WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring BARRY CRYER, JOHN SERGEANT, SU POLLARD and BRIAN SEWELL, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (TV, 30 April 1999)
NOTE: Su Pollard's last appearance, Brian Sewell's last appearance.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Yes thank you, thank you. Hello and welcome to Just A Minute, this delightful and often outrageous game. And I have four delightful and outrageous players of the game who have joined me today. Let us first of all welcome a fine writer and also raconteur and comedian Barry Cryer. And beside Barry an irrepressible comedienne Su Pollard. And on my left that fine art critic Brian Sewell. And beside him the political correspondent John Sergeant. Please welcome all four of them. And as usual in this game I am going to ask them to speak on a subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. They will score points according to how well they challenge. You'll see how it all goes as we start the show with Barry Cryer. Barry, shorthand. That's the subject. Tell us something about it in this game starting now.
BARRY CRYER: Isaac Pitman invented shorthand as he found longhand too arduous and time consuming. An amazing man who had a kidney shaped like a dressing table, he decided that too much of his life had been spent transcribing words at too slow a speed. He therefore..
NP: And John Sergeant you challenged?
JOHN SARGENT: Yes, hesitation, he was slippering over speed.
NP: He was slippering just a little yes. John you have a correct challenge because I think it was hesitation, so you get a point for that and you take over the subject of shorthand and there are 45 seconds available starting now.
JS: As a journalist I'm often asked how good is your shorthand? And my usual answer is excellent. I work very well with a ballpoint pen with tremendous little twists and turns as you would expect from someone who was trained as a Pitman writer. But on the other hand I have to explain that when I come to try and read it back, I can't. So...
NP: Barry you challenged.
NP: Yes I think that was hesitation.
JS: There was a laugh!
BC: Slippering, slippering all over the place!
JS: No because... wait a moment, I don't think that's fair, there was a perfectly sensible and I thought well deserved laugh....
NP: I know and it didn't come!
JS: ... from the audience. I thought I would wait and allow the laugh to build before I came back in sharply...
NP: It's one thing riding the laughs and trying to go through it. It's another thing waiting for a laugh which never comes. John no no you did very well and you're trying very hard but you had Barry on a very niggling hesitation and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying Barry correct challenge to you, you have a point of course, you take back the subject of shorthand, there are 24 seconds available starting now.
BC: The inventor I mentioned earlier wrote to his lady friend called Fanny Waterman, not her real name but a pen of that er description...
NP: John challenged.
JS: An er, a straightforward er.
SU POLLARD: Yes there was!
JS: A dreadful er.
BC: To err is human.
JS: No to er is to go wrong.
NP: Don't rub it in John! I agree with the challenge, you have the subject back with you shorthand, and another point of course and another 17 seconds starting now.
JS: The most important point about my shorthand as I've tried to explain...
NP: Brian Sewell has challenged.
BRIAN SEWELL: Point and ballpoint. He had a ballpoint...
NP: He had a ballpoint before and now he's talking about point. There was a repetition of the same word, well listened Brian yes.
JS: In the House of Commons the Speaker wouldn't have stopped that.
NP: This is not the House of Commons, John!
SP: Excuse me! The participants in the House of Commons are dafter than we are!
BC: Fair point!
NP: But they don't get so many laughs and they don't get that kind of rounds of applause either! Well listened, he did repeat the point...
BS: Can you tell me what the subject is, I've forgotten it! It's been too long since we've been discussing it!
NP: I know Brian I always give the subject before anybody starts. And it is shorthand and you have 14 seconds starting now.
BS: A short hand is a man who is employed at very short notice ...
NP: And who's challenged. It was John.
JS: Well this very short man at short notice...
BS: No, no, no, no...
NP: It doesn't matter, no, no, John, John...
JS: Well we were wandering off, weren't we? Into people who were very tall and very short...
NP: You're getting political like they do the politicians...
JS: Can we just clear up this point? Are we talking about shorthand writing or people with very short hands?
BC: Yes Brian tell us!
BS: We are talking about shorthand. Shall I begin?
