The Chase star Paul Sinha had a “breakdown” after learning of his Parkinson’s diagnosis earlier this year.
Image Source/ Extra
The 49-year-old quiz brain – who stars in the ITV game show as one of five champion quizzers who take on members of the public in a general knowledge battle – announced in June that he was battling the condition, which affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, and can cause tremors and muscle rigidity.
And now, Paul has admitted he struggled to come to terms with the news, which came when he decided to Google the possible causes of a frozen shoulder he’d been battling since 2017.
Speaking to iNews, he said:
‘I had been suffering from a frozen shoulder since September 2017. I’d seen a specialist who was convinced he could cure it, but nothing seemed to work’.
Paul – who was previously a GP – was prompted to Google his symptoms after touring New Zealand earlier this year.
‘I’m quite famous there because they broadcast The Chase twice a day on one of their main channels. One of the things on my bucket list was to sell out a big venue and I sold out a 700-seat theatre in Auckland.
‘The next day in a cab I decided to Google the words ‘frozen shoulder’ and ‘Parkinson’s’. And I knew I had Parkinson’s’.
The quizzer had his fears confirmed in a doctor’s appointment on May 30, and was forced to miss both the World Quizzing Championships and the Edinburgh Fringe festival because of his MRI scans.
‘I normally write my Edinburgh Fringe show in June and July and I realised I couldn’t do that with so many other things going on.
‘I’ve always had well-received shows at the Fringe and I didn’t want Parkinson’s to be the reason I had a bad one’.
And with the pressure of his diagnosis and his career, Paul admits he had a “breakdown” over what to do next.
‘Looking back to those two weeks after the diagnosis I think I had a breakdown’.
But he is determined not to let his diagnosis stop him from living his life.
When asked what his plan is for the future, he said:
‘To go on living my life. I’m a stand-up and as long as my brain is fine I can continue to do that.
‘I spoke to Sky sports presenter Dave Clark, who has Parkinson’s, and he says always have something to plan for. I’ve just bought tickets for the Pet Shop Boys, who are playing The O2 next May on my 50th birthday’.