WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, PETER JONES and MAGNUS PYKE, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 20 April 1977)
NOTE: Magnus Pyke's last appearance, Derek Nimmo's 150th appearance.
ANNOUNCER: We present Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo, Dr Magnus Pyke and Kenneth Williams in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much, hello and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And as you just heard we welcome back Dr Magnus Pyke as our guest with Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Kenneth Williams. And theyíre all going to try and talk if they can for Just A Minute on the subject that Iíll give them without hesitation, without deviation and without... relaxation I was going to say because thatís the first subject! Without hesitation, without repetition and without deviation. The subject to begin with is relaxation and weíre going to begin the show with Derek Nimmo and Derek, would you start now.
DEREK NIMMO: Relaxation, something which I try very hard to find. My wife is often suggesting to me that I should go into the garden and do something relaxing. And what she has in mind is chopping down assorted trees, and digging trenches and planting bulbs. And at the end when I come in she says "what a nice relaxing day youíve had". I on the other hand do not find that to be so and I have to go off to a health farm from time to t-I-m-e, where I am left on a bed drinking lemon water and getting underwater massages. Itís absolutely marvellous! I first had one in Bangkok and it was lovely! But you can have them in the more respectable places in England and these I tend to be sent to by my afore-mentioned bride. I think this is rather a boring subject really! Maybe that is because relaxation is taking over me and I am beginning to go to sleep...
NP: Well Derek Nimmo put everybody into such a relaxed frame of mind they didnít challenge him for some of the crimes of the game that he committed. But he did jolly well, Derek, you did magnificently. You kept going for 60 seconds, you get a point for that and also a point for speaking as the whistle went which tells us that the 60 seconds is up. And so at the end of that round Derek Nimmo has two points and nobody else has yet to score. Nobody else has yet to score?
MAGNUS PYKE: Nobody else has yet to speak!
NP: No... yes.... I, exactly!
MP: I couldnít get a point for that could I?
NP: No, Iím sorry Magnus Pyke, you canít get a point for that, but it was a good attempt and one person appreciated it! Peter Jones will you take the second round? And the subject is migration. Would you talk on migration for Just A Minute starting now.
PETER JONES: Itís one of the great mysteries! I dare say Magnus Pyke probably knows the answer to it! But not many people do. How these tiny birds like swallows for instance all manage to get together at a certain time of year and decide when to leave and in which direction to go. And then when they arrive they remain there for a certain period, and then all of a sudden they are congregating anew and making the return flight with their progeny. And there where they arrive they build little er...
MP: I think we had two arrives didnít we?
NP: We did have two arrives yes! At last weíve had a challenge in Just A Minute! First time itís happened, one and a half rounds gone and our first challenge! It was Magnus Pyke who did so and the subject is migration, there are 25 seconds left Magnus starting now.
MP: Oh Iíd like to tell you about the shielwater that starts off in Alaska and it flies right down across the globe and end sup in Tasmania! And it arrives so punctually that the people who are going to can it and eat it can order up all their supplies exactly on the day! And then you can eat the stuff! Oh I said eat!
MP: But eatís only a three letter word! Iíll allow that one!
NP: No youíre not actually...
MP: And then they fly back the other way, right through Africa, itís a most extraordinary thing!
DN: Do they fly in their tin cans?
MP: Isnít that extraordinary?
NP: No Magnus I think you seem to be under a slight misapprehension. On three or four letter words you can be challenged if you repeat them.
MP: What about the?
NP: Well yes...
KENNETH WILLIAMS: We allow the.
NP: But if you keep repeating the you would be challenged.
MP: The. The the the the the the.
NP: Eat is a very positive, one of the most positive nouns, verbs rather than nouns sorry.
MP: If I eat in a very relaxed way would you let me off?
NP: You eat in a relaxed way?
MP: Well I mean he was relaxed... oh never mind! No, I wonít protest!
NP: Youíre doing exactly what they all do, trying to argue your way out of it! But Iím afraid...
MP: No Iím quite happy I think, because Iíve told them about this marvellous bird, the shielwater and itís very very interesting.....
NP: And there are eight seconds left for Derek Nimmo...
MP: They call them the muttonbird when they eat them in Australia, and itís very strange! They do taste like mutton!
NP: Do they?
MP: Do you know the reason is they have so much fat on their muscles, they are like mutton!
MP: And then theyíve got to fly all the way to Alaska!
DN: That is odd. Yes all right yes.
NP: The subject is migration and there are eight seconds left starting now.
DN: Because they saw the cuckoo flying south and they followed this bird who was migrating south to New Zealand...
