NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away it is my huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners not only in this country but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show four exciting, dramatic, talented players of this game. And they are, seated on my right, we welcome back with huge pleasure, that outstanding comedian, Paul Merton. And seated beside him we have a fine broadcaster and good actor, Charles Collingwood. And seated on my left, we have that delightful and outrageous comedian and also a fine presenter, Graham Norton. And seated beside him, we have a lovely comedienne and a gorgeous looking creature, that is Shappi Khorsandi. And would you please welcome all four of them! And seated beside me is Sarah Sharpe, who is going to help me with the score, and blow the whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Radio Theatre in the heart of Broadcasting House, which is in the heart of this great metropolis of London. And we begin with Graham Norton. Graham, yes, oh very topical, my New Year's resolution. So I don't know whether you've made any yet Graham. Sixty seconds starting now.

GRAHAM NORTON: This year I resolved to live my whole life according to the rules of Just A Minute. I shall not deviate...


NP: Oh wait a minute, Paul challenged.

PAUL MERTON: It was deviation because you can't live your whole life, because you've reached this point now. So you can't live your whole life in the past according to the rules of Just A Minute. I could lead my future life, but not my whole life.

GN: No it is my whole life because the rest of it's gone. That's done, that's did.

NP: Graham I'm going to defend you on this one.

GN: Thanks Nicholas! Get in there! Go on! Hit him! Hit him!

NP: I can see your logic.

PM: Yes.

NP: It might have been more easy, more explained if he had said his future life.

PM: Yes.

NP: But it conveyed to me, he'd had his life up till then, but in future he was going to lead his life in this way. And I think it was quite logical. So he gets the benefit of the doubt and you keep the subject Graham and you have 52 seconds still available on my New Yearís resolution starting now.

GN: My New Year's resolution is slightly up in the air now. Er not quite sure where I'm going with it...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SHAPPI KHORSANDI: I kind of read the er as a hesitation.

GN: Did you?

NP: No. No I don't think so Shappi, no.

SK: Is it?

NP: No I think that's being a little bit too pedantic, darling.

SK: Sorry.

GN: That's fine.

SK: You said er!

GN: I know I did.

SK: Do you think you hesitated?

GN: No!

NP: No no no no. He was, he was dragging out his words but not enough for a hesitation. Right, 44 seconds are still available Graham, tell us more about my New Year's resolution starting now.

GN: My New Year's resolution is terribly exciting but a bit of a secret so I'm just able to hint at it. Do forgive me if I don't be very specific over the next however many seconds I have left to talk. I will of course make overt and slightly odd...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There was a slight hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation there yes. Paul, correct challenge, you have 28 seconds, tell us something about my New Year's resolutions starting now.

PM: Is to put the final payment down on my sex change operation. By February, I hope to be a man! My former name, Eileen Jacobs, was something that didn't suit me in show business...


NP: Charles challenged.

CHARLES COLLINGWOOD: Er didn't suit me in show business.

NP: I think that was a hesitation Charles. Yes, 19 seconds, you tell us something about my New Yearís resolution starting now.

CC: (in pirate voice) My New Year's resolution is to stop drinking as much...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation, he's talking like a pirate! Since when has Charles been a pirate? Does he play a pirate in The Archers? (in pirate voice) That sheep needs shearing!

CC: I've never been so insulted in my voice like that! To be called a pirate!

NP: Sixteen seconds starting now.

CC: If only I could be born a little boy, I would just say to Mummy, my New Year's resolution is to give up my sweeties. But I'm not a little boy...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: I nearly buzzed you on the first little boy, because you can't be born a little boy, you're born a baby, then you grow into a little boy...

NP: Darling...

SK: But I didn't, and I waited and then it's good!

NP: And you got him on repetition...

PM: You're still born a little boy, you're not born a big something.

SK: You're born a baby.

PM: Who is a little boy.

SK: No, babies are babies, they're like little pterodactyls, they're not, they don't solidify...

