starring PAUL MERTON, SUE PERKINS, JULIAN CLARY and CHRIS ADDISON, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 29 September 2008)

NOTE: Chris Addison's last appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Oh 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 talented, humorous, vibrant personalities who are going to display their love of knowledge and their ingenuity with language and words as they try and speak on a subject I will give them, and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And they are, seated on my right, Paul Merton and Chris Addison. And seated on my left, Julian Clary and Sue Perkins. 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 this magnificent new Rose Theatre in the royal borough of Kingston-upon-Thames. And we have a right royal enthusiastic audience here. Julian we're with you to start. This is obviously a subject that's been chosen specially for you, glitz and glamour. Tell us something about glitz and glamour in Just A Minute starting now.

JULIAN CLARY: My walk-in wardrobe that Nicholas is very familiar with is a veritable Aladdin's Cave of glitz and glamour. You'll find sequins, silk, cotton spreads and makeup galore. Something for everyone. Glitz and glamour have been...


NP: Paul challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Well, you say something for everyone, and so far it hasn't really caught my attention! I don't think this collection so far has been something for everyone.

JC: There are some dungarees at the back!

PM: Oh are there? If you'd pointed those out earlier, I'd have been very happy with those.

NP: Paul we enjoyed the challenge, we give you a bonus point because it was a wonderful reaction, 43 seconds available, glitz and glamour Julian starting now.

JC: My interest in glitz and glamour first started in 1969 when I went to see the Tiller Girls at the London Palladium. That's the life for me, I said to my mother. "Go for it, son" was her reply. And since then as we know, it has become, shall we say a trademark of mine. I don't like to disappoint the general public and were I ever to perform here at this beautiful Rose Theatre, I can assure you that glitz and glamour would be way up there on the list of...


NP: Sue you challenged.

SUE PERKINS: Ah slight hesitation.

NP: Oh, oh no! I don't think so. Way up there on the, I think he was in full flow. No Julian, benefit of the doubt, glitz and glamour is still with you, 16 seconds starting now.

JC: I'd start the performance in a kaftan, head to toe with a little hood, a peephole bra underneath. It's what the public want...


SP: Maybe I'm just feeling a pre-emptive hesitation, I'm just...

NP: Yeah I agree with you, I did feel he was teetering, wasn't he.

SP: Yeah.

PM: He was teetering but I don't think he...

NP: No he didn't.

SP: He didn't teeter, he was pre-teeter.

NP: He didn't tip over into the dreaded area of a hesitation. Right, nine seconds are still available Julian, building up more points here, glitz and glamour still with you starting now.

JC: Talking of teetering I have got stiletto heels but I don't want you to think of me as a female impersonator. I'm a glamorous man. Oh yes! I've got it on my...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Well not only was there a hesitation but Julian took the opportunity to wink at the audience! While he was going on!

NP: Definite hesitation.

PM: Hesitation and a wink.

NP: And a wink, and you got in with half a second to go! That's the way the game is played. So Paul, glitz and glamour with you, half a second to go starting now.

PM: Glitz and glamour coming...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's behind Julian who is still in the lead and they're both ahead of Sue Perkins and Chris Addison in that order. Sue Perkins will you begin the next round, the subject is the end of time. There are 60 seconds available, take that rather bizarre subject and talk on it if you can starting now.

SP: In the Bible, the end of time features the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, Red Rum, Shogar, Snowy and Rudolph. They all arrive in fire and brimstone and snorting and much harrumphing. I imagine it will be a little bit like the millennium in 2000 when we all stared upon a wall of flame that never happened. It'll be disappointing. No-one will care that our...


NP: Chris challenged.

CHRIS ADDISON: Repetition of it'll be.

NP: It'll be, yes, it will be, it'll be. And it will be that, it will be that Chris Addison has another point and the subject of course, 39 seconds available Chris, the end of time starting now.

CA: Towards the end of time, calendars will be cheaper, thinner and of limited use as time itself will be running out. Clocks of all varieties, analogue and digital, will begin not to...


NP: Sue.

SP: Hesitation.

NP: No I don't...

SP: The clock was running down!

NP: Very close to a hesitation but not quite. So I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this occasion. I will redress the balance later if I can. Twenty-six seconds still with you Chris, the end of time starting now.

CA: The end of time will be awkward for telling the time as these devices horological in nature will be unable to furnish us with any useful information regarding our position within the Fourth Dimension. That is to say the... oh dear!


NP: Yes well done Chris but Paul challenged.

