NOTE: Michael Cashman's first appearance, Maria McErlane's first television appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you. Thank you, hello and welcome to Just A Minute, the comedy game show which is popular with all ages. In which I ask my guests to speak on the subject that I will give them and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Let us now meet the four talented players who are going to partake today. And first of all we welcome that amusing comedienne, Linda Smith. And beside her, the debonair Michael Cashman. And on my left, actor and wit Peter Jones. And beside him from The Fast Show Maria McErlane. Will you please welcome all four of them. And they will gain points and maybe lose them as they challenge as the other ones are speaking. And we begin the show today with Linda Smith. Linda, the subject I have here is kitchen gadgets. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

LINDA SMITH: There are a bewildering number of kitchen gadgets available to today's cooks. Olive stoners, garlic crushers, ovens, melon ballers, useful for neutering any unruly cantaloupes, rendering them more docile and home loving. But the most insidious kitchen gadget of all is the sandwich toaster. "Oh," one thinks, "we shall enjoy toasted sandwiches every day." Wrong! Once do you taste this delicious comestible. After which time the said gadget is consigned to that gadget graveyard under the sink, the dusty cupboard where it joins the dust buster...


NP: And Maria you've challenged.

MARIA McERLANE: Very good!

NP: Very good! Goodness me, you went for 38 seconds!

LS: Blimey!

MM: Very good. But a little bit of a pause.

NP: I think that deserves a bit of applause actually. Thirty-eight seconds! It's a very difficult game. Maria, what was your challenge?

MM: Well it was a bit of a mealy mouthed challenge but I thought she was being a bit smug frankly! I thought there was a bit of hesitation!

NP: There was a definite hesitation.

MM: Only because she was being so good, really. That's why.

NP: Really. So whoever gets a correct challenge gets a point for doing so and takes over the subject. In this case it's kitchen gadgets and you have Maria 22 seconds available starting now.

MM: By far and way the most useful kitchen gadget as far as I am concerned is a man around the place. Especially one who can do good cooking if that's a proper sentence which I'm sure it isn't. However Breville's Snack Toasters which Linda was touching upon are absolutely no use at all unless you happen to be called Neville in which case you have a kitchen gadget...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point for doing so. On this occasion it was Maria McErlane, and you won't be surprised to work out that she is in the lead at the end of the round. Michael Cashman, will you take the next round. The subject, hangovers. I'm sure you may have had a few in your time but talk on the subject if you can starting now.

MICHAEL CASHMAN: Hangovers are considered to be the effects of consuming too much alcohol the night before. This is not so. You can have architectural hangovers. If you look at the top of a building you will see slates sloping into the gutter, and haven't we all done that before! You will see bricks jutting out above the pavement. These are also hangovers. But to get to the real Whoopi Goldberg party hangover! Yes you had so much to drink, you look like Nicholas's tie! Your tongue looks like the inside of a budgie's cage! The inside of your stomach...


NP: And you've challenged, yes?

MM: Repetition of inside.

NP: There were two insides there, my goodness me.

MC: If only!

NP: And after what you said about me, you deserve to lose it! My favourite tie! Cornflowers on it! Maria another correct challenge, another point to you. And the subject is hangovers and you have 27 seconds starting now.

MM: I happen to know that our esteemed chairman, Mr Nicholas Parsons, is suffering from a chronic hangover, from too much gin last night in the wonderful city of Birmingham and dancing with a selection of gorgeous show girls...


NP: Oh how exciting! Was I really? Yes Michael you challenged?

MC: I think we should know more about that than the hangover! Deviation, we were talking about what you were up to last night rather than the hangover.

NP: Michael you have a correct challenge so you take over the subject, you get a point for doing so, you have 13 seconds and its hangovers starting now.

MC: Hangover , you wake up in the middle of the afternoon. You can't quite get the body going, the brain feels dead, you can't stretch, you can't yawn. That....


NP: Yes Maria?

MC: Can't.

MM: Two can'ts.

NP: Three can'ts.

MM: Three can'ts we had.

NP: Yes a tough game isn't it and Maria you got in with four seconds to go and another point of course, and you start now.

MM: The best cure for a hangover is a great big fried breakfast with eggs....


