WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring PAUL MERTON, GYLES BRANDRETH, JULIAN CLARY and DAVID MITCHELL, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 4 January 2010)
NOTE: The 150th show produced by Claire Jones.
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 throughout the world. And also to welcome to the programme this week four vibrant, distinguished, talented and humorous individuals who are going to play Just A Minute. And they are, seated on my right, Paul Merton and Gyles Brandreth. And seated on my left, Julian Clary and David Mitchell. Please welcome all four of them! I am going to ask them to speak on a subject that I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Seated beside me is Sarah Sharpe, she is going to help me keep the score, and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Radio Theatre, in the heart of Broadcasting House. And we are going to begin the show this week with Paul Merton. Paul the subject is New Years parties. Will you tell us something about New Years parties... it should be New Year parties, shouldn't it? They put an apostrophe S in there. Anyway it doesn't matter. They've got it down here, bad English, New Years parties and you have 60 seconds starting now.
PAUL MERTON: The finest New Years party I was ever at involved Nicholas Parsons and Lynn Truss discussing the apostrophe on a greengrocer's sign. And it was a magnificent time. But many years I have spent on my own on New Years Eve. I didn't tend to go out to the busy public places. I would......
SHOUTS OF "AWWWWWW" FROM THE AUDIENCE
PM: Yes it is very sad and I think we should reflect on those golden years when I was in a bedsit in the 1980s and think about the little boy that used to listen to Just A Minute. I would hear Gyles Brandreth, superb exponent of the game. Nicholas Parsons of course...
NP: Julian Clary challenged.
JULIAN CLARY: He's not talking about New Years parties any more.
GYLES BRANDRETH: But I was liking it!
NP: So deviation Julian.
JC: Deviation yes.
NP: Correct challenge so you get a point for a correct challenge. You take over the subject, there are 31 seconds available, New Years parties starting now.
JC: New Years parties are a time of great celebration and frivolity. Years ago on the cabaret circuit I used to work at Jongleurs on that particular date. I didn't object to being professionally jolly, where actually in my heart I feel nothing on New Years Eve. It passes me by. But if I am being paid I can smile and laugh and jolly along people...
NP: Paul has challenged.
PM: Isn't that prostitution.
JC: I did do that as well yes.
NP: Julian, incorrect challenge, another point to you and you keep the subject therefore, nine seconds available, New Years parties starting now.
JC: The highlight of any New Years party is when a stall dark stranger knocks...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Sorry, was that a stall dark stranger? Deviation from English, he said stall instead of tall.
NP: No, he intended tall.
PM: Oh did he?
JC: Yes it was coherent I think...
NP: I think he did he did a little of what they call in France, elision. The end of the last word ran into the beginning of the next one It's elision.
PM: Is it?
NP: He was trying to keep going.
PM: Was he?
JC: I've had a few.
PM: Has he?
NP: So I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and you know that I am always very fair. If I can give you the benefit of the doubt later Paul, I will do so.
NP: Julian has another point and he has four seconds, New Years parties starting now.
JC: Traditionally they carry some salt and a bottle of whisky...
NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Julian Clary and so at the end of that round he's the only one who has got any points. And Julian it's your turn to begin the next round. The subject is my mood tonight. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.
JC: My mood tonight is, well, there's a number of things going on in my head. I'm feeling quite frisky but there is an element of snappiness on the side. And if you buzz in, I'm liable to bite your head off which...
GB: The audience have asked me to buzz in in order that they can see this extraordinary sight! That's fine...
JC: Well loosen your clothing then!
NP: So what's your... what's your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?
GB: Well that kind of thing is deviation. As defined by the Criminal Justice Act 1964.
NP: I think the audience response endorses that you have a correct challenge. And you have the benefit of the doubt certainly, 48 seconds available, you take over my mood tonight starting now.
GB: Mellow is my mood tonight. I come to you fresh from the arms of my new mistress. Young, vibrant, exciting...
PM: You said you wouldn't say anything!
NP: Are you his mistress?.
PM: Yeah! Don't you say it!
NP: So what is your challenge.
PM: He hasn't got a new mistress! He still sees the old one around the back of the bins!
NP: Gyles can you justify that you have a new mistress.
GB: Yes, 0-triple 7-3-2-1-6-1-7-1. Just call it three times and ask for the name, Fifi is the name actually.
NP: Now we are convinced you haven't got one. Forty-one seconds Paul on my mood tonight starting now.
PM: I shall be giving my mistress Fifi a stern talking to when I get home! It would seem she has also taken on Gyles...
NP: David you've challenged.
DAVID MITCHELL: Yes sorry it's Fifi, repetition of Fi.
PM: Oh yes it is.
NP: David I'd love to give it to you but let's be fair, Fifi is actually a name spelled F-I-F-I. So Paul it wasn't a correct challenge, you still have the subject and my mood tonight, and 36 seconds starting now.
PM: My mood is one of exuberance. I love being here on Just A Minute, recording at the British Broadcasting Corporation's Radio Theatre here deep in the heart of the West...
NP: Julian challenged.
JC: Repetition of here.
PM: Oh yes.
NP: Here twice.
NP: Julian well listened, you have the subject, you have 26 seconds and it is my mood tonight starting now.
JC: Oh I've turned! I am spitting feathers! In a couple more minutes, I shall be down on my hands and knees chewing the carpet! I don't know what it is, but something dark has come right over me! I think, when I got off the bus on my way here, that I stood in a puddle and that set me off. Because this morning my mood was rather cheery...
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: I saw him actually getting out of the limousine.
JC: No, that was just, that was just a diversion!
GB: Well that was deviation.
NP: No I do agree with Gyles, he's seen you, you did get out of a limousine so we don't believe you came in a bus Julian.
JC: Oh I say!
NP: So Gyles you have the subject, you have nine seconds available, my mood tonight starting now.
GB: My mood tonight is greatly enhanced by the peerage that I received in the New Years Honours list. I'm now to be called Lord Luvaduck, indeed...
JC: You don't believe I got out of a bus. I don't believe he is a Lord.
GB: It's the 4th of January.
NP: Well it's not...
DM: Are we going to, are you going to make us do two edits of the show? One for if you do get a peerage, and one for what actually is going to happen?
GB: If I don't get a peerage, people will just feel that it's very very wrong!
NP: And that's repetition, very very.
PM: Yes, yeah.
NP: Right. Julian you've got in very cleverly with one second to go...
NP: My mood tonight starting now.
JC: I've come as a...
NP: So whoever is speaking in this game when the whistle goes gains an extra point. And once again it was Julian Clary. He's now got a strong lead over the other two. Paul has got two, Gyles has got two. David is yet to come in but we're longing to hear from him. Gyles it's your turn to begin, the subject is Harley Street. Will you tell us something about Harley Street in this game starting now.
GB: Ah Harley Street! I was brought up in Marylebone and lived in a block of flats on the Harley Street. Next door to us was a place where lived Hughie Green. If opportunity had knocked at our particular neighbourhood we would have found that ah, who knows...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: A bit of hesitation there.
GB: Yes there was. More than a bit of hesitation yes.
NP:So Paul you've got the subject, another point of course, you have Harley Street, 46 seconds starting now.
PM: (in posh voice) Harley Street, of course, is a place that is full of doctors, surgeons and various practitioners of the medical crafts. It also used to be the headquarters of British Equity. And when I tried to become a member of the Actor's Union back in about 1981, I was given short shrift by the man behind the desk, who said "it's scum like you that gives this place a bad name! And there's plenty of actors who could do your job, don't you know." (normal voice) Why he was talking like somebody from a 1940s Ealing comedy is... I don't know...
NP: Julian you challenged.
JC: Repetition of 19.
NP: Yes 19.
PM: It's going to be like that is it? All right.
NP: It's quite legitimate!
PM: Who's quite legitimate?
NP: Well that is. It's a legitimate challenge.
PM: Oh it is.
NP: Nineteen, 19.