PM: There was a hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation. And Paul got in first on this occasion, 10 seconds, the end of time Paul starting now.

PM: Time Magazine has been printed for a number of years now and it looks like it's going to go on forever. I spoke to the editor only last week, I said "can you foresee the end of Time?" And he immediately flammed...


PM: Flammed?

NP: Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now one ahead of Julian Clary, and the other two have yet to score actually but we still love to hear from them. Chris we'd like you to start the next round, the subject is the mother of invention, 60 seconds starting now.

CA: Necessity is the mother of invention and not as you may have heard, Mrs Invention of Castleton Marshes. That is a lie. Necess... oh...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Um yes hesitation we call it.

NP: Hesitation yes so Julian you have 52 seconds, you have the subject of the mother of invention starting now.

JC: A marvellous example of the mother of invention can be found in my back garden. I've got a washing line that stretches from a wall to a tree. How could I get the... items that I wanted...


NP: Sue you challenged.

SP: A slight hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation Sue yes, you have the benefit of the doubt there, 42 seconds available, the mother of invention starting now.

SP: The mother of invention was married to the father of invention. No-one talks about him, he's called Brian. He works as a machinist in Briggington-on-Sea where they experience up to 80 mile an hour crosswinds I was informed as I went along to visit. No-one talks about him...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of no-one.

NP: No-one yes, repetition, well listened Paul, 21 seconds Paul, the mother of invention with you starting now.

PM: If you look at any small child walking down the beach, perhaps clang... (laughs)


PM: A sudden sound effect came to mind and I wanted to say it.

NP: It's a cruel cruel game.

PM: It is. Can we not do sound effects and beef up the narrative?

CA: It's a word, it was an operatic Just A Minute!

PM: Onomatopoeia.

CA: On a matter of principle.

NP: Sue, 22 seconds, the mother of invention starting now.

SP: I would like the mother of invention to invent a way that children could walk along beaches going clang. How interesting it would be and far more fascinating...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: That's my idea!

SP: You didn't patent it!

PM: I didn't patent it and now suddenly everybody's doing it!

SP: Yeah!

NP: There's nothing in the rules Paul that says you can't use other people's material.

PM: Really?

NP: Yes.

PM: This programme's been going 40 years, bring me the tapes!

NP: Right we give Paul a bonus point because we enjoyed his interruption but Sue was interrupted so...

PM: I've come all the way, I've come all the way from Great Portland Street to be here!

NP: Yes. Should we remind some of the younger listeners where that comes from? That was what Kenneth Williams always used to say. You couldn't care less, could you. Sue, 15 seconds still available, the mother of invention starting now.

SP: Once I've patented my clanging device no-one will be able to stop me. And I, Sue Perkins...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: She said no-one again.

NP: No-one again.

SP: Oh for the love of no-one!

NP: Paul, another point to you and 11 seconds available, the mother of invention starting now.

PM: I bought a racehorse called Invention and it had a mother. We used to...


NP: Chris challenged.

CA: I was going for hesitation.

NP: No there was no hesitation there Chris.

CA: I'm seeing extra, it's sort of microgestures.

PM: It's a steady rhythm.

CA: Okay.

NP: Yes that's a very good way of putting it Paul, there was a steady rhythm. Right there are six seconds still available for you Paul, the mother of invention starting now.

PM: Necessity is the mother of invention. I say this because although nyah wah wah...


PM: What's happening to me? I could be having a breakdown! So as long as it works within the confines of the game, we'll be all right.

NP: That's what they're saying, carry on, have more breakdowns and more laughs. Right...

SP: Ah the caring side of light entertainment.

NP: Julian Clary you challenged first.

JC: He was speaking in many tongues which I take to be a hesitation.

NP: Repetition of wah.

JC: A wah wah wah.

NP: Yes, one second available for you Julian on the mother of invention starting now.

JC: The mother of invention...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Rubbish! Another point to Julian and half a second on the mother of invention starting now.

JC: The mother of...


NP: So Paul Merton is in quite a strong lead there. Equal in second place are Chris Addison and Julian Clary and they're one point ahead of Sue Perkins in third place, isn't it. And Paul we'd like you to start the next round, the subject is the instructions. Will you tell us something about the instructions starting now.

