JAM:PMerton,CFreud,PJones,KHesketh-Harvey
WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!

starring PAUL MERTON, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and KIT HESKETH-HARVEY, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 9 August 1997)

NOTE: Peter Jones's 300th appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute! Yes!

THEME MUSIC

NP: Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more, it is my pleasure not only to welcome our listeners but the four exciting players who this week are going to play Just A Minute, pitting their verbal dexterity, their ingenuity and wit as they compete. And we welcome back one of our regular young players who has shown such humour and talent in the show that is Paul Merton. We welcome back young Kit Hesketh-Harvey whoís shown equal skill in different directions. And also we welcome two of our older players of the game who have shown incredible skill over many years, that is Peter Jones and Clement Freud. And would you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits the lovely Elaine Wigley who will help me with the score, sheíll help me with the timing and she will blow a whistle when the full minute has expired. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from Loughborough. It is part of the Festival of Comedy in Leicestershire. And we have in front of us a highly hyped up festival audience who are ready to give their all as our four players try and speak for the minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation. We begin the show this week with Paul Merton, and who better. Paul, the subject, flying by the seat of my pants. Would you talk on that subject, elucidate on that expression, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PAUL MERTON: First you have to get a skateboard. Then you attach a firework to it. You set that alight and you go across the night sky steering by the seat of your pants. By manipulating your buttocks in a rather unusual rhythmic fashion, itís quite easy to turn corners after a while, and itís much cheaper than British Airways! The only problem with it is that you do need to gte a special license from the local council. Because unbelievably, I know it sounds ludicrous, but it is actually illegal to ride a skateboard 15,000 feet...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Two skateboards.

NP: Yes skateboards, Iím afraid.

CRIES OF ďAWWWWĒ FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: You were skating with him there, werenít you? You were enjoying it.

CRIES OF ďYESĒ FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: But it is a correct challenge, one must be fair within the rules of Just A Minute and for a correct challenge Clement you get a point, you take over the subject, you have 27 seconds left, flying by the seat of my pants starting now.

CF: The history of that term is pantomime in which actors or actresses are flown by a harness attached to the seat of the actor or actressís pants...

BUZZ

NP: And Paul Merton has challenged.

PM: Actor or actress.

NP: Yes. Also it was deviation, because theyíre not by the seat of their pants theyíre held, theyíre held by their crotch actually.

PM: Well some of us havenít studied it as closely as others!

LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: Paul a correct challenge, flying by the seat of my pants, 15 seconds left starting now.

PM: Of course itís also the expression thatís used when people are doing something very risky or a bit shady and somehow theyíre not quite sure whether theyíre going to get away with it or not...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PETER JONES: He said of course!

NP: Yes he did.

LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: But did he repeat of course?

PJ: Well I think he must have done, donít you?

NP: You were bluffing werenít you? Right, six seconds for you Paul, flying by the seat of my pants starting now.

PM: I once took a journey from New Zealand all the way to Australia with a pair of boxer shorts...

WHISTLE

NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point, it was Paul merton and he is in a definite lead at the end of the round. Kit Hesketh-Harvey will you take the next round, Lear. Will you tell us something about that subject, in our game starting now.

KIT HESKETH-HARVEY: He was a King, a very long time ago, who had three daughters. He wanted to get rid of his realm. The youngest child was called Cordelia, the other two were called Gonerill and Regan. They were a bit chippy, as you would be if you were named after a social disease or a B movie actor! Anyway looking after the elderly does put terrible strain upon their dependants and they threw out him on the blasted heath when he started blowing his wind and cracking his cheeks a bit too much! It was a Saxon version of care in the community!

BUZZ

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE


NP: I think a Saxon version of care in the community almost deserves a bonus point!

APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: Peter you challenged first.

PJ: Well he did stop after all.

NP: Yes he did, he hesitated.

PJ: I would have liked him to have gone on really.

NP: No, you have the subject of Lear, weíd like to hear from you on it, 26 seconds are available starting now.