NP: Right! Maria McErlane was again speaking as the whistle went, and gained that extra point for doing so and has increased her lead at the end of the round. Peter Jones please take the next round, and the subject, oh a lovely one for you, I'm sure Peter. Was it your period? The 20s. You have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PETER JONES: Well jazz had really come of age in 1911 I think, and it had taken a grip of the country by the 20s. And I enjoyed those er discs that we used to play on the old horn gramophone you know. And there were other things too er one can... I can't remember much...


NP: Linda I think that was a mercy challenge wasn't it?

LS: It was I'm afraid.

NP: Yes yes he was getting a bit lost in the 20s, but Linda you've got the 20s now with another point for a correct challenge and you have 44 seconds starting now.

LS: The 20s. I very much enjoy collectible china from that era. Claris cliff and crown devon and er various other linds of fine china that...


PJ: She did hesitate.

NP: She did hesitate. She was trying to get all her china out but she couldn't get it out without putting an er in. So you've got the 20s back again Peter and you've got 34 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well it could refer to ones own 20s which occurred some time after the first 20 of the century. And I remember I had a lovely time. Things were really swinging by then, and although I caught cold several nights I er ahem...


MC: I think there was a hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation.

PJ: Yes I didn't know quite how to phrase it without giving offence!

MM: There was about to be some deviation I think, probably.

PJ: Yes there was yes!

NP: Yes we were about to get into Peter Jones' private life! Michael correct challenge, 15 seconds available, on the 20s, starting now.

MC: The 20s have many associations, one of them being criminal gangsters. Al Capone immediately springs to mind with the Prohibition, the killings that went on. Also what springs to mind...


NP: And there's that phrase again, yes, springs to mind, difficult game. Four seconds for you Maria on the 20s starting now.

MM: My ten... oohh... my twenties....


PJ: Hesitation.

MM: Wrong teeth, sorry!

NP: What did you say Peter?

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Oh yes indeed I thought you said something else.

PJ: No.

NP: I recognised the hesitation but I thought you were interpreting it as something else because I mean Maria has an effect on you when she sits beside you I know.

PJ: What's the subject again? It's all a long time ago now!

NP: The 20s Peter!

PJ: Oh its still the 20s?

NP: And you cleverly got in with only two seconds to go and you start now.

PJ: Before the 30s!


NP: Peter Jones speaking then as the whistle went, gained the extra point. At the end of the round, the situation is that Linda Smith is trailing just behind Michael Cashman who is one point behind Peter Jones and he is three or four points behind our leader who is still Maria McErlane. And Maria, your turn to begin. Oh, bit apt here, going to the dogs. After what we've just been saying you thought I was perhaps on that road. But would you talk on that subject 60 seconds, Maria, starting now.

MM: I'm rather offended to be given this phrase, going to the dogs. As our charming audience can see, I'm a beautiful woman of 25 who has many a year before that phrase will apply. It's, it's, aaaaaahh, aaaahhh!


NP: Michael you got in first.

MC: Repetition, it's, it's.

NP: Yes.

MM: It's , it's! Oh really!

NP: It's, it's, yes. You didn't have her for the hesitation but it doesn't matter.

MM: I was talking rubbish as well, frankly wasn't I!

NP: I know!

MC: At least I had you, Missus.

MM: I was thinking of going to seed rather than the dogs but there you are.

NP: But some of the best rubbish ever spoken has come out in Just A Minute.

MC: You haven't heard me yet!

NP: Michael, come on, 47 seconds, going to the dogs, starting now.

MC: Going to the dogs has become a commercial affair. Businesses now invite guests to go to dine and watch the dogs going around the track chasing that tiny little rabbit that runs ahead of them. Also at the dogs people can place...


NP: Right. Yes Maria, you came in?

MM: It's not a rabbit, it's a hare!

NP: Yeah I told Peter to press on that one.

MC: Oh it's nice to have friends, impartial friends, isn't it? We should never have dome the Rocky Horror Show together!

NP: We didn't actually do it together! We, we alternated didn't we!

MC: We alternated stilettos and .... yeah!

NP: Well we weren't wearing the same stilettos.

MM: Oh! Was there a bit of professional rivalry going on?

