WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, PETER JONES and NICHOLAS PARSONS, chaired by IAN MESSITER (Radio, 12 January 1977)
NOTE: Ian Messiter's only appearance as chairman, and first appearance as a performer, Anne Ling's first appearance blowing the whistle.
ANNOUNCER: We present Clement Freud, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo 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. And as you've just heard from our announcer we have our four regular male panelists competing against each other in Just A Minute. At least that was what was supposed to happen. But unfortunately due to weather conditions beyond anybody's control, Clement Freud has been delayed. And what has happened is they have pushed me into his chair to be a participant in the game. And the creator of the game, Ian Messiter, has taken the chairmanship's role. And our producer's secretary, Anne, is going to hold the stopwatch. Goodness knows what will happen! But now let all please pray for me with these three vicious players of the game as they turn on me, not as chairman this time, but as a panelist. As I hand you over to your chairman, Ian Messiter.
IAN MESSITER: And I know one thing that's going to happen. Nicholas Parsons is going to find out what it's like to be playing the game. But we're not going to start with Nicholas. We'll let him suffer for a bit! We're going to start with Kenneth Williams, and Kenneth it's you to speak on the subject bangs. Will you talk on bangs for 60 seconds starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: They say the show went with a bang. They also say they made bangs on...
IM: Nicholas what was that for?
NP: He said says twice.
KW: Oh well, I'm sure, I don't get...
DEREK NIMMO: What a very unpleasant challenge!
KW: Yes how mean! It's mean isn't it! It's mean!
DN: We all let things like that go by!
KW: I'd hardly got started! I was hardly under way was I? You didn't even give me a chance!
NP: You don't know, I've started off with a bang, haven't I?
IM: Order! Order!
KW: I didn't get a chance to get it out!
IM: I think, I absolutely agree! Nicholas is a rotten sport! But he's absolutely right! So you have another...
NP: I don't have another! It's my first one ever!
IM: Fifty-seven, you've got 57 seconds to go on, talking about bangs...
KW: Who is it?
IM: ... starting now. Nicholas.
NP: Bangs! What a subject to have to start playing Just A Minute on the panel! Many times I have laid a wake at night dreaming of what it might be to be a member of this particular federation...
NP: Shut up!
IM: Derek Nimmo, Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: He's not talking about bangs, he's talking about his secret dream life!
NP: I disallow that challenge!
DN: Trust you to shut up Parsons!
IM: I allow that challenge and if I asked the audience which I'm not going to, they'd side with Derek. So Derek would you go on for the next 45 seconds, your subject is bangs, starting now.
DN: In the 1920s bangs were very popular. Ladies used to pull their hair forward, cut them and that was called a bang. Sometimes one wakes up in the night from a nasty dream with an enormous bang. And perhaps the lights might go out or indeed come on again. Therefore you will find the bang you have created is something you could not possibly comprehend or even understand. Bangs are also to be found in the Rockies where they blast away with subterranean charges creating the most enormous explosion...
IM: Kenneth Williams, Kenneth you...
KW: Yes deviation, I'm afraid. He said bangs are to be found, they can't be found. They might be heard in the Rockies but they couldn't be found!
IM: Well I don't know really, I'm not too sure...
KW: Oh I'm sure! Shut your row! I'm sure!
IM: No, no, we're having none of that! Just because you're Kenneth and I'm sitting here, none of that Kenneth! We're having law and order tonight! Understood? Right! He...
NP: I bet you wish I was back there now, don't you?
IM: He might have been talking about bangs the girls had their hair in....
DN: That's right!
NP: Subterranean passages!
KW: He said subterranean passages! He meant excavation! Excavation he said!
IM: You don't know where I've been! I've seen these things!
NP: We know about Ian Messiter's life!
IM: You carry on...
NP: Subterranean bangers!
IM: You have another 10 seconds starting now.
DN: These lady trawls in these deep holes...
IM: Peter, Peter Jones.
PETER JONES: Repetition of lady.
IM: I'm afraid that's absolutely right. And you've got another seven seconds to continue with bangs starting now.
PJ: Bangs are not things I like very much because they usually signal an explosion and they're very frightening, alarming...
