WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring PAUL MERTON, GRAHAM NORTON, GYLES BRANDRETH and ALUN COCHRANE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 11 June 2012)
NOTE: This was transcribed by Mister Nylon. Thank you very much!
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!
GRAHAM NORTON: I am rather surprised that you, of all people, Nicholas Parsons, would ask me about things you shouldn't do in public. I understand it was a long time ago and the court case was hushed up by the BBC...
NP: Gyles challenged.
GYLES BRANDRETH: Repetition of 'B'.
NP: Ohhh! Ohhh!
GN: I beg your pardon?
GB & NP: B.B.C.
GN: Oh, BBC. I'm sorry, sorry, yes.
GB: BBC. Also to protect Nicholas' reputation.
GN: That's long gone!
PAUL MERTON: To get picked up for a repetition of 'B' when we're hearing the most salacious gossip!
NP: So, are you standing by your challenge?
NP: Oh right. OK. Ah, you won no friends with it but you got the subject. Forty-four seconds, Gyles. You take over the subject. Things You Should Never Do In Public, starting now.
GB: Things You Should Never Do In Public. Wave at strangers, unless you actually are the queen. Or smile in the street: you will get arrested. This in fact is how I first became acquainted with Graham Norton, who was standing bail for Nicholas Parsons. I would like to tell this story properly. The British Broadcasting Corporation has kept very quiet about it over the years but the truth may now be discovered. It was a shameful incident because it happened in public! And Things You Never Should Do In Public include...
NP: Come on, press your buzzer
GB: ...what this man was doing-
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: I felt you wanted somebody to challenge.
GB: I was getting very near the nub of the matter. Of course he wanted someone to challenge. He was hoping his lawyer would challenge.
NP: So, what was your challenge?
GB: Yes, that was the whole point: deviation!
NP: Complete and utter deviation. He also repeated the word 'public'- oh, it's on the card. All right. So and Paul, yes, you can have it 'cos I want to re-establish it was complete and utter deviation. You have four seconds. You have Things You Should Never Do In Public, starting now.
PM: If you go to Youtube you can see Nicholas walking around St James Park with his trousers around his ankles, a most extraordinary thing-
NP: You reach the age that I am and you have no respect left.
PM: They've all seen it.
NP: Right. Paul, you were speaking as the whistle went. You get an extra point for doing that, and you have now taken the lead, which is not unnatural at the end of the round. Alun Cochrane, will you begin the next round. If I Was a Fairy Godmother. That is the subject. Will you tell us something about it in this game, starting now.
ALUN COCHRANE: If I Was a Fairy Godmother I would like to be fairy godmother to Richard Dawkins as I suspect I would have easy days. I would turn up and say "Hello, Dicky. Would you like me to cast a spell and save you some time on that?" And he would say, "No, I don't believe. It's not scientifically proven. I don't ha- I don't understand a beneficent deity." And I would say, "All right. I was just going to stop you err buttering your toast and dropping it."
NP: Graham Norton challenged.
GN: A little hesitation, I thought.
NP: Yes, there was a definite 'err' in the middle of one of your sentences-
AC: I did say 'err'.
NP: And so Graham, you got in with a correct challenge and thirty-five seconds are available. If I Was a Fairy Godmother, starting now.
GN: If I Was a Fairy Godmother I would certainly have let that poor creature out 'til at least half-one, wouldn't you? Because twelve o'clock is very early even for someone of fifteen or sixteen, really. I thought it was quite harsh. And also, wouldn't you organise a minicab to be standing by just in case she was running a bit late? Because you can't really ride a vegetable all the way home, which she discovered to her cost. Also, if everything disappeared, why did the one shoe remain? If she was going home in rags-
NP: So Graham Norton was then speaking as the whistle went. He gained that extra point for doing so, and Gyles it is actually your turn to begin, and the subject is Management Speak. Sixty seconds as usual, starting now.
