Jeremy Paxman says doctor spotted his parkinson’s from quiz show
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Former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman continues to bravely face his Parkinson’s diagnosis head-on. The legendary inquisitor and University Challenge host was diagnosed with the disease in 2021 and has since made a revealing documentary on his experiences. Now he is one of the contributors to a new podcast where sufferers discuss living with the disease and Jeremy is keen to make his thoughts heard.
Entitled Movers and Shakers, in a nod to the symptoms of the illness, the first episode, recorded in a Notting Hill pub, launched on March 18.
It sees Jeremy and five fellow Parkinson’s sufferers share their experiences of living with the illness.
Vicar of Dibley writer Paul Mayhew-Archer, High Court judge Sir Nick Mostyn, and former BBC broadcasters Rory Cellan-Jones, Mark Mardell, and Gillian Lacey-Solymar make up the rest of the extraordinary group.
In an exclusive picture of the group recording the first episode shared with express.co.uk, Jeremy looks a world away from his TV image sporting a new beard and snow-white hair.
The podcast was born from their weekly get-togethers where they discussed how to live with Parkinson’s.
Debunking myths and sharing information is heavy on the agenda but it is presented in a warm and friendly manner.
Showing that he has lost none of his quick wit when asked to introduce himself, Jeremy said: “I am a journalist and presenter and basically I’ll do anything for money.”
However, despite the humour, in episode one, Jeremy didn’t disguise his frustration at the lack of research into the disease.
“I’m just, I’m really, really underwhelmed by the medics,” he continued.
Explaining his frustration, he shared: “Well, you know, the L-DOVA, which is synthetic dopamine?
“They discovered that the only breakthrough they discovered was 60 years ago.
“That has been the only breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson’s, hasn’t it?
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“They discovered this messenger chemical was non-existent in or significantly reduced in a lot of people who had Parkinson’s.”
While raising awareness about the gaps in the research into the disease, which was first officially discovered in 1817, the podcast is also keen to dispel myths about the illness.
In that vein, Jeremy also revealed that he doesn’t have one symptom commonly associated with it.
“Most of us don’t shake,” he says. “I shake in bed occasionally.
“My left leg goes bonkers sometimes. But by and large, I don’t shake.”
The group hopes that the podcast will not only raise awareness but also boost fund-raising for Parkinson’s.
The degenerative brain disease causes symptoms like shaking, stiffness, movement, and balance problems, which can vary from patient to patient.
There are around 145,000 people in the UK living with the illness.
The Movers and Shakers podcast is available on Apple podcasts and most other platforms.‘
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