NOTE: Neil Mullarkey's first appearance, Tony Banks's first appearance, Hattie Hayridge's first appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Hello and welcome to Just A Minute, the fast and sometimes dangerous exercise in group hysteria that is televisionís answer to intelligent conversation. I have with me my regular partner in crime, televisionís usual answer to the question, who on earth can we have on television tonight. Yes it is, itís Tony Slattery! And next to Tony, an entertainer from televisionís longest running improvised comedy show, the House of Commons. Heís not exactly the Labour Partyís answer to Jeffrey Archer, but if you ask him in private, heíll willingly provide one. It is Tony Banks! On my right, a stand-up comedienne, actress, writer, famed for her sharp one-liners, in fact sheís been in the dressing room, stropping them on a bit of old leather just half an hour before the show. Itís also Red Dwarfís answer to the fact there are too many men in that show and in this show probably, itís Hattie Hayridge! Lastly we have a ludicrously talented comedian, presenter who appears regularly on Paul Mertonís series and Whose Line Is It Anyway. A founder member of the Comedy Store Players, heís Just A Minuteís answer to the question, whoís that bloke sitting next to Hattie Hayridge, it is Neil Mullarkey! The rules of Just A Minute are very simple until you try and play the game. I ask each panellist to try and speak on the subject I give them and they do that, if they can, without hesitation, without deviating from the subject, or without repeating anything except the subject. Right, itís very simple...

TONY SLATTERY: And welcome to Play School!

NP: They can challenge whenever they like but if I uphold the challenge they gain a point, and if not whoever is speaking gains a point. Weíll begin the show this week with Tony Slattery. Tony the subject weíve got for you now is Heathrow. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

TS: Well it suddenly just occurred to me that in the book Wuthering Heights if Heathcliff were called Heathrow, it wouldnít be as romantic because Cathy would have to be called Stanstedt...


NP: Ah yes Neil you challenged.

NEIL MULLARKEY: Um hesitation?

NP: Yeah I think so, yes.

TS: It was hesitation.

NP: So Neil, first time on the show, you got in very rapidly there...

NM: Thanks Nick!

NP: You get a point for a correct answer, you have 50 seconds to tell us something about Heathrow starting now.

NM: (very slowly, dragging out each syllable) Heathrow, it is not usually discussed in private circles of which I am a member, has more...


NP: Hattie...

HATTIE HAYRIDGE: Is that hesitation?

NP: No, dear, it wasnít.

NM: It was!

HH: Hammy! Hammy! Can you get marks for hammy?

TONY BANKS: He didnít talk like that in the Green Room!

NP: I know!


NP: I never heard him talk like that before. I think if he gets any slower it would be hesitation.

HH: Oh all right.

NP: Youíre teetering on the edge of hesitation but it wasnít on that occasion Hattie. So um Neil you have a point for an incorrect challenge, you keep the subject, Heathrow, 43 seconds are left starting now.

NM: Heathrow has two tube stations, one at Terminal Four and the other serves the other places where you can land...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: Repetition of other.

NP: Yes there were others. Tony Slattery, you have 35 seconds, Heathrow starting now.

TS: I tried to smuggle a Val Doonican video through Customs in Heathrow. But they searched my bag and then the officer said ďput it back in the caseĒ. I said ďdo it yourself fish faceĒ and...


NP: Um Neil?

NM: Repetition of case.

NP: Yes, they tried to search my case, put it back in the case, well done Neil, yes. You have a correct challenge...


NP: Does that mean youíre going to go a bit faster now? Neil there are 24 seconds on Heathrow starting now.

NM: Heathrow is the busiest international airport in the entire world. Busier even than Denver, Colorado...


NP: Yes Hattie, you challenged.

HH: He said busy and hesitation.

NP: No you canít have both. Which one do you want?

HH: Whichever oneís right!

NM: Neitherís right!

NP: He did hesitate definitely.

HH: Yes.

NP: Hattie, well listened. You have the subject which is Heathrow, you have a point of course, 16 seconds are left starting now.

HH: I once knew a man who lived near Heathrow Airport...


NP: Neil?

NM: Sorry, I was entirely wrong!

NP: Terribly wrong, youíre too keen.

NM: Sorry!

NP: You can challenge so quickly and speak so slowly, I donít know whatís the matter with you! But anyway no Hattie gets a point because it was a wrong challenge. So Hattie has another point, you have 13 seconds, Heathrow starting now.

HH: This male friend used to speak louder every 30 seconds because he got so used to the planes going over while he was at home. And it made conversation with him very difficult if you werenít that very much... er...


NP: Neil Mullarkey.

