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Nicholas Parsons - veteran host of BBC's 'Just a Minute' - has died aged 96

The broadcaster had presented the show since 1967.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

NICHOLAS PARSONS, HOST of the BBC’s Just a Minute comedy improv radio show has died aged 96 after a short illness, his agent has said.

The broadcaster was with his family when he died this morning.

His agent Jean Diamond issued a statement on behalf of his family, saying:

“Nicholas passed away in the early hours of the 28th of January after a short illness at the age of 96.

“He was with his beloved family who will miss him enormously and who wish to thank the wonderful staff at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital.”

Parsons was best known for Just A Minute, where panellists have to speak for one minute without hesitation, deviation or repetition.

He first fronted the show on its inception in 1967.

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.”

Tweet by @Stephen Fry Source: Stephen Fry/Twitter

Mohit Bakaya, the 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.

The broadcaster missed a recording of the BBC Radio 4 show for only the second time in more than 50 years last summer, due to a bad back.

- with reporting from Press Association

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Daragh Brophy

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