EastEnders star June Brown has paid tribute to her former co-star Dame Barbara Windsor, saying she will “always be alive in my mind”.
The actress, known for playing Dot Cotton in the BBC soap, recalled her time working with Dame Barbara on the programme.
The actress has died at the age of 83.
Brown, 93, said in a statement to the PA news agency: “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.”
Brown said the pair became “great friends”.
“We had adjoining dressing room 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 she was dying.”
Dot Cotton, who was played by Brown for 35 years, left EastEnders in January, while Peggy Mitchell last appeared in the programme in 2016.
Brown said the pair talked regularly on the phone following Dame Barbara’s departure from the soap.
“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.”
Brown also praised Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell.
“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,” she said.
“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.”