starring TONY HAWKS, GYLES BRANDRETH, PAM AYRES and MILES JUPP, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 5 September 2011)

NOTE: Miles Jupp's debut.

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 exciting, dynamic, diverse and individual, humorous performers. And they are, seated on my right, Tony Hawks and Pam Ayres. And seated on my left, Gyles Brandreth and Miles Jupp. Please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Sarah Sharpe, and she is going to help me with 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 Garrick Theatre in the wonderful cathedral town of Lichfield. And we are part of the 30th anniversary of the Lichfield Festival.


NP: So let's start.... yes! Gyles we'll start with you and a nice topical one to begin with, Doctor Johnson. Tell us something about him in this game starting now.

GYLES BRANDRETH: I'm not at all surprised, Nicholas, that you have chosen Doctor Johnson to begin with today. Because this programme is coming from the beautiful city of Lichfield, from which Doctor Johnson hailed, as one of this part of the world's three greatest sons. The other being David Garrick, after whom this theatre is named. And Sir Herold Pisspot, the chemist, who ticked the not wanting publicity box, and therefore is less well-known than the former two. Doctor Johnson of course is remembered as the great lexicographer, born around the corner from here in the market square. A wee lad with ticks and blemishes and the scothula when he was a child, taken to London to be blessed by Queen Anne herself. These maladies continued throughout her existence and he became deeply depressed. People are laughing at this but in his day it was a tragedy. We know about it of course because it was all...


NP: Where we are, someone's challenged. Tony.

TONY HAWKS: Repetition of of course.

NP: Of course, you said of course before.

GB: Oh.

NP: You went for 50 seconds and this is the heartlessness of this game. The unfairness, but you'll get get it back again shortly. Ten seconds Tony on...


NP: What did I say?

TH: You rather maligned me, I felt. He'll get it back again shortly? I can do, you watch, I can probably do seven of those 10 seconds.

NP: I didn't see it that way.

TH: Fair enough!

NP: I was trying to encourage Gyles not to get depressed and play to the audience, which he can't resist doing. Right, 10 seconds Tony, Doctor Johnson starting now.

TH: Doctor Johnson is not to be mixed up with Teddy Johnson who obviously had the Eurovision hit many years ago. He is a lexicographer...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Tony Hawks and he has got two at the end of the round. And the unfairness of Just A Minute is that Gyles did all the hard work for 50 seconds and gets nothing! Miles will you take the next subject for us, oh a lovely one, French toast. Can you tell us about French toast in this game starting now.

MILES JUPP: French toast is neither French, nor particularly toast-like. It is in fact enjoyed by the Spanish people or those from the Iberian territories or people of a Latinate nature. You can make French toast by putting bread in a frying pan. You can't make it in a toast...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of make.

NP: You were making it too much.

MJ: Oh.

NP: You can't make it, and you got in this time with 42 seconds Tony, on French toast starting now.

TH: (speaks French) is an example of a French toast...


NP: They enjoyed... Gyles why have you challenged.

GB: If that's French, I'm a Dutchman. (speaks French) That is what he meant to say but I don't know what came out!

NP: Gyles, I'll tell you what we'll do. We did enjoy your interruption.

GB: Thank you.

NP: We'll give you a bonus point for that, but it wasn't a correct challenge so Tony has a point for being interrupted, you get a bonus point, and there are 36 seconds available, French toast, still with you Tony starting now.

TH: Many years ago people had a lot of old bread lying around. They thought what can we do with this? Stick it in a frying pan, whack an egg on top, serve it up, they won't know the difference. They're French...


NP: Pam challenged.

PAM AYRES: I don't think that is French toast, I think that is egg on toast.

NP: Pam I would inclined to agree with you. I mean, your culinary skills are more superior to mine, I know that's right. So you now have the subject and you have 22 seconds available, French toast starting now.

PA: For French toast to be the true material, the egg needs to be agitated with a fork, whisk or similar instrument so that all stringy presences are amalgamated with the rest of the um, the uh...


NP: So Gyles.

GB: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was a definite um there but they enjoyed it, I think they were applauding your um actually. So Gyles you were complaining about somebody getting in, you've only got five seconds now, so you've got in there with five seconds to go on French toast starting now.

GB: The Swiss kiss is a French one through which you yodel. But French toast is something much tastier with which there isn't...


NP: So at the end of that round Gyles was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's one behind Tony Hawks who is in the lead, and then comes Pam and then Miles. And Pam we would like you to begin the next round, the subject is my high visibility jacket. You're not wearing one, but talk about it, that subject in this game starting now.

