NOTE: Eddie Izzard's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Hello my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more itís my pleasure to welcome the four distinctive personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And we welcome back three of our regular players of the game, that is Paul Merton, Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud. And we welcome someone whoís never played the game before, Eddie Izzard. Will you please welcome all four of them! This particular edition of the show comes from the Pleasance Theatre during the Edinburgh Festival and we have a very distinguished and rather hyped up Edinburgh Fringe audience here to enjoy the programme. Sitting beside me is Miriam Jones who will keep the score and blow her whistle when 60 seconds are up. And as usual I will ask our four panellists to speak if they can on the subjects that I will give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. And the first one is double whammy. Paul Merton would you like to tell us something about double whammy in Just A Minute starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Iím not really sure what a double whammy is. I suppose itís a whammy twice two. Itís one of these American expressions that seems to have crept into the language over the years. Itís one of those phrases...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Two one ofs.

PM: Iíve never been so insulted in my life!

NP: It was the look on his face listeners which got the laugh, not the fact that he was actually insulted. Clement Freud you have a...

PM: Oh give away my secrets, why donít you!

NP: Clement you had a correct challenge so you get a point for that of course and you take over the subject, you have 49 seconds left, double whammy starting now.

CF: To an Englishman in Scotland, a double whammy might be haggis and neeps. But playing Just A Minute, a double whammy is hesitation with repetition, or repetitiousness while you hesitate. A sort of dual misfortune. And I very much hope that somebody will buzz me...


NP: And Derek Nimmoís helped you out.

DEREK NIMMO: Iím just trying to help him out!

NP: Youíre just trying... So ah what have you decided to, within the rules of the game? Hesitation?

DN: Boredom!

NP: Boredom. Thatís not within the rules of the game though it does frequently occur! But deviating the subject would probably be correct. Twenty-eight seconds are left Derek, double whammy starting now.

DN: It was used as a slogan by the Conservative Party. And to my surprise they seemed to win the election mainly because they used this double whammy in their ad....


NP: Eddie Izzard has challenged.

EDDIE IZZARD: Two useds.

NP: Thatís right, they did use it. Well listened Eddie. Nineteen seconds left, can you tell us something about double whammy starting now.

EI: Yes it was used by the Conservative Party and um and didnít...


EI: Oh bugger!

NP: Derek Nimmo yes you...

DN: Two ums.

NP: Ums yes. The manís only just joined the show!

DN: He said he does a lot of er ums.

EI: I wasnít hesitating, I was doing a very thoughtful ummm in the er not hesitating type of way.

NP: Well tried Eddie! But... I must allow it to Derek Nimmo. Fifteen seconds for you Derek having got another point for a correct challenge, double whammy starting now.

DN: If one was at the Stadium in Liverpool and you saw a boxer deliver a double whammy it would be a blow to the left and a blow...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: That was hesitation.

NP: That was hesitation.

DN: Definitely!

NP: Yes! Eight seconds for you Clement, double whammy, starting now.

CF: The Conservative Party actually did rather well in introducing double whammy as a sort of negatory term, making other people feel that they did a poor... whistle! Go on!


NP: No! Derek challenged before the whistle!

CF: Nobodyís keeping, nobodyís keeping time in...

DN: Heís now talking about whistles.

NP: Youíre now talking about whistles because he saw Miriam had put the whistle into her mouth to be prepared for when the 60 seconds were up...

CF: I wanted her to have her big moment!

NP: Derek youíve got in with another point for that and two seconds to go on double whammy starting now.

DN: A left hook to the jaw and a straight...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Derek Nimmo. Clement would you begin the next round, the subject lying. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CF: I always enjoy broadcasting from Glasgow which is such an attractive little English town! I am six foot four, weigh nine stone, unmarried with no children.


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well he just sort of stopped, didnít he.

NP: He did stop. Fifty-one seconds are left for you Derek on lying starting now.

DN: When I was little, if I told a lie, I had my mouth washed out with mustard which is a very cruel thing to do. The consequence of which is that I continue to lie like a trooper but Iím not able to eat that particular delicacy at all! Lying for the whetstone was a medeval... practice...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Medeval?

NP: Itís the way you want to pronounce it, medieval...

PM: Oh so we can just pronounce the words that we like to pronounce in any way that we can?

NP: I think...

PM: This is a new rule.

NP: No, no, there is a perceived pronunciation...

PM: So if I want to say house, I can go hoosee, and thatís fine?

NP: Up in Edinburgh they might say hoosee but you know... (Scottish accent) It depends where you are in the country, but I think up in Scotland they do say medeval.

PM: What is that accent youíre doing?

NP: Derek you have 33 seconds to continue on lying starting now.

DN: It continued until Wardian.. Edwardian times...


NP: Eddie Izzard was...

EI: Itís either, itís either hesitation or Edwardian because you said that...

PM: Itís all three, I think.

NP: Itís all three.

DN: Edwardian is quite acceptable.

NP: Yeah but Eddie you got in with a correct challenge, 31 seconds for you to tell us something about lying starting now.

EI: Lying is basically a process where people talk to each other with very little truth passing between one person and the other. A friend of mine once lied to me about the number of socks he could put on his head. And I was very unsure whether he was telling the truth at the time, but I knew that if it was more then 10 socks then it would..


NP: Derek Nimmo came back.

DN: Too many socks.

NP: There were too many socks. There are 10 seconds for you to take the subject of lying Derek starting now.

DN: Lying for the whetstone was a process of...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: This is lying for the whetstone, itís the same phrase...

NP: He used it before...

PM: He used it before...

NP: It is repetition, he did use it before. Right letís get on with the show, eight seconds for Paul Merton on lying starting now.

PM: Nicholas Parsons was born in 1968 and as you see he is a fine figure of a man. I suppose heís probably now about 15, 20...


NP: At the end of that round Derek is still in the lead ahead of Paul and then Clement and then Eddie Izzard. And Paul it is your turn to begin, and a very apt subject, Arthurís seat. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PM: When I was eight years old, my father used to take me to football matches. And I always noticed that the seat next to me was empty. He said "ah well you see, the reason why that is is that is because itís Ar...


EI: That is, that is.

NP: Yes.

EI: Two that is.

NP: Well listened Eddie. That is, that is.

EI: Do I get a point for interrupting correctly?

NP: Yes you do.

EI: I get annoyed...

NP: Every time you, every time you have a correct challenge you gain a point. And you get the subject...

EI: I have no idea who I am!

NP: Youííre one point behind Paul...

EI: Okay!

DN: The Nicholas Parsons Master Class!

NP: Fifty-one seconds Eddie starting now.

EI: Arthurís Seat is a great big thing that sticks out of Edinburgh because itís volcanic and is made out of rock that is pointy and flat and goes on and stops and falls down if you walk along and carry on walking and oh bugger! Iíve...


NP: Eddie youíve challenged yourself!

EI: Yes I felt I was hesitating so I get one mark!

NP: Well, well, well, well, well, well played Eddie! I mean you definitely got a hesitation. So...

EI: I feel...

NP: As thatís a correct challenge...

EI: Yes?

NP: ... you get a point for that... And I must say it was very well listened as well!

EI: I could hear it conming, you see, and I...

NP: Yes!

EI: ...knew, so as soon as I did it, I thought get in there quick! And then... I can win this way, canít I!

NP: Yes!

EI: Has this been done before?

NP: Youíre now equal in second place, youíre only one point behind our leader Derek Nimmo. And you have 38 seconds to continue with Arthurís Seat starting now.

EI: I once went up Arthurís Seat and I took a long time...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation.

NP: Why? If itís deviation, itís vulgar and therefore it will be cut out of the show. Um...

PM: Youíre in a world of your own, arenít you?

DN: Heíd be a wonderful subject for Anthony Clare in the Psychiatristís Chair. He ought to have Nicholas Parsons strapped down in it!

