Alastair Stewart has disclosed that he is suffering from dementia and has endured a series of minor strokes, which were discovered after he began to feel “powerless.”
The 71-year-old broadcaster retired earlier this year after nearly five decades on the airwaves.
He hosted his final episode of “Alastair Stewart And Friends,” a discussion program on GB News, in March.
He explained to his former colleague Camilla Tominey that he had been diagnosed with early vascular dementia.
“The headline, and this is relatively dramatic, in my view, is about six, nine months ago, I began to experience one of my favorite words: a little unfocused,” he said.
“I’m not becoming forgetful, but things like properly lacing up your shoelaces – that’s how I wear these lovely moccasins now – making sure your tie is straight, remembering the call time for your program is at four o’clock, not five o’clock, not turning up early or late, and things like that.”
Stewart said that after expressing his concerns to his general practitioner, scans revealed that he had experienced a series of “minor strokes called infarct strokes,” although he said he “didn’t know” they were happening.
He left his role as the lead presenter on ITV News in 2020 due to what ITN producers called a “judgment error.”
Stewart, from Hampshire, joined ITN as an industry correspondent in 1980, later becoming a foreign correspondent and news anchor for ITV and Channel 4.
According to the NHS, vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain and is estimated to affect around 180,000 people in the UK.
Urging individuals with similar symptoms to seek medical attention, Stewart added that what he found most challenging was its impact on his wife, Sally, who has four children.
“We’ve been married for nearly half a century, and, you know, your life partner, your beloved, all those personal and intimate descriptions, that person is reduced – I choose my words very carefully – almost to a caregiver,” he said.