GB: I recently attended the Funeral Directors' Awards and was obliged to give out a prize for thinking outside the box, which is extraordinarily the way Management Speak has now entered into our vocabulary. "Blue Skies" - what is all this bollocks about? That is what I...
NP: Paul Merton, you challenged six times.
NP: And what is-
PM: Well, ah just deviation from the proper use of language.
NP: The language you use in Just A Minute, yes.
GB: It's New Management Speak! They don't say, "This is an inadequate idea." They say, "This is " [SILENCE].
NP: Well, that's a hesitation, wasn't it?
GB: We haven't started again, have we?
NP: Paul, we're going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you have forty-one seconds on Management Speak starting now.
PM: It's one of those things, the way they used to say things like "Let's run it up the flag" and-
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: Repetition of "things."
PM: Oh yeah.
NP: They've been saying those things, yes. So, Gyles, you've got it straight back. Another point, of course. Thirty-seven seconds, Management Speak, starting now.
GB: "He's handled the tasks given to him within his limited capacity," meaning he is useless. Parameters. Windows. Extraordinary phrases to do with marketing and other things involving the brand image. I loathe every bit of it. On the train to Salisbury-
NP: Alun challenged you. Why?
AC: I just thought I should in case Gyles started swearing again. He seemed like he was warming up to turn the air blue again. You know what he gets like.
NP: Let's give you a bonus point because we enjoyed your interruption but he didn't actually say anything within the rules of Just A Minute for which he could be challenged. Sixteen seconds still with you, Gyles, Management Speak, starting now.
GB: The Management Speak at the court of King Claudius was along the lines of, "To be or not, that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer-"
NP: Graham challenged.
GN: I've heard this before. I'm sure I have.
PM: It's repetition.
GN: Yeah! I'm sure I've heard this before...
PM: Must have heard it before.
NP: But you haven't heard it in Just A Minute before, have you?
GN: Haven't I? Haven't I?
GN: OK then. Yeah. 'S allright. My mistake.
NP: I must be fair within the rules of the game and say Gyles has another point...
NP: ... and Management Speak is still with you, Gyles. Seven seconds, starting now.
GB: The opportunity is gone away, they tell you, meaning they do not want you. They are not interested. They loathe and despise you-
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: There was quite a lot of "theys" one after another-
NP: They, they, they, they, yes.
GB: Yes, it was getting a bit too personal and bitter. I agree.
NP: They might let you get away with one or even two "theys" but...
GB: I know! I agree. I'm all up the spout with the medicants. Medi- I can't even say "medicaments." Paul: you speak to the people.
PM: How long have I got to speak?
NP: You've only got two seconds.
PM: Two seconds. I will speak.
NP: Right. Starting now.
NP: So, Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and he has taken the lead. He's just ahead of Gyles Brandreth, only just ahead of Graham Norton and Alun Cochrane in that order. So Paul, it's your turn to begin. The subject is My First Crush. Tell us something about My First Crush, starting now.
NP: Gyles, you came in first.
GB: Self-inflicted hesitation.
NP: Yes, right. And fifty-four seconds for you to tell us something about My First Crush, starting now.
GB: As you may know, I used to go out with Ed Balls' mother Ophelia, who di d not live up to her name. But truly my first crush was a girl by the name of Camilla Shand and I met her in East Meon with her grandmother. To see her astride her pony in those gorgeous little jodhpurs, even at the age of nine she smoked a fine Woodbine. What a filly this is! "You are going to go to Highgrove one day," I thought to myself but maybe I could climb aboard your wee nag first and have a little bit of a cuddle. She slapped me down and said there was indeed a Brigadier Parker Bowles waiting behind the bushes for her. I thought this was a tender child that has the possibilities of princess in her and I thought I would linger in case the duchess in me-
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Have you signed the sex offenders register?
GB: I'm actually-
PM: I mean what's- I mean let's not dwell too much on this anecdote-
GB: I know. I know. I know. I agree. It's because I'm licenced by the London Borough of Harringey. I think I've moved away- I do apologise.
NP: Why do you challenge within the rules of Just A Minute, Paul?
