Carey Mulligan discusses dementia with Michael Palin and Michael Parkinson as guest editor of Radio 4’s Today

The actress spoke about her grandmother and dementia sufferer Terry Jones during her time in charge of the radio news programme

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Actress Carey Mulligan spoke passionately about what it was like to see her grandmother living with dementia as part of her role as guest editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

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The actress spoke about her experience of seeing loved ones suffer from the condition with Monty Python star Michael Palin and interviewer Michael Parkinson, saying that people need to speak more openly about dementia.

Mulligan’s 91-year-old grandmother ‘Nans’ was diagnosed with dementia in 2004, while Palin has discussed publicly about what it has been like to see his Python co-star Terry Jones live with the disease. Parkinson’s mother Freda Rose was also diagnosed with a form of dementia, two years before she passed away aged 96.

In the interview, broadcast on Tuesday 27th December, Mulligan talked about how playing music helped her family when they came to visit her grandmother as a way of “linking to the past”.

Palin agreed, saying that his friend Terry Jones has taken to watching old musicals: “He loves watching those, he’ll watch them time and again. I just found that incredible touching.”

Mulligan told Radio Times in an interview before the broadcast that “it’s impossible to know” how much her grandmother understands, but added that she was happy that her daughter Evelyn was able to meet her.

“I introduced her to Evie on her 90th birthday,” she said. “It was emotional – four generations surrounding her with love.”

Mulligan is the first of the Today programme’s guest editors for 2016, with Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, businesswoman Helena Morrissey and Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies still to come.

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Listen again to the Today programme with Carey Mulligan on iPlayer.