NP: So on this occasion Derek Nimmo was speaking once again as the whistle went and gained an extra point for doing so. Heís increased his lead at the end of the round. Magnus Pyke...
MP: Theyíre not very nice, you know, muttonbirds, do you think so?
DN: Itís very nice...
MP: I didnít like them.
NP: Would you...
MP: Itís extraordinary what they do but I didnít like it much.
NP: Magnus would you like to have a chat after the show?
MP: No, no, yes, of course.
NP: Because I think a lot of the audience would like us to play Just A Minute.
MP: Oh, of course yes.
DN: Some might quite like the muttonbird, itísd an endangered species..
NP: The subject Magnus is the zieman effect..
MP: The zieman effect? You want me to talk to you about that?
NP: Weíd love you to talk to us about the zieman effect in Just A Minute starting now.
MP: Right! Piet Zieman was a Dutch physicist who in 1896 discovered the zieman effect. If you take some sodium light which is yellow and you put it between the poles of an electro magnet the beam is expanded and more than that it becomes polarised. Because normally illumination is all over the place in a wha-er-er-er muddle, but when it goes through the zieman effect...
MP: Itís all straight up and down. Did anybody ring or...
NP: Yes Derek Nimmo rang you up!
DN: Self protection actually!
MP: Oh I donít allow points for that!
DN: One gets a bit apprehensive here when...
NP: So what is your challenge?
DN: Well the zieman was effecting me basically! There was a hesitation but I...
MP: Oh no! You canít say that!
DN: No all right, I canít say that! Youíre right, I realise that!
NP: There was a repetition of errrrr.
DN: Thatís what I thought actually!
NP: Yes but you didnít say it! You said er...
DN: I said...
DN: Well when you errahhh it can either be hesitation or repetition!
NP: No no it was a demonstration, he was making a demonstration and repeating a certain vowel sound.
PJ: No I think itís very valuable, weíre getting education as we go on!
DN: Itís very nice...
PJ: I didnít know that it went bluaaahheer!
NP: Magnus will you continue to educate us in 35 seconds on the zieman effect starting now.
MP: Indeed I will do my best to educate you! But under the terms of Just A Minute itís very difficult to do because you may not repeat essential words for the explication of the extraordinary and most mysterious nature of the physical principle which youíre trying to elucidate! And if that fellow doesnít ring that stopwatch before long...
NP: Peter Jones challenged you.
PJ: Heís talking about the stopwatch!
MP: Youíre quite right! I was trying to bring in the word polarisation without repeating it. I mean itís impossible, isnít it!
PJ: Well actually youíd lost my interest a moment or two before that!
MP: I know I should never have come!
NP: I think the show would have been the loss... We would have lost a lot if you hadnít come!
PJ: And you mentioned this fellow! That is Ian Messiter, the creator of this game, youíre referring to as this fellow!
NP: Yes! Peter you have the subject and you have 18 seconds, the zieman effect, starting now.
PJ: Well the wonderful actors in the BBC rep are called upon to play many different parts like waiters, Italians, Spaniards, and sometimes seamen of Cornish descent. If theyíre not natives they pull back their mama set and they say (in Cornish accent) "the seamen are coming and theyíre coming round the bend...
NP: So then Peter Jones was speaking as the whistle went, gained that all important extra point, and is now in second place behind Derek Nimmo. Magnus Pyke trails one point behind and then Kenneth Williams has yet to score to my surprise. So Kenneth you begin the next round, the subject is mothers birthday. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: My motherís birthday falls on the 20th of December in 1901. Iím sure she wouldnít mind me revealing that fact because someone pointed out sheís almost two years younger than the year date which I thought was very interesting...
MP: Did he not say two years younger than the year date?
NP: Yes he did say...
MP: Thatís two years!
NP: Yes there was two years there.
KW: No I said years, then the year date.
NP: Yeah but itís the word year with an apostrophe s. So you still repeated the word year.
MP: It sounds as much like it as zieman sounds like seamen!
KW: Itís not yearís, itís years! Thereís no apostrophe s.
NP: Oh years date? Iím sorry... I thought you were talking about the date of the year for which you could say the yearís date. Um! You have to listen so hard, you realise how much... er... There are 44 seconds Kenneth to continue on mothers birthday starting now.
KW: Oh Lou, I said to her! Because she was christened Louise Alexandra. Come through all those reigns! No I was quite dry, she said. I meant the reigning monarch, five in all! Well what would you like for a present I said endearingly which is one of the ways I get round people off and on, mostly of course...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: I just wanted to mention my birthday is June the 12th.
