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 to welcome our many listeners throughout the world and also to welcome our four talented players of the game. We have the clever humour of Paul Merton, the erudite humour of Clement Freud, the outrageous humour of Graham Norton, and the feminine humour of Linda Smith. Will you please welcome all four of them? So what a wonderful combination to play the show this week. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst who's going to help me keep the score and blow her whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the City Hall in Newcastle-upon-Thyme and we are here as part of the Newcastle Comedy Festival and in front of us we have an exciting, hyped up, truly Geordie audience that are going to cheer us on our way! Is that right! And we're going to begin this edition of Just A Minute with Linda Smith. Linda, the subject is the angel of the north. That strikes a chord with some of them here! But for those who don't know, tell us something about that subject in this game Linda starting now.

LINDA SMITH: The angel of the north is a huge statue with arms outstretched, possibly in welcome, possibly like a boastful fisherman...


NP: Now that's never happened in Just A Minute before. I have to explain I have lights in front of me and two lights came on and they both stayed on...

LS: Oh that cancels them both out then doesn't it?

NP: I do...

LS: Otherwise we're going into the realms of anti-matter!

NP: Right Linda, I've taken your decision on that, thank you very much for reinterpreting the rules! And so Linda, no points were scared, you have the angel of the north still the subject, 52 seconds available starting now.

LS: Ah...


LS: Oh come on, I was breathing!

NP: I know...

LS: If breathing's hesitation then that does disadvantage all the mammals on the panel, doesn't it!

NP: No...

LS: I think perhaps we should have aqualungs! Give us a level playing field!

NP: I always give that pause when you know the now is coming so Linda you unfortunately didn't take your breath in time. Paul Merton that was a correct challenge on hesitation. So you have a point for that, you take over the subject and it is the angel of the north, there are 50 seconds available starting now.

PAUL MERTON: It is a rather stunning structure. I think it's somewhere near Gateshead, I'm not quite sure. Nobody seems to be arguing with me, so it must be. I am very familiar with this statue, it is a wonderful piece of work. It is er rather like...


NP: Linda Smith challenged.

LS: Hesitation.

NP: There was an er, yes, I...

PM: I was breathing!

NP: Linda you have a correct challenge and you've got the subject back again, you have 36 seconds, the angel of the north, starting now.

LS: One things for certain about the angel of the north. It is definitely northern because it is out there day and night, all weathers, freezing cold, and it hasn't got a coat! In fact not even a T-shirt! How northern can you get! This was a trait that used to astonish me when I lived in the north and...


NP: Clement Freud, your challenge?

CLEMENT FREUD: Ah, good question!

NP: Linda it was an incorrect challenge, you have another point for that, you have the angel of the north and there are 11 seconds available starting now.

LS: I think the arms of this giant...


NP: Ah Clement challenged.

CF: She's had a think before!

NP: You did have a think. And so that was well listened Clement, nine seconds for you...


LS: I must say, the panto season kicks in early here! Well if I don't get to finish this one, I'll have to sell Daisy the cow!

NP: Nine seconds available, the angel of the north Clement starting now.

CF: The angel of the north email address is allyefaithful.com. If you live in London, the angel of the north is...


NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud and at the end of that round you won't be surprised to know that he's in a strong lead. He's actually... well, a strong lead! He's one ahead of Linda Smith and two ahead of Paul Merton, and Graham Norton has yet to speak but he's going to talk now because he takes the next subject which is security. Graham tell us something about that in this game starting now.

GRAHAM NORTON: We must live in a crime ridden society! I've noticed as I trawl my way around the land that come a certain hour even public toilets are locked! Why? Are they afraid that somebody might break in and clean them? Doesn't make sense to me! I've had to put a burglar alarm on my house, well obviously I didn't do it myself. I had somebody in. But I do have this thing on the house, and...


NP: Paul's light came on first.

PM: Repetition of on the house.

NP: Yes, on the house, right, 23 seconds Paul, another correct challenge and a point to you, and security is with you starting now.

PM: There's been a curious trend at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that's developed over the last four or five years where comedians have had to employ security men to escort them around that particular town. I always think it's probably a bad sign if a comic needs to er have somebody....


