starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and PETER JONES, with commentary from PAUL MERTON, and a guest appearance by IAN MESSITER, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 27 April 1977)

PAUL MERTON: Hello Nicholas, it's great to see you here.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Yes, where are we?

PM: I'm not sure, there's no windows in this basement.

NP: I know!

PM: We've been kidnapped and been told that we have to talk about Just A Minute which is always a pleasure, of course.

NP: Well we've got to stop meeting like this.

PM: We have, people will gossip.

NP: In this strange little studio, in the dark. But we are talking about something which I think we both love.

PM: Oh absolutely, absolutely and I'm thrilled to be involved in this and playing some part in introducing these classic episodes. And listening to the shows has been a great joy for me because as you, as you know, I sort of in the 80s, I lived in a bedsit and I didn't have much money. And one of the things I used to do was record Just A Minute off the radio on to little audio tapes and, and play them back over the weeks and years. And that was my form of entertainment. I didn't even have a television so I listened to old Just A Minute tapes. So some of these ones, the first one we are going to hear, is from April 1977...

NP: Can I say before you do that...

PM: Mmmmm...

NP: Because I remember you telling me that story when we were up in manchester recording a chat show...

PM: Oh yes?

NP: ... which we were both guests on and I think you remember the title...

PM: It was called Scruples.

NP: Scruples, that's right. With um Mayo.

PM: Simon Mayo, yeah.

NP: Simon Mayo. And you came to me afterwards to tell me how much you enjoyed Just A Minute and told me that story.

PM: Yes.

NP: And I suddenly, it suddenly clicked in me, I said "my God, Paul!" Because we had been gagging...

PM: That's right.

NP: We had met for the first time...

PM: That's right.

NP: And we had suddenly sort of blended and gagged.

PM: Yeah, 1987 I think it was.

NP: Yeah and I said he'd be a great contestant.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: And I'd never suggested anybody before, because it wasn't, it was a bit more formal in those days.

PM: Yes.

NP: At the BBC.

PM: Yes.

NP: But I did have the courage to suggest to our very traditional producer, Ted Taylor...

PM: Ted Taylor, yes.

NP: "Ted, if you're searching for somebody, there is a brilliant young comedian I worked with the other day, Paul Merton, I think he'd be great!" And you can tell the story from there, if you like.

PM: Well I, it sort of coincided with me writing a letter into him as well, because you'd mentioned that. You said "oh you'd be very good on that, I'm sure". And I thought, I'd never written a letter to a producer before, or since. And I suggested myself and sent a review from a show I was doing in Edinburgh. And I got a phone call from him and he was quite worried about having me on the show, because he first of all, he said he wanted to know what I'd be wearing! (laughs) I think he saw me as sort of Sid Vicious or something! I'm not sure! He then sort of told me about the language and that we don't swear and all this kind of thing. So I think he, he really, I mean thank goodness he did, but I think he really, in his mind, was taking a bit of a chance on me.

NP: Oh yes it was, because he, you know, he wasn't into young comedians of that period.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: It was very much traditional Auntie BBC in a way. Lovely man.

PM: Oh yes absolutely.

NP: Where I've got to compliment you is you came on that show with three of the regulars...

PM: Mmmm.

NP: ... and you immediately achieved something.

PM: Yes.

NP: And that was very courageous and brave.

PM: I think it was, I think it was because I had listened to the show for so many years, I had a feeling for it. Unlike sometimes when people come on and in some of these shows that we have here, we have people appearing for the first time and we see how difficult it is. But it helped enormously that A, I'd met you, and B, I knew the show very well. And so I knew the tricks of the trade as it were.

NP: But let's always say, add, that he was so good that Taylor immediately booked for three more.

PM: Yes he did.

NP: From then on, you took off...

PM: Yes.

NP: And you've been with us ever since.

PM: Yeah.

NP: And I must say it's always lovely when you're in the show. And I think with someone in your position in the profession now, I think it's wonderful for the show that you still enjoy doing it so much.

PM: Oh I love it, you know, as you, you know, we travel all over England and Scotland and Wales doing the show, and it's always an absolute joy.

NP: I don't suppose, you know, being BBC Radio, it really supports your lifestyle very much.

PM: No! (laughs)

NP: But it's one which you enjoy.

PM: Well there was a story, I suppose, it's less of a surprising story now in the age of the Internet, but maybe about 12 or 14 years ago, I was in Edinburgh for the Festival, and a man came up to me and he said "oh I was listening to you on Just A Minute in the summer". And I said "oh yes". And he said "I was crossing the Nairobi Desert in a jeep, listening to the World Service!" And that I, I know the World Service, we are no longer on that now. But the Internet, now you can pick up the programme absolutely anywhere, you know, even beyond the reach of where the World Service broadcasts...

NP: The sad thing is not everybody has the Internet.

PM: This is true.

NP: When it was the World Service, people could pick it up around the world. And that's why I've now changed the introduction over the last number of years and say we welcome our listeners, not only in this country but throughout the world.

PM: Yes.

NP: Because they are throughout the world.

PM: Yes yes absolutely. So let's go back to this one here, the first edition we are going to hear is from April 1977 and it features what we consider, I suppose, the classic line-up of Just A Minute...

NP: Yes.

PM: Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo, and of course yourself in the middle there.

NP: Well those were the four, well with me, the five regulars.

PM: Yeah.

NP: And for a number of years it went that way.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: It was only when, after Kenneth died particularly, they started bringing in other guests.

PM: Yes but then of course...

NP: You were one of those guests.

PM: That's right.

NP: And you've taken off and become a regular.

PM: That's right, but if we think of, sort of, you know, Kenneth, Clement, Peter and Derek, now these weren't the first four panellists, were they? There were other people. It took a while for those four to emerge as the regulars.

NP: Yes it took about two years.

PM: Aha.

NP: Originally, ah, the pilot, wasn't very successful and they didn't want it.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: And David Hatch fought, he was the producer then, to get a series, because he saw the potential. And he brought Kenneth Williams in right away, who was struggling for a bit, but then he suddenly took off and found his particular style...

PM: Yes yes.

NP: ... as everybody does who is new. And so we had the three regulars and Andree Melly, actually, was the woman who was the fourth panellist...

PM: Oh yes yes.

NP: ... for a number of years.

PM: George Melly's sister and she was the...

NP: That's right, she was a very, very good actress.

PM: Yes. Yes she used to be in Hancock's Half Hour. Radio listeners will know her from that.

NP: Yes and ah but then after two years, Peter Jones came in.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: And after about three years as you said it just settled down to those four regulars.

PM: Mmmm, mmm, now listening to those shows again, it was a mixture of nostalgia but also admiring the fact that they haven't really dated. There's no particular obscure references. The subjects are tricks of the trade or cleaning windows or whatever. So there's nothing dated about it. And I think the classic line-up there still works in a very entertaining way. But what amuses me and what I notice is, just how serious people take it. They don't like being challenged, do they, this group.

NP: No no.

PM: (laughs)

NP: This is very strange, I often say in interviews, the new generation came in, led by you. But I have refined the rules as it has gone along to give it a certain longevity to the programme.

PM: Mmm.

NP: And it has made it sharper. You've made it sharper and I think I've helped to make it sharper.

PM: Yes absolutely.

NP: Which I think has helped to it's long term success. But I mean, there's a wonderful moment in this where, this thing which came up then, and it still comes up, Kenneth Williams says BBC...

PM: Yes!

NP: And someone challenges for repetition...

PM: Don't challenge that! Yes!

NP: What for, and then he says repetition of B. Audience laugh.

PM: Yeah.

NP: And what happened in this show, Kenneth went absolutely catatonic. (in Kenneth Williams voice) No it can't, B! No! It's just a letter, no you can't challenge me for. (normal voice) And he really went off.

PM: Mmmm mmmm.

NP: And he had a fracas, and when Kenneth goes like that...

PM: Yes.

NP: The audience love it...

PM: Yeah.

NP: He was terribly funny but nowadays this is one of the traps that newcomers fall into regularly.

PM: Yes.

NP: They say BBC, it's like a word.

PM: Yes.

NP: They get challenged.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: And the audience still laugh.

PM: Mmmmm.

NP: But at least they accept it now.

PM: Yes yes. Yes he was, maybe that was one of the first times that BBC had come up as a repetitious...

NP: Yes it was.

PM: ... repetitious type of challenge. But as you say Kenneth is a, and the audience would probably find it very funny that he is having a tantrum. But he actually really is having a tantrum, isn't he.

NP: Oh he really meant it.

PM: Yes.

NP: And knowing Kenneth very well...

PM: Mmmm.

NP: ... when Kenneth went through his tantrums, he got laughs with it, but he felt it deeply inside.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: He was really going and enjoying it, you know, he was actually losing it for something so trivial.

PM: Yes.

NP: In his mind.

PM: Would he, would he complain to you after the show?

NP: No.

PM: No.

NP: He wasn't like that.

PM: Right.

NP: He was an old pro really.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: He just, once it was all over, I often used to think, once he'd got it out of his system, and he got laughs for what he did, showing his temperament, he was satisfied.

PM: Yes.

NP: Oh no there was no, no, nothing ever! Ever!

PM: So it was only a spur of the moment thing...

NP: Yes.

PM: He felt it for a second and...

NP: He felt it deeply at the time.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: Really resented it, he was almost, often said, once or twice when he was given a subject which I think Ian Messiter had chosen specially for him because he loved showing off his erudition...

PM: Mmmm.

NP: ... and then suddenly he was challenged quite soon because he hesitated, he said "well you've lost a very good story". But deep down, he really felt it! Occasionally I had to be a, like a little bit of a psychologist because he would go, withdraw into himself, because he really was upset...

PM: Mmmm.

NP: And then suddenly we managed to get him back somehow, and I would sort of butter him up a bit, and he would sort of preen himself in front of the audience.

PM: Yes.

NP: And the audience would start to giggle and laugh.

PM: Yes.

NP: Because he was a great visual comedian.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: And he'd gain his confidence back and boom, he's off again!

PM: I think there's a sense there in that show where Derek has challenged on the BBC, and there's a sense you can see how annoyed Kenneth is. So he gives him the opportunity...

NP: Yes.

PM: ... to take the subject back by deliberately saying AA.

NP: Yes, wonderful moment.

PM: Yeah.

NP: And Kenneth doesn't pick it up.

PM: Yes he doesn't want it. (laughs)

NP: But this is the fun, we laugh now about these moments, because they're funny at the time. But in retrospect I suppose it's because it is all utterly spontaneous humour.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: Nothing scripted.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: So we do laugh again because we can just feel the emotion of the moment.

PM: Yes. And I think it indicates as well sometimes the difficulty of what you do, in trying to keep everybody happy because there's...

NP: Exactly!

PM: There's moments, I think, where the audience, and Kenneth of course is an absolute master at playing the audience and gets the audience on his side.

NP: But on that BBC one which he deeply resented, when I said "no, this is only right, it is a repetition of B" and eventually I gave it against him, the audience booed!

PM: Mmmm mmmm.

NP: Because they loved to hear from Kenny.

PM: Yes yes.

NP: And also it wasn't traditional then that little challenges like that, or challenges on small words and letters, would be accepted. And it's only in more recent years that it's become sharper, that the panel just accept that. Because later on, I think, in that same show Peter Jones, or one of them talks, uses the word can twice.

PM: That's right.

NP: And again someone resents the fact, it's such a small word for repetition.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: But that's what existed then, it was more laid-back, they got away with more repetition, more hesitation. Nowadays they don't get away with anything.

PM: Do you think it's sort of, I mean that's very true. Do you think the version of Just A Minute we'll be hearing from the 1970s is more in the tradition of a radio talk, isn't it, which we don't really have these days, with the idea you tune into the radio and somebody gives a talk for 15 minutes. But I think it's partly from that tradition, isn't it. So you say, your subject is Troy, if you had a notable historian, he would deliver this talk about Troy, and it's kind of about that isn't it. It's not so much the...

NP: Absolutely.

PM: ... the repetition isn't so important, it's what you're saying.

NP: That's how it began.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: And Clement Freud particularly was one who thought he'd like to keep it that way.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: Interesting intelligent people talking on a subject and trying to do it without hesitation, repetition or deviation. But don't be too rough on me if I do.

PM: Yes yes.

NP: The content is more important than the fun.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: But now I think the way he plays it he's accepted after 40 years, the fun has kept it going.

PM: Yes.

NP: And he's much more of a fun fellow in the show than he used to be.

PM: Yes, absolutely yes, I think that's very true. At the end of this recording we hear Ian Messiter who of course used to blow the whistle throughout the early days and early years of Just A Minute. And he briefly speaks at the end. I think this might be the one and only occasion that he does.