NP: Yes Eddie Iím going to say that you have an incorrect challenge so you get a point... thatís another rule, did you know that? You get a point for an incorrect challenge.

EI: So even if I interrupt myself wrongly I can...

DN: Well done!


EI: Iíll have one for that one! Iím not talking, Iíve just buzzed myself! So I...

NP: Youíre taking the game into a whole new realm actually!

EI: This is a loophole youíve never explored, is it!

NP: You have an incorrect challenge against you, you get a point for that, youíre now equal with Derek Nimmo in the lead and you have...


NP: ... 34 seconds to continue, Arthurís seat starting now.


NP: And Paul Mertonís challenged.

PM: I thought Iíd get in with an incorrect challenge so Eddie can take the lead!

NP: Eddie youíve got the lead, one ahead of Derek Nimmo, 33 seconds, Arthurís seat starting now.

EI: I did go up Arthurís Seat...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of go up.

NP: Yes, he did go up Arthurís Seat before. And Arthurís Seat, 32 seconds starting now.


NP: And who challenged? Eddie?

EI: Sorry, one back to Paul there!


NP: So Paulís now in the lead with Eddie Izzard, 31 seconds, Paul, starting now.

PM: One of the fixtures of the Edinburgh Fringe is Arthur Smith who comes here regularly every year and does various shows that come out of his brain (starts to laugh)


PM: (laughing heartily)

NP: Oh!

PM: As opposed to his spleen!

NP: Yes! Clement Freud got in first with his challenge.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Oh what?

CF: Ha. Hahaha!

NP: Haha! Clement, a point for that, correct challenge, 21 seconds left, Arthurís Seat starting now.

CF: Arthurís Ciat was only a moderate car, not nearly as exciting as a Rolls Royce or a Bentley. But effective and petrol consumption absolutely minimal. Queen Guinevere spoke most favourably about Arthurís Seat. She thought it was nicely divided in the middle, plump, pink and fitted...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, heís talking absolute rubbish!

NP: Thereís never been a rule about not talking rubbish on Just A Minute.

PM: Youíve kept the job for a long time havenít you?

NP: I know! He wasnít dribbling and you have one second left to tell us more about Arthurís Seat starting now.

CF: Oh...



NP: And Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation! You just want Clement to have another point! No, half a second Clement on Arthurís Seat starting now.

CF: Go up!


NP: So at the end of that round Clement Freud got a number of points including one for speaking as the whistle went. And he has now taken the lead. Derek your turn to begin, the subject bridge. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

DN: If I was going to talk about any bridge, being here in Edinburgh, of course I would talk about the fourth bridge which I will do...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of talk about.

NP: Yes that is right, well listened Paul. You have 55 seconds to tell us something about bridge now starting now.

PM: Bridge is a card game that I donít know how to play!


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation, he stopped.

NP: He stopped yes, he didnít know how to play.

DN: No.

NP: And so he stopped. What a clever man!

PM: I recognised my limitations there!

NP: Fifty-two seconds Derek, bridge starting now.

DN: I suppose really the bridge I find most moving is the Bridge of Sighs which goes across from the Doges Palace to the terrible prisons beyond. How many poor souls have gone through that..


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Twenty-eight!


NP: What I like to do there is give Paul a bonus point because we enjoyed the challenge, for his fantasy comment and Derek Nimmo gets a point of course for being interrupted, keeps the subject, 39 seconds, bridge starting now.

DN: If one was in Florence or Florenzes as the locals tend to call it, I suppose crossing the Amo..


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: His second supposition. He supposed before.

NP: You supposed before, Iím very sorry Derek. So Clementís got in, 34 seconds, bridge starting now.

CF: I have some affection for Horatio who said "now who will stand on either hand and hold the bridge with me?" Feeling that would be a very painful process. Eli Colbertson invented a new form of bridge in the olden days when there was auction and contract. And this great American exponent of the card game decided that bidding could be a sort of cheating process...


NP: Eddie Izzard challenged.