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I agree with that Clement, you have the subject, you have security, you have four seconds and you start now.

CF: I have been particularly asked not to speak about security.


NP: Clement Freud was again speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and has increased his lead at the end of the round. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject baby sitting. Tell is something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: I think the most recent thing when you are baby sitting is a playpen in which you sit, and the children can do whatever they like! But they can't get near you or touch you! And you are unable to change their nappies which I think is always been a hugely over rated occupation. Baby sitting when you have as many grandchildren as I do is something which is getting increasingly easy to refuse to do. Will you come over, say... my sons...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: I think so Paul yes...

PM: For a moment there he couldn't remember who was asking him to baby sit!

NP: You're right, 25 seconds are available, and you take over baby sitting starting now.

PM: Well it's a very cruel practice and it shouldn't really be allowed to continue in a civilised society. Men will place bets on how long a baby can be sat on until it cries and wails and makes a terrible noise. The police have been asked in several locations in this area to look at underground baby sitting which has taken off enormously. The poor toddler is placed in a soundproof booth...


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and for doing so, he's moved forward, he's in second place. And those devious thoughts, the image you are giving to all our listeners round the world, of what happens to babies in Newcastle-upon-Thyme!

PM: Do you honestly think people in India are going to go "that sounds interesting, let's got to Newcastle!" "Sell the cow, let's got to Newcastle!" "They sit on babies there!"

NP: Yes!

PM: "Oh it's probably only a joke." "No, no, he said it on the radio!"

NP: Yes! Paul Merton...

PM: "I've got a friend in China who'll probably want to come with us?"

NP: Yes, you know, Paul Merton, he's an icon in his country! It must be true! Right...

PM: Johannesburg? I don't know!

NP: Yes anywhere! Graham your turn to begin. Smart alec, that is the subject, tell us something about it in this game starting now.

GN: Bizarre but true! I knew someone known as Smart Alec, or Smart Aleck as he preferred to be known. Because although his father was English, his mother was pretentious! He was a fascinating feature and was indeed very smart. For it was him who regaled me with this tiny bit of wisdom that I share with you now. Children are a bit like farts, because people quite like their own! I remembered this...


NP: Oh somebody open the window please!

LS: That disproves that theory!

NP: Paul you challenged actually.

PM: I did! Well, I was thinking about the people in India! I mean, but also, that's not the only resemblance. They also lift the duvet up in the morning.

NP: So what is your challenge?

PM: I don't want people from China coming over here, it's misrepresentation of the British people!

NP: So that is your challenge...

PM: Yeah!

NP: Deviation?

PM: Yeah!

NP: No I don't think it was deviation. He made a point which the audience enjoyed. I'm not going to repeat what he said because um it would be...

GN: Repetition!

NP: It would, yes! Eighteen seconds, smart alec is with you Graham starting now.

GN: Smart alec comes from a very large family of Alecs, because oh er doh!


NP: Clement you got in first, yes, all that bleurgh we interpret as hesitation and so Clement you have 11 seconds on smart alec starting now.

CF: The only alec I ever knew was Alec Douglas-Home, who was Prime Minister. Probably as un-smart an alec as you will ever find in the world!


NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point, and has increased his lead at the end of the round. Paul Merton it's your turn to begin and the subject is high heels. Tell us something about high heels in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Recently I was appearing in a pantomime with Ronnie Corbett and we were playing ugly sisters and for the role I needed to wear six inch heels. I can see you looking at me Nicholas, you've worn high heels haven't you?

NP: Ah yes!

PM: Yeah you have, haven't you!


NP: Paul you challenged?

PM: Yes, I.. um...

NP: Hesitation?

PM: Yeah hesitation.

NP: Well done, you listened very well then didnt you! So that's a correct challenge, so if you challenge yourself and it's correct I suppose I have to give it to you! So you get a point for hesitation, you keep the subject, you have 48 seconds, high heels starting now.

PM: They are very uncomfortable to wear as all the women would know here I'm sure, and any men who also have worn these high heels. They the heels I oh!


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: A hesitation there.

NP: It was hesitation. Graham tell us something about high heels, 38 seconds available starting now.