PM: Are they not born with sexual organs?

GN: Whatever Paul, they don't come out of the womb going "I want to give up my sweeties!"

PM: That does seem a bit developed, doesn't it?

GN: I thought so, yes.

NP: Shappi you had a correct challenge, you have five seconds, tell us something about my New Year's resolution starting now.

SK: My New Year's resolution is to avoid smokers throughout January and not hear them whinging I can't believe I haven't...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Shappi Khorsandi who has got two points, but then so has Charles Collingwood and Graham Norton. Paul's only got one and that's the situation at the end of the first round. Charles Collingwood would you take the next round, the subject is how to flirt. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CC: (in pirate voice) I met a pirate recently who said to me "I was in this port and we saw this young girl, I said 'come over here, I don't half fancy you!'" That was rather unsubtle flirting. For myself I do the more... subtle approach...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: I'm sorry, was that hesitation? I feel bad because I was enjoying what you were saying as well as a pirate.

CC: Well you shouldn't have interrupted.

SK: It was my finger, it's just my competitive nature.

NP: Darling...

SK: I'm sorry.

NP: Address it to me and I'll decide.

SK: I'm sorry Nicholas, I felt like he hesitated.

NP: He did. Well done, well done, 47 seconds available for you Shappi on how to flirt starting now.

SK: I've never been very good at flirting. In fact I did't get a boyfriend until I was 23 because when I met someone I fancied I was very likely to say something like "hello I like fish!" Which made men run away from me very fast indeed. And also what I did when I was a teenager that I thought was hilarious but the men I liked didn't, was I used to lick my finger, touch them and go "let me get you out of those wet clothes!" Now I thought that was amusing, but they never found it amusing at all and I've said that twice, let's see if anyone notices. Now I always thought that flirting was something kind of culturally specific and I have noticed that English guys, when they flirt, they look at you and when you catch their eye, they look away. And now I realise they weren't flirting at all, they just happened to be casting their eye around a bar and me...


NP: So Shappi Khorsandi was not only speaking when the whistle went, she gained other points in the round and she is in a strong lead at the end of that round.

SK: I felt like I shared too much though!

NP: What's that?

SK: I felt like I shared too much, I felt really exposed and icky!

NP: Well Shappi...

GN: That clothes line I'm using!

NP: Shappi I don't know whether you have exhausted all the points you had because it's your turn to begin the next round, it is how to deal with admirers. You could use some of the material that you used in the other one, right.

SK: I don't know why I have the buzzer when it's my turn! That's low self-esteem, that is!

NP: I think it's a good idea to always keep it in your hand. Right so...

GN: You'll learn as you get older!

NP: How to deal with admirers, 60 seconds starting now.

SK: How to deal with admirers, it's not something I've had to deal with very often in my life. I wish I'd had to do it more often. What I find...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of often.

NP: Too many oftens then, right Shappi. Right so Paul a correct challenge, there are 53 seconds available, how to deal with admirers starting now.

PM: One gives a shy smile, lowers the eyes to the pavement, perhaps lifts a hand as if to say thank you for your kind approbation. I understand that I mean a great deal to you via the television set and also radio. But you must understand that I cannot give my love to all my listeners and viewers. Well all right, we'll start with you! And so this is how we talk to our admirers. Nicholas Parsons has many admirers stretching all the way back to Charlesmagne, a magnificent man who organised Sweden into 16th century Europe and then set forward the democracy that we see now in that particular united part of the land. When I think of my admirers, I can see here the front row. They've come all the way from Hartlepool to listen to the golden words hanging from my lips. They may say to themselves, he is a Londoner, we must look up to him. But then other people say why? What if people in London are...


NP: Well not only...

PM: That's my fan base!

NP: I know! Not only a deserved round of applause for keeping going for the full 60 seconds Paul, almost 60 seconds. But the point is that man left just as you... he leapt out of his seat in the front row and shot out!

GN: Perhaps he remembered the Christmas timetable for trains to Hartlepool!

NP: Oh give Graham a bonus point for that one! And it's actually your turn to begin Paul, oh yes, oh very Christmassy. Oh it's gone I know, but I mean it's still... well I mean we like to be reminded because the subject is what I got for Christmas. So Paul, can you tell us what you got... it's terrible English on these cards isn't it. What I got!

PM: Well what should it be, do you think?

NP: What I was given for Christmas.

PM: Shall we say that then? What I was given.

NP: Do you want to change it to given, or do you like got?

PM: What I was given, what I was given.

NP: What I was given, yes.

CC: So can I just check? So what I was given is now on the card, those are the words we can say.

NP: Yes, write them down Charles, because I know your memory is not as good as the others.

PM: He's an actor. heís allowed to.

CC: I can learn a small part.

NP: We are, we are Radio Four so I think we should stick to more grammatical words and phrases, what I was given for Christmas, Paul starting now.

PM: What I got for Christmas was a super projector which shows a particular kind of film. A narrow sort of celluloid but you can get all kinds of movies from the past in this particular medium. Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Cary Grant. These are just some of the individuals who are captured on this particular form of entertainment. And with your own... oh!


NP: Charles challenged.

CC: I think he hesitated.

NP: Yes he did indeed Charles, you have a correct challenge, you have a point, and you have... how many seconds, 38, what I have, what I was given for Christmas starting now.

CC: What I was given for Christmas was the biggest stocking you've ever seen. My children and lovely wife had filled it with goodies beyond compare. Sweeties...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Well surely we can compare them to something!

PM: He got sweeties! You can't compare sweeties!

GN: Sweeties, no! No!

PM: He's got sweeties in his stocking Nicholas!

GN: Yeah!

CC: If you knew, if you knew the hardship that I had in my life, it is beyond compare as far as I am concerned Graham.

NP: Graham, to be fair to Charles...

PM: You didn't see a walnut till you were 30, did you? Didn't see a walnut till he was 30!

GN: He was so excited by a big sock!

NP: No, it is a phrase that we use colloquially, isn't it, beyond compare. So benefit of the doubt to Charles, he keeps the subject, 26 seconds, what I was given for Christmas, Charles starting now.

CC: The present I undid took so long to unwrap that the glue on the paper was going all tacky. But eventually I licked if off so that I could find this large box inside, containing...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation, when you unwrap a Christmas present, it's not necessary to lick the glue! What's going on?

GN: That's meat and drink to Charles! That was probably his Christmas lunch!

NP: Charles can you justify licking the glue off the packets?

CC: Of course I can!

GN: He gets to taste the horse!

CC: And if you let me go on, I will.

NP: Is this some perversion of yours or something?

CC: No, no, it's not at all.

PM: You should become a member of GLA. Glue Lickers Anonymous!

NP: I gave you the benefit of the doubt on beyond compare, I'm going to give it to Paul on this occasion. What I was given for Christmas, Paul and there are 11 seconds left starting now.

PM: I was given a glue licking kit and it's fantastic! What you do is you get hold of some sticky stuff, put it on your tongue, and start licking away...


NP: Shappi.

SK: Licking.

NP: Two lickings there.

SK: For a minute, I wondered if licking was in the thing!

PM: Glue licking, licking and lick.

NP: No, glue licking was the present you had.

PM: Did I?

GN: The present was a glue licking kit.

PM: Ah okay.

NP: That's right yes.

CC: Too many lickings there Paul.

PM: Really?

CC: Yes.

NP: So Shappi you have got four seconds and you have what I, what I was given for Christmas starting now.


PM: Hesitation.

NP: Were you given anything for Christmas, Shappi?

SK: No, we don't celebrate Christmas, I didn't really know what to say.

NP: Oh gosh that's such a, such an emotional response, isn't it.

SK: I'm completely joking, no, I got presents, don't worry!

NP: All right.

SK: Jeez, we're not backward!

NP: I've got to tell you, you did pause for two seconds.