NM: Well, which shall I choose... very I think was a repeat...

NP: Very and hesitation, but very you came in with first. Neil you cleverly got in with only two seconds to go.

NM: Heathrooooooooow...


NP: I thought theyíd be impressed with that but it doesnít make any difference. Right, two seconds on Heathrow starting...

TB: Iím sorry, I realise I havenít said anything, Iím probably made of cellophane and youíre the Speaker. But I thought that was hesitation there, which is why I did that, because he was thinking what I could say in two seconds. And clearly he could say nothing and he hesitated and I think thatís a point to me.

HH: Whoo!

NP: Order! Order! Tony...

TS: The Speaker doesnít speak like that.

NP: No she says (in Lancashire accent) order! Order!

TS: They sounded exactly the same!

TB: Sheís got a much higher voice.

NP: Sheís got a much higher voice. Tony, we wonít score anything there but it was very nice to hear from you. You start when I say now and I hadnít said now and thatís why he hadnít begun.

TB: Oh. Yes, yes.

NP: Neil you have two seconds left on Heathrow starting now.

NM: Heathrow is a place Iíve spent many a...


NP: When the whistle goes it tells us that 60 seconds are up and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. And it was Neil Mullarkey on this occasion. Right we move forward. Hattie Hayridge will you take the next round. The subject is if I were Prime Minister. There are 60 seconds in which you can tell us something about that starting now.

HH: If I was Prime Minister, I would hold a national competition...


NP: Neil.

NM: I thought it was if you were Prime Minister.

NP: Oh Neil, youíre being picky! The subject says, no, the subject says if I were Prime Minister. Take the subject any way...

NM: Thatís if Nicholas Parsons were Prime Minister.

NP: No ...

TB: Heíd do a better job than John Major anyway! Oh nasty political stuff coming in now!

NP: No, you take the subject any way you wish. Hattie you have a point for being interrupted again, there are 57 seconds, if I were Prime Minister starting now.

HH: If I was Prime Minister, there would be a competition to see if anyone in the whole country understood what inflation was. What the whole idea of anything like that was, and er...


TS: I think there was a bit of hesitation.

NP: There was hesitation, itís not surprising.

TB: Youíre all a bit faster on the buttons than myself.

NP: I know, well, youíll catch up no doubt, like your party might, one day. The er...


TB: How long does this programme run for?

NP: Forty-six seconds, with you Tony, if I was Prime Minister starting now.

TS: If I was Prime Minister, Iíd turn the House of Lords into a virtual reality death zone, with lasers so the old buffers could just... oh...


TB: That was hesitation.

NP: That was definitely hesitation. Youíre in there Tony, right...

TB: Theyíre already the death zone anyway!

NP: No, no, no, youíll find the law of averages in this show means that everybody always gets a fair show at some time or another. Right, 39 seconds are left for you to tell us if I was Prime Minister, Tony, what would you do, starting now.

TB: If I was Prime Minister, the first thing that I would do would be to abolish homelessness, poverty and all those other nasty things that are actually in our society. That is the right-on serious bit that I am going to give you tonight. I would also pass a law that no-one could actually beat Chelsea Football Club at Stanford Bridge which means that we would actually win something instead...


NP: Neil.

NM: Weíve had several would actuallys, I think.

NP: Yes you would actually, you would actually yes.

TB: Well you would actually if I was speaking.

NP: Neil you got in with 18 seconds on this subject, if I was Prime Minister starting now.

NM: If I was Prime Minister, what wouldnít I do? I would make take dick stall...


NP: Ah yes?

TS: Thatís just gibberish! Take dick stall boom!

TB: He would make a very good Prime Minister!

NP: Yes weíve heard from the like of him, havenít we. Right Tony, youíre in there with 13 seconds, if I was Prime Minister starting now.

TS: If I was Prime Minister, I would set up something called a Pants Advisory Service where people would ring up and say ďIím wearing grey slacks after the fashion of Nicholas ParsonsĒ and then Iíd fine them with VAT of 100 percent on what their clothes meant...


TS: Rubbish! Rubbish!

NP: Right, Tony Slattery was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so. Heís moved into second place behind Neil Mullarkey. Tony Banks, itís your turn to begin and the subject is Waterloo. Would you tell us... I always have to say now Tony. I know you havenít played the game before. Waterloo, 60 seconds starting now.

TB: I had an ancestor who actually died at Waterloo. He wasnít involved in the Battle itself, he was camping in a field close by, and went down...


NP: Neil, yes?

NM: Hesitation.

NP: No! Neil, youíre too sharp for words! Fifty-one seconds, another point, Tony Banks, Waterloo starting now.

