Have you got your Nicholas Parsons Day decorations up yet? | Radio 4 Extra dedicates Christmas Eve to the late Just A Minute chairman © BBC

Have you got your Nicholas Parsons Day decorations up yet?

Radio 4 Extra dedicates Christmas Eve to the late Just A Minute chairman

Radio 4 Extra has declared Christmas Eve ‘Nicholas Parsons Day’, dedicating its full programming to him.

His friend Paul Merton will be fronting the day of documentaries, drama and comedy – including a conversation with new Just A Minute host Sue Perkins about their shared memories of being on the show.

Programming includes Parsons narrating a new musical version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which was recorded in 2018 but never previously broadcast. 

Steve Wright has also made a special programme for the day, looking back at the many times Parsons guested on his Radio 2 show.

Archive programmes getting another airing include:

How Pleasant To Know Mr Lear:  Parsons’  tribute to one of his favourite comic writers, the creator of The Owl and the Pussycat, Edward Lear. From 1995.

Doon The Watta: Parsons goes 'doon the watta' to the Clyde where he worked as an apprentice engineer in 1940s Glasgow. From 2010.

The Grantham Connection: Parsons travels to his first childhood home, where his father was the local GP, and the Roberts family were his patients, with a daughter who was to be better known as Margaret Thatcher. From 1994.

The Arthur Haynes Show: In his big break in entertainment, Parsons plays the straight man  to comedian Arthur Haynes. From 1962.

Listen To This Space: Parsons stars in his own comic creation, in the wake of TV’s That Was The Week That Was, one of  BBC Radio’s first radio satire shows. From 1966.

Just A Minute: A classic episode of the show Parsons chaired from 1967 to his death in 2020, with Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Alfred Marks and Shelia Hancock. From 1976. Plus the last episode where Perkins played the game with Parsons as host, alongside Gyles Brandreth, Andy Hamilton and Merton. From 2017.

Just a Minute’s Indian Adventure: Parsons travels to India to explore how Just A Minute inspired 'Jamming' tournaments in Indian colleges. From 2012.

Parsons would have been 100 this year, but died on January 28, 2020, aged 96.

• BBC Two is dedicating Christmas Day to Caroline Aherne. As well as the documentary, which Chortle first revealed last week, the channel will air classic episodes of The Royle Family and The Mrs Merton Show in the evening. It will also air a block of Morecambe and Wise reruns earlier in the day.

Published: 6 Dec 2023

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