The Chase's Paul Sinha leads support to Jeremy Paxman after Parkinson's news

JEREMY Paxman has been inundated with support from his famous friends and fans after he revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

The University Challenge host, 71, shared the news yesterday, saying his symptoms are "currently mild" – and he is receiving "excellent treatment".

The Chase star Paul Sinha – known as The Sinnerman – led the words of encouragement as someone who also lives with Parkinson's.

He wrote:"Hey Paxman lets kick the s**t out of this."

Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson's last year and previously revealed he feared it would rob of him of his quizzing skills.

Sky News presenter Kay Burley took to social media to offer her condolences and shared a picture of herself with Jeremy.

She wrote: “Very sorry to hear reports that my old buddy Jeremy Paxman has Parkinson’s.”

Jeremy Vine tweeted: “Sending my best wishes to my former colleague.”

Alastair Stewart wished him well, writing: “Paxo to Parkinsons: "Oh come off it!". Good luck my friend.”

Tim Walker shared his thoughts on the situation, in particular his dismay at the lack of treatment.

He wrote: “I wish Jeremy all the best. The treatment for Parkinson’s hasn’t fundamentally changed in decades. I keep reading that cases are going up and hope more resources can be thrown at fighting this illness.”

In a statement, 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."

In a brief extract from his column, which was released today, he wrote: “The other day I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

“It isn’t a fatal prognosis, but it sure as hell can make living a bit of a b*gger.

“There will be plenty of readers who know what I’m talking about from personal experience: according to my fellow Parkinson’s incubator, the comedy writer Paul Mayhew-Archer, two people in the UK are diagnosed with the disease every hour of the day.

“Which, as he points out, means that ‘some people get told at three o’clock in the morning.’

“At least it happened to me in daylight.”

He added in his column due to be printed in Saga Magazine: "I will not pretend that being diagnosed with an incurable brain disease is fun.

"But it could be worse. I have at least the consolation of being in the enjoyable company of people like Billy Connolly and Alan Alda.

"I am lucky to have understanding family, friends and colleagues, and I am also fortunate in seeing the funny side of unexpectedly falling over."

Parkinson’s disease is an incurable condition which affects the brain. Symptoms can include tremors and stiffness.

Scottish comedian Billy Connelly, 78, and rock star Ozzy Osbourne, 72, are among the household names living with Parkinson's.

It comes a month after Mr Paxman was seen out in Manchester using a walking stick after breaking his ribs during a fall as he walked his dog.

Born in Leeds, Mr Paxman started his career in 1972 on the BBC's graduate trainee programme, working in local radio and reporting on the Troubles in Belfast.

Shortly after moving to London in 1977, he transferred from Tonight to investigative flagship programme Panorama, before stints on the Six O'Clock News and BBC One's Breakfast Time.

He became a presenter of Newsnight in 1989, a position he would hold until June 2014.

While hosting the role, he became known for his fearsome interview style as he quizzed high-profile figures from politics and culture.

He decided to bow out of the role – to the relief of his interviewees – after 25 years.

Mr Paxman has also presented University Challenge since 1994, making him the longest serving current quizmaster on UK TV.

WHAT IS PARKINSON’S DISEASE AND WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects parts of the brain.

The NHS says there are three major symptoms, including tremors or shaking, slowness of movement and muscle stiffness.

Other symptoms include problems with balance, loss of smell, nerve pain, excessive sweating and dizziness.

Some people can also experience lack of sleep, excessive production of saliva and problems swallowing, causing malnutrition and dehydration.

Symptoms start gradually, sometimes beginning with a barely noticeable tremor in just one part of the body.

In the early stages, people may show little or no expression, and their arms may not swing when they walk.

Speech can also become soft or slurred, with the condition worsening over time.

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