Tributes paid to 'unofficial queen' Barbara Windsor

Updated / Friday, 11 Dec 2020 12:27

Barbara Windsor: 1937 - 2020

Comedian David Walliams called Barbara Windsor the "unofficial Queen of England, an icon treasured by the nation" as he paid tribute the actress who has died aged 83. 

The actress, known for her work in the Carry On films before becoming a household name playing Peggy Mitchell on EastEnders, died on Thursday evening, her husband Scott Mitchell said.

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also paid tribute to Barbara Windsor for having brought joy to the nation with her "innocent" and "irrepressible naughtiness".

Speaking at an engagement, the Prime Minister said: "I was really sad to hear about Barbara Windsor because she has been part of all of our lives, part of my life.

"And she was one of those people that just cheered you up, and cheered everybody up because she had a kind of irrepressible naughtiness that was totally innocent.

"And whenever she went into a room, and she did a lot of good work for charity and looking after lonely and vulnerable people, she lit up people's faces."

Windsor was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014 and made the news public in 2018. She died in a London care home.

Dynasty actress Joan Collins paid tribute saying: "Show business has lost a legend. Barbara Windsor : You will be missed."

Posting a picture of himself alongside the late actress Matt Lucas said: "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.

Happy days. x pic.twitter.com/b9zDH2q16s

— MATT LUCAS (@RealMattLucas) December 11, 2020

"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. She was a remarkable woman and it's not an overstatement to say I think the whole country is in mourning today."

Patsy Palmer, who played Bianca Jackson on EastEnders, posted a moving tribute on Instagram. Alongside pictures of the pair together, as well as a photograph of a young Dame Barbara, Palmer said: "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."

Palmer, 48, also praised Dame Barbara's husband and said: "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. 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."

Actress Danniella Westbrook, who played Dame Barbara's on-screen daughter Sam Mitchell, tweeted: "MY HEART IS BROKEN . Bar you will always be in my heart forever. Goodbye , I LOVE YOU XXX RIP Barbara WINDSOR."

Today we lost a legend a national treasure and a woman who I looked up too for most off my life. A generous warm funny humble and beautiful lady & someone who gave us all much joy watching her act. A woman who I was lucky enough to work with for many years as my mum & a loyal pic.twitter.com/yyPIqbwu3E

— Danniella Westbrook (@westbrookdanni) December 11, 2020

A representative for actor Steve McFadden, who plays Dame Barbara's on-screen son Phil Mitchell, said he was "devastated" by her death.

Tamzin Outhwaite, who played Mel Owen in EastEnders, tweeted: "Meant to be sleeping but can't.... RIP Barbara Windsor... #legend #icon #nationaltreasure #friend #heroine". She added: "All I can hear is "Ello darlin"#ripbarbara"

TV presenter Jonathan Ross also paid tribute to the pint-sized star. He tweeted: "Barbara Windsor in real life was everything you might have hoped for. So warm, so funny, so kind. Goodnight sweetheart x."

Nitin Ganatra played Masood Ahmed on EastEnders, first joining in 2007 and leaving for a second time last year. In his tribute to Windsor, he said: "Devastating news to hear of the passing of Dame Barbara Windsor. "It was a privilege and honour to work with this remarkable, sparkling, funny, straight talking, generous woman... and what a giggle!! I will never forget the kindness she showed me."

Devastating news to hear of the passing of Dame Barbara Windsor. It was a privilege and honour to work with this remarkable, sparkling, funny, straight talking, generous woman... and what a giggle!! I will never forget the kindness she showed me. ???? ??#RIPBarbaraWindsor pic.twitter.com/ziLQT5oSgY

— Nitin Ganatra (@GanatraNitin) December 11, 2020

The British Soap Awards has shared a tribute to Barbara Windsor after she died on Thursday night at the age of 83. A tweet posted on the official Twitter account of the awards said: "Dame Barbara Windsor was a true Great Briton and quite simply a Soap legend. She scooped our first ever Best Actress award back in 1999 for good reason."Our deepest sympathies are with everyone @bbceastenders and her family and friends. RIP Babs."

TV presenter Gaby Roslin tweeted: "I am lost for words. Barbara I adored you. You were a dear, sweet, effervescent, bubbly, glorious woman who I am proud to have called a friend. My love to Scott. So so so sad. "

Actor Craig Fairbrass played Dan Sullivan on EastEnders and his character tangled with the Mitchells. Writing on Twitter, Fairbrass, who left the soap in 2001, said: "Sad news the death of Barbara Windsor. I was lucky enough to have shared the screen with that lovely lady & iconic actress. "I'll never forget it. A larger than life proper legend. RIP Babs x." 

Actor Daniel Mays tweeted: "My first gig out of drama school was @bbceastenders 20 years ago. I was beyond nervous. I'll never forget how sweet, kind and welcoming Barbara Windsor was to me. An absolute class act who brought joy and laughter. RIP Babs."