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Listen for…Just a Minute…….

This was the show on Radio 4 that was hosted by the legendary Nicholas Parsons for a staggering 52 years. Sadly he died yesterday and understandably there has been a flood of tributes to acknowledge his huge talent and him as a man. Stephen Fry wrote on Twitter “He ruled Just a Minute for Just a Lifetime. A stunning achievement: never scripted, always immaculate. From comedian's sidekick to great institution, via Sale of the Century & much more. Unrivalled continuity, professionalism & commitment. Farewell x”

Amongst his many skills I admired, was his ability to listen and I mean really listen. I read his autobiography “The Straight Man – My Life In Comedy” some time ago and remember him talking about his listening skills in “Just a Minute” and how they were so important for him to be able to adjudicate any challenges.

It’s a skill that as presenters, trainers and speakers we have to master so we can really connect with our audiences. By listening we improve our engagement and personalise our presentations – so important if we want to be memorable.

I really like biographies and have learned a lot from reading about the lives of the most successful people in entertainment industry. I wrote an article about another legend who left us last year. He was also a person who you could say had a way with words. He was of course Clive James who I paid tribute to in a Blog a few months ago.

I really like biographies and have learned a lot from reading about the lives of the most successful people in the entertainment industry. I wrote an article about another legend who left us last year. He was also a person who you could say had a way with words. He was, of course, Clive James who I paid tribute to in a Blog a few months ago.o.

From working as an engineer on Clydebank, staying at the local YMCA Nicholas Parsons became a household name in broadcasting. He appeared in his first play “Paddy the Next Best Thing” when he was just sixteen and went on to appear in numerous films including the Carry On series and even in Doctor Who. The “Sale of The Century” from Norwich was a remarkable phenomenon with weekly audiences peaking at 21.2 million viewers in 1978, the highest ever figure for an ITV game show, and he did all of this without using an autocue!


Yes, Nicholas Parsons will be sadly missed.

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