TV and radio star Nicholas Parsons has died, aged 96

28 January 2020, 11:26

Nicholas Parsons
Nicholas Parsons. Picture: Getty

Nicholas Parsons - one of the UK's most celebrated broadcasters, has died at the age of 96.

Parsons was best known for hosting various radio programmes including Just a Minute. He passed away after a short illness, his agent confirmed.

Parsons famously hosted Just A Minute since it launched in 1967.

"Nicholas passed away in the early hours of the 28th of January," a statement read.

"He was with his beloved family who will miss him enormously and who wish to thank the wonderful staff at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital."

Nicholas Parsons also hosted Sale of the Century from 1971 to 1983, with audiences peaking at over 21 million viewers.

Sale of the Century - Anglia ITV - Nicholas Parsons - HQ

He first became well known to TV audiences in the 1960s as the straight man to comic Arthur Haynes. They broke up after 10 years at Haynes's request, which saw Parsons return to the stage and became a regular on The Benny Hill Show.

He also made appearances in Doctor Who and The New Statesman, and appeared in various West End musicals such as Into the Woods and The Rocky Horror Show.

Parsons was appointed an OBE in 2004, followed by a CBE ten years later. He held the world record for the longest after-dinner speech at 11 hours, before it was beaten by Gyles Brandreth.