PM: Well, I just felt an urge to stop it, whatever it was. But, um, no. I don't know if I have got a challenge.
NP: Well, it's a pity because- hmmm?
PM: Repetition of-
GN: "Thought", I think.
AC: He did repeat "I thought" twice.
NP: Yes, he did. But you didn't come in, did you Alun?
AC: No. Paul got in. I was telling Paul-
PM: Was it repetition of um-
PM: Oh yeah. Repetition of "thought."
NP: Yeah, thought.
GB: But we were there, weren't we, with the young Camilla? We were there. Ah, yeah yeh yeh- We saw the-
PM: Hang on. Don't get me involved in this grooming conspiracy.
GB: It was beginning to sound like an early Jenny Cooper, wasn't it? (sniffs) The smell of mown hay-
NP: I have to tell you, Paul, you have only one second...
GB: Who? What?? Who-
NP: ...one second on My First Crush, starting now.
PM: Brian Ollocks was a hell of a man. He walked into the room-
NP: So Paul Merton was speaking again as the whistle went. He gained that extra point. He's increased his lead slightly over Gyles Brandreth, against Graham Norton and Alun Cochrane in that order. And Graham we'd like you to begin the next round. The subject now is Shopping in Charity Shops, starting now.
GN: Let me go on.
NP: Alun. What was your challenge?
AC: Him. He doesn't. He obviously doesn't.
GN: Well. Well, I could've said that if you'd let me.
AC: Oh, OK. Sorry...
NP: Right, no.
AC: ...I take it back. I'll let him finish his own sentences. Doesn't seem part of the game, though.
NP: I know. It was an incorrect challenge so Graham, you have another point. You have fifty-seven seconds. Shopping in Charity Shops, starting now.
GN: A teapot with no lid, perhaps. Or a set of two spoons. What a great gift to get anyone. You could wrap it in newspaper to make it seem even more special. There is an odd smell to the clothes in a charity shop though, isn't there? I'm not sure what it is, and I don't like to ask. So we just move on. I do have a green jumper at home that I bought in an American charity shop where of course there they call them uhh vint-
NP: Paul, you challenged.
PM: Sadly, hesitation.
NP: There was a hesitation, yes.
GN: I cannot lie.
NP: Twenty-four seconds, Paul. Shopping in Charity Shops, starting now.
PM: I remember buying a green suit in a charity shop in Fulham Broadway and it was absolutely horrible, but it only cost one pound fifty. And people would say to me, "Where on earth did you get that dreadful arrangement of jacket and trousers?" And I'd say, "It was an absolute bargain. I went into a charity shop and I saw it there hanging on the rails." And I said to myself, "I'm the kind of man that could carry off that emerald." And indeed I was. As I wandered down the street that night, people said to me, "Are you Brian Ollocks?"
NP: So Paul Merton was speaking again when the whistle went, gained an extra point, has increased his lead at the end of the round. And Gyles, we're back with you to begin. The subject - ohh! - Traffic Wardens. Didn't get a very warm response from the audience. Sixty seconds on the subject as usual, starting now.
GB: I was invited to a party at Clarence House and on the invitation it said "Uniforms will be worn", which gave me an amusing idea to turn up - not in possibly what Harry might have thought comical, something from North Africa circa 1942 - but a traffic warden's costume. I arrived and made myself the toast of the party-
NP - Graham challenged.
GN: Repetition of "arrived."
NP: Yes. You arrived twice.
GB: It didn't feel I'd arrived at all. "Arrive" and possibly "Arrived", but that's the way it goes, I understand.
NP: Thirty-six seconds on uhhh you, Graham-
GN: Oh, you'll get it back in a second.
NP: Traffic Wardens. Thirty-six seconds, starting now.
GN: There seem to be fewer traffic wardens now than there were. I believe it's something to do with the introduction of that 'Pay for parking with your phone' thing, which is almost as irritating as traffic wardens. When there were traffic wardens and you met them, they always seem surprised that you were annoyed they'd given you a ticket. I know it's their job, it's all they do in the entire day long- have I said? No I didn't-
NP: Graham, you challenged yourself.
