Barbara Windsor to leave EastEnders as Peggy Mitchell gets killed off

Well known for her 'Get outta mah pub!' catchphrase, Dame Barbara made her debut on the BBC soap in 1994

Dame Barbara Windsor made her début in EastEnders as Peggy Mitchell in 1994
Dame Barbara Windsor made her début in EastEnders as Peggy Mitchell in 1994

EastEnders stalwart Dame Barbara Windsor has announced she will be making a final departure from the soap, as it is revealed her famous character Peggy Mitchell will be killed off by the show’s writers.

Announcing her decision, Dame Barbara said she had thought “long and hard about it” but had decided it was time to say goodbye to her much-loved character as the feisty landlady of the Queen Vic. Well known for her “Get outta mah pub!” catchphrase, she made her debut on the BBC One soap in 1994, playing the character full-time until 2010, and has made occasional returns since.

Viewers of EastEnders saw Peggy make an appearance on Friday night’s episode, revealing that her cancer had returned. The show’s executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins hinted at her exit on the show, saying it would be “one of the most heartbreaking, uplifting and epic exits an EastEnders character has ever had.”

Dame Barbara said: "Peggy is a character close to my heart but I made the decision a while ago that I need to say goodbye to her once and for all, as otherwise she will always be there, urging me to go back, and that is something I need to shut the door on.

She added: "After thinking long and hard about it, I realised that it is time for me and the audience to say our final farewells to the lady who I have loved for many years and I thought that whilst the guvnor, who I adore, is still in charge I want him to be the one to oversee it," she added.

Some of Peggy’s biggest storylines included her battle with breast cancer, her marriage to Frank, her feud and friendship with Pat Butcher and her marriage to Archie Mitchell, which resulted in the family losing The Queen Vic. Before joining the show Dame Barbara was best known for her Carry On movies

Mr Treadwell-Collins praised Dame Barbara for creating one of the “greatest ever characters on British television and said her exit was the end of EastEnders era. He added: "When she told me her decision back in the summer, we both had a little cry before getting excited about how Peggy Mitchell, the matriarch to end all matriarchs, could bid her final farewell to Albert Square.

“Barbara is the real guvnor of EastEnders.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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