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Suicide would be better than a sad old age -- Simpson

BBC journalist John Simpson has said he would rather commit suicide than "live in misery" in old age.

The 67-year-old, who moved in with a pensioner and visited a care home for dementia patients for a new BBC series, said old age was "pretty much round the next corner".

Appearing on BBC1's forthcoming show When I Get Older, he said: "I've made no secret of the fact that I would rather just sort of take a pill and end things rather than live in misery and be a nuisance to people.

"Life is a wonderful thing, but life just in its most technical sense with just the heart still going is not worth having."

Simpson (below), who met dementia patients during the show, said: "If it were me and I saw which way the wind was blowing, I would try and find a way of avoiding it."

The show also features Gloria Hunniford, Lesley Joseph and Tony Robinson in an exploration of old age in the UK.

The BBC was accused of helping to promote assisted suicide in a TV documentary by author Terry Pratchett who has Alzheimer's, last year.

In the film, millionaire hotelier and motor neurone disease suffer Peter Smedley, 71, was seen taking a lethal dose of barbiturates at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.