JAM:PMerton,CFreud,PJones,MLipman
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WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!

starring PAUL MERTON, CLEMENT FREUD, PETER JONES and MAUREEN LIPMAN, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 20 July 1998)

NOTE: Sarah Wade's last appearance blowing the whistle.


PAUL MERTON: In this um edition of Just A Minute from July 1998, um, thereís quite a bit fo fun describing how everyone, where everyone is sitting on stage and the physical geography of the show. For those people who have heard the show but have never actually seen it, what is the physical geography? Where do people sit?

NICHOLAS PARSONS: No no Paul, thatís a supreme example, as you know from playing the game, but in my position as chairman, you think of little things that might interest the audience and create some fun and amusement. So suddenly off the top of my head, I started to tell the listeners where everybody was sitting.

PM: Yes.

NP: And knowing you well, I thought Iíll say something which will be a bit ridiculous, and Paul will grab it and have a bit of fun with it. I throw out these lines on occasions. I thought, well, the producer can always cut this bit of rubbish...

PM: Yes.

NP: ... if he wants to because itís not in an actual talk on a subject. And who knows, it might set the others off. Because thatís what youíre going for all the time.

PM: Yes absolutely, absolutely. And there was a, Clement came up with this word rucking, which I, which I pretended I didnít know what it meant, but you know is of course a rugby term. And...

NP: Itís an unusual word suddenly coming up, out of the blue.

PM: Well itís a...

NP: You pretended you didnít know what it meant, and then, and I can tell what was going on in your mind. You thought thereís a very good word, Iíll use that.

PM: Yes yes.

NP: And you worked it into the next subject...

PM: Yes.

NP: ... as you did and we have fun, so you grab little tiny moments...

PM: Oh absolutely! Because you know, as we have said, there is nothing until you start recording. So anything that comes up, an unusual word, rucking comes up, you think well, thereís mileage in this!

NP: Exactly! And you milk it for as much as your comic mind will allow you.

PM: Absolutely! Absolutely!

NP: And later on, I think, Maureen Lipman used the word avian, and somebody picked her up, I donít think theyíd caught what she said. And she was referring to the water, and I said ďwell yes, maybe theyíll give us all some free water now or somethingĒ. And I never got mine, did you?

PM: No never! Well hereís another chance for them to send us some then! That weíve mentioned it again.

NP: Can I just ask you...

PM: Mmmm.

NP: ... as a player, I think itís a better combination when we do have a woman with a few fellows.

PM: Oh totally. Totally.

NP: It brings a different dimension to it, doesnít it.

PM: Well you, you say this and thatís quite right. And we did a Just A Minute recording last year at Hay-on-Wye, and we had two women on the panel...

NP: Yes.

PM: Maureen Lipman and Pam Ayres. And I sort of rather naively thought, in fact I said before the recording, this probably wonít be such a competitive show because weíre, I was just thinking that Clement wasnít there, and I was thinking it would be a bit more gentle. I couldnít have been more sexist in my thinking! Because both Maureen and Pam were just absolute sort of, you know, they were right on every single word, and every challenge. They were really going for it.

NP: Because they were competitive against each other too.

PM: Exactly, well everybody who plays the show is competitive, I suppose, arenít they. Everybody wants to win.

NP: If youíre the only woman in the show, then you have a rather privileged position.

PM: Yes.

NP: And you can use that to get different kinds of laughs. If youíve got another woman competing against you...

PM: Yes.

NP: ... maybe that brings out another dimension.

PM: Well I think so, it was real cut-throat stuff! But a very good recording.

NP: I know our producer always likes to try and get a woman in the fourth chair because itís... thatís a strange expression, isnít it.

PM: yes.

NP: But I always think that when you have a woman with the three fellows, it brings out a different dynamic. As youíve just said we have had two women on occasions. But there are few women who either play the game well or are keen to play it.

PM: Yes.

NP: I mean Josie Lawrence came in for the first time in this present series we are doing.

PM: Yes.

NP: And I know that the producer had been trying to persuade her for years.

PM: Yes I...

NP: She is very very talented as well.

PM: Yes and sheís a very good improviser. I first mentioned it to her back, I donít know, back in the early 90s, I think, and she was reluctant to do it. But I think she really enjoyed it and of course it must be intimidating for the first, for the people that first come on.

