Thursday 12 December 2019

DJ David ‘Kid’ Jensen on his Parkinson’s disease: I was afraid to speak out

The DJ, nicknamed Kid, has been living with the disease for five years.

David Jensen at the funeral of Bee Gee Robin Gibb
David Jensen at the funeral of Bee Gee Robin Gibb

By Kerri-Ann Roper, Press Association Entertainment Editor

Veteran broadcaster David Jensen has told of his fear at revealing he has Parkinson’s disease, because he thought people “might think less of me”.

The Radio 1 stalwart and DJ, also known by his nickname ‘Kid’, has been living with the disease for the past five years.

The 67-year-old disclosed his condition in an official statement at the beginning of the week, explaining he wanted “to demonstrate that it is possible to continue with so many aspects of one’s life”.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he explained he was “afraid to speak out. I thought people might think less of me”.

He added: “If a tremor started in my hands, I became very self-conscious and self-obsessive, worrying the whole world was looking at me.”

Jensen currently still presents on BBC Local Radio and also hosts another weekend show titled Kid Jensen’s Flashback 40.

He told the paper: “I want to show it’s not a death sentence. That it’s something you can live with and that there are far worse things that can happen to you than Parkinson’s.”

David Jensen Sony Radio Awards

The Canadian-born radio personality made a name for himself on UK airwaves after he joined Radio Luxembourg in 1968 aged just 18, where he gained his moniker “Kid” because he was the youngest radio presenter in Europe at that time.

In his initial statement, he said: “When Billy Connolly and my old colleague, Sky Sports’ Dave Clark announced they had Parkinson’s and started to raise funds for Parkinson’s charities, I felt it was time for me, with the support of my friends and family to reveal my situation.

“I hope to be available to try and raise further awareness of Parkinson’s and to be on hand to aid fundraising activities. Parkinson’s is a neurological condition that causes problems in the brain and over time gets worse with no cure yet discovered.

“I am so appreciative of the support I have received from my wife Gudrun, who I have been married to for 43 wonderful years, my three children and seven grandchildren, who are all aware that I have Parkinson’s and continue to provide so much love, support and understanding.”

PA Media

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