Nicholas Parsons is confirmed dead at the age of 96.
Nicholas was best known as a British actor (Four Feather Falls).
Death was likely due to radio and television presenter (.
RT @JulianClary: Dear Nicholas Parsons RIP. So clever, funny and generous. I thought he, and the twinkle in his eyes, would go on f…
Rest in Peace, Nicholas Parsons❣️
RT @GylesB1: Nicholas Parsons was a wonderful role model: always courteous, always good-humoured, always the professional & stil…
Don’t miss Thursday nights show as @LordsTaverners CEO Paul Robin joins us to pay tribute to former president Nicho…
In honour of Nicholas Parsons, I shall be playing a game of "let's see who can fall out of the window best" tonight.
RT @GylesB1: Nicholas Parsons was a wonderful role model: always courteous, always good-humoured, always the professional & stil…
RT @stephenfry: Gosh, I'd quite forgotten that m'colleague @hughlaurie and I had Nicholas Parsons on our show way back when, and th…
RT @4SylvesterMcCoy: Sylvester was very sad to hear about Nicholas Parsons and wants to say this in tribute..."The sunshine has dimmed b…
RT @robinince: Instead of a minute's silence, you must now talk about Nicholas Parsons for one minute and you know the rules.
RT @BBCRadio2: If you can just take a minute... here's a wonderful celebration of comedy legend Nicholas Parsons' greatest moments…
RT @BBC6Music: Let's all just take a minute to appreciate some great moments from comedy legend Nicholas Parsons.
Nicholas Parsons, host of BBC’s 'Just a Minute' radio program, dies at 96
BBC News - When Nicholas Parsons was the subject on Just A Minute
@David_Suchet Was watching a you tube documentary on Arthur Haynes and was amazed to see Nicholas Parsons! Parsons…
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
For anyone who enjoys ⁦@BBCRadio4⁩’s Just a Minute. A repeat of the 50th anniversary edition. A reminder of the joy…
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
RT @stephenfry: Gosh, I'd quite forgotten that m'colleague @hughlaurie and I had Nicholas Parsons on our show way back when, and th…
RT @realrossnoble: RIP Nicholas Parsons.I was 21 when we first worked together and I will never forget how welcoming he was to me and…
RT @andyswain101:
@RayJack97465601 @Chris_not_a_bot @TeeteringAngel @Duggs_Bunny @daftrucker1 @JohnRya13591294 @IrishEurophile…
RT @GylesB1: Nicholas Parsons was a wonderful role model: always courteous, always good-humoured, always the professional & stil…
RT @MrKenShabby: Adore @alexlowe51 as Nicholas Parsons. Such a brilliantly niche impression.
RT @GylesB1: Nicholas Parsons was a wonderful role model: always courteous, always good-humoured, always the professional & stil…
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
@Brookranger From Norwich... probably not Nicholas Parsons
RT @MrKenShabby: Adore @alexlowe51 as Nicholas Parsons. Such a brilliantly niche impression.
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
Nicholas Parsons The saddest thing about getting old is seeing my cricket bat in the corner and wondering if I wi…
RT @MrKenShabby: Adore @alexlowe51 as Nicholas Parsons. Such a brilliantly niche impression.
@jonholmes1 nice tribute to Nicholas Parsons, a moment of silence...
RT @robinince: Instead of a minute's silence, you must now talk about Nicholas Parsons for one minute and you know the rules.
RT @stephenfry: Oh no. Nicholas Parsons gone? He ruled Just a Minute for Just a Lifetime. A stunning achievement: never scripted, a…
RT @BBCRadio4: Nicholas Parsons, 10 October 1923 - 28 January 2020 Our friend and comedy inspiration has died, aged 96.
Nicholas Parsons, broadcaster best known for ‘Sale of the Century’ and as the host of ‘Just a Minute’ for more than…
WHO IS NICHOLAS PARSONS I NEVER SEEN HIM UNTILL YESTERDAY DO NOT GET ME WRONG PLEASE I NEVER KNEW…
RT @GylesB1: The end of an era. Nicholas Parsons was such a lovely man - and so versatile: actor, entertainer, writer, TV star &…
RT @GylesB1: Nicholas Parsons was a wonderful role model: always courteous, always good-humoured, always the professional & stil…
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
RT @gordygeorge88: September 23rd 2019 After FIFTY ONE AND A HALF YEARS NICHOLAS PARSONS takes what ultimately was to be his final…
RT @niall_gooch: Rather marvellous, by @TheSimonEvans.
