FILE PHOTO: British entertainers Nicholas Parsons (2nd L) and Gyles Brandreth (R) leave the funeral of Clement Freud at St Bride’s church in London April 24, 2009. Freud was the grandson of Sigmund Freud, and his funeral took place on Friday, which would have been his 85th birthday. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
LONDON (Reuters) – British broadcaster Nicholas Parsons, who hosted BBC radio 4’s “Just A Minute” game show for more than 50 years, has died at the age of 96 after a short illness, his agent said on Tuesday.
He was also an actor, performer and entertainer, appearing in films and on stage.
“No one deserves to be called a broadcasting legend more than Nicholas Parsons,” BBC Director General Tony Hall said in a statement.
“His charm, inventive intellect and ability to create laughs were unsurpassed.”
Parsons was best known for Just A Minute, in which panelists have to talk non-stop for 60 seconds on any given topic without hesitation, deviation or repetition.
Gyles Brandreth, a friend who worked with Parsons on the programme said: “It’s heartbreakingly sad and it is the end of an era in many ways.
“He was a consummate professional and a role model to so many people because he just went on working right up to when he was 95.
“It’s a career truly to celebrate and a man to celebrate,” he told the BBC.
Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; editing by Stephen Addison