NOTE: Terry Wogan's final appearance.

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 also to welcome to the programme four dynamic, exciting players of this game. And they are, seated on my right Paul Merton and Julian Clary. And seated on my left, Graham Norton, and joining us, Terry Wogan. Will you please welcome all four of them! And as usual 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. Beside me sits Sarah Sharpe, she is going to help me with the score, she is going to blow a whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And Graham we'd like you to begin the show.


NP: We have here something that applies to you, and applies to others I am sure, national treasures. Would you talk on national treasures starting now.

GN: As I look around this wonderful dais, it is as if I have wandered into the National Treasures Department of Ikea. All a little cut price and flat pack, but national treasures nonetheless. I turn to Sir Terry Wogan who like myself was driven out of Ireland along with the snakes and the Polish people. He came here and wormed his way into the hearts and affections of this great nation...


NP: Terry challenged.

TERRY WOGAN: I just find that offensive!

GN: I was being nice!

TW: Not to the Poles!

NP: I thought it was very complimentary, actually.

TW: Yeah fine.

NP: So there's an incorrect challenge Graham...

GN: Yeah.

NP: You have a point for that.

TW: A point for you, I thought I'd give you a point, you did so badly the last time.

GN: Thank you, I'm not proud, I'll take 'em.

NP: Terry Wogan was then referring to the fact that these four have played in another show altogether which wasn't of course with this audience, it was some time ago. Graham, an incorrect challenge, you have a point for that and you have national treasures as the subject and you have 32 seconds starting now.

GN: The greatest national treasure here today must of course be the whistle. The Just A Minute instrument that blows so loudly and forcefully at the end of 60 seconds. Sarah is...


NP: Terry challenged.

TW: Ah excessive pausing, I think.

NP: I didn't hear what you said Terry.

GN: Mister Kettle, I have a phone call!

NP: So what's...

TW: I'm afraid, I'm afraid his chests have come back.

NP: So what is the challenge, dear boy?

TW: The challenge was, I've forgotten now, it's so... would that I could remember! Why not give him another point?

NP: He'll get another point if you can't remember Terry, yes.

TW: Yes.

NP: I must say this, you do play it in a way that no-one else has ever played it before.

TW: That's because I haven't the smallest idea what is going on!

NP: Graham you have another point and you have 17 seconds...

TW: See!

NP: ... and national treasures starting now.

GN: National treasures are...


NP: Julian challenged.

JULIAN CLARY: Well he messed up the words so we'll call it deviation.

GN: Yes.

JC: You'd tired of the subject.

NP: Right, 15 seconds are available Julian, a point to you and you take over national treasures starting now.

JC: I once climbed over a wall at the back of Buckingham Palace and found myself in the Queen's drawing room. Talk about national treasures there. On every surface and on the mantelpiece were bibelots and paintings and...


NP: Paul challenged.

PAUL MERTON: There was quite a bit of repetition in there.

NP: Repetition of or or or.

PM: Yes.

NP: And hesitation.

PM: Yes.

NP: So Paul you cleverly got in with one second to go and you have national treasures starting now.

PM: They should be buried at the bottom of the garden!


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. It was Paul Merton so he is in the lead at the end of the round. And Julian Clary we'd like you to begin the next round, going on tour. I know you've been touring recently but give us some of your inside information, you have 60 seconds to do it starting now.

JC: I love going on tour! Bertha the lesbian picks me up from my house at about 10 o'clock in the morning and we set off on the open road, ending up in Ludlow or Birmingham or Cardiff. Then we set up the stage, I pop on a bit of makeup, just a touch around my face. When the time comes I mince on and entertain the people. They all clap. And the dear friend that I mentioned earlier whose name begins with B then tosses me into the back of the car and...


PM: I thought you said she was a lesbian? That seems to be rather cruel!

JC: She tosses me into the back of the car. What's wrong with that?

PM: Oh I'm sorry Julian, for a moment I thought you were guilty of a double entendre. I don't know what I was thinking of!

NP: Paul what is your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

PM: Well within the rules, none, none.

JC: I'd like an apology.

NP: So Julian has...

PM: You'd like an apology!

