starring TONY HAWKS, SUE PERKINS, TIM RICE and PAM AYRES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 21 September 2009)

NOTE: Tony Hawks's 100th appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more, it is my huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners not only in this country, bur around the world. But also to welcome to the programme four bright, intelligent and humorous players of this game. And those four bright, intelligent people are, seated on my right, Tony Hawks and Pam Ayres. And seated on my left, Sue Perkins and Tim Rice. Please welcome all four of them! Thank you. Seated beside me is Sarah Sharpe, she is going to help me keep the score, she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And we have a happy, warm, spontaneous audience here ready to cheer us on our way. As we start the show with Pam Ayres. Oh what a lovely subject for you, chick lit. Tell us something about it in this game Pam, chick lit starting now.

PAM AYRES: Chick lit is probably something that Barbara Cartland did not dictate from her sofa while fondling a pug. Oh no, it is more the case that it deals with some heroine or career girl in what is perceived to be a very attractive environment in which to work. For example, the media or the fashion trade or things...


NP: Sue you challenged.

SUE PERKINS: Repetition of or.

NP: I'm afraid there were too many ors there.


NP: You've won no friends there.

SP: It's too early to turn! Come on!

NP: She was going with such strength Sue. But you did repeat or so within the rules of Just A Minute, I must say Sue you have a correct challenge, you have 35 seconds, tell us something about chick lit starting now.

SP: Emboza scanned the red planes of Kamgali and contemplate...


NP: Pam you've challenged.

PA: It's African!

SP: They have chicks in Africa.

PA: No no it's not what they call chick lit.

SP: I was about to make that point.

NP: Why shouldn't you have one of those steamy chick lit type situations between these two characters...

TONY HAWKS: What was the name of the first character though?

SP: Emboza.

TH: That's hesitation!

NP: No I don't think that was deviation Pam.

PA: I was secretly peeved about the ors really.

NP: I know.

SP: I feel we're one all now. I think, I think we've both drawn blood and yeah...

NP: Anyway that was an incorrect challenge darling, so you still have the subject...

SP: Thanks poppet!

NP: ... of chick lit, 30 seconds starting now.

SP: Alex is a doctor, slack jawed and ready to roll. She doesn't have a job but wants babies. Oh my ovaries are drying, must find a man, where can I go? The supermarket, I don't care. I'll travel miles because a baby will take my mind off the lack of personality that the writer has ascribed to me. He looks hot, what does he do? Is that a stethoscope? Touch me but maybe don't, because let's face it, I want to widen the audience that buys these books and pornography will simply detract from the overall theme. The...


NP: So Sue Perkins kept going magnificently until the whistle went. And have you actually put that down for a book you are writing?

SP: Yes I feel I've somewhat given it away now.

NP: Anyway you're now in the lead, just ahead of the others. And Tim it's your turn to begin, the subject is the aardvark. Tell us something about that creature in this game starting now.

TIM RICE: Aardvark never hurt anybody. But this is not the thrust of my argument. The aardvark is an animal that you will find mainly in Africa. It is not related as many belioeve to the pig, but if to anything at all, the elephant. Isn't this amazing I don't hear you cry. Aardvarks are ant eaters...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Slight hesitation?

NP: Slight hesitation...

TR: Oh give over!

NP: ... but not enough...

TR: Yes quite! What a great... I mean this man Parsons he has few equals as a...

SP: An arbiter of hesitants.

TR: An arbiter yes. He has many superiors but few equals.

SP: Now come on Nicholas! Surely come on! Cone on!

NP: You can't pay me a compliment with one hand and take it away with the other.

SP: Yes look me in the eyes, silver fox, and give me that point, come on.

NP: No no no no I must be fair, I think it was a bit of a sharp challenge. So Tim you didn't pause enough for it to be within the rules of Just A Minute. You're still with the aardvark and you have 42 seconds starting now.

TR: Every morning as the sun rises over the plains around the mountain of Kilimanjaro...


NP: Pam challenged.

SP: Oh not rises again.

PA: I thought there was a hesitation there.

NP: No there was no hesitation. He was going consistently the same speed the whole time. So you've got another point Tim, you've still got the aardvark, you've got 37 seconds starting now.

TR: (very quickly) Aardvarks are fantastic animals, they go at incredible speeds around the country, they run run run...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: They run run run.

NP: So deviation from his normal pace of delivery.

SP: Yes and that they run run run run run apparently yes.

NP: So Tim you let yourself down there. Right so 33 seconds, you've got 33 seconds Sue, you've got the point, you've got the subject, aardvark starting now.

SP: An aardvark is a street-wise vark. And as such there were so few of them that they ended up extinct. Stay with me, don't turn your backs, there's more to say about this noble beast which looks at best like an obese shrew. And can be found as Tim has just informed me in Africa, because up till then I had absolutely no idea, other than the fact I never came across it in Croydon which is my only sphere of reference when it comes to animals. And therefore only domestic cats and dogs are available to me as things I recognise. Possibly it's extinct. I might be thinking of albatross..


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Well you know what I was going to try and get her on deviation because I thought she hadn't really mentioned aardvarks for some time. And then, lo and behold, she went and mentioned them. It's a disaster! My worst nightmare!

NP: No it isn't. I don't know what to do because she did deviate there because...

TH: Oh just give it to me then!

NP: All right, I'll give you a bonus point.

SP: What?

NP: Because we enjoyed the interruption. You got a point because...

SP: Oh did I? Good! All right.

NP: You've got three seconds on aardvarks starting now.

SP: Joan of Aardvark was their leader...


NP: No Sue went magnificently again, she's gained the extra point for speaking as the whistle went and others in the round. She has a strong lead, she is two ahead of Tim Rice, and four ahead of Tony Hawks and Pam Ayres. Sue Perkins it's your turn to begin and the subject is Alfred Hitchcock. Will you tell us something about that great director in this game starting now.

SP: Alfred Hitchcock was the master of suspense and the scourge of shower manufacturers. He was born in England but spent most of his productive life working in America. My favourite film, of course, is Psycho in which the lead character dies early which became a hallmark of his films...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Deviation. The lead character does not die early, the lead character is in fact the murderer, Anthony Perkins.

SP: The lead character I, no the heroine, the lead character, she's set up as the lead character...

TR: She's in it for about 15 minutes.

SP: That's what I said, she died early.

TR: All she does, I mean, anybody could have played that part, she just gets...

SP: Oh no!

TR: ... stabbed in the bar...

SP: She's incandescent, ladies and gentlemen.

NP: It doesn't matter that anybody could play the part. I do agree with you Tim, that the starring role was the one that Perkins played. And So Tim it was a correct challenge and you have the subject and you have 45 seconds, Alfred Hitchcock starting now.

TR: My favourite Alfred Hitchcock film is of course if I may quote Sue Perkins a film called Rope. This like many of his great movies was shot in one small scene only. It was the brilliance of Hitchcock that made it possible to entertain an audience, rather like I am gripping you now, in absolute silence and fascination when nothing whatsoever happened. This is a rare gift and it only...


NP: Pam you challenged.

PA: I thought there was a hesitation at the end of this is a rare gift.

NP: Yes I think, I think he did slightly hesitate.

TR: Yes I admit it, I...

NP: He waited for an effect which didn't actually come.

TR: Yes. I was planning to be drowned out by applause at that point.

NP: I know.

TR: Somehow it never happened.

NP: So Pam let's hear from you on Alfred Hitchcock and there are 18 seconds starting now.

PA: Alfred Hitchcock was a man of rather unprepossessing appearance. He had double chins and an interesting device took place at the beginning of his productions where a sketch of his visage would appear, and he would kind of step into it...


NP: So Pam Ayres was then speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. She's now equal with Tony Hawks in third place, Tim's in second, Sue's in the lead, the same situation. Tony we're back with you to start and the subject now, Oxford Circus. Tell us something about Oxford Circus in this game starting now.

