Chaser Paul Sinha must give up loved part of career amid Parkinson’s battle

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Paul Sinha has spoken out about his anguish about never being able to repeat a much “loved” part of his career amid his battle with Parkinson’s disease.

The quizzer, dubbed The Sinnerman on ITV’s The Chase, is best known for his general knowledge and sharp wit – but he has also been involved in panto.

Paul appeared as villain Abanazar in the York Opera House’s production of Aladdin in 2016, dubbing it "the most enjoyable moment of my life".

But, appearing on Clive Anderson’s My Seven Wonders podcast, Paul has admitted he will never be able to repeat the experience due to his declining “physical fitness” as he battles Parkinson’s.

The stand-up comedian announced he had been diagnosed with the disease in June 2019.

Opening up on the podcast, Paul shared: "It was a very humbling thing to go through.

"The Chasers often get offered panto work because of the sort of villainy of the characters we play on the show.

"And I had no acting experience whatsoever, and whatever a triple threat is, I’m the negative.

"But I thought to myself, it’s all right! Bad actors do panto, it’s fine, it will be fine!" Paul chuckled.

The star went on: "And then you start getting the reviews in, and they keep saying, ‘And the weakest member of the cast is…’, and it becomes a familiar theme."

Paul was mocked for his performance in the musical at the time, with one reviewer saying he lacked "dimension", likely due to "nerves".

Paul said that was when he decided to change tack, continuing: "So you have to switch to another mode, and the other mode was enjoying every second of doing something that I’d never done before in my life.

"And thanks to my illness, I will never do it again because I won’t have the physical fitness. And I just loved it."

Paul went on: "You just realise it doesn’t matter that you’ve got bad reviews, you are having the time of your life. And that is exactly what I had – it was the most enjoyable month of my life.

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"It’s not comedy, and it’s not high art, it’s the experience of being the worst member of the cast."

Paul has opened up previously about the potential impact of his diagnosis on his ability to compete in The Chase, admitting he would quit the show if he began to struggle answering questions at speed.

He also didn’t take part in the last series of Beat The Chasers due to illness, as he tweeted: "Unfortunately, I wasn’t well for the recordings and couldn’t join in this time around. I’m feeling much better now."

  • ITV
  • The Chase

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