starring DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and THORA HIRD, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 1 December 1976)

NOTE: Thora Hird's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Our second programme is from 1976. The show still has the formal and somewhat old fashioned introduction by a BBC announcer, following a brief exerpt from the Minute Waltz. Again we have three of the original regular players of the game, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. And a special guest, that wonderful and distinctive actress, Thora Hird. She played the game in her own inimitable way. And the others were initially generous and tolerant, which they often were with a first-time player. So on one occasion she actually keeps going for a whole minute without interruption. It's ploys like these in Just A Minute, which are adopted instinctively, which helps to build the fun we endeavour to generate. Peter Jones who is remembered by the fans of the show for his many one-line witty comments is more positive and forceful in the early editions of the programme, and comes up with many amusing comments in this recording, including some sparky exchanges with Thora Hird. One of my responsibilities as chairman is to see that a less experienced player or guest is adequately integrated into the show. And on occasions I showed a great deal of kindness to Thora. This can lead to a certain amount of chaos on occasions, after the regulars, after their initial generosity to the guest, begin to resent this if they think I have gone too far. It's all done in a very humorous way, but it obscures a deep-seated desire to excel themselves. the competitive spirit is part of the overall success of the show. In fact it can on occasions lead to a rather friendly argument and banter, as happened in this recording, which I endeavour to turn into fun. And it helps to make each programme different. You will note in this recording I was on one or two occasions a little hesitant or less fluent in giving the seconds available after a challenge. This is because the BBC had not yet invested in a stopwatch which counted down from 60 seconds, maybe in the 70s there still wasn't one on the market! So I was still obliged on every occasion to subtract the seconds used away from 60 to give the amount of time still available to the next speaker. It did wonders for my mental arithmetic but did not always make for the fluency of delivery one endeavours to display. So if there's any hesitancy on my part in giving the seconds available in this recording, I crave your indulgence and hope you enjoy the show.


ANNOUNCER: We present Clement Freud, Thora Hird, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.

NP: Thank you, thank you very much indeed, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. Well as you have just heard, we welcome back into our guest chair this week Thora Hird who was so successful in our series last year to play and compete on unequal terms with these three tough regular players Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud.


NP: Someone has buzzed already, it's Derek Nimmo. What is it Derek?

DEREK NIMMO: Well deviation, Miss Thora Hird hasn't been on the programme before. So if she hasn't been on the programme before, she couldn't have been successful.

THORA HIRD: But if I had been on the programme, I would have been!

NP: Well Thora you do...

CLEMENT FREUD: But we can't welcome you back!

DN: You can't welcome somebody, you can't welcome somebody back if they haven't been on the programme before, so deviation!

NP: You're absolutely right Derek, I'm glad you're observant. I just threw that one in to see if you were awake. Anyway welcome Thora and youíll have my support in anything you do with these three horrible men. And weíll begin the show... oh yes Iím going to ask them to speak of course as usual for Just A Minute if they can on the subject I will give them without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. And weíll begin the show with Clement Freud and the subject to start with is poverty. Clement will you talk about poverty for 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Poverty is something that Iím currently enjoying if that is the right verb. When the Government asked whether or not theyíre successful they do tend to say in one thing we have done precisely what we promised. We have lowered the standard of everybodyís living and at the same time they mention my name. The extraordinary thing about poverty is that it...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of extraordinary.

NP: Yes.

DN: Extraordinary thing about the Government and extraordinary thing about poverty.

NP: Yes Iím afraid thatís...

CF: An extraordinary Government.

NP: So thatís a correct challenge Derek, you get a point for that. And you take over the subject and there are um 38 seconds left on poverty starting now.

DN: My goodness I have known poverty! I have just come back from the mystic East and there when I was wandering through Calcutta seeing all these bodies huddled up lying on the pavement. One realised what real impoverishment meant. Ladies and gentlemen sitting here in the audience tonight, please donate money to Oxfam, Save the Children Fund, any worthwhile international charity so that this kind of poverty can be alleviated throughout the world.


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: This is the second party political broadcast that weíve had! And I donít think it ought to be allowed to go on!

NP: I thought that that one was a political broadcast! This was an appeal!

PJ: Well I know but...

NP: And I must say Derek Nimmo doesnít appeal very much to me! So er....

PJ: Itís supposed to be light entertainment! Thatís what they describe it as!

