starring CLEMENT FREUD, GRAHAM NORTON, TONY HAWKS and PAM AYRES, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 10 February 2003)

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!


NP: Thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners not only in this country but throughout the world. But also to welcome to the programme four exciting, talented, individual and successful performers of this game who have come together to pit their wits, their verbal ingenuity and their humorous dexterity against each other as they try and speak for Just A Minute on a subject I will give them and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviation. And those four bright intelligent people are Graham Norton and Tony Hawks, Clement Freud and Pam Ayres. Will you please welcome all four of them! Beside me sits Claire Bartlett, sheís going to help me keep the score, and sheíll blow a whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the beautiful Old Vic Theatre in the great fine city of Bristol in the West country. And we have a fine Bristolian West country audience in front of us ready to cheer us on our way. As we begin the show this week with Clement Freud. Clement, the subject in front of me is being a rebel. Will you tell us something about that subject in this game, starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: Politically I was never much of a rebel. My failed anorexic friend, Cyril Smith and I shared an office, and tried to do things as well as we could, and differently from others, but not rebelling as such. Now and again we voted against this party or that, and as a consequence nothing at all happened! This seems to be the fault of those of a political persuasion such as ours. As a child, I did rebel quite frequently. I remember my nanny saying that we were going to a pantomime. ďNo,Ē I said, ďnot Peter Pan, I dislike that show, because instead of employing human beings, they have a dog who is a nanny which goes...Ē



NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TONY HAWKS: Iím sorry but I think that was a repetition of nanny.

NP: It was yes.

TH: Going so well.

NP: That groan, groan from the audience indicated how much theyíd enjoyed it and...


NP: I didnít realise how funny that was actually! You could only say that in Just A Minute! Because you were enjoying it so much and you groaned because you werenít going to get any more from Clement Freud on that subject. But Tony, you challenged and itís a correct challenge...

TH: Thank you.

NP: So you get a point for a correct challenge and you take over the subject with eight seconds to go, being a rebel starting now.

TH: I like to read those Town Centre maps that say ďyou are hereĒ from a distance using binoculars, because that...


NP: Pam Ayres challenged.

PAM AYRES: I, I donít see what itís got to do with being a rebel at all...

NP: I quite agree Pam, deviation.

PA: ... reading, reading maps.

TH: How much more rebellious can you be than that?

NP: It just sounds like it would be quite a natural thing for a lot of people to do, if youíre as eccentric as you are. So...

TH: Sorry, the logicís lost on me there.

NP: I know, it has to be. Because Pam Ayres, actually you didnít establish that it was being a rebel. So you didnít, and you had er seven seconds, you went. So Pam you cleverly got in with one second to go, being a rebel starting now.


PA: Furthermore...


NP: Clement Freud actually challenged before you started.

PA: Oh?

NP: What was your challenge Clement?

CF: A hesitation.

NP: Yes.

PA: Oh!

NP: Iím afraid you do actually, I know youíve played the game only once before, but you must gather your breath a little bit more rapidly really. But I wonít...

PA: Oh all right...

NP: I wonít...


PA: Oh!

NP: Sheís now playing to the audience, listeners! I was about to say I wasnít going to give it against her on this occasion...

CF: Boo!

NP: Because sheís only played the game once before. And what it means is, as itís an incorrect challenge she gets another point as well as speaking when the whistle went. So before you boo the chairman in future, please wait and see! So at the end of that round Pam Ayres has got three points, Tony Hawks has got one, and the other two have yet to score. So we move on and Pam Ayres, itís your turn to begin, the subject, scrumpy. Tell us something about scrumpy in this game starting now.

PA: Scrumpy receives a very bad press, and is often associated in peopleís minds with red-faced yokels, dressed in smocks, legs akimbo, lying underneath some shaggy haystack, drinking the life blood out of a great flagon of scrumpy which is a vile fluid in which horrible ingredients such as dead rats have been dissolved. Whereas in fact nothing could be further from the truth because our son James makes scrumpy, or cider, and it is an un, undiluted...


NP: So Graham Norton you challenged.

GRAHAM NORTON: Now I donít want to run before I can walk here! But what was that a hesitation?

NP: Definitely a hesitation.

GN: Oh right, oh right, yes.

NP: Definitely. Youíve played the game a lot before, I donít see why you wouldnít recognise it.

