WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring PAUL MERTON, SUE PERKINS, MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE and STEPHEN MANGAN, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Television, 4 April 2012)
NOTE: Sue Perkins' and Marcus Brigstocke's final TV appearances, Stephen Mangan's debut and 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's my huge pleasure to welcome you to this special edition of Just a Minute from BBC Television Centre. After 45 years of entertaining by the radio, we thought it was about time to perform this show for your viewing pleasure. So without further ado, please welcome to the show four talented performers, and they are, seated on my right, Paul Merton and Marcus Brigstocke, and seated on my left, Stephen Mangan and Sue Perkins. Please welcome all four of them! The players will try to speak for Just a Minute on the subject that I give them, and they must try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. The other three panellists can challenge at any time they wish, and if I uphold the challenge, they gain a point. If not, the person speaking gains a point and keeps the subject.We continue like that until the whistle goes and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. And by the way, they can repeat the subject on the card in front of me. And Sue, would you take the first subject? There's an interesting subject. It's teacher's pet. You have 60 seconds as usual, Sue, starting now.
SUE PERKINS: My teacher's pet was a chinchilla, a crepuscular rodent that loitered on the aggression scale somewhere between Mike Tyson and Ann Widdecombe. It had the softest fur but the temper of Satan, a little bit like myself when woken far too early in the morning. It sat in a cage on bedding made of paper and we were tempted to play with it. However, my friend Alison stuck a finger through the bars and immediately was stabbed by these incredible front teeth. The screams echoed down the corridor. There would have been a nurse called except I didn't go to the sort of establishment where there were members of the healing profession available. It's a terrifying creature, said pet, and I would encourage people to stay away from them. In their natural habitat, it might well be that they are pleasant. However, when confined in an educational environment they become incredibly upset, and I also suspect it was allergic. We...
NP: Well done. we‘re all amazed. You really and truly deserve that astounding round of applause. That doesn't often happen when we've been playing this game for 45 years and it is yet to happen in this particular series of Just a Minute, so congratulations, Sue. You started with a subject, you finished with a subject - you get a point for speaking when the whistle went and also a bonus point for not being interrupted. So at the end of that round, Sue Perkins is in the lead. And we move to Stephen Mangan.
STEPHEN MANGAN: No pressure then after that. Wow, that's how you do it, just speak for a minute.
NP: That is it.
SP: Come on.
SM: How hard can it be?
NP: Don't be inhibited because it very rarely happens and she is exceptional at the game. So, Stephen, oh, this is a good subject. Frankenstein. You have 60 seconds as usual, Stephen, starting now.
SM: Frankenstein, or Fronkenshteen, as it's very rarely pronounced, is a novel by Mary Shelley, one of our finest authors. Her brother, Percy Bysshe, which is a name that sounds like a sound that Ivor the Engine might make on arriving at the station, was a well-known poet. Her book is about a Dr Viktor Frankenstein, spelt with a K, and he created a monster from old body parts, tyres, ricotta cheese, string, fungus and other items from the back of his refrigerator. This creature roamed the corridors of...
NP: Sue you challenged.
SP: Repetition of creature.
PAUL MERTON: Very good though.
SP: That was something.
NP: Well done, Stephen. It's the first time he's played the game and he went for the first time, therefore, with 42 seconds.
SM: Wow! Wow!
NP: Unfortunately, you've done all the hard work. Sue gets the subject because it's a correct challenge, I agree with you, Sue. You're still the only one to have got any points and you have 18 seconds. Tell us something about Frankenstein starting now.
SP: She was visiting Lord Byron at Lake Geneva and they were sat round the campfire when she conceived of Frankenstein. It was incredibly powerful at the time to think of stories associated with electricity. Those Enlightenment issues that galvanised the nation. It's a gothic horror and one of my favourites. .
NP: So once again, Sue Perkins was speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. She's still the only one to have got any points in this game of Just a Minute. We are moving on to you, Marcus, now. The subject is your mum. That's the subject, not your mum. Talk on the subject of your mum and there are 60 seconds as usual, starting now.
MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE: (in Jamaican accent) I think like the basically best way of discussing this particular topic is to do it in this particular voice because most...
NP: Oh yes Sue challenged.
SP: Repetition of particular.
NP: You‘ve got two particulars, yes.
MB: Yeah true.
NP: Sue, you're still the only one who's got any points. You've got another one now and you've got 53 seconds, your mum starting now..
SP: My mum is fabulous. She looks a little like an owl. Her glasses resembling a welder's goggles. She's timid, smart and underestimates herself. She makes a fabulous Victoria sponge but try telling her that and her cheeks will flush an almost extraordinary red. She's loud when needs be and can apply the back of a hairbrush to your buttocks quicker than Jack Knife. She is incredibly soulful.
NP: Marcus challenged.
MB: Deviation. Jack was famous for his use of a knife, not a hairbrush.
NP: Are you talking about Jack the Ripper?
MB: No, absolutely not. Not at six o’clock.
SP: Jack the Knife.
MB: Yeah, Jack Knife. So named for his speed with a knife, not a hairbrush. It was pretty spurious, Nicholas, but to be honest, I had to press, didn't I, at some stage?
NP: Yes somebody has to speak, didn‘t they. I'll tell you what we do, shall we give it to Stephen. He hasn't played the game very much?
MB: Yeah that works.
NP: Stephen, for 28 seconds, you tell us something about Your Mum, starting now.
SM: Your mum smells of bacon. There, I've said it. It's something I've always wanted to speak aloud but only now have I had the courage to talk. Perhaps she was bitten by a radioactive pig as a child, but whenever I see her, I have an urge to butter two slices of white bread and slap them either side of her and slather red ketchup across her body. Maybe some mustard, and then with my big teeth, and they are enormous, take a huge chunk out of her side because...
NP: So, Stephen Mangan was then speaking as the whistle went, gains that extra point and he is now in second place behind Sue Perkins who's in the lead. Paul Merton, we'd like you to begin the next round. The wild west - tell us something about that exciting subject in this game, starting now.
PM: (in Old American accent) Well, I remember the days of Wild West even as if it were yesterday. The James gang rode into town and the sheriff, he didn't know what to do but I stood there and said, "Listen, you've got to stand up to these boys, otherwise the whole place is going to be taken over and go to wreck and ruin“. He said “listen here old timer, you may have..."
PM: Who buzzed in? Who buzzed then?
PM: I happen to be using this programmeas an audition for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
SM: I wondered if he'd had a stroke..
NP: No, he hadn't. He was going in fine form.
SM: I was just worried.
NP: He was doing his audition piece. He was doing one of his character studies, so that was an incorrect challenge, Paul. You keep the subject and you can keep the character too, if you want. There are 45 seconds, the Wild West, starting now..
PM: (in Old American accent) I remember the first day I saw Maybelline, prettiest girl I ever saw.
NP: Sue you’ve challenged.
SP: "I remember the first day" is a repetition.
NP: Yeah that was a repetition.
PM: Short-term memory. Lack of.
NP: Sue, a correct challenge. You have 43 seconds on the Wild West, starting now. .
SP: I wish I'd been alive in the Wild West. To have stood there watching the gangsters mowing each other down, a sheriff with a badge standing…
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Well I don't think there were gangsters in the Wild West. It's been fairly well authenticated that they were cowboys.
SP: They were like gangster cowboys..
PM: I see, gangster cowboys.
NP: No, I think outlaws or cowboys, as you say. No, gangsters, I think that's incorrect. So Paul, you have a correct challenge. You have the subject back with you, the Wild West..
SP: Do the voice! Do the voice! (does impression of PM’s western voice)
NP: Can you sustain the voice, 36 seconds, starting now.
