NOTE: Marcus Brigstocke's first TV appearance, Ruth Jones's only appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Oh! Thank you! Thank you! Oh, thank you! Thank you, thank you! 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. After 45 years of entertaining via the radio we thought it was about time to perform this show for your viewing pleasure. Without further ado, please welcome to the show four talented and delightful performers and they are, seated on my right, Paul Merton and Sue Perkins and seated on my left, Ruth Jones and Marcus Brigstocke. Please welcome all four of them! The players will try to speak for Just A Minute on a subject I give. They must 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 the subject. If not, the person speaking gains a point and keeps the subject. And we go on like that until the whistle goes. And, by the way, they can repeat the subject on the card. Paul, the subject here is common misconceptions. Sixty seconds as usual, starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Humphrey Bogart in Play it Again Sam, which wasn't the name of the film, it was Casablanca. He never said those words, in fact. There's a Common Misconception that "school days are the happiest of your life", is something people often say as well, as if somehow the misery of being in some educational establishment where your name may be construed by other students who turn it into some...


NP: Ruth challenged.

RUTH JONES: How does one construe or misconstrue a name?

PM: I don't know.

SUE PERKINS: This has got very metaphysical.

NP: I know.

PM: What's your challenge?

NP: What's your challenge, darling?

RJ: That what you propose is actually impossible.

PM: I'd better shut up for the rest of the show then, hadn't I?

NP: Ruth, as you've never played the game before. I think I'm going to be generous and give you the benefit of the doubt and say you have a correct challenge. You have a point for that and it's common misconceptions, 40 seconds still available, starting now.

RJ: There's a very common misconception in my household and that is that I can do housework. It's not something that I'm particularly allergic to, it's just that I don't ever want to do it, so what I tend to do is try and get other people in my household to do it.


MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE: That's a repetition of household.

NP: Yes.

MB: Like a second home owner.

NP: And also, "do". Yes, right. So, Marcus, a correct challenge.

MB: Yeah.

NP: You take over the subject. You get a point for that. Common misconceptions, starting now.

MB: John McCririck, the racing commentator, is both common and was misconceived. I don't like him. This is a misconception that people have. Other...


NP: As I said earlier, that whistle tells us 60 seconds have elapsed and whoever is speaking then gets an extra point and it was Marcus Brigstocke, who's naturally in the lead. Marcus, we'd like you to begin..

MB: Okay.

NP: And the subject is night school. Can you tell us something about night school in this game, starting now..

MB: I am very glad to have this subject because I actually went to Knight School with Sir Galahad. And it was there that I was first shown how to put on armour and charge around the country on behalf of King Arthur in a search for the Holy Grail. Knight School is an enjoyable place if you have a lance and a pony. And other than that, I would say that it's mainly filled up with very lonely people, trying to meet other...


NP: Sue you challenged.

SP: Repetition of very.

NP: Yes.

MB: Yes very very.

NP: Very very yes, so, correct challenge, 33 seconds. You tell us something about night school in this game, starting now.

SP: Marcus's Knight School isn't so interesting if you're a lady. You have to hang around like Guinevere and grow your hair, sometimes wear a pointy hat and wait on a turret for a man to come and rescue you, preferably with a white charger. Now, when I see said beautiful albino pony coming towards me,I know that safety is at hand. I will once again be able to...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Have we strayed a little way from night school?

NP: A major stray from it.

PM: Yes yes.

NP: Nowhere near night school as far as I was concerned.

SP: Well I was on a turret, overlooking night school!

NP: You didn't establish that night was the knight beginning with a K.

SP: Don't be strict with me, Nicholas.

NP: I'm not strict, darling.

SP: Keep the love alive!

PM: Not another one Nicholas!

NP: Yes.

PM: Over 45 years, no-one's been safe!

SP: A girl in every port!

NP: On every show. Right. Oh. Paul, correct challenge. And you have night school, 14 seconds, starting now.

