NOTE: Lynn Ferguson's only appearance.

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 in this country and of course around the world. But also to welcome to the show four talented, exciting, humorous personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And they are, seated on my right, we welcome back with great joy that outstanding comedian and great exponent of this game, Paul Merton. And seated beside him the veteran player of this game who has contributed so much with his erudition and wit over the years, that is Clement Freud. And seated on my left, we have, welcome back after some absence the man I call the voice of Scottish radio, a great humorist himself, that is Fred MacAulay. And seated beside Fred, somebody who has never played the game before, a lovely comedy actress and comedienne, that is Lynn Ferguson. Please welcome all four of them! Thank you! Beside me sits Sarah Sharpe, who is going to help me with the score, and blow a whistle when the 60 seconds is up. And as usual I'm going to ask them to speak on a subject I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Pleasance, a venue here during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. And we have an excited Fringe audience here yes. As we start the show with Paul Merton. Paul, oh very apt subject to begin the show, at the Edinburgh Festival. Tell us something about that subject in this game Paul starting now.

PAUL MERTON: At the Edinburgh Festival in the month of August is one of the most exciting places you can be on the planet earth. It's fantastic, you walk down the street, you see people doing all kinds of things, jugglers, mime artists, comedians, stand-up, all types of different people are out there doing marvellous things in the streets of Edinburgh...


NP: Fred MacAulay's challenged.

FRED MacAULAY: Edinburgh repeated.

NP: Edinburgh's on the card, Fred. You're allowed to repeat the words on the card.

FM: Oh dash! So sorry, that's a fundamental error. My apologies!

NP: It's all right, it's a while since you played the game. He did repeat something else, but it's too late now. I'm sorry. So Paul gets a point for an incorrect challenge, he keeps the subject, there are 45 seconds still available, at the Edinburgh Festival starting now.

PM: For the first time I came here in 1980, and I saw some dreadful shows put on together by medical students and other kinds of people learning their...


NP: Clement challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition of people.

NP: Yes you did have other people before.

PM: Did I?

NP: Yes, people in the street, on stilts...

PM: You're quite right.

NP: You did yeah.

PM: Best chairman we've got!

NP: So Clement, a correct challenge, a point to you, 35 seconds still available, at the Edinburgh Festival starting now.

CF: I went in for a competition in which you had to say which was the most important city in Scotland. And they gave Bristol, Brighton, Market Harborough and Edinburgh, for which I plumped and was allowed to spend a hundred and 12 pence or more if I had a mobile telephone. I said telephone before.


NP: I know. Paul you were the first to challenge.

PM: Repetition of telephone.

CF: Well done, well listened!

NP: Your observations are right, correct challenge Paul, another point to you, 13 seconds, at the Edinburgh Festival starting now.

PM: The great peoples of the world unite around this magnificent city and they say to each other we have not seen such spectacle, this is fantastic, it's better than Peterborough! And they're right!


NP: Whoever is speaking in this game when the whistle goes gains an extra point and it was of course Paul Merton who is in the lead at the end of that round. Lynn Ferguson will you begin the next round. Lovely one for you, I'm sure, my family tartan. Will you tell us something about your family tartan in this game starting now.

LYNN FERGUSON: Well I don't mean to boast but actually in my family we have several different varieties of tartan. There's ancient, there's er traditional, there's not so traditional...


LF: I've totally gone, I've hesitated, I've completely screwed up and I've repeated it again.

NP: And Paul you challenged first.

PM: Repetition of there's.

NP: There's, yes.

LF: Oh there's! Was that the only one that I repeated?

NP: Well it's enough darling to get the point. Anyway Paul, correct challenge, 45 seconds, will you tell us something about my family tartan starting now.

PM: My family tartan is a magnificent...


NP: Fred challenged.

FM: Deviation, he can't have a tartan.

PM: Why can't I have a tartan?

NP: Well actually, we don't know, he may have some Scottish ancestors somewhere way back in his um...

PM: I've got a lot of Irish ancestors.

NP: He's got Irish ancestors, and they, they have sort of, they have kilts anyway, I don't know whether they're called tartans over there. No it's a Scottish word, isn't it, right.

FM: This is a tough one to make a decision on.

NP: It's a tough one to make a decision on. I...

FM: Bearing in mind where you are!

NP: As Paul is a very generous player of this game and you haven't played it quite so much, I think I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say Fred, you take over the subject and I'm sure Paul will understand, and I'll try and redress the balance some time, he doesn't understand, oh what a pity! Right, 40 seconds Fred on my family tartan starting now.

