NOTE: Shappi Khorsandi's first TV appearance, Jason Manford's final TV appearance, Hugh Bonneville's only appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Oh, thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Hello. My name is Nicholas Parsons, and as the Minute Waltz fades away it's my great pleasure to welcome you to this special edition of Just A Minute from BBC Television Centre. This year Just A Minute turns 45 and as a special birthday treat, we've taken over your television screens. So without further ado, please welcome to the show four highly talented and charismatic performers. And they are seated on my right, Paul Merton and Shappi Khorsandi. And seated on my left, Hugh Bonneville and Jason Manford. Please welcome all four of them! The players will try to speak for Just A Minute on a 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, and if I uphold the challenge, they gain a point and take over the subject. If not, the person speaking gains a point, and keeps the subject. The person speaking when the whistle goes, which tells us 60 seconds have elapsed, gains an extra point. And by the way, they can repeat the subject which is on the card in front of me. Right Shappi, can you talk on 60 seconds on this subject, when I met my hero. Sixty seconds, as usual, starting now.

SHAPPI KHORSANDI: When I met my hero, Nicholas Parsons, it was on this very programme. I stammered a little, stuttered a lot, and, like all good heroes, he was kind to me. He held my hand and said "don't worry, you'll be okay at this game, Shappi. Just try to talk for 60 seconds without hesitating, deviating or repeating stuff that you have said already." Also, like all heroes, he let me down a little bit. I soon found out that he is not as tall as he appears to be. His name is not really Nicholas, but Balthazaar...


NP: Paul challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Repetition of Nicholas.

NP: Yeah, repetition of Nicholas. What height do you think I am, Shappi?

SK: Well I've never seen you stand up.

NP: Do you want me to stand up now?

SK: I've heard you on the radio. On the radio you sound much taller than you are.

JASON MANFORD: He sounds taller on the radio.

SK: He does sound taller.

NP: So according to you, you have to be about five foot 11 to be on the radio, do you?

SK: No, five foot two and a half, my height.

NP: Paul you challenged, what was it.

PM: Repetition of Nicholas.

NP: Of Nicholas yes, well we can't have too much repetition of that, can we really.

PM: There's probably an upper limit.

NP: I said that but then I wish I hadn't really because it didn't get much of a reaction. Paul it is a correct challenge and you have when I met my hero, it's the subject, 22 seconds starting now.

PM: I interviewed Spike Milligan on a show I used to do called Room 1-0-ditto the first figure. And it was an extraordinary moment for me because he was a hero of mine from childhood. I well remember The Goon Show, the Q series that he did. And to be actually sitting, talking to him, listening to the various things he'd like to consign to oblivion was a tremendously proud moment for me in my broadcasting career...


NP: So as I said before whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Paul Merton so at the end of that round, he's not only in the lead, he's the only one to have scored any points. Hugh Bonneville will you begin the next round. Welcome to the show.


NP: And here's something which is up your street, costume drama. I can't imagine why they've chosen it for you. Will you talk if you can for 60 seconds on costume drama starting now.

HB: Picture, if you will, the scene of me starting out as a young spear bearer at one of our more prominent theatres. One night I was performing in not a single play but in fact two. So there I was in the dressing room, preparing to go...


NP: Jason you challenged.

JM: Hesitation.

HB: No it was really... was it.

NP: It was a hesitation. There were one or two others they let go Hugh.

HB: They were being very kind. Come on, I'm a JAM virgin.

SK: It was a beautiful moment when we all let that go.

PM: He's a JAM virgin, isn't he Nicholas.

HB: Yes I'm a JAM virgin.

PM: A JAM virgin.

NP: Yes he's a JAM virgin.

PM: He's a JAM virgin.

NP: But I think after four...

PM: I don't know what it means though.

NP: Jason we give it to you because it was definitely a hesitation and you have a point for that of course, there are 42 seconds available, costume drama...

HB: You'd better be good, sir.

NP: Oh threats! Costume drama starting now.

JM: So I was performing in these two plays at this theatre in London when after the show somebody said to me "you my friend, should be performing stand-up comedy..."


HB: Repetition of performing.

NP: Well listened yes. Hugh you have your first correct challenge and you have your first point and you have 34 seconds and you still have costume drama starting now.

HB: Yerma is a play by Lorca. In this rather unlikely casting, I was a flamenco dancer. In the other auditorium, the Olivier, I was appearing as a Roman soldier, but both on the same evening. So as a result I had to finish my dance in one space, leg it up the stairs, flinging off my clothes and donning a Roman uniform...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: Sorry, repetition of Roman.

NP: Yes.

SK: Oh I wasn't even entirely sure!

NP: Shappi a correct challenge, you have the subject, costume drama, nine seconds starting now.

SK: Costume dramas are soap operas that are made palatable for middle class people. If you take the plotline of Downton Abbey and compare it to perhaps East Enders or that...


NP: So Shappi Khorsandi was speaking then when the whistle went, gained that extra point. At the end of that round she's equal with Paul Merton in the lead, and Hugh Bonneville and Jason Manford are equal in second place. And Jason, we'd like you to begin the next round. A lovely subject, bath time. Tell us something about bath time in this game starting now.

JM: Bath time in our house happens in the bathroom. It's a room dedicated for women...


NP: Hugh challenged.

HB: Repetition of room.

PM: Bathroom's one word, isn't it?

NP: Bathroom is one word.

JM: It is yeah, it is in our house.

PM: You're like me! We couldn't afford hyphens when we were growing up! We didn't know what a hyphen was!

NP: Unfortunately Hugh it is one word.

HB: Okay.

NP: Right so it's an incorrect challenge Jason, you have another point, you have bath time, you have 54 seconds starting now.

JM: It's a female oriented place with thousands of bottles where men don't even know what they're for. My wife could be a terrorist for all I know concocting whatever going on. I might find myself in court in a few years, thinking "I thought it was Timotei, your Honour". I use the bathroom on a regular basis, usually once a day to brush my teeth and actually have a shower. I bath the children, the three of them. It's very difficult to get three kids out...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: Sorry, three, sorry.

NP: Three, no, don't apologise, it's a correct challenge.

PM: Correct challenge.

NP: You can't get three in a bath, right. Shappi you were listening well, you came in first and it's bath time with you now, oh, how lovely!

PM: He normally has a nurse assist him!

NP: Oh you wicked...

SK: I love your innocent remarks, they get more and more innocent every time I come on the show.

NP: Shappi you have a correct challenge, you have 30 seconds to tell us something about bath time, starting now.

SK: Bath times are a glorious time in my household. I love them! My son however, I can't say he enjoys them as much as me. Because at four, he has no defence against my singing. I subject him to all sorts of vocal atrocities while he lies helpless in the water safely. I like to croon to my son, "rubber ducky, you're the one..."


NP: Jason challenged.

JM: Repetition of the word son.

NP: Yes, earlier on you talked about your son.

SK: You know, he's got such an amazing personality I wish there was like more then one of him.

NP: It's a correct challenge so you have a point for that, and you have, oh you got in with only four seconds to go...


PM: And tonight's big prize! It's a caravan!

NP: Four seconds Jason, tell us something about bath time starting now.

JM: Blokes will use whatever product is nearest to them. My Dad...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Did we have product before?

NP: Yes you talked about the products.

JM: Did I?

SK: Yeah.

JM: I thought I said bottles earlier on.

NP: You did.

PM: Oh yes there were are, yes.

NP: Bottles, well done, I'm glad you remembered.

JM: Thank you. You see, I always presumed there was somebody in another room checking all this, but it's genuinely just you two, isn't it?

PM: Not me! Not me!

NP: So it was bottles, right, well done. So you have an incorrect challenge Jason.

