JAM:PMerton,DNimmo,CFreud,PJones
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WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!

starring PAUL MERTON, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and PETER JONES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 9 March 1996)


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!

THEME MUSIC

NP: Hello my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once again it is my pleasure to welcome the four exciting personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. And we welcome back three of our senior players of the game, they have been with the show since it first began, and another regular player who has set us alight with all kinds of fascinating different, what is often called alternative humour. But they all blend together into one whole! Would you please welcome Paul Merton, Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. Beside me sits Elaine Wigley whoís going to keep the score and blow the whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular show is coming from the Pleasance Theatre on the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival. And before us we have an excited over-animated Fringe audience who are going to explode as we start giving of our best. And I ask our four panellists to speak if they can on the subject I will give them and they try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject on the card. Let us begin the show this week with Paul Merton. The subject, tattoo. And you have 60 seconds as usual Paul starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Itís rather a strain doing this show knowing that the audience is likely to explode at amy moment! Nevertheless I regard tattoos as a kind of self-mutilation. There is a habit amongst teenage girls to have ďI love Nicholas ParsonsĒ tattooed on various parts of their body. Because of course our esteemed chairman is currently wowing them at the West End with his soft-shoe shuffle, seen outside Harrods with a little hat to collect coins from the grateful passers-by...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: Deviation, I think heís parted, departed from tattoo. Heís talking about you busking outside Harrods. Deviation.

NP: Yes I think we could we interpret that as deviation because I, and also the fact I havenít actually busked outside Harrods.

DN: Thought he was more of a Selfridges man really!

PM: Itís nice to have goals in life though isnít it!

NP: I know! I get no quarter from any of them do I? I donít know why you laugh so much but there we are. I thought for once I might have got a nice compliment, he was going to plug the fact I was in the Rocky Horror Show in London. But he didnít, so there we are. Derek you had a correct challenge...

PETER JONES: What show was that again?

PM: Which part of the title do you represent?

APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: The Horror part of course! Derek a correct challenge, so you have a point for that, you take over the subject, tattoo, 30 seconds are left starting now.

DN: One of the highlights, I think, of the Edinburgh Festival. This glorious city, spot to which we come every year, with such excitement and enthusiasm to gaze with absolute astonishment at everything but in particular the Tattoo. Up on the Castle Rocks and the lone piper high on the battlements...

BUZZ

NP: What is your challenge Clement?

CLEMENT FREUD: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: I, thereís no reason to believe that the piperís high!

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: Clement, the audienceís applause endorses the fact that that was an enjoyable challenge for which we give you a bonus point. But as Derek was not deviating from the rules of Just A Minute...

PJ: He wasnít deviating, but heís obviously in the pay of the Scottish Tourist Board!

DN: And why not?

NP: Derek you get a point for being interrupted, you keep the subject, 10 seconds left, tattoo starting now.

DN: Tattoo is one of the few Polynesian words in the English language. Brought back by Captain Cook when he came... from his...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: No he didnít hesitate.

PJ: He couldnít remember who brought it back!

NP: No, no, I think he kept going Peter, well tried. Derek another point for an incorrect challenge, three seconds left, tattoo starting now.

DN: Stopped in the bay...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: I just wanted to see if my buzzer was working!

NP: A bonus point to Paul Merton and Derek get a point for being interrupted, tattoo starting now.

DN: The Egyptian Army took...

WHISTLE

NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point and of course it was on this occasion Derek Nimmo. And you wonít be surprised to hear that heís in a strong lead at the end of that round. And Derek itís your turn to begin, the subject, down under.

DN: I once went to speak in a debate in New Zealand, and the motion was ďitís better to be down under than on topĒ. Now you can take that either sexually, socially or politically. They in fact took it, as I mentioned, with the S-E-X...

BUZZ

DN: Whatís the matter?

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of took it.

NP: They took it.

DN: Oh they did.

CF: You can take it.

DN: Oh yeah.

CF: He said you can take it.

NP: I think he said you can take it any way but they took it that way. So Derek you keep the subject, another incorrect challenge, 45 seconds, down under starting now.

DN: Australia and New Zealand are greatly concerned...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton.

PM: Repetition of New Zealand.

NP: You had New Zealand.

DN: Oh did I.

