Fiona Phillips in 2018
Fiona Phillips has disclosed that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
In a new interview with The Mirror, the 62-year-old shared that she first sensed something was wrong in late 2021, when she began experiencing debilitating anxiety.
She and her husband, This Morning boss Martin Frizell, initially suspected it could be a symptom of menopause, and when she began HRT treatment, the medication relieved some of her symptoms, but the “brain fog” remained.
The former GMTV host finally received her early-stage Alzheimer’s diagnosis around 18 months ago.
“No one has known because I haven’t been blaring out loud, ‘oh yeah, I’ve got Alzheimer’s’,” she told the newspaper.
“And I have been so worried people will judge me or put labels on me. It’s a horrible bloody secret to divulge.”
Fiona Phillips and Martin Frizell in 2016
Fiona explained: “This disease has ravaged my family and now it has come for me. And all over the country there are people of all different ages whose lives are being affected by it – it’s heartbreaking.
“I just hope I can help find a cure which might make things better for others in the future.”
Fiona said her diagnosis hit particularly hard as Alzheimer’s has already “impacted my life in so many ways”, with both of her parents being diagnosed during their lifetimes, as well as numerous other family members.
“It’s something I might have thought I’d get at 80,” she added. “But I was still only 61 years old [when I was diagnosed].”
“I felt more angry than anything else because this disease has already impacted my life in so many ways.”
Currently, Fiona is taking part in a clinical trial for the drug Miridesap, which it’s hoped could revolutionise the treatment of Alzheimer’s by slowing – or even reversing – its symptoms.
“There is still an issue with this disease that the public thinks of old people, bending over a stick, talking to themselves,” she noted.
“But I’m still here, getting out and about, meeting friends for coffee, going for dinner with Martin and walking every day.”
After making her start in local broadcasting, Fiona began hosting GMTV in 1993, and remained with the show until 2008.
She has also presented on shows like Watchdog, Lorraine and Panorama, and took part in the third series of Strictly Come Dancing back in 2005.