starring TONY SLATTERY, DALE WINTON, ARTHUR SMITH and JIM SWEENEY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Television, 18 August 1995)

NOTE: Charles Berman transcribed this show. Thank you Charles! Arthur Smith's last television appearance, Jim Sweeney's last appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: All right. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Hello, and welcome to Just A Minute, the skirmish for four which has remained unsettled since the Battle of Naseby in 1645. Well, after that little historical throwaway, let me introduce my guests. This week, as usual, one of my regulars, on my left, the captain of the London team, the actor, judo blackbelt, linguist, comedian, sex educationalist, the almost frighteningly multi-talented Tony Slattery!

TONY SLATTERY: Thank you very much. Hello, and with me I have a playwright, stand-up comedian, and cabaret compere, whose work for stage, television, and radio includes Arthur Smith Sings Andy Williams, Time Out with Arthur Smith, and Arthur Smith's French Letters. He is, of course, the Contessa of Verona.

ARTHUR SMITH: Thank you.

NP: And on my right, the other regular player of the game, the captain of the Midlands team, a man who started out as a local radio DJ and ended up working in a supermarket as the host, of course, of Supermarket Sweep, the delightful Dale Winton.

DALE WINTON: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Hello, and with me I have a gifted comedy actor and improviser who's been in in Kelly's Eye, The Funny Farm, and in Jo Brand's Cake Hole, it's the magnificent Jim Sweeney.

NP: Well, those are the four intrepid players of the game, and I'm going to ask them to speak if they can on the subject which I give them, and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition, or deviating from the subject. They will gain points if they're successful, and if they fail then the point will be given to the one who has been speaking or challenged, and Tony, your turn to begin. Would you take this round? Who is buried under platform ten at Waterloo Station? That is the subject. Sixty seconds as usual, starting now.

TS: Mad Mick McJohnson, who was one of the original, not-terribly-successful members of the Dagenham Gold Pipers, is buried under platform ten at Waterloo Station. Here's a thing. He actually interred himself, so depressed was he at his lack of ability on the aforesaid bag thing instrument. Now, that might seem an odd...


TS: ... musical...

NP: Oh. Yes, er...?

AS: Bag thing instrument?

NP: That's a bit devious, isn't it? Yes.

AS: That's hugely devious.

NP: I know. You tried to find another word for bagpipes, failed, and, Arthur, you've got in first. A point to you. Thirty-seven seconds, who is buried under platform ten at Waterloo Station, starting now.

AS: Well, I happen to know the answer to this. It's Boadicea. Or, Boodicka.


AS: I did start to say Boodicka and Boadicea. That is saying the same name differently, but...

NP: I know, but you paused in between, so...

AS: I paused anyway, so it didn't matter, did it? Yeah.

NP: Anyway, so Tony has a correct challenge, a point for that, but of course your team gets the points at the end. They're all added together. Thirty-three seconds. Who is buried under platform ten at Waterloo Station? Tony, starting now.

TS: It's no so much who as what. Here's a confession. I have buried under platform ten of Waterloo Station my Nicholas Parsons albums. He made some records some fifteen years ago on which he sang such classics as...


NP: Yes?

DW: Such twice.

NP: There were too much such at the end, yes.

TS: Oh, yes.

NP: Yes. Classics.

DW: Oh, it was lovely. Riveting stuff, though.

TS: Thanks.

NP: I know. I'd like to know what the records were. I was all agog.

DW: I've got them all at home, Nicholas, if you'd like to borrow them. Can I have an extra point for that?

NP: No? No, I have to be...

DW: They were terrible.

NP: No. I won't take one away for that either. You see, I'm very fair. Right. Seventeen seconds for you on who is buried under platform ten at Waterloo Station starting now.

DW: Who is buried under platform ten at... what station is it?


NP: Your partner got in first. Jim Sweeney's...

JIM SWEENEY: Yes. Bit of a hesitation on the name of the station.

NP: Definitely yes. So you get a point and you also help the Midlands and you have fourteen seconds on the subject starting now.

JS: Buried underneath platform ten at Waterloo Station is the Unknown Commuter, a man who used to take the Dagenham 4.15, which was way too late because work started at nine o'clock in the morning and he was killed by an irate porter as he swung through one day without a ticket, because you must...


TS: Yes!

NP: Jim Sweeney was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so, and for some reason has managed to electrify the audience now. And, Jim, it's your turn to begin.

