NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners around the world. But also to welcome to the show four exciting, talented players who are going to show their command of language, their verbal dexterity, their wit, their humour, as they try and speak 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, Phill Jupitus and Clement Freud. And seated on my left, Graham Norton and Gyles Brandreth. Will you please welcome all four of them! Thank you, beside me sits Trudi Stevens, who is going to help me with the score, and she blows the whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Courtyard Theatre, here in Stratford-upon-Avon. And we have people from every quarter of the great county of Warwickshire who have come a long way to be entertained and they are dying for us to get started. And we are going to begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement what an apt title to begin this show with. Being up here where the bard is. Will you tell us something about the Scottish play. Dare he mention the Scottish play? We will find out, 60 seconds starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: I'm going to tell the audience something that they probably did know. That whereas the Scottish play could refer to The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, it actually refers to MacBeth. And the reason why you do not mention the Scottish play is quite simply because in weekly repertory over the years, if any theatrical production did not go at all well, they put in the play which I mentioned a moment ago, which is known as the Scottish play instead. Therefore the Scottish play was doom, death, failure. Something else will go on on Tuesday or Wednesday. I think I have told you enough. I mean this is really...


NP: You not only told us enough, you told us that is actually the reason, a lot of people don't know that, why that superstition arose. But Gyles you challenged, you pressed your buzzer, what is it?

GYLES BRANDRETH: It's fascinating, it's quite gripping, really interesting, but it culminated with a hesitation.

NP: That�s right, he gave us the facts.

GB: He gave us the facts and then he faltered. But it was fantastic.

NP: No he...

CF: That's what radio is about.

GB: Permission to explain, it's marvellous.

NP: He decided to retire on his laurels.

CF: I shall be going quite soon!

NP: Gyles you have a correct challenge, so you get a point for that, you have 16 seconds still, tell us something about the Scottish play starting now.

GB: When in the beautiful city of Stratford-upon-Avon, we have the teddy bear museum. In our little theatre we put on a...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: Now don't get me wrong people. Is this a city?

GB: I'm sorry, a lot of people are campaigning that it should be, and I'm speaking to the future!

GN: So, no!

NP: Graham, the answer is yes, he did deviate because it's not yet a city.

GN: Marvellous!

NP: It is still a town. Right...

GB: I see! It's going to be like that.

NP: So Graham, well listened, you tell us something about the Scottish play starting now.

GN: I was fascinated recently to learn that the Scottish play comes about because in repertory theatres, if a show didn't do well, they would replace it with MacBeth...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Repetition, and it was not as well told as the distinguished... The account by Sir Clement Freud was definitive, we didn't need this tired repetition from a man who can't tell a city from a village!

NP: You're obviously miffed Gyles, but he can repeat other people's material if he wants to in this game. There is nothing in the rules that says you can't. So he was not deviating...

GB: I would imagine on this programme, that's essential!

NP: He gets a point for an incorrect challenge and he has one second left on the Scottish play starting now.

GN: Here in the urban sprawl of Stratford...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, and Graham Norton was speaking then when the whistle went, gained that extra point. So he's in the lead, ahead of the other three. Gyles Brandreth will you take the next round, the subject is simply the A to Z. And you start now.

GB: The A to Z of Shakespeare characters would include Antony, Beatrice, Cleopatra, Desdemona, Enobarbus, Festy, Gertrude, Hamlet, Iago, Jaquis, Katherine, Leontes, Malvolio, Niamh...


NP: Clement... Clement you challenged.

CF: Didn't he miss out an I?

GB: Iago, Iago.

NP: He said...

CF: It didn't come over here. Did you hear Iago?

PHILL JUPITUS: I heard Iago.

NP: Yeah I heard Iago, right.

GN: Oh yeah.

CF: In that case... give him a point.

NP: Clement you're so magnanimous! I will definitely give him a point because it was an incorrect challenge.

CF: Yeah.

NP: And you have 46 seconds Gyles, the A to Z starting now.

GB: Osrich, Petrucio, Quince, Romeo...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Sorry, what are you talking about?

GB: I couldn't repeat the beginning of it, but I hoped you were listening.

GN: No!

GB: It was the A to Z.

GN: No, I'm sorry, I started afresh, I wanted to know more, I don't know.

GB: I'll start again.

NP: No he was, he had established earlier on that he was going to give an A to Z of the characters that Shakespeare wrote about.

GN: Well then I say it's a deviation.

NP: Why?

GN: Because the subject he's given is the A to Z, this is an A to Z,

GB: The A to Z of Shakespeare characters is this. Well never mind.

NP: It is an A to Z.

GB: Can I do an A to Z of the city of Stratford maybe?

NP: No but he did start off by saying the A to Z of the characters in Shakespeare. So Gyles you have the benefit of the doubt, or you just have it anyway, 45 seconds for the A to Z starting now.

GB: The A to Z of the alphabet of course is if you do the quick brown fox jumping over the lazy dog. Or if you are going to refer to ah people...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, there was a definite er in there.

GB: There was.

NP: Yes, and so Clement there are 34 seconds, you take the A to Z starting now.

CF: I believe that the A to Z should never exclude B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X and especially not Y. That�s about all I want to tell you.


NP: So Graham Norton you challenged.

GN: Yes I'm here to serve, ah, he was trying to stop so...

NP: Thirteen seconds, you tell us something about the A to Z starting now.

GN: The A to Z is also a name for a street index of a city. Sadly Stratford-upon-Avon isn't one, so you probably don't have one. But...


NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: Deviation, they do!

GN: is there an A to Z for here?

GB: It's key in our campaign for city status. Absolutely, it's one of the first things that we are putting forward!

NP: I'm...

GN: There is not an A to Z for Stratford-upon-Avon.

GB: There is!

GN: Is there?

GB: Yeah.

GN: That man's going no there isn't. There isn't, is there?

GB: There is.

NP: Listen we're not in pantomime, oh yes there is, oh no there isn't. Gyles happened to know what he is talking about because he did have a residence up here for a time.

GB: I did.

NP: Yes you did indeed, have you still got it?

GB: No.

NP: Did you sell it?

GB: No.

NP: Right okay.

GN: Was it repossessed? What?

GB: It's the campaign headquarters for the Make Stratford-upon-Avon A City!

GN: Oh okay.

NP: So Gyles...

GN: If only there was an A to Z we could find it.

NP: But Gyles you cleverly got in with one second to go on the A to Z starting now.

GN: But wait...

GB: The A to Z...


GN: No, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! What is going on? What was he, what was the...

NP: Because you challenged him because he said there was no A to Z for Stratford-upon-Avon.

GN: There isn't!

GB: There is!

NP: There is!

GB: There is!

GN: That man said there isn't!

NP: He's the only man in the audience...

GB: Look we know, yes...

NP: Shut up, I'm supporting you Gyles! He was the only one in the audience who didn't say, nearly everyone else in the audience said there was an A to Z. Gyles lived here one and he knows there is an A to Z.

GB: Why do you think that man is wearing leiderhosen anyway!

NP: So Gyles Brandreth was then speaking when the whistle went, gained that extra point, and he's now one ahead of Graham Norton. The other two are following up behind. And Gyles that's your subject, moving on, Phill Jupitus, let's hear from you. Oh a good one for you, knowing your show you do on television. If music be the food of love.

PJ: If...

NP: Tell us...

PJ: It's all right, I'm keen, I haven't been heard from, I nipped out for a curry!

NP: No Phill, I always give the now so if anybody wants to challenge by the way... you have a strange effect on some of the audience...

PJ: Someone out there has had a boona!

NP: If music be the food of love, that is the subject Phill starting now.

PJ: If music be the food of love, play on. The line from one of Shakespeare's splendid works. And it's a fine thing to say for love needs feeding on a regular basis. It's the kind of emotion that saps the will, that eats away at the nerves and keeps the owner of the emotion in check from day one...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I think a repetition of emotion.

NP: Yes.

GN: I'm sorry.

NP: I'm sorry about that Phill.

PJ: That's all right, I can go for afters now.

NP: So there we are, you had a correct challenge Graham, you get the subject, and you have 39 seconds, if music be the food of love, start now.

GN: If music be the food of love I'm guessing it was pretty hungry in the 70s. Yes David Cassidy, that's not a meal is it! No! I don't think so, who else can I talk about...


NP: Phill Jupitus you challenged.

PJ: I think he was hesitating.

NP: He was.

PJ: He began to question whether David Cassidy was a meal! He began to think in the middle of it, well he's slightly yummy, maybe... maybe a snack!

NP: You're right Phill, a correct challenge, so you have the subject and you have if music be the food of love and there are 25 seconds starting now.

