WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring PAUL MERTON, GRAHAM NORTON, GYLES BRANDRETH and JENNY ECLAIR, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 2 August 2010)
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!
NP: 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, but around the world. But to welcome to the programme four delightful, exciting, provocative players of this game. And they are, seated on my left, Graham Norton and Jenny Eclair. And seated on my right, Paul Merton and Gyles Brandreth. Please welcome all four of them! And sitting beside me is Sarah Sharpe, who is going to help me keep the score, and blow a whistle when the 60 seconds is up. And as usual I am going to ask these four at different times to speak on a subject that I am give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And we're going to begin the show with Graham Norton, and who better. And the subject us Graham, my idea of hell. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
GRAHAM NORTON: My idea of hell would be to wake up somewhere in Florida, in a clothing optional resort, and walk out to the pool, and bump into Gyles Brandreth. Those images are seared on to my mind, and will remain there till my death bed. As I lie there, gasping my last, I'll go "no! Put it away! I never want to see that!" I feel a little nauseous just talking about this. I do apologise. I assumed someone would buzz in by now.
NP: Well Jenny's buzzed in.
JENNY ECLAIR: Yes yes, he said I a lot. I, I, I, I, I, I. I know it was all about him but...
GYLES BRANDRETH: Sadly, it wasn't all about him! He actually described my idea of heaven. It's heart breaking! I've been waxing for weeks in anticipation of tonight. This is how he repays it!
NP: Ah well, there we are.
GB: There we are.
JE: I think it's a good job I put a stop to it, don't you.
NP: Well he actually, yes but Jenny, we don't challenge for I. Unless Graham's prepared to let it go.
GN: I'm happy to let it go.
NP: Right. Jenny you have a correct challenge, you get a point for that of course, you have 27 seconds still available, my idea of hell starting now.
JE: My idea of hell is playing Just A Minute with some of Nicholas Parsons' pet favourites. Because I can't win, surrounded by Graham Norton...
NP: Graham Norton challenged.
GN: I thought deviation from reality. Because it's not really like that, is it, Nicholas.
NP: No it's...
GN: You don't have any favourites, do you?
GN: I'm right, aren't I!
NP: Absolutely, yes. Graham you may be one of my favourites, but I don't actually cast the show. I have to leave that to the producer. She has to have some responsibility. It would be...
LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: You misunderstood that completely! She is in overall control of the whole thing!
PAUL MERTON: Yeah.
NP: But the thing is it would be quite invidious if I just chose my chums to come on this.
NP: Gyles yes?
GB: They're not your chums, they're your love children!
NP: Right, ah, who challenged?
JE: Graham challenged me but I can't remember why.
NP: Oh that's right yes, Graham.
GN: Oh deviation.
JE: Oh you caught that from a member of the audience, helping you out, the woman in the white skirt!
JE: Bad lady!
NP: Graham you have the subject back.
GN: Do I?
GN: No I didn't have the subject, it was Jenny who had the subject, I, I, I buzzed in.
NP: Yeah you buzzed in, what's your challenge?
GN: Deviation, apparently! That's what the lady in the audience said so I'll go with it! Deviation!
NP: Deviation of what?
GN: From ah, from ah...
PM: Shall we just ask the lady in the audience?
GB: Let's cut out the middle man!
NP: I know, it was deviation because she said my love children.
JE: I didn't say that, Gyles said that.
GN: Gyles said that.
NP: She said something about my chums.
JE: Nicholas, it's so long ago and I'm a menopausal woman, I have no idea.
PM: Were you menopausal when this programme started?
JE: I was in the first flush of youth!
NP: Graham, I think it is you.
NP: Right and there are 18 seconds, my idea of hell starting now.
GN: My idea of hell is to be on Just A Minute and have nothing to say on the subject. But as that is my idea of hell, I am fine at the moment. Because indeed I have nothing to say on my...
GN: Oh, why do I keep, oh, doh, dah!
PM: Repetition of nothing.
NP: Nothing yes. You walked into your own trap there. Six seconds Paul, on my idea of hell starting now.
