WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, PETER JONES and MAGNUS PYKE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 19 January 1977)
ANNOUNCER: We present Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo, Dr Magnus Pyke 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, hello and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And as you've just heard we are delighted to welcome back as our guest Dr Magnus Pyke who made such a success on his first visit. And he's very nobly and keenly come back to do battle with our three regulars...
MAGNUS PYKE: I wasn't much of a success, I didn't win, you know.
NP: You did marvellously. As usual I will ask them to speak if they can for Just A Minute on some subject that I will give them without hesitation, without deviation and without repeating the subject on the card. And let us begin the show this week with Kenneth Williams. And Kenneth the subject is burlesque. Very apt! Kenneth can you talk on the subject of burlesque in Just A Minute starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: I remember Phil Silvers saying to me when I was at Minsky's in this burlesque show. We were able to gain by great good fortune the services of this wonderful stripper who went with them on a tour of the USO date in Italy. And they actually got an introduction at the Vatican to the Pope. And man...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DEREK NIMMO: Repetition of Pope.
KW: How was that?
DN: You said it twice.
PETER JONES: I didn't hear you say it twice.
NP: I didn't hear you say it twice.
PJ: No, no, no.
KW: I never said it twice.
NP: He didn't say the Pope...
DN: Didn't he say Pope together at the very end?
NP: No I thought...
PJ: I thought...
NP: I thought you were challenging for the hesitation at the thought of the Pope seeing the stripper. He did hesitate but you didn't challenge for that. So you didn't repeat yourself, that was a wrong challenge, 27 seconds on burlesque starting now.
KW: And he said the introductions had been affected in the ecclesiastical sector by Frank Sinatra, and when they came out he said the latter named gentleman bashed him right in the face. "What's that for", he questioned, and the other one said...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: We do seem to have strayed rather a long way from the subject of burlesque, because we seem to have stuttered...
KW: Derek, Derek, why don't you let me finish it? You've got no idea about comedy, has he?
NP: You've gone off, you've gone off into a situation and Frank Sinatra and Phil Silvers...
KW: Well they were with the stripper you see in the burlesque.
NP: That was a long time ago. Do you want to finish the story?
KW: But she was at the Vatican as well dear. Although most of them will have forgotten it by now!
NP: That is the point that Derek Nimmo was making. It was such a long time ago...
KW: I'm a let courles visage, I am!
NP: You've got 11 seconds Derek to take over the subject of burlesque starting now.
DN: Well to me the great queen of burlesque has always been Maudie Fittlewell, fun with a frankfurter! How I remember that glorious lady! When she past appeared in...
NP: The whistle that Ian Messiter blows tells us that sixty seconds is up and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. It was Derek Nimmo, and Derek we'd like you to begin the second round...
PJ: Just before Derek begins, I would like to hear Kenneth's story. I'd just like to hear the end of it.
NP: It seems the audience would as well. So can you quite briefly finish your story?
KW: Well it's so difficult you see because it takes a tremendous amount of plot laying, you see but I was half way through it. It was to the effect that Sinatra did get Phil Silvers an introduction you see at the Vatican. And the Pope did say "is there anything that you particularly liked to take back to Italy, from Italy as a memento". And Phil Silvers said he would love to have this rosary he'd got personally blessed by the Pope. The Pope did this for him and he said "why are you taking these pains". And he said "it's for Bing Crosby, I'm a particular chum of his, and I would love him to have this special token, you see". And the Pope said "oh that's wonderful, yes that's all right". So when they came out Frank Sinatra hit him and Phil, Phil Silvers said "what's that for" and he said "you bum! I get you an introduction to the Pope and you plug Crosby!"
NP: It was worth waiting for! Derek Nimmo the second round is computers. Would you talk for Just A Minute on computers starting now.