JS: Oh, God. Yes.

NP: The subject is pottering in the peaks. Sixty seconds starting now.

JS: The Peak District is one of the most beautiful areas of England, covering most of Derbyshire as it does...


JS: ...sweep...

TS: It's repetition of most.

NP: Most. Most. Got into the spirit of it. Yes. Yes indeed.

JS: Oh, yeah! I've got the idea now! It's a word thing, isn't it? Oh, right! Right!

NP: And a tough game as well, right. Pottering in the peaks is the subject. Fifty-five seconds, starting now.

TS: Pottering about in the Peak District the other day, I came across a doleman, which is part of a stone-age erection named after Mister Paul of the affel... Pfft!


NP: Er, Dale...

DW: Well, I mean, you take your pick there, quite honestly.

NP: I know...

TS: Sorry, sorry, sorry.

NP: And you do want to take a pick in the Peaks, I'm definitely...

DW: You do want to take a pick. I mean, I'm...

TS: Sorry.

DW: I'm going to go for hesitation but I'd like to highlight his deviation.

NP: Well, you only get one point!

DW: Well... I...

NP: Yes. You get one point for hesitation.

DW: It's catching!

NP: You can't have two points for that as well. Right. Pottering in the Peaks is with you, Dale. Forty-four seconds, starting now.

DW: Jim Sweeney's quite right. Pottering in the Peaks is all about the pottery industry. It lies somewhere between Matlock and Stoke-on-Trent. Very popular in the thirties, where Clarice Cliff designed so many of her beautiful plates. Today you'd call it sort of middle-market oven-to-table ware. I personally have a lovely selection. I only wished I'd bought more because it's frightfully expensive and the sort of upmarket thing you'd see on...


DW: ...Jane Seymour's...

TS: It's repetition of upmarket.

NP: Yes.

DW: Was that market twice?

TS: Sorry, yes.

NP: You went upmarket.

DW: It's because I'm an upmarket guy.

NP: I know. You went upmarket twice and Tony got in first. Twenty-four seconds. Pottering in the Peaks, Tony, starting now.

TS: I'm just going to pick up Dale's thing about Clarice Cliff pottery. I've got an enormous selection and all are they...


NP: Eighteen seconds. Pottering in the Peaks with you, Dale, starting now.

DW: This jardini're you may well have seen on Jane Seymour's table in Hello Magazine, because it's very popular now for people in the movie industry to own...


DW: ...Clarice...

TS: Popular. He had very popular before.

NP: Yes. It was very popular before.

DW: Oh, you are mean to me tonight, Tony.

TS: Well, we have to play the game. Otherwise we get letters from the two viewers.

NP: Tony, pottering in the Peaks starting now.

TS: The last time I tried to throw a pot in the Peaks my clay went all wobbly because the little thing was going round and...


TS: ...in circular...

NP: He's couldn't...

JS: It was a hesitation.

NP: I agree with the hesitation, Jim. You've cleverly got in with four seconds on pottering in the Peaks, starting now.

JS: Pottering in the Peaks is a wonderful thing to do. I would do it every day if I could, but I can't, because...


NP: So Jim Sweeney was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. He's in second place at the end of that round behind our leader Tony Slattery. Dale Winton, your turn.

DW: Oh.

NP: Nottingham lace. A good Midland subject. Talk on it if you can. Sixty seconds starting now.

DW: Nottingham lace is famous the world over. I used to live in Nottingham and I still own a lot of its lace. I won't tell you under what sort of way I... well, er...


TS: There was a bit of hesitation there I think.

DW: Yes, I got quite carried away there, I'm afraid.

NP: Quite a lot, actually. Fifty-three seconds. Nottingham lace with you, Tony, starting now.

TS: I once knitted myself a Louis Catours ballgown out of Nottingham lace. Picture me as I troll down Piccadilly waving at the local bobbies, asking them the time. "What's that?" "Yes, Trafalgar Square again!" All those lovely landmarks flying by as I sashay in my beautiful dayware which is made of Nottingham lace. Back to the subject. It's so fine. Cool, too. On those hot summer days no nasty armpit stains. If you get a little perspiration problem it soaks through and evaporates causing a hole in the ozone layer, but that's why Nottingham lace is the perfect accoutrement, as the French say, for, indeed...


TS: ...anything...

NP: Oh, really good. A round of applause.

