Barbara played Peggy Mitchell on EastEnders for over 20 years, Ross playing the role of her son Grant.
The two worked closely together, and now Ross has spoken of her shock as she doesn’t recognize him.
Documentary maker Ross filmed a two-part series for ITV Ross Kemp: Living With Dementia, who sees him trying to tackle the disease that affects around 850,000 people in the UK.
Although Barbara did not participate in the documentary himself, her husband – and primary caregiver – Scott Mitchell, spoke to Ross about the condition.
According to the NHS, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in the United Kingdom.
Writing in The Scottish Sun, Ross said that Barbara greeted him as “one of his closest friends” during his tour.
He remembers, thought, that she had “clearly” not recognized him.
Ross thinks: “Barbara was my‘ TV mom ’on EastEnders and is hilarious – vivacious, rapier – we always laughed, on and off the set. ”
He adds that Scott has set up “memory cards” for Barbara to help her.
Ross says it’s mainly to remind her of who she is.
He continues: “It is a disease where your own home becomes unknown, your memories escape you and you do not recognize your best friends or the man with whom you have been married for 20 years. ”
Ross continues to recount his conversation with Scott, who says that his wife “is not the Barbara I knew” despite “that she loves bones”.
Scott revealed that Barbara apologized to him when they were diagnosed.
In an appearance on This Morning, Ross said, “I just spoke to [Scott] right now, actually.
“It was the catalyst for the documentary on dementia and it covers everything. “
He added: “It is still, despite what we are going through now, there will always remain the biggest killer in the UK, and it is expected to double in the next 20 years.
“This is something that needs to be seriously considered and addressed by governments. ”
Barbara’s friend Christopher Biggins previously said that locking the coronavirus had been a struggle for her.