DN: Computers are those infernal machines which were meant to help us but really have changed our lives and really are out of control now I suppose. There was a woman in Copenhagen the other day who received a letter addressed to her mother aged 108 who was told she was late for school! I'm involved in an exchange of letters with a company at the moment about a bill which I know I have paid. They are also aware of the fact but the computer refuses to admit that this has happened. And every time it is put into the machine it disgorges this piece of what I just told you that I just put into it, and won't admit that I have in fact settled my debt as I have done. I think these things are really appalling. We don't know what we;ve invented! They're taking control of the world! And when we talk about banks it doesn't just stop there! We think about building societies! We think about armament factories!
NP: And Peter Jones has challenged you.
PJ: Well he...
DN: It's just as well isn't it! I don't know what I was going on and on about!
PJ: Repetition. Repetition.
NP: Yes there was a lot of repetition there and you got in with only half a second to go on computers starting now.
PJ: Those infernal machines...
NP: Yes! So Peter Jones cleverly got in just...
DN: I should finish the end of my story!
KW: Was it going to be interesting?
DN: This woman in Copenhagen, it's very interesting really, because they wrote to her, to the letter addressed to her mother, stating that although she was 108, she wasn't going to school on time, and it was because the computer stopped at 99, as far as the computer was concerned she was only nine years old!
NP: I think I prefer Kenneth Williams! Peter Jones getting in before the whistle gained that extra point, he's taken the lead. Sorry, he's in the lead equal with Derek Nimmo at the end of the round. And Peter Jones, we'd like you to begin the next round. the subject is taps. Would you talk on that in Just A Minute starting now.
PJ: Well Taps is that haunting and poignant tune that they play on trumpets or is it er...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: I thought there were two ers.
PJ: Yes there were yes, quite right.
NP: Yes, taps is the subject still Kenneth, it's with you, there are 52 seconds left and you start now.
KW: I turned them on once when I was occupying a flat in the first week, and the whole thing came away in my hand! And water shot to the ceiling, and the bulb was dislodged! I was covered in water, not to mention confusion! And screamed out "where's the stopcock? We must have some control placed where it can all be turned off!" But no! It was not to be found! And eventually only the brilliance of a carpenter who kicked open a panel around the bath and found this necessary instrument which I bought...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
NP: No! He was searching for another way to say stopcock and he didn't hesitate. He achieved the difficult problem in Just A Minute and continued. I disagree, Kenneth. Carry on with your stopcock, with your taps, I'm sorry! with your taps and there are 18 and a half seconds left starting now.
KW: I've also used them on shoes when I've done a peculiar kind of dance which was done to the tune of I'm In A Dancing Mood. And I had enormous success with it in a concert party. We opened in Hong Kong at a place called the Fleet Theatre and I did my taps...
NP: So this week in Just A Minute we're getting full measure from Kenneth Williams who's kept going in tremendously well on each subject. He's gained more points and he's increased his lead. Oh he wasn't in the lead last time, he's taken the lead I should say now. Ah Magnus Pyke...
MP: Oh yes yes yes what?
NP: Yes you're still with us, thank goodness. So Magnus will you take the next subject which is the impact of cosmic rays on the earth's atmosphere.
MP: The what?
NP: The impact of cosmic rays on the earth's atmosphere.
MP: Right! I've got it, yes!
NP: Good! I'm glad! We give you nice simple subjects you know just to get you going!
NP: So if you could talk on that simple one for Just A Minute starting now.
MP: Right! I should be delighted to talk about the impact of cosmic rays on the earth's atmosphere! Cosmic rays are an extraordinary thing that come whizzing in from outer space and as they come whizzing in they go da-doing...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.
DN: He said whizzed in twice. Two whizzings.
DN: I'm just trying to stop him hitting me on my right earhole!
MP: I know a bit about the polarisation of light coming out...
DN: Fascinating but that's two whizzings!
NP: I'm afraid Magnus that you whizzed a bit too much just then, you whizzed in and you whizzed onto Derek at one point. But that was, it was the repetition of the whiz which gives the subject to Derek with 48 seconds left starting now, the impact of cosmic rays on the earth's atmosphere.
