Nicholas Parsons



The All New Alphabet Game

Celebrity Gossip

Cluedo (suspect)

Have I Got News for You (guest host)

Just a Minute

Know Your Onions


Naruhodo - The World!

Roland's Rat Race (co-host: semi-finals and final)

The Saints Went Marching Out

Sale of the Century

They're Off!

What's it All About?

Whose Baby are You? (regular panellist)


Nicholas Parsons was a comedic performer who appeared in a number of supporting roles of British films during the 1950s and 1960s. He was the 'straight man' to Arthur Haynes and, later, Benny Hill. He was best known for his 14-year stint as host of Norwich-based quiz Sale of the Century.

On radio, he presented the public speaking parlour game Just a Minute for 53 years between 1967 and 2020. The format was converted to television for three separate runs.

He passed away on 28 January 2020 after a short illness. He was 96.


He acted as the narrator in the stage version of the Rocky Horror Show.

Parsons went to the same school as Margaret Thatcher - Grantham & Kesteven High School for Girls (make your own joke up). His father was a GP in the area, though it is doubtful whether Thatcher was one of his patients.

He served as Rector of the University of St Andrews from 1988 to 1991, and was succeeded in the post by Nicky Campbell.

He was the original choice to play the Gamesmaster (q.v.)

As a child, he suffered from dyslexia, stuttering and migraines.

He was resident comedian at the Windmill Theatre for six months.

At one point he held the Guinness world record for the longest after-dinner speech, only for the previous record-holder, Gyles Brandreth, to later win it back.

He was a keen waterskier and at one point his daughter suggested he run a ski school in Spain.

Appropriately for the host of Just a Minute, he was also a keen horologist and a member of the of the British Watch and Clock Makers' Guild.

With the summer 2010 series of Just a Minute, Parsons became the oldest person ever to host a British game show, overtaking the late Humphrey Lyttelton.

Books / Tapes

The Straight Man (autobiography) (hardback) | (tape)

Web links

Internet Movie Database entry

Wikipedia entry

See also

Weaver's Week appreciation in two parts.


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