NP: Thank you very much Peter...
PJ: Just for Kennethís benefit!
NP: Yes well...
PJ: Iíll remind you again nearer the time Ken!
NP: Kenneth gets another point for an incorrect challenge and there are 14 seconds left for mothers birthday starting now.
KW: On your motherís birthday, I pointed out, a gift is most acceptable. I said what do you fancy? She said a few prawns! As they couldnít, they couldnít be obtained fresh they had to be tinned, and unfortunately she canít take...
KW: I was going to say that they were tinned and she got ptomaine poisoning so it wasnít a good idea after all!
NP: What a happy birthday! Well I donít think whatever Kenneth Williams would have done in that round the audience would have let me take the subject away from him. So itís as well, we didnít try and Kenneth gained four points in that round, one for speaking as the whistle went. Heís moved into second place, one behind Derek Nimmo and one ahead of Peter Jones. And Derek, your turn to begin. The subject, wells. Would you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
DN: One of the difficulties the early Christian fathers found was removing the superstition attached to wells, from the old pagan religions which were in this country before St Augustine came to Kempdon, the whole spread of Christianity came throughout the British Isles. Well it still survives in the way that we throw into a well money, to wish ourselves good fortune and to bring prosperity upon us. But for me one of the most beautiful wells in the whole of this country is the city of Wells itself. And Iíve often been asked to row around the moat of the palace there by the Bishop of Bartonwells. Very nice of him but Iíve never actually accepted this invitation but it does attract me enormously because I particularly like the cloisters of wells. They are the finest surviving I think of all the monastic institutions in this country today and the...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of country.
NP: Yes, you travelled round the country and you repeated it.
DN: Absolutely right, Iím first of all to admit when Iím wrong!
NP: Magnanimous! Eight seconds are left Peter, wells are the subject, starting now.
PJ: Well weíre all hoping that this country is going to be saved economically at any all rate by the wells of oil in the North Sea. I...
NP: Peter Jones is now in the lead alongside Derek Nimmo, just followed by Kenneth Williams and Magnus Pyke. And Peter itís your turn to begin. The subject is gluttony. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
PJ: Well it is to my mind, one of the least attractive of the seven deadly sins, perhaps because itís usually practised alone. Itís a lonely sort of vice, not like, for instance, adultery, where you have to have a companion to share the fun. Now...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Deviation, adultery is not one of the seven deadly sins.
KW: He didnít say it was!
DN: He did! Unlike the...
PJ: Well I did imply it, I must admit because I couldnít remember what the other deadly sins were.
MP: You were merely trying to think of lechery, thatís the one!
PJ: Lechery, is it?
MP: You would have been okay then, if youíd gone in for that.
DN: Dr Magnus Pykeís an authority on that!
MP: On the seven deadly sins, yes!
NP: Actually lechery isnít one of the seven deadly sins...
MP: Luxury is the polite term...
NP: No, lust youíre thinking of, lust!
MP: No, youíll find, I donít think it is...
DN: Pride. Sloth.
MP: Look it up, Mr Messiter, look it up, youíll find Iím right.
PJ: Well I only know four, you see, gluttony, repetition, deviation and hesitation!
NP: Envy, pride, lust, um, gluttony, um...
PJ: Well lust isnít much fun enjoyed alone, is it?
NP: Lechery, I donít think so! Anyway Peter Iím going to be generous to you so will you continue on gluttony with 39 seconds left starting now.
PJ: It is briefly the awful business of eating too much and then going on and having more, having seconds. And stuffing yourself with every kind of food and drink. People make er um...
NP: Derek yes.
NP: You got in this time definitely. There are 24 seconds on gluttony with you starting now.
MP: With me?
NP: No, not with you Magnus.
MP: Oh Iím so sorry, I did ring my bell, but a little late was it?
NP: No you might have pressed your buzzer but you didnít ring any bells.
NP: Derekís buzzer light came up in front of me first so Derek got in first, there are 24 seconds left, starting now.
DN: Iíve always wanted to be a glutton! To amass on a great table huge quantities of smoked salmon and turkey and mushrooms and tripe, onions, rabbit, squirrels, pigs, cocked tails, tongues and muttonbirds! How delicious they are...
DN: ... when they fly into Tasmania! Whatís the matter with you?
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
DN: Oh, Peter Jones!
MP: I didnít realise! I was fascinated yes!
PJ: Well ...
KW: The thought of you eating all that rubbish! Youíd have had terrible wind! Especially with squirrels, I know what theyíre like!
NP: Heíd have had more than wind, I can assure you!