NP: Well itís rather difficult on poverty isnít it really!

PJ: Yes!

NP: And actually he wasnít technically deviating in the game from the subject of poverty Peter. So he gets a point for a wrong challenge, he keeps the subject. There are 12 seconds left starting now.

DN: Actually I think poverty is rather a poor subject. And therefore...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Heís no right to criticise the subject!

NP: But he can make a comment if he wishes. It was quite a good one actually! And therefore itís another wrong challenge.

PJ: I see. I got the impression you were not on his side at the beginning. But obviously Iíve erred there.

NP: I always try and be fair...

PJ: I know you try, I know, yes.

NP:... however unpleasant all you three are. There are eight seconds left on poverty with you Derek starting now.

DN: Rags and tatters I find thrown along the railways of the international waterways and municipal forn....


NP: I think you might say he was saved by the whistle! He was running out of...

DN: Train whistle actually!

NP: ... steam and words and everything else and he almost collapsed and the whistle saved him which of course tells us that 60 seconds are up and whomever it is speaking or in this case attempting to speak at that moment gains an extra point. It was Derek Nimmo and I donít need to tell you heís got all the points in that round. And heís naturally in the lead. And Derek we come to you to start the second round. The subject is ash. Would you talk on that for Just A Minute starting now.

DN: One remembers well the Wimbledon Finals. Arthur Ashe who very nearly won. What an exciting game that was. And then one thinks of Oscar Ash that great musical figure and theatrical man of Britain who died some few years ago. But when one thinks of Nicholas Parsons...


DN: ... who was a founder member of the non smoking society of Great Britain...

NP: Clement you challenged long before.

CF: It was repetition of Parsons.

NP: Yes.

CF: I mean one Parsons, one Parsons is almost definitely enough.

NP: But you have a correct challenge as well Clement and you have 26 seconds on ash starting now.

CF: Ash, the initials A-S-H stands for Action on Smoking and Health. And a very splendid committee this is on which I have the privillege to serve. The first time I ever went to them they met in Westminster Hall and I talked endlessly about the day I went to a hypnotist who thought he could cure me of my allergy. He was a very seedy shoddy mansion in the hinterland of Harley Street...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Heís no longer talking about Ash. Heís talking about his allergy.

NP: Yes I think he had gone sufficiently off the subject for you to...

CF: I was just coming back on it you know.

NP: I know! You didnít get back quick enough so I count that as deviation. One and a half seconds left with you Derek on ash starting now.

DN: The oaky ash, the elm...


NP: Well weíve had a party political broadcast, an appeal for those in need, and now um er an expression of something very worthwhile in our society. All those horrible smokers! Um, we now move to Peter Jones. And Peter the subject is keeping cool. Youíre obviously a regular listener sir and you know how they lose their cool regularly in the programme. Peter Jones will try and talk for Just A Minute on keeping cool starting now.

PJ: Well it is awfully important if one is taking part in any kind of competition to keep calm or alternatively cool. Because sometimes one is thrown by the other competitors or alternatively by the chairman...


PJ: ... umpire, referee...

NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Iím afraid that was the second alternatively.

NP: Mmmm, Iím afraid so Peter.

PJ: Sorry that was a repetition.

NP: So thatís a correct challenge to Clement, a point to him, and 44 seconds are left for you Clement on keeping cool starting now.

CF: One of the best ways of keeping cool is to put a vast number of clothes on to you early in the morning so that as the sun rises towards noon and the temperature gets hotter and evermore warmer...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Actually the sun normally rises a little before noon so that was deviation.

NP: I think he actually said rises towards noon.

CF: Yes. Go back to Calcutta!

NP: And whether you can say 7 or 8, I mean even 5 o'clock is towards noon. Well itís not away from...

CF: No itís away from noon.

NP: What's that?

CF: AM or PM?

NP: AM Iím talking about Iím sorry. So Iím with you Clement. Donít try and talk yourself out of it! Youíve got a point for a wrong challenge and 35 seconds left on keeping cool starting now.

CF: Shoes, socks, pants, cammieknickers, shirts, ties, jackets, jerseys, all come off in order to keep cool. And this is the great secret. Put on as many upper and outer garments as youíre able to summon. Open your wardrobe, take out your drawers, call out the fire brigade...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of drawers.

NP: No, he didnít mention drawers before.

PJ: Oh he didnít?

