WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring PAUL MERTON, KIT HESKETH-HARVEY, LIZA TARBUCK and JOSIE LAWRENCE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 12 March 2012)
NOTE: Kit Hesketh-Harvey's final appearance.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!
NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners, in this country around the world. And to welcome to the programme four talented, exciting, humorous individuals who are going to play Just A Minute. And they are going to display their cleverness with words and language as they improvise on the subject that I give them, and they try and do it without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And they are, seated on my right, Paul Merton and Liza Tarbuck. And seated on my left, Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Josie Lawrence. Please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Sharon Leonard, who is going to help me with the score, she will blow the whistle when the 60 seconds have elapsed. And we are going to begin the show this week with Kit Hesketh-Harvey. And he is going to tell us something, I hope, about electronic books in 60 seconds if he can starting now.
KIT HESKETH-HARVEY: Some say that electronic books signal the demise of the public library. It would be extremely sad for Nicholas Parsons would have nowhere to go in the daytime. But there's no denying they are very useful when you are strap-hanging on a crowded underground because you can turn the pages and maintain your equilibrium with one hand leaving the other three to roam freely amongst your fellow passengers. To this end, I ordered one of these electronic books from a company I can't mention on this non-commercial station, but which rhymes with swindle, over an Internet company whose name has to do with an Amazonian tribe's women people with no breasts. Anyway, it arrived, I was very thrilled...
NP: Liza you challenged yes.
LIZA TARBUCK: I just want to clear this Amazonian tribe's name up.
KHH: I'm sorry, the Amazonians have no, were one breast missing so they could pull their arrows.
JOSIE LAWRENCE: Oh so they had one breast?
KHH: Yes sorry, I said no breasts.
LT: It wouldn't really work for the Warehouse for example.
PAUL MERTON: No no no...
KHH: No they all had two breasts.
PM: No no no.
NP: Liza you have a point for a correct challenge.
LT: Thank you so much.
NP: You have 12 seconds and tell us something about electronic books starting now.
LT: The publishers amongst us are actually rather frightened by electronic books. Because when they are travelling on the Tube, they now can't see what the vast majority of the population are reading. So as convenient as it is...
NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Liza Tarbuck, and she is the only one to have got any points in that first round. And so she is naturally in the lead, she is out there on her own, and she is going to begin the next round.
LT: Oh am I.
NP: Because the subject we've got for you Liza, we thought you'd go well on this one, is rubbish starting now.
LT: Material that someone feels is surplus to requirements could be...
NP: Kit challenged.
KHH: Sorry, deviation, the subject is rubbish and she is making perfect sense.
NP: Oh you're being too pedantic!
KHH: Oh sorry.
NP: Liza, rubbish is still with you. And you've got 56 seconds still available starting now.
LT: I heard from somebody who lives in Suffolk that when a plastic bag gets caught in a tree and you can see it, it must always be referred to as a pair of witch's nickers, which I rather like. It's better than saying trash or garbage. But sadly there is too much of it in our world. I was once in India and the Bay of Bengal, every single tide, brought up so much plastic bottlery that they had to employ a whole village of women which is good...
NP: Kit challenged.
NP: I'm sorry, have we had plastic twice? Because there was a plastic bag up being a witch's....
LT: Plastic bag.
NP: Yes, plastic bag in the tree.
LT: There's no hyphen is there.
KHH: I don't think so, no.
NP: It doesn't matter. Kit you've got 32 seconds on witch's nickers. No, a good subject for another show. The subject is rubbish Kit and you have 32 seconds starting now.
KHH: These days rubbish doesn't officially exist since we had to recycle. Everything, it all has a further use. And dustbin day is like playing animal, vegetable and mineral against your local council, to see who can win. I tried to throw out a compost heap once, that really stumped them, I can tell you. And thermos flasks don't go down very well...
KHH: Sorry, ran out of things to say.
NP: So Paul you had a correct challenge and you have a point for that of course and you have nine seconds. Tell us something about rubbish in this game starting now.
PM: It was one of Eric Morecambe's catch-phrases. What do you think of the so... oh damn!
NP: Liza you challenged.
LT: It was a hesitation.
NP: Oh yes it was.
LT: I had a feeling it was going to be marvellous.
PM: Yes it was.
NP: So another point to you Liza for a correct challenge and you've got five seconds, rubbish starting now.
LT: There is aw wonderful phrase that goes good riddance to bad rubbish that was written over... ah....
NP: Paul you challenged.
PM: There was a hesitation there.
NP: Yes there was a hesitation before the whistle went.
NP: There was. So half a second Paul, rubbish starting now.
PM: Garbage if you are American, but of course...
NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And he's now in second place, one point behind Liza Tarbuck. And Josie Lawrence we'd like you to begin the next round. The subject is my morning routine. Tell us something about it starting now.
JL: The alarm goes off, a kind of irritating repetitive beep. I knock it off the table, taking my glass of water with it. The bloomin' cat has made a nest in my hair having slept there all night. I pull myself over whatever love god happens to be in bed with me. Sorry Mum, I am making certain points up! I make my bed, tuck...
LT: No, do you know what? That was a horrible trigger finger. I'm sorry.
NP: No no, she actually, Josie, your light came on first so you actually challenged there.
JL: I've got, I don't understand...
PM: So what is Josie challenging on?
NP: What is your challenge? Was it for repetition?
JL: It wasn't true about the love god bit.
NP: No darling...
JL: Repetition of bed!
NP: Yes it was repetition.
JL: Thank you, repetition.
NP: So well listened, you've got a correct challenge.
JL: All right.
NP: So you get a point for a correct challenge and you keep the subject and there are 34 seconds, my morning routine starting now.
JL: I tuck in the sheets, I pull over the dee... vet... oh!
NP: Paul challenged.
NP: Yeah, it was hesitation, the duvet became a de-something. Right Paul there are 31 seconds still available, tell us something about my morning routine starting now.
PM: I like to get up about half past six, wander around to the shop round the corner...
PM: Wander around and round, two words, haha! Two different words, hahahah!
KHH: Sorry, did he, I thought it was round and round. What did you say?
PM: Around and round.
KHH: Oh did you?
PM: I did.
KHH: Oh you clever old sausage!
PM: Wasn't, wasn't deliberate, not that time.
NP: Twenty-six seconds, still with you Paul after another point and the subject is still my morning routine starting now.
PM: I tune into Radio Three just after seven, tuck into my porridge, have a cup of tea and it's a gorgeous way to start the day. I often find as well that working in the early hours of the morning pays great dividends, because by about 10 o'clock you can legitimately say I've done 60 minutes times two and that's a wonderful achievement, I'll now carry on with the rest of the 24 hour period that now I'm going to embark on. I also like to believe that to be patriotic early in the morning...
NP: Right Paul you were speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so and you're in a strong lead ahead of all the others. Kit Hesketh-Harvey it's your turn to begin and the subject I've got for you now is the worst putdown I ever had. Sixty seconds starting now.
KHH: I think the worst putdown I ever had was when I fed the cat to the pigs. It was not at all happy to be put down... ah...
NP: Josie challenged. Josie?
NP: Yes hesitation right, you've got the subject, there are 50 seconds available, the worst putdown I ever had starting now.
JL: No word of a lie! I was in a black cab once and the chap turned to me and said "do you know you look just like Catherine Zeta Jones, only uglier!" And I couldn't believe what I was hearing so I laughed. He then said "don't worry, you..."
JL: He apologised but I thought it quite funny.
NP: What did he say then?
JL: He said "I didn't mean it as an insult".
NP: Give her a bonus point for that.
NP: Right Paul you were the one to challenge, give us your... your challenge?
PM: Oh I forgot what it was. Yes it was...
PM: Hesitation yes.
NP: And you have 32 seconds, the worst putdown I ever had starting now.
