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 not only in this country but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show four highly talented and experienced and dynamic players of this game who once again are going to demonstrate their verbal dexterity, their ingenuity with language and humour as they try and speak on a subject that I give them and try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four talented people are, seated on my right Paul Merton and Sue Perkins. And seated on my left, Graham Norton and Tony Hawks. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Trudi Stevens, who is going to help me with the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Colston Hall, in that wonderful lovely city of Bristol. Which I know and love well, it's a great joy to be back here again. And Tony Hawks we are going to start the show on this particular subject which is discovering America. You tell us something about discovering America in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

TONY HAWKS: I first discovered America in 1972 when they came on the radio singing A Horse With No Name. Oh how I enjoyed their lovely little ditties. They had a follow up, Tin Man , I think it was called. And that was very good fun too. Then of course I went to the big place and learnt that it wasn't just the name of the band. It was in fact a huge...


NP: Paul challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Are you telling us that before, that you thought America was just the name of a band, that you'd never heard of it as a country.

NP: As a little tiny boy, watching his television, he could well have had that fantasy, couldn't he.

PM: Yeah.

GRAHAM NORTON: But then he got on a plane, to visit a band?

PM: Yeah.

NP: Yes that was his...

PM: He heard it on the radio!

NP: That was the purpose of visiting America. You say I'm going to America to visit my aunt or something.

PM: I thought he said he hadn't heard of America, the country.

TH: I think you'll find Nicholas understands me pretty well!

SUE PERKINS: That's got to make you pretty worried, right?

NP: Sue be careful please! No I think we will give the benefit of the doubt to Tony because I did understand his logic and I think it's perfectly justified. Benefit of the doubt anyway Tony, you still have the subject and another point, 36 seconds, discovering America starting now.

TH: My father has discovered America, lives there now with his new wife. And I'm fascinated by the difference between the British and Americans. They love telling you about all their problems, and we don't like listening to them when they do. This is one of the major...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Repetition of one.

NP: Oh yes, they like to tell you one...

SP: One was repeated.

NP: One this and one that. You tell us something about discovering America and there are 18 seconds available starting now.

SP: I didn't know that America existed before I spoke to Tony in advance of the show...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah was there a hesitation there.

NP: There was a stumble.

TH: Ah a stumble.

NP: And yes...

TH: We call it hesitation.

NP: Which we'll interpret as a hesitation.

TH: In this show.

NP: On this show. So it's a tough nail-biting show, isn't it.

PM: Don't ask that question, they might answer it "no"!

NP: Fourteen seconds, discovering America, Tony starting now.

TH: The early settlers that went over there on the Mayflower found a beach initially and beyond a large...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of went.

NP: They went, didn't they, they went before and you went.

GN: And I think the father went as well.

NP: Your father went. Don't look like that Tony, you know it's true!

TH: Look, that was silence from them.

NP: Because they know it's true! So Graham another point to you, six seconds, discovering America starting now.

GN: The thing about America is that like many of its residents, it's huge! So much bigger than you expect it to be. So when you...


NP: And nobody mentioned, I'm sure that was the reason, that it was put there, that John Cabot sailed from Bristol before Columbus, to discover some of America. But just a little bit of historical information.

PM: Did he not tell anybody?

NP: What's that?

PM: Did he keep it to himself?

NP: Well I think everybody here in Bristol knew that, didn't you?


NP: There you are. They don't get points, but you do. Graham you were speaking as the whistle went, another point to you, and you're now equal in the lead with Paul Merton, followed by the other two. And Paul we're back with you to begin and I'm a little nervous of this subject that has been thought of for him because it's Nicholas Parsons' Bristol relations, 60 seconds (Bristol accent) starting now. (normal voice) Sorry.


PM: I couldn't hear you, sorry.

NP: Tony Hawks, you challenged.

TH: Ah slight hesitation.

NP: It wasn't really fair because he didn't quite understand. I went into a Bristol accent to say start now, and he looked at me mystified.

