EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor turns 83 today, and fans are determined to mark the occasion.
Many have taken to social media to celebrate the icon — who portrayed Peggy Mitchell in the BBC One soap — by posting heart-warming messages.
One posted: ‘The word ‘National Treasure’ gets thrown around a lot, but when it comes to Dame Babs, it’s true and elevated to a higher level. Happy Birthday’
Another said: ‘Happy birthday to one of the most inspirational actresses to grace our lives – Dame Barbara Windsor. Thinking of you and Scott today and watching some of your greatest #EastEnders moments!’
He told The Sun: ‘I feel I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. I walk around, trying to keep busy, then burst in to tears. It feels like a bereavement.
‘It’s always been my biggest fear, that one day I would have to take her somewhere and she’d be thinking, “Why would he do this to me?” That fear has become a reality. It’s something I never wanted.’
Barbara played Mitchell matriarch Peggy from 1994 to 2016.
The actress took over the role from Jo Warne — who briefly portrayed Peggy for a handful of episodes in 1991 — and remained with the soap until she decided to depart in 2010.
Following her permanent departure, Peggy returned numerous times between 2013 and 2015 — including an appearance to give Phil (Steve McFadden) a much-needed talking to in the hospital, and a one-off return to The Vic for the soap’s 30th anniversary, where she came face-to-face with then landlord Mick Carter (Danny Dyer).
Peggy returned for a final stint in 2016, when it was revealed that the character was terminally ill.
Viewers were given an opportunity to see one of Peggy’s finest episodes several weeks back, as with the soap off the air amid the Covid-19 pandemic, classic episodes have been airing on BBC One every Tuesday.
One of those classic episodes was Peggy and Pat’s iconic showdown from 1998.
EastEnders: Secrets From The Square continues Monday August 10 8pm on BBC One.
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