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Christopher Eccleston on tackling dementia image

Photo: Chris Eccleston

Actor Christopher Eccleston has been leading a public debate about how dementia is portrayed in the media.

The former Cracker and Doctor Who star joined a panel of experts to talk about whether the media portrays negative stereotypes of people living with dementia – in everything from soap opera storylines to news articles.

Salford-born Chris will spoke alongside people living with dementia and academics leading research into the condition, during the event at the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK campus.

They talked about whether the often-negative language used to describe dementia in the media has an impact on people living with the condition, as well as their families, and what society can do to improve the perception of dementia.

The actor, who has spoken about how his father Ronnie lived with Alzheimer’s before his death in 2012, opened the Salford Institute for Dementia’s hub at the University’s Allerton building last year – providing an outreach centre for the public to access the latest research and ideas about living well with dementia.

He said:

Dementia is a growing problem and we need families and carers to be educated and supported, and we need the general public to understand the condition. The way dementia is presented on TV and in the news has a huge effect on people’s perception, and so it’s vitally important that we have this debate and encourage people in the media to get it right.

– Christopher Eccleston
  • The debate is part of a series of events marking Dementia Action Week, the Alzheimer Society’s annual awareness campaign taking place on May 21-27, led by the University’s Salford Institute For Dementia.