starring PAUL MERTON, SUE PERKINS, JULIAN CLARY and CHRIS ADDISON, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 1 September 2008)

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 not only in this country but around the world. But also to welcome to the show four talented, humorous, vibrant personalities who are going to play Just A Minute. And they are, seated on my right, we welcome back that extraordinary, exceptional and talented comedian who is a fine exponent of this game, Paul Merton. And seated beside him we have someone who has not played the game quite as often as the others, a very fine stand-up comedian and also now a very fine comedy actor, Chris Addison. And seated on my left, we welcome back that outrageous individual comedian who has got great talent and great charm, that is Julian Clary. And seated beside him, we have another fine exponent of the comedy vein, comedy acting and stand-up work, and that is Sue Perkins. I'd like you to welcome all four of them! Thank you! As usual I am 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. Beside me sits Trudi Stevens, who is going to help me with the score, she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from this new magnificent Rose Theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames. And as you can hear, we have a fine vociferous Surrey audience here ready to cheer us on our way. As we begin the show with Paul. Paul, very apt to begin with, we're in Kingston-on-Thames, the subject is the river Thames. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Just two weeks ago I found myself standing on the foreshore of the river Thames, filming a documentary for television about Alfred Hitchcock who was born somewhere near the river Thames. If we look out of the theatre that we are now, obviously we'd have to go into the foyer, because in the round that we are here there are no windows, we will see the magnificent thread of silver and crystal that runs through our capital city. The river Thames. Was it not Benedict Arnold who once said "I've never heard of it". It's one of the most beautiful rivers that this country has ever seen. If we look at the great Nile...


NP: Chris Addison's challenged.

CHRIS ADDISON: Repetition of look.

NP: Yes.

PM: Yeah.

NP: You looked before and you looked again.


CA: No, wait, you seem to have misunderstood how the game is played!

PM: Is the Northern Line under this theatre?

NP: Yes those are the rules. I know you enjoyed it but Chris had a legitimate challenge and so he gets a point for a correct challenge, takes over the subject Chris, and there are 27 seconds available, the river Thames starting now.

CA: The river Thames is a proper river unlike say the Zambezi or the Mississippi which were made up for putting in songs. Like most rivers it begins at the start and ends at the end of the river in question which is...


NP: Sue.

SUE PERKINS: Hesitation and a slight lack of awareness about rivers!

CA: I defy you to deny that it doesn't start at the beginning and doesnít end at the end.

SP: Yeah it winded as did your delivery which wound down.

NP: A river rises to this point and goes out towards the sea.

CA: That's right, it starts at the beginning and ends at the end.

SP: Ends at the end! Yes so that's repetition then, ends at the end.

NP: That's what you didnít make clear, so Sue...

CA: Ends and end.

NP: Right.

CA: One is a verb including an S, and one is a noun.

NP: Sue still had a correct challenge.

CA: Oh!

NP: And you take over the subject Sue and a point of course to you, 14 seconds still available, the river Thames starting now.

SP: Old man river sits at the foot of the Thames in Kingston where he stares out at Bentnall's Shopping Centre and thinks to himself, thank goodness for that silver strip running across this beautiful town. At least it divides us from the chaff of the north, he thinks...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, it was Sue Perkins on that occasion so I don't need to tell you she's got two points, therefore she's in the lead at the end of the round. Chris Addison will you begin the second round, the subject is science fiction. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CA: Science fiction is generally associated with the sort of boys who don't really find it easy to get girlfriends and also find it rather difficult...


CA: Oh!

NP: Sue challenged.

CA: Curse you, English language for having only one word for find.

SP: Yeah.

NP: So your challenge, Sue?

SP: Repetition of find.

NP: Yes find yes. So Sue's got another point, she's got the subject, you have 53 seconds, science fiction starting now.

SP: People who like science fiction want to explore brand new worlds, while failing to understand simultaneously there's one they're living in right here and now. They don't seem to be interested in what happens outside their front door. Instead they like to peruse comics and magazines which spleak glibly...


