NOTE: Justin Moorhouse's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: 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 exciting, diverse and talented individuals who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And they are, seated on my right, we welcome back that fine exponent of this game, that outstanding comedian, Paul Merton. And seated beside him we have another fine comedian who is also a writer, that is Chris Neill. And seated on my left, we have a lovely stand-up comedian who is also a fine humorous writer, Tony Hawks. And seated beside him, someone who has never played the game before, another fine comedian and a great presenter as well, Justin Moorhouse. Will you please welcome all four of them! And as usual I am going to ask them to speak if they can on a subject that I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Seated beside me is Sarah Sharpe, who is going to help me keep the score, blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Performing Arts Centre in Lincoln which is part of the University of Lincoln. And we have a fine Lincolnshire audience drawn from all quarters of this large county, and I hope also a sprinkling of students. As we begin with Paul Merton. Paul the subject to start with is five things to do with a potato.

PAUL MERTON: Looking at you, looking at you, I can think of six!

NP: I thought you were rather firm with the subject, but you're now obviously thrilled to have it. So tell us something in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

PM: Boiled potato, baked potatoes, mashed potato, roast potato and chipped potato. It's an incredibly versatile vegetable, the potato. If it's given enough chances in life, it can learn to tap-dance to a semi-professional standard. Take on a job at the local McDonald's where it has the awful terrifying thing of selling its own cousins away as French fries. It's a form of cannibalism which I think is wrong in this country today that so many of the potato that we have here is unable to find full-time employment and now which is of course the credit crunch. Should other vegetables perhaps like...


NP: Justin challenged.

JUSTIN MOORHOUSE: Repetition of vegetable.

NP: Yes he did, he said it at the beginning, yes he said it's a versatile... Justin, first time to play the game, first person to challenge. Right so you got in and you have the subject of five things to do with a potato, 23 seconds available starting now.

JM: There's another...


NP: Chris you challenged.

CHRIS NEILL: Hesitation.

NP: Oh shut up! Absolutely wrong! Anyway you've given him a point so don't worry Justin. What a way to treat a first time player of the game. So you have a point, you've got two points now...

JM: Thank you very much.

NP: So Justin you've got 22 seconds still available, five things to do with a potato starting now.

JM: There's a sixth thing you can do with a potato and that's the duffin noir.


JM: I was just so pleased that I said duffin noir correctly. I don't know what it is, I just said it.

NP: I know yes. Does anybody else know what it is?


CN: Yes.

NP: What is it Chris?

CN: Well it's a baked dish where you take the... slices of, you don't want them too waxy and you don't want them too floury like red potato, something like that. And (unintelligible) and you cook them slowly in cream with some thyme and garlic and put them in a baking dish. You can...

PM: Can you slow down? I'm taking this down as a recipe.

CN: You can put cheese on the top but there's a bit of a debate about that.

TH: Yes.

CN: And you put it in a hot oven for about an hour. It's very good with roast lamb.

NP: Right, if you want to also know about cooking, tune into Just A Minute! And also it's the Food Programme follows us on a Sunday.

CN: They'll be disappointed, they will.

NP: Um, who's challenged? You challenged, didn't you Tony?

TH: I did challenge and I challenged for the old fashioned challenge of hesitation.

NP: And you are absolutely right. Because he not only hesitated, he stopped.

TH: He did.

NP: Right Tony, a point to you for a correct challenge, 17 seconds available, you tell us about five things to do with a potato starting now.

TH: One of the most magnificent things about living in this great country of ours is that there are hardly any legal restrictions on what you can do with a potato...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well I challenged just before he got to the word potato because I didn't think he was going to. But I was going to go for deviation but I think as I challenged, he did say potato.

NP: He did say potato, yes he was winding down but he was keeping going to the whistle went. But he's still got six more seconds, you've got another point of course, Tony, five things to do with a potato starting now.

TH: I often take a wheelbarrow, pop a potato into it and walk it to the local church, declaring...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Tony Hawks. He's in the lead now ahead of Justin Moorhouse and then Chris Neill and Paul. Chris Neill, will you begin the next round, the subject is moles. Will you tell us something about moles in this game starting now.

CN: Moles are small dark hairy creatures with rather poor eyesight, and therefore I feel a great affinity with them! They live under fields and are the bane of many a farmer's life. Out they will pop, ruining his crop in that particular section. If only workmen could efficiently dig and fill in a hole, I suppose moles don't really dig and fill in a hole, do they?


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Well he was going so well and then he decided to sabotage his own...

CN: I know, I started having a conversation with myself!

TH: Um he did repeat dig.

CN: Yeah.

NP: You're the one player of the game Chris who when you slip up, draws attention to it!

CN: I know!

NP: Anyway so correct challenge Tony, 38 seconds, tell us something about moles starting now.

TH: There were famous moles, er Philby...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: A bit of a hesitation.

NP: There was an er.

TH: Yeah.

NP: Yes.

TH: My fifth word.

NP: So Paul, tell us something about moles, 35 seconds starting now.

PM: There was a popular song that went "I am a mole and I live in a hole" and in those...


NP: Justin challenged.

JM: Repetition of hole.

NP: No, I am a mole and live in a hole.

JM: Did Chris not say hole before?

NP: No it doesn't matter, he said it, but Paul hasn't said it.

JM: Nicholas can I just put my hands up and say that's not what they all told me before. At the same time they said they'd go easy on me at the beginning!

PM: But you're the one making the challenges! We're not going hard on you!

NP: Justin if we couldn't repeat words that other people have said as well as the words that we've said ourselves, I think it would be an impossible game to play.

PM: We have been going for over 40 years so every word that everyone has said in that time...

JM: Sorry.

NP: Next thing you'll challenge for people, something that was said about 20 years ago. So bad luck, well tried, lovely to hear from you Justin.

JM: It'll be the last time!

NP: No no don't be inhibited please. Right Paul you have moles still, 30 seconds starting now.

PM: I have a place in the country which has a lovely lawn. And there are always molehills all over it. But I don't take the view that somehow I should do something to get rid of this creature. Because as far as I am concerned, it's his natural habitat and I have just got a mortgage on it. So why shouldn't he stay there? And I think if we look around and we see the things that moles can do...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Were there two things? Or as I say that, one was a think and a thing.

NP: No...

PM: Is somebody recording this so we could check?

CN: I think it was a think and a thing.

NP: That's right, it was a think and a thing. You're sitting next to him so we do rely on you...

CN: It should get to me more quickly really, shouldn't it?

NP: Yes.

PM: It's going off the satellite!

NP: Fourteen seconds still available Paul, moles starting now.

PM: Anthony Blunt was one of the great moles that betrayed this country after the Second World War. He was also the Queen�s adviser to Royal paintings. And I wonder as he wandered through Buckingham...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: No, I don't think he did anything wrong at all actually.

NP: I think it was good of you to reassure him. I think you got confused between wander...

TH: He said wonder and wander, you see.

NP: Wonder and wander, yes, so four seconds Paul on moles with you starting now.

PM: The mole is a black creature that looks you straight in the eye...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and at the end of the round has leapt forward. He's now in the lead just ahead of Tony Hawks, then Justin Moorhouse and Chris Neill. And Justin we'd like you to begin the next round, the subject is social networking. I don't know whether it's something you indulge in, but can you talk on the subject...

JM: Not any more it's not, after tonight!

NP: Starting now.

JM: Social networking is a very interesting phenomenon, I believe in this country. There will be people sat here who do that kind of thing on the Internet. It's nice to see them out of the houses, they've updated their statuses! The two main things are Facebook and Myspace. Never get those confused, never invite anybody on to... your...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: A repetition of never?

NP: Yeah, never do that, never. Justin if you speak a little slower, you'll probably find it easier. Chris you have a correct challenge, you have 45 seconds, social networking starting now.

CN: Social networking, it's a way of not having to see real life friends ever again. You can sit in front of your computer terminal whether it be a desktop or a laptop and...


NP: Justin challenged.

JM: I was going to say repetition of top.

CN: Well I think you'd be wrong.

JM: I know I am.

NP: It was a repetition but desktop and laptop are one word.

JM: I know.

NP: So I'm sorry about that Justin. No we love your keenness.

CN: I breathed more than once, do you want to get me on that as well?


CN: Oh stop being so queeny!

NP: I don't know why you're offended, because you gain points from a wrong challenge.

TH: Yes.

CN: I know, I don't know why.

NP: No.

CN: So I give up my rightful place of coming last?

NP: Thirty-three seconds Chris, social networking starting now.

CN: If you've not seen a pal on one of these social networking sites for a while, you can poke them, which means you throw a sheep at them or a turtle...


NP: Justin challenged.

JM: Repetition of them.

NP: Yes! Ohhhh! Sharp listening now. Justin we're back with you, 24 seconds available, social networking starting now.

JM: I said to my father "what did you do before social networking?" He said "I had real friends!" So that's interesting...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of said.

NP: Yes.

PM: I'm sorry but Justin just challenged for them, and so, once we've established the rules under which we're prepared to challenge... you live by the sword as well as you die by it.

