Ex-EastEnders boss says Barbara Windsor kept the other cast members in check

A former EastEnders boss has hailed Dame Barbara Windsor’s influence on the soap and revealed she once took co-star June Brown to task for criticising the writers.

Dame Barbara, who joined the long-running soap in 1994 before becoming its biggest star, died earlier this month aged 83.

She played Peggy Mitchell on EastEnders and Dominic Treadwell-Collins, a former executive producer, described her as the ultimate professional.

Dame Barbara Windsor
Dame Barbara Windsor became EastEnders’ best-known star (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He told the Radio Times she once confronted Brown – another of EastEnders’ biggest stars and who played Dot Cotton – after she criticised the writers.

“Barbara was the best executive producer EastEnders never had,” Treadwell-Collins said.

“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 shit.’ Barbara grabbed her, brought her upstairs and told her to apologise.”

Dame Barbara, who died after being diagnosed with dementia, also 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.

Brown, 93, was among those to pay tribute to Dame Barbara following her death on December 10.

She said: “While I’m still here, she’ll always be alive in my mind.”

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