NP: Terrible! Squirrels are very indigestible!
PJ: Theyíre terribly tough to cook too, arenít they?
NP: Peter let us get back to what your challenge was?
PJ: It was ... um... I know what it was! It was deviation.
PJ: Well, nightingales are protected birds and even if he was crass enough to try to eat nightingales tongues, he wouldnít be allowed, heíd be arrested!
NP: But it would still, it would still illustrate the point of gluttony he was making.
PJ: He was talking about his own personal ambition which was pretty appalling, I might say! It certainly blemished the Nimmo image as far as I was concerned!
PJ: Squirrels and nightingales tongues, I mean, what next!
NP: Yes! And together! Eight seconds are left for you Derek on gluttony starting now.
DN: It has been said of a glutton that he is a man...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: If itís been said, heís repeating it and we donít want that!
NP: And youíre quite right Peter, he did use the word glutton before when he said at the beginning I would love to be a glutton.
NP: And indulge in all those...
DN: He didnít actually challenge on that score, actually.
NP: Yes he said repetition, thatís what he challenged on, itís been said before, repetition. It had been said before. So you have to be so sharp in this position that Iím in. Six seconds are left with gluttony and you Peter starting now.
PJ: If you indulge in gluttony, one thing is for sure. You will get an awful lot of repetition!
NP: Peter Jones has now taken the lead, heís one ahead of Derek Nimmo, three ahead, four ahead of Kenneth Williams and six from Magnus Pyke...
MP: Six? Oh dear!
MP: Iím sorry you didnít bring in the dormouse. Itís very good. The Romans used to eat it in their time!
PJ: To be in the lead!
DN: Iíve had witchity grub. Have you ever eaten a witchity grub?
MP: Well Iíve lectured about them. I think thatís better than eating them!
DN: Yes they are mice...
NP: Have you two finished your conversation?
MP: Yes of course, please go on.
NP: Thank you very much, most generous of you Magnus. Would you begin the next round? The subject...
MP: Would I begin?
NP: Yes. Itís your turn actually. The subject is fixations. Will you tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.
MP: Well Iíd like to tell you about imprinting which is the same as fixation. Now if you take a chicken just out of its egg, or you take a little duck, and you show it a tennis ball, it thinks the tennis ball is its mother. Donít interrupt me! The tennis ball is its mother and then it follows it about...
MP: Like in Mary had a Little Lamb. Now this is a case of fixation...
NP: Yes but they have actually buzzed you...
MP: Not too many tennis balls!
NP: Peter Jones?
PJ: Well he said tennis ball was its mother twice!
MP: Yes I did.
NP: Iím afraid you did, yes.
PJ: No it seemed...
DN: I would have liked to have buzzed, but he told me not to actually!
PJ: Well I know, yes!
DN: It was a good try really!
NP: I must explain to listeners that Magnus Pyke is sitting next to Derek Nimmo, so he can not only hit him when he wishes but he can also ask him not to buzz. Peter Jones has actually buzzed...
DN: Itís the hitting I donít like really! No, I donít mind the hitting or actually being told not to buzz...
NP: Thereís 46 seconds...
DN: Itís being spat at solidly hour after hour!
NP: ... on fixations...
PJ: It just shows you what scientists are doing in the privacy of their laboratories. Iíve always suspected they were up to this kind of thing, like showing innocent ducks and chickens tennis balls and persuading them that these were their parents! And this is how, gow, our money is wasted...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.
DN: Hesitation, gow, er!
NP: You have the subject and there are 21 seconds left fixations, starting now.
DN: I have recently developed a curious fixation. I keep seeing bus conductors walking past in front of me! And I donít quite understand whether this is just an apparition or whether in fact...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of whether.
NP: Yes, whether. Donít say the word as different kinds of weather! I must explain to the listeners that the person who walked out was a bus conductor and that was the reason for...
KW: I should explain, heís not walked out, heís gone to the gentlemans lavatory!
NP: Kenneth, you had time to go and check during the last talk, did you?
KW: No, he mimed his intention to me!
NP: No heís just mimed to me that he was feeding the meter where he parked his bus! So...
DN: He must have parked his bus in a very peculiar place!
NP: Let us go back to Just A Minute, the subject is fixations. Who challenged? Peter Jones, a repetition of whether. You see I have to have a memory as well. And there are four seconds left, five seconds left, starting now.
PJ: I donít know what the subject is, Iíve forgotten! So...
NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: Well heís certainly not talking about the subject if he doesnít know what it is!
NP: I think he was illustrating fixations...
