starring PETER JONES, JENNY ECLAIR, TIM RICE and STEVE FROST, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 8 March 1999)

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 real pleasure to welcome not only the many listeners throughout the world but also the four talented performers from different areas of show business who this week are going to partake and compete in Just A Minute. We welcome the actor, playwright, wit, Peter Jones, the lyricist, writer, cricket buff Tim Rice, comedienne and actress Jenny Eclair, and that comedian, presenter and standup Stephen Frost. Would you please welcome all four of them. As usual I am going to ask them to speak on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And they will score points or lose points accordingly. Beside me sits Elaine Wigley who's going to help me keep the score. She will hold the stopwatch and blow her whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Corn Exchange in Brighton where we have been asked back again to perform another show. Stephen Frost would you like to begin. And the first subject on the card here is giving your all. So you gave your all the last time you were here to great effect. Would you talk now on the subject of giving your all starting now.

STEVE FROST: It is important as a performer to be seen to be giving your all. It's no good walking on stage and just talking in low form and nor committing yourself...


NP: And Jenny Eclair has challenged very rapidly.

JENNY ECLAIR: Very clumsy wasn't it!

SF: What?

JE: There was hesitation, there was all sorts going on there!

SF: I wasn't giving my all was I?

JE: Blerh blerh blerh blerh blerh!

NP: The poor man hardly got going! He's only been going for eight seconds!

JE: Like a baby!

NP: No, no, he can talk like a baby if he wants to. I mean you can put on a voice, you can go into...

JE: He hesitated! Steve didn't you hesitate?

NP: Oh Jenny, don't try so hard! No, I disagree with your challenge Jenny. And so Steve gets a point for an incorrect challenge, keeps the subject and there are 52 seconds left Stephen starting now.

SF: When you go on stage you've got to be confident and...


SF: ... loud and give them what what you've got! You've go to...

NP: Whoa, whoa, whoa, sorry Steve. I've got to stop you there. Tim Rice, you challenged.

TIM RICE: Two stages.

NP: I'm afraid you mentioned stage before.

SF: Yes.

NP: So Tim that was a correct challenge, you get a point for a correct challenge, 50 seconds available, giving your all, starting now.

TR: Last Christmas I was given by my father a toolbox as a present. And I was thrilled. Within this receptacle I found a...


NP: Ah, Peter Jones challenged.

PETER JONES: No, I shouldn't have said that. But he said I twice.

NP: And you have won a point with a correct challenge, and 40 seconds available, giving your all, starting now.

PJ: If you happen to be a cobbler and you give your awl you’re departing with an intrinsic part of your..... trade...


NP: So Tim you got back in again.

TR: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes. Thirty-one seconds, giving your all, Tim, starting now.

TR: As I was saying within this thing which had four sides and a lid, there were lots of tools...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: A tiny hesitation.

NP: He didn't actually hesitate Jenny. So um, we love hearing from you Jenny, so don't don't give up.

JE: I'll try again!

NP: You try again, yes. So Tim, carry on, another point, 23 seconds, giving your all, starting now.

TR: Among the collection of implements there was...


NP: Stephen you challenged.

SF: Yeah, er, deviation. It's the third time that Tim's spoken and he's not mentioned giving your all at all.

TR: I'm trying to...

SF: He's just gone on about his Christmas present from his father, from his father! I know he's probably meant to be entertaining but...

NP: I think, I think he hadn't really...

SF: He hasn't got to the nub of it.

NP: He hasn't got to the nub of it.

SF: Thank you!

NP: He hasn't actually given his all yet has he? So Steve you had a correct challenge, deviation, 20 seconds on giving your all starting now.

SF: Giving your all is actually Cockney rhyming slang!


NP: Tim! I've never heard so many brief contributions in my life to any one subject!

SF: I'm got something else on my mind! I shouldn't be here really!

NP: Tim you got in first with the hesitation, 16 seconds. Let's hear about your all for goodness sake! Giving your all Tim starting now.

