starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, SHEILA HANCOCK and BERNARD CRIBBINS, with commentary from PAUL MERTON, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 11 April 1978)

NOTE: Bernard Cribbins's last appearance.

PAUL MERTON: Hello Nicholas. Here we are once again to listen to a further four classic editions of Just A Minute from the BBC archives.


PM: How do you feel when you listen back to these old shows?

NP: I'm amazed how fresh some of them are. But I'm also impressed to see how the show has evolved and developed. It's only a small thing but it's that refinement that has helped to keep it running much longer.

PM: Yes.

NP: I think the first one we are going to hear is from April 1978 which was aboiut 10 years before you joined us, wasn't it?

PM: That's right, yes, this would be one of the shows that I would avidly have listened to, and it's funny. When I listen to some of these old recordings, I, I, some of them I remember very well, because, as I mentioned before, taping them and listening to them, I can, I can remember the challenges and I can remember various bits and pieces. If you asked me before I listened to it, I'd have to say, "no, I don't remember". But as they play back, I suddenly recall all sorts of things.

NP: Is that because in certain shows, there are great moments which stand out?

PM: Certainly.

NP: And maybe a listener's remembered those momemts...

PM: Absolutely.

NP: ... with huge affection.

PM: Absolutely. And the regualrity with which I listened to the shows as well. And you make a reference in this, the first show we are going to listen to, to Bernard Cribbins, and you make a sort of veiled refernce to the fact that um, there's a gap between this appearance that he is making as we listen to it, and a previous appearance that may have been some weeks before.

NP: That's one of the naughty things I do.

PM: Yes.

NP: Because just for the interest of the listener, we always record two editions straight away. But they're not sent out on consecutive weeks.

PM: No.

NP: Because we mix them up. And so if something hapopens, and someone refers in the first, second show to something that was said in the first show, I will often say to the audience "well of course, you won't remember that, because you weren't here."

PM: Yes! (laughs)

NP: And some producers we've had say "Nicholas, you mustn't do that, I don't like it." And I've said "well, the audience like it. And I think, psychologically, the listener likes it because they think maybe there's an in-joke here I'm missing! Oh!

PM: Yes.

NP: I should listen with more attention.

PM: Absolutely.

NP: It's one of my naughty little things that I do.

PM: And it's er, in this show, Derek, Derek Nimmo is particularly fluent, I think, this is a good show for Derek. He had the ability to be able to take a subject up and talk about it. But he has a moment when he says he is talking about Aborigines and he says that they hadn't seen another human being for a thousand years. And Bernard Cribbins challenges and says "well they must have seen each other!" Which of course is very funny.

NP: But that's, I mean, this is all spontaneous humour. To come in with those lines. I feel that if that had been written, it wouldn't have got such a big laugh.

PM: Yes.

NP: Because I have this theory that an audience psychologically knows that all this is spontaneous.

PM: Well they can tell the difference. Absolutely.

NP: They can tell the difference.

PM: Absolutely. Absolutely.

NP: It's straight off the top of your head, and therefore, they are part of a special moment.

PM: Yes.

NP: And I've proved it by the way, because I've often on occasions sometimes gone back home, and said "there was a wonderful moment in the show today, someone said so-and-so-and-so-and so and Paul came back with so-and-so." And my wife says "yes, then what happened"? And you realise that repeating a spontaneous moment out of context doesn't always work.

PM: No, no, it is a case of you have to be there, you have to listen to it.

NP: Yes yes.

PM: What I find interesting as well is that when Bernard comes in with the very good challenge, and you say "yes indeed, good challenge," and you give him the subject. And Kenneth's reaction, he roars with absolute laughter because it's one over on Derek, it seems.

NP: Oh yes. There's all that...

PM: There is a rivalry going on, isn't there.

NP: Oh there's a huge rivalry. But you know, if the desire to succeed and achieve something, but also at the expense of each other, you know, if they just didn't care less, there wouldn't be a show.

PM: No, quite.

NP: I mean, people have said to me, they seem very competitive.

PM: Yes.

NP: And I've said that's part of it. I mean if they weren't, it would be very flat and flabby, wouldn't it.

PM: It's about being competitive, but it's about being fairly competitive.

NP: Yes.

PM: You know, in a fair way, you know, it's, because everybody that comes on wants to win. And the people that we have on are successful people in show business, they didn't get there just by sitting around waiting for something to happen. So they've got drive, they've got ego, um...

NP: What I've, what I've often said is that they all want to excel...

PM: Yes.

NP: .... but not to excel at all costs.

PM: No, absolutely, absolutely.

NP: I mean I notice with you sometimes, when you've been getting a lot of speech in, a lot of laughs, you often very generously hold back...

PM: Yes.

NP: ... so there'll be a better balance in the final outcome.

PM: Well I think so, I think it's also about being aware of, you know, stop now! Stop talking, let somebody else have a go, because you, it is about, there is a sharing thing that goes on, and there is a generosity of spirit that has to be there, has to be part of the thing.

NP: And sometimes there's an edge...

PM: Oh yes.

NP: Sometimes you jump in and you say "well that was a bit of a sharp challenge, wasn't it", but it's true, so you have to give it.

PM: Yes. Yes exactly, and they've got a controversial subject in this show. The subject was ėlephants can't jump".

NP: Oh yes, I thought that wasn't a good subject. Nowadays the producer goes to a lot of trouble to get, to make sure that we do get subjects that potentially can take off, in the sense of, generate fun. But elephants can't jump, I can't personally, knowing the show very well, see the potential for that one. And eventually somebody says "well this is a stupid subject anwyay!"

PM: And Derek has a bit of a rant about it because he said "no, elephants do jump!"

NP: That's it. So so it, it turned it into a non-subject in a way. But it's in there, so again, being clever performers they get something out of it.

PM: Yes yes.

NP: But Sheila Hancock is always a great performer. I'll tell you what, Sheila is a very strong personality. And she gives the fellows as good as she gets.

PM: Yes.

NP: And she really excelled in this show. And there was an amazing sequence about someone washing his popadoms. I don't know how it arose, but I think it was in that one. I think Kenneth misheard it and thought he was talking about washing his popadoms. But again, if something unusual occurs, a word, a phrase, anything, you grab it!

PM: Yes.

NP: Because there's mileage in that.

PM: Yes.

NP: Humour.

PM: What other shows would see as a mistake, we see as an opportunity.

NP: That's absolutely, beautifully put. Yes.

PM: Well let's have a listen then to this classic episode of Just A Minute, this is from April 1978.

ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Sheila Hancock and Bernard Cribbins in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.

NP: Thank you, thank you very much, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And once again I'm going to ask our four panelists to speak if they can for just one minute on the subject that I will give them without hesitating, without repeating themselves, and without deviating from the subject on the card in front of me. And we're going to begin the show with Derek Nimmo, and the subject Derek is customs. Can you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DEREK NIMMO: I really do loathe going through Customs sheds when one arrives in this country. One always feels extraordinarily guilty, for some totally obscure reason. Generally because one has rather too much wine perhaps in the bottom of one's case. I don't know whether you've heard the story of a man who was recently in the courts. He'd been discovered with 625 watches. The barrister who was prosecuting said "how had the Customs official actually discovered it?" And apparently there'd been undue turbulence on this particular aeroplane, and when the man had got off, all these particular timepieces were self winding...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged you.

DN: What a pity!

SHEILA HANCOCK: Well there's two particulars but let's hear the end of the story.

DN: Well just a minute, you see, he got all these, they were all self winding watches and because of the turbulence on the aeroplane they all started ticking! So when he got off it was like a nest of hornets apparently!

NP: Anyway Sheila challenged with 23 seconds to go and her challenge was correct so she gets a point for that. And she takes over the subject now of customs starting now.

SH: Different countries have their.... aaaah!


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Um, bleurgh!

NP: So Derek you got the subject back, 19 seconds with customs, starting now.

DN: If you go to New Guinea they have the most extraordinary fertility rites...


NP: Um, Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SH: Deviation.

NP: Why?

SH: Well it obviously was going to be, I just wanted to stop it being embarrassing!

NP: How...

DN: There's nothing devious about fertility!

SH: The way you were talking about it was devious!

NP: It might be devious in thought and idea, but he wasn't deviating from the subject of customs. So I'm afraid it's a wrong challenge Sheila and Derek gets another point and there are 14 seconds on customs Derek starting now.

DN: In the middle of the Australian desert they recently found some Aboriginal tribesmen who had never seen another human being before. And when they were taken back to Darwin...


NP: Bernard Cribbins?

BERNARD CRIBBINS: Deviation, because they must have eyeballed someone or, because they must have seen each other. That is another human being.

DN: Yes!

NP: Well Bernard you get a point for that, and six seconds to con... to take over the subject of customs starting now.

BC: In the north of England there are very many strange customs which go back to the middle ages and to the Pagan rituals...


NP: So the whistle that Ian Messiter always blows for us after 60 seconds tells us that time is up and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. And it was our guest Bernard Cribbins and Bernard at the end of that round, the first round, you're equal in the lead with Derek Nimmo. And would you begin the second round for us?

BC: Oh?

NP: Lovely subject: why elephants can't jump. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.

BC: I suppose the most obvious reason why elephants are unable to jump is because they're really too heavy. And also they do have to carry this large trunk with them which as you know could contain a lot of clothing, heavy weights, furniture, sand, rocks, bit of granite, boulders. Anything of this sort which would obviously restrict their height from the ground if they put a great physical muscular effort into raising themselves above the afore mentioned terra firma...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: An er.

NP: No, the er was in terra...

BC: Thank you Derek!

NP: It was in terra firma and Bernard you keep the subject, for, for an incorrect challenge and another point of course. And 29 and a half seconds left starting now.

BC: Another reason that elephants are unable...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of reason.

NP: Yes you did mention the word reason before...

BC: Did I?

NP: I'm sorry...

BC: I've lost my reason here!

NP: There are 27 seconds, no 28, why elephants can't jump, with you Derek, starting now.

DN: I know Mr Bernard Cribbins has been up to Kandy in Ceylon and seen the elephants bathing in beautiful rivers there...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KENNETH WILLIAMS: Yes, I thought there was a bit of hesitation there.

NP: I think you would be right too.

KW: I'm afraid there was!

NP: So you take over the subject of why elephants can't jump and 23 seconds starting now.

KW: Well elephants can jump, and I don't know why this statement as to their inability was ever made! Whoever did obviously is nothing of a zoologist. But I, even with my limited amount of knowledge on the subject, can assure you that they will and if necessary...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SH: Deviation, he's not talking about why animals, why elephants can't jump.

NP: He's talking about why they can jump.

SH: He's saying they can.

NP: Well I agree, I think that's a very good challenge Sheila, and correct, deviation. And there are six seconds for you on why elephants can't jump, starting now.

SH: Well it's probably because they don't want to! I mean if I was an elephant I...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: I mean, he is absolutely right! It's a totally wrong question! If we've got a question which is a falsehood, I mean elephants can jump.

KW: Of course they can!

NP: Well it doesn't have anything to do with me, don't look at me...

DN: Well you're making a statement on it, are you not, Mr Parsons? Why elephants can't jump!

NP: There must be something...

DN: If elephants can jump! It's like saying why can't Nicholas Parsons speak? We all know he speaks endlessly about all manner of subjects!

SH: Oh dear! I didn't think it would be long before we were Nick baiting!

NP: I agree, yes, I'm always very suspicious when he calls me Mr Parsons too. What is your challenge, Mr Nimmo?

DN: Well the question doesn't make sense...

NP: That's got nothing to do with me...

DN: Zoologically it's incorrect.

NP: And we haven't got time to discuss it with Ian Messiter. He thought of the subject why elephants can't jump. And that is the subject you're asked to talk about. And Sheila was doing it very well. She has another point and two seconds left Sheila, why elephants can't jump, starting now.

SH: Probably the elephants that Ian sees don't jump!


BC: That Ian sees!

NP: So Sheila Hancock now has the lead at the end of that round, she's one ahead of Bernard Cribbins and Derek Nimmo. And Kenneth is trailing a little. And Sheila will you...

BC: Trailing a little what?

NP: ... begin the next round and the subject is...

BC: Sorry, no, sorry!

