Clement you have another point, you have the subject, 21 seconds, naming names starting now.

CF: So here are a few names that I would not be naming. Lloyd George, Baldwin, MacMillan, Balfour, Churchill, Wilson, Callaghan, Thatcher...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of zoological gardens!

NP: Paul yes. No I think we give you a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption. But he wasn't actually deviating from the subject of naming names. Going a bit slow but um, there are...

CF: Could I have a bonus point for not saying how old you are!

NP: I don't mind if you say it or not.

CF: Oh good.

NP: Right...

JG: Can I have a bonus point for saying how sexy you are?

NP: Darling, you can have two bonus points for that!

JG: That's how you do it Clement!

NP: Clement it was an incorrect challenge so you still have the subject and there are seven seconds on naming names starting now.

CF: There are several books in the Bible which spend much time naming names. Leviticus is one of them, Abraham...


NP: So Clement Freud was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He has leapt forward and he's equal with Paul in second place and they're trailing Marcus Brigstocke by three points. And they're all just ahead of Janey Godley. But Clement it's your turn to begin and the subject now is on and off, 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Georgi Onondoff, as he liked to be called was an angry young Soviet playwright, who, you might remember, wrote a three acter on the strike undertaken by the librarians in Essex. And it was called Book Blank In Onger.


NP: Janey you challenged.

JG: I have no idea what he is actually talking about! So I'm going to take that as deviation.

NP: Deviation yes from on and off.

JG: Yeah.

NP: Yes I don't have any idea what he is talking about either.

JG: I thought it was just me that thought he was out of his head!

NP: Did anybody in the audience have any idea what he was talking about? So that must be deviation.

JG: Told it!

NP: So that must be deviation Clement.

CF: Have you not heard of Onondoff?

NP: Well we have now. I hadn't heard of it before.

CF: Really? He was a playwright.

PM: He wrote a play called This And That!

NP: And Janey you have the subject, it's on and off, and there are 39 seconds starting now.

JG: On And Off is a new pop group that consists of three men, two children and a dancing dog. They often do a lot of singing outside in the streets and people run away from them and shout "On And Off is back on". And people don't like that and they look and them think, do they have fliers? Please don't hit me with any pieces of paper. On And Off are going to be the biggest next hit in Britain. You should see them come along. They have lollipops and sticks and they sing (sings) "on and off, on and off, on and..."


NP: Paul you've challenged.

PM: Repetition.

NP: Yes, slightly.

PM: Of on and off.

NP: I know. But...

PM: It's on the card, I know.

NP: It's on the card.

PM: But she was obviously singing a song that was going to carry on like that forever.

JG: No!

PM: How's the chorus go?

JG: (sings) Up and down!

NP: Wait a minute love! You've still got five seconds, on and off, starting now Janey.

JG: They sing in the streets, they laugh...


NP: Oh dear!

PM: I think we had sing before.

NP: You had sing and the street before.

JG: Yeah but I like being interrupted, it's my favourite thing. It's a kind of on and off thing!

NP: Right...

PM: You must be ecstatic the way this is going!

JG: Yes!

NP: Paul, a correct challenge, seven seconds, on and off with you starting now.

PM: Global warming is something we can all tackle if we learn to switch off our central heating. It's no good just putting them on in the morning, thinking that's good enough. Oh no...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's moved forward, he's now one point behind Marcus Brigstocke who is in the lead, and he's two ahead of Clement Freud, and three or four ahead of Janey Godley. And Janey we'd like you to take the next round and the subject is ear nose and throat. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

JG: I have ears, nose and a throat, and all are affected at the Edinburgh Fringe. You get the lurgy at every venue. The smell, the bacteria makes you sniffle, slurk and you can't properly hear...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: It's a possible deviation, but I've never heard the word slurk before.

NP: Ah but you see (in Scottish accent) I know Glasgow well because I lived there for many years. And I mean there's all kinds of Glaswegian words that...

JG: Slurk is a thing at the back of your throat...

NP: A slurk is...

JG: You're too posh to get it, that's it.

MB: Yes. Does it have a meaning at all?

JG: Yeah.

NP: Yes. If you slurk, it's a wee thing worse than slurping.