DN: The impact of cosmic rays on the earth's atmosphere is something which we all are very much aware of...
MP: No we're not! No that's deviation! Not a single.... Now... I about 45 seconds you'll all be very much aware...
NP: Yes exactly Magnus yes, so that was your challenge for deviation?
NP: Yes yes. I had to mention your name so that everyone knows who's talking. It's part of the game. So Derek Nimmo's , Derek has moved his chair further away from Magnus because I think he feels he might demonstrate again as well as talk about the subject of the impact of cosmic rays on the earth's atmosphere and there are 40 seconds left Magnus starting now.
MP: Well you see you have primary cosmic rays which have an impact on the earth's atmosphere and you have secondary cosmic rays that have an affect on the earth's atmosphere. And the primary cosmic rays...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.
MP: What was that?
DN: Two primarys. Repetition of primary.
NP: Yes but I...
PJ: There were two primarys, no, you can't have that!
NP: I am... as Magnus has not played as often as you, I'm going to be generous on this occasion...
DN: Oh well!
NP: He hasn't really had a chance to get going yet...
DN: It's all very well for you sitting up there but I'm worried about the impact of Magnus Pyke on my hearing!
DN: Is there any feeling left here?
NP: I have a feeling that the audience would like to have the impact of Magnus Pyke at this present moment. So I can't be as generous again Magnus but on this occasion I can...
MP: Well I don't want charity! I mean don't give it to me if you don't think I deserve it! I will tell you because it's quite interesting...
NP: No it's because it's so interesting we want to hear from you!
NP: And there are 30 seconds left starting now.
MP: Well the cosmic rays come along and they strike the nucleus, a bit of stuff in the atmosphere. That's all right because it's in the title of the thing, I'm allowed to say that. And out of it comes a positron and it comes popping out and that's the second the cosmic rays come across there and therefore they...
DN: He smacked at me then! He smacked at me!
MP: ... were subject to carbondating because little bits were knocked off and the whole of the thing is when the little bits are knocked off you have carbon....
MP: Now who, who's that?
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: He's knocked off twice now as well! He's spitting at me! I don't mind him hitting at me but I'm not having him knocking me off!
MP: Oh I'll try to finish, I've got the hang of it now.
NP: We've got the hang of it now, I'm sure the audience is...
MP: How many more seconds has he got to do with the subject?
NP: He's got nine seconds for knocking off, I mean for um ...
MP: I'll help you, I'll coach you for the next bit!
NP: Yes! Right, eight and a half seconds with coaching from Magnus Pyke, Der, er, what's your name by the way?
DN: My name? Nimmo, Nimmo.
NP: Yes, Derek Nimmo is going to try and talk on the impact of cosmic rays on the earth's atmosphere starting now.
DN: Well when we are talking about the impact of cosmic rays on the world's atmosphere, I think...
MP: It was the earth's atmosphere.
NP: Perfectly correct! A very good challenge!
MP: You need a bit of help there Derek!
DN: You don't have to say the subject on the card, is that a new rule?
NP: You don't have to argue with me Derek Nimmo!
DN: I do have to argue with you because you're very very silly! And we've been doing... Isn't that right! Listen to the audience!
NP: You don't even need to come to the programme if you don't wish! When we have a guest, when we have a guest as delightful as Magnus Pyke, I am in his first round going to be generous to him.
PJ: Well I know he is very nice, I'm very pleased that you are generous to Magnus Pyke. I think you ought to, I think you owe Derek a little generosity because he after all is sitting next to Magnus Pyke!
MP: Would you like me to do the next one with my arms folded?
NP: Try because you've only got three seconds left starting now.
MP: I'll talk about positrons and measons...
MP: ... and electrons are very important things...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged you.
MP: What? Again?
DN: Yes, yes, repetition of talk.
MP: But that's a four letter word, you're allowed four letter words.