NP: You don't need an apology Julian, you've got a point.

JC: I thought I'd try.

NP: And you've got the subject, 29 seconds, going on tour starting now.

JC: I also went to New Zealand...


NP: Paul challenged then.

PM: I'm sorry!

JC: Accepted!

NP: Julian, 28 seconds, going on tour starting now.

JC: I also toured Australia and New Zealand, and do you know...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of New Zealand.

JC: Yes but I started the sentence before and he interrupted with his...

NP: I know...

GN: I don't care.

NP: But if you mentioned it, if you mentioned it before, you can't mention it again.

GN: What's it to me?

JC: It's your fault then!

PM: I don't know...


NP: Paul you challenged.

PM: I'm sorry!

NP: Graham that was a correct challenge, you have a point for that, going on tour, 25 seconds starting now.

GN: My favourite sort of tour to go on would be a wine tour. Oh delicious, tasting in each vineyard as you travel from one to another. Sometimes the places...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Not quite.

GN: No.

PM: Okay.

NP: He was slowing down.

PM: He was slowing down, wasn't he.

GN: I was getting there.

NP: Dragging it out a bit.

GN: I could see it just around the corner!

NP: So I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, going on tour, 11 seconds starting now.

TW: It's not him speaking, no no...

NP: Starting now!

GN: Going on tour is...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Well he was late wasn't he, hesitation.

NP: He was late but he still started after I said now. He didn't come in originally, but he did come in on the second time, on the now.

JC: Well I was...

NP: No, once I said now, he was in there. We seem to be having the most suggestive show I have ever done on the radio! Graham, 10 seconds, going on tour starting now.

GN: Later this year I am going on tour with my mother, around Alaska. She's already bought a rather expensive shrug for the chilly evenings. I expect...


NP: So Graham Norton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. He's taken the lead, ahead of Julian Clary and Paul Merton who are equal in second place. Terry is bringing up the rear and Terry we would like you to begin the next round.

TW: Thank God!

NP: We've already heard from you.

TW: Oh.

NP: We'd like you to talk...

TW: It's so long ago, I'd forgotten!

NP: The subject is a figure of speech starting now.

TW: Figures of speech are fairly familiar to an educated group such as I see before me here, and indeed yourself. Figures of speech can be litotes, they can be onomatopoeia, they can be all...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Repetition of they can be.

NP: They can be yes, they can be.

TW: Sorry Nick.

NP: That's all right. No, don't apologise, we love having you on the show. Julian you have the subject of figure of speech, 41 seconds starting now.

JC: If I said there was light at the end of the tunnel, I wouldn't mean...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Ah hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation yes Paul, another point to you, 36 seconds available, a figure of speech starting now.

PM: A stitch in time saves nine. This advice was given to a mother of eight who wanted to extain... oh!


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Some form of hesitation, I feel.

NP: I think it was. Were you trying to repeat one of Max Miller's jokes? One of his jokes was a woman of eight sat up late, sewing her husband's pyjamas. A stitch in time saves nine.

PM: That was it.

NP: Correct challenge to you Graham, a figure of speech, 30 seconds starting now.

GN: Bless his cotton socks is a figure of speech and it relates back to a bishop in Calcutta who gave said garments to chilly people in the streets. And oddly his name was the thing that the other... items...


GN: It was never going to be terribly clear, that story!

TW: I, I identified that as hesitation.

NP: Yes indeed it was Terry, correct challenge, so you have the subject...

GN: Isn't that interesting? He was Bishop Cotton.

PM: Is that where it comes from? Oh.

GN: Bishop Cotton.

NP: Really? Oh right. Thank you.

GN: So the socks mightn't have been cotton at all.

NP: No...

GN: They were just Bishop Cotton's socks. They could have been wool.

PM: Yeah.

GN: Acrylic, anything.

NP: It doesn't really matter. Terry...

GN: It's a feast for the mind, isn't it.

NP: Terry, the subject is a figure of speech, you have 11 seconds starting now.

TW: The subject of figure of speech which we have been listening to here seem to be phrases. These are not figures of speech. These are mere repetition...