NP: Yes I suppose in a way it was a memorable moment, not a particularly funny one. But Ian Messiter who created the show and used to sit beside me and blow the whistle and keep the stopwatch going, I remember we had come to the end of the show, it was obvious who was going to win and there were two seconds to go. So I said "I'll tell you what we'll do, why don't you, Ian Messiter, finish the show?" There were three seconds to go or whatever it was, and your time starts now. He just wound it up and blew the whistle. And I suppose he remembers it because his voice was on the show for the first time.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: He did by the way on one memorable occasion actually take part, because Clement Freud's train or aeroplane was late, he always used to cut things a bit fine. And it was desperation time because they were starting the recording, and the audience was there and everything. So they said "I know what we'll do". Ian took my position, the producer's assistant came out and took Ian's role, and I went on the panel. Which is pretty daunting when you'd never done it before...

PM: Mmmm.

NP: ... and at short notice. I think it went quite well actually.

PM: Yes. Did you enjoy being a panellist?

NP: When I started the show years ago, I was going to be on the panel, which was what I wanted to do. And I think if I had more practice at it, I would have enjoyed it more and I would have found my way of doing it.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: But I've found my way of doing the chairmanship now.

PM: Yes, yep.

NP: So I do enjoy that.

PM: Oh yes you do an excellent job.

NP: I think it's about time we listened to this famous recording, isn't it.

PM: Absolutely, it's from the 27th of April 1977.


ANNOUNCER: We present Clement Freud, Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo and Kenneth Williams in Just A Minute. And here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.

NP: Thank you, thank you very much indeed, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And we welcome back our four regular competitors of the game. And as usual they will try and talk for Just A Minute on the subject I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject on the card which is in front of me. And we begin the show, the last programme in this series, with Kenneth Williams. Who better? Who better to begin with at any time? But Kenneth the subject is my dignity. So will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: It was gravely impaired quite recently in a vast London department store which I shall not name in view of the BBC charter...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Repetition of B.

NP: Yes that is a correct challenge so Derek... Kenneth Williams?

KW: Of course it's not a correct challenge! If you're talking about BBC how else could you say it?

DN: British Broadcasting Corporation.

NP: British Broadcasting Corporation.

KW: Rubbish! That's not repetition to say BBC!

NP: Well I don't know what is more repetitious than BB!

KW: Don't be ridiculous! It's the repetition of a letter! Repetition of a letter! Are you with me?

PETER JONES: Yes I'm with you.


KW: Thank you, thank you very much. I needed that!

NP: The audience are certainly with you...

KW: Of course they are! They know that it's totally unfair to be told that to say BBC is repetition...

NP: Kenneth, Kenneth, you did repeat and that is not permitted within the rules of Just A Minute. So I must be fair to Derek Nimmo and tell him he has a correct challenge. So he gets a point for that... And our charming audience showing they are as partisan as usual when Kenneth Williams plays up to them! But I must stick to the rules as far as I possibly can. And Derek Nimmo you have the subject and there are 47 seconds, my dignity, starting now.

DN: My dignity was recently gravely impaired when I visited the Automobile Association which is commonly known as the AA. Back to Kenneth.

KW: No I couldn't do it! No I couldn't do it! No, I'm not capable of challenging on those petty instances! I'm too big a persona for that! I'm generous...


KW: ... by nature!

NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well I, I...

NP: Hesitation! Absolutely right! It's a long time since he spoke!

PJ: I would like Derek to go on with it because I want to hear about him joining Alcoholics Anonymous!

NP: Well I'll tell you what we'll do. As Derek was generously trying to give it back to Kenneth, we'll stop the clock and we won't score any points. Leave it with Derek and tell you there are 34 seconds Derek, my dignity, starting now.

DN: Oh! Really? How awfully boring! Well my dignity, gosh, gracious me! I was standing in St George's Cathedral in Hamburg one day, and a man came up to me, smashed me straight across the face, and said "you have no dignity". And he said it in German and it sounded very unpleasant at the time. And as I was sitting on the floor I got up very quickly and rushed to one of the Yeoman of the Guard...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: He said he was standing in the...

NP: Yes.

PJ: ... cathedral and then he...

DN: I got knocked down!

NP: No but you did say "but as I was sitting on the floor".

DN: I was knocked down!

NP: Yes I know but oh I see as a result of the knock...

DN: You want me to do the bit in between do you? Yes I see, yes.

NP: Peter Jones you have the subject. There are 19 seconds, my dignity, starting now.

PJ: Well any tourist who may be thinking of going to Hamburg and visiting the cathedral there...


PJ: ... will deserve...

NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Well this is all about the cathedral at Hamburg. It's nothing to do with my dignity, is it! I mean it's deviation!

NP: No, no, Derek did establish how his dignity was assaulted...

KW: No, it's not Derek who's speaking. We're now...

NP: I know...

KW: ... discussing Peter Jones, you great fool! You great nit! What is he, he's illiterate! He's illiterate as well as being an idiot! He's supposed to be ill, look at him! He's white as a sheet! Fetch him a tonic or something!

NP: You are rude...

KW: A little wee drink or a drop of port wine or something! Bring him round!

NP: Kenneth contain yourself! Still with Peter Jones to continue on my dignity starting now.

PJ: I don't really honestly truthfully think of dignity as something that one should prize very highly. Because after all, pride has got a great deal to do with it. One's position in life is itself...


NP: Well because of all the interruptions and the shenanigans of Kenneth and others that was rather a long first round! And the whistle told us that 60 seconds are up as usual, and whoever speaks at that moment as you know gets an extra point. And it was Peter Jones who has a strong lead at the end of the first round. The next round, the subject is mead, and Clement Freud will you begin. Sixty seconds, starting now.



NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: I think you're right. Yes because actually three seconds have gone. So it must be hesitation.

PJ: I thought he'd died for a minute!

CF: I can honestly say if three seconds went, I was asleep.

NP: Yes! Well the audience...

PJ: I hope you're refreshed now!

CF: A short rest!

NP: Yes!

CF: Oh and good evening!

NP: So Clement Freud has come back to life and he's lost the subject and Peter Jones has got another point.

CF: I didn't start the subject!

NP: And there are 57 seconds for mead Peter starting now.

PJ: Mead in Cornwall is known as the honeymoon drink. Whether or not it is an aphrodisiac I'm in no position to judge. But I believe honeymoon couples are persuaded...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of honeymoon.

NP: No he said honey before, not honeymoon. The honey drink. Definitely he said that.

DN: The honeymoon couples, the honeymoon drink.

NP: He said a honey drink! He didn't? Well all right, I will... I'm always prepared...

CF: I think one of us ought to leave!

DN: Shall we put it to the audience which one?

CF: And I'm...

NP: As you've just been asleep...

CF: And I'm staying!

NP: And as I'm always prepared to admit if I make a mistake and the audience seem to think that I have, I will bow to their superior judgement and tell you that Clement Freud gets a point for a correct challenge and he takes over the subject of mead again, having not spoken on it yet! Work that one out but it is accurate! And there are 47 seconds, mead, starting now.

CF: The first girl I ever met had a slight cold and said to me "mead me at the public bar". And I never realised until many years later that mead was nothing other than a drink...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation. Nothing... other... than...

NP: You think he was slowly, slowly sort of dragging to a halt?

PJ: He's nodding off again, I think!

CF: That's not hesitation!

NP: Definitely, I'm sorry Clement. There are 34 seconds with you Derek on mead starting now.

DN: I once went to the mead ceremony at Yarnton, Oxfordshire, at West Mead and Pixie Mead. They have these 13 balls, it goes back to the 11th century. It's very interesting actually. They...


NP: Clement Freud?

CF: Could you name the 13 bores?

NP: What's that got to do with Just A Minute?

CF: Oh, pass the time!

DN: Thirteen balls!

NP: Clement Freud, we know you've been asleep twice, but do realise you're playing Just A Minute!

PJ: Hear hear!

CF: I mean there are five bores playing this game..

DN: Balls, balls!

CF: Oh balls!

NP: Yes you need to listen...

CF: You don't speak very clearly do you?

NP: There are 26 seconds for Derek Nimmo to continue with the subject of mead starting now.

DN: It takes place every St Peter's Day at the Great Inn. And that accounts for the plying and grazing rights for the year. Of course the drink itself I like very much. When one has a nice platter of food in front of one, and a glass of mead in one's hand, you swig it down the throat and feel the wonderful sense of well-being. And otherwise you feel rather...


DN: No but I won't say that! But it's...

KW: Two feels.

NP: Yes that's right Kenneth. There are five seconds, no, four seconds left for mead with you Kenneth starting now.

KW: I was asked to have a drop by my agent and I said I need someone to handle me. And he said of course...


NP: Well Kenneth Williams was speaking then as the whistle went. He got that extra point. He's one ahead of Clement Freud, one behind Derek Nimmo, and Peter Jones is still in the lead. Derek Nimmo will you begin the next round. The subject is rose and will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: A rose beyond compare! Every year when I visit the Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Grounds at Ramla, I go into the tent and see these beautiful roses with names like...


NP: Clement Freud.

CF: Did he say Ramala?

DN: Ramla.

NP: Yes he did.

CF: That's not where the Chelsea Hospital Gardens are.

DN: Yes it is.

CF: Tisn't!

NP: No...

PJ: I thought they were in Chelsea!

NP: Well I often go there but I've never bothered to ask, am I in the Chelsea Hospital Gardens or am I in Ramla?

DN: It's not in the Chelsea Hospital ground, it's in the park at the bottom which I thought was Ramla Garden.

NP: I will put it to the audience...

CF: Yes!

NP: They don't know either so we'll... There's a lady there who knows! What is it lady?


NP: Is he right? Well good luck to you darling, I'm glad you came! You obviously visit the Chelsea Hospital regularly.

CF: His mother! Derek's mother! She's a, she's a plant!

NP: And her name is Rose! Sprightly little rose there. All right so Derek so you keep the subject there and there are 46 seconds on Rose starting now.

DN: Passion flower, succulent bee, lady chamberlain, potty's choice, green souwester...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Potty's choice is not the name of a rose.

DN: Of course it is!

NP: No and nor is green souwester!

PJ: It isn't? Oh well I don't know about that. I know potty's isn't!

NP: No potty's choice definitely isn't. There are 36...

KW: I think it was a good name, potty's choice though! I thought it had a flavour!

NP: It had a flavour but it was the wrong flavour! It was an infantile game, it was not a rose. There are 36 seconds on rose with you Peter starting now.

PJ: The rose I like best is the one at the end of the spout of the watering can. It's metal, it lasts much longer than these things that are growing on the end of stalks. And one can use it to...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of can.

NP: Yes, you...

PJ: Three letter word!

NP: Yes but you used it as a verb and as a noun and that...

PJ: Exactly! I showed the variations possible!

NP: But you didn't illustrate that as you did it! No I'm sorry! The rules of Just A Minute are you cannot repeat a word which you did unfortunately. So Derek gets rose back and there are 22 seconds left starting now.

DN: Cods rose are a particular favourite of mine. And also as I look at the audience tonight I can also see rows apparently...


NP: Clement Freud?

CF: Repetition of also.

NP: Oh that's a tough one isn't it?

DN: Did I say also?

NP: You did say also at the beginning and also just then. So...

PJ: Well I'll never understand...

NP: So Clement Freud's mother is in front as well! But as he repeated the word it is a correct challenge and Clement you have now 14 seconds to talk about rose starting now.

CF: There's a saying which goes a rose by any other name smells just as sweet. And we had a woman by that who worked for us, who smelled absolutely terrible..


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: We had a woman by that? I don't understand. Deviation I would have thought. We had a woman by that.

NP: By that name.

KW: Oh!

DN: He didn't say name though. We had a woman by...

NP: I thought you were challenging on two smelleds actually.

DN: To have a woman by that has a totally different connotation!

NP: Yes!

CF: I had said name previously.

DN: Well then you should have been more inventive and thought of something else, shouldn't you!

CF: Well you could have challenged...

NP: So you are challenging on deviation of grammar Kenneth...

CF: No he wasn't!

NP: And you have four seconds to continue with the subject of rose... not continue, take over the subject of rose, starting now.

KW: I rose in the early mord, to make forth some clarity in the Milo, and take out...


NP: Well it seems to be pretty level pegging scorewise in this week's Just A Minute. Derek Nimmo's now in the lead with Peter Jones, and Kenneth's a little behind, and Clement Freud for once is in fourth place. Peter will you begin the next round? The subject is success. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Success has nothing to do with the acclaim of the public, or even the critics. It is something that one feels very occasionally inside one's own heart. If one listens very carefully...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two ones and another one and...

NP: I know but it was such, such a, a true saying...

CF: You would need a cardiograph.

DN: What? Sorry?

CF: You would need a cardiograph to listen to your own heart.

NP: But what he said had a ring of truth which I heartily endorse. But it was a repetition of one unfortunately and they are challenging on rather tough challenges this week Peter. So Derek gets the subject and there are 46 seconds, success, starting now.

DN: Success is something which has always eluded me, particularly now...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation. It has not eluded him at all. He's a very successful actor indeed.

NP: Very successful and very... successful actor, successful talker, successful entrepreneur...

