Tony Christie, 76, fears he might have dementia after revealing his ‘memory has been getting worse’ and he now needs an autocue for his lyrics
Singer Tony Christie has revealed he’s concerned he is developing dementia after noticing his memory has been getting worse over the past few years.
The (Is This The Way To) Amarillo star, 76, said that despite performing the same songs for 50 years he now needs the lyrics on an autocue.
Although currently touring in Germany, Tony said he will get checked out when back in the UK – although he’d prefer not to know if he has the condition.
Worried: Singer Tony Christie, 76, has said he’s worried he could be developing dementia after noticing his memory has been getting worse for the past few years (pictured in October)
Tony told the Mirror: ‘I’ve noticed for a few years now that my memory has been getting worse, which is a serious concern especially as there’s history of dementia in my family.
‘It’s got to the point where I have to have the lyrics to all the songs I perform live written on autocue, and most of them I’ve been singing for half a century.’
However the star tried to remain positive, and added: ‘If it is bad news I’m expecting jokes from people saying they always suspected as much, seeing as I clearly still don’t know the way to Amarillo 48 years after that song was first a hit.’
Performer: The (Is This The Way To) Amarillo star, pictured in 1973, revealed that he now has to have his lyrics on an autocue even though he’s been singing them for half a century
Tony also revealed he has had to write down his bandmates’ names as to ensure he doesn’t introduce them wrongly on stage.
And at a recent gig in Germany the I Did What I Did For Maria singer got the city he was in wrong, thinking he was in Hamburg when really he was in Leipzig.
Tony explained that although he tried to make a joke of it, the moment was ‘actually no laughing matter for me.’
He also had trouble remembering things while writing autobiography The Song Interpreter and had to ask his wife of 51 years Sue for help.
Support: Tony’s wife Sue, pictured together in 2005, had to help him recall details of their life together when he wrote his autobiography as he couldn’t remember
Tony also revealed how he met his wife when she was standing at the front of the audience as he stood on stage singing in 1967.
Tony explained how he knew right away he wanted to marry her, but his father wasn’t as convinced.
He said in his autobiography: ‘My dad was a bit concerned that it was all maybe like a whirlwind. He said: “Tony, you don’t just marry a girl just because she’s got great legs.”
‘Well, she still does have great legs, but what I thought was: “Why are you looking at my girlfriend’s legs?” ’
Recall: As well as needing a nudge to remember lyrics Tony, pictured left in 1991 and right in 2005, also has to write down his bandmates’ names so he introduces them correctly
Although Tony’s hits included Las Vegas and I Did What I Did For Maria, Amarillo was his first song to sell a million copies.
The catchy tune was a hit again when in 2005 it was used by Peter Kay for a Comic Relief video.
Originally, Tony was to star in the number with Peter Kay, but his involvement was whittled down until he was dropped from the filming schedule altogether.
Only a furious phone call from his manager son Sean, threatening to withhold permission to use the song, got him reinstated . . . for just 14 seconds of footage.
Star: Tony’s hits include Las Vegas and I Did What I Did For Maria, but sing-a-long classic Amarillo was his first song to sell a million copies. Tony is pictured performing in 1967