EastEnders stars pay tribute to Barbara Windsor as she passses away

Walford salutes its Queen: EastEnders stars Jessie Wallace, Adam Woodyatt, Steve McFadden and Patsy Palmer pay tribute to Barbara Windsor as she dies aged 83

  • Dame Barbara Windsor starred on EastEnders as pub landlady Peggy Mitchell on and off from 1994 to 2016 and was famous for her catchphrase: ‘Get outta ma pub!’ 
  • The beloved entertainment star died aged 83 at 8.35pm on Thursday at a London care home, her husband Scott Mitchell said
  • Scott, 57, described his wife’s final weeks as ‘typical of how she lived her life’ and ‘full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end 
  • Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and made the news public in 2018 

Dame Barbara Windsor starred on EastEnders as pub landlady Peggy Mitchell on and off from 1994 to 2016 and was famous for her catchphrase: ‘Get outta ma pub!’

And her former castmates took to social media in their droves to pay tribute to the TV legend after learning she had passed away aged 83 following her battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Barbara died at 8.35pm on Thursday at a London care home, her husband Scott Mitchell, 57, confirmed. 


‘It’s been a privilege and an honour’: EastEnders stars Jessie Wallace, (left) Adam Woodyatt, (right) Steve McFadden and Patsy Palmer pay tribute to Dame Barbara Windsor after she passed away following a battle with Alzheimer’s on Thursday

Heartfelt: Adam and Jessie both shared sweet comments alongside the pictured they posted with Barbara 

Jessie Wallace, 49, who played Kat Slater wrote: ‘My darling Barbara. So heartbroken to hear you have left us. I love you.’ 

Adam Woodyatt, 52, whose character Ian Beale was once punched on the show by Peggy, called it an ‘honour and a privilege to have known Barbara, in a sweet Instagram post on Friday morning. 

Sharing a photograph of them, he wrote: ‘I took this when Dame Barbara was filming her last episodes of EastEnders in 2016.

Tragic news: Dame Barbara, best known for her roles in EastEnders and the Carry On films passed away on Thursday, her husband Scott Mitchell confirmed (pictured in 2015)

Sad: A representative for Steve McFadden, who plays Dame Barbara’s on-screen son Phil Mitchell, said he was ‘devastated’ by her death as he led tributes for the beloved actress (pictured together at the NTAs in 2007) 

‘I’ll miss you always’: Barbara Windsor’s EastEnders son Ross Kemp paid tribute to the ‘woman who always had time for everybody’ on Instagram on Friday following her death aged 83

Lovely words: Ross and Barbara were close pals in real life – he even made a film with Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell and other families living with dementia

‘I grew up watching Babs in the Carry On films and for me to then work with her it was a privilege and honour. 

‘I have so many happy memories and moments that I will always cherish, even when Peggy floored Ian with a punch. My thoughts are with her amazing husband Scott, her family and friends. Rest in peace Barbara xxxx.’

A representative for Steve McFadden, who plays Dame Barbara’s on-screen son Phil Mitchell, said he was ‘devastated’ by her death as he led tributes for the beloved actress.

Steve said: ‘I truly loved Barbara and, like everyone, I am going to miss her terribly.

‘When anyone ever asked what she was like, I would always say she was everything you would hope she would be, and more.’

Ross Kemp, 56, best known for playing hardman Grant Mitchell, said he would ‘miss her always.’

He wrote: ‘Dame Barbara Windsor, the woman who always had time for everybody, has sadly left us.

‘I will miss Bar always. My thoughts are with her husband Scott, who could have done no more and who stayed strong for her to the very end.’

Patsy Palmer, 48, who played Bianca Jackson, wrote in the comments: ‘So so sad. Just thinking of us all in the reception when we all used to sit there!!!’


Love: Patsy Palmer, who played Bianca Jackson in the soap shared these images and wrote: ‘I’m sitting here thinking of the 100’s of memories we shared. Too many to comprehend. We were like family for a long time, ups downs , ins and outs but you will never meet a more professional actress than Babs

‘I’m so sad’: Patsy shared a long tribute to her good friend as she said she ‘always looked out for me’

She also shared some pictures of herself with Barbara on her own account and wrote: ‘Verified I’m extremely sad to hear that my friend “Dame“ Babara Windsor has passed away. 

