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Barbara Windsor’s EastEnders son Ross Kemp pays tribute to her

Barbara Windsor’s onscreen EastEnders son and close friend, Ross Kemp, paid tribute to her on Instagram on Friday, a day after her death aged 83 from Alzheimer’s disease.  

Ross, 56, best known for playing hardman Grant Mitchell, 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.’ 

‘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

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

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

She 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!’ 

Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and made the news public in 2018. 

Family: Ross played Grant Mitchell, Peggy's hardman son in EastEnders (left), pictured alongside her other onscreen son, Steve McFadden, who plays Phil Mitchell, (right)

Family: Ross played Grant Mitchell, Peggy’s hardman son in EastEnders (left), pictured alongside her other onscreen son, Steve McFadden, who plays Phil Mitchell, (right) 

Back in June, Ross, who was close friends with Barbara and her husband Scott, said there had been a ‘marked decline in her health’ ahead of her move to a care home.  

The TV star  has made a film with Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell and other families living with dementia 

The Carry On actress was diagnosed with the degenerative condition in 2014 and is now being cared for round-the-clock by her husband Scott

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)

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) 

Ross appeared on Good Morning Britain back then that Barbara no longer recognised herself as he gave a heartbreaking update.

He explained: ‘She looks at the pictures of her in her heyday and career and goes “who is that lady”?’

Speaking about his programme titled Ross Kemp: Living with Dementia, Ross explained to Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard that Dame Barbara’s battle has had a severe effect on Scott too, as the star’s primary carer.

By her side: In June, Ross said Barbara's battle had a severe effect on her husband Scott, 57, too, as the star's primary carer - pictured together in April 2019

By her side: In June, Ross said Barbara’s battle had a severe effect on her husband Scott, 57, too, as the star’s primary carer – pictured together in April 2019

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'

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’

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

‘If you look at Scott from the episode that went out last week to this week, that covers Mid-Feb to the present day, you look at the impact it’s had on him,’ he explained.

‘The moment dementia is diagnosed not only does it have an affect on that person it’s like dropping a pebble in a pool, it goes across family. The onus is sadly on those loved ones to care for that individual.’

Ross said he last saw Barbara in February, shortly before the coronavirus lockdown.

Meanwhile, Steve McFadden, 61 who plays Peggy’s other son, Phil Mitchell, also paid tribute to the iconic actress.  

His representative said he was ‘devastated’ by her death as he led tributes for the beloved actress.

And 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.’

Danniella Westbrook, 47, who played Peggy’s daughter Sam, appeared on BBC Breakfast on Friday:

She said: ‘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.’ 

Awareness: Both Dame Barbara and her husband campaigned to raise awareness of Alzheimer's following her diagnosis (pictured in December 2017)

Awareness: Both Dame Barbara and her husband campaigned to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s following her diagnosis (pictured in December 2017) 


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