CF: Cammieknickers.

PJ: Ah! Cammieknickers yes. I associate cammieknickers with drawers, I donít know why.

NP: If you wear cammieknickers then you probably would Peter. There are 13 seconds left for keeping cool Clement starting now.

CF: Currently weíre keeping cool via centigrade when we used to use Fahrenheit or even Reirmohr. And the astonishing thing is that you keep exactly the same coolness which ever grade you use...


NP: Well keeping cool right to the end of the round when the whistle went was Clement Freud. He gained that extra point, he got a lot of other points in the round and heís one point behind Derek Nimmo who is in the lead. And Thora Hird weíre not only going to hear from you but youíre going to start the next round. Thora the subject weíve chosen to start with you is jams. Would you try and talk on jams for Just A Minute starting now.

TH: Yeah well the word that youíve just mentioned now of course is a word thatís known to myself and to any lady in the audience of my own age and of course to ladies a lot younger than I am. That is a commodity where we do go out donít we and we start to collect things, getting our hands scratched and all the rest of it when it's blackberries and make what you just said and put it in jars. And itís much more expensive than if you go and buy it. But that word also applies to the two stone sides of a fireplace which Iím sure you know Nicholas. And of course it does apply to the clay patch that runs under a mine. Thatís another thing! Also if youíre trying to walk through a door, particularly a swing door and you go like that itís done that as well you see because that jams as well. And my word, my dictionary isnít half thumbed wandering through a lot of words you might ask me today. But jams and that is the first time Iím using the word is somthing that Iíve made all my married life. And thereís a lot of ways you can do it. And Iíve just been making apple what you can...


NP: Well Thora Hird joining the game for the very first time, not having competed before took the subject of jams, kept going for 60 seconds without being interrupted. And so she not only got a point for speaking when the whistle went but a bonus point for not being interrupted. So Thora you have two points at the end of that round and the audience appreciated your jammy dissertation. Um weíre back with you Clement to begin and the subject now is bones. Would you talk for Just A Minute on that starting now.

CF: In this country when a man is very tall he tends to be called Tiny. Should he be bald they name him Curly and so on. And I once came across an extraordinary chap who was obese, obtuse, fat, larded, and his name was Bones. He was a bouncer in a night club. And when I came up to him he said to me ďI know judo, kung fu, karate and three other Chinese wordsĒ which I thought was really clever. I ran down the street feeling that once again I had met my match. In view of...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: I think Curly hesitated there!

NP: You were right Peter and you have the subject, and it is bones and there are 25 seconds left starting now.

PJ: Itís one of the few words that reminds, that er...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Um...

NP: You canít think of a nickname for him?

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Ah not a good nickname! There are 23 seconds for you with bones again Clement starting now.

CF: Pork, veal, beef, chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, rabbit, hare, pigeon, even small singing birds all have bones which some do others less so benefit towards a stockpot with which you make delicious nourishing...


NP: Um Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Thats er, canít be right, can it? Benefit towards, benefit towards a stockpot.

NP: You mean a sort of deviation...

PJ: It's ungrammatical.

CF: Pedantic!

NP: A deviation of grammar.

CF: It's pedantic!

NP: A deviation of grammar.

PJ: Well I thought it was yes.

CF: It wasnít ungrammatical.

NP: It was ungrammatical, it was, no, not even colloquial English. I think deviation of grammar yes and Peter you have one and a half seconds on bones starting now.

PJ: If you boil them in a pressure cooker you get...


NP: However you interpret it certainly Clement Freud was struggling once he got all those birds and animals into the pot. Peter you were speaking when the whistle went, you gain an extra point. Youíve moved into third place just ahead of Thora Hird and Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo are equal in the lead. And Derek weíre back to you to start. The subject: fortune, and would you talk on that one for Just A Minute starting now.

DN: Some people say that oneís face is the same thingís fortune. Actually I have never subscribed to that view. Because when one looks around at the panel here and sees the wealthy people, old Curly sitting there, his pockets bulging with all kinds of jam which I suppose one might also call money but that is not really his fortune...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I agree with that. Clement, 38 seconds on fortune with you starting now.