GN: No, but it could be a local word. Ah...

NP: So it was a definite hesitation Graham, youíve got the subject, youíve got 23 seconds, scrumpy starting now.

GN: When scrumpy was discovered, one canít help but wonder, how thirsty were they? Before they tried that. Perhaps it tastes delicious, but it cannot be denied, it looks like well, I canít even tell you what it resembles. But you might find it in a hospital, not that thereís any of them in Bristol. Ah now...


NP: So Graham Norton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and heís now just one point behind Pam Ayres, and the other two are behind him. And er Tony Hawks your turn to begin, the subject, a curateís egg, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TH: I donít actually know any curates. But if I did, I would be keen to get to know their eggs. Why I would wish to do that, I donít know. But weíve already established...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of know.

NP: I donít actually know, you said at the beginning, any curates. And went on right.

GN: Interesting, interesting! Yeah!

NP: Yes so Clement was listening well, he came in there and you got a point Clement for a correct challenge. A curateís egg is with you, 50 seconds to go starting now.

CF: I happen to know how the expression ďa curateís eggĒ came about. In 19, Iím sorry, 1895...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: Iíd say a bit of a pigís ear there.

NP: A hesitation, yes.

PA: A hesitation, not a pigís ear at all, a hesitation.

CF: Didnít hesitate.

NP: Why not? You said sorry, there was a pause in between the sorry.

CF: No, no, I said ď19 sorry 18Ē.


NP: Well the audience are threatening me now! So I donít know whether... All right, the audience are always the final judge so all right Clement, get the benefit of the doubt, another point to you, 41 seconds, a curateís egg starting now.

CF: There was a cartoon in Punch in which a curate was having luncheon with his bishop, who asked him ďhow do you find your egg?Ē The reply was ďgood in partsĒ. And this became an expression, a curateís egg, being somewhat better than bad, but not entirely wonderful. Why it should be called a curateís egg, instead of a rat catcherís, a vicarís, horse manure...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: I thought there was a hint of a hesitation there as he was going into a list.


NP: There was a hint...

GN: Oh itís just mob rule in Bristol!

NP: Thereís only a certain...


NP: Listen, thereís only a certain amount of dictation you can do in this show! Youíve got a curateís egg, 11 seconds starting now.

TH: I didnít actually read that edition of Punch because I wasnít born. It would have been a great... hello!


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: Hello!

NP: Hello! So what do you want, a hesitation?

GN: Yeah Iíd say itís hesitation yes.

NP: Five seconds for you, a curateís egg Graham, starting now.

GN: A curateís egg can be decorated for Easter or indeed...


NP: Pam challenged.

PA: Eggs make him sick!


NP: Again Iíve got to...

GN: Not eggs in themselves Pam!

PA: I think for the safety of the audience...

NP: I mean, actually I must explain to our listeners again.... when we were here, some time ago...

GN: You see the thing is Pam, in the intervening months, in the intervening months Pam, Iíve completely got over that egg thing!


GN: Ah Iíd like to thank you!

NP: That was an incorrect challenge, you have another point Graham, and you have one second on a curateís egg starting now.

GN: A curateís egg could be delicious if boiled...


NP: So Graham, Graham Norton was speaking as the whistle went, and he has leapt forward! Heís now in the lead ahead of the other three. And Graham itís also your turn to begin, and the subject is fashion victims. Maybe some of them have been watching your television show. Anyway thatís the subject Graham, talk on it, 60 seconds starting now.

GN: Fashion victims are something I know very little of. Though I have heard some people describe me as less of a fashion victim, more of a fashion fatality. I donít really understand that. Sometimes Iím out in a discotheque and people are whispering ďtaxi for Mister Mutton!Ē Because perhaps the outfit Iíve chosen is more suited to a man of younger years than myself. I donít agree obviously. Fashion is a fascinating world in which people work, particularly in France, oh letís talk about that for some time! Yes, fashion victims in that country also reek of garlic. Not good! Mind you, from a distance perhaps the outfit looks better! And the garlic, oh Iíve said that again, ah...


NP: Yes the irony of the show. You went for 48 seconds and they loved it, but you get no points because you were interrupted.

GN: Ah well!

NP: And Tony what was your challenge?

TH: I think he repeated garlic.

NP: He did repeat garlic. So you have a point for that and the subject, and you have 12 seconds, fashion victims starting now.

