NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners in this country and around the world. But also to welcome to the programme this week four exciting, attractive, dynamic, humorous players of this game. They are going to show their skill and ability with words and language as they try and speak on a subject that I give them and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four are seated on my right, Paul Merton and Charles Collingwood. And seated on my left, Josie Lawrence and Chris Neill. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Sarah Sharpe, who is going to help me keep the score, and blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Radio Theatre here which is packed to the seams with lovely people waiting to enjoy themselves. So we'll begin the show with Josie Lawrence. Josie here is a lovely subject for you, how I know when I am in love.


NP: Yes. Give a little thought to it before you go, and 60 seconds as usual starting now.

JL: I know when I am in love because I have these symptoms. I have heart palpitations, my head starts to ache, I have sweaty palms...


NP: Charles challenged.

CHARLES COLLINGWOOD: At least two haves.

JL: I know. Loads of them! That's because I'm in love, you see.

PAUL MERTON: Are you in love with the word have?

JL: Yeah.

PM: You seem very close.

NP: Right Charles, you have a correct challenge and so you get a point for that and there are 52 seconds still available. Will you take over the subject of how I know when I am in love starting now.

CC: I know when I am in love because I always lose a lot of weight. So you can tell that I am not particularly in love at the moment. In fact that's not at all...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: You just introduced me to your wife a little while ago. Now here you are, broadcasting to the nation, there's dozens of people who hear this show. You've said you're not in love?

CC: Well look, whether or not the marriage is over, I'm trying to win a game!

PM: Oh fair enough!

CC: And she, she can take it on the chin! Well she's used to...

PM: Well that might be the cause of all the trouble!

NP: Paul we give you a bonus point because we enjoyed what you said but I don't think Charles was actually failing within the rules of Just A Minute. So he keeps the subject, how I know when I am in love, 45 seconds starting now.

CC: How I know when I am in love is that my body tingles. I can hardly sleep at night. I get nervous and sweaty, realising that only...


NP: Chris challenged.

CHRIS NEILL: You want to see a doctor! These aren't very healthy symptoms. He loses weight, he's tingly and he can't, he sweats, he can't sleep. God, whoever he falls in love with must think oh, I'm a lucky cow!

NP: So Chris, have you got a legitimate challenge?

CN: Deviation from how you should, if you were to fall in love, how you should really feel I think.

NP: Well we don't know, maybe that's the way it takes Charles, which makes him rather strange but it doesn't matter. Chris we did enjoy your interruption so I'm going to do the same thing I did to Paul, give you a bonus point for that. But Charles you were interrupted, you get a point, 36 seconds, how I know when I am in love starting now.

CC: I must point out I am a very emotional person! And I know when I am in love because I get this extraordinary gripping tenseness throughout my frame I mean...


PM: No, that's definitely a heart attack. With all the other symptoms, definitely, you're definitely having a heart attack.

CC: This is one of the most insensitive rounds of this game that I have ever played! He's insulted my wife, well, I've insulted my wife...

PM: He's insulted his wife!

CC: And now he's gone and highlighted it, and you know, look, everybody's interrupting me from all angles!

NP: I know.

JL: I'm not, Charles, I understand those symptoms.

CC: Yes I'm going to be in love with you in just a minute, old darling.

CN: Charles, when you feel you're falling in love, do you get shooting pains on the left side of your chest as well? That's another sign.

NP: Paul we again enjoyed your interruption, another point to you. Charles was interrupted, he gets a point and there are 25 seconds available, how I know when I am in love, Charles starting now.

CC: How I know when I am in love is when I look across a room and suddenly see a girl with beautiful eyes and big red lips, gorgeous teeth...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: She's out of your league!

CC: I've never known such bitterness, Paul.

NP: No, it's comedy.

PM: I thought it was a hesitation myself.

NP: Paul, correct challenge, you have 15 seconds on how I know when I am in love starting now.