FM: One...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I just wanted to point out I'm not that generous!

NP: Well all I can say is you have been in the past. But as they enjoyed your interruption then Paul, you get a bonus point for that. But Fred you were interrupted so you get a point for that, you keep the subject, my family tartan, 39 seconds starting now.

FM: The wonderful thing about tartan is that it doesn't really matter what country you're from or what your surname is, you're more than likely to have one. It doesn't occur to people who visit from Poland, Limdowsky, there's Suzinskys and people of such ilk who come to Scotland, pop into the local shop and say is there any chance you have a kilt in my tartan? And the shopkeeper will say why, it's your lucky day sir, we do indeed. The Limdowsky Suzinsky tartan is...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: It was the repetition of two Polish surnames.

FM: Well spotted!

PM: I think that's fair.

FM: Of all the Polish surnames I get two and repeat them!

PM: Yeah!

NP: I know, I wasn't sure you did repeat the same ones but ah... But Paul I think he did repeat them so you have nine seconds to tell us something about my family tartan starting now.

PM: My family tartan has a pride of place in the home. Up on the wall, there is the kilt displayed for all the visitors to come and they say where did you get this...


NP: On this occasion Paul Merton was again speaking as the whistle went, and gained that extra point so he's increased his lead at the end of that round. Clement Freud we'd like you to begin the next round, oh, keeping in the Scottish mood up here, this one is Scottish heather, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

CF: Scottish heather unlike Paul McCartney’s ex-wife Heather who is of course English, come from Kinloch Berby which has also been to Westloch Darbit where Heather has a particular reputation for being extremely available on Tuesday evenings. The strange thing is that any other day of the week, you're going to find it extremely difficult to see Heather as anything but the milkmaid that distributes cream and single yoghurt to the houses around which she lives and has her shop. The interesting thing about sitting next...


NP: Paul, you challenged.

PM: I haven't understood a word of this!

NP: No!

PM: I've got no challenge, I just wanted to point out that I haven't understood a word of it.

NP: Well if you haven't...

PM: Deviation.

NP: Deviation from Scottish heather?

PM: Yeah.

NP: Um strangely enough, even though I didn't understand much of it either, I think Heather kept coming into it.

PM: She did, didn't she.

NP: So I think we must give him the benefit of the doubt and say Heather was there, featured quite strongly throughout your diatribe which nobody understood. And I'll be listening to the recording and see if I can understand it any better then. But Clement, you have a point for an incorrect challenge, 23 seconds are still available, Scottish heather starting now.

CF: Scottish heather is also something that grows on Scottish moors, especially those that have heather all over them, up and down the land. I have an island home on Isla which I bought in nineteen hundred and 62 where there is Scottish heather as... big as...


NP: Right Lynn you challenged.

LF: Did I?

NP: Yes.

LF: Did he repeat something? What did you repeat?

NP: No he hesitated.

LF: Oh he hesitated.

NP: Yes.

FM: But he did repeat his hesitation.

LF: Did he? Do you know, I was just kind of enjoying it. Do I have to really have interrupted?

NP: No no.

LF: Okay.

NP: No he did hesitate.

LF: He hesitated.

CF: I always do, yes.

FM: While, while you're debating this hesitation, can I ask Clement, Heather of Kinloch Bervy, you don't have her actual address, do you? Milkmaid, you say?

CF: I'll tell you, later.

NP: Anyway so Lynn..

LF: Yes.

NP: You very cleverly managed to get in there with one second to go.

LF: Ah that was fantastic!

NP: Yes! You were listening very acutely there.

LF: I certainly feel like everybody's younger sister, do you know what I mean?

NP: Oh I'd be very proud to have you as my younger sister anytime, darling. And with my Scottish blood, I feel very akin to you. Right so one second...

LF: Okay.

NP: ... on Scottish heather, Lynn starting now.

LF: It's very...


NP: So at the end of that round Lynn Ferguson was speaking as the whistle went, and gained that extra point and the other one in the round. She's now on two, and um she's equal with Clement Freud and Fred MacAulay, Paul Merton is still in the lead. And Fred we'd like you to begin the next round, the subject is the credit crunch. Tell us something about that boring subject in this game starting now.

FM: I think it's a very exciting subject and the old adage that neither a borrower nor a lender be, couldn't be more apt in this day and age than it was when my grandfather used to use it, that actually finished his career in the bank. I used to be an accountant and I know that for every credit there has to be a debit. And I'm just wondering where the debit crunch might be.


NP: And Lynn you've challenged.

LF: Didn't he say debit?

NP: He did say debit, well listened, my love, yes.

LF: Ah see!

