WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring TONY HAWKS, WENDY RICHARD, BARRY CRYER and STEVE FROST, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (TV, 26 April 1999)
NOTE: Steve Frost's first television appearance.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Hello and my name is Nicholas Parsons and once more it's my pleasure to welcome you to Just A Minute, the outrageous, indefatigable and sometimes challenging and often impossible game we call Just A Minute in which I ask our four guests to speak if they can on the subject I will give them and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Now let us meet my four exciting guests today. We welcome another indefatigable character, the comedian Tony Hawks. Next to him, writer, raconteur Barry Cryer. On my left the diva of Wilford, Wendy Richard, and beside her that master of improvisation, Stephen Frost. Please welcome all four of them. They're going to try and score points off each other. Let's see how well they do today as we begin the show with Tony Hawks. Tony, the subject is email, something we have a lot of in our lives today. But talk about the subject, 60 seconds starting now.
TONY HAWKS: Well, I'm something of a technophobe so I'm not the ideal person to speak on this subject. I thought when the technological revolution happened, mobile phones wouldn't catch on. Now everybody has them. And I'm not on email yet, but I am planning on getting one. My address is going to be 32 Sheridan Road dot UK, because I'm not going to go for all this w repetition business that they have on ah, these different waves....
NP: Stephen Frost has challenged.
STEVE FROST: Hesitation, and he's given out his real address!
NP: That's why he hesitated I'm sure! Anyway so Stephen has a correct challenge. That means he gets a point for a correct challenge, he takes over the subject and there are 36 seconds left for you Stephen, the subject is email and you start now.
SF: I was born in Yorkshire. Every time the postman arrived my dad said "eeeh mail" and I had to go and pick it up and give it to him and read it. That's the only sort of correspondence I know and understand. I do have a computer but I don't use that for silly things because it costs too much if you leave the computer on and have it...
NP: Tony you challenged.
TH: Repetition of computer.
NP: Yes, you had too many computers in your life. So a correct challenge to Tony Hawks, he gets a point and takes back the subject. There are 23 seconds available, Tony, it's still email it's back with you starting now.
TH: If you're going to be clever on this subject as my friend Stephen Frost was, you could say it was hate mail without the hat: email. But of course I wouldn't do that because everyone would think I was showing off and trying to be clever which I'm not. I would like to send you email to all of you but I don't have the facilities here. Indeed I could email in this speech, and then you wouldn't have to bother to turn up and be bored like you are now. Now I have...
NP: That whistle tells us that 60 seconds are up and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point and this time it was Tony Hawks who started with the subject and finished with the subject so you can guess of course he's in the lead at the end of that round. Barry Cryer...
BARRY CRYER: Yes.
NP: Will you... Lovely to hear from you Barry.
BC: I didn't say anything.
NP: You said yes.
BC: Oh! Right!
NP: The subject is the icing on the cake. There's a little icing on your cake...
BC: Indeed, this is tipex and go.
NP: You have 60 seconds available on that subject starting now.
BC: Icing on the cake is an expression that exemplifies a bonus, serendipity, something you never expected to happen in line with a particular situation. On my birthday last year we had a cake, 50 candles on it, at least there were on the piece I got. And I looked at the icing on the cake thinking "can life offer more?" I did not expect this.... bonus... I've said it again!
NP: Tony you challenged.
BC: I trapped myself!
TH: I think there was a hesitation there Mr Chairman.
BC: And a repetition!
TH: And a repetition.
NP: There was a sort of exuberance of air and no words came out. Oh thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it, I rather liked it too. Expulsion of air I should have said, not exuberance of air. A Lear type phrase, Edward Lear type phrase. Um...
BC: Do you do a one man show about Edward Lear?
NP: Yes, it's all Edward Lear's nonsense but I have some of my own as well. Tony you have correct challenge and you get a point of course for that correct challenge, and you take over the subject as well. There are 35 seconds available, the icing on the cake starting now.
TH: There was some marvellous icing on the cake at Nicholas Parsons'; 100 years in show business party which I went along to and thoroughly enjoyed. And it spelt out its name, N-I-C... I could go on, but that would be cheating and I don't want to do that. But also it would be icing on the cake if I were able to speak for one minute without hesitating or repeating myself or deviating from the subject. But I just enjoy doing it! I don't need that icing on the cake! I'm quite happy just to enjoy myself... oh please stop me!
NP: Stephen Frost has made a mercy challenge.
SF: Repetition of enjoy there.
NP: Yes, I think he wanted to be relieved of the responsibility of having to continue.
TH: I had nothing more to say.
NP: You should have gone a bit longer because you get a bonus if you do do the full 60 seconds and you had gone for 53 seconds.
TH: Yes with a bit of help from Barry's starting as well.
BC: Oh, bless you.
NP: You're quite right, he did start, I lost the plot a little bit.
BC: We're bonding here.
NP: You are bonding, right so Stephen correct challenge as Tony did repeat himself. The icing on the steak is with you.... the icing on the steak?
BC: Icing on the steak?
BC: Deviation! I think I've missed something here!
NP: I know we went back to the middle course when I should have stayed on the last course.
BC: I see, what a night that was.
NP: Oh I'm sorry, yes! But Barry has a bonus point because we enjoyed the challenge.
NP: And Stephen had the subject and a point for a correct challenge. Icing on the cake there are 7 seconds left starting now.
SF: I don't like the icing on the cake, I prefer the marzipan underneath, the almond paste which makes my tongue smile with delight as it reaches across the...
NP: Would you tell us how your tongue smiles?
SF POKES OUT HIS TONGUE AT NP IN A SMILE SHAPE
NP: Oh don't please, put it away. Stephen Frost was speaking then when the whistle went and gained that extra point for doing so. And he's just gone into the lead equal with Tony Hawks. And Barry Cryer's just done that round so I'll take out the next card. Wendy Richard, isn't it lovely to hear from you. Wendy, the subject cardigans. Tell us something about cardigans in Just A Minute starting now.
WENDY RICHARD: The character I play in East Enders, Pauline Fowler, used to wear cardigans. In fact that's all the press and other people ever talk about is her cardigans. Well, I'm here to tell you she hasn't worn a cardigan for about five or six years. I actually for my own personal use posess a few cardigans, but mine are cashmere. Although Pauline's were really quite good because they were Marks and Spencers and there is nothing...
NP: Ah, who's challenged? Barry.
BC: Repetition of Pauline.
WR: Quite right!
NP: Quite right! Yes.
BC: Oh no, maybe Pauline's she said.
WR: I said Pauline's, yes.
BC: My challenge is incorrect Nicholas. I'm abashed and ashamed. Wendy should continue and you can give me a bonus point for chivalry.
NP: Nobody's ever played the game like this before!
BC: She said Pauline's.
NP: Yes with the apostrophe s. So it's still Pauline, even though its Pauline's. If she'd said Pauline in the plural, there are lots of Paulines around...
BC: I don't think Wendy did repeat herself.
NP: Well you actually had a correct challenge, do you want to take it or give it back to her?
BC: Do you want to go outside? Oh all right but I'm ashamed of my challenge now on reflection.
NP: No, no, it was a correct challenge and you take over the subject. We want to hear from you Barry on the subject, there are 36 seconds with you starting now.
BC: .. Noel....
BC: Please! Do not mock my affliction!
NP: Tony Hawks I agree with the hesitation. You've got 34 seconds on cardigans starting now.
TH: I only took that subject because clearly Barry Cryer felt so guilty...
NP: Barry, you challenged.
BC: I'm upset! I thought this was my friend! Very rude!
NP: I can't give you a point for being upset, I'm sorry Barry. So what happens actually is you interrupted your friend, well you've helped your friend because you interrupted him and he gets a point for an incorrect challenge.
