HOW often to get to hear a 96-year-old man talking about how good he looks in a basque, fishnet stockings and high heels?

Veteran actor, broadcaster and presenter Nicholas Parsons’ evening of anecdotes from an astonishing 75 years in show business at Forest Arts last night was full of fascinating facts and unexpected revelations.

The fishnets story was from his time as The Narrator in the Rocky Horror Show in the 1990s. But there was much more, dating back to his childhood in the 1920s and 30s, his life as a teenager during the war and the engineering apprenticeship in the tough Clydeside dockyards taken to please his parents who were suspicious of his desire to work on the stage.

Once he’d qualified as an engineer, Nicholas - best known these days as the long time presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Just a Minute - decided to go into the theatre anyway.

It’s an astonishing story which finds him, a week after his 96th birthday, still working, despite an accident in the summer that put him in hospital for five weeks.

Looking frail, and performing from a chair, he held the audience in rapt attention describing in impressive detail his showbiz life. It’s a story that took him from TV comedy with Arthur Haynes and Benny Hill to the long running quiz show Sale of the Century. There have been plays, films and musicals along the way and of course the much loved Just a Minute.

Nicholas revealed that he originally thought panel game was going to be a disaster and that he was totally unsuited to act as its chairman. He looks as though he was wrong. He has been doing the job for nearly 53 years now. The evening ended with a Q&A.