NP: Julian challenged.

JULIAN CLARY: There was a shpeak which was...

NP: Yes.

SP: Ah but Martians were communing through my small earthling mouth at that time.

CA: Were they Yiddish Martians?

SP: They just had this slight speech impediment, these Martians. Don't knock them though, they've got guns.

NP: Your pace of delivery tripped you up and you went into shpeak. You're challenging on deviation from language I assume.

JC: That's correct, deviation.

SP: Oh the irony!

NP: From English as we understand it.

JC: Indeed.

NP: So Julian you've got in there with a point and the subject and there are 37 seconds available, science fiction starting now.

JC: Science fiction isn't a literary genre that I've ever paid much attention to, but I could make some up on the spot for you, because I think it's that easy. Mister Gobble-de-gook walked down the road and suddenly...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: It's not that easy! Science fiction is more than Mister Gobble-de-gook walked down the road.

JC: He was about to...

PM: Mister Gobble-de-gook flew down the road in his special space station.

JC: He was about to turn into a frog.

PM: Not walked down the road.

NP: Are you challenging on deviation?

PM: Yeah deviation.

NP: That gobble-de-gook is not science fiction?

PM: Well he said science fiction is easy, I...

NP: Ah but to be fair to Julian...

PM: Yes...

NP: I think, you see to some people science fiction could sound like gobble-de-gook and maybe to Julian who has never studied science at all, it could all be gobble-de-gook. So I think legitimately it was an incorrect challenge. So benefit of the doubt, no doubt, to Julian, another point to you Julian, you keep the subject and there are 21 seconds, science fiction starting now.

JC: Suddenly he turned into a frog! You've never seen anything...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: A Grimm's fairy story isn't the same as science fiction! If he turned into a spaceship, but Mister Gobble-de-gook walked down the street and then turned into a frog! It's deviation because it's not science fiction. There is no science fiction in it.

NP: Right no no Paul, I gave the benefit of the doubt last time to Julian...

PM: Yes.

NP: You will have the benefit of the doubt on this occasion.

PM: Yes.

NP: He could still be going on to illustrate it's all gobble-de-gook for him, now I think you've said once he got into the frogs...

PM: Yeah exactly.

NP: I think we've gone a bit too far. So you have got science fiction...

PM: Yeah.

NP:... the subject and you have 24 seconds starting now.

PM: Kurt Vonnegut wrote this wonderful book about a... oh!


NP: It's the first time anybody's got a round of applause for drying up completely.

PM: It's me at my best!

NP: Yes! So you challenged first Sue.

SP: First I did challenge, yes. Um...

NP: So you've got science fiction Sue, 22 seconds starting now.

SP: Kurt Vonnegut wrote a fantastic book in which Martians refused people the power of speech. And just as they were about to pronounce the title, suddenly their larynx was seized shut by almost unnatural preternatural bolts from above. Who knows what alien creatures were trying to do with our voice box but nonetheless they came...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Oh I probably was wrong, but I thought it was repetition of voice.

NP: Yeah there was voice and voice box.

JC: Voice box.

NP: Voice boxes is hyphenated so I'm afraid that is repetition.

SP: Do you hyphenate your voice box? Voice boxes I would say is one word.

NP: Is it?

SP: Yes. Yes.


NP: This is mob... all right!

SP: His voice box is certainly not hyphenated!

NP: There's two ways of spelling it, but I think the voice box, according to the audience, is the more popular one. So we give you the benefit of the doubt on this occasion and you have eight seconds Sue to continue on science fiction starting now.

SP: First they take the power of speech, then they come for your eyes...


NP: This time he has got you, I know. What is the challenge?

JC: Repetition of then.

NP: Then, there were two thens. Then and then. Oh yes right so Julian you got in now with five seconds to go on science fiction starting now.

