WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and RAY ALAN chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 8 December 1976)
NOTE: Ray Alan's first appearance.
ANNOUNCER: We present Ray Alan, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, here to tell you about it is our chairman, Nicholas Parsons.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much indeed, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And as usual I'll ask all four of them to speak if they can on the subject I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject on the card. Let us begin the show with Peter Jones. Peter the subject is my plot. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
PETER JONES: My plot is just behind the house in the middle of the garden surrounded by trees, flowers and mostly weeds. And it's grass. I won't call it a lawn because it isn't strictly one and there are a lot of dandelions and daisies in it. I rather like them. I prefer them in fact to the blades of the stuff that I mentioned earlier because they are more colourful and the shapes are attractive and of course you can eat the dandelion leaves, they make a very nice salad....
NP: And er Clement Freud has challenged.
CLEMENT FREUD: Two dandelions.
NP: Yes there was more than one dandelion.
PJ: Yes so there was.
NP: And that was repetition. So a correct challenge for Clement Freud and he gets a point for that and he takes over the subject which is my plot and there are 35 seconds starting now.
CF: In my plot it has a 45-year old nun dressed as a penguin, masquerading as a spy for Luxembourg intent on gauging the secrets of Lichenstein's defence force. And on the 14th of October she sneaks through what is left of the Suez Canal and swims to the far bank in order to get her pen sharpened to a point and write to the chief of staff saying "dear sir" or to put it another way "hello"...
NP: Well I thought that was a supreme example of how to keep going with utter rubbish. No-one dared to challenge because they don't know whether he's deviating or not. So Clement Freud kept going till the whistle went which tells us that 60 seconds are up and whoever is speaking at that moment as you know gains an extra point. So at the end of the first round Clement Freud has got two and nobody else has scored. Clement we're going to ask you to begin the second round. The subject is breakfast. Will you tell us something about that delicious meal in Just A Minute starting now.
CF: This is going to be a monologue show. Eggs, bacon, tomato, kidney, liver, porridge, cornflakes with milk or cream and sugar. The great thing about breakfast is that it is by far the nicest meal of the day unfortuntaely served at an hour which is totally unacceptable as far as most of us is concerned for the consumption of food. Nevertheless all over the country and in towns and cities as well families consisting of father, mother, sister, granny, little boys, small girls and tiny babies...
NP: Ah Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: He isn't talking about breakfasts, he's just giving us lists of things. He gave us lists of food items in the first instance and now he's listing all these relatives.
CF: I'm a spokesman for consumers!
NP: To be absolutely fair Peter, I know we've heard an awful lot of Clement Freud but I have to be fair in the game and the list of foods was applied to breakfast and in my mind he was...
PJ: Yes but the second one! I let that go, but the second one was listing relatives!
NP: Not his relatives, but they were all having breakfast as far as I could make out.... And the audience agrees so we let him carry on...
PJ: Two people clapped and you think the audience agrees!
NP: Thank you for confirming my decision and there are 25 seconds left for Clement Freud to continue on breakfast starting now.
CF: Other acceptable fare at breakfast is toast, brown or white bread, margarine, butter salted or possibly not, with all sorts of prerequisites like marmalade, plum jam, preserves, cheese, like that made of lemon or quince, and the great thing here of course is that having filled yourself almost to repletion...
NP: Well ladies and gentlemen welcome to the Clement Freud Show! He really is in great form tonight isn't he? Well um ladies and gentlemen at the end of the second round Clement Freud is still the only one to have scored any points and he has four. And he's not going to begin the next round. So we're going to hear from Kenneth Williams now. And Kenneth, the subject is going over the top, something which I'm sure you would never dream of doing! But can you talk about it in Just A Minute starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: This is a term that is used in the theatre to imply the type of performance which lacks proper restraint and is generally unbridled and somewhat undisciplined something of which of course I am totally incapable. Everything I do you will notice has a nicety and a certain calculated air of stylish and debonair nonchalance...
