starring PAUL MERTON, GYLES BRANDRETH, LIZA TARBUCK and MILES JUPP, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Television, 29 March 2012)

NOTE: Liza Tarbuck's first TV appearance, Miles Jupp's only TV appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away it is my great pleasure to welcome you to this special edition of Just A Minute from BBC Television Centre. We found our way on to your television screens to celebrate the 45th year of radio triumph. So without further ado, please welcome to the show the four talented, exceptional performers who this day are going to play Just A Minute, and they are seated on my right, Paul Merton and Liza Tarbuck. And seated on my left, Miles Jupp and Gyles Brandreth. Please welcome all four of them! The players will try to speak for Just A Minute on some subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. The other three panellists can challenge at any time and if I uphold the challenge, they gain a point and take over the subject. If not, the person speaking gains a point and continues with the subject. And by the way, they can repeat the subject which is on the card in front of me. Paul the subject here is double acts. I know you love the music hall and everything about that, but can you tell us something about that subject in this game, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PAUL MERTON: I think one of my proudest nights in show business occurred here at Television Centre perhaps two years ago when I was very lucky to present a programme about Morecambe and Wise who are undoubtedly for many of us the greatest double act that ever lived. And the audience's appreciation of Eric and Ernie that night was phenomenal. As I said the good-byes at the end of the show, they rose as one and clapped and applauded. And the warmth of that particular nose they were maing was clearly not for me, but it was for the two M and W people I mentioned earlier...


NP: Gyles has challenged.

GYLES BRANDRETH: Repetition of two.

NP: Yes there was two there.


PM: Are we haunted?

NP: No you struggled so well to change and find different words...

PM: Yes.

NP: ... to express the same thing. So Gyles, it was 32 seconds so there are 28 seconds left, you have a correct challenge, you gain a point for that of course, double acts starting now.

GB: I am turning my mind to a romantic double act, thinking of Abonar and Eloise, Antony and Cleopatra, Andy Pandy and Loobie Lou, and more recently Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. The erotic charge when characters like this come together and consummate their union, make something of a double act ...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Are you saying Andy Pandy and Lobbie Lou consummated their union?

GB: Oh yes!

PM: What's Teddy doing round the back? Making a cup of tea? What's going on?

GB: Teddy took the photographs!

PM: It's a scandal!

NP: I think in the literal interpretation of the words he was using, you are perfectly correct Paul.

PM: Yes.

NP: So a correct challenge and you have 12 seconds still on double acts starting now.

PM: David Cameron and the leader of the Liberal Party's name nobody can remember are currently forming a double act which is known as the coalition which is running this country even as I speak. Would it be possible for us to look at past...


NP: So that whistle tells us that 60 seconds have elapsed and whoever is speaking then gains an extra point. And it was Paul Merton, so you won't be surprised to know that he is in the lead at the end of that round. Miles Jupp will you begin the next round. And the subject is bowling a maiden over. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.

MILES JUPP: Bowling a maiden over is a specific cricket term which does not apply to the act of throwing a ball so that it actually fells a lady. Nor does it refer to the idea of actually delivering a ...


NP: Gyles challenged.

GB: Repetition of actually.

NP: Actually yes.

PM: Oh harsh challenge!

MJ: A little ungentlemanly, I thought Gyles.

GB: I agree. Not quite cricket!

NP: Gyles a correct challenge...

MJ: How many seconds did I manage, just out of interest of my own...

NP: You had 11, 11 seconds.

MJ: Eleven? Well that's a cricketing number, I'm happy with that.

NP: Gyles you've got 49 seconds on bowling a maiden over starting now.

GB: When I was a member of the House of Commons cricket team, Ann Widdecombe, that interesting cross between Danny de Vito and Margaret Rutherford was a wicket keeper. And I'm proud to say that I actually successfully bowled this maiden over. She fell splat and that wonderful, amusing, slightly lopsided bosom of hers lay on the ground. And my ball landed right between the crevice. It was an exciting moment for both of us. Not since Anton had swept her off his feet, taken her over his shoulder, out to the Green Room, had I had such an exciting moment with a beautiful lady as it was on that particular day...


