When Parky met Parkinsons – The Lost Interview
Michael: On the show tonight four young people slogging up the slope to stardom. Not the celebrity version but the real thing, to do with talent. First up a Disease that has shaken up the nation, or as one critic dubbed it ‘not a killer but a real sod’, the first time on the show! The inimitable Parkinsons Disease. (Applause)
Parkinsons Disease: What a lovely bunch of people you have here.
Michael: Yes, they must come from where you live actually. Well there you are, that’s an indication of the success of that marvellous spread and numbers you now have. And let me ask you a question first of all. When are you leaving?!
Parkinsons D: The question I’ve been asked since the moment I said I was starting! It’s weird, people are desperate for you to leave, that’s the next story I suppose, who will be next. So I keep tight lipped on that one. There are some attempts to see me go but really since 1967 I am pretty relaxed about my future.
Michael: Of course. You’ve made it very much your own and that’s the thing about you, medics think they are on the right track but then you start again in a new form and confuse them all.
Michael: It’s interesting reading the cuttings about you because it’s almost as if this role was your destiny because you described yourself as a disease without order from a very early age.
Parkinsons D: Yes I grew up absolutely loving this tag. Right back to Greek ties people were trying to work out what demons had gotten into folk. It was thought being nondescript for centuries was quite a lark.
Parkinsons D: No I didn’t actually. Because it was something that I’d loved for a long time and suddenly the press were onto me, the demon stuff was gone and now they were going to tag me. I’d joked in the past that I’d like a nickname but it’s like be careful what you wish for. Suddenly I wasn’t a fantasy. Jeez I’ve got to take this seriously, what if I make a mess of it? So I thought about it for a long time and I changed my mind a number of times over about a century or 2. And then I literally woke up one morning and went, “what are you talking about, of course you’re gonna get a name!” “The Shaking Palsy” – but I wasn’t going to be the guy that named me, somebody else beat me to it.
Michael: And what about when you got the name, was it really what you expected?
Parkinsons D: Well at first I thought it was a bit of a boring name, sorry Mike, no offence, but it is a bit dull. And then BAM its everywhere. It is a bit overwhelming because you go into a supermarket and your name is on a poster “CURE PARKINSONS”. And that’s a sentence I never thought I’d be saying on national television.
Michael: Don’t get them any more excited than they are already for god’s sake! But really there’s no hope of beating you is there?
Parkinsons D: Absolutely not! But if I am honest, there are a few things that are beginning to niggle me, gene therapy, research, deep brain stimulation, exercising and eating advice. I could tell you right now how to beat me, they are getting close but too much info is keeping the focus away from the answers. I am glad you asked so I can get another smokescreen ready
Michael: Well I’m glad we could be of help. You do the strangest things to people, there’s a chap over there and his hands are strange and go in strange postures.
Parkinsons D: I think a screwdriver goes in there, a sonic screwdriver. Maybe thats the doctor you should be asking. DBS indeed!
Michael: Do you know the one thing I’d like is a sonic screwdriver.
Parkinsons D: We’ll get you one.
Michael: Wouldn’t that solve all your problems?
Parkinsons D: Yeah it would, but its an imaginary thing! Tough!
Michael: Did they make any drugs you are scared of?
Parkinsons D: I’ve been in training for a very long time. So not really, you just have to get on with it, don’t you. Levadopa and Ropinerole are all very well but its like treating a broken wrist with aspirin, good on symtom no use on cure
Michael: I don’t know! Where do you get you’re stamina from?
Parkinsons D: No, the present research is disjointed, one ends, then another one in about seven weeks, and the findings are the same. What a waste.
Michael: See there’s mysteries out there. Because you’ve got a weak spot, haven’t you?
Parkinsons D: Have I?
Michael: In the genes series, it’s hinted at.
Parkinsons D: Well you see you go back to the sixties and the Dr travelled round and then they got excited and produced a drug, then nothing, nothing since 1967. It’s incredible!