TB: And went along to complain about the noise! He was, he was butchered which seemed a most unfortunate thing to do to one of my ancestors....


NP: Neil.

NM: Didnít he say ancestors before.

NP: Yes you did mention your ancestors before.

TB: Yes I was looking at you because I knew I had done that.

NP: So Neil, you have the subject, Waterloo, 42 seconds starting now.

NM: Waterloo is a station from which I used to catch a train. It would stop at Clapham Junction, Wimbledon, Surbiton, Hinchley Wood, Cleargate, Okshot Common, Effingham Junction...


TS: There isnít a station called Okshot Common! Itís Oxshot Common!

NP: Ah Neil Iím not going to give that one against you, so you have another point, incorrect challenge, 33 seconds, Waterloo, starting now.

NM: Effingham Junction, Horsley...


HH: Repetition of Effingham Junction. He said it before.

TB: Yes absolutely, I noticed that.

NP: I was about to say that he had repeated Effingham Junction. And Hattie Hayridge you have the subject, there are 32... you see it gets to me! Right, there are 32 seconds on Waterloo with you Hattie starting now.

HH: Waterloo is the station near a place called Waterloo and that is quite a coincidence! Wonder how they thought of it! It is full of trains but there is one section of it where thereís a platform which leads into the Channel Tunnel where there are no trains, not like...


HH: Ow!

TB: Iím afraid trains.

HH: Yes, donít get that many usually, do they.

NP: Tony Banks, youíre back on Waterloo, 18 seconds starting now.

TB: Well the Battle of Waterloo was caused by a bloke called Napoleon.


TS: Iím sorry but there was repetition, you said Battle of Waterloo earlier.

NP: You said battle before.

TS: You said battle.

NP: The subjectís...

TS: Donít look at me like that! Itís only a game!

TB: Thatís it! Iím going!


TS: Heíll be up with the Mace next!


NP: Tony, Tony Slattery, correct challenge, another point to you, Waterloo, 15 seconds starting now.

TS: Waterloo Common was where I first met Neil Mullarkey...


TB: Hesitation there! Definitely.

NP: No, but thereís no Waterloo Common as well.

TB: No.

NP: No, no, so Tony, weíll give it to you on the other one, 12 seconds for you on Waterloo, Tony Banks, starting now.

TB: Waterloo is a station as we already know. It is also a bridge, all named after that very famous punch-up in a field somewhere in Belgium...


TS: Iím sorry, thatís repetition of field.

NP: You mentioned the field before.

TB: Iím not very good at this, am I!


NP: Donít despair, Tony, itís a tough game! But your ancestor was in that field and... Tony Slattery remembered it...

TB: But that was a lie!

TS: But everything you say is a lie! Youíre a MP!

TB: But I donít normally get caught out so much!

NP: Tony...

HH: He was waiting for the station to be built, was he, in that field.

NP: You have one second, Tony, on Waterloo starting now.

TS: (sings) Iím in the mood for dancing...


NP: Tony Slattery was speaking once again as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so, and heís just increased his lead at the end of the round. Now instead of giving the panellists a subject, Iím going to offer them an object...


NP: Oh!

TB: God!

NP: That was just...

TB: That looks like a sample that I passed earlier!

NP: Itís a sample that weíve all passed at different times, I think. But anyway there we are. So there is the object, and Hattie, weíd like you to talk about it first. Will you tell us something about this object in this game starting now.

HH: This is an example of cappuccino when youíve... sipped away...


NP: Neil.

NM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was hesitation, Iím not surprised...

HH: Iíve got to breathe!

NP: Neil, a correct challenge, will you tell us something about this object. You have 56 seconds left starting now.

NM: This interesting vessel contains some French onion soup prepared earlier by Clement Freud, in a fit of pique which I can describe only as a passing trauma known previously to a volcanic tribe in Netroria, a strange...


TS: (laughs) What the hell was that?

NM: Netroria, itís in Stoke-on-Trent.

TS: You didnít say Tretoria, you said ah-toora.

NM: Thatís a bit nearer Stoke-on-Trent.

NP: No no, I gave you the benefit of the doubt last time Neil. This time I must give it to Tony Slattery. Tony, thereís the object, 39 seconds, talk about it please starting now.

TS: This is the latest perfume, itís called grunge. And you dab it on your pulse points and then you go down trolling the West End, and itís (laughs)


NP: Yes?

TB: Hesitation.

NP: No, there was no hesitation.


HH: Repetition of yer.

NP: Thatís right, repetition of yer. You got that one, well done Hattie, yes yer.

HH: Yer.

NP: Yer, right. Thereís the object, back with you, 22 seconds starting now.

