starring PAUL MERTON, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and MARIA McERLANE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 24 February 1996)

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 introduce the four talented performers who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We welcome back two of our senior players who have been with the show since it first began, thatís Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud. We welcome another regular whoís added such a boost to the continuing progress and popularity of the show, thatís Paul Merton. And someone whoís only playing the game for the second time, that is Maria McErlane. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Jolanta Zbucki. And on this show she will keep a score, blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the fine city of Nottingham. And Iím going to ask our four players to speak if they can as usual on the subject I will give them and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. We're going to begin the show this week with Clement Freud. And Clement the subject is goose, an apt subject for Nottingham. Will you talk about it in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: In Noel Cowardís piece...


NP: Oh! Paul that was the quickest challenge weíve ever had in the beginning of Just A Minute. And yes?

PAUL MERTON: A hesitation.

NP: A hesitation. What happened? Unlike you Clement to dry so rapidly.

CF: I wanted Paul to come in on this!

NP: Right, 56 seconds are available for you Paul, you have a correct challenge so you get a point for that, you take over the subject, goose, starting now.

PM: I would like to leave a hesitation here so Clement can come in.


NP: Ah Clement Freud has challenged. If we go on playing like this thereíll be no show, but theyíll all get a lot of points! Clement you got a hesitation, 53 seconds, goose, starting now.

CF: In a bar on the Piccolo Marina, life began for Mrs Kingston Brewster, a man came up and goosed her! There are also brent, grey, laughing and barnacle geese, and I would very much like to recommend for Christmas, goose, if anyone is cutting sick of turkey, chicken, roast beef or whatever other meats they might have for the celebration. The best way to do it is to get a goose that has been reared especially for the table. One that has run alongside racecourses, and trained horses or greyhounds, tends to get...


NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PM: Repetition of horses.

NP: No, no, there wasnít a repetition. No, no. Clement an incorrect challenge so you get a point for that and you have 13 seconds on goose starting now.

CF: Apple sauce, gravy, red cabbage, are the sort of things youíd eat with goose, apart from a knife and a fork! In Poland...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: You donít eat a knife and fork with goose, do you?

NP: Well most people...

DN: Heís so boring, he goes so slowly doesnít he.

NP: I know! But you...


NP: Do you eat your goose with your fingers then, is that what youíre suggesting?

DN: Of course I do!

NP: Oh right! But you still eat with a knife and fork, so it was an incorrect challenge. And Clement if you can cheer yourself up a little and go for another three seconds on goose starting now.

CF: Iíd like to say very quickly you can eat a goose with your fingers.


NP: Derek you challenged...

DN: Well repetition.

NP: Yes he did repeat the word eat. Well done Derek, youíve got one second left to tell us something about goose...

DN: Sidney Smith said that his idea of heaven was eating...


NP: So Derek Nimmo was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and we start the second round with Paul Merton. Paul the subject is balmy evenings. Will you tell us something about those in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

PM: I often go round to Nicholas Parsonsí house of and evening and those are indeed barmy evenings! He has a peculiar habit of talking all his clothes off, walking into his own living room with a packet of dry roasted peanuts and saying ďanybody for nuts?Ē And you look at him and you think ďI donít know, has he gone a little bit barmy here?Ē But you let it pass. Then we come to the main meal of the evening...


DN: I must say I do find this an extraordinary deviant situation! Nicholas Parsons wandering around without any clothes on asking people to have his nuts! I donít think this is the sort of thing thatís either true or should be allowed on what is after all a family show!

NP: How do you know what I get up to in the privacy of my own living room?

DN: But if you were...

NP: But actually I, Iíve, in order to be accurate youíre quite right Derek. I donít think Iíve done that. Not as far as I know anyway! So weíll say that it was deviation...

PM: Oh you liar!


PM: Thatís the last time I have a handful of dry roasted!

NP: We love your flights of fantasy Paul, but Derek must have a correct challenge, 33 seconds are available, another point to you Derek, balmy evenings starting now.

DN: Only two nights ago I was sitting in Ciarina in Northern Cyprus on a particular balmy evening. I had a splendid meal, taramasalata, babakanush and so on. And then suddenly, holding a glass of ouzo in one hand and some cafe metra in the other, I saw a boat glide across that beautiful bay and...


NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Who cares?


NP: I think all the listeners of Just a Minute because theyíre listening to see if heís going to hesitate, repeat something or deviate.

PM: Heís just swanking again about his holidays, isnít he!

NP: I know! This is why he comes on the show, to show off and impress people. He does it extremely well! Derek, a point to you, 12 seconds, balmy evenings starting now.