PJ: Yes thatís it!
NP: Yes! Peter three and a half seconds on fixations starting now.
PJ: Once one gets this idea fixed in oneís mind...
NP: So at the end of that hillarious round Peter Jones has increased his lead including getting an extra point for speaking as the whistle went. And Kenneth Williams your turn to begin. The subject is Isaac Walton. Will you tell us something about him in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: Heís probably most famous for The Complete Angler which is a book all about fishing which is interspersed with little homilies, awfully charming and largely...
MP: If itís all about fishing, it canít be interspersed can it? Because then it wouldnít be all about fishing, the interspersed homilies arenít about fishing, theyíre about all sorts of things.
NP: Oh dear what a difficult... very clever, very clever..
MP: I thought Iíd better pop up because Iím so easily bossed!
NP: And almost impossible on which to give a decision. So shall I put to the audience? If you consider...
KW: The book is about fishing, and itís interspersed with homilies! That is a fact! And that is true whether he likes it or not! It donít matter what they say!
NP: Whether he likes it or not I still wish to be fair to our guest...
KW: Iím not interested in what you wish to be fair to! Iím interested, Iím interested in being fair to myself! Iíve hardly got a word out in this show! Itís an absolute disgrace! Apart from interpreting the mime of people leaving to go to the loo, Iíve hardly said a word...
NP: Kenneth, the unfortunate thing is that youíre often not interested and thatís why Just A Minute verges on the edge of getting out of hand on occasions...
KW: I think Iíll put in for concierge!
NP: Ladies and gentlemen of the audience, Iím going to let yours be the final decision, because Magnus Pyke had a perfectly accurate decision, though Kenneth Williams had a very good point. If you agree with Kenneth Williams will you cheer for him, if you agree with Magnus Pyke will you boo for him, and will you all do it together now.
CHEERS AND BOOS
NP: I think the cheers had it. In other words, youíre completely biased and prejudiced, you want to hear from Kenneth Williams on Isaac Walton and there are 54 seconds left starting now.
KW: The reason he was so inspired to write the treatise was due to one Marmalina Abilene. And he said "oh that I might plant an English kiss upon your lips!" And she was delighted! And she let him do it not only on her afore mentioned er...
NP: Derek Nimmo...
NP: Bad luck yes.
KW: Well she did let him do it in all sorts of places, that was the whole point! I had quite an interesting story about Abilena then!
PJ: I know! And Iíd rather have heard it than won this game!
NP: But Derekís challenge was an accurate one and there are 34 seconds left for Isaac Walton, Derek, starting now.
DN: Well Isaac Walton was very influenced by Dean Knowles, the distinguished divine at Westminster Cathedral in the 16th century, who was indeed a great fisherman as well. And er a speaker...
NP: Kenneth Williams?
KW: Weíre dealing with the Dean now, weíre not dealing with Isaac Walton, Iím afraid.
KW: Weíve gone off on the Dean of something or other which is really nothing to do with the subject...
PJ: Quite right!
NP: Kenneth... And of course you heard he erred and of course that was hesitation as well. There are 22 seconds for you Kenneth to take over the subject of Isaac Walton again starting now.
KW: Heís not so well known for the fact that his brother Arthur, who was sometimes known as Art, and also had another name which was Esian, invented the Artesian Well! Which really was an absolute fact! It was sunk and he got sunk with it...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.
DN: Sunk twice.
NP: Yes you were sunk by your own petard there. There are...
MP: That isnít right, it wasnít Artesian! I donít think so!
NP: For the same reason I said sunk rather than hoisted on his petard, you see. There are seven seconds for Isaac Walton with you again Derek starting now.
DN: Isaac Walton. That is a name that i once saw imprinted upon a newspaper in Teheran. And the funny thing...
NP: So Iíve just been told that we have no more time to play Just A Minute. Magnus Pyke returning in triumph against a very tough opposition who didnít give him any mercy... yes, they didnít give you any quarter or any mercy. But you contributed magnificently and we loved having you on the programme Magnus! You finished in fourth place. You came...
MP: Thatís not bad is it?
NP: No! Not at all bad, not at all bad!
MP: Like the Oxford Cambridge boat race! You canít be worse than second!
NP: It would be a great achievement to get into fifth place! Kenneth was in third place. Peter Jones held the lead magnificently but Derek Nimmo with that last flourish caught him up, so we have joint winners, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo. We do hope that you have enjoyed Just A Minute, enjoyed listening to it as much as weíve enjoyed playing it and will want to join in again. Until then from all of us here goodbye.
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons. The programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by John Browell.