starring GRAHAM NORTON, TONY HAWKS, TIM RICE and JENNY ECLAIR, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 12 February 2001)

NOTE: Thanks to Vicki Walker who transcribed this show! :-)

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just a Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you! Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners, not only in this country but throughout the world, but also to welcome to the show four highly talented, extremely humorous and witty players of this game. So will you please welcome in no order of seniority Graham Norton, Jenny …clair, Tim Rice and Tony Hawks. All four of them! And as usual, Iím going to ask them to speak on a subject that I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from that subject. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst, whoís going to help me keep the score and she will blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just a Minute is coming from the Turner Sims Concert Hall in the University of Southampton. And we have before us a highly literate, intelligent university audience mingling with some of the fine burghers of Southampton and places further afield, like Portsmouth. And weíre going to start the show this week with Tony Hawks. Tony, the subject, oh! What a lovely one to start with, bananas. Tell us something about bananas in just a minute starting now.

TONY HAWKS: Do you know, I have never seen a straight banana. But this may be because I mainly hang around in gay banana clubs. In my opinion, though, it is fair to say the banana is possibly the funniest of all fruits. Itís...


NP: Tim Rice has challenged.

TIM RICE: Deviation. I think pineapples are hilarious.

NP: I like your comment, but do you have a challenge within the rules of Just a Minute, Tim?

TR: Deviation.

NP: No, no, no, no, no. Listen, Iíll tell you what Iíll do. Iíll be generous. I give you a bonus point because the audience enjoyed your remark, but I donít think it was devious within the rules of Just a Minute. So Tony, you have a point for an incorrect challenge. You keep the subject and there are 43 seconds left. Bananas, starting now.

TH: If I say pineapple now, itíll be interesting to watch how funny Tim Rice...


NP: Ah, Jenny Eclair, you challenged.

JENNY …CLAIR: I got it wrong. He said funny and funniest. So actually, Tony, youíre right. Iím so sorry.

TH: I get a point!

JE: Keep going. Youíre doing ever so well.

NP: Itís just lovely to hear from you, Jenny.

JE: Good luck!

NP: Yes. All that happens is he gets another point for an incorrect challenge and he keeps the subject. There are 33 seconds. Bananas, Tony, starting now.

TH: If you remove a banana skin and toss it onto the floor, what hilarious consequences may follow if you hide...


NP: Ah, Jenny challenged again.

JE: Hilarious. He did say hilarious twice.

NP: He did say hilarious before.

JE: Hmm-mm-mm, yes.

NP: So well listened, Jenny. You have the subject. Of course you have a point for a correct challenge as well. You have 30 seconds to tell us something about bananas, starting now.

JE: Full of potassium. I like them long and firm with a greenish tinge, perhaps with a splash of Carnation milk because I have a very sophisticated palate. As the others have said, a very amusing...


NP: Ah, Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Two verys.

NP: Yes, you said very before. Tim, a correct challenge. You take over the subject. Itís bananas. Seventeen seconds available, starting now.

TR: Even funnier than the banana or the pineapple is the kumquat, which is an extremely obscure fruit which I have on many occasions dipped...


NP: Ah, Graham Norton's challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: Well, that is deviation now, isnít it?

NP: Why?

GN: Because heís talking about kumquats.

NP: Kumquats. So heís deviated. Graham, you got in with eight seconds to go, having got a point of course, correct challenge. Bananas is with you, starting now.

GN: In the bird world, a canary was kicked out of the feathered police force for corruption. And I thought, how like a banana! Yellow and bent.


NP: So everybody scored points in that round and whoever speaks when the whistle goes gets an extra point. It was Graham Norton so he has two, Tim has two, Tony has two and Jenny has one. Tim, will you take the next round? The subject is a small world. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TR: It is indeed a small world, this tiny globe on which we live. But there are some even smaller, viz Mercury, Venus, the moon or Mars. But letís go back to our own little place here because if you ever plan to motor west, just take my way. Itís the highway. Itís the best. Get your kicks on Route 66. It winds from Chicago to L.A., more than 2,000 miles all the way. Get...