PJ: If music be the food of love, then let us feast in these great days of fine popular artists we enjoy in the charts. Lilly Allen provides excellent songs and they enlighten us to a great degree and we dance and sing along with her words, lyrics and melodies as we prance around the discotheques in our dancing pumps! Yes for we wear special footwear...


NP: I should explain to our listeners that extra spontaneous round of applause was Phill Jupitus's face was an absolute picture as he kept going! That was part of it and also Phill hasn't played the game as much as the others and they recognised his achievement and he went until the whistle blew so he gained an extra point. He's still trailing a little but he's still there. So...

PJ: It's a solid fourth Nicholas, it�s a solid fourth! Come on!

NP: No it isn't, you're a solid third place, you're ahead of the oldest player and that is Clement Freud.

PJ: Well now you make me feel bad! I�m going to back off now, you've thrown me completely!

NP: I love it...

PJ: I didn't realise about this game at all!

NP: You're doing extremely well.

PJ: And my tikka misala is playing up on me!

NP: Have you finished?

PJ: I'm terribly sorry.

NP: No not at all, we enjoyed it. I encourage people to keep going. Graham it's your turn to begin and the subject is an infinite number of monkeys. Can you tell us...

GN: I know what you mean!

NP: Well there are 60 seconds for you to go to try and on the subject starting now.

GN: They say that if you give an infinite number of monkeys typewriters and lots of paper, they will eventually write a novel. But then so could Jeffrey Archer, so it's not much of an achievement really! I think an infinite number of monkeys is bliss, it just sounds fantastic! It's really hard to get a monkey apparently, there's laws against it. Though I am told there are certain pet shops in London where if you have enough money you might be able to get a chimp. I haven't looked into it that much. And also one isn't the same as an infinite number of monkeys which are different from that animal I said before, that's an ape! I know lots about this! Don't try and stop me! An infinite number of monkeys, I cheer to the very rafters at this lovely theatre...


NP: Oh you have been stopped by Clement Freud.

CF: Oh!

NP: What is it? What's your challenge?

CF: He did repeat monkey and the word on the card is monkeys.

NP: I know it is.

GN: Well monkeys to that!

NP: You haven't won any friends...

CF: No I haven't! Can I give a few points away? Like take all my points...

NP: No because they were wanting him to finish...

CF: Let Graham go on.

NP: Because he went for, he went for 50 seconds.

GB: Oh! Oh! Boo!

NP: So what I do here is because you went almost for the full 60 and the audience loved it, we give you a bonus point as if you had finished the 60...

GN: Also what are the chances of me getting that subject ever again?

NP: Never!

GN: The only thing I know anything about!

NP: Well when you next come back we'll try and think of another subject about monkeys.

GN: Maybe lots of monkeys.

NP: Yes.

GN: That'd be a nice subject, wouldn't it.

NP: We'll make a note when you next come back, we'll have a subject about monkeys.

GN: Oh thanks.

NP: But Clement Freud had a correct challenge and I must be fair within the rules of Just A Minute, it's correct, you said monkey and the subject on the card is monkeys. So you have 10 seconds Clement, an infinite number of monkeys starting now.

CF: if an infinite number of monkeys had the vote, there is no good reason why Liberal Democrats should not only be the Government in the next 10 years but also retain...


NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking when the whistle went, and gained an extra point for doing so. And he's now in third place, just behind Gyles Brandreth and Graham Norton in that order. He just reminded me, talking about politics and voting, it's the first time on the show we've had two former MPs on the show. We have the former MP for Chester, and the former MP, Clement Freud, from the Isle of Ely. So...

CF: That's total crap! Gyles and I have been on this programme together at least a dozen times.

GN: I was there too. And I believe Phill was as well. Yes! It's funny how it worked out!

NP: What I should have said is it's the first time I have remarked on the fact that we have two former MPs on the show.

PJ: Have you left the gas on?

NP: I should explain to the...

PJ: Have you taken your pills?

NP: You have to be a good sport to be chairman of Just A Minute! I should explain to our listeners, I set myself up for this deliberately. That's why I've got the job, because they couldn't be as rude as that to anybody else in show business except me. But we enjoy it, we have fun and ah...

PJ: Deviation, you're not in show business!

NP: When you start coming out with those remarks, I compliment you for a moment and I take them away! Right, Clement Freud, it's your turn to begin, will you take the subject of a Trojan horse starting now.