PM: (in old American voice) Six years old I was when I first saw my gold mine. I said to Pop, "You've got to find another way of making money." He said, "I'm going to sell your teeth to the vet." I said, "What's he going to need them for? He's just a horse doctor." "No, his voice has got better," it was pointed out to me. I said, "I wasn't referring to the quality of his vocal cords. "I was meaning what he...
PM: ".. came in for, a four-legged animal with a halter on its neck." (normal voice) Who’s buzzed?
NP: Marcus, you challenged.
MB: A small deviation from the accent.
PM: I spent some time in Devon..
MB: Up until "vocal coids.".
MB: Vocal coids. It had been very impressive.
SP: I thought it was fairly solid..
NP: I think it was fairly solid too. I think the audience think it was fairly solid, don't you?
SHOUTS OF “YES” FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Yes right.
PM: You always want to do something that's fairly solid in comedy..
NP: Yes, so they're all with you, Paul. You have 14 seconds, another point, wild west, starting now.
PM: (in old American accent) I went to the Wild West in 1922 and the thing had completely turned different. I saw a toothless old man and he said, "Hey, should have been here in the old days, there was a gold mine over there..."
NP: Sue challenged.
SP: Repetition of gold mine.
PM: Yeah I don't know many cliches, do I?
NP: Oh dear, we wanted him to keep it going till the end..
PM: That's all right. Never mind.
NP: Sue, that was a correct challenge so we give it to you. You've got three seconds, starting now.
SP: I came…
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Extraordinary hesitation. Extraordinary! You could have made a ham sandwich in that, couldn't you?
NP: No I'll give you a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption. But Sue was interrupted, gets a point for that. The wild west, two and a half seconds, starting now..
SP: (In imitation of PM’s accent) I was a gold prospector and I came out...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: She’s doing my material!
SP: I learned from the master.
NP: A challenge under the rules of Just A Minute?
PM: Yes, she’s ruining my income. On the back of the stage you'll see, "White Old-timer, Wild West, Toothless, Me."
NP: But you said you were doing an audition for a part? Which plays are you going to be in, or which film?
PM: Well, it's a rather radical interpretation of The Importance of Being Ernest. "I can't bear to see..."
NP: Which part was that, Ernest?.
PM: No that was Lady Bracknell. I did say it was radical..
SP: That's going to be some show.
PM: It’s going to be some show.
NP: So, no, Sue, an incorrect challenge. And you have half a second on the wild west starting now..
SP: Oh Lordy!
NP: So, Sue Perkins speaking as the whistle went gained that... not all-important but that extra point. She's now in a strong lead, ahead of Paul Merton, Stephen Mangan and Marcus Brigstocke in that order. And Sue, it's your turn to begin. The subject is the puppet master. Tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now. .
SP: We're aware of the puppet, but who pulls the strings? In this game of Just A Minute, it's Nicholas Parsons, who stands twitching our arms and legs, moving our mouths, we are merely vessels for his diseased light entertainment...
NP GESTURES TO SM TO PRESS THE BUZZER
NP: Challenge! Challenge!
NP: Right oh Stephen you challenged.
SM: Something made me press it, I don't know what it was.
SP: Was it a loud silver fox bellowing, "Come on, do it!"
NP: What's your challenge?
SM: My challenge is deviation.
NP: Deviation, right. Definitely deviation. I don't pull the puppet strings!
SM: You don‘t pull the strings.
SP: Yes, he does. Yes he does! You don't see it!
NP: You were really on the ball there.
SM: No, I know
NP: So a correct challenge, Stephen, you have the puppet master and 45 seconds, starting now..
SN: I get taught tae kwon do at a rather unusual branch in Camden Town, and I am about to be made a puppet master, which is the level up from stairmaster, which is where I currently reside. To achieve this notori-i-i-i...
SM: It's a musical!
NP: Sue your challenge?
SP: It was hesitation, but it also was light opera at the same time. I think worthy of a bonus point, but yeah, so it is hesitation.
NP: Hesitation, right, 31 seconds are still available, Sue, the puppet master, starting now..