NP: Brian you are really winning them over! Let me explain to John because I don't want him to get into like a politician and niggle over things that don't matter. In Just A Minute you can interpret the word in any way you wish as long as you do not hesitate, repeat another word, or deviate from the subject. Brian was going off on his particular way as he usually does, and I think it was a quite enchanting way actually! so Brian gets another point for an incorrect challenge, he has nine seconds available starting now.
BS: Shorthand... oh well, I've already said that...
NP: Carry on! Nobody's challenged you quickly!
NP: Oh you've lost it!
JS: No you encouraged me Chairman.
NP: I know! All right. Hesitation. You only had two seconds to go, shorthand John starting now.
JS: Shorthand is a way...
NP: And Barry you challenged.
BC: Repetition of smugness! No, no, no!
NP: No, no, a bonus point to Barry because we enjoyed his interruption but John was interrupted. John you have half a second on shorthand starting now.
NP: There's the whistle! Whoever is speaking or even endeavouring to speak when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was John Sergeant. John has taken a commanding lead at the end of that round. And who's going to take the next round? Su Pollard, oh yes let's hear from you Su. Here's a subject, oh lovely subject for you, chocaholics, Tell us something about chocaholics in Just A Minute starting now.
SP: Several people...
NP: And Barry?
NP: Yes I'm sorry ...
SP: No excuse me, I was gulping! Copious amounts of air because at this point I really wanted to get through the whole of the minute. You see...
NP: But Su darling, I'm sorry, I have to interrupt you, because I mean they don't always challenge as rapidly as that. But I have to tell you I've got a clock in front of me and it says you went for three seconds gulping without saying a word and that must be interpreted as hesitation. Barry...
NP: You have a correct challenge for hesitation and you have 57 seconds starting, on chocaholics starting now.
BC: One of the most illustrious chocaholics must have been Willy Wonka, the well known misprint who inhabited...
NP: John Sergeant has challenged.
JS: You can't be a misprint. Willy Wonka can't be a misprint!
BC: He was known affectionately as a misprint. That was the context John.
NP: I recognise now some of the problems the politicians have when you're chatting to them John. That was a correct challenge, you have a point, you have 49 seconds, chocaholics, starting now.
JS: Chocaholics are particularly pleased when they see on the menu Death By Chocolate written in the dessert section...
SP: Yes I think John realises there there was a slight sort of hesitation and he realised what he said then didn't he and was quite...
BS: Two realises.
SP: But I was trying to explain it...
NP: Sit down, darling, sit down, please...
SP: Okay, fine.
NP: Play the game, I will give it to you, you have the subject...
SP: I like to stand up because sometimes your things get creased while you're sat down!
NP: You have 40 seconds, chocaholics, starting now.
SP: Many people throughout the world have been afflicted with EABS syndrome. Eat And Be Sick, the prime subject of which is attributed to chocolate. Unfortunately for those addicted to this devious and abysmal form of dessert, it can be...
NP: Barry you've challenged.
BC: How can chocolate can be devious?
SP: Well it is because it's telling you one thing and it's making you react in a different way...
NP: Listen Su, don't justify that, I..
BC: Chocolate talks to you?
SP: It does in a form of physicality...
NP: Well Su I'm with you, I mean the idea of chocolate can be very devious to some people so I'm going to give Su the benefit of the doubt and ask her to continue having taken her gulps for 23 seconds on chocaholics starting now.
SP: Unfortunately to a lot of people who do find this...
BS: I think she said unfortunately in the last gulp!
NP: She did unfortunately! You did say that, that is repetition, so Brian you have a point now and you have 19 seconds on chocaholics starting now.
BS: I wasn't to tell you about the Emperor Hero Glavius who was one of the late and more decadent emperors of Rome who came from Syria and brought eastern nasty habits with him, one of which was of course the senators of Rome who...
JS: Two mentions of Rome.
NP: Yes I'm afraid...
SP: Yeah! Yeah!
JS: I want to take them all with me!
NP: Listen I don't know about you all... You can't run the show as well as participate! John Sergeant, you have a correct challenge, another point of course, four seconds on chocaholics, starting now.
JS: The trouble about...
NP: Brian Sewell...
BS: That was a pronounced hesitation.
NP: You're right he went for two seconds without saying anything!
JS: My God!
NP: So Brian you cleverly got in with two seconds to go on chocaholics starting now.
BS: There was a...