SK: Did I?

NP: Yes so I think as you have played the game quite a few times now...

SK: Yes.

NP: ... I'll have to say Paul, that was a correct challenge.

SK: Okay.

NP: And you have two seconds on what I was given for Christmas starting now.

PM: A magnificent pair of leather football boots endorsed...


NP: So at the end of that round Paul was speaking as the whistle went, got that extra point. He's now in the lead, one ahead of Shappi and three ahead of Charles, and four ahead of Graham. And Graham it's with you to begin and the subject now is the best advice my Mum ever gave me. Tell us something about that if you can, you don't look very happy with it, but try, 60 seconds starting now.

GN: The best advice my mother ever gave me was don't go into the room. I listened to her quietly as I sat in a corner, rocking and crying. I was a troubled child. My mother put on her coat...


NP: Charles challenged.

CC: Repe, he repeated mother twice.

NP: I know, because it says it's my Mum on the card.

GN: Mum? That's not very Radio Four grammatical, is it.

NP: I quite agree.

GN: We'll get letters, Nicholas! We'll get letters!

NP: But to be fair to Charles, I did actually read out the best advice my Mum ever gave me.

GN: And if only I had been listening to you!

NP: And you grammatically put it correct and said my mother. But you did say mother twice so Charles you have a correct challenge, 46 seconds, the best advice my Mum ever gave me starting now.

CC: The best advice my Mum ever gave me was to shave first thing in the morning, and floss, cleaning my teeth before breakfast. Because then I could prepare myself for whatever the day had in future. I, I...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: I just felt that wasn't quite correct English.

NP: It wasn't very good English, no, not as we understand it. I could prepare myself for whatever my day had in the future. No no that is not good English, 33 seconds Shappi, with you, the best advice my Mum ever gave me starting now.

SK: The best advice my Mum ever gave me was (speaks in foreign language)


SK: It's how she talks!

NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: Repetition.

NP: What?

PM: Hoh!

NP: No no it was pure Iranian, I understood every word of it. And...

PM: Did you?

NP: Yes.

PM: What'd she say?

NP: She said my Mum gave me some very advice, to be careful of men, particularly if you are going out alone. And one or two other things like that.

GN: She described that blazer in detail, did she?

NP: So she cleverly kept going anyway and we all enjoyed it so she has the benefit of the doubt, she gets another point and she keeps the subject, 24 seconds, the best advice my Mum ever gave me starting now.

SK: The best advice my Mum ever gave me was Shappi, don't listen to me. I have no idea what I am talking about. I have lived in Cloud Cuckoo Land for years and frankly I don't know what I get up in the morning...


NP: Charles challenged.

CC: There was a hesitation there.

NP: There was a hesitation.

SK: There was many.

NP: Twelve seconds, you take over the subject of the best advice my Mum ever gave me starting now.

CC: The best advice my mother ever gave me was to be kind and thoughtful to people. Always give them the attention you feel...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: I think there was a hesitation, Paul yes. And you've got the subject with five seconds to go, the best advice my Mum ever gave me Paul starting now.

PM: The best advice my mother gave me, she said that is the clutch, the brake, accelerator...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: That was genuinely a slip of the finger, I'm so sorry! I'm sorry Paul, please forgive me.

NP: Don't apologise, my darling. All that happens is that Paul gets another point because you...

SK: I thought if I apologised, the point wouldnít... sorry!

NP: He does get a point, no. Because I don't know what has gone wrong with this clock because I think Sarah forgot to stop it because it says now...

GN: It's 2009 already!

NP: Because it says according to this, the stopwatch, you have minus one second.

PM: Shall I talk backwards?

NP: So I say you have half a second, the best advice my Mum ever gave me starting now.

PM: Never wear those trousers!


NP: So Paul was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, has increased his lead at the end of that round ahead of Shappi, Charles and Graham in that order. And Charles we're with you to begin, the subject is the joys of caravanning. Can you tell us something... you must look like a caravanning man to the audience. Starting now.

