Jeremy Paxman receiving treatment after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17:  Former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman interviewed as Debrett's and Audi host meeting of Britain's most innovative media thinkers at Audi City on November 17, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Debrett's and Audi)
Former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman in 2012 (Getty)

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

The 71-year-old broadcaster and University Challenge host said he has been receiving “excellent treatment” and that his symptoms are “currently mild”.

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.”

Jeremy Paxman grilling students on University Challenge (ITV Studios/BBC)
Jeremy Paxman grilling students on University Challenge (ITV Studios/BBC)

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The NHS website advises that Parkinson's disease is "a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years." It lists the primary symptoms as involuntary shaking and tremors, slow movement, and inflexible muscles.

The condition also has a number of other physical and psychological symptoms including depression and anxiety, and problems with balance and memory loss among others.

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.

Alastair Campbell, (left), Director of Communications to Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, comes face to face with Jeremy Paxman, during a photocall at The Savoy Hotel, London, where MPs got the chance to turn the tables on some of the toughest interviewers in the business.  * Turn The Tables 2001, sponsored by Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, will raise funds for Imperial Cancer Research Fund, the UK's leading cancer research charity which is dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of all forms of the disease.
Paxman, right, on stage with spin doctor Alistair Campbell (PA)

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 during which time he interviewed high-profile figures from politics and culture.

Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman dated 24 June 2002 on the new Newsnight set, Jeremy Paxman has criticised plans by the corporation's management to cut its news and current affairs budget by 15% The Newsnight presenter said he did not understand how the BBC could justify the cuts when it was spending millions of pounds moving staff out of London.The cuts are part of a reorganisation of the corporation ordered by director general Mark Thompson requiring every part of the BBC to make 15% cuts. . (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
Jeremy Paxman left Newsnight in 2014 (Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)

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.

With reporting by PA

Watch: Paxman grills Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn

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