SP: Recently, I went to a marionette theatre in Salzburg, and watched the puppet master do an extraordinary rendition of The Sound of Music, where the Julie Andrews character was actually less wooden than the original. It was marvellous to see this multi-limbed creature...
NP: Marcus challenged.
MB: Yes hesitation.
NP: Yeah, I think...
MB: Extension on multi-limbed.
NP: I think she was running out of steam, and so we got to the point where we call it hesitation, and Marcus, you've got in with 15 seconds on the puppet master, starting now..
MB: For me, the ultimate puppet master is Mr Jim Henson, who of course created the Muppets, which were my very favourite things when I was growing up as a lad, I was a huge fan of Animal on his drum kit, and in fact had a badge with his face on, which I absolutely loved, and I destroyed many...
NP: So Marcus Brigstocke was then speaking as the whistle went, and gained an extra point for doing so, and he's moved forward. He's still in fourth place, but he's moved forward. Stephen, we'd like you to begin the next round. Oh, dear. What frightened me as a child,.60 seconds, starting now.
SM: What frightened me as a child were Nana Mouskouri and Demis Roussos. Their enormous Greek faces in my dreams would come surging out of vats of hummus and taramasalata, singing, "Those were the days, my friend, I thought they'd never end," as they lifted up high into the sky on pitta bread wings, dripping their dips all over my Tottenham Hotspur duvet. And I lay curled there, saying, "Please, no, not the Greek..."
SM: "..faced people." Oh!
NP: Sue, you challenged first.
SP: Repetition of Greek.
NP: Yes, I think they all saw that one. And you've got the subject, you have 29 seconds, and it is, what frightened me as a child.
SP: Doctor Who frightened me as a child, Davros in particular, with his studded metal skirt and incredibly old face. Stairs, of course, were the things that would totally put paid to his world domination plans, but as a child, I had no idea that such a simple thing could prove to be so utterly disgraceful. Why I've used that phrase, I have no idea. Didn't make any sense. .
NP: Marcus challenged.
MB: As Sue pointed out, it didn't make any sense..
SP: Didn‘t make any sense.
NP: So it was deviation from what she was saying. You have a correct challenge. Marcus, you have what frightened me as a child, seven seconds, starting now.
MB: What always frightened me as a child was any sort of challenge involving speaking in front of other people, particularly for a set amount of time, and it's a fear that I haven't ever...
NP: So, Marcus Brigstocke was then speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. He has moved forward, he is in third place equal with Paul Merton, Stephen Mangan is one point behind, Sue is out in the lead. Oh, and the next round is on a lovely subject, The Owl And The Pussycat. Yes, Edward Lear, I've got a whole show about him. I know these poems, they're so lovely.
The owl and the pussycat went to sea
in a beautiful pea-green boat.
They took some honey
and plenty of money
wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The owl looked up to the stars above
and he sang to a small guitar,
"Oh pussy my love, oh, lovely pussy,
what a beautiful pussy you are, you are
what a beautiful pussy you are."
Pussy said to the owl,
“you elegant fowl,
how charmingly sweet you sing.
Oh let us be married,
too long we have tarried
but what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away for a year and a day…
PM, SM AND SP GET UP AND LEAVE STAGE
NP: … to the land where the Bong tree grows.
And there in the wood,
a piggywig stood,
with a ring at the end of his nose, his nose,
with a ring through the end of his nose.
MB HOLDS UP SIGN SAYING “GET HELP” POINTING AT NP AND LEAVES STAGE
NP: Dear pig, are you willing
to sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the piggy, "I will."
So they took it away,
and were married next day
by the turkey who lives on the hill.
And then hand-in-hand
on the edge of the sand
they danced by the light of the moon, the moon
They danced by the light of the moon.
PM, MB, SM AND SP RETURN TO THEIR SEATS
NP: Well, thank you for that endorsement of my…
PM: How does it go?