NP: Yes! I didn't say a little what, just a little!

BC: No, I did!

NP: A little behind actually! Wind power's the subject Sheila, 60 seconds, starting now.

SH: Wind provides a lot of power, I suppose, particularly in Holland. I mean all those windmills wouldn't go round if there wasn't something blowing it. And they in turn grind corn and various other forms of foodstuff into bread. Then there's yachts, they wouldn't sail around unless there was something puffing away...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of unless and something.

NP: Something, that's right, yes, there was a repetition of something I'm afraid. And there are 38 seconds on wind power with you Derek...

DN: A prime example of wind power is Nicholas Parsons, who at the present moment is in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest speech in the history of mankind. Would you believe the afore mentioned P over there spoke for seven hours. Who in their right mind whether they be elephants who go off whatever would go along and hear wind power...


NP: Sheila Hancock has challenged.

SH: Would go, would go.

NP: Would go, would go, yes. That's what, they all would go. And Sheila the subject is wind power with you for a correct challenge and a well deserved challenge, a well deserved point. Eleven seconds starting now.

SH: Actually I think Derek with his various outbursts must have quite...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation, Derek and his outbursts has got nothing to do with wind power.

BC: Oh I wouldn't say that!

KW: It's deviation...

NP: I've never seen a finer example of unadulterated wind power than Derek Nimmo's outbursts!

KW: I think you're mixing the business...

SH: I was going to say the power in his lungs!

KW: .. of oratory or rhetotic with wind power, and if you did that...

NP: Wasn't that what Derek was talking about, my wind power, when he was talking...

KW: Power drives things, you see, like a train engine or a ship...

BC: It drives you mad the way they're going on!

KW: If you're going to put it in the other context you amke nonsense of it.

NP: No you don't, we want to talk about old Windbag, and the old windbag...

DN: Nicholas Parsons!

NP: And Sheila wasn't deviating and she has seven seconds left starting now.

SH: The power of the wind recently in those gales has been manifest all over England, where trees have fallen...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well there weren't any gales in March. So it can't be recently.

SH: Get out!

NP: How do you know there weren't any gales in March? You weren't in the country probably!

SH: What's he talking about?

NP: I think I might disagree with every challenge of his from now on! And there are two seconds on wind power starting now.

SH: Wind power is...


NP: Well Sheila Hancock's over the colloquial wind power managed to keep him going there and also speak when the whistle went, gain that extra point and she's now in a strong lead ahead of Derek Nimmo and Bernard Cribbins and Kenneth Williams who'll begin the next round. Kenneth the subject is ambition and can you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: It is a most worthy emotion. And I have a great ambition to go up in a balloon. In my mind's eye I envisage the sensation of levity and total quiet as we soar over the countryside, see it all below like a patchwork quilt. And I would be, I'd be so abandoned...


NP: Sheila Hancock...

KW: You know? I just give myself...

SH: Did he hesitate?

NP: No I don't think so...

BC: No he was being abandoned then. I'm next to him, I know what he was being!

NP: Thirty-five seconds to continue Kenneth starting now.

KW: And my other ambition, I've already mentioned the leviation, I can't mention that again, or I'd be caught on the hop, or put out...


NP: Sheila Hancock's tried to catch...

SH: He said mentioned twice.

NP: You did say mention twice, I'm sorry Kenneth. So Sheila has the subject again and 26 seconds...

SH: What is it? I've forgotten what it is!

NP: Ambition.

SH: Oh ambition, ambition.

NP: Starting now.

SH: Well I don't think ambition is necessarily a good trait. For instance Hitler was an ambitious man and you can't exactly say he did us a lot of good. And children at school who are forced into being good, like I hope my daughter will be, are not necessarily made happy by that situation of parents at home saying "why haven't you done better in your exams...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Deviation, I think we're mixing up the discipline at school for children with ambition, which is quite another matter entirely.

SH: I was talking about the ambition of the mothers.

NP: She was trying to explain...

KW: I don't care what she was hoping to do, dear! She got herself in a hopeless muddle! Another example of course of the femininity. I mean they can't keep anything going! Only men have this capacity...

SH: I won recently...

KW: Shut your row! How dare you!

