NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme four talented and exciting players of this game. And they are seated on my right, a very talented comedian, a comedy writer, an all-round good egg, and that is Tony Hawks. And seated beside him a brilliant writer, a humorous entertainer, after-dinner speaker and also an actor, and that's Gyles Brandreth. And seated on my left, we have coming all the way down from Glasgow, that lovely stand-up comedian and brilliant comedy writer, Janey Godley. And seated beside her somebody who lives in Norfolk so it's great to have someone from this area here, a wonderful cabaret artist, brilliant lyric writer, and it is of course Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Trudi Stevens, who is going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And as usual I'm going to ask these four to speak at some time on a subject that I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Corn Exchange in that delightful Norfolk town of King's Lynn. So let's begin the show with Tony Hawks. Oh and what an apt subject to begin with, because this show has just celebrated 40 years. Which is of course a ruby anniversary so I think Tony should begin with the subject of ruby anniversary. Tony you have 60 seconds as usual and your time starts now.

TONY HAWKS: What a great honour it is to be given this subject, given that today...


NP: Gyles has challenged.

GYLES BRANDRETH: Repetition of given.

NP: Yes, you were given too much.

TH: Oh that's extraordinary, that.

NP: Yes.

TH: I only did about eight words and I repeated it!

NP: So Gyles that's a correct challenge, you get a point for the correct challenge, you take over the subject, there are 56 seconds still available and it's ruby anniversary starting now.

GB: It is 40 years since I first met Nicholas Parsons who was then a matinee idol, a young Adonis, who was at a party organised by Fanny Cradock with Lionel Blair as the entertainment. They were known as Butch Casserole and the One-Dance Kid! Nicholas was there in all his glory...


NP: Tony you've challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of Nicholas.

GB: Yeah.

NP: Yeah but you can't have too much of a good thing! I was enjoying it Gyles, I'd like to give you a bonus point for that. But it was a correct challenge so within the rules of Just A Minute Tony you get a point, you take back the subject, 40 seconds, ruby anniversary starting now.

TH: Today is the anniversary of myself and Ruby behind the bike sheds. Outside Goldstone Junior School many years ago. Every year I celebrate this, a wonderful occasion in my life, when I learnt some important skills which I won't go into here. Although useful it would be to me in filling valuable seconds. Good...


NP: Gyles you challenged again.

GB: Well it was just the valuable seconds which I imagine is what it was!

NP: But do you also have a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

GB: Well I think it was deviation to talk about underage sex on Radio Four!

NP: We didn't, he didn't establish it was underage.

GB: Well either that or he was very stupid to still be at a junior school aged over 16!

TH: Gyles, who said anything about sex?

GB: What were you doing behind the bike sheds?

TH: Well I'll tell you if you give me the subject back.

NP: He was exploring but not indulging, right. But Gyles we did enjoy your interruption so I think you deserve a bonus point for that. But Tony was interrupted so he gets a point for that of course, keeps the subject, 17 seconds, ruby anniversary starting now.

TH: Ruby and I read quietly for over a minute. It was an extraordinary occasion and one I am delighted to share with you all...


GB: Repetition of the word share.

NP: Yes he did say share.

GB: Early on he said details he would share with us all.

NP: That's right, he wanted to share the experience with us.

JANEY GODLEY: (laughs) He's really determined.

NP: Well listened... listen, you may boo but those are the rules of Just A Minute! Gyles, eight seconds still, ruby anniversary starting now.

GB: The ruby anniversary that I referred to was like the meeting of Lord Alfred Douglas and Oscar Wilde. Or Henry Stanley and Doctor Livingstone. Or even Andy Pandy and Looby Lou...


NP: And Tony's challenged just before the whistle.

TH: There were three ors in a row.

NP: What?

TH: Three ors in a row.

NP: I know. We don't like too many ors on this show, yes I'm inclined always to let two go, but three I think is repetition.

TH: That seems to be the rule.

NP: So you, you clever clogs, have got in with half a second to go on ruby anniversaries starting now.

