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Jeremy Paxman, a 71-year-old journalist and host of BBC Twos University Challenge, has officially diagnosed Parkinsons disease. He said his symptoms are currently minor but that he is receiving excellent treatment.
In a statement to the PA Media news agency, Paxman confirmed his recent diagnosis of Parkinsons disease. My symptoms are fairly mild, and I am getting fantastic treatment.
The wonderful Saga Magazine published a story on my illness in greater depth in June, and I intend to continue broadcasting and writing for as long as they will allow. I will not be adding any additional commentary.
Paxman, a Leeds native, began his career with the BBC in 1972, working in local radio and reporting on the Belfast Troubles.
Shortly after relocating to London in 1977, he joined Tonight and BBC Ones Breakfast Time, followed by appearances on the Six OClock News and BBC Ones Breakfast Time. In 1989, he began working as a Newsnight presenter, a position he held until June 2014, during which he conducted interviews with prominent figures from the political and cultural worlds.
Paxman announced his retirement after 25 years in the position by hosting a program 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 on UK television. He has also hosted University Challenge since 1994.
Shan Nicholas, the interim chief executive of Parkinsons UK, said: Jeremy's decision to speak publicly about his diagnosis will greatly increase awareness of this largely malunderstood disease.
Parkinson's disease is unpredictable and arduous, with over 40 symptoms. We are grateful that he has received the appropriate treatment to manage his issues.
When someone is just diagnosed, it is important to ensure that all necessary support is available in order to assist them in taking control of their lives. We would advise those who have received a Parkinsons diagnosis to consult with their doctor or a specialist to determine the most effective approach to treating their condition.
Jeremy has previously pledged to give his brain to the Parkinsons UK Brain Bank in order to assist researchers in developing discoveries that, in the future, would lead to more effective treatments and a cure for Parkinson's.
Jeremy has joined the 145,000-strong Parkinsons community in the United Kingdom that is eagerly anticipating a transformative therapy that we are becoming closer to every day. We wish him the best of luck.