Sue Perkins has been announced as the new host of the iconic BBC radio show Just a Minute.
Perkins will follow the late Nicholas Parsons, who had hosted the comedy series since its launch in 1967, but passed away in January last year aged 96.
According to The Independent, Perkins said: “I’m beyond delighted to be asked to host this most legendary of shows.”
Just a Minute is a comedy radio show in which participants must speak about a given subject for a minute without hesitating, repeating themselves or deviating from the topic.
The role is a perfect fit for Perkins, who made her first appearance on the show in 2000, and has taken part 57 times since then.
She added: “Nicholas’s shoes are way too big to fill, but I shall bring my own shoes, and work my socks off in them to keep our listeners entertained.”
Annie Parsons, wife of the late Nicholas Parsons, said that he would have been “delighted to know that Just a Minute will continue long into the future under the superb guardianship of Sue Perkins”.
Perkins, she said, “fully understands and embraces possibly the most often repeated five words on TV or radio: ‘Without hesitation, repetition or deviation’”.
The new series of Just a Minute will premiere on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC Sounds app on 6 September.
Sue Perkins recently experienced homophobic abuse for the first time in ‘decades’
Perkins rose to fame in the ’90s as one-half of comedy duo Mel and Sue. After a relatively quiet period in the ’00s, the pair took the Great British Bake Off to the top of TV ratings and re-established them as national treasures.
The public learned that Perkins is a lesbian after her ex-girlfriend Rhona Cameron discussed their time together during her I’m a Celebrity stint in 2002.
Perkins didn’t, however, consider herself “outed”.
“I was already out to my parents,” she told Time Out in 2013. “Rhona didn’t disclose my sexuality; I’d already done that myself. ‘Outing’ is a very emotional phrase and I certainly didn’t feel she did that. She disclosed things about us when we’d been together that I wished she hadn’t. That’s all.”
Last year, Perkins revealed that she had been left in tears after horrific homophobic abuse was hurled at her on London’s Hampstead Heath.
She was walking her dog, she told Alan Cummings’ Homo Sapiens podcast, when a man yelled at her: “You f**king dyke.”
“I just said, ‘I’m just walking my dog and I’m quiet and I’m in a good mood and I’ve got love for everyone here and you’ve destroyed that and you can’t take that back today’,” she said.
“And I went off and I burst into tears. It was so shocking and so unusual.”