WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring PAUL MERTON, DEREK NIMMO, TONY HAWKS and BLYTHE DUFF, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 6 July 1998)
NOTE: Blythe Duff's first appearance.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!
NP: Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more, it is my pleasure not only to welcome our many listeners throughout the world but also the four exciting and talented players who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We have two talented standup comedians who have both achieved so much in the world of standup. That is the outstanding anarchic comedian, Paul Merton, and the individual comedian Tony Hawks. And we also have another comedian who made a great name for himself in the past, more in the world, more from the world of sitdown comedy really! That is Derek Nimmo. And we're also delighted to welcome for the first time to Just A Minute, a charming, delightful and talented actress who is equally at home in comedy or drama. Would you please welcome Blythe Duff. Would you please welcome all four of them. As usual I'm going to ask them to speak on a subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And sitting beside me is Linda Cobley who will help me keep the score, she'll hold a stopwatch, she'll blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the University Union, the debating chamber in the Union of that magnificent university in the heart of that fantastic city of Glasgow! Paul Merton, will you begin this particular show. Oh we're quoting from Scotland's greatest bards, ah yes, Robbie Burns. But here's the subject, slightly adulterated, wee timorous beastie. Talk on that subject if you can starting now.
PAUL MERTON: Well this refers to a mouse. There are some scientists who believe that mice are derived from dinosaurs and that millions of years ago animals such as Tyrannosaurus Rex used to live inside skirting boards in old caveman's kitchens. And I believe it was perhaps the most famous... film star in Hollywood...
NP: Derek Nimmo, you have challenged.
DEREK NIMMO: Hesitation.
NP: Yes I think there was a hesitation there Derek. So you...
PM: It won't be safe going back to the hotel!
NP: I can see this audience's going to be prejudiced from the start! Right so Derek, you have a correct challenge, you get a point for that of course and you take over the subject, there are 36 seconds left, the subject is wee timorous beastie and you start now.
DN: Wee timorous sleeky cowering beastie, oh what a panic in my breastie! Now there's nothing... terrible...
NP: You were carried away with your own success there! You didn't know you could do it! Oh you rotten old Sassenach you! Paul it was your...
NP: Hesitation was correct yes, so you have the subject back Paul, another point and 30 seconds available on the subject, wee timorous beastie, starting now.
PM: Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in 1928. Originally he was called Mortimer and there was a bit of a fuss at the time because there was another artist who drew the original cartoon character who Mr the-man-I-mentioned-earlier um elbowed out and didn't give him any credit at all. And there was some fuss, indeed there was a great deal of fuss, that's three fusses...
NP: And Derek Nimmo got in.
PM: You wait for one fuss...
DN: Too much fuss!
NP: Too much fuss yes...
PM: You wait for a fuss and then they all come along together!
NP: Derek you got in first on repetition, 12 seconds available on the subject starting now.
DN: Hickory dickory dock, the mouse ran up the clock, the timepiece struck one, the timorous beastie ran down, I don't think it had got the nerve to stay there any longer! Now my...
NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Derek Nimmo who has got most points at the end of that round and is naturally in the lead as a result. Blythe Duff, will you take the next round. So we're going to hear from you for the first time on Just A Minute, this is very exciting! They've got for you very aptly, debates. We're in the debating chamber here at the university. But will you talk about debates starting now.
BLYTHE DUFF: No, not sure, the concept is rather alien to me. Debating suggests I have the remotest interest in anyone who might care to disagree with me! I, I'm a Celt and female, enough said! Let's face it, did William Wallace debate with Longshanks? No, methinks not. One look around this evening, I think I probably made the right choice. The debating chamber seems a bit like being thrown to the lions as far as I'm concerned! Ohhh!
BD: I've run out of steam!
NP: Your first foray on Just A Minute and you kept going for 29 seconds. Derek came in on the hesitation. Debates, Derek, starting now.
DN: Well it is wonderful actually to be in this marvellous debating chamber, the atmosphere, the way people applaud one's merest utterance. The last time I was in such a place, you know, a debate, was actually at a university called Cambridge. And I, second to me was Stirling Moss and against me was that dear old actor thespian Robert Morley, aided by a very delectable...
DN: ...Felicity Kendal.
NP: And Paul Merton challenged.
NP: That was a hesitation yes. And you got in Paul with half a second to go! On debates, another point of course for doing that starting now.
PM: Mass debates!
