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 huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme this week four exciting and talented players of this game. And they are, seated on my right it is always a pleasure to welcome that skilled exponent of Just A Minute, that great humorist, Paul Merton. And sitting beside him someone who has played the game more often than any of us, and that, because he was right at the beginning there, that's our veteran player of the game, Clement Freud. And seated on my left, it's a great pleasure to welcome back after quite an absence, a wonderful comedian who is up here actually at this festival and that is Ross Noble. And seated beside him, someone who has only played the game a couple of times before, but it is a pleasure to have him back on, an all round humorous personality, Phill Jupitus. Please welcome all four of them! Thank you! Beside me sits Trudi Stevens, who is going to help me keep the score, she will blow the whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Latitude Festival, at Henham Park in Suffolk near Southwold. And we have festival stalwarts in the audience who have just come from their camper vans in order to cheer us on our way, as we start the show with Paul Merton. Paul, a good subject. This is the Latitude Festival, would you talk on longitude, 60 seconds starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Longitude measures long and latitude measures Latin, or expensive coffees as we know them. Longitude was discovered by this film actress, Joan Crawford, in 1947. Before that, the measurement did not exist. Her close friend, Bette Davis, worked hard on the equilateral triangle, but she was beaten to the final formula by the magnificent box office star Clark Gable, who not only being a movie hero of the first rank, was also a first class mathematician...


NP: Oh! Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of first.

NP: There were two firsts there.

PM: Was there?

NP: Yes. A first movie actor and a first class.

PM: They came together, quite soon after the other.

NP: I know, I know, quite close.

PM: Shame that, wasn't it!

NP: It doesn't matter, we loved it, we loved it, completely surreal, utterly devious.

PM: No, it's all true!

NP: I'm sorry!

PM: Otherwise somebody would have buzzed me.

NP: Clement you had a correct challenge, you get a point for that of course and there are 35 seconds still available for longitude starting now.

CF: Longitude is what you do when you pine for someone. You sit there wandering when he is going to return. Poor sod, he...


NP: Phill challenged.

PHILL JUPITUS: You sit there wandering? Surely you can't sit and wander, you either wander or you sit?

NP: I think, I think he was saying...

PM: You could have your chair on casters!

NP: I thought he was trying to say wondering. Werenít you?

PJ: Then I apologise, the batteries in my hearing aid obviously need replacing.

ROSS NOBLE: He might be...

CF: Your apology is accepted.

NP: Just a second, what are you saying Clement?

CF: The apology is accepted.

NP: So Clement, an incorrect challenge, you get a point for that, you keep the subject, 27 seconds Clement, still with longitude starting now.

CF: As for latitude which are lines going the other way from longitude, it is also a festival at Henham near Blyborough, not far from Southwold and Graydon, adjacent...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Have we suddenly wandered away from longitude at this point?

CF: No.

PM: Because we are talking about latitude in some detail.

NP: I think you're right.

PM: Yes I think I'm right as well.

NP: It was latitude, the Latitude Festival, and giving us the location of it and in great detail. Because he knows it, he knows the area well. So I give you that, what was it, yes, um, I was trying to get...

PJ: Would you like your tea now?

NP: Would you like a punch now? Right so...

PJ: Yes! Yes I would!

NP: ... correct challenge for deviation. Paul you've got the subject back, you've got 15 seconds, longitude starting now.

PM: It was spen...


NP: Oh Ross you've challenged.

RN: Sorry I just wanted to see you punch Phill!

NP: It was nice to hear from you though.

RN: Yeah! Hi! Hello there!

PJ: Me and Nicholas do our part of a BBC fight club. It's ourselves, me, James Naughtie, Nicholas, Eddie Grundy from The Archers, stripped to the waist at a cellar in Brixton, punching billy-oh out of each other! It's splendid!

NP: You keep the subject, longitude and there are 13 seconds starting now.

PM: It was Spencer Tracy's lengthy thesis on the origins...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: That's quite far away from longitude.

NP: Quite a long way.

PM: Exploring! His thesis on the origins of longitude.

NP: No, no, you're going back to your old films and everything like that at which of course you are an expert and very knowledgeable. But you had him for deviation, so right, only fair and just, he has got you for deviation. Clement you have got the subject back of longitude and there are 10 seconds starting now.

CF: I had a friend called Longitude, she was really nice, lived in Lowestoft...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: What was his first name? This friend of yours! In your own time, Clement! When he phones, what do you say?

CF: Longy!

PM: Longy! I withdraw my challenge!

NP: It's too late, he was interrupted.

