Former EastEnders actor and documentarian Ross Kemp is fronting a new programme about the difficulties of dealing with Alzheimer's. His new show, Ross Kemp: Living With Dementia, focuses on those that are suffering, particularly during the coronavirus lockdown. But the issue hits a personal nerve with the actor, as his friend and fellow ex-Enders actress, Barbara Windsor, has been battling Alzheimer's since the diagnosis in 2014 and sadly no longer recognises her former co-star.
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Speaking in an article for The Sun ahead of the programme, Ross writes: "I've been in Barbara Windsor's house for just a few minutes. I'm sitting down with a cup of tea and a biscuit with my friend of three decades. I'm taken aback, but I can't show it." He continued: "Barbara was my TV mum on EastEnders and is hilariously funny and vivacious, with a rapier wit – we've always had a giggle, on and off set. But now she clearly has no idea who I am."
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Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014
Ross' heartbreaking update comes after Barbara's husband, Scott Mitchell, explained that her disease had deteriorated over recent times. Speaking to the Sunday Mirror earlier this year, Scott, who married Barbara in 2000 and will also appear in Ross' new documentary, said: "Constantly, she does not realise where we are, even in the house. She will ask me, 'When are we going home?' Sometimes she will ask me about people who have already passed away, as if they are still here."
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Ross will chat to Barbara's husband Scott during the documentary
The 56-year-old continued: "That is something she does regularly about her own parents. It is a very difficult one. Barbara will often say to me: 'Do you know how to get in touch with my mum? I'd like to have a chat with her. I haven't seen her for ages, I need to see her.'" However, despite this sad turn of events, Scott confirmed that he and his wife often enjoy each other's company. The former actor said: "'The lovely thing is, she's still got that lovely sense of fun within her. She still loves to sit there and giggle. I make her laugh, she makes me laugh."
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