He might come across as the hardman but EastEnders actor, Danny Dyer, opens up about how tough he find seeing his nan's battle with dementia

Danny Dyer has opened up about one of the most heartbreaking battles he faces daily – his nan’s dementia.

While the EastEnders actor has admitted that he and his dad aren’t close – after he moved out when Danny was nine – his father’s mum, remains a big part of his life. But Danny, 38, has admitted her struggles with dementia have left him questioning what is best for her.

Speaking about the debilitating condition Danny said: ‘You start off as a baby, just curious about everything. Everything is fascinating, even the washing machine. You’re this innocent ball of energy.

‘Then you live your life and you become a child again, and this is what dementia has done to my nan.

‘She is herself for about five minutes then she switches into this weird, child-like mode where you almost feel like you have to pat her on the head and say, ‘Well done, well done’,’ he told The Sun on Sunday.

‘She says the most random s***, the most trippy s*** about a pigeon living in her wheelchair. She asks if you’ve met the pigeon yet, and I humour her because it’s a tricky thing. You say, ‘Yes, it’s a lovely pigeon’, then she’s happy. It’s heartbreaking.

‘She says, ‘You know what, Dan?’ — though sometimes she calls me Tony because she mistakes me for my dad — ‘I wake up and I sob my heart out because I didn’t die in the night’.

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‘That’s a truthful, honest statement. Obviously I’d be devastated if she went, but you think, ‘Maybe, just maybe, she should be allowed to go. It might be a beautiful thing for her’. It would break my heart to lose her but what kind of life is she living?’

Danny thankfully has the strong support network of his mum and his fiancee Joanne Mas to support him and his nan. Speaking of Joanne he said: ‘We’re so close it’s almost like we’re the same person.’

There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025.

We salute Danny for raising awareness.