JG: Yeah it's a thing at the back of your throat. I'll teach you...

NP: Mmmm.

MB: Sometimes when you challenge in Just A Minute, you get a lot more than you bargained for!

NP: Give Marcus a bonus point for his contribution, Janey gets a point for being interrupted incorrectly. And she still has the subject, and 48 seconds, ear nose and throat Janey starting now.

JG: Smelly things go up your nose and that's what we love about the Edinburgh Fringe. There is a host of different scents that wander around every single street that you encounter. Clowns have got a certain odour that you can avoid if you stick a big clown nose on your...


JG: Aahhhhhh!

NP: Right Marcus you challenged.

MB: Yeah repetition of clown.

NP: Clown yes right.

JG: Yeah.

NP: And there are 30 seconds still available, tell us something about ear nose and throat, starting now.

MB: When I was a young man, I always had infected sinuses which meant that snot dribbled all down my face and mingled with the marmite that I had failed to fit into my mouth effectively, making a sort of horrible greeny brown pulp that gathered in the corners of my...


NP: Yes Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of symptoms.

NP: There was a repetition of symptoms but he didn't repeat the word symptoms. He had all these ghastly symptoms and we were cringing. The look on my face was enough to get the audience walking out of the theatre! But no, so he didn't actually repeat symptoms. So the subject Marcus is still with you, ear nose and throat and you have 13 seconds starting now.

MB: I was a popular child, much loved for my very colourful face that always had such interesting shades...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well we've had an awful lot of nose, I think we'd all agree to that, but we've had very little on the ear and throat. So deviation.

NP: Ear nose...

JG: Yes.

PM: We've had no ear or throat at all. We've had nose but no ear or throat.

NP: What a difficult decision to make...

PM: Yeah name a decision, give it to me! There's been no mention...

NP: Well I mean nose is on the card. He was talking about the nose.

PM: Yeah but no ear and throat.

NP: No ear and throat, no.

MB: I was about to move on to the streams of wax that poured down the sides of my neck...

PM: Well maybe I've done us all a favour! We're not doctors, we don't have to listen to this!

NP: I think within the rules of Just A Minute he wasn't strictly deviating...

PM: Do you?

NP: Yes because nose is on the card and he was talking about that aspect of the subject. And I think he's entitled to have the benefit of the doubt. He keeps going, six seconds, ear nose and throat Marcus starting now.

MB: Corks were what my mother used in the end, in my ears and nose, throat and...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: She couldn't have put corks down your throat surely! Did she like you?

MB: Not much!

PM: Fair enough, I withdraw my challenge.

NP: No that's all right.

PM: I bet she did put corks down him!

NP: He had the benefit of the doubt last time, and he did convey there were corks in hs ears and his throat.

PM: He did, didn't he.

NP: Yes that's right.

PM: You were listening, weren't you? He was listening.

NP: Don't laugh!

PM: Don't stop him, it's taken half an hour to get to this point!

NP: So Paul you have the benefit of the doubt on this occasion as I gave it to Marcus before. You have two seconds, ear nose and throat starting now.

PM: Ear nose and throat, whichever way you say it's still throat nose and ears.


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking then when the whistle went. And he gained the extra point for doing so, he's moved forward, he's still behind Marcus Brigstocke who is three ahead of him, and he's four ahead of Clement and five or six ahead of Janey. And the next round, Marcus it's your turn actually to begin and the subject we'd like you to start with is the law of diminishing returns. A pompous subject to start with, see what you can make of it starting now.

MB: I think one of the best ways to define the law of diminishing returns is by referring to snot and marmite and ear wax. And it just goes to show that an audience can quickly tire of mucus in its various forms and how it dribbles down a child's face. However other means of defining er...


NP: Paul yes?

PM: Well when he stopped talking about his nose, he doesn't know what to talk about!

MB: No!

PM: Hesitation.

NP: I'm glad...

PM: He's got one anecdote about his streaming nose!

NP: I'm glad you challenged actually...

PM: Yeah I�m glad I challenged as well.

JG: Stuck on the slurking!

NP: It was getting a bit disgusting, it really was! The images you were throwing up, I mean, this audience were in a state. Right Paul you have the subject, you have 42 seconds, the law of diminishing returns starting now.