GN: High heels were invented by men and sold to beautiful women saying "this will make you more gorgeous" when in fact the male of the species was thinking "hah hah!" Oh!


NP: Oh! Clement challenged yes...

GN: Two hahs as in the word hahah!

NP: No, so 25 seconds for you Clement...

CF: Twenty-five?

NP: Tell us something about... Mmmm?

CF: Twenty-five?

NP: Twenty-five seconds, yes.

CF: I wouldn't have challenged if there'd been that much...

NP: Well you've got a point, you've got the subject, you have 25 seconds, you have high heels.. well, not personally but you've got the subject of high heels starting now.

CF: There are shops that protai... per...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: He didn't have 25 seconds!

NP: No, no he didn't, did he?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: No, 22 seconds for you now Paul, high heels starting now.

PM: It does put your foot in a curious position and the angle of the leg although it looks quite attractive to the onlooker, it's quite painful...


PM: Oh!

NP: Oh! Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of quite.

NP: Yes. Too many quites and you have 14 seconds to tell us something more about high heels Clement starting now.

CF: I'm not at all sure why shops that pertain...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: He's just repeateed shops that pertain from last time.

NP: I know...

PM: And that is repetition.

NP: Ten seconds for you Paul on high heels starting now.

PM: The highest pair of heels I've ever seen were worn...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He's repeated ever.

PM: No!

CF: Oh yes!

PM: No, no, no!

NP: I didn't hear...

LS: Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

NP: I didn't hear ever earlier on so...

PM: No!

NP: I'm giving the benefit of the doubt on this occasion you see to Paul and saying now you have the subject still, six seconds available, high heels starting now.

PM: (very slowly) In the film Tommy, Elton John wears...


LS: Nobody speaks at that pace! You were using a computer generated voice box to do that!

NP: I know! You hyped him up, you said "go on boys, go on!" And you hyped them up a...

LS: Well he should learn to walk away!

NP: Right Linda we give you a bonus point because we enjoyed the interruption, but it wasn't, he wasn't deviating or doing anything within the rules of Just A Minute. So Paul you have another point for that, for being interrupted and there's one second left on high heels starting now.

PM: The scene where I saw...


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. And he is now equal in the lead with Clement Freud. If you want to know why I wore high heels it was because I was in the Rocky Horror Show. I know some of the audience were curious...

LS: Yes but come on Nicholas! You were only selling choc ices!

NP: When I played at the Theatre Royal here in Newcastle they saw me at the end and they er...

PM: They wanted their money back!

NP: I know! I got some fan letters about the shape of my legs I can tell you! I didn't know what some were looking for. Let's carry on with Just A Minute...

PM: From zoo keepers!

NP: You're wicked and unkind! And I'm so kind to them! What I came here to suffer, I don't know, but! Anyway it's all part of the grist for the mill, isn't it! I don't know!

PM: Absolutely!

NP: Absolutely! We'll carry on with Just A Minute. Clement Freud it's your turn to begin and the subject is market. And there are 60 seconds as always starting now.

CF: To market, to market, to buy a fat pig...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Three to's!

NP: Yes three to's so close together..

CF: Is six!

PM: Is nine!

CF: It's six, three twos!

NP: Paul a correct challenge, you have market, you have 57 seconds starting now.

PM: There's a market near to where I live and it's a market that I used to visit when I was a child as well. Fulham Market in North End Road in the London borough of that name, is a wonderful place. I think it's under threat now as a lot of local markets tend to be as the supermarket...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Was there a repetition of local?

PM: Do you know, I think there was!

GN: Jut asking!

NP: Well listened Graham, correct challenge, 42 seconds for you Graham on market starting now.

GN: Only today I visited a market. It was Briquet Market in the east end of London. It isn't very good! There was a person with a stall, laid out on a rug and on it, I'm not making this up, were doll heads. In Russia you would find better class of merchandise than that. Broken radios, half a chair, one knife and a spoon! All priced up! Very professional! But nothing you would actually want to buy! That's why they invented the shop! I...