NP: And you know, there's 19 seconds still available.
GB: Oh my!
NP: Oh Julian, 19 seconds, Harley Street starting now.
JC: I go to Harley Street to get some botox on my knees. They are worn out from wear and tear. And I wish I hadn't bothered because I can't tell what mood they are in now. Also if I'm...
NP: Gyles challenged.
NP: There was a hesitation Gyles. You have the subject back, eight seconds available, Harley Street starting now.
GB: In 1850, Florence Nightingale, whose name is an anagram for flit on cheering angle opened in the heart of Harley Street an emporium for fit gentlemen.
NP: So Gyles Brandreth was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's creeping up on Julian Clary.
NP: And he's just ahead of Paul Merton. And David Mitchell, we'd like you to begin the next round, andc the subject is writing a book. Take a little note of it, writing a book, you have 60 seconds starting now.
DM: I am supposed to be writing a book at some point, because a publisher has very kindly given me a sum of money, which means now I have to. It's as if they had given me some money and expected me to make some food...
NP: Oh dear, yes Gyles.
GB: Repetition of money.
DM: Money. Well I'm obsessed, you know.
NP: So you've got writing a book Gyles, you've got 50 seconds and you start now.
GB: My advice to David would be don't worry if your job is small and your rewards are few, remember that the mighty oak was once a nut like you! When it comes to writing a book, one must begin small and then grow into something magnificent. Nicholas Parsons and I have written many books. His have been read. Mine alas have not. But nonetheless I'm not bitter about this, not in the least bit at all. I think that writing is a matter of applying the seat of the pants to the base of the chair. Getting out your pen at eight in the morning and continuing as the muse brings into you...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: No paper then? Just a pen?
GB: The pen is to chew, the word procer, processor...
GB: I do it on a screen. Don't you scribble on your screen?
PM: No I don't.
NP: Well why do you want a pen then.
GB: I want a pen to suck on. Have you not seen the great writers? They all suck on a pen. TS Eliot was never photographed without a nib in his mouth.
NP: Right. Anyway Paul...
NP: He wasn't strictly deviating.
PM: Wasn't he?
NP: He was getting to the paper, I think.
PM: Oh okay.
NP: So, but we loved your interruption.
PM: Did you?
NP: It got a big reaction so we are going to give you a bonus point for that.
PM: Oh lovely.
NP: And Gyles gets a point because he was interrupted and he has 19, it's 19...
PM: Nineteen again!
NP: There's something prophetic about this.
DM: Are you sure it's not just got 19 written on it?
NP: Nineteen seconds Gyles, writing a book starting now.
GB: I could have been writing The Nineteen Steps but John Buchan has done something a little bit like that so I'm writing a series of murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde as my detective. Based on the true fact that Arthur Conan Doyle...
DM: Sorry, he's plugging! Deviation from not plugging? Capitalism on the show?
NP: Advertising which is against ah...
DM: Against BBC regulations, isn't it. Particularly, particularly in the current climate. You could bring the corporation down, Gyles.
NP: No I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt...
DM: Thank you.
NP: ... of that one David and say that you have eight seconds on writing a book starting now.
DM: So as a result of my obsession with cash, I'm in a corner, which they won't let me out of until I've produced thousands of words. And I don't know what the...
NP: So David Mitchell was then speaking as the whistle went and he gained that extra point. And he's moved forward, he's still in fourth place but he's moved forward. And ah the applause you got at the end justifies the fact that you are really popular here David. And Paul we are back with you, we'd like you to begin the next round, suspicious behaviour, 60 seconds starting now.
PM: The other day I noticed that the cat had bought a new hat. Then I saw a pearl-buttoned waistcoat that he was wearing. And I thought to myself, this is very mysterious and suspicious behaviour. Then I suddenly came home early one night and found the aforementioned pet in front of the television watching The X Factor. I knew then no evil could be greater than that which had possessed this poor feline...
NP: Gyles you challenged.
GB: A couple of bits of hesitation and the word then six times.
NP: He did say then a few times yes...
PM: Did I?