‘I’m sitting here thinking of the 100’s of memories we shared . Too many to comprehend. We were like family for a long time, ups downs , ins and outs but you will never meet a more professional actress than Babs. 

‘@scott.mitchell3 You were the best husband she could’ve wished for. You deserve the highest accolade. We shared such magical times together and I’ll cherish every one. 

Pam St Clement, 78, who played Peggy’s love rival, Pat Butcher, spoke about her on This Morning on Friday morning. She said: ‘Bless her she said to me, “please tell me if I’m not doing anything right,” but she settled into that beautifully’

She said: ‘We’ve kept in close contact, he’s kept me up to speed with it. Nobody could visit her with the lockdown, it was impossible, it was sad in a sense which means I haven’t seen her in nearly in a year and that’s sad’

‘I can hear that laugh now as I sit and think about her. I hope it’ll ring in my ears forever. She always looked out for me and so did you . Love you both very much . I’m gutted ! I could say so much but I’m so sad. RIP BABS.’ 

Pam St Clement, 78, who played Peggy’s love rival, Pat Butcher, spoke about her on This Morning on Friday morning. 

Soap icon Pam said she and Barbara used to hang the glasses on top of the bar and Barbara was quite small so she would wash up the glasses and they would wonder how she’d reach it.

She said: ‘Bless her she said to me, “please tell me if I’m not doing anything right,” but she settled into that beautifully.

Much loved: Former EastEnders co-star Larry Lamb who played Archie Mitchell, her onscreen husband in the show paid tribute to a ‘tough and beautiful little lady’ on Friday.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘She was definitely the head girl at EastEnders, she knew how to be the leading lady. The word star gets bandied about a bit these days but she really was a star’

She said Barbara’s husband Scott had been keeping her up to date with her health. 

‘We’ve kept in close contact, he’s kept me up to speed with it. Nobody could visit her with the lockdown, it was impossible, it was sad in a sense which means I haven’t seen her in nearly in a year and that’s sad.’ 

Former EastEnders co-star Larry Lamb who played Archie Mitchell, her onscreen husband in the show paid tribute to a ‘tough and beautiful little lady’ on Friday.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘She was definitely the head girl at EastEnders, she knew how to be the leading lady. The word star gets bandied about a bit these days but she really was a star.’

‘So grateful to have known you’: Danny Dyer, whose character, Mick Carter took over the Queen Vic, said there was ‘only one Dame in his eyes’

Barbara’s best EastEnders moments… 

Peggy would famously shout her catchphrase at customers in the Queen Vic: ‘Get outta my pub!’

Barbara raised awareness of breast cancer in 1996 when her character was diagnosed and then again in 1999, when she decided to have a mastectomy

In 2000, Peggy discovered husband Frank Butcher (Mike Reid) was having an affair with his ex-wife Pat (Pam St Clement) and slapped him around the face

In 2009, Boris Johnson, the then Mayor Of London turned up at the pub and Peggy gave him a piece of her mind about litter 

In 2010, Phil set fire to the Queen Vic after becoming a crack addict – Peggy escaped  

In 2016, Peggy took an overdose and died after breaking the news to son Grant (Ross Kemp) that her cancer had returned

The actor said that Dame Barbara’s gratefulness she was given a role in the BBC soap always shone through.

He said: ‘We had lots of conversations that ranged over all sorts of subjects. I remember her saying the years in between were tough when she was trying to put together enough money to live off.

‘And it was really really hard because there were those lean years after the Carry On films and she was in the wilderness, and the one thing she never made any bones about was that Eastenders really changed her life and put her back on the map and gave her the means to earn a good living, and that’s what she went on to do.’

Danny Dyer, 43, whose character, Mick Carter took over the Queen Vic pub, wrote: Rest in Peace Babs. There is only one Dame in my eyes. So grateful to have known ya. You was a beautiful rare one. ❤️❤️❤️.’

Danniella Westbrook, 47, who played her onscreen daughter Sam Mitchell, said on BBC Breakfast on Friday: ‘She was the most feisty, hardworking woman I’ve ever met in my life. 

‘I learned everything I know from her work-wise. She taught me how to listen. The woman was phenomenal. 

