Sunderland dementia sufferer bids for spot on this year’s X Factor

Ken Payne with wife June.
Ken Payne with wife June.
Share this article
0
Have your say

A DEMENTIA sufferer has put himself in the running for a spot in the X Factor limelight.

Ken Payne, from Penshaw, joined scores of other hopefuls as he took part in the first round of auditions for the prime time talent show.

You just never know what they will be looking out for, whether it’s young people or old people or who they think will be successful.

Dementia sufferer Ken Payne

The former housing worker hopes to perform a song he wrote for wife June to mark their 40th anniversary if he gets through to the next round.

He planned to sing one of the tracks he usually performs at the weekly Singing for the Brain sessions he helps run at Bede Tower as he attended the St James’s Park event yesterday.

Ken, who is dad to Debbie Sheringham, 36, and Vicki Kennedy, 34, has previously been placed second in Gentoo’s Seniors’ Got Talent last year.

The 61-year-old said: “You just never know what they will be looking out for, whether it’s young people or old people or who they think will be successful.

“Last year, the Alzheimer’s Society asked me to go in for Britain’s Got Talent, but I don’t think they were looking out for musicians and singers.

“I’m going to give it my best try.”

Cheese and Wine was written by Ken for June, also 61, as they approached their ruby wedding anniversary.

Ken, who is originally from Pallion, moved with June to Seaham when they married so they could be closer to her parents, who ran Thompson’s grocery store in Blandford Place.

Ken worked for housing organisations across the North East until his diagnosis around three years ago and has struggled to find a job since.

He volunteers with the society and Gentoo and encourages people to seek help if they feel they could be affected by the condition.

As part of his work with the society he has hosted music events to support Dementia Awareness Week.

It has praised him for showing others it is possible to have the illness and still have an active life.

He was told he had Alzheimer’s after doctors investigated when they first thought his behaviour had changed due to deep vein thrombosis.