TR: Well in stark contrast to my previous story I would like to regale you with the time that I gave my all! it was a critical moment in my career. Everything was looking bleak, black...


NP: Um, Stephen you challenged.

SF: His career's always looked bleak and black! From where I'm standing!

NP: So we give you a bonus point for a good challenge but Tim gets a point because he was interrupted. he keeps the subject with sevens seconds on giving your all starting now.

TR: What is the point of giving your all when lesser men challenge everything you say! It is absolute...


TR: ... a waste of time!

NP: And you've been challenged again by a lesser man! Stephen what was your challenge?

SF: Well I think I'm taller than Tim! I'm six foot five! So I'm not a lesser man! So that's deviation! I claim, I claim the subject!

NP: He didn't establish lesser in height. He was referring to other things.

SF: We don't know that!

NP: We don't know that...

SF: If he meant the other way then there's going to be a fight after the show!

NP: We have to assume that Stephen. But we still liked the challenge so we're going to give you a bonus point for that...

SF: Thank you!

NP: ... because it was a good subtle challenge. But to be fair to Tim he must keep the subject and another point, four seconds, giving your all, starting now.

TR: Giving your all! Who would have thought that giving your all would be such a difficult...


NP: Well I must say that is the longest the first round of Just A Minute has ever gone! And a total of er 12 points were scored in the round. Of which seven went to Tim Rice, four to Stephen Frost, one to Peter Jones and Jenny Eclair has yet to score. Um, Peter it's your turn to begin. Would you tell us something about the Rubaiyat of Oomar Khayyam. And there are 60 seconds if you want them starting now.

PJ: It's a Persian poem which was translated by Edward Fitzgerald. And perhaps the best known line is "a loaf of bread, a glass of wine and thou". And I've always been...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: I'm very sorry but I think the line goes "a jug of wine,a loaf of bread". It's that way round. It's "a jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou".

PJ: I'm not trying to be particularly accurate.

JE: I was...

PJ: I was quoting from the original Persian!

NP: All right, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll give Peter a bonus point for his excuse and Jenny a point for a correct challenge. And tell her there are 47 seconds for her to tell us something about the Rubaiyat of Oomar Khayyam starting now.

JE: A jug of wine,a loaf of bread and thou beside me singing in the wilderness. Or was it in the wilderness singing?


NP: You shouldn't have paused! No-one would have known!

JE: No, I forgot it!

NP: I know, I know, but they wouldn't have known Jenny!

JE: No, nobody knows much about it.

NP: You should have gone.

JE: I think it was written by the ancestor of that bloke...

NP: No, no, I'm sorry you've been challenged.

JE: Oh!

NP: Don't waste it! You might get in again!

JE: Right! I'll try and get in again!

NP: Tim, Tim challenged and it was hesitation, 38 seconds Tim, the Rubaiyat of Oomar Khayyam starting now.

TR: A pint of milk, a half of bitter and Fred. These are the things that inspired the Persian sage to write these wonderful lines all those centuries ago. He was cruising down the backstreets of downtown Teheran when suddenly he was approached by a lady who said "like a good time?" He said "yes, but I can't see how you can help me". As a result he went up to his lonely garret and was inspired to write some of the most moving verses that have ever graced middle eastern culture. And I look forward one day to reading it either in the original Persian or possibly...


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: He said Persian before.

NP: He did say Persian before Peter. So you got in cleverly with only two seconds to go on the Rubaiyat of Oomar Khayyam starting now.

PJ: I don't care which came first! The priority...


NP: It doesn't matter which came first Peter. You got in before the whistle and you got that extra point for speaking as the whistle went. You gained other points in the round, bonus points, and you're equal in second place with Stephen Frost just behind our leader Tim Rice. And Jenny your turn to begin. Round robin, that's the subject. tell us something about it in this game starting now.

