1. ITV Report

Sale of the Century's Nicholas Parsons honoured with CBE

TV and radio host Nicholas Parsons has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours. Photo: Anglia Television

TV and radio personality Nicholas Parsons said he was "flattered and delighted" to be awarded a CBE for his charitable work.

The 90-year-old, who has clocked up numerous acting and comedy roles throughout his career, is still best known for his years as questionmaster of Anglia TV's quiz Sale Of The Century and for his role as host of Radio 4's Just A Minute.

"I think it's a very nice honour - I'm flattered and I'm delighted. I think honours are a wonderful thing to receive if you have worked hard and that is recognised. I don't understand these people who are pompous and say they don't want it. "

– Nicholas Parsons
Nicholas Parsons has recently turned 90 Credit: PA Wire

Parsons previously received an OBE for services to drama and broadcasting a decade ago.

Now living in Buckinghamshire, Nicholas Parsons was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, where his father was GP to the family of Baroness Thatcher. After studying at St Paul's School in London he headed to Clydebank as an apprentice engineer, despite his own hopes of becoming an actor,

However he was able to give vent to his love of performance when his impressions were featured in a radio show and after performing with amateur concert parties after the Second World War, he moved into acting, working in rep at Bromley in Kent.

Sale of the Century ran for 12 years from 1971 until 1983 Credit: Anglia Television

Comic roles proved to be a speciality and he became resident comedian at the Windmill Theatre in London after working on the cabaret circuit. He found TV fame appearing with comic Arthur Haynes in his ITV show in the early 1960s, and he was also a regular in the Benny Hill Show.

At the tail-end of 1967, he introduced Just A Minute for the first time and the show is still going strong today with Parsons still in the chair.

And within a few years he had also become known for hosting Sale Of The Century, with its notable opening line "And now from Norwich, it's the quiz of the week ..." which launched as a regional show on Anglia Television in 1971, and was broadcast nationally by 1973.

Sale of the Century was the most watched TV show of 1978 with 21.2 million viewers. Credit: Anglia Television

He said of his latest honour: "I received the letter two months ago and was told to keep quiet about it or it might be taken away so my wife and I kept quiet about it. We won't be celebrating until the day we go to the palace - I've done so much celebrating for my 90th birthday this year."

Among his many charitable commitments he has had a long association with the Grand Order of Water Rats and the Lord's Taverners, for which he has served as president.

Derek Batey, Steve Jones and Tom O'Connor with Nicholas Parsons on a charity edition of Sale of the Century. Credit: Anglia Television

Click below for the full list of New Year Honours in each of the counties in the Anglia region:

More on this story