NOTE: Caroline Quentin's only 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 pleasure to welcome the four exciting personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And we welcome back three regular players of the game, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Paul Merton, and we welcome for the first time playing the game, Caroline Quentin. Will you please welcome all four of them. Jane Stevens is sitting beside me, I'm delighted to say. She is going to keep the score. And once again, or as usual, I'm going to ask our four panellists or players of the game to speak on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation or repetition or deviating from the subject if they can. Peter Jones will you begin the show this week. The subject: the year ahead. Will you tell us something about that in this game, starting now.

PETER JONES: In 1993 a number of predictable things are bound to happen. A Cabinet Minister will resign in order to spend more time with his family. And at some point a duck with a number of ducklings will cross the Mall and be photographed on the front page of several of the cheaper newspapers. And there'll be trouble with El Dorado. And um I shan't be reported as leaving the country though I may easily do so. And that may get a perhaps, I'm floundering now rather, I hadn't expected to go on for...


NP: You were floundering and nobody challenged you for ages! Paul what is your challenge?

PAUL MERTON: Yes, hesitation, I'm afraid.

NP: Yep, there are 22 seconds left, you get a point of course for a correct challenge. You take over the subject and it is the year ahead starting now.

PM: I can see the year ahead unfolding in a fairly predictable way. January followed by February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and finally December. I think the days of the week will be more or less along the same lines.


NP: Well Paul's clever ploy kept him going until the whistle went and whoever is speaking at that moment gets an extra point. It was Paul Merton and of course naturally he is in the lead. Clement Freud will you take the next round. The subject: cash. Will you tell us something about that if you can in 60 seconds starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Cash is the first name of probably the most stylish and successful jockey, Cash Aswilson, who comes from a Scandinavian family, was born in the United States, and rides now in France. He is married to a woman called Florence, known as Cash Flo. And I think him possibly best remembered because he rode the winner of the Ascot Gold Cup at Royalgate and was subsequently disqualified for reasons which nobody could quite fathom them out although the stewards said it was a good decision. Cash Aswilson, I've said that twice now...


NP: Nobody challenged you because nobody knows enough about racing to know if you were talking rubbish or factual information.

CF: Oooh, you will be sorry you said that!

NP: I know! Paul you challenged then.

PM: Repetition.

NP: Yes, of what?

PM: Well, I couldn't, something like Aneswilson, I think!

NP: Yes you're right Paul, 20 seconds for you left on the subject of cash starting now.

PM: Pat Cash won the Wimbledon championship in 1987 I believe...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Didn't!

NP: Which year was it?

CF: It was not '87!

NP: Ah!

PM: Yes but I believe that though! I may be wrong to believe it but it's one of my deepest held beliefs and I shall go to prison to defend my right to believe it!

NP: Well your belief was so sincere we believe that you actually knew it and it was incorrect. Clement you have the subject back and there are 15 seconds on cash starting now.

CF: Cash has become an almost unacceptable alternative to cheques, notes, promisory...


NP: Promisory, Paul?

PM: Hesitation, I'm afraid.

NP: Yes, seven seconds for you on cash Paul starting now.

PM: Cash did not win the...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Repetition of win.

NP: Clement you've got back with another point for a correct challenge, six seconds left starting now.

CF: Pat Cash, an Australian played at Wimbledon in the mens singles and won the final...


NP: Well at the end of that round Paul Merton and Clement Freud have got most of the points and Caroline it is your turn to begin. The subject, dating agencies, and will you tell us something about da... hello, dating...

CAROLINE QUENTIN: (In rural accent) Dating?

NP: Dating, which I rather like, ooooo arrr, anyway something about ... I know we go to India and lots of other countries and I sometimes think Indian or Chinese and I go...

CQ: It's a gift Nicholas.

NP: ... oooooarrr all like that. Right...

PM: I'd stick to English if I were you.

NP: Yes. So the subject is dating agencies Caroline starting now.

CQ: I have much experience of dating agencies. When I was single I used to go to one called Bores R Us and er because I'm an actress they used to try and um set me up with lots of different people, mostly um politicians. I used to go out for dinner with them and be very very bored and also because I was an actress I used to be made to er, I've said actress about 20 times!


NP: Paul Merton you challenged.

PM: Repetition of actress I'm afraid.

NP: Yes how clever of you to spot it. Forty seconds for you Paul on dating agencies starting now.

