British Comedy Guide

Nicholas Parsons

Longevity, banging on and on, is the key component of national treasuredom. In his slick Sale of the Century years it was hard to imagine Nicholas Parsons might ever achieve the status, but now, aged 94, and having presented 975 episodes of Radio 4's Just a Minute/c], without deviation but with plenty of repetition, the mantle maybe fits. The BBC celebrated his half century with a tribute, Just a Minute: 50 Years in 28 Minutes, which had living panellists compete with departed wits; a ouija board parlour game. Paul Merton interrupted Peter Cook's 60 seconds on the Loch Ness monster, Jenny Eclair was superseded by Patrick Moore on foolishness. By the time Stephen Fry cut in on Kenneth Williams and Barbara Castle on the subject of Gregorian chants, it was tricky to work out who was in the studio and who wasn't. "I don't think we can have psychic challenges," a youthful Parsons reminded his departed guests; we can now.

Tim Adams, The Guardian, 31st December 2017

50 Years of Just A Minute: Nicholas Parsons in Conversation with Paul Merton (New Year's Day, 6.15pm, Radio 4) has the irrepressibly perky host quizzed by his unfailingly puzzled guest, and can be relied upon to get to the big questions. Did Parsons sport his trademark cravat back when he worked as an engineering apprentice on the Glasgow docks? And how does it feel to have seen his own fame increase while Arthur Haynes, the TV comic he was once the straight man for, has faded away into obscurity?

David Hepworth, The Guardian, 30th December 2017

Nicholas Parsons on half a century of Just a Minute

Nicholas Parsons has left his walking stick at the dry cleaner's: a rare senior moment from someone who is a one-man campaign against ageism.

Ben Lawrence, The Telegraph, 5th December 2017

Nicholas Parsons interview

After 50 years on Radio 4's Just a Minute, the 94-year-old says he is the oldest person in show business still regularly performing. Now about that knighthood (and his rightful place in Guinness World Records) ...

Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian, 3rd December 2017

Why Just a Minute hides a far more ruthless reality

Just A Minute has become one of the nation's most beloved radio shows -- but it began as a classroom humiliation, inflicted on daydreamers by a history teacher at Sherborne School in the Thirties.

Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail, 1st December 2017

BBC Radio's Christmas 2017 highlights

BBC Radio has announced its festive comedy offerings for 2017. Radio 4 will celebrate 50 years of Just A Minute, whilst other specials include comedy drama Anansi Boys, 15 Minute Musical, Dead Ringers and Count Arthur Strong.

British Comedy Guide, 22nd November 2017

Paul Merton to interview Nicholas Parsons for Just A Minute special

Just A Minute host Nicholas Parsons is to be interviewed by Paul Merton for a special Radio 4 show linked to 50 years of the panel show.

British Comedy Guide, 1st November 2017

Who is the unsung hero of the Fringe and why?

Some people are just about to get a little less unsung...

Chortle, 25th August 2017

Nicholas Parsons: I'm in a profession that retires you

The 93-year-old is among the oldest to have performed at the Scottish festival and this is his 17th year hosting a show.

Katie Spencer, Sky News, 13th August 2017

Edinburgh Fringe: Five offbeat things to see & do

Five recommendations.

Allan Crow, Fife Today, 2nd August 2017

50 Fringe shows you should consider seeing ...

We've selected 50 that we think are worth your consideration.

Allan Crow, Fife Today, 27th July 2017

BBC announces major Edinburgh festival coverage

Edinburgh Festivals' 70th anniversary year is to be celebrated by the BBC with a dynamic showcase highlighting the cultural standing of this international event.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 24th July 2017

Stars from comedy's punk past return to Fringe

They were at the vanguard of political comedy. Now Alexei Sayle, Craig Ferguson and Sue Perkins are heading back to the festival, as it celebrates its 70th birthday.

Vanessa Thorpe, The Guardian, 23rd July 2017

10 moments that made Brass Eye the funniest show ever

The brainchild of enigmatic satirist Chris Morris, Channel 4's Brass Eye only lasted for six episodes and a special - albeit the most controversial one of all time.

Jon O'Brien, Metro, 29th January 2017

The Prince of Wales marks 50 years of Just A Minute

HRH The Prince of Wales has recorded a special message to mark iconic Radio 4 comedy panel show Just A Minute entering its 50th anniversary year.

British Comedy Guide, 16th December 2016

Radio 4 reveals Christmas comedy highlights

Radio 4 has revealed its Christmas comedy highlights for 2016. Listeners can look forward to specials starring Nicholas Parsons, Tim Vine, Lenny Henry, John Finnemore and more.

British Comedy Guide, 22nd November 2016

Nicholas Parsons interview

No one gets up in the morning and says, "I think I'm going to offend Nicholas Parsons today," but somehow it's happened.

Michael Hodges, Radio Times, 6th October 2016

Nicholas Parsons presents Marie Antoinette's Watch doc

Nicholas Parsons, master of Just A Minute, will celebrate a great master of the timepiece, Abraham Louis Breguet, as he goes in search of the most expensive and exquisite watch ever made.

BBC, 14th September 2016

The Defining the Norm Awards: the nominees

Comedian Will Franken honours the most conformist acts at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Will Franken, Spiked, 25th August 2016

Happy feet: matching socks with their Fringe performer

Comedian and renowned sockspert Arthur Smith attempts the improbable.

Arthur Smith, The List, 27th July 2016