EastEnders viewers were left tearing up after the BBC1 soap shared a touching tribute to Dame Barbara Windsor after her death.
Barbara, who played the beloved Peggy Mitchell in the programme from 1994 to 2016, died aged 83 earlier this month following a battle with Alzheimer’s.
In Thursday’s show, the current cast gathered around a slideshow in the square at the Walford Community Christmas Dinner.
Remembering: Fans were left tearing up after EastEnders shared a touching tribute to Dame Barbara Windsor after her death aged 83 earlier this month
The slideshow paid tribute to characters who had died over the years, including Peggy, Pat and Frank Butcher, and Chantelle Atkins.
Her on-screen son Phil, played by Steve McFadden, 61, looked up at the screen as he remembered Peggy.
Viewers took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the ‘heartwarming’ tribute, with one writing: ‘Phil looking up at Peggy’, followed by a line of broken heart emojis.
Another user said: ‘It really did the heartstrings….made me glad we had a on-screen exit for Peggy when it was possible #EastEnders’ [sic]
Goodbye Albert Square: Barbara played the beloved Peggy Mitchell in the BBC1 soap from 1994 to 2016 (pictured saying goodbye to Albert Square for the final time in 2016)
A third penned: ‘That picture of Peggy in #EastEnders tonight… even more poignant today than it would have been #ripbarbarawindsor’
One viewer commented: ‘Noooo the minute eastenders put that picture of Peggy up I balled’.
Someone else added: ‘Seeing Peggy in the slide show made me cry #EastEnders’
‘Heartwarming’ tribute: Viewers took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the ‘heartwarming’ tribute
On-screen son: Barbara’s on-screen son Phil, played by Steve McFadden, 61, looked up at the screen as he remembered Peggy
Another continued: ‘I was thinking how nice it was that Ben smiled in a kind way & raised a glass after seeing the image with Peggy, & remember Max Bowden saying in tribute to Barbara Windsor “I wish our paths had crossed” #EastEnders’
Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell announced the news of her death earlier this month, saying: ’Myself, her family and friends will remember Barbara with love, a smile and affection for the many years of her love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives and the entertainment she gave to so many thousands of others during her career.
‘Barbara’s final weeks were typical of how she lived her life. Full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end.
Tributes: Other characters were featured in the slideshow, including Jessica Plummer’s character Chantelle Atkins (pictured)
‘It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve.
‘I will always be immensely proud of Barbara’s courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.
‘Dementia/Alzheimer’s remains the UKs number one killer. Although in challenging times, I urge the Prime Minister, his Government and other parties to be true to their previous promises and invest more into Dementia/Alzheimer’s Research and Care.
Heartbroken: Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell shared the news of the actress’s death earlier this month (pictured together last year)
‘Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and carers who are angels at the Care Home for your kindness and care to Barbara and I throughout her stay with you. You are my heroes.
‘And my gratitude to our family, friends and everyone in the media and the general public for all the good wishes and warm support that has been shown to Barbara over the last few years during her illness. Barbara deeply appreciated that.
‘May you rest in peace now my precious Bar. I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you.’
WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, in which build-up of abnormal proteins causes nerve cells to die.
This disrupts the transmitters that carry messages, and causes the brain to shrink.
More than 5 million people suffer from the disease in the US, where it is the 6th leading cause of death, and more than 1 million Britons have it.
As brain cells die, the functions they provide are lost.
That includes memory, orientation and the ability to think and reason.
The progress of the disease is slow and gradual.
On average, patients live five to seven years after diagnosis, but some may live for ten to 15 years.
- Loss of short-term memory
- Behavioral changes
- Mood swings
- Difficulties dealing with money or making a phone call
- Severe memory loss, forgetting close family members, familiar objects or places
- Becoming anxious and frustrated over inability to make sense of the world, leading to aggressive behavior
- Eventually lose ability to walk
- May have problems eating
- The majority will eventually need 24-hour care
Source: Alzheimer’s Association
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