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Fair City's Bryan Murray diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease

The 73-year-old opened up about his diagnosis in the latest issue of the RTÉ Guide.

Bryan Murray

Bryan (far left) on set

Bryan Murray

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Fair City star Bryan Murray has revealed he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The actor, who plays Bob Charles on the RTE soap, has been living with the condition for the past three years and has decided to go public with his diagnosis in the hopes that it may help other people with the illness.

The 73-year-old opened up about his diagnosis in the latest issue of the RTÉ Guide.

“As a younger actor, I would get a script, it would be four pages and within 15 minutes I would know the lines. As I got older, I couldn't do that any longer,” he explained, adding that “after half an hour of reading a script, I had no recollection of it”.

He told of how the team on Fair City supported him through his diagnosis.

Bryan (far left) on set

“When it first started, my character would be looking at a laptop, reading a newspaper, or I might have had a clipboard, but it would be the script in front of me.

“They really could have said, well if you can't learn your lines, you can't be in the show, but they did the exact opposite and that got rid of one of my biggest fears”.

Bryan said he wanted to share his diagnosis to show that “it’s not the end of the world”, adding that he plans to continue working on Fair City.

“I really wanted to let it be known this was my situation and that for anyone who's been recently diagnosed, there is an answer to it. It's not the end of the world. It's the changing of your world, but it's not the end.

“I wish I didn't have it, but I do have it, and I'm still here. I have it and I am working with it."

Una Crawford O'Brien, who plays Renee Phelan in Fair City and is married to Bryan in real life, recalled how she noticed her husband was struggling to learn his lines and encouraged him to get some tests done.

"He had the tests and got the diagnosis,” she told RSVP Magazine.

"For Bryan, memory was his thing, and to have it taken away from you when you have been a professional actor for 52 years is upsetting.

"Yes, you can use tricks and all the rest of it, but when you can't remember, it's hard."

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