EastEnders actor Jake Wood has revealed his former co-star, Dame Barbara Windsor, turned to him for advice following her diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease. The iconic actress was diagnosed with dementia in 2014, with her husband Scott Mitchell confirming the heartbreaking news with her fans in May. Jake, who plays Max Branning in the BBC soap, spoke to Daily Star about the 81-year-old star's diagnosis, saying: "I spoke to Barbara about it quite early on and she was asking, 'Why did it happen to me?' And I didn't have an answer."
Jake Wood has opened up about Barbara Windsor's Alzheimer's diagnosis
"It's such a dreadful disease with no rhyme and reason to it and it really had an impact on me," he added. Jake has teamed up with his fellow co-stars, Adam Woodyat, Natalie Cassidy and Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell to run the London Marathon. The group are hoping to raise money for Dementia Revolution, a charity which supports the Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research UK. Speaking on GMB earlier this month, Jake explained: "I vowed never again when I ran it 20 years ago. But obviously Barbara is much loved by all of the cast at EastEnders and we love Scott. We wanted to do something to raise money and awareness of the condition."
MORE: Ross Kemp praises Barbara Windsor for her bravery after Alzheimer's diagnosis
The star was joined by Scott, who recalled the difficult moment his wife has forgot him. "Our reality is, for instance the last few weeks, her confusion is really bad," he shared. "I spend a lot of time explaining where we are. She has a lot of trouble identifying our house. She will say, 'Are we staying here tonight? Have we got clothes here?' That's the reality of what people living with dementia are going through." He continued: "I have a board where there's pictures of us from the beginning. She will suddenly say to me, 'How long have we been together'. I say, '25 years'."
Barbara and her husband Scott
Talking about her memory loss, he added: "It's now quite instant, the forgetfulness is quite instant." When asked about what he feared the most, Scott replied: "I think it's when every memory will go. When, on a constant basis, maybe one day Barbara won't know who I am. I've had it twice. I was helping her out of the bath and she suddenly looked at me very scared and said, 'Sorry, who are you?' There are no words that can describe it."
MORE: 6 fun activities Prince Harry and Meghan's children can do in Windsor
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.