Advertisement

Timothy West Says Wife Prunella Scales' Dementia 'Hasn't Changed' Their Relationship 'At All'

Timothy West and Prunella Scales during a public appearance in 2017
Timothy West and Prunella Scales during a public appearance in 2017

Timothy West and Prunella Scales during a public appearance in 2017

Timothy West and Prunella Scales have spoken out about not letting the Fawlty Towers star’s diagnosis with vascular dementia affect their relationship.

In honour of the pair’s recent diamond wedding anniversary, Timothy has written a book about his and his wife’s 60-year union, which touches on his wife’s condition, which she was officially diagnosed with in 2014.

He told BBC News: “It has been something which we bear in mind all of the time, really. It’s just something you have to think of. People understand and are very helpful and sympathetic about it.

“Somehow we have coped with it and Pru doesn’t really think about it.”

Reflecting on their marriage, Timothy insisted he doesn’t “think it has changed at all” since his wife’s diagnosis, with Prunella enthusing: “I’ve got to know him better and better and better.”

Timothy West and Prunella Scales in 1976, over a decade into their marriage
Timothy West and Prunella Scales in 1976, over a decade into their marriage

Timothy West and Prunella Scales in 1976, over a decade into their marriage

He continued: “I know that things are going to change a little bit, but it’s been a long time and we’ve managed pretty well really. I don’t think we ever think, ‘Oh no’.”

“No I don’t. Not ever,” Prunella agreed. “I’ve been asked to live the rest of my life with somebody I respect very much, and I quite admire and agree with about a lot of things. And argue with about a lot of things quite happily.”

Towards the end of the interview, the couple were asked how it felt to have celebrated their 60th anniversary, with Prunella thanking her husband “for sticking with me for so long”.

“Well, we’ve done all right,” he then said, adding: “It hasn’t really been hard work, has it?”

She then responded: “No! He’s a person I like, I love, I enjoy being with.”

Timothy and Prunella married in 1963, after working together on the BBC period drama She Died Young two years earlier.

Following Prunella’s dementia diagnosis in 2014, they began fronting the Channel 4 docuseries Great Canal Journeys, which they did for 10 series after being advised by doctors to not allow Prunella’s diagnosis to “get you down”.

The couple at the wedding of King Charles and Queen Camilla
The couple at the wedding of King Charles and Queen Camilla

The couple at the wedding of King Charles and Queen Camilla

In 2015, Timothy told Piers Morgan’s Life Stories: “A lot of her has left, but we still enjoy life and there’s still a lot Pru is able to enjoy and we are able to do together.

“It develops very gradually. If you live from day to day, then it’s manageable, but it’s when you start thinking about the past, ‘what a shame she can’t do that anymore,’ or ‘she can’t appreciate that anymore’ or ‘we can’t talk about that anymore’. Then it’s sad.”

The couple eventually stepped down from their canal boating show in 2019, after which Gyles Brandrith and Sheila Hancock took over, although Timothy has continued to make occasional guest appearances.

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: