It has been announced that Nicholas Parsons has died aged 96. That’s a good age.
Mr Parsons has had a long career in radio, tv and film, working to the end. He was famous as a straight man for Arthur Haynes, an inexplicably massively popular comedian in the 1960s, though now it is hard to understand why.
Parsons presented the much derided tv quiz show Sale of the Century.
And for 50+ years he was the chairman, occasionally panellist of Just a Minute. I loved this programme in the old days. You can still catch episodes with Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo on the web. In recent years the show has declined. I saw a recording last September. Parsons was a bit unsure on his feet but was still alert enough to make an entertaining evening.
His death marks the absolute end of the classic radio era. I grew up listening to some great shows, like JAM, Many A Slip, My Music, Twenty Questions… the warm and cosy game shows. Although I have to say that Clement Freud was genuinely nasty to Mr Parsons, and taking the p*** out of Mr P did become an easy thing as the programme changed from a parlour game show to a surreal comedy (ie as the oldies died).
But my personal favourite was Four Feather Falls: