Former EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins has hailed Dame Barbara Windsor’s influence on the soap, and has revealed she once took co-star June Brown to task for criticising the writers.
Dame Barbara, who died earlier this month, aged 83, joined the long-running soap in 1994 and former executive producer Dominic described her as the ultimate professional.
He told Radio Times: ‘Barbara was the best executive producer EastEnders never had.’
He continued, adding how Dame Barbara once confronted June after she criticised the writers: ‘She was so sharp, she knew the audience, and kept actors young and old in check.
‘Once, June Brown shouted at us from her dressing room window, “Your storylines are s**t.” Barbara grabbed her, brought her upstairs and told her to apologise.’
Dame Barbara also apparently admonished Samantha Womack and Rita Simons.
The actresses, who played Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell, drew Dame Barbara’s ire after wearing ugg boots behind the bar at the Queen Vic (Dame Barbara always wore heels and argued viewers could tell the difference).
June was among those who paid tribute to Dame Barbara following her death on December 10.
She said: ‘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.
‘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.’
She went on: ‘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.’
June added: ‘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.’
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