Reporting Scotland star heads for Elgin to discuss family dementia experience

Sally Magnasson – Elgin visit

After writing her account of how her mother slowly degenerated in her battle with dementia, television presenter Sally Magnusson recounted an amusing exchange with playwright Alan Bennett.

Introducing himself at a party, Mr Bennett said “I read your book about your mam – she went mad more interestingly than my mam”.

People in Moray are now set to learn more about the book that sparked such an amusing aside for author Sally, daughter of the late Magnus famed for making quiz show ‘Mastermind’ one of the most alluring shows on the box.

Sally Magnusson has, of course, in many ways equalled the achievements of her father, having carved out a career as a writer and broadcaster most recently on Reporting Scotland for the BBC and presenting Tracing your Roots for Radio 4.

She will make a rare appearance in Moray when she gives a talk at the Elgin Library later this month. In that she will discuss the book that provoked the unusual praise from Bennett, “Where Memories Go”, which recounts how she tried to come to terms with one of the most difficult social and medical challenges in modern life.

Sally recently recounted how her mother’s eyes went dark one day and she shouted “I don’t know you – get your hands off me” – only a day later Sally turned up minus heavy mascara and the red party dress that she had been wearing the evening before, to be greeted by a smiling mother who reached out and said “I love you”.

Sally said: “That’s the thing about dementia – there are no milestones, just a lot of ups and downs on a long road.”

Her mother passed away in 2012 at the age of 86, her final ten years seeing a slow decline as dementia took a hold on a previously sharp mind.

Tickets for Sally Magnusson’s visit at 2.30pm on Saturday, February 21 are priced at just £3 each and can be obtained in advance from the Elgin Library.

Advance booking is advised by calling the library on 01343 562602 or by e-mailing

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