NP: Paul Merton has a point for speaking as the whistle went, he has moved forward, he's one behind Derek Nimmo who's still our leader. Derek would you like to take the next subject. Oh yes, a good one this, embarrassing friends. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now.
DN: One of my most embarrassing friends tends to eat meat very slowly and then, rather like an owl, regurgitate, and put the meat in little balls by the side...
NP: Tony Hawks challenged.
TONY HAWKS: First of all, I haven't said anything yet so I thought it would be nice! But I think that was repetition of meat.
NP: It was repetition of meat so well listened Tony and you have got in for the first time. Delighted to hear from you. Forty-nine seconds are available, a point of course, embarrassing friends is with you, starting now.
TH: There's nothing I like more than embarrassing friends. My favourite method is just to say something like "I think my lawyer can get the charge down to manslaughter" in a very loud voice when we...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Well I did say hesitation but it was hardly worth it, he was sort of...
NP: It certainly wasn't hesitation.
DN: No, no, I'm not saying...
TH: I'm sorry, I get an extra point.
NP: Yes an incorrect challenge so Tony gets a point, he keeps the subject and there are 36 seconds left starting now.
TH: I don't actually have any embarrassing friends myself, because I am such a difficult person to embarrass. If I was easy, I wouldn't be here, doing what I'm doing now, because this is obviously one of the most embarrassing places and things you could be doing with your life. And in a way these people here are my friends. But they're...
NP: Paul Merton challenged.
PM: Deviation, we're not his friends! He's only on the show because Jimmy Logan pulled out!
NP: Give Paul a bonus point because we enjoyed the challenge and so did the audience. But Tony wasn't strictly deviating from the rules of Just A Minute, so he keeps the subject and of course a point because he was interrupted. Sixteen seconds with you Tony, embarrassing friends.
TH: My colleague Paul Merton attempted to embarrass me there but notice the way I rode on without any...
NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: He repeated, repetition of embarrass, not embarrassing.
NP: Well listened Derek, yes!
TH: No, he's right! Give the man fair due, he's right!
NP: Sharp Ears Nimmo! Right! Embarrassing friends, Derek, 12 seconds, starting now.
DN: This embarrassing friend of mine said "tell me, do lens have eggs...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Couldn't understand that, I'm afraid!
NP: Sort of.. lens...
PM: What was it? Couldn't hear! Sort of deviation from the English language.
DN: No, no, don't you want...
NP: I think it was deviation from English language as we understand it certainly. Seven seconds for you Paul on embarrassing friends starting now.
PM: I was saying to my friend Pol Pot last Christmas "what are you doing with yourself these days, I haven't been hearing too much about you". He said "well I haven't been feeling too well...
NP: So Paul Merton got an extra point when the whistle went and with other points in that round, it's taken him into the lead ahead of Derek Nimmo and then comes Tony Hawks and Blythe Duff in that order. And Tony, your turn to begin, the subject, culture. And 60 seconds as usual, starting now.
TH: I have a favourite joke on this subject. What's the difference between Australia and a yoghurt? Well, the second has a live culture. I actually happen to know that Glasgow, the city here, was the European city of culture in 1990. And I believe this was the main reason why Paul Gascoigne chose to come here, he could play his football in this fine city. I can see before me a room, a debating chamber if you like, full of people who admire culture. Looking around, I wonder how many went to the opera only this week, the art gallery today. A man's putting his hand up, he's a liar! I know it! Art galleries frequented...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Art gallery.
NP: Art gallery, you did mention the art gallery before, yes, Derek. A repetition, 16 seconds, culture, with you...
DN: It was way back in 1952 that I adjudged this to be a city of culture. When they purchased Salvadore Dali's Crucifixion for 8200 pounds. It was ridiculed at the time. But events have proved that the city fathers of Glasgow were absolutely right. And it is a great master...
NP: Paul, Paul Merton has challenged. He was in full flood then! And what's your challenge?
PM: Repetition of Glasgow.
NP: Absolutely yes!
DN: You can't repeat Glasgow too often!
NP: I entirely agree! As I call it my adopted home you cannot repeat it too often. But in Just A Minute, I'm afraid, if it's not on the card in front of me, it is repetition Derek. So Paul got in with one second to go. You are really winning friends and influencing people here Paul! Right! One second on culture Paul starting now.
PM: Boy George was in a...
NP: Paul's increased his lead at the end of that round and he takes the next round. Paul, old alumni. Will you tell us something about them or the subject or any way you like to take it, in Just A Minute, starting now.
PM: Nicholas Parsons was a student here at Glasgow University in the 1940s, and he said before tonight's recording that he'd appeared on this stage in that decade. So some 50 years later he was such a success, they've asked him back! If it goes down well tonight, he'll be here again in the year 2037! By which time he'll be 124 and still have all his own teeth! He paid for them in 1956, he owns them, they're his! I suppose, old alumni, I had a sheepdog called Old Alumni. What a wonderful creature he was, a very faithful animal. I used to throw sticks for him and sometimes he would bring them back, and other times he would ignore me completely. I would take him across to the Common and shout out "Old Alumni, where are you! Come towards me you proud beast with those four paws one after another pounding across the grass towards me!" Sometimes I would send him out to buy heroin for me! And with no impediment he would come across drug dealers and purchases would be made...
NP: Well Paul Merton started with the subject and after 60 seconds he still was going strong with the subject. so you get double the points. You get one for speaking as the whistle went and a bonus for not being interrupted. Well done Paul Merton! And you have increased your lead at the end of the round. And Blythe Duff, your turn. Will you talk on answering machines, 60 seconds as usual starting now.
BD: Some may say that Jeremy Beadle is the scourge of a modern telecommunications industry. I submit that it is answering machines. I mean why can't people be honest and just say "leave your name and number, I'll get back to you when I give a toss"? No, instead there is a high pitched ear drum bursting wail. By the time you've picked yourself up off the floor, removed the blood from the carpet, you then decide you're going to leave a message or perhaps you won't. I would suggest that it's probably a better idea if you don't. Why don't you just forget it and what they have to do is they have to phone 1471 and try to get your number...
TH: Re... unfortunately the number repeated one.
NP: But Blythe you kept going for 45 seconds! I mean, no...
BD: You know the sad thing is I have got a column there and there's not an ounce of nothing on it, there's not a wee point! Not just one point!
NP: I know! The odd thing about this show is you gain points when you don't have the subject actually because you challenge and get in there! But I can assure you for a first time player of the game, nobody has gone on the second attempt for 45 seconds! That's brilliant! But you did repeat one...
NP: So Tony you got in first and you have 15 seconds on answering machines starting now.
TH: I have no need for answering machines...
PM: That's because nobody ever phones him up!
NP: Paul they enjoyed the challenge, I'll give you a bonus. Tony you were interrupted, you get a point. You have 12 seconds, answering machines, starting now.
TH: Why do people leave messages saying "sorry I can't get to the phone at the moment". Why leave it somewhere where you can't reach it? It's absurd! Put it in the hallway and then as you come in, you'll pass it, see the little...
NP: Well Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, he gained an extra point for doing so. Tony it's your turn to begin, the subject neighbours. Tell us something about those in this game starting now.
TH: Neighbours, neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours. And nothing could be truer! But what a fine soap that is! Many's the time I've watched it two times a day, oh I wish it was on four or more! I saw one episode where they attempted to carry out a tracheotomy on a kitchen table. It was...
NP: Paul Merton's challenged.
PM: You can't give a kitchen table a tracheotomy!
NP: Deviation? All right, I think, I think because of the cleverness of your thinking, we must give it to you Paul, a point and 41 seconds on neighbours starting now.
PM: Well they're a pain in the neck really, aren't they? I mean if you've got some terrible person living next to you, smells, has some terrible habits where they play...
PM: Oh that's two terribles! Stop me on that, why don't you!
NP: Yes, 34 seconds, Derek, neighbours, starting now.
DN: I think that I must be the only British actor, in fact I know that I am, who actually appeared in the soap Neighbours. I was sitting in Hong Kong when the telephone rang and they said "would you like to go and be in Neighbours?" I said "well, who else is in it?" They said "the Bishops". I said "good lordy gracious". But I thought I do like going to Australia, particularly in December...
NP: Paul challenged.
PM: Repetition of Australia.
NP: Yes. You went to Australia before.... You were in Hong Kong actually when they asked you, I know that, but you went to Australia to do it. Fourteen seconds, Paul, neighbours, starting now.
PM: I remember once the man who used to live next to me in 19...
DN: Repetition of next.
NP: You did say that before, the neighbours, the people next door.
NP: Eleven seconds, Derek, neighbours, starting now.
