Father Christmas gets dementia and forgets about Christmas in Alzheimer’s Research UK Christmas advert

Father Christmas  has stopped delivering presents due to his deteriorating memory in new campaign

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Alzheimer’s Research UK has released a new Christmas advert that is guaranteed to tug on your heart strings, in which Father Christmas develops dementia and can no longer deliver presents.

The 2-minutes emotional clip, narrated by Stephen Fry and animated by Aardman, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit, sees a girl called Freya asking her dad about Father Christmas, who has stopped delivering presents due to his deteriorating memory.

Freya, who has never received a present from Father Christmas because of his condition, goes on a mission to save him and journeys to the North Pole.

She is seen asking his elves to help her find a cure.

“If Santa has a disease, research can find a way to fix it,” Freya says. 

Freya finally meets with Father Christmas, whose bright red suit turned to grey, and tells him she still believes in him.

The campaign, titled Santa Forgot, highlights the varied symptoms of dementia and raises awareness of the diseases that cause it, most commonly Alzheimer's.


The advert premiered after the 9pm watershed amid concerns ir could upset young children.

However, Hilary Evans, the chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that we have to be provocative about dementia in order to “fight misconceptions and fatalism” around the condition.

She said: "Santa is an important cultural figure, but the idea that he too could be affected drives home the point that dementia can strike those most special in our lives."

"Dementia is one of our most feared conditions, but misunderstanding persists that it is an inevitable part of ageing. Santa Forgot, like previous campaigns from Alzheimer’s Research UK, makes the simple point that physical diseases drive dementia, most commonly Alzheimer’s."

"We have made enormous strides against diseases like cancer and AIDS, and with the right research we can do the same for dementia. Santa Forgot reminds us to believe in the power of research.”"

Stephen Fry said Santa Forgot is an "inspiring and beautiful" take on Christmas tale.

He said: “I urge people up and down the country to get behind the campaign so we can fuel the fight against dementia and take a step forward to making it history.”