Jeremy Paxman reveals he kept falling on his face until he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s
Jeremy Paxman says regular falls were the biggest wake-up call his health “wasn’t good” as he reveals his doctor sent him for tests after worrying he wasn’t. as usual on University Challenge.
The presenter, 71, revealed in May that he had been diagnosed with an incurable disease, which affects the brain and movement.
The former Newsnight host told The Sunday Times Magazine he kept falling and injuring himself and he would end up with cuts, bruises and black eyes and “blood all over the place.”
However, Paxman admitted to the newspaper that he didn’t think he had Parkinson’s disease because he believed the disease only manifested itself in body tremors.
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71-year-old presenter Jeremy Paxman, pictured, revealed he kept falling and injuring himself before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and said he was surprised because he felt that the disease was manifested only by body tremors.
The College Challenge host says he knew something was wrong with him before he was diagnosed and admits it’s “very hard to know you’re not going to get better.”
He explained: “I kept falling, I blamed the dog for getting under my feet, but after the last time I fell, right in my face it was a real mess – black eyes , cuts and blood all over the place – and I thought, “It’s not fair,” he said.
âThe doctor said, ‘You have Parkinson’s disease’. It had never occurred to me. I thought, âParkinson’s what?â He added.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are mild when they first appear and gradually get worse.
Although involuntary tremors are the symptoms most people associate with the condition, they are also manifested in slow movements and stiff, inflexible muscles, according to the NHS.
The BBC host said his doctor ordered tests after seeing him at University Challenge during the lockdown, pictured
Paxman, pictured, said he didn’t want to be shot down by his diagnosis and had to adjust to his symptoms
Speaking about his diagnosis, Paxman, who has written a new book, Black Gold: The History of How Coal Made Britain during lockdown, said the only thing people can do is “adapt” but admitted that ‘he struggled with the unpredictability of illness.
âSometimes you feel awake, sometimes you feel asleep, and how you are today is not a guide to how you will be tomorrow. It’s really boring, âhe said, adding that he felt tired most of the time.
âParkinson’s has no cure, so you’re stuck with it. And it is hard. Very hard to know that you are not going to improve. You hope you will, but you don’t, âhe added.
The presenter was seen using a cane during a visit to Manchester a month before his diagnosis was known, pictured
WHAT IS PARKINSON? THE INCURABLE DISEASE THAT HITS BOXER MUHAMMAD ALI
Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people, including about one million Americans.
It causes muscle stiffness, slowness of movement, tremors, sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, impaired quality of life and can lead to severe disability.
It is a progressive neurological disease that destroys cells in the part of the brain that controls movement.
People with the condition are known to have reduced their dopamine stores because the nerve cells that produce it have died.
There is currently no cure and no way to stop the progression of the disease, but hundreds of scientific trials are underway to try to change that.
The disease claimed the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali in 2016.
But the presenter, who has three adult children with ex-partner Elizabeth Clough, said he refused to be “beaten” by the disease and said he hoped it wouldn’t totally immobilize him.
He added that the diagnosis made him feel depressed, but he didn’t think it was a series of symptoms.
The presenter also said he didn’t want to join a support group because he was suspicious of them.
But he said he would donate his brain to Parkinson’s UK after his death to help their research into the disease.
Paxman revealed his shock diagnosis in May, saying he had “mild symptoms” and was receiving “excellent treatment.”
A month earlier he had been seen looking frail and supporting himself with a cane as he walked around Manchester.
At the time, he said he suffered a bad fall when his dog Derek was surprised by a squirrel and pulled on his leash.
Born in Leeds, Paxman began his career in 1972 as part of the BBC’s graduate internship program, working on local radio and reporting on the unrest in Belfast.
Shortly after moving to London in 1977, he transferred from Tonight to Panorama, before moving on to Six O’Clock News and BBC One’s Breakfast Time.
He became a Newsnight presenter in 1989, a post he held until June 2014, during which time he interviewed prominent political and cultural figures.
After 25 years of work, Paxman presented a program that included an interview with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, as they both rode a tandem bicycle.
Paxman has also presented University Challenge since 1994, making him the oldest current quizmaster on UK television.