starring PAUL MERTON, CLEMENT FREUD, JULIAN CLARY and JOSIE LONG, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 19 January 2009)

NOTE: Josie Long's only appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: 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 throughout the world. But also to welcome to the show this week four delightful, exciting, talented, humorous people who are going to play Just A Minute. And they are, seated on my right, that intrepid performer of this game and a great exponent of Just A Minute, a lovely comedian, Paul Merton. And seated beside him our veteran player of this game who contributes so much in his wit and humour, that is Clement Freud. And seated on my left, another delightful comedian who is outrageous on occasions but always charming and engaging with it, that is Julian Clary. And seated beside him, we welcome someone who has never played the game before, but has come with courage and determination to do battle with these three intrepid fellows,a lovely comedienne and stand-up comic, that is Josie Long. Will you please welcome all four of them! Thank you, thank you! And once again I am going to ask them to speak on a subject that I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Beside me sits Sarah Sharpe, who has not only come along with a sharpened pencil to help me keep the score, but also to 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 centre of Broadcasting House, in the West-One area of London. And we have a lovely audience in front of us who are come in from the rain and the weather outside to relax and enjoy themselves. So let's hope that we can give them what they want as we start the show this week with Paul Merton. Paul here's a good subject to begin with, how to make a cup of tea, starting now.

PAUL MERTON: It largely depends on what sort of tea you want to make, whether it's green tea or black tea. For example the aforementioned particular colour of tea is very subtly er...


NP: Julian challenged.

JULIAN CLARY: Um hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes it's not an easy subject...

PM: No.

NP: ... to flow on, is it. Julian, a correct challenge, a point to you, 42 seconds available, how to make a cup of tea starting now.

JC: If I want a cup of tea I usually go and buy one. But I have been known to make one...


NP: Clement challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: You can't buy a cup of tea.

NP: Why not? Why not?

CF: You can buy a mug of tea.

NP: No, you buy a cup of tea.

JC: You can buy a cup.

NP: You go into a delica-place where they have a pot and there's a cup. Or you can actually buy a cup of tea. Some people give you a cup of tea, some give you a mug of tea.

CF: Repetition!

NP: You can still... it is still possible, wherever you are, to buy a cup of tea. At Joe's Cafe around the corner from where we live, you can buy a cup of tea. Right, so incorrect...

PM: How much is this tea at Joes Cafe?

NP: It's only about 5P.

PM: That's not bad. Where does this cafe exist, 1948? 5P!

NP: It's not a very big cup!

PM: Oh! (laughs)

NP: (in Cockney voice) Oh you want a big one, do you Nicholas? Well that'll cost you 25P! Right! You can have a mug for 30P and you can have a whole bleedin' tankard if you want for a whole quid. How do you feel about your tea, Nicholas? (normal voice) I just wanted...

PM: That was, that was spooky! You were possessed by an alien spirit!

NP: Julian you challenged and a correct challenge, you have 37 seconds, tell us something, how to make a cup of tea starting now.

JC: It was Joe who taught me how to make a cup of tea. (in Cockney voice) Here, you need a kettle, Governor! (normal voice) He said, I'm not going to keep that voice up for too long, because it might hurt! You need a tea bag, you need a ... pot...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of need.

NP: Yes that's right yes and I think he hesitated because of that. Right, 26 seconds, it's back with you Paul on how to make a cup of tea starting now.

PM: I said to Joe, how do you manage to make a profit? Look at that. Four sponge cakes for a farthing! And he looked at me in the eye and he said in that Cockney accent which we've all grown to love, (unintelligible Cockney-sounding nonsense) And I said you must have been at the Battle of Waterloo...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

PM: What?

CF: (unintelligible nonsense)

PM: You're not Joe, are you? You're not Joe?

NP: No I think that was right Clement, there was a bit of a repetition of some incoherent vowel sound. So you have a point for a right, a correct challenge and 12 seconds, back with you to tell us how to make a cup of tea starting now.

CF: You get a cup and put into it a tea bag...


NP: Josie challenged.

JOSIE LONG: I just wanted to say hello, because I haven't spoken yet. But I've brought some cakes!

NP: I don't think it's going to go on as long as that, darling! I hope not anyway.

JC: Did you make them?

JL: Yeah I made them myself. It's butter-cream icing. The first time I ever did it. It's easier than you think!

NP: So this is a little bribe, is it?