JM: Okay.

NP: Another point to you and you've still got two seconds, bath time starting now.

JM: Conditioner is one of those things that I use...


NP: So, Jason Manford was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. Paul, the subject here is a case of mistaken identity. Sixty seconds as usual, starting now.

PM: It was about 15 years ago, I came in fact home after a recording of Have I Got News For You when my then wife said to me "somebody's phoned and said there's going to be eight pages in The Daily Mirror tomorrow about your habit". I said "well what are you referring to?" And the account on Have I Got News For You, I've said that, she said Just A Minute...


PM: I deviate in the boring stuff instead of carrying on!

NP: I know. No, no...

JM: They're always repeating Have I Got News For You anyway.

PM: And many of the shows it's spawned!

JM: Yes.

NP: Jason you had a correct challenge and you have a case of mistaken identity, 35 seconds available starting now.

JM: I very rarely get recognised, I get half recognised...


JM: Fuck! (gets bleeped) Sorry!

PM: You are fully recognised.

JM: Sorry!

NP: Shows you what a difficult game this is.

JM: Half recognised with a hyphen, does that not count as...

NP: No, Paul a correct challenge, a case of mistaken identity, 32 seconds starting now.

PM: The following morning I bought the newspaper in question and Paul Merson, the Arsenal footballer had a large number of issues devoted to him, so it was a case of mistaken identity, in case you were wondering why I suddenly confessed to some terrible incident...


NP: Hugh challenged.

HB: Repetition of case.

PM: It's on the card.

NP: Oh sorry yes.

HB: I'll get my coat!

NP: Yes you can repeat the subject...

HB: Yes yes I'm learning Nicholas, I'm learning.

NP: I know but it's such a quick learning process. Hugh I'm afraid it was an incorrect challenge so Paul has another point, he has 17 seconds, a cse of mistaken identity starting now.

PM: When Rudolph Hess arrived in Scotland around about 1941 during the course of the Second World War, people believed at first it may not be him. They said how can we be sure this is one of Hitler's deputies landed on our isle? What would be his reason for parachuting into us? And then somebody...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: You breathed. That doesn't count as hesitation, does it?

PM: Yeah I did breathe, I did breathe. I think my heart beated a couple of times as well. Put me off a bit.

NP: An incorrect challenge and you have quarter of a second to go Paul on a case of mistaken identity starting now.

PM: You're Winston Churchill!


NP: So at the end of that round Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle, gained that extra point, he's now in the lead, just two ahead of Jason, and four or five ahead of Shappi Khorsandi and a few more ahead of Hugh Bonneville.

HB: God!

NP: Shappi we are back with you to begin and the subject now is keeping it real. Tell us something about that phrase in this game starting now.

SK: Unless you are a pathological liar, I don't see any reason to not keep it real. But keeping it real has become common parlance meaning being down to earth. It's a term celebrities often use to pretend that becoming a millionaire and living far away from where they grew up doesn't matter and they're still happy to get on the bus if they really have to. Jennifer Lopez as an example wrote a song Jenny From The Block where she explained to the people that live on her estate that although she might have more money than she used to have, she is exactly the same personage as she was before. She keeps it real. Often young people keep it real when they have no reason to because they...



NP: Hugh you challenged. Why?

HB: Because you told me to! It was repetition of um...

NP: No she deviated...

HB: Deviated, I made a paper plane, that's deviation!

NP: Personage she said.

HB: Personage, are you not allowed to use sort of foreign emphases?

SK: I'm not sure that's foreign!

NP: It's adulteration of English as we understand it. So that is deviation.

HB: Okay I couldn't agree more. Exactly!

NP: I'm glad you picked it up so quickly.

HB: Yes I did.

SK: It's my second language so...

HB: What, personage?

SK: No. I'm trying to get out of it.

NP: Hugh you have another point, you have 13 seconds, tell us something about keeping it real starting now.

