WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring PETER JONES, LINDA SMITH, MARIA McERLANE and MICHAEL CASHMAN, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (TV, 11 May 1999)
NOTE: Michael Cashman's last appearance.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Hello and welcome to Just A Minute, this stimulating, provocative and sometimes impossible game in which I invite four bright and talented performers to speak on the subject that I give them and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Let us now meet these bright sparks who are going to play the game today. And first of all we welcome the entertaining comedienne Linda Smith. And beside her the engaging actor Michael Cashman. And on my left the enlightened performer Peter Jones. And beside him the enchanting Maria McErlane. Please welcome all four of them. And they will score points or maybe lose them as they challenge as the other one is speaking. And today we're going to begin the show with Linda Smith. Linda, the subject, Niagra Falls. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.
LINDA SMITH: Niagra Falls. I would dearly love to see Noel Edmonds go over Niagra Falls in a barrel. Or not in one! That's what I call comic relief! All for charity, of course! Many people over the years have performed feats of derring-do at Niagra Falls. Various tightrope walkers, jugglers, acrobats, unicyclists, every kind of nutter imaginable! Why? It's really dangerous! Get down from there now! Just don't do it! Why doesn't someone interrupt me, I can't think of another thing to say!
NP: Peter Jones! A mercy challenge!
PETER JONES: Yes it was! Yes I was going, coming to the rescue really.
NP: So we call that hesitation.
PJ: Hesitation yes.
NP: And by the way they can repeat the subject on the card, as frequently... well not incessantly but they can repeat it. Peter Jones we interpret that as hesitation, so we call it a correct challenge, you get a point for a correct challenge and take over the subject of Niagra Falls and there are 30 seconds available starting now.
PJ: It was Gustav Mahler the composer who when taken to Niagra Falls said "At last! Fortissimo!" And I remember that quote from an article about him a few weeks ago which I read. And ah I can see it went down...
NP: Michael Cashman challenged.
MICHAEL CASHMAN: Hesitation.
NP: Yes! And what about that pause after fortissimo? You waited for a laugh that never came!
PJ: Well I thought they might have responded in some way!
NP: Maybe you should have jumped out and faced them beforehand Peter, and explained some of your jokes before you started?
PJ: Well it's not a joke but I just remembered that. I thought it was rather a good line for a composer...
NP: It was a lovely line, a lovely line!
PJ: Yes yes!
NP: They'll get on your wavelength before the show's over I'm sure!
PJ: Well yes!
NP: Michael a correct challenge, you get a point for that and you have Niagra Falls and 14 seconds starting now.
MC: Niagra Falls is staggering, spectacular! It is not the reverse effect of Viagra as some people expect! It is a culmination of nature's beauty and glory, seen from...
NP: Whomever is speaking when the whistle blows gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Michael Cashman, so he's in the lead at the end of the round. Michael, begin the second round please. The subject is power. Tell us something about power in Just A Minute starting now.
MC: Power is a five letter word which is good and dangerous. There are many forms of power. In fact there's people power, will power, Nicholas power, the power of the buzzer. Power is exercised with great care and concern. For instance if someone were to interrupt me now they would have to use that judgement with care...
NP: And Peter you challenged?
NP: Absolutely! He was winding down to a halt! Wasn't he!
PJ: Yes he was!
NP: Yes he was! So Peter I agree with the challenge, 35 seconds available, another point to you of course, and the subject is power and you start now.
PJ: Well I would really like to have somebody with power to help me through this little ordeal I have in the next few seconds. Because I've never had any power. I had a friend who did and he's dead now, poor old Robert Maxwell. But er he...
NP: Maria McErlane's challenged.
MARIA McERLANE: Poor old Robert Maxwell. I don't think he was poor. I think he was quite wealthy.
NP: I definitely think...
PJ: I was speaking figuratively.
NP: He was definitely using the adjective figuratively, yes. Yes because he's dead he was saying poor old Robert Maxwell. No I think colloquially speaking that's acceptable.
MM: And also because I hadn't said anything yet!
NP: I know! It was lovely to hear from you Maria! Yes!
MM: It's a shame that I said something bad though isn't it? Really..
NP: You didn't say anything bad, it just wasn't a correct challenge. So Peter...
NP: You have a point for an incorrect challenge, you keep the subject, there are 17 seconds available starting now.
PJ: Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. That's a well known quotation from the same book as I got the Mahler...
NP: Linda you challenged.
LS: Yes I don't know quite why!
PJ: Why what?
NP: Well he did repeat the word corrupts.
LS: That's why!
MM: No, no...
PJ: No I didn't!
LS: He said absolutely!