PM: My pupils dilate and the headmaster gives me a funny look! I also get these terrible sweats all down my back, my shoulders and also across...


NP: Josie challenged.

JL: He said also twice.

NP: You did say also twice yes. So Josie, another point to you, five seconds, tell us more about how I know when I am in love starting now.

JL: I laugh uproariously at anything they say! Which is quite difficult when the bloke's dead...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Josie Lawrence who now has two points, Paul has three, Charles Collingwood has four, Chris has one. And that's the situation at the end of the first round. Chris will you start the next round, I don't know whether it has been chosen for you specially, a police escort, 60 seconds starting now.

CN: If you're a member of the Royal family, a senior politician, a big celebrity, you might be entitled, I suppose to a police escort. I myself came to the studio tonight on the number 12 bus. However it did stop at Elephant and Castle, and it's one of those bendy buses that we have in London...


NP: Josie challenged.

JL: No it was bus and buses, I'm sorry.

CN: Bus and buses yes.

NP: Bus and buses yes.

JL: I got a point for you.

CN: Thank you.

NP: So incorrect challenge Josie and another point to Chris, 44... not another point but a point to Chris. Sorry Chris, 44 seconds Chris, a police escort starting now.

CN: I was once in a pub and there was a woman there, she was ever so drunk and they stopped her and she got very raucous and they had to call the police. And she was escorted from the premises and she was screaming and shouting and complaining so much. It ruined the evening for all of us actually. But um it...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes Paul you had a correct challenge, you have 24 seconds, a police escort starting now.

PM: When Tommy Cooooooo per... oh that's...


NP: Yeah Charles.

CC: (in Tommy Cooper voice) Hesitation.

PM: I don't think it was hesitation.

CC: (in Tommy Cooper voice) It was very much hesitation. I went ahah!

NP: We, we interpret that stumble Paul as hesitation. So he has the benefit of the doubt, he has a police escort and he has 22 seconds Charles starting now.

CC: Unlike Chris who came here on a er bus, I...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Ah well there was a bit of hesitation.

CC: What?

NP: A bit, no, no, I gave the benefit of the doubt to you last time so benefit of the doubt goes to Paul on this occasion, he has 19 seconds on a police escort starting now.

PM: When Doctor Crippin was arrested he was given a police escort and taken to the jail. But there is evidence over the years which has emerged that he may have been innocent. They dug up a body underneath his house after he had been given the police escort and they found that the remains did not match the DNA of his murdered wife. So it could...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now taken the lead just one ahead of Charles Collingwood. And Charles we'd like you to begin the next round, my battle strategy. I know you're very much into battles and wars and things like that, but tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CC: My battle strategy is really to face the enemy full on. No going backwards for me, I'm ready to take the task to them. It's always been my motto, stand up and fight for yourself. Because if you don't, there's nobody on your side. And I'm sure that all of you agree with me here. Now you may notice that I'm beginning to...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: He's reading a script he delivered to Adam in The Archers!

NP: It does sound a bit like that.

CN: Yeah it was all about holly tunnels, I was on the edge of my seat!

NP: But give him his due, he wasn't reading it.

CN: No no no, I don't know how he's remembered it, it's off the book, it's amazing!

NP: So what's your challenge within...

CN: I didn't really have one actually.

NP: Oh well, we'll give you a bonus point because we enjoyed...

CN: Thank you. Am I up to two now?

NP: Um you're up to three.

CN: Stop!

NP: Charles you were interrupted, you get a point for that, my battle strategy, 38 seconds starting now.

CC: Well as you know, I'm an actor, I'm not a soldier. But were I to have a battle strategy, I feel...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Darling, theatre can be war!

NP: Well what's your challenge?

CN: No, I haven't got one, I was hoping for another point.

NP: I know. It wasn't strong enough...

CN: No, okay, fair enough. How about half?

NP: No, not even a half.

CN: Okay.

PM: Is it possible to take points away?

NP: I've never done it yet but I might contemplate it in the future. But not on that one. Right, Charles, another point to you and my battle strategy, 32 seconds starting now.

CC: I do think it's important that if you have a battle strategy, you should know where the battle is going to end. So that you're not in a terrible mess when it comes to a final conclusion. But not being a military man myself, who the hell cares? I am just here playing Just A Minute with my battle strategy to go on talking...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: I didn't touch it.

PM: No I pressed my buzzer for repetition of just.

CN: Oh there we are, it's Paul.

NP: Well your light came on. What was your challenge?

PM: It was repetition of just.

CN: But I am sitting on Paul's lap.

NP: I think we charge no points at all on that. Sixteen seconds still with you Charles on my battle strategy starting now.

CC: My battle strategy...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Repetition of just. A moment ago he said just twice so that...

NP: It's too late now, it's too late.

CN: Oh is it?

NP: I don't think we can have retrospective challenges like that.

PM: The show's been going for 40 years so it makes it very difficult if we are going to be retrospective challenges.

NP: As we enjoyed your interruption Chris, we give you a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption.

CN: Thank you.

NP: And Charles was interrupted, he has 14 seconds, my battle strategy starting now.

CC: My battle strategy is beginning to wear a bit thin, I have to say. Well I'm going to duh fight on until I see the...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: He definitely said fight before.

NP: He did say fight before, you were fighting...

PM: But that time he actually said de-fight.

JL: De-fight.

CN: De-fight.

PM: Yes. It's not repetition.

NP: It's deviation as well.

PM: It's deviation.

NP: Right. Chris you...

CC: He saved me!

NP: ... have eight seconds, my battle strategy starting now.

CN: I am absolutely terrible at the game of Just A Minute. So what I do is try and sneak in at the side and get bonus points from Nicholas.


NP: Well Chris Neill, that's another legitimate point you got, speaking as the whistle went. And you are in a very strong second place, only two points behind Charles Collingwood. Paul would you begin the next round, walking on hot coals, 60 seconds are available starting now.

PM: It's not as difficult as it might first appear. The secret to it is to do it rather quickly so when you...


NP: Josie challenged.

JL: It quickly.

NP: Yes you did repeat the word it. You did say it's twice.

PM: Yeah yeah.

NP: And so Josie you got in there...

JL: Oh really?

NP: ... with 56 seconds, walking on hot coals starting now.

JL: Walking on hot coals is a way to accept your spirituality within the universe. My friend Tommy actually went to a yogic retreat in Bali and walked across hot coals. He said it was the most amazing experience and it also got rid of his verucas. I would like to try and walk across them because it helps you face your fear. They're not actually burning coals, you know, they're burning embers and a lot...


JL: Ahhhhhh!

NP: Yes so Paul, burning.

PM: Repetition of burning.

NP: And 31 seconds, walking on hot coals starting now.

PM: If you go to parts of distant Peru, you will see the natives gathered around a ritual every Saturday evening where they switch on the magic boxes and watch Strictly Come Dancing. And this is accompanied by hot coal walking. If you place these...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: Repetition of if you, if you...

NP: Oh yes.

CN: Oh is that too harsh?

NP: It is, a bit.

CN: Okay, I retract it, I didn't hear anything.

NP: No no it's correct! It's correct so we have to go with it, 14 seconds Chris, walking on hot coals starting now.

CN: Walking on hot coals, playing Just A Minute is like walking on hot coals. Because you have to keep a speed up, otherwise you get done for hesitation. You can't divert from the path that you're on otherwise that counts as the...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well he's now talking about playing Just A Minute rather than walking on hot coals. He said you can't divert from the path you are on, but he has.

NP: Now I think, he did start off by saying that playing Just A Minute is like walking on hot coals.

PM: Mmmmm.