NP: Well Terry Wogan was then speaking when the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's movewd forward, he's still in fourth place, but he's moved forward. But he's only just behind Julian Clary and Paul Merton and Graham Norton in that ascending order. Paul we are with you to begin, the subject is my disastrous trip to the zoo. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PM: It was only when I discovered two mating penguins in the airing cupboard that I recalled my disastrous trip to the zoo that happened four days before. It seemed like a nice family outing, mother, father, my sister, all decided to go to the zoological gardens to enquire into the health of various beasts that were there imprisoned. And as I walked through the thoroughfare I saw giraffes to my left and on my right there were the elephants. And I thought to myself is there any way these two species can be brought together in harmony, to show us, the human being, the way of the world that somehow we can live in peace or harmony...


PM: This is too important for this programme! Sorry I was well away there, what happened?

NP: Julian you challenged.

JC: Repetition of live.

NP: Yes.

PM: Oh well yes.

NP: You did have the live before yes.

PM: Yes.

NP: Julian has a correct challenge, he gets a point and he has my disastrous trip to the zoo, 19 seconds starting now.

JC: I once took a three year old chile, child...


PM: Oh dear, it's catching, isn't it! Hesitation.

NP: Yes you've got it back again Paul so you've got 16 seconds, my disastrous trip to the zoo starting now.

PM: I was given the keys and told to lock up. I had no idea that polar bears would find the Tottenham Court Road so attractive after midnight. You would have seen the reports on News At Ten. Antelopes gently walking down Oxford Street, perusing the show shops and saying to the antelopes...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now equal in the lead with Graham Norton. Julian is just behind them and then Terry Wogan. And Graham we'd like you to begin the next round. Being framed, you can take it in any way you like, being framed, I don't know whether you ever have been framed. I don't know if you have ever been in a picture or something.

GN: No I don't think so.

NP: Right...

TW: Oh don't go on!

NP: Sixty seconds starting now.

GN: Being framed must be awful. Knowing you are innocent and yet unable to prove it. I remember an episode of Midsomer Murders once where a lady who worked in the many tearooms in that area...


NP: Terry challenged.

TW: I thought hesitation, over many there, I thought.

GN: I just stressed it a little! Because there are many many tearooms in the Midsomer area. Have you watched the programme?

TW: Everybody knows that!

GN: They are the main consumer of doilies!

NP: Terry I think that was a very sharp challenge. I think I have to give Graham the benefit of the doubt.

GN: I think you do.

NP: It was his own...

TW: I'm terribly sorry.

GN: What, you're all right.

NP: ... his own figure of speech actually, the way he speaks. And he's...


TW: Sorry Graham!

NP: Forty-seven seconds Graham, being framed starting now.

GN: Being framed is something you do to pictures or photographs if you want to arrange them attractively on a wall. Sometimes you'll put a large one in the middle and then smaller ones to the left...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Oh I think it was incorrect. I was going to say repetition.

NP: Of what?

JC: Oh I was hoping you wouldn't ask! What it was, what it was was one and then it was ones so I stand corrected.

NP: It was one and then ones.

GN: Okay.

NP: Yes it wasn't repetition.

GN: How many seconds are left now Nicholas?

NP: You've still got 34 seconds.

GN: Thirty-four of them! Not even halfway!

NP: Well you...

TW: Are you glad that's over?

NP: But you started with the subject, you see. And you've still got it, being framed, starting now.

GN: Being framed is a great thing to do if you have old newspapers perhaps in your house, at the back of that drawer. You haven't seen them in years and then you retrieve them. Fascinating stories are contained within and you think to yourself, ah, to the framers I shall go! They are being framed, you can collect them in a fortnight. Why so long? It's a big thing they explained. Glass will be required and also timber, angular bits of wood to surround it...


NP: So Graham Norton was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And that hasn't happened for a time, he started with the subject and though he was interrupted twice, he finished with the subject.

GN: And I'm sweating!

NP: You got all the points in that round Graham and you're now in the lead ahead of all the others. Julian we'd like you to begin the next round, oh innuendo. I don't know whether you know very much about that subject but 60 seconds are available, start now.

