NOTE: Rick Wakeman's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: 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 show four exciting, talented and clever players of this game. And they are seated on my right, Paul Merton and Shappi Khorsandi. And seated on my left, Gyles Brandreth and seated beside him we welcome someone who has never played the game before. He is very nervous but I am sure he is going to do well, Rick Wakeman. Will you please welcome all four of them! Thank you, as usual I am going to ask them to speak on a subject I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Beside me sits Sarah Sharpe, she is going to help me keep the score, 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 London. And we are going to begin the show with Paul Merton, who better. Paul, oh here is an interesting subject, dear listener. Tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Radio is a wonderful medium, isn't it, dear listener. As I speak to you via this microphone and coming out of your loudspeaker, one could imagine that I was just speaking for you, dear listener. Whether you be having a bath or driving a truck across the... desert somewhere...


NP: Rick challenged.

RICK WAKEMAN: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation. You've got a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject and there are 44 seconds available, dear listener starting now.

RW: Dear listener are the words I used to use when I had my very first radio show in America. The reason I used the words, dear listener, is because I felt, after a short period of time, that I only had one! A man who lived somewhere in Croydon who couldn't hear anyway because I was in the United States of that country that I mentioned before that I daren't mention again because somebody...


PM: Well it was a repetition of the word mention. I mustn't mention so I won't mention.

NP: Yeah.

PM: Sadly.

NP: No, couldn't let that one go so Paul, correct challenge, there are 19 seconds still available, and you got a point of course for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, dear listener starting now.

PM: The British Broadcasting Corporation was founded in 1922. And from that day onwards the.... oh...


PM: I was going to say British again.

NP: I know. Gyles.

PM: Very hard.

GYLES BRANDRETH: Oh hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation yes. You have 11 seconds and you have the subject, dear listener starting now.

GB: Dear listener, you might like to know that for Christmas I received a wonderful book entitled My Life In Comedy, by Nicholas Parsons. It is a born classic, full of limpet prose and wonderful stories...


NP: Sarah I was hoping you weren't going to blow quite so soon and let him go on a bit. I was... thank you for the compliment Gyles. Anyway you were speaking as the whistle went and that means you get an extra point and you're in the lead at the end of the round. Gyles we'd like you to begin the next round. Oh gosh yes, very topical, how bankers could restore their reputation. Have you got any concrete ideas on that subject, if so give them to us. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

GB: How bankers could restore their reputation. I think of two possible scenarioes. One is mass suicide. This could be easily affected by the bankers taking an aeroplane, Ryan Air, to Frankfurt, getting out in fact in Zurich and going to the clinic which specialises in terminating the lives of people who really are no longer wanted on the planet. These are terrible terrible... oh!


NP: Yeah if you are going to make a point, this is what happens.

PM: Repetition of terrible.

NP: Yes when the passion gets there, you repeat.

SHAPPI KHORSANDI: I'm not very quick on this buzzer. I just want to point that put.

NP: Well try darling, let's see if it is working all right.


SK: There we are.

NP: Yes there's a lovely green one come on.

SK: I hesitate when I press the buzzer. That's the problem!

NP: Well let's give you a bonus point because you did manage to press it right. Paul you had a correct challenge, we know what it was, repetition of terrible. And there are 31 seconds, tell us something about how bankers could restore their reputation starting now.

PM: Bankers could restore their reputation by buying copies of Nicholas Parsons' autobiography called My Life As A Straight Man In Various Comedy Shows Over The Years. Our esteemed chairman doesn't waste an opportunity to tell us what a wonderful career he has had even though most of it passed many of us by. It is there in black and white...


NP: Gyles, you've challenged.

GB: Deviation in every possible sense!

PM: In every possible sense?

GB: Particularly the last bit about the glories of Nicholas's career passing us by. We've relished every moment!

NP: Gyles a correct challenge, I'd like to give you a bonus point as well actually! And you still have 11 seconds, how bankers...

PM: Hang on a second! Hang on a second!

NP: Yeah?

PM: Have you just decided that you have had a wonderful career? And that's why you've gone against me?