NP: So he was actually comparing this show to walking on hot coals. So I don't think it was deviation Chris. Three seconds Chris, walking on hot coals starting now.

CN: Walking...


NP: Josie challenged.

JL: He said otherwise twice.

CN: That's a retrospective challenge!

NP: Josie we had this challenge and we have established that once a challenge has been accepted and taken, you can't go retrospectively again. So Chris you were interrupted again, you have another point, you have two seconds, walking on hot coals starting now.

CN: Walking on hot coals is something really I wouldn't want to do.


NP: So Chris Neill who was complaining about the fact that he doesn't get into the lead in the show has now taken a strong lead at the end of that round, having got points as well as one for speaking as the whistle went, ahead of Charles Collingwood, Paul Merton and Josie Lawrence in that order. Josie we'd like you to start the next round, sweet 16, tell us something about that in this game starting now.

JL: Oh looking back 20 years ago to when I...


PM: You've set off the internal alarm!

JL: I don't know what you mean!

PM: Well you're 60 if you're a day! You don't think that's an exaggeration?

NP: Paul what was your challenge within Just A Minute.

PM: Numeracy. She's not 36! Not for another two or three years. If she finds a time machine and gets into it!

NP: Paul you have 58 seconds on sweet 16 starting now.

PM: I remember being sweet 16 and it wasn't anything particularly sweet. It was a very nervous time. When you are an adolescent there are all sorts of things happening to your body. Pimples erupt on your faces and bits and pieces...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: When you are 16, pimples erupt on your faces?

PM: Yeah, it wasn't just happening to me, it was happening to everyone.

CN: I know, but you were talking very much about what was happening to you, so my challenge was deviation, he doesn't have two faces.

JL: Oh he does!

PM: Josie, what year were you born?

JL: Nineteen... ah...

NP: No Chris, he was talking collectively.

CN: Oh was he, okay.

NP: Forty-six seconds Paul, sweet 16 starting now.

PM: It is a terribly difficult point in your existence when you look around at the other individuals at your school and you see that some of them are shooting up, in height I mean, rather than drug practice, and you hope that you will be a normal size. I am now six foot two, but when I was 16, I was actually only...


NP: Charles challenged.

CC: Well there were quite a lot of yous and then there were two I wases.

PM: Yeah absolutely.

NP: Yes right.

CC: I'm sorry to interrupt Paul.

NP: No that's all right, you let the yous go, but you didn't want the I wases to go.

CC: No no.

NP: Twenty-six seconds Charles on sweet 16 starting now.

CC: I agree with Paul, I hated being 16. Although I exuded confidence and great handsomeness to the girls...


NP: Oh Charles, Paul challenged.

PM: What happened? It just really touched my heart with that! It's such a shame!

NP: Paul what was your challenge?

PM: Um it was...

CC: Rudeness!

PM: No, I had no challenge within the rules of the game.

NP: What a pity because there was a mistake he made. But it doesn't matter.

PM: I can't remember it.

NP: Charles has got the subject still so that's a bonus to you Charles.

PM: Yeah.

NP: Sweet 16, Charles, 18 seconds starting now.

CC: Sweet 16, I don't think so. Although there was some gorgeous young fillies round where I lived...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well I think inter-species arrangements are... I mean a lot goes on in the countryside and I know there's been several storylines in The Archers. But I mean I, I think I've made my point, Nicholas.

NP: You have made your point but not successfully enough.

PM: Oh really?

NP: Because people do colloquially refer to pretty girls as fillies sometimes.

PM: Do they?

NP: Yes.

PM: Okay.

NP: It depends on which social circles you move, I suppose.

PM: Okay.

CN: Look at that old horse-face

JL: If anybody called me a filly, I just can't tell you what I'd do to him.

PM: Well it's going to happen then, isn't it.

NP: Right so 11 seconds, sweet 16, Charles starting now.

CC: At the age of sweet 16, I remember sitting in the back of the Odeon Cinema at Andover, looking for girls of a similar age to my own...