NP: Jenny, you challenged.

JE: Well, heís gone mad! I saw him drinking in the green room! Wasnít that a slight deviation? Wasnít he just going on about roads?

TR: I was illustrating how small a world it was by the fact that one road can take you anywhere, man.

NP: Actually, I donít think he was, Jenny, I donít think he was deviating...

JE: Give it him back...

NP: ...from the subject.

JE: Give him back the ball!

NP: Well, heís still got the ball. He hasnít lost it. Itís still a small world with Tim. And Tim, there are 32 seconds available, starting now.

TR: It is indeed a small world.


NP: Ah, Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: Ah, repetition of indeed.

NP: You said indeed before.

TH: Itís how you started the first time.

NP: Tony, youíve got a correct challenge and another point and 30 seconds and a small world, starting now.

TH: I always liked the line by the U.S. comedian Steven Wright who said, "Itís a small world but I wouldnít want to paint it." And how true that is. If one considers the amount of labour that would be required for said task, it could take two or three weeks depending on how industrious a worker you were. Of course, most people say "itís a small world" when they bump into someone at the airport or somewhere like that.


NP: Ah, Tim Rice.

TR: I thought he was going to do someone twice but he didnít, did he?

NP: Yes.

TH: I love the way people cave in when they challenge me.

NP: Itís these anticipatory challenges which are fascinating. Uh, Tim, an incorrect challenge. But Tony, another point and three seconds still, a small world, starting now.

TH: Hello, Bob. I didnít expect to see you here. I thought...


NP: So Tony Hawks is on a roll there, kept going till the whistle went and gained that extra point and gained other points in the round so heís taken the lead at the end of the round. Graham Norton, your turn to begin. The subject is commercials. Tell us something about commercials in Just A Minute starting now.

GN: Watching a commercial recently, I was attracted to a product that promised me that my toilet could smell like a forest glade. I purchased said thing and sure enough, it did smell like a wooded...


NP: Uh, Jenny challenged.

JE: Smell.

NP: There were too many smells. Forty-five seconds, Jenny. You had a correct challenge. Commercials, starting now.

JE: You do loads of commercials, Graham Norton. You do Windyís...


NP: Uh, Tim challenged.

TR: Two you dos.

NP: You dos.

JE: Yeah.

NP: Ah, 42 seconds for you, Tim, on commercials, starting now.

TR: Iíve been approached many times to advertise or plug something but have always refused because I regard this as a degra-dation.


NP: Uh, Jenny challenged.

JE: Oh, he stuttered and spluttered and dribble came out of his mouth. Hesitation.

NP: Not quite, darling. He, he...

JE: Do you not think?

TR: It was in the middle of a word.

JE: Heís speaking gaga, like that!

NP: Itís tough enough to keep going. He was teetering on the verge of stuttering but no, degradation just about came out without a hesitation.

JE: Okay.

NP: So we give him the benefit of the doubt. Thirty-three seconds, commercials, starting now.

TR: I saw a programme the other night called The 100 Best Commercials of All Time. It went on and continued all through the evening.


NP: Tony, you challenged.

TH: Well actually, I buzzed over him saying on for the second time.

NP: No, he didnít repeat on.

TR: No. I was extremely clever.

NP: No, no.

TH: What did you say? On and?

NP: He set you up for that one.

TR: On and continued, I think.

NP: He did not repeat on, and itís 24 seconds still with you on commercials, Tim, starting now.

TR: The commercial that I thought was the best of the lot and should have been number one was the one where the dog and the cat and the mouse all walk up to the fire to the strains of the Shirelles singing, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. Let us go back to 1961 and relive that wonderful song. Tonight youíre mine completely. You give your love so sweetly. I see the magic of your eyes, but! And then the title comes in again.


NP: Tim Rice was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so and also others in the round and has leapt forward. Heís now equal in the lead with Tony Hawks. And Tony, itís your turn to begin. A stitch in time. Thatís the subject. Talk on it. Sixty seconds are available, starting now.

