January 28, 2020 / 12:46 PM / 22 days ago

UK broadcaster Nicholas Parsons, host of "Just a Minute," dies aged 96

FILE PHOTO: British entertainers Nicholas Parsons (2nd L) and Gyles Brandreth (R) leave the funeral of Clement Freud at St Bride's church in London April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Winning/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British broadcaster Nicholas Parsons, who hosted BBC radio 4’s “Just A Minute” game show for more than 50 years, has died at the age of 96 after a short illness, his agent said on Tuesday.

He was also an actor, performer and entertainer, appearing in films and on stage.

“No one deserves to be called a broadcasting legend more than Nicholas Parsons,” BBC Director General Tony Hall said in a statement.

“His charm, inventive intellect and ability to create laughs were unsurpassed.”

Parsons was best known for Just A Minute, in which panelists have to talk non-stop for 60 seconds on any given topic without hesitation, deviation or repetition.

Gyles Brandreth, a friend who worked with Parsons on the programme said: “It’s heartbreakingly sad and it is the end of an era in many ways.

“He was a consummate professional and a role model to so many people because he just went on working right up to when he was 95.

“It’s a career truly to celebrate and a man to celebrate,” he told the BBC.

Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; editing by Stephen Addison

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