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EastEnders cast lead emotional tributes to Dame Barbara Windsor

Susannah Alexander
·8-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Digital Spy

EastEnders cast members past and present have led tributes to Dame Barbara Windsor after she sadly passed away on Thursday (December 10) at the age of 83.

The actress, who played the iconic Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders between 1994 and 2016, died peacefully at a London care home with her husband Scott Mitchell by her side, following her battle with Alzheimer's disease.

An EastEnders spokesperson has released a statement following her passing, saying: "We are all deeply saddened that we've lost our Dame. From the moment Barbara stepped foot in Walford she created an icon in Peggy Mitchell, our formidable Landlady, who the audience instantly fell in love with but to all of us at EastEnders, she was our dearest friend who was truly loved and adored by everyone.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

"Our thoughts go out to Scott and Barbara's family. Rest in peace Dame Barbara Windsor, MBE."

Her passing has also been marked by a huge number of her soap co-stars past and present. Steve McFadden, who plays Peggy's on-screen son Phil Mitchell, 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."

Letitia Dean, who plays Sharon Watts, said: "I would like to say what utterly heart-breaking news I woke up to this morning. They broke the mould when they made Dame Barbara Windsor, there will never be another like that incredible woman, everyone who met her loved her and she will be deeply missed.

"I would like to send everything I have to her amazing husband Scott, what a beautiful soul he is. My heart goes out to him and I just wish I could give him the biggest cuddle he has ever had. RIP dearest Barbara. You will be missed beyond measure."

Photo credit: Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Denise Fox actress Diane Parish said: "Our dearest friend and colleague has passed and left a hole, not only on our screens, but in our nation that cannot be filled. I will remember her kindness and of course laughter.

"She made the special effort to spend time and say something meaningful to each and every person the last time we saw her at work. So sorry for her loss for you Scott. Little lady, big presence. Sleep in peace Bar."

Long-standing cast member Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale, shared a photo of himself with Windsor on Instagram, writing: "I grew up watching 'Babs' in the Carry On films and for me to then work with her 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."

Her on-screen relative Rita Simons, who played Roxy Mitchell, shared her love on Twitter, writing: "Night night Aunty B. I love you".

See below for more tributes from former and current EastEnders stars:

Lacey Turner (Stacey Slater):

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Jake Wood (Max Branning):

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Emma Barton (Honey Mitchell):

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Martin Kemp (Steve Owen):

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Michelle Collins (Cindy Beale):

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Harry Reid (former Ben Mitchell):

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Richard Blackwood (Vincent Hubbard, now Felix Westwood in Hollyoaks):

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Nitin Ganatra (Masood Ahmed):

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Ricky Norwood (Arthur 'Fatboy' Chubb):

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Jo Joyner (Tanya Cross):

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Nina Wadia (Zainab Masood):

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Ben Champniss (Shrimpy):

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Kate Harwood (former EastEnders executive producer):

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The wider soap world also paid tribute to the much-loved actress, with Coronation Street's Beverley Callard (Liz McDonald) calling Windsor "A truly gorgeous lady, a loving heart and a beautiful person!" on Instagram and Sean Tully actor Antony Cotton tweeting: "Goodnight Babs, it was a pleasure knowing you. How lucky we all were to have enjoyed your talent for so long. I adored you."

Toyah Battersby actress Georgia Taylor also shared a message on Twitter, writing: "Sleep tight beautiful Babs. I remember meeting her at various Soap Awards over the years. She was so delightful and welcoming and always had time for everyone."

A number of Emmerdale stars also paid tribute, including Lisa Riley (Mandy Dingle), Mark Charnock (Marlon Dingle), Samantha Giles (Bernice Blackstock), Nick Miles (Jimmy King) and Dominic Brunt (Paddy Kirk).

Also sharing messages were the British Soap Awards and This Morning's soap expert Sharon Marshall:

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Tributes poured in for the actress from outside the soap world too, with This Morning host Eamonn Holmes and Britain's Got Talent judge David Walliams among the public figures sharing their love for Windsor:

Presenter Eamonn Holmes:

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Comedian and BGT judge David Walliams:

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Actress Vicky McClure:

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

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Labour leader Keir Starmer:

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