HB: The last time I was fishing, I had a particular reel in my bag that I thought was a fake one...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: It's clearly not that kind of reel. That's deviation.

NP: No it can be whatever reel he likes. If we had to say according to how things are spelt, we'd be here all night.

SK: Is it that reel in this case? I just wanted...

HB: Well if I'd got to the end of my sentence, you might have discovered what I was going to say. You see? You see?

JM: You're not in character now Hugh!

NP: So Hugh you have six more seconds. Tell us something about keeping it real starting now.

HB: And my companion said "no I think that is a real reel, he was full of..."


NP: Hugh you were speaking as the whistle went, and you gained that extra point and the situation now is you're still in fourth place. But you're moving forward. No you're not, you're in third place, Shappi's one behind you. Hugh to begin the next round. Oh a lovely subject, I don't know if it's up your street or not, Salvador Dali. Do you know much about him? If not, try, in this game, starting now.

HB: I've always been impressed by surrealists, and Salvador Dali with his extraordinary moustache is of course one of the foremost of this particular ah...


NP: Shappi challenged.

SK: Hesitation.

NP: That's a definite hesitation so Shappi you have 49 seconds to tell us something about Salvador Dali starting now.

SK: I know a fascinating fact about Salvador Dali. He had a brother, also called Salvador, who died before he was born. So they called their second child Salvador, and when the Salvador that we know, the artist, was five, they took him to the first sibling's grave and said "you're a reincarnation of this child". No wonder he went bonkers!


NP: Jason you challenged.

JM: Repetition of the word child.

NP: Yes you talked about child yes. So Jason, well listened, and you're getting the hang of this game, aren't you now. And you have another correct challenge, 27 seconds are still available, Salvador Dali starting now.

JM: I've never been a big fan of Salvador Dali. I mush prefer the work of Rolf Harris, maybe even Neil Buchanan off of ITV's Art Attack from when I was a child. I don't really like art in general. I think most of it is a tiny bit pretentious. I occasionally put something on the wall, a picture, maybe, that a child...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well we're not really on the subject of Salvador Dali. We moved off, and we haven't mentioned Salvador for some time. We've had Rolf Harris.

NP: Yeah I think you're right, I think that's a correct challenge. You've gone off into general art and not Dali in particular.

JM: I was going to come back to Salvador Dali, because I've got a few facts about him, but, er...

PM: It's a shame this show isn't called Just An Hour, isn't it? It’s a shame! Shame!

NP: We give the benefit of the doubt to Paul. If I can redress the balance, I'll give you the benefit…

PM: Yes he will yeah.

NP: There are eight seconds still, Paul..

PM: How many?

NP: Eight seconds.

PM: Oh right.

NP: Salvador Dali, starting now.

PM: Salvador Dali was hired by Alfred Hitchcock to do the dream sequences for Spellbound, and what a fantastic movie it was. Salvador got hold of the huge concept...


NP: Right so Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. And he has increased his lead at the end of the round. Jason Manford's following just a few points behind, and then equal in third place are Hugh Bonneville and Shappi Khorsandi. And, Jason, we're back with you to begin. And the subject now is going to the cinema, 60 seconds as usual, starting now.

JM: I'm not a massive fan of the cinema. I don't like sharing the experience.


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well you wouldn't like Spellbound it's got Salvador Dali in it and it's also a film, so don't go and see that whatever you do. Handing out tips.

NP: It was quite good.

PM: It wasn‘t that, it wasn‘t that good, was it.

NP: No it wasn‘t worth a bonus point.

PM: I said it as if it was good.

NP: Jason, an incorrect challenge. You still have the subject, 56 seconds available, starting now..

JM: The thing with the cinema is it's a lot of people, and I don't really enjoy the whole experience of sharing this thing on the screen. What I find...


SK: I’m really sorry, but you said "sharing". You didn't like sharing things earlier.

NP: Yes, you didn't like sharing before.

JM: I still don‘t.

NP: If you don't like going to cinema and sharing the experience with those people there, how do you feel about this lot here?

JM: I don't like it. You're right.

NP: Shappi, you had a correct challenge. You have the subject of going to the cinema, 46 seconds, starting now.

SK: I don't like going to the cinema, because it makes me into the type of person that I don't wish to be. I become the person that hates...

NP: Person, person.

SK: … tall people...


NP: Hugh challenged.

HB: Repetition of person..

NP: Well listened.

SK: Oh really, yes. I'm really into persons this evening.

NP: Yes, a repetition of person. Well listened, Hugh. You have 36 seconds, tell us something about going to the cinema, starting now.

HB: One of my earliest memories of going to the cinema was the ABC in Lewisham on the high road there. And, this particular occasion, there was a James Bond film. I was always fascinated by this particular brand of movie. It was an A, as far as I was concerned, which meant that my elder brothers and sisters could in fact take me with them. I was about eight at the time, you see, and they said that they couldn't take me, because it was in fact a double version of that letter that I mentioned. And in the old system, of course, it meant you had to be 14 and over. And my siblings were not prepared to...


NP: So Hugh Bonneville kept going until the whistle went, and gained an extra point, and he's moved forward. He's still in third place, but he's moved. There was only one point between them all. Paul, the subject, the fifth Beatle. Tell us something about that fascinating subject, starting now.

PM: Candidates for the Fifth Beatle over the years have included Brian Epstein, the manager, and George Martin, the producer. There was a gentleman call Stephen, no, Stuart Sutcliffe, who was also in the Beatles when they played Hamburg, so he has a claim to that title. The fifth Beatle. If we look at the people that were instrumental in the success, and no pun intended, of the aforementioned pop beat combo, they were indeed lucky with the people they were surrounded by. Of course there was an innate talent within the quartet themselves, but, without the right handling and management, that alone isn't enough. When we look at the magnificent recorded legacy of those four guys from Liverpool, we realise that we were listening to great musical genius…


NP: Shappi, you challenged..

SK: I wouldn't say genius. I'm not a massive fan.

PM: Of the Beatles?

JM: You're not touring Liverpool any time soon, are you?

PM: I didn't realise it was a controversial stance to take, that the Beatles were quite good at pop songs.

NP: No, I think everybody would accept the Beatles... I mean, they are...

SK: I'm not saying I don't accept them, I'm not saying that they should be struck off history, but it's just the way Paul was saying "their genius", I felt like he was speaking for everyone in the room, and I just wanted to say that I enjoy bopping to them in my kitchen, but I don't think they were genii.

NP: I think that was a long, involved, and rather ridiculous explanation of why you challenged. So, Shappi, Paul had an incorrect challenge. He keeps the subject, the fifth Beatle, 15 seconds, Paul, starting now.

PM: If we look at the legacy of that group...


NP: Yes Jason.

JM: Repetition of legacy.

NP: We had the legacy.

PM: Yeah it was a long time ago, I couldn't remember.

NP: So, Jason, a correct challenge, 13 seconds still available, the fifth Beatle starting now.

JM: John, Paul, Ringo, George, they were the four. Who is the Fifth Beatle? Pete? Michael? Johnny? Phil?


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Who was Michael?

JM: Michael, um. He was like a... he was a neighbour of John Lennon's.

SK: He was a roadie. Wasn't he a roadie?

NP: It wasn't Michael, anyway.

JM: I know it wasn’t.

NP: So, Paul, you have another point and you have three seconds to go on the fifth Beatle, starting now.

PM: What a load of rubbish, they couldn't write a decent hit between them! I don't know why people listened to the Beatles, they were nonsense!


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking to the whistle and gained an extra point. He's increased his lead at the end of that round, ahead of Jason Manford and then it's Hugh Bonneville and Shappi Khorsandi in that order. And Shappi, we'd like you to begin the next round. The subject here is cats or dogs. Tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now.