NP: It's a pity, I enjoyed it all.
NP: Absolutely surreal but it was wonderful. Right Gyles, correct on then, repetition, 44 seconds, suspicious behaviour starting now.
GB: I'm always suspicious of people who whisper when there really is no reason. They come towards you, lifting their collars and speak into your ear. That makes me incredibly nervous, especially if they are wearing red corduroy trousers and blazers with leather patches on. I don't like those sort of people, though I know that millions wearing this sort of apparel listen to this programme...
NP: That's David.
DM: Is that repetition of people?
NP: Yes Gyles, you did repeat people.
GB: I know, I'm a man of the people. It's instinctive!
PM: It's a much bigger word than them.
NP: ... you have a point...
PM: Very big word, isn't it! People.
NP: Fifteen seconds David, on suspicious behaviour starting now.
DM: I suppose you can be behaving suspiciously in two different ways. Either acting in a way that makes other people's...
NP: Who's that? Paul.
PM: That was me. But actually you said ways and way. I was going to go for repetition but it wasn't.
NP: No it wasn't.
NP: So you got another point David.
DM: Oh marvellous!
NP: Yes. And seven seconds, suspicious behaviour David, seven seconds starting now.
DM: In the first instance there are people behaving in a way that elicits suspicion from others. In the second, behaving...
NP: So David Mitchell was again speaking as the whistle went and gained an extra point for doing so. And he's not played the game as much as the others, but he's now gone ahead of Paul Merton, and Paul is trailing Gyles Brandreth and he is one point behind Julian Clary who is still our leader. And Julian we are back with you, we'd like you to begin the next round. Oh it's not really you, Julian. The subject is an icy stare. Sixty seconds starting now.
JC: I was on the Royal Variety Show once. And during the line-up part at the after show party, I found myself standing next to Cher, who fixed me with an icy stare. I thought "miserable cow!" Turned out she'd just had a lot of work done and she was unable to kind of smile in the more natural...
NP: David you challenged.
DM: I thought that was a bit of hesitation, you know, because of Cher's icy stare.
SOMEONE MAKES A BOO NOISE IN THE AUDIENCE
DM: Somebody booed! What!
NP: No I didn't think there was hesitation. I didn't pick it up then. No I think he was going, he had a nice little flow going actually.
PM: Yeah! Lovely flow.
JC: Thank you very much.
DM: Sorry to Nicholas, to Julian, and to the booer!
NP: Keep the flow Julian, 43 seconds still available, an icy stare starting now.
JC: When you see Christopher Biggins on television, he is all smiles. But I passed him in the foyer early on and ah an icy...
NP: Gyles yes.
NP: That was a hesitation yes.
DM: Going to boo that?
NP: And we are never going to find out what he did, unless Julian gets back in, 36 seconds Gyles on an icy stare starting now.
GB: I was privileged to know the late great actor Sir John Gielgud who could penetrate you with an icy stare. He claimed to be able to complete the Times crossword in under 10 minutes, even into his 90s. He did this by filling in inappropriate...
PM: Repetition of he. He was, he did this, he did that. Lot of hes, lot of hes.
GB: But no thens, I noticed.
PM: No. Well with a bit more ambition you might get there one day!
NP: He was getting back at you on the thens.
NP: He's got you on the thes and Paul you have the subject, 25 seconds, an icy stare starting now.
PM: The snowy step by the outdoor loo was always something our family feared. When it came down from the skies and landed there, with trepidation we would enter the back yard. And then we would see in front of us, the ice hanging off this piece of metal that was placed in a way that almost encouraged you to place your foot upon it...
PM: Was that repetition of zoological gardens? What about that?
GB: I thought he had repeated placed but he hadn't.
NP: I know, you made a mistake. And Paul, one second on an icy stare starting now.
PM: Now and then...
NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's moved forward, he's now just one point behind Gyles, who is one point behind Julian and they are a couple of points ahead of David. And David we are back with you to begin and now, it's quite a modern thing. Planning a staycation. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.