PM: Jean-Paul Satre said his idea of hell was other people. But I give you the Just A Minute panel. Could that be further from the truth?
NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Paul Merton who has got two at the end of the round, Jenny and Graham have got one. Gyles is yet to score, but we have heard from him, as we all do. Gyles you wouldn't be here if we didn't all love you dearly. Right, Jenny, it's your turn to begin, the subject is a nice one, a garden party. Tell us something about a garden party in Just A Minute starting now.
JE: My idea of hell is a garden party. I couldn't think of anything worse than standing round drinking milky tea out of bone china, chatting about nasturtiums. I'm not invited to such events. My mates don't have gardens, not in London. They all live in council flats. I'm trying to be, make out, I'm a bit rock and roll hard here. Actually um...
NP: Gyles challenged.
JE: Guess what?
GB: The word erm suggested hesitation.
NP: It was definite hesitation.
JE: Actually Ermyntrude my friend...
NP: Jenny, well wriggles but it's too late. Gyles, correct challenge, 41 seconds, a garden party starting now.
GB: One of the perks of being a Member of Parliament is that you are invited to royal garden parties. Getting there is quite cheap because of the expenses arrangements. And when you arrive you find that you are greeted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second of Great Britain, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland as well. And the Duke of Edinburgh is grunting in the background. You wander around the garden and they poke umbrellas in your direction, steering you along the pathway where delicious tea is offered. There are spoons in the saucers. But Prince Philip told me, I know...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: I think we had a repetition of Prince Philip.
GB: No! The Duke of Edinburgh, the first time round.
PM: Oh was it?
GB: Same person, different title.
NP: Yeah, well thought out Gyles. You've still got a garden party and you've got eight seconds starting now.
GB: The Grenadier Guards play at one end and the Irish soldiers at another. And in between, bishops stroll, doffing their mitre and making...
NP: Right so Gyles Brandreth was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now taken the lead at the end of that round and with his erudition and knowledge he went extremely well and I'm sure he'll do the same on the next subject. And Graham we are back with you to begin, the subject is I've got 99 problems. That's the subject, 60 seconds starting now.
GN: I was in quite a chipper mood before this programme. But now I discover the producer has been stalking me and listing the amount of problems I actually have, I am heavy of heart. There is a weight on my shoulders as I count the 99 problems I've got. And unlike the rap singer, I'm afraid one of mine is a bitch. I refer of course to my small raggedy terrier, Madge, who is a vicious little dog. Oh I said little twice but ...
SHOUT OF "FORTY YEARS" FROM THE AUDIENCE
JE: We wouldn't have known if you hadn't told us.
NP: Sometimes you don't draw attention to it...
GN: I know! That was foolish of me.
NP: ... and these things fly past the wire. Right, Paul, you challenged first.
PM: Oh yes, it was a repetition of little.
NP: Correct, 26 seconds Paul, available, I've got 99 problems starting now.
PM: I've got 99 problems, I believe, is a reference to a record by a current rap artist which is doing very well with the teenagers in the discotheques all over Hemel Hampstead. I don't particularly know much about this form of entertainment. It doesn't pass me by, I'm afraid. A bit like Mozart perhaps sounds very similar to people who aren't versed in the various parts of the string quartet. But I do believe this. Britain needs...
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: I think really it was a dramatic pause, not a hesitation.
NP: It was.
GB: I would like to withdraw my challenge.
NP: It's too late.
PM: Then you buzzed in order to withdraw your challenge?
NP: All that happens Paul is that you get another point.
NP: Incorrect challenge, and Paul you've got two seconds to go on I've got 99 problems starting now.
PM: Ice creams around my waist, I don't have two plates.
NP: So Paul again speaking as the whistle went, with the other points in the round he's now crept up equal with Gyles Brandreth. They're just ahead of Jenny Eclair and Graham Norton in that order. And Jenny it's your turn to begin, so would you take over the subject which is vampires. Sixty seconds starting now.
JE: I'm not that interested in vampires, not being a soppy 15-year-old gah girl. They're big news at the moment...
NP: Gyles challenged.
JE: I tre, I trumbled. Wish me...
GB: She trumbled over her fangs, as it were.
GB: There was a little hesitation on the girl.
JE: I stumbled over the word girl.
NP: I know she did, is that hesitation?
NP: It's a stutter but is it hesitation.
GN: I can hear the audience going "yes it was actually"!
NP: Gyles you have the benefit of the doubt...
JE: Oh Nicholas!
NP: I love you dearly, but I've got to be fair. Vampires with you, 53 seconds starting now.
GB: In 1897 the great Bram Stoker published his novel called Dracula, which tells modern audiences everything they really need to know about vampires. This Irish author worked for Sir Henry Irving, the founder of the Lyceum Theatre company in that era. A bloodsucker himself, regarded by many. But this particular writer gave us...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Well it's a bit mean but we did have sparticular.
PM: Was he a sparticular writer?
NP: If he can have ah...
NP: If he can have Jenny for girl...
GB: Ah ahh ahhh.
NP: ... you can have him for sparticular. Right...
PM: He's making those mooing noises again!
GB: Gobbling gently!
PM: There are mints you won't get rid of tonight!
NP: Thirty-one seconds available Paul, vampires starting now.
PM: Bela Lugosi appeared in the Dracula film made in 1930. He was a Hungarian stage actor who had made a big powerful presence when he had appeared on Broadway in the title...
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: Repetition of appeared.
NP: Yes he appeared in the film...
NP: ... and he appeared on Broadway.
PM: Yes, which was unusual for a vampire. But not the matinees.
NP: Gyles, vampires is back with you and 20 seconds available starting now.
GB: I recall my own training as a vampire. Peering down at the palm of my hand, and seeing the hairs sprouting from it. Looking into the mirror...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Deviation, he's thinking of werewolves. Vampires don't have hairs sprouting from their hands
GB: Dyslexic vampires do! Well-known!
NP: No no no! Hairs have nothing to do with vampires.
GB: How would you know! How would you know! It's a mythical creature!
PM: He said how he knew once before.
NP: I was in a Doctor Who series where everyone turned to the Hemavores and you had, I was playing the vicar and you had to hold up your hand and it was nothing to do with hairs. It was to do with saying the right oath and keeping...
PM: Exactly yeah.
NP: ... and keeping it at bay. "I have the faith," I said, "there we are, back, back you go". And they stabbed me through the heart and I died a terrible miserable death.
NP: But it was a good performance and good money! Vampires is now with you Paul, correct challenge and there are 14 seconds starting now.
PM: A very popular television series back in the 1990s was Buffay The Vampire Hunter. Well actually it was called Buffet...
NP: Graham challenged.
GN: Whatever it was called, it wasn't called that.
PM: Buffy! Buffet The Finger Food... the crusts cut off sandwiches strikes back!
NP: Graham a correct challenge, you've got the subject of vampires and eight seconds starting now.
GN: Vampires are terribly trendy at the moment. Those Twilight movies are everywhere. People seem to love them. I went to see Twilight first ...
GN: Oh oh oh oh!
NP: But actually the whistle went as you were actually speaking.
GN: Yeah it did! I heard it!
NP: And so we give you the scores at the end of that round. And Graham has moved forward again, oh, he is still equal in the lead with Gyles Brandreth. One point behind is Paul Merton, and then two is Jenny Eclair. Oh it's even things. And Gyles it's actually your turn to begin. Oh here's an interesting subject, in my toolbox. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
GB: Lord Finchley tried to mend the electric light, it struck him dead and serve him right. It is the business of the wealthy man to give employment to the artisan. I do not have riches but I still believe that you should give roles that include toolboxes to people who are trained for them. Therefore in my toolbox I keep cupcakes, big fat creamy ones, pink and yellow and white...
NP: Gyles you've challenged yourself.
GB: No! No!
JE: He was calling for his nurse!
NP: I have four lights here. Whoever pressed their buzzer first, their light comes on.
GB: I don't think my hands were near the... I'm psychic!
NP: Yeah Gyles your light came on.
GB: I have the power to heel...
GN: You should get a man in to look at that.