PM: I never attended night school. I suppose I went to some evening classes round about 1980. There were acting lessons taught at Sutton Library by this gentleman who sold fridges during the day. And I went along and I didn't really pick up a great deal.


NP: So Paul Merton, speaking while the whistle went, gained an extra point. He's moved forward and he's in second place but it's early days, isn't it? Sue Perkins…

SP: Yes?.

NP: Will you begin the next round? The subject, whodunnit? Tell us something about whodunnit in this game, starting now.

SP: The word "whodunnit" refers to a plot-heavy crime thriller that reached its peak in the 1920s. It's quintessentially a British genre and I would say its greatest exponent is Agatha Christie, who pioneered the use of the locked room. There is essentially a space that no-one can get in or out of, in which she piled it high with stock characters such as the American industrial magnate, the young floozy, the ingenue, the virginal young boy who was yet...


NP: Oh, yes, Marcus.

MB: Repetition of young.

NP: There was two young yes. The young floozy.

PM: It was very good though.

SP: Thank you.

RJ: Very good.

MB: Sorry.

RJ: You spoilt it for everyone now.

MB: Yes I know.

RJ: We were all enjoying this.

MB: It‘s just, it‘s a game.

NP: And, Marcus, you had a correct challenge and you've got 26 seconds. You tell us something about whodunnit, starting now..

MB: When I was growing up, the question of whodunnit was normally answered by my father, who'd say, "It was the dog." And then everybody would move away from the dog and towards...


NP: Oh yes of course.

MB: The dog.

SP: Double dog.

MB: Twice on the dog.

NP: Sue you challenged first yes.

SP: Yes repetition of dog.

NP: Dog yes, the dog came in twice. Sue, you have the dog. No, you don't. You have whodunnit....

SP: I'll have whatever you give me, Nicholas.

NP: There are 18 seconds, Sue, starting now.

SP: There are great whodunnit writers, Dorothy L Sayers, Ruth Rendell. I've mentioned, obviously, the most famous, whose creation, Hercule Poirot, the moustached Belgian, remains foremost in our minds when we think of a person most likely to detect a crime. There he…


NP: Oh Paul you...

PM: I disagree. I'd say Sherlock Holmes. I’d say he comes to mind before Hercule Poirot. All a matter of opinion of course.

NP: A matter of opinion.

MB: Or Brian Paddick as well.

PM: Yes.

MB: Poirot, Paddick, Holmes. They're all very much of a type

NP: I know. And Paul, you've got in with one second to go.


PM: I’m sorry, I’ll withdraw my challenge.

NP: It‘s a matter of opinion who you think is the best.

PM: It is.

NP: And she has an incorrect challenge and as I said before one second to go, starting now.

SP: Miss Marple would be furious because she thinks she's the best detective…


NP: So Sue Perkins was speaking as the whistle went, gaining the extra point. And at the end of that round, she's taken the lead, just one ahead of Paul Merton. Paul, I'm sure this has been chosen for you because you did a programme about it. Ibiza. Tell us something about that place in this game, starting now.

PM: You're quite right. It was the subject of a travelogue I did this year. Ibiza's where I went. The great island paradise that people sometimes see as the ultimate party destination, but when you see beyond the clubs that are there, you realise it's a beautiful island full of wonderful history...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Repetition of island.

NP: Yes.

PM: Oh yes of course, yes yes.

NP: Yes yes Sue, you were listening well. You got in with 45 seconds to go on Ibiza, starting now.

SP: Last time I went to Ibiza, Paul Merton was there making a documentary. He was dressed scantily in Lycra, doing a seemingly sexual dance which involved...


NP: Ruth challenged.

RJ: I think that is quite disturbing for the audience. That actual image.

SP: It was actually nothing disturbing about seeing Paul at full tilt on the dance floor.

RJ: Yeah.

NP: I saw the programme, I don't think he ever wore Lycra.

PM: No. It was worse than that!

SP: Yeah! This was, yeah, this was in his spare time Nicholas.