JC: The Daleks came down to land in a huge spaceship, it was remarkable...


NP: Chris you've challenged.

SP: That is the most...

CA: I was anticipating you'd say something about frogs! In fact it was on hesitation, I think he had to think about spaceships there for a second...

NP: Yes it was quite a long...

JC: I was building up to the, I was building up to the point...

NP: I don't think it was quite long enough, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt, I will try and redress the balance later if...

CA: Oh fine, I'll get a free point at some point!

SP: Yeah!

CA: Cool!

NP: One second left with you Julian on science fiction starting now.

JC: Out popped a four legged Welshman...


NP: Well Julian Clary was then speaking as the whistle went and he's moved forward yes, very rapidly. He's now equal with Sue Perkins in the lead, they're four points ahead of Paul Merton and Chris Addison. Sue we'd like you to begin the next round, I don't know whether this is your area of life but is leftovers in the fridge. Will you tell us something about leftovers in the fridge starting now.

SP: If you have leftovers in your fridge, the best way of dealing with them is contacting Nigella Lawson who can be hired for up to 40 pounds an hour to just deal with them. Her incred... Iíve got something stuck in my throat!


SP: (coughs) Does that technically count?

NP: No no darling, it's something that should have been left in the fridge.

SP: Yes. It's a sheepís head I ate earlier, it seems to have got stuck.

NP: Julian you challenged first, what was it?

JC: Well out of concern really! I suppose it comes out of hesitation to breathe or...

NP: I'm afraid I, I mean we have to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute, and I know you've got something stuck in your throat, we all know that, but you did hesitate.

SP: Right, so if I was choking to death, there would be a strict points based system awarded so everyone could buzz over my corpse?

NP: If you were choking to death...

PM: It could be your final memory.

NP: You'd be carried off in the ambulance and we would continue the show with three people.

SP: Good! Just so I know!

CA: Would we divvy up the points?

NP: What I like to do on these occasions if somebody says something very apt, and it gets a round of applause as well, Chris Addison, give him a bonus point for that, right.

CA: That's two rounds of applause so should there not be another...

NP: No no no no...

PM: We must, we must be clear here though Nicholas. So then if another one of us falls ill, then we still carry on with the show, so eventually it's just you...

NP: Yes...

PM: ... and Trudi on the whistle.

NP: So if somebody had managed to poison all of you, I don't know what I'd do. But there we are...

SP: It's show time!

NP: Julian, 50 seconds are still available, leftovers in the fridge starting now.

JC: There aren't many leftovers in my fridge because I'm very careful when I arrange my food before I pop it in the pan. Exactly how much am I going to consume. I might have a little bit of fish, I might have...


NP: Paul challenged. Yes?

PM: A repetition of I might have.

NP: Might have yes right.

JC: Indeed.

NP: And Paul you got in on the subject, leftovers in the fridge, 40 seconds available starting now.

PM: I used to live opposite Brixton Prison and someone, I don't know who, had dug a tunnel from E wing to the back of my fridge. I used to get prisoners jumping out of my fridge at all hours of the morning into minicabs...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Well he's doing his act from 1979!

PM: Yes, 1983 actually and that's the best it's ever gone!

NP: Julian we enjoyed the interruption and the reaction you got from the audience...

JC: Is it not deviation?

NP: What for?

JC: To do his act.

NP: What?

PM: It's not a deviant act.

NP: How do I know he didn't, how do I know someone didn't tunnel out from Brixton to his fridge?

PM: Yeah.

JC: Where are the leftovers?

PM: They've eaten them. You don't argue with Ronnie Cray over a packet of baps.

NP: No, Julian...

PM: I should have that printed on a T-shirt.

NP: Julian I'll give you a bonus point because we enjoyed what you said, and the audience loved, and I gave you a benefit of the doubt, and I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt on this occasion to Paul, he keeps the subject, 31 seconds available, leftovers in the fridge starting now.