EI: Two As. As. I donít know whether thatís legal. But you said an a before. A something and then there was an A something later. But I mean that is repetition of... thatís...

DN: I think thatís a bit mean!

EI: Iím just starting at this!

NP: I think if you carry on, I think...

CF: I know you are!

NP: ... youíll be challenging for apostrophes in a minute! I mean...

EI: I take it youíre not supposed to challenge for that? Iím very sorry!

CF: There are only 26 letters in the alphabet and one has got to sort of repeat them every now and then.

EI: Thatís why, no-one.. I didnít realise...

NP: I think an occasional repetition of A...

EI: I just wanted to give you a point Clement!

CF: Thank you!

NP: I donít... I think you actually wanted a point for yourself but...

EI: Well, either way! You know.

NP: Clement, incorrect challenge, nine seconds bridge starting now.

CF: There is a coven of people in Earls Court who play bridge quite fiercely and for serious money, using clubs, hearts, spades and diamonds...


NP: Once again Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point. Heís increased his lead but itís still a very close contest. And Clement itís your turn to begin, the subject ectoplasm. Will you tell us something about that subject starting now.

CF: I once went to a seance in the Wigmoor Wall where a medium said that he knew everything and had a message for someone called Bridget and said "I can see it forming". It was ectoplasm which he...


EI: There were two its. Is that bad?


CF: No, thatís good! Good!

EI: How, how many letters do there have to be in the word before I can...

NP: No, no... Obviously...

EI: Iím just working my way up here!

NP: Youíve got the sharpest ears of anybody whoís ever played the game Eddie! But correct challenge yes...

EI: I apologise for everything here.

NP: So Eddie correct challenge, 44 seconds are left for you, tell us something about ectoplasm starting now.

EI: I bought a lump of ectoplasm from a man in a street once. He was selling it for fourpence a bag and I thought "yeah.."


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: He said I twice!


EI: I did it on purpose just to annoy Clement!

NP: Yes I know! I would say hoisted in your own petard there Eddie!

EI: Well I know that one letter thing can be repeated but two letter things are no!

NP: Heís got back it you on that one Eddie, so we give him a point...

CF: No, no, no...

EI: Hold on, hold on! I challenged on A and I was not allowed that so an I shouldnít be allowed. I challenged on it and that was allowed. So um...

NP: All right...

EI: If I..

NP: We wonít charge anything in that case.

EI: Thank you very much.

NP: And weíll restrain ourselves...

EI: My lawyer just advised me on that!

NP: Thirty-seven seconds, ectoplasm, Eddie starting now.

EI: The ectoplasm was green and lived at... oh bugger!


NP: Paul yes?

PM: Sort of hesitation.

NP: Sort of? Definitely hesitation. Thirty-three seconds Paul, ectoplasm starting now.

PM: Ectoplasm or as I prefer to pronounce it landrover...


PM: ...is a subject that often appears out of peopleís ears during mysterious sessions of er seance like...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Ah! Hesitation!

NP: Yes there was a hesitation.

PM: That was my pronunciation of orange!

DN: Ah!

NP: You start being too clever Paul, you see, you trip up. This game does..

PM: I can see where you were fooled!


NP: Yes! Right, 20 seconds Derek, ectoplasm, starting now.

DN: In Noel Cowardís Blythe Spirit, Madam McCarty smells ectoplasm in the seance. It is a very moldy horrible stink and she found it quite revolting and so did everybody else who took part in the many productions that have been going on of this particular piece of theatre over many years...


NP: Eddie Izzard challenged.

EI: Oh sorry, I take it back.

NP: Why?

EI: Well it was of, there were two ofs, production of... and I donít, I, oh yeah forget it. No I kill myself now.

NP: All right, we wonít charge anything. Two seconds left Derek, ectoplasm starting now.

DN: I was sitting in a darkened room and the cetoplasm suddenly manifested itself...


NP: Well itís a very close contest. Derek Nimmo spoke as the whistle went, gained an extra point. Heís equal with Paul Merton, two behind Clement Freud and then Eddie Izzard only two behind them.