NP: Yes you did. So Paul you got in that time and 43 seconds to tell us something about down under starting now.

PM: I was once working in Melbourne, Australia, and the Mayoress of that particular town, I was having lunch with her, there was some sort of...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Itís actually a city, Melbourne.

PM: It was a long time ago! They only had...

NP: You donít...

PM: They had four sheep and a post office when I was there!

NP: You donít look old enough Paul, you donít get away with it.

PM: Well I put that down to the Oil of Ulay.

NP: Probably because you werenít wearing that sweater

PM: I drink it by the pint!

NP: Peter Jones, correct challenge, down underís with you, 35 seconds starting now.

PJ: One of my really favourite places. And I remember the first Sunday I was there, the theatre manager took me for a trip up the Blue Mountains. And he stopped his car which was a new one on the edge of a precipice which was a wonderful panoramic view. And he said ďwell you stay in the car Peter and have a rest, you must be tired and Iíll just stroll around.Ē And I said ďno I want to get out!Ē And he insisted. But then I did step out on to the road outside. He slammed the door of the car...

BUZZ

PJ: ...It rolled forward and went over the precipice.

NP: Right Clement, you had a challenge.

CF: Two cars, Iím afraid.

NP: There were two cars.

PJ: Yes.

NP: Much earlier on you said car and you repeated car...

PJ: Yes.

PM: That would be two cars then, yes.

NP: But Clement very sportingly waited until you got to the end of the story to see if it was worth it.

PJ: It wasnít!

NP: I know, thatís why he pressed his buzzer!

PJ: ah.

NP: Well heís got in now with six seconds to go on down under starting now.

CF: Melbourne and Sydney are probably my favourite cities down under...

WHISTLE

NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and heís in second place behind Derek Nimmo whoís still in the lead and then itís Paul Merton...

DN: Does anyone hear music?

NP: Has somebody got a walkman on?

PM: I think itís another show.

NP: Okay...

PM: They wonít be able to hear you Nicholas, if they have!

NP: I said earlier on that this particular show is coming from the Pleasance Theatre on the Fringe at Edinburgh. And if in the background you hear some very delicate music itís not the Minute Waltz which we have as the overture to our show, it is another show on the Pleasance which is taking place. So just know that weíre being accompanied while we try and entertain you. And er...

PM: Just A Minute, the musical!

APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: Another bonus point to Paul Merton for that. Right, yes, weíll see if you like it better, you can write in and let us know what your reactions are. Peter Jones your turn to begin, the subject is count. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

PJ: Count Basie comes to mind, the Count of Monte Cristo, and of course er Count Dracula...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

PJ: Thatís the part I always rather wanted to play...

NP: I know.

DN: Er Count Dracula, hesitation

NP: There was an er before the Count of Monte Cristo. So Derek you got in with 53 seconds, tell us something about count starting now.

DN: Count is a French title, the equivalent of an English earl. But the curious thing is that a British Count has a Countess, although I said that has a different...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Heís just said Count was a French title. You canít have a British count having a Countess. Itís a British Earl that has a Countess.

NP: But...

PM: Canít we settle this with a spirited song?

NP: It was a very good cue for a song. Clement Iím going to give you the benefit of the doubt, you have 44 seconds on count starting now.

CF: One of the best ways of counting is to look at the audience and say they are one, two, three, four people in the fifth row. And the sixth and seventh from the left look extraordinarily like the eighth and the ninth. And we thought 14th. Er count...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: A definite er there Clement. So thatís hesitation, 24 seconds back with you, count Derek starting now.

DN: Can you imagine fighting Mike Tyson? Receiving a vast blow and then being counted out, (very fast) one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. And you could not see anything or hear anything, youíd be almost dead...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

DN: Whatís the matter?

CF: Two anythings.

NP: Two anythings. See anything or hear anything, Clement youíre back in on the subject of count...

DN: I was trying to put a bit of speed into it.

NP: I know. Thirteen seconds starting now.

CF: One of the most dangerous things when youíre boxing, is if the referee tries to put some speed into it. And instead of counting (slowly) one, two, three, four...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: I think we heard a repetition of some of those numbers before!

NP: We did!

CF: No, oh no!

NP: You did, you said one, two, three, four.

CF: First, second and third, first, second and third.