CF: A Trojan horse, unlike the Trojan horse, would have come from Troy, which is now in Turkey which hardly anybody knows. But I happened to be there on holiday and they said "this is where Trojan horses came from". And I said "really, are, are you convinced of this?"


NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: He was hesitating.

NP: He did hesitate.

GB: In anticipation of your answer, yes he was asking a question courteously.

CF: I was asking a question.

NP: Yes.

CF: And?

NP: And Gyles responded.

GB: This isn't Any Questions, it's Just A Minute and...

NP: And he responded by challenging you because you hesitated. And it's a correct challenge so he takes the subject, a Trojan horse, 40 seconds Gyles starting now.

GB: (in hoarse voice) My name is Helen of Troy and I...


NP: She never spoke like that!

GN: He's possessed!

GB: She did! She did! I was about to explain she was a little hoarse! (in hoarse voice) My name is Helen of Troy and I'm a little hoarse!

GN: It's happening again!

NP: You making out that Helen of Troy, one of the most beautiful women who launched a thousand ships... (laughs) launched a thousand ships, she was a cross dresser?

GB: Nobody knows what she sounded like because they've lost the tapes.

NP: I know!

GB: She was, as you were about to hear, she was a little hoarse because she was inside the Trojan horse and the wood, the dust, it was getting up her... anyway!

NP: You talk absolute rubbish on occasions Gyles! Graham you had a correct challenge, what was it?

GN: Ah what was it again, ah...

NP: It was correct anyway!

GN: Yes it was.

NP: Yeah, oh yes you were challenging because he put on that awful voice.

GN: Well it frightened me frankly.

NP: Yes! I do not believe Helen of Troy had a voice like that.

GN: Yes that's what it was, deviation or something.

NP: Thirty-eight seconds, a Trojan horse with you Graham starting now.

GN: One of my great sadnesses about a Trojan horse is although you could fit a lot of monkeys into it, you couldn't fit an infinite number...


NP: Phill Jupitus challenged.

PJ: Repetition of fit.

NP: Oh yes.

GB: Oh!

GN: Oh good!

NP: Oh yes. Another point to Phill, and 29 seconds available Phill, a Trojan horse starting now.

PJ: The Trojan horse was wheeled into the gates of Troy and the men within lurked, awaiting the opportunity to spring out and conquer that city. Emerging from a gift in a most unsavoury way. If on Christmas morning you receive such an enormous timber gift, ah...


NP: I must...

PJ: I would have buzzed myself in a moment, I was getting quite tired of it!

NP: Well you can if you wish. So Gyles what was your challenge?

GB: He repeated it.

NP: He did, what?

PJ: What did I repeat?

NP: What did he repeat?

GB: It's so long ago that I've really forgotten!

NP: Unless you can...

GB: Gift!

NP: That's right, yes, 12 seconds Gyles, a Trojan...

CF: Was Troy a city?

GN: It didn't have an A to Z, of that I'm sure! Alpha to Omega! Oh I'm clever and funny!

NP: Gyles, 12 seconds, a Trojan horse starting now.

GB: The twin topped towers of Eliam feature in my edition of The Trojan Horse, a delightful children's version of the story, written by the late great Enid Blyton who gave an account of what happened when...


NP: So Gyles Brandreth speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and he's moved forward, he's one ahead of Graham Norton and he's three or four ahead of Clement Freud and Phill Jupitus, equal in third place. Gyles it's back with you to start, the subject we'd like you to begin with is juggling act, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

GB: When I was a little boy I ran away to the circus but they wouldn't have me. And consequently I returned home where my mother taught me how to juggle. We began with grapes, moved on to lemons, then oranges and eventually to melons, which of course are really quite difficult to throw into the air with one hand, catch with the other. I found of course this skill very useful when I became a politician. Standing on my head also was something I had acquired a knack for doing but it was essentially my juggling act that people appreciated when I was in the House of Commons. Sadly I wasn't there for long because the people eventually spoke. They got the idea that the way i was spinning the plates on top of these little sticks was not really to their liking. They didn't think much of Clement Freud either. In fact they wanted to get rid of the whole shower of us. They thought we were like an infinity of monkeys, that's what they said. And if only we had had a Trojan horse we could have sneaked into the House of Commons and been there feeling secure and had leapt out and managed to conquer the entire country...