MM: Corrupts absolutely!
NP: He said corrupt and corrupts which is the plural of the form...
MM: Yes, very cunning...
MM: That's why we didn't challenge him!
MC: Yes! Er did that! That's exactly right!
NP: Because you're more literate!
LS: Oh well there's another point for you Peter!
PJ: Another point to me?
NP: Another point to you Peter. Yes...
PJ: Is it? Oh good!
NP: An incorrect challenge...
NP: And so there are nine...
PJ: Great! Keep them on coming!
NP: You're getting the power now aren't you!
PJ: Yeah I am!
MM: Getting a taste for it!
PJ: Oh yes yes! What...
NP: Well keep it going! Keep throbbing!
PJ: I will! Steady on! How many er how many seconds have I got?
NP: Seconds that's what it is Peter yes! Nine seconds on power starting now.
PJ: If I were able to live with my life over again the first thing I should do would be to axcquire power! Because with that you can get...
NP: Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so and he's gone into a strong lead at the end of the round. And Peter it's your turn to begin. The subject is hairy legs. I don't know whether you have any, but talk on the subject starting now.
PJ: Well ladies don't seem to like them on themselves though they do er...
NP: Michael you challenged.
MC: I think a mild hesitation!
NP: A mild hesitation?
PJ: Yes it was yes!
NP: The thought of hairy legs made him dry up completely! And Michael you got in and there are 54 seconds available, hairy legs starting now.
MC: Hairy legs is seen as a vi-sual element...
NP: Maria you challenged...
MC: No I was embracing the word visual...
MM: You were overacting!
MC: I was embracing the word visual.
NP: I know but we interpret that as hesitation within the rules of Just A Minute so...
MC: Did you get a deckchair with that jacket? It's wonderful! Hopefully I'll have one very soon!
NP: Well may you feel embarrassed! It is my Henley jacket...
MC: Henley! You mean you live in Henley, you pay rates, you get a jacket like that? Is that what you mean?
NP: No often the people go to Henley races...
LS: That's marvellous! We just get our bins emptied!
MC: We do!
MM: My life is ebbing away here!
NP: I know! There are 50 seconds for you on hairy legs Maria starting now.
MM: Hairy legs are not an affliction I suffer from. However I do have a moustache which I find it necessary to depolate on a daily basis almost...
NP: Linda yes?
LS: Deviation. Surely!
LS: Moustache! It's nothing to do with hairy legs!
MM: We were talking about hirsuteness generally...
LS: No we weren't!
NP: But you didn't establish you were talking about hirsuteness...
MM: I said hairy legs is not something I suffer from but I do however have a moustache.
LS: That's casting aside the subject of the minute!
MC: No because you were going to use it as an example of what people do with their legs, depolation!
MM: I was going to say I take it from my moustache and put it on my legs!
NP: That's a lovely line! We'll give you a bonus point because we enjoyed the line. But Linda you got a correct challenge, you take over the subject of hairy legs, there are 42 seconds available, starting now.
LS: Hairy legs are generally seen as a bit of a disadvantage if you're a woman, but I imagine they keep you nice and snug and warm in the winter and act as a sort of thermal blanket around the old pins which is quite nice of a cold winter's evening I'm sure. In the summertime though perhaps they're not quite so appealing when people like to wear shorts and mini skirts and suchlike, and hairy legs could look like a little bit you're some type of gorilla walking around in the latest fashions which isn't that good an idea really is it. And I don't know what I'm talking about...
NP: Maria, yes Maria?
MM: I was bored!
NP: Actually Linda was bored herself, weren't you Linda?
LS: You put me out of my misery there!
NP: So we'll call that deviation, no and slight hesitation right. Twelve seconds Maria tell us about your hairy legs and maybe the transplants you've been involved in in your life starting now.
MM: One of the most painful ways to remove hair from your legs must surely be waxing which is so ridiculously with...
NP: Yes I think there was. So Michael you've got hairy legs, you've got three seconds, you cleverly got in before the whistle. Tell us something more about hairy legs starting now.
MC: Ladies usually shave hairy legs...
NP: Michael Cashman was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. With other points in that round, he has leapt forward. He's now in the lead with Peter Jones and the two ladies are trailing a little. But Maria McErlane it's your turn to begin. Setting my video, there's a good subject, it's a difficult subject isn't it, to carry out. Talk on the subject starting now.
MM: Setting my video is very easy indeed. I don't know what the problem is. You take the instruction book, read it, set the video, the end. Problem being of course that if you don't watch the video after you've taped it, at least 24 hours after (starts to giggle)
NP: Michael you challenged.
NP: Yes indeed. Right! Michael tell us something about setting my video and there are 44 seconds available starting now.