NP: No, no, it went on to that, you said one, two, three, four to begin with. And then you went on to the seconds, thirds, sevenths and eighths. I have to listen and thatís my job. So...

PM: If you werenít here Nicholas, I donít know what weíd do! Train a budgerigar perhaps!

NP: Youíd get a fall guy somewhere!

DN: You wonít get a bonus point for that one!

NP: Why not? Give him one, I donít mind. Two seconds, Paul, you got in with two seconds to go on the subject of count starting now.

PM: One, two, three, four...

WHISTLE

NP: So Paul Merton was speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point for doing so. Heís equal with Clement Freud, who are two points together behind Derek Nimmo and then itís Peter Jones. Clement the subject is basil. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

CF: Basil is a herb which is green, and particularly beloved by the people of Italy. An Italian salad is likely to have a red tomato, white mozzarella cheese and then the verdancy of basil. So the flag of the Italianate people is reflected in the food that they have on their plate! Many of you might have been to the Imperial War Museum in Rome where they have a Second World War tank which belongs to the...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: War.

NP: You repeated War.

CF: Yes.

NP: You see, they do this, they look at me. I must explain to the listeners, they look at me as if to bluff me out of the fact. You canít give that against me, I definitely didnít do it! But I have to listen and have confidence in my decisions...

PM: Even if no-one else does!

NP: I know! Twenty-seven seconds for you Derek on basil starting now.

DN: Good old Basil Brush! Do you remember that little foxy character that we used to see on television. Derek Fowlds sitting next to him. And the feller was under the table with his hand up, manipulating poor old Basil all the time. What a clever ploy...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Repetition of poor old.

NP: Poor old. You had poor old before Derek. Donít look at me like that please. Thirteen seconds for you Peter, basil starting now.

PJ: I got fed up with recipes that called for a handful of basil. Which is an enormous quantity! This year Iíve actually grown my own and Iíve been able to produce about seven pots of it and...

WHISTLE

NP: Peter Jones was speaking as the whistle went, heís in fourth place but only a point or two separates him from Paul Merton, Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo just in the lead. And Paul your turn to begin, the subject, breaking a leg. Will you tell us something about breaking a leg and 60 seconds are available starting now.

PM: Well itís a very painful experience and I wouldnít recommend it to anybody. I did break my leg up here in Edinburgh in 1987 and it was a rather tragic event. Iíd come to the Festival to do a one-man show, successfully performed for one night and then went out and broke my leg. And I had the rave reviews that said ďgo and see this manĒ. So people would come to visit me in hospital to see how amazing and amusing I was. They would chuckle at my x-rays, theyíd never seen such wit! They would watch me dribble food out of the corner of my mouth, barely recognising friends and close family as I mumbled into the terrible dream that I was having at the time. It was a ghastly, dreadful, terrible, ghastly, dreadful...

BUZZ

PM: ...dreadful, ghastly experience!

NP: Clement Freud you challenged.

CF: Yes!

NP: Yes you did. I think we know why. Fourteen seconds, breaking a leg starting now.

CF: Technically breaking a leg is wrong, you break bread and you carve a leg. It is done to beef, mutton or pork. You do so by sharpening the knife and cutting against the grain which is ever...

WHISTLE

NP: Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point and heís creeping up on our leader. Heís only one point behind Derek Nimmo. And Derek your turn to begin. Derek, the subject is pipes. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

DN: Well the fair city of edinburgh at the moment is positively pipe-ridden. Every time you go out the door there's some dreadful fellow... pulling away at his pipes...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes hesitation yes. Paul, pipes and you have 52 seconds starting now.

PM: (singing) Oh Danny boy, the piperís pipes are calling! (speaks) Because of course Daniel was a plumber and he would hear this noise and realise that the terrible rumbling coming from within the pipes meant they had to be lagged for the winter! Why somebody should bother writing a song about this individual, Iíve really no idea. But it has been passed from hand to mouth over the years. And we have listened to this great tuneful melody and Iím sure thereís not a person here in the audience who hasnít sung this particular ditty once today. As theyíve walked up the Royal Mile, amusing tourists as they go! I think thatís one of the great tricks about Edinburgh is to confuse the Americans and tell them all kinds of nonsense! They go along...