TH: I was definitely a fashion victim some weeks ago when I was attacked by a group of catwalk models, as I walked down the street. I couldnít believe it, they turned on me, Jodie Kidd at the front...


NP: So ah Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. Heís in second place, heís one behind Graham Norton, and one ahead of Clement Freud and Pam Ayres in that order. And Clement your turn to begin, and the subject is the best suspension bridge. Tell us something about the best suspension bridge, 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Isambard Kingdom Brunell is such...


CF: ... is such a terrific name to give a child, thereís little wonder that as a consequence he built the best suspension bridge. Many people believe that it was George Best but he had nothing to do with it at all. The suspension bridge is suspended from one end of the waterway to the other. And people may walk along it from left to right, unless they approach from the opposite direction when it would be in reverse. The suspension bridge...


NP: Tony challenged.

TH: Well that would depend which way you were facing! It wouldnít necessarily be the reverse if you were facing the other way to the person who was watching it from the other side.

NP: I think youíre getting very convoluted there. I think, I think the logic was there and keeping going under the pressure of time. I give him the benefit of the doubt, no Clement, it was in reverse, so there you are. You have a point for an incorrect challenge, 22 seconds, the best suspension bridge starting now.

CF: Few people know who invented, let alone built, the best suspension bridge. And I can tell them, or would be able to, had I not mentioned the name of the person previously, which would cause me to get a buzz indicating repetition...


NP: Graham Norton has challenged.

GN: Well no, I think, weirdly, there was repetition. Was it person? We had two persons. The people donít know the person who built the, invented the thing...

CF: Man.

GN: Did he say man?

NP: Man, yes.

GN: Iím so wrong!

NP: There was something else you could have had him for but itís...

TH: I canít wait to find...

GN: Deviation!

NP: Yes and youíve got it. Five seconds on the best suspension bridge Graham starting now.

GN: The best suspension bridge is surely one that remains suspended. Thatís all it has to do...


NP: So Graham Norton was speaking as the whistle went and has increased his lead at the end of that round. Clement Freud is now in second place but only one ahead of Tony Hawks and Pam Ayres. And Pam your turn to begin, and the subject is my favourite cousin. Tell us something about my favourite cousin starting now.

PA: My favourite cousin, Fred, was a sailor on board the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle during the 1950s. He travelled to such thrilling places and would visit us laden with exotic gifts. Imagine my joy, as a child from the council estate, to be given a white silk kimono emblazoned with dragons, stitched in gold thread, all down the back and sleeves. My mother too received a sumptuous pink fluted shell fashioned into the shape of a lamp, and a glorious rug bearing eastern scenes of a caravan decamped in the desert, and exotic dancers, cavorting in the firelight. My cousin Fred, furthermore...


NP: Clement, Tony...


NP: Youíre not popular Tony! Why have you challenged?

TH: Well heís so fantastic, this cousin Fred, but she did actually repeat Fred. Repetition of Fred.

PA: Oh I suppose I did.

NP: Iím afraid she did yeah.

PA: Oh!

NP: Well Iíve got to be fair within the rules of Just A Minute. So it was a correct challenge, so Tony you have a point for that, you have nine seconds on my favourite cousin starting now.

TH: My favourite cousin, Steve, was in the Navy and he brought me nothing! Every time heíd come back, Iíd say ďwhat do you...Ē


NP: So Tony Hawks speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. Heís moved forward, heís only our one point now behind our leader Graham Norton, but ahead of the other two. And Tony, your turn to begin, and the subject is ambient trip hop.


NP: All the Bristolians know what thatís about, donít they! Tell us something about it Tony, 60 seconds starting now.

TH: I am absolutely delighted to have been given this subject, ambient trip hop. Because itís something about which I have a huge knowledge, although for the sake of.... hello!


NP: Graham you challenged.

GN: Hello. (laughs) It was a hesitation.

NP: Hesitation, right Graham, you have ambient trip hop, you have 50 seconds starting now.

GN: Weíre all big fans of ambient trip hop up here! The last time we were in Bristol, afterwards Pam said ďhey letís head out to a rave!Ē I said ďIím not sureĒ, but the others insisted! And sure enough, the ambient trip hop played late into the night! The laughs we had! Scrumpy flowed! It was superb! Ambient trip hop is just the worldís best music and...