PM: Yes that's true! I didn't know his first name.

NP: He keeps the subject still, still with longitude, still with you Clement, five seconds starting now.

CF: On a map you can see lines which go left to right and up and down. One of these is called longitude...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud and at the end of that round he is in a strong lead, ahead of all the others. Clement we'd like you to begin the second round and the subject is facing the music, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

CF: In the 1980s I wrote lyrics to a song called There May Be Trouble Ahead. But while there are pancakes and muffins in Betty's cafe in Harrogate, let's face the music and dance. And it had been written before by somebody...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of written.

NP: Yes, no, he wrote the first time.

CF: I wrote.

NP: He wrote.

PM: Oh did he?

CF: Yes.

NP: He wrote the first time and then he said written.

PM: Oh right.

NP: Yes. Oh yes. I have to listen and Clement, incorrect challenge, you've still got the subject, you've got 44 seconds, facing the music starting now.

CF: There are other things you can do to music, like kick it...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There was a slight hesitation.

NP: Yes there was a definite hesitation, um...

CF: I'd said all I have to say on the subject.

PJ: But Clement was waiting for the crowd to go "yes you can"!

NP: Paul a correct challenge to you and it is now the subject, facing the music, 38 seconds starting now.

PM: If you are a professional conductor, you are obliged to face the music, otherwise you don't know what the band is playing. If you look...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Couldn't you just listen?

PM: No you've got to do the waving of the stick.

RN: Yeah but you'd hear what they were playing.

PM: Yeah but you can't fix the first violinist with that stare that says "come in now"!

NP: Ross...

RN: You could have mirrors, you could have like wing mirrors that are stuck out the side and then you could wave over your...

NP: Ross I think you've got a good challenge for deviation, because obviously if he can hear it he must know what the music is.

RN: Yeah.

NP: If he doesn't hear it, he couldn't conduct it, could he. So I give you your challenge of deviation.

PM: You have just reversed 300 years of musical practice where a conductor faces the orchestra.

NP: A conductor has to listen to the music...

PM: No you're right.

NP: He has to give them the beat and the time.

PM: Yeah you're quite right.

NP: Right?

PM: Yeah absolutely right, excellent chairman!

NP: Right.

PM: Best chairman we've got, absolutely excellent!

NP: It's the only chairman you've got!

PM: That's what I mean.

NP: Anyway Ross, a correct challenge for deviation and you have 32 seconds, tell us something about facing the music starting now.

RN: For many years I worked as a professional concert conductor and I introduced a new system of mirrors which I would attach to the back of my head. It was unorthodox at the time...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well deviation, you wouldn't call yourself a professional concert conductor, you'd be a professional conductor but you're not a professional concert conductor. The word concert is completely erroneous.

RN: No no, I only did concerts! Yeah! Because what I found was when I tried to conduct buskers they got really angry!

PM: Did you have your back to them?

RN: I did, yeah! And that's the first, first rule of being in the music business, never turn your back on a busker!

PM: Yeah!

NP: Ross I think you've justified that it was an incorrect challenge, you keep the subject and youíve got 22 seconds to continue on facing the music starting now.

RN: If you intend to face the music it helps if you have a massive face. There are many famous big faced musicians in the world, I won't mention them now, because if they were to come round and say "hey have you been accusing me of having quite a massive visage?" then they might attack me and the head-butt would be terrifying as they came out. Bang, flinging me hundreds of yards. That's why I always keep my back...


NP: Well Ross Noble kept going magnificently with facing the music till the end of the round, got that point, the extra point for the whistle going. And he's equal now with Paul Merton in second place, still in the lead Clement Freud. And Phill Jupitus it's your turn to begin and the subject end of the pier. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PJ: When I was at the Radio Four Fight Club the other day and punched to the ground by James Naughtie, as I landed I found myself thinking of the wonderful Southend Pier. Ah the lengthiest pleasure pier...


NP: Ross Noble challenged.

RN: I've been at Southend, it's not wonderful! It's anything but wonderful!

PJ: I'll have none of that! You're wrong on so many levels.

RN: It's got a long long, essentially it's just...

PJ: I give you a Narnia poking out to the sea.

RN: You know what it is? It's a, it's a never-ending bridge of chavs!

NP: Right, everybody has a different interpretation and a different appreciation of things. You like Southend Pier, he hates it, it doesn't matter, you were not deviating.

PJ: What do you think of Southend, Nicholas?

NP: Well as piers go, I think it's fine, but as places go, there's many I'd prefer. You've still got end of the pier Phill Jupitus...