NP: What is your challenge Gyles? Have you got a challenge?
GB: I don't have a challenge. I don't think I touched my... clearly I need my toolbox because I wasn't touching the thing and it suddenly went off in my hand.
NP: You missed an opportunity then because you could have said something and I would have given you an incorrect challenge.
GB: Oh yes ah...
NP: Too late now. Paul you take the subject, 35 seconds, in my toolbox starting now.
PM: I am very surprised to get this subject because I didn't challenge at all. But nevertheless on what is inside my toolbox, there is...
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM GN AND THE AUDIENCE
PM: ... a (unintelligible) full of Nicholas Parsons. Every single fibre...
NP: Jenny's challenged.
JE: I challenge because it's deviation because he...
NP: No, let me. What actually happened is that you, you, Gyles pressed...
NP: His light came on, and yours flashed on.
NP: So you're entitled to have the subject.
PM: Yeah great, lovely.
NP: Now Jenny's challenged, what is your challenge Jenny?
JE: Slight deviation from the rules, Nicholas, because ah no, you didn't tell us that Paul ah had ah challenged, and Paul didn't say what he had challenged for. And then suddenly you just gave him the subject. Gyles looked really confused. And the audience, the woman in white who has been helping Graham looked confused. And the other lady in the front row threw up her hands in horror. And...
NP: So I'll tell you what I'll do now. In view of the fact that they feel I'm giving challenges away without listening. Gyles challenged himself, I took it away, gave it to Paul. So now what we do is we give it to Jenny!
JE: Hurrah! That makes sense!
GB: We all have been wanting to give it to Jenny! Excellent!
NP: Jenny, and then Graham will get his chance before the show's out. Right, in my toolbox Jenny, 24 seconds starting now.
JE: I don't have a toolbox.
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Now she says she hasn't got a toolbox. The subject is toolbox. Am I right in assuming that if you complain about the challenge, you will get a point?
PM: He's changed it again!
NP: No no no I just said that maybe I was a little unfair to Gyles because he challenged himself...
NP: So I let you have it because you are sitting next to him and your light flashed on...
PM: Yes sure enough.
NP: So Jenny pressed again and said he didn't give the reason he challenged so I said all right Jenny, you can have it. So I'll give it to Graham this time...
GN: Yeah I was going to say that following this logic, because I haven't challenged, I could get it, couldn't I.
NP: That's right yes yes. And you'll get it before the time's out!
GB: Let's give it to Graham.
PM: Deviation because she hasn't got a toolbox.
GN: Not yet?
NP: Not yet but Graham's got to have it before we finish the round.
JE: Okay that's fair.
NP: Twenty-two seconds Jenny, in my toolbox starting now.
JE: Don't have one, have a make-up bag instead. Because I'm lazy...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Repetition of have.
JE: Yeah I know..
NP: Have, yes.
GN: So do I get it now!
PM: Yeah, give it to Graham... so that should be Graham now.
GN: Yeah that's how it works, isn't it yes.
NP: As this round has been chaos from the rules of Just A Minute, and I am feeling very embarrassed...
PM: Can we bring in Hawkeye for these close decisions? Do we have the technology?
NP: The technology says that Graham should come in and then we're all square. Eighteen seconds, in my toolbox Graham starting now.
GN: Surprisingly I do have a toolbox and in it is this wondrous thing...
LOUD LAUGHTER FROM PM
PM: Well I don't believe you do have a toolbox because you seem to be incapable of naming anything that was in it!
GN: I was about to go on to describe the wondrous thing.
PM: Oh the wondrous thing.
NP: He was about to describe the wondrous thing...
PM: Oh yeah good.
NP: ... in his toolbox. So let him, I'll give him another point because he was interrupted...
NP: That was a legitimate challenge...
NP: ... and a legitimate point...
NP: In my toolbox Graham, 11 seconds starting now.
GN: One large handle and about 25, possibly 30, different little screwdriver heads. You can stick in, they stay there...
NP: Let me...
GN: Yes yes Paul, wondrous.
PM: No I'm just wondering where I can buy one of these things! What's it called?