NP: No.

PM: No.

NP: Just because Gyles said I had so I took Gyles's point rather than yours.

PM: Well I just remember whether your famous impartiality for which you're, you've been well known for, for several minutes now, whether you're the right person to judge whether your book is fantastic or not, you see.

NP: I'm not talking about my book.

PM: Oh you're not?

NP: I'm talking about my career.

PM: Oh your career.

NP: Yes.

PM: You had a career as well as writing a book? I withdraw my challenge.

NP: Anyway you got the title wrong.

PM: You what?

NP: The title is called...

PM: Oh here we go!

NP: I did actually dedicate a copy to you.

PM: It's on E-Bay!

NP: And you actually...

PM: And now I owe them money! I don't know how that works out.

NP: And you also very kindly gave an endorsement which is on the front.

PM: It is. I'll say anything when I'm drunk!

RW: I think you should know that I did see Gyles take the book into Oxfam on the way here. I'm not sure how much you got for it.

NP: I think, I think you're picking up the vibes that if you insult the chairman, you're going to do well.

RW: Oh no no, I'm just trying to be honest.

PM: Certainly praising the chairman seems to pay dividends doesn't it.

RW: I went into the shop and I paid a hundred pounds for it!

NP: I don't believe you!

PM: I went into Foyle's Bookshop and bought it and the man behind the counter started weeping and he said "this makes every other book redundant"! Is that worth a bonus point?

NP: Yes give them all a bonus point! Gyles you've got a correct challenge, you get a point for that and you have how bankers could restore their reputation, 11 seconds starting now.

GB: What bankers should do in fact is take up football, because we don't object to Wayne Rooney earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a week. But apparently when bankers do so we are furious...


NP: So Gyles once again was speaking as the whistle went and when that happens he gets an extra point. So he's increased his lead at the end of that round. And Rick Wakeman, we'd like you to begin the next round. Oh, on home ground here, a rock and roll lifestyle. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

RW: Looking back at old press cuttings from the 60s and 70s, I realise that I truly did have an extreme rock and roll lifestyle. The tragedy is I can't remember it! I have to look at the things that were written in The Daily Express, The Mail, The Mirror...


SK: I don't think it counts, sorry. It's Shappi Khorsandi.

NP: Yes.

SK: Is it, he said the a lot, but I feel bad now because that's the name of the newspapers. You can't not say the.

NP: Well darling, we don't bother to...

SK: I nit-pick.

NP: ... challenge on the.

SK: I nit-picked at someone who is new to the game! I'm a monster! I have to live with myself now!

NP: No you didn't. It wasn't an incorrect challenge but it was a challenge we don't usually indulge in.

SK: Yes I understand that.

NP: If they say the or the two or three times. But if we went on saying the the the all the way through. So ah give her one point for a good attempt. And you have a point because you were interrupted...

SK: Nicholas, I love you and your book!

NP: Forty seconds available, a rock and roll lifestyle, still with you Rick starting now.

RW: I read in one magazine that I used to have wild orgy parties at my house. Again I can't recall any of them, except that we used to play a lot of darts and snooker on my snooker table...


NP: Gyles challenged yes.

GB: Repetition of snooker.

NP: Yes, where else could you play your snooker except a snooker table. Oh I suppose you could, if you're drunk, do it anywhere. Gyles you've got 26 seconds and you tell us something about your... well, not your, but a rock and roll, a rock and roll lifestyle starting now.

GB: Oh Nicholas, how little you know! My rock and roll lifestyle is incredible! All right, it is only a white van and I have just one driver. But I did meet a Latvian girl who was ready to come on board for a few minutes to give me a bit of a rubdown. So I felt that was a start. And then I have been experimenting with drugs...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well, so far it's not a rock and roll lifestyle, is it? Some Latvian woman in the back of a van.

NP: No.

GB: Rick told me that's how he began and I was just trying to work my way up, if you will pardon the expression.

RW: You can't work your way up a Latvian girl in a van. You haven't got the head room so...

NP: I agree with you...