AC: It's me!
NP: Graham's light came on but he didn't press his buzzer.
AC: It's because Graham's light's been coming on when I press my buzzer. I'm like- you know - these people think I'm well rubbish. It's not my fault. I'm brilliant, but Graham's been mopping up all my brilliance.
GN: I'm still coming last.
AC: Yeah, I'm not that brilliant.
NP: Well, give him a bonus point for what he's just said - we enjoyed that. And you've- what's your challenge on this one?
AC: Well, he stopped speaking, clearly, and uh-
NP: He was hesitating, right.
AC: And he was hesitating, yes.
NP: Nine seconds for you, Alun on traffic wardens, starting now.
AC: Due to traffic wardens, I once bought a lettuce that cost sixty pounds and forty-seven pence. If it hadn't been for the jobsworth that had spotted me parked on a corner.
NP: So Alun Cochrane was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. Paul Merton, we're back with you to begin. The subject is Careers Advice. Sixty seconds, starting now.
PM: Uh, the careers advice I had at school was fairly rudimentary. A man just looked at me, reached up to the other shelf and pulled down a leaflet that said, "Supermarket shelf filler, if I were." It didn't have-
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: Repetition of "shelf."
PM: Oh yes. Shelf filler - is that one word?
GB: It's - mmmm, no, it's two words.
NP: No, no. Two words. Shelf.
PM: Yes, must be.
NP: Two shelf. Fifty seconds are still available for you, Gyles, on careers advice, starting now.
GB: Don't ask me-
NP: Paul challenged.
NP: Definitely not.
PM: Really not? No.
NP: Forty-nine seconds, starting now.
GB: I am the guy who actually told Carol Vorderman when she was twenty-one years of age, "You have no future in television." What do I know about anything? There she is now-
NP: Graham Norton challenged.
GN: Where is she now? Is she on television now?
GB: [Groans] She is the absolute loose women - she is the loosest of the loose women. They doubled the ratings since she joined Loose Women-
GN: Did she-
GB: It's enormous. It's enormous...
GN: OK, great.
GB: And Piers Morgan, she's with him next Saturday-
GN: Oh, that's fantastic news-
GB: Oh she's going very very very well.
GN: Oh that's just brilliant. I might send her a card...
GB: Yup yup yup yup.
GN: ... I love her.
NP: So, what is your challenge?
GN: Because - ehhhhhh - he was saying, "Where is she now?" and I was going "Where is she now?"
NP: Well now you know.
GN: Now I know, yeah.
NP: An incorrect challenge. Thirty-nine seconds, Gyles, still with you. Careers advice, starting now.
GB: I do wish I'd had some careers advice. I have felt lost for the past half-century and more. When I first encountered Nicholas-
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: You could stop. That's careers advice. He said he's not had any careers advice.
PM: I'm giving him - look at me when I'm talking to ya - I'm giving him careers advice.
NP: I'm trying to work out whether that's hesitation, repetition or deviation. It isn't.
PM: It's purely insulting, probably.
GB: He gets a bonus but I keep the subject, I think.
NP: No, he doesn't even get a bonus...
GB: Is that one of those-
NP: ...thirty-one seconds, still with you, Gyles.
GB: Incredible but true: when I was just nineteen years of age I encountered the host of our programme at a party given by Fanny Cradock and he gave me the best careers advice I have ever heard. He said, "Do you drive a cab? If so, you've got a lift tonight and I will pay you some money for it." He thought I would be a good person to be in a taxi because I was a bit gabby then.
NP: Graham's challenged.
GN: Repetition of "taxi."
GN: Repetition of "drive."
GN: Repetition of...
NP: No, he did say "hire car" first time.
GN: Did he?
NP: Yes he did, didn't you?
GB: I think I- I hope I did. I was trying.
GN: Re- re- repetition of "person". I don't know what he said.
NP: So, seven seconds still with you, Gyles. Careers advice, starting now.