MC: I think so.

NP: No there was no rivalry, but complete co-operation. When I wasn't available, Michael did it. When he wasn't available, I did it. So...

LS: Did you get Athletes foot off of his stilettos?

MC: No but I'll talk about the tights later!

MM: Oh please no!

NP: Right Maria correct challenge, it is a hare they chase and not a rabbit. And so there are 31 seconds for you to tell us something about going to the dogs starting now.

MM: Going to the dogs it always seems to be a greyhound or whippet. I wonder why they don't use spaniels, pugs, Chihuahuas. I'd certainly give all my salary for anyone who could spell...


NP: Peter you challenged.

PJ: Because it's all organised by the Greyhound Association and those other dogs are not admitted you know. Anyway who would want to pay money to see a Chihuahua chasing a hare four times its own size. It would be ridiculous!

MM: And your challenge was?

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Deviation yes Peter. But we loved the preamble up to the challenge which...

PJ: Well!

NP: Now you tell us something about going to the dogs, 21 seconds available starting now.

PJ: I used to take my mother to the dogs at the White City because she was addicted to horse racing but because it was too far to go.... What's the matter? She um...


NP: Maria you challenged.

PJ: Well it can't be my flies are undone.

NP: Maria you challenged.

MM: Well...

PJ: They're all concealed by this dodgem car or whatever it is!

MM: It had to be a deviation because he immediately went to horse racing!

NP: I know, that is deviation.

PJ: Only because it was a substitute, the dog racing was a substitute for horse racing.

NP: But you didn't establish that Peter. You said I took my mother to the dogs because she liked horse racing.

PJ: Yes and couldn't go because it was too far away! That's quite part of the sentence you know!

MM: I take my challenge back!

NP: She had an addiction! All right! The audience is in sympathy with you Peter you get the benefit of the doubt, so you get a point for being interrupted and you keep the subject of going to the dogs and there are eight seconds available starting now.

PJ: And she didn't bet very heavily because I didn't give her much money! And she ah did put a little...


NP: Maria you challenged.

MM: Repetition of she. She didn't bet very heavily...

NP: Oooh that's a tough challenge.

MM: I know but I knew there were only two seconds left and I want to alienate myself in front of the audience!

NP: There's only one second left. So you cleverly and naughtily got in with one second to go on going to the dogs, Maria, starting now.

MM: I will never...


NP: So Maria McErlane has already alienated herself from this audience and she got in with only one second to go before the whistle, and got an extra point for doing so, and is in a strong lead just ahead of Peter Jones. And Linda Smith, your turn to begin. The subject, advertising. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

LS: Well advertising is etched into my consciousness. I can remember advertising slogans from years ago. Tell them about the honey Mummy! Let Nike just do it!


NP: Peter you challenged.

PJ: That was a trace of hesitation.

NP: No that was a definite hesitation. If it was a trace I couldn't give it against her!

PJ: Ah I see!

NP: If it was a definite one...

PJ: Oh definite! Stood out a mile!

LS: Could we just move on?

NP: No, I, I like the fun we have!

MC: Salt in the wound! You love it don't you!

PJ: Yes he does.

NP: No, not salt in the wound...

LS: Right. I think we've established that was hesitation, all right? Can we move forward now?

NP: All right Linda...

PJ: That's the second time she's asked you to move forward.

MC: That's a repetition.

NP: Right, advertising is with you Peter and there are 50 seconds available starting now.

PJ: I think there's rather too much of it for my taste. Though I don't appear in many of them on television. I do voice-overs you know occasionally. And I'm available if anyone here would care to invite me to join them again! But on the whole there's an excess of it because they have to keep their name in front of the public. Not too er...


NP: Maria you challenged. A definite er.

MM: That was an er.

PJ: Yeah it was yes.

NP: Definitely yes. Twenty-eight seconds Maria, advertising with you, starting now.

MM: Go to work on an egg I believe was one of Fay Weldon's marvellous slogans. Ah ooohh!


NP: Linda?

LS: Hesitation.

NP: Another hesitation, so you've got the subject of advertising back, 22 seconds, starting now.