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
RT @MitchBenn: Nicholas Parsons, a genuine legend, is gone after a hell of an innings (damn near a century). May the tributes flow…
RT @jdpoc: Clearly there is no God. Nicholas Parsons was taken from us but Jim Davidson remains on this planet. ^^ Proof !!
RT @BornFreeFDN: We're saddened to hear that Nicholas Parsons CBE has died aged 96. Nicholas supported us for many years and was al…
This is well worth a watch following the sad death of Nicholas Parsons this week
RT @mrmarkmillar: RIP Nicholas Parsons!
RT @edgarwright: RIP Nicholas Parsons.
RT @GregProops: Nicholas Parsons was a lovely man and a true delight to work with.
RT @stephenfry: Oh no. Nicholas Parsons gone? He ruled Just a Minute for Just a Lifetime. A stunning achievement: never scripted, a…
RT @JeffHolland07: So sorry to learn of the passing of Nicholas Parsons CBE. Such a great loss to our business. A true professional a…
RT @AdrianEdmondson: Nicholas Parsons has finally taken Peter Cook’s advice. What a gent.
RT @JeffHolland07: So sorry to learn of the passing of Nicholas Parsons CBE. Such a great loss to our business. A true professional a…
Favorited "Just A Minute on Utter Radio - A Tribute to Nicholas Parsons"
RT @BBCRadio4: Nicholas Parsons, 10 October 1923 - 28 January 2020 1223000642840678402,2020-01-30 21:50:50 +0000,Tlal52424124,RT @jdpoc: Clearly there is no God.
@jdpoc I'm a steadfast atheist but I'm going with the working theory that God wanted Nicholas Parsons but when the…
RT @robinince: Instead of a minute's silence, you must now talk about Nicholas Parsons for one minute and you know the rules.
RT @AmyGrimmers: Tribute to the brilliant Nicholas Parsons - Lord Hall and @theJeremyVine playing Just A Minute with the Brexitcast…
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
RT @cultauthor: Drinking whiskey and talking Edward Lear with Nicholas Parsons backstage at the Cliffs Pavilion during time as the…
#Nicholas Parsons #Gyles Brandreth #legend -Nicholas Parsons RIP ... we wanted you to go on and on ...so sadly mi…
RT @tobymartin: So here's my Nicholas Parsons story (thread!), which showed me what a lovely, considerate man he was. I grew up lis…
Thinking about Nicholas Parsons. The inspiration I take from him is keep going, don’t take yourself too seriously a…
RT @robinince: Instead of a minute's silence, you must now talk about Nicholas Parsons for one minute and you know the rules.

Nicholas Parsons

Nicholas Parsons 2007.png
Parsons recording Just a Minute
at the Pleasance Grand, Edinburgh, in 2007
Born
Christopher Nicholas Parsons

(1923-10-10)10 October 1923
Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, UK
Died28 January 2020(2020-01-28) (aged 96)
Stoke Mandeville Hospital
EducationSt Paul's School, London
University of Glasgow
OccupationActor, radio and television presenter
Years active1945–2020
Known forJust a Minute
Sale of the Century
TitleRector of the University of St Andrews
(1988–1991)

President of the Lord's Taverners
(1998–1999)
Spouse(s)
Denise Bryer
(m. 1954; div. 1989)

Ann Reynolds
(m. 1995)
Children2
Websitewww.nicholasparsons.info
Christopher Nicholas Parsons CBE (10 October 1923 – 28 January 2020) was an English actor and radio and television presenter. Still active in his 90s, Parsons had a long career in television, radio and theatre.
Parsons had hosted the comedy radio game show Just a Minute since its inception in 1967. He also hosted Sale of the Century throughout its initial incarnation from 1971 to 1983. During his tenure, the audience peaked at over 21 million viewers, a record for an ITV game show.
Contents
1 Early life
2 Career in entertainment
2.1 Early career and on as a theatre comedian
2.2 Film, TV and radio career
2.3 Just a Minute
2.4 1980s
2.5 1990s
2.6 Recent career
3 Roles outside entertainment
4 Awards and recognition
5 Personal life
6 Publications
7 Selected filmography
8 References
9 External links
Early life
Parsons was born at 1 Castlegate, Grantham, Lincolnshire; he was the middle child of the family, having an older brother and a younger sister. His father was a general practitioner whose patients included the family of Margaret Thatcher; claims that he delivered her are unproven. His mother, born in Bristol to a founder of local company W.B. Maggs & Co, was training as a nurse when she met Parsons' father at University College Hospital, London.
Parsons was born left-handed but was made to write with his right hand. As a child, he had a stutter, which he managed to control as he grew older, and was slow to learn owing to dyslexia. He also suffered from migraines but nevertheless excelled at school.
After education at Colet Court and St Paul's School in London, Parsons' initial career plan was to become an actor. However, his parents believed that a career in engineering would be better, as he had repaired grandfather clocks as a young man and was creative with his hands.
While at school, he was best friends with John Treacher who was to become Commander-in-Chief Fleet. At school, Parsons' nickname was "Shirley" after the then burgeoning talent of Shirley Temple.
After he had left school, his family contacted relatives in Scotland, who arranged a job for him on Clydebank near Glasgow, where he spent five years employed as an engineering apprentice at Drysdales, a maker of marine pumps. While there, he also spent two six-month periods studying engineering at the University of Glasgow. He never graduated, but finished his apprenticeship and gained sufficient qualifications to become a mechanical engineer. He was offered a posting in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, but he did not join the service due to ill health.
Career in entertainment
Parsons started his career while training as an engineering apprentice; he was discovered by Canadian impresario Carroll Levis, and appeared in his radio show as an impersonator. He also gained valuable early experience in amateur concert parties.
Early career and on as a theatre comedian
At the end of the Second World War, Parsons became a full-time professional actor. He made his stage debut in the West End as Kiwi in The Hasty Heart at the Aldwych Theatre in 1945 which ran for over a year, then played the lead in a tour of Arsenic and Old Lace. He made his film debut in Master of Bankdam in 1947 and continued his stage career, with two years in repertory at Bromley, and later, Windsor and Maidstone. In 1952, he became a resident comedian at the Windmill Theatre, performing regular nights of stand-up comedy to packed houses.
He starred in the West End show Boeing-Boeing for 15 months in the mid-1960s and later, other West End productions throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Film, TV and radio career
In the 1950s and 1960s, he appeared in many supporting roles in British films. In the late 1960s, he portrayed David Courtney in the short-lived American sitcom The Ugliest Girl in Town.
In the 1950s, Parsons provided the non-singing voice of Tex Tucker in the children's TV puppet series Four Feather Falls, having put himself forward for the job at the suggestion of his then wife, actress and voiceover artiste Denise Bryer, who was in the show. During the late 1960s he created and presented a satirical programme on BBC Radio 4 called Listen to This Space, which by the standards of its time was very avant-garde, and he received the Radio Personality of the Year Award for his work on this programme in 1967.
Parsons became well known to TV audiences during the 1960s as the straight man to comedian Arthur Haynes. They had a successful season at the London Palladium in 1963 and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in America in 1966. In the same year, the partnership broke up after ten years at Haynes's request, allowing Parsons to return to the stage, before becoming a regular on The Benny Hill Show from 1968 to 1971.
After Haynes' sudden death, Parsons appeared as a personality in his own right on television, including in the long-running Anglia Television quiz show Sale of the Century, broadcast weekly from 1971 to 1984. In 1983 Hill wrote and performed in the sketch "Sale of the Half Century", with himself cast as Parsons.
Parsons was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1978 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.
Just a Minute
Parsons has been the host of the BBC Radio 4 comedy panel game Just a Minute since it was first broadcast on 22 December 1967. The show continues to be transmitted with Parsons as host. The programme's longevity is arguably due in part to the host's ability to be a chairman, create laughs and to act as a straight man to the comedians who participate.
Until 4 June 2018, Parsons never missed an episode, but that same month, regular panellist Gyles Brandreth stood in for him for two episodes due to a bout of illness - at the age of 94. The same occurred the following year for two shows recorded at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
1980s
In 1988, Parsons appeared as himself in The Comic Strip episode "Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door", in which he had the misfortune to encounter two incompetent escort agency directors (Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson in their usual cheerfully violent, dipsomaniac personas) followed by the psychopathic and misnamed Mr Jolly himself (played by Peter Cook).
