Angela Rippon is best known for presenting the BBC One show. New newsbut this year she is taking on a new challenge by participating in series 21 of Strictly come dancing.
At 78, the journalist is this year’s oldest contestant, but she assured fans of the show that she is more than capable, and I already know how to do high kicks and the splits.
In great shape, it may come as a surprise that Angela has spoken openly in the past about her health problems, including dementia, after both her parents were affected by the illness later in life.
Speaking about his documentary The truth about dementiaAngela said in 2017: “Even though I’m doing well, I sometimes worry about my own risks.”
By age 80, one in six people are at risk of developing this disease. So Angela got her affairs in order at the age of 72, to ensure she was protected should anything go wrong.
“None of us know what’s going to happen to us, but I can do things like make sure my will is up to date and put things in place,” she said.
Although Angela does not have children, she shared her wishes with her godchildren.
“I can talk with my godchildren about what treatment I might like. At least they won’t have to worry about what to do with Aunt Ang because Aunt Ang told them.”
Through her documentaries and media appearances, Angela has been active in raising awareness about dementia and spoke about her mother’s struggle in an April 2023 interview.
“As people with dementia very often completely change their character, she would get very, very angry,” Angela told the Daily Express.
“I learned not to take it personally, because it was just the dementia talking, not my mother – and not to get upset about it.
“I learned very quickly that there was no point in arguing with [her] about things,” she added, before sharing: “I learned very quickly to join my mother’s parallel universe and agree with what she was saying, and if it became very difficult to change the subject.”
Angela explained that she relied on the Alzheimer’s Society to help her with her mother, which is why she continues to work with the charity to raise awareness.
“I called the Alzheimer Society, and asked them for help and advice and they were very supportive. And I felt like I wanted to give them something back.
“So I became an ambassador for them and then chaired various committees and other things that they did,” Angela said of her work with the charity, which she has done since 2004.
We applaud Angela for her awareness and can’t wait to see how she does. Strictly.