Barbara Windsor 'struggles to remember friends' names'

Barbara Windsor is struggling to remember names of long-time friends, according to former EastEnders cast-mate Kellie Shirley.

The 82-year-old former Carry On star has been battling dementia since being diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014.

Speaking to the Sunday Express, Shirley said: "A massive part of being an actor is remembering things. Your memories are such a big part of who you are.

"That's why I feel for Barbara. She remembers so much about the past as clear as day yet she won't remember my name.

"We still have funny moments. It's not bleak all the time, but it is hardcore. It's a cruel disease that robs you of your memories.

"Any time I'm in town for an audition I'll meet up with Barbara and Scott [Mitchell, Windsor's husband] for a cup of tea. I've always done that.

"I'm training with Scott so we meet up on a Friday, run together and catch up. I find running so boring so chatting makes the time go faster."

Shirley, who plays Carly Wicks in the long-running BBC soap, is joining Mitchell and a host of others, including Ian Beale actor Adam Woodyatt and Jake Wood (Max Branning), in running the London Marathon next month.

The team, called Barbara's Revolutionaries, is hoping to raise £100,000 for Alzheimer's research via the charity Dementia Revolution.

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Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) is watched by actress Barbara Windsor (L) as she speaks on the telephone at the annual ICAP charity day in the City of London December 3, 2013. REUTERS/Paul Grover/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS SOCIETY ROYALS)
British actor Bernard Bresslaw, dressed as Father Bernard is shown with actress Barbara Windsor around May 21, 1972. They are both appearing in the British comedy film series "Carry on Abroad" now in production at Pinewood Studios, England. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
British comedy actor Sid James gets a friendly farewell cuddle from his British co-star Barbara Windsor as they complete the last day of shooting of the film "Carry On Girls", at Pinewood Studios, England, May 25, 1973. (AP Photo/Robert Dear)
Britain's Prince Charles shares a joke with actress Barbara Windsor, right, and Kelly Osbourne, center, as Kelly's mother Sharon Osbourne looks on, backstage during filming of the Royal Variety Performance at the London Coliseum, in central London, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2004. (AP Photo/Chris Young/Pool)
British actress Barbara Windsor arrives for the Royal World Premiere of the movie Alice in Wonderland in Leicester Square, London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Barbara Windsor is seen posing with Pudsey the Bear on arriving for the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell attend the after party following the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Barbara Windsor, left and Anneka Rice attend the after party following the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchel arrive for the opening night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a new stage musical based on Roald Dahl's popular story about Willy Wonka and his amazing Chocolate Factory, at the Drury Lane Theatre in central London, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, centre, rides with television personalities Barbara Windsor , second right and journalist Alastair Stewart, right, on a 1960's Routemaster bus, on route to meeting London Poppy Day staff and volunteers in London Thursday Nov. 7, 2013. Accompanied by Prince William, the couple surprised hundreds of commuters, as they joined poppy sellers at a London Tube station. (AP Photo/Carl Court, Pool)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, left and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge third right, ride with television personality Barbara Windsor, second right, on a 1960's Routemaster bus, on route to meeting London Poppy Day staff and volunteers in London Thursday Nov. 7, 2013. Accompanied by Prince William, the couple surprised hundreds of commuters, as they joined poppy sellers at a London Tube station. (AP Photo/Carl Court, Pool)
British Prime Minister David Cameron, talks to British actress Barbara Windsor outside 10 Downing Street during a event to mark the annual Poppy Day appeal in London, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. The symbolic Poppies are sold each year prior to Armistice Day, Nov 11, to raise money in aid of armed forces veterans. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
British actress Barbara Windsor poses for photographers with a map as she hands out leaflets and maps at Piccadilly Circus, to welcome visitors from around the world to London, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Barbara Windsor joined volunteers from the Team London Visitor Welcome program helping visitors to the capital this summer get the most out of their trip. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
British actress Barbara Windsor poses for photographers with her husband Scott Mitchell at Piccadilly Circus, in London, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Barbara Windsor MBE joined volunteers from theTeam London Visitor Welcome programme helping visitors to the capital this summer get the most out of their trip. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
British actress Barbara Windsor (L) and London Mayor Boris Johnson play sitting volleyball at the London 2012 Paralympic Games August 31, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS VOLLEYBALL POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Britain's Prince Charles (L) speaks with actress Barbara Windsor at the Royal World Premiere of "Alice In Wonderland" in London February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ian West/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS)
June Brown (L) and Barbara Windsor (R) arrive for the British Academy Television Awards 2009 at the Royal Festival Hall in London April 26, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN ENTERTAINMENT)
British actress Barbara Windsor (R) and British comedian David Walliams arrive in costume for the reception following the civil partnership ceremony of British television and stand-up comedian Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee, in central London December 17, 2006.REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)
British actress Barbara Windsor (R) and British comedian David Walliams arrive in costume for the reception following the civil partnership ceremony of British television and stand-up comedian Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee, in central London December 17, 2006.REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)
East Enders star Barbara Windsor (L) joins comedian Ronnie Corbett in saluting the Queen from a parade float during Golden Jubilee celebrations June 4, 2002. REUTERS/Chris Helgren CLH/
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) walks around the set of BBC soap opera Eastenders with actress Barbara Windsor, November 28, 2001. The Queen has spent a day touring various broadcasting facilities including the set of long running sopa opera Eastenders and the news room of ITN before going on to see a rehersal of popular childrens television programme Blue Peter.
Barbara Windsor poses for photographers upon arrival at the Pride of Britain Awards 2015 in London, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
British actress Barbara Windsor gestures to the media as she poses with actress Lacey Turner, second left, and two members of the armed forces outside 10 Downing Street during a event to mark the annual Poppy Day in London, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Poppies are sold each year prior to Armistice Day, Nov 11, in aid of armed forces veterans. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
British actress Barbara Windsor arrives for the Royal World Premiere of the movie Alice in Wonderland in Leicester Square, London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
British comedy actor Bernard Bresslaw, dressed in a cassock for the film Carry On Abroad, being filmed at Pinewood Studios, Iver, May 21, 1972, smiles at British comedy actress Barbara Windsor as she pops out of his attire. (AP Photo/Staff/Bob Dear)
Barbara Windsor is seen posing with Pudsey the Bear on arriving for the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Britain's Catherine (L), Duchess of Cambridge, rides with television personalities Barbara Windsor (R) and Alastair Stewart on a 1960’s Routemaster bus during a Royal British Legion Poppy Day event in London November 7, 2013. REUTERS/Carl Court/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS SOCIETY)
Britain's Prince Charles (L) speaks with actress Barbara Windsor at the Royal World Premiere of "Alice In Wonderland" in London February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ian West/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS)
British actress Barbara Windsor (R) and British comedian David Walliams arrive in costume for the reception following the civil partnership ceremony of British television and stand-up comedian Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee, in central London December 17, 2006.REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) walks around the set of BBC soap opera Eastenders with actress Barbara Windsor, November 28 2001. The Queen has spent a day touring various broadcasting facilities including the set of long running sopa opera Eastenders and the news room of ITN [before going on to see a rehearsal of popular childrens television programme Blue Peter.]
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets stars of the BBC television soap opera Eastenders Barbara Windsor who plays [barmaid Peggy Mitchell] (C) and June Brown (L), who plays [Dot Cotton] during her visit to set in London November 28 2001. The Queen and [the Duke of Edinburgh] tour broadcast facilities in London.
Embargoed to 0001 Thursday February 14 File photo dated 28/9/2015 of Dame Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell, as Mr Mitchell has urged people to check for the early signs of dementia in loved ones on Valentine's Day.
Barbara Windsor at the laying of the final poppy at the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins at the Tower of London.
Sir Bruce Forsyth and Barbara Windsor at the 30 year reunion of the cast and crew of 'The Talk of the Town', at the Hippodrome Casion, in Leicester Square, central London.
Barbara Windsor and husband Scott Mitchell arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London.
Judith Chalmers and Barbara Windsor attend the �20 Million Opening of the Galleries of Modern London at the Museum of London, London, 27th May 2010.
Sir Michael Caine and Barbara Windsor attend the �20 Million Opening of the Galleries of Modern London at the Museum of London, London, 27th May 2010.
Barbara Windsor arrives for the Royston Blythe salon opening party at the Dorchester on Park Lane, central London.
Barbara Windsor (left) and Scott Mitchell (right) arrive at the premiere of Is Anybody There? Curzon Cinema, Mayfair, London.
EMBARGOED UNTIL 0001 SATURDAY JULY 12, 2008. Barbara Windsor playing Grant Mitchell in Carry On Eastenders in a sketch for the Sunday Night Project (TX: Sunday July 13, 2008 @ 2200).
EMBARGOED UNTIL 0001 SATURDAY JULY 12, 2008. Barbara Windsor playing Phil Mitchell in Carry On Eastenders in a sketch for the Sunday Night Project (TX: Sunday July 13, 2008 @ 2200).
Ladies from the cast of Eastenders, left to right, Kellie Shirley, Barbara Windsor, Emma Barton, Jo Joyner, Kara Tointon and Nina Wadia receive the award for Most Popular Serial Drama back stage during the National Television Awards 2007, Royal Albert Hall, London.
Barbara Windsor arrives for the British Academy Television Awards, held at the London Palladium, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday 20 May 2007. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Barbara Windsor arriving at the National Television Awards 2006, the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Actress Barbara Windsor arrives for the European premiere of Beyond The Sea, at the Vue West End in London's Leicester Square.
Kelly Holmes and Barbara Windsor before meeting The Prince of Wales backstage at the London Coliseum, in central London, Tuesday December 14, 2004 after the Royal Variety Performance. Anwar Hussein/allactiondigital.com
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Barbara's husband gives pair of updates

Elsewhere, Mitchell gave an update on his wife's condition while appearing on Steve Wright's Radio 2 show, he said: "There's good and bad days, the confusion does progress and that becomes a lot more stressful for her to live with and you as the carer to watch.

"I think what I've learnt by talking to other people is its very different for every case. It's very simple things that used to be very easy, whether that's signing something or writing a letter, opening something.

"At times it's very frustrating and irritable. It gets worse at night. With Barbara it's to do with our house. She constantly asks me over and over again at night whose house is this, are we staying here, is this house I grew up with my mummy."

Then, in an interview with the Daily Star on Sunday he said:"The heartbreaking thing is a cure is possible.

"They believe in six years a cure or at least major breakthrough could be found with the right funding.

"That is what we are aiming for. We accept it would be for future generations.

"We both know it will be too late for Barbara but she still wants to do what she can to help find a cure. We both do."

Mitchell revealed last year that Dame Barbara sometimes forgets who he is.

You can sponsor Barbara's Revolutionaries, and donate to Dementia Revolution, here.

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