JE: A round robin is one of those ghastly smug letters you get from relatives abroad that gets photocopied to send to all the people they've left behind just to remind them how well they're doing in foreign climes with their swimming polls outside and their oranges growing in their gardens. And they go on and on about how they...


NP: Stephen you challenged.

SF: Two ons there. On and on.

JE: I went on and on!

SF: On and on!

NP: Yeah.

JE: I became dull!

NP: Forty-four seconds, on and on, round robin is with you Stephen starting now.

SF: When a mutiny was about to take place on a ship in the 18th century they all signed a letter but it was a round robin and a piece of... parchment...


NP: Jenny.

JE: Dreadful hesitation.

SF: Dreadful!

NP: Don't rub it in! He hesitated! Jenny, 36 seconds, round robin, starting now.

JE: Round robins are the sorts of things you get on the front of Christmas cards. You wouldn't want to get one with a miserable emaciated bird...


NP: Stephen you challenged.

SF: Get. Two gets.

NP: There were two gets there.

JE: Oh.

NP: You put them one, you wouldn't want to get one.

JE: No.

NP: Thirty-one seconds, round robin back with you Stephen Frost starting now.

SF: In my garden every winter a little round robin bob bobs along! Oh!


SF: I just like interrupting! I don't know!

NP: It's a difficult game! They don't realise it! Jenny you got in first, bob bobbing. Twenty-seven seconds, Jenny, round robin, starting now.

JE: A collection of fat blokes all called Robin might be called a collection...


NP: Tim challenged. Why?

TR: A couple of collections.

JE: Yes.

NP: Yes a collection, right Tim, you've got in, 23 seconds, Tim, round robin starting now.

TR: Round Robin is what Batman is most of the time. They are a wonderful team and they go visiting skyscrapers, flying around Gotham city, and basically chasing the bad guys such as the Riddler, the Penguin, the Joker. And doing good generally. This has been featured in at least four big movies and the first three were pretty awful so I didn't even bother to go and see the fourth in the series...


NP: So that last sequence of Tim's was the longest we've had in this particular edition of Just A Minute! And Tim your turn to begin. The getaway car. tell us something about that in this game starting now.

TR: I've got a getaway car. It goes beep beep and it is...


JE: Last time we were playing this game in Brighton we had trouble with beeps didn't we?

NP: Yes we had two beeps.

JE: Yes.

NP: Jenny you got in there, the getaway car, 51 seconds, starting now.

JE: Traditionally the getaway car is a Jaguar or a Daimler. No self respecting criminal would drive a getaway car that was a Vauxhall Nova say. My boyfriend has a Jaguar. I said "why do you need a getaway car...


JE: ... and he said "to get away from you!"

NP: Stephen Fry, Stephen you challenged.

SF: There were two Jaguars there.

NP: There were two Jaguars unfortunately yes. I mean...

JE: I got my joke in anyway!

NP: I know! Forty-five seconds, the getaway car, with you Stephen, starting now.

SF: I drove a getaway car once in my teenagerhood and I got caught by the police and I didn't have a license and they did me for that and not for actually driving the motor vehicle that was getting the people away from the situation...


SF: ... that we were actually getting away from out there and ... (heads off into high pitched gibberish) Exterminate...

NP: I think the people of Brighton will always remember you for your struggles Stephen. Jenny you got in first. There are 35 seconds on the getaway car starting now.

JE: Getaway cars squeal away from the kerb and go very fast through boxes, empty cardboard boxes. I don't know why they do...


NP: Tim Rice challenged on the boxes I'm sure.

TR: Boxes.

JE: Yeah.

NP: Twenty-nine seconds, the getaway car, Tim, starting now.

TR: What baffles me about getaway cars in the movies is that they are never clamped, they can always find a place to park, never on a double white line...


NP: Ah Stephen challenged.

SF: He was in Never never land there!

NP: You were in Never never land, yes. Twenty-one seconds, Stephen, getaway car, starting now.