CF: Iím awfully glad to be given the word fortune because the lack thereof is poverty which I was trying to describe earlier before I was very rudely interrupted. My point about this quality is that itís immensely time consuming. If one is rich or has a fortune people always know exactly what to buy and what they can do. And it is lack of money or resources which takes so many hours, days and weeks wondering whether one ought to get a new suit or perhaps pay the gas bill. Deliberating on the alternative or relative merits of different bills, accounts, receipts, statements...


NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged with half a second to go. What...

DN: Repetition of bill actually, gas bill and then the other bill.

NP: Yes thatís right, there was more than one bill. We are very socially conscious this week on the programme!

CF: Thatís what poverty is all about, having more than one bill!

NP: Yes.

PJ: Quite right! Quite right!

NP: Thereís only half a second left Derek and the subject is fortune starting now.

DN: I sat in a fortune teller tent...


NP: Well Derek was lucky to get in with half a second to go and gained an extra point and heís taken the lead again. Peter Jones, weíre with you to start and the subject is adding it up. Oh dear from poverty, bills, everything, weíre really on. Can you talk on that for Just A Minute starting now.

PJ: Iíve never had a lot of difficulty with this because thereís never been enough of it to give me any trouble. But Iíve noticed that most people now have calculators, small things in their pockets with a lot of buttons that light up and everything. I suppose they canít really add up in their heads any more can they? That tends to be er something thatís been happening er to everybody. Not only the children at school that carry these appliances around with them in their breast pocket next to their ballpoint pens and their pencils and so forth but they also seem to have discarded the little beads that they used in the east particularly. I expect probably Derek would be able to tell us all about this, they have these things on wires...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Just confirming that I would be able to tell you all about it.

PJ: Thanks very much!

NP: You mean you still count with beads, do you?

DN: In the east, if you were listening, you donít listen very much I know Nicholas, but he did talk about the east.

NP: Yes I did hear the east...

PJ: I didnít mean they paid with the beads, I meant they calculated with the beads...

DN: Calculated with the beads, yes.

PJ: It was very very worthy originally.

NP: But still in the kindergartens they still use the old abacus with the beads.

PJ: Do they really?

NP: Yes.

PJ: Yes well you were at kindergarten of course more recently than I was.

NP: Thatís perfectly true! I wonít deny it!

PJ: I know you were.

NP: There are 20 seconds... What was your challenge? It wasnít a very good one.

PJ: He was 18 before he left!

DN: It was a sort of...

NP: It was incorrect challenge, I mean it was a...

DN: It was really...

NP: It was more of an interruption.

DN: An interruption rather than a challenge, yes I quite agree.

PJ: An interruption yes.

DN: A rather boring one.

PJ: But youíre very welcome Derek any time you know.

NP: So weíre adding up the points and thereís another point to Peter there because itís an incorrect challenge and there are 20 seconds left Peter on adding it up starting now.

PJ: Yes adding it up, what else can I say about this fascinating subject which seems to be boring the hell out of everybody I can see. Well now this adding it up, letís now pause for a moment. No we're not allowed to do that, weíre not allowed to reflect are we on this programme. We must just go on talking however rubbishy...


NP: Well Peter got some more points in that round and heís moving up on Clement Freud who is now still one behind our leader Derek Nimmo. And Thora Hird your turn to begin. The subject is the things in my handbag...

TH: Oh! Have I got half an hour instead of a minute do you think?

NP: No but you have to got to do it without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

TH: All right! Well I can do that because...


PJ: May I interrupt just for a moment. Iíd like to ask this because it fascinates me. I notice that last time Nicholas told us the score you were at the bottom. And I couldnít quite understand that since you are the only one of us who has been able to speak for a whole minute without deviating or interrupting or repeating or anything.

TH: Well I think I can explain that you see Peter because I keep forgetting to press my button because Iím so interested in listening to all you say. I will press it though in a bit.

PJ: Yes.

NP: On the different rounds youíve all been getting points where youíve been challenging correctly or incorrectly. Thoraís just got two points for speaking for...

PJ: Is that all you get? You only get two points?

NP: Thatís all, yes, we donít give her 10 or something.

PJ: I see.

NP: And put her in the lead, no.

PJ: Quite.

CF: Perhaps we should.

PJ: Well thereís no incentive for me is there? I might as well go on interrupting!

NP: Thora you have 60 seconds to talk on things in my handbag starting now.

TH: Well we were once at the studios and we were waiting...

PJ: Iím not going to interrupt her for that er, Iím not going to. I donít think it would be fair!

