Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I take my hat off to... John Suchet

Today... I take my hat off to John Suchet.

John Suchet was 'the face' of ITN's Early Evening News during the mid 90's. He has reported on momentous events such as the revolution in Iran, and he's won awards as a newsreader. He has anchored or contributed to countless special event programmes, including royal occasions (he was one of the main commentators on ITN's coverage of Princess Diana's funeral), the Budget and ITN's election coverage.

John's younger brother is David Suchet, a famous British actor, best known for his role as Agatha Christie's great detective Hercule Poirot in the long-running British TV dramatic series Poirot.

Earlier this month, John Suchet spoke publicly for the first time, about one of the toughest events in his life. Dementia is slowly robbing him of his wife of more than 20 years, Bonnie.

In a number of appearances and interviews across various news channels, John spoke touchingly of how Bonnie began to develop symptoms of the devastating brain disease in her early 60s, (she is now aged 67). In a very moving interview on BBC News he said:

"I've gone from being a lover to a carer."

His wife was diagnosed with dementia three years ago, after sporadic instances of forgetfulness and confusion.

Doctors think Bonnie Suchet has Alzheimer's disease. Her husband prefers to call it 'the A word'.

Whilst it is distressing to see how John Suchet has been pushed to the brink, in the face of the problems that are challenging him and his beloved wife and in his efforts to deliver the best care for her, I think he is very brave and has done something extremely positive in highlighting this issue... and inspired the debate that has followed, on the issues of Aging, Dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

It is for this reason, for his courage and to support him, that I take my hat off to John Suchet today!

You can read more about John Suchet on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Like John, many carers need more support. Dementia is not just a natural part of aging; it is a physical condition of the brain that robs people of their lives.

Commenting on John Suchet speaking publicly about his wife's dementia, Neil Hunt the Chief Executive of the Alzheimer's Society said:

"Sadly, John and Bonnie are not alone. As the population ages, it is estimated that over a million of us will be diagnosed with dementia in the next ten years. We urgently need to invest more to care for people today and find a cure tomorrow."

More information on these issues can be found here:

BBC - Headroom - Wellbeing guide - Alzheimer's Disease

For Dementia > "Every dementia carer should have an Admiral Nurse"

Carers Direct