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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 10 October 1923Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, UK
Birth NameChristopher Nicholas Parsons
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Nicholas Parsons is without doubt one of the UK's most popular and beloved television and radio personalities. Few have had such a long entertainment career. The son of a doctor, he was raised in Lincolnshire until the age of eight, when the family moved to London. He was educated at St. Paul's School, London. He trained as an engineer but really wanted to become an actor and decided to pursue his dream. He performed in weekly repertory in Bromley for two years, playing a wide range of parts. His particular talent for comedy and impersonations made him a natural in cabaret and he became the resident comedian at the Windmill Theatre. Much work in radio followed.

Parsons acted in several British films during the 1950s and 1960s, including dramas such as The Third Key (1956) and Eyewitness (1956) and comedies such as Doctor in Love (1960) and Carry on Regardless (1961). On television he worked with Eric Barker and most notably on The Arthur Haynes Show (1956) as Haynes' straight man. In 1967 he became presenter of "Just a Minute", a comedy panel show on BBC Radio 4 which also featured regular appearances by Kenneth Williams over the next 20 years. Through the 1970s and into the 1980s, Parsons hosted the hugely popular ITV game show Sale of the Century (1971).

In 1989, having become so closely associated with comedy and light entertainment, Parsons surprised many when he returned to a dramatic role. He brought great depth and sensitivity to his portrayal of Reverend Wainwright, a tormented clergyman whose faith is tested to the limit by the horrors of the Second World War and the resurrection of a Viking curse in Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric: Part One (1989), one of the most unusual and complex characterisations ever created for the Doctor Who (1963) series. Parsons later described this guest appearance as "one of the most treasured memories".

Parsons celebrated his 90th birthday in 2013 and he was joined at the party by stars including Esther Rantzen, Paul Merton and Gyles Brandreth. A performer of remarkable longevity, he was still taking his one-man show to the Edinburgh Fringe.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (2)

Ann Reynolds (1995 - present)
Denise Bryer (21 August 1954 - 1989) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (9)

Member of the entertainment charity The Grand Order of Water Rats.
Outside the world of TV, he is probably best known as the presenter of BBC Radio 4's long running panel game "Just a Minute", also repeated on the BBC World Service.
He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2004 Queen's New Year Honours List for his services to drama and broadcasting.
His father was a GP (doctor) and is rumored to have delivered Margaret Thatcher.
In a The Benny Hill Show (1969) sketch, the vampire Dracula is waved away from a would-be victim not with a cross, but with a photo of Parsons smiling.
Originally chosen to be the Gamesmaster in Gamesmaster (1992), but the application of the facial distortion techniques didn't work properly so Patrick Moore was ultimately chosen instead.
He lives near Burford, Oxfordshire, England. [May 2009]
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2014 Queen's New Year Honours List for charitable services, particularly to children's charities.
Has a lifelong interest in horology. Nicholas Parsons owns a large collection of antique clocks and watches, and as a trained engineer is able to maintain and repair them himself. He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.

Personal Quotes (3)

[speaking in 2004] "Oh, we're an ageist society all right. You can say what you like about the old. If you made similar remarks about race or disability it would be embarassing ... I have three comedy shows and lots of after dinner speaking engagemants. I just think I'm so lucky to be working at my age."
[on Kenneth Williams] I think his whole persona, even his sex life, was with his audience. The adrenaline would pump and more adrenaline pumped in his system than others and the thing is that when you pump a lot of adrenaline, you slowly come off that high, and I think Kenneth went back to his little sparse little bare flat, and it was very austere, and so as the adrenaline ran down, all that angst would come out and then he'd write all these terrible things about all the people he knew and was fond of. It was very sad in one sense and that was his life.
[on his performance in Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric: Part One (1989)] I'm very flattered as I've always loved the show and it's nice to be associated with something which is a cult, but to be in one of the best episodes of a cult show has been to me one of the most treasured memories.

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