NP: Ah, Blythe... Blythe you challenged?
BD: (Giggling) It wasn't me!
NP: Blythe, you, you challenged, yes?
BD: No, Derek I'm sorry, I didn't challenge.
TH: It was hesitation.
NP: It was hesitation, yes, what a clever girl, I spotted it immediately! And you take over the subject of neighbours with nine seconds to go starting now.
BD: I really wish Nicholas Parsons was my neighbour. Can you imagine that charming gentleman, waking up to him every morning and saying "hello Nicholas...
BD: How could you Derek, that's a...
DN: Wake up to that? That's a nightmare! A nightmare!
NP: An incorrect challenge, so Blythe gets another point for an incorrect challenge, she gets a bonus point because you insulted the chairman, and she has three seconds to keep going on neighbours starting now.
BD: Every morning in a different shirt and tie...
NP: Yes Derek?
DN: Repetition of morning.
NP: I know but I didn't give it against you before so I'm not going to do it this time either! So Blythe has half a second and another point to keep going on neighbours starting now.
BD: In the early...
NP: So Blythe Duff was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so and she has leapt forward! But she's still in fourth place! And Paul would you take the next round, the subject, in the pink. Tell us something about that rosy subject starting now.
PM: Well it means to be healthy, I suppose, isn't it? In good health. I haven't had any physical ailments... erh blerh!
NP: Derek yes?
NP: Yeah we call that hesitation, well done Derek, 54 seconds, in the pink starting now.
DN: I must say, do you know, whenever I come to Glasgow I always feel in the pink. As this morning I got off my aeroplane, I thought here I am in quite the most beautiful city in the United Kingdom. And I felt in the pink and I got my ties to match. And I thought now I can walk safely down Soggy Hall Street and meet all my old friends...
NP: Tony Hawks challenged.
TH: I think this is deviation really isn't it.
TH: He's used the words in the pink to talk about Glasgow which obviously we all want to do because we're in Glasgow but I think he's veered off the subject.
NP: I thought he was conveying to me that being in Glasgow and walking down Soggy Hall Street made him feel in the pink, I was rather with him there actually, sort of living it alongside. So I disagree with the challenge Derek, so a point for an incorrect challenge and 31 seconds, in the pink, starting now.
DN: Those charming pictures called Miss Carter Wore Pink. I collected them over the years and I keep them in a very small room at the bottom of my garden and look at them with the greatest pleasure. Well of course there is hunting pink, and if you wear that these days people are awfully cross with you really and MPs for Wooster march upon your house and set fire to things and let dogs loose upon your dogs. And lots of ugly...
DN: I've said dogs twice, shall I stop?
NP: So you challenged again Blythe?
BD: Repetiiton of dog.
NP: Well listened! So you cleverly got in with only five seconds to go Blythe on in the pink starting now.
BD: In the pink would be a lovely name for a tune for a song that would be sung by...
NP: So Blythe Duff was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, she's moving forward, she's only just behind Derek Nimmo and Tony Hawks equal in second place and three points ahead of them in the lead is still Paul Merton. And Derek will you take the next subject, the subject lost languages. Sixty seconds starting now.
DN: It was the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 that actually made people able to read for the first time and understand hieroglyphs. It had printed upon it or carved on the stone itself...
NP: Tony Hawks challenged.
TH: A bit mean actually, on.
TH: I know!
TH: Well I withdraw it, it was a reflex action! I couldn't help it, I buzzed, it was too late.
NP: And you could have had stone too! Couldn't you?
PM: You could have had repetition of stone.
TH: Yes! That's what I meant!
NP: Well actually I have to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute. If you choose to challenge on that, which, I agree with you, is a bit of a mean challenge, but as he did repeat something we'll give it to you Tony...
TH: Oh I'm most terribly sorry!
NP: You have 48 seconds lost languages starting now.
TH: Nothing is more annoying than losing a language. Only this morning I had Swedish. I put it down somewhere, I looked around for it, today I've no idea where it is! The same happened with Greek, German, Polish. It's me, I'm blighted in this particular area. If only I could... oh, I can't be bothered.
NP: Derek, another point, the subject, 33 seconds, lost languages, starting now.
DN: There were 847 different languages in Papua New Guinea. But 723 of these have been lost. It is a huge sadness...
DN: What's the matter?
NP: Tony Hawks challenged.
TH: Repetition of hundred.