HH: This is an example of Thames Water when it has been filtered at least 17 times. Prior to this it looks even worse and nothing like the wonderful specimen we see here in front of us which is...


TB: Sorry, totally incorrect. Something happened to my hand and it went off. I just suddenly, I just lost control of it. I just lost control of it, I withdraw the challenge.

NP: But it doesnít alter, but all that happens is that Hattie, you were interrupted, you get another point for that and you keep going with 10 seconds on the object starting now.

HH: Itís a wonderful colour, example of...


HH: Oh!

TS: Oh Iím sorry hesitation.

NP: That was hesitation, Iím sorry Hattie. Tony Slattery, another point, seven seconds left, thereís the object starting now.

TS: The last time Nicholas had his ears syringed...


NM: Heís deviating horribly from whatís inside this thing here. Itís got nothing to do with whatís inside your ears. Iíve seen Nicholas, I happen to know.

NP: Certainly whateverís in my ears isnít that colour. So Neil, I agree with the challenge...

TS: Hattie!


HH: Tony!

NP: Five seconds, Neil Mullarkey... five seconds for Neil Mullarkey on the object starting now.

NM: This is some salad dressing...


NP: Hattie cleverly got in with half a second to go...

TB: Aw!

NP: ... on the object starting now.

HH: This is a brown thing...


NP: Hattie Hayridge then got a point for speaking as the whistle went. And at the end of that round, Hattieís moved forward, sheís now in third place behind Neil Mullarkey. Tony Slatteryís in the lead and Tony Banks is trailing a little. Now Iíll give a bonus point to anybody who does, who can tell me what they think that actually is. It is a substance.

TS: Is it wine?

NP: It is a real substance.

TS: A wheel substance?

NP: A wheel substance that weíve thought of...

HH: Is it the thing that goes round and round?

NP: No, no, not the container, itís what is in it. You were very close actually Hattie, it is...

HH: Itís Thames water!

NP: Yes!

HH: Whoo!

NP: Yes it is water and mud gathered from the Thames, under Waterloo Bridge. Isnít that...


TB: Half a point each!

NP: Itís gone back down to the bowels of the Thames now! Right...

NM: Itís like the sewers.

NP: As you were closest Hattie, you get a bonus point.

HH: Oh! Wow!

NP: And after that edifying free-for-all, itís time for us to kiss and make up, so weíll take a break here and weíll see you in a couple of minutes after this.




NP: Welcome back to Just A Minute. Weíve only got a few minutes left, so letís roll up our sleeves, soil our hands and your minds with our next round. And this round, Iím not going to give a subject to our panellists, Iím going to ask our audience to suggest one. So anybody in our audience got any subjects theyíd... yes, the lady there, what would you like them to speak about?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: The London telephone boxes.

NP: Yes, what about them, what about them. Any other suggestions? Yes, the girl down there, yes?


NP: The Tory Party, yes, thereís not much to say about them. The gentleman in the back there.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: London taxi drivers.

NP: Well Neil, weíd like you to start, which one would you like?

NM: I like telephone boxes actually.

NP: You can have it, as youíre going to start, you choose. London telephone boxes, there are 60 seconds, Neil Mullarkey, starting now.

NM: London telephone boxes are often...


TB: That was hesitation.

NP: That was quite hesitation, definitely Tony Banks. So the subject is London telephone boxes starting now.

TB: What I found amazing is that they took away those red London boxes and replaced them with these nasty glass cubicles which I always thought were urinals judging by the smell that one actually gets on a walk. And now theyíre replacing yet again those cubicles which I said already once before...


NP: Neil Mullarkey challenged.

NM: He took the words right out of my mouth!

NP: Yes indeed, Neil you challenged first, so you have London telephone boxes back with you, 23 seconds starting now.

NM: London telephone boxes are a joy to behold. I like to go in there and write poetry. Last week I wrote a stanza Iíd written in er oh...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: Well itís the same objection as last time, it was complete rubbish!

NP: Fourteen seconds on you, with you, starting now.

TS: (laughs)


NP: Neil, yes?

NM: Hesitation.

HH: I buzzed! Oh.

NP: Yes he came up again.

NM: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, Neil. London telephone boxes back with you, 13 seconds starting now.

NM: London telephone boxes are frequented by members of the House of Lords. When they want to cogitate on matters of state they go to the London...


NP: Yes?

TB: Iím sorry, itís this hand. I donít know what Iíve been doing with it, but it keeps leaping on to the buzzer!

NP: It was doing the right thing, thatís hesitation, Tony Banks.

TB: It was hesitation yes.

NP: Four seconds for you to tell us something about London telephone boxes starting now.

