Former RTE broadcaster Charlie Bird has revealed that he has accepted his diagnosis of motor neurone disease.
In a one-time interview from his Co Wicklow home on The Late Late Show with his wife Claire, he told host Ryan Tubridy that he’s finally made peace with his grim diagnosis despite now Here he has lost his voice completely.
“The truth is that I have finally come to terms with my illness. In my head, I fully accepted my situation. I understand there is no silver bullet and I have to get on with my life. In other words, I completely understand what lies ahead of me,” he said using a special voice simulation app.
“If I’m really lucky, I might survive another year. I can still walk and when people see me walking outside, they tell me I look great, but the truth is terrible. The dread of MND with my voice is now completely gone, my swallow has deteriorated and every time I sit down to eat it is now a challenge to get through the meal without coughing.
“And to be honest, it was scary. But Ryan, and like I said at the beginning, I’ve come to terms with my MND, and I fully realize I’m not the only one in the situation. Hey there’s a lot of people who are also terminally ill.My thoughts are always with Vicky Phelan, she’s the bravest and look at what she’s done for Irish women.So I salute you. Her and her spirit to keep fighting the situation she found herself in have lasted much longer than I did.
“What keeps me going so far? I’ve decided to keep trying and help those who are in dark places with my motto ‘open arms of friendship to all people’ People’.”
Mr Bird said he had planned his funeral and had chosen a favorite spot in the Aran Islands where his ashes would be buried, along with his best friend Peadar.
“Peadar is craic. So Peadar said when they were both there on the ground if they were fighting, banging their heads, at least they were going to be a little crazy… And he was quite happy being there with Peadar,” Claire added. .
Charlie revealed that he was emotional when he appeared on The Late Late Show last year when he famously announced that he would be climbing Croagh Patrick despite his illness and guest singer Daniel O. ‘Donnell was so emotional he gave him his own set of rosary beads.
“I was completely shocked and stunned. In that moment, something happened between us. He then told me that he had seen my interview and that he was very moved by it. what I was saying, he said that something inwardly moved him to give me his necklace,” said Charlie.
He also said he was stunned when he received Freedom of Wicklow last week.
“It was unexpected for me. I was told about a month before the council’s decision to give me the freedom of the county… I have the right to bring [his dog] Tiger into any pub in the county. No, wait a minute, I’m joking. I am the third person to be given Freedom. I am following in the footsteps of the great Daniel Day-Lewis and the great Katie Taylor. It was so emotional on this occasion that my family and many of my close friends were present to watch the ceremony,” he said.
He added that he has no regrets about how his life has turned out.
“When I was growing up, my father used to say, the allotted human period is three years ten points. I remember that in later life. So if you hit 70 you’re in luck. We all know that people are living a lot longer, maybe into your eighties.
“Well, I’m 73 now and hoping to live another year, fingers crossed. But I don’t feel cheated, I’ve been very lucky in my broadcasting career. I went. to many parts of the world in my wonderful life, I have traveled to the top and bottom of the earth – yes, North and South,” he said.
“When I was on the national TV show, in my head, I felt like I had won the lottery. So I’ve had a brilliant life,” he said.
Meanwhile, a book he’s written about his illness called Time and Tide is due out next week and he’ll be signing copies with his beloved dog Tiger at the Eason bookstore in London. Dundrum Town Center on October 15.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/i-have-had-a-brilliant-life-charlie-bird-gives-inspirational-interview-from-home-on-late-late-show-42049837.html ‘I’ve had a brilliant life’ – Charlie Bird gives inspirational interview at home on Late Late Show