BC: I know, I'm really choked.
NP: So cardigans, is with you stiill, ah, Tony Hawks...
BC: Tony Hawks.
NP: I know it's Tony Hawks.
BC: Have you two met each other? Sorry, I'm very bad socially.
NP: Can I have a word with the producer please? I don't want this man back in the show again, he's too much of a...
BC: Well, I'm glad it's working!
NP: Tony you have the point and you have the subject, and you have 31 seconds on cardigans starting now.
TH: My friend here was so guilty for taking the subject off Wendy he wasn't able to talk on cardigans as he normally would have done, and I apologise for having taken the subject in such a cruel manner.
WR: Too many takens.
NP: Yes you repeated taken, so Wendy you've got your cardigans back again and you have 21 seconds starting now.
WR: Cardigans are a very good asset to anyone's wardrobe. There are smart cardigans, cardigans trimmed with lurex, or cardigans trimmed with embroidery...
NP: And ah Tony.
TH: Too many trimmed.
NP: Yes yes.
WR: Oh did I say it twice!
NP: Yes, they are allowed to repeat the subject on the card but nothing else and trimmed was repeated, so Tony, 11 seconds are still available for you with cardigans starting now.
TH: I'm a great fashion god and I love to wear my cardigan as I walk down the high street with my slacks and slippers on. I don't care who knows it! Let the world know if you have the ability to wear clothes that suit you in the way that I have.
NP: Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point and he's taken a strong lead at the end of that round. And Stephen Frost it's his turn to begin. The subject is wind instruments. Tell us something about those if you can in this game starting now.
SF: I used to play the clarinet when I was a young schoolboy. This was to aid my breathing because I suffered slightly from asthma. The only reason I wanted to...
NP: Barry you challenged.
BC: I couldn't wait to hear. Hesitation.
NP: It was a hesitation.
SF: It was the asthma again!
BC: I feel shabby now!
NP: Don't feel shabby, feel keen, and tell us something about wind instruments. There are 52 seconds available starting now.
BC: The trombone, the bassoon, the trumpet, the ocarina, the penny whistle, the euphonium, the tuba are only several members of the wind instrument family. How I rejoice when I hear those blasts of musical flatulence pouring over an audience. You can keep your strings and keyboards! The brass is what I cry! Let us have more of it! I'm losing the will to live here! The wind breaks over me in a glorious orgy of climactic effect in a musical context! Oh, lead me to that section of the orchestra! I want them! I need those people to enrich and enlarge my life with their carnival of sound, over me, inside me...
NP: Well done, well done Barry, he kept going until the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and it's the only point he got in that round, hardly fair, is it. But we loved it so much, we really let you go, we didn't mind what you did, because it was done with such penache.
BC: I need a lie down now!
NP: Anyway what's the situation. Barry has leapt forward actually, yes he's now in second place. Tony Hawks is still in the lead and Stephen Frost and Wendy are trailing a little. And Tony Hawks, it's your turn to begin. Heathcliff. One of your characters? One of your favourites? Have you played it? I don't know. But talk about it starting now.
TH: I have never played Heathcliff but much older...oh!
NP: Hesitation or deviation from English as we normally speak it. So Stephen you have Heathcliff, you have 56 seconds starting now.
SF: Cathy was the lover of Heathcliff. She thought that he was the greatest man on this earth. Up there on those Yorkshire moors, blasted by the winds which blew across the grassy section of that part of the country...
NP: Tony yes?
SF: I was turning into Barry Cryer then! Wasn't I?
TH: I've longed to go that to that grassy section of that part of the country! That grassy section...
NP: Yes you sounded like you'd almost lost the will to live in a way. But Tony, you've got the subject back again.
TH: A hesitation.
NP: Definitely a hesitation, yes. I definitely agree on that. 41 seconds are available, you've got the subject of Heathcliff back, you've got another point and you start now.
TH: Heathcliff was a character from a novel Wuthering Height. And do you know I'm not sure whether it was by Emily or Charlotte...
SF: Repetition of two Wutherings.
SF: You said you didn't know whether it was by Wuthering Heights or by... oh, no!
NP: It's a difficult game!
TH: I think you should go to that grassy section tonight!
NP: I think he's come away with the grassy section! Wuthering or wuthering! Right, so Tony, an incorrect challenge, a point for that. Heathcliff is still with you, 34 seconds available starting now.
TH: I used to agree Kate Bush warbling about Heathcliff in her song Wuthering... oh, I've said that.
NP: Yes, Barry you challenged first.
BC: Oh, another Wuthering.
NP: Yes, another Wuthering.
BC: The subject is Heathcliff wasn't it.
NP: Yes Heathcliff was the subject. You don't need to ask me, I can tell you it was Heathcliff. There are 25 seconds, no they're not, there are 28 seconds left starting now.
BC: Like my friend Mr Frost, I'm from Yorkshire, I am the full Bronte! Therefore I am devoted to the work of the sisters who wrote under pseudonyms such as Acton and Curribell. Heathcliff the orginal macho hero, striding in his testoscerone way over moors... I'm turning into Graham Norton as I listen and ...
NP: Wendy you challenged.
WR: Sorry, I think there was a hesitation there!
NP: There was! as he was turning into Graham Norton...
BC: It was emotion!
NP: I know it was. I tell you.
SF: It was a motion!
BC: No, that was a previous one!
NP: Right. Wendy you have 6 seconds to tell us something about Heathcliff starting now.
WR: Heathcliff was the name of a musical in which Cliff Richard starred. Unfortunately I did not see this piece.
NP: Wendy Richard was speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. She has moved forward but for once she is trailing a little, one behind Stephen Frost, he's only one behind Barry Cryer and they're three or four behind our leader Tony Hawks. Now then Barry, it's your turn to begin. Cash cards, can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
BC: I'm devoted to cash cards. I collect them. I write to celebrities asking them to send me their card with their autograph on them. Johnny Cash, country and western black-clad legend sent me one of these cards. Pat Cash, tennis player...
NP: Stephen, yes.
SF: Repetition of cards.
BC: I'm allowed to repeat cards.
SF: Yeah, all right! I forgot! Do you mind?
NP: They can repeat the subject that is on the cards, and if there are 2 words they can repeat either of them independently. So Barry gets another point for an incorrect challenge. You are doing well, aren't you? Right carry on, 44 seconds available starting now.
BC: Craig Cash, a new acquaintance of mine who plays Malcolm, the son of Mrs Merton, sent me one of these cards with his autograph on. All...
NP: Yes, Tony Hawks?
TH: Repetition of autograph.
NP: Yes, autograph.
BC: Oh, I said that earlier?
NP: You said that earlier.
BC: I must listen when I'm talking.
NP: Tony you've got in on cash cards. There are 34 seconds available starting now.
TH: Steve Frost and his chums have some very entertaining poker nights where we gamble the night away and I suppose in a way this is cash cards. We're playing for big money. I...
NP: Who played big? Yes, Stephen.
SF: Deviation. It's absolutely true but you're never invited, you're not one of my friends.
NP: How do I judge on that? Do I know whether he's invited or not?
SF: Well, put it to the...
NP: Are you making a joke?
SF: No, it's true, he's not allowed in.
TH: No, I used to go.
SF: Oh thats true.
TH: I'm sure no-one's interested.
BC: You misjudged this thing.
TH: I lost so much money I stopped going apparently.
NP: Well then you have been so you weren't actually deviating.
TH: Thank you very much.
NP: Whether you're a friend or not, I'm not going to judge. But he wasn't deviating. So an incorrect challenge. You still have cash cards Tony and there are 25 seconds starting now.
TH: It's true to say the invitations have dried up to these evenings but that's by the by. I have cash...
NP: Stephen Frost.
SF: Two bys, by the by! Byebye!
NP: So Stephen you've got in at last, 20 seconds available, cash cards starting now.
SF: You're walking down the high street, you haven't got any money, you need some cash. Take out your card, put it in the slot, press in your pin number, hey presto! You've got enough argent as they say in France to last you the rest of the weekend and see you through the things you need to get you through till Monday...
WR: Repetition of through.
NP: Yes there was too much through, you were going through too much then. And you didn't go on long enough because there are 5 seconds available, cash cards is with Wendy starting now.
SF: There was a big hesitation there!
BC: She's always coming in at the end isn't she? Always! I've noticed her technique!
NP: Coming in at the end?
BC: A few seconds left, she's in there, striking like a snake!
NP: And there's Stephen winding her up on the other side, but that was not a hesitation...
BC: No, it wasn't!
NP: So Wendy another point to you, and still with the subject, 3 seconds on cash cards, starting now.
WR: Unfortunately I can't remember the pin number of my cash card, it's most embarrassing.
NP: So Wendy Richard did cleverly get in just before the whistle and kept going and was interrupted, got more points, and she's now equal with Steve Frost, and they're both behind Barry Cryer and Tony Hawks is still our leader. And it's Wendy Richard's turn to begin. Wendy the subject now is the glass ceiling. I don't know how to take that. The glass ceiling. Will you talk about that, 60 seconds starting now.
WR: We actually have a glass ceiling at our house because I had this appendage built onto the rear of the building and it is a glass ceiling. Unfortunately there's a rather large creeper next door which drops its leaves all over the glass ceiling. So one corner of it is very difficult to see through. But we have now got this new wonderful machine. The same person that cleared up after the washing incident was happy to clean this glass ceiling and get rid of any mess that is lying there from whence ever it came. But it is lovely to look through this glass ceiling and see the birds in the neighbourhood...
BC: There's quite a lot of see going on.
NP: Yes you were seeing an awful lot.
WR: Well, it's a big ceiling!
NP: We loved it Wendy, it was gorgeous!
WR: Fascinating isn't it! Pure magic round my house!
NP: Barry you had a correct challenge and you get a point and you get the subject and you have 15 and a half seconds, glass ceiling, no, it's the glass ceiling, starting now.
BC: The glass ceiling is known as the atrium. There is a hotel in London called the Landmark in Marylebone Road with the most superb roof of this substance through which one can see the clear night sky, every star visible, a full moon, rejoicing with your drink in hand...
NP: I've never seen anybody suffer so much as he plays the game as Barry Cryer. But he kept going until the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and he has leapt forward but he’s still trailing Tony Hawks just a little who is still our leader. And Stephen Frost it's your turn to begin, the subject is red roses. Ah, the roses of romance. Tell us something about them Stephen starting now.
SF: Red roses for a blue lady as the song goes, which is strange. Who wants to give flowers to a dead woman? But that's the way things are these days! If you love someone... (starts to giggle)
NP: Wendy Richard has challenged.
BC: His silence is challenged!
WR: It's appalling bad taste, what he's saying!
NP: I know! And the only person laughing was Stephen Frost. Do you always laugh as much as that at your own jokes?
SF: Well, I've got to, no-one else does!
NP: Wendy you have a correct challenge, you have 51 seconds, red roses starting now.
WR: Red roses were always thought to be the symbol of true love. But this is not the truth. In fact yellow flowers of that kind are the symbol of...
WR: Yes, I lost the plot there Barry.
NP: 39 seconds available for you Barry, on red roses, starting now.
BC: That splendid actor Michael Williams to this day sends his beloved wife Dame Judi Dench a bouquet of red roses, a procedure he has observed throughout their married life and even beyond if that makes sense.
SF: He's just trying to get a job, ain't he? He's trying to get her to get them himself!
NP: What is your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?
SF: I'm sorry, I was playing the fool and just talking! There's that much atmosphere I thought we were just chatting!
NP: You could have had him for deviation. The idea of a husband sending his wife roses when she's gone beyond is the most devious thought I could think of. But you didn't. So Barry still has...
WR: Don't you send your wife red roses Nicholas?
NP: I regularly send her red roses. I grow red roses in the garden, principally for that, so I go out and pluck one occasionally...
WR: You mean you don't go out and buy them?
NP: Of course I buy them on anniversaries and...
BC: You buy them in your garden?
NP: No, no, I pluck a single one every so often.
WR: Yes, he's got a bucket and a notice by the side...
NP: Oh you're so wicked!
SF: Do you do the windscreens as well?
NP: Well, I sometimes work for the BBC, you have to pick up a bit of cash somewhere.
WR: This is true.
NP: Well of course I do, I pick a single red rose often and to show my feelings of romance I put it on her pillow. And I put it in a little vase...
SF: You should put it behind your ear!
BC: It's a bit lumpy isn't it? A vase under your pillow?
NP: She's not blind, she does see them before she gets into bed. Oh dear! I can never win in this situation, there we are, but it's good be a good sport I hope. Anyway, Barry...
WR: Are you plugging your book again Nicholas?
NP: No, I'm not plugging my book. It's out of print anyway.
WR: Oh right.
NP: It's called The Straight Man, My Life In Comedy. Right.
BC: What's the publisher Nick, who published that?
NP: Sedgecombe Warburg.
NP: No, it wasn't! It was the other people! It did go out of print actually! Let's get on with Just A Minute...
BC: Good idea.
SF: The Straight Man, My Life In Comedy. It's a speech, isn't it?
SF: Wendy laughed!
NP: I'm pleased to say that the audience actually didn't laugh at that.
SF: No they didn't.
NP: They're a very nice audience. I hope they'll come back again for another show some time.
BC: Why, have they gone already?
NP: You might think so the way some of us are talking.
BC: You can't remember the plot now!
NP: Well, the plot is red roses and you had a correct challenge. You've got 25 seconds and you start now.
BC: I was strolling past Nicholas Parsons' garden one day and I saw this sign which said "pick your own". So I ventured in and picked a blossom from the soil. I was immediately assailed by a voice. "That will be three pound 50' cried this wellknown legendary radio and television voice. Deep into my pocket I dove!
NP: Wait, wait a minute, you've been challenged!
BC: I know!
NP: I know it was Tony Hawks.
TH: Repetition of voice.
NP: Voice, yes there was too much voice there.
BC: Was there?
BC: Was I shouting?
NP: Can you explain to me for someone who doesn't understand gardening how you can pluck a rose from the soil? You take a rose from the bush!
BC: You sell 'em, I'll pick 'em!
NP: Who said I wasn't a good straight man, giving out the cues for the comedy...
BC: You are the oxfam of comedy Nicholas. You'll feed anybody!
NP: Well if your prices were the same as theirs... I'm so sorry, let's get on with the show. Tony, red roses is with you, and there are 6 seconds available starting now.
TH: I can't think of anything more romantic than to waltz up to a young lady, dance her into your arms, hand her a red rose and...
NP: So Tony Hawks with his romantic thought brings that round to an end and gains an extra point for doing so, and he also brings the show to an end. I don't mean he's literally brought it to an end, it just means we have no more time to play Just A Minute. So let me give you the final situation. Stephen Frost finished in fourth place, and then Wendy Richard and then Barry Cryer but out in the lead Tony Hawks so today Tony, you're the winner! It only remains for me to thank my four intrepid players of the game, Tony Hawks, Barry Cryer, Wendy Richard, Stephen Frost. From them and me Nicholas Parsons we hope you've enjoyed the show and will be with us the next time we play Just A Minute. Until then goodbye.