DN: We can't allow four letter words! That's one thing you're not allowed on this programme Mr Pyke!
MP: But you could say...
DN: Dr Pyke!
MP: ... when and so on!
NP: No, you did use the word talk before...
MP: Did I?
NP: And you are, so Derek Nimmo has the subject back very cleverly with only a fifth of a second to go and could you talk in a fifth of a second Derek on the impact of cosmic rays on the earth's atmosphere starting now.
DN: The impact of cosmic rays...
NP: And I must point out to aficionados of the game that when you lose the subject as Derek did and you get it back again you finish up with more points.
MP: I'm doing better than last time! I'm in fourth place!
DN: Did we have five playing last time?
NP: Kenneth would you wake up? Have you been hit by the impact of cosmic rays on the earth's atmosphere? You've come back to us and the subject is Sergei... Sergei... oh I don't know how to pronounce it, Pokopiev, yes, Sergei Pokopiev. That is the subject, Sergeyi Pokopiev, 1891 to 1955. Could you talk about him in Just A Minute Kenneth starting now.
KW: He travelled extensively from his birthplace, in the Ukraine. He went to Paris and then after that London. He was in this particular city during the war. Oh what experiences he had! And then went to America but was persuaded to return. And the Russians said to him to do stuff which was more simple. One of the results was Peter And The Wolf, a musical work with which I'm not greatly familiar but I believe has enormous appeal for what we call juvenile listeners. Unlike the gentleman in the front row who's looking at a book and not even bothering to listen to this! There you are, he has had an enormous influence! And I said that word before so I will probably be challenged...
KW: And indeed I have been!
NP: And you were challenged by Derek Nimmo.
DN: There were two...
KW: Oh he's very good on Pokopiev!
KW: Right up your alley!
NP: Yes! If you hadn't drawn the attention to your repetition he might not have had you. So um Derek a correct challenge and there are 11 seconds left and I always have trouble with this because I had a stutter a long time ago and I have difficulty with Pokopiev. Sergei...
DN: I still have a stutter and I'm going to have terrible trouble with it!
NP: Sergei Po...
KW: Pokopiev, it's Pokopiev! It's easy isn't it!
NP: Pokopiev! Not if you once had a stutter! It's not...
KW: Pokopiev, just think of the kop and you'll be all right.
NP: I got him out! And there, you've got 11 seconds Derek starting now.
NP: Someone's challenged, Kenneth?
KW: Hesitation I'm afraid.
NP: You're absolutely rotten! Despite of the things that Derek Nimmo says to me I'm going to show you how fair and honest I am and say no it wasn't. Derek it was a wrong challenge. You still have...
KW: Oh you are a crawler! What a crawler!
NP: I'm not doing anything of the kind, I don't need to crawl to Derek. It's quite all right! Sergei...
KW: Don't start that all over again dear! You know you can't manage it! You ought to be up to the new stuff, shouldn't he?
NP: Ten seconds starting now.
DN: I once went to hear a most wonderful performance of Peter And The Wolf in Corfu, at the festival in that named island. And reading the story in Greek was Edmund Williams...
NP: Well Derek Nimmo gained more points in that round including one for speaking when the whistle went and has increased his lead. And it's his turn to start the next round. The subject is getting sent, which a lot, it happens a lot in Just A Minute. Derek would you talk on it in Just A Minute starting now.
DN: Well curiously enough whenever I want to get sent...
MP: That was a hesitation there, oh yes, I think so, don't you think so?
NP: I don't think so, no, actually Magnus.
MP: Wouldn't you like me to tell you about my osmometer?
DN: I don't wish to know about your osmometer mate!
NP: As he'd only been going for two and a half seconds where did he actually hesitate Magnus?
MP: Say what you said again, exactly the way you said it...
DN: Well I'd have repeated then and you'll buzz me for repetition if I say it again!
