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Line of Duty star Vicky McClure is fronting a new two-part BBC series about the role of music in fighting dementia starring a teacher from Farndon.

A NEW two-part BBC series about the role of music in fighting dementia will feature a retired teacher from Farndon.

The series, Vicky McClure: My Dementia Choir, begins on Thursday on BBC1 at 8pm.

One of those featured is choir member Chris Connell, who spent all his working life as a woodwork teacher, including 22 years at the former Grove School, Balderton.

Dementia choir (9016864)
Dementia choir (9016864)

He was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in October 2015, and now struggles on a daily basis with many routine aspects of life.

But Chris has always enjoyed music and jumped at the chance to join a choir for people with dementia.

The 20-strong choir spent 12 weeks rehearsing for a performance at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, which was filmed for the documentary.

The choir was led by Mark De-Lisser, who arranged the song sung by The Kingdom Choir at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Chris said: “It has been an incredible privilege for my wife Jane and me to be involved with this.

“The director, production team, Mark De-Lisser and Vicky have been the very best people to work with.

“BBC directors are so impressed they have announ- ced another series next year to concentrate more on current research into dementia.”

Vicky McClure has personal experience of dementia, through caring for her nana Iris, who died in 2015. During that time, and through her role with the Alzheimer’s Society, she has seen how music and singing had affected dementia patients and those who love and care for them.

In the series she meets scientists exploring new techniques and technology to find how music can stimulate a brain damaged by dementia.

She starts the search for her choir, meeting people with different types of dementia at different stages.

One of the first to join is Chris, who is desperate to get involved, and even volunteers to sing a solo.

The series also follows the youngest singer, 31-year-old Daniel, who has a rare form of genetic Alzheimers.

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