starring PAUL MERTON, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and TONY HAWKS, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 30 August 1999)

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 or many listeners throughout the world but also the four talented individual regular and superlative players. They're all so good, they've played it so many times before. So let me just say that we're delighted to welcome back Paul Merton, Tony Hawks, Peter Jones and Clement Freud, and will you please welcome all four of them. And I'm going to ask them to speak as usual on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesittaion, repetition or deviating from the subject. And beside me sits Jane Gibson who's going to help me keep the score and she will blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up. This particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Grand Opera House in York. And we're going to begin this week with Clement Freud. And the subject, isn't this an amazing coincidence, the subject is York. Clement will you tell us something about York in Just A Minute starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: The noble Duke of York, he had 10,000 men and he marched them all to the top of the hill... And I've always wondered how it went on after that! Ask the ordinary hungered usual people what they connect with York, and the answer is likely to be ham. Jambon de york. The matured, dried, cured, salted...


CF: ... hind leg of a pig...

NP: Paul Merton you have challenged.

PAUL MERTON: Hesitation?

NP: Yes I think that was hesitation. And whoever gets a correct challenge gains a point for that. On this occasion it was Paul Merton, he takes over the subject with 33 seconds available, Paul, it's still York with you starting now.

PM: I would like to address my comments to the rest of the world who are listening to this particular programme. The good inhabitants of York are known as Yorkers. You will know this as a cricketing term when the ball goes... a funny way and then comes back again. And that is, it really was originated here...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged.

TONY HAWKS: He's getting too technical for me!

PM: The ball goes a funny way and then it comes back again!

NP: So what is your challenge Tony?

TH: Ah, deviation from being... I haven't got one!

PM: You don't need one...

NP: Well that's honest, that's honest. A yorker in cricket is actually one that lands in the crease, it's not...

TH: Well there we are, I'll have that then!

NP: Right, too late now. It doesn't come back again. It's too late Tony, you attempted a challenge which failed. So for an incorrect challenge, Paul keeps the subject and a point for an incorrect challenge, 17 seconds on York, Paul, starting now.

PM: As Nicholas said earlier it is a beautiful city to walk around. There is a wonderful atmosphere. To feel cobbled stones beneath your feet, sometimes under your head if you've had a big night out...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Repetition of under.

NP: Yes...

PM: Beneath and under! Two different words I think!

NP: Two different words, you're quite right.

TH: Right!

PM: I mean not only are they spelled differently but they are pronounced differently as well! In my book that makes them different! I'm a bit old fashioned about these things, I know!

NP: Yes, an incorrect challenge, another point to Paul Merton and he still has the subject, six seconds available, York, starting now.

PM: The Yorkie chocolate bar is an extraordinary invention. If you look at it you...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: It's not an invention.

NP: Well what is it then?

PM: You mean it was a gift from God?

NP: Paul I think you made your point. I give you the benefit of the doubt, another point to you for an incorrect challenge. One second on York starting now.

PM: York!


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle blows gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Paul Merton and at the end of that round he's the only one who has scored any points at all. Tony Hawks the subject now is inferiority complex. I don't know why they've given this one to you because the last time we were in York you established for us that you were an international toyboy! Talk on the subject, 60 seconds are available starting now.

TH: I am not fit to speak on this subject! The people before me are far more talented than I! Already Paul Merton in the previous round has spotted that I have made a mistake, suggesting that he repeated the word under when he cleverly used beneath. What a fool I am, I am suffering with an inferiority complex when normally I have a superiority complex based on the fact that I'm fantastic! But on this occasion I'm feeling down in the dumps, not my normal self. I may go out after this show and instead of sharing my beautiful body with the women of the audience, I may go back to my hotel room, maybe put the kettle on, and have some of those little chocolate biscuits that they give you so delightfully. And just put my head down and fall asleep and think "oh I wish I could play that game better! I could have spoken for a minute without being interrupted or repeating myself or deviating...


NP: Ohhhh! Clement Freud you challenged.

CF: Repetition of or.

TH: Exactly my point! I'm not good enough!

