Popular TV personality Denise Drysdale has spoken publicly about her long-time performing partner Ernie Sigley's diagnosis with Alzheimer's.
The 67-year-old admitted on Studio 10 that she's known about Ernie's suffering for some time.
'I’m glad it’s out,' Denise said.
'I’m sad for the family because they’ve tried to keep it as quiet as possible. But I just hope now everybody knows they give the respect to Ernie.
'It’s sad because I don’t think a lot of people realise what a brilliant mind he has. He could tell you anything about sport, history, and his knowledge of music is just phenomenal.'
Ernie's family confirmed the news this week after the veteran presenter and avid Western Bulldogs supporter was noticeably absent from the AFL grand final on Saturday.
'While he would love to have been at the MCG to watch his beloved Western Bulldogs make history, Ernie had to settle for the live television broadcast,' the family said in a statement.
Ernie's long-time wife Glenys is caring for the much-loved performer.
Denise, who has performed with Sigley since the 1970s, admitted she first noticed her friend struggling with his memory about three years ago.
'It started when we were on stage a couple of years ago,' she elaborated.
'To see somebody start a song and say ‘I’ve never sung this song before,”…. I felt for him then. It’s awful.'
According to Denise, the famous pair last spoke three weeks ago.
'I’ve only got to say a few things to trigger him,' she confesses.
'Then I can get him laughing which is fabulous, to have that ability to get him back into the present.
“God we had some funny times. Ernie and I had do much fun on screen, but just as much off (screen). Especially during the 7 years when we did the morning show.'