DM: I am planning a staycation because I find other countries threatening. I hate organising transport and I love my flat! Filthy though it is, I intend to spend three weeks pretending that it's a hotel. I shall use a local Indian takeaway as room service. I'll get in and out of the bath a lot as if it is a swimming pool. I'll turn up the central heating and wander round in my swimming trunks and have a marvellous time looking at pictures of foreign countries without actually having to go there.
NP: Gyles you challenged.
GB: Repetition of foreign countries.
NP: Yes right at the beginning you did say foreign countries.
DM: Yes I don't doubt it although I was doing an innocent look! So.
NP: Gyles you have 30 seconds, tell us something about planning a staycation starting now.
GB: I love the way that you can stay at home. I'm yearning to bring Broadstairs to my sitting room! I have bought a box of sand. I am spreading it all over the carpet and I am...
NP: David challenged.
DM: I'm just worried. He's got a box of sand in his living room. Have you got no toilet?
GB: I'm creating a holiday in Morocco.
NP: No, he's trying to give us his fantasy idea of a holiday at home, as yours was a fantasy one as well. So Gyles, benefit of the doubt, 20 seconds still available, planning a staycation starting now.
GB: I take a handkerchief and in each of the four corners, I tie a little knot. I pop it on my head, I get out my bucket and spade and my amusing little deckchair and I sit there, turning on the telly and watching lovely repeats of old films in which Nicholas Parsons pops up with the young Bob Monkhouse playing that, his father which is slightly surprising...
NP: So Gyles speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and with others in the round, he's now back, taken the lead. Paul we'd like you to begin the next round, the subject is rush hour. Tell us something about rush hour in this game starting now.
PM: Many years ago when I was working at the Tooting employment office, I worked in... oh...
NP: Julian challenged.
JC: Well hesitation.
JC: General breakdown.
NP: Julian you have 56 seconds, rush hour starting now.
JC: Rush hour is something that happens when you take a pill and about 20 minutes later, the rush arrives. It's not a feeling that I enjoy. It's also...
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: Curious that this rush hour takes place after only 20 minutes. Would that not be rush third of an hour? Is there a possibility of deviation here?
GB: Do we need to hear this three times in which case to get to the hour it will be repetition!
NP: I don't think he was deviating so he still has the subject, 47 seconds, rush hour starting now.
JC: In the good old days rush hour did actually last an hour. But now of course it begins at about two thirty, unless you're on a Friday it begins at abut eleven o'clock...
NP: Yes Paul.
PM: Repetition of begins.
NP: Begins yes.
JC: Oh yeah.
NP: Beginning too much, 38 seconds for you Paul, rush hour starting now.
PM: I used to travel on the Northern Line during the rush hour. Morden, South Wimbledon, Colliers Wood, Tooting Broadway, ditto Beck, Clapham North, ditto Common, something similar south...
PM: Stockwell South... what?
GB: Repetition of ditto.
PM: Oh really!
GB: Well isn't that the idea of the game.
NP: I didn't hear him say ditto twice.
GB: He did.
PM: I did.
NP: Oh right. Well done, very honest Paul, 26 seconds, rush hour starting now.
GB: I got to Oxford Street Tube Station in the rush hour. The sign said dogs must be carried on the escalator, it took me 40 minutes to find one! The nightmare these days of travel by public transport is simply horrendous...
NP: Paul challenged. He's challenged you twice.
PM: Is that your joke?
GB: It actually belonged to Max Miller, I think! Possibly Dan Leno.
PM: Are we allowed to do other people's material?
GB: If they're dead, yes.
GB: Certainly if they're dead.
GB: Where would you be without!
NP: Oh so much one-upmanship goes on here, right. Gyles...
GB: That was an inadvertent remark, I do apologise.
GB: I didn't mean to upset you.
DM: Don't feel bad Gyles, I'm sure that someone else has said it before.
GB: Oh indeed.
NP: Thirteen seconds Gyles, rush hour starting now.
GB: The extraordinary way one's body is pressed against a cuman...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Now there is stuff called cuman. But I presume he's not pressed himself against it while he's riding on the Tube.