PM: During the war against the Germans, there were very few leftovers in the fridge. If we think about the diet of the ordinary Briton in those days, powdered egg, food rations of every kind. But they do say that people did have a balanced...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Repetition of people.

NP: Yes, people that's right. And oh yes...


SP: Three minutes ago I was dying...

NP: Those, those are the rules of the game, 17 seconds available Sue, leftovers in the fridge back with you starting now.

SP: Indeed it was so and people were so hard-up in the war, that the Ministry of Food was called upon to broadcast to the nation, to explain what they may and may not have...


NP: May and may not, yes, repetition Julian, you were first in, nine seconds available...

SP: It was actually a pair of Taiwanese twins I was discussing. Does that count? No.

NP: But leftovers in the fridge is the subject, Julian you have nine seconds starting now.

JC: It's always best to cover leftovers in the fridge with klingfilm in my experience. This prevents...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well this is just deviation, before he said that he had no leftovers, in fact he boasted, he boasted about it! Set himself up as some sort of domestic icon that we should bow at the altar, how wonderful he is at preparing his food! And now he's putting klingfilm over his leftovers? It's disgraceful!

NP: No Paul, to be fair to him, he did say that he didn't have many leftovers. He didn't say that he had none at all.

PM: Really?

NP: Yes. And the ones that are there, I'm sure, knowing Julian, would be...

PM: Oh yes, it's always about how much you know Julian, isn't it! It's always about that! My friend Julian, my friend Julian! He puts klingfilm over his leftovers! Not many, just enough! Just enough for the two of us!

NP: All right, Paul worked very hard for that!

PM: I did, sorry...

NP: Give him a bonus point. No, no, Julian got a point because you were interrupted, you've still got the subject and there are four seconds, leftovers in the fridge starting now.

JC: I opened my fridge the other day and there was...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: There was a hesitation.

NP: That was what we call a hesitation yes, Paul so you have three seconds on leftovers in the fridge starting now.

PM: If you approach your fridge first thing in the morning, open the door, look...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now moved forward, he's equal with Sue Perkins in second place behind our leader Julian Clary. He's three points ahead. Chris is trailing a little but they're all contributing tremendously. And Paul we'd like you to start the next round, oh it's when I am King. Paul will you tell us something about that, when I am King, starting now.

PM: When I am King, I shall introduce a junior version of this show called Just A Minute Innit. And it will be very streetwise, and the kids today will listen to it and will hopefully refrain from stabbing each other in the streets as they try to talk on a subject without hesitation, repetition or deviation. The day I'm made King will be a very good 24 hour period for this country, because I will be able to look each one of us in the eye and say if you voted Boris for Mayor of London, why can't I be King of Great Britain? That's true! Tell me why! I can be a popular monarch! With all the people behind me, I'll kick Prince Philip up the arse! And I'll also be very respectful towards the Queen and gently push her towards the abdication door...



PM: Has there been an overthrow?

SP: Vote Merton!

NP: Chris Addison you challenged.

CA: Well, treason! And repetition of towards.

NP: We give a bonus point for treason by the way, we like that one.

CA: You get a bonus point for treason? You get hanged for that!

PM: Not in Just A Minute!

CA: It's a challenge.

NP: And what was your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

CA: It was repetition of the word towards.

NP: Yes you went towards that and towards something else.

PM: Yes it's part of the manifesto. I couldn't help it.

NP: But you did go for 44 seconds which was pretty good. I thought we were going to let you go the full minute and see what happened. But anyway Chris got in there with an excellent challenge...

CA: The new politics.

NP: You've got 17 seconds Chris to tell us something about when I am King starting now.

CA: When I am King I will have to spend a good deal of my time answering awkward questions about how the people that consist of the enormous line of... folk ahead of me...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation Sue yes, there are eight seconds still available, you tell us something about when I am King, oh yes, interesting isn't it, when I am King starting now.