PJ: Well Iíd rather talk about Edward Lear who was a wonderful nonsense man. He wrote things for children, poetry and stories. I know our chairman could talk about him for two hours, because heís made a one evening show out of it. He also used to draw and paint a lot, water-colours. He almost invented mass production of pictures, by putting 12 pieces of paper on the floor and then drawing a little tree on each one...

WHISTLE

NP: Yes he has been described Peter, as the Laureate of Nonsense! And he also was the first one to do really sort of cartoon-like figures. Heís an amazing amazing man. Peter your turn to begin, the subject is aristocrats. Tell us something about them in Just a Minute starting now.

PJ: Well thereís a series on television currently about aristocrats, rather mournful though. Everybody seems to regret their passing and the fact that theyíre short of money. They usually canít pronounce their Rs very well, they say awistocwats, rather like Frank Muir, who isnít one of course. Bit nevertheless they are sort of amusing people to get on television from time to time...

BUZZ

NP: Oh!

PJ: Dear dear!

NP: right, yes, time to time, Clement you were in first. Thirty-three seconds now, aristocrats starting now.

CF: Well...

BUZZ

NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey.

KHH: Sorry it was very unsporting. Hesitation but no, Iím sorry.

NP: Well either youíre challenging or youíre not!

KHH: Clement Freud is an aristocrat and I need to ah, he needs to exercise his joie de senior on me at this point.

NP: All right it was a bit harsh I think. Yes all right, so Clement, aristocrats, 32 seconds starting now.

CF: They tend to sit in the upper house, known as the Lords, where the seats are red and not...

BUZZ

NP: Kit yes?

KHH: He really has stopped.

NP: He did hesitate, yes. Thought of the red seats, right, 24 seconds on aristocrats for you now Kit Hesketh-Harvey starting now.

BUZZ

KHH: If I were ever made...

BUZZ

NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: No! Kit, 23 seconds, aristocrats starting now.

KHH: If I were ever made to be an aristocrat, I would...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: Why?

CF: He wonít!

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: They obviously enjoyed your challenge Clement, so we give you a bonus point for that but it wasnít a correct challenge within the rules of Just A Minute. So Kit gets a point for being interrupted and he keeps the subject, 21 seconds, aristocrats starting now.


KHH: I should like to be gazetted Lord Bracknell because my wife then would have a horrible time. But if that were not possible, Iíd like to be Marquis. Theyíre very exotic if you look at the present batch. Thereís Chumley pacing Houghton Hall to the sound of Chopin. Thereís naughty Jamie Blandford who likes the snow as much as the Duchess of York. Thereís... ahhh!

BUZZ

KHH: Another one?

NP: Oh Paul?

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, yes and you got in with half a second to go, aristocrats Paul starting now.

PM: It was a great cartoon!

WHISTLE

NP: Paul managed to get in there with half a second to go so he was actually speaking when the whistle went, gained that extra point. So heís now in the lead but only one ahead of Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Clement Freud and one behind them is Peter Jones. And Clement your turn to begin, the subject is mummies. Will you tell us something about that intriguing subject in this game starting now.

CF: A Jamaican aristocrat called Lord Kitchener used to sing a song where the words went:
If your mother and your wife are drowning, which one of the two would you be saving? Well you can always have another wife, but you can never have another mummy in your life. Mummies which are Egyptian women or men dug up from tombs actually were a tremendous boost to the bandage industry. Without mummies it is unlikely that the shares of Elastoplast and similar pharmaceutical shares would ever have hit the high spots which they have reached. And if you look at the Financial Times index, there are few companies as profitable and attractive as those that produce bandages!

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes he did, yes. Having got out of that um problem of repeating something he then hesitated. Often happens. Six seconds on mummies with you Paul starting now.

PM: One of the most frightening things I ever saw a sa child was a film that featured this mummy starring Boris Karloff...