LS: Naughty but nice! That was one of Salman Rushdie's earliest creations. What a silly slogan for cream cakes! How can a little confection be either good...


NP: What are you was that a...

MC: I thought that was a hesitation but it was a pause for breath.

NP: I think that was an anticipation that she was going to repeat something and she didn't quite Michael. I would never inhibit keenness but I wouldn't give it to you on this occasion. So you've still got the subject Linda, advertising, 12 seconds available starting now.

LS: How splendid! Another 12 seconds on this lovely subject!


NP: And Maria?

MM: I think there was a lovely from before. A lovely confection.

NP: You talked about a lovely confection before. Well listened Maria yes. And there are seven seconds for you on advertising Maria starting now.

MM: I'm a lovely...


NP: Yes? Hesitation.

LS: Hesitation.

MM: They're gunning for me now!

NP: Well you did take two seconds to get your breath.

MM: To have a breath! I'm an actress! I have to fill my diaphragm!

NP: In Just A Minute whether you're an actress or not you need to get your breath before. I always give a pause before now, you need to get your breath in...

MM: Oh during that. I'm so glad you told me that.

NP: So Linda got in with five seconds, back with you, oh you didn't get in you've still got the subject, another point of course, five seconds, advertising, starting now.

LS: If you're sitting all alone make new friends on the telephone. That's a very catchy bit of...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle went gains that extra point as I said before, and it was Linda Smith who has leapt forward but she is still one behind Peter Jones and a few behind our leader, Maria McErlane. Michael Cashman, your turn to begin. Amateur dramatics, tell us something about that subject in this game... Does that mean we've got some amateur dramatics players in the audience or they can't stand them! Anyway they're keen! Tell them all about it Michael, 60 seconds, starting now.

MC: Amateur dramatics are often associated solely with village halls. But today amateur dramatic societies are one of the burgeoning industries of our nation. In fact it's particularly British...


NP: Yes Maria?

MM: Slight deviation because amateur dramatics means that it's a part time process. And he said industries meaning it's work.

MC: Industry meaning hard work.

NP: Oh, no, no, I think you were referring to... I think it's a clever and rather subtle challenge, and I have to... it's very difficult. But I think actually I must give the benefit of the doubt to Maria on this one.

MM: Oh!

NP: Yes...

MM: I was perfectly...

NP: I know this audience doesn't want to me, but I try to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute...

LS: You're really winning them over Maria, aren't you?

NP: And if I give the benefit of the doubt to one player at one moment I always try and redress it at some other moment later on. Maria...

PJ: You seem shifty!

MC: Yes!

NP: Who, me?

PJ: Yes! If you go from one to the other and try to benefit one person because you've been very unjust to somebody else.

NP: Have you got a hangover from last night Peter?

PJ: No I haven't unfortunately, no. You couldn't find your wallet again!

NP: Michael Cashman, I thought you might have been... Why do you clap these...

MC: Because I've been on tour with you! It's absolutely true!

NP: Okay Maria, I don't know what the challenge was, but I think it was a correct one wasn't it. Yes deviation I grant it, 47 seconds, no 48 seconds available on amateur dramatics starting now.

MM: Amateur dramatics can prove to be a marvellous source of amusement, especially if you're watching small children. Normally bad things happen like their pants falling down or forgetting the words. And Mummy and Daddy always seem to be in the audience remembering to tell them.... Help me somebody because I'm talking like this!


NP: Michael Cashman's helped you.

MM: Thanks Michael.

MC: Hesitation.

NP: So there you are so Michael you got the subject back and you got a point for doing so. If you'd kept going all this time you wouldn't have got any more points would you.

MC: Absolutely not.

NP: So 32 seconds, tell us something more about amateur dramatics starting now.

MC: Amateur dramatics exist within every single strata of society. If you walk along the street you will see two lovers...


NP: Peter?

PJ: No they don't exist among the professional classes who act for a living. Obviously they can't.

NP: No so that is a very shrewd interpretation of deviation.

PJ: Yes.

NP: So you have a correct challenge and you have 24 seconds, amateur dramatics starting now.

PJ: Well I used to take part in amateur dramatics a lot when I was very young. And it taught me a great deal. For one thing how to persevere and try and perfect the role that one was playing in preparation for when one would get paid for it, which took rather a long time I admit. And when I did get paid it wasn't very much...