JL: Well you could say bribe. I just thought if people were eating, it might be harder for them to go "objection"!

NP: Well that's lovely Josie, yes.

JL: Because I didn't realise how good... everyone's so quick on the buzzers.

NP: I know...

JL: I just thought I'd get in when there was definitely no chance of anyone else buzzing in. And it'd be like hello.

NP: So as we enjoyed your interruption, we give you a bonus point for that.

JL: Yes!

NP: But as Clement was interrupted he gets a point and he continues for nine seconds on how to make a cup of tea starting now.

CF: Boiling water is really pretty important because without that the cup of tea is miserable, cold, weak...


NP: So as Clement petered to a full stop on that rather heavy, boring subject, he spoke as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, so he's in the lead now at the end of that round. And Julian we'd like you to start the next round. The subject is my profile. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

JC: I'm very funny about my profile, I prefer the left side to the right. I have been known when I enter a TV studio to make them move all the cameras round to the side that I prefer. And if they refuse, then I just adjust my body. I rotate slightly, it's an eccentricity that I've outgrown as I get older. But when I look at myself in the mirror, I know that on the left of...


NP: Josie challenged.

JL: Repetition of left.

NP: That's right, on the left side he said right at the beginning.

JL: Thank you.

NP: You have the audience with you Josie, so you have 35 seconds, you tell us something about my profile starting now.

JL: My profile on Facebook is secret because there are a lot of photographs of... oh!


CF: Whatever she said oh about!

NP: It was hesitation, right.

CF: Ah.

NP: Twenty-eight seconds, my profile, Clement starting now.

CF: I have two which anyone listening to radio will notice. My left...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well if they're listening to radio, how will they notice his profile?

NP: Absolutely. Completely impossible.

PM: Yeah.

NP: Paul a correct challenge, 22 seconds, my profile starting now.

PM: MY profile has been compared to John Barrymore's, the legendary film actor of the 1930s. People say it's not as good and I think this is fair enough. Because the aforementioned thespian was notorious for the sweep of his aquiline nose and his mouth. It sort of seemed to define the Shakespearian sonnet and framed it in such a way that people would say theyd never heard...


NP: So Paul Merton kept going till the whistle went magnificently, and gained that extra point for speaking as the whistle went, and has increased his lead at the end of the round. He's a few points ahead of Clement Freud and then Josie Long and then Julian Clary in that order. Paul we'd like you to begin the next round and the subject now, showing that we have a little bit of culture in our show, the hippocampus. Can you tell us something about... it is a bit of a challenge, isn't it.

PM: Yes.

NP: The hippocampus starting now.

PM: Every animal needs a place where it can play and learn. For the hippo, it's the hippo campus. There are a variety of lessons that this particular animal can undergo...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of animal.

NP: Yes, you talked about animal, yes.

PM: Yes.

NP: So Clement you have the hippocampus and you have 50 seconds to tell us something about it starting now.

CF: A hippocampus is quite simply a gay hippo and I have enjoyed many of them in my time. Sexually the animals are hugely private in their affairs, and have a number of them with other forfeited corf...


NP: Oh it's a tough game, isn't it, right! Julian you challenged first, 32 seconds are available, tell us something about the hippocampus starting now.

JC: I once was inadvertently locked in a hippocampus overnight. I could hardly walk in the morning! It's a frightening place but if you treat them gently and speak to them in their own language, they learn to love you...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: What is the language of the hippocampus? Because if I meet one, I want to speak to it in its own language. What would that language be?

NP: Well I'm going to answer for him and say that sometimes people who deal with animals say you speak to them in their own language...

PM: Yes.

NP: ... and you speak in soothing, it's the voice that you use and not actually the words that they understand.

PM: Oh really?

NP: And that's how you speak to them in their language,

PM: Ah.

NP: And I think that's what he was trying to convey...

PM: Yes!

NP: And I'm going to give him the...

PM: Well that's certainly cleared it up in my mind!

NP: And I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt...

PM: Absolutely!

NP: And say that he has another point and 18 seconds on the hippocampus starting now.

JC: Mind you, they do snore! Not a wink of sleep I got! But there were other diversions. The main hippo that I bonded with, and he still writes at Christmas and Easter, was called Geoffrey. He has got lovely feet and lovely teeth...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Unfortunately, repetition of lovely.

NP: Yes.

JC: Yes I did.

