Stories From Science

Ep 9 - Surely You're Joking Mr Mayhew-Archer: Adventures Of An Incurable Optimist



Paul Mayhew-Archer is one of our best-loved comedy writers, best known for writing The Vicar of Dibley with Richard Curtis, but also producing the legendary BBC radio comedy I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. In 2011, however, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Degenerative and incurable, he reacted in the only way he knew how, with humour. Since then he has continued to laugh at Parkinson’s, and in 2016 he won ‘best presenter’ at the Grierson Awards for his BBC documentary ‘Parkinson’s: The Funny Side. He then began doing stand-up at fundraising concerts organised by Parkinson’s UK. And this Summer, he takes his one-man show Incurable Optimist to the Edinburgh Fringe. So this is a science podcast with a difference. Paul is not a scientist, but through the lens of comedy we look at what Parkinson’s is, how it’s treated, and how humour – and more importantly laughter – can be used not just to improve health, but allow us to get better at talking about the taboo subjects of illness and death.