NP: Chris challenged.

CN: He said girls before.

NP: You looked at girls before.

CC: Oh I've said girls an awful lot in my life, Chris you're quite right.

PM: Still he's got off the horses! Was it just a phase you were going through?

NP: Five seconds Chris, sweet 16 starting now.

CN: I do have quite a sweet tooth. Floral gums, fruit pastilles, gobstoppers...


NP: So Chris Neill was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And he has increased that lead at the end of that round. And Chris we're actually back with you to begin. And the subject now is crossing a zebra. You have 60 seconds as usual...

PM: Shouldn't this be given to Charles?

NP: Crossing a zebra Chris, 60 seconds starting now.

CN: You should never cross a zebra, they've got the most awful tempers on them. They look nice with all their stripey fur. Actually they are vile beasts. I got into an argument once with a zebra at London Zoo. He obviously didn't understand a word I was saying and that's why I took umbrage to be honest with you. I thought I could have a perfectly...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Sorry, isn't it Ambridge?


PM: How dare you boo!

CC: How dare you boo Ambridge!

PM: Yes exactly.

NP: No it was a clever interruption...

PM: Not clever enough!

NP: That's another point to you Chris, crossing a zebra and 42 seconds starting now.

CN: If you cross a zebra with a leopard you get one of those pictures, that if you look long enough, oh I can't, I can't, I'm just talking rubbish...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yeah. It was hesitation Paul. Tell us something about crossing a zebra Paul, 36 seconds are available starting now.

PM: They say no two zebra skins are exactly alike. It's like human fingerprints...


JL: Oh no!

NP: Josie challenged.

CN: Oh you were going for like and alike, weren't you.

JL: Yeah.

CN: You silly little filly!

NP: Paul incorrect challenge, 31 seconds, crossing a zebra with you starting now.

PM: When I was about 11 years old, we went to Windsor Safari Park and I saw a zebra crossing the road in front of the coach that we were on. And I was a little bit shy, but I whispered "look everybody, there is a zebra crossing the road", and it was. And ...


PM: I said the road twice.

NP: Josie challenged.

JL: He said the road twice.

NP: Road twice. So Josie you got in on the subject, crossing a zebra, 18 seconds starting now.

JL: The reasons zebras are ugly and angry animals is because they think of themselves that way. They actually want to be horses, but they've got stripes and they just class themselves as lion fodder. They want to run at Ascot and be...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Um there was several theys.

NP: There were several theys yes. I think you thought it was rubbish so you interrupt.

PM: No no no...

JL: Nicholas!

PM: No no no...

JL: I can't believe with what you've heard tonight that that particular statement was rubbish!

NP: But rubbish was fantasy and fantasy is rubbish. It's interchangeable and it's enjoyable. But Paul, correct challenge, you have four seconds on crossing a zebra starting now.

PM: Zebras secretly want to be bus drivers. That's what makes them...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now equal in the lead with Chris Neill, and Charles is in second place and then Josie Lawrence. Charles we'd like you to begin the next round, the subject is morris dancers. Tell us something about morris dancers in this game starting now.

CC: Now I don't want to upset morris dancers. But if you go down to Devon in the middle of June and see these people in these extraordinary clothes with bells round their knees and funny hats on and sticks going whack, crash, bonk, against each other, it's quite sad rather. But it's probably not, if you love morris dancing. And I'm a country boy, how super it is to go to a fete and watch these pretty damsels tottering about going hey-yong! Poo-pah!


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: You're in Hong Kong there, that's got nothing to do with morris dancers. They don't go hon-po-tai-ee. You're mixing it up.

NP: They do say some strange and outrageous things.

PM: Oh yes.

NP: I won't confirm it was poo-pah or yah-yah, but it was something very similar.

PM: Ah.

NP: So I give you the benefit of the doubt Charles...

PM: Yeah.

