11 – 16 April is Parkinson’s Awareness Week and with this in mind we have chosen Paul Mayhew-Archer as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Following a brief career in teaching, during which he organised a school trip and got left behind, Paul Mayhew-Archer has spent the last 40 years trying to make people laugh.
He is a multi-award-winning writer whose credits include ‘The Vicar of Dibley’, “Mrs Brown’s Boys” and the screen version of “Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot” starring Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman. He also produced the much loved Radio 4 shows ‘I’m Sorry I haven’t A Clue’ and ‘Old Harry’s Game’, and as a script editor he has worked on everything from ‘Spitting Image’ to ‘Miranda’.
In 2011 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, an incurable illness that gets progressively worse and has over 50 symptoms. It is also – as Paul quickly found out – funny.
Since then he’s had some of the best times of his life.
In 2016 he made his first documentary, “Parkinson’s: The funny Side”, for which he won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Presenter.
In 2018 he took part in his first podcast, sitting next to The Archbishop of Canterbury and performed his first ever One Man show, “Incurable Optimist”, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
He now promotes the therapeutic power of laughter as a stand-up comedian, and is an active member of the Parkinson’s UK Oxford Branch.
To find out more about Parkinson’s Awareness Week see here https://parkinsonscare.org.uk/awarenessweek/
To find out more about Paul see here http://mayhew-archer.com/