Resort comedy legend opens up about mum at dementia event

Johnnie Casson at the dementia awareness event at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Johnnie Casson at the dementia awareness event at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

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Comedy legend Johnnie Casson spoke about his mum’s battle with dementia as he attended an awareness event at Victoria Hospital.

Betty lived with the brain disorder for 10 years before she died aged 93 – but her sense of humour stayed with her until the very end, Johnnie, 73, said.

“My mum was very comical,” he said. “When she had dementia she knew who I was but she didn’t recognise other family members.

“She lived in Halifax in West Yorkshire and when I did shows there she used to love to heckle me.

“I couldn’t handle it. I went to the other end of the stage to get away from her. She would shout at me.

“She was very funny.”

Johnnie and his wife Anne Marie said they wanted to support Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s campaign to raise awareness of dementia.

Funds raised at the event, held on Friday, and at a forthcoming event at Clifton Hospital on Thursday, will go to the Blue Skies Hospitals Fund’s ‘Peace of Mind Appeal’ to raise money to enhance care for dementia patients and their families.

Johnnie, who lives in Blackpool and shot to fame on ITV’s The Comedians and whose band The Cresters once toured with The Beatles added: “The NHS gets a lot of stick but I think we’re lucky to have it.”

Comedian Mick Miller will open the event at Clifton at 10am.