NP: I know and it was all too lovely. Right and you've cleverly got in with one second to go, hippocampus with you Paul starting now.

PM: A new library...


NP: For those who want to know, by the way, the hippocampus is an animal which is half horse, the hippo part which is of course the Latin for horse, and campus which means sea-beast.


NP: What? What's that?


PM: As well, yes. But it's also a mythical creature. It's scary to think that part of our brain is a cross between a horse and a fish.

NP: Anyway let's get on with the show. Oh I'll give you the score. Paul was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's moved forward, he's now ahead of Clement Freud and Julian Clary and Josie Long in that order. And Clement we'd like you to start again, the subject now is snowboarding, you have 60 seconds starting now.

CF: When people ask me about the first educational establishment I attended, I tell them it was no boarding school. In fact it was a.. ordinary...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation Julian yes, 50 seconds, starting now.

JC: I'm expert at snowboarding. I go with my friend Joe who brings a lovely flask of tea. And I've got all the gear you need. Special boots, mine are green, and shorts, and a little jerkin. We go up the top of a hill, we put our board down, jump on it. Yoo-hoo, I say, and speed down. It's the sound of the wind rushing through your hair. You get a lovely lungful. And when you get to the bottom, have a sandwich and a rest before trekking up to the mount again and repeating the entire procedure...


NP: Josie challenged.

JL: There was a hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation, yes.

JC: Yes I'd run out of things to say.

NP: You've got in with 13 seconds to go on snowboarding starting now.

JL: Snowboarding is like cartwheels, it's like flying kites, it is a thing that I cannot do because I do not have any balance whatsoever. The only time I've tried to do it I fell on my face...


NP: Right so Josie Long was speaking then when the whistle went and gained that extra point for doing so. She's now equal with Clement Freud and Julian Clary in second place, but they are still trailing Paul Merton who is in the lead. Josie we'd like you to begin the next round, the subject is moustaches. I don't know whether you have much interest in those, or have a reaction to them. But tell us something about them in this game starting now.

JL: Victorians and 1970s TV detectives have one thing in common, that is facial hair. And I wish that I was allowed to grow it without it being unacceptable. The day I realised I would not be able to be hirsuite without being, hirsute without being...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well I did challenge but I think it's probably a wrong challenge because it's not a repetition of hirsute because the first version was hirsuite! So it's a wrong challenge I think, to be honest. I was going to challenge for the repetition of hirsute but then she didn't say hirsute twice, so...

JL: It was self-correction.

PM: Yes it was self-correction.

JL: It was an example...

NP: I think you're being very generous to a first time player of the game and giving her the benefit of the doubt. So you have the benefit of the doubt Josie and you have 44 seconds to continue, with another point of course, on moustaches starting now.

JL: This is the day I was heartbroken. I watched East 17 aged 11, and their facial hair was so cool...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Didn't we have facial hair before?

NP: You did mention facial hair before, yes.

JL: I thought it was like a clean slate.

NP: No it isn't, you can't mention what you said when you were talking before. It's a tough game!

JL: It's all right, I'm willing to go for it!

NP: You are! You're doing jolly well and the audience are loving you. Thirty-seven seconds with you Paul on moustaches starting now.

PM: Lots of people in Iran have moustaches, mainly men. They can't all think it suits them, what's going on! If you look at Charlie Chaplin, he had perhaps one of the most famous moustaches in the early 20th century. Adolf Hitler certainly took notice. People think he actually deliberately copied the aforementioned comedian's moustache in order to garner popularity in what was becoming Nazi Germany. Which was an awful place to be, but let's not talk about that. Moustaches are wonderful things! Some people refer to them as soup strainers. If you read PG Wodehouse, his books are full of evil villains wearing moustaches, waxing the tips at the end. And you can find in the Guiness Book Of Records, the world's biggest moustache actually is as long as from here to Stepney which if you think about it...


NP: So Paul Merton kept going magnificently on moustaches which we all loved and enjoyed until the whistle went for which he gained that extra point and has increased his lead at the end of the round. And Julian we'd like you to begin the next round, the subject is working out. Tell us something about that in this game starting now, working out.

JC: Working out is an activity that takes place in keep fit establishments and gymnasiums. I did go once and I pulled a muscle. I thought I'm not going back there, thank you very much. But it freshens you up and apparently it's very good for the brain, if you work out and the blood gets pumping around you and your lungs expand. And as you mince out, after your exercise, you'll think that life has somehow improved. You'll go home, you'll be hungry by then, mind, you'll need carbohydrates...


NP: Josie challenged.

JL: He's repeated you'll a lot.

NP: Yes you'll this and you'll that and so forth. So well listened Josie, correct challenge, 25 seconds are still available, working out starting now.

JL: Often in a maths exam they'll say show your working out but they don't mean it. If you get up and jump around...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: She repeated they.

NP: Well yes.

JL: Ouch! All right!

NP: No if you're going to play that game of theys and yous and so forth, he's got you on the same thing I'm afraid Josie. So he has...

JL: He better watch his step! That's all Im saying!

NP: So he has the subject back again, 18 seconds, working out Julian starting now.

JC: Working out costs money though, there are membership fees to be paid. Some of the flashier es... oh dear!


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes it was indeed, 11 seconds Paul, tell us something about working out starting now.

PM: When you work out it affects that part of your brain known as the hippocampus. It's full of adrenaline, you can't stop it! There you are, picking up the weights in either hand and you say to yourself, I am going to build the body beautiful...


NP: So once again Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and has increased his lead at the end of the round. Josie's got points in the round, so she's now in second place, ahead of Julian Clary and Clement Freud, in that order. And Paul we'd like you to begin the next round and the subject now is willy nilly. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: Willy nilly, I suppose it means a lack of direction, going all over the place, not being focussed on the main point you wish to achieve. Willy nilly, it's probably a piece of old English, maybe coming from German. Perhaps in that language it originally sounded like (German gibberish) and that is one of the great things about languages, that I am able...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Ah repetition of language.

PM: Language and languages.

CF: No!

PM: German language and thing about languages.

NP: That's right, it's quite true.

CF: Mmmm!

NP: He's played the game so often, he's very careful about that. Goes into the plural when he's used the singular.

PM: Yeah.

NP: So Paul another point, another 43 seconds still available, willy nilly starting now.

PM: I always thought it should be the name of a jockey, somebody who was proud to get on to a horse. Perhaps...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Repetition of perhaps.

NP: Yes perhaps right, Julian you have 37 seconds, tell us something about willy nilly starting now.

JC: It's a little known fact that Willy Nilly is the illegitimate son of Moby Dick, conceived somewhere in the Seven Seas long ago. But Willy Nilly never got over it. He was shunned by fish wherever he went and they didn't want to speak to him. He never married, he lived a lonely life as a bachelor whale. Willy Nilly passed away a couple of years ago and he was buried by the state. It was um, and I've offended...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There was an um.

NP: An um? I know but it was so lovely, wasn't it.

PM: Yeah.


NP: And Josie challenged.

JL: I had a challenge because I don't know which state is in control of whales.

PM: Wales!

JL: Like what state would they be buried, if it was...

JC: The state...

PM: The centre's Cardiff!

JC: The state they die in! Whatever state you die in would take care of you.

NP: Right, I don't know what you're talking about! I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt Julian and say you have eight seconds still available, willy nilly starting now.

JC: But what of Willy Nilly's mother? That's what were asking. Turns out she was the Queen of Finland...


NP: Right so Julian Clary was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so and he's moved forward. He's now in second place a little way behind our leader Paul Merton, but ahead of Josie Long and Clement Freud. Clement it's your turn to begin and the subject now is my favourite Dickens character. You tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CF: I think it would be Miss Hathaway. Wasn't her name that?


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Haversham.

NP: Haversham.

CF: No!

PM: Miss Hathaway's your favourite character? Which book is she in? In your own time! Does she appear as the wife of William Shakespeare in Bleak House? But it's his favourite character!

NP: It's his favourite character, yes. But I don't think, I don't think she appears in any of his books. I suppose it could still be your favourite character but...

CF: I did actually mean Miss Haversham.

NP: I know you did.

CF: It's too late.

NP: It's too late, but I think we realise that and Paul got in first with 56 seconds Paul on my favourite Dickens character starting now.

PM: My favourite Dickens crack... (laughs)


NP: So Julian your, your light came on first, yes?

JC: Well it was an attempt to say character, it came out as crackater.

NP: Hesitation, deviation, whichever you like, 54 seconds Julian, my favourite Dickens character starting now.

JC: I'm no great fan of Dickens but if I had to name a favourite character in Dickens novels, I'd go for Pip. What an extraordinary life he led. One minute he was pottering around the graveyard when someone comes along and says "oh I'm going to make you incredibly rich!" And he goes to an house and there's Miss Haversham with her good friend Hathaway. And everything's covered in cobwebs and she's sitting there toothless. Then he meets some other people and he asks for some more dinner. They say no...


NP: Josie you challenged.

JL: It's a gross disrespect, everyone knows that's another Dickens...

NP: That's another Dickens character, Oliver Twist was asking for more. Right Josie you've got in with 25 seconds on my favourite Dickens character starting now.

JL: For me Great Expectations has my favourite Dickens character, to wit who is Joe Gargery, Pips stepfather...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: No I don't think so. No no, I think she was struggling to get the name out because she had to...

CF: Ah!

NP: ... recall it in time...

CF: That wouldn't be a hesitation!

NP: Give Clement a bonus point for what he just said. But Josie you were, incorrect challenge so you keep the subject, and you have 17 seconds, my favourite Dickens character starting now.

JL: What larks was his catchphrase, but unfortunately for him it was not broadcast on television so he could not make any money out of that... catchphrase...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition, eventually, of catchphrase. Despite the elongation.

NP: I think we'll call it hesitation. Paul you've got in with eight seconds on my favourite Dickens character starting now.

PM: My favourite Dickens character is the businessman Jocelyn Crowds. He was tall, handsome and people would say to him, you'll never throw me...


NP: Right, so we're moving into the final round and I'd like to give you the situation as we move into that final round. Paul Merton is still in the lead. He's quite a few points ahead of Julian Clary who is in second place. And Julian Clary is one point ahead of Josie Long and she's a few points ahead of Clement Freud. And Josie we'd like you to begin the next round and the subject is being nice, starting now.

JL: You guys better watch out, I've got a knife! That is an example of someone not being nice. Being nice costs you nothing. That is a lie. I made cakes that cost me about three pounds and I will not get that back...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: I thought nice was a biscuit.

PM: Isn't it, isn't that a French resort?

NP: Yes.

NP: There's Nice on the resort or nice biscuits, right. Clement that has got nothing to do with, she wasn't deviating from Just A Minute.

CF: Ah.

NP: We give you a bonus point because it was a clever comment to make on the subject. But Josie you were interrupted so you get another point and you have being nice and you have 49 seconds starting now.

JL: A kind of little French quip is not being nice. Sometimes you have to allow people the chance to speak about cakes and their resentment...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Well repetition of cakes I'm afraid.

NP: And hesitation, right, 40 seconds are available for you Julian on being nice starting now.

JC: I'm very good at being nice. A cheery wave and a smile to passers-by is easy to achieve. I should have been in the priesthood, I think, then one could have a whole living of being nice to people. Sit down my son and tell me all your sins. Wasn't that nice? Instead I took an alternative route and in many ways...


NP: Paul challenged, yes?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation there Julian. So we've got being nice with you Paul, 16 seconds starting now.

PM: Being nice is absolutely essential in show business because otherwise nobody would ever employ you. We are just go around, appealing to producers and directors, saying will you...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: What about Jim Davidson?

PM: You've proved my point! Where is he now?

NP: It's a very difficult one to judge on, because being nice does get you places. But on the other hand, I know people who are not very nice and have achieved an amazing amount.

PM: Yeah.

NP: So...

PM: Who are you thinking of?

CF: Himself!

PM: You're thinking about yourself there, are you?

NP: Oh that didn't, that didn't go down very well Paul.

PM: I was repeating what Clement said!

NP: I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt...

PM: Oh I don't want it! Sorry!

NP: Julian, Julian's got the benefit of the doubt and he has seven seconds on being nice starting now.

JC: One of the many advantages of being nice is when you lay your head on the pillow before you go to sleep, you could think how nice...


NP: Well Julian Clary who is undoubtedly one of the nicest people in show business brought that particular round to an end with a flourish, but he didn't quite beat Paul Merton who is in the lead. But he is ahead of Josie Long and Clement Freud. But once more Paul you have the most points so we say you are our winner this week. So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine players of the game, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Julian Clary and Josie Long. I thank Sarah Sharpe, who has helped me with the score, and blown her whistle so delicately. And we are also grateful to our producer Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are grateful to this lovely audience here at the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House who have cheered us on our way with such aplomb and joy. They've been part of the event, made us happy, made you happy. And so from our audience, from me, Nicholas Parsons, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!