David Bailey has vascular dementia.
The legendary photographer was diagnosed with the condition – which causes symptoms including changes in mood or behaviour, confusion, and slow thinking – three years ago and though he described it as a “f****** bore”, he insisted there are upsides to having an impaired short-term memory and he doesn’t believe it has affected his work.
He told The Times newspaper: “I’ve got vascular dementia. I was diagnosed about three years ago.
“It’s a f****** bore but it’s just one of those things. In some ways it’s good: I can see a film and forget it, then enjoy it again two years later. And it doesn’t seem to affect my work at all.”
The 83-year-old photographer – who has been married to fourth wife Catherine Dyer for 35 years – admitted his diagnosis has made him live life to the full.
He said: “You make the most of every day, because there might not be a tomorrow…
“Catherine and I have been together 40 years. That’s a long time. Especially when you’ve only got three months’ memory.
” I still like her as much as I always liked her. You can forget about love in relationships and all that romantic nonsense: if you like somebody you like them.”
Despite his advancing years, David only “realised” he’s now “old” relatively recently because he continued travelling to remote parts of the world well into his 70s.
He said: “I only realised I was old a couple of years ago, and it came as a great shock. Eighty-three. F****** hell.”
David is father to three children and has three grandchildren but he insisted he isn’t “emotional” about his family.
He said: “I’m not emotional about things like that, I only like children when I can play chess with them.”