GB: Yeah right.
PM: So he didn't say human so he...
NP: Cuman right.
GB: You're right!
NP: Deviation as well as hesitation.
NP: Nine seconds Paul, rush hour starting now.
PM: Oval, Charing Cross, Paddington, these are...
NP: Julian challenged.
NP: There was a hesitation.
JC: After Charing Cross.
NP: After Charing Cross.
PM: You've got to decide which line you are on. You've got to go to St Pancreas, or you've got to go to the Embankment. There was no hesitation.
NP: St Pancreas isn't on that Northern Line anyway.
PM: I didn't say it was.
NP: No well.. you said you've got to decide whether you go to Charing Cross or St Pancreas.
PM: That's right.
NP: Yeah well it's not on the Northern Line, St Pancreas.
PM: Yes it is.
NP: No, Kings Cross is on the Northern Line.
PM: Kings Cross is.
NP: Yes that's right.
GB: But when the station was built, Nicholas opened it.
NP: Anyway you hesitated so Julian, you have the subject, you have six seconds...
SHOUTS OF "AWWWWWWW" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: He did hesitate. It's quite legitimate. Are you in pain out there or something? Six seconds Julian, rush hour starting now.
JC: The thing that worries me during rush hour is the lack of oxygen. Is there enough air to go around?
NP: So Julian was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now moved forward again, he's equal with Gyles Brandreth in the lead and they're followed by Paul Merton and David Mitchell in that order. And we're moving into the final round. Julian we're back with you to begin and the subject is the latest craze. Sixty seconds starting now.
JC: The latest craze is twittering where you log on to a particular page on your computer and you get lots of chums who send you messages! But they have to be of a certain length and no longer, otherwise it can't be possible. I'm following a number of interesting people, like Andy Peters who twitters to tell you what he's had for breakfast and occasionally posts a photograph of said meal which is enough to make me sick. And ah...
NP: Yeah I think there was a hesitation. So I gave you the benefit of the doubt last time against Paul, Paul's now got it against you so that's even and fair. Thirty-four seconds Paul, the latest craze starting now.
PM: The latest craze to hit Britain is to go up to Nicholas Parsons and kiss him firmly on both cheeks, particularly if he is tieing his shoelaces up at the time. He is a wonderful chairman of this programme and he is indeed...
NP: Julian you challenged.
JC: Isn't that an old joke that you've...
PM: Yes! We've established that we're allowed to do other people's material.
JC: Just checking.
NP: Right, just checking. So Paul you've got another point because you were interrupted and you have 23 seconds, the latest craze starting now.
PM: There was Ronnie, Reggie, and now Lionel Cray is the latest of the family to go into the criminal network that is South East London. He is a vicious criminal and he...
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: Criminal network.
PM: Oh yes.
GB: And criminal.
NP: There's a repetition.
GB: Repetition of criminal.
NP: Repetition of the word criminal, yes, you're quite right there, 12 seconds Gyles, the latest craze starting now.
GB: Scooters! Children whizzing along the pavement on these solo instruments with two wheels attached. They're terrible when their parents do the same thing, climbing aboard these horrendous...
NP: So Gyles was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Now I'll give you the final situation. David Mitchell who hasn't played the game quite as much as any of the others and came in a very strong and brilliant fourth place. Just ahead of him, well, quite a few points ahaed of him actually, but someone who has played the game quite a lot was Paul Merton. But he gave great value as always, right! And the man who held the lead until the final fence which was Julian Clary. He was in second place just behind Gyles Brandreth, one point ahead, so we say Gyles, it's an even contest but you come out on top as our winner this week. So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine players of the game, Paul Merton, Gyles Brandreth, Julian Clary and David Mitchell. I thank Sarah Sharpe, who has helped me with the score, blown her whistle so delicately when the 60 seconds elapsed. And we are grateful to our producer Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are also indebted to this lovely audience here in the Radio Theatre who have been a real cheerful lot, cheering us on our way. So from our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, good-bye, don't forget to tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!