PM: Ah yes the instructions. If you have bought a domestic appliance in the last few years there would have been a time during your purchase when you would have to consider the instructions. Whether they be in French, Spanish, any other language but English, you'll find them there with line drawings which are completely incomprehensible. They resemble ancient hieroglyphics found on Tutankhaumen's tomb. Now that's no good when you're trying to put together a wardrobe. As you look at the instructions, always making sure they are the right instructions for the things you are doing. If you have the instructions for building your won motor car, that will not help in the kitchen if you are trying to make out of all these various pieces that have arrived some form of fridge freezer. Then you can plug in and say to your family, tonight we will drink chilled water...


NP: So that really deserved overwhelming round of applause was because Paul took the subject, kept going without hesitation, repetition or deviation for full 60 seconds, yes! He gets a point because he was speaking as the whistle went and he gets that bonus point for not being interrupted. So he has increased his lead at the end of the round, and we're back with you Julian to take the next round, or start it, getting away from it all, that's the subject Julian, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

JC: I live in a sleepy village in a part of Great Britain called Kent. Nothing much happens, it's delightful. My neighbours next door said to me "do you know where we're going for our holiday? The Outer Hebrides." I said "why are you going there?" She said "because we like getting away from it..."


NP: Um Chris challenged.

CA: Repetition of said.

NP: Yes, said.

JC: Oh I thought small words were allowed.

NP: Julian you've been playing long enough to know not. Forty-seven seconds available for you Chris on getting away from it all starting now.

CA: If you were to manage your ambition of getting away from it all, you would have achieved...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Repetition of you.

NP: Yes that's right.

CA: I thought Julian told me before that small words were allowed.

JC: Apparently it's changed.

CA: Oh!

NP: Forty-one seconds Julian, getting away from it all, starting now.

JC: When I was a child growing up in Teddington, just down the road from here, my idea of getting away from it all was to jump on my bicycle and go to Bushy Park. There I would see cows and deer and lots of ferns. And I would burrow in there and make myself a little nest. No-one was around, it was complete solitude, it was bliss. And then who should I see coming over the hill but Geoffrey Pocock. "You've come to ruin it all," I said, "go away and leave me alone!" He said "I'm getting away from it all..."


NP: Sue. Sue, said?

SP: There was a lot of saids.

NP: Yeah there were a lot of saids.

JC: Ah it's quite difficult to speak if you're going to do without them.

PM: This seems a bit unfair on Geoffrey Pocock that he's not allowed to answer for himself here in this rather delicate story.

NP: What happened to Geoffrey Pocock?

JC: He emigrated to Canada. He did, but they probably listen to this in Canada, there's not much else to do there, is there. Hello Geoffrey.

PM: Hello Geoff.

NP: Hello Geoff, right. Anyway Geoff I hope you're well, and ah, who challenged by the way? I've forgotten.

SP: Ah I did.

NP: Yeah I thought so Sue, right, 13 seconds, getting away from it all starting now.

SP: The best place to get away from it all is by the sea. There you can smell the crisp sniff of iodine...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Not if you're a around the world yachtsman. Going by the sea is the last place you'd want to go. You'd think I've seen that for the last year, mate!

NP: You might be a around the world yachtsman and still want to get down to the sea.

PM: Do you think so?

NP: Yes.

PM: Isn't that a bit of a busman's holiday?

NP: It could be but I mean...

PM: What would Geoffrey Pocock do?

SP: He'd emigrate to Canada probably.

PM: He'd go to Canada.

SP: He would go to Canada.

PM: It's his answer to everything, Geoffrey Pocock. All go to Canada!

NP: I think within the meaning of the word she wasn't deviating, strictly speaking...

PM: Okay.

NP: ... from the subject so she has eight seconds, getting away from it all Sue starting now.

SP: Following the show I've decided to get away from it all to Canada, to seek a new friend, Geoffrey Pocock. To find where he comes from, what his predilections are...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: He's my friend, not yours!

PM: Well, how much of a friend is he? You're out in the middle of Bushy Park, doing something on your own...

SP: In ferns!

PM: He comes over the brow of the hill. Next thing you know, he has an argument with you, he moves to Canada.

NP: And it was 40 years ago and he hasn't seen him since.

PM: You haven't seen him since.

JC: No, he still comes back and visits.

PM: Does he?

JC: He hasn't changed.

NP: Julian we did enjoy your interruption about Geoffrey Pocock.

JC: Thank you.

NP: So you get a bonus point for that but Sue was interrupted because she wasn't committing any of the sins...

PM: Sounds like a medical affliction anyway.

NP: What?

PM: Geoffrey Pocock.

NP: Don't let's got down that route please! Sue you've still got the subject, you've got another point and there's half a second to go, getting away from it all starting now.