WHISTLE

HUGE APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: Well Paul Merton took the subject of pipes, and with his flair and flamboyance kept going until the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. And heís equal in second place with Clement Freud, only one point behind our leader Derek Nimmo. Peter Jones is trailing a little and itís his turn to begin and the subject is Burke and Hare, another Edinburgh association there. Will you tell us something about those two characters in this game starting now.

PJ: A very unsavoury couple who used to dig up bodies from the cemetery and then sell them to Doctor Knox who used to dissect them. And in a way they made a great contribution to medical science. But they ran out of these er people in the er...

BUZZ

PJ: ... cemetery...

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Yes a lot of hesitation there yes. Right...

PJ: Cadaver was the word I was trying, looking for.

NP: I know. What was the word Peter?

PJ: Cadaver or... I never know quite how to pronounce it.

PM: You say ca-dar-ver, you say ca-day-ver.

NP: Trying to confuse the Americans again are you Paul? There we are, 43 seconds, Burke and Hare with you Derek starting now.

DN: William Burke and Bill Hare were indeed Irishman who came to this fair city of Edinburgh, and went to this rather curious phase of actually murdering people and taking the bodies and flogging them to Doctor Robert Knox who was frightfully pleased to have a new subject to dissect. But the people didnít really go along with this, they thought it was taking... er...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was hesitation. Burke and Hareís with you now Paul, 22 seconds starting now.

PM: Burke and Hare were of course one of the first midnight shows on the Fringe in the early days. And people would go along to see the corpses being dragged out of the ground, there were some jugglers nearby as well. And people painting faces...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Ah two people.

NP: Yes there were too many people there paul, nine seconds on Burke and hare with you Clement starting now.

CF: In the evenings Burke and Hare used to sit in Mungo Park wondering what to do about the Niger. They had an awfully good time...

WHISTLE

NP: Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went and heís now in the lead alongside Derek Nimmo. And then just behind Paul Merton and Peter Jones in that order. And, of course, thereís a little Edinburgh ditty about Burke and Hare, what was it. Um...
Up the close and down the stair
Been the house of Burke and Hare
Burkeís the butcher, Hareís the thief
And Knox the boy who buys the beef.

APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: And Clement itís your turn to begin, the subject is digs. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

CF: Digs is short for diggings and means theatrical usually, accommodation. But in Edinburgh it isnít like that. People who live in this fair city leave Scotland altogether while the Festival is on, and rent their flats and houses for huge sums of money which performers who are on the Fringe or in the main theatre...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of Fringe.

NP: Yes you mentioned the Fringe before Clement. Thirty-seven seconds are available for you to tell us something about digs, Paul, starting now.

PM: Archaeologists are people who go on digs. Theyíre intensely interested in digging up something from the past. Oh look thereís a ring-pull can, itís got last Wednesdayís date on it! We must take it to the British Museum! I personally canít be bothered too much about what happened in the past. Iím really much more...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Repetition of past.

NP: Yes you mentioned the past before. Peter you got in with 20 seconds to go on the subject of digs starting now.

PJ: Mrs McNab, 4 Brougham Place, Edinburgh, kept the best digs in this country. Or the other country down south. She was one of the...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Two countries.

NP: There were two countries. Eleven seconds, digs with you Clement starting now.

CF: Any person who is a bit short of money could do far worse than go to the Steels at Etherick Bridge who put out all sorts of strange people for hardly...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of people.

NP: Yes. There were too many people, you made it before Clement Iím afraid. You got in Paul, cleverly, with half a second to go on digs starting now.

PM: A shovel...


WHISTLE

NP: Yes Paul Merton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point, heís now equal in the lead with Clement Freud in the lead. And I agree with you Peter, Mrs McNab did have the best digs in the whole of the country. I stayed with the dear lady. She was over 80, sheíd had a vasectomy and she ran around...

PM: She had a what? A Vasectomy?

NP: Oh no, sorry!

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: (laughing) Iím sorry...

DN: Deviation!

PM: Slight, slightly, slightly more than a vasectomy if her name was Mrs McNab!

NP: She had these wonderful books that all the stars had signed for her.

PJ: I never got to know her that well!

NP: Oh dear! Oh the best things come out by accident, donít they! Paul, itís your turn to begin, a full house. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PM: Well this is something you get in Bingo. All the sixes, 66, and various calls like...

