Veteran newsreader Alastair Stewart, 71, reveals dementia diagnosis following retirement

Alastair Stewart has shared his early onset vascular dementia diagnosis (Picture: Danny Martindale/WireImage)

Veteran broadcaster Alastair Stewart has revealed that he has been diagnosed with dementia.

The former ITV newsreader, 71, said that this setback in his health was why he had chosen to retire from regular broadcasting back in March.

Stewart is battling early onset vascular dementia, which he shared in an interview on Sunday morning with Camilla Tominey.

He explained that he had decided to visit his GP about six to nine months ago after he began to feel ‘a bit discombobulated’.

The presenter retired from his regular show on GB News earlier this year after a career spanning nearly five decades on air.

He hosted his final episode of Alastair Stewart And Friends, a discussion programme on GB News, in March.

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Stewart left ITV in 2020, where he had presented a range of news and current affairs programmes including the evening news, lunchtime news and News At Ten, after more than 35 years with the broadcaster.

He told GB News programme The Camilla Tominey Show on Sunday: ‘I mean, the headline story, and it is relatively dramatic I suppose, is that about six, nine months ago, I began to feel – one of my favourite words – a bit discombobulated.

‘I wasn’t becoming forgetful but things like doing your shoelaces properly – that’s how I wear these lovely moccasins now – making sure your tie was straight, remembering that the call time for your programme is four o’clock and not five o’clock, not turning up early or late, and stuff like that.

The legendary journalist retired from regular broadcasting in March, following a near 50-year career (Picture: Getty)

‘I then decided at my ripe old age of late 50s, early 60s, that I might have something wrong.’

He added that he went to see his GP and was sent for a scan which revealed he had had a serious of ‘minor strokes that are called infarct strokes’, and led to a diagnosis of vascular dementia.

According to the NHS, the common condition is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which has symptoms including slowness of thought and problems with concentration.

Stewart worked for ITV News for more than 35 years, hosting the evening news, the lunchtime news and News At Ten (Picture: Rob Evans/ITV via Getty Images)

Stewart said that, following the news, he moved to ‘a contributor contract’ at GB News and has appeared as a commentator on major news events such as the King’s Coronation for the channel.

The journalist and broadcaster also shared how the diagnosis has impacted on his day-to-day life, admitting that he’s writing down a lot more notes now and that his ‘very short-term memory is tricky’, alongside his motor skills.

He revealed that the ‘most difficult [thing] to deal with’, however, has been the impact it has had on his wife Sally.

He hopes to continue working as a contributor as much as he can (Picture: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Stewart with his wife Sally, who he is most upset about impacting with his dementia (Picture: Alan Davidson/REX/Shutterstock)

‘We’ve been married for nearly half a century, and, you know, your life partner, your lover, all of those descriptions that are personal and intimate, that person is reduced – I choose my words very carefully – almost to a carer,’ he shared.

Stewart said his wife, who has worked as a production assistant, and with whom he has four children, had to make sure he was ready before appearing for the interview and that his ‘tie was done properly’.

He added: ‘So, if you do think that there’s something wrong with you, go and see the GP, listen to what he or she says.

‘But also do remember that the people you work with and the people you live with and share your life with are the most important people in the entire world. And they are there if you’re lucky enough, as I was, to help you.’

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