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Baddiel warns of dementia 'epidemic' in new film

17 February 2017 08:19

David Baddiel says there needs to be a wider discussion about dementia

David Baddiel says there needs to be a wider discussion about dementia

Comedian David Baddiel is trying to highlight the "epidemic" of dementia as a killer of older people in a new documentary.

The Trouble With Dad focuses on the 52-year-old star's father Colin - a dementia sufferer - and is aimed at raising awareness about the disease.

Speaking to the Radio Times, the star said: "There is no situation where it is straightforwardly OK to put someone on camera who is not totally informed about it due to dementia, as is the case here.

"But the alternative is that nobody ever talks about this, and we must. It's an epidemic - the largest killer of older people, bigger than cancer. We must bring that into the light."

The Channel 4 documentary looks at the reality of living with the disease and the impact it has on close family members - focusing on the relationship between dad Colin, Baddiel and his brother Ivor.

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24-hour care

Housebound Colin is 82-years-old and suffers from Pick's disease - a rare form of the condition. As a result, he receives 24-hour care.

Pick's is only common in around 5% of dementia sufferers and can see them become sexually disinhibited and prone to swearing and rude behaviour.

Father of two Baddiel told the magazine: "He doesn't understand who the kids are any more. He was never a cuddly grandpa. He doesn't always know Ivor and me.

"He understands he has sons, and can recognise pictures of us from our teens, but he seems to think we should still look like that."

The comedian says weekly visits with his father leave him feeling "exhausted".

"He's hard work. Sometimes he's not too mad, but others he's very thankless. He can be extremely exasperating," the star added.

Baddiel says he is anticipating criticism and says filming the programme was difficult, but he feels it's important that there is a "wider dialogue" about the disease.

The film is set to air on Channel 4 on February 20.