PJ: Yes.

NP: And you've got your first point as well which is great and you've got 51 seconds to continue starting now.

PJ: The West Pier in Brighton is one that they tried to demolish some years ago by means of explosives which were laid at the base pillars and then set off. Some miles away in Shoreham, a lady was awoken when a bolt shot into the wall of her house. Imagine her surprise to find such a rusty object poking out into the garden! Where, oh where could that have come from, thought she, let alone...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of where.

NP: Where, yes. Paul yes a correct challenge, a repetition of where and it's the end of the pier, the subject with you and 27 seconds available starting now.

PM: The end of the pier as the focus for show business entertainment has gone down over the years. Max Miller was a very famous concert, he used to often play at the end of the pier. He used to say things like my wife is...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of used to.

NP: Yes, he used to play at the end of the pier, used to say.


PM: Has someone just been taken off the life support? What's going on?

NP: That actually is the game, you know! And I know you get disappointed because you...

PM: Let's try it without any challenges at all! And see if it lasts 40 years!

NP: Then you'd have to be funnier, wouldn't you!

PM: Yes!

NP: There we are!

PJ: You're a spiky little thing! Have you had Expresso today!

NP: Yes I did before I came on. I have to have something to keep me going with you lot! Especially you! Right there we are, he's twisting my arm already! Eighteen seconds, Clement, it was a correct challenge, you have the subject, end of the pier, 18 seconds starting now.

CF: The end of the peer, what we call the reorganisation of the House of Lords, is actually long overdue. It seems to me absolutely disgraceful that people by virtue of their birth should have some say in how this country is governed. And the sooner we can get rid of peers in general and...


NP: Well Clement's party political broadcast kept him going till the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And he has increased his lead at the end of the round, just ahead of Paul Merton, Ross Noble and then Phill Jupitus in that order. Paul we're back with you to start and the subject now is Suffolk punch. Tell us something about Suffolk punch in this game Paul starting now.

PM: Suffolk punch is not to be confused with a Glasgow kiss or a Great Yarmouth yawn. Suffolk punch has every alcoholic drink imaginable in it. First of all you start with gin, then a bit of vodka, whisky, then perhaps being a bit more adventurous we go into red wine, yocka, a bit of white wine, a cabernet sauvignon. And then as a final piece de resistance you put in a big...


NP: Clement Freud you challenged.

CF: Two wines and three thens.

NP: Yes. Yes.

PM: Is this not the wine and then show? I've been double booked.

NP: No we let him go for a bit because we were enjoying it. Well done Clement, you have a correct challenge, you get a point for that, you take over the subject which is Suffolk punch, there are 36 seconds available and you start now.

CF: A Suffolk punch is a heavy horse like a persiaran which ears a huge amount of grass. I once tried to purchase a Suffolk punch because I am deeply fond of the animals and was told that two acres of land was the absolute minimum which I must have in order not to be accused of starvation of these beasts.


CF: Has the clock stopped?

NP: No no no no...

PM: I thought time had stood still, didn't you?

CF: Yeah!

PM: Felt like it, didn't it?

NP: You just ran out of steam. And there are 12 seconds still available Ross...

RN: Oh yes.

NP: You have a correct challenge so you take over the subject, you get a point for a correct challenge of course, Suffolk punch starting now.

RN: When Nicholas Parsons used to work as a bare-knuckled boxer, his signature manoeuvre was the Suffolk punch. He would travel around the land, and in whichever place he was in, he would make some kind of action, for example the Wessex...


NP: Whoever is speaking in this game when the whistle goes gains an extra point, and of course it was Ross Noble on that occasion. So Ross you begin the next round please, oh yes, specially chosen for you, down under. Because we know that you live in Australia most of the time now, but talk on the subject, 60 seconds starting now.

RN: Of course down under refers to Australia, a magnificent place with...


NP: Phill challenged.

PJ: Australia is not magnificent. It's a dusty arid lager-stenched...

RN: Australia? Southend?

PJ: And it's all itís gone...

NP: I'm afraid I have to point out, you haven't come on the show to argue geographical points.

PJ: Apparently I have!

NP: Right, anyway you made your geographical point, it was an incorrect challenge, and Ross has still got the subject, down under and there are 57 seconds available starting now.

RN: There are loads of great places you can visit, Brisbane, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville, Cairns, Darwin. You can go to Port Headland, Carrara, Carnavan, Bumbury, Albury. You can see the magnificent... I said magnificent twice.


RN: I was doing so well. Actually I was just listing off last yearís tour dates! I thought...