SF: The best getaway car of course is the Robin Reliant. Because it only has three wheels there's less chance of it being clamped as Tim was mentioning. They go round corners very fast and lean left or right depending on which way you move the steering wheel. The speed is not that great but this fools the police who tend to chase Jaguars...


NP: Well Stephen Frost was complaining that he's not skilled at playing this game but he's got another point, another point for speaking as the whistle went. He's moved forward, he's only two points behind our leader Tim Rice so he's doing very well. And Stephen it's your turn to begin. The subject: Francophile. Tell us something about that in Just... who said aw! Francophile, 60 seconds, starting now.

SF: I'm a bit of a Francophile myself. I love going over the water and going to the country...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: He said going twice.

NP: He was going too often...

SF: I've been twice!

NP: Jenny, Francophile, 55 seconds, starting now.

JE: Francophiles are lovers of all things French. I do not suffer from this condition being the only person in the world who thinks France is a bit of a dump. You can keep your gaulois, your horse meat...


NP: Who... Stephen you challenged.

SF: Xenophobia! No, she said two yours there, two yours and there was going to be a list!

JE: Two what's?

SF: Yours!

NP: You can keep yours, you can keep yours.

JE: Yes I said that twice.

SF: You were going to do another one as well had I not...

NP: Forty-four seconds, Francophile, starting now.

SF: There is nothing better than a plate of cheese from Normandy, a bowl of soup from the Dordogne, and a woman from the deepest heart of Paris. these are things that keep me happy in the winter nights when I'm traveling across that great country that once President DeGaulle presided over in that oh so fantastic way he did in that little flat teepee hat of his.


SF: (Rambles in French)

NP: (breaking in, starts to berate Stephen in French, telling him he has been challenged by Tim Rice) Anyway that shut him up! I had a go at him in my French! Tim you challenged first! What was it?

TR: I can't remember!

NP: Neither can I?

JE: Shall we call it showing off?

NP: Well...

TR: I think my buzzer just got carried away in the excitement and admiration!

NP: So Stephen you've got the benefit of the doubt because no-one can remember what you repeated or hesitated about, and Francophile. I think you were demonstrating you are a Francophile and I agree with you. Twenty seconds starting now.

SF: The French waiters are the best servers of food in the world. they have a certain style and penache that beats any other form of service industry in this country.


NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Well they have to be to get the cheese from one place and the soup from the Dordogne.

NP: You get a bonus point anyway but what's the, what's the, within the rules of Just A Minute what's your challenge?

PJ: Well he was just rambling on wasn't he?

NP: Well I don't know that he was actually deviating from anything. We give you a bonus point because we love you. We give you the subject as well. Eleven seconds, Francophile, Peter starting now.

PJ: Well I love the south of France. And I'd go there every winter if I had enough money and I wouldn't do Just A Minute until April or May if they were able to...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Hesitation.

NP: No, no, no, it was just teetering on hesitation. But it didn't quite get there, no. Benefit of the doubt is what I say, no hesitation, another point to you Peter, two seconds to go, Francophile, starting now.

PJ: The Battle of...


NP: Stephen challenged.

SF: (In French accent) Repetition.

NP: What of?

SF: I just want to say that's how it is in French. You say repetition. It's a similar word. (in French accent) Hesitation (normal voice) you can say in French too.

NP: Oh right!

SF: Very similar words! That's the great thing about France. Some words are the same as English!

NP: Well I'll do it for you now. You've given Peter another point by the way.

SF: (In French accent) A point?

NP: Pierre?

PJ: Yes?

SF: Pierre!

PJ: Oui!

NP: (starts to tell Peter in French he has another point)

PJ: The battle of Flowers in Nice was one of the spectacles that...

NP: (in French accent) No, no, Pierre sil vous plait, continuez sans hesitation, repetition, deviation. C'est bon?

PJ: Yes.

NP: (speaking slowly in French)

PJ: Der...

NP: (continuing to ramble introducing Peter in French)

PJ: Charles DeGaulle...