CC: The joys of caravanning are midsummer with the van on the back of the car, pootling along a single track road at 35 miles an hour. And by the time you reach Cornwall over 17,000 people hate you more than anything in the whole world. But in fact my family have had a mobile home for a number of years, which is screwed into the ground, fully plumbed...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: It's not mobile then, is it. Deviation. A mobile home that is screwed into the ground?

NP: That is a contradiction.

PM: If you were screwed into the ground, you wouldn't be mobile, would you Nicholas?

CC: They are described as mobile homes.

NP: They are described but, because they can be moved, I think that's the reason.

CC: They can be moved, they have wheels.

NP: That's why they're called mobile homes, even though they are stationary.

CC: Exactly.

NP: So Paul, benefit of the doubt, I always try and redress the balance if I can on occasions. Charles keeps going with 38 seconds on the joys of caravanning starting now.

CC: The joys of caravanning are waking up in the morning in a field somewhere remote that Nicholas Parsons didnít know existed. And finding the cows surrounding your van...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Yeah I challenged before you said van. But you said the joys, the joys of waking up in the middle of a field, but you hadn't mentioned a caravan. So I thought you'd just woken up in the middle of a field with no caravan at all.

CC: The joys of caravanning are waking...

PM: Waking up in the middle of a field.

CC: Because you're in the caravan! I mean, how stupid do you think these people are?

PM: What, out of 10?

NP: They enjoyed Paul's interruption...

CC: Did we?

NP: So he gets a bonus, bonus points. But you were interrupted as well...

CC: Do I get one as well?

NP: So you get a point, no no, you get a point for an incorrect challenge, and you have 28 seconds to try and continue on the joys of caravanning starting now.

CC: The gas cylinder can be rather annoying when it's...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Then it's not one of the joys of caravanning, is it!

NP: I think the audience's applause endorses the fact that you had a logical challenge there and you have 25 seconds, you tell us something about the joys of caravanning, Graham starting now.

GN: I think one of the real joys of caravanning is how clever the inside is. Something could be a bottle opener, and suddenly you twist it, apply a foot pump, and it's a walk-in shower. The table becomes a bed, the curtains are cheese graters, it's all so brainy! The joys of caravanning are immense, I think. You know you all pack in there and suddenly...


NP: So Graham Norton was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point and a huge round of applause from the audience. He's still in fourth place but he he, give him time. He needs to gather momentum. I mention those figures because we are into the final round.

GN: Can I still win?

NP: Anybody can win, you never know in this game.

PM: It'll probably be one of the four people sitting up here.

NP: Yes, that's a very shrewd observation Paul. Shappi the subject is clubbing, there are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

SK: One of the wonderful things about getting older is that I'm freely able to admit that I hate clubbing. I remember going clubbing when I was younger because I felt like I had to. When meeting men with names like (in Spanish accent) Roberto from Bolivia. (normal voice) If you are from Bolivia, I can't do accents...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Yes repetition of the Bolivia.

NP: That's right.

GN: Yes.

NP: Well listened Graham.

GN: Thanks.

NP: You have clubbing. I don't know whether you have done it but you can talk on the subject, 48 seconds starting now.

GN: Any Saturday you like, Soho in the centre of London will be full of young kids going clubbing. And I can't help...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I choose a Saturday in 1787!

GN: And I think you'll find it's full of some people going clubbing.

PM: I don't think Soho in 1787 was full of people going clubbing. Any Saturday you like.

GN: I say it was.

PM: Nicholas can you remember? Was Soho... in 1787...

NP: Of course I can remember, why do you think they got for me this job? But all I can say is that I'm sure the variation of clubbing, which wasn't used then, was probably happening. There were people going out to clubs if they did exist.

PM: In 1787?

NP: In 1787.

PM: People going to clubs in 1787?

NP: They wouldn't have called them...

GN: You heard him, Paul! Yes! You asked him, he told you! Yes!