TH: Lulu once said...


NP: So in this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. And it was Tony Hawks. So let's go to Kit Hesketh-Harvey to begin the next round. Kit a good one to follow yes, words per minute. Applicable to this show, and certainly applicable to you, you write many words in your lyrics. Would you please talk on that subject starting now.

KIT HESKETH-HARVEY: In the 1950s, when women knew their place, their skills were judged by their proficiency with cake, box pleating and words per minute. Thank goodness that situation has now changed! I am afraid my words per minute are not very good, as I do with many things, measuring whisky, or addressing tax inspectors. But I suppose the most important thing is it should be about 30 words per minute. What it is on Just A Minute I have no idea. I suspect that at the moment I am not doing very well. But I am trying to eke it out for as long as I can. Because here I am in front of an audience who know me personally and know how many words per minute I am generally forced to utter...


NP: Yes Janey you challenged.

JG: I was just trying to see how long his lungs would go! You must have little wee gills in your back there!

NP: I know!

JG: He did say the word know twice.

NP: You spotted it, well done!

JG: Yes I did.

NP: There we are, so Janey you've got a correct challenge there and you have 17 seconds, you've got a point of course, you take over the subject, words per minute starting now.

JG: I have a baby toddler called Abby who can at least speak 700 words per minute. Children shouldn't be allowed to say that many words in one long sentence. I have listened to my own daughter speak eight million words since she was born. But there is a limit to what mothers have to listen to and any point...


NP: So Janey Godley was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and she's moved forward into third place behind Gyles and Tony, and Kit's behind them. And Janey we'd like you to start the next round, the subject is it'll all come out in the wash, a good subject, plenty of words, 60 seconds starting now.

JG: Sometimes you assume a stain will come out in the wash, until you put it into the washing machine and wait patiently. After 40 minutes of a cycle, you drag the offending object out, have a good stare at it, and think to yourself, that never really did come out in the wash after all. Bleach isn't a good idea to pour on to jam when you think it will take it away. The other thing you shouldn't ever assume will come out in the wash is when you hide a secret in your past. Like I once did when I killed a rabbit when I was five. I never thought anybody would suspect it was me, until a cousin who was alive at the time, he was a grass. He came up and told everyone the rabbit died because...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

JG: Rabbit genocide!

TH: I was calling the police!

JG: I was five!

NP: Right! I think it's too late, I think they were involved but they let her off.

TH: I think there was a repetition of rabbit in there.

NP: Yes there was a repetition of rabbit, we could, you could have that rabbiting on for ages, we enjoyed it so much. Tony you've got another point, you've got the subject and you've got 18 seconds still available, it'll all come out in the wash starting now.

TH: I like to come out in the wash on a boat. On the estuary, marvellous it is! And I will go all through the day and people will shout out, "he's come out on the wash, there he is, perhaps it will all come out..."


NP: Kit challenged.

KHH: It was come out in the wash and he said come out on the wash.

NP: That's right.

KHH: It conjures up a horrible deviation, I think yes.

NP: The subject is it'll all come out in the wash. And you were on the wash.

TH: Yes, deviation.

NP: But they enjoyed it very much, and the trouble is it didn't happen to King John did it? And, oh there's a few historians in the audience. So Kit, correct challenge, a point, five seconds still available, it'll all come out in the wash starting now.

KHH: Hillgay, Wormgay, Gayton, Gaywood...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Well repetition of gay because the origin of these names...

KHH: Yes? Yes? You try me!

NP: You're not winning many friends in this audience at the moment Gyles. Yes?

GB: But it's all one word.

KHH: Yes they're all one word place names.

NP: Not only is he telling you, but the whole of the audience is telling you.

KHH: This is them.

GB: Yes it is! You brought your people with you!

JG: He's the expert!

NP: Local knowledge gained you a point for an incorrect challenge and you still have three seconds Kit, it'll all come out in the wash starting now.