NP: Yes. Well listened Tony, 25 seconds, lost languages with you starting now.
TH: England and Portugal are the only two countries in the European Community that don't have a minority language within them, unless you count Cornish. But I think that's more of an ice cream than a language. Of course I will have upset the people of Cornwall, but I don't mind. That's the way it is. I can live with that, I don't get there that often. But anyway if I did I would learn Cornish and...
TH: ... I would repeat the word.
NP: Paul Merton challenged.
PM: Repetition of Cornish.
NP: You had too much Cornish there, I'm afraid, yes. Paul, you've got in with five seconds to go, lost languages, starting now.
PM: I believe it was the great philosopher, WB Johnson, who once...
NP: Right. So Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. He's increased his lead. Oh we're coming towards the end of the show. This probably, in fact I think it's definitely going to be the last round. It's Tony Hawks' turn to begin. The subject, it's rap. Talk about rap, Tony, starting now.
TH: In my opinion the finest rap record ever recorded was by a band called Morris Minor and the Majors.
TH: My reason for saying this is not because I was part of that band and indeed sang and wrote this particular song. It is in fact because it was a splendid spoof of the Wee Timorous Beastie Boys who had for a long time irritated us with their own particular form of rap which was ingratiating and not that good. Although people went out and bought it in their millions, as indeed they did with the disc I mentioned about my very self. It seems a little bit ungenerous of me...
NP: Paul Merton challenged.
PM: The disc I mentioned about my very self?
NP: Yes, so that's deviation...
PM: Deviation, yes.
NP: ...from grammar at least...
NP: ... if not from English. But it's one of those difficult decisions...
PM: Well make it then!
NP: All right, he was deviating from standard sort of English that we normally use, but all right, Paul, you can have it, 25 seconds, rap, starting now.
PM: The Orange Juice Advisory Board produced a rap about Vitamin C, called the Vitamin C Rap. Unfortunately...
PM: ... on the wrapping it looked like crap!
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged, yes?
DN: Two Vitamin Cs.
NP: Too much Vitamin C I'm afraid.
PM: You can't have too much Vitamin C!
PM: Just ask the people of Glasgow!
NP: All right! Yes! But you can in one round of Just A Minute and that's what counts at the moment. So Derek you got in on rap and 20 seconds are left...
DN: We seem to be going for an awfully long time, I think we ought to wrap very soon! Because otherwise everybody will get totally fed up. I am already absolutely bored stiff and longing for some more water, they've run out of that. Now another wrap that I don't like is when you come up in an aeroplane, everything is covered in this bits of plastic and you have to fight your way inside it, to produce a bit of butter...
DN: Or a knife and fork...
PM: Well when you get on a plane not everything is covered in plastic! The wings aren't covered in plastic! The pilot isn't covered in plastic!
NP: The hostesses aren't covered in it, no, no! I quite agree. What a delightfully good challenge, yes! And Paul you've got in with one second...
PM: Thank you!
NP: ... on rap, starting now.
PM: I would just like to say...
NP: Right! Paul Merton once again speaking when the whistle went, gained the extra point and of course has increased his lead. And we have no more time unfortunately to play Just A Minute. So let me give you....
CRIES OF "AWWWWWW" FROM THE AUDIENCE
NP: Well I'll tell you what. Why don't you come back again and we'll do another show from Glasgow University. Right! That endorsement's gone out over the airwaves so I do hope that we'll be back one of these days. Now let me just tell you the final situation as regards to the points. I mean Blythe Duff's not played the game before but she did fantastically well and she's got a lot of points. But she didn't get quite as many as Derek Nimmo, who has been playing the game for many years. He gave his usual good tremendous value. Tony Hawks, he did marvelously well as usual. But just a few points out ahead was Paul Merton so we say with most points, Paul, you're the winner this week. It only remains for me to say once more thank you to our four intrepid players of the game Paul Merton, Tony Hawks, Derek Nimmo and Blythe Duff. Also I have to thank Linda Cobley for keeping the score, blowing her whistle so magnificently. Also our producer Chris Neill who manages to keep the show going so well, looks after us all. And of course Ian Messiter who thought of and created this game. We thank them all. And from them and from me, Nicholas Parsons, thank you very much, particularly, this vociferous audience here at Glasgow University, for the warmth of your reception, the charm of your reaction, and the pleasure of your company. Until we all meet again and take to the air playing Just A Minute, goodbye.