Chris Kamara says the impact of apraxia on his speech left people calling him a drunk

Watch: Chris Kamara reveals why it took him so long to share his apraxia diagnosis

Chris Kamara has given fans an update on his apraxia diagnosis explaining how the condition has affected his speech.

Earlier this year the sports presenter revealed he was living with the neurological condition, which affects the body's motor function and often creates issues with speech.

His diagnosis forced Kamara to step away from the majority of his broadcasting roles, most notably on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday.

In a new interview on ITV's This Morning the popular broadcaster discussed his condition and revealed his apraxia difficulties after doctors discovered his thyroid was underperforming.

Read more: Aphasia: Celebrities who've battled the same devastating condition as Bruce Willis

"People were Tweeting me or asking my friends, 'Is he OK? Is something wrong with him? Is he a drunk? He's slurring his words. He sounds slow," he told hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary.

Appearing alongside his friend Ben Shepard to promote their upcoming documentary Lost For Words the duo said they hoped the documentary would help others affected by similar issues.

"My voice was my life so it was hard to accept, that’s why I kept it quiet," Kamara revealed. "I thought there’s no way you can tell anyone."

Chris Kamara appeared on This Morning to discuss his experience with apraxia. (ITV)
Chris Kamara appeared on This Morning to discuss his experience with apraxia. (ITV)

He went to add how "personal" the making of the documentary was for him. “I am really keen to raise awareness about apraxia of speech/dyspraxia," he said. "Little is known about it which makes the diagnosis so much harder to navigate."

The former footballer previously discussed the impact the condition has had on his voice: "It feels like someone has taken over my voice box," he told Steven Bartlettt during an episode of Diary of a CEO podcast.

"The voice that used to come out would come out at 300 miles an hour, you’ve seen me on the results and Soccer Saturday, motormouth, talking and not even waiting for a breath, just keep going and going.

"Now when I hear myself or see myself on TV it’s someone else. It’s really strange."

Stock picture of Bruce Willis pictured in November 2019 before news of his aphasia diagnosis. (Getty Images)
Celebrities including Bruce Willis, Emilia Clarke and Sharon Stone have been affected by aphasia. (Getty Images)

Bruce Willis's aphasia diagnosis

It follows news that, Bruce Willis, 67, has stepped away from acting after his family revealed he had been diagnosed with a health condition called aphasia, a similar condition to apraxia in which a person has trouble speaking and understanding.

In March 2022 the star's family announced news of the star's diagnosis via Instagram with daughter Rumer Willis, ex-wife, Demi Moore, and current wife Emma Heming Willis posting the same picture of the Die Hard actor wearing a dressing gown and sunglasses with a towel on his head.

"To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities," the accompanying caption read. "As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him."

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The post went on to thank fans for their "love, compassion and support" during this "really challenging time".

Willis isn't the only celebrity to make his health condition public: Emilia Clarke, Sharon Stone, Terry Jones, Gabby Giffords, and the late Patricia Neal have also opened up about their experiences with aphasia.

Stock picture of the family pictured together in 2019. (Getty Images)
Ex-wife Demi Moore and daughter Rumer Willis announced the news on social media, the family pictured together in 2019. (Getty Images)

How does apraxia related to aphasia?

According to National Aphasia Association both aphasia and apraxia are speech disorders, and both can result from brain injury most often to areas in the left side of the brain.

"However apraxia is different from aphasia in that it is not an impairment of linguistic capabilities but rather of the more motor aspects of speech production," the site reveals. "People with aphasia who also have apraxia may be further limited in their ability to compensate for the speech impairment by using informative gestures."