KHH: The wash is fed by a complicated system of dikes that discharge into it, and I think it's going to come out...


NP: So Kit Hesketh-Harvey was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and it's all pretty even spread out between, there's only point actually to separate all five of them, five, four, three, two, that's all! You work out which has got which points. Gyles your turn to begin, the subject, trial and error. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

GB: At his trial in 1895, Oscar Fingle O'Ferhanty Wills Wilde made a fatal error. Not when he was cross-examined about the house in which the alleged offences took place, and asked whether Cowley Street was a respectable address, and replied that it might well be, but perhaps not when it was so near the House of Commons. But when the prosecuting counsel...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of house.

NP: Yes.

GB: Oh! Oh! It's like that, is it?

NP: Gyles, Gyles, it's always been like that!

TH: I think that's what we all agreed to do when we came out here!

NP: Yes that's right.

TH: Yes.

NP: So Tony correct challenge, 39 seconds available, trial and error starting now.

TH: I have always been one who favours trial and error whenever doing anything, which is why I never made it into the Bomb Disposal Department. I tried many occasions and they always said "no, Tony, not today". I went to a court case to see if there would be an error at a trial and there have been significant errors in the past.

NP: Errors, errors, errors.

TH: I won't go into them now because it would probably be too...


NP: Janey you challenged.

JG: Yes errors, he said errors twice.

NP: He did say errors twice.

JG: Yes he did.

TH: There's an error on the cards.

NP: And it's trial and error.

JG: And I noticed that.

NP: It's deviation, that's it Janey I know, you haven't played the game as often as the others, but my gosh, you listen!

JG: I was writing down all the words at the beginning, all the words you were saying...

NP: Darling, there isn't time in this game to write the words down.

JG: I know! And then I realised I just made a funny drawing of a castle and that wasn't what I set out to do.

NP: And you challenged for castle which didn't help at all.

JG: No, it was errors.

NP: Errors, right, you have 14 seconds...

JG: Great.

NP: ... for you to tell us something about trial and error starting now.

JG: I was at a trial and there was an error. I once got caught with quite a lot of weapons in my house. You think I'm joking, read the book! And there I was and everybody was laughing at me. And when I actually got to court, the big trial was actually happening...


NP: Oh Gyles challenged.

GB: Repetition of actually.

JG: Yes I do say actually quite a lot actually.

TH: Janey would you mind slowing down? I can't write all these words down!

NP: And you have naughtily or cleverly got in with one second to go Gyles.

TH: Shocking!

NP: Trial and error, one second still available Gyles starting now.

GB: When you move to Lynn it's very important to find your house...


NP: So Gyles was speaking then when the whistle went, he is now equal in the lead with Tony Hawks, and Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Janey Godley are equal in second place just behind then. Tony we're back with you to start and the subject is the end of the road. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TH: (sings) Keep right on to the end of the road (speaks) is a song that I remember hearing in my youth and never want to again. Which is why I have stopped so succinctly and beautifully and you can almost hear the sound of me... oh whatever!


NP: Gyles.

GB: Pity! That he wasn't able to go on with the song.

NP: I know.

GB: He was doing it so beautifully as he said.

NP: But you said that therefore...

GB: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation. Do you know, it's very interesting, that's the first hesitation challenge we've had in this show. Normally they come quite quickly. Do you realise that? You couldn't care less, could you! Right anyway hesitation is a correct challenge Gyles, it's with you, 46 seconds, the end of the road starting now.

GB: During the 1997 General Election, I knew that I had reached the end of the road when my wife put our house up on the market during the campaign itself! There was further humiliation for me because I felt the end of the road was there at the foot of every street. The ghastly things that happened to me. I went to open a doctor's surgery, I was invited to unveil a plaque. I did so and I read the words...


NP: Kit challenged.

KHH: He did it on or, didn�t he, and he's had lots of Is. I mean I know he was a politician but really!

NP: I did this and I did that.

KHH: What do you think?

NP: What do I think? I think you're right.

