The Loose Women panel were seen fondly remembering ‘national treasure’ Dame Barbara Windsor, following her death, with Jane Moore emotionally speaking about her close friend.
The EastEnders legend, who is best known for playing Peggy Mitchell on the BBC soap, died on Thursday aged 83, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Since then, tributes have flooded in for the star, with Loose Women making sure to honour Barbara during Friday’s broadcast.
Jane Moore joined the show via video call and said she’s finding it ‘really hard to accept’ that Barbara has gone.
Calling Barbara a ‘national treasure’, Jane said: ‘I think that phrase was coined exactly for her, I still can’t quite believe she’s gone.’
Getting emotional, she continued: ‘I knew about her diagnosis and that towards the end she was very ill, it’s just the weirdest feeling because there’s so much running footage across television that just makes her look so vibrant and alive. It’s really, really hard to accept that she’s gone.’
Barbara’s death was confirmed by her husband Scott Mitchell, who had been by her side when she died in her care home. Asked how Scott is doing, Jane replied: ‘I don’t want to betray any confidences but the word heartbroken probably sums it up.’
Jane was one of the first people to be told about Barbara’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2012, with the actress later going public with her condition in 2018.
She recalled a trip to the theatre with Barbara, once her diagnosis was public knowledge, and fondly remembered how people had gone out of their way for the star.
‘We went to go to the toilet and every woman in that queue saw her and we kind of got propelled to the front in this Mexican wave of love,’ Jane said. ‘When she came out, somebody washed her hands, somebody dried her hands, someone helped her up the stairs, she was like the queen.’
Carol McGiffin, recalling Barbara’s appearance on Loose Women in 2010, added: ‘Not many people attract that adoration and attention from the public… she was just so unbelievable and I really missed her in EastEnders, I think she will be truly missed.’
Nadia Sawalha, who starred alongside Barbara in EastEnders as Annie Palmer in the late 90s, said her co-star had ‘was always very welcoming and always made me laugh.’
She added: ‘I’ve never seen fame like it, there was something about Barbara, she was such a straight talker and I loved that.’
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.
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