NP: It wasn't a popular challenge Clement but it was a correct challenge so I have to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute and say yes. So Clement a correct challenge and you have seven... he went for 53 seconds! That should kill any inferiority complex you've got Tony! Anyway Clement correct challenge, seven seconds still available on inferiority complex starting now.

CF: A man went to a psychoanalyst who examined him most carefully and said "no you really are inferior".


NP: Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, so now he has got some points and he is just behind our leader Paul Merton. Peter Jones it's your turn to begin and the subject is simply pudding. Tell us something about pudding in Just A Minute starting now.

PETER JONES: Well the British have contributed a great deal to the culinary art of puddings. And er that doesn't include Yorkshire puddings because they're not a sweet or dessert kind, of that kind. Ah but the other kind, er...


PJ: Bread and butter pudding...

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: There were quite a few kinds.

NP: Yes there were quite a few kinds.

PJ: Yes there were yes.

NP: Yes, right, yes...

PJ: I heard myself saying it! And I thought what a pity! I don't like repeating myself even in this ludicrous game!

NP: Ah but the public enjoy it Peter!

PJ: They do?

NP: Yes! That's why they ask you back because they enjoy you as well.

PJ: Well good luck to them!

NP: Paul you had a correct challenge, pudding is the subject, 42 seconds available starting now.

PM: Well if you want to make a sticky toffee pudding it's very simple. First of all you have to get a load of sticky (starts to giggle)


NP: Tony you challenged first.

TH: Yes I think that was a repetition of sticky.

NP: Yes he got stuck with his sticky, didn't he, yes, that's right. Tony a point to you and the subject, 37 seconds, pudding, starting now.

TH: When I was at school I was made to eat bread and butter pudding by Mrs Andrews my dinner lady. And this was so upsetting to me because I didn't like currants and they were specifically in this particular pudding. And she said to me "eat it Hawks, or I will take you to see the headmaster". Now this was no kind of a threat really because he was only a small man and I wasn't frightened of him being a tough guy with a superiority complex. However I once went and he said to me "Hawks you are... I've said...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two Hawks.

NP: Yes, two Hawks, two saids. But there we are, five seconds Clement, you've got another point, you have pudding and you start now.

CF: If you soak the sultanas in apricot brandy, you do get a quite specifically good...


NP: So Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, has moved forward, he's still in second place behind our leader Paul Merton. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is flannel. Tell us something about flannel in this game starting now.

CF: Flannel is a sort of portmanteau word, a noun, a verb in its verbal form. It can be animal, vegetable or mineral. You flannel people in order to impress them, to persuade them that the inferiority complex which you actually have does not exist. Flannelling is a tremendously popular thing in politics because you say to your constituents what absolutely fine people you are. Nobody understands the extraordinary depth of your knowledge, the understanding and your political finesse. And vote for me and I promise that we will receive the absolutely perfect vote on every occasion. I've said vote twice...


NP: I know! They were so carried away they were all about to vote for you again actually Clement. You were nearly back in Parliament! Tony you challenged first, 12 seconds...

TH: Yes.

NP: ... on flannel, starting now.

TH: Nicholas Parsons is wearing a magnificent blue jacket, with the tie, the finest I have ever seen. Now this is an example of flannel, clearly they're rubbish! I would not flannel somebody just for the sake if it, certainly not to win votes because...


NP: Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, he's moved forward, he's now in third place. And Tony it's your turn to begin, the subject is the bait. Tell us something about the bait starting now.

TH: The bait you use can vary depending on whether you are trying to catch fish or say a spy. For one you need a worm, and the other one maybe a leggy call-girl or something like that. I've caught many a halibut using...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: I didn't quite hear what you said last! A leggy what?

TH: A leggy call-girl.

PJ: Oh leggy call-girl! Didn't hear that!

NP: I know! Peter, Peter... right, a leggy call-girl...

PJ: Yes...

NP: Are you happy for him to continue now?

PJ: Yes I'd like to hear more about her!