PM: Do you?

NP: Yes deviation. I mean that's hardly rock and roll, that. If it is, I'm rather sorry for you Gyles, I mean...

GB: It's my pathetic rock and roll lifestyle but it is my rock and roll lifestyle.

NP: Well it's not what people consider a rock and roll lifestyle, just to have a Latvian girl in the back of a...

PM: It's not why Bruce Springsteen picked up the guitar, is it? Because he wanted to have an affair with a Latvian woman in the back of a white van?

GB: Look, at my age I am very grateful!

PM: If you could get into the van, you'd be grateful, never mind what happened after that!

NP: Paul I agree with you, you had a correct challenge, seven seconds are still available, you tell us something about a rock and roll lifestyle starting now.

PM: (in Liverpool accent) Well it was back in the Cavern in 1961 and I was playing with the rest of the boys and...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: I'm not sure what the challenge is but that's not your real voice. I thought that might be deviation from yourself.

PM: Yeah.

NP: It is deviation from his normal voice.

PM: Yes it is yeah.

NP: But there's nothing in the rules which says you can't use a different voice if you're talking on the subject, you see.

SK: Fair enough.

NP: Paul gets a point for being interrupted, a rock and roll lifestyle, four seconds Paul starting now.

PM: I remember I was in one of the very first supergroups, Emerson, Lake, Palmer and Merton.


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. He's now equal with Gyles Brandreth in the lead and they are three points ahead of Rick Wakeman and Shappi Khorsandi, equal in second place. Shappi we'd like you to start the next round and the subject is my best impression. Can you tell us something about my best impression, 60 seconds starting now.

SK: My best impression is probably of Margaret Thatcher when I was seven years old. I used to do her at parents' dinner parties where they would drag me out of bed and say "for God's sake, come and enter..." Enter the guests? Come and entertain the guests! (laughs)


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: A little hesitation followed by a repetition of the phrase, enter, enter, enter the guests.

SK: And also I deviated from my moral code.

NP: No I think you were so entertained with what you said, you dried yourself up! I mean...

SK: Did I? I think it was more like I've got asthma and I haven't got my inhaler with me.

NP: Do your Margaret Thatcher for us for a moment, come on!

SK: No, the thing is about my Margaret Thatcher impersonation, it was really funny when I was seven. At 37, (in bad Thatcher voice) not quite so. (normal voice) Exactly you see, that just died!

NP: Correct challenge, my best impression, 43 seconds starting now.

GB: My best impression, let me demonstrate and you may be the judges of this (Kenneth Williams voice) Oh now, I'm attempting to do, oh now (Derek Nimmo voice) and now I'm attempting to do somebody quite different. (normal voice) But the earth...


NP: The reason the audience laughed then listeners is that I was so overcome with his, his foul impersonations that I spilled my water on the table. Water... Shappi you challenged though?

SK: Yes I felt that Gyles was attempting twice.

GB: Correct, repetition of attempting.

SK: Yes.

NP: Yes because you see, you gave two impressions. It wasn't your best impression, you never established which one was.

GB: No.

NP: So...

PM: Can you give us a clue as to who those people were?

GB: If I get back in the game, possibly.

PM: Okay I'm intrigued.

NP: Shappi you had a correct challenge, so you have the subject, my best impression and you have 33 seconds starting now.

SK: My other best impression is of a Yorkshire terrier and that goes like this. (barks) I would do more but I am not sure if barking would count as repetition. I've always been quite good at impersonating people but...


NP: Rick you challenged.


SK: Thank you! For listeners at home, I was doing the face of a sad Yorkshire terrier!

NP: And Rick, you came in first.

RW: I feel like a rottweiler now! Sorry!

NP: The audience, you haven't endeared yourself to the audience with that challenge, no...

RW: No, I'm sorry.

NP: They wanted her to go. But it doesn't matter, what was your challenge?

RW: It was a sort of hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation yes.

SK: I guess there was yes.

NP: So Rick you have my best impression and you have 21 seconds starting now.

RW: My best impression is of two monkeys in the bath, when one of them goes ooohh oooh oooooh and the...


SK: All I'm saying is that if I didn't bark more than once...

NP: No darling you don't need to say any more, there was a repetition of ooohh.

RW: It's one, it's one word Nick, oooooh oooooh oooooh, one word.

NP: No no, you said oooooh oooooh.

PM: Nicholas, it's not Rick's fault if that's what the monkey said.

NP: No but if the monkey repeated itself, it's repetition because...

PM: Well take the point off the monkey! He's merely a stand-by, he's merely an observer, telling us what happened.

NP: No, I've got to be fair to Shappi, she had a correct challenge. And Rick interrupted her and the audience went oooohhh. So they want Shappi to have it back again and it's justice now...

RW: Fair enough.

NP: It's fair enough.

SK: My heart's in my mouth.

GB: You are on song tonight, can I say. It's like the wisdom of Solomon. I may be chipping in again in a moment, by the way.

NP: I enjoyed that, right, 13 seconds available Shappi on my best impressions starting now.

SK: When I did Margaret, I used to...


NP: Oh no! Oh yes!

SK: Oh yeah I repeated Margaret.

PM: Repetition of Margaret.

NP: Yes you mentioned Margaret before.

SK: You see I thought about that as well. You know I was quiet in the first one, and I thought no, if I don't say Margaret Thatcher but say Margaret, that'll be really clever. But they're two separate words, aren't they.

GB: Also slightly over-familiar, I felt.

SK: I knew you'd think that! I knew the minute I mentioned Margaret Thatcher, you'd start getting, what is she going to say.

NP: He was, she was just trying to get out of repeating something in Just A Minute and failed. So Paul, correct challenge...

SK: I failed! Do you have to use that word?

NP: Ten seconds, my best, my best impression starting now.

PM: In the film Kind Heart and Coronets, Alec Guinness plays the part of a vicar. And he says (in Alec Guinness voice) the view from my west window has all the exuberance of Chaucer, with none of the concomitant crudities of the period...


NP: Rick challenged.

RW: I couldn't understand a word he said! So he could well have repeated hundreds of words because I didn't, I mean (in Alec Guinness voice, mumbles incoherently)

PM: He's doing my act!

NP: Yeah it's a difficult one to judge on, because ah it was a little incoherent but it was a good impression. It was his best impression and ah I do'n't think he actually repeated any words. So Rick I think to be fair, I'll give you a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption. But Paul, it wasn't a correct challenge so ah oooooohhh! You've got only half...

GB: That impression is rather good! I like that!

NP: Pure Frankie Howerd, wasn't it? Oooohh missus! Right, half a second Paul for you on my best impression starting now.

PM: I've come all the way from Great Portland Street!


NP: So Paul Merton speaking again as the whistle went, gained that extra point, has increased his lead a little at the end of the round. And he begins the next round. Paul, the subject, an old fashioned phrase, not so often used these days, but the price of milk. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: It's one of those things that they ask celebrities. Do you know what the price of milk is? Now I don't often go out and buy a price of milk individually, on its own. It is part of a shopping list. But I would hazard a guess the price of milk is possibly round about 45p a pint. If you buy it by the litre of course, the price comes down...


NP: Rick challenged.

RW: No, forget it. He can use the word price can't he, because it's on the, it's in the title.

NP: Yes it's on the card, you can repeat the words on the card...

RW: Yeah.

NP: ... individually or the phrase. Bad luck.

RW: I hang my head in shame.

NP: No no, not at all, no no. What happens is Paul gets another point because he was interrupted and there are 42 seconds for the price of milk Paul starting now.

PM: Look into a cow's eyes when it is being milked. See the pain, the heartbreak, nostalgic for the hills of Devon. And then say to me that the pint of milk you have is worth...


PM: Oh I said pint twice.

NP: Gyles yes.

GB: Two pints.

PM: Two pints yeah, very good.

NP: There were two pints. Actually if you look into a cow's eyes as it is being milked...

PM: Yeah.

NP: ... it's got great joy and satisfaction.