NP: And if youíve got three fellows who have played it regularly, itís very intimidating.

PM: Mmmm, this is...

NP: Maureen, Maureen gives great value here.

PM: Yes.

NP: And sheís quite sharp and sheís very shrewd and very intelligent.

PM: And this is a particularly good show for Peter as well, Peter Jones, who perhaps we should talk about for a moment, because we have talked about Clement and then Kenneth. Peter was a, how would you describe him in the show, he was a sort of, he was always very funny, wasnít he. When other people, even when people were taking it very seriously, he was always in there with a little undercutting remark to remind every people it was a game...

NP: well as I was so close to the show over the years, I notice on listening to this played back, is that Peter had begun to slow down a little.

PM: Mmmm.

NP: Because years ago, he was completely fluent.

PM: Yes.

NP: And as fast and as quick as the others. But he was slowing down a little. And he had taken on a different role for himself, and that was, because he has a naturally very dry wit.

PM: Yes.

NP: And heíd often wait and come in quite late...

PM: Yes.

NP: ... with some of the wittiest remarks that have ever been made in Just A Minute.

PM: Yes.

NP: And there were some examples in this show.

PM: And there is also, thereís a mention of your party to celebrate 50 years in show business.

NP: You all very kindly came to it.

PM: Indeed.

NP: You all made speeches.

PM: Thatís right. Yes.

NP: And yours was very offbeat and unusual and brilliant, it brought the house down.

PM: Well, my conceit for the speech was that I had only ever given one speech before and that was Harry Secombeís 50 years in show business. But I found the speech I gave on that occasion was remarkably applicable to todayís occasion. So I said ďwhenever I look at Nicholas Parsons, I still see that bubbly little Welshman, (laughs) who was such an important part of the Goons.

NP: Making those raspberry noises.

PM: Making those raspberry noises. Nicholas is very shy about his knighthood and very rarely mentions it. That was the other line.

NP: The other thing about this particular edition, I notice, is that weíve gone to the new opening. Up till then, weíd been very formal with the announcer saying ďwe present Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo in Just A Minute, and as the Minute Waltz fades awayĒ, like that. Now we changed it, to me saying ďwelcome to Just A Minute!Ē So it all, we dispensed with the announcer, it all revolved around me.

PM: Itís a bit of a sharper beginning as well.

NP: Yeah.

PM: Because youíve got this huge round of applause at the top...

NP: Thatís right, yes.

PM: And I believe Chopin was initially commissioned to write the theme of Just A Minute when...

NP: I can remember phoning him up and asking him!

PM: Fred, do us a favour!

NP: You might get good royalties, Fred!

PM: So letís have a listen to this show, this is from July 1998.

NP: Welcome to Just A Minute.

THEME MUSIC

NP: Hello my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, once more it is my pleasure to welcome the many listeners we have throughout the world, and also to inroduce the four exciting and talented personalities who this week are going to play Just A Minute. We have three of our regular players of the game, that talented and brilliant young comedian Paul Merton; the very witty and also equally talented older comedian Peter Jones; and the very erudite and amusing, clever man, Clement Freud. And we also are delighted to welcome back on to the programme for only the third or fourth time, a very talented and beautiful actress, whoís also a great comedienne herself, Maureen Lipman. Would you please welcome all four of them! Now as usual in Just A Minute, they have to speak without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject that I give them to speak on. And beside me sits Sarah Wade who is going to help me with the stopwatch and blow a whistle when 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute, by the way, is coming from the BBC Radio Theatre in the centre of Broadcasting House, not far from the west end of London. Clement Freud, would you begin the first round. and the subject, oh so apt for Just A Minute. White lies. Tell us something about it in this game starting now.

CLEMENT FREUD: A white lie is a colourless untruth. White is probably the best known chess player in the whole world. Whenever you look at columns dealing with that particular game, white.... pawns...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes there was a definite hesitation Paul. So that is a correct challenge....

CF: I paused between two words.

NP: Yes I know. But it was such a long pause we call it hesitation Clement. After 32 years I thought you might have realised that. Paul for a correct challenge, you gain a point and you take over the subject of white lies. There are 44 seconds available starting now.