DW: I had to, though.


TS: No, you're right. You're right. Little bit.

NP: Yes. You were...

DW: Was I mean to do that?

TS: No, it was hesitation.

NP: No, you weren't. It was hesitation.

DW: It was hesitation, yes.

NP: But he got a round of applause. He went for a magnificent fifty seconds. Well done, Tony. Yes.

DW: Oh, that's fantastic.

TS: Yes! Yes! Yes!

NP: But you did have a correct challenge, Dale, and nine seconds are available. Take back Nottingham lace, starting now.

DW: Nottingham lace was taken off the market during the war, where all the girls that used to work and make Nottingham lace became munitions factory girls, and what they did was they used to go to work every day...


NP: Dale Winton was then speaking as the whistle went.

AS: Is that true? Is that true?

DW: Yeah. They closed the lace factories down in the war.

AS: So what happens if a soldier wanted to wear lace when he was in it?

NP: They didn't make any lace during the war. We...

AS: Well, that's what he's just said Nicholas.

NP: I was a youngster. Oh, the little banter that goes on. Right. I'm going to do something a little different. Instead of giving them a subject, I'm going to offer them an object. From the bowels of this piece of furniture will arise a very interesting object.


NP: Now, there's that object. They have to speak on that object. Try and identify it as well, but talk about it without hesitation, repetition, or deviation. They have sixty seconds as usual, and Arthur Smith, it's your turn to begin. Will you start now?

AS: Well, this is a wig for someone with no face. It doesn't apparently resemble any kind of hair that I have seen. Even the most remarkable cheveur as sported by Nicholas, for example, which is entirely false, I believe. It's got an interesting gray sheen to it. Makes me think of Noddy Holder a little bit. Do you remember him? He used to go out with Big Ears Holder in...


AS: ...Ealing ...

TS: Repetition of Holder.

NP: Too many Holders. Yes.

TS: Very good. Very good.

NP: Very good.

TS: Repetition of Holder.

NP: Yes. You went for thirty-four seconds... No, there were.. Yes. Sorry. Twenty-six seconds because there are thirty-four seconds left.

AS: (makes snoring noise)

NP: Doing mental arithmetic. Right. Thirty-four seconds. Who challenged? It was you, wasn't it, Tony?

TS: Yes. Thank you.

NP: There's the object. Talk on it if you can. Start now.

TS: Historical Midlands-type information. When the aforementioned munitions girls tried to make lace often the shot themselves in the foot and they couldn't do the peddles properly. This was the result. It's rubbish. Could you imagine a dress which I could wear in Piccadilly made of that? I don't think so. My sense of couture...


TS: ...is more...

NP: Yes, Arthur?

AS: Well, you know, actually I can imagine it.

NP: So, Arthur, what we do there is because we enjoyed the challenge we give you a bonus point for a good challenge but as Tony was interrupted he gets a point for that he keeps the object on this occasion and there are ten seconds left starting now.

TS: It just reminds me of Lionel Blair.


NP: Yes?

DW: Well, I'm going to say hesitation, but I don't like the reference and it looks nothing like Lionel Blair's hair.

NP: Well, that's irrespective. He did hesitate. You have a point for that. Seven seconds are available, Dale, starting now.

DW: This is a wig. I'd wear it myself, actually. I think it's rather smart. It needs...


DW: ...a bit more...

AS: Come on, then. (climbs up on the table, takes the wig, and throws it to DW) Go on. Give it a try.

DW: I don't know where it's been! Hang on. I'll have a go.

AS: Oh, you are a sporting man.

DW: I don't want to do this. (Puts on the wig).

NP: Dale, it's definitely you, and...

DW: It's quite me, actually.

NP: Yes. You look now very much like the person who I think it belongs to, so you have three seconds to continue on the object on your head, starting now.

DW: This wonderful creation I'm now sporting on my cram, which I'm determined to take home with me tonight...


NP: Dale Winton was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. Now, if anybody can identify whose wig it actually is, we'll give them a bonus point.

JS: It's a frighteningly close representation of how my hair looked for most of the seventies, actually.

NP: No. Any ideas?

DW: Would you like me to model it for you?

NP: All right. No.

TS: Is it a legal thing?

NP: Well, it could be legal, because I don't know.

TS: No, no. Legal. Is it a legal thing? I didn't say, "Is it illegal?"

