starring DEREK NIMMO, GRAHAM NORTON, TONY HAWKS and LINDA SMITH, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 18 January 1999)

NOTE: Linda Smith's first appearance.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Right! Yes! Hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more, it is my pleasure not only to welcome our many listeners throughout the world, but also the four distinctive diverse talents who this week are going to play Just A Minute. we welcome back one of the golden oldies of the show, whoís been with this programme since it first began many years ago, and we are delighted to have him back, and that is the inimitable Derek Nimmo. We also welcome back someone who has played it many times with great success, and that is the irrepressible Tony Hawks. And someone whoís played it not so often but also with great eclan and that is the incorrigible Graham Norton. And someone whoís never played it before, but weíre delighted to welcome this wonderful comedy performer and that is Linda Smith. Will you please welcome all four of them! As usual I am going to ask them to speak on a subject that I will give them and they will have to do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Beside me sits the most attractive Elaine Wigley. She has a stopwatch in one hand to help me keep the time, and also a pencil poised in order to help me keep the score as well as a whistle to blow when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the Lyceum Theatre in the seal city of Sheffield, the industrial heartland of what was Britain when it was an industrial nation. And in front of us we have a warm responsive Yorkshire audience as we start the show with Tony Hawks. Tony, oh, what a lovely subject to begin the show with. The full monty, thatís the subject.


NP: I think they clapped because they thought we were going to do it! This is radio, we will try it on the radio. But Tony, talk on the subject, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TONY HAWKS: One of the main reasons for the success of this film, The Full Monty, is not as most people think, because men, er, of the, oh...


NP: Oh Graham Norton you challenged, yes?

GRAHAM NORTON: Ah a word I didnít recognise there.

NP: I know. he was thinking about what he saw in The Full Monty and he completely dried up. So Graham you get a point for a correct challenge, you take over the subject, there are 51 seconds left, the full monty starting now.

GN: Perhaps an unpopular opinion here, but I donít understand the appeal of The Full Monty. Frankly...


NP: Derek Nimmoís challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: It isnít an unpopular thing to say. Therefore, deviation.


NP: So what is your challenge Derek?

DN: Deviation.

NP: No I disagree. So Graham an incorrect challenge, you get another point, you keep the subject, you have 42 seconds still available, the full monty starting now.

GN: Imagine if you will Richard Whiteley standing on top of a glass-top coffee table, twirling his blazer above his head, yelling loudly ďone from the bottom, Carol!Ē


GN: Well... thatís... what I call a strip show! Surely if The Full Monty wanted to succeed on every level, thatís the line they should have gone down. My other concern is the name, The Full Monty, given that Monty in itself is short for something. Ergo, if that makes sense, someone will tell me if it doesnít...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point and on this occasion it was Graham Norton. And Linda Smith, itís your turn, so letís hear from you. The subject, oh a lovely one, Auntie. Tell us something about Auntie in this game if you can starting now.

LINDA SMITH: Auntie, Iíve got an Auntie whoís lovely, but she will knit, often quite unfortunate gifts for me. Example, one Christmas many years ago, she knitted Yours Truly a woollen swimming costume. It was fine until wet when the wretched garment stretched and dragged along the sea bed like some sort of drift net, probably contravening several EEC regulations about net size! However the pilchards came in handy and weíll never want...


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: There was another net wasnít there?

NP: Yes there was more than one net.

GN: No, maybe drift net is one word and I am so wrong!

NP: I think itís hyphenated. Iíll tell you what weíll do. As you havenít played the game before, I will be generous and say that was an incorrect challenge. And so you have a point for that and you keep the subject and you have 28 seconds still available, on Auntie starting now.

LS: Well we never wanted for cryll! Another Auntie of those relatives who are not a real Auntie, comforting and familiar people like...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Er er hesitation.

NP: Iím afraid er er is hesitation. But no, you did jolly well and 14 seconds available for Auntie with you Derek starting now.

DN: My Auntie Nancy lived in Sheffield and she was Headmistress of Carfield School. And I well remember going to her retirement party in 1942 when she praised all the brave soldiers whoíd gone off...


NP: Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went got that extra point. Theyíve all got points now and in the lead, Graham Norton is one ahead of Derek Nimmo and Tony Hawks, and two ahead of Linda Smith. All very close, all great fun. Graham your turn to begin, the subject, guilding the lily. Talk on the subject starting now.

