The Chase star Paul Sinha felt that he had a breakdown when he learned he had degenerative Parkinson’s disease, but say he would choose when the time was right to leave the long-running ITV quiz show.
He received the diagnosis in 2019 after steroid treatment for a frozen shoulder didn’t work. As time passed the former doctor realised he had a serious problem.
“There was a sense of relief that it wasn’t anything worse,” he told the Loose Women panel.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition which can cause slurring, stiffness, uncontrollable shaking and other problems, but the busy stand-up comic and quiz champion said his mind was as fast as ever.
Sinha became the fourth “Chaser” on The Chase in 2011 and he insisted his brainpower was still as fast as ever.
“I don’t know what my future is, I don’t know my time-scale, I don’t know when I am gong to start deteriorating,” he said. “I do know that when I stop answering questions at speed, The Chase won’t fire me, I’ll say, ‘It’s been a lovely journey, you’ve treated me very well, see you later.’”
Sinha, 50, married his longterm partner, Olly Levy, last year, but revealed it was both a relief and a crushing blow when he found out what was wrong.
“Looking back to those two weeks after the diagnosis I think I had a breakdown,” he said.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s and Sinha has been managing the disease with medication, which can have serious side-effects.
“You have to be positive, because health is dependent on positivity, positivity increases your chances of well-being and I don’t have the options of being mawkishly miserable about the whole thing.”
Sinha added: “I’ve got Parkinson’s disease, I am always going to have Parkinson’s disease unless they find a miracle cure, I’ve got to deal with this the best I can.”
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