NP: Right, I see now, you wanted to be clearly in the picture what he was talking about. But of course Tony gets a point because he was interrupted, there are 45 seconds available, the bait, starting now.

TH: My favourite kind of bait is whitebait, fantastic little fish it is. They put little breadcrumbs on them, I'm sure Clement will be able to tell us more about it when he gets the subject from me when I stutter or make a mistake in a second! But however for the moment I will tell you about this teeny teeny little fish...


TH: One word!

NP: It's a tough game, it's very difficult this.

TH: It's one word, teeny teeny, isn't it?

PM: Hyphenated!

NP: Right Paul a correct challenge, 30 seconds, you tell us something about the bait starting now.

PM: Of course if you are an international toyboy, you find leggy call-girls do not need any bait. they flock to you as you promenade through the finest beaches of Europe, whether you find yourself in Nice or Venice which doesn't have any particular sandy area that you could call that thing that I referred to earlier. But that doesn't matter because it's the spirit of the occasion. You wander along, your head held high, as the girls look at you and...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: I think there's a bit of deviation here. I don't think he's really talking about, he's just talking about me which is fine! But I don't think he's really talking about the bait any more.

NP: No I think he got away from the bait, I do think so, yes. He got on to, he got so carried away with this image he created of this international toyboy that he was on with that. So you've cleverly got in with one second to go Tony on the bait starting now.

TH: Chocolate is something...


NP: Tony Hawks was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point in doing so. And Paul it is your turn to begin. The subject now Paul is double bill. Tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Genetic engineering is a very strange world and particularly when applied to the duck. There are unfortunate birds who are now wandering the face of this earth with a double bill. It's not clever for scientists to muck around playing God. If nature intended these poor unfortunate creatures to have double bills then he surely would have made that choice very early in the evolutionary scale. It also refers to a ah pract...


NP: Clement you challenged first.

CF: Repetition, ah hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes...

PM: You have to take the first challenge!

NP: But he corrected himself before I spoke. So I'm allowed to say what he said last.

PM: All right. A new rule, is it?

NP: No it isn't! I just have to justify everything because they're so dead keen! Which is good, I'm not discouraging it! Thirty-one seconds, double bill's with you Clement starting now.

CF: If you stay in a hotel and have breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner, and some drink, coffee, tea, and you ask for your account, and they give it to you and it is twice as much as you thought, the answer is they have double billed you. The bastards!


PM: That's nice talk, isn't it! Lovely talk! To have that go all over the world!

NP: Yes! That's what I thought! This show really does go to every country in the world, we get letters...

PM: And they'll think bastard is a term of endearment! You'll get Chinese people going to hotels, "I'd like the bill please bastard!"

NP: Tony Hawks you challenged.

TH: Yeah well I'm staying in the same hotel as him so I think it's important we get the subject off him before we all have our stuff thrown out...

NP: He got his big laugh, he made his point and he hesitated, it's double bill with you Tony and 11 seconds are available starting now.

TH: "What are you drinking", asked William. And I said "I'll have a double, Bill". This was one of the most exciting stories...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Well you haven't answered his question! He's asked you what you're drinking, you've given him the measurement!

NP:Actually sometimes people do say I'll have a double.

PM: Do they?

NP: Yes!

PM: And you've known this to happen?

NP: I've known this to happen! Incorrect challenge, four seconds available, with you Tony starting now.

TH: I was almost on a double bill with Paul Merton many years back during the Edinburgh Festival. However...


NP: Tony Hawks with points in that round including one for speaking as the whistle went has moved forward. He's now only three behind Paul Merton, our leader, two ahead of Clement Freud. Peter Jones is trailing just a little and Peter it's your turn to begin. The subject, there's a nice one, snakes and ladders. Tell us something about that delightful game in Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: I don't know why you think that's a nice one! It sounds terribly boring to me, and I would rather have talked about the double bill! Well my son happens to be called Bill and he works in radio. He was able to conceal his relationship with me and so he got in quite easily! Anyway the snakes and ladders was a game that one used to be forced to play when one was a child, like ludo and one or two other very pootling games that I felt was an insult to my intellectual capacity at that time, when I was seven or eight. And er I didn't ever like it and don't like it now!