NP: Pam youíve challenged.

PA: I thought it was a hesitation Nicholas.

NP: No, it was a dragging out of the vowel sounds...

PA: A dragging out, yes.

NP: But I think if heíd dragged a bit slower, it would have been. But he hadnít dragged down to that, that...

GN: No, I think I had!

NP: No! So youíve got the benefit of the doubt Graham, on this occasion, and you keep the subject and you have 23 seconds, ambient trip hop starting now.

GN: Whenever I go to the record shop, I immediately walk, Iím lying, run, towards the section marked ambient trip hop. I enjoy so much flicking through the discs, records, CDs, albums...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of records.

NP: You mentioned records before.

GN: Did I?

NP: Yes.

GN: Thatís interesting!

TH: I think he said record shop.

GN: Oh I said record shop.

NP: Yes well thatís, you still, and this was records, singular and plural, youíre quite right. Record shop, so this was records.

GN: (laughs) Like I was listening! But I...

NP: An incorrect challenge, so you still have ambient trip hop and you have um 11 seconds...

GN: How many seconds?

NP: Eleven.

GN: Eleven of them!

NP: Starting now... starting now.

GN: Ambient trip hop is best listened to when...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of best.

NP: Yes you did say best.

GN: Yes of course.

NP: Definitely. So Clement, right, youíre in there, right, nine seconds, ambient trip hop Clement, starting now.

CF: Cary Grant used to be called Ambient Trip Hop. He changed his name because it just didnít look right over the films...


NP: Well he didnít want the subject, Graham Norton, of ambient trip hop, but he did wonderfully with it, heís increased his lead at the end of that round. But Clement Freud was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point as well. Heís now in second place, one ahead of Tony Hawks, and a few ahead of Pam Ayres. And Graham weíre back with you, itís your turn to begin. And a bit of a musical question again, what I liked about Elvis Presley. So can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

GN: What I liked about Elvis Presley was his home, Graceland. I visited this place, let me talk you through it. You arrive up a gorgeous driveway, itís tarmacadam, none of your gravel, Bristol, no! Itís really beautifully done! The front door is white, spacious, opens on to a wide hall. To the right is a small reception area, nothing much. To the left, however, is the dining room. Priscilla made it lovely! She went for the sort of pink and white theme, the china is still there to this day...


NP: Um Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of white.

NP: Yes, there was white yes.

GN: True!

NP: Twenty-six seconds Clement, what I liked about Elvis Presley starting now.

CF: Twenty-six seconds will do me very well for explaining what I liked about Elvis Presley. Are you ready? (long pause)


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Ah yes I think there was possibly a hesitation there! (laughs) No, no, I think, I donít think he was very keen on the...

NP: He wasnít very keen, he said 26 seconds would do him nicely, but he did only 10 actually. You have um 15 seconds now on what I liked about Elvis Presley starting now.

TH: Maybe I didnít hold you quite as often as I should have,
Little things I should have said and done...
I did like that song You Were Always On My Mind, and it was indeed something I liked about Elvis Presley. Big belts he went for too, didnít he, sometimes...


NP: So Tony Hawks was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point. And heís now ah equal with Clement Freud in second place, behind Graham Norton who is in the lead just two points ahead. Pam Ayres is just a point or two behind them all. And ah Clement your turn to begin, the subject is croutons. Tell us something about croutons in this game starting now.

CF: I think itís a huge mistake to put croutons into your soup. What you want to do is get a slice of fairly stale bread, cut off the rind and spread a little marmite upon it. Then cut it into cubes which you fry in a mixture of olive oil and butter, until it is, they are golden...


NP: Graham challenged.

GN: Well do, deviation, because heís not talking about croutons. Heís talking about this other better thing. And er and there was an Ēit is, they areĒ, not making sense really.

NP: Which one do you want?

GN: Iíll go with... the second one?


NP: Iíll give you the second one of hesitation. Thirty-nine seconds with you on croutons Graham, starting now.

GN: What sort of culinary accident resulted in croutons? Theyíre an awful idea! Soup should be liquid and lovely and easy to swallow. You donít want a pebble made of bread in it, do you? Itís a vile idea. Equally in salads youíre chomping away...


NP: Tony you challenged, why?

TH: Actually I think he repeated idea.

