Fiona Phillips, 62, blames her early dementia diagnosis on 11 years of 3am starts for breakfast television as the former GMTV host reveals her  symptoms might be slowed by a groundbreaking drug trial
Spread the love


Fiona Phillips has revealed that she believes her 11-year stint of presenting breakfast television could be the reason why she got Alzheimer’s at such a young age.

The television presenter, who announced that she had been diagnosed with the disease in July, presented ITV‘s GMTV between 1997 and 2008 which meant she would have to get up at around 3am on the days she was hosting the show.

The star, 62, who worked alongside Eamonn Holmes on the show which began at 6am, said: ‘I ask myself why I got this dreadful disease. I wonder whether all the years of getting up so early when I was working on GMTV contributed to me getting Alzheimer’s so young.’

The star, who is married to This Morning editor Martin Frizell, was told she had the illness in 2022. 

She was put on a drugs trial in an attempt to slow down the symptoms, something which she says appears to be working for her.

GMTV's Fiona Phillips, 62, has questioned whether a decade of 3am work starts has contributed to her dementia battle as she discussed her drug trial

GMTV’s Fiona Phillips, 62, has questioned whether a decade of 3am work starts has contributed to her dementia battle as she discussed her drug trial

The television presenter, who announced that she had been diagnosed with the disease in July, presented ITV ¿s GMTV between 1997 and 2008 which meant she would have to get up at around 3am on the days she was hosting the show

The television presenter, who announced that she had been diagnosed with the disease in July, presented ITV ‘s GMTV between 1997 and 2008 which meant she would have to get up at around 3am on the days she was hosting the show

In an interview with Women&Home magazine, Fiona said: ‘I’m on a clinical trial and the signs are positive. 

‘I’m taking part in a revolutionary drug trial that’s trying to find a cure. It involves a brand-new drug and a placebo, and I have no idea which one I’m on.

‘When I went for my six-month check-up in October, they did cognitive tests to see where my brain was at, which showed that I was in the same place as I was the previous year.

‘I’m hopeful that the drug is holding the disease where it is. I’d rather not have to be on the trial but I’m very grateful I am. 

‘There are risks, including bleeding on the brain, so I’m a guinea pig, but there’s a real chance it could help.’

Fiona, who has two sons with Mark, stunned her millions of fans earlier this year when she revealed that like both of her parents, she had Alzheimer’s. 

Yet the star says she is ‘pretending’ that she doesn’t have the illness so she can carry on enjoying her life.

She still meets friends for coffee and goes for walks, though admitted that Mark- her husband of 26 years – worries about her when he’s working.

In an interview with Women&Home magazine, Fiona opened up about the drug trial she is currently on which will hopefully slow down the symptoms

In an interview with Women&Home magazine, Fiona opened up about the drug trial she is currently on which will hopefully slow down the symptoms 

¿I know I can still have a great life. I¿m just getting on with things. I¿m pretending it hasn¿t happened and not giving it any space in my life at the moment'

The star says she is ¿pretending¿ that she doesn¿t have the illness so she can carry on enjoying her life.

‘I know I can still have a great life. I’m just getting on with things. I’m pretending it hasn’t happened and not giving it any space in my life at the moment’

The journalist has heaped praise on her husband Martin Frizell - who is the editor of ITV's This Morning - and described him as 'amazing' (pictured together in 2013)

The journalist has heaped praise on her husband Martin Frizell – who is the editor of ITV’s This Morning – and described him as ‘amazing’ (pictured together in 2013) 

¿I know Martin worries about what I¿m doing when he¿s at work or has to go out in the evening, and whether I¿m eating. But this isn¿t me now. I¿m not about to give up. I¿ve still got so much to look forward to¿

‘I know Martin worries about what I’m doing when he’s at work or has to go out in the evening, and whether I’m eating. But this isn’t me now. I’m not about to give up. I’ve still got so much to look forward to’

'My diagnosis is definitely not all doom and gloom. There is still a lot of light in the darkness, and you¿ve always got to look for that¿

‘My diagnosis is definitely not all doom and gloom. There is still a lot of light in the darkness, and you’ve always got to look for that’

Fiona presented GMTV for more than a decade before leaving the show (pictured alongside Eamonn Holmes)

Fiona presented GMTV for more than a decade before leaving the show (pictured alongside Eamonn Holmes)

‘I know I can still have a great life. I’m just getting on with things. I’m pretending it hasn’t happened and not giving it any space in my life at the moment. Or as little as I can. I’ve still got so much I want to do.

‘I know Martin worries about what I’m doing when he’s at work or has to go out in the evening, and whether I’m eating. But this isn’t me now. I’m not about to give up. I’ve still got so much to look forward to.’

Fiona, who left GMTV in December 2008 for family reasons, said that since her diagnosis she speaks her mind more and has become more ‘honest’ with people.

She added that nobody has reacted badly to her more candid comments.

‘Martin says I have no filter now, and it’s true,’ said Fiona. 

‘I come out with some funny things. I’ve become more honest with people, which I don’t see as a negative thing. 

‘No one has reacted badly, and most of the time I’m complimenting people and saying things I would have thought but not blurted out. 

I think Martin gets a bit exasperated at times but all my friends are used to it now. 

‘My diagnosis is definitely not all doom and gloom. There is still a lot of light in the darkness, and you’ve always got to look for that.’

Please get in touch with Alzheimer’s Society if you need support on 0333 150 3456 or visit alzheimers.org.uk. 



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *