University Challenge host Jeremy Paxman reveals Parkinson’s diagnosis

Broadcaster Jeremy Paxman has revealed he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

The University Challenge host, 71, said he has been receiving “excellent treatment” and his symptoms are “currently mild”.

He said in a statement: “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.”

Jeremy Paxman presented Newsnight for 25 years
Image: Paxman presented Newsnight for 25 years

Paxman has hosted University Challenge since 1994, making him the longest serving current quizmaster on UK television.

He is also well known for being a tough-talking presenter on the BBC’s Newsnight – a show which he worked on from 1989 to 2014.

During that time, he interviewed many high-profile figures from politics and culture.

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As he bowed out of Newsnight after 25 years in the role, Paxman did an interview with then London mayor Boris Johnson, while they both rode a tandem bicycle.

Jeremy Paxman interviewed Theresa May during the 2017 general election campaign
Image: Paxman interviewed Theresa May during the 2017 general election campaign

He also interviewed party leaders on Sky News and Channel 4 during the 2015 and 2017 general election campaigns, grilling politicians including Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.

Paxman, who was born in Leeds, started his career in 1972 on the BBC’s graduate trainee programme, working in local radio and reporting on the Troubles in Belfast.

Soon after moving to London in 1977, he worked on Panorama, before stints on the Six O’Clock News and BBC One’s Breakfast Time.

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