Ben Fordham: “I felt like my brain was out of control.”

Bravo, Ben Fordham, for speaking out about this often-misunderstood condition.

Ben Fordham has spoken about his longstanding battle with epilepsy in a candid interview with A Current Affair.

The Sydney radio host and television personality, who first revealed last month that he had the neurological disease, told the Channel Nine show he had his first seizure at age seven — an experience that he said ” scared the living daylights out of” him.

Fordham said his first seizure at age seven was terrifying. (Screenshot: A Current Affair)

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my life,” the 38-year-old told A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw in an episode aired last night.

“I felt like my brain was out of control.”

After his first seizure his parents took him to a medical centre, where was diagnosed with the condition.

“I remember sitting in there and I remember seeing my dad, I think it was the first time I’d seen a tear in my dad’s eye,” the 2GB drive presenter said on the popular program.

“I knew then, well this is quite serious because dad looks like he’s starting to cry.”

In September, Fordham spoke to The Daily Telegraph about his battle and said when he was a child, even a mild seizure would leave him feeling “seriously afraid of the world”.

“I didn’t recognise my own brother or sister,” he said.

“I was there but I wasn’t there. I used to describe it like hearing voices but it was more an overwhelming sense of looming catastrophe – something really bad was about to happen when in fact it wasn’t.”


Fordham is now an ambassador for Epilepsy Australia. (Screenshot: A Current Affair)

Fordham, who has been on medication since he was a child, added that he couldn’t do his media jobs if his epilepsy were not so well controlled.


“I wouldn’t be able to do that, which is a real worry,” Fordham told A Current Affair.

“I don’t think you can sit in a studio environment like that, live on air, interviewing politicians, or doing whatever you’re doing, if I had a bad case of epilepsy and was having serious seizures.”

Fordham and his baby, Freddy. He is married to Jodie Speers. (Photo: Instagram)

He also told A Current Affair he knows of politicians who have the condition too, but won’t discuss it on air.

“[Since speaking out about the disorder] I’ve since discovered a lot of people, including politicians who are household names who have epilepsy, and they’ve contacted me and said, ‘oh mate, I’ve got it as well, and I say ‘oh, you should come on my radio show and talk about it’, and they said, ‘oh no, I’ve never really talked about it’.”

The former Today show host now hopes to remove some of the stigma for younger sufferers of the disease, saying those with the condition need more role models to relate to.

“I’m 38 and the only people with a public profile who I’ve heard in my life with epilepsy are Wally Lewis and Buddy Franklin – that’s not very many,” Fordham said.

One in 25 Australians will be diagnosed with epilepsy.

However, 70 per cent of cases are controlled with medical intervention, as Fordham’s is.

Good on you, Ben Fordham, for raising awareness of this condition.

Responses from the public on Twitter have been overwhelming. Click through a gallery to see some of the responses here: