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 throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme this week four talented exuberant...


NP: ... and delightful players of this game. And once again they have come together to show their ingenuity with words, their ability with humour and verbal dexterity as they try and speak on a subject I will give them and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four are seated on my right, Tony Hawks and Gyles Brandreth. And seated on my left, Janey Godley and Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Please welcome all four of them! Seated beside me is Trudi Stevens, who is going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular show is coming from the Corn Exchange in that delightful town on the Norfolk coast, Kingís Lynn. And we have an enthusiastic audience who have returned because they heard how good it was the last time we were here. And we are going to begin the show with Gyles Brandreth. Oh a nice topical subject to begin the show, Norfolk broads. Oh yes youíve met a few in your time obviously, 60 seconds as usual Gyles, starting now.

GYLES BRANDRETH: We call them Norfolk broads because thatís what they are, a couple of gorgeous Kingís Lynn girls, broad of beam and soft to the touch. They wear Norfolk jackets and smoke pipes. I gave them loose tobacco for Christmas, they said ďthanks for the shagĒ. Theyíre those sorts of women. In this part of the country you find big hearted Berthas, in fact their names...


NP: Janey challenged.


GB: Big hearted.

JG: And he said too big, the ladies before.

NP: Yes too big yes.

GB: They were two big girls, big hearted is one word.

NP: Well itís a hyphenated word, it doesnít matter, itís big. You repeated the word big. Itís separated from a hyphen.

GB: Okay I can stand that.

JG: Oh youíd better give it to him, Nicholas. Heís getting all scratchy.

NP: No weíre not working in a literary sense, we are working in an aural sense.

GB: Fine.

NP: So big was repeated so Janey you have a correct challenge, so you get a point for that correct challenge...

JG: (laughs) Heís not my...

NP: You take over the subject, and there are 36 seconds still available and itís Norfolk broads starting now.

JG: I came to the Norfolk broads in 1982, I hired a boat in Thetford and I went away up the river and...


JG: Yeah! Go for it!

NP: Kit you challenged.

KHH: Iím sorry to pull the local one in here, but if you hired a boat in Thetford, you would... be nowhere near the Norfolk broads, sweetheart.

JG: Yeah! I picked up the boatman and he drove us to the river! Okay that was a big lie. Because obviously this game is all about the exact truth!

KHH: No! You can pick up an awful lot of things in Thetford!

NP: No but I think when you go into the surreal, we know, but when youíre making a statement which is factual...

JG: Yeah I agree.

NP: ... you canít go that far. Norfolk broads, 30 seconds with you Kit starting now.

KHH: The wenches of the fen have to be big because they are built for potato lifting, sugar beet mashing, turkey strangling. This is a fantastic race of people! The Norfolk broads were built when they dig for peat apparently...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Repetition of built.

KHH: Built yes I am sorry.

NP: We had two built, they were built this way and now...

KHH: Yes absolutely right Gyles, I so defer.

NP: Thatís all right, 17 seconds with you Gyles on the Norfolk broads starting now.

GB: Coastal erosion means it is only a matter of time before Thetford is indeed the point at which one sets off on a holiday on the Norfolk broads. A thousand years from now, when Nicholas is still presiding over the millennium plus 40 edition of Just A Minute, there will be a seaside programme coming from the Norfolk broads...


NP: So Gyles Brandreth was speaking then when the whistle went. And in this game whoever is doing that gains an extra point. And you wonít be surprised to know that he is in the lead at the end of the round, Janey Godley has one, Kit Hesketh-Harvey has one, Tony has yet to speak. Janey Godley would you like to take the lead on the second subject, itís called under the influence. Can you tell us something about that subject, I donít think thereís anything personal having chosen this for you Janey. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

JG: Most people think that being a Glaswegian you are very often under the influence. Contrary to popular belief I donít actually drink alcohol. I do in fact eat loads of chocolate which is an addiction in itself. As long as itís not plied with whisky I will be fine in most circumstances. Under the influence is how I lived my life. I owned a bar in Glasgow and made lots of money...


NP: Tony challenged.

TONY HAWKS: I think she said Glasgow twice.

JG: No.

NP: Unfortunately she did.

GB: She said Glaswegian and then Glasgow.

JG: Yeah. (laughs)

NP: She said as Iím a Glaswegian you would think that I would therefore be under the influence.

TH: Yes.

NP: Yes.

TH: Cunning!

JG: Yeah.

TH: Itís as if sheís been playing it for years!

JG: Itís a bit like being a Thetfordonian.

NP: It wasnít cunning, itís the way you play the game for effect and win. So she had an incorrect challenge, she gets another point for that and she still has 38 seconds to go, under the influence, if she can, starting now.

JG: I love alcohol, Iím often known for my drinking...


JG: Oh no!

NP: Wait a minute, Kit challenged. Kit you challenged.

KHH: Iím sorry, she did say alcohol before.

JG: I know, I know, Iím sorry. I always forget that you canít do that...

KHH: Yes I know, itís vicious, isnít it, this game.

JG: Yes! Letís change the rules!

KHH: And then they interrupt you and you have try and remember what you said before.

TH: Kit stop being so nice, you know that you really want it! Come on!

NP: Right, 35 seconds are still available, and itís with you Kit, under the influence starting now.

KHH: Nicholas is under the influence of snattergen and benodin...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Was there a bit of a hesitation, did he stumble over...

NP: There was a bit of a hesitation.

KHH: There was yes, I was a bit under the influence.

NP: Yes, and actually Iíd give it against you anyway after what you just said. Right, correct challenge, hesitation, Tony with you, 33 seconds, under the influence starting now.

TH: We are all under the influence of chairman Nicholas, who leads us with such valiant skill...


NP: Kit challenged.

KHH: Deviation.

NP: Do you know, I always thought you were my friend. That was a really cheap laugh.

KHH: It was a cheap laugh, it doesnít bear even thinking about.

NP: I canít even give you a bonus point.

KHH: No you canít.

NP: I canít even take one away which...

KHH: You might!

NP: So Tony, 26 seconds still available, under the influence starting now.

TH: I once recorded a radio pilot under the influence, with Rory McGrath. He was a very bad influence on me, bringing a bottle of wine out and placing it between us as this panel game went on. At the time I thought I was being hilarious. Then when I listened to it back, it was deeply embarrassing and I swore never to do it again. Until this day I have remained faithful to that promise. The other man on the other hand...


NP: Kit youíve challenged.

KHH: Sorry, other. It was fascinating...

TH: Yes.

KHH: ... but he said other twice, yes.

NP: Half a second youíve got on under the influence starting now.

KHH: Gyles is on poppers.


NP: So at the end of that round, Kit Hesketh-Harvey was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and heís taken a commanding lead. Heís two ahead of all the others. Kit itís actually your turn to begin, another topical subject here, Sandringham. Tell us something about... itís in Norfolk, isnít it? Sixty seconds Kit starting now.

KHH: Sandringham is indeed in Norfolk. Itís the big house to the very beautiful town in which er we now sit, Kingís Lynn...


KHH: Oh!

NP: Gyles.

GB: Hesitation.

NP: We call that hesitation Gyles, yes. Sandringham is with you and there are 55 seconds available starting now.

GB: There is an invisible moat surrounding Her Majesty the Queen. Nobody is entirely normal with her. But when our gracious lady is at Sandringham, she relaxes, playing scrabble with the corgis, watching her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, strumming around in the bushes, looking for local birds. Itís wonderful to see the Royal couple at their most easy. Because Sandringham was actually acquired by Queen Victoria in 1862 as a gift for her son, then Prince of Wales. He wanted somewhere to go with his wife. In fact he wanted to leave Alexandra there while he went in search of totty...


NP: Tony challenged. It was very very interesting but youíve been challenged.