CF: Can't lose on that can you?

NP: Ah but Derek just has lost on it. Because Kenneth got in with a correct challenge and there are 37, sorry, there are 43 seconds left, success, starting now.

KW: My success came when my manager said to me "there'll be no strings attached" and drew up a marvellous contract, apropos my professional career. Because I said to him...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: It's not true. His manager, it's already been established his manager said "I'll offer you a glass of mead if I can handle you".

KW: That was another place!

NP: Yes that was another place.

DN: Oh was it, I'm so sorry.

NP: After they'd drawn up the contract he actually said "I will now offer you a glass of mead".

DN: I'm so sorry, I thought I'd listened rather well but I...

NP: You did. You listened extremely well. You were correct in what you said, but...

DN: I know most things about him, about the lady with the frankfurters and Great Portland Street and all those things. I thought I did know the history of the signing of the contract after 11 years, by now. But perhaps I did get it rather wrong. I'm so sorry. I would like to withdraw that challenge....

KW: Thank you very much dear. Very sweet of you my dear.

NP: You have an incorrect challenge. So Kenneth gets another point and there are 27 seconds, success, Kenneth, starting now.

KW: It came with this early engagement where I was...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of came. He came twice. Success came to me...

NP: And success came to you right at the beginning. I'm sorry that is true Kenneth. So on this occasion Derek has a correct challenge. There are 24 seconds for success Derek starting now.

DN: I do admire successful people. Look at Nicholas Parsons. When one gazes at that wonderfully benign, intelligent, broad minded man, you think "gosh! If I had the same success as he, where would I be in life?" And I'm sure you ask yourself much the same question. And there one would be able to confront...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: No I was enjoying it. Actually quite frankly I was mystified. Derek Nimmo is now paying me compliments. Derek are you feeling all right? When you start paying me compliments, that's when I worry.

DN: You should have let me go on a bit mate!

NP: Well as I am always fair in this game, I've decided that you were not hesitating. You have three and a half minutes to continue with success...

CF: Minutes?

NP: ... starting now.

DN: The success of Mr Clement Freud is one of the great mysteries of life, I find...


NP: Well Kenneth Will... I'm sorry. Derek Nimmo said quite a lot in that round, had some incorrect challenges against him, gained some points including one for speaking when the whistle went. He's now in a strong lead. Kenneth will you begin the next round. The subject that Ian Messiter's thought up for you is Samuel Crompton. Knowing your proclivity, to use your word, for history, will you tell us something about him in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: A brilliant man who through the invention of a spinning machine which could make a fine fibre, he was done out of what was rightfully his, by his ignorance of the patenting methods which other people grabbed and therefore he ended up poverty stricken. And only the good gracious hand of a few nice people who secured for him a sum, I am reliably informed, was 5000 nicker. Then he went back to Bolton, broken hearted, which is a great shame. Because he was in the early stages a fiddler. He played the violin you know, in the orchestra pit at the afore mentioned town in the Midlands. And was...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Deviation. Bolton is not in the Midlands.

NP: No I'm afraid it's the north of England.

KW: Oh I thought it was the Midlands.

NP: I'm afraid the people...

KW: Well if it wants to get to the Midlands, it will have to get a bolt on, won't it?

NP: So Kenneth very bad luck because you kept going for... Kenneth you kept going for 57 minutes on the subject that was chosen for you. And Clement Freud has now...

KW: They're all shouting at you for saying minutes. You're supposed to say seconds.

NP: I just want to see if they're awake.

KW: Oh I see!

PJ: They aren't!

NP: Fifty-seven seconds, you're quite right. And there are three seconds left for Clement Freud to tell us something about Samuel Crompton starting now.

CF: There was quite recently a Samuel Crompton exhibition...


NP: So Clement Freud with a challenge and speaking as the whistle went has now crept up and is equal in second place with Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo still our leader. Clement will you begin the next round and the subject champions. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: A champion, I suppose is anyone who does what he performs better than anyone else at the same thing if you follow my meaning. And there is published annually the Guinness Book of Records which lists champions of such amazingly unusual occupations as propelling a champagne cork the maximum distance from its bottle which you do quite simply by heating the container of glass and obviously the hotter it is, the further will the bouchant fly. I myself figure in this volume because on an unhappy occasion in Nottingham I was persuaded to make omelettes of which I produced 123 when the eggs ran out. And if you look at the relevant page in the literary work edited by...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes because he was trying to think of another way of saying the Guinness Book of Records. So Derek you got in there and there are six seconds left for...