NP And he repeated debit.

LF: He did.

NP: So you've got a correct challenge, you've got a point for that.

LF: Fantastic.

NP: And you take over the subject, 37 seconds available, the credit crunch starting now.

LF: Is a permanent situation in my house, we never have enough credit to do anything apart from er buy...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There was a bit of hesitation.

NP: There was a definite hesitation.

LF: Awwww!

NP: You actually said er.

LF: Did I? No no no no no no no no! That's No!

PM: That's repetition!

LF: No no, that's repetition, no no no no no, that was repetition, but actually that er is a Scottish word for thinking. And you know, I've had all this stuff, you know, like the French did all that thing about the flangrais and they don't like it and all the people doing the croissant sort of things. Well in Scotland we have the same thing, where English people will come up here and take away our ers and our thinking and our squeaks and our Scogie and our...

NP: You're making a great case for it and the audience enjoyed it.

LF: Thank you.

NP: I'm sorry I can’t accept it.

LF: Oh Nicholas!

NP: But I will give you a bonus point for the opening remark when you said that's a Scottish word. Okay a bonus point to Lynn, correct challenge to Paul, another point there, the credit crunch Paul, 28 seconds available starting now.

PM: At the end of television programmes you often see the credits crunched up so they can show an advert for the next programme coming on. I think this is rather insulting to the people who have worked on such extravaganzas that are shown on our cathay-ray tubes on a Saturday night. Why should we be subjected to not being able to see exactly who was the producer of Ant And Dec's Glorious Takeaway or whatever rubbish they’re doing at the moment. I want to find out that the director was Jim Chisholm...


NP: Clement challenged.

PM: Chisholm! Chisholm!

CF: Repetition of director.

NP: Sorry Clement, I didn't hear?

CF: Repetition of director.

NP: No it was producer before.

PM: Producer before.

CF: Producer and director.

NP: Oh was it?

CF: Yep.

NP: I don't think so, I think it was producer.

CF: It's me against the audience!

NP: Benefit of the doubt to Paul, and tell him he has three seconds on the credit crunch starting now.

PM: If you take the word credit...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of word.

NP: No he didn't say it, I just did...

CF: I've got to get one of these!

NP: A bonus point to Clement because we enjoyed his interruption, Paul was interrupted so he gets a point for that and there is one second Paul, on the credit crunch starting now.

PM: Fifteen pence in my pocket...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's increased his lead ahead of Lynn Ferguson in second place, Clement Freud and Fred MacAulay in that order. And Paul it's your turn to begin again, the subject is the universe. Tell us something about that comprehensive word in this game starting now.

PM: The universe is expanding all the time. And so in the course of a minute, if I describe the universe, it will not be an accurate description, because in the 60 seconds that would have elapsed if indeed I go for that long, it would have incredibly got bigger. The universe, as people understand it today, starts at Stockport and ends in Peterborough. It's a wonderful world to look at. If you wander between those two towns, you will see all kinds of constellations in the sky, stars and meteorites and things coming to...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Peterborough is a city.

NP: You're quite right, it is a city yes, it has its cathedral, so Clement, well listened and cleverly got in there with 31 seconds on the universe...

PM: He let it go for some time as well, didn't he.

NP: I know yes!

CF: Not a subject I wanted really.

NP: I think he was going for something else, and suddenly he did recall, anyway, the universe is with you Clement, 31 seconds starting now.

CF: There are people who think that the universe is short for university or universal. They are quite wrong. The university...


NP: Fred you challenged first.

FM: Yeah I'm not altogether sure why but I saw a look on Clement's face that suggested something had gone wrong. I'm going to guess at repetition of university.

CF: Try repetition, yeah.

NP: I know, it was a pause, 22 seconds Fred...

FM: Oh no!

NP: The universe starting now.

FM: There's a pub in Larnachshire called The Universe and if you go in there, late on a Friday...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I don't believe there is! I saw a look of desperation across your eyes, you realised you had the subject and then you made up this pub. Who's got a google? Let's google it now, let's find out.

NP: Can you...

FM: I cannot verify that there is a pub. I think there's one in Edinburgh called The World's End.

NP: And there's one down in the dock area of London too, called The World's End but not The Universe. So Fred, your honesty means you have lost the subject, Paul's got another point and he's got 17 seconds on the universe starting now.

PM: One of my favourite pubs is The Universe. It's wonderful, you go in there, bar snacks, dart board, jukebox playing, a lovely barmaid there, oh it's wonderful. Do you know the thing I love about the...


NP: Lynn you challenged.

LF: Did you repeat wonderful?