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of like.

NP: You didn't like it.

PJ: No I didn't!

NP: I must say Peter we loved what you did, most importantly...

PJ: Yes.

NP: And you actually made a first in Just A Minute because for 30 seconds you talked on the previous subject and nobody bothered. And then you went over to the subject of this particular round...

PJ: Right!

NP: You repeated something. It's a pity you didn't keep going because only six seconds are left!

PJ: What a pity!

NP: Pity! Still anyway Clement got in with a correct challenge, I have to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute. Clement you have six seconds, snakes and ladders, starting now.

CF: I actually preferred Lotto and Halma, but snakes and ladders on a wet afternoon...


NP: Yes so Clement Freud got points in that round, he's now equal with Tony Hawks in second place behind Paul Merton. And Clement it's your turn to begin, the subject is chop suey. Tell us something about chop suey in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Chop suey will be found as Number 19 at the Ming Cottage, 23 at the Lotus Tree and 34 at Fokioto in Battersea Park Road in London. And I cannot recommend this dish sufficiently. You get suey and you put it on a board and you chop. You can use a knife, or if you're Chinese a cleaver which is immensely sensible. And then you go chop, chop, chop, suey, suey, suey...


NP: Oh! Paul?

PM: No he's bluffed me here because he said chop and chop, I, I, I buzzed for repetition but of course it's on the subject, chop suey, so it's er, an incorrect challenge.

NP: Clement 26 seconds are still available for chop suey starting now.

CF: It's not at all a classic dish from the Orient. But the sort of thing that those coming from eastern regions...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I think that was hesitation.

NP: Yes a big hesitation yes, I think he was thinking of all our Chinese listeners and what they might write in.

TH: I don't think Nicholas is in agreement there, no, sorry, he's not Nicholas either is he?

NP: My name is Nicholas by the way.

TH: Yes.

NP: All right...

TH: Lovely to meet you!

NP: Sixteen seconds for you Tony, chop suey starting now.

TH: The big debate up and down the country is which is better, chop suey or chowmein? People in every pub or club are discussing this at heated volume, if you can have that...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: It's just ridiculous! Of course they aren't discussing that!

NP: I would be inclined to agree with you Peter.

TH: You must go to different pubs to me, that's all I can say!

PJ: Oh is that right...

NP: Peter, deviation, I agree...

PJ: There's a very good reason for that!

NP: You cleverly got in with three seconds to go on chop suey starting now.

PJ: Chop suey isn't Chinese, it's an American dish!


NP: Peter Jones was speaking as the whistle went and gained that extra point. He's still alas in fourth place. Tony Hawks your turn to begin. Oh dear this is interesting, let's hear from this international toyboy. You didn't know this was coming up did you Tony, my best chat-up lines. Tell us something about it, 60 seconds are available starting now.

TH: "Excuse me young lady but do you know the way to Oldham" is not an example of a good chat-up line. I am an international toyboy as Nicholas has pointed out and no doubt, this is the reason why I have been given this subject. I honestly can tell you a line that I have used in the past and it is "excuse ...


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: I'd like to hear the story but he did say excuse...

NP: He did repeat line yes. Clement, 39 seconds you tell us something about my best chat-up line starting now.

CF: "Would you like to eat a Chinese hamburger?" sometimes goes quite well. Better than an American chop suey! But I was a member as a child of the Ovalteenies, and instead of having a chat-up line, you had gestures which gave you the sort of message to other people they wanted to hear. If you put your left fore-finger on the side of your nose, it meant "will you come home with me after school?" Whereas the right digit in a similar position intended to convey someone is trying to find out our secrets, though why this...


NP: So! I don't think those chat-up lines would have got me very far! What was your best one? Come on what was it Tony?

TH: I don't think I'm going to share this with you! You're going to use it Nicholas!

NP: Don't share it with me, share it with the audience! They want to hear, they're just, they're dying to hear! They need a few new chat-up lines in York, they really do!

