WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, DEREK NIMMO, CLEMENT FREUD and ALFRED MARKS, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 13 January 1976)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Derek Nimmo, Clement Freud, and Alfred Marks 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 heard we’re delighted to welcome back Alfred Marks who did so well a few weeks ago, to come and do battle again with our 3 stalwart and intrepid players of the game. We’re going to begin the show this week with Derek Nimmo. And as usual they’re all going to try and speak if they can for just a minute on a subject I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject. Derek, the subject to begin the show is putting one over. Would you talk to us on that one for 60 seconds starting now.
DEREK NIMMO: It is really quite difficult to put one over, I suppose. I have tried, occasionally, particularly during the Lentern Season. But then I have discovered as the years have gone by that I am getting a little too elderly for this particular pursuit. Sometimes though when the sun is in the sky I arise with new confidence...
NP: And Clement Freud has challenged.
CLEMENT FREUD: Deviation.
CF: The sun is always in the sky.
NP: A very good...
DN: You can’t always see it though.
CF: That’s right. No, no.
NP: Clement, I agree with your challenge so you gain a point for that and you take over the subject. And you have 37 seconds on putting one over starting now.
CF: There’s a lot of putting one over in this country, which is known as putting one under in Australia and New Zealand, because being on the other side of the globe it is a geographical as well as a elliptical phenomenon that the
overputting cannot be consistent in all parts of the world. Maude E Littlehampton who Sir Alfred Lancaster, epitomised and drew so beautifully in the Beaverbrook Press, on many occasions excelled himself by...
NP: The whistle that Ian Messiter blows tells us that 60 seconds is up and whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. It was of course Clement Freud on this occasion. So he’s the only one to get any points at all in that round. Alfred Marks will you begin the next round. The subject: the fright of my life. Can you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
ALFRED MARKS: Walking up the aisle at my wedding, I turned to my bride to be, looked at her askance, screamed and said “darling, behind you are five of my old girlfriends”, a fright I think no-one of any...
NP: Ah, Derek Nimmo challenged.
NP: Yes, I’m afraid so, he had an awful fright, didn’t he?
AM: Have you seen my wife? You wouldn’t wonder that I hesitated! And took fright at the moment!
NP: 44 seconds for you Derek on the fright of my life starting now.
DN: The fright of my life occurred when I was in Victoria, in Australia. In travelling from Bendigo to Ballarat I happened to be following behind Wilkie’s Circus and the circus stopped at the lights...
NP: And Clement Freud has challenged.
CF: 2 circi!
NP: And Clement...
KENNETH WILLIAMS: What happened when they stopped at the lights then?
NP: All the monkeys got out...
DN: So they did!
NP: ... at the top of the bridge! There are 32 seconds Clement on the fright of my life starting now.
CF: I think the fright of my life occurred when I came to this programme and saw yet again Nicholas Parsons. That chairman whom I thought, after several weeks ago, we had got rid of. It had been tacitly agreed among the people here, that he was elderly and incompetent. And yet, I entered the studios and there he was! The fright of my life! And if you would like...
NP: Well, this is the fright of Clement Freud’s life telling you that at the end of the round....
CF: I’m disqualified!
NP: ... he was... I’ll be fair. He was speaking when the whistle went and old as I am, I can still read what Ian Messiter’s written down. He’s got a good lead at the end of that round. Ah, Derek Nimmo, your turn to begin. The subject: clocks. Would you tell us something about those in 60 seconds starting now.
DN: The very first kind of clock to be recorded was the Clepsindron which was invented in ancient Egypt and was formed by a stone bowl with a hole in it through which water slowly dripped. Things have improved since then. We’ve used sand. Of course, sundials were very popular. And sometimes if you travel in the Southern Hemisphere you find these particular kind of clocks, which are set to a period before Greenwich Mean Time and therefore they don’t record in any kind of accuracy the hour which is now taking place. Also, one thinks of Tompion the great clockmaker of England who produced such wonderful works of art that one can see in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Wallace Collection and throughout indeed all the galleries of the world. One of these great masterpieces...
