Dame Julie Walters has urged the Government to keep its promise on dementia research funding.

The Paddington star, 71, said “funding promised by Government is more critical now than it ever has been”.

She backed a petition, signed by more than 43,000 people, calling on the Government to deliver on its election promise to double funding for dementia research.

The Government pledged in 2019 to double funding for dementia research as part of a “moonshot” effort to find a cure.

But no further details have been given about how or when the funding will be made available, Alzheimer’s Research UK says.

Dame Julie, whose grandmother died with vascular dementia, said: “As someone who witnessed the effects of dementia growing up, I am proud to be standing with the tens of thousands of people who are calling on Government to deliver on its election promise to double investment into researching the condition.

“My grandmother had vascular dementia and she lived with us when we were kids.

“We didn’t really understand her symptoms, but we all loved her to bits. I still don’t know how my mother coped having to care for her and look after three young children.

“It’s appalling that over half of us know someone affected by dementia, yet there are no treatments to slow, stop or prevent it.”

Other stars who have also backed the petition include Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Brian Cox, Dame Harriet Walter and Luke Evans, the charity said.

Dame Julie said: “Far too many families are being forced to experience the pain dementia causes on a daily basis because of the lack of treatments and to put it simply, enough is enough.

“There is an urgent need for research to bring about life-changing treatments for people affected by dementia.

“With the tragic impact Covid-19 has had on those with the condition, the funding promised by Government is more critical now than it ever has been and it’s clear the public agrees.

“I’d urge everyone to sign this petition, so we can make it clear to Government that we will not let their promise be cast aside.”

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It’s been well over a year since the Government pledged to boost dementia research, but with no real indication that this funding is being delivered, it’s time for this promise to be backed with clear action.”