NOTE: This show was transcribed by Pauline Callaghan, thank you Pauline. The first show produced by Katie Tyrrell.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, my name is Nicholas Parsons and as the Minute Waltz fades away, once more it is my huge pleasure to welcome our many listeners around the world, but also to welcome to the programme four distinctive and talented individuals who are going to play Just a Minute. And they are seated on my right, Paul Merton and Pam Ayres and seated on my left Graham Norton and Kevin Eldon. Please welcome all four of them. And as usual, I am going to ask them to speak on a subject which I will give them and they will try to do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Beside me sits Trudi Stevens who is going to help me keep the score and we are going to begin the show this week with Paul Merton. And Paul, an educational subject to begin with, The Eleven Plus, tell us something about the Eleven Plus in this game starting now.

PAUL MERTON: I remember doing reasonably well in the Eleven Plus, in the context of the school that I was attending at the time, and I had no idea however that I was competing against the rest of the school children of that age, some who had gone to to posher schools, and perhaps even better....


NP: Pam challenged.

PAM AYRES: I think it might be a repetition of school or schools.

NP: It was a repetition of schools, Well done Pam.

PA: Sorry Paul. I am not really.

PM: That is all right.

NP: So you are listening well, Pam, and you have got in after only 11 seconds.

PM: Eleven seconds, that is appropriate isnít it, 11 seconds.

NP: It was almost a repetition, but it doesnít really matter. There are 49 seconds available Pam. The 11 Plus, starting now..

PA: If only I had passed the 11 plus that day in Stamford in the Vale, primary, Church of England School with its oriole window and our Headmistress who had great big feet which she used to clad in err grey open toed sandals, if onlyÖ oh no I said that already.


NP: Kevin you challenged.

KEVIN ELDON: I heard too many onlys there, so two onlys.

NP: Yes, yes, once you slip up you hesitate as well. So Kevin you've got in on the first round as well which is good, and there are 32 seconds available in the 11 Plus, starting now.

KE: Well of course the 11 Plus is an examination which is taken in the last part of the Primary part of your educat.. oh dear me...


NP: Graham you challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: An excess of parts.

NP: So they are all going to speak in the first round, 11 Plus, 26 seconds still available Graham, starting now.

GN: I grew up in the south of Ireland and we didnít do the 11 Plus, how crazy, however my mother, who grew up in the north of that country...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of grew up.

NP: Yes!

GN: Ohhhh!

PM: You grew up in the same country as your mother and thatísÖ

GN: Different part of it though.

PM: Oh well that is not repetition.

NP: So Paul a correct challenge, and we are back with you, 20 seconds still available, the 11 Plus, starting now.

PM: In the film Spinal Tap, Nigel Tuffnell shows off his amplifier which goes all the way up to 11. A normal loud speaker piece of equipment would go as far as 10, but this particular magnificent big thing that I mentioned...


PM: I couldnít think of another word for speaker.

NP: Pam, you challenged.

PA: I think it is deviation. I donít know what it has to do with the 11 Plus.

PM: The 11 Plus, it just goes up to 11 so it is an amplifier not 10, it is 11 plus.

PA: Oh okay, then oh, well all right.

GN: Stick to your guns, stick to your guns. You were talking about more than 11.

PA: He was talking about amplifiers and I thought we were talking about er er er examinations.

NP: Yes, the 11 Plus, we assumed it was er, the exam you take at school, so I think he was, in that sense, deviating, Pam. So you have got in with two seconds to go, The Eleven Plus Pam, two seconds, starting now.


PM: Hesitation. I wish there was some other way.

NP: Paul what we will do on that occasion, there wasnít hesitation, but because of your timing and the audience enjoyed it so much we give you a bonus point. Pam, you get a point because you were interrupted and you have one and a half seconds on the 11 Plus, starting now.

PA: The withy trees and the fronds.


NP: Well that whistle tells us that the 60 seconds have elapsed and whoever is speaking in this game gets a point and on this occasion it was Pam Ayres, and Pam is now equal in the lead with Paul Merton, then Kevin Eldon and Graham Norton are trailing behind, which is obvious, and they are equal in second place. Right, Pam we would like you to begin the next round and the subject is very apt for youÖ Opportunity Knock, and you startÖ now

PA: Opportunity knocks was a television talent show in the 1970ís...


NP: Kevin challenged.

KE: Deviation, is that actually true.

PM: Yes.

KE: I apologise.

PM: Pam was in it.

PA: I was in it!

PM: Pam was in it. Pam was on it.

GN: On it, she won it several times.

PA: I only won it once!

KE: I didnít judge the mood of conference.

