Tony Christie reveals he has been diagnosed with dementia

The singer said he was diagnosed after his wife Sue urged him to get checked out

Tony Christie, Die Goldene Sonne 2021 von, Wunderland Kalkar, Kalkar, 28.08.2021
Tony Christie, Die Goldene Sonne 2021 von, Wunderland Kalkar, Kalkar, 28.08.2021

Tony Christie has revealed that he has been diagnosed with dementia but vowed to keep working.

The singer, 79, said he had started to forget things and that his wife Sue had told him to get checked out.

Speaking on Steph’s Packed Lunch, he 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’.

Read more: Tony Christie reveals how Amarillo’s famous chorus came about

“I had all the tests and they said, ‘It’s an early start of dementia'."

Christie said the doctor started him on medication that has "really slowed it down".

Singer Tony Christie with his wife Sue who were left terrified after their tour bus was attacked by gang of armed migrants at petrol station in Dunkirk.
Singer Tony Christie with his wife Sue, (PA Images/Alamy)

Pointing to Sue, he joked: “I can’t remember her name now.”

Christie, who is best known for his recording of (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, told host Steph McGovern that he now has a TV screen with his lyrics on stage with him in case he needs them.

The singer will turn 80 in April but revealed he has no plans to hang up his mic.

Opening up about what he was looking forward to this year, 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.

Tony Christie, V2005, Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex, Britain - 21 August 2005
Tony Christie said he feels like he can go on forever. (PA Images/Alamy)

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

Read more: What types of dementia are there? Signs and symptoms to see your GP about

The NHS says dementia is “not a single illness, but a group of symptoms caused by damage to the brain”.

It says things to look out for include memory loss, problems thinking or reasoning, or finding it hard to follow conversations or TV shows, feeling anxious, depressed or angry about memory loss, or feeling confused, even in a familiar environment.

Additional reporting from PA.

Watch: Sir Tom Jones has 'two new hips'