Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthOctober 10, 1923
SpouseAnn Reynolds, Denise Bryer
FactIn 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.

Nicholas Parsons, OBE (born 10 October 1923) is a British actor, comedian and game show host. He is best known for being the host of the radio and television game show Sale of the Century (1971–83), and as a panellist on the radio comedy programme Just a Minute (1967–present).

Parsons was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire. His parents were Ethel (née Sargeant) and Richard William Parsons. He was educated at Grantham Grammar School, and then at Clare College, Cambridge, where he read English. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II.

Parsons began his career as a theatre actor, appearing in various West End productions in the 1940s and 1950s. He made his television debut in 1955, and his first major film role was in the 1957 film The Smallest Show on Earth. He subsequently appeared in numerous films and television programmes.

Parsons’ first major television role was as the host of Sale of the Century, which he presented from 1971 to 1983. He also appeared as a panellist on the radio comedy programme Just a Minute from 1967 to present. In recent years, Parsons has appeared on a number of game shows, including Countdown (2012–13), The Chase (2013–14), and Pointless (2014–15).

Parsons has been married three times: to actress Louise Jameson from 1954 to 1957; to journalist Ann Skinner from 1959 to 1968; and to author Suzy Aitchison from 1987 to present. He has three children: from his first marriage, actress Jemma Parsons; from his second marriage, television producer Sarah Skinner; and from his third marriage, actor Nicholas Aitchison.

Parsons was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours for services to broadcasting.

General Info

Full NameNicholas Parsons
Date Of BirthOctober 10, 1923
Height1.83 m
ProfessionComedian, Television presenter, Actor
EducationUniversity of Glasgow


SpouseAnn Reynolds, Denise Bryer


MoviesMr. Jolly Lives Next Door, Murder Ahoy!, Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River, Doctor in Love, The Wrong Box, Carlton-Browne of the F.O., Happy Is the Bride, The Ghost Goes Gear, The Best of Benny Hill, Spy Story, Nema aviona za Zagreb
TV ShowsCall My Bluff, Sale of the Century, Cluedo, The Benny Hill Show, The Ugliest Girl in Town, Four Feather Falls, Just a Minute

Social profile links


1[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.
2[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.
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."


1Has 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.
2He 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.
3He lives near Burford, Oxfordshire, England. [May 2009]
4Originally 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.
5In 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.
6His father was a GP (doctor) and is rumored to have delivered Margaret Thatcher.
7He 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.
8Outside 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.
9Member of the entertainment charity The Grand Order of Water Rats.



Happy Is the Bride1958John Royd
Just a Little Cuckoo1957TV ShortRoger
Brothers in Law1957Charles Poole
Rheingold Theatre1954-1956TV SeriesRonnie / Steve Brown
Eyewitness1956House Surgeon
The Third Key1956Police Constable Bates
The Adventures of the Big Man1956TV SeriesHarry
The Adventures of Robin Hood1956TV SeriesSir Walter of the Glen
Here and Now1955-1956TV Series
An Alligator Named Daisy1955News Interviewer (uncredited)
Simon and Laura1955T.V. Producer
Look at It This Way1955TV SeriesVarious Roles
Cash on Delivery1954Passport Official
The Eric Barker Half-Hour1951-1953TV Series
Nor Care Beyond Today1953TV ShortTom
The Passing Show1951TV SeriesRobert MacKay
Spring at Marino1951TV MovieArkady
BBC Sunday-Night Theatre1950TV SeriesEdgar Fuller
Master of Bankdam1947Edgar Hoylehouse
The Princess and the Woodcutter1947TV ShortThe Woodcutter
Hay Fever1946TV MovieSandy Tyrell
Comedy Lab2011TV SeriesNicholas Parsons
The Wotwots2010TV SeriesNarrator (England)
Agatha Christie's Marple2010TV SeriesFather Gorman
Caught in a Trap2008TV MovieTV Presenter
Lady Godiva2008Nicholas Parsons
Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!2006TV MovieNicholas Parsons
Hospital!1997TV MovieWheelchair Man
Cluedo1993TV SeriesReverend Green
Kappatoo1992TV SeriesPresenter
Bodger and Badger1991TV SeriesThe Mayor
Doctor Who1989TV SeriesThe Rev. Mr. Wainwright
The Comic Strip Presents...1988TV SeriesNicholas Parsons
Who Dares Wins1986TV Series
Roland Rat: The Series1986TV Series
The Morecambe & Wise Show1978TV SeriesJack Valiant
Spy Story1976Ben Toliver
The Best of Benny Hill1974The Phantom Prowler / Mask Boutique Staffer / King Charles / ...
Comedy Playhouse1973TV SeriesGuy Shelmerdine
Danger Point1971Fisherman
I Understand1970Short
The Very Merry Widow and How1969TV SeriesFrancis
The Ugliest Girl in Town1968-1969TV SeriesDavid Courtney
Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River1968Dudley Heath
The Ghost Goes Gear1966Algernon Rowthorpe Plumley
The Wrong Box1966Alan Frazer Scrope
Call My Bluff1965/IITV SeriesChairman
Night Train to Surbiton1965TV Mini-SeriesGuy Bretherton
The Arthur Haynes Show1957-1965TV Series
Murder Ahoy1964Dr. Crump
Seaside Swingers1964Julian Goddard
Vacation Playhouse1964TV SeriesSquifft
Carry on Regardless1961Wolf
Four Feather Falls1960TV SeriesSheriff Tex Tucker / Telegraph Operator Dan Morse
Doctor in Love1960Dr. Hinxman
Let's Get Married1960R.A.F. Officer
Spectacular1959TV Series
Upstairs and Downstairs1959Brian
Man in a Cocked Hat1959Rodgers
Too Many Crooks1959Tommy
Saturday Playhouse1958-1959TV SeriesTaffy Brian Curtis
Calling All Lovers Eva1959Short


Mad Dogs and Cricketers1979TV Movie documentary


Blue Skies Ahead1960TV Mini-Series short writer

Camera Department

Blue Skies Ahead1960TV Mini-Series short camera operator


Blue Skies Ahead1960TV Mini-Series short producer


Brains of Britain (or How Quizzing Became Cool)2016TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Incredible Story of Marie Antoinette's Watch... With Nicholas Parsons2016TV Movie documentaryHimself - presenter
Celebrity Antiques Road Trip2015TV SeriesHimself
The Secret Life of Books2015TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself - Presenter
It Was Alright in the 70s2014-2015TV Series documentaryHimself
Fern Britton Meets...2014TV SeriesHimself
Filmed in Supermarionation2014DocumentaryHimself - Interviewee
Come on Down! The Game Show Story2014TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself - Host, Sale of the Century
Loose Women2004-2014TV SeriesHimself
Glasgow: Big Night Out2014TV Movie documentaryHimself - Actor / Shipyard Worker 1939-1944
Greatest Stand Up Comedians2013TV Movie documentaryHimself (as Nicholas Parsons OBE)
This Week2013TV SeriesHimself
The Alan Titchmarsh Show2013TV SeriesHimself
Les Dawson: An Audience with That Never Was2013TV Special documentaryHimself - Audience Member (uncredited)
Frost on Sketch Shows2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
Funny Business2013TV Series documentaryHimself
TV's Biggest Blockbusters2012TV Movie documentaryHimself
Britain's Funniest Comedy Characters2012TV Movie documentaryHimself
Just a Minute2012TV SeriesHimself - Host
Sunday AM2012TV SeriesHimself
The Talent Show Story2012TV Series documentaryHimself
The Unforgettable Norman Wisdom2011TV Movie documentaryHimself - Friend
David Suchet on Sid Field: Last of the Music Hall Heroes2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
Breakfast2003-2011TV SeriesHimself
24 Hour Panel People2011TV Mini-SeriesHimself
Me & Arthur Haynes2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
30 Years of 'An Audience With...'2010TV Series documentaryHimself
Are You Having a Laugh? TV and Disability2010TV Movie documentaryHimself
All Star Mr & Mrs2010TV SeriesHimself
Heston's Feasts2010TV Series documentaryHimself
The Podge and Rodge Show2010TV SeriesHimself
The Many Faces of June Whitfield2009TV Movie documentaryHimself (as Nicholas Parsons OBE)
The Story of Slapstick2009TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Funny Side of...2009TV Series documentaryHimself
The Daily Politics2005-2009TV SeriesHimself
Outbreak 19392009TV Movie documentaryHimself - Broadcaster
What the Dickens?2009TV SeriesHimself
Cash in the Celebrity Attic2009TV SeriesHimself
Timeshift2008TV Series documentaryHimself
How TV Changed Britain2008TV Series documentaryHimself
Auntie's War on Smut2008TV Movie documentaryHimself
Mark Lawson Talks to...2008TV SeriesHimself
Happy Birthday Brucie!2008TV Movie documentaryHimself - Audience Member
The One Show2008TV SeriesHimself
Mastermind2008TV SeriesHimself - Contestant
Screenwipe2007TV Series documentaryHimself
Mousetrapped2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
Is Benny Hill Still Funny?2006TV Movie documentaryHimself
Sale of the Century2006Video GameHimself - Presenter
TV's 50 Greatest Stars2006TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Story of Light Entertainment2006TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Never Mind the Full Stops2006TV SeriesHimself