PM: I think it happened at the Comedy Store Players, Josie might have been on stage at the same time. A man in the audience suddenly shouted out, much indignant "you're just saying funny things and people are laughing". This sort of threw us because somehow he was very unhappy with that state of affairs. Although it was booked as a comedy club he didn't want to know about laughing out loud. He wasn't dis... oh!
PM: Were you there Josie?
JL: Yeah it's true.
NP: Kit you were supposed to challenge.
KHH: Yes I'm sorry, that was a hesitation.
NP: It was yes, you've got 10 seconds, you tell us something now about the worst putdown I ever had starting now.
KHH: I was in the back of a cab dressed as Catherine Zeta Jones for the evening. Watching Paul Merton swoop above my head, I asked to put down at Trafalgar Square, but do you know, he took me all the way to the end of the Strand. I was absolutely...
NP: So Kit Hesketh-Harvey was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. He's moved forward into second place, just ahead of Liza Tarbuck and Josie Lawrence and a few points behind Paul Merton who is our leader still. And Liza we'd like you to begin the next round. Ah a lovely subject, the circus. Tell us something about the circus in Just A Minute starting now.
LT: The circus is actually something that was established in ancient Rome. And I believe that it was called the circus maxima.
LT: Maximum oh!
NP: Josie challenged.
JL: Um hesitation.
NP: She did yeah. She was pondering what...
LT: Maximus wasn't it yeah.
NP: Fifty-two seconds for you Josie, the circus starting now.
JL: The first time I went to see the circus, I was eight years old and I couldn't believe it. It was in the days when they used lots of animals which they don't tend to do now. The elephants came on dressed in pink tutus. Now I know it's cruel to think of them like that, but as an eight-year-old, I've already said eight-year-old...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Eight-year-old three times. She said "I already said eight-year-old" after the second time.
NP: Paul you have the subject of the circus, you have 34 seconds starting now.
PM: I was recently visiting the circus where I met a great clown called Tweedy who invited me into this circus ring at the end of the show. This was a very emotional moment for me. It reminded myself of when I was five years old, again at a circus. The clowns were saying to the children there...
KHH: Oh sorry no, clown and clowns.
NP: Eighteen seconds Paul, still with you, the circus starting now.
PM: When I feel the atmosphere inside that big top, see the excited crowds, the young children hesitantly looking up at great animals...
NP: Kit you challenged.
KHH: The young chilts?
PM: The young children.
KHH: Oh did you say children?
PM: I thought so.
KHH: Oh you did.
NP: I think it went in, it sounded a bit like chilt but he did mean children.
KHH: Did he right okay. Childer it might have been in a sort of Herodian way.
NP: Yeah we don't get pedantic on these things Kit. Ten seconds with you Paul still, the circus starting now.
PM: Oxford Circus is one of the busiest...
NP: Kit challenged.
NP: Oxford. Oxford Circus.
PM: No I think I did mispronounce. I think I did.
NP: All right, I give you the benefit of the doubt. I gave him the benefit of the doubt on the other one, but you have it this time Kit, and you have seven seconds, the circus starting now.
KHH: At the other end of Regent Street where we now sit is Piccadilly Circus's seething hot bed of vice where nightly Nicholas Parsons plies his dreadful trade...
NP: You were speaking as the whistle went so to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute you gain that extra point. And you've moved forward, you're creeping up on Paul Merton who is still or leader. And Josie Lawrence it's your turn to begin. So can you tell us something about doing the tango starting now.
JL: Apparently on that programme where people dance, I'm not sure I'm meant to say the name, but it is on the double BC programme so I might be able to say it. Anyway what you have to do...
JL: I must stop breathing when I talk.
PM: It was a hesitation.
NP: It was a hesitation. But she was afraid of saying Strictly Come Dancing but we don't mind saying that.
JL: Oh damn!
KHH: It's a BBC programme, you're allowed to say it.
KHH: We're all one happy family here.
NP: So what we are going to do Josie...
KHH: Even Edwina Currie.
NP: As you were inhibited by that and you don't play the game quite as often as the others, we are going to give you the benefit of the doubt to say you have 49 seconds on doing the tango starting now.
JL: What I've been told is you mustn't have a gap between the bodies. Also you must never smile. The tango is deeply deeply...
PM: Deeply deeply.
NP: Deeply deeply.
JL: Put me out of my misery because I know nothing about the tango.
NP: Paul you have the tango or doing the tango, 39 seconds starting now.
PM: Rudolph Valentino popularised the tango in 1920s America. Women in the United States couldn't get enough of this Latin lover. A new kind of man, a different sex symbol, he exuded Latin passion...
NP: Kit challenged.
KHH: Two Latins.
PM: Oh did I?
KHH: Yes sorry.
NP: Latin charm.
PM: Oh yes.
KHH: Latin charm, Latin lover.
NP: Twenty-six seconds is with you Kit, doing the tango starting now.
KHH: It's written in quadruple time with a dotted beat on the second which is its derivation from the Cuban havanerre. Quite easy to do. Generally it features violin solo, possibly an accordion, as it derives from the salon music of the (French) in Paris to which it returned in the 1900s...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: He went from 45 revolutions per minute to 33! Extended...
KHH: Very languorous, it's a very languorous dance.
PM: Yes it was yeah.
NP: Even Clement Freud when he was in the show, he never went as long as that when he dragged his words out.
NP: No no, that was too long Kit. Sorry, four seconds with you Paul, doing the tango starting now.
PM: The tango on Strictly Come Dancing is absolutely a sight for sore eyes...
NP: Liza challenged.
LT: It was a slight stumble between the two words. Uh-oh, you're going to come down hard, I can feel it. It's nothing I haven't done myself, I'm quite prepared to say, oh back off!
NP: No I don't think there was.
LT: No it was just a little bit of something.
NP: So Paul's still got the subject and there's half a second to go starting now.
PM: Sir Bruce Forsyth and the tango...
NP: So Paul Merton was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Has increased his lead ahead of Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Josie Lawrence and Liza Tarbuck in that order. And Paul, we are back with you to begin, and the subject now is a good trip. Sixty seconds starting now.
PM: When I was about eight years old, a good trip was getting on a coach to somewhere like Littlehampton. We lived in Morden and to go to that part of the coast took about two or three hours and we used to enjoy getting off the bus and running along by the sea and (sniffs) smelling the air and running around...
NP: Kit challenged.
KHH: Are you allowed to go (sniff) smelling?
KHH: Is that English or is that deviation.
NP: You're allowed to do it but we interpret it as hesitation.
NP: Because you didn't say another word, you put a verbal...
PM: No. It was evocative though, wasn't it.
KHH: I don't think it was that sort of trip.
PM: Weren't you looking at me and thinking of Littlehampton?
KHH: All the time.
PM: I know.
NP: Kit, you have the subject, you have 45 seconds, a good trip starting now.
KHH: Can a trip be good? It's banana skin. Perhaps we feel schadenfreude, what the Greeks call hubris comes before a fall. When Michael Portillo tripped at Enfield. Robert Kilroy-Silk fell flat on his face all the time, or even Edwina Currie, voted early off in Strictly Come Dancing, means to me a good trip. We are happy to see them crash and burn. I once experimented with banana skins to see what...
NP: Josie challenged.
KHH: Oh I said bananas!
JL: Oh repetition of banana skins.
KHH: Yes it was.
NP: You mentioned banana skins.
KHH: Two bananas yeah.
NP: And Josie well listened, you got in with 15 seconds to go on a good trip starting now.
JL: There were garden gnomes all over the place on the lawn. It was emerald green. Fairies came down from the sky. Those mushrooms weren't really the kind of thing that you normally have with a fry-up, methinks. I was in Dartington at...
NP: So Josie Lawrence was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. She's creeping up on Kit Hesketh-Harvey, she's only two points behind him and she is four or five behind our leader, Paul Merton. And Liza Tarbuck follows her, only a point or two behind them. Kit Hesketh-Harvey it's your turn to begin, the gods of ancient Rome. Tell us something about them in this game starting now.
