David Walliams, Paul O’Grady, and stars of ‘EastEnders’ are among those to have paid tribute to Dame Barbara Windsor following her death.
The legendary actress – who was a household name thanks to her roles in the BBC soap and the ‘Carry On’ franchise – tragically passed away on Thursday (10.12.20) aged 83 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s, her husband Scott Mitchell confirmed and now her friends and former co-stars have been sharing their memories of the iconic star.
‘Britain’s Got Talent’ judge David hailed Barbara as the «unofficial Queen of England».
He tweeted: «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.(sic)»
His ‘Little Britain’ partner, Matt Lucas, expected the «whole country» to be devastated by the news and remembered Barbara for both her acting and her charity work.
He posted: «You don’t become a Dame by accident. Everyone knew Barbara Windsor and everyone loved her.
«She delighted us on stage and sparkled on screen in a long and illustrious career. She also worked tirelessly for charity, and continued to do so, even when her own health was failing her.
«Her devoted husband Scott has been utterly selfless and heroic in caring for her and I am devastated for him.
«I will miss her warmth, her generosity, her laughter and the kindness she showed me.»
‘For the Love of Dogs’ star Paul has been left «devastated» by the passing of his old friend.
He said: «I’ve known Bar for over 30 years and I’m devastated, but people who’ve never met her will be gutted too. We’ve all grown up with her, the whole country has, and everyone felt they knew her.
“To call her a national treasure just doesn’t cover it. She was as familiar as the Queen’s face or a black London cab and a huge star of stage, TV and film, a real legend.
«She was the ultimate pro who never took anything for granted, she worked so hard, always knew her lines and turned up on time.
“We all loved her and she was just as much fun off screen as on. I think one of her qualities which endeared her in the Carry On films was she was little and cheeky with an infectious laugh.
«She would come out with innuendos, then giggled with real innocence.
“I saw Bar and Scott in March and she was in good spirits, telling funny stories and roaring with laughter and reeking of her favourite Shalimar perfume. And that’s how I will remember her.
“My heart goes out to Scott. They were such a lovely couple, a real hoot, and he’s been utterly remarkable in the way he’s cared for her.»
‘Torchwood’ actor John Barrowman thinks Barbara will be «sorely missed» by all those in the showbiz world.
He said in a video shared to Twitter: «In the 30-odd years of my career I’ve had many, many occasions where I’ve been in company with Barbara – or, as everyone just called her, ‘Babs’ – and she will be sorely missed.
«She was a small woman but feisty and she had the biggest, biggest heart in the business. And she was a genuine, lovely, warm, caring person and she will be sorely missed by the film, television, radio and theatre worlds.
«We all knew that she wasn’t in great health, but it’s still a shock when it comes.
«Rest in peace, Dame Barbara Windsor. You will be sorely missed.»
Meanwhile, the passing of Barbara – who played Queen Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell in ‘EastEnders’ – has left her soap son Steve McFadden «devastated», and Danniella Westbrook, who played her daughter Sam, has also shared an emotional tribute.
She wrote: «Today we lost a legend a national treasure and a woman who I looked up to for most of my life.
“A generous, warm, funny humble and beautiful lady and someone who gave us all much joy watching her act.
woman who I was lucky enough to work with for many years as my mum and a loyal friend. The brightest of all stars will now shine above us instead of among us.”
Patsy Palmer, who played Bianca Jackson on the soap, shared a moving tribute on Instagram.
She wrote: «I’m extremely sad to hear that my friend ‘Dame’ Barbara 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.»
And Tamzin Outhwaite, who starred as Mel Owen, couldn’t sleep after hearing about the tragic news.
She tweeted: «Meant to be sleeping but can’t…. RIP Barbara Windsor… #legend #icon #nationaltreasure #friend #heroine.
«All I can hear is «Ello darlin» #ripbarbara (sic)»