Tony Christie is ‘not ashamed’ of having dementia despite taboos around illness

Tony Christie on how dementia is affecting him

Tony Christie, 80, who has partnered up with Music for Dementia, revealed in January that he had been diagnosed with the illness.

The Is This The Way To Amarillo singer is now calling on the whole nation to support carers on the UK’s third annual Thank You Day, which will see hundreds of thousands of people sing in honour of the unsung heroes.

Speaking exclusively to, Tony spoke about why he’s “not ashamed” of having dementia and why he thinks it’s important to dispel any taboos around the illness.

Tony, who has also lent his voice to a special recording of Thank You for Being a Friend with a group of specially selected carers ahead of a mass singalong on July 2, opened up about his diagnosis.

Speaking about receiving the news last year, Tony revealed it was his wife Sue who first spotted something was wrong.

“She took me to the doctor and they did all the tests on me,” he recalled. “They X-rayed me, MRI scan and all that kind of business.”

He went on to explain how, after doctors confirmed he was in the early stages of dementia, they were able to give him medication to slow down his symptoms.

“They’ve put me on tablets that have slowed it down,” he said, before issuing a powerful statement about the illness.

“I want to say I’m not ashamed of it,” he said. “Because that’s the thing, people have been ashamed of it in the past.

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“I’m not embarrassed about it, but a lot of people used to be. So many times, I’ve had people on the streets come up to me and say, ‘Thank you for what you did on television.

“‘And for not being embarrassed about it, because my family have got it and they’re embarrassed about it’.

“And I spoke about it, as well, so that people will go out and get tested for it.”

In January this year, Tony appeared on BBC Breakfast, where he spoke to presenters Nina Warhurst and Sally Nugent about living with dementia.

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Following his brave appearance on the breakfast show, fans have praised his positive attitude and transparency on the subject.

Now, Tony is urging members of the public to get involved ahead of Thank You Day next month, as he hopes the nation will all join together to honour the UK’s most under-thanked group: carers.

He said: “There’s only one month to go, so print off the sheet music, download the backing track, learn the song and then sing your heart out wherever you may be on Sunday 2 July.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in a church, at a festival, at a picnic in the park, in your bedroom on TikTok or you host an event yourself at the park or in the pub. All that matters is that you’re part of something big and special that celebrates all the diverse people and communities that make the UK great, and gives special recognition to the brilliant carers in it.”

To register your interest or simply find out more about Thank You Day and the wider ways you can get involved, visit

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