NP: No I think that was a bit keen Magnus and we usually do allow people to get under way a little. So there are 57 and a half seconds, getting sent, Derek, starting now.
DN: I traveled up to the beautiful village of Grass, famous not only for its scent, but of course where Fragginar was born. And there wandering through...
MP: That's deviation isn't it, because Fragginar's nothing to do with scent. Is it?
NP: No he was talking about where he was born, instead of scent, which is getting off the subject of scent...
MP: So it's deviation!
NP: It's deviation.
MP: Good now yes, now I can tell you about my osmometer!
NP: Just A Minute, Magnus! I have to tell you there are 48 seconds for getting sent starting now.
MP: Well now I'll tell you about our nosing laboratory. This was a way of getting scent where you are nosing... oh I've said nosing twice, but you let me go on...
DN: I won't let him go on!
NP: I think he was going to, you want to do a bit of one-upmanship and carry on as if you hadn't repeated the word.
MP: I suppose I should have but I'm an honest chap at heart!
NP: You're very honest and you nudged Derek Nimmo and he buzzed his buzzer, pressed his buzzer, and he's got 13 seconds to tell us about getting sent starting now.
DN: One of the things that offends me quite particularly and curiously is when Mr Magnus Pyke or Doctor should I call him shows me his osmometer. I look at that lovely instrument and I say my goodness...
NP: So Derek Nimmo again speaking as the whistle went, gained more points and increased his lead. Dr Magnus Pyke is now equal in second place with Kenneth Williams...
MP: Am I?
MP: That's very remarkable isn't it?
NP: And you're both one point ahead of Peter Jones but you're all trailing considerably behind Derek. Peter Jones would you begin the next round. The subject is how to make an umbrella. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
PJ: Well it's not easy to do well. And even the manufacturers of these things don't really...
NP: Ah Kenneth Williams.
NP: Yes I agree Kenneth. Would you tell us something about how to make an umbrella and there are 57 seconds left starting now.
KW: This can be done with material which is generally a rayon-like substance. And they spray it to make it waterproof or shall we say shower ah ah...
NP: Derek Nimmo.
DN: Shower ah.
KW: I suddenly realised I was right in it wasn't I? I was so far in it only my head was showing! Hahahhahahahahaha! Oh you have to laugh! Ah I nearly bought my own beer! Go on!
NP: Derek a correct challenge and the subject is how to make an umbrella and there are 43 seconds left starting now.
DN: Well I should nip down to Woollies I think and buy a large quantity of black silk and then a walking stick, perhaps a little bit of metal framing, put it all down in a circle on the floor, cut it round to a round shape and then...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Two rounds.
MP: I was just going to ring about that if you hadn't rung!
NP: There isn't time to telephone in Just A Minute Magnus! There are 29 seconds left and Kenneth you take back the subject of how to make an umbrella starting now.
KW: You can do it very simply by shoving up a bit of tarpaulin and standing underneath that. Because as you know the word umbrella is derived from the Latin and means shade or to be afforded protection against the rays which Magnus Pyke was on about earlier, those things that penetrate....
MP: No no that isn't so because cosmic rays go through 28 inches of solid lead! You can't have, you can't have an umbrella, sorry!
KW: They may go through 28 inches of solid lead but it would never get through tarpaulin!
MP: I'm sorry to correct you there! I must stand on my scientific knowledge!
KW: Must you! What about the mariners of England?
MP: They've been cosmic, cosmic rays have been pouring on their head for ages!
KW: Yes but they're tough and they can take it!
NP: Magnus I didn't have a chance to announce that it was you who pressed your buzzer...
MP: Yes it was.
NP: And I agree with your challenge...
MP: Thank you.
NP: And so you...
MP: How many seconds have I got to go on with this business?
NP: I was just going to that!
MP: Oh I'm so sorry!
NP: There are eight seconds left, how to make an umbrella starting now.
MP: You take this stick and you put the spokes on it and you osher it out like that and then you add the thing that goes up and down so that you can get the thing to go...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Repetition of thing.