NP: Yes and I know you toured them all. So Phill you challenged first, yes hesitation, well spotted, 41 seconds starting now.

PJ: Do you...

NP: Sorry I didn't remind you of the subject which is what I normally do. So Phill yes, correct challenge...

PJ: What's the subject?

NP: Down under.

PJ: Thank God!

NP: And you have 41 seconds starting now.

PJ: Do you come from a land down under where women glow and men chunder? An anthem to life in Australia. Indeed thinking of those ladies themselves giving off some kind of radiation, accompanied by gentlemen who are vomiting profusely. That to me defines the various essence of the Antipodes largest island. When I personally think of there, I visited Melbourne some years ago to perform at a comedy festival where the audience was generally welcoming. But on occasion when I vented my feelings about the country, they became hostile, throwing their tinnies and stubbies in my direction. How dare you posit about our wonderful...


NP: Right so Phill Jupitus was speaking as the whistle went, and gained that extra point and he went for over 40 seconds on that one. Well done! And he's still in fourth place. It's a cruel game, isn't it. He's only one point behind Ross Noble and Paul Merton who are equal in second place and then Clement Freud just ahead of them. Paul we're back with you to start and the subject now is listeners' letters. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: I don't know how many listeners write into the programme to complain about various aspects or to praise...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: A lot!

NP: Paul you have the subject and you have listeners' letters and you have 56 seconds starting now.

PM: I know that Nicholas often tells me that he receives letters addressed to the programme. But what he doesn't know is that I write them all. I am Mavis from Broadstairs who says "my dear Nicholas, I often wonder if..."


NP: Phill challenged.

PJ: Repetition of Nicholas.


NP: Yes. Yes, Nicholas. Ooohh! I've never had that reaction for my name before. Rather enjoyable. Nicholas! Phill correct challenge.

PJ: Thank you my friend.

NP: And there are 44 seconds available, you take over listenersí letters starting now.

PJ: What kind of person is it hunched over their wireless listening to every single outpouring of wisdom from...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hunchback! What kind of person is it listens hunched over their wireless!

NP: It doesn't matter what the state of your anatomy is, you could still hunch over your wireless and listen to it. Mind you wirelesses are so good these days, you don't have to. You could stand a distance back and hear it, 37 seconds, listeners' letters with you still Phill starting now.

PJ: What on earth is it that they can be thinking about, these shows that drives them to their word processors, their pens, their very...


PJ: Ohhh!

NP: Oh yes Clement challenged.

CF: Their.

NP: Their, their was the same.

PJ: Yep yep.

NP: Small words but still part of the show, right. Clement, another point to you, 30 seconds, listenersí letters starting now.

CF: Every month of the year, each week of the day, I don't get...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Each week of the day.

NP: Each week of the day. I think that was deviation from language as we understand it, in the sense that it's the days of the week and not the weeks of the day.

CF: Well...

PJ: What if Clement is a Time Lord?

CF: Wait for it.

NP: No no, we have to be as logical as we can in this game Clement...

CF: Really?

NP: Otherwise we're not going to get anywhere yes.

CF: This is new!

PM: Did you not get the newsletter?

CF: Let's have you being logical then!

NP: Right! Now we're trying to carry on in a logical way and Paul you've got a correct challenge and the subject, 24 seconds available, listeners' letters starting now.

PM: Dear Just A Minute, I was listening to the recent episode from the Festival and I heard this dull thumping bass note in the background. If you are going to resuscitate Nicholas during the show, please do not do it...


NP: Ross you challenged.

RN: Repetition of Nicholas.

NP: No he didn't say Nicholas.

RN: Yes he said it before.

NP: Oh yes, right at the beginning you said dear Nicholas.

RN: Yahhh.

NP: Well there's two things, first of all, we give...

RN: That was me going yahhh, it wasn't a cow wandering in!

NP: Paul the audience enjoyed what you said so much we give you a bonus point for the reaction you had. And I should explain to our listeners before we go any further that we are at this festival, here, Latitude, and there are other shows going on all round us, and there is a thumping bass going somewhere. It is not my pacemaker.

CF: Nicholas?

NP: Yeah?

CF: If you're giving points for reaction, I had quite a reaction on that ah...

NP: Which one?

CF: Oh all along!

NP: All right, I'm always fair. I don't think up to now you've deserved an extra bonus but we give you one for that audience reaction you had just then.

CF: Thank you.

NP: But Ross you had a correct challenge and you have...

RN: I've forgotten what it was now, or what we were talking about! Or why we're here!

NP: Thirteen seconds are still available, Ross you had a correct challenge, the subject as you've forgotten it already is listeners' letters starting now.

RN: I read a lot of listeners' letters, I get the names and addresses from the Radio Four database, go round to their houses, and just steal them. Oh the things that you can find in other people's mail! It's quite good yes. Sometimes you'll find that they've won a competition from the...


NP: Phill challenged.

PJ: Repetition of find.

NP: Yes, you went round to find the letters and now you find they've won a competition.

RN: Did I?

NP: Well listened Phill, right and you've got in with two seconds to go. Two seconds Phill starting now.

PJ: I think that when listeners' letters...


NP: Oh! Ross challenged.

RN: Repetition of when. He said when before.

NP: I know he did, you're quite right.

PJ: I didn't say when, I said I think that listeners' letters...

NP: No but when you were speaking previously.

PJ: Did I?

NP: Yes.

RN: Yeah.

NP: You did definitely.

RN: You said when.

PJ: Wow!

NP: Wow and Ross you've got in with half a second to go on listeners' letters starting now.

RN: I like...


NP: Oh we're moving into the final round. And I will give you the situation as we go into the final round and it's all very close because they're all equally talented and they deserve to be so. But if you're interested to know the actual score, Phill is only just in fourth place, one behind Paul Merton. And he is one behind Ross Noble and he is two behind Clement Freud who is still in the lead as we go into the final round. And it is to begun by Clement Freud. And it is rather apt, a camping trip. Will you talk about a camping trip in this game starting now.

CF: Camping is as audiences will know is in the south of China where ahoiseng sauce is produced almost nationally, if not city-wide and all over the town. The sauce which I've mentioned before...


CF: ... which somebody should challenge me for.

NP: Paul challenged. Paul yes?

PM: Repetition of sauce.

NP: Yes there was too much sauce I'm afraid, Clement, there.

CF: Really? How did you pick it up?

PM: I don't know, I suddenly tuned into what you were saying and then suddenly it was there!

NP: It was there, right. The sauce was there and there are 45 seconds still available Paul, and you take over, a camping trip starting now.

PM: Well it's looking as if this festival here is going to go on to a marvellous strange... I don't know what I'm talking about!


NP: Ross you've challenged.

RN: I'll have that!

NP: All right, we call that hesitation and um, 41 seconds are available, a camping trip with you Ross starting now.

RN: The best way to enjoy a camping trip is to take LSD with Dale Winton. It really is both a trip, and incredibly camp! That's right! What you'll find is that his skin, already orange as it is, will get more and more vivid...


NP: Clement challenged.

RN: More and more! You idiot!

NP: More and more, it's so natural to say, but so wrong in Just A Minute. Clement you were the first to get in and you've got a camping trip back with you and there are 26 seconds Clement starting now.

CF: A tent is quite important. Also marquees and other bits of um whatever...


NP: Ross challenged.

RN: Ah there was an um.

NP: There was a definite um which we call hesitation, so a camping trip is back...

CF: You could have waited, I would have got another word out!

NP: Yeah but you did actually say un which is a definite hesitation.

CF: Did I say um?

NP: Um, you said um.

PM: I thought he was tuning into the universal consciousness! Ummmmmm...

RN: If you'd followed it up with the word bongo, you could have pretended that you were asking for a lovely drink! They drink it in the Congo, you know.

NP: Right.

RN: That's all they drink, if you go to the Congo. Can I have some water? Haven't got any!

NP: You've got 19 seconds still on a camping trip starting now.

RN: What you can do is take your guy ropes and stretch them out unfeasibly long and you'll find that a camping trip ensues as people stumble around drunk in the festival environment will fall forward, flat down into the mud where they will leave an impression of their face. You can go along and use that as identification of the...


NP: So Ross Noble was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And now I'll give you the final score. Phill Jupitus who has not played the game as much as the others, but did extraordinarily well, but finished in a powerful fourth place. And Paul Merton, who usually excels, but he finished in a very strong second place. But we have two equal leaders so they are the joint winners, that is Clement Freud and Ross Noble. Thank you so much, oh yes yes! You have been a lovely lovely audience. It only remains for me to say now thank you to these four fine players of the game, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Phill Jupitus and Ross Noble. I thank Trudi Stevens, who has helped with the score, blown that whistle beautifully when the 60 seconds had elapsed. We thank our producer Tilusha Ghelani. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And as I said before, we are really indebted to you, this lovely audience in this wonderful marquee in this Festival of Latitude in Suffolk. From them, the audience, from me Nicholas Parsons and everyone else, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!