PM: My favourite dating agency is just around the corner from where I live. It's called Bores R Us and I go there every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and all those other days of the week I mentioned earlier. I go in and I ask for a particular kind of woman...


NP: Caroline Quentin has challenged.

CQ: I think thats hesitation.

NP: I definitely think it was too Caroline. So you've got the subject back, 26 seconds starting now.

CQ: I used to meet my dates on the concourse of Waterloo station. I'd be standing with a copy of The Sporting Life under my arm. I'll never forget, once I looked across and I saw a very handsome man. I gazed into his eyes and I thought this one, he's the man for me, and I'm glad to say...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of man.

NP: Yes that man came too much into your life, I'm sorry.

CQ: There were two men!

NP: Peter nine seconds are left for dating agencies starting now.

PJ: I've never actually patronised a dating agency but I suppose I've got plenty of time and it may be that er...


NP: Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. And Peter it's your turn to begin. The subject, position. Can you talk on it starting now.

PJ: In such a very...


NP: Caroline Quentin challenged.

CQ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes he put an er in.

PJ: Really? I'm so used to doing it that I don't notice!

NP: Fiftyeight seconds for you Caroline on position starting now.

CQ: My favourite position is on top.... of, of the Eiffel Tower, I was about to say. I love to look over Paris towards Sacre Coeur and then down the Champs-Elysees seeing the Parisians sitting outside their cafes drinking their absinthe, singing their songs...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: They're not drinking their absinthe now and haven't for at least 40 years!

CQ: It's a fair comment!

PJ: You're not allowed to sell it.

NP: I'm sure there are still some Parisians who drink absinthe! It doesn't mean to say...

PJ: They wouldn't be sitting outside cafes drinking it, they'd be huddled up in little dungeons somewhere.

CQ: It's good eyesight!

NP: I think the image she created of these Parisians, some of them were drinking absinthe, there's no reason why she shouldn't have coloured them with absinthe...

PJ: Coloured them with absinthe? Well I...

NP: Thirtynine seconds Caroline you have a point for an incorrect challenge and you continue on position starting now.

CQ: Those that I can't see drinking that certain substance are drinking wine...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

CQ: Yeah!

PM: Repetition of drinking.

NP: Yeah, yes you got caught up in the alcohol again. Right Paul, 35 seconds for you on position starting now.

PM: Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder is an expression...


PM: ... oh thank you very much, that I believe I learnt at my fathers knee, who had a penchant for...


NP: Caroline Quentin's challenged.

CQ: Well pronounciation and deviation.

NP: What was wrong with his pronounciation?

CQ: It was just strange and London-like.

NP: I thought it was a London-like attempt at putting on a French accent.

CQ: But deviation was my point anyway.

NP: But devaition from what though?

CQ: Well from position.

NP: No I think he was making his position quite clear. I disagree with the challenge Caroline. Twentyfour seconds for you Paul on position starting now.

PM: My father had a penchant which he used to wear...


CF: We've already had penchant...

NP: Yeah you had your penchant too much.

PM: But I did it with a more London accent that time.

NP: Twentythree seconds for you Clement on position starting now.

CF: One of my favourite positions is sitting at the top of Canary wharf looking down the Thames and watching the bargees drinking light ale, whisky, gin, rum with lime and soda. Chunks of ice can be heard as far as Billingsgate on a good day...


NP: So Paul Merton's now taken the lead, he's one ahead of Clement Freud and then Peter Jones and Caroline Quentin in that order. And Clement it is your turn to begin. The subject: customs. will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: It appears that if you are a member of the EEC, Customs are no longer valid. You can bring into this country absolutely anything you like. But it is astonishing...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: You can't bring absinthe.

NP: For those who are less informed than you Peter what is this thing with absinthe? I mean it's still brewed.

PJ: No, it's an illegal substance. You're not allowed to sell it or buy it.

CQ: Well, I've got a glass here!

PJ: It makes people go blind and generally...

CQ: I think I've got a glass here!

NP: Right Peter I'll give you the benefit of the doubt...

PJ: God knows the purpose of the game was to stop the other people speaking so you can speak yourself isn't it?

NP: Yes!

PJ: Well then, that's what I was doing.

NP: Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder. Right then, 49 seconds for you Peter on customs starting now.

PJ: I can remember coming back from France in the middle of winter and my friend and I were driving back and we got on this er ferry with our car...


NP: Caroline challenged.

