Parsons

It has been announced that Nicholas Parsons has died ages 96. That’s a good age.

Mr Parsons has had a long career in radio, tv and film, working to the end. He was famous as a straight man for Arthur Haynes, an inexplicably massively popular comedian in the 1960s, though now it is hard to understand why.

Parsons presented the much derided tv quiz show Sale of the Century.

And for 50+ years he was the chairman, occasionally panellist of Just a Minute. I loved this programme in the old days. You can still catch episodes with Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo on the web. In recent years the show has declined. I saw a recording last September. Parsons was a bit unsure on his feet but was still alert enough to make an entertaining evening.

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Hifi II

I don’t do advertising and I don’t recommend products. That’s not my job.

Sometimes people ask me “should I buy this computer or this camera” or whatever. Usually it’s a cheap thing, very easy to pick holes in.

Now, you can get devices that play LPs from a few pounds:

to several hundred thousand:

I can’t afford £650,000 for a turntable. maybe you can…I am sure it is wonderful though.

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Hifi I

I know a little about hifi. I have a modest system that makes sounds that are pleasing to my ear.

I have a reasonable collection of vinyl LPs, some number of hundreds. Nearly all are original, that is, I bought them when they first came out in the 1960s onwards. Having very little money meant I could not buy everything I wanted.

I still have them and still play them. With a good clean and a decent turntable, they mostly sound pretty great. Especially the mono ones.

Some discs, especially from the 1980s, are made with such thin plastic that you can see through them. Not great for sound quality. And some have a strange mould that you have to clean off.

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