NP: You've still got the subject, you have 25 seconds, morris dancers starting now.

CC: There's hardly anything in this country more British than watching morris dancing at a fair in the summer. Possibly in...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I think we had summer before.

NP: Yes you did and...

PM: Went down to Devon in summer. Cornwall in summer and all that business. Summer, summer, we had summer before, that's what I'm referring to.

CC: If you show some confidence you'll get the point.

PM: Yeah.

NP: Correct challenge Paul, right, and you have 18 seconds for morris dancers starting now.

PM: Basically it's a fertility rite although if you've ever scre... oh no, I can't say that!


PM: I stopped myself there! I just kept this show on the air!

NP: Josie...

PM: It wasn't my first choice of word either.

NP: You challenged before he destroyed...

JL: He was about to deviate in a rude fashion.

NP: That's right. So he hesitated in other words.

JL: Yes.

NP: Right so you have morris dancers Josie and you have 14 seconds starting now.

JL: I actually find morris dancing quite sexy in that pagan way...


NP: Oh Josie challenged. You just challenged

JL: I didn't!

CN: She didn't! I did.

NP: Well Chris you...

CN: Well I can't quite remember now but I think deviation, morris dancing really isn't sexy.

JL: It is sexy! Because I've done it. I went to Dartington College of Arts and took part in folk study courses and let me tell you...

CN: Sexy?

JL: ... it was sexy.

CN: Really?

JL: Well it's individual isn't it.

NP: There is a sexual element to it. Because there's certain sort of fertility rites...

PM: Yeah exactly.

CN: That's what Paul was saying, yeah.

JL: Yes.

NP: So...

PM: And if you own those fertility rites, you can make a fortune.

NP: So an incorrect challenge...

CN: Oh fair enough!

NP: Josie another point to you, 11 seconds, morris dancers starting now.

JL: It's probably the only time in my life when I've actually believed a bloke when he said "pull the other one, it's got bells on!" I remember going down to Padsoe once and seeing the sword dancers...


NP: I've just heard we are moving into the final round. Paul it's back with you to begin, the subject is my kitchen. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PM: My kitchen is a wonderful testament to the god of food. I have a microwave oven, fridge freezer, electric toaster, a kettle, and everything else you need including saucepans, bowls, knives, forks, spoons, both metal and wooden. And when I find I have guests coming round I say you must enjoy the foods that I bring you from my magnificent table. And they sit and I suddenly produce a fish finger on a plate and I offer it to them and they say "these great culinary delights are beyond our previous imagination. Where does such ambrosia come from?" Aye it, it comes from Sainsbury's...


NP: Charles.

PM: I said come and comes from.

CC: It was aye it it, it was a hesitation. It was a fluff.

NP: Oh it was a lovely lovely little fluff. He was going...

CF: It was a lovely little fluff.

NP: I'm not going to, I'm not going to allow it.

JL: No.

NP: Because it was too, it was too good and wonderful for... 10 seconds, that's all to go on my kitchen starting now.

PM: Frozen yoghurt on sticks. Brown bread toasted golden. And then of course the piece de resistance which unfortunately isn't particularly... ow!


NP: Ah so Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Let me tell you that Josie Lawrence finished up in fourth place, but it's the contribution.

JL: Absolutely. It's, it's the winning that matters, not the taking part.

NP: Charles Collingwood was in third place. Chris was in second place. And Chris you were only two points behind our winner who is Paul Merton so congratulations Paul. Well we do hope you enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains to say thank you to these four fine players of the game, Paul Merton, Charles Collingwood, Josie Lawrence and Chris Neill. I thank Sarah Sharpe, who has helped me with the score, blown her whistle so delicately after the 60 seconds elapsed. We thank our producer Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing and unusual game. And we are grateful to this lovely audience here at the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. So from our audience and from me, Nicholas Parsons, and this fine team of players here, good-bye, thank you for tuning in and be with us the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!