HE WAS a broadcasting legend who worked with many of the showbiz greats - including Southampton-born comedian Benny Hill - during a glittering 75-year career.

Nicholas Parsons, who has died aged 96, was best known for chairing Just A Minute, the Radio 4 panel game he anchored for more than half a century.

Fans mourning his death include Hampshire residents who watched what turned out to be his last solo performance.

He appeared at Forest Arts in New Milton in October, having been forced to postpone the one-man show following an accident which kept him in hospital for five weeks.

New Forest Post:

The sell-out event was organised by Lymington-based Ian Woolley, managing director of Quiz Britain - QB Productions.

Ian said: "Nicholas was performing his one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe when he suffered a fall on a train. His September show at Forest Arts was in doubt, but he was adamant it should go ahead so we rescheduled."

The veteran entertainer proved a huge hit with the audience, despite having to remain seated throughout his performance.

One of the anecdotes he told was about the mid-1990s, when he played The Narrator in a stage production of the Rocky Horror Show.

Ian said: "He suggested appearing at the end in a basque and suspenders, which he did to roars of laughter. He told everyone he had the best legs in the business."

New Forest Post:

Nicholas was looking forward to getting back to Just A Minute - a wish he was ultimately unable to fulfil.

Ian added: "In 2017, he was one of the celebrities who appeared at Quizfest UK the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

"I last saw him at the annual Water Rats Ball at the Savoy in December, when he was crowned King Rat. It was the only event he took part in after his show in the New Forest.

"Although in poor health he was on fine form and traded quips with Gyles Brandreth and Paul Merton."

Nicholas was a regular on The Benny Hill Show in the early 1970s before hosting the ITV quiz Sale of the Century for 13 years.

He also appeared in Doctor Who as well as hosting Just a Minute for more than 50 years. The cast changed but the chairman never did.