In 1989, he featured in the long-running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who as the doomed Northumberland vicar Reverend Wainwright in the Seventh Doctor serial The Curse of Fenric. Parsons later provided a commentary for the DVD release of the serial. Another guest role in 1989 was in The New Statesman, where he played himself hosting a daytime quiz show. In 1990, he appeared as the Mayor in the BBC's series for children Bodger & Badger.
1990s
Parsons featured in the original London cast of the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods at the Phoenix Theatre in 1990. In the early 1990s he hosted a short-lived panel game called Laughlines which was broadcast by Sky TV rival BSB on the Galaxy entertainment channel. This was followed by an appearance in the fourth and final series of the UK TV show Cluedo as Reverend Green.
Parsons took the lead role of the Narrator in the 21st anniversary revival of the stage musical The Rocky Horror Show at the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End in 1994, and starred in the revival the following year. He then toured with the production intermittently from 1994 to 1996.
Recent career
In April 2005 he was the guest presenter on the BBC topical quiz show Have I Got News for You and over the next decade guest-starred on many other television shows as a speaker and an entertainer. He appeared on Celebrity Mastermind in December 2007 and played Father Gorman in the Agatha Christie's Marple episode The Pale Horse in 2010. Just a Minute transferred to television in 2012 for a ten-part early-evening series to celebrate its 45th anniversary, with Parsons and regular panellist Paul Merton.
Parsons wrote an autobiography entitled The Straight Man: My Life in Comedy, which was published in 1994, and he produced a book of memoirs in 2010 called Nicholas Parsons: With Just a Touch of Hesitation, Repetition and Deviation.
Since 2001, he has appeared annually at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe presenting his comedy cabaret show The Happy Hour at the Cabaret Bar at the Pleasance.
Parsons is the oldest intermittent broadcaster on BBC radio. Sir David Attenborough is the next oldest intermittent broadcaster on BBC television and radio.
Roles outside entertainment
From 1988 to 1991, Parsons served as Rector of the University of St Andrews. In 2005, he became for a short period honorary Chairman of the International Quizzing Association (IQA), a body that organises the World and European Quizzing Championships. He is a leading member of the Grand Order of Water Rats charity, and a patron of the British Stammering Association. He was the president of the charity the Lord's Taverners from 1998 to 1999. He was an Ambassador for Childline and The Silver Line.
Parsons was a lifelong Liberal, having supported the Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrats. He was invited to stand as a Liberal Party candidate for Yeovil in the 1970s, but he turned down the opportunity in order to remain in the entertainment industry. On 17 October 2013, a week after his 90th birthday, he appeared as a guest on the BBC One political discussion show This Week.
Awards and recognition
Parsons was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2004 New Year Honours for services to drama and broadcasting. He was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for charitable services, especially to children's charities.
Having served as rector of the University of St Andrews from 1988 to 1991, he was awarded an honorary LLD by the university in 1991. He was also awarded an honorary DA by the University of Leicester in 2007, and an honorary D.Litt by the University of Lincoln in 2014.
He held the Guinness World Record for the longest after-dinner speech (11 hours) until it was reclaimed by former holder Gyles Brandreth.
Personal life
Parsons was married twice. He was first married to actress Denise Bryer in 1954; together they had two children. The couple divorced in 1989. He married Ann Reynolds in 1995.
Publications
Nicholas Parsons: With Just a Touch of Hesitation, Repetition and Deviation: My Life in Comedy, Mainstream Publishing, 2011. ISBN 978-1845967123
Welcome to Just a Minute!: A Celebration of Britain's Best-Loved Radio Comedy, Canongate Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1782112471
Selected filmography
Master of Bankdam (1947)
To Dorothy a Son (1954)
Simon and Laura (1955)
An Alligator Named Daisy (1955)
The Long Arm (1956)
Eyewitness (1956)
Brothers in Law (1957)
Happy Is the Bride (1958)
Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959)
Too Many Crooks (1959)
Upstairs and Downstairs (1959)
Let's Get Married (1960)
Doctor in Love (1960)
Carry On Regardless (1961)
Murder Ahoy! (1964)
Every Day's a Holiday (1965)
The Wrong Box (1966)
The Ghost Goes Gear (1966)
Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1968)
Spy Story (1976)
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