Nicholas Parsons

Biography: Nicholas Parsons' career has spanned over fifty years. Whilst best known for his role as chairman/host of the Radio 4 gameshow Just A Minute since its inception in 1967, he is also an actor and television presenter.

Born in Grantham in 1923, his father was a general practitioner who delivered future British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when she was born in 1925. As a child, he had a stutter- which he overcame by the age of fifteen- and was also dyslexic. Despite an interest in the theatre, it was decided that a more practical profession might be better and he was briefly employed in shipyards in Clydeside, Glasgow, before studying engineering at the University of Glasgow. He is a fully qualified marine mechanical engineer. His first professional engagement was doing impersonations on Carroll Levis' radio show and then moved on to repertory theatre in Bromley, Kent. After two years in rep, he moved to London and began work on the cabaret circuit, performing at
Nicholas Parsons' career has spanned over fifty years. Whilst best known for his role as chairman/host of the Radio 4 gameshow Just A Minute since its inception in 1967, he is also an actor and television presenter.

Born in Grantham in 1923, his father was a general practitioner who delivered future British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when she was born in 1925. As a child, he had a stutter- which he overcame by the age of fifteen- and was also dyslexic. Despite an interest in the theatre, it was decided that a more practical profession might be better and he was briefly employed in shipyards in Clydeside, Glasgow, before studying engineering at the University of Glasgow. He is a fully qualified marine mechanical engineer.

His first professional engagement was doing impersonations on Carroll Levis' radio show and then moved on to repertory theatre in Bromley, Kent. After two years in rep, he moved to London and began work on the cabaret circuit, performing at Quaglino's and the famous Cafe de Paris (amongst others) before becoming the resident comedian at the Windmill Theatre for six months in 1952.

Despite making his film debut in 1947, as Edgar Hoylehouse in Walter Forde's Master Of Bankdam, it was not until the 1950s when he acted as the 'straight man' to comedian Arthur Haynes that he became well-known. As well as working with Haynes he was a regular on The Benny Hill Show, as well as hosting the ITV television gameshow Sale Of The Century from 1971 to 1983. He was also the non-singing voice of Sheriff Tex Tucker in Four Feather Falls, Gerry Anderson's first puppet TV show.

His acting roles range from a supporting role in the 1961 film Carry On Regardless (where he gets slapped by a drunken Joan Sims) and roles in the 1964 Miss Marple mystery Murder Ahoy and the 1960 comedy Doctor In Love to playing himself in 'Mr Jolly Lives Next Door', an episode of The Comic Strip Presents (1988). He has also appeared as the Reverend Mr Wainwright in the Doctor Who story 'The Curse Of Fenric' (1989) and as the Reverend Jonathan Green in the fourth series of Cluedo (1993). He was one of the weekly guest hosts for the satirical BBC news quiz Have I Got News For You in 2005.

On stage, he has appeared as the Narrator in the Stephen Sondheim musical Into The Woods and- in contrast- as the Narrator in Richard O'Brien's cult musical The Rocky Horror Show, where he appeared at the finale in a pair of fishnet stockings and high-heels! Other theatre roles include a fifteen-month stint in classic farce Boeing-Boeing, over a year in Charlie Girl and an extensive tour with a one-man show based on the works of Edward Lear.

He received an OBE for services to drama and broadcasting in the 2004 New Years Honours list, is a supporter of the Liberal Democrats and also supports various children's charities.
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Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Countdown: Season 36 Jun 30, 1997 Guest tbd
tbd The Benny Hill Show: Season 5 Dec 5, 1973 Regular Performer (1969-74) tbd
tbd The Benny Hill Show: Season 4 Oct 25, 1972 Regular Performer (1969-74) tbd
tbd The Benny Hill Show: Season 3 Nov 24, 1971 Regular Performer (1969-74) tbd
tbd The Benny Hill Show: Season 2 Oct 28, 1970 Regular Performer (1969-74) / Recurring Role tbd
tbd The Benny Hill Show: Season 1 Nov 19, 1969 Regular Performer (1969-74) / Recurring Role tbd