NP: Well, this week, they’re really showing their paces. Last time Alfred Marks was here they hardly got going at all. But this week nothing’s holding them back. So, Derek, started with the subject, finished with the subject. So he got 2 points for that. And he is 1 point behind our leader, Clement Freud. Clement, it’s your turn to begin. The subject: wedding photographers. And there are 60 seconds and you start now.
CF: I’m awfully pleased to be given the subject of wedding photographers because wedding photographs is something which I speak about at great length and have in recent times actually done, whereas photographers are...
NP: Ohhhhh! Derek has challenged.
NP: Yes, there was, because he dried up on the photographers.
CF: I did dry up.
NP: There are 45 seconds for you Derek to go on wedding photographers starting now.
DN: I don’t like seeing wedding photographers crawling down the aisle of the church as they seem to do with increasing frequency these days, to take snaps from interesting angles beneath the bride’s bouquet. I think they should be kept firmly outside the arglee and there take their snaps when the happy party come out...
NP: Alfred Marks has challenged.
AM: Repetition of snaps.
NP: Yes, there was too much snapping going on there. There are 26 seconds Alfred for you on wedding photographers starting now.
AM: My dear grandmother who is now deceased went to a wedding photographer in her locality and said “I have here...”
NP: Ah, Derek Nimmo challenged.
DN: I’m sure in his grandmothers day there can only have been portrait painters!
NP: What a horribly rude challenge!
AM: There’s no need to be so nasty! You really are a very nasty person Nimmo! You may have lovely toes but you have a mean mind!
NP: And while you can be rude to the chairman and I can’t do much about it, I can at least defend the other contestants especially when they’re a guest and they don’t come here regularly.
AM: Thank you so much Mr Chairman.
NP: 20 seconds and a point for a wrong challenge, wedding photographers starting now.
AM: She presented this photograph of my dead grandfather, and said “this is very old fashioned, could you do something about it”. And he said “yes, we have a retouch artist”. And she said “what I want you to do is to remove the hat”. He said “fine”. And then she said “could you please erase the moustache”. And he said “yes”. And then she said “and could you alter the collar to make it more modern?” He said “yes”. And the photographer said “when I remove the covering for the head, on what side does he part his hair?” And she said “You’ll see that when you take
his hat off.”
NP: Alfred paused then because he thought someone had challenged him which was actually incorrect. He’s now in second place behind our equal leaders Derek Nimmo and Clement Freud. Kenneth, it’s your turn to begin. Lady Hamilton. There are 60 seconds and you start now.
KW: Well, she wasn’t a very recommendable person, not in my point of view anyway. And there were several liasons long before the husband whose title she took came along. And apparently there was this sort of conniving threesome with her and Nelson and this old man she got in tow with! And it all seems to me to be reprehensible to say the least! He was a Greek Antiquary though and went around looking at these corinthian and marbles as they were known and apparently likened quite a few as to their authenticity. And she bore this child or infant as you might put it, depending on your proclivities to the afore-mentioned Horatio Whatsit. And of course a lot of people maintain that during her stay in Naples...
NP: I suppose if you have to keep going when there’s a threat of a challenge coming from three keen people you can call Nelson “Horatio Whatsit”! So Kenneth, you started with the subject and you finished, so you get a point for speaking when the whistle went and you got 2 points for that and you’re still in fourth place! Alfred Marks, your turn to begin. The subject: discovery. Can you talk to us on that for 60 seconds starting now.
AM: The discovery I’ve made since I’ve been a guest on this show is either to shut up if you have nothing to say or save it up for the time when you can really get in with a sharp one because you’re surrounded by such people of such
vast experience ...
NP: And Derek Nimmo challenged.
AM: Repeat of such.
DN: Repeat of such.
NP: Such and such. There are 48 seconds starting now.
DN: Gosh, I love journeys of discovery! Finding for the first time the thermal springs of Rotorua! Down to the South Island of New Zealand...
DN: The beauties of Milford Sound! Who’s challenged?
NP: Alfred Marks has challenged!
AM: Oh, it’s just that he’s shouting in my ear, that’s all!
NP: So what do you call that? Deviation?
AM: I call it torture!
NP: Derek, an incorrect challenge, there are 40 seconds for you to continue on discovery starting now.
DN: From Waitangi I go, across the Tasman Sea, and land in a fair city...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Well, we’ve already had this map about New Zealand and geysers and now we’ve gone...
NP: It was Australia before!
KW: But it has nothing to do with discovery!
NP: Oh, I think...
KW: Nothing to do with discovery!
NP: No, I think he established it was his own personal discovery.
KW: Discovery means something quite other than visiting them.
NP: No, if you go...
KW: If you don’t know the difference between visiting something and discovering it, you must be stark raving mad!
NP: If you don’t know the difference between discovering something for yourself for the first time ...
KW: Nonsense! Discovery is what nobody else has done, you great nit! Don’t you understand that!
NP: But if you...
KW: You can go look in the Louvre at the Mona Lisa but you’re not discovering it, dear!
NP: I discover all kinds of things...
KW: God help us all! We’ll all end up in the looney bin with this sort of rubbish!
NP: I discover all kinds of things in the loo!
KW: This is a family show!
NP: I know! And you shouldn’t bring your supporters club with you, all shouting out, “nit” whenever you do. Right! Derek, I disagree with his challenge after all that, 33 seconds on discovery starting now.
DN: The fine ship, Discovery, anchored in the Thames, guardian to the shipping coming down towards us. When that sails for the Antarctic...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: The Discovery that’s moored in the Thames is not a guardian to the shipping that’s coming towards us.
NP: No, I quite agree!
DN: I quite agree, but I couldn’t think of anything more to say about it!
NP: I agree with the challenge ... don’t say any more please, just let me say I agree with you, take the subject and there are 23 seconds on discovery starting now.
KW: The first name that springs to mind is of course Galileo!
NP: Ah, Clement Freud challenged.
CF: Repetition of of course. He said it earlier.
KW: I haven’t spoken on this subject you great nit!
NP: He hasn’t spoken on this subject.
KW: I haven’t spoken on discovery yet, you great fool!
NP: Trouble is Kenneth you speak so much when you’re not on the subject that everybody thinks you’re on it! But you didn’t actually say of course on the subject. There are 18 seconds for you to continue on discovery starting now.
KW: He said the world is not flat as everyone had hitherto believed but that it revolves upon its own axis and that consequently because of the pull of gravity we could not possibly fall off! Well, they were amazed!
NP: Kenneth, you were speaking then when the whistle went. You got the extra point and Derek Nimmo still in the lead. And Derek, it’s your turn to begin. The subject is geysers. So will you tell us something about those... not unless they’re the ones in Roratori... I can’t pronounce it!
DN: I will for you in a moment, don’t worry!
NP: Um, I believe we’ve had some visitors all the way from New Zealand and Australia, who’ve come over deliberately for the programme. Do you enjoy listening to Just A Minute over there?
SHOUTS OF YES
NP: Hmm, absolutely ecstatic about it!
AM: (In Australian accent) there y’are! How ya doing? All right? Gidday! (In usual voice) How’s that?
NP: Do you really want me to tell you?
NP: Thank goodness. Derek, the subject is geysers, there are 60 seconds and you start now.
DN: Well, of course I must go back immediately to Rotorua and talk about..
NP: Ah, Alfred Marks has challenged.
AM: Yes, I wish he would!
KW: Now look here Alfred, there’s no need to be rude to a fellow panellist. I don’t think rudeness has any place on this show!
NP: Well, it's...
KW: Just cut that out immediately! Let’s have a little courtesy and gallantry!
AM: Shut your face! I’ve sat here nice and quiet listening to all your drivel!
NP: Right! So, after that rude challenge... he’s obviously getting the feel of the game now, Alfred Marks is, there are 56 seconds on geysers with you Derek, starting now.
