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Broadcasting legend Nicholas Parsons has died aged 96

Nicholas Parsons has died aged 96
(Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images)

Nicholas Parsons passed away in the early hours of this morning following a short illness...

Broadcaster Nicholas Parsons, host of BBC Radio 4's Just a Minute, has died at the age of 96, surrounded by family and friends.

Parsons hosted Just a Minute, a long-running and popular radio panel game where guests are asked to speak for a full minute on a single subject without hesitation, since it began in 1976.

He also appeared on the Benny Hill show for many years after joining in 1969 and also hosted ITV game show Sale of the Century, as well as appearing in Have I Got News For You and The Comic Strip Presents.

Nicholas Parsons has died aged 96

Just a Minute host Nicholas Parsons has died aged 96 after a short illness (Picture: PA Wire/PA Images) (Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images)

His agent, Jean Diamond, said on behalf of his family: "Nicholas passed away in the early hours of 28th 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 Manderville Hospital."

Also paying tribute, BBC Director General Tony Hall said: "His charm, inventive intellect and ability to create laughs were unsurpassed.

"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.

"Our thoughts are with his family and all who knew him."

Nicholas Parsons has died aged 96

Broadcasting legend Nicholas Parsons has sadly died (Picture: PA Archive/PA Images) (Image credit: PA Archive/PA Images)

Fans and celebrities have taken to social media to share their sadness at the news of Nicholas's death, with Stephen Fry sharing this thoughts: "He ruled Just a Minute for Just a Lifetime. A stunning achievement: never scripted, always immaculate.

"From a comedian's sidekick to great institution via Sale of the Century and much more. Unrivalled continuity, professionalism and commitment."

While Graham Norton added: "The sound of the final whistle. Nicholas Parsons was truly the kindest and most generous person I have ever worked with.

"His continued delight at being part of show business should be an inspiration to us all. Huge love to his wife Annie and his whole family."

Main image: PA Wire/PA Images