On January 28th it was announced that broadcaster Nicholas Parsons had passed away in the early hours of the morning after a short illness.
Parsons spent his life in broadcasting hosting Sale of the Century which attracted an audience of 20 million, and joined the Benny Hill Show in 1969 where he appeared for several years. Other TV appearances include The Comic Strip Presents and Have I Got News For You.
His best known work was perhaps his role as host on BBC Radio 4’s show Just A Minute since its creation in 1967. The show, where guests are challenged to speak on a subject for a full minute without hesitation, deviation, or repetition, was last hosted by Parsons on September 23rd 2019. Following his death, BBC Radio 4 announced that a tribute to Parsons will be aired on Tuesday at 18:30.
Tributes to the broadcaster, called a ‘legend’ by BBC Director General Tony Hall, flooded social media with many singing his praises. Hall added to his comments, saying that ‘his charm, inventive intellect and ability to create laughs were unsurpassed. Our thoughts are with his family and all who knew him.’
Amongst those paying tribute are Graham Norton, who has celebrated Parsons as ‘truly the kindest and most generous person I’ve ever worked with’, as well as Paul Merton who was a long time panellist on Just A Minute. He wrote that Parsons ‘was always upbeat, and loved to work. He gave 100% to everything he did.’ He continued to say ‘I will miss him greatly as a friend, particularly as I thought he would be around forever.’
His talent is undoubted by the sheer number of tributes published about him. Many express their sadness about his passing, with Gyles Brandreth, a Just A Minute panellist, calling it ‘the end of an era.’
Watch an episode of Just A Minute when it was broadcast for television below: