People ask me if I’m drunk when I slur my words because of life-changing speech condition, says Chris Kamara

MUCH-LOVED sports pundit Chris Kamara has told how people question if he is "drunk" due to slurred speech when his apraxia is at its worst.

The Ninja Warriors host, 64, was presenting at Rotherham for Sky Sports last weekend when fans first noticed the change in his voice.


He bravely revealed he is battling the speech condition, which is classed as a neurological disorder, after viewers raised concerns for his welfare.

Chris told fans last year he had been diagnosed with a thyroid condition.

On today's Good Morning Britain, he candidly opened up more on his condition, as host Charlotte Hawkins asked: "You've talked about the fact your speech is a bit slower, and it's apraxia that you have, so I just wanted to ask how you are doing.

"I know you've had a lot of people get in touch with their support over this haven't you?"

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Chris replied: "Thanks Charlotte, it was incredible. Today's a good day.

"Today I think I'm fine – I don't know how I sound, but it seems I am OK."

He continued: "My apraxia, because it varies in different people, when it's bad, it stops those signals in that brain going to that mouth so it slows it down.

"In fact, at times, it slurs the words as well, so people are looking thinking 'is he alright, is he drunk, what's the matter with him?'

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"What it is is its connected to my under-active thyroid problem."

Chris, who will return for ITV's Ninja Warriors re-boot, then told how he had been working with a speech therapist to help his condition.

He added: "Everyone has been so brilliant, so kind."

GMB viewers then confessed they had been left "in tears" by his interview.

SPEECH REVEAL

While covering Shrewsbury Town's League One trip to Rotherham on Saturday afternoon, Sky viewers noticed Chris was slurring his words.

Several tweeted him, asking "are you OK mate?".

The star and former Leeds, Brentford and Middlesbrough midfielder later revealed he was suffering from a new health condition that impedes his ability to talk.

Now he has taken to Twitter again to reveal that “Live TV” will have to take a “back seat” for now.

NINJA WARRIOR COMEBACK

Ninja Warrior UK is hosted by Ben Shephard, Chris, and Rochelle Humes.

Chris was on GMB at the show's training centre, as he excitedly exclaimed: "After five series we thought we would go forever but then it stopped.

"Now we are back!"

Ninja Warrior UK is a game show partly based on the Japanese version Sasuke, which features assault course challenges.

The ten contestants, from each of the five qualifying rounds, who make it the furthest the fastest, qualify for the semi-finals.

The top ten contestants then make it through to the final.

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The fifth series brought back previous obstacles such as the Crazy Cliff Hanger.

Yet fresh challenges lay in wait, too, including the Momentum Shift, which includes a lot of ramming, jumping, grabbing, crawling and holding onto a gate.




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