KHH: There is a premier division of gods of ancient Rome. Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Vulcan. We've all heard of them, they tend to have planets or chocolate bars named after them. There is dragging along the bottom the also-rans which are rather like minor Catholic saints. Verminus, the god of cattle flies, or Abeionus, the one to whom I pray, who is the god to whom one invokes the parting of one's children finally from the family nest when you are bored to death with paying for the little blighters and they refuse to leave! There's a god of manure, I believe, and one called Terminus, he of milestones. Pretty odd that one isn't it. But ah...
KHH: The god of lost causes, there has to be one, doesn't there.
NP: Some delightful rubbish there which we enjoyed. Paul you challenged.
PM: Sadly it was a hesitation.
NP: It was a hesitation.
KHH: Benefits of a classical education.
NP: Paul, nine seconds are still available, tell us something about the gods of ancient Rome starting now.
PM: The gods of ancient Rome are a sprightly number of individuals. They are all omnipotent. Let me take you through them, one by individual...
KHH: Oh I'm sorry, I feel straight for it.
NP: You fell straight for it.
KHH: I thought he was going to go one by one. And he didn't.
NP: No no.
KHH: Because he's too damn smart.
PM: I don't know anything about the ancient gods though. How many seconds have I got left?
NP: You've only got one second. You should be all right.
NP: One second, the gods of ancient Rome starting now.
PM: Bert! He's one of them, one of the gods of ancient Rome...
NP: So Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, has increased his lead at the end of the round. Liza Tarbuck we're back with you to begin, and the subject now is UFOs. Is that something of your interest or not?
LT: You know it is.
NP: Anyway, talk about it, 60 seconds starting now.
LT: I feel very excited by the prospect of UFOs because generally you are mocked and laughed and ridiculed at if you say you've seen or believe them. And I like it when you hear an Army captain or somebody fairly high up in the Government who has finally admitted to seeing one and a crop circle and feeling something strange, or spotting an odd light on a lane in Suffolk, and then pursued it with a mate and turned round and said "did you see that?" "Yes I saw that". And then they write to the Portean Times...
NP: Kit challenged.
KHH: Oh it's a bit mean, saw that and see that. Sorry.
LT: It was too many thats.
KHH: Less of a repetition, well, it was more a repetition shouldn't it, it was a pretty minor repetition of that is what I was going to say. I was going to say that.
LT: You'll pay for it!
KHH: I will, I'm sure I will, that.
PM: In this life or another!
LT: Possibly another.
NP: I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt, UFOs is still with you Liza...
KHH: Very chivalrous.
NP: Another point and you have 30 seconds starting now.
LT: I was walking one time near a wood up by Liverpool, just outside in actual fact, it's where a windmill is. I'm trying to make it picturesque, it wasn't. And a great light was coming from the other side of this mound, so I went and had a look. And I was quite amazed by the iridescence and the lustre of this light. It seemed...
NP: Josie challenged.
JL: Sorry, repetition of light.
NP: Yes repeated the light, so Josie you have another point...
LT: It was a lie.
PM: It was a lie?
LT: It was a lie. I just didn't want you all to think God, she's seen one. I haven't.
NP: Josie you had a correct challenge and there are nine seconds available, you tell us something about UFOs starting now.
JL: When I first saw Close Encounters Of A Third Kind, I came out of that cinema and thought unidentified flying objects do exist. I was determined to...
NP: I'll give you the score now because I have just had a message to say we have time for one more round. Hurray! But before, let me tell you what the situation is as we go into the final round. Liza Tarbuck is trailing a little in spite of all the UFOs. She's a few points behind Josie Lawrence who is only one point behind Kit Hesketh-Harvey, and he is three or four points behind Paul Merton who is still in the lead. And Josie we're back with you to begin and the subject is camels.
NP: They're the things you smoke.
PM: Oh yeah.
