Vicky: I’m forming a dementia sufferers choir to ease illness
VICKY Mcclure is to tell the intensely personal story of how music helped her beloved gran battle severe dementia.
The Bafta-winning star of Line of Duty and This Is England believes her heartbreaking experiences will help others tackle the disease.
The actress’s nan, Iris, died of dementia in 2015.
Vicky said: “Iris was an extremely no-nonsense kind of woman and very hard-working, lovely lady.
“She was diagnosed with dementia about five years ago.
“She had a scream, it went on for such a long time and it was horrible.
“It must have been horrific for her, but all she would do all day was scream and it was really distressing. The only time we found we were on the same page is when we were singing a song.
“Sometimes it would be a nursery rhyme, or something like Doris Day.
“And she lightened up and she was happy and could join in. It was a great discovery.
“Even if we were singing around her and she wasn’t joining in she was calm and she wasn’t screaming, she was quite peaceful.”
Nottingham-born Vicky, 35, will front a two-part documentary in autumn looking at the relationship between dementia and music. And she revealed she will form a choir of up to 17 dementia sufferers so they can benefit from the music.
Science backs her belief it can improve the mood of some dementia sufferers. She will take an MRI scan and look into why music helps when filming begins next week.
Speaking at the Sheffield Documentary Festival, Vicky added: “This project is an education piece and a beautiful story.
“I hope someone might get something from it. It might make someone’s life easier, people might realise how powerful music is. My nana is going to leave a legacy now and I am really proud of her for that.”
Vicky Mcclure: My Dementia Choir will be on BBC1 in autumn.
FAMILY STORY Gran Iris, left, with star Vicky