NP: Why have you challenged?
BC: So was that!
NP: No it wasn't! He started instantaneously, I will not have it. Right Brian you've got another point, you got another challenge against you, you've got one second left, chocaholics starting now.
NP: Yes you've been challenged again, another incorrect challenge, you have another point Brian Sewell...
JS: Hesitation saying wa-wa-wa-wa.
NP: Brian did not start speaking until I said now so this wa-wa-wa-wa came before he was supposed to start, so it was an incorrect challenge and he has half a second on chocaholics starting now.
BS: Half the courtiers of Rome...
NP: As I said before in this highly animated show whoever is speaking or endeavouring to speak when the whistle goes gains the extra point, it was in this case Brian Sewell and Brian got many points in that round and has leaped forward. He's now equal with John Sergeant who is so competitive. We've never had anyone like him on Just A Minute, but I won't inhibit it. We will keep it going and say that it's Brian Sewell's turn to begin. Brian the subject is euro, tell us something about that in this game starting now.
BS: Euro is really a pre... prefix for...
SP: Obviously can't speak!
BS: I'm actually very glad indeed to lose the subject!
NP: Su a correct challenge and you have the subject. You have the euro and you have 57 seconds starting now.
SP: The euro has become a bone of contention with several worldwide leaders. The firstly and most important thing being...
NP: Barry Cryer's challenged.
BC: Well you nearly reported leader. Does that count?
NP: Barry challenged, Barry the subject is euro and you have 51 seconds starting now.
BC: As a swimmer in the Euro sceptic tank, I have always regarded that continent with acute suspicion. Accuse me of being a little Englander, jingoistic, xenophobic...
SP: Oh I think I made a terrible... he didn't say accuse twice did he?
NP: No he didn't. No, no so he was interrupted, he gets a point for that and he continues for 42 seconds on the euro starting now.
BC: The very word inspires in me paranoia, apprehension and an acute feeling of isolation. We, this small island, this precious jewel set in a silver sea, isola...
NP: Yes what's the matter Su?
SP: I'm sure he said sea twice!
SP: Didn't he say sea earlier on?
BC: I said...
JS: I-see-lated he said.
BC: Isolated but then I, I, I.... ..nenenenenen!
NP: I think you're all getting far too competitive, let the show flow a little. Barry an incorrect challenge continue for 30 seconds on the euro starting now.
BC: And indeed I sometimes wake in the morning and think you are wrong, revise your thoughts. Think again about the continent across the channel, la Mange as our French colleagues call it and then...
BC: Thank you John, I'm so grateful!
JS: It's le Mange!
NP: It's le Mange and not La Mange!
JS: It's Le Mange, perfectly straightforward French!
BC: Wonderful general!
NP: John you get more pompous by the minute!
JS: Well I just thought we were on a proper bilingual show. I didn't know that we were doing...
NP: We're also on a comedy show as well! So try to...
JS: Oh right!
BC: It's a couple of misplaced articles, it happens! Le Mange!
NP: Le Mange I agree, correct challenge John you ahve the subject of the euro and there are 16 seconds starting now.
JS: The euro is one of those topics the Americans call mego subjects, m-e-g-o, my eyes glaze over. Journalists find it very interesting..
BC: Did you say m-e-g-o?
JS: Mego subjects.
BC: Ah! Not mega on it's own it's m-e-g-a.
NP: Why would people say m-e-g-o when they want to say mega?
BS: He's just explained that.
JS: I've just explained that. It's the first letters of the words my, muh, m...
JS: ...eyes, e, glaze, g and o for over...
NP: Oh I see...
JS: Mego, a mego subject.
NP: I don't really...
JS: It's a technical term.
NP: Right so it was an incorrect challenge, you have 6 seconds on the mego, no not the mego! He's got me so confused now, the euro, starting now.
JS: The most important thing you have to know about the euro at the moment is that it does not exist as banknotes. It exists in cyber...
NP: So John Sergeant was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point, even though Su spotted that repetition there but challenged just a teeny weensy bit too late. John Sergeant has increased his lead, he's just ahead of Brian Sewell who's one point ahead of Barry Cryer and then comes Su Pollard in that order.
SP: Oh God!
NP: It's the contribution my love!