NP: Oh, no, no, no. It's not a legal wig, no. But the reference I'm going to make which I've been told here could make it a legal matter, because I've been told it is Sir Simon Rattle's wig, the conductor of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and if it isn't and if you're listening, Simon, I'm sorry. I was told that. Anyway, we've reached the halfway mark in the contest and we'll never be asked to join that particular orchestra. I don't think we've got the talent for it actually, but it doesn't really matter.


TS: So what's he got on his head now then? He nicked his hair.

NP: I know. I'm sorry, Simon. There we are. At the halfway mark in the contest the London team are leading the Midlands by one point. It's still anybody's contest. We're going to whiz into the pits for a new set of tyres. Meanwhile, stay tuned and we'll be back after the break, so you'll see us after this.




NP: Yes. Hello. Welcome back. Let's snap on the rubber gloves and probe gently into the next round. Dead as a dodo is the subject. Tony, your turn, starting now.

TS: Dead as a dodo. Well, it wasn't a mythical bird like the orc which never existed, hence the name I've just used about it, historically. No, it couldn't fly. That wasn't the problem. It used to grub around for mice and things...


TS: ...and...

NP: Arthur.

AS: Well, he's deviating all over the place. Stream of rubbish. No meaning there at all.

NP: Doesn't matter. In Just A Minute you can talk rubbish. I mean, we've...

AS: No you can't. That's deviation. YOU can talk rubbish! That's all right.


NP: Don't clap him! And I was just about to give it to you. Alright. I will. Arthur, you have forty-seven seconds. As dead as a dodo, starting now.

AS: They caught a dodo in 1972. It was the last one in existence, and now they are all dead.


NP: Dale you challenged first.

DW: Yes.

NP: He makes these pronouncements and then just stops.

DW: Yes. He stopped short. Major hesitation there Nicholas.

AS: Well, I was just enjoying my gag, you know.

NP: As dead as a dodo. Thirty-nine seconds with you, Dale, starting now.

DW: I'm really glad you've given me this subject to talk about because I want to make it loud and clearly known now that when this programme goes out my career will be as dead as a dodo.


DW: Sad to...

TS: Repetition of do.

NP: No. Dodo is one word.

TS: Yeah. Just a gag. Carry on.

NP: So Dale...


AS: I have another one. I mean, his career already is as dead as a dodo.

NP: Oh, they're so mean, aren't they? Right. Dale...

DW: What's the subject again?

NP: Dead as a dodo. Don't you know? You just said you were... Right. Twenty-nine seconds are left for you on that subject, Dale, starting now.

DW: I might be wrong. This programme may never get aired. Please, God. Then my career won't be as dead as a dodo. On the other hand, things...


TS: It's just a repetition of what he said before, though.

NP: Yes, you did talk about your career before.

DW: Oh, I did say career, didn't I?

TS: It's a short-term memory lapse, isn't it? Just the same sentence. I have that.

NP: Twenty...


NP: Yes?

AS: Your career already is as dead as a dodo.


TS: Repetition of do.

NP: You've had your bit of fun. Let's get back to playing Just A Minute.


NP: Yes?

JS: Can I just say hello to anyone who knows me?


NP: Obviously all this audience know you intimately. It's rather beginning to worry me. Right. Tony, in the game you've just challenged... Not just. Ages ago you challenged, and you've got a correct challenge. A point for that. Twenty-two seconds. As dead as a dodo starting now.

TS: Paleontologists are often in disagreement about the precise hight of the dodo. Some of them say it's forty-five million feet high. Others say...


NP: Yes, Arthur?

AS: I dispute that there is any paleontologist in the world who believes that the dodo was forty-five million feet high.

TS: (laughs very hard)

NP: I would entirely agree with you. I've never seen a man corpse himself!

TS: I'm sorry. I'm just getting a little bit hysterical now. (takes a drink of water) Sorry.

NP: It gets that way after a time, Tony, yes.

TS: Sorry.

NP: Do you want to have a quick lie down before we...?

TS: Who are you?

NP: Arthur, a correct challenge and you have fifteen seconds starting now.

AS: In fact, paleontologists believe that it's seven miles high because the dodo was truly an extraordinary bird. It was enormous! (coughs)


NP: Talk about overacting. Man at the end's corpsed himself, this one overacts and absolutely coughs. It's a fit of coughing.

DW: Less ham than in my supermarket.