NP: So Ruth, we give you the benefit of the doubt. And you have 37 seconds on Ibiza, starting now.

RJ: I went to Ibiza when I was four years of age. It was the first holiday that I ever was taken on by my parents, who also had two boys that they took with them, who were my brothers, and also a sister, who was not yet born, but she was inside my mother's belly because....


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: I thought repetition of mother but I'm wrong.

RJ: Um I think...

SP: Actually yes it might have been repetition of mother.

NP: Yes she went with her mother at the beginning.

SP: Yes.

NP: She said she went with her mother.

SP: You see, the crisis of confidence, I’ve overcome it.

NP: So she did mention mother more than once. Sue you were listening well. You've got in with 21 seconds on Ibiza, starting now.

SP: I have actually never been to Ibiza, truth be told. It strikes fear into my heart because I‘m...


NP: Ruth challenged.

RJ: Hesitation on strikes.

NP: Yes a little bit of hesitation there.

SP: Yeah.

NP: Ruth, you had a correct challenge so you have the subject of Ibiza, 17 seconds, still, starting now..

RJ: Ibiza is surrounded by water, as is the case with many islands. And in fact, you can jump off all sorts of sides of the island, especially in Ibiza.


NP: And Marcus challenged.

MB: Repetition of island.

NP: Yeah.

RJ: Again.

PM: I thought, wasn‘t it island and islands. Plural and single.

RJ: Yes yeah you‘re right, it was intentional.

NP: So Marcus, an incorrect challenge.

MB: Yes.

NP: So Ruth Jones has another point and she's still got the subject and she's eight seconds still to go on Ibiza, starting now.

RJ: In Ibiza you can buy the most delicious chocolate ice-cream. I don't know why it is so different from other glasses or types of...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: Even in French, that's glace! So deviation from any recognised language.

NP: She was searching for another way to say ice cream wanting to say glace. But Marcus you’ve cleverly got in with one second to go.


NP: You've won no friends in this audience But you've got the subject and another point, of course, and you have one second, Ibiza starting now.

MB: I've been to Pacha, I was much too old for it. But I have….


NP: So Marcus Brigstocke was speaking when the whistle went. He's moved forward, he's equal with Paul Merton in second place. They're behind Sue Perkins, who's in the lead. Marcus we would like you to begin the next round. The subject is chat up lines.

RJ: Oh hello.

NP: I'm sure you have many for us to tell, 60 seconds, as usual, starting now.

MB: I've never really been smooth enough to pull off the chat up line, but I have been studying one of the great masters and that is, of course, Mr Nicholas Parsons, who just before we began playing this evening turned to the panellist sitting immediately to my right and said, "Was your father a thief?" At which point, Ruth punched him immediately in the face and Nicholas lay on the floor saying...


NP: Paul.

PM: Sadly repetition of Nicholas.

MB: Nothing sad about that. The world needs more of them.

NP: Yes, I'm quite enjoying it.

PM: Did you.

NP: Yes. But it wasn't true, of course. She didn't punch me! She wouldn't punch somebody. I was telling her how glorious she looked! I wasn't chancing my arm, don't misunderstand me.

SP: You’re a silver fox.

NP: I've reached the age where you can do a provocative chat up line and they know you're no threat! Right, Paul, you had a correct challenge.

PM: Oh do I, right?

NP: Yes chat up line,s 39 seconds starting now.

PM: "Is that a demob suit you're wearing?" would be the ultimate anti-chat up line, because it wouldn't impress anybody. Ise wasn't, a bit like Marcus, any good at chat-up lines...


NP: Ruth challenged.

RJ: You said Ise wasn’t.

PM: Sorry, yes. I'm working class. I do apologise. I'm awfully sorry.

NP: I don't think it matters what class you are, I think it's bad grammar.

PM: Is it?

NP: Ruth has a correct challenge and she has 32 seconds on chat up lines, Ruth, starting now.

RJ: The worst chat up line I ever heard was when somebody said to me, "oh do you want to get out of those wet clothes?"



NP: Sue challenged first.

SP: Hesitation.

NP: Darling will you explain to me what was that about?


SP: That's hot stuff, Nicholas. Like, tsss. Ooh!

MB: I thought that was them wetting the clothes.

RJ: It was! It was!

NP: I think it was a ghastly chat up line. Sue, you challenged and correctly so 25 seconds, Chat Up Lines, starting now.

SP: The worst chat up line was given to me by a ten-year-old boy in Paisley after a show. It is so disgusting I cannot possibly allow it to bt broadcast..


NP: Ruth challenged.

RJ: Paisley is a lovely pattern and I think you're incorrect for saying that it's disgusting.

SP: But Paisley, Glasgow, which is also a lovely place, but they have 10-year-old boys with potty mouths!.

PM: Write it down!

NP: I do think she was referring to the area…

RJ: I stand corrected.

NP: … up on the west coast, near Glasgow of Paisley. And so an incorrect challenge. Sue, you have the subject, still. What are you writing down?


PM: He was 10 years old?

SP: Ten years old!


NP: You're keeping that for future use?

PM: Yes.

NP: Ruth, it was an incorrect challenge

RJ: I apologise.

NP: Sue, you still have the subject and you have 17 seconds on chat up lines, starting now.

SP: Are there still men around who go to young women saying things like, "Do you like your eggs fertilized or unfertilized in the morning?"


NP: Who’s challenged? Ruth.

RJ: Repetition of the word "like".

NP: Do you like your eggs fertilised...

RJ: Saying things like... Do you like?

NP: Two likes.

SP: A couple of likes.

NP: She’s never played the game before. Another point to you Ruth and you have the subject and there are 10 seconds, still. Chat up lines, starting now.

RJ: Chatting someone up is a very difficult thing to do because one...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: No it‘s not.

NP: But Marcus, we enjoyed your interruption so much we give you a bonus point for that. But Ruth was interrupted…

RJ: And the disrespect of womankind for ever!

MB: It was worth it for the bonus point!

RJ: Yeah.

NP: Yes of course That's what it's all about, isn't it? The fun we have. Right. So Ruth, it was an incorrect challenge. You have another point and you still have seven seconds on chat up lines, starting now.

RJ: Meeting someone for the first time can be daunting and one has to think of something suitable to say that will not make any…


NP: So Ruth Jones was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. And you'll be pleased and surprised to hear she's moved forward. She's in the lead with Sue Perkins. Marcus Brigstocke and Paul Merton are equal in second place. Ruth, it's your turn to begin. And the subject is the art of fencing, 60 seconds, as usual, starting now.

RJ: Putting up a fence in one's garden can be very difficult because if you don't get the height correct, then your fence will look rather strange. It will fall down, it will look uneven…


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Repetition, it will fall down, it will look uneven.

NP: It will, yes, So Sue, you got in with 49 seconds to go on the Art of Fencing, starting now.

SP: The trick with the Art of Fencing is to not make your opponent laugh, seeing as you are dressed as a cross between a beekeeper and a mummy. Parrying and lunging may look incredibly debonair, but ultimately, you've got a knitting needle in one hand and a teapot arm on the other. It doesn't strike fear into the heart of someone who may wish to enter into a bout with you. Instead, they're more than likely to be reduced to a flood of tears and hysterical laughter. Instead, I suggest, try a cannon.Much more powerful at close range, plus you don't need the precision. However, fencing we're discussing and so we must focus on specifics which, luckily, I am very well versed in, because I am Croydon's premier fencer. How I love to grab that foil, as I believe it's called...


NP: So Sue Perkins took the subject after only a few seconds and went magnificently to the whistle and gained only one point for doing so. But Sue, you have gone into the lead now, two ahead of Ruth Jones and you're three or four ahead of Marcus Brigstocke and Paul Merton. And we've now got a subject, I'm really embarrassed about this subject they've given me. Because the subject is Nicholas Parsons. And Sue Perkins, it's your turn to begin. So off you go on Nicholas Parsons... Oh, I don't mean that!