NP: No, no, no, no, there was a challenge before the whistle. Maria?

MM: No I'm sorry, I didn't mean it, I'm sorry, I leant forward in fascination and accidentally touched my bell.

NP: Because you spotted his repetition of paid didn't you?

MM: No I didn't!

NP: Oh you didn't?

MM: No I didn't.

NP: You're trying to win the audience back to your side are you?

MM: Yes!

NP: So you want Peter to have the point for speaking when the whistle should have gone?

MM: Yes.

PJ: Well...

NP: So Peter she's given you that point for speaking when the whistle went.

PJ: I don't accept charity!

NP: I'd accept anything that's going in this game Peter!

PJ: All right! Well I will! From you I will!

NP: It's lovely to accept things from Maria anyway!

PJ: Yes! It is yes!

NP: So Peter Jones got a point for speaking when the whistle went and he has moved forward, and he's still just behind Maria McErlane who is in the lead. And whose turn? Peter it's your turn to begin.

PJ: Oh.

NP: Pillow talk, 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well it's something one does with one's partner before switching off the light. And it can be a resume of what's occurred during the day or it can be a discussion of plans for the morrow. In our case, my wife and I, we usually are talking about our er schemes for er....


NP: Linda?

LS: Hesitation.

NP: Yes say it.

LS: Hesitation.

NP: It was correct yes. So tell us something about pillow talk Linda in 40 seconds starting now.

LS: As a relationship progresses, the quality of pillow talk declines. At the beginning of the affair it's all lovey dovey and romantic. Towards the end of its more the sort of thing like "did you put the rubbish out?" or "is that a noise downstairs? Go and look." "No you look." "No you." "No you." "No you."


NP: Yes Michael.

MC: Repetition of the word look.

NP: Yes there was a lot of that. right, 21 seconds for you Michael on pillow talk starting now.

MC: Pillow talk exists between people who are very close to one another. Because it's at that moment just before you're about to drift off to sleep that you feel most vulnerable. And therefore you admit to that loved one your confessions of the day, your fears about the future...


NP: Yes Maria?

MM: Repetition of your.

NP: Your yes. You were looking directly at Maria there...

MC: I have to. It's to stop her challenging me! It's not working!

MM: He was trying to hypnotise me I think. There was such intensity...

NP: I know! He was trying to hypnotise you but you picked it up and got a correct challenge on repetition. And there are four seconds for you Maria on pillow talk starting now.

MM: I normally get duvet talk which involves blowing off and...



NP: Actually Peter you challenged half a second before the whistle went. What was your challenge?

PJ: Yes, well it was a deviation because she's talking about not pillow talk but duvet talk. And that is a very different thing!

MC: Yes!

NP: Yes! Yes!

MM: Excuse me!

NP: I think you've won a lot of friends and a lot of sympathy over here Peter so they want you to have it!

PJ: Oh well I wish they would! I wish you would!

NP: No I don't want to have it Peter! I just want you to have that point...

PJ: Yes!

NP: And you have half a second on pillow talk starting now.

PJ: It's not...


NP: And Maria's challenged again.

MM: Just because I'm furious that's why! He got it back!

NP: So you've interrupted him! So Peter got another point for that! You were interrupted.

PJ: Am I in the lead?

NP: So you've got quarter of a second on pillow talk starting now.


NP: So Peter wasn't actually speaking when the whistle went but he has leapt forward. He's now equal with Maria McErlane. It's a difficult name to say quickly, Maria McErlane, in the lead. And whose turn to begin? Maria's turn to begin. Hormones. Tell us something ... I don't know why they're laughing. Maybe it's the sort of, sort of waves you give off coming from your hormones. But there are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

MM: I was talking to a friend of mine who used to be a former model and she said it's apparently very bad to be...


NP: Who's challenged? Linda?

LS: Just a bit confused. Used to be a former model.

MM: Oh yes that was bad grammar wasn't it?

LS: It's nonsense Maria.

MM: It's nonsense yes.

LS: Frankly.

MM: But it was going to be quite interesting.

LS: Well carry on then!

NP: Yes. Deviation....