TH: Was there two wanteds?

NP: He wanted, he wanted to go, she wanted to go, he wanted to go. And thatís repetition.

KHH: Do you want to go?

NP: No Iím so excited I can contain myself. Twenty-three seconds Tony, itís with you now, Sandringham starting now.

TH: I can tell you many more interesting facts about Sandringham than Gyles Brandreth, I just donít want to show off! But what I will do is tell you that I...


NP: Kit challenged.

KHH: Sorry, two tell yous.

TH: There were.

NP: We will tell you yes. He was struggling there! Twelve seconds, Sandringham is back with you Kit starting now.

KHH: Sandringham actually has its own time zone because the Prince of Wales so liked his birds, he had the cocks fixed so that there were...


NP: I thought you said something quite disgusting then!

KHH: No! The clocks fixed, I said, Nicholas.

NP: Yes I know!

KHH: Clocks!

NP: Yes thatís what you wanted to say, it came out as er...

KHH: It did not! Did it really?

NP: And Gyles youíve got in with six seconds on Sandringham starting now.

GB: George The Sixth acquired Sandringham from the Duke of Windsor curiously...


NP: Kit challenged again.

KHH: Acquired, he said acquired before.

NP: Oh yes.

GB: Oh no, bought earlier.

KHH: Was it?

JG: Hang on, Iíll check.

GB: Play the tape back.

KHH: Could you just check your notes Janey.

JG: Okay.

KHH: Thereís a lovely picture of Thetford.

JG: There still is, no, he said bought before, I think.

NP: Youíre quite right Gyles, you did say bought. Three seconds with you Gyles on Sandringham starting now.

GB: The croquet lawn at Sandringham is something to be seen to be believed, but it really is a most...


NP: So Gyles was speaking as the whistle went, and showing off his knowledge of Sandringham there, because he obviously spends a lot of time up there. It helped him get a lot of points and heís taken the lead now, one ahead of Kit Hesketh-Harvey and two or three ahead of Tony Hawks and Janey Godley in that order. Tony would you start the next round, the subject is a charmed life. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

TH: The life of a Just A Minute panellist is surely a charmed life. The opportunity to come to a beautiful place like Kingís Lynn, to sit on a stage, talk for one minute without hesitating, deviating or repeating that much, certainly hoping the others donít spot you, what a charmed life that is. One could be doing heavy lifting somewhere. I might do that afterwards just for fun, but I donít have to, and thatís my point. And a good one it is too, I think youíll all agree. I was once carried aloft after one of these shows by the audience, simply because of the verbal dexterity I had shown. I would challenge anyone to say that that was not the most magnificent way to pass your years on this earth. There is no better life you could ever enjoy than being a person who sits on the.... Has everybody gone?


JG: We were enjoying it!

NP: No were being a bit naughty Tony in letting you go. And you went magnificently with a lot of errors, but you went for 53 seconds actually.

JG: Yeah!

NP: So we will...

KHH: It was longer than that surely!

TH: that felt like about 25 minutes to me!

NP: So we give you a bonus point for what you achieved then...

TH: Okay.

NP: But Janey you challenged which is of course for hesitation, he did stop. And you take over the subject with seven seconds on a charmed life starting now.

JG: Being a snake charmer would be a fantastic life that you would make me charmed. Only sitting with the basket between oneís legs wondering what would...


NP: So Janey Godley was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Sheís now equal with Tony Hawks. Tony after all your efforts, youíre only still, youíre still trailing the others by a point or two. Actually Gyles itís your turn to begin.

GB: Yes?

NP: And a good one for you, knowing your political background. Diplomatic immunity, 60 seconds starting now.