EI: Am I last now again?

NP: Youíre last again, yes, but itís very close, itís...

EI: Paul can I do a deal with you? Weíll just interrupt each other back up to the top?


NP: Yes!

EI: It worked well last time!

PM: I think, I think weíve got to give it a sense of suspencse though!

EI: Yes.

NP: Thatís right, you see how the new boys gang up on the old guard. Right Eddie itís your turn to begin, the subject is being done. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

EI: Being done is a great thing to happen to you. I once was a piece of toast and I remember going into the grill, and I thought "oooohhh I wonder when Iím going to be done?" I was watching the clock and it was ticking away and I was being done too much on one side. And so I flipped over to the other side...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of side.

NP: Yes.

PM: Unfortunately.

NP: Side is a four letter word so we allow that one. Um Paul youíve got in with 43 seconds, the subject is being done and you start now.

PM: Rory Bremner is somebody who finds it impossible not to do an impression of the person heís speaking to. And he does a particular mimic of me which is very poor, I think. But he will insist on doing it and I get quite irritated by this. Because he makes me sound like some kind of yob whoís selling vegetables down Petticoat Lane somewhere in London. And I realise that I, my accent is a little bit like that but I donít also... ohh...


NP: So Eddie you challenged?

EI: Ah just stuff really.

NP: Hesitation?

EI: Yes thatís the word.

NP: Seventeen seconds for you Eddie, being done, starting now.

EI: I was once done by a piece of toast who came...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

EI: Oh...

CF: Weíve had that.

NP: Yes youíve had the toast, you should have gone off on a different...

EI: I thought toast was the word but it isnít, itís done, isnít it?

NP: Itís done yes. Clement, 15 seconds, being done, starting now.

CF: I found this on a menu in Papua New Guinea, being done. I ordered it and they said "how?" I said "well"...


NP: Eddie challenged.

EI: Two saids.

NP: Yes.

EI: They said, I said.

NP: Mmmm...

CF: Four letter word!

NP: Five seconds to go, being done, starting now.


NP: Clement you challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, Clement, four seconds, being done starting now.

CF: It is better being done than having it done to you...


NP: Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point and he is now in the lead and the other three are almost equal in second place. Um Paul your turn to begin, now can you talk on being undone, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PM: I remember a very embarrassing incident when I was at school. I was 12 years old and I still didnít know how to do up my tie. When I left the house one morning my mother would do up the apparatus which was around my neck...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Two dos.

NP: Two dos.

CF: Do up.

NP: Do up yes. Um, Derek youíve got in with 48 seconds, being undone starting now.

DN: I remember when I was at school, I had a very embarrassing experience when I couldnít undo, or even do up, my shoes. And...


NP: Paul.

PM: Nostalgia!

NP: Thatís not one of the rules in the game. Can you er...

PM: No I canít!

NP: He did say do twice but..

PM: He said do twice.

NP: Yes he did. But you didnít get it so Derek keeps the subject, a point for that, 42 seconds, being undone starting now.

DN: If one was undone in the 18th century, very mer.. often it meant...


NP: Paul you got in there.

PM: Deviation there, he sort of went all over the place.

NP: Well I call that hesitation.

EI: I was going to buzz for hesitation.

NP: Yes. I would agree there. Do you want hesitation or not?

PM: Iíll have hesitation.

EI: All right.

DN: Are you actually competing Nicholas?

NP: Being undone, 37 seconds Paul starting now.

PM: There I was, walking down Piccadilly Circus, 3.00 in the morning with my trousers around my ankles. Oh what a laugh it was! The police came along and said "do you know what youíre doing?" I said...


NP: Eddie Izzard challenged.

EI: Two wases. There I was walking down the thing and...

NP: Yes all right Eddie. I heard, I listened.

EI: I noticed everybody stared at me with that look of "who are you?" Um...

NP: Who are you. Twenty-nine seconds, being undone is the subject Eddie starting now.

EI: Being undone is a state of well.. oh er argh..


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation Clement, being undone, still the same subject, 26 seconds starting now.

CF: You can be undone morally or psychologically. And I think the previous, the first of these options, which needs a psychiatrist is more fun than the other requiring a butler. For instance your trousers, socks or shirt requires attention...


NP: Eddie Izzard.

EI: Two requires.

CF: No. Requires, requiring.

NP: Yes, he said required before...

EI: Iím wrong and I should die!

NP: Donít wilt! Seven seconds, being undone starting now.

CF: In Papua New Guinea I saw...


EI: Bloody hell! I were just buzzing for fun.

NP: Yes it was in the other round he said Papua New Guinea. Clementís got another point, five seconds, being undone, starting now.

CF: The restaurant manager came up and said "how would you like your being undone?" I...


NP: We now go into the last round!

CF: Surprise!

NP: Yes and Clement Freudís in the lead and the others are all equal in second place. Derek Nimmo itís your turn to begin, the subject, Mars. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: Mars the Roman God of War. Thereís a wonderful picture in the Edinburgh Art Gallery of Mars with Venus. And he has his hand underneath one of her ah...


NP: Eddie... oh dear!

EI: A thoughtful hesitation.

NP: A thoughtful hesitation. Yes.

EI: So is it breast you were going to say? Is that a problem thing these days to say?

CF: For him, yes.

NP: Itís obviously a problem for Derek, yes. He was searching for it and couldnít find it!


NP: Probably...

PM: What a lonely existence it must be!

NP: Yes! It may be some reflection on his age, we donít know. So Eddie you have a correct challenge, there are 51 seconds on Mars... oh thatís a nice thought isnít it. On the subject of Mars starting now.

EI: I once went to Mars on a small spaceship called Steven. I was travelling up because I thought it would be fun to see Mars, the big red planet, the one that goes completely around and spins across the fish that live in the trees. I am talking complete bollocks of course. But thatís okay because itís about Mars the big planet...


EI: Oh God!

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of planet unfortunately.

NP: Yes the big planet yes. What a pity! I wanted to hear more about the fish in the trees. There probably are fish that live in trees up there. Paul...

PM: I think science would give an argument on that one!

NP: That was a good cue for a laugh, wasnít it. And thatís one of the reasons Iím here. Mars..

PM: I knew there was some reason!

NP: Twenty-nine seconds Paul, for you to tell us something about the subject of Mars, starting now.

PM: Like Eddie I travelled to Mars. Unfortunately I didnít have a space rocket so I had to use a fruit bowl which I specially adapted with mechanisms which are too difficult to go into now. I circled around the planet and Looked down on it and saw the red inhospitable dust. And landed and walked around and then died unfortunately because I hadnít brought any oxygen with me. Reincarnated some five minutes later as an old woman called Mrs Palmer living in Leicester, I saw that the milkman outside hadnít used...


NP: Eddie Izzard challenged.

EI: Hesitation for vague deviation.

NP: Hesitation?

EI: Challenge! Challenge! Sorry. Iím not talking English, am I? Oh I donít know, give it to him! Quick!

NP: I think as itís the last round...

EI: No, no, thatís pity! I donít want pity!

NP: There are two seconds but you go as long as you like...

EI: Oh really?

NP: ...on Mars starting now.

EI: Mars is .... lovely. And I didnít hesitate there even though people thought that I hesitated but I didnít. Actually Iíve repeated hesitate, thatís bad. But um...


NP: Yes! Iíll give you the final score. By the way it was a very close run contest but out in the lead with 19 points was Clement Freud! We say that he is the winner this week! We do hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. It only remains for me to thank our four delightful panelists, er, Clement Freud, Paul Merton, Derek Nimmo and Eddie Izzard. And also Miriam Jones for keeping the score for me so well. We thank the creator of the game Ian Messiter for having kept us in work for so long. And our producer Sarah Smith for keeping us in order as best she can. And from all of us here, until the next time we're on the air, good-bye.