SP: That was a Bristol accent?

NP: Yeah darling...

TH: I think there was no way he could possibly have known that that was you saying now.

NP: Right, I think to be fair, we will say that it wasn't a legitimate challenge and it didn't happen. We go back to 60 seconds, Nicholas Parsons' Bristol relations, Paul starting now.

PM: Nicholas Parsons' Bristol relations were a funny old lot. You can still see most of them hanging outside park benches drinking from cider bottles. They were a lovely robust family, I mock of course. Nicholas Parsons was the man who saw off the bloke that went to discover America from the seashore, he said "go, go back, and then return, and then go again..."


NP: Tony you've challenged.

TH: I think repetition of go.

NP: Yes I went too often, didn't I!

PM: Yeah.

SP: Can you imagine steering that vessel with those directions?

PM: Yes, left-hand down a bit.

NP: A correct challenge which is Nicholas Parsons' Bristol relations and there are 41 seconds starting now.

TH: We recorded a Just A Minute here in this magnificent city of Bristol several years ago, and Nicholas bored me in the bar afterwards, telling me all about his relations here in Bristol. I used that word to try and get a laugh, it didn't get one. He interested me greatly. And they were called the Maggs family and apparently they had a supermarket or store here. And I thought they...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of here.

NP: Yes. You could have had deviation, because they didn't have a store!

TH: Didn't they?

NP: My relations...

TH: Ooohhh! If I went on Mastermind, my specialist subject would not be your family!

NP: All right, we give you a bonus point because we enjoyed your joke Tony, but Graham Norton has a correct challenge and there are 18 seconds left for Nicholas Parsons' Bristol relations Graham starting now.

GN: I think we all know that Nicholas has had many relations in Bristol. You've heard the rumours, you've read the graffiti on walls. It's not a...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: You've heard, you've.

NP: You've heard, yes. Too many you'ves right. We're going to hear from everybody about Nicholas Parsons' Bristol relations from this team. I'm dreading what Sue is going to say but she has 10 seconds to embarrass me starting now.

SP: Nicholas comes from a long line of barrow boys and the good thing is he is so proud of his incredible heritage. There is nothing more that his ancestors liked to do or used to like to do... God!


NP: Tony you challenged first.

TH: Repetition of to do, to like to do.

NP: To do yes and you cleverly got in with half a second to go...

SP: Oh! The humanity!

NP: Nicholas Parsons' Bristol relations, half a second starting now.

TH: Lulu once...


NP: So in this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, and it was Tony Hawks. Incidentally my family is on my mother's side, by the way. They got the name right, Maggs. But it wasn't a barrow, it was B Maggs And Co which was a big store in Whiteladies Road.

GN: Is that the one that's shut now?

NP: Yes!

PM: It wasn't, that's how they...

NP: (Bristol accent) No I used to love coming down here and staying with my grandpa who used to talk like that...

GN: It's happened again!

NP: (Bristol accent) I've got a lot of cousins out here, I can tell you! Cheering us on today, half the noise you're hearing out there is coming from my family! Right! (normal voice) Tony...

GN: I feel like we're in one of those kind of American revival churches where they just start speaking in tongues every now and again.

SP: (gibberish)

GN: (gibberish)

SP: (gibberish) Oh my lover! (gibberish)

NP: (Bristol accent) Bristonians do speak very rapidly like that, they do talk like that sometimes.

SP: Are your family related to Worzel Gummidge?

NP: Oh they are mean, aren't they. Absolutely and I apologise to all of them who are listening at this particular moment.

GN: Who were listening!

NP: Sue would you take the next round or start the next round. The subject now is mutton dressed as lamb. And there are 60... there's nothing personal in these things, don't look at me like that.

SP: Completely fine! But if the next subject you take out is a pig in knickers, you're in real trouble!

NP: Sixty seconds Sue, mutton dressed as lamb starting now.

