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Nicholas Parsons celebrating 50 years of Just A Minute

By: stagedoorscribbler - December 18, 2017

Nicholas Parsons. Picture: Hattie Miles

A significant broadcasting milestone will be marked this Christmas when our good friend Nicholas Parsons hosts a 50th anniversary special of his celebrated BBC Radio 4 show Just A Minute.

No one is quite sure what is more remarkable. That Just a Minute has lasted 50 years with a single presenter or that Parsons is still going strong at the age of 94.

He is an astonishing man. A sharp-as-a-tack professional who can hold his own with some of the quickest wits in the business as people like Paul Merton Gyles Brandreth and Stephen Fry area given a random topic and talk for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

The show is such a firm favourite that it is astonishing to learn that the pilot episode recorded in 1967 was a near disaster and no one thought it had any future.

Happily its haphazard beginnings were soon adjusted. Just a Minute fell happily into place and 78 series and more than 900 episodes later it is rightly regarded as one of then great radio success stories.

As for Nicholas Parsons. in suspect he will still be in the presenters seat for the 1,000th episode. 

Just A Minute: 50 Years In 28 Minutes will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Christmas Day, 6.30pm.