NP: And they are the rules of the game.

PM: Yeah.

NP: Said is a strong word. Eighteen seconds Paul, social networking starting now.

PM: I've known more friends through Just A Minute than doing anything else, which gives you some idea what a miserable life I lead. As I look around here I see all my friends looking at me. Nicholas...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Yeah repetition of friends.

NP: You had too many friends. Yes. Tony Hawks we are going to hear from you on this subject as well and you have nine seconds still, social networking starting now.

TH: I think I may have lost a lot of friends as a result of social networking. I receive an e-mail saying would you like to be a mate...


NP: So Tony Hawks was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's now equal in the lead with Paul Merton, followed by Justin Moorhouse and Chris Neill in that order. All right Paul it's your turn to begin and the subject is honorary degrees. Oh there's a frisson went through the audience then. Tell us something about that subject Paul in this game starting now.

PM: I don't have any honorary degrees, but I'm open to offers. I wrote a book about silent comedy about two years ago that may be considered eligible for an honorary degree. And I believe our esteemed chairman, Mister Nicholas Parsons, collects them like old shopping bags, don't you? He�s got 15 honorary degrees from Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness, he's always been very popular in Scotland. Swansea, Cardiff, Oswestry which as you know is on the border between England and Wales. And I believe he's also...


NP: Justin you've challenged.

JM: Deviation.

NP: Yes I haven't had honorary degrees from all those places. I have one from Lincoln of which I am truly proud.

PM: That's a national scandal.

NP: So it was deviation, I haven't had all those. So Justin you've got the subject, 32 seconds, honorary degrees starting now.

JM: I don't think I could have got a degree from any university because I'm not intelligent enough. I did...



PM: No it's a shame he's not intelligent enough, you're right to show sympathy.

NP: Yeah.

CN: I was going to challenge the audience, he's absolutely right.

NP: But you did challenge? You're challenging the audience? You can't do that in this game.

CN: He, he, there was a hesitation.

NP: There was a long hesitation.

CN: Yeah.

NP: He paused because the audience gave this huge wail of sympathy towards him. But we have to go by the rules of Just A Minute and you have to keep going...

CN: It's a hard hard game! Deal with it!

NP: So let's hear from you on honorary degrees Chris, 17 seconds starting now.

CN: I haven't got any honorary degrees. Unlike Dale Winton who has got an honorary degree in tanning booths from the University...


NP: Justin challenged.

JM: Deviation.

NP: Because it's not true.

JM: No it's not true at all, is it.

NP: No no, he hasn't got an hon... you couldn't have it in tanning booths! It's a lovely idea but it didn't get very much of a...

PM: Is that a small town in Somerset? Tanningbooths? I've had a postcard from there.

NP: It's a lovely thought Chris, but it wasn't correct. So Justin you have another point and you still have the subject, 10 seconds, honorary degrees starting now.

JM: It's one of the things that makes this country great. That we can still bestow upon even the thickest members of the public an honorary degree. I...


NP: Justin you were speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so, you've moved forward, you're still in third place, you're just behind Tony Hawks and a few points behind Paul Merton. Chris is trailing a little. And Chris, Chris, the subject is men who wear glasses. I should explain to our listeners in case you want to know, Chris wears glasses, I wear glasses, Justin Moorhouse wears glasses, that is the subject, 60 seconds starting now.

CN: Men who wear glasses usually, or quite often, started out as boys who wear glasses. I was seven when I had my first pair of glasses. And I remember the optician had breath that could strip the paint off a car! And when I came round my mother had to throw water on me to bring me back to the seat. She ah, she said now, she said son...


NP: Justin challenged.

JM: Repetition of she.

NP: Yes she, yes, she she.

CN: It was a lovely story.

NP: Well Chris maybe you'll get in again and finish it. But by the rules of Just A Minute you have a challenge against you, Justin a point to you, 38 seconds, men who wear glasses starting now.

JM: Men who wear glasses are always the first subjects I go for in any game of guess who. Then I go for men who have beards...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I think repetition of go for.

NP: Go for yes, men who go for. And so 32 seconds Tony, with you, men who wear glasses starting now.

TH: Men wearing glasses doesn't necessarily mean they have anything in common. Gandhi wore glasses, so does Timmy Mallett. Doesn't mean of course that they could have...


NP: Justin challenged.

JM: Repetition of mean.

TH: Yep.

NP: Yes, mean, definitely, well listened. Justin 21 seconds, back with you, men who wear glasses starting now.

