In March 2010 the Guardian newspaper reported that Parsons was investing in new independent production company, NERD, and had become the company's Chairman.
He went to Pembroke College, Oxford where he studied English Literature and afterwards trained as a journalist. According to a review in 2000,
This nice middle-class schoolboy from Kent, who read English at Oxford, became - so his critics claim - the Titan of Tack TV. He's the bloke that gets the blame for everything that is bad about British television - yoof TV, decline in standards and dumbing-down. But to his admirers, Parsons is a creative genius; a co-founder of Planet 24 and the brain behind such television hits as The Word and The Big Breakfast.