‘She did pages and pages of learning and walked into the Queen Vic and it was like she was always meant to have been there.

‘She raised the game of the whole show.’ 

Martin Kemp, 59, who played Steve Owen, spoke to his son Roman, 27, on his Capital Radio Breakfast show,. 

He said: ‘Yeah, I mean, I worked with her for a good couple of years in EastEnders and she was behind the bar and I used to sit there for hours talking to her, and I tell you why, because before I did EastEnders I had shot The Krays … and she used to be close to some of those, and to Reggie Kray, and she was absolutely – I can’t tell you – one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. 

‘She was one of life’s good people, and I find it really sad this morning. My heart goes out to Scott, who’s lost her, and just… I can’t tell you how nice she was Ro, she was just beautiful.’ 

Natalie Cassidy, 37, who plays Sonia Jackson, wrote: ‘Another Star for our skies. I will continue to keep up the work ethic Barbara taught me. There will never ever be another Barbara Windsor. Heart is with Scott today, a wonderful husband and a great friend. Rest in peace you wonderful lady.’

Lacey Turner, 32, who plays Stacey Slater, wrote: ‘Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey Slater, wrote: ‘Our lovely bar , today my heart is so sad but what you have left me with is so full of love , laughter & joy so many lovely memories ! You gave a young me so much confidence , to watch you work was an honour , I will be forever grateful for what you gave me ! A beautiful soul inside & out ! Sleep tight bar we love you lots ❤️❤️❤️.’

Robert Kazinsky, 37, who plays Sean Slater, tweeted: ‘What a joy it was to have known and worked with her. To have her tell me to ‘Gerrout mah pub,’ to have shared so many chats on rainy days. 

Tamzin Outhwaite, 50, who played Mel Owen, tweeted: ‘Meant to be sleeping but can’t…. RIP Barbara Windsor…’ 

Ricky J Norwood, 34, who played Fatboy, wrote: ‘RIP Barbara Windsor. Such sad news to wake up to. I was lucky enough to work with her on @bbceastenders.. full of energy,

‘Big smile, so warm and welcoming. Thank you x It meant a lot. Loved that you always had time for young actors and fans. Legend. We miss you already.’ 

Powerful: Danniella Westbrook, 47, who played her onscreen daughter Sam Mitchell, said on BBC Breakfast on Friday: ‘She was the most feisty, hardworking woman I’ve ever met in my life’

Natalie Cassidy (Sonia Jackson) wrote: ‘Another Star for our skies. I will continue to keep up the work ethic Barbara taught me. There will never ever be another Barbara Windsor. Heart is with Scott today, a wonderful husband and a great friend’

Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey Slater, wrote: ‘Our lovely ba, today my heart is so sad but what you have left me with is so full of love , laughter & joy so many lovely memories ! You gave a young me so much confidence , to watch you work was an honour , I will be forever grateful for what you gave me ! A beautiful soul inside & out !’

Barbara’s husband Scott described the EastEnders legend’s final weeks as ‘typical of how she lived her life’ and ‘full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end’.

Outside of EastEnders, David Walliams crowned the ‘national treasure’, who is best-known for her signature soap catchphrase ‘get outta my pub!’, as the ‘unofficial Queen of England’ in a touching message. 

The comedian, 49, penned on Twitter: ‘Goodbye Dame Babs. You were my first love as a child in the Carry On films & I will love you forever. 

‘Working with you, spending time with you & being your friend was one of the greatest thrills of my life. The unofficial Queen of England, an icon treasured by the nation.’ David’ (sic) 

Remembering her: Robert Kazinsky, 37, who plays Sean Slater, tweeted: ‘What a joy it was to have known and worked with her. To have her tell me to ‘Gerrout mah pub,’ to have shared so many chats on rainy days’

Icon: Tamzin Outhwaite, who played Mel Owen in the soap said she was struggling to sleep after hearing the sad news 

‘You always had time for young actors and fans’: Ricky J Norwood played Fatboy in the soap and its online spin-off EastEnders: E20

‘Very emotional’: Nina Sawetz worked in the BBC press office and remembered Barbars fondly 

‘All my love goes to Scott who was a family friend before EE was even a twinkle in the eye. #RIPBabs what a life, what a lady.’ 