GN: You won it loads didnít you. You only won it once? But you kept going back, didnít you.

PA: I kept coming back for various...

GN: Why did they invite you back if you didnít win?

PA: Because I was a good looking woman.

GN: Are we talking about historical sex allegations now?

NP: So Pam, no point for that, for an incorrect challenge, naturally, and Opportunity Knocks is with you still, 56 seconds starting now.

PA: Hosted by a genial bloke by the name of Hughie Greene whose well known catch phrase was ďAnd I really mean that sincerely folksĒ, one notorious...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation. Was it, I really mean that most sincerely.

NP: I always try to be fair in this thing, I gave it against you last time and gave the benefit of the doubt to Pam.

PA: I knew him, I...

NP: Yes he was right, it was most sincerely.

PA: Was it? No, sometimes he said most, and sometimes he didnít.

PM: Yes, I am sure that is correct.

GN: In fairness, we kind of have to believe Pam on this.

PM: She was there.

NP: So she was there. Pam, another point, 45 seconds, Opportunity Knocks, starting now.

PA: A notorious element of the program was an enormous clock like contraption, entitled the clapometer, alleged...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Well I didnít think it was a clock like contraption, I think it was a thing that moved along, it was an indicator of how many people had clapped, there wasnít any way you could tell the time from it.

NP: No, the description of it would be a rather clock like thing. It was circular.

PM: Yes, it was, yes it was.

GN: Was it! No, didnít it go along the bottom of the screen!

PM: That is what it was.

PA: There must have been two manifestations of it.

KE: What are you all talking about?

NP: Give Kevin a bonus point, and Pam another point to you and you have 36 seconds, Opportunity Knocks, starting now.

PA: Alleged to be a decibel meter, which measured the loudness of the audiences applause, if any. I remember standing in front of the device and expressions varying from pleading, pathos, humiliation etc would flicker across the visage of the contestants. On my appearance I declaimed the poem, ďOh, I wish I looked after me teethĒ, a well known postmodernist irony piece, and er, and er I canít...


NP: Oh Pam, I thought for a moment you were going to win Opportunity Knocks again, but Paul came in there first. Paul, your challenge.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Of course, five seconds are still available, Opportunity Knocks, with you Paul starting now.


NP: Graham.

GN: It was a hesitation, Iím sorry.

NP: Graham, you came in and you have got 4 seconds still, and a point of course, 4 seconds, Opportunity Knocks, starting now.

GN: Not only Opportunity Knocks, but even all talent shows everywhere should be banished after DameÖ


NP: Graham Norton was then speaking as the whistle went and with an extra point he has now moved into third place, Pam is now in the lead, just ahead of Paul Merton, and Kevin Eldon we are with you to begin, and the subject is Being a Punk. I donít know whether there is anything personal in this or not. Could you talk on the subject, 60 seconds, starting now.

KE: Youíd perhaps think that looking at my hair that I was a punk, but what in fact happened is that I saw the ghost of Lord Reith just before I came on stage. He didnít look too pleased, but then he never did. Anarchy in the UK said the Sex Pistols in 1976. It was a very hard thing to do in Gosport where I came from to do anything anarchic. If you even wore an odd pair of socks that would lead you to be burnt at the stake for a witch. But I never had the spikey hair in those days or a rich...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: I am afraid there is a repetition of hair because you started off saying looking at my hair...

NP: Well listened Pam, that's right he did.

GN: I'm so glad, because I canít wait to hear about Pamís punk past!

NP: There are 31 seconds still available Pam, tell us something about being a punk, starting now.

PA: I have long favoured the look of the goth punk myself and have various intimate bodily piercings that I will only show to a very very...


NP: Ohhh, one of the natural errors of Just A Minute, a natural figure of speech. Paul, you challenged first.

PM: Repetition of very, very yes.

NP: Yes, 19 seconds Paul, you tell us something about Being a Punk, starting now.

PM: The Sex Pistols first appeared on television towards the end of 1975 but it was the following year that it really took on as a fashion. They first met up in the Kings Road, which was a shop owned up by...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Deviation. The Kings Road isnít a shop.

PM: No it's not.

GN: It's a road.

PM: I was using it's name.

KE: It is a shop actually, it sells very expensive tarmac.

NP: Graham, correct challenge, 8 seconds on Being a Punk, starting now.

GN: I was a pretty child, I know it seems unlikely, but I was indeed that, so imagine my upset when I read magazines from London Town...


NP: So Graham Norton was speaking as the whistle went, and gained that extra point, and went forward. He is still in third place, but he is now only one behind Paul Merton, Paul is two behind Pam Ayres who is in the lead, and Graham, it is your turn to begin. Oh here is a nice one. Wardrobe malfunction. I donít think there is any here on this table, no, so would you please talk on the subject starting now.

GN: Ladies and Gentlemen and friend, I blame flat pack furniture for the majority of wardrobe malfunction. I recently bought a glossy white piece of carpentry to contain clothes. I can say wardrobe, I just remembered, because it was the subject. It was so difficult to build, I hired a man to put it together. Excellent. For a few weeks there it was magic, you pressed it...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: Well I thought it was a hesitation.

NP: It was a definite hesitation.

PA: Was it? Oh good that is something of a relief.

NP: Well you have a point, you have 31 seconds and you have Wardrobe Malfunction, starting now.

PA: My worst wardrobe malfunction came in the form of a pink dress with cut out stars. Which cost me a lot of money which I wore to a posh do at the Guild Hall in the presence of royalty. Unfortunately, however on entering the venue, a terrific amount of static electricity surged through the pink frock causing it to cling like a helter skelter to the legs and buttocks. Despite my best efforts to prize the thing off, it was a...


NP: Pam that was a wonderful picture. You kept going till the whistle went and you gained that extra point, and you have increased your lead at the end of the round and Paul we are back with you to begin. Lift Etiquette. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now,

PM: I suppose the difficulty once you are inside a lift, the fact there is very little floor space and you may be sharing it with a complete stranger who has got on from another floor than the one that you...


NP: Graham challenged.

NP: Oh it's a wicked game, isn't it. Paul you challenged.

GN: Repetition of floor.

NP: Yes, right yes. So Graham we are with you, 52 seconds. Can you tell us something about Lift Etiquette, starting now.

GN: I think the greatest dilemma with Lift Etiquette is the decision whether to break wind after you get in or just before you leave. I personally favour the exit strategy. Doors close, you think bye everyone, enjoy that, and they look at each other wondering ďWas it you?Ē and they never figure out it was the gassy Irishman off the television who left with his reusable bags because they are quite eco friendly in that way. Now the other part of Lift Etiquette, oooo it bothers me, that lovely moment twixt mother and child when they get into the lift, and they think it is so much fun to press every single button. That is charming isnít it. And they donít figure out for a second that there is a barren, childless, aging bachelor...


NP: So Graham Norton speaking when the whistle went and he is now in second place, 1 ahead of Paul and two or three behind Pam our leader, and they are all just ahead of Kevin. Oh Pam, this is stuff is interesting, The King of Skiffle. It is your turn to begin, so will you start off with that one. Tell us something about the subject, starting now.

PA: The King of Skiffle was undoubtedly Lonie Donegan, who could afford with his group, to play expensive instruments like guitar, banjo and double bass. But the great joy of skiffle was that if you could not go out and buy these things yourself, you could make them, yes, by using the contents of your motherís laundry, you could fix yourself up...


NP: Kevin challenged.

KE: To be horrible, there were some coulds. There were three coulds.

PA: Were they, okay.

KE: Was that unfair?

NP: No, that was not unfair. It was sharp.

PA: No, no...

PM: I was interested to know how you could play on your motherís laundry.

PA: I, I was just about to enlarge on that. You will never know now.

KE: I was imagining a bra solo.

GN: Never solo.

NP: Kevin, a point to you. 38 seconds are still available Kevin. The King of Skiffle, starting now.

KE: Well the King of Skiffle must surely be George the Third. One of the manifestations of his madness was that he could lock himself away in a room for ages with thimbles of his fingers and scrape a washboard instead of looking after the situation with France. He would much prefer rather than taking affairs of state to heart to get a piece of Ö wood...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: I think this is deviation. I didn't know George the Third had anything to do with Skiffle.

KE: That is why you learn on this game all the time.

NP: I think it is Kevinís imagination going wild.

PA: I see.

NP: But it is not impossible, it is improbable, but not impossible. So I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt, Kevin. So you a point for an incorrect challenge, and you have 19 seconds, The King of Skiffle, starting now.

KE: Also he would get a piece of string and tie it to a stick and put it through a cardboard box and play the Rock Island line all night. That is why they had such problems with him. He didnít think that he should be fed bread, instead he... aghhh.


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation, sadly.

NP: Hesitation, yes. Anyway, Rock Island, that wasnít composed in George the Thirdís reign.

KE: Wasnít it??

GN: Nicholas knows these things.

NP: Yes, well I was around at the time. I got in before they did on that one. So Paul, a correct challenge and you have 5 seconds on the King of Skiffle, starting now.

PM: Does your chewing gum lose itsí flavour on the bedpost overnight was one of the many hits of Lonnie Donegan...


