A TRIB­UTE TO TERRY

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

ALZHEIMER’S Re­search UK has paid trib­ute to its late pa­tron Sir Terry Pratch­ett, as a new doc­u­men­tary based on his un­fin­ished au­to­bi­og­ra­phy pre­pares to air.

Back in Black is billed as a poignant and hu­mor­ous look at the Bea­cons­field au­thor’s life. Star­ring Paul Kaye as Sir Terry, the film is told in his own words with as­sis­tance from Neil Gaiman, Val McDer­mid and his long-serv­ing as­sis­tant and close friend, Rob Wilkins.

As well as his jour­ney to suc­cess, the doc­u­men­tary will chart his long bat­tle with Pos­te­rior Cor­ti­cal Atro­phy, a vari­ant of Alzheimer’s dis­ease. Sir Terry died in March 2015 at the age of 66, hav­ing been di­ag­nosed in 2007.

Sir Terry was the cre­ator of the hugely pop­u­lar Dis­c­world se­ries of fan­tasy nov­els, sell­ing more than 85 mil­lion copies world- wide. He be­came Pa­tron of Alzheimer’s Re­search UK (then Alzheimer’s Re­search Trust) in 2008.

Hilary Evans, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Alzheimer’s Re­search UK, said: “Sir Terry en­riched the lives of many, through both his pro­found ef­fect on lit­er­a­ture and those liv­ing with de­men­tia.

“In 2008, he took to the stage at our an­nual con­fer­ence to speak pub­licly about his de­men­tia di­ag­no­sis for the first time.

“From that mo­ment Sir Terry, as a Pa­tron of Alzheimer’s Re­search UK, waged war on de­men­tia, help­ing to en­gen­der huge pub­lic aware­ness of a con­di­tion of­ten swept un­der the car­pet.

“This per­sonal cru­sade was backed by a $1 mil­lion do­na­tion to re­search from his own pocket. Sir Terry’s pow­er­ful calls on gov­ern­ment to in­crease re­search fund­ing, cou­pled with an open­ness about his con­di­tion that led to in­flu­en­tial doc­u­men­taries and pub­lic ap­pear­ances, helped change the con­ver­sa­tion around de­men­tia.

“Sir Terry was and re­mains an enor­mous mo­ti­va­tion to peo­ple with de­men­tia, our sup­port­ers, staff and the thou­sands of sci­en­tists who are bat­tling this con­di­tion.”

Back in Black airs on BBC Two at 9pm on Satur­day.

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