NOTE: Claire Jones's first show as producer.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more, it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners, not only in this country but throughout the world to another edition of this delightful game. And also to welcome the four experienced and skillful players of the game. And first of all, we welcome back one of the original players of the game who's been with us for 34 years and that is Clement Freud. And the other three players are equally experienced and skilful, and we welcome back somebody who's recently won a comedy award and that is Graham Norton. And on the left side sitting beside me here is a person who should I'm sure soon win a comedy award and that is the lovely Linda Smith. And sitting beside her is somebody who I'm sure deserves to win a comedy award and that is Tony Hawks. Would you please welcome all four of them. And as usual I'm going to ask them to speak on a subject that I give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition, or deviating from the subject. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who's going to keep the score for me and she'll blow her whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the elegant and beautiful Theatre Royal in that vibrant city of Nottingham. And we have in front of us a vibrant Nottingham audience who are just ready to cheer us on our way. So let's get the show going with Tony Hawks. Tony, the subject in front of me here is smelling a rat. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

TONY HAWKS: A couple of things to remember when smelling a rat. You should never get your nose too close to a rat, otherwise it may take a little bit of a nibble. And always get the permission of your parents or failing that, those of the rat. But of course, it does mean being suspicious about something. For instance if the entire audience here this evening began to file out during this wonderful speech, and indeed the panellists joined them, and all went to have a drink in a pub in Nottingham city centre, I would begin to smell a rat! That this whole evening had been arranged just to play a bit of a trick on me! And leave me talking alone on this stage, in this magnificent building...


NP: And Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Haven't we had magnificent?


TH: Well that's a given when I begin to speak, Clement!

LINDA SMITH: I don't know about the rest of you, I'm still waiting for it!

NP: Yes! No, he didn't say... he said a lot else but he didn't actually say magnificent, so Tony that was an incorrect challenge, so you get a point for an incorrect challenge, you keep the subject and there are 21 seconds left starting now.

TH: I'm led to believe that the odour emitting from a rat is most unpleasant. But there are some wonderful rat deodorants on the market that you can get. Er Ratty is one of them I believe, Ratto is another one, and they're all quite...


NP: Linda challenged, Linda Smith.

LS: Ah, I think we had repetition of another one?

NP: Yes another one he did say before. Another...

LS: Sorry Tony.

TH: So I managed to...

LS: I'm only doing...


NP: That's the rules of the game!

TH: I just wanted to say...

LS: I'm disappointing...

NP: You boo someone when they play the game well...

TH: I want to know how I managed to list two things and still managed to repeat another one.

NP: No, another.

TH: Oh!

NP: You repeated another and that is repetition.

TH: Fine, okay, sorry.

NP: And so Linda you have a correct challenge, you have a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, there are eight seconds left and you start now.

LS: Smelling a rat is essential if you want to ascertain whether the creature is fresh and fit to eat. If it doesn't smell...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Linda Smith so she gets that point on that occasion. So Linda is obviously in the lead at the end of that round. Graham Norton, will you take the next round. A nice topical subject here for Nottingham, the goose fair. Will you tell us something about... I think they're already anticipating another way that you might take it Graham! Your reputation goes before you obviously, even on radio! So Graham, 60 seconds as usual, the goose fair, starting now.

GN: The goose fair is a world famous event, well, at least they've heard of it in Loughborough! And it climaxes with the joyous crowning of the lucky girl who's named Miss Goose. She then stands there while each inhabitant, young and old, forms an orderly queue. And they goose her! One after another! Sometimes the glee and laughter can be heard as far away as Beeston, and God knows there's not much to smile about there! I ... oh... I've been through it on the train, believe me it's true! And...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of through.

NP: Yes, it's through yes, you did go through, yes.

GN: No messin'!

NP: I must say this is a most partisan audience. They boo every correct challenge! Anyway, but Clement, a correct challenge, you have a point for that of course, the goose fair is the subject, 16 seconds are available, starting now.