TH: This is the truth but I did use this line for a long time. And it was "what's the capital of Poland?" And it used to work really well because if people knew it they'd go "Warsaw" and then you'd be chatting away. And if they didn't know it, they'd think "He's a clever bloke, I think I want to talk to him, he knows what the capital of Poland is!"

NP: You're giving a whole new meaning to life up here! Right! So who was speaking, yes, Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and with other points in that round he has leapt forward, he is now equal in the lead with Paul Merton, followed by Tony Hawks, and then Peter Jones in that order. And this round coming up is going to be the last round. So if those interested in the score it's anybody's contest still, except Peter Jones has got little chance!

PM: That's good for morale isn't it! You've got to give him something to fight for!

NP: He has little chance of getting the points but he has every chance of winning the show because I know you love him dearly! There you are! The subject is window shopping and Paul it's your turn to begin so 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PM: As I go window shopping, I often think about my best chat-up line which is "I am a personal friend of Nicholas Parsons". Window shopping as a practice doesn't strike me as being particularly interesting. I've never been one for gazing through windows, just idly passing away the time. If I do go shopping it's generally with an intention of going to buy something. So I will walk into a shop knowing what I want, seeing it and purchasing...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of shop.

NP: Yes! You're coming with a flourish at the end Peter as I knew you would. There we are!

PJ: Well thank you!

NP: You have a point, you have 34 seconds, you tell us something about window shopping starting now.

PJ: Well it's a rather tedious business if you er don't have any money and you can't afford to buy anything. So what is the point of looking at all this merchandise, that is laid out before you, sometimes quite attractively. But er I wouldn't want to...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: I think there was a hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation but I'm not going to allow it! Because I think this audience here... last time you were here Peter you finished the last round. I think they'd like to hear Peter finish the show again, wouldn't you? There you are, you see Peter, you might not get the points but you have the love of this audience here! And you have 18 seconds to tell us more about window shopping starting now.

PJ: One of the most attractive windows in our area...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: I would like Peter to finish as well!

NP: Another point to you Peter.

PJ: Yes.

NP: And you have 15 seconds window shopping starting now.

PJ: In this particular district...


NP: Tony, yes?

TH: Ah repetition of glove puppet!

NP: You, you, you, you're not listening very well!

TH: Did he not? I'm sorry! Another point to Peter then!

NP: Another point yes, 14 seconds, window shopping with you Peter starting now.

PJ: There's an awfully nice window just on the corner and it is...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Didn't he say that before?

NP: Of course he didn't say it before so he gets another point, that's an incorrect challenge, 10 seconds on window shopping Peter starting now.

PJ: And it's a funeral...


NP: Paul?

PM: Can I just say this is descending into a farce! Sorry that's an incorrect challenge, I do apologise.

NP: I know but we like to get a bit farcical on occasions! It's great fun! Peter you and I worked in many farces in our time together...

PJ: What is that again?

NP: Seven seconds on window shopping with you Peter starting now.

PJ: An undertakers actually, with a very large bunch of flowers and a coffin in the trunk and er...


NP: Well who can say that the impossible never happens! At the beginning of that round we had two equal leaders, very talented players of the game, and then we had another one who was just one point behind them and one of our players who was trailing quite considerably! But with incredible flourish, with a miniscule little bit of help from the other players of the game...

PJ: I wouldn't like to think that it was patronage at all!

NP: With sheer talent and this encouragement from this audience Peter Jones has leapt forward from five points to 15! Never happened before, probably be a long time before it happens again but Peter you're the winner this week!

PJ: Really!

NP: So it only remains for me to say thanks to the four talented and outstanding players of this game, Peter Jones, Clement Freud, Paul Merton and Tony Hawks. Also thank Jane Gibson who's blown her whistle so delicately and charmingly and helped me with the score. And Ian Messiter who created the game that we all enjoy playing so much, and also our producer and director Chris Neill. We also thank our audience here at the Grand Opera House in York who've cheered us on our way. From our audience here, from the panel, from me, Nicholas Parsons tune in again the next time we play Just A Minute. Till then, goodbye!