NP: (continuing to ramble in French, finally saying now in French)


NP: Ah Tim you challenged first.

TR: Hesitation.

NP: He was lost. I mentioned there were two seconds to go and Elaine who works my stopwatch for me has now made it three seconds. She's gone backwards! You, you're in hysterics aren't you Elaine.

SF: That's because in France they're an hour behind.


NP: Ah yes Peter another point! So Peter Jones got the point for not speaking as the whistle went. Well he's moved forward. He's now in second place. But equal in the lead now are Tim Rice with Stephen Frost. Peter it's your turn to begin. The subject is my first night. Will you tell us something about it in this game starting now.

PJ: Well it was a very traumatic experience altogether. And I remember I was covered in some kind of, er, sticky...


PJ: ... material, and er, I didn't...

NP: Peter...

PJ: ... recognise my mother...

NP: Peter...

PJ:... well after all I was upside down! And the doctor was holding me by the ankle. And he was very elderly and kept shaking... what is it?

NP: You were actually challenged before you got hung upside down.

PJ: Oh.

NP: Yes. But you were so funny that I'm going to give you three bonus points.

PJ: Three?

NP: Yeah. But you were challenged. Tim you were first. You have the subject. Fifty seconds available, my first night, starting now.

TR: I remember my first night being sent away to boarding school at a very very young age...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: He said very twice.

NP: Very very yes. Forty-four seconds, my first night is with you Jenny starting now.

JE: I have only had the pleasure of a West End theatrical first night once. Just over a year ago I made my debut in Nelda Steaming at the Piccadilly Theatre. Oh it was marvelous that first night! my dressing room was full of bouquets, champagne, flowers. And then afterwards we all went out for dinner and somebody else picked up the tab! And then the reviews came out and funnily enough they closed quite soon after that! But it was a joyous experience. I'm very glad that I've been lucky enough to have done that! And um the other first nights that I've had, let me have a think now. I don't know why you're letting me get away with this because really...


JE: Doesn't anyone else want it?

NP: Yes and Tim has challenged you and let you off your hook there. Nine seconds for you Tim on my first night starting now.

JE: Oh I didn't know I only had nine seconds left!

TR: I was three years old... do you mind? I'm trying to talk! And it was heart breaking for both my parents and...


NP: On that occasion Tim Rice was speaking as the whistle went, got the extra point for doing so. And he's moved forward, he's in the lead, just ahead of Stephen Frost equal now with Peter Jones, and Jenny Eclair you're coming up behind. And it's your turn by the way to begin. My concerns. Tell us something about those starting now.

JE: My concerns are none of your business! But all right I will admit to being rather preoccupied with the aging process. I do find it being very difficult being sexy when you get to 38 because every time I wiggle my bum my teeth fall out. You do! All I can say is thank heavens for cosmetics. I do need a lot of makeup. I like the way it makes my face look 10 years younger than my neck! I know I should be more concerned with global warming, economics and world peace. But actually I'm rather more bothered by the fact that I've got hair coming out of my nose, ears, chin! Oh what is to become of me! And I haven't got a pension either! Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night screaming!


NP: Tim Rice has challenged you.

TR: What are you doing tonight?

NP: Right, a bonus point to Tim Rice, we loved the challenge! But Jenny gets a point for being interrupted, keeps it, 21 seconds still on my concerns Jenny starting now.

JE: Yes, oh sometimes I wake up screaming thinking "oh no I'm going to be 70 and I won't have any money!" And I'm going to be waiting at a bus stop thinking "oh next Tuesday when I get my pension I might be able to afford some wine gums!"


NP: Ah, Stephen Frost.

SF: Two pensions now.

JE: I wish I could!

SF: Pensions, that's repetition.

NP: Yes repetition, well done Stephen. Seven seconds, my concerns starting now.

SF: My concern is comp... Aaaahh! Oh for goodness sake!


SF: Choking!

NP: Peter Jones did you challenge then? I think you did.