NP: I'll tell you Paul, I wouldn't bother. They're much better to have the actual screwdriver. I've got one of those things and they, they're slippering around, they don't, you can't get much pressure on them, or much purchase as they call it professionally. No, get the real thing.
PM: Well I'll take your advice on screwdrivers certainly.
GN: Yes. He's got his own range you know. Have you not seen him on QVC in the middle of the night? Nicholas Parsons Alankeys, yes, they're the best.
NP: It's an ex-engineer talking, right.
NP: Graham you were speaking when the whistle went, so you got an extra point. You're now in second place, just behind Gyles. And Jenny is just behind you. And the audience are giggling, I don't know why. And Paul, we are with you to start. And a topical subject, budget cuts. So Paul it is up to you, 60 seconds starting now.
PM: Having been handed this poisonous chalice, I will drink from it deeply. Budget cuts have rendered this show an absolute joke. Next year it's going to be called Just A Nanosecond. How are we possibly going to be able to talk on a subject? Gyles Brandreth will be represented by his cheaper younger brother. You will of course remember him as one of the Clangers in that very popular series back in the days on television back in the 1970s. Budget cuts will make sure that previous decades will be forgotten. We no longer have the money to recall the 1980s. Instead...
NP: Jenny challenged.
JE: 1970s and 1980s.
NP: Yes you mentioned that.
PM: Oh right yes.
GN: Yeah very interesting yeah.
NP: Twenty-eight seconds available Jenny, budget cuts starting now.
JE: We all have to tighten our belts. Domestically this can be done by sharing bathwater for starters. And going to the supermarket, buying cheap potatoes and crisps, horrible meat...
NP: Gyles challenged.
NP: There was a hesitation.
GB: Think of bathwater for starters.
NP: I was thinking of the idea of buying cheap potatoes and then talking about crisps which are basically rather expensive if you buy a lot of those. And not healthy.
JE: No I know. But this is it, you see Nicholas, when you have to buy cheap food, one gets fatter. So as the nation has to tighten its belt, you also have to loosen it because we're becoming obese! Yes!
NP: Gyles you had a correct challenge, you've got 13 seconds, budget cuts starting now.
GB: Budget cuts are really what has resulted in the hair styles you see before you. Particularly my own which has been tonsured in an extraordinarily inexpensive place off the Balspond Road where my...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Did you say Baldpond Road?
NP: No the Balspond Road it does exist.
PM: Oh it does exist? Oh so it was Balls?
NP: It was Balspond...
PM: I thought it was balls, I wasn't sure. It sounded like balls from where I was sitting but I couldn't be quite sure. But if you can confirm that it was balls, then I'm quite happy to ah take your word for that.
NP: I can confirm it but...
PM: You can confirm it.
NP: I don't know what it is...
PM: Well you'd know if it was balls, wouldn't you, from where you are sitting.
NP: It's not where I am sitting, I've been down it many times.
PM: Well, we'll leave the gay slang there, shall we?
NP: When I was, when I was recording with Arthur Haynes at the Hackney Empire, we used to drive down the Balspond Road to get to Dawson Junction and go on there.
PM: Avoiding the horse and carts.
NP: Right Gyles an incorrect challenge, budget cuts is still with you and you've only got one second to go starting now.
GB: Eleven Downing Street...
NP: So at the end of that round Gyles Brandreth, speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, has increaseds his lead ahead of Paul Merton and Graham Norton in second place and Jenny only one point behind in third place. And we are entering the final round.
SHOUTS OF "AWWWWWWWW" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: I thought it deserved a bit more than that. Graham...
NP: It's with you to begin and the subject is perfect aim. Tell us something about that subject Graham starting now.
GN: Sometimes gentlemen don't have perfect aim. Particularly in public toilets. And one solution is to get a small plastic fly moosh and put it in the urinal and then instinctively men will try and hit it...
GN: Oh I said men.
JE: He said men twice.
NP: I know, but it was very interesting, wasn't it.
JE: It was a good story but I was slightly worried about it.
GN: It's true!
JE: When he started it, when you were talking about gentlemen not having proper aims in toilets, and I just thought this could get really dark.