SP: Why, I'll say to him...


NP: So Sue Perkins was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. She's now moved into second place, she's three or four points behind Paul Merton, and she's one ahead of Julian Clary, and two ahead of Chris Addison in that order. And Sue it's also your turn to begin so the subject to start with is prehistoric woman. I don't know why they've thought of it for you but would you talk on the subject starting now.

SP: Prehistoric woman was bored. She sat around all day trying to think of new ways to cook mammoth. Over fire, that was it. No other alternatives presented themselves. So she would begin to clean the cave and wait for her husband to return to her home so he could beat her around the face and chest with a club. They would sit eating said animal, grunting this was pre-language, a fascinating discourse of errrr and aaaaa which are of course very different words and in no way repeat themselves. It's a fluctuating lexicon...


NP: Yeah they were enjoying it. Julian you challenged.

JC: Hesitation.

NP: Yeah there as a hesitation there I'm afraid.

SP: It's fair because of the Geoffrey Pocock thing.

NP: And you went for 36 seconds.

SP: That's scant comfort to me now.

NP: Julian had a correct challenge so he takes over the subject of prehistoric woman, and there are 34 seconds left starting now.

JC: Bearded, muscular, prone to grunting, I think I rather like the sound of the prehistoric woman. I'm on the turn, ladies and gentlemen, I've found my dream come true. At last I can settle down with prehistoric woman. I'm going to call her Geoffrey, we'll walk through the jungle hand in hand...


NP: Oh Chris, yes it's so easy isn't it, one of the slip-ups of Just A Minute. Right Chris just tell us...

CA: Repetition of hand.

NP: Hand in hand yes, you've got four seconds on prehistoric woman starting now.

CA: If cartoons have taught us one thing and I think they have probably done more than that...


NP: Oh Paul's challenged, oh sorry.

PM: I didn't mean to, sorry, actually that was a genuine, I didn't...

NP: Yes because no, no sound came but a light...

JC: Was it a spasm?

PM: I think I brushed the nipple!

NP: You mustn't brush nipples in Just A Minute because it's...

CA: The unspoken fourth rule!

NP: Yes! What we do now is we give Chris an extra bonus point because we liked that last remark, and he gets a point for speaking when the whistle should have gone, and he's moved forward now into second place. He's one ahead of Julian Clary and Sue Perkins in that order, and he's four behind Paul Merton who is in the lead. And Chris it's also your turn to begin, oh, little green men. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CA: Little green men are the supposed occupants of unidentified flying objects. They are always said to be little green men. There is no clear reason why this should be the case. They are depicted usually as being...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well they're not usually depicted as little green men, they're sort of, there's this whole thing about them, well it was repetition of usually. But also it's the, they're known as greys, people see them and they're very grey so they're greys, you know. The grey people of...

NP: So which challenge do you want? Repetition of usually or that one?

PM: Repetition of usually.

NP: Yes that is correct.

CA: Damn!

SP: Easier to prove!

CA: The other one I could have fought.

NP: Yes right, so that's a correct challenge Paul, I heard the two usuallys, 48 seconds, the little green men, not, there's no the, little green men starting now.

PM: Back on the cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a man who looked at Mars and thought he could perceive canals on the surface of that planet. And this led to all kinds of newspaper cartoonists to come up with the idea of little green men. That's where the notion was first expressed. Now that we have space travel we have sent this magnificent creature all the way up to Mars. It's a little donkey called Simon and when he comes out of his pod...


NP: Chris challenged.

CA: Repetition of Mars.

PM: You're not questioning the little donkey called Simon?

CA: No! That was going to be my secondary challenge.

PM: Nobody cares about Simon!

NP: Yes Mars was there before, so well listened Chris. Little green men is back with you, 25 seconds starting now.

CA: Little green men in their interplanetary craft are often depicted as being both green and naked with two antennae on their heads. Why such creatures in astonishingly clever and well-run built pieces of technology as they come from the stars in , should not have clothes...


PM: What happened then?

CA: I don't know, I was possessed by something! There was a light, came out of the sky...

NP: Paul what was your challenge?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes it was right, so Paul you have seven seconds on little green men starting now.

PM: There's a pub in Putney, it's called The Little Green Man and it's also...


CA: No.

NP: Chris challenged.

CA: I brushed the nipple and I know you're not supposed to do that...

SP: Her name is Trudi!

NP: Chris, listen, each of you in this show have a nipple at the end of your buzzers, so let's now leave it at that. You just brushed it so you haven't a challenge, so four seconds to go, Paul, carry on starting now.