SP: What's the definition of depressed!
NP: John Sergeant it's your turn to begin. A good Samaritan... no wait for me to say start now or otherwise we're going to have the same problem as before. Sixty seconds starting now.
JS: A good Samaritan can be extremely boring. If you follow them behind them in the street..
NP: Follow them behind them!
JS: Follow them behind them...
BS: If you follow them behind them...
BC: Hahahahahaha! Hahahahahahaha!
NP: Yes! Yes! Hohoho!
JS: Oh I'm going now! That's it, I'm finished! I've done my best..
SP: Oh you were doing ever so well!
BC: I am so happy now I can't tell you!
JS: It's horrible when everyone gangs up against you, you really have been horrible.
NP: No no you've been hoisted by your own grammatical petard!
JS: All right!
SP: Oooohh! Ahhhh!
NP: Correct challenge Brian Sewell you have a good Samaritan 55 seconds starting now.
BS: A good Samaritan is one who sits in an office answering the telephone, while people who wish to commit suicide or who have already taken far too many drugs and will not recover if someone, if somebody does not do something about it rather quickly...
JS: Two somethings!
NP: Two somethings I'm afraid so you have the subject back again...
BS: I only said one! I'm not going to argue!
SP: Yeah he was...
NP: Listen don't you keep joining in on everybody else's argument, please Su!
SP: But he's got a ploy, he mumbles! So you can't tell anything he's said! Mmmmmm! So you've got to dive in when you think necessary and hope for the best!
BS: We can't all shout like you!
SP No! Projection Brian!
NP: John Sergeant it is your turn to begin. No, it isn't your turn to begin. John you have the subject with a correct challenge and there are 43 seconds, it is a good Samaritan starting now.
JS: A good Samaritan makes you think what about bad Samaritans? Or average to good? You never hear about them.
BC: The subject is good Samaritans, not bad or average...
NP: No, no, no, that's a nit picky type of, no, no, you can still compare them. He wasn't deviating from good Samaritans...
BS: There was a hesitation.
BC: There was a hesitation.
NP: But you did not challenge for hesitation.
BS: Well we were waiting for you to adjudicate on the challenge that there was.
NP: You cannot have a secondary challenge or a supplementary challenge!
SP: Yeah and there were two goods!
NP: My goodness...
SP: He said two goods.
NP: I know darling...
SP: I'm just challenging...
NP: Good is on the subject on the card, a good Samaritan, so you can repeat it. You can repeat the subject on the card as often as you wish...
NP: ... within reason.
SP: Oh sorry I thought I was on Ready Steady Cook. I was totally confused, I'm really sorry! I thought I was a green apple and a red pepper, and I suddenly realised oh wrong programme.
NP: John Sergeant that was an incorrect challenge...
JS: Yes thank you chairman...
NP: You could have been had for hesitation...
JS: I'm beginning to like you a lot more now. The more you work the more I like you.
NP: A good Samaritan, with you John and there are 36 seconds starting now.
JS: So how can you tell whether someone is a good Samaritan? You can tell because...
NP: Yes well done Brian two tells.
BS: Two tells.
NP: On a repetition, 32 seconds for Brian Sewell on a good Samaritan now.
BS: I don't think I want this subject, it's far too boring!
NP: Barry got in first.
BC: I was doing it on behalf of Brian, he doesn't want the subject!
NP: So he hesitated and you have the subject, 28 seconds, another point of course, a good Samaritan, starting now.
BC: Our noble Home Secretary Jack Straw approached a boy expectorating and spitting in the street, with no fear of the consequences or physical harm that might befall him, although he was albeit accompanied by his security entourage. He then went on television radio and in the public print to inform us of this and exhort us to...
BS: Was this on Clapham Common?
NP: What I do there is give a bonus point to Brian Sewell for a comment that we loved so much, but as Barry Cryer was interrupted he gets a point for the interruption and he continues and there are 10 seconds available, a good Samaritan starting now.
BC: Have a go was the maxim he exhorted from us and indeed to us and by us and I wish I were dead!
SP: Yes all of those us!
NP: Yes darling I agree with your challenge, it's all right! You don't have to fight for it all the time!
SP: Oh I'm sorry! It's just that I get so excited!