SP: The first time somebody said to me I looked like mutton dressed as lamb, I was indeed wearing the pelt of a three year old Herdwick sheep. And thus the comparison was accurate. The second time however I was...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of time.

PM: Yes.

NP: First time, second time.

GN: Oh yes!

NP: Tony you're back in, 50 seconds still available, tell us something further about mutton dressed as lamb starting now.

TH: I've always thought it's particularly unfair, this expression. Mutton dressed as lamb is mainly used to describe women. Men too are exhibiting this on a regular basis, particularly old rock stars, who cannot accept that they are 60 or plus years old and will have ridiculous...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Sorry he's 60 or plus years old? What's plus, that's not...

TH: Well, 61 would be plus one year.

PM: That's 60 and plus, 60 and plus, not 60 or plus.

NP: No that's, that I think is deviation from English as we understand it.

PM: Yes.

NP: Sixty or plus.

PM: It's the most devious thing we've ever had! Yeah!

TH: I don't think there's ever been a pickier challenge!

NP: No but what I do, Tony, I gave you the benefit of the doubt...

TH: Yes you're redressing it now.

NP: And now I'm redressing the balance.

TH: I knew it!

NP: I have to listen...

TH: I knew I had that horrible redressing thing...

NP: ... and also remember when I give benefits. So Paul I think we give you the benefit of the doubt on this occasion and you have the subject and 30 seconds available, mutton dressed as lamb starting now.

PM: If you go to a rather dodgy restaurant you might find lamb on the menu, but actually what is being served from the kitchen is mutton. And I was in such an establishment the other day and I said to the head chef, I marched into the kitchen and I said "excuse me, you are not..."


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Repetition of said.

NP: Oh yes. Said and then he marched in and said again.

PM: Yes.

NP: Right so Sue you were listening well, 18 seconds still available, mutton dressed as lamb starting now.

SP: Turn up to any Croydon night-club in the hours of 11 to one o'clock and I guarantee you will find there such visual treats. Women displaying themselves in all forms of manmade fibres, barely concealing their capacious...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well I don't know, are we deviating slightly from mutton dressed as lamb when we are talking about manmade fibres?

NP: No no no, she was describing the clothes and some of them happened to be manmade fibres...

PM: Yes.

NP: I had this image...

PM: Do you?

NP: People...

GN: You're liking Sue's story, aren't you, Nicholas? You want her to keep going!

NP: No I don't particularly...

TH: When you finish this image, can you pass it round to us?

NP: No, benefit of the doubt I think to Sue, you were illustrating quite well, there was a lot of mutton dressed as lamb at that night-club, and you have five seconds Sue, to continue on mutton dressed as lamb starting now.

SP: Boobs like space hoppers, there's nothing wrong with that...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: That's not true, boobs don't like space hoppers! They see them as rivals!

NP: So what is your, what is your challenge Paul?

PM: It's deviation.

NP: She was trying to give an exaggerated description of someone...

SP: It's not exaggerated, Nicholas.

NP: Well, I'm not going to argue on that one Sue. No, benefit of the doubt Sue, you were giving a description in order to get a laugh and you achieved it. Paul gets a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption, you were interrupted you get a point, you keep mutton dressed as lamb and there are two seconds starting now.

SP: And these females are magnificent and nothing short of...


NP: So on that occasion Sue Perkins was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And she's moved forward, she's in second place. Tony's still in the lead and then it's Sue and then Paul and then Graham, in that order. Graham will you begin the next round.

GN: I'd love to.

NP: The subject, Adam's apple. Tell us something about Adam's apple starting now.

GN: Of course Adam's apple is a bit of a misnomer because it was in fact Eve's. She was the one who wandered over to the tree, and then thought "oh no, there's an orange over there that looks much nicer, I'll give that idiot this apple!" And then he ate it and it stuck in his throat, forming this lump which some men have, called an Adam's apple. It's very handy, if you're, no, I'd better not talk...


NP: Sue Perkins challenged.

GN: Thank you, whoever buzzed in!

NP: Yeah, difficult subject to keep going.

GN: And my career on radio!

NP: Hesitation, a point to you, 38 seconds available, Adam's apple starting now.

SP: I thought what happened is that Adam coughed and out of his throat popped an huge lump that resembled an apple where...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Did she say an huge?

GN: It's an hotel.

TH: That's true. I was just wanting to congratulate her on her grammatical accuracy. Not enough people say an huge. Well done Sue!

SP: Thank you. Thank you.

NP: That's a clever way of getting out of it Tony. Right, Sue, 32 seconds, Adam's apple starting now.

SP: The apple flew through the air, whereupon it was caught by a snake, which despite having no opposable thumb, managed to fend said object perfectly, whereupon Eve...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: What's fend something perfectly mean?

SP: Well ask the an huge man over there!

TH: I will do a mime which will be good for radio.

NP: Are you, are you suggesting she should have said fend off, rather than fend?

GN: I'm saying, one, you don't need an opposable thumb to do that, you just do that. I see no use of thumb.

NP: I should explain to our listeners that they're gesticulating with their hands and pressing out like that to the audience.

SP: Yeah but...

GN: That's clear now!

SP: For instance if you were to go down the docks, and someone was to put a hessian bag over your head, you would need an opposable thumb to fend them off successfully.

PM: Yeah.

NP: Yeah fend off.

PM: Yeah.

GN: Fend them off, but I wouldn't fend it.

NP: You wouldn't fend it.

GN: You've got to fend them off. Yes Nicholas, you've got to fend them off, she was speaking rubbish! You're right Nicholas, you're right.

TH: Yeah.

NP: I know.

TH: Sue there's no more I can do for you! This is going against you, I can see it.

NP: Sue you've had two benefits of the doubt...

SP: Is that what you're calling them?

NP: Graham has it on this occasion, fend off rather than fend and there are 23 seconds, Adam's apple back with you Graham starting now.

GN: I'd forgotten all about the snake, so I'm rather glad that Sue reminded me that there was a serpent involved in the story of Adam's apple, though of course as I said earlier, the woman in the... place...


NP: Sue, Sue challenged.

SP: There seems to be a point where Graham talks about the woman where he just hesitates.

NP: I know!

SP: Oh I don't know what happened to her! She's a good-for-nothing!

GN: No I thought that I'd said garden before, I couldn't repeat that.

NP: So um Sue, having him for hesitation?

SP: Yes.

NP: Correct.

SP: I'll have him for anything! He knows that!

NP: Right, 12 seconds, Adam's apple with you Sue starting now.

SP: Eve perchance took on the apple which sadly...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of Eve.

NP: You didn't mention Eve before, did you?

SP: I did.

NP: Oh well honesty...

GN: Yeah.

SP: I'm a fool to myself admitting it, but I feel I must be honourable after...

NP: So Paul we're going to hear from you on Adam's apple, 10 seconds starting now.

PM: My friend Adam Sapple is a marvellous person and he actually has an Adam's apple in his throat which makes him like many other men who worked the earth. When I first met...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's moved forward, he's in third place still. Tony's out in the lead, then Sue, Paul and Graham in that order. And Tony we'd like you to begin the next round and the subject now is whales, 60 seconds starting now.

TH: When I was first told that whales are mammals, I was staggered. They look so unlike them to me anyway. But apparently as they breathe through their blowholes, that's the category they get. I am one...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Is that how mammals are classified then? You've got a blowhole, mammal!

TH: No, they breathe air, you see.

PM: Well we're mammals and we don't have blowholes. Or have we?

NP: We have got blowholes but we don't talk about them.

SP: If you don't talk about them, then how do we know we are mammals, Nicholas?

PM: Yeah.

NP: I think the whole thing...

TH: Look, it's Just A Minute, it's not a bloody biology show!

PM: What sort of education did you have? When I first heard about whales, when I was first told about America. Did you go to school?