CQ: Hesitation, er, ferry.

NP: You put another er in.

PJ: Er yes. Sorry.

NP: Some of the other regulars let you get away with it...

PJ: Yes I know.

NP: ... but Caroline's fighting for her corner.

PJ: They could take it out of the recording if it would do any good.

NP: Caroline there are 40 seconds for you to tell us something about customs starting now.

CQ: I always get terrified whenever I'm going through Customs regardless of whether I'm carrying any illegal goods. Absinthe, guns, anything like that. I seem to get nervous because the officers look at you as if you're hiding something. I colour up, I go red and then I chap... ooh!


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation I'm afraid.

NP: Yes.

CQ: I was testing!

NP: Paul there are 23 seconds to tell us something about customs starting now.

PM: My father had a few unusual customs. He particularly enjoyed getting up on a Friday morning and taunting the milkman's horse with various songs from the hit shows. He would sing "Oklahoma", "corn is as high as an elephant's eye" and this er afore mentioned dairy worker...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, six seconds for you Clement on customs starting now.

CF: Customs and Excise are responsible for collecting value added tax.


NP: With that sombre thought Clement Freud was speaking when the whistle went. He gained an extra point. He's now equal in the lead with Paul Merton and we move to Caroline Quentin to begin the next round. Caroline, the subject: services. Will you tell us something about that after telling us about your dating agency, I'm terrified what you're going to say about services now. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

CQ: There are lots of sorts of different services. There are wedding services, funeral services, bus services, dinner services. But my favourite sort of service is that of a christening. I love to go and stand in the back of the church, watch the baby cry, the mother cry, oops, the father...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of cry.

NP: Yes there was too much weeping there.

CQ: There was, I wept.

NP: Fortythree seconds are left for you Paul to tell us something about services starting now.

PM: I would often like to... what am I talking about?


NP: Caroline.

PM: I had no idea what I was talking about then.

NP: It's not your night really!

PM: No, no, no. My basic grasp of English let me down again.

NP: Right Caroline, 39 seconds for you to tell us more about services starting now.

CQ: Another service I like to go to is a wedding service. It doesn't really matter if I know anybody, I just...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of service. Oh no of course that's the subject isn't it? Sorry.

NP: No actually Peter...

CQ: No you are right.

NP: ... the subject on the card is services and she repeated service.

PJ: Ah! Well what a bit of luck!

NP: So there are 34 seconds for you Peter to tell us something about service starting now.

PJ: The Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marines are services. Generally speaking I think British character doesn't really fit in very well with the idea of performing a service as waiters and schoolmasters and various people demonstrate every day of our lives, because it means that they're in a position where they have to do what they're told or requested to do. And...


NP: Ah Caroline challenged.

CQ: Repetition of do.

NP: Yes, they had to do what they're requested...

PJ: Oh, that's very pernickety!

NP: I know it is!

PJ: Two letters!

NP: She hasn't played the game before and she's making...

PJ: She's been rehearsing this for months! She must have been!

NP: Well it's paid off anyway hasn't it!

PJ: Do!

NP: So Caroline you cleverly got in on services with seven seconds starting now.


CQ: Ooooh!

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation I'm afraid!

NP: Six seconds for you Paul on services starting now.

PM: My...


CQ: Oh clearly hesitation.

NP: Yes definitely. Five and a half seconds on services with you Caroline.

CQ: One of my favourite services was my own wedding...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of favourite.

NP: Yes you talked about your favourite before I'm afraid Caroline. Look she's really tense now, you'd better watch out!

CQ: I'm not tense, I'm angry!

NP: Three seconds on services Paul starting now.

PM: Aunt Ada worked below the stairs. She...


NP: Well a lot of points were scored in that round including an extra one to Paul Merton for speaking as the whistle went and Paul is in a strong lead ahead of Clement Freud and then comes Caroline Quentin and Peter Jones in that order and very little separate the three of them. Paul Merton, your turn to begin. The subject: what I do when I'm not here. What I do when I'm not here, 60 seconds, starting now.

PM: I lie...


PM: It's gone again!

NP: I know! Obviously nothing! Peter you challenged.

PJ: Yes. Yes. Hesitation.

NP: 59 seconds, what I do when I'm not here Peter starting now.

PJ: Well that occupies most of the time. I mean I'm only here about three hours in the year. So it's asking a lot to concentrate that into the period of a minute or even 59 seconds which I believe I have to spare. Well I spend most of it asleep of course when I'm not here I mean. Some of it I spend asleep when I am actually here.