PM: The last time I came out of clap clinic, I thought myself, I'm not going back there! That's the law of diminishing returns. It's doing the same thing and then thinking to yourself, well, was it really as good as last time. Look at Just A Minute, it's been going since 1927 and the old...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Sixty-seven.

PM: Really?

NP: It may just seem like 1927 to you Paul.

PM: Wasn't Lord Haw-haw the original chairman?

NP: But yes, Clement's right, it started in 1967.

CF: And Nick and I were in it, and we weren't that young!

NP: We're not that young now. But anyway Clement you have the subject, you have the law of diminishing returns, you have 27 seconds starting now.

CF: The one thing that diminishing returns don't seem to get to are solicitors who charge ever more and increasing sums of money. Some of my best friends are in the law of diminishing returns, and I never see them. They don't come back.


NP: Right Marcus you challenged.

MB: Yes a bit of a hesitation.

NP: A bit of a hesitation? A full stop I think yeah.

MB: I was giving Sir Clement the benefit of the doubt on the basis that he said some of his friends were in law and that is a horrifying thought for anyone.

NP: Yes, anyway Marcus, correct challenge, seven seconds still available, the law of diminishing returns starting now.

MB: Anyone who has invested their entire family fortune in inflatable budgerigars will know a huge amount about the law of diminishing returns...


NP: Right so Marcus Brigstocke was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's increased his lead slightly at the end of that round. So and I see we are moving into the final round.


NP: Oh you are lovely! Right so you'd like to know the scores as we do that. Janey who has only played the game once before, and is shining magnificently but she's in a fourth place, she's in a very strong place, a brilliant actually, a brilliant fourth place. And she's behind Clement Freud who is four points behind Paul Merton, and he's a point or two behind Marcus Brigstocke who is in the lead as we go into the final round. And Paul it's back with you to begin and the subject is your Mum. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: My mother, she listens to this programme every Monday when it goes out and then it's lights out. She has to...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of out.

NP: Yes it was out.

PM: Oh yes.

NP: When it goes out, and lights out.

PM: Yeah.

NP: So Clement you have the correct challenge, the subject and 54 seconds, your Mum starting now.

CF: I always used to think my friends at school had better Mums than I had. Your Mum, I would propose, is nicer than mine. And my mother heard this and was extremely unimpressed. Ah she hit me...


NP: Marcus you challenged.

MB: Yes there was, before the tragedy of Clement's childhood there, there was...

CF: They don't hit you straight away, I mean...

MB: Yes!

NP: No no you saved us from the tragedy and Marcus you take the subject with 37 seconds, your Mum starting now.

MB: Children use your Mum as an insult on each other. In fact at a bus stop I heard some youths saying that one of them had seen the others mother going to the chip shop in her slippers for the third time that week. And the child looked sufficiently chastened but immediately came back with "your Mum's so hairy she looks like she's got Bob Marley in a headlock"! Which I felt was rather extreme given that she clearly hadn't met the other child... oh...


NP: Janey you challenged.

JG: Child, repetition.

MB: Yes.

NP: Yes that's right.

MB: Like a Catholic family!

NP: There are 11 seconds, 11 seconds still available Janey on your Mum starting now.

JG: My Mum was called Danny. She was could dance like Judy Garland and sing like a budgie with a really bad throat. Her hair was dark, her legs were long and she could carry along a song and never once let me down...


JG: Yes!

NP: So Janey Godley, our Scottish representative up here in Edinburgh was speaking then when the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And let me tell you she�s finished in a magnificent fourth place. No no it's the points you get and the contribution is so important. She was only just behind Clement Freud in a fine third place. And he was a point or two behind Paul Merton in an excellent second place. But just out ahead of them all was Marcus Brigstocke so we say Marcus, this week you are our winner! So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Janey Godley and Marcus Brigstocke. I thank Trudi Stevens, who has helped me with the score, and blown her whistle with such aplomb. We thank our producer Tilusha Ghelani. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are also grateful to this lovely audience here at the Pleasance on the Festival Fringe 2007 who have cheered us on our way. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, and the panel, thank you and tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!