CF: A short hesitation. It wasn't what you would call...

DN: It was a frightful hesitation! People were walking out over it!

NP: Champions, it's with you now Derek, six seconds starting now.

DN: James Hunt, old Wellingtonian living at Belmont in Surrey. How proud we all are of him! The wondrous achievement which I'm sure...


NP: So Derek Nimmo got that extra point. He's increased his lead and he's going to begin the next round. This is the last show in the present series and so we've got a very apt subject, when we meet again, which we all ardently hope. So will you talk on the subject Derek in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: When we meet again. Gosh! It can't be for at least six months, I suppose. With any luck I hope perhaps we might never meet some of the people in this team ever again. But I suppose it could happen. But then when we do confront one another, we'll have all the same boring things to say because we've been chatting to one another for the last 11 years...


NP: And Kenneth Williams challenged?

KW: It's deviation. He's maintained that we have boring things to say! Me, boring? I mean that's the most disgraceful allegation I've ever heard! Now everybody knows I am the spirit, the party spirit! People say to me you're the life and soul! I mean they all think I'm the most diverting, original, brilliant, energetic creature that ever walked across a stage! And there he is sitting there, saying I talk boring rubbish! I mean!

NP: Well I must say that is the first time, that's the first time I've heard anybody promote himself and get a round of applause for it! So by that do I assume you mean Kenneth Williams... I'm sorry, it's my cold. Kenneth Williams' challenge is correct and he should have the subject? Kenneth will you tell us something about when we meet again, and there are 37 seconds left, starting now.

KW: When we meet again, the spirit of bwah!


KW: I meant to say joie de vivre! But then I thought bonnet over the windmill and it came out as bwah! I thought, I can't make it bwah for long! Hahhahaha! I was dying to!

NP: So Clement Freud challenged.

KW: You can understand my predicament!

NP: Yes, yes! We often...

KW: I was ejaculating like mad then!

NP: Clement what is your challenge?

CF: Hesitation!

NP: Yes there were a lot of other things as well. So this may be the last round so it looks as though we're going to hear from all four of our worthy panelists. And therea are 33 seconds left Clement for when we meet again starting now.

CF: When we meet again there's every likelihood that each of us will be wearing the same awful boring clothes which we now have on. Because if ever there was sartorially a shoddy show, this one has got to be it. With the occasional departure from total inelegance...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Well I can't allow him to drone on like this. Because he's committing professional suicide by advertising! I mean a lot of people don't realise it's boring! They've been enjoying it!

NP: And a lot of people know that there are some very well dressed people on this programme! Including yourself and Derek Nimmo and er, we're not going to mention anybody else! So we're going to hear from you which is very nice Peter! We've heard from everybody in this last round! There are 14 seconds, when we meet again, starting now.

PJ: Well I only hope that we shall be given more interesting subjects! I'd like to talk about Marcel Proust in his later years for instance, and not have this subject given to Kenneth Williams...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of subjects. But we haven't heard from Ian Messiter perhaps.

NP: Well Ian Messiter, there are two seconds left. Will you take over the subject now of when we meet again starting now.

IAN MESSITER: I'm very glad you've asked me to talk about the subject of when we'll meet again because time's up!


NP: So Ian Messiter gets a point for speaking when the whistle went and at the end of that round, which is also the end of the contest, I will now give you the final score. Ian Messiter gained one point, he finishes in fifth place. He's never spoken before in the game and he's not likely to do it again! Three seconds he kept going so we must applaud him for his arduous attempts. They'd obviously like to hear more from you Ian! Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams finished in third place in this particular programme, two points behind Clement Freud who made a last finale flourish but who failed to catch up the leader who kept his lead to the end and finishes up as our winner, Derek Nimmo. If I haven't mentioned it enough already this is the end of this particular series of Just A Minute so I'm sure each one of our four regular panelists would like to briefly say goodbye. So first of all Kenneth?

KW: Byebye! And thank you ever so much! It's been really wonderful for you to have me!

NP: Clement, Clement Freud?

CF: With which sentiment I would like to, I would like to associate myself.

NP: You would! Peter Jones?

PJ: I'll say bye ditto, in case somebody buzzes and accuses me of repetition!

NP: And Derek Nimmo.

DN: Goodbye.


ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons. The programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by John Browell.