CF: A very sensible thing to do at a goose fair is to smell the goose. Certainly better than smelling a rat, or dancing with, courting, dating, eating. A goose baked in an oven with apple sauce and prunes is...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went then gained that extra point, and he's now equal in the lead with Linda Smith. And Linda it is your turn to begin, the subject frengle. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

LS: Frengle, frengle, an allegedly humourous system of combining the English and French languages with muddled pronunciation. For example ava un slice de gattox which some people find amusing! But I personally consider to be a load of old bollow! And it doesn't entertain me in the least! I...


NP: Oh I'm sorry, Tony, your light came on so you must have pressed your buzzer. Yes, you challenged?

TH: Ah no I didn't, I don't know how my light came on.

NP: But I have a little light that comes on when someone presses their buzzer, and your light came on. You must have given it one of those very delicate little...

TH: Right! In that case, repetition.

NP: Of what?

TH: Um, of frengle right at the beginning! Although that, she's allowed to say that.

NP: You're allowed to repeat words on the card...

TH: I'm sorry, it's quite tough to come up with a challenge when you haven't got one! I didn't realise I'd be under this pressure when I came on! I thought I'd have freedom of choice but no! You have to just do it when Nicholas says!

NP: No Tony, your light came on, you could have said I'm sorry, I didn't press my buzzer and I would have just carried on...

TH: Oh okay.

NP: You did actually decide to take a challenge!

TH: All right...

NP: So having...

TH: Could I...

LS: So Nicholas that's technically an incorrect challenge and therefore a point to me.

NP: Of course darling!

LS: Of course the entire match is rigged and in the pay of a far eastern betting syndicate!

NP: No, it wasn't one of those occasions. I was going to say because he decided to take a challenge, and it's now an incorrect challenge, Linda you get a point...

TH: It's getting worse for me now! I mean...

NP: And you have 31 seconds to continue on frengle starting now.

LS: Frengle, I'm somewhat dismayed to find I have 31 seconds to continue on this rather dreary subject...


NP: Tony has challenged with firmness this time.

TH: Well clearly you don't want to carry on, so, er it's only the gentlemanly thing to do to take the subject from you. And it was a deliberate challenge and I feel I should be rewarded for it!

NP: Tony, brow beating the audience is not one of the rules of Just A Minute! She was not hesitating, she was not repeating anything, and she was not deviating...

TH: Oh then!

NP: Linda has another point and she has the subject still and 25 seconds on frengle starting now.

LS: Well frankly Nicholas, I'm with Tony on this one and I can't help thinking that the subject would be far better off in his bilingual hands than in mine, where here I am, stuck...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of amusing. I didn't like to bring it up until now.

NP: All right Graham you have frengle and you have 15 seconds starting now.

GN: I was originally christened Andre, because although my father was Irish, my mother is pretentious! Obviously a lot of people thought I should be able to speak French...


NP: So Graham Norton was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. But Linda got a lot of points in that round, mostly with her own talent, and some with some help from Tony Hawks. So she's in the lead at the end of the round. And Clement Freud your turn to begin, and the subject, a red herring. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

CF: Just A Minute is not usually recognised as an educational programme, but I will, if I may, explain what a red herring is. It ceased to be a dish which is available to people in the 18th century because now we have kippers which are equally delicious and easier to prepare. A red herring was a whole herring which was salted in extremely salty water and then smoked in astonishingly dense thick fog, usually in Yarmouth. And in order to eat it, you had to leave it in either milk or water, until the um...


NP: Tony Hawks you challenged.

TH: I thought that was a tiny hesitation there.

NP: It was a tiny hesitation. So Tony, correct challenge, nine seconds for you, a red herring, starting now.

TH: I once saw a red heading whilst I was...


TH: I waited so long!

NP: Linda you challenged.

LS: I think you know why!

NP: Yeah but I have to hear it from your...

LS: Deviation.

NP: Deviation from the subject on the card, yes. And that is a point to you Linda and six seconds to tell us something about a red herring starting now.

LS: A red herring I think, in nature would be discriminated against by the other dull, drab herrings...


NP: So Linda Smith is forging ahead, another point for speaking as the whistle went and with other points, she's now in a strong lead ahead of Clement Freud and Graham Norton and Tony Hawks in that order. And Tony, your turn to begin. The subject, Oh I say, this is going to be fun, the other members of the panel. You have 60 seconds as usual to tell us what you think about the other members of the panel starting now.

TH: I think there's one thing that unites the other members of the panel...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: I know what it is! I'm trying to stop him! It's radio, Tony! For God's sake, it's just a game! Leave it! Leave it!

TH: It need to come out! The people of Nottingham need to know!

NP: Graham we give you a bonus point because the audience loved your interruption...

GN: Oh I'm thrilled!

NP: And Tony you get a point for being interrupted, you have 57 seconds on the other members of the panel starting now.

TH: And that is of course, admiration for me! And I do get that a lot. People come up to me on the streets, they say "Tony to what do you attribute your fantastic success in show business?" And I reply to them "pity you, my child, for the wheels of this world ride inexorably down dusty roads towards rich and fertile worlds which give forth wheat". And I can tell you, that stops them bothering me! The panel that we have here are most distinguished, and it's very unlikely that I will manage to talk for a minute without being interrupted, given their brilliance. Graham Norton on the end there, I see him watching me, no longer nervous that I am going to reveal the terrible thing that he thought I was going to say. Sir Clement Freud, what a fantastic speaker he is, but he hasn't had a chance because I'm doing so well! And Linda Smith here, got a bit of a lead early, but that's all slipping away because Hawks is on form here! We all know that now! He's clearly going to go for the full whack, there's nothing going to stop him now...


NP: So Tony Hawks, he got a point for being interrupted, he got a point for speaking as the whistle went. He worked very hard for two points! But the audience appreciated, we loved it Tony, and what has happened with the situation, well, you've moved into second place behind Linda Smith. And Graham Norton, your turn to begin. What my scales tell me. Graham I don't know whether you weigh yourself regularly but tell us what your scales tell you, 60 seconds, starting now.

GN: What my scales tell me is that I'm slowly turning into a big Irish fish! And I do now consider that that cheap holiday near Sellafield turned out to be not the bargain in the long term. I'm a sort of Celtic Esther Williams! Over the Irish sea I dash, hither thither...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged you.

TH: Repetition of Irish.

NP: Yes, you talked about the Irish before.

TH: Irish fish, Irish...

GN: Trust me, you're glad!

NP: I've never known an audience.... They boo a correct challenge and now they groan as well! It was right, he listened well, applaud him for that. Thirty-four seconds are available now for you Tony, having got another point to tell us what my scales tell me starting now.

TH: My scales tell me that I am 14 and a half stone which is rather alarming because there is no speaker in them. And yet I hear this voice, and it worries me, because they shouldn't really be telling me anything at all!


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of telling.

NP: Telling. Because the word on the card, you can repeat the whole of the phrase or each individual word on the card, and telling is not there, it's tells. So Clement, wll listened, a point to you... the audience couldn't care less really, could they? As long as he gets the laughs, he just keeps going! So 21 seconds Clement you tell us something about what my scales tell me starting now.

CF: What my scales tell me if I stand on the very extreme left front of them is that I weigh hardly anything at all. Whereas moving forward, what my scales tell me is too significant to relate to an audience which has Trent Bridge coming up any moment now, when...


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. He has moved forward, he's now, oh er, oh in descending order it's Linda Smith, Tony Hawks, Clement Freud, Graham Norton in that order. And Linda your turn to begin. A good soap. Tell us something about a good soap, 60 seconds, starting now.

LS: A good soap is a soap that uses its cleansing powers for good, not for evil! I think that members of my panel could use a good soap of various types. Tony Hawk suggests to me a...


NP: Yes Tony you challenged.

TH: Deviation, I'm Tony Hawks!

NP: So a correct challenge, Tony, 44 seconds are now available for you to tell us something about a good soap starting now.

TH: I'm told Coronation Street is a good soap, but I don't watch it myself. My favourite was Neighbours and I don't actually entail er my...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Oh he just seemed to stop!

NP: Yes...

GN: Major hesitation!

NP: A stum, no it wasn't major, it was a stumble which we call hesitation, 35 seconds...


LS: Ladies! Ladies!

GN: I have to say with this audience there's a thin line between audience and mob! And we beg you not to cross it!

NP: No! A good soap is the subject Graham, you have 35 seconds, starting now.

GN: In France last year there was severe flooding. It left many people in a condition known as washed. That is not something that is very familiar to the lovely French people! I'm only joking obviously because it's a sort of comedy cliche that the lovely people of Galle...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of lovely.

NP: Yes you had too many lovelies! You are the most fickle audience we've ever played! You start off by booing correct challenges, now you're applauding them! Clement listened well, 14 seconds, do tell us something about a good soap starting now.

CF: I'm torn between El Dorado and Girl Air Almond. But I think perhaps East Enders because it's still on would eb my favourite soap. What is so significant about this tale...


NP: So we heard from all members of the panel on that particular subject, which is what I like to happen. And Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now... oh it's an interesting situation. He, Linda Smith and Tony Hawks are now all three equal in the lead! But coming up just behind them... is Graham Norton! Right! Clement Freud your turn to begin, the subject, hesitation. So will you talk on hesitation, 60 seconds, starting now.

CF: Of the three things you may not do in Just A Minute, hesitation, deviation and repetition, hesitation is probably the one that one is least able to talk about, because of fluency. For instance, telling the story of a man with a gun and two bullets, confronted with Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Joseph Stalin, Ken Livingstone, the Vicar of Dibley... So he shot Ken Livingstone twice!


CF: You see the hesitation was essential...

NP: I know but... Tony Hawks you challenged in that long hesitation.

TH: Yeah, I was... initially I was going to leave it because it was hesitation but I thought he's allowed to hesitate when he's talking about hesitation, so then I thought it was repetition, because he hesitated twice!

NP: I thought he was riding his laugh which he was recounting that particular story very well, and he rode it too long, so I thought it was a genuine hesitation within the rules of Just A Minute. So Tony has the subject with 22 seconds, hesitation, starting now.

TH: It is a good thing on occasions to hesitate, not on this programme obviously. But fools rush in, a little circumcension is... or is that a word...


TH: I shall be selling a dictionary afterwards! With some of these words in!

NP: I hope you didn't say what I thought you said! Linda, what was your challenge?

LS: My challenge was, ah, deviation. I have no idea what circumcension is.

NP: Oh right, it was deviating from English as we understand it, so you have a point for that Linda, and 13 seconds, you tell us something about hesitation starting now.

LS: Hesitation, as well as being an important part of this game, Just A Minute, was also a sin that Hamlet...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Don't know why! It's a... it's a sort of hesitation, wasn't there!

NP: No...

LS: To you hesitation, to me, breathing.

GN: We'll go with breathing!

NP: No, I don't think she hesitated, I think she stumbled over a word, I didn't understand it...

LS: Oh that's right Nicholas!

NP: Why are you so aggressive with me? I'm nearly always on your side.

LS: We have to make a show of it being some kind of game!

NP: I wondered if you were fighting for your feminine rights with three or four men surrounding you. Because you don't need to Linda, because you can hold your own with all of us. I've been in the Rocky Horror Show too long, haven't I? Right, you have an incorrect challenge so you get a point for that Linda and there are six seconds still for you on hesitation starting now.

LS: Hamlet hesitated over whether or not to kill his stepfather whom...


NP: So Linda Smith has had another surge...

GN: She doesn't seem old enough!

NP: Her surges...

LS: I feel a lot older all of the sudden!

TH: This Serj fellow, where does he hang out?

LS: I must try and keep him apart from my partner...