DN: The most beautiful one is the Prince of Wales Feathers, which you can see go up into the air once every half an hour. And what a magnificent sight! Also I’ve got one in my kitchen at home! It's very nice actually which I have lit by gas and sometimes when the weather is cold, I turn it up a little bit and get even warmer water from it! And this works very well you know. And I prefer it to an immersion heater, I don’t know about you. Have many of you tried geysers? Because they’re jolly good you know. They’re going a bit out of fashion. Better than coal fires too. But I find too, that if you know an old man, you say “how are you going, you silly old geezer? Julius Caesar, he’s got a face like a lemon squeezer.” I used to sing that at one time, I can’t quite remember why, it’s rather a nice little song. Then one returns again to... to Italy this time. Is someone going to challenge me?
DN: I’m about to stop.
NP: No, no, you packed up, Alfred challenged you.
DN: No, that’s right. You all got very quiet, didn’t you?
NP: Well, it was so boring! Alfred you got in there? What is your challenge?
AM: Well, it’s just that he hesitated, he undoubtedly...
NP: Oh he did indeed! There are 12 seconds for geysers with you Alfred starting now.
AM: Yes, well Derek mentioned geezer as apertaining to an old man. Well of course this is Cockney rhyming slang on which I happen to be somewhat of an expert. There is your Peckham rye, your Dickie, your Armours and all other things such as Lord Derby...
NP: Well, Alfred Marks telling us a little bit about Cockney rhyming slang moved forward and got the extra point for speaking when the whistle went. He’s now equal with Kenneth Williams and Derek’s a few points ahead in the lead. Clement, we’re back to you. The subject is sue. Will you tell us something about that in 60 seconds starting now.
CF: During International Aubergine Fortnight in 1972 I was presented by a girl called Sue with a very sizeable parcel of these delectable vegetables which are a sort of heliatrope of purple colour and have a sheen about them which is all of their own. It is quite unique and I’m delighted to be able to recommend them to all listeners.
NP: Kenneth has challenged.
KW: Deviation. It seems to me it’s all about aubergines and not sue.
NP: I would have thought the same too Kenneth. So you have a point for that, and 32 seconds Kenneth sue with you starting now.
KW: She is of course the subject of a very popular song which I was wont to sing in my youth, a long, alas, time ago. And a term with we all have a familiarity with apropos litigation. To sue... is to have in your opinion...
NP: Derek Nimmo’s challenged.
DN: I thought a hesitation, but perhaps not.
NP: You’re quite right, there wasn’t and so Kenneth gets another point, and he keeps going on the subject and there are 10 seconds left on sue starting now.
KW: And when the Manchester Tramway Company sued or were the counter-action so to speak to a gentleman who said he’d lost his arm...
NP: Kenneth was then speaking when the whistle went and got the extra point. And you Kenneth, have moved into the lead! Alongside Derek Nimmo. Oh that went down well, didn’t it? Alfred, it’s your turn to begin. The subject is what I know nothing about. 60 seconds starting now.
AM: I know nothing about grammar for a start. I also know nothing about almost any subject which you can put to this panel, which is probably why I have been given this question. This starts from my education. I spoke about this recently, probably on another show, about my dear grandfather who was responsible for my learning and teaching me. I remember once as a child, taking me on a tram to the British Museum. We went into the room on Egyptology and there standing in the corner was the sarcoughagus. Open and inside, a Mummy swathed in brown bandages from head to foot with a little glass plate at the bottom saying EC25. I remember turning to him and saying “what is that?” and he said “maybe it’s the number of the car that hit him.” This of course led to my lack of education, and as a consequense I know nothing about almost everything you could mention, nuclear fision, I know nothing about it, agriculture...
NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged you.
DN: Repetition of education.
NP: Yes, but the audience obviously enjoyed your grandfather. There are 13 seconds left Derek, for you to continue, not continue, take up the subject of what I know nothing about starting now.