IM: Well the score for what it's worth, isn't worth very much, so I won't bother with it yet. Except to say that Derek...
PJ: Can't work it out!
IM: Derek... I can't add up, she's out one and one, hasn't made two beneath it! It's Derek and Peter in the lead, Nicholas you're not too good but Kenneth is worse! the next subject...
NP: I say! It's going with a bang isn't it!
IM: The next subject is for Derek Nimmo. Derek Nimmo, would you subdue this audience very gently by...
NP: Seduce the audience!
DN: Will you just shut up unless you're spoken to, please!
IM: Subdue the audience by talking to us very gently for a minute if you possibly can without stopping on Hong Kong starting now.
DN: Hong Kong the centred island. And it seems to me to be totally ludicrous that they have a rate of inflation there under 2 percent per annum. When England takes...
IM: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Two percent per annum, two pers. Repetition.
IM: Two percent per annum. Yes yes you've got it. It's a bit, it's a bit niggly. It's only a three letter word.
KW: Never mind about that dear! It's repetition so shut your mouth!
NP: A brilliant, a brilliant challenge!
KW: Yes! Thank you! Thank you! You're lovely! Ohhhhh! I'm on form tonight! Oh the adrenalin's really flowing through the old veins tonight isn't it!
IM: So all right now.
NP: So take it off me please!
IM: You've got, and I wish you good luck because it's time you scored something and now you've got one...
KW: Quite right!
IM: That encouragement should take you on a bit further.
IM: Hong Kong for 47 seconds starting now.
KW: I was stationed there in 1946. We landed at Kaitek and a charming man came and said "I'll transport you across to Hong Kong by private launch...
IM: Not so fruity! But anyway Nicholas you buzzed.
NP: Well he said... It's deviation because he said he landed there. And then when he landed the man said I will transport you to Hong Kong. So if he landed there how could he be transported there?
KW: I said I landed at Kaitek.
IM: It's an island, you need to go a bit further...
DN: Hong Kong is an island you see, Hong Kong is there and Kaitek is on the mainland.
NP: I didn't ask you to show off, Derek Nimmo!
IM: Geographical peregrinations on one side! I think we'll let Kenneth...
NP: You're showing off now!
IM: ... continue for another 26 seconds on Hong Kong starting now.
KW: And there we went to the famous Garrison Theatre where the boys called upon me to perform. I did the most marvelous act! And one of my first impersonations I always...
KW: Who buzzed?
IM: Peter Jones, what...
PJ: Repetition of first. He said the first thing that happened before, earlier.
IM: Oh you are picking on the nit bits aren't you?
PJ: Oh I...
IM: But it's quite fair, absolutely right and you've got another 22 seconds, you've got to go on with Hong Kong for 22 seconds, starting now.
PJ: Well in Hong Kong I think there are probably more Chinese restaurants and massage parlours than there are in London...
NP: Deviation, he hasn't walked down the Kings Road recently!
IM: Would you carry on, 15, 15 seconds on Hong Kong starting now.
NP: I haven't been to Hong Kong. But I do have a secretary who used to work there. I remember talking to her one day and she said "hoy noy ned ah...
NP: She was very happy and I said...
IM: Nicholas, you've been interrupted. The light's there. Derek Nimmo?
NP: Well how dare they!
DN: Repetition of hoyn!
NP: Mr Chairman can I point out I did repeat hoyn but not hoong!
IM: We know you did! They sounded the same from here!
IM: Derek would you finish the last seven seconds on Hong Kong starting now.
DN: One of the great free trips of the world or exciting ones to go across on the Star Ferry at night and see all the lights glittering on the peak from Hong Kong's...
IM: A just, a split second too late I'm afraid.
NP: Oh it's...
IM: A split second too late, just after the whistle had gone! And the score now is Derek and Peter, oh no, Derek is one ahead of Peter, who is one behind Derek which is pretty obvious. And Nicholas and Kenneth, sitting together, are doing equally badly and they come, they come in third place.
NP: That is devious, I have not been doing badly...
DN: Nicholas will you please be quiet unless you're spoken to!
NP: I'll remember that when I'm back in the chair!
IM: We'll get on to the next subject which is Peter Jones, it's your turn to speak...
NP: Peter Jones, what a good subject!
IM: ... for 60 seconds and it is why tomorrow must be better. Will you speak on that for 60 seconds, starting now.
PJ: Well really because today has been so absolutely ghastly! And it cannot do anything but er get better!
IM: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Hesitation. But er get better!
IM: There was a bit of an er there!
KW: I'm afraid so!
IM: Would you like to speak, would you like to speak for 51 seconds on why tomorrow must be better starting now.
KW: Why tomorrow must be better is because built into the human psyche is a natural optimism and expectation of better things to come. That somewhere round the corner will be Mr Right who will sweep you up in strong arms and...
KW: ... carry you off on a white charger into some land! What's the matter?
DN: It just seems to be very devious that Mr Right is going to sweep Kenneth off on a white charger!
KW: As a matter of fact when I was an Ugly Sister I was swept up by Mr Right! That was in a play!
IM: We'll go back to the old ruling. You weren't actually off the subject.
KW: Thank you very much, you're a very good chairman!
IM: Even though it may appear to be!
KW: Yes! Very nice! You must do this more often, yeah!
IM: So going...
KW: Very good isn't he?
NP: Ian, Ian, wait till you give one against him, you'll know...
IM: I know! I know, I know, I can see it coming! Anyway, 34 more seconds on why tomorrow must be better, Kenneth, now.
KW: Why tomorrow must be better is because in this country our expectations...
DN: Repetition of expectations. Repetition of expectations.
IM: Derek Nimmo you've got, oh 28 seconds on why tomorrow must be better starting now.
DN: Why tomorrow must be better is...
KW: I got in first! Hesitation!
DN: You're perfectly right Ken, yes.
IM: Quite a big hesitation and you've got another 21 seconds on why tomorrow must be better.
KW: And because through the post will come...
KW: What's the matter now?
IM: Nicholas Parsons?
NP: He started of last time with because.
KW: Oh, well do it yourself!
IM: What was the challenge? I was getting a message.
NP: He repeated because.
IM: Oh he did repeat because, indeed he did. Well listened Nicholas, well listened. I'm glad you're with us fully now! Fifteen, 15 seconds left for why tomorrow must be better starting now.
NP: Why tomorrow must be better is Clement Freud will be back on the panel of Just A Minute. Nicholas...
DN: We're not doing a Just A Minute tomorrow! So he can't be back! So it's deviation!
IM: Yes that's absolutely right, there's not another Just A Minute till next week.
NP: Yes but I'm using the word tomorrow in a phrase, why tomorrow must be better...
DN: Will you please accept the chairman's ruling Mr Parsons!
NP: I'm talking about the future!
IM: What is written on the card is tomorrow, not next week, otherwise I'd have put next week you see. Derek...
NP: Oh well! You can't compete with the fellow that thought of the game!
IM: You have 10 seconds to tell us why next ... why tomorrow must, must be better starting now.
DN: Why tomorrow must be better is I'm absolutely assured...
NP: He hesitated before.
DN: I didn't!
IM: No he didn't! He didn't.
NP: He did, he definitely hesitated. Why...
IM: Derek gets a point and carries on for seven seconds, Derek?
DN: I'm totally sure that I will not see Nicholas Parsons tomorrow and that will be the greatest delight and pleasure. To see that oafish face glaring across the table...
DN: ... at me. What? Who? Why?
NP: Deviation, because I wasn't glaring at you with a loathsome face across the room.
DN: Oafish face I said, oafish face!
NP: Well I wasn't glaring at you with an oafish face!
DN: Mr Chairman, put it, put it to the panel!
IM: I'm afraid the audience must decide this one.
KW: Yes! Oafish face! He is oafish! He's got an oafish face, hasn't he?
IM: Hands up everyone who thinks he's oafish!
KW: Cheer! Cheer! Cheer! Yes! Agree with him definitely! Nicholas, Nicholas has got an oafish face hasn't he! Oafish, yes! Yes! Oafish, isn't he though!
NP: I think the whole thing's got quite out of hand! Will those who have not booed for me, boo for me now!