TH: One of the most annoying things about Oxford Circus, and I arrived there earlier this evening, on the way to this lovely little theatre, is the fact that people come up and thrust bits of paper at you all the time, telling you to go and see things or learn languages. I'm okay at English, thank you very much, as you will find in the next 40 seconds or so as I reel off a brilliant short speech on Oxford Circus. The first time I went to the Circus was in Oxford. Happy coincidence you might think, but no way Tim Rice is going to get me on this and say it was not true, because it was an amazing night. I stood there as I didn't have a seat as the clown came out...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Well I, I feel guilty about this, but there was an as which led two consecutive prepo... I pressed my bell by mistake, I'm sorry.

NP: I still don't understand your challenge.

TR: No.

SP: He challenged and then was intimidated by the audience which en mass have become a violent bubbling Radio Four light entertainment mob!

NP: Right. And Tony you have another point and you keep the subject, 21 seconds, still Oxford Circus starting now.

TH: On an evening when I have nothing to do, I some...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Repetition of evening.

NP: Oh yes because he talked about evening before.

TH: Yes yes.

NP: Well listened...

SP: It is true!

NP: Tim, well listened, 18 seconds are still available, you tell us something about Oxford Circus now.

TR: There's a very famous circus in the town of Oxford called St Giles's Circus. And I have been there on...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: I don't think it is called St Giles's Circus, I think it's called St Giles's Fair.

NP: It's not called St Giles's Circus.

PA: No.

NP: That's right.

PA: It takes place every year in St Giles but it's actually called St Giles's Fair. As I was brought up very near Oxford and I happen to know this fact!

NP: So Pam...

PA: Yes.

NP: Correct challenge, you have 13 seconds, tell us something about Oxford Circus starting now.

PA: I once took my young children to a really crummy old circus near Oxford where a very unfunny clown...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: How near?

PA: About two miles.

TH: Oh okay, all right.

NP: Near enough for it not to be deviation, it's all right Tony well tried. Five seconds Pam, another point to you, Oxford Circus still the subject starting now.

PA: With a fairy liquid bottle full of water came round and squirted...


NP: So Pam Ayres got points in that round, including one for speaking as the whistle went and she's moved forward, she's still in third place. But she's only, she's only one point behind our joint leaders Sue Perkins and Tim Rice and Tony is trailing a little. But only two points, what does it matter, it's the value. It's all gone very quiet so let's... Pam will you begin the next round, the subject, oh what a subject, passion. Tell us something about passion in this game starting now.

PA: Of the many types of passion which exist I would like to discuss the passionflower which has in its centre a cross which people of a religious...


NP: Sue you challenged.

SP: Repetition of which.

NP: Oh! Did you say which twice?

PA: Definitely not!

SP: This is becoming a which hunt now! And Pam just flutters her doe eyes at Nicholas! Who visibly...

NP: But darling, you gave me your doe eyes the last time around.

SP: Yes but I've got four of them and they're not as effective.

NP: The only thing to say is I honestly didn't spot the second which.

PA: I don't have a clue, I was just gabbling as best I could really.

NP: So I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

PA: Oh thank you!

NP: On this occasion... and I'll redress the balance with you if you want it... what have you got your trousers off for?

SP: I thought we were, I thought we were redressing the balance!

NP: I know it's hot but you don't want to redress the under-part of your garments! Right passion is still with you Pam, it's 49 seconds starting now.

PA: After the passionflower comes...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Repetition of flower.

PA: I did say, you're right yes.

NP: Yes the passionflower.

PA: You're right yeah.

NP: And passionflower. You needn't clap every correct challenge, otherwise we'll never get to the end of the show. Tim you have the subject of passion, 42 seconds starting now.

TR: I'm in danger of being carried away when I discuss this subject because passion is such an important part of my life. It was also a rather... un...


NP: Yes Tony.

TH: Clearly not that important!

SP: Or else it was so important he got carried away with it!

NP: That's right, hesitation.

TH: Hesitation.