NP: So Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. And with other points in the round has moved forward but he's still trailing our two leaders Paul Merton and Clement Freud. And Linda Smith your turn to begin, and the subject now is dinosaurs. Tell us something about those creatures in this game starting now.

LS: Dinosaurs have never been so popular as they are now. What a shame that they're dead and can't enjoy it. A bit like Eric and Ernie! Walking with Dinosaurs was an enormously popular hit for the BBC. I've started so I'll finish...


GN: I'm laughing!

NP: I must explain to our listeners that Linda Smith is sitting beside Graham Norton and Graham got quite hysterical. And when Graham gets hysterical, the audience gets hysterical and that's why they were laughing. So he dried you up and I don't think it was fair Linda. So I'm going to say...

GN: I've never been accused of that before!

NP: Linda he dried you up, I'm going to give you a point actually because you wrere interrupted...

PM: I did challenge!

NP: No but no, no, but, yeah, yeah, she was thrown, she was thrown!

PM: I challenged on BBC, repetition of B.

NP: BBC yes, that is repetition, right, which you did say before you dried up. Forty-two seconds, dinosaurs with you Paul starting now.

PM: The British Broadacsting Corporation or to give its initials, the B ditto C, is a wonderful organisation, and has been employing us all...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of organisation.

NP: He never said organisation...

PM: No!

NP: Right! So Paul now...

PM: You know I think we should tape this programme and then we could have a chance to listen back!

NP: I know! Thirty-two seconds for you Paul to continue on dinosaurs starting now.

PM: Well of course dinosaurs walked the earth. There have been many films made about this partickylar epoch...


NP: Linda Smith challenged.

LS: Partickylar? I think that was... that might have been current in Dickens' times, but er... since then we've had a state education system.

NP: I think that's being a bit picky actually. But Linda they enjoyed what...

LS: Is it being a bit partickylar?

NP: He was struggling to get the word out, he didn't really deviate from langauge, the way we understand it too much. So you have a bonus point because the audience enjoyed it. Paul has a point because he was interrupted, he keeps dinosaurs, 25 seconds available starting now.

PM: Deano-saurs are of course an inflection that Dean Martin...


NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of of course.

NP: You did say of course before.

PM: Well I'm not surprised, I couldn't say particular, what else am I going to say?

NP: Clement you got in with 22 seconds on dinosaurs starting now.

CF: A dinosaur is of course a large extinct animal and it is believed that dinosaurs laid eggs which enabled people to make omelettes of enormous size. A dinosaur...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Deviation.

NP: I agree with you, I don't think they were...

PM: They didn't have people and dinosaurs at the same time.

NP: And they certainly weren't making omelettes in that period.

PM: They didn't have fire!

NP: No, no...

PM: They had to have fire before they invented the omelette! Or they did if they had a brain in their head!

GN: And there were no fillings! Cheese, ham, nothing!

PM: Exactly! A frying pan, two bits of stone and a bit of wood hanging off it, it doesn't make any sense!

GN: You wouldn't want it, even if they made it, you'd say no.

PM: Exactly! If langauge had indeed been invented at that point!

NP: That's right!

LS: And I bet even then it was the vegetarian option.

NP: So a correct challenge Paul, nine seconds on dinosaurs starting now.

PM: You may be familiar with the movie, The Omelette that Landed...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: There was a repetition of movie.

PM: I said film before.

GN: Oh did you?

PM: Yes.

GN: I'm so sorry!

PM: That's why I said movie that time.

GN: No, good, good, real good.

NP: Right six seconds still with you Paul, another point as well of course dinosaurs starting now.

PM: My grandfather workd at a science museum and I remember going to visit him and one of the exhibits was a huge...


NP: So Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and for others in the round he's got a strong lead now, ahead of Clement Freud, Graham Norton and Linda Smith in that order. And Graham your turn to begin and the subject is keeping the wolf from the door. That is the subject and as you know, you can repeat any of those words on the subject and you start now.

GN: Keeping the wolf from the door is something I'm sure Ulrica Johnson became very familoar with when working as a hostess on the Sports slash Entertainment show Gladiators. Late at night she'd be in her room eating smoked fish or whatever Swedish people have as a bedtime titbit and she would hear a familiar noise. Oh no, she'd think, surely that is the sound of lycra against cheap hotel carpet! The Wolf is crawling down the corridor towards my room!


