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Justin Currie says idea of not performing due to Parkinson’s is ‘quite grim’

Del Amitri lead singer Justin Currie has said it is “quite grim” that he will have to stop performing one day due to Parkinson’s disease.

The 59-year-old Scottish musician revealed his diagnosis in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Tremolo programme, due to air on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking ahead on BBC One’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg ahead of the broadcast, Currie said: “I can’t play (music in) the way I would expect to, and I know it will get worse. At what rate, nobody knows.

“So I know I’m going to have to stop.

“Whereas, formerly, people like me would never want to stop, you know. We’d want to be singing in a pub at the age of 80 or something, and being dragged off by our grandchildren or something in embarrassment.

“So the idea of having to stop, that’s quite grim.”

The Glasgow-born singer reflected on how the disease has affected him and said: “I seem to have lost a bit of diaphragm control.”

He added: “It’s already changed my personality in not necessarily negative ways.

Del Amitri's Justin Currie
Justin Currie speaks to BBC presenter Laura Kuenssberg about his Parkinson’s diagnosis (BBC/PA)

“(With) any form of disability, you become aware of disability in general, and you become acutely aware of that line that disabled people have been saying for years – that there aren’t able-bodied people, there are just a lot of people who are not yet disabled.

“So I quite like that. I quite like the idea that we’re all going to go through some of these difficulties at some point in life.”

He added: “I think you do think you’re invulnerable until something proves you’re not.

“That ridiculous cliche, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, that’s not true.

“If you lose a leg you are not strong. And I am not stronger for having Parkinson’s, believe you me.”

Del Amitri formed in Glasgow in 1980, and are best known for their song Nothing Ever Happens, which peaked at number 11 in the UK singles chart.

The group have also had six albums in the top 10 in the UK albums chart.

Parkinson’s disease is a condition where parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years, according to the NHS website.

The health service says the condition, characterised by involuntary shaking of parts of the body, as well as slow movement and stiff muscles, is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra.

Celebrities including Back To The Future star Michael J Fox and Sir Billy Connolly have been diagnosed with the disease.

– Justin Currie’s interview with the BBC’s Tremolo programme will be broadcast on Radio 4 at 4.30pm on Sunday.