NP: Tony 34 seconds, you tell us something about passion starting now.

TH: Pam talked about the passionflower, I would like to discuss the passionfruit about which I know very little...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Well in that case, hand it over to someone who knows about it.

NP: No he wasn't deviating from the subject. He kept going and that's what this game is all about. So Tony another point to you and you still have passion, you've always had passion but I mean you have the subject of passion, 27 seconds starting now.

TH: Sometimes when you get given a subject on Just A Minute and you don't know what to say, if you enthuse yourself with passion you can get through the subject...


NP: Pam has challenged, yes?

PA: I thought that was a repetition of you.

NP: Yes.

PA: If you do this and...

NP: Yes if you enthuse yourself, you can get through it all. Well listened Pam.

TH: Yes.

PA: Sorry about that Tony, she lied.

TH: No that's all right.

NP: Don't apologise because that's the way we play the game, my love. Nineteen seconds, passion, back with you Pam, we are having a lot of passion from you in this show, starting now.

PA: When cut it reveals a yellow interior...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: I'm just trying to remember what Pam started off talking about! Um I think it's repetition of yellow. I think earlier on there was a yellow cross.

PA: No.

NP: No no.

PA: It's definitely not a yellow cross.

NP: No she hesitated.

SP: Do you know I'm going to be very quiet now.


NP: Right Tim?

TR: Hesitation.

SP: Hesitation.

NP: Too late now.

TR: Oh sorry.

NP: Pam another point to you...

PA: Oh thank you.

NP: Let's have more passion from you, 14 seconds starting now.

PA: Filled with a glutinous yellow fluid and black...


NP: Wait a minute, Tim challenged.

PA: Oh yellow!

TR: Well we definitely got yellow then.

NP: We got yellow then.

SP: You see I'm playing Psychic Just A Minute!

TH: If this, if this means that Pam will have to stop talking about this flower, surely we should let her keep the subject. We really want to hear more about it.

NP: No I've got to be fair, otherwise I get letters from people saying you know, you weren't fair, you know. And Tim would have won if you had given him that point. And so forth, no, let's be fair within the rules of Just A Minute, she repeated yellow then, Tim was the first to challenge, so he gets a point for that, he takes over the subject of passion and there are 11 seconds Tim starting now.

TR: I'm an old passionfruit at heart and it always inspires in me heavy breathing. Let me demonstrate. (takes deep breath) That is what always happens when passion strikes your veins...


NP: So Tim got the point again for speaking as the whistle went. And he's now in the lead, but he's only one point behind Pam who has leapt forward, she is in second place now. And just trailing behind them is Sue Perkins and then Tony Hawks in that order. Tim we're back with you, we'd like you to begin the next round. Oh the subject, bingo. Will you tell us something about bingo in Just A Minute starting now.

TR: I can't tell you a lot about bingo but I am going to tell you enough to make...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Tell, repetition of tell. Repetition...

NP: Yes that's right, I can't tell you enough.

TR: Well spotted Tony.

TH: Yes.

NP: In there like a...

PA: Like a knife!

NP: Like a knife yes.

TR: Like a passionflower.

TH: Yes.

NP: Fifty-seven seconds available, bingo is with you Tony starting now.

TH: I once tried to play bingo in France. Now I'm not too bad at French but it's very difficult when the numbers come up. They say (speaks numbers in French) and you're trying to work it out whilst the other people have moved on to four other numbers...


NP: Tim's challenged.

TR: Repetition of (speaks in French) in two languages I admit. He said quatre and then he said four, repetition.

NP: It's, we go by the words.

TR: Ah mon dieu!

NP: Quatre is different to four.

TR: Pardon, me pardon.

NP: So you can say four or you can say quatre, you can say sen and you can say five, you're not repeating anything.

TR: Ah brilliant.

NP: Right Tony, an incorrect challenge, you have 42 seconds, tell us more about bingo starting now.

TH: Many years ago I made a little trip to Ireland and actually met a barman called Bingo. A quite magnificent man, this is absolutely true, you can check on this if you want...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: Repetition of this.