BUZZ

NP: And Clement Freud challenged.

CF: I think that could be a repetition of six.

NP: Six...

PM: Sixty, all the sixes, 66.

NP: Thatís what he said, thatís not repetition. Iím sorry Clement.

CF: Well what is?

NP: An incorrect challenge Paul, so another point to you, you have the subject still, a full house starting now.

PM: All the eights, etcetera! You know itís a very popular game although I...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of all the.

NP: All the, yes. Clement itís tough at the top there, youíre still level pegging. A full house is the subject, you have 51 seconds starting now.

CF: If you have a full house in poker, you beat a pair... two pairs...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: There did seem a bit of a hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation yes, he was trying to go through...

CF: Where?

NP: Between a pair and two pairs. There was a definite hesitation, right, 46 seconds, a full house Peter starting now.

PJ: Itís something that many actors donít experience except at Christmas when all their relatives visit them! But there are other occasions...

BUZZ

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation there too Peter, yes.

PJ: I speak very slowly!

NP: Thirty-seven seconds, Derek, a full house starting now.

DN: Well the reason we have a full house at the Edinburgh Fringe is quite obvious. Itís because itís free. We let anybody come in at all! If we were charging 50p nobody would turn up! As it is a full house now we know that we are without value! That is why theyíve arrived, rather than go and see the excellent shows that are here. Who would actually pay to witness Nicholas Parsons? I would not for one, although I did see him actually doing his one man show which was an extraordinary sight. I saw the love affair for him in Edinburgh with some chums...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of Edinburgh.

NP: Yes you mentioned Edinburgh before. Seven seconds tell us something about the, a full house starting now.

PM: I have got in my house at the moment 15 young Arab boys, who are there for my own personal amusement...

WHISTLE

NP: Why you should cheer his devious thoughts with those Arabs, I donít know. But he was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point and heís taken the lead just ahead of Clement Freud. And only just behind is Derek Nimmo and then Peter Jones. And Derek Nimmo weíre moving into the last round. It still could be anybodyís contest. And a buttonhole is the subject, you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

DN: A buttonhole in those days is something which I always used to sport. I used to go, many years ago, to the Dorchester Hotel. And just inside was a wonderful little plaza and it always had a clothe-coloured flower that I wanted, a carnation in fact. Had a glorious smell! Itís funny you know, that those particular flowers donít actually have a stem any more. Itís a great shame. Thatís perhaps why I donít wear a buttonhole. The other reason for wearing the buttonhole is that some people used to come along, they used to shove their thumb inside your buttonhole and pull you towards them. That is what was called buttonholing and they would speak very closely to you about some subject of no particular import or interest. But you couldnít get away from them. So donít be buttonholed by Nicholas Parsons if you see him! He will go for you! I warn you ladies and gentlemen! Donít laugh please! He is an extrovert! He is a cad as well of course. And he will shout and...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of he is a.

NP: He is a, yes, I should think so. Whatever you had said I would have given it against him actually! The idea that I would go and buttonhole this audience, I would like to chat them up, but, especially the more attractive ones. Ah and I would chat up the unattractive ones because you know Iím....

PM: Desperate!

APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: You have 15 seconds to tell us something about buttonhole Paul starting now.

PM: Derekís quite right, you donít see buttonholes as often as you used to. It seems that the fashion amongst modern tailors is not to incorporate this particular feature into the suits that they make theses days. I really don;t know why this should be the case...

WHISTLE

NP: And nobody could put a buttonhole into your psychedelic sweater anyway Paul!

PM: It represents the rings of Uranus!

NP: Paul Merton was speaking then as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and increased his position at the end of the round and at the end of the contest. Let me tell you that it was a very even contest, they all contributed a great deal, they all didnít get quite the same number of points. But out in the lead, just five ahead of the rest was Paul Merton. So Paul you have triumphed once again in Edinburgh, Paul Merton! It only remains for me to thank our four intrepid and outrageous players of the game, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo. Also thank Elaine Wigley for keeping the score for us and also Ian Messiter for thinking up the game which we all enjoy playing so much. And above all thank our producer Anne Jobson. From them and from our audience here, we do hope youíve enjoyed the show and will tune in again the next time we take to the air to play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here good-bye!

THEME MUSIC