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EastEnders star June Brown has recalled the heartbreaking final conversation she had with Dame Barbara Windsor as she paid tribute to the actress following her tragic death.
June, 93, paid tribute to Dame Barbara, who played Peggy Mitchell on the soap, after it was announced she had passed away aged 83.
The actress, who plays Dot Branning on the BBC soap, recalled her time working with Barbara.
She said in a statement: “I’m thinking of Babs as she was when she came in to EastEnders as Peggy Mitchell – tiny, bright, bubbly, pretty and friendly to everyone. She soon became loved by all the cast.
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“We became great friends. We had adjoining dressing rooms and she was always popping in for coffee, and we’d go to lunch together; she kept me up to date with all the gossip.
“I wished we’d had more scenes together but our only one was in her last episode, when Dot said goodbye to Peggy, knowing that she was dying.”
June then revealed how she and the Carry On actress would regularly chat on the phone, following Dame Barabra’s departure from the soap in 2010, after a fire destroyed the Queen Vic pub.
The actress then opened up on her final chat with Barbara on the phone as she said: “In our last phone call she asked me several times where I was – I finally said ‘I’m at home’ and her comment was ‘I’d like to come to your home’, but it was too late for that.”
The Dot Branning actress then paid tribute to Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell, who lead tributes to the star, as she said: “At this time, I’m thinking of her very loving husband Scott, who has created a legacy for her by training to run marathons in her name, owing to her great popularity, to raise an enormous amount of money in aid of the charity Dementia Revolution.
“They had such a happy marriage; they were like two children, always laughing together. While I’m still here, she’ll always be alive in my mind.”
June is one of many EastEnders stars who have paid tribute to Dame Barbara following her tragic passing.
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Steve McFadden, who plays Dame Barbara’s on-screen son Phil Mitchell, said: “I truly loved Barbara and, like everyone, I am going to miss her terribly.”
He added: “She was everything you would hope she would be, and more.”
While Ross Kemp, who played Grant Mitchell, tweeted a photo of him with her and added: “Dame Barbara Windsor, the woman who always had time for everybody, has sadly left us. I will miss Bar always. My thoughts are with her husband Scott, who could have done no more and who stayed strong for her to the very end”.
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