SP: You were shocked to learn they were mammals?

TH: Yes I was shocked to learn they were mammals.

GN: No, in fairness Sue, they do look like big fish.

TH: Thank you Graham.

GN: No they do. I'll give him that

SP: The idea of fish...

TH: So when you were told they were mammals, you went "I knew that all along"?

NP: What Sue's saying...

TH: See! Look at the way he runs after the ball when I throw it!

SP: The thing is though, if you chuck an Adam's apple at a whale, it will fend it.

NP: I think they've all four contributed so much in that round, in that little bit of sequence there, they all deserve bonus points. It won't make any difference...

GN: Hurrah! A point!

TH: It doesn't make any difference if we all get them.

NP: I like to reward their presence and their ingenuity. Right Tony we allow you to keep the subject and there are 44 seconds, whales starting now.

TH: I first went to Wales in 19...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of first.

PM: I first heard.

TH: Yes.

NP: I first heard, the first time you went. Right so Graham, well listened, 42 seconds available, whales starting now.

GN: the first time I saw a whale, I thought to myself, oh, aren't there a lot of calories in plankton? Because it really must be quite rich, I'm thinking, to grow into something that big on food you can't actually see. It must be pure, the word I said before...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of pure.

NP: Pure yes.

GN: Did I say pure twice?

NP: Yes you did.

GN: Did I? How interesting.

NP: Well you're so pure yourself.

GN: Yes I am.

NP: That's why it comes naturally to mind. Twenty-five seconds Tony, whales starting now.

TH: Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor, the last...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: None of them have blowholes!

PM: I don't know, have you ever been to Swansea?

NP: You're quite right, well, they might have as far as we know.

TH: Yeah. They might have, they might be called night-clubs.

NP: Sue we loved your interjection so we give you a bonus point for that, but eh wasn't deviating from the subject of Wales, because those are all places in Wales, and you have Tony, 22 seconds starting now.

TH: How I love to go to the Breckonbeacons where one can pass a very pleasurable 45 minutes, strolling around down there. Sometimes longer should one feel so inclined...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There was a repetition of one.

NP: One yes, yes repetition of one. Twelve seconds are still available for you Paul on Wales starting now.

PM: Here's a nice joke. How do you weigh whales? You go to a whale-weigh station! And if you're a five year-old boy or a similarly aged girl, you would find that immensely amusing...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of weigh.

NP: What? Of whale?

TH: Weigh.

GN: Weigh. Repetition of weigh.

NP: Weigh? How do...

GN: How do you weigh whales? You go to a whale-weigh station.

PM: Yeah that's the joke.

GN: No, I'm just saying, I understand the joke wouldn't be very funny if you didn't use the word weigh again.

PM: How do you weigh a whale? Well you get a really big sort of... device and put it on.

GN: I'm here to learn Paul.

TH: Don't come on this show and tell jokes! God!

NP: Graham, two seconds, whales starting now.

GN: Whales are...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Oh hesitation, wasn't that! You could have made a ham sandwich then in that hesitation.

NP: All right, we enjoyed Paul's interjection, give him a bonus point. You get a point because you were interrupted Graham, whales and one second left starting now.

GN: Fish of an enormous size...


NP: So Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went, has leapt forward and he's in second place, equal with Sue Perkins and Paul Merton and they're trailing Tony Hawks. And that is the situation as we move into the final round. I don't know why I've suddenly gone into this dramatic voice. I suppose it's a natural actor in me that suddenly wanted to bring a sense of tension and drama into the situation.

TH: There's a natural actor in you?

PM: Yeah. For God's sake, let him out!

NP: So we fool around, we have fun and that's what the show is all about.

GN: I don't care what you do!

NP: And we're having more fun now as we move into the final round. And Sue would you start it, well it's your turn actually.

SP: You don't need to be so clinical, Nicholas.

NP: There is 60 seconds as usual and the subject is how's your father. That's the subject, tell us something about it Sue, starting now.

