British radio and television legend Nicholas Parsons has died after a short illness. He was 96.
The BBC announced his death on Tuesday, marking his seven decades in TV and radio, and in particular, his hosting role on the iconic BBC Radio 4 gameshow Just A Minute.
Parsons hosted the show for more than 50 years, famously missing just a handful of recordings during that time. He also presented TV shows including Sale Of The Century, while as an actor, he appeared in Doctor Who and The Arthur Haynes Show. His most recent role was as the voice of demon Dagon in Amazon and BBC drama Good Omens last year.
Outgoing BBC director general Tony Hall 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.”
The BBC was far from alone in paying tribute to Parson.
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Reflecting on his work with Parsons on Good Omens, Neil Gaiman said he was “heartbroken” at his death. “I was thrilled to have been able to work with Nicholas Parsons on Good Omens. I sort of directed him, but the direction was basically ‘You’re Nicholas Parsons so do that.’ Kind and professional and a pleasure to work with. So sad,” he tweeted.
The Graham Norton Show host Graham Norton said: “Nicholas Parsons was truly the kindest and most generous person I’ve ever worked with. His continued delight at being a part of show business should be an inspiration to us all.”
Piers Morgan remembered a “wonderful man who brought so much fun, charm, wit & pleasure to so many millions of people over so many decades.” Actor Richard E. Grant thanked Parsons for a “lifetime of laughter and true charm,” while Stephen Fry hailed his “continuity, professionalism & commitment.”
Parsons’ Just A Minute co-star Gyles Brandreth said:
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