GB: This is a good one for me because I am delighted to talk on this subject as I feel very passionately about it. When I was in fact a Member of Parliament before the people spoke and dismissed me so rudely as they did, I tried to introduce legislation to stop the taking advantage of diplomatic immunity. It all dates back to some legislation in the 1950s called the Vienna Convention, which led to the Diplomatic immunities Act in 1978, which allows Johnny Foreigner into this country with a capacious handbag into which he or she can put anything they damn well like. And theyíre bringing in the most extraordinary material I have to tell you. Yes, magazines from Copenhagen, the like of which would make Kit Hesketh-Harveyís hair come back! It is extraordinary what these diplomats are trying to get away with. They bring in white mice...


NP: Yes yes oh Tony challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of bring.

NP: Yes they were bringing in too much then Iím afraid. It went magnificently. You went for um, 13 from 60 is 47, 47 seconds, not bad.

TH: Very good.

NP: Not quite the 53 that he achieved but well done. You were challenged, a correct challenge by Tony, diplomatic immunity starting now.

TH: I have been immunised against diplomats, which means I can never catch one. When I am chasing one up a road, this is very a disadvantage in many ways when they er...


NP: Kit challenged.

KHH: This is very a disadvantage in many ways?

NP: Yes I think deviation...

KHH: I think deviation from, from the lovely English tongue that we all share.

NP: So you got in with three seconds Kit, on diplomatic immunity starting now.

KHH: Talking of sharing tongues, when the whistle is blown in Checkpoint, it is diplomatic to have immunity...


NP: So Kit Hesketh-Harvey speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, heís now one ahead of Gyles. Itís so equal, seven, six, five, four, in that sequence and you can work out which one is in which place. Right, Kit itís back with you, would you like to take the next subject, dressing up. Tell us something about that in this game, you do a fair amount of that in your work professionally, appearing before an audience. Talk about it, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

KHH: As Nicholas, says I do dress up a great deal in my work. But more intriguingly later tonight, if you go down to the docks around the corner in Kingís Lynn, you will see a fabulous looking creature waiting for the Russian sailors to come in, called Nicola. She has lovely long legs and a beautiful chinchilla wrap, and is curiously reminiscent of Nicholas Parsons. But it wouldnít be wise to suggest this because in fact ah he...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Hesitation.

KHH: Yes Iím sorry.

NP: It was a hesitation. Once he...

KHH: It stuck in my throat, it did.

NP: I know. After what you said about me, Iím sure it stuck in your throat. So Gyles you have another correct challenge, you have 36 seconds, dressing up is the subject and you start now.

GB: When I was a little boy, I had a dressing up box that was supplied by the Old Vic Theatre Company. I had that sort of background. And it was curious because other children would turn up at the parties dressed as, goodness gracious me, Indians and cowboys. But I came as Richard The Third, aged seven. Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by our son of York, I warbled as the other children threw things in my face like...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of children.

NP: Yeah there were a lot of children around then. Because there was the other children, and you warbled...

TH: He looks so disappointed! He did about a minute in the last round.

NP: So Tony a correct challenge, 12 seconds are still available, you tell us something about dressing up starting now.

TH: Itís a Monday night in Kingís Lynn so Iím not dressing up. But come Friday, Iíll be up here, up and down...


NP: Kit you challenged first.

KHH: It was up and up, repetition of.

NP: Yes.

KHH: Yes.

NP: Six seconds are still available on this subject, dressing up it is, with you Kit starting now.

KHH: I suppose a dressing up is the opposite of a dressing down. If you say to somebody youíve done really well and I am extremely proud of you, that could be...


NP: Ah Kit Hesketh-Harvey was speaking as the whistle went, heís now moved forward and he is equal in the lead with Gyles Brandreth. And the other two are only a point or two behind them. Tony Hawks it is your turn to begin, and the subject is my super power. Ooohh says somebody in the audience, your mother obviously! Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

TH: If I was to strip off this beautiful jacket that I am wearing now, you would see underneath Just A Minute Man written there. For I can speak for 60 seconds without hesitating, deviating or repeating. And that is enough of a power ... oh I did this earlier.


NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: A hesitation.

NP: Yes he stopped.

GB: Ran to a standstill.

NP: Came to a stop.

TH: I ran out of super powers.

NP: And you know I think he got bored with what he was saying actually. Forty-four seconds with you Gyles on my super power starting now.

GB: My super power is the United States of America. I know it is fashionable to knock them, but I do think that that isnít fair. My personal super power of course is my sexual charisma. Admittedly I am only appealing to people who are...


NP: Janey challenged.

JG: I just donít believe him.

NP: And as the only woman on the panel I have to go with your reaction.

JG: Iím sorry Gyles.

NP: I was going on to qualify, I was going on to qualify it.

JG: I love you, but the whole acrylic thing and sexual premise isnít working for me!

GB: Iíve come all the way to Kingís Lynn just to be insulted!

NP: I go all over the country to be insulted. So 32 seconds Janey on my super power starting now.

JG: My super power is my ability to explode electric light bulbs and anything else that can carry a current of any kind. Fridges, microwaves, irons, hair dryers, calculators, computers, laptops, you name it, Iíve made it break. There is something strangely wrong with me , I may be Electra, that could be my super power. I once gave a baby a terrible electric shock and itís my hair standing on end...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Sorry, repeat of electric.

JG: Yeah.

NP: You had electric and electric shock.

JG: I know but people can believe I am electric.

GB: And people can believe I have got sexual charisma, people will believe anything nowadays.

JG: So Gyles youíve got the subject back again, there are eight seconds still for you to go on my super power starting now.

GB: Super power is to do with energy, verve and brio!


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Iíve got a bit of a headache!

NP: Tony...

TH: I was just wondering if he could keep it down a bit. Say the same things but just do it a little bit less...

NP: Tony is sitting next to Gyles and...

TH: You see that thing in front of you, itís a microphone! What it does is it amplifies your voice, you see.

NP: So Tony you have explained it, youíre sitting next to him and his surge of energy like that was overpowering for you. So the audience loved what you said so we give you a bonus point for that Tony. Gyles was interrupted so he gets a point for that, he keeps the subject, there are four seconds still available, my super power starting now.

GB: Some people think that I am on drugs, class A of course because I am a conservative. But in fact the truth is that my super power is natural...


NP: So Gyles Brandreth was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and he has increased his lead over the other three, ahead of the other three I should say. And Gyles also it is your turn to begin. I know you know a lot about this because it was your era, the swinging 60s, thatís the subject, tell us something about it starting now.

GB: I was indeed there the first time around during the swinging 60s...


NP: Tony.

TH: I think he hesitated.

NP: I think so yes.

TH: I canít tell you how happy I am! I was sure there was going to be one minute coming up about his 60s! I think thatís a result fo all of us!

NP: No there are 57 seconds still available and itís with you Tony, the swinging 60s starting now.

TH: They say that if you can remember the swinging 60s, you werenít there! But i was only a wee lad and I had a very sobriety time...


NP: Kit challenged.

KHH: Sobriety time? What sorry, Tony?

TH: Your challenge is youíre right with it!

NP: Forty-eight seconds are still available, Kit you tell us something about swinging 60s starting now.

KHH: I was a child of the 60s, but very sadly I was a teenager of the 70s which was when it really mattered. And instead of the Beatles, I got the Bay City Rollers. Instead of Twiggy, it was Thatcher...


NP: Gyles challenged.

KHH: Instead of.

GB: Two insteads.

KHH: Sorry, Iím sorry.

NP: Instead, instead. Right Gyles itís back with you, 38 seconds, swinging 60s starting now.

GB: I was flattered to be invited to a swinging 60s party recently. And I turned up in my Beatles wig and wearing my flares, to find a lot of very old people naked and wrinkled and rutting. It turned out to be a swingers party for people in their 60s...


GB: I was there under a terrible misapprehension.

NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: I donít want to hear any more! But I think he repeated party.

