Paul Merton claims BBC Radio 4 star Nicholas Parsons has come back to haunt him

Paul Merton claims Nicholas Parsons has come back to haunt him – by messing with his clocks.

He said that since replacing Parsons as the host of Just A Minute, his digital clock has gone bonkers.

Merton, 64, said: “This was the 22nd of February last year and it was the first Just A Minute to be broadcast since Nicholas Parsons had left us.

“So our kitchen timer went crazy that Monday evening. It rapidly clicked the hours and minutes – an hour clicked up in a couple of seconds as it’s a digital clock.

“Nicholas was a very keen lover of clocks. I think a horologist is the actual name for them – and Just a Minute is obviously about time.”

He added: “February the 21st this year, the beginning of another series of Just a Minute, and the clock did the same thing. It had only done it twice – and it’s both been on the occasion of a new series of Just a Minute.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Rev Richard Coles said: “I love the idea of Nicholas Parsons haun-ting a digital clock.”

Merton agreed: “It’s good to know we have listeners beyond this sphere that we currently occupy. He was the most extraordinary man.” Parsons died aged 96 in January 2020.

Nicholas hosted Radio 4 comedy game show Just A Minute from its inception in December 1967, never missing an episode until June 2018.

At the age of 94, he missed two episodes, causing regular panelist Gyles Brandreth to stand in and fill the presenting role.

His agent confirmed his death at the time in a statement on behalf of his family.

It read: "Nicholas passed away in the early hours of the 28th of January after a short illness at the age of 96.

"He was with his beloved family who will miss him enormously and who wish to thank the wonderful staff at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital."

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