TH: Despite turning the music up very loud and listening to the rhythm and tapping with my feet, I still find it very difficult to stitch in time. And this is important if you want to sew rhythmically, which has always been my ambition, sad though I am. A stitch in time saves nine, but what? We donít know. It could be golden eagles, whales, beavers, fish. I could go on for hopefully a minute on this, but I wonít, because we all know the real meaning of this expression. If one.... trah, hello!


NP: Graham Norton challenged. Yes, Graham.

GN: Well, the poor customerís interrupted, wasnít it? Interference on the line.

NP: Right. Hesitation, fine. You have the subject. A stitch in time, Graham. You have 20 seconds starting now.

GN: Some words should never be seen together, such as fun and run. I find nothing amusing about that sport and so I always hope that I will find it too difficult to...


NP: Ah, Jenny challenged.

GN: Where is that going?

JE: Well, I had to stop you or shoot you!

NP: Why? Whatís your challenge within the rules of Just a Minute, Jenny?

JE: Well, he was going on about, oh, I donít know! What were you talking about, Graham?

NP: Um...

JE: Did it have anything to do with a stitch in time?

GN: Yeah, yeah. Actually I was about to get to that.

JE: He was deviating around the houses.

NP: He hadnít gone on long enough to get to the subject. He was deviating from the subject, Jenny. You do have a correct challenge and youíve cleverly got in with three seconds to go, and you start now.

JE: A stitch in time saves nine. Well, whatís that all about?


NP: So Jenny …clair, speaking as the whistle went, gains an extra point and has moved forward. Sheís only two points behind our joint leaders, Tim Rice and Tony Hawks, and Graham Norton follows, one point behind. Tim Rice, your turn to begin. The subject is Mars. Tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now.

TR: Iíd like to divide my talk on Mars into five parts. First, I would deal with the atmosphere, which is pretty slim. If youíre out there on the surface of the Red Planet, you wonít get a lot of heavy breathers because there isnít much air to breathe. Mars is tiny, 4,125 miles in diameter and two little moons or satellites nip around it daily. The inner one is called Phobos. The outer...


NP: Graham has challenged.

GN: I still donít want to know this. I mean, I could be learning a second language, but there wonít be room! Because in my brain will be that thereís something called Phobos running around Mars.

NP: It is a little bit, it is a bit like The Sky at Night on Just a Minute, isnít it? From that distinguished astronomer Sir Tim Rice. Ah, but he wasnít deviating in any way from Mars, and youíre absolutely right about his Phobos and others, those little satellites up there. So Tim, an incorrect challenge. Another point to you and Mars, 34 seconds, starting now.

TR: Not many people know that the Mars Bar was actually named after a bloke from America called Mars. You might have thought that it was just a brilliant name thought up as...


NP: Ah, Tony challenged.

TH: Ah, Iím being very pedantic here but he said not many people know that and I think millions of people know that!

NP: First of all, I donít think millions do know it and secondly, I think he was using that as a sort of, um, figure of speech. So I donít think he was really deviating from the subject.

TH: Can you prove that millions of people donít know it?

NP: No I canít, but I donít think it matters in this game whether I have to or not! So Tim, benefit of the doubt. You have Mars, 24 seconds still, starting now.

TR: Iíd like to say what terrific chairmanship we have tonight. Weíre giving...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: That has to be some sort of deviation. Thatís rotten!

NP: I will give you a bonus point because the audience enjoyed the challenge, but he wasnít deviating from the subject of Mars. Twenty-one...

GN: Yes he was! He was rabbiting on about you! What, are you suddenly a red planet floating above the earth? I, youíre a man in a chair!

TR: Well, youíre in a chair!

NP: No, itís... it was a figure of speech! He wasnít making that I had anything to do with Mars. He just...

GN: Exactly! But weíre supposed to be talking about Mars!

NP: Occasionally I do bow to the superior wisdom and judgment of the audience. And seeing what a, what a, what an aggressive audience they are, Iím going to give Graham the benefit of the doubt on this occasion. So Graham, you have 21 seconds on Mars, starting now.