DN: James Watt I know nothing about, except for the tiniest little fact which is hardly worth repeating. So I won’t. But apart from that, I know very little about memory tricks or misprints or clocks or Lady Hamilton or wedding photographs or discovery or geysers or sue...
NP: So Derek was then speaking when the whistle went and he has got the extra point for doing so. And Derek it’s your turn to begin again. The subject: my geiger counter. Would you tell us something about that subject for 60 seconds starting now.
DN: I have a very long and interesting geiger counter. It was given to me last Christmas and I’ve always wanted one. It was made, I believe, in Germany, which I think is quite appropriate because of course a geiger counter was invented by a German professor named Geiger. And that is why this thing is so named as any poor fool can tell you.
NP: Ah, Clement Freud has challenged.
KW: It was me!
NP: Oh, what’s your challenge?
KW: He said named twice. It was named after him and named after.
NP: Yes. All right Kenneth you have the subject and you have 36 seconds for my geiger counter starting now.
KW: This is not a question I’m really equipped to discuss because I haven’t got one but I suppose I could make up something about my geiger counter in the sense that it might make use of my imaginative faculties.
NP: Ah, Alfred Marks has challenged.
AM: I was just wondering as Derek’s is so long and you know, maybe he could let Kenneth have some of it? Kenneth said he had no geiger counter and Derek had a very long one, I don’t see why he shouldn’t borrow some of it! Then he could talk erudirely and articulately on the subject.
NP: So what’s your challenge?
AM: That he’s so selfish! Derek Nimmo’s so damn mean! He has a long thin geiger counter that he refuses to part with!
NP: Well actually that wasn’t a legitimate challenge!
AM: No but it was worth saying!
NP: And that’s why we love having you on the programme...
AM: thank you very much.
NP: You say the things that are worth saying.
AM: I introduce the rubbish element!
NP: There are 28 seconds on my geiger counter Kenneth starting now.
KW: And were it to be in my hand, I would wave it about so that I was...
KW: ... able to detect any kind of tremor....
KW: ... in the earth or like activity.
NP: Clement Freud has challenged you.
KW: What’s he challenged about?
CF: It’s disgusting!
NP: Which was incorrect. Kenneth...
CF: Well, it’s...
NP: .... keeps the subject and he has 20 seconds on my geiger counter starting now.
KW: It would be very useful indeed in detecting metal objects which might represent a threat to the continuance of humanity in general.
NP: Ah, Alfred Marks has challenged.
AM: I don’t think it’s the metal which presents the threat, I think it’s actually the radium content of the metal.
NP: But if ...
KW: But don’t you agree that radium has produced many grave hazards to humanity?
AM: I’m talking to the chairman, you don’t mind, do you?
KW: If you weren’t such a pompous twit, you wouldn’t be doing any talking!
AM: If I wasn’t such a pompous twit, I wouldn’t be on this show!
KW: You can say that again! Hahhahhahhahah!
NP: Well, Kenneth I disagree with that challenge. You have 10 seconds left. Are you ready to continue? It might be the last round and it’s very close. My geiger counter starting now.
KW: It makes a sound which goes a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a
NP: Oh, Derek challenged.
DN: Repetition of a-a-a-a-a-a-a!
KW: And I thought you were a friend of mine!
KW: When I think of the things you told me last week in Sacksfield Street! And now you sit there doing the dirt on me!
NP: There are 8 seconds Derek on my geiger counter starting now.
DN: I use mine for looking for radioactivity in metal if it’s buried in the ground, and I’ve found it to be particularly useful in this respect.
NP: Well, Derek Nimmo kept going until the whistle went and gained that extra point on this occasion. I will now give you the final score because I’m afraid we do have no more time to play Just A Minute. Alfred Marks, returning again, contributed wonderful value to the programme for which we thank him very much and we hope he’ll come back again. He did finish in fourth place, just one point behind Clement Freud who has done so well in the past. But they were both quite a few points behind this week’s equal winners, Derek Nimmo with Kenneth Williams.
KW: Thank you very much!
NP: We hope that you’ve enjoyed listening to Just A Minute, 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 Lloyd.