Who is Barbara Windsor’s ex-husband Ronnie Knight?

18 August 2020, 18:22

Ronnie Knight and Barbara Windsor were married for 22 years
Ronnie Knight and Barbara Windsor were married for 22 years. Picture: Getty Images/PA Images

Who is Dame Barbara Windsor’s first husband Ronnie Knight and how did he know the Kray twins? Find out everything…

BBC biopic Babs is back on our screens, and tells the story of Dame Barbara Windsor’s life.

As well as recounting her relationship with her parents and her rise to fame, the film also details her first marriage to notorious criminal Ronnie Knight.

But who is Ronnie Knight and where is he now? Here’s what you need to know…

Who is Ronnie Knight and how did he know the Krays?

Ronnie Knight was a former nightclub owner who married Barbara Windsor in 1964.

Barbara Windsor was married to Ronnie Knight for 22 years
Barbara Windsor was married to Ronnie Knight for 22 years. Picture: Getty Images

Along with his brothers, Ronnie was friendly with ‘gangsters’ the Kray twins, but denies ever being connected with their illegal activities.

He was previously acquitted of the murder of the man who had stabbed his brother, and later wrote a book confessing to hiring a hitman.

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In 1983, £6million was stolen from a Security Express depot in Shoreditch in an armed robbery.

Following the crime, Ronnie moved to Spain and lived in the Costa Del Sol for ten years, but when he returned to the UK in May 1994, he was put on trial for the crime.

While he admitted handling £314,813, at the age of 61 Ronnie pleaded not guilty to robbery and was jailed in 1995 for seven years at the Old Bailey.

Ronnie Knight went on trial in 1995
Ronnie Knight went on trial in 1995. Picture: PA Images

What happened with Ronnie Knight and Barbara Windsor?

When Barbara Windsor met Ronnie Knight he was already married to his first wife June. But he divorced her and tied the knot with Barbara in 1964.

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The pair were married for 22 years, but after he moved to Spain, Barbara asked him for a divorce.

He previously claimed he didn’t leave the country to escape the police, revealing: “I just woke up that morning and thought: ‘I'm going.’

Barbara Windsor asked for a divorce from Ronnie Knight in 1988
Barbara Windsor asked for a divorce from Ronnie Knight in 1988. Picture: PA Images

“The next morning, I woke up in brilliant sunshine. A couple of years later, Barbara phoned and said: ‘We should get a divorce.’ I said: ‘OK, mate.’ I got the papers through and I signed them.”

The couple were married for 22 years, but divorced in 1985 and both were rumoured to be having affairs.

It was reported at the time that Barbara had a one night stand with Reggie Kray – something that is hinted at in Babs.

She is also said to have had a fling with co-star Sid James, as well as George Best, her manager Robert Dunn, and Ronnie Scott.

In 1987, Ronnie married his third wife Sue Haylock in Fuengirola.

Where is Ronnie Knight now?

Not much is known about Ronnie Knight now.

He is 86-years-old and is thought to be living in a one-bedroom flat in Cambridge.

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