University Challenge host Jeremy Paxman announces he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease

Broadcaster Jeremy Paxman has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Credit: PA

Broadcaster and University Challenge host Jeremy Paxman has revealed he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

The former Newsnight presenter said in a statement to Press Association that his symptoms are "currently mild" and that he has been receiving "excellent treatment".

Paxman, 71, 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."

Paxman, pictured here at Radio 4 in 1998, has a broadcast career spanning nearly 50 years. Credit: PA

Born in Leeds, 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 BBC 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 during which time he interviewed high-profile figures from politics and culture.

Bowing out after 25 years in the job, Paxman presented a programme including an interview with then London mayor Boris Johnson, while they both rode a tandem bicycle.

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

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