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Jeremy Paxman was diagnosed with Parkinson's after doctor saw him on TV

Jeremy Paxman was diagnosed with Parkinson's after doctor saw him on TV

A doctor noticed a tell-tale symptom while watching University Challenge

Jeremy Paxman has revealed that his work as a TV presenter ultimately led to him being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

The broadcaster, 72, recently gave an insight into his battle with the condition, which he was diagnosed with in 2021, for a new show Putting Up with Parkinson's.

It is set to air tonight (4 October) and will take a look at Paxman's diagnosis, which came about after an eagle-eyed doctor spotted symptoms of the condition in him on University Challenge.

A doctor noticed Paxman had symptoms of Parkinson's on television.
ITV / Putting up with Parkinson's

The doctor noticed that Paxman had what's known as a 'Parkinson's face' - a face that was showing a notable lack of emotion.

For the show, Paxman gives people an insight into his life with the condition 18 months after his diagnosis that lead to him stepping down as the presenter of University Challenge.

It will see him discuss the illness with Sharon Osborne, whose husband Ozzy, 73, also has the condition, as well as meet a woman who claims that she can 'smell' the disease.

Paxman has been knowingly living with Parkinson's for 18 months.

Paxman previously opened up about how he was diagnosed with Parkinson's and said it 'was completely out of the blue'.

"I was having a walk in the square across the way. There was ice around and I had the dog with me - the dog was on a lead.

"The first thing I knew was when somebody was sitting me on a bench. I'd fallen over and I made a terrible mess of my face.

"I'd gone straight down on my hooter, which, as you can see, is not small. Cuts all over the place. I was a real mess. And when I was in A&E, a doctor walked in and said: 'I think you've got Parkinson's.'

"And it turned out that he had been watching University Challenge and had noticed that my face had acquired what's known as the Parkinson's mask.

"I wasn't as effusive and exuberant as normal. I had no idea."

Paxman met a woman who claims she can 'smell' Parkinson's disease.

At the time of Paxman's diagnosis, Shan Nicholas, the interim chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, revealed: "Jeremy pledged to donate his brain to the Parkinson's UK Brain Bank which will, one day, help scientists uncover the discoveries that will lead to better treatments and a cure for Parkinson's."

Paxman previously said that his symptoms of the disease were 'mild'.

Putting Up with Parkinson's airs on ITV at 9:00pm tonight.

If you or someone you know has been affected by Parkinson's disease, or you would simply like more information, help and support is available from Parkinson's UK

Featured Image Credit: BBC/ITV

Topics: Celebrity