NP: Yes oh yes.

TH: Yes.

NP: Tough one but it's true. Right Pam you've got 31 seconds, tell us something about bingo starting now.

PA: In the village institute in Stanford-on-the-Vale which was then in Berkshire, I won an alumilium saucepan with a red handle and an...


NP: Tony you challenged. Why?

TH: What is alumilium?

NP: It's aluminium with an Oxford accent.

TH: After, after a bottle of wine!

NP: No.

SP: After that she had too many meals out of aluminium pans!

NP: I think we all knew what she meant.

TH: Yes we did. No we did.

NP: And I love the red handle though.

PA: Yes.

NP: Pam another point to you, incorrect challenge, 21 seconds, bingo starting now.

PA: Other prizes included a Damset record player, a set of shammy leather...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Slight hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation there yes.

SP: The excitement of the shammy!

PA: It was the excitement of the shammy leather really!

NP: Yes it was shammy, 14 seconds Sue, bingo starting now.

SP: Bingo is the most fun you can have with a pencil and 14 pensioners surrounding you. I have been there, I have experienced the visceral thrill of numbers being hurled into the air. Two fat ladies, 13, legs 11, 34...


NP: So Sue Perkins speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. They're all very very close. Pam Ayres is now just in the lead, one ahead of Tim Rice, who is one ahead of Sue Perkins, who is one ahead of Tony Hawks. It's as close as that and they're all giving such value and that's what's important. Sue Perkins we are back with you, we'd like you to begin the next round, things that are best served cold, 60 seconds starting now.

SP: Salad, gazpacho and revenge are all dishes best served cold. By which they mean sit back a little, enjoy and saver the moment after the heat has gone out of it all. Passion we discussed earlier, I've had some of that but didn't bing, bing the buzzer in time...


SP: Bing bing the buzzer? Susan that will help.

NP: So Tony you challenged first.

TH: Yes I think that was a hesitation.

NP: We interpret that as hesitation yes, 43 seconds, things that are best served cold, Tony starting now.

TH: Sue mentioned gazpacho as something best served cold, and this has always seemed morally wrong to me. Soup should be hot, no question about it. The British can stand firm on this as one. Even if we have to fight battles in the European courts to get it overturned. Let's bring our own little heaters in, I say and get the Spanish soup warm...


NP: Oh well done Tony you made your point and you got your vote. Tim you challenged first. Just...

TR: Well repetition of soup.

NP: Yes indeed right, 20 seconds, things best served cold is with you Tim starting now.

TR: Passionfruit is best served cold. Also aardvark is awful if it's hot. Much nicer to get the animal absolutely freezing and chop off its tasty bits...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: If you get it absolutely freezing it's going to be much harder to chop off.

SP: And also...

TH: The tasty bits, they'll be rock solid.

SP: I've just had his nostrils described by Pam as being basically world of carpets rolled up in a nostril. I don't believe the aardvark has got any tasty bits.

TH: And also you wouldn't freeze an aardvark and then chop its bits off.

NP: You wouldn't do it but you know, we're not Tim Rice. He maybe have certain fetishes he enjoys.

SP: But hang on a minute, if it was a big aardvark and you're only feeding two you probably would want to put it in the freezer.

NP: Yeah.

SP: You don't want to waste it.

TR: They, they go off quickly.

SP: So I've had special...

NP: Tim I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. And say right I don't think you technically within the rules of Just A Minute were deviating, nine seconds, things that are best served cold starting now.

TR: I would like to agree with my good friend Tony Hawks about this soup issue. It is a grave error on behalf of...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: A hesitation.

NP: Yes there was. Right.

TR: Total collapse!

NP: And you've got in with two seconds to go on things best served cold starting now.

SP: How I love a cold soup! Call me a European...


NP: Right Sue Perkins was speaking as the whistle went then, gained the extra point. We are now moving into the final round.