WHISTLE

NP: So Clement did a lot of hard work in that round, Paul came in just before the end, he spoke as the whistle went and gained that extra point and has increased his lead. And Paul itís your turn to begin with the subject now from mummies to pies. Will you tell us something about pies in Just A Minute starting now.

PM: Chicken. Mushroom. Beef. Pork. Apple. Peach. Carrot. Lettuce...

BUZZ

NP: Kit has challenged.

KHH: Deviation Iím sorry. A lettuce pie?

NP: Yes!

KHH: I donít buy it!

PM: Itís very good for you.

NP: Iím sure, Iím sure you could have a lettuce pie.

PM: Itís a salad encased in pastry! You must have had it!

NP: Of course it is!

PM: A lettuce pie!

NP: Iím sure, I mean, I donít think it is very marketable but I mean it is perfectly possible to have a lettuce pie. Itís a devious thought but itís not devious within the rules of Just A Minute. Pie is still with you Paul, 50 seconds starting now.

PM: My favourite is a stepladder pie. Itís wonderful. Quite a tall crust, about 12 foot high. And itís quite difficult to get into the oven but by God, it doesnít half taste nice. And if you actually leave some at the side of your plate, you can turn it into a loft ladder. It goes straight up from the extension. And if you make the pastry thick enough, it can take the weight of a 24 stone man. But donít believe my word for it because as you can see in front of us Iíve bought my own stepladder pie with me today and Clement Freud...

BUZZ

PM: ...is now going to climb to the top.

NP: Right...

PM: Not that Iím suggesting he is a heavy obese individual because he is not. But I think you will believe this former...

NP: You were challenged about 10 seconds ago actually?

PM: Oh really?

NP: Yes. Clement what was your challenge?

CF: Ah repetition of stepladder.

NP: Yes you did have too many stepladders Iím afraid in your pie. Clement, 22 seconds pies starting now.

CF: Melton Mowbray in this great country of Leicestershire...

CHEERS FROM THE AUDIENCE

CF: .... is probably the best place in which to get pies and raised pies are the great speciality. The filling is not lettuce but a cereal of meats, pork, beef, even venison, in a gelatinous juice or gravy and...

WHISTLE

NP: Clement was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Heís two behind Paul Merton whoís still our leader. Kit Hesketh-Harvey your turn to begin, taking the plunge. Tell us something about that in this game starting now.

KHH: In Just A Minute, you have constantly to take the plunge. You canít timidly step across the pebbles, you have to sternly face the channel of the challenge set before you. Covering yourself with goose-fat provided by Mr Messiter you jump into the buffeting waves thrown up by Paul Merton, Peter Jones and Sir Clement Freud. With only Nicholas parsons on a ketch behind you urging you on through his megaphone as you strike out without hesitation...

BUZZ

NP: (laughs) Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Heís on drugs!

LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: Heís on something! I donít know what it is!

PM: We should have random drug testing for this show!

NP: Right! So weíll have a random test. So what was your challenge within the rules of Just a Minute?

PM: Deviation, itís nothing like that! I donít see you shouting from the back of a ketch or whatever it was! Urging us on!

NP: I certainly, I certainly never had a megaphone anyway.

PM: No.

NP: So I will accept your challenge Paul, 33 seconds, taking the plunge starting now.

PM: I once dived off the highest board in Mauvin swimming baths right at the top. It was about 65 feet away from the water and I was very nervous about this. But I thought ďno Iíll give it a goĒ. I got halfway down, I changed my mind. I went back up, and I always regretted turning back because I was so near. I was going in the right direction but somehow my nerve went. And there were other people who looked at me afterwards and realised that I wasnít the man I appeared to be. Theyíd been walking down the street saying ďlook at him, heís the idiot who wouldnít go into the swimming pool...Ē

WHISTLE

NP: Yes so that flight of fancy kept Paul going until the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so and he has increased his lead at the end of the round. Peter your turn to begin, the subject is cooks. Tell us something about them starting now.