MC: Setting my video is a terrifying event for me. I am a technophobe so I have to sit down and very very carefully examine all the...
NP: Yes Peter?
PJ: He said very twice.
MC: Very very!
NP: Yes very very yes, it's a difficult game and emphasis doesn't come...
MC: No, it's not a difficult game is it! Oh missus!
MM: Oh he's gone again! Very spikey!
NP: Right Peter a correct challenge, very very, you have setting my video, and you have 35 seconds available starting now.
PJ: Yes well I don't usually set it. But my wife does because she's very good at technical things. And so we are able to go out in the evening and have the television recorded. And then weeks later come back and try and sort it out. And we find that we are watching...
NP: Maria has challenged you Peter.
MM: I just wanted to know why he was going out for weeks on end! Because he comes back weeks later. Where do you go Peter?
PJ: Well that's a personal question. We've been away on holiday from time to time... in Wolverhampton, Halifax, Huddersfield, places like that, and er...
NP: Peter, the subject, I haven't actually started you on the subject.
PJ: No but she's just egging me on ...
MM: We're just having a chat!
NP: I know. But I think he established... he does go to some exciting places I must say... established the fact that you were not actually deviating...
NP: So you keep the subject and there are 18 seconds Peter, setting my video, starting now.
PJ: Then we're able to watch the news of what happened the er number of times...
NP: And Michael challenged.
MC: And er, and er...
NP: Yes there was a er there Peter...
PJ: Yes there was.
NP: So Michael you have setting my video and you have 13 seconds starting now.
MC: Setting my video is difficult. Yet despite that we must sit down, take out the manual, and by adhering to every single item of the manufacturers...
NP: Yes er...
LS: Sorry I was a little bit...
NP: Yes you thought he was going to say manual again....
LS: I thought he was going to say manual but he didn't.
NP: Manufacturers he went on to yes. Because you were keen to get in because there's only one second left. But he gets a point for an incorrect challenge and Michael you continue for one second on setting my video starting now.
NP: Michael Cashman gaining points not only in the round but also speaking as the whistle went. And has moved forward, he's now got a strong lead over Peter Jones and also Maria McErlane and Linda Smith in that order. Linda Smith begins the next round and the subject is Linda, hang gliding. Tell us something about that if you can in Just A Minute starting now.
LS: Hang gliding is an exhilarating and dangerous sport, er engaged in by people...
NP: Peter challenged.
PJ: That was a kind of stumble.
NP: Yes which we interpret as hesitation.
PJ: Yes we could say that.
NP: Yes and you have a point, you have hang gliding, you have 54 seconds starting now.
PJ: It's a phrase that one might use if one was offered a choice of going to France by Concorde or possibly on a hang glider if you were on one or hanging from it. And one would say "oh hang gliding!" You wouldn't want to do it! I'd go in Concorde from choice if I were given that er you know that er...
MM: On choice a hesitation.
NP: Yes there was too much....
MM: I don't really wnat it though, hang gliding, I know nothing about it...
NP: You should have let him go on! We would have enjoyed it!
MM: All right!
NP: Thirty-two seconds for you Maria on hang gliding starting now.
MM: I've never been hang gliding but something very similar is 10,000 foot tandem sky diving. Extremely dangerous and very...
NP: Yes Michael?
MC: Deviation. Tandem sky diving.
MM: I was going to say that when I jumped out of the plane I crashed into a hang glider! You don't believe that do you!
NP: I don't think you got there quick enough, no, no. I think you ought to establish right from the start that it's got some relationship with hang gliding...
MM: Nicholas, I love it when you're so strict with me!
NP: Maria I love it when you look at me like that. Right, Michael a correct challenge, 23 seconds, hang gliding, starting now.
MC: Hang gliding is something I would never attempt because I don't like heights. You have to be very brave to hang on to the bar which is just below the glider. Because you go out and jump off the edge of a mountain or a cliff, soar with the wind. And if you've got the currents beneath you picking you up and lifting you further and further...
MC: Further and further...
NP: Yes Peter?
PJ: Further further....
NP: Further further...
NP: Yes. And you've got in Peter cleverly with two seconds to go on hang gliding starting now.
PJ: I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole!
NP: Peter Jones got that extra point. He's gone forward again, he's equal with Michael Cashman in the lead. And Michael it's your turn to begin. The subject, my hero. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.
MC: My hero is very personal and means many things to different people...
NP: And Maria?
MM: He's talking in a peculiar fashion!
NP: I know, he's talking in a sort of...
MC: But I always do!
MM: He's. Talking. In. That. Sort. Of. Fashion.