DN: It is very nice at this time of year, isnít it, when you suddenly get one last warm evening and you think that perhaps you will not see...


NP: Maria challenged.

MARIA McERLANE: Repetition of evening from before.

NP: Yes because the subject is balmy evenings in the plural and he repeated the word evening. Maria you have a correct challenge, you have balmy evenings and there are six seconds left starting now.

MM: My idea of a marvellous balmy evening would be to have a game of Twister, Nicholas Parsonsí nuts...


NP: Maria you were speaking as the whistle went and gained an extra point for doing so and at the end of that round you are in second place equal with Clement Freud. And Derek it is your turn to begin. The subject, salad days. Will you tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: Ah my salad days when I was green in judgement which was spent here in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. I used to go and live for quite long periods because he... my....


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes Paul and there are 49 seconds for you to tell us something about salad days starting now.

PM: When I do the shopping for the week I buy the vegetables on the Tuesday. But on Wednesday, thatís the time that I go and buy the salad...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two buys.

NP: There were two buys, yes. Clement there are 41 seconds left, salad days starting now.

CF: If youíre going to have lots of salads on salad days, I do suggest that Caesar is one that you should not neglect. You use the whole of beaten eggs and garlic, anchovies, Parmesan cheese, hesteroll and Chinese leaf ideally...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Elizabeth David.

CF: You donít...

DN: heís just sort of doing recipes, isnít he.

NP: I know!

DN: Itís not...

NP: But it doesnít matter...

DN: Heís not talking about salad days, heís giving recipes. Itís a food show, itís got nothing to do with Just A Minute. Heís just sitting there and (does impression of CFís voice) use pepper and put it in...


NP: Yes Derek Iím going to grant you that deviation because itís, itís a deviation from salad days to a salad recipe. So I think thatís a good challenge, 23 seconds for you, salad days starting now.

CF: Good challenge, yes.

NP: I think itís a good challenge, yes, Clement. Definitely. And I gave my reason and I think I was justified. Derek you have the subject, you have 23 seconds starting now.

DN: I was taken by my great-grandmother to the trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham. And I must say...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Heís had Nottingham already.

NP: You had Nottingham. No, you had Nottinghamshire.

CF: Yes, thatís Nottingham.

NP: Yes I know. But he used the word Nottinghamshire...

DN: Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

NP: Nottinghamshire, so I have to listen and he didnít say Nottingham, he said Nottinghamshire, so Iím sorry Clement...

CF: Is having to listen a new resolution?

NP: No, itís my constant as you know.

DN: Youíre very good Nicholas. You ought to be the Governor of Parkhurst I think.

NP: Eleven seconds for you Derek to continue on salad days...

DN: One went into the theatre with such high hopes. One wanted to play Drury Lane...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of one.

NP: One, you went in and such, one went in with such high hopes. You did repeat the word one.

DN: Oh.

NP: Right, donít me look at that way. Eight seconds, salad days with you Paul starting now.

PM: I was eating a Caesar salad on the Greek island of Lesbos some 48 hours ago and as I...


NP: Mariaís challenged.

MM: Um, I just havenít spoken for a long time and people at home might think Iíve fainted! Thatís all!


NP: A round of applause for your good challenge and a round of applause, not a round of applause, another point also for the fact that he was deviating because he was giving a recipe and not talking about salad days.


NP: Well if Iíve got to be fair to one, Iíve got to be fair to them all, and the same...

PM: At what point was I giving a recipe?

NP: You were talking about...

DN: He was on Lesbos!

NP: You were on Lesbos...

PM: Thatís not giving a recipe, is it?

NP: No you were talking about a salad you were having is Lesbos and you were taking off Derek Nimmo which was very witty, very funny...

PM: Itís not a recipe though. You donít get Delia Smithís cookery book and it says ďgo to LesbosĒ!


NP: You did not convey to me...

PM: I canít, itís impossible to convey anything to you!


NP: ...that this...

PM: Whoís the Prime Minister?

NP: Well after what you said about me earlier on, Iím not surprised as well. but anyway you did not establish to my mind that this was how you spent your salad days, this was something you did quite recently. And I think youíre past your salad days and therefore you should be...


NP: Iíve got to justify myself somehow to these fellows! And Maria, you thought, everybody thought sheíd fallen asleep so she has every right to come in. And she has one second on salad days starting now.

MM: Salad days, hooray!


