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Derek Jacobi: Last Tango in Halifax star opens up on dementia fears in candid admission

BBC One’s Last Tango in Halifax star Derek Jacobi, 81, has admitted he fears getting dementia as he opened up about forgetting particular moments. The actor spoke out in an interview with his co-star Anne Reid MBE, who plays Celia Dawson.

I think about dementia because I’m getting old.

Derek Jacobi

The actor made the admission as the pair discussed their new series and recent news such as Alastair Stewart’s resignation from ITN after alleged misuse of social media.

Anne said: “It’s very hard for my generation… it’s ridiculous,” as Derek referred to some of the topics as a “minefield”.

He then shared his thoughts about getting older, as he added: “I think about dementia because I’m getting old.

“Every time I forget somebody’s name or lose words. You just can’t find the words ‘the flower’ it’s a f***ing daisy! But I’ve forgotten the word.”

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Derek Jacobi: Last Tango in Halifax star opened up on dementia fears (Image: BBC•GETTY)

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Derek Jacobi: Last Tango in Halifax star with his co-star Anne Reid (Image: GETTY)

He added to this week’s Radio Times: “I do The Times crossword every day, just to make sure. It’s very helpful.”

His co-star chimed: “I’ve always been a bit vague, but we work, so Derek and I are very lucky because we both have that facility to remember – well, he’s better than me.

“It must be dreadful if you can’t.

“And there are people a million times cleverer than me – no, I’m not putting myself down! Who can’t remember their simple lines.”

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Derek Jacobi: Last Tango in Halifax star opened up about the upcoming series (Image: BBC)

Derek Jacobi: Last Tango in Halifax star said he does a crossword ‘everyday’ amid dementia fears (Image: GETTY)

Derek and Anne are back together for season five of the Last Tango in Halifax, which was last on screens back in 2016.

The on-screen couple will return alongside the likes of Gillian (Nicola Walker) and Caroline (Sarah Lancashire).

Writer Sally Wainwright has spoken out about the changes to the upcoming four-part series, revealing she wanted Alan to be centre-stage.

She told Good Housekeeping: “I was trying to think of stories that would revolve around Alan for this series, because they should.

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“The two big stories this series are all about Alan.

“For me Alan has always been the centre of sanity in a mad, mad world.”

Derek went on to say his character is looking for more independence in their marriage and is keen to get a part-time job.

“I need a little bit of my independence and can see flaws in her that I couldn’t see before, and can make my opinion known,” he divulged.

“It is an effort, I’m on thin ice with her all the time but I’m determined to make my case and be my own man.”

Anne added of her character: “In the beginning she always had the upper hand because he was still besotted when they first met and now, after seven years, he’s not quite so besotted.”

Last Tango in Halifax returns to BBC One on February 23 at 9pm.

Read the full interview in Radio Times – out now.

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