My mother would have hated Peggy Mitchell, says Dame Barbara Windsor


Dame Barbara Windsor has said her mother would have "hated" EastEnders' Peggy Mitchell.

Albert Square favourite Dame Barbara, 78, is leaving the BBC One soap for good, and her famous character will be killed off.

Just before Peggy's exit episode airs on May 17, The One Show will broadcast a special edition live from Albert Square.

Matt Baker, Dame Barbara Windsor and Alex Jones (BBC)

Alongside her Carry On films, Mitchell matriarch Peggy is the defining role of Dame Barbara's career.

However, the London-born star said her mother would not have taken to The Queen Vic landlady.

"My mother would have hated that character," she told The One Show's Matt Baker and Alex Jones. "She was a Cockney snob. She always wanted to better herself, you see. She'd be like, 'I sent you to all those elocution lessons and look at ya!'"

Dame Barbara Windsor as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders (BBC)

Born Barbara Ann Deeks in 1937, Dame Barbara was the only child of John Deeks and his wife Rose (nee Ellis).

After a successful 22-year stint as EastEnders' Peggy, the soap stalwart is bowing out.

When asked about the input she had into the character, Dame Barbara said the role was a perfect fit.

Barbara Windsor as a dying Peggy Mitchell (BBC)

"Well, she was just right for me, just because I knew this woman. She's the kind of woman ... she can be very sweet and very nice, but very tough."

Dame Barbara also revealed just how much of an impact the Carry On films continued to have on her career.

In 1994, although it had been nearly two decades since her last association with the comedy franchise, it was still not easy to move past it.

EastEnders' Ross Kemp, Dame Barbara Windsor and Steve McFadden in 2006 (David Fisher/Rex/Shutterstock)

"It was difficult for me because I wanted to play my age and every time I went up for a job, they all only wanted to talk about the Carry Ons!"

Dame Barbara said her "vulnerability" impressed at the reading for the EastEnders character.

At the end of the special, she will introduce the episode in which time finally runs out for cancer-stricken Peggy.

Barbara Windsor is bowing out as Peggy Mitchell (BBC)

The Londoner played Peggy full-time until 2010, and subsequently revived the Walford stalwart for occasional appearances.

As the landlady of the Queen Vic, Peggy was much-loved for her feisty temperament and for her "Get outta mah pub!" catchphrase.

Initially played by Jo Warne in 1991, Peggy was recast with Dame Barbara walking into Albert Square three years later. She immediately made the role her own.

The One Show special is broadcast on BBC One at 7pm on May 17.