NP: Ah, Ray Alan has challenged.
RAY ALAN: I haven't challenged, I just wanted to say as a new boy what a great honour it is to be on the same programme as this master of intellect. I find it completely awe inspiring and I do wish he'd continue.
NP: You're getting some good material for Lord Charles are you?
RA: He sounds a bit like Lord Charles! A sober version!
NP: A sober version!
RA: Oh yes.
NP: And for those from beyond the shores who have never heard of Lord Charles he is the dummy which Ray works so expertly with his fingers. That sounds filthy doesn't it. Well carry on and Kenneth Williams, you were interrupted with a wrong challenge and you get a point for that and you continue with the subject, 36 seconds left, going over the top, starting now.
KW: This was the term used in the Great War when thousands of men had to rush with bayonets fixed over into the line of the enemy. And...
NP: Clement Freud.
CF: I would just like to welcome Ray Alan and say what a pleasure and a privillege it is to have on our programme a man who performs...
NP: I must explain to the listeners that the laughter now is nothing to do with the things that Clement Freud is saying which are not particularly funny. It is Kenneth Williams throwing himself about in an apolpleptic state at the joy that Clement Freud is presently giving him!
PJ: I thought he was demonstrating the subject, going over the top.
NP: Well that's another way of putting it. He gets another point for that and he continues with the subject with only 27 seconds left, going over the top, starting now.
KW: Over the top of the sandbags I went when I had to go over the assault course when I was in the Army. And I did it with incredible alacrity landing in the water, which I had at first scaled on a rope and then another man, I would swing the thing back to him and he would leap across also. In the meantime my boots were filled with water. and I said oh...
KW: My heart!
NP: Ray Alan, Ray Alan, you've challenged.
RA: Two waters.
NP: Yes you listened very well.
KW: He's very sharp, isn't he?
NP: So Ray you've got a correct challenge. There are 12 seconds, sorry, that's right, there are 12 seconds left. The subject is going over the top starting now.
RA: Going over the top was something my grandfather used to talk about apropos the First World War. He said that when he had his bayonet fixed he found it very difficult to get out of the trenches because invariably the...
NP: So Ray Alan was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point, and at the end of that round, he's equal with Kenneth Williams, both in second place behind Clement Freud. Ray, your turn to begin and the subject is his lordship. I can't think of why Ian Messiter has thought of that subject for you but will you talk about it in Just A Minute starting now.
RA: Many years ago...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Hesitation, I'm afraid.
NP: You rotten rotten player of the game!
RA: I took a breath!
KW: Well I would have thought you could write a letter in the time you took!
NP: Actually he took one and a half seconds. He's never played the game before. He's never even started before.
KW: Oh, I'm sorry, I abase myself before you!
NP: I don't wish you to abase...
RA: This is the intellect of the man that I've admired for so many years!
KW: Oh I'm sorry! All right I'm sorry! I take it back!
NP: No you wouldn't actually because it's a wrong challenge and Ray gets a point for that and he's still got the subject and an extra point. There are 57 and a half, no 58 and a half seconds left, his lordship, starting now.
RA: Many years ago I...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: He didn't draw breath.
NP: A good challenge but a wrong one. And there are 57 and a half seconds left for you Ray on his lordship starting now.
RA: I was in Wormwood Scrubs prison with a captive audience doing a charity performance with a charcater I had just created whose name was then Charles. But after the show somebody said you must give him a title and the only one that I could think of was Lord Charles. And so there he was suddenly born in the prison. The point of this character was originally to be my sort of sidekick in shows and entertainment in various forms and fields. But then I found a great joy was when the audience suddenly responded by falling in love with this dear little character. And I thought well, here I am, with this little fellow sitting there and I'm getting all the cheques, none of them are made out to him. The nobility suddenly...