NP: He did.

PM: I did.

NP: He did repeat wonderful yes. Well listened Lynn, very quick on the buzzer there and you've got six seconds, you tell us something about the universe starting now.

LF: There is a cafe in...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Was that not hesitation?

NP: No.

LF: No.

CF: Sounded from here!

NP: You don't sound hesitation, it's it's silence.

CF: That's what it sounded like!

LF: I was breathing! I was breathing Clement!

NP: He was trying it on, don't worry...

LF: Don't try it on!

NP: No, she's new to the game, No, an incorrect challenge, you get a point for that...

LF: Oh do I? Thank you, try it on again!

NP: And you have five seconds on the universe starting now.

LF: There's a cafe in Cumbernaught called The Universe. It sells buns and tea and...


NP: So Lynn Ferguson was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, she's creeping up on our leader Paul Merton, and she's ahead of Clement Freud and Fred MacAulay in that order. Clement it's your turn to begin and the subject we'd like you to start with is a man after my own heart. Take that subject, go in anyway you wish, 60 seconds available starting now.

CF: I met a man who was after my own heart and said are you also after my liver, kidneys, lights, feet, hands, stomach, appendix, throat, nostrils, eyes, ears. He said no no, it is simply...


PM: It's curious this man didn't ask for your ears.

NP: It was Paul who buzzed in that long pause.

CF: Oh good.

NP: Yeah, 38 seconds for you Paul on a man after my own heart starting now.

PM: When I look at this panel in front of me, I see Fred and Lynn and Nicholas and Clement, and I can say that three of them are a man after my own heart. Because I enjoy people that have longevity. They start their careers and they don't stop. They walk on to stages or they open restaurants or they run night-clubs or they become Liberal MPs. All these things are open to each one of the panellists here. And I wonder today, is this spirit what we want in Britain? Yes it is, let's march, let's come out of this venue, walk down to...


NP: Clement challenged you.

PM: Did he? Oh.

NP: Clement what was your challenge?

CF: Repetition of let's.

NP: Oh! The reason we said oh and the audience was going, it was because they were enjoying it so much. You were leading the march and Clement's got in...

CF: Do you think if people are enjoying it, one shouldn't press one’s...

NP: Clement you have shown sportsmanship and discretion on occasions and...

CF: No! No, not me!

PM: You've mixed him up with somebody else. Mixing him up with somebody else.

NP: Right but anyway the subject is a man after my own heart Clement, there are 11 seconds starting now.

CF: For real enjoyment there is nothing better, I can tell you, than four minutes of Plymouth Argyll Football Club. It is so hilarious, such great fun...


NP: Lynn you've challenged.

LF: Is that a deviation?

NP: It is a definite deviation.

CF: You shouldn't buzz if somebody is making enjoyable... that's been established.

PM: I can't hear enough about Plymouth Argyll! It gets me going!

NP: Yes! No no Clement, I enjoyed your little dig at me then over my remark, so we give you a bonus point for your cleverness there but Lynn it was a correct challenge and you have two seconds only, a man after my own heart starting now.

LF: Nicholas Parsons is definitely...


NP: So Lynn Ferguson kept going until the whistle went and I wish I could give you a bonus point for your lovely compliment but I think it would look like nepotism if I did. Therefore the situation, if you're interested. Paul is still in the lead, a strong lead ahead of Lynn Ferguson in second place, one point ahead of Clement Freud, two or three trailing behind, Fred MacAulay. And Fred, strange subject here for this show, toilet humour, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

FM: For some Scottish comedians, toilet humour involves just shouting out the word "jobby"! But the funniest thing I've ever seen in a toilet was a bit of graffiti in a service station toilet just outside Stirling which said "I want to have sex with Tina Turner" and it was followed by a phone number. Which I've got to say is possibly the most optimistic thing I've ever encountered. Imagine some poor girl sitting in Stirling, answering the phone...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of Stirling.

NP: Of Stirling I'm afraid, yes, you could have chosen another town but it was too bad.

FM: But it was Stirling! It was factually correct. I know from the phone number.

PM: It's always engaged!

NP: Thirty-one seconds Clement, another correct challenge to you, toilet humour starting now.

CF: In a public convenience in Oban where the door is about 10 inches from the floor, I saw written at the bottom, beware limbo dancers.


NP: Fred you challenged.

FM: I think it was hesitation with ahhhh unless that's actually what was written.

NP: No no no, I think he was struggling for the payoff to that particular joke and he did er so we are back with you Fred, 20 seconds on toilet humour if you can starting now.