GN: Guilding the lily is an expression Iím not that fond of. It is a little too poetic for my taste. However a good friend of mine, Ena Peron from Norway, introduced me to the joys of the Norwegian way of saying guilding the lily. That is...


NP: Linda you challenged.

LS: Um heís sort of talking like Stephen Hawking!

NP: (laughs) When he thinks heís sounding erudite, he goes into Stephen Hawking mode. But Linda that was a lovely challenge because um we enjoyed it and as the audience response showed you. What I like to do on those occasions is give you a bonus point for a, for er a lovely contribution. But as he wasnít actually deviating in any way, he still has guilding the lily and 37 seconds Graham starting now.

GN: Donít say guilding the lily, rather say butter on bacon...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah two says, donít say and rather say.

NP: Yes there were two says.

TH: Yes.

GN: Youíre so right!

NP: I know!

GN: Thank God youíre here!

NP: Tony you have a correct challenge, you have 31 seconds on guilding the lily starting now.

TH: Guilding the lily is to add superfluous ornament to that which is already beautiful. This is why Iím not wearing any makeup this evening! I once tried to guild a lily. She was a big woman and she wasnít having anything of it! We got into terrible trouble. Iíd never done any guilding before, and I donít think sheíd been guilded to be honest! But we gave it a go, and after 20 minutes I gave up and er put some makeup on, why not? Iíll say makeup again, no-one seems to...


NP: The person sitting next to you Tony did pick up the makeup. So Linda youíre in first with a challenge which was repetition of makeup, so you have five seconds on guilding the lily starting now.

LS: If you wanted to guild the lily, you could guild the lily very successfully...


NP: So Linda Smith got a number of points in that round including the right one for speaking as the whistle went and she has gone into the lead alongside Graham Norton. Tony Hawks, your turn to begin, a thankless task. Tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

TH: Some people would say that hitchhiking around Ireland with a fridge to win a hundred pound bet as I did in May 1997 was a thankless task. But frankly the remuneration I got from the book has made up for that! But enough plugging, you canít do that on this show, I know. But what I will say is that I used to do warm-ups for TV shows in the 80s. And if ever that was a thankless task, that was one. Producers used to ring me up and say ďwill you do this? Basically just chat to the audience before the TV recording, keep them happy and then everyone will laugh during the television show when it goes out...Ē


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Repetition of show.

TH: Correct.

NP: Yes and television too, but it doesnít matter. Twenty-five seconds left, ah Derek, a thankless task starting now.

DN: I was asked to do a television programme one ah morning early. And I had to choose the something I would like to be. An airline pilot. But I thought a more thankless task would be a dustbin man. So off I went in my car and my driver dropped me off at the place where you put on the things, threw my rags off, and off I went to be this particular fellow. Gosh it was such hard work, youíve no idea. When you take one of those bins on to your back and throw them into...


NP: A more unlikely bin man I canít imagine! So at the end of that round Derek was speaking when the whistle went, gained the extra point and heís now equal in the lead with Graham Norton and Linda Smith. Only one point behind is Tony Hawks. Itís all very close and Derek Nimmo itís your turn to begin. The subject now is enigma. Tell us something about this in this game starting now.

DN: Iíve always tried to be a little bit of an enigma myself. Slightly mysterious, curiously strange, a tiny bit weird perhaps. I am an enigma. Mind you, when one thinks of that wonderful music, the Enigma Variations and King George the Sixth, God bless him, his favourite piece of music which was Nimrod...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of music.

NP: Yes you did say music before. So Tony a correct challenge, 36 seconds are available, enigma, starting now.

TH: To me it remains an enigma that the film Back To The Future 3 was released first. Surely this should have been the other way around or in some way along those lines. But anyway I want, I want to say also...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of want.

DN: Oh well done! Well done!

NP: Well done! So Graham, you have the subject of enigma, 23 seconds starting now.

GN: Enigma to me are always that band. Donít know if you remember them, perhaps that wasnít even their name and Iím talking rubbish! But I believe...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: That was just a mercy challenge!


NP: Because he was deviating from enigma because he, you know, that group didnít exist, did it.

GN: No it did Nicholas.

NP: It did? I know, I was just trying to help Linda because you said you were talking rubbish, you see, so...

GN: All right.

NP: So Linda we give you the benefit of the doubt there and you have 12 seconds on enigma starting now.

LS: What Nicholas was talking about then is a complete and utter enigma to me. What was he wittering on about? I havenít the slightest idea. I donít want to be rude because Iíve only just...


NP: Linda Smith speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point and sheís taken the lead at the end of that round. Linda itís your turn to begin, Yorkshire. Sixty seconds starting now.

LS: Ah Yorkshire, itís where we are now. Yorkshire, the county that gave us Geoffrey Boycott, Freddie Trueman, and the Yorkshire Ripper! But on a, on a lighter note, Yorkshire pudding, mmmm, the pizza of the north but, but with gravy on top, rather than mozzarella, anchovies, green peppers, olives, tomatoes, pepparoneeeeeee...


LS: Pineapple!

NP: Iíve got to be fair here. I have little lights in front of me listeners, Tony and Derek, you actually coincided. Whoís going to take the subject?

DN: Give...

GN: Me!

NP: Tony youíre sitting next to Linda, Iím going to give you the benefit of the doubt and Iíll be generous to Derek next time in such a situation. So Tony, 35 seconds, Yorkshire starting now.

TH: My father is actually from Yorkshire, Bridlington, so Iíve always liked coming here and support Sheffield Wednesday to some degree, I donít know why...


TH: ...who happened to beat Manchester United three-one, quite some time ago. That was tremendous! I think Yorkshire pudding as Linda was talking about earlier is absolutely delicious. Nothing I like more than having it served up on a Sunday lunch as I sit there round my little table. Totally alone, nobody else there. And I tuck into it, gravy on the top, It is...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Repetition of I possibly?

NP: Ooohh sheís learning fast isnít she! Your challenge is correct so I have...

LS: Iím sorry, the rules are so arcane!

NP: I know!

LS: You interrupt, you donít interrupt, I donít know what...

TH: I think itís fair, I mean I only got the subject because I was sat next to her! So...


NP: The same thought crossed my mind Tony. So she has it back again and started with it, and you have eight seconds to continue, Yorkshire starting now Linda.

LS: Yorkshire, Sheffield where we are tonight, is a city in Yorkshire and the city of The Full Monty which many people donít realise...


NP: So Linda who hasnít played the game before and finds the rules arcane um is doing extraordinarily well and has a commanding lead over all the others at the end of that. Graham Norton your turn to begin, mind altering substances, 60 seconds starting now.

GN: Mind altering substances were, I believe, introduced into my Midland Mainline coffee today! For I just took one sip and then i had the sensation that the train was moving very slowly...


GN: ...for a long time! Nothing outside that window was blurred at all! I could see every leaf on the trees crystal clear! And suddenly I found myself feeling depressed, even bored. And Iím not like...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Heís taken too many mind altering substances!

NP: So whatís the challenge?

TH: Um, er, I know, Iíll think of one! Ah deviation from er being normal!

NP: No, I think he was being utterly Norton actually! And er, and obviously the audience was enjoying it. So Graham, 14 seconds, continue with your mind altering substances, the demonstration was as good as the dialogue. Fourteen seconds, starting now.

GN: Mind altering substances are great! I think everyone should buy them! Go out there and buy some on the street! Thereís probably people out there... oh I said out there twice. Never mind, three times now...


NP: The fatal mistake in this show is to draw everyoneís attention to it Graham! But Derek got in first, Derek yes, he repeated out there, six seconds for you, mind altering substances starting now.

DN: I remember going to Lake Maccapicho and there they had lots of cocoa leaves which I shoved into my mouth with a little lime juice and that...


NP: Derek Nimmo speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, heís now equal in second place with Tony Hawks. Just behind Graham Norton whoís just behind Linda Smith. And Tony Hawks your turn to begin, a hard boiled egg is the subject. Tell us something about it in this game starting now.

TH: Recently I went up to a boiled egg, and said ďall right then, come and have a go, if you think youíre hard!Ē And it was, it had a black belt in judo and it broke my arm! I shanít be doing that again! I have nothing left oh er... I like more...


NP: Derek Nimmo you challenged then.

DN: There was a gap then, wasnít there.

