Mail’s Ashton makes brave return to TV duty

Neil Ashton, the football news correspondent of the Daily Mail, returned to his duties as a Sky Sports presenter this morning having revealed that his recent absences from Sunday Supplement had been caused by Bell’s Palsy.

The Mail's Neil Ashton, left, received last year's Sports News Writer trophy from doyen John Jackson
Neil Ashton, left, receiving the SJA’s Sports News Writer award from John Jackson

SJA award-winner Ashton made his announcement on Twitter ahead of the football discussion show.

“Tomorrow will be the first time I’ve presented the Sunday Supplement since I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a condition causing facial paralysis,” Ashton wrote.

“It has not been much fun and the initial temptation is to hide away during the recovery (which I’m assured will be 100 per cent given time).

“Hopefully it will not be too much of a distraction and will not affect your enjoyment of the show. In the meantime please bear with me over the next few weeks, and thank you for all the messages of goodwill during my absence.

“My friends, plus the amazing support from colleagues at the Mail and Sky Sports, have made it easier to deal with. See you tomorrow.”

Bell’s Palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of a single nerve. It is not usually a permanent condition, and can often recover even without treatment, though there are risks of damage to eyesight.

The Association sends its best wishes to Ashton.

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