FM: One of my kids amused me once when he was sitting in the toilet singing...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: Because the last one wasn't amusing.

NP: A little while ago Clement, you had this audience in the palm of your hand, you've lost them all now, that's all right. No, Fred incorrect challenge, toilet humour is still with you and 16 seconds starting now.

FM: He was young at the time, sitting on the toilet. And as was the case in those days we had to be in the room with him whilst what he was doing too... part...


NP: Lynn challenged.

LF: He did hesitate.

NP: He did hesitate, don't say it so apologetically, my love.

LF: Well I was quite interested, I was liking it. I was wondering if you get any points for interrupting a fight as well because I was...

NP: If you sat back and just enjoyed everybody's contribution you'd never contribute anything, would you, my love.

LF: But it is quite tempting, I have to say, because people are interesting. Do you know, and you get caught, and I don't mind the repetition, I quite like it.

NP: Right, Lynn toilet humour is the subject and you have eight seconds starting now.

LF: I don't find toilets very humorous. I find public toilets quite scary...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: It was I find.

NP: I find.

LF: Ohhh dooo!

PM: I find.

LF: Was it?

NP: Yes so Paul you got in on toilet humour with three seconds to go starting now.

PM: If you walk into the gents...


NP: Lynn challenged.

LF: Deviation from the subject. You don't walk in a toilet, you were just walking into a toilet there.

PM: What, do you go in on your stomach?

LF: I don't know, I was chancing it, I was chancing it! I've never played the game and I thought nobody else was interrupting, I'm going to try! So I tried!

NP: Darling, if you do it, do it on a legitimate challenge.

LF: I know. But I'll do that the next time, I just thought I'd test.

NP: Paul, two seconds available, toilet humour starting now.

PM: There is a certain type of comedian who...


NP: Right so Paul Merton, speaking again as the whistle went, gained that extra point, has increased his lead at the end of the round. Actually I've just heard we're into the final round.

LF: Ohhh!

NP: Oh what a wonderful reaction, you are lovely. Let me give you the situation as we move into the final round. Fred MacAulay who has played with great success in the past, but he's trailing a little in fourth place. Clement Freud is in second place, one point ahead is Lynn Ferguson and a few points ahead is Paul Merton. And Paul we're back with you to begin and the subject is temptation. Tell us something about temptation in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Temptation is a thing to be avoided at times because you can be tempted into dark, lonely passages of the soul. Where you find yourself living on your own, perhaps in an attic at the top of your house. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve looked at each other and she said to him "oh I've just had an apple from a snake". He said "what did you do that for?" She said "well it was so tempting what he offered me, he said we could have the powers of God himself". And the gentleman she was talking to was amazed by this. He said "oh what have you done? That's terrible, you'll get us thrown out of the garden." She said "are we..."


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of garden.

NP: Yes you had the garden.

PM: It was bound to happen.

NP: The Garden of Eden and then the garden came back, so Clement, 25 seconds available, tell us something about temptation starting now.

CF: There is a temptation to talk about the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve and the apple are...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: He's doing my material!

CF: That is a temptation.

PM: Is it?

NP: Clement gets a point and we give him a bonus point because we enjoyed his comment, 18 seconds, temptation still with you Clement starting now.

CF: Buying material which has been used by Paul Merton is becoming increasingly less expensive. I went recently to a shop where some of the very best speeches which they had for sale were...


NP: Fred challenged.

FM: I think there was a hesitation there.

NP: I think there was a hesitation.

CF: Really?

NP: Yes. It was teetering but I think I'll give the benefit...

CF: I think the benefit of the doubt.

NP: Yes, the benefit of the doubt goes to Fred MacAulay.

CF: Ah!

NP: And we're going to hear from him on this final round with four seconds to go on temptation Fred starting now.

FM: Finding myself on this programme with Clement with four seconds left to go on...


NP: So let me give you the final score. Fred MacAulay coming back from previous triumphs in radio did extraordinarily well, finished in a magnificent fourth place. And he only finished two points behind Lynn Ferguson who has never played the game before, a fantastic third place. She was two points behind the man who has played it a lot. But out in the lead, ahead of the others, it was a strong lead, was Paul Merton, so we say Paul you are the winner this week. Right thank you, it only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine players of the game, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Lynn Ferguson and Fred MacAulay. I thank Sarah Sharpe, who has sat beside me, blown her whistle with great aplomb. And we thank our producer Tilusha Ghelani, we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are indebted to this lovely audience here at the Pleasance at the Festival Fringe who have cheered us on our way magnificently. From me, Nicholas Parsons, and our audience and our players, good-bye. Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!