PM: Done a lot of it have you?

NP: Not much. But I've been on farms enough to see they are relieved, they're happy.

PM: Are they?

NP: To get rid of the weight and ah...

PM: Are you sure they're not just thrilled to see you?

GB: Nicholas's book is a favourite down at the farm!

NP: Gyles...

PM: There might be bovine Gyles's, adore you on the farm.

NP: Now come on, let's get on with the show. Thirty seconds Gyles, you had a correct challenge, the price of milk starting now.

GB: The price of milk, who cares? It is a killer! Rich in cholesterol, fat, revolting to look at and indeed, consider whence it has come. Sloshing about initially in a bucket, the idea is revolting. To consume this...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: I think he said revolting twice.

GB: In another game, I said revolting.

SK: In another conversation maybe...

NP: It's complete deviation, isn't it. I mean it is the staff of life in many ways. I mean babies always have milk...

GB: You may disagree. You may be a milkaholic. I am not, I am against milk.

NP: I don't like milk but I will defend the fact that everybody drinks milk.

GB: Not everybody does drink milk. Some of us don't because of the price of milk. I was just getting to that point.

NP: Babies are, babies are fed on milk alone when they are very small.

GB: It's a rubbish book, ladies and gentlemen! Rubbish book!

RW: If you don't like milk, Nicholas, why do you look in cow's eyes?

NP: Because I'm on the farm and I'm looking at them, I'm interested. I'm interested in everything. And there's a cow being milked and he's so passive and he thinks, oh that's so nice...

RW: Sorry, he?

NP: Right, where were we?

PM: We were talking about you looking into a cow's eyes with love.

NP: No, who challenged...

GB: It was an invalid challenge.

NP: On you yes.

GB: And I should be given the subject again.

NP: No no no, you were challenged and I disagreed with what you said. Who challenged? Was it Shappi?

SK: It was me, it was me.

NP: It was you, I agree with you. Deviation, right darling, you've got the subject, don't worry.

SK: All right.

NP: The price of milk...

GB: Milk is all you're on now Nicholas, face it!

NP: When we were, when I was at boarding school, if you were put in the sanatorium and just fed on bread and milk. She was, she was an absolute harridan, the matron of my old... I was about to use another word but it was...

RW: You nearly said cow, didn't you.

NP: No. It was worse than that. Right she was a bitch! There we are!

SK: He never said it!

NP: So Shappi we give you that one, correct challenge, the price of milk, 12 seconds starting now.

SK: The price of milk is not to be confused with the price of fish which is what people say when they want to say that's not got anything to do...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Repetition of say.

NP: Yes you had say twice, my darling.

SK: I did.

NP: So you've got it back Gyles, you needn't look so piqued about it, the fact that you lost it before. But you don't usually lose it, six seconds are available, the price of milk Gyles starting now.

GB: Politicians are frequently asked what is the price of milk, in the hope of catching them out as being ignorami and not familiar...


NP: Right so Gyles Brandreth was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that all important extra point. He's now back equal in the lead with Paul Merton and Shappi Khorsandi and Rick Wakeman are still equal in second place, following them a few points behind. Rick Wakeman will you begin the next round, through my telescope. You tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

RW: On my 16th birthday my parents bought me a telescope which I took to my bedroom and pointed out the window at the house opposite, where I knew a very pretty young lady would be there in the evening getting ready for bed. I looked through and to my horror, discovered she wore the same underwear as me. This came as such a shock because I thought I was the only person with a red... something...


NP: So Gyles you were first to challenge.

GB: Well there was hesitation at the end of what was frankly 30 seconds of pure deviation! The man is a pervert! His parents give him this wonderful instrument and what does he do! Oh I'm angry!

PM: He sticks it out the window!

GB: Exactly! This is the rock and roll lifestyle, is it? Oh dearie me! Give me the back end of a cow any time!

NP: Gyles, 25 seconds on through my telescope starting now.

GB: As the saying goes, people who live in glass houses should undress in the basement. In order to involve the prying toms across the road...


