Britain’s Longest-Serving Newsreader Alastair Stewart, 71, Discloses Early-Onset Dementia

Britain's Longest-Serving Newsreader Alastair Stewart, 71, Discloses Early-Onset Dementia

Britain's Longest-Serving Newsreader Alastair Stewart, 71, Discloses Early-Onset Dementia. Image: Featureflash Photo Agency /

Alastair Stewart, the veteran news anchor who held the record for Britain’s longest-serving newsreader, has opened up about his recent diagnosis of early-onset vascular dementia.

Stewart, who retired in March after an illustrious 47-year career in journalism spanning local and national television, shared his emotional journey in an interview with GB News on Sunday, September 10.

During the interview, the 71-year-old journalist discussed the challenges he faces as he battles the disease.

He mentioned that his “motor skills are very tricky” and that he struggles with “very short-term memory.”

His journey began when he started feeling disoriented while performing routine tasks at home, prompting him to seek medical advice about six to nine months ago.

Medical scans revealed that Stewart had suffered a series of strokes, leading to the diagnosis of vascular dementia—a condition acknowledged as “incurable” by medical experts.

Despite the grim prognosis, the broadcasting icon is taking proactive steps to mitigate the effects of this cruel illness, which affects more than 944,000 people in the UK, according to the NHS.

Stewart shared that he has quit smoking and is actively engaging his mind through activities such as dog walks and puzzles.

However, he admitted that the most challenging aspect of his diagnosis has been its impact on his wife, Sally. He described it as heartbreaking to witness her transition into the role of his caregiver.

The couple, who have been married for an enduring 43 years and are based in Hampshire, are parents to four children: Freddie, Clemmie, Oscar, and Alexander.

Stewart revealed the extent of his wife’s support, even ensuring he was properly dressed and groomed before the interview.

He concluded by urging others who suspect they may have health issues to consult with a GP promptly.

He also emphasised the paramount importance of the people one works with and shares their life with in times of need, emphasising their role in providing support and care.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere north of Alicante on the Costa Blanca with her family for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking. Anna is a news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in the Costa Blanca South area and Almeria. Share your story with her by emailing