SP: It‘s like Christmas.

NP: On the subject of Nicholas Parsons, 60 seconds starting now.

SP: Nicholas Parsons was born before records began, but we do know he was friends with Methuselah. Aged 24, he struck a deal with Mephistopheles so that he would never age…


NP: Ruth?

RJ: Did you say Methistopheles?

SP: Mephistopheles.

RJ: Mephistopheles. I think you said meth.

NP: I don't think we get quite as pernickety as that, darling.

RJ: One is desperate sometimes.

NP: Yes, I know. You could've had her for deviation. I wasn't around when Mephistopheles was, I assure you.

PM: Nobody's doubting that, it's the pronunciation they're worried about.

NP: Your challenge was incorrect. Sue has another point, 47 seconds to speak about Nicholas Parsons, starting now.

SP: Nicholas Parsons invented show business in 1847 and pioneered the use of the cravat, which he still sports, although he it sometimes with a lovely polka dot tie. There is nothing so erotic as the sight of Nicholas Parsons...


SP: Intervention! Intervention!

NP: Oh, Paul.

PM: There are limits, aren‘t there.

NP: Yes, I'm afraid... I have to admit, I don't think I'm erotic.

SP: You never know Nicholas.

NP: I’m neurotic yes. Paul, I have to agree. You have a correct challenge and you have 31 seconds. Tell us something about Nicholas Parsons starting now.

PM: His career began back in the 1940s in radio on a show called Much Binding In The Marsh, and I heard one of those particular episodes on Radio Four Extra only the other Sunday.


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: Repetition of radio.

PM: Oh yes of course, I was trying to avoid BBC, repetition of B. .

NP: Yes right so Marcus, a correct challenge. You got in on the subject of Nicholas Parsons. And there's 22 seconds available, starting now.

MB: I'm at something of a disadvantage on this subject, because I've never heard of this Nicholas Parsons character. He sounds delightful and fascinating…


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Deviation from sense. Everybody's heard of Nicholas Parsons!

NP: I'm not going to give it to you out of conceit and say that you deserve that but of the fact that I'm on the show. You say you haven't heard of Nicholas Parsons and you're appearing in a show with Nicholas Parsons.

MB: Do you know him?

PM: I thought, you’re Nicholas Parsons?

MB: The Nicholas Parsons?

PM:: I thought you’re a mythical creature!

NP: What do I say now, eh? Marcus, we enjoyed your interruption. You get a bonus point.

MB: No I was speaking. It was Sue interrupting me.

SP: I did interrupt.

MB: But I enjoyed her interruption.

SP: Did you?

NP: So, I... no, Sue gets a point because she was interrupted, takes over the subject. You get a bonus point for humour.

MB: Oh good, splendid, good yes.

SP: Who gets the subject?

NP: You do.

SP: Oh okay.

NP: Fifteen seconds to go, starting now.

SP: There is nothing greater than Nicholas Parsons. He is the show leader...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Did we have show business before.

NP: Yes.

PM: Oh show business is one word though isn‘t it!

SP: Isn‘t it, no, is it one word.

NP: I‘m going to assume it‘s two words.

PM: Yes do.

NP: And say Paul has the benefit of the doubt. And if I get lots of letters, I don't think I'll bother to reply to them! There's still 10 seconds to go, Paul. Nicholas Parsons, starting now.

PM: Nicholas Parsons is someone I've known since roughly 1987 and what a magnificent creature he is. We first met on a television programme being made in Liverpool called Scruples.


NP: So Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, but he's still in third place. It's very close, actually. One point separates them all. And in ascending order, it's Marcus Brigstocke, Paul Merton, Ruth Jones and Sue Perkins. And we are with…


NP: Isn't that charming? That bell tells us not that they're bringing ice-cream round but it tells us we only have time for one more round.


