Quantcast

Barbara Windsor, 82, tells husband ‘I used to work behind that bar’ when they watch EastEnders

Must Read

DistinctToday
Distinct Today is a news media company, focused on the intersection between hyper-relevant content and digital innovation. Distinct Today curates editorial news content, experiences, and events across multiple platforms including email, mobile, online and offline. Distinct Today is headquartered in Houston, Texas. The company is privately held. Distinct Today targets an affluent, college-educated audience.

Alzheimer’s-hit Barbara Windsor, 82, tells husband Scott Mitchell, 56, ‘I used to work behind that bar’ every time they watch EastEnders

  • Mr Mitchell revealed watching EastEnders helps battle the degenerative disease 
  • He poignantly described his wife’s deterioration as ‘the long goodbye’                      
  • Regular visits from showbiz friends and trips to the theatre help battle disease 

Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband has opened up about her struggles with Alzheimer’s and how she says, ‘I used to work behind that bar,’ when they watch EastEnders

The 82-year-old appeared in the BBC1 soap as Peggy Mitchell, landlady of the Queen Vic pub, for 23 years.  

In the first interview he’s given since publicly breaking the news two years ago, her husband, Scott Mitchell, 56, revealed how watching EastEnders helps to battle the neurodegenerative disease she was diagnosed with six years ago.

Scott Mitchell, Barbara Windsor’s husband (pictured together), has opened up about her struggles with Alzheimer’s and how she says, ‘I used to work behind that bar,’ when they watch EastEnders

Mr Mitchell is running the London Marathon for the second year in a row to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer's Society charity

Mr Mitchell is running the London Marathon for the second year in a row to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society charity

‘She’ll point at the Queen Vic and say things like, ”I used to work behind that bar,” but she doesn’t always recognise the picture of her character Peggy behind the bar,’ he told The Sun on Sunday

While there are plenty of characters she recognises instantly, such as Kathy Beale (played by Gillian Taylforth) and Ian Beale (played by Adam Woodyatt), her husband says it’s clear her memory is slowly being taken away. 

The 82-year-old Dame appeared in the BBC1 soap as Peggy Mitchell, landlady of the Queen Vic pub, for 23 years

The 82-year-old Dame appeared in the BBC1 soap as Peggy Mitchell, landlady of the Queen Vic pub, for 23 years

Windsor, who was famed for her comedic roles in the Carry On films, joined EastEnders in 1994. 

Her onscreen death in 2016 was one of the most watched episodes through the show’s entire 35-year history.

Mr Mitchell is currently preparing to run the London Marathon for the second year in a row to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society charity and bring awareness to the 850,000 people in the UK who are suffering from dementia.

He described his wife’s deterioration, which sees her forget she’s eaten and question where they are when they are sitting in their living room, as ‘the long goodbye’. 

Mr Mitchell said she sometimes gets frustrated with herself when she can’t articulate properly. 

He said: ‘That’s the very hard part for the carer of a loved one to watch, when there’s nothing you can do to help them find the words and the thoughts they are looking for.

‘That’s when I feel at my most powerless.’ 

Caring Mr Mitchell says it is heartbreaking to see his wife’s memories fade away, to the point where she doesn’t remember that her mother died 30 years ago. 

Windsor, who was famed for her comedic roles in the Carry On films, joined EastEnders in 1994. Pictured is the Queen visiting the set in 2001

Windsor, who was famed for her comedic roles in the Carry On films, joined EastEnders in 1994. Pictured is the Queen visiting the set in 2001

He has managed to work out new ways to understand what she needs. When she asks after her mother, Mr Mitchell says that usually means she is feeling anxious. 

Once he has worked this out he says he’s then able to step in and hold her hand and reassure her that everything is okay. 

Although she was once renowned for her fast recall abilities, Barbara now increasingly fails to recognise her own husband.  

Mr Mitchell says that regular visits from her friends in the showbiz industry and day trips seem to help Barbara

He said: 'When her good friend Christopher Biggins comes round suddenly she is so sharp.' Pictured is Barbara Windsor and Mr Biggins

Mr Mitchell says that regular visits from her friends in the showbiz industry and day trips seem to help Barbara. He said: ‘When her good friend Christopher Biggins comes round suddenly she is so sharp.’ Left: Barbara Windsor and her friend Kenneth Williams. Right: Windsor and Mr Biggins

Windsor initially gained fame for her roles in the Carry On films. Pictured is Windsor acting alongside Jim Dale and Hattie Jacques in Carry On Again Doctor

Windsor initially gained fame for her roles in the Carry On films. Pictured is Windsor acting alongside Jim Dale and Hattie Jacques in Carry On Again Doctor

Mr Mitchell said: ‘She’ll suddenly look at me and say, ”Do you know where my ­husband Scott is?”

‘Then I look at her and smile and I go, ”He’s here. He’s here”, and I’ll show her our wedding photo.’ 

He says that regular visits from her friends in the showbiz industry and day trips seem to help Barbara. 

Mr Mitchell said: ‘When her good friend Christopher Biggins comes round suddenly she is so sharp.’ 

When watching EastEnders there are plenty of characters she recognises instantly, such as Kathy Beale (played by Gillian Taylforth) and Ian Beale (played by Adam Woodyatt)

Pictured: Barbara Windsor as Peggy Mitchell alongside her onscreen sons Phil and Grant

When watching EastEnders there are plenty of characters she recognises instantly, such as Kathy Beale (played by Gillian Taylforth) and Ian Beale (played by Adam Woodyatt)

Mr Mitchell says that when Barbara goes into a theatre she appears more alive and like her old self than ever

Mr Mitchell says that when Barbara goes into a theatre she appears more alive and like her old self than ever

Earlier this week she received a standing ovation just for walking into the Prince Edward Theatre in London when her and Mr Mitchell went to watch Mary Poppins. 

Mr Mitchell says that when Barbara goes into a theatre she appears more alive and like her old self than ever. 

Mr Mitchell, who has a tattoo of Barbara's name on his arm, said: 'Whatever happens in the future I know that I'm lucky to have shared my life with such an amazing lady and I will always have her with me'

Mr Mitchell, who has a tattoo of Barbara’s name on his arm, said: ‘Whatever happens in the future I know that I’m lucky to have shared my life with such an amazing lady and I will always have her with me’

However, Mr Mitchell said that by the time they arrived back at their home in Marylebone in London, she had completely forgotten they had even gone out. 

Mr Mitchell, who has a tattoo of Barbara’s name on his arm, said: ‘Whatever happens in the future I know that I’m lucky to have shared my life with such an amazing lady and I will always have her with me.’                

To sponsor Scott in this year’s London Marathon on April 26 and raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society visit JustGiving.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -