Vicky McClure has opened up about her heartbreaking family battle with dementia

Dementia is a disease that effects not only its victim but the loved ones around them. Line of Duty star Vicky McClure reminded us all of that in a recent interview as she opened up about her late grandmother’s struggle with the illness.

Vicky, who lost her grandmother to dementia in 2015, appeared on ITV’s This Morning on Tuesday where she told hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about the ‘extremely sad’ reality of the disease.

Vicky McClure dementia
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Explaining her family’s experience, she said: ‘When anything hits your family or your real life, you need to know everything. It was like, where do we go from here? It was tricky. I wanted to do as much as I could.’

The BAFTA award-winning actress recalled that her grandmother, named Iris, deteriorated towards the end of her life, so much so that she ‘wasn’t able to leave the house.’ However, she would always respond to her daughter’s (Vicky’s mum) singing voice. ‘My mum would sing and grandmother would spark up,’  Vicky continued. ‘You’d get a glimmer of hope.’

This experience inspired Vicky, who plays Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming in the hit BBC crime drama, to support the Dementia Choir – a charity she has teamed up with for her new two-part documentary, Our Dementia Choir.

The show premiers on BBC One on Thursday 2 May at 8pm and sees Vicky highlighting the important link between music and memory for people who have dementia. With the help of specialists from the fields of medicine, music therapy and performance, Vicky will form a 20-member choir who will then go on to perform in public.

Speaking about the show, Vicky said: ‘Yeah obviously it’s extremely sad [to have dementia] in my family but the Dementia Choir was emotional because I could see the choir doing those incredible things.

She added: ‘Music can change your mood. I’ve had loads of brain scans. The results are outstanding.’