NP: Miles challenged.

MJ: Deviation I think because...

GB: No we didn't get that far! It crossed my mind but I held back.

MJ: I imagine it was very high on your to-do list Gyles. No when you say since Anton, that was more recent when Anton was swinging her around than you, I believe, held a place in the House of Commons which was probably when I was a teenager or younger.

GB: Can I say that's my kind of challenge and I rather admire it! I've been looking at you and thinking actually you, could you be my love child? I think you sound like me, you look like me and now you think like me! Give him the point!

PM: Get yourself a good lawyer!

NP: Gyles I was going to give him a point anyway. I don't think you should now run the show as well.

GB: No I won't say another word. I'm just going to sit back and watch my boy having a good time.

MJ: I don't think it's fair to expect me to speak. I am very flustered.

NP: Miles you only have 14 seconds available. You've got a point of course and bowling a maiden over starting now.

MJ: It used to be the case that bowling a maiden over was something that required skill alone. Now of course you can ring someone you know in the team and demand that they bowl a bone ... a maiden over ...


NP: Paul challenged yes.

PM: He did slip over the words sadly.

NP: Yes it was a hesitation.

GB: I didn't think there was, I thought it was fluent, extraordinary panache he speaks. Fabulous!

NP: Who will you adopt in the next round? Correct challenge Paul you have a point for that, you have five seconds still available, bowling a maiden over starting now.

PM: Although I never played cricket at school, I soon became a fan. I remember seeing the Oval for the first time...


NP: Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. And Liza we'd like you to begin the next round.


NP: And this subject can be taken more than one way, I'm a bit nervous about it actually. Cobblers. So will you talk on the subject of cobblers, 60 seconds starting now.

LT: There's nothing I like better than a man with a couple of skills, one of them I'm a fan of is of course cobbling. Up by me in the Arsenal area of London and I did move there for the gag there's a cobblers who provides me with such glorious services that he has my undying love forever. Last year he lengthened the strap on my handbag and has made what was quite an unusual form of carrying stuff in, that papoose type thing which incidentally I bought In Lisbon just to be fair. He made that abso... oh I said he made made.


NP: Gyles has challenged.

PM: What are you groaning about? I've just been given the subject! And they used to rain on my parade, I'd say no! Sometimes there were scattered spells of interest, but they didn't last very long. I could never work out the difference between the various clouds, there's nimbus and the other ones and that's where I got confused because when I was delivering the weather forecast after the 6 o'clock news, a nation I could see...


NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: Hesitation.

NP: Yeah but that's only because she repeated something. Oh darling you shouldn't have let them know.

LT: I know I shouldn't but my mind went into some kind of 60s dream sequence.

NP: You carried us with you. Right Gyles a correct challenge so you have the subject of cobblers, 23 seconds and starting now.

GB: As Miles could probably tell you, our family comes from Acrington in Lancashire, where in that part of the world we have...


NP: Miles challenged.

MJ: I have no connections to the north of England.

GB: That was my point, I was talking cobblers.

NP: Oh you'd wriggle on anything, wouldn't you, right. Miles a correct challenge, well listened and lovely interruption too, and you have the subject of cobblers, 18 seconds are still available starting now.

MJ: Cobblers is the nickname of the football team in Northampton because that is a town that is associated with the art of shoe making. I was there doing a play once and bought myself a spectacular pair of Henry boots which as you know are a kind of elasticated Henry, Gyles...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of Henry.

NP: Henry yes. You shouldn't play to your father-in-law there. Correct challenge, Henry, right, three seconds on cobblers Paul starting now.

PM: I watched a programme the other day about shoe making, it was called ultimate cobblers and it was the first person to be...


NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's now in the lead, a strong lead, just ahead of Gyles Brandreth and Miles Jupp and Liza Tarbuck in that order. And Gyles we are back with you to begin. Oh a nice historical question here, the wives of Henry the Eighth. Tell us something about them starting now.

GB: Well this is really quite a challenge Nicholas, because I recall that King Henry the Eighth had six wives but repetition was certainly involved because at least two of them had the same name. Catherine cannot now be repeated unless I call her Kate, haha!


NP: You needn't look like that Gyles, we all know the challenge.

PM: Repetition of haha. Ha! Ha!

GB: One was spelled H-U-H and the other U-H. But I agree, no, I...

NP: But it sounded exactly the same...

GB: If it was my boy who interrupted then well done him.

NP: No it wasn't, it was Paul Merton.

PM: I'm afraid I've never been formally recognised by Gyles.

NP: You'd claim parentage to anybody to get a point. So Paul, correct challenge and you have the wives of Henry the Eighth, there are 45 seconds starting now.

PM: The wives of Henry the Eighth, let's go through them one by individual. There was of course Catherine of Aragon. I think as the name suggests she was probably from somewhere in Spain. And then who should come next along the line, it was none other than Anne Boleyn. Famously she didn't have a complete set of fingers and thumbs or was it one too many? I can't remember. I've said one three times.


NP: Liza challenged.

LT: I think you're thinking of Queen Elizabeth, aren't you with the extra finger.

PM: Didn't Anne Boleyn have an extra finger?

NP: Anne Boleyn had an extra one.

PM: Yeah she had an extra finger.

NP: An extra little finger.

PM: Yeah she did.

LT: Did she?

PM: Yes.

LT: Like Jake the Peg. Did she?

PM: Yeah we wouldn't be talking about it otherwise.

NP: Have you got a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?

LT: Well I thought it was deviation which in fact it is, strictly speaking. But um, I'll have to pass won't I.

NP: You'll have to pass darling, Paul has another point and he has 25 seconds to continue on the wives of Henry the Eighth starting now.

PM: I remember very well the television programme that was made in the early 1970s perhaps with Keith Michelle as King Henry the Eighth and what a magnificent performance it was. Each one of his wives throughout the entire six episodes had a programme devoted to themselves. I think we've already talked about the first two which gives me the opportunity to mention three, four, five and six...


NP: And Liza you challenged.

LT: Repetition of six.

PM: Yes you're right yes. Absolutely! Absolutely!

NP: Well listened Liza and you've cleverly got in with one second to go.

PM: After I went through all that rubbish for no reason at all!

PM: You worked hard all the way through and Liza's got in, one second, the wives of Henry the Eighth Liza starting now.

LT: At Hampton Court the most...


NP: So Liza Tarbuck was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And she's moved forward, she's equal in points with Miles Jupp in third place, but only one point behind Gyles Brandreth, they're two or three behind Paul Merton. But I think the points are only secondary, it's the fun they give isn't it. Oh what a weak laugh that was, I wish I hadn't said it. Paul we'd like you to begin the next round, the subject is, what a strange one, having a good time in the desert. Think of something to say if you can, 60 seconds starting now.

PM: Many years ago I was at the Edinburgh Festival and a gentleman came up to me and said "I heard you on Just A Minute during the summer". I didn't think that was particularly remarkable and then he said "I was crossing the Gobi Desert in a jeep".'And he had listened via the World Service. Now of course we are not on that august institution but in the desert you can still make a great deal of fun. Befriend a vulture, that is what they are there for. They may look upon you as potential carrion. But I say carry on regardless. You shouldn't let them see you...


PM: What are you groaning about? I'm making it up out of the top of my head for God's sake.


PM: Oh I shouldn't have said that, should I. They put me off!

NP: Liza you challenged.

LT: I was just helping out while the audience were putting Mr Merton off.

PM: Yeah.

NP: So hesitation, right Liza correct challenge and you have 29 seconds, having a good time in the desert starting now.

LT: I was enjoying a programme with Mister Bear Grills on it the other day who was having a wonderful time in the desert. He started his search or in fact journey looking for some water, and as he went he distilled all sorts of skills to the viewer, one of which was sucking the moisture out of a lizard which he had bitten the head off. Now I'm not a great advocate of this sort of behaviour, least of all going back to the hamster with Freddie Starr. That was a nasty moment...


NP: So Liza Tarbuck was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that all important extra point. And she has moved forward, yes, she's now in second place behind Paul Merton. And who is going to beginning the next round? Miles Jupp it's your turn, right.

GB: Good luck.

NP: Strangers on a train. Tell us something about that subject or the film if you like, 60 seconds starting now.

MJ: I consider anybody else who is travelling on the same train as me to be a stranger even if they are a close friend or relative. I think everybody should be completely silent when travelling on trains, especially if they are in the quiet coach. You shouldn't be allowed to use computers or carry children or eat apples or crisps noisily. Nor should the people who run the... rail...


NP: Gyles you've challenged your love child.

GB: I know. Because there was that hesitation

NP: There was a hesitation. Gyles has 46 seconds still available, tell us something about strangers on a train starting now.

GB: This story is going to astound Miles because it is going to lead to his conception ...


GB: I was on a train...

NP: You've been challenged, you've been challenged. Paul what is it.

PM: Repetition of going.

NP: Going yes, well listened Paul and you've got 35 seconds, you tell us about strangers on a train starting now.

PM: One of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, made in the early 1950s for the Warner Brothers Studios. It was based on the first novel by Patricia Highsmith who went on to become a magnificent crime writer throughout the rest of her career. Strangers On A Train, black and white, monochrome, call it how you will. It's lack of colour did not... ahhhhh!


PM: For those Hungarian viewers!

NP: Gyles you challenged.

GB: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, there are 17 seconds still available Gyles, it's strangers on a train starting now.

GB: She sat down in front of me, she was indeed a stranger on this train, looking remarkably like a young Ingrid Bergman. That was not her name though. Jupp turned out to be the surname this woman had. Her hair flame red, her eyes the colour of beautiful azure pearls. And then I kissed her...


GB: I'm sorry! I dipped the pearls in a azure colour that I've got at home.

PM: Yeah.

NP: You needn't wriggle out of it.

GB: No because I worry about it. Even when I've won, I worry. I worry.

MJ: I wish to wriggle out of it because she was already called Jupp which obviously wasn't my mother's maiden name so you're suggesting, you're suggesting...

GB: Oh yes that's a terrible thing! This is a terrible thing!

MJ: This is awful news!

GB: But your Dad...

MJ: If I had to choose anyone to hear this news from Gyles as well, with the best will in the world, it simply wouldn't be you.

GB: I know! Can I say he's been...

MJ: It would be Nicholas Parsons.

GB: I want you to know he's been a good Dad in his own way, Mister Jupp, you've done your best over the years.

MJ: Reverend Doctor!

GB: Really?

MJ: Yes you disgrace!

NP: Right so what's the situation now at the end of that round. Well Paul Merton is still in the lead and he's two points ahead of Gyles Brandreth. Oh no it's Liza Tarbuck who is in second place, one point behind Paul. Gyles is one point behind Liza and Miles Jupp is bringing up a magnificent rear. I'm sorry I could have said that better, couldn't I. Let's get on with the show, Gyles Brandreth it's your turn to begin.

GB: Oh Lord!

NP: And the subject is, oh, we are going to get something here, my holiday romance, 60 seconds starting now.

GB: Her name was Doris, the beach was sandy, it was Broadstairs in August and the fun we had as I rode her. She was of course a donkey. The year was 1956, my first holiday romance. All those glorious days of one's youth when you could fall in love with an animal and nobody thought there was anything perverse about it. Now when it happens to me and I fancy the beagle next door, they're on the phone to the RSPCA. What can you do? Holiday romances are incredibly dangerous...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: In answer to your question, what can you do, leave animals alone! Is what you could do. It's outrageous! There's people's pets watching this show, aren't there Nicholas.

NP: Yes I know but they don't get the jokes, the pets don't.

PM: They don't, no, they don't.

NP: They just sit there, they're fascinated by you, I know that.

PM: Are they?

NP: Yes.

PM: Really?

NP: I don't know why, they dribble at the mouth when you come on.

PM: Thank you. There's something about making a domestic pet drool that has somehow been top of my list of achievements.

NP: Paul we did enjoy the interruption...

PM: Yeah.

NP: You got a lovely laugh so we give you a bonus point for that. Gyles was interrupted so he gets a point for an incorrect challenge and you have...

LT: Miles gets the subject!

NP: Miles turns out to be the subject!

NP: Gyles, 30 seconds, my holiday romance starting now.

GB: My holiday romance truly started at Victoria Station when I climbed on to this train and saw this extraordinary young woman. You probably know her name, I won't repeat it. She was very beautiful I must say, and would look like somebody in this room if you could see her now, page by page... oh no!


NP: You see how easy it is to trip up in this game. So Paul you challenged first.

PM: Repetition of page.

NP: Yes so Paul you've got 15 seconds. Tell us something about my holiday romance starting now.

PM: Holiday romance, there I was on one of the Greek Islands. I looked up and across the horizon I saw a figure coming towards me. She was beautiful! Long golden hair, magnificent arms, a great big ... how long have we got?


GB: I think he's going out with the orangutang I had a dalliance with. Long golden arms? What's going on here?

NP: Yes but Miles, Miles, I think it was your buzzer that challenged first.

GB: Oh I'm so sorry.

MJ: Was it?

NP: Yes it was.

GB: I pressed it for you boy.

MJ: Oh did you. Yeah okay.

NP: So you got in...

MJ: I'll take that.

NP: ... with half a second to go.

GB: Yeah.

NP: And it's my holiday romance starting now.

MJ: I too was on a Greek Island because I was on...


NP: Paul it's your turn to begin, the subject is oh toasts. Tell us something about toasts in this game starting now.

PM: Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to all imagine you have an imaginary glass as we toast Mister Nicholas Parsons' chairmanship of Just A Minute for the last 45 years. He has never missed a programme, over 800 recordings. I say Nicholas and so do us, well done and here's to the next 800!



PM: We should also, I don't know, extend that time to a minute.

NP: Gyles challenged you actually.

GB: Only a repetition of Nicholas. But I kept it till after the applause.

PM: This is true.

NP: Yes it was.

PM: Yeah repetition of Nicholas.

NP: But can you have too much repetition of Nicholas?

PM: Eight hundred programmes.

NP: Eight hundred programmes. Well done, thank you, a bonus point for your flattery. Thank you very much.

PM: No no no!

NP: Gyles a correct challenge and you have 39 seconds. Tell us something about toasts in this game starting now

GB: Your Majesty, Royal Highness, Lords, ladies, gentlemen, this evening I am honoured to propose the toast to fatherhood. What an extraordinary proud thing it is to be a papa and to be confronted....


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of pa is it?

NP: No it's all one word.

PM: Papa.

NP: Papa is one word.

PM: Oh it's one word is it.

NP: Yes it is.

PM: Still it's nice to hear from me, wasn't it.

NP: So Gyles an incorrect challenge, another point to you, 26 seconds still available, toasts starting now.

GB: Of all of the toasts I like the most is the wonderful one that is slightly burnt with the baked beans on top and then the fish finger and then the fried egg. I know that cholesterol is...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: A few then one after the other.

NP: Yeah then then then.

GB: Oh yes. I can't argue with it! Wouldn't argue with it! Don't argue with it!

NP: No so keep quiet for a moment. Sorry I didn't mean to be rude, because I'm very fond of you, right. Paul... yeah but not in that way. Paul, correct challenge, you have 18 seconds, toasts starting now.

PM: When I think of all the great toasts that have been passed through the remarkable century that we have just endured and are still surviving through now, if we look at the great Winston Churchill on the eve of the Second World War. He was no longer at that point in power, but he knew... this has got nothing to do with toasts.


NP: And Liza you...

LT: I'm coming in there, there was a lot of deviation.

PM: Absolutely.

LT: I was trying to keep hold of you.

PM: I know, I didn't know where I was going with that.

NP: Great deviation.

LT: Slippy! Slippy subject yeah.

NP: So Liza you've got in with one second to go. You're getting sharp at this game, my darling. One second on toasts starting now.

LT: Before I left for this job this evening...


NP: So Liza Tarbuck was speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. She's moved forward, she's equal with Gyles in second place, they're both trailing Paul by three points and Miles Jupp is ...


NP: Oh who's for tea? That little tinkle tells us that we are into the last round. You couldn't care less, could you? But Miles it's your turn to begin.

MJ: Right.

NP: Oh what I keep in my pocket. Sixty seconds starting now.

MJ: What I keep in my pocket completely depends on which day of the week it is. On Mondays I have things that are to do with food such as eggs, ham, cheese, pizza, game, pate, beef...


NP: Gyles you've challenged.

GB: These pockets are just so huge. We've now got to the stage of deviation, when he got to the game I really wondered. I mean, I've met him on a Monday and I tell you, he's not wearing that anyway so it's deviation.

NP: How do we know that he hasn't got these huge pockets...

MJ: Yeah gamekeepers pockets.

GB: Yeah very good, very good.

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

GB: Quite right.

NP: And say that you still have the subject and there are 45 seconds available, what I keep in my pocket starting now..

MJ: Tuesday is DIY day pocket-wise. Hammers, tongs, tape measures, nails...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Slight hesitation.

NP: Slight hesitation. You couldn't keep it up, could you.

MJ: No I couldn't.

NP: Right.

MJ: Bless you for saying that.

NP: Listing sounds so easy in this game but I assure you it's very difficult. Go home and try it. Don't do it now because it's a waste of time. A correct challenge Paul, what I keep in my pocket, 39 seconds starting now.

PM: What I keep in my pocket, I have apricots, bananas, carthorses, dirty evil... oh I can't say that! My grandfather...


NP: Yes Miles.

MJ: That was a hesitation.

PM: Absolutely.

NP: He not only hesitated. Carthorses?

MJ: It was good manners, I have to say.

NP: A carthorse in your pocket?.

GB: It could have been a key-ring carthorse couldn't it.

MJ: Yeah.

NP: No it couldn't.

PM: I've got very big pockets! And very small carthorses

NP: Miles a correct challenge, you have 31 seconds still about what I keep in my pocket starting now.

MJ: Wednesday in my pockets I keep flags of all nations. English, Scottish, Welsh, Portugese, Irish, Dutch, French, German, Czech Republician, Slovakian, Cornish...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: There was a bit of a hesitation.

NP: There was a bit of a hesitation.

MJ: Indeed.

NP: Listing is great fun...

GB: They're ganging up on you.

MJ: I know, I appreciate it, I'm simply having a go.

NP: You're doing very well, you kept going for a good 15 seconds on that list. You should have changed from the list to something else. But Paul you've got in with 14 seconds to go on what I keep in my pocket starting now.

PM: What I keep in my pocket is a souvenir from my days as a child. It is a simple toy, it's a yo-ditto. And what it is is one of those things that go up and down like that on a piece of string. And it was given to me on the occasion of my seventh birthday...


NP: And only an experienced player of the game could come out with yo-ditto.

PM: I suddenly thought of yo-yo and realised...

NP: No no well done Paul, so you were speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. Let me give you the final score. Miles Jupp who has not played the game as much as the others did extraordinarily well, he did finish in fourth place but it was a very good fourth place. Your contribution is the important thing, not the points. And equal in second place were Gyles Brandreth and Liza Tarbuck. So out in the lead was Paul Merton so we say he is the winner today. Well we do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. So it only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine players of the game. And so it's good-bye from this delightful audience here at the Television Centre. It's good-bye from me Nicholas Parsons. Do join us again the next time we take to your screens and we play Just A Minute!