SK: Cats or dogs? I have both. My cat keeps it real, my dog is a drama queen. People say to me, "Which one do you prefer?" I say, "I love both of them equally as I cuddle my cat and kick the dog." I do enjoy the dog. He's a mixed breed, although he prefers "dual heritage". What I enjoy about cats is that they're independent. My cat will go roaming for days on end, stagger through the cat flap at all hours, eyes all kaleidoscopey and I will dare to ask where madam has been. And, like a recalcitrant teenager, she'll go, "What? I was out. What of it?" And march off to her room and listen to her music.


NP: Paul’s challenged.

PM: Repetition of what?

NP: Yes.

SK: I‘m surprised no-one came in quicker.

PM: No.

NP: Paul, you got in with 14 seconds...

JM: Are we letting the fact that she kicks her dog go? Is that fine?

PM: The dog's a Beatles fan and you've never really forgiven him, have you? Eleanor Rigby, go on, get out of there.

NP: No I'd have given it to you on that because I think that's deviation, kicking a dog.

JM: Okay.

NP: Paul…

PM: Yes.

NP: Correct challenge, 14 seconds, cats or dogs, starting now.

PM: Well, if we look at the various characters of two species of animals, we see that cats are independent and dogs help the police, so I think it's very obvious out of these two particular kinds of creature which one I prefer. It is...


NP: We enjoy it when you slip into one of your character voices.

PM: Yes it worried me a little. I don't know who that sounded like.

NP: It sounded a little bit like Alec Guinness.

PM: Yes.

NP: You were speaking when the whistle went, gained you that extra point, you have increased your lead, and Hugh Bonneville, you to begin. The subject matter...


NP: It's a little bell which tells me we have time for only one more round.


NP: Oh you are lovely! Right, one more round. Let me give you the situation as we go into the final round. Paul Merton is still in the lead, about four or five points ahead of Jason Manford, who's in a very strong second place. Then it's Hugh Bonneville and Shappi Khorsandi in that order, and, Hugh Bonneville, we're back with you to begin. And the subject is the local pub. Tell us something about that in this game, starting now.

HB: The local pub, I think, is a state of mind as much as it is a physical entity. The first time I entered my local pub, I was short-changed. This happened not once, but three times in the period that the landlord owned the property. I'm happy to say that he's moved on, hopefully to a pub in the sky. But, in fact, now the pub is a beautiful environment to visit, where I live. It is run by...


NP: Jason you challenged first.

JM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes we call that hesitation. You went for 32 seconds though.

HB: Good.

JM: You’ll get a point for that.

HB: Thank you.

NP: So, Jason, correct challenge, hesitation, and you have 28 seconds are still available, the local pub starting now.

JM: My local pub is the roughest place you've ever been to in your life. It's on the corner of an estate. A lawless place with, er...


NP: Yes Shappi?

SK: With ah.

NP: With a hesitation, yes. So, Shappi, we're going to hear from you as well on "the local pub", and 23 seconds are still available, starting now.

SK: The local pub is a cosy place where everyone knows your name and no-one minds that you've been in there all night as long as you get the drinks in. And hardly anyone bats an eyelash that your wife and children are at home, waiting for you, and you're drinking the money that probably should have been used for food for the said family members. But that's okay because you're holding court in the local pub and you're...


NP: So, Shappi Khorsandi, speaking as the whistle went, and brought this show to a wonderful climax in great style and panache. And she's now equal in third place with Hugh Bonneville, and did very, very well. Congratulations Hugh.

HB: Thank you.

NP: But you were three points behind Jason Manford, and Jason was five points behind Paul Merton. So we say, Paul, you are our winner today! So, it only remains for me to say thank you, a final thank you to these four fine players of the game, and it's goodbye from this delightful audience here at the Television Centre. It's goodbye from me, Nicholas Parsons. Do join us the next time we play Just A Minute.