DAME Barbara Windsor’s EastEnders co-star Dean Gaffney paid his respects at the actress’s funeral yesterday.
Covid restrictions meant only 30 mourners were allowed to attend the service at Golders Green Crematorium in London, so Dean, 42, joined other members of the EastEnders cast outside.
The actor, who played hapless road sweeper Robbie Jackson in the soap from 1993 to 2003, arrived in a dark suit, brown tie and face mask.
Ross delivered a touching eulogy as he shared memories of the star who died on December 10 at the age of 83 following a brave battle with dementia.
Hailing her “common touch” the actor — son Grant Mitchell in EastEnders — said: “The public loved her, she loved them back and they loved her even more for it.”
READ ROSS KEMP’S FULL EULOGY TO BABS HERE
The 4ft 10in film and TV legend passed away “peacefully” at a London care home with her husband Scott Mitchell by her side.
There was an outpouring of national grief over the actress’ passing who was best known for her roles in the Carry On films and as Enders’ Peggy Mitchell, the feisty landlady of the Queen Vic.
Fans who waited outside the funeral said there would have been hundreds inside and thousands lining the streets if there had been no lockdown.
Barbara’s EastEnders co-star and on-screen daughter in law Martine McCutcheon paid a touching tribute yesterday.
She shared a photo of Babs in her formative years, and wrote: “My Darling Barb, today is your funeral.
“I so wish the streets of London could be lined with all who loved you, but sadly in these times It’s not an option – But know I’m thinking of you. I always did and always will.”
EastEnders paid tribute to Babs last week with a special onscreen message.
On December 29, the episode concluded with all of the cast and crew for the entire year thanked in the credits.
And as the lengthy list drew to a close, “in loving memory of Dame Barbara Windsor MBE” flashed up on viewers’ screens over the show’s famous London backdrop.
The much-loved star has been praised for her “extraordinary” work raising dementia awareness.
Since her Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2014, she and husband Scott have helped raise funds for research into the disease – including a £4million haul through the London Marathon.
A JustGiving page set up as a tribute to Dame Barbara and in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK has raised almost £150,000.
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Scott thanked Sun readers back in December for helping to raise the cash in the actress’s memory.
He said: “I have been completely overwhelmed by the response from Barbara’s fans, friends and former colleagues.
“This outpouring of support has filled me with pride and been a huge comfort to me. It just shows how loved, respected and adored my Barbara was. That’s magical.”
He continued: “I’m determined to honour her legacy by doing everything I can to support dementia research and help Alzheimer’s Research UK’s search for a cure.”
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