SP: When I am King, I will have spent several painful years in surgery and postoperative care. Nonetheless I will strive forward with a new body and say unto you, don't...


NP: So Sue Perkins was speaking as the whistle went, has moved forward. She's still in third place but only one behind Paul Merton and only four behind Julian Clary and she's two or three ahead of Chris Addison. And Chris it's your turn to begin, the subject now is under the sea, tell us something about under the sea starting now.

CA: Visibility under the sea for human beings is awkward because of the salt water and all the fish in the way. You can deal with this problem by wearing goggles or by boiling the sea away, bit by tiny mo...


CA: Yes?

NP: Yes I think he got away with it Julian.

JC: Was it not a general breakdown?

NP: No no no no.

CA: Only following the team jolter.

NP: He managed to wriggle out of it very well, and it was bit by something else. Forty-seven seconds still available Chris, under the sea starting now.

CA: There are many creatures under the sea. Oysters, dolphins, porpoises, dugongs, whales of many kidneys, mainly two it must be said since that is the standard number of that organ in any living creature. There are killers, greens, greys, sperms, blues, smalls, bigs...


NP: Julian you challenged.

JC: Where do you find the sperms? I know where I'm going for my holidays!

NP: I think he was referring to sperm whales but he didn't make it quite clear.

PM: There's a lot of sperm in whales.

NP: So um um Julian what is your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute.

JC: Oh I was just messing about, I'm sorry.

NP: Give Julian a point for messing about, there we are, and Chris you were interrupted, you have a wrong challenge I mean, so you've still got it and well, you never lost it but, but you've got the subject still, 27 seconds, under the sea starting now.

CA: Quite often under the sea there is very little but more sea because vast areas of this planet's oceans are in fact enormous aquatic deserts with nothing, not even a...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: A hesitation.

NP: Yes there was a er there, right. So Sue you've got in on this subject of under the sea, 16 seconds available starting now.

SP: Under the sea I found Julian with a pair of goggles, searching desperately for a creature he'd heard mentioned in Just A Minute by Chris. Where are they, he said...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hang on a second! When did you do this because Chris has only just mentioned it? So you then, in between you challenging, you went swimming under the sea with Julian where he pointed out to you the thing that Chris has just mentioned?

SP: Yeah.

PM: I'm sorry, now I've thought it through, I withdraw my challenge.

NP: So what is it within the rules of...

PM: Deviation.

NP: It was deviation.

PM: It was, wasn't it.

NP: No no no you established quite clearly, it could not possibly have happened.

PM: It couldn't have happened.

NP: No it was an incorrect statement.

SP: Have you never telescoped time, Nicholas?

JC: Could be a looky-likey.

NP: Yes. I've tried to but never achieved it.

PM: What could be a looky-likey?

JC: What she saw that she mistook for me under the sea. A looky-likey.

PM: But she hasn't had time to go under the sea, whether she saw a looky-likey, Jack Horner or Dixon of Dock Green. She hasn't had time to see any of you!

NP: We'll get back to playing Just A Minute and Paul we agree with your challenge, nine seconds are still available, under the sea starting now.

PM: The marvellous Walt Disney animated picture, The Little Mermaid, has this song at the centrepiece of the movie. Under the sea, it's a beautifully...


NP: Well we're moving into the final round.


NP: I tell you what, all come back for another show some other time. Right so let me give you the score before we go into this last round. And Chris Addison who hasn't played the game quite as much as the other but did incredibly well, particularly under the sea. And he's just in fourth place. He's trailing Sue Perkins who is two behind Paul Merton, and Paul is two behind Julian Clary. So into the final round, Sue it's back with you to begin and the subject is a village fete. Sixty seconds starting now.