PA: I never pick up my chainsaw, yank the cord and hear it roar into life without first donning my fluorescent yellow, sleeveless, hip-length, economically priced, waterproof, high visibility jacket. Indeed before I touch a jackhammer or ah strim the...


NP: Gyles.

GB: Probably for health and safety reasons, a hesitation was inserted there.

NP: There was a hesitation yes, what a pity! Could she think of any more adjectives for her jacket? But you've got in with 36 seconds on my high visibility jacket, ah Gyles starting now.

GB: In my capacity as the Justin Bieber of the Saga generation, I find that being a fashion icon is essential to me. And consequently I like to be noticed wherever I go, and wear my high visibility jacket at all times. The colour...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Well, he's not wearing it now!

NP: Yes well he was speaking metaphorically, so if you are going to be literal, I give you the benefit of the doubt.

TH: Thank you very much.

NP: And say that you have got the subject now, my high visibility jacket, 22 seconds starting now.

TH: I think the Government passed a law some time ago, they certainly have in France, that you have to put these jackets on if your car breaks down. And they come and decide whether they are high enough visibility or not. And a panel of judges sit, putting up a little desk, and they give you marks out of 10 to see...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: I don't think it's true! I think it's a fabrication.

NP: Yes therefore deviation, therefore I quite agree with you Pam actually that they probably do arrive to see if you have got enough high visibility...

PA: But they wouldn't set up a panel!

NP: I know Tony has a home in, in France but he's going too far. So Pam, correct challenge...

GB: Tony has a home in France and he talks French like that? This is almost...

TH: I shall get you back after the show! Not during!

NP: Four seconds you got in with Pam, on my high visibility jacket starting now.

PA: It is essential to be seen by cars, caravans, horse boxes...


NP: Right so Pam Ayres was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. She is just behind Gyles, and two behind Tony Hawks whos in in the lead. And Tony we'd like you to begin this one, we know you are mad about tennis, but we'd like you to talk on this lovely subject here, grunting female tennis players. There are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TH: I didn't see any grunting female tennis players as I took a stroll around Lichfield...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Well it's a matter of hearing grunting female tennis players, rather than seeing them. You wouldn't know whether they were grunting or not, unless yiu were hearing them rather than seeing them.

TH: I think you, I think you are allowed to use all your senses at the same time. I can't just shut off my sight when I hear something! Oh my goodness, I can hear some people, I'd better not look!

NP: Tony I am supporting you on this one so don't worry, you don't need to demonstrate to the audience what you're saying. Because he's saying that you might hear them, but then he would see them when you hear where the noise came from...

GB: Yep there was no mention of hearing. And I felt you said grunting with such conviction.

NP: Yes.

GB: And I felt, I felt you Nicholas wanted this to be about grunting female tennis players, the noise that they make. And a tour of Lichfield where one is seeing tennis players smacks to me of somebody who may be interested in tennis for the wrong reasons!

NP: He's only been going for six seconds.

GB: If he's only been going for six seconds, that gives him four to go by your reckoning. So let's hear him.

NP: No no no...

TH: I'm confident!

NP: He'll eventually get round to the fact that some of them do grunt, which makes watching them play most distressing to me anyway. That's a personal point of view, I've expressed it, and I haven't got any round of applause because obviously they don't all agree. Tony, incorrect challenge, 54 seconds still available, grunting female tennis players starting now.

TH: In Beacon Park where all four courts were empty, and there was a padlock on the gate on a beautiful summer evening. What's going on, Lichfield Borough Council, that's all I want to know...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Repetition of Lichfield.

NP: Yes.

TH: Oh yes yes yes.


NP: You should actually cheer if he mentions Lichfield a lot! Gyles you've got grunting, you haven't got them, but you've got the subject of grunting female tennis players and there are 44 seconds available starting now.

GB: When I was the chairman of the National Playing Fields Association, I had the privilege of being invited to the Royal box at Wimbledon. This was wasted on me and I spent most of the matches around the back, avoiding Cliff Richard and sitting with Fergie, then Duchess of York, eating scones. But we were excited when we heard the grunting of Venus Williams. We went out there and we heard this extraordinary noise which had...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Did you see it as well?

GB: I'm coming on to that!

NP: So we did enjoy the interruption, I'm sure you haven't got a serious challenge. Have you, by the way?

TH: No I haven't.

NP: Well give him a bonus point because it was such a clever interruption. Gyles you were interrupted, you get a point for that, keep the subject and there are 22 seconds available, grunting female tennis players starting now.

GB: In the golden age of tennis I can tell you that Anne Hayden-Jones did not grunt, when she went to Wimbledon and did so well...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of Wimbledon.

GB: Correct, yes.

NP: He said that before, he was there with Fergie. So Tony... you look tired, Tony.

TH: Yeah but I'm going to stay till the end.

NP: Fifteen seconds area available Tony on grunting female tennis players, starting now.

TH: Any of you who watched Victoria Azarenko at Wimbledon this year would have heard this ohhhhhh noise which was ridiculous. Put here with Sharapova, fortunately that didn't happen, it would have been deafening for miles around. People would have been walking out...


NP: Oh Gyles challenged.

GB: There were three woulds in a row.

NP: I know there were.

GB: Would would would.

NP: But aggressive, isn't it, right...

GB: Well it's true.

NP: All right, you've got the subject.

GB: How many seconds to go?

NP: You've got one second.

GB: Ahhhhh! You see, at least, at least Clement Freud is in heaven tonight, happy! There's someone here trying to follow his example.

NP: Right Gyles, one second on grunting female tennis players starting now.

GB: The music of the grince...



NP: Miles... wait a minute! Miles, just before the whistle, you challenged.

MJ: Well I thought that wasn't a proper sentence.

NP: Miles it is lovely to have you on the show for the first time. It maybe wasn't proper but the audience enjoyed it and I enjoyed it. So we give you a bonus point but nothing else.

MJ: Oh right, well!

NP: But Gyles gets the point for speaking as the whistle went, at the same time as you challenged. And what is the situation now? Miles has got a point! Oh!

MJ: Oh tremendous!

NP: And he is in fourth place just behind Pam Ayres who is a few points behind Gyles Brandreth who is equal in the lead with Tony Hawks. And Gyles it's back with you to begin and the subject is between the lines. Tell us something about that subject, between the lines, in this game starting now.

GB: I was a Member of Parliament until the people spoke, the bastards! And when I was at the House of Commons, I noticed that on the floor...


NP: Miles challenged.

MJ: Repetition of House or Houses.

GB: No.

NP: Ah House of Commons.

MJ: He said House of Commons and then he said House of Parliament.

GB: Nope, no, no, I don't think so.

MJ: Well...

GB: Member of Parliament and then the House of Commons.

MJ: Well ah...


NP: Miles you challenged a second time.

MJ: Yeah he was mumbling. No-one could understand what he was saying! Was it Houses? Was it Member?

NP: I think Miles is going to get all his points in bonuses. Give him a bonus point. But Gyles you were interrupted, you have 54 seconds, between the lines starting now.

GB: There are two thin red lines on the parteir between this particular place. And when speaking in a debate you are not allowed to address the House from between the lines...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Is that a repetition of House?

NP: No, because it was Houses.

GB: I think it is, but it belongs to Miles. He's a psychic! He knew that I was going to repeat it.

NP: So Miles, we are going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you have 43 seconds on between the lines starting now.

MJ: Lines are something that appear on your face as a result of laughter, stress, tears. The older you get the space between the lines on your face becomes smaller. I have lines on my face a result of having too young children, one of whom urinated the other day whilst standing on a climbing frame while refusing to come down. I stood underneath him between the lines of the afore-mentioned liquid as it came tumbling down. Finally managed to crawl up on to the afore-mentioned ah object, I...


NP: Miles you've challenged yourself.

MJ: Yes I could sense a hesitation.

NP: Miles what I have to say is, that was a correct challenge. So you get a point for a correct challenge and you keep the subject and you've only got nine seconds to go.


NP: I don't know why you cheer that. Anyway, there we are, nine seconds, between the lines, starting now.

MJ: Between The Lines was a very popular drama series that appeared on our television screens a few years ago. It starred a wonderful actress by the name of Lesley Vickery...


NP: So Miles who hasn't played the game before, very cleverly got in there, buzzing himself most of the time. And also you were speaking when the whistle went, gained that extra bonus point. And he's moved forward into third place, just ahead of Pam Ayres, and behind the other two. And Pam we'd like you to begin the next round. Oh Pam, the folly of youth. Tell us something about that if you can in this game, not that it applies in any way, my darling. And ah, I mean you may have had a lot of folly in your youth but I was trying to refer, as I keep getting categorised by Tony Hawks, because I convey that he can't keep going, but I'm conveying that you have, you've got youth on your side still. I don't know what I'm talking about but I'm trying to get out of a hole that I dug for myself. I haven't. Sixty seconds for folly of youth Pam, starting now.

PA: My husband closely resembles Spartacus and this is entirely due to the fact that he works out, tirelessly, three times a week, with a personal trainer called grisly Gary who exercises his biceps, triceps, abs...


NP: Ah Gyles challenged.

GB: This fantasy is becoming really quite difficult to cope with.

PA: I was going to say had a one shouldered leopard-skin thong.

GB: Good grief!

PA: But now I haven't got the chance!

GB: I can accept frankly that Pam is Helen of Troy personified, with touches of Cleopatra. But we all know her husband. I mean this is just, you know, frankly...

PA: You're jealous, you're jealous of his physique Gyles, that's all it is.

GB: Actually I'm jealous of his access to your physique.

NP: Listen, we can talk literally or we can talk metaphorically, or we can talk surrealistically. And according to Pam, this is the way her husband appears to her.

TH: And me.

NP: So she's entitled to express that.

GB: Can I say, it's clear to... all right, each to his own.

TH: And me! He's a fine figure of a man, Gyles, it's just jealousy!

GB: I know because I've been to the relate meetings too. He's obviously going through a mid-life crisis, she's been told to talk him up, she's doing it publicly. Well done her! I hope the pair of you come through this difficult patch!

NP: Right Gyles, he'll see us afterwards in hospitality. I'd watch out!

GB: As long as it isn't in his lawyer's office.

NP: A point to Pam, incorrect challenge and you keep the subject.

PA: Thank you.

NP: Forty-three seconds to go, the folly of youth starting now.

PA: Unlike my husband who fell off the back of a motorbike, having drunk too much guinness as a young man, I never committed any folly in my youth. Indeed I was more like a little Einstein, walking through the stones of academia, having philosophical insights and quoting complicated theorems. I never made any rash decisions or bad judgements or ...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Well we want to hear you talk about the subject!

PA: I didn't have any.

TH: But you're, you're finished in this subject then.

PA: I've been unjustly interrupted.

NP: You have indeed Pam.

PA: I have.

NP: You've got a point...

PA: I protest!

NP: Yes.

TH: Right You have a point Pam, it's okay.

NP: I'm with you all the way, I always have been. And you've got a point for an incorrect challenge...

PA: Thank you.

NP: ... and you keep the subject, 35 seconds, the folly of youth starting now.

PA: I did however fall madly in love with a devastatingly handsome Army officer in a grey Crombie overcoat with a brown leather san-browne belt...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Repetition of brown but also this disloyalty to her husband I think has really rather set the course of this matrimonial coming together back a long way.

PA: The two browns are spelt differently, Nicholas. I appeal. San-browne's belt got an E on the end.

NP: I know it has.


NP: I'll give you a bonus point for that round of applause but I have to explain to our listeners and to our audience, this is radio, it is verbal sound, and you use the word brown, however it is spelt, it is still brown. So that is a correct challenge really.

PA: Okay. Fair enough, I give up!


NP: It's just that your favourite, you want to hear Pam keep going.

TH: Yeah!

NP: Gyles, all I can do is appeal to your chivalry and say can she keep going? You obviously don't know what chivalry means!

GB: I didn't quite catch that, Nicholas.

NP: Chivalry means can you forego your challenge and let Pam carry on?

GB: Yes, Pam carrying on is very much what I have in mind! Of course we want to hear more from Pam, much much more. Not so much about this rather difficult painful period in her life.

TH: No no, I think this is, this is what we want to hear.

NP: That was before her husband came on the scene, we know that. So there we are, and he's in the audience, and he doesn't mind so he's happy. He wants, he wants her to get points and win the show. Twenty-four seconds Pam, the folly of youth starting now.

PA: This was a very handsome man, I've already said that...


NP: Tony.

TH: Oh repetition of handsome.

PA: Yes that's true.

NP: That's true, handsome yes, she couldn't get the thought out of her head.

PA: I was dazzled!

NP: So Tony might slip up, you never know. He's not infallible. So Tony you've got in with 20 seconds to go on the folly of youth starting now.

TH: The folly of youth is clearly an expression made up by older people who are fed up that the young'uns are having such a good time. They are bitter twisted...

NP: They are!

TH: ... look at them, folly...


NP: Miles you challenged.

MJ: Ah repetition.

NP: Of what?