KHH: Well he did it it for or, you see, ordinarily I'd let it go but, but...

NP: A large number of Is.

KHH: ... since he's playing a hard game.

NP: Too many Is, yes, he let you get away with two or three, but four or five, no. Right Kit Hesketh-Harvey, a correct challenge, a point...

KHH: Thank you.

NP: ... and 26 seconds, the end of the road starting now.

KHH: Here we are at the end of the A10 and the end of the road might imply that this is in some way a derelict place. It's not. King's Lynn is the most beautiful town, filled with architectural joy. The Customhouse which Benseman said is the finest building in England. Queen Street, what need I say? It's a great place to come out...


NP: Tony challenged.

JG: Two streets.

TH: Were there two streets in there?

JG: Yes.

NP: Yes there were.

KHH: Did I?

NP: Yes.

JG: Yes.

TH: Yes I think the first street.

NP: And first street yes.

KHH: I'm sorry, I don't listen!

NP: He got carried away.

TH: I'm right with you.

NP: He was playing to his audience and they were encouraging him.

TH: Yes.

NP: Tony, 10 seconds available, the end of the road starting now.

TH: If life is a journey, which it surely is, then why are we in a hurry to get to the end of the road. Yet you see people rushing every day of their lives. What are they thinking of? They should...


NP: Tony Hawks was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now one ahead of Gyles Brandreth, then comes Kit and then Janey in that order. And Kit it's I think back with you to start. The subject now is animal attraction, 60 seconds starting now.

KHH: You look at Nicholas Parsons, suave, debonair, oddly sexless. But what you cannot tell, audience, is that he is emitting pheromones, there's a sense of man musk coming over towards me, which means that he is very attractive to animals. Back in his hotel, it's like living with Virginia McKenna or Bill Oddie. You think that's white hair? It's a snowy owl that has actually landed on his head. He's got a dicktick in his blazer pocket and I think it's an eel going up his trouser leg, I can't be sure! However...


NP: Janey you challenged.

JG: He said he's about three times.

KHH: Yes I know, I'm being hoist by my petard now, haven't I.

JG: But I liked it. I let it go because the eel bit got exciting.

NP: Twenty-nine seconds still available Janey, animal attraction starting now.

JG: I don't like animals, they frighten me. I once saw a crocodile in a friend's bath. You think I'm kidding? Read the book! And there I was looking at a big tiger. But zoos are horrible places to keep animals. There is no attraction in animal attraction with zoos. You see...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of zoos.

GB: By the way, what is the book called?

JG: It's (unintelligible)...

NP: (in Glaswegian accent) It's a great wee book and it's all about her time in Glasgow when she was up there. And I know because I was up there myself at the same time.

KHH: Oh he's off!

NP: (in Glaswegian accent) I was, I was working up there, working at Claybourne.

KHH: Don't!

NP: (in Glaswegian accent) No, I never met Janey till later, but it all came back to me when I read her book. Oh it's great! I worked with her (goes into unintelligible Glaswegian)

JG: It's me that does this to him! It's me!

NP: (in Glaswegian accent) She sets me off! Right! (normal voice) Gyles?

GB: Hello?

NP: Back to the English.

GB: This is excellent. Was it you who interrupted?

NP: You were interrupted, had a correct... no it was Tony.

GB: No but I'm ready to... we can do it simultaneously.

NP: It was a long time ago.

GB: It was a long, it was 40 years ago that you first began that Glaswegian story and we've enjoyed the edited highlights over the past 40 years.

NP: No I deliver it in different ways. I've never said that before in that particular way, there's no reason why... just shut up, let's get on with it! Animal attraction, is with you Tony and there are 13 seconds available starting now.

TH: I was once attracted to an animal while hitching round Ireland with a fridge. Read the book! Anyway...


JG: Yay!

NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: I programmed myself to buzz when I heard the phrase read the book.

NP: Yes!

GB: But the wrong person said it! Deviation, we've all read the book, it was a number one best seller!

JG: I'm never going to say it ever again until I die! I promise!