NP: There's not a dry eye in the house for that pathetic story which none of them dared challenge! It gave Ray Alan a number of points and our newcomer, his first time speaking in the game, he's gone into the lead! Ahead of Clement Freud!
RA: But it did help having my hand up Peter Jones' jacket!
NP: It's not that sort of game!
RA: I'm sorry, it made me feel at home!
NP: But he never opened his mouth! Peter you're going to open your mouth now because we're back with you and the subject is socks and you have Just A Minute to talk about it... What is so funny about that? Is it the smell or just the thought? Anyway there are 60 seconds Peter starting now.
PJ: The last socks I bought I purchased during the January sales where they were described as slight seconds. When I got them home, I found the feet fitted all right but the legs came up way over the knee and I looked like a maid in a French farce without any suspenders of course! And I was quite unable to wear them for any length of time. Only in the privacy of my own home naturally. But walking about with the shorts that I customarily wear in the summer, it was really quite embarrassing.
NP: Ah Clement Freud.
CF: If he bought them in the January sales and wore them in the summer, there is an element of deviation.
NP: I cannot see it, I'm sure! You can buy them when you like and wear them whenever you like! I mean you can buy something today and wear them next year if you like.
CF: Gosh can I?
NP: Yes. So an incorrect challenge and 28 seconds are left for Peter to continue on socks starting now.
PJ: Next time that I buy socks, I'm going to buy some that are the same as the ones that I have at the moment so that when one springs a hole I shall be able to make it up with one of the others. I think this is a much more economical way of...
NP: Ah Kenneth Williams.
KW: Socks don't spring holes. It's water that springs a leak often out of a pipe.
PJ: Water doesn't spring a leak.
KW: But with socks they simply wear away and there is no springing accomplished in this process at all. So it's deviation, he's misinforming the general public. Socks don't suddenly spring open...
NP: And you're going on an awful lot!
KW: Oh sorry old boy I should have realised that!
NP: Oh you did realise I was still here? Right! Fourteen seconds are left for you Peter to continue with socks starting now.
PJ: Not only that I'm going to buy a darning needle...
NP: Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Repetition of buy.
NP: Yes, you had the word buy before.
PJ: I said bought and I'm going to buy, I think.
NP: No, no, you used the word buy before. I heard it! It's all right Peter!
PJ: You heard it?
NP: Don't wriggle!
PJ: He said that like a man who hadn't heard it!
NP: There are 11 seconds left for socks. It's Clement Freud to continue starting now.
CF: Socks are almost essential if you don't want your bare feet to meet the inside of your boots or shoes or Wellingtons. For this reason it is advisable to purchase...
NP: Um Clement Freud speaking as the whi... Got the wrong teeth in again! Clement Freud speaking when the whistle went has gained the extra point and the lead at the end of that round. Ray Charles... Ray Charles, Lordship, you didn't bring Charlie boy with you! Ray Alan is in second place and Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams are third equal. Clement Freud your turn to begin. The subject is ceremonies. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
CF: Well there is a very substantial number of ceremonies like the Lord Mayors show. But perhaps my favourite story about any ceremony occurred in the Austra-Hungarian...
NP: Peter Jones.
PJ: There's no other show like the Lord Mayors show!
NP: So what's your challenge?
NP: I'm sorry but it's up to you. If you think there are other shows that compare, you're allowed to say so in Just A Minute as long as you don't deviate from the subject and Clement wasn't. So he keeps it and there are 51 seconds left starting now.
CF: The Emperor Franz Josef decided to visit his Hungarian provinces to let it be known that wherever he went the bells of the church would ring and the people should come out and bow or genuflect. And when he reached one particular village in Hungary there was no noise from the church steeple whatsoever. And he called the Mayor to come to him and asked this worthy gentleman "why?" to which the worthy dignitary replied, "Sire we have no bell, there are three reasons why..."
NP: Ray Alan challenged.
CF: Can I tell you that story because...
NP: I know! You were struggling and it's a very good story! Let's hear it!