PM: Down the end of my garden late at night there is a little green man who sings songs...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and has increased his lead at the end of the round. And we're moving into the final round.


NP: Oh you are such a lovely audience. Paul back with you to begin and the subject now is closing time. Tell us something about closing time in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Now that the pub landlords have decided, through the Acts of Parliament indeed, that they can now extend the hours of their hostelry, there is now no such thing as a standard...


NP: Chris challenged.

CA: Repetition of now, and a funny voice.

NP: Now yes.

PM: We can't start challenging on funny voices, we'll be here all night!

CA: Repetition.

NP: Repetition of now, quite right Chris, you have closing time, well you have the subject of closing time and you have 50 seconds starting now.

CA: Before the First World War, there was no official pub closing time in England and Wales. It was only during that great conflict that this particular curfew was put in place, in an attempt to make sure that we won that particular...


CA: Oh you, you...

NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Hesitation plus, I think, repetition of particular.

CA: Yeah.

NP: Yes and particular yes.

CA: And to be fair, I was about to repeat war, so you know... you can have all of them for free.

PM: There was, it was called the Second World War actually.

NP: There are 36 seconds still available, Sue, closing time is with you starting now.

SP: I have enjoyed many lock-ins where closing time has been foregone. And we have been trapped within the heavily carpeted four walls of a local hostelry. Whereupon somebody brings out a plate of cold crinkle chips and folk talk earnestly of the football scores about which I know nothing, because I am prehistoric woman...


NP: Chris challenged.

CA: Repetition of about.

NP: About yes, talk about the football scores and I know nothing about. Right so repetition, Chris, 18 seconds, closing time is with you starting now.

CA: It was decided between 1914 and 1918 that the easiest way...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of 19.

NP: Nineteen-fourteen...

CA: Well I would argue that's ah...

NP: That's what?

CA: Those are in fact proper names for years.

NP: No.

PM: Numbers is the word you are looking for.

NP: They are words, they are words that you repeated. And so...

CA: So if I were to say 81 and 82, I wouldn't be allowed to do that either, would I not?

NP: No, 80, you'd be repeating 80.

CA: This is insanity!

NP: I know!

CA: The whole universe is based upon mathematics. If we allow this to stand, the fabric of the whole theatre could fall apart!

NP: Chris that is why the show is so popular! It's been running so long, there's a certain amount of insanity.

CA: What in terms of an actual physical disintegration of this ramblings...

SP: That and brushing the nipple!

CA: Oh! Two in a night, that's a double one.

NP: Paul, correct challenge, 14 seconds, closing time starting now.

PM: When I look towards the pub on the horizon, perhaps it's a metaphysical one. But I wander towards... oh!


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Can he have a metaphysical pub?

PM: Yeah.

SP: The pub of the mind?

PM: Yeah.

SP: Describe it to me!

PM: It's a member of Camera.

SP: Ah.

NP: I think he was, he was talking metaphysically, he was having a sort of strange dream, a metaphysical experience...

PM: Exactly!

NP: ... and so he was talking towards his pub, and so I have to give him the benefit of the doubt...

SP: No that's fair enough.

CA: He was on Stella.

SP: We can all get a bit metaphysical afterwards.

NP: Ten seconds, still with you Paul, closing time starting now.

PM: Last night Ken Dodd played this theatre. I don't know what the closing time was but when he was in St Helens they literally gave him the keys to lock up...


NP: Chris challenged.

CA: Repetition of was.

NP: Yes was. Ken Dodd was here and gave him the keys was. So you got in there Chris, you're learning fast in this game, and two seconds, closing time starting now.

CA: Closing time was established, as I have said...


NP: Chris Addison was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. So let me give you the final score. Sue Perkins who has triumphed in the past came and finished in a magnificent fourth place. She was just behind Julian Clary who was in third place. He was only one point behind Chris Addison who finished in a very strong second place. But out in the lead was Paul Merton so we say Paul this week we say you are our winner. So it only remains for me to say thank these four fine players of the game, Paul Merton, Chris Addison, Julian Clary and Sue Perkins. I thank Trudi Stevens, who has helped me with the score, blown her whistle with great style and aplomb. We are grateful to our producer Tilusha Ghelani, and we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are deeply indebted to this lovely audience at the Rose Theatre in the royal borough Kingston-on-Thames who have cheered us on our way magnificently. From our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons and the panel, good-bye. Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!