NP: Right so she had a number of points in that round including one for speaking when the whistle went and she has taken the lead again, ahead of Tony Hawks and Clement Freud in that order. Graham it's your turn to begin. well if just, if any of our listeners wish to be reminded we are in Nottingham and a very apt subject comes up now, lace. Tell us something about lace in 60 seconds starting now.

GN: I am a huge fan of lace. So you can imagine my excitement when I was told I was off to Venice. Yes, the Nottingham of the south. It is there that you can witness vast amounts of lace which is sort of the donut equivalent to sewing! For it's just threads around a hole. It seems pointless but there, someone's got to do it and go blind. Lace rarely makes up an entire garment. Usually it's just a collar, a cuff, or something very dirty round the hem.... I've stopped! Er...


NP: So Linda what's your challenge?

LS: Hesitation.

NP: Another point to you, 19 seconds, you tell us something about lace starting now.

LS: Nottingham's lace making history probably gave your most famous rock combo the idea of their name. I speak, of course, of Paper Lace! Who can forget their chart topping days? No, I...


NP: Clement Freud can.

CF: Me!

LS: Well do tell me how you did it because I can't live with the pictures in my head any more!

NP: Clement, I've given everyone else a bonus point for certain challenges. You haven't had one yet. You have a bonus point because the audience enjoyed that challenge, but it wasn't within the rules of Just A Minute. So Linda was interrupted, she keeps the subject, six seconds available, lace, starting now.

LS: Of course they could...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: She said of course earlier.

NP: She did say of course when she started. So Clement another point to you and four seconds, lace, starting now.

CF: Through a Nottingham lace of the curtains or was it bees wig eyes...


NP: So Clement Freud is creeping up on Linda Smith!

CF: Behind the late Serj!

NP: We're into the last round and Linda, it's actually your turn to begin, and the subject is little white lies. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

LS: Little white lies are tiny untruths that we tell to smooth the social fabric of life. For example, if I were to say Nottingham Forest had a marvelous season and I'm sure they'll go up next year, that wouldn't be a little white lie. That would be a huge great stonking melt away porker!


LS: Because unfortunately, sadly that's not...

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: I thought there was a hesitation.

NP: Clement you have the benefit of the doubt and 34 seconds on little white lies starting now.

CF: This is a reference to Snow White, who was known as Little White, and told the most appalling untruths. Like that a wolf was banging on the door of the hut, and an old witch put out her finger and it was eaten. And she didn't have enough food. The lion and the tigers, the camels...


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: Nowhere have I heard this! I can't sit here! My mother will phone me and say "no, how can you sit through that? These are not the stories I told you!"

CF: They were lies!

GN: All of them?

CF: Yes!

GN: But you were telling a lie!

CF: Yes.

GN: Oh I see, but then that's not a little white lie.

NP: No that's a major lie, that was. Deviating from nursery rhymes and those little childhood stories like that, to that extent!

GN: My head hurts!

NP: So Graham you have a correct challenge and you have 15 seconds, little white lies, starting now.

GN: A truth that's told with ban intent beats all the lies you can invent! So said my Aunt Deirdre, fat sour smelling creature! It's a phrase that I've never quite understood, so don't use it very often...


NP: Well as I said a few moments ago, that was to be the last round and we have no more time to play Just A Minute. Let me give you the final situation. Yes, Graham Norton, who gives us such fun, he finished in a very strong fourth place. He wasn't very far behind Clement Freud, who's often out in the lead there. He was in second place, he was one point behind Tony Hawks who was in second place. But a few points ahead was Linda Smith, so Linda with all your surging today we call you the winner! It only remains for me to say thank you to these four outstanding players of the game, Graham Norton, Linda Smith, Tony Hawks and Clement Freud. And also to thank Janet Staplehurst who's kept the score for me and blown her whistle so charmingly. We also thank our producer Claire Jones who keeps us all in delightful order when she can! And also we are indebted to the original creator of this game Ian Messiter. And so from me, Nicholas Parsons, and all of us here, goodbye, tune in next time we play Just A Minute!