When did Barbara Windsor join EastEnders as Peggy Mitchell and how long was she on the soap?

15 December 2020, 13:53

Barbara Windsor joined EastEnders in 1994
Barbara Windsor joined EastEnders in 1994. Picture: BBC

When did Barbara Windsor leave EastEnders and what was her last scene?

The late Barbara Windsor made a name for herself as one of the most iconic characters in EastEnders history, Peggy Mitchell.

She was part of some of the biggest storylines in soap history and even coined her infamous catchphrase ‘Get outta my pub!’.

But when did she join EastEnders and why did she leave the soap? Here's what we know...

When did Barbara Windsor join EastEnders?

While Peggy was initially played by Jo Warne all the way back in 1991, the character was reintroduced in 1994, recast to Barbara Windsor.

Barbara Windsor appeared on EastEnders for over 20 years
Barbara Windsor appeared on EastEnders for over 20 years. Picture: PA Images

She played the no-nonsense landlady of the Queen Vic and powerhouse of the Mitchell family for almost ten years.

Unfortunately, Babs was forced to take a two year break from the soap when she fell ill with the Epstein-Barr virus in 2003.

The actress finally rejoined the cast in mid-2005, initially on a one-year contract, though this was later extended.

Read More: Barbara Windsor family: Did the EastEnders legend have children and who are her siblings?

When did Barbara Windsor leave EastEnders?

Barbara announced she was quitting Albert Square In October 2009, saying she wanted to spend more time with her husband Scott Mitchell.

She returned for one episode in 2013, as well as 2014 and 2015.

Peggy Mitchell’s final appearance was broadcast on May 17 2016 where she died after a battle with breast cancer.

The character returned to the Square to tell her family that her cancer had spread to her brain and was terminal.

She decided not to have any more chemotherapy and took a lethal overdose of pills which caused her to die in her sleep.

The poignant episode attracted a peak of 8 million viewers, while her funeral aired on July 4 2016.

Who did Barbara Windsor keep in touch with from EastEnders?

Barbara made many close friends on EastEnders during her time on the soap.

Her on-screen sons - played by Ross Kemp and Steven McFadden - shared touching tributes to the star after her death.

Ross, who played Grant Mitchell, said she was "the woman who always had time for everybody".

Steve, who played Phil, said: "I truly loved Barbara and, like everyone, I am going to miss her terribly.

"She was everything you would hope she would be, and more."

June Brown, who played Dot Cotton, also praised the late actress, as well as Pam St Clement, who played Peggy's friend Pat Butcher.

Other former co-stars also fondly remembered the actress include Larry Lamb, who played Peggy's husband Archie, as well as Tracy-Ann Oberman who played Chrissie Watts,

Danny Dyer, Adam Woodyatt, Shane Richie and Letitia Dean also shared sweet messages, as well as Jake Wood and Lacey Turner.

Now Read: EastEnders and Carry On legend Barbara Windsor dies aged 83 following dementia battle