NP: They would have called them taverns!

GN: Yeah Nicholas, you tell him!

NP: They were going out to taverns.

GN: Yeah! See! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

NP: Graham's got the subject, 40 seconds, continue on clubbing Graham starting now.

GN: Clubbing is very popular in Manchester and I do wonder how many baby seals are in that city. I just don't know. And yet out they go, willy nilly, each weekend. You can hear the howls of pain but on a Monday, oh what warm cosy coats, jumpers and things they have.


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: I was really enjoying what he was saying but he kind of stammered.

GN: Yes I did.

SK: Yes.

NP: All right so Shappi, you wanted it back and you got it, 24 seconds, clubbing starting now.

SK: Roberto... oh what have I done now?


SK: Why did I even get out of bed?

NP: Yes because you repeated Roberto, you hesitated immediately.

SK: I know so many other names!

NP: I know, that's what happens in Just A Minute, the mind gets fixed! Twenty-two seconds on clubbing with you Paul starting now.

PM: Samuel Johnson and Boswell liked nothing better in 1787 than to go clubbing in London. They would walk into taverns because in those days those particular establishments were the closest you would get to a club. And people would gather, drink coffee, drink port, and...


NP: Ah Charles challenged.

CC: Two drinks.

PM: Two drinks.

NP: Yes Paul...

CC: Two drinks.

PM: Two drinks.

CC: Two drinks.

PM: Two drinks.

NP: Right and nine seconds on clubbing with you Charles starting now.

CC: As an older man as I stand on the street late at night and notice these young flibbertigibbets coming out of the clubs, I canít believe...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I'm just saving him from himself!

NP: I must say...

GN: I'm not sure it's a story you want to tell on the radio Charles.

NP: I must say Charles, the image you give, you standing on the street. What has your wife got to say about all this?

CC: What?

NP: What has your wife got to say about you standing on the street looking at all these young birds?

CC: My wife's not with me when I'm standing...

GN: Just stop! Stop!

NP: It gets worse, yes, it gets worse! So who challenged...

PM: He doesn't want to take his wife out, does he, while he is ogling young girls coming out of clubs?

NP: Of course not but he just wanted a bit more... ah Graham you've challenged, what was the challenge?

GN: Deviation from sense!

NP: All right, Graham you have ah...

CC: What? Stop him! Graham stop him!

NP: A kind of sense!

CC: You can't... what!

NP: It seemed extraordinarily devious what you were doing, Charles.

PM: He was only having a look!

SK: He might be a taxi driver!

PM: He's 66 Nicholas.

NP: Right, Charles Collingwood...

GN: It's something Charles really feels he needs to share with the nation!

NP: Charles Collingwood is so overcome with emotion and so distressed that heís...

CC: I can't believe it!

NP: His particular fetish of going to the streets and ogling young women which he has now confessed to...

PM: I'm in The Archers, you know!

CC: Oh no you're not!

NP: Ruined his, ruined his image with all the fans of The Archers. But we're going to give him an incredible benefit of the doubt and say you've got half a second on more distressing information about clubbing starting now.

CC: The hours I've waited...


NP: So Charles Collingwood was then speaking metaphorically when the whistle went and also brought the show to a close in classic style. Let me give you the final situation. Graham Norton who has triumphed so well in the past, finished up in a brilliant, no, let me tell you, it was only just, but a brilliant fourth place. And just ahead of him was Shappi Khorsandi who has done so well. And ahead of her was Charles Collingwood who did extremely well. But only two points ahead of Charles was Paul Merton so we say Paul you are the winner this week. We hope you enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and will want to tune in again at the same time next week. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine players of the game, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Shappi Khorsandi and Charles Collingwood. I thank Sarah Sharpe, who has helped me with the score, blown her whistle with great style. We thank our producer Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are grateful to this lovely audience here in the Radio Theatre who have cheered us on our way. From our audience, from me, Nicholas Parsons, and the team, good-bye, thank you and to our listeners tune in again the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!