KW: Come on! Control it you great fool! You're supposed to be chairman!
IM: I'm not, I'm not awarding any points for that!
KW: Hurry up! Wind it up for goodness sake!
IM: We're not awarding any points for that one! Because although it may be true, it may be false! We can't award any points for that!
NP: Well, let's decide! I mean have I got an oafish face or not?
IM: There's half a second left Derek, half a second left, for why tomorrow must be better starting now.
DN: Strawberries and cream!
IM: No you're just too late! You're just too late! Nicholas buzzed but he was too late...
DN: So I get an extra point as well, don't I? Because he buzzed wrongly!
IM: The score now, the score now is Derek is still in the lead this time with quite a lot of points which is almost more than twice the number of points that Peter has who draws with Nicholas who's catching up fast. But but surprise, surprise, immediately behind Derek is Kenneth Williams. Now then so Nicholas's turn, 60 seconds, Nicholas, on fear, starting now.
NP: This was the subject that was chosen for Clement Freud who was due to be on this panel instead of me...
IM: And what was that for Nicholas?
IM: You buzzed yourself?
NP: Yes. I hesitated.
IM: You did. Give him a point. Give Nicholas a point. Absolutely right. And carry on will you for another 50, another 54 seconds on fear starting now.
NP: I hesitated again!
IM: Yes. That hesitation is going to count as repetition!
NP: Thank you! So I get two points!
IM: You'll have to have two for that! Now will you not buzz yourself again otherwise the joke night fall flat a third time as I can't think of another comeback on it! So now you've got 53 seconds to speak on fear starting now.
NP: Fear can be in many forms. One of the ones that we know so well in the theatrical profession is just before an opening on a first night. That sense of fear that grips you, the audience is out there full of expectancy...
NP: .. hope and excitement and shut up!
IM: Derek why have you challenged?
DN: There's never a full audience watching Nicholas Parsons!
KW: Hahahahahaha! Oh the genuity! Oh the mellifluousness!
NP: I get two points for cruelty!
IM: No you're going to get a point anyway because sometimes this theatre is packed, you know, we've actually turned them away! And Nicholas has been here so we know it happens!
NP: Oh Ian, Ian, you're a marvellous chairman!
IM: Will you carry on, will you carry on with fear, 41 seconds starting now.
NP: During the last war as a youngster I listened sometimes to the bombs coming down...
NP: Come on! Say I've never been a youngster now!
DN: He was old even during the last war!
KW: Hahahahahahahaha! Oh laugh! I almost fell over there! Hahahahahhahahaha! Oh hurry up! Come on!
IM: Well he might have been but it's nothing to do with the subject! Give him a point...
DN: He's got a 93 year old mother! He must have been old!
IM: Nicholas you've got another 35 seconds on fear starting now.
NP: The buzz bomb was one of the most frightening of all the inventions of Hitler's scientists. It used to come over and suddenly would cut out and there'd be no sound at all and you'd be walking down the street wondering if it would land behind you, in front of you or whether it would land at all...
NP: And I repeated the word land, I take it back completely and I will carry on.
IM: Peter Jones?
PJ: Whether, he repeated whether as well. Whether .
IM: Whether and land, you're absolutely right. You only get one point, just the same. So will you carry on for another 19 seconds on fear starting now.
PJ: We have nothing to fear except fear itself, was what um...
IM: I'm afraid so Peter! What is your challenge Kenneth as if I didn't know!
KW: Well fear errrr was a bit of a hesitation.
IM: Absolutely right! You've got, you've got 14 seconds to speak on fear starting now.
KW: One of the most marvelous excerpts that I ever saw in a cinema was a Hitchcock film depicting this very emotion which I think nobody would deny he is a supreme master at catching in terms of the...
IM: So the score has changed quite a lot really during that last round. In the lead is Nicholas! I don't know how he got there! It was a bit devious but there he is! And now we get on to the next subject. Kenneth you finished that round, you start the next one, and your subject is Jerome Kearn. Sixty seconds, starting now.
KW: When we think of wonderful musicals, which he did so much to influence, Jerome Kearn, what springs to my mind, over and above the greatness of Showboat with that marvelous number, Just My Bill, which of course had the words by PG Wodehouse, I think Leave It to Jane! What a number! Within that soft-shoe he called...
KW: ... that lady love...
PJ: He did, he repeated number.
IM: He did repeat number, yeah.
KW: Oh what a pity! Yes!
IM: You did Kenneth! You really did!
NP: And do you remember the numbers in that other show?
IM: And you have now got 28 seconds left...
KW: That's true! There were some lovely numbers in that.
IM: ...to speak on. Shut up Kenneth! I'm trying to talk to Peter!
KW: Remember Smoke Gets In your Eyes? (sings) There one day you'll find...
IM: Peter... Shut up! I'm trying to talk to Peter!
NP: What part did you play by the way?
KW: Oh I wasn't in it! No, I wasn't in it! I should have been!
IM: Shut up!
KW: I would have loved to have played that! It would have been marvelous!
IM: Peter will you speak on Jerome Kearn...
KW: (Sings) One up with the play...
IM: ... for 28 seconds, starting now.
PJ: One of the first real successes that Jerome Kearn ever had was in the year 1911 when he wrote that wonderful number I'm Going To Tell Them...
PJ: ... They Won't Believe Me...
NP: Just before the number he forgot what it was and he paused.
PJ: No, no, I paused to show that it was a quote.
IM: It was dramatic, it was dramatic, you see...
NP: Oh I see! It's a new rule, is it! I must note this, for when I'm chairman next week, not tomorrow, next week!
IM: It's dramatic...
DN: You mightn't be asked to be chairman again!
KW: What! No! You mean they're giving him the elbow!
IM: Peter Jones you have another 17 seconds to speak on Jerome Kearn starting now.
PJ: I Tell Them and I'm Certainly Going To Mmmmm How Wonderful You Are.
NP: Repetition of mmmm. He went mmmm mmmm.
IM: I'm afraid you did.
PJ: No that's quibbling!
IM: He went mmmm mmmm. It was mmm mmm.
IM: So Nicholas you have now got 12 seconds to speak on Jerome Kearn starting now.
NP: Jerome Kearn, one of the greatest musicians and song writers of all time! So many often have I thought of listening with great expectation...
NP: .. and thrill and joy and shut up! Because I must get going! I must repeat a little bit!
PJ: It's just rubbish! He said so many often have I thought! I mean it's just...
NP: No I didn't! I was going to say no many...
IM: What are you accusing him of?
IM: Ah well on deviation you've got it, but on rubbish you can't because that's what he does all the time! But we all do!
NP: But he's actually wrong. I didn't say so many often. I said so often. You see I changed it from so many to often which I thought was rather clever considering I haven't played the game very much.
IM: Well it sounded like that to me!
NP: Oh shut up!
DN: Bad sport!
NP: I'll do a Kenneth Williams!
IM: Will you complete the last four seconds if you can... I don't think you're going to get the chance from the look on Nicholas' face, on Jerome Kearn starting now.
PJ: There's a small hotel with a wishing well, I wish that you were there...
NP: Two wishes.
PJ: No there wasn't, wishing well, and wish...
NP: Well I was only trying!
IM: Wishing well...
PH: I get another point!
IM: And you are very at times! Peter you have half a second, and you get a point, to finish Jerome Kearn starting now.
NP: May I say that I'm very pleased that my friend Peter Jones has got so many points in that round.
IM: Well it's doing him a lot of good because you're still winning. You're...
NP: But I like to have Peter behind me, and not Derek Nimmo!
IM: Well actually you've got, you've got Derek Nimmo behind you as well. At the moment Nicholas is in the lead followed closely by Peter followed even more closely by Derek and followed curiously enough in sequence last of all Kenneth.
NP: That sounds very devious all that.
KW: I don't like all that recapitulation of marks! Nobody's interested! Most boring piece of rubbish I've ever heard!
NP: I'm interested because I've never played the game before!
IM: Yes it's Derek Nimmo's turn to speak, to start speaking anyway. I don't suppose he'll get through with it the way we're going now! But we'll try! Ah Derek for 60 seconds will you speak on ragged robins running round ragged rocks.
DN: I just have to pause while I get all this down? Ragged...