NP: There was a gap, yes, there was a gap. Yes he was riding his laughs there. Forty-four seconds Derek, a hard boiled egg starting now.

DN: I must say in all these years Iíve never had such a rotten subject as a hard boiled egg!


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: It was another mercy challenge! I thought not happy, Derek wasnít happy with that subject.

NP: So...

GN: I just stepped in and removed it from him!

NP: Well he hasnít hesitated, deviated or repeated anything. So Derek do you wish to hand over or keep going?

DN: Iíll keep going...

NP: Fine, fine. So Derek has a point for an incorrect challenge, he keeps the subject, 36 seconds, a hard boiled egg starting now.

DN: Get the water to a boil and then put the egg in for five minutes and then itíll be really hard boiled and you can use it for a salad aíswarze with some...



NP: Oops sorry, mike, I just hit it!

DN: Awfully sorry! It doesnít matter!

NP: Elaineís cracked up! Sheís gone!


NP: Yes I hit the microphone by mistake and said Ďsorry mikeĒ. Who challenged? I hit the mike. It was Linda, you challenged. Right Linda, Linda yes, I hit the mike as I turned to face Linda, Lindaís on my right and Derekís on my left, I should explain to our listeners...

DN: I, I seem to have lost the plot a bit!

NP: Linda, Linda you challenged, what was your challenge? Can you remember?

LS: Oh, God knows! I er ah...

NP: I think it was a correct challenge anyway!


NP: Twenty-six seconds Linda, a hard boiled egg starting now.


NP: Lindaís gone as well as Elaine now, theyíre in fits of giggles! Right Derek, you got in first, another long pause from Linda then.

DN: Well you said you wouldnít give her a second chance and she didnít start again.

NP: Right correct, 24 seconds, a hard boiled egg starting now.

DN: I have not known many hard boiled eggs though I did once go to an island with a very similar name which was rather soft which was a bit of a shame because itís not entirely what Iíd expect at all. The thing is to get the yolk and the white equally hard and then you have a truly haaaaaaard boilllllllllllled...



NP: Wait! Wait a minute! Tony challenged just before the whistle, yes?

TH: Ah well I thought he was going to take about an hour saying the word hard!

NP: I think it was so slow I will interpret that as hesitation.

TH: Ah thank you.

NP: Drawing it out to an extreme length so we call that hesitation. Youíve got in with one second on a hard boiled egg Tony starting now.

TH: Sometimes people print...


NP: Linda, our first time player of the game, is still in the lead, one ahead of Derek Nimmo. Heís one ahead of Tony Hawks and heís one ahead of Graham Norton. Isnít that exciting? Right Derek, your turn to begin. The subject is now behind the scenes, tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

DN: In the theatre, we have something called the Actorís Church Union and there are for this er...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: I think there was a slight hesitation.

DN: Definitely.

NP: There was a definite hesitation. Fifty-three seconds, behind the scenes is with you Tony starting now.

TH: If you were privy to what goes on behind the scenes before the recording of this show, Just A Minute, you wouldnít listen to it! Frankly itís disgusting! Weíre out there rehearsing The Full Monty behind that curtain. It was quite a sight to see. Kenneth... oh God heís not...


NP: Oh and they go at me when I get the names confused.

TH: Oh dear, you started it with the mind altering substances!

NP: It was a bit of deja vu, you brought Kenneth Williams back from up above, or...

TH: Wherever he went!

NP: Yes! Derek challenged first, there are 39 seconds, behind the scenes starting now.

DN: At the Palladium lots of these priests used to come round, particularly when we had a big chorus of beautiful girls and they would try to teach them about God. Now if it was an all-male show, theyíd never turn up at all. But some might, you never know these days, do you really? But I must say the things that go on behind the scenes are very fascinating. For instance our chairman did something called The Rocky Horror Show. And he wore fishnet stockings and lovely high-heeled shoes. So itís well worth going behind the scenes to see him at it, as it were. Heís a very popular fellow throughout the country. Heís played this lovely theatre, the Lyceum many times...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Ah repetition of theatre.

NP: Yes.

DN: Absolutely true.

NP: Absolutely true. Tony, once more you have got in with one second to go, one second Tony, behind the scenes starting now.

TH: The scenes are lovely...


NP: Tony Hawks with those points and the extra one for speaking when the whistle went has now taken the lead. Heís one ahead of Linda Smith and Linda begins the next round. Linda, the subject is where itís at, starting now.

LS: Where itís at, everybody these days wants to be there itís at. Ah or even where itís at...


LS: Possibly, maybe, I donít know...

NP: Iím sorry, Graham challenged you.

LS: Nicholas, move a bit further away!

NP: Sorry, Graham challenged you, Iím afraid, after five seconds.

GN: Oh there just seemed to be a lot of words.

LS: I think there were a lot of words, not necessarily in the right order! Yes!

NP: So all right Graham, you have it, 52 seconds...

GN: I donít want it in that churlish way!

NP: Fifty-two seconds starting now.

GN: Sadly I never seem to know where itís at, man! Possibly it was a mistake to me er bleurgh!


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Ah hesitation.

NP: I think so Tony, where itís at, 44 seconds starting now.

TH: Itís very important to know where itís at particularly if youíre going to catch a plane. Thereís no point going to say Gatwick, for your aircraft when where itís at is Heathrow. I did this once and itís no good at all. You really need to go where itís at. Then you can get on it, sit in the chair and itíll take you to the place where you want to be. Whereas in my case I was at the wrong place. Thatís no good at all...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Oh was there repetition of place.

NP: Two places, yes there were. Twenty seconds where itís at with you Graham starting now.

GN: Where itís at, I think is a sort of urban street kid kind of slang for an exciting place to hang out where theyíre spinning the discs and theyíre tapping their feet and saying things like ďwhere itís atĒ. I...


NP: Linda challenged.

LS: Possibly repetition of and, maybe, I donít know.

NP: Well he did repeat and but er youíve got in with three seconds Linda on where itís at starting now.

LS: I hope when...


NP: Derek challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: No! She went immediately with flourish! Two and a half seconds, Linda, on where itís at...

LS: Where itís at, Iíd like to be where itís at but I donít know where it is...


NP: So Linda, where itís at, was speaking on where itís at, and as the whistle went and got that extra point. So thatís where itís at at the moment. So we move into the last round and itís Graham Nortonís turn to begin. And the subject, oh what a lovely subject to finish the show on, gossip. Graham Iím sure you can gossip but talk about gossip starting now.

GN: My mother used to say to me ďalways remember Graham, a problem shared is gossip!Ē And how right she was! I remember being at a dinner party once, gossiping about some sort of bizarre incident involving myself and a mounted policeman when it was revealed that the woman sitting opposite me was the wife of said... guard-on-a-horse...


NP: Derek you challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

DN: So 29 seconds for you Derek on gossip starting now.

DN: Landladies are the greatest gossips. I remember staying in digs in Birmingham and the landlady, well, the woman, she said to me, she said... um...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I interpret that noise as a hesitation.

NP: Yes, got in, she said, she said, right! Tony gossip, 21 seconds starting now.

TH: Personally I donít believe the gossip that Nicholas Parsons is in fact a woman, Amy Wilcox of Potterton Avenue, Dorking. The gossip columnists have got it all wrong. Heís Miss Wilkins from East Sussex in... well...


TH: In East Sussex!

NP: Derek you challenged.

DN: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation? Iíd have had him for deviation long before that. Four seconds to go, gossip with you Derek starting now.

DN: I had Mister Frankie Howerd staying here once, very lonely, terribly sad...


NP: Well did you enjoy that?


NP: Right! Would you like to hear the final score?


NP: Good! Itís a very fair result because their contributions have been absolutely outstanding. But Graham Norton just failed to get up with the other three.


NP: No, no... no, no, he had a tremendous number of points, incredible contribution as always. He finished only three points behind. But the other three were equal in the lead so we have three winners, Derek Nimmo, Linda Smith and Tony Hawks! Theyíre our three winners this week! It only remains for me to say thank you to our three delightful players of the game, Tony Hawks, Linda Smith, Graham Norton and Derek Nimmo. Also to thank Elaine Wigley who has kept the score for me so magnificently. We also thank Ian Messiter who created this game, keeps us all in work which we love doing. And also our director producer Chris Neill for being such a support to us as we play this game. And particularly we thank our lovely audience here at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield for encouraging us on our way so magnificently. To all of you, from all of us, thank you very much and God bless, good-bye!