NP: I know you do...
SP: It's like when you're going down the aisle!
BC: It doesn't show Su! It doesn't show!
NP: Su Pollard you have four seconds to tell us something about a good Samaritan starting now.
SP: And it's wonderful when you get...
NP: Brian Sewell?
BS: That was a definite hesitation.
NP: I'm afraid you went for two and a half seconds...
SP: Oh you shocker..
BS: Way slow!
SP: Oh you're wrong, two and a half seconds is one... two...
NP: And that's what you went for! Brian you have one and a half seconds on a good Samaritan starting now.
BS: A good Samaritan obviously derives from the good Samaritan...
NP: Brian Sewell was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. He's equal with John Sergeant in the lead and then comes Barry Cryer and Su Pollard in that order. And Barry we're back with you....
NP: ... to begin. The subject now is fungus! Tell us something about that subject.... it's made the audience laugh already! Right! Tell us something about that subject starting now.
BC: What do you called a when, well endowed mush...
NP: I knew you were going to tell that gag and you blew it! Yes I knew!
BC: It served me right!
NP: I know! And in this particular game he's got a good gag there. John it was a correct challenge and...
SP: My my er button lit up!
NP: I know darling but his came on first.
SP: Did it? No it didn't did it!
JS: Oh yes it did!
BC: Oh no it didn't!
NP: Su Pollard we're going to give it to you because we love you. And you have... oh the audience liked that didn't they!
BC: I think they'd like him for the minute!
NP: Right you have 58 seconds to tell us something about fungus starting now.
SP: Fungus is a particularly insidious form of horrendous growth that can be found on clothes that have been kept in the cupboard with a lot of damp, because I know that to my effect, my, my...
NP: Brian challenged.
BS: I think there's a distinction between fungus and mould.
NP: I think there is, it's mould that you are talking about my love.
SP: Well of course it is but I mean it's just a posh word for it really! Aint it!
NP: Brian I agree with the challenge, another point to you, and there are 46 seconds for you, fungus, starting now.
BS: When I was in the Army which is a very long time ago we were warned against various forms of body fungus...
BC: There was a hesitation before body I thought.
NP: I know, he was struggling to get going and oh I don't know, it's a difficult decision, all right! We want to hear the joke Barry! So we give you the benefit, I give you the benefit of the doubt...
BC: Repetition of the joke!
NP: And I always try and balance this some time...
BC: I can't repeat the joke!
NP: You haven't started the joke!
BC: No I've started it and if I do it now, it'll be repetition!
BS: No we can remember how it began.
BC: So I come in half way through?
BS: Please do.
NP: No I tell you what, they're going to be very generous, they'll let you repeat the beginning of the joke...
BC: Who will?
NP: John Sergeant particularly because he wants to hear the joke...
BS: No, no, the thing, the thing is to allow him to say the first words of the joke up to the point at which he comes in and then you...
NP: I say now..
BS: You say now...
NP: Well done Brian, would you like to take over?
BS: Mmmm please!
BC: So where am I now in this?
NP: You have 41 seconds, the subject is fungus, start telling the joke and I will say now half way through... this is an absolutely ridiculous idea! You can repeat the first...
BC: I can change the wording!
NP: No listen you can repeat the first part of the joke and none of them will challenge you for that because we want to hear the joke. You have 41 seconds on fungus starting now.
BC: What do you call a well endowed mushroom? A fun guy to be with! I remember hearing this from a school chum, a compatriot and colleague of mine at Leeds Grammar Academy of that afore mentioned name. His was Augustus...
NP: Yes Brian?
BS: Is Yorkshire a different country? He said compatriot.
NP: Yes he's a compatriot and came from Yorkshire. What's wrong with that?
BS: It is a different country?
NP: No it isn't...
BC: If you're from Leeds emotionally, Yorkshire is a country.
BS: There is no such thing as emotion in Leeds!
NP: So Barry an incorrect challenge there are 26 seconds, fungus, starting now.
BC: Augustus Gridley a classmate of mine at school known to everyone as Fun Gus, used to relate jokes having rolling about on the floor, banging our desk lids, flinging bits of chalk, hitting each other with rulers as he told yet another of his amazing anecdotes. What went down particularly well was regarding the Titanic which had (starts to giggle)...