NP: Yes there was a party then, you did repeat yes. You went to a swinging 60s party, and this party. So, but we did enjoy it immensely. So Tony youíve got a correct challenge and 22 seconds, swinging 60s starting now.

TH: I bought myself some flared trousers. I had seen some of the other people of the 60s doing that and I looked terrific. I cut out a little triangle, inserted it into my jeans, but did it in the crutch which was a mistake. That led to a lot of people asking me what the hell I was wearing, why I...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Repetition of people, he saw other people...

NP: Thatís right, you are right, you donít need to emphasise it. I agree, four seconds on swinging 60s starting now.

GB: Sex, drugs, rock and roll...


KHH: Please please please, let it stop!

NP: So whatís your challenge?

KHH: Sorry, Iím seeing these images of Gyles now, and I think Tony is with me on this one!

NP: So you think he was into that sex scene?

KHH: Well it is deviation quite clearly, by definition.

NP: Why?

KHH: From the law, sex, drugs and rock and roll.

NP: No, I mean there was sex, drugs and rock and roll...

KHH: Was there Nicholas?

NP: Yes I was around.

KHH: Were you?

NP: I was part of the scene?

KHH: Would you like to tell us?

NP: But not the drugs, Iíve never touched drugs, I was certainly, well, I was youthful, so I had a little bit of sexual experience.

KHH: Did you?

JG: I just love the way, I love the way, I love the way Nicholas went ďI was part of the sceneĒ. Itís just...

NP: I actually was, I think it was a very exciting time. Iíll tell you something else about the 60s...

TH: Tell us in a minute without deviating, hesitating or repeating.

NP: The swinging 60s was a very exciting time to be alive. There was sex and there was rock and roll, and lots of other things. But there was a great deal of love around. People were giving out to each other. There was the flower people and so forth like that. Also all sorts of things were happening at that particular time. We were getting rid of archaic and arcane attitudes and behaviours. You know, the Wolfenden Report came out and that was, made consenting adults of a different sex acceptable. There were also wonderful cabaret shows, sophisticated comedy. It was an amazing time to be alive. Everybody was giving out, they were growing...


NP: You challenged me Gyles?

GB: We were almost there.

NP: You were almost there? Yes I got to 57 seconds. I also met Gyles Brandreth in the swinging 60s, didnít i?

GB: You did.

NP: Yes.

GB: Indeed, I was getting on to that when i was talking about the party that I went to.

NP: You had the challenge and there is three seconds to go Gyles starting now.

GB: Marianne Faithful slept in my bed. Maddeningly, I was elsewhere at the time. That was...


NP: I donít know how we score that particular round because for once the chairman joined in. And this was to be the last round and indeed it is, and Gyles brought it to an end in style and got that extra point for doing so. Let me give you the final situation. Janey Godley who contributes so marvellously, but she only did finish in a wonderful fourth place. She was only a couple of points behind our third placed who was Kit Hesketh-Harvey. He was, and he was only one point behind our second place, which was Tony Hawks. So obviously you enjoyed the contribution that they all gave. But this time, poetic justice, because last time if you remember, no, you wouldnít remember...

GB: I donít want this, I donít want this, this is too big for me.

NP: No no no...

GB: Iíd like to share this victory with Tony.

NP: Gyles is referring to...

GB: The McCartneys might not be able to sort things out, but Tony and I, Tony and I have come to an amicable agreement that whenever we appear on this programme together, we will be equal winners!

NP: I must explain to our listeners, the last time we were in Kingís Lynn, which of course a lot of people here wonít know about, only one point separated Tony Hawks and Gyles Brandreth so I put them together as equal winners. And Tony objected, so I had to get him a special round of applause as the winner by one point. So as we have poetic justice, and Gyles has beaten him, Tony, on this occasion, I think we should say Gyles is our genuine winner, a round of applause for him please! So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four intrepid and 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 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 Corn Exchange in Kingís Lynn who have cheered us on our way. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons and the panel, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!