PM: Iíve always admired the way Nicholas Parsons controls this programme. I am an enormous fan of his! No, Iím sorry, thatís bigger than a white lie, isnít it. Basically they are things that people say as untruths to get out of a nasty little situation. If for some reason you donít want to go to a wedding, and you say "oh Iím terribly sorry, Iím having my leg off that day" then thatís slightly bigger than a white lie, as well, I suppose. But I suppose perhaps...

BUZZ

PM: Two supposes!

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Supposes.

NP: Yes. You did suppose too much Paul. So a correct challenge by Clement of repetition. Eighteen seconds for you, having got your first point Clement, white lies starting now.

CF: If you watch snooker on television, the commentator tends to say "white lies between green, brown, part yellow, near black", and quite frequently mentions other colours as well. White being the cue ball, very important to remember that....

WHISTLE

NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle is blown gains an extra point, and it was Clement Freud, so naturally heís in the lead at the end of the first round. Maureen Lipman, will you take the next round. The subject is the get out clause, and there are 60 seconds to talk about it starting now.

MAUREEN LIPMAN: The get out clause is a tiny clause thatís at the end of the contract which allows an actor to get out of this situation, of this binding, ah, paper which tells you what you have to do throughout the course of a film or an engagement. Now you know therefore there are riders sometimes in pop-stars clauses. And pop-star... ah...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PETER JONES: Repetition of pop.

NP: Yes, she popped too much. Thirty-nine seconds, Peter. Youíve got a point for a correct challenge and itís the get out clause starting now.

PJ: I think, in show business, that the get out clause is not nearly as important as the get in clause, because itís more difficult to try to get the job, than to terminate it when youíre bald, bored....

BUZZ

NP: Maureen Lipman challenged.

ML: I donít think that was a fair, he said bald and I thought he didnít mean it. He obviously did mean when youíre bald.

PJ: I said bored, bored.

NP: He said bored.

ML: Oh so sorry.

NP: Not when youíre bald! Weíre not referring to anybody here! No he was, he did actually say bored, Iím closest to him here. Because I should explain to our listeners at home that I sit in the middle at a desk and there are two on either side of me, and thatís the way we play the game. People like to have mental images of how it all works. So Peter, he did say bored, he did repeat it Maureen, you have a correct challenge, 25 seconds available, the get out clause starting now.

ML: What, me?

NP: You! Yes!

BUZZ

NP: Paul you challenged?

PM: Um...

ML: I thought you gave it to him!

NP: No, no, no, yes...

ML: Well you said that you were nearer to him than I was....

CF: Iím quite close to him as well!

NP: But in a different way Clement!

PM: I think that for the listeners, for the listeners at home, they should know that we are all standing naked on a wardrobe!

NP: And who said naked radio would never happen! Paul I donít know why you challenged because it wasnít correct and er...

PM: Well Maureen sort of stopped.

NP: I know she stopped! She didnít get started actually! She misunderstood me...

PM: Well hesitation then.

NP: No, no, no, no, she didnít because she, she spoke, but she didnít say the right words. But she, so she couldnít have hesitated. She actually spoke and said "is it me?" So Maureen, you didnít, the answer is yes it was you, so you now have 25 seconds on the subject of the get out clause starting now.

ML: Yes well, one wonders if thereís a get out clause on Just A Minute that allows you to stop making a complete fool of yourself when you open your mouth. If youíre forced, say, to kiss Arnold Schwarzenegger, and you donít know about it before you sign the contract, if you find your lead...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Repetition of contract.

NP: Yes you did mention the contract before.

ML: Did I?

NP: Yes. You talked about a contract...

ML: How silly!

NP: Paul you got in with a correct challenge, another point to you, 10 seconds available, the get out clause, starting now.

PM: When Neil Armstrong went to the Moon, he was insistent with NASA that he had a get out clause. He said "thereís no point landing there if I canít be allowed to get out and have a walk around." And they said "all right, you might as well do what you want, because weíre not going to argue...

WHISTLE

NP: And Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, he gained the extra point for doing so and heís now taken the lead ahead of Clement Freud and then Maureen Lipman and Peter Jones are equal. Paul your turn to begin. The subject, loose ends. Tell us something about those in this game if you can, starting now.

PM: Well itís a phrase. I wonder if it comes from knot tying, perhaps some old sailorís saying from previous centuries to be at a loose end. I donít know else why... else why! (starts to giggle)

BUZZ

NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Repetition of sayings.

NP: Yes, right, Clement...