SH: You trail all the time, trail, trail, trail!

KW: Yes it's all because of the marking system!

NP: I don't think Sheila was deviating from the subject. I think she was trying to illustrate the ambition of a mother in a situation. And we don't want Just a Minute to become a battleground of the sexes, Kenneth. And so Sheila has the subject, three seconds left starting now.

SH: However it is my ambition to beat Kenneth Williams hollow!


NP: And Sheila with the number of points you have now, I think you're going to beat them all hollow, so you invariably beat Kenneth hollow in Just A Minute anyway. Derek Nimmo will you begin the next round, it's called keeping a watch. We're back to watches, we were talking about them with customs. There are 60 seconds on that subject, starting now.

DN: I often keep a watch on elephants jumping. When we go to a circus, they climb up on to these little barrels and then leap downwards from them on to the ground or the floor of the circus tent. I guess one of the most fascinating thrills I think of going to the big top. Other things one associates with watches...


NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.

KW: Yes hesitation there. Yes I heard it.

NP: Was there?

KW: I heard it. I heard it.

NP: Well if you heard it.. Right um Kenneth you have the subject of keeping a watch and there are 37 seconds starting now.

KW: I had to do this in the Army when I was a sentry outside the armoury in Bombay. And the night was very very hot and there were...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: The night was very very hot.

NP: Yes I'm afraid there was more...

KW: Well it's a good story, you great nit!

NP: Derek you cleverly got the subject back and there are 32 seconds on keeping a watch starting now.

DN: Last time I was in Bombay I watched my popadoms very carefully most of the night. And it was...


NP: Kenneth Williams has...

KW: I don't understand it! How can you wash your popadoms?

DN: Watch your popadons! Watch!

NP: He watched it!

KW: Oh I thought he said he washed his popadoms! I was going to say! Mind you, his diction's terrible, isn't it!

BC: So is his popadom!

SH: (giggling) Washed his popadoms!

KW: I knew he, I knew he had a chapati in Clapham but I never knew he...

NP: So Derek you keep the subject and you have 25 seconds for watching a popadom, I mean, keeping a watch, starting now.

DN: I was keeping watch on the quarter deck playing with my pirata, and I suddenly saw in the distance this elderly Sikh who came over to me and said salama lakim. I replied to him...


NP: Kenneth Williams has...

KW: Now I happen to know Sikhs don't say salama lakim...

DN: They do!

KW: No they don't mate!

DN: They do!

KW: No they don't! Not Sikhs! Because Sikhs are from Hindustan and that...

DN: They're from the Punjab, you great nana!

KW: How dare you! Mr Chairman, Mr Chairman, are you going to countenance me being called a great nana!

NP: No, no...

KW: You heard what he said...

NP: It's the only way I can shut...

KW: Do I look like a great nana!

NP: Yes! I know now why they call it Just A Minute because I have to keep on saying now, just a minute. So Derek you have 13 seconds on keeping a watch starting now.

DN: I was one day keeping a watch over my meta don baroti up in Kashmir and towards...


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: I want to know what a meta don baroti is! I mean this audience is completely bewildered. That bloke's almost dropped off! Meta don baroti!

BC: And you can't get them in Kashmir.

DN: Meta don baroti, it's a very beautiful Singhalese dish, it's made...

BC: Well you said it was in Kashmir, what the hell are they making it in Kashmir! It's in Sri Lanka, you great nit...

DN: Well you can have a pork chop in Tel Aviv!

BC: Made by a Sikh?

DN: You can have a pork chop made by a Sikh in Tel Aviv! If you want!

SH: No you can't, it's made by a pig.

KW: What were you doing, what were you doing with this dish anyway?

DN: If you'd listened, you'd have heard this wonderfully fascinating story!

BC: And I'd rather hear what happened when you washed your popadoms!

SH: Yes! We never heard the end of that!

NP: The subject, believe it or not, is keeping a watch and Derek Nimmo has five seconds to continue starting now.

DN: Thirty-five seconds to 4.00 was the time when I looked at my little tick-tock. Hello, I said...