SP: I once won third prize for best guinea pig at the Fetcham and Bookum Fete which alarmed me, since I hadn't actually brought my pet along. Maybe it was the downy facial hair and large front teeth that persuaded them. Nonetheless I returned home with the rosette and it was the beginning of a lifelong passion for village fetes. I love the irregular vegetables, the ruddy farmer's wives, the limp bunting, the PA system whining, the endless rams displayed with enormous horns and breeding potential that lest we forget. They're an extraordinary cornucopia of life at a fete. You cannot resist the incredible diversity, mainly rural, mainly large people with nothing to do. But I...


NP: Yeah Paul you challenged.

PM: Sadly there were two mainlys very very...

NP: We couldn't let the mainly go, yes.

PM: Very quick.

NP: They were letting other things go but Sue you were...

PM: It was wonderful.

NP: It was wonderful, you went for 41 seconds.

SP: Great!

NP: Give her a bonus point for the 41 seconds. Paul gets a point because it was an incorrect challenge and he has 19 seconds, a village fete starting now.

PM: There's a village near to where I live in the country and it has a beautiful fete every single July. You turn up and you see these heavy cart horses pulling great big gallons of beer behind them. And thirsty men are indeed...


NP: Chris challenged.

CA: Can you pull gallons of beer?

PM: Well they're in tankards.

CA: Were they pulling tankards behind them? Aren't they liable to spill, and how big are these tankards? These people sound like drunkards in this village of yours!

PM: I didn't say it was sponsored by AA! There's no 12 step progress.

NP: Chris...

PM: It's off to the nearest pub, and after that...

NP: ... what's your challenge?

CA: My challenge is deviation from what actually happens in life.

NP: But I, I got the picture with these lovely big shire horses.

CA: My point is you'd be pulling, the dray horses that Paul was so eloquently describing would be pulling carts filled with barrels, not gallons he was referring to...

NP: But there'd be gallons of beer in the barrels, wouldn't there?

CA: I, I'm aware of that.

PM: You don't say to the milkman can I have a pint of milk, my God, it's in a bottle!

CA: Well all I'm saying is maybe we should!

NP: No Chris, I enjoy your enthusiasm but I don't think...

CA: It's not often you feel patronised at the age of 36 but...

NP: No I never patronise, I compliment.

PM: Yeah.

NP: And I do genuinely enjoy your enthusiasm and your talent and everything else, and your good looks if you want me to go into it.

CA: Anybody can claim that on radio!

NP: Yeah but, no no, it's good to let the listeners though that you are a very good looking young comedian. And...

SP: Should we leave? I think something's going on!

NP: But that was an incorrect challenge.

CA: Oh fine.

NP: So Paul still has the subject...

PM: If he offers to groom you for stardom...

CA: To be honest, I've seen so many people fall down...

NP: Paul there are six seconds to go, a village fete starting now.

PM: A queue of old women with easter bonnets on their heads looking...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: I think we had two old. I think we had old earlier on.

PM: Did we? Where?

NP: Yes, old men, yes, yes.

PM: Thirsty men.

NP: Old, I think you had old farmers, didn't you.

PM: I might have done, yeah.

NP: You had some old farmers. So Julian you've cleverly got in with three seconds to go on a village fete starting now.

JC: The best thing about the village fete is the knitted toy stall...


NP: So Julian Clary was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that all important extra point. It was all important on this occasion because it has made a difference to the final score. And just to remind you, Chris Addison did extraordinarily well, no no, he did, he came in a most brilliant fourth place. And Sue Perkins in a magnificent third place. Paul who often succeeds and comes out on top, trailed a little but did wonderfully to finish in second place. But two points ahead, was the man that we call this week our winner, Julian Clary. We d hope that you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains for me to say thank these four delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Chris Addison, Julian Clary and Sue Perkins. I thank Trudi Stevens, who has helped me with the score, and blown her whistle with such delicacy and aplomb when the 60 seconds had elapsed. We thank our producer Tilusha Ghelani, we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are very grateful to this lovely audience at the Rose Theatre in Kingston-on-Thames who have cheered us on our way, and I hope they have had a wonderful time. Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!