NP: Oh how warm and sympathetic you are. So let me give you the score, it's very interesting, they're all so close as we start off. Tony is trailing a little for once, he is in fourth place. But he's only one point behind Pam Ayres and Sue Perkins who have got 10 points and only one ahead of them is Tim Rice who has got 11 so it's anybody's game. And we come to the beginning again, Tony it's actually your turn to begin and we've got now summer time. Tell us something about summer time in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: I once knew an American fellow who said he's been in England for 10 years or two summers. I don't know what he was referring to. I love the summertimes we have here, to run out and splash in the puddles and jump around. And listening of course to Gershwin's magnificent tune Summertime, lyrics...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: No no Gershwin wrote the tune, the lyrics were not by Gershwin. Well actually they were by another Gershwin but not the Gershwin Tony meant.

TH: Well I said the tune was written by Gershwin and then I went on to say lyrics and I was about to say Ira Gershwin and I didn't get a chance!

TR: Well I apologise. I think Tony was absolutely right, I think you should lop me a point off!

NP: I never take points off. Because what happens is an incorrect challenge gains one of your opponents a point...

TR: No! Really?

TH: Yes I'm very grateful.

NP: If you haven't spotted that yet Tim...

TR: No!

NP: ... I'm a bit worried. So Tony an incorrect challenge, you have another point, you have 41 seconds, summertime starting now.

TH: There aint no cure for the summertime blues is another magnificent piece of music. I don't know who wrote that but I'm not going to go into that. But I will say...


NP: Sue yes.

SP: Repetition of that.

NP: There were too much of that. Yes 34 seconds with you Sue on summertime starting now.

SP: Summertime in Croydon is like hot Mordor. You can't wait to see how the concrete melts under your kiddy feet as you cross the Whitgift Centre, blazing on your face, it shines down upon you. It is the most incredible...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Has the Whitgift not got a roof?

SP: Parts of it are still open air. I mean I appreciate...

TH: The Whitgift...

SP: Yeah.

TH: But you did say the sun blazing down upon you as you...

SP: It's a glass roof!

TH: The Whitgift Centre.

NP: It is...

SP: Yeah.

TH: It is a glass... can we get confirmation then that it is...

NP: It doesn't matter.


TH: From another audience!

SP: It does have a glass roof, doesn't it.


NP: It doesn't matter within the rules of Just A Minute, she was marching through it.

TH: Okay.

NP: All right.

TH: All right I'm wrong, I'm very wrong.

NP: She has another point and she has 20 seconds, summertime Sue starting now.

SP: How I looked up at the transparent roof made entirely of glass. What incredible modern masterpiece this cantilevering is. As the sun bounced through it...


NP: Tim challenged.

TR: Repetition of sun I'm afraid.

NP: Yeah we had the sun before.

SP: Yes it came out twice which is unusual for a summertime.

NP: So Tim another correct challenge, 10 seconds, summertime starting now.

TR: Summertime Blues is actually written by Eddie Cochran, a wonderful rock and roller and it begins I'm gonna raise a fuss, I'm gonna do the same thing...


NP: Yeah if you're going to repeat a rock and roll lyrics like that...

SP: He got very posh, he was trying to, he said I'm going to do this, I'm going to. He had elocution lessons between the first and the second line.

NP: Right so Tony you cleverly got in with three seconds to go on summertime starting now.

TH: So I walked through the forest, never...


NP: Well I'll give you the final score, it couldn't be fairer because they've all given such incredible value. Tony Hawks who came in a rush at the end there, not in quite a big enough flourish to get right in there, but he is equal with Pam Ayres in second place. But only one point behind, we have equal winners, Tim Rice and Sue Perkins! So well done! It only remains for me to well done to all four of them and the great value they've given. I also have to say a few thank yous. I thank Sarah Sharpe for the way she has run her stopwatch for me, and also for blowing her whistle so elegantly after the 60 seconds. We thank our producer Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing and unbelievable game. And we are also grateful to this lovely audience here at the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House for cheering us on our way. So from the audience, from me, Nicholas Parsons, thank you for being with us. Tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!