GN: But it didn't.
GN: So let's not dwell!
JE: But you did repeat men twice.
NP: You did say men. So Jenny, correct challenge, 40 seconds, perfect aim starting now.
JE: Many sports rely on having perfect aim. Snooker, golf, tennis, football, darts, rugby... oh!
NP: Gyles you got in first. Correct challenge... what is your challenge, by the way?
NP: That's right, perfect aim, 31 seconds starting now.
GB: Don't dribble, focus, is the mantra that I believe in. I was introduced to it by the first woman in my life, and all the subsequent girls that I have known have always said to me...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: This was your mother? The first woman in your life?
GB: Yes I was found on my birth, naked in my bed with an older woman. It's gone on like that ever since.
NP: Paul what was your challenge?
PM: Well deviation, I don't think his mum said this to him.
GB: Yes she did. Oh absolutely she did say don't dribble, focus. That's what she always said to me, don't dribble, she had it on a little sign above the loo.
NP: What does it mean?
GB: Don't, it means don't dribble, focus on what you are doing. It refers to what Graham was talking about earlier, but I'll move on.
NP: I don't believe your mother ever said that to you.
GB: I do assure you that my mother, we'll dig her up and get her along here.
NP: I'll tell you what Gyles...
PM: You mean to say if we... no...
GB: It's exactly the sort of thing a mother does say!
GN: It sounds like the sort of stuff Mrs Brandreth would have said.
GN: Before hitting you very hard across the back of the head!
GB: She never hit. She coaxed, she asked, she was lovely.
PM: Well I can't really, I can't really sort of maintain a challenge if Griff, what's your name? If ah, if Griff Rhys-Jones here says that his mum said it, I'm willing to believe her.
NP: Well all right, you keep the subject Gyles, perfect aim.
PM: That's worth knowing, isn't it. That's a tip, Gyles
NP: Right, Paul now knows who is sitting next to him! And we are reaching the end of the show and Gyles continues with 21 seconds, perfect aim starting now.
GB: Miss Winehouse is my idea of a perfect Ame, and she and I went to the fun fair, and tried to knock coconuts off the shy. I found that I had by chance a perfect aim and one after another of these vegetables fell to the ground and I presented them to her...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Deviation, is coconut a vegetable?
GN: It's a cocoa nut!
NP: It's the fruit of a tree.
GB: Excuse me, it is of the vegetable family.
GN: Excuse me, no it's not! If Gyles says, he thinks if I say it, it'll be true!
NP: As far as I am concerned, you are incorrect, and I gave you the benefit of the doubt before, so I'm going to give Paul the benefit of the doubt...
GB: If you say so, Nicholas!
GN: If you were in a restaurant and they said "would you like vegetables with that?" and it came with a coconut... you would be upset!
GB: But I say every Thai restaurant that I go to, they serve vegetables, a lovely vegetable curry with lovely shavings of coconut on top.
PM: How it's served doesn't change what it is!
PM: It could be shoved in your back letterbox, it'd still be a coconut!
NP: You wouldn't get it through Paul!
NP: Six seconds, perfect aim Paul starting now.
PM: My perfect aim is demonstrated every time I go to the fun fair. I pick up a ball and throw it at a coconut, what a wonderful thing it is!
NP: So it only remains for me to give you the final score. Well it was very close. Graham Norton and Jenny Eclair were together in third place, only two points behind Paul Merton. One or two points ahead of them was Gyles Brandreth so we say Gyles, this week, you are our winner! So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine, intrepid players of this game, Gyles Brandreth, Paul Merton, Jenny Eclair and Graham Norton. I thank also Sarah Sharpe who has helped me with the score, she has blown her whistle with great aplomb whenever the 60 seconds have elapsed. We are indebted by the way to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are also very grateful to our producer Tilusha Ghelani. We are deeply indebted to this audience here who have been so warm and friendly as they have cheered us on our way, and giving notes all the time to Graham Norton. So from our audience, and from me, Nicholas Parsons, and the team, good-bye, thank you for tuning in. But do tune in again the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!