Britain's Funniest Comedy Characters2006TV Movie documentaryHimself
Another Audience with Shirley Bassey2006TV SpecialHimself - Audience Member
2005 TV Moments2005TV MovieHimself - Audience Member (uncredited)
Christmas Mania 20052005TV MovieHimself
50 Questions of Political Incorrectness2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
Avenue of the Stars: 50 Years of ITV2005TV SpecialHimself - Audience Member
ITV 50 Greatest Shows2005TV MovieHimself
Rock School2005TV SeriesHimself
This Morning2005TV SeriesHimself
The Story of ITV: The People's Channel2005TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Have I Got News for You2005TV SeriesHimself - Guest Presenter
Britain's 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Comedians' Comedian2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
Harry Hill: An Audience with Harry Hill2004TV Movie documentaryHimself - Audience Member (uncredited)
The Dan and Dusty Show2004TV SeriesHimself
Porridge @ 302004TV Movie documentaryHimself
Beat the Nation2004TV SeriesHimself
Hell's Kitchen2004TV SeriesHimself
Bob Monkhouse: A BAFTA Tribute2004TV Special documentaryHimself - Audience Member (uncredited)
Breakfast with Frost2002-2004TV SeriesHimself
That Was the Week We Watched2004TV Series documentaryHimself
Dale's Wedding2003TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Joy of Christmas2003TV Movie documentaryHimself
Arena2002TV Series documentaryHimself
Never Mind the Buzzcocks2002TV SeriesHimself
50 Greatest Magic Tricks2002TV Movie documentaryHimself
Channel 4 News2002TV SeriesHimself
Ken Dodd: Another Audience with Ken Dodd2002TV Special documentaryHimself - Audience Member
Through the Keyhole2002TV SeriesHimself
Night of a Thousand Faces2001TV SpecialHimself - Mockstars Contestant
Kelly2001TV SeriesHimself
A Question of TV2001TV SeriesHimself
GMTV2001TV SeriesHimself
Wendy Richard: A Life on the Box2001TV Movie documentaryHimself
Live Lunch2001TV SeriesHimself - Interviewee
Annie Goes to Hollywood2001TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Weakest Link2000TV SeriesHimself
Our House2000TV SeriesHimself - Guest
100 Greatest TV Moments from Hell2000TV SpecialHimself
Legends2000TV Series documentaryHimself
What a Performance!2000TV SeriesHimself
Top Ten2000TV Series documentaryHimself
Anglia at Forty1999TV SeriesHimself
Just a Minute1994-1999TV SeriesHimself - Host
Kenneth Williams: A Life on the Box1998TV Movie documentaryHimself
Give Us a Clue1997TV SeriesHimself
An Audience with Ronnie Corbett1997TV MovieHimself - Audience Member (uncredited)
Countdown1997TV SeriesHimself
Get Fit with Brittas1997TV SeriesHimself
Selection Box1997TV SeriesHimself
An Audience with Bruce Forsyth1997TV MovieHimself
Brass Eye1997TV SeriesHimself
Cryer's Crackers1996TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The 10 Percenters1996TV SeriesHimself
Surprise Surprise!1989-1996TV SeriesHimself
The Very Famous Paul Ross Show1996TV MovieHimself
Heroes of Comedy1995TV Series documentaryHimself
The Clothes Show1995TV Series documentaryHimself
Celebrity Squares1995TV SeriesHimself
Charter 88 Bad Government Awards1994TV SpecialHimself
The Music Game1993TV SeriesHimself
Comic Relief: The Invasion of the Comic Tomatoes1993TV SpecialHimself
Public Enemy Number One1992TV SeriesHimself
Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show1992TV SeriesHimself