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Her voice has deepened over the years, hasn't it!

GN: It's the fish!

PM: Is it?

NP: Have you got a challenge?

PM: No, that was it!

NP: Graham you still have the subject because he didn't challenge, well incorrectly. And you get a point for an incorrect challenge, you have keeping the wolf from the door, 14 seconds starting now.

GN: Poor people use the expression keeping the wolf from the door meaning that they're trying to keep body and soul together. I don't understand this. Why would a wolf come to the house of a...


NP: So Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went hgained the extra point. In fact he started with the subject and actually finished with the subject and was only interrupted once. And so that hasn't happened for quite a long time especially with these talented people up here. And the sad thing is you worked so hard Graham but you're still in third place, but... it's the contribution, isn't it! Yes!

GN: Thank you sir! I don't feel patronised now!

NP: We're moving into the last round as I warned you a little while ago and it's Clement's turn to begin and the subject very aptly to finish the show up here in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, it is Geordies. So ...


NP: What do you mean Aww? You wouldn't want me to talk about macons would you? Geordies, that's the subject Clement and there are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

CF: Geordies of a... is the time...


PM: Are they? Is they? I mean it's all confused! Tenses flying all over the place.

NP: Fifty-eight seconds Paul, Geordies starting now.

PM: Well of course as the people in the audience know here but we explain to our worldwide listenership who are listening throughout the globe, Geordies is a term for people who come from the Newcastle area. I'm very pleased to see that Bobby Robson is now manager of the local football team. Because I think that it's about time they had some major success. I felt very bad for them being in the Cup Finals and losing like that. It was terrible...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: They're turning into an ugly mob! I'm saving you! Run now while you still can! There's a taxi waiting!

NP: No actually he was trying to ingratiate himself saying how wonderful Newcastle United were. And Paul an incorrect challenge...

PM: Oh lovely!

NP: ... 34 seconds, Geordies, starting now.

PM: When you think of some of the players that have been sold in the last 15 years, Chris Waddell, Peter Beardsley, Paul Gascoigne of course is still...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of Paul?

NP: That's Paul Merton, he didn't say, he didn't use the world Paul.

GN: Ah deviation from Geordies, he's actually talking some football team that I haven't got...

NP: No, no, Paul carry on with Geordies, 26 seconds starting now.

PM: There was a comedian from this area who was called Bobby Thompson who was a...


NP: Clement Freud challenged first.

CF: Repetition of Bobby.

NP: Yes we had Bobby Robson. Right, 23 seconds Clement, Geordies starting now.

CF: If you live in Newcastle you will believe that we had six Kings called Geordie. There was George the First who only spoke English. Geordie 2 who had an accent, Geordie 3 who went mad and Geordie 4 who was an admiral, was extremely mean and wouldnt pay for his coronation...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Repetition of Geordie.

NP: Yes because the subject is Geordies.

PM: Yeah!

GN: Oooh!

NP: You are partisan aren't you? That is a correct challenge within the rules of Just A Minute and I have to give it to him. So Paul you've got back on Geordies with four seconds to go starting now.

PM: Undoubtedly St James' Park is regarded as one of the finest....


NP: Well as I said before that was to be the last round so let me give you the final situation. Linda Smith who gave us great value as always finished in fourth place, but only just behind Graham Norton with his fantastic contribution finishing in third place, Clement Freud with his usual amazing contribution finished in second place, but out in the lead with more points than anybody else, was someone with an outstanding contribution as always, Paul Merton, we say you are the winner this week! We do hope all our listeners have enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute and it only remains for me to say thank you again to these four outstanding players of the game Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Linda Smith and Clement Freud. We also thank Janet Staplehurst who's kept the score for me and she's blown her whistle so delightfully. We thank Ian Messiter who created the game and our producer and director Chris Neil. And we also thank this delightfil Geordie audience here in the city hall of Newcastle for being so enthusiastic and lovely and warm to play to. From them, from us, tune in next time we play Just A Minute and take to the air and enjoy this great game. Goodbye!