NP: Don't worry, you've plugged your book.

TH: Yes.

NP: Around Ireland with a fridge, right and you've got an incorrect challenge, eight seconds are still available Tony, animal attraction starting now.

TH: Dogs are very attractive creatures, there's no denying. Perhaps... oh!


NP: Kit challenged.

KHH: He foundered and said oh.

NP: We call that hesitation and so Kit, you have three seconds, you tell us something about animal attraction starting now.

KHH: Underneath that table, Nicholas has got an aardvark, a bison, a camel, a dicktick...


NP: After the show Kit you must tell me something about this association with animals and me which I don't understand. Let me give you the situation, who was then, oh Kit was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's moved into third place, just ahead of Janey, he's one behind Gyles and he's two or three behind Tony Hawks who is in the lead. And Janey we're back with you, can you tell us something about fortune tellers, that's the subject, you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

JG: I went to see a fortune teller once and she told me I was going to marry Donny Osmond. Foolishly I was 14 and believed every word she said. Converted to be a Mormon, gave up caffeine and fizzy pop, brushed my teeth very brightly, and headed off to Salt Lake City. Disappointment greeted me when I arrived in the place. Donny Osmond was not available...


JG: Why did I say that again?

NP: I know!

KHH: And so many Osmonds to choose from!

NP: Right so Gyles you challenged first.

GB: Repetition.

NP: Yes of Donny Osmond.

JG: You can't get enough of Donny Osmond though.

NP: No no, but in this game unfortunately you can. So 37 seconds available for you Gyles on fortune tellers starting now.

GB: I was expecting this subject to crop up because I am blessed with second sight. It is not a squint, it is a gift...


JG: Did you know that I was going to buzz you?

NP: Janey...

GB: No because I haven't read the book!

NP: Janey that challenge definitely deserves a bonus point, but you haven't got a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute.

JG: No.

NP: No so Gyles was interrupted, he gets a point, he has 31 seconds, fortune tellers starting now.

GB: I went to see the most amazing fortune teller in a wonderful place called the Fairstead Estate. And I there I was and this extraordinary gypsy lady who had moved out from Wisbeach, she wanted to improve herself, and thought that she was the lovely lady of Lynn who could pick my palm...


NP: Kit, Kit challenged.

KHH: There's lots of ladies in there.

JG: Yes yes.

NP: You had a lot of ladies.

GB: Oh no no, one.

JG: Yeah there was.

GB: Ladies and there was a lady.

NP: Oh that's right.

KHH: Ah!

NP: Ladies yes.

KHH: Ah.

NP: Yes.

KHH: I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. Yes.

NP: I'm glad you were listening to what you were saying.

KHH: Yeah.

NP: So Gyles you have an incorrect challenge, you have 15 seconds, fortune tellers starting now.

GB: "Oh my crystal balls", she said, reaching for her monkey who was on her shoulder who had come out from the city centre in order to help her take my digits one by one, pull them along, examine them...


NP: Tony challenged.

GB: Oh yes.

TH: Yes.

GB: My digits one by one.

TH: That's right, you made a, you made a ghastly error!

GB: I did, I did.

NP: And drew attention to it afterwards Gyles.

GB: I did.

NP: So, but Tony picked you up first, six seconds Tony, fortune tellers starting now.

TH: I'm something of a portune teller and I...


NP: Kit you challenged.

KHH: Bless him, but portune teller?

JG: Portune!

KHH: I'm sorry!

NP: What's wrong?

TH: I didn't know I was going to say that, that's for sure.

NP: Portune teller! It's rather nice, isn't it. So Kit you've got fortune tellers, four seconds starting now.

KHH: The Delphic oracle used to sit on a tripod and smoke came out from her front bottom bits which is a neat trick in anybody's book...


