Barbara Windsor has Alzheimer's disease, husband reveals

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He confirmed that the couple had discussed going public and even though she agreed he admits she may forget their talk in time to come, saying 'if she forgets that she gave me her blessing, well, I'll just have to deal with that'.

The actress first appeared on stage at the age of 13 and her first film role was in The Belles of St Trinian's in 1954.

"Her husband Scott has given an interview announcing she was diagnosed with Alzheimers four years ago".

And she told of the relief the family felt when they learned her father had Alzheimer's, because it meant they finally knew the reason for the changes in his behaviour.

'She often asks me, "Do the public know that I'm not well?"

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He said he was disclosing her condition because the public is "naturally drawn" to the actress, and she, in turn, loves talking to them.

Phillip told how, in recent weeks, her condition had accelerated.

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, in which build-up of abnormal proteins causes nerve cells to die.

More than 5 million people suffer from the disease in the U.S., where it is the 6th leading cause of death.

He tweeted: "Very proud of Scott and Barbara for speaking openly about Barbara's diagnosis".

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However, the producer was reluctant to close the door fully on such a huge character which led to Scott having a frank conversation with him about some of the situation with Barbara, without giving the full picture.

A small circle of friends who had begun to notice her occasional confusion were told shortly after the diagnosis, he said.

Ruth encouraged people with loved ones who have Alzheimer's to seek support from charities for themselves so they don't have to suffer alone.

Scott, 55, revealed to The Sun that his wife has been taking medication to manage her symptoms - but tragically her memory loss has worsened.

Her first words after hearing of the diagnosis were "I'm so sorry", Mitchell said.

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"I don't want it to come across that she's sitting there unable to communicate, because she's not". He concluded: "I'm doing this because I want us to be able to go out and, if something isn't quite right, it will be OK because people will now know that she has Alzheimer's and will accept it for what it is".

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