NP: I expected more reaction than that! Anyway, we have one more round to go and Marcus, it's your turn to begin.

MB: Oh good.

NP: The subject now, that's an interesting one, my bucket list, 60 seconds, starting now.

MB: I have a bucket list and it includes a red bucket, a blue one, two green and one that I call Daisy that has...


NP: Ruth has challenged.

RJ: Repetition of the word one.

MB: Yes true. That’s true yeah.

NP: So Ruth you‘ve got in cleverly with 52 seconds to go on my bucket list, starting now. .

RJ: My bucket list is a film about two men who decide what they would like to do before they die. An item on the list of one of the men who appears on the film...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Two men.

NP: Two men yes. Too many men in your life, darling.

RJ: Too many men.

NP: Sue, correct challenge. You have the subject, my bucket list. 40 seconds, starting now.

SP: Were I to be presented with the possibility of death, which I'm still hoping to elude thanks to my magical elixir, yours for only 15-99, I would be...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: What? Deviation! This is the BBC! You can't advertise!

PM: Not even an elixir of youth?

MB: No. Not even an elixir of youth. The closest the BBC gets to advertising is wasting eight million quid teaching hippos to dance.

NP: I don't believe there's any elixir which will give you everlasting life.

SP: I said I‘m working on it! I‘m not there yet!

NP: No.

MB: To be fair, if anyone knows whether there's an elixir to give everlasting life, it is Nicholas Parsons!

SP: Yeah.

NP: The benefit of the doubt to you again, and you have my bucket list, 32 seconds, starting now.

MB: On My Bucket List is a strong desire to go down the Cresta Run on one of those trays that they use for bobsledding and leaning into every turn and corner. It would be tremendously exciting and probably kill me, so it would necessitate the...


NP: Sue challenged.

SP: Hesitation?

MB: There was a slight one yes.

NP: Yes a slight one. So, you have the subject back again, Sue, 19 seconds, My Bucket List, starting now.

SP: I would bungee jump off a bridge in Sydney, attempt the world 100 metres record. I would breed llamas...


NP: Marcus challenged.

MB: I wouldn't normally, but it's the last round and I know I'm last and you repeated I would..

SP: I did.

NP: Yes, you did, indeed. So, Marcus, 11 seconds, my bucket list starting now

MB: On my bucket list would be the chance to improve my position on the programme Just A Minute. That is pretty much all I wish for between now and death which will probably come when the pinger goes at the end....


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: I don‘t think it‘s a pinger.

NP: No, it is a whistle, and it has been for 45 years! .

MB: These are not, They're not pingers, either are they, they're buzzers. .

NP: They are buzzers.

SP: What is a pinger?

PM: It's the opposite of a ponger!.

MB: No, I think a pinger is the thing that tells you when the oven is finished cooking.

PM: Yes or your flight‘s been called.

NP: Anybody else got any suggestions? Paul it was a correct challenge and you got in with half a second to go. It won't make a lot of difference to the final situation, but it would be lovely to hear from you on my bucket list, starting now.


NP: Who challenged.

MB: .Well given the time available, only half a second, I reckon hesitation.

RJ: We both went in at the same time.

MB: I think he should have gone really quickly.

NP: I think he couldn’t go any quicker.

MB: Really?

NP: So the benefit of the doubt to you on this occasion Paul.

MB: And another point.

NP: Another point. Another point. And there is a quarter of a second, starting now!

PM: (speaks rapid gibberish)


NP: Marcus Brigstocke and Paul Merton are equal in third place. Out in the lead was Ruth Jones who's never played the game before, in second place. Congratulations Ruth very well done.

RJ: Thank you.

NP: The one with the most points, so we say she's the winner, that is Sue Perkins! It only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine players of the game. So it's goodbye from the delightful audience at Television Centre, goodbye from me, Nicholas Parsons, goodbye from the panel up here. So do join us again the next time we take to your screens and we play Just A Minute!