Parkinson‘s disease has been officially diagnosed by Jeremy Paxman. The 71-year-old journalist and host of BBC Two’s University Challenge said that his symptoms were “currently minor” and that he was receiving “great therapy.”
Paxman confirmed his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in a statement to the PA Media news agency. My symptoms are relatively moderate, and I am getting fantastic care.
“I have written about my illness in greater depth for the June issue of the wonderful Saga Magazine, and I intend to keep on broadcasting and writing for as long as they’ll have me. I won’t be adding any further commentary.
Paxman, a Leeds native, began his career as a graduate trainee for the BBC in 1972, working in local radio and covering the Troubles in Belfast.
He moved from Tonight to the flagship investigative show Panorama shortly after relocating to London in 1977, followed by appearances on the Six O’Clock News and BBC One’s Breakfast Time. In 1989, he started working as a Newsnight presenter, a role he held until June 2014 and during which he conducted interviews with famous people from the worlds of politics and culture.
After 25 years in the position, Paxman announced his resignation by hosting a show that featured an interview with the former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, while they both rode tandem bicycles. Paxman is the longest-tenured quizmaster currently appearing on UK television. He has also been hosting University Challenge since 1994.
The interim chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, Shan Nicholas, stated: “Jeremy choosing to speak publicly about his diagnosis will do so much to promote awareness of this largely misunderstood condition. Parkinson’s is the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world.
Parkinson’s disease is unpredictable and complex, with more than 40 symptoms. We appreciate that he has been getting the appropriate care to control his problems.
“When someone is freshly diagnosed, it’s important to put the appropriate assistance in place in order to help them take control of their lives. We would advise those who have received a Parkinson’s diagnosis to consult with their doctor or a specialist to determine the best course of action for treating their condition.
“Jeremy previously committed to giving his brain to the Parkinson’s UK Brain Bank in order to aid researchers in making discoveries that, in the future, would result in more effective therapies and a cure for Parkinson’s.
“With his diagnosis, Jeremy has joined the 145,000-person Parkinson’s community in the UK who are eagerly awaiting a transformative therapy, which we are coming closer to every day. We send Jeremy our warmest wishes.