Dame Esther Rantzen: Why wasn't Nicholas Parsons knighted?
Dame Esther Rantzen has criticised the honours committee for not making Nicholas Parsons a knight before he died.
The veteran broadcaster, who hosted Just A Minute for 52 years, was awarded a CBE for his charitable work in 2013.
He said at the time that he was “flattered and delighted” with the honour.
Dame Esther, 79, told Good Morning Britain: “Why was Nicholas Parsons not knighted? And not to be a misogynist, what about Victoria Wood?
“She should have been a dame. So, I think the honours committee don’t laugh.”
Wood, who was made a CBE in 2008, died at the age of 62 in 2016 after suffering from cancer.
Parsons fronted Radio 4 show Just A Minute since its inception in 1967 and only missed two recordings of the programme.
He was hailed as a “broadcasting giant” following the announcement of his death.
Gyles Brandreth said he thought Parsons “was immortal because he was always so alive” while Paul Merton, also a Just A Minute regular, said he “was the embodiment” of the show.
Piers Morgan also criticised the lack of a knighthood, saying: “How could you not give a knighthood to a man” who “made us laugh” for so many years?
Citing Ronnie Corbett, who died in 2016, he said: “None of these comedic legends ever seem to get knighthoods.”
Officials were considering honouring Corbett with a knighthood when he died, according to reports at the time.
Tony Slattery also paid tribute to “utterly charming” Parsons.
“He had a sense of humour which was devoid of spite and malice,” he told the ITV show.
A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said they do not comment on honours that have not been awarded.