Samuel West issues update on mum Prunella Scales amid dementia battle: ‘Really good’ | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV
Samuel West, 55, has opened up once again about his mother Prunella Scales’ battle with dementia, but had some good news about her memory. The Channel 5 star was beyond elated that she can still remember him and that he has two children of his own.
Prunella, best known for playing Sybil Fawlty in the BBC comedy Fawlty Towers, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease back in 2014 and stepped back from acting in 2020.
In a recent chat with The Sunday Telegraph, Samuel shared how his mother is doing and was thrilled to reveal she still recognises her family despite suffering with the relentless illness.
He said: “You can never quite tell with dementia what sort of personality it’s going to leave a person with, but on the whole she’s quite cheery. At the moment I’m interviewing them both about their lives, because I want to write a book.”
He explained he interviewed his dad twice a week for the first 10 weeks of lockdown, but needs more patience the it comes to interviewing his mum.
“You have to be more patient as she has almost no short-term memory at all,” he said.
“She still recognises us and she knows I have two children, so that’s really good.”
The All Creatures Great and Small actor also revealed Prunella can still remember details from decades ago.
“We did a poetry project in lockdown in which they got her to record a poem which it turned out she’d learned when she was a child,” he recalled.
“And he has his granddaughter and his two great-grandsons living in the house with him.”
He went on: “Dementia has largely taken away my mother’s personality but it has left her in a fairly good mood most of the time.
“Although she’s quite deaf now, too, which makes conversation difficult, she’s cheery – which we’re all enormously grateful for.”
Earlier this year, Samuel admitted he “longed” for another conversation with Prunella.
He said to The Big Issue in October: “If I could have one last good conversation with anyone… my mother springs to mind because she has dementia.
“She and I have had a very intense and fruitful relationship through our lives, but it hasn’t all been plain sailing.
“And certainly there were things that we needed to talk about.”
He added: “When your parent gets dementia, you realise that that’s not going to happen.
“The things I want to ask about, I’m never going to get answers to now. But that’s OK.”
The All Creatures Great and Small special will be broadcast on Channel 5 at 9pm on Christmas Eve.