AN award-winning comedy writer is launching a new show based on his incurable illness.

The Vicar of Dibley writer, Paul Mayhew-Archer, will be bringing his show Incurable Optimist to venues in the North-East as part of his UK Tour.

The comedian started writing puppet shows aged just ten and has produced hundreds of episodes of radio comedy including award-winning, written and performed by Andy Hamilton, The Million Pound Radio Show and Old Harry’s Game.

He has also script edited many TV series including Spitting Image, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Miranda, and he’s co-written episodes of My Hero, Mrs Brown’s Boys and the TV film Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot starring Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench.

But when he was 58 and the Commissioning Editor for BBC Radio 4 Comedy, he noticed that his handwriting was getting smaller and his arms were not moving normally when he walked.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but instead of treating it as “the end of the world”, he thought of it as an opportunity.

Two years ago, he made a documentary called Parkinson’s: The Funny Side for which he won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Presenter of the Year, last year he made his first appearance at The Comedy Store, and now he is taking his hugely successful show on a highly-anticipated run at the Soho Theatre.

Last year, he performed a one-man show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and his latest show aims to share the “therapeutic power of comedy and laughter from a man who simply adores making people laugh”. Following the show, he will be answering the audience’s questions too.

The show will be performed at The Witham, in Barnard Castle on June 1; The Queen's Hall in Hexham on May 31 and Gosforth Civic Theatre in Newcastle tonight.