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They are united by two things: their fascinating careers and having Parkinson’s disease. “Movers & Shakers” 

Six friends, all well-known in their careers, have come together for a special reason: to talk about living with Parkinson’s disease through a podcast that’s already touching hearts. They meet in a cozy Notting Hill pub to share the real stories of life with Parkinson’s. This group includes Paul Mayhew-Archer, known for his work on Vicar of Dibley, and Jeremy Paxman, a famous BBC presenter. With them are Rory Cellan-Jones, the former BBC technology reporter; Sir Nicholas Mostyn, a High Court Judge; Mark Mardell, a political expert from the BBC; and Gillian Lacey-Solymar, a former ‘Working Lunch’ presenter, now a management consultant and lecturer. Together, they want to help and teach others about Parkinson’s disease.

Their podcast, “Movers & Shakers,” quickly became popular, reaching the third spot on the UK podcast charts soon after its launch. It mixes informative talks, personal stories, and even some humor to cover the ups and downs of Parkinson’s. The team shares their own experiences, talks about the latest research, chats with experts, and brings in guests from around the world to cover different parts of the condition.

Sir Nicholas Mostyn explains why they chose a podcast for their project. They used to meet up every few weeks, finding comfort and support in their chats. Even though their symptoms were different, they realized they shared a lot and that talking helped a lot. So, they thought, why not let others listen to these talks through a podcast?

They wanted their podcast to feel real and welcoming, so they picked a pub in Notting Hill as their spot. Every episode is recorded there, with drinks on the table and a bunch of recording equipment set up by their producer.

Each one of them takes turns picking what to talk about, inviting different guests, and keeping the conversation open and real. They cover everything from personal stories about getting diagnosed to topics like young-onset Parkinson’s.

Mostyn wasn’t surprised when the podcast quickly got a lot of listeners, thanks to the group’s well-known members. He mentions how most people with Parkinson’s feel alone because not many join support groups. The podcast has become a way for listeners to feel part of a community, especially for those who are isolated.

The podcast doesn’t just reach people with Parkinson’s; it also aims to get doctors and medical professionals to listen. Mostyn points out that for patients, getting diagnosed is a big, life-changing moment. He hopes doctors will understand this better and give patients the time and space they need.

Mostyn might be new to podcasting, but he sees its value. Podcasts let people talk more freely and in more detail because they don’t have to rush. He’s not worried about sharing his story or what people might think. In a recording, Paxman asked him if he was concerned about people’s opinions. Mostyn replied confidently, “They’re going to think that anyway, so I don’t worry about it.”

Get ready to follow the “Movers & Shakers.”

Don’t miss the interview with the BBC Breakfast team with Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt, where the “Movers & Shakers” share more about their mission. Watch it here:

And for more about Parkinson’s, listen to the podcast episodes on Spotify.