CF: Or else why!

NP: Else why, yes. Forty-nine seconds, loose ends with you Clement starting now.

CF: In American football you have tight ends. And I suppose loose ends are a similar combination of players, loosely rucking behind a ball...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Is that rhyming slang?

NP: Loosely rucking behind a ball! No, rucking is actually what they do in scrums in rugby football. And they ruck. They get down in a huddle and God knows what they do when they huddle. But I mean...

PM: I donít think youíve explained it properly! Youíve just created an image, youíve painted a picture, didnít you!

NP: A wonderful picture Iíve given them. It titillated their imagination to the extent that they are going off in all kinds of directions, thinking lets have a good old ruck tonight. Clement there are 39 seconds still available for you, an incorrect challenge, loose ends, starting now.

CF: For the audience who are not going to have a ruck tonight, I thought I would explain that Loose Ends is a very endearing ardio programme, amongst other things, in which, my daughter, not infrequently, appears. Loose ends can also be given to the captions that come up at the end of a film where youíre given the names of more people than any...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PM: Repetition of given.

NP: Yes you were given too much. Paul, a correct challenge, 17 seconds available, loose ends starting now.

PM: When I was coaching a rugby union team I wasnít very pleased with the speed of their rucking. I said "I suppose a quick ruck is out of the question?" I mean, tell me, does it not get...

BUZZ

NP: Maureen challenged.

ML: Rep... um... you said ruck twice.

NP: No, he said rucking the first time.

ML: Oh! Keep on rucking then Paul!

NP: So sorry Maureen well tried. But an incorrect challenge, another point to Paul, eight seconds available, loose ends starting now.

PM: I quite like having a loose end. I suppose you have to expect it when you get to my age. Itís one of those days when you just sit around thinking well, Iím not particularly bothered....

WHISTLE

NP: Paul Merton again speaking as the whistle went has increased his lead naturally at the end of the round. Peter itís your turn to begin. The subject is pattern. Can you tell us something about that subject in this game starting now.

PJ: I remember when I was a boy, my mother used to take a magazine called Woman's Weekly. And enclosed between the pages were patterns. They were made of brown paper. And if you got enough of them you could make a dress, if you were a dressmaker. But I didnít ever have the opportunity of trying that because she used to hang them up in the lavatory, and they were much more economical than the normal tissue paper! But they were...

BUZZ

NP: Maureen you challenged. Yes?

ML: He had tissue paper twice?

NP: No he didnít use tissue paper before..

ML: Didnít the patterns came out of tissue paper, the first time round?

PM: Brown paper.

ML: Iím sorry!

NP: Brown paper, yes, they were brown paper the first time.

ML: Paper then!

NP: Yes! Tissue paper! Yes, well done Maureen yes! Twenty-eight seconds, pattern is with you, Maureen Lipman, starting now.

ML: I think that life has a pattern. And very often coincidences happen that you simply canít believe. My brother was in a lift in Canada one day when a young man got in. And he asked my... this person whoís related to me...

BUZZ

NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: No, no, no, I think she wriggled round it very very skillfully, almost, what I call teetering on hesitation but not quite. So Maureen a point for an incorrect challenge, 15 seconds with you still, pattern, starting now.

ML: So the gentleman in this person, this lift that was going up and down said to my...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Repetition of lift.

NP: You did have a lift, yes.

ML: I know!

NP: I know, itís trying to find another word for the same thing and keep going under the pressure and three fellers breathing down your neck as they try and trip you...

ML: Sounds like the best fun Iíve had all week!

NP: There are 10 seconds available for you Peter to tell us something about pattern starting now.

PJ: There are a good many lifts in Canada taking it from west to east and vice versa. But Iíve never in my whole experience of occupying them and using....

WHISTLE

NP: Peter the subject was pattern and you were talking about lifts and nobody challenged you. Wasnít it lovely! Clement your turn to begin. The subject, after dinner speaking, 60 seconds as usual, starting now.

CF: After dinner speaking is probably the only art in which the performer is part of the audience before heís called upon to make his address. Iíve always found it hugely tedious. Somebody says "will you after dinner speak?" and offers you a fee or an incentive or... you say...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: I think so Paul yes, 33 seconds for you on after dinner speaking starting now.

PM: I remember the only time Iíve ever given an after dinner speech was at Nicholas Parsonsí celebration of 50 years in show business, I think it was. And curiously I had gone along to Sir Harry Secombeís same number of time in this particular profession. So I adapted what I said at Sir Harry Secombe... thereís no point, Iíve got to say it!

BUZZ

NP: Maureen challenged you. Fourteen seconds for you Maureen, correct challenge of course, after dinner speaking starting now.

ML: I do a fair amount of after dinner speaking. And itís really a misnomer because actually I would speak after a glass of evian. So everybody who knows me well...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: A glass of what?

NP: Evian! Evian!

PJ: Yes I heard it...

NP: If we now publicise it we might get some free bottles sent round. So whatís your challenge Peter other than evian?

ML: You just don't like me saying it.

PJ: Incoherence.

NP: What's that?

PJ: She was incoherent, I mean I couldnít hear, I wasnít close enough!

NP: I don't think she was, I think the listeners heard it. I mean we could take a straw poll here in the audience. But no...

ML: I could say a glass of water is always good.

PJ: Yes that sounds good!

ML: Okay!

NP: Maureen we all heard it so um, Iím glad weíve cleared up for Peterís sake what you actually said. But I heard it and it was an incorrect challenge so there are four seconds available, after dinner speaking, with you Maureen, starting now.

ML: But I didnít realise that people get extremely well paid for this. There was a graph yesterday...

WHISTLE

NP: Maureen Lipman was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so, and has leapt forward ahead of Clement Freud and sheís now one point behind our leader Paul Merton. And Maureen it is your turn to begin, the subject, light. Tell us something about that subject starting now.

ML: And the Lord said "let there be light". But I donít think he necessarily meant light entertainment! And sometimes when Iím listening to what is called light, I do despair. It seems to me that thereís a darkness about it which is both foreboding and desperate. Sometimes I turn on my television screen at night and I think "is there nothing here? Is there absolutely nothing..." whoops!

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

ML: Ah Iíve got a habit of doing that, havenít I?

CF: Repetition.

NP: Yes, you got carried away Maureen, your theatrical instincts took charge and you surged forward, made your point. There was no light on that television screen! Thirty-six seconds for you Clement on light starting now.

CF: I think rather interestingly the word light now means add water. You buy light butter and it is exactly the old product which has been lightened by the addition of something cheap, for which you have to pay more money. Light seems to me to be an appalling word used in any other sense than heat, light and sound which was the textbook written by a man called Peacock which Nicholas and I, when we were at school together, 49 years ago, when he had celebrated his 20 years in show business, so...

WHISTLE

NP: Yes Clement Freud also made a speech at that party that we had. And his was equally amusing. And Clement you have got that point for speaking as the whistle went. Youíve moved forward, youíre equal with Maureen Lipman, youíre still trailing Paul Merton by one point. Paul, itís your turn to begin. The subject, all human life is here. Go on that if you can for 60 seconds starting now.

PM: When I look out at this audience here at the BBC Radio Theatre, it is true that all human life is here. Why, thereís President Bill Clinton sitting at the back! And would you believe it, Charlie Chaplinís come along in the front row! If you come into this particular establishment, you will find a slogan wriiten above the door, which is a big sort of thing here at the B... the British Broadcasting...

BUZZ

NP: Maureen Lipman challenged.

ML: Repetition of a very large major company in Portland Place!

NP: No...

ML: He said BBC twice.

NP: No he didnít say B, he said Beeb the second time, he said BBC the first time.

ML: Did he?

NP: Yes! Didnít you?

PM: Ah well, er... yes!

ML: Oh no you didnít!

PJ: He also said that Charlie Chaplin was sitting in the front row!

NP: And you didnít challenge Peter!

PJ: Well no, I thought if you can say that, you can do anything! Heís been dead for many years!

NP: Paul goes in flights...

PM: That doesnít mean heís not a keen fan of this show!

NP: It goes up in the ether, you know, who knows it isnít received up above? Anyway... Or down below for that matter! No Peter if you feel like that you should challenge because I would have sustained your challenge. Forty-one seconds Paul with you on all human life is here starting now.

PM: Um...

BUZZ

NP: Clement challenged.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes! That is a hesitation, 39 seconds Clement all human life is here, starting now.