GB: "Get on your bike!" What sort of advice was that for Norman Tebbit to give the nation at a time when we were all struggling? I thought it was cruel, though perhaps he was-
NP: So Gyles Brandreth was then speaking when the whistle went and gained that extra point, and he's equal lead- in the lead now with Paul Merton, then comes Graham Norton and Alun Cochrane in that order. And Graham, we're back with you to begin. The subject now: Hosepipes. Tell us something about Hosepipes in this game, starting now.
GN: Well, gardening is another one of my great passions. So it's a real thrill for me to be able to share some of my hosepipe knowledge with you. Do be wary, everyone, if you leave a hosepipe out on the grass. If it's warm and you turn the hose on, the water that comes out is quite hot, and it's a bit of a shock if you're trying to cool children down or a dog. I really would avoid that. No - seriously, it's not a good idea. Hosepipes are normally-
NP: Paul challenged.
NP: Yeah he was. He was-
NP: Yes, you paused...
GN: Oh no, fair enough. Fair enough. I'm not as fit as I was. I-
NP: You went for nearly thirty seconds.
NP: Wow, yes.
GN: If I'd buzzed in now, I'd be finishing. Wow.
NP: I know they'd love to hear more from you but I must be fair within the rules of Just A Minute and say Paul, correct challenge. Hosepipes, twenty-eight seconds, starting now.
PM: It seems the most guaranteed way of inducing rain in this country is to announce a hosepipe ban. As soon as this has been put across the airwaves you will find the water coming down from the heavens in huge amounts, gallons upon quarts, everything all over the grass. It's a magnificent sight. My hosepipe was presented to me by Prince Charles on the occasion of my OBE at Buckingham Palace when he leant over to me and said, "We've run out of medals but this bit of plastic will do." And he handed me...
NP: So Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point and has gone into the lead again ahead of Gyles Brandreth, Graham Norton, and Alun Cochrane in that order. Alun, we're back with you to begin and the subject is How To Enjoy the Rush Hour. Sixty seconds, starting now.
AC: How To Enjoy the Rush Hour is a conundrum that has been puzzled for many years by mankind, but one way I like to enjoy the rush hour is to not rush, and to enjoy seeing people who are stressed, nervous, anxious behind their wheel, trying to drive up people's backside and they can't get anywhere. Schadenfreude is the key way to enjoy the rush hour, or to err listen to Radio Four and enjoy Just A Minute or many of the other...
NP: Ehhh, um, Paul challenged.
PM: Umm, well I thought there was a hesitation, but actually there wasn't, perhaps.
NP: There was, actually.
PN: There was.
NP: I'll give the benefit of the doubt to...
PM: Yeh yes.
NP: ... Alun and say "Carry on Alun", thirty-three seconds. How To Enjoy the Rush Hour, starting now.
AC: Taking an enormous amount of uppers is one way of enjoying the rush hour. And driving like a maniac whilst eating a Marks and Spencers Simply Food sandwich, picking your nose, on your mobile phone: these seem to be the ways many idiots try to enjoy the rush hour, I don't like those people, myself. I'm very conscient-
NP: Ah, Paul challenged.
PM: Repetition of 'people'.
NP: Repetition of 'people', yes.
NP: The idea of someone sitting there doing a sandwich, picking his nose and everything all at the same time...
AC: They're disgusting aren't they?
NP: ... was unbelievable, wasn't it?
AC: Disgusting, these people. Disgusting!
NP: Paul, correct challenge.
NP: ...thirteen seconds. How To Enjoy the Rush Hour, starting now.
PM: The rush hour was something I was well used to when did the nine-to-five job at Tooting Employment Office. I would get a tube train on the Northern Line. Morden, South Wimbledon, Colliers Wood, Tooting Broadway, ditto Bec. I would get out and I would wander down the road.
NP: Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and he is now - as we move into the final round - still four ahead of Gyles Brandreth, who is a few more ahead of Graham Norton and Alun Cochrane in that order, and Paul we're back with you to begin, actually. The subject is The Seventies. Tell us something about The Seventies in this game starting now.
