Timothy West, 88, candidly details the heartbreaking effect dementia has had on his wife Prunella Scales, 91, as he says: ‘I miss her companionship as my best friend’
Timothy West has heartbreakingly admitted he misses the ‘companionship’ of his best friend and wife Prunella Scales amid her dementia battle.
The actor, 88, who appeared in EastEnders and Coronation Street, says he can no longer discuss plays or concerts with his wife because she doesn’t remember.
Timothy says he longs for her ‘creative energy’ and the brilliant ideas she had and parties she would love to go to with people she had newly met.
The soap star, who said he spends a lot of time reassuring her during periods of confusion, said: ‘
Timothy said: ‘I miss Pru’s companionship as my best friend.
Candid: Timothy West has heartbreakingly admitted he misses the ‘companionship’ of his best friend and wife Prunella Scales amid her dementia battle
Times gone by: The actor, 88, who appeared in EastEnders and Coronation Street, says he can no longer discuss plays or concerts with his wife because she doesn’t remember
‘She doesn’t have much awareness of time so when she joins me, her face lights up as if we’ve been apart for days. The look on her face makes me realise how much I love her.’
He added: ‘She seems to manage incredibly well with things, as I try to, but surely she must sometimes wonder whether she is going to be allowed to end her days in this house that has been so dear to us.
‘Not recognising me hasn’t been a problem but it will come, I’m sure.’
Timothy, who says he first noticed changes in his wife, 91, in 2001, says that the condition is now ‘part of their lives’ as they adapt to accommodate her needs.
Prunella, best known for playing Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, ended her 67-year acting career in early 2020 following her diagnosis.
The couple, who starred in Great Canal Journeys together, were asked about filming a series after Pru’s health had deteriorated and the couple had been privately detailing with her condition away from the public eye.
However, deciding to lift the lid on their battle, Timothy and Pru made the decision to film the series anyway and let viewers in on their day-to-day lives.
Prunella and Timothy were forced to quit their Channel 4 TV show, Great Canal Journeys due to her ailing health in January 2020.
Career: Prunella, best known for playing Sybil Fawlty (pictured) in Fawlty Towers, ended her 67-year acting career in early 2020 following her 2014 Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis
Coping: Prunella and Timothy were forced to quit their Channel 4 TV show, Great Canal Journeys due to her ailing health in January 2020
Brave: Pictured together in When We Were Married in 1986
Giving an insight into a typical day for the couple, Timothy revealed that Pru likes to sleep a lot and often retires to bed for a ‘snooze’ after having breakfast together.
However the actress is still every inch the entertainer and Timothy says she enjoyed a party for her birthday in the summer as well as attending three Proms.
The couple, who ‘fell in love over crosswords packets of Polo mints’, first addressed Pru’s condition after she began struggling with her lines on stage in the early noughties.
Timothy explained that by 2003, Pru, who was performing in A Woman of No Importance, was relying on ‘idiot boards’ to get her through the show.
They did not receive a formal diagnosis until 10 years later and he explained that the progression of her illness has ‘taken a very long time’.
Their Fawlty Towers co-star Andrew Sachs died in 2016, just four years after he was diagnosed by doctors.
However Timothy is very modest about his experience of caring for Pru, and admitted he has not found himself being more patient due to the disease.
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