BC: Mummy! Mummy!
NP: It was John Sergeant who buzzed first.
BC: Oh yes! Oh!
BC: Little Lord Fauntleroy over there!
JS: Just because I said la Mange that's it isn't it?
BC: Yes! I know! Yes! Yes!
JS: It's a big mistake!
NP: It was a correct challenge and so he got in with two seconds to go, fungus, with you John starting now.
JS: One of the most exciting fun guys if one...
NP: John Sergeant was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point, he's increased his lead just ahead of Brian Sewell followed by Barry and Su in that order. And Su Pollard your turn to begin. Put your water down, take your gulps, get in the mood...
SP: Just a minute!
BC: Have a go!
SP: I've got to stop laughing now, because I bet it's going to be disastrous again! No you'll be fine Su, you'll get there!
NP: You'll be fine Su! We've all got great confidence in you! You have 60 seconds if you want to use it all, and the subject, you can use as many as you like! Bank statements! I'm sure you've got experience of those! Tell us something about them in Just A Minute starting now.
SP: Oh that dreaded day when the awful envelope drops onto the mat! And then you understandably want to punch the postman in the face! Because on reflection you realise what is involved with this communication that is inside the envelope. But then you pick it up...
BC: Repetition of envelope.
NP: Yes too many envelopes.
SP: Oh is that what I said?
BS: Very bad grammar!
SP: Oh well at least I won't... I was just about to say at least I won't be returned unopened!
NP: I don't think we'll go down that route too far if you don't mind! We could be..
SP: Oh I'm so upset!
NP: Barry you had a correct challenge and you have 46 seconds, bank statements starting now.
BC: One of the most amazing bank statements I ever came across was an angler on the riverside who had one arm! And I approached him and said "how are you getting on" and he replied "I just caught one this big!" (holding out just one hand) I have never forgotten that man! I admired him enormously, wanting to be of his ilk myself with rod and reel and flies and bait! I approached the tailors and said "I want a suit..."
NP: What do you want Su?
SP: Well I think he's, without taking anything away, he's just stunning Barry, stunning. But he went I approached...
NP: And you call that hesitation?
SP: Well no because he was falling over his teeth...
NP: All right darling it was a tough challenge but we're going to give you the benefit of the doubt.
BC: I think your earrings are clouding your hearing!
NP: So come on Su, it's the subject you started, carry on with it, you have 23 seconds for bank statements starting now.
SP: With all the things that Barry has just said I would like to add to said equipment that people do use when they're out trying to get...
BC: I didn't understand a word!
BS: Nor did she!
NP: So deviation from...
BC: It wasn't even gibberish! It was the full jibber!
NP: Barry you have the subject back again, you have bank statements and there are 15 seconds starting now.
BC: At the tailors I requested a suit of Norfolk tweeds. The practitioner of that sartorial art said...
JS: Suctorial. Suctorial.
BC: I'm having trouble with my initial letters of words.
NP: I think you're under pressure and sometimes words come out unintentionally incorrectly and we call that deviation from pronounciation...
BC: Yes indeed! And it is La Mange! Yes!
JS: Right! Thank you! All those who travel across La Mange this summer will know all about it because of what we've said on this programme.
BC: Yes I suppose so.
NP: So tune in to Just A Minute and have your education improved. John Sergeant...
NP: This is the last round, there are only eight seconds available, but it's bank statements with you John starting now.
JS: Bank statements used to be very exciting because you didn't know what was going to be in your bank. But nowadays all you've got to do is to find out what's going to be in the cash dispenser or...
BS: Two what's.
NP: Brian Sewell has got in very cleverly with half a second to go on bank statements starting now.
BS: I don't open the envelope!
NP: Well Brian Sewell then managing to speak as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And what an exciting contest, and what an over excited team I've had to cope with. But points have been scored. Su Pollard came just in fourth place behind Barry Cryer. But equal number of points were scored between Brian Sewell and John Sergeant so we say they are equal joint winners today! We do hope that you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. On behalf of our four talented players of the game Barry Cryer, Su Pollard, Brian Sewell, John Sergeant, from me Nicholas Parsons, from them, goodbye, be with us the next time we play Just A Minute. Until then goodbye.