NP: I know. Right. Jim you challenged first.

JS: It was a hesi-- a hesitation. The cough.

NP: It was a he- he- hesitation. Right. You have exactly three seconds. Well done. You've got in very soon. As dead as a dodo, starting now.

JS: Dead as a dodo is the phrase that springs to mind whenever I think...


NP: Right. And Jim Sweeney was speaking then as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so, but ins spite of that extra point and the others in the round, I'm afraid the London team have taken the lead over the Midland team again. It's neck and neck, back and forth, and it is a very even and keen contest. Dale Winton, will you take the next subject? A good excuse. That's the subject, and there's plenty of those floating about in Just A Minute. You have sixty seconds starting now.

DW: A good excuse might be, I'm in the bath. The cheque's in the post. We've all heard them many times. My favourite one would be I'll call you tomorrow, because I never, ever return...


TS: Sorry.

NP: What? You made a mistake. You thought he said "never, never", and he said "never, ever?"

TS: Yes (looks extremely embarrassed and wipes his eyes).

NP: So incorrect challenge Dale. You have another point. You have fifty seconds on a good excuse starting now.

DW: I heard a really good excuse earlier today when I knocked on Mr. Slattery's dressing room door. I inquired as to when he would be down on the set, and he said, "I'm terribly sorry. I'm shaving my legs." I thought this was incredible really, and so...


NP: Yes?

TS: That's a hesitation, I think.

NP: That was a hesitation. We thought about your legs and he hesitated.

DW: Wouldn't you?

NP: Yes, right. Thirty-eight seconds. A good excuse, Tony. Starting now.

TS: The best excuse for not turning up at a dinner party is the dodo's excuse. I'm extinct. There we are. No one can argue with that. Pie might be in the oven. There...


NP: A buzz. Yes.

AS: You see, if you were extinct, you wouldn't get invited to a dinner party.

TS: (points as NP) He does!


NP: Oh! Oh! You have alienated the audience again, Tony. Right. Twenty-eight seconds for you, Arthur on a good excuse starting now.

AS: A good excuse is that you were run over by a truck on the way to the gig or another good excuse is that you hand fell off while you were busy rubbing your knee with it. Another good excuse which often goes down well I find with the boss of factories that make small boilings...


AS: ...is...

NP: Yes, Dale?

DW: What is a small boilings? I am missing something here?

NP: No, a supermarket man should know this. A chicken that is only good for boiling and is rather the small...

DW: That's a boiler!

AS: Look. I had a tin of small boilings once. A tin! Yeah! They're little boiled sweets from Scotland.

DW: Oh, stop it!

AS: They are!

DW: I've never heard such nonsense!

AS: Do you want a fight?

TS: Leave it, Arthur. He's not worth it! (restrains AS from leaving his seat by grabbing his shirt)

AS: I'll have him! Outside, mate. Outside!

JS: Now, come on. Come on. We've all had a drink.

AS: Alright.

TS: I've got to get out of this square.

NP: Dale?

DW: Yes, Nicholas?

NP: I agree with your challenge so you have a point, of course, and the subject. Six seconds. A good...

DW: I can't remember what the subject is. I'm terribly sorry.

NP: I know, but it's my job to give it to you again. Right.

DW: Oh, I'm sorry, Nicholas.

NP: A good excuse is the subject. Six seconds, starting now.

DW: A good excuse is very hard to find. I would love to have one ready... at the...


NP: Tony.

TS: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes.

JS: Yeah. You're right.

NP: You've got in with one second on a good excuse, Tony, starting now.

TS: It was my bikini line.


NP: So we have no more time to play Just A Minute. Tony Slattery was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so and at the end of the contest he happened to have the most points, so congratulations to Tony Slattery, and with Arthur Smith together they amassed a large number of points and they had actually four more points than the Midland team, so it is the London team, Tony Slattery and Arthur Smith, who are the winners this week. Yes. All right.

AS: Congratulations, Tony.

NP: And so do our minutes hasten to their close, as Shakespeare said when he was last on this programme. It only remains for me to say, on behalf of my valiant guests, Tony Slattery, Arthur Smith, Jim Sweeney, Dale Winton, and myself, Nicholas Parsons, we do hope you have enjoyed this show. We've enjoyed doing it. Tune in again same time next week. We're going to take to the air and we're going to play this delightful game. Until then, from all of us, goodbye.