TH: Well you talk about things in your handbag!

PJ: Well I left it in the er...

NP: Peter Jones....

PJ: ... narration suite, hanging up next to the raincoat as a matter of fact.

NP: What was your challenge?

PJ: It wasnít a challenge, it was just a comment.

NP: Well you stopped her anyway.

PJ: No I didnít, she stopped. I couldnít stop her!


PJ: I just made a comment. I said Iím not going to interrupt....

NP: Well all right, Clement Freud has challenged.

PJ: ... just because she said er you see.

CF: It seems to be deviation from the way we used to play this game.

NP: If you were to say hesitation Iíd say Thoraís hesitated for quite a long time.

CF: Ah, I lose do I?

TH: Well thatís only because Iím polite Mr Chairman.

PJ: Quite right!

NP: Yes well Iíll tell you what weíll do....

DN: A rather unusual quality on this particular programme!

NP: As youíre so polite and you havenít played it and theyíre being so wicked as to interrupt you without even challenging Thora, Iím going to give you a point.

TH: Why not?

NP: For an incorrect interchallenge because...

PJ: Thank you!

NP: Yes...

PJ: Right!

TH: Thatís fair isnít it!

NP: And tell you that you have 48 seconds to talk about the things in my handbag starting now.

TH: The things in your handbag? Or in mine?

NP: No.

TH: Donít call this a repeat because I started this before. We were once at the studios, we were waiting for someone to be led. Just for fun, there were six of us and just for fun we said...


NP: Um Thora Hird has challenged.

DN: Well I buzzed it for her actually, repetition, so she gets a point and can go on.

TH: Whose side are you on?

DN: I buzzed her own button.

NP: I know you did.

DN: Just giving her a point you see I thought it was rather nice, collapsing...

TH: You see...

NP: You would have been much more gentlemanly if youíd let the listeners think that sheíd buzzed it herself.

DN: Oh all right.

NP: But anyway Thora....

PJ: I donít think you should interfere with Thora Hirdís button!

TH: Thatís a man you see, thatís a man all over...

DN: Itís her button that counts! It doesnít matter who buzzes it!

NP: Your button, you were interrupted by er...

TH: But I canít interrupt myself! Can I?

NP: Itís been known to happen! And youíve been interrupted by the buzzer and the light tells me that you interrupted and you challenged in other words so you have a point for that.

TH: Yeah!

NP: Because you inter... challenged.

TH: I say do forgive me Mr Chairman! What a funny game!

NP: And you have 40 seconds to continue on the things in my handbag starting now.

TH: Yeah well the late Edith Evans would have done this so much better than I. ďA handbag?Ē But we did play this game and what we were doing, we were putting a shilling down to see who had the most things in their handbag. And if I tell you I had 131 items in my handbag youíll wonder! Or at least you wonít! My husband once said to me if you had to carry that...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged you.

CF: No, I would wonder.

TH: Yes!

CF: Yes.

TH: So what do you get for that?

NP: So what is your challenge? This is developing into a very funny game! What is...

CF: Thatís for you to sort out!

NP: What is your challenge?

CF: There was no challenge! It was a remark!

NP: In that case it was just an interruption and Thora gets a point for being interrupted.

DN: You seem to have lost total control over this. I mean heís just going completely to pieces.

TH: I think heís just sticking up for me a little bit because he realises Iím the only serious one on the show!

NP: Yes!

TH: tell him! Do you want to know what was in...

NP: No, no, you can tell us now because you got a wrong challenge and you have another point Thora...

TH: Yes.

NP: And you have 20 seconds left to talk about the things in my handbag starting now.

TH: Yes and if I tell you in that...


NP: Derek Nimmoís challenged.

DN: Well she has said if I tell you actually several times. It was rather mean but it was just a reflex action, but more repetition Iím sorry.

NP: As she got a point for interruption from Peter Jones and one from Clement Freud Iím going to allow her to have another point for that interruption from you.

DN: Absolutely right! Yes lovely yes!

NP: And so she has 18 seconds to continue on the things in my handbag but tell us about a few of the things not how great it would be and use that phrase again you see starting now.

TH: Well I thought I would Mr Chairman because I am so relieved now that I have so few seconds to speak about it...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: No that was Clement Freud pressed my buzzer!

DN: Mr Chairman can we have a new rule about people pressing each others buzzers?

NP: So Clement Freud pressed your buzzer but what was your challenge?

PJ: I donít have a challenge.

NP: Well in that case itís another point to Thora Hird. Thora you have 15, 16 seconds on the things in my handbag starting now.

TH: Well Mr Parsons I hope I can take 16 seconds to tell you Iíve forgotten what was in my handbag...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Repetition of Mr and um seconds. Mr Parsons...

NP: Yes and you donít want to repeat Mr Parsons, I quite agree, so no I will give it to you Derek...

TH: Thatís right.

NP: And tell you that you have 12 seconds on the things in my handbag starting now.

DN: Interestingly enough I keep in my handbag of course my nail varnish, and my compact, my little comb, my brush...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: What of?

CF: You said my four times.

NP: Yes he did...

TH: Canít you give somebody a question on mind your own business?

NP: Yes. But Clement you had a correct challenge and you have five seconds on the things in my handbag dear starting now.

CF: Cigarettes, matches, pipe tobacco, pouch...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Deviation.

NP: Why?

PJ: Because I know quite well he doesnít have cigarettes in his handbag...

CF: I donít have a handbag either! Itís not deviation!

NP: I know he doesnít have cigarettes because like me heís a founder member of ASH.

PJ: Exactly!

CF: I donít have a handbag so it is a hypothetical question.

NP: His question wasnít hypothetical...

CF: No, your question to me.

DN: Come on Nick! Rally boy! Rally!

NP: Your comments might have been hypothetical but his challenge was definite and I allow it.

PJ: Thank you very much.

NP: Because it was positive...

CF: I kept to the subject!

NP: What?

CF: I kept to the subject!

PJ: No, but you invented it! You said youíd got something in your handbag which you didnít have because you didnít have a handbag. And even if you did have you wouldnít have that in it!

NP: I would like to hear what Peter Jones has got in his handbag anyway and thereís one and a half seconds Peter to try and tell us starting now.

PJ: Iíve got a bright red apple!


NP: Right! So at the end of that round, oh, the situationís extremely close. You might be surprised, or you might not be surprised to hear that Thora Hird has leapt forward very dramatically! I donít know who helped her! But being new to the game it is a surprise! And sheís actually overtaken Peter Jones. Sheís one ahead of Peter Jones and sheís only two, no sheís only one behind Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo who are equal in the lead. Nine, eight, seven respectively. Clement Freud weíre back with you to start and the subject is keeping above water. Would you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: This is something thatís almost impossible to do if you sink or drown. Many people have attempted it. And when the lifeguards have come along and said ďyou should have kept above waterĒ, they say that is a typically pointless and stupid question such as Nicholas Parsons might ask contestants on Just A Minute, that funny game invented by...


CF: What was your name again?

NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Heís forgotten the funny man whoís invented the funny game!

NP: And so he paused and you came in Derek and Ian Messiterís gone very red and there are 39 seconds left for keeping above water starting now.

DN: I suppose one of the best ways of keeping above water is to get into a boat. It seems to me fairly simple. And then off you go raring across the lake, waving to your chums standing by the shore, lifting your parasol above your head, opening your handbag and taking out your little red apple. And when you munch into it you think of all the jam you could have made from that little fruit that I have just mentioned and the poverty that has been alleviated...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of little.

NP: Yes Iím afraid.

CF: Little apple and little...

NP: You got every other subject in but you did repeat little in the process.

DN: I do that all the time, not to worry.

NP: Little red apple and little. And now Clement Freud has caught up with you again and Iíve just received a message that this will have to be the last round because we have very little time left and there are 15 seconds left Clement keeping above water starting now.

CF: A helicopter or an aeroplane are other things in which you can take a seat and keep above water. Indeed 30,000 feet or more is the sort of height which you could attain if the atmosphere was correct and your pilot was geared...


NP: Clement Freud concentrated, kept going, was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and now I will give you the final score. Peter Jones came in fourth place and but he... whatís funny about that? He does sometimes come last. But he was only one point behind our guest Thora Hird who without any help from the chairman did extraordinarily well. She was two points behind Derek Nimmo who held the lead for a very long time. But he lost it on the last fence to Clement Freud who is this weekís winner, Clement Freud. We hope that youíve enjoyed listening to Just A Minute and will want to tune in again when five of us will take to the air and play this impossible and delightful game of Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here now goodbye.


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