CF: It's a very lovely story. In fact what happened, it was impossible to do without repeating. What happened was the Emperor said "why do the bells not ring" and the Mayor said "Your Majesty, there are three reasons. Firstly we have no bell" and the Kaiser said "In that case I do not want to hear the other two reasons."
NP: Well well.
CF: I shall say no more.
NP: No, no, but you were challenged for hesitation and Ray you have a correct challenge for that and there are 17 seconds left for ceremonies starting now.
RA: I always enjoy ceremonies particularly the last one that I attended which was one where my aunt was being given the great accolade of being presented with this enormous cup that she didn't know what she was going to do with because it was an enormous thing, stood about a foot high and...
CF: Are you sure it was the cup that stood about a foot high?
RA: Both my arms and the cup stood about a foot high!
NP: Well Ray Alan kept going until the whistle went, they didn't spot the two enormouses there...
RA: No, I...
PJ: I ignored it!
NP: Ah Peter Jones was generous there! The only reason I mentioned it was not to embarrass you Ray but funnily enough occasionally I get letters saying why didn't you tell him off? And I don't know why they write! So um and I think after 10 years if they don't know the rules of the game it's a bit difficult. So Ray you've taken the lead again alongside Clement Freud on this occasion and we're back with Kenneth Williams again and the subject is hypoboreans. Ian Messiter has thought up this one for you Kenneth and can you tell us something about it Kenneth in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: These are a people that exist largely in myth. They were supposed to occupy the Northern Territory. They were all worshippers of the great God Apollo. And their region was supposedly free of any inclemency, burnished with plenty and perpetual sunshine. It would be equated largely today to a utopian state or something pro-paradisical in the sense that nothing adverse occurred at all. Whether of course such a thing is ever possible for human beings I very much doubt. Probably the hypoboreans are an expression so to speak of the aspirations of all human kind to be together in brotherly love, wearing no garment, having no altercation with each other, but existing in such harmony and such wondrous understanding that no harsh words ever...
NP: Well Kenneth williams took his subject of hypoboreans with such relish! It was so close to his heart obviously that he kept going without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating. He wasn't challenged, he got a point for speaking as the whistle went and an extra point for not being challenged. And he's still in third place. And Peter Jones is just behind, and Clement Freud and Ray Alan are still in the lead. Ray Alan, we're back with you to begin and the subject is dummies. It seems rather in your neck of the woods, all the questions for you, but there we are. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
RA: Well of course dummies are various things. The name can be attributed to things that are stuck into babies mouths. Something that is put on a ventriloquist's knee. But the ones I prefer are strangely enough those you see in shop windows. I love them, those that er ladies er normally would...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Yes there was an er, a definite hesitation, I think.
NP: Well I'm afraid there was, he started looking...
RA: There was an er, I started looking in the window. Sorry.
KW: I'm not having that, that er!
NP: No he was looking in the window and he really did er, didn't he.
KW: Yes thats right.
NP: Kenneth the subject is dummies and there are 40 seconds left and it's with you now.
KW: This is how these things in the waxworks have always struck me, the unanimated look they have to me is redolent of misery and a quality of ghoulishness pervades me as I survey them in all their dreadful gear. I'm thinking of course particularly of the Chamber of Horreurs as the French always put it don't they? Our dear cousins over the channel there. They've got one of course and they gave us...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Repetition of of course.
NP: Well there were three, so I think he let the second one go. So Clement...
KW: He did let it go! Yes I heard him! He did let it go!
NP: Well he's picked it up now anyway! So there are 12 seconds for you Clement Freud, dummies, starting now.
CF: When I think of dummies I'm constantly reminded of a very lovely and important film in which Michael Redgrave played a ventriloquist who was taken over by his dummy...
NP: Well Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point and has regained the lead at the end of that round. Peter Jones back with you to start. The subject is the things my friends do to me. Would you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
PJ: I'm not sure I ought to tell you any of these things because it is a family show and there might be causes for offence. I don't know whether er....
NP: Yes Kenneth Williams.
KW: Well there was a definite er I thought.
NP: Yes he thought about all the things that people do to him and he really did er.
KW: The subject obvioulsy filled him with apprehension. Didn't it!
NP: Kenneth there are 49 seconds for the things my friends do to me. We're in for a few revellations now I have no doubt! And Kenneth will you tell us about it now.
KW: The things they do to me are largely in the sense of confessional. So I receive as a mentor, things from them. And one of my friends, Sheila Hancock, was telling me notable examples of eccentricity from none other than Peter Jones who travelled a long period with her on a railway train. She said to me, "he fantasises the whole time, dear, buys these magazines and then reads extraordinary items out to me, and embroiders them and when we got to the station at the other end of the line he saw in the station yard..."
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Two stations.
NP: Yes there were two stations and um er that's a correct challenge and Clement you have 16 seconds to take up the subject of the things my friends do to me starting now.
CF: The things my friends do to me predominantly are to press their buzzers when I hesitate, deviate or repeat myself. And they're absolutely entitled to do this because the laws or rules of Just A Minute demand that that should be their action which is entitled I think in many...
NP: Once again Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went and has increased his lead at the end of the round. Clement we're back with you to begin and the subject is when all is said and done. It probably will be the last round so it's a good subject on which to finish, I don't know. We'll see how we go and would you start now.
CF: I think when all is said and done is an absolutely meaningless expression like as a matter of fact or between you and me. The sort of cliches that mean absolutely nothing at all and waste the time of man and beast. I shall stop.
NP: Well that was very definite, and Kenneth was the first to react and you pressed your buzzer and Kenneth?
KW: I'm challenging because it came to a halt you see. And I was told that when that happened in this game it was regarded as hesitation.
NP: I quite agree Kenneth. And there are 45 seconds left, when all is said and done Kenneth starting now.
KW: When all is said and done there is really only one! What am I referring to? Of course, Kenneth Williams! Pseuogeneric! Unique! A quality no-one else possesses! And the electomy of my particular kind of brain gives an individuality of such amour, of such charm, of such, well, je ne sais qua... What happened?
NP: What happened? Ray Alan challenged?
KW: Ray Alan has not challenged, oh, I beg your pardon, I didn't hear your buzzer.
RA: No, no, I didn't, I only buzzed after you stopped and said what happened.
NP: So that was hesitation wasn't it?
RA: Oh he hesitated.
RA: What was the subject?
NP: When all is said and done.
PJ: Kenneth Williams, I think.
NP: And there are 25 seconds left starting now.
RA: Well when all is said and done I really would have liked to hear Peter finish off the things his friends do to him. Unfortunately we can't do that so I think...
NP: Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: Deviation, we can. He just has to hesitate, or deviate or pause. After which Peter Jones has to press his buzzer and then we can do it.
CF: Pull yourself together and see what you can do!
NP: So as he wasn't actually technically deviating from the subject that was an incorrect challenge and Ray gets another point for that and there are 15 seconds to continue Ray starting now.
RA: This is an expression that has always interested me because as Clement was saying earlier it is a strange one.
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition, Clement Freud.
NP: Yes, and Ray's going to have his opportunity now for you to wind up the show now because there are 10 seconds left for when all is said and done starting now.
PJ: When all is said and done mean that there is a point in time when all these things are accomplished. Every word that has to be uttered has already been.
NP: Well Peter Jones, I'm pleased to say did come in and finish the round. He got an extra point because he finished the show but alas he also finished in fourth place. But he was only a little way behind Kenneth Williams who was in third place and our guest Ray Alan not having played before did remarkably well coming in second place only two points behind the winner who is once again Clement Freud. We do hope you have enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and will want to tune in once again when five of us take to the air to play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us tonight, goodbye.
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons. The programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by John Browell.