PM: I dropped off there. What was the, what was that word in the middle of all there? Sort of like a woahyow? I mean so much of it is so similar, that after a while you just listen to it going out on the radio! I mean...

NP: It was the prying toms, he said.

PM: Prying toms?

NP: Yes.

PM: Oh I didn't hear that, you're nearer than I am.

NP: I know.

SK: Isn't it peeping toms.

GB: Yes but I was coming on to peeping, didn't want to repeat it.

PM: Yes.

SK: I understand.

NP: Another point to you Gyles, through my telescope and 16 seconds starting now.

GB: Through my telescope I love to look up at the Milky Way to see that glorious chocolate in the stars. There it is, alongside my Mars. Pluto, a dog, is up there, and then the belt Orion, like on a dolphin's back, filling the heavens with joy...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well he, about the belt, he referred to the belt, but then he did say Orion's belt so sorry yeah.

NP: Incorrect challenge, through my telescope still with you Gyles and only one second to go, starting now.

GB: Patrick Moore is one of the...


NP: So Gyles Brandreth was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. So as we move into the last round, Gyles Brandreth is in the lead and he is three or four ahead of Rick Wakeman who is one ahead of Paul Merton and he is four or five ahead of Shappi Khorsandi. And Paul we are back with you to begin, the subject is page three. Tell us something about page three, that didn't go down very well with the audience, they're obviously a much more cultural lot. Sixty seconds starting now.

PM: Quite often, page three in a book is where you put the author's name. And if you are looking to buy some books this year, I can recommend none more than Nicholas Parsons' guide to the British countryside. His chapter on cows is absolutely astonishing. Bovine love, it's called at one stage, and what he does is he approaches the udders on this particular animal. From behind, he whispers in their ear and says "would you like to be milked..."


PM: Who buzzed?

NP: Rick why did you challenge?

RW: Physically impossible! If you approach from behind, whisper in the ear?

PM: Yeah! You don't stop, you approach from behind and whisper in the ear.

RW: Oh you carry on round?

PM: You keep going.

RW: Oh I beg your pardon.

PM: It's a new thing I've invented! Called walking! You just keep going!

RW: Oh that's all right.

PM: Everybody's doing it.

RW: I haven't read the book, you see, I do apologise.

PM: You should see the line drawings!

NP: No, it's quite logical what he is saying. So it's an incorrect challenge, Paul, 29 seconds on page three starting now.

PM: As Oscar Wilde nearly said, the love that dare not moo it's name! Heifers are the most beautiful of creatures. When you see their four legs walking towards you and a little glint in their eye, you think to yourself, I'm in with a chance tonight! And if you're wearing a mask which looks like the chairman of this marvellous...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: We've come so far from page three. So far! I know we've been around the cow, we've been up the udders, we've virtually been to Orion and back. But page three, we lost a long time ago.

PM: To be honest, I'd completely forgotten that was the subject!

NP: And to be honest Paul, we didn't mind.

PM: No.

NP: So we have gone a long way from page three. So Gyles I have to give it to you. I would have liked Paul to carry on. But to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute, you have a correct challenge, you have 11 seconds, page three starting now.

GB: This subject may have been chosen because recently marked the 40th anniversary of the page three girl in one of our more popular and lurid newspapers. Photographs in the early days taken by a friend of mine, Beverley Goodway...


NP: Well what a sombre way to bring the show to an end! But So Shappi did very well because she does contribute greatly, and she is very attractive as well. But she did finish in fourth place, very strong. But in, well actually she is in third place because equal in second place are Rick Wakeman and Paul Merton. But out in the lead just ahead of them was Gyles Brandreth, so we say Gyles this week you are our winner! So we do hope you have enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine and exciting and pleasurable players of the game, Paul Merton, Shappi Khorsandi, Rick Wakeman and Gyles Brandreth. I thank Sarah Sharpe who has helped me with the score, blown her whistle so delicately. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. We are grateful to our producer Tilusha Ghelani. And we are grateful to this lovely audience here, in the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House, for cheering us on our way. From them, from me, Nicholas Parsons, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!