TB: I always thought that London...


NP: Neil.

NM: Always.

NP: Yes you did say always before, Iím very sorry.

TB: I want to see a reprise here. I want you to go back to those tapes. I swear I didnít on my life. You can believe me, Iím a politician!

NP: Weíll ask the audience if you like. Did he say always before?


NP: Theyíre all Labour voters out there. All right Tony you have the benefit of the doubt from the audience...

NM: They must be German referees out there!

NP: Three seconds on the subject Tony starting now.

TB: I well remember London telephone boxes when they had those very interesting coins...


NP: So Tony Banks was then speaking when the whistle went and he gained a point of course for doing so and heís moved into third place. In the lead equal are Tony Slattery and Neil Mullarkey. And Tony itís back with you to start. Oh what a lovely subject for you, the Dagenham Girl Pipers. Will you tell us something about them starting now.

TS: I went to see the Dagenham Girl Pipers perform at the Carnegie Hall. Weirdly the hall... oh damn!


NP: Yes?

NM: (in semi French accent) Hesitation.

NP: Yes. You donít have to say it like that, just speak normally for a change.

NM: Youíre lucky.

NP: Dagenham Girl Pipers with you, Neil Mullarkey, 54 seconds starting now.

NM: The Dagenham Girl Pipers were worried. They had financial cutbacks, what were they going to do? The leader said to them ďgirls, I donít know what Iím going to doĒ...


NP: Yes?

TS: To do, repetition.

NP: He did too much.


TB: Thatís right, I was in there with him.

TS: Is that your hand again?

TB: Itís the hand again.

NP: Slattery right, 44 seconds, Dagenham Girl Pipers starting now.

TS: The Dagenham Girl Pipers had been on the booze all night. They rampaged through London town, their symmeters and swords and sabres glittering in the moonlight. They were after blood...


TB: Iím very sorry. I mean I realise that you were into your flow as they say, but the Dagenham Girl Pipers didnít go round with symmeters. And thatís complete deviation.

NP: So therefore itís deviation, well done. You see, your left hand is better than your right, isnít it.

TB: Definitely. Thatís what I keep telling John Smith!

NP: Oh really? I didnít know.

TS: He seems such a normal person as well!

NP: Weíre getting revelations that are exciting now arenít we. Right, 32 seconds, the Dagenham Girl Pipers starting now.

TB: I once went out with a Dagenham Girl Pipers mother. I found her a fascinating person because she could do some weird and interesting things with a set of bagpipes. Which is something of course the Dagenham Girl Pipers were known to be very very proficient at...


TB: Yes of course, very very, yes I know! Yes I know.

NP: Sorry, 18 seconds...

TB: it was getting very interesting as well actually.

NP: Dagenham Girl Pipers are back with you Tony Slattery, 18 seconds starting now.

TS: The (splutters and laughs)


TS: Oh dear! Sorry!

NM: Heseetasheeoooh. Hesitation.

NP: Why do you do that ooohh? What is all this? Itís what we call in show business overacting actually. Yes

NM: (in squeaky voice) Oh really?

NP: Seventeen seconds for you Neil on the Dagenham Girl Pipers starting now.

NM: The Dagenham Girl Pipers were playing football against Evertonnnnn...


TS: Hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation, yes. Twelve seconds, more for the Dagenham Girl Pipers, Tony Slattery, starting now.

TS: The fingering techniques of the Dagenham Girl Pipers were taught by one Tony Banks. Itís called the left hand method! John Smith uses it as well! It gets so out of hand and then when they play...


NP: Whoís challenged? Yes? You have Neil.

NM: Hand twice.

NP: Yes, Two hands, right. Thereís half a second, Neil Mullarkey, youíve got in...

TB: It does need both hands!

NP: Youíve got in with half a second to go on the Dagenham Girl Pipers starting now.

NM: The Dagenham...


NP: Right! So Neil Mullarkey was then speaking as the whistle went and gained an extra point for doing so. Iím afraid weíve run out of time so Iíll give you the final score. Well Hattie Hayridge who hasnít played the game before did very well. She finished in fourth place. But it was a very good place. Tony Banks, who again hasnít played the game before, did a little bit better, he was in third place. And Neil Mullarkey whoís never played the game before, he finished in the lead alongside the man who has played the game before and they are joint winners, Tony Slattery and Neil Mullarkey! Some of us here have not told our parents where we are tonight so weíd better be off before we get into trouble. So it only remains for me to say from our guests, Tony Slattery, Tony Banks, Hattie Hayridge, Neil Mullarkey and myself, Nicholas Parsons, until the next time they release us into the television community, good night from us all. Good night.