JM: You may say Timmy Mallett and Gandhi have nothing in common but I've seen them both in nappies! I often play the game...


NP: What's your challenge Chris?

CN: That's not really about wearing glasses, it's about nappies, deviation.

NP: No he established the fact that they both wear glasses.

CN: Oh I see.

NP: And he went on to say that they're both in nappies.

CN: Another thing that they do, yeah yeah. No it's interesting, isn't it!

PM: Is it insulting to say that Gandhi wore nappies?

JM: Probably is.

PM: One of the great men of the 20th century.

NP: We won't dwell on that.

PM: No.

NP: So Justin you have another point and you have 15 seconds, men who wear glasses starting now.

JM: There aren't many men who wear glasses that are in power. Gordon Brown doesn't wear glasses, neither does Alistair Darling, neither did Margaret Thatcher.


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Alistair Darling does wear glasses.

JM: When did he start wearing glasses?

CN: Alistair Darling wears glasses, doesn't he?

NP: Definitely. And the audience have endorsed it.

CN: I remember sometimes when he falls asleep and the book drops, I take his glasses off and put them on the bedside table. So I do know that actually.

NP: Chris you've got a correct challenge, eight seconds, men who wear glasses starting now.

CN: Men who wear glasses come as we've discovered from a variety of fields of work and life in general...


NP: So Chris Neill got some points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went, he's moved forward. He's still in fourth place but he's moved. But he's not very far behind Justin Moorhouse and Tony Hawks, both equal in second place, two points behind our leader Paul Merton. And Justin we're back with you to begin and the subject we�d like you to start with is poker. I don't know whether you're an exponent of that wonderful card game. But anyway, talk on it, 60 seconds starting now.

JM: I've often played poker, I've played Texas Hold 'Em. People often say I have a poker face like a jack of clubs. But the problem I have had playing poker is that I'm not very good at it. I try but I, like this game...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Ah sudden loss of oxygen!

NP: That's right, he tried but he failed.

JM: I was concentrating on trying to talk slowly, then I forgot what I was going to say. I can't do two things at once.

NP: Paul, correct challenge, another point to you, 48 seconds available, poker starting now.

PM: One of the joys of a real coal fire is being able to get hold of a poker and disturb the embers. And the flames and the burning coals that you see in front of you. And you think to yourself, this magnificent poker, it may be made of iron, that's usually the best. If you go for the paper ones they don't last as long. We had a cardboard poker that lasted quite a long time in fact. All the way from New Year 1968 through to Christmas Day 1972. And we looked after it like it was one of the family. It actually resembled Uncle Albert and he was a lovely man. He used to sit outside in the sunshine and inside when it was raining...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah I think he was doing a clever little ploy, of he had run out of things to say about pokers and it was deviation because he was telling us about Uncle Albert.

NP: No the poker looked like Uncle Albert.

PM: Yeah.

TH: A cardboard poker? This cardboard poker that lasted four years?

PM: Yes.

TH: Looked like Uncle Albert?

NP: Well I mean if you go into the realms of the surreal, you have to accept all kinds of unusual suggestions.

TH: You don't have to defend it though, do you?

NP: No but you established that your cardboard poker...

CN: He didn't say that you'd actually used the cardboard one.

PM: No no, we couldn't because it was made of cardboard.

TH: Well yeah.

PM: We may have been working class but we weren't stupid! We understood!

TH: It would have been rude to Uncle Albert anyway, wouldn't it.

PM: Exactly!

JM: You might have got them confused.

PM: We did, we didn't do it.

NP: And maybe you had a cardboard cut-out of Uncle Albert as well.

PM: Don't be ridiculous! I think you've wandered into the realms of fantasy there!

NP: You've got another point Paul, 13 seconds, poker starting now.

PM: Some of my friends at the Comedy Store Players like to get together for poker evenings. And I joined them once, but unfortunately I didn't take it as seriously as the rest of them. They liked to get together in a circle, have the cards dealt out, and seriously play the...


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking at the whistle again, gained another point and he's moved forward a little bit ahead of all the others. And let me tell you the situation as we move into the final round. Chris Neill is trailing just a little in fourth place. He is behind Tony Hawks and then just ahead of him is Justin Moorhouse who hasn't played it so often. And five or six points ahead of Justin is Paul Merton who is in the lead as we go into the last round. And it comes round to you Paul to begin and the subject to start with is the best thing about the person next to me. I should explain to our listeners, Paul has now moved round in his chair and is now facing Chris Neill. And he's going to start with 60 seconds to go now.

PM: The best thing about the person sitting next to me is I can see a reflection of myself in his eyes. Oh what a gorgeous creature I am! Hair of spun gold...