NP: Yes you had too many things there.
MP: T-h-i-n-g, oh that's five letters, right, I'll allow that one. Oh goodness I'm so sorry you're the chairman!
NP: Yes, sometimes I am the chairman yes. You wouldn't always believe it the way they go on. There's one second left Derek, how to make an umbrella, starting now.
DN: In Hong Kong they make them out of banana leaves!
NP: Well Derek increased his lead and Kenneth got more points. He's now in second place. Magnus Pyke is one point behind Derek in third place and Peter Jones is one point behind Magnus. And Magnus we're back with you to begin.
NP: The subject is Pepper's ghost. A subject...
MP: Oh yes!
NP: ... that I'm sure Ian Messiter has thought up specially for you. Will you tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.
MP: Pepper's ghost is a very interesting phenomenon and it's a junction between science and show biz. If you want to show a ghost on the stage take a piece of glass and you put it at an angle of 45 degrees. And the actor who's going to act the part of Pepper's ghost is going on like this. And their reflection comes through it at an angle of 45 degrees. And the people in the audience...
MP: ... can see through the glass and that's how it works! Really I have finished but the whole of the script touches on this you see!
NP: Well yes but just before you finished Derek Nimmo challenged you.
DN: Well you, you've got the message now haven't you?
NP: They've got the message...
MP: I'm sorry Derek, what was that? I wasn't upsetting you?
DN: Ninety degrees!
DN: Two 45s!
NP: Two 45s.
MP: Oh yes you're quite right! But I didn't repeat 45!
DN: No you didn't, you said 45 twice!
MP: It is 45!
DN: I know it is! That's what I'm saying actually!
NP: What I'd like to tell the listeners is when you said when you get an actor acting like that and I haven't seen many actors act like that actually!
MP: Well he's offstage actually and the glass reflects it and you look through and he looks like a ghost. It's a very good arrangement!
DN: If he behaves like that I should hope he's kept offstage!
NP: Derek you have a correct challenge for repetition and there are 39 seconds left, the subject is pepper's ghost and you start now.
DN: A very distinguished American film director of British descent called Bob Stevenson took the idea of Pepper's ghost and sold it or suggested it to Walt Disney. He then used the idea and you can find that in Anaheim...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: He had the idea and he used the idea. So he said idea twice I'm afraid.
NP: Yes unfortunately he did. So Kenneth you have a correct challenge and you have now the subject of Pepper's ghost and there are 25 seconds left starting now.
KW: Pepper's ghost is not what these two gentleman have been talking about at all! It is the race which is left after a violent sneeze has reduced a person to a state of absolute abject horror! Now then they go white at the knees and they give off a terrible odour which is sometimes called ectoplasmic. And people have often said "hello, that stinks like a bit of haddock!" Because it's like something they’d boiled for their tea you see! And of course...
MP: You know he made all that up! It's not true!
NP: Why didn't you challenge him then? That's...
MP: I must admit I was flabbergasted!
NP: Yes! Well you'll never have your flabber so gasted as when you come to Just A Minute, Magnus, I can assure you! That's the whole art of Just A Minute that you can keep going like that when absolutely hoodwink people with the style of your invective to use Kenneth's favourite word! Kenneth you did jolly well telling us all that absolute incoherent nonsense and you kept going till the end and gained the extra point. And we've come to the end of the show. Peter Jones finished in fourth place, one point behind Magnus Pyke. Kenneth Williams with a final flourish leaped forward but still stayed in second place behind Derek Nimmo!
KW: Well played! Well played! Bravo! Bravo!
NP: I will ask Derek Nimmo who's gone to greet Kenneth if he will seat back in his chair again because I wish to say we've now come to the end of this programme. We hope that if you have enjoyed it, you'll want to tune in again when we'll have four panelists and myself here playing Just A Minute. Until then from all of us goodbye.
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons. The programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by John Browell.