GN: It must be very difficult to live on Mars, the Red Planet. One would awake in the morning and think: what to wear that doesnít clash with the place? That pink shirtís out for a start! And I wore the black thing yesterday and I havenít had time to wash it. And also no water...


NP: Ah, Tim has challenged again.

TR: Well, you would have had time to wash it because a day on Mars is considerably longer.

JE: And I would like to add that there is water on Mars.

NP: There is water, yes. He could wash it. He said he wouldnít have the time to wash it.

GN: Yes. I was busy!

NP: Listen, actually...

GN: As long as the day was, I was busier than that!

NP: You had the benefit of the doubt last time, Graham. Tim has the benefit of the doubt this time. So three seconds with you, Tim, on Mars, starting now.

TR: Your chairmanship gets even better because...


GN: I think weíve discussed that before! And also, repetition of chairmanship.

NP: Graham, another point and one second on Mars, starting now.

GN: Mars is...


NP: So Graham Norton, with his erudite comments about Mars, has leapt forward in that round, including getting one when the whistle went. Heís now just ahead of Tony Hawks, heís two behind Tim Rice, and Jenny …clair is in fourth place and she begins the next round. Jenny, the subject is crying over spilt milk. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

JE: I wouldnít bother crying over spilt milk. Spilt vodka, oooh Iíd weep over that! If it fell out of my shopping bag and smashed all over my front step, Iíd be down there licking it up (three slurps). Ah, the last time I cried over...


NP: Graham, you challenged.

GN: Was there a repetition of (slurp)?

NP: Yes, it was. Graham, 50 seconds on crying over spilt milk, starting now.

GN: The last time I cried over spilt milk was in 1974. Oh, I remember it well and hope to tell you about it now if I can just pick out the precise details of the incident! I think I was living in a small cottage outside of Cork. Milk was scarce in those days. There was only one cow for the entire community. I got a thimbleful for my breakfast that morning, I recall. My mother looked at it enviously but I said, "Back off, old woman! Itís mine!" Then, it must have been karma. I reached to turn off the radio and knocked over the small thimble. It crashed to the floor...


NP: Aw. Tony, you challenged.

TH: Well, I thought he repeated thimble.

NP: He did repeat thimble.

TH: And you know, I...

NP: He kept going for 46 seconds, too. And you got in with four seconds to go with a correct challenge. Crying over spilt milk with Tony starting now.

TH: Itís no use in crying over spilt milk unless youíre being paid by the hour. Because I canít see where...


NP: So Tony Hawks at the whistle then and got the extra point and heís moved forward. Heís one behind our leader, Tim Rice and heís equal with Graham Norton. Jenny …clair is only just behind them. And Tony, your turn to begin. The subject: daytime TV. So tell us something about it, Tony. Sixty seconds as usual, starting now.

TH: A few years ago, they attempted to do a daytime TV version of Just a Minute. And it wasnít a complete success. This was largely put down to the fact that Nicholas Parsons is far too handsome for television. Fortunately...


NP: Ah, Jenny …clair challenged.

JE: Iíve made a horrible mistake. Iím so sorry.

NP: You donít think I am handsome enough for television?

JE: No, I think youíre gorgeous. But I thought, I thought he said television twice but heís allowed. Because itís in the thing, isnít it? Television.

NP: No, TV is in the...

JE: Aha! And so I win!

NP: Thatís right. Yes, you do win, Jenny.

TH: Can I just say you would win if I'd said it twice, but I said daytime TV the first time.

NP: He did, Iím afraid. Yes.

JE: Did he? So close! Okay.

NP: Right, so close. So Jenny, well tried. Ah, but Tony, you still got daytime TV. Forty-six seconds, starting now.

TH: I quite like...


NP: Jenny challenged.

JE: Hesitation. Tim told me to do that! He did! He whispered in my ear, get him on hesitation!

TR: I meant last time.

TH: You gotta wait until I hesitate, then do it.

NP: Yes, he did hesitate the previous time, but you canít have retrospective challenges.