NP: Right! Well at the end of that round Maria McErlane was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point, sheís now in second place behind Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo who are equal in the lead and Paul is just one point behind Maria. And Clement Freud itís your turn to begin. The subject dripping. Yes, someone who is such a gourmet as Clement should be given dripping but maybe heíll give us a different dimension to that subject. Sixty seconds starting now.

CF: Dripping is melted fat that drips from a joint and is collected in a drip tray. And if you put some bread into it, it is delicious. There is something called dirty dripping, ah, which is dripping...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation, er.

NP: Yes there was an er there Derek, yes dripping is with you...

CF: Where?

NP: In between two words that you spoke.

CF: Oh really?

NP: Yes! Forty-four seconds, dripping, starting now.

DN: I used to stay with my aunt in Ilkeston and the maid there, called Mary, used to have the most wonderful dripping out of pork or lamb and beef and we used to covet this and go into the kitchen when we were frightfully tiny, and get the bread and dripping spread across, and lost of black pepper and salt and it was absolutely delicious! It seemed like foie gras to us at that time. I was only nine years old, but gosh, you know, those happy memories remain. If I see a candle guttering and the dripping falling, I go towards it now with a bowl and tale it out to my little rabbit which lives outside in a hutch. And I say ďwould you like some dripping, little rabbit?Ē And it always replies ďoh my goodness, such a joy..Ē


NP: So Derek Nimmoís dripping kept going till the 60 seconds was up, he dripped away fantastically well, gained an extra point for doing so and heís taken the lead at the end of that round. Yes she has indeed. Paul Merton, your turn to begin, the subject, capers. Will you tell us something about those in this game starting now.

PM: When I was a young boy I used to get up to all kinds of mischief. I remember once we whitewashed the next door neighbours. And what we did was we climbed through their bedroom window while they were asleep, got a bucket of the aforementioned substance and covered them from head to foot. They woke up the next morning and thought that they had lost all kinds of reason because there they were covered in this particularly...


NP: Maria challenged.

MM: Repetition of covered.

NP: They were too well covered, Iím afraid.

PM: I thought perhaps I was doing another recipe and didnít know!


NP: Yes! Thereís a certain bitterness that comes out on occasions! Maria, 35 seconds capers starting now.

MM: Iím not too sure of the difference between capers and capons, although I realise Iím in dangerous territory of doing another recipe if I continue to pursue this particular argument. Capons I believe are small...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of capons. (laughs)

NP: You can repeat capers but not capons.

MM: Yes.

NP: Clement a correct challenge and 23 seconds available for capers starting now.

CF: Iíd like to give you a recipe using skate which you boil in milk ideally and then garnish with capers in black butter with lemon juice. Absolutely delicious! The sort of thing that Derek Nimmo in his youth would get at his auntís house in Ilkeston, which is not far from Nottingham, which always gets a cheer. Because capers in this great...


NP: They all know how to play to the audience donít they. Clement you were speaking as the whistle went, got an extra point for doing so, and at the end of that round you are equal again in the lead with Derek Nimmo and then thereís Maria McErlane and Paul Merton in that order. And Maria your turn to begin, and the subject is boots. Will you tell us something about boots in Just A Minute starting now.

MM: These boots are made for walking and thatís what theyíre going to do. One of these days my boots are going to walk all over you. Well...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation from the original lyric!

MM: Where...

PM: One of these days these boots, not my boots. One of these days these boots...

MM: But Iíd already said these though.

NP: You see sheíd already said these. And after all, she can misquote the lyric if she wishes, to keep going, and you donít have to be factual all the time...

DN: You can give the recipe, canít you?

NP: Itís been known to happen, Iím sure.

DN: A tablespoon full of salt, rather than a teaspoon full of sugar, doesnít matter!

NP: She didnít repeat anything, didnít hesitate, she didnít deviate. And Maria I give you the benefit of the doubt and you have 52 seconds on boots starting now.

MM: These were the words I uttered on...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of these.

MM: Oh! (laughs)

NP: She actually said these...

CF: These boots! These boot s were made for...

NP: And she repeated these, yes. Forty-nine seconds for you Clement on boots starting now.

CF: If I could walk that way, I wouldnít need talcum powder! Was one of my favourite boots jokes of my youth. But also alligators donít have any hair. Oh itís just a trade name like mothballs, is similarly good, and...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Is it me or....? Is, is Clement just talking rubbish?

NP: I know! I must inform you Paul, because youíre a different generation from me. These are the jokes that Clement Freud used to tell in his restaurant when he had it at the Royal Court Theatre Club years ago. Heís just giving you the tag lines of a lot of jokes he knows.

PM: Ah!