PJ: Did I?

NP: Yes.

PJ: Yes I got the... I switch occasionally you know!

NP: That's right! And er my concerns Peter starting now.

PJ: My concerns are usually ah Marks and Spencers for instance. That's one of them...


NP: So Tim Rice is till in the lead. Peter Jones has now crept up a little because he got that extra point for speaking when the whistle went. It's Stephen Frost and Jenny Eclair in that order. Stephen your turn to begin. Routines. I'm sure you've got plenty of those. But tell us something about your routines Stephen Frost starting now.

SF: When I get up in the morning the first thing I do is put my clothes on. Which is a bit unusual because I haven't got undressed from the night before! So I tend to go walking down the street looking a little like a Michelin man. This is one of my routines. The other routine I like to do is brush my teeth and make sure they're all shiny and sparkly like they're supposed to be so I get no dental problems in the near future. My third routine I like to do is wash my body all over and rub it off with sandpaper. This makes the skin nice and shiny and fresh...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Shiny twice.

NP: Yes yeah, a bit shiny yes. So Jenny you've got in on routines with 28 seconds to go starting now.

JE: I have some preshow routines based on fear and suspicion. First I put my lucky pants on and my earrings of good fortune. Next thing I do is I tug my left earlobe twice, muttering a mantra, a secret mantra that...


NP: Oh! So two mantras. Right Tim you got in first, 13 seconds left, routines with you starting now.

TR: My routines are incredibly boring! Nothing like as gripping...


NP: Ah Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Better stop now!

NP: A bonus point to Peter Jones because we loved the challenge but he wasn't, Tim wasn't deviating within the rules of Just A Minute. So he has a point and the subject still and nine seconds available, routines Tim starting now.

TR: I have the most exciting routines imaginable! I get up in the morning and run five miles. I leap into a swimming pool! I feed the chickens! I boil myself an egg! Then I go and write a poem!


NP: If you can maintain that routines Tim you must be exceptional! And so as we move into the final round and your turn to begin Peter Jones. The subject: new man. Will you tell us something about new man in 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well I like Paul Newman. He's very good with those wonderful blue eyes and everything. And there's a shop in Duke Street I think it is and they sell things er for very er masculine...


NP: Jenny you challenged.

JE: A slight hesitation.

NP: Slight? No definitely, he erred twice! Forty-eight seconds, new man, with you Jenny, tell us about your new man starting now.

JE: Oh God save us from the new man! Clogging up the supermarket talking to his children as if they were normal human beings! Don't they make you puke! Oh give me a man in a cowboy hat who sits back and shuts up, soaks up any stray bullets, and buys the drinks till bedtime! That's what I want! None of your soppy wimpy old new bloke! Anyway it's an old fashioned concept! I think women made them up in the 70s when they liked the idea of watching men cry! Hah! Yes! and then as soon as they started weeping their soppy tears we looked at them and thought "you pathetic little creatures"! Come on! I want a thick leathery skinned bloke that tears the hides off buffaloes for their woman! And goes out and brings me, um...


NP: And you finished the show for us in style Jenny. Let me give you the final score because Jenny got a number of points then so she's finished up equal in third place with Stephen Frost who haven't played as much as others. Peter Jones has played it quite a lot, in fact a hell of a lot, but, um, he always does well, he's finished in second place only just three points behind our leader Tim Rice so we say Tim you're the winner this week. It only remains for me to say thank you and congratulations to these four delightful players of the game, Tim Rice, Peter Jones, Jenny Eclair and Stephen Frost. And from them and from Elaine Wigley who's kept the score so well for me as well as blowing her whistle so charmingly. And we also thank Ian Messiter who thought of the game we all enjoy playing so much. We thank our producer and that is Chris Neill. From our four panelists, from Elaine Wigley, from myself Nicholas Parsons and everybody here in Brighton, thank you for tuning in. And tune in again the next time we take to the air and we play Just A Minute. Until then goodbye.