PJ: Yes I'd rather have heard it than heard the challenge, to tell you the truth!

NP: Yes I must say to speak colloquially as we do in the show, but we challenge on... But I must be fair within the rules of the show, Linda you had a correct challenge, it was ungrammatical...

LS: Well I'm not bothered! It is only a game!

NP: I know but it's fun isn't it and that's what we try and generate. So Linda you have 55 seconds on hormones starting now.

LS: Well I wish I hadn't challenged because I have absolutely nothing to say on this subject...


NP: Right Peter?

PJ: Better be quiet!

NP: So...

PJ: Don't you think? Nothing to say! She said I have nothing to say!

NP: I know but she still...

PJ: She's throwing in the towel!

NP: Peter what I do there because we enjoyed the interruption but not the challenge...

PJ: Oh!

NP: We give you a bonus point for that. But as Linda was interrupted she gets a point and she continues with the subject, 50 seconds, available on hormones Linda starting now.

LS: The subject of hormones. Except that they are a very important part of our bodies. They rage through our veins, causing us to fall in love, be in a bad mood, be happy, be sad, be depressed...


NP: Maria?

MM: Lot of bes.

NP: Lot of bes. You were being far too frequently. So Maria you've got hormones back with you now, 37 seconds starting now.

MM: Previous mannequin who told me it was very bad to be photographed with a tiger when you are ovulating because if the tiger didn't kill you...


MM: Tiger!

NP: Yes?

PJ: Repetition of tiger!

NP: Yes there were too many tigers! Yes!

LS: Well I would rather have heard the story!

NP: Oh dear the idea of tigers making you ovulate is really quite bizarre! But Peter it was a correct challenge so within the rules of Just A Minute, I have to give it to you, 28 seconds, hormones, starting now.

PJ: They're very lively things. Particularly when stimulated by chemicals and things that the doctors will give you. And if you're a weightlifter I think they make quite a difference. Or is that steroids? I can't remember.

NP: It is steroids.


NP: Yes Linda?

LS: A touch of grinding to a halt.

NP: Yes, it is steroids actually.

PJ: It is, yes, yes.

NP: But hormones is the subject it's with you Linda and 15 seconds are available starting now.

LS: Chaps who have too much testoscerone coursing through their bodies tend to be a bit tedious. They often have very over developed bodies and tiny little small penises...


NP: Maria?

MM: Saving her career when she was just about to say tiny little something, I think. No bodies, repetition of bodies.

NP: There was a repetition of bodies. So Maria McErlane has...

MM: You can't say penises on television!

LS: Oh what a good job I didn't say penis then Maria!

NP: And we're not even past the watershed of viewing!

LS: I think we are actually!

NP: Maria you had a correct challenge, you have seven seconds on hormones starting now.

MM: Giving birth to a litter of cubs for a beast of the jungle can prove to be very very expensive. (starts to giggle)

NP: Very very.



NP: Linda, oh Linda got in first then. yes what was your challenge Linda?

LS: Well she stopped before the end and started laughing.

NP: Yes?

LS: Well I assume that's some sort of deviation.

NP: No that wasn't deviation. You could have had her for very very but you didn't spot it.

LS: Oh and very very as well! But I didn't want to mention very very. I didn't want to rub it in!

NP: So actually what do I do now? Because I don't agree with that first challenge.

LS: I did spot very very but I thought grinding to a halt made very very, you know, void...

MC: More important.

LS: More important. More important than not speaking seemed to me... All right Nicholas, I'm not in a position of authority...

NP: I've never heard anybody work so hard to get a point! All right Linda, we'll give you a point, you've got half a second on hormones starting now.

LS: Hormones, I...


NP: Linda Smith speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point for doing so. And we have no more time to play Just A Minute. Let me give you the final situation. Michael Cashman came in a very strong fourth place. And in a very good third place was Linda Smith. But we had two people out in the lead at the end so today we say our winners are Maria McErlane and Peter Jones. We hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains for me to say thank you and goodbye from our four talented players of the game, Linda Smith, Michael Cashman, Peter Jones, Maria McErlane. From me Nicholas Parsons, tune in next time we play this delightful game. Until then goodbye.