MJ: They are.

NP: Well listened! He did say they are twice, you've got in very cleverly with nine seconds to go, the folly of youth, Miles starting now.

MJ: When my youth ended, I decided to remember it by building a folly in the grounds of my country home. I called it my folly of youth...


NP: So Miles Jupp was then speaking as the whistle went. He's now in equal place, third place, behind Tony Hawks who is just a few points ahead, and two points ahead of them is Gyles Brandreth. And that's the situation as we move into the final round.


NP: Well, stick around, we might do another one. Right Tony, we are back with you to begin, oh the subject, a lovely one, skinny dipping. Tell us something about skinny dipping starting now.

TH: When I was a young man, one of the follies of my youth was skinny dipping. In Hampstead they have these ponds, London this is if you don't know and you're not around here. And they delegate one...


NP: Miles challenged.

MJ: Ah I suppose this is deviation in the fact that you suggested that the people here are not around here. I think they're distinctly around here.

NP: I think so. I think it's a stretch of the imagination if you're not around here. I would have thought most of this audience would have come from around here, haven't you?


NP: Miles you've got a correct challenge, 47 seconds Miles, skinny dipping starting now.

MJ: When...


NP: Gyles.

GB: I imagine he was sort of taking a deep breath before diving into the pool because there was quite a considerable hesitation.

NP: There was a huge pause, almost a full stop.

MJ: That is me breathing in!

NP: No Miles, I am going to be generous because it's the first time you've played the game. But can I say I always give the subject and the time and that's the time for you to take a breath, because I then say "start now" and you go. Right, can we do that?

MJ: So you, I'll tell you what, if you tell me when to breathe in and um, you'll need to watch Nicholas, because I have big lungs.

NP: Right, you breathe in now. There are 44 seconds to go, skinny dipping starting now.

MJ: Skinny dipping was something that I regret enormously as a young man. The other thing that I wish I hadn't done so much was go down to the ponds at Hampstead Heath and watch a man called Tony...


NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: I'm afraid there was a hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation so you got in this time, 34 seconds Gyles on skinny dipping starting now.

GB: Not a good idea because think of the other people. Oh when I was last in Lichfield, there they were, 16 acorns and a couple of chipolatas. It was a tragic sight indeed. I had come from the Market Square where young people, girls aged 12, 13, 14, teetering around in these ludicrous outfits, thongs showing. I kept thinking, who is at home, looking after their babies...


NP: Miles challenged.

MJ: It would maybe work in a poem, but I think in this context to say that songs were showing is, well, I think it makes you sound mental.

NP: Miles, I'm not quite sure, what is your challenge?

MJ: Well he said a thing that isn't real, it doesn't mean anything.

NP: I know, because you can't go skinny dipping in the middle of Lichfield, can you.

PA: I thought he said thongs.

MJ: That would be another excellent challenge if I'd thought of that earlier.

NP: So what is your challenge?

MJ: He said songs instead of the word thongs.

NP: I'm not going to give it to you on that, but I could give it to you on what I suggested.

MJ: You can give me, if you're minded to give me points Nicholas...

TH: It's kind of the opposite of a lisp isn't it really, if you say songs instead of thongs. There's no word for that.

NP: Anyway Miles you have the benefit of the doubt and as you're a new boy, you might say. And it's skinny dipping, 13 seconds to go starting now.

MJ: Lichfield is absolutely my favourite place in the whole of Britain to go skinny dipping. I simply remove all of my clothes and dive into the first bit of water that I can see, regardless of how shallow it is. A puddle would do me perfectly...


NP: So I said that was to be the final round and it is, let me give you the final score. So Miles who started tentatively finished up actually in third place. He was one or two points ahead of Pam Ayres and she was one or two points behind Tony Hawks. Who was three points behind Gyles Brandreth. So we say Gyles you are our winner this week. Thank you very much indeed, we do hope you have enjoyed the show. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine humorous players of the game, Tony Hawks, Pam Ayres, Miles Jupp and Gyles Brandreth. I thank Sarah Sharpe, who has helped me with the score, and she's blown her whistle with such delicacy when the 60 seconds elapsed. We are thank our producer Tilusha Ghelani. We are indebted to the creator of this amazing game, Ian Messiter. And we are very indebted to this lovely audience here at the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield who have been so warm and friendly and who have cheered us on our way and made our jobs so much more easy. Thank you from the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield, thank you to our listeners, tune in again the next time we take to the air and we play Just A Minute!