NP: It went very well, the audience loved it. They didn't disappear like you lot did..
PM: I was just trying to get hold of some tickets for next week.
MB: I like your tribute to their boat in the form of a jacket..
NP: Yeah, it could be pea-green, yes. It could be. They sailed away for a year and a day…
MB: Oh not again!
NP: Paul, we'd like you to take the subject, and there are 60 seconds, as usual, the owl and the pussycat, starting now.
PM: Well, I just thought the beautiful rendition that Nicholas Parsons gave of that magnificent poem by Edward Lear, The Owl And The Pussycat, was really an extraordinary example of the artistic qualities of our magnificent... oh I can't say it..
PM: I don’t believe a word of it! I can’t say it!
NP: Oh, Paul, and I believed you to begin with. Sue you challenged first.
SP: There was a hesitation.
NP: There was a hesitation.
NP: So you have 47 seconds, and you have the subject of The Owl And The Pussycat, starting now.
SP: Edward Lear, a glorious, absurd, comic master of the poetic form. And that's all I know.
NP: Stephen Mangan.
NP: Hesitation, so you have 40 seconds, tell us something about the owl and the pussycat starting now.
SM: The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat~…
SP: Oh God, not you as well!
SM: They took some honey and plenty of money, wrapped up in a five-pound note. But if you've ever taken the product of bees encased in Queen's coinage, you'll find it gets very sticky after a while….
NP: Marcus challenged.
MB: Yeah deviation.
MB: Well, it's a five-pound note, isn't it, it's not the Queen's coinage. Very difficult to wrap honey in coins.
NP: So, Marcus, a correct challenge. The Owl And The Pussycat is with you, 24 seconds available, starting now..
MB: I once had a pea-green boat, and I put an owl and the pussycat in it, and unfortunately, the owl attacked the cat, and the whole thing ended horribly. But it didn't stop me from...
MB: … enjoying them setting sail...
NP: Stephen you challenged.
SM: Hesitation, he said…
MB: Well there is now!
SM: He said er.
NP: So what was your challenge?
SM: Hesitation, he said but er.
NP: Oh he did, yes indeed.
MB: I meant butter, the delicious....
NP: Stephen, a correct challenge, you have 12 seconds, tell us more about The Owl And The Pussycat, starting now.
SM: I was known as both Owl and Pussycat at university, Owl because I was nocturnal and wise and ate mice and ....
NP: Sue you challenged.
SP: I was at university with Stephen. He was drunk, he was silly, he wasn't wise. He... simply, so deviation from fact. And I know that.
NP: Yeah but…
SM: I‘m not having that.
NP: We don’t know that, do we.
SP: I do, I was at college with him!
NP: I think we have to give his impression of what he thought he was like at college…
SP: He was an animal!
PM: Well, he was two animals. He was an owl and he was a pussycat.
NP: Now, I am going to give Stephen the benefit of the doubt, and so you have four seconds, Stephen, The Owl And The Pussycat, starting now.
SM: And pussycat because I used to wear a mo...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Well, he's very good, but it was repetition of because. We had "an owl because," and "a pussycat because“.
NP: Because, because, because, so, Paul, you got in with three seconds to go, on The Owl And The Pussycat, starting now.
PM: The owl and the pussycat looked at each other across the divide...
NP: The situation now is that Sue Perkins is still in the lead, and she is way ahead of Paul Merton and Stephen Mangan in second place, and Marcus trails them by just two points, that's all, and Sue...
MB: I‘m in third though, out of four possible places.
NP: You're in third place, yes..
MB: Yeah! Tremendous!
NP: And Sue, will you begin the next round? The subject is spreading rumours, 60 seconds, starting now.
SP: Two years ago, I spread a vicious rumour that Greek was bust...Greece!
SP: I did it in the end.
NP: Stephen Mangan you challenged.
NP: There was a hesitation. Stephen, you have the subject of spreading rumours, 56 seconds, starting now.
