Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Jess Molyneux

Heartbreaking messages of support for 'TV fave' Fiona Phillips

Heartbreaking messages of support have been shared to "iconic TV legend" Fiona Phillips after she announced she is battling Alzheimer's disease at the age of 62.

Yesterday, the ECHO reported how the TV presenter was told she had the illness a year ago after suffering months of brain fog and anxiety. The mum-of-two is now undergoing trials for a revolutionary new drug which scientists hope could slow or even reverse the illness for millions of sufferers in the years to come.

Speaking to MirrorOnline she said: "This disease has ravaged my family and now it has come for me. And all over the country there are people of all different ages whose lives are being affected by it - it’s heartbreaking. I just hope I can help find a cure which might make things better for others in the future."

Read More:

"It’s something I might have thought I’d get at 80, but I was still only 61 years old. I felt more angry than anything else because this disease has already impacted my life in so many ways; my poor mum was crippled with it, then my dad, my grandparents, my uncle. It just keeps coming back for us."

The TV star kept her diagnosis a secret for 18 months after being worried people would "judge" and "label" her. She said: "There is still an issue with this disease that the public thinks of old people, bending over a stick, talking to themselves.

Eamonn Holmes and Fiona Phillips on GMTV (GMTV/ITV/Screengrab)

"But I’m still here, getting out and about, meeting friends for coffee, going for dinner with Martin and walking every day.” Her husband, TV’s This Morning editor Martin Frizell, 64, is helping Fiona at home by injecting her medication three times a day, the ECHO recently reported.

Former colleagues and fellow TV hosts such as Eamonn Holmes and Lorraine Kelly have since shared their support of the star. ECHO readers have also taken to social media to share their well wishes.

On Facebook, Fiona Douglas said: "Heartbreaking news." Collette Walsh said: "Thinking of you...God love you and your family..."

Colette Meaney commented: "Sending prayers to you Fiona xx." Carol Lunt wrote: "This is heartbreaking."

Julia Cooke posted: "So sad to hear this. It's a terrible disease which affects so many people. God bless her." Helen Fisher wrote: "So sad, be brave and fight this dreadful disease. Sending love."

Dawn Courtney Steer commented: "So wish they could find a cure for this horrible illness. Sending love and hugs to Fiona." Lynda Sutton commented: "Terrible news, fabulous bright woman, a serious journalist. Sympathy to Martin and the boys ."

Fiona Phillips arrives at the 10th anniversary party for the television programme GMTV, 2003 (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Suzanne Davie said: "Thank-you for getting your diagnosis out in the open. There are so many people whose lost parents to this disease and know the impact that brings. I have always admired you and send you the love and strength to fight this diagnosis. Lets get everyone talking and focused on finding a cure ! Xx."

And Christine Williams posted: " I think she is tremendous. She has supported her parents as this was happening BUT has the courage to accept & deal with her own diagnosis. She does more for those of us who yet don’t know the future to realise we might not be as alone as we imagine we might be."

But many have also been sharing their fond memories of her on our screens. Fiona Phillips now writes an opinion column for the Daily Mirror and supports a number of organisations associated with Alzheimers after losing both parents to the disease, but is perhaps most well known for presenting morning show GMTV from 1997 to 2008.

Fiona joined GMTV in 1993 as an entertainment correspondent and between 1997 and 2008 she was the main anchor on the show. In December 2008, Fiona took to the GMTV sofa for the last time to bid farewell to the show.

Among those sending greetings were her long-term crush Donny Osmond, David Cameron, Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard, the prime minister Gordon Brown and Reading lass turned transatlantic star Kate Winslet, Hello! previously reported.

The then 47-year-old closed the show by tearfully saying: "It's been so special sharing my moments with you, I will not forget your kindness, thank you." Fiona decided to leave to spend more time with her family. Many ECHO readers reminisced about her GMTV days on her screens and how she was always "a favourite" amongst viewers.

Fiona Phillips got up from the sofa for the last time today after she presented her last-ever edition of GMTV. December 18, 2008 (Mirrorpix)

Vince Thomas said: "So sorry to hear this news remember her well doing the morning programme and her talking about the terrible news that her parents had this awful disease always seemed such a lovely genuine lady I hope she gets all the help at this difficult time stay strong fiona god bless you."

Barbara Bartlett said: "Bless you Fiona, followed your career and such a fantastic talent, clever but always kind and knowledgeable, pray for you and your family, take good care xx."

Beverley Warren Glancy posted: "That is just so very sad. She comes across as such a lovely, caring person. Sending lots of love & prayers." Richards Transport Serv commented: "Bless her iconic tv legend."

Dawn McGuire commented: "Always loved you on the tele you were funny a real tonic to Watch stay strong Fiona you can do this sending love and prayers to you."

Tina Marie Newbold posted: "She was always my favourite not watched it since." Sue Pickering said: "So devastating Fiona ,always loved to to watch n listen to you ,such a beautiful lovely lady !!."

Henry Midtsaeter posted: "A fave on TV and a really nice and down to earth lady. God bless you and keep you safe throughout." Beverley Murphy said: "Thinking of you Fiona i loved you in your GMTV days."

And Christine Connah wrote: "So sad to hear this Fiona, loved you on GMTV and remember you talking about your Mum and Dad. Thankyou for speaking out about this heartbreaking illness. Stay strong and live for the moment lovely lady- sending love and best wishes to you and your family."

Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.