Barbara Windsor enjoys a cocktail at the White Hart Hotel in Essex, 1996
Barbara Windsor enjoys a cocktail at the White Hart Hotel in Essex, 1996

Dame Barbara Windsor’s most memorable quotes on ageing, love and work

'I've been fortunate enough to do what I love and get paid for it’

Joanna Whitehead
Friday 11 December 2020 11:03

The death of Dame Barbara Windsor at the age of 83 has sent shockwaves throughout the entertainment world.

Beloved for her long-running role as Peggy Mitchell on the BBC soap Eastenders, her career spanned stage and screen across seven decades.

The London-born actor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, and went on to campaign for better care for dementia sufferers.

Tributes poured in from fans and colleagues as they lamented the loss of a “national treasure”.

Husband Scott Mitchell said: “Barbara’s final weeks were typical of how she lived her life. Full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end."

We reflect on some of her best lines.

On a child-free life:

“I don't have any regrets about not having kids. I've just never had those maternal feelings. I am a nurturer by nature, but I nurture adults: my friends, the people I work with. I don't want to nurture children.

A still from the film ‘Carry on Doctor’

On getting older:

“The beautiful thing is that ageism just doesn't exist on EastEnders. The show saved me.”

“I am aware that I look good for my age. It's my genes. My dad looked incredibly young, so did my mother. And a younger husband helps. Scott is only 45. If he hadn't come along, I don't know what I'd have done."

Barbara Windsor receives her CBE at Buckingham Palace in 2016

On work:

“I am not like my image; I take my work so seriously. Everyone thinks I just bounce in, but I study and everything has to be just right.”

“I've been incredibly lucky. I've worked in two iconic shows, Carry On and EastEnders. If it all ended tomorrow - and it could - I'd just be terribly grateful. I've been fortunate enough to do what I love and get paid for it.”

In her role as Eastenders matriarch, Peggy Mitchell, with her on-screen sons

“They say an actor is only as good as his parts. Well, my parts have done me pretty well, darling.”

On love:

Barbara met her third husband, Scott Mitchell, when he was 29 and she was 55.

Barbara Windsor and husband, Scott Mitchell, in 2017

“Meeting Scott is the best thing that ever happened to me." She described their wedding day in 2000 as “the happiest day of my life”.

On meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2019:

“Can I have a kiss?” He duly complied.

Boris Johnson gives Barbara Windsor a kiss, after meeting at 10 Downing Street to discuss dementia care

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