JC: Where would the world be without innuendo? Or indeed my career? I used to begin my act by walking on stage and saying "there's nothing I like more than a warm hand upon my entrance". This warmed the audience up and get them in the mood for more because indeed there is a lot of stuff where that came from, which will be forthcoming should you purchase a ticket to my show. Innuendoes in my opinion began in the bordellos of America. They used to sing songs like "I need, I need a little sugar in my..."


NP: Terry challenged.

TW: Hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation yes.

TW: I need.

NP: Well listened Terry.

TW: Yes.

NP: Gosh you're getting the feel of this game now, aren't you. So right you've got a good challenge there and you've got 27 seconds, you tell us something about innuendo starting now.

TW: I know nothing of innuendo, although I rely upon it freely when I am on the radio with stories of Janet and John, tales of simple folk that people misinterpret as having nasty meanings and, I won't repeat the word that you have already been using because I don't know what I am talking about.


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: I am just interrupting to say you can say innuendo again.

PM: Yes.

GN: The subject you can repeat.

TW: It's too late!

NP: I'm sorry Terry...

TW: Now the mood is gone! Sorry love.

NP: No you can repeat the subject on the card as often as you like. Or not as often as you like...

TW: Now you tell me!

NP: Two seconds to go on innuendo starting now.

GN: Innuendo...


NP: Terry challenged.

TW: You told me that too late. I could have gone on for another two seconds!

NP: Graham you have the subject, you have one second, innuendo starting now.

GN: Innuendo.


NP: So Graham Norton was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, with others in the round he has now got a strong lead ahead of the others, Paul Merton, Julian Clary and Terry Wogan in that order. And Terry we would like you to begin the next round. I don't know whether this applies in any way, but try and talk on it, skeletons in my cupboard. There are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TW: There are no skeletons in my cupboard. There are no skeletons in the entire Wogan family. We are well filled out in the Wogans. There are not even any thin people. We do not watch what we eat and so therefore we will never be skinny enough to be skeletons. There are also no scandals in my family. You have never seen me across the tabloids, you have never seen me across the broadsheets, because I keep myself to myself. I do not... ever... ever....


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Best not to repeat myself!

TW: But it's a phrase!

NP: I know but...

TW: It's a phrase!

GN: It's a lovely phrase.

TW: Myself to myself.

GN: Yeah.

NP: Julian a correct challenge, 22 seconds for you, skeletons in my cupboard starting now.

JC: There are skeletons in my cupboard I have to confess. About 20 years ago I was married to a girl called Julie and we lived in Birkenhead and we have got three children. Now I don't talk about this very often because obviously my career is based on the fact that I am a renowned homosexual, a stranger to a woman's intimate parts. But you know I don't mind talking about it now...


NP: Right so Julian Clary was then speaking as the whistle...

TW: And came out!

NP: Yes, more than out! But extra points, but still in second place alongside Paul Merton. And Terry Wogan is following a little, Graham is out in the lead. And Paul we'd like you to begin the next round, close relations. Tell us something about close relations starting now.

PM: You can have close relations with other people other than your family. When I look at Julian Clary, remembers the time when we had close relations. It was some, back in the 1980s I think, towards the end of that decade, when I started writing a television show with him called Sticky Moments. That was enormously successful, thank you for that round of applause. People still remember it as much as they did then. And close relations are very important when you are putting together some kind of project. You have to be able to sit in a room with somebody if they are co-writer. You have to be there across a desk, talking to each other, deciding what is going to be the funniest line. If you are in a position...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: It was repetition of have to.

NP: Yes you have to. Have to, have to.

JC: But I was waiting, but it didn't turn out to be worth the wait.

PM: No.

NP: Julian you have 23 seconds, close relations starting now.

JC: I take close relations to refer to close relatives and I have just spent the weekend with my parents. Not well, unfortunately. My mother is suffering from an ailment known as hot knees. I said "what do you know?" She said "there is heat kind of emanating from between my things". So I reached my hand down and indeed, well, you could toast muffins from it! So I took the dog around the block and this Dalmatian...


NP: Oh Julian, the pictures you paint! But Julian you were speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And you're moving forward, you're catching up on Graham Norton who is still in the lead, and you're just a little way ahead of Paul Merton and Terry Wogan. Graham it is your turn to begin, the subject is the worst book I ever read. Sixty seconds starting now.

GN: The worst book I ever read is an embarrassing and slightly awkward subject to get in this room because it was written by someone on this stage. But I must name and shame them. Yes it was My Life As A Whistle Blower by Sarah. It was one of the dullest tomes it has ever been my misfortune to have to wade through...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Repetition of ever.

NP: Ever, yes.

GN: Ohhhh!

TW: Goodness me!

NP: So, oh wait a minute, it is in the title, the worst book I ever read.

JC: Oh hush my mouth!

GN: Yes!

NP: Well poor Sarah is now blushing like mad! Twenty-nine seconds, an incorrect challenge so Graham, another point to you, the worst book I ever read starting now.

GN: The worst book I ever read, I suppose needs to still be that volume I described earlier. Because if I changed my mind, then I'd come across like a crazy person and I don't want to do that, far from it. In fact I want to prove my sanity at all times. It's necessary usually when driving...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Would you accept deviation?

NP: Why?

JC: Well... he's talking about losing his sanity, I believe, not about the book that he's read.

GN: But it was relevant to the book. In my defence.

NP: Yeah he was talking about this worst book which I got the impression was contained within the book.

GN: Yes.

NP: Yes.

GN: Yes Nicholas.

NP: I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

GN: Yes.

NP: Another point, the worst book I ever read, Graham starting now.

GN: The dullest chapter was of course the one involving the pea falling out and rolling across a carpet...


NP: So we are moving into the final round. So Terry Wogan who's only played the game once before, he is lingering a little in fourth place there. But he's not very far behind Paul Merton who is often out in the lead. And then comes Julian Clary, but out in the lead this week is Graham Norton. As we go into the final round to be started by Julian Clary, the subject is dough. Julian you have 60 seconds on dough starting now.

JC: I used to work in a bakery, in fact I am self-raising man. And of course you knead dough in that particular profession. I would knead it and pull it around and throw it over my shoulder. In fact I had a gift...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Repetition of in fact.

NP: No.

GN: In fact, didn't he... no? Anyone?


GN: Oh, all right! They kept very quiet about it.

NP: Forty-eight seconds Graham on dough starting now.

GN: Dough can also mean money. I'm not sure why currency is referred to as dough. Maybe you do, and if you do, why don't...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of you do.

GN: Yeah.

NP: If you do, you do. Right Paul you've got a correct challenge, you have the subject of dough and 37 seconds starting now.

PM: In one of Charlie Chaplin's early Keystone films, Dough And Dynamite, dough is used as one of the great props of slapstick comedy. Its very nature, being it is stretchy and a bit tenuous, you can stick it to things, makes it ideal to be chucked across the silver screen and hitting some rather verbose, fat individual with a rather large moustache...


NP: Julian challenged.

JC: Repetition of rather.

NP: Yeah there were too many rathers there Paul. Oh, 18 seconds Julian on dough starting now.

JC: When I was a teenager my buns were the talk of Camden town. Even now on special occasions I have been known to pop one in the oven. And 20 minutes later, I pull it out, well, it's done to a turn. If you open a window, the scent carries right down the road and people come from miles around...


NP: Right so Julian Clary was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. But he didn't eclipse our leader, but out in the lead, yes, quite a few poiints in the lead was Graham Norton. So Graham we say you are the winner this week! So you can see how this game shilly-shallies back and forth, because last time we had these four players in one show, Graham finished in fourth place.

GN: Don't go on about it! People might have forgotten! They have moved on!

NP: No it just shows that you are on song today, you were outstanding! Anyway it doesn't really matter. It only remains to say thank you to these fine, humorous, delightful players of the game, Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Terry Wogan and Graham Norton. I thank Sarah Sharpe, who has helped me with the score, blown her whistle so delicately. We thank Tilusha Ghelani who is our producer. And we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. We are grateful to this lovely audience here in the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House fvor cheering us on our way. Their warmth has inspired us, we feel happy, and if you are happy then we hope our listeners have been happy. And from me, Nicholas Parsons, thank you for tuning in, be with us the next time we play Just A Minute!