CF: The banner headline of the old News Of The World used to be all human life is here, which I found rather untruthful, because the newspaper was filled with the attitudes of scoutmasters and the wrongdoings of priests in small villages who behaved rather as the President of the United States now appears to behave. I said behave twice.

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Behave twice.

CF: No, I said behaved and behave.

NP: He did actually.

PM: Oh did he?

NP: Yes!

PM: Sorry, I canít hear him, because to paint the picture for our listeners, Clementís on a tractor and Iím in a swimming pool! Over the wave machine, I canít hear properly!

NP: Right! Clement, 14 seconds on all human life is here starting now.

CF: All human life is here is really an excellent battle cry for people who want to be... considered...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Hesitation.

NP: Yes! Yes he was struggling there to the extent that I would interpret that as hesitation Peter. So youíre in with four seconds to go on all human life is here starting now.

PJ: Yes it was in News Of The World. But they didnít include a number of very interesting subjects...

WHISTLE

NP: Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. He has leapt forward, heís still in fourth place but only one behind Maureen Lipman and only three behind our joint leaders Paul Merton and Clement Freud. And Clement itís your turn to begin, surrealism. Tell us something about that subject in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: Surrealism is a fairly vague title. Her Majesty summonses you to Buckingham Palace. You kneel down and she says "arise, Sir Realism". Thatís really all Iíve got to say on that!

BUZZ

NP: Paul challenged first.

PM: Well as Clement said thatís all heís got to say. So...

NP: So that is hesitation as we interpret it. So you tell us something about surrealism and there are 45 seconds available starting now.

PM: Well I suppose it means above reality. I think thatís the definition of it. But Iím, not very happy with the word surrealism, I never have been. If you see a pigís head on a table, with an apple stuck in its mouth, thatís not surreal, thatís just what happened! Itís not above reality (starts to giggle)

BUZZ

NP: Maureen you challenged.

ML: I challenge Paul on the topic of despair!

NP: Yes!

PM: Yes!

NP: It is, it is, itís defeating them all at the moment. But Maureen you got in, you try and tell us something about surrealism, starting, 28 seconds by the way, starting now.

ML: I think in the art world, surrealism was represented by Dali, melted watches all over his loved one, breasts that turned into cows. In the world of theatre of course youíll find that Annette Simpson and Unesco will be the people who write surrealistic plays. There is one called The Chairs which is with Geraldine McEwen and Richard Briers. People are flocking to see it. Sometimes you hear things like thereís a rhinoceros in my pantry. You will know that that is...

WHISTLE

NP: So that resounding round of applause for Maureen shows that they appreciated your little dissertation on the theatre of the absurd. And you got another point for speaking when the whistle went. Youíre equal in second place with Paul Merton, youíre one point behind our leader. Paul itís your turn to begin. The subject, comforts. Tell us something about those, Iím sure youíve got many in your life from the descriptions weíve had so far, and 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PM: To be sitting by a log fire with a balloon glass of brandy, in a red leather armchair while a labrador lies obediently at my feet, is my idea of heaven.

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Well itís supposed to be comforts heís talking about, not the next world!

NP: Well Peter, Peter, that was, he painted a very comfortable picture to my mind...

PJ: It didnít sound much fun to me! A great fat dog sitting there! And this red arm chair...

NP: Peter you must lead a very spartan life!

PJ: No, not at all!

NP: Not at all? Right. Well the thing is you could have had him for hesitation. Would you like to?

PJ: Yes!

NP: Good! And you have 46 seconds, comforts, with you Peter starting now.

PJ: Well they can... er... come in a variety...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yah! There wasn't much comfort for you there, was there Peter?

PJ: No!

NP: Right Paul you got back in with 43 seconds on comforts starting now.

PM: Light a big big fire! Stick a labrador in a balloon, send it right up...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Too many labradors!

NP: There was too many labradors, yes.

PM: Well it happens to be my idea of comfort!

NP: I know but you canít repeat it on Just A Minute! Because within the rules of Just A Minute you mustnít be repetitious. Forty seconds for you Clement to tell us something about comforts starting now.

CF: In the United States of America, the word comfort is such as we use for urinal, gentlemen's or ladies. People say you need a comfort station and help you to undo your trousers, loosen your zip, or relieve yourself in whatever manner in which you... feel...

BUZZ

CF: ... more... at ease...

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: Yes, Iím not surprised. He, it was a hesitation and 20 seconds for you on comforts Paul starting now.

