…is a radio & television presenter, best known as the host of comedy radio game show, Just A Minute. He has written several books including an autobiography. He lives with wife Annie in Buckinghamshire and London.
What are you working on?
Launching my book about the history of Just A Minute at literary events around the country. Performing my one-man comedy show at various theatres and recording another series of Junior Just A Minute. The senior version is later in the year.

When were you at your happiest?
When my children were young. I loved being part of their growing up and empathising with them as their personalities evolved.

What is your greatest fear?
That one day I may become physically infirm, preventing me from working, which is what keeps me going.

What is your earliest memory?
When I was two and a half and taken into my mother’s room to be introduced to my little sister who’d just arrived.

What do you most dislike about yourself?
You have to make the most of whatever you are born with, both mentally and physically.

Who has been your greatest influence?
An actor called Duncan Macrae who I met and worked with when I was a youngster in Glasgow trying to be an engineer but enjoying a lot of amateur and semi-professional work. He was very wise and gave me lots of wonderful advice about the art of theatrical performance.

What is your most treasured possession?
My gold signet ring, which belonged to my father and has an imprint of a family crest on it.

What trait do you most deplore in others?
Intolerance. It is so easy to accept we are all different and tolerate all those to whom we do not naturally warm.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I would liked to have had a more rugged appearance, especially when I was young, as I noticed those men who possessed these attributes had most success with the opposite sex.

What is your favourite book?
Cider With Rosie.

Your favourite film?
Casablanca. A great story, memorable cast, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and a superb song: As Time Goes By.

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And your favourite piece of music?

I obviously have to say the Minute Waltz.

Favourite meal?
Parma ham and melon, followed by shepherd’s pie with peas, then fresh mango.

Who would you most like to come to dinner?
Winston Churchill, Desmond Tutu, Nigella Lawson and Richard Attenborough.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has said to you?
If it was personal, I have now forgotten it. Professionally: ‘I am sorry, you have not got the job’.

Do you believe in aliens?
I am always open to any new experience. I have an enquiring mind.

What is your secret vice?
If I had one I would not reveal it.

Do you write thank-you notes?
Always. It is not only the way I was brought up but it is natural to thank someone for any kindness, hospitality or gift.

Which phrase do you most overuse?
As I embrace people with warmth and naturalness, I probably do overuse the word ‘darling’, but not in a theatrical sense – it is very genuine.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
To be rid of the deep vein thrombosis that afflicted me recently. While it has disappeared, I have to wear compression stockings all the time and I have so many lovely, colourful socks.

Tell us one thing people might not know about you.
I have always been fascinated with clocks and as a youngster I learnt how to dismantle and repair grandfather clocks. I still have three or four, which I look after with loving care.

What would you like your epitaph to read?
‘He never refused a challenge and achieved much’.

Nicholas Parsons will be at the Buxton Festival, which runs from 31 October until 2 November.