IM: Ragged robins running round ragged rocks.
DN: Ragged robins...
IM: Ragged robins running round... They're getting tired already, they;ve been going round and round for some time! Have you got them?
IM: Right! Ragged robins running round ragged rocks starting now.
DN: Ragged robins running round ragged rocks. That's a rather curious thing. I always thought it was round the ragged rocks the ragged rascal ran. Is there some suspicion perhaps that Mr Day is getting a bit tatty or something? Is he the ragged Robin that's running round the ragged rocks? What are these rocks? Where are they? Why do we have repetition within the subject through having two raggeds? I find the whole thing most curious indeed. I don't know why one would have the robins...
IM: Nicholas why have you buzzed him?
NP: Well if he finds the whole thing so ridiculous why doesn't he let me have the subject?
IM: Ah being ridiculous...
NP: And he did repeat why. Why this and why that. Three times.
IM: He did in fact say why yes. He did in fact say why. So a point to you and will you speak for the remaining 32 seconds if you can on ragged robins running round ragged rocks starting now.
NP: Ragged robins running round ragged rocks. Ragged robins running round ragged rocks. Ragged robins running round ragged rocks.
NP: If you can say this three times without slipping up you have achieved quite a bit.
IM: You've been buzzed. Kenneth has buzzed you.
KW: Oh don't bother! No, he's enjoying himself!
IM: You've either got to make...
KW: I withdraw it! I'm sorry!
NP: I get a point for that!
IM: But what were you going to accuse him of if you hadn't withdrawn it?
IM: What were you going to accuse him of if you hadn't withdrawn it?
KW: Oh you want me to come out with it?
IM: Yes you've got to come out...
NP: No, no, steady on!
IM: No you've got to come out with it, in front of the ladies and gentlemen come out with it.
KW: I know you're allowed to repeat what's on the card but he did repeat it and then repeat again. And it seemed to me that if that's what you do with your time then you could spend the whole 60 seconds simply repeating the card and make...
IM: No three or four times is permissible. Point to Nicholas and carry on Nicholas with those robins, exhausted robins they are now for 25 seconds starting now.
NP: Since Kenneth Williams is upset at the idea of me repeating the subject three times I will try and refrain from doing so.
DN: Deviation. He's not talking about the subject, he's talking about some altercation that he's had with Kenneth Williams.
IM: You're absolutely right...
NP: No the subject, the subject...
IM: It is deviation because Kenneth is not a ragged robin and he's not running round any ragged rocks and so Derek you have another 19 seconds...
NP: What a rotten chairman! The subject is ragged robins running round ragged rocks.
IM: Can you speak about ragged robins running round ragged rocks starting now.
DN: This dear little red breasted bird had been fighting against the north wind and it found itself flying down to a mountain peak all ragged round its chest hair. And do you know...
DN: ... a kind fairy came...
PJ: You wouldn't find a robin going round a mountain peak.
IM: Well it might do...
PJ: Much too high up!
IM: It might be a low mountain. Can you defend that Derek?
DN: Yes, mountain robin.
PJ: Oh no no.
DN: I've got some lovely photographs of robins in the Himalayas, I took them only last summer. Flying round the peaks.
IM: Well I would accept that.
NP: As a keen layman ornithologist Mr Chairman I... you can't allow that of course...
DN: Will you listen to the chairman?
PJ: Of course it is!
NP: It's rot, absolute rot!
IM: There are five seconds...
NP: There's the robin! He's just arrived!
IM: Derek, five seconds, five seconds to finish the ragged robins running round the ragged rocks starting now.
DN: Ragged robins running round ragged rocks is a nice alliterative subject which has given me great...
IM: Well there I'm afraid we must leave it as Just A Minute must be off the air in Just A Minute. The final score at the end of the show is the trailer at the very back is Kenneth, with very few points really. It's a shame, I know, but there it is. And then comes Peter, he was not quite so bad as Kenneth. But then Derek was rather better. And the winner curiously enough, because he was sitting in Clement Freud's chair I suppose is Nicholas Parsons. And until you next join us, it's goodbye.
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Ian Messiter who also devised the programme. The producer was John Browell.