Back to top
Image of the hands of man with Parkinson's and nurse

BBC documentary about Parkinson's wins award


As part of Parkinson's Awareness Week 2016, BBC One showed a documentary called Parkinson's: The Funny side, written and presented by comedy writer Paul Mayhew-Archer.

This story was originally published on 20 April 2016.

I'm a great believer in the therapeutic power of laughter. People need to know that Parkinson's is not the end – there's plenty of reason to be optimistic, and find the funny side of life.
Paul Mayhew-Archer

On 7 November 2016 Paul won a Grierson Trust award for this documentary.

Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2011. He co-wrote The Vicar of Dibley and was part of the writing teams for Spitting Image and Mrs Brown's Boys.

He injects humour into everyday situations, and the documentary covered everything from chocolate to the quest for a cure and dance classes at his local Oxford support group.

'Best Documentary Presenter' winner

Paul Mayhew-Archer has won the Grierson Trust's 'Best Documentary Presenter' award for Parkinson's: The Funny Side.

Paul was against competition from presenters including David Attenborough and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Paul said:

"I was amazed to even be nominated so to win was utterly gobsmacking.

"In my speech I actually thanked my illness because without it I would not be receiving this award. And it is true.

"Yes, Parkinson's is horrible, especially in the later stages, but I also know that it is not the end of the world.

"It has given me a new purpose, provided me with new opportunities and introduced me to many wonderful people who also have the condition."

View a clip from the documentary on BBC News.