NP: So now for the scores, Pam is still in the lead, and Paul has an extra point for speaking when the whistle went. He has moved forward, he is just behind Pam, one ahead of Graham, and they are just a few aheadÖ No, no no, Kevin is catching up, and Kevin it is your turn to begin, and Kevin the subject is Genie in a Bottle and you are going to talk on the subject, starting now.

KE: What would I do if I was confronted with a Genie in a Bottle. The first thing I would do is say wait a minute.


NP: Wait a minute, Graham challenged.

GN: I donít know if this is, if this is a horrible thing to do. I, I heard do twice, and I buzzed. I I feel awful.

NP: No. It is a significant word, it is a verb. It is correct, so I have to be fair by the rules of Just a Minute.

KE: Oooo I wish I was somewhere else.

GN: Breathe in the dust, Eldon.

NP: Listen sharp, you'll get back in again, 55 seconds, Graham starting now.

GN: Genie in a bottle was a hit for the grubby songstress Christina Aguilera, and you do think that never mind a Genie in a bottle, why not try some soap in a bottle Christina. Oh I said Christina already.


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of Christine.

NP: Paul a correct challenge and you have 43 seconds left, and the subject A Genie in a Bottle starting now.

PM: As I swam away from the shipwreck, towards a desert island, I found myself fighting against the tide. The water, the briny sea shore liquid was in my ears and eyes. When I woke up on the beach several hours later there was a bottle lying beside me. I took the cork out and drank the contents. This was a mistake. It was a genie. He was now in my stomach. He wanted to know if I had three wishes. The first one was that I donít want you to be in my stom-ache placeÖ ohhhhhhh.


NP: That was wonderful. You go into the world of fantasy, and then you have to repeat it. So Graham, you challenged first.

GN: Repetition of stomaaache.

NP: Stomach, right, 16 seconds, Genie in a Bottle starting now, Graham.

GN: In the 1970ís there was a super television series called I Dream of Jeannie where a genie lived in a bottle and Larry Hagman who later became JR...


NP: Kevin challenged.

KE: It was a bit late, but it was the 60ís, not the 70ís I think, that I Dream of Jeannie was on.

PM: Yes that's right, it was shown in the 70s.

GN: That does make you seem really old, Kevin.

KE: Well I am you know, I am.

PM: It might have been shown in the Ď70ís, but it was made in the Ď60ís.

KE: Yeah, ah ha ha.

GN: We were in Ireland, we got it in the Ď90ís.

KE: And thought it was a documentary.

NP: I am giving you the benefit of the doubt, Kevin and 8 seconds to tell us something about Genie in a Bottle, starting now.

KE: Of course you have got to be very careful about what you wish for, so donít ask for a man eating tiger. A lot of people think that they can fool the Genie by making the third wish...


NP: So Kevin Eldon was then speaking as the whistle went, he has moved forward He is a strong fourth position and we are with Graham Norton to begin now. The History of Eurovision.

GN: Is that really the subject?

NP: Yes. The History of Eurovision. Graham, starting now.

GN: Finally, a subject I know something about, naaay upon which I am an expert. Now I wonít bog you down with too many facts or figures, so let me begin by saying the Eurovision Song Contest began ages ago, somewhere in this continent. Now the Eurovision area has expanded vastly in that period of time. I know this because last year I was chasing a hard boiled goatís eye around a plate in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. Euro, helloÖ. I donít think so. However, this year we are back in Sweden. However to take the shine off that, they couldnít host it in Stockholm. Oh no, we are in in Malmo, home of the who knows what. It is some sort of town I suppose, it must have a venue, unless the whole thing...


NP: Well that doesnít often happen and that round of applause confirms their appreciation of your talent, Graham. You started with the subject, you finished with the subject. You get a bonus point because you were not interrupted and you move forward and have taken the lead, two ahead of Paul Merton, three ahead of Kevin Eldon, and Paul we are back with you to begin. The subject is Fur Coats and No Knickers. So try and talk on it if you can. 60 seconds starting now.

PM: Well, clearly if an individual has a fur coat and no knickers they have not planned their clothing budget accordingly. Because if you buy a fur coat, surely the underwear that could have been purchased for the same price would have made sure that you could have walked around underneath this animal pelt without your skin being free to the air, having your bits dangling in the middle of the ocean. Why not?


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: I donít know why his bits would be dangling in the middle of the ocean.

NP: No I...

PM: What was the subject, I thought it was the history of Eurovision.

NP: No I think you have gone a bit too far Paul with you thing, your idea that you have got the fur coat and theÖ womanÖ errrÖ anyway, women donít have bits, it is men who have bits, but they could wear a fur coat, couldnít they. If you had a fur coat...

