Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

October 09, 2013

Pics from Nick's birthday

Nice yarn in the Daily Mail today

Just a Minute he's 90! Nicholas Parsons surrounds himself with friends and family for celeb-filled birthday bash
By Joanna Crawley
The entertainment legend was joined by a host of familiar faces for his party in London on Tuesday night ahead of his birthday on Thursday.
As the compere of hit Radio 4 show Just a Minute since 1967 Parsons has welcomed a host of famous faces to the panel and many turned out to help him celebrate.

Looking dapper in a blue velvet smoking jacket and black bow tie Nicholas showed no sign of his advancing age as he raised a glass of champagne to his milestone birthday.
Just a Minute regular Paul Merton was just one of many star guests at the party held at the Churchill Hotel, with the comedian and TV personality showing off his quirky style in a printed shirt and jazzy black tie.
Esther Rantzen was also spotted helping the birthday boy cut his cake, looking elegant in a navy blue lace trimmed dress.
Christine Hamilton amped up the colour in a hot pink jacket and striped scarf whilst Nicholas’ number one lady, his wife of more than 15 years Annie, 73 looked stunning in a black bell sleeved jacket and trousers.

As well as showbiz pals Nicholas recently revealed that he had invited his first wife Denise Bryer to the party.

The couple, who remain great friends, were married for over 30 years before their divorce in 1989 with Nicholas going on to marry Annie in 1995.
Meanwhile Nicholas credits his younger wife Annie with his longevity, telling the Telegraph last month that his secret is down to ‘gardening. Keeping active.’

‘I stretch for 20 minutes every morning. If I miss a day, I do half an hour the next. And I’m blessed because I have my wife, Annie, without whom I couldn’t do a thing.’ 
‘And then there are my children and grandchildren. They have kept me from ever taking myself too seriously. They have kept me steady.’

The star shows no sign of slowing down, just last month he hosted his comedy chat show, Nicholas Parsons’s Happy Hour, at the Edinburgh Festival for the 13th year in a row. 
Just a Minute meanwhile has recently wrapped it’s new series, with the show celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2012.

‘You don't retire from showbusiness. It retires you. Once the public don't want you, it's over. You're out. Finished’, Nicholas told the Radio Times ahead of his birthday.
‘As long as they want me, I'm going to keep on working.’

Despite his determination to continue the radio host did admit that he regularly lies about his age:
‘I discussed it with my agent. I said ... “People may think: Oh my God! We must stop employing him. He may drop down dead!'. So I generally say I'm in my 70s... going on 90,’ he told the magazine.
Nicholas, Paul Merton and Gyles Brandreth with Esther Rantszen, Christine Hamilton and Annie Parsons.

birthday (almost) here

I'd really like to thank all the people who sent their ideas on how we should celebrate Nicholas Parsons' birthday which is tomorrow - in response to my request here.

I'd like to... but... I received NONE! Nada! Zero!

Perhaps others don't regard this as big a thing as I do?

Anyway... if you want - post in the comments your birthday wishes for Nicholas, if there are enough, I'll print them all off and send them to Nicholas.

In the meantime to mark the occasion I decided to write a birthday poem for Nicholas.

He's been  the chairman since 67
when I hear that voice I'm in my personal heaven,
those words "welcome to Just A Minute"
it wouldn't be the same without him in it.
In 46 years come hail, wind or snow,
Nicholas Parsons has never missed a show.
Introducing the guests, adding up the score
That voice coming in over the crowd's roar.
Over the years there have been many
guests - the brilliant and mercurial Kenny,
then there was Peter and Derek and improviser Paul
Tony, Sheila, Sue Perkins and all,
The granddaddy of all was Clement Freud
A Nicholas ruling would get him annoyed
So many others have given it a lick
But they all defer to dear old Nick
That mind so sharp, that voice so strong
How is he has been round so long?
Who else could manage to chair that show?
And now he's reached the great 9-0
Who else could keep Graham and Gyles in line?
He just gets better like a very good wine
I'm tipping he'll be there for at least 10 more years
To receive all the JAM fan cheers.
Happy birthday Nicholas, as I come to the end
Thank you Nicholas, for being the listener's friend.
So here's to Nicholas, and for one final take
How will they fit 90 candles on his cake?

and also here's an interesting interview with Nicholas and Graham Norton. Graham manages to get something fresh out of him....