Sir Jackie Stewart details emotional final moments with dying pal Sean Connery

Sir Jackie Stewart has told of his heartbreak at seeing his close friend and fellow Scot Sean Connery in the grip of dementia just weeks before the Bond star died in his sleep.

The Formula One legend, who turns 84 next month, opens his heart in a TV documentary airing in America.

He reveals: "I saw him not too long before he died and it was a sad sight."

The show, Autopsy: The Last Hours Of?, tells how Connery struggled with dementia for more than 13 years before dying at his home in the Bahamas aged 90 in October 2020.

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The Hollywood star's biographer Michael Callan tells the show the screen icon's quality of life "grew really poor" in his final months.

Sir Jackie - the last friend to see Connery alive - says: "I think Sean would have preferred to slip away a wee bit earlier."

But he adds: "The nicest thing we did was see his film The Hill (a 1965 prison drama directed by Sidney Lumet) which he believed was the best he ever made."

Jackie has since founded the charity Race Against Dementia to fund pioneering research into the prevention and cure of dementia.

Jackie became close to Connery after they met in 1971 - the same year the actor starred in his sixth 007 film Diamonds Are Forever.

Last year Sir Jackie made a secret visit to Scotland to help Connery's widow Micheline - his second wife of 45 years - scatter his ashes in Edinburgh, the city where he was born into poverty.

Connery's death sparked speculation when his death certificate was not released immediately.

Speaking on America's Reelz show, which airs later in the UK, forensic pathologist Dr Michael Hunter concurs with the coroner's conclusion of respiratory failure, but believes dementia may have played a role.

He adds that while the Oscar-winning actor smoked and drank most of his life, he countered that with an otherwise "healthy and active" lifestyle.

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