Barbara Windsor: I made Peggy tough throughout cancer battle

Barbara Windsor says she took a "tough" approach to Peggy Mitchell's cancer battle and hopes 'EastEnders' fans understand

Barbara Windsor

Barbara Windsor

Barbara Windsor hopes viewers accept the "tough" way she played Peggy Mitchell's cancer battle in 'EastEnders'.

The 78-year-old actress has returned to the BBC One soap to film her final scenes as the cockney pub landlady - who she has depicted on and off for 22 years - and wanted to play the matriarch with dignity in the emotional storyline.

Speaking on 'Good Morning Britain' today (10.05.16) about her last scenes, Barbara welled up as she said: "They were hard but, sorry I'm going to get upset, I did my crying afterwards, I had to. I had to give this performance and she's quite tough and I hope people accept the way I played her with cancer because I have to tell all the viewers that everybody's different."

The actress loved working with Steve McFadden and Ross Kemp - who play her on-screen sons Phil and Grant Mitchell respectively - but could tell the 51-year-old star was nervous because he was also returning to his hard man alter-ego after quitting the show for good in 2006.

She said: "It was fabulous and what I loved about him [Ross Kemp] bless him, he said 'oh I'm nervous' and I thought, 'Thank God' because I was nervous ... because Steve is Steve, he's being doing it forever, he's got it all sorted out, so the two of us were kind of [holding] hands you know."

But having her boys back together made her question why she was closing the door on Peggy on the first place.

She added: "I tell you what was great - when they stood either side of me that was it, I felt, 'We're back! What am I doing killing myself off? Am I mad?' I felt good and I have to say Ross enjoyed it because it took a lot to get him back and it was a little phone call from me in the end that did it."


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