Barbara’s good friend and fellow Carry On star Amanda Barrie joined Friday’s Good Morning Britain to pay tribute to the national treasure.

Speaking to Ben Shephard and Charlotte Hawkins, Amanda recalled the last time she saw Barbara at her 80th birthday party, three years ago. 

She said: ‘She was frail but she knew me. Because like everybody in our profession, we all go different ways after a job. June Brown was there, there were just a few of us that had known Barbara a long time. She knew me and she remembered the things that I would prefer to remember. Life does awful things and it’s not fair…’ 

‘Rest in peace, Barbara’: Dermot O’Leary remembered Barbara fondly and said she was one of his first guests on TV

‘Queen of England’: David Walliams has crowned the national treasure, who found fame in the 1960s in the Carry On films, as the ‘unofficial Queen of England’ in a touching tribute

On Barbara’s bond with her husband Scott, Amanda said: ‘Wasn’t that wonderful? And that of all things, for Barbara to have that relationship and for him to be so wonderful, I was so glad. I would send my love to him and all those things that you say that don’t mean anything really, but there aren’t any words for it are there really anyway?’ 

Summing up what Barbara meant to her, Amanda explained: ‘What she meant, in a funny sort of way, if I think about Barbara, she was part of my youth, that part of your life when everything is in front of you…in our case both of us were lucky, that is a bond you sort of keep as we both started off the same way.

‘I did say to Barbara the last time I saw her, I said, “If anybody had let me put money on at Ladbrokes when we were at Winston’s that you were going to be a dame, I would be worth a fortune.” A less likely dame you’ve ever met. Us toddling round in those mini skirts and heels and eyelashes. That was a good dame.’ 

‘Life does awful things and it’s not fair’: Barbara’s good friend and fellow Carry On star Amanda Barrie joined Friday’s Good Morning Britain to pay tribute to the national treasure

Jonathan Ross also gushed over how Barbara, who found fame in the 1960s as a buxom blonde in the Carry On films, ‘was everything you might have hoped for’. 

The TV presenter, 60, wrote: ‘Barbara Windsor in real life was everything you might have hoped for. So warm, so funny, so kind. Goodnight sweetheart x #BarbaraWindsor’.

And Tony Blackburn, 77, tweeted: ‘So sorry to hear Barbara Windsor has passed away, a lovely lady who was always such fun. R.I.P. Babs.’ 

‘Thoughts are with her family and friends’: Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid his respects on Twitter – he made a cameo on the show in 2009, when he was mayor 

Tributes: Her EastEnders co-stars Robert Kazinsky, who plays Sean Slater, and Patsy Palmer, who starred as Bianca Jackson, shared their devastation following the tragic news

Ben Ofoedu, 48, known as being one-half of pop duo Phats & Small, also paid tribute to the ‘true legend’ as he penned that he was ‘proud’ to know Dame Barbara.

He said: ‘A national treasure has gone to take her place with the stars in heaven. A really lovely person that I’m proud to say I knew and was fortunate too converse with on many occasions. A true legend in every sense of the word R.I.P Barbara Windsor’

Hoards of soap stars, including Hollyoaks’ Nathalie Emmanuel and Anne Wallace, were quick to flood social media with heartfelt tributes to the EastEnders legend.

Game of Thrones star Nathalie, 31, penned: ‘Oh wow… actually feel really sad about the passing of Barbara Windsor.

‘Full of humour’: Barbara’s husband Scott, 57, described the EastEnders legend’s final weeks as ‘typical of how she lived her life’ and ‘full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end’

‘What a legend’: Gospel choir singer Jahméne Douglas penned a lengthy tribute to Barbara as he said he was glad he got to ‘experience your unforgettable giggle’ in real life

‘Everyone knew her and everyone loved her’L Matt Lucas also shared a sweet post for Barbara 

‘The kindest, warm, loving lady’: CBB star Casey Batchelor praised Barbara for her kind nature 

‘She was an incredible lady’: Paul O’Grady shared some words about his close friend 

‘Effervescent’: Lisa Snowdon said Barbara had the ‘best giggle in the business’ 

‘The ultimate British pin-up’: Kerry Katona shared a picture gallery and also wrote that she was ‘heartbroken’

‘Oh Babs!’ Ulrika Jonsson wrote that she will miss her ‘warmth, kindness and chats’

‘She was a legend… and the many ‘… ‘Allo Mum…’ *pans to Phil and/or Grant Mitchell* duff duff moments will always be the most iconic in my opinion. May she rest in peace.’