PM: Money buys comfort, doesnít it really? You canít really be... oh!

BUZZ

NP: Maureen Lipman challenged.

ML: Really.

NP: Really, really, yes, 14 seconds, Maureen, comfortís with you starting now.

ML: Itís anything beginning with B, itís bed, itís bath, itís book, itís Bernard Manning...

BUZZ

NP: Clement challenged.

CF: It's five itís!

NP: Itís! Two itís they might let go Maureen but four or five, no.

ML: Oh darn! Itís pathetic!

NP: Clementís got a correct challenge, nine seconds, comforts, starting now.

CF: I have just invested in a television company which promises to show only smokeless films. Nobody who lights up in a movie...

WHISTLE

NP: Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went. He has increased his lead at the end of that round, but itís very equal out there, only one, two points ahead of Paul Merton and three ahead of Maureen Lipman and four ahead of Peter Jones. So you know, for those interested in the points, itís a very close thing, but the contest is less important, itís the entertainment and um weíre going to carry on with that because Peter Jones is now going to speak and itís also going to be the last round Peter. So youíve got to work very hard to overtake Clement but as long as you go on the subject. Ah wonderful subject for you Peter. One of the great radio pioneers. You've been in radio all your life. And thatís the subject, talk about radio, 60 seconds starting now.

PJ: Well I remember my first acquaintance with radio when I was a small boy. And I listened to Children's Hour. And one of those wonderful uncles they used to have announced my birthday and said that Iíd find a present if I would look behind the coal scuttle, in the dining room, which I did. And there was a wonderful annual...

BUZZ

NP: Maureen challenged.

ML: Iím sorry to challenge but two wonderfuls.

NP: It was too wonderful for words Peter...

PJ: Yes it was yes!

NP: I'm sorry...

PM: What, what did you find, what was the present?

PJ: It was an annual.

PM: Oh an annual.

PJ: You know, a boys annual or something like that.

NP: How on earth did they manage to get it there...

PJ: Because some relative I suppose had sent them a quid or two and said look, give him a book or something, I think.

NP: Oh I see! And they sent the book, and your parents or somebody put it behind the coal scuttle...

PJ: I think thatís what must have happened!

NP: The magic of radio! Isnít it fantastic! And you didnít mention the word wireless which it was then. Right, 40 seconds for you Maureen, on the radio, starting now.

ML: I could live without many things but I could not live without the radio. For me the pictures are better! And I hope that nobody messes about with it to the point that I donít want to listen to it anymore. Because every room I go into, the first thing that goes on is the radio. So I only catch about three seconds of every programme. By the end of the day Iíve got a patchwork quilt of information. I learn all the things I want to learn in life from the magic of radio...

BUZZ

NP: Peter Jones challenged.

PJ: Well, several repetitions, but learn was the last one.

NP: Rather rubbing it in, arenít you Peter!

PJ: Well I let it go for a while you know...

NP: I know but...

ML: He's trying to teach me how the game works!

NP: No, we...

PJ: No, I shouldnít be so clever! (starts to laugh)

NP: No, we just love hearing from you Maureen. Because you do it so delightfully. And we also have great sympathy with your sentiments about radio. Peter youíve got in there with 16 seconds to go on the radio starting now.

PJ: And then when my first job came along, an envelope popped through the letter box. And it said in the left hand top corner, Contract For Signature: Urgent. And I can truthfully tell you that it was the most exciting thing that has ever come...

WHISTLE

NP: Well Peter Jones brought that edition of Just A Minute to a close with a flourish, talking about radio, what an apt subject to finish this particular edition of Just A Minute with. For those interested in the points, I will tell you it was a delightful situation. Because Peter Jones, Paul Merton and Maureen Lipman all were equal in second place. But only two points behind the man who had most, that was Clement Freud. So we say Clement youíre the winner this week. It only remains for me to thank our four delightful players of the game, Maureen Lipman, Paul Merton, Clement Freud and Peter Jones, also to thank Sarah Wade who has kept the stopwatch going and also blown her whistle. We thank Ian Messiter who created Just A Minute and Chris Neil who directs and produces the show. And from them and from me, Nicholas Parsons, thank you for tuning in. We hope that you will be with us the next time that we take to the air, and we play this delightful game. Until then from all of us here, goodbye!

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