Tony Christie announces he’s been diagnosed with dementia but vows to ‘carry on’

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    Tony Christie has revealed he has been diagnosed with dementia.

    The 79-year-old singer shared his personal news during an appearance on Channel 4's Steph’s Packed Lunch on Thursday (January 12).

    He told host Steph McGovern he found out last year.

    READ MORE: Tony Christie exposes awkward wardrobe blunder from original Peter Kay Amarillo video

    Tony Christie said:"I said to my wife 'I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I’m starting to forget people’s names and things.'

    "She said 'Let’s go and see a specialist.'

    'I had all the tests and they said it’s an early start of dementia.

    "They started me on these tablets which slowed it right down and it’s really slowed it down."

    Joking, Tony added: "I can’t remember her name now", pointing to his wife Sue in the audience.

    Explaining how’s he adapted since receiving the diagnosis, he continued: "I have to have a TV screen on stage with me with the lyrics.

    "I don’t very often use it, it’s there just to make me feel safe."

    Presenter Steph asked what Tony is most looking forward to ahead of turning 80.

    He said: "I’m looking forward to working. I love working.

    "My grandad used to say, 'You retire, you die' and I just said I’m not going to die.

    "I’m going to carry on and carry on I feel good. I can carry on forever, that’s how I feel."

    Tony's family has a history of the disease and he admits he's worried to be tested for the condition.

    Previously speaking to the Mirror, he said: "I've noticed for a few years now that my memory has been getting worse, which is a serious concern especially as there's history of dementia in my family.

    "It's got to the point where I have to have the lyrics to all the songs I perform live written on autocue, and most of them I've been singing for half a century."

    The singer's biggest success came in 2005 when his 1971 hit (Is This The Way To) Amarillo topped the charts for seven weeks after being re-released for Comic Relief with Peter Kay.

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    The video featured comedian Peter Kay, three years after he used the track in his Phoenix Nights programme.

    Christie's other two well-known hits in the UK are I Did What I Did for Maria and Avenues and Alleyways.

    Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4 and All 4

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