Chairman hosts reception in support of Parkinson’s UK

Chairman Brian Roberts and his wife Margaret (right) are joined by Paul Mayhew-Archer, Stephen Ford (Parkinson’s UK Chief Executive), outgoing Chairman Ann Boroughes, and incoming Chairman Rosemary Palastanga

Guests at the Judges’ Lodgings in Aylesbury were treated to a captivating talk from award-winning writer and producer turned comedian Paul Mayhew-Archer on Wednesday evening (19 February).

The event was a special reception hosted by Buckinghamshire County Council Chairman Brian Roberts in support of the local Aylesbury branch of the charity Parkinson’s UK.

Paul, who gave his time to address the reception for free, is best known as a scriptwriter for shows including The Vicar of Dibley and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. Other shows under his belt include Mrs Brown’s Boys and Miranda. Paul also produced the popular Radio 4 shows I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and Old Harry’s Game.

In 2011 Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition.  Around 145,000 people in the UK suffer with the condition which currently has no known cure.

Since his diagnosis Paul has chosen not to dwell on the negative side of his condition but to highlight the often funny side of it and in doing so, raise awareness of the disease. In 2016 Paul made a documentary, Parkinson’s: The Funny Side which won him the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Presenter.

He has gone on to perform his one-man stand-up show, Incurable Optimist, at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and The Comedy Store as well as sell-out venues up and down the country.

Chairman Brian Roberts said: “I’m delighted that Paul freely gave up his time to come and speak to us tonight. He is a truly fascinating and inspirational individual who has not let his diagnosis get him down. Instead he has chosen to focus on the humorous side of his illness and in sharing his story and experiences publicly, he has helped to raise awareness of this condition which affects so many lives.”

Parkinson’s UK is one of the Chairman’s chosen charities for his year in office. Charitable donations made on the evening will be donated to the Aylesbury branch of Parkinson’s UK.