NP: So let me give you the scores as we move into that final round. Janey Godley who hasn't played the show all that often, but always gives great value, is just lingering a little in fourth place. She's a wee bit behind Kit Hesketh-Harvey who is trailing Gyles Brandreth in second place. Out in the lead, two points ahead of Gyles is Tony Hawks. Right Gyles, it's you to start, the subject now is a cat in hell. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

GB: We have started to feed our pet cat a new kind of food which is called curiosity. And the effect it is having on the poor creature is dismal. Hell is how she feels at present. We have a menagerie at home, not just our little pussy who is known as Fido, but also, it's to confuse her, keep her on her toes. But also we have a dog...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: There was a repetition of also.

NP: There was a repetition of also, yes, and 38 seconds is now available for you Tony to tell us something about a cat in hell starting now.

TH: There would be people who would say I have not got a cat hell in's chance of competing...


NP: So Kit...

TH: I've turned into Stanley Unwin!

NP: I know but it gets a laugh doesn't it. Kit you challenged first. A cat in hell is with you, 33 seconds starting now.

KHH: There is of course a cat in Nicholas's underpants at the moment which is suffering all the torments of hell. But hell is also the place in Norway which is the centre of a jazz festival accordion based. And Radio Three aficionados go there to...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: The cat is not featuring enough in this for me.

KHH: They're going to be jazz cats eventually.

TH: Oh?

KHH: You see I'm getting to it in a very roundabout way, but no, maybe I had deviated.

NP: I think you've got a little bit too far away from a cat in hell.

KHH: I think I did, Norway is a long way.

NP: Jazz festival in hell, which I'm afraid. Right deviation, Tony back with you, 20 seconds, a cat in hell starting now.

TH: I have never been to Hell, perhaps never will. Who knows? This panel may go there after this show, such has been their terrible...


NP: Kit challenged.

KHH: We're going to Titchwell and it's very nice.

NP: Nobody in the listeners other than people in Norfolk know where Titchwell is! It is true...

KHH: I urge them to go, it's beautiful!

NP: Right, no I've actually been told we're going to have a meal at Titchwell after the show, if that's what you want to know. Save all the letters coming in! So what is your challenge within the rules...

KHH: I'm sorry, deviation from the truth.

NP: Why?

KHH: Because he said we are going to hell.

NP: I don't think, technically he was deviating from the rules of Just A Minute.

KHH: I'm sorry.

NP: So Tony you have another point, you have 11 seconds starting now.

TH: Were I to be there perhaps there would be a cat...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Repetition of perhaps.

JG: Perhaps.

NP: Yes, perhaps well done Gyles, he did say perhaps before. You've got in with nine seconds on a cat in hell starting now.

GB: I was advised by a priest when I was young that everybody goes to heaven, it's just that the bad people don't enjoy it. And I hope that when I get to the other place I will find pussy cats galore. A cat in hell...


NP: So let me give you the final situation. Janey Godley who we love having on the show and does so well, but she did finish in fourth place. But Kit Hesketh-Harvey, who always does well, contributes magnificently, a brilliant third place. Gyles Brandreth, who always is great value in the show, in an amazing second place. But he was only one point behind Tony Hawks so wouldn't it be fairer to say that Gyles and Tony are our joint winners this week? Yes! So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four delightful players of the game, Tony Hawks, Gyles Brandreth, Janey Godley and Kit Hesketh-Harvey. I also thank Trudi Stevens, who has blown her whistle so well and also...

TH: Are you taking some sort of betting bung on this then?

NP: In what sense?

TH: Well the person who is one point ahead at the end doesn't actually win?

NP: Tony you got your applause for that extra point you got. No I just thought as we, I mean we are competitive, but at the same time we're generous.

TH: Yes but a lot of people are betting on this game round the world.

NP: All right, let's have a round of applause for Tony Hawks because he got one point more than Gyles! Justice is done so we carry on with the wind-up. I also thank our producer Tilusha Ghelani. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are very indebted to this lovely audience here at the Corn Exchange in King�s Lynn who have cheered us on our way. I think they have enjoyed themselves, we have, I hope the listeners have and they will tune in again at the same time next week when we play Just A Minute!