NP: I think you have a good challenge, 31 seconds, boots starting now.

CF: Who?

NP: Paul!


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: I know, but he didnít know! But he wasnít sure he was able to get off the leash again. So Paul Merton has the subject, 30 seconds are left, boots starting now.

PM: Boots the Chemist, what a wonderful firm. Established, I believe, originally here in Nottingham! And what a great place that is indeed because thereís a lot of people who come from the local idea because thatís why theyíre here, I mean. Thereís a obviously a blot, a lot of them come from...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes oh yes. Fifteen seconds, boots with you Derek starting now.

DN: I get my glasses from Boots. Because I canít afford, like Nicholas Parsons, to go to a very posh office. But they give me tremendous value for money. This is our National Health frames, and they give me a very good prescription. And I do think Boots offer a wonderful service...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of very good.

NP: Yes you did say very good before. Yes you did, sorry.

DN: I didnít say very good before.

NP: What did you say then?

DN: I said wonderful.

NP: I thought he said very good.

PM: I thought he said very good.

NP: Yes!

PM: Thatís one of the reasons why I challenged!

NP: I know! Three seconds are available for you Paul on boots starting now.

PM: Boots, boots, boots...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: I think thatís too many boots.

PM: I was doing the song Marching Up And Down Again. I didnít get to that bit.

NP: I think if he had gone for a fourth one that would have been too many, because that was the song. One second on boots with you Paul starting now.

PM: One of the great...


NP: Clement Freud is still in the lead, heís one point ahead of Derek Nimmo, then comes Paul Merton and Maria McErlane in that order. And Paul your turn to begin, the subject carbuncle. Will you tell us something about carbuncle in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

PM: One of my favourite Sherlock Holmes stories written by the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is entitled The Blue Carbuncle. This is a particularly fine mystery. The action as you know takes place at 221B Baker Street, and Watson comes in and says (in sort of English old buffer voice) ďhello erargh thereĒ and Holmes...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of eureuragh!

PM: No, thereís no accent over the second one!

NP: It was a hello hello or words to that effect and that was repetition Paul. So 42 seconds for you Derek on carbuncle starting now.

DN: The Prince of Wales said when the proposed extension was first displayed to the National Gallery in London that it looked like a monstrous carbuncle on the face of an old friend. And through his intervention that design was got rid of, and a very pleasant classical facade of the new building which is now in place was erected. It is very splendid indeed and find... when I was there the other day...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Sounded like a hesitation.

NP: It was a hesitation.

DN: Yes it was! Yes!

NP: It couldnít sound like a hesitation because thereís no sound in a hesitation!

PM: Well...

NP: Thereís a silence in a hesitation.

PM: Well thereís still a sound of somebody going (splutters). You canít smell a hesitation, can you?

NP: You canít smell it but normally thereís a silence.

PM: You canít taste it.

NP: No...

PM: If you canít hear it, how do you know itís there?


NP: Nineteen seconds, carbuncle Clement starting now.

CF: Old people tend to die of carbuncles. Anthrax...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes.

PM: And possibly false medical knowledge!

NP: I would have given it to you for deviation as well, I quite agree Paul. So, but either will do, carbuncle is the subject, 14 seconds for you starting now.

PM: If you go to Switzerland, the most popular make of car is called the Bunkle. And...


NP: And Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Itís not! Deviation.

NP: Deviation, nine seconds Clement, carbuncle starting now.

CF: In animals a carbuncle... is called anthrax.


NP: And Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes Paul, I agree. Six seconds, carbuncle, starting now.

PM: I once developed this most enormously horrible looking carbuncle on the back of my neck...


NP: Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and heís equal with Derek Nimmo in second place now, just behind our leader Clement Freud. And Maria McErlane itís your turn to begin, the subject is dressing. Will you tell us something about that subject in 60 seconds if you can starting now.

MM: Itís surely one of the most tedious pastimes. Should I put the blue polka dot dungarees with the pink hat, or the yellow taffeta dress with the purple tights?


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of with the.

NP: With the, yes.

MM: Thatís correct.

NP: Thatís right, but thatís a tough challenge.

MM: But should I though Derek, what do you think?

DN: I think you should.

MM: Oh you do? Thank you.

NP: Derek you have 50 seconds for dressing starting now.

DN: I once saw an untouchable in Bombay with a terrible carbuncle and I went to the local hospital and said Ďwould you please give this poor man a dressing?Ē Now as he was of the wrong caste they wouldnít apply a dressing to him. Now I thought it was a tragedy...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Oh sorry, I was... dressing!

NP: Dressing is the subject.

PM: Sorry.

NP: You can repeat the subject on the card, yes, it is easily done. Thirty-one seconds still with you Derek.

DN: if you are working in a play, particularly in a musical, you need a dress. Now for instance Nicholas Parsons, our chairman, was recently in a wonderful show in London, and he had to dress in er...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: You couldnít get it out, could you?

DN: No.

NP: You were so shocked by it.

DN: I was a bit shocked actually.

NP: He was referring to the Rocky Horror Show where I underdressed in fishnet tights and suspender belt. And er...

PM: And that was just going to the theatre!


NP: Paul you have a correct challenge, the subject dressing. There are 21 seconds left starting now.

PM: In my salad days I nah... ohhhhhh....


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ummm...

NP: Yes hesitation Clement, 18 seconds, dressing Clement starting now.

CF: If you put on your shoes and socks and pants and shirt, tie, collar, and youíre a bit angry, itís called cross dressing! I would like to recommend that to all my listeners because itís become enormously trendy. Walk down any London street on a Saturday afternoon...


NP: Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point and has increased his lead. And weíre moving into the final round. Itís very close, Clement's only just in the lead, ahead of Paul Merton and Derek Nimmo who are equal in second place about two or three points behind, and then comes Maria McErlane. And Derek itís your turn to begin, the subject is bigwig. And can you tell us something about it in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: This derives from the days when magnates and important people wore a much larger wig than anyone else. Nicholas Parsons wears a fairly small wig, which actually shows how deeply negligible as a person he happens to be. Now I do know bigwigs in fact, I have... as a friend, I think...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yeah I would have given it to you whatever youíd said actually!


NP: Forty-two seconds for you Paul on bigwig starting now.

PM: Bruce Forsyth has a big wig which he shares with the three Beverley Sisters. They have it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, whereas the gentleman I mentioned earlier tends to utilise this toupee on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Now I donít know why...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Deviation, a toupee isnít a big wig.

PM: Well if youíve established the size of the toupee, then itís a big wig.

NP: Of course it is.

PM: And I had established it was big enough for four people.

DN: A toupee is something like yours, Nicholas, which you just brush into your remaining hair. Take it off Nicholas! Come on! Take it off! Go on, take it off, Nicholas!

NP: Jolanta will you please pull my hair for me? Will you please pull my hair?


NP: Is it coming away? No!

DN: No, get hold of his hair instead!


NP: Oh I enjoyed that actually, thank you very much. We do have some fun in Just A Minute. Paul Merton, who was challenged..?


NP: Maria you challenged.

MM: Iíd just like to tell everybody at home that Jolanta is crying now!

NP: I like that challenge actually Maria so youíve got the subject, because I donít know what on earth was going on. Twenty-four seconds starting now.

MM: Ah Paul Daniels has quite a bit wig, but not as big as Debbie McGee, his wife, whose hair is really quite extraordinarily large, sometimes reaching 25, 30 foot, which you might like but not a lot. I know I donít. Iím not really talking much sense now but Iím hoping somebody will stop me soon because...


NP: Derek Nimmo has.

DN: Ah well I was just trying to satisfy the lady.

NP: Have you got a challenge? Oh dear, but not in public please! What is your challenge?

DN: She said she hopes somebody challenged her so I did, I challenged.

NP: You havenít given hesitation, repetition or deviation...

DN: Well repetition.

NP: No, no, no, she didnít repeat anything.

DN: Well you never listen, how do you know?

PM: Anyway, who would buy a grey wig?

NP: And Maria you have six seconds still available on big wig starting now.

MM: Bigwigs often work for huge corporations...


NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of huge.

NP: Yes you did say huge.

MM: Oh huge hair of course.

NP: Thatís right. Paul youíve got in with two seconds to go, last round, bigwig starting now.

PM: The largest hairpiece I ever saw covered the island of Lesbos!


NP: So Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went not only gained an extra point but brought the end of the round and the end of the show together, one at the same time, with a great flourish. And he finished in second place. In fourth place was Maria McErlane, only just behind Derek Nimmo and he was only just behind Paul Merton and he was only just two points behind Clement Freud. So we say the one with the most points is our winner, thatís Clement Freud! It only remains for me to say thank you to our four talented players of the game, which is Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Maria McErlane and Derek Nimmo. I also must thank Jolanta Zbucki who has kept the score for the first time and blown her whistle so magnificently. I must thank Ian Messiter of course who created the game and also Anne Jobson our producer director. And from them and from me, Nicholas Parsons, good-bye, hope youíve enjoyed Just A Minute, tune in next time we play this game!