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Screen, stage and hotel guest - how readers remember Nicholas Parsons

PUBLISHED: 18:50 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 20:10 29 January 2020

Steve Thorpe worked a cameraman on Sale of the Century, The photo from 1999 was taken during the filming of a documentary about the 40th Anniversary of Anglia TV. Picture: Anglia TV

Steve Thorpe worked a cameraman on Sale of the Century, The photo from 1999 was taken during the filming of a documentary about the 40th Anniversary of Anglia TV. Picture: Anglia TV

Archant

Broadcaster Nicholas Parsons has been remembered as ‘kind’ ‘charming’ and a natural comedian by readers.

Chris Frost modelled a suit on the final episode of Sale of the Century. Picture: YoutubeChris Frost modelled a suit on the final episode of Sale of the Century. Picture: Youtube

The broadcasting legend died on Tuesday at the age of 96 following a short illness.

Dozens recalled sitting in the audience at Sale of the Century during the 12 years it was on the airwaves.

Mr Parsons, who hosted the show, was well known for his catchphrase "and now, from Norwich, it's the quiz of the week."

Jacqueline Welham said: "I remember Nicholas well, we usually got the free tickets because my nephew worked at Anglia TV. There was always a comedy act to warm the audience up before the programme started. So we were quite happy to laugh and clap at all Nicholas' jokes."

Kate McKenna recalled the deputy head at Woodside Middle School - which is no longer open - winning a car on the show and selling it to the headmaster of the time.

Nicholas Parsons and Dora Bryan are set for seven weeks of fun as Dick Whittington open the new panto season at Norwich Theatre Royal, 15th December 1993. Picture: Archant LibraryNicholas Parsons and Dora Bryan are set for seven weeks of fun as Dick Whittington open the new panto season at Norwich Theatre Royal, 15th December 1993. Picture: Archant Library

Margaret McCabe said she went to watch the show and clapped so hard her rings bent on her fingers.

Paula Spooner added: "I went with my family when I was 10 years old as part of the audience to one of the shows. It was a big day out at Anglia Television. After the show, we briefly met Nicholas and I still have his autograph to this day."

Former Sale of the Century cameraman Steve Thorpe said they were 'happy days' working on the show.

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Chris Frost shared his memory of being part of the final episode on the show where he modelled a suit on the 1983 episode.

Mr Frost said: "We spent the day recording and finished up with drinks and nibbles with everyone involved. In the evening a few of us went to Sasses restaurant near the station where Nicholas entertained us with monologues.

"A few years ago I went see him in his one man show and got him to sign his book for me. He didn't remember me."

Mr Parsons was seen as a guest in the Hotel Norwich and also trod the boards of the Theatre Royal in the Rocky Horror Show and in Dick Whittington.

Nicholas Parsons on the set of Sale of the Century. Photo: Archant LibraryNicholas Parsons on the set of Sale of the Century. Photo: Archant Library

Mark Hudson performed alongside Mr Parsons in 1993/94 production of Dick Whittington and recalled a show when he had to go as the Dame with an afternoon's notice.

Just 20 at the time he was pulled from the chorus and remembered the broadcaster offering to go over lines and advice on how to get the biggest laughs.

He said: "He was so great at what he did. He was a really kind gentleman.

"Dora (Bryan) went off and I had an afternoon before I had to go on. He took me into his dressing room and we went over lines. He would say 'say that line again. I think people do not realise what a knack he had for comedy. He knew his craft.

Nicholas Parsons at the Jarrolds literary lunch.
Photo: Bill SmithNicholas Parsons at the Jarrolds literary lunch. Photo: Bill Smith

"I was just 20 and that was my first season as a professional dancer. He didn't even try he was just a natural. They would try and catch him out by adding rude names to the call sheet and he never read them out."

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