SM: Spreading rumours have plagued the margarine industry for years. The rumours being that margarine is...
NP: Oh Sue challenged.
SP: Repetition of margarine.
NP: There was too much margarine there yes. And Sue Perkins, another point to you. 49 seconds on spreading rumours, starting... Oh, I've got hiccups.
NP: Oh... it's not a good idea to have hiccups in the middle of a live television show.
PM: Are we live? My God!
NP: So, and, Sue, spreading rumours, it's now 49 seconds, starting now..
SP: After spending an entirely innocent evening in a Bunga room with Silvio Berlusconi, a very unpleasant rumour about me was spread. Namely that I could be purchased for Lire, or Euro in new money, for any evenings with former....
NP: Oh Marcus challenged.
MB: Yes, hesitation.
NP: There was a hesitation yes. Marcus, you have 33 seconds on spreading rumours, starting now.
MB: Spreading rumours is an awful, terrible thing to do, but my God, it's good fun. For example, many people have told me stories about Simon Cowell and just exactly what he prefers, but I can't say what those things here. Those would be…
PM: Write it down!
NP: So, Paul, what was your challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?
PM: Oh, I haven't got one. Hesitation.
NP: He did hesitate yes. Well done, you were quick there Paul. And you have the subject, spreading rumours, starting now.
PM: When a major event occurs, something like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, there are rumours that abound that it was some conspiracy involved. The American public couldn't believe that their president could be taken out by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald was the man who was actually accused of the crime, and it's fairly clear that it was him involved, because...
NP: So, Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gains that extra point, he's moving forward, he is in second place behind Sue Perkins, who is in the lead. Marcus Brigstocke...
NP: Oh, it's time for tea! That little tinkling bells tells us we have time for only one more round. Right, Marcus Brigstocke, it's your turn to begin. Training a crab to walk forwards.
SP: They‘re playing right into your hands, Marcus. .
MB: Yeah I know.
NP: Right. Marcus, you begin, training a crab to walk forwards, 60 seconds, starting now.
MB: Training a crab to walk forwards is not an easy thing to do, but it puts me pleasingly in mind of Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling's attempts to make ravens fly underwater. That was created by Peter Cook, and it always makes me laugh. However, I have trained many a crab to walk forwards. The trick is to convince the crab that they are drunk, this is not an easy thing to do, but one of the ways you can do it is by swaying about and offering them a kebab, at which point, the crab will usually begin to veer in your direction, and then you start waving your arms, jumping up and down and punching the side of a police van, that's usually a pretty good indication that you've had one Oh.So the crab is then excited by what you are doing and thinks, well, I probably am (“Fucked” is bleeped), and begins to teeter in the rough direction of what you are doing at that stage, which is pretending to be blind, blotto....
NP: Oh shame!
MB: I had such a head of steam up!
NP: Oh and you went for 49 seconds.You do all the hard work, and somebody comes in and takes it from you. Sue, what was your challenge?
SP: Ah hesitation.
NP: Unfortunately there was yes. But we enjoyed it.
MB: Me too!
NP: I think you should have, as it's the last round, you should have a bonus point for 49 seconds.
MB: Oh how nice!
NP: Sue, you get another point for a correct challenge, and there are 11 seconds left, starting now.
SP: Surround its flanks by angry, hungry lions, then you'll find it will move forwards with surprising speed and skill. Or strips of bacon latticed over the top, as if you're about to move it into an oven...
NP: So, Sue Perkins, speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and the final situation, oh, an extraordinarily fair one. Sue is out in the lead, but in second place, equal were Stephen Mangan, Marcus Brigstocke and Paul Merton, all with the same number of points. So a round of applause for the seconds. And a round of applause for our winner today, which is Sue Perkins. It only remains for me to say a final thank you to these four fine players of this game. And so, it's goodbye from this delightful audience here at the Television Centre, it's goodbye from me, Nicholas Parsons, and join us again the next time we take to your screens and play Just A Minute. Yes!