05/06/2018 08:38 BST | Updated 05/06/2018 08:38 BST

'Just A Minute' Host Nicholas Parsons Misses First Show In 50 Years, To Enjoy A Day Off

'The apocalypse is not upon us.'

Nicholas Parsons missed his first episode of Radio 4′s ‘Just A Minute’ in 50 years this week, so he could enjoy a day off.

The 94-year-old presenter has fronted the comedy panel show since 1967, when it first debuted on Radio 4 just three months after the station’s launch.

‘Just A Minute’ has since gone on to become one of its staple offerings, but regular listeners were in for a surprise on Monday, when Nicholas was notably absent, and replaced by Gyles Brandreth for the episode.

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Nicholas Parsons

Fans of the show needn’t worry, though, as the BBC’s head of radio comedy, Julia McKenzie, has now set the record straight.

Putting listeners’ minds at ease, she tweeted: “Just to reassure those listening to the very unexpected Just a Minute… the apocalypse is not upon us -[Gyles] kindly stepped in to give Nicholas Parsons a couple of days off.”

Julia added: “NP is totally fine and is still the guvnor as per the last 50 years.”

After the show, Gyles joked on Twitter: “When Nicholas Parsons chose to take a day off after 50 yrs I think the BBC asked me to sit in to prove what we all know: he’s irreplaceable!”

As reported by the BBC, Nicholas will be back recording his next episode of ‘Just A Minute’ on Wednesday, and will return to the airwaves in the coming weeks.

Panellists on the most recent episode of the show - which sees guests having to speak on a variety of topics for exactly one minute - included Sara Pascoe and Paul Merton, the latter of whom has guest starred in more episodes than any other comedian.