NP: Yes it's sort of, sort of, Just A Minute mode speak, isn't it, speak mode.
MC: Trying to think, while you're speaking!
NP: Trying to think while you speak yes. Yes I think that was teetering on hesitation. I give you the benefit of the doubt Maria especially after the last remark you made and my hero, 54 seconds, starting now.
MM: My hero doesn't know he's my hero but he's sitting only a matter of feet away from me at this moment, wearing something stripey and a rather bad tie. However I have long been a fan of my hero because when I was a small child back in the 14th century...
PJ: There was a hesitation.
NP: No there wasn't! I loved every word she said!
PJ: But she had to choose which century she was going to describe.
NP: I know! But some people think I was born in the 14th century.
PJ: Well I have nothing to say to that.
NP: I think she had established she was going on a bit maybe, there was some resonance of the 14th century which I reminded her of, a period personality, I don't know...
NP: So I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt. I'd like to hear a bit more about this. Maria you have 33 seconds to talk about my hero starting now.
MM: I used to watch him on a programme called... I've forgotten what it's called!
NP: Oh the hero worship!
NP: Disappears in a flash! Peter you have the subject, you have 29 seconds, my hero, starting now.
PJ: Garibaldi was my hero. Because I read a biography on him. And he was an amazing man, because not only he invented the red shirt, but also the biscuit with the dead flies in it! He also, this is greatly to his credit, managed to organise Italy into a single country, so that the provinces, principalities and so on were all merged. And then, once he'd achieved this great ambition he gave it all up and went farming...
NP: Peter Jones kept going with his Garibaldi, his hero until the whistle went and gained an extra point for doing so. And he has gone into the lead at the end of that round. Amazing yes! So and Peter it's your turn to begin. The subject, special delivery. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
PJ: Special delivery is slightly more likely to arrive than something that is marked delivery. But not very much! There's a very small margin between the two. And if you are expecting a kidney which you need to have transplanted then naturally you have it sent special delivery. But if it's just a bunch of old flowers or something it doesn't much matter! There's no point in spending the extra money. If it's an organ, it can even be the one that I mentioned, it could be some other one of even more vital and fun making possibilities, than the afore-mentioned, because that only filters the liquids and things that you take on board before you are incarcerated in... er... of things. Er... doesn't time fly! (starts to laugh)
NP: Keep going, keep going! Just a few seconds under
PJ: Well special delivery, the Post office specialise in it, don't they! They send a man, you could get a stripper I suppose if you want to deliver it and er that's more fun in a way...
NP: Blow the whistle for God's sake!
PJ: Oh dear!
NP: With a bit of help and generosity from the other three, they let him go, but it was such delightful stuff. We enjoyed it! I think you deserved every point you got in that round. Actually you worked terribly hard just to get two points didn't you?
PJ: Indeed I did yes.
NP: But you have increased your lead by two points. And it's Maria McErlane's turn to begin. The subject, Peter Pan, 60 seconds starting now.
MM: Peter Pan, a marvellous creation by JM Barrie, about a small boy who refused to grow up, very much like a lot of my boyfriends! He lived in a place called Never Squared Land, where he had fantastic fun with the Lost Boys. Some of the other characters, Wendy, Mr and Mrs Darling, the evil Smee, and who can forget that wonderful little imp, Tinker Bell? Of course there was the doggy Nana also and now Captain Hook springs into my sad little diseased brain, for some reason. I'm hoping someone will interrupt me any second now...
NP: Linda you came to her rescue.
LS: And you shall have your wish!
MM: Thank you!
NP: So Linda we call that hesitation and you tell us something about Peter Pan, 28 seconds starting now.
LS: Peter Pan often refers to a type of collar on a dress, a sort of large white flat collar that's worn often on a black...
MM: Collar collar.
NP: Two collars I'm afraid Linda. So you got Peter Pan back which you feel you exhausted, but you've got 20 seconds to keep going starting now.
MM: There is something called the Peter Pan complex which affects largely the male population where they refuse to in fact became adults and stay as children, buying ridiculous toys at huge expense and normally going round in collarless...
NP: Yes, hesitation, he's got in with two seconds left going...
MM: Oh how annoying!
NP: Yes! Peter Pan's now with you Michael Cashman starting now.
MC: I was in...
NP: And she's challenged.
MM: I don't think he was in Peter Pan!
MC: Twice I was in Peter Pan.
MM: Were you?
MC: I played Curly and then I played John. So I think I get an extra half point taken away for being smug!
NP: Did you ever play... did you ever play Peter?
MC: No! Girls play Peter!
LS: Curly, Curly's in Coronation Street!
MC: No! He was in Peter Pan first!
NP: You have half a second still left to go on Peter Pan, Michael Cashman starting now.
NP: Michael Cashman was trying to speak when the whistle went, gained an extra point for being there when the whistle, and he's moved forward but he's still one point behind our leader Peter Jones and the other two are trailing just a little. And Linda Smith we're back to you to begin. The subject is faux pas. Can you tell us something about faux pas in Just A Minute starting now.
LS: Faux pas. Many's the faux pas I've made in my life. Like buying a giant togerone at duty free and giving it to a diabetic. Faux pas! Eating a bowl of pot pourri round at somebody's house. Faux pas. Er ah...
LS: Forgetting what I was going to say next!
NP: Michael Cashman you got in first on the hesitation, 44 seconds, faux pas with you starting now.
MC: Faux pas is not a French dance that was .... given...
NP: Peter you challenged.
PJ: Yes it was a hesitation.
NP: It was a hesitation. You say it so seriously as though I'm going to doubt you Peter.
PJ: Well... no it was though wasn't it?
NP: Oh it definitely was, it definitely was, yes. And you've got faux pas Peter, 40 seconds are available starting now.
PJ: Sir John Gielgud is famous for his faux pas or dropping bricks as they call it. And one I can recall when he met two elderly actors in Shaftesbury Avenue. And he said "ah my favourite Pelonius!" And one of them, oh, both of them in fact, had played it. And they didn't know which one he meant. So they quarreled all the way to.... till they got to...
NP: Yes Maria you challenged.
MM: I was helping him out because there was no punchline seemingly! But...
NP: We're still waiting for the punchline! But Maria you got in on hesitation, 16 seconds, faux pas starting now.
MM: One of my worst ever faux pas... I...
NP: She didn't dare tell us did she?
MM: That's very true! I suddenly realised where I was Nicholas, realised I couldn't say it!
NP: You couldn't! What a pity! Tell us afterwards!
MM: Good manners prevented me!
NP: Right, 12 seconds on faux pas with you Michael starting now.
MC: My faux pas was when I was working with a famous TV star and I introduced her to this man I thought she'd like to meet and she turned round to me and said "but...
NP: I think actually Linda challenged just a half second before the whistle went. What was your challenge Linda?
LS: I think repetition. But it hardly matters now.
NP: Yes it does, you might get a point for it if it's correct.
LS: She, there were a lot of shes I thought.
NP: There were a lot of shes yes.
MC: Were there?
NP: Yes a lot of shes. So Linda, correct challenge, half a second to tell us something about faux pas starting now.
LS: Faux pas...
NP: So Linda Smith speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point. She's moved forward but she's still in a very strong fourth place...
LS: Out of how many would that be?
NP: One, two, three, four. Yes, you're in... yes it's a good fourth place.
LS: Strongly last!
NP: Michael your turn to begin, spin doctors, tell us something about those starting now.
MC: Spin doctors is a subject I know very little about. However it has become a science of people who go to a spinning machine and doctor it. Equally it can be someone who takes the truth and manufactures that into something else. But a spin doctor is really a doctor who is continually... doctor...
MC: I was waiting for somebody to rescue me!
MM: I don't know what he's talking about!
NP: I know! I've never heard such rubbish in all my life! It was delightful rubbish...
MC: It was good rubbish!
NP: It was good rubbish yes which is useful in Just A Minute! Maria correct challenge you have 39 seconds available starting now.
MM: Spin doctors are responsible for taking the truth, spinning it into gold or to straw, and making it seem what they want you to believe. Basically Peter Mandelson was a tremendous spin doctor but too tremendous and...
MM: Two tremendouses.
NP: Michael you got in, there are 22 seconds available, take back spin doctors and keep going if you can without rubbish starting now.
MC: Spin doctors are generally press assistants who will take a story and put it to the public in a completely different way from its original form. I will give you an example. On Saturday morning when I was going out for a cup of tea, a journalist saw me going for a cup of tea...
MC: Thank you!
NP: Maria you got in on a cup of tea, there are three seconds available, spin doctors starting now.
MM: Charlie Whelan was a spin doctor, he's now sacked!
NP: Maria McErlane was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And she has moved forward but as that was the last round, it remains to be... She finished up in third place just ahead of Linda Smith, and then came Peter Jones. But one ahead of Peter Jones today was Michael Cashman so we say Michael today you are our winner! And it only remains for me to say thank you to our four talented players of this game, Linda Smith, Michael Cashman, Peter Jones, Maria McErlane. From them, from me Nicholas Parsons, hope you enjoyed it. Be with us the next time we play Just A Minute. Till then from us all goodbye.