Meanwhile Anne, who plays Sally St. Clair in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, posted a touching message to the ‘legendary British actress’.  

The X Factor singing duo Jedward, Scottish TV presenter Gillian McKeith and comedian David Baddiel were also among those who paid their respects to the national treasure.

Gospel choir singer, and 2012 The X Factor runner-up, Jahméne Douglas also penned a lengthy tribute to Barbara as he said he was glad he got to ‘experience your unforgettable giggle’ in real life.

He wrote: ‘RIP Dame Barbara Windsor I’m so glad I got to experience your unforgettable giggle in person, your energy & smile. Thank you for the words you shared with me, your kindness & heart. 

Rise to fame: Barbara rose to fame as a buxom blonde on the Carry On Films, first appeared in Carry On Spying in 1964, with her final film role coming in 1974’s Carry On Dick

‘What a life, what a woman, what a legend. May that cheeky giggle Carry On in our hearts!  

The household name was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 before making the news public in 2018.

Barbara’s husband Scott described the EastEnders legend’s final weeks as ‘typical of how she lived her life’ and ‘full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end’.

He continued: ‘Her passing was from Alzheimer’s/dementia and Barbara eventually died peacefully and I spent the last seven days by her side. 

‘Myself, her family and friends will remember Barbara with love, a smile and affection for the many years of her love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives and the entertainment she gave to so many thousands of others during her career.

‘Barbara’s final weeks were typical of how she lived her life. Full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end.

‘It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve. I will always be immensely proud of Barbara’s courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.’

Scott, who alongside his wife campaigned for greater dementia care from the Government, added: ‘Dementia/Alzheimer’s remains the UKs number one killer. 

‘Although in challenging times, I urge the Prime Minister, his government and other parties to be true to their previous promises and invest more into dementia/Alzheimer’s research and care.

EastEnders: Dame Barbara made her debut as Peggy in 1994 and soon became one of the small screen’s best-loved characters as she yelled at rogue drinkers to ‘get outta my pub!’

‘Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and carers who are angels at the care home for your kindness and care to Barbara and I throughout her stay with you. You are my heroes.

‘And my gratitude to our family, friends and everyone in the media and the general public for all the good wishes and warm support that has been shown to Barbara over the last few years during her illness. Barbara deeply appreciated that.’

At the end of his moving tribute, he said: ‘May you rest in peace now my precious Bar. I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you.

‘I will be making no further statements and now need the time to grieve this painful, personal loss.’

Dame Barbara made her debut as Peggy in 1994 and soon became one of the small screen’s best-loved characters as she yelled at rogue drinkers to ‘get outta my pub!’.

It became the defining role of her career and saw her star alongside Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden as her fictional sons Grant and Phil, with the late Mike Reid as her on-screen husband Frank Butcher.

The character left our screens in 2003 when Dame Barbara took a sabbatical for medical reasons after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus, but she returned as a series regular in 2005.

In 2009, Dame Barbara announced she would be leaving the soap again in order to spend more time with her husband Scott, who she married in 2000.

She returned for cameo appearances in the soap over the next few years but in 2016 she played Peggy for the final time.

Her final scenes aired in May that year as the Walford stalwart took her own life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Before becoming synonymous with Albert Square, Dame Barbara delighted Carry On fans with her portrayals of a ‘good time girl,’ appearing in nine films in a series known for its bawdy humour.

She first appeared in Carry On Spying in 1964, with her final film role coming in 1974’s Carry On Dick.

One of Dame Barbara’s most famous scenes was in 1969’s Carry On Camping, when her bikini top flew off in the middle of an exercise class.

The actress was made a dame in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list for her services to charity and entertainment.

Both Dame Barbara and her husband campaigned to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s following her diagnosis.

In August this year, Mitchell said his wife had been moved to a care home in London. 

Awareness: Both Dame Barbara and her husband campaigned to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s following her diagnosis 

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