NP: Well you won't be surprised to hear that Derek Nimmo did get quite a lot of points in that round including one for speaking when the whistle went. Bernard, your turn to begin. The subject is how to stop, how to stop hiccups. Maybe mince is the answer, I don't know. And you have Just A Minute in which to tell us about it starting now.

BC: One of the best way to stop hiccups is to take a cube of sugar and place it on the back of the tongue and suck it very slowly. On the other hand you can use the very old fashioned remedy of taking a glass of water. Shall I demonstrate this, it's very intriguing. You take a glass of water...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of glass.

BC: And water!

NP: You repeated the glass of water, alas! And so you hiccupped that one back and Derek has 43. no, 42 seconds, how to stop hiccups, starting now.

DN: This chap was sitting in a doctor's surgery and out came a girl crying her eyes out. He said "it can't be that bad, what is the matter..."


NP: Kenneth Williams.

KW: Two outs.

NP: Yes.

DN: Out?

KW: Out came a girl crying her eyes out.

NP: Kenneth, you were so surprised then because Kenneth doesn't usually listen as sharply as that. Well done! Kenneth there are 36 seconds on how to stop hiccups starting now.

KW: I went to this doctor and he shoved a great load of stuff down my earhole and pulled out all this wax and said that's what's making you hiccup. I said, I'd never have dreamed! I thought it was an obfus... obfuscation...


NP: Sheila Hancock challenged.

SH: Hesitation.

KW: Well I was trying to say obfuscation.

SH: Yes it did have something to do with that.

KW: You would pick on me, wouldn't you! She won't let me get any marks, you've noticed that! She just picks on people!

NP: Oh I don't know...

KW: She's determined to win! Her vaulting ambition overleaps itself, doesn't it! I've noticed it with her!

NP: There are 24 seconds for Sheila Hancock, how to stop hiccups, Sheila...

KW: Is that a wig she's got on?

SH: The best thing is to put your head down between your knees and drink out of the back of a glass. Or let somebody give you...


NP: Kenneth Williams...

KW: I'm not having this kind of rubbishy advice given to people listening to the radio! Put your head between your legs and drink out the back of a glass! I mean, you'd have to be a contortionist quite apart from the fact you'd end up very very ill!

SH: Do you want me to do it?

KW: You'd probably ruin your spinal column, I should think!

SH: I'll show you, I'll show you...

KW: Oh shut your row! You don't know what you're talking about!

NP: Kenneth...

KW: Silly great twerp!

NP: Kenneth...

KW: Sitting there with that awful wig on! Isn't it terrible! She must have had all her hair cut off, I suppose!

NP: Kenneth! You only play into their hands if you start going off like that. Sheila's winning hands down on this battle of the sexes between you and her. And because she was quite correct, she wasn't deviating from the subject, however dextrous you have to be to achieve what she described. And there are 19 seconds with you Sheila starting now.

SH: Get a friend to leap out at you unawares so that you jump into the air and frighten yourself to death and that will stop hiccups almost immediately. Or alternatively get somebody to thump you hard upon the back so that you...



NP: Actually Derek Nimmo did challenge with about half a second to go. What was the challenge?

DN: Repetition of back.

NP: Oh yes, thump on the back, that's right, yes. So I'm sorry...

SH: Hadn't the buzzer gone by the time I said it the second time?

NP: No, no, there was half a second to go, so Derek, you've got the subject, half a second to go starting now.

DN: I always like...


SH: Presumably you put on a little hat, do you?

NP: Despite of Derek getting in just before the whistle, Sheila is still in the lead, two ahead of Derek Nimmo. And we're now with Sheila to begin again actually.

SH: Oh dear!

NP: The subject is fables.

SH: Fables?

NP: Fables. Will you tell us something about that Sheila in Just A Minute starting now.

SH: I suppose the classic thing that comes into your mind when you say the word fables are Aesop's Fables. These are, I think, rather boring old stories about animals, at the end of which there is a moral. For instance, the tortoise and the hare. This...


NP: Derek?

DN: Hesitation.

NP: I would agree Derek. And you have 37 seconds on fables starting now.

DN: Some of the most beautiful fables in the whole world are contained within the Hindu Ramayana.

SH: Oh here we go!

