Jeremy Paxman on why Parkinson's battle led to University Challenge exit 'I'll spoil it'

Earlier this year, Jeremy Paxman announced he would be quitting University Challenge after 28 years. The presenter, who revealed his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2021, reflected on his decision to quit the BBC quiz show in his ITV documentary Paxman: Putting Up with Parkinson’s which aired on Tuesday night. 

Reflecting on his television career, Jeremy explained: “I always think if you’re scared of making a decision, do it. 

“The University Challenge people have been brilliant but I do think I ought to stop doing it. 

“I will be sad to give it up but no one is indispensable.

“It will become obvious that there’s something [unusual] about me.”

Read more: Jeremy Paxman feels ‘beaten and dejected’ because of Parkinson’s

“But now he takes this stuff at night. What’s this stuff that everybody smokes? Marijuana. It is something from that, cannabidiol.”

She went on to reflect on her husband’s physiotherapy treatment: “Ozzy tries so hard with his physio.

“I just think of my husband who, like you, was very energetic, loved to go out for walks and did a two-hour show on stage every night, running around like a crazy man.

“Suddenly your life just stops, life as you knew it. When I look at my husband, my heart breaks for him.”

Elsewhere in the documentary, Jeremy met Jane Asher, the President of Parkinson’s UK and took part in an English National Ballet therapy dance class. 

Jeremy revealed the first sign of his condition was when he inexplicably fell over while walking his dog. 

However, Dr Angus Kennedy explained he’d suspected the diagnosis while watching the quiz master present University Challenge.

He noticed Jeremy had developed ‘Parkinson’s mask’ which is where sufferers’ faces become less expressive. 

Paxman: Putting Up with Parkinson’s is available on ITV Hub.

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