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of asleep.

NP: I know. I think we almost went to sleep as you were talking Peter. It wasn't one of your more inspired efforts.

PJ: Don't worry.

NP: Thirtyeight seconds, I think it's a very difficult sub...

PJ: You're still on a high from your success at Mansfield in the pantomime.

NP: I know.

PM: He's very big in Mansfield!

PJ: Yeah he is! Terrific!

NP: A tinge of bitterness in that remark.

PJ: Anyone here from Mansfield? No, no-one's come down to see you, you see.

NP: Thirtyeight seconds for you now Paul on what I do when I'm not here starting now.

PM: I lie in a darkened room with the light off obviously otherwise it wouldn't be absent of any kind of white substance which I...


NP: Caroline challenged.

CQ: I don't know what white substance is, I don't know what that means.

NP: Yes, white...

CQ: I think light was the word you were looking for but you didn't dare say it!

PM: Yes, I'd already said it so...

NP: Twentynine seconds, what I do when I'm not here starting now.

CQ: What I do when I'm not here is potter about in the garden. I've been planting my bulbs this week, tulips, crocuses, daffodils. I got my spade out and I dug a great big trench down the bottom of the garden.


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two gardens.

NP: There were too many gardens, yes.

PM: You should have said white stuff!

CQ: I saw the trouble it got you into!

NP: Clement, 16 seconds on what I do when I'm not here starting now.

CF: What I do when I'm not here is to go to Canary wharf, walk down the shimmering river Thames, where there are all sorts of people on boats and barges, ships, consuming egg sandwiches...


NP: This is obviously a new ploy for Just A Minute to use the material, the same material for every round you possibly can!

PM: You've been getting away with it for years!

NP: I know! Right the score. Clement Freud and Paul Merton are equal now in the lead followed by Caroline Quentin and Peter Jones. And Caroline, your turn to begin. The subject: etcetera. That's an interesting subject to talk

CQ: That's what you think!

NP: Can you do it in the game starting now.

CQ: My favourite film is The King and I, and...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: This is deviation, before her favourite film was The Great Escape!

NP: Fiftyseven seconds to tell us something about etcetera starting now.

PM: One of my favourite films is where Yul Brynner tries to esacpe from a prisoner of war camp on the back of Deborah Kerr! It is a marvellous sequence as the two of them gallop towards the hills, an electrified fence looming ahead of them. She puts on an extra burst of speed and the two of them leap over this afore mentioned manmade structure. On the other side...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

PJ: I don't know but he said it was afore mentioned!

NP: All right Peter you get a point because we enjoyed the challenge. But you interrupted so paul gets a point for a wrong challenge and keeps the subject and there are 35 seconds left etcetera starting now.

PM: I suppose this phrase refers to whatever else comes along. You can say I went to the railway station, I took my luggage, I took my handbags...


NP: And Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two tooks.

NP: I took, I took, yes. Clement you have 26 seconds to tell us something about etctera starting now.

CF: This blind parachutist was told that it was really no trouble at all descending from a plane sightless with a parachute and that...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Well this is just rubbish! This has got nothing to do with etcetera, this is deviation from the subject.

NP: Well you haven't yet established and you've been going for nearly 10 seconds.

PJ: Just a minute ago, Paul, you were talking about Yul Brynner on a motorcycle and a lot of other...

NP: Electrified fences!

PJ: And now you have the sauce to accuse him of talking rubbish!

NP: Oh dear!

PJ: It can't be right!

NP: It's a difficult decision, isn't it! Paul you have 16 seconds on etcetera starting now.

PM: I once appeared in a television programme called Etcetera that was made in the Southern Television area.


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two televisions.

NP: Yes, nine seconds for you Clement to tell us more about etcetera, or tell us something about etcetera starting now.

CF: How will I know when to land etcetera etcetera said this poor...


NP: Caroline challenged.

CQ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes! I agree, he was searching there wasn't he? Two seconds, etcetera, with you Caroline, starting now.

CQ: Etcetera etcetera etcetera sang the King as he whirled...


CQ: Oh hurray!

NP: Well it's still a close contest out in front there, Caroline spoke when the whistle went. She has increased her position but she is still quite a few points behind our joint leaders, who are still Paul Merton and Clement Freud. And Paul, your turn to begin, the subject: punnets. can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: A few years ago Pat Cash won the Wimbledon tennis title and he was won by daagtrardadadag...