PM: The nineteen-seventies was a rather extraordinary decade if we look back on it now. It seems to be the bridge between the sixties and the eighties. Who would have imagined that would've been possible then? The seventies had a whole myriad of musical talents working in that particular decade, everybody from The Sex Pistols to Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Two different kinds of-
NP: Gyles challenged.
GB: Emerson, Lake and Palmer, cornerstone of their career, began 1963.
PM: They didn't form until 1969.
NP: But they were still going strong in the seventies.
PM: Their heyday was the seventies, the early seventies.
NP: Well it doesn't matter if it was their heyday or not. They were still going strong in the seventies. So Gyles it was an incorrect challenge so Paul has the subject-
GB: Before my time anyway, I mean.
NP: The Seventies is still with you, Paul, starting now.
PM: We see the rise of the skin head and Rastas and amongst the youth there was an extraordinary burst of energy that was seen as the punk-
NP: Graham challenged.
GN: A repetition of 'extraordinary.'
NP: He did use 'extraordinary' before, yes. Well listened, Graham. Thirty-four seconds are still available, Graham. You tell us something about The Seventies, starting now.
GN: I grew up in Ireland so the seventies here I observed through the television because none of it really got to us in the Emerald Isle. It was like really living in the nineteen-fifties-
NP: Ah, Gyles challenged.
GB: Repetition of 'really.'
NP: Oh yes, a couple of 'really's there. Yes.
GN: I can only apologise.
NP: Don't apologise. Gyles is delighted. Ummm, twenty seconds is still available, Gyles. Tell us something about the seventies starting now.
GB: Seventies, Nicholas. What was it like, the seventies? That's the question I want to know from you because I am on the brink of enter-
NP: Alun challenged.
AC: That's really going to change the game if Nicholas starts answering the questions. I don't like to come across like Mr Rules, but there is a system in place and it's been working for years and years and years so I don't think we should challenge it too much.
NP: I love your interruption, Alun, and I think it deserves a bonus point...
AC: OK I'll-
NP: ... because the audience enjoyed it as well. But do you have a challenge within the rules of Just A Minute?
NP: No. Right. So Gyles keeps the subject, another point for seventeen seconds starting now.
GB: Will I reach the seventies? This is the question my wife keeps asking me in the company of her toy boy.
NP: Graham challenged.
GN: I just want listeners to know this isn't an old repeat that's going out. Ahh - this is a current show. Ahh, just because they might think, "Gosh, this must be ancient show." You know, they must be thinking...
NP: I'm sorry. What's your challenge within the rules of the game?
GN: Shall I write it down and pass it to you?
GB: He's implying I could almost be in my seventies. That's what he's trying to say.
NP: So, I'm afraid: incorrect challenge. Err, so Gyles it's still with you.
GN: He could win at this rate.
NP: I know! Four seconds, starting now.
GB: "Well," said Mr Edward Heath when he became Prime Minister in 1970. What a remarkable leader he was.
NP: So, let me give you the final situation. Alun Cochrane who gave great value, and we enjoyed having you, Alun, but you did finish in fourth place. But it was a magnificent fourth place.
AC: Thanks very much.
NP: Only one point ahead of you was Graham Norton. Great value as ever, Graham. Love having you around. Paul Merton and Gyles Brandreth who have played the game quite a lot. Huge rivalry. And it's quite fair to say they finished up equal in first place, so we have joint winners. So we do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and will want to tune in again the next time we play this amazing game. It only remains for me to say thank you to these four fine, humorous, outstanding players of the game: Paul Merton, Gyles Brandreth, Alun Cochrane, and Graham Norton. I thank Sharon Leonard who helped me keep the score and blown her whistle when the sixty seconds have elapsed. We are indebted to our producer, Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this amazing game, and we're grateful to this lovely audience here in the Radio Theatre. So from them, from me Nicholas Parsons and the team, goodbye! Tune in again the next time we play Just A Minute! Yeah!