PJ: The famous cook in this part of the world was Thomas Cook who started taking tours from Leicester, and the first one was here to Loughborough. I donít know quite why he chose this, um, as his destination. But I know he wouldnít allow anybody to have a drink while they were on the train or when they arrived. I donít know, there seem to be one or two pubs here, I havenít found them all. Most of the shops seem to be opticians Iíve noticed. I donít know why quite that is. Or ophthalmic, whatever theyíre called. Now Thomas Cooks of course belongs now to Germany or Germans er (laughs)...

BUZZ

LOUD LAUGHTER FROM PM AND THE AUDIENCE

PJ: ...and they er...

NP: Youíve been challenged Peter.

PJ: By whom?

NP: Your man sitting next to you, Paul Merton.

PM: Hesitation.

PJ: Hesitation, yes.

PM: After Germans or Germans or Germany.

NP: There are 17 seconds left for Paul merton to take over the subject of cooks starting now.

PM: Loughbor...er... oooohh!

BUZZ

LAUGHTER FROM PJ AND THE AUDIENCE

PM: What a time to discover a new speech impediment!

NP: Yes! Itís the German influence, Loffenbra, right! Sixteen seconds Kit on cooks starting now.

KHH: I think there are far too many cooks on television at the moment. Not only the blessed Delia of course but ah the er...

BUZZ

NP: Clement challenged first.

CF: There seemed to be a sort of hesitation.

NP: Yes there was, a breakdown actually. Nine seconds for you Clement on cooks, very aptly, starting now.

CF: If Thomas Cook really had his first outing from Leicester to Loughborough, one would like to know where his second went!

WHISTLE

NP: Clement Freud you were speaking as the whistle went, youíre still in second place, Paul Mertonís still our leader. And Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Peter Jones follow in that order. Clement, good taste. After cooks, good taste. Tell us something about it, in 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Sixty seconds is an inadequate time in which to talk about good taste...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: After 30 years, itís too late to complain!

LAUGHTER FROM CF AND THE AUDIENCE

NP: Give Peter Jones a bonus point, we did enjoy the challenge. Clement wasnít deviating within the rules of Just A Minute, so he keeps the subject, another point to him, good taste is still with you, 55 seconds are left starting now.

CF: But good taste is an anagram of oat stodge. And I think this is something which should not be forgotten. Good taste is having all the right things at your fingertips. The poets, the writers, the authors, the actors, the cinemas to which you should go, and the theatres that must not be avoided are all part and parcel of having good taste. If you said ďI went to a really devious brothel the other nightĒ, you would be instantly disqualified from claiming to have good taste. On the other hand, should you have...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yeah hesitation, youíve got the subject, 17 seconds, good taste Paul starting now.

PM: I went to a devious brothel the other day where all the women were wearing Nicholas Parsons face masks and I donít know what it was about it, but it didnít half get me going! And now that I look at him sitting there in the flesh, I canít think what I was thinking of. I must have been off my chump because I can see him there and Iíve got a taste of vomit...

WHISTLE

NP: Oh! Oh! How quickly can you lose an audience Paul! You had them on your side until the vomit! Right! And Paul itís your turn to begin, the subject, a good yarn, starting now.

PM: When I was 15 years old, I started reading this book by Tolkien called The Lord Of The Rings. Now some people may have read this and it was certainly recommended to me by a school friend. But it is not a good yarn. I found it thoroughly dull. The trouble with is thereís no humour in it. There are no decent jokes. And if itís over one thousand one hundred and fifty-two pages long, you have to have something in there that can be passed off as comedy. But all you get is people saying things like ďoh I swear by the Lord God Thar, my axe will feel the weight of an orcís neck tonight!Ē

BUZZ

PM: And they all laugh, and you think that...

NP: Excuse me, Clement has challenged you.

CF: Has he? Oh!

NP: Clement what was your challenge?

CF: Repetition of Lord.

NP: Right, a good yarn is with you now Clement, 24 seconds starting now.