NP: Ah Justin challenged.

JM: Deviation.

NP: Why?

JM: It was about Paul and not Chris.

PM: I could see my reflection in his eyes. That's the best thing about him, my reflection in his eyes.

CN: Cheers!

PM: I didn't say it was kind!

NP: I think it was quite logical, what he said Justin. So he has another point, keeps the subject, 52 seconds, the best thing about the person next to me starting now.

PM: It's his indomitable...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Deviation because earlier you said you could see a reflection of you and you had hair of spun gold.

PM: You want to get your eyes seen to! I think it's the sleep in the corner of your eye, that's what I am seeing.

NP: So what is your challenge Chris?

CN: Well he's not, Paul's not really, he's got a lovely head of hair, but it's more sort of matted grey!

PM: Grey!

NP: I must say Paul, as much as I do admire your fine head of hair, I wouldn't describe it as spun gold!

PM: No? So how do you feel about matted grey?

NP: I wouldn't have allowed that either.

PM: No.

NP: So there you are, that's a good friend. Right um Chris, I wondered who you were for a minute. Ah it's, you�ve got the correct challenge...

PM: Oh hang on a second. Chris challenged after I had started again and the spun hair had been in the previous bit. Because I started again, I got one word out and then Chris said the thing about spun hair but that had been in the previous bit.

TH: You can't have retrospective stuff, otherwise I'll have another go at that cardboard poker not...

NP: You're perfectly right Paul, you can't have retrospective challenges. So 52 seconds is with Paul, the best thing about the person next to me starting now.

PM: Reasonable, well balanced, these are just some of the qualities that he aspires to. If God is a man and surely he can be here in proud Lincoln, then he must look like Chris Neill. I would be quite prepared to walk into a church where all the statues had his head on them. And I would bow down before them...


NP: Um...

CN: Don't challenge!

NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Well I had to stop or I think it would have gone to Chris's head obviously! But there were a few, there were a few woulds in there. I would, he would.

NP: Yes I would, I would, I would. Well listened Tony.

CN: Yeah, well done!

NP: Yes!

CN: Good on you! I'm so glad you won that one.

NP: You had your 30 seconds of adulation. Now relax Chris. Thirty-one seconds Tony are still available, the best thing about the person next to me starting now.

TH: I should point out that I am sat at the end of...


NP: Justin challenged.

JM: There's nothing really great about me so he was obviously going to deviate.

NP: Your modesty gains you a bonus point.

CN: Even though it veers on the cusp of sickening!

JM: Strap yourself in for his bit then!

NP: Right, 29 seconds Tony, because you got a point because you were interrupted, 29 seconds with you, the best thing about the person next to me starting now.

TH: I'm seated on the end of the table, so the person next to me is in A1 in the front row and possibly a farmer, you cannot be sure. But I can tell you the best thing about him is his beard. It is magnificent...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Deviation, it's a woman!

NP: I have to point out for listeners, that Chris is correct...

CN: To be fair, she's not shaved! But!

NP: But it is, and Tony was overcome with embarrassment and he's gone down on his knees in supplication to her and said I'm very very sorry. At least I think it was apologies, I don't know about that. So Chris you've got a correct challenge there and you've got eight seconds to say something about the best thing about the person next to me starting now.

CN: Paul Merton is the person sitting next to me and some of the very best things about him are his judgement, his sense. He's...


NP: Chris Neill was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. And at the end of that round he has brought the show to a close. I'm just getting the final scores from Sarah. And I can let you know that Chris, in spite of his humorous contribution, in particular in that last remark he made, has finished up in a very strong, very strong fourth place. Tony who has been, Tony Hawks who has been known to triumph in this show finished in third place, only one or two or three points ahead. One point ahead of him was the fellow who has never played the game before, did extremely well in second place, Justin Moorhouse. But a few points ahead of him and all the others was Paul Merton so once again we say Paul you are the winner this week. So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine players and great humorists of this game, Paul Merton, Chris Neill, Justin Moorhouse and Tony Hawks. I also thank Sarah Sharpe, who has helped me with the score, she has blown her whistle very delicately. We are indebted to our producer Claire Jones. And particularly indebted to the man who created this lovely game, Ian Messiter.


NP: And his family will be delighted to hear that extra round of applause. And we are indebted to this lovely audience here in at the Performing Arts Centre here at the University of Lincoln who have cheered us on our way magnificently. From our lovely Lincolnshire audience, from the panel and from me, Nicholas Parsons, thank you for tuning in and be with us the next time we play Just A Minute!