JE: Oh.

NP: So another point to Tony and 45 seconds, daytime TV, starting now.

TH: I feel Jenny …clair wants to get in so much that Iím going to repeat Jenny …clair and give her a chance.


NP: And Graham Nortonís got in!

GN: Was there a repetition of Jenny …clair?

TH: Youíre so smart!

GN: I thought you'd said it the first time, yes.

NP: So Graham, you got in first, even though Jenny's name got repeated. Thirty-eight seconds, starting now.

GN: Daytime TV is so educational. Without it, I wouldnít have learned how to stencil! Iíd look at a cushion and not known how to scatter it. Looked at a rug and...oh, Iíve said looked at twice now, but there you go...


NP: Yes, and Jenny pressed her, challenged. He repeated I would not know.

JE: Yes he did!

NP: Of course he did. So well listened, Jenny! You got in there like a flash. Right, you have 28 seconds on daytime TV, starting now.

JE: My mother doesnít approve of daytime television. She thinks itís morally wrong, which is why my father, even though heís 70, has to watch Hannah Gordonís... owl telepath...


JE: ...in secret.

NP: When you do get in, you donít have to go quite so fast.

JE: Iím so excited.

NP: Yes. Graham, you got back in again, yes.

GN: Yes, a bit of gobbledygook.

NP: Gobbledygook, yes.

GN: Gobbledygook and overexcitement over Hannah.

NP: We call that hesitation. Daytime TV is back with you and 22 seconds, Graham, starting now.

GN: Thanks to daytime TV, we understand that Americans are fat, angry people. They really donít get on, do they? Iím very nervous about traveling to that great country now that Iíve seen them on daytime TV. Daytime TV features many daytime TV programmes that deal with sort of a...


NP: So Graham Norton, with a number of round points in the round as well as one for speaking when the whistle went, has lept forward, and heís now taken the lead. Heís one ahead of Tim Rice, whoís one ahead of Tony Hawks, whoís three or four ahead of Jenny …clair. And itís anybodyís contest, if youíre interested in the contest.

JE: Itís not, is it? Iíve lost!

NP: But your contribution has been invaluable and thatís what weíre here for, my love. Your contribution.

JE: Itís my fault.

NP: The next subject is the Minute Waltz. And Tim, itís your turn to begin, so will you tell us something about that in this game, starting now?

TR: The Minute Waltz is a wonderful piece of music written by Chopin, who was very famous for starring in novels about sex and shopping. He was an extremely talented pianist. Not only was he a great composer, he could tickle the ivories like no man. He was...


NP: Ah, Tony challenged.

TH: Arenít you supposed to tinkle them?

TR: No, he tickled them.

TH: He tickled? Whatís Whatís the point of tickling a piano? Everyone knows pianos arenít ticklish.

NP: Itís up to you to interpret it as you wish.

TH: Well, Chopin never tickled a piano.

NP: You can tinkle the ivories or you can tickle the ivories, or whatever you want to do with it.

TH: All right.

NP: No Tim, heís a master of the spoken word, with his great abilities with lyrics and so forth. So heís tinkled and tickled.

GN: Do you guys live together or something? Itís a bit creepy over there, isnít it? "Oh Tim, youíre marvelous." "No, you, Nicholas, you."

NP: Iíve seen some of the musicals which heís written and Iím deeply impressed. But I just like his phraseology. So an incorrect challenge. Tim, youíve still got it. Well, youíve always had it, but youíve still got the subject.

GN: Theyíre in love!

NP: But in this show, you have 44 seconds to tell us more about the Minute Waltz, starting now.

TR: Every time this programme, chaired so wonderfully by Nicholas Parsons, is launched on Radio Four, you hear the strains of the Minute Waltz. A superb piece of...


NP: Ah, Tony challenged.

TH: I think heís said a piece of music before.

NP: Thatís right, you did. Tony...

TR: I, I didnít get as far as music.

GN: I would say you had.

NP: Excuse me. So Tony, you have... So Tony, youíve got in with a correct challenge. Thirty-five seconds, the Minute Waltz, starting now.

TH: I tried to play the Minute Waltz on the piano after initially tickling the keys for a while and realising that this was futile. But Iím not a really good pianist and so it took me 45 minutes to play it, which was disappointing because after 10 or so of these... periods of time...


NP: Yes, Jenny, you challenged.

JE: A definite hesitation.

NP: You've no need to emphasise it, it was hesitation.

JE: He completely ran out...

NP: Yes, and you have the subject, Jenny.

JE: ...of what he was trying to say. He couldnít say anything else, could he? He just completely lost it, didnít he? Do you remember?

NP: Yes.

JE: He just kind of, ran out of steam and it was really embarrassing, wasnít it! Ha! God I loved it!

NP: You loved it most of all because you got in with a correct challenge.

JE: Whatís the subject?

NP: It is the Minute Waltz, take a breath and donít go in with too much of a rush. Youíve only got 15 seconds, and I think you can do it.

JE: How many seconds have I got?

NP: The Minute Waltz, 15 seconds, starting now.

JE: The Minute Waltz, not to be confused with the Minute (pronounced my NOOT) Waltz, a dance for very small people under 5-foot-2. I canít dance with anyone for longer than a minute because I do untold damage then...


JE: Yes!

NP: Well, Jenny …clair was speaking, and I donít know why someone didnít have her for deviation speaking from her new mode of speech. But, but anyway, they didn't Jenny, you kept going. You obviously got the audience entirely behind you. Theyíd love you to win, and we're entering the last round, I donít think itís possible. But ah and Jenny, itís your turn to begin and the subject is Jane Austen. So tell us something about Jane Austen in Just A Minute starting now.

JE: There was a girl at my school called Jane Austin. Huge beast of a woman, fat of calf, massive of thigh, great hockey player...


JE: I can see her now.

NP: Um, Tim Rice challenged.

TR: Have you got her phone number?

NP: Unusual taste you have, Tim. Uh, we enjoyed Timís, um, interjection so we give him a bonus point for that. But Jenny was interrupted.

JE: Yes, I was.

NP: So she gets a point for being interrupted and keeps the subject with 51 seconds available. Jane Austen, Jenny, starting now.

JE: Ginger plaits, and you should have seen her bully off! Down sheíd fly, pigtails streaming behind her in the breeze, until she got to the net, the goal, where I was. Goalie. Fat girl passes... ha ha!


NP: Um, Graham challenged.

GN: Weíve had fat and girl and...

JE: Pigtails, yes. I was getting quite upset thinking about it.

NP: So you've got another correct challenge and you have 41 seconds left to tell us something about Jane Austen, starting now.

GN: I get a warm glow when I remember how much I enjoyed Jane Austenís Fanny in Mansfield Park. It was so entertaining. I picked it up, not knowing how much Iíd like it, but it really was terrific. If only Iíd been able to let Jane know. But some time had elapsed twixt the typing and the reading. Jane Austen was quite dirty in that she lived in a bath, apparently. I didnít know till I read the study notes...


NP: So Graham Norton kept going until the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and now I will give you the final situation. Jenny …clair, who gave us such lovely contribution, such warm, vibrant contribution, she finished just in fourth place. Not very far behind Tony Hawks, who was just in third place. He was two points behind Tim Rice, but two points ahead of Tim was Graham Norton, so we say, Graham, you are our winner this week! So it only remains for me to say thank you to our four delightful players of the game, Graham Norton, Jenny …clair, Tim Rice and Tony Hawks. Also thank Janet Staplehurst for helping me keep the score and for blowing her whistle so elegantly. Weíre also indebted to the creator of this game, Ian Messiter, and also we thank our producer, Claire Jones, who keeps us all in order whenever she can. And weíre indebted to this delightful audience here at the Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton whoíve cheered us on our way! Thank you very much for being such a warm and lovely audience. From you, from the panel, from me, Nicholas Parsons, goodbye! Tune in the next time we play Just a Minute! Hey!