For the first time in 50 years, Radio 4 comedy panel show Just A Minute was not hosted by Nicholas Parsons.
The 94-year-old broadcaster, who has been at the helm of the programme for more than 900 episodes, was replaced by regular panellist Gyles Brandreth.
The unexpected absence led to a minor frenzy on Twitter, with one fan saying “hell had frozen over”.
But the BBC’s head of radio comedy explained that Parsons was “taking a couple of days off”.
Julia McKenzie tweeted that Parsons is “totally fine” and the “apocalypse is not upon us”.
Just to reassure those listening to the very unexpected Just a Minute on @BBCRadio4 at the moment – the apocalypse is not upon us – @GylesB1 kindly stepped in to give Nicholas Parsons a couple of days off. NP is totally fine and is still the guvnor as per the last 50 years 😉☺️
— Julia McKenzie (@JuliaAMcKenzie) June 4, 2018
End of Twitter post by @JuliaAMcKenzie
Parsons began presenting the panel show in 1967, ensuring that players of the game speak on a subject for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation.
When introducing the show, former MP Brandreth said: “After 50 years at the helm [he] quite rightly thinks he should be allowed a day off.”
Panellists on the fourth episode of the 81st series were Tony Hawks, Sara Pascoe, Josie Lawrence and Paul Merton.
In 2016 Merton reached a milestone by clocking up more appearances than Carry On actor Kenneth Williams, who appeared 346 times.
The late Clement Freud has the most appearances on the show as a panellist, after playing the game 544 times.
In 2016 Prince Charles, a fan of the show, performed a cameo on the programme’s Christmas special.
Although a simple concept, few players are able to speak for 60 seconds without breaking the rules, leading to interruptions from their fellow panellists.
In 2015 actor David Tennant made Just A Minute history when he spoke for the whole minute without being interrupted on his first appearance. He spoke on Shakespeare’s stage direction, “Exit, Pursued by a Bear”.