NP: Well Gyles Brandreth started with the subject and finished with the subject. He not only gets a point for speaking as the whistle went but as he was not interrupted throughout those 60 seconds he has a bonus point for keeping going. So you've increased your lead at the end of the round Gyles, just ahead of Graham Norton and Phill and Clement in that order. And Phill Jupitus, we are back with you to begin and the subject we have now is the first record I ever bought. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: The first record I ever bought was entitled The Streak by Ray Stevens and I purchased it for my mother on her birthday. Little realising, the great dear that she was, that the gift was actually for me! Yes i was that much of an evil child that I got something for my Mum that was...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Ah ah I...

NP: Yes he very cleverly changed from mother...

CF: To Mum.

NP: ... to Mum. And so he was interrupted. Phill you have a point for being interrupted, you have 38 seconds, the first record I ever bought starting now.

PJ: Oh yes they call him the thing that was in the title of the record that I mentioned earlier...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I'm an idiot! No, record is the subject.

NP: Record yes.

GN: Yeah.

NP: And you can repeat the word...

GN: Yeah yeah I know.

NP: And the phrase, I know you know it.

GN: Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

NP: Thirty-three seconds still available Phill, the first record I ever bought starting now.

PJ: My female parent wasn't wise to the ruse that I perpetrated. When she unwrapped it in anticipation of it being something that she might actually want, a sound... ahhhh!


NP: It is the most frustrating of games! And that applause by the way because they loved the way that you tried to get it out.

PJ: I often get applause of that nature Nicholas, when I try and get it out.

CF: I'm sitting next to him and he did get it out!

PJ: I don't like to call the Member for South End.

NP: I don't think we should pursue this subject! I think we should get back to playing Just A Minute and Graham you challenged.

GN: Yes ah there was I think a hesitation.

NP: There was indeed yes. Twenty seconds, the first record I ever bought, Graham starting now.

GN: The first record I ever bought was by The Monkees. Oh I was upset to find out there were only four of them and they looked terribly like men! I still listened to it though and pretended that I was surfing on my duvet which was very rare in Ireland in the 60s. They had just been invented in France...


NP: So Graham Norton was then speaking as the whistle went and he has moved forward. He's just one behind Gyles Brandreth and he is three or four ahead of Phill Jupitus and Clement Freud in that order. And that is the situation as we go into the final round. You are a lovely audience. Graham Norton it is your turn to begin.

GN: Oh yes?

NP: The subject, very apt for the final subject in the show, the final curtain. Tell us something about the final curtain in Just A Minute starting now.

GN: When I go to see a play in the theatre, I love the final curtain because I know it is over. Now sitting in this place how on earth are you supposed to realise the hell has reached a conclusion? There is no curtain, the lights go down yes, but they might come back up again. People can wander on and talk some more, you know. Oh do you know what really annoys me?


NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: Hesitation.

NP: Yes but...

GN: Hesitation?

NP: No no he suddenly moved on, he changed direction but he didn't actually hesitate.

GB: You're the judge!

NP: Yes I am and so he has 36 seconds to continue, with another point of course, the final curtain starting now.

GN: The final curtain is also a way of saying somebody has just died. You know like in the My Way song that Frank Sinatra used to sing before of course he faced his own final curtain. It is through tears I now...


NP: Clement challenged you.

CF: Hesitation.

GB: Oh he was crying!

NP: I know but he did, he did slightly hesitate. So Clement come in on the final curtain with 23 seconds available starting now.

CF: The first record I ever bought was called The Final Curtain. It was not a terrific success, few people were in it, the music was poor, the ambience was pathetic, and it cost four shillings and sixpence which at that time was for The Final Curtain a pretty average price considering it had a hole in the middle and...


NP: So let me give you the final situation.

GN: Okay.

NP: As the final curtain comes down...

GN: Yup yup.

NP: Let me tell you that Phill Jupitus and Clement Freud both achieved greatness, and they're equal in second place.

GB: Oh!

NP: But slightly more achievement goes to Gyles Brandreth and Graham Norton because together, they're sitting beside each other, they finished up together with the same score so we say they are our joint winners this week. Thank you very much! It only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine players of the game, Phill Jupitus, Clement Freud, Gyles Brandreth and Graham Norton. I thank Trudi Stevens, who has helped me with the score, she has blown her whistle. Also we thank our producer Tilusha Ghelani. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are very grateful to this lovely audience in the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. So from the audience, from me Nicholas Parsons and the panel, good-bye and tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!