October 10th 2016 is the 93 birthday of Nicholas Parsons- radio and television presenter, actor and former University of St Andrews Rector!
On this day in 1923, former Rector Nicolas Parsons was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire. He came from a medical household – his father was a GP and delivered Margaret Thatcher, and his mother was a nurse. Nicolas originally wanted to be an actor, but his parents thought that engineering would be a better career for him, as he was able to repair grandfather clocks. Therefore he took up an apprenticeship in Glasgow for 5 years, working with a maker of marine pumps. He also studied Engineering at Glasgow University for 6 months twice, although never graduated. After WWII Nicolas switche to his preferred profession and became an actor. He has starred in many shows, including “the Benny Hill Show”, “Have I Got News for You” and “Doctor Who”. He has also hosted “Just a Minute” since it aired in 1967. Nicolas was Rector in St Andrews between 1988 and 1991. His Rectorial Drag incorporated his television career as he drove out the back of a lorry and through a series of manoeuvres, imitating his recent car advert. He also held the Guinness World Record for the longest after-dinner speech (11 hours for charity) before it was reclaimed by Gyles Brandreth.