Cluedo1992TV SeriesHimself - Studio Guest
Television's Greatest Hits1992TV Series documentaryHimself
Spatz1992TV SeriesHimself
A Bit of Fry and Laurie1992TV SeriesHimself
World in Action1989-1991TV Series documentaryHimself - Presenter / Game Show Host
Naruhodo: The World!1991TV MovieHimself - Host
Laughlines1990TV SeriesHimself - Host
The Joke Machine1989TV SeriesHimself
My Secret Desire1989TV SeriesHimself
You Bet!1989TV SeriesHimself
The New Statesman1989TV SeriesHimself
Scruples1988TV SeriesHimself - Panellist
A Question of Entertainment1988TV SeriesHimself
Roland's Rat Race1988TV SeriesHimself - Co-Host
Night Network1987TV SeriesHimself
The All New Alphabet Game1987TV SeriesHimself - Host
Looks Familiar1986TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Wogan1986TV SeriesHimself
Blankety Blank1979-1985TV SeriesHimself
Super Troupers1985TV SeriesHimself
No 731985TV SeriesHimself
Punchlines!1984TV SeriesHimself
Sale of the Century1971-1983TV SeriesHimself - Host / Himself - Presenter
Rod and Emu's Saturday Special1983TV SeriesHimself
The Russell Harty Show1982TV SeriesHimself
Family Fortunes1982TV SeriesHimself
Look Who's Talking1981TV SeriesHimself - Interviewee
Omnibus1981TV Series documentaryHimself
3-2-11980TV SeriesNicola
Here Comes Channel 81980TV MovieHimself
The Saints Went Marching Out1980TV SeriesHimself - Host
Star Games1978TV SeriesHimself
Those Wonderful TV Times1977-1978TV SeriesHimself
M'Lords... Ladies and Gentlemen...1978TV SeriesHimself
This Is Your Life1970-1978TV Series documentaryHimself / Himself - Guest
Just a Minute1976TV MovieHimself - Host
The Golden Shot1974TV SeriesHimself
The Benny Hill Show1969-1974TV SeriesHimself / Announcer / Various Roles
S.S. France1973Documentary shortHimself - Narrator
Whose Baby?1973TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Evolution Bit1971Documentary shortHimself - Narrator
Glamour...1971TV SeriesHimself - Judge
The Hagenbeck Story1971Documentary shortHimself - Narrator
All Kinds of Music1970TV MovieHimself - Presenter
Just a Minute1969TV MovieHimself - Host
The Benny Hill Show1967TV SpecialHimself / Various Characters
Quiz Ball1966TV SeriesHimself - Guest Supporter
The Eurovision Song Contest1963TV SpecialHimself - United Kingdom Vote Announcer (voice)
Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium1962TV SeriesHimself
Blue Skies Ahead1960TV Mini-Series shortHimself - Presenter
Dial for Music1960TV SeriesHimself - Host
Summers Here1957TV SeriesHimself - various roles
They're Off!1956TV SeriesHimself - Host
What's It All About?1955TV SeriesHimself - Host
Garrison Theatre1954TV SeriesHimself
The Spice of Life1954TV MovieHimself - Presenter
The Centre Show1953TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

Timeshift2009TV Series documentaryHimself
The Funny Side of the News2007TV MovieHimself (uncredited)
Comedy Connections2007TV Series documentaryHimself
Kenneth Williams: In His Own Words2006TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Have I Got News for You: The Best of the Guest Presenters - Volume 22005VideoGuest Presenter
The (Almost) Complete A to Z of 'HIGNFY'2005Video documentary shortGuest Presenter (uncredited)
Heroes of Comedy2000TV Series documentary
Auntie's Bloomers1995TV Series documentary
Robin Hood: The Movie1991VideoSir Walter of the Glen

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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