NP: Caroline challenged.

CQ: A foreign language!

PM: I was trying to keep them happy in India actually! A rare form of Urdo!

NP: Yes! Caroline, 53 seconds on punnets starting now.

CQ: I've noticed lately that punnets aren't made out of the same thing that they used to be made out of. They used to have...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of made out of.

NP: Yes. Fortyeight seconds Paul on punnets starting now.

PM: Strawberries are often displayed in punnets at rather exorbitant prices. This particular fruit for some reason costs an absolute fortune. And in midsummer when you be watching some kind of outdoor sport, particularly maybe an Antipodean is in the lead, you don't know, who can say. You eat these afore mentioned, dare I say the afore mentioned...


NP: Caroline challenged.

CQ: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CQ: Afore mentioned.

NP: No, he didn't, afore mentioned was in the other round. Paul you still have the subject, 25 seconds on punnets starting now.

PM: George Punnets was a Victorian inventor and his great discovery was the small basket in which you could put all kinds of various substances. But most people prefer to place emulsion paint within this little wooden structure...


NP: Caroline challenged.

CQ: It's just crap isn't it! No-one's ever put emulsion paint in a punnet! If they have they're a fool because it's got holes in the bottom!

NP: If you're in your cups you might put emulsion paint in anything you know! But I think I will be generous on this occasion Caroline, 11 seconds on punnets with you starting now.

CQ: Raspberries come in punnets. Punnets have little holes in the bottom...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Oh did I?

NP: Yes.

CF: I certainly didn't mean to.

NP: Well that means as Caroline was interrupted she gets a point for the interruption. Seven seconds are left for you Caroline on punnets starting now.

CQ: They have these so that the fruit in the punnet is kept fresh and no mould grows on it. When they're in the shop...


NP: Caroline was speaking again as the whistle went. And this is going to be the last round. And Peter, it's your turn to begin. The subject is piffle, will you talk on the subject starting now.

PJ: Well we really have heard a great deal of it tonight haven't we? All about Paul's father and his knee, where Paul sat when he was told about...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of Pauls.

NP: You mentioned Paul twice.

PJ: You've never bothered about having your name broadcast before! Quite the reverse! I thought I was giving you a bit of publicity!

NP: Fiftyone seconds for you Paul to take over the subject of piffle starting now.

PM: George Piffle was one of the foremost Victorian inventors. He would have invented punnets but...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: I thought he said inventor twice but he said invented.

NP: No he said inventor in the last round.

PJ: He's just recycling his own material.

NP: Fortysix seconds, punnets, still with you Paul starting now.

PM: I watched a film on BBC2 the other day called Brothers In Law which featured a very young Nicholas Parsons. He played the part of a, I don't know, I suppose you could call him a racing car enthusiast, and his performance was absolute piffle! You could see the other members of the cast looking away in remorse and anger that such an amateur should be hired for what was after all a rather prestigious movie. Amongst the other players was Richard Attenborough and the other guy, what was his name...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of other.

NP: Yes and of course deviation because what he said was of course blatantly untrue as anybody else who saw the film will testify I'm sure. Why did you clap when he said my performance was piffle? Clement you have a correct challenge, 14 seconds on piffle starting now.

CF: Piffle is a small market town in Leicestershire which is particularly well known for the good pies and bakeries which are made in the local hostelry...


NP: Caroline Quentin challenged.

CQ: Surely the bakery, the building, can't be made in the hostelry!

PJ: Since there's no such place as Piffle, I can't see the point of it!

NP: What amazed me is why you never challenged Peter. And there are three seconds for you to continue in this vein on piffle starting now.

CF: Pontificating about geographic inaccuracies...


NP: Well Clement Freud was speaking then as the whistle went, gained an extra point, and it only remains for me to give you the final score in this particular edition of Just A Minute. Peter Jones did finish in fourth place. Caroline Quentin who's never played the game before got lots of points. But very fairly out in the lead equal were Clement Freud and Paul Merton so let's call them the winners this week. We do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains for me to say thank you to our four bright panellists, also to Jane Stevens for keeping the score, and of course to the creator of the game Ian Messiter, our producer Sarah Smith. from them and from me Nicholas Parsons, we hope that you'll be with us the next time we play Just A Minute. Bye bye.