CF: It was a dark and stormy night. And the captain said to his mate ďBill, tell us a tale.Ē An ancient mariner and he stoppeth one of three...

BUZZ

NP: Um Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes I think so Peter. Thirteen seconds for you on a good yarn starting now.

PJ: Denis Nordern once said to me ďthe only thing I ever learned at the BBC...Ē

BUZZ

PJ: .... ďwas how to yawn with my mouth closed.Ē

NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

LAUGHTER AND THEN LOUD APPLAUSE FROM KHH AND THE AUDIENCE

NP: I think the audience has recognised the challenge, BBC. B B.

PJ: Oh I donít think....

CRIES OF ďAWWWĒ FROM THE AUDIENCE

PJ: They donít care about that!

NP: Well then you must have challenged yourself Peter, because your light came on then.

PJ: Itís nerves, I suppose, nerves.

NP: So Peter a point to you, for a good challenge, and you continue with a good yarn, eight seconds are left starting now.

PJ: Ripping yarns, thatís an extraordinary expression, I donít know why they are referred to as this. Do they tear up something ala...

WHISTLE

NP: So Peter Jones speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point. Heís now ahead of Kit Hesketh-Harvey, but heís trailing Clement Freud and Paul Merton in that order. And Kit itís your turn to begin, the subject Pythagoras. Tell us something about that great Greek philosopher in this game starting now.

KHH: Personally I think heís a cracking bore! He discovered the universal mind or matter and became the father of philosophy by so doing. But he didnít believe in emotion or heart or response. And he went through South Italy and set up a like-minded bunch of dreary old souls, who worked. They didnít play. They worked (laughs) ... nooooooooooo!

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of worked.

NP: Yes! Right, 40 seconds, Pythagoras with you Paul starting now.

PM: Perhaps of all the favourite pies, Pie Thagoras is the one that I really love. Now if you want to take down the recipe at home. You have to take about a manís weight in asparagus tips, boil them for about six weeks inside a nylon shopping bag. And then empty the whole contents straight into the dustbin! And that is an absolutely delicious dish. The other thing that I know about Pythagoras is that he had a theorem. This was like a kind of three wheeled bicycle! And he used to pedal it up and down the High Street and people would go ďooohh look at him and his... thing there!Ē And it was a wonderful sight to behold. He was in many ways, in many true...

BUZZ

NP: Ohhh! Kit you spotted it first.

KHH: Oh.

NP: Two many manies and thereís only two seconds to go! Oh, Pythagoras back with you Kit starting now.

KHH: E equals MC squared, or was that the other one?

BUZZ

WHISTLE

NP: Actually Paul I think your buzzer went just before the whistle.

PM: I did, I, I was going to say deviation, E equals MC squared is Einstein.

NP: Einstein yeah. Well you were right actually. Right so Paul youíve got a third of a second on Pythagoras starting now.

PM: And so...

WHISTLE

NP: Right so Paul youíve increased your lead at the end of that round, gaining more points. In fact youíre in a very strong lead as Peter Jones takes up the challenge with the next round. Tiddlers Peter, tell us something about those starting now.

PJ: I used to go fishing for tiddlers in the stream which wound its way through the playing fields of the first little grammar school that I attended in Shropshire. And theyíre sometimes called sticklebacks. If we caught one, weíd take one home in a jam jar and it would er usually die...

BUZZ

PJ: ...after three days. It was always disappointing. One hoped... what?

NP: Clement Freud has challenged you.

CF: He didnít say of course.

NP: All right Clement, a bonus point to you. But Peter you were interrupted, you get a point for that, you keep the subject which is tiddlers and 42 seconds are left starting now.

PJ: Of course! They didnít last very long! Since I hadnít said it before and heís established that, hadnít you, I can say it now. Well they used to eat a little bit of parsley or lettuce...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Itís his sixth little.

NP: Yes a little thing...

PJ: Sixth?

NP: Not six, no. You have repeated it, but not six times, no. Clement has exactly...

PJ: He says I have, you see.

NP: Well when Peter hear the repeat of this show, Iím sure theyíll be dying to listen to see if there were six. You did repeat...

PJ: Theyíll be dying all right!

APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: Clement he did repeat little so tiddlers is with you, 29 seconds starting now.

CF: The village of Warbeswick in East Suffolk is probably the tiddler capital of the world. Nowhere will you find more tiddlers in every nook and cranny, in the rivers and the rivulets which run across the common. Look where you will and...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Youíll never find a tiddler in a cranny! No, Iíve been through all the crannies in Shropshire and Iíve never seen a tiddler there!

NP: Youíre talking as a tiddler expert, are you?

PJ: Yes I am!

NP: Youíre an authority on the subject?

PJ: Absolutely.

NP: I accept your authority Peter and say you have 12 seconds on tiddlers starting now.

PJ: They can be eaten of course if youíre very...

BUZZ

NP: Um...

LAUGHTER FROM PJ AND THE AUDIENCE

PJ: Yes! Hoist!

NP: Yes! Right, of course! Eight seconds with you Paul on tiddlers starting now.

PM: I once had a tiddler that I caught out of the sea. And I put it into a jam jar on the mantelpiece and I used to invite people to come round to my house and observe...

WHISTLE

NP: Well Paul Merton was again speaking as the whistle went and has increased his lead. Heís way out there in front of the others, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Kit Hesketh-Harvey trail in that order, not too far but a little more than usual. And the next round is alas the last round but Clement Freud begins it. Oh are you sad?

CRIES OF ďYESĒ FROM THE AUDIENCE

NP: Oh well youíll have to ask us back next year. Clement the subject is halcyon days. Will you tell us something about that delightful subject in this game starting now.

CF: Well of course, you donít get too many halcyon days outside Leicestershire. The Norfolk Cup, the Thorn, the Cotsmoor are all races point to...

BUZZ

NP: Oh yes! Oh what a frustrating game! You got in, point to point, where Kit Hesketh-Harvey first. Halcyon days is with you, 45 seconds are available starting now.

KHH: Of course Leicestershire is famous for its hunting. And those opponents of the chase of whom Iím number one can rest assured here they hunt with the quom which is a vegetarian meat substitute and therefore it involves no cruelty to animals! But for me a halcyon day...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: No well I buzzed for deviation because we hadnít got to halcyon days but Kit said halcyon days just as I buzzed.

NP: Oh right, oh, well weíll be generous to him shall we, and say that he was interrupted and has 28 seconds to continue on halcyon days starting now.

KHH: Thank you. For me halcyon days are a Cookís tour of Loughborough with a nice pie in my pocket and Peter Jonesís tiddler to examine on the way! Nothing for me could be sweeter or more rapturous. In fact...

BUZZ

NP: Paul yes?

PM: That was hesitation.

NP: That definitely was hesitation. Twelve seconds are available, halcyon days Paul starting now.

PM: My favourite circus act was Hal the sea lion. He was absolutely wonderful and one day he got stunned by a piece of scenery and people said ďoh Hal-seeíon daze!Ē Itís a very weak joke but thatís the best I can do...

WHISTLE

NP: So Paul Merton with that pun and that ingenious use of language brought this edition of Just A Minute to a close. For those interested in the point, well, Peter Jones and Kit Hesketh-Harvey were in third place only one points or two points behind Clement Freud. But in the lead quite a long way ahead this week was Paul Merton. So we say Paul youíre the winner this week! The contributions of our talented players make to the success of Just A Minute are all important and we congratulate Paul Merton, Kit Hesketh-Harvey, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. Also Elaine Wigley for blowing her whistle and keeping the score and the timing. Anne Jobson for producing and directing the show. Ian Messiter who created the whole show. But particularly this audience here in the Charmwood Theatre in Loughborough, itís been a thrill to be part of the Leicester Comedy Festival. Until we take to the air again to play Just A Minute, thank you and good-bye!

THEME MUSIC