PM: Are you saying that men canít wear knickers?

NP: No, what I am saying is...

PM: Do you wear knickers?

NP: Yes, all the time.

PM: Well I wasnít expecting that answer.

NP: That is why they sometimes call me Knicker-larse. And ahhh...

PM: You have been trying to get that joke in for 45 series.

NP: You are mean. It came straight off the top of my noddle, then. The thing is Paul, the point I was trying to make, is that if you were wearing a fur coat, whoever was, you would not walk into the ocean with it, that seems like deviation...

PM: No of course you wouldn't, you would be insane.

PA: Pam, you were the one who challenged first. 37 second seconds, Fur Coat and No Knickers starting now.

PA: I imagine somebody in a fur coat and no knickers to be a brassy sort of woman, probably from the north country, and probably, um married.


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of probably.

PA: Oh yeah. Yes it was.

NP: Probably saved her from...

PA: Probably saved me from being lynched!

NP: Paul, you have got back in with the subject with 28 seconds to go. Fur Coat and No Knickers, starting now.

PM: It means lots of flashy exterior, but no substance underneath. There is nothing there, nothing to tell anybody about.


NP: Nothing there. Kevin challenged.

KE: Two nothings.

PM: Two nothings, yes...

NP: Two nothings. Fur Coat and No Knickers with you, not to wear, to talk, 22 seconds, starting now.

KE: If you wake up in the morning and you are wearing fur coat but have no knickers on, that is the sign of a good night out. You may not actually remember what it was, but it will come back to you, in a series of flashbacks over the next month or so and it will increasingly cause you to blush more and you will finally realise that you should from now on you need to leave the party when they are opening the sixth bottle of tequila. I think that you should make sure that.


NP: So Kevin Eldon with a huge surge there. It is pretty close with Kevin trailing just a little behind Paul Merton who is one point ahead, no two points ahead, and only one point ahead are our equal leaders, Graham Norton and Pam Ayres as we go into our final round. And Pam, it's with you to begin; Other Peopleís Children. That subject is with you to begin, starting now.

PA: Speaking as the woman who wrote the poem ďPlease will you take your children home before I do them inĒ I feel I am a tremendous expert on this subject. Other peopleís childrenís voices are never as mellifluous as our own. Neither are their sticky hands and faces as endearing. Their voices seem more grating to the parental ear. I used to make really good pizzas, homemade, and my kids loved them. But when other peopleís children came, they would meticulously pick off the sweet corn, the mushroom, the bacon, the bits of mozzarella cheese...


NP: Ahh Paul challenged.

PM: A lot of theís the mozzarella, the bacon.

NP: The, it's the.


PM: I, I am sorry, I really donít know what I was thinking of. Sorry, I withdraw my challenge!

NP: Pam was interrupted so she gets a point, and Pam there are 22 seconds, Other Peopleís Children, starting now.

PA: And I used to think that if they were my children they would not develop faddy ways like that.


PA: I canít think of anything else to say.

NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: I felt hesitation.

NP: You felt it.

PA: So did I.

GN: I did.

NP: It was a full stop. Graham, there are 14 seconds still available, you tell us something about Other Peopleís Children. Starting now.

GN: I may have said this before, but not on this show so I feel it isnít repetition. Children are a bit like farts. Yes they are. In that people quite like their own.


PM: And it is always best to leave one in the lift as you are leaving.

NP: So Paul, what was your challenge within the rules of Just a Minute.

PM: Erm, I didnít have one.

NP: Graham was interrupted, he gets a point for that. Paul gets a bonus point because we enjoyed his interruption, and there are 3 seconds, Graham. Other Peopleís Children, starting now.

GN: Other Peopleís Children are called things. I know this because I listen, I...


NP: Right. This is the points situation, then. Kevin Eldon has only played it twice before, but he came back and he did very well, he finished in a very very strong fourth place. And then came Paul Merton, just ahead with 11 points, but only one point ahead was the person who was leading most of the time Pam Ayres, but two points ahead of her with thay last flourish, Graham Norton, so we say Graham, you are our winner this week. So it only remains for me to say, thank you to these four intrepid players of the game, Paul Merton, Pam Ayres, Graham Norton and Kevin Eldon. I thank Trudi Stevens who has kept helped me with the score, blown her whistle so well, and we are grateful to our Producer, Katie Tyrell, we are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game and we are grateful to this lovely audience here in the Radio Theatre. So from our audience, from me Nicholas Parsons, and the team, we say goodbye, And tune in the same time when we take to the air and we play Just a Minute!