NP: Well listened Tony, and um 22 seconds, croutons starting now.

TH: Elvis Presley was very keen on croutons. He used to have them every evening in his soup, thinking to himself ďthese are a great idea, arenít they? I shall pop them in and eat hundreds of thousands of them. I donít care even if my tummy gets a bit big.Ē Croutons were a lovely French family who lived down the road. They would visit us with loads of...


NP: Well Tony Hawks was then speaking when the whistle went and gained that extra point. And heís now equal in the lead with Graham Norton. Pam itís your turn to begin, the subject is my idea of romance, 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PA: I have never gone in for the contrived idea of romance, with intimate dinners for two, scented candles and sumptuous gowns. In my experience this takes a great deal of pulling off, and often goes pear-shaped. I find that the food does not work out as you had wished. The most boring person on the face of the Earth comes banging on the door. And you dislike the fragrance of the flames. I once heard an American woman in a ladies toilet proclaim that the pinnacle of her romantic aspirations was to make love on a tiger skin rug in front of an open fire. Apart from the obvious conservation issue here, I would be very afraid that a burning brand would roll from the fire, and set fire to my camisole. And I would feel inspired to clutch a fire extinguisher to my chest even...


NP: Well Pam Ayres she started with the subject, she finished with the subject. She gets a point for speaking as the whistle went and a bonus point for not being interrupted. Tony Hawks itís your turn to begin so take the final round which is credit and you have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TH: You know, itís not easy to chair a show like this. And yet our chairman does a fantastic job against all the odds and he deserves some...


NP: Clement Freud, I know what youíre... we know what youíre going to say Clement! They know what youíre going to say about it yes!

CF: Sycophancy!

NP: Iím afraid as everything is so close, I canít give out any more bonus points. Um um ah so anyway I think for that, but Tony...

GN: Is there a cash prize tonight or something?

NP: yes, Tony you were interrupted so you get a point for that and you keep the subject of credit starting now.

TH: Itís quite important to say in credit if you can in your bank account. Otherwise you will have people coming round your house, trying to take your things away. Hopefully these will be people sent by that...


NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: Repetition of people.

NP: Yes you had the people twice. So you have a point there Graham...


NP: Theyíre clapping because they can feel the tension as we come to the end! You know itís neck and neck and theyíre playing for these points. Thirty-nine seconds with you Graham on credit starting now.

GN: ďWould you credit that?Ē is something my mother says quite often. Sometimes she asks people to believe what theyíve seen. Other times... thatís one word...


NP: Tony yes?

TH: Well actually, actually I think he thought heíd made a mistake, but you said sometimes and then he said other times so...

GN: Yeah!

TH: .... that was all right. No I withdraw...

GN: I knew that!

TH: I withdraw!

NP: But actually the chairman usually decides these things.

TH: Sorry!

NP: So...

TH: What a, what a fine job you do!

NP: I canít give any more bonus points, sorry Tony. But Graham you had an incorrect challenge and you have 27 seconds, on credit starting now.

GN: Credit cards can be vaguely embarrassing because youíve got no control over the design of them. Some of the credit things made of plastic that you can put in the machine in the wall, work very well to get money. Other credit bah er...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TH: Well I think he lost the will to live there!

NP: So we call that hesitation and youíve got in with nine seconds to go on credit starting now.

TH: ďWould you credit that?Ē is something that Graham Nortonís mother used to say a lot to me when Iíd go round to visit. And what a wonderful host she was. She...


NP: Right so Tony Hawks brought that show to a close and got a point for speaking as the whistle went. And now as I told you before it was to be the last round so Iíll give you the final situation. A very fair one, very even, but somebody has to finish out ahead. But Clement Freud and Pam Ayres were equal in second place, only four points behind our joint winners on 14 points which was Tony Hawks and Graham Norton, our joint winners! So thank you very much, and it only remains for me to say thank you for these four outstanding players of the game, on my left Graham Norton and Tony Hawks, and on my right Clement Freud and Pam Ayres. I thank Claire Bartlett for helping with the score, and blowing her whistle so delicately. Also we thank our producer-director, Claire Jones. We are indebted to Ian Messiter who created this game. And we are most grateful to our lovely audience here at the Old Vic Theatre in Bristol who have cheered us on our way magnificently. And from our audience, and from me Nicholas Parsons, and our panel, good-bye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!