NP: You go and see them in the zoo. You can smoke them, I don't know whether they're still selling them or not. Sixty seconds starting now.
JL: I've got a joke about camels. It's not very funny though so I'm not sure if I should tell it, but I will just to make the time go. Ah a couple of...
PM: Sorry my thumb slipped. I didn't mean to challenge.
NP: I don't think she hesitated anyway.
PM: No I didn't, I was going to say that.
NP: That was an incorrect challenge...
KHH: She was making like a camel.
NP: You get a point for that and we don't mind if it's not a very funny story. Keep going on the subject, camels, there are 53 seconds starting now.
JL: A couple of camels go into a vicarage and say "one hump or two, vicar?". Anyway let's talk about camels now. I really am a huge fan of these glorious creatures...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: What did the vicar say? The joke doesn't finish there. The vicar walks into his living room, there's two camels there saying "one hump or two"? Surely that demands a reply from the vicar.
JL: Well, he offered them a cigarette.
PM: It just seemed to be that there must be more to the joke than that.
NP: I know. There should be a pay-off but she doesn't know it.
JL: It was a camel cigarette.
NP: What's that got to do with one hump or two?
JL: Nothing, that's why it's surreal.
NP: Give Josie a bonus point for that and you've still got the subject Josie and you have 41 seconds on camels starting now.
JL: But they can be little blighters. They kick, they have bad breath, they spit at you...
KHH: Are we allowed all these theys in a row? I'm so sorry.
NP: What's that...
JL: There was a lot.
KHH: I know it's a rhetorical device but I think...
PM: Lot of theys.
JL: There were a lot of them.
KHH: So sorry.
NP: All right...
JL: No don't be.
NP: So she did repeat that a lot so Kit you have 35 seconds on camels starting now.
KHH: To me, camels are UFOs, undesirable furry obstacles. But to TE Lawrence, the author of The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom, they are a remarkable beats, because you can keep warm with them, ride them, milk...
NP: Oh Liza challenged.
KHH: I did the same thing, didn't I.
LT: Two thems yeah.
NP: Three thems.
LT: Thems, thats, theys.
KHH: Yeah yeah, hoist by my own camel.
NP: Right so Liza you got in with 20 seconds to go...
LT: Oh good.
NP: ... on camels starting now.
LT: There's nothing more delightful than a camel and I...
KHH: How can you say that in front of Nicholas Parsons?
NP: I've never been compared to a camel before.
PM: Not favourably!
NP: No. Paul you're absolutely wicked! Liza an incorrect challenge and you still have the subject, 16 seconds camels starting now.
LT: The camels that I used to draw when I was a child always had interesting things in their humps. Because you could pull out the fur in my mind and have perhaps a pub with different levels of alcohol drinks or lemonade or milk. And in the other one...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: There was quite a lot of ors.
LT: Oh yeah.
PM: Or or or.
LT: I was just happy and surprised to keep the subject.
NP: Well someone's lost it for thems, too many thems, too many thats, and so far I think it's only fair, you've got too many ors. Oh no, it isn't fair at all! Because you've only got one second to go.
NP: I think as you've probably got more points than anybody Paul, would you like Liza to finish on camels.
NP: Right, one second to go Liza, camels starting now.
LT: The lips...
NP: Paul challenged.
NP: A bonus point to Paul but another point to Liza for being interrupted and there's half a second to go Liza on camels starting now.
LT: Kissing a camel would be the most beautiful...
NP: So Liza Tarbuck was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. But she did finish in fourth place, but only just behind Josie Lawrence, who was only one point behind Kit Hesketh-Harvey in second place. But a few points ahead of him was Paul Merton so we say once again Paul, you are our winner. Right, thank you. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine players of the game. I also thank Sharon Leonard, for the way she has kept the score, blown her whistle so delicately.
APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: You got an individual round of applause there Sharon. And we are grateful to our producer, Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game. And we are grateful to this lovely audience these four fine players sitting beside me up here, and from me Nicholas Parsons, thank you, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute! Yes!