Tributes have been pouring in today following the announcement of the death of the broadcasting colossus Nicholas Parsons.

The ninety six year old who will be remembered as the host of the Radio Four panel show Just a Minute which he has chaired for over fifty years was 96 and died after a short illness.

Parsons was also famed for his role as question master on the TV quiz show, Sale Of The Century.

Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, said: “Very few people have done so much to entertain audiences over the decades, and no one deserves to be called a broadcasting legend more than Nicholas Parsons. His charm, inventive intellect and ability to create laughs were unsurpassed. Our thoughts are with his family and all who knew him.”

Mohit Bakaya, Controller of BBC Radio 4, said: “Nicholas Parsons was one of the greats, a first class broadcaster and an icon in the world of British comedy.

“Nicholas always brought his sharp wit, brilliant poise and warmth to everything he did – but particularly as host of Just a Minute where his excellence shone in each episode without hesitation, deviation or repetition. He was that rare beast – a presenter whose appeal spread right across the generations – and he was a unique member of the Radio 4 family. He will be greatly missed by us all, as well as the many, many listeners who he entertained so brilliantly.”

Stephen Fry said on twitter

“Oh no. Nicholas Parsons gone? He ruled Just a Minute for Just a Lifetime. A stunning achievement: never scripted, always immaculate. From comedian’s sidekick to great institution, via Sale of the Century & much more. Unrivalled continuity, professionalism & commitment. Farewell xx”

Sioned Wiliam, Commissioning Editor for BBC Radio 4 Comedy, said: “A comic giant has left us, and we mourn the loss of our dear Nicholas.

“He was a great comedian in his own right and a hugely skilled host, much loved by us all at Radio 4 and adored by the comedy community who all queued up to work with him on Just a Minute. We will miss his warmth, charm and incredible humour – his legend will live on.”

Julia McKenzie, Creative Director at BBC Studios Audio (which produces Just a Minute), said: ““Nicholas was such a smart and passionate man who cared deeply about his radio show and Radio 4 and its devoted listeners. He was utterly charming and faultlessly professional.

“He was funny and kind in person and wonderful company. I can’t really believe he is gone today, he seemed indestructible. His legacy will live on with over 50 years of laughter-filled shows and the lasting friendships he made through his extraordinary career in show business. My thoughts are very much with Annie, his beloved wife and constant support and companion who attended every recording, and the rest of his family. Nicholas, you dear man, what a full life you lived – you really did bring much wit and joy to us all and we thank you for that – we miss you.”


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