Good Morning Britain’s presenters have been slammed for referring to Dame Barbara Windsor in the past tense.
Barbara and husband Scott Mitchell decided to publicly reveal she has been battling Alzheimer’s for four years for the first time as he condition deteriorates.
The EastEnders legend, now 80, was given the devastating diagnosis in April 2014, but kept it private until now.
GMB paid tribute to the actress this morning with highlights of her best on-screen moments and moving interviews with close friend Richard Arnold.
But viewers could not believe that the presenters kept speaking about Babs as if she had died in a series of awful blunders.
Showbiz presenter Richard Arnold choked up as he spoke about Barbara, but claimed: "She was a great friend."
And in one particularly disrespectful moment, Kate Garraway also said Barbara "was" a great friend of Richard’s and they "were" both fond of each other.
She said: "We’re going to talk now to our entertainment editor Richard Arnold, who of course has always followed Barbara’s career and was a great friend of yours.
"You were both so fond of each other," she added, before quickly correcting herself to "aren’t you".
In a moving tribute, Richard said: "Absolutely Kate. It saddens me deeply this news this morning for it to finally become public.
"I can understand why husband Scott did it. Barbara of all the celebrities I’ve interviewed over the years is very much public property. She loved her public and for Scott to go public for her condition shows just how much they mean to her.
"Barbara Windosr when it comes to national treasures is the jewel in the crown. She’s a phenomenal lady and as she retires from the limelight leaves a phenomenal body of work.
"For me as someone who has followed her career closely and calls her a friend – I take great comfort from the fact Scott is by her side, utterly devoted to her, to see her through the next chapter."
Furious GMB viewers took to Twitter to blast Good Morning Britain.
One viewer asked: "Why are #GMB doin this as of Babs is dead"
Another added: "Not sure why #GMB are talking about Barbara Windsor as if she’s died!"
A third said: "Why are they talking as if Barbara Windsor is dead #gmb"
*Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6.00am
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