Jeremy Paxman diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, TV presenter confirms

University Challenge host Jeremy Paxman has announced that he's been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

The 71-year-old television presenter has been receiving "excellent" treatment and says his symptoms are "currently mild".

In a statement to the PA news agency, he said: "I can confirm I have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I am receiving excellent treatment and my symptoms are currently mild.

"I plan to continue broadcasting and writing for as long as they’ll have me and have written about my diagnosis in more detail for the June issue of the marvellous Saga Magazine.

"I will not be making any further comment."

The news comes after Jeremy was seen using a walking stick while travelling to work, aiding his journey after breaking his ribs in a fall.

He explained he'd suffered broken ribs after tripping over his pet dog earlier this year, leaving him with a bloodied nose.

The TV star could be seen travelling to film studios in Manchester, wearing a pair of shorts and sandals in the spring sunshine last month.

With a book in one hand, he held a walking stick in the other, exiting a car before passing through the revolving doors of the building.

  • Jeremy Paxman, 70, seen with walking stick weeks after breaking ribs in horror fall

Jeremy wore a face mask and had a pair of spectacles propped up on his nose.

The former Newsnight star previously admitted the incident made him reflect on his age, suggesting "having a fall" is something that happens later in life.

During a chat on the Walking The Dog podcast by Times Radio, Jeremy revealed he likes to walk Derek three times a day, with the dog bringing a smile to his face.

"He's a sweet dog. I love him desperately," he told presenter Emily Dean. "He looks like a spaniel. He was born in Battersea Dogs Home and I love him. He's been the perfect dog."

Jeremy found Derek at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in South London, where rescued pets can find loving new owners.

The acclaimed presenter also said Derek helped him to deal with his mental health, revealing the dog "makes me more benign".

Referring to depression, he said: "Sometimes it gets you. Whatever stage in life you’re at, it gets you.

"It would be very easy for me to let it get me now, because I'm 70 and what’s to come is a lot shorter than what went before – and a lot less interesting.”

Jeremy, who prefers to keep his private life out of the spotlight, has three grown-up children with his ex-partner Elizabeth Ann Clough.

  • BBC

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