DN: And when one reads those extraordinary stories of Wishnal gliding on the god Garuda, the beautiful winged bird which used to speed him across the countryside to look at patchwork quilts beneath him, and elephants jumping around. He then said "oh fabled one from deepest Kashmir, by the gardens of Shalimar, leading up to Gumar..."

BC: Popadoms and chips twice, please!

DN: And sometimes, whatever the wind power that was blowing behind him, when this monumental beast of the gods would rise and cry...


NP: Well he certainly deserved his round of applause for keeping going...

BC: Very good!

NP: But I've never heard such a load of old whatsit in my life! Kenneth it's your turn to begin. The subject is Troy. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

KW: It was the scene of the most famous Trojan war. And as recounted in the Iliad, tells you how Helen who was of course the property and betrothed to Melinaes was pinched from under his nose by Paris. And of they went, eloped, you might put it that way. And then Melinaes came and laid siege...


KW: ... to the city...

NP: Derek Nimmo?

KW: Well there was the most terrible howdy-do...

DN: Melinaes, Melinaes.

KW: And they would never have got in but for these three Greeks came along and they had this wooden horse...

NP: Kenneth, Kenneth...

KW: ... and they put all the men inside this wooden horse and of course they all thought it was this tribute... What's the matter with you? What's the matter with you?

NP: Derek what was the challenge?

DN: Melineas.

NP: You did repeat Melineas, I'm afraid. Um there are 41 seconds for Troy with you Derek starting now.

DN: Was this the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless Tower of Ilian. Marlow put it very beautifully like that in Farsed and what I always wonder why this particular edification had not upon them any clothing...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Hesitation I thought.

NP: Yes I think I would agree Kenneth. And so you have Troy back again with you and there are 26 seconds left starting now.

KW: Inside the city was this girl who was always weeping and wailing and telling the future. She was called Cassandra. And she would go "Oh! There's going to be a terrible happening you know!" And they took no notice of her. And of course the idiots proved, you know, to be wrong because...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: You know twice.

NP: Yes I'm afraid so...

KW: Well I mean you know, Cassandra, she's been taken no notice of and she was proved to be right all along!

NP: Er Kenneth are you ready for us to continue?

KW: Yeah!

NP: Right, 10 seconds, Troy, with you, Derek, starting now.

DN: When I went into Cartiers in Paris, I went to the jewellers...


NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.

KW: Oh deviation. We're not interested in him going into Cartiers in Paris. That's nothing to do with us! We're not interested in him name dropping these posh shops that he goes to! Cartiers in Paris indeed! Half of us are lucky to get into Woolworths in Oxford Street! What a nerve! Coming here, showing us all up! I've never heard anything like it! Disgraceful isn't it!

BC: Absolutely!

KW: This is supposed to be the age of equality...

NP: What's your challenge?

KW: You've got plutocrats going round showing off...

NP: It's got nothing to do with Troy, has it?

KW: Nothing to do! No! No! There's no Cartiers in Troy was there!

NP: I know he hadn't really got going but he's in a strong lead...

DN: I guess if you are going to buy jewellery and measure it in Troy weight the obvious place to go into is a jewellers I might say.

NP: Yes you're perfectly right Derek...

KW: Oh I do apologise! I do feel awful! I'm very sorry!

NP: I was going to be generous and give it to Kenneth as he was trailing a little with you in a strong lead...

KW: No, I often trail!

NP: But Kenneth's had a good crack of the whip in expressing himself there, so we give you the subject because it's legitimately yours. Seven seconds...

DN: Who's that for?

NP: With you. Seven seconds starting now.

DN: The wine dark sea. they sailed over it in those great boats in the Ilian towards Troy...


NP: Well that magnificent flourish of Derek Nimmo's brings us not only to the end of the round but the end of the game and the contest, if you can call it a contest because we do play it all for fun. So don't write and tell me that someone should have had a point who didn't get one. But at the end in the game, Bernard Cribbins, our guest, coming back after his previous triumphs finished in the same place...

BC: That's consistency for you!

NP: Yes! As before, one point behind Kenneth Williams who as before was quite a few points behind our two leaders. Sheila Hancock came second and Derek Nimmo is this week's winner.

ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons. The programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by John Browell.