SP: The first time Nicholas mentioned how's your father, I was surprised bearing in mind I had no idea he knew the elderly gentleman in question. I replied "he's very well, barring a slightly dodgy hip that keeps him awake at night with shards of pain coursing through his left-hand side". However as the silver fox, Nicholas Parsons, looked at me with that sinister...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of Nicholas.

NP: Yes we had the Nicholas before.

PM: Is, this silver fox business? Do you get the nickname because you root around dustbins late at night?

SP: And he emits a very very piercing mating cry!

PM: We've all heard that!

SP: Yeah!

NP: Paul you know you can make those remarks about me and get away with it, because the audience love it and I enjoy the laughter as well. So we give you a bonus point. At my expense, it's a test of a sense of humour.

PM: Yes.

NP: I should show you how generous I am, Paul, it's a bonus point for that joke you made. Right...

SP: If you're giving away retrospective points, I thought I was robbed in Leeds, two years ago!

NP: If it wasn't neck and neck in the scores, I'd give you one Sue. I'd give you... oh this show, it gets to you after a time.

SP: I would speak, but there's just a little bit of sick in my mouth!

NP: Again Sue, I will display my generosity and the fact that I can take a joke. Give Sue a bonus point as well. Tony has the subject, how's your father, 41 seconds starting now.

TH: The last time I was in Bristol recording Just A Minute, Nicholas and I went out after the show looking for a bit of how's your father. Went straight down to the harbour, was distracted by some whales, I said "they're mammals", he said "get away! Look at the size of that blowhole..."


NP: Wait a minute, Sue you challenged first.

SP: I thought there was some hesitation creeping in.

NP: No! Sue really!

GN: Oh for heaven's sake Sue!

NP: That was too keen!

SP: That was not forthcoming, forthcoming.

NP: Forthcoming yes.

SP: Forthcoming.

TH: The way you're going, you're going to come fourth!

SP: Yeah!

GN: I, I believe that's my job!

NP: No Sue, it was a good try but it was incorrect so Tony still has the subject, how's your father, 26 seconds starting now.

TH: Yesterday somebody came up to me and asked me how my father was. How is your father, they said. It was magnificent, the delivery. It was a Welsh accent, doesn't matter, irrelevant to the story but filling time...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Well if it's irrelevant it must be a deviation.

PM: Yes yes!

GN: Must be! Surely!

NP: I think that's what we call a clever challenge. So Graham you have the subject, there are 15 seconds available, how's your father starting now.

GN: How's your father? Obviously I can't go round everyone individually, there are one thousand seven hundred people here. Some fathers probably aren't very well. Some are fabulous, some might be here...


GN: Oh some, I've said that a lot, haven't I. It's almost as if I've forgotten the rules!

NP: Repetition of some, well listened Tony, another point to you, and six seconds available, how's your father starting now.

TH: I believe that the expression came from the music hall comedian Harry Tait, who used to say how's your father at...


NP: Well Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And the final result is a very fair one, very interesting one actually, because they all gained a lot of points, they all gave tremendous value. But Paul Merton, Sue Perkins, and Graham Norton were equal, all of them in second place. And the man that the last time we were in Bristol, complained that he couldn't really...

GN: He was useless the last time! Do you remember! He was awful! Awful!

PM: I don't know why we had him back!

NP: Tony you had the most points so we say this week you are the winner. Thank you very much indeed, thank you, thank you! And so it only remains for me to say thank you to these fine players of the game, Paul Merton, Sue Perkins, Graham Norton and Tony Hawks. I thank Trudi Stevens, who has helped with the score, and blown her whistle so magnificently. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. We are grateful to our producer Tilusha Ghelani. And we are very grateful to this amazing audience in the Colston Hall here in Bristol, the home of my grandparents who have cheered us on our way magnificently. From this lovely audience here in Bristol, and from me Nicholas Parsons and the team, good-bye, thank you, and tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!